Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18336 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2022

    All round brilliant trip

    We waited two years for this trip but it was worth the wait - beautiful scenery, relaxed riding, lovely food, excellent tour leader and a great fun group. Bikes were comfortable and very able to cope with the terrain.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's difficult to pinpoint a single moment - the view from the terrace of our Matera hotel, cycling on backroads through olive groves, the trullis of Alberobello, late night jazz in Ostuni - and getting to the top of that roller coaster hill.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizio was a star - nothing was too much trouble for him. Bursting with enthusiasm and energy and very knowledgeable about the area. He kept the group cycling at a good steady pace, making sure that no one got left behind and as a single guide with a group of 15 had a great system of shared responsibility for being way markers and back markers. He collected money up front to cover all lunches, snacks, tips and taxes which saved lots of time and was very good value. Definitely one of the best group leaders we've had. Piero our driver was also excellent - always on hand with water and assistance and finding wonderful fresh fruit for our snack stops.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Highly recommend this trip - the distances aren't too great so plenty of time to swim in the Adriatic and the Ionian and explore the beautiful towns you stop at along the way. Hills are very manageable but if you're concerned about fitness, hire an ebike, We had five on our tour and we all cycled together very happily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes are fitted with panniers which means you can carry swimming gear ready for seaside stops. Highly recommend staying an extra night or two properly to explore Lecce, which is beautiful. Move to accommodation in the old town to get the best experience.
  • 11 june 2022

    The Amalfi Highlights is a wonderful holiday; marvellous sites, marvellous scenery. Basic but very comfortable hotel. Good food. We felt the ambience was relaxing and the trip was full on. The hotel laid on fun evening cooking events.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Much fuss made of my father for his 91st Birthday with a cake, and sparkling wine after the path of the gods walk, courtesy of our generous tour guide, Severio. The path of the gods is not to be missed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent group leader; very concerned for the well being of the group. Very practical and firm with the trip details. Clear instructions. Had done his homework. Knew the local region well. Made us all welcome. Bought a bottle of sparkling wine for my father's birthday which was over and above his role. V kind and much appreciated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have enough pocket money for the trips as the exchange rate is almost 1 euro: 1 pound now. The drinks tab does add up, sadly!
  • Spectacular Picos de Europa- 11th - 18th June 2022

    Based in Arenas de Cabrales, known as the gateway to the Picos de Europa, a group of 15 explored the region which offered a varied terrain through forests, shepherds paths, green valleys, a gorge, river paths as well as being among limestone peaks. There was beautiful wild flowers such as orchids and blue thistle as well as wildlife where we spotted griffon vultures, chamois, brightly coloured butterflies as well as cows with their bells clanging around their necks. The Hotel Torrecerredo was our base for all our days walking. It's a small family run hotel with staff that went above and beyond to make our stay a welcoming and memorable one. The restaurant served delicious traditional 4-course meals and the bar stocked all our post walk requirements at very affordable prices. Five minutes from the hotel is the village Arena de Cabrales. This is a picturesque village which offers many bars and restaurants offering tasty meals and a few souvenir and outdoor shops as well as local produce shops selling their famous Cabrales cheese.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the 12km Cares Gorge. This engineered path, built in the 1940's, is part of a hydroelectric scheme. It wasn't too crowded and you could walk on your own taking in the surrounding peaks that rise over two thousand metres above the path. I was lucky enough to film two vultures flying quite low. At Cains, the village where we had lunch, rather than walking back 12km along the gorge some of us booked an off road jeep that would explore hard to reach places and return us back late to our hotel - shaken but not stirred.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nacho was our leader. He was very patient and informative. He was passionate about the culture, flora and fauna of the region and imparted his knowledge in an enthusiastic way. He also had a good sense of humour. The temperatures on some of days reached 38 degree, which was unprecedented even for North Spain, so Nacho had to alter the itinerary to make the walking more bearable. One day he started walking an hour earlier and another day incorporated a forest and river walk where we had opportunities of cooling down in the river pools.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Not Inspiring

    This trip lacks to normal expectations of an Exodus trip, no time to get to know your traveling companions, very limited opportunities for meals as a group and no sense of inclusion. It ticks all the boxes for places visited although scheduling could be improved and pacing evened out to prevent the sense of being rushed and then left with excess down time. Hotels used were all good a mostly well located although breakfasts (the only meals included) could have been more appropriate to the class of hotel used.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having time to walk around Selinunte without the herds of tourists, (skipped lunch break for this)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Worked hard most of the time, tried to keep everyone happy, but the lack of an inclusive start meant the group had already fractionated before he could have any influence. At times I felt patronised and talked at (not to).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sicily is crowded so do not expect much peace and quiet, it is also larger than one might expect necessitating some early starts and long drives. Some Italian would be useful since a lot of signs and labels in the attractions are not translated. If possible find a traveling companion, this trip is not very single friendly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • Reviewed June 2022

    Fabulous and humbling trip to the High Atlas

    My husband and I initially booked this trip as it appeared to offer value for money, and we were looking for something which would challenge us ahead of our next planned trip later in the year (Annapurna Circuit). It definitely did not disappoint! A well thought through itinerary which did a great job at ensuring everyone was acclimatised ahead of our summit day. Marrakech was in the middle of a heatwave when we arrived, and temperatures of +40 degrees are not uncommon during June, July and August, so you need to bear this in mind if you are considering travel during this period. The first hiking day was extremely hot over the initial pass and I did suffer from the heat however, subsequent hiking days were cooler and we even experienced a couple of storms with very wet and windy weather, although that only served to add to the whole experience, which we found to be outstanding! Accommodation is basic (as you may expect) however, the meals our support team produced on the side of a mountain were nothing short of incredible! The wild camps were fabulous and we even got to spend one night inside the refuge at base camp (due to adverse weather), which also enhanced the whole experience. If you are unsure about booking this trip then don't be. If you love mountains and the sense of pride at achieving your goal, you won't regret it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit and embracing a fellow group member in celebration of our achievement - very emothional!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was a fantastic group leader who worked extremely hard and was attentive to the group throughout our entire trip. With the safety of our group in mind he made some minor tweaks to the itinery (where and how we camped), and managed to ensure everyone made it safely to base camp after an extremely wet and windy climb over the Aguelzim Pass. Each night after dinner Hassan would share some of the facinating history of Morocco's cultures and people, his passion and beliefs shone through and were a delight to see. I must also mention Rashid our second group leader, who also did a fabulous job at ensuring the group were well looked after, assisted over tricky terrain, and the pace at which we were hiking was suitable for everyone

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking poles are an absolute must for those of us who are not in possession of a hoverboard!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book it!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A lot of driving and no photography in churches

    This trip is billing as 1 - Leisurely. However whilst there's not much walking there are a lot of long drives as you cover a lot of ground. Additionally all the hotels are a single night only, apart from 2 nights at Lake Ohrid, so there's little time to decompress and unpack. The trip also covers a lot of churches and monasteries so if that's not your thing, maybe pass on this trip. Frustratingly, despite the amazing and beautiful interiors of the churches, almost without exception you're not allowed to take photos in them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lake Ohrid was lovely. Being the only location where we had two nights it gave us a chance to relax, unpack, and decompress. Plus the lake and surrounding area is beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kristina was a great tour leader. She was funny, insightful with the facts and background of the places we visited, and caring when someone on the tour needed extra help. She also caused me to gain several pounds with her love of ice cream and insistence of grabbing one everywhere we went (lol).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As mentioned, this can be tough with the long drives and mainly single nights in hotels not giving you much chance to relax. A few of the hotels also don't have lifts so you might need to drag your luggage upstairs yourself. Some of the places we visited also contained a large number of stairs too, so bear this in mind if you're not comfortable with that.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Excellent walking holiday

    What a great holiday. The scenery is just amazing, and the walks each day show the best of what the area has to offer. The group leaders are very knowledgeable on local wildlife and I throughly enjoyed looking at the alpine flowers. Very well organised trip, hotel was comfortable and staff were so kind. Big thanks to Paul and Jenny for looking after us all, but thanks especially to them for looking after me!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking, the scenery and the wildflowers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, couldn’t fault Paul and Jenny.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A wonderful trip

    We had wanted to do this trip for several years, but Covid intevened. The wait was worth it! Exodus have devised a varied, fast-moving trip that combines the magnificent sights of Uzbekistan and the wonderful scenery of Kyrgyzstan, all explained by knowledgeable and personable guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No need to identify any particular moment; the whole 2 weeks was packed with amazing sights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were two guides, Nazim and Valentina. Each was immensely knowledgeable, able to share their enthusiasm and personal stories in near-perfect English. Their connection with the drivers, local agents, hoteliers and restaurateurs was faultless.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Join the trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are already looking at the Exodus brochures for another trip!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Highlights of the Dolomites

    What a fantastic trip, loved every single minute of it. Fun was had in abundance and it was definitely the best group of people I've ever met and walked with. In fact I'm laughing to myself as I'm writing this I had that much fun! The Dolomites are stunning and Campitello is the ideal location from which to explore them. The Sporthotel Enrosadira was brilliant, a lovely family run establishment where they couldn't do enough for us. Dinner was great, all five courses of it! Would I recommend this trip to others..... absolutely!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many moments to list but just being able to admire the beauty of the Dolomites for a week was enough to inspire me to do more!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul and Jenny our two leaders for the week were absolutely brilliant. Their knowledge was exceptional, they were so helpful, very organised, friendly and great fun. Two genuinely very nice people. Mind you Paul's singing is a bit dodgy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Quite simply book this trip and you will not be disappointed
  • Highly recommended

    After waiting 2 years it was good to eventually be able to go on this trip. The organisation was perfect, and although only 2* the stay was in a traditional family hotel with friendly staff, a clean and comfortable room, and a good shower to end the day with. The views from my room were spectacular, and the evening meals were superb. All the walks were of the standard I expected, and all in beautiful surroundings. It was interesting to take the local train to the start point of each walk on most days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was excellent. He was so enthusiastic, explained clearly what each day's walk would entail, and ensured the group walked at a pace suitable for all, with plenty of water stops (needed in the heat).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of advance research may assist you in deciding what to do on the free day, whether to go to Ajaccio or Corte, or indeed do another walk. I would recommend taking most money in cash - the hotel only took cash for settling the drinks bill, cash was needed for tips (hotel and leader), and often restaurants and cafes seemed to prefer cash (even in Ajaccio) although the train and shops were OK with card. The problem is that the only ATMs are in Corte or Ajaccio if you run short! I think there should be better advice about the airport transfers. We changed flights at Nice on the outward and Marseilles on the return. Both airports were very difficult and confusing as to how to changes terminals (even though close together in both cases). Many of us found it tricky, so I don't think it was just me!