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Turtle, Ecuador

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

Excellent walking

A good variety of walks out from a lovely small hotel run by very friendly people.
The food was excellent, the lunch bags superb, the wine and beer very enjoyable.

Most Inspirational Moment

The circular walk on the last day.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Dan was excellent, kept us informed, and ensured plenty of recovery breaks in unseasonable hot weather.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The going with ascents and descents on rocky terrain means that to get the best out of the walks some preparation is required.

Suggestions

I was fortunate to be part of a good group who got along well with each other and made the whole trip very enjoyable.

Sierra Nevada

The heat and the rough trails made the walks challenging enough for a grade 3. Although some of the days were less of a challenge than others. After a very hot summer in Europe, late September was still very hot and the scenery reflected this. It was cooler down in the valleys shaded by trees with lovely natural streams still full of water.

Most Inspirational Moment

The day we stopped for a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant with a lovely shaded terrace, views and fantastic food. How we made it up the hill after over indulging was anyone’s guess!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Dan was very knowledgeable about the local area. He kept us all safe on the rough, stony trails making sure everyone was going at their own pace and keeping well hydrated in the heat. His dry Yorkshire sense of humour kept us all entertained during the days!

Advice for Potential Travellers

The trails are quite rough with loose stones & shale so wear good supportive boots and use poles if you need to.

Suggestions

The Berchules hotel is very comfortable. Be prepared to be well fed with delicious 3 course meals every night created by Alejandro and served with grace by Omar. Be sure to ask Csilla for one of her special cocktails - delicious!

Glorious location, great walks and a fabulous hotel

We took this trip in early September, the weather turned out to be very hot (mostly 30-32 degrees) but the walks were still fine for most of the group and were really well selected with varied and interesting walking every day. I would say, though, that a fair rating would be ‘moderate to hard’ as each walk had some challenging sections, especially in the heat. The scenery of the Alpujarra is glorious, different to any other mountains we have walked in and very beautiful. Our guide Dan was also excellent, really well informed, dryly funny and considerate to all members of the group. Finally a word for the hotel in Berchules – it was absolutely fabulous! Csilla is a wonderful hostess, so friendly and welcoming and Alejandro is a terrific chef, evening meals were a delight and the breakfasts and packed lunches were very generous. The setting of the hotel, at the head of the Berchules valley, is glorious – one of my favourite memories of the trip was just sitting on the terrace before breakfasts and suppers, chatting over drinks with our walking buddies. I thoroughly recommend this trip.

Most Inspirational Moment

Sitting relaxed on the terrace with new friends and out lovely hosts, drinking in the fabulous scenery (and the local wine).

Thoughts on Group Leader

Dan was great, full of information and humour and really careful for the well-being of all the group members.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Walking poles (which we didn't bring but others did) were helpful for balance on some steeper walk sections. Do follow the advice on water bottles too. Proper walking boots essential.

Suggestions

We had not known this part of Spain at all before our trip and it was such a treasure to visit - full of atmosphere and character.

excellent

All round extremely good holiday with a fine bunch companions interesting people

Most Inspirational Moment

The actual terrain/landscape not a flat piece of ground anywhere it was all rugged hills and gulleys/ravines

Thoughts on Group Leader

excellent

Suggestions

The Hotel Los Berchules was excellent wonderful family run, attentative and with good nourishing food

Unspoilt high mountains and verdant valleys in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe.

The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range in mainland Spain. They remain snow covered well into the Summer and these walks take place in the wooded valleys in their foothills. The sound of running water seems always to be in the background. The bird life is rich and varied and we heard the cuckoo on our first day. Nightingales and golden orioles and eagles and falcons were viewed with awe and delight.
The walks are pretty challenging but rewarding. Conditions under foot are variable but generally reasonable.The Hotel art Los Berchules is a place of repose and delight. The food is first rate and the owners and staff delightful dedicated and friendly.

Most Inspirational Moment

Looking over a wide valley and listening to bird song and seeing a golden oriole whilst a Bonelli's eagle was being mobbed by a Peregrine falcon.

Thoughts on Group Leader

He was completely excellent. Reliable knowledgable humorous and dedicated to our safety and enjoyment.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The walks are quite challenging but there were opt out points on most days.

Suggestions

We have been fortunate to have been on many walking holidays mainly with Exodus and nearly all have been highly enjoyable and the Sierra Nevada walk was up with the best we have been on.

Peace and beauty

Just returned from a wonderful holiday in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This tour has been part of the Exodus programme for many years, I understand, and deservedly so. The walking itinerary and accommodation are both excellent.
We experienced Spring unfolding as our week progressed – the temperatures rising, the leaves and flowers emerging, the warmth of the sun! The walks were varied – 3 ascending from the village, in cool fresh air, following irrigation channels and gorges and one to the snowline, whilst 2 descended to explore the local villages and cultivated slopes with blossoming almond groves, olive trees and vineyards. We saw wild ibex in the remote Berchules valley. We walked through herby scrub with the intoxicating scent of sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender wafting up as you brushed through it. We viewed the snowcapped peaks and Mulhacen.
The staff at the hotel were exceptional – Wendy, Alejandro, Csila, Omar – so friendly and good service. Rooms cleaned immaculately daily, and the meals were lovely – hearty and tasty. Amazing breakfast buffet – no stale rolls here! Chat with Wendy and you will catch her enthusiasm for this area – she is the lychpin – so classy to meet us to chat at breakfast and at the end of our walks, with genuine interest to hear of our adventures each day.
And well, as for Granada….what can you say – except book your Alhambra tickets well in advance. The Alhambra is a special place indeed – beauty in architecture and the gardens, with peace (if you pause away from the crowds) and spirituality of a bygone age. Dan our guide helpfully took us to a lovely meal in the city, a fantastic flamenco show and gave those who wanted it a guided walking tour.

Most Inspirational Moment

I think the Sierra Nevada doesn't offer up its secrets easily. It doesn't shout at you with spiky peaks and chocolate box chalets. But it draws you in subtly if you stop and breathe.

Advice for Potential Travellers

I can highly recommend this trip. Go, and let the mountains gently reveal their secrets to you....

Beating expectations

From the lovely hotel family, who went the extra mile for me when my case was smashed by Ryanair, to the delicious and plentiful meals ,and the comfortable hotel with its great fire this was the perfect base for our superb trek. Great varied walking with Dan as guide who was a fount of knowledge of all things floral, trees, history, people.
Just go for it .

Most Inspirational Moment

The winding path down to the Roman bridge at the bottom of the gorge and then back up to a crazy restaurant in the village.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Very good, inspired catering for those with long legs and also those with shorter ones and those under the weather. Very knowledgeable and friendly with everyone. Gsoh.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take wet weather clothing

Top Autumn Walking

There is a lot of enjoyable walking to be had on this trip, varied routes and tantalising views of big ridges and high peaks. There is also wildlife a plenty but it does need looking hard for. There are some steep ups and downs in places but the paths are considerably better than I had expected and are all very ‘doable’ if you have a reasonable level of fitness.

The hotel in Berchules is a comfortable and very friendly base to operate from, Wendy and her staff couldn’t do enough to help and they serve up some appetising food too; tThe packed lunches are perhaps the best I have had anywhere. If you have an interest in avaiation history ask Wendy about the Royal Air Force Asscoiation plaque that is on the bar!

Granada is a complete and very enjoyable contrast, a city with a really nice ‘feel’ to it. A different but decent hotel. The Alhambra really is a must – it would be a shame to not see it if you are in the city.

Most Inspirational Moment

There are no truely stunning or inspirational moments but spending time walking in the relatively empty mountains of the Sierra Nevada with the possibilities of wildlife spotting and the sun on your back (or face) is pretty fine stuff.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Dan is a Yorkshireman - and he is a good bloke (high praise). The sort of leader that that gives a group confidence. Punctuality and organisation were pretty much his trademark, his knowledge of the local area, its history, wildlife etc was detailed and his skill with gaffer tape was impressive. Would be very happy to go into the mountains with him again

Advice for Potential Travellers

To get the most out of it a reasonable level of fitness is needed. Poles are useful for some of the descents. If you have tickets for the Alhambra you do need to be at the right place at the right time or you won't go in - we witnessed some interesting conversations at the entrance point - if you end up with a bit of paper that says 'this is not a tick' which has to be exchanged for a ticket at the box office make sure you have your passport with you - or you won't get your ticket!

Suggestions

Another excellent Exodus trip, made not only by the walking, venues, accommodation and guide but by the smashing bunch of people who were also on the trip.

Spain

This is a wonderful combination of walking in the lovely Sierra Nevada mountains and then staying in Granada, although we extended our trip to give us 3 days in Granada, which meant we could explore most of this interesting and beautiful city.

Most Inspirational Moment

I loved the wide expanse of the mountains and the family run hotel in berchules was just perfect, the staff could not do enough, so friendly and lots of lovely home made food. Granada is a wonderful city to explore, churches and Alhambra amazing

Thoughts on Group Leader

Knew the mountains well

Advice for Potential Travellers

Many of the walks involve rivers and river crossings, so waterproof boots and some agility needed. Food is very plentiful so be hungry! Well worth extending stay in Granada we stayed in same hotel. Perfect

Suggestions

Another brilliant exodus holiday

Berchules, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Another great holiday thanks to Exodus! This was my 13th walking holiday with Exodus and one of the best, thanks to the varied walks, excellent leader, great scenery, wonderful family run hotel and good weather.

Most Inspirational Moment

Following the Moors waterways into the hills and enjoying the long varied walks along the rugged landscape and through pretty little villages. We covered 9 miles, 10 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, then 12 miles during the week, which was challenging enough for a Grade 3 walk. It was great to be out for a full day, before returning "home" to the wonderful, family run Los Berchules Hotel. Our hosts were Alejandro, his wife Csilla, the lovely Wendy (Alejandro's mum) and Omar. The staff were amazing and nothing was too much bother for them. Alejandro cooked us fantastic, locally sourced food, whilst Csilla and Omar waited on. Wendy made the excellent home made puddings and gave us a warm welcome "home" each day front of house.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Dan was a great leader. His local knowledge of history, the way people live and wildlife was second to none and his Yorkshireman sense of humour added to that! Dan allows you to walk on at your own pace, but has control of the group is an unassuming, professional way.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Having exhausted most of the Grade 5 centre based options over the years, we were looking for a more challenging Grade 3 walking trip and this one surpassed our expectations in terms of terrain, scenery, length of walks and accommodation. I would highly recommend this holiday.

Suggestions

We are used to a large group of 14 to 16 people, but on this occasion, there were only six of us. That did not detract from the holiday at all, in fact, it added to it as we all got on so well. Thanks Exodus for another fantastic walking holiday!