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Reisbegeleiding 9,0
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9.4 153 beoordelingen
  • 10

    Walking In Tuscany (on a challenging week's trip)

    We had a fantastic time. Everything was well organised, so pick up from the airport, and transfer to the accommodation were easy. The brochure had described things well, so it had given us an accurate idea of the holiday. The family run accommodation was charming, with excellent meals provided. The walking was everything we hoped for, and more, with our guide making decisions about where to go each day based on weather conditions, and to show us a variety of terrain, so that we felt we got the best combination of walks possible. There was a short minibus ride each day to the start of the walk, and then back at the end of the day, and a packed lunch was provided each day. As it was one of the 'challenging weeks' we made maximum use of daytime hours to be out walking, so we didn't spend much time back at the farmhouse.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying one night in the mountain refuge, and the added bonus of wandering out from there in the evening and seeing and hearing red deer on the slopes at the edge of the tree lines. Each days arrival at the summit of wherever we were walking, and the spectacular views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We thought our group leader Sara Bull was fantastic. She has a wealth of knowledge and skills in leading and organising, and she was absolutely committed to making sure we all had the best time possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Give Exodus a go. It was the first time we had been with Exodus, and it has wet our appetite for more. If you are unsure about any details of the trip, or have anything you would like to check in more detail beforehand, they will be happy to answer your questions, and to advise you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    Wonderful!  Couldn't fault anything - Mama Rosa at Baccrioti looked after us so well and made us welcome; Sara, our guide - the best!  There were 14 of us in the group - all such different characters and we all got along famously - haven't laughed so much in ages!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the high ridges and reaching the peaks.  I didn't manage to do the highest peak but did the second highest!  Not bad as I am new to all this and certainly wasn't the fittest in the group or the youngest!  Such marvellous views in such an unspoilt area of Tuscany.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara's the best!  She is a very experienced guide whose enthusiasm for nature, etc., is so evident plus her knowledge of the surrounding area is superb.  She has a lovely personality, a very caring person, and one always felt confident of her decisions, etc., be it for the capabilities of the group plus all aspects of safety during our walks as she always had our wellbeing forefront in her mind.  She had some very entertaining stories of her guiding experiences which we really enjoyed listening to, which she usually told us whilst we were relaxing on the side, or top, of a mountain during lunch breaks, etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be fit as there's a lot of walking up some very steep hills and ridges.  It was much tougher than I had imagined, but not beyond most fit people.  I would recommend doing some hill walking before you go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't worry whether or not you'll have a good time if you haven't done it before - you really will!  You will meet like minded people!

  • 10

    Walking in Tuscany (challenging)

    A well planned weeks holiday taking in the high peaks of Garfagnana Tuscany.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Havng walked in the area for a week finally recognising the Dead Mans Belly.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara goes the extra mile to ensure a great holiday is experienced.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Iif you need to catch the train from Pisa to Braccicorti it is easy to do. Pisa train station is a 5 minute walk from the airport. The trains are frequent and modern. On arrival at the local station the taxi driver , who you would contact, lived in Glasgow for 25 years.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks especially to Sara and a great group of people that made this a holiday to remember.

  • 8

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    Although not possibly as fit as I needed to be for this holiday; I thoroughly enjoyed it and had quite a feeling of achievement at the end of it!  The location was great and our guide, Sara was phenominal - she is a real asset to Exodus and its clients!  Accommodation was comfortable and the food good and wholesome and just what we needed at the end of the day.  What topped it all off was that we had a great group of people too.  I would thoroughly recommend the holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me; completing the walks was inspirational since technically I was not possibly as fit as I needed to be!  The advantage to taking the walks more slowly meant I had time to absorb the scenery and appreciate the smaller details that can get missed so easily when you are walking faster.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara herself is inspirational - she has so much knowledge of the region and yet she is truly absorbed too by the tiny details of nature - she is also a fantastic photographer!  I appreciated the fact that she motivated the slower people in the group to keep going, without ever putting pressure on us.   She is a true professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My only advice would be that although the walk was classed as moderate; there were challenging aspects and a good level of fitness is desirable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was truly impressed with the holiday - lovely accommodation; good food and an excellent guide!

  • 10

    Walking in Tuscany

    A wonderful way to explore the mountains of Northern Tuscany and experience "agritourismo", the views at the top Monte Sumbra and Monte Prado and stunning and breathtaking. The colours as we walked up through the beach woods and the up to summit of Monte Prado and Monte Sumbra were amazing. It has really awakened my appetite for mountain walking in Tuscany.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit and seeing the views across the mountains and valleys of Tuscany was inspirational, the walk through the beach trees on the way up was stunning too, such an array of colours. We also enjoyed taking the train into Lucca and Florence, respectively and cycling around the walls in Lucca, visiting the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio in Florence and of course enjoying a leisurely Tuscan lunch with wine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing, nothing was too much trouble. Very knowledgeable about the mountains, health, local agri tourismo, environment etc. Very good driver, we felt very safe with her at all times and that we were in capable hands. She was also very caring and creative too, speciality in local jams and cake. Also loved the dogs Dora and Elvis too, really made my trip going out all together.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks to Monte Prado and Monte Sumbra, do not have any toilet stops, so if you dont like going "au naturelle" this could cause you a problem as there aren't any facilities along the way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    I knew the landscape would be beautiful. I knew the trip would be well organised. I knew for sure that the food and drink would be divine. What I didn't reckon on was the stunning mountain scenery, our inspirational guide, Sara Bull, the warmth of the Italian people and most of all the frienship and camaraderie of the group itself.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On a scintillating sunshiney spring day climbing up through dappled beech forests and patches of virgin snow to the precipice and a vista of thickly wooded Tuscan hillsides - and on to the sea beyond. Truly heaven.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One word - inspirational.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come on this trip and enjoy. It will exceed your expectations.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    (I would have liked a map before I came !)

  • 10

    Walking Tuscany

    A wonderful experience of walking in a more remote, mountainous part of Tuscany with an excellent and experienced guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to isolate one moment but probably the 360 degree view from Monte Sumbra encompassing the Italian coast and the Appenines. The wild flowers were stunning in particular the wild peonies in the Orecchiella National Park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was a brilliant leader - encouraging at the front or supporting at the back! Her knowledge of the area, flora and fauna were inspirational. Our free day in Lucca went without a hitch thanks to her help. She recommended shorter, low level walks, complete with maps and directions for anyone who needed a 'day off'.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend boots, for ankle support, and trekking poles - particularly for the descents. Braccicorti is not in a village and walking along the roads is not recommended because of fast traffic. Opportunities occur at the end of some of the walks to find shops and ATM machines. If you need extra snacks for walking take them with you from home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember this is agrotourism in what was a relatively poor area of Italy so it is not 5* dining. It is plentiful, good wholesome plain cooking

  • 10

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    Amazing, wonderful group of people, fantastic group leader, excellent home cooked meals using locally sourced ingrediants.  And, oh yes almost forgot it was a walking holiday.  The walking was exceptional and varied, we literally had the place to ourselves.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on top of Mt Prado, over a mile high, the highest point in Tuscany. The remains of the winter snow about us, views every which way and nothing but silence, no bird song, nothing, just silence.  Save the only birds to get that high are Eagles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic, professional, faultless.  A truly amazing lady so enthusiatic about all she does and sees.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully and follow them, they are there for very good reasons.  That way your enjoyment won't be spoiled. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yo!! Exodus you're the people!

  • 10

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    This part of Tuscany was a complete surprise and a total delight. Not only did we have the typical walking through rolling pastureland covered with wildflowers, we also had many walks through shady forests decorated with sun streaming through the new green leaves and over a floor of last years copper leaves before we emerged onto high ridges to enjoy stunning views over still snow clad peaks. A total delight. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ridge walk to Monte Prado was excellent. Not only the highest peak in the area, but the residual snow from last winter forced us to a higher route over the ridge summits. A wonderful roller-coaster of fun with unhindered views in all directions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull is one of the finest leaders I've had the pleasure of dealing with. She was always willing to go that extra mile for everyone and managed to strike the right balance with the more experienced party members and the those on their first real walking tour. My free day was made far more enjoyable by her description and hand-drawn map of a simple valley walk from Braccicorti to Lago di Pentecosi and up to Villeta before returning. On the easier walks which were completed at a reasonable time of day, Sara volunteered to drive us into Castlenuovo for a celbratory cone of gelati.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have plenty of room in your cameras. In early spring, expect snow snow on the higher tracks, its handy to ensure your boots are waterproof. The Limone gelati in Castlenuovo is a real beauty! As is the Pistachio...and the Hazelnut...Hell, they are all good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour of this quiet, crowd free part of Tuscany provides many walks which are a fun mix of easy and the more demanding. The latter only due to the steepness of ascent or descent which may test the less experienced. But don't be deterred, persevere, take your time and you'll enjoy a great reward for your efforts.

  • 8

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    What a wonderful week I had, the group was just brilliant, we had so many funny moments. As for the walking it was set at a good pace although some did not complete all the walks I would recommend this trip to anyone who likes walking. No climbing or scrambling involved

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on the top of the peaks looking around at the most amazing views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara is just great, she was so knowledgeable and so pleasant to talk to and would do anything to help. I have done many trips and can say she has by far been the best

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip you will not be disappointed. One thing that I and others missed whilst having lunch on the mountains was a cup of tea or coffee. Take a small flask with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    Great weather - unexpectantly, but always the best way! Great group of people, stunning scenery and a home from home at Braccicorti.  Excellent guide who left us wanting for nothing. Walking very good, makes me consider coming back for the grade C trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    First night laid out on the grass at Braccicorti overlooking the small rows of vines and life across the valley, watching the sun gently slipping behind the mountains bathing the whole valley in an ethereal haze and listening to nothing but the birds and the occassional shout of Italian.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull...fantastic, well organised, friendly, approachable and seemed to fulfill every concievable job role during the trip.  Genuinely knowledgeable and without doubt one of the fittest and most remarkable people I've met.  She won Exodus best tour leader in 2009...not hard at all to see why.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking was really good, well paced through some beautiful environs with plenty of coffee/ice cream stops but if you prefer a little more thigh-burning enducing exercise, then consider the weeks of this trip which are C grade instead. You will spend more time higher up and the effort will reward you with some stunning vistas.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very well balanced trip for a B grade, fitted my needs at the time and I would have no problem recommending it to people who either haven't done much walking or want something a bit more mixed in terms of holiday activity.  The free day options are excellent and you are so well informed about them that you can make a fair decision. I'd never been to Italy other than a late night slink from Monaco to San Remo a few years ago and didn't know whether it would be for me.  But it was, it is not a week wasted. Well worth it.

  • 10

    Walking in Tuscany - TDT

    Undoubtedly one of the most memorable Exodus trips we have had - made so primarily by the leader, Sara, the wonderful farmhouse hospitality under "Mama" and the general cohesiveness of the group which blended well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing up to the highest peak of Monte Prado with two dogs!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Sara is an exceptional leader, well qualified in mountain craft, had researched all the walks very well (some of them were down tiny footpaths which could hardly be seen) a great hostess and a good driver!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please join the trip - they would not be disappointed but just a word of caution - we don't think that anybody was aware of the dramatic scenery in this part of Tuscany and therefore to allow for long climbs and descents in magnificent scenery in other words potential travellers should be aware that it can be challenging, especially in wet weather. I would class it as the upper grade of "Moderate".

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Fantastic Trip

    This is a great trip. The accommodation is truly a gem. Lovely rooms set in beautiful surroundings with great food all freshly cooked by Mamma. Great varied walking from high granite summits to low valleys and lakes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the summits and doing a little bit of scrambling which I had never experienced before. The amazing views The beautiful forest walks Having your lunch "on top of the world" from your summit stops looking out and down for miles

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara is most definitely the best Exodus guide I have had - and I have done 17 trips with them! She is caring, encouraging, patient, knowledgeable and really inspires confidence. Nothing was too much trouble for her and she constantly suggested and provided extra things for us way above the call of duty. In addition she has a great sense of humour and fun to be around but maybe more importantly you feel 100% safe in her hands

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are considering this trip do it, it's great. Do take walking poles- they really are useful. If you are wondering what to do on the free day the popular option of Lucca is a great easy day off -it's a lovely little city and easy to get to and from

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another Exodus classic

  • 10

    Fabulous

    I have not been on an organised walking holiday before, really loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery was beautiful and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I felt a great sense of achievement at the end of each day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was amazing, I can't fault her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I borrowed a walking pole and found it really useful on the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go!

  • 10

    Walking in Tuscany

    An excellent trip with breath-taking scenery in a quiet corner of Tuscany. Food simple, plentiful and very tasty.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snow shoeing for the first time on the ridge of a mountain was great fun. Exploring Castelnuovo the local town was brilliant - a scene from a Puccini opera at every turn. The exceptional group leader Sara Bull.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull is simply outstanding as a group leader. I have done a number of Exodus trips now and although they have all been led effectively, Sara stands head and shoulders above the rest. She is calm, friendly, totally professional and inclusive. Walks were tailored to individual needs and those that just needed a bit of encouragement were supported. She entertained us with stories from her vast experience. I would love to walk with her again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothes for every season. In April the weather was perfect for walking but I certainly needed the waterproofs as well as the sun hat. Wifi is virtually non-existent. In short, forget about home for the week!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go ahead and book! I promise you will not be disappointed. Go to Lucca on your day off - it's a beautiful city. Florence without the crowds.

  • 8

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    A fabulous trip that I didn't want to end!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The farmhouse accommodation was the perfect setting for the holiday which really made me relax into that holiday mood!  It was peaceful, comfortable and had great views over the valley.  The homecooked food was a great ending to each day, compliments to mamma!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara the group leader was fab!  She really knew the area and was able to tell us all sorts of interesting information along each route.  The walks we did were just the right length for a B grade holiday and the order of the walks allowed us to see across the valley to where we would be going or had already walked. Sara was not only the group leader though.  She was our taxi driver, waitress, first aider (thankfully not often) and tour guide.  Thanks for being so great!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd really recommend this holiday to anyone wanting a moderate wakling holiday.  The scenary was beautiful and the food was delicious.  It was just what I needed to get away from busy life in the UK, and I admit it took a few days to get into the holiday mood, but once relaxed I didn't want to leave.  I'd certainly do this holiday again on a C grade!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Walking in Tuscany

    This was a great trip! Brilliant food, fantastic guiding, beautiful walking, a lovely place to stay and fabulous mountains to explore. I didn't realise this part of Tuscany was so mountainous and that really surprised me. The walks were gorgeous but be prepared for 600metres or more of ascent most days, sometimes more over varied, sometimes rough terrain. The wide open views at the top though are well worth the climb up!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking across limestone pavement and reaching the summits of some incredibly beautiful mountains. There were lots of views to die for! Being fed a three course meal each night was a real treat and they looked after me brilliantly (I'm a coeliac)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara our group leader was simply amazing! She had a fantastic knowledge of the area and looked after us like we were her family. She always went the extra mile in every way. We all felt like we'd known her for ages. She did so much and seemed to have endless energy which was especially good when we'd run out of ours!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring comfortable stiff-soled walking boots. Walking poles are useful too, especially for the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's lovely!

  • 10

    Mr neale morgan

    5 days of varied walking over the ridges and peaks of tuscany. The weather was generally very kind and the accommodation and welcome was superb. The food and wine was varied and cooked fresh. Bellisimo! Our tour guide was inspirational and full of stories and adventure. Worth the trip on its own. I encourage people to go and enjoy the tranquility of the tuscany mountains. Our stay in the lodge was fun and relaxing. I went on the challenging week and the hikes where sufficient to test my stamina.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The peacefulness of the mountains and the ability to feel far away from the normality of life. Using the ropes to edge around the ridges. Exhilarating!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have completed many tours over the last 8 years and Sara bull is by far the best tour leader. Always aiming to please and getting all the small details spot-on. Sara puts her clients at ease and I had a marvellous time. Sara has immense knowledge and the ability to inspire further travel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is a must,for an all-round experience. Walking,food and hospitality. Take all the gear for various weather and enjoy a dip in the pool.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take advantage of Sara,s knowledge and soak in the atmosphere. Am sure good friends and memories will be made.

  • 10

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    I had always wanted to visit the Garfagnana and it seemed the perfect trip for my first walking holiday and first group holiday (I was a little apprehensive, not having been on one - and going on my own as well).  I was not disappointed; the group was friendly and supportive, the scenery was stunning, our tour guide could not have been more encouraging, and I enjoyed my exposure to Italian culture and to that of this less visited part of Tuscany in particular.  I am planning my next Exodus trip, although this one will be tough to match!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coming down after a morning's climb in the driving rain on the first day - the sun came out and I admired the scenery.  I felt good having provided to myself that I could manage the climb after all - even in adverse conditions!  The impressive view on the climb to Monte Sumbra Seeing wildlife in Orecchiella Natural Park Enjoying a "day off" from the main walk and exploring Castelnuovo di Garfgagnana and walking around the area near Villetta and Braccicorti - especially the wine bar in Castelnuovo!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Sara Bull, offered the group - and certainly me - extraordinary support and encouragement.  She never made me or anyone else feel awkward about our ability level or what we were able to manage each day, and dealt managing the day's walk with the different endurance and ability levels of the group with considerable skill.  Her manner and support made all the difference to me during the trip - there were several times where i was worried about how I would manage, or was intimidated when dealing with my fear about heights or falling, and she gave me enough support to get through those times, but helped me realise i could manage those fears and trust my judgment, and learn for my experiences going forward.   Sara also handled some quite stressful situations during the week incredibly well - this also made me more adventurous, as I was assured that I was being guided by someone with the experience and judgment to ensure I would be all right as i explored my own personal limits--I don't think i would have found out how much I could do without that confidence. She was also quite a lot of fun to talk to - great sense of humour and fantastic anecdotes about all her past experiences at Braccicorti and elsewhere!  Sara's encouragement made the trip particularly special and is one of the reasons i have been encouraged to book another walking holiday this year. I would not hesitate to go on any holiday Sara was leading in future and hope I will get the opportunity.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip really is Moderate.  You will definitely be out for 7-8 hours a day, minimum (unless your group is made up of entirely fast walkers) - with a lunch break and the odd break here and there - and there is a lot of climbing up and down involved with most of the walks.  Go into this with your eyes open; some of the group were a little surprised by the length and difficulty of the walks (I think I expected them to be a little shorter myself, but that is dependent on a lot of factors). it is, however, the best way to see the Garfagnana that there is - and if you do need a day off, you can skip any of the walks if you choose and stay at Braccicorti or take a day trip to nearby towns, as i did.  Bring walking sticks - I was a convert that week (Sara loaned me some spares) and think I would have avoided a calf injury if I had used them more.  also ensure you bring waterproofs!  we also were accompanied by two dogs who live at Braccicorti - Elvis and Dora.  I think they added immeasurably to the experience (they accompanied us on most of our walks) but if you don't like dogs, realise they come as part of the package.  that being said - they are not in any way aggressive or badly behaved and genuinely like people and are quite protective of "the group". 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think the best thing about this trip is that you get so many wonderful elements - a wonderful place to stay (Braccicorti) full of character with a beautiful setting and fantastic home cooked food, unspoilt and gorgeous scenery that would be difficult to see on your own and with few other tourists, and a good dose of Italian culture a bit more off the beaten track.  I also think if my group is anything to go by, you will meet a lot of wonderful people, too.  Enjoy all of it!  it's really a special trip - it will be difficult to top it.  and if you're not sure about going on a group holiday or going on your own - go for it.  I'm so glad I did -

  • 10

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    A fantastic walking holiday, with excellent leadership, amazing views, comfortable accommodation and friendly companions. Would love to visit the area again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of Monte Prado, with views for miles, and the summit of Pania Della Croce following an interesting walk uphill through beech woods then up through a field of boulders to the summit with views to Corsica and Sardinia standing above the cloud level in the sunshine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was an excellent leader. Considerate of the individual ability of each of us, friendly, knowledgable regarding the area and with limitless energy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A must if you love walking at more than a leisurely pace and viewing beautiful scenery. Walking poles are very helpful if you are not used to walking up and down rocky surfaces and don't forget your camera. Avoid this one if you are allergic to dogs as Dora and Elvis walk with the group daily, but are very friendly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have never travelled solo, go for it. I have never regretted my first or this my second trip!

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