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 July 2019
    Richard Ponting

    A very enjoyable trip

    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip "Discover the Baltics". Our Exodus Guide was excellent and each of the specialist guides we had in the various cities and castles were also good. Transport was reliable and comfortable without being luxurious. We noted some members of our group were critical of some of the hotel accomodation, but most of the hotels offered an optional upgrade at very reasonable extra cost and we took advantage of this on one two occasions as my wife is a very light sleeper. We were also recommended some excellent restaurants for evening meals which took the risk out of looking for one ourselves. Lunch venues were organised by a guide in advance and were generally good value and carried the local foods and snacks. Overall we thought the trip was very good value for money and would recommend it to friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gaining an understanding of the turbulent history of three counties which have all been occupied by and over-run by foreign forces on many occasions over the last 1000 years. We fully understood why the the locals Celebrated 100yr Indépendance Day in Cesis with traditional music, songs and dancing on Sat 21st June. Joining in the Midsummer celebrations on the river front in Riga on Sunday 22nd June. One big street party with local entertainment, foods and beverages. Brilliant! Sense of awe when visiting some Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches. Magnificent!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mindaygus Jucius is an excellent guide, he is very knowledgable about the countries we visited and has excellent language skills including English. He has a good sense of humour and is also is very patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check with the hotels you are going to be staying in if you are concerned about the facilities that will be available to you. If upgrades are available you may want to consider it. Bear in mind that you will not be spending a lot of time in the rooms as the programme is fairly comprehensive and what free time you will have will probably be spent walking around the towns and cities you are staying in. You will be undertaking city tours of 3 hrs or so and much of the time you will be walking on cobbled streets. Appropriate comfortable footwear is essential. A reasonable level of mobility will be required as some of the old cities are built on hills and you will encounter stairs in some cases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dealing with the Exodus office staff when booking and adding an extra day's accomodation at the beginning and end of our tour was handled very well.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    John Atherton

    Silk Road cities and sublime scenery

    Cities tend not to be high on my list of places to visit but I was surprised by the many parks and green spaces offsetting the large buildings and wide roads in all the cities visited. Of course the amazing architecture of the mosques, madrassas, minarets, mausoleums, museums and markets were impressive and interesting – with a wealth of information from both our tour leaders and local guides, all of whom spoke excellent English. The train journeys and the brief ride on the Metro in Tashkent made pleasant changes to the coach travel. Good to see family groups enjoying the warm evenings in pedestrianised streets and squares, parks, local cafes and bars, etc. No litter, no noisy groups of youths, just a nice atmosphere. Though the planned overnight train ride to Kazakhstan didn’t happen owing to international cancellation at little notice, the replacement coach was large and comfortable. In the morning traffic to Almaty many more upmarket cars were on the roads, after very few in Uzbekistan. The short drive out of Almaty with the walk up to the waterfall was a welcome change from the city streets. Then the long drive into the Kyrgyzstan countryside was literally a breath of fresh air; with the vast lake, snow-capped mountains, rushing rivers, flower-strewn meadows and leisurely walks. Not forgetting the impressive golden eagle demonstration. I would have preferred more than one night at the Yurt shores of Lake Camp. A couple of days later, an afternoon swim at the “seaside” on the Issyk Kul Lake was refreshing. Inevitable long road journeys were offset by ever changing views, excellent driving, mainly good roads and frequent stops.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Kyrgyzstan countryside and the happy atmosphere in the city pedestrian areas throughout.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Dillshod and Ermek were excellent, knowledgeable and considerate. Different personalities, Dillshod the more experienced.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink the local draught beer - it's good and inexpensive. Lots of religious buildings so long trousers/skirt and covered shoulders often expected. Most public conveniences incur a small cost for women and for men, be aware of your currency note value!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All hotels were clean and comfortable (with good quality loo paper)!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Charlotte Meller

    Memorable Madagascar

    This trip gives you a glimpse of an incredibly varied country rich with unique wildlife and landscapes. Yes the roads maybe a bit bumpy :) but you soon forget that when every day you see so many endemic lemurs, sifakas, chameleons and, if you are lucky, a fossa. The tour leader Rija is the best that I have ever met on an Exodus trip. Her vast knowledge and infectious passion made the trip even more special and memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each type of forest -rain, spin and dry offered something different but they don’t prepare you for the spectacular limestone forest at Tsingy. Simply stunning. .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for delays on the internal flights !
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sabina Latif

    Minarets, mosques, mausoleums to mountains

    This was a fantastic trip with a real mix of architecture, landscapes and cultures. Lovely tour guides and drivers to help and support. I was astonished by the sheer scale and intricacies of the buildings in Uzbekistan which contrasted with the beautiful snow capped mountains in Kyrgyzstan. My personal highlights were the overnight train and yurt camp experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the sheer scale and stamina of the mosques, mausoleums and madrassahs in Uzbekistan including Registan Square.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 group leaders, one for Uzbekistan (Dilshod) and another for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (Ermeg). Both were great but in different ways. Dilshod was warm and kind and made us laugh, he was very knowledgeable. He did however give us too much information and it would be better if he slowed down and gave bite size chunks. Ermeg was so open and honest with us and shared his knowledge with us at a really good pace with the right amount of info.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is very hot in certain towns in June and July!... there are two hotels with pools so pack your swimming costume... you will need a torch for the yurt camp... take Tupperware or food bags as we have a lot of picnic lunches and most of the hotel breakfasts were really good buffets!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Ray Tweedale

    Great tour! Shame about some of the hotels.

    Well organised and varied tour with an excellent guide. Unfortunately our hotel in Tallinn (Go Shnelli) was as good as on the train station platform. As there was no air conditioning we had to have the window open, so the noise and fumes were bad. Fine when the trains finished at 11:30. The hotel in Riga (Konventa Seta) was very centrally located, which was good, but our room (005) was so dark, as the window faced an apartment block. OK, I suppose, if you’re out till really late at night. Only one of the hotels used had coffee and tea facilities in the room. Apart from this we thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trakai castle on the lake; Tallinn old Town; Riga’s Arte Nouveau buildings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like tea and coffee, take a travel kettle.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sarah Morrow

    An interesting tour of the Balkans

    This is a very interesting and varied trip through Montenegro and Bosnia Herzogovina, covering countryside, mountains, culture and history. A lot is fitted into a relatively short time, so it involves quite a bit of travelling, but the countryside is stunning and our driver was excellent, so it was really worth it. The mountains are reminiscent of the Dolomites, but without the crowds. The cities are medieval and very quaint, but still bear the scars of the Balkan war of the 90's. The war exhibition in Sarajevo is particularly thought provoking and well worth a visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sarajevo

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was young and enthusiastic
  • Reviewed July 2019
    marion buchan

    AVV discover the Baltics (121)

    I really enjoyed the trip, but had problems hearing some of the guides as we were sometimes in crowded areas. It would be a good idea if we were furnished with audio aids so that we could look at what was being described rather than trying to catch up with the guide the whole time. This really spoilt a very good trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Palmse Manor.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolata was an excellent group leader and spent time considering our every needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take warm clothes as the weather can be unpredictable even in June/July.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Lisa K

    Amazing !

    I loved everything about this trip. It was my first solo trip out of the country so I was a little nervous but it far exceeded all of my expectations and I was worried for nothing. Eduardo, our tour leader was wonderful and I made life long friends in our group. The itinerary was perfect taking you to all the amazing sights around the Amalfi coast. You return to the hotel late in the day with a couple hours to shower, relax, have a drink or two by the pool before dinner. Each day is a combination of guided tour and a little bit of free time to wander around on your own or with others. Transportation is completely taken care of even on the free day but some of it is an additional cost you pay that day or the night before. Well worth it to not have to deal with bus and ferry schedules and have it all taken care of for you. Driving is crazy there as are the lines so this was really convenient. The sights were breath taking, each place being more beautiful than the last. The food at the hotel is literally to die for. Each meal is delicious as is the wine. The rooms are comfortable, the service is excellent and I cannot say enough good things about our guide Eduardo who is so proud to show off his country, is charming, fun, funny and beyond welcoming. He knows everybody ! Our group had a blast together and Eduardo made sure everyone had fun. On the last day 5 of us went on a bus to the Naples train station, 2 to get on a bus, myself to board a train and 2 others to get to a hotel in Naples. Upon arriving in the parking lot we were confused about where to go and all of a sudden out of the crowd, Eduardo appeared running toward us, having just dropped others off at the airport, he wanted to find us to make sure all of us knew exactly where to go like a super hero appearing out of the chaos just to help us and say goodbye again ! There were amazing things to see at each place and then a little bit of time to enjoy a drink, gelato or wander in and out of the shops.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved everything. the quiet beauty of Ravello, taking the cable car up to the top of Capri, the sapphire blue water everywhere, the amazing lunch while hiking the Path of the Gods. I do not think I can pick a favorite out of everything I saw and did. This area of Italy is truly spectacular. Pompeii and Herculean are very interesting, the color of the water along the coast is breath taking, Positano and Sorrento are utterly charming...it goes on and on. The beauty of the entire region was completely inspiring

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eduardo was fantastic. So knowledgeable, fun, funny and engaging. He had terrific energy and made sure everyone had fun. He talked and laughed with each person individually as well as with the entire group. It was a fabulous experience and he made it all the more special. I can't say enough great comments about him and the entire experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Italy is very hot at the end of June/beginning of July plus the heat wave this year. Bring cool clothing and sunscreen. A day pack to carry water and sunscreen was helpful and a hat Most everyone changed for dinner because you wind up back at the hotel, also bring something for the final night which is a farewell dinner Bring extra money for the additional items not included in the tour. ATMs are everywhere Bring a bathing suit if you want to enjoy the pool at the hotel Exodus caters to the group from England so the bus doesn't leave until the end of the day on the last day because of the flight back to England. If you choose to leave sooner to go somewhere else ( I took a one hour train back to Rome) you will have to pay for it on your own or share the cost with others in group. Exodus transportation is only for this exact time. It was not a problem to ask Eduardo to arrange transportation and 5 of us shared but I felt it was a bit unfair Exodus charges anyway. The path of the Gods is not easy but it is doable. The hotel has walking sticks. I thought it was helpful because some of the rocks are high to climb up and down. Eduardo was also there to lend a hand. In the heat a lot of people were huffing and puffing but the scenery and the lunch were well worth the effort. I'm so happy I did it ! Try a limoncello spritzer, eat everything, stop for gelato and try a new flavor every day. Take tons of pictures!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was an amazing trip of a lifetime
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Peter Nelson

    Great trip, poor company service

    The trip itself was excellent. Run by a local company (Malabiu) the guide (Shaun) worked extremely hard and his side kick cook (Jona) were both very profesional and knowledgeable. Geology information was a bit sparse, but customs and culture info was very good. The small group gelled together well. Be warned they is a lot of travelling with many miles on Namibia style roads - basically very dusty and stoney dirt tracks. Food and drink is cheap in Namibia and the lodges are comfortable if basic. The main down side was the company (Exodus) which did not respond effectively to queries asked. Also did not pass on important information to the group guide which meant that arrangement were compromised. For 10 of us in the party there were five different group flights - not their finest hour. Overall, I would certainly recommend this trip to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing lots of different animals in their natural environment

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge and very professional

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above summary

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    See above summary
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Janet Wilson

    From Russia with Love

    This is a fast-paced tour covering 4 cities in 7 days with almost as many modes of transport. The whirlwind of Moscow and St Petersburg is tempered by the quietness and quaintness of Novgorod and Pushkin. I had no idea what to expect of Russia and you can almost be put off by the visa application process alone, but what I found was a friendlier, cleaner and much greener country than I expected. This trip gives you an ideal mechanism of seeing the key tourist sites plus a little of the country and leaves you wanting to go back to sample more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first time I saw Red Square had the sun just starting to set, with clear blue skies. The image of St Basil's and the GUM department store being lit up will never leave me. And who knew that a trip around the Moscow underground could be so impressive?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Artem was patient, entertaining, informative and constantly ensured that we got the most out of our trip and our free-time. There were 16 of us on our trip and I'm sure he often thought he was herding cats. Our group got on really well and Artem definitely ensured we had fun as well as culture during our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This may be classed as a leisurely/moderate trip but trying to see everything you can means pounding the pavements and museums for an easy 12 miles per day. Although the trip notes advise purchasing opera/ballet tickets several months in advance, our experience was that (in June) any site you may wish to do in your spare time, E.g. Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg, also needs to be booked a long time in advance. And if anyone offers you horseradish vodka - run!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm veggie and had no problems getting food during the trip - we tried Russian, Georgian and Armenian throughout, with some nods to Asian and pizza in between. There is so much to do in St Petersburg that I'd recommend having an extra 1 or 2 nights to give you time to see more and just do some people watching - but beware that in June there are gazillions of cruise ship passengers.
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