By Mr Schafer on 16/06/2017
Overview: This was our 8th Headwater trip over the past three years. The walks had very scenic views of the Amalfi Coast. We had an extremely knowledgble local guide. We were, however, disappointing with location of hotel near Sorrento and our short Pompeii visit (and that day, in general).
There were large cruise ships in ports and towns were very touristy.
The Garden Hotel in Ravello had nice rooms with a great view of the coast from the balcony/patio and just outside the main square of Ravello. The dinners at the hotel were all very good. Breakfast was OK and the seating in the breakfast area was odd. Tables were set for two to look out at sea view but not enough for all guests to sit in this area; we had to sit in another dining area alone.
The Bellavista Hotel was a 15 min bus ride outside Sorrento. The room was nice awith a view of sea and Capri but it was right on a noisy busy road. There was nothing in walking distance from the hotel. The local bus stops outside the hotel but the buses can be crowded with standing room only. Dinners were good but the acoustics in the hotel restaurant were terrible and there was a large group dining at the same time. We would have much preferred a centrally located Sorrento hotel and opportunity for other dining options, especially on 'free day'. Cannot recommend this hotel. While looking at the self-guided Amalfi walk, we see that the hotels are all centrally located in towns, even Sorrento.
Our guide, Lucia, is from Positano and was engaging and very knowledgeable about the trails, history of the region.
The hikes were accurately rated as 2 boots, varied, with great views of the coast. The 'Path of the Gods' hike was somewhat crowded.
The views up and down the coast while on the hikes were amazing
We had guided visits to both Villa Cimbrone and Rufolo in Ravello but wished we'd returned on our own to linger and have more time for photos.
There were cruise ships in port every day so the towns were packed with tourists. The local buses used to return to Ravello were standing room only. On one day our group opted to take a taxi (at our expense) to return to the hotel after lunch.
Trip to Pompeii:
This was a poorly planned day. It took ~1.5 hrs to get to Pompeii. The site was mobbed. Our local guide was good but the crowds made it difficult to stay with her and we were rushed through. We only spent about two hours at the site and had no free time. It was then 1 hr 45 min ride to a pizza restaurant where the owner gave a pizza crust making demo(and we ate lunch). Afterwards, we had a short walk. The itinerary for this day needs to be reorganized as it is was an extremely poor use of time given heavy traffic at this time. A centrally located hotel in Sorrento might have helped, perhaps a late afternoon visit to Pompeii, or combining Pompeii visit with a different hike and visiting the pizza restaurant another day.
By Mrs Skellorn on 24/05/2017
Beautiful views, helpful, concerned and highly qualified guide, well-planned walks, delicious food and new friends.
By Mr Davis on 24/05/2017
An excellent guided walking holiday. Beautiful scenery, well planned walks, delicious food and comfortable hotels. A great holiday was made into a fantastic holiday thanks to our superb guide Lucia, who was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful beyond the call of duty throughout the entire week. The multinational group of nine from Australia, United States and UK were really friendly and welcoming. Any concerns I had as a single traveller evaporated within minutes of joining the group, and our day trip to Capri will reside in my memory for a long time. I haven't laughed so much in a long time! The walking was accurately described by the website, about 4-6 hours per day. A few sections of some paths required walking poles and extra care, but for a reasonably fit and healthy person used to walking 6-7 miles per day were no problem. The visits to Villa Cimbrone, Villa Ruffolo, Pompeii and a local pizza restaurant were excellent. The worst part of the holiday was saying goodbye to everyone and having to come home! Can I go back please?
By Mrs Harrison on 17/05/2017
We have used Headwater before and always found the hotels good and the guides excellent.
I think the boot system is tricky - we were on a two boot holiday, and we had some real scrambling, so check before booking.
By Mrs Turner on 16/05/2017
Although challenging at times, we really felt as though we had had a good relaxing. holiday. Sardinia is beautiful. The food at the Hotel Sa Muvara was wonderful but red meat at every meal. It was cold when we were there at the beginning of May so be prepared. The bar and restaurant had wonderful fires but the rooms were chilly. Fantastic staff. The Hotel Costa Durada was more noisy with dog barking, bottle collection early mornings so if this bothers you, ask for a quiet room. If you are following a gluten free diet ask Alberto to get you some bread as that supplied by the hotels was not very nice. Alberto is the best guide we have had, knowledgeable, kind and a wonderful sense of humour.
By Mrs Parsley on 03/05/2017
A most enjoyable holiday with varied, mostly flat walking in the spring countryside, covered with beautiful flowers. Although this was an Exodus holiday and we expected the hotels to be of a lower standard than the usual Headwater type, we were pleasantly surprised. Our guide, Marinella, loves her job and it shows! Matera and Alberobello were fascinating, we ate in some delightful restaurants at Marinella's recommendation, the food was delicious and the wine tasting, dinner in a farmhouse and picnics all added to the enjoyment. We had a great group too!
By Mrs Patel on 03/05/2017
It was wonderful experience with a fantastic guide and walks
By Mrs Tarry on 24/04/2017
An amazing holiday. We've visited Italy many times but Puglia was quite different to what we'd seen before. The colours, olive grove, vineyards, hilltop towns, architecture and the rest make this area a hidden gem.
By Mrs Billington on 29/11/2016
Alberto made the holiday and went over and above the call of duty.
By Mr Davies on 29/11/2016
A splendid holiday well organised with a great group of people, lots of laughter,good weather,good walking,good food & drink.
We recomend it.
By Mrs Hales on 09/11/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. The walking was fantastic and our guide Louigi absolutely made it for us. His local knowledge and his stories of past and present were fascinating. We were really lucky to be with a lovely group of like minded walkers which all added to a memorable time.
Our one niggle is that we were disappointed with the Hotel Bellavista. We did not think the food was very special and objected to having to choose your meal for the evening at breakfast time. Surely this should not be necessary!
Two extra nights staying in Naples was interesting! Miles away from the tranquility of the Amalfi coast but well worth doing.
By Ms Hawkes on 31/10/2016
Lucia was an excellent guide .She was enthusiastic and informative and looked after us very well. The hotels were in good locations and the views were excellent.
The Hotel Garden was in a lovely location but there were some niggles which could so easily be put right. Breakfast wasn't very good - for very little extra they could have produced fruit salad, better quality cereal and fresh milk. Also the breakfast tables were in such strong sunlight you couldn't enjoy breakfast and, when asked they wouldn't move the tables- they just suggested that we eat outside but it was too cold to do so. Hotel Garden's garden and swimming pool needed a bit of TLC. All little things but could have made a difference as it was in a great location.
At the second hotel I would recommend that Headwater reserves rooms that are not on the ground floor because these are straight onto a busy road.
Overall the holiday was very good indeed and met our expectations. Thank you
By Mr Bulmer on 31/10/2016
Elizabetta is an outstanding leader and this holiday fully lived up to the description given to us by the Headwater office. It was an interesting and varied combination of walking and sightseeing in at least six towns, there were good walks on several days which on the whole were pleasant , and the use of the van was of key importance in providing this variety. In many ways it was unique and difficult to reproduce with a different leader. The CinqTerra walk at the start of the holiday was more challenging than we expected, with a long and very steep descent, but Elisabetta helped us get through it.
By Mr Craig on 31/10/2016
Our guide was outstanding and helped to make the holiday memorable, but note she will no longer be the guide for this holiday next year.
By Mrs Elfick-wood on 13/10/2016
The itinerary and Alberto the guide were excellent, the hotels a bit of a mixed experience. The Sa Muvara would probably been really nice with better weather, but getting hot water for a shower was a bit hit and miss, and a lot of other members of the group found their rooms very cold. The food was sometimes really good but generally a bit salty and far too much of it. Comparing our experience with a previous holiday (walk in the florentine hills), perhaps we expect too much for basic rustic italian food. The Hotel Dorada was in an excellent position, but I didn't find the rooms that comfortable, and the food rather disappointing although the soups were excellent.
For all the above, it wouldn't put me off having another Italian holiday with you.
By Mrs Bowling on 13/10/2016
My first time in Sardinia, our guide Alberto really brought the island alive. His extensive knowledge of nature, culture and history far exceeded my expectations, a brilliant holiday, highly recommend it.
By Mrs McGill on 13/10/2016
In general the holiday was very good, no complaints. What made the holiday for us was Elisabetta, the guide. She was energetic, informative, great fun and nothing was too much trouble. If I was Headwater I would give her a pay rise and hang onto her for dear life. Ann McGill
By Mrs Loyd on 13/10/2016
A week of discovery! Beautiful towns and landscapes, interesting walking , a great local guide who was tireless in helping us to understand so many different aspects of Puglia - it's history, food, contemporary issues - as well as making it fun. A great group too all added up to a brilliant holiday, thank you.
By Mr Reilly on 04/10/2016
Great Amalfi Coast experience, with friendly local guide Luigi to ensure that the very best of the area is experienced. His guided walks were superb, and the Garden Hotel in Ravello was particularly friendly and delightful with scenic views. Walking is a great way to enjoy the delights of this superb coastline, with not too many exertions, but a level of general fitness is needed. The trip to Pompeii was very good, Libby our guide ensured we saw the ' must see' parts and navigated us expertly through the sometimes busy parts. The other included excursions to the local Pizza making rural restaurant near Sorrento was very enjoyable, while the visits to the two lovely villas In Ravello were a brief cultural bonus. Overall a very worthwhile 7 day Amalfitana experience. Thanks for a lovely week.
By Ms Culshaw on 21/07/2016
An excellent holiday. The small group size meant it felt very much like a private guided holiday but with the advantage of company.
By Mrs Titley on 15/07/2016
The guided Puglia walking holiday was fabulous. We had heard about Matera before out travels and we had time to explore the town and surroundings.It was an amazing place.Luigina, our leader on this holiday, was very knowledgeable and helpful. The 3 centres and scenery on the walk were quite varied. The free day was a good idea as it gave us the opportunity to visit Lecce.The holiday was a fascinating mix of history, geoography, culture and of course, food!
By Mrs Conaghan on 29/06/2016
This was a good mix of hiking and city . We enjoyed the beautiful Tuscan countryside and the guided tours of the wonderful cities of Florence and Sienna. The tour guide was helpful and completely knowledgeable. We also had a lot of fun!
By Mr Johnson on 28/06/2016
The holiday delivered everything we were hoping for and more. This was mainly due to the excellent tour leader, who went above and beyond the call of duty. As expected, she was very knowledgeable with regard to the actual locations and the walks, but she was also very helpful in her suggestions for places to eat, as not so many meals were included on this particular holiday. She is one of the best tour guides we have encountered and her sense of humour added to the enjoyment of the whole group.
By Mr Kendrick on 16/06/2016
Brochure slightly misleading about Hotel Costa Dorada; the idyllic location portrayed was not accurate - next to a busy public car park, not an isolated location. We had upgraded rooms so they were fine. Others in the group were very disappointed with their rooms. Walks were good and our guide Alberto was superb. He really made the holiday.
By Mrs Baker on 14/06/2016
We enjoyed the challenges of walking in a beautiful landscape. The walks were varied and interesting. We also enjoyed time to relax returning home feeling refreshed
By Mr Grierson on 07/06/2016
A very well organised holiday with superb Sardinian hospitality and comfortable accommodation. Alberto's extensive knowledge of the history, flora, fauna and geology of the island added to a wonderful week's experience as did his 'surprises and adventures'!
By Mrs Parsons on 07/06/2016
A friendly guide,very good knowledge of area,fantastic lunches. Great walking,a lovely group of people,will book another trip next year. Thank you Headwater.
By Mr Watson on 03/06/2016
A good holiday with excellent walks, but bear in mind this is run by Exodus, so hotels not up to the usual Headwater standard.
By Mr Hay on 26/05/2016
A varied week with an excellent guide
By Mrs Jackson on 26/05/2016
This was a well designed holiday with a good balance of walking and sightseeing . The group size was just right.
I doubt we could have had a better leader. Elisabetta was a delight to be with. She was charming, witty, knowledgeable , interesting and keen to ensure we were involved in decision making wherever it was possible . Her recommendations for places to eat were excellent.
By Mr Exell on 18/05/2016
A wonderful guide lead us through a fascinating part of Italy and along the way we enjoyed superb local cuisine and wines.
By Mr Simpson on 17/11/2015
An excellent holiday with a like minded group of people.
Our guide Nino went out of his way to ensure everyone got what they wanted out of the holiday. He changed arrangements to suit the weather and ensured that everyone was happy with what was happening each day.
Pleasant walking( despite slightly inclement weather at times) through lovely countryside and interesting historic sites. Unfortunately it was too cold for our swim in the Adriatic .
Alberobello is a very pretty town with its large concentration of Trulli. Matera is a fascinating city with its ancient settlements and interesting history.
By Mr Grant on 04/11/2015
An excellent mix of walking ( none of which is too taxing at least in the cooler October weather ) and sightseeing . The trip will give a good exposure to several of the main must see places in Tuscany. and also shows some of those places less visited by tourists. We were very fortunate in having a great guide in Elizabetta . It was perhaps a mark of how good she is that she was warmly welcomed in each new place we visited . My main tip for future travelers is to go to the Uffizi as early as you can as it can be crowded . Booking in advance is to be recommended and it is best to phone ( you go through the options by pushing the telephone key pad - it is all in English and then you have a very brief discussion with an English speaking member of staff . The advantage is that you will get a wider availability of times to visit than you do booking online and some people according to tripadvisor don`t get their confirmation email ( TripAdvisor has a section on booking for the Uffizi which is v helpful ) . You can book up once you are in Florence for the next day if you go late in the afternoon the day before ( a couple of people did this and got early slots ) but i don`t know how many slots will be available for those going along the day before and many people will want to see the Uffizi and may not want to wait and see if they can get in and when . The last thing you want to do is to queue up on the day - people were being told it would be a 2 hour wait to get in at 10am on the Saturday we were there !!!
By Mis Harper on 27/10/2015
A brilliant holiday, our guide Antonino was excellent, he looked after us very well and went out of his way to make sure we were always well looked after and very well fed. Transfers during the walk went like clockwork.
An incredibly interesting part of Italy; as it was cold and wet we all agreed to visit local caves instead of the beach and they were magnificent.
One boot was the right classification, there was some 'scrambling' over rocks and through vegetation, the rest mainly rocky/stony tracks with minor ascents and descents.
By Ms Bevan on 26/10/2015
A busy holiday but a great introduction to Tuscany and the Cinque Terra. The mixture of sightseeing and walking was what I wanted and left me feeling I'd like to return to see more of the region in the future. We were a full group of 8 from diverse backgrounds and locations but we gelled well. Much of the success of our trip was due to our guide Elisabetta, who was wonderful throughout - from her excellent driving skills to the endless humour and patience she showed guiding us through menus and sharing her invaluable local knowledge! Our official city guides in Florence and Siena were also excellent and gave us interesting and thorough introductions to their cities.
By Mrs Copeland on 22/10/2015
Excellent our escort Elizbetta was wonderful she made our holiday helpful witty charming
By Mrs Compton on 16/10/2015
The Amalfi CoAst was beautiful and the walking challenging at times. There were a lot of steps on all of the walks. Our guide Lucia was extremely informative about everything and catered well with some who did struggle. Lucia was with us from breakfast all day and took the evening meal with the group.The coach drivers were very good, not fast and furious like most Italian drivers. Suggestions were given for our day off and a group of us went off to Heraculeum for the day by bus and train, a beautiful place to visit. The hotels were a very good standard with lovely views. The Bellavista had a busy road outside which was quiet at night, but the food was above standard and a wonderful choice every day. It was away from nearest village.The Hotel Garden had the best view and near to the centre of Ravello.
By Mrs Jones on 16/10/2015
It was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. The walks were varied and beautiful, sometimes challenging, but we coped. It was especially nice to have a local guide with insider knowledge of the region. The food was authentic and delicious at the hotels, and Lucia took us to very good local delicatessens to buy sandwiches or to excellent restaurants at lunchtime. We especially enjoyed the international group of lovely people.
By Mrs Robertson on 15/10/2015
Easy to book and everything arranged well. Headwater always have interesting hotels in lovely locations. A guided holiday adds so many interesting features to the trip and no worries about getting lost !
By Mr Cunningham on 12/10/2015
I reckon a good deal of planning and research has gone into preparing this holiday. It was a perfect balance of walking, sightseeing and doing what you wanted to do. It was also flexible enough to be able to change plans on one occasion to take in an unexpected, extra trip. Tuscany is my favourite holiday destination, so it would be difficult for me not to enjoy myself, but the incomparable Elisabetta Piseddu, our guide, took my enjoyment to another level. I really enjoyed her company. Among her many accomplishments - apart form managing a disparate gang of Aussies, Yanks and a lone Brit - was to knock up a classic vinaigrette salad dressing during one of our lunches that would have added Â£10 to a UK restaurant bill. And our immaculate guides in Sienna and Florence, whose names unforgivably I haven't noted, were passionate and entertaining. Always an attractive mixture. Passionate and entertaining. What more could I want? Grazie mille, Elisabetta.
By Mrs Harris on 08/10/2015
Our walking holiday on the Amalfi coast was wonderful. Our guide Luigi knew the area incredibly well and his knowledge and expertise was central to our enjoyment of every walk. He paced the walks well and there was always enough time to enjoy lunch or a coffee on the way! The 2 hotels had wonderful views and the food each night was excellent as was the company in the group. Overall it was a a great way to see the area and very relaxing as everything was so well organised. We would certainly choose a similar holiday again.
By Ms Butterworth on 23/09/2015
Excellent, wonderful area and wildlife. Archaeology and geology easy to see and museums excellent. We hope to go agin to see the spring flowers.
By Mrs Charlett on 22/09/2015
Well planned holidays which offer something different to the traveller who wants to experience the country in more detail.
By Ms Best on 21/09/2015
The trip was very enjoyable, and was made more so because of out great guide. Luigi was helpful, knowledgable, well informed, and good company. The walking was interesting and varied, and, although the group had a range of abilities, it worked out well. It would be good to have some free time at Pompeii - I heard this mentioned by several people in the group. The food in the 2 hotels varied in that the evening meals in Ravello were excellent, but the breakfasts weren't great. The staff there were very helpful. The breakfasts at Massa Lubrense were really good, but the evening meals weren't good, and were sometimes almost inedible because they were so salty. Some of the staff were very unhelpful also.
By Mr Knight on 18/09/2015
Wonderful range of walks. Alberto was the best guide we have ever encountered in our many walking holidays. His knowledge of the history, geology, flora and fauna of Sardinia was extremely wide and very well presented. He was very kind, friendly, efficient, sensitive to our needs and flexible in adapting the itinerary to best meet the weather conditions. We cannot praise him too highly.
By Ms Friswell on 17/09/2015
Had a great holiday overall with good food and interesting walks. Loved the visit to Pompeii. Very much enoyed our stay at the first hotel, although found the second one too noisy as our bedroom was on the ground floor and had a busy road directly in front of the hotel. My experience with a guide (my first holiday with Headwater was self guided) was excellent. Luigi was full of really interesting information about an area he clearly loves. He was helpful, considerate and with a great sense of humour. He made every walk into something special and cant recommend him highly enough.
By Mrs Hollis on 16/09/2015
An excellent week in Sardinia. Our guide, Alberta was responsible for making the holiday so memorable with his fantastic knowledge of the history, geology, plants and animals of this beautiful island. He has a lovely manner and was greatly liked by the group. I was disappointed initially that the group was so small, being only five but we all got on well so it became a luxury with plenty of space in the vehicle and a very personal service. The boat trip on our free day was exciting and showed us the magnificent coastline and caves.
By Mrs Smyth on 15/09/2015
Alberto - our guide was fantastic - knowledgeable - kind - patient - fun - punctual - and always smiling ! The highlight of our trip. Not to mention his delicious picnics !
By Mrs Priest on 16/07/2015
Elizebtta helps make Italy magical, she looks after you and helps you get the most out of your holiday. The places visited, the food and the people you meet are excellent.
By Mis Lloyd on 14/07/2015
This is an excellent and very relaxing holiday. The walks were well planned and very well led - picnics were wonderful! Unsurprisingly, in early July, it was hot but setting off early made the most of the cooler hours and enabled us to explore the towns and villages at leisure. Our guide, Salvitore, was really excellent - attentive, charming, efficient and knowledgeable.
By Mrs Iredale on 17/06/2015
I did enjoy the holiday as that particular area of Italy is very interesting also our guide Adrianne did his utmost to make it so. I felt it should be described more as a sightseeing holiday as the walking was not very challenging or exciting. I was disappointed that a lot of the walking was on minor roads rather than paths.
By Mr Sinclair on 29/05/2015
Headwater holiday was well organised using good hotels, a totally superb guide and lovely walking routes - couldn't really ask for better. We enjoyed the walking, the guide, the food and will certainly have another holiday with Headwater
By Ms Peevers on 29/05/2015
If you're a regular walker then this holiday is a lovely way to see a glorious coastline and visit Pompeii and Capri, all in 8 days but we never felt rushed. If you've never been on a walking holiday this would be an ideal first-time trip; good exercise but not strenuous and after your walk you can sit in a bar and enjoy a beer and that 'good tired' feeling. In Ravello and Massa Lubrense there are local buses which will take you back to your hotel if you've had enough for the day.
By Ms Sternshine on 29/05/2015
As ever, well organised, well thought out. Reps taking time to 'read' the group and provide appropriate guidance. If you like to walk , a great idea as you will always be shown routes/trails that you would be unlikely to find otherwise. No wasted time on the holiday planning the next day/days. Really good food.Other people in group friendly & convivial. Would suggest anyone considering this holiday should be sure they are happy to spend a lot of time walking up and down deep stepped inclines as this describes most of the terrain.
By Ms Teevan on 26/05/2015
Our guide, Angelo, really lived up to his name. He went more than the extra mile for us: organising picnic feasts which were inexpensive, and negotiating terrific and generous group meals at bargain prices with a huge range of antipasti. He is a wonderful standard setter for other guides. I particularly liked our stay in Matera which is fascinating. A swim in the Adriatic en route was a treat too and I found the archaeological site near Ostuni very interesting. Overall the walking on this holiday was just the right level for my expectations, as advertised, and the weather was good for walking, despite the forecasts.
By Mr Braide on 20/05/2015
Well organised trip, excellent guides and friendly group. Lots of interesting activities and enough space to go our own way from time to time.
By Mr Gibson on 14/05/2015
Excellent guide volume of ,steps hard going . Appreciate hills have to be climbed but a variation of routes to the top where practical ... Luigi did try to address as best he could. Prefer not to have dinners in hotels every night ... would have been nice to sample local restaurants in that evening.
Second hotel was poor (food aside) . Broken mirror in the first room allocated . Broken shower head in the second, roof terrace grubby... bar not staffed..
beer warm . Out of town location by busy road was disappointing. Luigi made the holiday
By Mr Toombs on 12/05/2015
Alberto was an outstandingly good guide, whose knowledge and enthusiasm added substantially to my enjoyment of this holiday. The picnic lunches that appeared from his rucksack were fantastic, and his concern form our well being and enjoyment genuine and appreciated.
By Mr Jones on 05/05/2015
Very good holiday, lots to see and well guided. Good value for money and very companiable group of people on walks.
By Mrs Cullum on 29/04/2015
Headwater were very poor on administration I had to request both confirmation invoices and twice request travel documents which had to be courried to us 9 days before we left which was poor considering we had to book our seats with Easyjet.
The hotels were not as comfortable as they should have been as we were cold in them.
By Mr Allan on 29/04/2015
Puglia and Basilicata a truly inspiring choice. We were inspired by Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli in 'Italy Unpacked' and this holiday fully met our expectations...........though the food not always quite so great- needed more green vegetables! Our Guide was delightful and charming. We learned that living in a cave has draw backs - high humidity - but still worth staying in the Sassi ! We also loved walking around hill top towns.......delightful!
By Mrs Constantine on 27/10/2014
overall most enjoyable .
hotels certainly adequate but food could have been better . possibly wine & certainly water should be inclusive with meals .
walking good but too much roadwork cf. trails/tracks off road .
guide good .
travel arrangements good .
By Mr Lambert on 14/10/2014
It was an exceptionally enjoyable, stress-free holiday. Exactly as described in the Headwater brochure and all aspects were efficient and well executed.
We were very lucky to be with a great group of like minded people (7 in total). Maggie, our guide, was amazing. Her contributions to the group dynamic, her local knowledge and incredible enthusiasm for Sardinia made our holiday. She was a lovely person to spend our time with and we were delighted when she chose to join us on her day off for a boat trip!
All the other staff we came into contact with be it at the hotels or on our days out (the river picnic for example) contributed to a wonderful experience.
The hotels were fantastic. The Hotel Sa Muvara in the mountains was wonderful - great accommodation, attentive staff, lovely food and the views were amazing. The Hotel Costa Dorada on the coast was perfectly located by the sea; again good accommodation, delicious cuisine, great staff and a lovely outlook. Both hotels made you feel you were staying somewhere special, immersed in the local culture and that you were not staying in some bland building presented with international cuisine. We felt we completed our holiday having had a taste of the real Sardinia.
Having never previously taken a holiday with a group and guide, we are sorely tempted to take a similar trip.
By Mrs Edwards on 10/10/2014
Thought the walks were a bit tame. The best walking was on Capri where I stayed for 4 nights after this holiday. Suggest splitting the holiday between main land and island. Lots of trouble with bites.
Luigi was a great guide. I would like to do more intensive walking with him.
By Mrs Butler on 10/10/2014
An excellent holiday which gave us a wonderful introduction to Tuscany. Great combination of sightseeing and walking. Elisabetta is a real asset and looked after us all well. We particularly enjoyed the meals she organised and our group of 8 gelled well. The Puccini concert in Lucca followed by our group meal in a slightly alternative restaurant was one of the highlights.
By Ms Hodges on 25/09/2014
This was an absolutely superb holiday. The guide and both hotels were excellent. It was good to have the contrast of staying 3 nights inland and the rest of the holiday on the coast. Maggie, the guide, was exceptionally well informed and helped make this a great holiday. The food was varied and freshly prepared in both hotels. The walking took us to beautiful locations with superb views from high points. The group gelled and it was one of my best ever holidays. Enormous fun!
By Dr Kipps on 25/09/2014
Very good overall.
Would like Headwater to provide interesting holidays for their aged faithful customers ... we have had about 12 holidays with you, but are now feeling that we can no longer do strenuous walking.
By Mrs Moran on 24/09/2014
Fascinating holiday with an excellent mix of walking, archaeology and food! We actually put on a tiny bit of weight the food was so good. Excellent group and we all got on really we'll from the first evening.
By Ms Wenner on 15/08/2014
As we ended up being only 2 plus our Guide Paola it was a different and interesting experience. I think that both I and my fellow traveller would praise Paola to the hilt! She made the holiday really with her enduring patience, humour, fun, real ness!, openness, her suggestions for activities, her flexibility, her absolute care for us and our well being, her helpfulness. All in all she was terrific!! Also my Italian has improved hugely!!
I think again that I and my fellow traveller would say, as we did discuss this, that there are too many hotel changes. I believe the time in Florence could be left out especially in mid August as it is so hot and full of other tourists! More time in Cinque Terre would be great so either a hotel in the Cinque Terre or more time in La Spezia? The La Spezia hotel was excellent. So more time by the sea and possibly extra night/s in Sienna or Lucca rather than Florence.
For me personally more walking would be fantastic. I totally loved the Via Francigena walk and possibly another day on it would be good or another, similar longer days walk elsewhere.
Overall however a really fabulous holiday so well managed by our guide as just having 2 people could be tricky but Paola was incredibly sensitive and my fellow traveller and I got on well so all was good!
By Mrs Compton on 08/07/2014
We have been on many Headwater Holidays and this was one of the best. A wonderful mix of walking and sight seeing. We experienced great walks, breathtaking views, and the history and culture of beautiful cities. Our guide, Elisabetta Piseddu, contributed greatly to our enjoyment of all this. Her knowledge, organisation, driving and friendliness were exceptional. - this women is an absolute princess! Look forward to seeing her on future Headwater Holidays.
By Mrs Lynch on 03/07/2014
This is a good mix of sightseeing and walking (but see below). Our guide, Elisabetta Piseddu, was exceptional. Her local knowledge and expertise contributed substantially to our enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mrs Cosford on 02/07/2014
Very enjoyable overall. Excellent guide , very informative about the country which was interesting. Hotels varied a lot - some good , one excellent and one not so good . Being only 4 of us in the group was too small - better with more numbers for variety.
By Mrs Deeley on 24/06/2014
Very memorable. Great scenery, great food, great companions and an excellent guide in Maggie. Haven't laughed so much in a long time!
By Mrs Campbell-kelly on 17/06/2014
This was an absolutely fanastic holiday - it did everything it said on the tin and more. The guide was second to none, she was amazing, from picking us up at Pisa to dropping us off again. Se made it all special by taking us to local restaraunts and haunts, places we would never have found ourselves. Her attention to detail was brilliant be it driving the mini bus or in sourcing really good guides in Florence and Siena. We really liked her!
By Dr Goodman on 12/06/2014
Challenging walking, as described, in a beautiful area. Interesting countryside and attractive towns and villages. Excellent local guide with intimate knowledge of area, history and way of life.
By Mr Goodfellow on 10/06/2014
Perfect for the discerning holidaymaker wanting small group companionship, trouble free guiding, most meals included, not too many extra expenses and bettter standard of accommodation than offered by lower cost operators.
By Mr Gibson on 10/06/2014
Maggie was a superb guide. The walks were varied and spectacular , but much more challenging than the brochure implied... That said , because of Maggie's experience ,whilst challenging , they were very enjoyable.
Transport was poorer than expected . Picnics , with the exception of the roast suckling pig event , were essentially the same each day which was a tad disappointing.
Overall, a terrific break and I look forward to the next...
By Mr Potter on 03/06/2014
Having a trip manager native to the country, who also lives in London and understands her guests, really made the trip. Elisabetta's enthusiasm, knowledge of local food and wine specialities, and recommendations on genuine, non-touristy places to see and experience (especially restaurants), were outstanding.
By Mr Palmer on 03/06/2014
Very enjoyable and varied introduction to Tuscany.
By Mis Lloyd on 30/05/2014
It was an enjoyable holiday and the company was good. The first hotel is particularly well placed for Ravello and was friendly and comfortable. The second is a bit inconveniently sited and Lisa could have given more helpful information about public bus regime re tickets etc. However, she was a knowledgeable and interesting leader especially at Pompei. Walks were very gentle and Lisa chose routes with plenty of variety and interest.
By Mr Taylor on 29/05/2014
The weather was not too good (mostly cloudy) so mountain-top views were out. But our guide Alberto was so good. he made up for the lack of sun! His knowledge of trees, plants (medicinal uses) and history was extraordinary, and he was good company. The historical sites on the island were fascinating. As it's such a large island a lot of time was spent getting to places but the roads were good and Alberto was a good driver.
Sometimes the walking was quite rough as the landscape is very stoney so two walking sticks is recommended, Tiscali was definitely the highlight: both a dramatic walk and a uniquely interesting site..
By Mr Harrison on 29/05/2014
Excellent trip and guide
By Mr Robinson on 29/05/2014
The Amalfi walking trip was spectacular . Our guide was local and knew all the areas we visited inside out. She was on first name terms with people we met along the way and kept holiday hassle free , no queuing or waiting for buses. Italian 3* hotels are of a very high standard , well located and friendly
By Mrs Sherren on 28/05/2014
The unexpected cold,wet.windy weather in Sardinia in mid-May required a change to the advertised programme.We actually had three organised walks instead of five (plus one of our own),but our knowledgeable guide substituted archeological visits instead. A very enjoyable week despite the weather.
By Mr Crozier on 22/05/2014
Excellent holiday which was well designed and lead by a truly exceptional local rep/leader/driver! Travel distances not too great and well driven. The location of the hotels were all excellent and in very pleasant towns and locations. The sightseeing was varied and most interesting as was the walking which was interesting and scenic although somewhat limited due to the time available. The local restaurants were very good and our guide had already discovered some excellent venues for lunch and/ or dinner where she was usually well known. This made a big difference and increased our enjoyment. The group of 6 was ideal and everyone pulled together well with the encouragement and help of the guide.
By Mrs Dodds on 21/05/2014
I enjoyed the variety of this holiday, beautiful walks and interesting cities, but above all, it was our tour leader who made the holiday such a success. She was knowledgable, considerate and fun to be with.
By Mr Hill on 19/05/2014
Sardinia is a very beautiful island with an interesting history and culture. Headwater enabled us to gain a real insight into the island and the holiday took us to some very stunning locations. Our trip was very ably led by Alberto who was one of the best guides we have had, very considerate, knowledgeable and excellent company.
By Ms Philliben on 19/05/2014
Great company to deal with. We were looked after very well indeed!
By Mr Munson on 19/05/2014
Our holiday was both wonderfully active and relaxing. Paola (our guide) was superb throughout facilitating bonding within the group and providing us with a good level of information about the places we visited. Paola ate with us on 6 out of the 7 evenings giving us 24/7 care and attention. The walks took us through dramatic scenery and were pleasantly challenging and yet achievable for our age and physical ability. We enjoyed the friendly family ran 'back street' pizza places and restaurants that we were taken to. Pompeii was of considerable interest and was well explained to us by Paola, although we could have, perhaps, spent slightly longer there than the 2 hours we did, perhaps an hour at the end to wander by ourselves to visit the amphitheatre or the café. Both Ravello and the Garden Hotel were superb.
By Mrs Parsons on 16/05/2014
Had one of the best holidays,but Paola was the icing on the cake.
By Mr Townsley on 16/05/2014
Very well organised, beautiful scenery, good family run hotels wit authentic cuisine.
By Mr Goodchild on 16/05/2014
Great scenery, fantastic local rep, wonderful views of the surrounding landscape and of course food in the lunchtime trattorias. Lots of walking down steps to the coastal towns though!
By Dr Simpson on 14/05/2014
This was an excellent guided holiday which provided good contrast between the two hotels and areas visited. The flowers and birds were excellent too. Our guide, Alberto, who was 'standing in' for the normal guide, Maggie, was outstanding and couldn't have looked after us better. As a local, his knowledge of Sardinia, its customs and culture, together with his botanical meant he was the best Headwater guide we have had.
By Mrs Davies on 14/05/2014
The holiday was excellent. Each days walk was so different from high mountain tracks with stunning views to pleasant pathways banked with wild flowers which meandered down to a river plus the last walk which ended at a lovely white sandy beach. The lunches provided were great - suckling pig cooked over a charcoal fire and local produce including wine at Tiscali. The picnic at Cala Luna was excellent too and all carried by Alberto - no problemo for him!
By Mrs Harris on 14/05/2014
Beautiful scenery, varied walking, wonderful guide!
By Mr Waddell on 26/10/2013
Thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Sardinia, second walking holiday with Headwater. Got a real feel of the countryside and the variety of terrain. So mountainous! Wonderful coastline and coral sands, clear sea water, glorious. Actually swam in late September with 'old wives' fishes nibbling on my legs! Good walking, excellent guiding, not an endurance test, but still challenging. Great views.
By Mrs Scott on 21/10/2013
We had a lovely holiday on the beautiful Amalfi coast. Our guide Paula went out of her way to look after us and help us enjoy our holiday.Good walks. Ravello was a beautiful location and hotel with a newly opened swimming pool. The hotel in Massa Lubrensa was good and had alovely pool. Beautiful viewss over to Capri but very near a busy road with quite a lot of traffic.Thank you.
By Mrs Bailey on 19/10/2013
This was one of the best holidays we have taken with Headwater (this was our 5th). The hotels were both of a good standard which is not always what we have found previously (Jordan, Turkey, some of Croatia in Trogir and Bol). There was a bonus that Ravello hotel had just had a pool installed and this was excellent. The mix of walks / swimming and interest was perfect and the guide particularly helpful.
One issue that was raised by everyone was the number of down steps there were on some of the walks. This was not good and affected the knees of us and many other folk....this should have been mentioned.
By Ms Osborne on 10/10/2013
I loved the holiday. Some elements were to do with the weather and the beautiful location. However, other elements were thanks to Headwater. The guide was excellent and that was very important. I enjoyed the hotels and thought they were very good choices. The Massa Lubrense hotel wasnt as nice as the hotel in Ravello, but having observed the other hotels in the area, i thought it was probably the best available. i have had a quick look at the itineraries offered by other companies for the Sorrento peninsular and Amalfi coastline and didnt think they offered such an attractive itinerary. I was travelling as a single person (and was the only one on the tour) but found that it was very easy to integrate with the others as they were like-minded.
By Mis Low on 21/09/2013
Excellent week, stunning scenery, friendly people. Fantastic local food and drink. Couldn't fault Maggie the guide, terrific. Some really good walks but could have been tested a bit more and walked further on some days. Would travel with Headwater again.
By Mr Ross on 19/09/2013
Very good holiday with interesting and varied walks. The whole experience benefitted from the knowledge, enthusiasm and encouragement of our guide Maggie.
By Mrs Johnson on 18/09/2013
Walks were longer than stated in your brochure, but this was not a problem, Maggie our guide was excellent, very helpful, adaptable to individual needs, she went 'the extra mile' A very interesting and enjoyable week, which not only involved the beautiful walks, but information about local customs, history and plants, trees and the terrain.
By Mrs Gatward on 14/09/2013
I've had 13 Headwater Holidays guided walking holidays now, and they have always been really enjoyable. I like the small hotels and groups of like-minded people, and although I travel alone I am always made to feel welcome. This was no exception, as Ulisse is an excellent and sympathetic guide, and the group of 5 English and 5 Australians was straightaway a 'team' for the week. The walks along the coast are beautiful. My only complaint might have been that the visit to Pompeii was not long enough (but then you really need a whole day), and the weather was too hot!
By Mrs Henton on 13/09/2013
Our guide Ulysis was excellent in every way - cannot recommend him highly enough. It was our first walking holiday and thought we had booked an easy walking one. On checking after we found it was easy/moderate. For all that we managed and as my husband is 74 he found it challenging but so enjoyable. We would use your company again but would only go on guided holidays. One of the ladies in our group had been on 13 Headwater holidays but said the choice of guided holidays was less now.
By Mrs Goodall on 13/09/2013
This was our third walking holiday with Headwater and our first to Italy. Our hotels had fantastic views over the Almalfi Coast line and Capris as well as excellent food. Our guide Ulisse was very knowledgable on the history of the local area and looked after us all very well. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
By Ms Bolter on 04/09/2013
A very varied and interesting holiday, with beautiful scenery, fascinating local towns, good guided walks and plenty of opportunities for shopping, discovering history and looking at Italian architecture. Wide range of places to eat and chances to explore on one's own - if wished.
By Ms Drabble on 04/08/2013
Our guide was fantastic and really made the holiday. Excellent itinerary which managed to cram a huge range of experiences into 10 days. The first walk was rather more challenging than I expected but that was probably partly due to the heat. The accommodation was generally good but the single rooms at La Spezia and Lucca were very small and dark. They would not have represented good value if the single room supplement had been applied to them
By Mis McAfee on 24/07/2013
This holiday is a wonderful blend of the cultural highlights of Tuscany with opportunities to explore the beautiful countryside.
By Ms Butler on 22/06/2013
Unfortunately I'm a single traveller and the rooms were pretty poor, particularly in Florence, relative to the cost of the holiday. I realise that using traditional hotels, which I like, often means that single rooms are disappointing. However I do feel that this should be reflected in the charges applied....after all there is a hefty single supplement to pay.
By Mrs Turner on 24/05/2013
Wonderful location, stunning walks and scenery. Had a great time with others in the group.
Slightly disappointed that guide knew less about the local Flora than we did but she was very knowledgeable about history and architecture.
By Mr Cant on 22/05/2013
A set back because the guide(Maggie) was ill. After initial problems and changes to plans the local reps rallied round and both Robin and Flavio were excellent . I think that the grading of some of the walks was affected by these inevitable changes. ( Flavio was suffering from broken ribs) . It is to your credit that such a difficult situation was got over so well.
I have been helped both at the time and since we got home in trying to retrieve lost glasses
By Mr Fotherby on 21/05/2013
The unavailabilty of Maggie due to illness did cause problems mainly in the area of not communicating with the group exactly what the situation was. On the first night one of the owners of the hotel came up to tell us our guide would not be appearing that evening as expected but would appear next morning. He added not to worry if a guide did not turn up the hotel would arrange something. We sat there a group of largely strangers in a strange place at the beginning of a holiday which may or may not happen as planned - not a good start.
Robin did appear next morning but we got the impression no body knew at that point whether Maggie would appear or not later in the week. When Flavio appeared on the Thursday morning and told us he would be with us for the rest of the holiday we were delighted, he is an exceptional guide.
I have every sympathy for Maggie having a condition that results in sudden devastating episodes and we were sorry we did not meet her having seen many very positive comments in clients reviews. She seems to be the lynch pin of this tour but you do need a firm plan B in place to cover for her unavailability. We had the impression of fingers crossed and hope for the best and fortunately you were lucky.
By Mr Davies on 21/05/2013
Beautiful and varied walks in unspoilt mountain and coastal locations. The guides were very knowledgeable and ensured a group of mixed abilities got the best out of each walk. The hotels offered the best of the two regions - good food and wonderful settings. The staff were were friendly and helpful.
By Mr Wilson on 17/10/2012
Accommodation in mountains was first class in every respect.
Accommodation at seaside was good, but no in the same class as first part of holiday.
The walks were excellent, with Maggie being an outstanding guide and host. The variety of walking was just right for the length of time we were in Sardinia.
The picnic sites were top class, the buffet lunch provided after the river walk could not be bettered. All credit to Maggie and the Hotel employees.
By Mr McKay on 13/09/2012
This trip used two excellent hotels and the walks were varied and interesting.
Maggie, our guide, was experienced, excellent and extremely helpful. She went out of her way to make sure we enjoyed the experience to the full, including giving me one to one help over some of the more difficult parts of the walks. It is always better to be guided by someone who loves the area and during the entire trip, her love and thorough knowledge of the country shone through.
The food exceeded my expectations, particularly in the first hotel. There was so much and all of it exceedingly tasty.
This walking trip is at the top end of two boots in my view
By Mr Sledge on 10/09/2012
We have had quite a number of holidays with Headwater. Most - but not all - have been good, and the two which weren't are thankfully no longer offered.
We had one or two minor grumbles about this holiday - some of the accommodation was a bit poky and we had to live out of suitcases ( I see you carefully didn't ask for a view about the quality of the rooms ) - but generally speaking Headwater is a holiday company which we trust and would recommend.
By Mrs Whybrow on 30/06/2012
Really eEnjoyable variety of walks. Delightful excursions.
By Dr Westwood on 30/06/2012
A most enjoyable holiday, with an experienced guide.We had good food and enjoyed the local wines and the hot sunny weather.
By Mr Dooley on 30/06/2012
Varied mix of sightseeing, locations & walks
By Mr Slater on 23/06/2012
enjoyable great fun loved tuscany.
By Mr Batty on 11/06/2012
A really enjoyable holiday
By Mrs McKinstry on 25/05/2012
interesting, testing, enjoyable
By Mr Brown on 25/05/2012
Very good all round. Maggie, our guide, was excellent.
By Mis Puritz on 12/05/2012
Wonderful weather, scenery, walking and archaeology. But bad flights times meant I was tired for a day or two when I got there, and, after all the walking as well, pretty exhausted when I got home again.
By Mrs Spurry on 12/05/2012
We had a wonderful time, enjoyed the company of the rest of the group, appreciated the knowledge of the guide and loved the environment.
By Mr Baker on 00/00/0000
very good. the hotels were in great locations and very accessible to the city/town we were in.
our guide was excellent. food was good.
the only criticism is - i think you should be more precise about the suitability of the collective ages of the group. we are aged 65 and 66 but we are fit. the others in the group were aged 75 and one over 80. we felt the walking part of the trip was slow and had to cater for the age of the oldest. our guide tried to accommodate everyone and did a good job but we still found it quite hard to achieve a nice pace.