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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
    Richard Ponting

    A very enjoyable trip

    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip "Discover the Baltics". Our Exodus Guide was excellent and each of the specialist guides we had in the various cities and castles were also good. Transport was reliable and comfortable without being luxurious. We noted some members of our group were critical of some of the hotel accomodation, but most of the hotels offered an optional upgrade at very reasonable extra cost and we took advantage of this on one two occasions as my wife is a very light sleeper. We were also recommended some excellent restaurants for evening meals which took the risk out of looking for one ourselves. Lunch venues were organised by a guide in advance and were generally good value and carried the local foods and snacks. Overall we thought the trip was very good value for money and would recommend it to friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gaining an understanding of the turbulent history of three counties which have all been occupied by and over-run by foreign forces on many occasions over the last 1000 years. We fully understood why the the locals Celebrated 100yr Indépendance Day in Cesis with traditional music, songs and dancing on Sat 21st June. Joining in the Midsummer celebrations on the river front in Riga on Sunday 22nd June. One big street party with local entertainment, foods and beverages. Brilliant! Sense of awe when visiting some Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches. Magnificent!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mindaygus Jucius is an excellent guide, he is very knowledgable about the countries we visited and has excellent language skills including English. He has a good sense of humour and is also is very patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check with the hotels you are going to be staying in if you are concerned about the facilities that will be available to you. If upgrades are available you may want to consider it. Bear in mind that you will not be spending a lot of time in the rooms as the programme is fairly comprehensive and what free time you will have will probably be spent walking around the towns and cities you are staying in. You will be undertaking city tours of 3 hrs or so and much of the time you will be walking on cobbled streets. Appropriate comfortable footwear is essential. A reasonable level of mobility will be required as some of the old cities are built on hills and you will encounter stairs in some cases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dealing with the Exodus office staff when booking and adding an extra day's accomodation at the beginning and end of our tour was handled very well.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Ray Tweedale

    Great tour! Shame about some of the hotels.

    Well organised and varied tour with an excellent guide. Unfortunately our hotel in Tallinn (Go Shnelli) was as good as on the train station platform. As there was no air conditioning we had to have the window open, so the noise and fumes were bad. Fine when the trains finished at 11:30. The hotel in Riga (Konventa Seta) was very centrally located, which was good, but our room (005) was so dark, as the window faced an apartment block. OK, I suppose, if you’re out till really late at night. Only one of the hotels used had coffee and tea facilities in the room. Apart from this we thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trakai castle on the lake; Tallinn old Town; Riga’s Arte Nouveau buildings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like tea and coffee, take a travel kettle.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    marion buchan

    AVV discover the Baltics (121)

    I really enjoyed the trip, but had problems hearing some of the guides as we were sometimes in crowded areas. It would be a good idea if we were furnished with audio aids so that we could look at what was being described rather than trying to catch up with the guide the whole time. This really spoilt a very good trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Palmse Manor.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jolata was an excellent group leader and spent time considering our every needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take warm clothes as the weather can be unpredictable even in June/July.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Robert Strudwick

    Discovering the Baltic Countries

    Well organised, our guide Migle was excellent with good knowledge and well motivated. Quite a busy schedule, some of the hotels were a bit quirky but that added to the appeal for me. Loads of architecture to take in, and heaps of cultural things to learn about, being completely new to these countries I was fascinated by the history, and the differences between these three countries

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cold war missile bunker and the KGB museum were a lesson about how much effect the Soviet occupation had on these countries, and listening to the guide (and a guide who joined our group to learn the ropes) tell about life under the Soviets as they both grew up in that period.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, to be recommended

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its quite a busy trip and covers lot of ground - make sure you have insect repellant, although not bothered much the walks in the parks are where you are most likely to be bitten.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Deborah Terry

    Excellenttrip

    This was a well-organised trip which gave a good overview of the three Baltic states. It was enhanced by nonstop hot sunny weather and a large but lovely group of mainly very experienced Exodus travellers. The cities were all very different, and the countryside and coastal visits all interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is an odd question, but what made the trip interesting was the contrast between the cities, countryside and coast. It was good when we found places to eat serving something other than the ubiquitous pork and potatoes. Wonderful soft fruit was available everywhere, and in all three cities the local markets are highly recommended. It was good to have plenty of free time to explore.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Migle was simply excellent - humorous and very well-organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I booked my own flights and added an extra day in Tallin at the start and two in Helsinki at the end. In practice Helsinki would work better at the start as one could then get the ferry across to Tallin. Oh, and take a universal basin plug!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    At 19, this was the largest Exodus group I’d ever travelled with. Fortunately it worked out ok as everyone was lovely, good at being on time etc, but it meant that outside the group stuff we all tended to do things on our own. This suited me but others might not have liked it. All the hotels were fine, but the Europa City was c.35 mins walk into the centre of Vilnius which was really too far.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    David Stafford

    Discover the Baltics

    This was a holiday with a good range of different experiences and a chance to visit three countries of which I did not have any prior knowledge . The history and architecture of the countries was of particular interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visit to the cold war missile base and the Curonian spit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Migle was great fun and very knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for any weather conditions.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Anne Mathas

    Wonderful experience

    This tour gave an overall look at the history, cities, castles and country areas of the 3 countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights it is hard to pick just one. However, the tour of the Cold War Museum is memorable. Memorable not inspirational, as that was such a frightening time in recent history and frightening to think we have not learnt from it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader had an excellent knowledge and love of the history and culture of the Baltics. Vaida was very well organised, friendly, helpful and nothing was too much trouble for her

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The free time to explore further in different cities after having done a walking tour with the group is very valuable as each of us has different interests

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Vaida, our guide, is young and enthusiastic and encourages group members to enjoy all opportunities
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Atashi Mandal

    Busy but enlightening

    Great trip with a wide variety of destinations, history and architecture. Excellent food and tasty honey liquors!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riga and Vilnius

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Migle was very organized and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a busy trip with lots of "pack and go", so just be prepared for that. The trip is not for those who are particularly adventurous or active. Book an extra day in Vilnius, as time is limited there on the tour.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Andrew Goff

    Brilliant Trip

    This is a well designed trip giving an excellent overview of all three Baltic states. This not only included the capital cities but other towns and much countryside. We were given expert led tours of all the cities that we visited but time was then allowed for us to wander on our own to explore or revisit sites. But this is much more than just a city tour. We also visited numerous other sites, both natural and man made including museums that record the turbulent history of these countries. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way that these countries have come together and shaken off the horrors of the past. Only 30 years since they became independent of the Soviet Union yet they feel like fully developed European countries. The roads are excellent, the hotels comfortable and we ate some fabulous meals, both traditional and world wide. And so clean - barely any litter at all. Before the trip I imagined these countries might be a bit grim and Soviet-like still. Absolutely none of it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had an excellent group leader. Vaida travelled with us the whole way, facilitating tours, hotels and meals. Occasionally she would conduct the tours herself, particularly when we got to her native Lithuania.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a full on trip. There are some early starts in order to cover the miles. The tours involve quite a lot of walking (on some pretty bumpy cobbled streets in the old towns) and standing. Some of the older buildings involve climbing up steep, tight staircases though these are optional. The weather was exactly like the UK.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Ross Pezzack

    Explore and discover the Baltics

    I enjoyed discovering an area of Europe I knew little about. Visiting many areas of all 3 countries. Guide well organized and itinerary good. Only problems were Tallin hotel (hot weather but no AC and some rooms no windows to open) and lunch dinner stops sometimes very slow service. Hotels in good locations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    History of all 3 countries.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Organized, able to express local passion for small countries surrounded by larger powers. Very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We flew into Helsinki and took ferry to Tallin so we got a quick Finland visit. Ferry docks within walking distance of hotel.
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