Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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  • Reviewed July 2019

    Fantastic Finland

    For me its was a amazing trip. Although my staying arrangements was not that good as expected but other things made my trip awesome. I enjoyed range of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing,downhill skiing and dog sledding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riisitunturi National Park
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Pamela Marshall

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    Hi - as a single female traveller over 60 years of age I really enjoyed this holiday. Accommodation was quite basic, but this was too be expected and food showed much creativity but the company was enjoyable and activities varied and very interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My favourite activity was the husky sledge rides and seeing all the dogs in their natural surrounding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was great - she couldn't do enough for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just be wary of your own capabilities. On my free day off I chose to do a 6KM hike with a younger and fitter member of the group ; I think I would have been okay had we not cover the distance up to the highest point of the resort in 2 hours - however I've since suffered a repetitive calf injury and am still suffering 5 weeks later. Great views though and wouldn't have missed the trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If booking this holiday think about the weather - winter months means cold weather, shorter days and a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights. April is early spring, the snows are melting, lighter, longer days but probably no Northern lights.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Jo Grant

    Fantastic Fun in Finland

    We had the most amazing week at the logging lodge with Elina. What a huge variety of activities to try out. Our 16 and 18 year old daughters loved it too, particularly the dog sledding day and the downhill skiing in Ruka. Cooking pancakes and sausages over a fire was also a highlight. Elina was knowledgable, friendly and inclusive. Would really recommend to families with a sense of adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dig sledding

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try everything. Take your sense of adventure. All equipment provided was more than adequate.,
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Jo Grant

    Fantastic Fun in Finland

    We had the most amazing week at the logging lodge with Elina. What a huge variety of activities to try out. Our 16 and 18 year old daughters loved it too, particularly the dog sledding day and the downhill skiing in Ruka. Cooking pancakes and sausages over a fire was also a highlight. Elina was knowledgable, friendly and inclusive. Would really recommend to families with a sense of adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dig sledding

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try everything. Take your sense of adventure. All equipment provided was more than adequate.,
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alice Nimmo

    Finnish Wilderness Week 14th-28th

    I really enjoyed the trip and it was Greta to see the transition from winter to spring as we were the last trip of the season. The most enjoyable part was the husky ride, so much I went twice. But also, Elina and Ismo really took care to make sure we enjoyed Finnish traditions, and we cooked pancakes and bread on an open fire as well as quinzee building and first aid in the wildness. I would definitely recommend this trip of you want a jam packed holiday and to tick off a few things from your bucket list. The guides are fantastic and you really feel a sense of being in the wilderness, especially of you are staying in the loggers lodge

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Do selling and baking bread on the fire

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was fantastic, so friendly and knowledgeable, she loves the first and nature and is so open minded. Ismo who helped her was also fantastic and he had a lot of knowledge about Finnish traditions and nature

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect 5 star accomodation as one of the people did when I went, she was shocked, bit I was pleasantly surprised as I was expecting mountain hut standard

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was spectacular and it was fantastic to experience delicious traditional Finnish food and drink
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Matthew Handford

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    I loved this trip. It was a chance to head to the frozen north (Finland/Lapland) in April and take part in a range of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, x country skiing, downhill skiing and dog sledding. It was also great to go out in the wilderness and have a chance to see wildlife and perhaps the Northern Lights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    What was special was a combination of things - a social group, feeling I could at least begin to get the hang of activities such as skiing and dogsledding, generally travelling around the Oulanka National Park area by road whilst seeing all of it covered in snow and getting to meet the huskies and reindeer. I also had the chance to take off on my own in the afternoon into the wilderness which gave me a sense of exploration!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina is a very good leader and had us clearly organised everyday. She took us out snowshoeing and showed us cross country skiing. Else kept us well fed from the kitchen and took us out on a night walk with the snowshoes. Both have a lot of local knowledge and were very social, as part of the group. Elina also organised us with the most outdoor kit I have ever been given on a trip!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a week where there is a lot of choice as to what one can do. Hence, perhaps, it helps to have some preconceived ideas as to what one would like to experience from the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a rare trip in that I would really like to do it again. There is always the argument that there are too many places in the world to visit and hence it is not worth returning to the same one. However, this trip takes place in different locations in the National Park and it is possible to do different activities over the course of the week.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    bruce robinson

    A Wonderful Week

    Great weather. Fresh snow plus lots of sunshine. Magnificent scenery, the Dolomites are really special both in winter and summer. Comfortable hotel with good facilities and friendly, helpful staff. Tasty interesting dinners with a very good wine list to choose from. A friendly, interesting group of fellow "snowshoeers" What really made the trip special was our guide Sara. She is everything you would wish for in a guide and I can only endorse all the other glowing mentions she receives in reviews.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day was as memorable as the previous one. By the very nature of the week, the days are similar in that one is walking in the moutains through the snow but yet each is different with constantly changing vistas and challenges under foot.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above, Sara was deserving of all the superlatives that she receives in these reviews. Kind, caring, considerate, knowledgeable, reliable, interesting, funny, the list goes on! Thanks Sara.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. You do need a reasonable degree of fitness but previous use of snowshoes is not a prerequisite.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    John Duxbury

    Only suitable for experienced photographers with top quality equipment

    I went on this trip when it was led by Paul Goldstein. The accommodation was superb, I like the setting and Paul is unquestionably an outstanding wildlife photographer, but I was disappointed by several aspects of this trip. The area really isn't "teeming with wildlife", so we struggled to find a lot to photograph ending up spending about 7 hours (2 half days) photographing sea waves. Whilst some of the group enjoyed that, I didn't. Because of the weather we weren't able to photograph whales, which is understandable enough, but I was disappointed to discover that it would have been at an additional cost anyway, something that is not mentioned in the Trip Notes. I was expecting the leader to circulate round the group to advise on how we might improve our photographs, but he concentrated on taking his own photographs which he then shared with us in the evening. That is a perfectly valid way of operating, but I was expecting more individual help so I think it is important that you do not book this trip if you are expecting to be tutored. Finally, I would say that this trip is really only for experienced photographers with top quality lenses - Paul told me that both of my lenses were not really good enough. (I did hire a lens, but that adds to the cost.)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic setting. Great food. Loved ice fishing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding wildlife photographer who leads by taking his own photographs and then showing you what he has taken.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have top quality lenses able to cope with the low light levels. Ideally you need a wide angle lens with a large aperture (f.18 or faster) and good quality telephoto lens.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is not a lot of wildlife to photograph, so be prepared to spend a lot of time photographing waves.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Barnett

    snowshoeing in the dolomites

    A fabulous adventure. Challenging but beautiful and rewarding with undoubtedly the BEST guide in charge! We had fun, explored, felt nurtured and cared for. The hotel was gorgeous and the spa facilities were the perfect antidote to all of the hard work! As was the wonderful cuisine. A warm and friendly staff made us all feel very welcome. Take crampons....icy walking can be very tiresome if too little snow for the snowshoes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ridge walk....beautiful virgin snow and astonishing views....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous....went way beyond to ensure everyone felt comfortable and had everything to ensure they enjoyed their trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take crampons!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just...Do It!!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Nick Corble

    Glacier Walk a Real 'Wow' Moment

    A filled and varied few short days in this interesting country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The glacier walk was the second 'wow' moment of the day, the first being the glacial lagoon earlier in the day. I hadn't quite anticipated how serious this was, and realised when we were being kitted up. The scenery, and sense of being so 'as one' with the forces of nature once actually on the ice, was awe-inspiring. This wasn't all though, with visits to various other natural wonders including the original geyser, and a number of waterfalls, plus, well, just the scenery. All this, plus tomato beer. What could go wrong?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jon was an excellent guide, ready to fill us in on Icelandic sagas and the Icelandic way of life.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely bring wet-weather gear (waterproof trousers a must). It can be a bit exposed out there and forecasts stating 2 degrees or whatever, do not take into account the wind chill. Layers is the answer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wonder if Exodus is missing a trick labelling this trip the Northern Lights? Although I knew beforehand there was a chance we might not see them, and had conditioned myself to this, there was never a chance we were going to see them given the weather, and I wonder how many groups do? What they all must do, is the glacier walk, and this more than made up for it. 'Glacier Walking with a chance of Northern Lights' might not be a snappy title, but probably more honest. Or just 'Natural Wonders of Iceland'?
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