Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

17 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Cynthia Felice

    Solitary hiking in the Balkans

    This was a wonderful exploration of the mountains of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro with knowledgable guides who led us across hillsides and on established trails. The meadows were lovely and the peaks were stunning. It was hot in Tirana but comfortable in the mountains, with only one afternoon of rain on the trail. Even in mid-August there weren't many other people hiking or at the guesthouses/alpine huts. The proprietors were very hospitable, serving traditional meals with locally grown ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, bread and feta-like cheese. We had a great group of 16, five couples, all experienced hikers who were friendly, considerate and responsible. Given the group size, pace differences, and terrain, it was helpful to have two guides, one who led and the other who stayed at the back of the group. Two members of the group who wanted a rest day were able to catch a ride to the next accommodation with the luggage transport vehicle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hospitality extended by local owners of the guesthouses/alpine huts and the luncheon in Prilep.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All of the guesthouses provided blankets so bring a sleeping sheet, not a sleeping bag. Some but not all guesthouses provided towels (another useful thing to pack). Fruit is limited and usually not included in packed lunches; bring dried fruit if this matters to you. Herbal tea was the common hot beverage, with Turkish coffee often available on request. There was always hot water if you want to bring your own tea or coffee crystals. Bring medicine for stomach flu and lots of hand sanitizer lotion. Half of our group got a stomach flu on the same day (including one guide) and the next day another person and the other guide got sick. We were unable to determine any specific cause; treating the drinking water didn’t make a difference. Fortunately people only missed a day of hiking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For future trips I suggest that Exodus consider either hiring a professional tour guide for a 2-4 hour tour of Prizren or dropping the side trip and adding another hiking day. The tour of the mosque and museum were interesting, but content was thin and the side trip involved a lot of driving.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    james tyerman

    Good

    This a wonderful trip and I very much enjoyed it. Scenery was lovely, everyone was friendly and it was a real experience.We had a great group .You do need to be fit but the trek is not inherently difficult just long and tiring at times over different terrains. The guides were very good and were always concerned that we felt safe and were enjoying ourselves. However, we were a full group of 16 with 2 guides.With some walks 14 miles long I would NOT go on this trip unless there were 2 exodus guides (this does NOT include the local guide).You need a guide at the back for those who are not so fast.Fast walkers should be able to walk fast but the slower ones aren't going to to be able to catch up. I am not a fast walker and I found the pace too fast at times.There were not enough water breaks or rest stops. For me that made no sense. One day we left the guesthouse at 9am and arrived at the next one at 3pm. We then had 17 hours at the guesthouse in a wood with nowhere to go yet the scenery had been breathtaking !! It was not the guides fault they were being pushed to go faster. Of the 18 people , 14 (including the guides) fell ill over a period of 2 to 3 days. All stomach issues. Whether you drank the water or not or were vegan made no difference.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 guides - in my view a nwcessity. Adnam and Khrisum.Both very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above. In summer it can be very hot.Bedding is provided. Take pillow case and sleeping bag liner- forget the sleeping bag. Have long trousers - first full day of hiking we went through lots of nettles. Have plenty of snacks to supplement packed lunches. Walk at your own pace .There is nothing to do at the guesthouses if you arrive early. Remember to look at the scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had a great group which really gelled together. The trip should be re-configured as the last day is really a transfer(60KM) and then wander around Tirana until you go to the airport at 6pm.The so-called first day is simply an evening flight. If the configuration doesn't change then go a day earlier as we did. The trip is well worth doing but it could have been better and there is no excuse for the poor trip notes towards the end of the holiday.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Paul Bacon

    Fantastic trip through unspoilt landscapes

    A challenging trek through unspoilt mountains with fantastic hospitality from the locals along the way

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trekking in the middle of nowhere, with little sign of tourism. The hospitality in the huts was great

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont take a sleeping bag, you dont need to as blankets are provided even in the huts. The heat can really make some of the days tough, although you can refill water along the way as you will be drinking alot! Take insect repellent as we all got bit alot during the trek

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do this trek now before it gets more commercialized. There are plans to build a ski resort and building work is already underway for extra accommodation, so the area could be alot different and busier in years to come. The fact you meet very few people on the trek is what makes it special
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sarah Wellburn

    Splendid mountains

    A reasonably strenuous walk through extremely beautiful mountain scenery in a relatively little known area, often delightfully off the beaten track. Still lovely wildflowers in mid-late July this year.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Departing on Day 11 from established walking routes to pick our way cross-country between valleys, over high places with the most-inspiring mountain views: Feeling for a few hours as free and alive and happy as I can..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All the shepherds huts and guest houses are very clean and provide mattresses with quilts and pillows. It would be probably suffice to take some thermals for the occasional cold night rather than lugging a sleeping bag with you, by mid/late July at least. The water was absolutely fine for drinking throughout the trip, be it on walks or in the overnight stays. Since during the first section of the trip no fruit was provided, dried fruit (apple, apricots, etc) would be good to bring as a supplement to the packed lunches or for snacking. Beware that the hotel pool cited at Boge may be closed. In mid-late July there were horseflies - don’t forget your anthisan cream.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a great experience of these mountains; thank you to those who led me through them and shared their own passion for them. Beautiful trip from start to finish.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    John Eley

    Peaks of the Balkans

    A challenging trek through unspoilt mountain scenery criss-crossing Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro staying in Mountain Guest huts and the occasional hotel. The local hospitality was tremendous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through alpine meadows carpeted with an amazing variety of flowers. The trek up to the glacial lakes lakes of Jezerca & on over the coll - the surronding peakes were stunning. The spontanious rakki party at the Sylbice hut was typical of the local hospitality

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two guides / leaders throughout - Deni & Dorien. Both were caring, helpful & keen to impart local knowledge. Although Deni was the notional leader he was younger than Dorien, who was also his employer! Keeping the large (16) diverse group together proved difficult and unfortunately limited the information flow en route. On the occasions when Dorien lead & set the pace the group was far less spread out. However there was a significant pace difference across the group which would have tested most leaders.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trek passes through very few centres of population 7shops are a rarety. Food is what is availble / grown locally. Fruit in particular is limited and not generally included in packed lunches. Stock up when the opportunity arises!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I appreciate that the spread of flight times makes the last day difficult to organise. Nevertheless I feel more could have been organised for those on the group flight given its late departure
  • Reviewed July 2019

    Challenging and wonderful trip

    It's a great trip, if you like to go to remote places where you hardly meet other tourists this is the place to be. The scenery is beautiful and every day was different. The walks are challenging as described in the trip notes. The guides were great and everything was well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last big day from Montenegro back to Albania crossing the pass was a long and hard day but the views were excellent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    They did a very good job, very helpful, friendly and skilful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent with you.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sue Turner

    A wonderful trip

    Would definitely recommend this holiday. I have never seen so many flowers and the scenery generally was amazing. It was a tough trek, but the trip notes make this very clear - so there were no surprises. We were made to feel very welcome at the huts and guesthouses, and it was lovely to spend time in such a remote region. The guides were really helpful and had worked very hard to put the trip together. Altogether a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the mountain lakes was pretty special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both our guides were excellent, and worked really hard to ensure we had a good time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of insect repellent, and a sandwich box would also be helpful.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    melanie port

    Fantastic - and challenging!

    This is basically a nine day continuous hike - trekking at least 88 miles over those nine days, up over 8000 metres, and down a lot more. There is no rest day in the middle. The speed is fast, with few sitting-down rest stops (just quick water/snack breaks standing up). Most days involve a fast steep ascent, and 7-8 hours of trekking. The views of mountains, alpine meadows, and flowers are unbelievable. There are very few people, as a lot of the route is taken on local tracks. Highly recommended, but only for the very fit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final day of trekking (day 11) when we lunched by the Jerveca Lakes; criss crossed the borders between Montenegro and Albania; scrambled up rocks and across snow; coped with the very long steep scree downhill; ate wild strawberries; delighted, as always in the incredible views and fantastic flowers; found bear scat - all with the backdrop of the Accursed Mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bleard Y was a very good leader of people. He was friendly, supportive, on time with departures, good information in the briefings, good sense of humour. Very interesting person because of his Albanian military profession.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Agree on one person to collect all tips on day 2 (when you have recovered from the short overnight on day 1, but before you leave the guesthouse on the morning of day 3). That person should then consult with the group leader ON ARRIVAL into each guesthouse/hut, to find out what to tip the guesthouse for that night, and the driver/horsemen/local guide the following day. No need for a sleeping bag - just an inner sleeping bag. No need for sterilising tablets etc as good water is readily available. Get very few leks. If vegetarian, bring own interesting food. Bring Vit C tablets/dried fruit.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Hazel Baughan

    TVR190615

    Super well organised, fabulous walks, stunning scenery, great guides and all round awesome trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last day trekking going over the big pass after a long and steep climb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was brilliant, very friendly, very knowledgeable and supportive throughout

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    First few days we finished quite early so would either make the walks slightly longer or have extended breaks as weather was fine.
  • Reviewed September 2018

    The Trip of a Lifetime

    A Synopsis of this amazing trip. . . After a long drive, a beautiful ferry journey, and a short 2-hour hike on the first day, we hiked every day, 11 days without respite; a daily trek of 8-14 miles climbing a total of 32,000 feet. The stunning views were worth every step; rolling green hills littered with vibrant wildflowers, sometimes dotted with grazing sheep and cows, jagged cliffs and enormous mountain peaks outspreading around us as far as the eye could see. We had the wilderness to ourselves. Besides an occasional shepherd or odd hiker (we saw perhaps 10 hikers in 11 days), the mountains were our private domain. Most nights we stayed in shepherd’s hut or rustic guest houses, and the living conditions were sometimes trying. The huts had limited electricity, cold water that was delivered directly from the mountain, one toilet, sometimes shower, shared by 17 people, and tight sleeping arrangements on the floor or bunk with separate rooms or buildings for men and women. Getting clean, sorting belongings for daily living, and dealing with basic needs was an ongoing struggle. Without proper sanitation, many of us including me and my husband, contracted food borne illnesses. It was pretty awful and the food was never enjoyable after the days of sickness. These huts were the shepherd’s family homes and we were invited guests. Besides cooking for us, they still shouldered their unending work, including the herding and milking of their animals which, in awe and wonder, we watched the procession. This was the real deal. Like a step back in time, we experienced a way of life that has endured for centuries. And here lies the paradox of discomfort: the rough living conditions were the price we paid for the utter joy of hiking in pristine and remote wilderness in almost complete isolation. True authenticity, by definition, cannot be faked. One must take the good with the bad. The Via Dinarica mega trail is still new and the region has a long way to go in their efforts to develop an infrastructure along the way. We have been blessed to be here in its infancy; it will never be as wild and unique as right now.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At our first hut, watching the shepherd and his wife strategically herd the hundred sheep into their paddock for the night, the wife snatching the ewes at the entrance gate, one by one, to swiftly milk them before they joined their brethren. Wonderful and hilarious all at once. A scene I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Two leaders; very knowledgeable of the area. Very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you train for endurance and cardio you'll be fine. I got fitter and stronger as the days went on and never felt like it was "too hard". Bring hand sanitizer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our 6th Exodus trip and this was the best yet. Unforgettable.