Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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30 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2015
    Barry Cooper

    Highlights of Armenia and Georgia

    This is a comprehensive tour through theses ex-Soviet states visiting many Churches but also enjoying fine scenery and interesting towns.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To see the renaissance of religion in these two ex-Communist stares and to observe the devotion of the local communities

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three Leaders, one Raffiq in Armenia and Anna and Salome in Georgia. Raffiq has a brilliant mind having just attained his PHD at 25 and starting University at 15. He must be watched as a possible Armenian future leader. His knowledge of the Sites we visited was excellent and he gave us comprehensive tours without notes. A remarkable tour leader in many respects but he did lack some organisational skills. Anna met us at the Georgian border and proved to be a friendly competent leader who gave us an excellent tour of Tbilisi and into the Mountains but had to return home for family reasons. She did not have the same degree of site knowledge that Raffiq had but her knowledge was satisfactory and she had good organisational skills. Salome took her place and it was difficult for her to fit into an already developed group but after some hesitancy, she developed into another excellent leader and she became a well liked and appreciated leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a cultural tour rather than an adventure tour and as such is different to many tours run by Exodus and on our tour the average age was higher than I have seen on any of the previous twenty-one tours that I have undertaken with Exodus. I am aged seventy-one and in Albania I was the oldest, I would suggest that I was average aged for this Tour. I would recommend any younger clients to consider this when booking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    IMPORTANT NOTE:- I took sterling to change into local currencies and this was fine in Armenia but Sterling CANNOT be exchanged in Georgia. I used both US dollars and Euros
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Joan Lawrence

    armenia nd Georgia Holiday May 2015

    A 5 day viewing of Armenia's highlights then 7 days exploring historical sites and some tourist spots in Georgia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cave dwellings at Uplistslikhe, an amazing lifestyle depicted, and the wine tunnels in the Kareba winery plus the serving of lunch beneath the trees there with a small waterfall tinkling in the background. Also the Tatev Monastery, reached by cable car over a deep valley.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anna spoke very good English and was very knowledgeable of the history of places we visited. I must admit she did talk for almost an hour on the history of places to be visited on one day which was far too long for us all to remember and absorb what she was saying. I felt she was young and given time will become more au fait with tourists needs, perhaps a little more warmth in her approach to people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to walk about 400 metres at the border crossing between Armenia and Georgia, in the heat. We were not informed of this beforehand and we found it quite a drag with our luggage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I felt we visited too many monasteries and cathedrals to remember all the details of each. Would have preferred more contact with local families in their homes and more cultural experience - like folk dances and their music.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Gillian Cox

    Armenia and Georgia

    These two countries could not be more different from each other in landscape and culture. They both have stunning mountain scenery, wonderful food and friendly people. We did visit lots of churches in both countries but it is the locations they are in which are amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My highlights of this holiday were the scenery from beginning to the end of the tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both guides Maria (Armenia) and Anna (Georgia) spoke excellent English and shared their knowledge of their countries, explaining what ever we wanted to know.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend this trip but to go soon before the crowds get there.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Gale Carruthers

    Highlights of Georgia and Armenia

    A very good introduction to 2 hitherto unknown countries. Well organised, good guides, hotels better than we expected, though Health and Safety issues in some of the hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views of Mount Ararat - and Mount Kazbek

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both were very good and a fund of historical and theological knowledge - almost too much to absorb at times I'm afraid! But we had been warned there'd be a lot of churches - and they are a very important part of the history of these countries.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that the quite appalling roads in Armenia and almost as bad in Georgia will make the journeys by bus from place to place very uncomfortable. We hadn't realised that we would spend so much of each day having our bones shaken to this extent! Anyone with back problems take heed. Make sure you have good footwear - you'll be walking on a lot of very uneven surfaces and some very steep and slippery rocks if you take all the opportunities offered.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be good if all the transport had seat belts, and drivers should not be allowed to use mobile phones while negotiating hairpin bends on mountain roads.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Alexander Templeton

    Caucasian Colloquy

    The Lady at the office when my trip was booked said that she doubted whether this was a trip that would suit me. She was right. This was a lot less active than I prefer, designed for relatively immobile people. This was combined with a distinctly Nanny like attitude of both guides. I left the trip three days early because of this. I stayed in the country a few days afterwards and much preferred travelling round by marshrutka than the very leisurely pace of the trip. Spending about four houirs a day on meals for example seemed a waste of time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the Caucasus though I would have preferred to walk up to the church rather than being unable to see much from a bumpy car. Walking down was treat. The Cascade in Yerevan was a real treat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Marina and Anna were well informed. Perhaps it was me but I did not get an answer from either of them when I tried to ask questions, so I gave up asking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip should really not be labelled moderately strenuous (I am 76!)

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    I was on this tour with Alexander and I was sorry to read that this trip wasn’t as active as he was hoping for. I think the trip grading of leisurely/moderate is correct, but I agree that it was a shame that we weren’t able to walk up to the Hotel Trinity Church from Kazbegi; unfortunately we had experienced some terrible weather whilst crossing the mountain passes so it wasn’t possible, but thankfully the weather improved enough so that we could walk down. It was also disappointing to learn that Alexander found the leaders to be rather protective. In my view, which I believe was shared by most of the group, I found Marina and Anna to be knowledgeable, kind and well organised. Whilst I was in Georgia and Armenia, I did provide our local team with some training and advice, so I hope that this will be reflected on future tours.

    Rachael Stone - Customer Services Manager

  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    Two interesting countries emerging from a troubled history, seemingly modern and European in feeling. Both were very pretty, the food was excellent and the people friendly and welcoming.  Then there were the Churches - lots and lots of them!  Rather a sedentary tour, could have done with some exploring on foot.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Armenia - The scenery was wonderful, and the little Churches perched on hilltops were magical.  Each day there was a lovely lunch in a beautiful setting, and the best of all was with a family in their garden near to Lake Sevan.Georgia - The drive up the Georgian Military highway was fantastic with magnificient scenery and interesting stops along the way.  What a shame we arrived too late in the day to walk up from Kazbegi to Holy Trinity Chruch and had to go by jeep.  The food in Georgia was also a highlight.  I did a wine-tasting too - the wines were memorably good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Mery in Armenia and Eliza in Georgia were excellent guides, enthusiastic and keen to tell us about their country.  Both made that extra effort, such as buying us local delicacies to try, which added to our experience and made the holiday really memorable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a swimming costume to Armenia; it is hot there and many of the hotels have swimming pools.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great travelling companions too.
  • Reviewed July 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    For both countries we had superb guides, wonderful scenery, great church locations and full bellies (the included food is tasty and in abundence even for veggies). The hotels were also all of a good standard and often better than expected. We did find ourselves a bit churched out though and some of the drives didn't warrant the reward.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our particular highlights of the trip were; Armenia Stunning scenery and church locationsGeghard Monastery and its Armenian rock sculptures inside Sanahin with its monastery and the museum of the Mikoyan brothersGeorgiaGori's Stalin museumUplistsikhes enormous cave city Alpine regions and Mount Kazbek scenery

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Mere (Armenia) and Elisa (Georgia) were superb ambassadors for their countries. Different styles but both equally knowledgable and looked after us well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go knowing that you will visit easily 20 plus churches on this trip. It did drain us toward the end.Instead of the synagogue in Yerevan, visit the Museum of Sergio Parajanov, a film maker and artist born in Georgia and living his last years in Armenia. Its full of his art and collages and gives a different insight into the two countries. We travelled in June 2012 and Georgia is under a lot of construction and renovation. Hopefully this will be more complete come 2013. It didn't adversely affect our trip, but you should know.Most of the time you arrive at your destination around midday and it can get hot. This is particularly relevant to the walk to Gergeti Holy Trinity church. I would recommend that the group take the jeeps up and down. Then ask if you can do the 4km (return) walk to a waterfall. Do not go to the Russian border it is a waste of time, there is nothing to see.
  • Reviewed June 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    This trip provides an easy, comfortable and informative way of seeing the beautiful countryside and experiencing something of the people, culture and very good food. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The several times we drove up the very high mountains into the superb alpine meadows, which were alive with flowers and singing birds.  The countryside was at its best in early June.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Armenian guide Mere was a class act.  Very knowledgeable with a very professional and entertaining way of putting things across and very attentive.  The driver  Edward was also excellent and I never felt ill at ease with his driving.The Georgian guide Elisa was good but appeared a little tired and world-weary at first, but brightened up.  The driver was a friendly chap, but he worried me as he often answered his mobile phone while driving and even made some calls.  On Georgian roads this is a bit scary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure to drink a lot of water, as it can be very hot.  Bring rehydration salts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    People expecting to do some walking may be disappointed as the walking element advertised didn't materialise due to the tight schedule. The schedule is long and there sometimes wasn't much time for relaxing at the end of the day.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    Both the scenery and the old buildings were fantastic. The guides were both exceptionally good and the food remarkably fresh and varied

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the hill to the monastery near the end of the Georgian military highway close to the Russian border.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely first class.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Accept any offers of extra visits!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We particularly love Georgia - the people were so welcoming.
  • Reviewed January 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    It has been a very easy travel, available to everybody (special fitness is not required), The two countries visited were very unknown for me, i enjoyed it, but at last, it was a religious travel, there are so much religious issues in this countries, all their lives goes arround it, and it is noticed and lived in some way during the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    without doubt when everyone arrive to the nice and very old churches spread arroud this countries. Also Tbilisi is charming, modern, alive, i enjoyed there very much.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    About the group leadres, i have to say that i was very unpleased, they do not personalise in any way, they never try to use our names (i was spain for one of them all the travel, and it bother me very much). About the Georgian leather was, even, unpolite shouting me when i gave an opinion.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take in mind that you visit two countries, think that  Georgia is colder than Armenia,