Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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51 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Karen Donnelly

    This is an absolute ‘must do’ trip!

    This is easily one of the best trips I’ve ever done - I had an absolute blast and highly recommend it! The TMB itself is just incredible, words can’t describe how beautiful it is. Every day was different and the hiking was just so much fun. Just make sure you have a good level of fitness or you won’t enjoy it as much as you should! I really enjoyed the group dynamic and was happy with the accommodation - we had two nights in what I’d class as hostel style accommodation (private rooms with shared bathrooms but sink in room which was good!) and the remainder in 2/3* hotels. Rooms were spotlessly clean, beds were comfy and hot showers were plentiful which is exactly what you need after a day on the trail! :) Food was so good throughout - Lunch has never tasted better!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved it all. Every single minute :)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I originally thought about doing this trip self guided but I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t! Our guide, Egle, made this trip for me! She was fantastic, She looked after absolutely everything so all I needed to do was enjoy myself as we wandered around the TMB :) !! Her love for the Alps is infectious and she’s just awesome to be around!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Peter Gomes

    Tour du Mount Blanc Hotel - terrific two week Alpine trek through three countries

    This trip proved to be a brilliant way to hike five valleys, three countries, and enjoy stunning Alpine scenery en route. Accommodation is generally good, and the food hearty & plentiful but it is all about terrific walking territory in the shadow of the Mt. Blanc massif. Lots of "Wow" moments. Do not underestimate the hiking fitness required with each walking day being 10-12 miles (16-19 km) with ascents of 1,000 m - 1,600 m (3,000' - 5,000') and corresponding descents. However the pace set by our guide Kim was sensible throughout so we had time to chat as we walked, take photos and enjoy the wonderful views. Trekking time was generally 6-8 hours each day albeit actual walking time was consistently around two-thirds of this. The other third being photo stops, coffee/ice cream stops (lots), two lunch stops (eating little and often was good advice), etc. Rest days were well placed in the timetable and meant that we all completed the 110 mile (180 km) circuit in good shape.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In terms of hiking, probably ascending the 2,500 m cols which took us across the frontiers into each of Switzerland, Italy & France, plus the steep (600 m) ascent of the Col du Trichot on walking day 9, and the sumptuous views of Mt Blanc as we ascended 1,600m to Brevet on the final morning - celebrated with champagne at the top. Aside from the hiking were two "Must Do"s. One was on the first rest day - taking the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car from Cormayeaur up to Punta Herbronner and then the frankly fantastic 5km panorama trip over to the Aiguille du Midi. Absolutely superb views over the glacier and of Mt Blanc itself. Kim suggested we get there for 06:30 when it opened which proved great advice as we had the viewing platform to ourselves & avoided the later crowds and queues. The other was the tramway from St Gervais up to Nid D'Aigle. Impressive engineering, great views and a chance to hike to the Bionnassay glacier. Do both. Take layers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kim was an experienced IML (International Mountain Leader) and clearly knew the area like the back of her hand - she didn't consult a map once across the whole trip. Her briefings each evening were comprehensive - almost too much so. She was up early each morning to set out food so we could select content of our lunches before we went into breakfast, and her timetabling meant we had plenty of time at every point despite the scale of the hiking each day. She set a steady sensible pace on the ascents and was a demon on the descents - we had fun trying to keep up with her, despite her being older than all the trip participants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes liken the walking to ascending Ben Nevis or Scarfell Pike. This is not an exaggeration as we coincidentally did both three weeks before the trip. You need to be hiking fit to cope with repeated 10+ mile / 1,000+m hikes. Take layers - the weather can change quickly. Carrying gloves, woolly hat, down jacket, rain top, & over-trousers seemed OTT until the sudden thunderstorm on the Col du Bonhomme. Good boots, walking poles plenty of sun screen are also recommended. Finally, those with water bladders proved more adept with keeping hydrated than those us with water bottles. I picked one up in Decathlon (£10) on our return to Chamonix.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would certainly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys hiking. The route well chosen, food plentiful, accommodation sound and guide knowledgeable. The scenery is simply glorious.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Nadia Ashraf

    You HAVE to book this trip!!!

    You will not be disappointed with this trip: stunning vistas every step of the way, great sense of achievement, great people; including John, our exceptional Mountain Leader and lovely hot chocolate and tarte myrtille at the mountain refuges.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it up Brevent on the the last climb to complete the two-week trek!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John is an exceptional Mountain Leader: very experienced and certainly knows his stuff. He had a knack of popping up beside you for support any time you were feeling anxious about the path or there was a precarious snowy/icy section or river crossing. Certainly felt very safe in his hands. He is very knowledgable about the mountains, flora and fauna and has stories about his own adventures around the world to keep you entertained with. Set the perfect 'Fairy Step' pace on the hikes to make it seem almost effortless, which made all the difference, especially in the 35 degree heat we had on some days. Very well organised and always made sure we had a good spread for lunch. Even good at opening the impossible gherkin jars!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this is a summer trek, there was plenty of snow still on the path for our trip in June, so be prepared!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do not hesitate to book this trip - you will not regret it!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Rob Dyer

    Fantastic tour

    The tour excellent from start to finish. The walking was well planned and supported brilliantly by John our mountain guide. The hotels were good and arrangements for transfer of our gear worked without a hitch. One of the best holidays we havd ever had.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement of completing the last day’s climb was fantastic. John kept us together always as a group. Everyone felt supported Shen they needed it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. John managed to create a cohesive group. He managed to keep a sense of fun while inspiring great trust in his knowledge and skills. Could not have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! It is challenging but manageable for anyone who is fairly fit.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Pen Barnes

    Tour de Mont Blanc hotel- ( tour du gormet)

    Best trip in a decade. Combination of stunning vistas, hiking, culture and food. Jenny our guide was superb. Better named the “Tour du gormet”. “5km to best gelato, 7 km to Prosecco, 8 km to tarte framboise”. Or that can be translated to first breakfast, second breakfast, first lunch,second lunch. Lots of hiking - don’t underestimate the impact of5 days of 2000 to 4000ft and 10 plus miles at the beginning of the trip. However there is then the best hot chocolate in Italy- more a chocolate fondue to look forward to. Bon appetit!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Mont Blanc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not underestimate the hiking - even if used to doing long hikes
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Pen Barnes

    Tour de Mont Blanc hotel- ( tour du gormet)

    Best trip in a decade. Combination of stunning vistas, hiking, culture and food. Jenny our guide was superb. Better named the “Tour du gormet”. “5km to best gelato, 7 km to Prosecco, 8 km to tarte framboise”. Or that can be translated to first breakfast, second breakfast, first lunch,second lunch. Lots of hiking - don’t underestimate the impact of5 days of 2000 to 4000ft and 10 plus miles at the beginning of the trip. However there is then the best hot chocolate in Italy- more a chocolate fondue to look forward to. Bon appetit!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Mont Blanc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not underestimate the hiking - even if used to doing long hikes
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Debra Thompson

    Fabulous trip

    My husband and and I really loved this walk. The scenery every day was simply spectacular. The accomodation was very comfortable and food provided for us was top class. We had quite a small group of 7 of various nationalities and we all muddled along together very well. I found our trek leader to be very helpful with advice on what to do on days off etc. He was always encouraging along the way and informed us of points of interest, landmarks etc. I did find the walk to be quite challenging and anybody interested in doing this trek needs to have a fairly high level of fitness. I would recommend Exodus travel to my friends, expecially the Tour du Mont Blanc trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Brevant on the last day of the walk. It had been a long, long walk up. I felt really proud that I had been able to complete the walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter Smith was a fantastic tour leader. He was “keep calm and carry on” type of character. He was encouraging and provided me with helpful hints along the way regarding the use of poles, pace and was particularly helpful to me when we had to some, what I think was scary edge walking to do. This was not my strength but I managed well with his help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trek requires a fairly high level of fitness. Do a lot of uphill training in readiness and be assured that it won’t be enough. Be determined to finish.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Judith Argent

    Summer in the mountains surrounding Mont Blanc

    A thoroughly enjoyable trek through France, Switzerland and Italy. It's a lovely feeling to walk everywhere (with the occasional use of local buses). The hotels and auberges were comfortable and we were well fed throughout the trip. There was a large choice of food and fruits for packed lunches which we made ourselves, choosing as much as we wanted. The walking was fabulous, I loved seeing the different scenery and villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly enjoyed walking over the cols to the next valleys. Always a wow moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nick was a great guide, and knew a lot about the mountains and the things living in them. I don't think anyone was ever anxious about what the day might bring as trickier parts of the walk were dealt with as we arrived at them and not over thought of before. He had a calm, relaxed manner which made all the days enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Always carry wet weather gear. We only had just over an hour of rain on one occasion whilst walking but I was grateful for the waterproofs I'd carried for nearly a fortnight. Do get fit but don't over worry. We live in a very flat area so only really walk up hills and mountains whilst on holiday and we had no problem. Carry plenty of water. Be prepared to wait for slower members of the group... never a problem when you're an such beautiful surroundings!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Tony Perdomo

    Just Wow, reason why it's a Top 5 trek

    This trek (early July '18) was phenomenal. this is my first real trekking holiday and I have to tell you, I am converted now. the scenery all along the way is spectacular, and different each day! Going through 3 countries, more than 170 kms, and going from towns and villages to a handful of coffee drinkers at a refuge at 2000+ masl, really added variety to this trip. The first 2 days might be challenging ones for most, but then your body and mind sync, and then your only focus is when to stop taking pictures and not to get your breath back. Your body will love it, you will be at peace and most importantly, super fit after it's all set and done. Work hard during the day, have a nice sleep on a comfy bed each night - what else do you want?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realizing that my group of 3 was the best paced group my guide has ever had, and I kept up with them no problem. doing a Col in 2 hours where it should have taken 3, and still feel like a champ after all. Bring it on Annapurnas, you're next

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pete Smith, a legend. he was superb, well attentive and mindful of everyone. it was his first trek of the season and I am happy we got him. superb leader!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, follow the fitness plan and break your boots in. Once you are there, let the mind take over and the body follow suit. It's not a race, it's a walk along one of the most beautiful treks out there. Bring camelback of 1.5-2L and a waterbottle (1L), you will need it

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Love this tour Exodus, great educational!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Linda Walton

    A Must Do for every keen hiker

    This was an excellent trip. The views are stunning and we were fortunate enough to have 9 dry and sunny days. Loved hiking from France to Switzerland to Italy and back to France. Being able to have a drink and cake at some of the refuges was a real bonus. There were quite a lot of snowfields to cross but we were very fortunate in that we were able to trek the whole route. Two weeks before and this was not possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the border from Switzerland into Italy. The views from the Col Ferret were outstanding. Having lunch on the top, enjoying the sunshine and eating toblerone - bliss.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Frank. He was hugely experienced, having done this some 60 times before. Frank set the pace and it was just right. He never went off at a ridiculous pace and I never felt that my safety was compromised at all. He was really helpful when I struggled to cross one pass with my short legs and had plenty of time to make a track through the snowfields when we had to descend through them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was a little concerned with undertaking this trip as I am in my late 50's and the maximum number of days hiking I have done before was 4. We did do quite a bit of training and I would recommend that anyone doing this does try to find some hills before. Having said that, we did not struggle at all. Frank's pace was great. The legs did ache for the first couple of days but after that they were fine. On the last day we did 1670m of ascent and I could have gone on and on! The downhills are definitely harder than the ascents. So pleased we chose the guided tour as it would have been very challenging trying to find some of the routes especially when you're in a storm with limited visibility and being hit with large hail stones.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it! Anyone with good fitness will be fine. This is one of the tot 10 walks to do in the World and I would thoroughly recommonend doing it was Exodus.