Customer reviews: Guided walking holidays
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our walking holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their walking holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their walking holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Ms Glanfield on 28/12/2016
I can't recommend this holiday enough. Exceptional hosts, who are also the walking guides, great accommodation and wonderful walks. Didn't have to worry about going alone and the group were all of a similar walking ability. The scenery and choice of routes were lovely, and the difficulty rating is accurate for the terrain. We saw quite a lot of wildlife and the area will be stunning with wild flowers. I will definitely return and would plan to do a 2/3 or 3 boot trip next time.
By Mrs Ballantyne on 07/12/2016
Sue and Dave ,our hosts and guides looked after us extremely well ,both with their cooking and with the guided walks.I would thoroughly recommend Casa Carrascal .The walking was quite strenuous but the views were superb.
By Ms Butterworth on 07/12/2016
An excellent location, with good views, well appointed rooms and excellent food. The guide Nick was very knowledgeable. We would repeat in a different season to see the wildlife.
By Mrs Billington on 29/11/2016
Alberto made the holiday and went over and above the call of duty.
By Mrs Burns on 29/11/2016
Good introduction to the area. Would have been better to have a hotel in/nearer Dubrovnik Old Town and to have had the opportunity to wander around by oneself
By Mrs Dibben on 29/11/2016
Our guide was really knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. She led us on some excellent walks with stunning views. If you like organised group holidays and walking I would recommend this company.
By Mrs Jones on 29/11/2016
An excellent experience discovering a fascinating region which is still mostly unspoilt by mass tourism.
By Mr Brown on 29/11/2016
Excellent scenery with a nice mix of challenging walking and more relaxed days. Montenegro is a really beautiful country and the guide really knows it well.
By Mrs Steane on 29/11/2016
Montenegro must have some of the most beautiful, unspoilt landscapes in Europe. The walks are a good distance, mostly through woodland, but with some spectacular mountain top views as well. In September, the temperature was about right, although we did have some thunderstorms and rain, fortunately mostly at night. I have never seen so many varieties of fungi as there were in Durmitor National Park and the fields were carpeted with Autumn crocuses and the woods speckled with wild cyclamen. The group of 12 got on really well and our local guide was delightful and looked after us brilliantly. The food was delicious and we were able to buy wild berries, dried mushrooms and smoked ham and cheese, eat local pastries for our picnics drink Montenegran and Croatian wines and try local liqueurs. The second part of the week in Perast makes for an excellent contrast, with a bit a culture thrown in, a couple of boat trips and wonderful seafood.
By Mr Davies on 29/11/2016
A splendid holiday well organised with a great group of people, lots of laughter,good weather,good walking,good food & drink.
We recomend it.
By Dr Goddard on 23/11/2016
Excellent hotel, great walks with an excellent local guide, and super company. There were gentle walks in the early days building up to a lovely long last day hike in the mountains. Good local food and opportunities to sample local bars and restaurants. A couple of excursions to Nerja caves and Malaga old town added variety to an excellent week.
By Mr Brooks on 22/11/2016
Ten self selected people on a group holiday.All of whom gelled together well.5 walks guided by experienced knowledgeable local guide.The walks were adapted to suit our group,which the guide described as faster than average.Excellent scenery.Transfers appeared on time.Picnics ,provided by guide,taken mid walk at any suitable site.One visit for lunch to a 'local'mountain cafÃ©. Experienced rustic food cooked by family.
Rest day my wife and I spent exploring by public bus. Doing a coast line walk at low level.
The hotel San Roque was described as 'boutique'.Service and food were excellent,although evening meal portion sizes were sometimes on the small side with a general lack of vegetables.Breakfast was a buffet with freshly cooked eggs to go with cold meats and tomatoes. There being plenty of rolls,jam and cheese.
I am Coeliac needing gluten free bread and food.I had notified Headwater and the hotel in advance.I was looked after extremely well.At breakfast I had gluten free ham,rolls and maize cakes provided.At evening meal my food was adapted to gluten free .
The guide did not know that I was gluten free until I informed him.However he acquired gluten free rolls for picnics and advised on gluten free options at the rustic cafÃ©.
I had booked a duplex room at the hotel.This was quirky.The jacuzzi bath was 'in the living area'.I could have bathed, watched TV and entertained guests at the same time
The bed was on a mezzanine but no external window.The wardrobes and other clothes storage areas were downstairs in the lounge area.All the floors were red coloured Canarian pine.This made the transition from floor to stairs difficult in poor light.Especially as the bathroom was up 3 stairs and there was no hand rail.
Although not needed the room did not have any area specifically to put wet coats or muddy boots.
The guide was excellent.His English improved through out the week .He was very knowledgeable about local flora,fauna and geology.He organised the transfers at the start and end of the day efficiently.He often altered our walk length and route to suit the conditions.
By Mr Newell on 22/11/2016
A combination of great walks in a beautiful place coupled with an outstanding hotel made it a week to remember.
By Ms Buddery on 18/11/2016
The holiday was well organised with great guides, knowledgeable on the area and walks. The accommodation was clean and David and Sue were very willing to help. I felt safe and confident and would recommend this holiday for singles as well as couples. A very good holiday and would love to go back and try the 3 boot holiday
By Mr Sutherland on 18/11/2016
Very good leaders for walking and giving info. about the area.
Accommodation and food of a high standard.
By Mrs Patel on 15/11/2016
A great holiday with technical walks offering spectacular views. The quality and effort put into each evening meal was a great bonus. I would definitely recommend this holiday and would say David & Sue are superb hosts.
By Mrs Searle on 14/11/2016
It was good
Walking harder than expected
La gomera was not as pretty as I had expected. Too barren
I think that though we are fit we are too old for that group and perhaps should have been warned
Hotel was marvellous. We had a deluxe room and it was worth every penny
By Mrs Marchant on 11/11/2016
Great holiday, great walks, great island. Javier was fantastic and a wonderful guide.
By Ms Myron on 11/11/2016
Everything about this holiday was top class. From the accommodation, the food, the walking, the guide, the transfers to the hotel staff. Most of all the company of the other walkers. Compliments to all concerned.
By Mrs Hales on 09/11/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. The walking was fantastic and our guide Louigi absolutely made it for us. His local knowledge and his stories of past and present were fascinating. We were really lucky to be with a lovely group of like minded walkers which all added to a memorable time.
Our one niggle is that we were disappointed with the Hotel Bellavista. We did not think the food was very special and objected to having to choose your meal for the evening at breakfast time. Surely this should not be necessary!
Two extra nights staying in Naples was interesting! Miles away from the tranquility of the Amalfi coast but well worth doing.
By Ms Hawkes on 31/10/2016
Lucia was an excellent guide .She was enthusiastic and informative and looked after us very well. The hotels were in good locations and the views were excellent.
The Hotel Garden was in a lovely location but there were some niggles which could so easily be put right. Breakfast wasn't very good - for very little extra they could have produced fruit salad, better quality cereal and fresh milk. Also the breakfast tables were in such strong sunlight you couldn't enjoy breakfast and, when asked they wouldn't move the tables- they just suggested that we eat outside but it was too cold to do so. Hotel Garden's garden and swimming pool needed a bit of TLC. All little things but could have made a difference as it was in a great location.
At the second hotel I would recommend that Headwater reserves rooms that are not on the ground floor because these are straight onto a busy road.
Overall the holiday was very good indeed and met our expectations. Thank you
By Mr Bulmer on 31/10/2016
Elizabetta is an outstanding leader and this holiday fully lived up to the description given to us by the Headwater office. It was an interesting and varied combination of walking and sightseeing in at least six towns, there were good walks on several days which on the whole were pleasant , and the use of the van was of key importance in providing this variety. In many ways it was unique and difficult to reproduce with a different leader. The CinqTerra walk at the start of the holiday was more challenging than we expected, with a long and very steep descent, but Elisabetta helped us get through it.
By Mr Craig on 31/10/2016
Our guide was outstanding and helped to make the holiday memorable, but note she will no longer be the guide for this holiday next year.
By Mr Roberts on 31/10/2016
Casa Carrascal offers the perfect walking holiday in a friendly group atmosphere. The walks were challenging and varied providing superb views. Sue and David were the perfect hosts, providing expert guiding, comfortable accommodation and last but not least fabulous food.
By Mr Turnbull on 31/10/2016
A fascinating island and a guide who was passionate about it. The hotel was beautifully designed, food was excellent and staff were lovely.
By Ms Smith on 31/10/2016
By Mrs Gatward on 31/10/2016
This was my second visit to the finca - my first was in November when the weather was poor, and I wanted to see what it was like in sunshine. I was not disappointed - I would recommend this holiday to everyone who enjoys walking, eating good food and drinking wine!
By Mr Herring on 14/10/2016
The 3 location concept was very good and was what attracted us to the holiday. It gave us a very good overview of that part of Croatia and it was entirely suitable to the older generation.
By Mrs Elfick-wood on 13/10/2016
The itinerary and Alberto the guide were excellent, the hotels a bit of a mixed experience. The Sa Muvara would probably been really nice with better weather, but getting hot water for a shower was a bit hit and miss, and a lot of other members of the group found their rooms very cold. The food was sometimes really good but generally a bit salty and far too much of it. Comparing our experience with a previous holiday (walk in the florentine hills), perhaps we expect too much for basic rustic italian food. The Hotel Dorada was in an excellent position, but I didn't find the rooms that comfortable, and the food rather disappointing although the soups were excellent.
For all the above, it wouldn't put me off having another Italian holiday with you.
By Mrs Bowling on 13/10/2016
My first time in Sardinia, our guide Alberto really brought the island alive. His extensive knowledge of nature, culture and history far exceeded my expectations, a brilliant holiday, highly recommend it.
By Mr Cudby on 13/10/2016
The holiday was extremely enjoyable. Our guide was Vanja and she was excellent, We loved Dubrovnik - especially at night after the crowds had gone and the City was all lit up. The walking was good and we particularly enjoyed the walking in Krka National Park.
A little disappointed with Diaclecians Palace in Split - expected it to be more impressive and interesting.
We were impressed by the Dubrovnic Hotel.
By Mrs Merrill on 13/10/2016
I thought Montenegro was very beautiful. Headwater are an excellent and efficient organisation with well planned holidays.
By Mrs McGill on 13/10/2016
In general the holiday was very good, no complaints. What made the holiday for us was Elisabetta, the guide. She was energetic, informative, great fun and nothing was too much trouble. If I was Headwater I would give her a pay rise and hang onto her for dear life. Ann McGill
By Mr Smith on 13/10/2016
Great holiday and well worth doing. fantastic Views which are well worth the climbing to get to the top..
By Mrs Loyd on 13/10/2016
A week of discovery! Beautiful towns and landscapes, interesting walking , a great local guide who was tireless in helping us to understand so many different aspects of Puglia - it's history, food, contemporary issues - as well as making it fun. A great group too all added up to a brilliant holiday, thank you.
By Mrs Melling on 13/10/2016
Lovely holiday with great food. Elaine was an excellent guide and very informative.
By Mrs Gill on 13/10/2016
The Finca was excellent, as were all meals. Our guide Elaine was fantastic,the walks not too long, the week was fun.
By Mis Pillar on 04/10/2016
Great trip: stunning scenery & interesting/beautiful towns; lots of features packed into 1 week; lovely people and SaÅ¡a guided us around her country with enthusiasm. Wonderful time.
By Mr Reilly on 04/10/2016
Great Amalfi Coast experience, with friendly local guide Luigi to ensure that the very best of the area is experienced. His guided walks were superb, and the Garden Hotel in Ravello was particularly friendly and delightful with scenic views. Walking is a great way to enjoy the delights of this superb coastline, with not too many exertions, but a level of general fitness is needed. The trip to Pompeii was very good, Libby our guide ensured we saw the ' must see' parts and navigated us expertly through the sometimes busy parts. The other included excursions to the local Pizza making rural restaurant near Sorrento was very enjoyable, while the visits to the two lovely villas In Ravello were a brief cultural bonus. Overall a very worthwhile 7 day Amalfitana experience. Thanks for a lovely week.
By Mr Jones on 28/09/2016
We had promised ourselves a return to the Finca since our first brilliant experience a few years ago. We were not disappointed. Fabulous food, walks, & company in a glorious spot....we will return.
By Mr Plimmer on 14/09/2016
The Azores are just wonderful; superb sights and experiences. The accommodation was very good and the travelling well planned (though two flights were delayed). In my opinion though too many islands are visited in just one week and the inter-island travelling is significant. There is enough to do and see on Faial and Sao Miguel for a month let alone a week.
By Mr Simkiss on 14/09/2016
The group became a bunch of very friendly fellow holiday makers in no time. The local guide was experienced and competent.
By Ms Culshaw on 21/07/2016
An excellent holiday. The small group size meant it felt very much like a private guided holiday but with the advantage of company.
By Mr Goodfellow on 15/07/2016
Very nice holiday in nice locations, with excellent local guide, only spoilt by extremely poor accommodation at Hotel Conte in Perast and extreme tiredness on first day due to ridiculously early flight time from Gatwick.
Dear Mr Goodfellow,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. We were pleased to see you enjoyed your holiday overall and rated our local guide as excellent, we will ensure your praise is passed on.
We were however sorry to read you felt the room allocated to you at Hotel Conte was extremely poor; this was disappointing to read; especially since past customers have rated this hotel highly. However, in light of your feedback, we will continue to monitor this hotel and work closely with the Hotelier to ensure our customers receive the standard of accommodation they have come to expect on a Headwater holiday.
We were also sorry to hear you felt extremely tired due to the early flight from Gatwick. In order to alleviate this, we do offer extra nights in Dubrovnik before the start of the holiday, which can help break up the travel a little. We are sorry if you were not aware of this option.
In closing, 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 Mrs Titley on 15/07/2016
The guided Puglia walking holiday was fabulous. We had heard about Matera before out travels and we had time to explore the town and surroundings.It was an amazing place.Luigina, our leader on this holiday, was very knowledgeable and helpful. The 3 centres and scenery on the walk were quite varied. The free day was a good idea as it gave us the opportunity to visit Lecce.The holiday was a fascinating mix of history, geoography, culture and of course, food!
By Mrs Conaghan on 29/06/2016
This was a good mix of hiking and city . We enjoyed the beautiful Tuscan countryside and the guided tours of the wonderful cities of Florence and Sienna. The tour guide was helpful and completely knowledgeable. We also had a lot of fun!
By Mr Johnson on 28/06/2016
The holiday delivered everything we were hoping for and more. This was mainly due to the excellent tour leader, who went above and beyond the call of duty. As expected, she was very knowledgeable with regard to the actual locations and the walks, but she was also very helpful in her suggestions for places to eat, as not so many meals were included on this particular holiday. She is one of the best tour guides we have encountered and her sense of humour added to the enjoyment of the whole group.
By Mr Kendrick on 16/06/2016
Brochure slightly misleading about Hotel Costa Dorada; the idyllic location portrayed was not accurate - next to a busy public car park, not an isolated location. We had upgraded rooms so they were fine. Others in the group were very disappointed with their rooms. Walks were good and our guide Alberto was superb. He really made the holiday.
By Mr Hall on 16/06/2016
Great holiday, wonderful guides, beautiful weather,gorgeous flowers ,perfect walks and fabulous views.
By Ms Friend on 16/06/2016
Sue and Dave are the most welcoming, well organised, hardworking , capable and fun hosts I have yet to come across on a walking holiday.
From the moment we met at the airport I felt confident that I was going to have a great holiday. They have perfected the art of gauging the ability of the group and pitching the pace of walks accordingly. By always having one leader at the front and one at the back everyone can walk at a pace that suits.
The food was of a consistently high quality. Freshly squeezed orange juice, cafetiÃ¨re coffee, fresh fruit cut and beautifully presented, yoghurt , toast and jams and something cooked too, breakfast was wonderful. Baguettes etc ready to collect before walks, lovely home cooked evening meals. Dave and Sue excelled themselves and we were all very happy and well fed throughout.
Daves jokes. Well, what can I say? There is no conversational topic that doesn't lead to a joke from his vast repertoire. And they all made me laugh!
Sue and Dave signposted what we could expect each day and created a relaxed and happy ambience though out. This enable the group to gel well. Our job was just to enjoy ourselves as they did everything else.
Dave took our requests for music for our last night paella party on the terrace, downloaded all our requests, even though we came up with way more than he asked for and we had a lot of fun dancing to them.
Dave even sent us a you tube link to a slideshow he made of the photos from our walks.
Thanks so much Sue and Dave, your efforts were much appreciated and way beyond the call of duty!
By Mr Sedgwick on 14/06/2016
A good variety of walks with a good local guide through enchanting country side with magnificent wild flowers ( May is a good month for this holiday
By Mrs Baker on 14/06/2016
We enjoyed the challenges of walking in a beautiful landscape. The walks were varied and interesting. We also enjoyed time to relax returning home feeling refreshed
By Mrs O'Brian on 13/06/2016
Overall the holiday was thoroughly enjoyable. The walks were varied and a good length and covered some beautiful scenery. I think the 1+ rating was quite accurate - the walks were usually around 4 hours with some up and downhill sections but nothing particularly difficult. The accommodation was good as were most of the meals. Our guide, Tiago, was brilliant! He was knowledgeable, organised, flexible and just a really nice guy to hang out with. My only advice for future travellers would be to make sure to take insect repellent or a zapper for Tavira. The mozzies were like helicopters there.
By Mr Hughes on 13/06/2016
We decided to combine the Highlights of Montenegro Walk and Delights of the Dalmatian coast Walk. We took the first date in May. Imagine our surprise on waking on the first morning, to find a thick layer of snow had fallen overnight and was continuing to snow quite heavily. We hadn't anticipated snow at all and ended up wearing as many clothes as we could! However it made the mountains and forests look even more beautiful. It started to melt the next day and conditions were very slippery. Poles were needed by most people.
In Croatia the temperatures soared into the 30's and we found the walks on day 5 and day 7 very challenging, steep, stoney paths,very hot. We felt this was more than a one boot holiday. The first hotel in Dubrovnik was five star and very nice but not necessarily needed for a walking holiday, especially as we had virtually no time to use the facilities. We had great guides and drivers and everything was very well organised. We had an enjoyable holiday in amazing scenery.
By Mr Dick on 13/06/2016
We had really good walks in quiet, beautiful countryside in a part of Europe that is so far relatively unspoiled by excessive tourism. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and the group of 13 got on very well with each other.
By Mrs Marsden on 08/06/2016
The holiday was everything I hoped for and expected. Beautiful location and weather with lots of wild flowers I had hitherto only seen in books. The people in the group were a good mix, we all got on well together and our common interest cut across the wide age range. Our guide Stephanie was wonderful in every way . She was friendly and personable with a good sense of humour and was a fund of knowledge on the the location, historical background, flora and fauna. We could not fault her! The website was easy to negotiate and very user friendly.
By Mr Grierson on 07/06/2016
A very well organised holiday with superb Sardinian hospitality and comfortable accommodation. Alberto's extensive knowledge of the history, flora, fauna and geology of the island added to a wonderful week's experience as did his 'surprises and adventures'!
By Mrs Parsons on 07/06/2016
A friendly guide,very good knowledge of area,fantastic lunches. Great walking,a lovely group of people,will book another trip next year. Thank you Headwater.
By Mr Charlett on 06/06/2016
Vistas of Valencia was an excellent holiday. The hosts/guides were exceptional. The accommodation was comfortable and characterful. The food was excellent. The walks were sometimes quite challenging but accomplished without difficulty for people who are reasonably fit and walk regularly. The scenery was stunning.
By Mr Homer on 03/06/2016
I find the website a bit 'clunky' to navigate but Ok once you get used to it. The holiday was accurately described and I enjoyed it. The casa Carrascal operation is very well run and gives a very good service to clients.
By Mr Watson on 03/06/2016
A good holiday with excellent walks, but bear in mind this is run by Exodus, so hotels not up to the usual Headwater standard.
By Mr Monzani on 03/06/2016
This was an excellent hotel and Sue and Gordon really looked after us. The food was great and the facilities were super. The walks were mostly good for us although quite testing for me in places. They were relatively short but in my opinion were greater than a 1 boot+ probably more like a 2 boot. My particular problem is that I suffer from severe vertigo and this resort is nearly 600 meters above sea level with very steep winding roads and many of the higher ones had no barriers. The local taxi drivers were really good but nobody should talk to them when driving because they use their hands to answer. Our guide Elaine was excellent and very understanding. However I backed off the last walk because it used 4x4 trucks to go high up, across winding narrow tracks and the walk was a bit hairy too. Don't get me wrong overall it was a great holiday.
By Mrs Pattinson on 26/05/2016
Tiago and Hugo were excellent guides using very well planned routes. They were very friendly and flexible in their approach. Everyone in the walking group was very friendly and sociable. Tiago was a fount of knowledge of birds and plants and was keen to pass on this knowledge.
By Mr Hay on 26/05/2016
A varied week with an excellent guide
By Mrs Jackson on 26/05/2016
This was a well designed holiday with a good balance of walking and sightseeing . The group size was just right.
I doubt we could have had a better leader. Elisabetta was a delight to be with. She was charming, witty, knowledgeable , interesting and keen to ensure we were involved in decision making wherever it was possible . Her recommendations for places to eat were excellent.
By Mr Dryburgh on 26/05/2016
Had a great holiday. Eleven off us in the party and we all got on well together. No cliques. Wine tasting on the Sunday got us all going.
By Mr Exell on 18/05/2016
A wonderful guide lead us through a fascinating part of Italy and along the way we enjoyed superb local cuisine and wines.
By Mrs Broome on 16/05/2016
By Mr Drane on 11/05/2016
Great holiday if you are fit and active. Some of our group struggled as they were expecting gentle strolling.
Anyone expecting high quality accommodation and fine dining would be disappointed
On arrival we were told that no sea view rooms were available even though we had paid for one booked months ago. The hotel staff had little idea how to deal with this situation. Consequently we were highly disappointed. Eventually they found one, although it was nothing like the standard of accommodation that we were expecting, having recently stayed on La Palma with headwater.
We notice that Exodus have more information in their brochure.
By Mr Aiken on 11/05/2016
Our only criticism is that of alternative departure airport does make a huge difference to the cost. The airline we were booked with is a low cost budget alternative, but we would have done far better to book independently. Any perceived benefit by having a 'package' booking was lost when flights were changed and no explanation or option was offered by Headwater. This is our 6th or 7th walking holiday with Headwater so we obviously happy overall, but the personal touch has been lost over the last few years. It is now much more of a 'package' and we would point that out to friends considering a walking/activity holiday. We have organised our own holidays of a very similar nature and that results in at least a 25% reduction in cost along with the benefit of being an independent booking at the destination - i.e. a higher value individual to the hotel.
By Mrs Corris on 04/05/2016
The walking was varied and enjoyable although the weather could have been better.
By Mrs King on 27/04/2016
An excellent holiday with exceptionally helpful guides.a good variety of accommodation
By Mrs Gates on 27/04/2016
For a carefree holiday with attention to detail and comfort this ticked all the boxes.
By Mr Thornton on 26/04/2016
Relaxing, interesting and enjoyable blend of easy walking and sightseeing.
By Ms Yih on 26/04/2016
By Mr Holmes on 25/04/2016
An excellent holiday with an interesting and varied range of walks and activities. Well structured to give a decent impression of the Algarve region as a whole. The website and brochure provide a pretty accurate description of the holiday. The local guides were informative, helpful, friendly and very considerate of capabilities of different group members. My first experience of such a holiday, would happily do something similar again!
By Mis Whittaker on 25/04/2016
I have been on many Headwater holidays, mostly guided when traveling on my own or with one friend but some self guided when with a group of friends.
When travelling on my own Headwater provide accurate information about what to expect and provide a safe environment for me. I know enough about how they operate to anticipate accurately what the holiday will be like. Of course the other members of the group are a main factor but I have always found that they work well together. This is often helped by the guide understanding group dynamics.
By Mrs Smale on 18/04/2016
Enjoyable relaxed holiday with an excellent guide, Tiago, who introduced us to the lovely and varied countryside which was enhanced by the magnificent show of wild flowers. The walking was considerably harder than on other 1boot holidays, and deserved to be labelled as 1+ boot.
By Mr Schafer on 18/04/2016
Summary: Beautiful Hikes, Great Meals. Wonderful Hosts
The Hosts: Hardworking couple David and Sue will do their best to make
sure the holiday meets all your expectations.
The Hikes: With an exhaustive knowledge of the surrounding area David and Sue ensure that
best hikes in the area are chosen each day. During our trip, low clouds enshrouded the peaks
on one of the days and they substituted two shorter but equally beautiful hikes at a lower elevation.
We are avid photographers and they customized one of the hikes, dividing the group so that those of us who wanted to take advantage of enjoying the beautiful wildflowers could do so, while the other were able to accomplish the longer hike. The two boot difficulty level properly described the hikes. Several hikes had some short but steep ascents and loose stones so a hiking pole(s) may be helpful.
Lodging and Meals: Casa Carrascal is quirky updated townhouse in the middle of the small village of
Parcent, Our room, the Segovia suite was furnished with a double bed and and antique couch and chairs. The ensuite bathroom was nice but required that you duck under a beam to reach the area with the toilet/shower. The weather was cool and overcast during our stay and we were unable to take advantage of the outdoor terrace and the indoor common space outside the dining areas is very limited. Although WIFI is available in the bar just up the street, it would have been nice to have it available in the house.
The meals were excellent!!! Breakfast consisted of a choice of yogurts, fruits, cereals, and a hot
items that changed daily. Pack lunches were a choice of baquettes along with fruit, a sweet snack and a large bottle of water. Dinners were absolutely fabulous! Wonderful appetizers, a choice of delicious entrees, and a nice dessert, all complemented with a choice of white or red wine.
By Mr Payne on 18/04/2016
I have been on Headwater walking holidays before (not for at least 8 years ). I now have a partner and I needed to convince him that the holiday would be enjoyable. My partner is in good health and fit but he is 82 years and he was nervous that the walking would be difficult. I persuaded him that a 1 boot would be fine but it was harder that I thought it would be.
When I first telephone Headwater to enquire about the holiday the telephone rep was most helpful so I suggested that my partner telephoned so that he could ask for the information he needed - this time there was a different rep and she was not so reassuring.
However we enjoyed the holiday and will attempt another with Headwater..
By Mr Townsend on 18/04/2016
Accommodation at Hotel Finca was super and everyone on holiday there were very friendly, especially the five Singapore ladies who we were walking and dining with. They were great company.
By Mrs Randall on 18/04/2016
This was a brilliant, relaxing holiday and a fantastic introduction to Spain which we had never visited before. Wonderful countryside, a gem of a hotel, lovely food and really helpful staff and walks guide. It couldn't have been better.
By Mr Cameron on 06/04/2016
Varied and interesting trip with excellent driver and enthusiastic and knowledgable guide
By Mrs Kenward on 06/04/2016
Excellent group holiday with good accommodation and very well organised. Wine included was good.
Varied program & walking harder than expected for one boot but lovely. Walking guide lovely & encouraging!
By Dr Loken on 30/03/2016
As usual with Headwater Holidays, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this holiday. The locations were varied and interesting, the local guides did an excellent job, and the walking was very enjoyable.
By Ms Chandler on 30/03/2016
A unique holiday experience that fully met our expectations. Would highly recommend
By Mrs Lamb on 29/03/2016
This was our first guided walk, after many years of self guided holidays. We enjoyed the relaxation which came from not having to worry about anything at any time.Our guide Tiago was expert at assessing the capabilities and personalities of the group. We were able to go at our own pace, taking as much time as anyone needed to appreciate the wild flowers, birds and scenery. His passion for his country was inspirational and educational.
By Mr Moore on 29/03/2016
Excellent for seeing wildlife. Local guide Erika and driver Rono greatly enhanced this holiday with their expertise and knowledge- a lucky combination as Rono was a wildlife enthusiast himself. Some of the walks were not '2 boots' however heat especially during the latter part of the holiday dictated length of walks. Most of the hotels were very good/excellent and those which were not of the same standard compensated by location. Excellent boat trip and night walk which were highlights.
By Mr Pattison on 23/03/2016
Another great guided walking holiday, despite unseasonable weather, Very varied and interesting walks, good hotels, and good food and wine. Javier dealt very well with the challenges presented by an unwell fellow traveller, and the changes forced on us by the weather. He judged our capabilities well in arranging a substitute walk which we felt was the best of the holiday.
By Ms Ringer on 23/03/2016
This was a very well planned, smoothly run holiday. All our connections/transfers/taxis operated like clockwork. We were very well catered for and the Finca
had everything we needed for an extremely rewarding and relaxing holiday. Our guide, Nick, was very attentive and inclusive and happy to impart his
knowledge of the area. We loved the challenge of walking in the morning and then plenty of time in the afternoon to chill around the beautiful grounds of the Finca - lovingly developed over the years by our hosts Sue and Gordon. All the staff were very accommodating and friendly. We couldn't have asked for more.
Thank you everyone involved.
By Mrs Spencer on 22/03/2016
Casa Carascal was dark, oppressive and the time we were there, cold. Heaters and extra blankets were happily supplied, the fire was lit 1 hr before dinner. Not enough seating for number of guests indoors. Outside area totally enclosed by walls. Neither conducive to socialising before or after meals.
Could do with updating re paint in rooms and new bed covers but they were I guess, in tradition with the building.
I acknowledge that mountains demand respect and health and safety rules demand acknowledgement but felt Sue was a little over enthusiastic! In her approach. Prefer to make my own judgement re use of poles and my walking style over rough scrambles. She was however helpful to those who had difficulty.
At dinner, it would have been good to have been offered tea or coffee at the end of the meal, it doesn't take long to arrange. It was grudgingly granted when asked for on the last night!
Wifi would have been appreciated.
Excellent food! Good portion sizes. Good wine.
By Mrs Rome on 21/03/2016
Overall very good, only minor improvements needed on mid day meals- not needed when travelling for prolonged time-could be more snack based when having a three course evening meal.
By Mrs Simms on 21/03/2016
The Finca el Cerrillo is a wonderful place to stay in a beautiful location. We were extremely well looked after and the organisation was seamless. The walks were, as stated in the brochure, very gentle and leisurely. We would definitely consider returning especially If some more challenging walks were on offer.
By Mrs Bertels on 15/03/2016
Excellent holiday, well described in the brochure. However I thought the walks were a bit short so there was quite a lot of free time at the Finca. While the Finca is a really lovely place it was a little remote so if you wanted to go into the village/town there was a very steep walk down the ravine and back up the other side. I am sure later in the season the Finca is a lovely place to stay with swimming pool and lots of outside sitting areas but in early March it was a bit chilly. I wasn't too keen on the wine tasting in the morning before a walk. We seemed to spend a lot of time eating. We only had picnic lunches on 2 days which meant a lot of food was provided both at lunchtime and in the evening. I would have been happy to have longer walks and more picnic lunches.
By Mr Sinanoglou on 14/03/2016
Though the rating (one boot+) is accurate, I would have preferred longer walks on most days. The use of three locations in three very different settings is an attractive feature as is the superb seafood. The village of Pedralva is an unusual and well-chosen base from which to explore Portugal's west coast. The use of a Portuguese partner organization (A to Z Adventures) and local guides works extremely well. This is an ideal holiday for those who enjoy half-day walks in a variety of landscapes covering a region that stretches from the river border with Spain in the east to the Atlantic beaches and sea cliffs in the west. The guides are well-informed and very attentive.
By Mr Harris on 14/03/2016
A good strenuous holiday for an elderly single traveller. The guides and the other travellers were good organisers and excellent companions. No complaints.
By Mrs Auger on 04/03/2016
The walks were varied and well within our ability, although we appreciated having a day off on the fourth day. The guides (Andreas and Javier) were very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna, geology and history of the island, which added enormously to our enjoyment. We couldn't fault the hotel (San Roque), and especially liked having a Jacuzzi bath to revive our muscles each evening, before dinner. The chef produced delicious and varied meals both on the set menu and the vegetarian alternative.
By Mrs Merry on 04/03/2016
This was our first Headwater holiday & we were impressed. The hotel is a real gem with impeccable service & wonderful food. Dietary requirements were known about by both hotel staff & our guides. Both guides were helpful & knowledgeable about the locality, flora, fauna etc. They also provided great picnic lunches. The idea to go to a local market one day to choose picnic items was a good one.
We had not visited Tenerife previously & being situated in the quiet town of Garachico was lovely. There was plenty to occupy us there on the free day. All in all this was a splendid holiday, the walks varied & interesting. We were only a small group, 2 couples only but we seemed to gel which is always a bonus. We really have no criticism to make. Wonderful & we'll book with Headwater again.
By Mrs Mendoza on 04/03/2016
This was the second Headwater holiday I have been on which was guided by Javier. He is a fantastic guide and so knowledgeable. As well as walking he showed us lots of flora and fauna and lots of other interesting things.
All the walks were very interesting and the views were great It was good that we stayed at two hotels, both very interesting.
By Mrs Gatward on 04/03/2016
The hotels, our guide Javier and the fellow-travellers were all excellent - unfortunately the weather wasn't as good as I'd hoped but nothing can be done about that. I think Javier realised when he had to re-arrange our final walk (due to snow) that the alternative was a bit difficult for me - but I got there! I have to say everyone else thought it was wonderful!
By Mr Mattingly on 25/02/2016
Excellent hotel & guides. One or two walks do require a head for heights (this was pointed out in brochure).
By Mrs Woodruff on 25/02/2016
Well organised holiday with an excellent local guide.
By Mr Rayner on 25/02/2016
An excellent holiday with an exceptional guide (Javier) who was passionate about the geology, geography, and natural history of the island of La Palma.
The walks were well chosen and we saw different aspects of the island. He was adaptable - when the temperature dropped to 5C with a wind speed of 34kph he decided to forego the high altitude ridge walk for one further down the mountain. He took us to an interesting selection of restaurants so that we could experience local cuisine. And he was a good and careful driver and had a fine sense of humour.
By Mrs Harper on 24/02/2016
A great experience with a young enthusiastic guide. The only disappointment was the weather.
By Ms Brown on 24/02/2016
Perfect combination of varied and scenic walking, great hospitality, delicious food and comfortable accommodation.
By Mr Cross on 22/02/2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this Headwater holiday, of which I have had many. Luckily our small group all got on well with each other - important for a guided holiday. You can rely on the excellent guide (Javier) and the excellent hotel San Roque, and Garachico is a pretty little coastal town. What you cannot rely on - in mid-February in Tenerife - is good weather for walking every day. Cloud and/or rain, plus high winds, are a real risk. Javier was intelligent and flexible, taking us back to the 'always dry' Teide National Park more than once, after we got a soaking on one lower altitude walk.Would go walking again - probably to another of the Canary Islands - but in April/May, not February.
By Mrs Underwood on 22/02/2016
Fabulous weeks walking holiday our guide Javier was brilliant each day was a fun filled day, great walking routes and with an extremely pleasant knowledgeable young guide.
Would recommend 100%
By Mrs Bowen on 05/02/2016
An excellently run holiday in a beautiful area. Our guide was always prepared to go the extra mile to make our holiday a success. Walks were excellently prepared and led with extra visits such as to a banana plantation thrown in. He even took us to the market on the first walk day to show him what we all liked in our picnics which were amazing! He also avoided a long wait at the airport on our leaving day by taking us to a nearby beach unencumbered by our luggage and returning for us later. We recommend him very highly.
By Mrs Cockram on 05/02/2016
An excellent holiday all round. Everything was looked after for us both by Headwater and the local guide whose knowledge was exceptional on every subject and for whom nothing was too much trouble. Accommodation superb and just what was needed at the end of a day's walking.
By Mrs Morris on 05/02/2016
Superb leader - sociable, knowledgeable, charming, considerate. Excellent hotels, especially the Hacienda, where the staff were charming and the quality of the accommodation and surroundings excellent.
By Ms Freeman on 04/02/2016
Although flights were arduous with 4-hour stopover in US, on the whole flights were good. Costa Rica is a fantastic place and our guide Pedro was so enthusiastic about the country and wildlife and very interesting on political and historical details which greatly enhanced our experience. We travelled in a small (4) group which although initially I was doubtful about, in fact worked out well. The driver of the bus was very good and we got to places in comfort and in promptly. The walking was fantastic. Some walks were quite arduous but not impossibly so and always very interesting. Highlights for me were the night walk in the forest near Cebadilla and the boat trip through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. The final hotel at the beach at Playa Hermosa was a wonderful end to the holiday.
By Mr Kerry on 04/02/2016
The guide was very good at getting us to places when there was no one else around which made things more exclusive. In addition it was our idea before we went to have the boat trip at Cano Negro in the afternoon which was a great success. We had the river to ourselves, saw 23 different types of bird and even the guide saw things she had never seen before, like howler monkeys on the ground.
By Mr Whitley on 04/02/2016
Costa Rica is a fantastic country for wildlife and fauna, however doing a walking holiday there may not be the best option if you are going primarily for the flora and fauna. Getting there and back is painful going via the USA; if BA bring in a direct route from LHR then that will be much the best option.
The people are lovely, and our guide (Erika) was always smiling and very helpful.
By Dr Simpson on 04/02/2016
Wonderful trip and made even better by out guides detailed knowledge of the area and his ability to swap walking days to suit the conditions - stayed in the woods when cloud cover was low. Everything was wonderful except that we had no hot water in our room at 7 am (it got going by 7.40) and again at 6 pm. This was because our room was a long way from the centre of the hotel and / or the system couldn't cope with lots of people all wanting hot water at the same time. I raised the issue with reception twice and was assured that the hot water boiler came on at 7 am, but this certainly wasn't sufficiently early to supply us. Compeletly wonderful hotel in all other ways, so this was a pity. I would certainly recommend this holiday to anyone, but it's ceratinly 2 boot!
By Mr Ridley on 04/02/2016
Another excellent holiday with Headwater
By Mr Hirst on 25/01/2016
Northern Tenerife is dramatic and beautiful. The walks were very varied, with stunning views and much of interest along the way with excellent, knowledgable local guides. Our hotel was charming and after a day of walking it was lovely to relax each evening round the pool and enjoy a delicious dinner.
By Mis Nair on 09/12/2015
A good holiday in a beautiful island, with good weather and a helpful and obliging guide.
NB ; Picnic lunches during the walks were a little excessive . It might be better for each person /couple to choose what they want for lunch before purchasing
it to avoid leftovers / carrying excess loads.
By Mrs Longfoot on 07/12/2015
A beautiful country, lots of wildlife and lush countryside.
By Mr Shore on 07/12/2015
Hacienda de Abajo is a fabulous hotel - best staff ever, wonderful food, beautiful accommodation and stunning tropical gardens. Hotel San Telmo is charming, tucked away in the side streets and perfectly located for walking in Santa Cruz. Our guide - Javier - was an outstanding source of knowledge on the history, geology, flora and fauna of the islands. I recommend this holiday.
By Mrs Baron on 04/12/2015
A very enjoyable holiday with excellent guiding and accomodation
By Ms Findlay on 01/12/2015
La Gomera is a largely unspoilt island with wonderful plants and stunning views. Great to learn so much about its history and natural history, enjoy lovely walking and sample local food. An excellent guide and good company from our fellow travellers. Would thoroughly recommend this trip!
By Mrs Scott on 01/12/2015
An excellent holiday , helped by the weather!
By Ms Wellsted on 01/12/2015
Stress free excellence! I loved every minute of this holiday principally because all arrangements went super smoothly, the hotel staff, accommodation and location were way above my expectations. The week flew and the walking was thoroughly enjoyable. Would I go with Headwater holidays again? Absolutely.
By Mis Haill on 27/11/2015
Truly memorable holiday with excellent guides leading us. We saw a huge amount of the Algarve and the walks were varied and interesting, though perhaps a little bit harder than I was prepared for. My first visit to Portugal and I hope not my last.
By Mr Kirby on 27/11/2015
The Es Saadi hotel was excellent but suffered from road noise if the room was at the front, the food was good but with poor portion sizes, the Karam Palace hotel was good, slightly noisy, the buffet dinner lacked variety, the Palais Asmaa hotel is in need of some renovation, the food OK but nothing special. The walks were as described except for the 7 1/2 mile from Amizmiz which started with a long up hill drag and finished with a steep down hill over very rough ground, not good with tired legs.
By Mr Smith on 27/11/2015
It was a very enjoyable holiday with a good mix of walking, culture, fantastic scenery and relaxation time.
By Mr Simpson on 17/11/2015
An excellent holiday with a like minded group of people.
Our guide Nino went out of his way to ensure everyone got what they wanted out of the holiday. He changed arrangements to suit the weather and ensured that everyone was happy with what was happening each day.
Pleasant walking( despite slightly inclement weather at times) through lovely countryside and interesting historic sites. Unfortunately it was too cold for our swim in the Adriatic .
Alberobello is a very pretty town with its large concentration of Trulli. Matera is a fascinating city with its ancient settlements and interesting history.
By Mr Grant on 04/11/2015
An excellent mix of walking ( none of which is too taxing at least in the cooler October weather ) and sightseeing . The trip will give a good exposure to several of the main must see places in Tuscany. and also shows some of those places less visited by tourists. We were very fortunate in having a great guide in Elizabetta . It was perhaps a mark of how good she is that she was warmly welcomed in each new place we visited . My main tip for future travelers is to go to the Uffizi as early as you can as it can be crowded . Booking in advance is to be recommended and it is best to phone ( you go through the options by pushing the telephone key pad - it is all in English and then you have a very brief discussion with an English speaking member of staff . The advantage is that you will get a wider availability of times to visit than you do booking online and some people according to tripadvisor don`t get their confirmation email ( TripAdvisor has a section on booking for the Uffizi which is v helpful ) . You can book up once you are in Florence for the next day if you go late in the afternoon the day before ( a couple of people did this and got early slots ) but i don`t know how many slots will be available for those going along the day before and many people will want to see the Uffizi and may not want to wait and see if they can get in and when . The last thing you want to do is to queue up on the day - people were being told it would be a 2 hour wait to get in at 10am on the Saturday we were there !!!
By Mr Kettle on 28/10/2015
Exceeded all expectations. Very relaxing. Party of 10 ideal size to get to know each other. Excellent introduction to Andalucia
By Mis Harper on 27/10/2015
A brilliant holiday, our guide Antonino was excellent, he looked after us very well and went out of his way to make sure we were always well looked after and very well fed. Transfers during the walk went like clockwork.
An incredibly interesting part of Italy; as it was cold and wet we all agreed to visit local caves instead of the beach and they were magnificent.
One boot was the right classification, there was some 'scrambling' over rocks and through vegetation, the rest mainly rocky/stony tracks with minor ascents and descents.
By Mis Jameson on 26/10/2015
This was a new holiday and the Guides were excellent. The walks were varied and interesting. A mix of capabilities were catered for by using two vehicles but only because our group size allowed it. The hotels were varied as were the areas. I knew of the Poussada at Tavira and have stayed in the area before, We were particularly pleased to be able to return to a favorite restaurant in Santa Luzia. Although the weather wasn't at it's finest for our holiday we completed all the walks.
The complex at Petralva was very interesting and had the best showers and hot water. However, the room was damp, others requested to be moved, this should be sorted out because the overall resort,concept and area was lovely. Our last morning's breakfast appeared to have them short handed but was fine. The bartender was knowledgeable and made our stay very enjoyable.
The Hotel at Monchique was made up of a number of buildings some older than others. Our room although old was spacious but the hot water and decor was struggling a bit. Food for the first two evenings was a set menu and not very good nor was the service. This was the first time I have had difficulty with language in the Algarve. The bartender was particularly out of his depth. The last night the food was offered at A La Carte and was much improved as was the young lady taking orders and serving ( the kitchen too was much improved). The visit to the local distillery was fantastic and although the food in the hotel could have been better we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday.
We did not receive walking notes or a detailed walk itinerary ( I assume because it was guided) but this left us never really sure of plans and routes for the next day. We were given the holiday briefing but ten days in one go was too much to take in.
This was our fifth Headwater Holiday and perhaps quality did not quite match up to others but I think with some assistance from the hotels it could easily achieve the expected level. There were nine of us on the tour and think we all enjoyed the experience.
By Mrs Stevens on 26/10/2015
This had the potential to be an outstanding holiday with excellent guides but they were let down by two of the hotels. It would have been helpful to have details of the spa treatments in advance and to book in advance as the Spa was often fully booked. It was also pretty shabby although the treatments good. More information about the area and history of the are would be a good idea too.
By Mr Jones on 26/10/2015
Good holiday and very good walking, well organised and good fun.
By Ms Bevan on 26/10/2015
A busy holiday but a great introduction to Tuscany and the Cinque Terra. The mixture of sightseeing and walking was what I wanted and left me feeling I'd like to return to see more of the region in the future. We were a full group of 8 from diverse backgrounds and locations but we gelled well. Much of the success of our trip was due to our guide Elisabetta, who was wonderful throughout - from her excellent driving skills to the endless humour and patience she showed guiding us through menus and sharing her invaluable local knowledge! Our official city guides in Florence and Siena were also excellent and gave us interesting and thorough introductions to their cities.
By Mr Cameron on 23/10/2015
Spectacular views of the Mediterranean from the mountains above Menton and Monaco.
By Mr Moore on 23/10/2015
David and Sue are excellent hosts and guides. They have a real knowledge and enthusiasm for the area which is reflected in the walks. We had one day of rain and they quickly adapted the programme to suit the conditions. Walks were varied and excellent giving a real flavour of the area.
By Mrs Copeland on 22/10/2015
Excellent our escort Elizbetta was wonderful she made our holiday helpful witty charming
By Ms McGrath on 20/10/2015
This was an excellent holiday that was really made by the superb service from the hosts, Sue and David. Nothing was too much trouble, they worked incredibly hard to ensure the whole group had the most enjoyment out of their holiday. Their knowledge of the walks was incredible and their good humour and patience second to none. The food was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the week. I walked and climbed to a level I had not reached for a number of years and felt a tremendous sense of achievement . I have already passed on details of the holiday to work colleagues.
By Mrs Compton on 16/10/2015
The Amalfi CoAst was beautiful and the walking challenging at times. There were a lot of steps on all of the walks. Our guide Lucia was extremely informative about everything and catered well with some who did struggle. Lucia was with us from breakfast all day and took the evening meal with the group.The coach drivers were very good, not fast and furious like most Italian drivers. Suggestions were given for our day off and a group of us went off to Heraculeum for the day by bus and train, a beautiful place to visit. The hotels were a very good standard with lovely views. The Bellavista had a busy road outside which was quiet at night, but the food was above standard and a wonderful choice every day. It was away from nearest village.The Hotel Garden had the best view and near to the centre of Ravello.
By Mrs Jones on 16/10/2015
It was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. The walks were varied and beautiful, sometimes challenging, but we coped. It was especially nice to have a local guide with insider knowledge of the region. The food was authentic and delicious at the hotels, and Lucia took us to very good local delicatessens to buy sandwiches or to excellent restaurants at lunchtime. We especially enjoyed the international group of lovely people.
By Mrs Robertson on 15/10/2015
Easy to book and everything arranged well. Headwater always have interesting hotels in lovely locations. A guided holiday adds so many interesting features to the trip and no worries about getting lost !
By Ms O'Dell on 15/10/2015
I was very pleased with the help and service I received from Headwater. The holiday was very enjoyable and I would certainly recommend the Valencia walking holiday.
By Mrs Kilpatrick on 15/10/2015
This was the best walking holiday I have had in recent years. Casa Carrascal is a lovingly restored house situated in a delightful Spanish village. Each bedroom in the hotel is different giving a lovely quirky feel to the place. While there is no Wifi (no bad thing in my opinion) this is available in the very welcoming hostelery just across the road. The walks, which are accurately described as two boot, are varied so that every day you are walking different terrain but always with spectacular views. I was slightly concerned that I might not be able to do all of them but David and Sue (who are excellent leaders) keep a close eye on everyone and present alternative walks if they think you might experience difficulties. Add to that tempting menus based on local produce cooked to perfection by David and you have the makings of a great holiday. All you have to do is enjoy it all!
By Mr Cunningham on 12/10/2015
I reckon a good deal of planning and research has gone into preparing this holiday. It was a perfect balance of walking, sightseeing and doing what you wanted to do. It was also flexible enough to be able to change plans on one occasion to take in an unexpected, extra trip. Tuscany is my favourite holiday destination, so it would be difficult for me not to enjoy myself, but the incomparable Elisabetta Piseddu, our guide, took my enjoyment to another level. I really enjoyed her company. Among her many accomplishments - apart form managing a disparate gang of Aussies, Yanks and a lone Brit - was to knock up a classic vinaigrette salad dressing during one of our lunches that would have added Â£10 to a UK restaurant bill. And our immaculate guides in Sienna and Florence, whose names unforgivably I haven't noted, were passionate and entertaining. Always an attractive mixture. Passionate and entertaining. What more could I want? Grazie mille, Elisabetta.
By Mrs Harris on 08/10/2015
Our walking holiday on the Amalfi coast was wonderful. Our guide Luigi knew the area incredibly well and his knowledge and expertise was central to our enjoyment of every walk. He paced the walks well and there was always enough time to enjoy lunch or a coffee on the way! The 2 hotels had wonderful views and the food each night was excellent as was the company in the group. Overall it was a a great way to see the area and very relaxing as everything was so well organised. We would certainly choose a similar holiday again.
By Ms Assheton on 06/10/2015
This was my first holiday with Headwater and I really enjoyed it. It was well organised, the accommodation and food was very good and our guide was really good, helpful and very knowledgeable.
By Ms Duncan on 06/10/2015
By Mrs Gatward on 01/10/2015
Montenegro was graded one and a half boots - I think two boots would be more accurate as some of the walks were more challenging that those in the holidays I had recently with Headwater on the Amalfi coast and in the south of France. Having said that, the country is very beautiful and unspoilt and although some of the bus rides from Perast were long (over two hours) the countryside was so interesting I didn't mind at all - despite the hairpin bends!
By Mr Horstead on 29/09/2015
Stunning scenery, well chosen itinerary and hotels, knowledgeable and helpful guides. A busy programme.
By Mr Cross on 29/09/2015
A super holiday - no faults found!
Only comment is that 'two boots' did not quite fit our perception, compared with other Headwater 'two boots' holidays that we have taken. We would call this holiday 'two and a half boots'. Not because of distances but because of combination of gradients/ascents, narrow paths with steep drops, and much rough and rocky terrain which demands continuous concentration. Not a holiday for anyone suffering from vertigo.
By Mr Prior on 25/09/2015
The Hotel Conte in Perast, its staff and its service were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed being there, much more so than at the hotel in the mountains. What a pity that there are not more local walks in that lovely coastal area; although the boat trip in Kotor Bay was most enjoyable. The walks in the mountains (Durmitor NP, Tara River Canyon and Lovcen NP) have spectacular scenery but are somewhat dependent on fine weather for full enjoyment which, unfortunately, was not always the case for us - disappointing! Overall, though, a good holiday.
By Ms Butterworth on 23/09/2015
Excellent, wonderful area and wildlife. Archaeology and geology easy to see and museums excellent. We hope to go agin to see the spring flowers.
By Mrs Eidahl on 23/09/2015
Sue and David have an excellent concept. Have never met anyone so devoted to their customers as themselves. We could have eaten out on the evening we were at Valencia to give them an evening off. They were our chauffeurs our cooks, our guides, and entertained us too. Marvelous cooks, but we would have been just as happy with a choice of fewer alternatives of each course. I would return again.
The walking on the Vistas of Valencia was really, really stunning. What can beat that??
By Ms Nicolson on 23/09/2015
Having enjoyed many Headwater Holidays, this one surpassed expectations - which were high to begin with! David and Sue could not have been more helpful and sociable. Casa Carascal is a lovely base and the food exceptional. I learned more on this holiday than on any other - from local history, butterflies, birds and of course, David's jokes! Both David and Sue shared tips on walking properly on the different surfaces - their attention to health and safety for everyone was to be commended. The group gelled very well - that was a real bonus. New friends have been made. All in all, Headwater have a real winner with this holiday and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
By Mrs Hill on 23/09/2015
Booking straightforward. Transfer to and from Malaga airport efficient. Great welcome at the Finca. Excellent food including local dishes. Food and wine from local source. The Finca is located in spectacular countryside enabling walks to be varied. Our guide Nick supplied us with information of the area-the history and customs of the local people, the fruit production on the hillsides-avocados, olives, grapes etc.
By Mr Wilkinson on 23/09/2015
An excellent holiday.
Why [in no particular order]
wonderful scenery and excellent walking routes
superb group of walkers - we all got on well together, all of us at a similar standard.
great accommodation with 2 very welcoming hosts and their staff
excellent meals at all times - at the Finca and in the villages
a very knowledgeable guide
well organised transport throughout the holiday
By Mrs Charlett on 22/09/2015
Well planned holidays which offer something different to the traveller who wants to experience the country in more detail.
By Ms Jensen on 22/09/2015
Vistas of Valencia is one of the best walking holidays we have done with Headwater. Sue and Dave, our wonderful hosts just make everything work and nothing is too much trouble. The accommodation, food and walks are all excellent. Just a brilliant holiday.
By Mrs Gray on 22/09/2015
A wonderful holiday from start to finish, the accommodation surpassed our expectations and the food was some of the best we have had, especially in the Finca. The air of calm around the place made us relax from the first day, thanks to Sue, Gorden and the rest of their lovely staff. The walks were well led by Nick who was very knowledgeable and made the point of talking to everyone in the group and making sure all were OK as some days it was very hot. Would recommend Headwater to friends without any hesitation, thank you.
By Mr Jones on 21/09/2015
Good walking in a stunningly beautiful Country though the geography meant some long drives to access them.
Hotel Zabljak though looked good, once experienced felt cheap....bathroom fitments all loose, no plug in a tiny washbasin, shower that flooded the bathroom, awful food, undrinkable coffee! Not up to what we believe are Headwater standards.
Hotel Conte stunning location very good food until last evening when our group played second fiddle to a wedding party. By the time we were offered dessert, very late, there was only ice cream on offer.
Dubrovnik Palace Hotel fabulous a brilliant way to end a good holiday.
By Mr Ward on 21/09/2015
The holiday provides plenty of views of this country of contrasts during walks and (longer than expected) minibus transfers. Our local guide Olivera helped to explain much: from tourism on the crowded coasts to the many deserted buildings. Zabljak area provides mountain walks and scenery, so take warm layers as air can be cool if sun goes in (the hotel looks good, but only rates 2*). The village of Perast is a gem and fairly quiet in September, luckily 20mins drive from busy Kotor where the ocean liners stop. Hotel Conte really is 4*, with super food. All walks can be rugged from 1 to 2 boot (sturdy shoes and poles useful even on town walls of Kotor), and sometimes views hidden by low (wet) clouds (so thanks to our safe drivers). Not much evidence of wild life as we missed migration season.
Dear Mr Ward, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your holiday to Montenegro, 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.
We were pleased to read you had and enjoyable holiday overall, taking in the contrasts this area has to offer. Since receiving your feedback and as we continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future, we have made some changes to this holiday for the 2016 season. Firstly, we have changed the hotel in Zabljak to a 4 star located in the heart town, we have also increased the rating to a 2-boot holiday; we hope you will agree that these changes will help enhance an already interesting and enjoyable holiday.
In closing, we would like to thank you for travelling with us this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Ms Best on 21/09/2015
The trip was very enjoyable, and was made more so because of out great guide. Luigi was helpful, knowledgable, well informed, and good company. The walking was interesting and varied, and, although the group had a range of abilities, it worked out well. It would be good to have some free time at Pompeii - I heard this mentioned by several people in the group. The food in the 2 hotels varied in that the evening meals in Ravello were excellent, but the breakfasts weren't great. The staff there were very helpful. The breakfasts at Massa Lubrense were really good, but the evening meals weren't good, and were sometimes almost inedible because they were so salty. Some of the staff were very unhelpful also.
By Mr Knight on 18/09/2015
Wonderful range of walks. Alberto was the best guide we have ever encountered in our many walking holidays. His knowledge of the history, geology, flora and fauna of Sardinia was extremely wide and very well presented. He was very kind, friendly, efficient, sensitive to our needs and flexible in adapting the itinerary to best meet the weather conditions. We cannot praise him too highly.
By Ms Friswell on 17/09/2015
Had a great holiday overall with good food and interesting walks. Loved the visit to Pompeii. Very much enoyed our stay at the first hotel, although found the second one too noisy as our bedroom was on the ground floor and had a busy road directly in front of the hotel. My experience with a guide (my first holiday with Headwater was self guided) was excellent. Luigi was full of really interesting information about an area he clearly loves. He was helpful, considerate and with a great sense of humour. He made every walk into something special and cant recommend him highly enough.
By Mrs Hollis on 16/09/2015
An excellent week in Sardinia. Our guide, Alberta was responsible for making the holiday so memorable with his fantastic knowledge of the history, geology, plants and animals of this beautiful island. He has a lovely manner and was greatly liked by the group. I was disappointed initially that the group was so small, being only five but we all got on well so it became a luxury with plenty of space in the vehicle and a very personal service. The boat trip on our free day was exciting and showed us the magnificent coastline and caves.
By Mrs Smyth on 15/09/2015
Alberto - our guide was fantastic - knowledgeable - kind - patient - fun - punctual - and always smiling ! The highlight of our trip. Not to mention his delicious picnics !
By Mr Browett on 09/09/2015
Fantastic walks, fantastic guide, fantastic area, can't wait to go again
By Mr Laurie on 13/08/2015
Do not stay at the Hotel Zabljak. See our separate email to you.
We were surprised at your recommendation of the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel - it is so different to what you offer elsewhere!
By Mrs Brennan on 21/07/2015
The Azores Triangle trip was full on, non stop, apart from the free day on the Tuesday. We joined the Exodus group, who were International with mixed activity abilities. Very challenging walking. The itinerary was changed according to the weather conditions, to accommodate us holiday walkers. It became a joke ' wonder what Bruno will change today ' It was a friendly group who gelled very well, looking out for each other. Could have done with extra days stay to recover. Loved the holiday, thank you.
By Ms Harrison on 17/07/2015
Very enjoyable. The first two walks in the Durmitor NP were fantastic, definitely my favourite.
By Mrs Priest on 16/07/2015
Elizebtta helps make Italy magical, she looks after you and helps you get the most out of your holiday. The places visited, the food and the people you meet are excellent.
By Mis Lloyd on 14/07/2015
This is an excellent and very relaxing holiday. The walks were well planned and very well led - picnics were wonderful! Unsurprisingly, in early July, it was hot but setting off early made the most of the cooler hours and enabled us to explore the towns and villages at leisure. Our guide, Salvitore, was really excellent - attentive, charming, efficient and knowledgeable.
By Mrs Maddison on 02/07/2015
We had a brilliant time in Croatia; it was our first time there and we can't wait to return. Our guide, Krsto, was very informative and helpful, and the itinerary was interesting.
By Dr Black on 01/07/2015
Montenegro is a beautiful country, fantastic mountain scenery and Kotor Bay is wonderful. We didn't bring walking poles due to the 1+ grading but I would have found them very useful on some of the walks, especially the last day walking to Godinje. Can't comment on Lake Skadar boat trip as that wasn't possible for us. Our guide Sinica was great, very considerate and obviously knew all the walks well. We have had some wonderful holidays with Headwater and this was one of the best.
By Mr Collier on 24/06/2015
An excellent guide, wonderful walks and very agreeable fellow travellers. We would always recommend small group holidays - they are so much more friendly.
By Mr Prior on 17/06/2015
Good variety of walks, with our excellent guide (Tiago), enabling various enjoyable views/experiences of the Algarve. Tavira especially attractive (although we had the best weather there), with plenty of excellent restaurants and scenic/architectural attractions and sights. We particularly liked the coastal/cliff walking at this time of year (early April) with such a varied range of beautiful flowers. All-in-all a great mix of sights and experiences in the Algarve.
By Mrs Strickland on 17/06/2015
The only problem with our holiday was that we did not receive the good quality maps which were promised and which we would still like to receive! Our walking holiday in Dalmatia was our first experience of a group holiday, so we weren't sure quite what to expect. Fortunately, our guide, Sanja, took us all in hand and her good humour and efficiency made all the difference. We cannot speak highly enough of her. We were also fortunate in that we got on well with all the other members of the group, and the atmosphere generally was very good. We didn't do quite as much walking as we had hoped - the first day was virtually rained off - and we spent quite a lot of time on the minibus, but it was worth it to be able to enjoy three such excellent locations in one week. Some of the group thought the standard of food in the first few days was not high enough. We're not complaining but we would have been prepared to pay a bit more for a wider choice. Anyway, it was a most enjoyable week and we would certainly consider going on another Headwater holiday.
By Ms Robbins on 17/06/2015
Walking level was good. Leaders excellent. Hotel / food very good.
By Mrs Iredale on 17/06/2015
I did enjoy the holiday as that particular area of Italy is very interesting also our guide Adrianne did his utmost to make it so. I felt it should be described more as a sightseeing holiday as the walking was not very challenging or exciting. I was disappointed that a lot of the walking was on minor roads rather than paths.
By Mrs Belchambers on 15/06/2015
The holiday was made perfect by are wonderful guide Sanja . This was my first visit to the Dalmation coast it is truly the very best coast line I have ever seen so clean and the people so friendly . The group were both interesting and good fun we were 14 and I do think that was perfect .
The food on the whole was some what disappointing it would have been nice to have eaten in the hotels .
My only other comment would be the grading I felt that all though we did not do a great deal of walking some of the walks were very testing and more like a 2 boot .
This was my first time with Headwater I will be traveling with them again very soon hopefully .
Denise Belchambers from the Cotswolds
By Mr Schafer on 10/06/2015
As others have said in reviews, excellent hotel, hosts and food, The walks were relatively easy with very nice scenery,
By Mr Clegg on 09/06/2015
An excellent holiday with a nice combination of sightseeing and walking in the beautiful Dalmation Coast. A good holiday was made great by the fantastic Sanja Reiter who was an outstanding guide. As a PhD student of Croatian history she brought a special advantage for briefing us and telling the story of the region and the country.
One slight disappointment was the limited choice of dishes as we always seemed to be 'off-menu' and it was especially hard for one of us a non-fish and seafood eater. And Headwater can't help Croatian food! But overall not too bad and the breakfast buffet at Dubrovnik Palace Hotel was outstanding.
Don't miss this super holiday.
By Mis Puritz on 05/06/2015
A very good holiday for sightseers who want to do some walking as well. The Dalmation coast must be one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
By Mr Treavett on 05/06/2015
A series of walks in varied locations.
By Mr Lewin on 04/06/2015
Sanja , our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about almost anything we asked . She has a great sense of humour and it always seemed that she was enjoying her time with our group and not just doing a job . Would have liked a whole day to discover Dubrovnik . Holiday spoilt by poor quality of lunches and evening meals .
By Mr Emerson on 04/06/2015
Very intereesting tour, with good local tour guides. Could have done with more free time in Dubrovnic so a closer hotel might have been useful. However, the facilities and beach at the Hotel Dubrovnic Palace outstanding.
By Mr Sinclair on 29/05/2015
Headwater holiday was well organised using good hotels, a totally superb guide and lovely walking routes - couldn't really ask for better. We enjoyed the walking, the guide, the food and will certainly have another holiday with Headwater
By Ms Peevers on 29/05/2015
If you're a regular walker then this holiday is a lovely way to see a glorious coastline and visit Pompeii and Capri, all in 8 days but we never felt rushed. If you've never been on a walking holiday this would be an ideal first-time trip; good exercise but not strenuous and after your walk you can sit in a bar and enjoy a beer and that 'good tired' feeling. In Ravello and Massa Lubrense there are local buses which will take you back to your hotel if you've had enough for the day.
By Ms Sternshine on 29/05/2015
As ever, well organised, well thought out. Reps taking time to 'read' the group and provide appropriate guidance. If you like to walk , a great idea as you will always be shown routes/trails that you would be unlikely to find otherwise. No wasted time on the holiday planning the next day/days. Really good food.Other people in group friendly & convivial. Would suggest anyone considering this holiday should be sure they are happy to spend a lot of time walking up and down deep stepped inclines as this describes most of the terrain.
By Mrs Vandenberghe on 29/05/2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday - the walking was tough in places, but manageable for me. The food and hospitality were superb and could not be faulted. Would go again!
By Ms Perrin on 28/05/2015
Great week, excellent walks and perfect hosts, nothing was too much trouble for them and David's cooking is fabulous.
By Ms Teevan on 26/05/2015
Our guide, Angelo, really lived up to his name. He went more than the extra mile for us: organising picnic feasts which were inexpensive, and negotiating terrific and generous group meals at bargain prices with a huge range of antipasti. He is a wonderful standard setter for other guides. I particularly liked our stay in Matera which is fascinating. A swim in the Adriatic en route was a treat too and I found the archaeological site near Ostuni very interesting. Overall the walking on this holiday was just the right level for my expectations, as advertised, and the weather was good for walking, despite the forecasts.
By Mr Braide on 20/05/2015
Well organised trip, excellent guides and friendly group. Lots of interesting activities and enough space to go our own way from time to time.
By Mr Gibson on 14/05/2015
Excellent guide volume of ,steps hard going . Appreciate hills have to be climbed but a variation of routes to the top where practical ... Luigi did try to address as best he could. Prefer not to have dinners in hotels every night ... would have been nice to sample local restaurants in that evening.
Second hotel was poor (food aside) . Broken mirror in the first room allocated . Broken shower head in the second, roof terrace grubby... bar not staffed..
beer warm . Out of town location by busy road was disappointing. Luigi made the holiday
By Mr Prior on 14/05/2015
We did this holiday two years ago and loved it - hence the decision to return. We think the new programme makes it even better, especially in hot weather, which we had! The mix of walking, visits and sightseeing exactly hit the spot for us. Gordon & Sue are, as ever, wonderful hosts; Jenny was a first-rate guide; and the local drivers were also first-class. Well done to all at the Finca - we cannot fault your excellent service, food and attention to detail!
By Mr Toombs on 12/05/2015
Alberto was an outstandingly good guide, whose knowledge and enthusiasm added substantially to my enjoyment of this holiday. The picnic lunches that appeared from his rucksack were fantastic, and his concern form our well being and enjoyment genuine and appreciated.
By Mr Townsley on 12/05/2015
Excellent guide who made a lot of effort to ensure that we had a great holiday. Got to see some very different aspects of the French Riviera. Great walking, good food and good company.
By Mrs Lipscomb on 12/05/2015
Sue and Gordon offer a wonderful warm welcome and the friendly informal atmosphere at the Finca is very relaxing
By Dr Garwood on 08/05/2015
Overall a very interesting and excellent holiday. Beautiful country with varied scenery and an amazing variety of wildlife. Very well looked after by our excellent guide Jorge Arias and driver Suri Herrera. They both ensured that it was an excellent holiday and nothing was too much trouble for them. Although the Bosque del Mar was excellent we would have preferred another day walking or staying on a nature reserve rather than a day on the beach.
By Mis Ross on 07/05/2015
David and Sue worked very hard to give us an excellent week. The walks were super and the food and accommodation were excellent. They get everything just right.
By Mr Jones on 05/05/2015
Very good holiday, lots to see and well guided. Good value for money and very companiable group of people on walks.
By Mrs Cant on 29/04/2015
The really good thing about Headwater holidays are the people who go on them. It is good to be in a small group so you get a chance to get to know everyone. On this holiday there variety of mountain flowers was amazing but I was surprised by the relatively few birds. David Eaton was really helpful to all those who had cameras making sure that the pictures were really good and providing advice on apps for sharing and editing.
By Mrs Cullum on 29/04/2015
Headwater were very poor on administration I had to request both confirmation invoices and twice request travel documents which had to be courried to us 9 days before we left which was poor considering we had to book our seats with Easyjet.
The hotels were not as comfortable as they should have been as we were cold in them.
By Mr Allan on 29/04/2015
Puglia and Basilicata a truly inspiring choice. We were inspired by Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli in 'Italy Unpacked' and this holiday fully met our expectations...........though the food not always quite so great- needed more green vegetables! Our Guide was delightful and charming. We learned that living in a cave has draw backs - high humidity - but still worth staying in the Sassi ! We also loved walking around hill top towns.......delightful!
By Mr Ward on 28/04/2015
Excellent mix of walks, scenery and wildflowers made this holiday wonderful. Certainly 10 days is needed to cover such a wide range. The food was generally excellent in the hotels, and in Tavira the restaurants O Castello (arrive early or book) and the Tavira Lounge (by the river) are well worth a visit and just a stroll from the hotel. We found the village hotel of Pedralva unique and very friendly and a super contrast to the first hotel. Monchique hotel is less special, but the restaurant was again excellent. A particular commendation to our guide Tiago for all his cheerful assistance and smooth driving: thanks for the birthday cakes.
By Mrs McTurk on 28/04/2015
Fantastic way to see the real Algarve. Well organised walks with experienced local guide and comfortable hotels and good food at the end of the day!
By Mr Cooper on 25/04/2015
David and sue were really wonderful leaders for our walking in the mountains, and very friendly and helpful throughout. They cooked really good food, and we felt as though we were very well looked after all the time. Sue and david are such good cooks, I really liked everything. My wife, who is vegetarian, felt that some of the dishes provided could have been a little better, but this is said not as a criticism, more as a way of adding a further challenge for david.....we think he would welcome this.....huge thanks for fabulous holiday. Phil and Ana cooper
By Mr Clothier on 22/04/2015
Excellent, well organised holidays with good company, first class accommodation and guides - and above all, personal service that cares!
By Mrs Thomas on 22/04/2015
There had been comments that the walking on this holiday was too challenging, but I would have preferred longer walks.
By Mr Robson on 17/04/2015
An excellent location, good walks with knowledgeable guides who paid close attention to our safety, charming hosts at hotel and comfortable rooms with excellent food in the hotel and in nearby bars/restaurants - arranged by hotel
By Mis Chappell on 13/04/2015
From the moment we arrived our guide Tiago made us feel at home and made our holiday an enjoyable experience. Thoroughly enjoyed the varied walks and the wildflowers were spectacular, especially on the Fisherman's Trail. By the end of the holiday, we felt we had seen many aspects of the Algarve, from the Spanish border all the way to the west coast, and from the seaside at Tavira to the mountainous village of Monchique.
By Mrs Walter on 26/03/2015
The best Headwater holiday yet. Fantastic Guide, leading at just the right pace and giving lots of local information about his wonderful country.
By Mr Pryor on 26/03/2015
Lovely new experience. I enjoyed the variety. Nice not to have to start walks before 10.00 a.m.
The group were great and we all got on very well. Lovely having a leader, who told you about things. Wish you had more guided holidays.
They all said they preferred Headwater, because of the standards of accomodation, so lots of good quality hotels will be great for other holidays.
We all agreed that we are less keen on the three stars!
It was nice eating in sometimes and out at other times, and so you never knew what interesting thing was going to be provided next.
They were great walks and I loved everything about the holiday. We all liked the length of the holiday aswell. ie a week.
By Mr Pattison on 23/03/2015
Another great Headwater holiday. Varied walking, good and interesting hotels, good guides. Some thought it merited 2 boot status, but it was fine for us.
By Mrs White on 23/03/2015
A very enjoyable week at an excellent hotel with delicious food and friendly staff. The local guide was charming, knowledgeable and helpful. The walking was interesting and very varied.
By Mrs Mendoza on 23/03/2015
Wonderful week spent in Tenerife. Javier was a great guide, He was so knowledgeable about the volcanoes,trees,wild flowers and he bought a wide variety of
food for the picnics!
The Hotel San Roque was a jewel of a hotel. All the staff were so cheerful and helpful.The food was delicious every day. The hotel was so calm and peaceful.
By Ms Tennant on 18/03/2015
La Gomera is a beautiful island - greener than some of the other Canary Islands. The parador is a magnificent hotel with a lovely garden. I was lucky to have enjoyed a holiday with a really good group of people. The walks were tough owing to the precipitous nature of the terrain but I feel very fit and healthy now!
By Dr Jones on 16/03/2015
Well organised, great places that we would not find on our own, excellent rep who gave us a 5 star experience . We felt completely relaxed and enjoyed every minute of our holiday .
By Mr Farebrother on 16/03/2015
The combination of a small group (only four of us) and a really enthusiastic young guide in Javi made this a lovely holiday. The weather was disappointingly cool for Tenerife and it is not the cheapest of your holidays but the standard of hotel and cuisine for a walking holiday was much higher than we are used to....
By Mrs Barker on 16/03/2015
With headwater you most certainly get what you pay for. Great organisation, accommodation, walks and fantastic guide. We had fun, ate well and felt fitter at the end of the week, brilliant. Thank you.
By Mr Johnson on 13/03/2015
Good points: Loved La Gomera, stunning scenery, good choice of routes. Our guide was excellent - friendly, helpful, knowledgeable etc.. Transfers, minibuses and all arrangements were looked after. Hotel was characterful and had lovely gardens. Food was good. Rooms were spacious.
Not so good: We were not impressed with the catering arrangements on the Thomson flight. On the outbound flight food was offered at about 10.30 - we had only recently had breakfast and our next meal was at 9pm. Inbound the food available was mostly junk - healthier options were not available. Toasties tasted of cardboard. We did not think the hotel merited its fourth star. The rooms were a bit tired - poorly lit; shutter would not close; french window jammed; shower leaked onto floor; etc.. Service in the restaurant was slow (on the last night when we wanted an early night dinner took 2 1/2 hours!
By Mrs Hampshire on 02/03/2015
Unfortunately the weather wasn't good. There was a blanket of low lying mist, rain or cloud every time we left the coast for the mountains which meant we didn't have the views. Fortunately the group and Lilly, the guide, were excellent.
By Mrs Spencer on 26/02/2015
Recommend how wet and cold it can be in Costa Rica in the 'rain forest in February!! Didn't expect the level of cold and damp and should have taken warmer clothes.
By Mrs Shahbazian on 26/02/2015
I would like to make known to yourselves what an excellent team Sue and David in Valencia were, they really were amazing
By Mr Naylor on 20/02/2015
Our holiday in Tenerife was beyond our expectations. Javier, the guide, could not be more helpful. For example he gave up an evening ( and half a night) to take us to the Carnival and provided us with suitable costumes! The walks were a superb balance, each different and of consistent high quality. The hotel was first class. The staff could not have been more helpful and the food was memorably good. There was only one other couple on the holiday and we got on with them very well indeed. All in all a memorable holiday. We will be back.
By Mr Schafer on 09/02/2015
Wonderful trip with excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings on hikes across several different ecosystems
Our guide Perdro was excellent! He had an uncanny ability to spot and identify wildlife that we would have otherwise never seen. Pedro has an in depth knowledge of the varied species that inhabit the different ecosystems we were able to visit, He allowed us time to observe the habits of the wide variety wildlife we encountered. On multiple mornings he offered pre breakfast bird watching walks around the hotel grounds. He educated us about the history of Costa Rica in an informative and engaging manner. Our driver Walter provided us with safe, reassuring transportation while working with Pedro to help spot wildlife along the routes. Walter also prepared several wonderful picnic lunches/snack breaks. He had a good working knowledge of English and was eager to learn and practice.
The hiking was varied and interesting traversing forest trails, dirt tracks and paved roads. The two boot rating seemed accurate as there was some elevation change incurred several of the hikes. The use of local guides on the Monte de Barva, Arenal Night hike, and Cano Negro boat tour enhanced the overall experience and the extra set of eyes allowed for additional wildlife sightings.
As described in the program literature, several of the hikes involve long transfers, but they were scenic drives through the countryside/small towns.
We were able to photograph over 100 different animals including 80+ species of birds.
Make sure you bring your binoculars!
The Hotels and Meals
With the exception of the Canon de la Vieja lodge the hotels and meals were wonderful. Lodging at Canon de la Vieja was more basic and the meals there were uninspired buffets. The other hotels were well appointed with a breakfast buffet and excellent dinners ordered from a menu. Beers averaged about $3. Wifi was available but slow/spotty in the rooms. All the hotels had wonderfully landscaped ground with a fair amount of wildlife. A torch/flashlight is advisable for returning to your room after dinner
By Mis Logue on 03/02/2015
Holiday was a great break in January from depressing UK grey skies. It was also warmer than UK at about 15-16C. Tenerife presented several different landscapes, all of which were fascinating. It did help if you liked the colour black - I had never seen such huge lava flows. Hotel San Roque was really good, v good breakfasts and dinners and the picnic lunches produced by Juan Miguel, our guide, were lovely, comprising local, fresh ingredients.
By Mrs Harris on 03/02/2015
This holiday matched excellent, varied walking, beautiful scenery and wonderful food in the beautiful parador. Lunches at typical restaurants on two days were a superb idea and the unique experience was much appreciated.
By Mr Langley on 03/02/2015
Excellently organised and guided. Fascinating island to visit.
By Mrs Scott on 08/12/2014
On the whole a very good holiday but the two lunches were unnecessary and pretty awful! We would have preferred to have had just picnics which were delicious
Dear Mrs Scott, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was lovely to see that you had an enjoyable holiday in La Gomera. I have passed on your feedback regarding the lunches to the programme manager; she will discuss your recommendations with the local guide to ensure the meals provided are of the standard our customers expect, thank you for your constructive comments. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mrs Corns on 24/11/2014
Good variety of walks, some site seeing. Our guide was knowledgeable and was keen to show us as much of his country as poosible.
By Mr Schafer on 21/11/2014
The Walking the Algarve trip offers participants a wonderful variety of of walks, accommodations and food. With walks that include the beautifully rugged coast and the mountain region of Monchique, one has an opportunity to experience much of what the Algarve has to offer. Our guide Tiago was excellent. The hikes were interesting and varied with the coastal portions being our favorite. The regional cuisine served at the hotels was very good with our favorites being the picnic at the Distillery and the dinners at Pedralva. All in all a wonderful Holiday!
By Mr Martin on 21/11/2014
An invigorating holiday in an excellent and very enjoyable location.
By Ms Roberts on 05/11/2014
We had a lovely week in the mountains. We loved coming 'home' to the Finca after our days walking. Christine's cooking was an inspiration and we enjoyed our evening meals enormously. Jenny's guiding was safe and interesting and she gauged the pace of the walks perfectly. Sue, Gordon and Alison organised everything perfectly and all arrangements went like clockwork. We did not need to think about anything-wonderful! Thank you to Mari our taxi driver who negotiated the bends and hills expertly without making me feel sick.
By Mrs Henderson on 03/11/2014
A brilliantly planned holiday made even better by our exceptional guide, Rachid, who spoke excellent English, gave us just the right amount of information, answered all our questions and was genuinely friendly, kind, caring and had a very good sense of humour. We felt it was especially important in a country like Morocco to have the way smoothed by the guide in places such as markets, cafes and hotels. Abdul, our driver, was also excellent - very careful, cheerful and reassuring throughout. We were very lucky to have such a good group. By chance seven out of the eleven of us were involved in the visual arts!
By Mr Gibson on 29/10/2014
NOTE : Did not stay at Pousada Delmonte completed in error !
Finca and hosts ( Sue and Roger ) was excellent . Difficult to appreciate the countryside as most walks were steep climbs and descents .consequently most time was spent looking at footing ! Would have preferred more walking on flat ....but I guess that's Spain !
By Mr Davies on 28/10/2014
A delightful holiday satisfying my need for aesthetic, athletic, intellectual, emotional stimulation....& all so easy....in one gem of a town!
By Mrs Constantine on 27/10/2014
overall most enjoyable .
hotels certainly adequate but food could have been better . possibly wine & certainly water should be inclusive with meals .
walking good but too much roadwork cf. trails/tracks off road .
guide good .
travel arrangements good .
By Mr Lavender on 21/10/2014
We had a challenging and enjoyable week. The views from the mountains were spectacular and we were very lucky to see a family of wild boar. Sue & David were very informative during all aspects of our walks.
The food was all prepared daily and was very good.
We would recommend this walk.
By Mrs Dicks on 21/10/2014
Very good - except for single room supplements which seem very high
By Mr Lambert on 14/10/2014
It was an exceptionally enjoyable, stress-free holiday. Exactly as described in the Headwater brochure and all aspects were efficient and well executed.
We were very lucky to be with a great group of like minded people (7 in total). Maggie, our guide, was amazing. Her contributions to the group dynamic, her local knowledge and incredible enthusiasm for Sardinia made our holiday. She was a lovely person to spend our time with and we were delighted when she chose to join us on her day off for a boat trip!
All the other staff we came into contact with be it at the hotels or on our days out (the river picnic for example) contributed to a wonderful experience.
The hotels were fantastic. The Hotel Sa Muvara in the mountains was wonderful - great accommodation, attentive staff, lovely food and the views were amazing. The Hotel Costa Dorada on the coast was perfectly located by the sea; again good accommodation, delicious cuisine, great staff and a lovely outlook. Both hotels made you feel you were staying somewhere special, immersed in the local culture and that you were not staying in some bland building presented with international cuisine. We felt we completed our holiday having had a taste of the real Sardinia.
Having never previously taken a holiday with a group and guide, we are sorely tempted to take a similar trip.
By Mrs Spencer on 14/10/2014
Croatia is a beautiful country with miles of unspoilt coastline , lovely islands and friendly people . Dubrovnik is a fascinating city and the waterfalls at Krka were spectacular .The holiday was extremely enjoyable and our guide Sanja was very helpful and a delight .
By Mrs Edwards on 10/10/2014
Thought the walks were a bit tame. The best walking was on Capri where I stayed for 4 nights after this holiday. Suggest splitting the holiday between main land and island. Lots of trouble with bites.
Luigi was a great guide. I would like to do more intensive walking with him.
By Mrs Butler on 10/10/2014
An excellent holiday which gave us a wonderful introduction to Tuscany. Great combination of sightseeing and walking. Elisabetta is a real asset and looked after us all well. We particularly enjoyed the meals she organised and our group of 8 gelled well. The Puccini concert in Lucca followed by our group meal in a slightly alternative restaurant was one of the highlights.
By Mrs Leitch on 08/10/2014
Excellent group walking holiday in beautiful coastal countryside. Lovely walks to medieval villages and great to use the local buses and trains to get to high up villages. Good mix of walking and exploring local life. our guide Stephanie was absolutely excellent in all respects, encouraging, organised, helpful and she joined in with the group so well. Lively group diinners in the hotel. Menton good base for holiday, plenty of shops plus interesting places to vist. Hotel was by the seafront, excellent location. Rooms were very small though and the ones at the back were noisy with street noise. Pace of the walking is dependent on the ability of the group, ours was mixed but everyone joined in well and were patient when it got slower on steeper descents.
By Mrs Nanda on 08/10/2014
a superb holiday wonderful hotel and amazing hospitality
By Ms Hodges on 25/09/2014
This was an absolutely superb holiday. The guide and both hotels were excellent. It was good to have the contrast of staying 3 nights inland and the rest of the holiday on the coast. Maggie, the guide, was exceptionally well informed and helped make this a great holiday. The food was varied and freshly prepared in both hotels. The walking took us to beautiful locations with superb views from high points. The group gelled and it was one of my best ever holidays. Enormous fun!
By Dr Kipps on 25/09/2014
Very good overall.
Would like Headwater to provide interesting holidays for their aged faithful customers ... we have had about 12 holidays with you, but are now feeling that we can no longer do strenuous walking.
By Mrs Moran on 24/09/2014
Fascinating holiday with an excellent mix of walking, archaeology and food! We actually put on a tiny bit of weight the food was so good. Excellent group and we all got on really we'll from the first evening.
By Mrs McMahon on 27/08/2014
The Azores are beautiful and unspoilt islands and walking is one of the best way of seeing them.
By Ms Wenner on 15/08/2014
As we ended up being only 2 plus our Guide Paola it was a different and interesting experience. I think that both I and my fellow traveller would praise Paola to the hilt! She made the holiday really with her enduring patience, humour, fun, real ness!, openness, her suggestions for activities, her flexibility, her absolute care for us and our well being, her helpfulness. All in all she was terrific!! Also my Italian has improved hugely!!
I think again that I and my fellow traveller would say, as we did discuss this, that there are too many hotel changes. I believe the time in Florence could be left out especially in mid August as it is so hot and full of other tourists! More time in Cinque Terre would be great so either a hotel in the Cinque Terre or more time in La Spezia? The La Spezia hotel was excellent. So more time by the sea and possibly extra night/s in Sienna or Lucca rather than Florence.
For me personally more walking would be fantastic. I totally loved the Via Francigena walk and possibly another day on it would be good or another, similar longer days walk elsewhere.
Overall however a really fabulous holiday so well managed by our guide as just having 2 people could be tricky but Paola was incredibly sensitive and my fellow traveller and I got on well so all was good!
By Mrs Compton on 08/07/2014
We have been on many Headwater Holidays and this was one of the best. A wonderful mix of walking and sight seeing. We experienced great walks, breathtaking views, and the history and culture of beautiful cities. Our guide, Elisabetta Piseddu, contributed greatly to our enjoyment of all this. Her knowledge, organisation, driving and friendliness were exceptional. - this women is an absolute princess! Look forward to seeing her on future Headwater Holidays.
By Mrs Lynch on 03/07/2014
This is a good mix of sightseeing and walking (but see below). Our guide, Elisabetta Piseddu, was exceptional. Her local knowledge and expertise contributed substantially to our enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mrs Pickavance on 03/07/2014
This was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have had.
By Mrs Cosford on 02/07/2014
Very enjoyable overall. Excellent guide , very informative about the country which was interesting. Hotels varied a lot - some good , one excellent and one not so good . Being only 4 of us in the group was too small - better with more numbers for variety.
By Mrs Deeley on 24/06/2014
Very memorable. Great scenery, great food, great companions and an excellent guide in Maggie. Haven't laughed so much in a long time!
By Mrs Woollen on 22/06/2014
An excellent holiday: a beautiful country, perfect weather, wonderful walks/culture tours, good company, delicious food, lovely accommodation and a brilliant guide in Sanja.
By Mrs McInnes on 18/06/2014
We have undertaken 9 holidays with Headwater and they have always delivered what they say they would deliver. The guides are the cream of the crop , Sanja was one of T&E best we have had in the 10 years of Headwatering .
By Ms Drabble on 18/06/2014
Well organised and a good combination of walking and sightseeing
By Mrs Campbell-kelly on 17/06/2014
This was an absolutely fanastic holiday - it did everything it said on the tin and more. The guide was second to none, she was amazing, from picking us up at Pisa to dropping us off again. Se made it all special by taking us to local restaraunts and haunts, places we would never have found ourselves. Her attention to detail was brilliant be it driving the mini bus or in sourcing really good guides in Florence and Siena. We really liked her!
By Dr Goodman on 12/06/2014
Challenging walking, as described, in a beautiful area. Interesting countryside and attractive towns and villages. Excellent local guide with intimate knowledge of area, history and way of life.
By Mr Goodfellow on 10/06/2014
Perfect for the discerning holidaymaker wanting small group companionship, trouble free guiding, most meals included, not too many extra expenses and bettter standard of accommodation than offered by lower cost operators.
By Mr Gibson on 10/06/2014
Maggie was a superb guide. The walks were varied and spectacular , but much more challenging than the brochure implied... That said , because of Maggie's experience ,whilst challenging , they were very enjoyable.
Transport was poorer than expected . Picnics , with the exception of the roast suckling pig event , were essentially the same each day which was a tad disappointing.
Overall, a terrific break and I look forward to the next...
By Mr Child on 03/06/2014
Unfortunately it was the tour leader's first tour in the Azores as a leader and the handover from the last guide did not appear to have been carried out in a polished and full way. Although Kristaps grew in confidence through the week the practical arrngements for the Monday for the holiday were not terribly customer friendly - I will be writing a short note about this to you for you to share with Exodus.
Otherwise both hotels were very good and the islands are a delight as are the Azorean people.
By Mr Potter on 03/06/2014
Having a trip manager native to the country, who also lives in London and understands her guests, really made the trip. Elisabetta's enthusiasm, knowledge of local food and wine specialities, and recommendations on genuine, non-touristy places to see and experience (especially restaurants), were outstanding.
By Mr Palmer on 03/06/2014
Very enjoyable and varied introduction to Tuscany.
By Mrs Gajraj on 31/05/2014
Breathtaking scenery for our walks with a friendly, knowledgeable guide. Then, back to the Finca- a real gem of a hotel, nestling in the hills amongst typical white villages- for a swim before an excellent evening meal. On three nights we were taken to local restaurants where the food, though very good, still couldn't compete with the Finca. Sue, Gordon and Sybil (the dog) are wonderful hosts - no wonder they have so many visitors who return year after year !
By Mis Lloyd on 30/05/2014
It was an enjoyable holiday and the company was good. The first hotel is particularly well placed for Ravello and was friendly and comfortable. The second is a bit inconveniently sited and Lisa could have given more helpful information about public bus regime re tickets etc. However, she was a knowledgeable and interesting leader especially at Pompei. Walks were very gentle and Lisa chose routes with plenty of variety and interest.
By Mr Taylor on 29/05/2014
The weather was not too good (mostly cloudy) so mountain-top views were out. But our guide Alberto was so good. he made up for the lack of sun! His knowledge of trees, plants (medicinal uses) and history was extraordinary, and he was good company. The historical sites on the island were fascinating. As it's such a large island a lot of time was spent getting to places but the roads were good and Alberto was a good driver.
Sometimes the walking was quite rough as the landscape is very stoney so two walking sticks is recommended, Tiscali was definitely the highlight: both a dramatic walk and a uniquely interesting site..
By Mr Harrison on 29/05/2014
Excellent trip and guide
By Mr Robinson on 29/05/2014
The Amalfi walking trip was spectacular . Our guide was local and knew all the areas we visited inside out. She was on first name terms with people we met along the way and kept holiday hassle free , no queuing or waiting for buses. Italian 3* hotels are of a very high standard , well located and friendly
By Mr Brown on 29/05/2014
Main concern was the grading of the walking routes, I run 10 miles each week, fitness is a priority , but found the gradients challenging as did many group members, ascents and descents.Thursdays walk was gentle and everyone enjoyed it more as we were able to take in the views , flowers ,without having our eyes glued to the terrain in case of fall, stumble, several of the group fell on previous walks, not what you want from a holiday.
The group dynamics were excellent and much laughter was shared, the idea of inhouse and restaurant meals, tapis lunches was the perfect mix. We did enjoy our holiday very much.
By Mrs Sherren on 28/05/2014
The unexpected cold,wet.windy weather in Sardinia in mid-May required a change to the advertised programme.We actually had three organised walks instead of five (plus one of our own),but our knowledgeable guide substituted archeological visits instead. A very enjoyable week despite the weather.
By Mr Saunders on 22/05/2014
Well organised, excellent guide and transport. Expensive compared to package tour but well worth the extra for the personal service and all the organisation is done for you! Tours, visits and hotels well chosen and walks were lovely.
By Mr Crozier on 22/05/2014
Excellent holiday which was well designed and lead by a truly exceptional local rep/leader/driver! Travel distances not too great and well driven. The location of the hotels were all excellent and in very pleasant towns and locations. The sightseeing was varied and most interesting as was the walking which was interesting and scenic although somewhat limited due to the time available. The local restaurants were very good and our guide had already discovered some excellent venues for lunch and/ or dinner where she was usually well known. This made a big difference and increased our enjoyment. The group of 6 was ideal and everyone pulled together well with the encouragement and help of the guide.
By Mr Magee on 22/05/2014
Very welcoming owners in hotel in a beautiful area of Spain
By Mrs Dodds on 21/05/2014
I enjoyed the variety of this holiday, beautiful walks and interesting cities, but above all, it was our tour leader who made the holiday such a success. She was knowledgable, considerate and fun to be with.
By Mr Hill on 19/05/2014
Sardinia is a very beautiful island with an interesting history and culture. Headwater enabled us to gain a real insight into the island and the holiday took us to some very stunning locations. Our trip was very ably led by Alberto who was one of the best guides we have had, very considerate, knowledgeable and excellent company.
By Ms Philliben on 19/05/2014
Great company to deal with. We were looked after very well indeed!
By Mr Munson on 19/05/2014
Our holiday was both wonderfully active and relaxing. Paola (our guide) was superb throughout facilitating bonding within the group and providing us with a good level of information about the places we visited. Paola ate with us on 6 out of the 7 evenings giving us 24/7 care and attention. The walks took us through dramatic scenery and were pleasantly challenging and yet achievable for our age and physical ability. We enjoyed the friendly family ran 'back street' pizza places and restaurants that we were taken to. Pompeii was of considerable interest and was well explained to us by Paola, although we could have, perhaps, spent slightly longer there than the 2 hours we did, perhaps an hour at the end to wander by ourselves to visit the amphitheatre or the café. Both Ravello and the Garden Hotel were superb.
By Mrs Parsons on 16/05/2014
Had one of the best holidays,but Paola was the icing on the cake.
By Mr Townsley on 16/05/2014
Very well organised, beautiful scenery, good family run hotels wit authentic cuisine.
By Mr Goodchild on 16/05/2014
Great scenery, fantastic local rep, wonderful views of the surrounding landscape and of course food in the lunchtime trattorias. Lots of walking down steps to the coastal towns though!
By Dr Simpson on 14/05/2014
This was an excellent guided holiday which provided good contrast between the two hotels and areas visited. The flowers and birds were excellent too. Our guide, Alberto, who was 'standing in' for the normal guide, Maggie, was outstanding and couldn't have looked after us better. As a local, his knowledge of Sardinia, its customs and culture, together with his botanical meant he was the best Headwater guide we have had.
By Mrs Davies on 14/05/2014
The holiday was excellent. Each days walk was so different from high mountain tracks with stunning views to pleasant pathways banked with wild flowers which meandered down to a river plus the last walk which ended at a lovely white sandy beach. The lunches provided were great - suckling pig cooked over a charcoal fire and local produce including wine at Tiscali. The picnic at Cala Luna was excellent too and all carried by Alberto - no problemo for him!
By Mrs Harris on 14/05/2014
Beautiful scenery, varied walking, wonderful guide!
By Mr Jones on 12/05/2014
A very enjoyable holiday in a beautiful area - excellent guide.
By Mr Cundy on 06/05/2014
An excellent holiday. We were very well looked after by Sue and David , enjoyed exploring a new region of Spain and were encouraged to push ourselves to new heights - literally!
By Mis Millington on 30/04/2014
A true holiday experience from start to finish. Superb hosts, food, walking, scenery and experiences. Everything in just the right balance.
By Mrs Johnson on 30/04/2014
We were fantastically fortunate with the weather, the organisation was excellent and the Finca was a superb base for the walks. It is easy to see why visitors return several times - walkers and non-walkers alike. Our travel arrangements were good and Jenny, our guide, fun and informative. Food at the finca was exceptional and the atmosphere was a great balance of friendliness and conversation and peaceful relaxation. This was a beautiful time to visit with all the Spring flowers. Having tickets for the Alhambra and having transport arranged was a real plus - especially during Holy week.
By Mr Lambert on 26/04/2014
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at the Finca el Cerillo and our hosts Sue and Gordon could not have been more helpful and considerate. The location, high on a ridge, gave wonderful views of the steep, rugged valleys with white villages clinging to the crests and in the distance the Mediterranean. Our bedroom was large, the bed equally so and very comfortable and the tiled bathroom had underfloor heating-great! The food at the Finca and the local restaurants was very good and the wines at the Finca first class. The walking was tough, lots of steep ascents on rocky paths. After the first morning we took the gentler option accompanied by Rose a super local guide. We hope to visit the Finca el Cerillo again.
By Mrs Potts on 25/04/2014
The Finca is a terrific destination for people who wish to enjoy rural Spain but the experience is heightened by the quality of the hospitality provided by Sue, Gordon, David and Christine. Their welcoming and informative approach, and the eye for detail, guarantees a good experience and, combined with the quality of the guides (principally Jenny), ensures a great holiday.
By Mrs Carter on 14/04/2014
The highlight of the holday was the excellent local guide Ricardo and the Parador hotel on La Gomera. However our experience of the flight booking and travel between La Gomera and Tenerfife was very poor. We arrived at Gatwick airport check-in to find that we had been booked in for the wrong year - 2015 instead of 2014. We had also been told the wrong travel information in Tenerife and so had not taken a direct flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife south which made the journey much longer than necessary. When we arrived at Tenerfie South Airport we were told that we had 5 hours to wait until the next ferryto La Gomera and so spent hours waiting around in the airport. The connections on the return journey were also poor with a lot of unnecessary waiting around.
By Mis Smith on 14/04/2014
If you're looking for a completely stress-free holiday then book with Headwater. I didn't have to think about any arrangements for the week as they were all taken care of. The finca is the ultimate retreat and Sue, Gordon and Jenny were all outstanding in their welcome and guidance. I can't wait to go back and will use Headwater again for another trip.
By Mr Newbery on 13/04/2014
I think that the Hotel Finca el Cerillo is a delightful location, with a wonderfully warm welcome by the owners Sue and Gordon. The rooms are all individually presented, and the mals provided in house were excellent and on other nights the local restaurants used were very good. The walking is guided by Jenny who maintains a steady pace that anyone with modest levels of fitness should be able to maintain while spotting out all sorts of flora and fauna.
I would not hesitate to recommmend this hotel to other travellers.
My one caution is that the some of the walking is at the upper end of a 2 boot grading.
By Mr Walshe on 10/04/2014
This was a most enjoyable holiday. The walks were carefully selected by the guides with reference to weather and ability. Scenery is beautiful and there was an abundance of flowers and wildlife. Casa Carrascal is a delightful place to stay and David and Sue Eaton, the owners and guides, are very friendly, very knowledgeable and very efficient. The food, cooked by David, was superb and every evening was something to really look forward to. If you like walking in a fascinating area with top-class guides and a traditional hotel this is one of the best.
By Ms Ettridge on 02/04/2014
Hugely enjoyable with a great bunch of like minded people
By Mr Harding on 29/03/2014
La Gomera is a very mountainous island and is a 'two and a half boot' experience and not for the unfit walker. Because of the terrain and complexity of the walks a guide with local knowledge is essential, as is walking gear for all eventualities. A very rewarding experience and one not to be missed.
By Mr Cloake on 26/03/2014
One of the most enjoyable walking holidays we have taken(and we have a fair number under our belts).We loved the house party atmosphere at the Casa Carrascal with Sue and David not only welcoming and professional hosts but also experienced and knowledgeable local guides.The walks mostly in superb mountain terrain were interesting,enjoyable and with just the right degree of challenge.
By Mrs Harris on 26/03/2014
The hosts made this a unique holiday experience. Their generosity in time and effort to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly was matchless. The walking was varied and challenging amid beautiful scenery. The food was excellent. My sincere thanks to Sue and David and to Headwater.
By Mr Longshaw on 26/03/2014
The Finca, the base for the 'Secrets of Andalucia' holiday is worth more than five stars! The welcome, friendliness of the owners an staff, and the 'house party atmosphere contribute to making this one of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken. Of course we went for the walking (and to get away from the cold weather) and this turned out to be pretty good as well. Jenny was the main guide, who was helped out by Rose when he walk was split into two levels. Both were excellent in their knowledge of the local flora, fauna and routes. The meals provided at the Finca were superb, and he packed lunches extremely filling. As part of the package two lunches and three diners were taken at local restaurants and this enabled us to sample local cooking aswell.
Overall a superb holiday that ticked all the boxes for us!
By Mrs Ritchie on 26/03/2014
Setting,food and walking were superb. Gordon and Sue were exceptional hosts and Christine's food deserved a rosette!
By Mrs Quincey on 26/03/2014
Excellent hotel and fantastic food, very friendly staff, taxis arranged to local restaurants, super walking with a great guide, lovely views in the hills and very quiet location. Only drawback really is that the hotel is a good walk from the nearest villages and towns, so you can't pop out after a walk to have a look around or do a bit of shopping unless you use a taxi, or get the boots out again. The map provided for the holiday wasn't any use for walking - good job we had a guide!
By Mr Grant on 25/03/2014
The hotels suffered from grade inflation - they were 4* (in Marrakech) and 3* for the others. At the El Saadi we had no cooling in our room even though the outside temperature was 32 degees C on arrival. At the Karam Palace one night we had no hot water and the loo leaked. All hotels had cool swimming pools only usable by the hardy. Breakfast was poor at the Karam Palace and at the Palais Asmaa (but there are probable no better alternative hotels to use in Ouarzazate or Zagora). Otherwise, our main guide Rasid was very helpful, but our half day guide to Marrakech was more interested in taking us to carpet or spice shops who would give him a pay off than in showing us the sites of Marrakech.
By Mr Batty on 25/03/2014
Good walking, very helpful guide and excellent company. Unseasonable rain meant that our guide did not take us on one of the listed walks, but he was good at chasing the sun!
By Mr Lewis on 22/03/2014
Great accommodation and food, excellent walking, wonderful company. The guide, though not local, had acquainted himself thoroughly with the walks and looked after us superbly.
By Mr Davidson on 21/03/2014
Over all very good. Hotel Es Saadi was disappointing re AC in the rooms;there was only heating!. We were told that it was still winter by the desk,then another story was that the management decided not to put the AC cooling on. The rooms at the front were very noisy from traffic and because of the heat we had to decide between noise and heat. Result was little sleep for the nights we were there.
We therefore would hesitate before recommending the holiday for this reason.This is a shame because it was excellent apart from this.
The licensed guide for Marrakesh was very poor.
There should be another walk on the final day rather than a free day ,or the option at least..
By Mrs Stewart on 01/03/2014
Good island venue for interesting walking in warm weather, with good accomodation and guide.
By Mr Cousins on 28/02/2014
I enjoyed seeing the authentic Morocco not just the main tourist sights, there was too much travelling in the minibus between destinations.
By Ms White on 24/02/2014
Lovely walks, excellent guides/hosts who continually went out of their way to make sure everyone was happy, food delicious, accommodation reasonable although not luxurious - altogether it was a most enjoyable week and a lot of fun was had by all. The photography was an added bonus and Sue Bishop a helpful, tactful and fun addition to the group.
By Mrs Walter on 19/02/2014
A Brilliant totally enjoyable holiday. Sue and David were excellent hosts, hardworking and taking care of us all as they shepherded us around the various walks. The standard of food was also outstanding
Sue Bishop was extremely helpful encouraging us to be more adventurous with our efforts and imparted her expertise with a very pleasant manner (must look out for her in the future)
Our fellow guests were interesting and humorous and great comrades for the week All in all a thoroughly memorable experience
By Mrs Mendoza on 15/02/2014
Great walks, dramatic scenery, and a wonderful, tranquil parador.
By Mrs Spencer on 10/02/2014
An Excellent winter break despite the unseasonably cool / wet weather in an excellent hotel.
By Mr Whyler on 07/02/2014
The walks did not do justice to the beauty of the island. The fire damage from 2012 still sadly evident. Timings of flights and ferries far from ideal.
By Mr Cross on 01/02/2014
In late January 2014 we had exceptionally poor weather and this, plus long minibus rides to start points of walks, reduced our enjoyment of the spectacular scenery of La Gomera. Our guide/rep. Roger, did a good job in the circumstances. The Parador was excellent. The long gaps in the transfers are a negative but again Roger did his best to keep us entertained.
By Mr Gair on 25/01/2014
Beautiful location, great holel, excellent walks in a varied and magnificent setting.
By Mr Rowlinson on 18/01/2014
Good fun, though walking was harder than we expected having not been on a walking holiday before
By Mrs Williams on 31/12/2013
Very good. Guide coped admirably with adverse weather conditions.
By Mrs Buckham on 22/11/2013
An amazing trip which took in so much but be prepared to spend a lot of time travelling.
By Mr Johnson on 22/11/2013
We thought the holiday was excellent: very interesting, well put together; good hotels, walking and sightseeing as described.
We have already recommended it to friends.
We have put a 'No' to future holidays with you only because we now know that we have discovered you too late. We are too old (75 & 73), or at least insufficiently fit and active, to properly take part in the walking tours without holding others back. A great pity, but that is where we are.
Thanks for an excellent holiday. May I suggest you save advertising costs by deleting us from your mail shoots. Best Regards, Chris Johnson
By Mr Hensman on 03/11/2013
We had a wonderful week at the Finca. It's a beautiful location and the hotel owners Sue and Gordon and their staff are great as is the food with a balance of eating in and out at local restaurants every other day.
The grading as leisurely is a little surprising as although the pace is not relentless the terrain is a little challenging at times and the week is packed with activity. That said it is of course not obligatory to undertake every walk or activity. The finca is a wonderful place just to relax.
On our week we had the benefit of Sue Bishop, a professional photographer. All took advantage of her great knowledge and skills which were freely and generously given.
We intend to revisit the Finca in the future.
By Mr Clews on 30/10/2013
I couldn't fault the location, the ambience, seclusion and comfort of the hotel, and how well we were looked after by the hosts, Sue and Gordon. They treated us like friends and bade us farewell as such. My only complaint is that the walking was tougher than advertised. I don't do vertigo-inducing walks and the last day gave me 2 hours of fear and feeling very uncomfortable and I had to be patiently guided by a very understanding guide. Being classed as a leisurely walking holiday, is the reason I chose this holiday, so I feel let down and misled by this description. I questioned the guide about the classification and she understood it to be classed as moderate. It doesn't say this on your website!
I will no doubt take another holiday with you, but if I feel misled the next time, it will be the last time I choose Headwater.
By Mrs Woodward on 30/10/2013
Welcoming hotel and great walking guide. Exactly as described. Level of walking was rather more than leisurely though. The group decided that it was more of a Moderate grade.
By Mr Baker on 30/10/2013
A wonderful holiday, but be aware that although the pace of walking may be leisurely the terrain is very hilly, making the walks moderate rather than easy.
By Mr Waddell on 26/10/2013
Thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Sardinia, second walking holiday with Headwater. Got a real feel of the countryside and the variety of terrain. So mountainous! Wonderful coastline and coral sands, clear sea water, glorious. Actually swam in late September with 'old wives' fishes nibbling on my legs! Good walking, excellent guiding, not an endurance test, but still challenging. Great views.
By Mrs Scott on 21/10/2013
We had a lovely holiday on the beautiful Amalfi coast. Our guide Paula went out of her way to look after us and help us enjoy our holiday.Good walks. Ravello was a beautiful location and hotel with a newly opened swimming pool. The hotel in Massa Lubrensa was good and had alovely pool. Beautiful viewss over to Capri but very near a busy road with quite a lot of traffic.Thank you.
By Mrs Bailey on 19/10/2013
This was one of the best holidays we have taken with Headwater (this was our 5th). The hotels were both of a good standard which is not always what we have found previously (Jordan, Turkey, some of Croatia in Trogir and Bol). There was a bonus that Ravello hotel had just had a pool installed and this was excellent. The mix of walks / swimming and interest was perfect and the guide particularly helpful.
One issue that was raised by everyone was the number of down steps there were on some of the walks. This was not good and affected the knees of us and many other folk....this should have been mentioned.
By Ms Osborne on 10/10/2013
I loved the holiday. Some elements were to do with the weather and the beautiful location. However, other elements were thanks to Headwater. The guide was excellent and that was very important. I enjoyed the hotels and thought they were very good choices. The Massa Lubrense hotel wasnt as nice as the hotel in Ravello, but having observed the other hotels in the area, i thought it was probably the best available. i have had a quick look at the itineraries offered by other companies for the Sorrento peninsular and Amalfi coastline and didnt think they offered such an attractive itinerary. I was travelling as a single person (and was the only one on the tour) but found that it was very easy to integrate with the others as they were like-minded.
By Mrs Riley on 26/09/2013
The holiday was good fun in a beautiful and interesting location with two wonderful guides who put themselves out to make the holiday one to remember fondly.
By Mr Lucas on 25/09/2013
One of the best Headwater holidays we have had. An ideal combination of great walks, excellent food and brilliant hosts/guides.
By Mr Wardrop on 25/09/2013
Lovely accomodation with hosts who went out of their way to make you feel like family friends. One of the best guides (Jenny) we have ever had on walking holidays.
By Mr Oborne on 25/09/2013
This was one of the best holidays we have had - hotel, walks, guide etc were more than excellent. Food at the Finca was worthy of accolades! A beautiful part of Spain to explore. Overall a holiday of a lifetime!
By Mis Low on 21/09/2013
Excellent week, stunning scenery, friendly people. Fantastic local food and drink. Couldn't fault Maggie the guide, terrific. Some really good walks but could have been tested a bit more and walked further on some days. Would travel with Headwater again.
By Mr Ross on 19/09/2013
Very good holiday with interesting and varied walks. The whole experience benefitted from the knowledge, enthusiasm and encouragement of our guide Maggie.
By Mrs Johnson on 18/09/2013
Walks were longer than stated in your brochure, but this was not a problem, Maggie our guide was excellent, very helpful, adaptable to individual needs, she went 'the extra mile' A very interesting and enjoyable week, which not only involved the beautiful walks, but information about local customs, history and plants, trees and the terrain.
By Mrs Piggott on 18/09/2013
The grading of the holiday made it sound easier than it actually was. The actual package was delivered by Exodus and there was not enough information about the level of difficulty presented by the terrain. Also there was very little information about what was actually involved in some of the optional activities.
The last day's activity included a substantial lunch and a farewell dinner which most people felt was too much. It would have been better to have this programme the previous day so that the farewell dinner could be properly enjoyed on the last evening!
By Mrs Gatward on 14/09/2013
I've had 13 Headwater Holidays guided walking holidays now, and they have always been really enjoyable. I like the small hotels and groups of like-minded people, and although I travel alone I am always made to feel welcome. This was no exception, as Ulisse is an excellent and sympathetic guide, and the group of 5 English and 5 Australians was straightaway a 'team' for the week. The walks along the coast are beautiful. My only complaint might have been that the visit to Pompeii was not long enough (but then you really need a whole day), and the weather was too hot!
By Mrs Brown on 13/09/2013
Very enjoyable holiday with an excellent guide. The walk was certainly not leisurely but everyone managed it. The distances were not great but the gradients were steep and taxing, especially in 30 degrees of heat.
By Mrs Henton on 13/09/2013
Our guide Ulysis was excellent in every way - cannot recommend him highly enough. It was our first walking holiday and thought we had booked an easy walking one. On checking after we found it was easy/moderate. For all that we managed and as my husband is 74 he found it challenging but so enjoyable. We would use your company again but would only go on guided holidays. One of the ladies in our group had been on 13 Headwater holidays but said the choice of guided holidays was less now.
By Mrs Goodall on 13/09/2013
This was our third walking holiday with Headwater and our first to Italy. Our hotels had fantastic views over the Almalfi Coast line and Capris as well as excellent food. Our guide Ulisse was very knowledgable on the history of the local area and looked after us all very well. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Smith on 04/09/2013
An enjoyable introduction to the Azores
By Ms Bolter on 04/09/2013
A very varied and interesting holiday, with beautiful scenery, fascinating local towns, good guided walks and plenty of opportunities for shopping, discovering history and looking at Italian architecture. Wide range of places to eat and chances to explore on one's own - if wished.
By Mr Causey on 11/08/2013
Good variety of different places and activities with an opportunity to meet local people in their varied environments. Our guide and driver were excellent, and this helped to make the trip an extremely positive experience.
By Ms Drabble on 04/08/2013
Our guide was fantastic and really made the holiday. Excellent itinerary which managed to cram a huge range of experiences into 10 days. The first walk was rather more challenging than I expected but that was probably partly due to the heat. The accommodation was generally good but the single rooms at La Spezia and Lucca were very small and dark. They would not have represented good value if the single room supplement had been applied to them
By Mr Watson on 24/07/2013
Excellent holiday, with even more value added by leader Sanja, who made sure everything ran like clockwork. She was also most informative and helpful, very patient, and with a great sense of humour.
By Mrs Eginton on 24/07/2013
After a two year wait to visit the Azores I was not disappointed. The islands are stunning, everyone is friendly and help to make the most of your stay there. The walks were of interest and not too long or arduous and the vistits to local attractions added an extra insight to the life there. For anyone wanting to go somewhere a little bit different, away from the crowds, the Azores are the perfect place.
By Mis McAfee on 24/07/2013
This holiday is a wonderful blend of the cultural highlights of Tuscany with opportunities to explore the beautiful countryside.
By Dr Clements on 24/06/2013
we had a wonderful week's walking holiday in Andalucia. Our hotel finca el cerrillo was a small friendly hotel with each of the rooms with individual character and charm. The gardens were beautiful with many little seating areas both in sun and shade. Lovely pool to soothe the aching muscles after day hikes.Wonderful dinners at the hotel and local restaurants.Walks set off not too early in the morning and our very experienced guide Jenny new the walks inside out and told us local history, the names of flora and fauna and never faded in her enthusiasm.She looked after us individually in the group and tailored the walk and stops for info chats to suite everyone. The weeks holiday lived up to out expectations and more! Richard and Yvonne Clements
By Ms Butler on 22/06/2013
Unfortunately I'm a single traveller and the rooms were pretty poor, particularly in Florence, relative to the cost of the holiday. I realise that using traditional hotels, which I like, often means that single rooms are disappointing. However I do feel that this should be reflected in the charges applied....after all there is a hefty single supplement to pay.
By Mis Smith on 05/06/2013
Enjoyable way to explore the Azores, however if I had known it was an Exodus trip I would have booked direct to gain more certainty on booking details.
By Mr Joseph on 05/06/2013
This was the first time that the trip had run. In general it was another excellent Headwater holiday; the link up with Exodus worked much better than I had anticipated. There was no cutting back on Headwater's standards. The Azores present a challenge; 4 islands in a week means many complex transfers. Inevitably there are some aspects of the programme that could, and perhaps should, be changed for the future. This includes the basic question of whether to try and reach 4 islands in a week and the detail of some of the days. I'm sure your agents are already discussing this.
By Mr Beck on 28/05/2013
A beautiful region. The holiday featured an enjoyable balance of destinations and experiences. Our excellent guide led us on some good walks that we would probably not have been able to find as ordinary tourists. However, we did have some reservations about aspects of the holiday and the extent to which it fulfilled the expectations of the advance publicity. (Further details are set out in the final section.)
By Mrs Turner on 24/05/2013
Wonderful location, stunning walks and scenery. Had a great time with others in the group.
Slightly disappointed that guide knew less about the local Flora than we did but she was very knowledgeable about history and architecture.
By Mr Cant on 22/05/2013
A set back because the guide(Maggie) was ill. After initial problems and changes to plans the local reps rallied round and both Robin and Flavio were excellent . I think that the grading of some of the walks was affected by these inevitable changes. ( Flavio was suffering from broken ribs) . It is to your credit that such a difficult situation was got over so well.
I have been helped both at the time and since we got home in trying to retrieve lost glasses
By Mr Fotherby on 21/05/2013
The unavailabilty of Maggie due to illness did cause problems mainly in the area of not communicating with the group exactly what the situation was. On the first night one of the owners of the hotel came up to tell us our guide would not be appearing that evening as expected but would appear next morning. He added not to worry if a guide did not turn up the hotel would arrange something. We sat there a group of largely strangers in a strange place at the beginning of a holiday which may or may not happen as planned - not a good start.
Robin did appear next morning but we got the impression no body knew at that point whether Maggie would appear or not later in the week. When Flavio appeared on the Thursday morning and told us he would be with us for the rest of the holiday we were delighted, he is an exceptional guide.
I have every sympathy for Maggie having a condition that results in sudden devastating episodes and we were sorry we did not meet her having seen many very positive comments in clients reviews. She seems to be the lynch pin of this tour but you do need a firm plan B in place to cover for her unavailability. We had the impression of fingers crossed and hope for the best and fortunately you were lucky.
By Mr Davies on 21/05/2013
Beautiful and varied walks in unspoilt mountain and coastal locations. The guides were very knowledgeable and ensured a group of mixed abilities got the best out of each walk. The hotels offered the best of the two regions - good food and wonderful settings. The staff were were friendly and helpful.
By Mr Prior on 20/05/2013
As other reviewers have noticed, the Finca el Cerillo is a gem. Gordon and Sue are great hosts; the location is stunning; and nothing is too much trouble for the hosts or the staff. The hotel is superb and the mix of local restaurants and eating in gave us an excellent mix of really enjoyable food. The grounds of the hotel are lovely and the views from the various patios are exceptional. The walking guides (Jenny & Rose) were also very good with a relaxed manner and a store of local knowledge. They responded well to the varying walking levels and needs of the group. This was unquestionably one of the best Headwater holidays that we have had.
By Mrs Ward on 18/05/2013
Owners, staff and guides at Hotel Finca el Cerrillo go the extra mile in all ways to ensure guests have a wonderful experience. The hotel is remote, but taxis are used to get Headwater guests to restaurants & to/from walks. Personally we recommend the 1-Boot option weeks, as this is hilly country and weather can be warm. Even the hotel is built on a hillside with many little oases of calm corners. Wonderful scenery & views; fantastic meals; great guides; and such great hosts.
By Mr Naylor on 24/04/2013
This was a really good package! All inclusive meals, wine and pack lunch, great menu choice and great walking containing probably the best walk I have ever been on (The Bernia Ridge Walk).
The hosts and guiders, David and Sue Eaton, are probably the most conscientious people in this business or certainly that I have come across. They were great hosts, very attentive to people's needs and capabilities and very knowledgable about the flora and fauna of this region and as if that's not enough, David is a pretty damn good chef too!
We did have an accident whilst out walking. My wife slipped on some loose soil/gravel and suffered what at the time we thought was an ankle sprain. Sue administered some first aid on the scene, went ahead and got the car and took us home. The following morning, still concerned because of the swelling, Sue took my wife to hospital, made sure we got treatment and then crutches before then taking us back to Casa Carrascal - bottom line is that Sue and Dave also know how to respond to these situations - thanks guys!
By Mr Grundy on 24/04/2013
This was an excellent holiday, the accomodation and hosts/guides were superb.BUT
The grading was classed as soft/leisurely which it definately was not.This is misleading.
We did the 'Vistas of Valencia' last year which was classed as moderate. This was the same level of walking.
By Mrs Langleben on 24/04/2013
Without doubt, Finca el Cerrillo, has to be one of the best hotels we have stayed in with Headwater. Nothing was too much trouble for Sue and Gordon. They are the perfect hosts and it was more like being part of a house party than being a paying customer.
Our guide, Jenny, was good fun as well as being excelletn at her job.
By Ms Stewart on 13/04/2013
We had a wonderful trip. One or two of the walks were at the top end of our comfort zone however and we'd probably not do another two boot with Headwater. Also, given the small amount of involvement Headwater staff had once we got to our destination, I think the cut they take is quite high (ie. our accommodation provides their own packages for a significantly lower price even taking flights into account).
Thank you for your comments, we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in Andalucia, although we are sorry you feel the pricing of the holiday could be improved. On this particular holiday, the tour we offer is not the same as what the hotel offer direct to the public, therefore the prices do differ. We include tickets and transport to/from the Alhambra and we include wine with meals for example. That said, we want to keep our prices as competitive as possible as will certainly bear your comments in mind when looking at the costings for next year.
Many thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your feedback.
By Mr Richards on 13/04/2013
The Finca was exceptional, the walking fantastic and the guide (Jenny) was professional, well informed and great fun.
By Mrs Johns on 23/03/2013
We had a wonderful holiday thanks to David and Sue who worked really hard to ensure that all their guests enjoyed the week to its maximum. The walks were varied and appropriate to our standard and where, on occasion, a guest was lacking confidence in a particular route,an alternative was always found without fuss or bother. David provided a range of meals that took into consideration all of our dietary needs and Dinner was a relaxed sociable event each evening.
We could never have explored and enjoyed this wonderful walking area without the knowledge and expertise of David and Sue. We were also impressed with their level of organisation and professionalism. They are great ambasadors for Headwater.
By Mis Phillips on 14/03/2013
I loved the holiday, the hotel was exceptionally good in the warm welcome, helpfulness of hosts and all staff, good food, arrangements for transport and meals out, and the character of the hotel and beautiful location. Visit to Alhambra and Granada also brilliant. Inspite of rain excellent holiday, one to remember
By Mrs Stewart on 09/03/2013
Good holiday in good location
By Mrs Lewis on 09/03/2013
This was an excellent holiday. Well scheduled - guide was friendly,helpful and well organised. Driver was helpful and very safe. The guide that took us round Marrakesh was not so good - he was late and not as informative as he could have been.
The hotels particularly the one in Marrakesh were excellent.
One of the walks was a bit more than a one booter we thought, although it was a spectacular day and we loved it.
We didn't seem to have any real notes for the holiday other than that in the brochure. We would have liked a more detailed itinerary - if nothing else to remind us of the names of places etc when looking at our photographs!
By Ms Taylor on 02/03/2013
It was a good experience, seeing a lot of the country that other tours would miss. Walks were varied and suited to our abilities.
The only problem I had was with one hotel room that had previously been used by a heavy smoker. I spoke to the domestic staff about it and they made an effort to improve things.
By Mr Clarke on 26/02/2013
A most enjoyable holiday with a lovely group of people walking through impressive landscapes.
Roger, the guide, was excellent and took us to visit beautiful places after the walks. This was a bonus. He also adapted the itinerary according to the weather.
Roger’s partner made very nice salad pack lunches and made sure mine were gluten free.
The hotel and food were excellent.
By Mr Maher on 26/02/2013
As always we thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Headwater. The group gelled from the start and our walks were enhanced by Roger, our guide. He chose wisely and well, taking into account weather conditions and the capabilities of the group. This area of Tenerife was a revelation.
By Mrs Loken on 26/02/2013
Although the overall holiday was very enjoyable, the frequent bad weather (which seems to be normal in the North of Tenerife) meant that some of the walks were not possible. The alternatives of visiting lava caves was interesting, but gave us less walking time. The excellent hotel, however, was located in Garachica on the North coast, which necessitated long drives on precipitous winding roads at the beginning and end of each day. Some people found this problematical, even though our guide was a very safe and careful driver.
The hotel food was of a generally high standard, and elegantly presented, but vegetables of any kind were absolutely minimal. The wine offered was very good.
By Pro Pruetzelthomas on 26/02/2013
A wonderful, expertly guided walking holiday in the varied and dramatic landscapes of Tenerife
By Mrs Shepherd on 26/02/2013
David and Sue were excellent hosts. They could not do enough to assist us and they were a pleasure to walk with.
By Mr Gingell on 02/02/2013
Be cautious as regards the grading assessment of walks and be aware that walking profiles in the brochure can be misleading (the Baracan ridge walk in particular omitted a very severe climb at the beginning of the walk).
Also be aware that the current guide does not speak good Spanish so may struggle in an emergency.
Being an old manor house built around 2 courtyards means that hotel rooms are gloomy and can be stuffy, whilst public areas can be very chilly early in the year. Food is very good (though lacking in vegetables!), but there is limited indoor dining space and eating round the swimming pool requires warm clothing.
By Mrs McDougal on 24/01/2013
Just what we expected from a Headwater holiday, well organised, excellent walking with good accommodation and food and excellent guides/hosts.
By Mrs Acland on 07/01/2013
Super holiday. Our hosts Sue and David were brilliant, always helpful and informative. Dinners were always excellent and Christmas dinner, truly a feast, was superb. How David and Sue managed to guide us all during the day and still be able to present us with such a meal every evening was amazing.
Susan in Felixstowe
By Mr Summers on 07/01/2013
This was the third time I have been to this holiday and I would go again
By Mr Pritchard on 13/12/2012
David and Sue Eaton are very attentive hosts and guides and made us feel at home.
By Mrs Hoghton on 24/11/2012
We were disappointed that the atmosphere in the Finca seemed to be a bit "us and them", ie between the 7 Headwater clients and the 20 or so non-Headwater guests. When we queried this we were told it was because we were having "free" wine with meals and it was too complicated to sort out billing should the two groups mingle. This unfortunately resulted in our smaller group feeling a bit ostracised from the main party, for example we were expected to sit on our own in the smaller sitting area which did not have the open fire, a feature which had sounded so attractive when we booked the Finca. The other group were clearly paying less for their holiday and adopted a rather superior attitude due to this.
By Mrs Ingram on 17/11/2012
We have been on 17 Headwater Holidays and we found this to be very well organised , thought out and very enjoyable. We have highly recommended it to all our friends . The guide , hotels . places were an absolute delight . ( Our first hotel was changed days before departure but was stunning )
We have not stopped talking about this holiday sine we returned
Brenda and Simon Ingram
By Mr Summers on 03/11/2012
Very good holiday. This was my second visit and I will be back in the spring next time to see the wild flowers!
By Mrs Wheeler on 30/10/2012
Please read the comments below with the knowledge that the holiday was an adventure and made enjoyable by my travelling companions.
This holiday would have been better if we had had a rest day at the beginning of the holiday before leaving Marrakech, and one less rest day at the end.
There is a great deal of mini-bus travel, and on poor roads, in this holiday. I feel that this should be spelt out in detail in the literature to give the potential traveller all the information before they book.
Our driver, Lahsen, was a brilliant driver, taking great care of us in town and on country and mountainous roads.
The whole group, all 7 of us one after the other, went down with some sort of bug which included fatigue, nausea and upset tummy. I would suggest that the holiday literature tells travellers to be extremely careful about hand hygiene and not eating salads - delicious though they were!
In my experience of travelling in hot climates, activities are completed before about 12noon and resumed after about 3 -4pm. We oftern walked in the hottest part of the day.
By Mrs Mitchell on 30/10/2012
The reason for the low enjoyment mark was the entire group went down one by one with 'La tourista' or a tummy bug. Not nearly enough is made of this risk in your brochure. It cost most of us 3-4 days of our holiday and no doubt you will be hearing from others about this.
It was generally agreed that we will have caught it at one of our lunch stops on the way to and from Zagora. Even Rachid suffered and he reckoned it was likely to be the salads.
Between Ouarzazate and Marrakech we stopped twice. A dirty village and we entered through a butcher's shop - flies everywhere and filthy. Every meal started with a finely chopped salad, delicious and we were all hungry. Just too tempting and we disobeyed all the rules.Follow that with a greasy tagine and it's a recipe for disaster!
By Mr Effingham on 30/10/2012
Everything that was promised as part of the walking holiday exceeded our expectations, especially the food and warm welcome that we received at El Cerrillo!
By Mr Wilson on 17/10/2012
Accommodation in mountains was first class in every respect.
Accommodation at seaside was good, but no in the same class as first part of holiday.
The walks were excellent, with Maggie being an outstanding guide and host. The variety of walking was just right for the length of time we were in Sardinia.
The picnic sites were top class, the buffet lunch provided after the river walk could not be bettered. All credit to Maggie and the Hotel employees.
By Mr Woodward on 17/10/2012
Meal first night rather disappointing. Nice to eat in the town, but walking away from a very nice five start hotel to eat what could really only be described as a typical basic "tourist" meal was a bit of an anti-climax. Fortunately the restaurants we were taken to subsequently improved.
We also felt that this holiday was rather overpriced compared to similar holidays we have done with yourself and other companies.
However, this really was a lovely experience in a beautiful country.
By Mrs Hunter on 17/10/2012
I felt that the travelling on the change over days took too long , the distances involved were not clear in the brochure .
I felt that the middle hotel was poor in view of the cost of the holiday , the mini bus driver was good but the bus was not comfortable and there were no seat belts .
however the holiday was enjoyable and the guide was very good .
Thank you for your feedback on the traveling element of the holiday. We will certainly speak with our local agent about the points that you've raised, ALL vehicles used by Headwater are required to have seatbelts fitted and we will be dealing with as a matter of urgency. Many thanks again for bringing this matter to our attention.
By Mrs Gatward on 06/10/2012
I did enjoy Carrascal enormously - as usual my fellow-travellers were a great and interesting bunch, and Sue and David were so hospitable - they seem to do everything (organise the walks, run the hotel,do the cooking, walk the dogs, etc!)and are ready to adapt the walks if the weather intervenes. Local knowledge is vital and adds so much enjoyment when you're only there for a week.
By Mr Taylor on 06/10/2012
the walks were varied and good. Our hosts at Casa carascal were excellant. I had only one negative comment and this couldn't be helped in that there was no garden or outsiude space in which to relax and no swimming pool but as the whole trip was good it really didn;t matter in the end.
By Ms Hankinson on 01/10/2012
An excellent introduction to the beauty and diversity of the Croatian coast - historic cities, stunning coastline, dramatic waterfalls, attractive walks. We had an excellent leader in Sanja, who took us to places that we would otherwise not have been able to access and was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about her country .
By Mr McKenzie on 29/09/2012
Sanya Reiter was an excellent guide for what was a very well organised and enjoyable holiday. The walks were easy and short. Our 21st holiday with Headwater!
By Ms Henderson on 29/09/2012
Enjoyable, well-led holiday, and especially strong on selection of restaurants (all outside the hotels). Our guide/leader Sanja was enthusiastic, energetic and knowledgable. She deployed her local knowledge (of people, places, contacts, restaurants etc.) very effectively.
The walking was at the low end of one boot. Most of our group of 9, us included, would have appreciate more time walking and a bit more challenge too.
By Mrs Rankin on 24/09/2012
My first experience of Croatia was brilliant. Our guide, Vanja, was fantastic and an absolute asset to the Headwater Group. Nothing was too much trouble. She was always extremely helpful. The itinerary was accurate and allowed us to see as much as we could in the one week we were there. Walking was also good. I personally enjoyed the ferry trips to the islands we visited! Really interesting country.
By Mr Willis on 24/09/2012
The holiday was very enjoyable; friendly small group, good hotels and food. Vanja was a brilliant tour guide, she made sure we all had a good holiday, was enthusiastic, friendly, very helpful and caring.
However, we would have preferred to spend more time in Split and less time in the museum on Brac Island.
By Mrs Teague on 24/09/2012
Great local guide who was available 24/7. She gave us an amazing flavour of her country and was hugely enthusiastic.
By Ms Langdon on 24/09/2012
Croatia is an absolutely wonderful place to visit.
The trip was extremely well organised.
It was a pity on the flights that we had to change planes at Zagreb. Also, although I did not book at the last moment, I had to pay a very hefty surcharge for the flight.
Vanya, our guide, was absolutely outstanding. She could not be faulted in any way and I would say that she is the best guide I have ever had on any holiday. I was the eldest of the party and, at times,I needed help when the terrain was difficult - she was always there. If all guides could be as good as Vanya, it would just be marvellous.
By Mr Collman on 24/09/2012
We felt we gained a good insight into Croatia; we enjoyed the balance between cities, mountains, sea + islands and a national park. Both the tour leader and the driver were excellent. 10 is an ideal number for a group.
By Ms Lobban on 24/09/2012
This was an excellent holiday and the guide Vanje was a marvellous asset to the group. Her knowledge, cheerfulness and helpfulness really made the experience good. The hotels and restaurants were all very good and the programme was varied with a good combination of walking, cultural activities and lovely boat trips. The walks in the National Park was and to the Monastory were particularly good because there were no crowds and the scenery was stunning.
By Mr McKay on 13/09/2012
This trip used two excellent hotels and the walks were varied and interesting.
Maggie, our guide, was experienced, excellent and extremely helpful. She went out of her way to make sure we enjoyed the experience to the full, including giving me one to one help over some of the more difficult parts of the walks. It is always better to be guided by someone who loves the area and during the entire trip, her love and thorough knowledge of the country shone through.
The food exceeded my expectations, particularly in the first hotel. There was so much and all of it exceedingly tasty.
This walking trip is at the top end of two boots in my view
By Mr Sledge on 10/09/2012
We have had quite a number of holidays with Headwater. Most - but not all - have been good, and the two which weren't are thankfully no longer offered.
We had one or two minor grumbles about this holiday - some of the accommodation was a bit poky and we had to live out of suitcases ( I see you carefully didn't ask for a view about the quality of the rooms ) - but generally speaking Headwater is a holiday company which we trust and would recommend.
By Mr Bagnall on 23/07/2012
Three lovely places visited. Dubrovnik after our lovely evening meal in the open under trees was superb in the sunshine and a lovely place to walk round afterwards. Not far from the Hotel either.
Beautiful country, wonderful colours of the sea around some lovely islands.
Croatian people were friendly and with such a checkered history its surprising how they have recovered and not ruined their lovely countryside.
We had the traditional meal of lamb with vegetables and a side salad, eaten out in the sunshine - absolutely delicious - particularly well earned after an enjoyable walk to the restaurant.
By Mrs Springett on 07/07/2012
Great holiday with a lovely bunch of people.
By Ms Taylor on 30/06/2012
Excellent week with a good range of activities, excellent tour leader and a very good group.
By Mrs Whybrow on 30/06/2012
Really eEnjoyable variety of walks. Delightful excursions.
By Dr Westwood on 30/06/2012
A most enjoyable holiday, with an experienced guide.We had good food and enjoyed the local wines and the hot sunny weather.
By Mr Dooley on 30/06/2012
Varied mix of sightseeing, locations & walks
By Mrs Parkinson on 23/06/2012
Sanja, our guide was really good. So enthusiastic, attentive & well organised but also great fun
By Mr Slater on 23/06/2012
enjoyable great fun loved tuscany.
By Ms Bird on 16/06/2012
Brilliant ! Had a lovely time - thank you very much .
By Mr Renton on 16/06/2012
Varied and enjoyable. Really good guide and group.
By Ms Shih on 16/06/2012
Food was mediocre. But logistics handled well by local guide and we got to go on hikes which we could never have done had we travelled alone
By Mis Monteith on 11/06/2012
Very well organised and enjoyable introduction to Dalmatian coast, good accommodation in excellent locations, great restaurants, very friendly travelling companions, all made special by superb and very thoughtful lead guide Vanja, very helpful and friendly Sanja and excellent driver Ive.
By Mrs Walker on 11/06/2012
Really enjoyed the holiday. Vanja and Sanja (who was taking over on the next trip) were excellent guides and made sure everything went to plan. It was one of the best Headwater holidays we have had - this is our 6th!. The area is one of outstanding beauty, the balance between visits and walking were perfect and the food and accomodation excellent. Our guides were full of energy and nothing was too much trouble, they were a pleasure to be with for the holiday.
By Mr Batty on 11/06/2012
A really enjoyable holiday
By Mr Craven on 26/05/2012
very enjoyable Vanja exceptional
By Mrs McKinstry on 25/05/2012
interesting, testing, enjoyable
By Mr Brown on 25/05/2012
Very good all round. Maggie, our guide, was excellent.
By Mis Puritz on 12/05/2012
Wonderful weather, scenery, walking and archaeology. But bad flights times meant I was tired for a day or two when I got there, and, after all the walking as well, pretty exhausted when I got home again.
By Mrs Spurry on 12/05/2012
We had a wonderful time, enjoyed the company of the rest of the group, appreciated the knowledge of the guide and loved the environment.
By Mr Hart on 12/05/2012
We were blessed with a great crowd of fellow walkers who got on very well. A great holiday with lots of great walks and much laughter.
By Mr Plummer on 12/05/2012
We are experienced and regular travellers both in Europe and beyond.Although this was a short break it ranks with some of the very best holidays we have taken anywhere.The group we met were exceptional,we all hit the ground running and determined to get the most from the experience which in part was because of the arrangements made on our behalf and by the welcome we received as soon as we arrived at the finca.It was truly a marvelous experience. Thankyou all very much.
By Mrs Baker on 09/05/2012
Really great holiday.
By Mrs Turner on 05/05/2012
Really outstanding - the finca, the food, the care, the walks. Sue and Gordon take the utmost care to ensure that their guests have a perfect holiday. We cannot think of anything that could be improved upon.
By Mr Goodare on 21/04/2012
A very relaxing time spent in lovely accommodation with great staff. The hospitality was superb; Sue and Gordon the perfect hosts.
By Mrs Grundy on 17/04/2012
The walking experience was excellent. Our hosts/guides were superb.
By Mr Douglas on 17/04/2012
Very enjoyable, for a large part because the company of Dave & Sue Eaton plus our fellow guests was excellent
By Ms Weber on 17/04/2012
Absolutely wonderful, loved it. Great variety of walks, and the hotel was just lovely. Also Neil is a fantastic guide and his picnic lunches are legendary :-)
By Ms Cattersonsmith on 17/04/2012
Our group of 7 bonded immediately - haven't laughed so much for ages! Neil was a great guide and not too full on - just right in fact. A brilliant holiday.
By Mrs Constantine on 17/04/2012
we were sad to come home,this is the best holiday we have had,the hotel/food,the company,and neil,we have booked Portugal in july but i doubt it will live up to la Gomera
By Mrs Collins on 17/04/2012
I can't rate this highly enough: everything about this holiday once we had landed in Tenerife was wonderful and surpassed my expectations. The only small niggle was that the food that Thomson offer on their flights is horrible.
By Mr Pickard on 17/04/2012
no problems,well organised with excellent local guide
By Mrs Barker on 05/04/2012
We had a lovely time, thank you.
The food was the only slight disappointment as the portions were meagre and no choice was offered. Otherwise the hotel was excellent.
By Mr Odell on 05/04/2012
Great holiday .. good hotel .. excellent guide .. good selection of walks
By Mr Stead on 05/04/2012
A superb holiday.
only 2 problems were 1: that the guide seemed remote at times,and was very reluctant to impart information which made us ask lots of questions which he didn't seem to want to give more than a very basic answer.However, the driver more than made up for the introverted guide 2. I obviously hadn't read the brochure properly as I hadn't realised that it was expected of us to add on £100.00's worth of tips:ie £50 each for driver and guide at the end of the holiday.I would have preferred that this was included in the package price upfront instead ofit being put into brown envelopes at the end of the holiday. the amount suggested came from the guide as an accepted amount for the driver. it was brought up by a member of our group rather than by the guide himself. I would certainlt tell any future would be travellers with this holiday that this was an uncomfotable stealth tax.
By Mr Fussey on 31/03/2012
Good introduction to Morocco
By Dr McLean on 31/03/2012
Extremely well organised with additional extras that were not anticipated
By Mr Huddart on 26/03/2012
Well balanced taste of different aspects of Sothern Morocco.
By Mrs Partridge on 26/03/2012
Wonderful holiday. Excellent walking. Superb guide
By Ms Thomson on 17/03/2012
A very enjoyable walking holiday.
By Mr Wilkinson on 10/03/2012
excellent.long journey due to ferry times late arrival at hotel
By Mr Tunbridge on 10/03/2012
Very enjoyable and suited us both
By Mr Boyd on 10/03/2012
Very good. Neil is a knowledgeable guide and skilful at pacing the walks to the different abilities of his clients, to everyones benefit.
By Mr Thorne on 08/03/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and Neil looked after us very well!
By Mis Smith on 08/03/2012
The walks were well chosen, the secenery lovely, the food truly excellent. Neil was, as ever a great guide, paying attention to the walking capabilities and preferences of all the group members, being prepared to accomodate requests and doing his best to mitigate the long gaps between the flight and ferry connections. He is also knowledgeable and good company. The holiday was slightly marred by the fact that I was woken up regularly during the night by other guests in the room above and the hotel staff seemed unwilling to put any effort into trying to change the room until the last night.I would suggest Headwater might consider booking upstairs non-smoking rooms away from the stairwell in the Parador San Sebastian as this would have been much pleasanter and quieter. Also (as below) the Thomson charter flight was really unpleasant and I would not travel by this means again. These two small things slightly marred an otherwise excellent holiday.
By Mr Searles on 25/02/2012
Very enjoyable - a welcome break from the English winter with stunning views
By Mr Thomas on 25/02/2012
By Dr Worthy on 25/02/2012
David & Sue were fantastic hosts- made us all very welcome. The walks were stunning. The food was great. It is a very beautiful area and was lovely to explore it. Sue & David guided the walks really well and encouraged those who struggled a bit. They really made the holiday special. We loved it!
By Mr Barlow on 25/02/2012
Disappointing that many of the walks were too challenging for my wife. We had completed a 2 Boot holiday in tehh summer, so we believed we would be OK for this one.
By Mr Whittaker on 18/02/2012
By Mrs Kennett on 18/02/2012
Excellent guide. A little cold at night so warmer clothes need to be recommended
By Mr Stevens on 11/02/2012
Extremely pleasant and well organised winter walking break.
By Dr Jones on 10/02/2012
Local guide really knowledgeable and provided superb picnics. Resort (Garachico) was also a very attractive and it was good to have a free day to explore the town
By Mr Shaw on 10/02/2012
Very enjoyable. Well thought out programme of walks with excellent input from Neil Flynn.
By Mr Anderson on 10/02/2012
Neil was a fantastic guide -- well informed, interested in people and generally helpful.
By Mr Hindmarch on 21/01/2012
Superb, our guide, Neale, paced the walks very well. Was encouraging to member who found last walk demanding. hotel superb.
By Mrs Ault on 21/01/2012
Just what we needed!
By Mrs Reynolds on 00/00/0000
The delights of the Dalmation Coast walk is a wonderful mix of walking and culture.The area is truly delightful as the holiday name suggests. The holiday was made extra special by Vanja, our wonderful, cheerful, enthusiastic, helpful and overall perfect guide! What is great about a small group holiday is that when circumstances require it, the itinerary can be changed very quickly and seamlessly and we still have a fantastic day. The only minor problem is that the menu choices were often limited although the places we ate at were generally good (do not expect fine dining!).
By Mrs Hardie-hammond on 00/00/0000
Beautiful landscapes especially in early July when every lane and road, every hillside and field margin is decked in hydrangeas. The local guide went over and above the call of duty and introduced us to the best of Azorean hospitality and local fresh food in little cafes and restaurants or family homes that we would never have found ourselves. The two boot grading suggests tougher walking than it really is. The walking was quite easy but the travelling between islands by plane and boat was exhausting and in the first half of the week most of us were shattered and couldn't even remember what island we were on! Exodus who run this holiday, rate it at 3/10 for walking difficulty which is a more accurate reflection of difficulty levels.
By Mrs Harper on 00/00/0000
A varied and memorable experience of some of the spectacular Azores, aided by an enthusiastic and well informed guide, Walking with good company was very enjoyable, and just the right level of exertion for us. My only slight reservation was the amount of time spent to do with air travel, given that this was only 7 days in total
By Mr Baker on 00/00/0000
very good. the hotels were in great locations and very accessible to the city/town we were in.
our guide was excellent. food was good.
the only criticism is - i think you should be more precise about the suitability of the collective ages of the group. we are aged 65 and 66 but we are fit. the others in the group were aged 75 and one over 80. we felt the walking part of the trip was slow and had to cater for the age of the oldest. our guide tried to accommodate everyone and did a good job but we still found it quite hard to achieve a nice pace.
By Mr Orlik on 00/00/0000
This was our first visit toSpain. It as well organised by Headwater, the arrangments worked perfectly and we would like to go again.