Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18266 Reviews

  • A Greek Delight

    A most wonderful trip - spectacular awe inspiring scenery in magnificent locations along with expert guiding with the lovely Aris supported by Stephania and a fabulous driver who all took excellent care of us. The accommodation, restaurants visited, a lovely group and all aspects of the trip were at the very least good, at best excellent. I can't recommend this trip highly enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Numerous - being away from the rat race in the most beautiful places, every single day was a delight after a few years of a pandemic never really knowing when it would be possible to enjoy such privileges of being so close to nature, so peaceful and remote. I honestly have to say I'd include the food, the breakfasts almost everywhere and the general quality of almost everywhere we ate. It puts the UK to shame.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top class Aris - an excellent guide with vast knowledge of the area, the weather situation that meant a change of plan to the week - highly capable and thoroughly nice bloke who took excellent care of all of us. We had a great support leader in Stephania who was a joyful asset to our trip and our wonderful driver Ilias - best exodus support team ever.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make provisions for changeable weather. Prepare to be delighted.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish I were going again.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Walking the Amalfi Coast

    An enjoyable trip - thanks I want, above all, to write about travelling to Italy and back by train. I was so pleased that you have added train travel to trips and I really enjoyed getting there and back this way. When I mentioned it to people in my group, most were unaware that it was an option and said they would have done it too had they known it was a possibility. I think it needs to be flagged up much more prominently and perhaps featured more prominently in your promotional material. I booked a couple of extra days here and there and had such a good time exploring cities and extending the holiday. A couple of notes: I booked in January? and was given details of hotels at that time. I was also asked to pay an additional £30 to cover hotel costs. I was contacted again much later about the travel arrangements and given details of a second set of hotels. When the train tickets were finally secured, only a couple of weeks before I went, I was given the details of a third set of hotels. Not great as I wasted time printing out details and looking the hotels up. I don't understand either why the train tickets were not bought sooner. I understood that they would be un-refundable and had taken out insurance to cover myself. Surely, it would have been cheaper for Exodus to buy them as soon as possible? I was also booked on a slow stopping train between Naples and Florence, meaning I lost out on time there. All the hotels were fine, although I was asked to pay for the Turin hotel. I have been in touch about this already and this is in hand. One point though: the Park Palace Hotel in Florence was lovely and in a beautiful part of the city, but I spent £50 on taxis getting from and to the stations which I thought was rather too much.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Sunshine, rain and an earthquake in the Azores

    The weather wasn't very kind to us but we did get out walking on all the days. Bruno our guide was very good. His knowledge of the islands was excellent and he made every effort to tailor the walks to the group. He also adapted the program when we were unable to visit Sao Jorge because of the earthquake. Loved the botanical gardens and Lagoa do Fogo (although it was difficult to sit by the lake for very long because of the biting wind). I found the islands we visited very interesting. I didn't go whale watching in Horta, instead went to the whaling museum (Porto Pim Whaling) and did the circular walk on the hill (Monte da Guia) behind it. Both were excellent alternatives. The food was very good and the hotels and various restaurants. The accommodation in Ponta Delgada was very good and an excellent location.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruno was excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take all your wet gear if you go in May, and some warm clothing. The Azores are very 'green' for a reason!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation in Horta was a little 'tired', and WiFi reception poor in some rooms. A decent length coastal walk would be nice. Most of our walks were through trees or quite tall shrubs, so not many views.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Intense, fun, camaraderie, breathtaking

    First trip to mountains post Covid. Marrakech was sweltering, mountains were sunny and windy, summit was chilly and bright. Really fun and interesting and supportive group with a wide age range and great guides. We had a shared endeavour and though it involved two very long days of walking, and not a lot of sleep, it was a great feeling of satisfaction to have made it to the top and back again, all of us. I chose the "long weekend" due to shortage of leave from work. For me, it was a bit too short and I would have liked to spend longer there to take in the spectacle and watch the High Atlas mountain light.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A couple of moments: firstly the feeling of elation when we got to the summit and had that incredible 360 degrees view. The sun was shining and we could see all the way we had come. Second, was sitting with sore legs early the following morning on the terrace of the guesthouse looking up towards the summit in the far distance way above the treeline, and thinking, "well, this time yesterday morning, I was right up there!" and knowing I had done it and could now relax and enjoy the sun coming up and warming the valley.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Youssef, our main guide, was brilliant. Very patient with lots of positive psychology. Excellent English. Fab sense of humour. Also very knowledgeable about the birds. Felt very safe with him leading the group. Lahsen was our second guide and also excellent. He worked seamlessly with Youssef to make sure we all went up and down safely and in good spirits. Both Youssef and Lahsen knew the mountain extremely well and were very adaptable to our needs, as well as kind and fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It depends when you do the trip, but in May, it was definitely worth having warm gloves and a hat for the early morning climb to the summit and layers to remove down to lighter clothes for the descent into the valley. The temperature range was staggering. Marrakech was 40+ and the top of Toubkal was freezing. I'd also really recommend poles if you have them as there is a lot of 'down' on summit day. Drink lots of water. It was quite windy for us, so secure your hat or scarf. And take spare batteries for your head torch. Oh and enjoy the orange juice.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's quite physically challenging, particularly considering the number of hours walking up and down. Make sure you train beforehand and wear comfy boots. If you can't train as much as you'd like, don't plan anything too strenuous for the following week. ;-)
  • Excellent trip

    Excellent holiday. Michela was a very good guide, the best I’ve had from Exodus. I learned a lot of Italian! The walks are a suitable length and great scenery. On my free day I walked to Sestri Levante from the hotel in Moneglia, this 10 mile walk was much more remote than the group ones with amazing views. I would recommend the holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All walks were great

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela Wicks was a fantastic leader. Organised, friendly, helpful and fun to be with. The whole trip was seamless.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t get the pork in the included dinner at the hotel, it was really bad! Walking to Sestri Levante on the day off was a really good walk in terms of views and paths.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Beyond the beach

    This is proof that The Costa Blanca has far more to offer than beer, chips and turning pink on the beach! About an hour or so drive Inland from Alicante, the Sierra de Aitana rises to heights greater than Ben Nevis. The treks are based around the Hostal Rincon De Pepe, and from there a minibus links up with the start and finish of each hike. The trek is graded as moderate to challenging, but be aware that the climbs and descents are often very steep and over loose scree. it can also be extremely hot and dry throughout the day. Each trek has been developed to give a different aspect of the Aitana massif so no two days will be the same. Breakfasts and packed lunches are provided......And the evening meals are all home cooked Spanish specialities!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spotting a family of Wild Boar racing uphill on the opposite side of the valley.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose has extensive knowledge of the Aitana region and has been responsible for developing treks in the area. He works with the mapmaking authorities and is involved with the initiation and upkeep of trekking routes. He is passionate about his role as a guide and he exudes enthusiasm for the flora and fauna of the mountains.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    An eye-opening experience for anyone who enjoys the mountains.....But remember to bring your drinking water bottle!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A Very Good Trip

    The itinerary is well thought out and the pace was good. The beauty of Petra and peacefulness of Wadi Rum have to be experienced. No words can really describe them. Our group also got along very well. It was a pleasure to travel with them. The side trips to Bethany, Little Petra, ...etc. were all interesting. Maybe they should be part of the main itinerary. Water was available on the bus but we were not always with the bus, e.g. when we were in Petra for 3 days. So we ended up buying a lot of bottled water. Hotel in Amman was barely a 3 star hotel if one is kind. Since we spent 3 nights in Petra, it would be nice if the level of accommodation is slightly improved. It was not a problem for me but one has to set the right level of expectation. Two activities that I would have liked to do but was unable to do so were: 1) night visit at Petra: there was no notice about it. When someone asked as we were approaching Petra, the guide mentioned if we were to go, we had to go that night because it was not offered every night. I couldn't go with such short notice. 2) hot air ballon over the desert: I really wanted to do this and kept asking every day about booking it. The guide kept saying he couldn't book until the day before. When he finally called, it was booked out 2 weeks from that day. I hope Exodus would offer this WAY AHEAD of the trip so the guests could book before the trip even began.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    See Petra between the gorges was amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Ayyad was personable, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above on night visit to Petra and hot air ballooning. Middle Easterners like to bargain so you can try bargaining for everything. In fact, you are expected to bargain! The plugs in the Bedouin camp are ONLY British 3 prong plugs, no European plugs. So bring converters if you are not from UK. Remember to bring your own towels for that night! I went diving at Aqaba instead of snorkeling. You can arrange it by yourself ahead of time and the diver shop personnel will meet you at the gate to the beach. Sadly, the coral life is much damaged by global warming but seeing the undersea cables to Egypt was cool. If you tip for any good service, give cash. A lot of the owners take the tips from the servers if they are on the credit card. Do go outside the hotel for meals. They are cheaper and tastier than the hotel food. Petra Museum is worth a visit. Dead Sea Museum is not worth it for the display but the view is amazing. Just remember Uber will take you up there but there is no Uber coming down. So negotiate the round trip before you go up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you to everyone who made this trip fun and enjoyable.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A Wonderful Walking Holiday

    This was a wonderful walking holiday, staying the week in a homely villa set on the hillside above Algamitas, used just by our group. The owners were friendly, and the chef served delightful meals every evening on the terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside. The area is varied, so the walks are different and generally easy going terrains, and provide great views and interest. Three of them started from the villa and three needed minibus trips. It was lovely to have the pool at the end of the day. The day trip to Seville was an interesting change where we were able to have a restaurant meal, experience flamenco, see the Alcazar and other sights, and sup the occasional beer. Our group was friendly and sociable and Michael, our guide provided the perfect amount of guidance, with superb local knowledge, a real polymath. Nothing seemed too much for Michael to ensure we felt safe, at home and well-provided for. I have done a number of Exodus walking holidays and would thoroughly recommend this one. I extended my trip to visit Granada, which was well worth it (but pre-book the Alhambra).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Caminito del Rey walk, the national park, tapas at midday on the first day walk, the Alcazar and flamenco in Seville, dips in the pool, evening drinks and dinner on the sun-drenched terrace, learning from the guide and other holiday makers, and many other moments...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb - extremely knowledgeable about so many topics, including the history, geography, fauna and flora, geology, culture and arts. He provided a well-chosen list of recommendations of options for visits, activities, restaurants, view points and so on. He was friendly, supportive and professional, and not too intrusive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider adding to your trip to visit another city or area. In the really hot weather, closed toe walking sandals might have been more comfortable than hiking boots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A highly recommended trip.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A Fabulous Week

    This was a very well organised trip and many thanks to our Group Leader Bojan Dermol. The scenery was stunning start to finish and the standard of food in the restaurants was excellent. The three hotels used throughout the trip were also excellent. All the bikes were of a good mechanical standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to pick our one specific moment, basically there was so many inspirational moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bojan was an excellent group leader, his local knowledge was good and he was very approachable and always had time for you to discuss any points.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Croatia isn't the cheapest area of the Med so just be prepared to pay a little extra in restaurants than you may be used to in other areas. Apparently Croatia is converting to the Euro in 2023 so easier to budget but we found credit cards were readily accepted in most establishments.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have been on several Exodus Cycling Trips and in the main they have been get on your bike at the hotel and cycle to the next hotel. On this trip there was much more getting on the mini bus to be taken to the rides or collected from rides. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it was just different from previous trips. That said the mini bus was very good and fully air conditioned and the trailer for the bikes was a fine piece of kit. The leader and the driver did all the lifting of the bikes and even charged the batteries on the e-bikes. Great service.
  • Fantastic vacation!!

    We had a great time hiking the Ligurian hills and the Cinque Terre towns. Michela was a great guide, she immediately became an integral part of our group with her gentle, yet thoughtful leadership. We had wonderful views, beautifully-maintained trails and a lot of laughs. Some of us raced ahead to explore all that nature had to offer while others meandered slowly taking pictures of everything. The trail options made our trip accessible to everyone in our group with all our varied walking and hiking abilities. We enjoyed exploring new towns everyday and trying our language skills with everyone we met.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When the view of Portofino opened up before us on the hike from Santa Margherita.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was a great leader. She had a gentle, yet commanding way of keeping us together and taking care of our issues on the trail. She was a great friend and mentor, explaining about the area, the people, the customs and the way of life.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring hiking boots, poles, a rain jacket, water bottles and make sure you are in good hiking shape before you leave.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are planning to use Exodus for our next trip to the Amalfi Coast.