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 September 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    A fabulous holiday and very well organised.  The hotel was lovely, very clean and the food exceptional.  The walking was spectacular with stunning views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved all of the walking, expecially the trip to Mount Vesuvius.  Took the additional trip to walk the rim which was unbelievable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Albert, was very knowledgable and everything ran smoothly.  He briefed us each evening with the agenda, pick up times etc for the next day.  He had a great sense of humour and made the walks very enjoyable.  He knew some great places to eat and drink in Amalfi also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For this particular holiday it is important to have a good pair of walking shoes.  Also a micro towel would be good to take as we end a few of the walks on the beach.  Saves taking a bulky beach towel with you on the walks.  Most of the walks are around 9k, so not too far but there is quite a lot of climbing up and walking down, so if you have troublesome knees some walking poles would be beneficial! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all we had a fabulous holiday.  The hotel was lovely and the staff very friendly.  The food was gorgeous and plentiful.  You won't go hugry!  Beds were very comfortable and we got clean towels every day.  Only small grumble is the shower cubicle is pretty small and easy to hit the tap, which turns the shower off.  Not easy to bend down in the shower either if you drop anything.  Plenty of hot water though.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE DANUBE - PASSAU TO VIENNA

    We did Vienna to Budapset last year and everyone we met said Passau to Vienna was better - it was. The cycling, scenary and towns on the way exceeded our expectations

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Bishops palace at Melk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    n/a

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We joined the tour via Nuremberg (rather than Vienna as suggested). A city well worth visiting. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One small problem we had was on arriving at our first hotel they could not find our reservation. This took 45 mins to resolve.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    KERALA & TROPICAL INDIA

    A great 'holiday'! Although some would argue that a holiday is lying on a beach!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to pinpoint any one inspirational moment, it was all good! Maybe seeing the Indian Ocean for the first time.  The houseboat was a lovely way to relax as well, with some stunning scenery. The landscape and people were fabulous - there always was something interesting to look at. Varkala was a great place to end on as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All of them were very good. Shibu was excellent company on the day I was ill (due to a massive cold, not 'Delhi Belly'! and both Saffi and Joseph were excellent cyclists. Joseph in particular was very kind and patient!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be relatively fit....it is easy to think that this is a holiday, how tough can it be?...It wasn't that difficult and I don't cycle regularly, but I couldn't have done it without gym/spin sessions etc.  Even with that, I didn't bother cycling up Ooty Hill...gave it a go and then ended up walking, which was a slightly easier option! Be prepared to chat to people as you are cycling, especially motorcyclists...and the endless kids!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip, possibly the best cycling trip that I've done! It was very varied, the hotels were good to very good, the food great - noone got very ill either.The only slight negative is the kitty...and we were asked about this by Saffi.  I assumed that it was for snacks, entry tickets, tips, lunches and some dinners. In fact, we ended up being together all the time for dinner. It wasn't a problem as it was a lovely group, but sometimes it might be nice to do something independently. Of course, no one is stopping you but it would mean paying twice!! The upside of this though is that you know you are being taken to great places and all the hassle is taken out of it. The pros probably outweigh the cons.Overall, one of the best trips I've done!
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    A great walking holiday in a fantastic part of the work with great food!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most inspirational aspect of the holiay was just how much walking we did during the week.  Looking back it feels like I've been away for much longer.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very experienced, patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is alot of stairs!!! 
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous
    Trip:

    What an adventure!

    A fantastic experience, and a great way to see the country...and what a fascinating place!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not the best cyclist in the world, far from it. So I think, for me, I achieved a lot of cycling...which was very inspirational because I wanted to do more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was fab! He certainly knew his stuff and was like a walk in encyclopaedia to Cuba!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep your eyes on everything! The roads can be quite uneven! Bring lots of antihistamines...the mosquitos certainly get ya! When you're cycling, all you need is a camera and a little bit of sun cream on you, you can leave your day pack on the coach because the coach is always with you. So just a little bum bag is sufficient. Museli bars....I brought some with me which were great for a little snack. You do get lots of fruit and snacks when you stop but I found a muesli bar a day gave me a bit more energy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately I only cycled for the first week, because I came off my bike halfway through the holiday. I think I was more gutted about missing out on the cycling for the rest of the holiday than the fact that I'd fractured my wrist. The group leader was fantastic....got me to a hospital and generally acted quickly. The medical service in Cuba was great and I was looked after properly.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    PANDAS & WARRIORS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    A full-on, cultural, historical and fun-packed introduction to China which, despite having returned some weeks ago, I am still processing. A real-eye-opener for our teenagers and ourselves; the Chinese really do everything on a massive scale from the endless courtyards of the Forbidden City, the rows and rows of Terracotta Warriors and the incredible Wall to the 6 ring roads and endless tower blocks of modern Beijing. A completely fascinating trip which we will all be talking about for a long time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hate to be a cliche but nothing can prepare you for the Wall, its sheer scale is incredible and when you consider when it was built without all of our modern engineering techniques, it really is an awesome achievement snaking over the mountain tops. The wall trek was greatly enhanced by the fact that we went to a quiet, less touristy section of the wall and saw very few other tourists. My 14 year old son said the Wall trek was worth the airfare alone!The Teracotta Warriors are also quite incredible, so lifelike and the sheer scale of the excavation is astounding.The Pandas are great and my younger son will carry the memory of being allowed to hold a panda for the rest of his life - he didn't stop grinning for days. The cooking lesson is great fun and in the most beutiful location. Finally, for me driving through the Karst mountains late at night as the peaks were bathed in moonlight was magical. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Annie was fantastic, there is an enormous amount of organisation on this trip (just so relieved i wasn't doing it!) and Annie managed to shepherd us everywhere without getting stressed or rushing us. Her historical knowledge was quite astounding, I don't think there was a single question about Chinese history that she couldn't answer! Just everything you want in a guide, excellent English, calm, organised, caring and with a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a serious amount of travelling on this trip, they should subtitle it, 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and buses, trams, bikes, rickshaws and boats!) and personally I think children under 10 might struggle with the pace and having to transfer luggage through stations car parks etc. although this always depends on the child of course!. We had the most amazing time but were all seriously exhausted when we got home so book yourself an extra couple of days off for recovery!Food was fantastic and vegetarians and kids were well catered for. We went in mid-august and it was very hot and humid everywhere so take your water cans (and mini loo rolls)!The extra excursions and shows were all great, kids loved the Kung Fu and I thought the show after the dumpling banquet was simply beautiful. The sheer scale of the Light Show in Yangshuo is jaw-dropping so make sure you have enough cash for the extras.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus need to keep their trip notes updated, Annie told us that kite flying in Tiannamen square has been banned for 2 years! We tried to fly kites at the Temple of Heaven but to be honest I think it should be dropped from the itinery altogether, it wouldn't be missed.This is a fabulous introduction to China with a great balance between Culture, History and stuff for the kids (perhaps a bit culture heavy for younger kids) - what an experience! 
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    THE INCA TRAIL

    Really good trip, well organised, guides were well informed, porters extremely helpful and we were really lucky with the group of people. Trekking was very demanding and normal altitude problems (headaches, loss of appetite) but no more than expected and no complaining by the group. Scenery was great, not much animal or bird life to mention but Inca ruins were stunning. Machu Picchu surpassed all expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Macchu Picchu surpassed all expectations. I could have spent much longer there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader (Flamina) and the assistant leader (David) were excellent. Knowlegeable not just about Inca history and artefacts but also the local flora and other subjects. I was also impressed by the cooks and the porters. I couldn't do justice to the food, one of the effects of altitude is loss of appetite, but in very restricted conditions the cooks produced wholesome food which with limited tableware they made a real effort to present well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Inca Trail is physically very demanding, possibly the most demanding activity some peaople will ever do. The camping and toilet facilities are also basic. If you are prepared to accept a little (possibly a lot) of discomfort this is a very rewarding holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was as interested in Peru today as Peru 500 years ago. I found the visit to the Rainbow Centre for children with special education needs extremely rewarding. I was also delighted to talk to the guide and assistant guide about their families, education and home life.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    SOUTHERN ZANSKAR & MOON LAKE

    This is a tough trek, but is a stunner.  We are experienced trekkers, but this one pushed the edge of our comfort zone.  Sadly, we didn't make it to Moon Lake as we got hit by really bad weather, including a foot or so of snow, and the leader decided (quite rightly) to try and get us back via the Leh Manali Highway.  That turned into an adventure in itself - but Vijay (Group Leader) really pulled a rabbit out of the hat (several in fact !)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the Phirtse La - amazing !!  5200m +, puffing and panting a bit, but stunning scenery.When the 1st tipper truck stopped for us !When the 2nd tipper truck stopped for us !Sharing hair raising stories with other travellers in the tea tent at Zingzing Bar

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nothing but praise.  He took a difficult decision to curtail the trip, and then used a lot of initiative to ensure the group got back to Manali in very difficult circumstances.We got hit by some very bad weather - two nights of snow making walking difficult.  Vijay and his crew really went the extra mile to ensure that we were safe, and as comfortable as we could be under the circumstances.  We all kept smiling - well most of the time !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a serious trek, so think carefully whether it is for you.  It is fantastic, and very rewarding, but bear in mind that you will be at a fairly high altitude (3500 - 4500m) for over two weeks, with some very tough walking days.  Also, bear in mind that weather patterns in this part of the Himalayas  have been unpredictable over the past few years, and wall to wall sunshine cannot be guaranteed.  Heavy rain, or snow at higher altitudes is a real possibility, so make sure you have the right gear.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't be put off - it is an experience of a lifetime, but make sure you are pretty fit and well equipped !
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLING IN THE TATRAS

    The Tatra mountains are beautiful! Took a bit of a risk on this one as we were the first group to do it but it paid off I had an amazing time! Don't go if you are allergic to hills there are a few tough bits (but it would be dull if it was flat!), the views at the top are absolutely worth it and great fun heading back down the other side! I enjoyed Slovakia more than Poland but that was probably a personal thing because Zakopane and Krakow are obviously a lot more touristy in the summer months than the mountains of Slovakia which would probably be very different in the winter sports season! I'd still like to visit Krakow again but would be more of a city break holiday than a cycling adventure! Salt mines were well worth a visit! Most of the trip is in Slovakia, the people were lovely and the beer cheaper than water!! The hotels were of a better standard than i expected we didn't have any problems at any of them! As the country is more of a winter destination they all had storage facilities for our bikes overnight. The bikes were all great- new and all had a rear bag for any snacks etc. Not a make of bike I'd ever heard of (Kellys) but top quality! compared to my usual mountain bike I found the skinnier tyres brilliant!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to think of a precise moment! I think I actually enjoyed the day the trip notes describe as the toughest most! 4 big hills but great rides down to recover! We were all a bit worried about it as we had found the first day's long steady climb hard going! (That's the best downhill of the week!) The lightning in the late afternoon storms (after we'd finished for the day!!) were great to watch and thankfully shortlived and predictable!- we were like kids oohing and aaahing at the forks! - can't guarantee you'll have the same hot days as us though!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erik was outstanding! He looked after us the whole time suggested places for us to eat in the evenings and made sure we were all together and looking out for each other! Peter was also fab at looking out for the bikes! Poor Erik was the only one to get a puncture the whole week!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was amazing but veggies watch out they put meat in everything so always check even if they have it as vegetarian option!The only other thing I can mention (although it wasn't necessary for us) is that because the support was an estate car with all our bags in it if more than one person had been struggling it would have meant a few trips for Peter!
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    TRINS: THE AUSTRIAN TYROL

    an excellent walking holiday in beautiful mountains - good use of local transports allows access to other valleys - having a choice of 2 grades of walking each day is a really good idea and should be used on other holidays.  It was also a real bonus to have 6 days of walking.  On a holiday which is only a week, I often find it frustrating to have a rest day and it was great that this trip did not have one.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No heart stopping single moment.  Just a series of wonderful mountain walks with great views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were excellent.  Very experienced and worked well as a team.  They alternated leading B and C walks which worked really well.  The organisation and descriptions of the walks were accurate which gave the group confidence to choose the right grade walk on a daily basis.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    the hotel bedrooms tend to face the road and although a small village, there is traffic so if you are likely to be disturbed by the noise, take earplugs.  Also the curtains are not that heavy so do not filter much light so an eye shade might be useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    this is an excellent location for a week of walking; not having a forced rest day is great so you can do 6 days of walking; the two leaders - two grades system worked really well and some members of the group did swap between B and C grade walking through the week
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