Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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53 Reviews

  • 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.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Dianne Anderson

    Greek Wander

    This was a trip comprised of 15 Canadian women all of whom I knew. Hiking was what appealed to me the most. Second was supplementing the knowledge I'd gained from sailing in the Cyclades (2013) as well as hiking in Corfu last May. Moving beds every three days on average and catching ferries on five occasions. although spelled out in the tour's monograph, didn't seem so onerous until one actually lived it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing atop Mt. Zues on Naxos, albeit in the fog, and later descending to relish the views. Our cooking class on Paros was more hilarious than inspirational but certainly it was a highlight. Also providing after dinner entertainment on our Santorini cruise as we Canadians, fortified with wine, disastrously gave demonstrations of Greek dancing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eleftheria worked extremely hard, both up front and behind the scenes, to make this trip stand out. Her knowledge of Hellenic history was extensive and she readily answered our questions. I will admit that our group provided her with great challenges in terms of hiking. Although I read the hike descriptions beforehand I question whether some of my fellow travellers did. We had a person who had never hiked, many who were intermittent walkers right up to myself who started serious hiking eight years ago by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 65th birthday. Safety concerns were many. There was much grumbling about Eleftheria dissuading some from attempting a hike. As a former ski patroller, safety tops anything else. Her execution of getting us on and off ferries with all of our baggage was remarkable. Also, she worked hard to find other options when some activities weren't possible due to end of season closures.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If the trip descriptions don't answer your questions before you commit, ask away and be honest about your abilities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first trip with Exodus, my last trip to Greece, and probably not my last with your company. I'm grateful for this opportunity to help you improve your offerings.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carolyn Muench

    Great trip!

    Very good in spite of unseasonable weather for September. High winds cancelled ferries for several days. As a consequence we stayed only one night on Paros and missed Santorini entirely. But we got to know Naxos very well, and it is an island with plenty to do. it might have been frustrating, but leader Cecile Deltreil made superhuman efforts to keep us well occupied. Although we saw her frequently glued to her cell phone, she never seemed stressed out and explained changing arrangements in a way that kept us calm and happy. She was also an excellent guide on walks and in the towns we visited. If Cecile is typical of Exodus quality of service, it is an excellent company. In general accommodation was good and food excellent. Cecile has friendly relations with lots of good restaurants. I would certainly recommend this trip, and will be investigating other Exodus trips in future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all good. I especially enjoyed exploring the small viliages, and the museum in Naxos was a surprise - really good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I praise Cecile Deltreil to the skies. She deserves a bonus for this trip and a raise!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A word of caution about "leisurely," a word subject to interpretation. The walks were not long, and there were stops for points of interest. But Greek islands are up and down, and in some cases footing was rocky. So the walking was easy for hikers of any level, but more challenging if you have any walking difficulties. ( I had broken my leg 4 months prior, and found the walks a bit hard. Again leader Cecile was wonderful in figuring alternative activities for me as needed.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Did I mention how wonderful Cecile was?
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carol Cummins

    Hampered by weather

    We had a great group of mixed ages, abilities and nationalities. We had exceptionally bad storm weather meaning most of the itinerary didn’t happen but Cecile our guide did everything she could to work with the weather. Many of the walks didn’t happen although one of the substitute walks turned out to be the best of the trip. Great guide, great group, hampered by the weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Route 4 rom Halki - an unexpected 7k walk on our extended. Stay on Naxus. Good pace and distance whilst still leisurely. One to add to the main itinerary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was great and more than performed given the circumstances. Very knowledgeable and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is ranked as leisurely and it is. Do not expect it to be anything more. Be prepared for itinerary changes as the ferries are suspended whenever there is poor weather. We had an unlucky week with exceptional weather fir the area and time of year.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel in Naxus and our host Michael were exceptional. Very glad we were stranded there and not elsewhere Have graded as s 3. Suspect it would have been higher if the weather not intervened. We added a couple of days at Nea Makri at the start and 5 says in Athens at the end which is working out well and allowed for flight to/from our local airport. Pack light - you don’t need loads and small bags are much easier on the ferries