Customer reviews: Holidays in Emilia Romagna
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 Hulme on 30/08/2017
Excellent accommodation throughout, very flat landscape and a good range of pretty towns and cities to visit.
By Mr Struthers on 14/08/2017
Lovely flat cycling which is essential in an Italian mid summer heat
By Mr Leggett on 14/10/2016
Your booking service was efficient and professional. The holiday itself was only average, particularly given the cost
By Dr Duthie on 15/09/2016
All good. If the receptionists at Palazzo Galletti Abb would ever remove the telephone receiver from their ear and make eye contact it would have been excellent.
By Ms Marshall on 14/09/2016
This cycling holiday was an excellent way to visit the relatively unknown region of Emilia Romagna. The cycling was relatively easy - if hot (in August/September) and the stopover places were really varied and interesting. The accommodation at Le Occare was particularly good, with Cristina's excellent cooking, warm welcome and attention to detail. The old house is beautiful, spacious and comfortable. Our stay there was just very very special.
By Mr Nicol on 09/09/2016
everythink is so planned so well . from the minute you land to the minute you leave
By Mrs Cartwright on 25/07/2016
Really good bikes.
As ti was very hot (end of June and 32 degrees ) we were pleased that the cycling was very easy.
By Mis Ward on 25/07/2016
If you want a mix of history, art and good food with cycling along flat routes then this holiday is for you. But be aware that there is no shade on the first day's cycling, so if the weather is hot it might be a bit of a struggle! Not the most interesting scenery, which is perhaps to be expected in this type of flat agricultural landscape. However, this is made up for by visits to Ravenna, Ferrara, Comacchio and Bologna - and some welcoming hotels.
By Mr Maxwelljackson on 30/06/2016
A very enjoyable, easy (flat) cycle through a beautiful and interesting part of Italy. Apart from one 4-5 mile stretch on a busy road, all the rest of the cycling was on cycle tracks or quiet country roads. The accommodation/meals were varied and of a good standard, and our hosts were all friendly and welcoming. The route descriptions were very clear, accurate and easy to follow - so we didn't get lost!
By Ms Henry on 03/06/2016
Our first cycling holiday and we had a great time - lovely countryside and towns which were also fun to cycle around. Instructions easy to follow so we never got lost! Already thinking of another trip!
By Mr Powell on 20/10/2015
An excellent trip all round.
By Mr Duncan on 06/10/2015
Excellent holiday. Arrangements made by H.O. much appreciated. Taxi company gave first class service.Agency used by Headwater should also be complimented.with special mention to Sarah who spent time & patience when meeting us at base hotel with our bikes etc.
By Mr Jenkinson on 13/08/2015
We have enjoyed many Headwater holidays. However, we have to say that the welcome and advice provided by the representative was the poorest we have experienced. Little guidance on where to buy provisions, drinks, snacks en route, had no knowledge of the likely impact of a public holiday, provided little or no advice on places of interest en route. No wrap-up meeting at end of holiday, and no handover of bikes. We had one damaged bike stand and one lost key, but it was not possible to provide feedback.
By Mr Wade on 05/08/2015
People see the phrase 'cycling holiday' as a contradiction in terms. However this type of holiday affords one the opportunity to see things that are impossible to see or even smell when one is in a car. The carefully thought out routes are a joy to follow as they are so incredibly safe , as well as being stunningly picturesque. The distances prescribed meant that a journey completed at your own leisurely pace enabled one to sample the local delights of the town or village later on in the day. The different types of accommodation is one of the beauties of the holiday. Needless to say I can hand on heart swear that the meals in each of the venues where exquisitely delicious. To finish off I can point to the holiday experience of my wife as evidence of the sheer pleasure of the cycling component. She is reasonably fit but does not cycle at home. She was worried before we went about the distances to be covered and the fear of saddle soreness. Our friends were apprehensive for her as they know that I cycle regularly but my wife does not at all. After six days cycling through beautiful Italian countryside under unremittingly clear blue skies, covering about 350 km, my wife turned to me and said, 'I am going to miss cycling when I return to England.' This is a brilliant concept and I can honestly say that this was one of the most relaxing and interesting holidays that I have ever experienced. Thank you.
By Mr Creighton on 27/07/2015
Easy cycling through flat but attractive countryside with the added advantage of being able to visit a number of larger towns (Ravenna, Ferrara and Bologna). Plenty of restaurant options in Ravenna but we would recommend Osteria dei Battibecchi for outdoor dining and regional cooking, just a short walk from the hotel. As the cycling is close to the Po delta, there are mosquitos, so make sure to take insect repellent.
By Mr Lamb on 24/06/2015
The day after we got back we were on the Headwater website looking for another cycling holiday with you! This was our first time travelling with Headwater, and going on such a cycling holiday, and we were extremely impressed with the organisation and arrangements, the detail and accuracy of the cycling routes and itineraries and all the hotels. We had a fantastic time!
By Mr Blades on 22/06/2015
A well chosen route with easy cycling
By Mrs Golds on 16/06/2015
An enjoyable and interesting holiday with gentle cycling through flat countryside and a friendly welcome from hotel staff and locals. The wonderful Renaissance cities provided an interesting dose of culture and added interest. The hotels were varied, from former palazzos to agriturismos and provided a flavour of the region offering good food with a variety of regional dishes .
By Ms Bernard on 15/06/2015
We were delighted to find Italian drivers more bike aware and patient than in the south of England, which made cycling a pleasure
By Mr Robb on 03/06/2015
This was the fifth holiday for our group of eight people with Headwater - we just keep on returning! Might try Spain next year.
By Mrs Stratford on 20/10/2014
Holiday is accurately described in the brochure and most of the feedback is useful, we done all of the ride's covering 327km bikes were good it was our first experience of hub gears the Shimano version of the Rolhoff type work well, the Cateye was a useful addition for measuring distances on route first time we have had one on any cycling holiday. Ravenna was typical town/city Hotel, we did struggle a little finding somewhere to eat, the one recommended by the Rep was closed for a wedding, where we did eat we got in a bit of a muddle our expected courses never came out together. Comacchio Hotel was excellent the 13km rough straight road as mentioned by others was a bit of a chore, La Occare was different we can understand some peoples views, but we loved it!! La Dondina we had a few problems namely getting in, good job the cook came along. The food and the waitress were brilliant. In summary a good holiday and we enjoyed it.
By Ms Lewis on 10/10/2014
The holiday was extremely well organised, the accommodation was varied, interesting, unusual - and excellent. The bikes were in very good order, comfortable and ideal for the terrain. The electric bike was superb! The route notes were a bit tricky - not easy to read going along (we had better ones with Exodus biking in Puglia) but they were accurate and we didn't lose our way. Local information was v good and accurate. The holiday allowed plenty of time to explore: Ferrara and Ravenna were wonderful, Comaccio a charming surprise.
Last, but by no means least, the staff who dealt with our last minute holiday plans in the Headwater office could not have been more helpful, efficient and friendly.
By Dr Easton on 09/10/2014
As novice cyclists we were pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and varied the trip was. The food in the region lived up to its reputation. We were particularly impressed by the food at Agriturismo LeOccare and by Christina's wonderful hospitality. The Hotel Touring in Bologna is a lovely hotel. The staff very helpful in recommending a couple of excellent restaurants .
Our only complaint is about the accommodation at La Dondina. We killed over 15 flies in our room on the first day and many more after that. It is a real problem which is a shame because the food is excellent and the waiting staff very helpful. Also, it was not clear that we were expected to phone to be let in and ended up waiting outside the gate for 30 minutes with no one in sight.
By Mr Mitchell on 24/09/2014
Very flat, easy cycling. Less to see en route, but fantastic towns to visit with wonderful food.
By Mr Furze on 17/09/2014
Whilst very flat made for easy cycling the lack of hills made for a somewhat uninteresting landscape. A straight 13km road gets a little tedious.
Roads were quiet in terms of traffic volumes but what traffic there was, which included large articulated lorries, drove past at some considerable speed.
The holiday location was a good alternative to Holland. Next time we shall be looking for some hills!!
By Mrs Lewis on 28/08/2014
The holiday was good. The cycling was on flat roads . Sometimes the long straight, flat roads made the cycling a bit tedious especially if it was into the wind.
The final hotel Ag St M Magdelena was not good. Meals were taken in a place across the road, wonderful location but the food was poor. Pool closed. We did not receive an itemised bill and found the wine and drinks in the 'restaurant' expensive.
By Mrs Bolton on 28/08/2014
This was our first cycling holiday and one that we thoroughly enjoyed. The only problem we had was following the instructions to find Bagno Massimo n.84
in Punta Marina, which we subsequently found did not refer to a specific 'Bagno' but the whole area. It did waste rather a lot of beach time.
By Mrs Ripley on 27/08/2014
We combined the Secrets of Tuscany Walk and the Exploring Emilia Romagna Cycling. This option worked extremely well. We arranged extra nights at Hotel Touring, Bologna at beginning and end of the holiday. Transfer from first to second holiday was seamless with a lift to Castel Bolognese and short train journey to Ravenna.
The village of Palazzuolo, Locanda Senio and Bar Gentilini provided perfect respite between walks.
It is well worth seeing the mosaics at various sites in Ravenna. Locanda La Comacina and Comacchio provide an idyllic destination. Agriturismo Le Occare is a little isolated and lacks atmosphere, especially if you are the only guests, although Cristina is a very kind hostess and excellent cook. Santa Maria Maddalena is disappointing. The bar is expensive, extra payment was expected for pool towels and loungers, breakfast fare was dismal with awful coffee and no home baking, as promised. Contrary to the current brochure dinner is not taken in the agriturismo's leafy gardens. We were provided with a lift, by the owner, from Bagnarola to a restaurant in Budrio. Ristorante del Mulino was very good but the fact that you have to be taken and picked up curbs your freedom ( we would have considered cycling the few kilometers but there are no lights on bikes)
As noted by some previous Headwater guests some of the stretches of roads were ,on occasion, fairly busy and/or with heavy, large lorries.
We walked or cycled every kilometer which Headwater suggested in the route notes and enjoyed having two holidays rolled into one!
By Mrs Day on 13/08/2014
This was a super flat cycling itinerary, attractive to novices. However a good percentage of the route was fairly uninspiring and some of it was on very busy roads. There were some lovely routes to savour and some very special accommodation highlights ( Cristina Tosti's hospitality in particular, was outstanding) but overall we thought our last trip around Lake Constance was better value for money and offered more variety and a better quality ride.
By Mr Evans on 07/07/2014
We chose this holiday because of the flatness of the terrain - we can't manage some of the strenuous rides we have in the past. However this inevitably meant that there were some times on the holiday when we were faced with long roads stretching out into the distance with not much change of outlook. This wasn't true of the whole of the holiday however and there were many other days when the environment was varied and interesting. Virtually everyone we met was warm and welcoming and the food was very good. The towns of Ravenna and Bologna have lots to interest not just those who want to spend their time in old churches. We really enjoyed the holiday and would visit the area again.
By Mrs Shelley on 26/06/2014
Accurately graded,excellent accommodation: all but one providing food of a very good standard. Excellent bikes and guidance notes.
By Mr Tyler on 11/06/2014
Flight connections from Birminham via Germany had clearly been well thought out.
All concerns about accuracy of directions were dispelled. Although the bikes were very heavy, they were robust and the gears easy to use. We did not take the 52km loop ride on our fourth day because it seemed over-long. In terms of accommodation and food, Ravenna scored highly with a palatial room and extensive choice at breakfast. Local guide's recommendation of Ca' de Ven as a good restaurant was spot on. Comacchio had the best location and the evening meals were excellent, with friendly staff.
At Runco, the hostess, Cristina, was pleased to share her home and truffle wood. The many small luxuries were a delight.
At Budrio, management were a little impersonal. Food was taken across the road at Accademia Dei Notturni, there were no written menus and the steward, although very friendly, had no English. We think the main course of our meal may have been missed on the first night. No wine prices given. Courtesy bus was appreciated.
By Mr Henniker-major on 15/05/2014
Easy biking, good food, great historic cities and cultural sites...lucky with the weather
By Ms Livesey on 26/09/2013
By Mr Harris on 20/09/2013
We enjoyed the cycling route, althoughit was not particularly scenic compared with other Italy holidays, but we knew the Po delta area would be flat.
Disappointed not to be met at Bologna airport which meant our party had to phone Headwater and the Taxi transfer company and wait over one and a half hours on a very hot day. The anxiety that this gave was a bad start to what was supposed to be a nice break, and no one seemed to accept the responsibilty or even cared that we were thoroughly let down.
On day 3 the road up to S Alberto was very busy with very large lorries overtaking us, quite dangerous, then just before S.Alberto the road was being completely resurfaced, so we had to ride over the grit for about half a mile.We ended up with a puncture in the rear wheel. I repaired it, which was difficult as the hole was near the valve. but one hour later the tyre deflated again. The tube had split so I decided to change the inner tube. However the spare tube provided in my kit was of the wrong type, wider, and with a schrader valve, rather than the racing style valve. Clearly it was for another type of wheel. Fortunately my wife's kit had the right sort of tube. Changing the tube meant removing the rear wheel, but my kit had no spanner, again fortunately my wife's kit did.
When we got to the hotel, I phoned Bike RentalPlus and asked them to supply another tube in case we had another problem. They denied that they would have supplied the wrong inner tube and thta they were not oblged to prove inner tubes anyway! Then said I should buy another from the bike Shop in Comacchio (until then we did not know there was one) She said the hotel would refund the cost. Bike Rental did phone back next day to see if all was now OK and said the htel would refund the 9 Euro. On departure however. The hotel refused to!
Fortunately we had no more punctures. and we enjoyed the rest of the cycling.
Generally we felt that there were too many people involved in supporting customers, with no one person being a local contact point or overall holiday coordinator. Who was responsible for booking the transfers?
We felt the food at the 2 agroturismos was not what we would have expected. Le Occare owner was very pleasant, but food small quantities and menu poor.
Having cycled 28 miles we needed more than a small plate of spagetti and what looked like a poached/baked egg in breadcrumbs! The next evening was better. At S.m. Maddelena we were clearly on a low price and quality menu compared with non cycling guests.
By Dr Lucas on 31/08/2013
An excellent holiday with easy cycling along quiet back roads through beautiful fertile countryside. The hotels were all of a good quality, with individual features which made them memorable. We saw very few tourists and felt immersed in 'real' Italy.
By Ms Slade on 02/08/2013
Friendly and helpful locals (with one exception). Very easy cycling (though very hot in July and shortage of shade). Three beautiful cities within easy reach. Lovely food. Le Occare was particularly charming. Main downside was very troublesome midges/mosquitoes!
By Dr Madhvani on 25/07/2013
Well organised rural cycling holiday
By Mr Donnelly on 15/07/2013
The chosen holiday was beautiful, easy cycling, great towns to visit, good Food!!
By Mr Barrow on 30/06/2013
In the heat, which reached 38C, the terrain was often too flat and monotonous to be truly enjoyable.
By Mrs Gittins on 28/06/2013
A very enjoyable and relaxing cycling hooiday for leisure cyclists who do not want a too demanding route. Beautiful soft scenery and lovely hotels.
By Mrs Chessum on 14/06/2013
This is our second Headwater cycling holiday in Italy. On both occasions we had a thoroughly good time. Arrangemenrts worked like clockwork; directions were accurate and easy to follow; bikes good quality; hotels lovely. A special thank you to Sarah in the admin team for being unfailingly helpful. Very different from our Headwater cycle trip to the Loire last year when I had cause to complain both about the quality of the directions and about the cleanliness of the hotels. This trip has restored my faith in Headwater, although I still feel wary of booking another of the France trips!
By Mr Barnett on 30/05/2013
Excellent holiday, first class directions, poor arrangements for bikes if you wish to take the train to Ferrara or Bologna let the whole experience down.
By Mrs Spriggs on 29/09/2012
Generally accurate description in the brochure in terms of difficulty and accommodation. The only point I would like to make is that on occasions the roads were quite busy compared to previous Headwater holidays. Especially the ride to the abbey on our rest day at commachio.
By Mr Munn on 24/09/2012
This was our 11th cycling holiday with Headwater in consecutive years and at our present ages of 72yrs and 69yrs we intend to continue. We have considered other companies but have adopted the principle "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" so it will be Headwater again next year.
This was probably the easiest Headwater tour that we have undertaken.The total of 295km was, as indicated in the brochure, on pan flat roads. The scenery was lovely and all the hotels were ones that we were happy to stay at.
The quality of the bikes and other equipment was good. We are raising one localised issue with Headwater separately and are confident that the reaction will be positive.
By Mrs Ryan on 18/08/2012
great holiday, not as pretty as Piemonte but a lot flatter, Cristina in Runco was a superb host and we were only let done by the service in the last hotel.
By Mrs Hancock on 23/06/2012
We loved this holiday: our enjoyment was very much helped by the weather which was excellent. The bikes were very good quality and the cycling easy. The hotels were well chosen and in or close to 3 very interesting cities.
By Mrs Rodely on 16/06/2012
Enjoyable, very friendly and helpful staff and people who we came into contact with. The hotels were all very comfortable, the routes easy to follow and the suggested visits on the non moving day were good. A holiday much enjoyed.
By Mrs Peter on 00/00/0000
Excellent bicycles, excellent route instructions, would like upgrade in accommodation in future
By Mr Bellion on 00/00/0000
A fascinating and varied area - great flat cycling, good hotels and great food.