Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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  • Reviewed May 2019
    Kathy Chellew

    Come Rain or Come Shine

    Great way to see such a beautiful part of the world; the scenery in Montenegro was breathtaking and we got to see it for long hours during the extended climbs. We were really unlucky with the weather - it only stopped raining for one day and was very cold for May - but our cheery guides and group kept our spirits up, particularly with Rakija, the fire water of the Balkans!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We all loved the long cycle along the coast to Kotor Bay, especially because the sun finally broke through the rain clouds, and the epic scenery. The 26-switchback mountain day gave us all a great sense of achievement, with stunning views all the way up, and because the weather was so cold, we made it to the top in record time! And the boat trip on Lake Skadar was a great chance to unwind, with wine, sun and swimming.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina was superb. Always had a sunny disposition despite the cold and rain. And Sacha her able assistant was an amazing mechanic who kept the bikes in top condition.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add some time on at the start or finish to see more of Croatia/Dubrovnik. It seemed a shame that Sarajevo was not part of the itinerary, so it would have been good to allow time to see that city too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bring ear plugs for Kotor - the hotel is in the old town and I imagine in high summer it will be very noisy all night long. I think a hotel outside the old town with a chance to swim in the sea might be an improvement.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    James Bennett

    Cycling in the bltkans

    Thoroughly enjoyed the trip despite the poor weather. Very engaging and professional crew

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of that very very very steep climb above kotor

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it - however, not recommended for the occasional cyclist
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Sue Mapes

    Fantastic cycling in stunning scenery

    My 16 year old daughter and myself enjoyed this tour recently, the scenery is absolutely stunning and efforts pedalling on the bikes were well and truly rewarded. The guide was delightful, energetic, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and capable, she was assisted by an equally positive and inspiring driver / mechanic. The tour itinerary details the difficulty of the cycling, a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as adequate bike handling skills to manage the poor road surfaces that crop up now and again. Having previously completed tours with other companies where the entire day would be spent in the saddle, this tour was refreshing with lots of other activities including visiting a honey making farm, several wineries, caves and an olive oil producer. Many thanks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the switchbacks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes so you know what to expect

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks - it was fab
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Tony Chau

    Beautiful country with amazing group of cyclist

    It was our 9th Exodus cycling trip for me and my wife and we have chosen Bosnia and Montenegro because it was Moderate/Challenging (and that didn't disappoint). We had lovely Sabina guiding us (she rode with us all the way including supporting us on the tough climbs) as well as Sasa (an ex-downhill MTB racer) fixing our bikes/nice picnic lunches and following us in the van to make sure we are okay. We went through beautiful country as well as lots of interesting visits (the wine was surprisingly good!). We stayed at nice hotels (beach resort, ski lodges and hotels in middle of the old towns) and had great tasting and very reasonably priced food. Did I say cycling is great too?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The climb out of Kotor was great. Because of the road works, we had an additional challenging final few kilometres climbing on "gravel" rather than tarmac. So glad that the whole group made it to the top under our own steam. Great support and encouragement from Sabina helps a lot too!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina is one of the best Exodus group leader. She rode with us all the way and gave us safety briefing to ensure that we knew what to expected. She worked hard with Sasa to make sure everything went according to plan and always asked for (and listen to) our feedback to make sure that we were all happy and the riding pace suits everyone. She knew all the best places to go for dinner (with great food at very reasonable price) and her encyclopedia knowledge of the dates and the history made the stories much more interesting. Her selfies with us must be one of the best.....

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went through 3 countries and each have their own currency. We found the cheapest way is to bring some Euros, get some BAM from the ATM on day 1 for Bosnia and then change the left over in Croatia for Kuna to spend on the last day. Oh - and do some practise climbs before you go especially if you are a pure roadie, do try and get some miles on a gravel /mountain bike (95% of the ride is on smooth tarmac but there are a few K of gravel).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were lucky that although we were a relatively large group (14 of us), we had similar riding ability and all of us got on well (including the post ride drinks :) ). We didn't get rain on (quite hot on some days but not a problem once you are moving) and the places that we visited were very memorable.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Amy Chau

    Bosnia/Montenegro - beautiful mountains and lake

    The mountains and sea view were great which kept us occupied during the 26 switchbacks. The accommodation and facilities were better than I expected. We have our lovely and enthusiastic guide Sabina to tell us about the history and traditional food and drinks. Really enjoyed the scenery as well the fresh sea food and fruits along the way. The visits to bee hive, olive production and wine tasting were very educational and loved the boat trip on Lake Skadar.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the top of Lovcen looking down at Kotor and co-mingling with the birds in the middle of Lake Skadar.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina is fantastic. She is knowledgeable, sincere and enthusiastic. She is very conscious of safety and the welfare of the group and constantly seek feedback. She is so efficient too and sent us all the photos and routes straight after the trip. She offered to help our fellow riders on their extension. One of the best leaders I have seen.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maybe bring some of your favourite snacks and don't complain about not enough food. Enjoy the scenery and take lots of photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sasha is very friendly and enthusiastic. He brought us healthy fresh bread and fruits everyday. With his in depth bike knowledge we felt that our bikes were in good hand and he did clean and check them all every day. He always carries a big smile and great if you want to talk about bikes! He knows it all.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Amy Chau

    Bosnia/Montenegro - beautiful mountains and lake

    The mountains and sea view were great which kept us occupied during the 26 switchbacks. The accommodation and facilities were better than I expected. We have our lovely and enthusiastic guide Sabina to tell us about the history and traditional food and drinks. Really enjoyed the scenery as well the fresh sea food and fruits along the way. The visits to bee hive, olive production and wine tasting were very educational and loved the boat trip on Lake Skadar.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the top of Lovcen looking down at Kotor and co-mingling with the birds in the middle of Lake Skadar.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina is fantastic. She is knowledgeable, sincere and enthusiastic. She is very conscious of safety and the welfare of the group and constantly seek feedback. She is so efficient too and sent us all the photos and routes straight after the trip. She offered to help our fellow riders on their extension. One of the best leaders I have seen.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maybe bring some of your favourite snacks and don't complain about not enough food. Enjoy the scenery and take lots of photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sasha is very friendly and enthusiastic. He brought us healthy fresh bread and fruits everyday. With his in depth bike knowledge we felt that our bikes were in good hand and he did clean and check them all every day. He always carries a big smile and great if you want to talk about bikes! He knows it all.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Stephen Barlas

    Great views, challenging cycling

    Previous reviews about the scenery are accurate. Beautiful terrain, friendly Balkan people. Also, our lead guide, Sabina, and van driver/bike mechanic, Sasha, were extraordinary in every way, eagerly sharing insights on local history and culture. Both were kind and unflappable. The tour was hectic, however. Left hotel at 8:30 am, reached next hotel generally late in afternoon. An hour or two before dinner, which was generally over by 10 pm. There were no rest days, or really much time to kick back for personal time. For example, there was no time to tour the interesting towns of Kotor or Mostar and really get a feel for them. This is a cycling tour, though. And there was plenty of very tough riding, including two days with sections on very loose scree, one uphill, one downhill. Most people felt the uphill portion was the toughest ride they had ever done. It was maybe three or four miles, Crippling! The downhill section was dangerous, period. Mountain biking skills needed! More generally, there were long uphills every day of grades between 3 up to 8 and 10 percent. The climb out of Kotor was 18 miles or so, including the scree incline up to Lovcen National Park. There was nothing moderate about the cycling on any day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing tough climbs.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Mairi Anstruther

    Cycling Bosnia & Montenegro

    This was a fabulous trip with great views throughout the days uphills on the bike, on this trip you get to see the views, and experience a variety of aspects of Bosnian and Montenegro life and culture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the climb out of Kotor , and seeing the views, and enjoying beautiful surroundings in a fabulous setting

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sabina was excellent, very knowledgable and keen to ensure everyone was taken care of, on the cycles, on our variety of trips, discussing and agreeing options...she really was a very exceptional leader.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    j h allen

    Cilmbing and descending Limestone mountains in BOsnia & Montenegro

    Stunning scenery, awesome climbs - long but not impossible - leading to spectacular views. Fabulous descending for hours,taking care on the switchbacks. Gorgeous ride along the shores of the Gulf of Kotor, Amazing descent into Mostar. Interspersed with visits to taste honey like you have never tasted before; tasting of olive oil - it's peppery; tasting local wines. A visit to limestone caves, A boat trip on Lake Skadar. A visit to a museum and a mausoleum on top of a mountain. And a thunderstorm of impressive proportions - luckily we were in a restaurant sampling grappa. How much more can you pack into 6 days cycling

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the Serpentine Road

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Seriously good: great sense of humour, very good bike mechanic, great ride leader, knowledgeable, friendly, worked tirelessly to make the trip really memorable for all of us. And big shout out for the support van driver - always ready with food, insight into the area, friendly, great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Would recommend taking bar ends if using the hire bikes; they are fit for purpose but if you are a roady then the bars are way too wide and you don't have enough positions on the flat bars to give your palms a rest

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go - it's wonderful
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Carolyn S.

    Fantastic trip

    Fantastic 6 days cycling through beautiful countryside. The itinerary was well thought through with a good number of interesting side visits. Our guides were perfect, looking after us in every way. Highly recommended to see a part of the world less travelled.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the famous 26 switchbacks, the feeling of accomplishment (easier than anticipated) and unbelievable views at the top.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader and 2nd Exodus team member were both excellent. Very knowledgeable in every way, entertaining and considerate. Full marks to them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was more challenging than I expected - Montenegro (and Bosnia Herzegovina) are mountainous countries - but we were allowed to cycle at our own pace uphill with plenty of rest stops and snacks to keep us going. Definitely worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the best trips I've done - would definitely go back.
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