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

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  • Reviewed August 2019
    LESLEY CARD

    Great walks with stunning views

    Thoroughly enjoyed this trip. You will need to be reasonably fit as each day has some long steady ups and downs but the views from the high spots are well worth the effort. The walks were paced to suit the ability of the group and the food served each day, by Liz and Clare, was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the high spots with time to sit and enjoying the views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Lotte was exceptional. Keeping us all together and pacing the walks to suit the ability of the group. She was well informed and knew a lot about the geography of local area. Her descriptions of the next days walks were accurate and informative. A very good leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you are fit enough to walk continually up hill for a couple of hours and be prepared for any weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its just a great holiday but you must be able to enjoy being part of a group
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Ian Graham

    Stunning Trip

    This trip was excellent, a great way to see Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley without doing the 2 week TMB. The comfort of having a shower and a bed to sleep in at the end of each day makes it all the more appealing. The walks are excellent and varied with fantastic views each day. A couple of the walks start with cheeky climbs in the morning but the rewards are worthwhile. Zohi and Ben our Hosts at Chalet Chocolat were excellent and the food was outstanding and one of the highlights of the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting a new group of people, and of cause the great view of Mont Blanc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lotte Stuer was an excellent group leader, her knowledge of the area and walks was outstanding. Her interaction with a the walking group (Age 25 to 60+) was brilliant, had many interesting discussions during and after each days walk.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure your equipment, especially your boots are of good quality and well broken in, having blisters will put a dampener on your trip.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Jenny Aitchison

    Wonderful!

    The trip provided a great introduction to Mont Blanc for those who were there for the first time, as well as providing new experiences for anyone who had visited before. My husband and I already knew the Mont Blanc area, having walked there on many occasions, but this excellent holiday took us on some routes that were new to us and gave us fresh perspectives on the fabulous scenery of the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views of the massif - white snow against the deep blue sky - with the mountainsides covered with a myriad of colourful wildflowers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emma Linford was an excellent leader. She quickly learned which, if any, aspects of the routes made individuals uncomfortable and was on hand to offer advice and assistance. She has an extensive knowledge of the geology, flora and fauna of the region and was able to explain things well to the group. First rate!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the fact that the trip is described as 'moderate', but some felt that it was a little harder than that - more 'moderate plus'. The distances are not particularly great, but there is obviously, given the area, a lot of steep up and equally steep down, in July at least, with high temperatures. There are, of course, low level options available if people don't feel able to complete the higher walks, but these would need to be completed under their own steam.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation was very comfortable. Both our chalet hosts were excellent - friendly and efficient, helpful and good drivers too. Zohe is a fantastic chef - all her meals (and cakes) were absolutely delicious. Everyday she cooked up a storm from a tiny little kitchen - and still had time to chat.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Paula Rowbotham

    A fantastic experience!

    Initially a tad nervous as a first time trekker - now I’m hooked! Awe inspiring peaks, glaciers and stunning scenery in every direction every day, coupled with a real sense of achievement when you finish those ascents - What’s not to love! Emma our guide/leader instilled us with confidence and briefed us each night about the next day’s route giving lots of useful advice about things such as what to pack in our rucksack, how much water to take and the best way to tie our boots. Late afternoon it was back to the comfortable and cosy Chalet Chocolate, slickly run by hosts Zohi and Ben who made us all feel so at home. Delicious food and cakes to die for made for a very happy group and we had lots of fun and loads of laughs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention - every view that made us say “wow”. Realising the true scale of Mt Blanc and the way the mountains make us contemplate our own insignificance!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were in very safe hands. Emma had a wealth of expertise and knowledge but on top of that she had a genuine interest in the people in the group and she made sure that the week was both challenging and fun. Very supportive and encouraging, she managed the group really well, keeping us together and really helping the group to bond and so get greater enjoyment from each day. A great leader!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be fit enough to be able to cope with some long and pretty steep ascents in order to really enjoy this trip to the full. I would say that poles are a must. I had never used them before but borrowed some from Chalet Chocolat and found them really useful on the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    La Mer de Glace and Aiguille du Midi are well worth a visit on your day off but definitely book your ticket up the cable car a few days in advance and for as early in the day as possible (first one is about 6.30 am) in order to fit it all in and make the most of your day. You could even fit in paragliding too if you put your mind to it!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Rory MacLeod

    27 July to 3 August

    An excellent walking trip enhanced by fine weather most of the time. Stunning scenery and a great location to explore the area. We were also blessed by wonderful food prepared by Zoe and Ben in Chalet Chocolate.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views from Aiguille Du Midi over the clouds towards Mont Blanc. The day in Italy provided a contrast of views and a very pleasant walk with gelato at the end!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adelin was an excellent leader, considerate to all in the mixed ability group, and knowledgeable about the area, flora and fauna..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weathers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip. The hospitality provided by Ben & Zoe was excellent. It was great after a day's walking to come back to the hot tub and a freshly baked cake. Zoe's cuisine was a very pleasant surprise.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Liz Noon

    Mont Blanc

    The valley of Chamonix turned out to be the perfect base for a weeks walking. Everything was easily accessible, either on foot or by public transport. We thoroughly enjoyed our week at the Chalet Chocolat, our room was cosy and comfortable with lovely views of Mont Blanc. Zoe and Ben were perfect hosts, attending to our every needs and making us feel completely at home. Their attention to detail when it came to the variety food that they provided was a tribute to their professionalism...and Zoe’s unique talent! Our fellow trekkers were brilliant company. We shared each other’s joys and pain throughout the week, and had many, many laughs along the way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Viewing Mont Blanc from the Aiguille du Midi when the clouds started to lift. Summiting the Aiguillette des Houches and being able to see the amazing, dramatic and panoramic views of the Alpes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Ads did a first class job looking after us. She was calm and supportive when she needed to be and at other times was fun to be with. Her experience and love of what she does shines through, and we felt very safe in her hands.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Like others have said before, make sure that you are have a reasonable level of fitness as the gradients of the walks can be challenging. Buying a Mont Blanc Multi-pass when going up the Aiguille du midi means that you can take full advantage of all the cable cars, lifts and trains, they are all easily accessible from the centre of Chamonix.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We loved the community feeling of staying in the Chalet as part of an extended family and were made to feel very welcome. It was lovely to come back after a days trekking knowing that some ‘yummy’ cake was waiting for you while you discussed the days activities with the rest of the group. Follow this with a restorative soak in the hot tub and round the day off with an amazing three course meal...what more could you ask for!!!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Ben Philcox

    Amazing in every way!

    Stunning trip. As my first Exodus trip, I didn't really know what to expect. Everything was well organised and clear, and I was with an amazing group of people, whom I hope to stay in contact with. Walks were good fun and rewarding, with stunning views. I am now looking into what my next trip could be! Could not recommend more highly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the mountain ridge to have a panoramic 360 degree view of the Alps. Absolutely breathtaking. Reaching the peak of the mountains - always a sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lotte - Inspirational. Made all of our walks thoroughly enjoyable, kept us informed with information as we walked, and shares amazing and inspiring stories, whilst getting to know us. Could not have asked for a better leader, especially one with such a great sense of humour! Zohi and Ben - Excellent chalet hosts. Made us all feel welcome, and were always there to help. Zohi's cooking is world class, and any restaurant in the world would be lucky to have her! You both really looked after us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your walking poles - it makes life so much easier!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Carole T

    Chalet Chamonix: Cols, Cake, Cable Cars, Conversation.

    An excellent trip which was very well organised by Exodus and enabled us to explore the Chamonix Mont Blanc area quite thoroughly. The different walks had their own characteristics and there was surprising variety each day; you do need to be fit to enjoy the walks as there is a significant amount of ascent and descent at a reasonably fast pace. The views are incredible with lush vegetation snow capped peaks, blue skies and glaciers. We travelled in late July and there were still plenty of alpine flowers, lots of butterflies and we saw marmots on one day. The weather was mostly good with just one wet day. The free bus/train pass provided for the local area is very convenient. Our group of ten all got on extremely well and enjoyed great chats and laughter throughout the week. Chalet Chamonix was a fabulous place to stay; very comfortable rooms, a short walk to the town and outstanding food cooked by the very welcoming hosts, Liz and Clare. The lounge area was a great place to relax after walks and enjoy the homemade cakes and tea and the honesty bar worked well too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Col du Possettes walk was exceptionally beautiful with great views in all directions. The day in Italy reaching the Bonatti Refuge was a wonderful varied walk and the Grand Balcon Sud walk felt like a real achievement. Seeing the views from the Aiguille du Midi (by cable car on the free day) early in the morning was awe inspiring. Also watching the paragliders take off from Planpraz was a unique experience. So not one inspirational moment but many.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kim was extremely fit and very knowledgeable about the walks in the local area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be fit enough to enjoy the walks, as this trip is really at the harder end of grade 3. Make sure you have good kit to deal with all weathers including very hot, wet, cold. It is necessary to be able to carry 2 litres of water and it is good to take a couple of lunch boxes to pack up your picnic everyday. For the free day getting the Mont Blanc Multipass works well and can be good value if you do a lot of things. We started early on the first cable car up the Aiguille du Midi at 6:30am, no queues and you can enjoy the viewing points without crowds. [Take things slowly up there, at nearly 4000m it is high enough to feel the affects of altitude sickness and you need warm clothes for temperatures around freezing.] Then we did the Montenvers train to the Mer de Glace and the ice cave (well worth the 550 steps up and down). Also did the Planpraz and Brevent cable cars which were great.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The chalet set up works so well for this kind of holiday and I preferred it to staying in a hotel as it was much more homely. The whole trip was ideal for a solo traveller. If you are considering this trip, get fit and go for it!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Tessa Wood

    Amazing hikes with rewarding views

    As a solo female traveler I felt totally safe and reassured from the moment I met the exodus leader at the airport. All information about activities and transport was clear. The free local buses and trains throughout the week were really convenient. Everyday’s hike was different, either a challenging peak that brought real accomplishment or a balcony path that contoured along the valley. The 3 course diner every night was absolutely fabulous and tailored individually to people’s dietary needs. I would totally recommend the Mont Blanc Highlights to anyone who loves a good days walking followed by fabulous cake and good company from like minded individuals no matter your age.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Paragliding on the free day was incredibly inspirational, a must do activity to really appreciate the Chamonix valley from above and to look down on the previous days walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Adalene was funny, sociable and knowledgeable about the local geology and formation of the mountains.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely go paragliding!!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Dexy D

    Chocolate Hiking in Chamonix

    Fantastic fun week of hiking based at Chalet Chocolat with amazing hosts Zohi and Ben and top guide Emma. Nothing was too much trouble, including parking my car on demand ;-) Amazing three course meals every evening and interesting and varied salad options for packed lunches. Felt like staying in someone's home rather than a chalet. And the cakes made every day were outrageously delicious. We were made to feel very welcome and Zohi and Ben were very happy to share their knowledge of the local area, which was another bonus. We laughed a great deal this week and that was often due to their relaxed and welcoming manner. The hikes were also varied and challenging and never short of a spectacular view!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mont Blanc from almost every angle! Having dinner directly watching the sunset over the mountain and meeting a great group of people who I hope to stay in touch with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was Emma's first tour as an Exodus leader and she did a great job. She shared her vast experience of trekking with us and managed the group very well. She had lots of fun ideas to bond the group and was happy to support everyone as they needed. We enjoyed her company over the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled by the level 3 rating. Even at this level, some of the hikes have significant ascent and descent and require a certain level of fitness. Poles are helpful.