Customer reviews: Holidays in Alsace

Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our all holidays continue to be the best they can be.

Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their all holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their all holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Cook on 09/09/2016

*****
Varied cycling, welcoming hotels with a difference and excellent cuisine!

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Forward on 15/07/2016

***#.
we appreciate all the information and support provided and i look forward to travelling with headwater again.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Gardner on 06/07/2016

*****
We had a lovely holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the walking from one hotel to the next. The route notes were very detailed and easy to follow (especially as we had the maps too). Also the folders in the hotels with customers comments were useful especially for finding restaurants. We particularly appreciated the wine carrying service. It was great being able to buy wine on the way and then find it all in our hotel room at the end. Our rep, Hannah, was very friendly and helpful especially in finding a restaurant for our first night in Turckheim when most restaurants seemed to be shut. We did all the suggested longer walks (even in the rain) and have arrived home feeling very fit! All in all it was an excellent holiday - many thanks to Headwater and to our rep Hannah for her help and encouragement.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Brady on 17/06/2016

***#.
The first thing to say is how friendly, welcoming, dependable and helpful we found Hannah. We are also aware of the amount of time and effort she put in to assist our fellow travellers after the lady injured herself. We took all the longer walking options and experienced some weaknesses in the route descriptions, which we passed on to Hannah so that she can check them out. We can understand why you chose the hotels that you did, but, while it was interesting to visit Turckheim, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, all of which are beautiful, we would prefer to have stayed in locations that were not so thronged with tourists. For example, hotels in Kientzheim and Sigoldsheim, very close to Kaysersberg, had English speakers and offered evening meals. Erratic opening times of shops, restaurants and cafes is also a bit problematical as you are setting off not knowing whether or not it is necessary to carry provisions. The cafe in Trois Epis and the restaurant at St Alexis Chapelle are cases in point. In the case of the latter, we would strongly recommend booking in advance. I'm sure Madame in Hotel Constantin would oblige. All in all, we had a good time, enjoyed the local delicacies and wine, the beautiful and varied countryside and, in particular, the lovely unspoilt little villages that we walked through. We now look forward to our next trip with you to Menorca.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Salisbury on 16/06/2016

*****
Great holiday in beautiful location. Headwater team were excellent throughout.

Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk

By Dr Bainbridge on 15/06/2016

*****
The balance of vineyard and forest was good. The towns and villages and castle were varied and interesting.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Honey on 14/06/2016

*****
Fairy tale ancient towns, which were lovely to explore. The wine, of course was delicious although we did not visit the vineyards on walks but indulged in the evening . The nesting storks were one of the highlights of the holiday. Do try to visit the stork breeding centre it was lovely with a lot to see as well as the storks themselves..

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Lee on 06/06/2016

***#.
Having been on a number of Headwater Cycling holidays in the past, I think the standard of hotels and bikes have greatly improved since we last cycled with you. The bikes have always been good Giant, La Lapierre, but these latest bikes are lighter and are easier to handle. The weather temperature was about right for the region, had we cycled in the height of the season it may have proved difficult.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Bowman on 06/06/2016

*****
everything was as promised

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Hartley on 03/06/2016

*****
We never imagined walking through vineyards could be so varied and interesting; the countryside was beautiful and the villages charming. The hotel staff all looked after us very well. Our Headwater rep was absolutely delightful and could not have been more friendly and efficient. We did not see a see any UK cars nor heard any other British people but most people we spoke to replied in good English when we spoke to them in our basic French.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Preston on 03/06/2016

*****
From the moment we received our holiday information pack we were excited as it really whetted our appetites. We also had a post card from our Rep, Hannah saying that she hoped we would have a good trip and she looked forward to meeting us at the station in Colmar and giving us her mobile number in case we needed her. This was a very thoughtful gesture. So, even though I had a bad back and had to be transported around by Hannah instead of walking, the overall holiday was wonderful.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Wiser on 13/11/2015

***#.
On the whole our holiday was very enjoyable and we were happy with it. However, we were unfortunate enough to have heavy rain on our second day of cycling and that was the day we had to cycle to Germany along the Rhine and through the maize fields. Even without the rain it would have been a hard slog and not that interesting and quite a lot of cycling on roads with traffic. And then of course we had to return on our third day of cycling. As a group of 4 I think we all would have preferred to stay in the pretty countryside and picturesque villages of the Alsace and drink more excellent wine. Our reception at the hotel Ville de Lyon was very disappointing, unhelpful and our bathroom was not functioning properly and was not sorted out during our stay. Le Verger's rooms were comfortable but one certainly worked on their schedule which was rather perfunctory.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Cowell on 16/10/2015

*****
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and particularly like the opportunity to explore further on our days off.September is an ideal time to go, during the vendange, with the heady smell of wine everywhere and the villages full of flowers. The people in the villages are very friendly and appreciate one's attempt to speak French, however poor.The maps supplied however are not much use for the country districts and if you want to explore the more mountainous area you should buy a larger scale.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Donaldson on 15/10/2015

*****
An excellent holiday which lived up to our expectations of a Headwater holiday ; well planned with very good support. The countryside was very attractive and the towns and villages were beautiful. The cycling was well guaged. Margaret was able to provide a more suitable bike than the one meant for me.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Denyer on 06/10/2015

***#.
Great cycling venue - lots of interest - very pretty villages - but do not expect a gastronomic feast in all Headwater hotels !

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Guthrie on 06/10/2015

*****
Apart from the rail debacle, the content of the holiday was stunning. The nature of the medieval villages was quite breathtaking and more reminiscent of Walt Disney cartoons or even pantomime scenery. The vineyard walks were very enjoyable, as were the visits we made to the wineries! In addition the Riquewier 'Council' offer conducted vineyard walking tours, together with wine cellar visits every Friday throughout the summer until harvest time in September WITHOUT CHARGE!! (BUT possibly only in French and/or English). Another Vineyard 'special' (which I don't think you are aware of) is the 'Spirit of the Vines' a line of seven groups of wooden statues representing a modern interpretation of mankind's integration with the vines over the centuries. This is a surreal eye-catcher, not to be missed and is just outside the village of Bergheim. Best to get directions from the local Tourist Office.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Fraser on 21/09/2015

*****
Cycling was excellent (though we got good weather!). For us, it was an undiscovered area with lots of interesting landscapes. Amazing villages. We really enjoyed our day in Colmar and cycling in the Kaiser Stuhl. Links with the land are still strong in Alsace - we were fortunate in seeing the grape harvest in progress, both hand-picking and machines. We need to brush up our French so we can enjoy it even more next time!

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Daniels on 21/09/2015

*****
This was such a very well organised package holiday that we felt that we were independant travellers, but with the safety net of a rep, if required. We managed the pace, stops and route ourselves and had a truly excellent break.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Haines on 18/09/2015

*****
We have now done 6 Headwater Holidays and the standards are consistently high. Alsace was beautiful in September as the grapes were harvested and the window boxes were wonderful in the small towns.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Patterson on 15/09/2015

*****
Excellent cycling in a beautiful area.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Tulloch on 01/09/2015

*****
Have used Headwater for years and have never been disappointed. This Alsace cycling trip provided a good variety of hotels with excellent food in a stunning location. There were hills amongst the vineyards which needed occasional pushing of bikes but no hills no views! The flat cycling to Germany was in contrast and gave a good sense of space and perspective. Cycling is a good way to get to know the area and see how the local people live. Everyone was welcoming and helpful, a slow pace of life and restful holiday. Map reading during the day to the destination gives a real sense of achievement rewarded with good food and wine. A winning combination and I look forward to the next Headwater holiday.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Maddison on 25/08/2015

*****
Most enjoyable holiday, great walks, beautiful scenery and lots of wine tasting along the way.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Dwyer on 27/07/2015

*****
An excellent, well organised trip that gave all the relevant information for cycling days and also allowed us the flexibility of doing our own thing during off days, giving useful notes for potential activities as well as alternate cycling routes. A very welcoming representative who was sensitive to our needs and responded quickly to any calls and queries. I would definitely recommend this highly enjoyable holiday as a more (but not *too*) active way of exploring a new place.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Ms Henderson on 24/07/2015

*****
The organisation was seamfree and I was really impressed with the fact that I had decided on a cycling holiday on a Friday and I was able to leave for a holiday on that coming Monday. The lady that I spoke to at Headwater on that Friday afternoon worked extremely hard to 'get me sorted ' and spent time in describing the area and what to expect on the holiday bearing in mind that I was a female travelling alone. She was extremely helpful , honest and efficient. The arrangements went like clockwork . I had to buy my own train ticket for Colmar because it was too late to send anything but that was easy . Margaret O' Neill met me at Colmar on time and was very thorough and helpful and charming. Although I had not really planned for a cycling holiday on my own, it just happened that way and I had a wonderful time . The heat was brutal but I felt a great achievement when I completed the trip . The irrigation contraptions in the vineyards or corn fields was a welcome sight to me and I threw myself in their path on many a day. I had chosen a week when the temperatures were in the 40 s most days , the last day of cycling was slightly cooler. I loved the Alsace region and never felt lonely, I met some wonderful people and the hotels were very welcoming . The food was excellent in all of the hotel restaurants but I was not too keen on the food in the Hotel Kapuzinergarte. Perhaps it was just personal taste. I loved the quiet and solitude of the daily rides into the Alsace countryside and was certainly rejuvenated by this holiday. I managed a fabulous trip into Freiburg and an exciting trip into Strasburg . I was not so impressed with the particular area of the Rhein that I visited on a boat . However, I did meet some interesting people. This holiday will stay with me for quite some time and I have some perfect and some imperfect photographs to remind me. I do have some wonderful close ups of storks.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Ms Pepper on 19/06/2015

*****
If you are considering this type of holiday you can rely on the information that is provided, the bikes are easy to use all aspects 6700d of the equipment are explained , the planners are very useful, and the rep is available if required.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs MacKman on 17/06/2015

***#.
Overall a great holiday. Good idea to look up before you go as to whether any local events on in the towns. We happened by chance upon a Venetian day at a village which was spectacular although no rep advice as to the event. Food was great at first two hotels but below expectations and little choice at the German venue. We upgraded rooms in Germany and that was worthwhile for the accommodation. When looking at the holiday online it appears easier than it was in reality. A 2Km climb on the last day was tough for social cyclists.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Wagstaff on 27/12/2014

***#.
The notes gave the impression that you would meet your rep every night. This was not the case. The grading system was probably accurate. However, there was, in JM's opinion inaccuracies in the descriptions of the routes particularly in the Vosges (see below). The food at La Ville de Lyon in Rouffach was over the top: might be Michelin starred but two nights of that was too much - the novelty wore off! The Hotel Kapuzinergarte was generally good but it would have been helpful to know that (a) you needed to speak German, (b) there was no bar area to sit in before dinner and (c) that they wouldn't take credit card for the bar bill and didn't know that the accommodation had already been paid for. Le Verger des Chateau claimed not to have received any notification about JM's cheese allergy and JM got served with cheese the first night which she delicately picked off the salad. Fortunately JM was able to muster enough French to ensure that she didn't get cheese again but that was hard work. This feedback has been done jointly. JM has various reservations about the holiday and the 'hills' which were not mentioned: in the route booklet only one hill is mentioned - the highest point you reach on the tour which is on Day 1. The fact that both of us were in bottom gear almost from the start of the first day came as rather a surprise although JM had realised that there might be a problem when reading the route before leaving the UK and checking it to the map provided. She had mentioned that she had arthritis as she required a low step over bike. She was unable to push down hard enough to get up anything but the shortest hill and spent far too long on cycling days 1 and 4 pushing her bike - something which was extremely difficult as the arthritis makes going up hill on foot difficult. Cycling days 2 and 3 were wonderful (no hills to speak of). DW really enjoyed the cycling once he had got used to the bike and had very few problems with hills after the initial surprise of the steepness. The hotel Aux Armes de France was brilliant. They did a special breakfast tray for us on our last morning as we had to leave before the normal serving time. They were really helpful and it felt the nicest place we stayed. If you wish to discuss our comments further, please contact us. Apologies for the delay in doing the feedback but various things have happened meaning we have only just got round to is.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Jackson on 27/10/2014

***#.
A good holiday with a balance of cycling and sightseeing opportunities. The hills were underplayed and I wouldn't recommend non cyclists to try this holiday unless they want to walk up every hill. Two of the hotels had excellent food, which was a treat. The guide instructions were mostly good although they were wrong on one of the days causing the majority of our group to find themselves on a main road. The route could do with being cycled by the rep and the notes adjusted to avoid confusion to future cyclists. We enjoyed our holiday and would consider another headwater holiday in future, although we would treat the grading of the route with caution.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Maddison on 17/10/2014

*****
This must have been one of our most enjoyable holidays. There was never a dull moment. Fascinating region , great walks and great towns and villages to explore

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Dr Darke on 14/10/2014

*****
The joy of not using a car for 8 whole days was amazing! The walking was lovely, the grape harvest in full swing, the hotels EXCELLENT with good breakfasts and all arrangements extremely convenient and clear. Flying from Bristol is such fun compared with the toil of Heathrow/ Gatwick. Staying in Paris for the first night makes good sense, and the TGV is superb! There is only one snag...not having a car to bring home all the excellent wines! The Co-op at Turckheim is surely one of the best in France.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Sherriff on 09/10/2014

**#..
This has previously been a very attractive formula for us in Tuscany but in Alsace the routes were a bit boring to and from Germany. Kilometres of flat maize fields get a bit tiresome. The locations of two hotels, in Breisach and Dieffenthal were poor. Breisach had great views from the top of the hill which did not make up for the fact that the hotel was relatively isolated from the town and whatever it might have had to offer. We weren't sure what the point was in going there any way. We did visit the Kaiserstühl which was good cycling and not enough was made of it in your notes. It didn't help that the hotel food is awful and the service dreadful. It took me 45 minutes to check out! In Dieffenthal the hotel was out of the village which itself was less than interesting. Any of the neighbouring villages would have been good, especially as Dambach la Ville was very close and had a rail station for a visit to Strasbourg. Equally, Riquwihr Hunawihr and Ribeauville would have been better. So, in all 2/4 decent hotels, boring routes. Not sure about value for money.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Powell on 08/10/2014

*****
Excellent and varied cycling in a beautiful part of France.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Dr Austin on 29/09/2014

***#.
This is our seventh Headwater Holiday and as usual we enjoyed it greatly although the hills on the first and last cycling days were much steeper than we expected. Colmar is delightful and it was really interesting to go into Germany to compare German Alsace wines with French Alsace ones.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs McLynn on 16/09/2014

*****
We have enjoyed many cycling holidays with Headwater. This was by far the best one yet!! A good friendly rep, well maintained bikes, excellent, detailed route guides, great hotels in lovely locations and superb dinners! Well done Headwater!

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Keeling on 15/09/2014

***#.
Enjoyable itinerary and the distances were very manageable. Scenery similar with lots vineyards and fields of maize. Many of the shops closed and villages deserted in August because of the French holidays.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Dr Luton on 15/09/2014

*****
Excellent if quite hilly cycling in a very pretty area. Selestat is worth diverting to en route from Breisach. Colmar is very worthwhile visiting but incorporating it into day 2 ( turn off at Niedermorschwir and return to Turkheim) gives day 3 free for walks /cycling in the hills.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Roberts on 26/08/2014

*****
Geat food and wines. Interesting and varied locations. Alsacian wine route is great.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Reiners on 22/08/2014

*****
A very enjoyable holiday through a less visited (at least by English travellers) part of France. The one day cycling/ one day off works very well and the route gives an enjoyable mixture of different terrains, and countries. The accomodation is of an extremely high standard, though I the food at Ville do Lyons and Aux Armes de France stands out. Some stiff climbs, but no shame in walking up !

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Barker on 19/08/2014

***#.
We really enjoyed our hioliday. The rep gave us everything we needed, but compared to our other 2 headwater holidays, he perhaps wasn't quite as attentive. Three of the hotels were great, but the Constantine was not anywhere near the same quality and disappointing. We recommend Hotel Schwendi in Kintzheim, a 20 minute walk from Kaysersberg. We look forward to our next Headwater holiday.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Provan on 07/08/2014

***#.
Well organised and enjoyable. A good mix of cycling and time to do other things.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Walker on 21/07/2014

*****
An exciting 9 days in a quiet part of France with excellent accommodation in Rouffach and Ammerschwihr. A bit of a drag cycling to and from Breisach am Rhein

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Close on 14/07/2014

***#.
Lots of the little villages in France, which we passed through, seemed to have no bars or cafes, which seemed strange. 2 of the hotels gave us no choice in evening meals. We felt there should be at least a choice of 2 dishes at each course. The food at the hotel with the Mitchelin stared chef was, of course, wonderful. We didn't expect that everywhere, but the comparison with no choice at all (and sometimes pretty ordinary food) was too big a jump.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Luck on 11/07/2014

***#.
I love cycling around rural areas of Europe. You really get the feel of the area and take in and appreciate the views, smells and vibrant colours all around you. The Alsace is an attractive area with lots of lovely wines to try, flowers to enjoy and history to take in.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Sidey on 10/07/2014

*****
Overall summary is that we thought the walks were excellent with a variety of scenery. The hotels were generally very good and the staff as well as local people were friendly and helpful. It is a beautiful area with lovely villages and towns being part of the walking route.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Taylor on 26/06/2014

**#..
Disappointing We paid £2082 of this holiday. During the trip we ascertained that the accommodation (and yes I have included the upgrades and breakfasts) were valued on booking.com as £911. Plus the two dinners at chez Norbert, say £100, then £1011. This means we have paid £1071 for transfers of baggage (we only paid 80 euros for a taxi from Turkheim to Basel), two maps and appalling route notes. Assuming you had a commission from the hotels based on your bulk buying power then you are rip off merchants. Why the dinner at Chez Norbert included? The choice was a not written but only a verbal one choice (pretty appalling option). We paid almost as much just upgrading to the normal menu as we could have eaten out at a local restaurant without . Is this philosophy to make you look generous because I can assure you it didn't work with us. The restaurant was closed on Tuesdays but no-one told us reception was also closed. They only gave us wifi codes for 24 hours, so we were without internet access for a day. My husband still works and needs internet access at all times. I realise I should have cross checked prices before booking and therefore blame myself for being ripped off, however this will most certainly not happen again. When the rep picked us up in Chatenois, he asked about our arrangements for onward travel - we told him we were intending to get train from Colmar to Basel late in the day. He failed to tell us trains were on strike - left us to find out for ourselves and book a taxi to airport. What is the point of a rep who cannot give the most simple advice. My advice to your future clients is 'don't be gullible -you can do better yourselves'

Headwater response

Dear Mrs Taylor, Thank you for taking the time to complete our online questionnaire following your recent holiday to Alsace. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received. We were sorry to read that your holiday did not meet with your expectations; this was disappointing to hear as this holiday is normally a firm favourite with our customers. However, please be assured that we realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip. Therefore all of your feedback has been passed on to the relevant UK and overseas departments and steps will be taken to improve where necessary. In closing we would like to thank you for your constructive comments and hope that despite the issues you have reported you had an enjoyable holiday overall. Yours sincerely, Headwater Customer Service

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Rea on 25/06/2014

*****
Up to usual Headwater high standards.Very enjoyable holiday, good food, hotels and biking. Last day somewhat strenuous with significant hill climbs. Some difficulty finding food and refreshment stops, en route and at some resorts. The French seem to close at will despite declared opening hours. C'est la vie!

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Simmons on 17/06/2014

*****
A really good holiday. The hotels were generally excellent with very good food. Cycling was varied with two days of very flat cycling on the Rhine plain, and two days in the Alsace hills. When staying next to the Rhine, I thoroughly recommend getting up very early and going for a ride along the Rhine, with a pair of binoculars. No-one around, but plenty of wildlife. Strasbourg is a wonderful place to take an extra few days at the end of cycling. One slight issue is that it can get very hot cycling in the hills of Alsace. There is very little shade amongst the vines. It was early June, and we were cycling on our last day in temperatures in the mid 30's.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Eyton-williams on 16/06/2014

***#.
The area was ideal for walking and very interesting. The hotels, service and locations chosen were good, but the route notes need updating as at times were confusing to the extent that all members of the group got lost at a couple of points during the week. Maps (IGN) supplied were excellent. It was the maps that enabled us to find our way. Suggested visits on rest days were most helpful and the Stork Center is well worth a visit Overall we did enjoy our holiday and would happily visit the region again!

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Brown on 07/06/2014

*****
This holiday is to be recommended for those enjoying exercise and the wines of Alsace. The latter is important as much time is spent in and around the vineyards.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Fendall on 02/06/2014

**#..
This was a first time using Headwater.It was an 8 day 'walking' holiday but only 4 days of designated walking and therefore 4 days to 'do your own thing'. Suggestions were made in the guidebook but apart from more walkng or visiting vineyards the villages of Alsace offer little in the way of 'other' activites. I feel that at least 5 (or even 6) days of designated walking would be more appropriate.Overall I enjoyed the experience as Alsace is an area liken no other in France.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Taylor on 02/06/2014

*****
The holiday overall was well planned and the location was beautiful .The Alsace villages that we visited were most attractive with the old buildings and the history associated with them. As two fit octogenarians we were fully capable of managing the walks.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Stokes on 28/09/2013

*****
A week that was both invigorating and relaxing in good walking country in the Vosges mountains - with pretty but touristy villages offering a good variety of places to sleep, eat and drink.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Anzarut on 21/09/2013

***#.
We found the towns visited quite charming and the accommodation was good. This is a very leisurely and easy walking holiday.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Henniker-major on 17/09/2013

*****
A good holiday with the opportunity to take in some site seeing in between biking. The biking was much as advertised although with a few hills more onerous than billed in the route planner.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Jackson on 16/09/2013

***#.
We chose this holiday because it was advertised as the easiest grade of walking in an area that looked very attractive in the brochure. We suspected, from looking at the altitude chart, that the second walking day might be more challenging than the grade implied, and we were right! The shorter walk distances were fine for us, the directions were clear and the maps helpful, although we could have managed without them, as the walking notes were so good. We did have occasional problems finding the waymarks, particularly on Day 2, when we assume they had been on trees which had fallen. The villages we stayed in were very picturesque, the hotels were welcoming and the arrangements all worked very efficiently. We have been on many Headwater holidays over the past 30 years and always enjoyed them, although we are choosing the easier grades nowadays. I would recommend this holiday, with the proviso that it is definitely NOT flat walking. Most days had a fair number of uphill and downhill stretches, and the second day in particular was a very lengthy uphill effort, with a couple of steep pulls, followed by some fairly tricky downhill walking through forests with fallen trees in places. We found our walking poles very useful, particularly on Day 2.

Headwater response

Dear Ms Thompson, Thank you for taking the time to complete our on line questionnaire and for your feedback regrading the grading of the walks , please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is valued by us and is used to help improve and develop our holidays for the future. It was great to read that you enjoyed your holiday to France. Although, I am sorry that you found some of the walks more challenging than you expected. This year we introduced a new grading system of soft/leisurely/moderate/challenging. In previous years we have used a ‘boot’ rating. However, we have received mixed feedback regarding this new grading system and a number of people have told us they feel the old boot ratings gave a clearer indication of what was involved. We have therefore decided that from Nov 2013, we will be reinstating our previous system, in order to avoid any future problems. We will therefore be rating this holiday as a 1 boot which I hope you will agree is a suitable rating. I am also sorry that you found discrepancies with some of our waymaking points, this is checked at the beginning of the season and then throughout as necessary, I have passed your comments on to our local rep, he will be re checking the routes before the start of the new season and will check out your feedback to ensure it is corrected. Thank you once again for your constructive comments and for your loyalty over the years, we do hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future. Yours sincerely, Lisa

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Flenley on 09/09/2013

*****
Lovely mix of gentle activity, cultural visits and picturesque landscape.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Buckingham on 28/08/2013

*****
Lovely hotels, probably too much food, reasonable bikes, lovely area

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Slater on 17/08/2013

*****
Really great holiday nicely paced. Make sure you try not to go to Strasbourg on a Sunday clock not working that day. Route plan on final day very difficult not so well written. Don't be tempted to ga a la carte in rouffach very slow rather poor meal

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Bale on 14/08/2013

*****
We really enjoyed our holiday. It was a lovely area with some hearty food but fabulous wine. It was great to be able to taste the wine and then for Chris to transport it for us. I would have been happy to walk every day as the walks were not strenuous and we were at the next place by lunch time giving time to explore in the afternoon. We felt that it would have been useful to have known beforehand that each hotel had free wifi and also to have known that shampoo was not provided.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Webb on 12/08/2013

***#.
Beautiful small towns and villages, beautiful scenery and captivating history. Hotel accommodation was generally good and Chez Norbert's air conditioning was most welcome with temperatures in the mid to high 30's. At Bergheim on chef's night off we were relocated for dinner to the Weinstub up the street. The lady in charge was most reluctant to provide a menu at the sum Headwater had allowed. Two of our party accepted the 'no choice' modest three course meal and we chose a'la carte. Food was indifferent and the wine overpriced. At Turkheim food was not offered in Hotel des Deux Clefs, we enjoyed good food in town where there's plenty of choice. (so please disregard the 'poor' rating in questionnaire) Apart from Chez Norbert, ventilation was inadequate in the hotels, fans were not always available and other clients complained that Headwater guest's rooms were usually located in the roof and were in consequence, unbearably hot. Our upgraded room in Turkheim was fine! We missed the initial briefing which was a pity. Although our expected arrival time was late afternoon, we were actually in the hotel when Chris arrived with his clients from Colmar. A shame he didn't check. This oversight did not detract from our holiday experience as our friends briefed us. When we eventually met Chris he impressed us as helpful, efficient, and friendly.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Ms Cole on 12/08/2013

*****
The Alsace Wine Trail was one of the very best holidays I have ever taken. The region was unknown to me and was delightful in all ways. The wine was excellent, my only regret is that it wasn't longer.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Dr Winter on 11/08/2013

*****
Well organised and routes easy to navigate: some information about the availability of a rep eg to collect wine from purchaser, a little exagerated

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Christley on 05/08/2013

***#.
Excellent experience. Able to walk at our own pace. Very intersting area to travel in.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Drea on 24/07/2013

*****
This is a self-guided walking holiday staying in small hotels in small towns or villages and requires a certain amount of tolerance, flexibility and common sense particularly when routes don't work out as they seem. We were disappointed to have two of our hotel/restaurant meals deleted (we were provided with cash to fend for ourselves!). This meant that we had only two meals during the holiday arranged for us by Headwater instead of four as noted in the guidance. This and some missing or bad forest signage were the only miner blips in an otherwise excellent and enjoyable holiday.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Davey on 08/07/2013

*****
Excellent route with varied cycling and many interesting places to visit.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Scott on 06/07/2013

*****
This was our 8th holiday with Headwater and it was as good as ever. We liked the contrast between cycling through vineyards (with the occasional short hill) and the flat open plain of the Rhine. The vineyard hills are short and infrequent and are well rewarded with freewheeling downhill after a bit of a push. We are in our early seventies and those hills were not a challenge, as long as you accept pushing your bike for a few minutes. The hotels were all good. At Breisach-am-Rhein we had paid for an upgrade and it was well worth it, giving us a spacious room and a flower-bedecked balcony with stunning views over the Black Forest. Last year the hotel at Dieffenthal seems to have received some poor reviews. There has obviously been a marked improvement this year. The staff were friendly and welcoming, service excellent and the food very good indeed. Altogether, this was an excellent holiday, varied and interesting. We had a very good time. Thank you, Headwater!

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Barrett on 12/06/2013

*****
Very relaxing holiday as able to walk at own pace and stop for wine tastings along the way. Independant walking was very easy as the directions and maps provided were excellent and the paths well signed to match the maps. A beautiful area to explore.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Mellish on 30/10/2012

***#.
An excellent week of walking, wine drinking and beautiful scenery in the Alsace, staying in wonderful little villages. A great week to choose if you enjoy wine and walking, but don't want to walk everyday and do long tiring walks.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Phelan on 24/09/2012

*****
Although we have had many DIY cycling holidays, this our first holiday with Headwater - It was excellent. The route notes and directions were really good and the bikes comfortable and well maintained. The level of cycling was mostly pretty easy (especially without the luggage!) but with one or two more challenging days on the vineyard slopes. We particularly liked the contrast of routes through the vineyards, maize fields and along the Rhine path taking in some impossibly pretty villages along the way. We had two non cycling days visiting Colmar and Freiburg, the latter well worth a visit. The choice of hotels was for the most part excellent and meals delicious, the exception being the Verger des Chateaux in Dieffenthal which did not quite measure up to the others - in particular they seemed to be rather short staffed in the kitchen and the 'Headwater menu' rather uninspiring. We would have preferred to have stayed in Dambach la Ville the next village which was a bit more lively. The biggest revelation though was the wonderful wine of the Alsace. Old prejudices about sweet wines were completely demolished.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Hurley on 24/09/2012

*****
Easy walking with fantastic views . Learnt a lot about wine. Surprises came every day from orchids,wild sweet peas black squirrel, donkeys in the forest, chatty locals ,auberges on the edge of the forest and amazing food in the hotels.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Rodger on 24/09/2012

*****
I am aware that some people wish the freedom to choose where they eat but I prefer the system where the meal is provided in the hotel or associated restaurant as there is the excitement of not knowing what delicasies might be offered. In the above part of the survey "Meals" are included in the Hotel surveys when, in fact, this only applied to one hotel. (Hotel Chez Norbert)

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Tulloch on 03/09/2012

*****
good walking distances with alternatives to do extra if wanted. pretty villages and lovely food.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Smith on 28/07/2012

*****
This was our eighth Headwater cycling holiday and as usual it was first class. Such a pity Headwater have no control over the weather! Our thoughts about Headwater are that they are by no means cheap. Yes you can find much cheaper cycling holidays but not with the excellent standard of service, the excellent routes and instructions, the friendly staff and the well selected high class hotels and restaurants. What Headwater provide is a holiday with higher than normal standards.AS an example the alsace cycling (Rivers and Vineyards) holiday that we have just returned from provided a michelin starred restaurant where my wife and I ate the best meal I think we have ever had in. There are not enough superlatives to do this restaurant justice! One of the other hotels had a chef who up until a short while ago had a michelin star (Ammerschwihr Les Armes de France) and here the food was of similar standard. Well done to Headwater!

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Belfield on 23/07/2012

*****
Thoroughly enjoyable. Chris was very helpful.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Hutchison on 11/07/2012

*****
As ever, an enjoyable and interesting holiday.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Johnson on 11/07/2012

***#.
It was an excellent holiday except for the issue below and the smallness of the rooms and proximity to town clock at Turkheim amd the smallnes of the room and heat in the room at Riquewhir, the room being located in the eaves.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Bowden on 11/07/2012

***#.
Enjoyed a very different part of france. Eating out good and easy, but might be different in July/Augustesp in Riquwihr.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mrs Dietz on 07/07/2012

***#.
Excellent choice of routes and hotels.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Dixon on 07/07/2012

*****
Alace was a great location for a walking holiday.With lovely villages only 2 / 3 km apart we were able to stop for breaks and lunch in little cafes.The locals all friendly being still country peolpe seeing strangers as visitors to be made welcome. All the hotels were good and we would consider staying in them agian particularly Chez Norbert in Bergheim. It was a great holiday and we enjoyed it very much.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Ms Butterworth on 23/06/2012

*****
Very good, excellent organisation

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr Walmsley on 23/06/2012

*****
interesting and relaxing in a new area of europe

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Kirkham on 16/06/2012

*****
Overall another great success, where do we book next! Could do better with flight bookings though.

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mrs Whitter on 16/06/2012

*****
Extremely enjoyable holiday

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail

By Mr McIntosh on 11/06/2012

***#.
We have been with headwater twice before, and on these occasions we realised that these types of holidays were rather expensive, but also felt we got value for money. On this occasion we felt corners had been cut. We got this impression because of the following - 1) On arrival at Turkheim we were taken aback to be told we were on the 3rd floor but there was no lift, nor offer of help with our cases. It was an attic room that was cramped and scarcely relaxing. Arriving a day early booked by yourselves, we spent 2 nights there. The food at the tied restaurant was excellent, and on the return to the same hotel at OUR REQUEST we were accommodated on the first floor of the new wing at no extra cost. At Kaysersberg the room was clean but dark and of a minimum standard. The local restaurants were excellent. At Riquewihr the bedroom was immaculate, and produced for the first time good towels, but the room was too warm, with no means of cooling it except by opening all windows. The restaurant in the same street La Grape d'Or was excellent. At Bergheim, Chez Norbet produced an excellent breakfast, and nothing was too much bother. However the nearby by restaurant Sommelier - produced a cut price - cut value menu for Headwater clients - on their own admission as I overheard the waiter explaining in French to other clients - and that he wouldn't offer it to them! 'It was only for the English!' When we overheard this, and noted it was chicken, we chose from their normal a la carte menu - but the standard of the lamb of which we eat a lot in Scotland was abysmal. We would not recommend this restaurant to anyone, as even having complained that we could not eat it the bill was exorbitant. By that time in the holiday we had experienced far better quality for less. The following night we were offered the 'Headwater menu' at Hotel Norbet - but it was chicken again - and though it was nicely presented for those with a good appetite after significant exercise it would not have been enough. Overall we didn't let these issues spoil the holiday, as we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of the locations, and the well planned walking through the ancient rural villages. Because we were on out own, we took the opportunity to communicate with the les indigenes.

Headwater response

Dear Mr McIntosh, thank you very much for taking the time to contact us following your holiday in the Alsace. Further to our conversation we can confirm that for future departures we will only book Headwater guests on to the lower floors in Hotel des Deux Clefs. We were appalled to hear about the restaurant 'Sommelier'. As we mentioned we have never had this feedback before, but this is now being monitored on every departure, and should we receive any further comments, we will not hesitate to look into an alternative restaurant. We genuinely value your feedback and hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future.

Alsace's Route du Vin Cycling

By Mr Hotchkiss on 00/00/0000

***#.
Cycling in Alsac was great the standard of the accommodation particularly the location was not up to the standard of previous Headwater Holidays we have been on.The Verger De Chateau was particularly disappointing with one morning having to clear a table before sitting down for breakfast and then finding they had run out of yogurt, fruit juice most cheeses, fruit and coffee mugs.The evening meals were also poor here.

Headwater response

Dear Mr Hotchkiss, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback, we were pleased to read you found the cycling great, although were sorry to read of your disappointment with the Verger du Chateau. We have discussed your feedback with the hotelier and implemented improvements as appropriate. Please be assured, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive from our customers regarding this hotel, and if we do not see an immediate improvement, we will review the situation for future customers. In closing, we would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Kind regards, Headwater customer service team