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 June 2018
    Catherine Stewart

    Highly recommended

    Delightful route through some beautiful countryside and staying or passing through towns oozing with italian atmosphere, history and wonderful architecture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch and tour of a winery - just like out of a film set! With the most delicious home-made/home-grown food, and wine, was a definite highlight. That, after swimming in a mountain lake in the early part of the trip. And the icing on the cake was being taken on a tour of Venice by our guide who was able to take us away from the crowds to discover parts of the city only locals would know, including nosing out restaurants where the locals eat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Michele is hugely experienced in looking after cycling groups. His enthusiasm for his work and love of his country is infectious and makes the whole thing so much fun. There is no substitute for local knowledge... Martino provided very helpful back-up and worked hard to make sure everyone in the group was looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared with an additional picnic for your journey from the airport to the hotel on the first night if you want to avoid having to eat dubious motorway services food. With so much good food available in Italy, it is not the most attractive introduction to the week but probably unavoidable in view of arrival times and the local tradition in that part of the country to eat early.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our ride from Padova to Venice on the last cycling day was curtailed because of heavy rain. This turned out to be a huge bonus as that leg would not have been through particularly attractive countryside and would have taken up all of the morning and probably more. Going by train straight into Venice first thing gave us a full day there, with our guide, which made it a memorable day and a brilliant finale to a most enjoyable trip.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Rae Leach

    Cycling trip

    Great cycling through wonderful scenery.Visited some beautiful cities with their amazing buildings and history

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ride down to Lake Garda and the clean cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good with great local knowledge

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Disappointed that there are no tea or coffee making facilities in any of the hotels,should be a standard commodity!!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    David Morton

    Superb week away!

    This was my first cycling trip, and the week was fantastic! On the morning of Day 3 at breakfast, we were commenting to each other that we could not believe we had only been cycling for 2 days. Seeing the history-packed cities of Verona, Vicenza and Padova briefly during the day and staying only 1 night, we promised to return to each city for at least a few nights in future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the most dramatic part of the trip, despite not being actual cycling (though that was good overall), was taking a catamaran ferry from the top of Lake Garda at Riva del Garda southbound to Desenzano. Being on the water is always wonderful, and this 3-hour trip calling at gorgeous lakeside towns I had never heard of, let alone visited, was captivating. One could tell at a glance that these were all and each extraordinary places of beauty and resonance that have crafted lovely summer memories for thousands of visitors over at least a few centuries.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was a terrific leader and host for the week. Being a native of Vicenza, he knows the entire Veneto region very well and his high energy levels, good cheer and ready smile kept us all motivated and made for a wonderful trip. Martino's friendliness and support from the van was much appreciated. We enjoyed time with both guys during stops for delicious Italian food at lunchtime.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make yourself go and do at least a few cycling days of 30miles/50km in the several weeks before you go! I thought, "No problem, I'm in reasonable shape and this just a #3/moderate rated trip" and didn't do much pre-trip training. While the trip was still pleasant overall, as per Exodus' advice, one will appreciate it much more having been "in the saddle" for at least a moderate period, and significant daily duration, before travelling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was such a wonderful week, and great experience. I loved it. So much packed in a marvellously distilled week. I will never forgot the intoxicating blasts of jasmine scent from the blossoming hedges everywhere we cycled during this first week in June! Like many more experienced fellow travellers on this trip, I am certain that I will be booking many more Exodus cycling trips over the coming years!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Jane Hoskisson

    Loved every minute....even the rain!

    This trip was to celebrate a big birthday for a dear friend, and it was truly one of the best ways I can imagine to usher in a new decade. We are casual cyclists so it was great there was nothing too daunting in terms of distance and elevation - and I was so distracted by the stunning scenes that I did not mind the odd view stop on the steeper bits.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I will never forget turning the corner and seeing beautiful Lake Garda - truly magical, and I thought it could not be topped - that was until Michele took us to look at the roof tops of Venice. Breathtaking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele and Martino were a great team, and I think Michele's local knowledge shone through in terms of his recommendations for restaurants every evening. He's a passionate Italian Ambassador, and for sure the trip was greatly enhanced by his local knowledge and passion for this beautiful part of the world.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a sense of humour if it rains!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was really pleased the weather was poor on the Friday as it meant we did not cycle and were able to get into Venice earlier than planned. I think the trip would benefit from a full day in Venice on the Friday rather than cycling!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    A D

    Historical towns and cities in Northern Italy

    Exceptionally high standard hotels, copious German-style breakfasts, excellent cuisine throughout the trip and sunny days have made up for the rather uninspiring group dynamics and somewhat repetitive scenery for the most part of the journey (river, vineyards, fields) . Great cycling infrastructure, long distances on mainly flat terrain, a few climbs albeit nothing that would pose a challenge to the casual cyclist (except day 4).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the challenge day that gave me a sense of achievement

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michaele has great organisational skills, is humorous, knowledgeable and always prepared to go the extra mile (quite literally)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Great itinerary if you look to see several historical towns and cities in the Northern Italy while dusting off the cycling cobwebs after the cold season.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Gerry Roberts

    Fab cycling. Fab guiding

    Simply lovely countryside and great cycling. We had the most wonderful weather, food and drink! Michaele, our guide, was diligent reliable, and fun. Three cheers for him and Susie in the van!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The « challenging » day four. Great sense of achievement!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Knowledgeable Reliable He made the trip

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book now
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Wayne Moore

    Awesome trip, brilliant guide

    What an awesome trip, great cycling across different terrain, super food and loads to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch at the vineyard was excellent. Great to see such wonderful historic towns and cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was a brilliant guide, very calm, knowledgeable and always willing to do anything extra for the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pick a trip where Michele is a guide, he is great.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Rhonda Moore

    Absolutely Fabulous!

    Having thoroughly enjoyed touring Puglia last year, we were looking forward to our Dolomites, Lake Garda and Venice trip. And we weren’t disappointed! Everything from the scenery to the food, the hotels to the guide, was wonderful!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s hard to pick just one!!! Picturesque villages? Passionate and knowledgeable tour guide? Food? All brilliant! But lunch in the vineyard on the penultimate day was truly wonderful!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Michele, was our tour guide in Puglia and we were delighted that he led this tour as well. As a local to the area, Michele knew so much about the area and shared some gems that we simply wouldn’t have seen if we didn’t have his local knowledge. From our secret view of the Rialto Bridge in Venice with all the students to our personal tour of Vincenzo, Michele made every effort to make our tor special. His professionalism and knowledge was impressive as was his care and attention to make our holiday so enjoyable. Thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Diet before you go! The food is amazing!!!
  • 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.
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