Customer reviews: Holidays in Andalucia
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our all holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their all holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their all holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By 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 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 Godsall on 08/06/2016
We were very pleased with the walking routes and overall package, plus interesting days out in Cordoba and Malaga. The hotel in Zuheros was slightly 'simpler' than we'd normally choose but they worked so hard to provide excellent service; taxi was great too. A well planned holiday in an area we would not have discovered apart from through your brochure - we rate Headwater highly.
By Mr Shortman on 06/06/2016
We had a wonderful weeks walking, the hotel was in a lovely hill top village. The walking was good in wonderful scenery with beautiful wild flowers and birdsong.Antonio and his staff looked after us really well and we also enjoyed our day trip to CÃ³rdoba. This was our twelfth trip with yourselves and one of the best.
By Mr Dodds on 03/06/2016
We thought Zuheros and the HotelZuhayra were both charming and beguiling - extraordinarily peaceful and calming - we were very sorry to leave and it took us some time to grow accustomed to the comparative mayhem of Granada . The taxi arrangements in Zuheros were quite remarkably efficient hts off to Maria and her brother - we would return to Zuheros tomorrow if we could = perhaps a progressive walk around these white villages might the na idea
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 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 Mrs Broome on 16/05/2016
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 Ms Bartlett on 04/05/2016
I could not fault the hotel staff, who were all very friendly and extremely helpful. The walks were beautiful and April proved a lovely time of year with all the spring flowers.
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 Johnston on 18/04/2016
Outstanding walking area. Thoroughly enjoyable.
By Mrs Moysey on 18/04/2016
A most enjoyable holiday - the organisation and transfers worked well and the hotel was a 'gem', friendly and relaxing and with helpful staff. The walking notes were easy to follow although care was needed on some paths where stony. Overall splendid walks in beautiful scenery with many spring flowers.
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 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 Ms Chandler on 30/03/2016
A unique holiday experience that fully met our expectations. Would highly recommend
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 Mr Wall on 21/03/2016
Excellent Rep in Marita and driver in Diego.It was nice to have the same driver all the time. Bikes were excellent, much better than the ones we had in the Asturias holiday earlier in the year when half the gears slipped. Every hotel, except in Cadiz gave us freshly brewed wonderful coffee for breakfast. We have never had that before in a Headwater holiday .Hotels marked down for food was not because there was anything wrong with it just that breakfast was very limited.eg at Medina di Sidonia just bread with those awful sachets of packaged jams and spreads. Comfort marked down for a couple of hotels because it was difficult to get a good night's sleep because of noise outside. At Medina Sidonia some sort of machinery going all night .The hotel in Cadiz has the best rooms at the front as they have large French doors and a little balcony over a pedestrianised street. It is actually fine until after midnight when the bars from the square down the road empty out and revellers pass by the hotel until the eary hours. We had an extra night so changed to a room at the back where there is only a small nonopening window over the door. Slept very well though so it was worth it.Very scenic area. I think grading is 2 plus not a 2.
By Mrs 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 Hooton on 20/01/2016
Cycling is not the main part of the holiday; it gets you through the county side and build up your appetite to enjoy food and drink in the towns and villages along the way. The break days enable you to take in the places along the way; it is well worth taking the time to explore and find out about the places, you'll discover the convent nuns who sell biscuits through a hatch in Arcos de la Fontera, and the 16th Century competition between the churches for supremacy through acquisition of increasing old a decaying bodies of saints.
By 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 Dr Morris on 27/11/2015
Exhilarating and exciting cycling holiday in wonderful locations; good mix of town and country; typical Spanish scenery and food; good choice of evening restaurants; breakfasts a bit skimpy..bring snacks along to keep you going.
By Mrs Leslie on 13/11/2015
A completely unjustifiable cost for the quality of holiday provided
By Ms Heard on 10/11/2015
Cycling in Andalucia, excellent and, having experience of other Headwater Cycling holidays, would judge the grading to be spot on. It was very hilly in parts and maybe a couple of hills needed a 2+ grading but overall we thought a 2 bikes to be accurate grading. At nearly 70 and cycling at home approx. twice a month I managed the hills very well - one just has to remember it is not the Tour de France' there is no yellow top for the first one up the hill......
We flew from Heathrow and due to a missing passenger the flight to Madrid was delayed resulting in us missing the onward connection to Jerez. However, it all adds to the adventure!
The hotels were excellent and all very central with a great many options of restaurants in the towns for evening meals; apart from Medina. All of the towns we visited were lovely, very interesting and very different, Andalucia is the most attractive area of Spain we have visited. If possible it is well worth having an extra night in Jerez which we did - don't miss seeing a Flamenco show and sampling the sherry! Cadiz old town was delightful and again we added a couple of extra nights, well worth it. We ended our holiday with three nights in Seville - the icing on the cake.
The cycling was, as usual, great, good bikes, well written cycling instructions and wonderfully quite roads and tracks. Two negatives, we did find it difficult to find good picnic spots and we really missed not having map holders - apparently they hadn't arrived from England and the rep wasn't able to access them from elsewhere.
Overall an excellent holiday, we would certainly recommend it.
By Mr Hadden on 31/10/2015
A very enjoyable holiday. We felt that the grading system does not have enough levels and that some of the cycling was quite challenging, particularly the three days that end with a climb to the finish. We found that we could get very good dinners/lunches at a reasonable price. The Spanish drivers were very considerate to cyclists; the best that we have found anywhere.
By Mr 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 Mrs Fairclough on 26/10/2015
Very enjoyable. Felt like we had seen and experienced the real Spain, not touristy and commercial. We speak no Spanish and very few people spoke English but we got by and all the meals were wonderful, trying different things. The walks were very good some more challenging than others. We did go wrong but never too badly. Not sure if the mistakes were due to vague directions or just misinterpretation of instructions (we easily go wrong in England!!)
By Mrs Ashcroft on 14/10/2015
Excellent in every respect
By Mrs MacLeod on 09/10/2015
Excellent holiday; very interesting area of Spain to visit. The walks were varied with spectacular scenery. The hotel was well located and there was often something going on in the town square in the evening. Hotel staff friendly and helpful and the food was very good. I know the Spanish eat late but the 8.30pm evening meal was the only downside particularly when we wanted to have an early breakfast so we could start walking before it got too hot. Since Headwater clients have their own menu maybe an earlier sitting could be considered.
By Mrs Donnison on 08/10/2015
The team at the hotel couldn't do enough to help. A decent range of walks nothing too strenuous but just right in the unseasonably high temperatures.
Cordoba was a stunning place to visit so would strongly recommend this on the free day. We enjoyed having the extra days in Granada as a counterfoil to the tranquility of Zuheros.
By Mrs Griffiths on 06/10/2015
A delightful area, away from the usual tourist spots. An attractive, friendly hotel and village. Varied walks with lovely long-distance views. Care needed on the stony tracks and paths after a prolonged period of dry weather.
By Mrs Hickling on 30/09/2015
Lovely village and some good walking. The vultures were impressive. Maybe more attractive in spring when the flowers are out. All the trvel arrangements worked flawlessly. The food at the hotel was very variable and a little disappointing at times. The walking was all in quite a small area and there was some repetition of sections. But overall it was a very enjoyable trip. Staying in a single location is definitely more relaxing than moving on every day. The bat cave in Zuheros was an amazing place, and a visit to Granada was definitely worthwhile. We were lucky too that our visit coincided with the cheese festival in the village
By Mr Jamieson on 29/09/2015
Well-chosen walks in a scenic area with classic limestone features. Can be rocky and stony underfoot in places, but all walks within Grade 2 definition. Arrangements at Hotel Zuhayra are excellent; Antonio was always helpful and the staff went out of their way to provide good, friendly service.
By Mr Taylor on 29/09/2015
From the first contact with Headwater until we left our Hotel the service was excellent. The Hotel was small, comfortable and the staff very friendly. The walking notes were fantastic, and the walks took in some most wonderful scenery. Cannot fault the holiday at all. Thank you.
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 Mr Christy on 22/09/2015
A really excellent week - well organised and planned, allowing us to concentrate on the splendid walks. I hadn't been on an organised walking holiday before, but I will certainly try some more of these trips in future, since they allow you to get to places that you might not try on your own.
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 Mrs Brown on 17/06/2015
Well organised, good fun, overpriced.
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 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 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 Mr Jaffe on 06/05/2015
This was our 10th Headwater cycling holiday and it lived up to expectations. We loved this area of Spain particularly at this time of year when the countryside is so colourful. The cycling was challenging but really enjoyable particularly the off road parts of the route. The climbs up to the hill top towns were tough but doable if taken at your own pace, and a great sense of achievement when you reach the top! The busy roads especially coming out of Jerez on the first day were a bit daunting though. All the hotels were of a good standard with very helpful and friendly staff. All were well located although Hotel Cortes de Cadiz was a bit noisy at night.We particularly liked the flexibility of choosing where to eat in the evenings as there were plenty of tapas bars and restaurants at each location. Overall we had a great time and would recommend this holiday to people who enjoy cycling and want to explore a beautiful and historical part of Spain.
By 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 Ms Thornton on 17/04/2015
My fourth Headwater walking holiday but the first based in one place. Loved the small, friendly hotel, and the flexibility to chose our walks according to mood, weather and stamina. Also the chance to take day trips to Cordoba and Granada.
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 Mrs Barber on 09/04/2015
Excellent holiday with good and varied walks and lots of interesting limestone scenery. Hotel was a welcoming base with friendly helpful staff and lovely food.
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 Brown on 13/03/2015
An excellent and historic area to explore with some lovely rides and options for increasing the mileage if desired. The hill top white towns are wonderful and evocative of a previous age and are full of interest.
By Mrs Hughes on 26/02/2015
The first couple of days felt like a boot camp - it was more strenuous than we'd anticipated, and the weather was a bit overcast and chilly too. The odometer on the bike didn't work and we had to estimate distances. By Day 3 however we were used to it all and really started to enjoy it. Once the sun came out and we had met several very hospitable and generous bar owners and enjoyed several delicious lunches and dinners we really warmed to it and felt ourselves getting so much fitter too. Our eventual verdict was that we would definitely do it again - there was so much to see and experience and the cycling was superb. The baggage deliveries always worked too, like clockwork, and we really appreciated the service running so smoothly.
By Mr Smeeth on 05/01/2015
Disappointing, poor value for money, will not be booking future holidays through Headwater or recommending to family, friends or work colleagues
Dear Mr Smeeth, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post holiday feedback questionnaire. We were sorry to read that this holiday did not meet your expectations and that you do not feel you could recommend this holiday. So far the overall feedback we have received from this holiday has been positive, however, as it is a new holiday there have been some areas which have required improvement. Please be assured that we have passed on your feedback to our local agent and we are working closely with him to ensure all our customers have an enjoyable holiday. We would like to thank you for your feedback.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Martin on 21/11/2014
An invigorating holiday in an excellent and very enjoyable location.
By Mrs Maingay on 14/11/2014
Very pleasant. And we enjoyed our visits to Granada and Cordoba,the latter easily done by public transport
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 Mr Cumming on 04/11/2014
All aspects of booking and organisation went without hitch.
Taxi arrangements and driver were again excellent!
By Mr Barnes on 03/11/2014
A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Vejer and Cadiz were the highlights for us. (We added two nights in Seville. If you do the same, do not miss the Casa de Pilatos).
We felt very well looked after by the local rep. The trip notes were detailed and included distances that could be matched to the supplied bike computers, as well as post-turn indications, that gave reassurance (or warning) that we were on the right track (or not). These notes had a few inaccuracies that were still being ironed out at the time of our trip (we were the second set of Headwater clients). The hotel in Jerez had apparently dropped a star, and we were taken instead to a very comfortable 5 star hotel at a golf resort out of town. That was an ideal hotel to return to after a week of cycling, but not such a good hotel to start from, as it was a long way into town (~EUR20 taxi ride) for any who might wish to visit Jerez.
Dear Mr Barnes, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your recent holiday to Spain, Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is well received.
I was pleased to see you rated your holiday overall as good to excellent. I am sure that you have brought back some great memories to treasure. Since you travelled, we have made some improvements to the holiday in relation to your constructive feedback. We have changed the first hotel back to Jerez centre to ensure it is more convenient for customers wishing to visit the town. We have also corrected the inaccuracies you highlighted with the route notes. Thank you once again for your feedback, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr 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 Mrs Roderick on 25/09/2014
This was our second visit to Zuheros. The Hotel Zuhayra is the perfect base for a walking holiday. All the staff are friendly and helpful and the evening meals provide a wide range of well-cooked local food. The walks are challenging enough to feel that something has been achieved at the end of the day.
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 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 Clifton on 28/05/2014
Hidden Valleys of Cordoba: a week at the charming Hotel Zuhayra in the pretty white mountain village of Zuheros in mid-May was all that six 70 somethings could wish for. Headwater certainly have a hit on their hands here. Very attentive, helpful staff, good regional food and wine, excellent, if strenuous in parts, walking and wonderful scenery. We added on two nights in Granada at the comfortable, centrally situated Hotel Dauro II from where it was an easy coach ride back to Malaga airport. Headwater's arrangements for our travel and stay were excellent.
By Mr Magee on 22/05/2014
Very welcoming owners in hotel in a beautiful area of Spain
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 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 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 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 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 Dr O'Brien on 18/09/2013
Exhilarating walks in magnificent mountainous landscape with dramatic views; hotel a 'home from home' in authentic village Spain looked after by genuinely kind and courteous staff; vegetarian food was outstanding here with a careful choice offered for each evening (a first on the continent!). Local driver was punctual, good driver and always cheerful. Local people were a really significant part of making this holiday so enjoyable. There was sufficient of historical and architectural interest locally, from neolithic caves to nineteenth century railway history, to interest us without needing to go elsewhere.
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 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 Robson on 14/05/2013
An 'independent' Headwater Holiday can be adjusted to suit individual capacity, especially as one grows older! We wanted to go to this particular area but no longer operate at two boot level. So we used the notes, Antonio's advice and good public transport services to visit Cordoba and Granada, to tweak the holiday, enjoy the Subbetica National Park fully as well as two historic cities.
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 Douglas on 23/03/2013
We were forewarned from your office that the Spanish weather was unusually wet and our flight was 1 hour late due to adverse weather in the UK but Antonio waited at the hotel until after we arrived with up to date information and advice about the walks. I myself was 'indisposed' for three days so Antonio gave my husband a choice of alternative walks which avoided all the streams and rivers that had become too dangerous to cross. The packed lunches provided were excellent and the staff were very helpful and considerate and nothing was a problem to them. The taxi was prompt and very carefully driven by Maria. Altogether, considering the weather etc
the hotel and staff were excellent and
and the food was superb with choices which always included at least 1 vegetarian option for my husband.
A holiday which was thoroughly enjoyed.
and can be recommended without qualms.
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 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 Dr Ball on 03/11/2012
Excellent holiday, good value for money, very helpful and friendly hotel staff, food very good, lovely walks with great views.
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 Mrs Meikle on 16/06/2012
We enjoyed the experience. The area was beautiful and we would like to visit again.
By Mr Tromans on 25/05/2012
Very relaxing & enjoyable
By Mrs Hodkinson on 19/05/2012
Good walking, very friendly & helpful staff in a wonderful village. We didn't want to leave.
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 Grebbell on 28/04/2012
This was our 18th Headwater holiday and it was well up there with the very best of them !!
By Mrs Headley on 28/04/2012
Good range of walks in an interesting location. Great views! Caring family run hotel where most staff were very helpful.
By Mrs Hewitt on 21/04/2012
Brilliant, we had a great time. Excellent organisation. Thank you!
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 Mr Pickard on 17/04/2012
no problems,well organised with excellent local guide
By Mr Ingram on 05/04/2012
Walking was more difficult than we expected. Harshish terrain and lack of distinguishing features meant that walk notes were vague on occasions and one or two walks extended without obvious benefit. But overall we enjoyed the week.
By Mrs Edmonds on 26/03/2012
Good. It met our expectations.
By Mr Tagger on 00/00/0000
We enjoyed the holiday. The variety was v good. Medina Sedona was poor location poor restaurants and poor hotel. Suggest find another venue. Access to beaches was nice change to cycling. Some routes were boring and occasionally v busy.
The worst point was the poor quality bikes. Marita kept pointing out that everything worked . This was not true. But as I said too her - everything worked on my grand mothers bike but I would not care to travel across Spain on it.
Shame about bikes as it is the one point that would stop me going on another of your holidays
On a brighter point transfers and luggage movement was excellent !
Also maritas help in getting back some left clothes was v good and thanks to her for that.
Find another hotel in Cadiz . Apart general points already expressed electrics in the room were not up to E U HEATHY AND SAFETY in my opinion.I would definitely have this check out if I was your company - 3 black outs in 1 night plus arrangement of balcony quite dangerous
Dear Mr Tagger, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback. It was lovely to see you enjoyed your holiday overall. We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with the bikes provided. Ordinarily, we have received positive feedback in this area, however, please be assured that we realise we cannot afford to let our standards slip, so with this in mind, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive and work closely with our suppliers to ensure they are providing the high quality products and service our customers expect. We were also sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with the hotel in Cadiz, since receiving your concerning feedback regarding the electrics tripping in your room, we have investigated this with the hotel owners, our local agent and the electricity board. They advised us of a maintenance issue that occurred on the 21st, which caused sporadic power outages throughout the town. As reported in the local press. This fault has since been resolved; and no further feedback received on this issue. In closing, we would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for your constructive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service Team
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.