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

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178 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2014
    jane stringfellow

    Walking In Tuscany (on a challenging week's trip)

    We had a fantastic time. Everything was well organised, so pick up from the airport, and transfer to the accommodation were easy. The brochure had described things well, so it had given us an accurate idea of the holiday. The family run accommodation was charming, with excellent meals provided. The walking was everything we hoped for, and more, with our guide making decisions about where to go each day based on weather conditions, and to show us a variety of terrain, so that we felt we got the best combination of walks possible. There was a short minibus ride each day to the start of the walk, and then back at the end of the day, and a packed lunch was provided each day. As it was one of the 'challenging weeks' we made maximum use of daytime hours to be out walking, so we didn't spend much time back at the farmhouse.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying one night in the mountain refuge, and the added bonus of wandering out from there in the evening and seeing and hearing red deer on the slopes at the edge of the tree lines. Each days arrival at the summit of wherever we were walking, and the spectacular views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We thought our group leader Sara Bull was fantastic. She has a wealth of knowledge and skills in leading and organising, and she was absolutely committed to making sure we all had the best time possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Give Exodus a go. It was the first time we had been with Exodus, and it has wet our appetite for more. If you are unsure about any details of the trip, or have anything you would like to check in more detail beforehand, they will be happy to answer your questions, and to advise you.
  • Reviewed October 2014

    A great week

    I went on a challenging grade week and it lived up to the bill. Long walks across constantly changing terrain with temperatures changing just as quick. Really enjoyed the challenge - forests, grasslands, rocky terrain, scrambling - it had it all and there was never a dull moment, all the while I felt completely safe in the hands of fantastic guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Heading back towards the minibus after 2 days of hard walking up peaks and along ridges and an overnight stay at a Refuge just as the sun was setting. The golden light shining across the mountains was pretty special for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull is an amazing group leader and an unforgettable character. Vastly experienced, knows the region very well, and is always funny and entertaining with many tales from her many adventures. She has a genuine warmth and works tirelessly to ensure all members of the group regardless of ability have an enjoyable and safe holiday. Her passion for life and nature is very inspiring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the long walks, especially on a challenging week - good footwear is essential. The refuge / hut are quite basic esp. bathroom facilities. Remember, there are no toilets or showers up the mountains.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation and food at Braccicorti was great, really homely and a lovely place to chill and relax after a long day. The meals out at local restaurants were also fantastic. I went solo and the group I shared the trip with were a lovely bunch, many laughs and great characters. I spent the free day in Lucca, a lovely unique little city. Overall a fantastic week and highly recommended.
  • Reviewed September 2014

    A breath-taking week in the Tuscan mountains

    I attended a 'challenging week' this September, along with 13 other like-minded, energetic walkers! The walks, arguably the most important part of a walking trip, were very varied with some woodland, some high ridge ways, some scrambles etc, all of which were breath-taking. The days were fairly long - we were generally walking for 6-7 hours daily - but the variety and beauty of the scenery meant I was sad to end each day! The accommodation is fairly simple but the owners are extremely friendly (and very good cooks!). The company was also great; our group got on really well and I couldn't have asked for a more caring, knowledgeable, experienced guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment for me was standing on one of the mountain peaks, at over 2,000 metres (definitely earned lunch!), and having absolutely beautiful views every direction I turned, without other walkers, cars or houses anywhere in sight. There wasn't anywhere else I wanted to be in the world, except in that moment on the mountain top.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Sara Bull, was fantastic. She went out of her way to ensure we all enjoyed the trip, whether this meant adapting the walk depending on weather, lending out her spare gear and keeping up our pecker with a constant biscuit supply! Sara is extremely knowledgeable about the region so has a plethora of suitable walking routes which can be chosen on the day to suit the weather conditions and the needs of the group. She also has a great sense of humour so you will be kept well-entertained. Make sure you ask her about a certain blue face mask!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was a 'challenging week' and lived up to this grade. Although it suited me perfectly, make sure you are prepared for long days of walking, some scrambling and a far amount of ascent. Don't be fooled into thinking you will be rambling around little farms and vineyards, as I had imagined a holiday in Tuscany may offer - this holiday far outdoes this expectation but take it from me, big mountains are involved! Make sure you take all your gear; some days we wore shorts and t-shirts yet others we needed several layers, hat, gloves etc. Lastly, pack your swim wear! The outdoor pool may be on the chilly side in Autumn but it is very refreshing after a day of walking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will definitely be recommending this trip to several friends. I had an absolutely fantastic holiday so if you are considering booking it, go ahead! Thank you for making it a week I will never forgot.
  • Reviewed September 2014
    eric watts

    Walking in Tuscanny

    Excellent Walks, Excellent Accommodation and Excellent Leader

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ascent of Montesombre & stunning views all the way to the sea-? 50Km away

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was quite wonderful and really took the trouble to get the best experience for us - checking the weather by getting up early and driving to vantage points to see what the weather was really like before setting off & adapting walks as necessary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this one, don't be nervous - we had stunning views & did some scrambling - all done safely through good planning & excellent leader

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When we did have an injury it was dealt with quickly & effectively - I am a doctor and rushes back when I heard someone was hurt but our leader had dealt with it by the time I got back - about 5 minutes. Our leader then took the walker who had fallen to hospital and stayed with her through her time there; then she came back and took us out for another walk. An incredible day for her to have done so much so well The injury was not because of a difficult walk - it was a trip in the car park!
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Romaine Byers

    Walking in Tuscany - TDT

    Undoubtedly one of the most memorable Exodus trips we have had - made so primarily by the leader, Sara, the wonderful farmhouse hospitality under "Mama" and the general cohesiveness of the group which blended well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing up to the highest peak of Monte Prado with two dogs!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Sara is an exceptional leader, well qualified in mountain craft, had researched all the walks very well (some of them were down tiny footpaths which could hardly be seen) a great hostess and a good driver!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please join the trip - they would not be disappointed but just a word of caution - we don't think that anybody was aware of the dramatic scenery in this part of Tuscany and therefore to allow for long climbs and descents in magnificent scenery in other words potential travellers should be aware that it can be challenging, especially in wet weather. I would class it as the upper grade of "Moderate".
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Alison Doherty

    Fabulous

    I have not been on an organised walking holiday before, really loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery was beautiful and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I felt a great sense of achievement at the end of each day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was amazing, I can't fault her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I borrowed a walking pole and found it really useful on the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go!
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Salvatore Alaimo

    Beat all my expectations

    This was my first walking holiday and was a little apprehensive ,surpassed my exceptions , the walking was just as explained , looking forward to the get one

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking , meeting new friends

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent , very informative , helpful and made sure we all were having a good time
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Sue Haseltine

    Walking in Tuscany

    This was a great trip! Brilliant food, fantastic guiding, beautiful walking, a lovely place to stay and fabulous mountains to explore. I didn't realise this part of Tuscany was so mountainous and that really surprised me. The walks were gorgeous but be prepared for 600metres or more of ascent most days, sometimes more over varied, sometimes rough terrain. The wide open views at the top though are well worth the climb up!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking across limestone pavement and reaching the summits of some incredibly beautiful mountains. There were lots of views to die for! Being fed a three course meal each night was a real treat and they looked after me brilliantly (I'm a coeliac)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara our group leader was simply amazing! She had a fantastic knowledge of the area and looked after us like we were her family. She always went the extra mile in every way. We all felt like we'd known her for ages. She did so much and seemed to have endless energy which was especially good when we'd run out of ours!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring comfortable stiff-soled walking boots. Walking poles are useful too, especially for the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's lovely!
  • Reviewed August 2014
    Sandor Burslem

    Walking in Tuscany

    Great food, accommodation, people, stunning area, challenging, well led walks, difficult to think of any negatives for this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view of the coast from the top of the 'Dead Man's Stomach'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Well organised and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    August in Tuscany can be wetter than you'd imagine, so don't stint on the waterproofs. It's also well worth making the journey to Lucca on the free day: a beautiful city.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Mary Wood

    Walking in Tuscany

    A great week of walking with a good multi-national group and a great guide. There was variety in seeing something of the region and enjoying different walks. Braccicorti, our home for the week, was just that and helped us to absorb a little of Tuscan living.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably reaching the summit of Mount Prado was the one moment I'd choose, after all it was a challenge walking week. However, there were others: the view from Mount Tambura, the successful baby wild boar rescue and finding the unusual swallowtail butterflies. Also, an enjoyable day in Lucca,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara - amazing! She managed the group well and made everyone feel valued. She was an interesting and special person who could be quite inspirational to listen to. Sara led the walks well, giving some freedom to go on ahead and supported where necessary. She was also able to change the itinerary with the refuge being closed due to late snow and included a couple of evening activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you do one of the challenge weeks, make sure you have appropriate rain gear, walking poles and boots. We all did and needed them. We were not able to use credit cards anywhere, you do need to have Euros. Read the reviews, they are always helpful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was great to have wine with every meal at Braccicorti and to go somewhere where you can drink the water. Not only was it safe to do so, but it did not have a chemical taste, as is often the case in England.