Customer reviews: Holidays in Galicia
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 Paterson on 30/08/2016
Quite demanding. 9 days is a long walking holiday.
By Ms Feist on 16/06/2016
A very good trip. Where scores have been less than excellent this is because I think the hosts could welcome guests with an offer of drink after a day of exertion - including making tea/coffee available. At times the hosts were not visible and when they appeared it felt awkward asking for a service of this kind with the exception of Pazo Santemaria and Casa los Semoza (the latter had a bar). Some of the accommodation may not be conveniently located so meant waiting around to be picked up. An arrangement whereby the guest could have a taxi as he/she arrived at collection point would be better. Also in some places it was cool/damp weather and bed linen felt a little damp. Heating not always switched on (noticeable feature when one is tired) and I had to ask at one place for it to be put on as I was quite uncomfortable. However, luggage was always transported exactly which was reassuring. Blanca the guide in Leon was excellent and Headwater have made a very interesting programme of accommodation - full of interest/quirky and beautifully located. Thank you.
By Mrs Lewis on 07/06/2016
We are 2 female friends and booked single occupancy of rooms. We felt hotels were well chosen and variable, but all interesting and overall comfortable . We got a bit sick of the Pilgrim 10 euro menu, but also had some superb meals. The walking was excellent, and easier than we had expected. We enjoyed the independence of being self guided. There were a few minor faults in the daily walking guide and we have offered to come in and point them out. We live in Chester and decided to Travel from Liverpool to Madrid and spend a night there rather than at Heathrow. We did find that the schedule on Day 1 was a bit over-heavy. Everyone was exhausted that night. But, overall this was a Brilliant holiday! And May was a very good choice this year.
By Mrs Feerick on 06/06/2016
The Camino is a wonderful experience. The walking can be challenging so you need to practice before your holiday. The accommodation was mixed, breakfast tended to be a disappointment. The star of the show for us was Rectoral de Goian. A wonderful place with great food and a sincere welcome. Overall the accommodation is lovely and given the standard that some of the pilgrims use it is pure luxury. The bag transfers and pick ups ran like clockwork.
By Mr Hilary on 25/04/2016
A few suggestions
a) Update your travel notes to refer to the actual kilometre-markers which are now in place
b) Arrange the final leg so that your clients have the option to be in Santiago for the midday pilgrim service in the cathedral
c) The staffing of the Casa de los Samozo was a source of great amusement, somewhat lacking experience, but all was still delivered
d) Hotel Petit Palace was noisy but the location was perfect
But overall the holiday surpassed our expectation and we will certainly consider Headwater again
By Mrs Bathe on 05/10/2015
This holiday provides a stress-free camino experience for those who either do not wish to or cannot carry a full back pack. Accommodation and meals are of a significantly higher standard than is available in the hostels and dormitories along the route. As well as completing the 100km required for the compostela, it combines some interesting earlier sections of the camino as a bonus. The guided tour of Leon provides an excellent introduction to the camino combined with the visit to the impressive Cathedral and other historic buildings. It is well worth extending the holiday to spend two nights in both Leon and Santiago de Compostela.
By Mrs McInnes on 21/09/2015
This is my 10 th Headwater holiday,this time I convinced three friends to walk the Camino de Santiago with Headwater.
Our group of four were very pleased with Headwater and are looking at more holidays with them.
By Mrs Bush on 07/09/2015
We loved this walk. Accommodation on the whole was as good as it could be given the isolated nature of some places. We were particularly impressed with the helpfulness of staff at Headwater when BA cancelled our outward flight the evening before our journey so we didn't miss any of our holiday. The arrangements went very smoothly. The weather in mid July was very hot-unusually so according to locals- so if you suffer from the heat, earlier or later might be better!
By Mr Howard on 13/08/2015
Excellent experience. A privilege to walk through such a beautiful and little known part of Spain!
By Mr Collingham on 23/06/2015
Well organised; great choice of places to stay with walking well directed and right amount of effort per day. The Camino is not the most beautiful route we have walked but communion with fellow travellers made it feel special.
Only comment would be O Coto. Finished short walk to Casa de la Somoza by lunch and really not much to do that afternoon. While the hotel was adequate it was not the sort of place you could amuse yourself in for an afternoon. The common parts were a bit gloomy. We went for a walk! that afternoon.
A pity about baggage handlers' strike in Madrid, main problem was that we had our walking poles taken from us in Stansted in spite of the fact that my husband had checked with Ryanair that we could get them through security. This is categorically not true. We had to store our poles in Stansted at cost to ourselves and buy poles in Leon.
By Mr Woodgate on 17/06/2015
My 2nd camino walk holiday, a different personal experience but excellent, Galicia & Spain at its very best, Headwater organisation & bag moving en route is superb hassle & worry free,
By Mrs Lawrence on 15/06/2015
A superb holiday experience that we will always remember. Headwater's advice & organisation was faultless.
By Mr Small on 09/06/2015
Casa Rural santa maria-would have been helpful to know that he would pick up from the town as the extra km was not good on a v hot day.La Posada de Muriel-the hosts had changed! The breakfast of one piece of toast was not enough for a long walk and certainly could not be described as a buffet! Pazo Santa Maria-should have informed us of the most direct way to get to it as it is also a bit out and at least a 20min walk from the track as described.Rectoral de Lestedo-it would have been very helpful to have known that there was no option of drinks(tea, coffee or anything else for the three hours before the meal,which was poor.It would be useful to suggest that walkers go into the cafe about a km before the accommodation as going back doesn't seem sensible and we were ok with water (from the tap)
By Mrs Moxham on 29/05/2015
This is a classic walk which also includes extra interest such as a tour of Leon and the ability, due to transfers, to stay in some lovely establishments. This part of Spain is very beautiful and we walked through lovely little villages and farms. The flowers, particularly on the first day, along the way were stunning. Lots of places to get snacks and drinks. The Camino is so well signposted that there is very little need to consult notes and maps so it is easy to enjoy the walking.
By Mr Ruffler on 27/10/2014
I have a friend who is doing this trip next year and I have recommended your company
By Mr Dyer on 14/10/2014
We would like to say how fantastic the man was who gave us the mini-moke ride from our hotel back into Portomarin and how hard our hostess (Maria) worked to keep everybody happy in the Casa de los Samoza.
The food in Rectoral de Goian was amazing! For the world's best bread and butter pudding go to O Muino de Pena>
By Mrs Hughes on 08/10/2014
Overall it was a great holiday. We throughly enjoyed ourselves.
By Mr Heald on 24/09/2014
It was an excellent holiday and very well planned so that we had a good morning sightseeing in Leon*, walked the best stretches of the Camino and had an attractive balance of accommodation.
* We were a bit concerned about starting the 1st days walk so late in such heat (30c+), but we managed it!
By Ms Summers on 28/08/2014
Everything extremely well-organized - comfortable and interesting accommodation. Would thoroughly recommend Headwater.
By Mr Royce on 28/08/2014
Our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela was a magical experience, and spiritually uplifting. We encountered so many memorable characters and different nationalities along the way, all with different stories and experiences, which will endure as we reflect on our journey in the years to come.
By Mrs Wylde on 14/08/2014
Please see above comments - it was a wonderful experience walking the Camino but I was disappointed with the seesaw quality of the places we stayed - a couple lovely, several really miserable. Food poisoning episode only helped by the fact that there was a doctor on the trip who helped me. The venue seeemed unconcerned. Really spoiled the last few days of the holiday.
Dear Mrs Wylde,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your holiday this summer to Spain. Firstly, we were sorry to see you felt this holiday did not live up to your expectations with regards to the standard of some of the accommodations and the walk ratings. Please be assured that we have discussed your feedback in detail with our local agents, he will in turn discuss with our local suppliers and measures will be put into place to improve where necessary. We were also sorry to see that you were unwell at the end of your holiday; our agent was also disappointed to hear this and advised us that had you mentioned this to him he would have most certainly arranged onward transportation for you. We have not received any further complaints regarding sickness over this period or throughout the rest of the season. Our agent has advised us that food poisoning is a very rare occurrence in this region as the suppliers are used to dealing with high volumes of pilgrims and all of the food is prepared fresh daily. However, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive, and will ensure it is cascaded back to the suppliers should another incidence be reported. We were also sorry to see that you felt the accommodations were poor in places. Due to the amount of walking done on this holiday, we try to use accommodations which are on or close to the Camino and because of this the accommodation standards can vary, as reflected in our brochure and web page ratings, however, please be assured that we do 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. With this in mind, our agent continually monitors any feedback received and provides feedback to both Headwater and the specific suppliers as appropriate. He also advised us that there are newer Albergues being built, however, these do not comply with our standards as most of them offer shared facilities and are mostly dorm type rooms with bunk beds and this is not the type of accommodation we feel is suitable for our customers. In closing we would like to thank you for your constructive feedback.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Simpson on 04/08/2014
It was hard work covering the average 12 miles/day. We enjoyed the 8 mile day with some 'free time' in the afternoon and felt very at home at Casa de la Somoza that afternoon. Enjoyed the company of the other 4 Headwater walkers we ate and walked with. Exciting to arrive at such an interesting and varied accomodation with such a variety of ambience and fare.
We were told on the 'phone when booking that we needed to get the 6.30 flight from Stanstead in order to have time to catch the train from Madrid to Leon. In fact it only took a short time by taxi to the station where we waited 4 hrs for the train. 2 hrs extra in bed and 8.30 flight would have got us off to a better start!
Thank you arranging all the accomodation and transfer of luggage which worked so well. Loved Leon and found it such a generous place - we kept being given little extras, whether from market traders or patisserie.
Route instructions generally good, but not clear that we needed to walk almost to the railway station to find the Hotel Roma at Sarria. That was a long last k.
Also the last k to Pazo Santa Maria directions could have been clearer with more detail.
By Mr Smith on 29/06/2014
We were blessed with decent weather, and so enjoyed this 160km. very much. We found the O Munio De Pena a bit of a gloomy place, with Javier nowhere in sight until 8.30 that evening! The only other mild carp we have is at Sarria, where that last km. through the town was hard work. Could a pick-up closer to our entry into the town be considered?
Also, going into Arzua, the Pazo told us that if Headwater had told us we could have phoned the Pazo for a taxi from our entry into the town to the hotel for 4 euros! This could have been very valuable info. as we were being chased by a thunderstorm at that time! We also recommend the taxi back to the starting point next day.
By Dr Evans on 16/05/2014
The accommodation was variable between wonderful and very simple.
We were suprised by how few vegetables we were available both in the accommodations and in restaurants.
At the end of some of the walk sections the instructions/directions were less clear and this was a problem when you are tired at the end of a days walking.
We were part of the party with the Raeburns were there was a muddle about our tour of Leon which we missed out on. That shouldn't have happened.
By Mrs Evans on 26/04/2014
This was a great holiday. It's the walks are fairly straightforward, but there are some long days. The arrangement by Headwater worked like clockwork. The hotels are well-chosen and generally of a good standard. Our favourites were the 2 rectorals and Paze Santa Maria. This was a great way to explore the Camino de Santiago.
By Dr Tudor on 24/11/2013
Overall it was a fantastic holiday - one of our best ever. We loved the Camino itself and our holiday was enhanced by the 6 others in our group.
Our stay in O'Cebriero was horrid, as the community was celebrating its local saints day and the hotel/pub was in the centre of the long festivities, including lots of pulpo (octopus) being prepared, boiled and eaten and an amplified band striking up at midnight. Understandably on such a big occasion it took quite a while before we could access our rooms, and it was not possible to get our cases through the crowds for a time either. Unfortunately the refuge at the quiet end of the village was fully booked otherwise we would have stayed there instead. Headwater should warn clients arriving on that day what to expect.
By Mr Arscott on 23/10/2013
By Mr Hutton on 07/10/2013
Good mixture of walking, history and culture which in combination produced an excellent break
By Mrs Crookes on 29/06/2013
Felt could have walked further each day, especially in order to reach Santiago more comfortably to experience the pilgrim's service (we walked the final 21kms in 4 hours in order to do this) plus that last part is the least interesting part of the walk. Appreciated the care taken to make the first 3 days so interesting - very glad that started at Leon and not at Sarria - and very glad that stayed way out of Sarria as it's a rather depressing town! Found the trek down to the resort at Portomarin a pain - felt had arrived, at the river, then found had another good up and down km to do to reach the entrance. The manager/owner offered to drive us the next morning, which we all appreciated. All the taxi and other drivers were excellent, on time, friendly and efficient. Would especially like to mention Blanca, the guide in Leon; such a lovely and enthusiastic person with immense knowledge - we were expecting to be bored, but were totally immersed and hope to go back. We all agreed that it would be useful to have a list of taxi and other drivers' phone numbers as we often arrived 2 or 3 hours before pick up time. O'Coto was a pleasant hotel, it was just a pity that was sandwiched between 2 busy roads with a car dump nearby. It was also a bit damp, tho the owners put the heating on for us (we know they are new owners so maybe will be making improvements for next year), and was difficult to dry our washing - which we all did as were staying 2 nights there. I am being very pernickety here, as overall we enjoyed the holiday immensely and have enthusiastically recommended it to our friends.
By Mr Neilson on 22/06/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed the walking but preferred the days when the accommodation was actually on the Camino. The inconvenience and waste of time waiting for taxis in unpicturesque places at the end of a day's walking was irritating. Similarly starting a day with a taxi ride to get back to the Camino from remote accommodation was unsatisfactory.
By Mr Monck on 14/06/2013
Headwater had thought of everything and it's attention to detail that counts on a holiday like this. Thank you !
By Ms Clough on 24/04/2013
Fantastic, it was everyting I hoped it would be and more!
By Mr Pearson on 24/09/2012
Most of the hotels we stayed in were located alongside the Camino de Santiago de Compostela itself but some involved long taxi rides to/from the route. The standard of accommodation varied from fairly basic (as at Santa Marina,Portomarin)to outstanding in the case of Rectoral de Lestedo.The quality of cuisine also varied considerably.
We made our own arrangements for staying 3 nights in Madrid before travelling to Leon and were very pleased with the 3 star Hotel Reyes de Catholica in the Latina district - just 180 Euros for the three nights for us both(double, en suite).
Unfortunately, we both suffered severe sickness and diorrhea on our night at O Muina de Pena and this affected the rest of our trip and made the journey home an uncomfortable one but this does not detract from the fact that we still enjoyed this holiday greatly (with temps above 30 degrees C almost every day)and we enjoyed too the company throughout the Camino of Paul & Susan Hicks from Melbourne, NSW, who also booked with Headwater.
By Mrs Winter on 11/07/2012
A challenging, but enjoyable holiday. Well organised by Headwater
By Ms Dadley on 07/07/2012
A lovely holiday and a different experience. Some inevitable variations in hotels - but some disappointments - see below
By Dr Vetter on 30/06/2012
Excellent overall; quite taxing, but worth it
By Mr Warburton on 30/06/2012
walk was not as attractive as anticipated and holiday was marred by travel problems on the homeward journey.
By Mr Woodgate on 30/06/2012
a marvellous,experience, great organisation, thank you, i miss the camino already
By Mr Rogers on 23/06/2012
By Mrs Durham on 23/06/2012
Some hotels poor eg posada de Muriel. Also Muino de Pena a bit shambolic. No- one to serve breakfast until 10 mins past 8 when it should have been 8. Rectoral de Lestedo good in so many ways but the outside terrace needs attention - a bit scruffy and nowhere comfortable to sit eg dog and stain on bench with cushions. It was very cold at casa somoza - could have done with heating but their personal service and desire to serve you the food you wanted was excellent. Antonio at Marina also excellent in welcome and servie. tho it is out of town he took us to start of camino in the morning
By Dr Pearson on 23/06/2012
Damp and dank
Quality of accommodation left a lot to be desired and we drew the short straw on many occasions considering we paid an equal amount to others.
By Mrs Peasgood on 11/06/2012
An enjoyable experience shared with many others.
By Mr Darch on 05/05/2012
The holiday was very well organised, with pleasant places to stay.