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Popular Walking holiday
Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings.
Why not enjoy some independence, with the flexbility of a self-guided holiday? You'll benefit from our quailty research and support, but you can pace your holidays as you wish.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list
Four days of flat cycling through Italy followed by more hilly terrain on the final two through Slovenia/Croatia. The scenery and little towns we passed through were delightful - we saw many areas you perhaps wouldn't ever have visited in isolation unless touring. Bikes and equipment provided were solid and in good condition.
There were some really exceptional routes via bridges across water, and paths alongside the sea; and some very enjoyable downhill rides after tough climbs in Croatia and Slovenia. A restaurant called Valentino's in Portoguaro who served us, their sole customers, superb food very late on a Monday night, when we feared we'd go to bed hungry because we'd arrived so late!
This was a self guided holiday, so the cycle route guides were effectively our leader! These instructions were mostly very good with maybe two or three lapses. Several groups seemed to miss the Grado turn-off because of ambiguous instructions - and oddly this detour alone was not described in full. We got lost leaving Aquileia, heading at right angles to the correct route despite our best efforts! And a couple of times the instructions lapsed into different languages which provided an extra challenge. We felt the quality of the instructions was a little inconsistent, and less detailed as we left Italy There also seemed to be less arrow-stickers posted. The baggage transfer between hotels was seamless, with no problems at all.
A cycle mirror mounted on your left handlebar will help on the very skinny fast Italian roads where one has to cycle right in the gutter, with cars passing very close. I bought one over there but it wasn't as good as my small tilt-able mirror at home. Padded cycle shorts are essential and I was glad I took an extra padded cycle cover too. A simple compass might have helped when we felt we were very offtrack! We managed with the maps provided but they are not that detailed, and often don't reference the same road names as the instructions do, so if you are concerned about your routefinding abilities, it may be worth bringing your own detailed maps, or downloading a GPS app. I was very bitten badly the first few days by mosquitoes, never usually a problem for me. I was using Jungle formula for Northern Europe, strength 3 until I switched to my friend's stronger version with 50% DEET. It didn't seem to be possible to get very strong repellent in Italy, so recommend you take a killer formula with you. Lastly, we didn't do this but it might have been sensible to check out the first few steps of the next day's route and just get oriented re the right direction to set off, before putting the bikes to bed for the night.
We added two days in Venice at the start of our trip, which I'd recommend.
We were very disappointed with the accommodation generally. The rooms were very cramped, and several were not clean ie bathrooms and dirty socks found in room. Also burns in bed linen that had to be changed! It was our second time to use exodus and previously we were very satisfied with rooms. Some of the directions were difficult to follow I.e. Aroad had been closed and our map did not show this, although some people on the trip were aware of this.
The actual cycling routes were outstanding! The people who were also on our trip were pleasant and good company although we were a self guided tour. The luggage transfer was also great, it was always awaiting us at the hotels with no problems.
Didn't have one
Be fit, as cycling was quite challenging. Don't overpack, as need to be organised each morning to move on
Just disappointed with standard of accommodation, which we felt let us down and did affect the trip as a whole. Instead of looking forward each evening, we were apprehensive as to what was awaiting us! We were particularly disappointed with croation hotel, which was very basic and had no air con. It felt like a converted prison and especially at the end of the trip we were expecting something a little more luxurious. Also bathroom at this hotel was not ideal, rusty pipes and worn looking shower and washing facilities.
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