Customer reviews: Independent walking in Italy
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our walking holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their walking holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their walking holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Mr Lomax on 07/12/2016
A wonderful holiday in a beautiful region of Italy. The walks were challenging and the guide notes very occasionally confusing or inaccurate but we got through! The hotel was lovely and very comfortable, the owner Ercole was helpful and kind. Two small gripes! Each night at dinner we were asked if we want mineral water but we were not advised that it cost â‚¬3 a bottle until the end of the holiday. A small thing but it would have been nice to know. Also, the picnic lunch was a little disappointing. I would have expected a small bottle of water and perhaps some chocolate or biscuit but then then breakfast and dinner were extremely substantial.
By Mr Stevenson on 07/12/2016
Varied walking with except for the first morning no need for a lift to the start of the walk although limited opportunities to find drinks or nibbles en route.The final day was longer than we anticipated and we did flag down a passing taxi to take us up the huge hill to Volterra.The hotels varied but with good accommodation, views and the food was generally good. The best meal by far was in the agrotourismo down the road from Hotel Pescille (3 * with no restaurant) which was a real gem as the hotel was a fair walk from San Gimignano and avoided taxis at night.
By Mr Dent on 29/11/2016
Really attractive area,great hotels.We interspersed some extra days for additional relaxation and chance to visit additional restaurants for dinner.Fonti was weakest for dinner but other 3 were all excellent. Terrific wine tasting and dining at San Gimiagno
By Mr Ford on 29/11/2016
We enjoyed this holiday but with the following proviso in comparison with the Footsteps of St Francis Umbria which we did last year there was much more hard surface and road walking particularly on the last day.
Our first and last Hotel San Limo was without doubt the poorest hotel that we have experienced on a Headwater holiday. there was no atmosphere in the restaurant the staff both at dinner and breakfast did not give a friendly or welcoming approach. We actually decided to eat out in Volterra on the final night rather than eat at the hotel. The room we were given 403 was supposed to be a superior room it was the smallest of all the rooms we had and the only thing that could have made superior was that it had a small balcony.
Hotel Relias della Rovere whilst the food was excellent and the room good, the pool and the pool area was very poor, grass uncut and pool a little dated
By Mrs Handley on 29/11/2016
Challenging, enjoyable walking in a scenic setting.Easy access to visit Sienna, Florence and the small historical towns along the way a real bonus.
By Lor Butler on 29/11/2016
Headwater had found an excellent base in a lovely region of Italy and the walks were just right for us
By Mrs Greenland on 29/11/2016
I found the walking varied and challenging at times but the outstanding scenery and peace and location of hotels made the effort worth while. An unforgettable experience.
By Mr Graham on 29/11/2016
Great hotels, exquisite dinners, well-described walks
By Mr Chesters on 11/11/2016
Fantastic holiday. Walking and talking with friends in spectacular scenery is a truly great experience. The whole trip was seamlessly organised and and executed by Nicola and his local team.
By Mr Tobbell on 11/11/2016
Very good indeed and very well organised but as we're we're the last week of the season many restaurants and bars were shut particularly on marritimo- I think we should have been told about this. Other than that an excellent holiday.
By Mrs Timbrell on 11/11/2016
Accommodation varied.... food in restaurant in Scopello great. Food at La Luna great.
As was very end of the season nothing was open on Marretimo. There were 2 restaurants which only sold fish so not much choice.
Walks were fantastic. Apartment basic but functional...good breakfasts.
The 2 taxi drivers were first rate, very good English, helpful and informative.
By Mr MacKrill on 11/11/2016
Beautiful countryside and villages with fantastic unspoilt views, fabulous hotels and food. Plus being very well looked after by excellent Headwater staff.
By Mr Glass on 09/11/2016
The key to this successful holiday was the welcome and hospitality and helfulness of staff at Acquaviva. And the fact that we were travelling with two other couples and good friends. So planning each day and experimenting with walks and different trip was great fun.
By Mrs McKenzie on 08/11/2016
thoroughly enjoyed the walking-especially when following the river. Accomodation comfortable and staff in the hotels welcoming and friendly. We had really personable and informative couriers able to supply us with local information on the areas-they went the extra mile!
By Mrs Garnett on 02/11/2016
A good week in the north-west corner of Sicily. The holiday cleverly combined walking (and swimming) in the Zingaro nature reserve and on the island of Marettimo with visits to the archaeological site at Segesta and the hill-top town of Erice. Transfers for our group of six were provided by our helpful and informative taxi driver, who made sure that we enjoyed our visit to the area.
By Ms Elliott on 31/10/2016
This was a really terrific week. We were lucky in that the weather was absolutely perfect - no rain (until we were on the plane out!), 25C days, constant sunshine. The base, Villa Acquaviva, is just beautiful, surrounded by its own vineyards and a fine garden dotted with fruit trees. Our room was in the villa, was spacious enough and had a nice view back towards Montemerano. The food was outstanding. At dinner there's a wide choice for you three courses and we tried most of the options. The food is mostly locally sourced, really fresh and the cooking is first rate. They only sell the wines they themselves make, but they too were very good. Breakfast was also excellent, though you won't find a full English on offer. The staff were charming and helpful, and very quick to sort out a couple of minor glitches (safe batteries, hot water, wifi)
The walking was nicely varied, with plenty of options. There's a bit more on offer than you can easily cover in a week, and we didn't get to the Maremma walk.
The others ranged from fairly short and easy (Vitozza and Vulci) to fairly strenuous (Sorano, Argentaria). Argentaria in particular was, as advertised, quite a big hike. The notes were highly reliable, and there's quite a lot of Etruscan history as a bonus. There's a certain amount of driving involved, some of it on winding roads, but the scenery is lovely, and we didn't find it too onerous.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
By Dr Garwood on 31/10/2016
Very enjoyable holiday in a lovely part of Sicily. Perhaps we should have gone in April/May rather than October to see the wild flowers particularly the orchids on Marettimo. Several days were rather hot for the walking! Not such a variety of bird life as expected but there were a very large numberof robins on Mareettimo - not sure why! Good hotels and, in particular, Daniela was very welcoming and looked after us well, with good food, at the Baglio La Luna. Flights via Rome meant leaving at 3am on the way out and 4am on the way back. Good service from the local reps and Niccolo was a very careful and attentive driver who gave us good advice and made sure we had the right instructions and departure gate for the hydrofoil to Marettimo.
By Mr Higginson on 31/10/2016
Great to see a less explored side of Sicily.
By Mrs Sillett on 31/10/2016
A holiday that we enjoyed so much in 2013 that we went again this year!
Walks are not too challenging and provide beautiful views of Tuscany. Be aware that generally the hardest walking is the final ascent to your destination so reserve some energy and water.
A trip to Florence or Siena is really easy from Colle Val D'Elsa by bus and the location of the hotel in San Gimignano is perfect for dipping in and out of the crowds during the day
By Ms Rodgers on 31/10/2016
This was a great way to explore the Euganean Hills , we travelled in late September and the weather was perfect for walking. The holiday is a great combination of walking and rest days and our rep ,Sarah, had plenty of good advice on what to see and do.
By Mrs Ruthen on 25/10/2016
Nothing to worry about, great accommodation in wonderful locations,excellent walks
By Mr Peat on 14/10/2016
Good value for money. Lovely walking. Beautiful island.
By Mrs Cook on 14/10/2016
We really enjoyed the holiday, the scenery was amazing. Our hotel the Bellevue was comfortablle and clean, the staff friendly and helpful but not a lot to do on an evening, we sought out a couple of places in the town towards the end of the week but as we were on holiday right at the end of the season it was very quiet. The menu choice didn't have a great deal of variety/choice and did forgo the evening meal on some nights or went out beforehand as we has walked all day and we're quite hungry! (We are slightly buillt but did feel on some nights that we were stilll hungry).
The spa in the hotel was lovely and we did use the pool and steam rooms but only on one evening when we returned early enough to use the facilities before dinner.
The walking guides and maps were very helpful an on the whole accurate, some of the gradings for the difficulty of the walkes were not accurate some walkes described as Two boots had long or steep inclines and descents on rough ground and I did feel a little mis guided on one or two occasions but the views from the top soon made you forget asbout the effort it had taken.
The arrangements made at our request worked really well and the flights and transfers were efficient and convenient.
A lovely holiday just a little too quiet on an evening.
By Mrs Bali on 13/10/2016
This was our second time with Headwater. We really enjoyed our holiday. The walks were well chosen and so were the towns where we stayed. The Amalfi coast is stunningly beautuful. Some of the popular walks can get a bit busy - there seemed to be a lot of Americans everywhere. We stayed in 4 different hotels and they were all different in character. The highlight was La Conca del Sogno, a family run hotel in a cove with a beach. Would certainly recommend this holiday.
By Ms Small on 13/10/2016
Our holiday experience was fantastic! We loved walking in the mountains and hearing the sound of cow bells everywhere we went. It was easy to get around on the buses and trains, and the mountain trails were varied and interesting. The lakes were a beautiful colour, and the scenery was stunning wherever we went. The food in the hotel was outstanding, with a 5 course dinner offered on each night of our stay. The hotel's spa facilities were also excellent. I had anticipated a busy hotel with lots of Headwater customers, but apart from me and my friend there were only a few other hotel guests. This meant that the dining room was very quiet and lacked a bit of atmosphere, but the staff were very attentive and looked after us really well. I would definitely recommend the Dolomites to anyone who loves to walk amongst stunning scenery. The most popular trails are obviously busy with other visitors, but it is easy to find quiet routes and paths as there are so many walks to choose from.
By Mr Kennedy on 13/10/2016
The scenery at the destination was absolutely spectacular and will remain in our minds for a very long time - starting with the view from our hotel room!
An absolute must holiday for anyone who likes to have just the right amount of exhaustion, excitement and adrenalin in one day, with the facilities to relax and recoup overnight at the hotel, ready to do it all again the next day!
Being provided with maps and suggested walks before our holiday started meant we made the very best use of our time. Definitely had a WOW factor holiday
By Mr Mathieson on 04/10/2016
Very enjoyable holiday overall, staying in good quality hotels. We did find some of the walking a bit more challenging than we had anticipated. It rained on the day we did the Path of the Gods which made it slippery and therefore extra care needed to be taken. We were warned about the 1,000 plus steps down to Positano but maybe more warning about the descent to Marina del Cantone would be helpful for future walkers.
The guidance notes were very accurate on the whole with one or two minor errors. We didn't get lost.
The taxi drivers were all very pleasant and punctual and we had no problems. Our only criticism is that we were not contacted by a local rep. at all. This may have been because we were slightly delayed on arrival ( only half an hour). We also had to confirm our final taxi pick-up ourselves (via the hotel) as this hadn't been communicated to us in advance- a slight worry on the day before we were leaving.
By Ms Evans on 04/10/2016
Tuscany for connessesours puts us in the heart of the southern Tuscany countryside and the family-run, well-appointed hotel (excellent service and food) was set amongst sweeping vineyards and cornfields. The walking notes provided never let us down and afforded the best views and experiences of the area.
By Mr Bayliss on 04/10/2016
On arriving in our first hotel in Spello the views from our bedroom window took our breathe away. The whole Holiday was full of wonderful views, great food,and lovely accommodation. This alongside some challenging walks which made us feel alive and happy to be in such an unspoilt place like Umbria. Definitely recommend this walking holiday in the Footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi.
By Mrs Chapman on 04/10/2016
A guided trip with only 4 people could be difficult if the travellers didn't get on. The ferry/sea transfers were difficult as there were fewer than in the summer timetable which meant we had to waste holiday time waiting around. The main guide wasn't allowed to show us round towns and we could have had another local guide in each town to make the experience more reliable. Stromboli climb was done by the other couple who found the downhill really tough. They took 6.5 hours which was more than advertised. We opted for a boat trip to see the volcanic display This could be advertised a an option in the brochure.
The holiday was enjoyable, weather not always fine and sunny as expected. Etna in September apparently is often unsafe to walk to the top. We got up 3000m. Walk to the top of Vulcano ggod, Genny an excellent Geological guide.
By Mr Hodgetts on 23/09/2016
The walks were well described and excellently waymarked, though we thought that certain sections were 2 boot+ especially with high humidity in hot weather. This is true of the continuous climb out of Spello on the high level route to Assisi, and the ascent to the Rifugio on the last day,which is ludicrously timed in the walk notes at 45 minutes. The CAI estimate is 70 and we did it in 80.
The accommodation in Assisi is out of town but this allows for a truly super pool. Sadly the Tavola may not survive as the need for small investment was clear but not forthcoming. Victor and Filippo are lovely and super helpful but 3 power cuts in one day could have been avoided by investing in a small back-up generator. Also there are only the two of them - we heard that the day we left Filippo was stung on the mouth by a hornet - which meant no chef. It is worth noting also that without a car you are stuck at La Tavola with nothing to do if it rains - and boy can it rain!
La Bastiglia and Le Silve are great, the latter is out of this world for views and food.
We would seriously recommend an extra day at the start of the holiday to acclimatise and also to spend a day in Spello which is spectacularly beautiful and otherwise largely missed on the normal schedule.
We fell in love with Umbria, which is Italy as you really don't expect - green, lush and verdant. The craft beers are superb - who knew the Italians were so into it. One range called Monasterio di San Biagio is brewed by the Agriturismo which runs La Tavola. Finally the Umbrian people were friendly, helpful and endlessly welcoming.
By Mrs Liebster on 21/09/2016
While this walk was quite challenging in places, partly because of the high temperatures in early September, it was thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying. It was very well planned and the gastronomic aspects were excellent and exceeded our expectations. This is a much under-rated part of Italy and very well worth exploring. The views, the wine and the food are outstanding.
By Mis Horkan on 21/09/2016
Beautiful verdant area to walk in. Fantastic views. Lots of options for rest days.
By Mrs Mercer on 30/08/2016
Amazing food, a warm welcome and wonderful hill top towns and rolling scenery worthy of an Unesco designation.
By Mr Andrews on 23/08/2016
This was our second holiday with Headwater. The first was a group walk about 7 years ago in Tuscany which was outstanding. The hotels, the reps and the food were just as good this time, but the walking was disappointing. The walks were very isolated and much of the time either through boring woodland which all looks the same or vineyards, which also all look the same. I am a teacher and therefore have to holiday during School holidays. Unfortunately we could not find group walks to suit during this period.
One complaint is that in all the hotels we stayed at we were allocated the worst rooms in the hotel by any standards. In Villa Beccaris, for example, we were the nearest room to the tradesmen's entrance. At Hotel Le Torri there was no air conditioning so needed windows open all night. We were given a room facing the street and were woken up very early by traffic noise. No balcony either.
By Mrs Anderson on 23/08/2016
We had a very good relaxed holiday, with Sarah giving alternative choices and lifts on days that were too hot to walk the whole distance
Sarah is an exceptionally good rep
By Ms Pilgrim on 17/08/2016
We felt the weather played an important part in the conditions we experienced which made the walks more challenging. It is a beautiful area and the second half of the holiday was particularly beautiful and quite isolated. This holiday offers a mixed experience of history, nature and good food and wine. Any problems we encountered were minor and I felt that St Francis must have been a tough guy with his Forbes and sandals!
By Mr Dudley on 17/08/2016
Generally, very enjoyable - superb part of the world to explore; ideal time of year (our trip was not peak season); great to burn some calories during the day, then enjoy some fine food and drink in the evening; good mix of like-minded people.
By Mrs McDonough on 16/08/2016
Well organised and great routes. Accommodation usually gives more of a local flavour than big anonymous chains.
By Mrs Maddison on 16/08/2016
we were disappointed, Some of the walking was below expectations, there seemed to be a lack of continuity and some of the food left much to be desired. The catalogue entry was a bit ambiguous.
By Mrs Walker on 16/08/2016
The scenery was quite spectacular. The footpaths were quiet and on most days we did not see a sole whilst walking. I was disappointed not to see more villages, We did walk from Marradi but the start of the walk was on the outskirts so we were unable to have a walk around the town. Our guild did arrange for us to visit Ravenna on the Wednesday by bus and train, we enjoyed the visit and were happy to have a break from the walks for a day. The hotel was good, our bedroom had just been decorated and refurbished. Ercole and Roberta were very friendly and went out of their way for us. Ercole invited me into the kitchen to watch him and his chef cook, which was a lovely extra touch. James the Guide lived close to the hotel so we saw him everyday.
By Dr Scally on 16/08/2016
The walking was varied and interesting. The stretch along the river d'Elsa on the way to Colle di Val d'Elsa was the most interesting. Some of the hotels are quite busy with tour groups. The hotels also vary markedly. Hotel Terre di Casole was easily the best, particularly for service. One minot point however was that the room we were allocated the room (204), despite plenty of empty rooms alongside it that were a bit bigger. The reception staff and the main waitress in the restaurant were fantastic and we particularly appreciated that there were plenty of special options offered to us in the restaurant that were not on the menu but were suitable for vegetarians. The poorest hotel was Relais della Rovere. Reception staff were uninterested and the restaurant (not run by the hotel) was poor for vegetarians. The pool at Relais Santa Chiara was hopeless for swimming. San Gimignano was very touristic and not very pleasant. On the other hand, Volterra was very interesting and worth more time that it was allocated as a start/finish point.
By Mr Robson on 16/08/2016
Superb holiday that we thoroughly enjoyed! It rained quite a bit - but don't let that put you off. The scenery is marvellous; out of this world in some places - especially the Dolomites with their marvellously jagged mountains and stunning turquoise lakes. The Drei Zimmen/Tre Cime trail is magnificent and certainly worth saving to last! The hotel accommodation was truly superb with a leisurely 5-course meal routinely included. Too good for us, I have to say! Not many British families in this area. Keep it quiet... do they know what they are missing?
By Mr Wark on 16/08/2016
Dobbiaco was a super location as a base for walking. The walks were well detailed and accurate and the views during the walks were quite stunning.
By Mr Pearce on 25/07/2016
A marvellous combination of: exercise and relaxation in wonderful locations, staying in top hotels with everything superbly organised.
By Mrs Shilton on 25/07/2016
It is worth it! Take up all the advice provided by your reps and live a little!
By Mr Smith on 20/07/2016
Stunning countryside and food. Best reps we've ever had.
By Mrs Walker on 15/07/2016
Headwater take all the uncertainty out of your holiday: you know the hotels are going to be excellent in every respect, you know you are going to get picked up at the right time, you know the walks are going to be through beautiful countryside. Everything runs smoothly and efficiently. We find the balance between a walking day and a rest day just perfect. This was our eighth holiday with Headwater and we are already talking about next year's.
By Mr Fairweather on 15/07/2016
Wonderful high level walking with dramatic views and an amazing variety of wild flowers during the day, and a very comfortable hotel with superb food in the evening.
By Mr Moyes on 13/07/2016
If you want a very fine single-centre walking holiday in stunning mountain scenery then Headwater's Dolomites experience in the Southern Tyrol is perfect: varied, stimulating, hard work and very satisfying. As well as the glory of the mountains, the flower-strewn alpine pastures are a botanist's heaven.
By Mr Cooper on 06/07/2016
A lovely green area, with super footpaths and great views within natural unspoilt countryside
By Mr Foster on 06/07/2016
The walk notes were very good, although some local information with them would have improved the experience. There was 1 mistake we found for the Strudelkopf walk where after leaving the Hotel Hohe Gaisl you reach a stream '...after just 350m' should read '...after just 35m'. This caused confusion as the official path has been diverted - correct per the notes (but the old one/route being shown on the map) and the old one/junction is 350m from this point!!
By Mr Morrison on 16/06/2016
A perfect way to enjoy the splendours of the Amalfi Coast from a perspective impossible for holidaymakers tied to the roads. The routes were planned so that each day's walking was different - from rugged cliff paths and breathtaking coastal scenery to peaceful lemon and olive groves and friendly villages. While this holiday does not have the same amount of walking we have had previously, we welcomed the days off as an opportunity to catch the ferry over to Capri and visit Pompeii and Herculaneum. All our 'standard' rooms at Amalfi, Positano and Marina del Cantone had wonderful sea views. We upgraded to be sure of a sea view in Sorrento and were booked in to the fabulous Belair Hotel - would really recommend this - and indeed the whole holiday.
By Mr Clarke on 16/06/2016
Luke & Eleanor the reps couldn't have been more helpful and made the holiday a special experience. Taking the extra days to allow for visits to Sienna and Florence added an extra dimension to the holiday and would thoroughly recommend doing this as an addition to visiting the hilltop towns.
By Mr Loaring on 14/06/2016
A wonderful holiday with excellent walks in beautiful countryside; staying in comfortable, well appointed hotels, which for us were marred by the fact that very few concessions were made to guests who did not eat meat, and therefore we did not eat very well throughout the week except on the evenings when we had to eat out at restaurants of our own choice (when we were very well catered for). However, one of the most attractive aspects of a Headwater holiday is to be accommodated in a comfortable hotel offering good cuisine at the end of a day's walking, and not having to go out again searching around for somewhere attractive to eat.
By Mr Duggleby on 14/06/2016
Another excellent self-guided walking holiday from Headwater. Everything was up to the very high standards we expect from them. The entire 8-day holiday was a delight including the visits we chose (Padova, Monselice) on our days off. We chose to walk the suggested options for our last day off. The weather was poor but we had a fabulous 'extra' day of walking.
This area of the Vento is so beautiful and the walking around the Euganean Hills was terrific. Sarah our lovely rep was superb. Thank you Headwater.
By Mrs Keeley on 13/06/2016
Very enjoyable week in a lovely part of Italy. We found the walks varied and interesting, though more challenging overall than the 2 boot rating - particularly the first and last day's walking, which involved some long and fairly steep ascents and some difficult descents (not just because of the rain - a lot of sustained scrabbling down loose chippings which was very tough on the knees). The walking instructions were overall accurate and easy to follow, though part of one route - from Assissa - was closed, and obviously had been for some time (we were not told about this before setting off) and on the final day at several points on the walk to Spello we got briefly lost due to the lack of clarity in the instructions. The hotels varied - Le Silve was oustanding in terms of location, accomodation, food and service, with La Tavola not far behind. Le Terazza is a bit far out of town - we would have liked to have stayed in Assissi - but we found the restaurant, food and service there fine. The food (particularly for vegetarians) and service at La Bastiglia was poor - fortunately when we returned to spend an extra night in Spello the restaurant was closed so were were booked into another much better restaurant - 'The Wine Drinker'. Late May is a good time to walk in Umbria, lots of wild flowers and new growth and not too hot.
By Mrs Butterworth on 13/06/2016
The walks are strenuus enough that we felt a glow of achievement on finishing each one, but not so difficult that we sruggled as occasional hikers. The mix of agriculture and woodland walking surrounded by birdsong is wonderful.
Adding an extra 3 nights in Venice staying at the Hotel Kette made the whole holiday one to remember for many years.
By Mrs Greenbank on 07/06/2016
We had tried to book this particular holiday in previous years but the dates didn't work out. It was well worth the wait as it has to be one of our best Headwater holidays - and we've had quite a few. Piedmont is a wonderful place to visit, the walking was as expected - it's a hilly place! The hotels were all good and all had their own special elements. We enjoyed eating in different places each night- and what an excellent standard of food was on offer.
By Mrs Randall on 07/06/2016
Overall very good - excellent walks with very often a choice to extend or reduce length/difficulty. We found most of the walks easier than we expected but maybe that is our own walking experience here in the UK (Dartmoor)
Accommodation good although the beds were cold and seemed damp at our last stop - maybe a problem with being at the beginning of the season while temperatures were still low.
Out taxi driver was excellent, courteous, helpful and always on time.
By Mrs Officer on 07/06/2016
Excellent holiday all round. Information provided in the brochure was accurate. Headwater team very helpful and efficient in booking and administering the holiday.
By Mr Hewson on 06/06/2016
What a great way to see the Amalfi/Sorrento peninsula. The walks take you through stunning scenery away from the roads - areas that you would definitely not see from a car or a bus. The Walk along the Path of the Gods is breath taking. You also get the opportunity to see a wonderful array of colourful wild flowers. Don't miss Ravello and the two villas with their stunning gardens. The walk back to Amalfi from Ravello is very interesting for its industrial archaeology.
The Capodimonte and Luna Convento Hotels were particularly luxurious and we had great sea views. The food in both was very good with plenty of choices.
We had booked 2 extra nights in the Capodimonte and were told before leaving the UK that we had half board on one of the nights so we were delighted to find that in fact the price we had paid included dinner on all four nights.
Pompei and Heraculeum are very interesting and a must. If you are going to see them by train from Sorrento, it is a good idea to go early afternoon rather than morning as the trains and the sites are less busy then.
Headwater take note:that we did see a snake crossing the path before Massa Lubrense. My husband said it was only about 2 feet long but I think it was more like 6 feet!! It was jet black. The internet says that this type is completely harmless and in fact is a good garden aid as they eat pests.
If visiting Massa Lubrense on your way to Sorrento, it is worth walking right down from the main square to the terrace overlooking the sea and going down the steps to the restaurant 'Il Cantuccio'. It serves great food in a shaded terrace adorned with colourful flowers and with wonderful views of the sea and Capri.
All in all - what a great holiday!
Janet Hewson 31 May 2016
By Mrs Morgan on 06/06/2016
Southern Tuscany is beautiful and the food fabulous. Villa Acquaviva is a beautiful place to stay with much of its produce organically home grown.
By Mr Boyce on 06/06/2016
Great holiday with truly excellent food and accommodation! You really should take the detour to Novello Junction on day 6.
By Ms Poole on 06/06/2016
It was great to have such a complete break and while we didn't it the support available from the rep it was reassuring to know that assistance was only a call away. We particularly enjoyed moving on from town to town and having the rest day in between walkis created a great deal of variety as we got to see other towns. We particularly liked Villa Lussana and the food was really good there - it was also the first walk we didn't get lost on so there was a great sense of achievement in arriving there!
By Mr Christy on 03/06/2016
Splendid trip - delightful area, some very well-selected places to stay and eat and excellent logistics from our two guides, who were great fun to be with. This holiday really delivered what was promised on the website and is a great way to explore the area.
By Ms Lewis on 03/06/2016
A really interesting week in beautiful locations. On the walks we enjoyed the wonderful wildflowers, birds and butterflies and beautiful coastal views. We much appreciated the visits that had been arranged to Segesta and Erice - full of interest. Nicola, our taxi driver, was really excellent - friendly, offering information and always on time and very well organised. The walking was great, well off the beaten track but on reasonable footpaths - all in all, a very good week.
By Mr Floyd on 11/05/2016
VERY well organised. HIGHLY efficient. Excellent hotels. Hard to beat
By Mr Allan on 06/05/2016
Hotels selected were superb (a higher standard than we would normally select for ourselves - that is one of the real pleasures of travelling with Headwater). Pick ups and tranfers were seamless and enjoyable - it was a delight to hear the drivers laugh! Food through out was excellent. Check out board arrangements - Grand Hotel Capodimonte actually provided half board for the duration of the stay (and not just the first night!) and this included a free salad buffet every evenning. Towards the end of the first day walk from Ravello to Amalfi (after the ruined foundry) there is a restored warehouse called Agricola Fore Porte converted to a restaurant/cafe where you can drink fresh lemon juice - a delightful family run business witha multi lingual daughter. Well done Headwater another excellent holiday!
By Mis Brooks on 03/05/2016
It was really great because we made it so. Headwater played very little part. The last walk was inadequately replaced with no warning or alternative. The second hotel was silly. You did not get a proper breakfast you had to pay extra. It was not to the standard of the other hotels was a strange choice. At the 3rd hotel there was nothing to do. We could not walk due to the weather. So this too was a strange choice. There were no reps what so ever. It did seem very expensive for what was provided. The taxi company used was excellent we were lucky to have the same driver 3 times. He really was wonderful with lots of recommendations for us. His name was neillo please pass on our regards.
By Mrs Dean on 29/04/2016
An excellent holiday if you are interested in spring flowers and migrant birds. The island of Marettimo was the highlight as was the stay in the tranquil and delightful Baglio La Luna. Our Taxi driver was particularly helpful,flexible, informative and friendly, and always came on time. The flight times could have been better - we had a 4 hour wait in Rome. However I think this could not be avoided. Our highlight was 3 new orchids we had not come across before. All the walks took us much longer than the notes indicated as we spent so much time looking at the amazing flora or this lovely island.
By Mr Jones on 26/04/2016
Great holiday if you like volcanos
By Mr Saunders on 25/04/2016
We very much enjoyed our holiday. The walking part was not as good as many we've experienced with other companies. This was partly because of its discontinuous nature - walking the Vermillion Coast with Sherpa gave us a full, continuous walk from the start in Colliure to the end at Cadaques. And apart from the 'Path of the Gods' and the walk from Ravello through the valley with the old iron works and paper mills, it was, in parts fairly mundane, particularly the last section to Sorrento. Our extension enabled us to see Herculaneum and Pompeii, and climb to the top of Vesuvius. We also took trips to Capri and to Napoli. So, all-in-all, the holiday was a great success. However, we would have been prepared to pay more for something that was slightly more interesting - better walks and better hotels. Having said that, the Luna Conventa was magnificent! Although the Capodimonte was very good in most areas, many English people we spoke to thought the quality of the dinner very disappointing.
By Mrs Smith on 25/04/2016
If you go to Sicily with Headwater
You will find they have done all they oughter
You can swim, you can walk
You can eat or just talk
Your holiday will be just what you boughter.
By Mr Poole on 04/12/2015
Hidden Tuscany is in an interesting, quiet area. It is necessary to travel significant distances to get the best out of the holiday and the area, as is probably true of Western Europe in general, will be at its best in Spring/Early Summer.
By Ms Spencer on 06/11/2015
we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves though the level of the first walk (the longer route) seemed to be harder tan 2 boots especially given the temperature. In view of the steep ascents/descents on parts of this walk it might be helpful to suggest sticks as essential.
We spent 4 nights in total at the hotel in Spello and for 2 of those nights we were unhappy with one of the beds which was a sofa bed and not really suitable for an adult. We were very tired on our first night so put up with it but when we asked for this to be changed on our return there were no staff able to change the bedding until the following day. This wasn't satisfactory. Two of the nights we spent at this hotel were on wednesdays which meant we ate at a different restaurant; this may have been just as well as the menu(which was short) didn't alter on the 2 nights we ate there.
By Mr Horsfall on 02/11/2015
We thought this was upper two boot level, but very enjoyable walking
By Mrs Shore on 31/10/2015
A really good trip.With a good blend of self directed walks and guided up Stromboli and Etna.
By Mrs Jones on 27/10/2015
Can't speak too highly of Sarah - Headwater is fortunate to have someone with such high standards, thoughtfulness and warm personality.. She was very attentive and concerned about a couple on the cycling holiday,one of whom had sustained an eye injury while cycling.
Villa Lusanna was particularly good in terms of welcome, food and friendliness.
Some years ago we did the walking in the Loire valley holiday. The standard of food, accomodation and route notes were much better in the Venetian Hills holiday. .
By Mrs Beddow on 26/10/2015
The travel arrangements were good. The information supplied for the walks and local places of interest was very good. The directions to the hotel were clear.
The hotel was in a lovely location and it was family run. It was very clean. There was no bar and no refreshment facilities in the form of a bar or restaurant available during the day, but if asked for specific items, staff would provide drinks and snacks and it was possible for guests to make their own hot drinks at any time.
The dinner menu was varied and the standard of food in the restaurant in the evening was excellent.
By Mrs Griffiths-pear on 21/10/2015
A good holiday with great scenery and enjoyable walks. A notable absence of birds in the Zingaro Nature Reserve (October) but the vegetation was still very green, despite the heat .
By Mr Tonner on 20/10/2015
Transfers were seamless - friendly drivers and always on time. Good variety of locations and hotels. We feel that we saw most of the Amalfi and Sorrentine peninsular because of the walks organised for us. And probably saw a lot of places normally not seen. We were a little disappointed that we were the only Headwater clients that week but it was apparently at the end of the holiday season. The weather although warm was unpredictable at times and we had one very wet day on which we had to abandon our walk halfway and catch a bus to our next hotel. The food arranged was varied and delicious. Sorrento was an ideal base from which to visit Capri and explore the historical sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum amongst others. We had an and extra couple of days at the Grand Capidimonte hotel which was in a good location to walk down to Sorrento and was the perfect place to end our holiday, it was excellent in every respect.
By Mrs Steggles on 20/10/2015
Overall we enjoyed our holiday - it was an extremely peaceful location and the service at the hotel was always excellent and friendly. We have a few suggestions for improvements, mostly on the food side. Breakfasts were a bit disappointing - few healthy options available and limited choice. The evening meals in the restaurant were of a high standard and again the service was excellent. The only slight downside from our perspective was that we thought there might have been a different fixed (market) menu every day instead of a standard restaurant menu which offered only limited daily specials (and not every day). Over the course of a week we found ourselves struggling for choice a bit and often had to repeat meals or ask the chef to omit certain ingredients (which they were happy to accommodate) to find something we liked. This is really only an issue if you are staying for a longer period or are less fond of a what was a predominantly meat-based menu.
I would also highly recommend upgrading the hire car as we had a very basic Fiat Panda with an underpowered engine which struggled on the numerous hills and hairpin bends - definitely worth considering an upgrade.
By Mrs Moseley on 20/10/2015
Lovely area, very peaceful with enjoyable walking. Great to visit Padua on our rest day. Added on a day and night in Venice at the end of the holiday which would highly recommend.
By Ms Olson-williams on 16/10/2015
By Mr Sanderson on 16/10/2015
Most enjoyable holiday which was well organised. Hotels were just right for our requirements. Our minibus driver Nicola was superb - always on time and nothing was too much trouble.
Temperatures up to 39 degrees were a bit of a shock in mid September which meant some of the walks were very testing when there was a lack of shade.
By Ms Melliship on 12/10/2015
Our holiday was the perfect combination of supported and independent: you do have to be prepared to sort out a lot of things for yourself, which we really like. Yet, Sarah was always available if we needed help. The itinerary was thoughtful and had great variety every day. We got a lot of satisfaction from completing all the suggested walks. Our rest days were extremely busy days as there is lots to do in the region - we enjoyed the chance to have these days to explore and do something different.
By Mrs Williams on 08/10/2015
We had a wonderful stay in Hotel Acquaviva. The location is beautiful and the hotel is within reasonable walking distance of the nearest village, Montemerano, as well as the thermal springs and village at Saturnia. There are many other ancient villages and historical sites within 1 to 1.5 hours drive, along winding but un-busy roads. The coast is well worth a visit, as is the truly beautiful city of Orvieto. Our holiday was a wonderful introduction to the beauty of Southern Tuscany.
By Mr Clark on 08/10/2015
We greatly enjoyed our holiday and got to experience a wonderful part of Sicily, including the beautiful Marettimo Island. The only problem we encountered was that for the first 4 days there was a strong Sirocco wind which meant that the Zingaro reserve was closed, so that we couldn't do the suggested walk on our first day. It would have been nice to have had an alternative offered to us either by your local agent or the hotel. We were also worried what would happen if the ferry back from Marettimo was cancelled (we weren't given any info on this, yet it seems to be a common occurrence) - but in the event this wasn't needed.
By Mr Creswell on 30/09/2015
Wonderful scenery, good friendly hotels, tough walks but worth it! Mosquitoes, especially the new 'tiger mosquitoes' are a real problem it would seem even in September so take lots of insect repellent and a spray to do your room before bedtime. I covered my legs and sprayed my arms for walking when I realised this and that did the trick!
By Mrs Dimond on 30/09/2015
A wonderful opportunity to have a 'safe adventure!'. Euganian Hills are a beautiful, unspoilt area to explore, the vineyards and olive groves were a delight, and the views amazing.
By Mrs Potts on 29/09/2015
Excellent walking , wonderful food and welcoming host
By Mrs Houghton on 29/09/2015
Very well organised from start to finish
By Mr King on 29/09/2015
Very good well balanced trip
By Mr Walker on 29/09/2015
Superb - staff & food at Hotel unsurpassable. Italian Maps not up to OS Standard (no surprise there!). You should have noted the new (2014) skilift available to take walkers down from Klammbachhutte (or a 20 min walk from Klammbachhutte) saving 4km of descent out of 5.6km.
Mountain Hut food was way higher in standard than we expected
By Dr Emerson on 29/09/2015
Headwater Holidays always provide excellent care and services, and value for money vacaions is well chosen resorts and hotels. The only thing left to chance is the weather.
By Mr Murison on 25/09/2015
The undiscovered Tuscany walks were very enjoyable and the Locanda Senio in Palazzuolo was superb with a wonderful atmosphere created by Ercole and superb food created by Roberta. We'd love to return!
By Mr Bowie on 25/09/2015
Excellent with wide range of walks accurately described and graded. Very good hotel with delicious food and very helpful staff.
By Mr Black on 24/09/2015
well organised travel. route descriptions were accurate and easy to follow. beautiful scenery and well away from the crowds
By Mr Masters on 22/09/2015
Beautiful area with well chosen hotels that have excellent cuisine and wines. The Italian signposting system for footpaths is not consistently good, so walkers need to be alert.
By Mr Banham on 22/09/2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, albeit the weather was a little disappointing. The accommodation was excellent, and the food outstanding. We did not feel that the walking route instructions were as clear or as accurate as those on our 2 previous holidays with Headwater, but no harm done! Would definitely recommend to like minded friends.
By Mrs Tremayne-smith on 22/09/2015
It was the first time for us with Headwater so we were slightly apprehensive but everything was excellent but mostly the choice of hotel. We are now looking forward to our next Headwater holiday to Gozo which is already booked.
By Mr Unsworth on 21/09/2015
A good holiday we both enjoyed. The hotels were in great locations, most with fantastic balcony views. Transfer between hotels was prompt in clean modern vehicles. The walks came with good route plans, occasional misleading directions, but no great dramas. Went through some fantastic small villages and great views, especially the walk of the gods.
By Mr McGregor on 21/09/2015
Beautiful area but let down by inattention to detail.
Disappointing largely for small but cumulative reasons.
By Mr Fisher on 21/09/2015
You enabled us to visit a part of Sicily we could not have done on our own. The area was beautiful, the walks good and we enjoyed the company of fellow travellers. Thank you
By Mr Harrison on 21/09/2015
Undiscovered Tuscany, was as it says, undiscovered and unspoilt. The walks each day showed a different aspect of the local hills and valleys of this region. The food and wine were unbeatable. The hospitality of the hotelier Ercole and staff was excellent.
By Mr Lawrence on 18/09/2015
Relaxing yet active walking holiday - lovely locations and good back up if needed
By Mrs Price on 18/09/2015
This was one of our very best Headwater holidays. We liked the mix of walks and sight-seeing. We felt very well looked after.
By Mrs Beard on 18/09/2015
Excellent experience - very well organised and delivered. All the walking notes were accurate and easy to follow. The hotel is ideally located to access a wide range of excellent and beautiful walks
By Mr Howell on 16/09/2015
Perfect holiday. Beautiful countryside, great walks and the pools at the end of every walk were a real treat. Also there was the perfect mix of culture and countryside.
All the hotels were very good, the walks varied. Headwater holidays take the stress out of the holiday, once you have booked, all you need to do is turn up,
relax and enjoy.
We wanted to attend our son's wedding at the beginning of our holiday, in the area, and Headwater made it possible to combine the wedding, the walking and some extra nights in Pisa!
The staff at the office give you an excellent service!
By Mis Davis on 15/09/2015
Brilliant all we wanted
By Mrs Harris on 15/09/2015
We usually travel independently but found that Headwater offered a hotel package more cheaply than we could buy ourselves and there was the additional benefit of the route notes which were excellent. My husband is the navigator of our team, but having tried Headwater, if I ever needed to travel on my own, I would be confident about using their notes and routes which were exceptional. We went to the Dolomites and had superb weather which made for a stunning holiday with plenty of walks to choose from. I would certainly use Headwater again.
By Mrs Tait on 14/09/2015
Excellent except for Marco Polo, slightly long transfer. The area was beautiful walking very good for all abilities.
By Mrs McDonagh on 10/09/2015
difficult to fault,made by extreme helpfulness from local agent,Liberata
By Mr Varley on 09/09/2015
The Park Bellevue hotel was an excellent walking and cycling base in terms of its location, the options available and the standard and service of the hotel and its team. The local bus and rail transport and connections were frequent and very reliable and the provided Mobil card was fully utilised. The walks suggested in the holiday pack provided ample options for all abilities and the enclosed maps coupled with the standard of signing in the Dolomites showed there was much more to try if needed. A great holiday, helped by wall to wall sunshine for the first 4 days!
By Mr Fraser on 08/09/2015
Excellent holiday; fantastic hotel - which would it seems would be hard to book into directly (unless doing so a couple of years ahead). Used Headwater 3 times now which I would not have done if I did not regard them as a good company.
By Ms Read on 04/09/2015
Really enjoyed the location, and the food etc at Locando Senio.
We very much appreciated the catering for our strict vegetarian diet. They took it very seriously and offered a good range of veggie food.
Walking notes were good, and it was a pleasure to relax into the whole few days of walking with confidence in the notes.
Liked hotel touring very much. Clean and very central to Bologna. Helpful staff.
By Mr Collins on 03/09/2015
Dolomites and Venice were spectacular
By Mr Gray on 24/08/2015
A very enjoyable mix of interesting walks and good hotels. Probably best-suited for adults whose idea of a good holiday is not sitting around on a beach.
By Mrs Walker on 19/08/2015
A fantastic holiday in a beautiful area of Italy. So great to look forward to a refreshing swim in the hotel pool at the end of each day's walking, and feeling we have earned our glass of Prosecco and delicious meal. Always lovely to receive a warm welcome at the hotels and find our room and luggage ready and waiting for us.
By Mr Frew on 17/08/2015
Great Holiday. Some amazing Italian meals.
By Mrs Taverner on 17/08/2015
Lovely location with excellent walks. Plenty of shade so, although 35 degrees in the first week of August, not too hot to walk (just). Not at all touristy ðŸ˜„Breakfast was a bit of a let down but the evening (all vegetarian) meals were very nice.... although my husband was craving a burger by the middle of the week! No courses were repeated during the week and the food freshly prepared and well presented. We enjoyed the pasta making demonstration. Do check your bill on leaving - an extra bottle of wine had mysteriously appeared on ours.
By Ms Halliday on 13/08/2015
Very relaxing holiday. Loved Maremma, interesting and varied walks, stunning unspoilt locations. Villa Aqua Viva was set in beautiful gardens surrounded by picturesque countryside, elegantly furnished and impeccably clean. Wonderful views from the swimming pool and the restaraunt. Staff were friendly and helpful. Was a little disappointed by the food. Some dishes were delicious but others were poor. Shower cubicle in deluxe room was tiny and the other room, although comfortable, did not meet the advertised deluxe criteria. 5 hour delay and missing connection marred return journey. Treated poorly by BA staff at Rome airport, lots of queuing and no information about where we would spend the night or new flight times. When we arrived at Heathrow, BA staff there had booked us into a hotel and booked new flights but there was no consultation about flight times. We arrived home very tired as we did not get to hotel until 12.45 am and were up again at 5.45 am to get an early connecting flight.
By Mr Howarth on 13/08/2015
Having taken 6 walking holidays through yourselves and Inntravel in the French Alps, Swiss Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites, this holiday is the favourite of them all for both my wife and I.
This was a new region for us which offered a good variety of terrain and landscapes. The unexpectedness and beauty revealed as each walk progressed made this a gem of a holiday. Would definitely recommend whole heartedly.
By Mr Burke on 12/08/2015
Our location was excellent and we were well looked after but your currency pricing policy for Euro residents is unfair and uncompetitive. I estimate it doubled the cost of our holiday.
By Mrs Hart on 12/08/2015
We had a simply brilliant and superbly relaxing week at Locanda Senio. Everything about the hotel was faultless (great vegetarian food, friendly and helpful people, and a gorgeous location). It is perfectly possible to enjoy a break here without doing any serious walking and whether you want to hike 20km+ each day or just potter around the village and environs you should find something to suit!
The travel arrangements also worked seamlessly.
By Mrs Young on 10/08/2015
An excellent holiday that exceeded our expectations in a fabulous mountainous environment. Accommodation was superb.
By Mr Clare on 03/08/2015
This was such a memorable holiday that we will always remember. The countryside is stunning and the walks allow you to take in some superb views of the hilltop villages and vines. Each hotel was excellent, with either amazing views at breakfast, or a welcoming pool or superb menus. The evening meals were an experience in themselves. We are not food buffs in any shape or form but I don't think we have ever eaten so well before in our lives. The walks can be challenging at times although in late July we were setting off with the temperature in the mid 20s which reached the mid to high 30s in the afternoon (take plenty of water bottles!). If you like walking, fine wine and superb food this is the holiday for you.
By Ms Toward on 30/07/2015
Enjoyed the holiday. Not many tourists in the area- good.
Quiet and relaxing. Very much left to your own devices.
By Mr Rogers on 29/07/2015
you get to some amazing places using well marked parks and good public transport one of the best walking experiences in Europe
By Mr Shread on 14/07/2015
Excellent holiday based in a perfect location for walking. Local transport facilities (bus/train) were first class
By Ms Andrychowska on 14/07/2015
Hotel staff excellent. Train noise bad in rooms.
By Pro Campbell on 13/07/2015
Walking in the Footsteps of St Francis was a gem of a walking holiday and we felt thoroughly refreshed by it . The walking was well paced and the guide notes excellent. The National Park was stunning with a variety of scenery and the two places we stayed in the park were absolutely gorgeous. Assisi was also a lovely city to visit. It was our first time holidaying with Headwater and we are already planning our next.
By Mr Wood on 13/07/2015
We like the freedom of walking independently with excellent meals at the end of the day and the convenience of the luggage being transported between hotels.
By Ms Allison on 10/07/2015
I feel that the room we were offered was definitely not delux. We paid an extra Â£54 per night for a room that I would struggle to call standard. You could hardly move in the shower as the cubicle was so small. We took a cross country skiing holiday with Headwater a couple of years ago in Dobbiaco and the room we had was far superior and we had no extra money to pay. I was really disappointed. The hotel we stayed at was in an amazing setting. The food was good but I am vegetarian and had to have the same thing 3 times as there aren't that many alternatives.
By Mr Lewis on 08/07/2015
A beautiful but very popular and busy part of Italy. Seeing it by means of a walking holiday is an excellent way of minimising the experience of crowds and seeing parts that most tourists do not see. Many of the views are spectacular and some of the foot paths are not to be missed. The end of June is a hot time and walkers need to be able to cope with that. All of the hotels provided typically friendly Italian service.
By Mr Ford on 08/07/2015
Footsteps of St Francis (Self-Guided)
This was our first holiday with Headwater having previously used other well-known leading walking tours companies.
We couldnâ€™t fault the organization of Headwater both in the UK and the local rep Vlad. The walk notes were clear and precise without being to wordy. The amendment that Vlad recommended for the last day following the Roman Aqueduct was superb and good finish to the walking programme
The hotels were excellent the only slight downside was the Assisi hotel La Terraza where it was a 1Km outside of the town, the food there was good but certainly not up to the same standards as the other 3 hotels.
La Tavola dei Cavali at Satriano was an absolute delight it was welcoming, peaceful and gave us a most relaxing stay. the only noise was the sound of bees and birds.
Le Silve di Armenzano was also a delight with a most welcoming drink of cold water immediately on arrival after a very hot day of walking, a wonderful location to watch the setting sun whilst having dinner
La Bastiglia at Spello our hotel for the start and finish nights met the same standard as the previous two hotels with wonderful views from the Terrace.
We are already looking at other possible Headwater Holidays
Mike & Jean Ford
By Mrs Clark on 08/07/2015
This holiday was one of the best we have had.Tuscany was beautiful and the chance to see it on foot made all the difference. The hotels were terrific and the food amazing.We will be back next year.
By Mr Johnston on 07/07/2015
Excellent holiday. All arrangements worked well except initial briefing - see below. Local transfers were excellent.
By Mrs Richardson on 07/07/2015
It was unfortunate that, having made the booking for this holiday, when the maps and walking guides were forwarded to us, they had been incorrectly copied so that every even page was missing. It took a couple of phone calls to sort this out. Also took a bit of time to clarify travel arrangements to and from the airport. This made us feel a little vulnerable though, actually, the arrangements were absolutely spot on - all the taxis arrived on time and were of a very high standard. The representatives in Italy were exceptionally charming and helpful.
The description of the walks was a little misleading as some sections involved quite a lot of climbing and, in one case, scrambling down a rather precipitous, overgrown gully with loose rocks and stones presenting quite a challenge. The evening meal at the Capodimonte was dire, especially in comparison with the Punta Campanella, which was absolutely lovely. Breakfasts at the Casa Albertina were poor and I have marked the location as 'poor' because I thought it was harsh to expect your customers to climb all those steps to he hotel after the most challenging walk of the holiday involving, potentially, the descent of 1,000 steps through Positana at its conclusion.
You will note, however, that I would book with your company again, and am considering the cycle ride along the Danube for our next adventure! Your staff in the UK are, without exception, very charming. It was unfortunate that our walking guides were not complete at the outset but it was a wonderful holiday so thanks to everyone involved.
By Dr Patel on 07/07/2015
A tranquil location with panoramic scenery in the heart of rural Tuscany that is an excellent hub for some beautiful hikes. Deserted trails and an opportunity to walk back in time along Etruscan trails, vie cave, tombs and grottos. The hedgerows and fields are abundant with wild flowers under clear blue skies. Vivid images of the familiar profile of hilltop hamlets with their red tiles and iconic church towers and valleys green with vines and Cyprus trees will provide happy memories for years to come.
By Mr Hutton on 07/07/2015
This is an excellent hikers holiday with well described routes and terrific scenery. On return the hotel and its chef is first class in providing the ideal evening.
By Ms Hopkins on 03/07/2015
It was a brilliant holiday - everything was well organised and went according to plan. The scenery was superb, the walks were more challenging than expected because of the extremely hot weather (38F one day!) but loads of shade and wonderful views helped us through. Our local rep was brilliant and there was more than enough information from Headwater for us to find interesting things to do on our rest days. All the accommodation was good but Villa Lussana was a holiday highlight. Thoroughly memorable. Thank you!
By Mr Murray on 03/07/2015
A really relaxing and enjoyable holiday giving us the opportunity to visit some lovely areas of Italy.
The Headwater representative was well informed and really helpful allowing us to enjoy our holiday to the full.
By Mrs Aitken on 02/07/2015
We walked through a beautiful quiet unknown part of Italy meeting friendly people in small hotels and rural towns and felt welcomed everywhere.
By Dr Cobner on 02/07/2015
The walking and travelling around the Dolomites was excellent. Unfortunately neither hotel was situated in a quiet location and mosy
y nights we were disturbed. In Toblach there were open air rock music festivals opposite the hotel on the first two nights and on the third night the railway company decided to carry out maintenance till 5am outside our room. We also had two days of gunfire from the nearby military firing range. The hotel room and service/food were,however, excellent.
Our room in Venice was situated overlooking the alleyway leading to the hotel. This was full of people all night and we did not get much sleep. The room itself was very comfortable and the staff very helpful.
By Mrs Hayward on 02/07/2015
Easy to use and inviting
By Mr Price on 30/06/2015
Excellent walking area with a wide variety of routes. We made great use of the local travel card included in our holiday which allowed us unlimited travel on both buses and trains anywhere throughout the Bolzano province.
By Mr Kendrick on 30/06/2015
Very good indeed. Great location; walks sufficiently (but not too) challenging. Great food. Sometimes bus service arrangements to walk start end points a bit fiddly (we were put off from one of them by this). Easyjet baggage drop and general service at Venice airport (as distinct from the flights themselves which were fine) very poor.
By Mrs Alsop on 29/06/2015
It is an excellent format - two nights in each place is just right and the distances and terrain were sufficiently challenging for us to feel we deserved the increasingly good food as we progressed through the walk.
By Mr Buckenham on 29/06/2015
I seem to have ticked 'excellent' just about every question; the reason being that we have rated this holiday amongst the best FIVE we have done in the last 18 or so years. The description 'Gastronomic Walk' just does not do the holiday justice....'MICHELIN' should be added!
By Mr Shaw on 24/06/2015
This was our first visit to Sicily and we thought the Secrets of Sicily programme gave a fantastic introduction to the relatively unknown northwest of the island. We very much appreciated the inclusion of visits to Segesta and Erice en route to our second and third destinations.The great highlight was the walk, on the final full day, around Monte Cofano.
By Mrs McGaw on 23/06/2015
Wonderful holiday in beautiful surroundings. Good hotels each of which had their own character. Excellent walking notes. Our local reps Audrey and Chris were a very pleasant and helpful couple and they did a sterling job in a quiet but very efficient manner, we couldn't have asked for better!
By Mr Barraclough on 23/06/2015
Marvellous scenery, excellent hotel, notes and route signing very good.
By Mr Berzak on 23/06/2015
Excellent location and region for walking. Maps and route notes provided were really useful and accurate. Hotel was comfortable and clean with excellent food and a good wellness area which was not used at all by other guests at the time we were there. This was a bonus for us. As we were early in the season, suggested walks were not crowded but we are sure at peak times things could be different. Overall we had a great holiday and will use Headwater again for another similar trip.
By Mis Riley on 22/06/2015
We decided not to do the guided walk up Stromboli as we didn't feel we were fit enough to cope with the steepness, the ground conditions and the dark and it wouldn't be fair on the guide or other tourists. I felt this could be an excursion which could be optional as we couldn't really decide until we got there and saw the conditions. We did book an evening boat trip round the island instead, but this got cancelled because of the weather conditions. None of this spoiled our holiday - we just spent a day relaxing instead. The guide walk up Etna was fantastic and we felt quite proud that accomplished it without mishap and that we were probably the oldest couple in the group. Our guide, Salvo, was brilliant - please mention him in any correspondence.
The transportation from place to place was excellent as were the hotels. We didn't actually stay in Hotel Rocce Azzure but in their sister hotel nearby which was beautiful. Thank you Headwater for another wonderful holiday.
By Mr Bryant on 18/06/2015
Great holiday very much as described, good hotel, great food, nice walks.
By Mr Carter on 17/06/2015
This was our first holiday of this type and was not sure what to expect, the route notes given were easy to follow we were collected on time at airports/ train stations /hotels. The agents were excellent with a full briefing one in person and one over the phone and both came back to me with requests that I made for additional information.
The accommodation throughout the holiday was of a very high standard, all very clean and with excellent quality of food.
Well done Headwater we will have no problems in booking through you again.
Nick & Sue Carter
By Mrs Jenner on 17/06/2015
We enjoyed the walking, loved the hotel in Amalfi which was exclusive and liked the hotel in Positano.
However we were the only English amongst a large tour party of Germans in Marina del Cantone and the Hotel Capodimonte was ghastly, appalling, dreadful and full of low cost package holiday tourists and the dinner in the evening at the hotel made me feel closer to my grave.
By Mrs McRill on 17/06/2015
I have been travelling regularly with Headwater for many years. This holiday certainly came up to expectations and I can recommend it wholeheartedly, it was one of the best. Rachel and Peter (our reps) were extremely helpful, always positive and cheerful, a great bonus; the temperature was higher than we had expected for the first week in June, hovering around 30'C and we were able to shorten our walks thanks to their efforts. The hotels were very spacious and comfortable and the food and wine were excellent, truly a gastronomic feast, apart from one restaurant which didn't match the high standard set by the rest of this holiday. Overall this was a great holiday.
By Mrs Owen-jones on 17/06/2015
Beautiful area for walking and excellent food and wine.
By Mr Hobbs on 17/06/2015
The advertised holiday - gastronomic Barolo walk - sounded rather grand, but appealed as a special birthday present - a walk between nice restaurants in a pleasant part of the world with decent hotels in which to stay over. We were a little unsure about dress code and level of difficulty in the walks before we set off.
Upon being met by our tour guides, Peter and Rachel, we were soon reassured that the holiday would be informal and enjoyable. Our first hotel - Villa d'Amelia - was absolutely fantastic in every way starting with the welcome by the reception staff, the standard of the room and the facilities (including an outdoor heated pool, sauna and steam rooms). The restaurant was on another level - a Michelin 1 star - that delivered great food with special service with an emphasis on the customer as star of the show. This standard set the bar high for the rest of the holiday and our next port of call, after our first walking day, was in Grinzane Cavour staying for 2 nights at an excellent bed and breakfast with outstanding views and eating within the castle at another Michelin standard restaurant (although not yet awarded the coveted star); service here was brilliant - the chef and his wife ran the show with the help of 2 more serving staff and a kitchen brigade. At the end of an exquisite tasting menu with paired wines, the chef introduced himself to each table. His wife was charm itself and chatted and responded to our questions and comments throughout the 2 meals in a very engaging manner.
The rest of the holiday comprised 2 nights in Castiglione Falletto and 2 nights in Monforte d'Alba - both at excellent hotels in brilliant locations - and a final night returned to the Casa d'Ameila. Food could not generally compare with the first three nights, although the restaurant l'Argaj in Castiglione Falletto produced wonderful food in a setting looking out towards Barolo that would be hard to better.
Overall this was a brilliant holiday. The walking was just enough to make one ready for another (!) fine dining experience but not enough to be physically draining. Staying 2 nights in 3 of the locations proved to be a great idea - preventing the need to pack everything up every day and allowing time to appreciate the locality as well as giving an option for a circular walk or resting on the second day.
If you are reasonably fit and active and you like good wine and fine food then this would be a great holiday and my wife and I would thoroughly recommend it. Some of the walking instructions were ambiguous - resulting in a few additional miles being walked - and the terrain would be challenging underfoot in places if wet. We walked at the end of May and the heat on some days was strong; in July or August I can imagine walking being hard work and thirst inducing..
By Mis Monteith on 17/06/2015
Very enjoyable introduction to North West Sicily and the Egadi islands. Each location was full of character and accommodation was attractive and comfortable. Particularly enjoyed accommodation near San Vito where owner Daniela is a charming and very welcoming host and gave us a great introduction to Sicilian food. Beautiful views on the walks, especially in Zingaro nature reserve and on Marettimo. High temperature and very strong wind made walk around Monte Cofano a bit of an endurance walk at the end. However, lemon granitas in cafÃ© at the pick up point and paddle in sea helped recovery.
By Mrs Sheardown on 17/06/2015
It was a lovely holiday and we saw lots of things that visitors to the region wouldn't normally see. However, we feel that you need to be fit to undertake it. We are used to walking in the Peak District but still found some of the days quite challenging. We travelled in May when the weather was reasonably warm for most of the week. We feel that later in the summer when the weather was hot the walking would have been very hard in places where there wasn't shade.
By Mrs Main on 17/06/2015
This holiday took us to a lovely area that we'd never have known about if we'd not come across it through the Headwater website.We wondered how we'd cope with our first mobile holiday, but it all went so smoothly that we had no problems; rather, we found it interesting to stay in 6 very different hotels in 9 nights! Having read other comments and seen the weather forecast, we went prepared for all conditions. Yes, it rained a bit, but it was warm rain without wind - nothing like the Scottish variety and we were lent a giant Italian umbrella in Este for our visit to the market and the rest of this lovely wee town. Because of the Giro d'Italia our first [non walking] day was a bit disrupted but Sarah was able to drop us off in TÃ©olo to see the race [and it's vast entourage] go by. As my husband is a very keen cyclist who normally watches this on TV at home, this was a real treat and much appreciated. We also appreciated that one of her first acts on collecting us from Vicenza station was to offer us each a bottle of chilled water.
By Mr Raffay on 17/06/2015
The holiday exceeded our expectations. Our rep, Sarah, was extremely helpful and friendly. We enjoyed discovering this beautiful part of Italy.
By Mr Brown on 15/06/2015
Walking around Assisi there is great countryside with wonderful views in a very quiet area. Eating a picnic at about 1000m at Refugio Maddonna della Spella with great views all around was a wonderful reward for the strenuous walk to get there.
By Mr McLeod on 15/06/2015
Accommodation etc extremely good. Hilltop villages attractive although deserted.
The walking through vineyards does become a little repetitive, but last day walking through woods was more interesting.
By Mr Dunbar on 15/06/2015
Good holiday which did exactly as stated. Good food, good wines and walks mainly through vines. Lovely area and villages.
By Mr Masterman on 11/06/2015
This was a varied and fairly novel trip which took us up three volcanoes and introduced us to the delightful Aeolian islands. The only things that marred it were the delay at Milazzo (referred to above), the food at Hotel Giardino sul Mare - which reminded me of boarding school meals in the 1950s and simply wasn't good enough - and the fact that the Hotel del Corso in Taormina, whilst run by a delightful and helpful family, is in the Main Street and very noisy at night meaning we were frequently woken by late night revellers. We suggest you offer an upgrade at the Excelsior Hotel, which is in a superb position and not that much more expensive. And has a pool!
We also wish to point out that there is no need to be picked up at 8 am for the Etna trip as we then had to wait for one and a half hours at the Rifugio as the guided climb didn't leave until 10.30 - and,we were told, always has done. Your local reps did not appear to have any experience of our itinerary or of the Etna tour and were not really able to answer our questions satisfactorily.
By Mrs Napier on 11/06/2015
Choice of venue for walking very good. Notes extremely helpful, reps very good with local information. They were also very helpful when needed to help with a blistered foot on a bank holiday.
By Mrs Senior on 09/06/2015
All the arrangements worked well, the route guides were, with one or two minor wrinkles, very clear and accurate, the maps and information were good, the drivers always turned up on time. The hotel in Sorrento was very centrally placed and convenient for the train station and the ferry terminal, which was important to us.
By Mrs Carrington-bro on 09/06/2015
We had a wonderful week away, we enjoyed being able to sightsee in Assisi and then to escape into the beautiful countryside where we saw hardly any walkers and few cars. We thought that the 2 boot grading was accurate, there were some uphills that made us feel that we had deserved our dinner - there were only a couple of stretches of steepish downhill. This was our first self guided walking holiday and we found the notes and map provided excellent - we were glad that we took our rep's advice of an alternative route on the last day - going to Collapino and having lunch at the Taverna di Silvestro and then following the path of the Roman aqueduct back to Spello - a really good end to the walk. The scenery along all of the route was pretty but the last morning was spectacular with a wonderful panoramic view. The hotels were well chosen and we enjoyed the variety between them. La Terraza was not in the same league as the other 3, but the staff were very friendly and whilst the food was not 'gormet' it felt 'honest', we would have preferred to stay right in Assisi but appreciate the appeal of a swimming pool and also delivering suitcases to the middle of Assisi would probably pose a challenge for the Headwater rep. We dined extremely well at our other 3 hotels and particularly enjoyed our stay at Le Silve with its tranquil setting and lovely views. Our top tip for packed lunches is the Bottega dei Sapori in Assisi's main square where our sandwiches were made to order with delicious ingredients from the owner's farm. Our only regret was that we didn't have time to add on a day to the holiday and visit Perugia.
Ann and Nigel Carrington Brook
By Mr Bradburn on 09/06/2015
Fabulous combination of hard exercise, exploration, good food and wine.
By Mr Burton on 08/06/2015
Be aware of possible High wind disruption on Island
By Mr Duggleby on 05/06/2015
An excellent walking holiday in an undiscovered and little known part of Italy.The village of Palazzuolo is a delight and the hotel wonderful.Walks are fairly tough and you need to be prepared. Walking poles were essential.
By Mr Dane on 29/05/2015
We were lucky with the weather. This area of Tuscany is a delight, unspoilt with hardly a tourist insight. The walks took us through some spectacular scenery and the route directions ( apart from those from the airport) were accurate and easy to follow.
By Mr Mellowsfacer on 29/05/2015
We all thoroughly enjoyed this well constructed, luxurious walking holiday. Piedmont is a stunning region with few tourists and the best food and wine we have ever tasted throughout Italy. The hotels, restaurants and walks selected exemplified the high quality of the area and overall was excellent value for money.
Thank you so much to Pete and Rachel - they couldn't do enough to make sure our holiday went smoothly and were so enthusiastic and friendly.
By Mr Adler on 14/05/2015
Wonderful walks and spectacular views.
By Mrs Lay on 21/04/2015
The weather was unusually cold and very windy, and there was no heating in the Marettimo Residence, but a heater was supplied at Baglio la Luna. Even so, we sat in bed in the evenings in our fleeces to keep warm, playing scrabble.
After the final walk,which took less time than expected, no facilities were open in the village of Cornino (not even the public conveniences). When he arrived, our lovely taxi driver Nicola drove us straight to San Vito Lo Capo so we could find a coffee and a desperately-needed loo. Full marks to Nicola for help and service throughout the trip; he even carried our bags up to the 2nd floor B&B in Trapani. (The amazing emergency B&B was like being on a set in an episode of Inspector Montalbano - a surprise addition to the holiday.)
The walks were enjoyable, but some of the paths on Marettimo and at Monte Cofano had been eroded by water over the winter and consisted mainly of loose fallen rocks of random sizes. Sticks are very much needed, especially for descents.
There are many dogs wandering around in this area of Sicily; we were not attacked at all, and one followed us all day on our walk to the Semaforo. We could only reward him with a drink of water, poured into a plastic carrier bag, in a hole in the ground at the picnic site. However, the dogs leave poo everywhere, so you need to watch your step!
Dear Mrs Lay,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire and for your constructive feedback. 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.
Firstly, I was sorry to see the weather was unseasonable cooler than you had expected, although, despite the colder temperatures, we were happy to see this did not deter you from making the most of your holiday overall.
We were also pleased to see you found the walks enjoyable, and would like to thank you for your feedback regarding the winter erosion on a couple of the paths, this feedback has been passed on to our local agent, they are in the process of checking all of the routes, so will make this area a priority. We have also passed on your complimentary feedback regarding Nicola, our agent will ensure this is passed on, I am sure Nicola will be delighted to hear you appreciated his efforts.
Thank you also for your feedback regarding the local dogs. Whilst we appreciate, they did not cause you any bother, it would be useful to ascertain which area this occurred in, so we can report it to the local comune. (I will telephone you directly for this information).
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Jarvis on 20/04/2015
Despite initial concerns with hydrofoil sailing we had an excellent holiday. The highlights of which were the Stromboli evening walk and the Mount Etna walk too. On both of these walks our guides were knowledgeable and friendly. I am not keen on heights but the Stromboli walk is fine and very safe so please don't be put off by the warning in the brochure as I nearly was! I would also recommend doing the first Stromboli walk on the day you arrive as there is a bit of climbing and you may not want to do both on the same day if it is very hot, unless you are super fit of course! The Esso petrol station on Lipari no longer exists in the main harbour, it has been replaced by a tarmac triangle on which sits a pretty orange and white boat, the bus stop is opposite this. When we were in Taormina one of the paths up to Castelmola was also closed because the cliff face was being netted to make it safe, we had to retrace our steps and go via the road, not sure how long this will be the case though as there was a lot of netting in place already on our visit. it was however well worth the detour for the amazing views.
By Mr Dent on 28/11/2014
Excellent hotels with 4 evenings enjoying a la carte Michelin one star dinners. Great food and wine throughout. Map directions adrift on a couple of occasions but overall ok.
By Mr Brock on 17/11/2014
Great holiday, brilliant walks, great food and superb way to increase your knowledge and taste of italian wines. Unfortunately the journey home (and originally before it was changed the outward journey) was a total pain. This left us both with a bad taste in our mouth and spoiled the overall holiday experience. When we were dragging our suitcases around Milan train station wandering where the airport was we were cursing Headwater. At this stage we had already been on the road for over 4 hours, 2 hours from hotel to Turin and 2 hours by train to Milan. When we eventually came across a coach that was going to Milan Malpaso Airport we had to fork out 20 Euros for another 1 hour 10 minute coach journey to the airport. Coach stops first at the terminal we dont want and everyone gets off. We dont speak Italian and have no idea whats going on, Luckily a helpful stranger told us to stay on coach. The irony of course is Headwater give you all these walking directions/cycling directions but leave you to guess your way home.
By Mr Mitchell on 29/10/2014
A most enjoyable week, blessed with good weather and walking of a well-chosen standard. Good accommodation.
By Mrs Grant on 27/10/2014
The walking was relatively easy although there was more need to carry your own picnic lunch than on other holidays as there were few opportunities to pass cafes/restaurants. Walking was scheduled for every other day so we needed to arrange things to do on days off. In addition, there was probably less 'sights' to see than on previous holidays unless by independent travel on the non-walking days. However, as usual, the arrangements were superb and everything went smoothly including the lovely warm weather in October.
By Mrs Barker on 24/10/2014
Overall the holiday was as expected, we have been with you before. We do enjoy the holiday. Having said that, the hotel in Assisi was poor, the basement restaurant was soulless. I appreciate that it was probably chosen because it had a swimming pool. We would rather have stayed in a more upmarket hotel in the centre of Assisi rather than the outskirts with the swimming pool, and our 18 year old is in agreement. We could've looked around Assisi in the evening, and the rest day was spent looking around the churches, so not much time to lie by a pool. A more comfortable hotel with nicer food would've been appreciated! A choice would be nice.
The pool at La Tavola was impossible to sit by due to the flies, not sure whether that was due to pigs close by or the earlier summer weather causing an increase in fly population.
By Mrs Tindall on 21/10/2014
Aeolian islands and their volcanoes are sensational and therefore we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The hotels were fine but did not justify the high price paid for the holiday especially as we were self guided (apart from the Etna trip) and had to pay and make our own arrangements for transport to the islands. The weak link was the Sicilian Agents who never kept in touch especially as we found out that nobody had walked up Stromboli since August and we had to ring for info on this on the morning of our walk! We wasted time here and could have been given alternative suggestions.
We will travel to the islands again but independently, staying on Lipari and travelling between the islands on a daily basis. it definitely would have been cheaper.
By Mrs George on 21/10/2014
The Dolomites are stunning and the walking was varied and challenging. The route notes were excellent and the self guiding was easy. The hotel was exceptional, with delicious food. The village of Dobbiacco was very well placed with good bus connections which made walking in different areas easy and enjoyable.
By Mrs Sodring on 20/10/2014
This holiday involves not only walking but a lot of travelling (not fully described in the brochure) by boat and minibus. The necessary boat journeys require extra cash as fares are not included in the cost of the holiday. Also food, though of high quality, is expensive in Stromboli and Taoramina. Studying books on the history, geology, flora and fauna of eastern Sicily and the Aeolian Isles made this trip particularly interesting.
By Mr Larcombe on 17/10/2014
We really enjoyed the holiday. Katie and Jim were very good representatives. There has been a problem with an outbreak of horse flies and so they went out of their way to suggest an alternative walk that avoided walking through woods. This was really appreciated. My only issue was the last walk between Casolare Le Terre Rosse and Park Hotel Le Fonti. I found this walk to be too long especially as the last couple of miles was up hill. Luckily it was a relatively cool day, if the sun had been out I don't think I would have been able to complete the walk.
By Mrs Barnes on 17/10/2014
Walks were fairly strenuous but scenery magnificent - lovely unspoilt village - excellent food.
By Mrs O'Carroll on 16/10/2014
I enjoyed looking through the website which was very informative. The whole holiday was very well organised; being met at the airport and being given chilled water bottles when we got in the mini bus was great. Our reps couldn't have been more helpful; they stopped at a shop on the way to our hotel so we could buy food and water for the following day's walking, they offered us equipment and leant us waterproofs. We felt very well looked after and listened too. For us this was the ultimate, stress free holiday! The walks were quite long and it was hot, but the terrain was pretty easy and we never found ourselves struggling - there was always the knowledge that there was a lovely hotel with pool and meal waiting for us at the other end. As a family we are fairly active, but not very fit - my husband plays racquetball once a week and I go for a daily 50 minute dog walk which proved to be enough to allow me to enjoy the walks. Our children all do sport at school and our eleven year old found the walking easy!
By Mrs Gorman on 15/10/2014
Holiday was very enjoyable. Good but not intrusive support from local representatives who gave some very useful hints and were always contactable. Hotels were very excellent with one notable exception.:
- one notable exception - Hotel Terre di Casol, see below for more details,
- the welcoming receptionist at Casolare LeTerre Ros who had no interest in helping us locate our forwarded luggage (which had arrived).
By Mr Sillett on 14/10/2014
Wonderful holiday, with fantastic food and wine and one absolutely amazing hotel (Le Silve). Good two boot walking, especially on the first and last days.
If you like walking in Italy you will love this holiday.
By Pro Beevers on 14/10/2014
Good walking, good accommodation , food and wine. Interesting cities and towns to visit.
By Mrs Higgins on 13/10/2014
Could not fault Headwater for their excellent customer service and organisation. I'm not even going to look at other companies now for any future walking holidays.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 13/10/2014
This is our fourth Headwater trip. Our favorite trips in order are: 1) Alps 2) Dordogne 3) Amalfi Coast and 4) this one. All of the others have been 5 star plus. I don't even know how to rate this one. There were so many highs and lows that it is hard to average them. The hotels, Le Silve and Le Case, are spectacular and took care of every need. I can't say enough good about them. The food was exceptional in all hotels except the Assisi hotel where you eat in a nondescript big undecorated basement room. The hiking was perfect and challenging, but the trip notes were unenthusiastic and lacked the usual Headwater info bites and optional side trips - so we made our own side trips. The trip notes need some important updates - we did not get lost, but others did multiple times and their confusion was understandable. We had awesome trip mates that we had not met prior to the trip. The highlights of the trip were: 1) Being in Assisi for the Feast of St. Francis and being present for the parade and seeing the Prime Minister of Italy, 2) Vistas from the Rifuggio de Madonna (they rival what we saw in the Alps), 3) Le Silve and Le Case hotels were amazing places of rest and solitude. I think this trip had the potential of being my very favorite, but needs the kind of attention that Headwater is so great at on other vacations.
By Mrs Cattaneo on 13/10/2014
A beautiful place to visit and explore. The accommodation of a very good standard and in lovely locations.
We did find the walks very interesting, challenging at times but about the right length, however we did use an app on a smart phone, which indicated we walked a few K further than the instructions stated. We also felt some of the walks did need to be re-done, especially the walk on day 4 from Diano D'Alba which we found very confusing to get out of and were told by the rep to take a different path at one point, which totally threw us off route, although we did find our way with the help of some locals.Although we understood why there was a walk on Day 7 back to Benevello, it was rather tedious.
Our restaurant selection for the evening meals was on the whole very good, but we did find it difficult to find something we could eat at the Villa D'Amelia, mainly because of our own diet of not eating red meat. The Locanda del Centro in Castiglone Falletto was really not very good.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
By Ms Tomkins on 13/10/2014
The islands of Sicily walk was a very varied holiday, the highlight being the visits to the volcano at Vulcano, Stromboli and Etna.
By Mis Saunders on 09/10/2014
We have been on many Headwater walking holidays - both guided and independent walking, but felt Islands of Sicily (nicknamed by us ' Volcanoes of Sicily') was a different experience, and by and large a good one. Hotels are all of a good standard and are in good locations. Breakfasts are fine - not exceptional, but fine. Dinners in the hotel in Lipari are good and there are lots of restaurants for when you dine out. The walks are interesting, the views great and the volcano walking a real experience. Be warned though the trips to see Stromboli and Etna are weather/ volcanic activity dependant. We were not able to do to the night walk on Stromboli. However you can do the day walk independently in the late afternoon and get to see the lava flow (from a safe distance of course) at night. The path down is easy - but don't forget your head torch! We did do Etna, which was a real experience. The slightly frustrating element of the holiday is the amount of time and effort we spent on getting the Hydrofoil tickets and checking timetables - the times in the notes and the advertised time at the ticket office are not always the time the boat with actually leave and it wasn't always clear when the ticket office would be open to check/ buy tickets. Having said that, if you are OK will that little bit of uncertainty/ adventure you'll have a great time!
By Mrs Davies on 08/10/2014
This Headwater holiday is definitely a cut above other European holidays that we have enjoyed with you. Villa d'Amelia and Villa Beccaris were exceptional in every way, and throughout we enjoyed excellent local cuisine and wines. We would happily do it all over again!
By Dr Mason on 08/10/2014
The holiday was very enjoyable, the location was great, but the walks were challenging in the heat, even in September. The local food was delicious.
By Mrs Wakefield on 08/10/2014
A superb holiday. The scenery was spectacular and moving from hotel to hotel makes the holiday interesting and varied.
By Mrs Deane on 08/10/2014
Excellent location for seeing the Dolomites.
Friendly, family run hotel.
Instructions for the walking routs and the use of bus/train were very good
By Mrs Ames on 07/10/2014
The hotel was excellent - food wonderful, service could not have been better and a great location. The walks were interesting and varied with the advantage of being able to do longer or shorter versions. This is our third holiday with Headwater and we can highly recommend the company. If there is a choice we would suggest flying to Rome rather than Pisa as we found it a long drive (3 hours) after already travelling to gatwick and flight to Pisa.
By Mrs Makin on 06/10/2014
Travel arrangements were good, hotels were easy to find and all but one was well maintained. Walks were very well described, distances were not accurate and the number of steps was a joke but the walks were clearly described an the views were wonderful. We saw many rural areas of the Amalfi Peninsular that most people will never see, they don't know what they are missing! are missing
The rest days are a very good idea and gave us chance to do several things we wanted to do, ie go to Pompeii and Capri, without the break I think that the last few days would have felt like hard work.
By Mrs Clark on 01/10/2014
Headwater holidays are ones where you can count on the arrangements made and simply enjoy the holiday you have chosen to take.
By Mr Caffyn on 29/09/2014
Efficient but lacks character..
By Mr Abrahams on 26/09/2014
Well thought through and excellent administration meant we could concentrate on our walking
By Mr Kitchen on 26/09/2014
Thoroughly enjoyable - just as we expected - save only for the above average temperatures (35C +). I'm sure it would be a lot more comfortable in the Spring!
By Mr Kell on 25/09/2014
Well organised and supported walking holiday assisted by friendly and knowledgeable staff. Fine food and accommodation.
By Mr Stanley on 25/09/2014
good varied hotels, good walks with interesting details on the way. Excellent service when booking the holiday, yes we would certainly go with Headwater again.
By Mr Boyd on 22/09/2014
Although not far from the bustling city of Padova, the Euganean hills seem to be an undiscovered gem and we saw far more butterflies than walkers! We enjoyed all of the walks and there were plenty easily accessible attractive places to visit on our rest days. Our holiday was enhanced by a night in Venice at the start and at the finish.
By Mrs Potthurst on 22/09/2014
The welcome & help we encountered from local people was phenomenal.
By Mrs Davies on 17/09/2014
Excellent area for a holiday
By Mrs Buckham on 17/09/2014
Beautiful area of Sicily, which took us by surprise. It is very hot though as there's little shade on the walks so a slightly later departure in the year may have been better for us. A good variety of walks available though so when it was at its hottest we just did slightly less strenuous ones.. Also the walking ability of our group of 6 was mixed so we could split up at times but all enjoy a walk then meet for dinner together which worked well.. The sightseeing trips were well chosen and really interesting.
By Mr Jones on 17/09/2014
This is an excellent place for a single centre holiday, offering many good trails with stunning views if you have good weather, but bear in mind that the conditions in high mountain areas such as this can be unpredictable, even in summer.
By Mr Bingham on 17/09/2014
First rate. Hotel, hotel staff, the range of walks, and headwater staff were excellent
By Mr Shaw on 16/09/2014
Magnificent walking in the Dolomites, with very good local transport links. Tuscan walking an enjoyable contrast, gentler and relaxing.
By Mrs Wall on 11/09/2014
This was an absolutely stunning holiday in every way. The hotels were all of a high standard and each was lovely in its own individual way. The restaurants were a nice treat after the day's walking and working up an appetite! There was stiff competition for our favourite restaurant and Il Castello and Villa D'Amelia had to share the prize for sheer wow factor! That said La Locanda del Centro was our favourite 'non-Michelin' restaurant. The waiter couldn't do enough to make us feel welcome, it had a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the food was really tasty.
The route notes for each of the walks was spot on and went wrong once (our fault, not Headwater's!). We'd recommend the circular walk to La Morra. It's a pretty strenuous walk through the vineyards but the sense of achievement and the stunning views are definitely worth any aching calf muscles!
Lastly, Marsha and Esme (the Headwater Reps) made our holiday what it was. They were always cheerful and full of tips for the places we were due to walk to. They were also on the end of a phone with any queries we had.
Thanks for a brilliant holiday, Sarah & Mark Wall
By Mr Gallagher on 11/09/2014
Katie and Jim put every possible effort into making our stay problem free. On the first afternoon they sat with us for an hour giving us very helpful information about the route and terrain that we would be walking, places en-route where we could get food and drink, landscape features and sights to look out for. Although we no cause to call upon their assistance during our holiday it was clear that nothing would have been too much trouble for them.
With regards to the holiday itself, the route had been carefully planned and all the hotels were in wonderful locations (Medieval Tuscan hilltop towns).
We would recommend the region and this holiday to anyone.
By Mrs Robinson on 08/09/2014
Ask more questions regarding the walks prior to booking.e.g places to take refreshment.
Ensure that you understand the walking levels, as although we were able to complete the walks fairly easily we noticed a number of people having to be transported due to the physical demands.
Be prepared for isolation at two of the hotels as they were in remote situations.
If you like walking in forests and almost total solitude this is the holiday for you. We hardly met anyone on all walks.
By Ms Hall on 28/08/2014
We had a marvellous holiday and really enjoyed the variety of walks and hotels, and the suggestions for days off. The area was so beautiful and arriving on foot in each town was magical.
Minor gripes were: not hearing from the rep (we phoned her on day 2). She told us of a landslide and said she would send us an alternative route, but this didn't happen. We found the alternative route without difficulty. The maps for the Amalfi coast were not helpful (and one was missing). The route notes were sometimes difficult to follow (we had to learn to concentrate!). We became proud of our navigation skills.
Thank you! Where next?
By Mr Alderman on 28/08/2014
Overall very good holiday but off to a bad start waiting for hire car. 2 hours was an unacceptable time to have to wait without any pre warning that this could be a problem.
Dear Mr Alderman,
Thank you for your feedback; it was a pleasure to read you had an enjoyable holiday. I am sure you have brought back some great memories to treasure.
We were sorry to read of your longer than expected wait to collect your hire car. We have passed on your feedback to Europcar.
We will also add a note to our know before you go booklet, to advise of the longer than average waits which may apply during the busy summer periods, thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Headwater Customer Service
By Mr Davis on 28/08/2014
The itinerary is excellent and the islands are beautiful and well worth visitng. The highlight for us was the night-time climb up the Stromboli volcano. Howver the walking notes were scanty, and in some cases positvely misleading. In particular there needs to be more accurate and detailed information about the Mount Etna day, with a clear warning that it may not be possible to do the walk and information about what customers are supposed to do if this is the case. It would also be more useful if the driver dropping you off at least knew some very basic information about the itinerary eg that he needed to drop you off by the Guides' hut, not the cable car station. Some of the walks are very demanding, with long steep climbs, and in our view the walk sould be graded 2+ boots. There should also be clearer warnings in the holiday description that the number of extras which custormers have to pay for (bus fares, ferry fares, most dinners) is much higher than is the norm for Headwater holidays (this is the eighth that we have been on). All in all, we felt that the customer care element of this holiday (which, for us, has always been one of Headwater's strengths) was of a much lower standard than we have experienced before - enough to make us think twice before booking another holiday with you, which is a shame.
By Mrs Todd on 27/08/2014
Sarah is an excellent asset to Headwater, knowledgeable and friendly.She was thorough in going through the briefing notes and was on hand if we needed. The walking notes were accurate, at times it felt like a higher grade walk than billed, but that just added to the achievement after each one. Views spectacular, hotels and food excellent. Rest day in Padua to see Giotto Frescoes and then the Anatomy Theatre at the University was fantastic. Sarah gave us opening times and suggestions, so that was really time saving and useful. This was our first HW holiday, and we are already looking where our next one could be.
Dear Mrs Todd, Thank you for your lovely comments regarding our rep Sarah, we have passed your feedback on to her and she was delighted. We were also pleased to see that you had an enjoyable 1st holiday with Headwater it sounds like you took in all of the sights and sounds that this region has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you on your next holiday with us in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Broughall on 15/08/2014
Excellent accomodation, food, walks and scenery.
By Mrs Walker on 13/08/2014
Headwater thinks of everything - right down to offering us a lovely cold bottle of water when we emerged from a long, hot journey to our pick up point. You select fabulous hotels in brilliant locations, which takes all the hard work out of planning a holiday. Taxis turn up when they're supposed to, hotels and restaurants are expecting us. You are wonderfully efficient. This was our sixth booking with you and we'll be back for more next year. Bravo, Headwater.
By Mr Eagles on 11/08/2014
The Villa Aquavivia was a beautifully designed and comfortable hotel; our room was furnished with Tuscan furniture with a view of Montemerano; it was spotlessly clean and the air conditioning was quiet and efficient. The garden is gorgeous and melts naturally into the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. The restaurant is in a converted barn next to the pool; it has panoramic views of the country side, is air conditioned and midge free (and child free!); the menu had both Tuscan and Maremma dishes â€“ we had difficulty choosing!
Our hire car, a Fiat Panda, had the centre of gravity of an Argentinian footballer and the gripping power of a Gecko, so spinning around the quite roads visiting the local hill top towns was easy.
The â€˜Connoisseurs Tuscanyâ€™ Booklet was informative, and the walking notes contained lots of interesting historical cultural information. We enjoyed the local walks and had a day out to Orvieto and its stunning cathedral. If you want to go to Mass in Montemerano, follow Fabrizioâ€™s Way walking notes to Chiesa di San Giorgio (by the northern archway): Saturday at 18.30 or Sunday 11.45.
If you like domestic and ecclesiastical architecture, really good food and wine, and just enjoy being in Tuscany, you will enjoy this holiday.
By Mrs Buckle on 08/08/2014
Thank you for a wonderful holiday! We enjoyed the walking, the days off by the pool, the scenery, the swimming pools, the food and the wine immensely. All five of us, including the kids, had a fantastic time.
By Mr Page on 07/08/2014
An excellent walking trip with the added extra of a few days in the superb city of Venice. Excellent support from headwater Rep and good to be 'off the beaten track' in a lesser known and unspoilt area of Italy.
By Mrs Osborne on 04/08/2014
The holiday was very enjoyable, very well organised, and the reps went out of their way to be helpful.
As Headwater guests, we felt that we were being given particularly good treatment at each hotel.
By Mr Smith on 04/08/2014
Should have been advised that the hotel is located next to the railway station and level crossing with trains passing through from from 5.30 am. Our upgraded room overlooked the railway station and crossing. No air conditioning in rooms meant we had to leave open the windows during the night and heard announcements, warning bells and the trains themselves every half hour.
By Mr Billing on 31/07/2014
This was a wonderful holiday, full of small surprises and little luxuries. Each hotel was charmingly different. The food was spectacular, the people lovely, and the scenery green, beautiful and quiet. Thank you very much
By Mr Humphreys on 30/07/2014
We topped and tailed the walking with two nights in Verona and two nights in Venice which gave a nice contrast. The walking was enjoyable with a variety of terrain and the route descriptors good. We were lucky with the weather but it can be unpredictable so you need waterproofs and/or a brolly just in case. Good insect repellent is worth the investment. The area is unspoilt and there seem to be very few tourists. Accommodation was good though air-con is either poor or doesn't exist so it is hot at night. On our rest days were able to visit Montagnana and Padua which were both very enjoyable. However, if you can try to organise the holiday so that you are walking on a Sunday you will avoid being marooned on a rest day - no buses run on Sundays! We found the locals to be friendly though most had as much English as we had Italian - very little! The rep - Sarah - was charming and very helpful! Italian beer is good but expensive - local wine is good and good value! Overall a great experience. We enjoyed the holiday and would recommend it.
By Mrs Grosschmidt on 29/07/2014
Not to be missed well done Headwater
By Mrs Price on 29/07/2014
Dobbiaco is an excellent centre for a walking holiday with superb scenery and good choice of walks. Transfers were efficient, hotel very good and we enjoyed our first experience of a Headwater holiday very much.
By Mr Moss on 23/07/2014
Really excellent. Do think that the first walk was more than two boots. The narratives seemed to have been written by different people sometimes. One would give specific distances whilst another would tell you you'd 'soon' come across the next landmark.
By Mrs Spalding on 21/07/2014
Well organised walk through beautiful countryside. Perfect opportunity to see the rural Tuscany and taste local food. Wonderful mix of walking sightseeing and relaxing.
By Mr Prior on 13/07/2014
Excellent comfortable friendly hotels with unforgettable views .
By Mrs Hodgskinson on 12/07/2014
Great location to be based for walking in the Dolomites, Bellevue Park hotel food is very good, their baths big and very welcome after a long day in tthe and the mountains themselves are magnificent. Walking notes are comprehensive, would just suggest you add a couple of routes which start out in one location and finish up elsewhere on the bus network - Tres Chime early bus is ideal - this offers some fantastic route options and minimises the amount of up. Only regret we didn't get a bit of Via Ferrata training whilst out there, would have vastly increased what we could do. Loved every minute. Tagged on three days in Verona and four days in Venice. Probably one of the best and most varied holidays we've ever done
By Mis Nicholls on 10/07/2014
The holiday surpassed expectations in terms of location, food and hotels. All in all, excellent value for money!
By Ms Harris on 09/07/2014
Excellent service, tailored to us at very last minute. Wonderful hotels (with exception of the Assissi hotel which was nowhere near the quality of the others).terrific walks. We had fewer rests days which suited us - a days rest on day 2 felt too soon so we didn't and assiss is very very touristy though beautiful. We are already looking at our next holiday with you (and we always travel independetly so that's a big sign of our enjoyment).
By Mrs Robertson on 07/07/2014
A stress free walking holiday knowing that hotels are well chosen , routes are well documented and local tour operator is easily contactable.
By Mrs Royle on 05/07/2014
We thoroughly enjoyed walking in the Dolomites staying in Dobiacco/Toblach at Park Bellevue Hotel. The food was superb and beautifully presented and served. The hotel staff were extremely friendly and helpful.The hotel and swimming facilities etc were fantastic. We found the walks brilliant, did not expect to be walking in snow in June! but the notes on the whole were easy to follow, just got lost once and sometimes it took us longer due to snow and several fallen trees over the path on one walk. The bus ticket which was included could be used on the train and provided excellent value for exploring the region and the nearby towns. Best of all we met really interesting people in the hotel who had come with Headwater or Exodus and we all got on very well.Have already recommended Headwater to friends.
By Mrs Wass on 04/07/2014
Excellent representative. Belvedere hotel a gem. Our overall perception is coloured by the fact that we hit a heatwave of mid-thirties degrees in the shade which, given the steepness of the hills, was exhausting. Excellent suggestions for the days off from walking.
By Mr Phillips on 01/07/2014
Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, directions for walks / routes easy to understand and very accurate, excellent mix of walking companions in our group, superb location and scenery, the week went too fast!
By Mr Mason on 28/06/2014
Very leisurely walking combined with varied cultural sightseeing opportunities. A very beautiful part of Tuscany away from the hoards of tourists. Very enjoyable.
Villa Acquaviva is a wonderful place to stay. Very relaxing. Fabrizio and his team were very attentive and helpful at all times. Good vegetarian food options available.
An extremely well- organised holiday by Headwater.
By Mr Thompson-ashby on 28/06/2014
This was our first holiday with Headwater so we had no expectations on the grade of walk. As it turned out we coped very well, although our first day's walk to Assisi (the longer option) was tough, but we managed! The route notes were generally good, although they do need regular revision, as some signs etc. had been changed or removed. We did not lose our way, but less experienced walkers could have done so. The hotels were all good and some excellent. We particularly loved La Taviola for the way the staff went that extra mile to make us welcome and gave us a packed lunch without us asking for it, although the room we were given could hardly be describe as 'superior'. Our tour guide by his own admission seemed ready for a change. His briefing was perfunctory, but he was kind enough to lend us his walking poles. The walks were well designed - absolutely beautiful wildflowers and we didn't meet a single other traveller. Overall, a splendid holiday with good weather, a fabulous sense of history and pilgrimage plus great accommodation.
By Mr Freeman on 26/06/2014
Fantastic combination of great scenery, good walks, superb hotel made a wonderful holiday.
By Mr Williams on 25/06/2014
Good range of walks in outstanding scenery.Surprising lack of facilities in Dobbiaco considering time of year e.g. Most shops closed- almost no bars or alternate restaurants!
By Mr Pantridge on 24/06/2014
Well up to our expectations. The provision of a car was a necessity, given the varied locations of the daily walks, and allowed the schedule to be varied according to weather, and personal inclination. The hotel itself was a haven of hospitality and comfort in a peaceful part of Tuscany, with obliging staff and a good standard of facilities.
By Mrs Bailey on 24/06/2014
We had a super week with like-minded people. Although we were all initially wary of socialising as a group, during the week we became closer and enjoyed each other's company. The hotel was fun - comfortable and friendly with multi-course meals of excellent quality that were welcome after a day's hiking. It was the antithesis of an impersonal chain hotel. The only thing it lacked was wifi outside of the reception area. And some reference books - for example for wild flowers - would have been useful.
The walks were spectacular, probably made more so by the fact that we were early in the season - mid June. Tre Cime and Mount Elmo were decidedly scary first thing in the morning before someone else had kicked foothills in the snow. We learned to catch the buses around 10am not 9am. The notes were not entirely accurate and read as if the walks had not been checked for some time. In fact it didn't matter as the local trails are well signposted. Every member of the group who did the Mount Elmo walk got lost and changed from the notes to the maps or signposts. The 'Churches and Chapels' walk was unexpectedly interesting and quite energetic despite being on quiet lanes (very quiet - we were passed by one car and two tractors in 4 hours). It was a good contrast to the other walks and well worth doing.
We appreciated the notes on eating places - or the lack of them. It was useful to know when a packed lunch was necessary.
The travel card was convenient. Buses ran regularly to the walk starting-points and were not crowded at this time of year. On one day we caught the train (next to the hotel) and explored Brunico. Every stop had something to look at (see the poster on the platform).
A number of people went on to Venice afterwards, an easy trip given the minibus to the airport and then a bus to the station or a water bus to St Mark's Square.
By Mrs Moss on 23/06/2014
We have just returned from another very enjoyable holiday, all the hotels were very good, in amazing locations with fantastic views. I would definitely upgrade to a sea view room at Grand Hotel Capodimonte, especially if staying on longer in Sorrento. The walks were varied and we had no real problem with the notes. Could be challenging to some as there are defiantly plenty of steps, both up and down, in many places! Walking poles very helpful. But you are rewarded with the views and the hotels.
All our pick ups where excellent by the local agent, and the rep phoned us on the first evening as promised. We know she was easy to contact if we needed her. So, overall, an good holiday exploring this part of Italy, Thank you again, Headwater.
By Ms Stearn on 23/06/2014
Having travelled and holidayed with headwater before we were pleased with this Holiday in Italy in Palazzuolo. This was a one centre holiday with very good food and friendly staff, and loved the 2 dogs. We found the walks very challenging particularly in the heat (beginning of June).
It is a very quiet village so in the evening once you have had the evening meal there isn't anything to do. Although there is a local bus service to Maradi (the local train station) it is not vey frequent. Would recommend hiring a car in future for this holiday.
By Mrs Van praag on 22/06/2014
Very enjoyable and relaxing. Lived upto expectations
By Mrs Oram on 20/06/2014
Mt Subasio is a wonderful area in which to walk and the routes ensure good variety of walking. Spello is a lovely town (and Albergo Bastiglia a comfortable hotel with excellent food) to use as a base for further local travel (e.g. Perugia) and for relaxing pre/post the holiday.
The hotel at Assisi was very welcoming, but location is not great (neither in town nor out & on a busy road).
By Mrs Welham on 16/06/2014
We had a fantastic holiday with Headwater and loved every minute of the walks which were well planned, with clear instructions. Everything worked as expected and it was a very easy way to walk the best of the area without any worries. Thank you.
By Mr Joyce on 15/06/2014
Update the walk notes, they are very out of date and unusually for Headwater quite irritating
Dear Mr Joyce, Thank you for your feedback. I have passed on your comments to the programme manger for the region,she is currently in the process of updating the route notes, unfortunately, there have been a number of amendments needed due to the unusually poor weather experienced in this area over the winter. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. We hope that despite this issue, you had an enjoyable holiday overall.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Young on 12/06/2014
Terrific holiday in with superb views, excellent food and wine with delightful walks.
By Mrs Lai on 09/06/2014
Tuscany was a beautiful region with a great mix of walks in wonderful countryside and stunning cities/towns full of history and lovely architecture. The reps, Jim and Kate, were so helpful, thoughtful and genuinely caring - the best we've come across.
By Mr Cross on 07/06/2014
Good first experience with friends who have been with you before.
By Mrs Elliott on 06/06/2014
The Venetian Hills holiday was a truly enjoyble experience. This is a little-known, unspoiled part of the country and ideal for walking. The welcome and service at all the hotels was second to none.
By Mr Curwen on 05/06/2014
The holiday at Aquaviva was wonderful, the facilities offered there are excellent. There's lots to do - breathtakingly beautiful walks through varied terrain and fascinating historical sites to visit. There's also plenty of wildlife in the area. We were serenaded by scops owls each eveing and saw fireflies for the first time - a magical experience.
By Ms Pilgrim on 01/06/2014
The care and attention that the Reps provided in the area was outstanding, and having been on 2 previous Headwater holidays they both worked very hard trying to please everyone.. I felt that the holiday was accurately graded as a 2 boot holiday and all the walks were well within our capabilities but sufficiently challenging. The area was fantastic and May appears to be a great time to visit with all the spring flowers in bloom and pleasant temperatures. I am usually happy to return home but I could have stayed another week so am looking to repeat the experience in a similar region next year as is my walking companion.
By Mis Perry on 29/05/2014
This is a lovely area of Italy and all the places we stayed were good. The travel arrangements worked like clockwork and the walks were lovely. My favourite Headwater holiday, so far.
By Mrs Hughes on 29/05/2014
Stunning hotel and food in a little known part of Tuscany with fascinating range of walking/history/scenery/towns/coast.
By Ms Swinburne on 29/05/2014
Secrets o Sicily was probably one of the best holidays ever. The walking was great, the routes good, the accommodation (with one exception) excellent with good food. Everything you could want for comfort and enjoyment, but not at all fussy. Domenica at Baglio La Luna was great in letting us keep the room for the whole day before we flew back in the evening, and in offering us food in a location where there is nothing else. The help given in choosing appropriate accommodation for our two extra (lazy) days before we started the walking holiday was much appreciated. Thank you.
By Mrs Cushion on 29/05/2014
Probably not for 'casual' walkers as the walks seemed appropriate for experienced ones.
By Mr Bevan on 28/05/2014
This was our first experience with Headwater although we have previously toured and trekked with a number of other companies. We were overall impressed, and would certainly consider Headwater for other walking or cycling holidays.
By Ms Gibson on 27/05/2014
We had a wonderful week with a perfect combination of walking, sightseeing, swimming and sunbathing plus delicious food and glorious landscapes. The local reps couldn't have been more friendly and helpful; it was very reassuring to know that they were there in case anything went awry - but it didn't.
By Mr Ballantyne on 27/05/2014
il feudo is rather basic and rustic .Steep stairs no lift.Shower unit in bathroom fell off wall.,not a lot of pressure. Welcome was good though.
Villa Lussana all confection ---no lift Headwater customers on second floor. shower unit cracked and water only just warm enough.
For walkers some paths i found quite tough walking over tumbling rocks in the hills which could easily have been dangerous so you had to be vigilant. Having done a fair few walking hols i found this one quite tough . but may be age had something to do with it . i would have graded it a little higher i think.
But enjoyable all the same .Well its Italy ---whats not to like!!!!!!!
By Mrs O'Connor on 26/05/2014
We both really enjoyed our Piedmont Holiday. All of the hotels we stayed at were very good, all quite different in character from one another which we liked. The Piedmont countryside is beautiful and the local people were so friendly. The walks were quite challenging, lots of hills, the steepest usually as you try to reach your hotel at the end of the day, but a great feeling when you do arrive.
The distances quoted on the route notes were much shorter than those that registered on my pedometer, I think perhaps these should be reviewed.
The local Headwater reps. Marsha and Esme were fantastic, very helpful, friendly and punctual.
The meals in the evening were usually taken in local restaurants, our favourites Osteria dei Catari and Locanda del Centro, the more rustic of the bunch. Only negative for us was The Ristarante il Castello, beautiful building, shame about the atmosphere, formality taken to the limit, neither diners nor staff seemed to be having a good time. We were due to dine there twice, but decided to give the second visit a miss.
Apart from that a brilliant holiday. Pat O'Connor
By Mr Savage on 26/05/2014
Well organised and enjoyable holiday
By Mr Propert on 25/05/2014
Before you book, it would be useful to know the days when meals are not available. For example, at Spello the food is highly rated (an attraction for us) but we had two Wednesdays there, had had to walk the entire length of the town, returning in rain one evening, to get our alternative meal. It was good - but frankly, it is too far. At Assissi, it would be better to make it more clear that while you enjoy a brief tour of the town on the high route, you then have quite a trek out to the hotel. And the food here, is simply poor - but I guess choices are limited. We upgrade everything - and at la Tavola the food was excellent, but our upgrade room (10) was dire - it was not an upgrade! And it is really time to update the notes - we did not get lost, but bits are horrendous - ruts and mud, and things like benches 'from which to contemplate' - but broken down.
Our next holiday with you is in Germany - why oh why do you not do more there??
Dear Mr Propert,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire and for your constructive comments. Your feedback has been passed on to the programme manager and our local rep. Following on from your comments improvement have been put into place. We now provide a taxi to transfer customers to and from dinner in Spello when required. Unfortunately due to the unusually poor weather over the winter some of the routes were still quite muddy when you travelled out in early May. However this will remedy itself as the weather improves over spring. All route notes have now been checked and are up to date. We would like to apologise that you were given the incorrect room on arrival to the La Tavola the reservation team are sorry for this oversight and have assured us that this was a one off incident. A refund will be issued immediately. 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.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Marchant on 24/05/2014
Overall a good holiday with (mostly) good weather and great eruptions on Stromboli. Some parts are excellent (the walks are good and the Stromboli climb is excellent). Some parts just don't work. It's utter madness to include dinner on all 3 nights on Lipari - the food at the Rocce Azzurre is poor (edible, but certainly not any sort of local specialities) and there are lots of far better eating options nearby. Please also ask all the hotels to stop serving tinned fruit at breakfast - the markets are heaving with the most fantastic fresh fruit and every hotel just provided tinned peaches, pears and prunes. The Etna day also needs reviewing. There were 4 separate couples doing the same non-guided trip, so Headwater made significant savings on all the transfers by putting us into one group (which was fine). However, on arrival at Etna we had to wait to find out if the trip was going to run as the weather was poor, but the driver was unable to wait for us as he had another appointment. We knew the weather was going to be poor so we emailed the local rep the day before but no-one responded. Surely there must be a better process than having to get up early, arrange early breakfast, drive for an hour to Etna, find out that the trip isn't running, wait around for a few hours to get the driver back and then drive another hour back to Taormina. It feels very much as though you're on your own.
I would recommend that the onus be put on the local rep to find out what is likely to happen on Etna the day before the trip is due to happen, and then leave info for Headwater guests at the Corso/Continental with an idea of what the itinerary is likely to be. Guests would then have a more informed choice of whether to go along with the trip (potentially in wind/fog/rain etc) or whether to stay in Taormina.
More info on alternative hydrofoil/ferry options would also have been useful. On our Vulcano day all the ferries stopped due to high winds, but we were able to get a private boat - this would have been easier to find if it was mentioned in the notes. We also did the walks in the order suggested in the notes whereas if it was suggested to look at the weather first it would have been more sensible to do the Vulcano trip on the first day on Lipari and the Quattropani walk on the second.
Dear Mrs Marchant, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is useful in assisting us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for future customers and is always well received. It was great to see that you enjoyed your holiday to Sicily and were lucky enough to witness the eruptions on Stromboli, I am sure it was an amazing sight. We would also like to thank you for your constructive feedback, I have discussed your comments with the Programme manager for the region and we have since put measures in to place where improvements are required. These include insisting the hoteliers serve fresh fruit at breakfast. We are also decreasing the amount of dinners included in Lipari to allow our customers to sample the local restaurants and are working closely with our local agent to improve the information and service provided on the Etna day, unfortunately, due to the very fast changing weather conditions on the volcano it is sometimes necessary to delay or cancel the trip. Although as this is a highlight to most peoples holiday, from past customer feedback, whilst it is sometimes frustrating waiting around depending on the weather, most customers say they would have preferred this option, however, we appreciate some people would rather not go if the weather is poor beforehand therefore, we will give our customers the option to stay at the hotel in future.
Our route notes are updated seasonally and then throughout the season as required, we will consider your suggestions when the next update is due. Whilst I realise these amendments do not help you personally. I do hope that it goes some way to show we take your feedback seriously.
Yours sincerely, Headwater Customer Service team.
By Mr Wyatt on 18/05/2014
Overall holiday was good. Never saw rep, although not really necessary. Big hotels at punta campanella and sorrento not great as they cater for the mass coach trip market and lose personal touch. We met inntravel (or possibly atg) walkers in punta campanella staying in small hotel which was idyllic. Luna convento excellent and set a high bar others did not come close to. Sorrento particularly disappointing as it was in chaos and couldn't handle the number of guests . It was the first time in 50 years travelling i have had to queue (30 minutes) for a dinner table. Food also left much to be desired. A smaller hotel in town might be a better bet and certainly more our preference
Dear Mr Wyatt, Thank you for your feedback. We were pleased to see that you enjoyed your holiday overall. We were however sorry to see that you did not receive your welcome brief on arrival, this is usually carried out via telephone. We will ensure this is made clearer in our documentation for future customers. We were also sorry to see you were disappointed with some of the hotels you stayed in due to the size and lack of personal touch, wherever possible we try to use small and friendly hotels. I have passed on your feedback to our programme manager for their consideration. 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.
By Mrs Cameron on 15/05/2014
Idyllic setting but some disappointments. See below
By Mr Martin on 09/05/2014
On our arrival we were welcomed by our driver Señor Russo who we found to be both entertaining and informative. Throughout our stay he was always punctual and reliable. Although we never actually met the resort agent she rang us to advise about adverse weather condition, diversions and alternative routes. Unfortunately we experienced poor weather but it did not interfere with our enjoyment of the holiday and we managed to complete the planned itinery. Overall all the htels were good and we were delighted to find our accommodation had been upgraded at the Pumta Campanelle where we had the benefit of a suite and a large sun terrace. We have only two observations to make to improve the holiday:
(1) The cost of porterage at 3 euros per bag on arrival and departure should either be included in the holiday cost or guests advised of this in the holiday information.
(2) the time of departure for the airport should be included in the holiday informattion to avoid guests having to make an educated guess based on flight times.
By Mrs Arlett on 07/05/2014
This was a very enjoyable holiday. The walks, locations, itinerary and choice of hotels were all well thought out. We enjoyed the variety of walks and the wild flowers were stunning. Spotting a Bonelli Eagle was one of the highlights. Our local reps looked after us well, leaving us to be independent but stepping in when required - for example, sorting out a hotel in Trapani when our boat trip to Marettimo was delayed due to high winds. We found some of the walks quite tough but rewarding. The hotels were varied and our favourite was the self catering on Marettimo.
By Mr Ainger on 07/05/2014
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The walking mix was good, and flowers, birds, sea and sun were a great combination. Marettimo was special.
By Mr Ausden on 25/04/2014
Could not be faulted to be perfectly honest, excellent accomodation throughout,well balanced walking itinerary, first class route notes and maps.The Amalfi coast was everything we hoped it would be and more, a great holiday.
By Ms Parks on 25/04/2014
Fantastic locations with carefully selected routes and hotels. Descriptions of the walks for for self guided tour where very easy to follow and very accurate.
By Mrs Boram on 20/04/2014
The dusk hike on Stromboli was incredible and was the highlight of our holiday.
By Mrs Organ on 17/04/2014
The overall holiday was very enjoyable, well planned with a good mix of site seeing and excellent walking in a little known but beautiful part of Sicily, all local
Agents were on time and efficient, Carlos in particular was well informed and helpful, others were less so.. We opted to pay extra to have some time sight seeing in Palermo on the last day. This caused quite a lot of arranging and could have been offered to us before we went, The last hotel was not good. The food was very poor, bit like school dinners and as it was in such an isolated location it was not possible to walk to any where else as another choice to eat, it was a long distance from the planned walks in the reserve so it entailed long taxi rides to and for , which seemed pointless and made the whole thing rather regulated rather than the freedom offered at the other hotels and locations. In addition I had been persuaded to pay 60 Euro extra by the U.K. Booking agent from Headwater for a room with a sea view and little patio when in fact all it was was an ordinary room with rather a small window which did look over the sea, a rip off.
By Mrs Dolan on 21/10/2013
Holiday was around three centres and we didn't walk between them. Taxi transfers ere very reliable and efficient. Our taxi driver Daniella, was keen to practice his English. Our three night on Marettimo where we ate in Il Veliero where the anto pasto was marvellous. We got a really great welcome at La Luna and we were lucky to be able to stay in our room until late on the last day when we were flying home late so we could have a shower after a day on the beach at San Vito Lo Capo. We enjoyed the visits to Segesta and Enrice. It was a really good mox of walking and seeing a few of the sights.
By Mr O'Hara on 14/10/2013
The island hopping, with 3/2/3 night stays to break up the travelling, worked very well, and all the transits were well handled. We felt the challenge of the walks was well reflected in the brochure and built up effectively through the holiday. We were fortunate to be able to do all the walks in good (and not too hot!) weather, but realised how weather-dependent the Stromboli and Etna walks are and thought the brochure might mention this.
By Mr Healey on 13/10/2013
An excellently put together holiday. Hotels good and food generally so too,where provided. We booked double rooms for single occupancy and,with the exception of the hotel del corso my suspicion is that we were given the worst double rooms.....eg at the rocco azure every room seemed to have a balcony except mine,and my friends did have a balcony but was the one situated immediately above the hotel entrance,with no view and with noise from early deprting german guests .My suspicion is that German groups at the hotel had the better rooms,for whatever reason.
By Mr Waite on 12/10/2013
Headwater provides an excellently organised walking experience - choosing breathtaking routes which are brilliantly and minutely mapped out.
Quite the best walking holiday operator I have ever used.
By Mr Beresford on 12/10/2013
This was a well organised holiday with 4 excellent hotels with swimming pools, good food, 4 quite long days walking through interesting and varied terrain, and opportunities to explore Siena and Florence on the rest days. The reception staff at all the hotels were very helpful, providing local information including booking tickets for the Accademia/Uffizi in Florence. Excellent and knowledgeable support from Roger and Monika, the holiday reps - who were always there when needed.
By Mrs Weipers on 11/10/2013
Beautiful vistas of the Heart of Italy are your reward for the few 'lung busters' en route. Umbria is less developed than its neighbours but all the more perfect for it.
By Mrs Harland on 11/10/2013
We had an excellent holiday with everything very well sorted by Headwater. Our only real complaint was with the hotel in Spello who were not helpful. We were tired from travelling and there was no one really to welcome us or to tell us when dinner was served or give us a drink until 20.00hrs when the staff had finished their dinner. Head waiter was rude and off hand after he discovered we were Headwater guests but the food was good. La Tavola and La Silve were wonderful and couldn't have been better, at both hotels we were so well looked after and the food was delicious. We would have liked to have a had a 3rd night at La Silve as there was no room at Spello on our return so we had to go on to Perugia but this wasn't suggested by your agent.
By Mr Compton on 07/10/2013
Excellent meet and greet, great walking and good food.
By Mrs Reeves on 07/10/2013
Excellent in every way and the food was amazing!
By Mr Hamilton on 06/10/2013
This was one of our best Headwater holidays to date despite inclement weather preventing the Mt Etna trek. Stromboli evening climb was spectacular and the Hotels in Lipari and Taormina were very well chosen for location and the personal service. Views from both were lovely.
By Ms Tonge on 06/10/2013
A good trip around the Aeolian Islands-we had good weather and it was possible to do all the walks which were generally easy to follow. The 2 hotels on the islands were good particularly the Rocce Azzure right on the sea front.
Unfortunately we did not get to do the Etna ascent from Taormina. There was a lot of cloud on Etna on the morning of our transfer up to the refuge and when we arrived there we were told the ascent was not possible due to poor weather conditions. Fortunately we were able to get the taxi driver back in time otherwise we would have been stuck there all day until his scheduled return at 4pm. We did wonder whether this couldn't have been ascertained earlier by the rep and there was no further contact from her regarding a possible refund on the trip or the possibility of doing the trip another day(we had extended our stay so could have gone the next day) so a bit unsatisfactory.
The trip is expensive particularly with the extra costs required for ferries and meals out. However Sicily is an expensive place to visit particularly when in the very touristed towns like Taormina- eating out /drinks/entry to museums etc. was very expensive so this should be taken into account when calculating a budget.
Overall we enjoyed the trip particularly the hike up to Stromboli at sun set to see the eruptions.
By Mr Lacey on 03/10/2013
Very good food in a welcoming hotel in a lovely location with interesting walks.
By Mr Bennett on 02/10/2013
This is a beautiful area and we loved it! Our experience was greatly enhanced by the hotel and particularly the hotel staff who were always most friendly and helpful. The food was excellent, the best we have enjoyed over a number of Headwater holidays.
By Mr Greef on 02/10/2013
Excellent walking, really good hotels and food
By Mr Eamer on 01/10/2013
Pleased with the way Headwater arranged the holiday to our personal requirements at short notice.
By Mr Williams on 01/10/2013
An excellent holiday in an outstanding area. Local history combined with fantastic scenery, and walks. Some of the walks were at the upper end of the grading - made worse by unusually high temperatures. The organisation of the transfers and visits to historic sites was first rate.
By Mr Gunn on 30/09/2013
Lovely walks particular second and third ones. Wouldn't recommend extension to 10 nights as food at Rovere was very limited in choice.
By Mrs Ketteringham on 30/09/2013
All the arrangements worked well, even driving from Rome as the directions were faultless. The walks were paced just right for us and the food at the hotel was excellent.
By Mrs Rouse on 25/09/2013
An excellant Holiday company for all the local knowledge it incorporates. The reps were great.
By Mr Prestage on 25/09/2013
We did enjoy our walk. The scenery is good. To ans the 'no' above - we would seek out a different type of holiday as we are getting on in years. It is a fairly steep walk for parts of the day, particularly the final ascent to the villages and hotel and can be hot in the sun. Suggest picking a time of year when temp is 24-28 degrees max. If you are over 60 you may wish to consider an easier walk as this one will test your fitness. You will have to train up for the event, as we did, if you are only of average fitness for your age. The other 4 members were younger than us (in their early and middle 50's) and handled it fairly well without any real training. Choice of footwear was not critical as one member did it only in runners. The rest had slightly more hike specific gear.
By Dr Banyard on 23/09/2013
This was one of our all time favourite holidays owing to the stunning scenery & the very high standard of accommodation offered. The walking schedule was relatively relaxed but the amount of step climbing might be daunting to some, though it would be easy to slow the pace if necessary and to take full advantage of the alternate 'rest days'. It was well worth the time and expense in adding a couple of extra days during which we explored Pompeii and Herculaneum and took a trip up to the summit of Vesuvius. The local bus & train services (although a little basic & crowded) were easy to use and efficient. Our dietary restrictions were catered for very competently and without fuss.
By Mr Stern on 22/09/2013
The comments on food above refer to breakfast only. Restaurant comments:
Villa d'Amelia: First meal a little disappointing regarding service and food. Second much better in both respects. Just about worth a Michelin star.
Il Castello: A little formal but excellent food. Worth a Michelin star.
Le Torri: Really friendly, interesting well cooked food, a nice contrast to Il Castello. Two excellent evenings. Pity the owners are moving to La Morra.
Osteria dei Catari: Nice people. Starters good but the 4 of us had 3 different main courses and all were poor.
Osteria La Salita: Friendly service and an excellent dinner, better cooked and more interesting than dei Catari.
By Mrs Brown on 22/09/2013
We (and others) felt that the 1st day of walking was merely pleasant - not up to the billing - but from our arrival at Casa Pavesi the holiday took off and justified the comment we had had that it was the jewel in your crown. It was, however, marred somewhat by the poor wording of the script walking guide, which caused all 4 couples to go wrong (independently of each other) at least once. Fortunately the map enabled recovery of the route.
By Mrs Pyke on 21/09/2013
Park Hotel staff and service outstanding. The walking guide notes were a good way to get the feel of the available routes in an all too brief week..they were accurate and very detailed. The Locanda staff were a delight, as well..so cheery and helpful. The Ferrovia area is a bit of a nightmare people crush, but, amazingly, down our little alley, all was very peaceful. The small Trattoria next to the hotel was a nice place too..staffed by pleasant and hospitable couple.
By Mr Galbraith on 20/09/2013
Generally well organised, as above hotel selection varied and some of instruction on walks info could've better. Walks much harder than appear to as advertised.
By Mrs Brown on 20/09/2013
This is our second HeadWater holiday and both times we have not been disappointed. We have been pleased wit the standard of hotels in Italy, better than the ones we had in Switzerland - clearly you get more for the money in Italy. Breaking the holiday into 2 and spending 2 nights in Florence was a highlight for us.
By Mr Mellish on 19/09/2013
We used Headwater last year for the Alsace walking holiday. We were so impressed we booked for the Barolo Gastronomic walking holiday. We were not disappointed. All aspects of the holiday were well planned and we felt very well supported by Headwater's local representatives. Have already recommended Headwater to friends and we will definitely use them again.
By Mrs Meadows on 19/09/2013
A delightful area with a large range of walks.
By Mrs Alessandro on 18/09/2013
The holiday was a wonderful experience with really beautiful views to reward us as we tackled the walks. Instructions and timings were excellent. The hotel was lovely too.
By Mr Fowler on 16/09/2013
We had a really good holiday, would say you need to be a reasonable walker as it is a fairly strenuous trail, but well worth the effort. Looking forward to doing something similar
By Mrs Brown on 14/09/2013
The major walks were excellent, views were superb and the route notes very well put together. The heat and lack of shade was the main problem, especially in the afternoon when the long 'downs' and many steps made for hard work. Your choice of bases for hotels was excellent as at all places there were plenty of opportunities to see the local sites using local transport which was very cheap. Our visits to Pompeii and Herculaneum from Sorrento were made even better by the fact that it comes free for over 65 EU citizens making for cheap days out when you consider that the return rail fair was at it's most expensive just over 8 Euros for the 2 of us! Extending our stay in Sorrento at the end gave us the opportunity to chill out at the excellent Hotel Favorita ( the icing on the cake in terms of facilities, service and comfort) and fit in the trips we wanted without being rushed at other times. Well done for putting together such an excellent package.
By Mrs Hoptroff on 14/09/2013
This holiday was excellent. Marc and Marcia were very friendly and extremely helpful.
Marcia ran through the instructions for each of the walks with us and pointed out areas where we needed to be extra careful so that we did not get lost.
Marc always arrived exactly on time to pick us up in a morning to take us to the start of the day's walk.
I have a number of food allergies and Marcia had contacted each of the restaurants where we ate our evening meals to advise them of my requirements. They were all fully aware before we arrived and the waiters were extremely helpful in ensuring that meals were suitable for me. The hotels, restaurants and food, and infact everything about this holiday was excellent and ran incredibly smoothly.
By Mr Howell on 14/09/2013
Excellent holiday! The office staff were very helpful and patient and helped us choose the right holiday. We greatly enjoyed the walks, they were varied and interesting, with lots to see on the way. All the hotels were lovely and welcoming with great Italian food. On our days off we did a bit of 'culture'
we visited Padua and Monselice. At the end of our holiday we tagged on a few days in Venice, as it was virtually on the way back anyway and that was great as well. We just would like to add our sincere thanks to Sarah our rep. She gave us lots of interesting information about the region, and seemed to know all the walks in great detail because she gave us very good advice about finding our way. It gave us a good start to our holiday!
We are looking forward to our next holiday with Headwater.
By Mr Ballantyne on 13/09/2013
Lovely holiday but too hot in last week of August for walking. we aimed to be finished by late lunchtime to avoid the heat of the day.Which was not the aim.
Would avoid the Nice transit as it is too long a wait in Nice for a train and the transit up country is tedious.
By Mrs Turner on 07/09/2013
All the arrangements, transfers and pick-ups worked well with the drivers being friendly, helpful and always on time. All the hotels were of a very high standard with large rooms and excellent bathrooms. We had no contact with the representative over there but did not need any help anyway.
All the walk instructions were very detailed and accurate and the only times we made errors was because we were talking and not concentrating on the instructions!
By Mrs Hole on 07/09/2013
Wonderful holiday excellent accomodation and walking. Some walks quite challenging but managable. One of the best food in any hotel I have stayed in. Good quality wine at reasonable prices.
By Mrs Walker on 06/09/2013
A fantastic holiday with excellent organisation, well-chosen hotels and superb walking route notes. Nothing ever goes wrong on a Headwater Holiday. Can't wait to see next year's brochure.
By Mrs Brown on 02/09/2013
We challenged ourselves- walking every day even in August in Italy... Mostly, the hotels were a great reward for our efforts. We think we would do it again.. Maybe try the cycling.
By Mr Beale on 02/09/2013
Enjoyable walking in beautiful scenery combined with very comfortable hotels.
By Mr Hambleton on 01/09/2013
Fantastic week - can't think of anything we could/would change to improve it. Hotel was excellent and staff very friendly & accomodating (e.g. agreeing to change day for walk that required hotel transportation). Food incredible (and lots of it). Scenery spectacular and walking routes very well planned, with good variety of options (and potential to extend) depending on weather and legs (although we had generally good weather)! Transfer to/from airport very efficient. We've already recommended this holiday to friends and family! Only problem is whether another holiday will live up to this one.....
By Mr Morris on 30/08/2013
The holiday offers a good choice of walks for all levels and we weren't disappointed with any of them. The first two walks we undertook started from the hotel. A number of the walks start a bus ride away and we soon got into the swing of catching the bus and the drivers were always very helpful and patient.
The hotel was really lovely and exceptionally friendly. We travelled by train and the hotel is very near to the train station.
The views were truly excellent.
All in all, a delightful holiday in the Dolomites.
By Mr Learmont on 28/08/2013
Excellent combination of choice accommodation; natural scenary for walking and opportunities for cultural visits.
By Mr Broughall on 28/08/2013
A relaxing weeks walking in quiet and beautiful scenery with guaranteed excellent food and service every day.
By Mrs Allen on 21/08/2013
Roger and Monika had changed the routing of the first day's walk as a result of storm damage. We really enjoyed this walk as we felt it added more variety and more open views than the original route which would have meant more walking in less open woodland. The walk was shorter than the original but we felt this was a good idea as it broke us in more gently and meant we had more time to savour the landscape. We recommend you amend your notes to keep this new route and ditch the original. The last day's walk was lovely until we reached the agriturismo San Antonio junction; from then on until Restaurant Prato d'Era we were on quite a busy strada bianca with quite a lot of traffic (not just tractors) for a long time, followed by and another long walk on a tarmaced lane. We would have preferred more 'off-road' walking if it had been possible at this point without losing the views. All the other days were simply lovely, the views wonderful and the walking very much enjoyed.This is our fifth holiday with you and we have had some excellent reps but we must say Roger and Minika were outstanding and provided a personal, friendly and humerous service above and beyond what we could have expected.
By Mr Murdoch on 19/08/2013
We have just returned from a walking holiday in Umbria, having had an amazing experience, which has left us feeling revitalised and relaxed. The walks were all really beautiful and off the beaten track and despite the August heat many of the tracks were through shaded woodland. The notes and maps were clear and easy to follow and the only time we managed to lose our way was through our own misunderstanding. The hotels were in great locations, very welcoming and friendly, comfortable and the food was delicious. Our local rep Javier was always smiling, supportive and helpful. He knows the area like the back of his hand and is always there with interesting information. His motto should be Nothing is too much trouble.
We are both well travelled and have booked through other similar companies previously and would highly recommend Headwater. We are already wondering which one of their walking or activity holidays we will book next. Thank you Headwater and especially Javier. Steve and Andrea Murdoch
By Mrs Slater on 18/08/2013
Headwater always come up with the perfect balance between walking, time for relaxation and interesting, well-appointed hotels.
By Ms Merrick on 15/08/2013
1. Make sure you get the details you need before you travel.
2. If travelling with friends, insist on separate invoicing if that is what you want. Keep insisting
3. Self guided holidays offer great flexibility and also require more effort. Guided holidays have the potential to give local knowledge.
By Mr Fairweather on 14/08/2013
The walking was tougher than I expected because of the above average temperatures (often around 95 F). The area is very picturesque and the route is well planned to give a feeling of doing the round of all the major Barolo producing villages, with good views from each of the hill towns. I was glad, however, that the last day's walk was a complete change from walking through vineyards. The standard of accommodation and food was excellent throughout the week, and represented superb value for money. I would have welcomed air conditioning in Hotel Le Torri rather than a cooling fan, but at other times of year it would have been fine. The cooking in all the restaurants was very good, particularly in Il Castelli at Grinzane Cavour and at Villa D'Amelia where we gladly paid the supplement for their superb full tasting menu on our final evening. I would have welcomed a change of restaurant on the second evening in Monforte D'Alba, not because there was anything wrong with the food but because the menu (the same each evening) was rather limited - especially the secundi. The local people were all very welcoming, and it is a trip that I would happily do again, but preferably in the autumn.
By Dr Baynton on 14/08/2013
This was our fifth holiday with Headwater and our best to date. We are always happy with the holidays booked with Headwater and the support provided by your staff. The Dolomites is a superb location for a walking holiday and we wondered why we had never considered this holiday before - we will definitely be visiting again. We liked the fact that all of the walks were easily accessed by the local buses and cable cars or gondolas. The Bellevue Hotel provided a very high standard of accommodation and the food was fantastic. A good selection every day, beautifully prepared and presented. One of the friends we travelled with requires a gluten free diet, Headwater had advised the hotel in advance, and the hotel went out of its way to provide delicious gluten free rolls and adapted the menu accordingly so our friend felt she was well looked after. The hotel staff were always welcoming and helpful. A holiday that we will be considering re-booking as there are so many trails we still want to explore.
By Mrs Remnant on 14/08/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our Headwater holiday in the Dolomites. The walking directions were excellent (maps were redundant) and the walks themselves inspiring. Mid-August is probably not the best time to go - the weather was glorious, but really difficult to escape the crowds of people. We only had ourselves to blame! The staff at the Bellevue hotel were delightful (full marks to Rita and Andrea in the dining room - and to Andreas for his overall supervision) - but beware if you're in a room facing the railway tracks.....the early morning announcements of train arrivals / departures wore a bit thin by the end of the week.
By Mrs McIntosh on 13/08/2013
Four very varied walks, challenging in places given my fitness level (poor!) but all definitely do-able - and very, very rewarding - in fact, unforgettable. It was unseasonably hot (35-38 degrees) but we were able to stop for leisurely lunches on two of the walks. The weather meant we made full use of the pools a each hotel - just wonderful. Our room at the Terre Casole will go down as one of my favourite ever - wonderful terrace with a walk across the lawn to the pool. At the relais we were upgraded to a superior room at no extra charge - just a most lovely room with a jacuzzi bath. As for the rest days ... with easily arranged trips into Florence, Sienna and San Gimignano - just wonderful, giving great lunch opportunities too.
This was a complete break from our daily lives. Whilst undoubtedly costly ( we had three extra nights) it was the main holiday we will take this year, the only holiday abroad and was just superb. I'm usually very attached to 'seaside' holidays but the landscape, countryside, towns and hotels all combine on this holiday to make iot a real experience to treasure
By Mr Sillett on 09/08/2013
A really lovely mix of hotels with excellent walking and sight seeing opportunities
By Mr Finn on 28/07/2013
An enjoyable trip deep in the Umbrian countryside with some fine local food and wine amidst some spectacular views.If you do decide to go walking in Italy in July and August make sure you start your walks early i.e 8.30 am - take plenty of water 2.5 litres a day at least IMO - adequate sunscreen ,insect repellent as the weather will get very hot from 10-11 am.
By Mr Gagnon on 22/07/2013
First time with Headwater, first time on a walking holiday. Tuscany was great. One the best holidays we've had and will cetainly book again.
By Ms Peters on 22/07/2013
good for a first time walking holiday as the walks are easy with optional extra sections if you feel like it, plus you'll have a car
scenery in the region is lovely, it's quiet compared with Northern Tuscany
all the family and staff at Villa Acquaviva are genuinely friendly and welcoming, plus the food and wine there are outstanding
By Mis McWilliam on 19/07/2013
accommodation, food and service exceeded our expectation. Using Headwater makes planning a lot easier
By Mr Grant on 18/07/2013
Outstanding cuisine, wines and service in all places. a very quiet region with friendly locals. Beautiful landscapes and a great way to eat lots and then burn the calories off in the walk. one of the very best holidays I have ever had.
By Mrs Turner on 18/07/2013
We had a fantastic time and will certainly recommend this type of holiday to our friends. Even our 15 year old son got into the swing of it. We went in early July which was hot but it had the benefit of the walks being reasonably dry underfoot.. Our guides had changed one of the routes as a result of previous bad weather which was good as I would imagine that some of the walks could be quite difficult after rain. The route descriptions were generally very good and we didn't get lost but there were a few times where this was more by luck. The hotels were all good, some of the rooms were a little tired but the welcome, service and food made up for it. We completed our walks between 2-3pm each afternoon and our luggage had always arrived before us. Thank you Roger and Monika for your support and for taking us back to Pisa airport so early on Sunday morning.
By Mrs Hancock on 17/07/2013
We would recommend this area of Italy .It's such a shame that the hotel was so quiet . The wild flowers and butterflies are amazing . It was very easy to get to Florence by train . Ercole and Roberta made us so welcome and Sissi ,the dog , is a star in her own right .During the week we only met one other couple on our walks .You have to be confident about navigation but apart from a few things the notes were good .All the food was home made and organic -not for those on a diet.
By Mr Goldstone on 13/07/2013
What a fantastic experience ! Not a tourist in sight and walking in the middle of nowhere with just the sound of the birds and wildlife to break the silence.
The beauty of this holiday was the fact that we were walking most of the day but HeadWater have appreciated that just because you are walkers you don't need to 'rough it' in down market accommodation it was such a joy to have he freedom to enjoy the beautiful countryside and arrive to find your luggage already in your room and a luxurious hotel with fabulous food and absolutely breath taking views !!!
We had some great moments and despite eating and drinking copious amounts of wonderful food and local wine because of all the exercise, amazingly we didn't put on any weight
We cannot praise the reps highly enough. Monika and Roger made us so welcome and at ease from the moment they greeted us at the airport with chilled bottles of water for the journey to our hotel NOTHING was too much trouble for them ! A HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU BOTH
For anyone considering this holiday , you do need quite a high level of fitness. Both of us are EXTREMELY ACTIVE and fit people and were pleased to find that we were suitably challenged by the walks in the heat. The hotels all had stunning views as they were all at the top of mountains ( so bare in mind the end of your walks when the sun is at its hottest are all uphill!!)
A fab holiday!! Something so different. I would not hesitate to recommend!
By Mrs Wilton on 12/07/2013
A wonderful region for walking at almost any level. Every area we walked was beautiful and we did a mixture of moderate (with a little bit of challenging) and leisurely.
Hotel was excellent, very friendly and helpful and good food.
By Mr McAlpine on 12/07/2013
All travel arrangements on the flights and the transfer to and from the hotel went well. The food and accommodation at Park Hotel Belleview in Dobbiaco were very good and the staff were very helpful. We got on well with other Headwater clients through the week we stayed there. The weather in mid-June was warm with little rain. Due to a recent knee problem my wife and I were unable to walk on as many routes we would have liked to but the Tre Cime and Lago de Braies walks that we did manage to complete were stunning. The 7 day travel pass was a real bonus and one day we travelled to Villnoss by train and bus to take pictures of the view of the Odler mountain range from St Magdelena. We plan to return another year.
By Mrs Everson-davis on 10/07/2013
This is a really excellent choice for any guests wanting a truly gastronomic experience amongst wonderful countryside. We enjoyed the walking very much, although at first we wondered whether it might be challenging enough with alternate rest days. However, Headwater provided good suggestions on how to spend the available time and we were pleased that we had the time to explore more widely. Our days were all the more enjoyable for being able to look forward to some of the best cuisine which Italy has to offer anywhere. Headwater's has done well to enable guests to experience a range of Piedmont's restaurant cooking, from the world class to the more rustic, but all served to an extremely high standard.
We were impressed too with the attentive support given by our local reps, Marc and Marsha, for whom nothing was too much trouble.
As we self drove to Italy, we stayed in two Headwater arranged hotels en route, Hotel Normandie in Auxerre, and Hotel Alpina in Les Gets, both of which represented very good value for money.
By Mis Triggs on 10/07/2013
A great venue except for the overcrowding on the buses.
By Ms Biagini on 08/07/2013
We were very disappointed that our walking itinerary was missing from the package sent to us, and we received it only at The end of our second day. We were also expecting to be welcomed by a headwater rep upon our arrival at Luna Convento Hotel, instead we had to call the help line to figure out what to do. Our rep Liberata, told us very bluntly that due to costs cut our briefing could only take place over the phone, with the line being cut every 3 minutes from her end. As a result ot this delay, we missed the visit to Ravello (supposed to be among the must see of the Amalfi coast) and nearly got lost on our first walk. In The hotel in Sorrento I had to sleep on a sofa dressed as bed for two nights, as we were given a double room instead of a twin. As a result I ended up with a bad back for the rest of the week! I would expect a bit more for the price I have paid!!!!
By Mrs Eynon on 05/07/2013
Very enjoyable, although the walking was quite challenging due to length, terrain and lingering snow. We often adapted / cut short from the recommended routes, but this was feasible and equally enjoyable. Fantastic scenery.
By Mrs Graham on 03/07/2013
we really enjoyed the holiday-great way to visit these lovely hiiltop towns and cities of Tuscany
By Mr Wildsmith on 03/07/2013
A beautiful area of the Dolomites with spectacular scenery and added historical interest. An excellent choice of varied walks to suit all abilities. A very good hotel base, well situated.
By Dr Curry on 03/07/2013
Dolomites outstanding area
By Mrs Watts on 02/07/2013
We had a very enjoyable but quite energetic holiday in a comfortable hotel in the Dolomites. The early season flowers and scenery were spectacular.
By Mrs Brand-hardy on 26/06/2013
Although I have indicated that we would book a holiday with you again I would have strong reservations as to whether the holidays that you provide are really catering for our interests. Before booking the holiday I raised the query as to whether or not it was suitable for us given that we walk to see wildlife and landscape rather than just to walk. Unfortunately the worry that the holiday was a walking holiday with little or no emphasis on wildlife came to fruition. At the start of the holiday in Dobbiaco we found it virtually impossible to find out information on where to go to get the best chance of seeing wildlife or to get information needed to identify the flowers that we were seeing. The hotel did not know nor did the tourist information centre. Half way through the holiday we managed to get to the nature centre at the Grand Hotel who were very helpful but by that time the opportunity to visit the areas suggested had largely passed. We also found the large numbers of walkers on the routes suggested to be offputting for us. We are used to walking in areas where you often do not see footprints let alone people so we were amazed to see so many people on all the routes that we followed. Perhaps it would be possible to include routes that are quieter for those that want to escape the crowds.
Having said all that the holiday was well organised the hotels were excellent and if all you want is a walking holiday then I doubt that the service that you provide can be beaten. I am just not sure that it is for us.
By Mr Castell on 18/06/2013
The itinerary was well structured and well organised. Pick up and transfers were punctual and efficient. Hotels were excellent - great locations, wonderful views, comfortable and with a high level of service. The upgrade to the Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento - due to the Favorita being overbooked - was very much appreciated. We were also grateful that a transfer to Sorrento port was organised for us on the last morning.
By Mr Stather on 18/06/2013
We stayed at the Royal Prisco in Positano (not the hotel on the questionnaire) and I cannot change the hotel name - but all comments on the Royal Prisco are 'good'.
Neither did we stay at the Favourita in Sorrento - biut we did stay at the Excelsior Vittoria which was excellent in all respects.
By Ms Priday on 17/06/2013
We had a lovely time marred only by the fact that 3 of the 4 hotels provided a double bed when we as 2 female friends sharing a room needed our booked twin beds!
By Mr Wilson on 16/06/2013
An interesting and varied holiday but a level of basic fitness would be needed to climb all the volcanoes in the tour.
By Mr Strong on 13/06/2013
This wasn't in our opinion, a walking holiday. More of a test of endurance. Hard to believe the paths had been walked out by yourselves as were very overgrown in places. Trip up Stromboli arranged on the same day as a trip up Mount Etna was ridiculous. We managed to change it ourselves. Hotel at Catania was awful - the lift didn't even stop at reception and there was no assistance with luggage and reception staff were rude and unhelpful. Nowhere to get a drink at hotel. Hydrofoil trips were laborious and took up too much time when we would have preferred to have been walking. There was NO contact from your rep to see if were still alive and there was confusion over the transfer back to the airport on the last day. Too many hidden extras - hydrofoil fares too expensive and we think some of these things should have been included in the holiday price. We were disappointed with the walks organised from Taormina and felt we could have put these together these ourselves. The 'inclusive' evening meal was at a restaurant a long way from the hotel and we had a very limited menu. The trip up Mount Etna was chaotic - lots of waiting around for a guide who was only interested in increasing the numbers in his group - only to find they were mostly French. Impossible to hear/understand what he was saying once up the top as it was windy and there were far too many people. We had to pay extra to get a jeep back down. First Headwater holiday where we've had to cart our own luggage everywhere. Our 6th holiday with yourselves, probably won't book again.
By Mrs Markson on 03/06/2013
Some amazing experiences ie climbing Mt Etna but also some upsets ie - taken to wrong dreadful hotel on arrival, poor standard in some hotels, ,poor food in hotels, mistakes in itinerary ,but excellent agent and organisation abroad apart from arrival disaster.
By Mrs Norris on 03/06/2013
A great introduction to this little known area of Italy. The itinerary meant that we could easily combine walking with sight-seeing.
By Ms Jones on 30/05/2013
Heavy rain in Nov 2012 has caused a lot of damage to some of the trails - Pitigliano optional return 3A impassable due to a landslide - Maremma Park A2 has been re-routed (shortened & less varied) - Strolling to Saturnia track taped off to stop vehicles, passable on foot - Sorano, Via Cava di San Rocco officially closed - Monte Argentario, suggested driving tour of island not advisable due to a large section of dirt road south of Porto Ercole.
La Cascia restaurant in Montemerano changed ownership in March - menu only in Italian, no English spoken, quality of food a poor substitute for Villa Acquaviva.
Route notes could include directions to the free Saturnia thermal river cascade.
By Mr Wilson on 30/05/2013
Fantastic experience, particularly Stromboli night climb and Mt. Etna. These walks deserve much more publicity as great walks of the world!
By Mr Williams on 29/05/2013
Good variety of walking and interest on the transfer days. Traveled in late May which seemingly is low season in Sicily consequently some of the restaurants on Marettimo were closed leaving a very limited choice, however the accommodation has a good kitchenette giving the option to self cater for 1 or 2 nights. Marettimo was very windy the days we were there making the coastal path to the Castello challenging, you certainly need a head for heights in windy conditions.
By Mr Arnatt on 29/05/2013
We were most impressed with the welcome and hospitality at all the hotels, as well as the great service offered by Sarah, our rep. However, we were surprised at the challenging terrain of the walking, especially on the last day (Teolo to Il Feudo) and our overall enjoyment was spoiled by having to cope with shinning up rocks, then traversing knee-deep mud, then a slide down a rock strewn path. It was not the enjoyable countryside walking with views we had envisaged.
By Mr Balaam on 22/05/2013
We had a great week, the weather certainly helped us to make the most of our stay in Tuscany.
By Mr Jackson on 19/05/2013
A wonderful holiday - we wished that it could have been longer, offering more walking days. Our rep (Javier) was particularly good, with an impressive knowledge of the area & checking the routes daily during bad weather.
By Mr Cannon on 16/05/2013
We enjoyed our stay with Ercole and Roberta at Locanda Senio where the food and wine was excellent. We completed all the walks except for day 5 when instead we walked halfway up the road to Lozzle. On day 2 in a heavy thunderstorm we failed to turn back at the slabs to cross the ridge down to the Piane valley and continued on the ridge for a much longer walk mainly due to protecting papers from rain. On day 3 we turn off the ridge early at the Eco village Campanara due to not reading clear instructions. On day 4 we continued straight down past the front gate at Gruffieto instead of turning left due to not reading clear instructions and climbed over a large tree trunk to rejoin the walk later on the ridge.
By Mrs Bainton on 14/05/2013
A wonderful opportunity to get to know this corner of Sicily. We would never have found these nature reserves ourselves. The wild flowers were a spectacle, and the local cuisine excellent.
By Mrs Blake on 14/05/2013
Loved Western Sicily, looking extra beautiful covered in spring flowers. And how well we ate!
Independent walking with the confident backup of Crilu's expertise. Seeing those parts of a place not normally on the tourist routes and enjoying beautiful scenery and interesting locations away from the masses.
By Mr Plumb on 24/04/2013
A very enjoyable holiday. we were particularly impressed by the taxi transfers and their good driving on difficult roads. Always hugely reassuring to be welcomed at the airport, and when the taxi arrives on time, indeed early! The hotels were far more luxurious than we expected, so a real treat.
By Mrs Sutherland on 24/04/2013
This is a lovely and relaxing holiday with no strenuous walking. You do have to drive to all but two of the walks, but we found this a lovely way of seeing more of the area and we really enjoyed exploring the delightful hilltop towns. As you don't move on, you have the flexibility of choosing what to do when. The accommodation (we had an upgrade with balcony looking over the vineyards towards Montemerano), food and wine are all excellent and the family and their staff very warm, friendly and knowledgeable of the area.
By Mr Scharer on 24/04/2013
Well thought out and stress -free holiday but not cheap.
By Mr McCloud on 03/11/2012
As you can tell from my ratings, my wife and I were extremely pleased with Headwater on all counts. We found the staff to be extremely responsive, particularly when there was a problem, such as with our late arrival in Cuneo due to the late flight and Italian trains. Also, we were unhappy with one of the restaurants, Moda, in Monforte, and again, the staff were very helpful in arranging an excellent alternative.
Our local representative Nuno was wonderful - always on time, well informed, and very attentive.
We were especially pleased - and a bit surprised, and the quality of the accommodations and food. The meals were just outstanding - thank goodness for the walks so we could keep our weight from ballooning.
My wife and I are already looking forward to another walking tour and will definitely contact Headwater when we're ready to proceed. Many thanks for your great service.
By Mr Wright on 03/11/2012
An expensive holiday with lots of extras to pay for, but fantastic,,
By Mr Buttanshaw on 03/11/2012
Stunning scenery particularly from the top of the island of Marritimo (Pizzo Falconi)which was a good climb! A pity the Zingara Reserve was closed due to a fire since early August, which knocked out the whole first day's walking; a much inferior road walk was suggested instead. We feel we should have been advised of this by Headwater when booking.
We were on the last trip of the season and we had the feeling everything was winding down. Service was a bit hit and miss in places. The extra day in Palermo was probably not a good idea as there's not much to do compared to other Italian cities.
Still, another memorable Headwater holiday as we have come to expect.
By Mr Whitehurst on 17/10/2012
Reference to Hotel La Certosa at Marina del Cantone is incorrect because I didn't stay there but there is no option to avoid entering a review in the questionnaire.
The holiday was excellent but only contact with local rep was one five minute phone call which was disappointing.
I think the the route needs to be revisited and the guide notes updated. It seems as if they were written some time ago and time has moved on. Nothing major wrong but a number of small errors.
Thank you so much for your comments Mr Whitehurst, we are sorry you found the walking instructions to be a little out of date in places. A member of Headwater staff has since re-walked the routes and made the necessary amendments to the notes ready for the spring departures.
By Dr Knight on 10/10/2012
V enjoyable holiday. The rep Javier was outstanding.
Walking instructions were good but distance estimates were out (according to our GPS) by as much as 100% so when a hut and shrine stated to be 800 metres is actually 1.6km (or 600 v 1200km) this creates doubts.
Advice on what grid reference the maps use would help and if not on Garmin a lat/long for critical points would help. We got lost on Monte Subasio on day one where path was indistinct and could not get grid ref for map. We got back due to realising we were too low and therefore heading up hill under a powerline to hit the correct track.
Extra 2 days in Assisi well worth it to walk Monte Subasio summit, see more of Assisi, San Damiano, Rivotorto and Commonwealth War Cemetery plus Santa Maria deglia Angeli
By Mr Woolstone on 10/10/2012
An excellent holiday. Javier, the representative was outstanding in his concern, good cheer and attention to detail. He went the extra kilometre and more. The walking was spectacular and the hotels were equally as good. Everything abroad went perfectly & was almost always 5*.
The only slight drawback was Headwater's efficiency in the UK where we had to ring back on two occasions when calls were not returned and we had to chase up non-delivery of tickets as time was getting short. (And not sure about the sea view room listed on our itinerary as we were over 100 miles from the Med!)
By Mr Chapman on 06/10/2012
Two of the walk days included much time spent on tarmac and although the roads and tracks were quiet it is not our preferred surface. However all destinations were superb with plenty to do and with great hotels. Do add in a couple of nights in Capri, its wonderful but expensive!
By Mr Baxter on 06/10/2012
Whilst this holiday was good, comfortable and up to expectations, it was not as exciting as our previous trips with you on the Amalfi Coast or in the Mont Blanc Foothills. However, the Tuscan countryside and the nature, quality and location of the hotel were first class.
By Mr Snelling on 06/10/2012
Overall holiday met our expectations. Travel arrangements all ok. Excellent walks in dramatic scenery especially on volcanoes.
By Mrs Gooder on 06/10/2012
Beautiful scenery, lovely walks, but very basic accommodation. Neither the brochure not the notes make it clear that some of the walks are across exceptionally steep hillsides and not for the faint-hearted
By Mr Sidey on 06/10/2012
We really enjoyed this holiday as most walks were interesting and the overall accommodation was good. Special mention must be made of Sarah who gave us detailed briefings on the walks at the beginning and useful information on the accommodations we would be using. It took a little while to understand the guide notes but once we realised the style and approach of the writer then we were fine. Good walking country with mix of woods and rock scrambles with good views. We met few walkers on the trails but the villages where we stopped were lively and pleasant.
By Mrs Jenkins on 06/10/2012
This was a seriously more challenging walking holiday than our previous Headwater holiday in Davos. Several of the walks had serious climbing or descents but the notes were very accurate apart from the timings which were rather too generous. Lovely, immaculately clean hotel with very friendly & welcoming staff. They even set up an early breakfast for our last morning as we had to leave before 7am. Plenty of food at mealtimes, some of the meals were served lukewarm but this improved over the week. The drinks were very reasonable. Most of the recommended wines were priced around 20 euros (or less in some cases) and coffees were only 2 euros! A real bargain! Overall a very good value holiday in a well-maintained family-run hotel with delightful staff. Recommended for walkers who like a challenge.
By Mr Asteriades on 06/10/2012
This was our fifth and definitely our most enjoyable holiday with Headwater.
The hotel was excellent, with very capable and friendly staff. The walking wonderful through the magnificent Dolomites.
Never a dull moment.
By Mrs Collins on 06/10/2012
Overall we had a very enjoyable week.
The hotel was excellent and I was very impressed that we were given a 7 day bus and train pass.
The food in the hotel was a bit disappointing as we were anticipating more pasta and pizza cuisine, and had not realised that Dobbiaco is near the Austrian border and is just a bit more Germanic than Italian.
By Dr Wright on 01/10/2012
We booked last minute so it was expensive. The weather was awful, torrential rain most days but still the Tuscan countryside was stunning and the walking good to excellent. The hotels were all extremely good, with excellent facilities and near charming towns. The walking instructions were almost certainly written for lovely weather and it is more difficult when you are watching your feet to avoid slipping so we found them less than clear at times and got lost. Our luggage was always waiting for us when we arrived. If there is a sincere thought to assist local communities then more nights eating out would have been preferable.. We did not have a single night in a local restaurant. which would have added to our experience. Walking boots are definitely required the terrain at times is tough.
We saw virtually no other walkers but the local people were very friendly and helpful. We travelled to Florence by local bus which was also excellent and to be recommended. If you fly out of Pisa and wish to see the leaning tower then get ot the airport early as they only have limited left luggage facilities.
By Mrs Walker on 29/09/2012
Excellent holiday with good walking and friendly comfortable hotels. Would highly recommend it. Good food (some very good) at all the hotels. Jaiver the local rep was excellent. Very efficient and unobtrusive. Please pass on our thanks to him.
By Mrs Ames on 29/09/2012
We really enjoyed our secrets of Sicily holiday. The walks were exactly as described and quite varied. We liked the combination of sightseeing, swimming and walking. Altogether a very well organised holiday and we hope to return to Sicily.
By Mr Harrison on 24/09/2012
A wonderful holiday - very well thought through and organised with a perfect mix of great walking in beautiful countryside and opportunities for sightseeing in nearby cities.
By Mrs Whensley on 24/09/2012
There was one major issue regarding the first place at Scopello. We were unable to walk due to a fire in the reserve. Firstly we should have been told about this before the start of the holiday as it had happened a month previously and the local rep thought we could walk in it a little way. In fact people had been turned away at the reseve and you would expect the rep to know. Alos there should have been a typed sheet to indicate the alternatives. In fact we hired a car to sightsee and that alternative was not mentioned. It was generally poor and the food was almost uneatable. I could not eat breakfast as cake may be what the Italians eat but I do not. I did ask for some meat and that was produced on the second day but it was not acceptable..
Also the walks were generally on the verge of being boring but we found our own on Maretimmo becuase we had bought a walking book in UK.In summary the holiday was OK but only just accpetable for the money.
By Mrs Dee-crowne on 24/09/2012
A great holiday with a variety of walks and accommadation. Walk instructions were clear and concise. Headwater staff could not have been more helpful.
By Mr Marler on 24/09/2012
We were very satisfied customers. We wondered if the trip, with all its stopover days might be a bit soft, but there was plenty to do at each place and we wouldn't have missed any of it. The route was well planned and all the accommodation was, of its different kinds, excellent. Karen was outstandingly good as local rep/route manager - efficient, reliable, enthusiastic and helpful, and possessed of a great fund of local knowledge.
We were sent the wrong trip notes initially (for the cycling version instead of the walking tour) but this mistake was rapidly corrected.
We were glad to have the map provided, notwithstanding the shortcomings of Italian maps, though those shortcomings were more apparent on the local map we borrowed at the agriturismo, which fitted the forest paths just often enough to be seriously confusing! Just as well we had a compass. But the exploring was fun.
By Mr Conway on 24/09/2012
We went to Tuscany for a wedding and asked Headwater if we could do the Volterra to San Gimignano walk on consecutive days, which we did. The walks were excellent, challenging but not debilitating ranging from pretty to spectacular countryside. Accomodation was good, but miserable staff at the Park Hotel spoiled the first night a bit. They made up for it on the last night with a big improvement in service. The Agriturismo was brilliant. We arrived a couple of hours earlier than predicted and Signora came out with several courses of food plus a huge carafe of Chianti. This is the first time we have done a Headwater holiday and are considering going again. It rates as one of our best short breaks we ave ever had.
By Mr Woods on 24/09/2012
Excellent holiday very well arranged and booked by Headwater. The Dolomites are spectacular and well worth a hiking holiday. Accommodation and food at the Bellevue Hotel was excellent. We had a wonderful time.
By Mrs Wakeham on 13/09/2012
The hotel was superb: accommodation,food & staff. The instructions from Headwater were clear and concise. One of the best ever holidays you could ever go on! Thanks to Headwater and Fabbio and his family.
By Ms Clarke on 10/09/2012
Overall we really enjoyed the holiday
The information given to us stated that the local walking guide would telephone us on our first evening. She did not do this.
The walks required 3 different maps but we only received one from you
Written walking notes generally excellent except going into and out of Massa Lubrenese on the last walk when they were quite confusing and we went wrong several times
The Conca Del Sogna was a real treat, we felt like millionaires having a drink on the terrace with no-one else around!
By Mr Billing on 10/09/2012
A great holiday. Amazing scenery, wonderful hotels with lovely food and drink and a rep who really did welcome us and made sure we had the best possible experience.
By Ms Foulds on 05/09/2012
Dobbiaco is a good base, due to its wide range of public transport links. The series of walks suggested by Headwater is excellent and we also recommend a visit to Brunico with its beautiful old town and interesting mountain museum in the castle.
By Mrs Morgan on 01/09/2012
A fantastic experience of Italy.
By Mrs Hoile on 18/08/2012
Our holiday in Tuscany was one of our best holidays in Italy to date the region's landscape and history were quite amazing. The hilltop towns were unique and the local people were so accomodating. A must for any seasoned Headwater traveller
By Ms Warren on 13/08/2012
The hotel would of been more comfortable if it had air conditioning, the tempreture was 34 during the day, and 25 at night.
Al fresco dining sounds wonderful,(as the main dining room was closed) but not when you are bitten by mosquitos and sharing your dinner with flys. The hoteliers dogs were very sweet,but using the gardens surrounding the dining are todo their business whilst we were eating was not acceptable.
On a more positive note the walks and scenery were lovely.
Dear Ms Warren,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our questionnaire, and for your feedback.
It was great to read that you enjoyed the walks and scenery. Tuscany certainly is a beautiful part of Italy.
I was however sorry to read of your disappointment with the hotel regarding the air conditioning and hoteliers dogs. We have discussed both of these points with them and asked for their feedback.
Firstly, they would like to offer a sincere apology that you were unhappy with certain parts of your stay at their hotel, regarding the dogs, whilst they do roam around the hotel grounds he assures us that they have a separate area where they do their business, he was very surprised to hear your feedback and has assured us that it will not happen again. We will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure future customers do not encounter this. Regarding the air conditioning, due to the lower temperatures experienced in the mountains compared to what you might find in the lower lying regions in Italy, the hotels in this area do not use air conditioning. The average temperatures in Aug range from upper 20s to low 30s. All of our brochure pages have a temperature guide which highlights the warmer and colder times of the season to travel, along with a hotel description which shows all of the facilities included. Whilst this hotel has a wide range of facilities air conditioning is not one of them. I am sorry that you were uncomfortable because of the temperatures. But was glad to see it did not spoil your holiday.
In closing I would like to assure you that we take all of the feedback we receive seriously and continue to work with our suppliers to ensure that we deliver a high quality, interesting and enjoyable holiday.
We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future
By Mr Sanders on 13/08/2012
An excellent hotel, glorious high walking in dramatic landscapes and a delicious blend of the best of Italian and Austrian food. Who could ask for anything more?
By Mr Sillett on 07/08/2012
A very enjoyable one boot sight seeing and walking holiday. The Villa Acquaviva is a wonderfully relaxing base with excellent food, wine and service.
The range of walking/sight seeing options available is fairly good however it would have been helpful to have been told in advance that the best independent walking routes in the Maremma National Park are unavailable during peak season.
We combined the Montemerano and Saturnia walk into one on our final day which we definitely recommend as it adds more of a challenge.
Having been on many 2 boot Headwater walking holidays we felt that this was more of a sightseeing than walking holiday itself as without the Maremma National Park there were really only two good length walks. We had expected the difference between boot 1 and boot 2 walking to be the distance and number of ascents and descents. However in this case we felt some walks had been tagged on to sightseeing (Pitigliano and Vitozza) just to make up the number of walks.
By Mrs Halliwell on 07/08/2012
This was our fourth holiday with Headwater and the best yet. The hotel was superb, very welcoming, very comfortable and the service and food were excellent. The walks were challenging for our mixed ability party of three but we all agreed they were some of the most beautiful walks we have done. Thanks Headwater, we look forward to out next trip with you.
Sue, Mark and Bethan Halliwell
By Mrs Fisher on 23/07/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Rome and Southern Tuscany. The variety of walks was lovely,including countryside, coastal and in-town rambles. However the weather was mid-30s so we were not too adventurous returning in the arly afternoon and appreciating the pool at the villa.
By Mr Blunt on 23/07/2012
Very good value for money, although more expensive than some other Headwater walks. The routes were challenging and scenic; we were constantly rewarded with great views, flora and fauna. We especially enjoyed the contrasting experience of visiting Spello and Assisi. There is so much to see and treasure.
The hotels are exceptionally good; at the agroturismo in Satriano and Le Silve we really didn't want to stray very far as the locations are so gorgeous.
Javier, was very impressive and knew the location very well indeed. He has built up a good rapport with the hotels and this really adds enhances the experience.
By Mr Williams on 23/07/2012
Good holiday made by excellent weather and good company.
By Mr Cole on 23/07/2012
Great holiday in an area new to us
By Mrs Bremner on 23/07/2012
By Mrs Boag on 23/07/2012
This was our 4th Headwater holiday and, while we have enjoyed them all very much, this was the best one by quite a margin. Good weather helped, but the hotel was something special and the scenery was even more spectacular than we had expected.
By Mrs Vlismas on 23/07/2012
Dobbiaco was a good choice to use as a base for this holiday.
By Mr Jowers on 11/07/2012
Room was small and the en-suite cramped. The lack of air conditioning is a negative aspect. Vegetarian food was very good albeit heavily dependent upon cheese. Bit more variety would have been welcomed.
As far as the food was concerned it was, again, very good. However, I would have preferred to have seen more vegetables and a salad option instead of one of the courses would have been helpful for those with smaller appetites. Strangely for breakfast one couldn't get a cappuccino whereas elsewhere in Italy they are available at that time.
By Mr Butcher on 11/07/2012
Fantastic-we thought the Fuchs family run a really excellent hotel and the walks were brillant also. We had Tony Lewis staying at the hotel he could not have been more friedly or helpfull,even though it was not his job to look after us!! All in all really good time.
By Mr Davies on 11/07/2012
Very happy - would do it all again
By Mr Lucas on 07/07/2012
Excellent mix of walking and sightseeing.
By Mr Bennett on 07/07/2012
Tiring but worth while! An experience to be repeated
By Mrs Oglesby on 07/07/2012
we really enjoyed our holiday. The area was beautiful and the walks well planned and descriptions/ directions accurate. We were met with friendliness everywhere we went. The local advice from Sarah was really helpful planning our rest days. I thought she was really good at her job, helpful, knowledgable and friendly- she genuinely seemed to want us to help us have a great holiday.
By Mr Pessall on 30/06/2012
Good in parts, not so good in others
By Mrs Winkworth on 30/06/2012
A most unusual holiday. Lots of travelling but worked very well.
By Dr Ravenscroft on 30/06/2012
For us the combination of walking and free time was just right. An excellent holiday that worked well
By Mr Dobinson on 30/06/2012
Simply our best ever holiday abroad - what more can we say?
By Mrs Reynolds on 30/06/2012
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
By Ms Lockhart on 23/06/2012
it was the second time i had done the Amalfi walk and enjoyed it immensely both times, apart from one bad experience at hotel Prisco.
By Mrs Bown on 23/06/2012
Excellent hotel but walks overall disappointing as only 3 days had what we would consider satisfying and challenging walks as opposed to local sightseeing or pottering which should have been additional options rather than planned days also the national park walks did not appeal due to the fact that the buses only ran hourly in the morning or once or twice later on which would waste a lot of time hanging around in the heat of the day.
Dear Mrs Brown, thank you for your comments. Following a staff visit to the area we are now sending out updated route notes to all guests who are due to travel. We appreciate that this doesn't effect you, but hope that this will rectify the problems which you had for future guests. Thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater. Kind regards, Melanie.
By Ms Sheppard on 23/06/2012
I loved it, it exceeded expectations, thanks.
By Mr Clarke on 23/06/2012
Challenging but rewarding. The climbing was tougher than we expected, partly due to the heat, and all the days were 'long'. We HAD to start v early and therefore had to arrange early breakfasts in Lipari to avoid the heat and catch the ferries - your timings would have suited a more leisurely approach!
Catania is NOT a place to stay on Saturday nights - the hotel is over the busiest road and we were in a room over the street - you should ask for your custmers to have rooms over the back, particularly if they are booking an additional night as we did! We also had to handle all our own luggage up two flights of stairs, incidentally having been taken to the wrong hotel by our driver! Lipari was lovely and well organised with lots of variety but it was the only place where we were expected to eat in - the food was OK but the dining room was bleak and the atmosphere in that room, poor. A pity - the pool was lovely! Again on Stromboli we had a front room above the main door and bar although the lights went off at 10.30. WE took the short strw in Taormina again - second floor fron, over the ice-cream bar. Taormine first night - no sleep - people were coming and goind under our window literally all night with the last retching past at 5 am...just as dawn broke! Better on Sunday and Monday but aagin, avoid Saturday in Taormina!!! Your notes on Etna were not accurate...the walk-up option is a killer - you really do have to take the new cable car and then the big four-wheelers to 2900 ms and a guide really is a must - he is only a fraction more than the DIY option but unguided there is limited scope to 'feel' the volcano - but the guide took us on a scree run down -500 ms plus and we walked/ran the whole way down in under two hours - exhilarating but very heavy on the knees for the unprepoared. As this was the highlight of our trip we thought we could have been better prepared.
And it was an expensive holiday - there were endless extras...for those used to having the evening meal in the price, fewer trips (less tipping) and no ferries....
Would I recommend this trip to others...probably not..without explaining the pitfalls and additional expenses...I shall probably go back, take my time but organise it myself more cheaply...
But....I wouldn't have gone without your support this time so thank you for that...it felt a little ambitious for the Headwater programme...
Dear Mr Clarke, thank you for taking the time to send us your comments following your recent holiday. Unfortunately, due to the length of the trip and the number of 'must see' sights on the Islands, this holiday requires a 9 night duration - meaning a Saturday night is inevitable... we are very sorry to hear that you received noisy rooms in Catania and Taormina though - this is the first time we have had this kind of feedback. Following your review we have requested quiet rooms for our guests in future. This is subject to availability, but we are confident that this will rectify the issues you mention. We are in the process of checking our route notes ready for the Autumn departures, so we will make sure that the points you have mentioned are highlighted to our agent. Thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater. Kind regards, Melanie.
By Mr Turner on 23/06/2012
Very good. great to have walk options and great to have some sightseeing opportunities, made for an interesting and varied holiday
By Mr Clements on 23/06/2012
Very enjoyable - walks were well-planned with very thorough and accurate guides
By Ms Tonge on 16/06/2012
Very good. Much enhanced by staying at the Vittoria hotel in Sorrento
By Mrs Moncrieff on 16/06/2012
Poor experience at Bay of dreams with drilling in kitchen at dinner and noisy digger clearing beach for a day. Generally good instructions for walking, but one day was very poor. Left instead of right etc. impossible to follow. Rep's crying baby made phone calls v difficult, but she was helpful. Haven't commented on some of the hotels, because they were not the ones we stayed in. Overall good holiday with annoyances.
By Mr Allen on 16/06/2012
One of the best --- Javier was by far the best rep we have had in all our many headwater holidays over the past 30 years or so
By Ms Benton on 16/06/2012
A superb holiday. One of the best Headwater walking holidays we've had.
By Ms Waites on 16/06/2012
By Mr Dudley on 11/06/2012
Extremely enjoyable balance of exercise and relaxation/exploring
The arrangements during the holiday seem to flow well without a minimum of fuss from any rep or guide.
By Mr Fleckney on 11/06/2012
a wonderful almost undiscovered part og Tuscany to walk and relax in
By Mrs Naylor on 11/06/2012
A great holiday with good hotels, walks,transfers. The trips to the islands made it much more than a standard walking holiday.Great memories!
By Mr Anstey on 25/05/2012
Lovely walking. Excellent hotels.
By Mr Freeman on 25/05/2012
An excellent holiday - well-organised and largely stress-free. We would (in retrospect) have preferred to find our own meals on Lipari - the restaurant was very limited and we ate out on one of the nights. Otherwsie, stunning foof, views, walks and an excellent time.
By Ms Findlay on 25/05/2012
A well organise, enjoyable walking holiday in a fantastic region
By Mr Dent on 19/05/2012
By Mrs Rose on 19/05/2012
Enjoyable, lots of exercise in good weather.
By Mrs McIntosh on 05/05/2012
good but broke ankle on third day - driver Nello was fantastic help
By Ms Pitt on 05/05/2012
Very enjoyable. Wonderful scenery and good walking. It was excellent having reliable pickups to take us from one location to another.
By Mrs Thomas on 05/05/2012
Great walking in dramatic locations and scenery; wonderful spring flowers; overall a very enjoyable week
By Sir Dobson on 00/00/0000
By Mrs Allsop on 00/00/0000
A perfect combination of stunning scenery, culture and gastronomy. I would definitely recommend this holiday.
By Ms Marshall on 00/00/0000
Please provide guests with bus stop information in Alba - we walked down to Gallo from Grinzane and easily took a bus there, but weren't sure where to stand, which bus stop, on the way back.... So missed the bus when it did come. Also the air-con on the top floor in Villa Pavesi needs attention! A beautiful room under the eaves, but boiling hot!
By Mr Long on 00/00/0000
Overall an excellent holiday with good accommodation and choice of walking routes
By Mrs Austin on 00/00/0000
The accommodation, hospitality and food were of a high standard. The area was actractive, if somewhat remote, with limited transport links to other towns and villages. The limited accuracy of the map, with some parts of the routes described in the guide notes not shown on the map, made some of the walking more challenging than they would appear from the 'boot' rating. For a 1:25000 scale map they were extremely poor compared with Ordnance Survey maps of the same scale. Timings given were optimistic not allowing for the heat, and despite feeling that the fitness level required was within our capability we ended up opting for some non walking days and for the shorter less challenging routes.
By Lad Blackwell on 00/00/0000
This holiday was a perfect mix of walking and relaxation. It was reassuring to have reps on the ground, although everything went perfectly and so we didn't need to call on them. The route notes were first rate and the accommodation excellent and in just the right locations for our rest days.
By Mr Cumber on 00/00/0000
We had an amazing trip walking around Tuscany. San Gimignano was probably the highlight but everything was excellent. Walking in mid-August was very hot, but we found the if we left early the walking temperature until about 11am was just right. On our off days we visited Sienna, took a vineyard tour near San Gimignano (the excellent Cappellasantandrea is a 30 min walk away) and explored around Casole. The meals outside at the Relais della Rovere were also fantastic. Overall a great trip we would highly recommend.
By Mrs Slater on 00/00/0000
You will not find a better hotel than the Bellevue at Dobbiaco and the excellent local bus and train services give you access to some of the most spectacular areas and walks in the Dolomites
By Mr Willson on 00/00/0000
The quality and variety of walking was stimulating and typified the beauty of the area. I travelled in early July and the flower meadows were among the most abundant I have seen in Europe. The hotel offered well cooked and interesting menus (excellent pasta) and a good accompanying wine list, with friendly, helpful staff.