Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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  • Reviewed September 2017
    David Bruce

    The Italian Dolomites: Self Guided Walking

    Dobbiaco was a tremendous centre and the Park Hotel Bellevue was everything that we would have wanted. The guidance notes for the walks were excellent and each of the itineraries gave us a different view of the Dolomites from rolling pastures to jagged peaks. I would unreservedly recommend the holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the Tre Cime was beautiful and quiet with glimpses of marmots and alpine, wild flowers hanging on to the rugged terrain. Other walks were almost as spectacular and each had a different character and high point.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are up to it, always choose the longer walks. They are quieter and allow you to work off some calories in preparation for the excellent food at the Park Hotel Bellevue.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thankyou for a great holiday.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Benjamin Stadelmann

    Lovely Hiking Around Dobbiaco

    Overall, a wonderful experience. We were somewhat uneasy about a centre-based trip, because if you find that the food isn’t to your liking the first couple of days it could make for a disagreeable week. We needn’t have worried, the chef at the Bellevue is top notch, making terrific use of fresh local vegetables, fruit and cheese and kept us guessing on what the menu would have to offer next. Service was consistently professional and friendly. What I liked best about the walks was the sheer variety – really no two alike, pastures, meadows, forests, boulder strewn scree fields, babbling brooks, fields brimming with wild flowers, cute hamlets, the suggested hikes had it all. The “moderate” rating is fair, though there are a few parts where a walking stick comes in handy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After a rigorous climb up to the alpine hut at the Three Peaks I was ready for lunch and was treated to an absolutely superb goulash with a variety of fresh baked breads. To get that quality of food out in the middle of nowhere was remarkable, all the more so as the price was reasonable! It puts all the overpriced lousy food in tourist traps to shame.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The self guided notes were thorough and trails well marked, barely used the maps which seemed like a bit of a waste. The walks are very straight forward, did not miss having a guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t pay too much attention to the suggested itinerary. Weather is a more important factor and how ambitious you feel on a given day. Make good use of the spa, it really helps to rejuvenate those tired legs! Not sure if it is s misprint, but the stated summer temperature of 20-22 is misleading. Yes, it is chilly at night and at peak altitude, but during the day in July it is HOT!! More like 32 in Dobbiaco during the afternoons, but it does cool off very pleasantly in the evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The 7-day Mobile card for public transit is an asset. Works on all buses and trains, makes it dead simple to go to and fro at ease.
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

    A great holiday. The hotel and staff were excellent. The trip notes and walks were well documented and sign posted. Awe inspiring scenery. Overall, a well organised, quality hotel, holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On a couple of the higher, longer walks, looking back to where you had started/ just come from and seeing the scenery, distance, views and distance travelled.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No group leader as such, but the hotel team and staff were just excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Start on the lesser distance walks and build up to the biggies

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No, just another great Exodus trip
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

    Fantastic walking mixed with fabulous views and a hotel of the highest quality we would recommend to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the summit of Mt Elmo crystal clear skys and views to die for. Eating lunch looking over to the other side of the valley reviewing yesterday's walk and picking out the bunker we sat on and didnt even know until we continued the walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No group leader it is self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont be put off by the fact its self guided the walking instructions are easy to follow and with the maps provided very difficult to get lost. The Dolomite paths are the best sign posted we have ever come across our own national parks could learn a lot from the Italian and Austrians.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel is an absolute dream for serious walkers they have a sauna, pool, solarium, jaccuzi which after a full day's walking is heaven. Not to mention the hotel food and service second to none. You get Michelin* cuisine every night and a wine cellar for all tastes and pockets. We have been on walking holiday's all over Europe and USA and this is a must do for all serious walkers or serious food and wine buff's!
  • Reviewed August 2013
    Anonymous

    THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

    A fantastic week's walking in wonderful scenery, staying in an excellent hotel.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking was varied, ranging from easy to moderately challenging. We added in some extra sections on some walks to make them a bit more challenging; this was easy to do given the maps provided and the well signposted paths. The best day was the Tre Cima walk but make sure you do the full version to avoid some of the crowds!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was a unguided trip, but the maps and walk notes which were provided were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to vary your route if you are confident at map reading and want a bit more of a challenge. Make use of the hotel's three (!) saunas - no one else seems to. Don't expect to lose any weight on this holiday - the quantity and quality of the food in the hotel will not be outweighed by your exertions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great experience. We will definitely try other unguided walking holidays.
  • Reviewed August 2013
    Anonymous

    THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

    This is the perfect self-guided walking holiday. The location is ideal, the hotel is fabulous, and everything is exceptionally well organized. If you want to go on a non-group walking holiday in beautiful mountain scenery but you like not having to plan routes - and a wonderful place to eat and stay - this is the holiday for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Dolomites offer a superb area for walking, with stunning mountain scenery, beautiful alpine pastures, pine forests, and wildflowers. This is some of the best-organized walking I have ever done. Exodus provides very well-written and detailed walking route guides and maps, with all the information you need to plan your day; the routes themselves are very clearly signposted and waymarked with numeric codes that correspond to the maps and instructions. So there is zero anxiety about getting lost or ending up somewhere you would feel out of your depth. That said, if you like to devise your own routes, you can - there is a huge variety of walks here beyond the 12 or so that Exodus provides, all waymarked on clear paths. The other wonderful thing about this holiday is the hotel Bellevue. This is an old-fashioned family run hotel of the very best kind: not posh or pretentious, just clean, comfortable and impeccably managed. You are very well looked after here. The food is outstanding: a 5 course meal is offered most nights, while the breakfast buffet is the nicest I've ever encountered anywhere. The swimming pool and spa are beautiful and very welcome after a day's walking. This is easily one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed in - would gladly come back!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No group leader, as this is self-guided. However, the hotel staff were extremely helpful with any questions we had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Exodus rates this as a Leisurely/Moderate holiday. We found nearly all the walks to be at the upper end of Moderate: as it's an alpine area, there is lots of up and down, with very little flat. With the addition of the hot July sun, we found the walking a little harder-going than anticipated. It won't be a problem for regular hillwalkers, but be aware that the Dolomites is not an area for Leisurely walking.We flew to and from Venice, which is nearly 3 hours' taxi ride from Dobbiaco. We later learned that Innsbruck is closer to Dobbiaco, and can be reached fairly easily by train (the Dobbiaco train station is 5 mins walk from the hotel). So, depending on where you are flying from, Innsbruck airport might be more convenient.