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 October 2018
    John Devall

    Great trip for culture lovers

    A great trip to give you a taster of what Russia is like. There is so much culture whether you like history or the arts. There is a lot of walking, more than you would expect from reading the trip notes, but it is all worth it as there is something new and interesting around every corner. Moscow was a revelation so clean and not quite the grey and forbidding city it is sometimes made out to be on the news. All the sights are worth seeing and to be honest there is even more that cannot be crammed into such a short trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to Red Square on the first evening. It took our breath away. It was beautiful and the cold clear night just gave it a sense of wonder.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eugene was great. Nothing was too much trouble. He was always on time and described the itinerary in detail so there were no surprises. His English was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take sturdy shoes there is a lot of walking. Ear plugs for the train.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is not the first time we have experienced an over night train journey and they are not as romantic as you may think. The train itself was noisy, not the people, and the movement can be disconcerting when you are on the top bunk. We have decided that this will be our last trip where we have to take an overnight train. We also think that St. Petersburg deserves another day. I know the trip notes advise that you can add extra days but one more day within the trip would be better served. Other than that this is great trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Ronnie Macdonald

    Lots to see!

    A busy week with lots to see and photograph.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Spasskaya Tower Military Festival. Spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was really excellent. Always looking out for sand anticipating any potential problems. Entertained us on the bus journey with Russian lessons and a Putkin fairy tail.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch out for pickpockets, particularly in St Petersburg. Only take out what you need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Main museums very busy with tourists. If this a concern go out of season.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Keith Lally

    A wonderful Tour of Russia

    The trip was nothing short of outstanding.........and believe me I can be a fussy traveller ! WE started in Moscow and did a night time tour around Red Square which was amazing-spectacular scenery and then in the morning did the Kremlin. Russia is the complete opposite of what is presented in mainstream media-its a friendly, warm country and people very friendly. We then travelled to Novgrod and Pushkin smaller Russian Cities and again very interesting rounded off by the cultural capital of Russia-St Petersburgh. Memorable trips included-the Moscow Metro station tour and the Moscow Space Museum.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat tour through Moscow and also the night time walk through Red Square in Moscow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Artem was nothing short of outstanding. Artem went beyond the call of duty constantly looking out for everyone in the group and during downtime would give other recommendations/things to do. Artem was very patient and hard working and great sense of humour!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont read into the negative media and go for it visit Russia. The World Cup convinced me Russia was a more open and safe country to visit and from visiting Russia it is one of the safest countries I have ever visited. I guarantee you-Russia will be one of the best trips you have ever had-its the trip of a lifetime.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Russia is very fairly priced and great value for money.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    john Mc Carron

    Moscow - Saint Petersburg

    Very enjoyable trip, lots to see and do, plenty of variety. It is all well described in the trip notes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the evening walk in Red Square, all very calm, no rushing about.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good; pleasant and informative

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. If you still have questions, read the notes again, the answer is probably there.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Nicola Baillie

    Moscow and St Petersburg in February

    This was a fantastic experience. A really well organised trip that allows you to absorb the highlights of Moscow, Novgorod, Pushkin and St Petersburg in at times really beautiful winter weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Catherine's Palace was outstanding - so opulent and going in the winter meant you got to see all of the rooms. Also seeing the freezing atmosphere and the frozen moisture falling like glitter was so beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eugene was great - patient, kind and helpful, well organised and up for a good laugh

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I really wanted to go to the Sanduny Baths in Moscow and I headed over there on first day with someone else on the trip. I thought it was really worth it (I really enjoys saunas and similar experiences). We walked using google maps for guidance (beware, the cold really drains phone batteries) (about 20min walk from Kremlin area) and spent 2.5 hours there. The baths were really hot and I 'indulged' in a birch twig/ leave massage for the authentic experience. This involved being hit by birch leaves/ twigs and massaged for 20mins in the sauna area - not cheap but I loved the experience. We also stayed an extra day at the end and really enjoyed a trip out to Peterhof Palace which was also worth a visit. Also went to the ballet in St Petersburg which was really special.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Filling in the application form for Visa was time consuming and stressful but I think I worried more than I needed to. They ask where you've been abroad for the last 10 years but then the form only has space for 10 entries. So if you are lucky, like me, and been abroad more than 10x in the last 10 years just but down anywhere that's stamped in your passport and a few others - that seemed to be fine, and was what a few of us had done. Also - they asked for bank account details. I just gave my current account and again, this seemed to be sufficient.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Judy H

    A wonderful Russian Experience

    We enjoyed a wonderful, busy eight days in Russia. The history, and the culture is all so interesting, and the way they have emerged from the Communist era. Everywhere was extremely clean, and we found the people to be friendly. The churches and cathedrals, and the palaces are beyond spectacular. We had an extra day in St Petersburg which enabled us to go to Peterhof gardens and fountains, though not the palace, and to see Swan Lake at the Mariinsky theatre which was another highlight. Doing the trip as a private adventure we were able to eat proper Russian food in some first rate restaurants, never paying over the odds for our meals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Kremlin and Armoury museum in Moscow and the Catherine Palace in Pushkin.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Doing this as a private adventure we didn't have a group leader, but we found the local guides we had in Moscow, Novgorod and St Petersburg all very friendly, knowledgable and easy to understand. Maria in Moscow particularly went the extra mile, showing us more than she would normally be able to include, and sorting out our onward transport from Moscow to Novgorod.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO! And take insect repellant for Novgorod!
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Ruth Green

    A taste of a fascinating country

    A very busy trip, to see the major highlights of these two important Russian cities, plus Novgorod & Pushkin.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing St Basil's Cathedral for the first time & just being in Red Square where so much history had taken place. The interior of Catherine's Palace in Pushkin - bling overload!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eugene was well organised and guided the group well. I had the feeling he felt uncomfortable when some of us wanted to do things that were off plan, but he was helpful in guiding us to achieve them. I wasn't happy with some of his choice of restaurants, which tended towards the cafeteria end of the market. We would have liked to know where we were going beforehand, to allow us an alternate choice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not a trip for those who like 'good' food. I wasn't impressed by the food in the restaurants we went to or in some of the hotels. Much of our food was served lukewarm or cold, which is never appetising. Russian hotel rooms don't have any tea making facilities, so if you like to make a cuppa in your room take a travel kettle. The night on the Russian train ( which departs at 10 pm) is an experience, personally I got very little sleep. The train stopped and jolted quite a lot during the night. We were woken at 5 am, de-trained at 6:30 am, arrived at the hotel for breakfast at 7am & at 9am taken on a tour of Novgorod, returning at 12 to check in. This was all very tiring! Be aware that as on many Exodus trips, you need a lot of stamina!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately I suffered from a bad back during the trip and couldn't enjoy the tour as much as I wanted. There was a lot of walking, which I found difficult, and even some of the fitter members of the group thought that the pace was often unrelenting. Due to my health problems I was unable to see The Kremlin in Moscow, The Faberge Museum & The Hermitage in St Petersburg. The walk from the hotel in St Petersburg to The Hermitage was at least 45 mins. I feel this trip should be regraded leisurely/moderate. It is anything but leisurely! A lot is fitted in but maybe an extra day would help make the itinerary not so punishing?!
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Maureen Donelan

    Moscow and St Petersburg

    A well planned and interesting trip taking us to Novgorod and Pushkin as well as Moscow and St Petersburg. An extra day in Moscow would have been welcomed as there was too much to see in too little time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one inspirational moment, but many including all the wonderful churches, the Moscow Kremlin, the Hermitage museum (including the impressionists in a separate gallery) AND our visit to the gardens of Peterhof (Summer Palace) on the hydrofoil.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Young, engaging, organised and informed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some preparatory homework before you go, so what you hear when you are there fits into and expands the narrative you already know.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Nicola Middleton

    Culture and Kremlins in the Wintertime

    This was an opportunity to experience some of the many faces of Russia, from the austere grandeur of Moscow to the opulence of St Petersburg, as well as the quieter charms of Novgorod and Pushkin. Traveling on the overnight sleeper train from Moscow provided a taste of real Russia away from the everyday touristic experience, as well an opportunity for plenty of group bonding. Russia in wintertime is magical, from Red Square at night to the frozen lake at the Catherine Palace and the canals of St Petersburg.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    An afternoon trip to the Museum of Wooden Architecture near Novgorod provided an opportunity to see country life. It was so quiet and peaceful with some amazing buildings in a spectacular woodland setting. A musical evening at the Bolshoi Theatre also provided an opportunity to experience the friendliness of Muscovites. Lost at the bar, we were befriended by a Russian lady who was intrigued that we had chosen to visit Moscow and eager to help us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eugine's organisation was faultless. He enabled us to to enjoy a holiday that would have been difficult to organise ourselves. He led the group with good humour and his insights into Russian life, history and culture transformed our experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The first couple of days in Moscow involve a lot of walking. Make sure you have comfortable footwear and are prepared for this. The pace in Moscow is quite hectic but relaxes considerably once you get to Novgorod.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An unforgettable holiday with lots of culture, good food, good company and an insight into Russian life.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Elizabeth Tilbury

    A great way to get a flavour of Russia

    This is a typically busy Exodus trip which covers a lot of ground in a short period. Despite having a lot to fit in, it's well structured and certainly lived up to our expectations. Going in February means that we avoided what are, apparently, huge crowds in St Petersburg and if you're lucky with the winter weather (we were) then its very beautiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting in the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg as a service took place - incense, music, and the incredible interior made it very moving.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader was excellent - efficient, friendly and eager to assist without fussing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you've been on an Exodus trip before you'll know that you pack a lot in and you have to be organised and prepared for being on the move and getting around by a variety of means. Lots of walking between sites and not much down time - but that's how you pack so much in. Emphasis is on the cultural and historic sites - museums, churches and so on, so that needs to be your main interest to get the most from the trip. You have a night on the train from Moscow to Novgarod which is fine but do bring your earplugs and eyemask if you want a night's sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We really enjoyed the trip - its more conventional than some because Russia itself is a more familiar cultural experience than many parts of the world - but with so many people talking about our relationship with Russia at the moment its a great time to have a look.
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