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.

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  • Reviewed September 2017
    Simon Wilkins

    Cycle Mallorca

    Cycle Mallorca is a really special trip which allows you to get to see a great variety of the beautiful landscapes of the island along mainly quiet roads and also has a good range of rides through the week and the opportunity - for those who want to - to do longer or more challenging rides. The ride was excellently led by the friendly and knowledgeable Alfonso and really well supported by Manu.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many: arriving at San Salvador Monastery after a long, winding climb and being rewarded with island-wide views, the serene ride from along a traffic-free road between Sa Rapita and Campos, the absolutely fantastic ride early in the morning up to and back from Cap Formentor along great roads with stunning views all the way, the walk up to Castel D'Alaro (optional) from Alaro, being able to experience the quietness and beauty of the island away from the crowds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was friendly and helpful and led the group expertly. We were his biggest cycle group to date and he kept us safe through the week. He made it possible - with the support person Manu's help - for those of us who wanted to take the longer or more challenging options - to do so. Alfonso and Manu both had great senses of humour and the group had some great laughs along the way. Alfonso was also passionate about the island and its people and ensuring that we got the best out of the week's cycling. Manu provided excellent support - providing water regularly and also some light snacks at just the right times when we'd done some climbing and extra energy was required. Although very sociable, Alfonso and Manu only joined us for an evening meal on the first and last night of the trip (generally our cycling guides would join us for all but one evening) and this may have been that the locations generally were not big enough to have restaurants big enough to cater for all the 16 people in the group plus the leader and support. However, because quite a few of the group already knew each other it did allow the flexibility for smaller groups to make their own decisions about evening meals . Although we suggested a picnic on one or two days would have been nice (again, we have done this on a some trips before) this wasn't taken up.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the usual cycling kit: padded shorts, sunglasses, helmet, gloves and an extra layer plus a light waterproof (there was heavy rain the night before we started the trip). Don't forget sunblock and some spare water as you're out all day - and possibly an energy bar just in case. The tip is classed as moderate but if you're only an occasional cyclist you might want to get a few more cycle rides in prior to the trip to fully enjoy all the rides on offer (San Salvador Monastery and Cap Formentor are really great rides and well worth the effort). If you get time, the walk up from Alaro to Castel D'Alaro is really stunning - but you'll need 3 to 4 hours to do it comfortably.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cycle Mallorca lets you see the most quiet and beautiful parts of this busy island and has made me want to go back and cycle there again.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Tanya Mitchell

    Memorable

    Such a memorable trip, from the food, sights and friends we met. Our guide Manni was so brilliant, funny and organised. From the Taj Mahal which was breathtaking to the street food, every step of the trip was just great, we loved every minute! The food demonstrations have had a positive influence since we have returned- what more can I say!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal and the palace at Karouli, breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manni was brilliant, he had lots of history and background information wherever we went. A lovely guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy every minute, be adventurous and try the streetfood!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Alison MacDonald

    Excellent tour in Heel of Italy (Matera to Lecce)- a photographers mecca

    Emanuele was an excellent guide. He went above and beyond to create a truly memorable cycling trip for all the people on the tour. This trip is a photographers mecca, the towns we visited were so unique, beautiful scenery and visiting UNESCO world heritage sites. An excellent group of like minded people whose company we all enjoyed sharing a laugh over a beer at the end of the day.The roads we cycled were very beautiful, mostly very quiet and a couple of days were more challenging with the hills but quite manageable. The accommodations were truly memorable from Sassi to Trulli to a Convent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding the "Roller Coaster" and making it all the way up. A hot day, quiet road and when we turned the corner the Roller Coaster was waiting for us with Emanuele at the top to cheer us on and take our picture. Also the accommodations were very unique and they all looked after us very well.Loved staying in the Sassi and Trulli accommodations, that was amazing. Loved this group of people we rode with,chatted with and shared our stories over dinner and wine. The scenery was spectacular, from the lovely quiet Italian towns to breathtaking scenery along the coastline.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele was wonderful and worked so very hard, very attentive and knowledgeable guide who was always more than willing to answer all our questions and paid great attention to all our safety.He was a very experienced cyclist who took us to some excellent foodie restaurants and shared his love of history and his involvement in reviving the old historical routes and turn them into cycling routes. He clearly briefed us on the night before, describing the route, using riders as waymarkers for the route and designating a rider to sweep at the back. The van was always behind us and Piero worked very hard to refill all our water bottles, prepare picnics in the parks for our lunch.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a wonderful trip. Clearly a level 3 Moderate, all of it manageable. It would be a good idea to put the leaders cell phone into WhatsApp.Hills were a bit challenging especially on the hot couple of days but never more than we could manage and often short and sweet! The support van was always behind us with Piero filling our water and preparing our lunchtime picnics. There is only 1-2 seats in the van with limited room for extra bikes but it was never a problem. The group all rode together, Emanuele designated a rider to sweep at the back.We all had paniers. Only a couple of stops for swimming.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful trip, will recommend to all my friends in Canada. Emanuele was an excellent top notch guide. A rough profile guide in the brochure/trip notes of each days ride could be beneficial to show what is in store for the riders on each stage of the journey. This would be at the guides discretion to modify routes as conditions dictate.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    David Woodhams

    Land of the Jaguar

    Overall a relatively full on experience with very little 'down' time. An amazing abundance of wildlife especially birds. A trip that definitely lived up to expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last day on the Paraguay River when we spotted a Female Jaguar and cub on a rock adjacent to the river on our return journey from the National Park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tony was an excellent guide with very good knowledge of the birds and mammals and his spotting skills were amazing

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As we were travelling in the dry season it did get very hot 40C + and somewhat dusty but worth it in every way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We left the UK with the hope that we would see the main targets of our visit, Jaguar and River Otter. Not only was our expectation rewarded with one sighting, but 3 groups of Otters, 4 Jaguars and the Hyacinth Macaws as well as numerous other mammals and birds. A truly wonderful experience and the stay on the houseboat was GREAT
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Peter Keeney

    A truly wonderful experience

    Having read a couple of books, with regards to the Camino, and being keen walkers my wife and I thought it would be a great challenge and the opportunity to move away from the more traditional summer holiday. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly say it was a fantastic experience. Everything was extremely well organised, from the flights, transfer, our daily accommodation and meals where necessary. The daily distance wasn't too bad as it is split between morning and afternoon with plenty additional stops on the route, if required. Our group of 16, travelled at different paces and that worked very well. We'd often meet up along the road and exchange different experiences of the day. The overall route, is relatively easy, with only a few hills, here and there and three larger ones towards the end. Accommodation, on the route was extremely good. It varied from a log cabin type to a room that had four double beds! Meals were very good and look out for the Pilgrims Menu - 10 euros and plenty of wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the most inspirational moment(s) has to be arriving into Santiago and the Pilgrims mass. It was a feeling of achievement, with a group of people we didn't know the previous week, but have now ended up as friends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was an excellent leader. Extremely knowledgeable about the area, the history of the area and the history of the Camino. He was always on the lookout for us all, but not in an intrusive way. He organised a number of meals, for us (daytime/evening time) and everything went really smoothly. Couldn't have asked for a better leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Choose your footwear carefully. I walked mainly in boots and as most reviews say "they're often not required". Most of the Pilgrims walked in some form of light trainer/walking shoe. Take up the freetour in Santiago. It's very informative. You can make a contribution, at the end. We used Santiago DC. Just take it all in and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We've been inspired to do more of the same.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Paul Cartwright

    Cols du Tour de France 2017

    This was a truly amazing experience and certainly one which I will remember for a very long time. The climbs are indeed challenging but manageable for most regular cyclists. The trip is well planned with most of the hard ascents in the morning with a good amount of downtime on most afternoons and with options for optional extra rides on the shorter days for those who are fit enough. We were blessed with good weather throughout which I am sure does make a difference as I would imagine that some of the descents would be hair raising in wet conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day had its highlights but for me the last two days of the trip were the best particularly the climbs up the Col du Galibier on Friday and Col du Glandon on the Saturday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thierry was without doubt an absolutely top guy. He organised picnics for us most days buying baguettes,ham,cheese and fruit and met us at a pre-arranged place for lunch which was extremely welcome after the hard climbs. He also stopped part way up the climbs to hand out bananas and sweets to top our energy reserves.. He lives in a town which is on the route so knows the area very well so was very informative about the local history and geography of the area. At the start of each day he was very helpful in guiding us to the start of the days route in his van and likewise at the end of the day to our hotel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was very cold at the top of the Cols for the first couple of days of the trip particularly on the Col de la Bonette and I for one was under prepared. For the September trip it is necessary to take long fingered and insulated gloves as well as several extra layers of clothing for the top of the climbs and especially the descents which were bitterly cold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend this trip which certainly exceeded my own expectations.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sharon Donaghy

    Cycle Mallorca

    A great week of cycling rural roads. We got to swim in the sea, cycle up challenging hills occasionally, visit Palma, Alcudia and Pollenca for the shops and cafes. Our leader Alfonso Gallego was effortlessly organised and knew the routes very well. We did wine tasting, went down an enormous cave and ate some fabulous food. The hotel rooms were enormous and we stayed in places away from the seething tourist traps for which Mallorca is known.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling to the lighthouse at the end of Cap Formentor, along a stunning peninsula with hills and sea and amazing views. One of the best cylcle rides I ever did. You need the hill legs for it though, so Alfonso gave the group options. Only those that wanted to do it did it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso Gallego was very organised in a way that you don't notice the organisation. His knowledge of the route and the history of Mallorca was very good. His chat was interesting too. He was adept at managing our large group of 16 without losing anyone or making anyone feel held back or too hurried.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the Cap Formentor ride if you can. the views are amazing. Do the wine tasting. It is worth the 10 euros.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Yvonne Carson

    Cycling Sardinia

    This is a wonderful trip, with some great scenery and lovely hotels. The guides are very knowledgeable about everything and know the terrain very well. The cycling can be quite tough at times - there are some big hills to climb! The heat can make the cycling quite hard going but the guides are so supportive and there is never any pressure to hurry. The trips on the ferry to the other smaller islands are lovely and really enhances the overall experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The other people on the group were amazing and so encouraging to each other.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. A bit serious at times but he takes his job seriously and he obviously cared about doing it well. Very knowledgeable about the area and never put any pressure on the cyclists to hurry up.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is heavy on seafood, which is great if you enjoy this kind of food. The food and drink it quite expensive and there isn't always much choice. Train well for those hills - you will enjoy the cycling more if you can cope with the hills. There are also some gravel roads, again do some preparation for this.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Matt Ormiston

    Mont Blanc Hihglights - Trip of a lifetime

    as avid followers of the Tour du France for all the scenery shots, we hooked on the idea of this trip when the 2016 tour went through Chamonix and a helicopter fly over of Mont Blanc was part of the coverage. We started to look for a reputable company that had local representation in Australia and we came across Exodus. Having never travelled to this part of the world and unsure what to expect the agents answered our many questions and for those they couldn't they organised a conference call with their UK office, who later sent photos of some of the areas I had queries on. This level of customer service convinced me Exodus was the right company for us and it turned out to be a good decision we had a great time, the Chalet was beautiful, food great and the company even better

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After a steep climb up to the Aiguillette des Houches to stand on the top and look across to Mont Blanc and the Les Bossons Glacier was truly inspiring. All our training had paid off and to be in this amazing part of the world was such a blessing and achievement. It made us hungry to explore more and further immerse us in this special place

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a great group leader, very relaxed but always got us where we needed to be safely and on time. Paul was very personable and eager to learn from us as we were from him. There was never a sense of rush and you felt that you could just enjoy the moment, the place and the activity without feeling like you were being moved along or curtailed in your ability to adventure Paul loves botany and geology and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with us. if he couldn't answer a question he would search out a answer and usually came back the next day with a response. Paul had probably done this walk many times but very gifted in making it feel like his first with us, adding to the awe and amazement for all of us first timers

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare as much as you can, ask lots of questions and make sure you are reasonably fit so that you can enjoy the experience without being breathless of feeling like you need to keep up. everyone got along really well and the pace worked out at a nice average such that no one was finding themselves breathless. Don't count yourself out on age, we had people from 30 to 70 and all made it through the days walking with a smile and sense of achievement.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our hosts Sarah and Rich were wonderful, we had beautiful 3 course meals with a different theme every night. They were a wealth of local knowledge and helped us with many other walking options and alternative activities for our free days and the extra days we stayed. Coming from Australia this is a big trip with a big anticipation and it was met in this experience. We look fondly back at our time and the friends we made and would happily do it all again If you'd like to read more on our journey you can go to - www.hikingfaith.com or watch our daily highlight clips at - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbSjAymlxmYDlMQH6-er9Q?view_as=subscriber
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Paul kane

    Highlights of Morocco

    It's a good trip if you are very fit and don't get unwell some of the hotels have no hot water some have no air con or fans highlight camel ride

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Camel ride

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ok but because he runs marathons I think he thinks we all can

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes don't get ill and you need to be reasonably fit

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good luck
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