Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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715 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020

    Thoroughly enjoyable trip

    I enjoyed this trip wholly. The walking was good - not particularly difficult (though rocky underfoot) but up and down enough to be interesting, and with one or two more challenging moments - good scenery - terrific open views at times - and as people have said, a complete lack of other tourists or walkers. Some of the campsites were remote and beautiful and as Jennifer has said, the night skies were an absolute treat. We were blessed by good weather throughout the trip - warm sun, fresh air, cool but not freezing nights; overall it was less cold than I had expected. The company was excellent, the team looking after us was excellent - the logistics managed with seamless efficiency. The food was very good, the tents and mats were good. Morocco is a beautiful country; I will keep returning.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some of the views on the most scenic days of the trip - splendid. And yes, the night skies.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A warm heart in a slightly gruff carapace, Youssef was a highly efficient team leader, who knew his route well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were all required to make a donation at the start of the trip for the purchase of bottled water for provision of water to the whole group throughout the trip. The guide told us that this is now standard practice. For that reason, advance purchase of any special water purifying equipment or pills as suggested in the trip notes is a waste of time/money. Don't forget your torch/headtorch - vital bit of kit. There is no opportunity to buy anything at all after the day of arrival (no villages or shops whatsoever en route). The (optional) hammam at the end of the trip was a thoroughly authentic local experience - recommended!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My thanks to my fellow travellers, who genuinely enhanced the experience!
  • Reviewed January 2020
    JENNIFER WOODHAM

    A Winter Treat in the Mountains

    This mid-winter festive season trek in The Anti Atlas transported me into an unspoilt world of spectacular beauty with a extraordinary sense of isolation. We wandered these mountains without any sign of tourist life and only Berber life when reaching our lunchtime oasis and evening camps. We experienced beautiful sunny days, perfect for comfortable walking and in contrast very cold nights in this mountainous terrain that each day brought a different rock formation, landscape and views. A great group of people led by Youssef our guide and fed by Hasan the chef and his 2 helpers that managed to surprise us for 7 days with delights from his simple portable kitchen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement at the end but probably the most memorable image is the clear and glistening star-filled night skies seen on essential night wanderings!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Youssef is a highly experienced guide who managed our group with diverse ability and age with great skill. As the oldest member of the group I would especially like to thank him for the attention he offered me during the times that I was struggling. Youssef was happy to talk about Moroccan history and culture and proved to be a great ambassador for his country. This was my first visit and I feel inspired to return.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A thermo-rest to aide sleeping on sometimes uneven terrain.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Audrey Sherlock

    Fabulous experience - and responsible tourism!

    Loved every minute of our Atlas Panorama trip. Good balance between city and village life. Lovely trekking routes. Great hospitality. The trip notes are accurate. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our guide Hamid, himself was inspirational! Heading out at 7am from our riad on a cool, dark November morning (equipped with our head torches) for a 31 km hike. Another was our leader, Hamid, providing after dinner entertainment - singing and playing drums. Another was our afternoon at the hamman in the village - well done exodus, a great example of responsible tourism.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Hamid looked after the whole group so well. He was very good fun and very willing to tell us about village life. He also paced our treks well to suit the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were there in November and temperatures were chilly at night in the mountains, as you would expect, so pack warm layers for winter. Trip notes describe this trip accurately. Do pack water purification tablets or water filter to reduce plastic bottled water and bring some gifts for the village school. It's a nice gesture.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great experience. The treks were moderate as indicated with grade 3. Lovely lunches on our trekking days. This is a well designed trip. You should book it!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Hendrik Van de Velde

    Marokko landscapes

    Very nice trip to see a lot of different landscapes. From a moon like view to a Oasis with palm trees. Some nice hotels and good food. The cycling is a lot of downhill with sometimes a nice climb.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The different scenery's.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, always willing to help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some experience with a mountainbike is recommended. Personally I think that a full suspension bike would be better for this trip than the rental hardtail bike.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Tony Monaghan

    Never gets old

    12 years from first doing the Atlas descent in 2007 I am embarked for a third journey on this wonderful expedition. The variety of scenery and landscapes combined with the off-road journey makes this a wonderful trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s difficult to pick out the most inspirational part of the trip. I saw several, however the group gelling and working together and helping everybody out along with the tour leader and drivers is always a very special experience. Some of the climbs are very challenging and I am not the fastest uphill so completing them is always something which I’d like to remember!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was the first time I had a local group leader on a cycling trip in Morocco. Abdu did a great job and was always very conscientious to ensure he did his best, culturally he may not have some of the more strident behaviours needed. However I did speak to him and give him some advice on how he Could change his own personal style which I think he was grateful for

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you pack the correct clothing and footwear! You will need to do some training and have off-road experience

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think I’m already planning for my fourth MMA – Atlas descent
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Barbara Preneta

    Fantastic Trip!

    This was a fantastic trip with great contrasts, from busy Marrakech with souks, palace, mosques to the quiet village up in the High Atlas Mountains. Our guide, Hamid, could not have been better!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the mountain village, the quiet, the hammam, having mint tea in the home of our guide's family. Having a hot cooked lunch up in the mountains was special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Hamid was great. He was knowledgeable, considerate, funny, and always aware of what was happening with various members of our group. He shared so much about the Moroccan culture, answering and encouraging questions from the walkers. We came away with so much more than experiencing a few walks in the mountains.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared with layers for all kinds of weather. It was cold in the riad at night, but plenty of warm blankets were provided. Don't skip the hammam! I hadn't planned to do this, but was so glad that I did.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Edward Preneta

    Genuine Morrocan Community and Hospitality

    This is a very good introduction to Morocco, Marrakech, remote village living and the high Atlas Mountains. You learn that Morocco is a Berber nation in the Arab world. It is also a very good example of Exodus's responsible tourism. Excellent local leader and drivers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hamed took 16 of us to his family's village house for tea and a variety of cookies/biscuits, which were prepared and served by his sister and other family members. We had a tour of his house and resident live stock. There was no pretentiousness. It wasn't staged. It was a moment of genuine Moroccan Berber community and hospitality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hamed was and is an outstanding leader. He is engaging, attentive, extremely knowledgeable and eager to learn from those he leads. He is very bright. He knows the trails, Morocco and Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Believe the trip notes. Marrakech is colorful and busy late into the night 7 days a week. Take the advice from the leader about what to eat, where and how much it should cost for meals, cabs and goods. Always bargain with merchants in the souk. The village is remote and picturesque. The riad is basic and simple. Prepare for the cold in winter months. The trails are rocky and stoney. Don't be shy. Try a hammam.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As an American, it was wonderful to experience true Muslim community and hospitality and Islamic culture and religion. It was a positive contrast to our current negative policy toward Islam.
  • Reviewed October 2019

    What an awesome trip!

    My first Exodus trip and what a cracker; diverse, interesting, informative and full of new and exciting experiences and activities and Adil the tour guide was outstanding. The itinerary is full of interesting stops, numerous extras were added in and adding in multiple extras like hiking in the early morning out to the dunes to enjoy the sunrise, climbing mini mountains and outcrops at Riad Oliver this was a packed trip and just the way I wanted my first experience from Exodus to go. I'm surprised at the cost to what actually was included and the amount of time away, flights and activities. The company was excellent and I quickly bonded and gelled and look forward to my next trip. Well done Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunrise in the Sahara atop a dune with Louise

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adil is fun, helpful and informative and goes that extra mile, you can't go wrong with him. He even arranged a birthday cake as my birthday occured whilst in Fez

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pack too many clothes, plenty of chances to launder and quickly dry. Take the opportunity to do extra yourself, get up early to go around Rabat in the early morning before the sun rises and go along the front to the Kasbah. Get up early and do as many sunrises as you can in the Sahara and Skoura. Get a roof terrace to watch the sun go down in Marrakech. Go for the hammam, its different! Be open to new experiences.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Rick Hardy

    Absolutely Fabulous!

    If you want to learn about the culture and history of a country as well as seeing some spectacular scenery then this is for you. There is a lot of travelling involved and a few early morning departures (8:00am) but enough time for rest to compensate. Maybe a little more space in the mini-bus would have been nicer as the back 4 seats were a little cramped but there were plenty of breaks during the journeys to from Marrakech to Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Merzouga, Skoura, Tigzha, Ouarzazate, Essaouira and back to Marrakech. If you fancy something different here are two examples; 1) A camel ride onto the Sahara to watch the sunset, eat and sleep in a Bedouin Camp with some traditional music, up before dawn early for another camel ride to watch the sunrise then back to the hotel for breakfast, and 2) Two nights in a mountain retreat and a 4 hour morning walk in the High Atlas mountains. Food was good and sometimes exceptional. All accommodation was acceptable and in some cases fantastic. Our tour guide, Ahmed, and driver, Mustafa, were absolutely marvellous. My 15 travelling companions also contributed to the enjoyment of the holiday. This was my first holiday of this type and I will certainly try another - most likely with Exodus. They obviously have years of experience organising holidays like this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I suppose the very most inspirational moment was the mountain retreat and a 4 hour morning walk in the High Atlas mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed was exceptionally excellent. As was our driver Mustafa.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes a few times so there are no surprises - although surprises can be good. So, just be prepared - although no preparation can be carried out for your first camel ride! LOL
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Derek Armshaw

    Peaks & Valleys of the Atlas Sep-2019

    Great trip. Could be renamed 'Peaks & Passes . . .' as most days involve significant ascent and descent. Scenery and walking was fantastic - rugged mountains, less-travelled paths, authentic Berber villages and summer pastures. Loop ensured good acclimatisation by the time Toubkal was reached, but I think the Lac d'Infi and the Ouanoums Gorge were the highlights for me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Milky Way fill the sky at Iaabbasen; the pre-dawn start and sunrise on Tizi n'Likemt; camping in the wide-open valley at Aourai; swimming at Lac d'Ifni; climbing up through the Ouanoums Gorge and crossing the Tizi n'Ouanoums . . .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lachan did a great job of leading and managing the trip. He was always mindful of safety and well-being, and freely shared his love of the mountains and the Berber people and culture, including hosting us for afternoon tea in his own home.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of toilet paper, as it isn't provided in camp or in most of the gites/huts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tents are maybe due for replacement, most had broken zips, tears etc. Mess tent was a bit small for 16. Luggage and sleeping mats would have benefited from being bagged to protect from dust while on the mules.