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

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42 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2019
    Sally Davies

    Highly recommended

    From the arrival on day one until the final departure this trip was so well run I felt totally taken care of from the cycling including the detailed briefings and advice, to the organisation of accommodation and the group meals. What a great bunch of fellow cyclists and the two guides, Jon and David, did an excellent job looking after us (and our bikes!). The cycling was challenging but no-one was made to feel inadequate if they finished later than others (that was often me!!) - everyone helped and encouraged each other and the guides kept an eye on everyone to ensure we were all safe at all times. There was plenty of time to stop and take breaks and refreshments which helped with managing some of the longer trip days. The rest day in Siena was fabulous - what a great place to spend a day! I cannot speak highly enough of this trip - it's my first group cycling adventure but I am sure it will not be my last although I am now worried about finding something that will live up to the high standard set by this trip!! If you are thinking about doing this trip and are up for doing a few hills in return for some great views and great food, I would highly recommend you give this a go!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We all managed to complete a 9k hill climb with the help and encouragement of the leaders - it was a slog but rewarded by the best gelato at the top! I also learned a bit more about how to use my gears and pace myself up a hill and can't wait to put my newfound experience into practice in future. However, there were many inspirational moments I could think off but mainly what a great bunch of people were on the trip - we were a diverse bunch in terms of age and background but everyone just got on really well and that helped to make the holiday into an unforgettable experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders, Jon and David, were fantastic. They shared the work both cycling with us and providing van back up, looked after the bikes, provided on-the-road guidance and advice, organised the meals and ensured everyone felt included in all the activities - they even organised a small celebration as one group member was celebrating a birthday during the week. They both had great local knowledge so could explain much about the areas we were travelling through and points of interest. They both worked extremely hard for long days with little time to themselves but remained enthusiastic and engaged the whole time even though they do this week in, week out it never showed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are thinking about this sort of trip, particularly if you are planning to go "solo", I would highly recommend it. Make sure you are fit for the holiday and you will get out of it what you put in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this holiday to anyone; my experience of the whole Exodus process and holiday is excellent and if other trips are to the same standard I would have no hesitation in going with them again.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    kitty odell

    Fantastic cycling in stunning Tuscany

    A well organised wonderful cycling tour with a perfect balance of cappuccino/gelato and lunch breaks, often in charming ancient hill towns where there was always time for a bit of exploring too. I've fallen in love with Tuscany and Chianti, the scenery is simply stunning, the route was fantastic with a great mix of some challenging hills, fabulous descents.... and even some flat bits too amidst the rolling hills! Nice small group and decent hotels too!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every moment that I was on the bike!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David and "Vandy" were both great!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be fit!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The breakfast at the Classic Hotel in Florence was truly dismal. Heyho, everything else was great...but you did ask!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Andrew Clark

    Great cycling in exquisite surroundings

    Terrific trip. Just the right combination of decent cycling with culture, food and relaxation. A great opportunity to combine seeing Siena and Florence with some moderate exertion.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the long climb up to Castellina was very satisfying. A close second was the view of Florence on first arrival in the city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was good - very knowledgeable, well organised, pleasant and approachable. He ran the trip very well and was always helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need a reasonable level of fitness to do this and some experience of cycling. But it's not all about cycling - there's free time to enjoy Siena, which was a highlight, and the guides take you to some decent restaurants too.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Stephen Protheroe

    Scenic cycling tour

    We very much enjoyed the trip. The countryside was beautiful and cycling was challenging enough but was still fun and rewarding. The food was excellent and the tour guide's choice of restaurants was very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Beautiful vineyard covered landscapes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guides Jon and David split the responsibilities for leading the cycling and we found them both to be extremely good - very easy to get on with and knowledgable about the area we were travelling through and made sure everything ran smoothly. We have only praise for them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of how hot it can become in summer. We travelled early June and it was a warm as we would want it to be for an activity holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only criticism was the farmhouse in Castellina in Chianti could benefit from some updating in the rooms/bathrooms.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Keith Woodvine

    Cycling and Chianti

    A well organised cycling holiday with excellent accommodation, encouraged to gel as a group in both cycling and eating experiences and enjoy the wonderful scenery en-route.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably surviving the 25% incline up to the wine tasting experience! Otherwise experiencing the IL CAMPO and walking around the Fort and Garibaldi memorial in Sienna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent leader with good local knowledge and mixing with the whole group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is rated as "Moderate" cycling ability but some of the "undulations" require a good level of fitness, but for encouragement there is usually a gelato reward at the end.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a "no worries" exploring experiences, where you are well looked after from arriving and departing Pisa airport. I particularly enjoyed the arrangement for having 2 night stays through the holiday and not having to pack and depart after breakfast everyday.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alison Fraser

    Falling in love with Tuscany...

    This was my 4th Exodus cycling holiday and they deliver consistently good holidays. Tuscany is absolutely stunning and, combined with fantastic food, wine and gelato, makes a great holiday destination for cyclists. The accommodation on this trip is very good and it is made more relaxing by staying 2 nights in the 3 first hotels with the final night then in Florence.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I wouldn't necessarily talk about inspiration but I did enjoy a glass of chianti classico most lunchtimes and that was certainly a treat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group was very mixed ability and the group leader, Jon, kept everyone safe. However, on previous Exodus trips the leader has given more local knowledge. I didn't get the impression that Jon had a lot of local knowledge, other than cycling knowledge which he has in abundance. He did talk a lot but I felt that this was often at the expense of getting on the road or spending time on route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's stunning - go but do some hill training in advance!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Jennifer Ford

    Amazing adventure!

    This was my first cycling tour and tour with Exodus. I had an amazing experience! The trip was well planned and I feel like it had the prefect balance of cycling, exploring towns on foot and good food. The level of difficulty was more than I thought. I trained in advance, which served me well, but I recommend others do the same, especially if this is your first bike tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of each hill is so rewarding. You definitely earn the views!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Kelly Young

    Awesome trip!

    Fantastic trip, with Fantastic people! This was my first Exodus cycle trip, and for a Level 3, not only myself, but many others in the group found it a very challenging trip. The roads in this part of Italy, is either "up" or "down"...so with the weather being over 30C each day, each day was a bit challenging. I would definitely rate this trip higher than "Moderate", but having said that I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery, Tuscan hills, the food & wine, and all that Tuscany offers! Can't wait to do my next Exodus Cycle tour!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our group was so much fun! We all shared similar ages and cycle abilities, some more than others, but getting together each evening for dinner was a highlight! Love to cycle with this group again!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both David & Rebecca (Becks) were awesome leaders! They kept the team together, and always booked some awesome local restaurant for all of us to dine together. They always prepared us for the next 10-15kms, so breaking up the day with stops and lunch breaks along the way, made it for great cycle days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This cycle trip is not for the "light hearted"! You are climbing many long hills, and cycling down many windy roads. I would say recommend doing long steep hill rides before you venture to Tuscany! Having said that, it is so beautiful and rewarding...so definitely go, but make sure you get those hill cycles in before you go on this trip!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Peter Howe

    Great trip, difficulty rating a bit misleading

    Our second trip with Exodus. A really good group of cyclists to ride and socialize with. Leaders Becs and David did a great job supporting us and handling both the expected and the unexpected. The scenery was spectacular. Having been on another level 3 tour, I would suggest that this one was significantly more difficult. I think Exodus needs to make some changes in the difficulty ranking system. I would be skeptical about the ranking and would want to talk to someone who had been on the trip I was considering. That said, we would do it again!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Besides making it to the top of some longer hills, as well as one 25% grade, we had one cyclist crash and damage his shoulder and ribs. I was impressed with my fellow travellers who looked after him until the leaders arrived on scene. I was impressed with Becs and David for the way they looked after him, his partner and still managed to look after all of us. Most of all, I was impressed with the injured cyclist and his partner. He stayed with us, rode the van, came out to dinner and kept participating despite what must have been a lot of pain. She rode the rest of the trip with us. I thought they both showed determination and toughness and it was great having them on the trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David and Becs did a great job of handling our group and dealing with issues that arose. Lots of energy, a few necessary untruths (undulating), great support and good fun. As did our last trip leader, I think they went above and beyond in supporting our vacation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be skeptical of the difficulty rankings and try to find someone you can talk to about the trip and the difficulty. This one, Exodus got wrong.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes were adequate for what we were doing. Given the heat we experienced and the fact that we saw the van often, but not always, I would really like to see a second water bottle cage on each bike. The cost is very little, but being able to have a second bottle with you is important anytime, but especially in temps over 30 degrees. On our last trip, each bike had a pannier for carrying small items. These bikes had nothing. I suggest a small handlebar bag to be able to carry, for instance, some sunscreen and a wallet, maybe a few other items. The van was gone one morning for repairs and we carried a knapsack which would not be my choice. We did get frequent meet ups with the van, but sometimes not when it was needed and wanted. All in all, we like this company and the tours we have been on and hope to go on more.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Simon Office

    Siena cycle trip review

    organised and well supported cycle trip through beautiful tuscan countryside with visits to Florence and siena.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not one specific thing but generally enjoyed the challenge of the cycling with a nice group of people coupled with the rewards of the beautiful scenery, plus nice food and wine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both group leaders were professional, organised, and supportive of individuals and the needs of the whole group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This tour is on the harder side of moderate rating taking in to account the height gain coupled with the heat at certain times of the year. Travellers will need a good level of fitness for this tour to complete the hill sections.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I suffered an injury on this tour and was well supported by the group leaders when I had the accident and afterwards.