Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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37 Reviews

  • Reviewed May 2017
    Sharon Salit

    Well chosen highlights of Andalucia

    Well-chosen highlights of the Andalucia region and good mix of hiking, countryside and city. We had such a fantastic group of people and leader that the trip would have been wonderful in any event. But it was also well-designed and organized by Exodus. Only negative was that the accommodations at the Cortijo are basic. We had a small room facing the back with no view. The bed was too small for us so they squeezed a twin mattress into the room. So it was quite cramped. The setting is lovely which mostly offset this deficit since not much time is spent in the Cortijo. If one is fortunate to get a larger room with a view it would be a nicer experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ah, there were so many. The Alhambra is magnificent as was our visits to the white villages, Ronda, Cordoba. The tapas lunch at Los Bandeleros in the nearby village of Algamitas was absolutely delicious.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary was a wonderful group leader. Very organized and attentive to details, worked well with the group and took good care of us. We thought it was odd that Exodus was not licensed to provide tours in the major cities, but it turned out to work out alright. Mary provided maps and advice on key highlights in each city. At major sites, audio guides were usually available to provide needed information.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Michael Giles

    A Golden Wedding Annivesary treat

    It would be have been very easy to spend a leisurely week at Cortijo Rosario enjoying the countryside, the ambiance of the villa and the pool. Indeed the location is stunning and the villa very homely but there is far more to Andalusia than farmhouses swallows and olive groves. The itinerary is flexible but it would be foolish not to take the inclusive excursions to both Seville and Granada, these take up the best part of four days and cover the finest aspects of Moorish architecture and culture in both these cities with exciting interludes en-route including the equally interesting sights of Olvera, Sentenil, Antequera and the El Torcal NP.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To learn that we could visit both Cordoba AND Ronda! On the free day we were fortunate enough to be able to share transport costs with others in a minibus which was economic and efficient for a very worthwhile visit to beautiful Cordoba. Then on transfer to Malaga airport on our last day, with a late return flight booked, we were able to detour via Ronda for a few hours visit too. (The Bull Ring there is well worth a visit regardless of one’s view as to this peculiar obsession).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group very much became family in the Cortijo and Mary part of the same, seemingly making easy work of logistics and various individual requirements. We were very pleased with her advice to pre-book on-line and buy combined venue entry tickets when available, which avoided wasted time in lengthy queues at the more popular sights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Before travel the scheduled free day might appeal as a day to relax by the pool but be aware that both Cordoba and Ronda are 'not to be missed' places and a pool is a pool. Seasoned hikers may also feel the urge to get a few more local rural miles under the belt but on offer is an equal amount of urban walking with fabulous vistas at times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As Senior Citizens we were able to take advantage of various concessions which were available at most of the venues, some very generous.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Nigel Morton

    Authentic Andalucia

    We saw the highlights of Andalucia, drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of tapas. And good company every day. Holy Week made it extra interesting and there are many towns we wouldn't know existed, some real gems.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The flamenco evening, up close and personal, in Granada.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was fab, kind and helpful and very funny. Always cheerful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes....... go on this trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great weather at this time of year, and the Cortija Rosario is a home from home...only nicer!.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Theresa Summers

    Authentic Andalusia Oct 2016

    This was a really good your for those who aren't massively adventurous and like to take things a bit more slowly. Lots of relaxation time and not too many early starts.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The moment I saw the Alhambra as a whole from the miradore.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was enthusiastic and energetic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared that there's not much to do at the cortijo when it's raining. Time is limited in both Seville and Granada so plan your days carefully to maximise what you can see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is beautiful countryside and all the cities we visited were beautiful.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Jennifer Bew

    Authentic Andalucia

    We booked this trip because it covered all the things we wanted to do in Andalucia and was based in a quiet location rather than a big city, and we weren't disappointed. The cortijo is lovely and the views stunning, but as the weather turned increasingly hot (up to 48C!) the lack of even basic air-conditioning was a bit of a problem, especially at night. The pool was a very welcome sight at the end of a hot day's sightseeing! All the trips came up to expectations, and it was good that after an initial orientation walk the leader Alexis left us to our own devices. The food was also very good, although the breakfasts were rather basic and the croissants came wrapped in plastic - and tasted like it too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspiring moments, but the flamenco show in Seville (in our hotel!) was simply mind-blowing! The Moorish architecture of the palaces and mosques has to be another highlight - how did they do that so many centuries ago?? It was almost too much to take in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was (is) a star! Our group was split about 50/50 between youngish and semi-retired, yet he treated us all the same, chatting and joining in at meals, not to mention organising everything from leading the orientation walks everywhere we went to finding a kind local to drive some of us back from the village when the baking sun got too much! Nothing was too much trouble, and he deserves a real pat on the back for his efforts.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for hotter conditions than you might expect! Some of us found the heatwave rather overpowering and the purchase of fans became essential (very elegant though)!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The rooms at the cortijo are not large and we were a bit disappointed to get what felt like a very small one for two people. Also, it was on the sunny side of the house and so never really cooled down, making it very difficult to sleep. We got the impression that some rooms were larger yet were occupied by a single person - why? Some earlier reviews mentioned that the cortijo's minibus was rather bumpy - well, not any more! Our driver Paco had a brand new air-conditioned bus that was his pride and joy, and no bumps were felt by anyone!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Robert Tiller

    Authentic Andalucia

    This was an excellent opportunity to see Spanish Culture at first hand, we were lucky with the weather and the tour leader was very good and knowledgeable. Extra trip to Cordoba has to be done. The whole break was well organised and I would recommend to anyone wanting to see Andalucía. Only downside there is a lot of minibus travel at least 1.5/2hours away from base each day and the Conjita Farmhouse is a bit tired, otherwise, with this in mind I recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Easter visit to Seville and Olvera were my highlights as the Easter Parades were in full swing. The extra visit to Cordoba we paid extra for was well worth it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader arranged visits to citys around the Easter Parades and had full details available of routes and times. Full marks to him for his knowledge and time spent ensuring everyone was catered for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure the waters warm in the (small) swim pool before you get in. Be careful where you eat out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall I recommend this holiday to anyone requiring a quick overview of Spanish Andalucía culture.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Catherine Coleclough

    Discover Andalucia

    A great trip to see some lesser visited areas of Spain. You get culture, walking, great food and also some down time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably a bit obvious but The Alhambra was my personal highlight. We had plenty of time to look around and then in the evening we were taken to a view point and then to a restaurant just below the view point where we were able to watch the Alhambra change colour with the setting sun - beautiful sight. In addition to this the Mezquita and the Patio/Courtyard gardens in Cordoba were also rather special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emily was great - she was hugely knowledgeable about the area and the culture. She was good company and very organised, ensuring we all knew what was the plan for each day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go in the height of summer! We experienced a heat wave when were there (end June/early July) and the temperatures were regularly around 40 degrees. The farmhouse (cortijo) is lovely but it doesn't have air conditioning so if you are there in 40 deg temperatures, it does not make for pleasant sleeping! That said, it is a beautiful place, clean, great staff, great food and a great location - the views are beautiful. Don't let the lack of air con put you off, just be aware of it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go - it is a great trip - nice to have one with a bit of relaxation time - I think we had 2 afternoons by the pool. You get to see the highlights of the area. I took the optional trip to Cordoba, as did most of the group and loved it. A few went to Ronda and they loved it there too.
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Paul Paul

    A look at Andalucia

    An interesting look at Andalucia while based in an area rarely visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Alhambra during the day and viewing it from the Mirador San Nicolas area over a beer or two as the sun set.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was an excellent group leader, he has a friendly manner, takes great care of members of the group and has a lot of interesting information to share but never over does this role. Each day was clearly laid out during the previous night's briefing and on the day it was clear where we were to meet and when.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The first meal at the Cortijo Rosario is a cold buffet served at 8 pm so make sure you have plenty of snacks with you or have a good lunch.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel used in Seville [Hotel Baco] is rather basic, breakfast is put out on one floor with a tiny area one floor up to eat it, alternatively it can be taken to the roof terrace or ones room. The Cortijo Rosario minibus is expertly driven by Juan but shakes, rattles and rolls so much it is very tiring being in it. The bar area of Cortijo Rosario has wifi.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Mark Skorupa

    Discover Andalucia

    This was our third exodus trip and up to our expectations. You get a great feel for Andalucia with the just the right mix of sightseeing a bit of walking and a good hotel to relax in. As usual the organisation was excellent

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our favourite day was our free day spent in Ronda. Our group leader arranged a taxi to the railway station. Ronda is 35 mins and the next stop down the line and in my opinion really worth visiting, the gorge is spectacular band the old town is compact and close to the station. Eating lunch in a restaurant overlooking the old bridge was spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexsi was excellent and really help make the holiday

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its a good idea to take an additional bag suitable for packing overnight stuff for Seville and Granada.Our room

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our room was clean and comfortable but I thought the days of a small shower tray surrounded by a clammy cold shower curtain was over and the storage space was a bit mean for two people especially when there was a locked wardrobe in the room (we were told this was for hotel supplies) Also on arrival the meal provided was very basic. The catering in the rest of the week was much better
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Lynn Moor

    Real Spain

    A great holiday with excellent travel arrangements. Granada and Seville are great cities and we also loved the Cortijio Rosario.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting watching the sunset on the Alhambra in Granada.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexi was fantastic, a great guy who went the extra mile to make our holiday run smoothly, organising great coffee stops and lunches, nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In April it was chilly at nights, take warm things. That said a lovely real fire was lit in the evenings at the Cortijo

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The house staff and food at the Cortijo were excellent.