Customer reviews: Activity holidays in France
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 Turner on 14/10/2016
Ideal combination of a cycling holiday with time to explore and staying in nice hotels
By Mrs Tully on 14/10/2016
We have been on a few other trips with headwater and this was our least favorite. There are a number of problems with the instructions. The area is not as scenic at the time of year we rode as others. The distances are quite short with little to do once the ride is over. There are things that need to be thought out and tips and pointers given such as availability of taxis to St. Remy and restaurant/store availability. Still a number of bugs that need to be worked out.
By Mrs Huddart on 14/10/2016
Hilltop villages of Provence
This was an excellent holiday, lovely scenery and good hotels and we had a lot of fun. Days 1 and 3 are quite challenging and justify the 2 bike plus rating but the other days are not overly taxing, and there is no shame in pushing your bike up the hill into Gordes! If you start the cycling bit of this holiday on a Sunday there is an excellent market in Isles sur la Sorgue where you can get picnic supplies...although pushing the bike through the packed town was a bit challenging.(I would give this holiday 5 stars)
Vineyards of the Vaucluse
Pleasant cycling through some enjoyable countryside, and lots of good wine! Le Grand Jardin is one of the loveliest places we have stayed. The food at Castel Mireio was delicious and the service (unlike a previous reviewer we didn't find it slow) and welcome very friendly. We are not quite sure it merits anything higher than a one bike rating - some of the distances for full days cycling were a bit short (but we had done 'Hilltop Villages of Provence' the week before so this may have coloured our view). It is not a very touristy area (apart from Vaison la Romain) so many places you visit are quite quiet.
(I would give this holiday 3 stars)
By Mr Black on 13/10/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed cycling the canal du midi.the surroundings were splendid;the towns visited steeped in history and the hotels chosen in almost all senses excellent.However in places the canal paths were poor especially after heavy rain and could do with some investment by the local authorities. the routes chosen were carefully chosen to enable us to see the French countryside at its best ,particularly the Vineyards. we would highly recommend this holiday. victor and Maureen,Dublin,Ireland.
By Mr Lockley on 13/10/2016
Another excellent Headwater holiday with a good variation of walks and the opportunity to view birdlife not seen in an English garden.
By Mrs Bryan on 13/10/2016
Wonderful dramatic scenery and fabulous walks. Take care with your choice of walks if you don't have a good head for heights. Some paths are narrow and very near the edges of huge vertical drops.
By Mr McGeoch on 13/10/2016
This holiday has given us the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful villages in Provence under our own steam and away from the crowds you'd find on a typical coach trip The exercise of cycling during the day is a great appetite-sharpener for enjoying some excellent food and local wines in the evening.
By Mrs MacDonald on 13/10/2016
Really enjoyed the holiday, and all the arrangements were excellent, without being intrusive. Although we are both pretty fit, some of the distances were challenging for us, even in ideal conditions, leaving us little time to birdwatch and enjoy the wineries. Delightful part of the country, and well chosen hotels, especially the Jardin d'Homps and Hotel Particulier. Some of the notes were difficult to follow, especially around/through some of the villages, and with the mixed use of the 'canal on the right', and 'the right bank of the canal'.
By Mr McIntosh on 04/10/2016
By Mr Jones on 04/10/2016
A great holiday if you like good food and wine but the walking was slightly disappointing. Although the views were sometimes good, there was too much walking on the roads.
By Mrs Shepherd on 04/10/2016
A pleasant way to experience 'off the beaten' track regions through a very manageable itinerary and allowing for a high level of independence whilst in the comfort of knowing the back up is there if required. The quality of both bikes and hotels excellent - would use Headwater again.
By Mr Valentine on 04/10/2016
A lovely area to holiday, with beautiful scenery, and great hotels (we particularly liked the Mas and the Bastide for their settings, and the welcome from the owner of the Hotel Ste Anne was extremely helpful and welcoming - she had lots of ideas about what to do and see around Apt, and gave us details of rides in the area). Our first reps were clearly new to the area but were very helpful. We'd definitely book another Headwater holiday.
The notes for Day 2 (the section for Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to Fontaine de Vaucluse) are confusing. We think you've got your D25 and D24 mixed up, and perhaps the distances as a result as well.
The notes for Day 4 (the section for Roussilon to St Saturnin les Apt) in the paragraph starting 'Continuing on, with the mines...' mentions 'Go straight over the roundabout...) You would only do this if returning back to the roundabout after having taken the 1st exit to go to the shops and the cafÃ©. If you hadn't taken the 1st exit, but taken the 3rd, you'd be left wondering where the second roundabout was that you were supposed to go straight across!
By Mr Newberry on 29/09/2016
A great introduction to the pleasure of a cycling holiday, wonderful varied scenery with ever changing views at every turn and well chosen stopovers.
By Mr Ponting on 27/09/2016
A well organised cycling tour thoroughly enjoyed by us both. Hotels were very well selected for the type of holiday, with much good food to enjoy whilst there.
The luggage transportation was good and the Headwater Rep, Steve was amazing! well done to him for all he did for us!
By Mrs Cameron on 27/09/2016
Great contrasts in locations so holiday very accurately titled!
By Mrs Hewson on 27/09/2016
We had another great holiday with Headwater. The walks and the scenery in the Tarn Gorge are stunning. I would class some of the walks as strenuous and adventurous , sometimes verging on being '3 boot'. The Hotel de la Muse enjoys a marvellous location overlooking the Tarn river and on occasion you can watch the vultures and herons fly whilst having dinner on the terrace. The hotel is excellent with spacious, clean, light rooms and large airy communal lounges/ spaces, great food and friendly staff.
Local village of Rozier is quaint. On Monday night the hotel arranges for guests to eat in a local restaurant in Rozier where we enjoyed gourmet food and very friendly staff. THe sandwich shop on the corner of the village also good.
We came by train from the UK to Avignon which is a very interesting city, well worth a visit. It is about a 4 to 5 hour drive from there to Rozier.
All in all another memorable holiday.
By Mrs Little on 26/09/2016
A wonderful taste of Provencal scenery, wine and food!
By Mr McGinn on 23/09/2016
Good, bikes, good hotels, delicious food and wine, what more could you wish for.
By Mr Armstrong on 23/09/2016
See the box above.
By Mr Bennett on 14/09/2016
An excellent first bike trip to the Loire, with 8 nights seeming just about right. We could not have eaten much more of the multiple courses of excellent food. Lovely experience to visit so many interesting towns, villages and chateaux en route, without having to drag the luggage around. Some beautiful countryside and riverside landscapes to explore. Comprehensive maps, directions and travel tips - as well as very helpful and professional Reps - were very useful to help us get the most out of the trip.
By Mr Heyes on 14/09/2016
Our first holiday with Headwater but it won't be the last. We enjoyed seeing France from a different angle and at a slower pace.
By Mrs Caruthers on 14/09/2016
If you like being outdoors and lots of exercise, this is a perfect balance to stay active and work up an appetite to indulge in the gastronomy and wine. Compared to the South East of England the lack of traffic and potholes is wonderful!
By Mrs Tod on 14/09/2016
Meysset's food was good but not Gourmand-Tuna kebabs? Monrecour was lovely but we were in annex and didn't eat there as a wedding had taken it over! We couldn't eat in the Chateau due to a wedding.The restaurant ( Petite Tonnelle) in Beynac was excellent instead. the owner of Chateau took us there! Glycines was over the top,to us, food wise, and they tried to suggest very expensive wines! Laborderie was the best for us, good food, nice staff/owner!
We had difficulty understanding the last day's route after Lac Rouge and there was an annoying delay at Meysset waiting for our bags due to a communication missunderstanding somewhere between hotel and taxi driver. We waited 90 mins plus for them when they were in fact there! We were not staying there that night so we were late arriving at our next hotel.Elisabeth is aware.
By Mr Simkiss on 14/09/2016
The group became a bunch of very friendly fellow holiday makers in no time. The local guide was experienced and competent.
By Mr Gray on 12/09/2016
This was an interesting holiday because of the towns visited and their differing charactters - also the passage along the Canal du Midi. Food was always available of varying type. Carcassonne CitÃ© was a historic experience, as was Narbonne and BÃ©ziers. Sete unusual because of canals and maritime background. Cycling was not hard, except that the weather was unusually hot for the time of year (September) (even to locals). Having days off cycling in Carcassonne, Narbonne, BÃ©ziers and Sete was extremely helpful. Allowed some rest and catch up if there were problems.
By Mr Cook on 09/09/2016
Varied cycling, welcoming hotels with a difference and excellent cuisine!
By Mr Holt on 09/09/2016
A really lovely week touring a rural area of Provence. The scenery within the Luberon valley, protected by the two wooded and rocky ridges was delightful, shame we missed the lavender in bloom (late August) but the fruit trees and vineyards were pretty scenic. The grading is fair, one or two climbs to the hillside villages worth it for the views and a welcome cool drink! Accommodation on the whole, whilst modest, was acceptable, the highlights being the pool at Les Mas de Senecole and the 'Country Home' lounge at L'Hermitage. Not terribly taken with St Saturnin les Apt as a stop, either as a village and particularly unimpressed with the Hotel St Hubert. Routes well planned on country lanes and bike tracks but still offering interesting stop off points - we loved the Caves at Thouzon, not least for its cool temperatures on a hot day! Great reliable support from reps Laura and Tim.
By Mr Stocks on 07/09/2016
Headwater provide gently active (this interpretation depends on one's level of fitness and expectation!) holidays in comfortable, interesting hotels and places. The restaurants vary, some are better than others, but in general they reach a very satisfactory standard. I think they are a great way to spend time exploring an area but with always the fall back of a pleasant hotel.
By Ms Catterall on 05/09/2016
Lots of planning 'legwork' saved by going through Headwater. Hotels all carefully chosen for their individuality. We had the back up of a large organisation but the personal service of, what seemed, a much smaller one. Great standard of evening meal on the Gastronomic tour.
By Mrs Riviere on 30/08/2016
This is a great family holiday: the cycling was pretty easy for all of us (the children were 15, 13 and 10), but there was enough challenge for us to feel proud of ourselves by the end of the week. The routes were incredibly easy to follow, and took us through wonderfully varied terrain - through beautiful fields of sunflowers, past vineyards, through shady forests and along the rivers Cher and Loir. Every day brought something new to see or do. The roads were all quiet and there were lots of well-maintained cycle paths. The hotels were well-chosen and welcoming, and the only downside of the week was that we ate far too much delicious food! The back-up from James and Hazel, the local reps, was fantastic, and the bikes themselves were excellent. We're looking forward to another cycling holiday soon!
By Mr Francies on 30/08/2016
Harder work than I expected - August too hot for long cycles - Restaurants selected weere good
By Mrs Granville on 30/08/2016
Great hotels and food - a great trip in a beautiful region..
By Mrs Fuller on 30/08/2016
lovely holiday with easy cycling through attractive countryside and interesting hotels each with their own charms.
By Mr Barr on 30/08/2016
We thought about doing a holiday like this before, but hadn't quite got round to it, so we jumped in at the deep end not really knowing what to expect. The country side is stunning and the views from the top we well worth the climb up. The organisation was perfect, the accommodation great, the food fantastic, and all the hotleliers were very friendly, just make sure you take a good pair of boots to avoid Hobbit foot. We will definitely do another of these trip through Headwater and would thoroughly recommend them to others.
By Mr Berndsen on 23/08/2016
Great cycling. Authentic hamlets, nice quiet route.
By Mr Bridges on 23/08/2016
Bikes and Cycling routes excellent. Very good choices of varied hotels - all very good locations. The Brittany coast is best seen by bike!
By Mrs Singleton on 23/08/2016
Elizabeth was friendly, efficient and helpful tour rep. The food and accommodation were generally superb, especially at Hostellerie Fenelon, where the staff made special efforts with our 9 year old. We particuarly liked reading about the experiences of others in the Headwater Blue Book, which gave us useful clues for what to do on the 'non-canoeing' days. It also helped us plan for the weather which was variable, ranging from very hot to thunderstorms. We would highly recommend canoeing and cycling the Dordogne which is a welcoming and very attractive area of France. Our children really enjoyed themselves. We are glad that we didn't try it with children any younger because after four canoeing days, our youngest (9) was tired! The pools at each hotels were a particular hit. QuercyLand, the children's water park at Souillac, proved something of a lifesaver when we realised that we weren't going to be able to cycle because of illness.
By Mr Breach on 23/08/2016
A great holiday, well organised and not as physically demanding as we imagined. Steve was a very knowledgeable and accommodating host. Please let him know that I was reunited with my wedding ring and that I think we found the hidden aircraft factory that he told us about.
By Mrs Jackson on 23/08/2016
Being able to easily visit several locations made the holiday much more interesting, and so nice not to have to think about where to park the car. Electric bikes gave us so much freedom to see more things at our age (66 and 76!)
By Ms Kimsey on 23/08/2016
We enjoyed our holiday in the lovely countryside and the cycling routes were scenic but it would have been nice to cycle past some lavender fields as they feature so prominently in postcards and appear in the brochure. We particularly enjoyed the traditional country hotel at the beginning of our holiday including breakfasting outdoors and the outdoor dining and leisure area of Montmirail was particularly nice. It is nice to return from a cycle to a relaxing swim. The food and wine is generally excellent and gives the opportunity to try some regional specialities. We really enjoyed our holiday.
By Mrs Ricketts on 23/08/2016
We had a lovely cycling holiday on the Cotes to Ventoux tour. The reps were great in picking us up and explaining about the bikes and timings etc. The hotels were lovely especially the first 2, which had the best food too! It was nice cycling along at our own time and the notes were good in explaining where to go so didn't get lost.
By Mrs Saxby on 23/08/2016
As a family of six, headwater is a great holiday choice for us. We enjoy spending the time together and the activities give us a shared focus and shared sense of achievement. The children age between 16 and eight, and they all enjoyed the holiday. It challenged their palates as well as their legs, as most of the hotels don't offer kids menus, but this worked out fine and they all discovered things they didn't know they might like. Canoeing was harder work than expected, but such a beautiful way to see the river. I really love headwater holidays, this is our third time and it definitely won't be our last. Now that all the children are confidently able to cycle we will try some more ambitious ones next time.
By Mr Sheridan on 23/08/2016
The holiday was extremely relaxing. Travel arrangements, accommodation, table booking and baggage transfer were all handled professionally without fuss or drama, giving us the complete freedom to enjoy our walking tour.
The quality of the accommodation and the wonderful restaurants probably exceeded our expectations. Whilst not an inexpensive holiday we did we feel got value for money and lasting memories.
By Mrs Moynihan on 23/08/2016
We had a superb holiday cycling in the Loire Valley. At times I felt i was cycling through a picture postcard, the scenery was so beautiful. The cycling was manageable for our 12 year old twins and the bikes were an excellent standard. The roads were quiet and the French were very polite and patient with cyclists (unlike British drivers!). The food was excellent quality
By Mrs Shorney on 23/08/2016
Beautiful scenery, wonderful dining and comfortable cycling in a lovely part of the country
By Mrs Humphries on 23/08/2016
An excellent holiday. Well organised and great hotels. The walks were fantastic with clear instructions. We took the telecabine to gain some height where we could and I would recommend that particularly on days 2 and 6. The grading of the walks is accurate.
By Dr Monte on 19/08/2016
We had a wonderful mixed activity holiday cycling and canoeing down the Dordogne knowing we had excellent food and drink to look forward to after a hard days work. Pure bliss !!
By Mr Peacock on 19/08/2016
The 'multi-choice' approach to answering disguises the variable nature of the accommodation and cuisine. The route notes (for cycling) were written in almost narrative style and A4 landscape which may be appropriate and helpful to walkers but were cumbersome and awkward to follow for cyclists. Some defences were clearly lifted from walking notes e.g. references to maps not available to cyclists.
By Mr Lowe on 19/08/2016
The local team gave us really useful practical tips and were very friendly
The holiday exceeded our expectations in terms of pure enjoyment, accuracy of walking routes and notes and we particularly appreciated the views, suggested stops for refreshments and quality of the hotels we stayed in
By Mr Guthrie on 19/08/2016
Headwaters choice of hotels / restaurants resulted in us having some superb meals.
By Mrs Monk on 17/08/2016
A well structured, walking holiday on the Brittany coastline .
By Mrs Davidson on 17/08/2016
An ideal combination of mild peril, moderate exercise and gluttony, in lovely and interesting surroundings.
By Mrs Took on 17/08/2016
This was a very enjoyable holiday exceeding my expectations. The walks and walking notes were great, the included meals were extremely good and the Headwater contacts, James and Hazel were excellent - very friendly and helpful. I loved having a day off between the walks to explore the area surrounding our hotels or to simply relax by the pool.
By Mrs Moss on 17/08/2016
We have just returned from an excellent 10 days in France, having never been to this area before, we now are keen to return! The walking and cycling was definitely 2 boot, but worth the climbs. And we really enjoyed the relaxed canoeing down The Dordogne. All hotels were excellent with fabulous food. Sarlet is very pretty and well worth the extra night, although it is a long climb up back to the hotel from the town.
By Mrs Cornish on 17/08/2016
Gentle cycling through beautiful countryside - with stunning chateaux to visit - fabulous fragrances in the air - luxurious accommodation and wonderful food and wine. At the end we were fitter - but possibly fatter too!
By Dr Paget on 17/08/2016
High Alps walking tour is strenuous but rewarding. Certainly challenging in places. Well worth experiencing.
By Mr Hughes on 17/08/2016
This was a really lovely holiday with beautiful scenery in a picturesque area.
By Mrs Evans on 16/08/2016
Fantastic service from Steve and great routes to cycle. The Manoir des Portes served the most wonderful food. Both the Manoir and the Hotel Printania were full of character and gave wonderful service. Thank you!
By Mr Hutchison on 16/08/2016
I can't imagine any other type of holiday that is so satisfying in terms of exercise combined with relaxation, visiting new places, and truly excellent food & drink.
By Mrs Clark on 16/08/2016
The booking process was simple and supportive. The holiday exceeded expectation; not something I have said before. The accommodation was superb, food wonderful, welcome huge and help available when required.
By Mrs Ainscough on 16/08/2016
Great cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops - definitely a great way to explore the region - you can smell the lavender fields and really enjoy the countryside. Both Keith and Claire were excellent reps - really friendly, helpful and flexible in every way. The food at Dame L'Oie in Perne la Fontaine was superb as was the food at Hotel de Sable. Quality of the bikes was very good. The itinerary for the rest day at Maubec was a little underwhelming as we felt the villages weren't that picturesque with few options for coffee/stop-offs and only managed to get lunch at the last stop in Robion. We would have preferred to go back to Lacoste and Menerbes which we had whizzed through the day before.
By Ms Young on 16/08/2016
The area is beautiful with many castles to visit and easy to cycle. Food is gourmet & delicious, many restaurants and cafes on route. Plenty of history. Weather is great. Though problems I mentioned need to be dealt with.
By Mr Lewis on 16/08/2016
For us in our seventies, this three boot walk presented a serious challenge, especially as the weather was unsettled and thundery. Hence the fact that we did indeed complete the basic circular walk without using local transport (except for a few ski-lifts), and without mishap, was a matter of great satisfaction to us. When the clouds cleared, the views were magnificent, and when they didn't clear, the views were still pretty good. The hotels and their locations were nearly all ideal places to recover between assaults on the sensational hills. This is definitely one for the serious walker who is in practice. However, should the body or spirit fail (and ours did not), there are more options for ducking out than we had been led to believe; plenty of local buses, for example.
By Mr Turner on 08/08/2016
A really good walk across the Loire Valley. Highly recommended
By Mr Clare on 08/08/2016
Some superb chateaux to visit along the route. Gentle walking. Beware of biting insects.
By Mr Merryweather on 08/08/2016
Leisurely cycling tour through beautiful and quiet countryside with leisurely breaks at excellent hotels, providing sufficient time to visit chateaux and gardens along the way.
By Mr McMahon on 01/08/2016
A very simple booking process. Quickly confirmed. Our times for crossing via tunnel/rail were good. An excellent local guide/rep. Hotels were of a good standard, food arrangements were excellent.
By Mr Clarke on 25/07/2016
Careful consideration of grading and your own physical ability. Whilst every care is taken - cycling can be strenuous. Using electric bikes solves everything! ( But less exercise- but great for hills and admiring the country side! Using e-bikes helps multi generational inclusion and would enable less strong cyclists to participate easily on harder routes.
By Mrs Lithgow on 25/07/2016
This was an ideal holiday for our family with three teenagers. The canoeing wasn't too demanding but was fun, and the 'rest' days could be as active as we liked. The Dordogne is a wonderful part of France, fantastically beautiful, and with superb cuisine. All the hotels provided fantastic meals and really good, friendly service. The kids had a triple room in three of the five hotels and these were well-sized, proper triple or family rooms so they had plenty of space.
I would normally put our family holiday together myself but it was wonderful being able to leave all the organisation up to someone else, knowing that all the pieces would fit together. They did our flights (from Scotland) - with dates that didn't match the canoeing holiday - and also car hire for those extra days at a very reasonable rate.
Just be aware that you will have extra costs when you are there. You will, of course, have to pay for drinks with your (half board) evening meal, and these prices varied quite a bit between the hotels, and the picnic lunches provided by the hotels varied between 7 and 10 Euros per person. We could add tips to our card payments at all but one of the hotels.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 25/07/2016
Great for a relaxing experience of every day France. Our sixth Headwater vacation in six years! The food was fantastic - even though two of us are vegetarians - every restaurant was really outstanding! The hotels have a lot of character - with the exception of Normandie, which was very good too just not as exciting. Sadly, the local train/bus issues make getting places less carefree - especially on stay-put days. Our rep, Stephen, did the best he could of making up for the trains/buses. Enjoyed meeting the local French people a lot -- they were very friendly. This hike is good for meeting the locals. The country side and villages were beautiful. We did two walking excursions not on the trip notes that were outstanding: The first made the hike 2 hours longer, but we hiked to the Notre Dame D'Orient at the top of a hill in Semizelles - this was a highlight of the day!! The regional notes have this suggestion. Absolutely worth the climb! The other was to an organic brewery just outside of St. Pere (Near Vezelay) - also a highlight of the day! Try the white beer! The Grotto near Vermenton was a lot of fun! Vezeley was the highlight of the trip - do not miss morning 7:00 prayers in the basilica!!!! The singing of angels!! Can't wait to plan our next Headwater vacation!
By Mr Clayton on 25/07/2016
OK but accommodation, especially Auberge de la Chappelle, which was pretty poor, ordinary for the price and not representing good value.
By Mr Druett on 25/07/2016
Exxcellent trip,superb reps,only complaint food at Les Pins - an uninspired menu for the demi pension. No choice,poor value
By Mr Strauss on 25/07/2016
We can warmly recommend the Loire Gastronomic Cycling holiday which is particularly suitable for the reasonably fit and active over-65s. The hotels are excellent and all had swimming pools, the meals were really delicious and the cycling was not too strenuous. The countryside is stunning, as are the many chateaux along the route which are of special interest and add greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mrs Southwell on 25/07/2016
Great holiday - easy cycling on quiet roads and cycle routes - delightful reps and first class hotels and food. A very successful Gastronomic holiday.
By Mrs Hills on 25/07/2016
Brilliant holiday, fantastic views and flower meadows. Luggage transfers etc went smoothly and our hosts were welcoming especially at Les Sapins and hotel Renard. The walk is definitely tough especially if doing extensions and rest day walks, I found walking poles essential my husband managed without! Route descriptions re ridges for those worried about heights were accurate. Mont de Grange was very steep but worth the effort we were fortunate in having great weather for this day but still needed a fleece at the summit due to snow field. The food was generally good, we opted to buy our own lunch at the local bakers and grocers shops which worked well - note the supermarket described in our notes in Chapelle d'Abondance closed in March we couldn't find another but bought an excellent quiche at the boulangerie, and fruit from grocers just past the tourist info office. The Chalets du Mouet on the walk from Chatel to Chapelle d'Abondance was charming they do a lovely salad. Also the mountain refuge at Ubine is ideally placed for a stop, the food looked great, we took shelter and advantage of a hot chocolate which was very welcome on a wet and chilly day. We would recommend this holiday if you're fit but be aware that the temperatures vary considerably, we started at 28c and had 3 days at 9c! Being non skiers it was great to witness the alpine scenery.
By Mrs Elston on 22/07/2016
A very enjoyable break - excellent support from the Headwater rep, fabulous walking supported by excellent notes and lovely hotels in beautiful countryside to recover and recuperate in - who could ask for more?
By Mrs Smith on 22/07/2016
The scenery in the Alps is stunning especially when the flowers are in bloom but the walking is quite strenuous so you need to be reasonably fit and well equipped.
By Mr Wallis on 21/07/2016
Hotel in a beautiful location, welcoming and friendly staff, superb food and an excellent area for walking.A week was much too short!
By Mr File on 19/07/2016
This area of Brittany is excellent for cycling with lots of off road cycling to interesting towns with lovely views. The long time Headwater rep here goes out of his way to provide support. He is the best rep we have had after over a dozen Headwater holidays.
By Mr Baynton on 19/07/2016
Good weeks cycling in France following the canal du midi. Headwater rep Greg was very helpful and provided us with useful tips. Standard of hotel good especially hotel in Beziers (Hotel Particulier) which was a gem. Cycling enjoyable challenging at times due to the wind and heat. Bikes supplied were of a good standard. Would definitely book another cycling holiday after this experience.
By Mrs Long on 15/07/2016
E bikes were excellent although son enjoyed physical demands of ordinary bike. Need to see them on more routes and more routes on an easy grading. Hotels can be a bit variable, all had their plus points but especially French Hotels can be a bit shabby. Need detailed larger scale maps are necessary to support the route notes which can be confusing. Food generally very good. The e bikes need to be able to manage demands of terrain and the needs of the riders.
By Mrs High on 15/07/2016
A much enjoyed and excellent holiday giving us the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery. we did appreciate the days restbetween each walk as the walks were fairly demanding and the miles covered were probably to our limit.
By Ms Gordon on 15/07/2016
Stephen is a great asset to Headwater, he is outgoing, helpful and informative.Thank you again to the online staff of Headwater for a glorious 9 days!
By Mrs Lynn on 15/07/2016
Good food, good walking and good organization.
By Mrs Cant on 15/07/2016
all in all - good trip, excellent gear - too much food!
By Mr Crooks on 15/07/2016
Wonderful relaxing holiday
By Mr Cleugh on 15/07/2016
This was our first trip with Headwater (recommended by our New Zealand travel agent) and we are very pleased with our choice and will definitely look at another cycling trip in the future- most likely in France. We were particularly impressed with by the friendliness of all the hotel staff we encountered - and their helpfulness!!
By Mrs Triger on 15/07/2016
We had two varied weeks in France, interspersed with the 8 day walking holiday. I think we have come to the conclusion that staying based in one hotel (i.e. Kandersteg) is probably better for us than walking from hotel to hotel. We missed having a car on our 'rest' days in order to explore the surroundings. We also found 23kms rather too much for us! We got lost a couple of times following the instructions - better signposting in Switzerland! However, the food, wine and the beautiful countryside was much appreciated. Not often one walks only hearing birdsong and nothing else!
Thanks Headwater for all your arrangements.
By Mr Parker on 15/07/2016
Tough walk but very stimulating
By Mr Forward on 15/07/2016
we appreciate all the information and support provided and i look forward to travelling with headwater again.
By Mrs Gardner on 06/07/2016
We had a lovely holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the walking from one hotel to the next. The route notes were very detailed and easy to follow (especially as we had the maps too). Also the folders in the hotels with customers comments were useful especially for finding restaurants. We particularly appreciated the wine carrying service. It was great being able to buy wine on the way and then find it all in our hotel room at the end. Our rep, Hannah, was very friendly and helpful especially in finding a restaurant for our first night in Turckheim when most restaurants seemed to be shut. We did all the suggested longer walks (even in the rain) and have arrived home feeling very fit! All in all it was an excellent holiday - many thanks to Headwater and to our rep Hannah for her help and encouragement.
By Mr Ridyard on 02/07/2016
Excellent organisation and support, fantastic accommodation and food, very enjoyable cycle routes
By Mrs Chester on 02/07/2016
Cycling through wonderful rural landscapes; visiting beautiful hilltop villages
By Mrs Colquhoun on 30/06/2016
This was not our best holiday with Headwater the weather in the Dordonge was just awful and we had to contend with a train strike none of which Headwater could have done anything about. We dried out on the last three days in Sete which was lovely. Electric bikes are wonderful
By Mr Pearson on 30/06/2016
Challenging walks lead to magnificent and interesting views within this small area of France . We were rewarded with the most beautiful array of spring flowers including several varieties of orchid. The excellent hotel , where English is widely spoken meant a lovely homecoming each evening.Wonderful gourmet menu etc completed our day! Thank you!
By Ms Roy on 30/06/2016
An enjoyable, varied and flexible holiday. It was possible to have long days or short days as you wished in a quiet and relaxed mountain area. Much less busy than the Alps but with beautiful scenery. We were given a very warm welcome wherever we went.
By Mr Willard on 30/06/2016
We had a fantastic holiday, The scenery, food and accomodation were great. Although we are both pretty fit my wife isn't such a keen cyclist but she really enjoyed this. The reps were really helpful when my wife wanted to swap to an E-bike towards the end when it got really hot, and now she wants to go again which I never thought would happen! I would really recommend this holiday and the E- bikes for those less enthusiastic about cycling
By Mr Dunn on 27/06/2016
An exciting and demanding adventure with the reward of wonderful food in beautiful surroundings.
By Dr Sterland on 27/06/2016
Good location for walking and other things of interest. Hotel was a bit odd although comfortable. Being larger than some it was not so friendly as some of the smaller hotels, although the staff we individually friendly there were quite a number.
By Mrs Rayden on 17/06/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed the walks, which were interestingly varied, with marvellous views and clearly defined paths. The route notes were accurate and helpful, and the hotels welcoming, clean and comfortable. The Headwater team helped sort out problems with travel resulting from the French rail strikes, which was very reassuring.
By Mr Brady on 17/06/2016
The first thing to say is how friendly, welcoming, dependable and helpful we found Hannah. We are also aware of the amount of time and effort she put in to assist our fellow travellers after the lady injured herself.
We took all the longer walking options and experienced some weaknesses in the route descriptions, which we passed on to Hannah so that she can check them out.
We can understand why you chose the hotels that you did, but, while it was interesting to visit Turckheim, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, all of which are beautiful, we would prefer to have stayed in locations that were not so thronged with tourists. For example, hotels in Kientzheim and Sigoldsheim, very close to Kaysersberg, had English speakers and offered evening meals.
Erratic opening times of shops, restaurants and cafes is also a bit problematical as you are setting off not knowing whether or not it is necessary to carry provisions. The cafe in Trois Epis and the restaurant at St Alexis Chapelle are cases in point. In the case of the latter, we would strongly recommend booking in advance. I'm sure Madame in Hotel Constantin would oblige.
All in all, we had a good time, enjoyed the local delicacies and wine, the beautiful and varied countryside and, in particular, the lovely unspoilt little villages that we walked through. We now look forward to our next trip with you to Menorca.
By Mr Richards on 16/06/2016
We went for a canoeing holiday. which didn't happen.Obviously, Headwater were completely blameless.We made the most of it, with excellent help from Elizabeth (our Rep), by walking. This area, especially at this time of year, wouldn't have been my choice for walking. For us,this was a very expensive walking holiday.
By Mr Crossley on 16/06/2016
Good alternative holiday
By Mr Salisbury on 16/06/2016
Great holiday in beautiful location. Headwater team were excellent throughout.
By Dr Dixon on 16/06/2016
Considering the heat, up to 36 degrees C, we found the cycling distances quite demanding in the time available.
We found cycling between 12 and 2pm too much in the heat, Certainly we had no time to linger and do wine tasting!
The route directions, while mostly good, did include some significant errors - we left details of these with our Rep so that corrections could be made.
A more detailed street map of the route into Beziers would have saved us a lot of confusion.
We loved the hotels, particularly the welcome. All the hotels had very good restaurants close by.
By Dr Bainbridge on 15/06/2016
The balance of vineyard and forest was good. The towns and villages and castle were varied and interesting.
By Dr Garton on 14/06/2016
great support right from time of booking, challenges such as French floods tackled proactively, very comfortable, civilised cycling
By Mr Wildsmith on 14/06/2016
Interesting area; good length of walks; very helpful rep.
By Mrs Gourlay on 14/06/2016
We found the holiday extremely well organised, we had no problem with arrangements from start to finish despite the problems France are having at the moment with strikes. The reps Jon and Neu were the best we have experienced on any Headwater holiday, they worked hard to ensure the experience was as good as it could be. We were also impressed with the bikes, which were easy to operate and very comfortable.
By Mr Buckham on 14/06/2016
Despite a week of rain we were able to enjoy walking and the hotel was really good, though couldn't really appreciate the outside facilities. Only thing that would have helped would have been access to a drying room for waterproofs and boots.
By Mrs Ramsden on 14/06/2016
Superb cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops. The reps were really helpful in every way and we enjoyed our time with them. Whilst staying at the Hermitage hotel we ate in the local town at the restaurant - Dame L'Oie which was superb. At Vaison la Romaine we ate at La Barantavelle which was a wonderful meal and far superior to the alternative restaurant in the Old Town. The most disappointing was Castel Mirei as although the owners were very helpful, both breakfasts and evening meals were very poor with extremely slow service and the room was very 'tired' with traffic noise from a side road interrupting any peace. There is however a decent sized pool and small cool sitting room with cold drinks to purchase which were very welcome.
The cycling instructions were generally easy to follow though we would welcome more distances being included between turning points and perhaps a small trip metre on the bike which we have had on other holidays with one of Headwater' s competitors.
By Mrs Honey on 14/06/2016
Fairy tale ancient towns, which were lovely to explore. The wine, of course was delicious although we did not visit the vineyards on walks but indulged in the evening . The nesting storks were one of the highlights of the holiday. Do try to visit the stork breeding centre it was lovely with a lot to see as well as the storks themselves..
By Mrs Moffett on 13/06/2016
We enjoyed it. very much. Steve was very good at adapting to our limited capacities.
By Mrs Marsden on 08/06/2016
The holiday was everything I hoped for and expected. Beautiful location and weather with lots of wild flowers I had hitherto only seen in books. The people in the group were a good mix, we all got on well together and our common interest cut across the wide age range. Our guide Stephanie was wonderful in every way . She was friendly and personable with a good sense of humour and was a fund of knowledge on the the location, historical background, flora and fauna. We could not fault her! The website was easy to negotiate and very user friendly.
By Mr Fox on 07/06/2016
A most enjoyable holiday in Provence - beautiful surroundings and the villages could always serve great coffees! Good to have a chance to explore locally on alternate days, on the bus or on the bikes. Excellent accommodation and support from Jon and Neu.
By Mr Lee on 06/06/2016
Having been on a number of Headwater Cycling holidays in the past, I think the standard of hotels and bikes have greatly improved since we last cycled with you. The bikes have always been good Giant, La Lapierre, but these latest bikes are lighter and are easier to handle.
The weather temperature was about right for the region, had we cycled in the height of the season it may have proved difficult.
By Mr Bowman on 06/06/2016
everything was as promised
By Mr Roberts on 06/06/2016
The holiday overall was good with two provisos
It is a misnomer to call it a coastal cycling holiday. Very litle time was spent cycling along the coast or even close to it.
It is harder than a 1 cycle holiday. It fits into the description of a 2 cycle holiday without a doubt. Too many times were spent walking the bicycle uphill. Only one of the 5 days could be considered 1 cycle.
By Mrs Ing on 06/06/2016
A relaxing holiday in an unspoilt part of France. The coastal scenery is fantastic and the uncrowded stretches of beaches a joy to behold. What really made the holiday was Steve. He was so helpful and accommodating we were made to feel quite special.
By Mr Jones on 06/06/2016
Good holiday, scenic routes and very pleasant towns and villages. Excellent support from local Headwater staff Stephen Miles - you are lucky to have such an experienced person on board.
By Mr Ingram on 03/06/2016
A varied walk, first days along the magnificent coast and latterly along the river and into the forest. Comfortable Hotels and excellent food!
By Mr Propert on 03/06/2016
This is a holiday of variety. In walks, from vineyards, open country and woodland. And in the towns too, from small hamlets to busy Auxerre. There is a lot to listen to and look at along the way - and we found Burgundy deserted - but that may just have been May.
Stephen Miles is newish to this post, but is thoughtful and showed great care. We presume that the instructions about the train back to Auxerre on the last walking day will now have been changed to 'Stephen picks you up opposite The Mairie'.
Note that our comment about food at Vermenton relates to the breakfast. The evening meals - both at La Fontaine for us, were excellent. No-one could have been more helpful than Mark and Alison at Vermenton. The meals at Chablis had the Bistrot BEFORE the hotel, and both were very good indeed.
By Mrs Hartley on 03/06/2016
We never imagined walking through vineyards could be so varied and interesting; the countryside was beautiful and the villages charming. The hotel staff all looked after us very well. Our Headwater rep was absolutely delightful and could not have been more friendly and efficient. We did not see a see any UK cars nor heard any other British people but most people we spoke to replied in good English when we spoke to them in our basic French.
By Mrs Preston on 03/06/2016
From the moment we received our holiday information pack we were excited as it really whetted our appetites. We also had a post card from our Rep, Hannah saying that she hoped we would have a good trip and she looked forward to meeting us at the station in Colmar and giving us her mobile number in case we needed her. This was a very thoughtful gesture. So, even though I had a bad back and had to be transported around by Hannah instead of walking, the overall holiday was wonderful.
By Mr Hamilton-viall on 26/05/2016
We enjoyed it and had a lot of fun, but it could have been even better with a few tweaks. Some of the walking notes certainly need reviewing as we wanted to enjoy the walking, not stand scratching our heads wondering if we had the right path. An explanation of the GR markers would have been really useful as we had to find out what they meant by trial and error. Also there were markets or events on some days that it would have been nice to know and arrange our days off to coincide with.
As regards hotels the Monrecour was superb, the labourderie very good and the Meysset OK. Les Glycinees we found varied. The location was great, the room ok. The food at the hotel varied from some of the best ever eaten to some of the worst. Our picnic sandwich was inedible. Generally it did not have the same feel as the other hotels. Also tea or coffee making in all hotels would be appreciated.
By Mrs Sodring on 26/05/2016
This was the best holiday we have taken with Headwater! Despite imperfect weather, the walks were wonderful (even though the vultures did not fly when it was raining); we saw the Rivers Tarn and Jonte both as green and peaceful and in full spate after rain. For those interested in wild flowers, this is a perfect holiday in May - the deciduous woods and meadows are full of them - lilies, orchids, asphodels ... and there are many birds besides the vultures in the trees.
Besides walking the main walks we also visited Montpellier le Vieux - do go and take the red route, the rock formations are stunning : Aven Armand - more commercialised but the stalactites are amazing: Vulture Museum (don't go on a wet day, there are no live vultures to see); finally, on our return journey to Toulouse, the Roquefort Society Caves - most interesting! The hotel, food, local wines, beer & picnics were excellent with wonderful service from the staff.
By Mr Drane on 11/05/2016
Great holiday if you are fit and active. Some of our group struggled as they were expecting gentle strolling.
Anyone expecting high quality accommodation and fine dining would be disappointed
On arrival we were told that no sea view rooms were available even though we had paid for one booked months ago. The hotel staff had little idea how to deal with this situation. Consequently we were highly disappointed. Eventually they found one, although it was nothing like the standard of accommodation that we were expecting, having recently stayed on La Palma with headwater.
We notice that Exodus have more information in their brochure.
By Mrs Wiser on 13/11/2015
On the whole our holiday was very enjoyable and we were happy with it. However, we were unfortunate enough to have heavy rain on our second day of cycling and that was the day we had to cycle to Germany along the Rhine and through the maize fields. Even without the rain it would have been a hard slog and not that interesting and quite a lot of cycling on roads with traffic. And then of course we had to return on our third day of cycling. As a group of 4 I think we all would have preferred to stay in the pretty countryside and picturesque villages of the Alsace and drink more excellent wine.
Our reception at the hotel Ville de Lyon was very disappointing, unhelpful and our bathroom was not functioning properly and was not sorted out during our stay.
Le Verger's rooms were comfortable but one certainly worked on their schedule which was rather perfunctory.
By Dr Brech on 26/10/2015
Another excellent Headwater holiday. This was one of the flattest ones we have done with some undulation only on the first and last days. Most of the route was on tracks through the forest, cycle paths and minor roads - it was only crossing the river in Amboise that we encountered alarming traffic. The hotels were all good, the food excellent. Along with other Headwater guests, we found the meals at the Manoir Bel Air too overwhelming - but it was easy to ask to drop a course. Lots of different chateaux to visit and we spent an additional two days in Chitenay which enabled us to go back and spend a complete day in Blois (an easy cycle ride through the forest and on cycle-tracks) and to further explore the area.
By Mr Cameron on 23/10/2015
Spectacular views of the Mediterranean from the mountains above Menton and Monaco.
By Mrs Cowell on 16/10/2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and particularly like the opportunity to explore further on our days off.September is an ideal time to go, during the vendange, with the heady smell of wine everywhere and the villages full of flowers. The people in the villages are very friendly and appreciate one's attempt to speak French, however poor.The maps supplied however are not much use for the country districts and if you want to explore the more mountainous area you should buy a larger scale.
By Mr Donaldson on 15/10/2015
An excellent holiday which lived up to our expectations of a Headwater holiday ; well planned with very good support. The countryside was very attractive and the towns and villages were beautiful. The cycling was well guaged.
Margaret was able to provide a more suitable bike than the one meant for me.
By Mr Coombs on 15/10/2015
We really enjoyed the holiday which was very well organised. The only slight downsides were that the route notes were ambiguous on occasion and we got lost on a few occasions meaning that the distances were somewhat longer than they should have been and it would have been really appreciated if all 4 hotels had carried our luggage up to our room. Two hotels did this but it was no fun after a long day's cycling having to carry all our bags up 2 flights of stairs.
By Mrs Watson on 14/10/2015
Great walking with an excellent meal to come back to
By Mr Allan on 12/10/2015
Excellent - easy cycling - interesting route
By Mrs Greenbank on 12/10/2015
We enjoyed our visit to a part of Burgundy that was new to us. The walking was varied, not too strenuous with good maps and mostly clear directions. The hotels and the meals were excellent. Having a Headwater rep to welcome us and be on hand if needed really made a difference.
By Mr Gower on 09/10/2015
An excellent way to see the countryside without the stress of organising all your own itinerary.
By Mrs Denyer on 06/10/2015
Great cycling venue - lots of interest - very pretty villages - but do not expect a gastronomic feast in all Headwater hotels !
By Mrs Kirby-vine on 06/10/2015
Highly enjoyable overall. however either the price needs to be significantly reduced or the quality of two of the hotels needs to be significantly improved.
The rooms in the Hostellerie Fenelon were really shabby and the toilet got completely blocked. There was a really large dog in the room next door who kept us awake half the night!!
The rooms in the Hotel Le Quercy were good and clean, but there was absolutely no character to the place at all. The swimming pool and surrounding area was really poorly maintained and surrounded by what looked like derelict buildings with weed filled gardens: very poor.
The last criticism was the provision (or rather lack of provision) of meals for teenagers. I do not expect specially made menus for teenagers, but what I do expect is that if they chose to eat off the kids menu and do not have a starter then they should not be charged for a dessert if they chose to select it off the main menu. They have been charged a full adult price for the holiday so they should receive the equivalent of a full adult meal
By Mrs Iron on 06/10/2015
In one word.....relaxing......because of the fantastic accommodation in great locations, simplicity of directions and easy routes with plenty of see and do along the way, topped off with superb food every evening! Hassle free holiday, thank you.
By Mr Dransfield on 06/10/2015
Excellent, good location, helpful reps, fantastic hotels, good food, well maintained equipment with all necessary ancillaries. It all makes to an active but stress free holiday.
By Mr Dentith on 06/10/2015
THIS PARTICULAR HOLIDAY ,THANKS TO THE HOTEL AND THE WEATHER WAS ONE OF THE BEST HOLIDAYS WE HAVE HAD WITH HEADWATER.
THE WALKING IN PARTICULAR WAS SUFFICIENTLY CHALLENGING AND ADAPTABLE . SPECTACULAR VIEWS .
THE AREA ITSELF WAS VERY INTERESTING, FROM ALL PERSPECTIVES.
GOOD NOTES AND GOOD MAPS.
By Mrs Guthrie on 06/10/2015
Apart from the rail debacle, the content of the holiday was stunning. The nature of the medieval villages was quite breathtaking and more reminiscent of Walt Disney cartoons or even pantomime scenery. The vineyard walks were very enjoyable, as were the visits we made to the wineries! In addition the Riquewier 'Council' offer conducted vineyard walking tours, together with wine cellar visits every Friday throughout the summer until harvest time in September WITHOUT CHARGE!! (BUT possibly only in French and/or English). Another Vineyard 'special' (which I don't think you are aware of) is the 'Spirit of the Vines' a line of seven groups of wooden statues representing a modern interpretation of mankind's integration with the vines over the centuries. This is a surreal eye-catcher, not to be missed and is just outside the village of Bergheim. Best to get directions from the local Tourist Office.
By Mrs Sanderson on 01/10/2015
We have done many Headwater cycling holidays, and this was very good. The routes were relatively easy, but there were plenty of options to do your own thing too. Accommodation and food great.
By Dr Dixon on 30/09/2015
Excellent concept of relatively easy cycling (30km/day) in pleasant countryside. Plenty of places (e.g. chateaux) to visit on the way. Some fantastic food experience (i.e. at l'Aubiniere) that merits the word 'gastronomic'. L'Auberge du Centre was competent too. Chateaux de Chissay was the one disappointment - with poor levels of service - going through the motions but not really getting it unlike l'Aubiniere. They also had large tour parties (Taiwanese in our case) at Chissay which detracted from the experience and the service level in particular.
By Mr Mitchell on 29/09/2015
Excellent scenery, route notes, bikes, food, and winetasting. The cycling was fine (don't understand why others have complained about tree roots, the paths were fine). But, no Headwater rep, no Day one talk about the route and dining suggestions. Bikes arrived on Day 2 and that was the only contact with a Headwater Representative. Why not at least collect us from the train in Carcassone? It all worked, but you have lost the personal touch that Headwater used to have. Also, the standard of the hotels was poor, the Beziers one in particular and only including one meal for the price was viewed as you being cheapskates, rather than of benefit. I like Headwater and this was our 7th trip and won't be our last. It was a great holiday, but watch out, you are too remote and are letting standards slip. If you don't improve hotels, value for money and on the ground Reps, you will start to lose support.
Dear Mr Mitchell, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback questionnaire.
We were pleased to read you enjoyed the scenery, food and wine this region has to offer. Although were sorry to see you were disappointed with the service you received. As we continually strive to improve our holidays, we have made some improvements for the 2016 season. Firstly, we have made this area a Headwater rep region and because of this will be using our own bikes and transportation service. We have also changed the hotel in Bezier. We hope you will agree these changes will continue to improve this holiday for future customers. We would like to thank you for continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service team
By Mr Barnett on 29/09/2015
For people of our age and cycling experience the condition of much of the canal side paths were very difficult at times. We were advised that there are problems regarding the removal of trees at present and that diversions were likely. However I am not convinced that that is the main cause. Having cycled on similar routes in the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy I suspect that the standards in France are different. I think you should make this more clear in your literature. One other thing that would be appreciated is if you could arrange for the hotels to have our luggage in the room on arrival or at least to offer to take it to our room. On most occasions in the past this has happened. Only on one occasion (Homps) did this happen. On this subject we personally would have appreciated not being on an upper floor as my wife does not like using lifts (I will make a point of asking for this in the future).
We did have occasion to call out the cycle company and due to an initial doubt as to whether our message would be heard and dealt with for the next day I called your UK office and was pleased with the response and assurances received. We received a replacement bike by 10.30 the next day.
By Ms Brandao on 29/09/2015
Fantastic service. You fulfill your promises, which is very much appreciated. Your staff is very good. Would suggest to review the instruction on your guide on the path from the Abbaye the Fontacalvy to Capestang: we got lost after descending the hill from Ouveillan to catch the D418 and eventually got into a very busy and so dangerous road . Not clear how to get the D418 road.
Fantastic end with a room with a great view to the canal in the hotel in Sete.
Hotels in Narbonne and Beziers have a great location, but are not so good.
Overall a great vacation. Thank you, guys.
By Mrs Kyle on 29/09/2015
A wonderfully relaxed holiday with broad open views and interest on the journey every day.
By Mrs Reeves on 29/09/2015
An excellent holiday in every way. The food and wines were amazing and it was a most interesting region to explore.
By Mrs Everson-davis on 23/09/2015
Challenging and varied walking in spectacular surroundings, with the additional bonus of a comfortable and friendly hotel base providing excellent cuisine.
By Mr Maher on 23/09/2015
This is a very pleasant holiday and easy enough for people over 65. There is plenty of interest in the towns along the way - and plenty of chateaux, if that's your go. The weather was a bit mixed in mid-September, but we had good company on the ride which made up any disappointment. We had done the Loire Gastronomic a decade earlier, but the route has changes significantly and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Our ride this time was trouble-free, but the Headwater agents were very helpful always at hand if needed.
By Mr Knowles on 23/09/2015
Very well planned and organised. We made a change to our itinerary which Headwater took in their stride. Very impressed with the hotels which were exactly to our taste, not too posh for walkers!
By Mr Fraser on 21/09/2015
Cycling was excellent (though we got good weather!). For us, it was an undiscovered area with lots of interesting landscapes. Amazing villages. We really enjoyed our day in Colmar and cycling in the Kaiser Stuhl. Links with the land are still strong in Alsace - we were fortunate in seeing the grape harvest in progress, both hand-picking and machines. We need to brush up our French so we can enjoy it even more next time!
By Mrs Eatwell on 21/09/2015
Cycling was very easy, although the maps provided were not good. The IGN Carte De promenade 65 and 72 1:100,000 show the Canal Du Midi clearly - fortunately we already had these maps. On the whole, the notes were good, but a bit too detailed in some bits - we found entering Beziers very confusing and ended up on a busy road. Along the canal, infected trees are currently being cut down and burnt, so parts of the route were barracaded off, and we had to use our maps and go onto local roads. Hotels are good, apart from the Imperator in Beziers, which is average, but it is in a good location for getting around and in and out of Beziers. We're glad we booked an extra night at the end in Sete - the Grand Hotel is lovely (we got a canal view room as requested) and Sete is really interesting. Throughout the holiday, we had lovely food and great wine. So with the cycling being easy, we've not lost any weight !!!!
By Mr Otiv on 21/09/2015
An excellent holiday with well researched routes off the beaten track , very clear written instructions given . Lovely villages and gardens en route , giving a good taste of France at its most typical. The hotels selected were all excellent and varied in nature.
By Mr John on 21/09/2015
We had initially considered a Headwater walking tour of Loire as my wife is not a confident cyclist. But reading the website comments - decided Loire region was quite poor walking country but great cycling country. My wife more than coped with the itinerary and we are both raring to go on our next Headwater cycling holiday next year when we will both be 69!
Hotels and meals all excellent but we did feel that the rooms we stayed in at Chissay were a bit tired and in need of renovation, hence the fair rating.
Your HQ staff gave us excellent advice and James and Hazel as tour managers were the most brilliant ever encountered and helped make an excellent experience.
By Mrs Daniels on 21/09/2015
This was such a very well organised package holiday that we felt that we were independant travellers, but with the safety net of a rep, if required. We managed the pace, stops and route ourselves and had a truly excellent break.
By Mr Haines on 18/09/2015
We have now done 6 Headwater Holidays and the standards are consistently high. Alsace was beautiful in September as the grapes were harvested and the window boxes were wonderful in the small towns.
By Mr Graham on 18/09/2015
This was a really good holiday, excellent in all respects except that the walking notes, generally of high standard, let us down badly at one point. We explained to Lin where this was and hopefully this will be sorted out
Thank you for taking the time to pass along your comments, it is wonderful to know that you had such a lovely holiday. Your explanation of where the notes went wrong was indeed passed along and, as we always try to do, your suggestions were taken into account in order to improve the experience for future customers. Once again many thanks from your team at Headwater.
By Mr Beaney on 18/09/2015
The food was excellent but having 5 course gourmet dinners every night was probably more than we really needed. The hotels were all very comfortable and very different with genuinely excellent restaurants and helpfull staff.
By Mrs Craig on 18/09/2015
We had an excellent, well organised holiday ,in beautiful surroundings with delicious food and wine. It was at the correct standard for our level of cycling.
The reps were efficient, friendly, and well informed. The three hotels were very different but all very comfortable with excellent food.
This was our third cycling holiday in France with headwater and by far the best. Previous holidays , Brittany and Canal du Midi, were not such good value and conditions more challenging.
By Mr Athroll on 16/09/2015
An initial problem with the rail tickets (we were not allocated seats with those with whom we were travelling) was sorted out speedily and new tickets allocated. In addition, due to the illness of one of the party members Ross picked up 2 members along with the luggage on the last cycling day. This removed a lot of stress/worry of getting back to Auxerre.
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday (despite the illness) and the weather was kind too!
Apart from the Auberge in Clamecy the rating of the food relates to breakfast only as meals were taken elsewhere.
By Mr Patterson on 15/09/2015
Excellent cycling in a beautiful area.
By Ms Jackson on 15/09/2015
I am only learning to cycle, so some of the route was hard for me but the rep, Steve, was brilliant, very supportive and made sure I relaxed and built my confidence. The scenery was stunning and the route varied. Lovely holiday.
By Mrs Hamilton on 15/09/2015
Excellent holiday travelling through the Dordogne in a peaceful setting at your own pace and staying at well chosen establishments that provide some amazing standards of food quality relative to their star rating. The friendliness, helpfulness and availability of the reps Keith & Claire was excellent too.
By Mrs Woodard on 15/09/2015
I suggest you place the oldest persons in each group on ground floor hotel rooms. Hard for old guys to lug bags upstairs.
By Mr Browne on 15/09/2015
Easy cycling with great wine tasting opportunities.
By Mr Norman on 14/09/2015
Wonderful holiday through a stunning and, at times, remote area of France with excellent food, drink and opportunity for activity. Very relaxing.
By Mr Valentine on 14/09/2015
Excellent routes, great hotels, fabulous countryside, lots to see and good food to fuel your journey!
By Mr Blunt on 14/09/2015
Lovely locations. There is so much choice of what to do on your spare days.
Although the walks are not too strenuous you do need to have enough food and water with you as there are few places on route where you can stock-up.
Do take your time following route instructions as markers are not always immediately obvious and can become difficult to see or disappear entirely.
By Mrs Carrington-bro on 14/09/2015
This was our second holiday with Headwater and again we had an excellent holiday. It was very well organised and the walking notes were easy to follow. The holiday certainly lived up to its name of being a gastrnomic walking tour - the food was delicious throughout and all four hotels were very friendly.
The walking was pleasant but suffered a litlte in comparison to our first hoiday with Headwater (Umbria) as the Dordogne is a busier area than Umbria.
Our top tip would be to visit Le font de Gaume when staying in Les Eyzies - there are a limited number of tickets issued each day and 52 of these go on sale each morning at 9.30am. The receptionist at the hotel suggested we shoud be there by 7.30am, as September isn't peak season and as she predicted we weren't the first, we joined the very orderly queque as nos 11 and 12; it was a magical experience seeing original paintings that are 14,000 years old.
We came home feeling very relaxed and ready to book another Headwater holiday.
By Mrs Bawn on 14/09/2015
Amazing holiday, well thought out. All hotels were unique and special. Beautiful cycling routes. Try.practising cycling at home before you go. It would improve the enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mr Dale on 11/09/2015
Fantastic. The whole experience was wonderful. Travel was smooth - the 'local reps (Keith and Claire) were lovely, informed, committed and really, really nice couple. The itinerary was easy to follow and worked very well. Food superb and hotels great. thank you
By Mr Browett on 09/09/2015
Fantastic walks, fantastic guide, fantastic area, can't wait to go again
By Mrs Powell on 08/09/2015
Would definately recommend this holiday to everybody! The whole package was brilliant.I was a bit nervous at first -never been in a canoe before but after a very short time i was thoroughly enjoying every minute! We loved everything about the whole trip - the region, the canoes,the hotels, the bikes - the reps were brilliant -really helpful and knowledgeable. We,ve had some great holidays over the years and this one certainly ranks as one of our best ones! I took a lot of photos along the way and friends and family were very complimentery about them - seeing what we had been up to!!
By Mrs Peters on 07/09/2015
Fabulous family holiday. We were very impressed by the high standard of equipment provided and managed by our two reps Keith and Clare - the kit was immaculate and in excellent condition (especially the bikes, panniers, locks etc). The canoeing was so peaceful with beautiful scenery and wildlife all the way (numerous kingfishers, herons, cormorants, little egrets etc) - the faster water was fun, the daily distances were very achievable. On our 'rest' days we were fairly active and put in many miles (steep hills and off-roading) on our bikes (we bought detailed maps online before we went) however, it would have been very easy to have complete rest and relaxation by the lovely hotel pools. Basically you can be as active or inactive as you feel - would suit nearly all abilities. Fabulous food and wine (although the wine in the hotels was quite pricey). Would highly recommend to anyone.
By Mrs Raynor on 07/09/2015
Excellent holiday. Good hotels, food & service. Wonderful countryside. Cycling challenging at times. We cycle regularly in the UK. One party member cycles four times a week with a club. Our feeling is that the cycling rating was 'moderate' by the club member's judgement but somewhat more than moderate for the rest of the party. We all struggled on some of the hills. Whilst all being of reasonable fitness the extra weight of the cycles compared with our road bikes and the higher temperatures made it extra challenging. Perhaps this should be emphasised in your holiday description.
By Mr Patterson on 04/09/2015
The gastronomic cycling holiday was a great way to see the Loire valley up close. The notes for cycling were easy to follow and enabled us to enjoy the holiday at our own pace. The bikes were well maintained with a comfy gel saddle which ensured no aches and pains were felt in unwanted places! On this holiday you can keep fit and build up an appetite for the excellent French cuisine and wines which you enjoy guilt-free and come home the same weight as when you left.
By Mrs Tulloch on 01/09/2015
Have used Headwater for years and have never been disappointed. This Alsace cycling trip provided a good variety of hotels with excellent food in a stunning location. There were hills amongst the vineyards which needed occasional pushing of bikes but no hills no views! The flat cycling to Germany was in contrast and gave a good sense of space and perspective. Cycling is a good way to get to know the area and see how the local people live. Everyone was welcoming and helpful, a slow pace of life and restful holiday.
Map reading during the day to the destination gives a real sense of achievement rewarded with good food and wine.
A winning combination and I look forward to the next Headwater holiday.
By Mrs Burnett on 01/09/2015
A lovely experience in a nice part of France where the people are very welcoming
By Mr Windwood on 01/09/2015
This is a great holiday though not really for inexperienced cyclists due to the surface of the paths and roads in some places as well as the need to cycle on roads with some traffic. The distances and lack of hills make it an easy route but some degree of competance is needed. Hotels were good and we enjoyed the riding.
By Mrs Parker on 01/09/2015
We as a family have canoed and kayaked in the past. I would have thought it would be quite tricky on the first day if you have never done it at all. I would suggest an hour demonstration for novices to get them try it out.
By Mr Grubb on 01/09/2015
Exceeded our expectations, really enjoyable experience. Our rep, Ross, was always on hand, with advice even acting as a taxi service taking us to and from the local restaurant for evening meals and also to Vezelay for the day, nothing was too much trouble.
Will be looking forward to booking our next cycling holiday!
By Mrs Hine on 01/09/2015
A good holiday. The weather was not kind to us, but the hotels were very helpful about this, offering drying room services. The notes were very helpful. Accuracy was a problem in only one area where substantial redevelopment work was being done on the tracks. The fact we had a good map (supplied by Headwater) with us, meant this was not a major issue. One of the hoteliers summed up the area as being good for cows and cheese! The walking is therefore mainly through pasture (often quite high), but which was very pretty, if a little muddy in the rain. Some of the views (when it was not raining) were magnificent. Overall, despite the rain, we had a relaxing break.
By Mr Versteeg on 01/09/2015
We really enjoyed ourselves on the High Alps Walk. We were very pleased that we had built in additional days (taking the holiday to twelve) to provide variety and be 'tourists' We really enjoyed 'Belle Dimanche' - the annual Fair high above Chatel. (next year it's on weekend around 21st August) Cloisters at Abondance very interesting.
In twelve days we had two dull and one very wet day(be prepared); rest of the time very good. Can be hot.
By Mr Herron on 25/08/2015
Fabulous holiday, very well planned. We were immersed in the countryside and every day we saw beautiful places that we would never have seen travelling by car. Every night we ate a sumptuous meal of fabulous quality. A real joy.
By Mrs Maddison on 25/08/2015
Most enjoyable holiday, great walks, beautiful scenery and lots of wine tasting along the way.
By Mr Still on 24/08/2015
Well researched, well organised, varied walks to interesting towns with an attractive mix of accommodation all supplemented by an excellent local rep.
By Mr Davey on 21/08/2015
This holiday is an ideal introduction to Headwater. Rep, Ross Brown, was excellent: knew the area well, had very good relationships with local hotels, very helpful and inspired confidence. Hotel Normandie excellent urban base to begin the holiday. Relais St Vincent is a quite outstanding hotel, full of character, very comfortable, superbly run and offering excellent food in a fine dining room. Vermenton relaxed, informal and welcoming, and food at Accolay excellent. Varied and interesting route with places to visit and wonderful rides on fine towpaths beside the rover Yonne.
By Mr Cook on 17/08/2015
A very enjoyable experience in one of the lesser known (for Americans, at least) areas of France.
By Mr Sears on 17/08/2015
Wonderful food amazing canoeing in a brilliant location
By Mr Crockford on 17/08/2015
A brilliant and well thought out holiday, with super routes and excellent hotels - well worth adding extra days to.
By Mrs Ball on 14/08/2015
This was my 16th cycling holiday with your company in the last 12 years! Had a really good time but the grading should be a 2 bike holiday as it was tough with lots of really steep hills. I was with my daughter and she found parts of it challenging. We stayed in the walkers hotel in Dinan as the cyclists was full at the time of booking. I paid 100 euros to upgrade to a room at the back of the hotel as the front was too noisey. The room was small with a large bathroom but not really worth the amount extra I paid. I think you should maybe look to have a different hotel in Dinan as there seemed to be lots of good hotels with more competitve rates which would be better. The proprietor and staff at the Hotel d'Avaugour were not welcoming and at times quite rude. There was no hot water on the first morning. As for your rep STEVE - he is amazing. So helpful, kind and thoughtful. You need to look after him. He is taking lots of photos for your monthly competition! I hope to book with you again next year. Josephine Ball
By Mr Cumberlidge on 14/08/2015
Extremely enjoyable, well organised and busy with an excellent mix of quiet countryside cycling and fascinating places to see and visit.
By Mrs Wright on 13/08/2015
Awful maps/directions - need dramatic improvement, which I have offered
Very average to fair food - esp as it was supposed to be Gastronomic - restaurants offered very poor service and weren't interested in our custom
Give twin beds for my husband and I - not overly romantic and bizarre
By Mrs Hayton on 12/08/2015
The combination of good walks, comfortable accommodation and good quality evening meals provided us with a relaxing and enjoyable weeks holiday . Knowing that our Headwater rep was available on the end of the phone if we did needed anything was a bonus.
By Mr Higgins on 11/08/2015
Excellent all round except for the dreadful welcome at Bel Air (the lady is a bit hit and miss we understand) of which we made light hearted remarks!
The highlight hotel was the Auiberge du Centre at Chittenay where FOUR people took our bags to our room when we arrived.
We have been many many times with Headwater and find the routes marvellous and varied with fantastic food and hotels. All the arrangements were excellent.
By Mr Wilson on 11/08/2015
An excellent family activity holiday with a lovely range of hotels and universally excellent food. Chateau de Monrecour was a particular highlight. Look at the cycling routes carefully and plan the day especially with regard to food stops and water refills.
By Mrs Middleton on 11/08/2015
The holiday offered varied activities which were not too strenuous, although you needed some degree of fitness to enjoy them. The support offered by the local reps was excellent as was the food at the various hotels.
By Mr Reynolds on 10/08/2015
Our first cycling holiday and it was a PERFECT introduction! Looking forward to the next one.
By Mrs Norfolk on 10/08/2015
We have been with Headwater for a number of years and I am afraid that this year the level of service from the booking office and the rep was not as good as in previous years. The Rep asked us to wait for 40 mins for the next guest's train to arrive; but the journey was only 10 mins to the hotel; and there were a lot of challenges with a booking for our group from two different families. We spent an extra night in Paris, but it might have been suggested we got the Eurostar back.
The grading was 2 - but this was quite an easy two in comparison to Piedmonte.
Food, hotels and cycling were all however superb.
By Mr Willson on 10/08/2015
Holiday lived up to gastronomic label with a good selection of restaurants. Hotels are comfortable. Quality of walks is satisfactory but more work is needed.
We are so glad you enjoyed the hotels and the gastronomic restaurants. We always aim for more than satisfactory and your suggestions regarding the walks were passed along and have been considered as part of our process of continuous development. We are happy to say that the walks have been improved for 2016 and we hope to see you again soon. All the best from your team at Headwater.
By Mr Robertson on 04/08/2015
Excellent Holiday with easy walking and kayaking
By Mr Evans on 03/08/2015
At heart it is a great holiday concept but we question whether Headwater any longer deserve to be the market leader.
By Mrs Unwin on 03/08/2015
A great way of getting to know a small area of France and savouring local life. On a bike you see and hear things and also meet people that would pass you by if travelling by car.
By Mis Bernstein on 03/08/2015
All the hotels were lovely and all the staff everywhere were welcoming and helpful. The walking was a little disappointing in that there was a lot of road-walking and two very boring long slogs from the town of Meursault to the station and from the station at Gevrey-Chambertin to Les Deux Chevres. The meals in the evening were marvellous and memorable. The villages were very pretty. Disappointing that there was no truffle hunting. Lin was an excellent tour guide and everything ran like clockwork.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We appreciate all customer feedback and are pleased that you enjoyed such a wonderful, memorable holiday. Regarding the road walking and the slogs to and from the station on day 2, we have taken these - and other - customer comments on board and for 2017 have made suitable alterations. The route no longer follows the roads and the train station no longer features. The new route follows footpaths and tracks, and very occasionally quiet lanes, through woodland, vineyards and mediaeval villages, from just south of Dijon to the wonderful wine village of Gevrey Chambertin. We believe this has greatly improved the walking. We were sorry to read that you missed the truffle hunting during your holiday; this activity is only available between Thursdays and Mondays. We were also pleased to see that you thought our Rep Lin was excellent. She will be delighted to hear your lovely feedback. We would like to thank you for constructive comments and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Kind regards, Your Headwater customer service team.
By Dr McGeorge on 31/07/2015
A wonderfully relaxing holiday featuring the opportunity to mix a range of outdoor activities in a beautiful part of France with the chance to explore its towns, villages, sights and cuisine.
By Mrs Fowler on 30/07/2015
Excellent way to enjoy an area. Taste the food and visit the local areas of interest.
By Mr Parker on 28/07/2015
Delightful holiday experience from start to finish. The hotels were lovely and the walking varied. It's a good way to get to know a small part of Burgundy and appreciate the lovely scenery as there was plenty to do on the rest days too. The hotels were all well chosen and the neighbouring restaurants of a high standard. We especially appreciated being taken into Beaune by Lin for our last dinner, which was especially good. We also appreciated the chance to buy wines en route and collect them at the end.
By Mr Dwyer on 27/07/2015
An excellent, well organised trip that gave all the relevant information for cycling days and also allowed us the flexibility of doing our own thing during off days, giving useful notes for potential activities as well as alternate cycling routes. A very welcoming representative who was sensitive to our needs and responded quickly to any calls and queries. I would definitely recommend this highly enjoyable holiday as a more (but not *too*) active way of exploring a new place.
By Mr Newman on 27/07/2015
All the accommodation was good, but the Hostellerie Fenelon, and the Hotel Quercy were outstanding in all respects - superb food and very friendly and welcoming.
Local reps Claire and Keith were also outstanding - available, informative, cheerful, nothing too much trouble, very well-informed - a pleasure to have them as reps
By Mr Powell on 27/07/2015
Well organised and did what it said on the can!
By Mrs Dentith on 27/07/2015
This is a true three booter there isn't a lot of level walking , have good comfortable boots and poles ,I think, are essential.
Do use the lifts if they are working ,it's no fun walking up those gradients with a working chair lift over your heads.
The views from the tops are dramatic on clear days.
The walk timings are pretty accurate.
By Ms Henderson on 24/07/2015
The organisation was seamfree and I was really impressed with the fact that I had decided on a cycling holiday on a Friday and I was able to leave for a holiday on that coming Monday. The lady that I spoke to at Headwater on that Friday afternoon worked extremely hard to 'get me sorted ' and spent time in describing the area and what to expect on the holiday bearing in mind that I was a female travelling alone. She was extremely helpful , honest and efficient. The arrangements went like clockwork . I had to buy my own train ticket for Colmar because it was too late to send anything but that was easy . Margaret O' Neill met me at Colmar on time and was very thorough and helpful and charming.
Although I had not really planned for a cycling holiday on my own, it just happened that way and I had a wonderful time . The heat was brutal but I felt a great achievement when I completed the trip . The irrigation contraptions in the vineyards or corn fields was a welcome sight to me and I threw myself in their path on many a day. I had chosen a week when the temperatures were in the 40 s most days , the last day of cycling was slightly cooler. I loved the Alsace region and never felt lonely, I met some wonderful people and the hotels were very welcoming . The food was excellent in all of the hotel restaurants but I was not too keen on the food in the Hotel Kapuzinergarte. Perhaps it was just personal taste.
I loved the quiet and solitude of the daily rides into the Alsace countryside and was certainly rejuvenated by this holiday.
I managed a fabulous trip into Freiburg and an exciting trip into Strasburg . I was not so impressed with the particular area of the Rhein that I visited on a boat . However, I did meet some interesting people.
This holiday will stay with me for quite some time and I have some perfect and some imperfect photographs to remind me. I do have some wonderful close ups of storks.
By Mr Curtis on 24/07/2015
Annual fitness check up for the occasional cyclist and food lover
By Mr Juckes on 24/07/2015
Had a fabulous time especially in view of the fact that we organised it within 24hours! Great work from Headwater on that.
Weather was brilliant too even with the 39degree heat day. It was always very supportive to know that we could call James and/or Hazel anytime form anywhere and they would help us. We did. One day, we didn't make the whole distance and were picked up without any issues at all.
I didn't take a helmet and I do feel it is compulsory for me, whatever the law. I think a bigger 'heads-up' re taking a helmet could be made, plus at least for the girls, take cycling pants.
All the meals were sensational. The routes were scenic and thoroughly enjoyable, especially the dedicated bike tracks and those along the rivers.
Loved the entire experience and working with this company. Five stars. Thank you.
By Mrs Riseborough on 21/07/2015
I appreciated the choice of routes given on one of the days and the rep gave us many tips to add to our enjoyment eg a restaurant off the beaten track and certain view points. He also made sure we were aware of any obstacles on our route such as road closures.
By Mrs Pattison on 21/07/2015
We were two couples of mixed ability cycling wise and most of us found the terrain challenging particularly with an average temperature of over 35 degrees! After a hot (41 degrees) and hilly last part of the first day we rang Keith, our rep, to enquire about ebikes!! Headwater very kindly sanctioned the supply of three ebikes from Day 3 and we are eternally grateful for this as it really made the rest of our holiday. I would urge non regular cyclists to consider this option particularly in high summer as there are some serious hills and the longer routes take in some beautiful places that would be a shame to miss. The sting was taken out of each day but with the pleasure of cycling still there - I am now a convert!
As for the holiday in general - overall we had a fantastic time - what a lovely region with beautiful villages. I would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone. The hotels were varied in location, comfort and cuisine but this made for greater interest and variety. There have been previous comments about Hotel Le Quercy which is fairly basic in comfort level - this was particularly noticeable when so hot with no fans or aircon, however for one night we did not feel too perturbed by it. This was also completely forgotten after having eaten at the allocated restaurant, La Vieille Auberge. We all felt the food and service in this establishment knocked spots off all the other places we stayed, wow!
Hotel Meysset was delightful as were the staff. It's only drawback was the distance to the lovely town of Sarlat, partly compensated by the view from the restaurant terrace. Shame we had to choose between a lovely cycling day trip and a leisurely walk around town! Too hot to do both with that hill!!
Les Glycines was our major disappointment - clearly a top restaurant with a snobbery and pretentiousness to match. The rooms were lovely and comfortable (with aircon - bliss!), there is a lovely garden and the town is on the doorstep to walk to which for us was a relief! The second night we enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in town plus a pre dinner pizza (!) from lovely local restaurants with charming staff. Sadly we found the waiting staff and management aloof, uncaring and almost rude. The drinks are horribly expensive - top London prices - but when not matched by good service then you begrudge paying them. We paid â‚¬13 for a SMALL gin and tonic and the wine was also outrageous. The food was generally good and largely beautifully presented as you would expect - one menu was more nouveau than the other leaving us a little less than full! Some surprises we felt let it down but overall it was the service that let it down the most.
Finally, the charming Le Moulin de Mitou. Again another contrast. A bit isolated and quirky but none the less for it. Not sure how it got into the Relais de Silence as the road is quite busy but with aircon and double glazing this was not an issue for sleeping. Lovely food - more rustic French country cooking maybe but lovely flavours and well presented. We ate very well here!
We were all agreed at the end though that we could not wait to get back to La Vieille Auberge for one last meal and it lived up to our memories and expectations - an excellent way to end a wonderful holiday. Thank you Headwater. Claire (Sussex)
By Mr Hayes on 21/07/2015
As a holiday focussed on easy walking, gourmet dinners and luxurious accommodation, this ticked all the boxes. Beautiful country of the Cote D'Or, gorgeous little villages and towns and everywhere Burgundy wine production continuing all around you. All three hotels were superb. I walked in July 2015, so arrived somewhat dusty and sweaty at what are very upscale hotels. No problem at all (but worth reassuring guests it isn't an issue). Walking directions were generally good, with some issues flagged to Headwater in separate email. Just a few tweaks needed, and as it is the first year of this tour, some teething troubles expected.
If you want to seriously investigate wine, doing so during your day's walk is not really practical. I'd suggest researching before you go, possibly setting up cellar visits via Headwater, if they will do it, or knowing which vignerons you want to visit and then using your rest days to get along to see them. But you can just wing it and you can thoroughly enjoy this holiday if, like me, you know nothing about wine. It's a good place to start to learn.
Last but not least, I would single out Paul and Yolanta at Les Deux Chevres in Gevrey-Chambertin for wonderfully friendly advice, practical tips, suggestions and laid-back accommodation. If you want to know more about the area, its wine, history and so on, they are a mine of information.
ALAN HAYES, WEST LONDON, JULY 2015.
By Ms Zehr on 21/07/2015
We were very happy with the entire trip. The accommodations and food were amazing. I've already recommended this vacation to several friends.
By Mrs Tomlin on 20/07/2015
Unfortunately we had a bad start to our holiday. On Sunday 28th June our train from Toulouse to Souillac was cancelled and we had a hot( 37 C) and weary ( left home at 4am for our flight) wait in Toulouse for 4 hours before finally arriving at Souillac. Rather than a relief the hotel room at the Hotel Le Quercy,was disappointing, small, hot and tired. We were revived by our evening meal, but we do not think this hotel gives a good impression at the start of the holiday it is certainly not the standard of hotel that we would expect from Headwater. The pool area and outlook is rather drab and while we appreciate that the temperatures were abnormally high for early July the rooms really need air conditioning or at least room fans in hot temperatures as it is uncomfortable to sleep. It is not of the same standard as the other hotels on the holiday. We were dreading returning to this hotel room at the end of the week, although staff were very pleasant and evening meals were good. Â The subsequent hotels were much improved and overall the cycling journeys were enjoyable. There is one section involving a gravel path which is almost impossible to cycle on, so an alternative route maybe a better option. The holiday did deliver on gastronomy , wonderful scenery and plenty of options for visits to places of interest. We realise we experienced a heatwave in the Dordogne as we were cycling in 42C on some days. Therefore the hill to Hotel de Meysset was particularly challenging and almost put us off for the rest of the week. Sometimes it felt like an endurance test but we were very grateful for the comfort of the middle hotels , delightful pools and air conditioning. The bikes were of good quality and the journey instructions were easy to follow. Our reps, Keith and Claire were on hand when needed, In all, the beginning and end accommodation was poor and spoils the whole experience.
By Mrs Bowring on 20/07/2015
As always with Headwater we had a fabulous holiday. However this year (and the reason two of the hotels scored poor on the comfort front) two of the hotels did not have air conditioning - I appreciate it was unusually warm but surely July in that region is usually hot. It made the rooms totally unpleasant and almost impossible to sleep. I would add though if Hotel Meysett had air con it would move to an excellent (all other areas were just lovely). The same however could not be said for the first and last hotels - these just did not match up to the overall standards of the rest of the holiday.
By Mr Fletcher on 17/07/2015
Really good holiday, challenging and rewarding.Loved the routes through the byways, hamlets and villages.
Steve gave us lots of confidence, we felt that if there was a problem, he would soon sort it.
However we did think it was quite expensive and the hotels and meals though very good did not quiet reach
the standard that we might have expected. In 2007 we did a Loire valley cycling tour with Inntravel and their
hotels and dinners were superior
By Mrs Kimber on 17/07/2015
It was a super holiday cycling through beautiful Canal du Midi but there were a few minor clitches that could have spoilt the holiday if we had let it. We stayed in some lovely locations at a range of hotels. Despite no Rep being seen all our luggage got to where it needed to be on time and safely.
By Mr McHugh on 17/07/2015
Need to tell travellers that French villages have no shops or water.
By Ms Rose on 17/07/2015
We had a fabulous time, beautiful weather, gorgeous alpine flowers and a hard enough walk to feel we had earned our delicious evening meals.
By Mrs Jacobs on 15/07/2015
Pleas read my document sent to Lisa copied to Tina James
By Mrs Glover on 15/07/2015
Well organised trip that met all our expectations. New walking guides provided during trip as a result of changes to routes.
By Ms Steenman-clark on 14/07/2015
The Chablais region is certainly very beautiful but with the excellent hotels in the valleys a lot of the walking was up and down farm/ski/access tracks or roads to the higher level, flower strewn, paths with the fantastic views. These tracks, especially in the heat we experienced, were quite brutal and did detract somewhat from the overall pleasure of the walks.
By Mr Langford on 13/07/2015
Excellent. From our arrival to departure our Rep Ross tailored our stay to suit what WE wanted. He really went the extra mile to sort any issues created by rail strikes and unusually hot weather. He was always on time ( in fact early). There was never a feeling of being rushed or hurried which made our holiday really great. He had also ensured that our directions for the walks were totally up to date and accurate.
The accomodation was always excellent as were the meals provided.
The highlight has to be our stay at Vermenton! Such attention to detail...amazing.
We will do another one next year.
By Mrs Johnson on 13/07/2015
A very interesting walk through small villages in Burgundy with the highlight being Vezelay. Auxerre is a lovely old town worthy of an extra day there.
By Mr Wignall on 13/07/2015
Chateaux of the Loire is an excellent intro to Headwaters cycling holidays, excellent bicycles with professional support, gently rolling hills, routes on quiet country lanes through golden fields of ripening crops, and welcome warming sunshine . With ample opportunity to visit the numerous Chateaux on route, whilst staying in a variety of outstanding Hotels/Chateaux all with superb menues to choose from, and most with swimming pools what more is there to wish for ?. This was out 8th holiday with Headwater and it is definitely in the top 3.
By Mr Turnbull on 13/07/2015
We had a fabulous holiday, the support we got from our reps (particularly James) was of a really high standard, and definitely added to the holiday experience.
The hotels (especially Vallagon and Chissay) definitely lived up to or surpassed expectations.
This sort of holiday was new to us, but we would definitely do it again.
By Mr Buss on 08/07/2015
A superb location for walking and an excellent hotel - the staff were friendly and always very helpful. Travel arrangements - flights and car hire all went smoothly. Exactly what we had hoped for.
We also extended the car hire for a further three weeks and delayed our return flight for the same period. Headwater arranged this for us when we booked and everything went according to plan.
By Mr Holt on 08/07/2015
Perfect mix of activity and opportunity to explore with time built in for relaxing. The 'two night stop' arrangement works well and whilst it helps to travel light, you soon get efficient at packing and unpacking. Even with a few challenging cycling moments (especially the visit to chateauneauf from St Sabine) it is hard to cycle off all the beautiful food and wine taken on board! Each day offered something different, both in terms of scenery, sightseeing and accommodation. The ebike was much appreciated by one of our party to help with some of the longer climbs.
We have now taken two cycling holidays with Headwater - the Carinthian Lakes, Austria and Gastonomic Burgundy, France, which were both in their first season, but were really well put together and we enjoyed the first so much we brought some friends with us on the second!
By Ms Whiteaker on 07/07/2015
The walking trip in Brittany was excellent. Our rep was brilliant, going out of his way to ensure we had everything we needed and more. The route notes were thorough and the walking itself was on lovely trails.
By Mr Fairweather on 07/07/2015
This was an excellent holiday where the standard of food and accommodation fully justified the description 'gastronomic'. The walks are interesting and quite varied with the combination of woodland, vineyards and picturesque villages, but it is a new route, and as it evolves I think that some improvements can be incorporated: Day 3 seemed a bit early for a free day and perhaps the amount of walking on tarmac could be reduced.
By Mrs Pryor-jones on 07/07/2015
We luckily met another couple on our trip with similar interests so it was lovely to meet up in the evenings with them, could have been solitary on our own.
Wouldn't do Gastronomique as food was too much and very similar menu at each hotel, No Air Con at hotel on 1st and last night and it was very hot when we were on holiday. The villages we cycled through had few shops and often seemed closed when we went through them but on the whole this wasn't a major problem. The chateaus were lovely and the hotel staff on the whole very helpful. The bikes were very good.
By Mr Dunbar on 02/07/2015
Enjoyed the cycling alot, lovely countryside, great food. Expensive for what you get, considering only on e evening meal included.
By Mr Strong on 02/07/2015
Beautiful region of France. Didn't see a soul whilst walking and the hotels were quiet which suited us! Representative was very friendly and helpful.
By Mr Bedford on 02/07/2015
Excellent. Location stunning. Views wonderful. Food, apart from one meal, great. Hotels good 3 stars. Local representative very helpful. Overall a most enjoyable, although tiring, holiday.
By Mrs Howard on 30/06/2015
I am truely impressed with Headwater , Steve was fantastic , we rode together on 2 days.
Mick the film maker/photographer joined on the last day , really great company.
I'd love to see the movie you made of me cycling to promote Headwater .
By Mr Vaile on 29/06/2015
An excellent and relaxed holiday made all the better by a very helpful and knowledgeable local representative, Ross Brown. The cycle routes along the canal and river paths especially on the final day, were delightful. Wine tasting and buying opportunities were frequent and fun and the wine collection service worked flawlessly.
By Mrs Boulton-jones on 25/06/2015
Holiday was expensive for what we received.
Lovely region of France.
By Mrs Colquhoun on 25/06/2015
Overall a good holiday well organised excellent friendly reps and a good variety of hotels some excellent some very good weather could have been a little better!
By Mr Goss on 24/06/2015
This was our first trip with Headwater, having had good recommendations from friends (hikers). We have done many cycling trips with other companies. Organisation and information from Headwater was copious and helpful, EXCEPT:
We want to have large scale maps with the route marked (like other companies do). 1:100,000 maps are fine for driving, but not for cycling. I spent several hours before we traveled printing maps and trying to mark the route from the route description. Despite this we made some errors in navigation; annoying. The A4 description sheets are awkwardly big to mount on a handlebar rack.
By Mr Heyes on 24/06/2015
Great time Well organised and well balanced with activities.
By Mrs Caulkin on 24/06/2015
Excellant holiday with one of the best travel reps we have come across .He put himself out to help us and nothing was too much trouble
By Mr Baker on 23/06/2015
Apart from the excellent food and accommodation, the cycling was about as perfect as it can get: smooth, quiet gently undulating roads, considerate drivers, friendly people and good weather but not too hot. Plenty to see and visit.
By Mr Boyd on 23/06/2015
Enjoyable walking in attractive countryside with plenty opportunity to visit historic places such as Dijon and Beaune, staying in remarkable small hotels, and eating amazing food and drinking some of the world's best wines.
By Mr Ball on 23/06/2015
Excellent local arrangements and facilities. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
By Mr Broad on 22/06/2015
The easy way to enjoy a cycling holiday abroad
By Ms Pepper on 19/06/2015
If you are considering this type of holiday you can rely on the information that is provided, the bikes are easy to use all aspects 6700d of the equipment are explained , the planners are very useful, and the rep is available if required.
By Ms Sampson on 19/06/2015
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience; a lovely lazy way of booking a really good holiday - everything is provided for and has been thought of. Excellent.
By Mrs MacKman on 17/06/2015
Overall a great holiday. Good idea to look up before you go as to whether any local events on in the towns. We happened by chance upon a Venetian day at a village which was spectacular although no rep advice as to the event. Food was great at first two hotels but below expectations and little choice at the German venue. We upgraded rooms in Germany and that was worthwhile for the accommodation. When looking at the holiday online it appears easier than it was in reality. A 2Km climb on the last day was tough for social cyclists.
By Mr Godfree on 17/06/2015
All arrangements worked perfectly. Bikes were excellent with comfortable saddles and springing - vital for bumpy towpaths. Luggage was always waiting for us at the next hotel. Fascinating canal architecture with plenty to see (watching boats going through the locks is entertaining). The prevailing wind (Tramontane) is generally behind apart from the out and back at Narbonne. Shade is provided along the towpath sections by plane trees. Hotel L'Octroi in Carcassone is well placed for visiting La Cite on foot and the airport shuttle bus actually passes the hotel just before the final stop (there even appears to be a stop outside which I guess the driver would drop you at if asked). Le Jardin d'Homps is a real French experience, as it was wet we were not tempted to use the garden and pool. Hotel le Residence is very convenient for the canal. Hotel Imperator seems a long intricate slog uphill on arrival but was worth it. Hotel le Grand is indeed 'grand'. We had an excellent room overlooking the canals but with triple glazing so no noise from the street below.
By Mr Moss on 17/06/2015
Ross was great as a tour guide, and very helpful in pointing out places of note/interest. Countryside and views were glorious, and the villages were delightful. However, 2 things stuck out on this tour: This was a level 1 tour but there were several 1-plus hills on the route - i think that could be better explained; and most of the pretty villages we visited were empty of life, no people, no animals, no cafes/bars or facilities - i think that needs to be better explained too, as it was a disappointment to find them shuttered up. Auxerre was interesting, and Chablis and Vezelay very pretty with plenty to see and do, but not much in between. Our 2 nights with external dinners in Vermenton were great - superb choice of restaurants, and Ross was a very considerate driver, waiting for us to finish late on both occasions!
By Mrs Henderson on 17/06/2015
Most enjoyable. Well planned and varied routes with excellent dining in the evening. Something for everyone.
By Mr Rodesano on 15/06/2015
This was an excellent varied walk and well constructed taking in coastal paths, forest and river scenes and the beaches were superb.
By Mr Hamilton on 15/06/2015
We had a fabulous trip in perfect weather. Ross the Rep was first class. He goes the extra mile , is particular on detail and plans ahead.
The rating for the walks is right, not as testing as our usual 2 boot but with gentle climbs to give interest and the spectacular views. Thank you and thank Ross.
By Mrs Thomas on 15/06/2015
Lovely to have everything arranged for us ; quiet cycling routes and accommodation planned by people with local knowledge and luggage taken care of . All we had to do was relax and enjoy the holiday !
Not Headwaters fault , but coming back on May 31st , we arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to find that we had been put on Standby and had no seats allocated . We have since learned that this is common practice by airlines but we did spend a stressful couple of hours before being told that we could get on the 13.05 flight for which we had reservations .
By Mrs Carroll on 15/06/2015
Fantastic holiday all round. Accommodation, food, service etc all excellent if a little bit variable. The cycle routes were well planned and took us through some lovely areas. Would definitely recommend an e-bike for anyone who is not a regular cyclist or accustomed to hill work. The food was very good all round if a little heavy on the gourmet- we will not want to see any more frois gras or duck for a long time! The one exception is the bistro at Hotel Pere Leon - best avoided and easily done with the plethora of good alternatives in Toulouse.
By Mr Ricketts on 15/06/2015
As with my previous Headwater holiday in Brittany last year, the organisation and logistics of this holiday worked like clockwork, luggage was collected and delivered to successive hotels in time for my arrival. In all but one instance the hotel reception was excellent and the quality of the dining experience was commensurate with fine dining. In one hotel only, the restaurant was busy and the front of house staff were flustered and made several mistakes with my menus and orders, but this was compensated by the quality of the food and the wine suggestions of the other staff. One evening our group was taken by taxi for the evening meal to a nearby Hotel/Restaurant as our hotel's restaurant was closed for the evening. This was done with efficiency and the dining experience worth the trip. The Rep, James, made every effort to meet me when I arrived and to explain things to me and took the trouble to see me off as I left. The Reps were very helpful, sending me a postcard with their contact details on before I started the holiday, giving me the confidence that they would be there to help if anything went wrong, which I am glad to say did not happen. If you like French food and good wines this is a good choice for you. I am a keen cyclist and prefer to cycle further each day than the Headwater brochure routes. I appreciate the flexibility Headwater adopt with me in negotiating support for a longer route than the one in the brochure. I will be booking with Headwater again next year.
By Mr Christian on 08/06/2015
The cycling guide notes were excellent up to the section between Beziers to Sete. This section was quite vague in places and we got lost twice. The maps were of little use due to their large scale on the one occasion that we really needed them due to a diversion, they were no help at all. Other than that the accommodation was really good.
By Mr Redman on 26/05/2015
Excellent, good fun and good value.
By Mr Betts on 21/05/2015
We were a family group of six with ages ranging from 30 to 67 and we all enjoyed the whole experience. One of our party was a vegetarian which we recognised might be a bit of a challenge for the hotels, given that this was a gastronomic experience, but she was quite happy with the range of vegetarian options available.
By Mr Townsley on 12/05/2015
Excellent guide who made a lot of effort to ensure that we had a great holiday. Got to see some very different aspects of the French Riviera. Great walking, good food and good company.
By Mr Maitland on 07/01/2015
Varied walking, generally on quiet routes. Good views on all the walks. Gavarnie and Lac D'Ourrec were especially good - take the offer of the lift on the Lac D'Ourrec day if you can as it gives you more chance to explore the high meadows etc.
Excellent welcome in each hotel, food generally very tasty, local and varied. Especially enjoyed the local trout at Ramonjuan and everything at Les Pois Sont Rouges in Argeles! Transport options worked well.
For Gavarnie - we managed to get up and back to the waterfall with a very quick detour up to the Cabine des Soldats in a total of 6.5 hours but that was really pushing it (for us). So we managed to use the bus that arrived at 10am (on a Sunday) and left at around 5.30. If you missed out the Cabine (which was ok for views but great for Marmots) then it would have been a comfortable walk. Definitely recommend going there on the best day of weather as it is spectacular!
Thanks Headwater - another great holiday!
By Mr Wagstaff on 27/12/2014
The notes gave the impression that you would meet your rep every night. This was not the case. The grading system was probably accurate. However, there was, in JM's opinion inaccuracies in the descriptions of the routes particularly in the Vosges (see below). The food at La Ville de Lyon in Rouffach was over the top: might be Michelin starred but two nights of that was too much - the novelty wore off! The Hotel Kapuzinergarte was generally good but it would have been helpful to know that (a) you needed to speak German, (b) there was no bar area to sit in before dinner and (c) that they wouldn't take credit card for the bar bill and didn't know that the accommodation had already been paid for. Le Verger des Chateau claimed not to have received any notification about JM's cheese allergy and JM got served with cheese the first night which she delicately picked off the salad. Fortunately JM was able to muster enough French to ensure that she didn't get cheese again but that was hard work. This feedback has been done jointly. JM has various reservations about the holiday and the 'hills' which were not mentioned: in the route booklet only one hill is mentioned - the highest point you reach on the tour which is on Day 1. The fact that both of us were in bottom gear almost from the start of the first day came as rather a surprise although JM had realised that there might be a problem when reading the route before leaving the UK and checking it to the map provided. She had mentioned that she had arthritis as she required a low step over bike. She was unable to push down hard enough to get up anything but the shortest hill and spent far too long on cycling days 1 and 4 pushing her bike - something which was extremely difficult as the arthritis makes going up hill on foot difficult. Cycling days 2 and 3 were wonderful (no hills to speak of). DW really enjoyed the cycling once he had got used to the bike and had very few problems with hills after the initial surprise of the steepness. The hotel Aux Armes de France was brilliant. They did a special breakfast tray for us on our last morning as we had to leave before the normal serving time. They were really helpful and it felt the nicest place we stayed. If you wish to discuss our comments further, please contact us. Apologies for the delay in doing the feedback but various things have happened meaning we have only just got round to is.
By Mr Davies on 28/10/2014
A delightful holiday satisfying my need for aesthetic, athletic, intellectual, emotional stimulation....& all so easy....in one gem of a town!
By Mrs Jackson on 27/10/2014
A good holiday with a balance of cycling and sightseeing opportunities. The hills were underplayed and I wouldn't recommend non cyclists to try this holiday unless they want to walk up every hill. Two of the hotels had excellent food, which was a treat. The guide instructions were mostly good although they were wrong on one of the days causing the majority of our group to find themselves on a main road. The route could do with being cycled by the rep and the notes adjusted to avoid confusion to future cyclists. We enjoyed our holiday and would consider another headwater holiday in future, although we would treat the grading of the route with caution.
By Mr McGinn on 17/10/2014
We find Headwater a very professional organisation. The cycling routes and notes are well thought out and the reps are knowledgeable and very helpful.
By Mrs Barrett on 17/10/2014
Fantastic coastal walks. Distances are reasonable but remember as it is coastal you drop from cliff tops to sea and back up again. Fantastic beaches, well worth a return visit on the 'day off' from walking.
By Mr Burgess on 17/10/2014
This canoeing/ cycling holiday on the Dordogne rates as one of our best ever. In mid September, we had the river to ourselves, the weather fortunately was superb, the accommodation, locations and food were excellent and the logistics from Headwater and the support and advice from Keith our rep were outstanding. We plan to come again, especially in the quieter season.
By Mrs Maddison on 17/10/2014
This must have been one of our most enjoyable holidays. There was never a dull moment. Fascinating region , great walks and great towns and villages to explore
By Mr Smith on 16/10/2014
Compared to other companies, our view is that 'Headwater', is at the top of the tree.
By Mrs Dietz on 16/10/2014
We especially appreciated the well-chosen routes through beautiful countryside on little roads with little traffic. A highlight is the long downhills we enjoyed from ridges to river level.
By Dr Darke on 14/10/2014
The joy of not using a car for 8 whole days was amazing! The walking was lovely, the grape harvest in full swing, the hotels EXCELLENT with good breakfasts and all arrangements extremely convenient and clear. Flying from Bristol is such fun compared with the toil of Heathrow/ Gatwick. Staying in Paris for the first night makes good sense, and the TGV is superb! There is only one snag...not having a car to bring home all the excellent wines! The Co-op at Turckheim is surely one of the best in France.
By Mr Sherriff on 09/10/2014
This has previously been a very attractive formula for us in Tuscany but in Alsace the routes were a bit boring to and from Germany. Kilometres of flat maize fields get a bit tiresome.
The locations of two hotels, in Breisach and Dieffenthal were poor. Breisach had great views from the top of the hill which did not make up for the fact that the hotel was relatively isolated from the town and whatever it might have had to offer. We weren't sure what the point was in going there any way. We did visit the KaiserstÃ¼hl which was good cycling and not enough was made of it in your notes. It didn't help that the hotel food is awful and the service dreadful. It took me 45 minutes to check out!
In Dieffenthal the hotel was out of the village which itself was less than interesting. Any of the neighbouring villages would have been good, especially as Dambach la Ville was very close and had a rail station for a visit to Strasbourg. Equally, Riquwihr Hunawihr and Ribeauville would have been better.
So, in all 2/4 decent hotels, boring routes. Not sure about value for money.
By Mrs Powell on 08/10/2014
Excellent and varied cycling in a beautiful part of France.
By Mr Hickman on 08/10/2014
The holiday met all our expectations, as the description in your brochure proved to be accurate in all respects. The level of accommodation, in fact, exceeded expectations as did the dining experiences. Whilst not a budget holiday, you provided excellent value for money.
By Mr Henderson on 08/10/2014
Easy cycling. Good hotels with excellent food and accommodation in the main. Weather in late September was brilliant which made visits to chateaus etc more spectacular. All in all we had a really good holiday.
By Mrs Sanderson on 08/10/2014
Lovely area with some very good cycle routes. The accommodation and meals were excellent. The cycling was relatively easy, however you could add extra mileage and create longer routes if you wanted.
We had a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday which was organised without fault.
By Mr Bell on 08/10/2014
Beautiful area of France with easy cycling days,many interesting places to visit and, at the end of the day, mouth watering food to enjoy.
By Mrs Leitch on 08/10/2014
Excellent group walking holiday in beautiful coastal countryside. Lovely walks to medieval villages and great to use the local buses and trains to get to high up villages. Good mix of walking and exploring local life. our guide Stephanie was absolutely excellent in all respects, encouraging, organised, helpful and she joined in with the group so well. Lively group diinners in the hotel. Menton good base for holiday, plenty of shops plus interesting places to vist. Hotel was by the seafront, excellent location. Rooms were very small though and the ones at the back were noisy with street noise. Pace of the walking is dependent on the ability of the group, ours was mixed but everyone joined in well and were patient when it got slower on steeper descents.
By Dr Brech on 06/10/2014
This was a good holiday made more enjoyable by perfect weather throughout. The cycling was varied and the terrain different and interesting. We spent two extra days in Dinan (we prefer 10-night tours) and found plenty to do. There were lots of opportunities for cafe stops throughout the tour. There were some hills but we four pensioners just walked up them - the countryside would have been less interesting without them! None was longer than 700 metres - nothing like the 3-km walks onto the Lot Valley causses or the 5-km slogs in the Jura. The rep, Steve, was excellent. We had heard good reports of him from other cyclists on earlier Headwater holidays and he fully lived up to his reputation. The loan of large-scale maps (1:25,000) was an excellent idea and should be taken up everywhere. And when we had our first bike problem in four years of Headwater cycling (a seized wheel bearing), he had the problem fixed with a new wheel within 30 minutes of the call for assistance. Informative, interesting and always cheerful, he is the gold standard to which every Headwater rep should aspire.
By Dr Austin on 29/09/2014
This is our seventh Headwater Holiday and as usual we enjoyed it greatly although the hills on the first and last cycling days were much steeper than we expected. Colmar is delightful and it was really interesting to go into Germany to compare German Alsace wines with French Alsace ones.
By Mrs Sharp on 29/09/2014
Well put together holiday ensuring something of interest every day. The half board element can be a bit restrictive although most places were ok with making changes for a supplement. The only place we had a problem with this was Hostellerie de Clos where we were basically told what we were to eat with no choice given at all. As it happens we were ok but foie fras to start and pigeon to follow might not be to everyone's choice. The hotels were quite varied but generally good or better. Our least favourite was Hotel de la Poste in Vezelay. It's pretty tired and we had a poor room (102) which was at the front of the hotel and directly over the Bistro. You might think Vezelay would be quiet but the lorries are relentless from about 4.30am.
Our rep Ross could not be bettered. He put his heart and soul into making sure we had a good holiday and was endlessly patient - as well as very good company.
By Mrs Reeves on 25/09/2014
Fantastic hotel with amazing food in great location. Very friendly staff who were always smiling!
By Mrs Boorman on 25/09/2014
Read the brochure carefully and check the photos of the holiday are not misleading
However the first 2 hotels were great
By Mrs McQuillan on 24/09/2014
I am usually full of praise for your holidays but this one was not so enjoyable. I felt I needed much more help with the canoe, practising on the water first, and with the routes. Photographs of the stopping places would have been helpful as would a more accurate map with scale. I felt rather stressed at times not knowing what to expect and perhaps in retrospect, this was not the best holiday for me. The bike I tried had far too strong brakes, I came off at the hotel and was in pain all the holiday with a very bruised rib. I did not get on the bike again and paddling was painful. I would have so much have preferred to have had bike rides on our days off. We also had to walk in the heat with our equipment to the hotel in Soulliac, this was quite an ordeal. Without the other couple on the holiday, who were very helpful, I really would not have had the confidence to carry on with the canoeing. I have already paid a deposit for another holiday in February , if I hadn't done this, I think I might well have cancelled.
By Mr Tabrett on 22/09/2014
This was a superb holiday made especially enjoyable by the exceptional help and untiring humour of your rep, Steve Barrington, who went way beyond the call of duty to look after everyone.
By Mis Bunbury on 21/09/2014
Generally an enjoyable holiday with well chosen hotels. However, the guidance notes were not always clear and in some cases out of date. We realise that conditions on the river fluctuate, but felt that Keith could have done more to update both himself and us on current conditions. As it was we spent time looking for landmarks which were no longer visible (e.g. pebble beach intended to warn us that we were approaching rough water halfway between Souillac and Sarlat). Rep must surely have been warned of the changes by other travellers and could have passed these warnings on to us. The laminated notes and maps would have been easier to handle if they had been bound into a folder in their logical order.
By Mrs Binns on 19/09/2014
Varied locations made for an interesting cycling holiday, time given for exploring some of locations on foot or otherwise. Helpful information given
By Mr Norman on 19/09/2014
excellent route but day excursions not clear. change hotel in clamacy as poor accommodation and food try hotel poste .
By Mrs Pogson on 19/09/2014
This was a fantastic holiday - all the walks are interesting & varied with spectacular views. We were very lucky to have good weather everyday. The accommodation was excellent throughout - can't fault a thing.
By Mrs McLynn on 16/09/2014
We have enjoyed many cycling holidays with Headwater. This was by far the best one yet!! A good friendly rep, well maintained bikes,
excellent, detailed route guides, great hotels in lovely locations and superb dinners! Well done Headwater!
By Mr Taylor on 16/09/2014
This was our nineteenth Headwater cycling holiday and once again they delivered.
An excellent selection of hotels in a variety of locations with accurately classified routes in between.
We drove through the Tunnel but with the benefit of hind site we might have considered travelling to St Marlo as foot passengers, to be collected by their representative and taken to the first hotel.
The countryside is charming, the coastal views amazing and once again it was rain free - that's only 3 days rain in 152 days of Headwater cycling holidays.
I would not hesitate to recommend this holiday, but do a little practice on the bike before you go to get the full enjoyment.
By Ms McVeigh on 16/09/2014
Great holiday with plenty of exercise. Beautiful chÃ¢teaux to visit and lovely hotels to stay with lots of fabulous food. Good idea to have a 'sat nav' or map on your mobile phone as route directions not totally accurate!
By Mr Keeling on 15/09/2014
Enjoyable itinerary and the distances were very manageable. Scenery similar with lots vineyards and fields of maize. Many of the shops closed and villages deserted in August because of the French holidays.
By Dr Luton on 15/09/2014
Excellent if quite hilly cycling in a very pretty area. Selestat is worth diverting to en route from Breisach. Colmar is very worthwhile visiting but incorporating it into day 2 ( turn off at Niedermorschwir and return to Turkheim) gives day 3 free for walks /cycling in the hills.
By Mr Dunn on 11/09/2014
This was absolutely our best holiday to date. Excellently planned, organized and looked after by our rep - Ross, we felt free to enjoy the delights of the Burgundy region. We loved the bikes and the routes made sure we saw the very best of the countryside and avoided any major roads. The opportunity to swim at designated places in the river Yonne was the icing on the cake - it was truly a 'Swallows and Amazon' experience. Fabulous scenery, weather, food and of course, wine - sheer bliss. Can't wait to go again - anywhere - as long as it's organized by Headwater. Thank you so much.
Dear Mr Dunn,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback questionnaire. We were delighted to see that you enjoyed your time in the Burgundy region of France and that you rated this holiday your best to date! It really does sound like you had a great time. It was also great to see that you felt well looked after by our Rep Ross, he was thrilled to receive your lovely comments too. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team.
By Mrs Barr on 08/09/2014
Contacted Headwater at very short notice to arrange our cycling holiday and the help and advice given by holiday adviser was excellent [Karen Ross]. Cycling days easy apart from Ligny to Vermenton,mileage was perfectly manageable [31 miles] but have to admit to walking through village of Courgis [this is allowed as we are OAPs] and view was worth it. Would strongly recommend buying supplies as mentioned in the notes before starting out each day as there were no cafes open at all. Area was beautiful very picturesque and peaceful. Thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday again - this was our 7th Headwater Cycling Holiday and are already planning our 8th.
By Mr Browne on 05/09/2014
An excellent holiday with beautiful countryside and varied activities. Steve was the best rep we have ever had and his extra maps, information made the holiday that much more enjoyable. It was reassuring to have a spare inner tube and the bikes were well maintained.
By Dr Taylor on 05/09/2014
Great bikes, great service and a great holiday...thanks!
By Mrs Henry on 02/09/2014
This holiday was one of the best holidays I have ever had, the scenery was absolutely wonderful once you were up the top of the mountains, and so peaceful, you need to be very fit to do this holiday, but the views and tranquillity was worth all the hard work.
By Mrs Lidgley on 29/08/2014
Splendid! An escape from the normal!
By Mr Duesund on 28/08/2014
Have told rep about weather and path conditions on Day 3. He was right about poor waymarking. The hotell had few good options and the vegetarian member of our group had problems at the last hotel AS they didn't follow up. When meals are included Headwater should have a higher level than a 20â‚¬ meal. Best place was Argeles Gazost. But not so exciting food offered at alternative restaurant 14th July. In general a OK holiday but a bit too many Wales in the Woody on poor paths. Definitely best Wales on first day with extension. Hopeless quality with dinner at the Ramonjuan. Where did they manage to Get such comments? Make sure Headwater clients get the upstairs bedrooms as there are two rooms without windows on the first floor. Try to Get more Walks like the first Day and the Gavarnie.
By Mr Carter on 27/08/2014
We are in our mid seventies and we wished to see if we could still manage to cycle the routes. We managed but found there to be more hills than anticipated and on reflection we would have been better to have taken our own bikes, particularly for my wife, this was not a reflection on the bikes provided but just what we were familiar with.
We have used Headwater a lot in the past but cannot remember the division created by those who paid extra for higher standard. It was strange in restaurants seeing some being given better located tables thus removing any possibility of conversation, they also received much superior rooms. I suppose it reflects the age we now live in but in the past there was more a feeling of adventure and sharing it with other travellers.
By Mr Craven on 27/08/2014
Good bikes, variable accommodation. Good daily distances and accurate grading. Very willing but inexperienced rep. has the potential to be a very good rep but needs to get out cycling, driving or walking the routes and making his own notes.
By Mr Roberts on 26/08/2014
Geat food and wines. Interesting and varied locations. Alsacian wine route is great.
By Mr Reiners on 22/08/2014
A very enjoyable holiday through a less visited (at least by English travellers) part of France. The one day cycling/ one day off works very well and the route gives an enjoyable mixture of different terrains, and countries. The accomodation is of an extremely high standard, though I the food at Ville do Lyons and Aux Armes de France stands out.
Some stiff climbs, but no shame in walking up !
By Mrs Rawcliffe on 22/08/2014
Our Rep John was very helpful and we were aware that if we needed assistance he was only a phone call away
Also very friendly welcome
The hotels and food were great especially after a long day cycling
Will use you again next year!
By Mrs Barker on 19/08/2014
We really enjoyed our hioliday. The rep gave us everything we needed, but compared to our other 2 headwater holidays, he perhaps wasn't quite as attentive. Three of the hotels were great, but the Constantine was not anywhere near the same quality and disappointing. We recommend Hotel Schwendi in Kintzheim, a 20 minute walk from Kaysersberg.
We look forward to our next Headwater holiday.
By Mr Stamper on 18/08/2014
Overall, this was a very enjoyable experience, one of the best we have experienced in France. We really appreciated the sea view room at the Hotel Printania.
By Mrs Cox on 18/08/2014
Great holiday hampered only by poor weather at times but our reps were fantastic. Chissay was lovely. How marvellous to stay in such an historic place. Every single member of staff was very helpful and friendly. We could not fault it. We could not make much use of the pool as it was not warm enough. Hotel Aubiniere was more modern and very comfortable with lovely food. again the staff were great. The Auberge was much more cramped and very busy. We struggled to be able to find somewhere to put the bikes as the shed was so full. Out of the three this was our least favourite but the food was good if a bit over fussy. A great holiday but would not want to do it for longer as the food becomes too much by the end. If we did it again we would do it without the gastronomy just simple meals.
By Mrs Provan on 07/08/2014
Well organised and enjoyable. A good mix of cycling and time to do other things.
By Mrs Culligan on 05/08/2014
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday the excellent hotels and food were welcome relief at the end of a challenging day's cycling. Beautiful countryside and villages to visit on route.
By Ms Marshall on 31/07/2014
This was our first experience of a Headwater holiday and we'd certainly do another one. I was a bit apprehensive about the level of fitness required for the cycling, but it was easily manageable - although I'm glad I did some training beforehand. The bikes and routes were great - all we had to do was enjoy the scenery en route and get to the next destination. Loads of suggestions of things to do and places to visit - but no pressure to do anything. Bliss.
By Mr Mason on 30/07/2014
Stunning scenery and brilliant walks.
By Mrs Barry on 28/07/2014
It was a lovely relaxing holiday. Amazing weather and the cycling routes were really easy to navigate and through beautiful parts of France. We did though feel we had earned out gastronomic dinner at the end of the day - which was perfect! Two of the hotels were lovely, at Chateau de Chissay and Hotel L'Aubiniere the facilities and food were heavenly but we didn't feel the other hotel Auberge du Centre was not quite at the same standard.
By Mr Marston on 24/07/2014
A very well organised holiday with outstanding tour manager, top quality bikes, excellent hotels with very high standard of cusine in a lovely area of France
By Mr Curtis on 23/07/2014
A taste of the Loire, in more ways than one. The meal at Manoir Bel Air is possible the best you will ever encounter
By Mr Graham on 23/07/2014
Sensible daily itineraries; good, comfortable hotels; efficient transfers, accurate guide notes; good value for money.
By Mr Walker on 21/07/2014
An exciting 9 days in a quiet part of France with excellent accommodation in Rouffach and Ammerschwihr. A bit of a drag cycling to and from Breisach am Rhein
By Ms Bronger on 21/07/2014
Hotel rooms and area were great. We did upgrade every night. But don't expect the hotel food to be enough to keep you cycling the next day. Funky food with drizzle. The menu was repeated each night. We could have done with twice the amount we were given each night. Very expensive wine at all the hotels. Pleased we have been there but would not go on this holiday again.
By Mr Kilby on 21/07/2014
A wonderful holiday, alternating canoeing with walking. The hotels were all in good positions and the meals were gourmet standard - a real treat. We were very well looked after - our bags always waiting for us at each destination. Thank you for a great experience.
By Mrs Griffith on 21/07/2014
Every detail of the holiday had been researched well which resulted in a complete and professional package. The routes, hotels and food were all excellent and from the first welcome by Ross a feeling of confidence and helpfulness was portrayed - all surpassed expectations.
By Mr Close on 14/07/2014
Lots of the little villages in France, which we passed through, seemed to have no bars or cafes, which seemed strange.
2 of the hotels gave us no choice in evening meals. We felt there should be at least a choice of 2 dishes at each course.
The food at the hotel with the Mitchelin stared chef was, of course, wonderful. We didn't expect that everywhere, but the comparison with no choice at all (and sometimes pretty ordinary food) was too big a jump.
By Mr Chaplin on 14/07/2014
This holiday was exactly what was described and expected. All accommodation, activities and equipment were excellent.The company reps were very friendly and helpful. It was a great experience which we will doubtlessly repeat in the next few years. Thanks.
By Mr Otiv on 14/07/2014
A very rewarding type of holiday. A very good way to get insight into a particular region.
By Mrs Price on 14/07/2014
Hotel de la Muse du Tarn is not only our 'best' Headwater hotel but probably one of the best hotels we have stayed in worldwide.
We had one very wet day and the hotel was a comfortable and pleasant place to take refuge with books and crosswords.
The walks were well described and accurately graded, we felt. Although one or two of the descents were longer than implied but maybe that was because I am very very slow!!
The whole region is stunning with lots to do apart from walking. We didn't have great weather but it didn't dampen our walking spirits. And the views - wow!
By Mrs Lamont on 14/07/2014
Headwater provide a fair all around holiday
By Mr Burn on 13/07/2014
Smoothly organised and unstressed providing an enjoyable holiday
By Mrs Luck on 11/07/2014
I love cycling around rural areas of Europe. You really get the feel of the area and take in and appreciate the views, smells and vibrant colours all around you. The Alsace is an attractive area with lots of lovely wines to try, flowers to enjoy and history to take in.
By Mrs May on 11/07/2014
On this itinerary the length and gradient of the walks are not so suitable for the over 65s - we experienced them as three-boots rather than 2 on account of our age.
Your notes are very well written, congratulations. We never went wrong and rarely used the maps.
The menus on this gastronomic holiday were surprisingly limited - should have guessed they would be though. There was one evening when we could not face the foie gras and duck again so crept out for a cheap Italian despite having paid for the gastronomic bore. We cannot blame Headwater for this, please note.
Throughout the service was very good. The landscape and local attractions were outstanding. The routes were creatively chosen. Thanks!
By Mr Crockett on 10/07/2014
Brilliant holiday, made us exercise!
Hills were a challenge.
By Mr Fiske on 10/07/2014
The 'one plus' category was about right if you did not take any of the optional trips on the 'at' days or alternative routes. If you do, that will make it a 'two' bike holiday. For example, the hills in and out of Vezelay are challenging so once there we did not want to make any trips out only to have to climb back again.
On previous Headwater holidays we have always cycled the suggested routes on the rest days.
By Mr Sidey on 10/07/2014
Overall summary is that we thought the walks were excellent with a variety of scenery. The hotels were generally very good and the staff as well as local people were friendly and helpful. It is a beautiful area with lovely villages and towns being part of the walking route.
By Mrs Pritchett on 09/07/2014
Beautiful part of France, stunning gorge scenery. Hotel in brilliant location right on riverside. Excellent food with choice from whole menu every day + chef's special of the day for each course. Highlight was lots of lovely butterflies!
By Mr Hyne on 05/07/2014
Another excellent holiday with Headwater despite the disappointing weather! Delicious food again only wish we could have been there longer.
By Mrs Griffiths on 03/07/2014
Another amazing Headwater holiday - everything excellent as usual! John, our Rep, was really enthusiastic and informative - he was keen to find out what we were particularly interested in and then suggested relevant ideas which made the holiday extra memorable. He also gave a very professional demonstration of repairing a puncture.
By Mrs Pickavance on 03/07/2014
This was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have had.
By Mrs Thorp on 27/06/2014
A great holiday, well organized.
By Mrs Taylor on 26/06/2014
We paid £2082 of this holiday. During the trip we ascertained that the accommodation (and yes I have included the upgrades and breakfasts) were valued on booking.com as £911. Plus the two dinners at chez Norbert, say £100, then £1011. This means we have paid £1071 for transfers of baggage (we only paid 80 euros for a taxi from Turkheim to Basel), two maps and appalling route notes. Assuming you had a commission from the hotels based on your bulk buying power then you are rip off merchants. Why the dinner at Chez Norbert included? The choice was a not written but only a verbal one choice (pretty appalling option). We paid almost as much just upgrading to the normal menu as we could have eaten out at a local restaurant without . Is this philosophy to make you look generous because I can assure you it didn't work with us. The restaurant was closed on Tuesdays but no-one told us reception was also closed. They only gave us wifi codes for 24 hours, so we were without internet access for a day. My husband still works and needs internet access at all times. I realise I should have cross checked prices before booking and therefore blame myself for being ripped off, however this will most certainly not happen again. When the rep picked us up in Chatenois, he asked about our arrangements for onward travel - we told him we were intending to get train from Colmar to Basel late in
the day. He failed to tell us trains were on strike - left us to find out for ourselves and book a taxi to airport. What is the point of a rep who cannot give the most
simple advice. My advice to your future clients is 'don't be gullible -you can do better yourselves'
Dear Mrs Taylor,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our online questionnaire following your recent holiday to Alsace. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received.
We were sorry to read that your holiday did not meet with your expectations; this was disappointing to hear as this holiday is normally a firm favourite with our customers. However, please be assured that we realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip. Therefore all of your feedback has been passed on to the relevant UK and overseas departments and steps will be taken to improve where necessary. In closing we would like to thank you for your constructive comments and hope that despite the issues you have reported you had an enjoyable holiday overall.
Headwater Customer Service
By Mr Rea on 25/06/2014
Up to usual Headwater high standards.Very enjoyable holiday, good food, hotels and biking. Last day somewhat strenuous with significant hill climbs. Some difficulty finding food and refreshment stops, en route and at some resorts. The French seem to close at will despite declared opening hours. C'est la vie!
By Mrs Thomas on 23/06/2014
a great holiday with lovely places to stay at night with food that is to die for. during the day we stopped at great locations with good facilities for lunch and exploring, would love to go again as it was a great experience thank you
By Mrs Mills on 22/06/2014
This was a fantastic hotel. The best hotel was in montignac, however the worst eating experience was in motignac at the terrace restaurant next to the building site of lascaux 4. In our opinion you should consider foregoing the 'gastronomic title' for one night and let your customers eat at one of the many riverside restaurants and save the taxi fare and let them upgrade their meal with the difference.
By Mis Elliott on 21/06/2014
brochure, doe's not do justice to the astonishing location and overal excellence of the hotel which is 4 star and not 3 star as printed.We have looked at this holiday for at least 10 years, and booked this time as we are running out of options in France.
By Mr Simmons on 17/06/2014
A really good holiday. The hotels were generally excellent with very good food. Cycling was varied with two days of very flat cycling on the Rhine plain, and two days in the Alsace hills. When staying next to the Rhine, I thoroughly recommend getting up very early and going for a ride along the Rhine, with a pair of binoculars. No-one around, but plenty of wildlife. Strasbourg is a wonderful place to take an extra few days at the end of cycling. One slight issue is that it can get very hot cycling in the hills of Alsace. There is very little shade amongst the vines. It was early June, and we were cycling on our last day in temperatures in the mid 30's.
By Dr Rose on 16/06/2014
This was a lovely walk in beautiful gentle countryside. For us the highlight was Vezelay which we might otherwise not have discovered .We used the wine service for the first time & found it really useful
By Mr Eyton-williams on 16/06/2014
The area was ideal for walking and very interesting. The hotels, service and locations chosen were good, but the route notes need updating as at times were confusing to the extent that all members of the group got lost at a couple of points during the week. Maps (IGN) supplied were excellent. It was the maps that enabled us to find our way. Suggested visits on rest days were most helpful and the Stork Center is well worth a visit
Overall we did enjoy our holiday and would happily visit the region again!
By Mr McLean on 13/06/2014
A more relaxing and fun way to have a cycling holiday which is well organised from the beginning.
By Mrs Demont on 13/06/2014
Fabulous area for easy cycling, with empty roads and lots of interesting places to visit on 'rest' days. A variety of good hotels in very peaceful locations.
By Mr Ricketts on 12/06/2014
Although there was an unexpected change to the accommodation at the end of the holiday the helpfulness of Steve meeting me off the St Malo ferry on the first day of the trip removed any further obstacle to the enjoyment of the holiday as my car was already located where I needed it to be for the return trip to the ferry on my last day. The bags were always present at the hotel to which I was moving when I arrived. The whole trip was made very enjoyable by the glorious weather and after the first transfer day any worrries I had about my baggage being transported were gone and I was able to enjoy the whole of the trip with a relaxed frame of mind. I would definitely consider a similar trip with Headwater now I am confident about their efficiency.
By Mr Williams on 12/06/2014
The Tarn area is an location for activity holidays and for seeing wildlife and flowers.
By Mr Brown on 07/06/2014
This holiday is to be recommended for those enjoying exercise and the wines of Alsace. The latter is important as much time is spent in and around the vineyards.
By Mrs Grover on 05/06/2014
This must have been 15th Headwater holiday for me and I have no complains about any of them. My late husband and I have used two other companies in the past (one in Germany and one in France) but always came back to Headwater. The formula is excellent (rest day between cycling or walking), the hotels are always good and very often really excellent. The reps are very helpful. You know someone else has done the background work researching for suitable roads to cycle and hotels to stay, yet it feels like an adventure as you have to find your way from one hotel to the other. I have recommended Headwater for several of my friends looking for active holidays and hope I will do many more myself in the future.
By Mr O'Loughlin on 03/06/2014
Helpful Headwater staff . Location was a bit boring compared to the Loire or the Dordogne regions.
By Mrs Lindsay on 03/06/2014
Thanks to careful planning by Headwater our holiday ran smoothly from the initial phone call to our journey home. It was our first experience using Headwater, it exceeded all our expectations and we look forward to another holiday with them in the future.
By Mr Fendall on 02/06/2014
This was a first time using Headwater.It was an 8 day 'walking' holiday but only 4 days of designated walking and therefore 4 days to 'do your own thing'. Suggestions were made in the guidebook but apart from more walkng or visiting vineyards the villages of Alsace offer little in the way of 'other' activites. I feel that at least 5 (or even 6) days of designated walking would be more appropriate.Overall I enjoyed the experience as Alsace is an area liken no other in France.
By Mrs Taylor on 02/06/2014
The holiday overall was well planned and the location was beautiful .The Alsace villages that we visited were most attractive with the old buildings and the history associated with them. As two fit octogenarians we were fully capable of managing the walks.
By Ms Mulholland on 01/06/2014
As a solo walker I felt a great sense of achievement
By Mr Ingram on 30/05/2014
Well organised travel arrangements. Good overall accommodation. Welcoming and knowledgeable staff. Rep support very good and while not needed by ourselves we spoke to others who had been helped. Wine collection service tried and tested - it works! (Thank you, Ross).
In our experience (May 2014) finding an open cafe and 'facilities' was not always easy.
Next trip with Headwater is already booked! Enough said!
By Mr Hall on 27/05/2014
Wonderful countryside for walking and great walks - with a spectacular meal at the end of every day.
By Mrs Norris on 25/05/2014
Your questions are too black and white. Whilst we would use Headwater again we have serious reservations. Hotel rooms are almost always on the top floor. We pay you to carry our bags and carrying them down and sometimes up 3 flights is bad. Food was variable- certainly I would say we enjoyed the history and prehistory much more than the food. Before leaving your office staff wanted us to pay locally for a taxi at Sarlat to take us to the station. In fact Claire took us and it was very easy for her to do so. I do not understand why this should ever have been a problem. I felt that the 4 Canadians who perhaps booked before us were considered first in terms of transport arrangements. Inntravel never charges extra once an arrangement is made.
By Mr Jones on 12/05/2014
A very enjoyable holiday in a beautiful area - excellent guide.
By Mrs Logan on 03/12/2013
A good holiday with excellent cycles and this time a good rep/agent and his wife although we could have had more information on how to adjust the bikes if needed before we set off. Maps are poor and it is worth photocopying your own before leaving home to help you plan your trips. Route guidance is reasonable most days.
By Dr Whittington on 31/10/2013
I really enjoyed this area of France and to cycle around made it that much more special.
By Mrs Stewart on 21/10/2013
This was a really excellent holiday despite the cycling being a little harder than expected. The food throughout was outstanding. Keith and Claire were friendly and helpful giving excellent advice and support.
By Mr Patterson on 09/10/2013
A wonderful week's escape. Just what we were looking for. Peaceful cycling in idyllic rural France.
By Mrs Cornelissen on 08/10/2013
There should be more information on the routes available early in the process. We had a 23 km walk, which was fine for us but it was not clear that there were any walks of this length and it could cause problems for some guests.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 06/10/2013
The holiday was terrific. Lots of wonderful villages, castles, and caves. The biking routes were well planned and very enjoyable. This was our third Headwater Holiday and all of them have been phenomenal. The food was great too, The trip notes were excellent. The bikes were very good bikes. The holiday was not exactly leisurely. If one does just the trips on travel days, it still would not be leisurely due to many tough hills. If you do the optional trips on 'lay over days,' the accumulation can be quite exhausting. However, many of the really great things to see are on 'layover days' - so resting on these days is not really an option. Personally, we enjoyed the level, but agree with others that the level needs to be at least moderate. I would rate this trip as moderate to challenging. The good news is that even if you are not an active cyclist, you can always hop off your bike and push it to the top of the difficult hills - pushing is not as difficult as it might sound. And once you get to the top, it is worth the effort for long rides with great views on quiet roads. The sights Headwater recommends in the notes are perfect! The Headwater reps (Keith and Claire) were very helpful and went out of their way for us.
By Mrs Rees jones on 01/10/2013
Excellent and very helpful local rep, Steve. The walks were quite long and the day walk from Dinard and Dinan had no places to stop en route for coffee or even to picnic apart from stopping beside the path/road.
By Mr Ingram on 28/09/2013
The Dordogne is a very good area for a holiday, with plenty to see and do in all weathers. The Headwater walking holiday is a very good introduction to the many varied facets of the region - geography, towns and villages, food and places of interest. We enjoyed experiencing different styles of hotel - they all have their own individuality - and all looked after us extremely well. The walking notes were faultless and the maps some of the best I've encountered on the nine Headwater holidays I've taken. The rep was very informative and helpful and although we required only the routine service we were confident that if exceptional circumstances arose they would be dealt with professionally.
By Mr Stokes on 28/09/2013
A week that was both invigorating and relaxing in good walking country in the Vosges mountains - with pretty but touristy villages offering a good variety of places to sleep, eat and drink.
By Mr Stebbing on 27/09/2013
The Dordogne is a great area for walking with fantastic views and places to visit such as Chateau and cave/rock attractions. Mostly small hamlets along the route and limited facilities for refreshments so a picnic was essential. The walks were very strenuous in places with steep climbs and descents along stony paths. It was the toughest series of walks that we had undertaken (we live in Norfolk but have walked up Snowdon and other hills!) but we did it. Food at hotels in Beynac and Tamnies in particular was substantial and excellent but the walking helped burn off the calories. We flew from Norwich to Toulouse via Amsterdam and it was nice to be home within 40 mins of touching down in Norwich. Headwater helped us find a route to the Dordogne which didn't involve a long trip to and from London and didn't break the bank either.
By Mrs Craig on 25/09/2013
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. It was very well organised with varied routes on almost deserted roads through beautiful countryside and coastline.
Because it was very windy we found it more tiring than expected. Although the landscape is fairly flat there are some steep climbs.
All the hotels(which were very different) were comfortable and the food of a high standard.
By Mr Valentine on 24/09/2013
This is an excellent holiday for those that can afford it. Loads to see and do if the weather isn't wonderful. Easy cycling. Good food all the way around the trip.
By Mrs Lythell on 24/09/2013
Very well organised holiday. Quality reliable reps. Food and accommodation was good.
By Mr Asteriades on 24/09/2013
The toughest Headwater walking holiday we have been on - particularly the first few days.
Great walking routes, stunning views, good hotels. We particularly liked Le Renard with enormous portions of great food.
By Mrs Coburn on 23/09/2013
The title 'gastronomique' is deserved - the food was wonderful. The cycling was generally easy and the many chateaux were a delight. Special treats Clos-Lucé in Amboise; the gardens in Chaumont; the delightful Cheverny.
By Ms Webster on 21/09/2013
Very good. We have always enjoyed our Headwater holidays.
By Mrs Anzarut on 21/09/2013
We found the towns visited quite charming and the accommodation was good. This is a very leisurely and easy walking holiday.
By Mr Wall on 20/09/2013
Cycling in the Loire is a great way to see the area, with the opportunity to visit at least one Chateau a day (so that by the end one is 'chattered'!). The accommodation arranged by Headwater, amazing food, and efficient back-up, all provide for a memorable holiday.
By Mr Dunn on 19/09/2013
As you can tell from the above 'excellent' rating we had a very happy and memorable holiday and returned home feeling relaxed and fit. The holiday exceeded our expectations and we appreciated the level of planning and preparation that had been done by Headwater and by Steven (our Rep in Lamballe) to ensure that we had a trouble free and carefree time in Brittany. We loved it and are already thinking about which Headwater cycling holiday we could do next summer.
With regards to the rating for 'level' of cycling - it was perfect for us, we are regular cyclists and 30 miles a day is a good average for us, but when we booked, we wondered if we would fine it too easy as it was classed as 'easy' and ok for people who hadn't been on a bike recently. I don't think I would have found it very enjoyable if I had been in that category. That's my only constructive criticism of the brochure - otherwise, we had a ball!! Many thanks.
By Mr Davies on 19/09/2013
The Emerald coast walks are some of the best I have done. Your local rep. Steve Cunningham is excellent. Hotel at Lamballe has very good food and service, but the two rooms I had were fairly basic. The hotel Diane has good decor and service, but the food was a little disappointing. I did not much care for the Hotel Printannia, either the decor or the food. I had one good dinner and one rather mediocre one. The hotel D`Avaugour was excellent. In spite of my views about the hotels, I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday because of the lovely walks and gorgeous scenery.
By Mrs Wellings on 18/09/2013
The walking on this particular holiday was not very varied and was harder than we had anticipated a Leisurely/Moderate holiday to be. The long distances involved meant that there was not time to take in the suggested visits. It is confusing/misleading to have multiple walking gradings on the walk descriptions in the brochure, unless there are different options for each rating.
By Ms Tyler on 18/09/2013
Holiday generally let down by Beynac hotel. Standard of service to book holiday was poor. Notes were poor photocopies. When further ones were requested, the wrong notes were sent. Despite confirming we did not need a transfer, I was contacted to give transfer arrangements.
By Mr Henniker-major on 17/09/2013
A good holiday with the opportunity to take in some site seeing in between biking. The biking was much as advertised although with a few hills more onerous than billed in the route planner.
By Mr Flower on 17/09/2013
The right blend of activatity and relaxation in stunning scenery and beautiful locations.
By Mr Greenbank on 16/09/2013
Overall a good holiday in a pleasant region of France - thanks
By Mr Jackson on 16/09/2013
We chose this holiday because it was advertised as the easiest grade of walking in an area that looked very attractive in the brochure. We suspected, from looking at the altitude chart, that the second walking day might be more challenging than the grade implied, and we were right!
The shorter walk distances were fine for us, the directions were clear and the maps helpful, although we could have managed without them, as the walking notes were so good. We did have occasional problems finding the waymarks, particularly on Day 2, when we assume they had been on trees which had fallen. The villages we stayed in were very picturesque, the hotels were welcoming and the arrangements all worked very efficiently.
We have been on many Headwater holidays over the past 30 years and always enjoyed them, although we are choosing the easier grades nowadays. I would recommend this holiday, with the proviso that it is definitely NOT flat walking. Most days had a fair number of uphill and downhill stretches, and the second day in particular was a very lengthy uphill effort, with a couple of steep pulls, followed by some fairly tricky downhill walking through forests with fallen trees in places. We found our walking poles very useful, particularly on Day 2.
Dear Ms Thompson,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our on line questionnaire and for your feedback regrading the grading of the walks , please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is valued by us and is used to help improve and develop our holidays for the future.
It was great to read that you enjoyed your holiday to France. Although, I am sorry that you found some of the walks more challenging than you expected.
This year we introduced a new grading system of soft/leisurely/moderate/challenging. In previous years we have used a ‘boot’ rating. However, we have received mixed feedback regarding this new grading system and a number of people have told us they feel the old boot ratings gave a clearer indication of what was involved. We have therefore decided that from Nov 2013, we will be reinstating our previous system, in order to avoid any future problems. We will therefore be rating this holiday as a 1 boot which I hope you will agree is a suitable rating.
I am also sorry that you found discrepancies with some of our waymaking points, this is checked at the beginning of the season and then throughout as necessary, I have passed your comments on to our local rep, he will be re checking the routes before the start of the new season and will check out your feedback to ensure it is corrected.
Thank you once again for your constructive comments and for your loyalty over the years, we do hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future.
By Mrs Russell on 12/09/2013
We thought the food was at times too good, we were not expecting either the standard or quantity - which was at times off putting. The cycling distances were far enough and at our age, with the quality of bikes (could be better) not sure if we will do it again. This was I think our sixth cycling holiday with you, but the first for five years: age is catching up with us, it was sometimes a slog. We have electric bikes at home and we would definitely go on another Headwater holiday if you could organise them.
We were supposedly not on the Gourmet Menu, however it felt as if we were and to be honest, while lovely, the food was just over the top at times. There was a mix up with our arrival, totally my fault, however if Marg had just called or texted me from the station when we weren't there, (she had my number), then we would have saved ourselves a very expensive taxi ride. The reps were helpful when a bike chain jammed, although it took them an hour to reach us, and at times we thought they were very 'stretched': it seemed to be a very busy time. Hotel accommodation was generally a little lower than expected for the cost and Room 28 at the Hostellrie du Chateau was the worst: very cramped and smelt due to the sewage pipe outside the bedroom window. However, that was the friendliest hotel owner by a mile: Madame was delightful. Generally, we felt the standard of accommodation offered to Headwater guests was that of getting the poorer rooms in the hotels, but I do appreciate that often rural French hotels of this type are like that. We did have a major, irreparable puncture, fortunately discovered in the early evening of an 'off' day - when we were just planning to go for a short ride to the next village. The bikes are 'okay' but I am sure there are better ones. John was contacted and came as soon as he could, but it clearly added to the pressure the couple were under. John did ask us for money for the return transfers, claiming we were not on their list, however when I checked our invoice it definitely stated that they were included in our costs.
Nothing major to complain about, I guess we're getting a bit pickier as we get older.
By Mr Wilkinson on 12/09/2013
Very good holiday.
By Mrs Duckworth on 11/09/2013
We thought this was an excellent holiday, and overall very good value. As last year, your office staff were at all times friendly, welcoming and helpful.
Accommodation: Hotel Le Quercy was disappointing. Spartan. Small rooms with irritatingly small double beds. On arrival, the bedrooms stank of stale cigarette smoke (thought smoking was illegal – but I suppose it is France). The rooms may have been clean, but the smell of cigarettes is off-putting. No air-conditioning. The restaurant down the road was OK-ish but we were seated in the secondary dining room which was noisy and crowded with a Danish Coach Tour. The staff promised that we would be in the real dining room thereafter, but we were not. The food was OK-ish too, but the ambience of the secondary dining room was too redolent of school to allow the meal to be enjoyable. We dreaded the return to Le Quercy.
The other three hotels were very good. The food at all three was of an excellent standard.
Bicycles: There were robust, safe and in excellent condition. The gears were well-indexed, and appropriate for the routes chosen.
The cycling itself was thoroughly enjoyable. The routes were well chosen. The scenery was stunning. We loved it.
The reps: Claire was incredibly helpful and friendly throughout. Keith was helpful in setting up the bikes for us, in particular in helping to fit a saddle that one of us brought. He was less helpful on return. We arrived back at Hotel Le Quercy earlier than expected, and went out for a walk. When we returned, Keith had, without asking, put our bikes away so there was no option to use them in the late afternoon had we wanted to. Also – infuriatingly – he had taken it upon himself to remove the saddlebags from the bikes, and had tipped our personal belongings into a large black rubbish bag. We didn’t like that. We wanted to chat and pass on information about the cycling (how good it was, how good the equipment was) but, as others have commented, he was not interested. He was not overtly unfriendly, but clearly did not want to engage, and soon disappeared. A shame.
The grading of the routes. This must be a nightmare for you. It is inevitable that, covering a reasonable distance, the routes cannot all be flat. There must be variation. Furthermore, a gentle slope to some is a nightmare to others. How can you give an objective assessment to meet all needs? Our group of six (age range 58 to 63) had a complete range of cycling ability from three keen regular cyclists (A,B,C) with high end road bikes at home, two occasional cyclists (D,E) and one person (F) who rarely cycles. Our most experienced cyclist, A, had done Lands End/John o’ Groats (LEJOG) a few weeks before the holiday. But, whatever our relative abilities, we all enjoyed the holiday. E and F had to push their bikes up a number of hills, and were slow. They were not bothered by this. A and B never pushed. C did once. The daily total mileage is not great and could easily have been done by lunchtime if necessary. Indeed, most of the routes could be walked in a day (albeit a long one), so there was plenty of time for cyclists of all abilities.
We have seen the comment on 2/8/2013 and, whilst we do not entirely agree with it, or the spirit of it, it is correct to say that the Dordogne holiday is not, within the ordinary sense of the word, ‘leisurely’. Whilst 120 miles in seven days is well within the reach of a ‘regular’ cyclist or even an ‘occasional’ cyclist, some of the ascents were disproportionately demanding. The ride up to Hotel Mysatt was challenging coming on the first day, but at least there was a clear warning about this both in the route notes and from Claire. Later on, the ride up to Domme was similarly challenging (Wow! Wasn’t it worth the pedalling though!) but, once again, we had been warned. In fact, there were challenges every day. The most demanding climb of all – steeper than the ride up to Hotel Mysatt - was the Day 5 ‘at Les Eyzies’ steep road up to Sireuil. Even our LEJOG cyclist nearly stalled on this one. But it was only 1K, and the three of our number who walked most of it did so in less than fifteen minutes. A pleasant walk, and worth it, because once up to the village, the scenery was beautiful. We suspect, however, that many might give up before getting to the top as there was no warning as to the length of the hill.
We conclude therefore that the ‘difficulty’ grading of your holidays needs attention. We did the Alsace wine trail holiday last year which was also classed as ‘leisurely’. Compared to the Dordogne, however, it was a free-wheel. The Dordogne should be upgraded to ‘moderate’. Furthermore, we would give a warning that all but the fittest cyclists can expect to be pushing their bikes for a few hundred yards on some days.
If we were to compare it to a French skiing holiday, which we often did, we would class this as a predominantly Red Route holiday, with some Blues and occasional Blacks. Alsace was a Blue Run holiday. But, whichever colour run you prefer, it is good to have the occasional challenge.
Overall, though, to repeat, an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable holiday, and all being well we will be back next year.
By Mr Bush on 10/09/2013
Really enjoyable holiday with excellent routes worked out and plenty of scope for variation if you wanted to do a bit more. Lots of 'hidden gems' along the way with the notes signposting them really well. Really useful to have the pointers to cafes and restaurants along the route, or to know that a particular village had no bakery or the cafe was closed on Tuesdays! The bikes were incredibly comfortable and great to ride and having chosen the less strenuous holiday option, we found that we could manage them easily despite not having cycled any great distance for some years .
By Mrs Heller on 10/09/2013
1. Be prepared for one disappointing hotel amongst the other gems
2. If cycling, some training beforehand will enhance your holiday
By Mrs Flenley on 09/09/2013
Lovely mix of gentle activity, cultural visits and picturesque landscape.
By Mr Higgins on 09/09/2013
The Dordogne is a beautiful area for cycling, but be aware this is a hilly route. The benefit is that the cycling works off all the wonderful food you will be presented with at the hotels.
The hotels, with the exception of Le Quercy are first class,but the food is excellent at all.
By Ms Warren on 08/09/2013
Headwater provide all the component parts for an excellent acivity holiday: great equipment and instructions, helpful and knowledgeable guides, and a great choice of locations and hotels.
By Mr Fraser on 03/09/2013
Our second Headwater holiday. Once again faultless arrangements for accomodation and transfers taking the pressure off sorting it out yourself. Friendly and enjoyable hotels with really good meals.
By Mr Shannon on 31/08/2013
The canoeing days were excellent. However the days in between we less satisfactory. The bikes supplied were not of a high quality so hills were difficult, particularly for the weaker members and those who were experienced found them frustrating (front suspension is not helpful with hills). The other holidays we have been on with you have had excellent food and hotels with character and we were slightly disappointed by these ones - it may be because the choice was limited by having to be near the river. The food for meat eaters got very repetitive (foie gras and duck) and most people didn't know how to cater for vegetarians. You did warn us in advance about the vegetarian issue and we took the risk in the knowledge that it could be an issue. However, most hotels had not thought what to do at all, despite being told in advance and the standard response was an omelette. Also all but one hotel offered the same standard menu on both nights so meat eaters felt the choice was limited - the exception to this being Hotel Grangier.
By Mr Buckingham on 28/08/2013
Lovely hotels, probably too much food, reasonable bikes, lovely area
By Mr Alden on 28/08/2013
great fun holiday adventure
By Mr Smith on 28/08/2013
This hotel is really a 3 star hotel tying to live up to 4 star standards. the food selecting for dinner was quite limited and did not offer the range and quality that was expected. Cost of drinksat both the bar and the wine list prices where far too expensive andf put us off drinking.
It would help walkers if the maps were actually marked up with the routes as this would only take minutes and would help to cross refer to the headwater maps.
Even better would be down loads for walkers to use their own GPS devices whilst walking.
By Mr Godsall on 26/08/2013
This was our first cycling package holiday and we very much enjoyed it; just the right level of route for reasonably fit beginners. Carefully planned holiday with excellent information and service from Headwater.
By Mr Petch on 24/08/2013
The accommodation was excellent, it was great having meals already arranged so no need to go in search after a long walk. Walking was as described in the brochure and route notes very good with a couple of minor hiccups. Our rep Claire was 1st class and made some helpful suggestions which added to the enjoyment of the holiday. All in all we had a great holiday and would definitely recommend it.
By Ms Barton on 23/08/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our walking holiday in the Dordogne. Accommodation and food were for the most part excellent. Walking notes were detailed and accurate. Our rep. was helpful and very informative.
By Ms Martin on 22/08/2013
The combination of activity (kayaking, cycling), and moving somewhere new without the problem of carrying heavy baggage, yet also having time to explore local towns and villages was perfect for us. Wish there were more kayaking options in southern france that you offered.
By Dr Paget on 18/08/2013
Headwater are a reliable and efficient firm to book your walking holiday with. The travel arrangements went like clockwork and we had an excellent time walking through the Heart of the Pyrenees.
By Mrs Slater on 17/08/2013
Really great holiday nicely paced. Make sure you try not to go to Strasbourg on a Sunday clock not working that day. Route plan on final day very difficult not so well written. Don't be tempted to ga a la carte in rouffach very slow rather poor meal
By Mr Taylor on 15/08/2013
hassle free and relaxing with no worries
By Mrs Bale on 14/08/2013
We really enjoyed our holiday. It was a lovely area with some hearty food but fabulous wine. It was great to be able to taste the wine and then for Chris to transport it for us. I would have been happy to walk every day as the walks were not strenuous and we were at the next place by lunch time giving time to explore in the afternoon. We felt that it would have been useful to have known beforehand that each hotel had free wifi and also to have known that shampoo was not provided.
By Mr Webb on 12/08/2013
Beautiful small towns and villages, beautiful scenery and captivating history. Hotel accommodation was generally good and Chez Norbert's air conditioning was most welcome with temperatures in the mid to high 30's.
At Bergheim on chef's night off we were relocated for dinner to the Weinstub up the street. The lady in charge was most reluctant to provide a menu at the sum Headwater had allowed. Two of our party accepted the 'no choice' modest three course meal and we chose a'la carte. Food was indifferent and the wine overpriced.
At Turkheim food was not offered in Hotel des Deux Clefs, we enjoyed good food in town where there's plenty of choice. (so please disregard the 'poor' rating in questionnaire)
Apart from Chez Norbert, ventilation was inadequate in the hotels, fans were not always available and other clients complained that Headwater guest's rooms were usually located in the roof and were in consequence, unbearably hot. Our upgraded room in Turkheim was fine!
We missed the initial briefing which was a pity. Although our expected arrival time was late afternoon, we were actually in the hotel when Chris arrived with his clients from Colmar. A shame he didn't check.
This oversight did not detract from our holiday experience as our friends briefed us. When we eventually met Chris he impressed us as helpful, efficient, and friendly.
By Ms Cole on 12/08/2013
The Alsace Wine Trail was one of the very best holidays I have ever taken. The region was unknown to me and was delightful in all ways. The wine was excellent, my only regret is that it wasn't longer.
By Dr Winter on 11/08/2013
Well organised and routes easy to navigate: some information about the availability of a rep eg to collect wine from purchaser, a little exagerated
By Mr Henderson on 11/08/2013
All in all we enjoyed the holiday. Helped that weather was good. Rep was good. Cycling was not easy at times but there was nothing that we could not manage (Even though walked up a few hills). Scenery was good but we were disappointed that two of the cycling days were not coastal routes. Sable D'0r Le Pins to Dinard particularly dull.
By Mrs Cranfield on 09/08/2013
Please note we stayed in Chablis not Ligny so comments re that hotel relate to Chablis. That was to our advantage as Chablis a much better centre and the food at the hotel was superb. Keith and Judith were excellent reps. All in all a very good holiday.
By Mrs Paterson on 07/08/2013
This is a lovely holiday It was very well organised and all the hotels were most welcoming. The challenging walks were only challenging in terms of length not in terms of terrain and they took in some delightful countryside.
By Mr Sharp on 05/08/2013
Once again Headwater delivers. The entire holiday experiance was fantastic ( this was our third Headwater holiday - and we are already planning TWO next year) and will live long in the memory - even those Burgundian undulating hills!
By Mr Christley on 05/08/2013
Excellent experience. Able to walk at our own pace. Very intersting area to travel in.
By Mrs Wilson on 03/08/2013
Overall it was a very enjoyable holiday made the more so by our excellent rep. It is an excellent way of seeing in detail a small part of, in our case, France.
By Mr Cooper on 03/08/2013
NB For Relais St. Vincent above please Read Hostellerie des Clos, Chablis. A delightful holiday; beautiful scenery, lovely food; excellent accomodation and hospitality. The only weak link (by Headwater's high standards) is the Hotel Normandie, where the accomodation is average only and the staff businesslike rather than hospitable. Otherwise Keith and Judith are first-rate reps and his bikes are the most comfortable we've ever ridden. Mark and Alison at Vermenton and the staff at Chablis we all delightful and very attentive.
By Mrs Campbell on 03/08/2013
We totally enjoyed this holiday. Excellent food and comfortable hotels set in magnificent scenery. The walks are graded correctly and provided the opportunity to see parts of France we would not have explored alone.
By Mrs Sautter on 02/08/2013
We climbed 11,000 feet and cycled over 120 miles in 35' C !!! That was not what we expected for a relaxing holiday aimed at occasional cyclists!! Luckily we were all regular cyclists with as much mental strength as physical! In your brochure you say it is leisurely with a few steep hills. The Hotel Mysatt is at the top of a hill which is fine for a one off and great view but every journey had hills that went on and on. We found it very difficult to get extra water as villages were very few and far between.
We will not be using Headwater again despite having had a good holiday as will not trust their descriptions. Honestly the cycling was so hard it made us laugh as it was such a joke! Keith kept his head very low. Didn't even bother to ask how it went when he came to collect the bikes. Guess he knew how hard it had been!!
By Ms Cutts on 02/08/2013
Fabulous walking in amazing landscapes along the gorges, along with a very comfortable hotel with delicious food and excellent service, made this a great holiday!
By Mr Plant on 31/07/2013
Overall we had a great time but felt certain issues took the sheen off the experience which is a disappointment.
By Mrs Jones on 30/07/2013
The scenery along the Tarn was sublime - like a cross between the Lake District and the Grand Canyon but with more trees. Would recommend bringing small binoculars to watch the vultures (walks 2,3, and 5), and a small torch for shining in the caves (walk 6). Start early to avoid heat of midday sun. Fantastic variety of beautiful butterflies especially at the start of walk 5 (in late July). Absolutely charming staff at the hotel.
By Mr Davey on 26/07/2013
Holiday very good and food very good but level of accommodation was poor.
By Mr Drea on 24/07/2013
This is a self-guided walking holiday staying in small hotels in small towns or villages and requires a certain amount of tolerance, flexibility and common sense particularly when routes don't work out as they seem.
We were disappointed to have two of our hotel/restaurant meals deleted (we were provided with cash to fend for ourselves!). This meant that we had only two meals during the holiday arranged for us by Headwater instead of four as noted in the guidance.
This and some missing or bad forest signage were the only miner blips in an otherwise excellent and enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Boyd on 23/07/2013
This was our 10th French walk with Headwater. We had been putting off trying the Britanny coastal walk due to concerns about the possibility of bad weather but our fears were unfounded. In the event the weather was perfect for walking, the scenery was spectacular, there were lots of interesting places to see and visit, and we particularly loved our balcony overlooking the estuary at Dinard. Your local rep Steve could not have been more helpful. This was one of our favourite French walks and we would highly recommend it.
By Mrs Barber on 23/07/2013
A lovely part of France to exlore and based in an excellent hotel
By Mrs Davies on 21/07/2013
Superb location with great walking.Notes provided were fair but only worked because there were not too many paths to choose from so you just stayed on one path for most of the walk (unlike England where far more detail would have been necessary to choose the correct path). I feel the grading of the walks we did was rather misleading as a lot of them involved narrow cliff edges and steep scrambles which I would say were at least 'moderate'. The scenery was magnificent and the hotel was excellent. I liked the bedroom (light, modern and airy with a large comfortable bed) and the food was very good indeed (especially the nights when we could choose from the a la carte menu). The main problems included a lack of a booking for our dog despite having paid extra for this facility. However, Headwater has recompensed us for the money spent so we now are satisfied overall.
By Mr Lodwick on 18/07/2013
Very well organised from start to finish, Keith, our rep was excellent and very professional. Our cycling trip was absolutely brilliant couldn't fault it in any way.
The food which was included as half board was absolutely fabulous and we will recommend headwater to our friends.
By Mr Fenton on 18/07/2013
The cycling and support from the reps was very good. Unfortunately apart from the one hotel I would not rate the holiday as a gastronomic experience.
By Mrs Hill on 17/07/2013
Excellent holiday that delivered exactly what was described - we had a wonderful time . Faultless organization with consistently high standards. Well worth the money
By Ms Dixon on 16/07/2013
Friendly Dordogne, repa and hoteliers alike. Helpful at all times. Good food if a little rich and large at times. Canoeing was excellent and good safety equipment and instructions. River is variable so guide lines only approximate. Very hot in July but trees provide shade as does starting out earlier than 10.00 a.m. On the four day canoeing( out of 8 days ) important on days 1 and 2 to wear a helmet. A hazard on each of those days and helmet was useful to one person ! Lovely hotel in Sarlat on first and last day with warm pool. Market exceptional in Sarlat. Trip out by air left us in Toulouse for over 3 houirs with luggage and heat of day waiting for train to Souillac. Very hard day travelling. Advise breaking it up or take euro star and train.
By Mr Kennedy on 16/07/2013
The flexibility of start date, route and accommodation type with planned rest days between walking days suited us very well. The wine pick-up service is brilliant!
By Mr Asbrey on 14/07/2013
This was an well organised holiday, backed up with excellent support from the people on the ground. Very impressive bikes. All the hotels had certain core values. clean, great food.lovely staff, Great service,
The routes were interesting and challenging. We loved it. It was good fun.
By Mrs Frechette on 12/07/2013
We all had a great holiday. Having the extra day at each hotel gave us a chance to settle in and get a feel for the local area as well as relaxing if we wanted to.
By Mrs MacKenzie on 11/07/2013
Overall experience excellent, weather fabulous, scenery beautiful - all-in-all our holiday came up to our expectations as with previous Headwater Cycling holidays.
By Mrs Baser on 09/07/2013
We had a fabulous time, thoroughly enjoyed the walks, though did find the route notes needed updating and clarifying in places - they're probably OK for very experienced walkers/mapreaders, but we're still relatively new to all this, and need things spelt out clearly, specifically and unambiguously! Steve the rep was brilliant, very informative and helpful. Food very good, hotels mostly fine, though our room in the Printania was a bit snug (but we did love their waitresses in full Breton outfits, set off perfectly by a lovely modern nose-stud!). Another excellent Headwater holiday - thanks!
By Mrs Peate on 09/07/2013
The holiday surpassed our expectations! We feel as though we have experienced France at its best, able to take time to enjoy the important things in life. The walks were long enough to provide a sense of achievement at the end of each day but left us looking forward to the next one. Each of the villages where we stopped were packed with culture and history. The food and wine were excellent and guilt free due to the miles walked. We have often passed by this area of France within a matter of minutes on the motorway but in future we will definitely be making it a stopping off point. Thank you Headwater for organising a great holiday.
By Mr Davey on 08/07/2013
Excellent route with varied cycling and many interesting places to visit.
By Mrs O'Rourke on 08/07/2013
Disappointed with holiday overall given the cost. Hotels were not the standard we'd expected based on previous experience. Details in the holiday information were not up dated. It felt that this holiday, hotels and route were established a number of years ago and not revised to ensure they were of the best current standard. It often felt that we were given the poorer quality or less favoured room locations. Generally the food was a good standard. We would not recommend this holiday at price paid. Canoeing element was fine although not personally challenging for us. Obviously the river conditions and weather vary and are difficult to predict for individual customer expectations.
By Mrs Scott on 06/07/2013
This was our 8th holiday with Headwater and it was as good as ever. We liked the contrast between cycling through vineyards (with the occasional short hill) and the flat open plain of the Rhine. The vineyard hills are short and infrequent and are well rewarded with freewheeling downhill after a bit of a push. We are in our early seventies and those hills were not a challenge, as long as you accept pushing your bike for a few minutes. The hotels were all good. At Breisach-am-Rhein we had paid for an upgrade and it was well worth it, giving us a spacious room and a flower-bedecked balcony with stunning views over the Black Forest. Last year the hotel at Dieffenthal seems to have received some poor reviews. There has obviously been a marked improvement this year. The staff were friendly and welcoming, service excellent and the food very good indeed.
Altogether, this was an excellent holiday, varied and interesting. We had a very good time. Thank you, Headwater!
By Mrs Callens on 06/07/2013
This is a lovely, relaxing yet energising holiday for reasonably fit people of all ages. We are in our early sixties and only cycle a few times a month and never for more than 15 km at a time. The route in Burgundy is mostly flat, in beautiful countryside along the river Yonne and the Canal de Nivernais. We did find the second half of day 5 (to Vezelay) quite hard and had to walk a few stretches but that helped to return the blood flow to some nether parts. We liked the flexible arrangements, with the option between a shorter and a longer route on some days. Being able to have a rest day on alternative days was also good, especially where there were interesting things to do locally. We particularly enjoyed roaming through picturesque Clamecy on the Sunday morning, visiting the church (where there was a well attended mass), then having a drink in La Taverne, followed by a light lunch in the Hotellerie de La Poste. Most of the afternoon was spent in the Musee Romain Rolland, where we particularly enjoyed the brilliant Charles Loupot posters and the history of the ' Flotteurs' We discovered the delightful secret garden at the Auberge de la Chapelle a little late in the day but would highly recommend it to other travellers. We would definitely consider another cycling holiday with Headwater but would prefer to have the B&B option on all days in order to maximise flexibility.
By Mr Haggis on 04/07/2013
Overall we enjoyed the holiday very much despite weather that was less than kind, especially for the time of year. The upside of going in June was that we had the river almost entirely to ourselves, and the faster-than-usual current made for some good entertainment and less strenuous paddling. We would certainly recommend it to people who - like us - have never canoed before. A couple of problems before we left: we were incorrectly invoiced (£500 was added for flights we weren't taking) and both our surnames were misspelt. Once we got there Keith did an excellent job, including sorting out rooms with a bath to soothe our aching bodies at each hotel. He also lent me his own waterproof bag for the week, and picked us up early as requested on the final day - he couldn't have been more helpful. As far as the hotels were concerned, the weak link is St Sozy (although it's worth going there just for Bernard, who is a hoot). I suppose you have limited options around there, but it's quite a walk from the river and it's a pain that it doesn't open till 1730. Also to be told that we are only allowed one croissant each for breakfast is not really acceptable. On the other hand Bernard sorted us out an excellent taxi driver who took us by various scenic routes to Rocamadour on our rest day. One general comment we would make - especially in view of the cost of the holiday - is that Headwater might consider putting its guests in slightly better rooms - we seemed often to be in the cheapest - and preferably ones with a bath. Overall, though, an excellent holiday, though we'd be grateful if another time you could sort out the weather...
By Mr Venn on 04/07/2013
Excellent Holiday: Food Excellent. Some of the hotels in need of some upgrading. Bikes great. See me separate email!
By Mr Hardy on 03/07/2013
The walking experience was excellent and the area quite dramatic and well worth the visit.
We have sent a letter (via email) to you concerning our dining experience which we hope you will take note of.
By Mrs Forbes on 29/06/2013
Gentle exercise with time to appreciate the rural surroundings; superior and varied accommodation; wonderful food and wine. We have never slept better!!
By Ms Jorgensen on 28/06/2013
We were two 'grand old ladies' travelling together, the other quite inexperienced with this kind of holiday, and cycling every other day she met with great approval! Steve, the Headwater representative did absolutely everything to make the vacation a perfect one, and also his wife joined in. His historical and geographical knowledge is unique! The landscape was beautiful, and so was the people we met. The route was calm and easy to follow, except from some misunderstandings, but that I am used to, and is also the charm about it : ) Headwater was a new and good experience. Coming from Norway, this was my first cycling tour with a non-Scandinavian company.
I have told a lot of friends about the walks and the cycling tours Headwater has :))
By Mrs Thomas on 28/06/2013
Cycling through Burgundy was a wonderful experience. The fields sprinkled with bright red poppies and blue cornflowers was breathtaking. We had a 'day off' cycling in Veselay and wandered around the town and basillica. We also went to vespers in the Basillica which was amazing.
The food was also excellent in the hotels/restaurants chosen by Headwaters.
Cycling in a surprising hot spell was more difficult than anticipated, but still manageable and the last few days when it had cooled down were a joy.
By Mr Branch on 26/06/2013
A very enjoyable walking holiday in some beautiful countryside. Hotel was good but we felt the wine prices were unreasonably high and we went out for pre- and post- dinner drinks. Your explanation of the mealplan was unclear and you did not respond to an email query on this subject. On 4 nights there was no choice at all on the mealplan The walks were outstanding and we did 4 of them (1,3,4,10). Fellow guests (especially Headwater) very compatible. Hotel staff outstanding (except for one apparently new and untrained barman.
By Mrs Rodely on 24/06/2013
A wonderful holiday for food lovers with excellent accommodation and super cycling for 'softies' - the routes were nice and flat, passing through some lovely countryside with many interesting places to visit on the way.
By Mr Berry on 24/06/2013
Our holiday experience was let down by one very poor hotel (Hotel du Chateau at Beynac). The service was poor, the food less than average (nowhere near Gastronomic !), and resulted in one day of an upset stomach. The hotel swimming pool was an absolute disgrace, not at all fit for purpose. Service was hard to come by and there were aspects of the hotel room that were frankly dangerous and could have resulted in injury. In all conscience I could not recommend this holiday to anyone else while this hotel remains on your itinerary. We have had some 3 or 4 Headwater holidays and this has been the least successful by a wide margin due to this one hotel. I have answered
'No' to the last two questions because as things stand today that is how we feel. The other three hotels met expectations (why isn't Laborderie at Tamnies on your feedback form by the way ?) but the Beynac hotel, representing 25% of the holiday is a serious drawback. We gave our feedback to your reps at the end of the holiday along with another couple who were likewise very unhappy (The Sumners from Australia). I would like you to call us so that we can give your more detail on the problems we experienced.
By Mr Cooper on 24/06/2013
An excellent trip in a great location. However, having spent a day walking high in the heat we expected to relax by the swimming pool and cool off. We were very disappointed to find on arrival that the hotel did not intend to fill and clean the pool until the day we left (June 15th). An empty swimming pool is not attractive and very frustrating, and to a small degree took the edge of an otherwise great trip. Indeed it had been part of the promise in the Brochure and the hotel website. We would not have booked this week if we had been given this information by yourselves beforehand as we were flexible on dates.
I have therefore answered no above as what was promised was not delivered and in future would need reassurance.
Otherwise the scenery and floors/birds were stunning and the hotel good. Food excellent, wine expensive and some service erratic, but entertaining.
By Mr Peacock on 23/06/2013
Overall a very enjoyable holiday. Particularly enjoyed the coastal walking. For us more time on the coast and miss out the trudge through the forest on the last day.
By Mr Ormiston on 22/06/2013
Very enjoyable holiday walking through Burgundy in early summer. Glorious views, mainly clear tracks/paths. Good background information in booklet. Precise and easy to follow route instructions [in conjunction with maps and compass.] Generally high standard of accommodation and meals, especially Hostellerie des Clos in Chablis, where the hotel staff were particularly helpful in finding a dentist. Very useful to have a pleasant and helpful English speaking rep on the ground.
By Mr Owers on 20/06/2013
Thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring walks, excellent food and accommodation .
By Ms Giggey on 18/06/2013
Headwaters is an excellent holiday company, provides very good information about the holidays and is extremely good value for money. The only small concerns I personally had was how unfit I really was (there were more hills than I had anticipated even at Level 1! ) and the service at the Hotel de la Poste et du Lion d'Or was a bit confusing e.g. when we arrived, there was no obvious bar service and the hotel receptionist eventually found and brought us our long - anticipated drinks outside. For dinner, we were given the exact menu 2 days in a row (with no plat du jour or alternatives) and we weren't sure if that was the arrangment or not. When we asked about it, the waiter also seemed confused. However, the Chef then provided an alternate menu that was absolutely one of the most beautiful meals I have ever eaten; the presentation was superlative and the tastes even better than that!
Regarding cycling instructions: 99% were spot on! Small confusion at Chateau Censoir - the statement that ' the marine port is to your right' when leaving the town is confusing - suggest removing that bit and just note 'from the square, with the Mairie on your left, carry on to the junction and and then turn right'. In terms of the 'industrial area' for 2 kms when leaving Clamecy: we found the path totally paved and there were some small industries across theothe side of the river/canal? but that section also had lovely vegetable gardens etc. and really wasn't unpleasant at all. And finally,if one choses to take the train back from Cravant to Auxerre, there are no instructions as to getting back to the Hotel Normandie,nor is the rail station located on the map of Auxerre. But other than that, I was in awe of the detail provided for the routes. Thank you!
By Mr Griffiths on 18/06/2013
This is not a cheap holiday as the Gastronomic label confirms. I've not eaten 5-6 course meals for 6 nights on the trot before, but you can get used to it very easily when the courses aren't huge. The cycling, chateaux and shivering in icy swimming pools were all great. We really enjoyed it.
By Mr Barrett on 12/06/2013
Very relaxing holiday as able to walk at own pace and stop for wine tastings along the way. Independant walking was very easy as the directions and maps provided were excellent and the paths well signed to match the maps. A beautiful area to explore.
By Mr Nickson on 04/06/2013
We went in May: the weather was poor. We had two good days, two days of rain & sun and two days of steady rain. And it was cold (one day scraped up to a maximum of 8 deg C).
The area is great for walking and the Headwater walking guides were excellent.
The hotel was comfortable and the staff were helpful and friendly. The common areas of the hotel were well laid out and on one night the log fire was lit. But our first bedroom (room 14) was directly over the kitchen. The kitchen equipment was so noisy at night that we had to move after two nights. The next room (room 32) was disappointing: no shower curtain or screen; no balcony; a small window made the room dark; and no fridge. But it was quiet.
The hotel was expensive: 9.50 euros for two cups of tea (two tea bags). There was no house wine and the lowest price for a bottle of wine was 23 Euros - and this is France!
The food was disappointing. On four nights we were given a table d'Hote menu with no choice, even for the main course. Considering that this holiday is billed as a gastronomic experience, the Table d'Hote meal was very limited and underwhelming. We had to send a fish course back because it was under cooked and we had a duck course which was very tough. I have eaten at Auberges in France and the Table d'Hote meals have been much better. On three nights we had the A la Carte menu which was a distinct step up, but still nowhere nearly as good as I have had in French restaurants at considerable less cost.
To sum up, the Tarn is an excellent area for walking, Headwater's arrangements were first rate, but the hotel and the food were disappointing.
By Ms Loly on 30/10/2012
Headwater reps are always so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Steve provided lots of local information not otherwise available, as well as tips for the walking route. He went above and beyond our expectations, and added so much to our enjoyment of the area and to our trip.
Although we have sometimes used other companies, Headwater stands out in the service it provides, an the quality of food and accommodation.
Kudos to staff at Hotel de Diane in Sables d'Or les Pins who accommodated us beautifully in the midst of a very large conference group using the hotel too.
By Mr Mellish on 30/10/2012
An excellent week of walking, wine drinking and beautiful scenery in the Alsace, staying in wonderful little villages. A great week to choose if you enjoy wine and walking, but don't want to walk everyday and do long tiring walks.
By Mr Britton on 01/10/2012
We really enjoyed the week - a varied selection of walking routes, no difficulties navigating, four quite different places to stay and good weather. Congratulations on putting it all together and thanks for the effort you put in on our behalf - we will certainly be recommending the tour to our friends.
By Mr Sharman on 01/10/2012
Excellent fun and loved the activity side of the holiday
By Mr Williams on 29/09/2012
We have travelled with Headwater many times (a dozen or more) and this holiday was one of the very best. The chateaux and region were wonderful, the accommodation and meals were superb, and the support given by the reps was outstanding.
By Mr Cocksedge on 29/09/2012
The standard of accomodation, evening meals and rep care was extremely good and helped to offset the two hours of hill climbing that were involved in the "undulating" sections of the ride getting to Vezelay and then on to Clamecy. Our rest day at Vermeton we spent back in the saddle to retrace our steps to Vincelotte where I had left my cycling gloves on a picnic bench. To my surprise they were still there and we then cycled up the hill to Irancy where we had a very nice plate du jour in the local bar. We then cycled back down the hill turned left at the bottom to take the white road along to Cravant and so back to Vermenton. Auxerre and Vezelay were the highlights for us and overall this was a very enjoyable holiday.
By Mrs Owens on 29/09/2012
A thoroughly enjoyable 8 days. Lovely walks, interesting places to stay and a warm welcome everywhere.
By Mrs Owen-jones on 29/09/2012
Delightful location. Excellent food and walking
By Mrs Patel on 29/09/2012
Good quality reps always availble to help you and offer advice.
By Mrs Phelan on 24/09/2012
Although we have had many DIY cycling holidays, this our first holiday with Headwater - It was excellent. The route notes and directions were really good and the bikes comfortable and well maintained. The level of cycling was mostly pretty easy (especially without the luggage!) but with one or two more challenging days on the vineyard slopes. We particularly liked the contrast of routes through the vineyards, maize fields and along the Rhine path taking in some impossibly pretty villages along the way. We had two non cycling days visiting Colmar and Freiburg, the latter well worth a visit. The choice of hotels was for the most part excellent and meals delicious, the exception being the Verger des Chateaux in Dieffenthal which did not quite measure up to the others - in particular they seemed to be rather short staffed in the kitchen and the 'Headwater menu' rather uninspiring. We would have preferred to have stayed in Dambach la Ville the next village which was a bit more lively. The biggest revelation though was the wonderful wine of the Alsace. Old prejudices about sweet wines were completely demolished.
By Mr Hood on 24/09/2012
Wonderful holiday - lived up to our expectations. Great way to see France and the countryside and meet the wonderful people. After a days cycling the lovely food was a welcome treat.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 24/09/2012
The holiday was amazing! The countryside is pristine and absolutely beautiful! The walks were well planned to great destinations. We went at the end of the season which was good in that we rarely saw other hikers and no mountain bikers. BUT there were no ski lifts in operation and most restaurants and stores were closed. The closed businesses were not of concern to us since we don't shop for trinkets. BUT the closed ski lifts, in our opinion, makes this a much more difficult holiday than 3 boots because you start several mornings by climbing to the top of a ski lift for several hours. The Headwater notes suggest taking the ski lift cutting off hours of climbing - but this was not an option off season. It is doable (barely and you are exhausted by mid day). If the ski lifts had been operating, it would still have been a 3 boot holiday. Do not expect any flat walking paths. You are either ascending or descending. It is steep and often slippery. A great and fun challenge for those prepared. We would do it all again in an instant!!! Thank you Headwaters!!!
By Mrs Hurley on 24/09/2012
Easy walking with fantastic views . Learnt a lot about wine.
Surprises came every day from orchids,wild sweet peas black squirrel, donkeys in the forest, chatty locals ,auberges on the edge of the forest and amazing food in the hotels.
By Mr Rodger on 24/09/2012
I am aware that some people wish the freedom to choose where they eat but I prefer the system where the meal is provided in the hotel or associated restaurant as there is the excitement of not knowing what delicasies might be offered.
In the above part of the survey "Meals" are included in the Hotel surveys when, in fact, this only applied to one hotel.
(Hotel Chez Norbert)
By Mr Phillips on 13/09/2012
Excellent walking holiday with good accomodation in simple hotels.
By Mr Lenane on 10/09/2012
A really good adventure.
Wonderful reps who were obviously passionate about their jobs, and who always "walked the extra mile" when any request was made.
I expected the dinners to be ok/good, but in fact they were all exceptional, which cheered us up enormously when the weather let us down.
Thank you headwater.
By Mr Baker on 05/09/2012
Definitely a "3 booter"!! Hard work but so rewarding with fabulous views, beautiful surroundings and lovely food. We're in our late fifties and only of average fitness so were glad of the options to use chair lifts and have relaxing days off - we would recommend others not to be put off by the ranking though day 1 threw us into the deep end!
By Mrs Griffiths on 03/09/2012
Very enjoyable holiday - lovely resorts, coastline, food, but undulating pedalling rather than flat, with a few very busy road crossings with no provision for cyclists.
By Mrs Tulloch on 03/09/2012
good walking distances with alternatives to do extra if wanted.
pretty villages and lovely food.
By Mrs Hebden on 01/09/2012
We had an excellent holiday. The organisation in terms of transfers, provision of instructions and the moving of luggage from hotel to hotel was all exceptional, and the staff in all hotels were very helpful and friendly. The weather was perfect for the canoeing, and the fact that each hotel en route had a lovely pool waiting for us at the end of the day, was a great bonus. We will definitely be looking at booking with Headwater again.
By Mr Edwards on 29/08/2012
Very good trip. Main problem was weather too hot for me and several other members of the party so we didn't sleep too well - hardly Headwater's fault. Airconditionng would have been wonderful.
Agents were great.
By Mr Tuke on 29/08/2012
Very well organised, brilliant hotels, easy cycling through scented countryside
By Mrs Beck on 29/08/2012
Well organised, very efficiencent helpful local reps and some great places to stay. Route instructions were clear though sometimes hills were underestimated!
By Mrs Champion on 29/08/2012
A wonderful hotel in the most beautiful setting you could hope for. Super staff, fantastic food, excellent walking and out door opportunities.
By Mr Browne on 29/08/2012
Your representatives exuded professionalism and gave you confidence that if any mishap occurred they would easily be able to put anything and everything right. Ian and HollY also made you feel welcome and were most knowledgeable.
We had a fantastic holiday and are now pondering where to travel with you next year!
By Mrs Kimber on 13/08/2012
Although the quality of the food was excellent, choice was much too limited. It was not made clear that we could upgrade to a higher priced menu. I would suggest that an "allowance" is made per person per day to be set against any menu available.
In Vezelay the ensuite was so small as to be practically useless.
In Clamecy the wall shower fitting was broken. As we do not speak French it was not possible to have this rectified.
By Mrs Osborne-town on 07/08/2012
I loved the holiday and the settings, especially rural Brittany through quiet, pictoresque villages. I enjoyed the freedom from suitcase lugging and having to find accommodation.
My only criticisms were: a)the cost and b)the grading of cycling difficulty- another woman and a man in our group- as well as me- found the routes hard going. I'd appreciate greater honesty in the route descriptions eg "this is a stiff climb" or "expect a gentle but very long uphill"- the good news was included, eg "enjoy coastal views as you freewheel into Sables d'Or" but to the virtual exclusion of the bad. I'd also like to receive details of those routes before I book and pay so I can make an informed decision.
By Ms Allen on 07/08/2012
The Headwater cycling holidays are a winning package - well designed and supported with all the practicalities taken care of.
By Mrs Cross on 07/08/2012
A very enjoyable holiday, with a lovely wide range of places to explore (4 days by the seaside, 3 inland a good combination). We loved the freedom of exploring Brittany by bike - being able to stop whenever you felt like and go at your own pace - also the luxury of having a rep to tell us about all the local attractions. We bought ourselves some delicious picnics from the local patisseries/charcuteries, but this was the only cheap part of the holiday! The travel worked out the most expensive, as we like to travel by train and, as usual, left booking until the last minute, when (according to our Headwater rep!) all the cheap TGV tickets had gone. Moral of this story - book earlier next year!
Helen and Roy Cross, Cambridge
By Mr Wilson on 07/08/2012
Well organised holiday with canoeing that was fine for beginners. The hotels are mixed - beds are not great in a couple, and the rooms can be small; our rep helped us change from the room we were given that was in a basement and smelled damp. We enjoyed most of the meals, and the welcome / service was generally very good in all the hotels. Highest praise for the local Headwater representatives who were extremely responsive and good at sorting things out. They even acted as taxi for me when my back gave up after two days in the canoe.
By Mr Davey on 07/08/2012
Really enjoyed the holiday. If possible would go later in the season when not so hot.
By Mr Drinkwater on 07/08/2012
Wonderful walking, but no choice of food at two out of three hotels.
By Mr Neville on 07/08/2012
The overall organisation of the holiday was extremely good from the moment we arrived in Geneva where Marc met us and took us to Les Gets. On the whole we were very impressed with the hotels and it was amazing how our luggage was moved on so efficiently from one hotel to the next.
The intinerary was excellent with only a few minor few errors due to local signs etc. changing and there was no problem route finding.
We were very impressed by the amount of research and time that must have gone in to produce such excellent route notes.
By Mr Smith on 28/07/2012
This was our eighth Headwater cycling holiday and as usual it was first class.
Such a pity Headwater have no control over the weather!
Our thoughts about Headwater are that they are by no means cheap.
Yes you can find much cheaper cycling holidays but not with the excellent standard of service, the excellent routes and instructions, the friendly staff and the well selected high class hotels and restaurants. What Headwater provide is a holiday with higher than normal standards.AS an example the alsace cycling (Rivers and Vineyards) holiday that we have just returned from provided a michelin starred restaurant where my wife and I ate the best meal I think we have ever had in. There are not enough superlatives to do this restaurant justice! One of the other hotels had a chef who up until a short while ago had a michelin star (Ammerschwihr Les Armes de France) and here the food was of similar standard.
Well done to Headwater!
By Mr Suddaby on 23/07/2012
travel was problematic at times, see separate letter.Apart from that, very enjoyable.
By Mr Allan on 23/07/2012
By Mrs Miles on 23/07/2012
It was a wonderful experience. The scenery was beautiful. The bags were were always at the destinations.
By Mr Herron on 23/07/2012
Helpful rep and interesting accommodation. All the hassle taken out of organising a hliday.
By Mr Ball on 23/07/2012
Challenging, exhilarating, very enjoyable. Just such a shame that it is so far from home.
Hotel staff were excellent - very friendly and with a good standard of English. Food was superb.
As one previous contributor to the Headwater comment book put it, "if your idea of heaven is to be out all day burning off 2000 calories and then to put them back on again in the evening", then this is the holiday for you. We heartily agree.
By Mrs Kohn on 23/07/2012
Best holiday we ever had! The Headwater experience is something everybody should do.
By Mrs Jamieson on 23/07/2012
Challenging, but quite satisfying. We felt that the 10 days could have been shrunk into 8. Some places we did not want to stay that long in.
By Mr Belfield on 23/07/2012
Thoroughly enjoyable. Chris was very helpful.
By Mrs Hutchison on 11/07/2012
As ever, an enjoyable and interesting holiday.
By Mrs Bishop on 11/07/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday!
By Dr Mooney on 11/07/2012
The Pyrenees region is really spectacular with rich opportunities for hiking. The group (10 of us) has a fabulous time. The weather was a bit on the (very) hot side for some of us, but no rain. The hotels varied. The hiking was quite challenging with quite steep (and sometimes) rocky trails. Overall a very memorable week.
By Mrs Johnson on 11/07/2012
It was an excellent holiday except for the issue below and the smallness of the rooms and proximity to town clock at Turkheim amd the smallnes of the room and heat in the room at Riquewhir, the room being located in the eaves.
By Mr Bowden on 11/07/2012
Enjoyed a very different part of france. Eating out good and easy, but might be different in July/Augustesp in Riquwihr.
By Mrs Dietz on 07/07/2012
Excellent choice of routes and hotels.
By Mr Pearson on 07/07/2012
Excellent walking and support from Steve whose local knowledge enriched the whole experience.
By Mr Hall on 07/07/2012
Except for a canoeing accident in the last hour of the last day of the holiday when my wife broke her wrist when we capsized, it was great and Keith and Clare looked after us very well.
By Ms Robson on 07/07/2012
Excellent as expected based on the last 11 . The route planning was excellent including the off day excursions. The detours from the main roads were lovely and well documented.
By Mr Coster on 07/07/2012
By Mr Dixon on 07/07/2012
Alace was a great location for a walking holiday.With lovely villages only 2 / 3 km apart we were able to stop for breaks and lunch in little cafes.The locals all friendly being still country peolpe seeing strangers as visitors to be made welcome.
All the hotels were good and we would consider staying in them agian particularly Chez Norbert in Bergheim.
It was a great holiday and we enjoyed it very much.
By Mr Wall on 30/06/2012
A lovely break, with excellent accommodation and meals, with superb walking along the coast in particular.
By Mr Stokes on 30/06/2012
A very pleasant week's walking, with Headwater taking care of all the hassle
By Mr Pritchard on 30/06/2012
Very enjoyable, with mostly very easy cycling and excellent route notes.
By Mr Poultney on 30/06/2012
very enjoyable holiday
By Mrs Bedford on 30/06/2012
This is the best (of 4 Headwater holidays) holiday we have had
By Mrs Anzarut on 23/06/2012
One of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken.
By Ms Butterworth on 23/06/2012
Very good, excellent organisation
By Mr Walmsley on 23/06/2012
interesting and relaxing in a new area of europe
By Mr Kirkham on 16/06/2012
Overall another great success, where do we book next! Could do better with flight bookings though.
By Ms Howard on 16/06/2012
One of the most enjoyable holidays we've ever had.
By Mr Keenlyside on 16/06/2012
Fantastic - can't wait to do it again!
By Mr Shepherd on 16/06/2012
Excellent, may not have been as enjoyable if the weather had not been so good.
By Mrs Whitter on 16/06/2012
Extremely enjoyable holiday
By Mrs McInnes on 11/06/2012
A w lender full cycle trip
We did cycle through rain,thunder and lighning which will make it more memorable,
We look forward to walking the camino in Spain wit you next year ,it will be our eight trip with you.
By Mr McIntosh on 11/06/2012
We have been with headwater twice before, and on these occasions we realised that these types of holidays were rather expensive, but also felt we got value for money. On this occasion we felt corners had been cut. We got this impression because of the following -
1) On arrival at Turkheim we were taken aback to be told we were on the 3rd floor but there was no lift, nor offer of help with our cases. It was an attic room that was cramped and scarcely relaxing. Arriving a day early booked by yourselves, we spent 2 nights there. The food at the tied restaurant was excellent, and on the return to the same hotel at OUR REQUEST we were accommodated on the first floor of the new wing at no extra cost.
At Kaysersberg the room was clean but dark and of a minimum standard. The local restaurants were excellent.
At Riquewihr the bedroom was immaculate, and produced for the first time good towels, but the room was too warm, with no means of cooling it except by opening all windows. The restaurant in the same street La Grape d'Or was excellent.
At Bergheim, Chez Norbet produced an excellent breakfast, and nothing was too much bother. However the nearby by restaurant Sommelier - produced a cut price - cut value menu for Headwater clients - on their own admission as I overheard the waiter explaining in French to other clients - and that he wouldn't offer it to them! 'It was only for the English!' When we overheard this, and noted it was chicken, we chose from their normal a la carte menu - but the standard of the lamb of which we eat a lot in Scotland was abysmal. We would not recommend this restaurant to anyone, as even having complained that we could not eat it the bill was exorbitant. By that time in the holiday we had experienced far better quality for less. The following night we were offered the 'Headwater menu' at Hotel Norbet - but it was chicken again - and though it was nicely presented for those with a good appetite after significant exercise it would not have been enough.
Overall we didn't let these issues spoil the holiday, as we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of the locations, and the well planned walking through the ancient rural villages. Because we were on out own, we took the opportunity to communicate with the les indigenes.
Dear Mr McIntosh, thank you very much for taking the time to contact us following your holiday in the Alsace. Further to our conversation we can confirm that for future departures we will only book Headwater guests on to the lower floors in Hotel des Deux Clefs. We were appalled to hear about the restaurant 'Sommelier'. As we mentioned we have never had this feedback before, but this is now being monitored on every departure, and should we receive any further comments, we will not hesitate to look into an alternative restaurant. We genuinely value your feedback and hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future.
By Mrs Carroll on 25/05/2012
a truely relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings
well organised - no hastles for us +
By Mr Hotchkiss on 00/00/0000
Cycling in Alsac was great the standard of the accommodation particularly the location was not up to the standard of previous Headwater Holidays we have been on.The Verger De Chateau was particularly disappointing with one morning having to clear a table before sitting down for breakfast and then finding they had run out of yogurt, fruit juice most cheeses, fruit and coffee mugs.The evening meals were also poor here.
Dear Mr Hotchkiss,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback, we were pleased to read you found the cycling great, although were sorry to read of your disappointment with the Verger du Chateau. We have discussed your feedback with the hotelier and implemented improvements as appropriate. Please be assured, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive from our customers regarding this hotel, and if we do not see an immediate improvement, we will review the situation for future customers. In closing, we would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Kind regards, Headwater customer service team
By Mr Sharma on 00/00/0000
Well planned walks with great backup from notes and rep.
By Mr Brown on 00/00/0000
Advise customers that municipal pools in France only allow tight fitting swimming trunks not baggy shorts. We could not use the pool on the way to St Die
By Mrs Emslie on 00/00/0000
Excellent service from headwater head office....even a phone call to tell us train was delayed. Also great service from local reps.
By Ms Moffat on 00/00/0000
Cycling was excellent, food good, people friendly and reps also very good ad helpful. A bit disappointed with the accommodation at Hotel St Hubert. Rooms were old and quite shabby.
By Ms Gane on 00/00/0000
Easy walking, lovely views and good food
By Mr Shoesmith on 00/00/0000
Loved the holiday. Challenging walking but great views . Good variety of hotels, all with own charm.