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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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17934 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2021

    Trip is now much better

    Having just completed this trip I can report that the concerns raised by the reviewer of the July version had been addressed and I found it a most enjoyable trip well led by Brian and more than ably supported by Susan. All the walks were really good, some having been revised to ensure safety levels were suitable and the scenery is spectacular. A highlight was seeing otters on the beach on the walk back to Thurso from Dunnet Head. The day trip to Orkney was also well worth it. made memorable by the knowledge and enthusiasm of our driver. The accommodation generally was better than I expected, although the hotel in Thurso was not as good as the others. We had a good group who all got on well and meant that the atmosphere throughout was sociable, although some of the jokes left a bit to be desired!! I would definitely recommend this trip to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The otters.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very sociable and enthusiastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As this is a fairly new trip approach it with an open mind and expect it will continue to be refined based on feedback from previous trips.
  • Terrific trip exceeded expectations

    My first Exodus trip. Very pleased indeed. Sparky and knowledgeable leaders, great programme which was physically testing but do-able, and above all - wonderful group with excellent chemistry. Had enormous fun and made new friends. Only caveat - weather in the Lakes this week was simply stunning - sunscreen more important than waterproofs - so everything does seem rather marvellous just now! But seriously, I’m confident it would have been pretty much as good in any conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pick a peak - any peak!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great job Will and Chris - big thanks to you both

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our group of 13 guests was mostly pretty fit 50/60s, and single, with a smaller number in 30s I think. Don’t know if that is typical but that’s how it was and it was a very happy crowd indeed.
  • Terrific trip exceeded expectations

    My first Exodus trip. Very pleased indeed. Sparky and knowledgeable leaders, great programme which was physically testing but do-able, and above all - wonderful group with excellent chemistry. Had enormous fun and made new friends. Only caveat - weather in the Lakes this week was simply stunning - sunscreen more important than waterproofs - so everything does seem rather marvellous just now! But seriously, I’m confident it would have been pretty much as good in any conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pick a peak - any peak!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great job Will and Chris - big thanks to you both

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our group of 13 guests was mostly pretty fit 50/60s, and single, with a smaller number in 30s I think. Don’t know if that is typical but that’s how it was and it was a very happy crowd indeed.
  • Reviewed July 2021

    Shambolic chaos: a crushingly disappointing trip

    Firstly, there is no North Highland Way. There are no official routes, and the notion that the NHW exists remains in the mind of a few hardened Scottish hill walkers determined but not in the mind of farmers ans land owners who have put up barbed wire fences across inland bog and bracken strewn moorland, forcing walkers to take their chances on dangerous cliffs and rock and soil strewn beaches. The trip notes for this “adventure” are a work of fiction. The accommodations are mediocre at best. Exodus has lost a loyal repeat customer over this shambolic farce and waste of precious holiday time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The glorious sunshine and the seeing the most northerly beaches in the UK at their best, essentially, those parts of the trip not put in place by Exodus and the dreadful company this trip is outsourced to, EasyWays.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The director EasyWays joined the trip on the first three days. It is safe to say, I was not impressed. He did not join the group on the walks, instead walked a couple of the “planned” routes the day before our group was meant to. He would come back in the evening to report that the majority of the routes were unsuitable or impassable, therefore the billed route published in the trip notes was not going to happen. Shorter, dull routes were offered instead. The second leader was abandoned and left with a few maps and his map app on his smart phone to make up routes as we were ferried along from one chaotic accommodation booking to another. The second leader was therefore too distracted trying to find a route on the walking days to watch out for client safety and for people in the group struggling with the terrain, bogs and bracken. He made an effort to tell us about the history and background to the areas we stayed in, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the lack of planning, the poor attention to safety and general cohesion and enjoyment of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t book this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am utterly crushed by this experience even more so after a miserable year as a frontline medic: Exodus as a company has let itself down terribly by putting on this trip and outsourcing it to an operator who clearly does not take client care seriously. The organisation was an utter shambles from start to finish. It has not been researched properly, the routes not actually walked before paying clients were booked onto the trip. The accommodation of the final night in Tain, The Royal Hotel, was a disgrace, with no COVID secure sanitisation, and the food offerings even more so. The last group meal was a grotty, greasy selection of takeaway food from the local kebab and curry shop. I went to the supermarket and bought a packet of crisps for dinner. This will be my trip with Exodus, after 8 years of loyalty.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Alia for her detailed review, although we genuinely regret that she has had cause to provide such disappointing feedback and that she does not plan to travel with Exodus again following her experience. This holiday was a new addition in 2021 and whilst we recognise that first departures of new trips may not run as smoothly as more established tours, given the work that goes into the design and logistics of new itineraries, we would not expect them to fall below our usually high standards. Having taken the time to review the itinerary with our Exodus staff observer who joined this trip and speak through concerns with the local manager at Easyways, aspects of the time management and some sections of the walking routes have been reviewed and, where appropriate, amended for future departures. We have also changed the accommodation to be used in Tain. Following these changes, we have received feedback more in line with our, and our customers, expectations. We genuinely appreciate that this cannot alter Alia’s experiences but hope this demonstrates that we have taken the feedback seriously and endeavored to react appropriately in the circumstances.

    Product Manager - Claire Ouditt

  • Reviewed July 2021

    Wonderous Cornwall

    I'd forgotten just how beautiful Cornwall is. Turqouise seas, dramatic cliffs and wonderful beaches. The prefect tonic for a tough year for us all. The usual mix of interesting and friendly fellow walkers. A wonderous week, well orchestrated by two great guides. They even secured a week of sunshine. You couldn't ask for more. Thoroughly recommended to anyone who wants to rediscover the charms and beauty of the Cornish coast in the company of a great bunch of like-minded individuals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking along the coast line on days one and two..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 and they were both excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Rediscover Cornwall on an Exodus tour as quick as you can !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think the walks worked well from a practical perspective with 2 guides so they could manage the fit fast walkers up front and the slower walkers savouring the views from a little way back..so everybody got out of it what they were looking for. Might have been more diffcult to achieve this with one guide. Heligan is a beautiful place but popular and maybe this part could start earlier in the day and would benefit for most of group if there was a guide to get the most out of the sprawling gardens. Small gripe otherwise four glorious coast walks and some wonderful memories. Made me want to book up the Gower walks next!
  • Reviewed July 2021

    A great week walking in stunning Cornwall

    Based in two centres, starting in Padstow then spending the second half of the week in Charlestown on the South coast. Our tour leader, Will, and his colleague Gaby, were prepared to go to any lengths to make sure we were fully supported. The walking required a decent level of fitness, the rating of 3 (moderate) is an accurate assessment, and my phone recorded 51 miles during the five days of walks (and 137,700 steps!). The hotels were both good, although don't expect a sea view, and Will was always able to find us somewhere to eat despite COVID meaning there were a lot more tourists there than usual, and staffing was challenging for many of the restaurants. The scenery is really lovely, both on the coast and inland, and lots of photos were taken and shared.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first two days were along the most beautiful coastline with secret beaches and spectacular rock formations. I also loved visiting the Lost Gardens of Heligan, something I've wanted to do for a long time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He worked extremely hard, could take a joke even at the end of a long day, and kept us all informed and safe. Can't fault him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit. If you can't manage 10 miles a day, with at least 25% being uphill, you are on the wrong trip and will always be a long way behind the rest of the group. Come properly equipped with waterproof trousers, well walked in boots/shoes, a good rucksack, etc. Don't expect a sea view from your room. My first room I looked out to an a/c unit, and the second room I was below ground level so could only see the tyres of parked cars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked an opportunity to take a swim/paddle at the end of one of the walks but it didn't work out that way.
  • Reviewed June 2021

    A spectacularly beautiful part of the country for a short break.

    We had such a good 4 days of walking, lucky enough to be blessed with a friendly, chatty group and perfect walking weather, dry, mostly sunshine but not too hot. The route has a surprising amount of variety, shaded woodland, marshes, glorious golden sandy beaches, cliffs, coves, rocky shores and seaside resorts. The itinerary was relaxed enough to enable several members of the group to have a brief swim each day. The unexpected opportunity to visit Gower Gin, a micro distillery, was thoroughly enjoyed by us all! Be aware that, unlike many Exodus trips, this is not an all-inclusive holiday. This did result in a few problems organising food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Regularly being rewarded with such spectacular views after fairly modest climbs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cari was enthusiastic, endlessly cheerful and worked so hard to make sure we all had a good holiday. It was such an advantage to have an experienced (Welsh-speaking) local outdoor activity guide, with all her local knowledge. As this was a new Exodus trip, with all the extra complications that resulted from COVID19 (erratic opening times and added time for service in cafes etc etc), she and the two members of Exodus staff who joined us for a couple of days, Claire and Sarah, did a brilliant job trouble shooting. All three were a delight to holiday with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! The Gower coast is beautiful and worth discovering. The walking is mostly gentle but with a few steep climbs and descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In these troubled times, we felt perfectly confident in the COVID19 precautions. We breakfasted in our rooms, wore masks on the minibus, had to provide evidence of vaccinations or tests and had limited numbers at tables when indoors.
  • Reviewed November 2020

    Last Minute End of Summer Walking Holiday!!!!

    Another great trip organised by Exodus staff. Whilst this was a last minute trip (transferred to this from medieval Spain due to Covid), it didn't disappoint. Great scenery, great companions, great leader. What was supposed to be an end of summer walking holiday, turned out to be a winter walking holiday, due to exceptional early winter conditions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views, the snow glistening, snow-shoeing, the company. A great break in what has been a year I guess everyone would wish to bypass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alina was great. Her communication skills were exceptional, she was fun to be with, especially when playing Dixit! and she reorganised the walks taking into account the weather conditions in order to ensure we all got the best out of our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take poles, be prepared for some long steep climbs, enjoy the scenery, the company and the food.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to thank the other members of our group, the hotel staff and Alina for making this a really enjoyable holiday and one I will not forget.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Space to breath

    A warm welcome in an unspoilt landscape. Great walking through a rugged landscape with the benefit of joyfully expert guiding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In a quiet corner of Meteora, far from the madding crowds, absorbing the sheer beauty of a monastery perched halfway up the opposite cliff. And there were many more such moments, including discovering just how good Greek yoghurt with honey can be!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Danae is fantastic. Her enthusiasm for life and the great outdoors, spills out at every opportunity. And she made sure that we got the very best from our trip.
  • Reviewed October 2020

    Escape From 2020

    An amazing trip and break in a truly stunning and lesser known part of the world (that only adds to the charm). The number of highlights are numerous. The ever impressive view points of Vikos Gorge (they get better and better), the charming villages and friendly welcoming locals, to the gravity defining monasteries. Topped off by the walk to, and the nap in the sun by the dragon lake surrounded by the Pindus mountains. Not forgetting the food :) An all round excellent trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As mentioned above there are many. The different view points of the gorge, the monasteries perched on the cliff tops to the dragon lake and the mountain hut. Not forgetting traditional Greek dancing in the mountain hut with a number of different nationalities!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Changed a couple of days walking around due to weather conditions with the minimum of fuss and ensured everything ran smoothly, including all things Covid related. Danae's enthusiasm for Greece and the Zagori region shone through and she was good fun and company to be around, as also mentioned by Keisuke below.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are contemplating this trip and thinking its not well known, it cant be that good think again. It a real Greek treasure, hidden in plain sight! (Possibly to ensure the landscape is not spoilt, and to ensure the villages keep their amazing charm.) Absolutely do it - you will not be disappointed!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The half day in Thessaloniki was a nice way to ease into the holiday, a pleasant very youthful laid back City.