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 October 2018
    Lynn Roulstone

    A leisurely week in beautiful Tuscany

    This holiday is ideal if you are not sure if you want a walking or a sight-seeing holiday. There are three walks, all of which are well within the capabilities of a reasonably fit person. These walks take in the vineyards, olive groves and woods of this part of Italy and also go via small towns with plenty of opportunity for good lunches or shopping. There are also visits to Sienna, Florence and San Gimignano. In the first there is a guided walk included, the second also has the choice to do a guided walk and the third is a lovely small town for wandering or looking at the frescos in the Duomo. The three wine-tastings are all very good, and there is plenty of opportunity to do more either local to the farmhouse where the trip is based or on the visits to the small towns along the way. For food lovers the meals were all very good and vegetarians are well catered for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking at the frescos in the Duomo at San Gimignano. I was blown away by the clarity of the story-telling and the beauty of the painting. The guided tour of Sienna was excellent. There was so much packed into the three hours, included an excellent stop for coffee and cake. Castelina where the trip was based had some interesting Etruscan tombs that, despite having no artefacts remaining, are well worth a visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was the best driver I have come cross, ferrying us about with great efficiency. She knows the local area well so was able to fit in a quick visit to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the way to the airport, an unforeseen bonus. This local knowledge came in useful when suggesting things to do on our day off and during the walks, where she ensured that we were able to see lots of interesting things along the way. All together one of the best tour guides I have met.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is a little hilly, but someone with a reasonable level of fitness will not find it a problem. There are a lot of mosquitos about (and we were there late in the season) so come prepared with repellent etc. Castelina, where the trip is based, is a town well worth exploring, the Etruscan tombs are more interesting than you might think. The archaeological museum is small, but worth a visit, as the entrance fee includes being able to go to the top of the tower, where there are some excellent views. If you like ice-cream be sure to visit the gelateria in town, it is very good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I thought the tour was a good balance of sight-seeing, walking and wine-tasting. We didn't go on the Florence trip as we know the city quite well, and really appreciated a day getting to know the local area better.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Philippa Kurys

    1st time Exodus experience

    This was our first holiday with Exodus. Usually we are independent travellers so we were both a bit nervous about a group 'organised ' trip but we needn't have worried. We had a great group of people; different backgrounds and nationalities which made for an interesting week of getting to know each other. Our fabulous guide Mark was absolutely brilliant, patient, helpful and very accommodating, keeping us out of too much sun, well watered and well informed about the various places we visited. Roberta, our host at the villa was absolutely lovely and looked after us wonderfully with the help of Margarita. We really had a great week and as well as being very impressed with our trip we've also been inspired by the experiences of Exodus from our fellow travelers; definitely food for thought for future trips.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved Siena, such a beautiful city, full of history, culture and of course wine. We really enjoyed the walking tour with Alicia, she was so passionate about her home and the history of the districts. We had a great wine school experience and just thoroughly enjoyed our day there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mark was just brilliant, we really can't praise him highly enough. He really looked after us all, making various arrangements for individuals, giving us lots of local history and information and taking the time to check information and relay info after we'd returned from the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent as there were definitely more biting bugs than we'd anticipated. Have room in your case for wine and olive oil, managed to get 10 bottles home in total between 2 of us but there were so many lovely wines to try, you don't want to miss out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just that we were very impressed with the whole holiday and felt it was very good value for money. We also did the cookery school on our free day which was great fun and another opportunity to meet some new people and learn about Tuscan food.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Denise Stafford

    Beautiful Tuscany

    Wonderful week - three lovely walks through the Italian countryside and some delicious wine tasting! The wonderful Hill top towns we walked to and through were beautiful and, Siena and Florence were amazing. However, the latter was very busy, but that I suspect is due to the place.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the airport in Pisa to a welcome and then meeting others in the group. I knew it would be a good week. Looking down on Florence from the car park enjoying good food, wine and company

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader Mark was well organised, knowledgeable and made everything interesting and great fun. his attention to detail was second to none and he knew where to find the best coffee, cakes, wine, ice cream everywhere we went!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is not flat so be prepared to walk up and down hills! Mosquitos and insects abound, so some insect repellant and bit cream is a must! A liking for red wine and good food certainly helps, as does enjoying breakfast outside looking over the beautiful Tuscan hills.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip and would certainly recommend.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Beth Laker

    Totally Tuscany ...

    One week of great walks , great hospitality and great food .. superb leader in Mark and combined with the warmth of the late summer sun we couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a holiday than to walk the vineyards and taste the grape 🍇

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After a wonderful walk through working vineyards we spent an afternoon in the company of new friends in a small wine merchants shop , just us , eating Tuscan bread and cold meats drizzled with truffle oil and tasting truly glorious Turscan Chianti’s ... blissful

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mark was a really excellent guide - just as we have come to expect with Exodus . His attention to detail and his generous spirit of care with regard to differing walking paces made him a great guide - his knowledge of the area and his quiet manner working behind the scenes to make everything run like clockwork is a credit to the Company

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent - the mosquitos are vicious and will find you !!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A good mix of walking and culture - with trips to Siena and Florence this tour provides interest throughout ...
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Barry Cox

    Too much Chianti in Chianti . . hic!

    This trip is a superb blend of walking, culture and fun. The villa is wonderful and in a great location a short walk from Castellina in Chianti; I especially liked the outdoors breakfast area but everything about it is so quintessentially Tuscan. The scenery is stunning and visits to Siena and Florence gave the balance of walking and culture with the bonus of the wine tastings which added the fun. The walks were well graded and much as I expected in terms of length, but there was also plenty of free time to enjoy the area. The Chianti flowed at dinner time and made for great evenings for the lovely group I was in even if some nights there was just a tad too much Chianti in Chianti!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without doubt the Uffizi gallery in Florence; the gallery itself, the location with views over the city, and the art was quite breath-taking. I had to pinch myself to believe that I was standing next to a Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Caravaggio or Michelangelo original. Florence itself is quite breath-taking too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Clearly Mark comes with much experience and he hugely enhanced the trip with his variety of much appreciated snacks on the walks, finding cheap and good coffee with clean toilets in Florence, and giving us free time in the afternoons whilst he collected the minibus to take us back to the villa. His advice on where to eat or drink was always spot on. The icing on the cake for me was Mark finding a way for me to spend the last afternoon in Pisa and visit the Leaning Tower, whilst he took my luggage to the airport. Full marks Mark!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My calf muscles did ache on a few days so get some exercise in before you go - Tuscany is hilly! Pre-book the Uffizi to avoid the queues - I did and it worked perfectly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The villa has a great attitude to its guests consuming their own food and drink by the pool, and free tea and coffee is always available. The shower was a bit small for me but this is nit-picking in an otherwise perfect trip.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Alan Rawlings

    Come prepared

    The walks were more challenging than we anticipated from their description

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing the walk to Radda which for us at the ages of 72 and 64 was particularly challenging

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mark Middleton was an excellent leader and host

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For this trip make sure you get plenty of practice in particularly going uphill !!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although at times it was hard work the trip was on the whole very enjoyable The accommodation and staff were first rate The wine was plentiful and Tuscany was stunning
  • Reviewed June 2018
    sally ashton

    excellent trip

    Wonderful combination of walks, wine , villages and cities, with a nice group of people. Weather sunny but not too hot, allowing half day hilly walks in comfort and the scenery was even better than anticipated, thanks to previous spring rain. The planning was excellent, but there was enough time to do our thing .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Siena. The local guide was charming and painted a lively picture of rivalry between the communities for the Palio. The Campo is stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was great- energetic, well organised, knowledgeable, thoughtful and fun

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We paid extra for a guided tour of Florence. The city was very crowded , and following the guide in a group was not worth the effort, though she was very (too?) informative. There is not time to view all Florence has to offer in a day. I would advise strolling round to see the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria , then a leisurely lunch followed by a visit to the Boboli and Bardini gardens. Or perhaps a week's stay in winter!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My third Exodus trip. All have been great
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Malcolm Conrad

    A very enjoyable holiday!

    A very enjoyable week away. Comfortable rustic accommodation with friendly staff set in the beautiful surrounding Chianti countryside. A relaxed balance of healthy moderate walking, interesting wine tasting and well planned city visits.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The outstanding beauty of the Chianti region, in particular the magnificent views experienced on our glorious summer day's walk to San Gimignano. Also discovering a taste for the 'rooster label' Chianti wine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz Proctor our group leader was excellent. With tireless energy she worked really hard to ensure that everyone enjoyed their holiday experience to the full.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Martin Butler

    Beautiful Tuscany

    We had an amazing time walking and sampling wines that we had never tried before but are now fans of. Our leader Liz Proctor was excellent, knowledgeable, tirelessly helpful and made our first walking holiday a pleasure. The villa Casalta was rustic and beautiful. The only problem that we had was the plumbing in room 22. The shower diverter was broken. we reported it and they said yes it is broken and did not fix it, also no hot water in the evening after a long day walking. This needs to be rectified. Meals were good apart from the first night where the main course was a sla b of cold pork with gravy!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The country side and the walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was amazing, looking after everyone checking people were ok on the walks bringing out treats along the way. She arranged for a cake and bottle of wine for my wife’s birthday which was a lovely thought.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks are at a pace where most people would be comfortable with.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Sally Chandler

    Good

    Really enjoyed the trip as nothing was too much trouble for Liz our leader. The pace was leisurely throughout but thought the terrain warranted a grade of more 2-3 as very hilly at times, and sometimes hard for even for experienced walkers in our group. This should be included in the description/information of the trip details so other walkers are aware. The farmhouse was lovely and very rustic. Food was excellent and three courses for dinner! The only criticism is the showers - they were not hot and after a long day walking and travelling, you definately need a hot shower. Overall, I would definately recommend Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definately the scenery. Tuscany was very beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was exceptional and nothing too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Any future travellers should be used to walking up and down very steep hills and in the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would definately book through Exodus again.
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