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

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  • Reviewed September 2019
    Ken Plumb

    Cycling through Transylvania

    Another super Exodus trip with a great group. The countryside is lovely and most of the cycling was on minor roads and tracks - so peaceful and calm. The cycling has quite a few climbs to increase the heart rate but nothing too severe. The accommodation was varied, clean and comfortable. We were clearly mixing with the local communities and we received smiles from everyone we met. Food was good and locally sourced. All in all a great trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Umm - for me there is nothing that stands out from the many great times I had. The church service in Vulcan, the fascinating fortified churches, the rural communities , the peace and quiet of the cycling, the homesteads we stayed in - they all combined to make an enjoyable holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Madalina - what can you say … such enthusiasm , organisational skills, personnel skills, knowledge and a smile that lit up the room. Always willing to help and it was pleasure to have her as our leader . A great lady !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be reasonably fit but nothing special. There are few places to change money during the trip so get money either in your home country or from the airport ATMs. You don't need that much cash as almost all meals are included. Don't drink the local water and use hand gel before eating. . Its a great trip that brings you close to rural Romania.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its just a very peaceful and interesting place to visit ( except the tourist infested Bran and Peles Castles !) . Go for it !
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Stuart Norris

    Touring Transylvania

    We have been on many cycling tours over the years with Exodus and this was yet another excellent trip. We did not know exactly what to expect (how many people do you know who have visited Transylvania?) but we were not disappointed as the countryside is beautiful, green and rolling, with a good handful of climbs to make the cycling interesting, and all the locals that we met on our journey were friendly and welcoming. The accommodation was varied and unfailingly comfortable, the food of a high quality and the various visits along the route to local cottage industries, fortified churches and cities always interesting and informative.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to identify a single "inspirational" moment as it was not really that kind of trip. It is probably more appropriate to point to the local people as an inspiration as they have emerged from an oppressive communist governed administration at the end of the 1980s and have spent the last thirty years working hard to evolve into a more democratic country, integrating into the EU.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tudor was without doubt one of the best guides we have had the pleasure of meeting on any of our Exodus trips. He was unfailingly charming, helpful, extremely hardworking, very informative and knowledgeable, and became a firm friend of our group. He was not only a great ambassador for Romania but also a very nice and gentle person.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get your currency (Romanian Lei) from one of the ATMs at the airport on arrival in Bucharest and choose the option not to take the conversion rate offered by the machine. By leaving your own UK bank to apply their conversion rate you will get a far better rate of exchange. As a couple, we found that £200 (1000 lei) cash was enough to cover our needs for the whole trip as the majority of meals are included in the cost of the trip, but we used credit cards on a couple of occasions (in Sighisoura and Bucharest) for dinners. Tips for the guides went on top of this £200 so we drew a little more out at the end of the holiday from the ATMs in Bucharest. A crossbar bag is handy for carrying a camera so photos can be taken whilst cycling, but panniers are provided for carrying other essentials so a rucksack is not really necessary. The support vehicle is never far away so access to day bags is easy. Bring your own water bottle for filling up and carrying in the bottle cage on the bike. You need to be relatively fit for some of the climbs but there is nothing overly difficult if you already enjoy cycling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do this trip before Transylvania changes too much. Despite the changes being made since entering the EU it is a country that is still very much living in the past out in the countryside and this only adds to its charm and interest. If you get Tudor and Liviu as your guide and driver you will have an even better experience! If you should get the option at the end of the trip, choose to miss the visit to Bran and Bran Castle (it's a dreadful, over-commercialised place after such a lovely week in the countryside and, anyhow, has absolutely nothing to do with Dracula etc.) and ask to visit the bear sanctuary as an alternative. This may not be possible but it's worth a try.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Angela Wallis

    Beautifully Organised and Fun Holiday

    Really good holiday and guides. Superbly organised by Exodus. Bikes were in good condition and the accommodation ranged from rustic to very comfortable. For us, the cycling could have been more challenging and at a quicker pace but the guides did really well to manage the different levels in the group. The main negative point was the hotel in Sighisoara which really let us and Exodus down, and also that we were both sick at different times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Encouraging the less able cyclists and learning from others experiences.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, very supportive and knowledgeable, extremely kind and friendly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t expect luxury accommodation or exciting cycling. Don’t expect a lift on the broom wagon either. Practice cycling up hills and in traffic before you go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks for a great holiday, our last one was 18 years ago and this was in a different league for organisation and professionalism.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Mike Baker

    Another Gold Star for Exodus Travel!

    This was my fourth cycle holiday with Exodus (previously Dalmation Coast, Albania, Puglia in southern Italy) and I certainly hope there will be many more. I am often asked which is my favourite so far. So difficult to pick one as they are all top drawer stuff. It is a fantastic way to get to know a country and its history; our guides did not disappoint in this respect. The weather was not always kind, but the tour was packed with interest, visits, charm, and views that stun. As a photographer, all those appealed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being part of a church service in Vulcan on our first day of cycling. Although I an not overtly religious, the feeling of being part of a community was quite overpowering and emotional.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Radu was excellen, full of knowledge of the history of the region. We all got on famously with him and, not forgetting Stefan, our driver and mechanic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it now!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to be able to see details of each ride day on the previous evening. This happened on the Albania trip and was most useful giving distances, stops and profile of the route.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Kalpesh Patel

    Great times

    It was a really fun trip. Very well organized. Terrain is moderate. This was my first real biking experience and I felt I was able to manage it. Our group was small - 10 people and we gelled immediately. Overall organization and coordination was excellent. It is a well thought out route. You get to see a lot of history and meet locals - especially in churches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was amazing to stay in the fortified church the first night. The minister actually served us the dinner (and perhaps cooked for us as well).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Radu was amazing and very knowledgeable about Romanian history and European history. He took care of anyone's needs and issues immediately. He made it very easy for all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I am vegetarian. They did their best possible to cater to me. So there was no lack of food. However if you are used to flavors and spices in your vegetarian food, I suggest to pack some sauces.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bike gear shifters could have been better. E.g. delayed gear change or change several gears at once. Made it less smooth on hills sometimes. Stefan - the support person - was excellent and fixed mine a few times, and he did his best. But problems still persisted on-and-off because I think the shifters need to be replaced.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Elizabeth Murphy

    Biking in Transylvania

    Thoroughly enjoyed the trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoyed every day

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bottled water should be provided on a daily basis as I was not willing to drink the water from the tap. When I did ask, the water was provided.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Penny Poulin

    Cycle Romania

    I've been on quite a few Exodus walking and cycling trips and this has to have been the best so far This was down to several reasons. Firstly Romania is a beautiful country and the tour took us though some of the most scenic areas . Our guides Cristina and Liviu were fabulous. Knowledgeable about their country and relaxed and fun to be with. We stayed at some wonderful out of the way places and our hosts and food were exceptional. The group was the best! We laughed so much and we all felt we had found 13 new friends by the end.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting the local people with a love for their country and a willingness to share with us their amazing hospitality

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Cristina and Liviu get full marks We all fell in love with both of them

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is very much a"get close to the real Romania" trip so make the most of it Dont drink the water!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The last day was a bit of an anticlimax as it involved a long bus transfer with a couple of stops at Vlads casle and another palace. Very busy with tourists and not really enjoyed by any of us I dont think We had so enjoyed the quiet solitude of the country I would have preferred a direct ride to Bucharest and then a slightly longer walk about before our last dinner
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Barbara Elliston

    Cycle Romania

    A wonderful trip exploring very rural parts of Transylvania - varying terrain - some stretches of unmade roads. Beautiful scenery and interesting visits to Monasteries and fortified Churches. No problem with the bicycles provided.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through very rural parts. Meeting up with friendly hosts at the overnight stays in the towns and experiencing some of their culture and food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good and knowledgeable and able to cope with all eventualities. The driver of the van was also very knowledgeable and very helpful moving luggage, mechanical issue with the bicycles and providing refreshments.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not many places to get cash out of machines so make sure you have enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although it was interesting seeing the outside of both Bran and Peles Castles and hearing about the history we did encounter a lot of traffic as it is a very touristy area and after the relative solitude of the tour I am not sure whether it should have been included. All the traffic jams meant that we got to the hotel in Bucharest rather late and did not really get chance to explore very much.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Barbara Elliston

    Cycling in the Transylvania area of Romania

    A wonderful trip exploring very rural parts of Transylvania - varying terrain - some stretches of unmade roads. Beautiful scenery and interesting visits to Monasteries and fortified Churches. No problem with the bicycles provided.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through very rural parts. Meeting up with friendly hosts at the overnight stays in the towns and experiencing some of their culture and food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good and knowledgeable and able to cope with all eventualities. The driver of the van was also very knowledgeable and very helpful moving luggage, mechanical issue with the bicycles and providing refreshments.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not many places to get cash out of machines so make sure you have enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although it was interesting seeing the outside of both Bran and Peles Castles and hearing about the history we did encounter a lot of traffic as it is a very touristy area and after the relative solitude of the tour I am not sure whether it should have been included. All the traffic jams meant that we got to the hotel in Bucharest rather late and did not really get chance to explore very much.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Laura Knapp

    Do this trip soon! Romania is fantastic!

    This is our 6th cycling trip with Exodus and it is one of the best. The route was wonderful with views of the Carpathians, fields of corn and potatoes and horses pulling carts. We are experienced cyclists and the 3/10 level lets one burn some calories but still leave time to visit monasteries, water-driven flour mills and fortified churches. It was good to know in advance that we might have to share a bathroom (4 times, but it worked out) and that the food is rustic home cooking (great cheese, cured meats, mashed potatoes, lots of tomatoes and cucumbers). Our leader, Tudor, was excellent. Remember to save time to do a free walking tour in Bucharest on the last day. Travel guides say that tourism in Romania is "budding"--do this trip now before the country changes!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Witnessing the beautiful rural life with an abundance of local crops. Learning the influence of Mongols and Turks, and the Silk Road from China, as this country is so far East. Riding alone on a country road with the yellow flowers all around.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tudor did an excellent job. He let us bike at our own pace which is very important. He had incredible knowledge and love of the area. Also, he put together a WhatsApp group for us (by individual consent) at the beginning. We could share pictures and get more pictures of ourselves. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before? Our driver, Livio was calm and capable. He would provide snacks such as chocolate from his Communist childhood and tell us the story. Or candy bars with the name of the nearby Fagaras Mountains.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do this trip. Our group is still chatting and sharing pictures in our WhatsApp group because we just don't want to let go of the memories.