By Dr MacMillan on 10/10/2017
Some of the cycling routes were fairly busy roads, so couldn't stop easily for photos or views. Understand the routes were to get to interesting places, which they did. Latter half of the holiday, the cycling was more enjoyable.
By Mrs Harbottle on 05/10/2017
An interesting mix of scenery around the Ebro - including the most cycle friendly main road bridge we've ever seen. We were pleased we'd packed binoculars to enjoy the great spread of delta wetlands, and a visit to the interpretation centre was well worthwhile. The long trek up the via verde from Tortosa to Horta san Joan was memorable: incredible engineering feat from the original railway builders. We lost count of the tunnels, but most were well surfaced with some lighting. The views were spectacular, but safely fenced off. Last day returning to the coast was, surprisingly, the least enjoyable - almost all road with few attractive rest points and a long uphill. A typically Headwater mix of size and specification of hotels, all with some memorably good aspects. We did know that meals would be late by UK standards, but still found this hard to reconcile with our ideal cycling timetable. The rep was excellent - adaptable and skilled. Glad to have spent time in rural Catalonia seeing the flags and t-shirts on ordinary homes and cheerful families before the area hit the headlines.
By Mr Robertson on 05/10/2017
This was our first cycle holiday on a supported basis, as we usually travel alone. Very good experience and we felt we were left on our own as much as we wanted and yet knew luggage etc was well organised. Arrangements for transporting us and luggage was very good. All Minibus drivers were interested and interesting. Good conversations and pleasant company. Cycling was not demanding and the scenery was just perfect, in fact we will return to Slovenia. Just a perfect location and not one bad word or thought about those Slovenians we met. Great advert for their country and for Headwater.
By Mr Bates on 05/10/2017
This was our first cycling holiday and we will certainly travel with Headwater again. The GPS and route notes worked well together.
By Mrs Wallis on 02/10/2017
On the whole this was a good holiday. We felt we should have had satnav, which we had for our trip to Portugal, as the route notes often lacked sufficient detail and we had to guess where to go. The Ferro hotel is too far from the centre of Modica, a more central hotel would have been better.
By Mr Smyth on 28/09/2017
A pleasurable experience cycling in Puglia
By Mrs O'Hare on 22/09/2017
We have enjoyed at least 10 Headwater holidays since our first rjde in the Loire in 2002, and the Gastronomic Barolo would have to be one of the best witn
We have enjoyed at least 10 Headwater holidays since our first time cycling in the Loire and as we have fravelled all the way from Perth in Australia, we obviously love our Headwater experiences. Gastronomic Barolo Cycling is probably the best in terms of countryside, scenery, accommodation, fantastic cuisine and helpful rep. But i suggest that grading of 2 bike is misleading as countryside is very hilly indeed. Thank goodness that my husband and I who are fit but 70 and 72 chose ebikes! Another couple in their late 60s struggled each day with the steep terrain and had to spend much time pushing their bikes. The weather was perfect for riding but it would have been very difficult if the temperatures were high. Another couple on the ride who are serious cyclists who ride regularly found some sections very difficult. Overall it was a great ride for us as it showed how enjoyable ebikes can be as we still got plenty of exercise to justify eating the amazing 4 course meals; enjoying the famous local wines and enjoying the company of fellow Headwater travellers.
By Miss Perry on 22/09/2017
Lovely way to see the country and get fitter
By Mrs Anderson on 19/09/2017
This is the second holiday we have taken with Headwater and both have been excellent. Two years ago we did the Gastronomic Barollo cycling holiday. Both were really enjoyable. Tuscany was stunning, the hotels excellent and our reps really friendly and helpful. On balance we preferred the Barollo holiday, but only because the cycling is on less busy roads and it is slightly less touristy, but I don't think we could find fault with either holiday.
By Mrs Craig on 13/09/2017
Most enjoyable holiday cycling through beautiful quiet countryside with stunning views. There was plenty places of interest from Chateaux to Caves. The food and accommodation was of a high standard. The Vielle Auberge in Souillac could have been more comfortable but we forgave it for the food.
After reading previous reviews we hired electric bikes this year. This was a good decision as ,although we still had plenty exercise,we enjoyed each days cycle without feeling terminally exhausted. We saw more as we always chose the longer route. It is a very hilly region and definitely a grade 2 cycling holiday.
By Mr Bingham on 13/09/2017
Great family holiday with views second to none. Highly recommend the location and activity.
By Mr Reynolds on 13/09/2017
There was a weakness in the bus and train transfer information!
By Mrs Sims on 13/09/2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our Porto Coastal cycling holiday and thought the organisation and planning was excellent throughout. The hotel accommodation was very good and the varied itinerary enabled us to explore both the interesting towns and delightful countryside of the region.
By Mr Hoffman on 13/09/2017
Fantastic holiday, great service from Headwater at home and at destination.
Hotels were all superb
Cycling was good although couple of the routes were bumpy and hard going (saddle wise!)
The wine tasting was a highlight!
The bikes were very robust and trustworthy.
By Mrs Corrigan on 12/09/2017
The holiday itself was great; Sarah the rep was amazing and very helpful, kind and always available. Agriturismo Lâ€™Albara was exceptional; the food and the people were like family and we had a brilliant time. We really felt like we experienced the area. The problem with the air-conditioning was resolved for us quickly and they couldn't do enough for us. The routes and riding with GPRS worked well, although not too challenging , but as we had a mixed group it was fine. Sarah suggested add ons for the cyclists and they were brilliant.
Our issues were with Head office.
Emails sent with queries and not responded to.
Told that pool towels were available but are charged for, so we took our own only to find out that there are plenty of free towels
Told no hairdryer - there were very powerful hairdryers in all rooms
Requested bike frames and sizes as asked for by head office. When we arrived the bikes are standard and only what are available
Told to take padded seats; the seats are too padded and very wide - we would have been better taking our own saddles rather than gel seats that weren't used.
Printed off a load of paper before going which was really heavy and not needed as it was in resort.
Issue over train tickets and pick ups - resolved but took time.
Would do another cycling holiday to this region and stay at Agriturismo Lâ€™Albara but not with you because of Head office -sorry
Dear Mrs Corrigan,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was great to see you had an enjoyable holiday overall. I have passed on your comments to Sarah; she was pleased to hear you rated her service highly. We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with the service you received pre-departure. Please be assured, we do take all of the feedback we receive seriously and do act upon this to ensure we are continuing to deliver the kind of quality holidays our customers have come to expect. With this in mind, I have passed on your comments to the relevant departmental managers. We would like to apologise for the less than expected service you received and are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mrs McCartney on 11/09/2017
A variety of landscape - coastal, riverside and rolling orchards and vines - with much of the cycling off-road. The steady climb up to Horta was challenging, but worth the effort.
By Mr Millar on 11/09/2017
Nice area though hillier than we expected when we booked. Well maintained bikes, though rather heavy. Good food. We were lucky that we had a cooler than average week for August.
By Mr Katesmark on 08/09/2017
Recovering from recent back surgery, this was the ideal rehabilitation program for me and my family. We had never visited Brittany before and found it an excellent introduction to this lovely region of France; the route for the week was perfectly balanced with activity and rest days and the hotels very well located to explore the ancient and historic towns of Northern Brittany. Our nine year old daughter was very proud of covering 163 km in a week without having to get off her steed 'Scooby' and push once - and the excellent cycling app took about an hour a day off the cycling time as the navigation was almost faultless. Also - the one day it rained, Steve the rep appeared like magic at the restaurant where we had holed up for lunch with the offer of a lift for the last soggy stretch to the hotel - very much appreciated!
By Mr Goddard on 08/09/2017
Organisation and customer care was excellent. Our rep--Jen Toy--was brilliant and extremely helpful
By Mrs Caldwell on 08/09/2017
Excellent routes through lovely rural Italy. First &I last accommodation very disappointing because we thought we would enjoy basic country accommodation &I enjoy the food & wine of the area - we felt this was not the case at this accommodation. Food &I wine at Il Feudo were very poor - accommodation not good - rooms hot &stuffy - noisy -bed not comfortable & very poor lighting.
By Mr Isherwood on 05/09/2017
Headwater picked a fine selection of independently run hotels that were a joy to stay in. The cycle routes were well selected on safe quiet roads and the GPS made them easy to follow. We had a great time
By Mr Spooner on 30/08/2017
Next time I would not cycle in Croatia during peak holiday season., there are so many people around. We cycled very early in the morning which was fine and most of the time we were back at the hotel by lunchtime. Had to walk our bikes a lot of the time just trying to get past the beach goers.
Bruna was a great help, she printed out the directions in a large format so you could read instructions while driving. She also picked us up and drove us past the fjord which is an extremely busy and dangerous road in summer.I also wouldn't have made it up that hill (2km straight up) without having to push the bike.
By Mrs Fletcher on 30/08/2017
It was a very good holiday. The food was good, but nowhere near as good as your Gastronomic Barolo holiday in Italy. The accommodation was of a much higher standard then as well. I think we expected something similar and felt the accommodation and food, though good, was fairly standard for Headwater this time. I'm not sure it was worth the extra money. The route notes were inaccurate in place, but on the whole they were good. The bikes are very heavy for a road holiday and the pump provided was broken. The puncture repair kit is a bit old fashioned and it would have saved the rep a lot of work if the kit had been of a higher standard. The local reps were good and helpful.
By Mrs Mullan on 30/08/2017
Headwater never fails to deliver in putting together a great cycling trip. The holidays offer wonderful variety in terms of the scenery, locations and things to see and do . They also provide places to stay which are varied , high in quality and usually with a unique charm. Added to this the level of service provided by the staff both at head office and the reps on site is first class. This explains why so many of us return to book with Headwater time and time again!
By Mrs Smith on 22/08/2017
The cycle around Lake Constance was an opportunity to experience different weather situations from the comfort of your bike, to see lovely villages, local areas and explore to your hearts content.
By Mr McAlea on 18/08/2017
The cycling holiday to Northern Croatia was a joy. Knowing that your bags were in safe hands and that they would be delivered to the next destination was fantastic. It meant you were able to cycle at your own pace, take in all the sights and scenery, take a dip in the water at your choosing and as many times as you like and stop at a restaurant for lunch along the ways was just the best. A really wonderful holiday.
Brian McAlea, Belfast
By Ms Clarke on 18/08/2017
we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and would recommend it to other travellers.
By Mrs Long on 18/08/2017
See my detailed letter of complaint
Dear Mr Long, Thank you for completing your post-holiday feedback. We were sorry to read that you had cause to complain. Our Customer service team will be in touch regarding your complaint.
By Mrs Emmett on 17/08/2017
This is our third trip with Headwater. The organisation was excellent and the hotels all superbly located and of a good standard. We enjoyed the route immensely, cycling in beautiful countryside with a good mix of mountain and lowlands and coast with amazing scenery.
By Mr Brittain on 17/08/2017
Fautless. The service was excellent from booking to picking up our bikes. Hotels were all unique and food wonderful. We found the cycling a bit much but the countryside was amazing and empty. GPS a great asset.
By Mr Hotchkiss on 15/08/2017
This was our 7th Headwater cycling holiday and by far the best in terms of overall satisfaction - cycling, routes, variety of countrysides(not circular), choice of hotels, prearranged dinner and personally arranged dinners. Previously we have booked gastronomic itineraries but this holiday surpassed our expectations.
By Mr Reed on 15/08/2017
This was a wonderful holiday, the best of several good holidays that we have done with Headwater. The variety of landscapes, routes, and hotels, taking us from the stunning landscapes of Lake Bled and the Julian Alps down through the plains of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the lagoons and coastal islands around Grado, with a variety of fascinating places to visit en route, provided for a wonderful experience. The cycling was superb - the majority on cycle tracks and lanes, with the sections on the Alpe-Adriatica long-distance route often being of a very high quality - sections are gradually being improved and tarmacked each year & hopefully it won't be too long before some of the remaining gravel sections are renewed. My anxieties concerning 'too steep uphill/too steep downhill/too long distances' proved totally unfounded. The local agent, Miroslav, was wonderful. His briefing was thorough, full of advice and illustrated with images on his laptop. We were able to easily contact him when necessary - as on the day that it looked as if thunderstorms and heavy rain forecast would continue into the afternoon, thus would making cycling difficult - he was able to advise on alternatives; in fact the B&B owner had already produced a train timetable and driven Gordon. to the station to show him the route & correct platform, how to get tickets etc - typical of the friendliness and help received throughout the trip. Miroslav also suggested and organised for us to spend a few hours in central Ljubljana before returning to the airport. We also took the train to Trieste from Udine, an interesting city and well worth the visit (having arrived in Udine earlier than expected, by train, the previous day). Thank you Headwater and Miroslav for setting up such a fantastic holiday!
By Mr Coulter on 15/08/2017
A very enjoyable experience, beautiful scenery and amazing food.
By Mrs Hebblethwaite on 14/08/2017
We had a wonderful holiday; the route was varied and interesting with plenty of time for stops, picnics and swimming on most days. It is exactly as suggested a relaxed activity holiday with fabulous scenery. There are enough hills to make the route interesting but not so many to be off-putting; in general I'd say there were more fun down-hills than tiring up-hills with lots of flat in-between. We had standard bikes but were surprised by the number of cyclists in Austria using electric bikes, so if you take this option you will blend in well! We were amazed at the courtesy shown to bikes on the road; we were given space and other road users were really respectful; we could learn from that back home.
As always in the mountains we had varied weather; some really hot days and some very soggy days ... just as you'd expect. We were lucky that we were at the Villa Seilern in Bad Ischl when the weather was really wet so were able to make use of the hotel's pool and spa which are great. The pool is stunning!
The hotels were mostly very good (although the beginning and end at The Post were not the best) and were organised for Headwater guests. In the evenings, food was plentiful and hot, if not always varied but breakfasts were good with lots of choice to fortify for the day ahead. Rooms were lovely and clean.
The bikes were well maintained and modern.... if the weather looks as if it might be wet, take your own lights as there are none provided! Bike storage was no problem; everywhere was expecting us and had good bike facilities. Security of bikes doesn't seem to be such an issue in Austria; many people left bikes unlocked outside shops etc ... we always locked them securely and they were safe.
We had easy access to shops along the way for getting picnic lunches. Eating out in Mondsee was easy and varied.
We used Ride with GPS which is new to Headwater but also had the printed route instructions and maps; if you have the option do both ... there were times when the printed instructions were invaluable (giving more reassuring details) but also times when the GPS was useful as it showed us where we were if we diverted off the route for a reason!) Embrace both and you're covered!
Throughout the holiday we were thrilled with the kindliness and helpfulness of our reps Jill and Colin. The pre holiday postcard was a lovely touch, their were organised, welcoming and very genuine in their desire to help in any way they could. You are in very safe hands with them.
This was our first trip with Headwater and we were very impressed with the organisation of the holiday. We met a couple who were on their 11th holiday with Headwater which we think speaks volumes. We would certainly book with Headwater again.
By Dr Monte on 14/08/2017
It was simply beautiful. Wonderful food, cycling and scenery.
By Mrs Hughes on 14/08/2017
one of the best cycling holidays we have been on. Great cycling and relaxing swimming in warm seas.
By Mrs Ryan on 14/08/2017
The least good headwater holiday we have been on for several years. Not the normal headwater brand experience. Resorts were all very touristy, crowded and full of cheap tourist restaurants. Croatia is beautiful but go out of season! Lack of personal care and customer service from them.
By Mrs Snow on 14/08/2017
other than wrong hotel ..ACE
By Mr Savage on 14/08/2017
Very pleasant cycling on quiet country lanes and tracks, interesting chateau visits, wine tasting and fabulous evening meals.
By Mr Brown on 14/08/2017
1st class service from rep & hotels. Easy cycling over interesting terrain + amazing food
By Mrs Rudd on 14/08/2017
A lovely part of Portugal to visit and a great holiday.
By Mrs Houseman on 09/08/2017
The Austrian Lakes Cycling Holiday met our full expectations, the scenery and the hospitality was superb and the small hills very forgiving to inexperienced cyclists! The majority of the tracks were on very quiet cycle paths through beautiful meadows and villages. However we did find the first hour after leaving the Hotel Post in Weissenbach quite daunting , this may have been because it was a Saturday in high season. So pleased that Jill and Colin suggested that we visit Hallstatt when we were in Bad Ischl , the village and visit to the Salzwelten were most interesting and the scenery breath-taking.
By Ms Moxon on 09/08/2017
Our first cycling holiday and we absolutely loved it. Easy routes to follow, wonderful scenery and amazing food. Wonderful. We were very glad that we travelled by Eurostar.
By Mr Hough on 09/08/2017
Excellent holiday overall staying in some beautiful locations. Cycling was just at the right standard for me and my more mature father. Hotels were well chosen, particularly the Auberge de beursaudiere and the Glycines. Reps Helen and Mike were friendly and helpful when needed. Can't think of anything negative!
By Mr Watts on 09/08/2017
Croatia lived up to all expectations and we would be more than happy to return. Everything about the holiday was first class but it was Bruna that stood out for us - she spent a lot of time with us and came to pick us up to avoid a very dangerous road.
By Mr Booth on 09/08/2017
its a great way to see places in an area of a country, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying different foods, whilst achieving a level of exercise and time to relax
By Mr Waterfall on 09/08/2017
Excellent route and great scenery
By Mrs Bacon on 09/08/2017
This was a first rate cycling trip, with overnight stops at interesting places. Excellent weather helped tremendously and allowed full enjoyment of the amazing mountain scenery as we passed through the Julian Alps. With large sections of the route on an old railway line, it made for relatively easy cycling. The hotels were very varied but quality standards were consistently high. We enjoyed all the overnight stops but especially that in Palmanova, such a fascinating small town.
Having done several Headwater holidays over the years, we would give this holiday our highest marks for variety and quality.
By Mr Billingham on 09/08/2017
Great bikes , routes and on the whole hotels
By Mrs Latchford on 08/08/2017
Lovely area, easy cycling, good food and lovely hotels! Hotel Tuttorotto deserves a particular mention. It is a very special place, the staff extremely welcoming and breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea was fantastic.
By Mrs Peters on 08/08/2017
Croatia is a beautiful, welcoming and friendly country. We were told by locals that we were mad attempting to cycle in high season because it is too hot and the roads are too busy to be safe. Yes it was hot, but there was a good breeze and much of the cycling is on quiet back roads or off-road. We enjoyed exploring on our bikes and felt safe. There is one stretch of dangerous road on the way to Porec that our rep told us she would not allow us to cycle and would drive to pick us up and take us to the other side. She does this for everyone, this could do with being updated in the notes. Fazana and the first hotel were superb, Rovinj was very different but again beautiful and the hotel was quirky and fabulous. The trouble was that the further we went the more touristy and busy it became. Porec was fine but too many tourists and a very ordinary hotel with mass produced breakfast was a bit of an anticlimax at the end of the route. It may be worth Headwater looking into running this holiday in reverse so that it ends on a high. This having been said, it was a fabulous holiday, the crystal clear turquoise sea round every turn was beautiful to swim in, we swam in the sea every day, it was a fitting reward at the end of each cycle ride.
By Miss Murray on 08/08/2017
Cycling the Istrian coast was a prefect holiday. We were able to enjoy the right mix of cycling, swimming and relaxing at the beach. The side trips to small towns were well worth it. The food and wine is excellent. A highly recommended holiday.
By Mrs Ergatoudis on 08/08/2017
Wonderful again!! Our fifth holiday with you & again it was perfect. Perfectly organised routes so that we didn't need to see our great reps from start to finish! Beautiful, well considered hotels which all had really positive things to say about Headwater guests!
By Mrs Seville on 08/08/2017
At the end of a busy academic year two teachers find this the ideal way of switching off and relaxing. All we have to do is pedal by day following pre designated tested routes, often along traffic free cycle paths , then feel fully justified in eating wonderful meals we know will be waiting for us at good local hotels, all booked and waiting to welcome us.
By Mr Reade on 08/08/2017
We had a great experience with Headwater, cycling the hill-tops of Provence in 35-40C heat. The Reps were great;, the bikes eminently suitable for the route; the hotels generally good; the food superb; and we both enjoyed the few days that we had.
By Mrs Flenley on 08/08/2017
active, cultural, sociable, reasonably paced , good relaxation Thank you Headwater
By Mr O'Driscoll on 07/08/2017
The cycling routes were excellent on the whole, though the frequency with which we passed through large areas of plastic covered tomato fields spoiled the views somewhat. The local cycling rep was on holiday when we arrived and another rep, Filippo, had had to travel down from Palermo to Ragusa. Filippo was helpful but his English was poor. He did however manage to change our return journey to Catania from Syracuse, so that we travelled to a hotel in Catania rather than the airport.
By Mrs Gillespie on 04/08/2017
Croatia is a wonderful country and everyone was really friendly and helpful. Bruna, our local rep, made the holiday. She gave us a lift up the busy steep road by Lim fjord and took us to a wonderful viewpoint which we wouldn't otherwise have seen. I would actually say it is a 1-2 bike standard rather than 1 bike
By Mr Owens on 04/08/2017
It was great to stay in one place all week and not have to move on to different hotels. Also we liked the accommodation with swimming pool and the food was fantastic
The cycling was easy and enjoyable. We will probably hire electric bikes next trip which will open up a bigger choice of cycle rides
By Mr Stansbury on 04/08/2017
Exactly as it said it would be. Well organised. Efficient. comfortable.
By Mr Fenton on 04/08/2017
A very enjoyable holiday which surpassed expectations. Bikes, Information, Logistics, Food and Accommodation were all very good. The price is on the high side and we booked extra nights and travel ourselves as the additional charges from Headwater were too steep. Would recommend to friends.
By Miss Oates on 03/08/2017
A relaxed holiday with gentle cycling, excellent bird watching, good accommodation and lovely food.
By Mr Browne on 03/08/2017
Beautiful, varied scenery. Easy cycling most days and some fabulous places of interest, especially if interested in Roman history. The mosaics at Aquilea were fascinating and the audio guide was most interesting. The proprietors of the B @ B at Venzone were so helpful and kind. One of the valves on the tyre of our proved faulty and resulted in a flat tyre. They drove us to a neighbouring town to a cycle repair shop to try to get it fixed. Unfortunately it was a Monday, so all the shops were shut! Miroslav came to our rescue after a couple of hours.
By Mr Davey on 03/08/2017
Fantastic accommodation and food , just make sure you bring well padded cycling shorts, they are a must even with gel covered saddles.
By Ms Scholes on 03/08/2017
A small group of us have been taking a cycling holiday together for 15 years, This was by far and away the best, the food, the hotels, the people, the cycling and the scenery combined it to make it a wonderful experience. We will be recommending to our friends.
By Mrs Wigham on 21/07/2017
After three outstanding trips with Headwater previously (twice to Italy, and once to Spain), we were wondering whether our 4th excursion, 'Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling' could possibly live up to our high expectations. We were looking for an interesting and relaxing break that would immerse us in the Italian culture and suit the mixed cycling abilities of our group (two couples). This holiday managed to satisfy us all. While most of the routes were relatively flat, there were a few more challenging hills and options along the way. Highlights (just to list a few) included exploring the neighborhoods and museums of Vicenza and Padua, getting lost in the maze at Valsanzibio gardens, taking in the view from Villa Lussana after an exhilarating cycle up to Teolo, and the welcoming family atmosphere at L'Albara agriturismo (not to mention delicious meals they conjured up from homegrown produce). To surprise one of our party, we requested a birthday cake along the way. Our rep Sarah wisely chose Villa Lussana as the place for the surprise, and their experienced chef produced an amazing fruit flan right on cue, which helped make the event very special and memorable. There were a couple of slight disappointments - a room 'upgrade' that was of a lower specification than a standard room, and as seasoned Headwater fans we missed the detailed route notes that we've had every other time - but these are only minor niggles that did not detract from what was otherwise an excellent holiday, and great value for money. Thank you, Headwater, and we look forward to our next trip with you - wherever that may be!
By Mr Sheffield on 12/07/2017
Very well organised, all our questions & queries dealt with, any requests for help dealt with promptly, gave us confidence that if we needed help it would quickly be there. Good local knowledge, well planned routes through lovely countryside. Excellent. Lovely helpful friendly reps. All the wine we purchased along the way made it safely back to base for us to take back home with us. No negative comments to make at all.
By Mr Francies on 07/07/2017
Quoting half the actual price is poor otherwise a well-organised holiday
By Mrs Briddick on 07/07/2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in Puglia. We were very pleased with all the accommodation. The route took us through beautiful and vary varied countryside from olive groves and cherry orchards to coastal villages - in other words truly 'contrasts of Puglia'. The people we met were very friendly and helpful and the drivers considerate giving us a warning beep before overtaking. The food and wine on offer was generally locally produced and we felt it was an important part of the Puglia experience. Travelling mid-May meant, however, that the weather was much warmer than was currently the case in England and therefore we found cycling the uphill stretches in 24 degree or higher full sun quite challenging and it gets warm early in the day. We cycled last year in the Veneto - level 1 - and found the Puglia holiday - 1+ - much more difficult with some very steep hills and some very hilly sections. We are all year cyclists not averse to hills but we are over 65. The people we met were very friendly and helpful and the drivers considerate giving us a warning beep before overtaking. Overall it was an enjoyable adventure with lot to see and learn which is what we look for in a cycling holiday. .
By Chilvers on 07/07/2017
Very friendly and approachable reps. Nothing too much trouble. Good support with cycling information.
By Mr Tate on 07/07/2017
An excellent trip for the novice of 'non hardcore' cyclist. Route and cycle paths are excellent - scenery stunning. Accommodation good considering where the route goes.
By Dr Logan on 28/06/2017
Of our 3 Headwater cycling holidays this was the best. The accommodation was better and the cycling was the right amount although we skipped the circular route around Alberobello. The hard copy route guides were better than previous ones and the GPS app with the handle bar bracket worked brilliantly once one had sussed it out. We were fortunate that the bracket was just big enough to hold our phones; it was not big enough to hold the larger smart phones.
By Ms Hardwick on 20/06/2017
Attractive baroque towns and some lovely hotels
By Mrs Pattison on 20/06/2017
Less hilly overall than expected with long very flat rides in between long climbs and some big steep hills. Challenging in the heat. Stunning scenery all the way with beautiful picturesque hill top towns. Wonderful region to visit with friendly locals, great food and wines.
By Mrs Pryor on 20/06/2017
The Dordogne is a beautiful area. Good routes on quiet roads but testing hills! Accommodation is very good and the food lived up to the expectations as advertised. If anything the four course evening meal every night is too much but no doubt others will disagree! We felt the grading system was slightly underrated as at times the hills were testing given the very warm sunny days we enjoyed. Overall a lovely week in a lovely part of the world. Thank you
By Mrs West on 20/06/2017
A great way to visit chateaux in the Loire Valley. All the hotels had pools which were much appreciated after the cycling and the standard of food was very good.
By Mrs Herron on 20/06/2017
This holiday is well organised with reliable backup available if needed. Although we were initially sceptical we found the Ride with GPS system was good when the printed out notes were ambiguous! It would be nice to have more descriptive notes on points of interest on the itinerary. The cycling was varied and on interesting and not too hilly routes often with lovely views to enjoy. We were slightly disappointed with the quality of food, apart from at the Villa Lussana, as it didn't live up to our expectations of what we have enjoyed previously with Headwater. Also breakfasts could be a bit variable in what was offered e.g. in the Belvedere Resort ai Colli there was a 5 Euro extra charge if you wished cheese or cold meat or eggs while in other hotels these were included. On the whole we were made to feel very welcome but I would certainly recommend bringing a travel kettle if like us you enjoy a cup of tea as they clearly do not understand how to make decent tea and also charge a lot for it! Air conditioning is an absolute necessity and it was also of variable efficiency in the different accommodations, actually blowing the lights in the L'Albara Agriturismo when we tried to turn it up a little. However each place had different pros and cons e.g. L.'Albara had wonderful baking and fruit and the freshest lettuce straight from the vegetable garden even thought the main courses were pretty dire! We also had the best Tira Misu I have ever tasted and the pool was a real bonus! In summary a great holiday so long as you are prepared for a variety of accommodation and standards of food,
By Mr Beeby on 13/06/2017
Rheine falls very busy. Should offer stop en-route for rail and more options for long journeys (over 300 miles). Make sure camera charged up every night. Allow time to explore en route on bike. All locals very friendly in every country and willing to talk. All to easy to eat and drink too much. Hotel staff less likely want to speak English.
By Mr Jones on 05/06/2017
Cycling in Bavaria provided us with a lovely holiday with very pleasant cycling along the Danube and other rivers. Good scenery along the way and some interesting towns to explore. Opportunities to visit other towns and attractions on 'rest days'. Good hotels, all well located.
By Mrs Stephenson on 24/05/2017
Fantastic holiday. My husband is a keen cyclist and I am not, but I loved it. The routes were just the right distance and not too many hills. Add in great food and wine tasting and it was a perfect holiday. We made good use of the wine collection service! Already planning which holiday to book next!
By Mr Nicol on 16/05/2017
weather--service--hotels--people--could not ask for any better..this last ride we had gps on the bikes.but sometimes lost signal
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 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 Gough on 25/04/2017
We found this a very enjoyable April holiday, aided by lovely weather. We are only occasional cyclists, but we found the cycling quite manageable although a little challenging on the first day in the saddle. We were the first couple on this revised tour, and the first to use the route notes and did get lost occasionally. However, there were many cyclists around and someone always stopped and helped us get going again. Very friendly and helpful people. The hotels were generally good and well located. Figeures and Girona are very pleasant cities with plenty to do and see on the 'rest' days.
By Mrs Collins on 10/04/2017
The head wind and the final summit to each of the towns to our accommodation were challenging. The March temperature was well suited to the distances and grade of holiday - mid summer experience would no doubt be different - more gruelling and therefore less enjoyable. We were very lucky with the weather - a chilly breeze but plenty of sunshine. The Casa Grande Hotel in Jerez gets our vote for the best hotel of our holiday. It is full of character and charm, the staff were all very welcoming and they served the best breakfast out of all our accommodation. Unfortunately we found the food at lunch and dinner was not inspiring, but that is not the fault of Headwater. We had 2 outstanding meals during our holiday.
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 North on 10/03/2017
Puglia is a fabulous area of Italy. A great variety of terrain with scenic routes.
By Mrs Collins on 27/01/2017
Andalucia has a lot to offer. The cycling aspect of the holiday was not as enjoyable as previous trips we have done with you. Time of year is most certainly part of the equation. The hotels you chose were pleasant enough but didn't quite have the wow factor we have become accustomed to from previous t
The climbs to Arcos and Vejer were very taxing at the end of the day though that has nothing to do with you. The route notes leave a lot to be desired and as soon as you go off road, there is not enough detail and it is quite easy to go wrong. Even the miles meter supplied with one bike was inaccurate, so we really didn't have great confidence in relying on the notes and the maps you supply are awful. We had to resort mostly to. Barry's iPad. All the towns were great
By Dr Tysseling on 11/01/2017
On the whole the holiday was a very good experience, and as our second holiday with Headwater , didn't disappoint.
There were just 2 negatives I would like to highlight.
The Breakfast at La Vista Medina was very disappointing (although the evening meal was very tasty.)
On the second day of cycling I believe there was an error in the cycle notes. Consequently we unwittingly added 13km of muddy, sandy and generally difficult terrain to our trip, which ended up with us back where we started. It says at one point 'go left at the fork by white house with grey bottom' I think it should have said (DONT go left at the fork by white house with grey bottom!' If we had continued straight ahead (which we did after our detour) the rest of the directions then were exactly appropriate.
The rest of the route notes on all other days, and before and after this appeared clear and easy to follow. I assume there was a typo in transcription ?!
Dear Dr Tysseling,
Thank you for taking the time to provide your post-holiday feedback.
It was great to read you enjoyed your holiday overall.
We were however sorry to read of the issues you encountered with the route notes on day 2. Since receiving your feedback, the route notes have been checked and updated as required. We would like to thank you for pointing out this error and apologise for the inconvenience this caused you. We were also sorry to hear of your disappointment with the breakfast served at La Vista Medina. We will continue to work with our suppliers to ensure they deliver the high standards of service and accommodation we expect.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater this winter and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer service team
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 Mrs Kings on 07/12/2016
Great holiday. The cycling was easy with the odd tougher bits but they were short lived. Varied scenery with coast and countryside. The notes/directions were at times diddicult to follow and really need updating because signs have fallen down or gone altogether and new roads have been built with new layouts so the notes are out of date. Monopoli is really lovely Palazzo Indelli is well situated right in the pretty main square. The rooms vary so if you are booking a standard room ask for the larger ones at the back of the hotel because the one we were given at the end of our trip was tiny and noisy being on the side at the front. Corte Altavilla is nice too but the staff on reception were unhelpful and grumpy. I am a coeliac and despite telling them in advance it was the only hotel that did not provide anything for me at breakfast other than fruit. The restaurant in the hotel for the evening was very good. Alberobella unfortunately has rather sold its soul and is very over commercialised. The Trulli are nice but we would have preferred some outside space as they are rather dark. Masseria Salamina is fabulous we had a huge room and you really feel like you are staying in a castle. The swimming pool was lovely and we really enjoyed our stay here. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable trip and we are now looking for another one!
By Dr May on 07/12/2016
We did have a good holiday but experience could have been much better for reasons stated above and below.
By Dr Penney on 07/12/2016
Excellent organisation and friendliness of staff/guides at Headwater. We opted for cycling in Burgundy with the gastronomic option. We're all foodies to a degree but found it was all just too much of a good thing and relished the thought of beans on toast when we got back to the UK. The problem with 5 course meals for a group is that when the meal's over it's time for bed! A wholesome beef casserole would have gone down a treat with time afterwards for a drink or two. The bikes were great and fit for purpose, most of them new.
By Mrs Norfolk on 07/12/2016
Lovely holiday in beautiful part of world
By Mr Riley on 06/12/2016
We now realise that the weather in Andalucia is fickle at this time of year. Off road cycling on tracks was never an option because of earlier rain in the area and the major storm we encountered.
However we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the beautiful countryside, meeting local people and enjoyed eating local food and drinking gorgeous wine. Thank you.
By Mrs Sanderson on 30/11/2016
Excellent route with just the right amount of easy flat cycling and some more strenuous hilly sections. Beautiful part of France with plenty to see and do whilst cycling. Lots of good lunch options too. Another well put together holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed.
By Mr McIlraith on 29/11/2016
This was the very best cycling holiday we have had. Sicily was a fantastic venue with lots to wonder at.
By Mr Ponting on 29/11/2016
A well organised cycling tour thoroughly enjoyed by us both. Hotels were very well selected for the type of holiday, with much good food to enjoy whilst there.
The luggage transportation was good and the Headwater Rep, Steve was amazing! well done to him for all he did for us!
By Mrs Ward on 29/11/2016
Overall a very enjoyable holiday in great locations with good accommodation. The local representives were helpful and cycles and equipment excellent.
* the route guides need to be revisited generally, but specifically in relation to routes through towns. (If you require more specific information, I don't mind speaking in more depth about this.
* The Garbi hotel is satisfactory as a transit hotel....an over night on the way in and out. But should NOT be used for additional add on days. The place is soulless and despite us upgrading it felt no better than some travel lodges we have stayed in. The hotel has great potential because of its location and basic facilities, but it has passed it's best.
* The El Castell hotel needs to be looked at carefully by you for the future. If it continues to develop its wedding reception business which it is doing from information I gleened during our stay then your guests are going to be side lined with regards to service if they find themselves there at the same time as a wedding. They currently do not have the facilities to cater for both.
On arrival after a long day cycling we were told that we could only be booked in for dinner at 9pm ....in the poolside bar. They made as good a job as possible with the space they had. But this is a 4 star hotel which didn't come cheap especially with an upgrade. The other issue with the hotel is that there was not one scap of written information in the room about any of the hotels facilities including opening and closing times. This caused a potential problem on the second day when upon returning from another days cycling we we advised that the earliest dinner booking was 8.30pm. We quickly changed with the intention of getting a snack from the poolside bar. This was at almost 3.30pm and we were advised that the bar did not provide food after 3.30. As it happens the chef was cleaning down and I think took pity on us and provided us with a snack.
By Ms Millar on 29/11/2016
Organisation was excellent unfortunately the route notes were poor leading to us losing our way a couple of times. Luckily the guide was very knowledgeable. She talked us through the section through the Fjord. Once we decided not to cycle that part she kindly agreed to transport us for this section. The route description of the Fjord did not include that this was a busy section with very limited space and no where to push the bikes if we decided that we could not manage the hills. A real omission of Headwater. Our middle hotel room while being comfortable had a locked interconnecting door. Unfortunately the only small child in the hotel was in the next door room which meant that we could not sleep in once the child was awake which was very early. The other two hotels were excellent
By Mr Hockin on 29/11/2016
Was exactly what it said on the can! - it fulfilled our expectations.
By Mr Runciman on 29/11/2016
The holiday certainly lived up to its name: Contrasts of Puglia. We enjoyed beautiful places both in town and in country. Weather conditions ranged from bright sunshine and blue skies to thunder-storm deluges --- but with the offer of alternative transport on the wettest days. Italian food was wonderful. Overall, it was a memorable week, and we are looking forward to a next time.
By Mrs Elliott on 29/11/2016
Suited us well as a mixture of cycling plus time to relax. We cycled each day and were pleased we visited the suggested towns. Pools at the hotels a great advantage. Always a gamble finding a lunch venue in unknown villages but we never had a bad meal all week.
I think we found only two signposts missing but it was easy to work the route out.
By Mr Tennant on 29/11/2016
Great experience but slightly inconsistent and ambiguous route instructions which are very difficult to relate to the overall large maps
By Mr Aung on 29/11/2016
Cycling in Umbria- need to review road going down from Gualdo Cattaneo down the hill to Torre del colle. Steep 15% average with turns .High risk even for reasonably experienced cyclist.Could an alternative route be looked at even if the roads are busier?
By Mr Hughes on 29/11/2016
We had a great week touring Piedmont on our pushbikes Most of the days rides were quite challenging with some steep climbs but fortunately the distances we travelled were quite short We were blessed with fantastic weather in September so the secret was to set off promptly after a great breakfast each day to get to your destination before mid-afternoon and the hottest part of the day
The standard of hotels is very good although the air conditioning in a couple of them was not really very effective The hosts & locals were all very friendly whenever we stopped or needed directions The pre-arranged meals were all of a high standard and there are plenty of excellent places for lunch on the routes
The roads were always pretty much traffic free with occasional tractors & trailers passing laden with grapes
The guest exclusive secluded pool at the Albergo Castiglione deserves a special mention & I will remember our picnic lunch by the pool brought down by the hotel owner & two beautiful daughters on a baking hot day for a long time
All the route plans were accurate & realistic with several options on some days The bikes themselves worked well and the support team Dan & Cat were discreet but attentive
Finally the food, every meal was enjoyable ranging from a delightful local trattoria in the village to the award winning castle. No matter how hard you try I suspect you will eat too much of it! All the hosts seemed happy to advise you & would often let you drink it by the glass rather than the whole bottle if you wanted
This was an excellent holiday & I think reflects Headwaters long experience in organising these sort of trips Well Done
By Mrs Craig on 29/11/2016
This was our best holiday so far with headwater. Each hotel was better than the last. The hotel Le Clos was quaint with lovely breakfasts served in the garden . A new owner was taking over when we were there. Le Deux Chevres was excellent, a very comfortable room and excellent breakfasts and packed lunch. The Chateau Sainte Sabine was stunning. Our room was beautiful with a lovely view over the park .
We cycled every day. From Gevrey Chambertin we cycled into Dijon on our 'rest day' . At Sainte Sabine we did the suggested cycle. On our extra day at Beaune we cycled into town along the cycle path. We were glad that we had booked the extra day to recover at Le Clos. Beaune was very interesting .
All the meals were excellent and well earned! The transport to restaurants, when required, well organised.The distances were doable by 2 slightly elderly occasional cyclists! There are two steep climbs but the views are worth it and offset by some easier stretches by the picturesque canal .
By Ms Pye on 29/11/2016
Perfect. What far better than we could have imagined. The accommodation, food and quality of the cycles were all excellent.
By Mr Baker on 29/11/2016
The two holidays we have had with Headwater were extremely enjoyable. Our first was a walking holiday and the second was a cycling holiday.
By Mr Mitchell on 29/11/2016
Excellent. The best cycling holiday we have done. Fantastic scenery and excellent food.
By Mr Evans on 29/11/2016
Stunning scenery, good food and wine and safe cycleways
By Mr Evans on 29/11/2016
By Mrs Bulmer on 29/11/2016
Overall a very enjoyable holiday. Although not difficult, I do think a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Not sure this was made clear in the brochure.
By Mrs Steele on 29/11/2016
The cycling from Passau to Vienna was a wonderful experience. We were sorry when we had to hand back the bikes as we enjoyed the cycling so much. The holiday was well planned with two day stops so that we had time to explore the beautiful towns en route. Everything was well organised and supported.
By Mrs Barr on 29/11/2016
The website does not make it clear that a lot of the cycling is in built up areas ,which was disappointing and unlike our many previous Headwater holidays.Although all the hotels ,apart from the one in Curia ,were outstanding, I would not recommend this area for cycling.
By Mr Plant on 29/11/2016
Very positive experience.
Interesting series of landscapes/urbanscapes travelled.
Excellent birdwatching along the way.
Very good hotels selected.
By Mrs Collins on 29/11/2016
Our 9 days on the Porto to Coimbra cycling holiday was overall a very enjoyable experience. For those who are not regular cyclists, the first 4 or 5 days, the cycling is along very quiet cycle tracks and mainly flat. The weather was not especially favourable for the first half of our stay, but good cycling temperature. On the other hand, it only rained on the day off and not for long, or at night. We were near the Atlantic coast most of the time, so we didnt get to see the beaches bathed in warmth and sunshine. We cycled along a lot of lagoons and saw flamingos which was exciting and one of the other couples doing the same holiday, was an avid birder and apparently crossed off most of the birds on his list.
Porto is a charming town and the first restaurant that Headwater booked us in for our first evening meal was terrific. Furodouro, the 2nd night's accommodation, hasnt that much to offer, apart from a nice beach and a most welcoming Manager and a lovely indoor pool. The accommodation itself is very
light and spacious.
Aveiro is also a pleasant town, a miniature Venice. The reception recommended a fantastic fish restaurant on the opposite side of the canal, called Mare Cheia, very regional. Excellent hotel, and next door to the Art Nouveau Museum, which is a bit quirky.
The Macarico Hotel in Praia de Mira has a lovely pool on the rooftop. The restaurant, for which you are given Vouchers is good, once you know how and what to order. Not many of the waiters speak English.
The Curia Palace Hotel is extremely grand though not quite as luxurious in its features as we have become accustomed. However there is a huge pool and on the other side of the pool wall, a field with fairly tame fallow deer. The hotel dates back to 1926 and is very much a heritage hotel, with swing music playing in the background at breakfast which is held in a vast ballroom or banqueting hall.
The last hotel in Coimbra is very modern, and you virtually have your own personalised lift. We encountered the only mosquito of the whole trip there! Lovely pool, and it is about a 20 minute walk to the train station, and probably less up to the main part of Coimbra.
The weather and the scenery improved vastly once we headed away from Mira. There are some quite steep hills on the last leg to Coimbra, but we saw electricity pylons layered with nesting White Storks.
By Mr Dick on 29/11/2016
The cycling routes and notes were excellent, the food was gorgeous and the scenery beguiling. Luke & Eleanor were more than welcoming and helpful. When I reported a small technical issue with one of our bikes, it was changed within an hour. The restaurant suggestions were lovely for the nights not on half board.
The opportunity to take a day in Sienna or Florence should not be missed.
By Mrs Cunningham on 29/11/2016
As first time cycling holiday, this was the perfect option for us. Travelling between hotels was really interesting and we could go at our own pace. On our first day it took us 4.5hours to cover just 20km due to a bird-watching husband. Our final ride back into L'Ampolla was substantially quicker! Each part of the holiday was a different experience as we moved from river delta to plain and into the mountains. We enjoyed the variety of hotels too.
By Mr Vakil on 29/11/2016
This was our first experience with Headwater. We were extremely impressed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Our local Rep Sarah was helpful and informative. She knew the area extremely well and had clearly worked hard to develop helpful contacts and provide useful and interesting information about the area we were cycling in. She provided excellent notes and maps and obviously had good relationships with the hotel owners which helped us to feel cared for and welcomed. Sarah is literally the best holiday rep that we have ever encountered. We are full of admiration and gratitude and will definitely book with Headwater again.
By Ms Bowden on 29/11/2016
A very enjoyable cycling holiday exploring the less known areas west of Venice.
By Mr Cummings on 29/11/2016
This holiday is as described. Cycling more difficult at start but definitely got easier. The hotels tended to be on the edge of villages but this didn't matter too much as they had lovely swimming pools and the weather was very hot and sunny.
By Ms Grybaite on 22/11/2016
Nothing compares to an active holiday, exploring local culture at your own pace!
By Dr Wigham on 22/11/2016
This was our third cycling holiday with Headwater. Our first and second were excellent, but this was the best ever. Indeed this holiday now sits on our list of best holidays ever.
Everything about the trip excelled. The bikes were new, comfortable and well set up. The hotels were all excellent, each offered a first class welcome and service. Whilst being very different, from large chain hotels to small family units typical of a B and B, each was special and offered a memorable experience. But most of all what made this holiday was the cycling. The Alp Adria trail is something to behold. 200 miles of dedicated cycle track. Track that is off road for most of the route and as wide as a country road. Because of this the cycling was stress free, and you were able to take in the magnificent countryside in all its glory. Starting in the mountains and finishing at sea level meant that a good proportion was downhill.
The scenery all the way was outstanding. From the mountains of Slovenia, Kranski Gora being particularly memorable. To the salt water marsh areas of Grado. The contrasts were astonishing. The towns passed through were every one interesting with their own history (ancient in most cases). Also very quiet which suited us. Even in July/August, you never felt like a tourist. You just fit in to their normal life.This meant that we were also afforded the opportunity to practice our languages (most spoke English when needed).
We added two days to the end of our trip in Venice. What can be said about Venice. NOthing except that it needs to be on everyones Bucket list.
Overall a fabulous trip, We recommend unreservedly to anyone contemplating a cycling holiday but are maybe not in the best of shape, right up to an experienced cyclist. There is something for everyone on this trip.
I hope this comment communicates how much we loved our holiday. Thank you Headwater for introducing us to this part of the world and to the Alp Adria trail. The rest of Europe, indeed the world should take a good long look at this piece of engineering,it should be a model to all and duplicated by all.
Chris and Liz, Cardiff
Dear Dr Wigham,
Thank you for taking the time to share your holiday experience with us, it sounds like you had a memorable holiday. I am sure your comments will inspire future customers to try this holiday and hope they enjoy it as much as you did.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Ms Cope on 18/11/2016
Please only print this review if you are prepared to print the whole review, on a previous year you extracted the positive elements only, so please use it all or none of it.
We think this is our 8th Headwater holiday so to put it into context definitely one of the best. Great location, cycling routes, hotels and in the main the food. The maps & guides for the cycling were excellent some of the best we've had. We chose this particular holiday as although the gastronomic was not specifically what we wanted, we did want hotels which were in quiet countryside locations, these hotels were all fabulous.
Les Deux Chevres was particularly good, great location, lovely rooms, great service and excellent breakfasts. We added two extra nights at Les Deux Chevres - as recommended by Headwater - it was definitely the best place to have extra time. We also took the train to Dijon (without bikes) and Beaune (with bikes) so the area has plenty to do. On one of our extra days we made our own cycling route via the Vergy villages (Reulle / Curtil) which was also fabulous. The differing countryside is all stunning, the routes give a very varied view of the area, we felt we really had covered this area of France.
Our only minus was one of the dinners in Gevrey Chambertin (La Rotisserie) otherwise all the dinners were absolutely excellent.
This holiday felt more like the early Headwater holidays we went on, when dinner was included in the package. The hotels were usually smallish country or village hotels well off the beaten track, and by default the only place you could have dinner was in the hotel. There wasn't a need to have the hotel in a larger town location which gave options for dinner. We appreciate this doesn't suit everybody but we loved the quirky places we stayed and the more rural locations.
However this holiday did give us what we were looking for, fabulous!
Dear Ms Cope,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire.
We would like to reassure you that do we post all our customers feedback, constructive or positive in its entirety, unedited.
During the completion process, we do advise customers to add viewable comments in the holiday sum up box, if they prefer to enter comments for our information only; they enter in the other comments or suggestions box. Many customers choose to complete both boxes. We then post this information to the relevant holiday page displaying the comments provided. We hope this clarifies your query.
It was great to read this was your 8th Headwater holiday and was one of the best so far. It sounds like you really made the most of your holiday.
We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Bruce on 11/11/2016
Easy cycling, great countryside and good accommodation but take protection against mosquitoes.
By Mr Mathias on 11/11/2016
Good .Poor room in the hotel Carrie Porto small room small window looking across a narrow ally straight into a derelict building.This room should not be let in this state.
Dear Mr Mathias,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. We were pleased to see you had a good holiday, although, we were sorry to read of your disappointment with the standard of room you were allocated at Carris Porto Ribeira. Since receiving your feedback, we have asked the hotelier to ensure they do not allocate this room to future Headwater customers. Whilst we realise this does not affect your holiday, we do hope it goes some way to show we take our customers feedback seriously. We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Aston on 11/11/2016
Lovely holiday - the northern Portuguese seemed very friendly and welcoming of tourists.
By Mr Towers on 09/11/2016
I would advise potential customers to double check that the cycle rating reflects reality. For the Brittany Coastal holiday there is clearly a major discrepancy which completely ruined our holiday.
By Mrs Dillnutt on 09/11/2016
The cycle tracks in Portugal were good and holiday would suit people new to cycling holidays
By Dr Wheeler on 31/10/2016
Excellent, but a couple of mistakes on instructions this time. At Villa Favorita the food needs to be sorted out. Truly poor. Noticed that the owner does not eat the same food as the guests- this speaks volumes. The staff were pleasant and they were very helpful, but the evening meals were inedible. The pasta with tomatoes - which anyone can cook was ruined by the addition of vast amounts of sugar!@! Tuna turned to rubber, and they only had 4 of us to feed that night. Quite the most dreadful meal in 9 trips with Headwater.
Meal at Torre Dantona was brilliant as was their breakfast.
Must just thank Sonia at the Portapalo suites. What a lovely lady. Best breakfast of the trip, and so warm and friendly. The rooms were extremely clean too.
By Mrs Ould on 31/10/2016
Bikes were excellent as were the reps but the accommodation was poor.
By Mrs Blease on 31/10/2016
Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday . Chose the harder/longer options every day and suggest a reasonable level of fitness required to do this. Probably would have chosen easier options some days or rest days in high season when weather warmer - mid October it was around 20C so great cycling/sightseeing weather. Enjoyed all the unspoiled medieval villages. Hotels all high quality but different in character. Will certainly try similar holidays with Headwater in the future.The reps Brian and Olivia were very personable and it was reassuring to know they would be available if required.
By Mrs Craik on 31/10/2016
This holiday was to be a special treat after a stressful year moving house plus a major renovation project. I am not a strong cyclist, and we chose the Catalan Coastal Cycling because it had the same pattern of two night stays with alternate days cycling and at leisure which we had enjoyed two years ago on the Venetian Villas and Vineyards holiday. Headwater emailed on 31 August 2016 in reply to our enquiry to say that all hotels had confirmed availability, so we booked our flights. On 5 September 2016, we got an email from Headwater to say that the Reservation Team at one of the hotels, the Castell dâ€™Emporda, had accepted our booking in error as they already had a wedding booked for what would have been the second night of our stay and could only accommodate us for one night. We had looked forward to the two nights at the Castell as the highlight of our trip, had specially wished to visit the ceramic workshops at the nearby town of La Bisbal on the â€œrestâ€ day, and did not feel confident of cycling around 35 kilometres on each of two consecutive days. I asked if another hotel could be found that could accommodate us for two nights, but was told that this was not possible. Our flights could not be cancelled or changed, so we had no option but to go ahead and accept the offer from Headwater of a refund of Â£72 per person to reflect the difference in price between the Castell and the next hotel where we would now spend three nights. In the event, the two consecutive days cycling were extremely tiring (as previous reviewers have noted, some of the cycling on this itinerary is on off-road tracks which makes it more strenuous than the equivalent distance on tarmac). When we arrived late in the afternoon at the Castell, a large British wedding party was there, with the main terrace area entirely occupied with tables for dinner and live music for them. The upgrade to a suite (offered to us by way of apology for the booking error) was of limited interest as we were there for such a short time, though the complimentary bottle of cava was more appreciated. What I find particularly unacceptable is that when I expressed astonishment that a hotel of this standard could make such a mistake with our booking, Headwater told me â€œit happens all the time, theyâ€™re not very organised out thereâ€. We have been organising our own independent travel to Europe and the US for over thirty years and have never had this happen before. It is no encouragement to use (and pay the premium for) the services of a travel agent. To conclude, I would like to say that the other three hotels we stayed in were excellent, obviously popular with Spanish people, and our two reps, Brian and Olivia, were friendly, helpful and efficient. However, the experience of paying for an expensive holiday which does not turn out to be as expected is not one we are likely to repeat.
By Mr Lovell on 31/10/2016
Headwater Holidays are always an interesting and memorable holiday. The variety of accomodation combined with cycling or walking abroad is a winning formula whether you travel as a couple or with fitness minded friends. We have tried over 10 destinations now over the years including the canoeing down the dorgogne and every combination has been wonderful. The guided walking gives you a chance to see and learn about areas of europe that are off the beaten track and you feel like you are experiencing the real country.
By Mrs Aries on 31/10/2016
I felt safe travelling totally alone and venturing out on my bicycle by myself, secure in the knowledge that assistance would be readily available if required. Happily this was not needed but it made a huge difference to my piece of mind. I hope that Headwater can extend its leisurely options to include other trips. The travel notes routinely described inclines as 'gentle'. Some of these gentle inclines were about as much as I could manage. I now wouldn't attempt any cycling trips in the catalogue beyond 'leisurely'. The hotels were delightful, El Castell d'Emporda being top of my list.
By Mrs Mann on 31/10/2016
The region was flat for easy cycling, except for the climb up to the Parador Tortosa!! but it was fun trying. Allan made it to the top! All the hotels were great . A good mix of eating options.
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 Mr Beaumontthomas on 31/10/2016
Our first Headwater holiday and we can really recommend Umbria as a destination. We worried about whether the bikes would be up to scratch and the potential restrictions of half-board, but on both counts we were pleasantly surprised. The week's route circling the valley meant that the long views often included hill towns we'd visited or would be visiting. This created a real sense of achievement! And most of all, the fantastic cycling meant we could indulge in all that amazing food and wine and still come home only a couple of pounds heavier!
By Mrs Mitchell on 31/10/2016
Easy pedalling in the sun with local cuisine and a great chance to be somewhere where English is hardly spoken!
By Mr Ridley on 31/10/2016
Excellent holiday but, perhaps, not so much n the shoulder season.
By Mr Long on 31/10/2016
Great all round experience
By Mrs Davies on 31/10/2016
Have been on a few of your holidays and they have always been very very good.
By Mr Raper on 31/10/2016
An opportunity to experience something different in a beautiful part of the world with the benefit of the professional way Headwater looked after us.
By Mr Laxen on 31/10/2016
We really enjoyed our holiday, but because we chose the 10 day option, which included 4 nights in the hotel we liked least, Albergo La Macchia (all other hotels were 2 nights) we ended up being disappointed with this part of the trip. On one of our days off we took a train from Spoleto (very easy, but remember to validate tickets) to do a one day visit to Assisi (get the bus from the station to the last stop then walk down through Assisi), rather than stopping off for a short time on the last leg of the cycling. It was better to have a relaxing time to wander through Assisi. We will will certainly be thinking about another Headwater holiday.
By Mr Hodgson on 31/10/2016
Enjoyable relaxing holiday, with good mix of activites, beautiful scenery,great food and comfortable hotels, highly recommended!
By Mr Marsh on 31/10/2016
Everything was well thought though, GPS, local mobile and bike equipment. Very relaxing and enjoyable holiday
By Mr Levitch on 31/10/2016
We have always found Headwater to be a most professional company in their approach and this holiday proved to be the same. However, due to both of us coming down with a nasty cold virus virtually from day one, we also found a caring and flexible company in the Local Agent who offered helpful suggestion's and bike transfers on bad days. Now in our September, years this was important and will bring us back to Headwater in the future.
By Mrs Pincott on 31/10/2016
The Secrets of San Gimignano holiday was fantastic. Eleanor and Luke, the reps, simply could not have been more helpful, the cycling was excellent (but hard work - Tuscany is hilly) and the hotels and food amazing.
By Dr Garton on 31/10/2016
Takes you on new journeys
By Mr Pocknell on 25/10/2016
We have had a wonderful holiday with Headwater. Everything was well organised and thought out. We have cycled through gorgeous countryside, with great scenery and the majority on quiet country roads. Perfect as always somewhere nice to stop and have lunch on route and cheaply, eaten miles too much but then have cycled it off ðŸ™‚
By Mrs Tully on 14/10/2016
We have been on a few other trips with headwater and this was our least favorite. There are a number of problems with the instructions. The area is not as scenic at the time of year we rode as others. The distances are quite short with little to do once the ride is over. There are things that need to be thought out and tips and pointers given such as availability of taxis to St. Remy and restaurant/store availability. Still a number of bugs that need to be worked out.
By Mrs Huddart on 14/10/2016
Hilltop villages of Provence
This was an excellent holiday, lovely scenery and good hotels and we had a lot of fun. Days 1 and 3 are quite challenging and justify the 2 bike plus rating but the other days are not overly taxing, and there is no shame in pushing your bike up the hill into Gordes! If you start the cycling bit of this holiday on a Sunday there is an excellent market in Isles sur la Sorgue where you can get picnic supplies...although pushing the bike through the packed town was a bit challenging.(I would give this holiday 5 stars)
Vineyards of the Vaucluse
Pleasant cycling through some enjoyable countryside, and lots of good wine! Le Grand Jardin is one of the loveliest places we have stayed. The food at Castel Mireio was delicious and the service (unlike a previous reviewer we didn't find it slow) and welcome very friendly. We are not quite sure it merits anything higher than a one bike rating - some of the distances for full days cycling were a bit short (but we had done 'Hilltop Villages of Provence' the week before so this may have coloured our view). It is not a very touristy area (apart from Vaison la Romain) so many places you visit are quite quiet.
(I would give this holiday 3 stars)
By Mrs Rees on 13/10/2016
This was our first holiday with Headwater which did not disappoint. The scenery was beautiful, with the contrasting coastal and inland areas. We particularly enjoyed visiting all the medieval villages along the routes, especially Pals and Peratallada, although finding places to stop for refreshments in the smaller villages was sometimes rather hit and miss. The weather was lovely and warm, ideal for cycling, and the route notes were good for the most part. However, some of the forest tracks were a bit harder to cycle along. As regards accommodation, Hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for its excellent service, superb facilities and the most delicious food of the holiday. Our reps Olivia and Brian gave us great service too. We have been on cycling holidays with other companies before and they provide a small front pannier on the bikes, so perhaps Headwater could consider doing this also.
By Mr Moore on 13/10/2016
This particular holiday, cycling in the River Ebro region, offers the traveller a wonderful variety of scenery and opportunities to explore this relatively unspoiled part of Spain. Value is added by the extremely friendly and accommodating locals. The HW sourced accommodation was superb and the in-house dining second to none. Dining outside of the hotels was relatively cheap and of a very high standard.
Sections of the route instructions contain inaccuracies which, for us, simply added to the fun, though they should perhaps be revisited as they could cause problems for the more diffident.
Our reliable and extremely helpful representative in country did a wonderful job of making us feel welcome and we felt reassured that we could call on her any time in case of a crisis. Well done Triona!
By Ms Barbour on 13/10/2016
The Heart of Veneto cycling tour was a very positive experience for us. The rides were interesting, the distances appropriate and the cycling notes were very clear. Sarah, our Headwater rep, was very helpful and approachable. Lâ€™Albara, our Agriturisimo accommodation, was perfectly fine, the farm interesting and the meals delicious but there wasnâ€™t a lot to do in the evenings. Happily, we became acquainted with 3 friendly, fellow cyclists from Britain and at our dinners every evening we shared the dayâ€™s experiences amid laughter and lively conversation. We would definitely choose Headwater again but would choose a tour on which we would stay in a different place every evening,
By Ms Linsell on 13/10/2016
Good healthy weeks holiday
By Mr McGeoch on 13/10/2016
This holiday has given us the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful villages in Provence under our own steam and away from the crowds you'd find on a typical coach trip The exercise of cycling during the day is a great appetite-sharpener for enjoying some excellent food and local wines in the evening.
By Mr Lamb on 13/10/2016
Another fantastic Headwater cycling holiday! The scenery was amazing, hotels were all high quality and in excellent locations. The cycling was undemanding and very enjoyable, linking up lots of interesting and attractive places. We are already thinking about next year's holiday!
By Mr Burch on 13/10/2016
Good pre-booked accommodation, excellent notes and seamless baggage transfer between locations meant that we could focus on enjoying our cycle ride along the Danube. We would have no hesitation in recommending this holiday to potential future travellers.
By Dr Brech on 13/10/2016
Despite being in a National Park, this was a less rural holiday than we were expecting. While some of the routes are rural in nature, you are never out of sight of a dwelling and you are on, or next to, or crossing, busy roads quite a lot of the time. Italy is also home to a plague of noisy motor bikes and scooters but I guess this is part of the culture! That said, the hotels and the food were mostly very good. We did an extra two days in Teolo which worked well and gave us two days in Padua (easy bus ride) as well as a pleasant local hike. Rep Sarah was as good as we had been led to believe and gave us a most detailed briefing. Her route notes were also excellent.
By Mr Crawley on 04/10/2016
PThe cycling was not good. Along coastal parts there was rather a lot of pedestrian congestion along the many campsites. Inland some of the tracks were rough shingle
Inland in other places there were too many busy roads. In fact your rep very kindly too us by van over a busy section - it was her idea. The route was not too pretty, but some of the small towns were delightful
Dear Mr Crawley,
Thank you for taking the time to write in with your post-holiday feedback.
We were sorry to read you found the cycling more congested than yo had expected in some areas. As this region increases in popularity it does tend to be busier during high season, this is why, where possible, we take you off the busier roads onto the tracks and paths less travelled, however, this can sometimes mean the paths are not as smooth as the main roads. Please be assured, we do review all of our routes and customer feedback annually and will make any changes or adjustments as required.
We were pleased you found the service provided by our local rep useful and that she was on hand to offer you a lift during a particularly busy section of the route. We were also pleased you enjoyed your time spent in the small towns.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater this year and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Napier on 04/10/2016
Mostly excellent, but disappointed there were more main roads than on previous cycling trips with Headwater.
In our opinion Alberobello should be dropped - too much of a tourist trap and not a 'Headwater' type destination.
By Mrs Shepherd on 04/10/2016
A pleasant way to experience 'off the beaten' track regions through a very manageable itinerary and allowing for a high level of independence whilst in the comfort of knowing the back up is there if required. The quality of both bikes and hotels excellent - would use Headwater again.
By Mrs Lamont on 04/10/2016
Lovely place to stay, great food. Wine a little expensive at the farm.
By Mr Norman on 04/10/2016
route notes could be better but otherwise great scenery and people
By Mr Valentine on 04/10/2016
A lovely area to holiday, with beautiful scenery, and great hotels (we particularly liked the Mas and the Bastide for their settings, and the welcome from the owner of the Hotel Ste Anne was extremely helpful and welcoming - she had lots of ideas about what to do and see around Apt, and gave us details of rides in the area). Our first reps were clearly new to the area but were very helpful. We'd definitely book another Headwater holiday.
The notes for Day 2 (the section for Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to Fontaine de Vaucluse) are confusing. We think you've got your D25 and D24 mixed up, and perhaps the distances as a result as well.
The notes for Day 4 (the section for Roussilon to St Saturnin les Apt) in the paragraph starting 'Continuing on, with the mines...' mentions 'Go straight over the roundabout...) You would only do this if returning back to the roundabout after having taken the 1st exit to go to the shops and the cafÃ©. If you hadn't taken the 1st exit, but taken the 3rd, you'd be left wondering where the second roundabout was that you were supposed to go straight across!
By Mr Hutchison on 04/10/2016
Exercise, fresh air, excellent food and drink and, as ever with Headwater, getting to know a new area pretty well.
By Mr Newberry on 29/09/2016
A great introduction to the pleasure of a cycling holiday, wonderful varied scenery with ever changing views at every turn and well chosen stopovers.
By Mr Harrison on 29/09/2016
Excellent way to experience the beauty and friendliness of Croatia and in particular the Istrian coast. Bikes excellent and fit for the sometimes stoney cycle paths. Not as daunting as we had envisioned bearing in mind we are both over 70. Rep excellent and very helpful. All accommodation is well chosen and perfectly located. A cycling holiday with an emphasis on the holiday aspect.
By Mrs Freedman on 28/09/2016
A healthy way to explore a new part of the world, if you want it to be! Very easy to reward oneself after a cycle with fine wine and food, but after all it is a holiday! Travelling self guided allows one to be completely flexible, but others might prefer to have a leader to avoid unnecessary cycling, should one take the wrong route.
Would certainly recommend this type of holiday for a group of friends.
By Ms Skinner on 28/09/2016
They said we were mad- ' too hot!', ' too hilly!' ' too far' - they were wrong! We went in August and we are both only moderately fit and over 60. We have never enjoyed a holiday so much. Because you are cycling there is always a breeze. I would recommend taking ' camelpacks' ; these helped us to drink enough water and kept the water cool. Together with factor 50 liberally applied in the morning we never burned nor were we uncomfortable.
There was always a place to grab a juicy nectarine, cheese and bread en route and a swim at the end of the day before delicious evening meals in all the hotels.
We were greeted like royalty and slept like babies. I am officially in love with Italy.
So , any improvements? Yes, we went awol from Torgiano so that we could spend a whole day in Assisi. Assisi is so beautiful that it deserves more than a quick exhausted ramble in the middle of a cycle so, personally I would have preferred to stay closer to the this wonderful town rather than in Torgiano which was rather small and a little uninteresting.
Spoleto is also stunning and we extended our holiday both here and in Rome. Can't wait for the next one.... Now to choose.
By Mrs Little on 26/09/2016
A wonderful taste of Provencal scenery, wine and food!
By Mr McGinn on 23/09/2016
Good, bikes, good hotels, delicious food and wine, what more could you wish for.
By Mrs Campbell on 23/09/2016
Great Fun. Lovely area and great cycling.
By Mr Kamper on 23/09/2016
Lovely coastline easy cycling
By Mrs Wege on 15/09/2016
Very good, but next time would try a higher grade of route
By Mr O'Sullivan on 14/09/2016
excellent. very informative guides and route plans with excellent accommodation provided
By Mr Bennett on 14/09/2016
An excellent first bike trip to the Loire, with 8 nights seeming just about right. We could not have eaten much more of the multiple courses of excellent food. Lovely experience to visit so many interesting towns, villages and chateaux en route, without having to drag the luggage around. Some beautiful countryside and riverside landscapes to explore. Comprehensive maps, directions and travel tips - as well as very helpful and professional Reps - were very useful to help us get the most out of the trip.
By Mrs Caruthers on 14/09/2016
If you like being outdoors and lots of exercise, this is a perfect balance to stay active and work up an appetite to indulge in the gastronomy and wine. Compared to the South East of England the lack of traffic and potholes is wonderful!
By Mrs Capper on 12/09/2016
A very enjoyable holiday. A good opportunity to see a foreign country. Safe cycling routes and good hotels.
Olivia and Brian were good reps, giving us enough local information without going in excessive detail. We felt they were available if needed, but fortunately did we not have to contact them at all (apart from travel during the stay)
By Mrs Jones on 12/09/2016
Cycling was mainly along flat cycle ways and quiet roads although some of the cycle track surfaces were a little bumpy. The hotels were a very good standard, meals, whether taken within or outside the hotels, were very good, especially the fresh fish dishes. Porto was well worth seeing and an interesting city. A bus trip to Costa Nova from Aveiro is worth doing to see the pretty painted houses. The cycle along the estuary and nature reserve was very enjoyable watching out for flamingoes and other seabirds and we were lucky to be doing this at low to half tide when the wading birds and lots of local fisherman, digging for cockles and clams, can be seen. On the beach at Praia de Mira we were lucky enough to see the local fishermen hauling in their nets full of sardines. The final cycle from Praia de Mira along the water canals was a lovely cycle too.
By Mr Holt on 09/09/2016
A really lovely week touring a rural area of Provence. The scenery within the Luberon valley, protected by the two wooded and rocky ridges was delightful, shame we missed the lavender in bloom (late August) but the fruit trees and vineyards were pretty scenic. The grading is fair, one or two climbs to the hillside villages worth it for the views and a welcome cool drink! Accommodation on the whole, whilst modest, was acceptable, the highlights being the pool at Les Mas de Senecole and the 'Country Home' lounge at L'Hermitage. Not terribly taken with St Saturnin les Apt as a stop, either as a village and particularly unimpressed with the Hotel St Hubert. Routes well planned on country lanes and bike tracks but still offering interesting stop off points - we loved the Caves at Thouzon, not least for its cool temperatures on a hot day! Great reliable support from reps Laura and Tim.
Dear Mr Holt,
Thank you for taking the time to write in with your post-holiday feedback. It was great to read you enjoyed a lovely week in Provence.
We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with Hotel St Hubert. Over the course of the summer, we monitor the feedback we receive from our customers. We then use this feedback to help us to improve our holidays for future customers. With this in mind, we have made the decision to change this hotel for the 2017 season. We are sure you will agree, this will help us continue to enhance this holiday.
We were pleased to read you rated our reps support highly. I am sure they were delighted to read your comments.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs McKay on 07/09/2016
Beautiful scenery. Cycling hard at times - some demanding hills. Hotels very good with individual attractions. Pools a great asset at end of a hard day cycling or on day off. Lots of good (and cheap) cafes on route. Interesting places to visit including Montefalco. Assisi very busy and expensive.
Overall a great holiday.
By Mrs Frank on 07/09/2016
A perfect holiday for cycling softies, we loved the fact that most of it was on beautiful scenic paths, (we certainly wouldn't have enjoyed cycling on Italy's busy roads). We loved the days in between visiting historic villages and sites and really enjoyed the changing landscape as we descended from the alps in Slovenia to the coast in north east Italy. The handbook provided by Headwater was very useful when looking for things to do and visit on the non cycling days.
By Mrs Cox on 06/09/2016
Beautiful quiet region of Italy. Family at L'Albara are very welcoming. The food is excellent. A real get away from it all experience. This is our second visit and it was just as good the second time. Would happily go back again.
By Ms Catterall on 05/09/2016
Lots of planning 'legwork' saved by going through Headwater. Hotels all carefully chosen for their individuality. We had the back up of a large organisation but the personal service of, what seemed, a much smaller one. Great standard of evening meal on the Gastronomic tour.
By Mr Roberts on 05/09/2016
We were initially nervous about a holiday which was managed locally by an agency other than Headwater. Our previous experience had not been great. However we need not have worried. Donau Touristik were hugely well organised and the bikes were excellent. The cycling was just about the flattest we had ever experienced and, partly because of the excellent weather, partly because of the excellent food and accommodation, this was as enjoyable a holiday as we have ever had.
A couple of small blemishes. At Bregenz on the first night we were served only a three course meal instead of the advertised four. (We only realised subsequently about this when we returned on the final night).
Hotel Buchornerhof was not in the same league as the other accommodation. We were served the wrong food on one evening and the air/conditioning leaked. The staff's hearts did not seem to be in their work as it was in the other hotels.
One warning - wine in the hotel restaurants (especially the Swiss ones) is very expensive indeed.
These are small gripes. It was a great holiday and I'd do it all again anytime.
By Mrs Riviere on 30/08/2016
This is a great family holiday: the cycling was pretty easy for all of us (the children were 15, 13 and 10), but there was enough challenge for us to feel proud of ourselves by the end of the week. The routes were incredibly easy to follow, and took us through wonderfully varied terrain - through beautiful fields of sunflowers, past vineyards, through shady forests and along the rivers Cher and Loir. Every day brought something new to see or do. The roads were all quiet and there were lots of well-maintained cycle paths. The hotels were well-chosen and welcoming, and the only downside of the week was that we ate far too much delicious food! The back-up from James and Hazel, the local reps, was fantastic, and the bikes themselves were excellent. We're looking forward to another cycling holiday soon!
By Mr Francies on 30/08/2016
Harder work than I expected - August too hot for long cycles - Restaurants selected weere good
By Mr Self on 30/08/2016
The countryside was pretty and the places we stayed in had narrow, windy roads barely wide enough for a car which were intriguing to explore. Snorklling was fun and there were fish to see from waist height just standing in the water. The cycling was not overly challenging but the heat had to be managed with plenty of water and early starts.
By Mr Davies on 30/08/2016
This was our first cycling holiday abroad so we were looking for a central base from which we could explore on a daily basis rather than living out of suitcases. With hindsight I'm not sure we could have chosen better. The accommodation was superb (in particular Angelina's cooking!), the cycle routes of the right length (such that we had time to ride the mornings and relax in the afternoons) and there were opportunities to visit Vicenza or go further afield.
By Mr Twiss on 30/08/2016
The ride down from Bled to Grado was a great trip. Except for the two short days at the end of the trip our days were full of wonderful scenery and beautiful towns. The majority of our hotels exceeded expectations being in great locations with good service and food. Stopover destinations were interesting and Udine, Palmanova and Grado were especial delights. Support from the Slovenian team was good and as usual the Headwater experience was one we will repeat.
By Mrs Granville on 30/08/2016
Great hotels and food - a great trip in a beautiful region..
By Mrs Fuller on 30/08/2016
lovely holiday with easy cycling through attractive countryside and interesting hotels each with their own charms.
By Mrs Clark on 30/08/2016
Wonderful way to see a country on a bike, real sense of achievement when you arrive at a new destination by bike. A fair amount of exercise - not too strenuous, but much better than sitting on a sunbed all week.
By Mr York on 30/08/2016
We've done several similar cycling holidays in Europe and this was up there with the best.
By Mr Berndsen on 23/08/2016
Great cycling. Authentic hamlets, nice quiet route.
By Mr Bridges on 23/08/2016
Bikes and Cycling routes excellent. Very good choices of varied hotels - all very good locations. The Brittany coast is best seen by bike!
By Mr Breach on 23/08/2016
A great holiday, well organised and not as physically demanding as we imagined. Steve was a very knowledgeable and accommodating host. Please let him know that I was reunited with my wedding ring and that I think we found the hidden aircraft factory that he told us about.
By Mr Otter on 23/08/2016
Croatia and the Istrian Coastline are a gem and offer a variety of historic and scenic opportunities.
By Mr Mullan on 23/08/2016
Headwater never fails to please. We have holidayed with them on three occasions now, love their routes, their choice of hotels and attention to every detail.
By Mrs Jackson on 23/08/2016
Being able to easily visit several locations made the holiday much more interesting, and so nice not to have to think about where to park the car. Electric bikes gave us so much freedom to see more things at our age (66 and 76!)
By Ms Kimsey on 23/08/2016
We enjoyed our holiday in the lovely countryside and the cycling routes were scenic but it would have been nice to cycle past some lavender fields as they feature so prominently in postcards and appear in the brochure. We particularly enjoyed the traditional country hotel at the beginning of our holiday including breakfasting outdoors and the outdoor dining and leisure area of Montmirail was particularly nice. It is nice to return from a cycle to a relaxing swim. The food and wine is generally excellent and gives the opportunity to try some regional specialities. We really enjoyed our holiday.
By Mrs Ricketts on 23/08/2016
We had a lovely cycling holiday on the Cotes to Ventoux tour. The reps were great in picking us up and explaining about the bikes and timings etc. The hotels were lovely especially the first 2, which had the best food too! It was nice cycling along at our own time and the notes were good in explaining where to go so didn't get lost.
By Mr Jackson on 23/08/2016
A superb holiday, tailored exactly to our needs and specifications. Our reception from our reps, Luke and Eleanor, was outstanding: nothing was too much. Very personable and up-beat - exactly what you want on holiday. Headwater's hotels are second to none, in perfect locations and with wonderful facilities. I can not recommend Headwater holidays high enough.
By Mrs Rawle on 23/08/2016
Very good cycling with very few up-hill stretches, lots to see and do en route - we would gladly do the holiday again. Bikes were comfortable and easy to use. The routes are largely on cycle paths that kept us feeling safe from traffic. All the hotels made us feel very welcome. Everyone seemed to understand pidgin Italian or German, or English so communication was rarely a problem. M Tours reps were reliable and helpful.
By Mrs Moynihan on 23/08/2016
We had a superb holiday cycling in the Loire Valley. At times I felt i was cycling through a picture postcard, the scenery was so beautiful. The cycling was manageable for our 12 year old twins and the bikes were an excellent standard. The roads were quiet and the French were very polite and patient with cyclists (unlike British drivers!). The food was excellent quality
By Mrs Shorney on 23/08/2016
Beautiful scenery, wonderful dining and comfortable cycling in a lovely part of the country
By Mr Davies on 23/08/2016
This was my fourth holiday with Headwaters and have enjoyed them all
By Mr Crockett on 23/08/2016
Great way to explore Italy.
By Mr Timothy on 23/08/2016
Great holiday. Our rep Sarah was really helpful and ensured everything ran smoothly. Was sick on first day of arrival. Sarah and the people running the hotel helped me straight away so that I was able to get better and enjoy a great holiday. The scenery is stunning and people so friendly and helpful. Also the food was delicious in every place we stayed. You would pay an awful lot for that standard of food in the UK. We went in July so the weather was really hot in the afternoon so make sure you take lots of shade and water breaks.Was a fun holiday.
By Mr Peacock on 19/08/2016
The 'multi-choice' approach to answering disguises the variable nature of the accommodation and cuisine. The route notes (for cycling) were written in almost narrative style and A4 landscape which may be appropriate and helpful to walkers but were cumbersome and awkward to follow for cyclists. Some defences were clearly lifted from walking notes e.g. references to maps not available to cyclists.
By Mr Guthrie on 19/08/2016
Headwaters choice of hotels / restaurants resulted in us having some superb meals.
By Ms Kidney on 17/08/2016
A wonderfully well planned holiday in the most beautiful surroundings with quality accommodation.
By Mr Benner on 17/08/2016
the provision of laundry local laundry services would be much appreciated.
By Mrs Fleming on 17/08/2016
Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Quite sad when it finished. Could easily have kept going
The routes were lovely, mostly on cycle tracks which was great and well planned mileages.
Especially enjoyed Slovenia. Would like to go back.
Hotels generally of a very good standard although next time we would make requests eg. for a quiet room or room with good outlook
By Mrs Cornish on 17/08/2016
Gentle cycling through beautiful countryside - with stunning chateaux to visit - fabulous fragrances in the air - luxurious accommodation and wonderful food and wine. At the end we were fitter - but possibly fatter too!
By Mrs Malone on 17/08/2016
We cycled 5 out of 7 days. Joanna met us on arrival and got us on track. The trails were very easy to manage - the GPS was a superb tool. The scenery was magnificent, and we really saw the hidden Portugal. The cycle lanes were completely segregated from the roads and this made for a relaxed and peaceful experience. Each evening we arrived at our hotel to a warm welcome and our luggage in our room. The standard of all the hotels was extremely high and they were all in beautiful locations. The printed maps and route descriptions were also helpful, and the level of difficulty ultimate ascribed to the cycle was accurate.
By Mrs Hoskins on 17/08/2016
An unforgettable experience travelling in rural Portugal, getting to see sights other holidays don't offer, off the beaten track, just the right amount of effort for cycling. Excellent choice of hotels, although not the best views! Very good help from rep and good support offered. Nice to know the baggage was taken care of although we arrived before it at one location and it was 5.30pm before they arrived! We could cycle the route at our own pace and felt secure in the knowledge that we were being taken care of and knew where we were going with very good instructions and maps.
By Mrs Evans on 16/08/2016
Fantastic service from Steve and great routes to cycle. The Manoir des Portes served the most wonderful food. Both the Manoir and the Hotel Printania were full of character and gave wonderful service. Thank you!
By Mr Hutchison on 16/08/2016
I can't imagine any other type of holiday that is so satisfying in terms of exercise combined with relaxation, visiting new places, and truly excellent food & drink.
By Mrs Eagle on 16/08/2016
Cycling the Istrian coast was such a wonderful holiday for myself and my husband. The sea was gorgeous, some of the routes were a bit bumpy and confusing but each location was so beautiful it was incredible. Food was great in the first two hotels and such stunning locations. We would definitely recommend to a friend and think about going on another holiday with headwater.
By Mrs Ainscough on 16/08/2016
Great cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops - definitely a great way to explore the region - you can smell the lavender fields and really enjoy the countryside. Both Keith and Claire were excellent reps - really friendly, helpful and flexible in every way. The food at Dame L'Oie in Perne la Fontaine was superb as was the food at Hotel de Sable. Quality of the bikes was very good. The itinerary for the rest day at Maubec was a little underwhelming as we felt the villages weren't that picturesque with few options for coffee/stop-offs and only managed to get lunch at the last stop in Robion. We would have preferred to go back to Lacoste and Menerbes which we had whizzed through the day before.
By Ms Young on 16/08/2016
The area is beautiful with many castles to visit and easy to cycle. Food is gourmet & delicious, many restaurants and cafes on route. Plenty of history. Weather is great. Though problems I mentioned need to be dealt with.
By Mr Furness on 08/08/2016
This was our first self guided cycling holiday and it lived up to our expectations . From the office to Brian and Olivia , the service was excellent,professional and personable. The quality of hotels was of a very good standard with superb food and locations. The routes were were diverse, interesting, well supported with comprehensive notes and gave us the feeling that we had really seen and experienced the region. Brian and Olivia were hugely supportive , caring and very personable . We felt that we were not alone on our first cycling trip and they were a phone call away if needed. We really enjoyed our holiday and looking to another one next year in another European country. Mark and Philippa Furness.
By Mr Merryweather on 08/08/2016
Leisurely cycling tour through beautiful and quiet countryside with leisurely breaks at excellent hotels, providing sufficient time to visit chateaux and gardens along the way.
By Mrs Bailey on 04/08/2016
A lovely week of gentle rides on quiet roads through beautiful countryside. At the end of the day we could look forward to a few hours relaxing by the pool at the wonderful agriturismo L'Albara, before a truly magnificent evening meal. We loved every minute.
By Mr Clarke on 25/07/2016
Careful consideration of grading and your own physical ability. Whilst every care is taken - cycling can be strenuous. Using electric bikes solves everything! ( But less exercise- but great for hills and admiring the country side! Using e-bikes helps multi generational inclusion and would enable less strong cyclists to participate easily on harder routes.
By Mr Clayton on 25/07/2016
OK but accommodation, especially Auberge de la Chappelle, which was pretty poor, ordinary for the price and not representing good value.
Dear Mr Clayton,
Thank you for taking the time to provide your post-holiday feedback. Please be assured, we do review all of the feedback we receive to ensure we continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future.
With this in mind, we were sorry to read of your dissatisfaction with the Auberge da la Chappelle. You may be pleased to hear that we have made some changes to this holiday for the 2017 season, these include a revamp to some of the routes and we will no longer be using the Auberge da la Chappelle.
We are sure you will agree that these changes will continue to add to the overall enjoyment of this holiday.
We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Druett on 25/07/2016
Exxcellent trip,superb reps,only complaint food at Les Pins - an uninspired menu for the demi pension. No choice,poor value
By Mr Strauss on 25/07/2016
We can warmly recommend the Loire Gastronomic Cycling holiday which is particularly suitable for the reasonably fit and active over-65s. The hotels are excellent and all had swimming pools, the meals were really delicious and the cycling was not too strenuous. The countryside is stunning, as are the many chateaux along the route which are of special interest and add greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mrs Southwell on 25/07/2016
Great holiday - easy cycling on quiet roads and cycle routes - delightful reps and first class hotels and food. A very successful Gastronomic holiday.
By Mrs Acheson on 25/07/2016
Overall we found the holiday a great break for us. The route, notes, hotel locations, things to do etc all added to the enjoyment. Everything was well explained and set out for us.
By Mrs Whiteley on 25/07/2016
Very well organised holiday - excellent helpful Portuguese reps looked after us well throughout. GPS was a very successful means of not getting lost en route. Hotels all good, although 2 out of 4 gave us rooms looking at blank walls. Some time is spent riding on roads, though we used footpaths where available, and there are dedicated cycle paths for the majority of the route. Some interesting coastal scenery. Riding through the lagoon wasn't as spectacular as we'd hoped as much of the the cycle path was rocky and potholed and you had to concentrate on the path surface immediately ahead to avoid falling, rather than enjoying the scenery and wildlife. All in all though, a very enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Twiss on 25/07/2016
Well planned and organised, good routes accurately described, very helpful staff.
By Mrs Leonard on 22/07/2016
We have two teenage sons and this was the perfect family holiday for everyone. Combining the activity of cycling and rest days at beautiful hotels and locations, taking in the wonderful medieval villages of Catalunya, farm lands, bays and beeches. It was the perfect way to explore more of the region.
By Mr Allin on 22/07/2016
Excellent holiday. The bikes were quite heavy but the cycling was flat and the electric bike was modern and excellent.
By Dr Young on 20/07/2016
This is a beautiful part of the world. some of the nicest scenery we have cycled through. I think possibly the nicest hotels and food [apart from 2 nights see below] we have enjoyed. BUT it is hard!! There is more climbing on this route than we have experienced before on other 2 bike routes. I think this does need flagged up. The 2 women in their mid 60s found the going very tough on the first day - over 900metres of climbing. BUT our excellent reps jumped to the rescue and produced e- bikes for the 2 elderly ladies! What a transformation - we could enjoy the rides- the views- and our husbands did not have the worry about us! Highly to be recommended on [in our opinion]this 3 bike holiday.On 2 nights we had to travel to a restaurant . this meant we had the same menu 2 nights running -for a non meat eater- the fish was poor. It was not a great ambience. We did speak to the reps about it. the food elsewhere was largely extraordinary and the hotels that only did breakfasts gave excellent breakfasts.
We did not find your new map system helpful. the route notes mentioned names of places that were not on your new maps. Thankfully our reps provided proper maps at our request.
By Mr File on 19/07/2016
This area of Brittany is excellent for cycling with lots of off road cycling to interesting towns with lovely views. The long time Headwater rep here goes out of his way to provide support. He is the best rep we have had after over a dozen Headwater holidays.
By Mrs Long on 15/07/2016
E bikes were excellent although son enjoyed physical demands of ordinary bike. Need to see them on more routes and more routes on an easy grading. Hotels can be a bit variable, all had their plus points but especially French Hotels can be a bit shabby. Need detailed larger scale maps are necessary to support the route notes which can be confusing. Food generally very good. The e bikes need to be able to manage demands of terrain and the needs of the riders.
By Mrs Cant on 15/07/2016
all in all - good trip, excellent gear - too much food!
By Mr Crooks on 15/07/2016
Wonderful relaxing holiday
By Mr Cleugh on 15/07/2016
This was our first trip with Headwater (recommended by our New Zealand travel agent) and we are very pleased with our choice and will definitely look at another cycling trip in the future- most likely in France. We were particularly impressed with by the friendliness of all the hotel staff we encountered - and their helpfulness!!
By Mrs Garth on 15/07/2016
Thoroughly enjoyed my holiday on my first visit to Portugal. Excellent service from local reps. Great hotels. Ebikes fun. Delicious food, wine and port. Loved the routes.
By Mis Aplin on 15/07/2016
This is a lovely cycling holiday but quite challenging with regard to the hills especially when its 34C! An early start is recommended to avoid the hottest part of the day. The hotels are all good and food at the Della Rovere is excellent. Nice pools at all the hotels. Plenty to do on the off days. The walled town of Monteriggioni is a relatively easy cycle from the Della Rovere. Worth booking an extra night at the end of the holiday in Volterra. Beautiful town with lots of little shops, cafes and alleyways. Thanks to Luke and Eleanor who were excellent reps.
By Mr Tarr on 15/07/2016
This was our first cycling holiday, we are both reasonably fit but not regular cyclists so this was an excellent introduction.we found the routes fairly straight forward and enjoyable with the route notes easy to follow as long as we didn't read too far ahead (short term memory problems!). All the hotels were very good in their different ways , we ate well everywhere but the stand out food was at the Villa Lussana in Teolo. unfortunately we missed the ride to Teolo because of an extremely heavy thunder storm but Sarah our Rep picked us up and transfered us. The day wasn't wasted though, we were able to do a lovely circular walk later on in the afternoon to set us up for the first of our fabulous evening meals there. We took a bus into Padua on the rest day, well worth doing, we visited the Scrovegni Chapel and the the University to see the anatomy theatre. The two nights at the Agritourismo L' Albara were very convivial and the pool was lovely. To sum up, we had a great time, Sarah our rep was extremely helpful and helped make our holiday .
By Mr Whitton on 06/07/2016
Generally an excellent service but based on past experience will only go for future holidays with you where a Headwater rep is involved rather than an agent
By Mr Brooks on 06/07/2016
Bikes excellent. Lunches en route excellent. Accommodation a bit mixed.
By Mr Harrison on 06/07/2016
We had a fantastic time in Catalunya. The route and scenery were magnificent. The areas that you took us to were away from the regular tourist routes.We were able to absorb the culture and enjoy being with the local people.
By Mr Ridyard on 02/07/2016
Excellent organisation and support, fantastic accommodation and food, very enjoyable cycle routes
By Mrs Chester on 02/07/2016
Cycling through wonderful rural landscapes; visiting beautiful hilltop villages
By Mrs Thomas on 02/07/2016
Loved this little known area, which was perfect for easy cycling. Good variety of cycling ; quiet roads, alongside canals and dedicated cycle paths. Sarah our rep couldn't have been better and was always working hard for us to get the most out of our holiday. Loved Albara, which had a pool which was a bonus in our hot weather (30s). There is another holiday option to stay here as a base for week, I would think this would work well , as it was our favourite stopover out of the four we stayed at. Food and wine excellent all the way round and plenty of places to stop enroute.
By Mrs Colquhoun on 30/06/2016
This was not our best holiday with Headwater the weather in the Dordonge was just awful and we had to contend with a train strike none of which Headwater could have done anything about. We dried out on the last three days in Sete which was lovely. Electric bikes are wonderful
By Mr Willard on 30/06/2016
We had a fantastic holiday, The scenery, food and accomodation were great. Although we are both pretty fit my wife isn't such a keen cyclist but she really enjoyed this. The reps were really helpful when my wife wanted to swap to an E-bike towards the end when it got really hot, and now she wants to go again which I never thought would happen! I would really recommend this holiday and the E- bikes for those less enthusiastic about cycling
By Mrs Payne on 30/06/2016
We were surprised at how strenuous the cycling actually was! The distances were not long, and so we really expected to complete the routes much quicker than we did.Very big hills, but the bikes have good gears and we managed to cycle to the top of them all. The downs were brilliant. Roads were mainly very quiet.
The hotels were all lovely and we enjoyed having non cycling days to explore the interesting hill top towns.
Lots of great food and wine was had.
By Mrs Hughes on 30/06/2016
Great blend of good hotels and cycling with enough time for relaxation too. It was just what we needed for an active but relaxing holiday in a lovely part of Spain. Well organised and the rep was very helpful and really personalised the experience for us - for example by working with us to adjust the final days route including picking us up from the hotel and driving us to the start.
By Mr Robb on 27/06/2016
We enjoyed the lovely Catalunya countryside and villages, the contrast of coastal and rural cycling was most enjoyable. Hotel Sa Punta was the best we've had with Headwater and the others were very good too, each quite different from the others. We did feel that there were too many inclines and rough tracks for this to be a 1 bike grade, maybe 1+ would be our classification. Having been on three other 1 bike holidays, this was more challenging.
By Mr Dunn on 27/06/2016
An exciting and demanding adventure with the reward of wonderful food in beautiful surroundings.
By Mrs Ryan on 27/06/2016
This holiday delivered on great food, amazing scenery, friendly staff along the route and comfortable hotels. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience
By Mrs Gee on 27/06/2016
We knew from previous experience that the holiday itself would be great. This time we also experienced the highly professional, efficient and supportive nature of all the Headwater personnel in dealing with a string of unforeseen travel problems.
By Mis Barrie on 16/06/2016
Many unspoilt cycle routes with stunning views
Hotel pools all very welcome after a hard day's cycling
By Mrs Lorimer on 16/06/2016
A break that takes you off the beaten track to meet the people who live in the region, rather than just other tourists. A holiday that slows you down to the speed you can cycle including the most amazing 60km down hill ride!
By Mr Crossley on 16/06/2016
Good alternative holiday
By Mrs Griffiths on 16/06/2016
Excellent cycling along the Atlantic coast, lovely hotels, interesting area to explore. The Furadouro Hotel was outstanding - welcome, food, swimming pool, rooms all superb.
By Dr Garton on 14/06/2016
great support right from time of booking, challenges such as French floods tackled proactively, very comfortable, civilised cycling
By Mrs Gourlay on 14/06/2016
We found the holiday extremely well organised, we had no problem with arrangements from start to finish despite the problems France are having at the moment with strikes. The reps Jon and Neu were the best we have experienced on any Headwater holiday, they worked hard to ensure the experience was as good as it could be. We were also impressed with the bikes, which were easy to operate and very comfortable.
By Mrs Reynard on 14/06/2016
A wonderfully relaxed but interesting holiday with good food and a comfy bed, a highlight was when we saw a Heron catch a snake and fly off with it in it's beak, as we were cycling along by the side of it!
By Dr Leiper on 14/06/2016
Great cycle holiday on easy cycle paths with quality bikes and excellent hotels.
By Mrs Cronin on 14/06/2016
A very well organised holiday giving us the chance to visit places we would not have otherwise seen.
By Mr Wightman on 14/06/2016
We really enjoyed this first cycling holiday, we loved the Tuscan countryside and the rustic food, delicious wine! We regularly enjoy our bicycles at home but are not 'cyclists'. So the 'undulating hills' and ' steady climbs' mentioned in the brochure were a lot more challenging than we expected. Having said this, we completed the route with a great sense of achievement and looked forward each day to a new adventure !
By Mrs Prentis on 14/06/2016
I was a little sniffy with the 40km every other day distance. However the hills more than make up for it. We are both very fit and did manage the hills but it was warm and quite a few are long and on the stranda bianca which are unmade up and with the wrong size of stones which makes cycling quite difficult at times. The area is lovely and the reps were delightful and extremely helpful.
By Mrs Ramsden on 14/06/2016
Superb cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops. The reps were really helpful in every way and we enjoyed our time with them. Whilst staying at the Hermitage hotel we ate in the local town at the restaurant - Dame L'Oie which was superb. At Vaison la Romaine we ate at La Barantavelle which was a wonderful meal and far superior to the alternative restaurant in the Old Town. The most disappointing was Castel Mirei as although the owners were very helpful, both breakfasts and evening meals were very poor with extremely slow service and the room was very 'tired' with traffic noise from a side road interrupting any peace. There is however a decent sized pool and small cool sitting room with cold drinks to purchase which were very welcome.
The cycling instructions were generally easy to follow though we would welcome more distances being included between turning points and perhaps a small trip metre on the bike which we have had on other holidays with one of Headwater' s competitors.
Dear Mrs Ramsden,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. Please be assured, all of the feedback we receive is valued and used to help enhance our holidays for the future.
It sounds from your feedback that you had an enjoyable holiday and made the most of your time in this region. We were pleased to see you found the service provided by our reps useful and enjoyed spending your time with them.
We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with Castel Mirei, whilst we agree there are a number of great features to this accommodation, we have taken the decision to replace this hotel for the 2017 season.
We are also making some exciting changes to the way we produce our route notes.
Over the past couple of summers, we have received many requests to make the notes electronic and downloadable so customers can use them on their smart phone or tablet device. We are going to trial this in the cycling resorts that feature experienced Headwater reps, and for all of our new cycling holidays. Then once we gain feedback, we plan to roll this out to other resorts for future seasons.
We will, of course still provide hard copy notes for any customers that prefer this style and for our non-rep regions.
We hope you will agree, these changes will help to continue to enhance this holidays for the future.
In closing, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued loyalty, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Sparshott on 13/06/2016
don't under-estimate how hilly/undulating Tuscany is.
By Mr Rodgers on 13/06/2016
No comment - the unseasonal weather curtailed cycling on one day (thunderstorms) so this did affect the overall holiday experience with another day that was also wet.
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 Ms D'arcy on 13/06/2016
The holiday, although accurately described etc,, the reality exceeded my expectations! Thoroughly enjoyed every moment. The meals, wines, and accommodation were all of a consistently high standard - without pretension or ostentation - a testament to the Italians respect and belief in the quality of their products. The countryside and people were also amazing, acts of kindness from strangers showed me several times what it means 'to go the extra mile'. The cycle routes are well designed, as is the holiday that alternates cycle days with rest days.
By Ms Woodall on 13/06/2016
Great holiday. Good challenging cycling days and a region with great food and wine for lunch and dinner. Headwater looked after us well again in Italy.
By Mrs Thomas on 13/06/2016
Don't be put off by the two and a half star rating of this holiday. We are two averagely fit 50+ couple that managed all the hills and they were well worth it for the fantastic views. Each hotel was unique and individual and the welcome you received at the end of a days cycling was lovely. The standard of food for most was good. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and have come back invigorated and amazingly pounds lighter! The reps Luke and Eleanor were very helpful and couldn't do enough for you - even texting us to see if we were alright on the only rainy day we had.
By Mrs Price on 13/06/2016
This was an interesting area of Italy and our holiday passed all too quickly with the usual Headwater mix of cultural visits and, of course cycling. The routes were well selected and mostly on cycle paths. Food was great. We didnt visit Padua, Vincenza or Venice as we preferred to explore the countryside. Otherwise the holiday was pretty much as described in the brochure.
By Mr Fox on 07/06/2016
A most enjoyable holiday in Provence - beautiful surroundings and the villages could always serve great coffees! Good to have a chance to explore locally on alternate days, on the bus or on the bikes. Excellent accommodation and support from Jon and Neu.
By Mr Kilby on 07/06/2016
We enjoyed our cycling holiday but the weather was terrible which marred our experience. We also thought some of the cycling was a bit monotonous, going through residential areas, particularly at the beginning and would have preferred not to have had to get the train, although it proved invaluable in the end due to weather. The lagoon part was generally nice however towards the end, the path had completely disintegrated and the little bridge had been washed away. It certainly needed two people to carry the bikes down and across. We informed the guide at the end of the holiday. I dont think this holiday would be suitable for families in summertime as the roads get very busy and there were more roads than we had expectred. We thought the route tracking on the garmin was an excellent idea and the best part of following the route. Totally reliable. The hotels were all good though not all were properly equipped to accept bikes, namely the one in Porto and the Hotel Moliciero.
By Ms Allen on 06/06/2016
Good mix of cycling and days off sightseeing around lovely Baroque towns-some of which feature in Montalbano.
We liked eating out in restaurants where we could eat typically Sicilian food.
Accommodation generally very good.
We went at the end of May which was hot enough during the day,especially when cycling, with much cooler evenings.
By Mr Roberts on 06/06/2016
The holiday overall was good with two provisos
It is a misnomer to call it a coastal cycling holiday. Very litle time was spent cycling along the coast or even close to it.
It is harder than a 1 cycle holiday. It fits into the description of a 2 cycle holiday without a doubt. Too many times were spent walking the bicycle uphill. Only one of the 5 days could be considered 1 cycle.
By Mr Jones on 06/06/2016
Good holiday, scenic routes and very pleasant towns and villages. Excellent support from local Headwater staff Stephen Miles - you are lucky to have such an experienced person on board.
By Mrs Kyle on 06/06/2016
Excellent holiday, cycling is the perfect way to explore. We enjoyed it all - some freedom, some things sorted out
By Mrs Warnock on 06/06/2016
Our first cycling holiday and it will definitely not be our last!! Cycling through Catalunya was a real treat, beautiful peaceful countryside, wildflowers were so colourful, medieval villages to explore,lots of restaurants choice for coffee or lunch and then to end the day great hotels and delicious food. What's not to like?Highly recommended.
By Mr Loughlin on 06/06/2016
We expected 4 star hotels but got small 2 star rooms . Food was mostly not impressive and service poor . Staff were friendly and cycle agents excellent . Umbria lovely but route would have been very demanding without the power assist cycles which were excellent for ladies but ran out of steam for gents towards the end of each day
By Mrs Moulton on 06/06/2016
We went for our honeymoon and the holiday was a perfect mixture of challenging cycling with beautiful views, lovely hotels and fantastic food.
By Mrs Stillwell on 06/06/2016
Adventure before dementure!
By Mrs Briddick on 06/06/2016
We were very lucky with the weather and this is important when on a cycling holiday! The accommodation was varied and highly suited to starting and ending a days cycling. We loved the routes which were through beautiful countryside ( isn't this lovely! I kept saying) and which provided us with convenient coffee and lunch stops. The cycling was spot on for a 1 cycle ride but it also offered more hilly routes is we wished to challenge ourselves. We soon found we had total confidence in the route notes and once when we went wrong I said - Sarah would never send us down this road! And I was right. You have to be a little flexible - one of our routes was blocked off by a motorcycling event but we were able to use the notes to rejoin the trail. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the delicious local wine. I made friends with my bike and always looked forward to the next day's expedition. Great holiday!
By Mr Bendrey on 03/06/2016
This was a great holiday, well organised, excellent communication, excellent rep who was very helpful, great route notes, good quality bikes and gives you an opportunity to visit some fantastic places on the Istrian coast in Croatia and see some lovely sights.
My only concern is that some of the routes, in my opinion, are quite dangerous, especially the unsurfaced roads and gravel tracks. If you have no experience, or little experience of cycling, this holiday I would suggest is not for you. Even as a regular cyclist I found some routes difficult and challenging. If you struggle with heat, I would suggest not choosing a holiday in July/August, but go for May or early June. You could be spending 4/5 hours out in the heat on some days.
However, if you love cycling, then this holiday is perfect and first class, a great company to go with as everything was organised as advertised and I would throughly recommend it.
By Mr Langrish on 03/06/2016
Accurate description of contrasting scenery and cycling. Very quiet roads and plenty of flowers and birds to see.
By Mr Straughan on 03/06/2016
A beautiful area with quiet lanes and roads. Lovely villages, small towns and views. Super coastal locations, fantastic varied scenery and marvellous bird life and wild flowers. A fantastic holiday!
By Mr Jaffe on 03/06/2016
Thoroughly enjoyable holiday in a beautiful unspoilt part of Southern Italy. The people here are incredibly friendly, not just in the hotels but everywhere. The cycling wasn't too strenuous and the 7km descent into Capitolo was exhilarating ! All the hotels were of a very good standard. Enjoyed staying in the Trulli house even though Alberobello can become very busy with day trippers but our favourite place was the Masseria Salamina, (keep some space in the luggage to stock up on their excellent home produced extra virgin olive oil) ! The food in this region is wonderful with a good choice of restaurants at all the locations except Prezze di Greco where the evening meal is included. This was our 12th Headwater cycling holiday and it lived up to expectations.
By Mrs Morris on 03/06/2016
This was our first organised cycling holiday and it exceeded our expectations, the quality of hotels were fabulous and we really liked that we had 2 nights in each hotel which gave us time to explore each area. On reflection we would prefer to have had dinner in the hotel halm included as finding somewhere to eat was a real hit or miss and compared to the meals we had in the hotels we didn't find anything better. From our first enquiry with headwater the whole holiday couldn't have gone smoother, Michelle (I think) tailored the holiday to fit our needs perfectly adding in 4 extra days and organising the hotel for two of them. I certainly can't recommend headwater highly enough and have already looking at where to go next. Thank you to the whole team as this has to be one of our best holidays and we have had many! A special thanks to the couple at the bike hire, they were extremely friendly and very helpful.
By Mr Flett on 03/06/2016
A fabulous way to explore the beauty of rural Italy. The exercise during the day is balanced by delightful food and wine in the evenings. Self-guided cycling with Headwater offers independence, but with the comfort and reassurance of excellent local Reps. This was our second holiday with Headwater and is unlikely to be our last.
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 Mrs Roundtree on 16/05/2016
Puglia is a fantastic part of Italy to visit - a real hidden gem - and a perfect location for cycling. We were lucky with the weather and got a good week but the weather in April can be variable (i.e. cooler and wetter than we had). Beautiful countryside and lovely coastline with proper beaches. Excellent food and friendly people, We would go back again.
By Dr Goldberg on 10/05/2016
This was an excellent holiday. The cycling was along very flat routes down the beautiful Atlantic Coast and around the pretty lagoons. Porto and Aveiro were great places to have days off. The hotels were good or very good. We ate some delicious fish and everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
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 Mr Spiller on 09/05/2016
The pleasure of Headwater is that they do everything to make ensure your experience is exceptional - so it is!
By Mr Witts on 27/04/2016
We are both fit and keen cyclists and enjoyed covering quite a large area in one trip.
The weather in late April was superb, most days 25 degrees with some windy rides which could prove to be tough going. It was a very varied trip with cultural interest in most of the destinations along with coastal scenic views mixed with agricultural landscapes. The wild flowers were in bloom but Sicilians have a habit of dumping roadside litter, which was a bit ugly at times. Montalbano was filming on location at Punta Secca, which was a stunning seaside location.
A lot of the absolute seaside bars and restaurants were seasonally closed in late April, so would advise to take picnics and pre purchase drinks before you set off.
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 Mrs Brewster on 18/04/2016
April was a beautiful time of year to travel to Puglia; lovely weather for cycling and the fields were full of wildflowers, cherry blossom, flowering mimosas etc. Although the cycling was all on roads, they were mainly very quiet, country lanes and we found the Italian drivers surprisingly patient and respectful of cyclists. The route deserved its 1 1/2 bike rating; it certainly seemed a bit more strenuous than the previous '1 bike' holiday we had done and we were very glad not to be tackling it in the heat of summer. This was our second Headwater holiday as a family and we think the formula works well for both us and the children (aged 11 and 13). They particularly embraced the Italian love of gelati!
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 Bronger on 06/04/2016
Fun. We enjoyed our visit to Portugal.
By Mr Wall on 21/03/2016
Excellent Rep in Marita and driver in Diego.It was nice to have the same driver all the time. Bikes were excellent, much better than the ones we had in the Asturias holiday earlier in the year when half the gears slipped. Every hotel, except in Cadiz gave us freshly brewed wonderful coffee for breakfast. We have never had that before in a Headwater holiday .Hotels marked down for food was not because there was anything wrong with it just that breakfast was very limited.eg at Medina di Sidonia just bread with those awful sachets of packaged jams and spreads. Comfort marked down for a couple of hotels because it was difficult to get a good night's sleep because of noise outside. At Medina Sidonia some sort of machinery going all night .The hotel in Cadiz has the best rooms at the front as they have large French doors and a little balcony over a pedestrianised street. It is actually fine until after midnight when the bars from the square down the road empty out and revellers pass by the hotel until the eary hours. We had an extra night so changed to a room at the back where there is only a small nonopening window over the door. Slept very well though so it was worth it.Very scenic area. I think grading is 2 plus not a 2.
By Mrs Watkinson on 04/03/2016
Our cycling holiday was just the BEST! I am a non-cycling person, afraid in traffic, and not especially into sport and fitness. My husband is Mr Fit, and cycles quite a bit. This holiday was so much fun for both of us. Well within my capabilities, and although not very demanding, the cycling was enough to keep my husband happy. Can't wait to book another Headwater holiday.
By Mr Hooton on 20/01/2016
Cycling is not the main part of the holiday; it gets you through the county side and build up your appetite to enjoy food and drink in the towns and villages along the way. The break days enable you to take in the places along the way; it is well worth taking the time to explore and find out about the places, you'll discover the convent nuns who sell biscuits through a hatch in Arcos de la Fontera, and the 16th Century competition between the churches for supremacy through acquisition of increasing old a decaying bodies of saints.
By Dr Sadler on 20/01/2016
We enjoyed our visit to the area very much, and apart from the luggage problem, we had no real difficulties.
However, we did have one concern that troubled us. On previous headwater holidays, we always felt that we had the reassurance of a Headwater rep to contact in the event of any difficulty, e.g. in the event of an accident, buckled wheel etc.When we asked the Donnau lady what would happen in the event of such a situation arising, (expecting her to say we'd come out to you), we were most disconcerted to hear her say that 'you have a list of Donnau stations around the lake. If you have a problem you must go to them - they will not come to you'.
We had not realised the implication of the arrangement Headwater had with Donnau, that resulted in raising our anxiety levels if anything had gone wrong. We would certainly check with Headwater if booking a future holiday that we had a local rep at hand. If there wasn't , we would not book that particular holiday..
One last point. In places, the fine detail in the instructions was inaccurate and misleading. this delayed us on occasions.
By Dr Morris on 27/11/2015
Exhilarating and exciting cycling holiday in wonderful locations; good mix of town and country; typical Spanish scenery and food; good choice of evening restaurants; breakfasts a bit skimpy..bring snacks along to keep you going.
By Mrs Leslie on 13/11/2015
A completely unjustifiable cost for the quality of holiday provided
By Ms Heard on 10/11/2015
Cycling in Andalucia, excellent and, having experience of other Headwater Cycling holidays, would judge the grading to be spot on. It was very hilly in parts and maybe a couple of hills needed a 2+ grading but overall we thought a 2 bikes to be accurate grading. At nearly 70 and cycling at home approx. twice a month I managed the hills very well - one just has to remember it is not the Tour de France' there is no yellow top for the first one up the hill......
We flew from Heathrow and due to a missing passenger the flight to Madrid was delayed resulting in us missing the onward connection to Jerez. However, it all adds to the adventure!
The hotels were excellent and all very central with a great many options of restaurants in the towns for evening meals; apart from Medina. All of the towns we visited were lovely, very interesting and very different, Andalucia is the most attractive area of Spain we have visited. If possible it is well worth having an extra night in Jerez which we did - don't miss seeing a Flamenco show and sampling the sherry! Cadiz old town was delightful and again we added a couple of extra nights, well worth it. We ended our holiday with three nights in Seville - the icing on the cake.
The cycling was, as usual, great, good bikes, well written cycling instructions and wonderfully quite roads and tracks. Two negatives, we did find it difficult to find good picnic spots and we really missed not having map holders - apparently they hadn't arrived from England and the rep wasn't able to access them from elsewhere.
Overall an excellent holiday, we would certainly recommend it.
By Mr May on 02/11/2015
A beautiful part of the world made even more special by great hotels, great food and great cycling
By Mr Hadden on 31/10/2015
A very enjoyable holiday. We felt that the grading system does not have enough levels and that some of the cycling was quite challenging, particularly the three days that end with a climb to the finish. We found that we could get very good dinners/lunches at a reasonable price. The Spanish drivers were very considerate to cyclists; the best that we have found anywhere.
By Mr Geh on 27/10/2015
We had an excellent time. Lovely scenery and weather and excellent food. I would definitely recommend doing this either early or late in the season as it was much cooler and less busy. Very few cars on the road and no traffic.
Felt a great sense of achievement after each cycle day. Our 2 boys- age 11 and 13 enjoyed themselves and there was not a single moan of ''are we there yet?!'
By Dr Brech on 26/10/2015
Another excellent Headwater holiday. This was one of the flattest ones we have done with some undulation only on the first and last days. Most of the route was on tracks through the forest, cycle paths and minor roads - it was only crossing the river in Amboise that we encountered alarming traffic. The hotels were all good, the food excellent. Along with other Headwater guests, we found the meals at the Manoir Bel Air too overwhelming - but it was easy to ask to drop a course. Lots of different chateaux to visit and we spent an additional two days in Chitenay which enabled us to go back and spend a complete day in Blois (an easy cycle ride through the forest and on cycle-tracks) and to further explore the area.
By Ms Norman on 21/10/2015
An enjoyable holiday. Well organised, good bikes, very comfortable accommodation and breakfasts. Croatian coast attractive, and not too busy in September when we went and Croatian staff in hotels and local restaurants all friendly and helpful. Rides well planned, and maps and directions good. I had an unfortunate fall skidding on a wet road, and couldn't ride one day, but the support from local bike hire was excellent, and myself and bike both made it to the end of the holiday. Would recommend as good medium level cycling break.
By Mr Bell on 21/10/2015
A lovely rural part of northern Italy with a number of quiet country roads, largely traffic free, to enjoy. The relative closeness of Vicenza and Padua gives the opportunity also to experience a number of cultural and architectural delights. Add to this the wonderful food prepared at The L'Albara Agriturismo and this is a holiday to savour.
By Ms Vipond on 21/10/2015
Beautiful cycling! Great route and some excellent hotels.
By Mr Witts on 19/10/2015
Interesting cycle tour with plenty to visit.
By Mr Procter on 16/10/2015
We were well looked after in all aspects of the holiday, from the comprehensive introductory talk, which was both entertaining and full of useful bits of information, through the well-planned and comprehensive route notes, to the excellent accommodation and surroundings of the rides.
By Mr Coombs on 15/10/2015
We really enjoyed the holiday which was very well organised. The only slight downsides were that the route notes were ambiguous on occasion and we got lost on a few occasions meaning that the distances were somewhat longer than they should have been and it would have been really appreciated if all 4 hotels had carried our luggage up to our room. Two hotels did this but it was no fun after a long day's cycling having to carry all our bags up 2 flights of stairs.
By Mr Jenkinson on 12/10/2015
An interesting coastal and inland holiday on quite roads and tracks. Visiting in October the coastal locations and hilltop towns and villages are quiet, but the weather was good and ideal for cycling. having enjoyed many Headwater cycling holidays in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, we may well be interested in following-up an e-bike option in the future.
By Mrs Harbottle on 12/10/2015
Pleasant cycling through mix of peaceful rural landscapes and historic coastal and plateau towns. Although experienced cycle tourists we found the cycling more tiring than expected due to the heat, even in early October, so were glad that the distances were relatively short. Puglian food lived up to its reputation and the local wines recommended by the rep were enjoyable. All the hotels had spacious and well equipped rooms - though we did benefit from an upgrade for the base hotel as the normal one was full. Detailed route notes a great relief after getting minimal and inaccurate ones last year with another company. Unplanned highlight was doing the 7km downhill run while road closed to cars as a proper cycle race came up.! Although not mentioned in the brochure, Monopoli is well connected to the rest of Italy by train, and the station is within walking distance (20 min) of hotel. So we negotiated a reduction in package cost as not needing a transfer to Bari, and made the cycling week the centre of an Italian / French train tour.
By Mr Johnston on 09/10/2015
Good accommodation, clear instructions and good cycling. Met interesting people. Guides were very friendly and helpful.
By Mr Gower on 09/10/2015
An excellent way to see the countryside without the stress of organising all your own itinerary.
By Mr Richens on 08/10/2015
Great holiday. Everything just worked. Reps were helpful and knowledgable. Hotels and food were amazing. Cycling up the hills was hard work but all worth it when you reached the view at the top.
By Mrs Iron on 06/10/2015
In one word.....relaxing......because of the fantastic accommodation in great locations, simplicity of directions and easy routes with plenty of see and do along the way, topped off with superb food every evening! Hassle free holiday, thank you.
By Mrs Read on 06/10/2015
Peaceful cycling along quiet country road, interesting villages and lovely scenery.
This holiday certainly shows the contrasts that Catalonia has to offer.
By Mr Payne on 06/10/2015
Very good holiday overall, in a very interesting area. Route notes were at times inaccurate and ambiguous, which made the ride more like a treasure hunt!
All the hotels and accommodation were of a high standard and staff very friendly and helpful. Bikes were ok but not as good as the Headwater branded ones that we had in Burgundy last year. We would strongly recommend a Headwater holiday.
By Mrs Sanderson on 01/10/2015
We have done many Headwater cycling holidays, and this was very good. The routes were relatively easy, but there were plenty of options to do your own thing too. Accommodation and food great.
By Mrs McBroom on 01/10/2015
Excellent accommodation. Confidence with the equipment and support. Good maps and route details very comprehensive. Cycling down the Danube is great as the Danube cycleway is either a dedicated path or where it runs along side a road it is separate and safe. An added advantage is that it is flat and well surfaced.
By Mr Brodie on 30/09/2015
Fun and adventurous but no planning hassle
By Mr Broome on 30/09/2015
This holiday does 'what it says on the tin' - provides accomodation, meals & cycling with a rep available as required.
The accomodation was a bit too far out of town for my liking - once dinner was over at 9:30 - 10.00 there was not much else to do.
s a solo traveller, I had several days when there were no other guests to talk to, despite Headwater implying there was limited space avilable when I booked..
Finally, as a non-drinker, I was disappointed in the lack of alternative drinks at dinner: water or water.
Apart from these small gripes I had a great time and loved cycling in the countryside. The food at the accomodation was generally very good and certainly ample quantities.
By Dr Dixon on 30/09/2015
Excellent concept of relatively easy cycling (30km/day) in pleasant countryside. Plenty of places (e.g. chateaux) to visit on the way. Some fantastic food experience (i.e. at l'Aubiniere) that merits the word 'gastronomic'. L'Auberge du Centre was competent too. Chateaux de Chissay was the one disappointment - with poor levels of service - going through the motions but not really getting it unlike l'Aubiniere. They also had large tour parties (Taiwanese in our case) at Chissay which detracted from the experience and the service level in particular.
By Mr Pritchard on 30/09/2015
Very easy and enjoyable cycling through lovely scenery with excellent accommodation and many places of interest to visit.
By Dr Miller on 30/09/2015
This was my fifth cycle holiday with Headwater, and it was the most enjoyable. The cycling is very easy, and the route is very clearly marked, so there is absolutely no navigation skill required. Unlike some of the tours in rural Italy or Spain, there were numerous, widely-varied eating establishments with long opening hours right along the cycle path.
The cycling path is flat, but it passes through some varied and hilly terrain. There are opportunities to make short (and possibly hilly) detours to see some pretty villages and interesting sights along the way. One very moving side trip is to do the short day trip (about 50 km round trip from the hotel at Linz) to the memorial at the former Mauthausen concentration camp.
The high point of the tour is when it passes through the Wachau Valley, which is one of the loveliest wine growing regions I have cycled through.
I did the entire ride, even covering the short stretch from Linz to Grein, which the normal tour bypasses by shuttle van due to its being thought too industrial. Also, the tour guide recommends taking a train into the heart of Vienna in order to by-pass a slightly grimy and graffiti-covered stretch of the outskirts of the city. I did not find this stretch particularly objectionable, and there is a certain satisfaction to completing the entire cycle path from Passau to the heart of Vienna.
This would be a perfect ride for someone who is uncertain about committing to a bicycle tour. There are river boats and trains that allow one to skip cycling portions when the weather is bad or one is too fatigued. The cycling could not be any easier, and the maps and signs along the way make it all quite fool-proof.
Note that Headwater will supply participants with a spiral bound book that contains high resolution maps for the entire route. This book is easily ignored as the usual Headwater instructions are so well done, but the book does contain some historical tidbits and also suggestions for interesting detours, so it is worth a read.
A note in closing; the Passau-Vienna path is said to be very busy in the summer. I did my tour in late September and the path was wide open. Only the Wachau Valley section had any significant bicycle traffic.
By Mrs Kyle on 29/09/2015
A wonderfully relaxed holiday with broad open views and interest on the journey every day.
By Mrs Dietz on 29/09/2015
A delightful area for cycling, mostly great locations for hotels, overall an excellent holiday. Our only reservation is Torgiano, where the hotel was anonymous and the little town uninteresting and the Tourist Office useless in our queries about buses.
By Dr Foo on 29/09/2015
It was well organised, the reps were great and we had a great time. The hotels were terrific, very comfortable, a great selection.
By Mr Harris on 29/09/2015
Very well organised lovely places to visit !!!!
By Dr Cullen on 25/09/2015
Really enjoyable, few small comments, maps were hard to read, water bottles ideally insulated, stands of bikes needed, lovely holiday, expensive especially because of euro/sterling exchange
By Mrs Green on 25/09/2015
This was a wonderful holiday. We have done a number of cycling holidays in Italy with different tour operators and this was by far and away the best. Such beautiful landscape, food and wine and so un touristy. We didn't meet a single Brit. The hotels were simply fabulous and Headwater organisation faultless. We are a 70 and 65 year old who for various reasons had not managed do as much cycling this summer as we had intended and the cycling was challenging but we managed it. Hills meant wonderful views at every turn and then a downhill glide, and most hills were very manageable in lowest gear, slow steady pedalling and plenty of stops to admire the views. The distances aren't huge so you can afford to take your time, and with 2 nights at every hotel, you can break up the cycling with a rest day. We enjoyed this aspect, especially as the hotels were so lovely, and it was nice not to be re packing the suitcase each morning. We will definitely choose Headwater again, but this holiday has spoilt me and I shall be looking for another gastronomic trip!!!
By Mrs Collins on 25/09/2015
We have been on 3 previous Headwater holidays, but this one was the most enjoyable of them all. The cycling was wonderful, though it wouldnt suit those who dislike cycling mainly on flat terrain. The cycle paths much of the way to Grado were amazing and Italy in particular is very much geared towards the cyclist. The hotels ranged from quite posh to comfortable, located centrally and excellent. Four of the dinners were included in our holiday and were very good and not having to go and find somewhere to eat in those two hotels was a fortuitous because of the inclement weather. However we enjoyed having the freedom to find our own restaurants subsequently.
The tour operator was very reliable with excellent English.
The route notes were challenging and there were times when we were directed right instead of left. My husband has offered to 're-write' them since they could be modified to make it much less likely to have to retrace your pedaling.
On our second day, our tour guide asked us if we wanted to cycle because it was raining quite heavily with the forecast of no let up all day. I asked him if there was a choice and he offered to transport us to our next destination in the car. We had no idea that this was an option, but foolishly or not, we declined and arrived at our next hotel, very wet and bedraggled. However we were allocated the most wonderful room, with loads of space to dry off all our dripping clothing and bags. What a silver lining that was. Sadly we didnt see much of that day's route since the rain was relentless.
I would definitely like to do this trip again.
By Mrs Kill on 24/09/2015
A wonderful, unspoilt region. We had no idea that the Costa Brava was so wooded and had so many places of historical interest. Going just out of season, the beaches were quiet and devoid of sunbeds! The number of cycle tracks - albeit somewhat roughly surfaced in places - puts the UK to shame.
By Mr McGinn on 23/09/2015
This is our 7th cycling holiday with Headwater and once again we have had a really enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Maher on 23/09/2015
This is a very pleasant holiday and easy enough for people over 65. There is plenty of interest in the towns along the way - and plenty of chateaux, if that's your go. The weather was a bit mixed in mid-September, but we had good company on the ride which made up any disappointment. We had done the Loire Gastronomic a decade earlier, but the route has changes significantly and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Our ride this time was trouble-free, but the Headwater agents were very helpful always at hand if needed.
By Mr Peckham on 22/09/2015
We had a wonderful holiday enjoying the contrasts of Catalunya, from the sea at the Costa Brava to the rice fields and woodlands inland. The reps Jim and Katie gave us a terrific service, from the introductory postcard sent to us prior to leaving, and the provision of satnav files to make navigation so easy. The hotels Hotel Sa Punta and the magnificent El Castell d'Emporda both exceeded our expectations, and to stay in the tower of an ancient castle was the highlight of our holiday. We have had three Headwater holidays now and will definitely be back for more.
By Dr Ruscoe on 22/09/2015
Puglia is a great destination for a cycling holiday. Hotels were welcoming, helpful and of good standard.But you definitely need better arrangements for route checking/updating and translation of self-guiding instructions, which misrepresented a number of key instructions, resuling in errors and distress. You continue to give paper instructions which don't fit the holders. Other companies provide mileometers and satnavigation
By Mrs Campbell on 21/09/2015
Holiday was very good, gentle relaxed cycling in nice area and traffic free roads and tracks. Hotels and food were of a high standard.
By Dr Winter on 21/09/2015
Well organised and professional service - headwater deliver what they promise and the holidays are excellent. A reasonable degree of fitness is required for the cycling holidays - not suitable for beginners or irregular cyclists.
By Mr Beeby on 21/09/2015
Maintained the high standard we have come to expect from Headwater.
By Mr MacMillan on 21/09/2015
Lovely cycling trip, local agents, hotels and bikes were very good. The Trulli hotel was interesting, but dark and lacking in facilities.
By Mr Otiv on 21/09/2015
An excellent holiday with well researched routes off the beaten track , very clear written instructions given . Lovely villages and gardens en route , giving a good taste of France at its most typical. The hotels selected were all excellent and varied in nature.
By Mr Wilson on 21/09/2015
It was a real fun adventure. The excellent support and hotels allowed for maximum enjoyment.
By Mr John on 21/09/2015
We had initially considered a Headwater walking tour of Loire as my wife is not a confident cyclist. But reading the website comments - decided Loire region was quite poor walking country but great cycling country. My wife more than coped with the itinerary and we are both raring to go on our next Headwater cycling holiday next year when we will both be 69!
Hotels and meals all excellent but we did feel that the rooms we stayed in at Chissay were a bit tired and in need of renovation, hence the fair rating.
Your HQ staff gave us excellent advice and James and Hazel as tour managers were the most brilliant ever encountered and helped make an excellent experience.
By Ms Morris on 21/09/2015
Everybody was so professional, friendly and helpful from our first phone call to the office to our final goodbye to the reps. The routes were great - enough cycling to feel we'd earned our lovely hotel, pool and dinner but not too much to feel disheartened. There was plenty of time built in to sight see with excellent suggestions for rest days. We visited some great places that we'd never have found on our own as well as some more main stream destinations. A lovely combination and so well organised.
By Mrs Geddes on 18/09/2015
Excellent holiday. The holiday representatives are a credit to the company. We would certainly book another holiday with Headwater!
By Mr Hadfield on 18/09/2015
Enjoyable; well managed; good variety of scenery and places; lots of fresh air and opportunities to enjoy tasty regional cooking.
By Mr Beaney on 18/09/2015
The food was excellent but having 5 course gourmet dinners every night was probably more than we really needed. The hotels were all very comfortable and very different with genuinely excellent restaurants and helpfull staff.
By Mrs Craig on 18/09/2015
We had an excellent, well organised holiday ,in beautiful surroundings with delicious food and wine. It was at the correct standard for our level of cycling.
The reps were efficient, friendly, and well informed. The three hotels were very different but all very comfortable with excellent food.
This was our third cycling holiday in France with headwater and by far the best. Previous holidays , Brittany and Canal du Midi, were not such good value and conditions more challenging.
By Mr Hancock on 17/09/2015
The Italians could be encouraged to look after their surroundings better .The amount of rubbish by the sides of the roads is awful .It's such a shame and detracts from the unspoilt countryside.The historic centres of the town's are really interesting and not crowded.
By Mr Athroll on 16/09/2015
An initial problem with the rail tickets (we were not allocated seats with those with whom we were travelling) was sorted out speedily and new tickets allocated. In addition, due to the illness of one of the party members Ross picked up 2 members along with the luggage on the last cycling day. This removed a lot of stress/worry of getting back to Auxerre.
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday (despite the illness) and the weather was kind too!
Apart from the Auberge in Clamecy the rating of the food relates to breakfast only as meals were taken elsewhere.
By Mr Brooks on 16/09/2015
An Italian adventure. Excellent bikes, fabulous food. Sometimes the instructions were a challenge but generally ok. Accommodation was varied which added to the overall experience, The Masseria Salamina was exceptional. Our rep Dave was a joy .
By Mrs Bullock on 16/09/2015
This was our first experience of an activity holiday and none of us are experienced cyclists so we chose a grade one single centre holiday, whilst a little apprehensive after a hefty breakfast and a briefing from our excellent rep Sarah we set off on our first ride. The cycling was well graded and the route description very easy to follow, we did not get lost or go wrong at all during our weeks stay, best of all we were able to go at our own pace and explore some lovely countryside. Returning to our accommodation we were able to share experiences with the other groups over a glass or two of the local wines. We never thought we would find a cycling holiday relaxing but have returned home very chilled and despite the exercise about 5lbs heavier than when we started, which is a testament to the quality and quantity of the food. Thank you to all.
By Mrs George on 16/09/2015
This was our 5th Headwater holiday. We like the attention to detail and the fact that we can rely on the equipment and the rep. We feel we are in good hands and that we can be sure of everything running smoothly. We enjoy meeting other Headwater customers.
(I have put myself in the 'over 64' bracket, but my son now age 31 has been coming on these holidays with me since he was in his teens, and continues to enjoy them)
By Ms Jackson on 15/09/2015
I am only learning to cycle, so some of the route was hard for me but the rep, Steve, was brilliant, very supportive and made sure I relaxed and built my confidence. The scenery was stunning and the route varied. Lovely holiday.
By Mr Browne on 15/09/2015
Easy cycling with great wine tasting opportunities.
By Ms Nott on 15/09/2015
Excellent holiday overall.
It might have been better to have an extra day in Vienna at the end of the trip instead of a free day in Krems which was not as exciting as Vienna.
The weather could have been better too!!
By Mrs Newton on 14/09/2015
Excellent all round except evening meal at the Relais.
By Ms Budd on 14/09/2015
By Mr Valentine on 14/09/2015
Excellent routes, great hotels, fabulous countryside, lots to see and good food to fuel your journey!
By Mrs Bawn on 14/09/2015
Amazing holiday, well thought out. All hotels were unique and special. Beautiful cycling routes. Try.practising cycling at home before you go. It would improve the enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mrs McCormick on 14/09/2015
A thoroughly restful holiday through stunning countryside. Excellent cycle paths which take you away from the busy roads and where you can set your own pace. The option to shorten journeys using trains or ferries was useful. Our ninth headwater holiday and one we would take again in a few years time. Switzerland is an expensive place to visit but the half board basis of this holiday offsets some of that cost. Our group of eight ranged in age from 48 to 72 and everyone found it a comfortable and enjoyable cycle. Lots to see and do on the rest days which meant that we packed a lot into each day. The fabulous chocolate, kaffee und kuchen could be offset quite easily which was a bonus!
By Mr Elliott-jones on 14/09/2015
A fantastic package, great value for money in superb, friendly & family-run hotels. Great cycling routes through some challenging terrain, very good, sensibly built bikes. Reps & Headwater office staff were very helpful, couldn't do enough to make sure we were sorted.
By Mrs Cox on 08/09/2015
Overall we had a great time. A few hiccups - BA losing a suitcase! not Headwaters fault (found it eventually) and on the return journey arriving at Barcelona airport to be told they only had two seats - we are a family of four! Eventually found us two more seats but made for a very stressful journey. We did not check in late and online checkin was not an option for us. It was VERY hot 35 degrees. A bit too hot to be honest and we probably would not do this holiday again in August! Go when it is a bit cooler. The area is fabulous and we would go back. The hotels are generally very good. We did have an issue at Garbi. Our first night the aircon was not working properly in our room but we got on with it. On our last night the aircon in the boys' room was not working at all and it was 29 degrees! The suggested remedies as the hotel was full was to a) live with it then b) sleep with the window open and they would provide insect repellent! We rejected both these options and in the end moved the two boys in with us for the night. The staff provided camp beds. We managed but not overly happy having paid for two double rooms. We did mention it to the reps in the morning but as it was our last night there was nothing to be done.
By Mrs Raynor on 07/09/2015
Excellent holiday. Good hotels, food & service. Wonderful countryside. Cycling challenging at times. We cycle regularly in the UK. One party member cycles four times a week with a club. Our feeling is that the cycling rating was 'moderate' by the club member's judgement but somewhat more than moderate for the rest of the party. We all struggled on some of the hills. Whilst all being of reasonable fitness the extra weight of the cycles compared with our road bikes and the higher temperatures made it extra challenging. Perhaps this should be emphasised in your holiday description.
By Mr Patterson on 04/09/2015
The gastronomic cycling holiday was a great way to see the Loire valley up close. The notes for cycling were easy to follow and enabled us to enjoy the holiday at our own pace. The bikes were well maintained with a comfy gel saddle which ensured no aches and pains were felt in unwanted places! On this holiday you can keep fit and build up an appetite for the excellent French cuisine and wines which you enjoy guilt-free and come home the same weight as when you left.
By Mr Quick on 02/09/2015
Our most scenic Headwater cycling holiday to date and well worth the physical effort!
By Mr Grubb on 01/09/2015
Exceeded our expectations, really enjoyable experience. Our rep, Ross, was always on hand, with advice even acting as a taxi service taking us to and from the local restaurant for evening meals and also to Vezelay for the day, nothing was too much trouble.
Will be looking forward to booking our next cycling holiday!
By Mrs Hoile on 01/09/2015
A great place to tour on cycles, local people and hospitality are excellent
By Mr Pridmore on 27/08/2015
A challenging holiday but thoroughly enjoyable. The views were amazing and the rides took you through beautiful places. The use of the word undulating in the notes was over used, hill was closer! Had such a sense of achievement at the end of the holiday! Would love to do this again.
By Mr Herron on 25/08/2015
Fabulous holiday, very well planned. We were immersed in the countryside and every day we saw beautiful places that we would never have seen travelling by car. Every night we ate a sumptuous meal of fabulous quality. A real joy.
By Mrs Firth on 25/08/2015
We found the holiday provided a good mix of cycling and relaxation. The cycling in July was very hot and the hills quite challenging while the hotels were very comfortable and quiet. Enough choice of things to do from the hotels or simply relax by the pool.
Cycle routes were very well mapped, cycles were properly geared for the climbs and well maintained.
Transfers from the airport to the hotel were well organised and on cycling days our luggage was promptly transferred between hotels.
By Mr Gilbert on 24/08/2015
We were initially slightly worried by the directions and unknown roads etc, however the notes proved to be excellent and only got momentarily lost once during the whole holiday. Take plenty of food, water and sun cream on the rides as shops and shelter can be few and far between.
By Mr Davey on 21/08/2015
This holiday is an ideal introduction to Headwater. Rep, Ross Brown, was excellent: knew the area well, had very good relationships with local hotels, very helpful and inspired confidence. Hotel Normandie excellent urban base to begin the holiday. Relais St Vincent is a quite outstanding hotel, full of character, very comfortable, superbly run and offering excellent food in a fine dining room. Vermenton relaxed, informal and welcoming, and food at Accolay excellent. Varied and interesting route with places to visit and wonderful rides on fine towpaths beside the rover Yonne.
By Mrs Brown on 17/08/2015
I have found Headwater holidays to be consistently excellent over the three occasions that I've used them. You find some amazing places for us to stay in and provide really useful information on local places to visit. It's lovely to get off the usual tourist tracks and really get to see the countries in more detail, experiencing far more of the areas we visit. The views were spectacular which made up for the challenging sections of the rides, and we were entertained by a golden eagle only metres away from us on the first and last cycle days.
By Mrs O'Gorman on 17/08/2015
A fantastic holiday for a family with teenagers. Easy but very enjoyable cycling in stunning countryside.
By Mrs Stockton on 17/08/2015
An excellent first holiday with Headwater. We chose a 2+ cycle standard which was tougher than we expected, however the heart had a large effect on our ability. All the hotels were beautiful my only complaint was the air conditioning could of been a lot more powerful. The scenery was just breathtaking on the rides and over all i would highly recommend this trip.
By Mrs Ball on 14/08/2015
This was my 16th cycling holiday with your company in the last 12 years! Had a really good time but the grading should be a 2 bike holiday as it was tough with lots of really steep hills. I was with my daughter and she found parts of it challenging. We stayed in the walkers hotel in Dinan as the cyclists was full at the time of booking. I paid 100 euros to upgrade to a room at the back of the hotel as the front was too noisey. The room was small with a large bathroom but not really worth the amount extra I paid. I think you should maybe look to have a different hotel in Dinan as there seemed to be lots of good hotels with more competitve rates which would be better. The proprietor and staff at the Hotel d'Avaugour were not welcoming and at times quite rude. There was no hot water on the first morning. As for your rep STEVE - he is amazing. So helpful, kind and thoughtful. You need to look after him. He is taking lots of photos for your monthly competition! I hope to book with you again next year. Josephine Ball
By Mr Cumberlidge on 14/08/2015
Extremely enjoyable, well organised and busy with an excellent mix of quiet countryside cycling and fascinating places to see and visit.
By Mrs Wright on 13/08/2015
Awful maps/directions - need dramatic improvement, which I have offered
Very average to fair food - esp as it was supposed to be Gastronomic - restaurants offered very poor service and weren't interested in our custom
Give twin beds for my husband and I - not overly romantic and bizarre
By Mr Higgins on 11/08/2015
Excellent all round except for the dreadful welcome at Bel Air (the lady is a bit hit and miss we understand) of which we made light hearted remarks!
The highlight hotel was the Auiberge du Centre at Chittenay where FOUR people took our bags to our room when we arrived.
We have been many many times with Headwater and find the routes marvellous and varied with fantastic food and hotels. All the arrangements were excellent.
By Mrs Thompson on 11/08/2015
Our reps were superb. Jim took particular care to ensure the bikes were fitted to each individual and this meant each of our party was comfortable throughout the holiday. He had specially removed the bottle holder from the ladies bikes so they would not catch their legs when getting on and off. This attention to detail was much appreciated. He had gone to great lengths to produce a gps version of all the trails and this was invaluable and worked without any problems. I had brought a smart phone holder and battery charger so had a days full battery life. While this would have been sufficient without the notes, the two worked in tandem well and should become a standard on all your cycling holidays.
The bikes would benefit from a small front pannier particularly for the ladies to keep a small water bottle in and a handbag.
Our reps kept in email contact to check our progress and made very helpful recommendations on places to eat and visit on the trip. They put their knowledge to good use so we had an excellent holiday.
By Ms Turner on 11/08/2015
Contrasts of Catalunya is a great route which takes in coast and countryside. We were two non-cyclists and found the routes achievable and well-planned, with thought given to where you could stop and explore different villages. Cycling was partly on quiet roads and partly on tracks - the routes through the rice fields and alongside apple orchards were particularly enjoyable, while some of the sandy tracks through pine forests were a bit harder going. The bikes were well-maintained and comfortable. Highlights on the route were medieval Pals and Begur, while the Sa Punta Hotel stood out for its fantastic service, excellent swimming pool and the best food we had all week. Service from the reps was also great, and they provided helpful map files and instructions on how to use these on a smartphone as well as practical tips. Highly recommendable!
By Mrs MacEnri on 11/08/2015
We were a group of 9, who were made to feel most welcome. L'alhambra is in a beautiful setting, and the pool was most welcome after a hot days cycling. The evening meals were always delightful, using produce from the farm, breakfast was however a little un imaginative and we had to ask for eggs-which were then available every morning.
Sarah is very knowledgeable, whether your asking about pumping the tyres, local wine or the times of trains! She quickly found answers to our queries and made calls on our behalf. The wine tour and tasting at Catalunga was the highlight of the week- bigger saddle bags required!!
By Mr Biddlestone on 11/08/2015
It was our first cycling holiday and both of us enjoyed the experience. The pool was excellent, the bikes excellent, the weather superb, and our hosts Valfrido and Angelina, their daughter Romina and son Frederico certainly made us welcome. If circumstances allowed, for we are both skiers, i think we would certainly entertain repeating the holiday. As we never cycled after 2 pm, we both thought the pool was an essential requirement. As for the food and drink. I can certainly believe it all comes from the farm, as it tasted so fresh, but this means only wine and water are served with the evening meal. Finally the rep, Sarah was organised and helpfull.
By Mis Ward on 11/08/2015
We didn't think this holiday was representative of Headwater cycling holidays in general. This was our fourth Headwater holiday, and compared to the others (Italy, Spain and France), it was disappointing. The cycling routes were not as pretty as on other holidays, and there weren't so many nice places to stop for lunch or to admire the scenery. This was partly to do with the different culture, of course, but it also had a lot to do with the cycling routes themselves and the hotels. We didn't feel that the usual Headwater support was there, and this was partly reflected in the route notes. Although they were OK, we thought they could have been more helpful and they were at times inaccurate. The cycling was more difficult than we expected it to be, so we were glad to have the option of cutting some days short by using the ferries or trains. Although there were a lot of cycle paths, they were often alongside (or on) quite busy roads.
By Mrs Seville on 11/08/2015
This was a fantastic holiday mixing activity through cycling with culture by visiting Vicenza, Padua and Venice. It is great if you want an authentic holiday experience getting the feel of a country independently by cycling along country lanes and canal banks undisturbed by traffic and stopping at local markets or cafes for lunch with the security of knowing that a comfortable bed and good food awaits you at the end of a day. You feel you have earned the glass of wine and the lovely food using fresh local ingredients . The hotels were all different but individual and whilst not needed it is good to know that there is a local rep on hand to sort out any problems. It was 10 years since our last headwater cycling holiday but we were pleased that we still easily coped with the cycling and this holiday was the best mix of scenery, cycle routes, hotels and food out of the other 4 I have had over a 25 year period. Thank you for a great time.
By Mr Reynolds on 10/08/2015
Our first cycling holiday and it was a PERFECT introduction! Looking forward to the next one.
By Mrs Norfolk on 10/08/2015
We have been with Headwater for a number of years and I am afraid that this year the level of service from the booking office and the rep was not as good as in previous years. The Rep asked us to wait for 40 mins for the next guest's train to arrive; but the journey was only 10 mins to the hotel; and there were a lot of challenges with a booking for our group from two different families. We spent an extra night in Paris, but it might have been suggested we got the Eurostar back.
The grading was 2 - but this was quite an easy two in comparison to Piedmonte.
Food, hotels and cycling were all however superb.
By Ms Hawking on 10/08/2015
An extremely positive experience, wonderful accommodation and cuisine, superb support from the rep, gorgeous rides offered suitable to our experience, great fun and relaxing holiday had by all!
By Mrs Unwin on 03/08/2015
A great way of getting to know a small area of France and savouring local life. On a bike you see and hear things and also meet people that would pass you by if travelling by car.
By Mr Fitzmaurice on 03/08/2015
...the 3 hotels were very different, but, were all in good locations with quality offerings. the people and staff of Croatia are very welcoming and have no airs and graces about themselves. the bikes are well maintained and sturdy, and, need to be for some of the unsurfaced paths. Rovinj was our favourite place, but, all towns / hotels that we visited were pretty and welcoming.
By Mr Thomas on 03/08/2015
We were a family group of four. Mum ,Dad and two grown up children, son aged 27 and daughter aged 30. We had a really enjoyable trip, exploring all the towns and villages along the route. We really enjoyed a totally relaxing and stay put day at the Grand Relais Laurenti. We had the place to ourselves! Wonderful setting, fantastic views. The 'city centre' Hotel Al Grappolo was our least favourite and it was not the sort of place that you would want to spend the entire day (like Grand Relais Laurenti). The food was excellent especially for vegetarians. Four courses was to much! And the wine was very good and very reasonably priced.
By Mr Hornby on 31/07/2015
This is just a wonderful part of the world for cyclists who like to immerse themselves in a beautiful, safe and friendly place. As you'd expect in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, everything works so well to give you a hassle-free holiday. Everyone was so welcoming, locals as well as people providing service and quite happy to use their excellent English in place of my stumbling schoolboy German.
By Mrs Fowler on 30/07/2015
Excellent way to enjoy an area. Taste the food and visit the local areas of interest.
By Mr McMorrin on 29/07/2015
The travel arrangements/organisation and detail excellent. Two of the hotels were not nearly as good as the rest . In fact the last hotel was way below standard but the food at that hotel was excellent. The rooms were far too small there was no air conditioning and it resembled the most basic accommodation. The middle two hotels were outstanding as was Bregenz but Seegarten again had no air conditioning is not well positioned.
Overall this is an excellent holiday well put together and if the two hotels were improved upon it would be almost the perfect break
By Mrs Morris on 27/07/2015
An enjoyable holiday: a beautiful part of the world; the hotels were very good; the cycling was not strenuous but overly detailed and confusing directions for the cycling routes was frustrating and meant that our pleasure on the rides was diminished.
We enjoyed the cycling in Provence two years ago much more.
By Dr Young on 27/07/2015
Booking was not entirely straight forward. I appreciate that we had different members of the party coming from different places - and indeed staying for different lengths of time -and with some dietary requests - but for me there is not the attention to detail that i would expect. I picked up several errors during the booking and invoicing procedures - that were just frustrating. Everything was eventually resolved but not without my going through every detail carefully. Unfortunately when one error arises one has to look even more closely at all the documentation- all of which was exceptionally time consuming.At all times I was dealt with politely, and am grateful for the written apology I received on this occasion .
However if one can push through this - your holidays are just superb.Recognising that we were fairly energetic, Sarah provided us with 2 extensions on the given routes which were just what some members needed. Also, a previous guest, had written an alternative route back on the visit to the lake. That was wonderful but certainly in the 2 to 3 cycle realm - but we loved it.- so there is room to offer this as a more than one cycle if wished.
The hotel pool was wonderful and much used in the very hot conditions! The family at the hotel could not have been more helpful and the atmosphere there was just lovely- marvellous to relax there after the cycling.
For future customers you may like to add that if you have an inordinate wait at venice station there is a great restaurant opposite called Soul Kitchen - who allowed us to sit for 2 and a half hours over a lovely easy meal.
By Dr Taylor on 24/07/2015
We would not cycle in this area which is too urban really. The route notes require stopping every 100 or so meters in large parts of the journey to check directions.
By Mr Curtis on 24/07/2015
Annual fitness check up for the occasional cyclist and food lover
By Mr Fisher on 24/07/2015
Despite having to opt out of cycling, thanks to the help given by M Tours we had a most enjoyable holiday. (We had flu just before departure)
By Mr Juckes on 24/07/2015
Had a fabulous time especially in view of the fact that we organised it within 24hours! Great work from Headwater on that.
Weather was brilliant too even with the 39degree heat day. It was always very supportive to know that we could call James and/or Hazel anytime form anywhere and they would help us. We did. One day, we didn't make the whole distance and were picked up without any issues at all.
I didn't take a helmet and I do feel it is compulsory for me, whatever the law. I think a bigger 'heads-up' re taking a helmet could be made, plus at least for the girls, take cycling pants.
All the meals were sensational. The routes were scenic and thoroughly enjoyable, especially the dedicated bike tracks and those along the rivers.
Loved the entire experience and working with this company. Five stars. Thank you.
By Dr Dewar on 22/07/2015
Great holiday - cycling was wonderful through a picture perfect valley; a few climbs to hill-top towns but views compensate enormously. Well chosen hotels. Only minor gripe was that two hotels had a full menu (one with minor 2 euro mark-up for some dishes), while two have a very fixed menu with 2 and 3 choices respectively. On return to Bastiglia we had the same menu which had rabbit which we don't eat (just a promise we made as we keep rabbits !). This would have been just OK but we stayed two more nights and had the same menu given to us. To be fair we negotiated a slight change although our starter was still based on parma ham each night. The hotel was lovely but it did make us feel like we were second class diners who couldn't afford the full menu, which I am sure is unintentional but the created effect. We nearly dined elsewhere on the last night to get some variety of choice but this is probably our fault for staying 4 nights here - wonderful hotel but wouldn't half board in future if stay extra nights.
By Mrs Kimber on 22/07/2015
The arrangements were very good and instructions easy to follow. However, we found the bikes to be very heavy, and the crossbar on the ladies' bike was far too high, to the extent that my husband had to help me on and off the bike as I could not tilt it far enough towards me to get my leg over the crossbar without it falling on me (as it did on one occasion, resulting on me banging my head (thank goodness for my cycle helmet) and skinning my elbow!
By Mrs Riseborough on 21/07/2015
I appreciated the choice of routes given on one of the days and the rep gave us many tips to add to our enjoyment eg a restaurant off the beaten track and certain view points. He also made sure we were aware of any obstacles on our route such as road closures.
By Mrs Tindle on 21/07/2015
An enjoyable experience. Some very contrasting hotels during the holiday. A great way to see the local area.
By Mrs Downes on 21/07/2015
This is a great way to explore Tuscany with a good physical challenge and lots of wonderful gastronomic experiences thrown in.
By Mrs Pattison on 21/07/2015
We were two couples of mixed ability cycling wise and most of us found the terrain challenging particularly with an average temperature of over 35 degrees! After a hot (41 degrees) and hilly last part of the first day we rang Keith, our rep, to enquire about ebikes!! Headwater very kindly sanctioned the supply of three ebikes from Day 3 and we are eternally grateful for this as it really made the rest of our holiday. I would urge non regular cyclists to consider this option particularly in high summer as there are some serious hills and the longer routes take in some beautiful places that would be a shame to miss. The sting was taken out of each day but with the pleasure of cycling still there - I am now a convert!
As for the holiday in general - overall we had a fantastic time - what a lovely region with beautiful villages. I would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone. The hotels were varied in location, comfort and cuisine but this made for greater interest and variety. There have been previous comments about Hotel Le Quercy which is fairly basic in comfort level - this was particularly noticeable when so hot with no fans or aircon, however for one night we did not feel too perturbed by it. This was also completely forgotten after having eaten at the allocated restaurant, La Vieille Auberge. We all felt the food and service in this establishment knocked spots off all the other places we stayed, wow!
Hotel Meysset was delightful as were the staff. It's only drawback was the distance to the lovely town of Sarlat, partly compensated by the view from the restaurant terrace. Shame we had to choose between a lovely cycling day trip and a leisurely walk around town! Too hot to do both with that hill!!
Les Glycines was our major disappointment - clearly a top restaurant with a snobbery and pretentiousness to match. The rooms were lovely and comfortable (with aircon - bliss!), there is a lovely garden and the town is on the doorstep to walk to which for us was a relief! The second night we enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in town plus a pre dinner pizza (!) from lovely local restaurants with charming staff. Sadly we found the waiting staff and management aloof, uncaring and almost rude. The drinks are horribly expensive - top London prices - but when not matched by good service then you begrudge paying them. We paid â‚¬13 for a SMALL gin and tonic and the wine was also outrageous. The food was generally good and largely beautifully presented as you would expect - one menu was more nouveau than the other leaving us a little less than full! Some surprises we felt let it down but overall it was the service that let it down the most.
Finally, the charming Le Moulin de Mitou. Again another contrast. A bit isolated and quirky but none the less for it. Not sure how it got into the Relais de Silence as the road is quite busy but with aircon and double glazing this was not an issue for sleeping. Lovely food - more rustic French country cooking maybe but lovely flavours and well presented. We ate very well here!
We were all agreed at the end though that we could not wait to get back to La Vieille Auberge for one last meal and it lived up to our memories and expectations - an excellent way to end a wonderful holiday. Thank you Headwater. Claire (Sussex)
By Ms Zehr on 21/07/2015
We were very happy with the entire trip. The accommodations and food were amazing. I've already recommended this vacation to several friends.
By Mr Thompson on 20/07/2015
First of all a big thank you to Jim & Katie Illingworth (headwater reps). This our 8th trip with Headwater and Katie & Jim are by far the most well prepared reps we have encountered. They have put lot of effort into helping guests make the most of their holiday with nice touches such as preparing a list of recommended restaurants by other guests to help on the days when we had to make our own arrangements. After reading reviews by previous visitors we chose the easy grade of cycling this year to give us time to enjoy the journey and explore the villages and coves along the way. The holiday lived up to all the positive reviews, and was our most relaxing holiday for years. This was our first visit to Catalunya and it is a very different place to southern Spain (Costa del Sol), the people are very polite and friendly and English is spoken in most places so our phrase book did not get much of an airing. The cycling was not difficult at all and you have plenty of time to enjoy the prettier villages.
The included meals were of a very high standard as were these hotels. We were advised by Jim and Katie that if the hotel at Palamos was not busy and you are allocated a room to the side or rear of the building without a balcony to ask for an up grade. We did this and were given a 2nd floor sea view room with a balcony for an extra 10 euros per night. Well worth it.
Glad to see Headwater are now including cycling suggestions for the rest days, this was much appreciated as on previous holidays we have spent the evening before planning our own route notes.
Our best holiday with Headwater since our visit to Provence.
The only comment we would make to improve the holiday are in regards the over descriptive notes for directions for which we felt compelled to find every detail on the notes and seemed to be stopping every few hundred kilometers or so to check notes. For example it would be simpler to record 'keep on straight ahead to the next T junction an ignore all turnings for 2 km' - whereas for example, the notes detail sign posts to a destination on the left in detail and instruct you to continue straight ahead. This said, we did not need to use the OS maps for the whole of the holiday.
By Mrs Tomlin on 20/07/2015
Unfortunately we had a bad start to our holiday. On Sunday 28th June our train from Toulouse to Souillac was cancelled and we had a hot( 37 C) and weary ( left home at 4am for our flight) wait in Toulouse for 4 hours before finally arriving at Souillac. Rather than a relief the hotel room at the Hotel Le Quercy,was disappointing, small, hot and tired. We were revived by our evening meal, but we do not think this hotel gives a good impression at the start of the holiday it is certainly not the standard of hotel that we would expect from Headwater. The pool area and outlook is rather drab and while we appreciate that the temperatures were abnormally high for early July the rooms really need air conditioning or at least room fans in hot temperatures as it is uncomfortable to sleep. It is not of the same standard as the other hotels on the holiday. We were dreading returning to this hotel room at the end of the week, although staff were very pleasant and evening meals were good. Â The subsequent hotels were much improved and overall the cycling journeys were enjoyable. There is one section involving a gravel path which is almost impossible to cycle on, so an alternative route maybe a better option. The holiday did deliver on gastronomy , wonderful scenery and plenty of options for visits to places of interest. We realise we experienced a heatwave in the Dordogne as we were cycling in 42C on some days. Therefore the hill to Hotel de Meysset was particularly challenging and almost put us off for the rest of the week. Sometimes it felt like an endurance test but we were very grateful for the comfort of the middle hotels , delightful pools and air conditioning. The bikes were of good quality and the journey instructions were easy to follow. Our reps, Keith and Claire were on hand when needed, In all, the beginning and end accommodation was poor and spoils the whole experience.
By Mrs Bowring on 20/07/2015
As always with Headwater we had a fabulous holiday. However this year (and the reason two of the hotels scored poor on the comfort front) two of the hotels did not have air conditioning - I appreciate it was unusually warm but surely July in that region is usually hot. It made the rooms totally unpleasant and almost impossible to sleep. I would add though if Hotel Meysett had air con it would move to an excellent (all other areas were just lovely). The same however could not be said for the first and last hotels - these just did not match up to the overall standards of the rest of the holiday.
By Mrs Craik on 20/07/2015
We almost always travel independently and avoid package holidays. However, we wanted to do a cycling holiday and were attracted by the idea of being able to cycle from place to place with our luggage transported. Headwater did not let us down - we felt we had all the advantages of independent travel (getting off the well-worn tourist routes, meeting local people and eating regional food) yet had backup if we wanted or needed it. Our rep, Sarah, was outstanding, friendly and knowledgeable and generous with her time. Cycle routes were clear and had plenty of suggestions for detours to places of interest, or to make the day's trip more or less taxing. We liked all the places where we stayed - the two hotels were polished and comfortable, a lovely complement to the country cooking and warm family atmosphere of the two agritourismi.
By Mr Fletcher on 17/07/2015
Really good holiday, challenging and rewarding.Loved the routes through the byways, hamlets and villages.
Steve gave us lots of confidence, we felt that if there was a problem, he would soon sort it.
However we did think it was quite expensive and the hotels and meals though very good did not quiet reach
the standard that we might have expected. In 2007 we did a Loire valley cycling tour with Inntravel and their
hotels and dinners were superior
By Mr McHugh on 17/07/2015
Need to tell travellers that French villages have no shops or water.
By Mr English on 14/07/2015
The holiday over all was very enjoyable BUT the 1 cycle rating was far from accurate. The 'tracks' mentioned in the brochure were rutted farm tracks full of sand and rubble. This was incredibly hard to negotiate, especially with the bikes we had which had narrow wheels not suitable for the purpose. The dry surface of the tracks meant the sand and rubble moved under us making it quite dangerous. This was not pleasant easy cycling but required all one's concentration to keep upright at times.
Occasionally the directions were out of date, or inaccurate, causing us to get 'lost' on several occasions.
J & S English
By Mr Wignall on 13/07/2015
Chateaux of the Loire is an excellent intro to Headwaters cycling holidays, excellent bicycles with professional support, gently rolling hills, routes on quiet country lanes through golden fields of ripening crops, and welcome warming sunshine . With ample opportunity to visit the numerous Chateaux on route, whilst staying in a variety of outstanding Hotels/Chateaux all with superb menues to choose from, and most with swimming pools what more is there to wish for ?. This was out 8th holiday with Headwater and it is definitely in the top 3.
By Mr Savage on 13/07/2015
Great hotel locations, very friendly with good service and excellent food and drink especially the abundant and very good value seafood.
By Mrs Gee on 13/07/2015
A great way to see and experience the parts of a country that other travel companies often don't reach.
By Mrs Griffiths on 13/07/2015
Excellent from start to finish as usual!
By Mr Turnbull on 13/07/2015
We had a fabulous holiday, the support we got from our reps (particularly James) was of a really high standard, and definitely added to the holiday experience.
The hotels (especially Vallagon and Chissay) definitely lived up to or surpassed expectations.
This sort of holiday was new to us, but we would definitely do it again.
By Mr Crockett on 13/07/2015
Super holiday, loved the area, and all the hotels. Our rep, Sarah, was absolutely wonderful. She found us a taxi at a good price, she knew all about the area, the bag transfer was done most efficiently, what a lovely lady. She even recognised that we felt more comfortable eating as just a couple, and not in a larger group, and without us asking she organised a table for just us two. How perceptive!! Thank you Sarah.
By Mrs Sinclair on 10/07/2015
We have been cycling to different parts of Europe for the past 7 years so we have a little experience of what to expect.. Headwater certainly is the best company we have cycled with. It was not the most interesting place we have been to but we wanted some sunshine and we certainly had that.
By Mr Holt on 08/07/2015
Perfect mix of activity and opportunity to explore with time built in for relaxing. The 'two night stop' arrangement works well and whilst it helps to travel light, you soon get efficient at packing and unpacking. Even with a few challenging cycling moments (especially the visit to chateauneauf from St Sabine) it is hard to cycle off all the beautiful food and wine taken on board! Each day offered something different, both in terms of scenery, sightseeing and accommodation. The ebike was much appreciated by one of our party to help with some of the longer climbs.
We have now taken two cycling holidays with Headwater - the Carinthian Lakes, Austria and Gastonomic Burgundy, France, which were both in their first season, but were really well put together and we enjoyed the first so much we brought some friends with us on the second!
By Ms Fraser on 08/07/2015
This cycle trip from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic was really excellent - beautiful and varied countryside, interesting towns and cities on route, well-chosen hotels (and some excellent food) and a very good route using well established cycle track most of the way. The highlight for us was a couple of days cycling on the route of a former railway through the mountains of Slovenia and northern Italy. Miroslav and the team looked after us beautifully throughout. Thank you for a great holiday!
By Mr Lumsden on 07/07/2015
It seems that overall the employees and agents of Headwater have forgotten who is the guest and who is the host
By Mrs Allen on 07/07/2015
A really enjoyable holiday,in a beautiful area. Take note of the weather forecast in the Veneto - it seems it is often stormy in June. Great cycling but take your own saddle - I have a ladies saddle on my own bike and I never made friends with the one on the bike that was supplied, which, despite being a gel saddle was a generic one rather than a saddle for a women. The bike itself was excellent apart from the saddle problem. Another warning is take high strength anti-mosquito solution, I was bitten badly even though I was using what I thought was a good quality solution - I bought some high strength from the local supermarket and that worked well but I had to make sure I put it on every exposed bit!!
By Mrs Pryor-jones on 07/07/2015
We luckily met another couple on our trip with similar interests so it was lovely to meet up in the evenings with them, could have been solitary on our own.
Wouldn't do Gastronomique as food was too much and very similar menu at each hotel, No Air Con at hotel on 1st and last night and it was very hot when we were on holiday. The villages we cycled through had few shops and often seemed closed when we went through them but on the whole this wasn't a major problem. The chateaus were lovely and the hotel staff on the whole very helpful. The bikes were very good.
By Mr Emms on 07/07/2015
Delightful easy cycling (totally flat with excellent largely traffic free trails) in scenic countryside. Lots of opportunities to stop for coffe, cake, drinks etc
By Mr Barclay on 03/07/2015
Lovely relaxed cycles with plenty of 'things' to see along the way. The only difficulty was the route notes which had had the maps removed and left only descriptions and a very large region map. The guides had removed the maps because they were 'confusing' - I suspect that reflects a difference between visual and aural people - we would have been MUCH more comfortable with a MAP - particularly since some of the descriptions in the guide were a little wrong.
By Mrs Duncan on 02/07/2015
Welcome at La Macchia by the older couple felt off hand. Staff, however, were helpful and appeared over worked in the dining room. Food was good at Grapolo d pro but service was slow and we left before being offered a last course. Cycle routes good and notes clear Only got lost once.
By Mrs Laing on 02/07/2015
Biking from Slovenia to the Adriatic provided us with diverse scenery and conditions ,which we enjoyed.However it was by no means easy and two 50 km bike rides back to back was fairly challenging .
By Mrs Howard on 30/06/2015
I am truely impressed with Headwater , Steve was fantastic , we rode together on 2 days.
Mick the film maker/photographer joined on the last day , really great company.
I'd love to see the movie you made of me cycling to promote Headwater .
By Dr May on 30/06/2015
Great food and accommodation. Tough cycling but scenic. Thoroughly enjoyable.
By Mrs Cartwright on 30/06/2015
Highly recommend tis holiday. Slovenia was new to us. Especially enjoyed all the cultural highlights of Udine, Palmanova and Aquiliea.
By Mr Cross on 30/06/2015
After several good walking holidays with Headwater, this was our first cycling holiday, suggested by experienced cycling friends who accompanied us. The route is mainly downhill, but there are some longish steady uphill climbs, and we calculated an average of 50km/day (exc. Rest days) and did 64km on one day. Some beautiful Slovenian/Italian mountain scenery (albeit rarely out of sight or sound of roads) is succeeded by some very interesting Italian town stopovers (Venzone, Udine, Palmanova) and stopping at Aquilieia's basilica is highly recommended.
By Mr Brown on 30/06/2015
Every day was different. The bikes were excellent as was the luggage transfer. The mix of cycling and non cycling days was a bonus and allowed one to explore the local towns. Following a river downstream provided continuity and progression as it made its way down stream.
By Mr Vaile on 29/06/2015
An excellent and relaxed holiday made all the better by a very helpful and knowledgeable local representative, Ross Brown. The cycle routes along the canal and river paths especially on the final day, were delightful. Wine tasting and buying opportunities were frequent and fun and the wine collection service worked flawlessly.
By Mrs Gittins on 29/06/2015
Cycling easy even for us oldies,nice hotels,beautiful scenery and relaxed pace.
By Mrs Colquhoun on 25/06/2015
Overall a good holiday well organised excellent friendly reps and a good variety of hotels some excellent some very good weather could have been a little better!
By Mrs Caulkin on 24/06/2015
Excellant holiday with one of the best travel reps we have come across .He put himself out to help us and nothing was too much trouble
By Mrs Mollett on 24/06/2015
The welcome briefing was far too long, we expected it to last for about 15 minutes and it went for over 2 hours. We could have read the notes ourselves, rather than having the rep read them to us. The route notes were excellent and easy to follow. Puglia is a varied part of Italy, some parts are stunningly beautiful, other bits less picturesque. Alberobello has been spoilt by the number of tourists and souvenir shops, we would have preferred to stay in Locorotondo, which is a far more beautiful town without the hoards of cruise ship tourists, although staying in a Trullo was a great experience. The people of Puglia that we came in contact with were incredibly friendly, helpful and kind, and the food and wine were amazing. All in all it was a good cycling holiday with lots to see and varied cycling.
By Mr Denton on 24/06/2015
A first class package in terms of organisation, accommodation and quality of food. The cycling was a challenge in that the temperatures were in the mid thirties and the route notes could be improved.
By Mrs Chessum on 24/06/2015
We had a very good time. It was a lovely holiday marred only by the directions being a little bit unreliable.
By Mr McIlraith on 24/06/2015
This was an easy ride for us and I would say ideal for less experienced cyclists. Everyone we met in hotels and restaurants was friendly and helpful.
By Mr Baker on 23/06/2015
Apart from the excellent food and accommodation, the cycling was about as perfect as it can get: smooth, quiet gently undulating roads, considerate drivers, friendly people and good weather but not too hot. Plenty to see and visit.
By Ms Smart on 23/06/2015
A challenging (take note) cycling tour taking you to some beautiful places in Tuscany. The bike was great and despite having to get off a few times in a few places I was mostly very happy with the km and the routes. If I could change any part of the route it would be the strada biancha on day 1 as that really is a bit tough with no views for most of it. The rest of the routes were fine and took you to beautiful scenery.
I was sorely disappointed with the hotel in Siena and would strongly recommend that Headwater change this option as it spoilt my trip a bit. The other hotels were great - my favourite was Pescile. Hotel Revere was good if the weather was ok but I can imagine this is a bit gloomy if its raining as there are limited places to sit inside.
The food was mostly good - breakfasts can be a bit 'Italian' but on the whole not too bad. The biggest let down for food was being sent to two Pizzerias two nights in a row in Certaldo. There is a huge choice of restaurants in Certaldo Alto and I would have preferred paying for my own meal and being given options.
A highlight was a tour of Montalcino (can be done from hotel Revere) and finding some amazing restaurants in San Gim (better at night to avoid the day trippers) and Siena.
For anyone wanting to know here are my restaurant highlights:
Siena - La taverna de San Giuseppe
San Gim - Cum Quibus
Certaldo Alto - Fonte Antica
Overall very happy and am missing the cycling now I am back in the UK
By Mr Broad on 22/06/2015
The easy way to enjoy a cycling holiday abroad
By Mrs Harding on 22/06/2015
A terrific holiday, just the right balance of activity and relaxing days off. We love Headwater cycling holidays, this is our fifth, and we will be booking another soon.
By Mrs Mayor on 22/06/2015
Excellent equipment, good hotels and lovely route
By Mr Quinn on 22/06/2015
It was our first cycling holiday - we both really enjoyed it. Just the right amount of cycling. The suggestions of what to do on the non cycling days were very helpful. Unfortunately we got lost in Potigano - maybe you should recheck the route notes for leaving the old town. One of the highlights of our holiday was a boat trip on the final day on the Yasemin Sultan.
By Mrs Roberts on 22/06/2015
The holiday was well organised and gave us what was promised in the brochure. When we did run into problems ( minor and not the fault of Headwater) they were sorted out with the minimum of fuss and delay ( eg puncture as above and then BA cancelled our flight home from Rome with 48 hours notice! We contacted Vlad in resort and he immediately contacted Michelle Roberts in UK who sorted out alternative flight for us. Without such prompt and efficient service we would have had an anxious and stressful 2 days- not what you want on holiday!
The hotels were great- obviously hand picked- lovely rooms ,pools , food - everything. The routes were great although on occasion the notes were unclear. Also as one person wrote in the blue book- Italy- wonderful country- shame about the maps!! But a great holiday and only minor nit picks!
By Dr Daniell on 18/06/2015
A really great and varied cycling itinerary, including fantastic scenery, sites of historic interest and interesting museums. Mostly traffic free or along cycle paths, starting in the mountains and cycling through plains to the coast. Would recommend adding a couple of days at Lake Bled and exploring the area by bike and foot. The hotel there is lovely with friendly staff and excellent food and Slovenian wines (an education!). Varied accommodation, but all clean & comfortable and in the right locations for a well paced cycle ride. We really enjoyed ourselves and were fully relaxed at the end.
By Mr Warrington on 17/06/2015
A great experience cycling on Costa Brava coast route but just as well our guides/reps told us about and downloaded for us the gps as paragraphs missing from guide route. The notes had been cut and pasted from portrait to landscape and some notes did not transpose. The other independent coup,e had the same problems.
The food, service and attention to detail was top class at the Sa Punta. We upgraded to a sea view room but was of course charged.
The food at the Castell d'Empria was good but not a patch on Sa Punta. Service wasn't too wonderful either and knowledge of dishes. Facilities in bathroom below standard ie no separate towel/soap in separate bidet area. The views and location though were fantastic so I think they rely on this to pull them through. The cycle up to the Castell was really steep as you can imagine but can't change that! Bit tough though at the end of 32 km; came at it another way the next day.
In Paloma's The room at the Hotel Trias would have been at the back so we asked for a front room which they were able to do at no extra cost, so worth asking. The Gallerie seafood restaurant was great but we paid through the nose, Â£90 and no credit cards accepted, our co cyclist who also came into the restaurant after us, were scratching about for enough cash to pay later! We had Just 3 plentiful fish dishes, one dessert and 4 glasses wine. The old waiter just told us what special fish he had that day, there was no menu. So beware!
By Mr Moss on 17/06/2015
Ross was great as a tour guide, and very helpful in pointing out places of note/interest. Countryside and views were glorious, and the villages were delightful. However, 2 things stuck out on this tour: This was a level 1 tour but there were several 1-plus hills on the route - i think that could be better explained; and most of the pretty villages we visited were empty of life, no people, no animals, no cafes/bars or facilities - i think that needs to be better explained too, as it was a disappointment to find them shuttered up. Auxerre was interesting, and Chablis and Vezelay very pretty with plenty to see and do, but not much in between. Our 2 nights with external dinners in Vermenton were great - superb choice of restaurants, and Ross was a very considerate driver, waiting for us to finish late on both occasions!
By Mrs Henderson on 17/06/2015
Most enjoyable. Well planned and varied routes with excellent dining in the evening. Something for everyone.
By Mrs Brown on 17/06/2015
Well organised, good fun, overpriced.
By Mrs Shann on 17/06/2015
The cycling was more challenging than expected from the description mainly because of the many climbs involved. One of our party struggled with this, the fitter members of the party found it hard at times but more manageable
Puglia is a lovely uncommercial area of Italy and I would like to visit it again. The people are very friendly and helpful.
The bikes are very good but would benefit from the water bottles more easily accessible instead of having to be stored in the panniers. This is not allowed because of some ridiculous health and safety rule. There is a worry that you will try and drink from your water bottle when cycling.
By Mrs Greenwood on 17/06/2015
Accommodation and transfer/transport arrangements were good and enjoyed. We thought a Grading of 2 would be more appropriate ; the first two days were difficult. However the route directions were disappointing and in one place wrong. Although the directions were recently revised, I suggest they are reviewed, in particular:
Page 9: the ERG petrol station has been replaced by a building site. On the same page, the 2 electric poles are on a right turn and the Via Marascelli sign is not there. The directions in and out of Noci were confusing and need clarity, probably by removing choice of routes around the town.
Page 28. Conchia to monopoli at the junction with the give way sign , it should say turn left! At present no direction is given. There were other minor errors along the whole route but as you say, signs change !
By Mrs Phillips on 17/06/2015
Everything ran smoothly, with no problems with the transportation of luggage or airport pickup and drop off. The initial briefing by Davide was very thorough and informative. We found the route notes straightforward on the whole but there were a few inaccuracies. Hotels were of a good standard, but we were glad to have taken the option to upgrade, particularly at the Palazzo Indelli where our junior suite had a large terrace overlooking the lively piazza. Having outdoor space at the Trullo was also beneficial. Alberobello is interesting but very touristy and on the leisure day there, we opted to take the train to nearby Martina Franca, via Locorotundo and would recommend this. Italian trains are cheap and easy to use - just don't forget to validate your ticket before boarding! The cycling generally was perfectly manageable, although there was the odd challenging climb. On the last day, we chose to go our own way and followed the coastal route back to Monopoli, rather than go inland. This gave us an enjoyable but shorter ride, allowing us to enjoy the rest of the day in Monopoli.
By Mr Watt on 17/06/2015
This was our 13th holiday out of 15 with Headwater and the best yet! You are ahead of your competitors that we have tried.
The location of the trip was ideal.
By Mrs Blay on 17/06/2015
Very enjoyable. You don't feel that you are part of a crowd but have the reassurance of the back up provided by a local representative, if required.
The routes were well put together but you need to be reasonably fit before you go.
Although you are travelling to a warmer country you need to be prepared. We had one very wet day and would have been lost without decent waterproof tops and trousers..
By Mis Perry on 17/06/2015
A beautiful area unspoilt by development. Fabulous food and wine. Loved it.
By Dr MacMillan on 17/06/2015
We were the first people on the Julian Alps holiday. We really enjoyed it. The concept is excellent, and achieved. We did find it quite hard, though we both cycle
(mountain bike) regularly. Some days were long, and hot. I think it was the hardest holiday we've done with you, though my husband thinks some days on the 'Discovering Secret Provence' holiday were harder, because there was more climbing. Don't think it would be for people who don't normally cycle ( though we are getting on a bit).
There was one day which couldn't be done as anticipated, because the cablecar didn't start running on the advertised date, so an alternative had been suggested, and arranged for us. I think this might not affect anyone else though; I think the cablecar starts this week.
Miroslav and Matej were really keen to help, and on the whole experience. Miroslav was a bit concerned that Locanda al Fogolar might not come up to our expectations as it isn't a hotel; but we loved it, and couldn't have been made more welcome, despite Fulvio having very little English, and us having very little Italian
We found that if you don't speak Italian, German is more useful than English in this part of Italy. English is fine in Slovenia.
Later in the year, it could get very hot; take plenty to drink.
By Mr Owen on 17/06/2015
An exceptionally well designed tour, which includes valuable 2 night stops at the en-route hotels in Linz, Melk and Krems, the first two of which are really interesting to explore. The daily distances were will within the capabilities of these two 68-71 year old occasional cyclists. The Danube routes were well signed and easy to follow.
By Mrs Devine on 17/06/2015
Lovely flat (mostly) easy cycling. Very clean hotel rooms, most with a nice view. Good food.
By Mrs Thomas on 15/06/2015
Lovely to have everything arranged for us ; quiet cycling routes and accommodation planned by people with local knowledge and luggage taken care of . All we had to do was relax and enjoy the holiday !
Not Headwaters fault , but coming back on May 31st , we arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to find that we had been put on Standby and had no seats allocated . We have since learned that this is common practice by airlines but we did spend a stressful couple of hours before being told that we could get on the 13.05 flight for which we had reservations .
By Mr Hunt on 15/06/2015
A very good holiday. Some of the roads were a bit dangerous narrow fast and bendy like the road round the fjord. Some of the off road was too rough with big limestone chippings. Your reps were working on different maps to us.
By Mr Price on 15/06/2015
A well planned and run cycle tour through a beautiful part of Italy with good accommodation.
By Dr Bungay on 15/06/2015
Wonderful countryside, good cycling, plenty to see and stop at, so the routes filled the days with lots of interest. It was 30oC in the first week of May, and would be best when temperature was 25ish, which is what we had hoped by booking an early holiday. I don't know how it could be enjoyable in August.
By Mrs Carroll on 15/06/2015
Fantastic holiday all round. Accommodation, food, service etc all excellent if a little bit variable. The cycle routes were well planned and took us through some lovely areas. Would definitely recommend an e-bike for anyone who is not a regular cyclist or accustomed to hill work. The food was very good all round if a little heavy on the gourmet- we will not want to see any more frois gras or duck for a long time! The one exception is the bistro at Hotel Pere Leon - best avoided and easily done with the plethora of good alternatives in Toulouse.
By Mr Ricketts on 15/06/2015
As with my previous Headwater holiday in Brittany last year, the organisation and logistics of this holiday worked like clockwork, luggage was collected and delivered to successive hotels in time for my arrival. In all but one instance the hotel reception was excellent and the quality of the dining experience was commensurate with fine dining. In one hotel only, the restaurant was busy and the front of house staff were flustered and made several mistakes with my menus and orders, but this was compensated by the quality of the food and the wine suggestions of the other staff. One evening our group was taken by taxi for the evening meal to a nearby Hotel/Restaurant as our hotel's restaurant was closed for the evening. This was done with efficiency and the dining experience worth the trip. The Rep, James, made every effort to meet me when I arrived and to explain things to me and took the trouble to see me off as I left. The Reps were very helpful, sending me a postcard with their contact details on before I started the holiday, giving me the confidence that they would be there to help if anything went wrong, which I am glad to say did not happen. If you like French food and good wines this is a good choice for you. I am a keen cyclist and prefer to cycle further each day than the Headwater brochure routes. I appreciate the flexibility Headwater adopt with me in negotiating support for a longer route than the one in the brochure. I will be booking with Headwater again next year.
By Mrs Harkness on 11/06/2015
The cycle route along the Danube from Paschau to Vienna was excellent - easy cycling, well signposted and extremely beautiful. We passed pretty wild flower meadows, dense forested slopes and wide terraced vineyards. The route took in many delightful towns and villages, with their pretty squares, narrow cobbled streets, castles, cathedrals and monasteries. Vienna is amazing and definitely worth staying on for a few extra days! The hotels were in great locations and the meals were very good. Headwater and their local representatives arranged a great trip for us - their customer service and attention to detail was excellent. Thank you!
By Mis Barrie on 11/06/2015
A fun way to exercise in a beautiful location
By Mr Day on 09/06/2015
Well organised , enjoyable and healthy
By Mr Yellen on 03/06/2015
trouble free and relaxing
By Ms Newman on 29/05/2015
Yet again a very enjoyable and successful holiday with Headwater. What a smooth running organisation you are.............efficient at home and abroad............friendly, welcoming and enthisiastic. The hotels in Fazania and Rovinj were exceptional. the staff were not only helpful, but also truly passionate about their work and their country. The cycle rides had been well researched and, apart from one transfer day (Fazania to Rovinj) when the busy roads far outweighed the quiet lanes and tracks, took us through fascinating places. Thank you to all and here's to the next time. Jenny and Paul Newman
By Mr Lewis on 28/05/2015
Very good accommodation in interesting buildings; friendly people; interesting towns; remarkable ancient olive trees; some days are very hilly.
By Mr Redman on 26/05/2015
Excellent, good fun and good value.
By Mr Betts on 21/05/2015
We were a family group of six with ages ranging from 30 to 67 and we all enjoyed the whole experience. One of our party was a vegetarian which we recognised might be a bit of a challenge for the hotels, given that this was a gastronomic experience, but she was quite happy with the range of vegetarian options available.
By Mrs Small on 19/05/2015
One of the best (out of eight) cycling holidays we have done. Catalonia is a beautiful area, ideal for cycling by the coast. The representatives were excellent. Thoroughly enjoyable trip, busy working out our next year's jaunt!
By Mr Jones on 13/05/2015
This experience allowed us to see the delights of Puglia at our leisure. The route took us through the most beautiful countryside and was made perfect with the excellent food, wine and accommodation
By Ms Gillespie on 13/05/2015
Loved Puglia and everything about the region - scenery, cycle rides, food and especially the negro amaro wine we discovered. The accommodation was brilliant especially the Masseria although we did also really like the vibe of the main square in Monopoli.
There were just 3 slight disappointments
1. The spa at the Corte Altavilla in Conversano was all style over substance and was over-priced
2. The food at the Corte Altavilla was also slightly disappointing after our experience in Monopoli
3. The town and local maps provided by the local agent were utterly useless. Google was much better! They also didn't sometimes tally with the Headwater accurate directions
By Dr Padfield on 12/05/2015
Marvellous trip. Good that you arranged no rain and temperatures of 32 degrees
By Mr Carson on 07/05/2015
Good with one serious caveat below
By Mr Jaffe on 06/05/2015
This was our 10th Headwater cycling holiday and it lived up to expectations. We loved this area of Spain particularly at this time of year when the countryside is so colourful. The cycling was challenging but really enjoyable particularly the off road parts of the route. The climbs up to the hill top towns were tough but doable if taken at your own pace, and a great sense of achievement when you reach the top! The busy roads especially coming out of Jerez on the first day were a bit daunting though. All the hotels were of a good standard with very helpful and friendly staff. All were well located although Hotel Cortes de Cadiz was a bit noisy at night.We particularly liked the flexibility of choosing where to eat in the evenings as there were plenty of tapas bars and restaurants at each location. Overall we had a great time and would recommend this holiday to people who enjoy cycling and want to explore a beautiful and historical part of Spain.
By Dr Goldberg on 25/04/2015
We have just had a wonderful week cycling in Puglia with Headwater. We would highly recommend going in late April/May as the countryside was covered in wild flowers and the weather was perfect for cycling at around 18C. The bikes were just right for the routes which are all on roads. Most roads are quiet but some were busier than I was expecting especially coming into the towns but the Italian drivers were surprisingly deferential and careful around cyclists. The hotels chosen by Headwater were all excellent. All the evening meals we had were delicious, both those provided and those we found ourselves. Not one disappointing lunch or dinner in the whole week! Some of the route instructions need clarification and personally I would have preferred them to be a bit shorter but overall an excellent weeks holiday. I'm sure we will be booking again with Headwater next year.
By Mr Trivedi on 17/04/2015
We loved this holiday. Dave provided comprehensive information on the routes and accommodation at our initial briefing, and could not have been more helpful. He also gave us lots of background information to help us make the most out of our holiday. Puglia is a beautiful area ideal for cycling, and the hotels (which were all excellent) all had very different characters, which added extra interest to the holiday.
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 Tweed on 16/03/2015
Seamless from start to finish with excellent opportunities to explore and relax in equal measure.
By Mr Brown on 13/03/2015
An excellent and historic area to explore with some lovely rides and options for increasing the mileage if desired. The hill top white towns are wonderful and evocative of a previous age and are full of interest.
By Mrs Hughes on 26/02/2015
The first couple of days felt like a boot camp - it was more strenuous than we'd anticipated, and the weather was a bit overcast and chilly too. The odometer on the bike didn't work and we had to estimate distances. By Day 3 however we were used to it all and really started to enjoy it. Once the sun came out and we had met several very hospitable and generous bar owners and enjoyed several delicious lunches and dinners we really warmed to it and felt ourselves getting so much fitter too. Our eventual verdict was that we would definitely do it again - there was so much to see and experience and the cycling was superb. The baggage deliveries always worked too, like clockwork, and we really appreciated the service running so smoothly.
By Mr Smeeth on 05/01/2015
Disappointing, poor value for money, will not be booking future holidays through Headwater or recommending to family, friends or work colleagues
Dear Mr Smeeth, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post holiday feedback questionnaire. We were sorry to read that this holiday did not meet your expectations and that you do not feel you could recommend this holiday. So far the overall feedback we have received from this holiday has been positive, however, as it is a new holiday there have been some areas which have required improvement. Please be assured that we have passed on your feedback to our local agent and we are working closely with him to ensure all our customers have an enjoyable holiday. We would like to thank you for your feedback.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Ms Harris on 24/11/2014
Value for Money - fair to good, but can't choose more than one option.
The holiday was great - lots of quiet out of the way places to see. Very friendly people. The only criticism was the rep and the lack of local information given with regards to cycling which was easily available, if you knew about it. Would recommend Croatia as a place to visit - had a lovely time.
By Mis Devlin on 12/11/2014
It wasn't the relaxing biking holiday I was hoping for. Some parts were, but the published route involved too many busy main roads. There were a lot of mistakes in the notes, which added stress. I do wonder if anyone had actually rode it from Headwater? It could have been a lot better - for instance leaving La Macchia, instead of going down the busy main road, we went into town on the back roads, over the railway, then along a parallel road, then onto a cycle track - easy to do and much less traffic.
The hotels were not brilliant. We didn't eat the four courses offered at meal times, as it was just too much. I would have rather paid a bit less and just had two courses.
I may sound churlish, about the birthday cake, but the reason we went on this week was because we had a family tragedy the year before on my birthday, and I specifically wanted a totally un-birthday normal day. It worked fine, and I had genuinely forgotten about it, so was very angry and embarrassed about what happened. They should not have been looking at my passport - the only reason they had it was for legal reasons.
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 Mr McDowell on 03/11/2014
We had a wonderful holiday and will have plenty of fond memories and photo's. It was a nice mix of exercise,visiting some lovely cities and villages and relaxation.The beauty about cycling is that you get time to appreciate the views, the Tuscan countryside is absolutely amazing. Our reps were extremely pleasant and helpful which went a long way towards our holiday enjoyment. We would definitely do another cycling holiday or even a walking one, but would not want to cycle on another Strada Bianca! It was a very well organised holiday from start to finish. Thank-you Headwater
By Mr Barnes on 03/11/2014
A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Vejer and Cadiz were the highlights for us. (We added two nights in Seville. If you do the same, do not miss the Casa de Pilatos).
We felt very well looked after by the local rep. The trip notes were detailed and included distances that could be matched to the supplied bike computers, as well as post-turn indications, that gave reassurance (or warning) that we were on the right track (or not). These notes had a few inaccuracies that were still being ironed out at the time of our trip (we were the second set of Headwater clients). The hotel in Jerez had apparently dropped a star, and we were taken instead to a very comfortable 5 star hotel at a golf resort out of town. That was an ideal hotel to return to after a week of cycling, but not such a good hotel to start from, as it was a long way into town (~EUR20 taxi ride) for any who might wish to visit Jerez.
Dear Mr Barnes, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your recent holiday to Spain, Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is well received.
I was pleased to see you rated your holiday overall as good to excellent. I am sure that you have brought back some great memories to treasure. Since you travelled, we have made some improvements to the holiday in relation to your constructive feedback. We have changed the first hotel back to Jerez centre to ensure it is more convenient for customers wishing to visit the town. We have also corrected the inaccuracies you highlighted with the route notes. Thank you once again for your feedback, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Dilnot smith on 27/10/2014
Excellent apart from Hotel Meson Castilla is in the middle of the University area and can be very noisy until early hours of the morning
By Mrs Mendham on 27/10/2014
We enjoyed the holiday but the directions were probably the worst we have ever had. They are not clear and some directions referred to signs/cafes etc that no longer seemed to be there. In Gualdo Catanneo the instructions sent us all round the village back to where we started but the road had collapsed and we had to go back. In fact we could have pushed the bikes 50m down the hill back to where we started! Often directions are given in distances but when you have no means of judging distance it is hard to know if you are in the correct place. There should be more information on how to get to places on the off days. We went to Perugia but found out how to get there on our own. It was simple and this information could be made available on your website. The bikes are very heavy and poorly maintained. I could only use 18 of the 21 gears until my husband fixed it after 3 days - not great on the Umbrian hills.
By Mr Collins on 24/10/2014
Headwater offers a very efficient and reliable service. The equipment was very good, the hotels were on the whole very agreeable, at a price. We travelled off season, but even so, the hotel restaurants were extremely busy and there were occasions when we had to wait so long, we gave up on the puddings!
Overall the cycling was most pleasant on quiet roads, very often for cyclists and walkers only. There were some demanding climbs into any town worth its salt in tourism, but then there was the added bonus of the long descent back down to terra firma. The weather was amazingly good and the lovely tranquil scenery.
By Mr Millican on 22/10/2014
The cycling was challenging, much more difficult than we expected from the rating. We would not have made it without the help and assistance from the reps Katy and Jim. They were excellent. There were downhill parts of the route that were dangerous for moderate cyclists. I know the area is hilly, however some of the climbing was more akin to a cycling race than a holiday.
By Mr Dick on 22/10/2014
Well organised holiday. Lots of places to visit and experience as a result of thoughtful planning. Good, comfortable accommodation and food.
By Mr McGinn on 17/10/2014
We find Headwater a very professional organisation. The cycling routes and notes are well thought out and the reps are knowledgeable and very helpful.
By Mrs Brooks on 17/10/2014
Great Hotels locations food. More hills than expected lots and lots of unmade roads. Hard to cycle on sometimes. Lovely people and country. Rubbish rep!!!
By Mr Smith on 16/10/2014
Compared to other companies, our view is that 'Headwater', is at the top of the tree.
By Mrs Dietz on 16/10/2014
We especially appreciated the well-chosen routes through beautiful countryside on little roads with little traffic. A highlight is the long downhills we enjoyed from ridges to river level.
By Mr Harper on 15/10/2014
Great dinners, basic breakfasts (although there were always delicious cakes).
By Mr Joslin on 14/10/2014
This was our first time with Headwater and the impressive, friendly and efficient service, together with very good hotels in a variety of beautuful locations, ensured our total enjoyment. The routes suggested were good and we had the option of extending our rides (in particular an extension to the coastal ride on Day 1). A slight criticism would be that the directions could be clearer and presented in specific instructional order rather than paragraph narratives; we were not sure that anyone had actually cycled these routes 'blind' and thus we made some mistakes. neverthelessall rides were completed successfully. Puglia is something of a gem and the programme ensure that we enjoyed a full flavour of its varied geography and history. We would have no hesitation in booking another of your holidays and thank you for such a pleasureable experience.
By Mrs Hood on 14/10/2014
By Mr Hill on 14/10/2014
The scenery is spectacular - typical Tuscany -but beware the cycling is not for the inexperienced. The region is hilly and you do cycle on some busy roads. Good location for visits to Sienna and other famous hill top villages We very much enjoyed the holiday
By Ms Robson on 13/10/2014
A great area with varied cycling and a relaxing base. Sarah was very helpful with advice on alternative routes.
By Mr Chantrell on 08/10/2014
Arrangements comprehensive, cycling testing at times though enjoyable, hotels all well situated and of a very good standard.
By Mr Hickman on 08/10/2014
The holiday met all our expectations, as the description in your brochure proved to be accurate in all respects. The level of accommodation, in fact, exceeded expectations as did the dining experiences. Whilst not a budget holiday, you provided excellent value for money.
By Mr Henderson on 08/10/2014
Easy cycling. Good hotels with excellent food and accommodation in the main. Weather in late September was brilliant which made visits to chateaus etc more spectacular. All in all we had a really good holiday.
By Mrs Sanderson on 08/10/2014
Lovely area with some very good cycle routes. The accommodation and meals were excellent. The cycling was relatively easy, however you could add extra mileage and create longer routes if you wanted.
We had a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday which was organised without fault.
By Mr Aries on 08/10/2014
The whole holiday exceeded our expectations. Thank you. We will travel with you again.
Dear Mr Aries,
Thank you for your lovely feedback, we were pleased to see you enjoyed your holiday in Croatia.
We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mrs Ramsell on 08/10/2014
A lovely blend of activity and relaxation, plenty to see and do in the Catalonian region, congenial fellow travellers and good back up system for emergencies.
By Mr Smillie on 08/10/2014
We are not regular cyclists and this was our group's (6 of us) first experience of a cycling holiday and of using Headwater.
The organisation was very good and the suggestion of Puglia for this adventure was first class.
We had excellent weather to enjoy lovely countryside and well chosen locations and accommodation.
By Mrs Lodge on 08/10/2014
A most enjoyable holiday.However I think that it should be graded as a 3 bike holiday or 2++ at least. the cycling on the last day was extremely challenging-- we chose to go via Dogliani.
By Mrs Ovenden on 08/10/2014
Headwater take the headache out of arranging your holiday all you have to do is turn up and enjoy.
By Mrs Lee on 08/10/2014
The holiday was fantastic, better than expected. Hotels, food, wine, weather all perfect, with great cycling routes on very quiet roads.
The views were to die for, and the hills a challenge but rewarded with the downward ride on the other side.
Would love to do it all again.
By Mr Martin on 08/10/2014
The holiday satisfaction, accommodation and value would all have ranked 'excellent' had it not been for the experience on nights 4 & 5. We did not aloow that to impinge on our overall enjoyment, but it was annoying and frustrating at the time.
By Mr Bell on 08/10/2014
Beautiful area of France with easy cycling days,many interesting places to visit and, at the end of the day, mouth watering food to enjoy.
By Dr Brech on 06/10/2014
This was a good holiday made more enjoyable by perfect weather throughout. The cycling was varied and the terrain different and interesting. We spent two extra days in Dinan (we prefer 10-night tours) and found plenty to do. There were lots of opportunities for cafe stops throughout the tour. There were some hills but we four pensioners just walked up them - the countryside would have been less interesting without them! None was longer than 700 metres - nothing like the 3-km walks onto the Lot Valley causses or the 5-km slogs in the Jura. The rep, Steve, was excellent. We had heard good reports of him from other cyclists on earlier Headwater holidays and he fully lived up to his reputation. The loan of large-scale maps (1:25,000) was an excellent idea and should be taken up everywhere. And when we had our first bike problem in four years of Headwater cycling (a seized wheel bearing), he had the problem fixed with a new wheel within 30 minutes of the call for assistance. Informative, interesting and always cheerful, he is the gold standard to which every Headwater rep should aspire.
By Mrs Spriggs on 01/10/2014
Beautiful countryside, tough cycling you would need to do some cycling at home prior to a 2 bike plus. We feel the hotels are much more cosmopolitan than in the past. Whilst they are of a very good standard we miss the more authentic accommodation with more local traditionally prepared food and eating together as a group.
My husband found the food at Relais della Rovere disappointing.
By Dr Miller on 27/09/2014
I found cycling in Piemonte quite challenging. I did the Undiscovered Provence and also the Umbria cycling trips last year, and I would say I found Piemonte a notch more difficult, at least subjectively (I reviewed my cycling computer data, and Provence was actually much more climbing). It may be because there were very few flat spots, the hills were quite relentless and the warmth and humidity were quite high on several days.
Piemonte had the best food and hotels of the three itineraries I mentioned, while Provence had the better scenery and riding terrain variety (but much poorer hotels and food). Umbria was probably the best compromise of food and hotel quality and terrain variety.
By Mr Mitchell on 26/09/2014
All 5 of us had an excellent hoiliday ,Thank you.
One possible improvement- the last day's 'Directions' (Porec to Novigrad) were much simpler to follow than the other days' , because they used the local cycle route signs as reference points ; but there had been cycle route signs all along the way on previous days - they just were not mentioned.
By Mr Beeby on 26/09/2014
A very easy, relaxing and stimulating holiday. At times we would have liked to ride slightly longer distances, but accept that the intermediate hotels were all, in their different ways good.
By Mrs Martin on 25/09/2014
Definately worth a try and nice varied holiday. It was good to experience a different part of Italy. Whilst for us it doesn't quite match up to the scenary of home and other parts of Italy such asTuscany and Umbria, it has its own charm. Our cycling route took in a good mix of the coast, the coastal planes and the plateau and some lovely little towns. The cycle down from Alberobello was lush. As we live in God's own countyclose to the Yorkshitre Dales all the miles of dry stone walling made us feel quite at home. Luckily we don't have anywhere near the problems the Italian's have with roadside litter and fly tipping. It's a real shame. However, it's not all like that by any means. It certainly isn't something in Headwater's control as isn't the weather, which was indifferent but we managed not to get wet whilst riding, which was good and we did see some sun - just thought it might have been a bit better in early September, but your in the lap of the gods . There's some fantastic old olive vines throwing up some weird and wonderful trunk shapes to feast your eyes on. We saw very few animals despite there been a plentiful array of meat on the evening meal menus. The people we met from Southern Visions your local agent were all very friendly and they provided an excellent service. Manopoli was a wonderful place to start and the Palazzo Indelli a nice little hotel right in the thick of the old historic quarter in a lovely little square, which came alive at night, and close to the waterfront with its fortifications and castle. Worth doing the extra short loop on the first day if you want a bit of fish for lunch. Corte Altavilla was a nice little hotel also and well located just off the square by the cathedral and near the castle in Conservano. I just thought the hotel restaurant on the top floor lacked a bit of atmosphere, but we were only there for one night, so no great shakes. This hotel looked to have a good spa, but it was fully booked, so if you want to partake best to book in advance. Staying in the Truli house was an experience, as were the bangs on the head I gave myself on the low doorways! However, previous reviews on your website weren't wrong that you had saved the best until last - the Masseria Salamina. I dont think I've ever felt so relaxed so quickly on arrival at a hotel and I've stayed at many. We were so pleased that after reading the other reviews we'd opted for another night. In fact if we went back and did this trip again I'd be looking to rejig things to stay in Arerobello and the Trulli House for just 1 night instead of 2 and have a further night at Masseria Salamina. What a lovely place. There's opportunities for those who want to mix cycling with a bit of train travel with the bikes, such as the round journey from Alberobello where we actually chose in the end to take the train back from Marta Franca. Be aware Italian drivers seem to like to honk their horns I guess to tell you they are coming even though you've already heard them. Overall a very pleasurable experience well worth a go.
By Mr Cobbold on 25/09/2014
The cycling can be very challenging in this area.
By Mr Wilson on 25/09/2014
Hugely enjoyable, a great adventure on an achievable scale.
By Dr Dewar on 23/09/2014
Really excellent trip. Cycling was great and not too strenuous although cycling every day a reasonable distance. Beautiful scenery passing through coastal areas with shimmering sea and quiet coves, on to endless olive groves with not a person in sight. The Puglia towns are delightful in character. Hotels are undoubtedly excellent especially Masseria Salamina (a gem - what a location, luxurious pool area, fabulous dinners) and Trulli stay was also a delight, with very friendly but not intrusive staff. The cycling is all on surfaced roads which means that the provided bikes were more sporty and made cycling easier (lighter frame, thinner tyres, gearing better, no mudguards or bell). Southern visions, your local partners, were really helpful - we were travelling on to Dubrovnik by ferry and the transfer driver spent quite some time locating the left luggage for us, which would have been impossible for us without good Italian. Thus was really appreciated as we were able to relax in Bari for the day. Finally the Spa in a Corte Altavilla was a great bonus - each of us had a well-earned massage from Andreas after steam room and soaking in the hot tub. Weather was excellent (iPhone weather suggests cloudy and thunder storms but neither was accurate - sunshine daily in mid to late September.
By Mrs Binns on 19/09/2014
Varied locations made for an interesting cycling holiday, time given for exploring some of locations on foot or otherwise. Helpful information given
By Mr Norman on 19/09/2014
excellent route but day excursions not clear. change hotel in clamacy as poor accommodation and food try hotel poste .
By Mr Gibb on 19/09/2014
Excellent holiday overall, enhanced by a good mix of 4 couples in our group. BUT the performance of your reps was very poor in terms of availability and understanding of our needs.
By Mr Hall on 19/09/2014
Excellent hotels and food in lovely locations. Italian roads lack signage and the camber on some roads is bad especially when trying to ride and navigate in heavy thunder storms. The maps issued are of too small a scale and our trip involved two maps. It would be preferable to order special maps based on a 30 mile radius of Spello with a bigger scale. From the Headwater book in each hotel, it is clear that most people get lost. We did on each of our transits but perhaps that is the fun of it.
By Mrs Rance on 19/09/2014
Interesting and enjoyable. Pleasantly surprised by high standard of hotels and food!
By Ms Coffin on 19/09/2014
Lake Konstanz is a lovely location. The cycling is mostly very easy and having two-day stops provide an opportunity to explore around each town.
By Mr Turnbull on 19/09/2014
Another great cycling holiday. Thoroughly enjoyed our trip along the Danube. Cycling just at the right level of effort. Food grew, people great. Best organised cycling holiday so far.
By Mr Taylor on 16/09/2014
This was our nineteenth Headwater cycling holiday and once again they delivered.
An excellent selection of hotels in a variety of locations with accurately classified routes in between.
We drove through the Tunnel but with the benefit of hind site we might have considered travelling to St Marlo as foot passengers, to be collected by their representative and taken to the first hotel.
The countryside is charming, the coastal views amazing and once again it was rain free - that's only 3 days rain in 152 days of Headwater cycling holidays.
I would not hesitate to recommend this holiday, but do a little practice on the bike before you go to get the full enjoyment.
By Ms McVeigh on 16/09/2014
Great holiday with plenty of exercise. Beautiful chÃ¢teaux to visit and lovely hotels to stay with lots of fabulous food. Good idea to have a 'sat nav' or map on your mobile phone as route directions not totally accurate!
By Mrs Capper on 16/09/2014
Excellent holiday, very well organised. Will definitely take another holiday with headwater
A special thank you to the reps Kate and Jim Illingworth who went far over and above there duty to make our holiday outstanding
A special thank you to headwater for the 2 bottles of wine we received for our 30th wedding anniversary
Thank you all
By Mrs Elmer on 16/09/2014
Puglia as a region is over-hyped. You will mainly be cycling along dusty roads through olive trees. The southern Italian towns have very messy litter strewn outskirts with disused factories and omnipresent graffiti but once you get to the centres you will find lovely old walled towns with stone pavements - completely closed as you are most likely to arrive in the middle of the afternoon siesta!
you did ask!!
By Mrs Watts on 16/09/2014
We celebrated our wedding anniversary with this holiday. Overall we had a wonderful experience despite the unseasonably wet weather in Apuglia this September. We flew independently and organised ourselves 2 days in Lecce which we would recommend. We arrived in Monopoli by train and walked to the hotel - from there on we were welcomed and looked after by Southern Vision rep Davide who was extremely informative. We were a bit concerned that we would end up on a group tour but the other headwater guests were lovely and everyone had their own plans and did their own thing. The cycling was just the right level for us, the hotels great! The inclusive food was very good standard and elsewhere we did not have one course of food that was not delicious! Highlights were the pretty town squares, the Esspressini, the Vongole, the Negramero wine, the sea food at Savelletri, the afternoons lazily cycling through olive groves, the quiet routes and the friendly people of Southern Italy. When we arrived at Bari airport with the wrong passports with 50 minutes before the gate closed, Southern Vision contacted Salamina, and then the young Boss Phillipo (apologies for spelling) broke the land speed record, and every level of service and commitment to get our passports to us! while the Southern Vision team worked on a backup plan the accommodate us and rearrange flights - All in under 45 minutes! We made our flight, sweating, tired, but very happy that we had chosen Headwater for a great fun way to celebrate.
By Mrs Conway on 16/09/2014
What a wonderful holiday! We thoroughly enjoyed it. Regarding the hills - yes, they're steep, but the bikes were perfectly maintained (thanks, Esme!) and the overall distances aren't that long, so I (reasonably fit but not a great cyclist, had probably been out 10 times this year previously and in Hertfordshire so hardly hilly) found them perfectly doable, and certainly easier than I had feared from reading earlier reviews. We did all the tougher options and the amount of cycling was just hard enough to give a sense of achievement/work up an appetite for the next feast! Personally, I enjoyed the challenge of the hills and the wonderful views at the tops! Having said that, if you haven't been on a bike in years/aren't generally active, this might not be the holiday for you.
Hotels were all lovely; restaurants all very good and the majority truly excellent. Spa facilities at Villa d'Amelia were particularly good.
We found plenty to fill the non-cycling days, sometimes on foot and sometimes by bike. Almost always there were local walks (e.g. on noticeboards in the town centre and signposted from there) which we enjoyed.
Overall a hugely enjoyable and memorable holiday!
By Mr Crawley on 16/09/2014
The first couple of days was through fairly uninteresting landscape. Thereafter it was fine but not outstanding. The headwater format is generally constant, but on this occasion we had no representative. It didn't really matter, but first timers could find this difficult.
By Mrs Wall on 12/09/2014
Excellent! Not a cheap holiday, but worth every penny. Good hotels, excellent food. Bikes were good. Friendly helpful service from the reps who went out of their way to meet the needs of individual guests.
By Mr Dunn on 11/09/2014
This was absolutely our best holiday to date. Excellently planned, organized and looked after by our rep - Ross, we felt free to enjoy the delights of the Burgundy region. We loved the bikes and the routes made sure we saw the very best of the countryside and avoided any major roads. The opportunity to swim at designated places in the river Yonne was the icing on the cake - it was truly a 'Swallows and Amazon' experience. Fabulous scenery, weather, food and of course, wine - sheer bliss. Can't wait to go again - anywhere - as long as it's organized by Headwater. Thank you so much.
Dear Mr Dunn,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback questionnaire. We were delighted to see that you enjoyed your time in the Burgundy region of France and that you rated this holiday your best to date! It really does sound like you had a great time. It was also great to see that you felt well looked after by our Rep Ross, he was thrilled to receive your lovely comments too. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team.
By Ms Cope on 11/09/2014
Great location for biking, loads of marked routes, do go to the local tourist office and get the leaflet which gives all local cycle routes for that area, and use these whenever you can. Great hotels, with friendly staff, the locations vary but all interesting, our input to Headwater would be that the hotels need to be very good to make these holidays value for money. Good bikes which were well up to the local cycle routes! Do swim whenever you can as the sea was fabulous, and warm!
By Mrs Barr on 08/09/2014
Contacted Headwater at very short notice to arrange our cycling holiday and the help and advice given by holiday adviser was excellent [Karen Ross]. Cycling days easy apart from Ligny to Vermenton,mileage was perfectly manageable [31 miles] but have to admit to walking through village of Courgis [this is allowed as we are OAPs] and view was worth it. Would strongly recommend buying supplies as mentioned in the notes before starting out each day as there were no cafes open at all. Area was beautiful very picturesque and peaceful. Thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday again - this was our 7th Headwater Cycling Holiday and are already planning our 8th.
By Mrs McKay on 07/09/2014
Overall great holiday. Cycling excellent. Lovely scenery and great condition of cycle paths. Some of hotels were disappointing in certain aspects - no tea/coffee; old, tired bathrooms with no bath; small room however usually made up with friendly service and excellent food. Friedrichschafen is not a very attractive town - Lindhau might be a better option. Hotel Weisses Kreuz the favourite hotel - great sized room, comfortable bed and pillows and great bathroom.
By Mr Browne on 05/09/2014
An excellent holiday with beautiful countryside and varied activities. Steve was the best rep we have ever had and his extra maps, information made the holiday that much more enjoyable. It was reassuring to have a spare inner tube and the bikes were well maintained.
By Dr Taylor on 05/09/2014
Great bikes, great service and a great holiday...thanks!
By Mr O'Driscoll on 03/09/2014
A great holiday for cycling enthusiasts who like good food and wine, a few historical and cultural sites to visit, and time to relax after getting off your bike.
By Mrs Lidgley on 29/08/2014
Splendid! An escape from the normal!
By Ms Sobczyk on 28/08/2014
Not sure - with 6 of us booking together (ie a lot of custom for Headwater) it would have been much more helpful if someone in head office had thought through our travelling requirements more carefully. The girl who took the booking always said that we could fly on Friday or Sunday, but did not explain the implications of choosing the Friday in terms of extra travel problems to and from Munich, nor at the outset of the cost implications. The extra costs crept in as the booking progressed - as full time workers it was easier to just carry on with the booking than say hang on, why weren't all these extra costs explained before we started this process (room supplements, transfers, extra prices for flight because a busy weekend (did the UK sales rep explore whether the Sunday departure would have been cheaper for us, for instance - I think not). We also thought that Headwater should have had another rep out there in Piedmont - Martha and Esme could not help us out on non cycling days as they were on airport runs .... but with a holiday of this quality, there should be someone available at all times.. I would also add that I have been on a number of other holidays with cycling companies - more down market - but the experience and knowledge of the rep and mechanic has far outweighed the knowledge and experience of Esme and Martha; they did nothing wrong, but did not add the type of spark to the holiday a good rep can.
The daily notes explaining the route would have benefitted enormously from a proper map - with other companies we have been given laminated copies of the map giving all the local details - your sketches together with the provided maps were not easy to interpret. We suspected they needed a bit of an update - gradient outlines for example would help - we knew it would not be easy but the hills did seem to dominate!
We probably will go with Headwater again on account of the quality of the hotels, but will ask a lot more questions next time about exactly what is involved and what help will be available.
We did have a good time, but a lot of niggles that ought to have been sorted. I have never complained before about a holiday .....
By Mrs Gambrill on 28/08/2014
We felt disappointed as there was no personal service, the Donnau company just gave us bikes without help and tried to palm of bald tyres and broken lights, luckily we insisted they change the bikes to our satisfaction but if this had been a couple who had never taken a Headwater bike holiday I would feel very sorry for them. We were very disappointed that we saw no one representing Headwater no welcome meeting as described in the literature. We enjoyed the holiday but certainly rated it as the least enjoyable out of the previous 3 trips. Cycling good, the free days poor, no suggestions of bike excursions no information found in english. No one to talk to about trips. St Gallons not that special the hand written medieval books in German advised in broshure not that exciting. The food described as 4 courses were very limited with minimal choice and 2 of the hotels were really poor.
By Mrs McIlhinney on 28/08/2014
We enjoyed the holiday, and the hotels and their service were generally very good or excellent, apart from at the Hotel Donauschlinge, where the staff were not as friendly and we felt they hurried our evening meal, bringing the second course before we had finished the first! In our view, the Hotel Zur Post in Melk was by far the most efficient, with the most helpful staff. The Steigenberger in Krems, although a very nice hotel, had less character (much more a standard 'chain' hotel) and our table in the dining room was tucked away in a rather gloomy corner, rather than the main restaurant â€“ unfortunately the weather was not good enough for us to have a table on the terrace. We were impressed by Greenways Travel, who were very efficient and prompt about delivering our bikes, transporting us from Linz to Grein and then collecting the bikes at the end. They also provided a mobile phone for us to contact them if we needed to. We were unprepared for quite how flat the ride would be, and with hindsight should perhaps have opted for something a little more challenging. I think we expected it to be more like the Moselle ride, which we did with Headwater a few years ago and which rolled up and down a little â€“ our 'best bit' on this holiday was therefore the ride from Melk to Krems through the Wachau, which was not totally flat.
By Mr Carter on 27/08/2014
We are in our mid seventies and we wished to see if we could still manage to cycle the routes. We managed but found there to be more hills than anticipated and on reflection we would have been better to have taken our own bikes, particularly for my wife, this was not a reflection on the bikes provided but just what we were familiar with.
We have used Headwater a lot in the past but cannot remember the division created by those who paid extra for higher standard. It was strange in restaurants seeing some being given better located tables thus removing any possibility of conversation, they also received much superior rooms. I suppose it reflects the age we now live in but in the past there was more a feeling of adventure and sharing it with other travellers.
By Mr Craven on 27/08/2014
Good bikes, variable accommodation. Good daily distances and accurate grading. Very willing but inexperienced rep. has the potential to be a very good rep but needs to get out cycling, driving or walking the routes and making his own notes.
By Mr Stead on 27/08/2014
This was our first holiday with Headwater and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The cycling was challenging and we would advised others choosing this holiday to be prepared for the 'undulations' also known as long, steep hills! However, saying that if you are of a competitive nature they only added to the enjoyment when you reach the top. On the whole the accommodation was fantastic especially the Relais della Rovere where nothing was too much trouble and Le Renaie whose family atmosphere was lovely. We're now looking forward to choosing from next year's brochure - roll on next summer!
By Mrs Gapper on 27/08/2014
The cycling was good with varied scenery and interesting villages and towns. The route notes sometimes need careful interpretation using the area maps and a degree of common sense. however it is easy to go wrong which we did on a couple of occasions.One of the hotels, unfortunately the one we had opted to stay four nights, we thought was sub standard in terms of service and quality and choice of food. Generally the hotels were well located, clean and comfortable. We had a little trouble with two of our four bikes which either required urgent attention by the rep or we managed to borrow a tool from a garage. On previous holidays our Headwater bikes have been trouble free.
By Mr Lloyd on 27/08/2014
Outstanding experience in terms of cycling, locations chosen, landscapes and scenery, cultural activities and overall enjoyment.
By Mrs Rawcliffe on 22/08/2014
Our Rep John was very helpful and we were aware that if we needed assistance he was only a phone call away
Also very friendly welcome
The hotels and food were great especially after a long day cycling
Will use you again next year!
By Mr Raven on 19/08/2014
Wonderful - just what we were after
By Mr Stamper on 18/08/2014
Overall, this was a very enjoyable experience, one of the best we have experienced in France. We really appreciated the sea view room at the Hotel Printania.
By Mrs Onions on 18/08/2014
This 8 night trip visited a good mix of hotels and places. The cycling was mainly gentle, through orchards, cycle tracks and numerous medieval villages. Pleasant mix of activity and gastronomy!
By Mr Lipscomb on 18/08/2014
Brilliant family adventure: Cycling through beautiful scenery from beaches, through paddy fields, rolling countryside and little medieval villages and complemented by a range of hotels-2 with gastronomic cuisine and the third giving the opportunity to enjoy eating out in the small seaside town of Calella.
By Mrs Cox on 18/08/2014
Great holiday hampered only by poor weather at times but our reps were fantastic. Chissay was lovely. How marvellous to stay in such an historic place. Every single member of staff was very helpful and friendly. We could not fault it. We could not make much use of the pool as it was not warm enough. Hotel Aubiniere was more modern and very comfortable with lovely food. again the staff were great. The Auberge was much more cramped and very busy. We struggled to be able to find somewhere to put the bikes as the shed was so full. Out of the three this was our least favourite but the food was good if a bit over fussy. A great holiday but would not want to do it for longer as the food becomes too much by the end. If we did it again we would do it without the gastronomy just simple meals.
By Mrs Hulme on 18/08/2014
We enjoyed another quality holiday with Headwater. This area of Italy is very pretty, ideal for gentle cycling and sightseeing. All of the hotels provided excellent food, wine and accomodation.
By Mrs Sharkey on 15/08/2014
This was our first Headwater holiday and we really enjoyed it . The coastal catalan area is great for cycling with beautiful countryside and unspoilt villages . Although we booked for August, the weather was not too hot . Route maps were very clear. The hotels were of a high standard and great places to relax after the daily exercise. A very enjoyable week.
By Mrs Alexander on 13/08/2014
our third Headwater holiday. Set dinners in the hotels often poor and we are really fed up with this. It is not a cheap holiday but we seem to get the dregs of the food. Our best meals were out in independent restaurants. On the first night when Pallatzo Indelli couldn't feed us they sent us out for a wonderful simple fresh supper at a restaurant. Dinner with them the second night was DISGUSTING. We felt like the poor relations.
Dear Mrs Alexander, Thank you for your constructive feedback, We were sorry to see that you were disappointed with the standard of meals served at some of the restaurants on this holiday . We have discussed your comments with our local suppliers and from this some new menus have been put into place with more choices available. Whilst the overall feedback for this holiday is positive, we realise we cannot afford to let our standard slip and thank you for bringing these points to our attention. We hope that by making these small changes our customers will continue to enjoy this lovely area of Italy.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Hill on 11/08/2014
We had a wonderful holiday (our second with Headwater) and consistently hot weather in July; although it was too hot really and quite debilitating at the end of each travel day when having to cycle up hill to reach the next hotel. Each hotel was of a high standard with a pleasant welcome and the food was amazing. We look forward to trying another Headwater cycling holiday but will take more consideration of the cycle rating and likely weather conditions next time.
By Mrs Wilson on 11/08/2014
We had a wonderful holiday with Headwater. The hotels and food were excellent. The scenery is stunning because the area is hilly. (You definitely need to have done some recent cycling and be reasonably fit.) A great holiday for food and wine enthusiasts. We were planning our next Headwater trip on the flight back!
By Mrs Williams on 11/08/2014
Good family fun
By Mrs Culligan on 05/08/2014
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday the excellent hotels and food were welcome relief at the end of a challenging day's cycling. Beautiful countryside and villages to visit on route.
By Mrs Holman on 05/08/2014
Excellent service from Kate and Jim starting with a postcard before hand saying that they were looking forward to meeting us. Excellent combination of sight seeing and cycling
By Ms Marshall on 31/07/2014
This was our first experience of a Headwater holiday and we'd certainly do another one. I was a bit apprehensive about the level of fitness required for the cycling, but it was easily manageable - although I'm glad I did some training beforehand. The bikes and routes were great - all we had to do was enjoy the scenery en route and get to the next destination. Loads of suggestions of things to do and places to visit - but no pressure to do anything. Bliss.
By Mr Somers on 31/07/2014
Cycling was fabulous along mainly quiet beatiful roads with some climbs which were all rewarding and enhanced the riding. Hotels were great, all small family run and so friendly. Food and wine was fantastic. Our 2 teenage girls (ages 16 and 15) hardly complained at all for the duration! Great family holiday!
By Mr Ayech on 31/07/2014
it was very interesting, enjoyed the countryside, the people especial. the l' Albara family met some very good people and cycled with some . Pleasantly different
By Mr Davis on 30/07/2014
Cycling this route was very easy. The paths were almost all off-road, or well separated from the traffic, on good quality cycle paths, even in the towns and cities we visited. Hardly any inclines on the whole route, with only one where we had to get off and push. The bikes were in excellent condition and ideally suited to the task. The hotels were all of a very good standard and well located. Lake Constance is very scenic and has a relaxed holiday feel to it, no matter where you are around its periphery, with countless places to stop and eat/drink/admire the view. Overall, a very enjoyable holiday and one of the best we have done with Headwater.
By Mr Higgins on 29/07/2014
The route notes were clearly wrong in places (I made this point two yearsago!) and gave the impression of being written by someone who had not cycled the whole route.
By Mrs Barry on 28/07/2014
It was a lovely relaxing holiday. Amazing weather and the cycling routes were really easy to navigate and through beautiful parts of France. We did though feel we had earned out gastronomic dinner at the end of the day - which was perfect! Two of the hotels were lovely, at Chateau de Chissay and Hotel L'Aubiniere the facilities and food were heavenly but we didn't feel the other hotel Auberge du Centre was not quite at the same standard.
By Mr Owens on 25/07/2014
to start on a negative we did not like the evening meal voucher facillity, the food offered on this fixed 4 course meal option wasn,t to our liking,
we would have preferred an allowance for our evening meal to choose of the al a carte menu, the quality of the fixed four course meal was rather bland and most salad and main courses were heavily caked in sauces, we felt like second class guests when other guests not on a cycling holiday had the choice of other menus and were choosing more appetising dishes, although we read in your small print that we could have requested this option it was never offered at any of the hotels,
the welcome at the first hotel was poor, the girl who handed out the documents could speak very little english so communications were a problem leading to a mix up of when the bikes could be collected. also the manager on duty that day was very surly so our first day didn.t get off to the best of starts,
thank fully though there were plenty of plus points!!
the team who sorted the bikes and transfer of luggage were exellent, Lydia and Sylvester were superb and a credit to the company.
the route notes were ok but we found on the first day that we were having to stop too many times so from day two we found it much easier to just follow the bycycle signs which kept you more or less on the right route and allowed for more enjoyable touring without the stops.
We really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly book with you again.
It would be more enjoyable though if you could give some thought to the meal situation as we were not the only ones to raise the above point.
Overall though we would give the holiday 10/10
thank you paul and pam owens
By Mr MacE on 25/07/2014
You really get to know a country on a bike - the real people, the flora and fauna, food and customs. Eat like a king and not feel guilty!
You have to accept some discomfort - mosquitos, missing/faulty air conditioning, rain showers, bikes with no suspension at all, miss the odd lunch, but it's got to be better than plonked next to a pool reading a book, and cramming another meal in.
Not sure you'd want to publish these comments though!
Seriously, we enjoyed our holiday, and look forward to our next one - maybe Denmark?
By Mr Marston on 24/07/2014
A very well organised holiday with outstanding tour manager, top quality bikes, excellent hotels with very high standard of cusine in a lovely area of France
By Mr Curtis on 23/07/2014
A taste of the Loire, in more ways than one. The meal at Manoir Bel Air is possible the best you will ever encounter
By Ms Bronger on 21/07/2014
Hotel rooms and area were great. We did upgrade every night. But don't expect the hotel food to be enough to keep you cycling the next day. Funky food with drizzle. The menu was repeated each night. We could have done with twice the amount we were given each night. Very expensive wine at all the hotels. Pleased we have been there but would not go on this holiday again.
By Mrs Griffith on 21/07/2014
Every detail of the holiday had been researched well which resulted in a complete and professional package. The routes, hotels and food were all excellent and from the first welcome by Ross a feeling of confidence and helpfulness was portrayed - all surpassed expectations.
By Mr Otiv on 14/07/2014
A very rewarding type of holiday. A very good way to get insight into a particular region.
By Mrs Scheer on 14/07/2014
We had a fabulous cycling trip in this beautiful part of Italy. The accommodations were lovely and the dinners ranged from very good to excellent. The cycling was challenging at times, but not unmanageable. As usual, the Headwater bikes were great and the local reps were very helpful. The people in this region are very friendly and there were lots of opportunities to do wine and grappa tastings. This was our 4th Headwater trip and we are already planning the next one.
By Mrs Charnley on 14/07/2014
People can book with confidence as the description in the Headwater booklet is an accurate description of the experience on offer. Sarah, our holiday rep, was very friendly and helpful. Our accommodation was very good, lovely location and great food. However, as a family group of between ages 10 and 67, we did feel that eating our dinner at 8.00 pm was far too late and we would have appreciated the availability of tea-making facilities in our rooms.
By Mrs Lamont on 14/07/2014
Headwater provide a fair all around holiday
By Mr Crockett on 10/07/2014
Brilliant holiday, made us exercise!
Hills were a challenge.
By Mr Alden on 10/07/2014
Hotels were lovely . The region has some stunning scenery ,and beautiful villages.
Well done Headwater
By Mr Fiske on 10/07/2014
The 'one plus' category was about right if you did not take any of the optional trips on the 'at' days or alternative routes. If you do, that will make it a 'two' bike holiday. For example, the hills in and out of Vezelay are challenging so once there we did not want to make any trips out only to have to climb back again.
On previous Headwater holidays we have always cycled the suggested routes on the rest days.
By Mr Waters on 10/07/2014
Overall a superb holiday, occasional cyclist managed route, good accommodation, good route and other notes. Good access to other locations for tourist visiting.
Excellent local rep.
By Mrs Robertson on 09/07/2014
Absolutely perfect in every way. The office staff at Headwater recommended this holiday to us when we couldn't get the accommodation for our chosen holiday (Austrian Lakes). We are so grateful for her recommendation as it was a wonderful holiday. The bikes were superb and all the routes were incredibly safe and bike friendly with most of the cycling being on dedicated cycle tracks. Bliss!
By Mr Harrison on 08/07/2014
The holiday was perfect. The area, the hotels and the activities were just what we wanted from a holiday. This was one of the best Headwater holiday that we have been on. We were disappointed last year with The Jura but this holiday has given faith in Headwater again
By Ms White on 08/07/2014
The perfect holiday for the more active.
By Mr English on 07/07/2014
The rep, Erhard, was the best we have ever had and produced lots of good information and even mobile phones for emergency use (not needed).
The Schlogen hotel has the most dramatic location on a bend in the river that you can imagine, and it is worth the tough climb up the hill behind to view it from the top.
Vienna is a big city in every sense with lots of grand buildings to see, and the trams make them very accessible, which we discovered thanks to the superb staff on the hotel recepion who know their town well.
The route down the Danube is beautiful and ever changing and full of interest.
By Dr Lyttelton on 05/07/2014
The holiday was a lovely mixture of fabulous scenery, challenging cycling and good food and wine. Your website does have some comments about the grading of the cycling, we did all the longest routes and although there were some steep hills the overall length of the routes was quite short so we agreed with the grading.
By Mr Hyne on 05/07/2014
Another excellent holiday with Headwater despite the disappointing weather! Delicious food again only wish we could have been there longer.
By Mr Wragge on 04/07/2014
Thoroughly enjoyable adventure for all ages and the over 65s! Excellent organisation and help from travel arrangements tailored to our needs to hotel accommodation.
Excellent holiday - we look forward to coming again. Would like to see longer holidays offered - 14 days plus.
Enjoyed Blue Book comments but we were the first to make a comment this year. (Hotel Halm had never heard of the Blue Book!)
By Mrs Griffiths on 03/07/2014
Another amazing Headwater holiday - everything excellent as usual! John, our Rep, was really enthusiastic and informative - he was keen to find out what we were particularly interested in and then suggested relevant ideas which made the holiday extra memorable. He also gave a very professional demonstration of repairing a puncture.
By Mr Anderson on 02/07/2014
In the circumstances, given the accident, very difficult to make comment on this occasion. The hotels were extremely satisfactory. And the countryside, certainly from the inside of a taxi, or the Headwater transport looked very interesting. A trip to maybe repeated in the future!
Dear Mr Anderson,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received.
It was great to see that you rated your holiday overall as good to excellent. Although, we were sorry to read that one of your party had an accident whilst on holiday, we hope they have made a speedy recovery. It was pleasing to read that during this stressful time you found our rep helpful and supportive. We will pass on your positive feedback to him.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater this summer and we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Emmett on 28/06/2014
This was our sixth Headwater Cycling Holiday and every bit as good as the others. Croatia is lovely place for cycling, not too strenuous.. The hotels were all excellent and well situated. Eating out was easy and good value. The towns and villages were all interesting places especially The Roman ruins in Pula and the round stone shepherds shelters were a highlight. We had time for two enjoyable boat trips.
By Mrs Thorp on 27/06/2014
A great holiday, well organized.
By Mr Edwards on 27/06/2014
A very well organised holiday with excellent travel arrangements and a warm welcome from rep and hosts.
By Mrs Marks on 26/06/2014
This was our third holiday with Headwater and as always everything was great, the guides, accommodation, trip routes, bikes, excellent and memorable holiday
By Mrs Pickles on 25/06/2014
Tuscany is wonderful. Beautiful countryside and enchanting hilltop towns. However the cycling routes are long and steep, and hard work in the very high temperatures we experienced. It's a glorious holiday if you're fit!
By Mr Valdes on 24/06/2014
The holiday was very enjoyable and the suggested places to visit/eat and short town guides were very helpful. The food in this part of Italy was amazing and there was a lovely mix of Coast and hills.
By Mrs Thomas on 23/06/2014
a great holiday with lovely places to stay at night with food that is to die for. during the day we stopped at great locations with good facilities for lunch and exploring, would love to go again as it was a great experience thank you
By Mrs Mills on 22/06/2014
This was a fantastic hotel. The best hotel was in montignac, however the worst eating experience was in motignac at the terrace restaurant next to the building site of lascaux 4. In our opinion you should consider foregoing the 'gastronomic title' for one night and let your customers eat at one of the many riverside restaurants and save the taxi fare and let them upgrade their meal with the difference.
By Mrs MacKenzie on 21/06/2014
Beautiful countryside to cycle in cpntrasting so well with the equally gorgeous coves and beaches - thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and would wholeheartedly recommend this holiday.
By Mrs Gregson on 19/06/2014
The holiday was a fantastic way to enjoy this beautiful area. An Italian feast!
By Mr Payne on 17/06/2014
Excellent route through the countryside beautiful but the cycling can be very challenging at times particularly if it is very hot.
By Mis Wilson on 17/06/2014
A solitary bat swinging from the arched roof of an underground Marmini Etruscan tomb. Lizards posing on sun bleached steps or rustling through the undergrowth as you cycle past. The call of frogs, the flash of jays. An abundance of flowers, butterflies, insects and birds and stunning panoramic views. Loads of local colour and culture. Pasta, gnocchi, pecorino cheese with a honey and pine nut dip, ricotta cheesecake, pizza al taglio, gelato. Buongiornos and waves from Italian cyclists. Enjoy those downhill whizzes because there are also some climbs - but you will survive to tell the tale!
By Mr Holway on 16/06/2014
Cycling quite tough; should be rated Two-Bike +. Landscape lovely but little variation. Rest days can be hard to fill. Accommodation good, breakfasts mostly wonderful.
By Mr Hawkins on 16/06/2014
We travelled to Passau via Munich Airport followed by an over 3-hour journey by bus to Freising station, train to Passau and taxi to the hotel. We purchased on-line a Bayern-Ticket for 27 Euros for 2 people which included both the bus and train journeys. We are both in our late sixties and found the cycling easy, although adjustments had to be made for the weather. It rained on the first day but after that the weather was hot and sunny necessitating early starts. The cycle paths were clearly signed so it was easy to follow the route and German and Austrian drivers are courteous to cyclists so cycling in towns was not a problem. The hotels were varied and well chosen and near the main attractions, the only exception being the one in Krems which was up a steep hill, but the hotel's facilities make the climb worthwhile. The instructions suggested going by train from Ottensheim to Linz but the cycle path was well separated from the busy road so cycling to Linz was not a problem. Similarly, the instructions suggest travelling by train in to Vienna but the cycle route was easy and the graffiti no worse than you find on the outskirts of most cities and it cheered up the drab concrete walls even though most of it was not up to the standard of Banksy. The food provided by the hotels was generally good and the hotels were near to restaurants when evening meals were not provided.
By Mr Poultney on 16/06/2014
Easy cycling - with options to reduce length every day (only used once when one person unwell) - hotels in interesting or beautiful locations with plenty to see - good white wine area with everywhere having choice of wines by the glass (125ml) at reasonable prices.
By Mr McLean on 13/06/2014
A more relaxing and fun way to have a cycling holiday which is well organised from the beginning.
By Mrs Riseborough on 13/06/2014
To get the most enjoyment out of this holiday one needs to build up cycling strength and stamina as there were some long rides with hills which needed a lot of energy, particularly for my age group (65+). Fortunately I had been doing this for 4 months so it was fine. This was not a problem for my 25 year old daughter. The cycle paths were a bit challenging as the surface was sharp loose stones and it was necessary to get off the bikes and walk on many occasions.
Croatia is beautiful and the weather was perfect - swimming was possible every day. This is a great way to experience a country up close and get to places most tourists cannot.
By Mrs Demont on 13/06/2014
Fabulous area for easy cycling, with empty roads and lots of interesting places to visit on 'rest' days. A variety of good hotels in very peaceful locations.
By Mr Munn on 13/06/2014
This was our 13th consecutive year of cycling holidays with Headwater and was one of the best. This was partly because the weather was so good but mainly because the Veneto is such a lovely area for cycling and hoidaying. The food at all hotels was excellent and the local wines are not only excellent but cheap.
By Mr Ricketts on 12/06/2014
Although there was an unexpected change to the accommodation at the end of the holiday the helpfulness of Steve meeting me off the St Malo ferry on the first day of the trip removed any further obstacle to the enjoyment of the holiday as my car was already located where I needed it to be for the return trip to the ferry on my last day. The bags were always present at the hotel to which I was moving when I arrived. The whole trip was made very enjoyable by the glorious weather and after the first transfer day any worrries I had about my baggage being transported were gone and I was able to enjoy the whole of the trip with a relaxed frame of mind. I would definitely consider a similar trip with Headwater now I am confident about their efficiency.
By Mrs Young on 09/06/2014
Excellent especially having the back up of an excellent rep.accom was good but maybe 4 gourmet meals were a bit over the top.
By Mrs Talbot on 05/06/2014
Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was very helpful having the Headwater local back up. Will definitely use Headwater again.
By Mrs Grover on 05/06/2014
This must have been 15th Headwater holiday for me and I have no complains about any of them. My late husband and I have used two other companies in the past (one in Germany and one in France) but always came back to Headwater. The formula is excellent (rest day between cycling or walking), the hotels are always good and very often really excellent. The reps are very helpful. You know someone else has done the background work researching for suitable roads to cycle and hotels to stay, yet it feels like an adventure as you have to find your way from one hotel to the other. I have recommended Headwater for several of my friends looking for active holidays and hope I will do many more myself in the future.
By Mrs Fraserballanty on 04/06/2014
Met always with courtesy, and once allocated our very good bicycles and paniers /locks etc there were well planned routes which were usually on either quiet roads or on well marked cycle tracks. Never too hilly and plenty of places to pass through or stop for a delicious patisserie. Wonderful to be free of luggage, knowing that the bags would be transferred to the next overnight stop in yet another lovely place.
Breakfasts were fresh and healthy. Dinners were to die for with the most wonderful range of local produce intriguingly converted into the most elegant presentations, and delicious flavours. What a great combination with all the daily exercise on our bikes being followed by the reward of such wonderful menus! The wine lists too reflected the local Tourraine grape varieties. We slept soundly every night in great comfort!
By Mr O'Loughlin on 03/06/2014
Helpful Headwater staff . Location was a bit boring compared to the Loire or the Dordogne regions.
By Mr Warren on 03/06/2014
We have taken several holidays with Headwater mainly in France and have always enjoyed them,but this one in Croatia comes top.Lovely countryside, many wild flowers to admire, super accommodation and very friendly people.
By Mr Griffiths on 03/06/2014
Good fun helped by good weather, hotels, food and wine.
Our stay in Monopoli was wonderful and the hotel was ideal - got a little lost on our way back on the first cycle ride as we mis-counted some of the 'Y' turns. Enjoyed the cycle rides along the side roads - pretty wild flowers in May.
By Mrs McKay on 03/06/2014
L'Albara was wonderful and accommodated our dietary requirements (vegan) very well - every course had a vegan version and the quality of the food was the best we've had.
By Mrs Lindsay on 03/06/2014
Thanks to careful planning by Headwater our holiday ran smoothly from the initial phone call to our journey home. It was our first experience using Headwater, it exceeded all our expectations and we look forward to another holiday with them in the future.
By Mrs Bird on 01/06/2014
Katie and Jim looked after all our needs and we are grateful to them for making our holiday work. We found the cycling very tough, but were able to switch to the walking holiday with their help. We probably over estimated our ability but the grading of the holiday was a little misleading to us. Some of the other guests agreed that they had found it tougher than they had expected. Overall, the holiday was enjoyable and we would use Headwater Holidays again.
By Mr Duncan on 31/05/2014
There was 5 in our family party. 2 x over 65 1 x over 40 & 2 x 36 to 39
All enjoyed the trip very much. However I have sent an e mail to Lisa regarding the representative.
The hotels , staff & food were excellent & we were made most welcome.
By Mr Ingram on 30/05/2014
Well organised travel arrangements. Good overall accommodation. Welcoming and knowledgeable staff. Rep support very good and while not needed by ourselves we spoke to others who had been helped. Wine collection service tried and tested - it works! (Thank you, Ross).
In our experience (May 2014) finding an open cafe and 'facilities' was not always easy.
Next trip with Headwater is already booked! Enough said!
By Mr Ray-johnson on 30/05/2014
Stimulating and sufficiently challenging to arrive home with a sense of achievement as well as enjoying the local culture, history and scenery. Whilst we are still fit, we will consider taking another Headwater Cycling trip again.
By Mr Previte on 14/05/2014
Because of our ages (I am 80, my wife is 78) we decided not to do the Puglia trip on bikes but by car. This worked very well. The only problem was the very narrow streets and difficulty in finding the way in Monopoli. Doing it by car meant we had more time to explore the places where we stayed and time to drive to Lecce. We thought that Masseria Salamina would be a very good base for anyone wishing to explore Puglia by car. It is a lovely hotel, easy to find and in a good location for visiting other interesting places in that area. The sea food restaurants on the coast are excellent, especially one at La Forcatella. The remains of the Roman town and port at Egnazia and the museum are very intersting.
By Mr Woolstone on 23/04/2014
A wonderfully authentic Puglian expeience -great locations, countryside, food, wine & cycling
By Mr Dear on 18/04/2014
We decided to book our own direct flights with BA instead of using the advertised Alitalia via Milan flights. The timings don't differ significantly and Headwater were happy to arrange non standard transfers at no extra cost. The standard of accommodation throughout the trip was of a high standard. We really enjoyed the stay in the Trulli house and were pleasantly surprised to be given a Trulli suite with a small patio garden! The highlight however was our stay in the Masseria Salamina. On booking we upgraded to a garden suite but on arrival we were delighted to be allocated the luxury suite complete with private balcony and sea views. We were made to feel really welcome by the family and the food was excellent. Simple, fresh and plentiful with much of it coming from their own farm.
The map of the area is only good for an overview but the route notes and briefing were excellent and at no point did we stray off route. Some of the roads (as has been mentioned before) are in a poor condition but this did not detract from the enjoyment of the cycling.
Another enjoyable, well organised and well supported holiday from Headwater. The next one is already booked!
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 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 Mrs Bruce on 31/01/2014
We cycled every day and enjoyed being in the area; our trip had some changeable weather, including warm sun, heavy rain and strong winds. If you had another cycle route in the area, we'd certainly like to consider returning!
By Mrs Logan on 03/12/2013
A good holiday with excellent cycles and this time a good rep/agent and his wife although we could have had more information on how to adjust the bikes if needed before we set off. Maps are poor and it is worth photocopying your own before leaving home to help you plan your trips. Route guidance is reasonable most days.
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 Ripley on 25/11/2013
An excellent holiday with the usual high standards of food, accommodation and planning.
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 Mr Whittaker on 03/11/2013
This area of Italy proved to be lovely for cycling. Most of the routes were along very quiet lanes lined with dry stone walls, along side olive groves and vineyards. Staying in a Trulli in Alberrobello was a delightful experience, so much so that we wish we had been able to book an extra night: we didn't cycle on the middle day as we wanted to look round the town.
By Dr Whittington on 31/10/2013
I really enjoyed this area of France and to cycle around made it that much more special.
By Mrs Brewster on 30/10/2013
We had a great holiday. The children thoroughly enjoyed the cycling, the scenery was beautiful, plenty of medieval villages to stop end explore and the hotels en route were great. We were extremely lucky with the weather - hot and sunny every day, so that we could enjoy the hotel pools at the end of each day. A brilliant family holiday.
By Ms Debenham on 27/10/2013
We normally travel with our own bikes and a map, so this holiday was a wonderful luxury. Given the number of small back roads, I think we would have struggled to find such a good route on our own. The hotels were all very comfortable, friendly and welcoming and the countryside was beautiful. We went in September and the temperature was ideal both for cycling and for relaxing on the beach. On the evidence of this holiday we are keen to return and see some more of Croatia.
By Mrs Alcock on 22/10/2013
I have completed your feedback form but you have got one of the hotels listed incorrect. We did not stay at Hotel Rheinfels as they did not have any available rooms. We stayed at Hotel Hoeri am Bodensee and my comments are obviously about that hotel. Apparently every year on that weekend there is a conference in Stein am Rhein which takes over all hotel rooms so this should be noted for future reference. My bike was stolen from outside Hotel Halm. The lock up arrangements for the bikes at that hotel were not adequate and these need to be improved. However the staff who helped me were brilliant and it was all sorted out very quickly.
By Mr Wright on 22/10/2013
Javier is an excellent rep. September is a great month for this sort of holiday - warm but mostly manageable temperatures for cycling. There is a great variety of places to visit and some delightful landscapes. From Il Poggio we had an excellent ride up to Gualdo Cattaneo but it's a bit of a slog - the view from the tower is good. From Relais de Ripa it's worth visiting Perugia on the 'day off' by bus after an early breakfast - don't even think of cycling there unless you are super fit. We also enjoyed visiting Montefalco and the olive and wine museums at Torgiano. We loved the variety of hotels and the meals and warm welcomes from the staff. Headwater have helped us to fall in love with Italy.
By Mrs Stewart on 21/10/2013
This was a really excellent holiday despite the cycling being a little harder than expected. The food throughout was outstanding. Keith and Claire were friendly and helpful giving excellent advice and support.
By Mr Robertson on 17/10/2013
Piedmont is a very attractive area and not at all 'touristy'. It is, however, much hillier than we expected from brochure description, and though the climbs were interesting at times, the rewards were the views from the top and the descents!
The accommodation was excellent in every respect, the hotel and restaurant staff almost invariably very welcoming and helpful and the food and wines were generally very good. Special mention to the Osteria Dai Cateri in Monforte d'Alba for the best dinner of the holiday but most of the others were extremely good. Moda again in Monforte d'Alba was only average and Verde Rama in Castiglione Tinella was a bit disappointing; they gave us a restricted '?Headwater' menu and several of the dishes served were poor. I think all the other restaurants gave us a choice from their a la carte menus.
This is our third Headwater holiday and the bikes provided were the worst. The bikes were fairly basic and slightly heavy hybrids compared with what the Chain Gang gave us last year but they were poorly maintained and my bike was unsafe. My wife's bike's handlebars weren't straight and she couldn't get into the lowest gear (not handy in hilly terrain!). My bike's gears were also not set up corrrectly but I was able to sort that myself, but the bike felt unsteady on corners. Eventually it started creaking loudly going up hills and my wife observed the rear wheel wobble especially on corners. I've a little experience in bike maintenance and the problem seemed to be due to slack spokes that needed tensioned. Marc brought out, the following morning, a replacement wheel taken from another bike and this seemed ok during a quick test in the hotel's garage but after a few yards with panniers on, ball bearings started falling out of the rear wheel bearing. Unfortunately the reps had gone and as they'd forgotten their mobile, it was some time before I got a replacement bike. This was a Giant and much better than my original Headwater bike, thankfully. If both our bikes had been of this quality, we would have definitely considered another Headwater holiday and recommended you to our friends and family.
During the booking process, Headwater arranged the train tickets from Nice to Cuneo and informed me on the phone and in the original invoice, the train departure times and that we would change trains at Breil Sur Roya. When the final invoice arrived, train depature time and station to switch trains at (now Ventimiglia), had been changed. Fortunately I noticed the alterations but I think Headwater should have drawn our attention, specifically, to this, as we might have missed it.
By Mrs Marshall on 14/10/2013
Your local agent organised a great tour through Puglia, linking key sights of interest via lovely quiet back roads where we observed rural life.
By Mr Collman on 14/10/2013
A cycling holiday is an adventure. We started in summer weather and ended in cold and rain which did somewhat marr this experience. This was our 6th cycling holiday, and we felt that the route was somewhat artificial. [Our favourite was the Danube, Passau to Vienna, which was a real journey.]
By Mr Jackson on 10/10/2013
The holiday itinerary was well-planned and took us through a delightful and unfamiliar part of northern Italy. The cycling was leisurely but varied, with opportunities to visit a range of very interesting and attractive places and sights. Sarah's advice and suggestions were excellent, and she dealt promptly with a problem with one of the bikes. Accommodation was very good: we particularly enjoyed our stays at Belvedere Resort ai Colle and at Agriturismo l'Albara (where dining alongside the family made for a great atmosphere). Everyone we met was friendly and helpful, the weather was excellent at this time of year, and the local wine a revelation (unfortunately we were only able to bring back 2 bottles from Gabriella at Agriturismo Il Feudo)!
By Mr Patterson on 09/10/2013
A wonderful week's escape. Just what we were looking for. Peaceful cycling in idyllic rural France.
By Mrs Duncan on 09/10/2013
good mix of cycling and rest days. Profile maps giving an indication of the heights gained and lost would be of interest. We cycled an extra day whilst at H della Rovere, and some information about possible routes might have been useful. In fairness, we hadn't told the reps we intended to do this as it was a last moment decision. Hotel Rovere room 404 was noisy as it was opposite reception and trundling suitcases early and late were noisily intrusive. Don't book this room or ask the hotel to lay down a rubberised pathway... The room was also quite dark.
Reps were excellent and helpful setting up and checking the bikes.. Rattly rear mudguards over the via bianchi and uneven road surfaces needed a bit of first aid. A bike bottle holder on the bike frame would have been nice
By Mr Morgan on 09/10/2013
Great combination of exercise, exploration and recreation.
By Mr Adamson on 08/10/2013
Well planned cycling routes with excellent instructions. 2 out of the 3 hotels were excellent. Alan & Linda were extremely helpful throughout the holiday & largely responsible for it running so smoothly.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 06/10/2013
The holiday was terrific. Lots of wonderful villages, castles, and caves. The biking routes were well planned and very enjoyable. This was our third Headwater Holiday and all of them have been phenomenal. The food was great too, The trip notes were excellent. The bikes were very good bikes. The holiday was not exactly leisurely. If one does just the trips on travel days, it still would not be leisurely due to many tough hills. If you do the optional trips on 'lay over days,' the accumulation can be quite exhausting. However, many of the really great things to see are on 'layover days' - so resting on these days is not really an option. Personally, we enjoyed the level, but agree with others that the level needs to be at least moderate. I would rate this trip as moderate to challenging. The good news is that even if you are not an active cyclist, you can always hop off your bike and push it to the top of the difficult hills - pushing is not as difficult as it might sound. And once you get to the top, it is worth the effort for long rides with great views on quiet roads. The sights Headwater recommends in the notes are perfect! The Headwater reps (Keith and Claire) were very helpful and went out of their way for us.
By Mrs Kinmonth on 04/10/2013
Harder cycling than expected, mainly due to wind.
By Mrs Gentle on 04/10/2013
We were unprepared for the heat or the severity of the hills
By Dr Murphy on 04/10/2013
A lovely way to be relatively guilt free enjoying great food and fine wine, and working off the calories by day! Most cycling is relatively flat, but all the fantastic views come at a price - either a short steep climb or a long slow climb!
By Mrs Shorney on 03/10/2013
We found the cycling to be very enjoyable. Excellent instructions and maps and lots of variety in the scenery - coastal and inland. Rather more riding on tracks [often sandy or stony] than expected, but little traffic to worry about. Thought the overrall grading was higher than 'soft'.
First class hotels throughout. Cannot speak too highly of the couriers, Alan and his wife. We were lucky to have fine weather throughout, so a very good holiday.
Only small drawback was the long time spent travelling - air/rail took the whole day, both outward and return
By Mr Emms on 02/10/2013
nice hotels, gentle cycling and wonderful surroundings....all makes for an enjoyable and relaxing break
By Mrs Fox on 01/10/2013
The representative's initial meeting and info about the holiday was poor. The hotels were first class. The title of the holiday coastal Croatia was a bit misleading as although the routes were along the coast you could not see the coast from many of the roads. I was expecting to be cycling along the coast for many of the rides, so this was disappointing - where we did cycling along the coast it was stunning.
Many of the tracks were unpleasant to ride as one had to look down all the time due to the heavy gravel.
By Mr Collins on 01/10/2013
On the whole all the hotels exceeded our expectations as did the bikes, which were very good, though I would recommend extra padded cycling shorts.
If you arent going to have lunch at a restaurant en route, buy your provisions early, because everything closes for lunch, we never did work out the closing times, as we always seemed to be on the road. Many of the roads are awful, so those padded shorts will serve you doubly!
The dinners are plentiful and wonderful food. The routes are delightful, mainly on small roads with little traffic. There was only one day which proved to be rather taxing with a lot of ups and downs from Alberobello to Martina Franca. Luggage transportation went without any hiccups and all in all it was a really enjoyable destination to catch the last of the summer warmth.
By Dr Young on 30/09/2013
The local rep provided the MOST EXCELLENT route notes we have ever experienced. The routes allowed us a great taste of both inland and coastal scenery. There are some built up areas on this holiday and we had no difficulty getting through. He also led us most interesting routes through the little towns so we felt we had seen a great deal. He had obviously ridden the rides himself recently as there was no confusion at all over road work issues etc which we have found before.The routes for the 'rest 'days were fantastic although more challenging than the other days! But well worth the effort. He also provided us with the best maintained bikes we have ever experienced - so thank you enormously for that. 2 of the 3 hotels were just wonderful- quite a treat-and of a luxurious nature.
By Mr Fletcher on 29/09/2013
A very good holiday. All the hotels were good and the local reps were fantastic.
By Mr Stocks on 28/09/2013
Cycling for softies but the fitter you are the more enjoyable especially if you want to cycle and get the best from some of the 'rest day' route possibilities.
A real holiday.
By Ms Chatwin on 28/09/2013
Great way to enjoy a weeks holiday with like minded people.Makes keeping fit enjoyable and easy.
By Ms McLellan on 28/09/2013
Helpful reps and decent kit with good route notes but accommodation and food variable; slightly disappointing overall. 50 euro 'cash back' for dinner in San G when hotel restaurant closed was a bit tight based on what the hotel charged for a 3 course meal (but did mean that we had a good night out in San G and the best meal of the holiday by far!). Cycling tough at times, more road work than expected and would have struggled if it had been in the height of the summer heat but rewarding and some memorable views.
By Dr Bungay on 27/09/2013
Wonderful cycling holiday with varied days and experiences. The cycling could be easy or more challenging according to the options. The scenery and architecture was amazing, but very few tourists (except Venice)
By Mrs Craig on 25/09/2013
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. It was very well organised with varied routes on almost deserted roads through beautiful countryside and coastline.
Because it was very windy we found it more tiring than expected. Although the landscape is fairly flat there are some steep climbs.
All the hotels(which were very different) were comfortable and the food of a high standard.
By Mr Brown on 25/09/2013
have spoken to joanne prior to your e mail but conform we thought the holiday was excellent in every respect. bikes were brilliant hotels and food better than expected. the area was fascinating and very unspoilt and great cycling routes.We were dismayed to hear of Ali accident just after our our meeting and hope she recovers quickly and fully because she was really great and helpful and knowledgeable and sensible. One set of directions per cyclist would have been better and advance warning of city taxes in two of the hotels might be wise. Otherwise a really great holiday.
By Mr Valentine on 24/09/2013
This is an excellent holiday for those that can afford it. Loads to see and do if the weather isn't wonderful. Easy cycling. Good food all the way around the trip.
By Mrs Lythell on 24/09/2013
Very well organised holiday. Quality reliable reps. Food and accommodation was good.
By Mrs Khurana on 24/09/2013
We had a lovely, lovely holiday. The bikes were so good we wanted to run away with them, the food was universally very good and the hotels were pretty good at providing for our vegetarian diets. The breakfast buffets were wonderful - I'm converted to Bircher muesli now. It was easy cycling with excellent route description in a very beautiful part of the world. Who would believe you can have a cycling holiday in Switzerland, Austria, Germany with no hills!
By Mrs Coburn on 23/09/2013
The title 'gastronomique' is deserved - the food was wonderful. The cycling was generally easy and the many chateaux were a delight. Special treats Clos-Lucé in Amboise; the gardens in Chaumont; the delightful Cheverny.
By Mrs Dickinson on 22/09/2013
Some demanding hills but mostly flat cycling. Hotels very varied but all had wonderful views and good food.
By Ms Webster on 21/09/2013
Very good. We have always enjoyed our Headwater holidays.
By Mr Wall on 20/09/2013
Cycling in the Loire is a great way to see the area, with the opportunity to visit at least one Chateau a day (so that by the end one is 'chattered'!). The accommodation arranged by Headwater, amazing food, and efficient back-up, all provide for a memorable holiday.
By Mrs McLynn on 20/09/2013
Javier, the rep, was excellent! He had so much local knowledge, he knew and updated the routes, and he gave much useful advice on safe cycling and
cycle maintenance. He also made it clear that if we had any problem he was only a phone call away! Well done!
By Mrs Barr on 20/09/2013
This was the best Headwater Holiday so far . Almost the entire route was on flat dedicated cycle paths or through quiet country lanes with little or no other traffic. Each day's cycling was easy and on average only about 25 miles. ( my wife and I are OAPs and we managed each day with no problem). The real bonus with this holiday is reaching Vienna at the end of the journey. I would recommend an extra night in Vienna before returning home..
By Mr Haines on 20/09/2013
An excellent holiday cycling 285 KM from Passau to Vienna along flat safe routes. The Tulln hotel was a bit basic and the train journey to Stein was a pain but probably necessary. We followed the reps advice and went into Vienna using the island route which avoided the train route suggested. Overall the holiday ticked all the boxes as is usually the case with Headwater. Thanks, we will be back next September with our friends for another adventure!
By Mr Dunn on 19/09/2013
As you can tell from the above 'excellent' rating we had a very happy and memorable holiday and returned home feeling relaxed and fit. The holiday exceeded our expectations and we appreciated the level of planning and preparation that had been done by Headwater and by Steven (our Rep in Lamballe) to ensure that we had a trouble free and carefree time in Brittany. We loved it and are already thinking about which Headwater cycling holiday we could do next summer.
With regards to the rating for 'level' of cycling - it was perfect for us, we are regular cyclists and 30 miles a day is a good average for us, but when we booked, we wondered if we would fine it too easy as it was classed as 'easy' and ok for people who hadn't been on a bike recently. I don't think I would have found it very enjoyable if I had been in that category. That's my only constructive criticism of the brochure - otherwise, we had a ball!! Many thanks.
By Mrs O'Hanlon on 19/09/2013
The outgoing travel was poor as we waited 5hours in Venice for out train as our rep did not have the time to meet us earlier.
We were all very tired having been up since 3 a.m and not arriving at our destination until 5.30p.m. On our return we were offered a coach to take us directly to the airport for an extra cost of 10 euros each forfeiting our return train tickets. Why could this not have been done on the outward journey ad we could have spent a pleasant afternoon around the pool instead of waiting on a station. We used the main Station in Venice not the one of your choice as this one had left luggage facilities and restaurants.
By Mrs Gambrill on 18/09/2013
This was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. I would never have seen this area of Spain doing a normal Hotel/Package deal. It is like a mini adventure with someone else doing all the arranging, absolutely loved it. Look forward to doing another one soon.
By Mr Kerr on 18/09/2013
A great way to explore Umbria, including the interesting towns of Spello, Spoletto, Motefalco, Bevagna and Assisi. The cycling is challenging enough and the well chosen hotels provide welcome refuge and refreshment at the end of the day. On the stay-put days it's good to have the opportunity to sight-see or relax, depending on your mood. We enjoyed the regional food and wine and our dinner at the Trattoria di Oscar in Bavagna was a particular highlight.
By Mr Birtwhistle on 18/09/2013
As a holiday it represented poor value for money with poor communication skills on behalf of the hosts ad the area had little variety. The food was fair at best and nothing like we had expected or experienced on previous headwater holidays. Overall not good value.
By Mrs Huddart on 18/09/2013
Headwater provided some lovely, quiet, cycling routes in what is perhaps not the most sparsely populated area of Italy. Montefalco, Bevagna and Assisi were the highlights. Definitely the easiest cycling we have done with Headwater. Knowledgeable rep. The food in all the hotels is excellent (I think more of me came back than arrived!). Hotel at Ripa is the best (but not much to do around it), rooms at Il Poggio are not of the same standard as appear on their website (raised separately with Headwater), views from this hotel are marvellous.
We did feel that the 8 day version of this holiday might have been better as the 4 night break at Spoleto was a little too soon in the holiday (directly after Spello), but this is personal preference.
Altogether an enjoyable holiday with some excellent food.
By Mrs Lee on 18/09/2013
Overall, very enjoyable with delicious local food and beautiful scenery. The thrilling downhill sections made up for the uphill challenges. Volterra is a gem and a wonderful place to celebrate your cycling achievements on the final night.
By Mr Lane-ryan on 17/09/2013
Negatives first: Somewhat expensive for the type of holiday which will cause us to carefully evaluate 'rival' companies for next year. The countryside was too similar and the beaches poor unlike the Alsace tour we went on previously which was pleasantly varied with overall better hotels. The trulli experience was not to be recommended, no working air conditioning, light bulbs missing etc... On pointing this out told the air conditioning had been switched off as weather getting cooler ! In fact it could be switched on but did not work. Our friend next door discovered the air conditioning in his house had no plug. The plumber was to be told about the problem and we had a fan so clearly problem was longer standing.
Positives: the hotels were all good and staff helpful in most, the organisation of the tour by Southern Visions was excellent and the Salamina was to be particularly recommended. Weather perfect.
Overall we were happy with holiday but will be more careful over selecting the area we go to next year to ensure variety/interest. That is not the fault of Headwater!
By Mr Whitton on 16/09/2013
Very well organised. Excellent reps on site. Excellent choice of hotels
By Mrs Wickstead on 16/09/2013
Great Holiday with excellent support from helpful staff at our destination.
By Mr Lachowski on 16/09/2013
This was an excellent, well designed, well organised holiday with very good back-up from Greenways Travel.
By Mrs Newman on 15/09/2013
This was the best cycling holiday we have been on with Headwater. Excellent cycling, if tough in places, great hotels and beautiful scenery. The water was crystal clear and it is well worth cycling beyond Pula to some excellent secluded beaches. The 4am start at Gatwick was the only downpoint of the holiday - please Headwater put on some more sensible flight times in future.
By Mrs Woodhead on 15/09/2013
Great adventure, beautiful country new to us, superb mix of historic hilltop towns, world-class Roman heritage, lovely coast with tempting swimming coves, Italian food with a Viennese twist, red-earth olive groves and vineyards. Be prepared for some VERY rough tracks, thrills and spills, or get off and walk for extended sections. HOT, long days cycling but all very much worth it on arrival at characterful destinations and comfortable lodgings.
By Mrs Mowll on 14/09/2013
Headwater were friendly, efficient and the holiday was well organised throughout with comprehensive directions. Rest days offered the opportunity to put the bikes on the train for part of the tours, or just cycle part of the routes and the hotels were well placed for this and other sightseeing. All in all, a very good holiday was had by all!
By Mrs Russell on 12/09/2013
We thought the food was at times too good, we were not expecting either the standard or quantity - which was at times off putting. The cycling distances were far enough and at our age, with the quality of bikes (could be better) not sure if we will do it again. This was I think our sixth cycling holiday with you, but the first for five years: age is catching up with us, it was sometimes a slog. We have electric bikes at home and we would definitely go on another Headwater holiday if you could organise them.
We were supposedly not on the Gourmet Menu, however it felt as if we were and to be honest, while lovely, the food was just over the top at times. There was a mix up with our arrival, totally my fault, however if Marg had just called or texted me from the station when we weren't there, (she had my number), then we would have saved ourselves a very expensive taxi ride. The reps were helpful when a bike chain jammed, although it took them an hour to reach us, and at times we thought they were very 'stretched': it seemed to be a very busy time. Hotel accommodation was generally a little lower than expected for the cost and Room 28 at the Hostellrie du Chateau was the worst: very cramped and smelt due to the sewage pipe outside the bedroom window. However, that was the friendliest hotel owner by a mile: Madame was delightful. Generally, we felt the standard of accommodation offered to Headwater guests was that of getting the poorer rooms in the hotels, but I do appreciate that often rural French hotels of this type are like that. We did have a major, irreparable puncture, fortunately discovered in the early evening of an 'off' day - when we were just planning to go for a short ride to the next village. The bikes are 'okay' but I am sure there are better ones. John was contacted and came as soon as he could, but it clearly added to the pressure the couple were under. John did ask us for money for the return transfers, claiming we were not on their list, however when I checked our invoice it definitely stated that they were included in our costs.
Nothing major to complain about, I guess we're getting a bit pickier as we get older.
By Mrs Melhuish on 12/09/2013
We enjoyed our holiday in Piedmonte a great deal. Accommodation and food etc were excellent. Backup was good too. However, we felt that the cycling difficulty rating as stated (moderate/leisurely) was a little on the optimistic side Having cycled the 'Secrets of San Gemiagno' route last year (moderate), we thought 'Gastronomic Barolo' was significantly more difficult, despite selecting the 'easier' options when there was a choice of route.
Future travellers heading for this holiday via Nice (Easyjet) should note that you will have a 5 hour wait in Nice following the 6 a.m.departure from Gatwick The Castle Hill to the east of the city is pleasant place to spend a few peaceful hours, but had we known that we could have dumped our cases at the station this would have improved the experience.
By Mr Wilkinson on 12/09/2013
Very good holiday.
By Mr Nichols on 12/09/2013
After having many successful holidays without problem with Headwater Booking we were surprised to have difficulties getting: the rail return details confirmed; the invoice correct; the correct Reginal booklet sent through (3 tries); and the return transfer was still incorrectly notified to the local representative. Having said that your agents, Greenways' organisation was excellent leading to a successful holiday.
By Mrs Duckworth on 11/09/2013
We thought this was an excellent holiday, and overall very good value. As last year, your office staff were at all times friendly, welcoming and helpful.
Accommodation: Hotel Le Quercy was disappointing. Spartan. Small rooms with irritatingly small double beds. On arrival, the bedrooms stank of stale cigarette smoke (thought smoking was illegal – but I suppose it is France). The rooms may have been clean, but the smell of cigarettes is off-putting. No air-conditioning. The restaurant down the road was OK-ish but we were seated in the secondary dining room which was noisy and crowded with a Danish Coach Tour. The staff promised that we would be in the real dining room thereafter, but we were not. The food was OK-ish too, but the ambience of the secondary dining room was too redolent of school to allow the meal to be enjoyable. We dreaded the return to Le Quercy.
The other three hotels were very good. The food at all three was of an excellent standard.
Bicycles: There were robust, safe and in excellent condition. The gears were well-indexed, and appropriate for the routes chosen.
The cycling itself was thoroughly enjoyable. The routes were well chosen. The scenery was stunning. We loved it.
The reps: Claire was incredibly helpful and friendly throughout. Keith was helpful in setting up the bikes for us, in particular in helping to fit a saddle that one of us brought. He was less helpful on return. We arrived back at Hotel Le Quercy earlier than expected, and went out for a walk. When we returned, Keith had, without asking, put our bikes away so there was no option to use them in the late afternoon had we wanted to. Also – infuriatingly – he had taken it upon himself to remove the saddlebags from the bikes, and had tipped our personal belongings into a large black rubbish bag. We didn’t like that. We wanted to chat and pass on information about the cycling (how good it was, how good the equipment was) but, as others have commented, he was not interested. He was not overtly unfriendly, but clearly did not want to engage, and soon disappeared. A shame.
The grading of the routes. This must be a nightmare for you. It is inevitable that, covering a reasonable distance, the routes cannot all be flat. There must be variation. Furthermore, a gentle slope to some is a nightmare to others. How can you give an objective assessment to meet all needs? Our group of six (age range 58 to 63) had a complete range of cycling ability from three keen regular cyclists (A,B,C) with high end road bikes at home, two occasional cyclists (D,E) and one person (F) who rarely cycles. Our most experienced cyclist, A, had done Lands End/John o’ Groats (LEJOG) a few weeks before the holiday. But, whatever our relative abilities, we all enjoyed the holiday. E and F had to push their bikes up a number of hills, and were slow. They were not bothered by this. A and B never pushed. C did once. The daily total mileage is not great and could easily have been done by lunchtime if necessary. Indeed, most of the routes could be walked in a day (albeit a long one), so there was plenty of time for cyclists of all abilities.
We have seen the comment on 2/8/2013 and, whilst we do not entirely agree with it, or the spirit of it, it is correct to say that the Dordogne holiday is not, within the ordinary sense of the word, ‘leisurely’. Whilst 120 miles in seven days is well within the reach of a ‘regular’ cyclist or even an ‘occasional’ cyclist, some of the ascents were disproportionately demanding. The ride up to Hotel Mysatt was challenging coming on the first day, but at least there was a clear warning about this both in the route notes and from Claire. Later on, the ride up to Domme was similarly challenging (Wow! Wasn’t it worth the pedalling though!) but, once again, we had been warned. In fact, there were challenges every day. The most demanding climb of all – steeper than the ride up to Hotel Mysatt - was the Day 5 ‘at Les Eyzies’ steep road up to Sireuil. Even our LEJOG cyclist nearly stalled on this one. But it was only 1K, and the three of our number who walked most of it did so in less than fifteen minutes. A pleasant walk, and worth it, because once up to the village, the scenery was beautiful. We suspect, however, that many might give up before getting to the top as there was no warning as to the length of the hill.
We conclude therefore that the ‘difficulty’ grading of your holidays needs attention. We did the Alsace wine trail holiday last year which was also classed as ‘leisurely’. Compared to the Dordogne, however, it was a free-wheel. The Dordogne should be upgraded to ‘moderate’. Furthermore, we would give a warning that all but the fittest cyclists can expect to be pushing their bikes for a few hundred yards on some days.
If we were to compare it to a French skiing holiday, which we often did, we would class this as a predominantly Red Route holiday, with some Blues and occasional Blacks. Alsace was a Blue Run holiday. But, whichever colour run you prefer, it is good to have the occasional challenge.
Overall, though, to repeat, an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable holiday, and all being well we will be back next year.
By Mr Bush on 10/09/2013
Really enjoyable holiday with excellent routes worked out and plenty of scope for variation if you wanted to do a bit more. Lots of 'hidden gems' along the way with the notes signposting them really well. Really useful to have the pointers to cafes and restaurants along the route, or to know that a particular village had no bakery or the cafe was closed on Tuesdays! The bikes were incredibly comfortable and great to ride and having chosen the less strenuous holiday option, we found that we could manage them easily despite not having cycled any great distance for some years .
By Mrs Heller on 10/09/2013
1. Be prepared for one disappointing hotel amongst the other gems
2. If cycling, some training beforehand will enhance your holiday
By Mrs Fuller on 10/09/2013
Really lovely holiday. We loved Il feudo especially, but variety in the hotels was a positive feature. Would avoid temperatures in high 30s next time by going earlier. Sarah was helpful and knowledgeable. Ideal for family with children, including chance to visit Venice and Vicenza.
By Mr Groom on 09/09/2013
Very well organised allowing us the opportunity to have many splendid days to enjoy both countryside and town alike. Accommodation, with one notable exception, excellent. Scenery, sights and sounds will all remain locked in the memory for a long time to come - would happily recommend the holiday
By Mr Higgins on 09/09/2013
The Dordogne is a beautiful area for cycling, but be aware this is a hilly route. The benefit is that the cycling works off all the wonderful food you will be presented with at the hotels.
The hotels, with the exception of Le Quercy are first class,but the food is excellent at all.
By Mrs Ferguson on 09/09/2013
A fantastic holiday. Great cycling routes and all the accommodation was of a high standard, beautiful scenery and fabulous food!
By Ms Warren on 08/09/2013
Headwater provide all the component parts for an excellent acivity holiday: great equipment and instructions, helpful and knowledgeable guides, and a great choice of locations and hotels.
By Mrs Hunt on 02/09/2013
Just what we wanted!
By Mr Young on 01/09/2013
the cycle routes took us through beautiful countryside that we would never experienced without Headwaters' guides
By Mrs Campbell on 01/09/2013
We had a fantastic holiday! The food was fabulous and the hotels were perfect. Villa Beccaris is particularly stunning. It is a beautiful part of Italy which is very lush - even in August. The reason for this is that it sometimes rains, so take some waterproofs for you and your valuables. We had 2 rainy days - the showers were short but heavy. The panniers supplied seemed watertight but some extra protection did not go amiss.
Grading a cycling holiday is difficult as it is subjective and depends and on what you are used to. We are in our mid-fifties, reasonably fit and do most of our cycling in Scotland or occasionally Yorkshire so are used to hills. We can happily cycle 50 - 60 miles/day. All of the towns in this region are on the tops of hills but you are often given the option of shorter/easier routes longer/more challenging ones. We always took the 'challenging' option as they are usually very scenic and didn't find them too difficult. However, so if you have not cycled for a while you will enjoy it more if you try to improve your fitness before you go. The bikes are good, with lots of gears and the distance between the hotels is not excessive so you can take your time and enjoy the scenery which is stunning. It is not really leisurely, however, and a novice might find it tough going at times.
The bikes also come with comfy gel saddles but we can recommend wearing proper cycle shorts. The extra padding helps and the seams in normal shorts can cause uncomfortable friction. The water bottles supplied by Headwater only contain 750 ml and there is no way of securing them to the bike so you have to keep them in the panniers.Bottles cages are not supplied for safety reasons but we took Camelback rucksacks which are very useful. They hold 1500 ml and the tubing means water is always readily available to drink on the move rather than having to stop half way up a hill. There are lots of public drinking fountains to top up so you don't need to worry about buying water in shops.
If you are thinking about an August holiday, be aware that this is peak holiday time in Italy so some shops and restaurants will be closed. As a result, we ate at the same restaurant on 2 consecutive nights but that was no hardship.
By Mrs Noble on 29/08/2013
Really good fun and quite an adventure. Worked very well for my two children of 9 and 11 who loved the cycling and swimming.
By Mr Alden on 28/08/2013
great fun holiday adventure
By Mr Godsall on 26/08/2013
This was our first cycling package holiday and we very much enjoyed it; just the right level of route for reasonably fit beginners. Carefully planned holiday with excellent information and service from Headwater.
By Mr Keeling on 25/08/2013
The cycling was very enjoyable with excellent cycle paths and easy to follow directions mostly. There were a couple of unclear directions towards end day at Konstanz and Steim um Rhein. Weather was very good and amenities for tennis and swimming great. No major problems with the bikes although back up was not that good according to other members of the party who had punctures etc.
By Mrs Burnett on 20/08/2013
Two excellent hotels, Villetta Phasiana and Villa Tuttorotto, the second with a harbour view that was beyond fantastic. The cycling was energetic at times with a couple of busy roads and the occasional error in the 'talk-round' leading to some extended routes and some interesting conversations with locals to get us back on track - but overall was fine. Good bikes by the way.
By Mr Davis on 16/08/2013
A virtually hill-free ride through pleasant countryside neighbouring the River Danube, punctuated by stays in excellent hotels in historic towns and cities.
No shortage of shops, castles, palaces, museums, and last but not least - coffee and cake shops. The challenge is to not gain weight!
By Mr Taylor on 15/08/2013
hassle free and relaxing with no worries
By Mr Smyth on 15/08/2013
A marvellous combination of exercise, high class food, excellent accomodation in an unspoilt part of the world.
By Mrs Cleat on 14/08/2013
Croatia surpassed expectations. We would have happily have stayed longer in all the places we visited. There is so much to see and do as well as the cycling.The first 2 hotels especially were just a bit different and in all 3 resorts there was an abundance of restaurants to suit all tastes. The Croatian people were warm and welcoming and we would definitely go back. Be warned that August is perhaps a bit too hot for the cycles with the hills !
By Mr Henderson on 11/08/2013
All in all we enjoyed the holiday. Helped that weather was good. Rep was good. Cycling was not easy at times but there was nothing that we could not manage (Even though walked up a few hills). Scenery was good but we were disappointed that two of the cycling days were not coastal routes. Sable D'0r Le Pins to Dinard particularly dull.
By Mrs Morley on 11/08/2013
The cycling was not at all easy - much tougher than that. Rep was quite useless, friendly but not particularly helpful. We had no air conditioning for 3 days at Villa Phasiana and had a ladder in our room for most of those 3 days while the air con was attempted to be mended. We do have photos if you'd like to see. Our sons room here was the size of a postage stamp - they could not even open their cases except by putting them on the bed. The staff here though were very friendly and apologetic for the air con problem. It was nearly 40C!
By Mrs Cranfield on 09/08/2013
Please note we stayed in Chablis not Ligny so comments re that hotel relate to Chablis. That was to our advantage as Chablis a much better centre and the food at the hotel was superb. Keith and Judith were excellent reps. All in all a very good holiday.
By Mr Rutter on 08/08/2013
We really enjoyed our cycling holiday. The route instructions were excellent and easy to follow. The Rep Javier was great, welcoming friendly and extremely helpful. He knew all the routes really well and checked them daily with some revisions where roads were closed or signs changed.At the start of the holiday he would turn up on a route ,unexpectedly, to check if we were alright so this was very reassuring when we were getting into the swing of things. The routes were on quiet roads or cycle paths and we felt we saw the real Italy with picturesque medieval towns and villages. We liked all the hotels, each with a different character and with lovely local food. The towns were full of Italian culture and we enjoyed exploring the narrow streets and tasting local food and wine. Well done Headwater, we can't wait for our next holiday.
By Mr Millward on 07/08/2013
The holiday was described as soft and leisurely however, it was much tougher than that description. There were more steep climbs and a lot of gravel tracks which was difficult to cycle on. Each day did not get within the 3-4 hours detailed in your description of leisurely . Other than the cycle rides, the hotels, travel arrangements and representative were excellent.
By Ms Jassey on 07/08/2013
Probably more challenging that you might expect, but in a very positive way, and well worth the effort. The views and experiences are unbeatable. Not sure if we could do a car-reliant holiday again!
By Mr Sharp on 05/08/2013
Once again Headwater delivers. The entire holiday experiance was fantastic ( this was our third Headwater holiday - and we are already planning TWO next year) and will live long in the memory - even those Burgundian undulating hills!
By Mrs Day on 05/08/2013
Fabulously organised and a really different experience for us. We loved the independence, the superb scenery and the wonderful sense of adventure. Freewheeling down hills for 10 days was something neither of us had done since our teens. A brilliant holiday! Thank you so much!
By Mr Cooper on 03/08/2013
NB For Relais St. Vincent above please Read Hostellerie des Clos, Chablis. A delightful holiday; beautiful scenery, lovely food; excellent accomodation and hospitality. The only weak link (by Headwater's high standards) is the Hotel Normandie, where the accomodation is average only and the staff businesslike rather than hospitable. Otherwise Keith and Judith are first-rate reps and his bikes are the most comfortable we've ever ridden. Mark and Alison at Vermenton and the staff at Chablis we all delightful and very attentive.
By Mrs Sautter on 02/08/2013
We climbed 11,000 feet and cycled over 120 miles in 35' C !!! That was not what we expected for a relaxing holiday aimed at occasional cyclists!! Luckily we were all regular cyclists with as much mental strength as physical! In your brochure you say it is leisurely with a few steep hills. The Hotel Mysatt is at the top of a hill which is fine for a one off and great view but every journey had hills that went on and on. We found it very difficult to get extra water as villages were very few and far between.
We will not be using Headwater again despite having had a good holiday as will not trust their descriptions. Honestly the cycling was so hard it made us laugh as it was such a joke! Keith kept his head very low. Didn't even bother to ask how it went when he came to collect the bikes. Guess he knew how hard it had been!!
By Mr Thomas on 02/08/2013
Our Tuscany Holiday (Secrets of San Gimignano) was totally brilliant and was enjoyed by the whole family ( 6 of us) - age range 24 to fit 70!.Our reps made life very easy for us and were incredibly helpful. The hotels were varied and all really lovely and well chosen by Headwater. The food was excellent - and being Italy, there were plenty of options for my vegetarian daughter ( no meat or fish). There was plenty to do on our non-cycling days which is always important.
By Mrs Kerr on 01/08/2013
We thought Headwater was a very professional outfit who had taken a great deal of trouble to ensure high standard of restaurants and cycle equipment and back up. We greatly enjoyed our time at Vermonton both accomodation and restaurant were excellent.
By Mr Kersley on 30/07/2013
Our holiday with Headwater was a real pleasure , everyone we dealt with , from the girls in the office to our rep Sarah were very professional , friendly and helpful , taking all the worry out of the planning . Okay , so we feel that we have maybe paid a bit more than we would have if we had done all the organizing ourselves , but hey , it was worth it !! Thank you.
By Mrs Bond on 29/07/2013
Wonderful scenery, cycling and wholly relaxing. We really enjoyed the whole experience.
By Mr McGinn on 27/07/2013
We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip along the Danube.
By Mr Davey on 26/07/2013
Holiday very good and food very good but level of accommodation was poor.
By Mrs Kimber on 25/07/2013
Fabulous way to see Tuscany. Excellent service from the reps and they were reliable with delivrng luggage and had super local knowledge. All the hotels were friendly and had lovely pools which we needed when we arrived. A great holiday that I would thoroughly recommend.
By Mr Hails on 25/07/2013
Excellent communication prior to departure - during the stay - and arriving home!! A great service which gives clients confidence that nothing has been left forgotten !!
By Mrs Cockrill on 25/07/2013
Our first cycling holiday and generally it was a really good experience with an interesting variety of hotels. Beware of eating half board as in some hotels we felt we were treated like 2nd class citizens.
By Mr Morrison on 23/07/2013
beautiful part of the world best seen on a cycling tour like Headwater's
By Mrs Morris on 22/07/2013
Sarah was fantastic- all credit to her. Funny, kind, thoughtful and a wealth of knowledge!
By Mr Mason on 20/07/2013
As has been the case with our many previous Headwater cycling holidays we have greatly enjoyed ourselves and appreciated
the consistently high quality of accommodation and locations.Perhaps even more so this year(esp. with no evening meals provided ) we are however very much aware that we are paying slightly more than we should be. and obviously this is likely to affect future decision -making.
By Mr Lodwick on 18/07/2013
Very well organised from start to finish, Keith, our rep was excellent and very professional. Our cycling trip was absolutely brilliant couldn't fault it in any way.
The food which was included as half board was absolutely fabulous and we will recommend headwater to our friends.
By Mr Moorhead on 18/07/2013
The holiday was enjoyable, the Castell d'Emporda was fantastic, and had the holiday been 30% cheaper we would have thought it good value for money. I've been on many cycling holidays (this was the first with my wife and son) and it's the first where there has not been support throughout the day. I know the reps were available by phone, but it would clearly have taken an hour or more to get help from them if a problem had arisen and at this price, that's not good enough. Next time I would simply book the hotels for myself, hire bikes and then organise a taxi to take the bags from place to place - you did not provide sufficient additional value to justify the cost. Cycling routes are also easy to find - with so many GPS users uploading data to the web I would have little problem in organising routes for myself. This was a premium price but what we got was a bike (in good condition to be fair), and a map, and then left alone for a week. My wife had a bad insect bike which became very inflamed and sore and required anti-biotics (it has still not fully subsided a week later) - we had to sort this out for ourselves in Barcelona - our guides expressed polite interest but offered no real suggestions about local medical help. This compares poorly with my experience on cycling holidays in France and the US where anyone with even a slight medical issue was promptly driven to the nearest clinic or pharmacy, helped with the language and sorted out very quickly.
Thank you for your feedback Mr Moorhead, we were pleased to read that your holiday was enjoyable.
However, we are sorry to see that some aspects did not appear to meet with your expectations. The type of holiday that you had booked is classed as a self-guided cycling holiday. Therefore, we do not provide support vehicles. This type of holiday is geared towards the more independent customers who like to travel at their own pace, starting and finishing at various times throughout the day. Therefore, it would not be practical to have a support vehicle on the route. We do however provide a 24/7 rep service which is available if needed in case of emergency or should you have any questions or queries along the way as well as a brief at the start and de brief at the end of the holiday.
We were sorry to read that Mrs Moorhead was bitten and required medical treatment, as you comment our reps was aware of the bite, but not necessarily the severity. Had they been made aware of this they would have offered assistance as required.
Despite these issues I am glad that you had an enjoyable holiday.
Thank you once again for your feedback.
By Mr Fenton on 18/07/2013
The cycling and support from the reps was very good. Unfortunately apart from the one hotel I would not rate the holiday as a gastronomic experience.
By Mrs Ball on 16/07/2013
I am a Headwater Holidays fan! This is about the 16th cycling holiday I have been on with your company and it is my second trip to Catalunya. Last time, about 5 years age, I took the cycling hol in Catalunya and the guide was Robin! say no more he was useless. Alan is a real gem. Look after him. As I am getting older now and so are my two cycling friends we look for the flat cycling routes and each time you bring out a new one we seem to book it. So do keep adding new routes. I am sorry that you no longer go to Majorca. Many years ago we did the cycling around the centre of the island and was going to book the one centre hotel this year but you have removed it. I guess it was not popular. I think its so important to keep the standard of the hotels and food at a high level. Its such a big part of the holiday for us. After a day cycling the destination is always exciting and good accommodation is a must. I am a single person and mostly travel with my married friends so always have to pay a single supplement which does increase the cost rather.( This trip I went with my daughter and we shared a room so no supplement, a real bonus) If I get a double room for the cost this is fine but on occasions I am in the attic in a single room; not so good. Keep up the good standard and as long as I am able to cycle I will be booking!
By Mr Asbrey on 14/07/2013
This was an well organised holiday, backed up with excellent support from the people on the ground. Very impressive bikes. All the hotels had certain core values. clean, great food.lovely staff, Great service,
The routes were interesting and challenging. We loved it. It was good fun.
By Mr Jardine on 13/07/2013
Did everything that it said in the brochure
By Mrs MacKenzie on 11/07/2013
Overall experience excellent, weather fabulous, scenery beautiful - all-in-all our holiday came up to our expectations as with previous Headwater Cycling holidays.
By Mr McLaren on 11/07/2013
It was well organised, trouble free, and thoroughly enjoyable with the added comfort of an excellent superb locally based english-speaking rep (Sarah) who was only a phone call away in case of any issue, big or small, and who provided excellent route notes and a fountain of local knowledge about the area we were cycling in.
the holiday was just what we needed and was 'up there' with the best package holidays we have done!
By Mr Alexander on 09/07/2013
Beautiful countryside, gorgeous hilltop towns, good accommodation, superb reps; cuisine (in and out of hotels) generally somewhat disappointing - ordinary and predictable (except Relais della Rovere) - this is more a comment on the region than on the Headwater aspects.
By Mrs Laing on 08/07/2013
Passau to Vienna cycling was an easy cycle ride ,staying at superb hotels amid beautiful towns and country-side .
By Mrs Mizon on 06/07/2013
The holiday was a perfect. We cycling along quiet country roads alive with butterflies and birds, scented with blossom and decorated by a myriad of wild flowers. The route took through a quieter version of parts of Tuscany with hill top villages and stone farms but had the advantage of including a wonderful coast line of rocky coves and sandy beaches, so I swam and swam. The June/July weather was kind to us; hot sun but a cooling breeze, and then at the end of the ride, a great hotel and a good dinner. What more can I say!
By Mrs Callens on 06/07/2013
This is a lovely, relaxing yet energising holiday for reasonably fit people of all ages. We are in our early sixties and only cycle a few times a month and never for more than 15 km at a time. The route in Burgundy is mostly flat, in beautiful countryside along the river Yonne and the Canal de Nivernais. We did find the second half of day 5 (to Vezelay) quite hard and had to walk a few stretches but that helped to return the blood flow to some nether parts. We liked the flexible arrangements, with the option between a shorter and a longer route on some days. Being able to have a rest day on alternative days was also good, especially where there were interesting things to do locally. We particularly enjoyed roaming through picturesque Clamecy on the Sunday morning, visiting the church (where there was a well attended mass), then having a drink in La Taverne, followed by a light lunch in the Hotellerie de La Poste. Most of the afternoon was spent in the Musee Romain Rolland, where we particularly enjoyed the brilliant Charles Loupot posters and the history of the ' Flotteurs' We discovered the delightful secret garden at the Auberge de la Chapelle a little late in the day but would highly recommend it to other travellers. We would definitely consider another cycling holiday with Headwater but would prefer to have the B&B option on all days in order to maximise flexibility.
By Mr Alpine on 06/07/2013
Pros - very good hotels and locations, wether perfect, service and food excellent, friendly, easy- going people, unspoilt area, inexpensive.
Cons - road network not well suited to cycling - too much cycling on roads carrying traffic and not enough by-ways. Wider rims and off-road tyres would have helped a lot on rougher tracks. Why so expensive? Local prices are very reasonable and cost of holiday, fundamentally for a bed and a bike, (no dinner) is too high.
By Mr Dunbabin on 05/07/2013
1) Particularly as viewed from the steamers, and from the clusters of old houses on the edge of the lake & esp. at some of the steamer landing places, the Bodensee was very beautiful; there were also a number of delightful and very old towns. BUT there has been very extensive recent building development (particularly, but not exclusively, on the southern side of the lake. So quite a lot of the bicycling was rather dull and suburban - inferior, we thought, to the Veneto Headwater holiday we took some years ago. Probably the best bit was the Rhine delta marshes on day 2 (where we also had the good fortune to see two storks gently grazing)
2) The bicycling stages were rather long. But, as the brochure said, it was easy to reduce distances by putting the bicycles on trains or steamers. Also almost all the cycle paths were well surfaced, marked, etc.
3) The conveyance of luggage between the hotels was VERY efficient
4) My wife had some difficulties with the Donau Touristik bicycles. These went, and stopped, well. BUT their - to us, unfamiliar - concentration of weight around the back wheel meant that, when suddenly checked, they could easily tip over to the left, & she fell off twice.
That said, the handing out & reception back of the bicycles in Bregenz was EXTREMELY well done. And Donau Touristik has an impressive network of hotels that would, if necessary, mend/exchange punctured or other bicycles - in Stein-am-Rhein they simply took off my punctured front wheel & substituted one from one of their own bicycles
5) a) The hotels were all of a high standard. But we personally felt the 4-course evening meals rather too much & too rich, & enjoyed the ability to secure our own simpler ones in Konstanz. (More generally, I think we preferred the 'agro-turismo' arrangements of our earlier Veneto Headwater cycling holiday.) The breakfasts were mostly very good.
b) The hotel in Stein-am-Rhein was splendidly sited, looking straight out onto the river. That I have marked the 'welcome' only as 'fair' is solely due to the fact that we arrived on its Wednesday day off, when it remains closed until 4 pm. In the event we simply went and had an iced coffee in the town's lovely market place. They also arranged for us to have our evening meal that day outside another hotel so situated in the market place, which took good care of us
6) We were, broadly, very lucky with the weather - & relished the ability usually to have our evening meal out of doors (though there were a couple of memorable storms
7) I don't know that better times could have been arranged (slightly better train ones were possible, but only by changing trains rather than travelling straight through to/from Bregenz). But we definitely had too long at the surprisingly unprepossessing Zurich airport/station
8) My guess is that, given our ages, we shall not take another Headwater holiday. But this does not indicate dissatisfaction
By Mr Ogden on 04/07/2013
All good. Particular thanks and compliments to Mark and Marsha who are lovely people and excellent reps.Also admired their efforts to speak Italian and to integrate with local people.
By Mr Venn on 04/07/2013
Excellent Holiday: Food Excellent. Some of the hotels in need of some upgrading. Bikes great. See me separate email!
By Mr Oldham on 01/07/2013
Great way of exploring the countryside in an environmentally friendly way
By Mrs Forbes on 29/06/2013
Gentle exercise with time to appreciate the rural surroundings; superior and varied accommodation; wonderful food and wine. We have never slept better!!
By Ms Jorgensen on 28/06/2013
We were two 'grand old ladies' travelling together, the other quite inexperienced with this kind of holiday, and cycling every other day she met with great approval! Steve, the Headwater representative did absolutely everything to make the vacation a perfect one, and also his wife joined in. His historical and geographical knowledge is unique! The landscape was beautiful, and so was the people we met. The route was calm and easy to follow, except from some misunderstandings, but that I am used to, and is also the charm about it : ) Headwater was a new and good experience. Coming from Norway, this was my first cycling tour with a non-Scandinavian company.
I have told a lot of friends about the walks and the cycling tours Headwater has :))
By Mrs Thomas on 28/06/2013
Cycling through Burgundy was a wonderful experience. The fields sprinkled with bright red poppies and blue cornflowers was breathtaking. We had a 'day off' cycling in Veselay and wandered around the town and basillica. We also went to vespers in the Basillica which was amazing.
The food was also excellent in the hotels/restaurants chosen by Headwaters.
Cycling in a surprising hot spell was more difficult than anticipated, but still manageable and the last few days when it had cooled down were a joy.
By Mrs Farrow on 27/06/2013
Thought the Lake Constance area was beautiful. The dedicated cycling paths made the cycling a pleasure and the mix of cycling and rest days really suited us.
By Mr Waterston on 25/06/2013
Excellent location although on occasion the cycling was more challenging than expected and we spent a lot of the cycling on busy roads rather than cycle paths.
By Mrs Rodely on 24/06/2013
A wonderful holiday for food lovers with excellent accommodation and super cycling for 'softies' - the routes were nice and flat, passing through some lovely countryside with many interesting places to visit on the way.
By Mr Hart on 20/06/2013
generally excellent holiday. I think however, we over estimated our capabilities on the bike ride in tuscany. But enjoyed it nevertheless, esp. the scenery. We would certainly book with headwater again but be more careful on the bike ride we choose in future
By Mr Worthing on 19/06/2013
The route guidence was too detailed and involved too many off road tracks. It would have been better if the route had stuck to metaled roads even at the expence of more traffic and greater mileage. Having to stop every few yards to read the notes was tedious and spoilt pleasure of the ride.
By Mrs Shiel on 19/06/2013
We found the combination of cycling till 2 or 3 and then swimming in and relaxing by the pool ideal ! The food and welcome at the Villa Ganzerla were excellent.
By Mr Jones on 19/06/2013
Very enjoyable holiday, very good cycle routes, lovely scenery and some very pretty villages. Plenty of opportunities to use the train or boats to shorten cycle distances if necessary or preferred.
By Ms Giggey on 18/06/2013
Headwaters is an excellent holiday company, provides very good information about the holidays and is extremely good value for money. The only small concerns I personally had was how unfit I really was (there were more hills than I had anticipated even at Level 1! ) and the service at the Hotel de la Poste et du Lion d'Or was a bit confusing e.g. when we arrived, there was no obvious bar service and the hotel receptionist eventually found and brought us our long - anticipated drinks outside. For dinner, we were given the exact menu 2 days in a row (with no plat du jour or alternatives) and we weren't sure if that was the arrangment or not. When we asked about it, the waiter also seemed confused. However, the Chef then provided an alternate menu that was absolutely one of the most beautiful meals I have ever eaten; the presentation was superlative and the tastes even better than that!
Regarding cycling instructions: 99% were spot on! Small confusion at Chateau Censoir - the statement that ' the marine port is to your right' when leaving the town is confusing - suggest removing that bit and just note 'from the square, with the Mairie on your left, carry on to the junction and and then turn right'. In terms of the 'industrial area' for 2 kms when leaving Clamecy: we found the path totally paved and there were some small industries across theothe side of the river/canal? but that section also had lovely vegetable gardens etc. and really wasn't unpleasant at all. And finally,if one choses to take the train back from Cravant to Auxerre, there are no instructions as to getting back to the Hotel Normandie,nor is the rail station located on the map of Auxerre. But other than that, I was in awe of the detail provided for the routes. Thank you!
By Mrs Stonehouse on 18/06/2013
we loved cycling in Chianti country - the climbs up to the hilltop towns were always rewarded with fantastic pistacchio gelati!
By Mrs Bolton on 18/06/2013
A very enjoyable holiday staying in excellent hotels.
By Mr Griffiths on 18/06/2013
This is not a cheap holiday as the Gastronomic label confirms. I've not eaten 5-6 course meals for 6 nights on the trot before, but you can get used to it very easily when the courses aren't huge. The cycling, chateaux and shivering in icy swimming pools were all great. We really enjoyed it.
By Mrs Sansbury on 18/06/2013
Very enjoyable, beautiful region, mostly gentle cycling which I loved, historically very interesting.
The only problem was the bike. Though very sturdy, it is the second time with Headwater that I could not fully elevate the handlebar because the brake cables were TOO SHORT. As I am 6' foot tall with long legs the saddle was on the same height as the handlebar which pitched me forward and caused certain anatomical areas to be in discomfort!
This happened on my last holiday with Headwater and although I asked them to prepare a bike with a REALLY adjustable handlebar I still had the SAME problem. Please assemble bikes with LONGER brake cables!!!!!!!!!!
Otherwise what is the purpose of having an adjustable handlebar which CANNOT be raised to requirement!
By Mr Fussey on 17/06/2013
Cycling very easy! Level or downhill on tarmac.
Hotel in Tulln is not 4 star! Although it was OK and had superb position, compared to the ratings of the other hotels on the trip it should be nearer to a 2 star.
By Mr Hinds on 16/06/2013
SShhsh! Don't tell anyone about Puglia ! After many years of travel in Italy , We have a new favorite region ! Wonderful food and wine,peaceful rural and coastal lanes, and each town is more beautiful than the last ! A real treat of a holiday - and few tourists ! Let's keep it like that !!!
By Mr Bellion on 06/06/2013
An excellent route - distances well judged for the terrain (easy) and, because the tracks are so well signed, the route notes are almost unnecessary. Very well presented and maintained bikes. Hotels are obviously selected for location and in some cases there is little choice. All were clean and reasonably comfortable and, where evening meals were included, they were excellent - and some were outstanding. The only thing that Headwater couldn't do anything about was the weather - we cycled just a couple of days before the dreadful flooding that swamped the entire route.
By Mrs Maffre on 05/06/2013
This is our third Headwater holiday, and each one gets better. The Piedmont is a beautiful area, the hotels and restaurants are first class, and the staff friendly and efficient. It is a very hilly area, hence the wonderful views (and also the long steep climbs on the bikes). The cycling directions were good overall, but a bit confusing in parts. Our reps were extremely friendly and helpful, and as I sprained my ankle on the 3rd day they had to move me on with the baggage! Nothing was too much trouble for them. I have already recommended this holiday to our friends!
No-one should expect to lose weight on this cycling holiday - the food and wine is superb!
By Dr Foley on 04/06/2013
A little-known corner of Italy with some of the most captivating scenery, best food and wine and least touristy small cities the country has to offer. The holiday is definitely a grade 2 when it comes to the cycling as every village is perched on top of a hill but the food and wine are more than compensation for the effort of getting there. May seem expensive at first sight but the standard of accommodation and food are second to none. We've been on many Headwater holidays and this was one of the best.
By Mr Whittaker on 04/06/2013
Every thing went smoothly, pity about the weather!
By Mrs Gillison on 02/06/2013
A well organised holiday with very helpful reps onsite. We haven't needed them in past holidays but had saddle trouble this time which was fixed in a trice (with a lift up one of the VERY steep hills as well!). Although we discussed this holiday on the phone before booking we didn't get a clear picture of difficulty from the brochure, so be very clear about how good a cyclist your are!!!
By Mis Furber on 29/05/2013
We really enjoyed this holiday, the thing that made it was the friendliness of the people in the hotel! They would do anything for you! the food is lovely and they did a great job of catering for a vegetarian. it was very cosy but we did feel that previous holidays have been better value for money where we had more facilities! The rep is wonderful and the scenery is very pretty! We had some lovely weather and great cycles!
By Mr Isles on 27/05/2013
This was our eighth Headwater holiday over 20 years and they have all been very enjoyable. Yet again, Headwater and their agents were very efficient throughout. We were particularly impressed by the Masseria Salamina which exceeded our expectations and was a perfect place to finish our holiday.
By Mr Cameron on 23/05/2013
We had a wonderful holiday. We last traveled with Headwater in 1994 and 1997, and there is no doubt that the standards of the hotels, route notes, and bikes have improved immensely. Alan was a hugely experienced rep who provided route notes of a superb standard. 2 out of the 3 hotels were truly excellent, and while the other was one of the weirder I've ever stayed in, it was perfectly serviceable, and the fact that it was B&B only was a good decision.
By Mr Moss on 20/05/2013
Wonderful opportunity to see some of the lovely Veneto plain, whilst getting exercise, and building up appetite for the evening meals. We have used Headwater twice now and would not consider using another cycling tour company as the variable start dates, knowledgeable and helpful reps, and welcoming hosts make the entire experience enjoyable.
By Mr Hollander on 07/05/2013
Puglia tourist people very welcoming and can be very helpful but be careful of gross overcharging.
Look at your bills and dispute perceived unfairness on the spot.
By Dr Johns on 07/01/2013
We've been on a headwater holiday once before (to Switzerland) and it was amazing - in fact it was the best holiday we'd ever had! However we were very disappointed this time. Although the scenery, accommodation and food were lovely the cycling was not enjoyable, it was punishing! Since this is the most important element of a cycling holiday it completely ruined our stay.
The difficulty rating was totally wrong. We're a couple in our 30's (not unfit) but not regular cyclists- the description suggested this would suit us fine and included descriptions of 'softly rolling hills'. This was certainly NOT our experience. The hills were steep and long and never ending.I'm aware that since we returned the difficulty rating has changed. Furthermore, the various stop-offs on the way (cafes etc) to refill water were closed due to the time of year (which we were not forewarned about) - considering the heat this made the cycling even more intolerable.
All in all very disappointing. We paid £5000 and were expecting another dream holiday. Instead we needed a week to recover once we got home.
By Mrs Sym on 30/10/2012
We enjoyed the holiday but not as much as we thought we would! We all enjoy good food sadly on this holiday we were let down we had 3 good meals out of 7
By Mr Townsend on 30/10/2012
The Puglia cycling tour was well organised, and well supported by local staff. We had excellent weather in mid October wth temp 22-25 deg C. The only significant criticism (not within your control) was the appalling state of the litter at the side of many many roads especially on the coastal plains. It is not at all relaxing to be cycling through lovely countryside and regularly come face to face with the WHOLE range of domestic litter strewn along the edges of fields. For that reason alone, I would not recommend this particular trip to anyone else. This is not a reflection on Headwater.
Unfortunately, there have been a couple of occasions where we have been informed of some littering on this particular tour. It is such a shame and very frustrating, as Puglia really is a beautiful region. It does not however, seem to be a continual problem and we do our utmost to avoid these areas on the routes we take. Our local agent continues to raise the matter with the local authorities, in an effort to eradicate this problem for the future. Thank you for sharing your experience with us so we can continue to monitor the situation.
By Mr Bayly on 30/10/2012
Wonderful. One of our best ever holidays. Challenging and relaxing in equal measure - a fabulous break.
By Mrs Mendham on 30/10/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday. We cycled every day and visited most of the towns and villages in the handbook. The food was excellent everywhere and everyone was helpful and friendly. The accommodation was mainly good but some of the hotels were noisy - either from traffic, church bells that rang every 30 minutes 24 hours a day, or poor soundproofing between rooms.
We were particularly surprised at the amount of snacks that were served at nearly every bar where we had a beer. There was no need to buy lunch when we were given larges amounts of ham, cheese and bread whenever we stopped!
By Mr Hainsworth on 30/10/2012
A wonderful experience and with time to explore different interesting places enroute
By Mrs Wright on 30/10/2012
All arranged at very last minute and your staff were up to the challenge. Thanks especially to Karen Ross in the office,particularly as we added an extra day in the middle to our itinerary. Also appreciated being able to discuss this 'upper 2 bikes' holiday with Catherine Crone as she and her husband had done it previously - helped us decide we would be able to manage it!
Routes very varied with lots of scenic and historic interest.
Hotel Le Renaie at Pancole was the best one for us - delightful staff, gorgeous evening meals and lovely setting.
We wouldn't have managed this in the heat of the summer but late Sept/early Oct the weather was pleasant especially as we managed not to get caught in any of the thunderstorms.
Great to have all swimming pools still open as we used them all.
We ended our holiday with a great sense of achievement and we can't wait to go back to Italy.
Charles and Ruth aged 50 something and only moderately fit.
By Ms Smith on 17/10/2012
We had never been on a cycling holiday before but would certainly repeat the experience using Headwater based on the quality of the beauty and variety of the cycle routes and the quality of the accommodation.
By Mr Thomas on 17/10/2012
Poor bikes. Heavy frames and too highly geared. Skinny tyres no good on broken tarmac surfaces. Broken spoke. Puncture.
Why not mountain bikes?!
We are sorry that you found the bikes to be such an issue, this is genuinely not something we have come across before in this area. We will be speaking with our local agent about your experience and can assure you that we will be monitoring future feedback closely. If we do feel that a different style bike would be beneficial, we will certainly consider making this change.
By Mrs Warburton on 10/10/2012
A very well organised holiday with an excptional and knowledgable rep.
By Dr Mair on 10/10/2012
We had a really excellent holiday with Headwater. The reps were knowledgable and available and we had enough autonomy to allow us to enjoy it, but enough support that we felt safe at all times. The hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for the outstanding service and food.
By Mrs Herd on 10/10/2012
Sarah was a terrific Rep: really friendly and helpful, giving us lots of tips for our particular circumstances.
My less than perfect score for the 'waymarking and routenotes' was taking into account the building of the new road which had meant that local signs had been changed. Sarah was doing her best to change the master notes in the hotel to keep up with these.
A fantastic holiday for us all and we would definitely love to do it again with Headwater.
By Mr Alexander on 06/10/2012
This holiday lived up to its billing. We stayed in excellent welcoming hotels in three attractive coastal towns, and ate and drank well, twice while watching a superb sunset. We saw the Roman amphitheatre at Pula, the fine Byzantine mosaics at Porec, and frescos in several churches. And we swam on most days in warm clear water, including from beaches on delightful offshore islands.
By Mr Gillies on 06/10/2012
Very good experience all round. Well organised by people who know what they are doing. A couple of the routes stretched us a bit more than we expected for first timers. Unusual/excellent, well-chosen hotels helped make the trip better value for money. The weather could make a major difference to your enjoyment of these trips however.
By Mrs Small on 06/10/2012
We had a brilliant holiday, a superb rep in Assisi, good food and great fun. This was our fourth cycling holiday with Headwater and we will definitely be going again!
By Ms Meadows on 06/10/2012
We could write pages about a lovely combination of cycling and walking but the best recommendation that we can give is that at the end of the holiday we were thinking about how we could just stay in Tuscany and do the holiday all over again
By Mrs Wann on 06/10/2012
Headwater are a reliable company who deliver what they advertise in the brochure.
By Mr Makin on 01/10/2012
Probably the best cycling holiday we have had.
The weather was good and the accommodation was generally very good - although the hotel in Palamos was trying too hard to be something it wasn't.
By Mrs Mayhew on 01/10/2012
This is our 16th holiday with Headwater and we have to say it works well. Minor problems are sorted out quickly and the overall holiday experience leaves you wanting more.
Borola gastronomic was one of the best, wonderful views, good food and hotels. the local wines were really good and the wine tasting experiences excellent with no pressure to buy.
By Mr Williams on 29/09/2012
We have travelled with Headwater many times (a dozen or more) and this holiday was one of the very best. The chateaux and region were wonderful, the accommodation and meals were superb, and the support given by the reps was outstanding.
By Mr Cocksedge on 29/09/2012
The standard of accomodation, evening meals and rep care was extremely good and helped to offset the two hours of hill climbing that were involved in the "undulating" sections of the ride getting to Vezelay and then on to Clamecy. Our rest day at Vermeton we spent back in the saddle to retrace our steps to Vincelotte where I had left my cycling gloves on a picnic bench. To my surprise they were still there and we then cycled up the hill to Irancy where we had a very nice plate du jour in the local bar. We then cycled back down the hill turned left at the bottom to take the white road along to Cravant and so back to Vermenton. Auxerre and Vezelay were the highlights for us and overall this was a very enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Evans on 29/09/2012
A major feature of the quality that Headwater offers is the local representative who is always available to you during the holiday. They are on hand to sort out any problems with the bikes, advise on route notes, if they haven't actually written them themselves they are expected to know them, and transfers the luggage.
In Croatia these roles are shared around to the detriment of the quality we have come to expect.
By Mr Malia on 29/09/2012
Well-organised holiday, with good,nicely thought-out routes, although some maps/instructions were a little inaccurate.Lovely area, generally good food, comfortable hotels and nice people. Our rep,Xavier, was excellent and looked after us superbly.
By Mrs Marshall on 29/09/2012
Overall a very enjoyable holiday. For us the cycling was a bit "samey" and there were sometimes too many other people on the paths, especially at weekends. The paths were certainly excellent and quite extraordinary for anyone who cycles in the UK, as was the ultra-obliging behaviour of other path users and motorists. We actually enjoyed our days off rather more when we went off piste, for example to Schaffhausen one day and Markdorf on another, when we enjoyed the greater variety of cycling and countryside.Maybe you could add some more local information and ideas for places to visit on stay put days-Friedrichshafen especially was short of information.The guides that came with the maps were in German and of limited help to us!
The wine in hotels especially in Switzerland, Hotel Rheinfels in particular, was fiendishly expensive.In spite of adverse comments we had a really good time and are looking forward to our next holiday already!
By Mrs Patel on 29/09/2012
Good quality reps always availble to help you and offer advice.
By Mr Rowbotham on 24/09/2012
A good cycling holiday, a lot of it "off road", in beautiful and interesting countryside. However, in the holiday description in the Headwater brochure, greater emphasis should be given to the "gastronomic cuisine" aspect of this holiday. ALL of the evening meals provided were of this type and did not really suit our requirements.
By Mr Hood on 24/09/2012
Wonderful holiday - lived up to our expectations. Great way to see France and the countryside and meet the wonderful people. After a days cycling the lovely food was a welcome treat.
By Mr Cliff on 24/09/2012
Our Headwater holiday was excellent, the only comment we would make is that since Headwater is now part of Thomsons this means that the flight times are very antisocial, a 6.15 take off time in the morning is horrid.
By Dr Hamilton on 24/09/2012
We enjoyed the cycling and the hotels were excellent but we were not very impressed with the countryside or coast compared with - say - the Catalan coastal walking we did last year.
Having said that, the Croatian cycle path infrastructure was excellent.
Accommodation could not be faulted - though we were upgraded probably because the Palazzo hotel was overbooked and some guests were moved elsewhere.
We thought the holiday was very good considering this is a new venture for Headwater.
By Mr Wakefield on 24/09/2012
The flight out to Croatia for our holiday was so early as to be almost the evening before.So the first day of a short holiday was elongated and left everyone tired and strained. The briefing from the cycle provider involved reading out the notes about where we were staying rather than providing insight into the routes and what we should look out for. No-one provided welcome drinks at any of the hotels, though the first two hotels suggested we could have them the following day. The hotel and staff breakfasts in Fazana (Villetta Phasiana) were brilliant and the bikes provided(but not the briefing)were also very good. The Rovinj Hotel (Villa Tuttorotto) was in a superb location and we liked it a lot - they also did good breakfasts.However, while the location and size of the Porec Hotel (Palazzo) was impressive it was not exactly comfortable (even though we got upgraded to a top-floor suite which gave us a huge expanse of wooden flooring and a lot of windows to look
out. The cycling was generally very good but the Rovinj circuit on day 5 was a disappointing exercise.
We enjoyed the holiday and met some very nice people but we were left with the feeling that this relatively expensive holiday was not value for money.
By Ms Gibson on 24/09/2012
Overall good holiday in lovely, not overly touristy areas. Some of the unsurfaced tracks were very rough indeed, much time was spend staring at the ground to pick the safest route rather than taking in the scenery. Not ideal, though it does say a lot for the tyres on the bikes that they survived unscathed. Staff at Fazana hotel were superb & dinner across at Konoba Feral meant huge(but tasty) portions- we asked for half portions to avoid wastage.Make sure you see the "Cat Playground" in Porec, great place to get rid of your holiday coinage for a good cause too.
By Mr Flynn on 24/09/2012
A fantastic hoilday that we would really recommend! Our guides, Alan and Linda were exceptionally helpful, and we hope to do another headwater hoilday in the very near future.
By Ms Heard on 24/09/2012
Puglia is very different to Tuscany more rugged than beautiful but a lovely coast line with super sandy beaches.
A good mixture of easy and hilly cycling which we felt was accurately graded.
All the hotels had their own character but we especially enjoyed the Masseria Salamina and wish we had had an upgrade. Alberobello is very touristic and commercialised with lots of cheap souveniers but staying in a trulli was a novelty!
We especially enjoyed the company of the other Headwater cyclists.
Another successful Headwater Cycling Holiday.
By Mrs Webb on 24/09/2012
It was great. Warm weather, great company with the people we met up with in the evenings (and chose to go cycling with on the final day, and lovely places to stay.
Where the notes could have been better, we have already given feedback to the people on the ground and we recognise that signs change!
Our one recomendation for change that we would give to future visitors is to take the train from Conservano to Arborobello - this would avoid cycling through the industrial wasteland of the first town visited (big lorries, lots of dust) and the rubbish in the countyside between there and Noce. It would also give time for a morning in the old town of Conservano and a 1.30 pm train onwards; a cheap and easy option. We took the following day off cycling (needed a rest and a long lunch) but have been told (via the blue book) that it was one of the best days cycling - we visited the town of Locotorando by train and it was indeed beautiful.
Other than that, we had a great time and are planning our next holiday already.
By Mrs Cochrane on 24/09/2012
In general all our expectations were met or exceeded but there are details (see below) that require attention
By Mrs Hollis on 24/09/2012
Mile upon mile of dedicated cycle trails, through glorious scenery and picturesque villages, all running genetly downstream - surely this is the leisure cyclist's dream?. With no inclines to test us, our biggest challenge was resisting the cream-laden cakes, the delicious ice-cream and the dangerously sweet "sturm": the half-fermented wine produced from the vineyards through which we were cycling!
By Mr Wilkinson on 24/09/2012
Well organised and professional company who clearly know the region well. The quality of the equipment was excellent and the hotels generally of a high standard. The directions were well described with almost all routes on safe cycle paths. The distances were managable even for the over 50's! The transfer of luggage between hotels worked well and on all occasions arrived in our room before we did. Would recommend.
By Ms Howell on 24/09/2012
Headwter cycling holdays are always well organised. The bikes are very good as is the accomodation. However the half board menus sometimes offer too lttle choice.
By Mrs Melhuish on 24/09/2012
we thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of our holiday.
By Mrs Tatton on 13/09/2012
We would have appreciated bar facilities at Agriturismo L’Albara for drinks in the afternoon when lazing by the pool after our cycle rides and before dinner. We were surprised that no cheese or cold meats were offered for breakfast – we even noted some saved cheese from dinner for breakfast on the next day.
The dinner was a set menu of four courses with no alternatives. We liked, in particular, the pasta dishes, but there is no system for advising guests of the set dinner menu beforehand in case any dish was not liked and so have the chance to ask for an alternative. The Headwater rep advised that alternatives could be requested but we suggest that the dinner menu could be displayed in the morning at breakfast time
By Mr Sharp on 10/09/2012
This was a magical holiday which my wife and I will remember for a long time. It had all the igrediants which we had hpoed for; excellent cycling restaurants hotels beaches.
We have been on the northern Italy holiday and we will be booking again for next year.
Best holidys ever.
By Mrs Richart on 05/09/2012
In August when we went it was hotter than expected; high 30s C. Also the Croatians all holiday at this time so some of the cycle routes on the coast through camp sites were exceptionally busy. However Croatia is a beautiful place with lots of trees and not too much vehicle traffic on the roads. We found all the hotel staff to be very friendly and helpful.
By Mrs Dunn on 05/09/2012
It was a wonderful holiday combining fitness, beautiful scenery and superb food and service . We would recommend this combination to anyone.
By Mr Hearn on 05/09/2012
Both rep and hotel made our stay enjoyable. The food was delicious and sufficient for hungry cyclists. The bikes provided were very comfortable to ride and had appropriate gearing and efficient brakes (both essential for our favourite hill climb). The route instructions were very clear and the maps allowed us to construct our own routes.
By Mrs Griffiths on 03/09/2012
Very enjoyable holiday - lovely resorts, coastline, food, but undulating pedalling rather than flat, with a few very busy road crossings with no provision for cyclists.
By Mr Thompson on 03/09/2012
A great trip though not quite as scenic as the Mosel and the bit into Linz in particular is, as advised best avoided. However, the route into Wien along the island, as shown on the map is an absolute delight and for that section the advice to go by train should be ignored.
By Mrs Gunderson on 03/09/2012
This was our first cycling holiday and I as a novice cyclist was a bit apprehensive, but it turned out to be one of the best holidays we have had. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only negative was the extremely hot temperatures during the first week - 42 degrees most afternoons. The routes were all a good length for me, especially, and the directions were very easy to follow. We received a warm welcome everywhere we stayed and enjoyed very much the excellent food and wine.
By Mrs Culligan on 01/09/2012
A very enjoyable holiday in a beautiful country with friendly people at all locations - we will certainly be going back to explore further!
By Mis Newton on 01/09/2012
This is the first time we have used headwater and would definitely use them again. The support provided by our