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Reviews

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It’s the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you’re interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

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Reviews

Best Yet!

Having read the fairly negative review from an earlier tour, our party of five had concerns, and investigated our options to change from this tour. We are all so very glad we didn’t!! After our agent confirmed she had made enquiries, and Exodus had reassured her they were working hard to deal with the post covid supply issues, we decided to continue on with this tour. Every detail was beyond expectation, the bikes were near new, the guide team incredible and the route spectacular. Nothing, other than personal fitness, could have made this trip better.

Most Inspirational Moment

Its not a place or a moment, Central Europe is too beautiful and complex for that, it was the learnings. It was cycling with little concern right beside the remanets of the Iron Curtain. Waking up in a country that was recently freed, and going to sleep in a country that has been relatively unrestricted for many years. Nothing is more inspirational than stopping for morning tea at the memorial to the hundreds who lost their lives trying to cross a boarder, no matter why, which direction or what your beliefs are that is sobering… To spend 11 days, as a 50 something year old, in Central Europe, on a bike, is a privilege of our time, and that inspired me!

Thoughts on Group Leader

We struck gold! Jan is a compassionate, capable, incredibly knowledgeable, gentleman! Teamed with Lubos, our big gentle bear of a support driver - no need nor necessity was left unaddressed! Jan and Lubos are not only fantastic: bus drivers, gear haulers, tour guides, bike mechanics, historians, foodies, medics…. They are funny, warm and perceptive! Even though Lubos had limited English, he took us on side tours, when we chose to take the bus, conveyed instructions, lead us to points of interest, tried his hand at English and never stopped smiling! Jan assessed our group and altered the tour to meet our ability and quirks. We did off trail routes, had the option to take the bus when the elevation and heat made it less than fun, chose a picnic instead of a restaurant, found place we could swim or forage for fruit, stopped so we could work out what the crop growing actually was, or to try a Sugar Beet – because that was our group… He took us to the touristy places, but he also took us to the local hidden treasures, and when the rain hit… he gave his own raincoat to one of us to wear….

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you want to truly enjoy this tour… Get out and do the kms: ride the hills, ride off road! This is 480kms plus of variable terrain, heat, hills (at times), cobbles, gravel and even mud! The bikes are ‘Gravel Bikes’ – not suspended, not wide tyred, mountain bikes. The wheels are skinny, you have disk brakes, and these are opposite (right back / left front) for anyone from the southern hemisphere… But they are perfectly adequate if!... You have done some training off road. It’s not mountainous, but its definitely not flat, and after the uphills there are some glorious down hills – train for this! We rode downhill gravel sections that required a modicum of ability. We carried our, very lightweight, bikes up stairs – so prepare for this, it not hard at all, but carry your bike so the technique is not foreign. We navigated city traffic and tractors in villages. We had a heatwave and a downpour. And we had fun! Lots and lots of fun! Consider a Multicurrency Debit card - you ride through 4 Countries, and the currency can change twice on one day! Most places took a card, but a few notes in the local currency helped – your guide will advise, take note of what they say.

Suggestions

This is only our second Exodus tour – so I will not rate it as best, but… seriously good! Travelling here is not a given at this time – do it whilst you can! Although we started as a group of five from New Zealand - we ended up as a group of 9 from all over the place… And that is what Exodus embodies – Global Friendship Spend extra time in Prague and then in Budapest – there is so much to see! Keep your heart open, your eyes peeled and always laugh – then you will have the same awesome experience our group of 5 had!

Biking P-B

Excellent trip. Great guide and driving

Most Inspirational Moment

The Vienna Opera and a return to Bratislava after 30 years

Thoughts on Group Leader

Great leader. Showcased special sites during the entire trip.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for limited English in smaller towns.

Suggestions

The guide Jan and driver Jozef were a good team. They helped make a wonderful adventure very enjoyable.

Great bike adventure from Prague to Budapest

I had never been to this part of the world & this trip was an excellent way to experience it. We were a small group of 5 & our guide, Jan, was amazing. He knew so much about the area since he was from Slovakia. He individualized our adventures based on our interests. The Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia & Hungary are rich in history, great architecture, local cuisine & culture. Do it!!! 😊

Most Inspirational Moment

Riding along beautiful, endless views of yellow canola fields

Thoughts on Group Leader

Jan was great! He went above & beyond to make sure our needs were met and that we were seeing & experiencing the local scene.

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you’re into it, we got tickets to see an opera at the Opera House in Vienna. It was such a cool experience.

PITY ABOUT THE SUBSTANDARD CZECH BIKES

The bikes we got weren’t Kelly Bikes as advertised on the initial trip notes but Czech bikes – Leader Fox Sumava. These were old bikes with cheap components, the gears slipped and jumped on all the bikes as the bikes had been fitted with new cassettes but not new chains. The tyres were bald some down to the canvas, the front chainrings were old and worn. There were no spare inner tubes and tyres. The bottle cage on the Ladies bikes was on the lower tube and couldn’t be reached when riding. After never ending mechanical problems, punctures & a broken chain, we asked the guide Andrej to get replacement bikes from the company which arrived the following day. They were the same model but the gears changed on these ones, so we had a mechanical free morning. After lunch there was an accident when the mudguard supports on a riders bike had broken off and attached to the rear tyre, the rear wheel jammed and the rider was thrown over the handlebars, followed by myself and partner. Had this occurred on a downhill section the injuries would have been far more serious. The rider whose bike had the dodgy mudguards was taken to hospital as his hand was very swollen, no fractures but he couldn’t ride his bike for 2 days. Fortunately myself and partner had cuts and bruises which we managed to get patched up using dressings from other members of the group. Andrej’s first aid kit consisted of a few plasters, betadine and a packet of tissues – not much use in the event of an accident. The group’s health and safety was compromised on this trip due to faulty bikes which is unacceptable as it was a CYCLING TRIP. The capital cities that we visited were great, as was the accommodation, just a pity the route to them hadn’t been more enjoyable. The trip notes stated that there would be full vehicle support which was impossible due to the cycle routes and narrow roads which the big bus and trailer were unable to negotiate. On several occasions we had to wait for the bus to appear as the driver had no smart phone or sat nav and relied on a paper map. Fortunately we had excellent weather and didn’t have to wait in the rain. This was an expensive trip and I don’t feel that I had value for my money. None of us had any confidence in the bikes wondering what was going to happen next. I always thought that Exodus looked after you on their trips but sadly this wasn’t the case on this one.

Most Inspirational Moment

Visiting Vienna and getting a bike tour of the city from the guide Andrej. We went to a Vivaldi Violin Convert in the evening Visiting Budapest which was a lot bigger than I thought. It has so much history. Bike tour of Budapest was worthwhile. Very easy to get around on the metro which was very efficient .

Thoughts on Group Leader

Andrej was a really nice guy who tried his best to adjust the gearing on the bikes. He was very helpful telling us where to eat and what the local dishes were. Unfortunately his choice of evening venue in Bratislava was not very good. The food and service were awful. Sometimes his communication about what was happening during the day could be rather vague, as was his historical information. Some riders wished to go ahead of the group and he didn’t give any information on where to stop to wait for the group. Needs to invest new tyre levers to get the tyres off when there’s a puncture Needs to get a decent first aid kit to deal with an accident - dressings, swabs and antiseptic spray

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take a decent set of Allen keys and tyre levers. A good first aid kit so you don’t have to rely on the guide. In Czech Republic we used our card and Karuna - they preferred Karuna to euros. In Budapest they took card and euros rather than HUFF. If you’re a vegetarian you’ll have difficulty finding anything other than a salad in rural areas. If we spotted a super market we got bread and cheese. They eat a lot of meat especially pork.

Suggestions

I feel that Exodus have contracted this trip to a company which is lacking in organisational skill, bike maintenance, and health and safety for the customers. Exodus travel safety charter was not adhered to on this trip. The holiday delivered was below what was expected, the trip notes were inaccurate concerning vehicle support, the leader didn’t inspire of inform us, our health and safety was compromised. Due to this I feel that I’ve been badly let down by Exodus, the holiday wasn’t as described and wasn’t the best of experiences. EXODUS SHOULD IMPROVE THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Fabulous - Exceeded Expectations

The trip was amazing. The organization could not have been better. The hotels were all great and if this is Grade 3, I’ll travel at that level all the time.

All of the places we stopped were excellent and the lead guide always provided us with background on the places we stopped. The ride along the old iron curtain was truly eye opening.

Overall, this trip exceeded my expectations and set the standard for future trips. I would even like to do it again.

Most Inspirational Moment

Budapest blew my mind. I could never have imagined such a historic city and its culture. Everywhere I turned I was in awe. I want to go back.

Thoughts on Group Leader

The guides were outstanding. All trip support was outstanding. The leader, Juan, kept everything moving, resolved any problems quickly and provided lots of relevant information along the way. He was always upbeat, ready to listen and provide whatever was needed. What an excellent representative for Exodus. Andy, who rode the back line, provided excellent support, encouragement, and humor. He was very good in keeping me encouraged. Juan and Andy - thank for all the support and encouragement you provided.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Really look at your fitness level. I did not pay enough attention to the trip notes, specifically the hills, and did not have the required fitness for the trip. I "made it" with only a few short trips on the bus but I would have enjoyed the journey so much more if I did not struggle as I did. So, before you do this trip, practice your hills and make sure you can stay in the saddle for consecutive days. And make sure you have the right gear.

Suggestions

I was travelling alone and while I have done so before, it always brings some level of worry. I never felt alone on this trip. It was a great group and there was comraderie and support from other riders throughout. I could not have had a better group and will miss that.

Good but with issues

The trip achieves its aim of visiting the 4 countries and their capitals with a moderate amount of cycling. but the bikes were absolutley terrible.

Most Inspirational Moment

Not sure there was one

Thoughts on Group Leader

Very good - he lead the rides well, he communicated well. His local knowledge was excellent and was very informative. He helped the group gel. He worked very well with the second leader who was also excellent

Advice for Potential Travellers

The cycling is not that great - the best is in the Czech Republic but a large amount of it is on the banks of the Danube - so dead flat, dead straight and, frankly, dead boring. Also a lot of the ride is not on road - but on very well maintained gravel paths, a very small amount might be classified as trail. The places that the trip visits are pretty spectacular and our group gelled very well. So the trip, as a whole, is a trade off if you like doing more challenging cycling than this trip offers.

Suggestions

The bikes were poorly maintained - my head set was loose, the brake calipers were poorly adjusted and two of the group were plagued with chains that kept coming off, part of which was caused by extreme wear and tear on the chain rings. Also the choice of bikes - with swept back handle bars, so you were in a sit up and beg position - is really strange given the distance that one was doing on some days.

Prague to Budapest

Exceeded expectations. Great guides, driver and fellow cyclists. Tour is an interesting combination of rural and great cities.

Most Inspirational Moment

Our last meal as a group. Good companions

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent combination of cycling know how and narrative about the history of what we were seeing which included his experience of living under communism. I think he should make sure group is engaged before giving a briefing. Saying “ Gather around the map. I want you all to know where we are going.” once or twice would make all the difference. As well, if possible face people on the bus when relating some interesting history or giving some crucial information. Otherwise some miss key parts of what is being said.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Kick back and enjoy.

Prague to Budapest ride

Great ride through the rolling hills of Czech of republic and on through to Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Many interesting stops along the way. Glad I did some training before the ride as we had some windy days.

Most Inspirational Moment

Riding along the old Iron curtain.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Peter and Dana were great. I required my brakes to be switched to accommodate my hands and even though I had some bike problems and switched three different bikes, Peter gladly switched for me.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Do some training, will make the trip much more enjoyable.

Suggestions

Thought everything was well organized but personally would have had shorter stops along the day and arrived at the towns earlier to enjoy more of the towns.

Cycling in four wonderful countries

This was my second Exodus trip and it was great as the first one. Dana was delightful, always willing to assist you with any request. She was assisted by Lubos. A very good driver and mechanic, always with a smile in his face.
We started the trip in the busy city of Prague , after a few days in the city I was so happy to get away. We got to the lovely town of Cesky Krumlov, it was a very relaxing day. After the first day the cycling got more challenging, we cycle through the hilly countryside. It was beautiful but really hilly. I’m not that good at hills since I lived in “FLAT” Florida.
All the cities we stop in the Czech Republic were memorable; Trebon, Telc, Mikulov. I will love to visit them again. The tour of the winery in Mikulov, so much fun. The Czech Republic beer and ice cream unforgettable.
The cycling tour of the city of Vienna is a most. And in the afternoon go and jump in the Danube.
The ride from Vienna to Bratislava was beautiful, a very long relaxing ride.Then we’re in Hungary, time go so fast. Finally the magnificent city of Budapest. Just AMAZING!

Most Inspirational Moment

On day six on our way from Telc to Mikulov (a very hot day) we stop in a small river and Dana and some of us jumped in the water. It was so hot that we didn’t care. It was fun...

Thoughts on Group Leader

Dana was excellent. Since she was the only leader in our group she was always making sure that everybody was accounted for.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Just enjoy your trip.

Suggestions

Almost all the riders had issues with the bikes, chains coming out. Maybe the Company should consider new bikes.

4 capital cities and 3 currencies in just 10 days.

First few days of cycling are quite difficult as there are a lot of hills. For the rest of the trip the cycling is mostly very easy and flat. You will visit 4 countries and have to get used to managing 3 currencies.
Food is fresh and portions are big. Bratislava is by far the smallest capital on the trip.

Most Inspirational Moment

Cycling from the hotel in Vienna directly to the hotel in Bratislava in a day. Not difficult but very statisfying.

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you want to see Prague go a few days early, as there is not really anytime to sight see on the trip. There are a lot of hills on the first few days. Even though you will say in 3 and 4 start hotels they tend not to have any soap or shampoo in the rooms.