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

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8 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2019
    HELEN GLYNN

    baltics

    Great holiday and guide

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    traditional dinners in local restaurants

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Helen U

    A whistle stop tour of the Baltics

    This is a great taster of the Baltic cities of Tallinn, Riga and Lithuania, as well as a brief introduction to Stockholm. The trip is marketed as one for Christmas markets but it is so much more than that; it provides a fascinating insight into their histories and cultures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's hard to capture one but Rundale Palace was magnificent and really interesting; the huge decorated Christmas trees in each city were works of art. Plus the mulled wine was always good! The local tour guides in each city were excellent and worth standing in the cold for several hours.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukas was a great tour leader, very knowledgeable and always on hand to help. Being from Lithuania his knowledge of his country's history is mind-blowing, and his English is faultless.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are three walking tours on the trip so it really helps to go prepared for the cold weather. Layers are always useful and be prepared for rain and snow. There are plenty of cafes to go into in each place to warm up! In addition, the amount of free time you have in each place is limited, so it is probably useful to have an idea in advance of anything you particularly want to see. The hotels are all centrally located so finding your way around is very easy. There is obviously a lot of travel during this tour (take a book!) but it never felt too much as the journeys were always broken up by visits to various places, all of which were definitely worth seeing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip for anyone wanting to learn a bit more about the Baltic states - I will definitely be visiting them again!
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Kathy Macey

    This holiday was like 5 mini adventures in 1!

    All very different experiences enhanced by the winter scenes and family atmospheres - and of course, the company of a really fun group and competent leader. Stockholm - a cosmopolitan city with lots going on (Vasa Museum is a must) Tallin, Riga and Vilnius - so interesting and sombering to learn of their struggles in the past but now their happy and proud approach to life. Narrow alleyways lead out to the fortified walls around the quaint Old Town Squares and in contrast now high end shops in modern pedestrianised shopping malls. Vilnius had the largest market I've ever seen - you could buy almost anything there and the quality of foodstuffs excellent. The Christmas Markets were in full swing with the little huts selling lots of interesting local products and varying types of Grogg/Glogg and other mysterious alcoholic concoctions!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several : The Vasa Museum in Stockholm - amazing how they salvaged this huge vessel The KGB Museum in Riga - learning of those sad times under Soviet occupation The opulence of The Rundale Palace in Vilnius, The Hill of Crosses & beautiful Trakai Castle Experiencing Roasted Beaver !!!! ....but the best: The magical scene coming out of the restaurant on our last night into the Old Town Square snow falling steadily caught in the Christmas Tree lights - another photo opportunity! - but more magical seeing the delight of one of our fellow travellers who had never seen snow like this before - priceless! Needless to say he was the victim of our snowball fight. Sorry Arun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolita - caring, considerate, clear and concise - passionate about her homeland. After checking into our hotels she would always stay around the reception area for half an hour or so to deal with any questions/issues we may have had. .....and she bought us chocolates!! Jolita is a true credit to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Time is precious and limited and if you should see anything you may wish to buy - get it when you see it. Clothing wise, yes it was said many times by Jolita - dress like a cabbage - i.e. layers! The walking tours of the towns obviously do spend time standing around talking/questioning/explaining - so wrap up warm and make sure you have adequate footwear for the cobbled streets. Whilst we enjoyed snow and freezing temperatures a shot of the local tipple will warm your body, mind and spirits - well it did ours! Happy travelling in The Baltics!
  • A good Baltic overview

    Stockholm plus the Baltic capitals and a few stops between them. It gives you some sense of the history of the Baltic republics, their similarities and differences, and what life was like when they were Soviet Socialist Republics. The trip notes describe this as a Christmas markets trip, but most of them didn't open till the first weekend of December - our late November departure was too early. We caught the one in Tallin, which was pretty and pleasant but not exactly impressive. Stockholm deserves extra time. Arrive two or three days early if you've never been there, and don't worry about changing money - they don't even like cash. The ferry is sort of a low-end cruise ship - bar, buffet, entertainment, that sort of thing. Clothing: layers layers layers! We had temps right around freezing the whole time, which is very manageable if you plan properly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the Hill of Crosses and the history behind it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolita was outstanding!
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Fiona Mitchell

    CES 2015

    Interesting and varied 1 week trip giving a good introduction to the 4 countries. Good mixture of activities sightseeing, Christmas Markets. Highlights of trip were Runsdale Palace, Hill of Crosses and Trakai Castle and beautiful capital cities visited

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Overnight ferry from Stockholm to Tallin, ships official and unofficial entertainment was very memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent very good knowledge of all countries and activities, keep everything running smoothly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Baltic countries appear more expensive that Eastern European Countries e.g. Poland Dress warmly and use coffee shops tactically to warm up, we were lucky with the weather (mild) but in cities you will out walking most of day
  • Reviewed December 2015

    Superb Winter Visit of 4 Charming Cities

    This was my first trip with Exodus and I chose it because how it seemed such an unusual and interesting area of the world to explore. I was not disappointed; each town was brimming with life, with good cultural visits to break up the long drives, good food and a superb leader made the trip unforgettable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the top of the viewpoint over Tallinn at night time and seeing the city from above.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolita was excellent, really enthusiastic and generous. My hands were cold (despite already wearing gloves) so she very kindly gave me a couple of handwarmers. Touches like this, and giving us local sweets on the long drives, made us feel very welcome. With seemingly limitless knowledge and enthusiasm for the cities, it made the trip a pleasure having her guide us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring two pairs of socks for each day, maybe two pairs of gloves too as a lot of the walking tours involve a lot of stopping so you'll get cold! Sea-sickness tablets for the ferry, as we hit a storm - you can never be too careful! Oh and make the most of the markets at night, they look so amazing but you need to get there before they close (8pm-9pm)!
  • The Baltics in Winter

    A great way to get a taster of Sweden, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania; to learn about the history of the Baltic region; and if you go in December, to get in the mood for the festive season.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Taking a ferry across the Baltic Sea was quite exciting for me as I'd never done anything like that before - including sitting on deck in the freezing cold night air! First seeing the fairy tale medieval centre of Tallinn. The afternoon excursion to Trakai in Lithuania - I loved the combination of woods, lakes and traditional wooden houses. The air smelled of wood smoke, the setting sun showed off the landscape to perfect effect and there's a lovely café with a view of the castle where you can warm up with a hot drink and freshly-baked ginger bread.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and really helped the group to gel. She couldn't have done any more to make us feel comfortable and get the most from the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wear very warm clothing and foot wear for the walking city tours - it can get pretty nippy standing in the Baltic wind, especially if it's accompanied by rain, hail, sleet or snow! Take sea sickness tablets - just in case of a choppy Baltic crossing on the ferry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whistle stop tours of regions such as this aren't for everyone so it's important to have realistic expectations about what you can see, do and achieve in each destination. Also, hitting the road early is sometimes inevitable, so there aren't many opportunities for a lazy morning or to make use of the very nice hotel facilities for example.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Craig Venes

    Stockholm and the Winter Baltics

    A whistle stop tour of the capitals of the Baltics and Sweden

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We went to some free church concerts in Vilnius and Riga and they turned out to be really enjoyable. The KGB museum in Tallinn is well worth the 9 euro charge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour leader was very amiable and keen to make the group gel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothes. Have a book or something else to do on the long drives as the scenery is not very inspring particularly in the very grey winter months.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would drop the very limited time in Stockholm and have more time in Riga or Tallinn.