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Reviews

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It’s the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you’re interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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Reviews

Nice trip, but more challenging than most Lv 3

Overall, this is a good trip with a good guide. It is well organized and has plenty of opportunities for people who are less fit to skip a section or entire day. That said, it became very apparently some people did have to skip a day. While the trip notes mentioned steep and loose descents, I would say about 6 out of 15 people on my trip were not prepared for what was ahead of them. More emphasis should be put on the difficulty of the terrain on the main tour page to make it a little more obvious. Maybe also a picture or two of the steps in the trip notes. Having completed several Exodus trips, this felt more like a level 4 trip, not level 3. I think this may be why the wrong audience was attracted, which took away from my personal experience. An example of this was seeing a 70+ year old member of the group refusing to use two hiking poles and ending up falling down a cliff. Luckily this person was okay, but this is a situation we should not have been in.

Most Inspirational Moment

The dinner at Assirto. While this was a recommended, not included dinner, it was a great suggestion. It was a very memorable experience with great food.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michele was good guide and very knowledgeable of the area and culture. He did have a big challenging of leading a group with an extreme difference in abilities. We also had a group which was largely fractured in regards to going to dinners together. Given all those challenges, he still did a good job. I would be happy to do another tour with him again, and probably will.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be aware you will have to scramble and have steep declined. The trip may also much much more challenging than you expect due to the temperature and humidity in Italy. The trip will cost more than you expect as the trip notes are grossly out of date in regards to expenses. Everything cost roughly 40% more than expected, which I think caused some of the travelers in my group to not have a great experience.

Suggestions

I believe this trip should be rated level 4 if kept as it. I think it would be a better experience for all if this was increased to a real level 4+ by making it a bit more challenging and then create a level 2 version for those who are more interested in sightseeing. Every Exodus trip I take seems to have less and less meals included. I generally use this company as it is a complete package, but lately it seems less predictable on how much the trip will actually cost. This was previously an advantage which offset the higher price when compared to some competitors. I also miss the solo departure dates. My experiences are just not the same as they were in the past, so another big differentiator which I no longer see.

Long walks and fabulous views

At the end of September we were a bit surprised that the villages were still quite crowded, but really pretty, especially when viewed from the hills above. The walks were quite long, and steep in places, but everyone managed them; there are options to cut some of the walks short by taking the train back, but nobody wanted to miss out on the whole experience. The trip notes warn that some of the long downhill sections are not ideal for vulnerable knees, and I would suggest taking this advice seriously. Our guide, Michele, was efficient and great company. The Picollo hotel in Moneglia is a very good choice; family run, friendly, with good food, a pool, sun deck and close to the beach. The trains we used were excellent.

Most Inspirational Moment

Portofino; an easier walk and a lovely little town, although prone to crowding when cruise liners are in! Spending time with such a lovely group.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Great fun, good organiser and communicator, and careful to support walkers of varying abilities / paces along the way.

Advice for Potential Travellers

If we went again we would try later in the year in the hope that it is less busy. The walks are rated moderate, but there are a couple of steep scrambles; most of our group were fit hikers - a few "training" walks would benefit travelers less used to long hilly walks.

Suggestions

Don't be put off by anything above, the leader, the coast line, the villages, and the whole experience, were really good.

Cinque Terre and Portofino

I loved this trip, the scenery was stunning and definitely worth the hike up to get the best views. The Piccolo Hotel was situated about 50 yards from the Beach which was great for when we got back and could pop in for a quick swim and to ease to achy legs. Not forgetting the daily Gelato. My only criticism was I felt my room was very basic, it was also dark, the air conditioning only worked when the windows and shutters were closed. Unfortunately no natural daylight which was a shame as there were some lovely rooms. I had paid £400 for the single room supplement, I wouldn’t have been happy having to share with someone. On the upside the breakfasts were amazing, plenty of choice.

Most Inspirational Moment

Next to the last day when we covered the last two Cinque Terre. We had a scramble up hill to get to the top to have the most amazing views. It was definitely challenging and I am pleased to say that all our group managed to complete it. Sense of achievement at the top was amazing.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Miki was amazing, what else can I say, she gave us options every day and explained everything in great detail, she has amazing knowledge. Miki also said that this group was the only one ever when everybody completed the hard scramble.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Ensure you are fit enough, make sure you have all correct clothing especially walking boots and poles, someone on our group went out to buy new trainers as didn’t have walking boots. Most of all enjoy yourself have fun, go and jump in the sea. It was very hot when we were there 29/30 degrees. On our rest day quite a number of us opted to spend on sun loungers on the beach, it was brilliant.

Suggestions

Maybe give people the option to upgrade to a better quality room when booking

The Beautiful walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

We have only very recently returned from the Exodus Adventure Holiday ‘Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino’ We had the most wonderful time exploring the stunning coast line and beautiful villages in this UNESCO World Heritage region. Using the excellent and efficient Italian train service we were able to access the start of each days walk. We climbed, and we descended through the steep hills and promontories that are the feature of this coast line, and go someway to preserving its unspoilt beauty. It was a hot week, but all of the walks were perfectly paced to meet all of the group needs, and expertly led by our wonderful guide. The History and geography of the area was explained to us as we went. The Cinque Terre villages revealed themselves through tantalising glimpses from upon high before we finally descended into their charming hearts. For anyone wanting to experience this stunning area of Italy, then this holiday is the perfect presentation. Exodus continue to deliver experiences to cherish for a lifetime.

Most Inspirational Moment

There is always a great sense of satisfaction and pride in completing a walk. It can seem a challenge, but the prizes both on the walk, and particularly and the inevitable spectacular conclusion is always worth the effort. Just soaking up the village life, a well earned 'cold beer', or a dip in the green/blue sea is always a treat and worthy reward. Shady spots under the canopy of trees and beautiful, magnificent churches provided rest bite from the heat and inspiration and awe in equal measure. We fell in love with the 'base camp' small town of Mongolia and the Hotel Piccolo. The Hotel, family run and personal, only a few steps away from the beach, making a early morning swim before breakfast a real treat.

Thoughts on Group Leader

In Michaela we were so blessed. She was the perfect guide and companion. Let's start with the basics, she was efficient, organised, knowledgable, informative, patient, hard working. So, in terms of meeting the job specification, absolutely first class. Now the real Michaela, lovely, friendly, witty, personable, enthusiastic, encouraging, fascinating. We had a lovely group of people on the trip, but the absolute star was Michaela. Fantastic spoken English, she took great delight in expanding our rudimentary Italian with daily lessons and tests at the end of the day. She loved our sense of humour and gentle teasing. She gave so much more than was expected and brought great joy. Please pass on my thanks and fond wishes to Micky.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Come with good walking shoes, plenty of water, your camera, your swimming costumes, and open mind and a good appetite.

Suggestions

Another great trip and experience provided by Exodus. Back to the brochure and onto the next one. But, where to next ?

Great week of walking, great guide.

A wonderful week of great walking, fabulous scenery, lovely hotel, great food in the local restaurants, including a wine tasting – all coordinated by a fabulous guide.

Most Inspirational Moment

Lots of highlights - Portofino, walking along the terraces towards Riomaggiore, seeing the Giro D’Italia including Geraint Thomas whizz past on our ‘day off’! It’s lovely to return home feeling relaxed and very fit.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michela is a superb leader, the best I have come across. She was fun, organised, knowledgeable and constantly looking after the group and each individual.

Advice for Potential Travellers

A certain level of fitness is required for ascending and descending hundreds of steps each day. The Cinque Terre National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as a result is a popular place to visit. One of our walks was particularly busy with lots of stopping and starting on a narrow path in order to allow walkers coming the other way through. The scenery was spectacular but dealing with such crowds may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’.

I LOVED this trip

I LOVED this trip…my 10th with Exodus but my first walking holiday, and there was so much to enjoy. The walks were tough and I was nervous; I’m used to walking much further but not used to such steep hills and the many, many steps. But though my legs were often screaming, it was well worth it and I’d highly recommend the trip and the area.

The hotel was nice, rooms simple but had everything I needed, the town we stayed quiet but lovely, the restaurants are all fantastic in the town, and the beach is lovely – and it’s a rare thing for a beach to not be dominated by the Italian ‘beach clubs’ that usually take up most of the best spots.

The wine tasting is a very special evening.

 

Most Inspirational Moment

The view of Portofino as you come over the headland, walking across the terraces that stretch for miles across the mountains, with a village ahead of you and another behind...the sense of achievement when you reach each one!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michela is a fantastic guide; great company, kind and thoughtful, informative and she worked really hard to ensure we got the best from our trip, including being flexible to dodge potential / actual bad weather. She put our safety and enjoyment at the forefront; the paths were very steep and the stones very slippery so I agree, it's not suitable in bad weather. But we got to explore towns we wouldn't have seen, and all her recommendations - for our free time and the final rainy day - were spot on. Every day Michela gave us options; ways you could skip a section, shorten a walk or do something a little different if either an injury or just by choice, you wanted a change from the group walk. This made the whole trip very accessible to everyone.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Do bring trekking poles and hiking boots, it's very uneven terrain. It was great to be based in one place - no packing & unpacking - but most of us brought more than we needed! A camelbak or bladder are very handy, to sip water constantly rather than use a bottle. Take note when there are beaches available that day - the water is stunning, so wear or take swimmers ...I was always keen to get my boots off and feet in the water, and would have swum if i'd had my cossie! Some days it's worth grabbing food in Moneglia where we stayed, so you have more time to chill out in the lunch stop...obv some people just wanted to head to a restaurant / bar, but it's nice to chill, head to the water etc as well...Ice cream is good everywhere but obv Michela knows the best spots! Tag days on before / after or both...Pisa has so much more to offer than the tower, and Lucca is stunning, very different and just 30 mins from Pisa by bus or train. Local transport is excellent and cheap, so you can see and do a lot in this region.

What a week - what a guide!

It’s hard to mess up a trip to the Cinque Terre, hut Exodus has really nailed this one. A well-paced itinerary put us in all the right places, and moneglia is a delightful place to stay. The hotel Piccolo is excellent – centrally located, family-run and scrupulously clean, it is hard to fault and somewhere I would happily visit again. One tip: ask for an upgrade when you arrive, the extra cost is definitely worth it. Saving the best to last, however, we were blessed to have Miki as our guide. She was incredibly attentive throughout the week, and was always 2 or 3 steps ahead in anticipating our needs. Hugely knowledgeable about her home region, she also has a great sense of humour, and always seemed to be genuinely happy to be with us. She is a jewel, and turned a great experience into an unforgettable one.

Most Inspirational Moment

Impossible to identify a single moment.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We were blessed to have Miki as our guide. She was incredibly attentive throughout the week, and was always 2 or 3 steps ahead in anticipating our needs. Hugely knowledgeable about her home region, she also has a great sense of humour, and always seemed to be genuinely happy to be with us. She is a jewel, and turned a great experience into an unforgettable one.

Steep walks, good food, great guide!

This was a great holiday walking in lovely countryside by the coast and visiting the picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre and Portofino. The walks themselves were usually very steep and would not suit everyone, a good level of fitness is required although you don’t need to be a mountaineer. The hotel in Moneglia is on the beach and we were able to swim after the walk every day. I was away during the first week of October, I didn’t see any rain and the average daily temperature was 24-25C but the previous week had been wet so no guarantees!

Most Inspirational Moment

Completing the steepest walk up and down to Riomaggiore

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michela was an excellent leader, nothing was too much trouble for her and her organisational skills were exemplary. She was also very knowledgeable about the area we were in and happily fielded a multitude of questions. It's fair to say that she was responsible for making the holiday as enjoyable as it was.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Try and get some hill walking in at home before you arrive in Italy.

Suggestions

I have previously walked the Amalfi Coast with Exodus and this trip was a definite step up in terms of being more physically demanding.

Stunning Scenery

This was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. The location in Moneglia is superb. The beach right opposite is beautiful. The breakfasts were great in the Piccolo too. We loved the spectacular scenery of the Cinque Terre and Portofino although they are very busy locations. The best views are from above as you walk down towards them. We made wonderful new friends and enjoyed sharing meals and drinks with them. 100% recommendation.

Most Inspirational Moment

Making great friends and sharing the amazing views and experiences.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Mikaela was a superb leader and had a very friendly and accommodating manner. She had great sense of humour, was fun and made everything seem possible and enjoyable.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Walking boots not shoes are advisable and walking poles as some sections are steep or slippery.

Suggestions

Ask to book a balcony room in the Piccolo Hotel as rooms are quite dark and the views of the beach are perfect.

Fabulous walks and scenery

From the first day the scenery was just breathtaking. Walking can be a little challenging at times depending on fitness. Piccolo Hotel Moneglia very good. Lots of restaurants to eat out in of an evening. The villages are just as you imagine however can get very crowded. The group of people we walked with were great fun and a good mix of ages. A fabulous holiday.

Most Inspirational Moment

Seeing the villages from the paths. They are just stunning. Wine tasting in Moneglia with Lucca who was so knowledgeable and inspirational. We also had a fantastic meal at the restaurant.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michela our group leader was lovely. So understated. Very efficient, knowledgeable about the area and managing the group in a gentle manner. A pleasure to walk with her.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Fitness does help with this walk as lots of ascents and descents. So get some training in before you go. However there are alternatives to some of the climbs. We had a room with a balcony over looking the sea. There is a supplement however it was worth it as these rooms are larger. The sandy beach at Moneglia is lovely and the swimming was excellent I am told.

Suggestions

If you love Italy and walking a super trip all round.