Customer reviews: Holidays in Salzburg
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our all holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their all holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their all holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Ms Baldwin on 14/10/2016
A really great walking tour, good combination of easier and more challenging walks, beautiful mountain lakes, great comfortable hotels in amazing locations, great food at the hotels and at the restaurants along the trail. Was very easy to self guide during the walks with the notes provided, and not get lost. Local tour agents were helpful, gave a great briefing overview, and were on time and flexible to allow me to do a shorten the tour by a few days. A great way to relax and enjoy the Austrian country side.
By Mr Jenkinson on 29/09/2016
This holiday is set in beautiful and typical Austrian countryside. Salzburg, St Gilgin, Hallstatt, St Wolfgang and other places are busy and not for everyone.
By Mrs Meakin on 14/09/2016
Excellent base, fantastic views
By Mr Maher on 30/08/2016
Our party consisted of Grandma and Granddad (late 60's), Son (48) and Grandson (10). We were all more than catered for and thoroughly enjoyed our activity holiday. We had an informative break down of the area from our reps, Colin and Jill and the map we were given + bus timetables were very useful throughout the week. Our bicycles were easy to ride and comfortable.
Our first outing was on the afternoon of arrival when we decided to visit the nearby village. There were very few days when we didn't use the bikes to visit nearby towns and villages and the routes were usually flat and safe for our 10 year old. Our grandson particularly enjoyed the toboggan run but warns other would be enthusiasts that it is possible to fall off!! He was, however, proud of his scraped leg! Got straight back on and finished the course.
The grandparents tackled the cycle ride to lake Schwazen which included a steep climb. We walked some of the way as it was very hot - but we made it and were very proud of ourselves especially as there were many people overtaking us on electric bikes! (a good idea if you are not used to cycling). We particularly enjoyed our day at the Salt Mines, using the local bus and train + a ferry to get to Hallstatt (a stunning place). The salt mines were great fun and a unique experience. We also visited the Ice Caves (by local buses) - also fascinating.
The boys hired an eco boat and also sampled tubing on the lake. Crazy golf and the train up the mountain was fab + the cable car up Katrin. The walk down the mountain was pretty tough, though out 10 year old completed the whole day without a murmur. Catching the bus back outside the Spar on the main road was a good idea as sustenance was required!!
Last, but not least, the hotel was superb - so friendly and the food was spectacular! Thank you Headwater for a great holiday, though we did need a rest on our return.
By Mr Grief on 30/08/2016
This was a very enjoyable holiday. We have done Headwater cycling holidays before but not for the past 8 years and with neither age nor fitness on our side, were apprehensive about embarking on this one. However, although I found the first two cycling days challenging; the first quite hilly and much of it in pouring rain, the second quite long and in temperatures not far short of 30 degrees, we loved the cycling and chose to use the bikes on many of our free days, discovering some lovely quiet country routes. I was still in training to be an 'Uphill Bicycle Pushing' champion at the end of the holiday but was definitely much fitter.
Colin and Jill made us feel very welcome from the minute we arrived at Salzburg airport and it was good to know they were at the end of the phone should we need them. Each hotel had its own character and all were good. All were welcoming and the service attentive. The food ranged from good to excellent. We chose to add two extra nights in Bad Ischl and were very pleased that we did so. It is a delightful little town and we were there during the celebrations of the Kaiser's birthday which involved a lot of dressing up in wonderful period costumes as well as music of all kinds in the parks and streets. There was also a very impressive craft fair by the river and a festival of Light Opera at the theatre where we saw a wonderful performance of Die Fledermaus.
Our two extra nights in Salzburg were also good although after the tranquillity of the hills and lakes the city was very busy and a bit overwhelming in the heat. If you are using the Marcus Sittikus hotel and like us were feeling ready something different to classic Austrian dishes, 'My Indigo' in the parallel street serves a great curry and some good beer (salads also available) at a very reasonable price. We also had a very good salad in the Pitter Garten in the same street. We enjoyed a concert of chamber music in the Marble Hall of the Mirabell palace, which was conveniently close to our hotel.
Previous holidays with Headwater had been in more remote rural areas and having read reviews of the holiday we were also apprehensive about a lot of cycling on and near main roads. The geography of the region means that very often this is the only available route for parts of the journeys but the bicycle paths were excellent, the scenery still stunning and compared with many parts of the UK the traffic reasonably light. There were stretches of lovely countryside on all days. We also did three local rides on our free days which involved very little time by main roads.
By Mrs Snape on 23/08/2016
It was an excelent holiday but thought it rated a higher difficulty than one boot as it was challenging in places.
By Mr Reid on 19/08/2016
We really enjoyed our holiday. The arrangements were efficient, the hotel was comfortable if somewhat dated (it's years since I've seen one of those beige hairdriers attached to the bathroom wall in a hotel). The food was good on the whole, though with limited choice as is usual for this type of hotel in Austria not everything is going to suit everyone.
The area is great for all levels of activity and the option of returning on the boat after a walk or cycle was great for us with our 7 year old. We have been to the area before so knew it would be suitable for us even if we didn't want to opt for some of the suggested things on the itinerary.
By Mr Hopkins on 19/08/2016
Austrian lakes are a fabulous location for a cycling holiday. Stunning views , with well marked cycle routes and excellent accommodation and food.
By Mr Metcalf on 17/08/2016
The family activity holiday was ideal for a family of mixed ability. The cycling to Bad Ischi , Saint Wolfgang and Saint Gilgen was suitable for everyone. All the places we visited had a wide selection of coffee shops, bars and restaurants. We also did a number of walks from the hotel. The most rewarding was the 20 minute ascent of the Thersienstein which gave excellent views of Wolfgangsee. A more adventurous walk was the Brustwand Aussichtsweg, although the highlight was probably a beer at the Kleefeld on the way back to the hotel with views up the Postalm valley. We used the hotels swimming pool everyday and on the hotter days you could walk out into the garden to a selection of sun beds. The hotels facilities were excellent. We had a bedroom with a mezzanine which gave 3 sleeping areas. The public areas were very spacious and clean. The food was a modern interpretation of Austrian cuisine that was very well cooked and presentated. However if you thought it a little adventurous they would give alternatives like Wiener schnitzel and chips . Overall the holiday is highly recommended.
By Mr Wallace on 17/08/2016
I had a fantastic week on the Austrian Lakes Adventure. Colin and Jill were very welcoming and happy to help at any stage of the holiday. The family run Hotel was also brilliant! Rather than a standard room which I was expecting, I had my very own suite including window seating and table, sofa, en-suite, balcony and ample storage. Their buffet breakfast and 5 course evening menus were always first class too. I really could not complain! As for the hiking and cycling, there were numerous notes provided which gave flexibility and choice dependent on the level of ability I was looking for. This was a great way to visit the local area and integrate with local culture. I also incorporated a day trip to Salzburg by bus. Unlike the UK, this was very easy to organise, and stress free! This was a beautiful area to visit and will highly recommend to my friends and family. Thank you all.
By Mr Struthers on 17/08/2016
The area was great albeit cycling on day 1 (maybe some of day 2 also) was a bit too hilly for a one cycle holiday. Better to be one cycle plus
Hotels and locations variable but generally very good
Overall a very enjoyable holiday
Hotel food of better standard than usual (except maybe Hotel Blumendorf).
Hotel Grunberg spectacular in every way (location, food, view etc)
By Mr Ball on 16/08/2016
Very good experience despite the travel arrangement errors.
By Mrs Entrican on 04/08/2016
Yet another excellent holiday from Headwater. Quality accommodation, wonderful scenery and friendly and helpful reps. What more could you ask?
By Mr Christer on 25/07/2016
In our opinion cycling the Headwater way is the most relaxing and best way to really get to know and enjoy an area. The Austrian lakes scenery was spectacular. The photos in your brochure do not fully do the area justice.
By Mrs Lawrence on 25/07/2016
Thank you Headwater - A superb well organised walking holiday in a stunningly beautiful part of Austria.
All the hotels were of a consistanly high standard & our reps Jill & Colin were always mmediately available to answer any questions & to suggest alternative routes when the weather was against us.
By Dr Miller on 22/07/2016
This is a lovely area in which to cycle. The route passes through rolling farmland and around beautiful alpine lakes. Each village was storybook perfect, though all were slightly different. There are quite a few opportunities to be a tourist on the non-cycling days, with options for alpine viewing platforms, salt mine tours and cave tours. The hotels were solid choices and typically had warm, friendly staff. The food at the half-board dinners tended to be on the heavy side, so eating a light lunch would be advisable.
The bicycling is not too challenging. There are a few climbs, but I don't think any were more than 250 meters of elevation gain. It is more challenging cycling than the Passau to Vienna trip on the Danube, but easier than Umbria and far easier than Piemonte. The cycling route is a mix of dedicated cycle paths, often alongside a busy road, and cycling on quiet country roads. I would rate the trip three (out of five) stars for the quality of the cycling terrain/experience, but five stars for scenery and the charm of the villages.
During my trip, there were several days of 30+ degrees with high humidity. This is not surprising for cycling in July, but do not expect anything in rural Austria to be air conditioned, including the hotel rooms.
By Ms Taylor on 21/07/2016
I was lucky enough to win this cycling in Austria holiday and it was just amazing. Not something I would have thought of doing but may even do a similar thing again one day. Flights and transfers were great. The Reps were so helpful and couldn't do enough for us. They took luggage always at next hotel quickly too.
The electric bike I had was such a boon as there were a few more hilly bits than expected and the instructions of the routes were amazing and very detailed - well my partner did brilliantly following them so we never got lost. He had an ordinary bike which was a bit ropey but he is a cyclist so sorted it.
The scenery was amazing and cycle paths brilliant. As for the hotels they were a delight, each one had something special. Two had wonderful views from our rooms. The whole experience has been magic. Thank you so much Headwater and Silver Travel.
By Mr Beveridge on 15/07/2016
*This was a great tour. The hotels were all comfortable etc. We used electric bikes and though the routes are quite doable on an ordinary bike it enabled us to do a lot more on our 'stay put' days.
By Mr Bridge on 15/07/2016
Austria is a lovely country and the people are friendly. We had a great time and enjoyed the walks. My advice to you and my only difficulty was because we choose Stansted it meant getting up at 3.am. This was ok but the problem was that when we got to our first hotel we were too tired to take in all the information that Colin and Jill gave us. Its not a complaint of them but if we could of had that information on day two after a good nights sleep it would of been better.
By Dr Curry on 28/06/2016
well organised and helpful
By Mrs French on 28/06/2016
We have nothing but praise for this headwater holiday around the Austrian Lakes and we received warm welcomes at the hotels. The free days offer excellent sight seeing opportunities, like the Gustav Klimpt museum and the cog railway for spectacular views. Breakfasts were second to none in the hotels and rooms comfortable.
By Mr Baker on 27/06/2016
The landscape was stunning, the bikes very comfortable and easy to handle with plenty of gears! The hotels were very comfortable and in the main, well located. The food was good and varied from traditional Austrian fare to more adventurous haute cuisine. The routes were at times rather challenging hill-wise but then, this is Austria.
By Mrs Makin on 27/06/2016
GOOD HOTELS AND GOOD WALKS, THE WALKS WERE HARDER THAN WE HAD BEEN ON BEFORE, VERY WET GROUND MADE WALKING VERY DIFFICULT
By Dr Lynch on 16/06/2016
We had a great 10 days. Weather mixed but still enjoyed the amazing scenery. Would happily do it all again tomorrow. Thank you!
By Mrs Farebrother on 15/06/2016
The Salzkammergut is a fabulous area to explore and this is just a taster for future visits. As with all grading on the walking holidays, this one varies between 1 boot and 2 boots depending on the gradient and conditions, so 1+ is very much an average. Some of the steep descents when wet are very tricky underfoot. Our favourite hotels were the Bergrose and the Hollweger, for their location and warmth of welcome/comfort.
By Dr Rayner on 13/06/2016
We had just the right balance for us of challenging walks with wonderful views, days off, options for wet weather and guaranteed luxury accommodation. We also made friends with two other people who were doing the same routes as we were. Instructions sent in advance and on arrival were helpful, and we knew that we could call on our holiday reps to help us in any emergency. We were able to learn about Austrian culture and food without feeling that we had given up all of our home comforts.
By Mr Soutar on 06/06/2016
Such a beautiful area and we enjoyed the walks - even in mixed weather conditions!
All the hotels were excellent - the staff friendly and welcoming and all meals and wines were delicious. There was plently to keep us occupied on our rest days.
Altogether, a perfect holiday!
By Mr Parr on 03/06/2016
The weather was dreadful for the entire week we spent in Austria. It was cold and rained every day. Several of the recommended restaurants and cafes remained closed because of the bad weather although it was the start of the summer season. We put on wet weather gear and did the walks anyway. It was great - we had the whole area to ourselves! The wild flowers were fantastic. It was a pleasure to come back to the Hotel Bergrose each day because we knew we could swim and sauna before dinner. The food in the hotel was excellent and we were very comfortable there. What could have been a dreary week turned out to be entirely pleasurable.
By Mr Martini on 03/06/2016
We had with quite a lot of rain which could have been problematic on cycling days but actually we found it didn't detract from our enjoyment of the holiday. Some hotels were definitely better than others but there was always something about each hotels which made the stay a nice experience.
The reps were great and very keen to make sure we had everything we needed.
By Mr Schafer on 17/11/2015
We took our trip in late August. The trip was very well constructed and we thoroughly enjoyed the mix of hiking and exploring days as it gave us a chance to enjoy the beauty and culture of the areas we were visiting. This was our first self-guided Headwater trip (4th Headwater trip overall). The local reps Colin and Jill were very helpful, providing updated route notes and suggestions for things to see and do during our hiking and off days. The route notes were accurate and easy to follow. The hotels were all very nice and with the exception of the Hotel Bergrose, were all centrally located. ( The Bergrose was in a beautiful, quiet setting 20 mins out side of town.) It was very warm during our trip (~32 degrees) so we had to sleep with the windows open. The central location of the hotels made for rather noisy nights and we ended up sleeping with earplugs. The hotels and food were otherwise excellent across the board. This is a wonderful holiday.
By Mr Turner on 12/10/2015
A good way of combining cycle touring with time to explore the the surrounding areas
By Mr Goss on 01/10/2015
Our second Headwater cycle trip, (first was Canal du Midi). Excellent route. Spectacular scenery. Reps on site very knowledgeable and helpful. 'Free' days have many interesting places to visit.
By Mrs Elliott on 23/09/2015
We have had a superb holiday, Colin and Jill were very knowledgeable about the area and made useful suggestions with the accompanying literature about places to visit.
The hotel was five star and the food deserves Michelin stars.
The family treated us really well and we have promised ourselves that if circumstances allow we will return in 2 years, we will book through Headwater again
By Mr Wakeford on 22/09/2015
Beautiful scenery as previously experienced around the Austrian lakes.
By Mrs Barr on 21/09/2015
This was our 8th Headwater cycling holiday and we have thoroughly enjoyed all the others but it has to be said this was the best. Scenery was stunning and the hotels excellent. First day's cycling was very hilly as we had been told and on hindsight [being now the tender age of 67 and 68 respectively] myself in particular should have taken the option of an electric bike but only for the first cycling day if that had been possible. Pushing the bike uphill did allow for time to enjoy the views and the bonus was freewheeling downhill which was brilliant. Reps Colin and Jill gave excellent information for rest days. Unfortunately we were unable to take the option of extra days at Bad Ischl but would suggest this would be a good idea for those able to do so. Once again thank you to Headwater for another excellent holiday and fantastic memories.
By Dr Leiper on 21/09/2015
Reps were excellent
Hotel Stephanie had poor response to a TV and wash hand basin issue - depite my request.
By Mr Nicol on 21/09/2015
our first one biking abroad and will do it again
By Mrs Lee on 18/09/2015
Very well organised, excellent representatives, good cycling along dedicated cycle paths. Let down by standard of some hotels.
By Mr Taylor on 16/09/2015
very successful and enjoyable in all respects
By Mis Nicholson on 14/09/2015
Small hotels with very friendly service and good food. Some of the cycling was perhaps a bit above one bike level although with my fantastic e bike it was a breeze apart from down and up the steps at the underpass as the bike iwas quite heavy. Excellent reps, really knew their stuff and very helpful. We went wrong occasionally with the route notes but not drastically. The off road cycling was superb but there was quite a bit on roads - not too bad as Austrian drivers were generally very careful with bicycles. As Headwater is based in the northwest, perhaps they could offer more direct flights from regional airports: we found a really good time match with a Manchester flight to Salzburg rather than having to travel down to London. Otherwise another really first class holiday with the company.
By Mr Norman on 10/09/2015
especially excellent reps and route notes and well chosen hotels with hotel bergrose having especially good food. all the hotels were family owned which made the welcome very friendly..
By Mr Buckley on 10/09/2015
After the first day, which is quite hilly, this is a very easy cycle route through beautiful countryside. The Austrians that we met were particularly friendly, and eager to try out their English. Headwater's equipment, instructions and luggage transfers were all very good. The only negative comments we have are that 1) the half board arrangements resulted in a fairly monotonous diet across the week, with limited choice and 2) two of the hotels were a few miles out of the villages they were attached to and a long way from the lakes. The Bergrose hotel provided outstanding food, so we could forgive the distance from the lake!
By Mrs Turrell on 10/09/2015
walking is more challenging than described with gravel underfoot often making the going tough and slippery. Be prepared for no evening entertainment with locations very dull in September. Learn some german as majority of signs did not translate for visitors.
By Mrs McCann on 08/09/2015
Fantastic holiday in a beautiful area. Our 8 year old twins thoroughly enjoyed the cycling and the many swimming opportunities. Lovely hotels with excellent food. The temperatures were way above average during our trip which was challenging at times, especially as it was hard to cool down the hotel rooms but at least we never got wet! Overall a wonderful experience.
By Mrs Taylor on 07/09/2015
Well organised, extremely good hotels in lovely locations. First class food and service. The whole experience was wonderful and would highly recommend it to those looking for a similar holiday.
By Mr Taylor on 01/09/2015
Excellent holiday in an excellent location... 10 out of 10. Looking forward to returning.
By Mr Severn on 24/08/2015
Excellent - we had a fab holiday!
By Mr Stephens on 24/08/2015
It is a varied holiday of mountains and lakes with plenty of opportunities for wild swimming and the potential for great photographs from high places. Some days are longer and / or more arduous than the 1 boot. Note that if travelling through Frankfurt airport, you may be subject to security and / or passport checks despite only being 'in transit'. Also, be aware that the gates between connections can be some distance apart, so the 1hr 20mins between flights that we had was just sufficient to catch the onward flight. Very good holiday although temperatures were higher than expected.
By Ms Slivnitskaya on 21/08/2015
The holiday with Headwater was indeed the best holiday of my life. We went with my partner and were really impressed with the service and everything else. Reps were amazing, very helpful and we knew if we need them they come very quickly. Bikes were very good and all the equipment felt new and very high quality. In fact, I struggle to cycle now back home as my bike can not be compared with amazing Headwater one. Notes were excellent, we didn't use a map even once, I was very impressed that reps did all the walking and cycling themselves and check it regularly for updates. Hotels were very good and chosen in a very clever way, the further you go the better they get, perfect. Food was restaraunt quality and we saved a fortune on it. Hotel facilities were excellent, nearly all of them had spa and swimming pools which was a great reward after a day of cycling. I could say that neither me nor my partner are experienced cyclists, we never been to the cycling holiday before and didn't do much cycling back home. So we were quite scared and were expecting all sorts of challenges. But I have to say that Headwater made it easy. They are not cheap but you gonna get a holiday of your life. We came back home being fit, happy and much more confident with cycling and everything else too. Thank you very much, I really hope to save for another holiday in the future. I won't go with anybody else.
By Pro Beevers on 18/08/2015
Very attentive hard-working reps.
Quite challenging walking in terms of ascent and sometimes difficulty underfoot especially in wet weather. Possibly two boot. Pretty villages with plenty to do on days off.
Startlingly poor 'welcome' in Seewinkel left us fuming but was very much the exception. Excellent food throughout and interesting hotels generally.
By Mrs Osmond on 14/08/2015
A great week in an outstandingly beautiful area - as the notes say (and I paraphrase) any slog uphill is richly rewarded with ever more stunning views, and prices at the mountain-top cafes are the same as at the bottom, which is unusual. The weather was hot so we chose to do more cycling than walking to make our own breeze! Plenty of choice of walking and cycling routes and the teenagers were exercised adequately each day! The bicycles were good quality and very well maintained. We took the cog-railway up to Schafberg, walked up (and down) Katrin from Nussensee (which was a hard day's walk) and cycled to Bad Ischl, St Wolfgang, St Gilgen and Schwarzensee - that last one was hard too and we wished we'd taken our swimming stuff to cool off in the glorious lake! We added our own 4-night stay in Munich (including organising our own travel from Strobl and afterwards to Munich airport) and Headwater were happy to arrange our flight around this. We felt that everything had been carefully thought out and researched which meant we could just relax and enjoy ourselves.
By Mr North on 10/08/2015
Loved this holiday although the walking was quite tough. Because the weather on the first day of walking to another hotel wasn't good, the slippery, narrow path deserved a rating of more than 1+Boot. Maybe an alternative walk at a lower level for such conditions could be offered. We diverted off the path onto a logging track for safety reasons but this made the walk longer so still tougher than expected. For us most of the walks definitely needed the + as part of the rating.
By Mr Duckworth on 03/08/2015
When I go on holiday I like to chill, and my wife likes to get out and go visiting places of interest. We found that this holiday covered all bases. We chose a category one purposely because we have not done anything like this before, ok there were some hills and inclines but nothing that was to difficult, we had a fantastic time.
By Mr Swan on 28/07/2015
An amazing experience. We truly loved the carefree feeling it gave us. The Reps briefing was informative and gave us invaluable tips and suggestions on what to do in each location.
By Mrs Duncan on 24/07/2015
7 of us shared this holiday. We ranged in age from 10 to 73 and we all had a great time. The wonderful weather helped in this very good location. We were very impressed with the efficient Austrian people,in the delightful Bergrose hotel and all the little farms, ,houses and neat, tidy floral gardens. It was a joy to cycle around. the scenery was spectacular. We particularly enjoyed the lake at Stroble as well as the bike rides to StWolfgang, St Gilgen and Bad Ischl and the ferry to Hallstatt.. The children were always busy and after dinner had a very competitive table tennis match. A very good family holiday!
By Mr Murray on 24/07/2015
People we met told us that the Lakes region of Austria is a 'wet' area. Perhaps not ideal for cycling holidays?
By Ms Druce on 21/07/2015
From the minute we booked with Headwater we have had excellent service. Even though we never dealt with 1 consultant - bit confusing as we had many people reply to our emails - everyone who did reply knew exactly what the previous person had said or done. Would perhaps be better to deal with 1 consultant. Our reps who fetched and dropped us off were great - even messaged to see how the day went and when they knew the weather was going to be extremely hot warned us and said they could pick us up at an earlier location if need be. They also recommended things to do on our days off which was great. The Hotels were very very good - we could not complain about anything. Value for money I do not know how to answer as for us coming from South Africa with the weak Rand - it was very expensive but that cannot be a judgement on the overall value as we would have no idea how a person earning pounds would have found the price to be.
By Mr McPoland on 16/07/2015
The hotels were all very different, but uniformly good, and provision for Vegetarian Food was excellent. Austria is a spectacular country to walk in. Some parts of the walks were in my opinion rather more challenging than a 1 boot designation would imply, so it came as a bit of a surprise to my wife, who isn't a regular walker, but we coped. Way-marking is excellent, so the route notes were quite a bit redundant, and sometimes inaccurate or misleading. The rep gave us handwritten amendments. I would have thought in this day and age, it would be simple to keep a master copy of the notes up to date via the Internet, and only printed on demand, rather than as I assume, get an old copy from a stockpile which had been printed some time ago. These are minor niggles, and we both enjoyed the holiday very much.
By Mr Lawrence on 25/06/2015
The independent cycling holiday you provided suited us perfectly as we prefer to travel/holiday independently and the service you offer takes the legwork out of the organisation of such holidays and provides a low key, assuring back up should things go wrong.
By Dr Livsey on 17/06/2015
All went smoothly.
By Mr O'Brien on 15/06/2015
Excellent holiday,warm welcome everywhere. Walks were lovely and we were very fortunate to have great weather!
By Mr Dennis on 09/06/2015
Having done this holiday 5 years ago it was lovely to return & find everything was as good as last time. The family run Hotel Bergrose is a credit to the Zopf family & Francesca & the rest of the staff are a credit to the business. They also speak excellent English (as well as countless other languages)
The area is lovely & the bike rides & walking a real joy. With spas in Bad Ischal, Salt mines to explore, & cable cars plus the schafgerg railway you are never stuck for things to do.
By Mr Brook on 09/06/2015
Need to look carefully at transit times in Frankfurt. Did not like eating in a separate dining room in Hotel Zur Post - the service in this restaurant was very slow so much so that the waitresses apologised to us!!!
However these are minor details and generally the holiday was very good.
By Mrs Price on 15/10/2014
The lakes were easy to cycle around & the scenery beautiful. Fab hotels & food. People friendly & helpful. Another successful trip with Headwater.
By Dr Garwood on 08/10/2014
We've been on quite a few Headwater holidays & we've never been disappointed
By Mr Martin on 29/09/2014
Be careful which time of the year you choose to go to the Austrian lakes - it rained most of the time we were there!
By Mrs Hendrickse on 19/09/2014
Welcoming hotel in pretty area of austria with choice of things to do from walking cycling or sightseeing
By Mr Buckenham on 15/09/2014
The Austrian lake district is beautiful when the sun shines, unfortunately we only had two days when we saw the sun ; a lot of heavy rain and drizzle made us reluctant to consider another holiday in Austria.
By Dr Elcombe on 28/08/2014
A very good weeks holiday cycling around a beautiful lake which was also wonderful to swim in. The hotel was comfortable and quiet with delicious food and a lovely garden. It was also in an excellent location for exploring the area by bike.
By Mr Sly on 28/08/2014
The whole holiday was pretty much as expected, the bikes provided were in pretty good condition and worked perfectly well, we found the route notes a bit difficult to follow at times and took a few wrong turns but still managed to get back on the right track. The Hotel Tirolerhof was really nice and we were surprised that it was not the first choice for that stop, we spoke to the other Headwater group and they said the other hotel was 'bland and the food disappointing'. We were not impressed with the Hotel Bergrose, after being told it was the best food etc. We arrived there wet from the ride and were told they do not serve tea and coffee during the day but there is a cafÃ© next door if you want a hot drink. We were sitting in one of the rest areas playing cards the first evening at around 9pm and were asked to move into a small, cramped lounge area as they were closing the other lounge down for the night. The sauna was not switched on until 5pm each evening and dinner time was 6.30-7.30 which meant there was not time to use it, although when my brother in law tried to use it for a quick visit one evening there was a sign on the door in Austrian which he thought mentioned wearing swimming costume to use it when in fact it was the opposite, as he found out the hard way on entering, the hotel knew we were English and should have catered for that on the sign. The food, although presented very nicely, were very small portions compared to everywhere else we stayed and at times not that tasty, the 4 people in our group felt the Hotel was lacking the friendly, family run feel of all the others. The whole experience though was generally very good, the scenery was exactly as expected, a trip to the salt mines was my best day, we cycled to the ferry pick up point and caught a train back to Bad Ischl from he ferry port afterwards.
By Mr Chestnutt on 27/08/2014
A lovely relaxing holiday, amist beautiful scenery and staying in very comfortable accomodation.
By Mrs Lanczak on 12/08/2014
A really lovely holiday, despite some wet weather at times the walks were great. Some were challenging in wet weather, it's a good idea to take a pole if you don't normally, we found them useful. There are some climbs on the walk and downward paths can be slippery, making it 'moderate' at times(hence the boot +). Truly beautiful area that is well worth seeing, there was always a new and spectacular view just around the corner. The hotels were well placed and of excellent quality; we had some great food presented to us. Our rep was very helpful and the notes were thorough and accurate. Two flights was interesting - don't panic about the short transfer time the airline has it sorted - all very well organised. Thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
By Mrs Helps on 21/07/2014
You delivered everything you said. There are other companies but they sometimes break down the costs and options so much that it becomes tedious to work out the cost.It might look cheaper initially but by the time you have added on bike rental costs plus other options, it isn't. Headwater is simpler and clearer.
By Mrs Kearney on 14/07/2014
Fantastic holiday, very comfortable hotels, food always delicious. Loved the freedom that walking from hotel to hotel gave us with the option to do as we liked on alternate days.
By Mrs McCormick on 28/06/2014
A fantastic opportunity to take your foot off the sometimes manic pedal of life and pedal at a much more relaxing pace. The scenery was stunning and the people very helpful. There are not as many places to stop and explore as perhaps on some of the French or Italian tours but still a wonderful holiday and we would go back to Austria again.
By Mrs Gardner on 13/06/2014
Overall the holiday was a pleasant experience with hotels of high standard in good locations. Those preferring a twin-bedded room should be aware that these are rare in Austria and in particular in the hotels used for this holiday.
By Mr Loaring on 03/06/2014
Our holiday was accurately described and meticulously planned. The logistics worked well and fell into place seamlessly. Our needs were well catered for and the luggage was looked after carefully as it was transported between hotels. We would not have wished to have stayed in anything less than four star designated hotels, and even some of those were only just adequate and of a standard we would have expected. The same rating does not confirm that all hotels are of a similar standard, and they can vary to a great extent. The best hotels, however, were very good indeed. The location and scenery were idyllic but the guide notes for each of the walks need greater detail in places and should avoid the use of vague terms such as 'after a short while...' as this gives little indication of how far or for how long you will have to walk before reaching the next way point. It would also be very useful to know when to expect a very steep climb or very narrow and rough paths.
By Mr Fleming on 26/09/2013
We had so much rain EVERY day of our cycling tour the bikes would have benefited from having a sail fitted! That said, we did enjoy the holiday in spite of the weather. Without exception the hotels offered by Headwater were of a very high standard and you are to be commended for that. The food on offer was of such a high standard that all in our group were pleasantly surprised and grateful. This first time with Headwater will not be our last.
By Mrs Thompson on 26/09/2013
Damp! Mostly easy cycling through wonderful countryside. Great opportunities for walks and train/tram excursions. Mostly wonderful food and great ice-creams. Apfel strudel usually disappointing! Made really welcome everywhere. The other people on the same holiday were great company and we chose to eat together in the evenings.
By Mrs Cockerill on 23/09/2013
The holiday was described as easy however I would have to agree with a previous reviewer and say that some parts were moderate as opposed to easy, we had a bad start to the holiday and our flight was cancelled....we had to sort out our own flights plus connections not Headwater fault but still very annoying and when we landed at Salzburg my husbands case was missing and it arrived from Frankfurt at 10pm that night....we had to ring the rep and the number given to us was incorrect so we ended up ringing the 1st hotel which gave us his number....however on saying all of that it was still an enjoyable holiday despite the weather not been kind to us....it rained very heavily for most of the week
By Mrs Whitehead on 14/09/2013
Wonderful scenery, locals friendly and a good selection of hotels
By Mr Hunt on 14/09/2013
One of the best Headwater holidays that we have taken, enhanced by good weather conditions.
By Mrs Gleeson on 02/09/2013
We had a fabulous experience cycling around the Salzkammergut. Would highly recommend it for families. Nervous start on first day but great views and overall the experience could not have been better. James was very helpful. The Grunberg stood out for us due to its location, conviviality and welcome to our son who is 7. But interestingly he loved all the hotels and loved the Bergrose for the swimming pool and table tennis. We enjoyed all the hotels. The food was excellent throughout - much more varied than I had expected- and the Bergrose stands out for freshness and excellence. Wonderful cycling although a few nervous moments. We cannot wait to do more.
By Ms Berry on 29/08/2013
Great cycling, excellent maps, good routes. Hotels were possibly a bit quiet and could have been in better locations. Why St Goergen, when there were good lakeside hotels nearby? In the town hotels the noise from the traffic was really loud, so windows had to be closed leading to stifling heat. . (Bad Ishcl and St Georgen). Maybe a hotel in Strobl would have given more things to do in the evenings, or what about St Wolfgang? Smoking laws not great in Austria......would prefer non smoking hotels.
By Mrs Hellewell on 28/08/2013
Relaxed cycling largely on cycle tracks. Suitable for younger cyclists. Beautiful scenery. Lovely hotels.
By Mrs Griffiths on 27/08/2013
Another superb Headwater holiday - everything perfect as always. We added three nights at the Weisses Kreuz Hotel in Bregenz which was also excellent.
By Mr Fry on 22/08/2013
Suitable for the lethargic or energetic, this holiday has it all
By Mrs Merrett on 22/08/2013
Beautiful location, excellent walking and Hotel Bergrose was outstanding, both in friendliness, location and excellent cuisine.
By Mrs Morgan on 19/08/2013
This was our first arranged cycling holiday and was excellent from start to finish. Routes were easy to follow and not too strenuous. The weather was very much in our favour with temperature in the 26 - 34C. Hotels were good, excellent food and friendly service. Our rep James was very good and advising on things to see and do along the way. The Blue book is an excellent idea to help choose thing to do on none cycling days. Luckily we chose 3 extra days in Bad Ischl as there was lot to see and do from there.
By Mr Stamp on 16/08/2013
We have been on a number of Headwater cycling holidays but the Austrian lakes cycling holiday was a disappointment. Hotels not up to usual Headwater standard, no sleep due to lack of air conditioning with temps in the high 30s, frequently kept awake by traffic noise, balconies without a view, one hotel with no choice of menu, 2 nights interrupted sleep by noisy neighbours all night.
Cycling days were either on busy roads or close by motorways. Difficulty in finding picnic spots on the journey
By Mr Davidson on 15/08/2013
An excellent energetic yet relaxing holiday staying at some very nice hotels.
By Mr Hindley on 13/08/2013
Excellent family holiday with good hotels, great food, wonderful scenery and plenty to see and do.
By Mr King on 10/08/2013
Perfectly designed holiday schedule to give variation, adventure, interest and enjoyment. Professionally looked after.
By Mrs Thomas on 05/08/2013
Our first cycling holiday. Cycling, lakes, beautiful country side, villages, towns, mountains, and city (Salzburg) provided a great variety of sights and activities, thoroughly enjoyed by the whole family.
By Mr Hill on 03/08/2013
We had wonderful weather during our holiday which added greatly to the overall enjoyment of the magnificent scenery and beauty of the area and we truly enjoyed every moment of the cycling and 'stay-put' days, with plenty of different things to see and do at every location. This was complimented by the excellent accommodation and food at the hotels and organisation and equipment provided by Headwater. We are not sure another similar cycling holiday could be better than the one we have just experienced.
By Mr McBrien on 03/08/2013
The cycling holiday is a fantastic way to explore the area and be able to stop in different towns and hotels. The cycling on the headwater routes on the Austrian Lakes was very straightforward and undemanding. Those clients who wish to push themselves further on the bikes need to make an effort to use the local excellent cycling maps, either to extend the routes between hotels, or to use the 'rest' days to go for further rides.
By Mr Emerson on 22/07/2013
Interesting and quiet area with easy walking yet hill tops accessible by gondolas and the Schafberg cog railway.
By Mr Ward jones on 04/07/2013
A very good holiday, despite rather variable weather. Fortunately the excellent bus connections from near the hotel made getting to Salzburg and Bad Ischl very easy on the really wet days. The general cool temperatures were probably not a bad thing when it came to cycling and walking. The hotel proved a splendidly welcoming environment each evening.
By Mr Conaghan on 23/06/2013
Wonderful walking country, excellent hotels, only grumble concerns the flight times ( getting too old for 3am starts )
By Mrs MacEachen on 20/06/2013
excellent, this was our 2nd holiday with Headwater, when apon arriving in Passau we found our hotel was unreachable due to the worst flooding in years and our cycle down the danube was now impossible they found us another holiday close by which we throughly enjoyed. You find out how good a company is when there is a problem and how they react,which Headwater was nothing short of magnificent.
By Mr Cotton on 18/06/2013
Lovely part of Austria and some excellent hotels. Walking was at times more moderate than leisurely. Pity about the weather!
By Mr Boyce on 12/06/2013
The weather was not very kind to us but in spite of that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.It has made us think seriously about similar Headwater holidays that we might otherwise have dismissed!
By Mrs MacPherson on 12/06/2013
A beautiful part of Austria with generally easy walking and lots to occupy the days off. Excellent hotels.
By Sir Cummins on 10/11/2012
I did not expect the holiday to be so good as it was. All went very well on my cycle.
The second days were well worth their use for exploring the area, I particularly enjoyed my journey to Salzburg.
By Mis Furber on 24/09/2012
The holiday was perfect. We had the right balance of being able to walk, cycle, sightsee or relax by the pool. The hotel had everything that we needed and by the end of the week we were well and truly relaxed. It was great to have the support of the Headwater Rep but not feel railroaded into doing anything.
By Mrs Hayden on 24/09/2012
The Austrian Lakes cycling was wonderful and the holiday was well arranged. Our rep James was very helpful. Hotel Amadeus in Salzburg was a bit noisy but very central. The best hotel on the trip was at Gmunden (Hotel Grunberg)where the setting, food, and room were excellent and the owner very attentive. The food at Hotel Hubertoshof, Bad Ischl, was rather rushed and not to our liking although the location was convenient for the rail station and shops.
By Mis Turrell on 29/08/2012
First timers with this type of holiday and it couldn't have been more enjoyable.
Every thing we could possibly needed was thought of and taken care of.
Well done Headwater and thank you for a fantastic holiday.
By Mr Casey on 18/08/2012
This was our first holiday with Headwater. We found the arrangements, local guide, accommodation & hotel staff to be of the highest quality. We will certainly look at the holidays offered next year. The only downside was that the only airport available was a good distance from us here in the midlands.
By Mr Davis on 18/08/2012
Superb cycling through delightful countryside. Headwater rep and organisation were first class. Well chosen comfortable hotels wih excellent food. Despite the cycling activity we managed to gain weight!
By Ms Cockshott on 13/08/2012
Another excellent Headwater holiday, generally easy cycling through stunning scenary with a warm welcome at the end. Varied hotels with good facilities & food. Plenty to do on the rest days. We were lucky with the weather, lots of sunny days with only 2 storms (in the evenings)but can be rainy in the summer. Would definately recomme (at no extra cost)nd.
By Ms Egbe on 30/06/2012
very good. more 'hills' than would be expected on a one cycle holiday.
By Ms Sangha on 00/00/0000
The cycling routes and itinerary were fantastic and very manageable with a toddler. The local reps were very helpful and responsive.
By Ms Gorham on 00/00/0000
A Good weeks walking holiday, with four walk days in wonderful countryside. Weather can be varied (even in August) so some of the days - first and last day up and down mountains can be slippery and hard on the knees taking longer than the specified time. You need to take plenty of water and a packed lunch. The first two hotels with swimming pools provided some good facilities for wet days inbetween walking, however the last three hotels had limited facilities. St Gilgen in the rain does not have much to offer. Colin and Jill were great reps and worked hard. We knew they were there if we wanted them. We arranged our own flights so as not to come via Frankfurt and this provided us with an extra two nights in Salzburg either end of the holiday.
By Mrs Hoddinott on 00/00/0000
Lovely scenery and excellent walking. Accommodation was excellent . An altogether very memorable holiday
By Mr Ross on 00/00/0000
Excellent hotels and locations,varied walking and many opportunities for sightseeing and other activities,even when the weather was wet. We particularly appreciated the locations of the hotels which allowed us to walk into the town?village in the evening. Logging tracks had obliterated some of the signs or trails in some forested sections. We mentioned this to our tour managers who were going to check. Generally the walking notes were excellent, without the need of the map. Such was the excellence of tour managers Jill and Colin, they just happened to drive by and pick us up as we abandoned a walk due to rain and were waiting for a bus!