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.

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  • Reviewed October 2017
    Alicia Bjerkseth

    Surprisingly Disappointed

    Armenia & Georgia were countries #36 & #37 for me...I have never been so disappointed and discouraged by group travel, thus I am re-thinking all future travels as independent or highly-active tours only. While both countries are absolutely beautiful in their own ways, and working hard to recover from Soviet times, a better experience interacting in these countries, other than just sight-seeing, would have been a welcome opportunity. The majority of each day was spent in the bus traveling long distances between locations, with little time offered at the actual site being visited, compounded by the tour leaders using the majority of that time to give historical explanations. I was truly disappointed to finally reach some of the sites I had read about, and having little time to explore, for example...a very rushed hour at the Armenian Genocide Museum, and ten minutes in almost-darkness at Noratus cemetery...two places I really was looking forward to exploring fully. The days in Georgia were equally long in the bus....arriving after dark to mountain villages that were likely beautiful places to explore, but really only being there to sleep in a chalet and leaving the next morning. While I'm sure this provides income to the locals, the visit to Gergeti Church with jeeps destroying the mountain-side terrain and the monks feeling worried about the large number of tourists visiting their site does not feel like responsible tourism to me. I honestly think a better itinerary with more meaningful experiences could be developed for these two countries....with exceptional time in great locations....quality versus quantity. Maybe seeing the whole of the country is not what matters. There is little interaction with the people who actually live in these countries....one of my favourite and really brief moments were those where locals showed us how they made breads in both countries and the lunch visit to the Molokans. I grew bored with the numbers of daily church and monastery stops...some of them really were not fascinating or unique and could easily be left off the itinerary....unless seeing 3-4 churches every day is your thing. I originally purchased this trip through Imaginative Traveler, and did not realize until the first day of the tour that it was being operated by Exodus....the travel group was a completely older demographic than I am accustomed to traveling with and activity was a slow pace. The tour leader for Armenia was exceptional with his historical knowledge and concise explanations that made sense, while the tour leader Nik for Georgia had a very confusing tangential way of giving information, so I never really knew what he was talking about. I would have appreciated meeting instructions in Armenia at the hotel for the morning of the tour, but none were left for guests who had arrived earlier on day one....I made several trips back to the hotel to continue checking in, and only found out we were meeting at 9am the next morning when my roommate barged in at 2am from her flight....unacceptable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I arrived to Yerevan a few days early and did my own visit to Karahunj...the Stonehenge of Armenia...this place should be included in the trip....and the bus goes right past it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel, the tour leader for Armenia was exceptional with his historical knowledge and concise explanations that made sense, while the tour leader Nik for Georgia had a very confusing tangential way of giving information, so I never really knew what he was talking about.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    malcolm thomson

    highlights of armenia and georgia

    Out of a group of 16 , my wife and I had a good time but could of been better if not for the " Worst Guide of the Year " award , GUYANE ! Exodus subcontract her from a local company but she was terrible. First morning we drove off in the bus and she left 2 people behind !! Then things went downhill from there. No personality, didn't smile, no welcome meeting, didn't say driver's name, we were late getting into 2 hotels ( 9.30 pm ) , cable car wasn't booked in time , looked bored, tired and didn't care less about her clients. We got Sophia ( Georgian guide ) at the border, She was brilliant and lovely !! Armenia is a lovely country trying to get back on it's feet after Soviet Rule. We liked it better than Georgia. Beware of the wines there, we had a few dodgey stomachs in the morning. But, it's great to see , you'll be bored with looking at churches after this trip. Hotels OK except in Yerevan which was great ! Transport good. Don't do this trip if you're a veggie !! Meat heaven ! Enjoy !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Leaving the Armenia guide at the border and collecting our new one , Sophia !!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armenian Guide - Guyane ? was a complete mess. Did someone tell this woman , you look good, you present well and speak english well , why don't you be a tour guide !! Wrong !! You need to have a personality, look after everyone , not us 2 people who befriended you and used you as their personal tour guide, smile, count all people before you drive off ( she left 2 people behind after day 1 ) !!, know what you're talking about instead of reading it off your IPhone ( google ) etc etc !! Georgian guide - Sophia - what a turnaround !! She was a brilliant guide. Someone should video her and show it to Guyane , this is how you look after people !!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring something for your stomach, the wines are a bit dodgey on the stomach. They are made a different way to normal. Love churches and read up on the history first.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hope you DON'T encounter GUYANE !!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Becky Fawcett

    Two very beautiful countries

    A wonderful and very interesting trip to see two very beautiful countries. Both Georgia and Armenia have long fascinating histories and have built their monasteries and churches in spectacular locations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking up to the Trinity Church, only 2 members of the group did it but it was well worth the effort. Spectacular scenery and even in the heat the walk wasn't too strenuous, if you can and enjoy walking give it a try.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sofia in Georgia was brilliant, speaks excellent English and is incredibly knowledgeable of her country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When looking at trips I read a review from someone else warning younger travellers to think twice about this trip as on theirs the average age was quite high. I'm 33 and although I was the youngest member of my particular group I still had a fantastic time with great people, please don't let that other review put you off booking!
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Nikolay Suzdalcev

    Exciting trip to Georgia and Armenia

    It was a very good trip and liked it a lot. Georgia was very special experience for me and Armenia was good as well but both in their own way. In Georgia you feel yourself in Europe Armenia is still like soviet union but still very beautiful. People in both countries are amazing, very friendly and their hospitality will leave you speechless.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think it was hospitality of local people. Even when we were stuck somewhere in the mountains somebody always offered us place to stay. Even Tbilisi and Yerevan is very friendly. At naniko (car renal company www.naniko.ge) they helped us plan everything. At Tbilisi Apartments (www.tbilisi.apartments) they help with tickets and suggested where to go. I mean people there are the best thing to see. Not many places left like this.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Kevin MacFly

    I love Armenia

    I arrived to Airport with my family, the rental agent of this company https://travelcar.am/rent-a-car-in-yerevan met us and guided to the car, so we started the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tatev Monastery. Breathtaking view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing guy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Visit Tatev, it's AMAZING.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Estefante Fernandes

    Tour of Armenia and Georgia

    A great trip for everyone--good scenery and the locals were very helpful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip to Khor Virap area, south of Yerevan and monastery with a clear view of Mt Ararat. Gergeti,has good scenery and the Holy Trinity Church, at the top was superb.There is also a ski resort,Gudauri, looked good--may come to ski here in the future.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel,our leader,was most knowledgeable of his country,Armenia and answered most of my questions well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this trip and you will not regret doing it( I went in September and the weather was just fine,Summer will be very warm.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Met some new people in the group and we got along well.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Richard Cohen

    Highlights of Armenia and Georgia

    An excellent 2 week trip taking in two very different countries both of which have a long history and are extremely proud of their magnificent cultural heritage. Both Armenia and Georgia also boast wonderful scenery and it is very interesting to witness how they have developed in the post Communist era.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was the moment when we heard a choir singing the most transcendent Armenian sacred music in a chapel carved out of rock at the Geghard Monastery. That was my moment for Armenia. In Georgia the moment would have to be the walk up from Stepantsminda to Holy Trinity church and the view over the High Caucasus mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armenia: Rafik Santrosyan - a brilliant young man who really enriched our experience throughout the trip. He gave us fascinating and often hilarious insights into all aspects of Armenian history, politics, language and culture and kept us all entertained and fully briefed and informed all the time we were with him. Georgia: Anna Koriphadze - a very different personality but wonderfully thorough, conscientious and reliable. She was highly organised and took great pains to help us with all kinds of things throughout the time we were with her in Georgia. She kept us very well informed throughout the trip and was excellent in ensuring that we were safe at all times. I would very highly commend both these guides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some good walking shoes or trainers. Do spend as much time as possible on your free evenings exploring Yerevan and Tbilisi by foot. There is a huge amount to see in both cities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Georgia and Armenia are at the meeting point of so many cultural influences - from Russia, from Iran, from Greece, from Turkey. They have a long and glorious Christian tradition as well. Truly fascinating and different from anywhere else I have ever visited.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Francesco Cesare

    Amazing trip!

    We managed to see the most important attractions of Georgia and Armenia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding some historical monuments which passed through milleniums

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very Broadminded and communicative person.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    After we stayed 3 days more, rented a vehicle from Naniko rent a car http://naniko.am/ and visited to Nagorno Karabakh. Which We will recommend. Armenia and Georgia is a perfect combination.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Barry Cooper

    Highlights of Armenia and Georgia

    This is a comprehensive tour through theses ex-Soviet states visiting many Churches but also enjoying fine scenery and interesting towns.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To see the renaissance of religion in these two ex-Communist stares and to observe the devotion of the local communities

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three Leaders, one Raffiq in Armenia and Anna and Salome in Georgia. Raffiq has a brilliant mind having just attained his PHD at 25 and starting University at 15. He must be watched as a possible Armenian future leader. His knowledge of the Sites we visited was excellent and he gave us comprehensive tours without notes. A remarkable tour leader in many respects but he did lack some organisational skills. Anna met us at the Georgian border and proved to be a friendly competent leader who gave us an excellent tour of Tbilisi and into the Mountains but had to return home for family reasons. She did not have the same degree of site knowledge that Raffiq had but her knowledge was satisfactory and she had good organisational skills. Salome took her place and it was difficult for her to fit into an already developed group but after some hesitancy, she developed into another excellent leader and she became a well liked and appreciated leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a cultural tour rather than an adventure tour and as such is different to many tours run by Exodus and on our tour the average age was higher than I have seen on any of the previous twenty-one tours that I have undertaken with Exodus. I am aged seventy-one and in Albania I was the oldest, I would suggest that I was average aged for this Tour. I would recommend any younger clients to consider this when booking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    IMPORTANT NOTE:- I took sterling to change into local currencies and this was fine in Armenia but Sterling CANNOT be exchanged in Georgia. I used both US dollars and Euros
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Joan Lawrence

    armenia nd Georgia Holiday May 2015

    A 5 day viewing of Armenia's highlights then 7 days exploring historical sites and some tourist spots in Georgia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cave dwellings at Uplistslikhe, an amazing lifestyle depicted, and the wine tunnels in the Kareba winery plus the serving of lunch beneath the trees there with a small waterfall tinkling in the background. Also the Tatev Monastery, reached by cable car over a deep valley.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anna spoke very good English and was very knowledgeable of the history of places we visited. I must admit she did talk for almost an hour on the history of places to be visited on one day which was far too long for us all to remember and absorb what she was saying. I felt she was young and given time will become more au fait with tourists needs, perhaps a little more warmth in her approach to people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to walk about 400 metres at the border crossing between Armenia and Georgia, in the heat. We were not informed of this beforehand and we found it quite a drag with our luggage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I felt we visited too many monasteries and cathedrals to remember all the details of each. Would have preferred more contact with local families in their homes and more cultural experience - like folk dances and their music.
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