Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18161 Reviews

  • 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.
  • Walking the Amalfi Coast

    A great area to explore. In my view the holiday should be graded moderate due to the terrain and topography. By its very nature this coast is steep and there are gradients everywhere. Every walk involves thousand of steps. So prospective travellers should be aware. The family run three star hotel due Torri is lovely set in a pretty village Bomerano. Good food and comfortable rooms. We did find the dining room very noisy though. Picnics are good and tasty. As usual everything was extremely well organised by Exodus and our lovely guide Teresa was superb.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Herculaneum and Ravello.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb!! Could not fault her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please see above about my grading opinion. We are fit but found the walks tough as did many of our group. That said the views are stunning and well worth it.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    A Crossroads of Civilisations and Cultures

    Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Carthaginians, Berbers, Arabs - even Normans have all left their mark on Sicily - leaving a rich cultural legacy to be discovered by today's visitors. Because we completed a circuit of the whole island, there were inevitably some longer stints on the coach - but it was roomy and we always had a break halfway on longer stretches. Hotels were mixed -the one at Agrigento felt rather soulless and the Agroturismo had some problems - the rustic setting was fine but some people had no running water in the morning. I hope this problem can be fixed as I like the idea of giving custom to a local business. But the one in Palermo couldn't have been more central and the one at Taormina was delightful and so close to the beach (and the beachside restaurant where we had our last dinner)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the Zingaro reserve and could happily have spent the whole day there, but I understand that all tastes have to be catered to. Taormina is lovely - spectacular views, and I enjoyed pottering around Ragusa Ibla. I have a limited appetite for churches (especially catholic iconography) and temples, but Monreal with its stunning mosaics and the Greek temple at Agrigento were terrific, and enhanced by the explanations of the guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Veronica was excellent - friendly, welcoming, informative. Also a shout out for the drivers, especially Salvatore who was with us for most of the trip - careful, safe and he always welcomed us back to the coach with a smile

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I didn't think you could eat badly in Sicily, but we had two bad meals - in Palermo, accompanied by surly service. The food was cold and one of the group was ill. But we ate really well at Taverna Dei Canto around the corner from the hotel in Palermo (lively street - not a quiet venue) My advice would be to check out the latest reviews on Trip Adviser - guide books can be out of date. If you plan to walk in Zingaro (some people preferred to swim) be aware that while not challenging, parts of the path are rocky so a pole can be helpful if you have any knee problems.
  • Soooo disappointing

    A very disappointing experience from start to finish. Arrived at the hotel after a long day traveling only to be bundled into a large dining room with pre prepared food awaiting us. No chance to get to our rooms and freshen up before dinner. The whole dining experience throughout the holiday (both breakfast and dinner) can only be described as being done on a shoe string with very little imagination. Very limited choice of food and mostly dinner had to be pre-ordered for the next day. The first half of the week was pretty full on with excursions (which was fine) but by the second half of the week the guide appeared to be flagging. The trips to Pompeii and Herculaneum should have been done on separate days and the trip to Ravello should only have been for a couple of hours, as we were left with about 3 hours with nothing to do after having seen the gardens. The trips to Positano and Capri were really enjoyable. On the last full day of the trip we did a short walk on The Path of the Gods. One of our party for left behind on the way back. The weather was not good due to a lot of cloud cover and therefore was quite a precarious walk. The tour guide just sat waiting for her to return and in the end another of the party had to go and find her. The tour guide did not appear to be at his best. He had an argument with one of the guests at a pre dinner briefing meeting. He shouted at her and stormed out of the meeting. This caused some animosity between him and some of the guests for the remainder of the holiday. He did not turn up for dinner on the last evening. It was a great shame as many of us had waited a long time for the holiday. The swimming pool was out of action for most of the week and so any free time could not be enjoyed around the pool. There are very limited eating and drinking facilities at the hotel during the day. It is essentially a walking group hotel (there were three large walking groups at the hotel in addition to our party of 17) and does not really cater for anyone else.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably Capri

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have dealt with this in my summary

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good restaurant around the corner from the hotel.