Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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17985 Reviews

  • 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
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Excellent!

    A week-long exploration of the countryside in north Portugal interspersed with plenty of wine and port-tasting opportunities topped off with a day in Porto.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks through the villages where people still use the communal washing facilities and herd their cows; the fabulous lunch and vinho verde at Quinta das Escomoeiras; managing to get in the icy infinity pool; the beautiful autumn light on the vines and heather...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lina was brilliant, and together with Antonio they made the trip unforgettable. The slideshows in the evening were a particular bonus!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this trip is categorised as leisurely it is still a walking holiday, and there are some ups and downs so go suitably prepared.
  • Just amazing, in every way..

    This was such an amazing trip that weeks later here at home I find myself missing the hiking, the mountains, the people the food, (and even the 6:30 AM church bells!! Go figure!) I’m so happy I was able to be part of this trip, I will never forget the beauty of the mountains and lakes we visited, and the their history that our guide Karl shared with us each day as we explored a new mountain range. I cant imagine a better guide than Karl. He was a calm, confident knowledgable (and funny!) presence we could count on each day. The best.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was inspired by the beauty of each hike and how different they each were! Karl was so intimately familiar with the regions we hiked in, that he took us off the beaten paths and always found THE most glorious spots for us to sit for our lunches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above! The best👍🏼

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t miss out on this one!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Hotel Adler and all the staff were outstanding. The dinners were classic 5 course meals, and just delicious. The setting is beautiful as well.
  • Reviewed October 2021

    Review of Sept-Oct 2021 hiking in the Dolomites

    This trip was certainly one of the best and most memorable of my life! I have been home for a number of weeks now and I am still basking in the memories of this trip and missing the daily excursions in the Dolomites. The adventure vacation of this particular trip was only super-enhanced by the expert guide, Karl, and the wonderful accommodations at the Adler Hotel!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karl encouraged each of us to challenge ourselves and in doing so, he took great care to ensure all were safe and that each of us felt safe. The most inspirational moment for me was on the day we hiked along narrow paths while holding a cable for stability. It was breath-takingly beautiful, it was challenging, and it was soul-filling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl Mather is a genius. Not only is he a highly trained and skilled guide in the Dolomite region, he was able to read the very diverse abilities of our group of 16 hikers, anticipate daily weather conditions, and consider daily adventures that would be most interesting to this particular group of hikers and adventure seekers. Karl was deliberate in each day's hike and he provided a drastically diverse experience each day, and the group quickly grew to trust him completely. This trip and these memories would not be possible without Karl as our guide. I would love to go on another adventure vacation with Karl guiding!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Alder Hotel and staff in the little town of Niederdorf/Villabassa were impressive. There was an abundance of food and the varied spa accommodations at the hotel are exactly what is needed after a long day's hike. I would go on this trip again with Karl as the guide and at this same Hotel.