Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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39 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2019
    Kevin Walsh

    A Baltic autumn

    An interesting trip across the three Baltic countries, with the opportunity to see the three capitals and some countryside in between. Tallinn and Riga were both excellent, although Vilnius was less impressive. First two felt like small, self-contained towns however Vilnius was much larger and more “western”. The size of the group was a little large (at 20) and thus tended to break into smaller units - which we felt detracted from the overall experience. The hotels varied in standard and quality, although in the main were relatively faceless city blocks and unfortunately also used by other tourist groups which made the breakfasts in particular a bit of a scrum and thus not particularly enjoyable. The food in the restaurants was however good and there were some excellent places chosen for the group meals (for those who opted to attend) as well as plenty of other options for the “free” evenings. The tour leader (Migle) was efficient and organised and provided an excellent insight into Baltic history, culture and everyday life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure about inspirational, but we particularly liked Tallinn and also the Coronian Spit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above, Migle was efficient, organised and very informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the weather forecast very carefully - we went in mid-September and it was very wet and surprisingly cold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An enjoyable trip but not up there with the best that we have taken with Exodus.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Benjamin Alan Teece

    The Balkans

    This was an excellent trip with excellent trip manager Jolita and good local guides. Very hectic on the go all the time. Covered a great deal of history and would recommend it highly. One major problem the Hotels are not up to standard of the rest of the trip. Standard Double Rooms were very small and dark and bathrooms miniscule. An option to upgrade should be offered. We upgraded at one Hotel for 20 Euros per night and had a fantastic light and airy room with a balcony and large bathroom fully equiped . This would change the package for the better. One night is OK but 2 / 3 night stays is not on.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tallinn was an inspiration not to be missed its buildings and culture was first class. Trakai castle was a surprise in such a beautiful setting and not too many tourists.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best, Jolita's ready smile and extensive knowledge made the trip. Her ability to handle any situation that occurred was something special. Her energy was inspiring to us all

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Upgrade hotel rooms on 3 and 2 night stays.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Graham and Julie Dobbie

    Fascinating History

    We really enjoyed our introduction to these three countries.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We enjoyed the medieval feel of Tallin, the art nouveau buildings in Riga, and really enjoyed getting a feel for the history of the countries.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rima was excellent. She imparted her knowlege and love of the countries. She always made sure everyone in the group was taken care of. Good restaurant choices too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Much more European feel in the three countries than expected. We visited mid-August and the weather was warmer and drier than our native Scotland, but pack appropriately (a couple of warmer layers are essential for the early/late part of some days or the rainy days).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Graham Ritchie

    Great trip!

    I generally go for a more active holiday but I enjoyed this cultural trip. The rest of the group were very pleasant and our guide (Megle) was very efficient and informative. There were complaints about hotels but I have to say I was perfectly happy with my accommodation. My one complaint would be the Monday spent in Riga (day 6) - the trip to the beach at Jurmala was nothing special, besides it was too cold to swim and you would have had to wade out about 2km to get water deep enough. The boat trip along the canal and river was no great shakes and the free afternoon in Riga was somewhat spoiled by all the attractions being closed (as they are every Monday). It was rather a waste of a day and would be better being omitted altogether - either spending it elsewhere (Klaipeda or Vilnius?) ar cutting the whole trip short by a day. That however is my only grouse and was overall very happy. Up to the usual Exodus standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking over the dunes near Nida (I skipped the boat trip).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Megle was very good. She explained where we were going and what we would see. Her restaurant recommendations were generally good. She was well organised and good at skipping the queues! She was very knowledgeable about all three countries.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    nothing in particular.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    nope.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Linda Bonner

    Where was the adventure?

    Felt more like a coach trip than an adventure holiday.......disappointing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cold war museum

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lovely lady but not a strong tour leader
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Susan Steed

    Baltic states tour

    Lovely people, good tour guide. A really good mix of places to go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really enjoyed Kovoian spit, it was a break from the hustle and bustle of the trip and truly beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was good a d got the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it. I have some long term medical problems and I could do it by pacing myself. Everyone is of a like mind and for my first trip abroad on my own it wasn't scary.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel in Vilnius is a bit far out, some of the single rooms were a tad snug for some. As we had local guides we did hear quite a lot of the same info many times. Also three hours is too long for a walking tour without a stop! It wasn't just me either that felt that way.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Richard Ponting

    A very enjoyable trip

    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip "Discover the Baltics". Our Exodus Guide was excellent and each of the specialist guides we had in the various cities and castles were also good. Transport was reliable and comfortable without being luxurious. We noted some members of our group were critical of some of the hotel accomodation, but most of the hotels offered an optional upgrade at very reasonable extra cost and we took advantage of this on one two occasions as my wife is a very light sleeper. We were also recommended some excellent restaurants for evening meals which took the risk out of looking for one ourselves. Lunch venues were organised by a guide in advance and were generally good value and carried the local foods and snacks. Overall we thought the trip was very good value for money and would recommend it to friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gaining an understanding of the turbulent history of three counties which have all been occupied by and over-run by foreign forces on many occasions over the last 1000 years. We fully understood why the the locals Celebrated 100yr Indépendance Day in Cesis with traditional music, songs and dancing on Sat 21st June. Joining in the Midsummer celebrations on the river front in Riga on Sunday 22nd June. One big street party with local entertainment, foods and beverages. Brilliant! Sense of awe when visiting some Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches. Magnificent!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mindaygus Jucius is an excellent guide, he is very knowledgable about the countries we visited and has excellent language skills including English. He has a good sense of humour and is also is very patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check with the hotels you are going to be staying in if you are concerned about the facilities that will be available to you. If upgrades are available you may want to consider it. Bear in mind that you will not be spending a lot of time in the rooms as the programme is fairly comprehensive and what free time you will have will probably be spent walking around the towns and cities you are staying in. You will be undertaking city tours of 3 hrs or so and much of the time you will be walking on cobbled streets. Appropriate comfortable footwear is essential. A reasonable level of mobility will be required as some of the old cities are built on hills and you will encounter stairs in some cases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dealing with the Exodus office staff when booking and adding an extra day's accomodation at the beginning and end of our tour was handled very well.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Ray Tweedale

    Great tour! Shame about some of the hotels.

    Well organised and varied tour with an excellent guide. Unfortunately our hotel in Tallinn (Go Shnelli) was as good as on the train station platform. As there was no air conditioning we had to have the window open, so the noise and fumes were bad. Fine when the trains finished at 11:30. The hotel in Riga (Konventa Seta) was very centrally located, which was good, but our room (005) was so dark, as the window faced an apartment block. OK, I suppose, if you’re out till really late at night. Only one of the hotels used had coffee and tea facilities in the room. Apart from this we thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trakai castle on the lake; Tallinn old Town; Riga’s Arte Nouveau buildings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like tea and coffee, take a travel kettle.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    marion buchan

    AVV discover the Baltics (121)

    I really enjoyed the trip, but had problems hearing some of the guides as we were sometimes in crowded areas. It would be a good idea if we were furnished with audio aids so that we could look at what was being described rather than trying to catch up with the guide the whole time. This really spoilt a very good trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Palmse Manor.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolata was an excellent group leader and spent time considering our every needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take warm clothes as the weather can be unpredictable even in June/July.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Robert Strudwick

    Discovering the Baltic Countries

    Well organised, our guide Migle was excellent with good knowledge and well motivated. Quite a busy schedule, some of the hotels were a bit quirky but that added to the appeal for me. Loads of architecture to take in, and heaps of cultural things to learn about, being completely new to these countries I was fascinated by the history, and the differences between these three countries

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cold war missile bunker and the KGB museum were a lesson about how much effect the Soviet occupation had on these countries, and listening to the guide (and a guide who joined our group to learn the ropes) tell about life under the Soviets as they both grew up in that period.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, to be recommended

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its quite a busy trip and covers lot of ground - make sure you have insect repellant, although not bothered much the walks in the parks are where you are most likely to be bitten.