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 May 2018
    Leo Bennett

    Fantastic Trip to the Aeolian Islands

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Exodus tour to Sicily and the Aeolian islands. This was my first ever tour with Exodus and was therefore not quite sure what to expect. Our guides Federica and Marco met us at the airport and were very friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgable. I enjoyed all of our day trips to the different sites included in the itinerary for this tour. In particular, Stromboli, Vulcano and Etna. All three of these volcanos are different from each other and were all worth visiting in my opinion. The food, accommodation and transport throughout the trip were all fantastic and well organised by the company and our tour guides. As a result, the trip around Sicily and the Aeolian islands ran very smoothly. Our group got on very well and we enjoyed wining and dining together during the evenings. All in all, I had a wonderful time in Sicily and the Aeolian islands and would like to thank Federica and Marco for such an amazing holiday! I would thoroughly recommend people who are interested in this part of the world and volcanos to consider this trip. You will be warmly welcomed by the guides and will thoroughly enjoy yourself!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly enjoyed walking up Stromboli during the Exodus tour. We had a fantastic view over the crater and were able to watch the eruptions for the best part of an hour or two. Walking up the volcano at sunset and down the other side of the volcano at night was spectacular and something I don't think I will ever forget. Watching the eruptions from a couple of hundred metres away was also just brilliant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Federica, our group leader, was fun, friendly and very knowledgable. She was very enthusiastic and passionate about the areas that we visited. It was very clear from when we first met her that she wanted all of us to have a great time in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. Federica was brilliant at guiding us, showing us the local sites and recommending things for us to do during our free time. She even went to the effort of making us all a picnic with local cuisine! Needless to say, our time in Sicily would not have been as fun without her!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Menna Harris

    Sicilian volcanoes

    Travelling early in the season it was too windy to visit Stromboli on the hydrofoil and Etna had fog/hail and snow so we all walked with our guide Genny on the lower option as the vulcanologist couldn't guarantee us reaching the summit. This was disappointing but on the plus side we loved our trip to Vulcano with a walk through the flumerols around the crater and a very smelly optional dip in the mudbaths and sea. The islands are stunningly beautiful and well worth a visit. Our walk on the western side of Lipari was stunning. Genny, our guide, saved the day given our longer stay on Lipari - she organised extra walks, with stunning views of the islands and a lunch with a local sicilian family which was amazing. Her love of the island and its people really shone through. The downside was three nights in Canneto rather than Lipari town in more of an apartment than a hotel (reception was closed most of the time and there was no evening meal available and a limited breakfast). Canneto was very quiet with a limited choice of restaurants and shops but to compensate for not visiting Stromboli Exodus organised an extra meal in a fish restaurant in Lipari town which was fun, we easily caught a local bus into Lipari town and came back in a taxi and the walk in one morning was quite easy and interesting. It's worth exploring the old town, really quaint and unspoilt. Genny's knowledge of the geology, flora and fauna as well as her friendly manner made the holiday, as did the lovely group we walked with. Etna was bleak and I'd suggest this trip was too early in the season for much chance of reaching the summit with the vulcanologist. Back at Catania I'd strongly recommend a taxi to Acitrezza to see the basalt columns. We took a boat trip around the rock formations here, visited the castle and had an excellent lunch - it's a gorgeous town with a farmers' market on a Sunday and we found this a great way to finish our holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found Vulcano fascinating - the initial smell of rotten eggs, the 'wild west' approach, the sulphur on the rocks and then a steep climb to the crater where we donned our scarfs and walked through the fumerols. This was a walk to remember. Genny took us to a beach on Lipari where the rocks looked splashed in paint - red, yellow, violet - it was gorgeous. We walked up to a crater on Lipari where crops were being grown, down to her house where we enjoyed an impromptu tea party and meet the only donkey on Lipari. We walked along paths with stunning views of both Stromboli and later Vulcano, to drop down into Lipari town. This walk which she organised was amazing and the highlight of our stay on Lipari. It turned what could have been a disappointing day into one to remember.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Genny is unflappable and conscientious with excellent interpersonal skills. She managed our holiday brilliantly. Walks were punctuated with information on the geology, flora, fauna and culture of the islands which was interesting and really added to the holiday. We enjoyed her company and her professionalism.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If possible I'd plan this trip for later in the year - it was too windy to visit Stromboli and the cars on Etna had only just come out of snow chains. Unfortunately we didn't fancy walking in the heat but if I were visiting the Aeolian islands again I'd pick late May early June. Our visit to Acitrezza on the last day was really fun, not sure I'd want to spend the day in Catania itself - the basalt columns in the sea and the castle were interesting and the fishing port is stunning. There was a farmers' market and Italians having a day out giving it a great holiday appeal.
  • Reviewed November 2017

    Sicilian volcanoes

    A brilliant trip, full of interest and topped off with a marvellous night view of the fireworks of Stromboli.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obviously the night climb of Stromboli with spectacular eruptions. However all the walks on Volcano, Lipari and Etna on the Sicilian main island were great too. A great week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Federica was a great leader. Well organised, sociable, great sense of humour and well aware of how every member of the group was doing. She took us to some great restaurants too. A candidate for leader of the year. Thanks for the Italian lessons Federica.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nothing too difficult on the walks, but protection from the sun advisable. Good opportunities for keen photographers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No. A great week with a great leader and a good bunch of fellow travellers.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Janet Leverton

    Sea and Sulpher!

    An excellent week; plenty of variety, walking, both easy and more challenging, sea swimming, boat trips and down time if you wanted it. Lots of options to suit everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tricky! I love volcanoes, so being able to see 3 at close quarters was very special but actually, swimming in the sea in brilliant sunshine while watching an active volcano was pretty spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Genny was amazing! The weather was unsettled and there was the potential for hydrofoils to be cancelled and our itinerary altered. She was unflappable and in constant contact with companies to get up to date information and she ensured that we made the sailings that were available. One of our group had an issue with the room in our final hotel; Genny gave up her room. She was knowledgeable and took time to explain the fascinating geology in terms we could understand! Also, a number of our party had specific dietary issues, which she handled for us, ensuring that we were safe to eat what was given to us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be frightened of the night hike on Stromboli or the crater hike on Etna; both are well within the capabilities of anyone who is reasonable fit and the guides are experienced. Both experiences are unlike any other and it's a real privilege to be able to stand so close to active volcanoes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is busy, lots of transfers to the various islands but well worth it. I can imagine that some of the islands are pretty crowed in the summer, October was still beautifully warm and not so busy. Would thoroughly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Timothy Whitaker

    Extraordinary!

    There really aren't words for the experience of standing on the rim of an active volcano at night and watching it explosively erupt. It is a full frontal assault on all of the senses. It starts with a brilliant flash of orange light followed closely by a boom that you feel as much in your chest as you hear with your ears. Then the pyrotechnic fountain of lava congeals into bombs that pound into the ground around the crater with a resounding chorus of heavy thuds. This is followed shortly by a shower of ash and a wafting cloud of sulfurous vapors. To say it is awe inspiring does the experience a serious misjustice. I can't recommend this trip highly enough. Our guide was excellent, the treks were well paced, and sights were magnificent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Unquestionably standing on the rim of the Stromboli volcano and watching it erupt.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nicoletta was great and did a good job of setting the pace of the treks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Valerie Speirs

    Erupting volcanoes

    This was a great trip and I'd strongly recommend it. A reasonable level of fitness is required as the Stromboli night trek is quite tough but it was truly memorable and a great experience to sit around the crater in the dark watching the eruptions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing active volcanoes was an amazing experience. The sunset Stromboli trek was truly excellent and will live in my memory for a long time. The sheer size of Etna was incredible and was a great days walking, if a little windy with a howling gale at times which made it difficult to stay upright. But this just added to a memorable experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Raffaelle was a good leader and quite knowledgeable. The volcanologist guide on Etna really knew his stuff and his passion for volcanoes shone through.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is one of the best Exodus trips I've been on so would highly recommend to others
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Alan Thornton

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    An interesting trip, but there is - of necessity - quite a lot of travelling between locations. Sea conditions can lead to cancellation of the hydrofoils, which disrupts the holiday schedule. If you are a poor sailor, take pills / seabands etc. Hotels were generally of reasonable standard, but the final one in Catania (Hotel Gresi) is unacceptable for a trip of this nature: awful breakfast, no working wifi, mold in the shower, peeling wallpaper, broken electical fittings in the bathroom, loose carpet on marble steps, unhelpful reception staff. There must be far better options.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching lava eruptions on Stromboli. Free time for lunch in Lipari.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rafaele worked hard to make the trip a success, and was very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See summary.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Moira Kent

    Sicilian volcanoes

    An enjoyable way to see Sicily. The walks on Stromboli and to the top of Etna were the highlights. Other walks were quite easy. A fair amount of free time which could be difficult to fill in small villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Mount Etna. The views were spectacular. Being on an active volcano is something that I have always wanted to experience and it was thoroughly worth all of the volcanic ash!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Genny was organised and efficient. She tried hard to speak to all of us and to cater for our different needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Despite the weather conditions, do take a fleece or a wind-proof jacket on the Stromboli walk: it gets cold at the top. Walking boots and poles are essential for the Mount Etna climb. Food is quite expensive and you have to buy bottled water on the islands. It was quite an expensive holiday. The Mount Etna trip was 90 euros.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation varied from a suite on the island of Lipari to very small rooms on Stromboli and in Catania. I had a later flight so had seven hours to spend in Catania. There really is very little to do once the historical things have been done (half a day at the most).
  • Reviewed July 2017

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    A great week touring and trekking the main volcanoes on Vulcano,Stromboli and Etna.The week was really well organised from start to finish and all our family including our daughters of 18 and 21 enjoyed it tremendously. Our group of fellow travellers were diverse and great fun and this made the trip even better. We packed so much in to the week we did not have time to worry about tired legs. Exodus have put together a great trip here.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Stromboli volcano erupt and glow against the beautiful evening sky then trek back to a restaurant and carry on watching it was amazing. Also seeing the crater of Vulcano and to the top of Etna was brilliant too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader and guide Nicoletta made sure our week was perfect.She attended to all the groups needs and there was nothing that was too much for her.She organised us so well and made all our travelling,transfers straight forward.She was clearly very knowledgable about the volcanoes and area and communicated this effectively to us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great trip.I would really encourage anyone thinking of doing it to do it and get it booked.You will not regret it.The temperatures were high when we went in mid July but that is to be expected.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A real thanks to our group of travellers (non of whom knew each other before hand) as we have made some great friends on it.Also thanks to Nicolleta our great guide.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Susan Evans

    Sicilian Volcanoes

    The tour guide Nicoletta was superb. Worked hard to ensure the rooms were allocated at the end of each day. Well organised meals out and extra excursions available for those who wanted to do something else. The tickets were organised for the bus and hydrofoil so transport was seamless. The only hitch was with the occasional member of the group not being available for boarding when required. Hotel rooms were great along with the breakfast. The only breakfast that was limited was the hotel on Stromboli. Rooms should have had air conditioning as I found it very hot and hard to sleep after coming from the cooler English temperatures. There was a prominence of preserved meat and bread where I was looking forward to fish and vegetables which I was surprised to find were hard to acquire in the islands. The food was over all very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip up Stromboli was the most inspiring part of the trip and worth the effort.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour guide Nicoletta was superb. 10 out of 10. She got on with all the group accommodating dietary and health requirements for one person. Worked hard to ensure the rooms were allocated at the end of each day. Well organised meals out, packed lunches, snacks and extra excursions available for those who wanted to do something else. All flowed smoothly indicating the considerable effort made on the trip. The tickets were well organised for the bus and hydrofoil so transport was seamless. Well done Nicoletta.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The variety of walks and location was very good as well as being able to see more than one island and many local towns. Walking each day was great and the weather brilliant but after working hard just before the trip I would have liked one rest day.
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