Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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17958 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2021

    Portugal walking and wine

    Very enjoyable with brilliant local guides and great hotels . More difficult flying from Manchester than Gatwick but would recommend,not too arduous walking and interesting holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I had a sore Achilles so was a bit limited by it but loved the visit guided around Porto and the visit to a winery with great homemade lunch included .COVID tests last day was awful as missed a boat trip and we were stressed filling out the PLF too

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring good walking shoes or boots as hilly and loose stones etc .They provided walking poles and everything else

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make sure you join main group to first hotel as a long way ,too long for a text . This is for those on flights that are not the main one Gatwick
  • Reviewed November 2021

    We are travelling again!

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable trip -- we were lucky to have such fantastic weather in October. The tour offers a great overview of the highlights of Sicily and many ideas for a return visit. We visited both historical and natural sites and had an opportunity to sample fantastic local cuisine. Hotels were comfortable and some offered rooftop terraces with views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many highlights but I suppose my favourite day was the visit to the temple of Selinunte in its natural setting. It feels very untouristy, especially in the aftermath of the Pandemic. I love Noto and the other baroque towns -- Ragusa and Modica, as well as the stunning landscapes of the Zingaro. I also loved the Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tiziano was charming, helpful, and good-humoured. We had a lot of laughs along the way. He is passionate about his island (and especially Palermo). He tried his very best to make everyone happy and to point out different things that could be of interest to different people.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip could could be expanded a bit -- the visit to Erice was rushed and it would have been nice to have some time in Trapani too. A visit to Scicli should be included too, since we are in the neighborhood and it is a UNESCO site.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    It's amazing what you can do in a week!

    This holiday was extremely enjoyable. The itinerary is well planned and the route takes you to a variety of destinations. Not having been to Croatia before I didn't know there were so many beautiful small islands and I loved the ferry and catarmaran rides. The coastal route we took was dramatic and the World Heritage sites in Split and Dubrovnik very interesting and worth visiting. The Adriatic Sea was warm, blue and inviting, good for swimming even in October. The hotels we stayed in varied in size from medium to large. I particularly liked the one just outside Dubrovnik as I had a sea view. Tourists were plentiful in Split and Dubrovnik but in the other places we stayed there was an end of season feel and it was quiet on the roads and in the resorts. The food was good and our guide was always able to recommend a nice restaurant for our evening meal. The weather in October was good for cycling - not hot, partly cloudy most days and one day it rained!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two positives: Making use of opportunities to go swimming. Using the hair dryer to dry out my cycling kit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alan is an outstanding leader. He did a superb job of leading the 16 of us. He had everything planned and organised and he was calm and attentive. Alan told us a lot about the history and culture of Croatia. Alan is genial, has excellent communication skills and a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring lots of layers of clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The cycling is very enjoyable (when it doesn't rain) and the Dalmation coast well worth exploring.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    A good title

    A most memorable trip. It was very well organised and went seamlessly from beginning to end, despite having to slightly alter the itinerary. The hotel staff were really kind and friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Our group was very convivial and people looked after each other.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking with someone even older than me! It gave me hope for future trips. Meeting Thanos again was also a highlight. He is such a reliable leader and has a wealth of experience. The scenery was stunning. I loved the Rocky Mountain crags and the type of Mediterranean countryside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was very friendly and explained what we were to expect in terms of terrain, even though she could not accompany us on the walks. George was very helpful in helping some of us on more problematic terrain. Thanos was invaluable in ferrying us from one place to another.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some walks may be a little more challenging than expected

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am veery pleased that the trip proved such a success.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Lovely Scenery, good cycling

    This was the last trip of the season and unfortunately the weather was not the greatest, but this was unusual for the time of year. However this was more than made up for by the excellent tour leader Alan and driver Jadran who looked after us brilliantly. The views are stunning and the cycling not too arduous. I had only booked the tour a couple of weeks before departure and so had very little time to get on my bike and train for the trip, but I made it up every hill, albeit at the back, and for those that did not want to tackle the route there was always a seat on the minibus. Croatia is a beautiful country and the locals are rightly very proud of it. The food is great - a lot of seafood and meat, but not so good if you are vegetarian as there was usually one uninspiring option on the menu, and nothing for vegnas. I would pick start or end of season when there are fewer tourists, as Dubrovnik still felt busy as the season closed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the hill on the first day, in the rain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was outstanding. Calm, organised, patient and with a very good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a decent wet weather cycling jacket if you are going at the end of the season. Not brilliant for vegetarians
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Beautiful Croatia - Sept 2021

    Great way to see lots of Croatia in a short space of time. The tour takes you along the coast from Dubrovnik in the South to Zadar in the North via islands, waterfalls and beautiful beaches. It's quite a fast paced tour but Exodus has got the itinerary down to a fine art and the schedule is well thought out and works well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved Day 3 in Makarska. Lovely walk with open views out to sea & not too challenging so that I could look up, rather than at my feet! In the afternoon we went swimming off the beautiful beach; very refreshing after hiking in the warm temperatures of mid September. We then had a sunset ferry trip over to the island of Bol which was our base for the next two nights. All the worries of 2020/2021 seemed a world away!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ivan is honestly one of the best group leaders I have ever travelled with. He is so attentive and hard working - he feels like part of the group rather than a leader. Full of good humour, knowledge of his country & was meticulous in thinking ahead, choosing restaurants for us, making sure we are all okay and counting us all the time!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend bringing a walking pole even if you are reasonably fit and used to walking - the limestone terrain is a bit tricky at times and a walking pole definitely helped me.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bad weather on our last day forced us to shorten our planned hike and instead spend an afternoon in Zadar itself. Zadar was a pleasant surprise - really enjoyable to sit by the sea and listen to the Sea organ (architectural sound art) which plays music by way of sea waves. Also lovely to just to wander around with an ice cream. Recommend visiting that city if you have a chance towards the end of the tour.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Amazing adventure with glorious scenery and many animals

    An amazing adventure into a unspoilt landscape. This well organised trip had so much to offer, the scenery, the welcoming local people, the traditional cuisine and the wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There really were some many but favourite moment was watching the cows in Viscri return home to their individual gates.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent!!! Funny, enthusiastic, informative and kind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We didn’t take coats but needed them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was such an unspoiled country and so inexpensive.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Hiking in Madeira

    This was a very different walking holiday to that I undertook in the Douro a view years ago. The walks were a lot more challenging so you need to be fit! The scenery of Madeira is lovely and a lot of the walks took place along the edge of cliffs, occasionally on both sides! On the longest walk across the mountain tops we did meet a lot of people coming the other way so you needed to take care going round bends. The hotels were of a good standard, especially in Santana and the transport arrangements worked out well, using local buses was a good idea and was good fun at times. Our group got on well and had a good time and we enjoyed the humour of Andre, our tour guide. It also helped that we had really good weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the sun rise at the start of our big trek and finishing the trek later in the day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andre clearly loves his “job” and his island and was very knowledgable on its fauna. He had a sense of humour that we enjoyed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of the walks involved a considerable amount of climbing up steps and hills and coming down them so was hard on your knees and it often got the heart pumping as well. The walk on the last day did involve 90 minutes of a steep climb up a hill and many steps, which was tough, before a long easy walk along the levada.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An excellent week, very enjoyable.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Good...But...

    Overall, the trip was quite good. It gave one a pretty good taste of the mountains and islands of Croatia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The city of Dubrovnik is a very special place to visit...probably the largest occupied old walled city that I have seen. I spent 4 days there before the hike began. The Krka Waterfalls were very special...and could be viewed from various walkways with historical buildings along the way. On my own, I visited Plitvice Lakes National Park which is probably the #1 natural attraction, but would probably add an additional day on to the tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Zelko Zarak (sp?), was very good. Not only did he know the hiking trails very well, but he also had a wealth of information about all the areas we were visiting. He provided information on the numerous changes that have taken place since Yugoslavia was abolished and the creation of several independent republics and the resultant conflicts. Hi kept a close watch over his (sheep) so they would not get lost. He also provided me with several good suggestions as to what to see after the tour was over. Thoughtful, considerate, and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    - The weather, and time of the year, is probably the most important. Of course, you can prepare for the very cold, rainy, or very hot weather...I've found that just after the very beginning of September the crowds are smaller and the weather can be ideal. -Consider the Covid restrictions. Not only where you are going, but also returning home. While I had made airline reservations for one month in the Balkans departing from the US, and was planning to spend about 9 days in Bulgaria, I discovered a few days before departure that Bulgaria was not allowing visitors from the US. So, I had to make plans on my own as to where to go and what to see/do. When I went to Ljubljana airport for my departure, I discovered that I needed a test...even though I had been vaccinated. Fortunately, the lady from Lufthansa Airline helped me to get the test and make it to my flight.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The communication from the home office in the UK was not as good as I had hoped for. (They very well could have been understaffed due to Covid 19 restrictions.) While the forms I had to fill out required my name to be typed exactly as appears on my passport (which has my Middle Name), the forms returned to me never had my middle name. I was assured that it would be ok ...and it was. But there was still a conflict in the guidance. The correspondence that I received on the name of the hotel we were staying in for the beginning of our tour was changed twice on the same day! It seems that the people on the home office were not aware of what was going on locally. As to how to reach the hotel for the start of our tour in Dubrovnik, I was informed that I would have to follow certain directions and that I would then walk along a path to the hotel. These directions may have make sense when the original hotel had been selected, but for the new hotel, which was at a major intersection, they didn't make sense...and the hotel was not far from a regular bus stop. I had the option, when selecting the tour, to request the rental of poles for 10E...which I did. When I asked our guide for the poles he said that he was never informed of this request. This was a big disappointment. If it wasn't for the above issues, especially re the poles, I would have rated the tour as 5 stars.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    surprisingly lovely UK trip

    At a time when we were unable to do foreign travel, we signed up to this trip with not particularly high expectations, but we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Nice balance of scenery, country and city, exercise and leisure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing particularly inspirational, but just really enjoyable spending time meeting new people (a very nice group), seeing beautiful parts of the UK, exercising, as well as eating and drinking and socialising - after a long time without any holidays and minimal social contact during the pandemic, it was so refreshing to have some enjoyable normality!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic group leaders, particularly Jago. They were incredibly hard working, organised, and made us all feel looked after. They also both gave the impression they were enjoying themselves, and made everybody on the trip feel valued.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    no

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not sure how we would have enjoyed the trip if the British weather had been bad..... but we were lucky, we cycled every day without any rain