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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed July 2018
    Jacqui Cottom

    Cycling from Venice to Porec - self guided

    This bike ride is amazing. The routes are scenic and varied and pass through three countries and some very interesting, historical towns. The cycling is a good challenge, very doable and mainly flat or undulating but with some bigger hills that test your stamina! The coastal scenery is beautiful as is the countryside and wetlands you ride through. No shortage of places to stop for coffee, cake or lunch. Highly recommend it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling into Piran then climbing the newly refurbished bell tower! Amazing views from the top!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it! You won't regret it!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Jacqui Cottom

    Cycling from Venice to Porec - self guided

    This bike ride is amazing. The routes are scenic and varied and pass through three countries and some very interesting, historical towns. The cycling is a good challenge, very doable and mainly flat or undulating but with some bigger hills that test your stamina! The coastal scenery is beautiful as is the countryside and wetlands you ride through. No shortage of places to stop for coffee, cake or lunch. Highly recommend it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling into Piran then climbing the newly refurbished bell tower! Amazing views from the top!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it! You won't regret it!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Linda Ellis

    Cycle the Adriatic

    For anyone considering the idea of cycling this trip in September please consider that you will not see any great signs of life in the towns as they are coastal resorts that are out of season in September. Most nights were pretty dead and sometimes we even struggled finding anywhere open for an evening meal. We also spent many hours on main roads cycling without any pleasing scenery to keep us going or finding an open pizzeria for lunch! In general not the prettiest or liveliest trip that we have cycled (and we have completed about 10 cycling holidays) We would recommend the self guided Puglia trip way ahead of this one.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Returning to Venice for 2 nights in a lovely hotel we booked ourselves

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No group leader as self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not book in September as the areas that you cycle through are out of season and therefore dead!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should remove their bookings for September along the Adriatic coast. The towns are dead and therefore the nights are dull! Sometimes it was even a struggle to find an open restaurant
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Sue Clarke

    Venice to Porec self guided May/June 2017

    The best part of the trip was certainly being in Venice so do make sure that you book extra days to see this unique city. We spent 2 days here but could easily have filled 3 or 4 - visiting the islands, touring the Grand Canal by vaporetto and generally getting lost on foot. Our next favourite area was Porec - the last stop. We were surprised that the trip was graded 3 initially as the first 4 days were very flat but a good distance. The last 2 days had some sudden steep climbs which were tougher.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved cycling into the beach town of Lido de Jesolo as cycling near the coast is a huge attraction.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A - self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try not to stay in Hotel alla Botte, Portogruero as there is nothing around there but a noisy motorway. The town is 2km away and there are much nicer hotels in the town.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Check and double check if you want double beds rather than twins.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Valerie Edmondson

    Mestre to Porec

    We enjoyed this self guided cycle trip.The first 3 days are totally flat with the hills starting after Trieste. The hotel in Mestre was not great, the room was small and stuffy room with ineffective air-conditioning. We agree with previous comments about the written instructions, they are too wordy and therefore difficult to follow. We gave up on them after the first day and used the maps provided and followed the arrows placed along the route.When that failed we backed up with the map app on the smartphone. I disagree with a previous review that said don't start in Mestre, as the ride across to to Venice is dangerous. For us it was a Sunday morning( little traffic) and on a cycle path most of the way, the view of the city is great and the only downside were the swarms of flies so essential to keep your mouth closed. Lido di Jesolo was fine (big resort) but Caorle is a much smaller, prettier town and we would have preferred to stay there. Portogruaro, nice hotel and small town. Alquilea , hotel not so great but fantastic Basilica with mosaic floors. Trieste is an interesting city but busy traffic. The route out is hilly but actually takes small backroads so wasn't as bad as expected.Into Slovenia, lovely lush farmland often on dedicated cycle track but with a few more hills ( some steep but short) we stayed in Portoroz which is a large resort, the hotel was fine but for us Piran would have been a much nicer place to spend the night as prettier and smaller. On into Croatia where the route is on a busier road at times but the coastal scenery was beautiful and the hotel in Porec was the most comfortable of the whole trip. We averaged about 40 miles a day so had usually arrived at the destination by mid afternoon giving us time to explore.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling towards Venice and through lush farmland. The Basilica in Aquilea is well worth a look. Italian ice cream and fantastic fresh fish in the restaurants en route.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We only encountered him once when the bikes were delivered to the hotel, so can't really comment. The luggage transfer was very efficient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hire bikes were very good but the female bikes are more " sit up and beg" style. I asked to change to the bike given to men (as I prefer that cycling position) so ended up with a frame that was slightly too large as that was all they had. So women travellers.....check the style of the bike you prefer ( look more closely at the photos than I did!) and relay that to Exodus before you travel so hopefully you will get the best bike fit for you. Also mosquito repellant, antihistamine cream for bites is useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Better accommodation in some places would definitely have improved the rating of this holiday for us.
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Rick Adams

    Venice to Porec

    Generally good trip. Scenery worth cycling through and routes good. Distances easily achieved. We found towns and villages along the way, so coffee and food was not a problem. Routes often used good quality cycle paths. Previous comments about unclean hotels not experienced. Most hotels excellent, although a couple were a bit old and cramped. We would recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many other riders from several countries are doing this route with the same land agents and their company was great. Finding our way with the directions provided was sometimes a challenge but it was great when it worked.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A as self led

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We always buy maps of an area before any departure and mark up the route, even if guided. This helps to show what is happening and especially helps when self guided routes are not totally correct. The trip was stated on the Exodus website as 100% on tarmac which we found to be incorrect, although trip notes stated some off road. At least the route maps provided showed off road sections. As we were not on mountain bikes we then used our own maps to detour round one or two long off road sections.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We agree with previous comments that in spite of (or maybe because) the land agent is providing tours for several companies, they did not always meet our expectations. This is a tough commercial world and other land agents would surely be willing to replace them. The website states some gentle ascents. On the last day there are some tough hills, which most people finished up walking.
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Heather Middleton

    Just the right level of challenge

    Four days of flat cycling through Italy followed by more hilly terrain on the final two through Slovenia/Croatia. The scenery and little towns we passed through were delightful - we saw many areas you perhaps wouldn't ever have visited in isolation unless touring. Bikes and equipment provided were solid and in good condition.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were some really exceptional routes via bridges across water, and paths alongside the sea; and some very enjoyable downhill rides after tough climbs in Croatia and Slovenia. A restaurant called Valentino's in Portoguaro who served us, their sole customers, superb food very late on a Monday night, when we feared we'd go to bed hungry because we'd arrived so late!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was a self guided holiday, so the cycle route guides were effectively our leader! These instructions were mostly very good with maybe two or three lapses. Several groups seemed to miss the Grado turn-off because of ambiguous instructions - and oddly this detour alone was not described in full. We got lost leaving Aquileia, heading at right angles to the correct route despite our best efforts! And a couple of times the instructions lapsed into different languages which provided an extra challenge. We felt the quality of the instructions was a little inconsistent, and less detailed as we left Italy There also seemed to be less arrow-stickers posted. The baggage transfer between hotels was seamless, with no problems at all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A cycle mirror mounted on your left handlebar will help on the very skinny fast Italian roads where one has to cycle right in the gutter, with cars passing very close. I bought one over there but it wasn't as good as my small tilt-able mirror at home. Padded cycle shorts are essential and I was glad I took an extra padded cycle cover too. A simple compass might have helped when we felt we were very offtrack! We managed with the maps provided but they are not that detailed, and often don't reference the same road names as the instructions do, so if you are concerned about your routefinding abilities, it may be worth bringing your own detailed maps, or downloading a GPS app. I was very bitten badly the first few days by mosquitoes, never usually a problem for me. I was using Jungle formula for Northern Europe, strength 3 until I switched to my friend's stronger version with 50% DEET. It didn't seem to be possible to get very strong repellent in Italy, so recommend you take a killer formula with you. Lastly, we didn't do this but it might have been sensible to check out the first few steps of the next day's route and just get oriented re the right direction to set off, before putting the bikes to bed for the night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We added two days in Venice at the start of our trip, which I'd recommend.
  • Reviewed August 2014
    Anonymous

    CYCLE THE ADRIATIC: VENICE TO POREC

    Before booking the trip, I'd never even contemplated a cycling holiday before.  Yes I am reasonably fit and I do a fair bit of cardio-vascular work at the gym, but I'd never really used my third or fouth hand BMX, which is still sitting in my kitchen gathering dust!  However I fancied trying something different and challenging myself a little, and I liked the idea of seeing 3 different countries in one trip away.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I completed over 80kms on the first day, much of it into a 14kph head-wind.  Yes I was tired, but it wasn't a struggle as I suspected it might be.  So, the beauty of this trip is that it is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness who fancies a holiday that takes it some beautiful and ever-changing scenery, whilst at the same time keeping you fit!  I loved the freedom a self-guided cycling trip gives you - the ability to stop whenever and wherever you want, not being limited on the amount of time you stop somewhere & the option to go at your own pace.  Also the general quality of the hotels used was excellent and mostly central to the town (with the exception of Caorle) & the buffet breakfasts were enough to fill me up for the majority of the day.  The 27 speed bikes were of excellent quality and made the ride smooth and hassle-free. The waterproof paniers supplied were spacious and easy to attached and detatch, and the waterproof box on the front of the bike was exactly the right size for my camera.  The routes chosen generally avoided main roads, which was great if you're not a confident cyclist and also meant that you experienced the real heart and culture of each country, travelling on country roads through quaint little villages and pretty coastal towns.  My only negative comment is that the directions given were sometimes vague and ambiguous, resulting in us covering a vastly increased distance on the first day, not reaching our destination until 10pm, and not having any time to stop at any of the towns/villages on route.  We did get used to the way they were written and learned to interpret them accordingly as the trip went on, but there were still times we resorted to using a map and picking our own route to the next place named on our itinerary!  Also I would suggest that Piran would be a much nicer final destination on day 5 of the trip, instead of Portoroz.  It's only about 5/6kms away and is a much prettier town with a lot more to see.  Overall though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I would definitely do it again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding out that I was actually capable of cycling that sort of distance!The views down into Piran after covering a good few kilometres of cycling on winding uphill roads, which was starting to take it's toll on my knees!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take a good pair of padded cycling shorts, or a padded seat cover.
  • Reviewed August 2014
    Josephine Millgate

    Cycle the Adriatic: Venice to Porec Self-Guided

    We were very disappointed with the accommodation generally. The rooms were very cramped, and several were not clean ie bathrooms and dirty socks found in room. Also burns in bed linen that had to be changed! It was our second time to use exodus and previously we were very satisfied with rooms. Some of the directions were difficult to follow I.e. Aroad had been closed and our map did not show this, although some people on the trip were aware of this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The actual cycling routes were outstanding! The people who were also on our trip were pleasant and good company although we were a self guided tour. The luggage transfer was also great, it was always awaiting us at the hotels with no problems.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Didn't have one

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be fit, as cycling was quite challenging. Don't overpack, as need to be organised each morning to move on

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just disappointed with standard of accommodation, which we felt let us down and did affect the trip as a whole. Instead of looking forward each evening, we were apprehensive as to what was awaiting us! We were particularly disappointed with croation hotel, which was very basic and had no air con. It felt like a converted prison and especially at the end of the trip we were expecting something a little more luxurious. Also bathroom at this hotel was not ideal, rusty pipes and worn looking shower and washing facilities.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are very glad that Josephine enjoyed the cycling and the cycling routes throughout this trip, but we are very sorry to learn that she was disappointed with the trip accommodation. The properties on this trip are well located for the cycling route and combine friendly hospitality with good bike storage facilities which is essential for this trip. The hotels are normally well received, but we sincerely regret that Josephine’s experience was not so positive; we have raised this with the local operator to ensure that Josephine’s experience isn't repeated.

    The route notes take cyclists through the best areas of the region and although the notes are detailed and require some careful attention when following them, they are checked every season by our local partner. A briefing is given at the beginning of each trip to explain how best to use the notes and maps provided.

    Charlotte Taylor - Product Manager for Self-Guided Cycling

  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    CYCLE THE ADRIATIC: VENICE TO POREC

    Good cycling and sight seeing somewhat spoilt by too detailed and useless route guide though necessary maps saved the day . Many of us got lost coming out of Trieste. Three other cycling companies were using the same material and hotels. Start from Mestre a bad idea  

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding correct route in spite of the misleading route guide and meeting up with fellow-lost travellersVisiting Aquileia and castle at Duino en route 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were all self-led so found our own way. Unfortunately we didn't realise how important it was to spot thetiny route signs which was mentioned at the briefing - we learnt ! ....but at some important crossings thesesigns were missing

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't use the route guides - only use the maps - and also buy large scale maps beforehand and plot the route! Be prepared to ask for route directions in middle of cities - like Trieste - we did and found help - otherwisewe might still be there. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't cycle on causeway from Mestre to Venice - bad enough by rail.  Be careful getting from Mestre to railwaystation - not easy at all.This is our second Exodus cycling holiday where subcontractor was Girolibero  - person doing their guidesshould be replaced.Despite problems - it was an enjoyable tour good weather, mostly quiet lanes, though beware busy roads and maniac motorists
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