Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Dexy D

    Chocolate Hiking in Chamonix

    Fantastic fun week of hiking based at Chalet Chocolat with amazing hosts Zohi and Ben and top guide Emma. Nothing was too much trouble, including parking my car on demand ;-) Amazing three course meals every evening and interesting and varied salad options for packed lunches. Felt like staying in someone's home rather than a chalet. And the cakes made every day were outrageously delicious. We were made to feel very welcome and Zohi and Ben were very happy to share their knowledge of the local area, which was another bonus. We laughed a great deal this week and that was often due to their relaxed and welcoming manner. The hikes were also varied and challenging and never short of a spectacular view!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mont Blanc from almost every angle! Having dinner directly watching the sunset over the mountain and meeting a great group of people who I hope to stay in touch with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was Emma's first tour as an Exodus leader and she did a great job. She shared her vast experience of trekking with us and managed the group very well. She had lots of fun ideas to bond the group and was happy to support everyone as they needed. We enjoyed her company over the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled by the level 3 rating. Even at this level, some of the hikes have significant ascent and descent and require a certain level of fitness. Poles are helpful.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    John Riley

    Fantastic trip

    Hi have recently returned from a wonderful week on the Highlights of the Tour de Mont Blanc trip. Had a wonderful time with a great group. We were so lucky to have Mike Rhodes as our trip leader - Mike's experience and knowledge of the region and routes covered each day was exceptional. Mike was always up for a chat and happy to share his wealth of knowledge - I even learnt a few new techniques to tie up my boots. The accommodation at Chalet Chocolat and the views were fantastic . Zoe and Ben spoilt us rotten - with all their tips and sensational meals . Thanks to all involved in a memorable week. JR

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks each day were quite varied - different views and landscapes - and always a spectacular spot near the top for a lunch break.... and a delicious lunch each day it was...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Being able to walk with Mike was a highlight of my week.
  • 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
    Rusne J.

    Highly recommend this trip

    Best holiday ever!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The companions, the guide, the chalet with the hosts and the itinerary - I liked everything.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Tim Hall

    Great first trip for riding the big mountains

    Excellent itinerary for a first trip into cycling big mountains. Great food and drink to be had en route - Thierry's ability to conjure up a suitable picnic every day, and find beautiful spots to stop to eat, was definitely a highlight. Stunning views from the cols.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cime de la Bonette - highest road in Europe. Seeing the banners for the Tour de France that would ride some of the same climbs just a couple of weeks after us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come prepared for all weathers! We had blistering hot days - but other alps trips at the same time of year have had snow falling and temperatures around 0C. If you're bringing your own bike, have a 32 cassette rather than a 28 - you'll use it a lot.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Martin Goodman

    Wonderful experience.

    We were lucky to have attended this trip with glorious weather throughout and had an amazing time with a real diverse bunch of interesting people from all over the world. The Exodus leader Fred was always quite laid back which reflected on the walks which were conducted at a nice pace without feeling too hurried. The two girls who operated the chalet were both exceptional and added to the overall pleasure of this trip. The food they provided was a culinary delight for all. Despite a record breaking heatwave we still experience snow walking at 35c which was a real head-bender. We booked late so ended up in the loft area of the chalet but even that was more than comfortable. The walks are breathtaking and you will find yourself forever stopping for photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We did the parasailing which was incredible. We were in the air for a good 40 minutes so could really take it all in. Please book this using the firm Air Sports which Exodus recommends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fred was a lovely chap who appeared very laid back but also someone who was fully competent at his job and it showed. I have a fear of steep edges and he calmly encouraged me to overcome this is a professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have plenty of room on your camera roll.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can add the paragliding to your trip because the views are astonishing. Enjoy the walking and take it all in. 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
    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
    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!
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