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 January 2018
    M B

    Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

    Definitely a moderate trip ( in winter ) . Some challenges with packed ice / deep snow so a reasonable level of fitness would be helpful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    getting through a couple of very steep , snow and ice packed sections of a couple of the walks

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was full of historical info and local knowledge which he was more than happy to share. good sense of humour and encouragement when he thought it was needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    use clothing layer system, plus gaiters . Weather can be sunny / cold / rainy / snowy . There are times when you dont snow shoe but may need to walk in deeper snow as its safer than an icy path. Alternatively it could be muddy and gaiters do help keep you clean. Definitely take some shoe grippers that can fit onto your boots i.e. Yaktrax or those rubber /spiky things sold in many shops. Some paths are sheet packed ice and the grips give you that extra safety feature , but you will be putting on and taking off multiple times during a walk so make sure you are familiar with them. The paths vary depending on if they are in open / forest / gorge etc. If you can , carry an old hiking trousers belt / webbing/ bit of string . Its useful to help tie down the snow shoes onto your rucksack ( if you dont have side straps on the rucksack ) . The guesthouse is cosy and warm , plenty of hot water. No TV in rooms . You make your lunch sandwich at the breakfast table in mornings and carry it with you. Might be worth carrying your own trail bars / jelly babies etc if you like to snack en route . A flask to carry your own tea ( the guest house will fill with hot water or fruit tea ) may also be useful in cold weather. You really only need a bit of spending money as one night in a restaurant in Brasov ( I had 2 beers plus main plus starter and it was 60 Lei or 12 pounds total . Roughly 5 Lei to the pound ) . The guest house runs a tab that you settle on final night. You just help yourself to beers ( one beer is 5 or 6 lei depending on brand , teas in afternoon 4 lei ) from fridge , mark it on your list and settle at end . The guest house is in middle of nowhere , really isolated . So no town or shops to walk to etc.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Hannah Reese

    The perfect winter escape

    If you're looking to get away from it all in unspoilt scenery, try out different winter activities, and generally have an experience you'll never forget, then book this trip. The location is beautiful, the staff are great, the food was absolutely delicious, and I didn't want to leave!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The optional snowshoe hike in Riisitunturi National Park was fantastic. The scenery was something I'd never seen, and everything I wanted to see when I imagined Finnish Wilderness. Also the silence in the forest, and exploring on snowshoes with others, or practicing cross country skiing alone. It's a perfect escape bubble from the rest of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teddy/Bjorn was great - very laid back with a great sense of humour. All the staff at Basecamp were knowledgeable and really friendly. The whole place has a relaxed and cosy feel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it! If you like being outdoors, making new friends, and trying out new activities then you'll have a great time. You don't need any experience of the activities, just be willing to have a go. On a practical note: The afternoons are mostly free so you can be as active as you choose to be - either snowshoeing, cross country skiing, using the sauna and hot tub, or just taking a nap! Evenings were spent playing cards or boardgames, chatting, or reading by the fire. Drinks are available from reception - I recommend the cloudberry liqueur, or the peppermint in some hot chocolate! Optional activities can be quite pricey so do allow for that. You pay for everything on your tab at the end of the week. If you're not a downhill skier or boarder then Ruka doesn't have much to do, but I found the day spa and a nice coffee shop. A few others went snowmobiling. Wifi works in the dining room/reception (most of the time) and you can always use 4G in the rooms if you need to. Bring a spare power pack if you like taking photos on your phone. The cold will drain your battery quicker than at home. Basecamp really do provide everything you need to stay warm, and you don't need to pack much at all. Just a few sets of your own baselayers, hat and buff, and then jeans and jumper for the evening.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Hannah Reese

    The perfect winter escape

    If you're looking to get away from it all in unspoilt scenery, try out different winter activities, and generally have an experience you'll never forget, then book this trip. The location is beautiful, the staff are great, the food was absolutely delicious, and I didn't want to leave!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The optional snowshoe hike in Riisitunturi National Park was fantastic. The scenery was something I'd never seen, and everything I wanted to see when I imagined Finnish Wilderness. Also the silence in the forest, and exploring on snowshoes with others, or practicing cross country skiing alone. It's a perfect escape bubble from the rest of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teddy/Bjorn was great - very laid back with a great sense of humour. All the staff at Basecamp were knowledgeable and really friendly. The whole place has a relaxed and cosy feel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it! If you like being outdoors, making new friends, and trying out new activities then you'll have a great time. You don't need any experience of the activities, just be willing to have a go. On a practical note: The afternoons are mostly free so you can be as active as you choose to be - either snowshoeing, cross country skiing, using the sauna and hot tub, or just taking a nap! Evenings were spent playing cards or boardgames, chatting, or reading by the fire. Drinks are available from reception - I recommend the cloudberry liqueur, or the peppermint in some hot chocolate! Optional activities can be quite pricey so do allow for that. You pay for everything on your tab at the end of the week. If you're not a downhill skier or boarder then Ruka doesn't have much to do, but I found the day spa and a nice coffee shop. A few others went snowmobiling. Wifi works in the dining room/reception (most of the time) and you can always use 4G in the rooms if you need to. Bring a spare power pack if you like taking photos on your phone. The cold will drain your battery quicker than at home. Basecamp really do provide everything you need to stay warm, and you don't need to pack much at all. Just a few sets of your own baselayers, hat and buff, and then jeans and jumper for the evening.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Gail Leeder

    Fabulous Winter Walking

    If you're looking for European winter walking, this is for you. The sun was gorgeous (although the wind is cold on the mountain tops so make sure you have warm clothes) with fabulous, long range, 360 deg views. Jose's sandwiches are already legendary, and rightly so, but he is also an experienced, knowledgeable and fun walk leader. The perfect escape from a dark, grey, damp UK and only a short flight away. Don't expect to lose weight though!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summits and enjoying the fabulous views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was fabulous - knows the area well and is enthusiastic about sharing information so you understand your surroundings and appreciate the walks even more. Very conscious of the group to ensure that everyone is enjoying the walk, that the pace is right, and anyone who is a little uncertain in parts is encouraged and supported.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring layers, gloves and a warm hat. The sun can be warm (sometimes we were in T shirts) but the wind is icy, especially on the mountain tops (in January anyway).
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Stephen Clark

    Annapyrnna Circuit

    A great holiday. Excellent leader, good group, great weather, excellent views, lovely locals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the Thorong la Pass and the high mountains all around us. Pokhara was great fun on New years eve.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, he mixed in with the group in the evenings and was always joyfull and very knolageable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to enjoy yourself and have plenty of card space in your camera. It is a strenuous trek with plenty of steep ups and downs to tax the knees

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only thing I would comment on is the fact that you have to take extra cash for your evening meals, I personaly would like to see the price of the meals in the total price you pay for the holiday, then you would not have to take so much extra cash with you.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    SImon Knight

    Walking on Evia

    A really good short walking holiday with rewarding hikes, beautiful scenery and lots and lots of good food. Greek hospitality has to be experienced to be believed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The long hike up to the top of one mountain to see the remains of an doorway arch and views across the island.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Probably the best group leader we have had (and we have done a lot of Exodus and Explore holidays).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In December you need to be prepared for cold, wet and windy weather (it even sleeted on us at one point), and pack layers accordingly. A pole or poles will help on the descents.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Michael Chow

    A great tropical escape in the winter months

    This was an excellent trip but marred by the noisy festive celebration around the New Year in the beach resort of Kovolam; the noise continues into the night. The lush tropical scenery was a welcome get away from the dark December days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Backwaters, temples in Madurai, tea plantations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was fantastic. One of the best. He was highly knowledgeable in all aspects of India and gave relevant commentaries as we journeyed. He was also patient with us on the menu selections.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip was rated as easy walking. I would say on two days it was moderate.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Jagdish Jethwa

    Tropical South

    Excellent trip. It was good to get a day at the end in Kovalam. We could have done with 3 days on thew backwaters which was fantastic. Look out for the "Easy to moderate" hike in Tea plantations which is at least medium and on several sections it is a hard tough hike not suitable if you have dodgy knees or not fit. Tour leaders tend to be risk averse or for the sake of "commissions" and take people to "tourist" restaurants for meals. The best food for most of us was always in the local restaurants. Hope Exodus will stop exporting this virus of "Tipping" to India. No Indians tip bell boys to take bags up/down in lifts so why "impose" this negative practice on them? Why don't you just pay the drivers etc. better wages instead.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Home-stay, Walk and talk in the spice garden, On the houseboat

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was Good and very hard working although he felt compelled to keep giving commentary despite many people sometimes being marginally interested.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Grigor and Irene Paterson

    Winter Walking in Tyrol

    This was our first Christmas away and we were really glad that we chose this holiday. The town of Seefeld was stunning and scenery was like a winter wonderland. The walks were very good and not too challenging which allowed for stops at Mountain Huts for coffees, hot chocolate and lunch. Overall it was an excellent relaxing way to spend Christmas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery especially the day after it snowed - it was even more stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul was an excellent leader. He went out of his way to meet the group needs, especially on the day off when he arranged several different activities for members of the group, including cross country skiing, tobogganing and curling. We had a late flight home and had to be out of the hotel room by 10.00 am. Paul arranged a short walk for the group and lunch. He also arranged for some of the group to go to Innsbruck by train and we met them at the airport later. He went above and beyond and this was appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not take a "water cooker" (kettle) - the hotel don't like to use one in your room!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are plenty of winter activities that you can do in Seefeld on your day off - it is a lovely place with a great winter atmosphere.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Brian Helsdon

    A great if (for me) a strenuous trip

    I really enjoyed this trip. We had a full (15) and varied group, two couples, an American family and ages ranging from late twenties/early thirties to seventies. They were great fun and helped to make the trip. We were also extremely fortunate, no rain in what is the wettest month in Madeira, sun and above average temperatures for the first half of the week. All the hotels were of an acceptable standard with generally very good and varied breakfasts. The exception was the hotel in the centre of the island where the choice at breakfast was very limited and the food quality poor. The walks offered varied terrain and fantastic views but certainly merit the grading moderate.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the end, the two days in Funchal, maybe because I felt I'd earnt it! We did an optional extra dolphin boast trip, went on the cable car and generally soaked up the atmosphere. Funchal at night during the Christmas period was lively with very tasteful decorations. The views of the north coast from several of the walks were spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Andre a very experienced mountain guide. He was extremely friendly and helpful and considerate to those of differing walking abilities and experiences. The walks all went well without incident because of this. He was also good at recommending places to eat which accepted 15 individual bills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't do this without either regular walking experience or some preparation before hand. There are five walks. I ducked out of the most strenuous one ( I wasn't the only one) but the last was also for me hard going, too many rocks, too many tunnels and too many hills. To be fair it was not the route in the itinerary which we could not do because of road closures. Definitely consider walking poles, invaluable especially for the down hills.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did this walking trip over the Christmas period 2017. I have nothing but praise for the Exodus sales staff, Lucy. When I first inquired the trip was fully booked. I persisted and she promised to let me know if anyone dropped out. They did. The problem then was getting a flight, the return fare was £550 for a so called budget airline but Exodus mitigated this by further reductions in the main price so affordable but pricey my fault for a last minute booking. Following on from my comment above I would suggest Exodus consider a less strenuous option for the last walk whilst the one in the itinerary is off limits. Finally a small beef, the hotels near Funchal, Machico and in central Funchal both charged for a key to the room safe. In this security age I find this unacceptable. I hope Exodus and its agents can negotiate this away in future.
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