Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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.

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

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After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

  • Reviewed June 2018
    Ryan Marsh

    Walking walking walking

    This was my first walking holiday and must admit it was a title too much for me. But to put that into context I had a pacemaker fitted 5 weeks prior to the trip and didn't want to cancel. The holiday was mostly walking up and down mountains looking for signs of bears - including trees, paw prints, log movements, and the obvious thing all bears do in the woods! So if you like walking and hiking then you will enjoy this part of the holiday. The hotel was fabulous, food was lovely, staff were excellent, rooms great, and overall much better than expected. The expert guide Matthew was great, helpful, funny, knowledgable and looked a little like a cuddly bear (don't tell him that) The hide you get to go on an evening to have the chance to see the Bears feeding is perfect. We were very lucky seeing bears on both evenings I went. The other half of the group saw bears also and this can't be guaranteed but was great. One thing to note is the journey to the hide was fun but very bumpy and so not great for anyone who is injured or getting over surgery. Organisation of the trip was perfect, everything ran to plan and very well put together and organised. So overall really good holiday, but be warned you will need to enjoy walking lots!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears from the hide was fabulous. Main reason for going and I was lucky to see them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous guide. Did everything expected.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack walking boots and make sure they don't rub.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Anne Thirkell

    Bulgaria Rodopi Mountains: beautiful and brimming with wildlife

    I am so glad that a friend suggested this holiday to me, as it surpassed all of my expectations. The Hotel Yagodina is a splendid base: the staff are very friendly and the food from local sources is served in generous portions. Some of the local specialities cooked for breakfast were eagerly taken in lunch boxes to supplement the sandwiches and salad (which we made up ourselves from a table of ingredients, including fresh fruit and chocolate bars!). Maria's cheesecake and apple strudel were memorable. All of the walks were enjoyable in themselves, for the beautiful scenery, the diversity of flowers and butterflies, however having Julian as our leader took this holiday to a higher level. Every day he showed us evidence of the bears living in the area and told us interesting facts about brown bears; he is also very knowledgeable about birds, butterflies, moths, reptiles and amphibians, as well as the plants unique to the Rodopi Mountains. One of the best holidays I have had.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears from the hide, and especially the evening a herd of wild boar entered the clearing, followed by a female with six tiny piglets.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julian is an excellent leader, very knowledgeable about the Rodopi mountains, he is passionate about the bears and educating people about these gentle animals and their true nature. He was very patient and good humoured at all times of the day and night.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks involve some steep ascents and descents on some of the days and limestone can be slippery at times. Good walking boots are essential. On the free evenings, do walk up to the chapel on the hill and sit quietly enjoying the sunset; you may spot roe deer or even a hedgehog.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Ruth Hawkins

    A great introduction to the wildlife and way of life in the Rodopi mountains

    A brilliant and unusual combination of great walking and wildlife interest. On holidays these are usually separated but this worked so well, as you really came to appreciate the environment in which these animals,plants,reptiles etc flourished. Julian did a fantastic job in explaining everything and I think we learnt a lot in a week - he went over and above what was necessary in a leader. The hotel was lovely and everyone very friendly and helpful. The bears and wild boar were the highlight, also the short cut in the truck on the way home from the hide!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the blue Rodopi mountains for the first time

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader, good people skills, kind and knowledgeable, passionate about his interest in the wildlife and local culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found a walking pole useful on the steeper slopes. I think a good level of physical fitness is required for this trip if you want to do all the walks. The distances are not long, but we had quite a lot to cover during the day and then the bear watches at night.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Ruth Hawkins

    A great introduction to the wildlife and way of life in the Rodopi mountains

    A brilliant and unusual combination of great walking and wildlife interest. On holidays these are usually separated but this worked so well, as you really came to appreciate the environment in which these animals,plants,reptiles etc flourished. Julian did a fantastic job in explaining everything and I think we learnt a lot in a week - he went over and above what was necessary in a leader. The hotel was lovely and everyone very friendly and helpful. The bears and wild boar were the highlight, also the short cut in the truck on the way home from the hide!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the blue Rodopi mountains for the first time

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader, good people skills, kind and knowledgeable, passionate about his interest in the wildlife and local culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found a walking pole useful on the steeper slopes. I think a good level of physical fitness is required for this trip if you want to do all the walks. The distances are not long, but we had quite a lot to cover during the day and then the bear watches at night.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Matthew Butcher

    Bulgaria Bears. Excellent walks at a steady with informative breaks

    Inspiring views with Julian who was very well informed and put the information across in any easily understood and entertaining way. Only saw one other group in the week and the occasional person on the walks.. Hotel and food was plane and good

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears from the hide. The views were a close second

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly and well informed and a good communicator

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take good boots and a walking pole for on the screed.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Helen Wolf

    What's not to like?

    Lovely hotel with super staff (Thank you Maria and team) good local food and beautiful scenery. Interesting and scenic walks punctuated by examination of scats, bear 'mesage'; trees, orchids, birds and mammals,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My first real life sighting of brown bears in the wild. A lovely introduction to Bulgaria too. I knew so little about the country and its history and certainly hope to return.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julian is incredibly knowledeable, and thoughtful group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Worthwhile adding a coupel of nights in Sofia if you can. It's not quite your average capital city and it gives some historical context. The airport is at the end of a train line so meeting the group there is easy.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    stephanie clay

    A really great week

    Beautiful scenery, great walks, lovely people and good food. And of course bears.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Its hard to pick one! Seeing bears, the great views, the excellent food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julian is incredibly knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm for Bulgaria, the people and, most of all, the bears. His patience and good humour were unfailing and he gave exactly the right amount of information at the right time. The best leader on any Exodus trip that I've been on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take a box for your lunch, do take some honey home and do get Maria's cheesecake recipe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bulgaria is a good destination for vegetarians.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Holly Tappenden

    What an amazing place!

    This was my first ever trip with exodus and it was absolutely incredible. The scenery was beautiful, the walks were great, plenty of opportunity to look for bear activity, and one of the best experiences in my life. We saw a bear and cubs, and that was such an amazing sight! Julian and the staff at Yagodina were lovely, the group were very friendly, and it was just simply a lovely trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think it was the 4 hours spent in the hide one night not actually seeing anything and remembering that the bears are wild animals and so when we went on another night and seeing the bear and cubs arrive, that was the most awe inspiring moment! I also loved going to the summit of the mountain and looking at the incredible panoramic view of mountains and forest! simply a view that would take me back there in a heartbeat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julian was very accommodating, very friendly and very knowledgeable. He could answer any question that the group had and more!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a moment to sit on the side of the mountain and take in the views. Even if you don't see a bear the walks are worth it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you so much for making my first exodus trip a memorable one!
  • Reviewed October 2017
    v Roberts

    Wonderful bears!

    Beautiful scenery, fantastic guide. Observing bears was a real highlight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing mother and cubs at the hide and their interaction with the wild boars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julian "I'll tell you later" is a charming, knowledgeable, engaging guide. We learned a lot about bears, other fauna and flora, the culture and history. I've done a number of these trips and he's one of the best guides I've ever had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found some of the walking quite strenuous - you must be fit. Walking sticks are useful.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    N H

    Bulgaria: The Realm of the Brown Bear

    A wonderful week in the magnificent Rodopi Mountains. Excellent walks, lots of flora and fauna with very good photographic opportunities. Led by such a great guide who gave us insights into the local culture and taught us so much about the bears that roam this fascinating wild corner of Europe.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a bear from hide (as well as the wild boar and their piglets). The wonderful array of wild flowers and butterflies in the alpine meadows were just stunning. Some awesome lizards! The traditional local dishes made with naturally grown ingredients are very tasty too :-)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    You would be hard pressed to find another guide as passionate and informative as Julian. He has such an in depth understanding of the bears and wildlife as well as the language, culture and customs of Bulgaria. A very likeable and friendly guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the opportunity on the non-bear hide evenings to walk around the village. We saw hedgehogs snuffling about about early evening and stunning sunset views can be seen from the little white church on the hill.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are interested in wildlife and walking in a beautiful natural alpine region then this is the trip for you!
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