Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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17 Reviews

  • Pleasant, but not an Atlantic Ride. Needs another guide with 16 people.

    This was described as an Atlantic ride. We did not even glimpse the Atlantic until the end of day 3 out of 5. After that, we saw it in parts and it was lovely. It was hopelessly misdescribed. The ride was reasonable, but incredibly slow, particularly on the first 2 days, and on main roads. I am not a fast cyclist, but to travel at an average of 10 to 12kph on a flat main road is ludicrous, and dangerous. It was very hard to control the bike at these speeds and to keep stopping and starting on busy main roads is far from ideal. The problem was that there was only one guide and no support vehicle following us, so the guide had to keep stopping and then riding very slowly. This was incredibly frustrating and annoying, especially as the scenery was boring for the first 2 days. This was not good enough. The accommodation was a bit hit and miss. It was okay, with a couple of very poor and cramped rooms. In one hotel, not only did we get the booby prize of an unsafe room, it was also the venue for the group dinner. The food was inedible, and my husband and I ate very little. The hotel was quirky and very interesting, in Obidos, but we drew the short straw. Overall, I would not particularly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed most of the company, and the food and the wine, when not organised for us. The picnics were mainly good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was good, on the whole, and the support driver was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would not advise people to do this trip. I just do not think the cycling works.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were health and safety issues with the cycling and some of the rooms. It needs looking at carefully for future rides. For example, in the hotel room in Obidos, the bedside lamp could not be plugged in as there was no socket. There was a bare, live hole where the socket should be. We were also on what looked like camp beds, with a metal frame and rock hard mattress. Another room we saw was gorgeous.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Lazzaro Amanzio

    Porto to Lisbon bike tour October 2019

    It was a great tour along Atlantic coast with good weather, many good views, excellent guide and driver and great&fun group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day we arrived in Nazarè with beautiful views of the ocean and of the beaches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruben (our guide) was great. Always smiling and having a good word for every person of the group. He supported the all group very efficiently and in a friendly/professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some bike training is recommended before to start the tour due to some hilly parts and eventually rent an e-bike to have full fun.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to mention Tiago (our driver) for taking care of all the logistics and food along the all week in a very professional and friendly manner.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Celia Murray

    Perfection in Portugal

    Fantastic week of cycling, sightseeing, good company and excellent guiding in coastal Portugal.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic sunsets over the breaking waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Great seafood and wine. Boutique accommodation, especially the Literary Man in Obidos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruben is an exemplary ambassador for his country. He is a remarkable and engaging young man. I doubt we have had a better leader in any previous Exodus trips. After a leisurely first day's ride he was able to accurately gauge everybody's level of competency and ensured that each individual had the best experience possible. He was well supported by Rafael who was in charge of transportation and excellent picnics. Between them their calm and friendly nature made our whole experience delightful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book an extra night in Porto at the start of your holiday. It is a smaller city than Lisbon and easier to explore on foot. We ate in Volta e Meia in Figueira da Foz on Ruben's recommendation and it was fantastic. If you want to go as a group be sure to book as it is very small and intimate. The first 2 days of cycling are predominantly flat and easily managed by infrequent cyclists. The following 3 days are more challenging so either get some practice in, hire an e-bike or take up the offer of a ride in the support van for the longer hills.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't forget the sunscreen, an extra layer for chilly mornings and evenings and padded shorts. A fantastic holiday, our only constructive criticism is that we would have preferred a later transfer to Lisbon to allow us more time to explore Obidos.
  • Reviewed September 2019

    Too leisurely trip

    The itinerary is beautiful, except for some bits were you ride in some areas devastated by the fires in 2017. Expect a very leisurely pace, less than 20 km/h in average and four stops a day, and do some hills after lunch. You should expect to arrive at the hotel at 4 pm or more by the plan. The average age of the group is 55-65 years old. Generally, good hotels are chosen, however, the Literary Man in Obidos is not worth it, except for its breakfast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Great to meet people from all over the world. Also, is very stunning to watch the sunset in the Atlantic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He didn't have a very good level of English and had poor organization skills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it with self-guided if you can cycle for 30 km around 2 hours non-stop and you want to do some exercise. The group is guided at a very leisurely pace and does four stops each day at least, adding some extra photo stops.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Mark Walker

    Absolutely fantastic Portugal

    This trip was an amazing experience with absolutely stunning scenery, around every bend was a picture postcard view of the ocean. The guides were excellent and their spoken English was great. This being my first premium trip I was very impressed with the hotels and watching the sunsets over the Atlantic from our hotel balconies and resteraunt tables was a highlight for everyone. The cycling was a bit harder than I anticipated, the trip is graded a two but is as hard / a bit harder than the indochina trip I did earlier in the year which was graded as a three. The first few days are definitely leisurely, but on later days there are a couple of hills one long climb and one short but steep one, the last day is more undulating. I wouldn’t let these put you off though they are manageable by anyone that’s done a bit of prep or cycles regularly and there’s always the van or an ebike. The bikes were trek dual sport 3’s and were excellent hybrids with hydraulic disc brakes giving confidence on the way down. The trip was mainly on excellent quality cycle paths with only a limited amount of road riding to link them together. We were generally in the hotel for 330 each day with most starts about 930

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Eating a group dinner after a hard days cycling on a cliff top resteraunt as the sun set over the Atlantic & getting to the top of the hill with a smile in my face.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paulo was excellent, really great full confidence in his abilities and adjusted the plan to cope with hotter than expected days and when we wanted to stay loneger in the town or wanted an extra coffee break.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light, I took way too much stuff
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Angela Jackson

    Pleasant cycling trip

    This is a pleasant cycling trip but as some reviewers have previously highlighted despite the grade 2 we were often arriving at the hotel about 5.00pm or later and so we didn't have much time for relaxation off the bikes. This was not too much of a problem until the arrival in Obidos which is worthy of some time to look around. There are some diversions from the original route following the devastating fires in 2017. Generally good hotels are used, The Literary Man in Obidos is very interesting and quirky.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not really inspirational - but overall this is a very pleasant relaxing trip. We had great company. We had a short guided tour of Porto prior to the wine tasting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ricardo worked really hard all week and was well supported by Ruben. He took some videos of us cycling which he tried to edit each evening for viewing whilst giving the next days briefing. Both were really nice guys who were enthusuatic about the outdoors and Portugal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The kitty for lunches worked out great and I would recommend as everything was ready prepared on our arrival with a good choice of food, this included picnic lunches as well. Book extra nights in Porto and Lisbon as they are both worthy of more time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The last group meal is really the one in Obidos with suggestions of places to go in Lisbon if you wanted to experience Fado. We did not get a guided tour in Lisbon but we were dropped off right in the centre, a guided tour is really not practical given the size of the city. I think it would be better to give everyone a city map with the hotel and nearest metro station marked on it - so you know the way back and with some recommendations of places to go depending on your interests. For the nights when group meals are not organised it would also be useful to be provided with a map and suggestions for restaurants. We can highly recommend the Wine Bar by Cristal in Figueiro de Foz which was very close to the hotel - don't be put off by the name as this was a great little tapas bar with fantastc food.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sahara Wutzke

    Coastal views

    Portugal is a beautiful country and cycling along its coast felt like I experienced all it's best parts. Cycling: This is rated correctly at "moderate" because of the hills. However it is a comfortable "easy" ride for the average fit person. I don't ride a bike at home and felt this was very doable. I really enjoyed how the cycling increased in time on the bike and pace as the trip progressed. From the first day where we took it easy, stayed together as a group and didn’t go too far a distance, to the last day of rolling hills, go at your own pace (fast or slow) and longer distances. Since you are travelling as a group it is to be expected that sometimes you will be waiting for the last person. But it is nice since, you can have yourself a little snack and coffee while you wait a lot of the time. Plenty of opportunity to take your time or even ride in the support vehicle if you aren’t up for the hill that day. I took advantage once myself of the ‘free’ ride. The ride is on mostly flat, or rolling, paved bike paths, through forest and coastal towns. We spent little time on roads and if we did they weren’t busy. Since it is a cycling trip the majority of your day is spent on the bike or ‘in transit’. Sightseeing in the towns you stay in is limited but a part of the consistent paced itinerary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We really enjoyed the other travellers in our group. I enjoyed conversations both during the ride and at meals with other travellers from around the world. Highlight: Picnic lunches!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was an excellent guide, skilled at maintaining a group pace and had great knowledge of Portugal. He gave great directions and appreciated when we wanted to pick up the pace.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book to stay an extra night in Porto on arrival to see the sites of this beautiful city.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Denise Murphy

    Porto to Lisbon ride

    Excellent hotels apart from first and last because they were not in the Center of Porto and Lisbon. We had to travel by Exodus transport. We did not have the walking tour of Porto as advertised despite arriving early afternoon just the port tasting. We would rather have had a walking tour. We understand it was not the usual tour guide on that particular week, could that have been the reason?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling along the Atlantic coast, the scenery and all the hotels apart from first and last as mentioned above.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Understand that Rafael usually works in the office so was not very informative although very pleasant. He also kept us cycling at a very slow pace a lot of the time, keeping us all together, not letting us ride on ahead and wait which a lot of us found extremely frustrating. Our hands were constantly on the brakes and therefore most days didn’t arrive at our hotel until late afternoon and it could have been much earlier, especially the first two very flat days. Daniel was the driver and he looked after us very well and organised excellent picnics.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes arrive in Porto a day early to see this beautiful city, and perhaps have an extra day in Lisbon because our group flight involved us getting up at 4.15 am.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    None of us had the Fado dinner on the last night as we were not told about it on the previous night. We did t get a briefing. Everyone therefore ate separately on the last night so it was a sad ending to the holiday. Also when arriving in Lisbon we were dropped off at a petrol station and given directions on how to walk into the tourist area of Lisbon. We were told we had to make our own way back to the hotel, luckily some of the others had noted the name and address of the hotel we had just dropped our bags off.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Denise for her review, although we are very sorry that she was disappointed with certain aspects of her trip, and that the orientation tour was not offered on this departure. The orientation tour is dependent on the time available after the arrival of the group flight, and we will review timings of each activity to maximise the opportunity to enjoy a short walk in the city centre before or after the wine tasting, whilst still ensuring enough time is given for check-in and the main trip briefing. For those wishing to spend more time in Porto, we recommend considering an earlier flight or pre-tour accommodation to allow more time to visit the city and its many highlights independently, as mentioned in our Trip Notes.

    We regret that Denise was disappointed with the leadership on this tour. Rafael works in our local operator’s main office but he is fully trained, leads trips every year and knows the route well. A group’s pace will often depend on the difference in each client’s ability and, whilst there are some sections during which clients can cycle on their own, generally the tour leader must keep the group together for safety reasons. The pace is therefore tailored according to the trip grade, which is 2 (leisurely/moderate). 

    We were sorry to learn that Denise was disappointed with the final day of the tour, and we will ensure that every group is offered an optional guided tour in Lisbon from now on. Those wishing to explore independently will be provided with detailed information regarding highlights, maps and directions. Tour leaders have also been briefed to offer an optional farewell dinner from now on. Marta Marinelli – Product Manager

  • Reviewed May 2019

    Sunshine and cycling with the wind behind us

    Good cycling beside the Atlantic Ocean. Blue sky and sunshine with wind behind us. Lovely hotels, great beaches and lots of surf. Nice bikes, and fun cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view of the Atlantic Ocean as we cycled, particularly if we came round a corner and saw it below us blue with the white surf and the cliffs ahead.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nino was great. Good leader. Assessed the Group on the first day, and let people go at their own pace, so if they wanted to race ahead they could but had to wait. Gave enough time for those of us who didn’t want to race to get our breath back before setting off again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for 80 euro lunch kitty. It also paid for drinks at the cafe stops and saved a lot of time, and the picnics were great, as well as the buffet lunches we had. When they say there may be a point that vertigo sufferers may not like, don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I hate edges and drops, and it was ok. It was only one small part one day. There is a barrier at the worst bit. Only slightly hairy bit is coming down the road, with cars behind you. Just stay in the middle of the road and make them wait! We were given the option of going in the van to miss it out, but I’m glad I did it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were given the option to cycle to Nazaré on the last day rather than transfer. Added 20k and another hill but worth it. Also worth going down to the fort, even though it is another hill.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Barry Thompson

    Portugal Cycling Tour

    Lucky that we had a late Oct ride with 25 C temperatures. Great guides and well working bikes. The mostly flat terrain was pleasant and interesting. The meals were excellent, like a gastronomic tour!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The really steep hill to the Obidos castle on the last day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    J.P. was organized, kind, thoughtful and considerate of all guests. A little more historical/cultural information would have been nice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are a couple of high bridges that persons with height issues (me) may want to get a van ride across.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels were fine and the many Atlantic beaches were interesting. Lots of stops for excellent coffee!