Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18154 Reviews

  • Reviewed May 2022

    MsTripsy

    This was my first package tour and I'll admit the Baltics weren't my first choice - but I'm glad we took the leap! For anyone interested in history, this is a rich tour with lots of highlights. From a stop at a nuclear missile launch site, to an excellent seaside cafe that smokes fish on the premesis - every day was packed with interesting and surprising things that you'd never get to see otherwise. There's a fair bit of coach travel, unavoidable when you are doing three countries. And it's cold even in mid-May! Despite this, our spirits were kept high by our guide Andrius, who was utterly charming and patient throughout - ensuring we all got the most out of every moment, and entertaining us with many personal stories of Soviet times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed Tallin. And later, exploring a medieval castle with an actual torch!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! He made the trip for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack more warmly than I did and bring a raincoat.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Excellent Trip

    This is a well planned trip through the Baltics which explored Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Wonderful countries with lovely cities, fairy tale castles, grand houses and beautiful coastlines and forests. The itinerary was excellent and when you throw in a great group of fellow travellers and a truly outstanding tour leader you have everything you need to enjoy the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's difficult to pick out particular moments, it was all very good and very enjoyable. I loved our day exploring the Curonian Spit with its forests and sand dunes.. there's a lot to see and do there... but equally the fairytale castles and beautiful cities were wonderful. History is everywhere. From the distant past to the relatively recent traumas of soviet occupation. A very memorable day is the visit to the Cold War museum. It is very sobering to look down into the silo and realise that once contained a nuclear missile pointed at us in the UK.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius was a fantastic tour leader. He was always there for us and very willing to share his extensive knowledge of the region. Realising that as a group we enjoyed eating together he went out of his way to source and book some excellent restaurants which introduced us to some great local cuisine. At times he must have felt like he was herding cats, everyone eager to be out and about again after two years of lock downs and travel bans, but he was unfailingly patient and somehow managed to accommodate all our diverse interests.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd certainly say good shoes are an absolute must. Some of the walking tours in the cities are quite long so you want to be comfortable. Its also worth remembering that the Baltics lie in northern Europe so the weather can be changeable... hot one minute, cold the next with some showers thrown in so I'd recommend warm layers and a decent waterproof.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd recommend this trip to anyone wishing to explore the Baltics. There's a lot to see and do and this was a well thought out itinerary which encompassed both the history and the natural beauty of these countries.
  • Amazing experience not great for vegetarians

    What an amazing place! Every excursion was amazing. The iconic views and the history. The guide was lovely and very helpful. The accommodation looked very nice and service was great but the hotels need some work done (in the hotel in Aswan i was locked in my bathroom for over 30 minutes before they were able to get me out). Food in all accommodation was limited especially for vegetarians IF anything is provided at all. Even food that is described as vegetarian contained meat and the staff would lie to your face even when you are pointing at the chicken chunks floating in the soup they will insist its just vegetables. Every day was a struggle to get vegetarian food. It always seemed to contain chicken or ham. So i was having the same conversation every day. And it was just me. There were 4 vegetarians in the group and we all had to the same problem. Even on the flight home. Unlike other Exodus trips i have been on we were left to our own devices for the evening meals. I still don't feel that i experienced Egyptian food. The cruise was everything you'd imagine it to be. The scenery is amazing, the colours so vivid. The entertainment on the boat was a bit hit or miss but again the staff were falling over themselves to help you. Despite the issues with food at meal times i would highly recommend this trip. The guide was very knowledgeable and the scenery and history mind blowing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We arrived at night and so saw little of the landscape. But that first morning in Egypt when I opened the curtains in my room and saw the pyramids was just stunning. It really set the mood and tone for the whole trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was a lovely woman. She looked after us and was full of information about the history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be careful if you are vegetarian or have dietary requirements. I foolishly thought being in a Muslim country with their own dietary requirements meant they would understand my limitations. I was wrong. Everyday was a struggle to get vegetarian meals. A cheese toastie contained beef. The 'vegetable' soup was just a sieved version of the chicken soup. The vegetarian breakfast boxes provided when you have an early start contained ham sandwiches. Even on the plane on the way home i was given a fish dish despite my boarding pass stating id booked a lacto-vegetarian meal. There was 4 vegetarians in our group and we all had the same problem.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    May was very hot! If sensitive to the heat go earlier in the year. Lots of walking and early starts.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Great mix of walking, wine & sightseeing

    Three memorable centres - Alberobello (trulli town), Masseria Morrone amongst the olive trees with Pongo the excitable dog, and finally Matera, the town of cave dwellings and churches. Lovely walks, plenty of free time and even a swim in the Adriatic

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the guided tour of Matera was a haunting experience that changed my feelings about the town. The local guide gave a very moving account of how the dire poverty had driven people to live in the darkness, dampness and unhealthy conditions of the cave dwellings. An exhibition in the art gallery showed old photos and an impressive mural reflecting this history. It seemed so incongruous that the place is now such a sought-after tourist destination. It is lovely, dramatic and full of swooping kestrels and swifts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giuseppe was an excellent guide, very knowledgeable and fun. He was accompanied by Nico, who was learning the trip and we had the benefit of his expert knowledge of birds & plants. Giuseppe was great for making suggestions for our free time, engaged with group and managed our time expertly to ensure we never missed a bus or train (both of which were always running on time!)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget sun cream, some walks were quite exposed. Day trip to Lecce was a good choice for the free day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a fantastic trip and I was sorry to leave. A beautiful part of the world.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Brilliant Trip

    A fabulous trip through three countries. A good mix of city tours, castles, palaces and natural spaces. Our tour leader, Andreas was very knowledgeable with a good sense of humour. He ensured good restaurants serving local cuisine were selected for those that wanted the group meal each night. He phoned ahead to inform restaurants of any dietary requirements. A really great guy. Our local guides for the city tours and places of interest were all real characters - very knowledgeable and approachable. All in all a fabulous trip, well planned and well lead!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The national parks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A brilliant tour leader. Knowledgeable, approachable with a great sense of humour. Nothing was too much and he clearly cared about the well-being of our group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take gloves and good footwear for city walking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fabulous adventure - could do it all again!
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Prosecco Hills

    Not too heavy, not too light. Like the wines.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Final walk provided excellent views of the hills, but every day gave something different. The free day we went to Venice, with all help necessary for the journey from Vania and Sandra (driver)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Various obviously loves what she does and her enthusiasm shows.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was very hot for our trip in May toping 30 on one day. Be aware and have suitable clothing for the conditions. Be prepared for some steep uphill too.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Stepping up (and down)

    A very good walking area with magnificent views on good days. The week is full on with some extra events thrown in which we enjoyed. The hotel is comfortable and the food prepared by chef is very good. The guide was very knowledgeable about the area and looked after us well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Vesuvius, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Walk of the Gods

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good leader always keeping the group together, giving us regular breathers (which we needed) and looking out for the well being of the group members. Very knowledgeable about the area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a LOT of steps, they are not kidding when they say in the trip notes there are 1500 (we suspect there are more) and they vary in construction, walking poles for the preservation of knees essential. If you get the chance to walk the rim of Vesuvius take it, good grip shoes/boots and poles will easily get you up the short scramble to the rim itself. We thought about going to Herculaneum on our free day but we actually did that on the way to the airport which was far better. The trip to Capri which we actually opted for on that day was well worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Personally I would grade some of the walks 3 rather than 2 especially Amalfi and Monte Tre Calli.
  • A fabulous week!

    This trip was the ultimate de-stressor. Fantastic walks along deserted beaches and cliff top paths with breathtaking views of hidden bays and waves crashing against the rocks, expertly led by Luis and Alex who could not have done more to make this such a fabulous and fun holiday. The accommodation was well chosen and of a good standard and with the help of our guides, we ate in style every evening. We would highly recommend this trip and are pleased to have had yet another excellent Exodus experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beauty and remoteness of this coastline. The sense of wellbeing at the end of each after a great walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Luis and Alex were exceptional and knowledgable leaders, creating many memorable experiences while injecting lots of fun into our days. They went were out of their way to cater to all dietary requirements which was much appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Temperature was above seasonal average so prepare for the heat with hats, sunscreen and water.
  • First Ones Back

    I am ashamed to say that until we started looking for our next trip I had never heard of the Rodopi Mountains. They are a wonderful place, spectacular scenery with vistas of ridge after ridge, after ridge, a week isn't really long enough, maybe we will have to return. The walking was very enjoyable and the accommodation just what you want on a trip like this; clean and comfortable with a happy, relaxed atmosphere, a good shower, lovely staff and well cooked, tasty, locally sourced food . There is an abundance of wildlife in the mountains, but it is just that, wild, so don't expect to see it all. I have come to the conclusion that the wall creeper is a mythical bird! We were the first group in after two and a half years and everything worked really well. If you haven't been you are missing out on a treat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This isn't the sort of trip that has one stand out moment, the experience and enjoyment builds through the week to give you a really satisfying glow at the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lucky, we had two, both of whom were excellent, on the top of their game, and with a great sense of humour. Svetla was always cheerful, knowledgeable and helpful. Here unusual academic background in anthropology and a host of other subjects meant that she could impart a lot of very interesting insights into the social as well as natural environment. Julian has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area and years spent in bear research which gave us the bonus of having his enthusiasm and expertise, as a result of which I can now identify a worrying number of species by their poo! They were both great fun to be with and I would very happily sign up for a trip knowing they were the leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come and enjoy it! Make sure you have a reasonable level of fitness, bring a plug for the wash basin and think about doing an extra couple of days in Sofi,a either at the start or the end of the trip, it would be time well spent. Mountain weather can be variable, so come prepared.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Rodopi mountains are a spectacular location and the people we met were lovely. If you like walking in mountains, have an interest in wildlife and enjoy discovering local food this is a great trip to sign up to. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Oh yes, one last thing everybody in our group got along really well together which made it an even more enjoyable experience, so a big thankyou to them too.
  • Beautiful coastline

    This is a great trip if you enjoy the sea air with great views over the clifftops.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sight of the storks in their nests so close to us as we walked along the cliffs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Luis and Alex were very efficient in their organization of our tour. They were always there ready to help and advise using their knowledge of local geology and botany to good effect to develop our appreciation of the Portuguese coastline.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you wear a good pair of boots with ankle support as the route in parts is quite rocky.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The itinerary offers a well balanced trip of interesting walking routes,swimming, relaxation and great food. Go for it.