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 January 2018
    Denise Morgan

    Coach trip with a bit of biking bolted on??

    Have done quite a few trips with Exodus before and all have been generally well organised. I felt this trip was really organised as a coach trip with a bit of cycling bolted on and its a shame the trip leader didn't double up as the cycle leader. I was hoping for a fair bit of cycling on this trip but found myself being led to local mosques (it was in the itinerary therefore we must do it, come rain or sunshine) for a "tour" which I was't really interested in. The quality of the bikes used weren't fit for purpose (Exodus, you need to get new bikes for his trip!!), and they were certainly not the front suspension bikes advertised in the trip notes. In fact, given the amount of steep downhill riding, it would be very helpful to have bikes with functioning brakes (my rear brakes could be fully engaged and I'd still be able to push my bike forward!), or even better, with disc brakes. It would also be useful to have bikes that would change gear under pressure (i.e. when cycling uphill). I understand that bikes on these types of trips are heavily used, but that doesn't mean they should be badly looked after. Finally, on the subject of bikes, the bike mechanics on this trip were also pretty awful - I had a bike that would not change gears on the uphill (see point above) and when I asked the mechanics to look at this, their answer seemed to be to spin the peddles, change the gears and tell me there was nothing wrong (or worse still, that I didn't know how to ride a bike). Most of the cycling was pretty great, its a shame there wasn't more of it. The only gripe I had about this was that the coach would literally trail behind the last rider by only 2 - 3 meters and if you are the last rider, that is not a pleasant experience!!! The trip leader was fairly knowledgeable, though very repetitive, and a little confusing with his plans at times. I also wish trip leaders on these types of trips would actually recommend nice places to eat, rather than to suggest always eating in hotels - I had high hopes for the food in Jordan but unfortunately I only had one memorable meal. That brings me onto lunches and snacks.... We were asked to cough up 45 JD at the beginning of the trip for lunches and tips for the hotels - this was significantly more than the trip notes suggested (20 - 25 JD) - this covered us for snacks (biscuits and dates and 5 lunches (mainly pre-bought sandwiches). When asked if it was necessary to provide money for snacks (I had brought a lot of my own), I was told it was mandatory, not optional as the trip notes stated. Quality of the hotels was generally fine. Wadi Rum is an "experience" if you've never done that type of thing before. If you have camped out in the desert before, then its just another forced night out in a random campsite. In Morocco last year I did a night out in the desert in a similar camp - the folks running the camp then at least tried to entertain us with local music, but there was no such thing in Wadi Rum - the trip leader and staff disappeared straight after dinner. Finally, the transport used was kinda dirty, and I mean chewing gum stuck on the back of seats dirty - the coaches could certainly do with a bit of a clean.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day of cycling across the desert - the scenery is amazing, though there are a few steep hills which are quite hard work when your gears don't work!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable but a bit too repetitive and talked way too much. I've also never felt so controlled by the trip leader on a trip before.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are wanting a cycling experience, there are better trips out there. If you're interested in culture and are happy to have a trip leader talk to you for ages at a time, with a bit of leisurely cycling thrown in, this trip might be for you.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Traveller -

    Trip of a lifetime!

    What a way to see a stunning country! Cycling in the heat of the desert, walking through the Siq towards the Treasury at Petra, sleeping under the stars in Wadi Rum. I'd always wanted to go to Petra, so in trying to build a holiday around some time in Petra, it made perfect sense to pick up a bike and see the country rather than sitting in a stuffy coach.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Treasury emerge at the end of the Siq. Something I've wanted to see since childhood. Stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Isa was so passionate about Jordan, keen to answer all our questions and tell as many stories as he could. His tour around Petra was particularly memorable. The bike team were also fantastic!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect any down time - it's a jam packed trip!
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Darko Kapor

    In a word - excellent!

    Great value for money. The trip was superbly organised by local guides, in the case of my group led by Zuhair, ably supported by Abeed's bike team. The visits to towns were not too long, and there was plenty to visit and see outside of the major centres. The full commentary by Zuhair - including an exhaustive geopolitical and historical narrative on the last few centuries of regions - was a bonus, as was the 2-hour camel ride near Wadi Rum and a swim in Dead Sea (both included in the price). I would certainly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra Dead sea Camel ride

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuhair was excellent
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Julia Nardi

    Excellent Trip

    It was awesome. Sami was very knowledgable. He in Petra, he guided us through paths not common to tourist. Another perspective to look at Petra with incredible view. Weather was hot but the hike was worth it. Good to go during cooler periods. Everything was excellent. However, it would be good if we can have the city tour at the start of the trip imstead the end as by the time we get back from Aqaba, the momentum of the trip kinda drop. Nonetheless, an excellent trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The moment we saw The Treasury at Petra. My jaws just dropped!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sami was wonderful, funny and extremely knowledgable. He is so passionate about promoting Jerash as part of the UNESCO site and I totally agree with him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't think. Just book the trip already!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    None!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Neil Hatherley

    Good holiday, Rubbish Equipment

    Excellent holiday. Hotel wasn't bad, Equipment was crap, we had a bike mechanic that didn't care and didn't know what he was doing. Should of better bikes and if we had more people on the holiday, then I wouldn't know how they would of coped.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Went to Petra to see all the temples.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I've had better before. The first group leader never rode with us

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more money for the add ones.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Neil for his feedback, although we are very sorry to hear that he was disappointed in the quality of equipment provided for the trip. The safety of our clients and quality of our bikes and equipment are of the upmost importance to us, and we will be investigating the issues Neil has raised in order to ensure all equipment meets the high standards we expect from our local operators.

     

    Monica Princic – Product manager for Jordan

  • Reviewed June 2017
    Patricia Trimble

    Petra & Wadi Rum by bike

    A fast paced trip but combining the cycling with sightseeing was fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course Petra, but I have to say that I was surprised with how much I loved the Dead Sea. Having two full days in Petra and Little Petra was perfect. They were long days of walking in the hot sun so expect to walk around 20k but it is so worth it. I couldn't imagine only seeing Petra in 1 day, that's not enough time for such a spectacular place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Issa was amazing. He made me wish that I had taken some history courses prior to the trip as his knowledge is so immense and he made every stop so interesting. He is an archeologist, but also somewhat of a historian, so of course the two go hand in hand. He was very concerned for our safety on the bikes and made us all feel very well taken care of.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take water shoes for the Dead Sea, the sand is quite hot. Expect to use more money than the trip notes mention as the prices are higher there than the trip notes indicate. It is very hilly for cycling so make sure you have some fitness going into this trip to make it more enjoyable for yourself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been nice if on Day 1 for those people in Amman already to have organized a half day tour for them. I tried in advance but to no avail and the hotel staff didn't really speak English to have helped me with that.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Antony West

    Petra & Wadi Rum By Bike (and Minibus)

    We enjoyed the tour and all of the historical sites that we visited; we also enjoyed the recreational trips to swim or see the desert. I enjoyed the cycling and, as a regular rider in the UK, I did not find any of it difficult. We did not find the heat a problem but we have had regular holidays in Greece. All of the Jordani people we met were friendly and helpful; some enthusiastic marketing of goods and services but nothing aggressive.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising the scale of Petra when I saw the vista from the steps above the Royal tombs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent; energetic, knowledgeable and willing to adapt plans to the group's requirements.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The bicycles provided are basic hybrid or tourer style with general purpose saddles and rim brakes. Most male cyclists will find them too wide so taking a saddle would be a good idea. Luckily for me, one of the bike guides lent me his narrow saddle for the longer rides. If you have any special interests about buildings or aspects of Petra, do some research to determine your "must-see" items. Let the guide know your interests and he will discuss a plan with you. In the time available you will not be able to see everything within Petra.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour title could mislead those who fail to read the trip notes about the amount of cycling.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Helen Loveless

    Wonderful in large parts

    Jordan is an incredible place in many ways and this trip was very well-organised to show us as much as possible. However, there were some things that let the trip - and us - down. As a keen cyclist I was disappointed with the actual distances we ended up cycling in this trip, they were never as long as the trip notes said they would be. Unfortunately the pace was also frequently too slow and there was only one cycle guide which meant the trip couldn't cater for different abilities. On other trips I've done there have been two, sometimes three guides to help people going at all speeds and this was a real downside here. It was very hilly in parts, which I enjoyed mainly, but it might not suit everyone. While our guide Wael was very informative, funny and good company, there were times when he seemed disorganised and he left us to go on another trip before seeing us back to the airport. A real disappointment was the snacks - basically we hardly had any! Strawberries on one day and a box of biscuits was passed around on a couple of days but then on both occasions disappeared, never to be seen again. We had dates precisely twice. Overall I thought this was really poor, especially as we had each given 30 Jordanian dollars towards snacks etc at the beginning of the week and 10x 35 is 350 Jordanian dinar which is early £400! We definitely didn't get value for money there at all. There were no cold drinks and when I asked we were promised we would stop and get some but that never happened. Another problem is the trip notes - the costing was out on everything. They recommend to bring about £350 - well I ended up having to take out another £300 over the trip and that was without buying anything major. Jordan is very expensive, especially if you drink alcohol - about £6-8 for a beer or glass of wine. Also all of the trips cost more than the notes said and I didn't do many of them. Exodus needs to update all of this asap. On the plus side, Petra was breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring, Jerash was also amazing and the desert was special too. It was a nice group of people and I am glad I experienced Jordan - it felt completely safe and most people were friendly and warm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Camping in the Wadi desert with the amazing family who cooked traditional food for us, the camel susnset trip, telling ghost stories round the campfire and sleeping under the stars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wael was friendly and funny and very well-informed. However, I felt he lost interest in us as a group at the end when we were close to going.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a lot more money than exodus suggests and insect repellents if you plan on sleeping outside under the stars. Definitely ride the camels by sunset. Be prepared that the cycling may be less than you'd expect.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great interesting country, one to see for sure.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Vicki Nunn

    Jordan was great - the cycling was not!!

    We loved Jordan! The itinerary was very good - we got to see and do a lot in our week, a great variety of sights and experiences. Having been on several cycling holidays (with Exodus and other companies) we thought we knew what to expect. We did NOT expect the first 2 rides to be all fast downhill (with the exception of the last couple of miles) on bikes with terrible brakes. I like to earn a downhill and whizzing downwards concentrating on where I was going meant that I didn't really appreciate the view and the bad brakes made it hard work! The 3rd ride was truly awful but not normal itinerary ride so no comment. At last, the 4th ride was as we expected - some up, some down, lovely views, camels running down the road in front of us, a baby donkey running alongside us and a picnic at the end of the ride, perfect! The last ride was just a short, flat and fairly boring ride to the desert camp. The cycling element also made some of the other things a bit rushed. On the whole the cycling felt a bit 'tacked on' and not a cohesive part of the trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Petra - it was more amazing than we anticipated. Floating in the Dead Sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wael was great - informative, well organised, good natured and funny!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the 'Week in Jordan' trip as you'll see exactly the same things (plus a bit more!) and take another one of Exodus' excellent cycling trips if you want to pedal!!! You'll have plenty of activity with all the miles of walking at Petra and the swimming at the Dead Sea and Aqaba.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jordan is a lovely country - welcoming and friendly. Go and see it for yourself!!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    John Crossley

    Petra and Wadi Rum by bike 25th March to 2nd April 2017

    An excellent holiday. Hugely interesting part of the world. Well planned and even though an Arab Summit meant a change of itinerary, everything was fitted in, and in fact it was possibly better to do the Dead Sea at the end of the week anyway. On the whole everyone got on well. We were the oldest in the group and the pace was slightly fast for us. I also had a problem with my knees which meant I couldn't cycle as much as I wanted to,but everyone, guides, tourist police officer and other cyclists were helpful and supportive. We felt completely safe and it is a shame Tourism in Jordan is suffering from a down turn in holiday makers due to the situation in the Middle East

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was very special. If we have to choose though, the first sight of the Treasury Building in Petra was amazing. In fact all of the ancient city of Petra was beyond our expectations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuhair was a wonderful leader. He told us stories and about the history of Jordan which were so interesting and enjoyable. He organised lovely snack breaks and took us to very good restaurants. He was extremely supportive with me when my knees were causing problems. He took such pains to point things out to us when we were in Jerash and Petra and was very knowledgeable and answered everyone's questions. A thoroughly nice man. A word also about the Tourist Police Officer, Sami, who accompanied us. He was also very pleasant and helpful and the two of them could not have been better and really made the holiday special. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Well first and foremost don't be put off going to Jordan. Everywhere we went we were welcomed and we always felt safe. Take comfortable walking shoes there is some hard walking in Petra, but totally worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nothing, we loved it all.8
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