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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 April 2019
    Alys Shale

    A great trip

    This was our first trip with Exodus and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We chose this particular tour as it included fewer big cities and more of the Atlas mountains, which we were keen to experience and the smaller group size of 16 was certainly an important factor. There were quite a few long minibus journeys but we were prepared for that. However, the scenery was wonderful and the riads/hotels sometimes a bit flakey but fine! Our guide was good with a great sense of humour, and we met a friendly and fun group of people. All in all, a good tour and we shall be considering Exodus for our future adventures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling across the mountains and seeing the valleys below, lush and green, quite a shock from the desert we might have expected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good fun and well organised. Took good care of us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that there are some long road journeys. The minibus seats 16 - the back row is raised and the front row is very close to the driver's bench seat, so leg-room is limited and uncomfortable for taller people. This also means that the shorter amongst us have to be in the back row more often, and it can be difficult to see out.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Sarah Kerhoat

    Fabulous, well paced trip to see the best of ancient and modern Japan

    This was a bucket list trip for me and I was really pleased with the pace and the amount we covered in two weeks. The travel dates that I chose were specifically to see the blossoms and although they were late this year, we were lucky to see them and experience their serenity in Tokyo. The trip has lots of other amazing things in it too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were loads of great moments on this trip! Seeing the blossoms in Tokyo illuminated at night as well as in the day, seeing the Snow Monkeys eat and play, experiencing a traditional ryokan and an onsen (having plucked up the courage), getting up at 4am to Fushimi Inari Shrine and its thousands of vermillion tori gates (I can't recommend enough getting up early to see it, you avoid the crowds and experience an amazing peaceful atmosphere (if you do go, watch out for the kind elderly couple who feed the cats)), having some delicious wagyu beef yakatori in Takayama.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shin was really good at getting us where we needed to be when we needed to be there which is essential when using public transport in Japan as everything is so orderly! He was also extremely helpful when we were trying to find things or place to see and spending extra time with us when he could.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a deep breath and try the onsen. Once you get your head around it, it is a lovely experience, albeit very hot. In the hotels we stayed in, there were laundry facilities so it is relatively easy to wash and dry clothes. Try an okonomiyaki japanese egg pancake. You cook them yourself at hot plates at the table in a restaurant or sometimes you can get them at a food market. If you want to try some of the food at the markets, confirm with your guide what time of day you will be there and eat less the mealtime before so you have room to try the food.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm so pleased I have visited this amazing country and would love to go back and see more of it, especially the northern region and the south island. This trip is fantastic at giving you an really good experience of Japan. If you are hesitating, just do it!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Healey

    Brilliant holiday... let by a brilliant tour leader/guide

    This was my first holiday ever to the East, beyond Europe. Vietnam is a truly amazing country and having been back two weeks now, I still can't believe I was there. From start to finish of the tour, it was an amazing holiday and experience and one I will never forget, as one as hopefully one day I would like to repeat. The tour is full-on... early starts, long days and always lots to see and do (north to south in 10 days with sights). There was not a lot of free time to yourself and only when we were in Hoi An or on the last day in Ho Chi Minh City before the night flight home, did we manage to get any real chance to do any shopping, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. A perfect holiday left by a perfect guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    You see those lovely pictures in books, magazines and brochures of the exotic and the simple rural areas of Vietnam with the locals going about their daily lives in fields, or on a sampan on a narrow waterway with their conical straw hats, and actually being in the middle of it all was an amazing experience, one I still can't believe I was amongst it all. Being on a boat in the middle of Halong Bay amongst the limestone rocks was magical, especially staying overnight. Hoi An was brilliant and picturesque. The cycle ride to Cam Kim island was an experience not to be missed - very rural with villagers showing us their crafts and giving us an insight into their lives... though I found cycling on the main streets in Hoi An to get there a bit hairy (all part of the experience!). Also learning about the country's turbulent past and visiting places of great significance was so interesting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phat was amazing, I took care of us and made sure we were all OK every step of the way. He went out of his way to make sure we could do the things we wanted to, such as lay on a short mini tour of the mausoleum area of Hanoi before departing the city, which was not on the itinerary, so we could see the sights there and nearby that we otherwise would have missed due to time restraints (all at a very low supplement). Optional extras you could take part in, or not, as you wish, and nothing was too much trouble for Phat. His personality and sense of humour, as well as knowledge of everything we needed to know or acting as a guide at historical sights, was second to none. Before I went I felt like I was a bit out of my comfort zone, travelling somewhere so far away and so different to what I was used to, but the moment we met our tour guide (Phat), he really made me (and others) feel more at ease in Vietnam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was a bit hesitant to book it at first, not knowing what to expect, but so glad I did. Book it now... live the dream like I did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels we stayed at were very good and comfortable, no complaints at all, and some at a pool. The farmstay was lovely, a sheer delight, and again had a pool. The cabin on the boat on Halong Bay was comfortable and pretty. The only downside to any of the accommodation we had was trying to sleep on the overnight train from Hanoi to Dong Hoi... I don't think any of us got any sleep, but again, an experience not to be missed (just as well I never got any sleep!).
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Ruth Chew

    Great Trip

    Rajasthan is an amazing place. The people, the colours, the chaos! This was my first visit to India and it has left me wanting more. The itinerary covered all the highlights, but our guide, Ajay, added walks in the villages and towns to add to the experience. We even visited the home of an Indian family which was lovely. The only minor negative was that there was less free time than the itinerary promised and little, if any, time to look round the markets and generally absorb the atmosphere.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal was breathtaking! I will never the moment I first got sight of it. A memory that live with me forever.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay, our group leader, was very good. He was knowledgable, helpful, humurous and a lovely person. He could not do enough to make sure that we all had a great time. We had some wonderful food and the location for our final meal was excellent. It seemed to be his sole aim to make sure that his group had the best experience in his beautiful country.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jacinta Ashworth

    Peace and beauty

    Just returned from a wonderful holiday in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This tour has been part of the Exodus programme for many years, I understand, and deservedly so. The walking itinerary and accommodation are both excellent. We experienced Spring unfolding as our week progressed - the temperatures rising, the leaves and flowers emerging, the warmth of the sun! The walks were varied - 3 ascending from the village, in cool fresh air, following irrigation channels and gorges and one to the snowline, whilst 2 descended to explore the local villages and cultivated slopes with blossoming almond groves, olive trees and vineyards. We saw wild ibex in the remote Berchules valley. We walked through herby scrub with the intoxicating scent of sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender wafting up as you brushed through it. We viewed the snowcapped peaks and Mulhacen. The staff at the hotel were exceptional - Wendy, Alejandro, Csila, Omar - so friendly and good service. Rooms cleaned immaculately daily, and the meals were lovely - hearty and tasty. Amazing breakfast buffet - no stale rolls here! Chat with Wendy and you will catch her enthusiasm for this area - she is the lychpin - so classy to meet us to chat at breakfast and at the end of our walks, with genuine interest to hear of our adventures each day. And well, as for Granada....what can you say - except book your Alhambra tickets well in advance. The Alhambra is a special place indeed - beauty in architecture and the gardens, with peace (if you pause away from the crowds) and spirituality of a bygone age. Dan our guide helpfully took us to a lovely meal in the city, a fantastic flamenco show and gave those who wanted it a guided walking tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the Sierra Nevada doesn't offer up its secrets easily. It doesn't shout at you with spiky peaks and chocolate box chalets. But it draws you in subtly if you stop and breathe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I can highly recommend this trip. Go, and let the mountains gently reveal their secrets to you....
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Andy Longden

    Sensational sightseeing, but the trip should be longer and better structured.

    Egypt is a stand-out destination, but Exodus needs to review how this trip operates. Group flights were at anti social times, losing a full night of the trip and necessitating extremely early starts. If group flights are used and the excursion to Abu Simbel is taken, 4 of the 8 nights are materially disrupted. Four nights are spent in luxury hotels, but there is virtually no time to enjoy the facilities. This trip should be longer, or at the very least Exodus should have options to extend the holiday both at the start and end of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For those interested in ancient Egypt, the sightseeing on this trip is sensational throughout, but you need to stay awake to appreciate it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tifa was charismatic, experienced and very personable, with good English and historical knowledge. He guided well, given the time constraints we invariably faced. Admin was mildly chaotic, especially over collecting money for optional trips, but we forgive him for that!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Exodus didn't make it easy to pay for optional trips, so we'd advise you carry US dollars to avoid having excessive amounts of Egyptian pounds (you should allow up to $250 per person for these options). Souvenir shopping in Egypt is uncomfortable for tourists due to the amount of hassle - this can feel very intimidating, especially to women. On the other hand, we felt safe everywhere we went, and Egyptians are very friendly, although they will require payment for rendering any kind of service, however minor!! The boat trip is enjoyable, with at least some time to relax and unwind. Unlike other Muslim countries, alcohol (particularly beer) is freely available and inexpensive (also on the boat).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In summary, if you can manage the sleep deprivation, this is a well guided and interesting trip to Luxor and Aswan, but one day (which only started at 11 am because of the overnight group flight) is way too short to even begin exploring the Pyramids and the rest of Cairo. We also thought that there were too many optional excursions - some of these should have been priced into the holiday. With hindsight, we would have booked a comparable but longer trip with another operator, but we did still enjoy many aspects of the trip, and the excellent company of our group.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jonathan Dusheiko

    Sri Lan-ka!

    Great cycling holiday through a stunning country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whizzing past white stupas with a backdrop of emerald green hills on day 5. Watching late afternoon cricket at Ella and views of mountains. Elephant up close in Yala National Park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh organised everything very competently,

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took a headband, removable UV-protective arm sleeves and sweat-proof sports sun cream. Don’t underestimate the equatorial sun, especially on the day after the big climb when you are also at 1900m! The big climb is not that bad if you have done some training, shortly after we arrived at the top a couple on touring bikes with heavy panniers got there as well to general amazement. Remember binoculars and a reasonable zoom camera for Yala NP. Don’t bother with full cycling gear for late afternoon visit to ruins at Pollonaruwa, more walking than cycling!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Linda Pearce

    Great Experience

    The was a wonderful experience. My focus was to see Petra, but the trip was so much more than that. There was such a variety of places to see and varied scenery to enjoy. The trip was very busy, but not rushed and our guide ensured we made the best use of our time in Jordan.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many striking moments. Walking in the Siq and arriving at the treasury was as spectacular as I had hoped. Other significant memories are spending the evening with the Bedouin, seeing the mosaic map at Madaba, swimming in the dead sea and standing on a high rock looking over the desert watching the sun set.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Ibrahim, was excellent. He was very knowledgeable on both ancient and modern Jordan and made stops very interesting. He did everything to make the whole trip smooth, hassle free and fun. The weather during our trip to Petra was very variable, but forethought on the part of our guide meant we all agreed to change the itinerary so that we did not miss any of the sights and climbs. We had excellent meals all the way with a good mixture of local restaurants and local food in hotels. Our driver, Abdul-Assize, was an asset to the trip with his safe driving in difficult situations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In March/April be prepared for a great variety of weather and temperature. Take a raincoat and sun cream!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The variety of experiences in the trip make it one to recommend.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Liz Mulgrew

    A brilliant mix of foodie and cultural delights

    This trip is a wonderful mixture of food and culture, with Etna thrown in for good measure! From sampling spleen sandwiches (yes, really) on the Palermo street food tour to a Marsala wine tasting and eating ricotta, still warm, that we had watched being made just minutes before, all the gastronomic experiences were enjoyable and delicious (even the spleen wasn't that horrendous). The cultural highlights for me were the amazing mosaics at the Villa del Casale and the Duomo and cloisters at Monreale, whilst experiencing Etna in the snow was simply stunning. Our guide, Rosario, was brilliant, and our group, made up of mostly couples and with around 30 years from oldest to youngest, bonded really well - as one of the three singles, and one of the youngest, I never felt isolated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the cable car/4WD/guided crater tour at Mount Etna. The combination of snow with lava showing through just made the scenario so beautiful, and we were lucky that the clouds parted and it was a beautiful sunny day. Awe-inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was so lovely - he guided us with a gentle touch so that we felt like adults and not a school group, yet somehow we were always ready to go when needed! His passion for Sicily and delight in showing us everything just shone through and his attention to detail in organising our activities was amazing. He had time for all of us as individuals and regularly checked that we were happy. Superb!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in April (and, I'm guessing, October) make sure you have plenty of layers, including a waterproof one, so that you can add/take away as needed. Our temperatures, in early April, ranged from really quite warm (I got slightly sunburnt one day) to -2 at the top of Etna! You probably won't have time for a swim at any of the hotels, as generally you do get to them quite late (and I think only one or two of them had pools anyway). Don't bother taking much reading matter - apart from airports you won't have time to read! There is a fair bit of walking around to be done, so make sure you have good shoes. Make sure you can cope with your suitcase as you do have to move it around a bit, although there's usually someone around to help. And make sure you have plenty of space in your case - you will bring back plenty of foodie souvenirs, if our group is anything to go by!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels we stayed in were a real mixture in terms of standard; for me, there were two I would happily book to stay in again (Hotel Carmine in Marsala - which we all agreed was the best one - and Villa Esperia in Mazzaro, for Taormina). The others were much more variable in quality, a lot of which often depended on which room you had ( my worst two were fine for others in the group). But you are never more than 2 nights in any one place anyway, and mostly only one, so it really doesn't matter that much. One negative point was having to change flights - Rome on the way out and Milan on the way back (where it was quite a scramble to get to the second flight). Our guide was amazed we weren't on direct ones as he said he hasn't flown indirectly for about 15 years! My only other comment was that a week wasn't quite long enough! It would have been great to have a bit more time at some of the places we visited (an extra half an hour or hour would have made all the difference at times) and in 10 days we could have gone all the way round the island.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jill Thompson

    Wild Botswana

    If you harbour any doubts about this trip, cast them aside. It was a truly amazing experience from start to finish. Sam has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the birds and wild animals in Botswana and I am in awe of his spotting and tracking abilities. We had lions every day, mostly twice with every combination you could think of. There were wild dog, over 150 elephants passing within yards of our truck, leopard (one with cub and one without) cheetah - two just sitting there on a tree stump for over half an hour which I can’t believe Sam spotted from the road! The usual expectations didn’t disappoint either. We tracked a venue of vultures, expecting a kill but found a very sad sighting of a mother elephant guarding her dying tiny baby. Great respect was shown and it was a harsh, but defining moment of the trip, showing the reality of bush life. On a practical note, the camping support team couldn’t have been better. Hot showers every day, a different three course meal each evening (I don’t eat meat or dairy and had a specially prepared meal for both dinner and lunch - 5*) freshly baked bread and cakes. Every eventuality taken care of from ponchos and blankets to torches and toiletries. It’s one of the most fabulous trips we’ve ever done, but please don’t think it’s ever worth lying in, it’s not, get out there early and see the wonders. Just do it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The leopard and cheetah, the dying baby elephant (which still makes me cry) the silence, the night sky, the serenity.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was amazing. I don’t think I’ve met any tour leader with the amount of knowledge he has about his country and it’s wildlife. He was lovely and made the tour so special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t worry about the toilet! You also don’t need to pack as much as you think as most things are provided. Water bottles, torches, toiletries, ponchos, blankets on the truck. Do pack for cold weather depending on when you’re travelling - it was cold on a couple of days because of the rains being late, so definitely needed the fleece and socks!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fabulous!
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