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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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17904 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2020

    Fabulous trip

    Amazing holiday. Great cycling, cuisine, culture and company. Emanuele and Christina were great guides - nothing was too much trouble. Would strongly recommend this holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it! Great combination of cycling with sufficient down time to enjoy the culture, cuisine and geology.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele and Christina were great leaders. Very unassuming, and very skilled at keeping a mixed ability group together...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book up! It is a great holiday, with a very good itinerary, and a very sensible pace, visiting some very attractive towns and villages.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Walking the Amalfi Coast in the days of Covid

    This Exodus holiday is one of the most popular and I have wanted to "do it" for years. It combines guided walking, swimming in the sea and pool, a week's stay in a small and friendly hotel Due Torri above Amalfi, history and sightseeing, and great hospitality, food and wine. This September 2020, we seized the moment ("CARPE DIEM") and my husband, his brother, and I booked the September 5 week. We realised we were taking a risk, but now we are so relieved we did, as it prepared us to cope with the uncertainties of living with Covid this UK winter. A perfect sunny week without crowds, a wonderful guide (Severio) and such a great, sociable group of 12. We were welcomed at the hotel and in the town of Bomerano - this was the first time they had all opened since March and our guide had been working at the Hotel. As soon as UK relaxes its quarantine rules, be sure to take this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the warmth and hospitality of the Italians. And definitely Cocktail Hour at the Hotel Due Torri Bar - in particular those gins and tonics before dinner. For my husband completing the Path of the Gods. He is not the walker he used to be before an accident 40+ years ago, but he is proud he made it. And we are grateful to Severio and the group for tolerating his lack of speed! I should mention that this walk was definitely less exposed than Trip Notes had led some of the ladies in our group to expect.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Severio was just great with excellent organisational skills. He was sociable, knowledgable and forebearing with all the group. And best he was Italian with a good understanding of English. We were very lucky. And he even helped me to buy at the local supermarket a kilo of Parmigiano and a pot of Sicilian olives to take back to UK.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks involve a lot (thousands) of stone and concrete steps - both up and downhill. So bear that in mind if your knees are bad. Bomerano, where the hotel is, is 650 metres above sea level. However there is always the opportunity to complete the walks by public transport and meet up at the bottom. Trip Notes do prepare you, so read them. I regretted missing a guided visit to Herculaneum on our free day, and chose Capri instead, enjoying a dish of spaghetti Vongole at an excellent restaurant recommended by our guide. Next time. We had great guides for Pompeii and Versuvius, part of the holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of my favourite Exodus holidays and I was not disappointed.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Truly enjoyable

    It was one of the best hikes I have ever had in my entire life. I did not know that such wonderful mountains with dynamic views existed in Greece. VIllages in Zagori with stone houses, unchanged for centuries, are truly beautiful. All hotels we stayed, except for one night at a mountain refuge, were family owned. They are converted traditional stone houses and wonderful. Local Greek food were delicious.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Natural landscapes. Astonishing views of mountains and gorges. Hikes were varied from one day to another, from relatively easy hikes to little bit challenging one to get to the mountain refuge. Aperitifs after a walk at stone-house hotels and cafes at a village plaza were wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic. She, young,dynamic and charming, was the best group leader of Exodus hikes so far as far as I am concerned. Despite difficult conditions with COVID, she managed to make our trip truly enjoyable. With uncertain weather conditions, she flexibly adjusted schedule and itineraries so that we could enjoy every day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This hike in unknown parts of Greece should not be missed. I went there in September. I will come again in spring time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hikes in Meteora with visits to monasteries were also very interesting. Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, is a very lively town.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Fabulous trip

    Just returned from this trip. While destinations are limited at this time, this is no second-rate option. The family-run hotel is lovely with plentiful food and good rooms. The mountains are spectacular and the walks varied in nature.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me there isn't a single answer to this. We had 2 days walking on snow, other days with clear blue skies and pristine meadows, harder days and easier days. The stars of the show are the mountains, and our walks gave us a variety of spectacular views of them and from them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alina is lovely. Although relatively new to the region she has clearly worked hard to familiarise herself with the walks and the surroundings. She was fun to be with as well as someone who inspired confidence.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Other people have written similar, but I would stress that if you are not normally a pole-user (as I am not) borrow some anyway. In the snow they were invaluable. It's probably fair to grade this as a Moderate, although the snow made it trickier in places and thus a little harder.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our was a social group of mixed ages. Several people had booked this holiday as their other trips were cancelled, but I don't think anyone felt disappointed in any way. Highly recommended!
  • Fantastic... everything :)

    An exhilarating week of walking in beautiful Liguria complemented by great food and drink.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing view looking down on Corniglia against a lively turquoise sea on the last day - absolutely stunning. The wine tasting was also fabulous - interesting wines in a very atmospheric restaurant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was brilliant: she was informative, really adaptable given the challenges of coronavirus and the occasionally stormy weather and made some great suggestions for where we could eat out in the evening.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Italy’s a great place to go despite coronavirus - it felt very safe and clean. Be prepared for lots of mask wearing.
  • Fabulous break - and far less tourists than usual due to COVID travel restrictions

    I travelled solo on this trip departing on 19 Sept 2020, having booked it quite late as Italy was one of the few venues Brits could travel to without any COVID-related quarantine requirements either end. It turned out to be a very special time to travel as the usual hordes of tourists in one of Italy’s most tourists areas were absent (although still enough people to give it an “atmosphere “!). The trip includes two full days walking between the stunning villages of the Cinqueterra and time to see each village. Portofino is beautiful and Sestri Levante is gorgeous too. There was a storm towards the end of the week so on the last day we were able to experience the Cinqueterra villages with huge waves crashing into the little harbours - an awesome sight - and the bright blue sea made a fantastic back drop for photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many! - Approaching Vernazza from above on the “blue path” from Corniglia. - The walk through the terraces and vineyards between Corniglia and Manarola with the incredible blue sea below (there had been a storm the previous night) - The very informative wine tasting in Moneglia - The Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante (on the free day) - Eating spaghetti seafood on the harbour fronts in Portofino and Vernazza - Watching the huge waves crash against the harbour walls in the Cinqueterra villages - an unusual sight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michaela has led his trip multiple times and we were lucky to have her expert knowledge! Very caring, very organised, and always joined us for dinner in the evenings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    - Make sure you go to The Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante at some stage during the week. - Splash out on trying some local wines other than the carafes of house red and white. - Upgrade your room at the Hotel Piccolo to get a balcony and a sea view.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed that this trip ran so well despite the COVID restrictions. In fact the lack of tourists made it very enjoyable. Be prepared to wear your face mask in all the towns though.
  • Reviewed September 2020

    Fantastic trip - even more appreciated in these times of COVID restrictions!

    I travelled solo on this trip departing on 12 Sept 2020, having booked it quite late as Italy was one of the few venues Brits could travel to without any COVID-related quarantine requirements either end. I was not disappointed. It is a perfect blend of walking (3 days - with fantastic views) and city tours (2 days with a guided tour of each available). Villa Casalta is a quality hotel with rooms with a view and a fabulous terrace overlooking the vineyards and skyline where all meals are eaten. The pool is also very relaxing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to San Gimignano on the last day; the guided walking tours of Siena and Florence; and the session at the Tuscan Wine School in Siena. I also loved my pre-breakfast swims in the pool and the sense of peace at Villa Casalta.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa did a great job and was very personable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a kettle in the room - and teabags - but bring some instant coffee if you are a coffee drinker!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed how this trip ran so well despite the COVID restrictions.... but don't forget to bring a face mask.
  • Reviewed September 2020

    Superb trip

    You get out of something what you put in, and that is 100% the case for this holiday. The walking was challenging but so rewarding in terms of scenery and atmosphere. The weather was excellent bar one afternoon and the leaders (Paul and Louise) and the other people on the trip made the holiday outstanding. Plus, finally, the fact that you're in Italy - what more could you ask for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery, stretching for miles all around near the summit of one of the mountains. We stopped as a group for a minute or two, on a rocky 'plain' before the final steepish climb to the top with the sun warmly shining in blue skies and I thought (and said out loud), 'it doesn't get any better than this'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul and Louise were outstanding - knowledgeable, helpful, great sense of humour and highly professional

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are two levels of walks so don't be worried about whether it will be too hard. You'll be fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've already asked Exodus, 'where to next please?'
  • Reviewed September 2020

    South India Explored

    What a fantastic trip this was! So many highlights -- this is a temple-studded tour, with visits to the most iconic structures in Southern India like the temples at Madurai, Thanjavur, Mahabalipuram, Halebid and Belur....Beautiful natural scenery and drives through several Nature Reserves and along the coast of the Bay of Bengal made even the long "transit" days a delight. The overnight stay on the backwaters houseboat in Alleypey was also magical. The food, especially in the coastal regions, was exquisite. The friendliness and warmth of the locals was also a highlight for me. This is a terrific introduction to Southern India and is a nice companion to the North India Explored trip that Exodus used to run.....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wow -- so many.....I was awstruck by the intricacy of the temple architecture, but also sunrise and sunset on the houseboat will take your breath away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay Gupta, usually a northern guide, did an extraordinary job of introducing Southern India and Dravidian culture to us. His warmth, joie de vivre, and keen sense of humour really added to our experience.This was my second trip with Ajay and I was so thrilled!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come with an open mind and lots of energy. Be curious, try everything, talk to the locals....and enjoy to the max!
  • Reviewed September 2020

    Top trek - Do it !!

    What a great opportunity to escape the C-19 situation in UK & experience the stupendous Dolomites. The Exodus office staff were helpful and supportive in advising what trek was suitable within certain countries, within the time ‘window’ I had, given the different country restrictions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    ....... to stop, quietly absorb the stupendous views and truly appreciate just how amazing and awe inspiring the Dolomites are.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl was a true professional. He was so well informed and bought the landscape to life with his knowledge and stories of the history of the area as well of all the flora, fauna and geology. He had spent time before the group arrived to check everything out in specific relation to the impact of C-19 restrictions & conditions and the effect it would have on the group during our stay. Mindful of the varying ability levels of different group members he was motivational and inspirational, encouraging those where and when needed, yet always with safety first and foremost in his mind. Cheerful and engaging it was a pleasure to be in his company every day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Always take full advice from ‘What to take’ page.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel Adler was a great base. Very comfortable and great meals. Staff were always cheery and accommodating. Of several ‘1 base’ treks I’ve done this hotel has certainly been the best. To have such a base to return to after a day in the mountains certainly helps relax, chill & recharge for the next day.