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

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32 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2015
    Rosalyn Craig

    Camino De Santiago

    We had a great trip, our guide Jose was very helpful and patient. The timing was well planned between am and pm walks for the most part. We found that an hour lunch was too long as my joints would become a little stiff, 30 minutes was more appropriate for me. Our walking group was not well matched, we could have reached our destination much earlier in the day and would have had time to explore the local area but most days we arrived between 4 and 5 and it did not provide enough time to have a look around.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was reaching Santiago for sure. Seeing all the other pilgrims celebrating their achievement as well as our group was awesome. It was humbling to see people with disabilities struggle through the walk. It was a little disappointing walking through a built up area to reach the cathedral. I missed the pilgrim blessing as I didn't know that we could just show our passports and gain entrance to the cathedral. We were behind a large line up and just gave up our spot.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was very helpful and very patient. He made sure that he spent time with all of the people in our group. He encouraged us to walk together as a group. He had a good sense of humor.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please have your group leader arrange for your pilgrim's passports to be handed in as a group to avoid 16 people waiting in line for their certificate. I was at the pilgrim's office for 7.30 am in the morning for the 8 opening and it still took me an hour for my certificate, later we found that our guide could have had us sign a document and hand in our passports as a group and then one person could have simply picked them up without waiting. The process described is very seamless and time efficient.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We loved travelling with Exodus and will do so in the future, we met many great people. I would like to suggest a little more detail on physical requirements for the walk in order to assist people reviewing the trek to be able to understand the expectations and be able to match their physical ability to the walk requirements.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Ewa Krystek

    Camino de Santiago Trek

    What a lovely walking holiday! I enjoyed the beautiful gentle scenery, abundance of wild flowers, the history, the food, wine, meeting people from other countries, the peace of the countryside, the little places we passed through. We were lucky with the weather. Hot but manageable with well planned breaks in little cafes and restaurants so we didn't have to carry too much. Accommodation was better than I thought it would be. Mainly modern even if simple hotels. We were well looked after by our friendly and conscientious guide Jose who had to deal with a group with mixed walking experience and ability. As we neared S de C ,the trek got busier but not as much as I thought it would and it wasn't at all commercialised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being struck by the fact that we were treading in the footsteps of pilgrims through the ages. That these were ancient routes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Manuel was determined that we would ALL finish the trek and enter Santiago together and enjoy the whole experience because it WAS meant to be a holiday. He was very conscientious, friendly and diplomatically dealt with our various problems such as blisters, pace and stamina. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the region. Organised our snack, lunch and evening breaks. Kept checking that we were coping with the distances walked.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you spent time getting used to regular long walks before you go. You will spent a lot of time on your feet in between breaks and the pace is reasonably fast. Take a couple of pairs of light walking boots ,walking shoes or good trainers to change into so that you don't wear the same footwear everyday. Tackle any discomfort STRAIGHT AWAY. One of our group lost a small toenail by the 2nd day and had 12 blisters by the 3rd! Changing socks at lunch-time was also a good idea.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It may be the low-level end of The Camino but I it was still an achievement to walk the last 125 km. I think most of felt quite emotional when we arrived in front of the Cathedral and realised that we had reached our destination and would soon be saying goodbye to one another. I would recommend it as a lovely trek to do with a group of friends.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Arthur Caves

    A Great Way to Walk the Way

    An excellent opportunity to walk the Camiño de Santiago in relative comfort, enjoying the surprisingly varied and striking scenery of one of Spain's less visited (by the English) areas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in to Santiago with the group, surrounded by other fellow pilgrims.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Saint José, who kept us in wine from Samos to Santiago made the trip that much more enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    30km is as far, if not further, than it sounds and depending on your experience of walking in hot weather a light walking shoe or robust sandal might be preferable to full boots.
  • Reviewed June 2015

    Camino de Santiago

    I have always heard people talking about the Camino de Santiago as something very special and spiritual. After doing it myself I can only confirm that everything they say about it is absolutely true. It was very nice to walk and chat with the group and get to know other walkers along the way. Such a great experience!! Buen Camino!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Santiago de Compostela was the highlight of the week for me and sharing the moment with the rest of the group was amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    José was a great trip companion and leader. He was fun and professional at the same time,and always ready to help us throughout the Camino.
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Doris Birmingham

    Camino de Santiago Trek

    This was a very well-organized trek led by Jose, a lively, knowledgeable, and attentive guide. The accommodations were simple, but certainly adequate; the food was superb; and the trek itself beautiful in a quiet way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I doubt I'd describe any moment as "inspirational;" it was overall just a pleasant experience. I did like meeting other pilgrims, some of whom were walking the Camino alone. It is obvious that the experiences they were having were much richer and perhaps more inspirational than can be had trekking with a group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I can only give Jose the highest praise. He was fun, informed, sociable, and very concerned about the welfare of his group. I fell (in a cafe, not on the Camino !!!) and broke my pelvis four days into the walk, and although there was nothing to be done but to drop out and rest, he did his best to see to my comfort for the rest of the tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This walk is not particularly difficult, but the pace is quite fast, and there really isn't time to stop for short periods to savor the gorgeous views or to take photographs. The tour is rated "moderate" and asks for a"reasonable degree of fitness". Such wording is a bit too vague. I am over 70 and am very fit for my age, but as I said, I was a slower walker than most people in the group and always felt a little pushed to increase my pace.
  • Reviewed July 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TREK

    A very well-organised trip with an excellent guide.  Good company and plenty of laughs!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing people of all ages doing this pilgrimage, some not for the first time and some not very able.Finding volunteers in little old churches willingly sitting stamping Pilgrim Passports for hours.The peace of Samos Monastery. Seeing storks nesting on a pole in someone's garden!Seeing the famous Botafumeiro (censer) in action at Santiago Cathedral at the Pilgrim's Mass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Manuel Garcia was brilliant - I cannot improve on the accolades given by a previous reviewer.We missed him once he left us but he left everything in order for the rest of our stay.When he knew I was learning Spanish he made a point of asking me the time etc to help me practise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do be very sure of your ability to walk some very long days back to back and be sure of your footwear (including socks).  The walking is not difficult but the long days make it hard on the feet. Pack blister kits etc just in case. Don't panic once your leader has gone - Jose gave us all the contact numbers we might need on a slip of paper.If you don't speak Spanish learn some basics before you go - they will be useful and much appreciated.  This is not the Costa del anywhere!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My sister and I are both vegetarians and this is a sea-food region!  The salads and vegetables are fantastic and there's never any problem if you eat omelettes.  Be prepared to avert your eyes in the "pulperias" (octopus restaurants!) and don't ask for a "mixed salad" as it will contain tuna.Get into the spirit of collecting your passport stamps - it's great fun seeing the spaces fill up.  When you go to the Pilgrim Office in Santiago to get your certificate try lunchtime - it's much less busy.Don't expect to see anything inspiring from Monte de Gozo - there's a whole modern town to trek though these days before you get anywhere near the cathedral.  This was the only disappointment of the trip.
  • Reviewed July 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TREK

    Superb holiday largely due to the hard work and care from the guide Jose.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arrival in the Cathedral at Santiago was very moving, particularly the pilgrims service after the reflection of 8 days walking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, would have been hard to beat

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go if you get the chance but read the pilgrimage book by paulo coelho before you travel

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed July 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TREK

    A lovely week's walking in the very green scenery of Northern Spain.  There was a different feeling about this trip as you know you are following in the footsteps of the thousands of people that have walked that route as a pilgrimage since medieval times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The moment when you are standing in front of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostella at the end of the walk.  Also presenting your Pilgrim's passport complete with all it's stamps to get your certificate.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was a brilliant leader who was always cheerful and made sure that every member of the group was happy and comfortable.  He dealt with any situation efficiently and speedily.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Anyone going on this trip should ensure that they have very comfortable walking boots as some of the days are quite long.  Also take some warm clothing as it was chillier than expected when I went (May).  Keep an open mind about eating Octopus - it may be better than you think!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all, an amazing trip that I thoroughly enjoyed.  From the walking and collecting as many different stamps along the way as possible (which made a lovely souvenir at the end) to the time spent in Santiago where we enjoyed some great meals and watched an outdoor concert in front of the cathedral in the evening.
  • Reviewed June 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TREK

    Five and a half days walking across a rather uninspiring part of northwest Spain, better walks in the Brecon Beacons.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing really.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Spanish, excellent and spoke very good English. The advantage of having a native speaker leading the trail is obvious, he was able to advise on places to eat, menus and places to visit (not that there were many) and communicated well with locals and the various restauranteurs and hoteliers that we dealt with. He was always friendly and willing to please. Highly recommended.Jose (our leader) had to leave us on the Friday evening in order to lead another party (of cyclists) along "The Way", this left all day Saturday and Sunday until 1200 hours without a representative. Now, this wasn't really a problem but had anything gone astray, someone had an accident or one of the party had problems with, perhaps, the police, for example, then it could have been. I thought that we had paid for the whole package and that we should have received it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walk is along farm lanes, forestry type tracks and pavements which are hard surfaces and are hard on the feet. One day was just over 20 miles and the next about 20 miles. All the walkers were experienced and most had trouble with feet, joints or muscles.One person had such trouble with his feet that he had to take a taxi 20 miles to see a doctor who, because of the state of his feet, banned him from continuing.I think that the week should be "stretched" by one day to reduce these distances to a more acceptable level and one which would be more comfortable and enjoyable. Whilst "The Way" is a pilgrimage of sorts it should still be enjoyable and fairly relaxed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have used Exodus on a number of occasions and they have been very good, the response from staff has always been quick and informative and honest. Any problems were easily sorted out, my impression of the Exodus represenatives has been very positive and I wouldn't hesitate to use the company in the future. All the arrangements such as flights and transfers have worked well and I would be happy to leave all this to them again. The cost of trips appears to me to be reasonable considering that I am generally paying for a "different" holiday with a dedicated leader and prearranged transport.In my mind the trouble with this "holiday" is that it was understated (or should it be overstated?), the terrain was neither intesting nor inspiring in the same way as the Inca Trail or South Africa. Before leaving I plonked the "The Way" onto Google Earth and reallised that I had made a mistake! I think that I contributed to my own demise!But finally, I have the highest regard for the many pilgrims that I met who had walked all the way from France, some young, some elderly, some with injuries, some hobbling, some being helped - but all cheerful.Would I do it again - definitely NOT!
  • Reviewed May 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TREK

    An inspiring walk through rolling countryside with a great group and an excellent leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The achievement of reaching Satiago de Compostela and receiving my certificate in Latin!!  Also, we attended high mass and saw the Botafumeiro being swung in the Cathedral trancept.  Quite something.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Garcia was an excellent tour leader.  Always smiling, always helpful, he took all our group photos for us, ordered all our food and drink and sometimes served it in the many restaurants and cafes along the way.  Dealt efficiently and promptly with an injury one of our number received and spoke very good English.  I have had some good leaders on previous Exodus tours, but nobody better than Jose.  In many ways he made the holiday.  Ten out of ten.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The weather can be changeable so bring a range of clothing.  Energy bars and snacks can be difficult to come by so make sure you take some with you and bring at least one pair of well worn in walking boots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make the most of the time in Santiago de Compostela.  It is a beautiful olld city with loads of street artists and performers.  Look out for Tuna de Derecho in the Cathedral square most nights.