Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18266 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2022

    Brilliant Baltics on a bike

    This was probably the best of many great Exodus trips that we have done & was worth waiting two years to do. Our guide Andrius is exceptional, patient, polite, funny, so well informed and interesting. He had everything under control and did everything possible to ensure that we saw as much as possible of these amazing countries and to ensure that we had an amazing holiday. We packed a lot into 10 days and certainly experienced so much more of each country that we expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It would be impossible to pick just one moment. Each country is different & very memorable in its own way. Likewise we had great food in each place too & it was not too expensive. High lights included cycling the Curonian Spit NP, the cycle by the River into Kaunas, climbing the Hill of crosses, the Estonian Switzerland, seeing the City of Tartu to include but a few.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Leader was fantastic. He made the trip a most memorable one. He is so organised, funny, kind & patient. He was constantly looking after us, gave us interesting history lessons when asked, knew all the best places to visit & eat & ensured that we all had an amazing trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with the flow & follow any suggestions made by Andrius . Keep an open mind & book this trip if you want to see these gorgeous Baltic countries.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    The amazing Baltics

    Thanks Exodus for working with us to make this trip happen. Cancelled in 2020 and 2021, due to COVID, we we finally made it in 2022. The Baltics are amazing, so rich with history, spectacular scenery and the weather was great. Best part of the trip was Andrius our remarkable guide. His knowledge of the Baltics is commendable, his humour infectious and his ability to adapt outstanding. His recommendations wether it was to the route itself or for places to visit or eat were well received by all. Thanks also to Mindaugas our driver who always where he needed to be. Definitely recommend taking a tour with Andrius. Randy and Annette
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Very enjoyable

    We had a great time and throughly enjoyed our holiday, with a few caveats. This was a much anticipated trip as was originally booked for April 2020! but we swapped from ‘A week in Jordan’ to this ‘Hidden Treasures’ and I wish we hadn’t bothered as the first couple of days visiting the desert loop and Irbid were not that interesting. However after that Jerash, Black Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum were amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the High Place of Sacrifice at Petra and the subsequent walk through the amazing rock formations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mikhled was a nice guy, and really tried to accommodate the various requests from our group, but as a guide he gave little information about the sights we were seeing and very often when he did it was to only the first few people in the group who kept up with him. People take pictures and some were slower walkers, that’s just how it is with group tours but he would speak before most of the group were there. His English was good but his accent very strong and sometimes there was lack of understanding both ways in that we couldn’t grasp his meaning and he didn’t understand our questions. He also didn’t seem to convey the plan for the day and timings to the group, like stopping for lunch, although we enjoyed the process of going into the sandwich shops and bakeries, sometimes it was 11:30, sometimes 14:30.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food is plentiful and of good quality, except breakfast at some of the hotels. As anywhere be prepared to pay over the odds for drinks at the tourist sites or try to shop at the supermarket beforehand. Alcohol is not easily available and very expensive so try to do without.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our driver was great, but the bus we were allocated was not big enough, we were 14, plus guide and tourist policeman which was OK when on a day tour but when moving with luggage it was unsafe. They originally put cases on the back shelf as they wouldn’t fit in the boot, but one of our party pointed out that this was dangerous as in the event of an accident or even sharp braking, those cases could shoot forward and injure people. Therefore our guide had to order a taxi to transport some of the luggage from hotel to hotel separately. Exodus, you need to address this, if it hadn’t been for the lady in our group being absolutely adamant that we should not travel with cases on the back shelf we probably would have accepted it and we shouldn’t.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Had a wonderful time

    My wife and I very much enjoyed this trip - our 6th or 7th Exodus cycling trip. Croatia was surprisingly beautiful, the food was good, the cycling was just right (not too hard, not too easy), and the group were all fun - and were all of broadly the same fitness levels as cyclists (no super-fit fanatics, no completely unfit laggards)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last day in Dubrovnik, with an excellent local guide, was a highlight for me

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Competent, friendly, good-natured. I would personally have liked a bit more information about history and culture of the places we were cycling through, rather than googling it myself.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend this trip without hesitation. The only heads up I would give is that a surprisingly large proportion of restaurants and other retail establishments in Croatia do not take credit cards. If you are concerned or cautious about the risk of COVID (as we were) you should know that pretty much all meals and other interactions were outdoors, and that people in Croatia seem to have reached the conclusion that COVID is no longer a factor at this time - much as people in the UK and the US apparently have too (writing as of May 2022) - no masks, no precautions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only criticism would be of the hotels - the first was very good, the second almost made Fawlty Towers look good (unable to provide sheets for a double bed, and not particularly ashamed of it either!), and the third was OK but certainly could have been better (eg. no lifts in a multi-story building). However none of this affected our enjoyment of the overall trip. Exodus says that their trips are COVID-safe, but nobody (including the tour leader) were aware of any particular precautions or requirements that participants (including the tour leader himself) were vaccinated, so this was basically a fiction.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Superb hiking holiday

    A wonderful hiking holiday of five stunning walks on the Amalfi coast, including the legendary Path of the Gods and a trip around the Vesuvius crater rim. Brilliantly organised to include a mix of hiking terrains, scenery and the Italian coastal towns that were such a joy to visit (plus Pompeii), every day was a scintillating new experience. The family-run hotel was great, the dinners were good, as were the members of the 14-strong group - the like-minded and friendly nature of my fellow group members is something that makes Exodus holidays so enjoyable. Bringing all this together was our brilliant tour guide Teresa, who got us all up and down the hills with considerable aplomb. Highly recommended for anyone who likes hiking, scenery, good company, and a well-organised week's adventure holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Path of the Gods - breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was superb - well organised, very helpful, good humoured, and fluent in Italian.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be fitter than you think for this!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To make the trip even better, I would advise the inclusion of some sort of organised day trip to Naples on the free day. Arranging this ourselves (due to a lack of numbers of those interested at the time) proved too difficult. Maybe try to lay something on.
  • Fabulous Trip

    Really enjoyed this trip to Puglia, staying in some really unusual accommodation. From the caves of Matera, through my personal little trullo house in Alberobello to the 13th century former palace in Ostuni and even the modern hotel in Lecce, it was all great. This part of Italy is so varied and stunning in both countryside and architecture, it makes for a very varied and enjoyable holiday. There is an excellent mix of culture, food and wine tasting, beach, walking and free time so that the week didn't feel at all rushed yet we packed in loads. I must commend our guide Nino who went to enormous lengths with a quite demanding group to ensure we all had a great time. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable and made both Matera and Lecce come alive with their vast understanding of the history of each town and the visit to the olive farm and the winery were both very enjoyable and informative. I opted to visit the Castellana Grotto which is a must-see, biggest cave system I have been in - very impressive indeed. All in all an excellent trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Claudio Riso's workshop in Lecce, what he can achieve with paper mache is just incredible! The incredible mosaic floor in the Otranto cathedral - still can't get over the fact that the public can walk on it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonino (Nino) was an excellent group leader. He had just the right approach to the group, providing information but not excessively so, a great sense of humour and a real desire to resolve any issue, no matter how small, to ensure that everyone had an enjoyable holiday. Nino went out of his way at times to arrange suitable dining experiences to suit all tastes and budgets and was extremely accommodating with everyone's requirements for free time and when the heat, steps and distances were too much for some group members to participate in the planned walks. Nino also went out of his way to sort out the chaos at Bari airport on the return journey when our flight was cancelled at short notice, managing to get flights the next day for a lady who was going to run out of medication. It would have been helpful if BA had actually notified someone in Exodus of the cancellation so that he was better informed. As it was I was the only person who received a prior notification, because my booking wasn't included in the group booking for some reason.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just be aware that the nature of the landscape particularly in Matera and Ostuni is such that walking involves a great number of steps, so this is not a suitable holiday for anyone with mobility issues. The walking is very gentle but proved challenging because of the extreme heat which I hadn't anticipated in May (it was 30+C each day), so worth going earlier or later in the year, if like me, you are not good walking in the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would highly recommend this trip to anyone who like me, enjoys a holiday packed with variety, interesting scenery and history, alongside some walking and excellent food. The company was great too, but of course I can't vouch for any other trips!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A Great Trip!

    This was a very good holiday. Everything worked out well. The location, hotel and walks were all excellent and we were supported by very good guide(s) and hotel staff. The USP for this holiday was the mountain train that takes you up and down the line for each walk. It's a marvel in its own right, being hewed into the mountains with the track climbing up and down the length of Corsica. It meant that we could hop on the train, get off for our walk, through woodland or up higher, get back to a station later on, grab a beer at a cafe and rest up, waiting for the return train. Marvellous! The hotel was rather appealing. It was a traditional place, run by a Corsican family. It was clean, the food was good and the staff couldn't do enough for us. It was easy to relax there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational isn't a word I would use for a holiday but the scenery was spectacular and the hospitality of the Corsicans we met was great. And we didn't hear English spoken all week, apart from within our group, which made you feel you were a world away from the UK. As a walking group we all got on very well and all in all the trip was a holiday to remember. And the walks themselves were excellent, often with rock pools to paddle or even swim in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenny was leading this week for Exodus on Corsica for the first time, but she had done her homework and she didn't put a foot wrong on any of the walks. She knew where all the bars were too! She was always there for us if we needed anything and we all got on well with her. The atmosphere was easy and her abilities and attentiveness added to the success of our holiday. We had a second guide, Alex, who was learning the walks for later in the summer and he too was knowledgable and always happy to help. Together they made a great team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Look at the trip notes about the walking. It's quite demanding under foot and boots are essential I'd say. It can get hot so bear that in mind.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our third walking holiday with Exodus and they have all been fantastic.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Do this trip before it becomes too popular

    This was a much more interesting holiday than I thought it was going to be. The main reason I joined this trip was, of course, to see Petra - and that didn't even turn out to be my favourite part! (Wadi Rum was). There was a good mix of everything from exploring historical landmarks to enjoying some more resort-y like rest and activities. I probably can't offer anything new to what has been posted here already but I will say that for most of you this will be your only time in Jordan, so explore every opportunity - sign up for the extras. Little Petra - worth it. Camel ride - worth it. Bethany beyond the Jordan (where Jesus was baptised) - worth it. Do all of it - Jordan is a really interesting country with some great history. It will definitely make you want to get your bible out again as you visit numerous places you've only read about in the Old Testament. I would say that, despite our group getting on really well, a group size of 20 is probably too much. It does become difficult to please everyone and can become a bit frustrating. I have to take my hat off to our guide Nuwar who, over the week, managed the group exceptionally well and remained calm throughout. Top tip - best time for a photo of the Treasury at Petra is towards the end of the day. There's hundreds of people there in the morning and virtually no-one at around 4 or 5 o'clock. Also, use your second day to walk the Al Khubta trail to the viewpoint above the Treasury.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure about inspired, but the most rewarding part was the climb up to the Monastery at Petra. It's a tough, sweaty walk and you have to be careful on your feet but it's absolutely worth it. It was sad to see donkeys trudging miserably up and down those steps all day, especially when carrying people who looked twice the size of the animal. I would please discourage anyone from hiring a donkey to take you up and down to the Monastery. For me, it just looked too cruel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant group leader. Nuwar left us in no doubt that she knew an awful lot about the history of everywhere we visited and enthusiastically tried to share all of it with us. Might have been a bit much for some of us to take in but still, the enthusiasm was greatly appreciated. I always think that people overlook just how difficult a job it is to be a guide. We forget that not only do they soak up a huge amount of knowledge but they also do it in another language. Sometimes more than one. It is a tremendous skill which I think is often undervalued. Additionally, and like the best group leaders I've experienced before, Nuwar was on hand to offer advice on places to eat in the evenings and was also prepared to join in socially. At that point the leader becomes more than a guide and instead becomes a friend and it is that quality that makes the difference between a good trip and a great trip. Thank you Nuwar. I hope you bring happiness to many future groups.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I wish I'd have gone a day earlier to have a more in depth look around Ammam before the trip started and to avoid the extremely late arrival on day one. As it happened, I couldn't on this occasion but I would recommend others to do so if they can. Take waterproof shoes or slip-ons for when you go to Aqaba and the Dead Sea. The sand is very hot and the pebbles aren't designed for people with delicate feet. The trip will involve some quick stops for lunch. Try the local food. Our leader was all too happy to pull over at recommended stops for shawarma or falaffel. There are limited places (two, officially) to buy alcohol in Petra. One is at the Cave Bar down by the visitors centre. They promote themselves as the oldest bar in the world (although that's debatable). Just in case it is, drop in for a pint so you can say you drank at the oldest bar in the world but beware, beer is about £10 a pint. For budding photographers - take a tripod into the desert with you. I tried to do a hyperlapse of the sunset and had to balance my camera in my shoe. As expected, not the best result.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For anyone eating at a restaurant which has camel on the menu and who fancies giving it a go, I can tell you it tastes like beef.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Tip top tour leader

    We were lucky enough to have Andrius as our guide. He ticked all the boxes you'd want from a tour leader, and then some. Aside from a cracking sense of humour (that initself says he probably should have picked a career as a stand up comedian), most impressive was his ability to adapt and innovate as went along, meaning we got the very best out of our tour. Exemplary stuff, chapeau.
  • Fantastic walking

    Feeling a bit trepidatious, as it was our first trip abroad since covid, we needn't have worried. This was a fabulous week walking in the most beautiful Ligurian countryside. Michela put us at ease straight away, along with the rest of a very, friendly group. Moneglia was an excellent base, away from the very busy villages along the Cinque Terre, but offering an excellent train service to the start of our walks. It was great to come back and swim at the end of the day. It also had a choice of fabulous restaurants and focaccerias.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of the walks were so beautiful and different. My favourite walks were between the Cinque Terre villages, particularly looking down at Vernazza from the "Blue Path" and the stunning walk between Cornelia and Manarola, walking through the terraced vineyards and beautiful wild flowers. Each village had its own character, but my favourite was Corniglia, smaller and quieter than the others. The wine tasting was also an amazing experience. Luca was so passionate and knowledgeable and the restaurant was small and atmospheric. We went back the following night for an amazing meal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We have travelled many times with Exodus and have to say Michela was an absolutely, brilliant guide. She was so well organised and everything ran so efficiently. We appreciated the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to achieve this. Her expert knowledge and love of the area was obvious. She was gentle and caring, constantly checking that all members of the group were okay. She gave us various options of boat or train at points in the walk, if we felt the walking was too much at any point. This was greatly appreciated by some members of the group. At the end of our week with her, she felt like a good friend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully, as they tell you exactly what the walks are like, then you will enjoy your trip and be rewarded by spectacular walks and scenery. Good footwear and poles help navigate the steep ascents and descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a fabulous holiday in a beautiful part of Italy, so great to be travelling abroad again. Also loved the gelato and sorbets, particularly pistachio!