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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed September 2018
    PHILLIP BUCCHI

    Walking in Puglia & Matera

    Vanessa was a wonderful guide and very aware of the needs of of all the participants. everyone got along well. The places we stayed were excellent. The overall experience was lot of fun

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the city of Matera

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Vanessa, is a dynamo. She is upbeat and considerate and made the entire experience a joy.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Christine Brown

    Heat among the olive trees

    An exploring holiday, not a 'wow' one but full of delights. Matera was a long-desired destination, because of Carlo Levi, and spectacular. Sleeping in our massive cave in Hotel Sassi! Walking endlessly through olive groves brought home to me the privations of former Puglian peasants, but also amazement at the great age and variety of shapes of the trees. I loved the small towns, their architecture, narrow streets, the ingenuity of the construction of the Trulli. Hotel Sassi was wonderful, the masseria was beautiful, food good and choice of restaurants gave variety. I liked the multiple starters.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Matera, comparing the town at present with the description by Carlo Levi. And exploring Polignano completely alone on our free day

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vanessa was a great leader, knew a lot about the area, encouraging when we were faltering in the heat. She seemed interested in all of us as individuals, talked to each of us separately. Great company, set a good pace, bought excellent picnics.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Possibly August may not be the right time for walking in Puglia - but if you go then, carry plenty of water, a good sun hat, and be prepared to be hot!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The walk from Montescoglioso would be better reversed, with the difficult walking to the rock villages before lunch, finishing in the town with ice creams and a cool drink.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Terri Markle

    Extraordinary Region of Italy

    I chose the walking tour of Puglia & Matera because I had never seen Southern Italy. I was intrigued by the UNESCO World Heritage cities as well as the unusual architcecture such as Trulli houses. It is hard to believe the range of homes and times traveled - from Neolithic to present in just 7 days. My two favorite cities were Matera and Aberobello. The food was incredible. I ate great vegetarian dishes and seafood dishes all week!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was most overcome by Matera and how this city transformed itself from a slum in the 1950s to the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2019. Seeing frescoes of the Madonna & Child painted on the walls of caves where monks lived in the Middle Ages is transforming. Walking the rocky cliffs from cave to cave took me out of this world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I loved Marcella! She clearly loves Puglia & Matera and it shows in her knowledge and exuberance. It was a treat when I could walk with her on a hike and learn about her travel adventures. She also picked the most amazing items at the grocery store for our picnic one day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a hard trip in July as Italy was experiencing record heat. Two of our walks were quite hard due to the heat. You really need to be able to deal with the hot Italian sun and temperatures.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is amazing how you travel through time on this Exodus tour of Southern Italy - from Matera (Neolithic & Middle Ages) to Lecce ( Ancient Rome) to Aberobello. Every town was charming. I also loved staying in a masseria and eating Mama’s delicious homemade primi and secondi plats.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Ruth Morgan

    A different view of Italy

    This trip was exactly what I had hoped for - a fascinating and varied tour of a part of Italy which hasn't yet become too full of tourists. Our three centres were well chosen and close together - Matera was so interesting just to wander and get lost among the tiny winding lanes and steps, the old fortified farmhouse set in olive groves near Ostuni was so peaceful and in Alberobello we did meet tourism but worth it just to see the trulli. The walks were great - not too challenging and only took up part of the day so we had chance to explore by ourselves as well. I didn't expect to see so many wild flowers in June. We had excellent food in a wide variety of restaurants, wine-tasting and two super picnics. We used a variety of transport, including local buses and trains, and all went very smoothly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view of the duomo in Matera from my hotel room (in a cave) window - I couldn't stop looking at it and taking photos in varying light conditions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vanessa was a super guide, bubbling over with energy and enthusiasm, very helpful and keen to share typical Italian things with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good walking shoes vital for the rocky limestone paths, and potentially slippy steps in Matera.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Rachel Stanfield

    Fantastic trip

    Wonderful trip in a beautiful part of Italy. The walking was not challenging, which was a good thing given the heat in mid-June, and covered some stunning and scenic routes. Great food and accommodation in all three locations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from Montescaglioso at the start of our walk

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vanessa was fantastic - knowledgeable, patient, and full of passion for her native country and region
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Tara Taylor

    Little known gems

    Walking in Matera was an interesting and eye opening experience. I knew nothing of the history of this facinating "heel of Italy' so was extremely surprised and delighted to discover it in the company of 5 other travellers and our wonderful guide Nino.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The history of Matera is so interesting and thought provoking. Wandering around the old town and seeing into the 'caves' was such a privilege. The town is incredibly stark built into a cliff with each place a cave transformed into living histories of people going back thousands of years. Alberobello was another wonderful discovery and so beautiful and unusual.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nino was our guide, he is knowledgeable and extremely helpful. He ensured the group knew what to expect everyday and was very considerate of people's walking abilities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect the walking to be particularly interesting. We had extremely hot weather which made the walking unpleasant for me. The walk was 9 June 2018. The walks overall were the least enjoyable part of the trip. They were not long so we had a lot of opportunity to explore on our own which was great. The villages and history was the surprise for me and made the experience wonderful. The food was disappointing to me as it was fairly plain and was very much localised. While its important to discover new foods i didnt really enjoy it. We did eat at a wonderful fish restaurant and we also got to spend half a day at the beach which was fantastic and really energised the group. One thing despite the guide saying one needs proper walking boots or shoes i think a good pair of trainers would be sufficient as long as they have a hard sole. I swapped mine and immediately felt more comfortable especially in the heat. The whole trip was incredible, it was a small group who got on well together and had many great laughs along the way. Nino was a fantastic guide who made everything wonderful, i would recommend this trip to anyone.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Nicola O’Rourke

    Walking in Puglia and Matera

    This was a fantastic trip with three very different locations to stay in and experience. The accommodation in each location was original and very comfortable. The walking, itinerary and our guide, Nino, were just excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the sights and views of Matera. I’d love to go back.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nino was excellent. He was very caring and thought everything through thoroughly. He catered for everyone’s needs and tastes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take non-slip shoes for Matera (no high heels and nothing without a non-slip sole.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Christine Lewis

    A wonderful week in southern Italy

    I really enjoyed our week in Puglia and Matera and getting to know southern Italy with great company and a fantastic guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I could have spent at least another day in Matera despite a bit of rain and a dramatic thunderstorm. I also liked the peace and quiet at the masseria and walking in the olive groves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Barbara was a really great tour leader and demonstrated her passion for Italy and for nature with much enthusiasm and knowledge. She supported everyone in the group really well and went out of her way to make sure that every day and every walk was special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was glad to have my walking boot in Matera and used these most days. I should have taken an umbrella as we have a dramatic thunderstorm in Matera and a few showers on other days. An umbrella would have worked better than putting on a waterproof walking jacket because it was quite humid.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Matera will be the European capital of culture in 2019
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Lynn Roulstone

    Gentle strolls and some seriously good vegetarian food

    We spent a lovely week exploring the areas round Matera and parts of the Puglia region. The holiday was a very good mix of walking, guided sight-seeing and free time to do more sight-seeing or just relax with a drink at one of the many cafes, or even better eat one of the amazing ice-creams. Staying in three very different, locations, with very different accommodation means that you get a real feel for the area and the people. The walking is very easy and pretty gentle, though I imagine that in the height of summer when it would be considerable hotter, it might feel a lot tougher. None of the walks was longer than three/four hours, which left plenty of time to do other things. This suited me, but if you are a very keen walker, you might find it a little dull. This is a great region of Italy to visit, as though there are tourists, it is not nearly so packed as the more famous areas, and you get a much better idea about Italy than you maybe would shuffling round Florence or Rome. The other reason to visit is the food. I've never eaten so well on holiday, and as a vegetarian I was spoilt for choice, something that can be rather rare. Thoroughly recommended for anyone who wants to get away and chill out for a while.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view of the Sassi district of Matera from our hotel room. Watching the lights come one and people wandering about was fascinating. As very little traffic is allowed in the area, you get a real sense of what life would be before cars. The beauty of the flowers and herbs we saw and smelled as we walked. Poppies, orchids, scabious, valerian, wild fennel. The smell of oregano was wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guiseppe was a knowledgeable local man, with a real love of his home area that he was eager to impart to us. He was very friendly, helpful and fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the weather was warmer in England than Italy at the start of our trip, I'd recommend going early in the year. The flowers are very beautiful and the area is very green. Later in the year the Matera region gets very dry and also can be very hot. Seek out the ice-cream shops. There are a lot, selling an interesting mix of flavours, and we didn't come across a bad one.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are a keen walker, looking for challenging walks, this might not be for you. If like me, you enjoy ambling through the countryside, I think you would enjoy thsi holiday.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Amanda Soper

    Material/puglia

    Fantastic trip and bothe the tour guide and minibus driver were very obliging

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wonderful scenery along the way

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
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