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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    LADAKH: STOK KANGRI CLIMB

    Good introduction to Leh area of LadakhGolden triangle extension is a good introduction to Agra and Jaipur (n.b. in itself there is no extra Delhi signhtseeing - that if you do it must come off the main trip) 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering Mughal dynasty and architecture - learned a lot about the historyTrekking down the gorges above Stok village LehPanneer Tikka Marsalla and Kingfisher Beer 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great guy - very hardworking 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Golden triangle extension is expensive and hard work if like me you are on your own - you alone have to fend off the plans of the guides to distract you to their chosen shops. In particular watch out for the votive offering scam at Fatehpur Sikri - my guide (a sub-sub contractor) I am convinced was part of the scam.  Hemis Gompa - THE gompa in the Leh valley by repute and according to the trip notes - so why was our trek guide allowed to NOT take us to it? (some story about it being too busy commercial) - Exodus needs to sort this out one way or another. If like me you are not a good acclimatiser but are keen on SK summit beware. The trip notes are WRONG. There is cozy stuff about "setting up base camp at 5200 metres" (the old ABC/advanced base camp). This is NOT TRUE - it's not allowed on the SK permit. So be aware you must add an extra 300 metres to your climb - i.e. its not as easy as you might think. There really is NO excuse for this sort of mistake in the trip notes. The fact that the trip will use the normal lower base camp at about 4900 m is very well known.Fancy a beer with your hotel meal on return from Delhi? Oops - Hotel Clarke Heights can't serve it there - while other Indian hotels can (solution - get licence or another hotel !)Oh and don't expect to see K2 - its too far away! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is still a good first trip to Ladakh and the golden triangle extension covers the required bases so do NOT be put off by my observations. There was a lot that was very good on this trip including an excellent trek crew. But remember the trip notes are not accurate - and remeber you are climbing from 4900 metres not 5200. 
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    AEGEAN FAMILY CRUISE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    The most relaxing holiday I have ever been on. My daughter especially loved swimming everyday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing dolphins Sunset over the seaEarly morning dip in the seaFeeding the fish from the side of the boat with the childrenSleeping under the stars

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manoulos, the captain was the perfect host. The boat is his old converted fishing boat of which he is very proud and  keeps in pristine condition.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a light sleeping bag if you intend to sleep on deck, the temperature does drop at night even in mid August! The cabins are very cosy so pack light, but you only really go in there at night. Swimming/beach shoes are very useful as the rocks have sea urchins but you can buy them in the first town you go to.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you love boats, meeting new people, swimming, relaxing, eating, drinking and staring at the horizon then this is the holiday for you and your family. My daughter loved it, especially sleeping on deck with the other children. There was plenty of shade on the boat which was fantastic as I am very fair skinned and managed to keep out of the sun. The breeze on board was perfect especially as the temperatures were in the mid  30's.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    The scenery was wonderful (although not a patch on the Pembrokeshire coastline). The walking was challenging and ultimately offered spectacular views, however in the August heat was not always enjoyable. The days where we were not walking were interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the boat trip on the last day, you get to see from a distance exactly how far you have walked and climbed over the week, that was a satisfying moment. The village where the hotel is based was a highlight of the trip. There aren't really tourists there, just a working village where every garden is fully utilised for growing vegetables and fruit or housing animals. It is wonderful place to spend an afternoon wandering around. You'll also find possibly the best espresso's in Italy there too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Very thorough and attentive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking on this holiday is not moderate. I would recommend some incline training before hand for anyone who does not hike regularly.I went in August, it was incredibly hot. The walking is challenging enough without having to climb in 32 degree heat. Many in the group became hot and sweaty very quickly. This was really uncomfortable at times. I would advise going at a different time.Bug spray is essential for the evenings. The roads to the village and Amalfi are long and windy. If you are someone who suffers from motion sickness, ensure that you take appropriate pills with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel is clean however the beds (particularly the single ones) are short, narrow and desperately uncomfortable. I genuninely didn't have a good night's sleep once, not matter how tired I was from all the walking. In addition, the provision for vegetarians was not good. It was clear they had not planned for the vegetarians, every night we were an after thought. Considering the wonderful vegetarian food available in Italy it was disappointing that the best on offer some nights was a plate of cold vegetables.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CORSICAN MOUNTAINS & VILLAGES

    It was absolutely fantastic. The Island is gorgoeous, the hotel was nice, the hikings was great. The only dissapointment was the average age and maybe exodus can be on their website the average age of the group?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last hiking day where the hiking was on a high mountain

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He's fun and very experienced

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's great fun...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    PANDAS & WARRIORS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    A very tiring trip, involving quite a few late arrivals at hotels (midnight), early starts (5am), long train rides (6 hours), and a lot of unpleasant queueing.  The itinerary was inaccurate in a number of areas.  It is illegal to fly kites in Tian. Square, several activities included in the itinerary were actually not provided or only at an additional cost.  The travelling arrangements to Hong Kong were awful.  We also had five days when apart from breakfast all we had time for was snacks only.  At times, it felt like seeing China 'on the cheap'.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The key sights are inspirational but they would have been with any travel company.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I was not impressed by the group leader: she was inexperienced, did not help the group bond and although she worked hard, was more an organiser than a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not for children below 11.Book a holiday to recover from the trip.Take plenty of snacks- you will be eating them for at least one meal most days.Take luggage with wheels- you will have to 'wheel' your luggage over considerable distances.Question Exodus about the itinerary and its accuracy.  Confirm details prior to booking. Cheap laundry service but it is at the last stop before Hong Kong. Buy gifts etc in China- Hong Kong is expensive.   Meals cost only £5 in China but in Hong Kong they are similar to UK prices.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wouldn't wish to repeat a trip like this again.  It was the most physically demanding and tiring trip I have experienced.  It was also far too stressful due to the inaccurate itinerary, the late arrivals, uncertainty when we were going to eat (and what) and looking after children (together with luggage) was extremely challenging in very busy train stations.  The long scenic train ride wasn't scenic and the conditions were similar to a cheap airline aeroplane.  The holiday could be improved considerably with more thought and planning.  Currently, it feels like a holiday and itinerary which needs to be reviewed and improved.  Some of the hotels were relatively basic. 
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND

    There was a great mix of activity on this holiday. It was a wonderful experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears and the whales in their natural habitat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good. Very knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have taken suitable precautions for any injuries you may be carrying. Spraining my ankle again meant I couldn't take part in all the activities I wanted to. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A really fabulous trip.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

    A fabulous experience, with a fabulous group of people of a wide age range!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking from the valley up to O Cebriero - I had fantastic views before the clouds came down.The arrival in Santiago and knowing that the challenge had been met.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A superb group leader and backup person who couldn't do enough for us; everything planned to make each stage of the journey achievable and flexible enough to sort out any bike problems along the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you get in some practice climbing hills before the trip; not totally essential, because the backup vehicle is a fail safe. If not, be prepared to walk fast and push!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For a first time visitor to mainland Spain, the whole experience was a joy and a challenge; every day was superb and as it happens, the weather and temperatures couldn't have been kinder to us.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF THE ATLAS - Amazing Views Of North Africa

    Beautiful scenery, amazing people, truly remote and challenging trekking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summiting the pass of Tizi n'Ouanoums was nothing short of spectacular. The day began by climbing the Ouanoums Gorge in a thunderstorm, with lightning cracking through the dawn onto the ridges above us. It then saw us zigzag our way up an impossibly steep looking slope and we were rewarded for our efforts with beautiful views into the valley to our west and the peaks beyond.Watching two Golden Eagles soar above us as we relaxed in the sun at the final gite outside Aremd was incredible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed was an excellent guide and obviously very much in love with the countryside and outdoors. He was quietly efficient in ensuring each camp ran smoothly and out on the trail was brilliant at setting the pace and picking picturesque rest stops. He created an excellent balance in information too, highlighting interesting things about the culture, villages or nature around us, but never overwhelming us and encouraging our own questions.It's also well worth pointing out he and his team did this trek during Ramadan, so were fasting from around four am to seven thirty pm each day. If they're all this good during Ramadan, I can't imagine what they're like full of food! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Clothing-wise, don't be fooled into thinking it's always going to be hot. In two weeks we saw 45 degree heat, gusting winds at 2,500m and mountain thunderstorms which arrived and disappeared with extraordinary speed. Tied to this is making sure your possesions can stay dry too. Dry bags or big zipseal bags for essentials mean if you're ever caught out, you don't have to be uncomfortable.Take sandals or trainers you can get wet (i.e. not the shoes you wear each evening). There is one day when the walking begins by following a river for around 90 minutes, crossing it repeatedly and often wading upstream. They'll also make the occasions at the end of the day where you can get fully submerged much easier, and trust me, getting a full wash is a treat not to be missed.Take water treatement pills. There's always a ready supply of river water in camp, courtesy of the muleteers and though you can purchase bottles in some places, you'll (or the mules'll) have to carry all your rubbish out with you.Although the trip notes say a mattress is provided,  taking a Thermarest was great for me. It was an added layer of comfort at night and meant the guys supporting us had something comfy to relax on in the afternoons after making breakfast, pulling down the tents, packing the mules, overtaking us and pitching the entire camp again. Trust me - they earned it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fitness-wise, there are certainly challenging days on this trek but there are also easier days and options to cut around some of the steeper, harder terrain. No matter what, the views are incredible. I figured if I was moving slowly, I just got to see each awesome view for a bit longer and the group was always able to stay together, so there was no hares out front and tortoises at the back situation each day.Food and fuelling yourself is very important and we got both a wide variety and mountains of food, including refreshing fresh salads at lunch, meat or fish each day and plenty of freshly made bread from Ibrahim, our exceedlly talented chef.Get out into Marrakech when you get back. It's tempting to sit by the pool, but the city really is amazing, with plenty to see and much more than Exodus can pack into the morning city-tour.The only negative of the whole trip was related to our tents. I felt they were not up to the high standard of the rest of the trip and have raised my concerns with Exodus. In light of this, I've gone for four stars instead of five. However, there is no doubt that this is an exciting and memorable trek and nothing short of outstanding value for money. Let's put it this way, for £'s per day, you'd stuggle to get two weeks in the Lake District, never mind some of the most spectacular scenery in North Africa. 
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    PICOS MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Fantastic location in Northern Spain. Cool climate of Picos mountains can lead to changeable weather in August, so be prepared for 4 seasons in a day. Hotel is basic but clean, homely and comfortable whilst favourably located with spectacular views yet within easy walking distance to town. Staff are friendly and helpful and hosts Jim and Pilar remain enthusiastic and knowledgeable about this fantastic part of Spain.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Canyoning. Biggest laughs had by every member of the family. Great local guide and good equipment provided. Worth doing at least once in life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jim was very helpful, friendly and showed patience and flexibility at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This holiday does not include activities in the basic price. There was confusion in our party because the holiday is billed as a family activity holiday and all activities are charged on top. This was not clear in the brochure and several members of our group had also found the eventual holiday cost less than transparent.Booking the hotel separately and then the activities, transfers and flights would reduce the holiday cost considerably. Of course, Exodus need to make a profit. However the difference is considerable and Exodus do not actually do anything on this holiday as Jim is hotel owner, exodus rep and guide. Perhaps this reflects the fact that Exodus are now part owned by TUI ?    

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hire a car at the airport. This gives much more flexibility to explore the Picos and visit the coast (25km away).
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    Great trip from start to finish

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sounds trite but there was something to amaze me everyday.Obviously the temples-but the friendliness of the people, the motorbikes and how organised everyting was!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Al made the holiday -much more than a leader a friend too!. Nothing was to much trouble-everything was so well run that it seemed  so relaxed.Poor Al was the only one to  come off his bike on a very wet, slippery bend- only bruised thankfully

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Money from atms no problemSunscreen,  a hat, and insect repellant vital!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just give it a go!!!!Stop so often that heat/distance not a problemYou WILL enjoy it
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