Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18279 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2022

    Do this trip before it becomes too popular

    This was a much more interesting holiday than I thought it was going to be. The main reason I joined this trip was, of course, to see Petra - and that didn't even turn out to be my favourite part! (Wadi Rum was). There was a good mix of everything from exploring historical landmarks to enjoying some more resort-y like rest and activities. I probably can't offer anything new to what has been posted here already but I will say that for most of you this will be your only time in Jordan, so explore every opportunity - sign up for the extras. Little Petra - worth it. Camel ride - worth it. Bethany beyond the Jordan (where Jesus was baptised) - worth it. Do all of it - Jordan is a really interesting country with some great history. It will definitely make you want to get your bible out again as you visit numerous places you've only read about in the Old Testament. I would say that, despite our group getting on really well, a group size of 20 is probably too much. It does become difficult to please everyone and can become a bit frustrating. I have to take my hat off to our guide Nuwar who, over the week, managed the group exceptionally well and remained calm throughout. Top tip - best time for a photo of the Treasury at Petra is towards the end of the day. There's hundreds of people there in the morning and virtually no-one at around 4 or 5 o'clock. Also, use your second day to walk the Al Khubta trail to the viewpoint above the Treasury.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure about inspired, but the most rewarding part was the climb up to the Monastery at Petra. It's a tough, sweaty walk and you have to be careful on your feet but it's absolutely worth it. It was sad to see donkeys trudging miserably up and down those steps all day, especially when carrying people who looked twice the size of the animal. I would please discourage anyone from hiring a donkey to take you up and down to the Monastery. For me, it just looked too cruel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant group leader. Nuwar left us in no doubt that she knew an awful lot about the history of everywhere we visited and enthusiastically tried to share all of it with us. Might have been a bit much for some of us to take in but still, the enthusiasm was greatly appreciated. I always think that people overlook just how difficult a job it is to be a guide. We forget that not only do they soak up a huge amount of knowledge but they also do it in another language. Sometimes more than one. It is a tremendous skill which I think is often undervalued. Additionally, and like the best group leaders I've experienced before, Nuwar was on hand to offer advice on places to eat in the evenings and was also prepared to join in socially. At that point the leader becomes more than a guide and instead becomes a friend and it is that quality that makes the difference between a good trip and a great trip. Thank you Nuwar. I hope you bring happiness to many future groups.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I wish I'd have gone a day earlier to have a more in depth look around Ammam before the trip started and to avoid the extremely late arrival on day one. As it happened, I couldn't on this occasion but I would recommend others to do so if they can. Take waterproof shoes or slip-ons for when you go to Aqaba and the Dead Sea. The sand is very hot and the pebbles aren't designed for people with delicate feet. The trip will involve some quick stops for lunch. Try the local food. Our leader was all too happy to pull over at recommended stops for shawarma or falaffel. There are limited places (two, officially) to buy alcohol in Petra. One is at the Cave Bar down by the visitors centre. They promote themselves as the oldest bar in the world (although that's debatable). Just in case it is, drop in for a pint so you can say you drank at the oldest bar in the world but beware, beer is about £10 a pint. For budding photographers - take a tripod into the desert with you. I tried to do a hyperlapse of the sunset and had to balance my camera in my shoe. As expected, not the best result.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For anyone eating at a restaurant which has camel on the menu and who fancies giving it a go, I can tell you it tastes like beef.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Tip top tour leader

    We were lucky enough to have Andrius as our guide. He ticked all the boxes you'd want from a tour leader, and then some. Aside from a cracking sense of humour (that initself says he probably should have picked a career as a stand up comedian), most impressive was his ability to adapt and innovate as went along, meaning we got the very best out of our tour. Exemplary stuff, chapeau.
  • Fantastic walking

    Feeling a bit trepidatious, as it was our first trip abroad since covid, we needn't have worried. This was a fabulous week walking in the most beautiful Ligurian countryside. Michela put us at ease straight away, along with the rest of a very, friendly group. Moneglia was an excellent base, away from the very busy villages along the Cinque Terre, but offering an excellent train service to the start of our walks. It was great to come back and swim at the end of the day. It also had a choice of fabulous restaurants and focaccerias.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of the walks were so beautiful and different. My favourite walks were between the Cinque Terre villages, particularly looking down at Vernazza from the "Blue Path" and the stunning walk between Cornelia and Manarola, walking through the terraced vineyards and beautiful wild flowers. Each village had its own character, but my favourite was Corniglia, smaller and quieter than the others. The wine tasting was also an amazing experience. Luca was so passionate and knowledgeable and the restaurant was small and atmospheric. We went back the following night for an amazing meal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We have travelled many times with Exodus and have to say Michela was an absolutely, brilliant guide. She was so well organised and everything ran so efficiently. We appreciated the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to achieve this. Her expert knowledge and love of the area was obvious. She was gentle and caring, constantly checking that all members of the group were okay. She gave us various options of boat or train at points in the walk, if we felt the walking was too much at any point. This was greatly appreciated by some members of the group. At the end of our week with her, she felt like a good friend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully, as they tell you exactly what the walks are like, then you will enjoy your trip and be rewarded by spectacular walks and scenery. Good footwear and poles help navigate the steep ascents and descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a fabulous holiday in a beautiful part of Italy, so great to be travelling abroad again. Also loved the gelato and sorbets, particularly pistachio!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Great Trip

    A really enjoyable and leisurely trip. The distances covered aren’t long which makes for a more leisurely pace. Almost all the accommodation exceeded expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really enjoyed staying at two wineries Views over lake Ohrid.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All the hotels were great except for one which I wouldn’t use again if I were Exodus.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Cycling in the sunshine

    This cycling trip winds its way through the hillside towns and coast of Puglia. The trip means a different night in each town with some beautiful hotels, traditional Trulli and an old olive masseria complete with olive oil tasting. Along the way there are stops for swims, coffee and ice cream. There is time to site see in each town along the way but if possible spend an extra night in Lecce the little Rome of the south to finish the trip in style.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying in a traditional Trulli and the lunches our guides sorted out for each day. Also the traditional olive oil masseria was beautiful and away from the crowds. Not forgetting the ice cream stops and Excellent Italian coffee. Did I mention the beautiful coastline? Pack a swimming costume for some excellent swim stops!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Antonio our group leader stepped in to cover a guide who was sick. He came straight from another trip but worked really hard to make sure we had an excellent week. He guided us and recommended some excellent restaurants. He also took us on a tour of Lecce on the last day explaining all the historical sites. Together with Piero in the support van we felt very safe and well supported no matter what the pace. Piero organised lunches and was available in the van if the cycling was too much. Having spent an afternoon in the van due to the heat I can confirm the two guides were in constant communication checking where all the group were, making sure those at the back were ok and sorting lunch stops. These guys worked super hard!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Spend some extra time in Lecce and Matera if you get the chance. It can get very hot so factor 50 and electrolyte tablets will keep you hydrated and protected from the sun.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very impressed with the guides
  • Puglia May 2022

    Pleased to visit an area previously unknown to me. We experienced unseasonably hot weather (some days 35 degrees in May) which made walking the streets of some cities difficult. The free day at Monopoli we agreed to be shortened in order that some time could be spent viewing our base Alberobello. I was surprised not to have dedicated transport which led to some timing issues and having to walk to the meeting point. Overall a tour of varieties of cities/sea side/olive groves with some good recommendations of where to eat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As a keen photographer parts of the architecture and street photography highly rewarding. Matera at night as initial sight highly worthwhile. The main square at Lecce a wow moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nino has guided on this tour for a number of years and become knowledgeable about the area. He dealt with a group of 16 women quite well. He was perhaps ambitious in his timings for us to walk to destinations as there were a couple of us with walking issues.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for scrambling up and down highly uneven sometimes steep steps/streets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The transport issue I reiterate cos I have not experienced before a trip where we do not have dedicated transport - you state "private" transport but I had not taken on board this meant we would have vastly different transport throughout the week.
  • Northern Cyprus

    Everything about it - the good contrast about walks/history/flora and fauna I think I have done a review already?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I dont have one The variety of Famagousta Town, with all the typoes of castle, some sea, the food. The hotle was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you understand about walking. If you are not part of the group due to knees or anything, then you have to find your own excursions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I love the wasy exodus takes care of the gluten free Coeliac :-)
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Cycling Puglia and Matera

    An interesting trip in very hot weather. The places visited were interesting and the hotels were good. Bikes as usual,even though brand new, were basic and heavy. More suited to town riding than touring. This added to the amount of time on the road, so leaving less time to explore the towns we stayed in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very pleasant and helpful. Informative and with a good command of English. A good bike mechanic for a change.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Excellent Trip

    Amazing trip and beautiful countries, Uzbekistan was just stunning and I felt so small between the big statues and buildings. We were lucky to be in Bukhara during the Silk and Jewelry festival and seeing everyone dancing and all the beautiful costumes they were wearing was a highlight, I definitely fell in love with the place, the architecture and for sure the friendly people. The Eagle Hunting demonstration was another highlight of the trip and not to be missed in Kyrgyzstan. Although it rained most part of Kyrgyzstan we did get to see some of the mountains and although could not do the walk in the gorge at the yurt camp it was still amazing to be surrounded by such beautiful landscapes, scenery and nature.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Registan Square in Samarkand blew my mind away, it was just so big and beautiful and made me feel so small. The eagle hunting demonstration was for me very emotional as they truly look after the eagles and set them free back into the wild after a few years, which is amazing. Also the friendly people in Uzbekistan was incredible, don't think I have ever seen such friendly people anywhere else and I travel a lot.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders: Dilshod in Uzbekistan - The man had so many stories to tell and had so much knowledge about his county. He helped wherever he could and made us all feel so welcome. Emrek was our guide for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and he got us out of a broken bus situation very quickly and he was great. Also had a smile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a few long drives but they are all worth it as the views are beautiful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book the trip and enjoy it as much as I did. These countries are still very much undiscovered and that is what made it so special. Not many tourist and surrounded by locals at all times.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Atlas Panorama

    A very enjoyable trip split between cosmopolitan Marrakech and experiencing rural village life

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing jumps out which was more inspirational than others

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdulla wa wonderful, very knowledgeable, engaging and committed

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes accept that the 4 nights in the Atlas mountains you are totally remote from the rest of the world unless you have organised a local SIM card.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make sure your footwear is sturdy and supports your ankles as the walks are over screed & rocks so there is quite a lot of movement in the foot area so to ensure you don't get injured a good pair of shoes are needed.