Customer reviews: Holidays in The Canary Isles
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 Lloyd on 07/04/2017
Really very nice Hotels, very good views in the mountains and the leisure facilities all very good. We have had many holidays with Headwaters, in many different areas, all excellent, we especially like the included car, which enables us to visit places that other tourists do not visit.
By Mr Hall on 17/03/2017
Well organized with full-day outings and enjoyable on my own. Excellent and interesting hotel. A bit pricey but worth the extra because I could choose a local airport.
By Mr Wilks on 09/03/2017
Pleasant way of exploring the country which otherwise could have been quite difficult to access. Walks led by a charming and well-informed guide who did his best to give us interesting local insights and who was very thoughtful and considerate. He was also very patient in trying to resolve people's difficulties.
By Ms Edwards on 09/03/2017
Excellent holiday with great guide and excellent hotel. The walks were quite hard, mainly due to the nature of the terrain.
By Mr Hunt on 09/03/2017
Varied 2 boot walking with excellent well informed local guide who went the extra mile. The Parador accommodation and location were a delightful experience.
By Mrs Bowen on 09/03/2017
Mostly very enjoyable. Disappointed by room in first hotel not having ocean view. Group was too big for everyone to hear the guide easily and possibly dangerous on top of the mountain when picnicking with a large number. Also one day we left hotel at 9am and returned at 7.30 as walk took longer than planned and lunch was started at 3pm so after tour of vineyard which we felt should have been curtailed we arrived back exhausted to shower and have Kate dinner. Most of group disappointed with this though walk had been lovely.
By Mr Daines on 27/01/2017
Tenerife has dramatic scenery & provides enjoyable, reasonably challenging hiking in a wonderful climate. Garachico is a gem of a town with lovely restaurants and the Quinta Roja provides lovely accommodation in a central location,
There is a quite a bit of driving involved on often winding roads, so this holiday would suit those who would see this an enjoyable aspect of the trip.
Some of the walking I would see at the upper end of 2 boot, not because of the distances but due to the mountainous nature of the terrain.
All in all a very enjoyable holiday!
By Mrs Royle on 25/11/2016
We enjoyed our walking in Gran Canaria- great scenery, weather , interesting culture. Enjoyed the company of the other 3 clients with whom we shared our evening table. The instructions for the walks were not always clear but we always competed the walks with a sense of achievement.
By Ms MacFarlane on 24/11/2016
A great introduction to the more remote areas on Gran Canaria and the varied scenery. Holiday offered plenty of flexibility for walks and a high standard of comfort.
By Mr Brooks on 22/11/2016
Ten self selected people on a group holiday.All of whom gelled together well.5 walks guided by experienced knowledgeable local guide.The walks were adapted to suit our group,which the guide described as faster than average.Excellent scenery.Transfers appeared on time.Picnics ,provided by guide,taken mid walk at any suitable site.One visit for lunch to a 'local'mountain cafÃ©. Experienced rustic food cooked by family.
Rest day my wife and I spent exploring by public bus. Doing a coast line walk at low level.
The hotel San Roque was described as 'boutique'.Service and food were excellent,although evening meal portion sizes were sometimes on the small side with a general lack of vegetables.Breakfast was a buffet with freshly cooked eggs to go with cold meats and tomatoes. There being plenty of rolls,jam and cheese.
I am Coeliac needing gluten free bread and food.I had notified Headwater and the hotel in advance.I was looked after extremely well.At breakfast I had gluten free ham,rolls and maize cakes provided.At evening meal my food was adapted to gluten free .
The guide did not know that I was gluten free until I informed him.However he acquired gluten free rolls for picnics and advised on gluten free options at the rustic cafÃ©.
I had booked a duplex room at the hotel.This was quirky.The jacuzzi bath was 'in the living area'.I could have bathed, watched TV and entertained guests at the same time
The bed was on a mezzanine but no external window.The wardrobes and other clothes storage areas were downstairs in the lounge area.All the floors were red coloured Canarian pine.This made the transition from floor to stairs difficult in poor light.Especially as the bathroom was up 3 stairs and there was no hand rail.
Although not needed the room did not have any area specifically to put wet coats or muddy boots.
The guide was excellent.His English improved through out the week .He was very knowledgeable about local flora,fauna and geology.He organised the transfers at the start and end of the day efficiently.He often altered our walk length and route to suit the conditions.
By Mr Banyard on 18/11/2016
A great place for a winter holiday. Clement weather, wonderful scenery, friendly local people and good facilities for eating out, transport and communications. I would not recommend the holiday to those who are inexperienced with navigation, though most routes were well marked. Athough we did not use it a GPS unit would have been helpful.
By Mrs Searle on 14/11/2016
It was good
Walking harder than expected
La gomera was not as pretty as I had expected. Too barren
I think that though we are fit we are too old for that group and perhaps should have been warned
Hotel was marvellous. We had a deluxe room and it was worth every penny
By Mrs Marchant on 11/11/2016
Great holiday, great walks, great island. Javier was fantastic and a wonderful guide.
By Mr Goater on 08/11/2016
Most interesting and refreshing holiday exploring parts of Canaries not explored or seen before.
Unfortunately did get lost on a couple of occasions. We did not find Rambling Roger very helpful although his knowledge of island is extensive. His communication style and customer care clearly did not work for us.
By Mr Turnbull on 31/10/2016
A fascinating island and a guide who was passionate about it. The hotel was beautifully designed, food was excellent and staff were lovely.
By Mrs Evans on 25/04/2016
Great walks experienced with excellent help provided by Rambling Roger in choosing the best walks for our needs. Fantastic vistas and variety of terrain and flora. Even had time for visiting the Botanic Garden on way to the airport before the flight home. The Gran Canaria map was an order of magnitude better than those for many holiday locations. Plus very friendly, charming and helpful hotel staff providing good food. What's not to like.
By Mr Pontin on 06/04/2016
We enjoyed our holiday despite unseasonal weather. We were not prepared for narrow roads and tortuous bends when driving, especially with the steep gutters on the insides of the roads. However, we managed to stay out of trouble! We learned that the islanders are hardier souls than we because many restaurants kept their doors flung wide while people were dining. Take warm fleeces with you for dining out!
The Melva Suites Hotel was another cold experience where the dining room had no heating and our room had only a portable oil filled radiator to keep us warm.
I would thoroughly recommend Las Tirajanos Hotel though because it was very comfortable, had a bath as well as a shower (very necessary after a long hike in the rain!), wonderful views and private terraces.
By Mrs Mitchell on 04/04/2016
We had a very good holiday, the hotels were ideal and well located. We had no contact with any Headwater representative in Tenerife. Before the holiday your staff were concerned about oldies like us tackling the walks in Tenerife and did their best to put us off instead of helping us find a solution locally.
Dear Mrs Mitchell,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was lovely to read you had an enjoyable holiday overall. We were however sorry to read you did not receive your welcome brief. As highlighted in your holiday information booklet, due to the logistics of this holiday, we do not have a dedicated Headwater rep based in Tenerife, although, we do provide an in person welcome brief on arrival and offer 24/7 emergency assistance should this be required. However, due to the varying times our customers arrive, we ask that you contact your rep pre travel to arrange a suitable time for this, we are sorry if this was not clear. In future, the rep will also try to contact our customers on the evening of arrival and where possible, will deliver the welcome brief over the phone as required.
Our sales team are experts on the holidays they sell, having tested them directly. When customers are seeking guidance on holiday suitability, our main goal is to ensure we provide thorough information to ensure our customers have the best holiday experience possible. We are sorry you do not feel this was delivered on this occasion.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Kind regards, Headwater customer service team
By Mr Siddons on 24/03/2016
The varied microclimates of Gran Caneria provided a range of varied interesting walks. Away from the tourist venues on the coast the island provides a great venue for walking. The network of paths was great and mainly in excellent condition which was an eye opener. Generally use is low so you get lots of space to yourself, great views and opportunity to enjoy the island.
By Mr Pattison on 23/03/2016
Another great guided walking holiday, despite unseasonable weather, Very varied and interesting walks, good hotels, and good food and wine. Javier dealt very well with the challenges presented by an unwell fellow traveller, and the changes forced on us by the weather. He judged our capabilities well in arranging a substitute walk which we felt was the best of the holiday.
By Mrs Emmett on 21/03/2016
We found the first day hard: getting used to a new car, parking in a busy town to get lunch as suggested by the guide, an awkward and long drive to and from the start point and a very challenging walk. Rather too much for the first day. We suggest an easier itinerary for the first day would be preferable. We enjoyed a rest next day in the delightful little beach resort near the hotel. We enjoyed the transit day; an amazing drive and excellent FLAT walk near Mt Teide! The drive down into Garachico was exciting but we had got used to the car by then. Being in the centre of town was great. We found the walk in Teno Alto the best of all because of the diverse landscapes and exciting ridge walk. We had a second rest day with a pleasant and rewarding drive to Punto de Teno and some beach time. Finally we did most of the Masca Ridge en route to the airport. Unfortunately we were thwarted by a no entry sign on a gate not mentioned in the notes, but after wasting some time looking for a different route, clearly going through it was the best way forward. Overall this was a really good holiday, a few challenges but that is part of the fun. We were pleasantly surprised by how interesting and beautiful we found Tenerife to be, helped by the perfect weather we enjoyed.
By Mr Lloyd on 21/03/2016
Very different from our usual breaks, it was hard work but worth it. We would never have found these gems, and driving to them along the twisty mountain roads was half the adventure! The hotels were lovely, although quinta roja was a pain to get the bags and suitcases from the car, it was more than worth it.
By Mr Daum on 21/03/2016
We had an excellent holiday and Gran Canaria has stunning and varied scenery. The walking was hard, at times, but very rewarding which made it all worthwhile.
The Hotels were very different in character but enabled you to visit and experience the contrast between the North and South of the island which are very different. The food in both was excellent and the warm welcome and hospitality we received at Melva Suites stood out.
By Mrs Auger on 04/03/2016
The walks were varied and well within our ability, although we appreciated having a day off on the fourth day. The guides (Andreas and Javier) were very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna, geology and history of the island, which added enormously to our enjoyment. We couldn't fault the hotel (San Roque), and especially liked having a Jacuzzi bath to revive our muscles each evening, before dinner. The chef produced delicious and varied meals both on the set menu and the vegetarian alternative.
By Mrs Merry on 04/03/2016
This was our first Headwater holiday & we were impressed. The hotel is a real gem with impeccable service & wonderful food. Dietary requirements were known about by both hotel staff & our guides. Both guides were helpful & knowledgeable about the locality, flora, fauna etc. They also provided great picnic lunches. The idea to go to a local market one day to choose picnic items was a good one.
We had not visited Tenerife previously & being situated in the quiet town of Garachico was lovely. There was plenty to occupy us there on the free day. All in all this was a splendid holiday, the walks varied & interesting. We were only a small group, 2 couples only but we seemed to gel which is always a bonus. We really have no criticism to make. Wonderful & we'll book with Headwater again.
By Dr Holloway on 04/03/2016
We had an enjoyable walking experience in Gran Canaria and in general the walk instructions were excellent although there were some mistakes that were mostly corrected by the local guide at an initial meeting on arrival. It is worth asking as many searching questions from the local guide at this point.
By Mr Bumfrey on 04/03/2016
A very scenic island with lots of walking opportunities, some of which can be quite challenging. Friendly and comfortable hotels.
By Mrs Mendoza on 04/03/2016
This was the second Headwater holiday I have been on which was guided by Javier. He is a fantastic guide and so knowledgeable. As well as walking he showed us lots of flora and fauna and lots of other interesting things.
All the walks were very interesting and the views were great It was good that we stayed at two hotels, both very interesting.
By Mrs Gatward on 04/03/2016
The hotels, our guide Javier and the fellow-travellers were all excellent - unfortunately the weather wasn't as good as I'd hoped but nothing can be done about that. I think Javier realised when he had to re-arrange our final walk (due to snow) that the alternative was a bit difficult for me - but I got there! I have to say everyone else thought it was wonderful!
By Mrs George on 25/02/2016
Stunning scenery and great walking destination. Great climate for Jan/Feb.
By Mr Mattingly on 25/02/2016
Excellent hotel & guides. One or two walks do require a head for heights (this was pointed out in brochure).
By Mrs Woodruff on 25/02/2016
Well organised holiday with an excellent local guide.
By Mr Rayner on 25/02/2016
An excellent holiday with an exceptional guide (Javier) who was passionate about the geology, geography, and natural history of the island of La Palma.
The walks were well chosen and we saw different aspects of the island. He was adaptable - when the temperature dropped to 5C with a wind speed of 34kph he decided to forego the high altitude ridge walk for one further down the mountain. He took us to an interesting selection of restaurants so that we could experience local cuisine. And he was a good and careful driver and had a fine sense of humour.
By Mrs Harper on 24/02/2016
A great experience with a young enthusiastic guide. The only disappointment was the weather.
By Mr Kell on 24/02/2016
We very much enjoyed our week in Gran Canaria. The walks we did provided panoramic views of the island and fortunately all the days we walked we were blessed with excellent weather and visibility. We opted out of the last walk on the Sunday because of poor weather conditions which seemed to affect most of the island. On balance we found the walks more strenuous than 2 Boot might have suggested, especially on some of the steep descents. We were quite stiff after 3 consecutive days but happily recovered quite quickly during the day's transfer. We do a lot of walking and exercise regularly at the gym so would stress the need for physical fitness to do these walks. See comments below about the Hotels. San Bartolome is so central really that on balance all of the walks can be accessed from there though it might involve a little more mountain driving which some folk may not appreciate.
By Mr Cross on 22/02/2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this Headwater holiday, of which I have had many. Luckily our small group all got on well with each other - important for a guided holiday. You can rely on the excellent guide (Javier) and the excellent hotel San Roque, and Garachico is a pretty little coastal town. What you cannot rely on - in mid-February in Tenerife - is good weather for walking every day. Cloud and/or rain, plus high winds, are a real risk. Javier was intelligent and flexible, taking us back to the 'always dry' Teide National Park more than once, after we got a soaking on one lower altitude walk.Would go walking again - probably to another of the Canary Islands - but in April/May, not February.
By Mrs Underwood on 22/02/2016
Fabulous weeks walking holiday our guide Javier was brilliant each day was a fun filled day, great walking routes and with an extremely pleasant knowledgeable young guide.
Would recommend 100%
By Mrs Bowen on 05/02/2016
An excellently run holiday in a beautiful area. Our guide was always prepared to go the extra mile to make our holiday a success. Walks were excellently prepared and led with extra visits such as to a banana plantation thrown in. He even took us to the market on the first walk day to show him what we all liked in our picnics which were amazing! He also avoided a long wait at the airport on our leaving day by taking us to a nearby beach unencumbered by our luggage and returning for us later. We recommend him very highly.
By Mrs Cockram on 05/02/2016
An excellent holiday all round. Everything was looked after for us both by Headwater and the local guide whose knowledge was exceptional on every subject and for whom nothing was too much trouble. Accommodation superb and just what was needed at the end of a day's walking.
By Mrs Morris on 05/02/2016
Superb leader - sociable, knowledgeable, charming, considerate. Excellent hotels, especially the Hacienda, where the staff were charming and the quality of the accommodation and surroundings excellent.
By Dr Simpson on 04/02/2016
Wonderful trip and made even better by out guides detailed knowledge of the area and his ability to swap walking days to suit the conditions - stayed in the woods when cloud cover was low. Everything was wonderful except that we had no hot water in our room at 7 am (it got going by 7.40) and again at 6 pm. This was because our room was a long way from the centre of the hotel and / or the system couldn't cope with lots of people all wanting hot water at the same time. I raised the issue with reception twice and was assured that the hot water boiler came on at 7 am, but this certainly wasn't sufficiently early to supply us. Compeletly wonderful hotel in all other ways, so this was a pity. I would certainly recommend this holiday to anyone, but it's ceratinly 2 boot!
By Mr Ridley on 04/02/2016
Another excellent holiday with Headwater
By Mr Booth on 29/01/2016
Both the guided and self guided parts of the holiday were excellent. We were taken to parts of Tenerife and Gran Canaria that were spectacularly beautiful, rugged and interesting.
By Mrs Riddaway on 28/01/2016
Hotel Las Tiranas is a very pleasant friendly place to stay with excellent faciities including a lovely swimming pool and wellness centre. The very extensive buffet breakfasts and lunches mean that it is possible to find plenty of food to please anyone's tastes. Lots of pleasant places both inside and out to sit and talk or just relax.
Hotel Melva Suites has a very minimalist design and is set in grounds covered mostly with small stones and few plants. It has no facilities except a restaurant but this was friendly and the food was good. Breakfast was very limited and cold and provided in the corner a huge hall. The whole experience would be much improved if breakfast was to be served in the restaurant.
By Mr Hirst on 25/01/2016
Northern Tenerife is dramatic and beautiful. The walks were very varied, with stunning views and much of interest along the way with excellent, knowledgable local guides. Our hotel was charming and after a day of walking it was lovely to relax each evening round the pool and enjoy a delicious dinner.
By Mr Learmont on 22/01/2016
We stayed in two hotels, the Tirajanas and Melva. Our stay in the Tirajanas was very enjoyable; there were a couple of niggles (separate charge for wi fi and use of safe in room) but overall amenities excellent, service and food both good, walks from hotel great (albeit quite physically challenging). We did not think the Melva was a good choice for Headwater customers - it was a long distance from the walk start points; the atmosphere and location were bleak; the food slightly odd - an excellent quality evening restaurant (even though menu choices were odd e.g. scrambled eggs and artichokes, anchovies with a small tomato) offset by a really poor breakfast in main hall (warm water from a thermos for tea/coffee; no fresh bread etc.). The rooms were clean, spacious and well equipped but the exterior was like a car park and not appealing at all. We enjoyed our visit to Gran Canaria but were we to go again we would prefer to stay for the whole week in Tirajanas and steer clear of Melva.I trust this is helpful.
By Mr Jamieson on 19/01/2016
We did all the walks in the itinerary except the Las Casas de Afur as it promised to be simply a descent of 700m on difficult footing followed an unrelenting climb (or bus trip) back up. As reasonably fit 70s we coped with all the others, but considered most to be at the top end of Headwaters two boot category because of the generally rocky terrain and occasional need for a head for heights
We found the individual walk descriptions out-of-date. In several cases there had been welcome improvements such as better waymaking and resurfaced roads (the Chamorga walk). But on the Los Organos walk we had to retrace our steps after 4km as a key section of path has been closed on safety grounds since at least February 2015. Yet Headwater still included the walk in our package.
As all the walks are some distance from the hotels a lot of driving is involved, much on twisting mountain roads; we did 700km in seven days (including 60 minutes each way for the aborted Los Organos walk). Not a problem for us, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
While sun hat, sunscreen and water are rightly mentioned as essential, layers of clothing and gloves are equally important as most of the walks approach 1000m (2000m in the case on the Teide National Park). In the winter months it can be quite cold at those altitudes, especially on cloudy days.
As for hotels, the Finca Salamanca is adequate, but lacks atmosphere. The Quinta Roja in Garachico (a lovely town with traditional architecture) is very good and is close to a range of restaurants. We enjoyed the fish restaurant, Aristides, just cross the square. In neither hotel did the staff show much knowledge of, or interest in, the Headwater programme of walks.
Overall, the holiday was a great way to explore the far corners and roof of Tenerife, but the balance of the overall programme and the individual walk descriptions need more attention to detail by Headwater.
By Mis Nair on 09/12/2015
A good holiday in a beautiful island, with good weather and a helpful and obliging guide.
NB ; Picnic lunches during the walks were a little excessive . It might be better for each person /couple to choose what they want for lunch before purchasing
it to avoid leftovers / carrying excess loads.
By Mr Shore on 07/12/2015
Hacienda de Abajo is a fabulous hotel - best staff ever, wonderful food, beautiful accommodation and stunning tropical gardens. Hotel San Telmo is charming, tucked away in the side streets and perfectly located for walking in Santa Cruz. Our guide - Javier - was an outstanding source of knowledge on the history, geology, flora and fauna of the islands. I recommend this holiday.
By Mrs Baron on 04/12/2015
A very enjoyable holiday with excellent guiding and accomodation
By Ms Findlay on 01/12/2015
La Gomera is a largely unspoilt island with wonderful plants and stunning views. Great to learn so much about its history and natural history, enjoy lovely walking and sample local food. An excellent guide and good company from our fellow travellers. Would thoroughly recommend this trip!
By Mrs Hutchinson on 13/11/2015
First hotel was in a lovely location but we didn't get the basic cleaning and breakfast service we would expect. We weren't expecting luxury here but basic cleaning and services. Also nobody was available who spoke English for most of our stay here. Obviously in a rural area we shouldn't necessarily have expected this but it would have been very helpful.
By Mrs Lecutier on 30/03/2015
We realised that one boot is probably our level. We consider ourselves to be reasonably fit. However that is reasonably fit for a 64 and 68 yr old!We found the walks that we did very demanding and it took us a lot longer.Maybe the memory is very selective but I don't remember the 2 boot walks in Majorca being as strenuous. The weather was also against us so we only managed to walk for 2 1/2 days. The moving on day we decided to have a day off . In fact when we reached the Teide National Park it was1 deg C and snowing. The car in front was struggling to move forward and skidding in the middle of the road. After a while we realised we were not able to continue as he was skidding and sliding back nearer us. We carefully did an almost 18 point turn and descended back to the coast! Incredibly as we travelled the coast road to Garachico it was 21 deg C in one area.
By Mrs Walter on 26/03/2015
The best Headwater holiday yet. Fantastic Guide, leading at just the right pace and giving lots of local information about his wonderful country.
By Mrs White on 23/03/2015
A very enjoyable week at an excellent hotel with delicious food and friendly staff. The local guide was charming, knowledgeable and helpful. The walking was interesting and very varied.
By Mrs Mendoza on 23/03/2015
Wonderful week spent in Tenerife. Javier was a great guide, He was so knowledgeable about the volcanoes,trees,wild flowers and he bought a wide variety of
food for the picnics!
The Hotel San Roque was a jewel of a hotel. All the staff were so cheerful and helpful.The food was delicious every day. The hotel was so calm and peaceful.
By Ms Tennant on 18/03/2015
La Gomera is a beautiful island - greener than some of the other Canary Islands. The parador is a magnificent hotel with a lovely garden. I was lucky to have enjoyed a holiday with a really good group of people. The walks were tough owing to the precipitous nature of the terrain but I feel very fit and healthy now!
By Mr Farebrother on 16/03/2015
The combination of a small group (only four of us) and a really enthusiastic young guide in Javi made this a lovely holiday. The weather was disappointingly cool for Tenerife and it is not the cheapest of your holidays but the standard of hotel and cuisine for a walking holiday was much higher than we are used to....
By Mrs Barker on 16/03/2015
With headwater you most certainly get what you pay for. Great organisation, accommodation, walks and fantastic guide. We had fun, ate well and felt fitter at the end of the week, brilliant. Thank you.
By Mr Johnson on 13/03/2015
Good points: Loved La Gomera, stunning scenery, good choice of routes. Our guide was excellent - friendly, helpful, knowledgeable etc.. Transfers, minibuses and all arrangements were looked after. Hotel was characterful and had lovely gardens. Food was good. Rooms were spacious.
Not so good: We were not impressed with the catering arrangements on the Thomson flight. On the outbound flight food was offered at about 10.30 - we had only recently had breakfast and our next meal was at 9pm. Inbound the food available was mostly junk - healthier options were not available. Toasties tasted of cardboard. We did not think the hotel merited its fourth star. The rooms were a bit tired - poorly lit; shutter would not close; french window jammed; shower leaked onto floor; etc.. Service in the restaurant was slow (on the last night when we wanted an early night dinner took 2 1/2 hours!
By Mr Britton on 09/03/2015
The Two Boots rating was optimistic - this was markedly harder and rougher than our previous Two Boots holidays. The length of the drives to the first two walks was excessive - perhaps a hotel can be found nearer the Anaga peninsula?The Las Casas de Afur walk was very slippery on the descent, not a good way to start the tour! Various paths in the Los Organos woods are closed at present, so we had to create our own walk. The parking for the Masca Ridge walk was very congested - an alternative would be useful. It all came together at the end of the week, with excellent weather on the last three days, and Garachico is a very appealing resort.
By Mrs Robertson on 06/03/2015
Although we are very fit over 60s we all found the walks tougher than expected due to rocky and steep terrain, damp weather making surfaces slippery and precipitous paths. We found walking poles to be essential especially on slippery descents. Scenery spectacular as was flora and fauna.
By Mrs Hampshire on 02/03/2015
Unfortunately the weather wasn't good. There was a blanket of low lying mist, rain or cloud every time we left the coast for the mountains which meant we didn't have the views. Fortunately the group and Lilly, the guide, were excellent.
By Mrs Sodring on 25/02/2015
Although neither of us was fit enough for the steep climbs (we had both had bad attacks of flu for the previous month) we had a great time. A few notes : Day 2 - fabulous flowers on the mountain! the fences have been repaired, newly sorted path from cafÃ© to old building with boards along the way for enjoyment of all. Also - all roads from bottom to top have been resurfaced and were perfect (no bumps and edges clearly marked). Day 3 - Rather slippery path down through woods - goats had previously slid down making some sections slightly difficult, otherwise great walk, just caught the 15.45 bus by one minute! Day 4 - it should have been a wonderful drive but we drove in in almost white-out! then couldn't find the start of the walk in the forest (along with many others) however, we did a short walk and then enjoyed locally caught trout in the cafÃ©. Day 5 - A very cold, foggy day so decided not to climb the steep mountain but to take the car to the top and have a short walk from there. Enjoyed lunch at the hostelry up to along with many other walking parties. Day 6 - wonderful weather and fabulous Masca ridge walk (we didn't bother to descend to the view points but stayed up top in the sunshine to enjoy our picnic). Day 7 - Long but interesting drive to Tiede where we began the suggested walk but finally decided to take the gondola to the top station : perfect weather and the views were amazing! Having only recently climbed Etna, it was so worth while going up top and seeing all the different colours of rock etc as opposed to Etna's grim black.
We wished we had had more time to explore Garachico and will return there and the surrounding areas of Tenerife in future. Many of the villages have such beautiful architecture and we would like to try the really 'local looking' restaurants where we believe we could try even more local dishes than those served by the more European establishments.
By Mr Naylor on 20/02/2015
Our holiday in Tenerife was beyond our expectations. Javier, the guide, could not be more helpful. For example he gave up an evening ( and half a night) to take us to the Carnival and provided us with suitable costumes! The walks were a superb balance, each different and of consistent high quality. The hotel was first class. The staff could not have been more helpful and the food was memorably good. There was only one other couple on the holiday and we got on with them very well indeed. All in all a memorable holiday. We will be back.
By Mr Patterson on 13/02/2015
An enjoyable holiday but far too much car travel (often on narrow mountain roads) for the amount of walking. It is perhaps a little too early in the year for this destination as the weather was quite wintery with low clouds on the mountain paths.
By Mis Logue on 03/02/2015
Holiday was a great break in January from depressing UK grey skies. It was also warmer than UK at about 15-16C. Tenerife presented several different landscapes, all of which were fascinating. It did help if you liked the colour black - I had never seen such huge lava flows. Hotel San Roque was really good, v good breakfasts and dinners and the picnic lunches produced by Juan Miguel, our guide, were lovely, comprising local, fresh ingredients.
By Mrs Harris on 03/02/2015
This holiday matched excellent, varied walking, beautiful scenery and wonderful food in the beautiful parador. Lunches at typical restaurants on two days were a superb idea and the unique experience was much appreciated.
By Mr Langley on 03/02/2015
Excellently organised and guided. Fascinating island to visit.
By Mrs Harman on 08/12/2014
We enjoyed ourselves enormously. Both the hotels were great and staying in a little harbour town during a storm was certainly interesting. The weather was mixed and stopped us doing all the walks but I had bought a walks book for Tenerife and that was really useful as it had alternatives for the days when it was raining and cloudy in the mountains. Someone on your website suggested it and I really recommend anyone to do that. The recommended walks were good but we found them rather harder than expected and Everything took Longer both walks and driving. My partner works overseas a lot and is used to all sorts of driving but the timing was a bit optimistic. Also the instructions are not always very useful, partly because they are somethimes out of date. However, the map you provided was excellent. Overall it was a lovely holiday. We liked the contrast of the two hotels - the country stay at Salamanco with its botanic garden and swimming pool and being right on the square at Garachico. The receptionist at Garachico (Erasma) was most helpful re restaurants and we had some delicious evening meals at a variety of restaurants.
By Mrs Scott on 08/12/2014
On the whole a very good holiday but the two lunches were unnecessary and pretty awful! We would have preferred to have had just picnics which were delicious
Dear Mrs Scott, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was lovely to see that you had an enjoyable holiday in La Gomera. I have passed on your feedback regarding the lunches to the programme manager; she will discuss your recommendations with the local guide to ensure the meals provided are of the standard our customers expect, thank you for your constructive comments. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mr Pomfrett on 14/11/2014
a great variety of interseting walks in fantastic landscapes
By Mrs Carter on 14/04/2014
The highlight of the holday was the excellent local guide Ricardo and the Parador hotel on La Gomera. However our experience of the flight booking and travel between La Gomera and Tenerfife was very poor. We arrived at Gatwick airport check-in to find that we had been booked in for the wrong year - 2015 instead of 2014. We had also been told the wrong travel information in Tenerife and so had not taken a direct flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife south which made the journey much longer than necessary. When we arrived at Tenerfie South Airport we were told that we had 5 hours to wait until the next ferryto La Gomera and so spent hours waiting around in the airport. The connections on the return journey were also poor with a lot of unnecessary waiting around.
By Mr Harding on 29/03/2014
La Gomera is a very mountainous island and is a 'two and a half boot' experience and not for the unfit walker. Because of the terrain and complexity of the walks a guide with local knowledge is essential, as is walking gear for all eventualities. A very rewarding experience and one not to be missed.
By Mr Batty on 25/03/2014
Good walking, very helpful guide and excellent company. Unseasonable rain meant that our guide did not take us on one of the listed walks, but he was good at chasing the sun!
By Mr Lewis on 22/03/2014
Great accommodation and food, excellent walking, wonderful company. The guide, though not local, had acquainted himself thoroughly with the walks and looked after us superbly.
By Mrs Young on 08/03/2014
A pity the 2 centre non guided holiday appears to be absent from your latest brochure. There are so many varied walks from both Guimar and Garachico. It would be possible to have a 2 week holiday staying at each place for a week. Some of the small coastal towns, Icod and Oratavia are interesting and also the Pyramids of Guimar museum. These could be visited if there was dense cloud on the ridges. The Rother Walking Guide to Tenerife had many additional walks which we adapted to the weather conditions. An outstanding easy walk was the Malpais de Guimar. The paths are usually well signposted with a TF number.
By Mrs Stewart on 01/03/2014
Good island venue for interesting walking in warm weather, with good accomodation and guide.
By Mrs Mendoza on 15/02/2014
Great walks, dramatic scenery, and a wonderful, tranquil parador.
By Mrs Spencer on 10/02/2014
An Excellent winter break despite the unseasonably cool / wet weather in an excellent hotel.
By Mr Whyler on 07/02/2014
The walks did not do justice to the beauty of the island. The fire damage from 2012 still sadly evident. Timings of flights and ferries far from ideal.
By Mr Bisby on 01/02/2014
Our week on the Highlights of Tenerife trip was good, but I think that customers should be aware of a) the weather in the north of the island may be nowhere as good as in the south and is often wet at this time of year (January), b) there is a fair amount of driving on this tour to get to the walks.
By Mr Cross on 01/02/2014
In late January 2014 we had exceptionally poor weather and this, plus long minibus rides to start points of walks, reduced our enjoyment of the spectacular scenery of La Gomera. Our guide/rep. Roger, did a good job in the circumstances. The Parador was excellent. The long gaps in the transfers are a negative but again Roger did his best to keep us entertained.
By Mr Gair on 25/01/2014
Beautiful location, great holel, excellent walks in a varied and magnificent setting.
By Mr Rowlinson on 18/01/2014
Good fun, though walking was harder than we expected having not been on a walking holiday before
By Mrs Williams on 31/12/2013
Very good. Guide coped admirably with adverse weather conditions.
By Mr Rutherford on 19/12/2013
Does what it said in the brochure
By Mr Freeman on 09/03/2013
The holiday was all we were hoping for ; the hotels of a good standard, the walks challenging but not impossible and well selected to give us a good flavour of the island of Tenerife. Walk descriptions and instructions were excellent.
By Mrs Stewart on 09/03/2013
Good holiday in good location
By Mr Clarke on 26/02/2013
A most enjoyable holiday with a lovely group of people walking through impressive landscapes.
Roger, the guide, was excellent and took us to visit beautiful places after the walks. This was a bonus. He also adapted the itinerary according to the weather.
Roger’s partner made very nice salad pack lunches and made sure mine were gluten free.
The hotel and food were excellent.
By Mr Maher on 26/02/2013
As always we thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Headwater. The group gelled from the start and our walks were enhanced by Roger, our guide. He chose wisely and well, taking into account weather conditions and the capabilities of the group. This area of Tenerife was a revelation.
By Mrs Loken on 26/02/2013
Although the overall holiday was very enjoyable, the frequent bad weather (which seems to be normal in the North of Tenerife) meant that some of the walks were not possible. The alternatives of visiting lava caves was interesting, but gave us less walking time. The excellent hotel, however, was located in Garachica on the North coast, which necessitated long drives on precipitous winding roads at the beginning and end of each day. Some people found this problematical, even though our guide was a very safe and careful driver.
The hotel food was of a generally high standard, and elegantly presented, but vegetables of any kind were absolutely minimal. The wine offered was very good.
By Pro Pruetzelthomas on 26/02/2013
A wonderful, expertly guided walking holiday in the varied and dramatic landscapes of Tenerife
By Mr Gingell on 02/02/2013
Be cautious as regards the grading assessment of walks and be aware that walking profiles in the brochure can be misleading (the Baracan ridge walk in particular omitted a very severe climb at the beginning of the walk).
Also be aware that the current guide does not speak good Spanish so may struggle in an emergency.
Being an old manor house built around 2 courtyards means that hotel rooms are gloomy and can be stuffy, whilst public areas can be very chilly early in the year. Food is very good (though lacking in vegetables!), but there is limited indoor dining space and eating round the swimming pool requires warm clothing.
By Mr Hildrew on 24/11/2012
We had an excellent holiday, and saw the loveliest parts of Tenerife. This really is a 'two boot' holiday, at least. Some of the walks were very challenging, but the views were fantastic and we were pleased to have done them. Two nice hotels, and Garachico, in particular, is a pleasant little town. The pyramids of Guima are certainly worth a visit and the notes might suggest that more strongly. The driving too was a challenge, with hairpin bends going on almost for ever - but, again, it was all worthwhile. We would recommend this trip to anyone who is reasonably active and able to walk up steep hills!
By Mrs Robertshaw on 17/04/2012
We had agreat time, [particularly at Garachicco where the hotel was lovely and the walks especially the Masca Ridge were excellent.
By Mrs Tracy on 17/04/2012
A great holiday.
By Ms Weber on 17/04/2012
Absolutely wonderful, loved it. Great variety of walks, and the hotel was just lovely. Also Neil is a fantastic guide and his picnic lunches are legendary :-)
By Ms Cattersonsmith on 17/04/2012
Our group of 7 bonded immediately - haven't laughed so much for ages! Neil was a great guide and not too full on - just right in fact. A brilliant holiday.
By Mrs Constantine on 17/04/2012
we were sad to come home,this is the best holiday we have had,the hotel/food,the company,and neil,we have booked Portugal in july but i doubt it will live up to la Gomera
By Mrs Collins on 17/04/2012
I can't rate this highly enough: everything about this holiday once we had landed in Tenerife was wonderful and surpassed my expectations. The only small niggle was that the food that Thomson offer on their flights is horrible.
By Mrs Barker on 05/04/2012
We had a lovely time, thank you.
The food was the only slight disappointment as the portions were meagre and no choice was offered. Otherwise the hotel was excellent.
By Mr Odell on 05/04/2012
Great holiday .. good hotel .. excellent guide .. good selection of walks
By Dr McLean on 31/03/2012
Extremely well organised with additional extras that were not anticipated
By Mr Plumb on 26/03/2012
an excellent holiday, and the hotel staff very welcoming, clearly expecting us.
By Mr Spedding on 26/03/2012
Enjoyable: excellent accommodation and walking
By Mrs Partridge on 26/03/2012
Wonderful holiday. Excellent walking. Superb guide
By Mr Waller on 17/03/2012
By Mr Harper on 17/03/2012
Walking notes need updated in places, unfortunately I did not have a pen to take notes
By Ms Thomson on 17/03/2012
A very enjoyable walking holiday.
By Mr Wilkinson on 10/03/2012
excellent.long journey due to ferry times late arrival at hotel
By Mr Tunbridge on 10/03/2012
Very enjoyable and suited us both
By Mr Boyd on 10/03/2012
Very good. Neil is a knowledgeable guide and skilful at pacing the walks to the different abilities of his clients, to everyones benefit.
By Mr Thorne on 08/03/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and Neil looked after us very well!
By Mis Smith on 08/03/2012
The walks were well chosen, the secenery lovely, the food truly excellent. Neil was, as ever a great guide, paying attention to the walking capabilities and preferences of all the group members, being prepared to accomodate requests and doing his best to mitigate the long gaps between the flight and ferry connections. He is also knowledgeable and good company. The holiday was slightly marred by the fact that I was woken up regularly during the night by other guests in the room above and the hotel staff seemed unwilling to put any effort into trying to change the room until the last night.I would suggest Headwater might consider booking upstairs non-smoking rooms away from the stairwell in the Parador San Sebastian as this would have been much pleasanter and quieter. Also (as below) the Thomson charter flight was really unpleasant and I would not travel by this means again. These two small things slightly marred an otherwise excellent holiday.
By Mr Searles on 25/02/2012
Very enjoyable - a welcome break from the English winter with stunning views
By Mrs Kennett on 18/02/2012
Excellent guide. A little cold at night so warmer clothes need to be recommended
By Mrs Penrose on 11/02/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed it although were not able to take advantage of all the walks due to the comments in the next box: we had to use the local bus services for a few days before hiring a car.
By Mr Stevens on 11/02/2012
Extremely pleasant and well organised winter walking break.
By Mr Boyle on 10/02/2012
Just what we have come to expect from headwater over the years.
By Mr Butler on 10/02/2012
Excellent walking in very varied and interesting landscapes. The only downside was the amount of driving involved on tortuous roads.
By Dr Jones on 10/02/2012
Local guide really knowledgeable and provided superb picnics. Resort (Garachico) was also a very attractive and it was good to have a free day to explore the town
By Mr Shaw on 10/02/2012
Very enjoyable. Well thought out programme of walks with excellent input from Neil Flynn.
By Mr Anderson on 10/02/2012
Neil was a fantastic guide -- well informed, interested in people and generally helpful.
By Mr Williams on 27/01/2012
Very enjoyable, but some of the guidance notes need updating due to recent changes in road layout, new signing on paths etc, repainting of buildings a different colour!
By Mr Hindmarch on 21/01/2012
Superb, our guide, Neale, paced the walks very well. Was encouraging to member who found last walk demanding. hotel superb.
By Mrs Ault on 21/01/2012
Just what we needed!
By Mr Wilson on 00/00/0000
Javier and coach driver were excellent, very pleasant individuals. Javier was extremely knowledgeable on the history of Las Palmas, flora and fauna. His command of English was top class and we had the feeling if any problems had arisen he would have solved them very quickly. The picnic lunches arranged by Javier were very good and the four visits to local restaurants were enjoyable experiences. I have no doubt both he and Pepe (our driver) contributed a great deal to the success of the holiday.
By Mrs Vandenberghe on 00/00/0000
a Good holiday with some taxing walks and stunning views.
I would like to add that our second hotel had, contrary to notes, no air conditioning while we were there, and the staff were unhelpful to say the least. No offer of fans was made, and our guide provided for one room when a request was made. I did not make a fuss, but had next to no sleep as it was very warm overnight. The staff, apart from the cleaners, were lacking in charm, and we were kept for a very long time when booking in - quite un-necessarily so.