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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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Reviews

CAUTION: This is a '4' level of difficulty and NOT a '2'; difficulty level grossly misrepresented

We booked this trip to have some cycling time with our son who is a novice cyclist but fit. My husband and I are strong cyclists and have done trips with Exodus that are rated as a ‘4’ and ‘3’; no difficulties with cycling experienced on those trips. However, this Dordogne trip starts off the first cycling day with grades of 5% to 10% and as high as 16%. The second day of cycling has two optional rides with the same thing and even as high as 20% showing on our Garmin. Our son was not here to train for the Tour de France … the goal was to have some relaxing cycling … this is NOT relaxing cycling. I confirmed with an Exodus agent that a trip rated as a ‘2’ should be relatively flat terrain. When you are continuously experiencing elevation grades greater than 6%, it’s a seriously challenging ride. We ride in the Canadian Rockies … some great but tough rides there … this Dordogne trip is as tough as our mountain rides in Canada but not as many kilometres. The difficulty rating of this ride has been totally misrepresented by Exodus. Had we known, we would have booked an ebike. We were unable to get an ebike because we didn’t realize it was necessary until we had done a couple of days of cycling … now they are unable to get us one … so we’re stuck sitting around doing nothing. BEWARE!!!!

Most Inspirational Moment

When we realized that we will never book another trip with Exodus given the misrepresentation experienced on this trip ... and we've done more than 10 to date with them!

Thoughts on Group Leader

No group leader; self-guided.

Advice for Potential Travellers

BEWARE!!!

Suggestions

I should have noticed that there were no reviews more recent than August of 2015. Exodus likely has been pulling all the bad reviews. They'll likely pull this one even though they say they post all reviews!!! We know this trip has been booked by others because the reps who greeted us on the first day told us that was the case.

Review Centre
Reply from Exodus

We were in contact with Tilly whilst she and her family were on their trip. We responded as quickly as we could and arranged an e-bike for their son so he could enjoy the last 3 days of their cycling holiday together. We gather that this gesture greatly improved the end of their trip.

Subsequently, following their concerns of the grading we have looked at this in greater detail. The average daily distance is 37km with the longest ride being 49km and the average elevation gain is 462m with the highest elevation gain being 550m. With this in mind, we have increased the grade to a level 3. 

Self Guided Gastronomic Dordogne Cycling trip

A thoroughly enjoyable cycling trip with some superb food and especially at Les Glycines’s restaurant where the service and accommodation were impeccable.

Most Inspirational Moment

Making it it the top of the hill in the mid afternoon heat after climbing up from Sarlat by grinding out the miles! The cave paintings at Lascaux 2 were stunning as the originals are over 17000 years old and cycling through the virtually traffics free country roads with the dappled sunlight over the chateaux.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Being self guided meant that he didn't have a leader which meant we had planets of time to confer while interpreting the route plan from Headwater. Both Claire & Keith ( the local reps) were both friendly and helpful.

Advice for Potential Travellers

We went in August when it was hot so do take plenty of water with you and stay hydrated as this is an undulating route with plenty of short sharp hills and the occasional long one! Do also remember that shops are often closed during the afternoon until about 16.00 so buy your provisions in plenty of time

Suggestions

The fitter you are before the trip the more you'll enjoy it. This region attracts a lot of tourists and town centres

More hills than we expected

Our week was particularly hot, as temperatures in the high 30’s swept over France. This probably made the hills a bit more of a challenge, but they are achievable since the bikes are very good and have plenty of gears.
We would recommend this holiday, the cycling distances are all less than 50k, taking us through stunning scenery and pretty villages.
We were well briefed by the Headwater / Exodus staff and when we had a problem with the bike that needed assistance, they came to us within 10 minutes.
The first hotel is without doubt disappointing, cramped and poor facilities. However the restaurant next door at La Veille Auberge is excellent.
Les Glycines and Le Moulin de Mitou were fantastic with great pools, nice rooms and outstanding food.
On our free day at Eyzies de Tayac we hired a canoe from just outside the hotel and paddled for 18k although other longer and shorter distances can be arranged.

Most Inspirational Moment

Le Moulin de Mitou has a wonderful atmosphere. The owners are charming and speak very little English. We cycled both days and spent the afternoon by the lovely pool.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Clare and Keith were great. The briefing was spot on.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Expect the hills. On one day you start with 3k of gradual uphill. Cycle early if it is hot.

Suggestions

As previously said the first hotel disappoints, but not enough to take the shine of a great holiday. There is no air conditioning and I was able to use the one fan available at the hotel.

Dordogne gastronomic cycling trip

A fantastic nine day trip through a beautiful section of the Dordogne, riding between hotels and visiting historic chateaus and towns along the way. The accommodation was excellent, the food was wonderful and the self-guided trip allows you to proceed at your own pace.

Most Inspirational Moment

Visiting the chateaus and picnicking alongside the Dordogne river in beautiful surrounds, browsing the farmers' markets, unwinding over dinner at the hotels which served excellent food and had great wine selections.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We were on a self-guided trip, but Keith and co at Headwaters provided great support, taking our gear between hotels and thoroughly briefing us on the area and the bikes. They took good care of our luggage and had in-depth knowledge of the region

Advice for Potential Travellers

Worth spending a day or two in Brive before starting the trip - beautiful little town and the Black Truffle is a great place to stay. There aren't many vineyards along this route, so unless you are going to Bergerac or elsewhere on the wine route, map out some side visits to vineyards in the region. Have lots of picnics, picking up local ingredients from charcuteries and boulangeries. The entry fee to the chateaus is worth it, particularly Chateau de Fenelon and Chateau de Losse. The ancient towns of Domme and La Roque Gageac are must-visit locations. The prehistoric heritage of the area is fascinating, but investigate the supposed attractions carefully online first - some of them are tacky theme parks. The exception is the Lascaux caves - an excellent site.

Suggestions

Useful to have someone assigned to map reading and ideally, a GPS device to keep track of your progress each day. Take the longer cycling options, which usually involve less elevation!