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 June 2018
    Jane Byrne

    Wonderful scenery and walking plus great food and wine

    This was a wonderful week. The scenery is magnificent and the Cinque Terre villages are as beautiful as i hoped, despite the crowds you can still appreciate the unique atmosphere and architecture of these tiny villages. Several times we walked through lovely flowers or woods. The hotel is just across the road from a Blue Flag beach with safe swimming , lovely after a hard walk. Local food is tasty and affordable and especially good if you like anchovies and ice cream (not together!) The walking is strenuous going up the cliffs at the start of the day and down at the end, but there is plenty of time allowed and the "level" parts are well surfaced and easy. I really reccommend this holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1 Completing the walks without undue tiredness 2 The wine tasting 3 Lucca on the free day 4 The tasting menu on the last night

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - full of knowledge about the local area, very helpful with suggestions and travel arrangements for the free day. Great sense of humour. Provided biscuits on the walks!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I find the "cliff" element of holidays like this hard to train for, but sessions on a step machine plus at long last learning to go slow uphill really helped. On no account should you miss the wine tasting - as a very occasional wine drinker I can honestly say this was like nectar and opened my eyes to wonderful wine. For the free day I reccommend Lucca - the train journey is worth it for the great historic old town with many impressive buildings and also art.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Most restaurants charge between 20 and 25 Euros for one course plus wine, water, ice cream and coffee. I found I needed more money than the trip notes suggested and it is most definitively worth budgetting for lunch at Portofino and the tasting menu at the Asirto restaurant.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    David Wells

    Walking Cinque Terre and Porofino

    A very well organised trip and excellent guide who was always decisive and unruffled when there were changes forced on her by weather or authorities. The hotel in Moneglia was very good, serving a good evening meal on the first night and a wide selection of breakfast food in the mornings. Moneglia was certainly quieter than the places we visited during week, so was quite restful. Travelling by train to each start point was enjoyable and quick in comparison to road travel around the area. The walks I would have said were graded a bit low at 3, certainly the steps and rocky climbs and descents needed a good set of knees and or walking poles, walking boots essential. Not a set of walks for trainers, though one did see idiots in insubstantial footwear attempting them. Wonderful views of the villages of the Cinque Terre and coastline as the walks progressed. Walk to Portofino was pleasant but the place was quite crowded even in May as we experienced . Three cruise ships anchored in the bay on one day would not have helped matters. If you don't mind being organised by someone and can go with the flow this is an excellent trip. We did not have to pay for anything in terms of travel during the days apart from lunch on the those when packed lunches were not provided. On the basis on this trip which was my first with Exodus I would definitely consider other tours with them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking down on the villages of the Cinque terre from 600 metres.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent could not fault her. Organised, unruffled with a good command of English and great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't chance this walk without walking boots and if you have them walking poles and get some practice going up and down steps (384 just going up from Corniglia station to the village, ok one could have caught a bus up but where's the fun in that and at least you get a work out!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    S D

    Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

    An excellent week in every way - sunny weather, wonderfully scenic walks along coastal paths, through forests and across high terraces and a good hotel base in Moneglia where a number of restaurants offered a choice for evening meals. On the “free” day we took the boat from Monterosso to Porto Venere which enabled us to see all the villages from the sea and recognise some of the paths we’d walked.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views down to the villages from the hiking paths were glorious. The evening spent wine tasting was informative and Lucca’s passion for his subject was infectious!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was very efficient and organised, ensuring we never missed a train yet enabling us to spend time in the places we reached. She was knowledgeable and helpful, patient and had a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking poles were useful, especially for the knees on descents!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you don’t enjoy seafood you could find some of the restaurant menus limited.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    S Patel

    So beautiful.

    Such a beautiful week of walking made special by a great group and a fantastic guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beautiful views along the coast line of Cinque Terre and Portofino made every step along the trail worthwhile.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Michela Wicks was fantastic. Although our main reason for going was to see the fantastic views, the trip was made even more perfect by Michela, who worked hard to make sure we got to each place in good time to make the most of our day. She made sure we understood what was expected on each day of walking and was clear about what we had to take on our walk. She made sure we stopped to drink water and because of this made sure we got back to our base town safely and in good health.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Follow the guides given by Exodus on making sure you choose the right level of walks for your fitness and make sure you listen to your guides expert knowledge to keep safe on some of the more energetic walks.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Ruth FLOWERS

    Steps galore!

    The villages of the Cinque Terre are remarkable, clinging to the cliff edge by magic. Reaching them along the coastal paths involves walking busy routes with LOTS of vertical steps. Achievable as long as the walk leader allows time for enough drink breaks and the fact that it is very easy to get caught behind a slower group so time to re-group is vital. The walk to Portofino was nice, quite a short day so a good break between visiting the Cinque Terre. Without the excellent train service serving this region this trip wouldn't work. An interesting tour with varied nationalities and personalities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views of the Cinque from a boat

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A hasty leader and a little rude at times but knew the area well enough

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be advised that the steps on the coastal path to the Cinque Terre villages are uneven and steep. Walking poles were essential for the descents. Take plenty of snacks and water
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Valerie Smith

    Cinque Terra

    Fantastic views. Great guide

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fact that I could manage all the walks

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellant
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Carolyn Finch

    Walks in the Cinque Terre and Portofino

    Fantastic holiday in a beautiful part of Italy with excellent food and wine and an entertaining group of fellow walkers. I enjoyed all the walks but especially those through the forests where we didn't meet another soul.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a lightning storm whilst sheltering safely was exhilarating. I also loved visiting Lucca on the free day and cycling round the city wall on a hire bike.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought Paul did a good job, given that he arrived in the resort at the same time as we did. He recommended and reserved some excellent restaurants for us; the food and wine was a definite highlight of the holiday. He also came up with an alternative "wet weather" walk when bad weather shut the Cinque Terre and that walk (including the storm) was another of my highlights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks are very steep in parts so a good fitness level is required. I'd done a couple of level 2/3 trips before and found this level 3 trip to be noticeably more difficult than those. Mind you, I was a lot fitter by the end of the week and the views definitely make the effort worthwhile. I went on this trip towards the end of the season. I think this was a good move because it meant the Cinque Terre paths and towns were not as busy as they would be in the summer.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Joanna Jackson

    Walks of the Cinque Terre

    I had a good holiday because of the lovely people on the trip. The hotel was nice and clean. Restaurants that we went to were great with one exceptional-'Asserto'. It could have been very different. The organisation was pretty shambolic and we sort of muddled through. Many of the paths were shut and open ones were packed with other walkers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A concert in the 13c church

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Started badly but he grew on us. It seemed he had been catapulted into this trip.-didn't know the status of the paths or train times. Also he couldn't speak much Italian neither could Albert who was shadowing him and who also takes tours in Italy so obviously this was not a one off situation. I was amazed and appalled that tour leaders on Exodus holidays aren't fluent in the local language. Not their fault-you employed them but I would consider that a pre-requisite of a guide as well as knowledge of the walks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I probably would not recommend this tour to anyone and definitely will look at alternative operators for other European trips. I have been to Sri Lanka with Exodus and it was very good.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Debby Horsman

    Walks of the Cinque Terra and Portofino

    We have done many Exodus walking holidays, usually Grade 3. This had the usual country paths and ups and downs but included the chance to see and swim in the sea every day and to travel on local trains. The base town was not too touristy so we could get a sense of real Italian life. A single centre in a family-run hotel made for a relaxed and comfortable time

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the cable car and as we descended into Positano were beautiful. Local people were friendly and some of the restaurant meals were superb (all were good). The wine tasting evening was outstanding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suzy's long experience as a leader really showed. She was knowledgeable, considerate and she made every effort to ensure that each of us had a good time. Although she was not Italian, her command of the language ensured that everything ran smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had excellent weather after the first day but some paths were quite steep and somewhat insecure in places after recent heavy rain. Walking poles were very useful both for stability and to ease pressure on our knees on long ascents/descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    After (I think) a total of 12 Exodus holidays we know we can trust your planning and staff but this really was a great choice for us. Back to the brochure....
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Kurt Mills

    Great Week

    This was a great holiday. Well planned out. The walks were varied - and all with beautiful views. In the evenings, Suzy took us to some great restaurants. On the walk to Portofino we stopped off at a restaurant in the hills where the tomatoes for the caprese salad were plucked off the vine next to the restaurant - fantastic. The hotel was nice, and very close to the beach. The wine tasting, with somebody who was passionate about the wines of the region, was fascinating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking down into Portofino.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suzy was great. Was knowledgeable about the region. Everything was well organised and when changes needed to be made at the last minute she was able to figure out alternate arrangements quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks varied in difficulty, with the first day definitely the hardest. There were some very steep extended descents - poles definitely came in handy on that first day, as well as when we descended from Montallegro to Chiavari. The walks in the Cinque Terre were great, although there was not a lot of time in the villages themselves. However, you can easily use the free day to spend more time in them, as well as in Portovenere - the boat trip out is recommended. Food is expensive - especially the restaurants we went to in the evenings, so be prepared... Also, just a note that the trip notes mention the Via Dell'Amore. Unfortunately, this has been closed since 2011 as a result of a landslide, and doesn't appear to be reopening anytime soon because of bickering over who will pay to repair it, so we did not get to do it. This was not a major loss since all the other walking was great, but something that Exodus might want to change in the trip notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it - and then plan to spend another week in the area afterwards like we did - you will not want to leave.
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