Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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47 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2016
    Eve Doyle

    Lovely Region

    We really enjoyed this walking holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the hills and visiting Venice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take the time to go to Venice.You can easily extend the trip and go before or after the holiday or go to Venice on your free day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Despite the walking you will put on weight!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Elaine Baker

    Walking and Prosecco Bubbles

    Foothills of the Dolomites are a beautiful and unspoilt area of Italy with the added bonus of tasting the delicious Prosecco bubbles. Hotel Villa Soliga is comfortable, clean , excellent food , with a delightful pool area and staff who are extremely helpful . All the Restaurants Exodus took the Group to on the evenings we didn't eat in the hotel were excellent and the final evening at Al Roccolo was superb set high up in the hills overlooking the vineyards . Walking overall was good , however, disappointing on occasions when the guide lost his way and part of the group. Also we often seemed to be walking "off piste" which turned into scrambling on tricky terrain. Group on this trip were a fantastic bunch of people and made the trip for me personally .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several of the walks including the walk from Cison di Valmarino to Castelbrando , very pretty village and impressive views up to Castelbrando , lovely place to stop for refreshments. Castelbrando was stunning , although little information given . Valdobbiadene gorgeous area and the wine tasting at San Gregoria . Guided sightseeing walk around Treviso was very enjoyable . Route around Asolo which is one of the strategic areas from the Great War , stunning views of the Dolomites . Again , disappointed little detail given apart from what information you picked yourself . Asolo tuned out to be a beautiful village and an area well known for producing superior Prosecco . Experienced a new drink here made with Prosecco, Elderflower and mint called a Hugo - delicious.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very disappointed with Group Leader , Severio . He spoke excellent English and was a pleasant enough character . He fulfilled the basic requirement and no more. His heart didn't seem to be in it and was unenthusiastic and lacked passion , his aim was to get to a bar. Compared to previous experiences on Exodus trips the Leader would be more social and share his time between the group and would impart knowledge , interesting facts and details of the places visiting . Leaders in the past have always been aware of the group and their capabilities and listened to their requests. Whilst walking there was one pace, Severio's pace. Walk along the River from Treviso seemed like a "frogmarch" in what was an incredibly hot afternoon , again little information given about the area or flora/fauna. At end of walk , the bar we had been told we were heading for was closed- this was a 3 hour walk . Walk around the Valdobbiadene area , lost his way on occasions and one of the trails was definitely not a marked route and ended in scrambling through a wooded area. Again a very hot day and some members of group experienced heat exhaustion , resulting in needing to take a break until they felt able to carry on . Severio had gone on ahead and remaining group arrived at the refuge a good 30 mins later he hadn't come back down the path to find us . After lunch he set off at such a pace he lost a majority of the group as we didn't know which direction he had taken. We had to phone him. On arrival at Villa Barbaro , he said we had 15 mins to look around which many said wasn't long enough and we needed a little more time. Also thought this was insulting to Villa Barbaro and felt time pressured. Severio needs more guidance and support and needs to appreciate the difference between being a guide for one of the mass market holiday companies and working with Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Incredibly humid in June and July , ensure you have breathable walking gear and carry a camel back for water . Take poles , they are useful and needed at times. Be prepared for mosquitos and take repellent and a plug for your room.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Prosecco region is well worth visiting , very unspoilt and you do learn about this fabulous sparkling wine. On the free day do go to Venice , it's very easy to get their by train or a visit to Conegliano which has a lovely walk up to the castle. Some great restaurants and shops if you feel the need for Retail therapy. It's a 20 to 30 min bus ride with one change or a taxi spilt between a few people makes it very economical.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Elaine for her feedback. I sincerely regret, however, that she was disappointed with her tour leader. As mentioned in our response to Alison’s review, Walking the Prosecco Hills is a new trip this season and this was the leader's first time leading this particular trip. On our other trips he has received positive feedback from our clients, but until he receives further training he will not lead another departure of this trip; we hope this will help to avoid similar client disappointment going forward.

    Marta Marinelli- Exodus Product Manager for Italy

  • Reviewed July 2016
    Alison Briscoe

    Prosecco Paradise!

    A memorable and very beautiful sojourn into the foothills of the Dolomites. The hotel was very comfortable with delightful staff. The Prosecco tasting was excellent: informative and delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed walking the various paths and tracks although some had obviously not been investigated previously by our guide and were tricky and could have been treacherous had it been wet. Which leads me to the reason for 4 stars and not 5, namely our guide, Severio. He went through the motions but his heart wasn't in it, we received very little local information from him, his main aim of the day seemed to be to reach a bar.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our final walk on mount Cesen which combined walking through woods, across the most glorious meadows and then up the mountain to a stunning view. Our farewell dinner was absolutely scrumptious too!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not a lot to be honest! As I have previously stated, he fulfilled his brief but I felt he was not enthusiastic or very informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're travelling in June/July prepare for hot/muggy weather. Take plenty of t shirts, shorts, dresses for the evening. Some of the walks are through fairly dense undergrowth and you'll need long walking trousers for these.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is a fabulous trip to a beautiful area of Italy. I would strongly recommend a day in Venice too.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Alison for her feedback, although I am very sorry to read that she would have preferred for her tour leader to have been more enthusiastic and to have provided further local information. Walking the Prosecco Hills is a new trip this season and this was the leader's first time leading this particular trip. Whilst he usually receives positive feedback, we have discussed these comments in depth with him and he will not lead another departure of this trip until he receives further training; we hope this will help to avoid similar client disappointment going forward.

    Marta Marinelli- Exodus Product Manager for Italy

  • Reviewed July 2016
    Terence Gilbert

    Prosecco, a must

    The holiday was an excellent introduction to walking in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites and learning about Prosecco wines. The Prosecco area is stunningly beautiful and the walks were generally leisurely as graded. The opportunity to eat at local restaurants provided variety food and setting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Was it the mushroom tagliatelle at the Hotel Soligo or was is it the porchetta starter at the Osteria Stella in Conegliano? The food throughout the week was a delight. The walks were varied and enjoyed by the group of mixed age and experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were pleased to have an Italian ( Sicilian/Greek) group leader because of his insight into the richness of the nation's culture. Severio has a relaxed and engaging manner that was much appreciated. When faced with incidents he dealt with them sympathetically and expeditiously.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Leave plenty of space in your luggage for Prosecco! The quality, variety and prices make it a must. Conegliano is well worth a visit on the free day - the 4k town trail was real find.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel Soligo, our base was delightful and the staff were most helpful and friendly. We would recommend rooms at the ground floor level for their space, airiness and en-suite facilities. Being able to relax in and by the pool after the walks was an added attraction.The wifi was most reliable in the public reception areas. We would certainly stay at this hotel again. Temperatures in June were in the mid to high thirties - so be prepared.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Alexandra Owen

    Prosecco hills

    Lovely relaxing holiday, loved the hotel and the walking was varied.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just walking with great views everywhere.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Christine was an excellent leader. Friendly and humorous.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Couple of steep bits - but all very doable!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A big thank you.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Christina Blanchard

    Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic

    This was my first walking trip with Exodus (first walking trip ever actually) and I could not have been happier. Exodus was fantastic from my initial email inquiring about the trip all the way to the end. The trip itself was absolutely perfect. From meeting the group at the airport to leaving the following week. I met so many really great people within the group and many I hope to remain in contact with. The walks each day were planned very well, leaving the hotel around 9 or 9:30 each morning and returning normally by 4 or 4:30. The picnic lunches were excellent as well as the hotel dinners. The restaurants and prosecco tasting chosen by Exodus were top notch. The hotel accommodations were beautiful and very spacious although the wi-fi in my room was very spotty, but hey I wasn't there to be on my computer or phone so I was definitely ok with it. The front staff at the hotel were very nice and spoke great English. The hikes were perfect for me, challenging but not so much that you couldn't have fun. With this being my first walking trip I could have been better prepared with proper walking attire and maybe walking poles.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting the fellow group members. They were really fantastic. I haven't laughed so much in such a long time. I have so many great memories from the trip. Maybe the most inspirational part of the trip was the walks themselves and just being out in nature and enjoying the quiet. Sometimes getting off the beaten path is exactly what you need.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob Mason was our tour leader and he was really great. Extremely well organized and really on top of things. I think our group really tested his patience from time to time but all in good fun. He rolled with the punches and kept us all right on track. I give him an A +++.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for an adventure. Spend time getting to know your fellow group members and just let all the outside distractions melt away and focus on what you are doing that day. Also, be prepared with sunscreen, rain gear, walking gear as in back pack, poles, hat etc. Bring your appetite! Lots of great food and prosecco!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm extremely happy with my experience with Exodus and have already been looking at other trips that might fight my schedule. They really put together a wonderful trip.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Lindsey Sellors

    Walking in Prosecco country

    Walking on this holiday is varied and well within most people's grasp. Aside from the rolling hills of Prosecco vineyards it includes forest walking and following along side a river. The hotel is most comfortable with large airy bedrooms and updated bathrooms which do not detract from the historic building. It sits within its own grounds including a large swimming pool and a bookable spa. The village of Soligo is small with 3 cafe's and a small shop which stocks a wide range of biscuits, soft drinks and bottled water. There is one sure thing about this holiday and this is you will not go hungry. Lunches are freshly made by the local shop and will keep you going during the walks. The hotel food is second to none and the other resturants we eat at also supplied delicous food. The highlight of this trip is Prosecco in all its forms. I learnt a lot about how the wine was made and how to tell one bottle from another.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gazing down across the prosecco vineyards basking in the sun while a thunder strom rages behind the hills you have just climbed. We stayed in the sunshine all day. Siting in the sun with a perfect cup of coffee in the historic heart of Conegliano, it was so peaceful and quiet, I felt I had left the 21st century behind and returned to a simpler age. Discovering Italy has more cheese than just parmesan and mozzarella, not sure what the local cheese is called but it goes really, really well with Prosecco.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob Mason is a brilliant leader who keeps the walking to a reasonable rate so the group remains in contact with each other. He explains the route and points out views so you know where you are. Bob has a friendly working manner with all the hotel staff and with the local taxi service which takes the group out to the walks so everything goes smoothly. He is also a font of knowledge of useful things such as bus timetables etc. We were also very lucky to have Christine Rooney who was learning the walks so she could lead them as well. Christine is a great person and worked as translater for us when it came to menus, waiters etc and took so many notes about the walks she must be still dreaming about them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is no chemist in the village so make sure that you have plasters, compede etc with youbut as most of the walks start or end in towns so supplies can be bought if needed some where on route. You need to do a bit of research for what you want to do on your day off as the three options available are all worth doing and it will be hard to make your mind up as how to spend your time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Leave your diet at home this is not the holiday for anyone who is watching their calories. You will work off some of the delicous food on the walks but mostly you just work up an appetite for the next meal. You will need a light jacket or cardigan for a couple of the Prosecco tastings as they take place in cool basements.