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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
    Sandor Burslem

    A week of incredible contrasts

    A wonderful week encompassing a huge variety of experiences in Jordan, from Bedouin tents to a swimming pool on the edge of the Dead Sea, very well organised and covering a lot of ground.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A toss up between Petra and the Wadi Rum; seeing the Treasury at Petra first appear between the rocks of the Siq probably takes the prize. Also taking in the Grand Canyon-esque view of the Wadi Mujib, of which I'd never heard before.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was knowledgeable, great fun and very well organised, e.g. changing the day's activities to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The heat in the South and the Dead Sea was intense in August, I managed about ten minutes on the beach at the Dead Sea resort before having to go inside. The temperatures were more comfortable in Amman and Jerash. The week has some early starts so take an alarm with you, and in the Wadi Rum camp you'll need a torch to find the toilet block after sunset! The days in Petra are more akin to a walking holiday than pure sightseeing so you will need walking shoes (though you inevitably see people climbing to the High Place of Sacrifice dressed for the beach). Most of the sites visited have people selling postcards and handicrafts etc though it's nowhere near as aggressive as in Egypt.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The night at the Holiday Inn resort hotel at the Dead Sea, though very pleasant, did seem a bit off kilter with the rest of the trip and Exodus's ethos of supporting local businesses and communities, although looking at the surrounding area there perhaps isn't any alternative form of accommodation if you want to experience the Dead Sea.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Shane Shudra

    Beautiful Cycle Trip Through Jordan!

    Petra & Wadi Rum by bike was an amazing journey through Jordan's stunningly beautiful desert landscape, on very quiet roads. It was quite challenging in late May with the heat, but so rewarding!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was the second cycling day from Mt. Nebo down to the Dead Sea. It was a spectacular 30+km trip mostly downhill that really left me speechless! I purposely fell behind the group so I could enjoy the amazingly stark scenery with no one else around! Including virtually no vehicle traffic! Once we got to the Dead Sea, we spent time floating in the Dead Sea. It couldn't have been a better day!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was good. He was not the regular leader for the cycling trips, so I feel he didn't take into account what cycling or more active groups needed or wanted. Snacks and water not quite as readily available as usual on Exodus trips, looked at us funny when we wanted to walk instead of taking taxi's, things like that. That being said, he was a very knowledgeable man and very passionate about his country. I learned a lot!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! Jordan was amazing! Such a wonderfully compact country with some truly breathtaking scenery!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Kelsey Baron

    Stunning roads to bike on!

    You can't beat the scenery on some of those rides, my goodness. It really takes your breath away. The roads barely have any cars on them as well so you really feel like you are on your own. Starts off easy and gets harder, worth all the effort!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Desert night at Wadi Rum. It was so amazing to pull out the beds and sleep under the stars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was okay. I felt like we never knew what was going on it was always a surprise. It made it difficult to plan ahead and be prepared. There were a few times when I didn't pack correctly for the day because he never took the time to explain some of the small things. For example, our day at Petra. It was really hot so I didn't want to carry my backpack, so I used a spybelt and my pockets and carabiners to carry water, sunscreen and money. He had told us we'd be doing lots of walking so I made sure to wear the right shoes. However as we are unloading from the bus he hands us a bag which contains our lunch in it. He says to hide it when we go through security - well I didn't have a backpack to put it in! I wasn't the only one who didn't bring a backpack because we didn't know we were going to be carrying stuff. We made it in okay but then I spent the first 3 hours of my day carrying a plastic bag full of stuff and my sandwhich spend many hours in the sun before I tried to eat it. It is a small thing forsure, but his heads up the night before about the fact that we should bring a backpack because we would be carrying our lunch and would need to hid it would have gone a long way to make my day more comfortable. This is just one example of many days where similair things happened. There were other times when the water bottle was empty or he stored it somewhere in the hotel but didn't tell us where so I'd end up having to buy bottled water anyway. He told us that he is not the usual guide for this trip and had only guided 1 cycling trip before. I wonder how different my experience might have been with an experienced cycling guide. My friend who had done this same trip last year suggested that we ask the guide to organize Shisha for us for our night in the desert, which his guide had done for them. It sounded like a great experience to be under the stars, listening to bedoin music, drinking sweet tea and smoking shisha. I talked it up to a few people in the group and we were all excited for this opportunity. So I asked our guide if he could help us organize this and he said "we'll see". Needless to say, the desert night came and went and he never got us anything. Not only that but he didn't bother to tell me that he wasn't able to organize it. Communication was lacking with him. Perhaps if I had known he wasn't going to put in the effort, some of us could have maybe tried ourselves to organize it. I do feel like I missed out that night because I had gotten so excited about it and he let me down. Overall you could clearly tell he was knowledgable and passionate about Jordan and its history. I just felt he lacked good communication and going the extra mile for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are no panier bags! So bring a bum bag.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip overall! Thank you.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sarah Parkes

    A jam packed week

    This is a very full trip that means you see the most amount of things in the least amount of time so be aware of this before you book if you’re expecting a leisurely trip! The coach was of an excellent standard, clean spacious and had air con which was essential for some long drives! Plenty of stops too for snacks and to stretch your legs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra lived up to my hopes and then some. I had my reservations about the night in the desert but it was good fun, especially the camel ride and the food was excellent. The mud on the last day at the Dead Sea was great fun too and nice to end a hectic trip on a relaxed note.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdullah was friendly and funny and got us where we needed to be. He was very knowledgable on the history of the areas and gave us time to ourselves. He sourced the most amazing falafel sandwich for 1 dinar that we raved about the rest of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take Sea shoes for the Red Sea Prepare yourself for a long tiring day on day one after your flight. Petra by night gets a bad rep but we went and enjoyed it, certainly helps to be there early though. If I had my time again I’d have extended the trip by one day to relax and enjoy the Dead Sea A’s by the time we arrived and checked in it was 4pm and the pools etc close at sunset and we had an early flight. It was a lovely hotel and would have been nice to enjoy it more.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was reassuring to be met the other side in the airport by a representative who sorted out our visas. I’d be willing to have paid more for a hotel in the Red Sea with a pool as it’s extremely hot... too hot to go to the sea until the evening so we had a lovely rare free afternoon but with not a lot to do so a pool would have been good. Minor point though.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Colin Billings

    A great week in Jordan

    A very busy week however we saw a lot in the limited time

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two days in Petra , the treasury then the monastery and the high places ab

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdullah was excellent Very knowledgeable, organised and sociable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Next time i would take my own mask and snorkel for the Red Sea to make sure it fits properly . Take advantage of the donkeys and horses available in Petra , they save a lot of walking
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Janet Peckam

    Hidden Treasures of Jordan

    It was a great trip and I enjoyed every minute of it. However, Jordan was going through a heat wave during the time, which made it very uncomfortable to walk outdoors. Additionally, it was the Ramadan and all cafes, bakeries and many other places were shut during the day. Apart from that everyday of the trip was different and offered us a wide range of amazing experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and Jerash were the most inspirational moments of the trip. It has been on my list to visit Petra for a long time and seeing the Treasury for the first time was sensational. Two full days in Petra was great and gave us enough time to cover a lot of that vast area. Also spending enough time in the Petra museum is a must. Jerash was a great surprise as I did not know anything about it. There is so much to see in Jerash and the time we spent there was well worth it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal was an excellent guide with extensive knowledge of Jordan and a passion for his country. He was also a very friendly, polite caring person who tirelessly looked after everyone in the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Jordan is a peaceful country surrounded by turmoil. I was struck by its closeness in proximity to Israel, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. It is a wonder that Jordan has managed to stay out of wars and retained its sovereignty. Jordanians are very friendly, polite and helpful. We felt very safe in Jordan. Do not travel to Jordan during Ramadan as most places are closed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Group members including myself, thought that the itinerary will be much improved by dropping the dessert loop trip altogether on the second day and instead adding Amman sightseeing on that day and ending the trip in Aqaba. Coming back to Amman on the 11th day and continuing with sightseeing seemed somewhat disjointed. In addition very little time was given to Amman. It would also be great to add the Jordan Museum to the itinerary as most of us wanted to visit it and had no time left. Especially not being able to see the Dead Sea scroll was very upsetting. It would have also been great if a nature reserve such as Wadi al Mujib had been added to the itinerary. That would have made a wonderful change to the dessert landscape that accompanied us during most of the trip. We were not able to see much of the flora and fauna of Jordan unfortunately. It would be better if we had a trailer for the luggage as the mini bus did not have enough space. Also, on some days we could have started earlier, which would have given us more time in some sites.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Patricia Burritt

    A ‘must do’ trip for anyone who I loves archaeology, history and amazing geography!

    I have wanted to visit Jordan for at least 40 years and finally I made it! The Exodus trip was fantastic and the experience met up to every expectation. I took over 2,000 photos! The journey was so well organised, informative, action packed - we didn’t seem to miss any detail of the ‘treasures’ of this amazing country try!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Petra - the site is incredible and so vast and the Exodus itinerary with 2 full days there is perfect!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Nidal Alateaq, was excellent. He was so well organised, conscientious and informed. Nidal managed every aspect of the trip so smoothly and efficiently. As a tour guide on sites and en route he always gave us a thorough explanation of the culture, history and geography of Jordan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready to undertake a very full itinerary and long days each with an interesting agenda. I visited during Ramadan - which can mean that there is a need to work around closure of some facilities and sites.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel accommodation and meals were of a high standard. Thank you Exodus for another wonderful trip!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Joanne White

    Great week packed with fabulous experiences

    All the highlights of Jordan in one week - it is a very busy week with full days and relatively early starts but it is worth the effort. Not a dull moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved the 2 days hiking in Petra, there is so much to see. However, we felt that Wadi Rum was perhaps more inspirational ....if only the dust clouds had behaved and allowed us to have a sunset.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was excellent. Very friendly and knowledgeable and really understood how to manage a diverse group without being heavy-handed in any way at all. He struck the right balance of being informative without overloading us with facts. He is a real asset to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The climb to St Catherine's monastery is pretty daunting at 800 steps in hot weather but don't allow this to put you off the trek on day 2 at Petra, which is easier and spectacular.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a lot squeezed into this trip and you feel ready for some R&R at the end of the week. It was quite a long drive to get to Aqaba and felt a lot of effort for just a couple of hours on the beach. I would not have been disappointed if Aqaba was not in the itinerary.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Malcolm Mahony

    Fascinating and beautiful country

    The desert landscape and Petra are stunning. The scrambling is exciting. The archaeology is outstanding. The culture is fascinating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    See above.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdullah worked hard to make the trip successful and enjoyable. He was totally unflappable!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You should be aware that the trekking area is heavily used by 4-wheel drive vehicles taking tourists on day trips. This compromises the wilderness feel. Unfortunately they also leave behind a lot of plastic litter.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed by the generally tolerant and supportive attitude of Jordanians towards the 3 million plus refugees who live there. What a contrast to most other countries! Excellent service by Exodus staff.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Elspeth Bull

    See all of Jordan, whatever the weather.

    This itinerary gave the group the opportunity to see the highlights of Jordan at an easy pace.The cold, wet weather in the north was not anticipated and meant that we did not see some of the sights in their best light. However, the later section of the trip to the Dead Sea Petra and Wadi Rum were up to expectation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to Petra with the anticipation of seeing the Treasury at the end of the siq.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was the weakest part of the trip and the reason for the lower rating. He was inexperienced and did not always communicate clearly what was happening or give much information about what we were seeing. This was not up to the usual standard we have experienced from guides in the past.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The tour flights arrive late in the evening in Amman. This means you do not get much sleep before starting the tour. If you are able to, I would suggest arriving a day or two earlier and seeing Amman in your own time rather than in a rush on the last day. Be prepared for all weather conditions.
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