Turtle, Ecuador

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

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4919 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2020
    Lucy Hockenhull

    Extraordinary landscapes and fabulous snowshoeing.

    Loved the snowshoeing. Each of the walks held interest and the challenges increased as the week progressed. We enjoyed the opportunity to sled down from Taistner Alm near Lutterkopf. Hotel Adler is wonderful with a lovely spa, fabulous 4 course dinners, picnic packed lunches and extensive breakfast buffet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every walk was unique and had its own appeal, but we especially enjoyed Monte Piano as the weather and views were superb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Jenny had extensive mountaineering experience but was new to this area and trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Anyone with reasonable fitness can enjoy the walks but you really do need to be pretty fit to make the most of this trip.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Katie Szkornik

    A wonderful , relaxed week of walking on the Almalfi Coast

    I really loved this trip to the Amalfi Coast, and it was just what I was looking for in terms of a relaxing, but active, New Year break. A nice mix of walking and culture, with no early starts or late finishes and plenty of time for a relaxing coffee or two after walks had finished. The Hotel Due Torri where you stay for the whole week is a family run hotel with a nice atmosphere, delicious food, and a fabulous range of cocktails (the limoncello spritz was the 'drink of the holiday'!). Enjoyed the opportunity to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as a trip to the crater of Vesuvius. Thanks also to our tour leader Teresa for helping to make this a fabulous week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to Pompeii. Fascinating guided tour and Pompeii really exceed my expectations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresea was great. I especailly enjoyed all the local food treats she shared with us during our walks! It was also nice that she sat and ate dinner with the group every evening, and made an effort to really get to know everyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is not always warm in southern Italy! I wore four layers the day we went to Pompeii and was just about warm enough. If you go over Christmas and/or New Year make sure you pack some warm clothes, and hats and gloves.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be great if Exodus could offer a greater range of trips over New Year. I've met many poeople who want to spend Christams with family, but then like to get away shortly after for a week or so. Most companies only offer a limited range of trips at this time of year.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Ruth Toller

    Great place to spend New Year

    Real getaway for New Year with a great group of people and excellent guides and support. Energetic enough to justify all the food we were presented with but plenty of time to relax.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lying on the frozen river watching the stars (unfortunately no Northern Lights that particular night). Optional snowshoe on the Little Bear Trail was really good and contained the hardest section of the whole week due to the previous days' weatehr conditions

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Good communicator, very knowledgeable and willing to give us some indepedence. went out of way to be helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for changes of plan if the weather conditions make the original impossible, but alternatives will be equally good. Take slip-on shoes to Russian End (outside toilet) to avoid having to put on boots every time

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very well fed and various dietary needs were well met but catering facilities mean there can only be one main dish for a meal. Mealtimes were "flexible" as the guides/leaders also did the cooking. Celebrating New Year in a cabin with no electricity or running water (but plenty of heat and candlelight and a sauna) was special.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Bailey Troccoli-Hughes

    Does not get better then this!

    I highly recommend this trip for anyone who loves the mountains, hiking and Spanish culture. Our outstanding, charismatic guide Jaime took great care of us from start to finish; from transfers, cultural knowledge, outdoors expertise I always felt we were in excellent hands. Jaime knowledge and love of the mountain range and culture added invaluable insight to our Spanish adventure. The cozy, family run hotel we stayed in was situated partially up a mountain providing breathtaking views. As well, the family running the hotel ensured we received delicious, authentic Spanish food every day... Easily the best Spanish food I have ever had! The 3 others I traveled with and myself are fairly active and hike regularly at home, as a result we did not find the 5 hikes challenging. However there was some technical spots and it was very rainy and windy (still lots of fun!) the last day so I would recommend proper hiking shoes and some hiking experience. This was my first exodus trip and after my outstanding experience I would definitely do another!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting people from different parts of the world of all ages! The 3 others I traveled with and myself were the youngest in our tour group and the only ones from Canada! It was very inspiring to see individuals in their 60s conquer these hikes with minimal problem! As well, it was a lot of fun to get to know the others in our tour group from other parts of the world that share the same passion for hiking and mountains!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Jaime was awesome! His outgoing personality and love for the mountains made the trip extremely exciting and memorable! I had complete confidence in his abilities and knowledge of the mountains. Jaime took great care of us throughout the week long tour by offering us support on our hikes, ensuring all our transfers were organized, sharing knowledge and advice on how to maximize our Spain trip, etc. All guides should take after Jaime's compassionate and personable ways... we loved our week adventure with him! :)
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Mira Nair

    Poor hotel food and mixed itinerary

    We only stay at one hotel the entire trip, which we had a very mixed experience of. The room was nice and large , cleaned well each day, a lovely big balcony. Sadly the TV had the capability to connect to the internet and Netflix but this was disabled by the hotel which is a shame. I am very surprised so many reviews of this tour rate the food at the hotel positively. We had high expectations but found it was mediocre at the best of times, and terrible (and made us both sick/get a dodgy stomach) at the worst of times. They clearly designed all the included meals to feed a big group as cheaply as possible — and the health and safety standards were frankly for a first world country. We were invited into the kitchen several times for cooking demonstrations but no one working the kitchen wore hair nets or any other basic hygiene equipment and we weren’t required to wash our hands or wear hair nets or anything else despite standing very much in the centre of the food preparation. It didn’t surprise me that I got ill from the food probably as a result of this. It’s a shame as we only had a couple of ‘free’ meals to experience properly excellent Italian food. The breakfast supposedly starts at 7am but we went down there at 720am and nothing was out yet — we had to wait another 15min to eat after we found the woman managing it and she set it up. Again, pretty poor hygiene standards as she grabbed the bread slices out with bare hands after touching lots of other things in the setup. The breakfast is a very basic continental and we were pretty sick of the very limited selection by the last couple of days. The pastries started out nice and fresh tasting the first day but I think they re-use them multiple days (we saw her take out the same ones from the last day) and they were really hard and disgusting by the last breakfasts. The two owners are also the two chefs and they both made lots of very inappropriate comments during their cooking demonstrations — one said that he needs to beat the pizza dough to get it out of his system so he doesn’t beat his wife. He also said the olive oil needed to be Italian, ‘not Greek or spic stuff.’ They both also made repeated negative comments about vegetarians. The first day lunch is not an included meal but we were forced to buy it at the hotel. I asked the guide if we could go find somewhere else (we had tons of time between getting to the hotel and our orientation walk) and he made it out like we had to go to the hotel restaurant. It was very expensive and small portions and very mediocre quality for what it was. A few days later we had a not included dinner so we went to a very good and very cheap pizza place literally across the road from the hotel. Wish we were given the chance to find this the first day instead of being forced to eat at the hotel (I’ve never been on a tour where we’ve not been given a choice for non included meals for where to eat). I paid 11 euro for a tiny piece of not very good sea bass and an extra four euro for a very lame side salad. The pizza place across the street does you an excellent big pizza for 6-8 euros. The village we were based in was really in the middle of nowhere. The positive of the location is this clearly is a major hub for starting beautiful walks from. But besides that it’s so remote that you feel a bit trapped. A pool is advertised but when we stayed, it wasn’t being cleaned or maintained at all — which they don’t tell you. It was full of rubbish so they clearly just don’t maintain it in winter but Exodus should really make that clear or else saying there’s a pool is false advertising. The itinerary hilights for us were 1) the stunning boat ride along the coast from Amalfi to Capri and 2) the archaeology day we spent doing Herculaneum and Pompeii. Many people told me we would need a full day for Pompeii alone but actually we found 2-3 hours at each site was enough to see the hilights just fine. The biggest itinerary disappointments included the walk of the gods. We did a very lame short version of this where we walked about 2km one way and then turned back and walk back the same way we came. There was endless faffing and unnecessary short breaks on this shortened walk. I also expected we were doing a BBQ lunch back at the hotel afterward as per the trip notes but the lunch instead was a cold lunch with a cheese and salami platter . I would have much preferred doing the full walk of gods and then getting transport back from Positano, because we really didnt benefit from a guide (just the opposite) to do a tiny there and back again chunk of this walk followed by a lunch at the hotel and nothing to do afterwards. This entire day again felt like false advertising from the trip notes. The first three days (Capri, Pompeii, Amalfi and Positano) felt like full days and the last two non-free days felt very much like half days (Ravello was very pretty but not enough for a day).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lovely countryside
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Anne Macintosh

    Amazing

    What a fantastic walking trip - beautiful scenery, well organised and varied walks, and enhanced by a lovely group of fellow-walkers. Eduardo is a first class guide, and manages to accommodate everybody's abilities. This was the Grade 5 level walk, which was quite challenging towards the end of the week, mainly due to the unseasonably hot weather.. But so rewarding. My first trip with Exodus. Can't wait to book the next one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit on the last day of the trip - higher than Ben Nevis and in 28 degrees heat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First rate leader, so proud of his Mallorcan roots. Full of interesting anecdotes, and lots of historical facts.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Diana Barker

    Sicily Food Adveenture

    Our week in Sicily was the highlight of 2 months in Europe. The places we visited, and stayed, and the food experiences we enjoyed were well planned to make for a varied tour: a mixture of popular tourist sites and low-key personal off the beaten track ventures all designed to keep a group of 6 well-travelled 70s year olds stimulated but not over taxed. Guide Rosario was a wonderfullyorganised yet relaxed companion who who treated us as friends not customers (and driver Giuseppe was great to be with as well. Thoroughly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The picnic of market-bought treats, in a Palermo pub. Cooking lesson. Exploring Greek, and Roman, remains. Gelato. 'Climbing' Mt Etna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely the best. It was like being with a favourite member of the family, one who knew his stuff inside out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    John Daley

    Sicily Food & Wine Tour

    With 6 in our group and with our guide Rosario and our driver we did a one week tour of Sicily. It was magic. We saw wonderful sights, were taken into old medieval homes, learned how to make pasta, climbed Mt Etna, saw great cathedrals, learned of the Mafia and ate wonderful food. Our guide and driver were wonderful and we had such fun together. All our needs were attended to and we became good friends. I can heartily recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    See above

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If possible keep to a small group. This allows you to be more involved with the guide

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Cathryn Spence

    Great walking on a beautiful volcanic island

    We did a variety of walks on the island through temperate rainforest, across coastal gorges, up in the high caldera ridge and through the caldera itself. The scenery was beautiful with amazing geology from volcanic activity. Our tour guide was very good and let everybody in the group find their own pace. The sunshine and light during December was a real bonus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the ridge of the caldera and looking down on clouds and across to Teide on Tenerife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Enthusiastic, organised and providing practical information.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Mary Dunn

    Excellent guide, fascinating trip

    Loved the daily walks that we did as we covered some fascinating history and saw a unique part of Turkey that's off the beaten track of the standard beach holidays that people do when they think of Turkey. The guide Ikut was one of the best guides I've seen, and I've done lots of this kind of trip. He was kind, attentive, diplomatic and very cheerful. The walking was pretty relaxed and we went at a slow pace and it was all quite easy. The main point of our walks was to see the beautiful landscapes and hidden, painted rock churches. The food was plentiful and delicious and we were well looked after. The only bad points are the hotel Ciner, which wasn't great (days without hot water, no bar to hang out in at night, and repetitive food at breakfast) but it was close to the town centre and adequate for our needs. Also the communication from Exodus prior to the trip wasn't good. But the locals in Goreme, including our guide, worked hard to look after us and it's a really beautiful part of Turkey to experience. The walking routes were dry, dusty and exposed so hats, sunglasses and water are recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being able to walk at a leisurely pace so that we could fully take in the magnificent landscape and awesome rock formations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent in every way! He dealt with a tricky situation diplomatically when we had a challenging member of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Proper walking boots are a must for the rocky, dusty paths.