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

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18154 Reviews

  • Reviewed May 2022

    An amazing trip in a wonderful country!

    Jordan, spectacular Jordan. What a beautiful and fascinating country: ancient and modern history galore, archeology, glorious landscapes, delicious food and wonderful people. And camels. Oh, how I love 🐪. The trip with Exodus was absolutely first-class. Brilliantly organised and with the most superb tour leader (see below). If only the trip had been longer!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where to start? There were so many. Was it entering Jerash (Gerasa) through Hadrian's gate, arriving at the forum and walking down the seriously impressive colonnaded cardo maximus? No, but this was still right up there in terms of sights and moments! As was the view across the Jordan Valley and the West Bank from Mount Nebo where, according to the Bible, Moses saw the Promised Land. Was it walking through the Siq, the narrow gorge that is the entrance to Petra, and, glimpsing the magnificent Treasury, lit up in the morning sun? Utterly beautiful and mesmerising - and almost the most inspirational! The most stirring and sublime of moments (in a trip full of such moments), however, was the desert splendour of Wadi Rum. The extraordinarily beautiful rock formations, sand dunes and canyons; the ancient inscriptions and petroglyphs carved on boulders and cliffs; the glorious sunset; running down sand dunes; camel riding; camping in the desert; the silence of the desert night and the vast star-filled sky.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Muayad Mesmar was absolutely wonderful. So kind, so knowledgeable, such fun. His knowledge of Jordanian and regional history was so impressive - akin to that of a history professor! At every point in the trip, at every bend in road, Muayad had fascinating stories and information to share.. be it on the Hejaz railway during the Arab Revolt, olive pressing at Crusader castles, the health properties of the Dead Sea....as well as on chickpea plants and Jordan's horned hyenas! In addition to being absolutely brilliant in his knowledge of Jordan's history, archeology, flora and fauna, landscapes and peoples, and sharing stories in such an engaging way, Muayad was also the most generous, kind and thoughtful of tour leaders. From buying us cardamon-infused coffees and Jordanian sweets on our first morning and falafels one lunchtime, to organising a picnic with a view over the Jordan Valley, replete with walnut-stuffed baby aubergines (never has there been, nor will there ever be, a more yummy picnic ingredient!), Muayad definitely went way above and beyond a tour leader's call of duty. And when I realised half-way down the King's Highway, that I'd idiotically left my passport, some cash and my Kindle back in my hotel-room safe in Amman, Muayad worked wonders, made some phone calls and, less than 24-hours later, they were delivered safely, at no cost, to the hotel at our next stop, Petra. So, not only is Muayad the best tour leader, he's also a magician.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, and it's simple! Do this trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful trip.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    You're the Top

    Excellent trip - had a really great time. The walking was varied and enjoyable with a mix of woods and mountain tops, rocks and even the odd patch of snow. I can't praise our guide Sarah enough. We were able to spread out and enjoy the walking at a different pace if we wanted but to come together easily for stops and directions. The landscape is stunning with magnificent views. She went out of her way to make the holiday special and to include everyone. Starting in the agristurismo made the holiday much more special. The sense that you are joining a family, the food is produced on site and cooked and prepare in a traditional style. The bedrooms are simple but functional and the site itself is a lovely place to stay with chickens wandering around and a golf course on site. The day we spent with the local guide was also really enjoyable - walking at a lower level and learning all about the area through different environments. We also had a lovely day in Lucca - we all decided to do the same day off, travelled together and although we split up to explore Lucca met up and travelled back and shared a meal out. The people on the trip are what make it and I couldn't have had a nicer group. I enjoyed every minute of this holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I always find it inspirational to exert myself to climb a mountain and then take the time to take in the vast landscape below and to put any outside worries into perspective. There were many opportunities to do this on this trip but I think the day we climbed Monte Ferato was my favourite because the view was so panoramic. I took a moment to absorb it before others came up the mountain. I also hired a bike and rode it through the streets of Lucca out of the walled area and found myself at a level crossing and by the time the train arrived a group of Italian women all shopping on bikes had gathered one by one and struck up conversations with each other and me. An impromptu social gathering in response to an unwelcome delay..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarah was extraordinary - going out of her way for everyone to make the holiday work. Providing those with sore knees tape to provide support and teaching us about the area, the farm, the family history and the providing little snacks. Her fitness and lifestyle is inspirational. When we climbed the highest mountain I left my fleece on the very top. It was one that they don't make anymore and was a favourite. The next day was Sarah's day off and she climbed back up the mountain and got it back for me which was really above and beyond and I was very grateful. On the last night we all performed a few verses of a song I wrote to say thank you to her - which was great fun but probably quite painful to listen to.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled into thinking that Tuscany in April will be warm. At the top of the mountain I needed all my layers and I really bought clothing for strolling through rolling hills not climbing. As a result I had too many t shirts and not enough warm layers. You do however need both that work together. I think a down jacket would have been helpful and don't forget waterproof trousers. I didn't wear walking boots just walking shoes and its not as craggy walking as Iceland where I felt I did need my boots for ankle stability. I was happy to rely on the food from the farm which is fine for the packed lunch but others took snacks with them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip went very smoothly and I didn't. have any issues.
  • Super holiday

    My first holiday with Exodus and everything went very smoothly. The programme organised by Exodus was just right for this lovely part of Italy and our group leader was excellent. The hotel was good and all members of the group were good company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way Severio, the group leader, provided interesting information on the places visited and the history and life of the region.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As noted above, Severio was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for him and his organisation was faultless.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Good walking but poor accommodation

    This is a pleasant walking trip. Interesting Flora and fauna and as always a good guide provided by Exodus. The down side is a poor selection of Hotels and cost cutting by the company on transport. This is the first Exodus trip I have been on where there is no company transit or bus. The group used public transport which led to delays and pressure to get certain buses and led to a rigid timetable. ( so after a long walk we had about 10 mins to buy and finish a drink because of the pressure to catch a certain bus) The Hotel in Santana was tired . It provided a poor selection of food and because there were other big groups staying there service was slow and the food not that good. As the majority of guests were walkers I was surprised that the hotel had no wet room or any facilities to dry clothes and boots. On both walking days the weather was cold and wet and no heating was available in the bedrooms. The Hotel in Funcal was small and cramped, although well located. We had 3 single beds crammed into our room and with the bags there was not much room to manoeuvre. Breakfast was poor with very little choice and the staff overworked. we ate out during our stay there

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking in the mountains and following Lavadas is definitely the highlight of the trip. Wonderful flowers and back drops

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very good. Funny and passionate about his island he made a real effort to engage with the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is not cheap and you will have to consider extra costs of eating out in restaurants that can be pricey. In Funcal try the whale watching/ Dolphin trip and go to the botanical Gardens.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    So much in a week!

    Wow what a trip. I initially booked this trip to see Petra but there is so much more of Jordan to see. Our guide Muayad went beyond expectations, from providing a picnic overlooking the “Grand Canyon” of Jordan, to where to get the best falafels in town. The night in the desert is something else. It’s a busy trip, with lots of 7.30 am starts, but would I have missed anything we did for a lay-in - definitely not. Wonderful fellow travellers as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many but the desert is up there along with that first sight of The Treasury at Petra. Also looking over at the lights of Jerusalem and Jericho from the terrace of our Dead Sea hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Muayad was fantastic - went the extra mile to show us Jordan and why he loves his country so much. So many little things like giving us Turkish delight, arranging a picnic with amazing foods such as eggplants stuffed with walnuts. Took us to local stalls to buy our lunch so, instead of spending several dinars on a wrap we were paying half a dinar in places. Thank you Muayad - and I still don’t want a camel my dear!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and immerse yourself in what this lovely country has. There is a lot to cover and you may well be shattered at the end of the day but I wouldn’t have missed a thing!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trip was made better by great fellow travellers, the mix was brilliant.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Describes the itinerary

    An excellent way to discover Sicily and her past

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Valley of the temples

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent Knowledgable Organise Friendly A people person

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for all weathers

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    .
  • Annapurna Sanctuary Trek - 23 April 22

    Wonderful trip, enjoyable from start to finish. We enjoyed the company of our group and the professional attention of our guide, Phurba Sherpa, and his team. The trek was graded well and although it was challenging at times it was also very enjoyable. Would recommend this trip to anyone reasonably fit. The pace of the walking is based on the group and no-one feels pressured to keep up. Exodus has a very good reputation in Nepal for treating their staff well and contributing to the community favourably.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Annapurna Base Camp was definitely a high moment

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phurba Sherpa was the perfect leader. He took great care of every aspect of our trip and made us feel very safe and secure in his company. He also shared his knowledge on all things Nepal during our evening briefings and his sense of humour came across, which made things all the more enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just to prepare well in terms of fitness and kit.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    A little tougher than moderate but spectacular!

    A wonderful trip that shows you many of the Inca sights before you take those last few emotional steps towards the sun gate and see Machu Picchu sitting below you. I’m so glad I took this option rather than the easy train day trip to MP as it was personally rewarding, challenging and incredibly memorable. It was a little tougher than I expected but completely doable - I walked away having seen mountains like never before, been amazed at the strength and ease at which porters scale the mountains, dined on 3 course meals, slept above the clouds, felt like I could touch the stars enjoyed the company of wonderful fellow trekkers and met a passionate tour guide (Roul) who helped pull it all together. Feels like a dream already just a week after the event, but I totally recommend it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roul was great. He was organised, kept us motivated and focussed and ensured we had a wonderful time!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go light on clothes and your daypack. Minimise everything but layers are so important especially on that 3rd night. Don’t carry too many snacks as you will be fed so well they are rarely needed - I have mine to the porters!
  • James Bond locations, baroque towns and wonderful food

    A lovely and unexplored part of Italy. Interesting hill top towns and coastal areas. A very relaxed trip with plenty of free time (maybe a little too much). Matera, Alberobello and Lecci were the highlights for me. All stunning. Food and wine excellent everywhere: plenty of local cuisine. Polignano, Ostuni and Otranto were lovely but easily seen in a couple of hours. Graded as 1 but there are lots of steep steps in Matera and Ostuni. There was an extra walk added from the masseria lunch to Ostuni (about 2 hours) which hadn't been mentioned in the trip notes and meant those unable to walk had to pay for a transfer. Definitely need good shoes for this. We were unable to complete the listed coastal walk due to rain. All hotels were great, central and/or in historic buildings. No long journeys. Would recommend for a relaxing introduction to the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Matera: seeing the kestrels swooping in the mornings, views all over the town, esp from the gorge walk. Staying in a trullo The visit to the olive farm. Lecce's wonderful cathedrals and rooftop terrace of hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizio was very enthusiastic and helpful, with lots of suggestions for restaurants etc. He did a lovely welcome/orientation session. Always joined us for meals, was very good at dietary requirements etc. His instructions/timings etc were always very clear. He was always very sociable with the group and happy to chat. As previously mentioned some of his information was out of date eg opening times for cathedral, restaurants but this was probably due to post Covid changes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good shoes. Waterproof and jacket for the April departures. Solo travellers should be aware that there are quite a few free afternoons.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Highly Recommended

    This was not our first walking holiday in Italy but it was the first time that we had been with Exodus and our first experience of staying in an agiturismo. This type of accommodation adds to the experience in that there is more interaction with the local community and greater exposure to their way of life. Although not as popular as some other regions of Italy Garfagnana is well worth a visit and deserves to be better known.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Our previous trips with Exodus have been with leaders who are native to the country. This has many advantages. Although she is english, Sara has led this trip for over 15 years and is pretty much accepted as a native by the locals. Furthermore, her professionalism and dedication to making the trip safe and enjoyable for the group was beyond question. Shortcomings in equipment were overcome using spare kit that she has accumulated over the years, minor injuries werer attended to, advice on how to use walking poles was dispensed, rail tickets were acquired on our behalf etc etc - both the expected and unexpected were more than adequately addressed. She even baked buns to welcome us back from our walk on her day off

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have the appropriate clothing and equipment for a day out in the mountains.