Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Gillian Ratliff

    Stunning scenery and such weather!

    Despite a last minute itinerary alteration due to ferry timetable changes, thus was a well-planned, wonderfully lead week mixing somewhat challenging walks with sightseeing and wonderful fellow travellers. We sampled many local dishes in lovely tavernas and village eateries and enjoyed some very amusing moments. A great week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view from the cliff top path from Fira to Ouia on Santorini - breathtaking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos is a knowledgable, considerate and professional guide with a great sense of humour and a big personality.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is categorised as 1 but there are some quite tricky descents on some walks. The option to take the cable car down to the boat trip round the Caldera should be considered if you are not happy about a 600 step (uneven, in some places slippery) walk you share with donkeys carrying passengers up from the quayside. I know I would have preferred this, especially as I slipped and fell at one point.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Neil Hodkinson

    Greek Islands.

    This is an ideal trip to get a flavour of three Greek Islands, Paros, Santorini & Naxos. Also it is a good way of experiencing the culinary delights of the islands. I would question the classification of the trip, which is Leisurely. While there is plenty of time to relax on the ferry crossings betwen each island, all the walks while, relative short have ascents and decents on rough country paths. The path on Naxos is graded Difficult on the local trail board. However our mixed aged group (50 to 70+) coped with only a few minor difficulties.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The off trip visit to the Akrotiri excavation site of a buried Minoan settlement on Santorini plus the visit to the Santorini Museum of Prehistoric Thera. All the excavation finds are housed in the Museum.( I did this instead of the trip boat trip around the Santorini Caldera). Also the deliciously cooked octopus at the tarverna on Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos has a wealth of knowledge of the island's history plus an extensive knowledge of flora of the islands. All of which he imparted, to the group at regular interval and was never seeming not to be able to answer the most obscure questions. He ensured the group was well catered for at the local tarverna's' that the group ate at. Plus ensure the group exited the ferries in a timely manner. All this meant that trip ran seamlessly thus providing an very enjoyable experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks on Paros & Naxos are on country paths with mixed under foot conditions, the same applies for part of the Santorini walk. Thus good walking foot wear is essentail plus I found walking poles usefully on the uphill and down hill sections of each walk. I noted that in 2019/2020 brochure that the Santorini boat trip has been replace by free time in Fira. I would recommend the visit to the Akrotiri excavation site, which is being classified as "The Pompeli of the Aegean". While it is not as extensive as Pompeli, it is covered by a very interesting building and can be easily reach on the local bus in 20 minutes from Fira. You will be required to get your luggage on and off the Ferries via the rear loading ramps. So you need wheel luggage that can be pulled along or travel light so you can carry your stuff. Large items of luggage are stored on the car deck of each ferry.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Dianne Anderson

    Greek Wander

    This was a trip comprised of 15 Canadian women all of whom I knew. Hiking was what appealed to me the most. Second was supplementing the knowledge I'd gained from sailing in the Cyclades (2013) as well as hiking in Corfu last May. Moving beds every three days on average and catching ferries on five occasions. although spelled out in the tour's monograph, didn't seem so onerous until one actually lived it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing atop Mt. Zues on Naxos, albeit in the fog, and later descending to relish the views. Our cooking class on Paros was more hilarious than inspirational but certainly it was a highlight. Also providing after dinner entertainment on our Santorini cruise as we Canadians, fortified with wine, disastrously gave demonstrations of Greek dancing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eleftheria worked extremely hard, both up front and behind the scenes, to make this trip stand out. Her knowledge of Hellenic history was extensive and she readily answered our questions. I will admit that our group provided her with great challenges in terms of hiking. Although I read the hike descriptions beforehand I question whether some of my fellow travellers did. We had a person who had never hiked, many who were intermittent walkers right up to myself who started serious hiking eight years ago by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 65th birthday. Safety concerns were many. There was much grumbling about Eleftheria dissuading some from attempting a hike. As a former ski patroller, safety tops anything else. Her execution of getting us on and off ferries with all of our baggage was remarkable. Also, she worked hard to find other options when some activities weren't possible due to end of season closures.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If the trip descriptions don't answer your questions before you commit, ask away and be honest about your abilities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first trip with Exodus, my last trip to Greece, and probably not my last with your company. I'm grateful for this opportunity to help you improve your offerings.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carolyn Muench

    Great trip!

    Very good in spite of unseasonable weather for September. High winds cancelled ferries for several days. As a consequence we stayed only one night on Paros and missed Santorini entirely. But we got to know Naxos very well, and it is an island with plenty to do. it might have been frustrating, but leader Cecile Deltreil made superhuman efforts to keep us well occupied. Although we saw her frequently glued to her cell phone, she never seemed stressed out and explained changing arrangements in a way that kept us calm and happy. She was also an excellent guide on walks and in the towns we visited. If Cecile is typical of Exodus quality of service, it is an excellent company. In general accommodation was good and food excellent. Cecile has friendly relations with lots of good restaurants. I would certainly recommend this trip, and will be investigating other Exodus trips in future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all good. I especially enjoyed exploring the small viliages, and the museum in Naxos was a surprise - really good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I praise Cecile Deltreil to the skies. She deserves a bonus for this trip and a raise!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A word of caution about "leisurely," a word subject to interpretation. The walks were not long, and there were stops for points of interest. But Greek islands are up and down, and in some cases footing was rocky. So the walking was easy for hikers of any level, but more challenging if you have any walking difficulties. ( I had broken my leg 4 months prior, and found the walks a bit hard. Again leader Cecile was wonderful in figuring alternative activities for me as needed.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Did I mention how wonderful Cecile was?
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carol Cummins

    Hampered by weather

    We had a great group of mixed ages, abilities and nationalities. We had exceptionally bad storm weather meaning most of the itinerary didn’t happen but Cecile our guide did everything she could to work with the weather. Many of the walks didn’t happen although one of the substitute walks turned out to be the best of the trip. Great guide, great group, hampered by the weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Route 4 rom Halki - an unexpected 7k walk on our extended. Stay on Naxus. Good pace and distance whilst still leisurely. One to add to the main itinerary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was great and more than performed given the circumstances. Very knowledgeable and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is ranked as leisurely and it is. Do not expect it to be anything more. Be prepared for itinerary changes as the ferries are suspended whenever there is poor weather. We had an unlucky week with exceptional weather fir the area and time of year.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel in Naxus and our host Michael were exceptional. Very glad we were stranded there and not elsewhere Have graded as s 3. Suspect it would have been higher if the weather not intervened. We added a couple of days at Nea Makri at the start and 5 says in Athens at the end which is working out well and allowed for flight to/from our local airport. Pack light - you don’t need loads and small bags are much easier on the ferries
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Vivienne Hitchin

    Greek Islands Unplugged

    A chance to see the parts of Naxos, Santorini and Paros that maybe most don't see. The trip ran smoothly, expertly organised by Cecile, and the weather was beautiful, late 20's. I travelled on my own and joined a lovely and friendly group of 15 (3 couples, and the rest of us single, aged between 40 and 70). We chose to have most meals together. All hotels had a swimming pool, all 3 star and air conditioned. My favourite hotel was on Naxos and it definitely had the best breakfast. A lovely traditional island with lots going on, a good beach, excellent restaurants and beautiful countryside. I would definitely go back to Naxos. Santorini was beautiful with fantastic views, but very steep, noisy, expensive and busy, especially when a cruise ship arrived! My knees struggled a bit on the uphill parts of this, the longest, walk. I cheated and left early for a bus back to the hotel. Definitely glad I went by cable car both ways to the boat trip too! Most walked down and got the cable car back up, which wasn't scary by the way, and avoided using the few little donkeys still having to walk up and down the hundreds of steps. Paros was delightful and relaxing, a sleepy traditional island with beautiful beaches and countryside, lovely shops and restaurants. If you want to shop wait until you get to Paros, especially for clothes, in the lovely and cool sheltered streets. I arrived home from this holiday pleasantly tired and very happy, definitely one of my favourite trips.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the countryside in Naxos and Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was lovely, friendly and attentive, she listened to what everyone wanted and fitted in with us and what we wanted, always available and giving advice when needed. Her knowledge and love of the Greek Islands and the Greek people clearly showed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small, light and comfortable rucksack, good walking boots/shoes and stick/s as you will need them, some of the hills are steep and can be slippy. Get out walking before you go as slightly harder than I had expected of a Level 1 Leasurely, although, to be fair, I have never been on a walking holiday before (hats off to anyone going on a Level 10!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Travel between the islands and mainland was by ferry. A time to relax, maybe sleep, or chat. Your suitcase is stored down below. Don't forget to take something warm upstairs to wear as the air conditioning can be extremely cold!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Alan Thomson

    Walking on the Greek Islands

    Three beautiful islands Naxos Santorini and Paros to visit a grade 1 but not so much walking and a lot of ferry time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The actual walks and visiting very small villages particularly the lunch stop in Naxos

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecilia was lovely and informative

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had only 3 walks across the 7 days so please be prepared for the traveling

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A nice introduction to the Greek islands. Basic accommodation which could be noisy/Santorini and sometimes limited hot water.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Michael Townsley

    Waliking on the Greek Islands

    Excellent Guide, Scenery and organisation. Some of hotels were not of a reasonable standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk along the Caldera, Santorini.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge, very well organised and good personality.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the heat when you are walking at this time of year. Keep luggage to a minimum as there are trips between the islands where you have to manage your own luggage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some unplanned events occurred which the guide had to deal with and she resolved the situations very professionally.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Jerry Gambs

    Vigorous.

    I rarely give ten out of ten, but this came close. The sun shone every day, I slepped well and didn't put on weight. The walks were just right, leisurely as it said, I didn't want a route march, I do enough of that. The group was assorted, what more can I say ! J

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Thanos eating my chips !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos was a true professional with extensive knowledge of his job. Well educated, kind,fit, just a great guy. For me he made the holiday, such a pleasure when some one knows his job. I must thank Thanos for a happy Greek Islands Trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack half what you think you need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The breakfasts could be a little more substantial.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    James (Jim) Clarke

    Greek Island Wanderer

    A well balanced trip that gives a taste of 3 contrasting islands. Travelling in April proved to be an ideal opportunity to see a different side to Greece - quieter, greener and a comfortable temperature for walking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks in Naxos and Paros were excellent, offering the opportunity to not only experience the pace of genuine Island life but also to enjoy the many varieties of herbs and flowers that abound at this time of year. Santorini was an impressive spectacle which even the general busyness of the town could not detract from.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have experienced many group leaders and would rate Thanos as being amongst the best of them; he anticipated the needs of individuals in the group and ensured everyone was included. It was a joy to listen to his obvious passion for all things Greek and his wish to share them, his breadth of general knowledge ensured he answered all questions and could participate in any discussions. A friendly, efficient leader who is a credit to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light using layers rather than bulky clothing in April and prepare for mosquitoes in Paros, even in April. When on Santorini do make the effort to visit both the ancient buried site of Akrotiri (easily done by public bus which leaves from close to the hotel) and the New Prehistoric Museum (also close to the hotel) to help make sense of the Bronze Age settlement of Santorini which can easily be done in a morning and offers the bonus of seeing more of the Island.
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