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 July 2018
    Margie McKenzie

    Allora, Andiamo!

    This was my 2nd cycle trip (both with Exodus). And it did not disappoint. Fabulous and challenging. This is a beautiful region in Italy. We enjoyed great food and wine and lovely accommodations. The weather was hot and sunny, although we did out-cycle a few potential storms! The group of 16 were terrific and our leader, Emanuele, was wonderful ~ so well organized, and tireless in his efforts to meet all the diverse needs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being from eastern Ontario, where the land is quite flat, I was really challenged on our first day out by the length, pace, heat, and "undulating" terrain. Our last day involved cycling against some pretty significant winds. By the end of the week, apart from being very sad it was over, I really felt good about my accomplishment and becoming a better cyclist as a result . I had great encouragement from our whole group and from Emanuele.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele is just a wonderful person and excellent leader. He is kind and organized and hard working. His goal is to make sure that everyone is enjoying their experience. He really loves and is proud of the whole region. And it showed in his great story-telling and history lessons. He was able to answer all our questions, and to take us places and point out so many things we would have missed otherwise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the challenge ~ there are definitely hills and there can be winds. Be prepared. Although, my British buddies seemed to find them much less surprising and challenging than I did!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this region ~ the food and architecture, the people, the landscapes. You definitely won't be disappointed. Our group of 16 were a really fun and generous crew. So many experiences and adventures to share over the days and the evenings together.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Graham Swift

    An Interesting Area of Italy

    A great week of cycling staying in fascinating old towns with narrow picturesque streets. Whilst the countryside is no match for Tuscany there are some nice sections and some glorious coastlines. Another star of the holiday is the food of the region, certainly some great group meals enjoying excellent food and wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying in a Trullie House as well as the view from the hotel terrace in Matera

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent group leader with good local knowledge and always happy to help resolve any issues that crop up along the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Whilst the mileages were ok and clearly stated in the trip notes, I do feel that Exodus should state the average cycling pace expected throughout an holiday such as this. Personally whilst I cycle these mileages at home but I nevertheless found the pace a tad quicker than we cycle at home.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    David Penny

    Fantastic holiday experience

    From the very start my wife and I were warmly welcomed by our guide Emanuele and our other 12 cycling companions. We had done a couple of other cycling holidays but this was our first with Exodus and with a leader who cycled with us along the way. Emanuele was fantastic - nothing was too much trouble for him, he has a great sense of humour and knows when to use diffent options when things might not go as expected. His vast experence meant that we visited places we would never have found ourselves - absolutely beautiful villages, landscapes and places to enjoy Italys wonderful food and drink. The cycling was on mainly good surfaces and well paced each day so that no one felt left out. Our group quickly became friends enjoying each others company and watching out for those inevitable potholes! We will definitely do another Exedous trip - we throughly reccommend it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beautiful scenery particularly the coast along the Adriatic Sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele is a very experienced guide who knows thlocale network of roads and trails in the area very well. But most importantly he made sure that everyone of us was ok whether it was the set up of the bike or having trouble with translating the menu. I would describe him as a real leader and gentleman who really made the trip a success.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We would definitely recommend this trip to potential travellers - it s a beautiful area with great friendly and engaging local people and amazing food and wine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to all who cycled with us -we loved your company it was a memorable holiday.
  • Reviewed May 2018

    Total harmony

    There is a cast of ancient towns, beautiful countryside, fantastic food, tremendous wine and 16 highly sociable cyclists. Nevertheless, you need a guide like Michele. "Why?" you ask, as would Michele himself. The answer is because every orchestra needs a conductor and Michele is up there with the Italian greatest, creating, with his never-ending good humour and meticulous organisation, the happiest of harmony between the cyclists, the towns, the countryside, the food and the wine. Overlook this trip to your eternal regret!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every evening meal: we were such a close group that we all dined together every evening but in different combinations: the conversation and laughs were loud and inexhaustible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He made the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You spend a lot of time in the countryside. When we were there the fields and orchards were a riot of wild flowers and blossom and I would guess that April is the best time to go.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Ted Cornell

    Amazing Trip!

    The trip was really amazing. The itinerary was perfect, with long and short rides, a variety of interesting places to see and to stay. The group was very compatible, and we elected to eat all dinners together. As said at our final meal, we really became a team over the week having fun together and looking out for each other. Our leader, Michele, was terrific and kept us all together with friendly and upbeat manner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several high points, including touring Matera and Lecce and staying in a trulli and a farm house, as well as the views of the coasts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was the best! As a leader he kept us together in a friendly, gentle way and was always upbeat and positive. He knew all of the cultural attractions, and would stop to show them to us on the way or walking around town after dinner. Michele also arranged some great dinners for us. He really made it extra fun for all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good idea to spend an extra day in Matera and Lecce, lots to see there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would re-examine two hotels we stayed at. Rooms were fine but very hot, as they hadn't turned on the air conditioning systems yet.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    S J

    Cycling Puglia and Matera

    I have just returned from a fantastic week, exceptionally well organised and led by Michele our superb guide. Through his infectious laugh, confident and approachable manner he quickly developed an excellent group spirit. It was great to cycle through such a rich and varied landscape, visiting many UNSECO sites. He found amazing restaurants for us to eat at every night and organised a fantastic array of dishes for us to try. He was well informed about all the places we visited and for those that wanted to he would show us around.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way the group of like minded individuals quickly gelled as a group and shared many life experiences and loads of laughs!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely superb. This was my first trip of this kind. As a sole traveller he instantly put me at my ease. He was always happy and cheerful, ensuring everyone thoroughly enjoyed the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    With the spring flowers, lack of tourists and a great climate for cycling April was a great time to go. Invest in a good pair of bib cycling shorts - well worth it!! The cycling was relaxed and you could cycle at your own pace.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Suzanne Potts

    Cycling in Puglia

    A varied week of cycling terrains offering an insight into Puglia. The locals were the friendliest yet and their food spectacular and inexpensive.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting other nationalities, discussing our differences, laughing about our shortfalls, learning from each other and growing in strength as a group as the week progresses.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have been on many adventure holidays with different companies and without doubt Michele - our group leader was the best so far. He manages to lead in such a way that makes you feel confident and secure in your abilities to tackle any terraine. His humour ensures no one takes themselves too seriously and therefore the group gels very quickly and is able to support and encourage one another all the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember it's a holiday and don't take yourself too seriously - those who laugh last and make lots of friends!
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Carlo b

    MWV - Cycling Puglia and Matera

    This was my 8th cycling trip and my first time in Puglia and it was a very enjoyable tour. The overnight towns were all very beautiful each with their own special charm. All the hotels were located in or within a 15-20 minute walk to the historic centre. Our group was lots of fun and got along well. The cycling was fairly relaxed overall but there were some short hills and one day was quite windy so it was more challenging than other days. Highly recommend this tour for the fabulous food, wine and sights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many but here are a few: 1) view of Matera during breakfast and at night from Il Belvedere hotel 2) Matera at night 3) group dinner at "Soup Kitchen Ristorante" in Matera 4) Ostuni 5) the picnic lunches 6) so many great views of the sea 7) gelato 8) staying in a trulli home in Alberobello 9) coffee stops 9) last but not least: Italian caffe

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele was great. He was very organized with a calm and laid-back demeanour which made the trip a true vacation. He kept an eye on everyone and dealt gracefully with all requests for bike adjustments. Nothing fazed him. The coffee stops and restaurant suggestions were all wonderful with excellent Italian food and wine and great-tasting espressos. And Piero, who drove the support van, prepared very tasty picnic lunches with plenty of local Italian delicacies and even took special requests -straciatella!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I always tell people who want to do a bike tour that they will enjoy it a lot more if they are at least comfortable riding a bike - it's not the time to learn how to cycle. We were lucky because the weather was perfect for cycling every day but one day we missed a potential rainstorm so rain gear would be a good idea. Arrive in Matera a day early to explore the town and stay in Lecce an extra day to explore that town too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this guided bike tour. Puglia is a beautiful region of Italy and I am thankful I was finally able to see it - and cycling seemed the perfect way to explore it. My only suggestion is to make the trip longer so that one could stay 2 nights in a couple of places; I felt there was not enough time to wander the towns, especially Ostuni and Alberobello, but also Otranto and Gallipoli - they were all beautiful towns. Although I realize this would make the tour longer and it would end mid-week. I would do the tour again if this was offered - yes, it was that much fun!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Judy Baulf

    Cycling in idyllic Puglia/Matera, ice cream, lechessi, vanilla pastries, swimming and sunshine everyday!

    A thoroughly enjoyable cycling holiday in a beautiful part of Italy with amazing scenery, food and comfortable hotels. The group were a friendly and fun bunch of people and we all got on extremely well. The cycling was just right with enough variation and climbs to challenge but not overwhelm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying in a Trulli house in the beautiful town of Alberobello. I think cycling to the beach en route to Lecce and swimming in the Adriatic sea.......bliss. Fig and ricotta ice cream in Lecce and the cheese tasting lunch en route to Gallipoli.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele was an excellent guide and good company throughout the entire duration of the trip. His local knowledge of the general area, specific knowledge of the history of the towns and his recommendations of the local restaurants and wine were invaluable. He went to extraordinary lengths to cater to any of our specific requests to ensure we had the best experience possible and his enthusiasm for the region was obvious and infectious. He spoke excellent English and had a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book it.... you won't be disappointed with a single day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Looking forward to my next trip with Exodus.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Alison MacDonald

    Excellent tour in Heel of Italy (Matera to Lecce)- a photographers mecca

    Emanuele was an excellent guide. He went above and beyond to create a truly memorable cycling trip for all the people on the tour. This trip is a photographers mecca, the towns we visited were so unique, beautiful scenery and visiting UNESCO world heritage sites. An excellent group of like minded people whose company we all enjoyed sharing a laugh over a beer at the end of the day.The roads we cycled were very beautiful, mostly very quiet and a couple of days were more challenging with the hills but quite manageable. The accommodations were truly memorable from Sassi to Trulli to a Convent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding the "Roller Coaster" and making it all the way up. A hot day, quiet road and when we turned the corner the Roller Coaster was waiting for us with Emanuele at the top to cheer us on and take our picture. Also the accommodations were very unique and they all looked after us very well.Loved staying in the Sassi and Trulli accommodations, that was amazing. Loved this group of people we rode with,chatted with and shared our stories over dinner and wine. The scenery was spectacular, from the lovely quiet Italian towns to breathtaking scenery along the coastline.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emanuele was wonderful and worked so very hard, very attentive and knowledgeable guide who was always more than willing to answer all our questions and paid great attention to all our safety.He was a very experienced cyclist who took us to some excellent foodie restaurants and shared his love of history and his involvement in reviving the old historical routes and turn them into cycling routes. He clearly briefed us on the night before, describing the route, using riders as waymarkers for the route and designating a rider to sweep at the back. The van was always behind us and Piero worked very hard to refill all our water bottles, prepare picnics in the parks for our lunch.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a wonderful trip. Clearly a level 3 Moderate, all of it manageable. It would be a good idea to put the leaders cell phone into WhatsApp.Hills were a bit challenging especially on the hot couple of days but never more than we could manage and often short and sweet! The support van was always behind us with Piero filling our water and preparing our lunchtime picnics. There is only 1-2 seats in the van with limited room for extra bikes but it was never a problem. The group all rode together, Emanuele designated a rider to sweep at the back.We all had paniers. Only a couple of stops for swimming.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful trip, will recommend to all my friends in Canada. Emanuele was an excellent top notch guide. A rough profile guide in the brochure/trip notes of each days ride could be beneficial to show what is in store for the riders on each stage of the journey. This would be at the guides discretion to modify routes as conditions dictate.
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