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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

Hiking in the area around Dobbiaco

This is a beautiful area for hiking, and the variety of self-guided hikes we were given was great. There was everything from short easy rambles to long challenging climbs. The Bellevue Hotel was wonderful, with awesome service and delicious food. Definitely an experience I would be happy to repeat. The only negative factor was that, although we never got lost, some of the route notes could do with updating. It seemed that total hike distances were often understated. Also, we did the last tour of the season, and found that some of the refugios mentioned as lunch stops were closed. I would recommend that anyone going late in the season check before setting out, or be sure to carry your own food.

Most Inspirational Moment

Finally making it to the top of Mt. Elmo in a snowstorm!

Suggestions

I will forward some details of route note issues to Headwater.

Fantastic holiday

Loved this trip – it was my first self-guided trip and my first trip with Headwater. They have a great selection of hikes to choose from, right from easy rambles to tough hikes. I did pretty much all moderate and more difficult hikes and the directions and provided maps are excellent.
I stayed at Park Hotel Bellevue in Toblach (Dobbiaco) which is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at.
Included transportation passes and time tables easily let you get around to all the trail heads and even to other towns in South Tyrol if you do not feel like hiking or if the weather is inclement.

Most Inspirational Moment

There were so many - I would say what will always stay with me are the momentous views. I have hiked in many different mountain ranges but the Dolomites are simply spectacular.

Thoughts on Group Leader

This was a self-guided hike so there wasn't one

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you travel solo, ask for an upgraded room. The standard singles are a tad small.

The Italian Dolomites: Self Guided Walking

Dobbiaco was a tremendous centre and the Park Hotel Bellevue was everything that we would have wanted. The guidance notes for the walks were excellent and each of the itineraries gave us a different view of the Dolomites from rolling pastures to jagged peaks. I would unreservedly recommend the holiday.

Most Inspirational Moment

Walking in the Tre Cime was beautiful and quiet with glimpses of marmots and alpine, wild flowers hanging on to the rugged terrain. Other walks were almost as spectacular and each had a different character and high point.

Thoughts on Group Leader

N/A

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you are up to it, always choose the longer walks. They are quieter and allow you to work off some calories in preparation for the excellent food at the Park Hotel Bellevue.

Suggestions

Thankyou for a great holiday.

Lovely Hiking Around Dobbiaco

Overall, a wonderful experience. We were somewhat uneasy about a centre-based trip, because if you find that the food isn’t to your liking the first couple of days it could make for a disagreeable week. We needn’t have worried, the chef at the Bellevue is top notch, making terrific use of fresh local vegetables, fruit and cheese and kept us guessing on what the menu would have to offer next. Service was consistently professional and friendly.

What I liked best about the walks was the sheer variety – really no two alike, pastures, meadows, forests, boulder strewn scree fields, babbling brooks, fields brimming with wild flowers, cute hamlets, the suggested hikes had it all. The “moderate” rating is fair, though there are a few parts where a walking stick comes in handy.

Most Inspirational Moment

After a rigorous climb up to the alpine hut at the Three Peaks I was ready for lunch and was treated to an absolutely superb goulash with a variety of fresh baked breads. To get that quality of food out in the middle of nowhere was remarkable, all the more so as the price was reasonable! It puts all the overpriced lousy food in tourist traps to shame.

Thoughts on Group Leader

The self guided notes were thorough and trails well marked, barely used the maps which seemed like a bit of a waste. The walks are very straight forward, did not miss having a guide.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Don’t pay too much attention to the suggested itinerary. Weather is a more important factor and how ambitious you feel on a given day. Make good use of the spa, it really helps to rejuvenate those tired legs! Not sure if it is s misprint, but the stated summer temperature of 20-22 is misleading. Yes, it is chilly at night and at peak altitude, but during the day in July it is HOT!! More like 32 in Dobbiaco during the afternoons, but it does cool off very pleasantly in the evening.

Suggestions

The 7-day Mobile card for public transit is an asset. Works on all buses and trains, makes it dead simple to go to and fro at ease.

THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

A great holiday. The hotel and staff were excellent. The trip notes and walks were well documented and sign posted.

Awe inspiring scenery.

Overall, a well organised, quality hotel, holiday.

Most Inspirational Moment

On a couple of the higher, longer walks, looking back to where you had started/ just come from and seeing the scenery, distance, views and distance travelled.

Thoughts on Group Leader

No group leader as such, but the hotel team and staff were just excellent.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Start on the lesser distance walks and build up to the biggies

Suggestions

No, just another great Exodus trip

THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

Fantastic walking mixed with fabulous views and a hotel of the highest quality we would recommend to anyone.

Most Inspirational Moment

Climbing to the summit of Mt Elmo crystal clear skys and views to die for. Eating lunch looking over to the other side of the valley reviewing yesterday's walk and picking out the bunker we sat on and didnt even know until we continued the walk.

Thoughts on Group Leader

No group leader it is self guided

Advice for Potential Travellers

Dont be put off by the fact its self guided the walking instructions are easy to follow and with the maps provided very difficult to get lost. The Dolomite paths are the best sign posted we have ever come across our own national parks could learn a lot from the Italian and Austrians.

Suggestions

The hotel is an absolute dream for serious walkers they have a sauna, pool, solarium, jaccuzi which after a full day's walking is heaven. Not to mention the hotel food and service second to none. You get Michelin* cuisine every night and a wine cellar for all tastes and pockets. We have been on walking holiday's all over Europe and USA and this is a must do for all serious walkers or serious food and wine buff's!

THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

A fantastic week’s walking in wonderful scenery, staying in an excellent hotel.

Most Inspirational Moment

The walking was varied, ranging from easy to moderately challenging. We added in some extra sections on some walks to make them a bit more challenging; this was easy to do given the maps provided and the well signposted paths. The best day was the Tre Cima walk but make sure you do the full version to avoid some of the crowds!

Thoughts on Group Leader

This was a unguided trip, but the maps and walk notes which were provided were excellent.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared to vary your route if you are confident at map reading and want a bit more of a challenge. Make use of the hotel's three (!) saunas - no one else seems to. Don't expect to lose any weight on this holiday - the quantity and quality of the food in the hotel will not be outweighed by your exertions.

Suggestions

A great experience. We will definitely try other unguided walking holidays.

THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

This is the perfect self-guided walking holiday. The location is ideal, the hotel is fabulous, and everything is exceptionally well organized. If you want to go on a non-group walking holiday in beautiful mountain scenery but you like not having to plan routes – and a wonderful place to eat and stay – this is the holiday for you!

Most Inspirational Moment

The Dolomites offer a superb area for walking, with stunning mountain scenery, beautiful alpine pastures, pine forests, and wildflowers. This is some of the best-organized walking I have ever done. Exodus provides very well-written and detailed walking route guides and maps, with all the information you need to plan your day; the routes themselves are very clearly signposted and waymarked with numeric codes that correspond to the maps and instructions. So there is zero anxiety about getting lost or ending up somewhere you would feel out of your depth. That said, if you like to devise your own routes, you can - there is a huge variety of walks here beyond the 12 or so that Exodus provides, all waymarked on clear paths. The other wonderful thing about this holiday is the hotel Bellevue. This is an old-fashioned family run hotel of the very best kind: not posh or pretentious, just clean, comfortable and impeccably managed. You are very well looked after here. The food is outstanding: a 5 course meal is offered most nights, while the breakfast buffet is the nicest I've ever encountered anywhere. The swimming pool and spa are beautiful and very welcome after a day's walking. This is easily one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed in - would gladly come back!

Thoughts on Group Leader

No group leader, as this is self-guided. However, the hotel staff were extremely helpful with any questions we had.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Exodus rates this as a Leisurely/Moderate holiday. We found nearly all the walks to be at the upper end of Moderate: as it's an alpine area, there is lots of up and down, with very little flat. With the addition of the hot July sun, we found the walking a little harder-going than anticipated. It won't be a problem for regular hillwalkers, but be aware that the Dolomites is not an area for Leisurely walking.We flew to and from Venice, which is nearly 3 hours' taxi ride from Dobbiaco. We later learned that Innsbruck is closer to Dobbiaco, and can be reached fairly easily by train (the Dobbiaco train station is 5 mins walk from the hotel). So, depending on where you are flying from, Innsbruck airport might be more convenient.