Turtle, Ecuador

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

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133 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2016
    Mary Palfreyman

    Totally amazing week spent in the Picos

    The Picos is a fantastic area with wonderful scenery and mountain terrain. To walk in the Picos was a great way to see the area and get up and close to the peaks. The hotel was great with a lovely terrace bar over-looking the valley and peaks and it was a great way to end the day with a beer in hand here (who needs telly). The food at the hotel was amazing and the staff at the hotel went out of their way to ensure that all guests had a memorable experience - I know I did. I am vegetarian and did not struggle at all for food, the hotel caters for vegetarians and there was always a veggie option available - even packed lunches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cares Gorge - it took my breath away....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alvero was just great, he has a kind, considerate and passionate attitude to everything that he does. He was always there for everyone in the group, from the slowest walker to the fastest walker. He knew the area and plants, animals, birds that lived there and would go into details explaining this.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this trip, do not hesitate...I had an amazing week and could not find fault in anything. Everything was just perfect.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If I could do this trip again....I wouldn't change a thing :-)
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Rosalind Deer

    Walking the Picos de Europa

    A haven for wildlife set in stunning scenery; sheer peaked mountains, deep rocky gorge, green pastures. Exceptional Leader. Well organised walks. One free day. Homely hotel and friendly, helpful staff. First-class evening meals, freshly cooked by proprietors, Jim & Pilar. Generous breakfasts and varied packed lunches, Fantastic shower.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From mountainside watching two enormous Griffon Vultures silently riding the thermals. Spotting a Short-toed Eagle flying above us carrying a snake in its beak.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alvaro is an exceptional leader and natural teacher; passionate about the Picos, with a special interest in wildlife, he shared his knowledge appropriately not only with our group but with each individual, making time to get to know each person's interests. Breakfast briefings by Alvaro each day regarding weather, suitable clothing and water quantities to take were very useful. Each walk was carefully planned according to weather and trail conditions and pace managed; Alvaro gently encouraged those 'flagging' and directed those 'eating up kilometres' when necessary, moving quickly along our procession to ensure everyone was happy and had a sense of achievement at the day's end.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not 'a walk in the park' because, at times, the terrain was challenging. Risk of vertigo at a few points. Pack for changeable mountain weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you love wildlife & mountains, what more could you want? Go for it!
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Penelope Gray

    Picos de europa

    Well planned walks. Lovely scenery. First class leader. Comfortable hotel - excellent food

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All walks were very good. Gorge walk, high level "balcony" walk in particular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First class. Knowledgeable. Enthusiastic. Put real effort into planning walks according to weather forecasts.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a variety of weather in the mountains. Good quality waterproofs including boots were needed on the week I went.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel owners and staff were welcoming and really helpful.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Anne Taylor Murray

    Walking the Picos de Europa

    What is it about a range of mountains that is so inspiring? Their nobility, their grandeur, their immutable timelessness? All this and more is to be found in los Picos de Europa.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just sensing my own insignificance in the face of the enormity of those mountains. One gains a whole new perspective on life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alvaro is passionate and knowledgeable about his own region of Spain. Amongst his exceptional qualities as a walking guide is human compassion. My 76 year-old body was not always up to the challenge of those magnificent mountains. Alvaro knew exactly when to give me encouragement to go the extra mile. As a consequence I return home with a sense of accomplishment and very, very happy memories of my week

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it!
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Angela Milne

    Walking in the Picos de Europa

    An extremely well organised trip in a delightful hotel on the outskirts of a small but busy village. The trip was fully catered apart from the day off and the standard of cuisine was exceptionally high.Transport was provided to the coast on the day off and advice given on a walk along the coast and where to eat.The bar and outside terrace of the hotel provided an excellent place to end the day and sit outside enjoying drinks and sun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Carres gorge is a fantastic walk and we did it on the last day as this was forecast to be cooler and less crowded as many of the Spanish visitors were on their way home. The two scrambling summits we did were also highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Alvero was brilliant, he was full of enthusiasm, organised the programme to suit the walks to the weather conditions and even carried 8 litres of water for group use on very hot days.Jim the hotel owner and cheif cook was also extremely helpful and very interesting to talk to.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We spent a couple of days in Bilbao before the trip and one after to enable us to go Easy jet from Manchester. Exodus booked us the flights so we had a package.It is a fantastic compact city and the Guggenheim is an amazing piece of architecture.The town is well worth a visit. Shortage of plugs for charging devices so if you have a two way charger take it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would thoroughly recommend it.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Michael Cowling

    Picos de Europa

    This was an excellent holiday. The walks were well planned, the scenery was fantastic and the hotel is pleasant and relaxed with outstanding food. The only problem was that it was too hot.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being in the most beautiful scenery but with no one else around most of the time apart from our group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alvaro is just the best leader. Every day he adjusted the programme according to the weather. His knowledge and love of the mountains is outstanding. He worked so hard going from the front of the group to the back many times on each walk to encourage us and ensure that everyone was OK.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks are not easy but definitely worth the effort.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Carole-Anne Sims

    Peaks of Europe - B E A utiful!!

    My last three Exodus walking trips have been to the Dolomites and I was looking for something similar in respect of challenging walks with spectacular scenery, I wasn't disappointed! The trip was recommended to me by a few of my fellow travellers last year so I had no problem making the decision to book.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No particular moment was inspirational other than repeatedly coming across abandoned dwellings on our walks. In our busy lives it is hard to imagine that people chose to exist in such isolated and difficult to access areas. The simple life?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oh my goodness! Our group leader, Alvaro. Words to describe Alvaro - enthusiastic, energetic, encouraging, witty, thoughtful, committed and basically an all round nice guy. He had an uncanny knack of providing an accurate daily weather forecast which included advice as to whether 'plastic' trousers would be required. Funny! He often made the group chuckle!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fantastic trip and well worth doing. I went on the challenging grade week. If you are relatively fit and enjoy longer days of walking then the challenging week would be for you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is my third trip with Exodus as a solo traveller and yet again I quickly felt at ease in the group allowing me to safely enjoy a week doing an activity I love. Jim and Pilar at the Hotel Torrecerredo gave us a warm welcome and were very accommodating. The food was delicious and plentiful, many calories were burnt on the mountains but quickly replaced with the varied menu. I throughly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Jennifer Graystone

    Go on this trip!!

    I was recommended this trip several years ago, and it did not disappoint! Everything about this holiday was excellent - our guide, Alvaro-top marks, the hotel, comfortable and welcoming with excellent food and a good wine list, and amazing walks with beautiful scenery. I found some of the days quite tough, but the walking was at a good pace and the encouragement kept me going allowing me to complete all walks. This is a beautiful part of Spain and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing scenery and views every day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Alvaro was excellent. Kind and caring and passionate about his job and his local area. Made sure that all group members were comfortable and happy and was on hand to provide local knowledge, history, geography and flora and fauna info as well as encouragement and enthusiasm.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this trip!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Patrick Taylor

    Walking the Picos de Europa

    An excellent walking trip, probably the best Exodus trip I have done.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots, but probably completing the scramble to the summit of Mancondiu.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent in every way. Not only a really good walk leader who is really knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife but also really caring about the needs and aspirations of his group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to get the most out of this trip and it can get very hot in July and august, we were quite lucky to get northerly winds on most days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Raj Bhamm

    Walking in the Picos de Europa

    this was my first walking holiday. Every aspect of the trip was very well planned and highly organised. I felt very welcomed at the airport at Bilbao by our guide Alvaro. He proved to be such a fantastic guide.,.. knowledge, passionate, considerate. Hotel was basic but food was fantastic I will recommend this trip to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the George

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic... could not fault him in anything. He knew the area and the paths very well. He adapted and catered for every level of group participants. He was passionate about the area and had lots of general knowledge about the area and people. His English was good. PERFECT!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, this walk has been classified as 3 but it is at least grade 5. So they should be made aware of this

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
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