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

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80 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2019

    Fabulous - Exceeded Expectations

    The trip was amazing. The organization could not have been better. The hotels were all great and if this is Grade 3, I'll travel at that level all the time. All of the places we stopped were excellent and the lead guide always provided us with background on the places we stopped. The ride along the old iron curtain was truly eye opening. Overall, this trip exceeded my expectations and set the standard for future trips. I would even like to do it again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Budapest blew my mind. I could never have imagined such a historic city and its culture. Everywhere I turned I was in awe. I want to go back.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guides were outstanding. All trip support was outstanding. The leader, Juan, kept everything moving, resolved any problems quickly and provided lots of relevant information along the way. He was always upbeat, ready to listen and provide whatever was needed. What an excellent representative for Exodus. Andy, who rode the back line, provided excellent support, encouragement, and humor. He was very good in keeping me encouraged. Juan and Andy - thank for all the support and encouragement you provided.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really look at your fitness level. I did not pay enough attention to the trip notes, specifically the hills, and did not have the required fitness for the trip. I "made it" with only a few short trips on the bus but I would have enjoyed the journey so much more if I did not struggle as I did. So, before you do this trip, practice your hills and make sure you can stay in the saddle for consecutive days. And make sure you have the right gear.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was travelling alone and while I have done so before, it always brings some level of worry. I never felt alone on this trip. It was a great group and there was comraderie and support from other riders throughout. I could not have had a better group and will miss that.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    J Allen

    Good but with issues

    The trip achieves its aim of visiting the 4 countries and their capitals with a moderate amount of cycling. but the bikes were absolutley terrible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not sure there was one

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good - he lead the rides well, he communicated well. His local knowledge was excellent and was very informative. He helped the group gel. He worked very well with the second leader who was also excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is not that great - the best is in the Czech Republic but a large amount of it is on the banks of the Danube - so dead flat, dead straight and, frankly, dead boring. Also a lot of the ride is not on road - but on very well maintained gravel paths, a very small amount might be classified as trail. The places that the trip visits are pretty spectacular and our group gelled very well. So the trip, as a whole, is a trade off if you like doing more challenging cycling than this trip offers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes were poorly maintained - my head set was loose, the brake calipers were poorly adjusted and two of the group were plagued with chains that kept coming off, part of which was caused by extreme wear and tear on the chain rings. Also the choice of bikes - with swept back handle bars, so you were in a sit up and beg position - is really strange given the distance that one was doing on some days.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    John Foote

    A Fast-Moving Cultural Tour

    As the trip notes make clear, this tour is intended to demonstrate the "cultural and natural heritage of central Europe". It seeks to achieve this by touring cities and sites of natural interest in 5 countries in just 13 days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A very difficult question since there was so much that was inspirational. The architecture and artistic cultures were repeatedly impressive throughout the two weeks of the trip. The fact that the complexity and creativeness of most of these had been hidden or difficult to access for decades during the 'iron curtain' era simply increased the revelation .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As previous reviewers have reported the leader, Peter Gbur, proved to be knowledgeable, thoughtful, and helpful to all group members. He supported the group over and above that required by the itinerary. His command of English was good, but there were sometimes problems with communicating the plan for the day or being heard by some group members when out on tour. Group members would have found it helpful to have the day's plans at breakfast, or failing that a notice at the hotel reception desk. When out touring it would be helpful for Peter to gather the group in front of him when explaining some historical or architectural point, rather than talking from the middle. An innovation Peter advised was the use of 24 or 48 hour transport tickets for use on either trams or metros which simplified movement around cities. This cost-effective solution saved time and effort with only one ticket purchase per day, and, given the frequency of both trains and trams, no real need to consult timetables.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fast moving tour with no stop longer than two nights, Essentially, it requires living out of a suitcase for two weeks. The itinerary necessitates repeated changes of currencies, but group members had no difficulty accessing ATMs when required and the costs of living are low by western standards except in capital cities. Make sure you have change for use in public toilets which all require payment. Although the local custom is to make lunch the principal meal of the day there are plenty of restaurants serving dinner. It would probably be sensible to make lunch a snack given the short time available for sight-seeing, etc. Peter Gbur appeared to have a great repertoire of restaurants to book in and was always happy to make a reservation. He generally accompanied the group to evening meals.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation was usually 3-star hotels with a couple of 4-star establishments thrown in. The 3-star hotels tended to be quite plain, but all were comfortable. Those in cities were sometimes noisy. There were no instances of crime during our tour, but it would be wise to take precautions against pick-pockets in the major towns. All of the cities visited were as clean as equivalent British cities, and in many cases cleaner. Is this trip for you? If you have an interest in the history, culture and natural features of the region but no prior knowledge of it, then I would book without hesitation. If you are more interested in bars, nightlife, etc then there will be other trips that will suit your needs better.
  • Reviewed September 2019

    Patience Required

    The title of this trip “Highlights of Central Europe” would better described as “Historical Highlights of Central Europe”. Our guide Peter proved to be a very knowledgeable student of Central European history. This was clearly a passion and interest of his. However that was not true of every member of our group. The itinerary does not take account of this discrepancy. You get to see the capital cities of five countries in two weeks, so this is quite a busy schedule. If ticking those countries off is important to you, then this may be the trip for you. However the pace on many days can slow to a glacial crawl. There are endless stops on street corners, just as it looks like the pace was picking up, to recount historical facts, often seemingly at random. There are daily visits to restaurants for lunch - allowing you to sample the local food - which is inevitable 'heavy' and by the time people have paid takes two hours out of your schedule. (Baguette anyone?) Lunch is the main meal in these countries is seems... yet every evening a group meal at a restaurant would further expand your waistline. Taking an occasional trip on a country’s public transport system offers a great way to see the real lives of the people there. However, when the ‘occasional’ becomes ‘regular’ – where we are regularly dragging our luggage across cities, from buses to trams to trains, spending hours buying tickets, checking timetables, (dodging dog poo and dead pigeons everywhere in Budapest) – you start to feel that you are not on an Exodus trip, but a cheap student backpacking holiday. We were informed that this is a new approach by Exodus to use public transport where possible – to save the environment or some such?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It seemed to me that the less historical, more social / fun items on this trip were the highlights. A new trip to a small winery was a blast, and really helped bond the group, who were a great bunch, and what made the trip less dry. A rafting trip down a river similarly adds fun and moisture. Sadly these don't happen often enough.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Peter is very knowledgeable, capable, and goes out of his way to help everyone, with even the smallest of details. However, he can get lost in the minutiae, almost molly-coddling the group - which meant you needed to go off and arrange your own activities if you wanted to do anything vaguely exciting. He has a 'broadcast' style of transmitting information - which works for some, but could quickly switch-off others. Many mornings he struggled to explain options to the group in a concise manner, leaving many confused as to the options available.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You can start to feel chateau-ed out as the umpteenth visit to the latest towns chateau looms - a genuine passion for this kind of history, or lots of patience is a necessary virtue on this trip.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Clifford Kienlen

    Prague to Budapest

    Exceeded expectations. Great guides, driver and fellow cyclists. Tour is an interesting combination of rural and great cities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our last meal as a group. Good companions

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent combination of cycling know how and narrative about the history of what we were seeing which included his experience of living under communism. I think he should make sure group is engaged before giving a briefing. Saying “ Gather around the map. I want you all to know where we are going.” once or twice would make all the difference. As well, if possible face people on the bus when relating some interesting history or giving some crucial information. Otherwise some miss key parts of what is being said.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Kick back and enjoy.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Phil Goyen

    Prague to Budapest ride

    Great ride through the rolling hills of Czech of republic and on through to Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Many interesting stops along the way. Glad I did some training before the ride as we had some windy days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding along the old Iron curtain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter and Dana were great. I required my brakes to be switched to accommodate my hands and even though I had some bike problems and switched three different bikes, Peter gladly switched for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training, will make the trip much more enjoyable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thought everything was well organized but personally would have had shorter stops along the day and arrived at the towns earlier to enjoy more of the towns.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Tom Roberts

    Highlights of Central Europe

    This was a fast paced tour that covered features and cities of 5 countries. I found this tour to be very interesting and gave one an insite into this part of the world. I would recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard question, but I would say the time we spent Vienna. The history ,as we all know, is amazing and it was great to see firsthand thus very beautiful city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I found Peter to be excellent. He tried very hard to make our holiday as memorable as possible. Being a native to Slovakia, his knowledge of the history of the countries we visited was first rate. He was most helpful to everybody in this tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fast past tour covering some of the highlights of 5 Central European countries. This tour will provide you with a broad brush look and knowledge of these countries . In my case it has given me a reason for visiting some of the cities again to get a greater look at what they have to offer.
  • Reviewed October 2018

    Cycling in four wonderful countries

    This was my second Exodus trip and it was great as the first one. Dana was delightful, always willing to assist you with any request. She was assisted by Lubos. A very good driver and mechanic, always with a smile in his face. We started the trip in the busy city of Prague , after a few days in the city I was so happy to get away. We got to the lovely town of Cesky Krumlov, it was a very relaxing day. After the first day the cycling got more challenging, we cycle through the hilly countryside. It was beautiful but really hilly. I’m not that good at hills since I lived in “FLAT” Florida. All the cities we stop in the Czech Republic were memorable; Trebon, Telc, Mikulov. I will love to visit them again. The tour of the winery in Mikulov, so much fun. The Czech Republic beer and ice cream unforgettable. The cycling tour of the city of Vienna is a most. And in the afternoon go and jump in the Danube. The ride from Vienna to Bratislava was beautiful, a very long relaxing ride.Then we’re in Hungary, time go so fast. Finally the magnificent city of Budapest. Just AMAZING!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On day six on our way from Telc to Mikulov (a very hot day) we stop in a small river and Dana and some of us jumped in the water. It was so hot that we didn’t care. It was fun...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dana was excellent. Since she was the only leader in our group she was always making sure that everybody was accounted for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy your trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Almost all the riders had issues with the bikes, chains coming out. Maybe the Company should consider new bikes.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Liam Curran

    4 capital cities and 3 currencies in just 10 days.

    First few days of cycling are quite difficult as there are a lot of hills. For the rest of the trip the cycling is mostly very easy and flat. You will visit 4 countries and have to get used to managing 3 currencies. Food is fresh and portions are big. Bratislava is by far the smallest capital on the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling from the hotel in Vienna directly to the hotel in Bratislava in a day. Not difficult but very statisfying.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to see Prague go a few days early, as there is not really anytime to sight see on the trip. There are a lot of hills on the first few days. Even though you will say in 3 and 4 start hotels they tend not to have any soap or shampoo in the rooms.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Keith Lumley

    Excellent First Trip

    This was my first Exodus trip and wasn’t sure what to expect. From the first day of arrival the Exodus team Peter and Danke were exceptional in every aspect of the planning, logistics and guidance through the trip. The equipment (cycles) and were high quality and fit for a dual on and off road experience. I’m so impressed by the trip and the support that I have plans for two further in the next 18 months. A truly inspiring experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cohesiveness of the guides and our group on tough days where the weather was poor and the terrain challenging. We all stayed together.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was exceptional in terms of his support, knowledge of all locations and accessibility for all group members for the slightest thing. He really showed exceptional professionalism and commitment throughout the tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Feel free to take your own seats and pedals as that’s where you spend most of your time riding! Comfort is critical so use what you are used to. Also check the temperature ranges to ensure you have suitable clothing to accommodate those changes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have no hesitation in recommending Exodus and would be happy to receive queries from clients regarding this trip.