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

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  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sue Moody

    Calves of steel

    A fabulous week in the Cinque Terre - not to be missed! The uphill sections can be a slog but the views are so rewarding that it really is worth it. Walking between the villages of the Cinque Terre is the best way to see the beauty of the area and, on the less used paths, see fewer tourists! The group was great fun, we all got on really well. Hotel Piccolo offers great breakfasts and the rooms are clean and adequate - it's easy to find walking from the station.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the walk from Corniglia to Manarola. Once we were up on the path through the terraced vineyards, the views were spectacular and there was a real sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela is an excellent guide who checks on everyone and gives plenty of rest periods which are essential as there are lots of uphill sections, many with steps of varying heights and condition. She provides alternatives for people who do not want to the full walk every day as well as inspiration for the free day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you really don't like walking up hills or struggle with long down hill walks, this isn't for you! If you are fit but are slow either uphill, downhill or both - don't worry as Michela makes sure that the pace works for everyone and the views are superb and worth it! Moneglia has lots of restaurants with plenty of choice so if you don't want to eat with the group you have lots of options.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Moneglia is easy to get to by train and if you opt for land only, consider flying into Genoa and catching the train from there as I did. It's just as easy as travelling from Pisa. The hotel has an agreement with a private beach at Moneglia so you can use that for a discounted price, but on our trip there wasn't much time for swimming in the sea unless you did half a day of walking and caught the train back from the halfway point.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Carol-Ann Connellan

    Cinque Terra

    What an amazing time - from the lovely Moneglia (Piccola Hotel) to the amazing walks so expertly guided by Michela Wicks. It was really everything and more than we wished for. Would never have chosen to do it differently. No time was lost or wasted pondering. Our time there was precious.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was super special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent and more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it with a guide. Your time there is precious. Go with those who know the way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definitely a must do.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Sandy Hartley

    Walking tour

    Loved every step. Our super fit guide, Michela Wicks, did an excellent job keeping us all together, providing us with heaps of information and many laughs. Thank you Michela. You are wonderful.♡

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views, the degree of difficulty of crop growing in the area, the history, the buildings. So much more. I am in awe of this part of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was awesome. Thorough, organised, knowledgeable, interesting and lovely to chat too. I was sad to say goodbye.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a must. You wont be sorry.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carole Quinn

    A fantastic week

    This was a great holiday & I'd thoroughly recommend it. The walks were far more strenuous than I expected but the views were spectacular which made it all worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking down into Portofino - so picturesque. Also the stunning Cinque Terre with the coloured houses - amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michaela was lovely. Friendly, helpful & knowledgeable - everything you could want from a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the brief properly & do some walks or gym work to prepare for this trip. Wear appropriate footwear - this is serious walking - it's very steep in places with uneven surfaces. Walking poles are definitely useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this holiday but felt that the level 3 (moderate) was not sufficient. It was considerably harder than I expected it to be & that appeared to be the general consensus of the group. Our leader organised dinner options for the evenings & it was much appreciated particularly by the solo travellers.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    JANET ALLAN

    Great times in Italy

    I flew from Manchester and made my own way to the hotel in Moneglia. The travel instructions were easy to follow. I met the rest of the group later that evening. Michela Wicks was our excellent guide. She put no pressure on us to do the walks and offered alternative activities. The walks were as tough as I expected but the weather was good for walking. We had lots of stops and time to enjoy the various villages. Michela took us to various restaurants at night in Moneglia but it was not compulsory to join the group. As a group we gelled well and enjoyed everyone's company. The Hotel Piccolo was very comfortable, a good breakfast choice and a small pool with waterjets to ease the aching muscles and knees. Bathing in the sea was also pleasant. The weather wasn't good on our day off so on Michela's advice a group of us went to Chiavari which was very interesting (although most shops and the cathedral were shut between 12-3.30). We had a lovely pre-dinner wine tasting one night which was included in the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Surviving the walks! I have trouble with my knees especially going downhill but we were never rushed. I enjoyed spending time with the group. I have done a number of group holidays and there has always been a good mix of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was excellent and wanted us all to enjoy our holiday. I certainly did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The distances covered in the walks are not long but feel much further due to the ascents and descents. Walking boots are essential. If the weather is inclement(!) and the guide cancels the planned walk there is a good reason. The paths would be really slippery and dangerous. We were lucky. The trains are excellent for getting about. I like tea so always take a kettle and teabags away with me to have in the room. Don't expect nightlife!!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Dami Jaiyesimi

    Fantastic

    Stunning scenery, great guide, very well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A lot of stunning and memorable sights but my favourite was stopping for Lunch at the Mintellect hilltop restaurant in Rapallo. Great company, great views, great risotto!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was great - Very helpful, resourceful and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're fit! I would rate this a 5 out of 10 not a 3.....!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was fab- thank you. Perhaps an earlier transfer to Pisa on the last day so people can explore Pisa and see the tower.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Angela HORTON

    Stunning views of Cinque Terre & Portofino

    Moneglia, a small seaside resort, was a great base for our walking holiday away from the crowds of the more popular villages of Cinque Terre. The Hotel Piccolo was perfectand the staff were very friendly. Our room was spacious and clean with a safe and tea and coffee making facilities. We also had a small balcony where we could sit and have a beer but there was also a sun terrace with a jacuzzi and outside terraces facing the street to sit on and have a drink with our group. It was great to have access to the indoor swimming pool at the end of the day's walk but unfortunately the sauna was never switched on. Breakfast was more than adequate with a limited range of cereals, scrambled eggs and bacon, ham and cheese, bread, fruit, yogurt and cakes. The daily walks all started with a trip to the train station to get us to the start of our walk.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views as we approached the Cinque Terre villages were stunning particularly on the walk from Corniglia to Manarola along the terraces. Our walk and time spent in Portofino Seeing the dolphin whilst walking to the villages. View of the villages from the boat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela Wicks was an exceptional leader. She has a wonderful, warm personality with a great sense of humour together with great organisational skills, which ensured the daily travel arrangements by train at the start and end of the walks ran smoothly. She chose a good range of restaurants for the group evening meals but allowed flexibility for those that wanted to do their own thing. Michela was also happy to stay with the group at breakfast and dinner which gave us the opportunity to learn so much about her country. Michela went beyond the call of duty on our free day and gave lots of advice to different members of the group ensuring that everyone was able to achieve what they wanted. Michela also gave alternative options to members of the group who for various reasons had to miss some of the walks. Whilst they might have missed a walk she made sure that they still accessed the beautiful villages and had a wonderful holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes! It's a level 3 which means you are going to need your walking boots and if you are not used to walking 7 - 8 miles a day, up and down hills you are likely to find it difficult. As the ascents and descents are 200-300 metres you may find a walking pole useful but practise before you go, you don't want to be waving it around injurying fellow walkers. It was very hot in October so a 1-2 litre water bottle is useful. There are generally places to refill at lunchtime.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Cinque Terre villages particularly Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore were incredibly busy during the week 6th - 13th October so be prepared for crowds. Generally the paths were quiet until you were close to a village. The train service is excellent and generally runs on time with plenty of seats. Announcements are in Italian and English so easy to use on your free day.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    nadia nashid

    Ciquo Terre

    Michela Wicks , is a great leader . Encouraging , up beat , Kind and Knowledgeable . Location of Hotel is good .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to climbe the mountain , from Monorolla

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Early October was still crowded in the towns of Cinquo terre
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Mary Jane Melink

    ?

    The town of Moneglia was perfect. Picturesque and away from the crowds, with the same charm and beauty of the other cities. The Piccolo Hotel facility was great and the staff was wonderful. Helpful and friendly people. Our leader Paul was also very good. He was knowledgeable, kind, funny and truly interested in making sure that everyone on the trip had a great time. The hikes were beautiful and a nice combination of challenging and relaxing. The train to and from each hike added to the interest of the hiking. It was a great trip and great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views were inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul was a great leader. He worked hard to insure that all members of the group felt good about the experience and he recognized that everyone has different skills and capabilities. Paul was engaging and interested in getting to know group members and was willing to go the extra mile to be sure that everyone was taken care of.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Parts of the hike were challenging so be prepared for uphills, stairs and narrow trails.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Mary Jane Melink

    ?

    The town of Moneglia was perfect. Picturesque and away from the crowds, with the same charm and beauty of the other cities. The Piccolo Hotel facility was great and the staff was wonderful. Helpful and friendly people. Our leader Paul was also very good. He was knowledgeable, kind, funny and truly interested in making sure that everyone on the trip had a great time. The hikes were beautiful and a nice combination of challenging and relaxing. The train to and from each hike added to the interest of the hiking. It was a great trip and great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views were inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul was a great leader. He worked hard to insure that all members of the group felt good about the experience and he recognized that everyone has different skills and capabilities. Paul was engaging and interested in getting to know group members and was willing to go the extra mile to be sure that everyone was taken care of.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Parts of the hike were challenging so be prepared for uphills, stairs and narrow trails.
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