Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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17907 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2020

    Last Minute End of Summer Walking Holiday!!!!

    Another great trip organised by Exodus staff. Whilst this was a last minute trip (transferred to this from medieval Spain due to Covid), it didn't disappoint. Great scenery, great companions, great leader. What was supposed to be an end of summer walking holiday, turned out to be a winter walking holiday, due to exceptional early winter conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views, the snow glistening, snow-shoeing, the company. A great break in what has been a year I guess everyone would wish to bypass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alina was great. Her communication skills were exceptional, she was fun to be with, especially when playing Dixit! and she reorganised the walks taking into account the weather conditions in order to ensure we all got the best out of our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take poles, be prepared for some long steep climbs, enjoy the scenery, the company and the food.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to thank the other members of our group, the hotel staff and Alina for making this a really enjoyable holiday and one I will not forget.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Space to breath

    A warm welcome in an unspoilt landscape. Great walking through a rugged landscape with the benefit of joyfully expert guiding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In a quiet corner of Meteora, far from the madding crowds, absorbing the sheer beauty of a monastery perched halfway up the opposite cliff. And there were many more such moments, including discovering just how good Greek yoghurt with honey can be!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Danae is fantastic. Her enthusiasm for life and the great outdoors, spills out at every opportunity. And she made sure that we got the very best from our trip.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Escape From 2020

    An amazing trip and break in a truly stunning and lesser known part of the world (that only adds to the charm). The number of highlights are numerous. The ever impressive view points of Vikos Gorge (they get better and better), the charming villages and friendly welcoming locals, to the gravity defining monasteries. Topped off by the walk to, and the nap in the sun by the dragon lake surrounded by the Pindus mountains. Not forgetting the food :) An all round excellent trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As mentioned above there are many. The different view points of the gorge, the monasteries perched on the cliff tops to the dragon lake and the mountain hut. Not forgetting traditional Greek dancing in the mountain hut with a number of different nationalities!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Changed a couple of days walking around due to weather conditions with the minimum of fuss and ensured everything ran smoothly, including all things Covid related. Danae's enthusiasm for Greece and the Zagori region shone through and she was good fun and company to be around, as also mentioned by Keisuke below.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are contemplating this trip and thinking its not well known, it cant be that good think again. It a real Greek treasure, hidden in plain sight! (Possibly to ensure the landscape is not spoilt, and to ensure the villages keep their amazing charm.) Absolutely do it - you will not be disappointed!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The half day in Thessaloniki was a nice way to ease into the holiday, a pleasant very youthful laid back City.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Fabulous trip

    Amazing holiday. Great cycling, cuisine, culture and company. Emanuele and Christina were great guides - nothing was too much trouble. Would strongly recommend this holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it! Great combination of cycling with sufficient down time to enjoy the culture, cuisine and geology.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele and Christina were great leaders. Very unassuming, and very skilled at keeping a mixed ability group together...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book up! It is a great holiday, with a very good itinerary, and a very sensible pace, visiting some very attractive towns and villages.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Walking the Amalfi Coast in the days of Covid

    This Exodus holiday is one of the most popular and I have wanted to "do it" for years. It combines guided walking, swimming in the sea and pool, a week's stay in a small and friendly hotel Due Torri above Amalfi, history and sightseeing, and great hospitality, food and wine. This September 2020, we seized the moment ("CARPE DIEM") and my husband, his brother, and I booked the September 5 week. We realised we were taking a risk, but now we are so relieved we did, as it prepared us to cope with the uncertainties of living with Covid this UK winter. A perfect sunny week without crowds, a wonderful guide (Severio) and such a great, sociable group of 12. We were welcomed at the hotel and in the town of Bomerano - this was the first time they had all opened since March and our guide had been working at the Hotel. As soon as UK relaxes its quarantine rules, be sure to take this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the warmth and hospitality of the Italians. And definitely Cocktail Hour at the Hotel Due Torri Bar - in particular those gins and tonics before dinner. For my husband completing the Path of the Gods. He is not the walker he used to be before an accident 40+ years ago, but he is proud he made it. And we are grateful to Severio and the group for tolerating his lack of speed! I should mention that this walk was definitely less exposed than Trip Notes had led some of the ladies in our group to expect.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Severio was just great with excellent organisational skills. He was sociable, knowledgable and forebearing with all the group. And best he was Italian with a good understanding of English. We were very lucky. And he even helped me to buy at the local supermarket a kilo of Parmigiano and a pot of Sicilian olives to take back to UK.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks involve a lot (thousands) of stone and concrete steps - both up and downhill. So bear that in mind if your knees are bad. Bomerano, where the hotel is, is 650 metres above sea level. However there is always the opportunity to complete the walks by public transport and meet up at the bottom. Trip Notes do prepare you, so read them. I regretted missing a guided visit to Herculaneum on our free day, and chose Capri instead, enjoying a dish of spaghetti Vongole at an excellent restaurant recommended by our guide. Next time. We had great guides for Pompeii and Versuvius, part of the holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of my favourite Exodus holidays and I was not disappointed.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Truly enjoyable

    It was one of the best hikes I have ever had in my entire life. I did not know that such wonderful mountains with dynamic views existed in Greece. VIllages in Zagori with stone houses, unchanged for centuries, are truly beautiful. All hotels we stayed, except for one night at a mountain refuge, were family owned. They are converted traditional stone houses and wonderful. Local Greek food were delicious.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Natural landscapes. Astonishing views of mountains and gorges. Hikes were varied from one day to another, from relatively easy hikes to little bit challenging one to get to the mountain refuge. Aperitifs after a walk at stone-house hotels and cafes at a village plaza were wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic. She, young,dynamic and charming, was the best group leader of Exodus hikes so far as far as I am concerned. Despite difficult conditions with COVID, she managed to make our trip truly enjoyable. With uncertain weather conditions, she flexibly adjusted schedule and itineraries so that we could enjoy every day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This hike in unknown parts of Greece should not be missed. I went there in September. I will come again in spring time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hikes in Meteora with visits to monasteries were also very interesting. Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, is a very lively town.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Fabulous trip

    Just returned from this trip. While destinations are limited at this time, this is no second-rate option. The family-run hotel is lovely with plentiful food and good rooms. The mountains are spectacular and the walks varied in nature.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me there isn't a single answer to this. We had 2 days walking on snow, other days with clear blue skies and pristine meadows, harder days and easier days. The stars of the show are the mountains, and our walks gave us a variety of spectacular views of them and from them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alina is lovely. Although relatively new to the region she has clearly worked hard to familiarise herself with the walks and the surroundings. She was fun to be with as well as someone who inspired confidence.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Other people have written similar, but I would stress that if you are not normally a pole-user (as I am not) borrow some anyway. In the snow they were invaluable. It's probably fair to grade this as a Moderate, although the snow made it trickier in places and thus a little harder.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our was a social group of mixed ages. Several people had booked this holiday as their other trips were cancelled, but I don't think anyone felt disappointed in any way. Highly recommended!
  • Fantastic... everything :)

    An exhilarating week of walking in beautiful Liguria complemented by great food and drink.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing view looking down on Corniglia against a lively turquoise sea on the last day - absolutely stunning. The wine tasting was also fabulous - interesting wines in a very atmospheric restaurant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was brilliant: she was informative, really adaptable given the challenges of coronavirus and the occasionally stormy weather and made some great suggestions for where we could eat out in the evening.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Italy’s a great place to go despite coronavirus - it felt very safe and clean. Be prepared for lots of mask wearing.
  • Fabulous break - and far less tourists than usual due to COVID travel restrictions

    I travelled solo on this trip departing on 19 Sept 2020, having booked it quite late as Italy was one of the few venues Brits could travel to without any COVID-related quarantine requirements either end. It turned out to be a very special time to travel as the usual hordes of tourists in one of Italy’s most tourists areas were absent (although still enough people to give it an “atmosphere “!). The trip includes two full days walking between the stunning villages of the Cinqueterra and time to see each village. Portofino is beautiful and Sestri Levante is gorgeous too. There was a storm towards the end of the week so on the last day we were able to experience the Cinqueterra villages with huge waves crashing into the little harbours - an awesome sight - and the bright blue sea made a fantastic back drop for photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many! - Approaching Vernazza from above on the “blue path” from Corniglia. - The walk through the terraces and vineyards between Corniglia and Manarola with the incredible blue sea below (there had been a storm the previous night) - The very informative wine tasting in Moneglia - The Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante (on the free day) - Eating spaghetti seafood on the harbour fronts in Portofino and Vernazza - Watching the huge waves crash against the harbour walls in the Cinqueterra villages - an unusual sight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michaela has led his trip multiple times and we were lucky to have her expert knowledge! Very caring, very organised, and always joined us for dinner in the evenings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    - Make sure you go to The Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante at some stage during the week. - Splash out on trying some local wines other than the carafes of house red and white. - Upgrade your room at the Hotel Piccolo to get a balcony and a sea view.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed that this trip ran so well despite the COVID restrictions. In fact the lack of tourists made it very enjoyable. Be prepared to wear your face mask in all the towns though.
  • Reviewed September 2020

    Fantastic trip - even more appreciated in these times of COVID restrictions!

    I travelled solo on this trip departing on 12 Sept 2020, having booked it quite late as Italy was one of the few venues Brits could travel to without any COVID-related quarantine requirements either end. I was not disappointed. It is a perfect blend of walking (3 days - with fantastic views) and city tours (2 days with a guided tour of each available). Villa Casalta is a quality hotel with rooms with a view and a fabulous terrace overlooking the vineyards and skyline where all meals are eaten. The pool is also very relaxing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to San Gimignano on the last day; the guided walking tours of Siena and Florence; and the session at the Tuscan Wine School in Siena. I also loved my pre-breakfast swims in the pool and the sense of peace at Villa Casalta.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa did a great job and was very personable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a kettle in the room - and teabags - but bring some instant coffee if you are a coffee drinker!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed how this trip ran so well despite the COVID restrictions.... but don't forget to bring a face mask.