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 July 2018
    Martin Bayliss

    Pyroplastic fun!

    Beautiful with stunning scenery, history and geology - and that was just the group!.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Island of Stromboli with the milky way easily seen due to no light pollution! The peaches grown in volcanic soil were something else. The Stromboli eruptions and night walk were a high point. Swimming in the sea on Stromboli was special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Genny was superb. Knowledgeable and competent with just the right balance of guiding and knowing when to give people space. Could not fault her. Thank you so much Genny!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hold back and do everything! The 85 Euros for going to the top of Etna is worth it - it felt and sounded like the mountain would explode at any moment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can work it in suggest a half day to day boat cruise around Stromboli (or similar island) stopping off at coves for swims etc.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Jane Westley

    Appropriate

    This was a great holiday with a good size group (10 people). I wouldn't have liked many more. Marco our guide was excellent. The trip notes were good but could perhaps be more accurate abound the difficulty leve and the need to sign safety waivers for Stromboli and Etna. We had group members who I think expected that they would be able to do the climbs but realised after Vulcan that it was beyond them. Also we had a couple who were not experienced trekkers and were a bit taken aback at the difficulty level although they persevered and made the climbs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first volcano, Vulcan and realising I was on the edge of a live volcano. Also Marco and his knowledge of volcanoes, the geology and knowledge of plants, rocks and the history of the volcanoes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was fantastic. I couldn't rate him highly enough. He had such wonderful knowledge, a remarkable grasp of the English language, and a lovely gentle manner and a great sense of humour. He was very caring towards every member of the group and was well organised. I felt very safe with him in charge.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough to climb long hard hauls and flexible enough to run downhill in deep and steep sand and rocks. Dont under estimate the need for good quality hiking gear. Even in summer it's cold at the top and you really should have the right layers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Marco needs to be acknowledged and awarded for his excellence.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Jeanette Barker

    So much better than I'd anticipated

    My husband and I are from the other side of the world and our primary reason for being in Europe during June was to go cycling. When my husband suggested we follow our cycling holiday up with a walking trip to see the Sicilian volcanoes my first thought was - meh (shoulder shrug and lack of interest). How wrong I was. I really enjoyed the trip. It was my favourite week or our four week holiday. The trip was extremely well organised; the volcanoes fascinating, the accommodation good value and the walks varied and interesting. We also had a nice group of fellow travellers. We developed a good camaraderie over the week and that added to our enjoyment of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing and walking through the fumaroles on the island of Volcano was a highlight. I also really enjoyed Stromboli, both the two walks up the volcano and also wandering around parts of this lovely island.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a great group leader. Marco is a qualified geologist who speaks excellent English. There is no point walking through the type of landscape we visited unless you have some understanding of how a volcano is formed or of the impact of volcanic activity and eruptions on the surrounding rock formations and landscape . Marco was able to explain complex geological concepts to us in a simple (but not simplistic) way. He also has a wealth of knowledge about the local flora and of many aspects of the region (including local legends and history). This trip does take you to places that are potentially hazardous. With charm and good humour Marco made it clear to the group he was the leader and would be the person that would make the call when and if it became necessary to make decisions affecting our safety. He instilled us with confidence and really looked after us throughout the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I underestimated how cold it would be on top of Stromboli and Etna. It is possible to hire jackets at both Stromboli and Mt Etna. If you can't fit sufficiently warm clothing into your luggage you should hire them because even in June it was freezing at the top.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Terry Penfold

    Aeolian Islands Odyssey

    This was a great trip. Everyone got on well, the hotels and food were very good and the weather very kind. The walking was quite strenuous in the heat but an attentive leader made sure everyone was ok. The trip was especially interesting for anyone interested in geology (like me). Vulcano and Stromboli were excellent destinations to see volcanic action. Etna was a little disappointing because of low cloud and I ducked the summit trek which proved to be a wise move as the alternative walk on the lava flows was very interesting. Stromboli's summit was very atmospheric (literally) with plenty of smoke, fire and dust. But well worth the effort.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Oddly I think it was our first ascent on the island of Vulcano. We came over the brim and were suddenly faced with a large crater still steaming away and the sulphurous fumaroles which we had to negotiate. A lovely island as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco was superb. He was very attentive - nothing was too much trouble. Being a professional geologist he was able to answer my queries in some depth (in technical English) but looked after everyone whatever their interest. He smiled a lot, as well, which always helps! Everything worked well. My wife decided not to attempt the Stromboli ascent and he insisted on arranging a coastal cruise for her instead to view the eruptions from the sea. I think she saw more than we did from the summit!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go. It is a great trip. Be aware that you will need to buy and carry a lot of water as the local stuff is not recommended for human (visitor?) consumption and the temperatures can be high. You will sweat a lot. Read the instructions regarding the necessary gear carefully - you can't get away with a pair of trainers instead of boots.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Mandy Twells

    Scicilian volcanoes

    This was a very good well organised trip. Saw a lot in a short time. Some of the walks can be strenuous in the heat so look at the time of year you go The flights to Catania were late both ways going out to scicily this had a massive impact as we didn’t get to the hotel until the early hours, up after 4 hours sleep onto a ferry then walking up Vulcano in the midday sun was hard work. The hotels were all very good , lots to eat at breakfast to set you up for the day. The only hotel with limited breakfast was the last one very basic but the location makes up for it The hotel in Catania for the last evening was very well situated however booking out was at 1030 but the return flight is not until late evening that meant about 11 hours to kill which was a bit draining to say the least. You’re allowed to leave your luggage but exodus should consider arranging earlier flights. Home .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Stromboli erupt.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Raffaele was great, very knowledgable and helpful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus needs to look at flight timings as if delayed as we were on the way out it has a big impact on the first day. The flight back could also be earlier or they could make arrangements for a later checkout.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Pam Marmelstein

    Fantastic holiday!!

    Had a fantastic time. Great guide, very knowledgable and very competent, lovely group and some good challenging activities. Accommodation and food was good to excellent. Had the most fabulous meal at the home of an Sicilian family; all produce from garden, including home made wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Guided walk up Etna was the most awesome track

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely, friendly, and really informative and knowledgeable re volcanoes and local history. Always happy to help, very good at organising all our movements and logistics. Also caring and helpful re any health issues for members of the group. Couldn't have wished for a better guide! Everyone in the group agreed she did a fantastic job!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit and healthy, take enough T shirts as the walks are hot and sweaty!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Had a fab time! Many thanks to Exodus and particularly to our local guide!!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Pam Marmelstein

    Fantastic holiday!!

    Had a fantastic time. Great guide, very knowledgable and very competent, lovely group and some good challenging activities. Accommodation and food was good to excellent. Had the most fabulous meal at the home of an Sicilian family; all produce from garden, including home made wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Guided walk up Etna was the most awesome track

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely, friendly, and really informative and knowledgeable re volcanoes and local history. Always happy to help, very good at organising all our movements and logistics. Also caring and helpful re any health issues for members of the group. Couldn't have wished for a better guide! Everyone in the group agreed she did a fantastic job!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit and healthy, take enough T shirts as the walks are hot and sweaty!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Had a fab time! Many thanks to Exodus and particularly to our local guide!!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    TARA POTTER

    Volcano delight

    What an action packed week! A perfectly planned trip......it went like clockwork but with enough rest and recovery times. Accurate trip notes ensured that we were prepared with fitness levels and correct equipment. We found the food rather bland however - but the carbs came in handy for the hikes! I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who has an interest in volcanoes and likes steep unique walks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Top of Stromboli and Etna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was superb......very relaxed but equally organised - really took the stresses of travel away......

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have plenty of layers for stromboli and etna hikes......be prepared for all weather. We love veggie food thankfully which was just as well...... we struggled to find meat on the menus. Drinks and food costs were more than expected.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This really felt like a true adventure. To have hiked up active volcanoes is an incredible memory to treasure.
  • 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.
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