Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Word - 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 July 2017
    Cath Mclaren
    We have just spent a lovely week in the Dolomites, the scenery was amazing, the hotel very comfortable with plenty of delicious food, the guides were great and we walked with a fantastic group of folk.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not really a moment, just the overall fantastic views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 group leaders, Ingrid and Albert. Both well organised, friendly and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take waterproofs, we didn't need them but if you do, then you properly do!
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Laura Nevraumont
    Well rounded, fast paced tour of the highlights Italy has to offer. Travel days were alternated allowing time to enjoy the city/area you are in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday (save for some long travel days) was enjoyable. Loved Venice and Lake Como - they are unique in their own ways and unlike any place else.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Francesco was always prepared when we arrived in a new place. He always had a great orientation tour for us, even if that place, like Minori, only had 6 streets and he'd never been there before! There were some errors in the trip notes that caused confusion but he dealt with things in a professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use a backpack. Trying to drag luggage up and down bridges in Venice, weaving through the crowds, and up and down steps in train stations proved a little tedious for those with rolling bags. If you can't carry it, you won't need it. For any attractions you want to visit, book your tickets before you leave home. The queues are longer than you can ever imagine and most have no shade.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Verify trip notes prior to departure. Although, there were errors in our trip notes that Exodus has been made aware of. We felt the quality of the hotels seemed to diminish as the trip progressed. Also, be aware, that even though the Trip Notes state you can visit Pompeii from Minori, it is an easy 2 hour car ride each way and hiring a car is not cheap - try to spend at least 4 hours in Pompeii.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Sue Philp
    Absolutely fantastic trek. With only two exceptions we had beautiful weather for the whole trip even though the forecast had been varied. The grading of challenging / moderate was spot on and at times it felt tough but the spectacular scenery all around and the sense of achievement more than compensated for the harder parts. Loved every minute of it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the Col De Tricot! Cow bells clanging in flower filled meadows, Glaciers that felt that they were within in touching distance.. sunshine lighting up snow covered peaks... myrtle tarts at the refuges... Actually there were so many fantastic moments that it is hard to differentiate but getting to the top of the Col was pretty special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul kept us organised and safe, he made sure that all the group achieved their goals and we all learned a lot about wild flowers and trees!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the trip.. Make sure that you have a reasonable level of fitness, it isn't easy walking but it is doable and the rewards are worth it. It's one of the best treks that I've done. Don't take too much clothing, there really isn't any need to 'dress up' in the evenings although you might want something clean for the free days unless you are planning on walking then too. Thermal Spa at St Gervais was a lovely distraction on one free day and good for soothing aching joints.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really great trip.. up there with Everest Base Camp for me in terms of challenges (but for different reasons). If the weather is kind to you, the landscape is just stunning and you really won't be disappointed. The accommodation is really pretty good and the food at some of the auberges was great. Overall, it was excellent and I'd recommend it to anyone.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Maurice Naftal
    An overall wonderful experience with magnificent scenery and food for such a reasonably priced tour. The walking was a bit harder than the moderate rating given to it The accommodation although basic chalet style was adequate but was more than made up for by the charm and efficiency of our hosts, Sara and Rich. The gourmet evening meals provided by Sara were consistently amazing. I would highly recommend the tour based on Sara and Rich being your hosts at the chalet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moments, and totally unexpected based on the tour price, were the variety, gourmet quality and deliciousness of the evening meals provided by Sara. She is an absolute star! I must also add that the amazing scenery ran a very close second. Every vista is a picture postcard.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought that our tour leader was probably the weakest part of the tour even though he was a very nice and friendly person and tried his best. He appeared inexperienced in the role even though he seemed to know the area we were walking in. His communication skills were lacking and us such did not convey the type of walks we would be doing each day very well. He seemed to keep changing his mind on various aspects of each walk. as they progressed. When I fell behind on the long downhill sections due to knee soreness he did not come back to see how I was progressing even though the group did wait for me further down.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even though it has a moderate rating I would suggest more training beforehand. Also, if someone has knee issues it would be best to avoid this trip due to the very long downhill sections of about 2.5 to 3 hours at the end of every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having been on other walks with different companies around the world the one issue that concerned me that there was only one guide for 13 people of different ages and walking abilities. On all the the other tours there have been 2 guides so that one would always bring up the rear and look after the slower walkers. I realize this would add to the cost but would provide for a safer experience especially for older walkers. Finally do everything you can to keep Sara and Rich at Exodus as they are worth 5 stars themselves,
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Roslyn Pyrke
    Exceptional. This is the first time that we have used this company and we found the experience wonderful. The group size was perfect, great itinerary, activities better than expected, all enhanced by the enthusiastic group leader as well as the local guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Matera is an exceptional place. The story behind the sassi with their troglodyte dwellings and the subsequent displacement of the inhabitants was fascinating. We were lucky also to experience the Festa della Bruna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was fantastic. As an experienced small group traveler I have had many different leaders. I can say without doubt our leader was better than of all previous ones.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Puglia was hot. I would advise travelers planning to go there in July to be prepared for this possibility.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A beautiful region with wonderful food, wine and olive oil. Also the swimming was great.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Darryl Pyrke
    We had a wonderful week in a part of Italy that was new to us.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We have done eleven previous group trips with companies like Intrepid and Explore and Marinella was way better than any previous leader. Whether it's through local knowledge or willingness to do lots of preparation I don't know, but we were inspired by the way Marinella was able to make places come alive when she introduced us to them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marinella was a wonderful leader - full of enthusiasm, patience, good humour and energy. Her goal was to ensure that every guest had the best possible time. She mixed easily and confidently with all guests and always helped out if there was a problem.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you find extreme heat difficult, travel before June.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Temperatures were in the mid to high 30s, which is much hotter than we are used to. These temperatures are foreshadowed on the Exodus website and they're OK as long as the accommodation has fully functioning air conditioning. Air con was fine in Lecce, Ostuni and Matera, but poor at Alberobello where we had hot nights and not much sleep.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Nancy Fanning
    I did this hike as a 61 year old female, travelling solo. This was a great hike through many of the most scenic sections of the GR 10. I went in late June and we had both very hot and cold weather, in addition to a few days of rain, cold mornings and a short burst of hail, so make sure you bring adequate layers. I also high recommend walking poles as many of the ascents and descents are steep and rocky. Our group typically hiked 6-8 hours, starting at around 8 and ending about 3:30 or 4:00 pm. I am reasonably fit and a regular hiker and I found the pace to be fine. We had ample opportunities to stop for pictures, coffee and snacks. Personally, I would rate this trip as slightly less challenging than the Mont Blanc camping trek. I have a moderate fear of heights and did not have any problems on this trip., although we were told that on one short stretch there is a steep drop (we couldn't see it as it was cloudy that day). We did a bit of scrambling over boulders on a couple of the days. I found this a bit challenging, but our guide assisted me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the many beautiful and medieval towns in the area (including an 8th century tower/castle). I live in the hot desert southwest in the US, so I enjoyed the forest walks-even in the rain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pierre was a great leader with extensive local knowledge and mountain expertise. He provided expert leadership and was very helpful. When I was having a bit of trouble with one of the steep descents, he stayed with me the entire way down. He is definitely the best guide I've had on any Exodus trip. He is very passionate about what he does and this greatly added to my enjoyment of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all types of weather and lots of mud. I would recommend bringing hiking poles. Three or four of the nights are spent in gites with shared dormitories and, sometimes, not so comfortable quarters. I was glad I brought ear plugs and an eye mask - wish I'd brought a comfortable bed pillow also! Think about what you want to do on the free day in St. Lary as many of the activities require advance booking. I went on some day hikes in the area and visited the spa. The Vaporarium in Luchon is only open in the afternoons on most days, so plan accordingly if this is something you'd like to do.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only minor quibble with the trip planning is that Exodus needs to smooth out some of the picnic arrangements. On two or three days I had to shop for my lunch in the evening, then leave it on the window sill to stay cool for the next day's hike! Fortunately, we had cool nights so this was OK. If it had been hot, we all would have been stuck. As I was on the inaugural hike for this particular trip, I suspect Exodus will have this worked out by the time the second group departs.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Kathy Chellew
    This was our 5th cycling trip with Exodus and the most surprisingly fun. Despite an uncharacteristic heatwave in early July, which meant our first day took us up very challenging hills in 37 degree heat and forced some cyclists to abandon their bikes for the van, we all bonded as a group and had as much fun in the evenings as we did pedalling through the stunning scenery of Albania.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement on reaching the summit of the final day's epic climb towards Vlore.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dhimo was delightful. Coped calmly with all the usual dramas of a cycling holiday despite his youth (26).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're hill-fit as it's a very challenging trip, especially in the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Probably best to choose the Spring or Autumn departure dates as July was very hot - although we were unlucky to experience a heat wave so struggled with the heat more than probably usual.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Dan Johns
    Puglia and Matera are areas that are not well known in Canada. We booked the trip based on the interesting walks amongst olive orchards and vineyards that were advertised. What we didn't realize is all the history in the area. From the cave dwellings of the Sassi to the Trulli houses of Alberobello it is a different world. The hiking routes were quite quiet with few other walkers encountered. It was a nice break from some of the busier areas of Italy. The food and drink in the area is fantastic. Marinella took us to some amazing restaurants (and created fantastic picnics) that only a local would know. All in all it was a fantastic trip. My only regret was that it was only a week. We could have stayed longer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the most inspirational moment was the first time you see the Sassi. You are walking through the new town of Matera and all of a sudden you look into this ravine which is filled with buildings stacked on top of each other in a seemingly haphazard way. You then find out that caves are behind these buildings and that people live in them. The flocks of swallows and kestrels flying at all times of the day made the scene all the more impressive.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marinella was amazing. She knows the region and the people well. She (and Exodus) was very concerned about all of the walkers welfare since the temperatures were very high during the trip.She knew all the best places in town to eat and put together some fantastic picnic lunches. Her knowledge of the history of the region was also excellent. She went above and beyond by touring us on the free day around Lecce.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch the temperature. Our trip was mid-June and the temperatures were in the mid 30's. Any hotter and the hiking may not have been enjoyable. Otherwise, come with a good appetite and enjoy the region.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Mary Mellor
    The holiday was most enjoyable and we were escorted by Marinella in a friendly and efficient way. The hotels we stayed in were comfortable, and some uniquely interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was very excited to see Alberobello, which I had long wanted to visit. And Matera was a great revelation - I knew nothing of its history, and found it fascinating

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marinella was friendly, energetic and charming, and full of interesting information. She found some lovely places for us to eat at. She was concerned for and interested in everyone in the partyExpect

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in July, leave your woollies well behind. It was EXTREMELY hot when we were there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You will feel well looked after by Exodus.
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