Customer reviews: Holidays in the Algarve
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our all holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their all holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their all holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Mr Bateman on 14/08/2017
It was beautifully quiet in every way. Many flowers and birds. Excellent food. Friendly people.
By Mr Jones on 24/05/2017
Some great walks along Portugal's beautiful, unspoiled and dramatic coastline with an excellent choice of hotels for good food and comfort.
By Mrs Littler on 17/05/2017
A lovely holiday, we enjoyed every moment. The coastal scenery was spectacular, the countryside lovely - full of wild flowers. The accommodation was excellent and the stay in Pedralva was a great experience. We enjoyed the food and the local people we met were all very friendly. Our Rep ,Ludmila, was very friendly and efficient.
By Mr Russell on 16/05/2017
Algarve Wild West walking exceeded expectation. Floral environment on all walks was dazzling. All walks easy to follow as marked and described in written guide. Two boots was just about correct.
By Mr Merryweather on 08/05/2017
'Wonderful holiday! Delightful (and very) varied accommodation, excellent food and terrific sights and smells in some wonderful countryside. But this can be a physically demanding cycle tour, so do ensure you are prepared to cycle - or push - your bike up some stiff hills.
Thanks to all at Headwater and, in particular, to Ludmilla.'
By Mr Gibson on 02/05/2017
Spring time provided marvellous walking weather and a wonderful spread of colour across the countryside. Tavira is a delightful town (try Tavira Lounge - left by bridge; lovely small balcony overlooking river); and the Pousada provides cool style and quality. The walks vary in intensity (not quite as flat as expected) and scenery. Found the Monchique walks somewhat dull; the hotel dreary and rundown (the attached tapas bar across the road appeared to close at 6pm), indifferent food but some redemption in an excellent pool and sundeck - just right after a day's walk. Our two hard working guides Ricardo and Gabriel ensured our walks went smoothly (especially at the family run Medronho distillery with an excellent lunch and a souvenir bottle that proved marvellous joint lubrication! A holiday that allows the traveller to gain some experience and insight into Algarve scenery and life; go for it.
By Mr Burrell on 27/04/2017
Quite simply the best holiday we have had in several years. Great food, great scenery, helpful staff, activity and brilliant weather. Just what we needed. Thank you
By Mr Swingler on 26/04/2017
A thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing holiday. We booked for the beginning of April hoping for good walking weather and lots of spring flowers - it turned out to be an excellent choice.
By Mr Kimber on 11/04/2017
Superb views when walking as well as lots of spring flowers and wildlife to enjoy. Excellent hotels and informative reps to help with local knowledge.
By Mr Newberry on 10/04/2017
An excellent overview of the whole of the Algarve, helped immensely by a superb guide.
By Mr Bumfrey on 10/04/2017
An ideal time to visit this area and enjoy the spring flowers and butterflies which are abundant on all the walks. The weather was perfect for this type of holiday and the hotels very good. The GPX tracks supplied were very useful.
By Mr Turner on 04/04/2017
The toughest Headwater cycling holiday I have been on, due to the preponderance of off road some of which was quite rough and steep, plus the fact that for two and a half days of the three days cycling there was a strong cold headwind, therefore I think the grading should be changed.
By Mrs Griffiths on 28/03/2017
We could relax because everything ran like clockwork. We were very lucky with our walking companions, we enjoyed thier company and navigated and ate together every day.
By Mr Norris on 20/03/2017
Good but if we followed the walks exactly , they were not long enough for us given that the terrain was not at all demanding. However we did manage to add on extras each day which made the walking better.
By Mrs Lancaster on 17/03/2017
Lovely walks with lots of variety. We particularly enjoyed the coastline. Our rep, Ludmilla, was very welcoming, personable and helpful.
By Mr Richards on 07/03/2017
Portugal in February - quiet but not deserted, good walking and perfect temperature and conditions.
By Mr Corlett on 03/01/2017
I was fortunate to have absolutely perfect weather and low wind levels for my cycling trip to southern portugal.. a very enjoyable experience and would definitely do a repeat.
By Mr Kent on 29/11/2016
The coastline in South West Portugal is stunning and the national park unspoiled .Most days we only saw other walkers and surfers The walks were well planned and came with easy to follow instructions.The way-mark signs were also good. Ludmilla and Tony, the Headwater representatives were excellent.and we felt as though they were there just for us ,even though we knew that they had other guests to look after. .The food and accommodation was ,on the whole ,of a high standard. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend this holiday to other walkers. They wont be disappointed. It far exceeded our expectations!
By Dr Johnson on 29/11/2016
The local guides were extremely helpful and well informed. Their walking routes and descriptions were excellent and full of interest. The whole area was very scenic and with a good variety of wildlife.
By Mrs Barnes on 29/11/2016
This is a most enjoyable walking holiday. You see some spectacular scenery and stay in some lovely places. In September the weather was hotter than we had expected which made the walks quite demanding, but the excellent notes provided by the guides meant that we never got lost. Most of the hotels were excellent, but while the breakfasts at Costa d'Oiro were good, the dinners were not. There was little choice and the main courses were of poor quality.
By Mr Toms on 09/11/2016
Easy walking over gentle countryside with spectacular coast
By Mrs Harraway on 31/10/2016
Excellent hotels, and food .
Extremely well organised .
Reps very helpful.
Cycling tough !
By Mr Morgan on 31/10/2016
Cycling is a great way to experience a country
By Mr Warren on 31/10/2016
quite challenging cycling on day one for the over70s - entirely our choice made enjoyable by rescue and advice from Tony and Ludmilla - absolute gems throughout - electric bikes would be a good option on this holiday - easy enough to avoid the offroad stuff if that is a worry with them - overall an excellent holiday with spectacular beaches and coastal views
By Ms Van bentum on 31/10/2016
Lovely views, lovely walks (accurate maps and grading), lovely hotels and a lovely rep (Ludmilla). It was a great holiday with the two nights in Pedralva and the walk to the lighthouse on the last day as the absolute highlights.
By Mrs Cerny on 31/10/2016
We had our first holiday with Headwater this October in Portugal. We had never been on an organised walking holiday before, but any concerns we might have had , e.g. getting lost,were soon abated. The route maps were excellent and easy to follow. The timing of each walk was accurate, so we were able to pace ourselves accordingly. We often walked the whole day without meeting a soul except at the beach, where we could watch surfers in crashing waves. The range of accommodation was excellent. We enjoyed our stay in Pedralva and were lucky to have a a cottage with a large patio.The hotels were in great locations and all very comfortable. Ludmilla and Tony were very helpful and knowledgeable about the area. We had not been to Portugal on holiday before. We will be back!
By Mr Bird on 31/10/2016
A good, enjoyable and trouble-free holiday. The walks themselves were easy, but unremarkable and at times dull.
By Mr Sedgwick on 14/06/2016
A good variety of walks with a good local guide through enchanting country side with magnificent wild flowers ( May is a good month for this holiday
By Mrs O'Brian on 13/06/2016
Overall the holiday was thoroughly enjoyable. The walks were varied and a good length and covered some beautiful scenery. I think the 1+ rating was quite accurate - the walks were usually around 4 hours with some up and downhill sections but nothing particularly difficult. The accommodation was good as were most of the meals. Our guide, Tiago, was brilliant! He was knowledgeable, organised, flexible and just a really nice guy to hang out with. My only advice for future travellers would be to make sure to take insect repellent or a zapper for Tavira. The mozzies were like helicopters there.
By Mr Daniel on 13/06/2016
First visit to the Algarve and first cycling holiday. Hard work for a couple of days but the rewards matched the effort. Lovely locations and hotels had top quality staff. Our two reps were lovely and incredibly helpful. We have used Headwater only a few times over 20 or so years, but every time the holiday has been special. That is why we have always looked them up when considering a trip overseas.
By Mrs Pattinson on 26/05/2016
Tiago and Hugo were excellent guides using very well planned routes. They were very friendly and flexible in their approach. Everyone in the walking group was very friendly and sociable. Tiago was a fount of knowledge of birds and plants and was keen to pass on this knowledge.
By Mr Milward on 26/05/2016
Extremely well organised , with excellent local representative (Tony) who provided additional information and support without hesitation. Also provided local maps and timetables for my time in Faro which allowed me to enjoy that day, he also informed me about the industrial action at the airport which allowed me to make appropriate arrangements.
By Mr Cottam on 16/05/2016
A great way to see different areas of a country and meet new people.
By Mrs Gibson on 09/05/2016
It was excellent from start to finish. Our reps Tony & Ludmila Lewis made our holiday experience special with their friendliness, humour and knowledge. Please pass on our thanks.I am hoping to book a walking holiday with Headwater next year with my friend please send me a brochure
By Mrs Corris on 04/05/2016
The walking was varied and enjoyable although the weather could have been better.
By Mr Story on 03/05/2016
The standard of the holiday was as good as expected - what really made this holiday so enjoyable was Tony and Ludmilla - their warm welcome, personal touch, and their knowledge of the area was second to none.
By Mrs Webster on 03/05/2016
We felt we were in very good hands with Tony and Ludmilla who could not have done more to make our overall experience so good. They really are so good at the job and it makes such a difference to have friendly and approachable people to enhance the experience. They helped us with train and bus times when we left Sagres at the end of the Headwater holiday - they have been the best agents we have come across!
By Mrs King on 27/04/2016
An excellent holiday with exceptionally helpful guides.a good variety of accommodation
By Mr Holmes on 25/04/2016
An excellent holiday with an interesting and varied range of walks and activities. Well structured to give a decent impression of the Algarve region as a whole. The website and brochure provide a pretty accurate description of the holiday. The local guides were informative, helpful, friendly and very considerate of capabilities of different group members. My first experience of such a holiday, would happily do something similar again!
By Mis Whittaker on 25/04/2016
I have been on many Headwater holidays, mostly guided when traveling on my own or with one friend but some self guided when with a group of friends.
When travelling on my own Headwater provide accurate information about what to expect and provide a safe environment for me. I know enough about how they operate to anticipate accurately what the holiday will be like. Of course the other members of the group are a main factor but I have always found that they work well together. This is often helped by the guide understanding group dynamics.
By Dr Davies on 25/04/2016
A very nice holiday. The cycling was generally very good. It is a little hilly so is certainly a grade 2. There was a little bit more off road than we expected and one part of this was a particularly bad track which was slow going. Everything else was fine. The accommodation was good.
By Ms Elliott on 25/04/2016
The walks were excellent and very accurately described and graded. Excellent options presented for the rest days. Ludmilla, our rep, was really helpful and had very good personal knowledge of the area and all the walks. Views were spectacular, especially on the coastal sections of the walks, and the wildflowers and bird-life were both wonderful. The slow-food restaurant at Vila do Bispo (A Eira do Mel) provided the outstanding meal of our trip. Hotel meals were generally pretty good, though the breakfast at Vila do Bispo was rather limited both in variety and quality. The weather was pleasantly cool for walking but, if you want to swim in the sea, you should probably go late April or May!
By Mrs Smale on 18/04/2016
Enjoyable relaxed holiday with an excellent guide, Tiago, who introduced us to the lovely and varied countryside which was enhanced by the magnificent show of wild flowers. The walking was considerably harder than on other 1boot holidays, and deserved to be labelled as 1+ boot.
By Mrs Roper on 18/04/2016
This was a lovely holiday.The wild flowers were magnificent and the scents of orange blossom and fresh herbs will long remain with us.We enjoyed the variety of different tracks and the headland loop at Amado beach was stunning.The bikes were excellent with especially low gears for those hills,and the tour notes were pretty good. The welcome at all three hotels was genuinely warm and the accommodation very comfortable, except at Pedralva,where the bed felt like a marble slab, and gave us a restless 2 nights. The food and wine was fresh, wholesome and very well prepared.We thoroughly enjoyed this break and came back feeling refreshed and invigorated. We will definitely consider Headwater when choosing our next holiday.
By Ms King-smith on 18/04/2016
A delightful few days' walking in lovely, remote, unspoilt countryside. I enjoyed the birdlife and spring flowers particularly. The Portuguese we encountered were personable and friendly and spoke excellent English. My friend and I loved the food and wine - our reward after a day of walking! We got a lot out of what was, objectively, quite a short holiday.
By Mr Faulkner on 18/04/2016
Hiring a car gave more flexibility and allowed us both to walk following some of the route, especially the Fisherman's Trail and so to see the coastline, as well as having more time to explore other parts of the region. Ludmilla was outstanding in giving helpful, discrete and unintrusive advice
By Ms Bronger on 06/04/2016
Fun. We enjoyed our visit to Portugal.
By Pro Beevers on 06/04/2016
Great.......good walking , excellent notes and maps , good weather and good support. Requests for extra historical information promptly supplied by Ludmilla. Wonderful flowers, butterflies and birds, ! Food was excellent both in hotels and in the towns and Ludmilla advised us about local perceves speciality...and how to eat them. A good variety of places to eat.
Only suggestion is handrail or handrope in Pedralva cottage ( long flight of thirteen stone steps down to loo.....)
Wonder if L and T might keep a reference book of Flowers and Birds of Portugal in the van they could lend out... or we could consult?
By Mr Beal on 06/04/2016
Our third holiday with Headwater came up to usual high standards. Our representative Ludmilla was excellent and efficient. Although we had no problems we were confident that, had there been, she would have dealt with them promptly. We particularly enjoyed the delightful village at Pedralva - something out of the ordinary.
By Dr Loken on 30/03/2016
As usual with Headwater Holidays, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this holiday. The locations were varied and interesting, the local guides did an excellent job, and the walking was very enjoyable.
By Ms Hood on 30/03/2016
Friendly, well-organised and exactly as described.
By Mrs Lamb on 29/03/2016
This was our first guided walk, after many years of self guided holidays. We enjoyed the relaxation which came from not having to worry about anything at any time.Our guide Tiago was expert at assessing the capabilities and personalities of the group. We were able to go at our own pace, taking as much time as anyone needed to appreciate the wild flowers, birds and scenery. His passion for his country was inspirational and educational.
By Mr Kershaw on 29/03/2016
Excellent first holiday with Headwater. Nothing was too much trouble. They even arranged for me to see England win the Grand Slam on TV in Pedralva!
Walks were beautiful and the guides were easy to follow.
By Mr Sinanoglou on 14/03/2016
Though the rating (one boot+) is accurate, I would have preferred longer walks on most days. The use of three locations in three very different settings is an attractive feature as is the superb seafood. The village of Pedralva is an unusual and well-chosen base from which to explore Portugal's west coast. The use of a Portuguese partner organization (A to Z Adventures) and local guides works extremely well. This is an ideal holiday for those who enjoy half-day walks in a variety of landscapes covering a region that stretches from the river border with Spain in the east to the Atlantic beaches and sea cliffs in the west. The guides are well-informed and very attentive.
By Mr Harris on 14/03/2016
A good strenuous holiday for an elderly single traveller. The guides and the other travellers were good organisers and excellent companions. No complaints.
By Dr Harris on 04/03/2016
A holiday in which you get away from the crowds and experience the country intimately, complemented by good food & accomodation
By Mr Pomfrett on 25/02/2016
Probably the best walking holiday we have had in Europe. A decent walk each day but you could do other things if you wanted. 3 of the five walks were really beautiful and the other two were good. Accommodation was fine and the reps were helpful. The notes were clear and easy to follow.
By Ms Swiecicka on 17/02/2016
Can't really comment on standard of accommodation normally offered by Headwater as we upgraded wherever possible. At Costa D'Oiro (where we paid for superior room) we were put in room 3016 (I think) which, we later realised, has to have been the worst of all the superior rooms in that building (ground floor, in the back left-hand corner of the building) - the bathroom facilities were modern but the room itself was very dark and cramped (had a 3rd bed in it so nowhere inside to sit or even to put our cases). The patio was dark & dingy and only got the sun for about an hour or so around breakfast time (which wasn't much use to us as the room was not 'ready' for us to go into until after 1pm). The superior rooms on the other side of the building (i.e. facing the small road) were much brighter and bigger but we were not given the option of changing. We wouldn't have minded a room at the back of the building had it been on the 1st floor level as this would have been much lighter but we very much got the impression that we were put in that room to make it easier for cleaning - i.e. all the rooms to be cleaned were together on the ground floor. The restaurant was closed in the evening so comment re food relates to breakfast only, which was good. I would not stay in this hotel again.
Dear Ms Swiecicka, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback, we were pleased to see you had an enjoyable holiday overall, however were sorry to read of your dissatisfaction with your room at Hotel Costa d ‘Oiro. We have discussed your comments with the Hotelier; he was also disappointed to receive your feedback and is sorry this issue was not resolved during your stay. This hotel is not one we normally use for our walking holiday, however we do use it on our cycling holiday and the overall feedback received is good. However, we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip, so will continue to monitor all feedback received and will work closely with our hotelier to ensure they are delivering the standard of accommodation our customers have come to expect. In closing, we would like to thank you for your constructive feedback and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service team
By Mis Heath on 03/12/2015
Memmo Baleeira was lovely to stay at and it would have been good to have stayed there longer. Mira Sagres was alright and Pedralva was very basic (food in evening was adequate but you had to be careful what you chose). Walking along coast and in wooded valleys was lovely but could be tedious inland (flat and featureless scrubland at times). Ludmilla was great and very helpful - we like her a lot!
By Mis Haill on 27/11/2015
Truly memorable holiday with excellent guides leading us. We saw a huge amount of the Algarve and the walks were varied and interesting, though perhaps a little bit harder than I was prepared for. My first visit to Portugal and I hope not my last.
By Mrs Chaplin on 18/11/2015
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, Tony and Ludmilla were very helpful, the route notes accurate and the walks were lovely especially the walk from Vila do Bispo to Sagres-the coastal views were fantastic! All the hotels were very welcoming, but we especially liked Pedralva it is a real gem and the food was great too! There was plenty of choice of restaurants on the days when we had bed and breakfast at the hotels and we found all to be very good value for money.
By Mis Jameson on 26/10/2015
This was a new holiday and the Guides were excellent. The walks were varied and interesting. A mix of capabilities were catered for by using two vehicles but only because our group size allowed it. The hotels were varied as were the areas. I knew of the Poussada at Tavira and have stayed in the area before, We were particularly pleased to be able to return to a favorite restaurant in Santa Luzia. Although the weather wasn't at it's finest for our holiday we completed all the walks.
The complex at Petralva was very interesting and had the best showers and hot water. However, the room was damp, others requested to be moved, this should be sorted out because the overall resort,concept and area was lovely. Our last morning's breakfast appeared to have them short handed but was fine. The bartender was knowledgeable and made our stay very enjoyable.
The Hotel at Monchique was made up of a number of buildings some older than others. Our room although old was spacious but the hot water and decor was struggling a bit. Food for the first two evenings was a set menu and not very good nor was the service. This was the first time I have had difficulty with language in the Algarve. The bartender was particularly out of his depth. The last night the food was offered at A La Carte and was much improved as was the young lady taking orders and serving ( the kitchen too was much improved). The visit to the local distillery was fantastic and although the food in the hotel could have been better we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday.
We did not receive walking notes or a detailed walk itinerary ( I assume because it was guided) but this left us never really sure of plans and routes for the next day. We were given the holiday briefing but ten days in one go was too much to take in.
This was our fifth Headwater Holiday and perhaps quality did not quite match up to others but I think with some assistance from the hotels it could easily achieve the expected level. There were nine of us on the tour and think we all enjoyed the experience.
By Mrs Stevens on 26/10/2015
This had the potential to be an outstanding holiday with excellent guides but they were let down by two of the hotels. It would have been helpful to have details of the spa treatments in advance and to book in advance as the Spa was often fully booked. It was also pretty shabby although the treatments good. More information about the area and history of the are would be a good idea too.
By Mr Jones on 26/10/2015
Good holiday and very good walking, well organised and good fun.
By Mr Prior on 17/06/2015
Good variety of walks, with our excellent guide (Tiago), enabling various enjoyable views/experiences of the Algarve. Tavira especially attractive (although we had the best weather there), with plenty of excellent restaurants and scenic/architectural attractions and sights. We particularly liked the coastal/cliff walking at this time of year (early April) with such a varied range of beautiful flowers. All-in-all a great mix of sights and experiences in the Algarve.
By Ms Glass on 08/05/2015
Our walking holiday in Portugal was a delight. Everything worked so well and the area is outstandingly beautiful particularly in April with so many spring flowers in bloom. I would highly recommend this region/ holiday.
By Mr Ward on 28/04/2015
Excellent mix of walks, scenery and wildflowers made this holiday wonderful. Certainly 10 days is needed to cover such a wide range. The food was generally excellent in the hotels, and in Tavira the restaurants O Castello (arrive early or book) and the Tavira Lounge (by the river) are well worth a visit and just a stroll from the hotel. We found the village hotel of Pedralva unique and very friendly and a super contrast to the first hotel. Monchique hotel is less special, but the restaurant was again excellent. A particular commendation to our guide Tiago for all his cheerful assistance and smooth driving: thanks for the birthday cakes.
By Mrs McTurk on 28/04/2015
Fantastic way to see the real Algarve. Well organised walks with experienced local guide and comfortable hotels and good food at the end of the day!
By Mis Chappell on 13/04/2015
From the moment we arrived our guide Tiago made us feel at home and made our holiday an enjoyable experience. Thoroughly enjoyed the varied walks and the wildflowers were spectacular, especially on the Fisherman's Trail. By the end of the holiday, we felt we had seen many aspects of the Algarve, from the Spanish border all the way to the west coast, and from the seaside at Tavira to the mountainous village of Monchique.
By Mr Stephens on 13/04/2015
Ideal for walking in more natural and unspoilt areas with good standard of accommodation. Warm and mainly dry weather made the walking very enjoyable although be prepared for windy spells. The importance of tourism to the area came across in the warm welcome we received from most of the Portuguese. Our introduction to the area by the Headwater rep. Tony Lewis was invaluable and his walking notes made navigation easy. Both Tony and Ludmilla made the holiday appear seamless in its organisation and they were very friendly and supportive.
By Mr Menzies on 10/04/2015
This is the third holiday we have had with Headwater and was the best yet. Tony could not have been more helpful and is clearly a man who loves his work. The walks were all superb with a huge variety of scenery. The notes were very clear and made it is easy to find our way. The accommodation was all to a high standard. Pedralva is a real gem and we were sorry to leave such an away from it all location. Choice of food for dinner at Memmo Baleeira was a bit limited unless you like pizza but they made up for this with the most superb breakfast choice. We also had the restaurant virtually to ourselves on the first night but on our return on Good Friday it was packed out with families. Quite a contrast.
By Mis Pearson on 30/03/2015
We felt that the reps Tony and Ludmilla were excellent and helpful at all times. They are great ambassadors for Headwater.
We were disappointed with the evening meal offered at the Hotel Memmo Baleeira. The service was slow, the food cold and over seasoned for our tastes. We found an excellent alternative restaurant in the town and went there on our last night. We would have preferred to have had an 'eat out' option in Sagres rather than having the evening meal included.
By Mrs MacLehose on 26/03/2015
Excellent cycling on wonderful bikes. Tony and Ludmilla were fantastically helpful and we were especially grateful that Tony picked us up from not the usual collection point. The notes were perfect and we were very lucky with the weather. The suggestions for rest days were also very good. Hotels all fine, especially Memmo. Pedralva rooms could do with better heating and much better lighting but the bar and restaurant areas were very good . Food at Pedralva was excellent. Would definitely recommend the holiday and commend highly Tony and Ludmilla who definitely had a 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude and who clearly enjoy their roles. Thank you very much.
By Mr Pattison on 23/03/2015
Another great Headwater holiday. Varied walking, good and interesting hotels, good guides. Some thought it merited 2 boot status, but it was fine for us.
By Dr Jones on 16/03/2015
Well organised, great places that we would not find on our own, excellent rep who gave us a 5 star experience . We felt completely relaxed and enjoyed every minute of our holiday .
By Mr Tweed on 16/03/2015
Seamless from start to finish with excellent opportunities to explore and relax in equal measure.
By Mr Sledge on 13/03/2015
Good news !
By Dr Foley on 03/03/2015
Walking the Algarve's Wild West is a lovely break in the dull winter months of Northern Europe. Wild flowers, blue skies, dramatic coastal walks, great food and wine make this an ideal, well-planned short holiday.
By Mr Jones on 03/02/2015
Although weather in Portugal is unpredictable in January, it is warmer than UK and has more daylight hours. However the wild atlantic was wonderful to see in strong winds. The trails were wonderfully peaceful, and the coastal scenery stunning, fishermans trail was probably the most spectacular coastal walk we have ever seen. The 6 day walk was very well put together, with a variety of countryside terraines, ridge walks, cliffs and beaches. Pedralva was a fascinating place to stay, and as there were so few people there we were entertained and educated in local cuisine by their very amusing 'French' waiter. As an add on we had a 2/3 day stay in Lisbon, lovely city, and it is a must to sample the patische do nata, available in most cafes.
By Mrs Corns on 24/11/2014
Good variety of walks, some site seeing. Our guide was knowledgeable and was keen to show us as much of his country as poosible.
By Mr Schafer on 21/11/2014
The Walking the Algarve trip offers participants a wonderful variety of of walks, accommodations and food. With walks that include the beautifully rugged coast and the mountain region of Monchique, one has an opportunity to experience much of what the Algarve has to offer. Our guide Tiago was excellent. The hikes were interesting and varied with the coastal portions being our favorite. The regional cuisine served at the hotels was very good with our favorites being the picnic at the Distillery and the dinners at Pedralva. All in all a wonderful Holiday!
By Mr Shrubsole on 05/11/2014
An absolutely fantastic holiday - you see things on a bike that you wouldn't normally see - birds, flora and fauna and of course local villages with delightful local Portuguese people
By Ms Weber on 17/05/2014
Beautiful walks and great hotels - particularly liked Pedralva.
By Mr Brady on 21/04/2014
We understand that Portuguese Railways will not accept corporate bookings so you need to make it absolutely clear at the outset that travellers need to arrange their own rail travel from Lisbon to Tunes and give them clear guidance on how to do that. Their web site is not too easy to follow. You should also make it clear that it is possible to fly to Faro and take the local train from there.
If your guests are arriving in Vila do Bispo on a Saturday, they need to know that the shops noted in your guide book are closed from 1300 and all day on Sunday. However, all is not lost because there is a Lidl supermarket that is 'open all hours' providing freshly baked bread and pastries and a range of other picnic items.
Finally, the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent is not open on Mondays.
By Ms Murton on 14/04/2014
Ludmilla and Tony were both efficient and enthusiastic. April is an ideal time to go to Portugal - longer days and not too hot for walking. It's worth pre-arranging a day to cater to your special interests - we chose birdwatching and wild orchid hunting. We also pre-booked our train from Lisbon to Tunes and got a good discount for seniors.
By Mrs Payne on 06/04/2014
A good holiday, fun accommodation in village houses and one very good hotel at each end, though sadly the weather was really poor for walking on this occasion. The tour reps were absolutely excellent, knowledgeable,helpful and thoughtful.
We would certainly want to go again, though perhaps a one boot+ was too much for me.
By Ms MacEachern on 25/03/2014
Surprisingly quiet routes, wonderful scenery and sunshine, excellent food. Pacing suited us with a day's cycling followed by hiking on our rest days. Pedralva was a highlight in all respects from accommodation and surroundings to food.
By Mrs King on 19/03/2014
I would thoroughly recommend the holiday but perhaps making own travel arrangements.The connection times between Lisbon airport and rain station were over generous. I can only think tis is a failsafe because the trains are not very frequent.One couple had made own arrangements of flight to Faro The train journey to Tunes was much shorter., and connections much more satisfactory
By Mrs Stratford on 17/03/2014
Excellent Holiday and very knowledgeable and helpful Representative.
By Mr Rudd on 10/03/2014
A great place for a cycling holiday. The routes were good and varied.
By Mrs Pogson on 25/02/2014
Cycling through fantastic scenery in mimosa eucalyptus pine scented warm air within a day of leaving flood & storm ravaged UK - wonderful. Tony & Ludmilla are great hosts. Their warm welcome quickly overcame the effects of a long laborious day long journey via Lisbon - Faro & taxi halves the travel time at little if any overall extra cost. The 2 hotels we stayed in are 2 of the best we've had in 20yrs of Headwater holidays. However Pedralva - it no doubt has it's charms but is basically self catering units more suited to summer use. Compared to our 2 previous stops the welcome here was 'grumpy' & our room was cold gloomy & oppressive - more like a cell with 2 v small windows looking straight out at other houses across narrow streets at eye level so no privacy in the bedroom or sitting area without closing little shutters making it even gloomier. The shower room was unheated & there was no hair dryer. A Youth Hostel style kitchen dominated our sitting area - a dirty hot plate, a dustpan & brush in full view as also a slop bucket (ugh) & the upmarket 'coffee making facilities' were of no practical use as no pods - a simple kettle would be much better & more welcoming. The swimming pool is outdoors & was not available so no 'relaxing by the pool' & given the cold location of Pedralva I doubt would be for many of the Headwater months. I was unable to access wifi on my iPad at the designated spot in Reception - I did on the 2nd night with some perseverance find a tiny area in the Bar where I could get a signal. Ah - the Bar! & it's tender & the food he serves in the evenings are the outstanding highlight of Pedralva - make the most of it - the breakfasts are fairly meagre. We felt Pedralva fell short on many of the facilities promised in the Headwater description.
By Dr Griffiths on 23/01/2014
Excellent, especially as we experienced very stormy weather on one day but Tony and Ludmilla kept in touch with us and advised us not to walk; instead they collected us in the van and took us to one of the major sites we would otherwise not have seen. They were outstanding reps, and ambassadors for Headwater.
By Mr Riddaway on 23/01/2014
Tony and Ludmilla were the best reps we have ever had in our extensive experience of Headwater holidays. They went to a great deal of trouble to make the walks more interesting and had produced laminated maps with the walks highlighted. These were far more useful than those originally supplied. Their initial briefing (and the associated written material) and walking notes were really well researched with lots of useful information on the likelihood of shops etc being open. Very useful in mid- January!
The hotels were really excellent .Very good breakfasts in all except one. The free hotel in Lisbon [Plaza Lisboa] at the end of the holiday even supplied us with a complimentary bottle of Portugese fizzy wine on Bob's birthday.
By Mr Setchim on 07/01/2014
Particularly good waymarking made this an undemanding experience.
Luggage transport was by the same team each time which was helpful
By Mr Edwards on 03/12/2013
We were pleasantly surprised by the professional way everything was handled by office staff. The reps who were new to the area were so helpful and were even working on new tracks as alternatives the night before we would use them. It was a lovely relaxing holiday with just the right amount of activity,also the pleasant weather for time of the year helped.
By Mrs Kelly on 29/11/2013
This was our 8th Holiday with you and as ever we really enjoyed our break. We especially enjoyed our stay in Pedralva (took our 2 free nights there). Beautiful area, great walking. All staff at hotels were friendly and helpful. Your reps - Tony and Ludmilla were welcoming and really helpful. Tony's route notes were the best we have come across. Lovely food, quality wines. Good mix of accommodation. Only downside were the number of barking dogs - thankfully mostly on leashes but a bit scary at times (farm dogs and dogs on the properties kind of out of the way) Probably not a lot more that you can do about that though!
By Mis Polkey on 20/11/2013
Lovely holiday. Headwater made all it very easy. Leisurely cycling - nice mixture of exercise and relaxation. Excellent food and accommodation.
By Mr Beaven on 12/11/2013
Excellent organisation and welcome / support from local Headwater reps. Interesting terrain and wildlife.
By Ms Bernard on 00/00/0000
A challenging cycle experience in variable weather, with far reaching views at the end of Europe.