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

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69 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2018
    Lorna Peden

    Wonderful scenery, pleasant and safe bike routes and an amazing guide

    Our guide Vaida took us to see a fabulous variety of highlights in both large cities and small villages. The three capital cities - Tallin, Riga and Vilnius all had exceptionally interesting landmarks, historic sites and interesting excursions into areas of the every day lives of the people. Large national forests, small fishing villages and lovely seaside towns provided a pleasant contrast to our days in th3 featured cities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The lunch at the fishing village where the host smoked his own fish, the forest roads with nesting storks and the pretty seaside settlements with families of swans were lovely. The cities offered a glimpse into the history and lives of three very interesting countries. Our guide, Vaida, gave us a wealth of interesting interesting information. She was the most impressive guide we have had in our fifteen years of traveling. She anticipated needs, answered a huge variety of questions, found wonderful restaurants. She was literally at our “beck and call” every moment of the trip - and we were an interesting variety of fourteen cyclists.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make this trip a priority.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The two night stays in most places were a real bonus.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Leslie Edlington

    Longer days than expected.

    The days were much longer than we expected as the ride was graded at 2 which is about right for the type of cycling we experienced. On past trips we have arrived at the hotels between 3 and 5 giving time to shower, wash kit and get out to see around around the city before eating. With some of the transfers being long we often had little time to see the place we were staying in. This resulted in eating late and consequently not getting to bed until late. Much of the cycling is on the flat and on narrow cycling lanes which was a bit boring at times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    With me it was eating smoked perch for my lunch on the beach. A first. Seeing a pied wagtail that was just about all white. Meeting a large primary school party of various ages that were celebrating the end of term with a three day cycling trip. All really enjoying them selves. Meeting the Danish Ambassador to Estonia with her official transport a bike.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vaida was a very good leader. Gave us excellent information especially about the lengths of each day and each leg of cycling. She took us to excellent restaurants and all the food was good to excellent. I particularly liked receiving the maps each day and finding out where we were cycling from and too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can, practice a few 20 milers on flat land.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is meant as constructive criticism. Try to shorten the days on the road to give more time in the towns.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Fides Schwartz

    Beautiful autumn cycling

    Great trip with a wonderful group and just sooo much to see plus lots of great food!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waving to Kaliningrad (Russia) from the lithuanian part of the curonian spit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional, knowledgeable and fun!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book an extra day in Tallinn and Vilnius at the beginning and end of the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be wonderful, if there was a possibility to extend the trip a little bit to include an extra day in Riga.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Lyn Wales

    Baltics Cycling

    Good trip overall for both culture and cycling. You learn a lot about the Baltic countries and their uneasy relationship with Russia. The cycling was mostly flat, which is hard in the legs especially in a head wind. At times their were unavoidable long flat straight stretches on roads which were dull.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the farmhouse with museum on the Gulf of Finland. The location, lunch, and history provided by the owners were all great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vaida was excellent. Knowledgable, helpful, personable and always 'ready, ready'. Even though she was suffering with a sore throat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's colder than you think. Layers!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was brilliant. Had expected heavy dishes, but the restaurants chosen by Vaida gave us an excellent taste of all that the Baltics had to offer.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Jay Bordoloi

    Wonderful first group cycling trip experience!

    The itinerary is accurate. This was my first experience with a group cycling tour and I was a solo traveler. I would say the trip exceeded my expectations because I saw local towns/areas that I would not have normally visited on my own in the country-side, the travel group was a great set of people from all over the world, and the places we visited for food were very tasty and a great sampling of local cuisine. During the visits to capital cities, I learned a lot about the history of various Baltic countries from the medieval to modern era. Overall, I enjoyed the routes we cycled (generally minimal car traffic) as they were in scenic areas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through a small town and the tour guide striking up a conversation with an old lady sitting with her cat. Hearing about the lady's history in the town was fascinating and was something I would not have been able to do, had I been traveling on my own.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our trip leader was a wonderful tour guide. She worked very hard to make sure everyone was having a good time and was clear in her directions for what the itinerary for the day would be. She worked well with our driver to coordinate van support and our safe transportation. In addition, her friendly personality helped facilitate the group getting to know each other.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While the route is very flat, I would say 'leisurely' is not so accurate. As generally the group needs to cover 20-30mi/day and have time for van transfers, there is not so much time for frequent breaks. While the pace is certainly comfortable and doable, 'leisurely' to me implies more frequent stops for photo opportunities or small snacks/picnics during the route. I would rate the trip as a 3 or 4, as 10 days of riding in a row on mostly flat terrain does require some level of effort.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall wonderful trip with comfortable hotels, great restaurant selection, safe and scenic cycling routes, and a very friendly local tour guide!
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Susan Bigmore

    Cycle the Baltics

    It was a fantastic trip, every day was a new adventure. The cycling was varied, and there was a lot of custom made cycle paths, e.g. on the Coronian Spit which consisted of just miles of cycle paths. The hotels were great, the best being the one in the National Park called Palmse Manor, with a stunning lake. The Hotel Braavo in Tallin was probably one not to return to, as they were obviously doing some refurbishments and it was a bit like a "work in progress".

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding out we'd cycled 403 kilometres over 9 days! It was tough sometimes, but it was a challenge and I was glad I did it. Another inspirational moment was going into a Russian Orthodox church in Vilnius and there was some chanting going on, and it really was very unique and special. The food we had during the whole trip was excellent, I couldn't fault it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Minda was a really nice guy and was very encouraging. I was always at the end of the line (out of a group of 16) and sometimes I'd see them disappear into the distance on rides but he would wait for me. I feel that maybe a back-marker might have been useful. When we talked to us in the bus, I was at the back and couldn't hear him that well, a microphone might have been useful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too much luggage and because you're moving on, you never get to unpack your case!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think maybe a non-cycling day in the middle of this holiday would have been nice to just recuperate from the relentless schedule - sometimes we'd have barely half an hour to get ready to go out to dinner. It was all so well organised - it was my first Exodus trip and I'd definitely go on another one.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Peter Pattison

    Cycle the Baltics

    Excellent trip with brilliant tour leader, with surprisingly good weather for the time of year.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Tallin, and the pretty villages as we cycled down the coast around Klaipeda. The Castle at Trakai was lovely as much of the architecture in all the many "Old Towns" that we visited.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vaida Jusaite was just the best in everyway possible,she has lead this trip many times,so knew all about everything and everywhere in detail. Vaida also selected the very best restaurants everywhere that we went, all were excellent and we would have never found them had we travelled independently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For an easy cycling trip without challenging conditions as the roads are very quiet,do try this trip as if you enjoyed it as much as we did, you will be very pleased that you went,especially if you are lucky enought to have Vaida as your tour leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Try it,you will like it.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Ruth Tobey

    Cycle the Baltics

    Just as explained in the brochure enhanced by our wonderful tour leader, Simon. From the fairy-tale castles, westernised beauty of Talinn we cycled through lush forested paths to Riga and the wonderful Old Town of Vilnius. It was eerie actually being in a spot where the Iron Curtain once was and having it brought to mind how close the Russian bear actually lurks. Our guide was able to explain to us the sad history of the Baltic nations on one hand and the resilience of a most beautiful wonderful people on the other. A great group of fellow cyclists led to the enjoyment of delicious food, eclectic B&B s and an amazing culture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Feeling the resilience and hope of such wonderful people in countries historically neglected by the Western democracies. The passion of our tour leader Simon and our wonderful guide, Ira.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Simon, was extraordinary. In all instances he went beyond the call of duty to make everyone feel like a valuable member of our group and as such our group's convivial nature was enhanced. Simon told us wonderful tales of Lithuanian folklore and he even sang for us in his rich voice. Simon took in consideration the weather etc and was ready to alter situations as per daily requirements, if necessary. He went out of his way to find us local tour guides in Riga and Vilnius who passionately (especially in Riga) recounted the history of their country as we toured each country's respective Old Town. Simon was probably the greatest reason the trip was such a success.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even though terrain was definitely leisurely- moderate, the most proficient cyclist of our group admitted the history and positives of the cycle far our weighed the lack of challenge. Nevertheless, we had great fun enjoying the fun a flat our fun cycle on a relatively flat terrain. Go - enjoy the culture, food and history of the Baltic Nations.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of my best trips ever.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Colin McCabe

    Cycle the Baltics, August 2016

    A very enjoyable trip with great weather - we had sunshine every day. The cycling (for a reasonably fit non-cyclist) was manageable and we arrived in towns and cities in time to see some/most of the major sites.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Baltics themselves - each country and their towns and cities are full of history and culture. I'm definitely going back to see more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vaida was brilliant - I arrived a day early and she was there to greet me and some other travellers, and she contacted me a couple of days after the tour ended with my transfer arrangements. She really did go the extra mile to ensure we were all happy and sorted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring bug spray - I was murdered by mozzies. It makes sense to arrive a day early to see Tallinn as there is not enough time on the trip to properly enjoy it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food and hotels were better than I expected.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Neil Neumann

    Cycle the Baltics

    Cycled and toured with a great group of travelers. Despite the occasional rain and cold, we managed to see quite a bit and explore new places. The accommodations were conveniently located to important places of interest and restaurants; liked the fact that we stayed in almost all the hotels for at least two consecutive nights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Vilnius Jewish ghetto and synagogue and imagining how life was during the war.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukas was attentive to all our needs and very knowledgeable about the places we visited. He always addressed our concerns promptly and appropriately. He just needs to relax more!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep a close eye on the weather reports and pack accordingly.
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