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Reviews

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

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45 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2019
    Elizabeth Parker

    Excellent way to visit Croatia

    The previous reviews say it all, a great way to experience Croatia. I had already visited Dubrovnik and Split so for me the mountain hikes were what I enjoyed most especially those in the Paklenica National Park. On the Thursday hike we stopped at a mountain hut for delicious bean soup. Vegetarian choices in restaurants were available and the home cooking at the restaurant on the second evening in Bol was delicious!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the mountain tops and the abundance of wild flowers. The waterfalls in Krka National Park were amazing and certainly worth visiting, although very busy with tourists.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Ivan Rakonic was excellent. Very knowledgeable about the geography and history of the country, very friendly, great mountain guide and the bonus of a good sense of humour! He looked after the group very well and made sure everyone was enjoying themselves.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good hiking boots and walking poles to help on the rocky terrain, especially for downhill in the Paklenica National Park.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be good to include packed lunches prepared by the hotels which is what I've experienced in past Exodus trips. A great trip, highly recommended!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Stuart Dickinson

    Croatia: Islands and Mountains

    A fine mix of culture- Dubrovnik and Split, with daily walks. Brac was a sample of Dalmatia's islands and Bol was both a quiet characterful resort, and ferry port. The long linking distances were made in a comfortable mini bus and the travel linked first rate scenic highlights. The northern Krka National Park with its superb waterfalls; and the sharp, bare fluted limestones mixed with rich pine and beech forests of the Paklenica National Park made a memorable finale. Our guide was excellent and the choice of restaurants for the evening meal together was generally much appreciated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The orchids that bloomed in dark pine forest- birds nest orchid and sword leaved white helleborine; and pyramidal orchid and bee orchid that grew on open limestone pasture.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very warm and professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for hot walking. When you are away from shady woodland it can be exposed take water and sunscreen and a hat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Slightly disappointed to have to provide our own picnic. In previous trips the leader usually shops and the picnic is shared out and carried by the party members. Not here.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Andrew Bowden

    Croatia holiday

    Good walking, good food and accommodation, good leader, convivial group. Sight seeing was considered to be a little rushed (so we booked a few extra days in Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar on our own)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walls of Dubrovnik and the limestone canyon in Velika Paklenica national park

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, friendly and considerate. He coped well with two weak members of the group and found them alternative walks when we did the hardest routes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring walking poles as one or two walks in the National Park were very rough and steep. These were goat tracks not wide paths.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trip notes need to be more specific as to the difficulty of the terrain. A few more hours needed in both Split and Dubrovnik. Zadar worth a visit.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Terri Markle

    Amazing 7-Day Tour of Croatia

    I highly recommend this tour if you want to see the Dalmatian Coast and Croatia’s mountainous terrain. I have never visited Croatia so I was eager to see the big cities-Dubrovnik and Split-but I also wanted to hike in Croatia’s National Parks. With this tour, I could do both plus write about them for my blog (www.femalesolotrek.com). It was a writer’s dream. Our guide was Mario, a native who taught us so much about his country, the war and the Croats. He was high energy and great fun. I would definitely do a tour with Mario in the future. I think it is a great decision by Exodus to stay at a seaside Dubrovnik hotel for the first two nights because it features wonderful walks to view the Adriatic Sea (plus friendly cats). There was also a great restaurant for our first night out (order the black risotto with cuttlefish) plus the local grocery store to purchase food for lunches during our hiking days. I highly recommend that your group pay the extra fee for a walking tour of Old Town Dubrovnik to learn about its history. I also chose to pay to walk the fortress walk. It took about 90 minutes. It was an incredible experience. If you are a cat lover, you will cherish all the time to play with the street cats in Dubrovnik. They are so friendly. In quick succession over the next seven days, we visited the Island of Brac, Split, Krka National Park (the waterfalls), Starigrad Paklenica and National Park Paklenica. I loved each location but the stay in Brac was particularly memorable. We had an old fashioned Croatian dinner featuring roasted meats and potatoes. I also loved the goulash served at a mountaintop restaurant/inn. It was a great treat after climbing all morning on Thursday. You don’t visit Zadar as part of the tour. But the group flight departs from Zadar airport so you can make your own tour on the last day. Our group had several people who chose to take a van back to Split to fly home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was standing at the summit on each of our hiking days in Croatia’s mountains and marveling at the beauty of this country. I loved the people, the scenery and the adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was Mario, a native who taught us so much about his country, the war and the Croats. He was high energy and great fun. I would definitely do a tour with Mario again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    October is a great time to do this tour. Our temperatures averaged mid 70s which made it very comfortable to hike. Do not book this trip during August. Our guide Mario said his group had a difficult time hiking during the heat wave this summer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is my third tour with Exodus in the past year. I love the small group size, the avid hikers and the unusual places we see.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Karen Cleverly

    Mountain walking in a beautiful country

    The first part of the week is a whistle-stop tour of some of Croatia's top spots (Dubrovnik old town, Bol on the island of Brac, Split, Skradinski buk waterfalls), with a walk each day and quite a bit of travelling. The remainder of the week is at one base, with longer, mountain walks in Paklenica National Park and a final few hours in Zadar before the plane home. Our Croatian guide was brilliant and gave us loads of insights into the history of the area, how the mountain people lived as well as taking us to an authentic Croatian restaurant, a mountain refuge and visits to local houses where we sampled local produce.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the sunset at Dubrovnik old town, plus the views from the summits we visited were absolutely stunning (my favourite was probably from Vidova Gora on Brac island).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zeljko, our guide, was fantastic. He couldn't have been any better. He was extremely knowledgeable and was able to answer everybody's questions. He loved his country and wanted to share his knowledge with us whenever he got the opportunity. We got a real insight into the complicated history of the country and into the way people live. We were caught out by an unexpected storm while up on a mountain walk one day. The Bora winds were far stronger than forecast and we had to get off the mountain as it was dangerous. Zeljko was calm and professional, got everyone to safety and managed to organise alternative transport for us all to get us to our destination on the island of Brac. He also made sure that everyone got to where they needed to be at the end of the week (as not everyone was travelling home on the group flight).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to swim, the sea around Dubrovnik was lovely and warm but at Starigrad Paklenica it was chilly (to say the least)! This could just be because of the weather but it's possibly more protected around Dubrovnik. Also the opportunity to swim around the Skradinski Buk waterfalls was not quite what I had imagined. It's fairly touristy and the area for swimming is quite restricted. Also, if you want to wander around the waterfalls on the wooden walkways you won't have time to swim as well. Many of the mountain paths are rocky and loose. If you are used to mountain walking you won't have a problem but some people in the group found this more difficult. We went at the end of September and it was chillier than expected on some days (but very hot on others). As well as light hiking gear, make sure you take a waterproof jacket AND trousers, take some long trousers - not just shorts, and possibly even a pair of light gloves and a hat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Croatia is a beautiful country. This trip gave me a really good overview and insight into the Dalmatian coastal region (as well as some very enjoyable walking). I definitely want to go back!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Doug Gossen

    Blown away!

    Our week in Croatia was a very enjoyable mix of hiking, sightseeing, socialising, food and wine. It also included perhaps a little too much adventure when the bora winds struck. On our second hike the winds, gusting at record speeds, literally blew several of us off our feet. Luckily injuries were limited to bruises and scrapes. Our leader, Zeljko Zarak, managed to get us all safely back despite road closures and emergency conditions. Otherwise the weather was beautiful, the hikes challenging but satisfying and the companionship of the group very pleasant. Some beach time was also included, as well as historical and architectural experiences in Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar. Zeljko provided very interesting and informative background on the history and politics of the country. I liked the fact that dinners were on our own but also appreciated Zeljko arranging several optional meals, particularly a bean soup lunch at the midpoint of one hike and a superb dinner at a family farm in Bol. My girlfriend and I are vegan/vegetarian and were initially concerned by what we heard was a heavily meat-based diet in Croatia. But we were very pleased with the options available to us. We were also told the hotels were very basic but all of them were excellent and each was better than the last as we moved from Dubrovnik to Bol to Starigrad and then Zadar.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When adversity struck in the form of record bora winds I was impressed with the way the group pulled together, helping my girlfriend and I with first aid for our bumps, scrapes and shock. And our leader, Zeljko Zarak, kept everyone together, safe and calm. He got us into a sheltered space and then shepherded us to a nearby inn for warm drinks and comfort while he organised transportation. This wasn't easy as this was a real emergency in that part of Croatia. We heard later about an emergency rescue for other hikers and reports of a windsurfer missing and presumed dead. All the locals said this was very early for the bora winds and that they were stronger than anything in the past 100 years. Roads were closed but Zeljko was able to arrange vans to get us safely back to our hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zeljko Zarak was excellent, very personable and helpful. He also provided excellent on the area, its history and politics.
  • Reviewed September 2018

    A great mixture of being active, sight seeing and relaxation

    All the reviews provide great advice and insights - I recommend reading them and I'll try not to duplicate their excellent advice. It is a Level 3 hike, so it's not a stroll in the park on flat surface. You'll enjoy the trip more if you've put some training before hand. Look at Exodus' training advice. As Kathryn mentioned, the Dalmatian Coast is limestone so lots of different size rocks, and lots of going up, and down. Take good hiking boots and poles are really helpful. For the going up, work on your cardio so you're not winded and you can enjoy the views. For going down, work into you daily routine going down stairs. Forward and backward lunges using a bosu is also good to help strength your knees/quads for the descents. All of the hotels had access to swimming, so bring a bathing suit. There's nothing better than going for a swim after a long hike. The beach in Bol is lovely and it was so nice to just relax. Seeing Dubrovnik, Bol, Split and Starigrad were a nice "taste" of Croatia. It was also great to have a couple of nights in each location so you didn't always feel like you arrived and then had to pack up and go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A lot of people have asked me this and I have a hard time picking one thing. The trip is a great blend of many, many elements from traditional sight seeing to the hiking. I love being active during the day and then going back to the hotel for a swim and a lovely meal at a local restaurant. The people on my tour and our conversations were also a highlight. We were a diverse group (Canada, UK, US and Germany) from mid 30s to 60s, with different backgrounds (artist, engineers, health professionals, IT, lawyer, marketing, publishing, teachers, etc). I know I've made some new friends on this trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ivan is awesome and it's easy to underestimate how good he is. Herding 16 adults is a challenge and he did it with skill and diplomacy. As I mentioned, we're a diverse group and we all had different ideas of what we wanted out of our holiday and he took into account. This was my first Exodus trip and I'm looking to do another trip in part based on Ivan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As noted above, put in time before hand to do some training so you can enjoy the trip. While going up is harder for cardio, most people have more challenges with going down. A couple of months before add going down stairs. It will help to build up your quads and strengthen your knees. I did this leading up to the trip and I didn't have any problems. I was given this advice before going to do the Inca Trail and I didn't listen to it. On the Inca trail I was stiff but in Croatia I didn't have any issues. (Exodus also rates their Inca Trail trip a Level 3.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's a great trip. Highly recommend it.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sudie Ghosh

    Absolutely amazing.....

    The trip was amazing - made so by the friendliest and most accommodating tour guide, great tour group, and the beautiful trails and amazing food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have done group tours before and this was my first with Exodus, and honestly was the best tour group I could have asked for. Everyone clicked and we all got along and enjoyed our hikes and chats along the way. Needless to say the Dalmatian Coast did not disappoint. I enjoyed our hikes, the picnics, the breakfasts together, the beautiful sea. The van rides were very comfortable too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour guide Ivan, was simply the best. He paid attention to each and everyone of us and listened to what we had to say. He sang and chatted with us along the trails, on the bus and the meals. He took care of specific needs and requests as well. It will be tough for future guides to get a better rating.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, do this trip!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope that the other Exodus trips are equally good.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sudie Ghosh

    Absolutely amazing.....

    This trip was an amazing trip - made so by the friendliest and most accommodating tour guide, great tour group, and beautiful trails and amazing food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have done group tours before; this was my first with Exodus and honestly this was the best tour group I could have asked for. Everyone clicked and we all got along; didn't mind who walked next to us; Needless to mention, the Dalmatian Coast did not disappoint. I enjoyed the hikes, the chatting along the trails, singing, the picnics on the trails, the beautiful sea! Our van rides were very comfortable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour guide Ivan was simply the best. He paid attention to each and everyone of us; listened to what we had to say, even when we just joked with him; made arrangements for dinners at some of the best local places. Evan sang "Marianne" along one of the trails to keep us entertained. If people had specific needs he took care of them too. I think future tour guides will have a tough time getting a better rating.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, do this trip!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope that the other Exodus trips are equally good.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sudarshana Ghosh

    Absolutely amazing.....

    This trip was an amazing trip - made so by the friendliest and most accommodating tour guide, great tour group, and beautiful trails and amazing food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have done group tours before; this was my first with Exodus and honestly this was the best tour group I could have asked for. Everyone clicked and we all got along; didn't mind who walked next to us; Needless to mention, the Dalmatian Coast did not disappoint. I enjoyed the hikes, the chatting along the trails, singing, the picnics on the trails, the beautiful sea! Our van rides were very comfortable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour guide Ivan was simply the best. He paid attention to each and everyone of us; listened to what we had to say, even when we just joked with him; made arrangements for dinners at some of the best local places. Evan sang "Marianne" along one of the trails to keep us entertained. If people had specific needs he took care of them too. I think future tour guides will have a tough time getting a better rating.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, do this trip!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope that the other Exodus trips are equally good.