Turtle, Ecuador

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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    colin whitelock

    Good but has potential drawbacks

    Be honest with your physical abilities - this is advertised as a '6' (Challenging/tough)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ascent of My Rysy - good mix of walk & scamble

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good at ensuring group member interests came 1st and were looked after. Coped well considering the large group size (16 people) and their varied demands

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maximum group size of 16 could be uncomfortably large. With large groups there is the potential for a wider range of abilities/pace This is an issue when there is only 1 leader as the group has to stay together.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unsure how the trip grading is calculated. The Exodus trip TVB 'High Peaks of Bulgaria' is rated as a '5' and for me it felt more demanding than this one.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Robin Hubbard

    ?

    Excellent -but group should have been smaller.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summit of Ryzy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Great fun - knowledgable - extremely helpful. Maybe a bit controlling but group was large with varying abilities

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough and have a head for heights

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Optimal group size 8-12. 16 too large. My only real criticism. Otherwise route activities, huts and leader were all excellent
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Charlie Miller

    This is not for the faint hearted

    Getting out of Vienna went pretty smooth for me ( but not for everyone ) and the run up to Bratislava went well apart from terrible wind and rain, Hotel was good but didn't let you check in until exactly 3pm ( on the dot ) The next few days you dotted back and fore between Slovakia & Hungry and you were never really sure where you were, Hotels all a good standard but all the people on trip in different hotels which is a pain, getting in and out of some the places wasn't easy and you need to be good at map reading as instructions very confusing. Day 3 i think it was was very much dirt tracks and farm tracks and with all the rain it was mud and lots of it, ( hard going ) there were also sections of main road which are pretty broken up at the edges, you dont spend much time on or near the Danube but there is still lots to see, but no cafes or places to get hot drinks or snacks. This is a lot harder than Passau to Vienna. Please note this is note an Exodus trip and you end up with company euro cycles who were very good

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of lovely places and most of the people are nice, i think Bratislava was high light but weather was just lashing down so hard to say, as weather in Budapest was great but to many people and traffic a nightmare

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not Applicable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are 4, 3 corner hotels in Budapest and the one i had wasn't on the map supplied, Traffic in Budapest a nightmare, hotels pretty good standard and people all very nice, but can be a bit strange.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When you are in Slovakia you can use euros but when you cross the river and end up in hungry they are reluctant to take euros and if they do they give you change in HUF and exchange rate varies from person to person.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Sally Williams

    Magical Tatras

    This was a truly magical week in the High Tatras. So different to the alps, more of a fairytale setting. Apparently this was the best winter they have had in 7 years and we couldn’t have asked for anything better. Loads of snow, blue sky, and although extremely cold you don’t stand still long enough to feel it. If like me, you can’t face a whole week of skiing, then this is a great opportunity to try some different winter activities and really appreciate the scenery and culture in a place that is not spoiled by mass tourism.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The dog sledging was fantastic. It was a fun, yet relaxed experience. The dogs were so friendly, and obviously enjoyed their work, it was a pleasure to meet them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was an inspiration. He obviously enjoys his work and his mountains. It was a real pleasure to meet him, to hear his stories and marvel at his many talents.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vegetarian options are limited but it is possible to make up a meal of starters and sides. We did find a restaurant with a lovely veggie pasta dish but it did get a bit repetitive! Possibly take a little more Polish currency and about €100 less than recommended. There is very little opportunity for gift shopping. The best places are the souvenir shops where you do the cross country or downhill skiing. There is no kettle in the hotel room so if you’d like a hot drink before breakfast (or any other time actually) suggest you pack a travel kettle. And take some tea bags! Don’t expect bars and restaurants like in the alps. The place is very quiet which we enjoyed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The thermal baths were a bit of a disappointment, more like a very busy leisure centre. But it was nice to soak in the warm water following two days of activity, once you’d battled through the crowds. Don’t recommend dinner in the hotel even after the long day out. Better to brave the elements again for a good meal.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Diana Maynard

    Fun way to try out a variety of winter activities

    This trip provided a great introduction to a number of different winter activities at a relaxed pace (the days were very easy - only a few hours' activity a day - with plenty of free time).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering that being nearly 50 doesn't prevent you from learning to downhill ski for the first time! Also that dog sledding is so much more fun that you might think!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dana was both extremely patient and efficient, coming up with alternative solutions when traffic and weather conditions prevented us from even reaching Zakopane for dog sledding. She also dealt with the one injury on our trip effectively. She was also very informative about each day's activities, making sure we knew what to bring and wear, and was very sociable. Nothing was too much trouble for her to arrange or advise on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a selection of warm clothing with a number of layers - some activities you'll get hot very quickly and might only need a base layer and thin jacket, while others needed as many layers as you could get on! The evenings are long and can be boring, as can some of the bus rides, so bring plenty of books etc. Don't be scared to try new activities even if you're an old codger - we all managed everything, with varying degrees of success but an awful lot of fun! Contrary to the advice I received from the Exodus "expert", do bring proper ski trousers as otherwise you may not get your normal waterproof trousers over your ski boots (I could not!). However, a normal waterproof jacket will be OK if you have enough layers, so you don't necessarily need a proper ski jacket, though it's useful if you do have one. Also, do consider spending a couple of days in Krakow before/after the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Due to not making it to Zakopane, we went dogsledding in Slovakia instead on our rest day, and in my opinion this is a much better idea. Also, don't go over New Year, as everything is extremely busy, including the roads, and it's a pain.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Clifford Kienlen

    Prague to Budapest

    Exceeded expectations. Great guides, driver and fellow cyclists. Tour is an interesting combination of rural and great cities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our last meal as a group. Good companions

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent combination of cycling know how and narrative about the history of what we were seeing which included his experience of living under communism. I think he should make sure group is engaged before giving a briefing. Saying “ Gather around the map. I want you all to know where we are going.” once or twice would make all the difference. As well, if possible face people on the bus when relating some interesting history or giving some crucial information. Otherwise some miss key parts of what is being said.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Kick back and enjoy.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Phil Goyen

    Prague to Budapest ride

    Great ride through the rolling hills of Czech of republic and on through to Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Many interesting stops along the way. Glad I did some training before the ride as we had some windy days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding along the old Iron curtain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter and Dana were great. I required my brakes to be switched to accommodate my hands and even though I had some bike problems and switched three different bikes, Peter gladly switched for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training, will make the trip much more enjoyable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thought everything was well organized but personally would have had shorter stops along the day and arrived at the towns earlier to enjoy more of the towns.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Tom Roberts

    Highlights of Central Europe

    This was a fast paced tour that covered features and cities of 5 countries. I found this tour to be very interesting and gave one an insite into this part of the world. I would recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard question, but I would say the time we spent Vienna. The history ,as we all know, is amazing and it was great to see firsthand thus very beautiful city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I found Peter to be excellent. He tried very hard to make our holiday as memorable as possible. Being a native to Slovakia, his knowledge of the history of the countries we visited was first rate. He was most helpful to everybody in this tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fast past tour covering some of the highlights of 5 Central European countries. This tour will provide you with a broad brush look and knowledge of these countries . In my case it has given me a reason for visiting some of the cities again to get a greater look at what they have to offer.
  • Reviewed October 2018

    Cycling in four wonderful countries

    This was my second Exodus trip and it was great as the first one. Dana was delightful, always willing to assist you with any request. She was assisted by Lubos. A very good driver and mechanic, always with a smile in his face. We started the trip in the busy city of Prague , after a few days in the city I was so happy to get away. We got to the lovely town of Cesky Krumlov, it was a very relaxing day. After the first day the cycling got more challenging, we cycle through the hilly countryside. It was beautiful but really hilly. I’m not that good at hills since I lived in “FLAT” Florida. All the cities we stop in the Czech Republic were memorable; Trebon, Telc, Mikulov. I will love to visit them again. The tour of the winery in Mikulov, so much fun. The Czech Republic beer and ice cream unforgettable. The cycling tour of the city of Vienna is a most. And in the afternoon go and jump in the Danube. The ride from Vienna to Bratislava was beautiful, a very long relaxing ride.Then we’re in Hungary, time go so fast. Finally the magnificent city of Budapest. Just AMAZING!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On day six on our way from Telc to Mikulov (a very hot day) we stop in a small river and Dana and some of us jumped in the water. It was so hot that we didn’t care. It was fun...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dana was excellent. Since she was the only leader in our group she was always making sure that everybody was accounted for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy your trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Almost all the riders had issues with the bikes, chains coming out. Maybe the Company should consider new bikes.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Liam Curran

    4 capital cities and 3 currencies in just 10 days.

    First few days of cycling are quite difficult as there are a lot of hills. For the rest of the trip the cycling is mostly very easy and flat. You will visit 4 countries and have to get used to managing 3 currencies. Food is fresh and portions are big. Bratislava is by far the smallest capital on the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling from the hotel in Vienna directly to the hotel in Bratislava in a day. Not difficult but very statisfying.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to see Prague go a few days early, as there is not really anytime to sight see on the trip. There are a lot of hills on the first few days. Even though you will say in 3 and 4 start hotels they tend not to have any soap or shampoo in the rooms.
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