Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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56 Reviews

  • Bad value for money

    This was my first trip with Exodus. The Greek Islands were beautiful but this trip is extremely bad value for money. The hotels, with the exception of the one on Santorini, were barely adequate - they were certainly not 3 star. In the last hotel I actually got bed bug bites. I really enjoyed the company of the group on the holiday but I’m appalled by the standard of accommodation on offer. Our guide was just ok

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ok
  • A good trip.

    The trip to the Cycladic islands of Naxos, Paros & Santorini was lovely! We had a great group and our guide was the Lovely Cecile. Although it was very, very cold and windy, the plus point was that the islands were very quiet from the overload of usual tourists. The walks were beautiful and the views were stunning. I'd much rather walk in Santorini during the quiet season than what I have seen (in pictures) during peak season. Eating out every evening with the group was fun. My only complaint was the accommodation in Paros. Frankly, it was shocking! I think I didn't expect this from Exodus. The room was freezing as the heating wouldn't work and the shower was leaky and broken. I think Exodus needs to rethink the accommodation in Paros. If you fancy the islands all to yourself, even though it may be freezing, then give this holiday a try in March.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk in Santorini. The wild flowers gallore in our walks in Naxos & Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was lovely and very helpful. She even got me a book of wild flowers of Greece to refer to because I loved wild flowers. She was also a good laugh and we loved listening from her about her pet donkey!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check with Exodus about the accommodation in Paros.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not particularly.
  • Disappointing

    I really looked forward to this trip but unfortunately the trip was spoilt by poor planning and one really horrible hotel. We travelled in March and unfortunately the weather was very cold when we arrived. No effort had been made to prepare the first hotel on Naxos and it was bitterly cold, many of the aircon units didn’t heat up and we had to sit in coats to eat breakfast. If you’re walking, you need somewhere warm and comfortable to relax afterwards. It’s a shame as it’s a nice hotel Being March, a lot on the islands was closed as the season doesn’t start until Easter and it would have been good to know that from the trip notes as tavernas on the walking routes weren’t open and toilets not available. In some instances it was difficult to find somewhere to eat at night. Full of praise for our Guide, Cecile who did her best to resolve problems with great kindness and humour. She’s a gem The islands are very lovely at this time of year, full of spring flowers and without the crowds. The walks are lovely and very varied, taking in little villages and mountain scenery. The terrain can be rocky but the pace allows for that, so this would be a wonderful holiday if Exodus didn’t insist on using cheap, poor quality hotels. The Hotel Pandrossos on Paros sadly left a particularly sour note. The beds and pillows were filthy and the sheets full of cigarette burns. Heating didn’t work, no hot water, everything was broken and the whole place could do with a good clean. I don’t know what’s happened to Exodus as I’ve always rated them highly, but my experience post-Covid is of obnoxious staff and couldn’t care less responses. Very sad

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the walks, particularly on Naxos, walking the ancient tracks between villages. The scenery was stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was lovely, very funny, very knowledgeable and managed the shortcomings of this trip really well. She knows the islands inside out and is well received wherever we went. On one walk, the owner of a closed taverna opened up to offer us a coffee and toilet because of her friendship with Cecile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I’d avoid this trip until Exodus sort out the hotels. Exodus trips aren’t cheap and no one needs their holiday spoilt by cheap, filthy hotels
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Karen Sanchez

    Perfect introduction to Greek islands

    I had never been to Greece before and decided that this trip might be a good place to start. I wasn’t disappointed. It was well organised with walks of just the right distance and variety for me and in good company. All hotels were comfortable although plumbing a little variable! Thanos was an excellent guide and insured that we got the most out of the trip. Nothing was too much trouble. He was particularly good at organising mealtimes; choosing excellent restaurants and swiftly calculating everybody’s individual bill at the end. I thought all three islands were beautiful but particularly Paros . Santorini is definitely worth a trip for sensational views and a great walk but not somewhere I would return as just too busy in the main centres -a forest of selfie sticks! My only regret is not spending a few days in Athens at the beginning or end but all round a superb trip. Thank you Exodus. I’ve already booked the next one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too hard to pick just one; exploring the labyrinth of little streets on Naxos and Paros breathtaking sunset on Santorini and hiking along the caldera there. We are very lucky with the weather which made the ferry trips enjoyable as well , beautiful views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos Was an excellent guide nothing was too much trouble. He was extremely knowledgeable about all three islands pointing out interesting historical and geographical features along the way.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Susan Thrasher

    Fantastic Week

    A really enjoyable, relaxing trip. Accommodation was excellent in all places, our guide Cecile was fantastic, Greek food is wonderful, and the walks were brilliant. Everything was well organized. I hadn't been to the Greek Islands before, and this tour was the perfect introduction to this beautiful corner of the world. Santorini was overflowing with tourists (there were three cruise ships there when we arrived, and the chaos at the ferry terminal--which is not where the cruise ships go--was truly something to experience) but everyone should visit this stunning and unique island once in their lifetime. The walk on Santorini was incredibly beautiful (although hot--very little shade). Naxos and Paros were more laid back, also stunningly beautiful, and exactly what I dreamed the Greek islands might be like--I took SO many photos! You have some time to explore on your own. The walks are not difficult, and the pace matches the group--steady but no rush. You need sturdy walking shoes for sure, but not boots. If you often walk with a pole, bring it as paths are rocky and uneven in many places. You do spend a fair few hours on ferries but that's part of getting around between islands, so bring a book and enjoy the experience. I'm sure all groups are different, but ours was a really nice mix of people from the UK, NZ, Australia, and the US, with a median age in the 50-65 range. If you're even thinking about this trip, don't hesitate--just book it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved it all. I wish we'd had more time on Paros, the least-touristy of the three islands. All the walks were great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was fabulous: Well organized, knowledgeable, and unflappable--and always there just for a chat if you're looking for company. 10/10.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring cash for meals and incidentals. Credits cards are accepted in many places, but when you are sharing meals in a group, it's inconvenient for everyone if you want to put your meal on a card.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it. Great trip. I will travel with Exodus again.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Rosaleen Henry

    Walking on the Greek islands

    I really enjoyed the holiday. Our guide Cecile was excellent and really made for a lovely trip in terms of looking after us and recommending and arranging meals at local restaurants. The accommodation was very good. My only disappointment was that most of the journeys were on Catamarans rather than ferries. Not what I expected from the brochure which said the journeys between Athens and the islands would be on ferries. I did not now catamarans would be regarded as ferries. I made my own arrangements from Rafina to Naxos when I found out the journey was not on a ferry. I really would have preferred to have traveled from Paros to Athens on the last day by ferry instead of 5 hours inside a catamaran on which we could not move around or go outside apart from a few minutes at each port. That is my only complaint. Overall it was a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Eating at a restaurant on Santorini looking at the sunset.. Visiting Akrotiri and the museum in Fira. Walking the Byzantine trail on Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely outstanding.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for walking rocky paths in the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No. It lived up to my expectations .
  • Reviewed May 2019
    David Cowan

    Enjoyed but could be better

    Didn't get off to a good start because exodus didn't inform us and several others of an itinerary change, although some others in the party did hear about it. Although the reverse order for the visits is better we ended up with a 1/2 day on Paros with not much to do and no useful suggestion from the tour leader. He was generally a very good guide but occasionally not as flexible as one might wish. The walks were generally good and not hard apart from the odd steep climb. Just wish there had been more of them (see above). We were recommended to go to the buried town of akrotiri, which was well worth the trip together with the museum in Thira. Can't understand why Exodus don't make this part of the trip if time permits. If we hadn't gone we would have had another wasted morning on Santorini, to add to that on Paros. Hotel beds generally rock hard and in 2 out of the 4, some of the smallest shower cubicles we have ever experienced. I think we would have preferred to pay a bit more for a better hotel on Santorini & Paros Ferry journeys were always longer than anticipated but luckily weather was OK so we could go on deck apart from Naxos to Rafina on the catamaran where you have aircraft type seats

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walk on naxos

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above but generally good but did tend to lecture us a bit. Extremely knowledgeable and very pleasant. Could do with a bit more understanding on the needs of a diabetic in the group but soon caught on when we pointed out it wasn't a "gippy tummy" but low blood sugar. Probably helps that we are familiar with this condition due to previous job. Some small kindnesses to the group were also appreciated and he did try hard. But having him deal with other groups that exodus has in the region while guiding us was not optimal. Exodus need sto emply more staff to cover their local needs

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have plenty to read for ferry trips, be prepared for hard beds. Good walking shoes a must but boots probably optional
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Lesley Bird

    Brillian introduction to Greece!

    Had an amazing holiday island hopping with Thanos as our inspiring leader. The three islands were so different in character to each other (Naxos = relaxed/laidback / Santorini = busy/picture postcardish / Paros = picturesque mountain villages and pathways). Loved the holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The perfection of buildings, statues and even ruins which were thousands of years old and in many cases still being used or incorporated within slighly newer buildings. Our current buildings are not made to last!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos is amazing. He is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about all things Greek: culture; food; botanical; history and world affair. He delighted in sharing his country and seemed to gain in energy and enthusiasim as the week progressed. Thanos was a firm leader who successfully herded his group on and off the ferries without anyone or luggage going astray.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went on this holiday in April and the weather was colder than I hoped or planned. In Paros it sank to 11C and that did feel cold but overall was very good when we were on our walks. If you go at that time of year take waterproofs!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The shower cubicles in the hotels are tiny .... really tiny. Just be prepared.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Gillian Ratliff

    Stunning scenery and such weather!

    Despite a last minute itinerary alteration due to ferry timetable changes, thus was a well-planned, wonderfully lead week mixing somewhat challenging walks with sightseeing and wonderful fellow travellers. We sampled many local dishes in lovely tavernas and village eateries and enjoyed some very amusing moments. A great week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view from the cliff top path from Fira to Ouia on Santorini - breathtaking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos is a knowledgable, considerate and professional guide with a great sense of humour and a big personality.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is categorised as 1 but there are some quite tricky descents on some walks. The option to take the cable car down to the boat trip round the Caldera should be considered if you are not happy about a 600 step (uneven, in some places slippery) walk you share with donkeys carrying passengers up from the quayside. I know I would have preferred this, especially as I slipped and fell at one point.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Neil Hodkinson

    Greek Islands.

    This is an ideal trip to get a flavour of three Greek Islands, Paros, Santorini & Naxos. Also it is a good way of experiencing the culinary delights of the islands. I would question the classification of the trip, which is Leisurely. While there is plenty of time to relax on the ferry crossings betwen each island, all the walks while, relative short have ascents and decents on rough country paths. The path on Naxos is graded Difficult on the local trail board. However our mixed aged group (50 to 70+) coped with only a few minor difficulties.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The off trip visit to the Akrotiri excavation site of a buried Minoan settlement on Santorini plus the visit to the Santorini Museum of Prehistoric Thera. All the excavation finds are housed in the Museum.( I did this instead of the trip boat trip around the Santorini Caldera). Also the deliciously cooked octopus at the tarverna on Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos has a wealth of knowledge of the island's history plus an extensive knowledge of flora of the islands. All of which he imparted, to the group at regular interval and was never seeming not to be able to answer the most obscure questions. He ensured the group was well catered for at the local tarverna's' that the group ate at. Plus ensure the group exited the ferries in a timely manner. All this meant that trip ran seamlessly thus providing an very enjoyable experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks on Paros & Naxos are on country paths with mixed under foot conditions, the same applies for part of the Santorini walk. Thus good walking foot wear is essentail plus I found walking poles usefully on the uphill and down hill sections of each walk. I noted that in 2019/2020 brochure that the Santorini boat trip has been replace by free time in Fira. I would recommend the visit to the Akrotiri excavation site, which is being classified as "The Pompeli of the Aegean". While it is not as extensive as Pompeli, it is covered by a very interesting building and can be easily reach on the local bus in 20 minutes from Fira. You will be required to get your luggage on and off the Ferries via the rear loading ramps. So you need wheel luggage that can be pulled along or travel light so you can carry your stuff. Large items of luggage are stored on the car deck of each ferry.