Customer reviews: Independent walking 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 walking holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their walking holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their walking holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Dr Haberman on 29/11/2016
Beautiful and varied walks. Good level of stamina required. Istria is very quiet but local people are very friendly eg a farmer gave us some apples when we resting (and obviously) tired.
In the first walk, there was no shade. Walk 2 is longer but a little easier. It would make more sense to swap over walks 1 and 2 to allow travellers to acclimatise.
We had a problem with the packed lunches. We mentioned on the application form that we do not eat meat. I rang Headwater the week before the holiday to make sure that this was known and had been passed on to the 2 hotels providing packed lunches. I was told that this would be done. On arrival, we found out that neither hotel knew of our requirements. Clearly, there is communication breakdown.
By Mr Mitchison on 11/11/2016
Excellent and varied walks in attractive countryside, comfortable friendly hotels and interesting local cuisine with plenty of truffles. Our very helpful local guide, Romina, advised us about possible issues and added to our enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mr Butterfield on 13/10/2016
Vegan vrata hotel had no hot water in our room on first day and only warmish on second day. Ate there and staff seemed stressed and this did not make for a relaxing evening. Not impressed with this hotel.
By Mrs Wakefield on 04/10/2016
An enjoyable holiday.
By Mrs Beaney on 04/10/2016
Excellent hotels, really good walking notes (best we've had!), good food available locally. very knowlegable rep.
By Mr Wootton on 04/10/2016
Our journeys on the Castle to Coast Walk took us through some of the most beautiful hill countryside in this relatively unknown region of Croatia. The walks were well-designed, well-described and very enjoyable, and the hotels welcoming and comfortable. Opatija is a gem of a resort and provided an excellent and relaxing conclusion to our trip.
By Mr Erdal on 04/10/2016
The design of the week was very well balanced; the directions astonishingly detailed and accurate; the accommodation superb; Romina the rep absolutely outstandingly excellent. They even got good weather for us. After 22 years of never having an organised holiday we are converts. Could not recommend this more highly.
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 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 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 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 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 Ms Winch on 21/09/2015
Lovely holiday with very welcoming local people
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 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 MacE on 22/05/2015
Good walking with excellent notes. Excellent accommodation. Helpful local rep. Perhaps overpriced.
By Mr Morrison on 22/10/2014
Challenging walking with a comfortable hotel at the end of the day.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Mrs Roberts on 00/00/0000
Lovely country. Romina was an excellent guide. The Buzet loop walk was boring and the notes were not adequate
By Mr Defries on 00/00/0000
Very well organized, would recommend to all.
By Mrs McDonagh on 00/00/0000
brilliant holiday,well packaged,very thorough instructions,great locations
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 Mr Nicholson on 00/00/0000
The package of walks in Croatia was very good, albeit challenging at times. The local rep was excellent and helpful at all times. The accommodation was well chosen and all transfers were timely and efficient. Overall it was an excellent package and we would recommend it to others. This was our second Headwater walking holiday and lived up to the standards set by the first one. We will certainly look to do similar walking holidays with Headwater in future.
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