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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed July 2017
    Conrad & Suzanne Potts

    Dolomites to Venice

    A really beautiful ride. Only a couple of Challenging Hills. Our guide, Michele, found the most amazing places to eat and his knowledge of all the areas we visited was insightful. We had a very happy/social and quite fit group, who were always very supportive. The various stops along the way were breath taking. The trip along Lake Garda - magic

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Venice, as expected, was amazing - even in the heat, the bustle of the crowds Venice felt very special and worth a very lengthy visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was exceptional. Always supporting you and encouraging. Incredibly well organised whilst being very flexible with plans always shaped in favour of the group. He works very hard, has a mischievous sense of humour, was fun and a steered us through with a light but firm sense of leadership. He was inspirational and i can't imagine a better group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    a very enjoyable ride not too difficult.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    John Boddy

    A Most Enjoyable Trip

    While I had previously been on several CTC tours, this was my first one with Exodus and I wasn't sure what to expect. Unlike other participants, I took my own bike and the only slightly stressed moment was having to re-assemble it late at Bolzano after a late arrival. After that, all aspects of the trip were most enjoyable. The route, much of it on excellent cycle paths, took us through varied and often very beautiful landscapes. The moderate distances and level of difficulty suited me well as a 75 year-old whose powers have declined a little. Starting and finishing our rides quite early enabled us to explore and enjoy some very beautiful and interesting towns and cities with some stunning architecture. Our enjoyment was greatly enhanced by our leader, Michele's lively and knowledgeable commentary on all that we saw, reflecting the deep love and knowledge he has of the region which is his home. The accommodation was general good or very good for the price we were paying and the restaurants that Michele took us to were all good and made our evenings as enjoyable as our days. Michele's excellent leadership, warm, lively, extraverted personality, concern for others and great sense of fun hugely contributed to building a strongly bonded tour group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few inspirational moments, but perhaps the most stunning was the visit to the artist Giotto's Chapel de Scrovegni in Padua. I was in awe of the scope and quality of this marvellous work of art and I really appreciated Michele offering us the opportunity to see this wonder and organising it for us

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I find it difficult to fault Michele for whom I formed a great personal liking. He combined being very businesslike about the organisation of the trip and ensuring that we kept to a reasonable schedule with being a very warm, friendly and often witty person who strived to ensure that everyone had a good time, even if the cycling stretched them a bit. He really thought about what might make people happy. Knowing I had a lifelong interest in cycle racing he introduced us and me in particular to a friend who had been a top roadman sprinter in the 1960s and 70s and won the World Road Championship in 1972. It was a great thrill! He managed well the considerable differences in ability and fitness between different members of the group, ensuring both that they were given encouragement and waited for. For the biggest climb of the tour he arranged for a van as a fall back for the weakest member and she was pleased to take advantage of it. Where we had to encounter heavy traffic at intersections with main road, he was very good at protecting us from harm and shepherding us through safely. Socially Michele was really great and a pleasure to be with. We also greatly enjoyed meeting his lovely family in Vicenza. Michele must surely be in the running for tour leader of the year.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The advice in the trip notes is about right and certainly be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain. We had some, but not too much. I took my own drop handlebar touring bike, which is a contrast with the high handlebars of the rented bikes everyone else rode. Although it was a hassle packing up my own bike in a bike bag, I still think it just beat riding the unfamiliar rented bikes, although I cannot say there was anything seriously wrong with them. They had a good range of gears. If you take your own bike, you need to be prepared to reassemble it quite late at night at Bolzano, unless you travel there independently. It is a long trek from Venice airport. The alternative is to get up very early on the first cycling day, which has an early start.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As we arrived late and left early, we only had a superficial look at Bolzano. I really liked Trento, where we spent our first night, and Verona, Vicenza and Padua were wonderful. It was my first visit to Venice for 50 years and although it is still special and I enjoyed it, some things I saw and heard made me a bit sad for the old city. Quite a lot of the buildings are in a bad state or repair and look rather shabby. I understand that it suffers from a serious de-population problem that contributes to this and a recent article in an English newspaper said that that Venice was going through something of a crisis, partly through the great number of tourists coming off cruise ships. I hope something can be done.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Jim Cross

    Awesome "Super Grouppo!"

    This was my first cycle tour with Exodus and my first cycle tour in Italy. It will not be the last with Exodus or in Italy. The experience was awesome! I flew across the pond from the states expecting a great trip with two friends. It wasn't just a great trip it was awesome! We met the other members of our tour group and our fantastic guide Michele at the Mestre airport and traveled to Bolzano for our first overnight. We were fitted for bikes the next morning. Michele installed my seat and pedals from my bike at home. We were given a handlebar bag to keep and a pannier and lock to use during the tour. My bike was great and performed flawlessly for the week! The Dolomites and the Adige river valley are very scenic to say the least. The cycling was primarily on cycle paths. We didn't need to worry about traffic, we could just take in the beauty of Italy. The times we did cross or use roadways or roundabouts Michele was very careful to insure the group's safety. After a day on the bikes we bonded as a group. I came with two friends. I left at the end of the week with eleven other friends! The lodging was comfortable and the food was great! Michele even gave the option of a pre breakfast ride a couple of times to those that desired more saddle time. That's me! Michele definitely has a passion for Italy, people, and showing others a great time! He has a wealth of knowledge about Italy, and the towns and villages we passed through. Michele introduced the group to his family at dinner in Vicenza! The group enjoyed getting to know them. I strongly urge anyone with a spirit of adventure to take this tour. If you cycle at all you are set. If not grab a bike and cycle a bit or go to a spin class for a few weeks prior to your tour. It's relaxed paced cycling with a couple of challenges thrown in for spice. Michele will insure you will be a survivor and what views you will see and memories you will make!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment for me was the groups "Last Supper" in Venice. The glorious week of riding, scenery, and group camaraderie was coming to a close. Two of the ladies in the tour group secretly purchased trinkets for each tour member that they deemed went with our individual personalities. Each tour member was presented their "gift" and told why that gift was chosen for them at our closing dinner. It was great fun and helped take the edge off the fact that our tour was over...at least until we can book the next one!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele is a six star group leader if there are six stars! Michele cares about everyone in the tour and insures that a great time is enjoyed by all. He is passionate about his job, Italy, and people. I always felt completely safe and secure on the cycle paths, streets, and roundabouts. Michele is a wealth of knowledge on Italy and the villages we passed through. I would love to tour with Michele again!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you think you can't do this, think again. The cycling is easy for the most part. There are a couple of challenges for spice but you might surprise yourself. Michele will not let you fail! If you cycle at all you are golden. If you aren't a cyclist go to a spin class or get a bike and ride a bit to acclimate your body to the bike. Then sign up, pedal down the Adige river valley, and enjoy the views!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm hooked! I will be back for more cycling holidays with Exodus in Italy
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Michael Jamieson

    Bolzano to Venice

    This was my first cycling holiday with a group , normally I cycle self guided which allows me time to stop and stare and take photographs. From day one I found myself way behind the other members, my pace was averaging 19 - 20 kph, which is above the advertised “Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour”, but this was not fast enough. I must emphasise that for me, it was not a problem as exodus provide some excellent maps and I am used to cycling alone so I never felt lost. However, I still had a great 6 days, saw some brilliant scenery passed though great villages and towns. The restaurants and cafes we stopped at provided excellent choice of food and drinks at a reasonable price. All hotels were comfortable and well located. Evening meals with this diverse group were in well chosen restaurants and I thoroughly enjoyed their company as well as the food and drinks

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most memorable was the ride (glide!) down to Lake Garda, excellent views of the Lake as I descended

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I didn’t really have that much contact with the Leader Michele, but from my perspective he is one of life’s gentleman, and seemed generally concerned about the group members enjoyment. His family that we met in his home town of Viceza are delightful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want more time to visit the cities and towns then I would suggest self guided with a day’s stop over in the places you would want to investigate

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would I cycle with exodus again, yes absolutely? Would I cycle with a group again - only time will tell?
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Andrew Bass

    Bolzano to Venice

    This was my first cycling holiday and hopefully won't be my last. I had a fabulous time, saw some wonderful sights and met a great group of people on this trip. The cycling wasn't too hard, but enough to make you appreciate you had earned your distance each day. Being the last trip of the season, the weather could have been a problem, but we were lucky until the last day when the heavens opened. The scenery, towns, cities and villages were superb and the food and drink fantastic. The bikes were good for the kind of terrain we were travelling and the majority of the trip was on cycle paths and quiet roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, but the one that stands out for me was the ride down through the vineyards and into Soave. The sun was out, the grapes were being picked and the castle overlooking the town all came together and I thought 'this is the life'

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele is a legend. He couldn't do enough for us, always smiling and with a great sense of humour. He took us to some super restaurants and cafes, advised us on the local food and drink and his local knowledge on the history, architecture and culture of the area really added to our enjoyment of the holiday. We also got to meet his beautiful family in his most beautiful city.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are thinking about it, just do it. And when you do, take time to look around, take it all in and enjoy every minute because the week goes too quickly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are worried about riding with a group of people you've never met, don't. We had a great bunch, all different ages and abilities, a real diverse group, but we all gelled so well. It was another highlight of the holiday enjoying their company, having a lot of fun both whilst riding and after in the bars and restaurants.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Wendy Pillar

    A lovely ride

    This was a really lovely ride through contrasting scenery from the mountains, through several different cities to Venice. The riding was easy, mostly on lovely cycle paths with regular water fountains and cafes. There were only a few climbs, although some of the days were quite long, with headwinds. The food was good and the hotels variable, but always comfortable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coming over the pass and getting a first view of Lake Garda was pretty breath-taking. Venice was very memorable too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was great, on the go from organizing extra rides before breakfast to taking us out to dinner somewhere special in the evening. He controlled the traffic and the long snake of cyclists really well, and never lost any of us despite the best efforts of some of us! Always full of information and passion for his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothes for all weathers. We needed sun cream and a hat one day, then the next day got caught in an unforecast spell of freezing cold rain and got soaked, which led to me catching cold. Have proper waterproofs always on you. A couple of the days are quite long, and a headwind is common, but mostly the riding is easy and flat. There are about 6 big climbs over the whole ride, the first being as soon as you set off! If you are going to take a day off, make it day 5, which is very long with quite a lot of urban riding, although you will then miss Soave, which is beautiful. There is not much time to look around the cities, so it would be a good idea to allow an extra few days not just to see Venice, but also to take the train back up to Padua, Verona and Vicenza for a good look around.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Brian Weetman

    Sunny Italy

    Another fantastic cycling adventure with Exodus. Hotels were all ideal for the nature of the trip. The cycling was a good level of exercise with chances to opt in to extra cycling or opt out to put your feet up. Beautiful views and fabulous cities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling was just fantastic a great route. Amazing cities to explore.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was exceptional. A great cycle guide as well as a wealth of knowledge and passion for the area.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were a number of travel issues completely out of control of Exodus both before and afterwards and Lucy Crabb was absolutely brilliant in solving these for us.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Timothy Binmore

    Dolomites Lake Garda Venice Ride

    cycling tour with lots of opportunity to see round some beautiful Italian cities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    could have been any number of times when I turned a corner and had my breath taken away by beautiful buildings or city swuare

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. A lot of fun, very knowledgable about the cities we visited, passionate about Italy.. Knew excellent places to eat. Went the second mile (literally - he organised a 6am ride to do some of the local hills).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great holiday, and I would recommend it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Sarah Deslippe

    DOLOMITES JULY 2016

    This was my first vacation since I was a little girl and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. This trip included so much natural beauty, history, and cultural exposure that I feel I got more exposure to Italy in just a week than some people get in a month. I didn't find the trip to be terribly physically challenging, which enabled me to appreciate the beautiful scenery and company that much more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I completed a "bonus climb" with 4 of my fellow travelers up a very steep hill after we'd reached one of our destination cities. Shortly before completing the climb I first uttered the words "I don't think I can do this" - and I've never been happier to have been proven wrong!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Michele was excellent and went above and beyond anything I would have expected. Besides being an experienced and capable cyclist with a great sense of humor, he also had a strong knowledge of history and made sure to point out areas of historic significance during the trip. He organized many other optional events activities including group dinners, walking tours around our destination cities, and even bonus early morning cycling trips around the towns that we were staying in. Lastly, I am vegetarian and Michele always helped me find vegetarian options whenever we stopped to eat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Great beginner trip. If you're relatively new to destination cycling trips this is an excellent first step.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A few small things. There was a transit strike in Italy on the first day of the trip that made the meeting in Venice a little chaotic. If you could please provide us with a local contact prior to departing, it might help mitigate any confusion at the airport. This is especially true for overseas participants such as myself, as the only exodus contacts I had were in Canada and there is a 6 hour time difference between Canada and Italy, so if I have any problems it may take a long time before my contacts can follow up with me. Also, just wondering if it would be possible to create an exodus app - maybe something compatible with Google Maps - that shows the cycling route? We all received maps upon arrival and there were arrows en route directing us to where we were supposed to go, but I understand the competition has been tampering with the arrows and map reading is a skill. If there is a way to locate the route on our phones, it might help people who get lost. Cheers!!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Sunita Patel

    Wonderful first cycling holiday

    This was my first cycling holiday so I was not sure what to expect. Since the trip is rated Moderate I thought it may be challenging as I have not done much cycling before and only bought a bike a month ago. At times it was a bit tough with windy conditions and since I wanted to stop and take photos to make it easier for myself Michele arranged for me to get an E-bike on the second day. This made a huge difference especially for the hills and I didn't have any worries anymore.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the last 2 days, very flat and easy leading to the highlight was of exploring Venice, a city I've never been to but always wanted to visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele is an excellent tour leader and took care of the group and made sure that everyone had a good time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get an E-bike!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group was great fun, I would definitely go on another cycling holiday and hope it will be as good as this one!
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