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

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17837 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2020
    David Abbott

    Simien mountains trek

    Great trek, challenging and a wonderful experience. Both guides ( Sara & Messi ) we’re first class and the group gelled so well. Thank you everyone and happy travelling for 2020.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to summit of Rash Dashan which was a very long but very rewarding day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent communicator and extremely considerate. Would not think twice about going on another great trek with her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit before you go and don’t under estimate the challenge or the environment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Ethiopia is a beautiful country with lovely people and it was a privilege to spend time there.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    andrew bole

    An amazing trip, a couple of tips

    This is a really wonderful trip. I would highly recommend it. You get a unique view of the people, country life and see very few other tourists, outside of the big cities! A good balance between cycling and transfers on the bus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to list.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide makes the difference between a good trip and an amazing trip. Our guide, Nut, was excellent. He was calm, efficient and is vastly experienced so easily managed the large group (18) and so we were all relaxed and could enjoy the trip. Simple things were done very well. We visited lots of different artisans along the way but were never pressured into buying things. They guide handled tipping, meals etc

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some tips not in the trip notes: 1. It is hot and very sunny. Over xmas, there were no cloudy days and no rain. 2. Take lots of high factor sun cream. We used more than expected as you are out in the sun most of the day. You can only buy it in the big towns, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon. 3. Wear white or light coloured tops when cycling. Dark colours absorb the heat making it even hotter! 4. You move most evenings, so can only visit the laundry in the big towns where you stay for more than one night, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon. 5. Take a water bottle that fits in a standard bike water bottle holder. 6. We took our own clip in pedals (MTB prob best as in and out of them in the towns), which worked well. The bus is always close by so you can change shoes if you need to walk round a temple 7. To go into most of the temples you need to wear trousers or shorts/skirts that cover the knee. Applies to men and women. You can leave them on the bus, so dont need to wear them when cycling. 8. Take some electrolite tablets for your water, as you are out on the bike in the heat sweating alot!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Spend a bit of time looking at the flight routes/options as there are lots of possible routes you can end up on, which vary considerably in terms of duration and connections.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Angela Connolly

    A week in Jordan

    A full itinerary but it was well thought out and a great mix of places to see. Jordan is a very safe welcoming country. The hotels were of a good standard and the food was great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and Wadi rum

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim managed a large group with great diplomacy and humour. The trip ran smoothly and he managed to get us where we needed to be without us feeling rushed . He was knowledgeable and great company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its a busy trip but well worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It can get really cold in the evening or out of the sun during the day (Dec)
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Mark Riley

    Amazing tour of Cambodia

    This trip was amazing. It was such a mix of different parts of the country From the bustling capital of Phnom Penh to relaxing beaches in the south then cycling around Battenbang visiting different local industries and finishing up with the awe inspiring temples of Siem Reep With our most incredible guide “Bun” who worked tirelessly to make sure everyone of us had an enjoyable time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I would have to say that the most inspiring thing about this trip was “Bun” a truly amazing young man.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    “Bun” was caring,funny,enthusiastic,helpful,knowledgable,friendly and very passionate about his wonderful country... He is a credit to Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go and immerse yourself in this wonderful country, yes it’s poor but the people are delightful and the countryside is stunning.... This trip gives you a snippet of so many different parts of Cambodia. We could easily have spent a week in every town.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Clive Marks

    Breathtaking and dumbfounding

    The variety of experiences on this trip is among the highest that I have got from any trip, from the serenity of seeing over a million bats streaming out of their roost cave at dusk to the horrors of a killing field and its torture prison, between which are the mystical majesty of the temples of Angkor. are the grand finale to the trip. Along the way were many encounters of real life in this beautiful country as well as snorkelling in the sea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational is a difficult word to asses for this trip, so let me try some others for you: Horrifying - the sheer inhumanity of what went on in the torture prison and the killing field (I just had to go and find a quiet corner with my own thoughts - our tour leader, Bun, whose parents had been Khmer Rouge child soldiers, came to my rescue as he was the only person to know so intimately what went on here; Humbling - meeting two survivors of the torture camp (I was left dumbstruck); Magnificent - seeing over a million bats suddenly start to stream out of their roost cave and head out to eat enough paddy field pest to save 20,000 tonnes of rice per year (nature at its most beautiful, so shortly after the horrors above); Majestic - the whole temple complex of the Angkor area (some are beautifully carved, some are vast, others are simply serene in their simplicity and tranquility, Ta Prohm not being among the tranquil ones since the Tomb Raider film. Crazy - the traffic in every town and city but this was contrasted by the ability of everyone to get through crowded junctions with in calm chaos. Walking out into the road, in the assured belief that you would not get run over, is a habit that one will have to rapidly get out of back in the UK! Tranquility - so many places were blissfully quiet, even at the fabulous hotel near Sihanoukville, where one had just gone through a vast building site, was so gloriously located on the beach near a fabulous choice of bars and restaurants. This was the first trip over the New Year when I have been able to get to sleep early due to the quiet in our Siem Reap hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bun was a star so let me tell you why: he always gave us fabulously accurate and informative briefings about the following day (when we needed to be anywhere; what we would be doing; what we should be wearing; what we should bring with us) as well as updates throughout the day; he was always able to find suitable restaurants for group dinners and coped well with the assorted dietary requirements of some guests. Finding a restaurant for 17 people at short notice is very difficult in any location at any time of year, let alone over the New Year period. Some evenings, when no group dinner was needed, we would find him joining us for dinner and fabulous conversations always resulted; his charm was endless, even when some guests were less than polite or helpful; we always knew where he was as we could always hear his delightful giggle; when one of the guests developed medical complications from sand fly bites, he was fabulous about ensuring that she got the appropriate medical treatment in the right facility and kept the rest of us informed of her progress; when another was taken ill during a bus trip, he dealt with it so discretely that most people had no idea that there had been any problem; his knowledge of his country is amazing; with his parents having been child-soldiers for the Khmer Rouge we knew that he had a very close connection with that dark phase of his country's recent history - he was amazingly frank about some aspects of his parents' lives and of his own extraordinary upbringing; he is a great testament as to what someone can achieve in their own life through sheer determination and hard work, making us feel very humble at having had the privilege of meeting him (woe betide any snivelling brat who whinges about not having the latest gadget, just because they "want" it!) with my husband having broken five vertebrae and twice having had his pelvis crushed, he is a self-confessed "princess and the pea" when it comes to bed mattresses. Bun phoned ahead to ensure that our last hotel had extra facilities in the room when we arrived, helping to ensure some 3 good nights' sleep.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The mix of locations and experiences gave us such a broad insight into this amazing country within a really short period. Thank you for creating such a fabulous itinerary (we had looked at many but yours came out as the best and, despite a false start, we are pleased that we came with you. The mix-up over our premium economy seats for the return flight was resolved before we left, thank you. As soon as we got on the plane, there was someone in one of our seats and then another person came along claiming that he had just been moved, from economy, into the other seat. That gave us a bit of a surprise but we rapidly clarified to the staff and passengers that we were in our correctly allocated seats and that the first of other two passengers had simply decided to choose his own seat and that the other had been misinformed. It all ended smoothly and we appreciated the window seats so that we could keep an eye out for the aurora borealis. The aurora did not appear but that is the nature of the phenomenon.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Rachel Tapper

    What an adventure!!

    Very cold nights, but incredible scenery and wonderful people made this an amazing adventure and one to be remembered always. Our lead guide, Annish was very attentive, knowledgable and professional and our lead Sherpa, Kami was brilliant too. Exodus hosted a great holiday for myself and my family and we will definitely be travelling with them again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery - just breathtaking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Annish Lama was fabulous. Funny, knowledgeable, professional and helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wrap up warm in Dec..... the days are fine but the nights are almost unbearable at -21c and no hot water or heating!!
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Mira Nair

    Poor hotel food and mixed itinerary

    We only stay at one hotel the entire trip, which we had a very mixed experience of. The room was nice and large , cleaned well each day, a lovely big balcony. Sadly the TV had the capability to connect to the internet and Netflix but this was disabled by the hotel which is a shame. I am very surprised so many reviews of this tour rate the food at the hotel positively. We had high expectations but found it was mediocre at the best of times, and terrible (and made us both sick/get a dodgy stomach) at the worst of times. They clearly designed all the included meals to feed a big group as cheaply as possible — and the health and safety standards were frankly for a first world country. We were invited into the kitchen several times for cooking demonstrations but no one working the kitchen wore hair nets or any other basic hygiene equipment and we weren’t required to wash our hands or wear hair nets or anything else despite standing very much in the centre of the food preparation. It didn’t surprise me that I got ill from the food probably as a result of this. It’s a shame as we only had a couple of ‘free’ meals to experience properly excellent Italian food. The breakfast supposedly starts at 7am but we went down there at 720am and nothing was out yet — we had to wait another 15min to eat after we found the woman managing it and she set it up. Again, pretty poor hygiene standards as she grabbed the bread slices out with bare hands after touching lots of other things in the setup. The breakfast is a very basic continental and we were pretty sick of the very limited selection by the last couple of days. The pastries started out nice and fresh tasting the first day but I think they re-use them multiple days (we saw her take out the same ones from the last day) and they were really hard and disgusting by the last breakfasts. The two owners are also the two chefs and they both made lots of very inappropriate comments during their cooking demonstrations — one said that he needs to beat the pizza dough to get it out of his system so he doesn’t beat his wife. He also said the olive oil needed to be Italian, ‘not Greek or spic stuff.’ They both also made repeated negative comments about vegetarians. The first day lunch is not an included meal but we were forced to buy it at the hotel. I asked the guide if we could go find somewhere else (we had tons of time between getting to the hotel and our orientation walk) and he made it out like we had to go to the hotel restaurant. It was very expensive and small portions and very mediocre quality for what it was. A few days later we had a not included dinner so we went to a very good and very cheap pizza place literally across the road from the hotel. Wish we were given the chance to find this the first day instead of being forced to eat at the hotel (I’ve never been on a tour where we’ve not been given a choice for non included meals for where to eat). I paid 11 euro for a tiny piece of not very good sea bass and an extra four euro for a very lame side salad. The pizza place across the street does you an excellent big pizza for 6-8 euros. The village we were based in was really in the middle of nowhere. The positive of the location is this clearly is a major hub for starting beautiful walks from. But besides that it’s so remote that you feel a bit trapped. A pool is advertised but when we stayed, it wasn’t being cleaned or maintained at all — which they don’t tell you. It was full of rubbish so they clearly just don’t maintain it in winter but Exodus should really make that clear or else saying there’s a pool is false advertising. The itinerary hilights for us were 1) the stunning boat ride along the coast from Amalfi to Capri and 2) the archaeology day we spent doing Herculaneum and Pompeii. Many people told me we would need a full day for Pompeii alone but actually we found 2-3 hours at each site was enough to see the hilights just fine. The biggest itinerary disappointments included the walk of the gods. We did a very lame short version of this where we walked about 2km one way and then turned back and walk back the same way we came. There was endless faffing and unnecessary short breaks on this shortened walk. I also expected we were doing a BBQ lunch back at the hotel afterward as per the trip notes but the lunch instead was a cold lunch with a cheese and salami platter . I would have much preferred doing the full walk of gods and then getting transport back from Positano, because we really didnt benefit from a guide (just the opposite) to do a tiny there and back again chunk of this walk followed by a lunch at the hotel and nothing to do afterwards. This entire day again felt like false advertising from the trip notes. The first three days (Capri, Pompeii, Amalfi and Positano) felt like full days and the last two non-free days felt very much like half days (Ravello was very pretty but not enough for a day).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lovely countryside

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Mira for her feedback, although we are very sorry that some aspects of this trip and the accommodation fell below her expectations. We have been using the Hotel Due Torri for around 20 years and the feedback we usually receive about it is positive; in 2019 the hotel catered for approximately 1700 Exodus clients. The hotel has replaced the old televisions with smart TVs which have over 100 foreign channels, mostly in English. Whilst we were very sorry that Mira was not impressed with the food on this trip, we feel it pertinent to mention that other members of Mira’s group who privately completed Holiday Evaluation Forms (HEFs), rated the food on this trip as ‘excellent’. The breakfast buffet includes cheese, ham, white and brown sliced bread, yoghurt, fresh boiled eggs, muesli, popped rice and cereal alternatives, fresh fruit, jam and honey, plus dairy free alternatives, fresh coffee and cappuccino and freshly squeezed orange juice. The kitchen at the hotel follows rigorous hygiene standards when it comes to food preparation; staff wear professional clothes and hats/hair net as needed and clients who are selected to help with the cooking demonstrations are given an apron and a hat/hair net and are asked to wash their hands before touching the food. We regret that Mira was not aware that the hotel pool would not be open at the time of year that she visited; this pool is usually open from mid-April to mid-October, depending on weather, and we have now included this information in our trip notes. Whilst we are sorry that Mira was disappointed with the location of the hotel, and aspects of the staffing and itinerary, all members of her group who privately completed HEFs rated the accommodation, itinerary, staff members as ‘excellent’, and rated their overall trip experience as 5 out of a possible 5. We appreciate that everyone’s experience is different and we regret Mira’s feedback, but because, as of January 2020, the 78 people who have left reviews of our Highlights of the Amalfi Coast tour on our website have awarded it an overall rating of 4.6 out of a possible 5, we are confident that this trip is running in line with our expectations. Marta Marinelli – Product Manager

  • Reviewed January 2020
    Stephanie Scollard

    Jordan loves you!

    This was a fantastic trip. I loved Jordan. Ibrahim, the Guide, was excellent and had everything perfectly organised. The food was amazing, and hotels were nice. Petra was unforgettable. Hiking boots are a good idea. The weather was hot in the middle of the day and quite cold at the beginning and end of the day. (T-shirts, with lots of layers, and a coat required, for December trips.) I have done several trips with Exodus and would thoroughly recommend this one.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim is lovely.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take hiking boots.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Anne Macintosh

    Amazing

    What a fantastic walking trip - beautiful scenery, well organised and varied walks, and enhanced by a lovely group of fellow-walkers. Eduardo is a first class guide, and manages to accommodate everybody's abilities. This was the Grade 5 level walk, which was quite challenging towards the end of the week, mainly due to the unseasonably hot weather.. But so rewarding. My first trip with Exodus. Can't wait to book the next one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit on the last day of the trip - higher than Ben Nevis and in 28 degrees heat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First rate leader, so proud of his Mallorcan roots. Full of interesting anecdotes, and lots of historical facts.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Bryan Mason

    Fabulous sights from the Ancient World and a chance to glimpse modern Egypt

    Brilliant glimpses into the ancient world with access to many fantastic sights. As with most Exodus trips it is often full on with some early starts, but these do pay dividends. The tour party, at 20. was probably too big as you travel as fast as the slowest person on the trip. Accommodation was mostly good with a couple of more modest places, but locations were always excellent. I personally could have done without the trip to Alexandria which didn't compare to having had more time in the amazing Cairo museum.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Ancient world with amazing sights and fantastic art from a former civilisation. The wonder grew with each sight, culminating in Luxor with the Valley of the Kings and then the jaw dropping Karnak Temple. However, the food walk tour through modern Cairo was exciting and allowed us to see real life in this incredibly huge and vibrant city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew was excellent and maintained a high level of excitement and provided expert knowledge on the world of Ancient Egypt as well as more modern developments. He was fun and always available. We felt safe and supported throughout the whole trip, whether that was around provision of water and hygenic food to how to behave in public.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Forget any fears about safety and embrace the culture of modern Egypt . You will be rewarded with sights that are out of this world, ranging from the Pyriamids at Giza to the Rameses temple at Abu Simbel to the magnificence of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The leisurely ride around the Nile by felucca on arrival at Aswan was magical, and enhanced by fabulous food. The cruise up the Nile was extremely comfortable and allowed us all to really relax while watching the world go by and waiting for the next ancient site to appear.