Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Andrew Thomas

    You'll view steps differently...

    This is a well planned walking week on a beautiful (and steep) part of the Italian coast. Centred in Bomerano, a small town ideally situated - several of the walks start from the hotel - be warned they nearly all involve some steps (mostly downwards). The paths go through beautiful countryside with lemon groves, vineyards and spectacular views down to the sea. A day trip to walk the rim of Vesuvius and visit Pompei was very memorable. The hotel Due Torri was very comfortable and the staff all very friendly and helpful - very sensitive to some of the groups food intolerances or allergies.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly like the visit to Ravello (Villa Cimbrone a must having been there 25 years ago) and the following walk down to Amalfi through lemon groves and a lovely wooded valley with waterfalls and streams (useful for cooling your feet) past old iron works and the site of the first paper mill in Europe. The ice creams and beers at the end were very welcome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martina was an exceptional group leader - funny, caring and full of local knowledge and a great ambassador for Italy and all things Italian - she introduced us the the word 'undulating' - some of those steps are uphill!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are lots of steps - read the trip notes. Take walking pole(s) if you have them - the hotel do have some if you don't and there are a couple of well equipped outdoors shops in the village. I wore boots and was pleased to have them although others wore good walking shoes - you need something with good a grip (especially on Vesuvius). You can select your packed lunch each day - provided by the hotel - they were good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great walking week in a beautiful part of Italy - just book and enjoy.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Marilyn Paterson

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    Excellent guide and great sites, especially Stromboli. Watching volcanic activity after dark along with a fabulous sunset.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As above.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely knowledgeable. Great guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are physically capable. Lots of climbing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very unacceptable accommodation in Catania. Small room, brichk wall ,cement steps to bathroom. Air conditioner not functioning. Accommodation in Stromboli: we were put on an upper level and could not sleep because of the noise
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Julia Nufer

    Fantastic hiking trip in a beautiful part of the world

    This is a popular hiking trip, and deservedly so. The views every day were wonderful - you'd be hard pressed to enjoy this area to the same extent traveling on your own; having a tour made it so easy to have the paths charted out for us each day, and transport back to the hotel after a tough day's hiking. Each day brought an exploration of a little bit of a different area. It is rated as a "2" i think, pretty easy, but it was not very easy due to the extreme heat (up to 40C on one day, and well over 35 on every day) and humidity, on steep and rough paths. I'd say it is more like a 3 (I am an over 60 yr old woman in good condition). It is a small (about 15 people) tour so the logistics are manageable, and the group was delightful. Food at the Hotel Due Torri was fine. Only negative: the rooms are haphazard: you might or might not get a good one. Don't pay for the "superior" room - just a jacuzzi tub in a garret, with a sloping roof, can't stand up in half the room.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually what i enjoyed most was the day "off" - since we were there in the middle of a bad heat wave, several of us wanted to hire a boat & driver and go boating up and down the Amalfi Coast, and our guide made that happen for us. We swam in the delightful sea water several times, enjoyed a splendid water view lunch at a small town, visited a deserted beach accessible only by boat, etc. etc. It was truly memorable, like a scene from a movie.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vania did a fine job. She was accessible, kept the group going, very upbeat, went out of her way to arrange our day on the water - we couldn't have done that without her. I was the slowest of our group (and probably the oldest) - on Day 1 I had to ask her to wait up for me at the rest stops and give me a moment to breath, but once i called it to her attention, she was pretty good about extending those rest breaks just a little longer so i could catch up. She provided options for me to bail out of the hiking at a couple of points, and i did so, (skipped one day of all-downhill hiking to save my knees, took a bus partway thru one day when that was possible, for the same reason). I appreciated her consideration and watchfulness. She did a nice job arranging the departures for all of us - many of us could not use the trip-provided shuttle to Naples Airport, and she got us all squared away with our separate arrangements.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think if you are over 60, you had better be in very fine form to do this trip. I am fit, and found it quite difficult. The first day was 8.8 miles according to my phone, with 44 flights climbed - a rigorous day especially given the heat. Other days were closer to 7 miles. Bring the trekking poles and good boots as Exodus advises, you will use them every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Delightful trip, so glad i took this trip!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Niamh K

    Great week - stunning scenery!

    Another great Exodus trip. Breathtaking scenery, pleasant walks & good company made it a very enjoyable week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The rugged coastline with fantastic beaches - I particularly liked Sagres.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Luis & Sofia were great - attentive, well organised, knowledgeable & catered for all needs of the group. They did a fantastic job in showcasing their beautiful country & went out of their way to ensure we all had a good holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Highly recommend this trip - book it!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Roz Forster

    .

    Having done this trip before I knew what to expect but it was even better second time around. The walks were spectacular, the weather fantastic and the guide made every bit of the trip memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most definitely plucking up the courage (with Vania's support) to walk the rim of the crater on Vesuvius. The boat we rented on our day off and swimming off the back of it was a very close second!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She's amazing. She's knowledgable, fun and full of energy. She constantly keeps up with the different needs of the group and makes every walk so enjoyable. Nothing is too much trouble for Vania, whatever you ask of her she arranges to make sure you have the best, most memorable experiences on holiday. Its a pleasure to spend time walking in one of her groups.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book a boat for a day to see the Amalfi coast from the water.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd sign up for any walks that Vania is guiding!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sally Ward

    Fantastically enjoyable holiday

    If you like sparkling turquoise sea pretty much outside the hotel then this holiday is for you ! I found the walking quite tough as I wasn’t quite fit enough and as other reviewers state it’s more moderate than leisurely especially in June! However, I enjoyed the three walks I did enormously and it was amazing to get up (and down) to the Roman columns the view from which is so memorable and now my screen saver. Solid support and encouragement up and down from Cecile and lovely group members. Plenty to see and do if you want to dip in and out of the walking you can, ie to dip in and out of the sea on comfy sun loungers with inexpensive waiter service from the taverna whilst helping the Greek economy (what’s not to like). One day I went on an astounding snorkelling trip to the renowned Petali Islands : 7 hours for €35 including CAKE !!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    (In my case) staggering to end of first walk to arrive at a heavenly beach, sea and taverna...... First sight of the acropolis on the inclusive day trip to Athens Getting to the top of the Roman column walk The turquoise sparking sea...... Our lovely group - all so different but all so lovely !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Solid as a rock - very experienced and entirely dependable and she has a rescue donkey!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Over 65’s take passport to Athens trip for discounted entry to Acropolis and Archaeological museum I regret not biting the bullet and seeing the Acropolis AND the museum and foregoing the hot walk through Athens, meeting at parliament as suggested. It would have been easy to do in hindsight perhaps clearer instructions on this alternative would be good. In summer you need to be fit - it was 30 degrees plus in June 2019. I had originally booked for May but not enough people so I transferred to June. Luckily I love the beach so it was a PERFECT HOLIDAY for me.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hadn’t been to Greece for many years and had forgotten some of its foibles, one plug for kettle, fridge and charger the other plug in external door jam, the shower head that was so reluctant to point downwards to the drain..... BUT I grew to quickly love and appreciate Hotel Galaxy, it’s super family staff, the amazing breakfasts, service, kindness, generosity and it’s position on the harbour. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again - it just takes a day to acclimatise..... then you won’t want to leave........
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Susan Thrasher

    Fantastic Week

    A really enjoyable, relaxing trip. Accommodation was excellent in all places, our guide Cecile was fantastic, Greek food is wonderful, and the walks were brilliant. Everything was well organized. I hadn't been to the Greek Islands before, and this tour was the perfect introduction to this beautiful corner of the world. Santorini was overflowing with tourists (there were three cruise ships there when we arrived, and the chaos at the ferry terminal--which is not where the cruise ships go--was truly something to experience) but everyone should visit this stunning and unique island once in their lifetime. The walk on Santorini was incredibly beautiful (although hot--very little shade). Naxos and Paros were more laid back, also stunningly beautiful, and exactly what I dreamed the Greek islands might be like--I took SO many photos! You have some time to explore on your own. The walks are not difficult, and the pace matches the group--steady but no rush. You need sturdy walking shoes for sure, but not boots. If you often walk with a pole, bring it as paths are rocky and uneven in many places. You do spend a fair few hours on ferries but that's part of getting around between islands, so bring a book and enjoy the experience. I'm sure all groups are different, but ours was a really nice mix of people from the UK, NZ, Australia, and the US, with a median age in the 50-65 range. If you're even thinking about this trip, don't hesitate--just book it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved it all. I wish we'd had more time on Paros, the least-touristy of the three islands. All the walks were great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was fabulous: Well organized, knowledgeable, and unflappable--and always there just for a chat if you're looking for company. 10/10.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring cash for meals and incidentals. Credits cards are accepted in many places, but when you are sharing meals in a group, it's inconvenient for everyone if you want to put your meal on a card.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it. Great trip. I will travel with Exodus again.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Melanie Appleton

    If life gives you lemons, make lemoncello

    A full on week, fabulous views, busy roads, lemons and more lemons and fabulous Italian food. I have been on many Exodus walking trips and this felt the most like a package holiday but necessarily so because of the numbers of people who want to visit the Amalfi Coast. Not a get away from it all holiday but embrace the vibrancy of an Italian Amalfi Destination.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing in the gardens at Ravello overlooking the sea then walking back through lemon grove after lemon groves back to Amalfi.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Saverio was a very knowledgeable who’s honest humour was refreshing. He introduced us to Sicilian wine and I have been converted and have similar at home.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weathers. Read all the previous reviews about steps. They are unforgiving on the legs. If you are looking for a peaceful , get away from it all holiday then I would not recommend this. If you are looking for a full on , vibrant coastal towns and incredible views then this is for you. Yes the hotel is busy, three groups when we were there and busy roads but this because it is the Amalfi and a busy world famous Italian destination.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Darren Coles

    Walking the Amalfi coast

    Was a Fantastic Walking Trip have been wanting to do this tour for 2 years and it didn't disappoint at all The walks were Amazing and the views breathtaking .Hotel was excellent food was superb .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After studying Vesuvius and Pompei as a Child this was the highlight for me getting walk to the very top of Vesuvius with a local Vulcanologist where 99% of tourists are not aloud to go was a dream come true the view were amazing .Pompei and Herculaneum were oustanding the guides we had brilliant and brought the two cities alive with the history and stories of the poor victims we saw

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vania was oustanding right from the 1st day she made sure we were all okay on the walks ,let us walk at our own pace and never rushed us.We had plenty of stops to rest and have water as the heat and humidity were a hinderance especially on the 1st day .She brought the group o together and was a great tour leader and couldn't do enough for you . A beautiful caring Young Lady and she helped make the trips one of the best ive done with Exodus

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would say make your you have a decent level of fitness and bring walking poles as well they are great help. Also the 1st day is not a great way to streach your legs its was the hardest day by far very steep ascent on uneven ground and stepseven the experinced walkers in our group struggled at times especially in the heat we experienced .it was toughest walk by far.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    June Egglestone

    Lovely holiday

    A lovely week walking, plus swim in the sea at the end of each day. The town is nice and laid back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day 2 when we ended up at a lovely beachside taverna for lunch followed by a swim was a great way to start. But, I enjoyed all the walks, hard to pick a favourite. This was my first time in Athens too, so great to see the Acropolis.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was an excellent group leader, very easy to get along with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    day 2 walk - take flip flops/wet shoes, as the beach you end up in (which is lovely) has stones that are quite painful to walk on (if you want to have a swim), and burning hot too if you are there in summer! days 3/4 walks - wear long trousers, the gorse is quite scratchy on your calves. The hotel is basic, but it's fine, and a great location (beach over the road), so dont let the two stars put you off going on this trip. Athens - if you want to see the acropolis AND the associated museum, you will not have time to do both on the day trip, advise getting in a day early or a day late if you wish to do both. It's easy to get into Athens and back to the airport using the metro, and there are facilities in the airport to store your luggage, if you just get an earlier flight on day 1.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely recommend this holiday!
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