Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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.

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  • Reviewed May 2019
    Peter Day

    Sicily Food and Culture Trip

    A great balance of food and culture - all of the highlights covered, and no food specialities left untasted. The itinerary was a perfect blend of food and culture, and the itinerary itself was perfect - nothing could really be improved upon.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Roman villa mosaics

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was excellent. He looked after every detail of the trip, was always available to assist with any question or problem that arose. Incredibly enthusiastic, and a native Sicilian, he acted as our entree to Sicily.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While classified as level 1, there was a great deal of walking on some days - up and down stairs in most locations, and while detail is provided under "Is this trip for you?", the word "leisurely" is a little misleading, and it would be worth reclassifying the trip to at least a 2! That said, in many places, there were options to do more or less strenuous activities. e.g. at Mount Etna, there were three grades of activity possible. While nothing more could have been included within the 8 days of the tour, travellers may consider adding two-three days on their own to visit Cefalu (including a trip to one or more of the Aeolian Islands) which is easily accessible by train from Palermo. The other locations visited relied on in-depth local knowledge, and some of the attractions are only accessible by private transport, so it would be impossible or impractical to visit most of the places we went to if you did your own thing in Sicily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour is at least as much about culture as it is about food, and while this is detailed in the trip notes, it might be worth reflecting this in the title of the trip.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    katherine ruch

    a lovely trip

    I travelled with my husband and we have both enjoyed our trip. our guide Titsiana was excellent, being informative, friendly, accommodating and anxious to ensure we all enjoyed our trip. Timings of all pick ups and activities was perfect. Activities including wine tasting, cheese making, cookery and olive oil tastings were all enjoyable and very well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    trip to mount Etna was fabulous although quite expensive at 130 euros for a couple. Also the cookery and cheese making were excellent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    group leader w as excellent. very friendly and welcoming. enthusiastic, courteous and anxious to ensure our trip ran to plan and was enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    two of the hotels were of a poorer quality. The hotel Poste in Palmero was a bit shabby but not too bad. The worst hotel was the Jolly ... Palace Hotel for the last night. This was very shabby with stained and chipped furnishing, rusting air vent in bathroom, dirty walls and no air conditioning. This hotel should not be used as it spoils the quality of the trip as a whole. no need to bring a thick coat for Mount Etna as you can hire a thick coat for 4 euros at the ticket office. If you don't want to do four flights just to get to Sicily and back, book your own flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please take the last hotel off your list. It is anything but a Palace Hotel! very enjoyable trip. If I had known that this trip involved changing at Rome on the outward journey and Milan on the return I would not have booked it. It took 10 and a half hours to reach Palmero due to waiting for flights, delayed flights and having to change gates.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    SANDRA MATLACK

    Lovely experience

    This trip was an excellent experience blending history and tourist sites with food experiences. The itinerary is well done. We were a small group of 7, and got along well, and our guide Tiziano was energetic and good natured, and attentive to everyone's needs. He was very organized and everything went off as planned. He was also personally helpful to me on 2 occasions, with forgotten eyeglasses and arranging individual transport to the airport. I really enjoyed all the tasting/eating experiences, including olive oil, cheese farm, wine tastings, cooking class, street food tour in Palermo, and group dinners. We moved a lot, staying one night in most places, but that was enough to see everything, and get a feel for the towns. The travelling distances were not very long between towns, so we had plenty of walk around time. My only criticism would be of the choice of the Siracusa hotel, which could be greatly improved, even if it meant charging a bit more for the trip. The rest of the hotels ranged from decent to lovely. Would definitely travel with Exodus again. Great value.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The church in Monreale with the breathtaking mosaics. Also the Greek temples in Agrigento.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    our guide Tiziano was energetic and good natured, and attentive to everyone's needs. He was very organized and everything went off as planned. He was also personally helpful to me on 2 occasions, with forgotten eyeglasses and arranging individual transport to the airport.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go a day earlier- but not on a Sunday like I did- and try to see the mosaics in the Palatine chapel in Palermo. Also taxis are very expensive in Sicily to/ from the airports, so if you do your own transport, be aware of this. You need to be pretty fit to do the Mt Etna excursion to the top, as air is thin and walking is precarious on the lava. Our guide did an easy walk at the bottom for those who did not want to go up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip is an excellent value, and well planned for 8 days. Includes all the highlights of Sicily and very nice food experiences. Also enough free time to walk around and eat extra food! Have been all over Italy and the food here is some of the best.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gary Thomas

    Sicily

    The Sicily group tour was excellent. Very well planned and organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The great mixture of activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Very well organised, thoughtful and friendly.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Julia Hadden

    Excellent trip!

    The tour was well organised and interesting. The group dynamics worked well and we were given the opportunity to experience many aspects of Sicily including the delicious food, fascinating history, fantastic archaeology and beautiful scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was blown away by the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale and the tastings of various marsala wines was fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was one of the best group leaders we have met and we have met many over the years. He was a mine of information, his English was perfect and he made sure that we all had a wonderful holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The distances in Sicily were far greater than I appreciated so it takes longer than expected to get from place to place and the weather can be chilly, particularly on Mount Etna.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for arranging such a successful trip.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Liz Mulgrew

    A brilliant mix of foodie and cultural delights

    This trip is a wonderful mixture of food and culture, with Etna thrown in for good measure! From sampling spleen sandwiches (yes, really) on the Palermo street food tour to a Marsala wine tasting and eating ricotta, still warm, that we had watched being made just minutes before, all the gastronomic experiences were enjoyable and delicious (even the spleen wasn't that horrendous). The cultural highlights for me were the amazing mosaics at the Villa del Casale and the Duomo and cloisters at Monreale, whilst experiencing Etna in the snow was simply stunning. Our guide, Rosario, was brilliant, and our group, made up of mostly couples and with around 30 years from oldest to youngest, bonded really well - as one of the three singles, and one of the youngest, I never felt isolated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the cable car/4WD/guided crater tour at Mount Etna. The combination of snow with lava showing through just made the scenario so beautiful, and we were lucky that the clouds parted and it was a beautiful sunny day. Awe-inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was so lovely - he guided us with a gentle touch so that we felt like adults and not a school group, yet somehow we were always ready to go when needed! His passion for Sicily and delight in showing us everything just shone through and his attention to detail in organising our activities was amazing. He had time for all of us as individuals and regularly checked that we were happy. Superb!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in April (and, I'm guessing, October) make sure you have plenty of layers, including a waterproof one, so that you can add/take away as needed. Our temperatures, in early April, ranged from really quite warm (I got slightly sunburnt one day) to -2 at the top of Etna! You probably won't have time for a swim at any of the hotels, as generally you do get to them quite late (and I think only one or two of them had pools anyway). Don't bother taking much reading matter - apart from airports you won't have time to read! There is a fair bit of walking around to be done, so make sure you have good shoes. Make sure you can cope with your suitcase as you do have to move it around a bit, although there's usually someone around to help. And make sure you have plenty of space in your case - you will bring back plenty of foodie souvenirs, if our group is anything to go by!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels we stayed in were a real mixture in terms of standard; for me, there were two I would happily book to stay in again (Hotel Carmine in Marsala - which we all agreed was the best one - and Villa Esperia in Mazzaro, for Taormina). The others were much more variable in quality, a lot of which often depended on which room you had ( my worst two were fine for others in the group). But you are never more than 2 nights in any one place anyway, and mostly only one, so it really doesn't matter that much. One negative point was having to change flights - Rome on the way out and Milan on the way back (where it was quite a scramble to get to the second flight). Our guide was amazed we weren't on direct ones as he said he hasn't flown indirectly for about 15 years! My only other comment was that a week wasn't quite long enough! It would have been great to have a bit more time at some of the places we visited (an extra half an hour or hour would have made all the difference at times) and in 10 days we could have gone all the way round the island.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Harriet van Pelt

    Lovely mix of food, wine and culture

    Lovley holiday. Great overview of many different towns visiting lots of cultural sites. Amazing food and wine, with great tours and tastings. You'll never be hungry or thirsty ;) on this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going up mount Etna, an optional extra but well worth it! Going to buy lunch in the local market was a great experience and visiting the different producers was very interesting. The Etna wine tasting with food pairings was really fun. There were so many great bits, it's hard to pick only one!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was very good! Got us from a-b, fed and watered us. He was very knowledgeable about the local areas and answered any questions or querys with the patience of a saint! What more could you ask for :)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a larger suitcase or sacrificial clothes! There was so many things we wanted to bring home. Nothing too unwieldly though, as there was a few short walks to some of the hotels with some uneven surfaces.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels were okay, did the job for a night's stay, some were better than others. One night did result in a supermarket supper due to the closure of the hotels restaurant but tbh we were so full from lunch didn't miss it and the bar was still open.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Jo Stevens

    Frizzante Sicilia

    A gastronomic delight!. From the hands on cookery class and wine tasting tasting to sampling Sicilian delicacies in the historical Capo market. Plus a big thank you to the team for arranging gluten free alternatives throughout the tour, from fusilli pasta to wheat free desserts, it truly exceeded all my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Capo market, was a delight, seeing the extensive mosaics at the Roman Villa, the hands-on cookery class, drinking sparkling wine in the square in Ragusa surrounded by beautifully lit architecture and the list goes on...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was very helpful, informative and was keen to ensure we really got the most out of our tour.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Paul Barnes

    Great Trip

    Really enjoyed the trip. A fascinating island, great food, wonderful history. My only criticism is that we tried to cover too much, which at times led to us only reaching our hotel at 19.00.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cooking tutorial

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a pretty hectic tour.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Rosario was a great host and guide. He very much became one of the group.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Theresa Wareham

    Fabulous trip

    Really interesting, active trip with plenty of interesting food & wine experience, history, culture and lovely group of people. Led by an excellent tour leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cookery demonstration & practice. This was in a beautiful environment & we had excellent tuition in preparing the food for our lunch. And then eating our food in a delightful outdoor courtyard in the warm sun was just wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was great. Really friendly & good fun but also efficient & very knowledgeable. I’d happily go on a trip with him again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need a reasonable level of fitness. There was quite a lot of walking to do & a couple of the people in our party struggled a bit. It does say about good health & reasonable fitness in the tour details but this needs to be emphasised at the booking stage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a big thank you to the booking team, to our tour leader & to our wonderful coach driver.
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