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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sarah Morrow

    An interesting tour of the Balkans

    This is a very interesting and varied trip through Montenegro and Bosnia Herzogovina, covering countryside, mountains, culture and history. A lot is fitted into a relatively short time, so it involves quite a bit of travelling, but the countryside is stunning and our driver was excellent, so it was really worth it. The mountains are reminiscent of the Dolomites, but without the crowds. The cities are medieval and very quaint, but still bear the scars of the Balkan war of the 90's. The war exhibition in Sarajevo is particularly thought provoking and well worth a visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sarajevo

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was young and enthusiastic
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Bruce Pryde

    When things go wrong

    I enjoyed the mix if this trip. Old walled towns, wonderful coastline, and flower meadows as you like to think they were in the UK in the past. Even the coach journeys through the countryside were worth the time spent doing them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was inspiration to be found in almost everything we did. The journey from Zabljak to Sarajevo was particularly wonderful. The wild flowers were stunningly beautiful particularly where we had a coffee stop, as were the views to and the journey in the Piva gorge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alen was an engaging guide full of useful information imparted with clarity. Always ready to help he came into his own when I slipped and broke my leg! He handled the situation in a very calm manner with excellent first aid skills. Moving on with the rest of the group Alen arranged support for my wife left in Sarajevo. What a guy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have travel insurance!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were impressed by the friendliness we encountered especially considering their recent history.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Bev Wickham

    Exceeded my expectations

    An amazingly diverse trip taking in wonderful UNESCO world heritage sites. From cities to isolated mountainous hikes, swimming at Kravica waterfalls and lunches in out of the ordinary hidden gems. I now have a much greater knowledge and understanding of the war in these countries.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As a wild flower and especially Orchid lover, the Flora was breathtaking. The unspoilt countryside, meadows and alpine regions were packed full of so many species. Swimming in Kravica waterfalls was an experience never to be forgotten. The walk towards the Rakitnica canyon,views and lunch with one of the main village families sitting out in the open is a memory that will stay with me for a long time

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alen our group leader was over and above anything I could have asked for. He was extremely knowledgeable, interesting and great fun - even his jokes!! Nothing was to much trouble for Alen and he went out of his way to make this a truly memorable holiday. One of our group unfortunately broke his leg at the end of a hike. Alen’s knowledge of making a temporary splint, staying calm and organised and still managing to make sure we were all looked after was very impressive. What a guy and a man of many talents.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do make sure you have suitable foot ware for rougher terrain. The walk down to the Rakitnica canyon was rugged in some parts and some of the cobbled streets are slippery with so much footfall especially Mostar. We made the mistake of arriving at Kotor on day one after a long journey from Dubrovnik and crossing borders etc and went out exploring immediately. This wasn’t necessary as we had a guided tour the next day. It may be a good idea to walk up the steps to St John’s Fortress for panoramic views. This needs to be done earlier or later in the day because of the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All the hotels were what I expected. They were clean adequate and the staff were all friendly. Our hotel in Zabljak had a chained up dog which woke us with it’s barking through the early hours as we were at the front of the hotel. When we arrived in Mostar it would have been great to chill out for the afternoon instead of going straight out for a tour in the heat and crowds. We had a fantastic driver Sandy. He was great fun, and a very safe driver. Truly memorable holiday
  • Reviewed June 2019
    William Edginton

    Bosnia and beyond

    This was an enjoyable and illuminating trip, very efficiently run. Almost all places visited were worthwhile, with the possible exception of Budva. A mixture of lovely scenery (especially the Montenegro mountains), comfortable travelling and towns/cities attractive in themselves but with an extra layer of history.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sarajevo - walking its streets, visiting its museums and mosques, taking views from its hills and remembering what they were used for, sampling its food and its vibrancy. But there were other highlights such as the view over Kotor Bay, the pleasure of seeing Mostar's restored old bridge from various angles including the top of a minaret and the traversing of a spectacular mountain road only just made passable through snowdrifts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I can only echo the plaudits given to Sabina in other reviews. She just makes you happy to be in her country/region.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The group hotel in Dubrovnik is on the outskirts of the new town and a bus (approximately hourly) is needed to get to the old town. Don't know about taxis but reception seemed to want several hours notice for a taxi to the airport. The old town is small and almost overwhelmed by visitors. Seasoned walkers may find the walks undemanding (can't speak for the walk outside Sarajevo - truncated because of the weather)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just for clarity, because of poor weather I chose to stay in Sarajevo rather than go with the group to Lukomir and so saw more of the city but none of the countryside. An extra day based in Sarajevo is the solution.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Chris Bridges

    Bosnia and beyond

    A great trip, scenically a good mix of coastal and mountain scenery, local culture well explained & a great introduction to this part of the Balkans.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Sarajevo & learning of the history. Seeing the spectacular mountain scenery

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina was wonderful, her passion for her country & for tourism & conservation came through very strongly. She was well organised & a lot of fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please do this trip & learn about Bosnia & see the spectacular scenery.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Pamela Moore

    Fantastic Trip

    If you love glorious mountain scenery on every day of your journey then this is the trip for you. Every place we went looked like it could be an airbrushed postcard, yet the beauty was very real. The walks were lovely and not too difficult, although I do recommend bringing walking poles. I was fortunate enough to be in a group with Sabina as our guide. While I've never had a bad guide with Exodus, Sabina stands out as the best. She did a wonderful job of looking out for everyone in the group and making sure everyone felt included. Her love and knowledge of the Balkans really came through. Our driver was very skilled and he kept us safe on some narrow, winding roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In addition to the scenery of the Balkans, the history of this part of the world is fascinating. The scars of the war are still very visible on many of the buildings, especially in Sarajevo. I still don't understand what started the war or why the rest of the world looked the other way, but I think it's important to learn from situations like this. One of the dozens of buildings that was destroyed in the war was the City Hall of Sarajevo. I took a picture of the plaque on the outside of the new building and the last line reads, "Do not forget, remember and warn!" I shall never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina was an outstanding guide. She did a great job of organizing the trip and everything went very smoothly. On one of our days when we were supposed to walk in the mountains, the weather did not co-operate. That's OK, Sabina made a new plan and we still had a very fun day. If I am fortunate enough to return to this part of the world I would love to be in her group again. I especially loved hearing of her personal experiences during the war.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'm sure the Balkans are great at any time of the year but I'm very glad I went in May. The days were warm but not too hot, nights were cool and wildflowers were blooming.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Tony Hill

    Bosnia visited

    I was hoping to understand more about the recent war in Bosnia. I didn't learn much except that this is an extraordinarily complicated place the crossroads of Europe geographically and historically, that nationalism is toxic, and that efforts by internationalbodies such as the UN were incapable of preventing war and even genocide if one of the combatants decide on a course of action.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sarajevo, the resilience and friendliness of its people when important issues are still unresolved. It is a living, fascinating city. Montenegro and especially Kotor. An intact, walled old city on a harbour surrounded by steep mountains and with a fiercely independent history. The high mountains and deep river valley's of the countryside with remote villages.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina was excellent. She was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and shared the remarkable history of her family to help us with understanding the rich cultural environment. Her warmth and humour helped bind the group together. Our driver Damen was very professional and soon gained our confidence with his driving on the steep, tortuous, narrow mountain roads.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Old men be warned, there are very few public toilets and stairs and steps are steep and rarely have handrails. The roads are unremittingly winding so bring a remedy if prone to car sickness. Read up on some history before going, it will enrich the experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to be amazed by the richness of the history and geography of this fascinating region and its people, and if your guide is half as good as Sabina you will have a lot of fun.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Margaret Smith

    Bosnia and Beyond

    I have just completed this Exodus tour of the Balkans, and I rate it amongst the best well rounded tours I have experienced. The itinerary was excellent. The bus and accommodations were very good. There was a very good balance of road time through breathtaking countryside, to walks, hiking and group meals experiencing local foods, to free time. Our driver was safety conscious. I would sign up for an Exodus tour again without hesitation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing the multicultural flavor of Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia. Observing first hand how peoples of different faiths with a common history and language can work together for a better present and future.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Sabina Sirco, made these countries come alive for us. She has a great personal understanding of the history, the social, cultural and environmental issues of the Balkan countries. Her passion and her depth of knowledge was inspiring, and her enthusiasm spoke to all the tour participants. There was a good balance of hiking the beautiful countryside, experiencing culture and historical sites, trying out local and ethnic foods, and laughing over shared meals. Sabina was always safety conscious. We felt privileged that she shared her own personal experience as a young girl living in downtown Sarajevo during the war. She earned the admiration and respect of the whole group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring good hiking shoes and a rainproof jacket.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus. You hit this tour out of the ball park.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Henry Lovegrove

    Full on and great fun

    Great cultural and educational experience. Lots of variety of experiences superbly led by Sabina and safely driven by damir. Not enough time in Dubrovnik so most of the group extended the tour independently like us.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Happy Jordanians singing on the tractor train

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good organiser who treated us all empathetically and could not have been more attentive and helpful. Some times didn’t allow enough free time at attractions. Very interesting to hear her family war experiences.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beware of very slippery cobble stones.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation excellent and well located throughout
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sarah Skinner

    Fabulous scenery and cities

    A great holiday, with a good mixture of costal & mountain scenery and the vibrant cities of Sarajevo & Kotor. Food exceeded all my expectations, particularly at the two lunches included at a farm in Montenegro & the village in Bosnia. Our guide Alen was excellent, providing amazing insight to the cultures and history we saw along the way. To quote a t-shirt, no-one boring ever said let’s go to Bosnia!, highly recommend to those with a spirit of adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sarajevo, a city I knew for all the wrong reasons in the 1990’s is now a vibrant city with a lovely old town full with a great cafe culture where you could easily spend an afternoon people watching. At the same time it also has a lot of excellent museums and galleries, some very sobering, but all very well presented and worth visiting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alen was excellent, he imparted a lot of knowledge of the cultures & places we visited. He also showed we were in safe hands as he dealt in a calm & professional manner when when of our group had an accident while walking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unless you have a great desire to go to a crowded place with bars with blaring music & full of kids, suggest you stay the second night in the beautiful scenic Kotor bay rather than Budva!
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