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 July 2012
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - RONGAI ROUTE

    If you are looking for a challenge, then you should definitely do this. It gives you a great sense of achievement to make the summit. It was a fantastic experience that leaves you wanting to do more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Easy - the most inspirational moment was getting to the top of Africa. That's what it was all about.A close second was saying thanks and goodbye to the guides and porters. They sang a beautiful Kilimanjaro song for us, and it was then that you realized just how many people were supporting us on this trip.... carrying bags, putting up tents, peeling spuds and most importantly, looking after the porta-loos. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuel was our group leader and he was fantastic. He had the right balance of humour and professionalism. He quickly gained our trust and we knew that listening to him meant increasing our chances of getting to the top. Top marks, despite the fact that when you asked "how far?" the reply was always "don't worry, we'll make it in time for tea"... 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Think positive and you'll get to the top.  Keep drinking and snacking on summit day - It was easy to forget to do this and my water bottle froze. I was jealous of the camelback with insulated tubing. Even a neoprene bottle cover would have made a big difference.Hire the Exodus sleeping mats - You don't need to worry about carrying them and they looked so much more comfortable than anything you could buy.Bring a nail brush - The grey volcanic ash gets everywhere. Bring US dollars - Small and big denominations. Credit cards were only accepted at the airport. Bring more than you think as tipping the guides and porters becomes quite an emotional event and you don't want to be short when this happens. Bring walking poles x2 - Turns out that they are not just for "old" people ;) They stayed in my bag for the first 4 days, but they were a life saver when skiing the scree on the way down.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Rongai route at the start of season was a pretty good choice IMHO. We did not see many other people, except for the way down on the last day. This gave it much more of a wilderness and adventurous feel. Can't promise you'll get weather as good as ours though. No rain for the whole trip - sweet. 
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO & SAFARI

    Amazing and Beautiful are the words i would use for summerise this holiday! you meet some amazing people - the guides the porters all amazing and they make it there goal to make you make the most of your holiday - really worth the weight in gold! then to top it off the beautiful sights, the beautiful aminals and beautiful food!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The group photo at the top, everyone, seeing everyones faces as amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    they were TOP from when we landed at the airport to the moment we left took off - couldn't do enought to for
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING IN THE LOIRE VALLEY

    Relaxed easy cycling with over night stays exactly as we expected.Villages very small which can make evening eating out a challange.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fact we had wonderful weather for the whole week, when only days prior to our arrival it had rained as much if not more than Britain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of the overnight stops with no food provided were also the places most difficult to find a place to eat on the evening. We were very lucky, but would recommend you ask your hotel to book you into the best local restaurant prior to your departure. We were bitten by midgies, and would suggest you take preventative measures, as well as treatment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You really need to be able to speak some french to get by on a holiday in rural france.Don't go to France in May thinking you will be getting wall to wall sunshine, the weather is warmer than Britain, but you could get just as much rain. We were very lucky! 
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    SIERRA DE LAS MAMBLAS

    An opportunity to stay in a mediaeval town which feels like 'real' Spain. Covarrubias is a delight and the hotel staff worked hard to make us comfortable. Nearly all meals are included in the cost of the holiday, with a choice of local wine so not many extras to be paid for when you get there. The walking is enjoyable and the extra activities enhance the holiday. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the vultures fly overhead. Burgos cathedral was beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob was very efficient, able to plan to the minute how long we would be out. His attention to health & safety was at times a little over zealous for a group of walkers who had considerable experience of walking. The terrain was not difficult but the temperatures were hard to tolerate at times and he could have demonstrated more empathy for those used to the English climate. His knowledge of the flowers and the local area was good. He spoke to the Spanish staff and owners on our behalf and arranged the menu choices. He organised many extra activities on the day off (to Burgos and a tour of the town) and in the evenings (to vespers at Silos and a local wine producer) and accompanied us at all times. This may not suit travellers who like a little more independence. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is mostly on tracks and roads so can be hard on the feet and the week we went it was very hot. Bob was reluctant to alter the route or timings to avoid the worst of the heat so take a hat and be prepared to carry lots of water! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a good opportunity to practise your Spanish! Take a phrase book to help you talk with the very friendly locals!
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    For both countries we had superb guides, wonderful scenery, great church locations and full bellies (the included food is tasty and in abundence even for veggies). The hotels were also all of a good standard and often better than expected. We did find ourselves a bit churched out though and some of the drives didn't warrant the reward.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our particular highlights of the trip were; Armenia Stunning scenery and church locationsGeghard Monastery and its Armenian rock sculptures inside Sanahin with its monastery and the museum of the Mikoyan brothersGeorgiaGori's Stalin museumUplistsikhes enormous cave city Alpine regions and Mount Kazbek scenery

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Mere (Armenia) and Elisa (Georgia) were superb ambassadors for their countries. Different styles but both equally knowledgable and looked after us well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go knowing that you will visit easily 20 plus churches on this trip. It did drain us toward the end.Instead of the synagogue in Yerevan, visit the Museum of Sergio Parajanov, a film maker and artist born in Georgia and living his last years in Armenia. Its full of his art and collages and gives a different insight into the two countries. We travelled in June 2012 and Georgia is under a lot of construction and renovation. Hopefully this will be more complete come 2013. It didn't adversely affect our trip, but you should know.Most of the time you arrive at your destination around midday and it can get hot. This is particularly relevant to the walk to Gergeti Holy Trinity church. I would recommend that the group take the jeeps up and down. Then ask if you can do the 4km (return) walk to a waterfall. Do not go to the Russian border it is a waste of time, there is nothing to see.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    TOUR DU MONT BLANC

    My first group trekking trip and it won't be my last; infact I am already planning more adventures with Exodus! I chose this particular trip as a taster or starter to see how I coped with challenging walking. The whole trip worked out really well from flights to the walk and accomodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting the 12 others in my group who were all fantastic people! Everyone had a good chat during the trip and we all got on well with each other (I hope we can all stay in contact!). The scenery around Mont Blanc was breath taking of course and I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere back at base in Chamonix.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A real inspiration to me to see how he organised the group and kept in control. The bag packing briefing was really well done and I learnt a lot about what I didn't need on the trip. Graham was a very responsible leader heading off quickly at one stage whilst the group took lunch to make sure that a refuge was open then came back again to give us the all clear!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take note of how little you need on the walk! Less is more but don't forget the important clothes such as waterproof trousers!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'll be booking my next trip with Exodus very soon. My goal for the future is to go to Everest base camp.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    WALKING ON THE GREEK ISLANDS

    For me this trip was too laid back and the "walking" short and not challenging. On the positive side the food was very good and the weather brilliant!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Santorini was the highlight

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Poor- she hadn't walked the trails and got lost on Naxos. Her communication skills were not good and too much was left to our memory on matters such as timing etc., Furthermore we didn't see her at all until breakfast on Day 2. We were just deposited at the hotel in Athens - there wasn't even a notice at the hotel and we had to ask check in staff at the hotel for information!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not like most Exodus walking holidays- the walking is no more than a stroll.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Feedback about this trip has been very positive since we changed the grading from Leisurely/Moderate to Leisurely and we updated the trip notes accordingly. This was the first Exodus tour that Cecile led; she has subsequently led many more trips and her feedback has been very good, as can be seen in more recent reviews.

  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    CLASSIC DOLOMITES

    Stunning scenery, a distinct Tyrolean ambience - picture wildflower meadows a la "sound of music", pretty churches, craggy tops.  Hotel : comfortable and quirky, fantastic cuisine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the icy lake on the first day(definitely focussed the mind), the starkness of the Memorial Cross on the mountain top,  "Daniel" our lederhosen-clad, accordion-playing, yodelling-mentor; the fabulous flora/fauna and Apenol Spritz!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl was a really well-informed and accomplished guide; he was conscious of the differences in abilty within the group on different days and gave us alternatives when possible;  he (and his lovely wife) were great fun to socialise with too!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's very tempting to book an Exodus trip because it "appeals and fits with holiday dates"; it really is important that everyone realistically takes account of the grade of the holidays -v- their abilities to ensure complete enjoyment for all; we heard one lady who'd arrived for the "C" grade week say she wanted some easy walking - not easy for a guide to accommodate all-comers!  Pack for ALL weathers, we had blazing sun early on which gave us a false sense of security.......coming slowly down a mountain in driving snow reminded us that we must take NOTHING for granted in the mountains! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a fantastic week, with a great bunch of people, lead by an accomplished guide; it proved to me that Europe has lots to offer in terms of mountain walking, and the Dolomites definitely held their own vis-a-vis Peru & Nepal!  On our free day, three of us solo-travellers, did a self-guided walk to "the saddle" - straight from the hotel.  Dont miss the Town Park - it has a great refreshment hut, the Aperol Spritz is particularly good and you can watch the locals play tennis at the same time!  
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    CLASSIC DOLOMITES

    Really enjoyable week in the Dolomites.  Nice hotel (ok rooms, lovely pool and spa, superb food and wine), great company and walking (C-grade week) that ranged from above average to outstanding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights:-The final day walk around the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo - probably the nicest walk I've ever done!  Fantastic scenery in the background, 3 or 4 different valleys so scenery constantly changing, close ups of marmots, a small peak, stop at a mountain hut, rock tunnels, mini-lakes, everything.  Climbs of Monte Piano and Durrenstein were also pretty special.The food at the hotel ranged from good to exceptional.  The home made ravioli filled with soft cheeses, and the goats cheese strudel with strawberry sauce were phenomenal (and I'm not normally a huge cheese fan). Hotel pool / spa area was great for unwinding after a long day in the hills.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl was a very good group leader.  Obviously experienced in the mountains, got on well with everyone in the group, and had a very dry sense of humour.  Managed to tailor each day of walking to accommodate all the different levels of ability in our group very well, while ensuring everyone's safety.  Built good relationships with the hotel / mountain huts we visited.  Tweaked the itinerary slightly (we did the same walks as in the trip notes but in a different order) which I thought worked well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    'Official' flights were at awkward times, especially for anyone not based around London.  Would recommend investigating flights of your own, and then making your own way to the hotel.  I flew from Edinburgh direct to Verona, then took a bus to the middle of the Verona, and then the train north to Villabassa - hotel was only 100 yards from the station.  It's not that difficult to do (www.trenitalia.com gives all the train times) and saved me the hassle of changing plane / staying overnight in Gatwick on the way home (plus the environmental impact of taking another flight).   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only slight criticism was of the 2nd days walking (Kreutzberg pass).  Would suggest that the ascent is lengthened, allowing extended time to visit the Austrian border and/or climb a peak; and also shorten the descent we took (as this was through a forest and a little disappointing).  Otherwise, walking was very good indeed.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    SIERRA DE LAS MAMBLAS

    This is a great trip - beautiful location with a variety of walks taking in some small villages on the way. The mountains are not very steep and the summits are inaccessible so its more of a moderate than a challenging grade. I found it a very relaxing trip with plenty of time in the evening to relax with a cold beer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The evening visit to Vespers to hear the Benedictine Monks doing their Gregorian Chant.Watching the vultures perched on the edges of the cliffs and gliding overhead.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob was very helpful and knowledgable about the area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was very hot so be prepared for that - bring breathable socks or you could end up with a heat rash.
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