Japan's Kumano Kodo

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16 days
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£5,299
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
TOQ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–14

Walk Japan's ancient pilgrimage routes along the Kumano Kodo

After uncovering Kyoto’s most ancient shrines and pathways, we head off the beaten track to the Kumano Kodo region; one of Japan's most remote and rewarding pilgrimage routes. This moderate walking trip focuses on beautiful scenery and nature, rural life, and following in the footsteps of religious pilgrimages on some of the country’s most historic walks. Staying in traditional ryokans along the way, this journey invites full immersion into the authentic Japanese culture and way of life. Afterwards, we visit Toba to learn about the famous Ama Divers and embark on one last pilgrimage walk on the famous Nakasendo Way, before entering back into the modern civilisation of Tokyo!

Highlights

  • Explore the beautiful and fascinating Kyoto
  • Sleep in traditional Japanese ryokans, guesthouses and inns
  • Historic pilgrimage walks along the Kumano Kodo
  • Beautiful scenery and nature
  • Be immersed in Japanese culture off the beaten track
  • Walk the Nakasendo Way from Tsumago to Magome
  • Learn about the famous Ama divers whilst staying in Toba
  • Stay in charming Kiso Fukushima 

Key information

  • 9 nights in traditional guesthouses/ryokans in Japanese style rooms (shared bathrooms) and 4 nights in comfortable hotels (en suite)
  • 8 days guided walking 
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Travel by train, local buses and metro
  • Luggage transfers between accommodations on some walk days as required

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 9 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Group arrival transfer (for group flight)
  • Free departure transfer by shuttle service

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (single supplements valid 5 nights only)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Moderate. Hike durations span from 2 hours to 7-9 hours per day. 

Terrain:

Most of the walking is on good paths, soft soil trails and part paved roads. The Kumano Kodo has some sections with long ascents and descents. 

Day by day breakdown
Day 37.0km/4.0miles
Day 416.0km/10.0miles
Day 53.0km/2.0miles
Day 617.0km/10.0miles
Day 721.0km/13.0miles
Day 813.0km/8.0miles
Day 914.0km/9.0miles
Day 138.0km/5.0miles

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Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Kyoto
to
Tokyo
  • Day 1

    Depart London

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive Kyoto

    Those on the group flight will arrive into Kansai Airport and will be transferred to Kyoto.  With about 2000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a treasure house of Japan's cultural heritage and remains undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Unlike many other Japanese cities it escaped the ravages of both the Second World War and modern urban development, thereby keeping intact much of the spirit and architecture of traditional Japan. 

    This evening there will be a briefing with your leader.

    Hotel Resol Kyoto Trinity Oike Fuyacho or similar

  • Day 3

    Hike to the Kibune shrine; onto Kurama temple and hot springs (optional). Return to Kyoto

    This morning we set out on our first hike to the northern mountains and the Kibune shrine, followed by the Kurama temple and hot springs. Our first stop of the day, however is going to be the Ginkakuji – Silver Pavilion. From Ginkakuji we climb up to the Daimonji mountain for an excellent view of Kyoto and then take a short train ride north to Kibune-guchi where the hike to Kibune and Kifune shrine begins.

    Kifune shrine was built upon the site where supposedly a goddess finished her long journey via a boat. The small town of Kibune sprang into existence shortly after to complement the shrine. Dedicated to the deity of water and rain, all those who seek protection and maritime safety come here to pray – especially the seamen and fishermen. The charming town is dotted with traditional restaurants and inns, with river streams running beneath the restaurant platforms. It’s an excellent opportunity to relax for a bit, especially for those that would like to escape the crowds of Kyoto.

    We then set out further on our hike for Kurama town, renowned for its Kurama temple and special hot springs. The temple is nestled deep in the woods and requires a fair bit of legwork to reach, but those who do venture to the temple are rewarded with beautiful scenery along the path. The true charm of Kurama however lies in its hot springs where at the end of today's hike you will be able to enjoy soaking in the warm waters. (optional- extra cost). Well known for their higher sulphur content, the waters of Kurama are believed to have many beneficial and healing properties, especially for the skin. The experience of soaking in an outdoor hot spring surrounded by lush forests and majestic mountains is truly unforgettable.

    We return to Kyoto for the evening where you can choose to join an optional group dinner in the Gion district if you wish.

    Hotel Resol Kyoto Trinity Oike Fuyacho or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Walk on the historic Yamano be no michi; one of Japan’s oldest still existing path roads

    Leaving the north of Kyoto behind, today we will embark on a journey in the opposite direction. Together we enjoy a pleasant hike on the Yamano be no michi. The path is believed to be the oldest still existing road connecting Edo (present day Tokyo) with the western parts of Japan with a history of more than 1200 years. Starting in present day Nara and spanning through what used to be Yamato – the cradle of Japanese civilisation, the trail will take you through over 15 kilometers of distance and two millennia worth of history. Along the trail you will discover gems and relics of distant past, like the sacred shrine of Omiwa. It is believed that the shrine is the oldest one still standing in Japan, dating well back into 7th century BC. Apart from the Omiwa shrine, there are many temples and shrines dotting the trail that are worth the visit and the trail itself runs through lush forests and comfortable paths, as well as rural villages where you can experience the true Japanese hospitality as fruit vendors often offer their locally grown fresh produce to visitors to give them an extra bit of energy for hiking the trail.

    In the late afternoon you will return to Kyoto and enjoy an evening at leisure. Overnight in Kyoto.

    Hotel Resol Kyoto Trinity Oike Fuyacho or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning walk to the Fushimi Inari Shrine; free time in Kyoto before train to Tanabe

    Today we make an early start to visit the arguably most iconic sight of Kyoto - Fushimi Inari Taisha Shinto Shrine. The common folk have worshipped the deity of good harvest and good business since as early as the 7th century. Inari – the deity that feed, clothes and protects households became immensely popular over the centuries and shrines dedicated to this deity are the most numerous in Japan.

    Even today, to show gratitude for good business as well as to beckon good fortune in future endeavors businessmen and enterpreneurs from all corners of Japan donate a so called Torii arch to the shrine in hope of gaining the continuous favour of the deity. Although this custom is fairly recent, the mountain path through the shrine is dotted with thousands of the torii arches. This makes for a wonderful morning stroll at the break of dawn. An early start and beating the crowds is recommended, otherwise you will have to compete with the hundreds and thousands of visitors Fushimi Inari attracts on a daily basis. After the hike we return to the hotel. The rest of the morning and early afternoon are free for visiting some of the famous sights in Kyoto such as the Imperial Palace and Nijo castle or the Golden Pavillion and lunch.

    In the afternoon we leave Kyoto by train and head to Kumano Kodo, a series of ancient pilgrimage routes, dating back to over 1,000 years, when Japan's imperial ancestors made pilgrimage trips from Kyoto. Located in the Kii Peninsula, the largest in Japan, the trails along Kumano Kodo are an incredible site for hiking.

    By train we reach Tanabe city on the coast at the tip of the Kii peninsula. We will spend the night in this lovely rural seaside town. 

    Miyoshi Ryokan or similar

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Start walking the Kumano Kodo; a series of ancient pilgrimage routes. Bus transfer to Takajiri-oji; Hike to Nonaka passing Takahara village

    After an early breakfast, we take a bus to Takijiri-oji, the starting point of the pilgrimage from where we make our way on foot to Takahara. This is the steepest part of the trail, leading to Takahara Shrine, a Shinto shrine surrounded by ancient camphor trees. From the shrine, we walk towards Takahara Village, also called “kiri-no-sato” (village in the fog), a small quiet town with rice terraces and surrounded by forests.

    The trail continues upwards until we reach the teahouse named Uwadawa-jaya, from where the trail begins to descend, passing by ruin shrines and small villages of Osakamoto-oji and Chikatsuyu-oji, crossing Kitano-bashi Bridge, and following the road to Nonaka-no-Shimizu, a source of potable water that also belongs to the Top 100 Famous Bodies of Water in Japan.

    Around Nonaka-no-Shimizu, the group will be staying in a  minshuku, a traditional family-style inn that offers Japanese-style rooms. Your dinner will feature some local specialties from the Kumano Kodo region.

    Please note, due to the smaller sizes of accommodation in this location, bigger groups may be accommodated across two minshuku inns this evening. However, the group will still have meals together in one of the accommodations in that case.

    As our hike tomorrow is a bit longer, it is highly suggested to turn in early. 

    Minshuku Nonaka Sanso / Nakano or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk in the forest, crossing rivers and ancient shrines; transfer by local bus to Yunomine Onsen

    Today’s hike starts from  Nonaka-no-Shimizu. We first start walking uphill, and head towards the woods to see Tsugizakura-oji, a sub-shrine located at the top of steep stairs leading into a thick forest of huge cedar trees that are believed to be almost a century old. Next to the entrance of Tsugizakura-oji, we will find Toganoki-jaya, a replica of a traditional Japanese-style teahouse. 

    We then continue with a slow ascent to Kobiro-toge pass, followed by a relatively downward trail along a series of paved and unpaved paths, passing Jagata-jizo, which is believed to protect the travelers from evil spirits, a couple river crossings and passing by thick forests of cedar and cypress trees until we reach Kumano Hongu Taisha, the head shrine of more than 3,000 Shinto shrines in the Kumano area.

     After visiting the shrine, we transfer by local bus to Yunomine Onsen, one of the oldest and most crucial hot spring resorts in Japan as it used to be the place where pilgrims cleansed themselves before praying at Kumano Hongu Taisha.

    Tonight you will stay at a ryokan, another traditional Japanese-style inn, where you will sleep on a futon, have access to the public onsen, and enjoy your bento style dinner.

    Iseya Ryokan or similar

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Follow the old spiritual path from Ukegawa to Koguchi; transfer to Kawayu Onsen; enjoy views of the surrounding Kumano mountain range

    After breakfast we take a bus from Yunomine Onsen to Ukegawa where today's hike (mainly along unpaved road) will commence.

    Today during the hike we pass by the remains of an old teahouse called Matsuhata-jaya and Hyakken-gura, one of the top spots in Wakayama to see the surrounding Kumano mountain range, which consists of around 3,600 peaks.

    From here we continue on a mainly level road towards the remains of the Sakura-jaya teahouse, before descending from the hills, along a path with cobblestones that can be slippery especially if wet or covered with moss. At the foot of the hill, we should find some small prayer tablets that have been left there by other spiritual hikers as offerings. We continue onto Koguchi, the end of today's walk where we take a bus via Kanmaru to Kawayu onsen. This place is famous for the hot spring inside a river. Here you can dig a hole in the river bedding and create your own open air hot spring bath. Tonight, we stay in another Japanese-style room.

    Omuraya Ryokan or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Walk past historic sites and wonderful views to Nachi Falls and Kumano Nachi Taisha, one of the Kumano Kodo’s main pilgrimage destinations

    This morning we return to Koguchi to begin our hike. Today’s trail is one of the most challenging sections of Kumano Kodo – it will take us through forested hills and along unpaved roads. However, a series of historical sites and wonderful views awaits as we pass by Waroda- ishi rock (where the Kumano deities are believed to meet and chat over tea), through the woods of Irokawatsuji, and over Funami-toge Pass, where we have a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

    After hiking for almost 8 hours, we arrive in Nachi. Here we will see Nachi Falls, the highest waterfall in Japan, and pay a visit to Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine.

    Later in the afternoon you will transfer by local bus to Katsuura, where you will stay at a Japanese Inn on the beautiful islet dotted Katsuura Bay. Listening to the sounds of the waves while watching the sunset will surely be one of your most memorable moments in Kumano Kodo.

    Hotel Sunrise Katsuura or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Travel by train to Toba, located in the rural Mie prefecture

    After having your breakfast, get ready for a short walk to return to Katsuura station on foot (luggage will be transferred to the station for the group), from where we begin our journey by train to Toba, located in the neighboring Mie Prefecture where we will spend the next 2 nights at a ryokan in Japanese style rooms.

    Ryokan Otaya or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 11

    Learn about the famous Ama divers on Mikimoto Pearl Island and Osatsu village; visit Ise Shrine

    The rural Mie Prefecture is famous for its forested landscapes and Mediterranean looking coastlines. The area is also famous for producing some of the freshest seafood in Japan and, in its waters, pearl cultivation has become an important activity.

    Today after breakfast, learn all about the life of Ama divers. The female divers are famous for their centuries long tradition of diving for pearls without oxygen masks.

    We then head to Mikimoto Pearl Island where there will be an opportunity to witness an Ama diver fishing demonstration. Afterwards, we continue to the town of Osatsu, a village known for their Ama divers. Visit the hut of an Ama, who will prepare a beautiful grilled seafood meal.

    After lunch, we continue to the Ise Shrine, one of the most sacred areas for the Shinto religion and a favourite pilgrimage destination for Japanese people.

    Just a short walk away, the picturesque district of Okage-Yokocho offers a great outlook on the traditional side of the area with its quaint shops selling local arts and crafts as well as food.

    Tonight we spend our second evening in Toba.

    Ryokan Otaya or similar

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Scenic train journey to charming Kiso Fukushima

    A long and scenic train journey with one change today takes us to Kiso Fukushima in about 4.5 hours. 

    Upon arrival at Kiso Fukushima, we take a short orientation tour with our leader. Kiso-Fukushima is a delightful town in Nagano Prefecture on the railway line between Nagoya and Matsumoto in central Japan and is located roughly half-way along the Nakasendo.

    Kiso-Fukushima was an important checkpoint on the route, and its historic sekisho, or barrier station, is one of only two on the Nakasendo. The Fukushima Sekisho-ato (checkpoint) is where travellers on the Nakasendo were made to wait and present their passes to travel on the highway. The Tokugawa regime was on the look-out for guns and women travelling in disguise; the daimyo (feudal lords) were forced to leave their wives and children in the capital of Edo as virtual hostages under a policy known as sankin-kotai.

    Across the Kiso River from the Fukushima Sekisho-ato is Kozenji Temple with an attractive rock garden. Kozenji Temple is free to enter and lovely especially in autumn.

    We spend the next 2 nights in Kiso Fukushima in a Japanese style rooms at a ryokan.

    Ryokan Sarashinaya or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 13

    Walk a section of the ancient Nakasendo Way from Tsumago to Magome

    After an early breakfast, we travel by train to Nagiso in about 50 minutes. Upon arrival at Nagiso Station, we take short ride on a local bus to Tsumago, a well-preserved post town.

    Tsumago was in its Golden Era during the time when merchants and other noble and prominent people frequently passed through for trade and other formal appointments. 

    From Tsumago we start the journey to Magome, one of the post towns that flourished in the Edo Period. The trail that runs from Tsumago to Magome is perhaps the most popular section of Nakasendo. This ancient trail can be completed in about 3 hours, including some quick breaks. After concluding the trail, ride a bus to Nakatsugawa, and then a train back to Kiso Fukushima in just over one hour.

    Ryokan Sarashinaya or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Train to Tokyo; free time to explore

    After breakfast we embark on our last scenic train journey to Shinjuku in Tokyo in a little over 3 hours and 1 change along the way. If weather conditions permit we may catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji on the way. We recommend to buy a bento on the way for lunch as the journey is about 3 hours. Your leader will be able to advise.

    After check in at our hotel you have a few hours to explore Tokyo before an optional farewell dinner and Karaoke night.

    Shinjuku Washington Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Depart Tokyo

    Those on the group flights back to London will be transferred by shared shuttle in the late afternoon/early evening (depending on flight schedule) in time to check in for their flight. Land only clients also have a free shared shuttle departure on the day the trip ends included to either Haneda or Narita airport but this must be pre-booked with Exodus before departure if you wish to use this.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Arrive London

    Arrive London

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Japan

Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Japan. South African passport holders do require a visa; but it is worth all nationalities verifying visa requirements directly at your embassy before travel.

Vaccinations

Japan

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 9 dinners are included. 

Japanese cuisine is usually one of the main highlights of any trip to Japan. It is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes which are usually prepared with seasonal ingredients. Seafood is very common, and it usually comes grilled or deep fried. Sushi and sashimi aside, other staple dishes include Soba or Udon noodles, Sukiyaki (meat, fish and vegetables cooked in broth) and Yakiniku (grilled meat).

The included breakfasts at the traditional guesthouses/ryokans/inns are likely to be Japanese style.

The included lunches will mostly consist of bento boxes enjoyed during the walks or in some instances may be taken in small eateries where available.

The included dinners are usually taken at ryokans (traditional guesthouses) which may include a kaiseki style dinner, a multi-course meal including a dozen of tiny dishes prepared with locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. When food is not included, your leader will always be on hand to recommend the best local eateries and arrange some group meals for a full immersion in Japan's varied and excellent cuisine. 

Please note that in Japan the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free, strict vegetarian (no fish/seafood) or vegan is minimal or non-existent. However in Kyoto and Tokyo a number of vegan restaurants are available.  It may also be a good idea to bring with you some foodstuffs that you normally consume, or to supplement meals with snacks purchased in the local convenience stores.

Please advise us at time of booking you have any specific dietary requirements.

Weather

Japan has four very distinct seasons. Our aim has been to avoid the extremely cold winters and humid summers and settle for the more pleasant climes of spring and autumn. In Tokyo, September and October are warm, maximum temperatures are 26ºC and minimum 12ºC. September is likely to be the warmer of the two and there is a likelihood of rain. March is cooler with temperatures possibly going as low as 7ºC with a high of 17ºC. Kyoto is very similar climatically to Tokyo but the higher up into the mountains we venture, the colder it will become with nights being especially cold, particularly in March and October.

Is this trip for you?

The trip is rated Activity Level 3- Moderate

In total there are 8 days with walks/hikes during the trip. You will only be required to carry your daypack during the walks. Where necessary, all main luggage will be transferred to the next accommodation during the day so your main luggage will be safely waiting for you at our next location.

The walk durations vary from a relaxed 2 hour hike up to a couple days with hikes of 7-9 hours duration. Day 5, 6, and 8 will be the most challenging in terms of the walks due to the distances and some of the terrain having some long ascents and descents. Therefore, a good level of fitness is essential to take part in this trip. On some walks there may be the possibility to take a local bus to the next stop on the trip for those wishing to cut some walks short, but this won't be possible on all walks.

The trails are generally very well marked and most of the walking is on good paths, soft soil trails and part paved roads. There are some unpaved sections though. This is not a traditional point to point walking trip, there are several days where transfers are taken by bus or local train to the start points of walks and/or from the end point of walks to the next accommodation.

We spend 9 out of 13 nights in traditional guesthouses/ryokans in Japanese style rooms to be fully immersed into the Japanese traditions and culture and to stay in more remote, less visited locations. These rooms in the guesthouses/ryokans will be twin share. Private bathrooms are not common in traditional Japanese guesthouses or Japanese style rooms, so these 9 nights will have shared bathrooms. Please see the accommodation section of the trip notes for more details.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Traditional Ryokans/Guesthouses and Hotels

During the trip you will spend 9 nights in traditional guesthouses/ryokans in Japanese style rooms (shared bathrooms) and 4 nights in comfortable hotels (en suite). 

For 9 nights during the trip we stay in ryokans; comfortable traditional inns where we are able to get a close feel for the timeless rhythms and customs of the Japanese countryside. Ryokans, whilst comfortable and full of local character, do not run along the same lines as western hotels and do all have their own unique style; some are more like Japanese B&B's with a homestay feel and guests make their own Japanense style beds up, whilst others are managed more like a standard hotel with bedding made up for guests. Rooms do not generally have private facilities and bedding is usually in the Japanese style with thick futon mattresses placed on tatami mats on the floor. Rooms are always doubles or twin-share but bathrooms and showers are generally communal. Please be advised, whilst females and males will be have access to seperate gender specific bathrooms, inside showering and bathing facilities can lack the level of privacy you would be used to in a western style shared bathroom. This is very common in Japan and by staying in mostly traditional ryokans, there is the chance to have a very authentic cultural experience throughout the tour.

On day 5 of the tour, the groups will stay in Nonaka. Please note, due to the smaller sizes of accommodation in this location, bigger groups may be accommodated across two minshuku inns this evening in Nonaka and the neighbouring village (5 minute drive) Chikatsuyu. However, the group will still have meals together in one of the accommodations if bigger groups stay in two inns.

In Kyoto and Tokyo, groups will be accommodated in comfortable hotels (Western style) with rooms that have private bathrooms. 

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location of the day to day itinerary are the standard accommodations used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar accommodations of the same standard and quality.

Please be advised single supplements are very limited and only available 5 nights of the trip- (3 nights Kyoto, 1 night Katsuura and 1 night Tokyo). Please advise at time of booking you would like to request a single supplement (subject to availability). In Japan, often single supplements can be accommodated in either an actual single and/or double for sole use room in hotels.

Onsen (Japanese public bath)
For many visitors to Japan the onsen is a somewhat unfamiliar territory. An onsen is a Japanese hot spring and the bathing facilities and inns frequently situated around them. The combination of a strict bathing etiquette, that nudity is involved and compulsory, and that the water temperature is often hotter than most Jacuzzis can cause some reluctance for first timers. However, once the courage is mustered, you may discover that a dip in an onsen is likely to become one of the highlights of your visit to Japan. We will have the opportunity to try onsens on a few occasions throughout the trip. Please be aware you may be refused entry if you have large and visible tattoos. Some accommodations may have private baths available for reservation.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures

Walking & Trekking
16 days Incl. Flights
From £2,299
Activity Rating - Moderate
4.7 / 5
 from 
Call us on 020 8772 3936