Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    GRAND TOUR OF ICELAND

    A well organized, ably led tour of Iceland, in excellent weather. The tour leader went beyond the basic requirememts of a group leader, the accompanying driver very easily blended in with the group and helped greatly with the running of the tour. The highlights were plentiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visits to Jokalsarlon (glacial lagoon and close encounters with the bird life); and Hofn (with fantastic views under the "night-time" daylight!!, as well as early morning daylight);  followed by the whale-watching in Husavik, and the visit to Snaesfellness Peninsula were all inspiring. A varied set of experiences from many square Km of lava, to ice-fields, glacier walking, extensive bird life, whale-watching,all in outstanding scenic surroundings. The excellent weather was a bonus, with the "extra" bonus of seeing the sun dip below the horizon only to return a few minutes later without us going into darkness.I asked Exodus to organize, for me, a visit to the Westmann Islands for our "free day in Reykjavik". This visit (The Pompeii of the North) exceeded all expectations--a full day of exhilarating trips; excellent organization to get to the ferry; a "sea" tour of Heimaey Island with the boat going into 2 caves, and a musical performance in one of them, followed by lunch, then a "land" tour of the Island, including a walk into the Eldfell Crater which erupted in 1973 destroying a large portion of the Town, and nearly closing the Harbour which is so vital to the survival of the community. I recommend that Exodus list this as a possible option for the "free day in Reykjavik" in their brochures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour leader (David) was born (and brought up) in Britain. He married an Iceland girl and they are raising  their young family in Iceland. His enthusiasm for the Country and its' way of life was clearly evident.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my 2nd (Exodus) visit to Iceland, and it won't be my last.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    MONT BLANC HIGHLIGHTS

    An excellent holiday and nice to know that at the end of each day, one returned to a chalet with all creature comforts and good food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was my first mountain holiday in four years.  I was pleased to find I could still get up into the mountains with my two new hips. A real sense of achievment to be back amongst the peaks and panoramic views.  (Sorry folks if I held you up a bit on the upgrades).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oliver was an excellent leader, keen to share his extensive knowledge of flora and fauna and of the geography of the region. He  lead the group in a very civilized fashion, and kept us all together. The organisation involved was first class and everything ran very smoothly. He gave good ideas for the day off, and provided us with much humour and entertainment throughout.  And one must not forget Dillon the amiable foxhound who walked three plus times as far as anyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget walking sticks.  Take a water supply with a feed tube. If you stop to drink - as I do - you get behind all those keen types who drink on the hoof - at least on the upgrades.  Mind you, I like to stop , so don't really approve.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Elaine and Oliver work very hard to make a successful holiday. Elaine cooks the food with flair - varied, good quality, giving a mixed diet, and plenty of it.  The chalet is homely and in good order - very comfortable but not the Savoy Hotel.  A very good atmosphere.  Oliver becomes sommelier and maitre d'hote and Elaine appears to do everything else including a bit of taxi driving to pick us up. My wife andI thank both of you.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    MT TOUBKAL CLIMB

    Spectacular scenery, and a really well though-out route, allowing good acclimatisation and scope to do justice to the High Atlas far away from the busier routes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many! Both 4000m+ summits must count highly. Toubkal was stunning, but the isolation (and adrenalin fun of the rock-climbing scramble to the top!) of Mt Ouanakrim was something else. Watching the sunset down the valleys as we camped at night was consistently pretty special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was a hoot - superbly laid back whilst being extremely competent and efficient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sounds obvious, but do make sure you're happy with your boots before you go! The terrain is punishing on the feet, as you're consistently walking on scree and rubble. Most of us ended up with blisters somewhere...(and pack a little hip-flask for the tent at night!)
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    WALKING THE GREAT WALL

    This fantastic 10 day hiking tour was simply a superb way of experiencing one of the worlds most glorious wonders. It offered us the unique opportunity of hiking the wall in remote areas away from crowded tourist spots and enabled us to enjoy stunning panoramic vistas and revel in everyday life in the villages we encountered. We also had the added bonus of hiking the preserved busier sections "out of tourist hours" i.e. early morning or evening, which as a result meant that we virtually had the wall to ourselves. This tour was excellently balanced with included excursions such as visits to The Qing Tombs, museums and temples of local villages and the wonderful sights of Beijing. A must for any walking/hiking enthusiast :-D

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the most inspirational moment for me on this trip was when half our group summed up the energy to hike back up onto a preserved section of the wall to witness a stunning sunset. Being, literally the only people on this section it truely was my highlight of the tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot speak highly enough of our fantastic group leader 'Kevin'. His manner, humour, passion, enthusiasm, knowledge and professionalism can only be described as being second to none. Kevin epitomised everything that you could possible desire from a top clas group leader. He possessed a wealth of information and we thoroughly enjoyed his "Blah, Blah" :-D

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You gotta do this trip :-D
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    MONTENEGRO, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

    An excellent, varied tour - which was unexpectedly surprising in its beauty. A very friendly, fun bunch of travellers. Balanced - a good mix of city, mountains, walking, history and scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The time spent in Mostar was superb. There is a lovely coffee/bar called The Terrace which is definitely worth visiting for the view.Our picnic on the mountain was one of my favorite moments...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lorenc was 5* and superb on so many fronts. His knowledge of the countries - history, flora, fauna, geography, his ability to take away all our hassles and make the holiday so easy to be on, responsiveness to feedback (hotels, aircon) and ability to quickly change things, sense of fun, wit and humour - which he had to have as we enjoyed teasing him a lot. Overall, a wonderful, generous warm human being with a very kind heart - and one of the best guides I have encountered through my numerous travels. I felt fresh and revitalised on return - and more content than I expected - thank you.Sejo - our driver was also excellent - and very fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it - book the tour! Be prepared for a few long drives - bring your music/book/games.Buy all your jewellery in Sarajevo and Mostar - its more expensive in Dubrovnik.There is very little time in Dubrovnik - so if you want to see it, suggest an extra night or two.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    MONT BLANC HIGHLIGHTS

    the best walking trip i have been on....great hosts in oliver and elaine...spectacular scenery and views...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    i took the cable car up the aguille du midi on my day off and the views of the distant mountains and the surrounding peaks were pretty spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    oliver was a great guy,very experienced leader and good fun....he was very happy to help and answer any questions about anything at all....he put no pressure on anybody and maintained a pace which all group members were happy with .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    take warm and wet weather clothing at all times when walking as the weather can change at the drop of a hat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    i have been with exodus before and several walking trips in the alps....i enjoyed this trip the best,as the views were constant and spectacular......the walking was not too hard on the feet and oliver and elaine were a great friendly couple who made everyone very welcome.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    GET INVOLVED: ZAMBIA VOLUNTEER

    An unforgettable and inspiring experience I would hesitate to call once in a lifetime as I'd love to go back and do it all again!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were indeed a few inspirational moments, including the excitement of the children when they were picked to answer "TEACHER!"'s question and holding one of the little ones up to write it on the board; the laughter as someone forgot the rules of our card game and was smugly reminded of it by those who'd only learned the day before; the shrill glee, accompanied by a song and a dance, of a member of the women's group when handed some new sewing material. But rather than inspirational moments, I had a constant sense of happiness and belonging thanks to the warmth and hospitality of all who surrounded us and the emotion reached a peak as the village children sang us a dedicated farewell song.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andy was fantastic. Energetic and fun. He never stopped and kept us on our toes without turning over bossy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In the space of a few short days, which just flew by, you'll make friends for life. Calling this a rewarding experience is an understatement. I was left happily, deeply touched. If you're still considering, just go for it - you'll be so pleased you did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We all got so immersed in life in the village, we were almost suffering culture shock at our luxury lodge afterwards - someone wanting to get into our room to make the bed? How strange when you can just do it yourself!! I almost hadn't mentioned that part of the trip which was also most enjoyable. And the sudden abundance of peanut butter and marmite - which I don't get living in Germany. That was just fab too!
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    YELLOWSTONE WILDLIFE TREK

    This was an amazing trip in which we were lucky enough to see an abundance of wildlife in addition to spectacular scenery. The tour guides we brilliant also.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment was coming almost face to face with a grizzly bear whilst hiking in the forest in Glacier National Park. It was both exciting to see such a wonderful animal in its own environment as well as being an adrenaline pumping moment to get out of its way. The specialist guide was brilliant and we had great comfort in her abilities - we were definitely glad that we were with her and not on our own in that situation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both the group leader and the driver of our group were wonderful. They worked tirelessly throughout the duration of the 2 weeks and did everything to make a trip a brilliant and memorable experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have warm and waterproof clothes for camping at night and the rain in Glacier National Park (they get quite a lot of it which is why it is so green!). Take spare batteries for camera/video-camera. Take a spare set of walking shoes in case your walking boots get wet and don't dry out in time for your next hike.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were 3 very long days driving in the minibus, particularly the last 2 days of the tour. This felt rather like a waste during our holiday and perhaps it could be investigated whether it would be feasible to end the trip in Glacier and fly out of a nearby airport rather than having to drive all the way to Salt Lake City. It should be made clearer in the trip notes that the guides do not have the permit to drive the Going to the Sun road. We had to spend another $70 on a tour bus to take us.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    LYCIAN ACTIVITY WEEK

    This was a great holiday. It combined lots of activites with a brilliant location with a great instructor. Our group was brilliant and i could not reccomend Kas or this trip highly enough. I created a highlight video on the video page which shows how much fun it is. You will get a few bruises but that is all part of the fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When I jumped into the water on my diving day and saw a turtle right in front of me. That was seriously cool. Also the paragliding was terrific and felt so natural.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Geoff or rather jif (by the end of the trip due to the kiwi accent) was a great leader. Always interested in having a conversation but also took his time to speak to others in the other exodus groups. Really dedicated guy and great fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a fairly long transfer from the airport to Kas. However do not see this as something that will put you off as it is so worth the wait as it is such a genuine place. This place is where the Turkish go on holiday so there is a really nice atmosphere nobody was pushy and trying to constantly sell you stuff. There were familys around and enough bars for evening activities. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having gone by myself with nobody else I found it great bonding with the group very quickly and making friends i will keep in contact with. All i can say is book it and have a blast
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    MONT BLANC HIGHLIGHTS

    I had never been to walk in the Alps before and had never been on a walking holiday of this sort, so decided to go with Exodus. The whole experience was excellent, from the chalet where we were based, to the area as a whole and the walking in particular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moments seemed to go on and on. The views on all the walks, with the exception of one when the weather closed down, were superb. Mont Blanc was almost always on view, but closer in the flowers on the meadows and the occasional wildlife, such as marmots, were a treat, especially in June.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oliver, our group leader, was highly experienced and this was obvious from the moment he led us up the first ascent. He was assessing the capability of all 15 of us so that he could set the right pace and balance the walking with rest stops. As we got fitter during the week, the pace increased slightly and the walks became slightly tougher, but this was very much in accordance with the trip notes. Oliver has a great sense of humour and a wealth of jokes which I much enjoyed. They made the whole experience great fun. He was also very careful, where necessary, to explain the safest way to walk across ice and snow and to show how to minimise the risk of a fall. This was kept in proportion and it did not become a health and safety show. He also insisted that we keep ourselves well hydrated, which was necessary as we experienced some of the hottest weather of the year. Oliver has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the plants and flowers that we encountered which were in profusion at the end of June. Oliver has a small fox terrier, by the name of Dylan, who accompanied us on 3 walks. He is a great character whose company we all enjoyed and who became quite a mascot of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy this tour. It is a great introduction to the Mont Blanc area and Oliver will show you all the best bits of the Tour de Mont Blanc. You need to be of average fitness, but the walks were never of any great distance (perhaps 9 miles), but some longish ascents are included. If you like walking in amazing scenery, you will find this tour excellent value for money.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Oliver's wife, Elaine, runs the chalet. It was a delight to find that everything we needed was on tap from the moment we had arrived to the day we left. She is an excellent cook and we all made the most of the meals. On the Wednesday we went out as a group to an expensive restaurant but I would have preferred to have had a meal back at the chalet! The packed lunches were just right - never too little and always delicious. The chalet facilities were also always available. The hot tub in the garden, with great views of the Mont Blanc range, was very well used and soothed tired limbs. The sauna was also well frequented. For those who wished to stay in touch with the outside world, the Wifi was always on and a computer was available for those who wished to use it, as was a TV, coffee and tea. Elaine made the place run like clockwork and was a delight to chat to.
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