Turtle, Ecuador

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

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  • Reviewed October 2019
    Cheryl Huyck

    Exceeded Expectations

    Our first hiking vacation and the whole experience was incredible. Our guide, Louise, was energetic and so very passionate about her joy of hiking as she lead our group of 16. Strangers we were on our day or arrival but friendships formed quickly as we enjoyed our mutual love of exploring new countries and hiking the most amazing trails. Each day was fantastic as Louise expertly guided us safely along the paths we walked, encouraged us when we needed encouragement and was helpful in so many ways. Hotel was well located, meals delicious and accommodations comfortable. Each staff member @ our hotel worked hard and made us all feel welcome. Would highly recommend this itinerary. Glad we did this in mid-late September. Weather still warm but not blazing hot.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the rim of Mt. Vesuvius on a crystal clear day with great guides and companions. But then there was the incredible Pathway of the Gods.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic! Truly loves hiking and an experienced guide. Would love to hike with her again some day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wear appropriate hiking shoes, use walking sticks and keep your eyes open.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommend this trip. Would do it again if time allowed.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Fiona MacColl

    Great Trip

    This is a fabulous trip in a beautiful country. There is so much to see and walking means you get to see everything close up and in your own time. The trip is really well organised and the guides Simon and Cathy do a great job of making sure everyone is happy and included. The accommodation and food were all excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many great moments, fabulous views and seeing lots of whales, great white sharks and dolphins.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Simon and Cathy are both great, really knowledgeable about the area, friendly and professional. They made sure we all had a great time.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Nick Bennett-Britton

    Great Trip - Very Varied

    A very varied trip of very scenic walks, unexpected extras (eg a visit to a Mozzarella producer; making a pizza; making tiramisu), lovely quiet hotel, great guide (Tony) and superb optional extras.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the serene Gardens of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, and then a walk afterwards.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tony was great - caring, very organised, knew ALL our names from day 2, always available at any time to answer questions; coordinated transport, cafes etc with our walks; knew how to avoid crowds on our walks and very friendly. Thanks Tony!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The “optional extras” do add extra cost eg the trip to Capri was over 100 euros (I believe); the Gardens of Villa Cimbrone were about 10 euros; the barbecue was 30 euros; the last Saturday trip to Herculaneum before our flight, was about 40 euros. They were all worth doing and interesting/fun (I didn’t go to Capri), and but you need to take some extra euros if you partake of them (I do recommend them!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were very lucky with our friendly group, all of whom has similar walking ability. It is a very varied and worthwhile trip with lots of interesting walks, superb scenery and a nice little local town. I really enjoyed it.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Paul McGovern

    Stupendous Trekking

    This trip was inspirational. The scenery, the challenge and the group combined to make this one of the top trips provided by Exodus. Our leader was excellent. His knowledge, storytelling and ability to read the group was outstanding. It was an extremely diverse group but the leader pulled it all together admirably. I would highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Treks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl was super fit and highly trained. He handled the group so well and had my total confidence.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring poles.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Jeremy Matthews

    Magnifique!

    Exodus,Chalet Chocolat,Ben,Zohi,Shaun,Mark and Kate-thank you so much for a truly magical experience in the French,Swiss and Italian Alps. The list of superlatives to describe this experience is long but magnificent,extraordinary,stupendous,colossal,transformational and gourmet all spring to mind. The day begins with fresh croissants,pain au chocolat,strong coffee,cereal,yoghurt and fruits to fortify for a day of exertion as we wandered and took in the various delights of the Chamonix Valley in the very capable hands of guide Shaun. The steep,snow-tipped peaks,hanging glaciers,lakes,forest,ancient village houses,cows with bells,flowers,mountain cafes and wildlife are a very bewitching and intoxicating combination,we all felt like we were in a scene from The Sound of Music or Heidi.Our baguette,cheese and ham packed lunch was eaten in a scenic location with jaw-dropping views,our legs were tired and sore by the time we'd descended back to the chalet for a freshly-baked cake (thanks Zohi!) then into the jacuzzi for a well-deserved soak before a beer or wine and some gourmet dinner and dessert treats prepared lovingly by Ben and Zohi.Each day was different and stimulating,the local town of Chamonix was very attractive with its fine restaurants,quality shops and museums and inspiring alpine back-drop. We've all left a piece of our hearts in Chamonix and many of us will surely return there for another active alpine holiday. Merci bien Chamonix- à bientôt!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif,raw nature.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very competent,thoughtful and knowledgeable. Thanks Shaun!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the experience,prepare your body beforehand.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One trip to Chamonix is not enough,come back to ski,do different walks and learn to rock and ice-climb.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Amanda Grogan

    INCREDIBLE HIKING EXPERIENCE

    The trip was fantastic! I felt very welcomed and at home from the moment we stepped in the chalet and were greeted by Zohi and Ben. An absolutely beautiful property with a very cosy and communal feel, a great way to bond with your new travel friends. The meals made with love by Zohi and Ben were phenomenal! A great variety for breakfast and lunch paired with 3 courses for dinner - each night was completely unique, delicious and fun. I had some dietary requirements and never felt like this was difficult for Zohi - she made me feel included and provided just as high level and delicious alternatives. Zohi and Ben were so warm and welcoming and became instant friends with the group! They set the tone of the chalet and helped the team bond and enjoy their time at "home". The meals they provided were so varied, colourful, amazing - and themed to the days events which was a really special touch. It wouldn't have been the same without seeing them each day and sharing our days experiences. A beautiful highlight of Mont Blanc with completely different trips and scenery each day, which was very special. Great pacing, good times of day to start and end hikes. It was so magical to see so many different parts of the valley/alps and It was some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. Our hiking guide Shaun was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable - he was very professional and always ensured our comfort and safety as well as challenging us and teaching us about the area. Shaun was a fountain of knowledge about the area and hiking. He was always professional and on-time. His organisation and time-lines were always spot on as well as his "walkie talkies" (what we affectionately nicknamed his updates for the next days hikes) which were very accurate and prepared us for the next day. I would recommend this trip over and over and over, and can’t wait to travel with Exodus again. Ensure you read the trip notes as they are very accurate and prepare you well for the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing a hike made me really proud of myself and inspired to get fitter and incorporate more hiking in my daily life and travel Standing on top of Aiguille du Midi cable car and seeing Mont Blanc, the valley and Chamonix and all the places we had hiked
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Paul Ruddell

    Majestic Mont Blanc

    Where do I begin - this trip is absolutely stellar. Chalet Chocolat is in a great location, and the Spa with mountain and glacier views always tops off an amazing day hiking. Shaun, our expert for the area was extremely knowledgeable about the geography and could easily amend walks to suit our groups needs. Zohi and Ben were amazing Chalet Hosts, cooked the most amazing food to make sure we earned each day of walking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Any time I ate Zohi's food - made me want to stay for longer, hike more and come back to an amazing 3 course dinner!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Expert in the area, able to amend itinerary based on weather and ability of the group - would recommend Shaun to anyone!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd say you need to be a keen social hiker to really enjoy this trip. If you hike in your normal weeks/months, you'll be fine, but don't expect it to be a walk in the park.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Helen Rolton

    Highlights of Mont Blanc Highlights

    The activity level is Grade 3 but the experience level is off the scale; a complete holiday experience. Hiking in the most amazing scenery then returning to an authentic French chalet is the perfect option in this area. Our Chalet hosts, Ben & Zohi, were the ‘icing on the cake’, ensuring a stressfree holiday. Zohi’s cakes were something to look forward to at the end of each day’s hiking and the three course evening meals, matched with local wines, were the perfect end to each day. The only way this week could’ve been better was if a week was 14 days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view from the top each day!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Hazel Norton

    Kilimanjaro, Lemosho route

    This was my third trip with exodus and it did not disappoint. I had a great time and met some fantastic fellow travellers. The trek was fairly easy walking with a few points that required scrambling over rocks mainly Barranco wall, one of my favourite days on the trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the crater rim and seeing the clouds below us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT was a great leader always friendly and approachable, David and Hans the assistant guides were very knowledgeable and all three of them were positive and kept us going up to the top.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to pack as light as you can, and make sure you will be warm enough on summit night, its very cold until the sun comes up!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks again for a fantastic trip, with memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Gail Madeley

    Walking in Puglia and Matera

    This is a very non-strenuous grade 2 trip, compared with other grade 2 walking trips I have undertaken. The majority of walks are flat (walked in sandals) as stated in the trip notes and ankle support was only required for 2 of the walks. This was a part of Italy I had always wanted to visit due to its history rather than the scenery on the walks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the streets of Matera - so many ups and downs with sites looking so far away, but then you round a corner and you are on top of it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Selenia was great, vibrant and I only wish I could speak italian as well as she speaks english.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you visit Lecce on your day off a 2 hour tour costs 15 euro, but this does not allow for entrance into any of the churches. It is easy to tour on your own. Take and use insect repellent if you are prone to insect bites.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have prefered less time in Ostuni and more time in Polignano a Mare. We visited Polignano following the trip to the beach, but only had 30 minutes to explore once we had eaten lunch, whereas we had 3 hours in Ostuni and as it is visited on a Monday most of the select shops were closed. As the group knew there was a scheduled visit to Polignano we all opted to visit Lecce on our free day.