Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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69 Reviews

  • Reviewed July 2018
    Brian Morris

    Cycling in the Baltics

    After very careful consideration I have decided that this was a trip which I would not recommend to a friend. However, there were many good things that we experienced and I am glad I went on it - but there serious deficiencies that need to be addressed by Exodus. Positives- excellent guide and driver, wonderful cities and great company. Negatives - some poor hotels with faults that were unacceptable ( smelly rooms from shower drains, poor food in overcrowded breakfast rooms, lack of air con and noisy locations if open windows. Long sections of monotonous roads/ paths through forests ( e.g. Cycling along the Curonian Spit without being able to see the sea!!) Rather heavy bikes that were not the advertised 21 speed ones.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We very much enjoyed the bonhomie of our group and the cities of Riga, Tartu and Vilnius were amazing. Where we saw the sea (!) it was beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukas was excellent! He did everything and more that a guide should do! He joined in with our jokes and was a mine of information - and nothing was too much trouble. Our driver Vladamir was efficient and helpful ( and a good driver)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent! If possible take your own bike It can be very hot - be prepared - and vice versa. Don't wash clothes in the Palmse Hotel - whites turn orange!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels need to be experienced by someone from the Exodus team - clearly the comments about the individual hotels that you can find on the net should alert them to the problems that our group experienced.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Brian for his feedback, whilst we are pleased that he enjoyed aspects of his holiday, we regret that he was disappointed with his stay at some of the properties. Our local manager has spoken with the hotels’ managers and asked them to review the rooms and services they provide to our clients to ensure they are in line with our expectations. We will also be looking into sending a member of staff on this trip in the near future, as well as keeping a very close eye on future feedback regarding these properties; if we receive further similar concerns, we will certainly reconsider whether or not we continue to use these hotels.

    Natasha Black - Product Manager for the Baltics

  • Reviewed July 2018
    Mark Stapleton

    Cycling the Baltic States

    A really outstanding Exodus cycle trip, aided by the most marvellous European summer. Great group of fellow cyclists, excellent choice of hotels and really beautiful forest cycleways. Tour leader Lina and driver Andre added significantly to the overall experience. We have been on a few Exodus trips and as always we were very well looked after. The cycling was fairly straight forward and relatively easy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So, so many! Hearing Lina’s family history put so much of the trip into perspective. We had the delightful combination of beautiful rides, the sharing of stories and the incredible history of the proud peoples of the Baltic States.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely sensational! Lina was the best tour guide we have ever had, and that is saying something. Caring, considerate, always looking out for opportunities to improve our experience, there was never a time when she was anything other than a delight to be with. Her willingness to share her story put everything into perspective. Faultless! For goodness sake give her more work, she is a wonderful ambassador for Exodus. I do have to add that your choice of tour guides on all of the trips we have done gives significant credit to Exodus as an organisation. We always look at Exodus tours before considering other travel companies.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are even reasonably fit, do this cycle tour. A really wonderful way to see and hear about the incredible Baltic States.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A really wonderful holiday in all respects. Keep up the excellent work and consider paying Lina a significant bonus, she is wonderful!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Mark Stapleton

    Cycling the Baltic States

    A really outstanding Exodus cycle trip, aided by the most marvellous European summer. Great group of fellow cyclists, excellent choice of hotels and really beautiful forest cycleways. Tour leader Lina and driver Andre added significantly to the overall experience. We have been on a few Exodus trips and as always we were very well looked after. The cycling was fairly straight forward and relatively easy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So, so many! Hearing Lina’s family history put so much of the trip into perspective. We had the delightful combination of beautiful rides, the sharing of stories and the incredible history of the proud peoples of the Baltic States.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely sensational! Lina was the best tour guide we have ever had, and that is saying something. Caring, considerate, always looking out for opportunities to improve our experience, there was never a time when she was anything other than a delight to be with. Her willingness to share her story put everything into perspective. Faultless! For goodness sake give her more work, she is a wonderful ambassador for Exodus. I do have to add that your choice of tour guides on all of the trips we have done gives significant credit to Exodus as an organisation. We always look at Exodus tours before considering other travel companies.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are even reasonably fit, do this cycle tour. A really wonderful way to see and hear about the incredible Baltic States.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A really wonderful holiday in all respects. Keep up the excellent work and consider paying Lina a significant bonus, she is wonderful!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Anne Holmes

    A great holiday

    My first cycling trip couldn't have gone better, a great group of people, an excellent leader and luck with the weather. There is a good mixture of cycling and tourism although the itinerary is full so there isn't a lot of free time or opportunity for stopping en route.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I liked the undulations of the day around Trakkai as knew I would get lost and didnt have to save any energy for other rides! Enjoyed seeing how fast I could go. Really enjoyed the beauty of Palmse. The day at Jurmala was good as we had free time and loved the dachas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lina was excellent, organised but friendly. Her sharing of her personal experiences of life in Lithuania brought the whole trip alive. She has an extensive factual knowledge of the Baltic and found some great places for us to eat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If I had known that a cycle pannier was provided, I wouldn't have brought a cycling rucksack. Water was also provided so a single water bottle was fine. The trip notes said that there should be time to look round Tallinn but the Exodus flights were an evening arrival. Some of the group arrived a day earlier to see the city which was a good idea.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A 5 hour stop over in Riga was too long, there was an earlier flight connection. Paper maps are hard to use when you are cycling in a lot of pine forest, could there be an option to give us GPX routes as well. This would have really helped anyone getting lost. I do not wish my name to be used.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    david martin

    Comments from Christine and David Martin

    We enjoyed the holiday very much, we had a good insight into the three capital cities and a fiar understanding of how the countyry side worked. The food was much better than expected , we had feared it might mainly be pork and dumplings but it was a good selection of 'western ' and local dishes. The cycling was mainly through forest tracks which do not give many views of the country side but perhaps it is very difficult to design a cycling holiday in a very forested area to include time to stop and look aroun villages . Although the cycling was not technically difficult there were times when it was necessary to keep close to the leader mto avoid getting lost. A back marker would have been very useful and would have been able to cope with any problems (punctures, accidents) as well as ensuring.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    looking around the old towns and being told of the problems which the three countries had faced during the last 100 or so years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lina was very personable, knowledgable about the areas we went throuh. She told us in great detail about the histories of the countries, the problems which they faced and, potentailly, still face. She interacted well with all members of the group, ensured that the eveing and lunch time restaurants wer einteresting. It seemsed that the distances which we cycled and were transferred were quite long for the times allocated , we always seemed to be trying to catch up with the schedule. Not sure if that is a problem of the design of the holiday. but loading a nd unloading the bikes takes about one hour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    be prepared for fairly hectic days
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Elizabeth Luff

    Great trip

    Great trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lina’s Stories of Lithuania

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Thankyou Lina

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t take too much luggage. It soon becomes a pain, especially in small hotels with stairs. Take a travel kettle if you like to drink tea. Take cycling shorts.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Evelyn Tiefenbrun

    Cycle the Baltics

    It was a great rip - well-organised, lovely routes, reasonable accommodation and food, excellent guide, great group -met some lovely people who I'll be seeing again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Last night party was a lot of fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukas was terrific - knowledgable, considerate, patient, addressed every issue & answered every question

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trip - just as described in the blurb. Go for it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very hard work for just one guide, especially when riding. When Lukas was at the back, the people at the front often had to wait quite some time for the others, or else if Lukas was at the front, he led us a short distance at a time to keep us all together. Trip could benefit from 2nd guide.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Michelle Epstein

    Cycling and sightseeing in the Baltics

    A very well organised and interesting trip, combining exercise and sightseeing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Our guide Vaida was calm, helpful, knowledgable, kind and fun - an ideal cycling guide. The trip gave 4 nights in Estonia, 2 in Latvia and 4 in Lithuania, with a combination of cycling, learning about the cities we visited, and socialising with the group. The cycling was straightforward, mostly flat riding in forests or by the sea, sometimes with a headwind. It was mostly cool which is good for cycling. The group were of mixed ability, so some went ahead whilst others went more slowly to enjoy the views. It was good to visit this area of Europe to get to know more about it. Breakfasts were substantial, and I have developed a love of herring - though this is not necessary!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed cycling to Jurmala from Riga, and riding along the sand. We swam in the sea which was rather chilly! Cycling in Lahemma Park by the sea was also lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vaida was really great; enthusiastic and so helpful. She was keen to help as much as she could and couldn’t be faulted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are no kettles in Baltic hotels, so I would take a travel kettle if you want to make a cup of tea... I never realised how much I love tea until I couldn’t make a cuppa at the end of a ride. You can buy teabags when you get there. Take some warm base layers as well as summer clothes as it is cooler than the UK - and a wind proof gilet is useful as well as a waterproof jacket. Not being a regular cyclist I found doing some longer cycle rides before going away helpful in preparing for cycling every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hadn’t been on a cycling holiday before, and was worried about how I would manage cycling every day, but needn’t have as everyone went at their own pace. It was a good way to holiday in a friendly group.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Karen Wallace

    An interesting tour

    I had never been to this part of Europe so was excited to go. The cities we visited were lovely, our tour guide, excellent and the places we stayed varied and often charming. We visited a lot of different restaurants and most of the food was ve y good. I was slightly surprised to find it was not as cheap as i expected, but i enjoyed it. The cycling ...level 2 was not hard, mostly very level terrain, but some of the rides were not that varied which is inevitable given the location. Weather was much cooler than i expected in parts, i am only mentioning it for future travellers may want to bring an extra fleece!!!! I did love several of the places we stayed and visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure there was one tbh.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    FABULOUS

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring warm clothes, only 2 days of the 10 were not chilly, bordering on cold...and that was last week of June, July.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    phil myslowski

    cycling the baltics

    A bit too pacey for me for a trip advertised as leisurely and the scenery was somewhat often repetitive and uninspiring . However the capital cities i.e. Tallin, Riga and Vilnius are well worth a visit. The weather, apart from a couple of sunny days in Tallin was mainly cloudy and sometimes wet - just like home. Also we had 2 or 3 very windy days and it was always a headwind which made cycling very hard work, particularly when it was also pouring with rain. At one café stop we met cyclists from a competitor of Exodus who were travelling in the opposite direction from Vilnius to Tallin and they said the ride was brilliant with a tailwind. Perhaps Exodus should consider reversing the route.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tallin and Riga.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lina is very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be wary that, if windy this trip can be hard work. Also I was cheated by the taxi driver who took me from the hotel to Vilnius airport at the end of the trip. Check the fair with the hotel and the driver before setting off. You have been warned !