Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Cath Marsh

    An epic adventure!

    An adventure around every corner, beautiful scenery, amazing food and a real feeling of getting away from it all. Met so many people walking their pilgrimage to Santiago which was amazing and made us feel part of something bigger than just a cycle trip. Some long days in the saddle and a good variation of surfaces to mix things up. The variation in landscape was also great. One day would be zipping down mountain roads listening to cow bells, the next mile would be in vineyards, another day you could cover plenty of miles along smooth cycle paths alongside the mighty Minho river looking across at Spain, the next bumping along cobbles and tracks in fragrant eucalyptus woodland or dodging joggers along the boardwalks next to the Atlantic. Awesome trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    * Cycling along the boardwalks trying to concentrate where you're going an not just stare at the Atlantic. * Saying Bom Dia to every pilgrim we passed. * The lovely welcome we got at our accommodation in Ponte de Lima * Adjusting to the hustle and bustle of Porto after the quiet countryside * Totally gorgeous food everywhere we went even if it was bread and cheese at lunchtime normally sitting in the shade of a stunning church. And most inspirational moment was the whole experience of staying at Solar de Serrade. Such a beautiful place - I didn't want to leave.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self guided trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes! The bikes were top notch but I forgot to bring my own comfy saddle so was pretty sore for a few days. Make sure you do some training. There's some relentless hills to climb and if you go when it's hot you can run out of energy mid afternoon. Buy bread, cheese and drinks in the morning incase you don't find anywhere for lunch. Oh and make sure you eat plenty of Portuguese egg tarts, they're delicious!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book the wine and dine package. We had a fabulous, intimate meal at Solar de Serrade washed down with their own Vinho Verde wine. Relaxing in the garden sipping wine after a long day in the saddle was just perfect. The meal in Porto at LSD restaurant was awesome also and thoroughly recommended. Both meals we were treated as extra special guests which made the whole experience even more special. We stayed an extra day at the end of the holiday in Porto to explore the city. The route notes were accurate and helped identify places of interest and the GPS was a bonus. We used both.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Laurene Tubb

    A tough but exciting adventure

    I have hesitated about writing a review this time as I was one of the slower riders but as someone who reads them I think it can help sometimes. So here goes. This was a very tough cycling trip for me. Having said that.....I'm glad I did it. It was certainly a case of either cycling up a mountain or down one. Only a few miles was flat. The climbs went up and up and up and up and up. Hours at a time. In most cases the gradient wasn't too bad most of the time but it was a long slog to get to the top......with many false summits on the way which really take some doing to overcome and carry on. The descents of the other side were fantastic. I loved them. Down and down and down and down forever. Great speed. Great thrill. I am relatively fit and active for my age and do many sports but this cycling was hard. I am not a club cyclist. Obviously those who do ride more seriously climbed the hills better and got to the top a good 20/30 minutes before me.........but I did manage to cycle the whole trip and am very proud of my achievement. The mini bus was always available for those who did not always want to cycle. We were well looked after and I never felt at risk at all. I wasn't too keen on my bike !! Not as good as my last Exodus Cycling Holiday. Trouble was none of them had any front suspension and we did go over some very rough terrain and some very long descents. Very surprising not to have this feature in this day and age. Personally I felt it appropriate to dress modestly but not necessary to the extreme. Shorts seemed fine with many of the ladies wearing their lycra shorts. T.shirts with sleeves (long or short) were the most common tops. In the evening I found a long dress very comfy but a very casual one, nothing fancy. Or leggings or loose trousers. I wore a jacket one morning when we started off with a long downhill otherwise I was never cold. The hotels varied quite a bit from concrete beds in one mountain auberge to a suite with huge comfy beds and loads of hot water in others.............with everything in between including some very nice traditional old rhiads. I loved it all being different and enjoyed all the experiences. Some of the hotels had swimming pools and we did manage some swims but often the long cycling days meant we didn't always have much time in the evenings........plus in my case I was very tired (ha ha). Alcohol was not always available. We were delighted on the few occasions it was and the guides did their best to find us some at other times. It's just nice at the end of a long hard day !! Food was good. There wasn't anything I didn't like. However, I have "suggested" to Exodus that at least eggs are needed for breakfast with such huge rides to cope with. We did have eggs every morning except for two when it was just bread and jams. Very nice but just not substantial enough. Being on the move means that washing clothes through is pretty much impossible although some people did manage. Getting them dry is the difficulty. Take toiletries as they are not always provided. Make sure you fill your water bottle again at the end of the day so you have drinking water for the night and for cleaning teeth etc. Most hotels do not provide water in your rooms and it cannot always be bought. Nobody got ill that I know of but it's only sensible to be careful. No ice, ice cream, salad washed in suspect water etc. Usual stuff. The mountains catch the sunlight beautifully. They ouse power. The landscape is rock and sand but it still has great appeal. We had a super group of people from various countries. It worked well. I recommend the trip if you want a challenge because it is certainly that. If you are prepared you will be fine. Enjoy !!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finally getting to the top and having encouragement from the group. Seeing "people of a certain age" achieve so much. Meeting such a diversity of people who all shared a love of cycling. Seeing a new country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marouane was a quiet unassuming young man who worked tirelessly in the background keeping an eye on us and anticipating our every need. We loved his colourful Moroccan clothes and appreciated him organising restaurants on the few nights dinner was not included.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Andrea SULLIVAN

    Wonderful trip of discovery and friendship.

    My first trip to France and walking tour with Exodus the trip exceeded my expectations having the most amazing time ! We were a small group of 5 and lead by our lovely guide Isabelle tracked through such beautiful countryside , up and down hillsides to reach our destination of which was always a breath taking view! It did rain , and I'm glad it did because our alternative excursion ( Botanical museum with medieval gardens & Abbey) was just perfect ! Beautiful villages, great Autumn colors, wonderful food, great company, laugher, picnics and more ! Now to decide which tour to do next .......

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many !! the day trip to the Verdon Gorges will certainly remain as a highlight ! Picnic at the chapel of Sainte Maxine de Callian high on the mountain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot say just how lucky ( Exodus too) to have Isabelle as our guide. Friendly, considerate of everyone's needs and her lively stories gave us a wonderful insight into the history of France and her people. Her passion and love of Provence was infectious!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I thouroghly recommend adding plenty of steps into your daily routine before the tour, of course good walking shoes well worn in ! Take a travel journal and maybe pencils or painting kit ( small travel watercolor) to record your memories!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Randall Hendriks

    Walking tour - Mont Blanc Highlights

    This was an outstanding trip. Stayed at Chateau Chamonix in very comfortable accommodation. The hostess and host (Sarah and Rich) were brilliant people. Very welcoming, organised, knowledgeable and great fun to be around. The quality of their cooking (especially Sarah) was second to none. It was like being in a Michelin star restaurant. Food quality was matched by the fun at the kitchen table, where we met wonderful people with similar mind sets. Jim, our guide, was also a sensational fellow. Our tours were organised carefully, were varied and Jim was extremely considerate to all on the walks, taking into account different fitness levels. He was also extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the terrain. We had a fantastic time and would not hesitate to do it again. Would highly recommend this to anyone with an outdoor interest (and have done so!).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Daily magnificent vistas

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to Exodus for a fantastic trip.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Suzy Franklin

    Wildlife and hiking

    A well paced hiking tour with free time to relax in the remote alpine accommodation, in the mountains of Transylvania. This is certainly the place time forgot with small farming communities farming sheep and cattle, and small orchards aplenty. Dogs are tied up or in the fields protecting the livestock from the bears and other predators. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. We went when the weather was getting cooler and at times it was a little cold in the room. We had to remind the owners to put the heating on, which they did! There were 3 course set meals in the evening that were hearty and consisted of local produce but possibly limited if you are vegetarian/vegan. Don't expect there to be snacks like crisps and chocolate to be available, expect local fruits instead! The guide kept us updated on the itinerary during the week and gave a very informative tour of Brasov and Bran. All in all - a place to get away from it all and enjoy a slower pace of life! It was a very noncommercial region to visit and very refreshing in that sense!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hard work of the people in the bear sanctuary, who had rescued bears that had suffered cruelty and now been given the best chance of life - all funded by donations with no government money! One bear had been blinded and had its claws cut so it would tolerate people having their picture taken alongside it. Quite emotional to hear the sad back history of some of the bears. The good news is that owning a bare is now banned in Romania.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was friendly, quiet, amenable and informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your thermals, scarf and gloves if going in the autumn as it get's cold in the mornings.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    james wishart

    sicilian volcanoes

    I personally had problems with travel. As a group we were stranded on the island Lipari for 3 days instead of 1 day due weather preventing ferries to operate. On the last day we climbed Mt. Etna. This proved to be a challenge mainly due the sulphur clouds. I was unwell the next and it took a week to feel better. I know others in the party were susequently ill. My friend , who I travelled with , when he returned home was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. After a week he has left hospital still recovering. The guide on the holiday was helpful to me with my travel problems. He is a nice man , easy to get on with. Given the problems we were having , he could have been more proactive and communicated more clearly what the siuation was.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The part of the trip that stood out most was Mt. Etna. This was positive and negative. The landscape was very bleak and interasting. The sulphur clouds and subsequent ill health were not good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the conditions on Mt. Etna.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately not one of my better trips.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Wendy Tutty

    Essential Peru

    This was a fabulous adventure! Recounting it to friends at home, it seems incredible that we saw and experienced so much - or travelled so many miles in a relatively short time. It was not an easy trip with lots of early starts and long road journeys and several times I found myself a little out of my comfort zone but the group was mutually supportive and our leader Sebastian was a true professional. Everything was carefully planned - we always had drinkable water, hotels were ready for us and always happy to store our luggage for us if we were away for a few days. Our ascent to altitude was carefully managed and none of us became sick. Each evening Sebastian would invite us to eat with him. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't but he always made a huge effort to make sure that he chose a restaurant which catered for everyone - even a non meat, fish and egg eating almost vegan like myself! His love for his country was infectious and his knowledge impressive - all of this helped to make the holiday memorable and he was always generous with his time, going out of his way to cater for those who wanted to do things apart from the group. Thankyou Sebastian - great memories - some of them very funny!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult one! I loved the Nazca lines by light aircraft - Cusco, Colca Canyon, Arequipa and of course Machu Picchu all jostle for first place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As previously stated, he was excellent - knowledgeable, well organised, unflappable, scrupulously honest (at the end of our trip he gave us change from our tips kitty), amusing and very very kind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you go well equipped and be prepared for some very basic condition at the homestay.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Alan & Peta Purdy

    Outstanding - lives up to its reputation!

    This week endorses the many positive reviews already posted. It is a perfect mix of incredible scenery, just challenging enough walks, a lovely homely hotel, lots of variety in the week's programme and excursions, great food, and we were lucky to enjoy a fun group of people from England, Canada and our own New Zealand. Our guide Severio was fun, knowledgeable, thoughtful and supportive - especially when we needed to seek local medical assistance. The hotel staff are family and fabulous. Do it - it will be an experience you will never forget!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many - the "Walk of the Gods"of course, the slog up the local three peaks mountain, Positano, Capri and hiking to the summit of Vesuvio.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Couldn't ask for better! Severio was the perfect leader in every sense, good humoured, diplomatic when required, and knowledgable - and patient with our appalling ignorance of Greek mythology!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go prepared for the trails to be a little more demanding than the "2" rating would suggest. We thought this was probably a "3" because of some long uphill slogs and long stair descents. In hot weather it is taxing enough for we oldies! You need to have a reasonably good level of fitness and good knees to really enjoy the week. We did!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This as our first Exodus trip. we would happily book another similar walking tour.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Adrian Fingleton

    Wonderful trip but not for the faint-hearted

    My wife and I did the trip in the latter part of September 2018, and Anthony was our guide. We had a great group of 12 - we all gelled well and sort of 'looked out' for one another. Which is important when you are spending all day every day with each other. Our crew (Anthony + 3 companions) were very engaging, kind, helpful (re 'what was that bird' and more) and generally kept the show on the road. We saw amazing wildlife pretty much everywhere we went. The food was really excellent - and surprisingly varied. Having said that - the 'warning' - you spend 13 days on the road. Many of them are true wild camping. No running water, hole-in-the-ground toilets. It's hot and dusty. Sometimes at night animals wander thru the camp. You think twice before going to the loo (but you do, eventually and inevitably, go)... And it's enormous fun - great experiences, great company, great photo opportunities, and nature in the raw. But you will come back tired. It's part of the deal...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several highlights - the mokoro trip into the Okavango delta, swimming in the river, the game walks on foot there, the flight (optional) we took over the delta. And then, beyond that, the opportunities to see Leopard, Wild Dogs (several times) and the Chobe wetlands by (optional) boat tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He (Anthony) was great. Patient, effective, great at spotting animals, looked after everyone, kept the crew moving and generally nothing he could not fix. Excellent group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just bring the stuff you are told to - like a head torch (essential), power banks, spare camera batteries, old clothes, shampoo, etc - you will be roughing it, so anything that makes your life a bit easier is worth having. Flip flops are good too. There are just a few days with very long drives, so you just grit your teeth and bear it. Other days are not too challenging. Bring some added salts like Dioralyte - you will sweat a lot so you need to keep replenishing fluid levels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One thing that we found a bit difficult was getting in and out of the 12 man open sided truck that was our home for 13 days. There are footholds for getting in and out, but it can be tricky. And if you have long legs, the front row is a bit problematic because you cant slide your legs under the seat in front. But it is a great platform for viewing game and everyone manages to get a photo in the end :-)
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Ron Powell

    An Excellent Trip

    This trip was lived up to the billing in the trip notes in every way: excellent hotel with attentive staff and excellent food; excellent walks and free day options; and luckily for us, excellent weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the walks had their moments, as did the optional excursions. I hesitate to pick one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Severio could not have done more for us. An excellent guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The steps can be tough, and although the days are shorter than a full Cat 3 holiday, in my opinion some of the gradients and terrain merit that rating. The Trip Notes say it all, so be prepared.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our 11th Exodus holiday and we're always asked which was our favourite. The answer is several, and this was well up there with them.
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