Customer reviews: Activity holidays in Croatia
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 Mr Harrison on 29/09/2016
Excellent way to experience the beauty and friendliness of Croatia and in particular the Istrian coast. Bikes excellent and fit for the sometimes stoney cycle paths. Not as daunting as we had envisioned bearing in mind we are both over 70. Rep excellent and very helpful. All accommodation is well chosen and perfectly located. A cycling holiday with an emphasis on the holiday aspect.
By Mrs Campbell on 23/09/2016
Great Fun. Lovely area and great cycling.
By Mr Kamper on 23/09/2016
Lovely coastline easy cycling
By Mrs Conroy on 15/09/2016
Croatia is a beautiful country and we enjoyed the contrast between hilltop hotels and two nights on the coast. We did however find the walking tough going at times due to the heat at the beginning of September - 30+ degrees. Maybe that is why there were only 4 of us on the trip, others chose a cooler time of year! The organisation was excellent as we transferred hotels, our Rep and drivers were friendly and very helpful. The food was slightly disappointing as there was little fish on offer until we got to Opatije. The meal at Hotel Vela Vrata was very good, we wished we'd eaten there both nights.
We shall await the new season's brochure and plan next year's holiday after checking the expected temperatures.
By Mr Self on 30/08/2016
The countryside was pretty and the places we stayed in had narrow, windy roads barely wide enough for a car which were intriguing to explore. Snorklling was fun and there were fish to see from waist height just standing in the water. The cycling was not overly challenging but the heat had to be managed with plenty of water and early starts.
By Mr Otter on 23/08/2016
Croatia and the Istrian Coastline are a gem and offer a variety of historic and scenic opportunities.
By Mr Mullan on 23/08/2016
Headwater never fails to please. We have holidayed with them on three occasions now, love their routes, their choice of hotels and attention to every detail.
By Mrs Eagle on 16/08/2016
Cycling the Istrian coast was such a wonderful holiday for myself and my husband. The sea was gorgeous, some of the routes were a bit bumpy and confusing but each location was so beautiful it was incredible. Food was great in the first two hotels and such stunning locations. We would definitely recommend to a friend and think about going on another holiday with headwater.
By Mr Mellish on 04/08/2016
We loved Croatia and in particular the Adriatic riviera which was stunningly beautiful and relatively unspoiled. All the hotels were good and in excellent locations and Romina the rep was fantastic - extremely helpful, friendly and accommodating. The walking was more challenging than we have experienced on other Headwater holidays and not quite as interesting or inspiring. It was very hot walking in July and there were lots of mosquitos - it would probably be a better choice in May or September. We will definitely return to Croatia to explore this beautiful country further.
By Mrs Caves on 29/07/2016
Some long ascents made for tough walking in parts but with the reward of good views. The spring flowers were wonderful. The stay at Motovun was enjoyable and the last 2 nights in Opatija a delight - pity there wasn't an opportunity to stay longer here since there was a lot to do and some great restaurants. We found Buzet disappointing. Romina (the local rep) was very efficient.
By Mrs Coulson on 01/07/2016
This is one of the best walking holidays we have had with Headwater. Excellent walking notes guided us through a lovely and varied landscape. And the accommodation in all three hotels was of the highest standard; perfect locations too.
By Ms Escott on 17/06/2016
I am undecided as to booking with Headwater again, as there were some issues throughout the holiday which marred the experience. These were not things that Romina could have resolved as they were booking issues. I plan on submitting an email to Headwater shortly detailing these.
By Mr Henderson on 13/06/2016
Headwater take care of planning process of a walking holiday. They provide efficient and reliable travel arrangements, excellent and interesting accommodation and a superb variety of walks with comprehensive notes. Our guide had walked the routes shortly before to double check their accuracy, attention to detail that reinforced our confidence. Evening meals are arranged for the first night at each location, giving us opportunity to explore, if we wished, on other evenings. In fact, our greatest concern was which wine to drink.
By Mr Cranmer on 13/06/2016
Tougher walking than expected. Most days finished with steep climb. Hotels variable, rep. super. Countryside lovely. We decided to have a rest from walking on Day 3 and hired bikes which was a pleasant change.
By Mr Hughes on 13/06/2016
We decided to combine the Highlights of Montenegro Walk and Delights of the Dalmatian coast Walk. We took the first date in May. Imagine our surprise on waking on the first morning, to find a thick layer of snow had fallen overnight and was continuing to snow quite heavily. We hadn't anticipated snow at all and ended up wearing as many clothes as we could! However it made the mountains and forests look even more beautiful. It started to melt the next day and conditions were very slippery. Poles were needed by most people.
In Croatia the temperatures soared into the 30's and we found the walks on day 5 and day 7 very challenging, steep, stoney paths,very hot. We felt this was more than a one boot holiday. The first hotel in Dubrovnik was five star and very nice but not necessarily needed for a walking holiday, especially as we had virtually no time to use the facilities. We had great guides and drivers and everything was very well organised. We had an enjoyable holiday in amazing scenery.
By Mr Galleymore on 03/06/2016
Romina was a fantastic representative, both very professional and friendly.
When my suitcase failed to arrive from Gatwick, and I had to wait 2 days for it to catch me up, she lent me a waterproof walking jacket and walking sticks.
By Mr Clayton on 03/06/2016
This was our first holiday with Headwater and we really enjoyed the whole thing. The walks were just what we wanted (helped by excellent weather) with varied terrain and views, we had no problem following the route notes (so hardly bothered with the maps provided) and found the lunches provided by the hotels were more than enough for us.
Our rep (Romina) was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels were all great and the local restaurants, especially in Motovun and Opatija were excellent and great value. There're plenty of local wines too, which were not expensive and really good!
The region is beautiful, the people we met were friendly and we can't wait to go back.
By Mrs Price on 03/06/2016
Some of the walks were challenging. The second day's walk was long at 12,5 miles. Buzet was not a good centre for tourism. The old town was beautiful but nothing there really as was the new town. Unless you wanted to walk back up many steps from the restaurant in the new town, you had onlt the one restaurant in the old town. Food was not brilliant. We ate there on the second night and and they started packing up at 9pm. They did not even ask us if we wanted a dessert or coffee. Just wanted us out. And this was a Saturday night!!!! The walk on the escarpment was beautiful but it was impossible to find the path down again. The notes said it was a hard to find path but it was IMPOSSIBLE. There were four of us and we failed. If the paragliding naturists want their privacy then they should put clear markers where we should go!!!! This was meant to be a 7.5 mile easy walk We used our OS maps to find an alternative roiute but it meant the walk was 11.5 in total.. In the blue book, others had written the same problem. and we did mention to the rep.
By Mr Bendrey on 03/06/2016
This was a great holiday, well organised, excellent communication, excellent rep who was very helpful, great route notes, good quality bikes and gives you an opportunity to visit some fantastic places on the Istrian coast in Croatia and see some lovely sights.
My only concern is that some of the routes, in my opinion, are quite dangerous, especially the unsurfaced roads and gravel tracks. If you have no experience, or little experience of cycling, this holiday I would suggest is not for you. Even as a regular cyclist I found some routes difficult and challenging. If you struggle with heat, I would suggest not choosing a holiday in July/August, but go for May or early June. You could be spending 4/5 hours out in the heat on some days.
However, if you love cycling, then this holiday is perfect and first class, a great company to go with as everything was organised as advertised and I would throughly recommend it.
By Mr Wehl on 26/10/2015
Our Croatian walking holiday was a wonderful experience. The villages were picturesque and stunning in their location and ambience. The walks were through diverse terrain of natural beauty and the food was delicious. Highly enjoyable and thoroughly recommended by us both.
By Ms Norman on 21/10/2015
An enjoyable holiday. Well organised, good bikes, very comfortable accommodation and breakfasts. Croatian coast attractive, and not too busy in September when we went and Croatian staff in hotels and local restaurants all friendly and helpful. Rides well planned, and maps and directions good. I had an unfortunate fall skidding on a wet road, and couldn't ride one day, but the support from local bike hire was excellent, and myself and bike both made it to the end of the holiday. Would recommend as good medium level cycling break.
By Mrs Riddaway on 12/10/2015
A good holiday made especially interesting by Romina the local Rep. She is a lovely person, very helpful and very knowledgable and very willing to share her knowledge of the area. All the hotels were good and their locations very specacular . We wish we could have stayed longer in Hotel Sveti Jacob but had to return home. One night is not enough to enjoy the many attractions of this beautiful place.
By Mrs McMillan on 30/09/2015
This was our first holiday with Headwater and we were very impressed. It was a good balance between walking and relaxation. The programme was put together very well: no walking on the first day, a gentle first walk the following day and then the longest walk mid-holiday. By the time we tackled the mountain walk, we were feeling fitter and more able to take on the challenges. It was good to relax by the sea for the last two nights and we enjoyed the coastal walk. It was a great way to discover a new area and we really enjoyed the beautiful countryside in Istria.
The hotels were very good and the food was excellent.
We would like to single out Romina for particular attention, she was absolutely delightful, intelligent, responsive and very caring, she did a marvellous job.
Thank you Headwater, we are very keen to use you again in the future.
By Mr Brodie on 30/09/2015
Fun and adventurous but no planning hassle
By Mr Horstead on 29/09/2015
Stunning scenery, well chosen itinerary and hotels, knowledgeable and helpful guides. A busy programme.
By Ms Winch on 21/09/2015
Lovely holiday with very welcoming local people
By Mr Beeby on 21/09/2015
Maintained the high standard we have come to expect from Headwater.
By Mr Fitzmaurice on 03/08/2015
...the 3 hotels were very different, but, were all in good locations with quality offerings. the people and staff of Croatia are very welcoming and have no airs and graces about themselves. the bikes are well maintained and sturdy, and, need to be for some of the unsurfaced paths. Rovinj was our favourite place, but, all towns / hotels that we visited were pretty and welcoming.
By Mrs Truelove on 31/07/2015
We had a really good week's walking, albeit in 40 degrees! Croatia was fabulous and we would return in the future.
Your representative Romina Brumnic was absolutely excellent and nothing was too much trouble for her to arrange - a real asset.
By Mrs Turner on 27/07/2015
Having enjoyed a previous Headwater walking holiday in Tuscany that was also rated '2 boot' our assessment is that this holiday to Croatia was much harder and a reasonable level of fitness is essential. The hotels are all OK although we were a little disappointed that the swimming pools were indoor. At the Hotel Vela Vrata you had better like truffles! Day 5 walking instructions could be better. As part of the packed lunches (variable quality!) you receive a single small bottle of water - this was wildly insufficient especially in the intense heat of July. Overall though a great holiday, Croatia is beautiful.
By Mr Savage on 13/07/2015
Great hotel locations, very friendly with good service and excellent food and drink especially the abundant and very good value seafood.
By Mr Barclay on 03/07/2015
Lovely relaxed cycles with plenty of 'things' to see along the way. The only difficulty was the route notes which had had the maps removed and left only descriptions and a very large region map. The guides had removed the maps because they were 'confusing' - I suspect that reflects a difference between visual and aural people - we would have been MUCH more comfortable with a MAP - particularly since some of the descriptions in the guide were a little wrong.
By Mrs Maddison on 02/07/2015
We had a brilliant time in Croatia; it was our first time there and we can't wait to return. Our guide, Krsto, was very informative and helpful, and the itinerary was interesting.
By Dr Simpson on 23/06/2015
One of the best Headwater holidays we have done. Croatia certainly more than lived up to our expectations. Everything about the holiday was excellent and the people there were universally warm and welcoming. A wonderful contrast between the hilltop towns of Motovun and Buzet and the classical seaside villas of Opatija. It will be difficult to better this holiday!
By Ms Birch on 17/06/2015
Beautiful countryside, it was lovely to see so many wild flowers and butterflies (we went at the end of May). There was a good range of walks, all challenging in their own way but with fantastic views as a reward. You do need a relatively good level of fitness as it is hilly and we,d recommend boots as suggested by Headwater as the tracks are very rocky in places. Our favourite location was Motovun, with it's cobbled streets and bars and restaurants overlooking the landscape below. There was little to do or see in Buzet, so make the most of the circular walk whilst you are there. We found all of the hotels to be of a very high standard and the service was good, the room we had in Hotel Sveti Jakov in Opatija was stunning and the hotel was in a lovely quiet part of the town.
By Mr Curwen on 17/06/2015
A superb holiday in stunningly beautiful countryside. Great walking conditions and routes through varied terrain, sometimes challenging and always rewarding. The hotels were first class and staff everywhere were friendly and helpful. The final days in Opatija were relaxing and the effect end to a great holiday. Thank you Headwater!
NB. We feel that the route notes for days 4 & 5 could do with adjustment as things appear to have changed on the ground. I would be happy to offer suggestions. Please advise how you would like these to be supplied.
By Mrs Strickland on 17/06/2015
The only problem with our holiday was that we did not receive the good quality maps which were promised and which we would still like to receive! Our walking holiday in Dalmatia was our first experience of a group holiday, so we weren't sure quite what to expect. Fortunately, our guide, Sanja, took us all in hand and her good humour and efficiency made all the difference. We cannot speak highly enough of her. We were also fortunate in that we got on well with all the other members of the group, and the atmosphere generally was very good. We didn't do quite as much walking as we had hoped - the first day was virtually rained off - and we spent quite a lot of time on the minibus, but it was worth it to be able to enjoy three such excellent locations in one week. Some of the group thought the standard of food in the first few days was not high enough. We're not complaining but we would have been prepared to pay a bit more for a wider choice. Anyway, it was a most enjoyable week and we would certainly consider going on another Headwater holiday.
By Mr Hunt on 15/06/2015
A very good holiday. Some of the roads were a bit dangerous narrow fast and bendy like the road round the fjord. Some of the off road was too rough with big limestone chippings. Your reps were working on different maps to us.
By Mrs Belchambers on 15/06/2015
The holiday was made perfect by are wonderful guide Sanja . This was my first visit to the Dalmation coast it is truly the very best coast line I have ever seen so clean and the people so friendly . The group were both interesting and good fun we were 14 and I do think that was perfect .
The food on the whole was some what disappointing it would have been nice to have eaten in the hotels .
My only other comment would be the grading I felt that all though we did not do a great deal of walking some of the walks were very testing and more like a 2 boot .
This was my first time with Headwater I will be traveling with them again very soon hopefully .
Denise Belchambers from the Cotswolds
By Mr Clegg on 09/06/2015
An excellent holiday with a nice combination of sightseeing and walking in the beautiful Dalmation Coast. A good holiday was made great by the fantastic Sanja Reiter who was an outstanding guide. As a PhD student of Croatian history she brought a special advantage for briefing us and telling the story of the region and the country.
One slight disappointment was the limited choice of dishes as we always seemed to be 'off-menu' and it was especially hard for one of us a non-fish and seafood eater. And Headwater can't help Croatian food! But overall not too bad and the breakfast buffet at Dubrovnik Palace Hotel was outstanding.
Don't miss this super holiday.
By Mis Puritz on 05/06/2015
A very good holiday for sightseers who want to do some walking as well. The Dalmation coast must be one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
By Mr Lewin on 04/06/2015
Sanja , our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about almost anything we asked . She has a great sense of humour and it always seemed that she was enjoying her time with our group and not just doing a job . Would have liked a whole day to discover Dubrovnik . Holiday spoilt by poor quality of lunches and evening meals .
By Mr Emerson on 04/06/2015
Very intereesting tour, with good local tour guides. Could have done with more free time in Dubrovnic so a closer hotel might have been useful. However, the facilities and beach at the Hotel Dubrovnic Palace outstanding.
By Ms Newman on 29/05/2015
Yet again a very enjoyable and successful holiday with Headwater. What a smooth running organisation you are.............efficient at home and abroad............friendly, welcoming and enthisiastic. The hotels in Fazania and Rovinj were exceptional. the staff were not only helpful, but also truly passionate about their work and their country. The cycle rides had been well researched and, apart from one transfer day (Fazania to Rovinj) when the busy roads far outweighed the quiet lanes and tracks, took us through fascinating places. Thank you to all and here's to the next time. Jenny and Paul Newman
By Mrs MacE on 22/05/2015
Good walking with excellent notes. Excellent accommodation. Helpful local rep. Perhaps overpriced.
By Ms Harris on 24/11/2014
Value for Money - fair to good, but can't choose more than one option.
The holiday was great - lots of quiet out of the way places to see. Very friendly people. The only criticism was the rep and the lack of local information given with regards to cycling which was easily available, if you knew about it. Would recommend Croatia as a place to visit - had a lovely time.
By Mr Morrison on 22/10/2014
Challenging walking with a comfortable hotel at the end of the day.
By Mrs Brooks on 17/10/2014
Great Hotels locations food. More hills than expected lots and lots of unmade roads. Hard to cycle on sometimes. Lovely people and country. Rubbish rep!!!
By Mrs Spencer on 14/10/2014
Croatia is a beautiful country with miles of unspoilt coastline , lovely islands and friendly people . Dubrovnik is a fascinating city and the waterfalls at Krka were spectacular .The holiday was extremely enjoyable and our guide Sanja was very helpful and a delight .
By Mr Whitehurst on 08/10/2014
Very good walking holiday with excellent accomodation. Croatia is a lovely country to visit, the people are friendly, there is plenty to see and the prices are reasonable.
By Mr Aries on 08/10/2014
The whole holiday exceeded our expectations. Thank you. We will travel with you again.
Dear Mr Aries,
Thank you for your lovely feedback, we were pleased to see you enjoyed your holiday in Croatia.
We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mr Mitchell on 26/09/2014
All 5 of us had an excellent hoiliday ,Thank you.
One possible improvement- the last day's 'Directions' (Porec to Novigrad) were much simpler to follow than the other days' , because they used the local cycle route signs as reference points ; but there had been cycle route signs all along the way on previous days - they just were not mentioned.
By Mr Gibb on 19/09/2014
Excellent holiday overall, enhanced by a good mix of 4 couples in our group. BUT the performance of your reps was very poor in terms of availability and understanding of our needs.
By Ms Cope on 11/09/2014
Great location for biking, loads of marked routes, do go to the local tourist office and get the leaflet which gives all local cycle routes for that area, and use these whenever you can. Great hotels, with friendly staff, the locations vary but all interesting, our input to Headwater would be that the hotels need to be very good to make these holidays value for money. Good bikes which were well up to the local cycle routes! Do swim whenever you can as the sea was fabulous, and warm!
By Mrs Elliott on 28/08/2014
The Istrian peninsula felt like an undiscovered jewel for visitors. Beautiful countryside, great local food and wine and you can walk all day without seeing anyone else! As always with Headwater a lot of thought had been put into the arrangements for the hotel and the walks and the local guide Romina was brilliant.
By Mr Hamilton on 10/07/2014
This was one of most enjoyable and exciting Headwater walks we have experienced. Istria was unknown to us and we loved the hill-top towns where the 'truffle is king'! cuisine was superb and the hotel staff and local residents so friendly. The local rep was the most conscientious, helpful and friendly we have ever met. Please extend our thanks to her. The 'good' comment on Comfort at the last hotel related simply to the failure of the air conditioning system which was freezing. This was resolved by the staff. Fabulous holiday and the weather gave us ideal conditions.
By Mr Harrison on 08/07/2014
The holiday was perfect. The area, the hotels and the activities were just what we wanted from a holiday. This was one of the best Headwater holiday that we have been on. We were disappointed last year with The Jura but this holiday has given faith in Headwater again
By Mrs Emmett on 28/06/2014
This was our sixth Headwater Cycling Holiday and every bit as good as the others. Croatia is lovely place for cycling, not too strenuous.. The hotels were all excellent and well situated. Eating out was easy and good value. The towns and villages were all interesting places especially The Roman ruins in Pula and the round stone shepherds shelters were a highlight. We had time for two enjoyable boat trips.
By Mrs Walker on 24/06/2014
We chose a walking holiday because we enjoy walking and believe you get more of the atmosphere of where you are if you are on foot. After the airport we were driven to a gem of a hotel, with wonderful views and the sound and sight of swifts in the summer air. Our guide was very efficient and worked very hard to see that we got the most out of our stay. She was local and gave us sound information on what to expect. A couple of the days here saw quite high temperatures so we needed to make sure we had water or knew where we could get water on route.. The hotel at Buzet was also at the top of a peak so this is a holiday where you must be prepared to walk some high ups and downs. The third hotel at Opatija was very well situated and we had a very large room with a baloney. This hotel had a fish restaurant, the fish being caught locally the night before. On our final evening we had one of their superb fish meal on the terrace with the sound of soft live music in the background, which was a fitting closure to a very enjoyable holiday.
By Mrs Woollen on 22/06/2014
An excellent holiday: a beautiful country, perfect weather, wonderful walks/culture tours, good company, delicious food, lovely accommodation and a brilliant guide in Sanja.
By Mis Walters on 20/06/2014
A thoroughly enjoyable experience. Croatia was a lovely country, the walks just right and the hotels great. The other couple on the walk were like minded and we got on really well.
By Mrs McInnes on 18/06/2014
We have undertaken 9 holidays with Headwater and they have always delivered what they say they would deliver. The guides are the cream of the crop , Sanja was one of T&E best we have had in the 10 years of Headwatering .
By Ms Drabble on 18/06/2014
Well organised and a good combination of walking and sightseeing
By Mrs Mitchell on 16/06/2014
SERVICE IN ENGLAND WAS INFORMATIVE, AS IN ISTRIA (RAMONA). THE HOTEL VELA VRATA WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING. THE ROOM WAS SMALL, THE SHOWER KEPT GOING OFF. ALSO THE AIR CONDITINIONING COULD NOT BE PUT ON. THE ROOM WAS TOO HOT, BUT COULD NOT OPEN THE WINDOW BECAUSE OF THE NOISE FROM THE CAFE DOWN THE ROAD WHICH WENT ON TILL 3AM!!
By Mrs Riseborough on 13/06/2014
To get the most enjoyment out of this holiday one needs to build up cycling strength and stamina as there were some long rides with hills which needed a lot of energy, particularly for my age group (65+). Fortunately I had been doing this for 4 months so it was fine. This was not a problem for my 25 year old daughter. The cycle paths were a bit challenging as the surface was sharp loose stones and it was necessary to get off the bikes and walk on many occasions.
Croatia is beautiful and the weather was perfect - swimming was possible every day. This is a great way to experience a country up close and get to places most tourists cannot.
By Ms Clarkson on 03/06/2014
Superb location excellent guide really had an excellent break. Beautiful location would love to go again and again
By Mr Warren on 03/06/2014
We have taken several holidays with Headwater mainly in France and have always enjoyed them,but this one in Croatia comes top.Lovely countryside, many wild flowers to admire, super accommodation and very friendly people.
By Mr Thompson on 30/05/2014
Could have been lovely but spoilt by many problems. Disappointed.
Dear Mr Thompson, We were sorry to read of your disappointment with your holiday, I will contact you directly for more information and hope to reinstate your faith in Headwater. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service
By Mr Saunders on 22/05/2014
Well organised, excellent guide and transport. Expensive compared to package tour but well worth the extra for the personal service and all the organisation is done for you! Tours, visits and hotels well chosen and walks were lovely.
By Ms Debenham on 27/10/2013
We normally travel with our own bikes and a map, so this holiday was a wonderful luxury. Given the number of small back roads, I think we would have struggled to find such a good route on our own. The hotels were all very comfortable, friendly and welcoming and the countryside was beautiful. We went in September and the temperature was ideal both for cycling and for relaxing on the beach. On the evidence of this holiday we are keen to return and see some more of Croatia.
By Mrs Fox on 01/10/2013
The representative's initial meeting and info about the holiday was poor. The hotels were first class. The title of the holiday coastal Croatia was a bit misleading as although the routes were along the coast you could not see the coast from many of the roads. I was expecting to be cycling along the coast for many of the rides, so this was disappointing - where we did cycling along the coast it was stunning.
Many of the tracks were unpleasant to ride as one had to look down all the time due to the heavy gravel.
By Ms Chatwin on 28/09/2013
Great way to enjoy a weeks holiday with like minded people.Makes keeping fit enjoyable and easy.
By Mr Souster on 26/09/2013
Must be our ninth or tenth holiday with you. A very well thought-out tour with the usual Headwater touch of finding interesting as well as luxurious places to stay and devising well-balanced walks to reveal the landscape. We were particularly impressed with the local agent and the two local taxi drivers who were always firendly and helpful.
By Mr Davis on 24/09/2013
We had a great experience, found all the maps and guides very accurate. The guide was very informative and gave us a good update on changes to the routes. All three hotels were very good and up to the expected standard, we were warned by the guide that the Hotel Bristol was not as good as the others, however we found the room very nice and the buffet particularly good and great value. We enjoyed Croatia and its people were warm and friendly throughout. This walk was not leisurely and required a reasonable level of fitness if it is to be enjoyed.
By Mis Bernstein on 20/09/2013
Great holiday and great guide. Croatia was very beautiful and the people very friendly, mostly speaking good English. Dubrovnik was outstanding and far exceeded my expectations and I hope to return very soon. There was a great atmosphere, and walking in the warm evening air after dinner, through the crowded squares and streets was a delight.
The only problem was the food which, on the whole, was extremely disappointing and certainly not up to the standard, I have experienced on all the other Headwater holidays I have taken. There was little variety in the starters and far too much fish (unfilleted) for me. Only one day did we have a choice. Usually the same vegetables were served - always chard with potatoes with fish. The desserts, when we had them, were good and the breakfasts in the hotels were good - particularly in the hotel in Dubrovnik. Croatian wines were good but very expensive - £30 upwards!
By Mrs Newman on 15/09/2013
This was the best cycling holiday we have been on with Headwater. Excellent cycling, if tough in places, great hotels and beautiful scenery. The water was crystal clear and it is well worth cycling beyond Pula to some excellent secluded beaches. The 4am start at Gatwick was the only downpoint of the holiday - please Headwater put on some more sensible flight times in future.
By Mrs Woodhead on 15/09/2013
Great adventure, beautiful country new to us, superb mix of historic hilltop towns, world-class Roman heritage, lovely coast with tempting swimming coves, Italian food with a Viennese twist, red-earth olive groves and vineyards. Be prepared for some VERY rough tracks, thrills and spills, or get off and walk for extended sections. HOT, long days cycling but all very much worth it on arrival at characterful destinations and comfortable lodgings.
By Mr Newman on 15/09/2013
The Dalmatian coastline is outstanding, a really beautiful area and one of the best locations in the Mediterranean/Adriatic region.
Overall, the meals were disappointing with little choice and not to the quality expected for the price of the holiday.
Also, to use low cost airlines such as Easyjet, which impose additional costs for comfortable seats, is inconsistent with the price of this holiday.
The success of the holiday was largely due to Sanja's efforts
By Mrs Brown on 13/09/2013
Very enjoyable holiday with an excellent guide. The walk was certainly not leisurely but everyone managed it. The distances were not great but the gradients were steep and taxing, especially in 30 degrees of heat.
By Mr Buckenham on 07/09/2013
We had read adverse criticism about the Bristol Hotel and your rep suggested you may change from this hotel next year. The hotel is a bit dated but it is perfecty sited for a selection of nearby restaurants and the delightful coastal walk to the local marinas. The staff were helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed the Sunday Evening Buffet. We had a balcony room facing the sea with a perfect view. The picnic given to us on the last day was the best of the week and the receptionist on duty when we left at 7.00am came out to wave us goodbye.
The walk from Grosnan seemed longer than the 20km listed; we reckon it was about 25km.
By Mr Young on 01/09/2013
the cycle routes took us through beautiful countryside that we would never experienced without Headwaters' guides
By Mrs Burnett on 20/08/2013
Two excellent hotels, Villetta Phasiana and Villa Tuttorotto, the second with a harbour view that was beyond fantastic. The cycling was energetic at times with a couple of busy roads and the occasional error in the 'talk-round' leading to some extended routes and some interesting conversations with locals to get us back on track - but overall was fine. Good bikes by the way.
By Mrs Cleat on 14/08/2013
Croatia surpassed expectations. We would have happily have stayed longer in all the places we visited. There is so much to see and do as well as the cycling.The first 2 hotels especially were just a bit different and in all 3 resorts there was an abundance of restaurants to suit all tastes. The Croatian people were warm and welcoming and we would definitely go back. Be warned that August is perhaps a bit too hot for the cycles with the hills !
By Mrs Morley on 11/08/2013
The cycling was not at all easy - much tougher than that. Rep was quite useless, friendly but not particularly helpful. We had no air conditioning for 3 days at Villa Phasiana and had a ladder in our room for most of those 3 days while the air con was attempted to be mended. We do have photos if you'd like to see. Our sons room here was the size of a postage stamp - they could not even open their cases except by putting them on the bed. The staff here though were very friendly and apologetic for the air con problem. It was nearly 40C!
By Mr Millward on 07/08/2013
The holiday was described as soft and leisurely however, it was much tougher than that description. There were more steep climbs and a lot of gravel tracks which was difficult to cycle on. Each day did not get within the 3-4 hours detailed in your description of leisurely . Other than the cycle rides, the hotels, travel arrangements and representative were excellent.
By Mr Watson on 24/07/2013
Excellent holiday, with even more value added by leader Sanja, who made sure everything ran like clockwork. She was also most informative and helpful, very patient, and with a great sense of humour.
By Mr Morrison on 23/07/2013
beautiful part of the world best seen on a cycling tour like Headwater's
By Mr Mason on 20/07/2013
As has been the case with our many previous Headwater cycling holidays we have greatly enjoyed ourselves and appreciated
the consistently high quality of accommodation and locations.Perhaps even more so this year(esp. with no evening meals provided ) we are however very much aware that we are paying slightly more than we should be. and obviously this is likely to affect future decision -making.
By Mr Duesund on 13/07/2013
we suggest a few changes to the walks. The walk up to the mountain Ucka would be much better if the trip to Vela Draga was included, also that being on the way. The walk up was fine but should be extended to a walk down the mountain, giving the day much more meaning. The first day,s walk included a long portion on an old railway path. A little weary and boring. The last two kilometres were hell for all who dislike mosquitoes. The representative was asked directly at the info meeting about the mosquitoes and did not give correct information. Many walkers were bitten badly and the walk finished at the same spot the next day. The walk to Buzet was the best walk. More walks like this are very positive. We found many other places Headwater could have had focus. Why not include trips to Roc and Hum? Walking in this area was sublime. We also would have liked more descriptions about the things to do around places, since the local tourist offices were not on the ball at all.
The biggest let down was the Hotel Bristol, inspite of the warning that the standard was lower. We expected a better welcome and expected a refrigerato in the room. Headwater would do better with a quality boutique hotel alternative, many of which we found attractive. We reccommend choosing a place away from Lovran, a town that was full of run down and ruined buildings. Volosko was a better alternative. Up in the hilltops were many OK places.
We joined this trip to walk with family who had used your services before and were impressed by the standard of hotels and restaurants. They were offended by the standard at the Bristol. We thought the whole place was tatty.
We hope our feedback will inspire improvements. We will certainly return to Croatia, but reccommend visits to other places as well.
Nice walking companions make a trip such as this ideal for up to 8 people.
By Dr Hodgson on 13/07/2013
As a new holiday this year it all worked very well indeed. Istria is a lovely area and at the very beginning of July we were treated to abundant wild flowers, butterflies by the thousands, gorgeous views and stunning weather (though hotter then we had expected). Most days though we did have shaded sections to walk through. Loved the two hilltop towns we stayed in (Motovun and Buzet) and after leaving Buzet we did do a small (half hour) detour to visit the Vela Draga before starting our walk up Mount Ucka.
By Mr Jardine on 13/07/2013
Did everything that it said in the brochure
By Mr Wrigley on 10/07/2013
The high score I have given you is due mainly to Sanja Reiter who is an excellent guide and a credit to Croatia.
By Mr Brooke on 09/07/2013
An excellent holiday. No real criticisms except for the aeroplanes flying a few feet over the hotel in Trogir; and the drastically early departure from Gatwick. It did, however, seem rather expensive for what it was.
By Mr Alpine on 06/07/2013
Pros - very good hotels and locations, wether perfect, service and food excellent, friendly, easy- going people, unspoilt area, inexpensive.
Cons - road network not well suited to cycling - too much cycling on roads carrying traffic and not enough by-ways. Wider rims and off-road tyres would have helped a lot on rougher tracks. Why so expensive? Local prices are very reasonable and cost of holiday, fundamentally for a bed and a bike, (no dinner) is too high.
By Mr Oldham on 01/07/2013
Great way of exploring the countryside in an environmentally friendly way
By Mr Waterston on 25/06/2013
Excellent location although on occasion the cycling was more challenging than expected and we spent a lot of the cycling on busy roads rather than cycle paths.
By Mr Shortman on 15/06/2013
We really enjoyed our walks through unspoilt countryside, the wild flowers and butterflies in particular were delightful.The hotels in Motovun and Buzet were both excellent, and we enjoyed the food and wine.
By Mr Beck on 28/05/2013
A beautiful region. The holiday featured an enjoyable balance of destinations and experiences. Our excellent guide led us on some good walks that we would probably not have been able to find as ordinary tourists. However, we did have some reservations about aspects of the holiday and the extent to which it fulfilled the expectations of the advance publicity. (Further details are set out in the final section.)
By Mrs Ingram on 17/11/2012
We have been on 17 Headwater Holidays and we found this to be very well organised , thought out and very enjoyable. We have highly recommended it to all our friends . The guide , hotels . places were an absolute delight . ( Our first hotel was changed days before departure but was stunning )
We have not stopped talking about this holiday sine we returned
Brenda and Simon Ingram
By Mr Woodward on 17/10/2012
Meal first night rather disappointing. Nice to eat in the town, but walking away from a very nice five start hotel to eat what could really only be described as a typical basic "tourist" meal was a bit of an anti-climax. Fortunately the restaurants we were taken to subsequently improved.
We also felt that this holiday was rather overpriced compared to similar holidays we have done with yourself and other companies.
However, this really was a lovely experience in a beautiful country.
By Mrs Hunter on 17/10/2012
I felt that the travelling on the change over days took too long , the distances involved were not clear in the brochure .
I felt that the middle hotel was poor in view of the cost of the holiday , the mini bus driver was good but the bus was not comfortable and there were no seat belts .
however the holiday was enjoyable and the guide was very good .
Thank you for your feedback on the traveling element of the holiday. We will certainly speak with our local agent about the points that you've raised, ALL vehicles used by Headwater are required to have seatbelts fitted and we will be dealing with as a matter of urgency. Many thanks again for bringing this matter to our attention.
By Mr Alexander on 06/10/2012
This holiday lived up to its billing. We stayed in excellent welcoming hotels in three attractive coastal towns, and ate and drank well, twice while watching a superb sunset. We saw the Roman amphitheatre at Pula, the fine Byzantine mosaics at Porec, and frescos in several churches. And we swam on most days in warm clear water, including from beaches on delightful offshore islands.
By Ms Hankinson on 01/10/2012
An excellent introduction to the beauty and diversity of the Croatian coast - historic cities, stunning coastline, dramatic waterfalls, attractive walks. We had an excellent leader in Sanja, who took us to places that we would otherwise not have been able to access and was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about her country .
By Mr Evans on 29/09/2012
A major feature of the quality that Headwater offers is the local representative who is always available to you during the holiday. They are on hand to sort out any problems with the bikes, advise on route notes, if they haven't actually written them themselves they are expected to know them, and transfers the luggage.
In Croatia these roles are shared around to the detriment of the quality we have come to expect.
By Mr McKenzie on 29/09/2012
Sanya Reiter was an excellent guide for what was a very well organised and enjoyable holiday. The walks were easy and short. Our 21st holiday with Headwater!
By Ms Henderson on 29/09/2012
Enjoyable, well-led holiday, and especially strong on selection of restaurants (all outside the hotels). Our guide/leader Sanja was enthusiastic, energetic and knowledgable. She deployed her local knowledge (of people, places, contacts, restaurants etc.) very effectively.
The walking was at the low end of one boot. Most of our group of 9, us included, would have appreciate more time walking and a bit more challenge too.
By Mr Cliff on 24/09/2012
Our Headwater holiday was excellent, the only comment we would make is that since Headwater is now part of Thomsons this means that the flight times are very antisocial, a 6.15 take off time in the morning is horrid.
By Dr Hamilton on 24/09/2012
We enjoyed the cycling and the hotels were excellent but we were not very impressed with the countryside or coast compared with - say - the Catalan coastal walking we did last year.
Having said that, the Croatian cycle path infrastructure was excellent.
Accommodation could not be faulted - though we were upgraded probably because the Palazzo hotel was overbooked and some guests were moved elsewhere.
We thought the holiday was very good considering this is a new venture for Headwater.
By Mr Wakefield on 24/09/2012
The flight out to Croatia for our holiday was so early as to be almost the evening before.So the first day of a short holiday was elongated and left everyone tired and strained. The briefing from the cycle provider involved reading out the notes about where we were staying rather than providing insight into the routes and what we should look out for. No-one provided welcome drinks at any of the hotels, though the first two hotels suggested we could have them the following day. The hotel and staff breakfasts in Fazana (Villetta Phasiana) were brilliant and the bikes provided(but not the briefing)were also very good. The Rovinj Hotel (Villa Tuttorotto) was in a superb location and we liked it a lot - they also did good breakfasts.However, while the location and size of the Porec Hotel (Palazzo) was impressive it was not exactly comfortable (even though we got upgraded to a top-floor suite which gave us a huge expanse of wooden flooring and a lot of windows to look
out. The cycling was generally very good but the Rovinj circuit on day 5 was a disappointing exercise.
We enjoyed the holiday and met some very nice people but we were left with the feeling that this relatively expensive holiday was not value for money.
By Ms Gibson on 24/09/2012
Overall good holiday in lovely, not overly touristy areas. Some of the unsurfaced tracks were very rough indeed, much time was spend staring at the ground to pick the safest route rather than taking in the scenery. Not ideal, though it does say a lot for the tyres on the bikes that they survived unscathed. Staff at Fazana hotel were superb & dinner across at Konoba Feral meant huge(but tasty) portions- we asked for half portions to avoid wastage.Make sure you see the "Cat Playground" in Porec, great place to get rid of your holiday coinage for a good cause too.
By Mrs Rankin on 24/09/2012
My first experience of Croatia was brilliant. Our guide, Vanja, was fantastic and an absolute asset to the Headwater Group. Nothing was too much trouble. She was always extremely helpful. The itinerary was accurate and allowed us to see as much as we could in the one week we were there. Walking was also good. I personally enjoyed the ferry trips to the islands we visited! Really interesting country.
By Mr Willis on 24/09/2012
The holiday was very enjoyable; friendly small group, good hotels and food. Vanja was a brilliant tour guide, she made sure we all had a good holiday, was enthusiastic, friendly, very helpful and caring.
However, we would have preferred to spend more time in Split and less time in the museum on Brac Island.
By Mrs Teague on 24/09/2012
Great local guide who was available 24/7. She gave us an amazing flavour of her country and was hugely enthusiastic.
By Ms Langdon on 24/09/2012
Croatia is an absolutely wonderful place to visit.
The trip was extremely well organised.
It was a pity on the flights that we had to change planes at Zagreb. Also, although I did not book at the last moment, I had to pay a very hefty surcharge for the flight.
Vanya, our guide, was absolutely outstanding. She could not be faulted in any way and I would say that she is the best guide I have ever had on any holiday. I was the eldest of the party and, at times,I needed help when the terrain was difficult - she was always there. If all guides could be as good as Vanya, it would just be marvellous.
By Mr Collman on 24/09/2012
We felt we gained a good insight into Croatia; we enjoyed the balance between cities, mountains, sea + islands and a national park. Both the tour leader and the driver were excellent. 10 is an ideal number for a group.
By Ms Lobban on 24/09/2012
This was an excellent holiday and the guide Vanje was a marvellous asset to the group. Her knowledge, cheerfulness and helpfulness really made the experience good. The hotels and restaurants were all very good and the programme was varied with a good combination of walking, cultural activities and lovely boat trips. The walks in the National Park was and to the Monastory were particularly good because there were no crowds and the scenery was stunning.
By Mrs Richart on 05/09/2012
In August when we went it was hotter than expected; high 30s C. Also the Croatians all holiday at this time so some of the cycle routes on the coast through camp sites were exceptionally busy. However Croatia is a beautiful place with lots of trees and not too much vehicle traffic on the roads. We found all the hotel staff to be very friendly and helpful.
By Mrs Culligan on 01/09/2012
A very enjoyable holiday in a beautiful country with friendly people at all locations - we will certainly be going back to explore further!
By Mrs Hulme on 29/08/2012
A great holiday, staying in 3 wonderful hotels. Excellent sea food on offer and a wide range of good restaurants in Porec and Rovinj. It is the most populated holiday we've been on with Headwater as you travel from one tourist centre to another. This was a nice change for us. They are all lovely places and you cycle along miles of rocky coastline. Great opportunities for swimming in the sea throughout the holiday and a beautiful coastline to admire each day. This area of Croatia doesn't seem to have many small, quiet lanes that you may find in other countries, in high season it's either busier tarmaced roads or rough tracks.
By Mr Pickering on 29/08/2012
An amazing way to see the real country, rather than the tourist traps.
By Mrs Tanham on 18/08/2012
We had a fabulous week, the weather was great - not too hot but lovely to see the sun after our UK summer. All locations were great and the quality of the food and wine amazed us (We did not know that Istria was a wine producing area - M&S apparently have Croatian wines in stock but we have yet to find them).
The cycling was fine, some of it was harder than we thought but we managed (take plenty of water). We struggled with the initial directions from Rovinj to Porec but we were fine once we found the cycle path which runs parallel to the railway line.
Lovely holiday and would definitely book with Headwater again.
By Mr Whalley on 13/08/2012
This was an excellent holiday in a really beautiful area. The hotels were superb and the was a lot of choice of restaurants for dinner. We did find the day cycling in the Fjord quite difficult but it was extremely hot and we faced the up-hill section at midday. We would recommend taking extra water that day and also food as there is no convenient cafe at the top. It was our first visit to Croatia and we will certainly go back.
By Mr Hopps on 07/08/2012
We enjoyed the hotels and locations very much. The hotel staff in Villas Faisana and in Tuttorotto in particular were delightful - friendly, pleasant and helpful at all times. The Croatian coastline is beautiful and the village/towns where we stayed are old, quaint and very impressive in their own ways, with beautiful marinas. And we could not fault the weather - blue skies and sunshine every day. However, we did not really enjoy the cycling.
By Mr Wall on 07/08/2012
We hit the "heat wave" and the busy holiday period, otherwise a great holiday, with some wonderful towns and villages, and amazing historic places.
By Mr Healey on 23/07/2012
very enjoyable, excellent choices of hotels and locations.
By Mr Bagnall on 23/07/2012
Three lovely places visited. Dubrovnik after our lovely evening meal in the open under trees was superb in the sunshine and a lovely place to walk round afterwards. Not far from the Hotel either.
Beautiful country, wonderful colours of the sea around some lovely islands.
Croatian people were friendly and with such a checkered history its surprising how they have recovered and not ruined their lovely countryside.
We had the traditional meal of lamb with vegetables and a side salad, eaten out in the sunshine - absolutely delicious - particularly well earned after an enjoyable walk to the restaurant.
By Mrs Springett on 07/07/2012
Great holiday with a lovely bunch of people.
By Mrs Scott on 30/06/2012
Cycling was at times more challenging than we had expected. Wonderful hotels with friendly helpful staff.Very beautiful countryside and coast.Perfect June weather.Our 7th cycling holiday with you and as good as ever.
By Mr Bellion on 30/06/2012
An excellent route with lovely hotels
Thank you for the information provided re the route notes - clarifications have been added to the notes. Thrilled that you enjoyed the region and the hotels.
By Ms Taylor on 30/06/2012
Excellent week with a good range of activities, excellent tour leader and a very good group.
By Mrs Gittins on 23/06/2012
good but more hilly than lead to believe
By Mrs Parkinson on 23/06/2012
Sanja, our guide was really good. So enthusiastic, attentive & well organised but also great fun
By Mrs Greenbank on 16/06/2012
One of your best holidays yet!
By Mr Atkinson on 16/06/2012
A very good new area for a holiday. We enjoyed it very much.
By Ms Bird on 16/06/2012
Brilliant ! Had a lovely time - thank you very much .
By Mr Renton on 16/06/2012
Varied and enjoyable. Really good guide and group.
By Ms Shih on 16/06/2012
Food was mediocre. But logistics handled well by local guide and we got to go on hikes which we could never have done had we travelled alone
By Mis Monteith on 11/06/2012
Very well organised and enjoyable introduction to Dalmatian coast, good accommodation in excellent locations, great restaurants, very friendly travelling companions, all made special by superb and very thoughtful lead guide Vanja, very helpful and friendly Sanja and excellent driver Ive.
By Mrs Walker on 11/06/2012
Really enjoyed the holiday. Vanja and Sanja (who was taking over on the next trip) were excellent guides and made sure everything went to plan. It was one of the best Headwater holidays we have had - this is our 6th!. The area is one of outstanding beauty, the balance between visits and walking were perfect and the food and accomodation excellent. Our guides were full of energy and nothing was too much trouble, they were a pleasure to be with for the holiday.
By Mr Craven on 26/05/2012
very enjoyable Vanja exceptional
By Ms Nilssen on 19/05/2012
By Mr Stevens on 12/05/2012
Excellent. Much enjoyed by us all. We were made to feel very welcome.
By Mr Wignall on 12/05/2012
Absolutely perfect, no doubt helped by brilliant weather, superb accommodation and delighful staff and agents
By Mrs Saunders on 00/00/0000
The 2 hill top hotels were excellent. Perhaps more warning should be given that these are steep uphills at the end of the days walk to arrive at hotel.
Buzet really had nothing available in the old town, I had thought there might just be a little more, perhaps. Glad we were there only 2 nights.
By Mr Burgess on 00/00/0000
As above maybe reduce prices.
By Mis Lloyd on 00/00/0000
Beautiful area of undiscovered gems of hilltop villages, lovely hotels, excellent representative and great 'real' food. Late July rather hot but still enjoyable as the walks could be started early in the morning thanks to hotels doing early breakfasts