Customer reviews: Holidays in Sicily
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 Dr MacMillan on 10/10/2017
Some of the cycling routes were fairly busy roads, so couldn't stop easily for photos or views. Understand the routes were to get to interesting places, which they did. Latter half of the holiday, the cycling was more enjoyable.
By Mrs Wallis on 02/10/2017
On the whole this was a good holiday. We felt we should have had satnav, which we had for our trip to Portugal, as the route notes often lacked sufficient detail and we had to guess where to go. The Ferro hotel is too far from the centre of Modica, a more central hotel would have been better.
By Mrs Carruthers on 29/09/2017
Well planned and important detail given. friendly and helpful advice both here and in Sicily. Need shoes to wear in most coves for swimming. Reserve closed when Sirocco wind is blowing in case of further forest fires.
Voucher for evening meal much appreciated. Great mediterranean food and local wine.
By Mr O'Driscoll on 07/08/2017
The cycling routes were excellent on the whole, though the frequency with which we passed through large areas of plastic covered tomato fields spoiled the views somewhat. The local cycling rep was on holiday when we arrived and another rep, Filippo, had had to travel down from Palermo to Ragusa. Filippo was helpful but his English was poor. He did however manage to change our return journey to Catania from Syracuse, so that we travelled to a hotel in Catania rather than the airport.
By Ms Hardwick on 20/06/2017
Attractive baroque towns and some lovely hotels
By Mrs Pursey on 24/05/2017
Stayed in some delightful places, especially Baglio La Luna where the location was magnificent, views, relaxing areas and we were so well looked after. Changes in arrangement occasioned by bad weather were efficiently and effectively carried out. All arrangements for meeting and dropping us off worked well, pleasantly and without fuss.
By Mr Goscomb on 24/05/2017
We thoroughly enjoyed the Secrets of Sicily Walking holiday in early May 2017 which certainly reached all our expectations. The hotels we stayed at were all very well chosen and we particularly enjoyed the Marettimo Residence and the Baglio Luna at San Vito lo Capo which was fantastic. All the arrangements went well and the walks we did were lovely and easy to follow using the excellent detailed notes provided. We saw so many lovely wild flowers and birds and the views were wonderful. Overall we would have no hesitation recommending Headwater walking holidays and we are looking forward to choosing another of their walking holidays next year.
By Mr McIlraith on 29/11/2016
This was the very best cycling holiday we have had. Sicily was a fantastic venue with lots to wonder at.
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 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 Dr Wheeler on 31/10/2016
Excellent, but a couple of mistakes on instructions this time. At Villa Favorita the food needs to be sorted out. Truly poor. Noticed that the owner does not eat the same food as the guests- this speaks volumes. The staff were pleasant and they were very helpful, but the evening meals were inedible. The pasta with tomatoes - which anyone can cook was ruined by the addition of vast amounts of sugar!@! Tuna turned to rubber, and they only had 4 of us to feed that night. Quite the most dreadful meal in 9 trips with Headwater.
Meal at Torre Dantona was brilliant as was their breakfast.
Must just thank Sonia at the Portapalo suites. What a lovely lady. Best breakfast of the trip, and so warm and friendly. The rooms were extremely clean too.
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 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 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 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 Ms Allen on 06/06/2016
Good mix of cycling and days off sightseeing around lovely Baroque towns-some of which feature in Montalbano.
We liked eating out in restaurants where we could eat typically Sicilian food.
Accommodation generally very good.
We went at the end of May which was hot enough during the day,especially when cycling, with much cooler evenings.
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 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 Witts on 27/04/2016
We are both fit and keen cyclists and enjoyed covering quite a large area in one trip.
The weather in late April was superb, most days 25 degrees with some windy rides which could prove to be tough going. It was a very varied trip with cultural interest in most of the destinations along with coastal scenic views mixed with agricultural landscapes. The wild flowers were in bloom but Sicilians have a habit of dumping roadside litter, which was a bit ugly at times. Montalbano was filming on location at Punta Secca, which was a stunning seaside location.
A lot of the absolute seaside bars and restaurants were seasonally closed in late April, so would advise to take picnics and pre purchase drinks before you set off.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Mr Burton on 08/06/2015
Be aware of possible High wind disruption on Island
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 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 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 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 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 Cross on 07/06/2014
Good first experience with friends who have been with you before.
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 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 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 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 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 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 Scharer on 24/04/2013
Well thought out and stress -free holiday but not cheap.
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 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 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 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 Mr Dobinson on 30/06/2012
Simply our best ever holiday abroad - what more can we say?
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 Ms Findlay on 25/05/2012
A well organise, enjoyable walking holiday in a fantastic region
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 Mrs Jaques on 00/00/0000
Mainly disappointing holiday. The first four cycle days although having some lovely sections, were ruined by numerous sections of busy litter strewn roads. Lorries and cars on many of these roads (equivalent of our A roads) were travelling very fast and the rubbish and glass all along the road sides were a hazard. The reality of much of these rides didn't meet the poetic descriptions in your papers. There is no mention of the mile upon mile of polytunnels we cycled past. The last two cycle days were better with some lovely sections through countryside, with less rubbish about.
Hotel il Ferro was badly positioned . You describe views of the valley and hillside, but the immediate views were of a large concrete area scattered over with weeds, then the railway lines.There was no outside space although we had two nights there. The service at breakfast was poor- I could provide feedback on this if you wish on a less public forum.
Torre Dantona tried to allocate us a bedroom with no window until I appealed, again this doesn't match the description you give in the paperwork.
Having really enjoyed cycling in Piedemont last year ,we were disappointed with much of the route - the rubbish, the traffic and miles of polytunnels, and with some of the locations and hotels. I wouldn't recommend this trip to our friends.
Dear Mrs Jaques,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. 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.
With this in mind, we were disappointed to read that on this occasion your holiday did not meet with your expectations. We have highlighted your comments regarding litter strew roads to the local councils and tourist boards. They have assured us that they do have cleaning teams in all areas and do remove rubbish daily, and in cases of fly tipping, they remove this when notified.
We were also sorry to read that you found the roads busier than you had expected. We did reroute some short sections of rides earlier in the season., however as this holiday covers over 150 miles of cycling in both rural and coastal areas, there will always to be times where it is not possible to be off road, especially when entering the towns and main tourist areas. We will however continue to monitor the feedback we receive for both of these areas and make changes as required to ensure the cycling is enjoyable and safe.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your constructive feedback and hope to welcome you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer service team
By Mr Long on 00/00/0000
Overall an excellent holiday with good accommodation and choice of walking routes