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 February 2018
    Jo Kent

    Stunning scenery

    We took part in this group tour in February 2018. It was the first time we had visited Romania and it was fascinating to learn about its history and experience its wild beauty. Pros: Very well organised from start to finish; we felt well looked after. Food at the hotel was delicious, and we were well catered for as veggies. Good variety of walking with stunning scenery. The area is very unspoilt and most days we did not see another person once we got into the mountains. The country has reasonable prices for food and drink. Our guide, Holger, plus the staff at the hotel made sure we all got where we needed to go safely. We were lucky to be in a good group of fellow travellers who we got on very well with. Flights and transfers were very good. Cons: Although the food was delicious be prepared that there is no choice for dinner options (as if often the case in chalet accommodation). At breakfast there is no juice, and the buffet choice is not huge. Be warned that there are lots of dogs living outside of the houses in the village, and sometimes they bark all night. If you’re a light sleeper, take ear plugs. In room 6 we also had a creaky bed and ended up putting the mattresses on the floor to get a good night’s sleep. The trip is rated as moderate. I am pretty fit and have completed two Moonwalks (walking marathons), and I found the two longer walks quite challenging. Ice under foot plus the elevation gain made these walks tough, so you’ll need to be fairly fit or a regular walker, not a novice. The yak traks recommended in the packing list are really essential when there is ice under foot.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stunning mountain views in the middle of nowhere.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Holger was very friendly and obviously very knowledgable. He looked after us well. Holger is quite laid back - I don’t think anyone would mind if he was stricter with us about staying together in a group, telling us when and where we need to meet, etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take ear plugs and the best yak traks you can afford.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    John Marsh

    adventure in the snow

    First time I have done this type of holiday and had never done snowshoeing. the accommodation was in a stunning area. with views of hills and mountains all round. the hosts/owners were very friendly and helpful. the hotel was very good. the walks were varied, but because of the weather involved lots of snow. day one was a short walk of about 14km but involved snowshoeing in places which were vital in place. day 2 was a long walk, it snow most of the time as we walked through Gorges and over hills( the gorge was used in the filming of Movie Cold mountain) Day 3 and 4 both were both short walk but hard walks Day 5 was a day of from walking. visit to bear sanctuary, walled church and town of Brasov, were we had free time. and then a meal in a restuarant as a group day 6 was a long hard walk, which i did not do due a little niggling muscle injury. the whole holiday was a great time tough but fun with stunning views. our walking Guide Holger was every you want, he was imformative, helpful, funny at times and above all you felt safe on the walks, he always made sure the group was not strung out to far. i would recommend the hoilday to anyone who wants a walking work out but also stunning landscapes, although snow cannot be gauranteed , we were lucky.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    completing the 22-24km walk and still be laughing at the end of it although tired.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Holger was a first class leader as I said earlier, he was everything you want in a leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    you need to be relatively fit, and be prepared for tough terrain, depending on weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    great hoilday
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Kathleen Ramsey

    Snowshoeing in Transylvania

    This trip provides a varied programme of walking/snowshoeing in beautiful scenery, with visits to a bat cave, a bear sanctuary, Bran Castle, a fortified church and the medieval town of Brasov. Physically, two of the longer days were quite demanding, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. We stayed in a very comfortable and remote guesthouse in the mountains; the food was excellent and plentiful, special diets were accommodated and our hosts were friendly and spoke excellent English. We were part of a very sociable and well-travelled group, and came back with plenty of ideas for other trips. Romania has a fascinating if troubled history and our guide, Holger, was very knowledgeable and provided a good insight into both ancient and more recent periods.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were lucky to have plenty of snow, so the snowshoeing was a delight, especially on the clear bright days. The scenery was beautiful, although we did have one day when in snowed throughout and so views were minimal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Holger, was capable and considerate, with a good dry sense of humour. He took a while to get used to the group, but became more sociable as the week went on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you haven't snowshoed before, make sure that you are confident that your showshoes fit correctly and have no defects before you set off. Although plenty of bread and a variety of fillings are provided for packed lunches, there are no snacks, so I would recommend that you take some, as we definitely needed extra calories between meals, especially on the two longer days. A travel kettle could be useful too. The temperatures were well below freezing, and the roads around the guesthouse and in the towns were very icy. We found our instep crampons very useful; other members of the group used Yaktrax or similar.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We travelled to Bucharest before the holiday started, and spent a couple of days exploring the city before joining the rest of the group. There was plenty to see; we especially enjoyed the Village Museum and a tour of the Palace of Parliament.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    M B

    Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

    Definitely a moderate trip ( in winter ) . Some challenges with packed ice / deep snow so a reasonable level of fitness would be helpful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    getting through a couple of very steep , snow and ice packed sections of a couple of the walks

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was full of historical info and local knowledge which he was more than happy to share. good sense of humour and encouragement when he thought it was needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    use clothing layer system, plus gaiters . Weather can be sunny / cold / rainy / snowy . There are times when you dont snow shoe but may need to walk in deeper snow as its safer than an icy path. Alternatively it could be muddy and gaiters do help keep you clean. Definitely take some shoe grippers that can fit onto your boots i.e. Yaktrax or those rubber /spiky things sold in many shops. Some paths are sheet packed ice and the grips give you that extra safety feature , but you will be putting on and taking off multiple times during a walk so make sure you are familiar with them. The paths vary depending on if they are in open / forest / gorge etc. If you can , carry an old hiking trousers belt / webbing/ bit of string . Its useful to help tie down the snow shoes onto your rucksack ( if you dont have side straps on the rucksack ) . The guesthouse is cosy and warm , plenty of hot water. No TV in rooms . You make your lunch sandwich at the breakfast table in mornings and carry it with you. Might be worth carrying your own trail bars / jelly babies etc if you like to snack en route . A flask to carry your own tea ( the guest house will fill with hot water or fruit tea ) may also be useful in cold weather. You really only need a bit of spending money as one night in a restaurant in Brasov ( I had 2 beers plus main plus starter and it was 60 Lei or 12 pounds total . Roughly 5 Lei to the pound ) . The guest house runs a tab that you settle on final night. You just help yourself to beers ( one beer is 5 or 6 lei depending on brand , teas in afternoon 4 lei ) from fridge , mark it on your list and settle at end . The guest house is in middle of nowhere , really isolated . So no town or shops to walk to etc.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Gillian Helme

    Snowshoeing in Romania

    A really good, interesting holiday. Rather more moderate than leisurely but very enjoyable. The group had a good age range and we all got along very well. The weather was glorious for all but one day and the guest house was lovely. The food was very good and the staff were all very friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the bear sanctuary was the highlight but the whole trip was quite something. The scenery is breathtaking and the mix of ancient and modern is really interesting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Traian was very engaged with the group, friendly and entertaining. He was very knowledgeable about the history of Romania and was a good guide on the visit to Brasov.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think we all agreed that this was a more moderate than leisurely trip. We didn't always need the snowshoes and YakTraks were very useful. You do need a decent torch for the bat cave.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Dave Butterworth

    Stunningly beautiful

    From start to finish the trip was great. Overnighted at a hotel just outside Heathrow. British Airways flight from Terminal 5 couldn't have been better. BA really efficient and comfortable; Terminal 5 speedy, efficient and without hassle. Thomas, the group leader met us in Bucharest airport and the first clue about what was to come came when he announced we transfer from the mini coach to two 4x4 minibuses to ascend to the hotel. Katharine, the owner/manager of the hotel was superb. All staff were very friendly, serving excellent food and the accommodation was nice and cosily comfortable. The snowshoeing was lovely, we were blessed with good weather and in the first part of the week temperatures of about -10C/-15C which meant light fluffy snow. The walking was at times quite demanding and having undertaken the Finland trip previously (moderate) I felt Transylvania was a good moderate. I'd never visited Romania before nor the Carpathian mountains. Romania was unspoiled, "untouristy" and the mountains were beautiful. I'd happily return to the area in the Spring or Autumn to see another season. There were some serious climbers in our group, a number of whom were eager to come back and "do" some of the peaks/ridges. The whole group, which had quite an age range, got on well together with no awkward moments.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    More than one: The bear and wolf sanctuary. The ice stalagmites inside a cave. The overall "wow factor". Seeing a wall creeper which I understand is rare.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was very knowledgable about wildlife and local history. He was the sort of person one could rely upon in a crisis. His estimates of difficulty and distance/time seemed a trifle optimistic sometimes!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it - you'll be glad you did. The Romanian currency is the Leu with an exchange rate of a little less than 6 to the UK pound, but Euros are also accepted in some places. Consider getting yourself a pair of Yaktrax (Pro preferably) before you go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the equipment could have been better
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Elizabeth Jeffery

    Snowshoeing Transylvania

    I thought this was generally an excellent holiday. I loved Transylvania, the countryside, and mountain views and being able to walk and snowshoe in such a beautiful area. The hotel was excellent and Katharina was a very generous and involved hostess. The food was always wonderful. We were also lucky to have such a friendly and happy group. Everyone got on well and there was no-one left out and no awkward moments.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears and wolves in the sanctuary and Dracula's castle at Bran - but I also loved the walking and snow shoeing - and in fact everything!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was OK as a group leader but if I have any criticism at all about the holiday, it was that he didn't always seem very engaged with or interested in the group - and on occasion we could have done with more information about the activity. He was very well-informed about local history however.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No. Just go. You will love it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
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