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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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Reviews

Great memories of an epic trip

Three generations of Yanks walked through Spanish landscape and culture and made some history of their own with a unique group of walkers lead by a great guide

Most Inspirational Moment

Bagpipes on the penon ledge Talent show Friday night at cortijo Gorge At del Rey Sevilla alcazar.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michael was fantastic, experienced interesting patient and knowledgeable. Best guide I have seen. He did a great job of making people feel welcome and delivered a great experience,

Advice for Potential Travellers

This is a full experience of history food and culture, well balanced and walks for enough for all.

Suggestions

Can’t say enough about Micheal as he should be guide of the year. He helped make bonds within the group and I think everyone really appreciates his passion for nature, Spain and people in general. Few suggestions on the house Have a real coffee maker at least nespresso Have smokers go to a designated place away from any door or window.

Walking in andalsia

Everyday had something different to offer, the walks were varied from gentle strolls along wide paths to much more challenging terrain. Magnificent views of olive groves and mountains, plenty of wild life and interesting fauna despite the dry conditions at this time of year, would love to see the wild flowers in spring. The accommodation was not luxury but very comfortable and very welcoming, the staff are lovely, food was homemade and tasty.

Most Inspirational Moment

Difficult to choose! Walking in the Sierra de Grazalma was absolutely beautiful, wild and felt very remote.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michael was an inspirational leader with a wide knowledge of the area and what it had to offer. His enthusiasm was infectious and made this trip very special.

Advice for Potential Travellers

If offered the chance to visit Ronda take it! It’s a little jewel.

Great Week's Hiking in Andalucia

I loved everything about this trip: the blue skies, the heat, the fabulous scenery, the lovely Cortijo Rosario and the wide variety of interesting trails. The leader Michael was top class all round: attentive to everyone’s individual needs, knowledgeable and passionate in telling us all there was to know about the landscapes we walked through and super conscious on safety. The itinerary succeeded brilliantly in showing the charms of the local environment as well as the more spectacular highlights such as the Caminito del Rey through the El Chorro Gorge. Evening meals were exceptionally tasty and varied and all eaten outdoors on a patio overlooking the olive groves. Everyone got on happily with Michael and with one another. I would strongly recommend this trip to other Exodus fans.

Most Inspirational Moment

Hard to single one out.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Great leadership qualities.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Expect plenty of heat in September.

Suggestions

All said above.

A Wonderful Walking Holiday

This was a wonderful walking holiday, staying the week in a homely villa set on the hillside above Algamitas, used just by our group. The owners were friendly, and the chef served delightful meals every evening on the terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside. The area is varied, so the walks are different and generally easy going terrains, and provide great views and interest. Three of them started from the villa and three needed minibus trips. It was lovely to have the pool at the end of the day. The day trip to Seville was an interesting change where we were able to have a restaurant meal, experience flamenco, see the Alcazar and other sights, and sup the occasional beer. Our group was friendly and sociable and Michael, our guide provided the perfect amount of guidance, with superb local knowledge, a real polymath. Nothing seemed too much for Michael to ensure we felt safe, at home and well-provided for. I have done a number of Exodus walking holidays and would thoroughly recommend this one. I extended my trip to visit Granada, which was well worth it (but pre-book the Alhambra).

Most Inspirational Moment

Caminito del Rey walk, the national park, tapas at midday on the first day walk, the Alcazar and flamenco in Seville, dips in the pool, evening drinks and dinner on the sun-drenched terrace, learning from the guide and other holiday makers, and many other moments...

Thoughts on Group Leader

Superb - extremely knowledgeable about so many topics, including the history, geography, fauna and flora, geology, culture and arts. He provided a well-chosen list of recommendations of options for visits, activities, restaurants, view points and so on. He was friendly, supportive and professional, and not too intrusive.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Consider adding to your trip to visit another city or area. In the really hot weather, closed toe walking sandals might have been more comfortable than hiking boots.

Suggestions

A highly recommended trip.

EXCELLENT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Trip walking in Andalusia. Accommodation very good and swimming pool a great relax after the walks.
As a vegetarian I was very well catered for bye the hotel staff who went to the trouble of preparing individual meals.
Hotel staff very friendly and very helpful.
Our guide Michael was excellent.The walks at level 2 were pitched very well in terms of distance, difficulty and especially gave a very wide range of differing terrain types in the area. Michael has a VERY great knowledge of the area and very well considered, but never intrusive, health and safety precautions due to possible heat.
His arrangements for our “free day” in Seville option were very well planned and his care pre-booking entrance to the
Real and for our evening meal made the day.
Michael took similar extra care to facilitate our group walk through the Canyon Del Ray, a stunning walk.

A highly recommended trip for the accommodation, scenery, walks and our guide

Most Inspirational Moment

Relevant and detailed information from our guide and the walk through he Canyon

Thoughts on Group Leader

As above. As a guide highly recommended and sets a very high standard.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Check you have Michael as your guide !

Suggestions

Transport> I have raised this before but I believe there is a potential market for using rail transport more than is being currently done. There are complications from this in terms of extra travel time and cost. However if this was integrated into the basic package as an option the extra time taken could be part of the holiday itself and cost reduced (?) through Exodus purchasing. Using rail, partly or totally, for such trips mis difficult big left to individuals to arrange and being able to opt for such as part of a package module would make the option far more attractive.

Fabulous trip in a great location

Cortijo Rosario is a lovely place to stay, just outside the village of Algamitas in a beautiful part of Andalucia. Our room was fairly spacious with a comfortable bed and en-suite. The public areas had been fully refurbished with a small bar, lounge and dining room. There is also a reasonable sized pool which we used every day after the walks to cool down. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it; the Paella on the last night was superb. We ate all our dinners outside on the terrace with the added attraction of a wonderful view.
The walking was enjoyable without being too challenging with a fair variety through the week from easy tracks to mountainous limestone scenery.

Most Inspirational Moment

The highlight of the trip was probably the Caminito del Rey gorge walk which was very impressive. Other highlights included the Tapas lunch, the Sierra Grazalema walk, the picnic lunch at the monastery, the visit to Seville and the Penon Crag walk.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michael is quite simply one of the best Exodus leaders we've had. Everything was well organised and everyone knew what was happening and when. His knowledge of the local area was superb and he speaks fluent Spanish. His knowledge of the local Flora and Fauna was truly remarkable, a mine of information on all sorts of topics. A really nice bloke too, always helpful and willing to go the extra mile which he did on many occasions.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Just go, you should enjoy it!

Brilliant trip with a superb leader!

My husband and I loved this trip! The walking is varied, in quite different but equally stunning areas. It is correctly labelled as leisurely/ moderate, as the walks are not technically difficult at all and are not too long for most reasonably fit people – but are long enough for the heat, and leisurely enough to give us plenty of time to look at the rich variety of flora and fauna and to observe the huge number of birds that live here or pass through, which included large birds of prey such as eagles and flocks of vultures.. Michael, our guide, is simply superb. His knowledge of nature is second to none and he was well -organised and kind too. The base, a coverted farmhouse which we had sole use of, is not ‘luxurious’ but is homely and very welcoming. The owners are lovely! Our room was clean and comfortable and the shower was very good, although the hot water took a bit of time to arrive! The views from our balcony were stupendous. The food was plentiful. The breakfasts were a bit limited in choice but the lunches were very good and the evening meals – taken on a terrace with stunning views in every direction! – were massive and delicious (Ref a previous review: They definitely did NOT lack piquancy!). Our group were friendly with a lot of solo travellers, nice people to spend time with!

Most Inspirational Moment

This is very hard to say and I could list dozens! I was amazed at the flocks of vultures - once around 50 of them - who came across our hotel pool in the evening. I loved the dramatic scenery of the Sierra de Grazalema and of the Caminito del Rey, but also equally loved the flower -strewn meadows we passed as we walked through Algamitas farmland... Our day in Seville was another highlight, as we'd never been before. It is a stunning city, especially the palace and the narrow, mediaeval streets.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michael was superb in every way, certainly one of the best guides we've encountered over our many years of travelling with Exodus. He is lively and fun, but also very solicitous about his group. His knowledge of nature in every respect is quite unbelievable.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The hotel offers massages with a local lady, who had moved there decades ago from England. She is SO nice and kind, and very good at massage. The price is cheap, compared with UK prices, and it was wonderfully relaxing at the end of the week. I would wholeheartedly recommend it! (Others did yoga with a local lady, which they also really enjoyed I was told.) In Seville, don't miss visiting the palace, which is stunning. We also loved walking down by the river. Otherwise, I'd just say to take a good hat, clothes to cover your shoulders, lots of sun-screen, and enough containers to carry at least 1.5 litres of water, maybe more. (On some days there were places to refill the containers, but not always.)

Suggestions

This is an excellent trip, in a beautiful, tranquil and unspoilt area. It is DEFINITELY worth going on!

Fabulous!

I can’t find any fault with this holiday. The walks are well planned and varied, and the week is designed to give a good overview of Andalusia. All the walks offer lovely views, varied terrain and lots of interesting history, geology, flora and fauna. The Cortijo is beautiful and provides a relaxing ‘home from home’.

Most Inspirational Moment

The day in Seville was a highlight for me, but also the Carminino del Rey walk was really fun and very spectacular.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Mike was brilliant- he worked tirelessly to look after everyone and really went above and beyond to make sure we all had a great holiday.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Don’t be nervous about coming alone - this is a great holiday for solo travellers.

Relaxing week walking in Andalucia

A great week, with a variety of walks and a comfortable place to stay. The pace of the walks made for a relaxing week, and allowed time to appreciate the beautiful countryside. The Cortijo is a really comfortable place to stay, with lovely food and a warm welcome. The trip to Seville was an added bonus.

Most Inspirational Moment

The Caminito walk was beautiful, but I also enjoyed the quiet of the other trails. The tapas lunch sitting in the sun in February was a bonus.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Michael was a great leader, really knowledgable on the local area and glad to share this knowledge. He was also very conscious of the needs of the group and making sure we were all comfortable. He dealt well with the challenges posed by illness in the group.

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you would like a chance to see rural Spain and to experience great walks, go for this trip.

Very Special Holiday With Great Leader and Hotel

This holiday had all the ingredients that you could wish for, for a great holiday. Amazing olive-growing countryside; a lovely friendly hotel; wonderful food; a chatty group of other guests; and a superb, knowledgeable, caring leader.

Most Inspirational Moment

Pretty much all of it. The tapas lunch in a “typical” Andalusian pretty village; the limestone walks overlooking the olive-groves; the lunch at the monastery; the Penon walk with an amazing scenic view at lunchtime; the impressive “King’s Walk” along the side of a cliff; the day-long visit to Seville with its Royal Palace house and gardens; and an extra trip to Ronda for a short visit. The hotel, owners Joke and Cartouche, plus their staff, made it all really comfortable. All wonderful thanks!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our leader, Michael Newcomb, was just the best leader! He was very friendly; responded sympathetically to anybody’s individual needs; was SO knowledgeable about the fauna, flora, geology and culture; gave many snippets of information as we walked, and in a concise, easily understandable way; obviously loved his job; but above all, he was just very caring and kind.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The walking is not very difficult. There are often coach journeys of about an hour to the start of some of the walks or days out, but the coach was very modern and the driver, Antonio, was a very careful driver.

Suggestions

I was worried beforehand about all the Covid related paperwork. However, in the end, it was all pretty easy with 1) double-jab proof - best with QR images 2) Spanish country entry form 3) UK Personal Locator Form document completed in Spain before return and 4) lateral flow test pre-booked for undertaking within 2 days of return. But check what is needed when you go. It was a really great holiday.