Customer reviews: Holidays in The Sierra de Gredos
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 Rayner on 28/06/2017
A delight for birdwatchers and botanists in spring and early summer. Lots of opportunities for photography. Walks were flexible in length and difficulty. Car hire essential.
By Mr Taylor on 11/05/2017
It was one of the best walking holidays we have had. The hotel was superb with wonderful staff and food. The walking was excellent with varied terrain and scenery. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
By Mr Flew on 10/05/2017
We had a wonderful holiday. The hotel was very comfortable (we did have a free upgrade as the hotel wasn't very busy). The staff could not have been more helpful. The walking was very varied and we were blessed with beautiful weather.
By Mrs McMillan on 29/11/2016
A very comfortable stay in a lovely hotel with good walking on varied terrain in mountains close to Madrid yet unknown to us before we arrived.
By Mrs Reeves on 29/11/2016
Excellent holiday in little known area of Spain.
By Mrs Norman on 29/11/2016
Very varied walking in a lovely area. The walks were of the right length with good descriptions. We had good advice from Teresa. This was not an area we would have gone to without you as we had never heard of it. In September it was quiet with very few other tourists Spanish or British. We had one cold day but otherwise it was good walking weather.
By Mrs Johnson on 14/09/2016
Overall - excellent.
By Dr Sinclair on 22/06/2016
This is a beautiful part of the world, and the hotel and service were magnificent. Sadly we had terrible weather, with heavy rain each day, further snow on the peaks and biting cold wind. The paths up the mountains were often streams of water and fields little more than bogs. We had gone prepared for variable weather as it was mountainous, but not freezing cold and near constant rain. Teresa and her staff were very accommodating and the food was great. We did see a wild boar, mountain goats and fantastic birds and had a good rest
By Mr Weymouth on 13/06/2016
I am really happy with Headwater in all aspects except, perhaps, the standard of accommodation (at times). Although, in this instance, you do advertise that the hotel's accommodation will be a standard room, there are no definitive descriptions of standard compared to other rooms/prices. The room we were offered would have 'sufficed', but when staying for a length of time I think it is evident that a more comfortable room with more amenities would make the holiday that much more of an enjoyable experience. That is difficult to deduce from your literature. (We upgraded at El Milano Real as soon as we arrived).
When using your company in the past (on Inn-to-Inn walks) there have been other instances where we have felt a little let down by the quality of hotel.
By Mr Hamilton on 16/05/2016
This was a hub Hotel walking holiday enabling us to select the walk to suit the daily weather with the expert and sound advice of the Rep Teresa (hotel owner). Having car hire we were able to spend the rainy day in Salamanca - where the sun shone! The first week in May found us trudging through snow on one walk and waltzing through spring flowers on another. All great fun. Ibex herds added to the entertainment on one of the walks. The Blue Book was up to date with additional helpful comments. Hotel staff were superb as was the cuisine and the views from the hotel.
By Pro Mitchell-borts on 25/04/2016
Teresa was extremely helpful. The hotel was lovely and the food was plentiful and delicious.
By Mrs Champion on 25/04/2016
A very beautiful and undiscovered part of Spain. Well worth a visit. Great hotel locations, good food, very good service. We would love to visit this area again.
By Mr Munden on 12/10/2015
A fabulous quiet and beautiful area of Spain but within easy reach of some great cities. El Milano Real is a perfect base for the many and varied walks on offer through this unspoilt National Park with its great food and wine and accommodation. The highlight for us was a 'birding' walk with a local biologist who was just superb. The only down side was that we didn't get maximum benefit from Teresa (and Paco whom we didn't see at all) but on the other hand all their staff were excellent. Had to book our own hotel in Madrid as Headwater's was strangely booked although available through booking.com!
By Mr Gagnon on 29/09/2015
This holiday was superb. The scenery was unspoilt mountainous terrain and pastoral along the river valleys. Well away from tourist areas. A good variety of walks ranging from easy to quite challenging, with very accurate walking notes. We did Rio Tormes, Laguna Grande, Villages of the South to name a few. Saw 45+ species of birds. Weather in September was cool at night but got into low twenties in the afternoons. Typically 7 degrees warmer on the south side of the Sierras. We took the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander and drove down - very pleasant. The hotel was great and Teresa was a wonderful hostess.
By Mr Smith on 29/09/2015
A fascinating area of Spain with varied landscapes from rugged mountains, to terraced hillsides with vineyards and fruit trees, gently flowing streams, Pine woods and open flat plains with Evergreen Oaks. Also abundant wildlife with dozens of bird species, wild mountain goats, Black cattle, and horses. Ancient walled cities and quaint villages. All within two hours of Madrid.
By Mr Dunn on 17/06/2015
A really excellent holiday in a relatively unknown but attractive location, with a superb hotel and a very helpful and knowledgeable hostess, and a good choice of walks. But for goodness sake improve the return directions to the airport - saying 'reverse the outward route' is hopelessly inadequate for negotiating the motorways of Madrid!
By Mrs Clifton on 17/06/2015
A holiday for not-too-serious walkers but definitely one for foodies.
By Mr Huddart on 28/05/2015
The warmth of the welcome at El Milano Real was exceptional. Teresa was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the area and the walks. She advised us about matching walks to the weather. The food was outstanding in quality and presentation. The route notes were exceptionally accurate. This was one of our best walking holidays ever.
By Mr Williams on 12/05/2015
Very good holiday, we were made to feel very welcome at the hotel El Milano Real. Good mixture of walking options, some fairly challenging. Worth visiting the south side of the Sierra de Gredos for quite different climate and flora.
By Mr Newmarch on 12/05/2015
A great week from start to finish. Excellent hotel. In particular Teresa the hotel owner, whose local knowledge, weather reports and enthusiasm were invaluable. A beautiful location to explore with varied and interesting walks.
By Mrs Darwin on 05/05/2015
Wonderful location with excellent and varied walks; lots of interesting birds and flowers; the hotel observatory was a bonus. Teresa's local knowledge and advice were excellent
By Mr Smith on 05/05/2015
A really good holiday. Excellent Hotel and walking in a very quiet area. Will email some more detailed commets direct.
By Mrs Cole on 24/11/2014
I did find the notes back to the airport from the Gredos mountains very difficult, as it said 'reverse your original notes from Madrid Airport'. I thought this very lazy as we were taking many motorways and A roads and they were not clear to start with. There was plenty of space on the page and it felt as though we were being ignored at this stage.
By Mrs White on 27/10/2014
This was our first walking holiday since we were teenagers and our first holiday without children. It was an excellent introduction. Good quality accommodation, a beautiful area and well guided walks. Sometimes the notes were a little unclear and we deliberately avoided a couple of walks that other travellers had said were difficult to follow but we only lost our way on one of the walks and think this was because there had been substantial recent tree felling and logging that obliterated the tracks. Our host Theresa was excellent and took her responsibilities very seriously in ensuring we were safe and happy. We also had the pleasure of meeting other headwater guests and spent some meals and walks together which was an added bonus. In summary, a well organised and enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Lewis on 20/10/2014
The combination of a fine hotel location, dramatic countryside and superb food made this a unique holiday which brought us new and welcome experiences. We chose walks that ranged from beautiful countryside rambles to testing mountain ascents. In view of the excellent local advice, it is easy to tailor the nature and difficulty of the walks to your own abilities and inclinations. In addition, the gastronomy was first class.
By Mr Curwen on 20/10/2014
The Gredos is a wonderful location for walking holidays and Milano Real provides and excellent base. This holiday offers lots of walking options from dramatic high level mountain views to idyllic river valleys resounding with tinkling cow bells and trickling streams. We had a fascinating day in Salamanca when we fancied a change from walking and the journey through the mountains added to our enjoyment of the day. Last but by no means least, Teresa and Paco were superb hosts and nothing seemed to be too much trouble to make sure we enjoyed our stay. We will definitely be back.
By Mr Wood on 19/09/2014
Lovely location, great hotel, wonderful support from hotel staff in our 'hour-of-need, varied walks and opportunity to visit an historical Spanish city.
By Dr Worthy on 03/09/2014
El Milano Real walking holiday was the perfect combination of fantastic walks, outstandingly delicious food and a warm welcome.
The service and level of advice was great.
A beautiful place with some stunning walking in the mountains.
By Mr Daines on 29/05/2014
A great holiday in an off the beaten track location.
By Mr Fairweather on 29/05/2014
The Hotel El Milano Real was an excellent base for a walking holiday as several walks could be done directly from the hotel. The food was usually good, sometimes excellent but occasionally disappointing: the wines were generally very good and also very reasonably priced. The weather during the week was unseasonably cold, which spoiled our enjoyment of the highest climbing - we were unable even to attempt Morezon - but the superb walk to the Mirador was completed in very pleasant conditions and we were glad it wasn't too hot. The area is rich in flora and fauna, and May is a good time of year for observing it.
By Mrs Wilson on 14/04/2014
I can't fill in the travel section because we were air/self drive. There are some comments I would like to make
1 The map situation was dire.You say in the walking notes that the map you provide is the 'Sierra de Gredos 1:25000. You gave us a map which was an area to the South West of where we were in Hoyos de Espina. We should have been given the correct map and it is 1: 50000 not the above. As you point out the other map (Parque Regional de La Sierra de Gredos) which is 1:25000 only covers the Plataforma area.
2 The spa was not open until the Friday of our stay and that should have been made clear in the notes/brochure.
Otherwise we loved it, the hotel was lovely and food delicious (also v good wine list) and will probably book again next year
By Mis Bursey on 03/04/2014
Only the weather let us down.... The hotel was delightful and the staff really helpful; the food was execllent and certainly pleantiful with the breakfasts well deserving of the description 'amazing'. Snow and rain prevented our walking as we had hoped and there is little else to do in the immediate vicinity but lots of beautiful places to see if you are prepared to drive (and the roads are surprisingly good).
By Mr Hunter on 08/11/2013
Visit the Sierra de Gredos. It is a beautiful and unspoilt part of Spain
By Mis Norton on 10/10/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our week in the Sierra de Gredos, which is a beautiful, uncommercialised region that is excellent for walking. Teresa was a mine of information, not just on the walks but also on the weather in different parts of the region and even on what wine to have with dinner! The hotel staff were friendly and attentive. The food was wonderful and there was plenty of it! Overall, a great holiday.
By Mrs MacE on 10/10/2013
Great friendly hotel with excellent food - Theresa was full of local knowledge particularly on the weather (which wasn't brilliant when we were there in early October) where she was spot on. Good walking (particularly the higher walks) and the instructions for the walks excellent. We would recommend this holiday. One small criticism a map from the airport to the hotel would have been useful as the instructions were not very clear or take your own sat nav.
By Mr Hogarth on 29/09/2013
Excellent for walking with a good variety of walks at various lengths and levels of challenge. Hotel location and village very good.
Food excellent and a vegetarian well catered for.
By Mrs Barnish on 26/09/2013
This was a fabulous holiday in an area that was totally unknown to us. The landscape was stunning, the walks varied and the location ideal for visits to the cities of Avila, Salamanca, Segovia , Madrid and Toledo - all on empty, excellently- maintained roads. The hotel was exceptional with amazing food and service. We would thoroughly recommend this holiday for all the experiences it offers but would suggest booking a minimum of 10 days to ensure you able to fit everything in!!
By Mr Woods on 25/09/2013
An excellent holiday. All the travel arrangements involving air travel and car hire were excellent. The Hotel El Milano Real was excellent and the food superb. Teresa was an excellent host. Scenery excellent. The waymarks on some of the walks need updating and an indication of the distances between waymarks would be helpful. Also distances on the route from Madrid to Hoyos del Espino would be helpful.
By Mrs Ife on 25/09/2013
We have just enjoyed our second wonderful holiday at the Milano Real. The walks here are very varied, with scenery that ranges from green and leafy woods and meadows to impressive wild and barren terrain. The hotel is very friendly and welcoming and the food is superb, from the imaginative and unusual breakfasts, to the a la carte 3-course picnics to the tempting and varied evening menu, eaten while watching amazing sunsets. We strongly recommend this holiday!
By Mr Wiblin on 21/09/2013
The owners of the hotel really went the extra mile to makes us welcome. Their service was excellent and the quality of the food was superb, dealing with one of our party with a wheat intolerance with ease.
By Mr Brady on 12/09/2013
The Sierra de Gredos region of Spain is an outstandingly beautiful area of mountains, valleys and rural villages. It's an easy 2-hour drive from Madrid and the hotel El Milano Real in the village of Hoya del Espino can barely be faulted. In particular, the range and quality of the food on offer is of the highest order. Also, the views from the hotel of the Gredos range are breathtaking. The walking is varied from fairly demanding, to reach the higher areas with magnificent views, to idyllically rural along lovely river valleys.
By Mr Horne on 11/08/2013
The Sierra De Gredos is a fantastic destination in July/August and the Hotel El Milano Real in Hoyos Del Espino is a perfect place to base the holiday. The weather on the north side was perfect for walking, blue skies all week - high 20's near the hotel and low 20's in the mountains. The food and service in the hotel was excellent and everyone was very friendly. This was our first Headwater holiday and I hope that the other destinations can live up to this one.
By Mrs Jones on 03/08/2013
We particularly like Headwater holidays as they take you to unexplored regions of countries which are unspoilt by tourism and overcrowding. We extended our holiday and stayed in Segovia for a few days which we loved and we had the opportunity to go to Salamanca for a day.
By Mr Glen on 30/04/2013
The Sierra de Gredos holiday was very enjoyable. The hotel's normal clientele are weekend visitors from Madrid; a bit like the Lake District for the Midlands. The food (breakfast, packed lunches and dinner) was excellent, though quite different from British food.
The walking was very good, but we were glad we had come in April as there is very little shade.
By Mr Barber on 13/04/2013
The Sierra de Gredos has something for everyone who enjoys exploring the outdoors - from river banks to pine forests; from open heaths and alpine terrain. To have these in such a small area makes for a wonderfully varied break.
Combined with a comfortable and relaxing stay in the Hotel El Milano Real, we wondered why it took us so long to try this Headwater break!
By Mrs McNicoll on 10/11/2012
This is a lovely one-centre holiday at a great hotel with lots of variety of scenery and terrain.
The high routes may not be suitable for people with vertigo but there are lots of lower options that can be walked instead and Teresa is extremely good and can help with suggestions.
By Mrs Brown on 30/10/2012
This was one of our best holidays with Headwater. Teresa and the staff at the Hotel Milano Real were very welcoming and informative about the area. The food was fabulous and the local wines excellent. There were sufficient and varied routes to keep us walking for the six days.
By Mrs Horner on 06/10/2012
Teresa, the hotelier and Headwater representative, gave us superb advice on each walk and on additional activities to help us really enjoy the region and what it has to offer.
By Ms Hammond on 24/09/2012
We loved all the walks we did on this holiday. There was a good variety of walks to choose from in terms of length, relative difficulty and the different environments of the area. The mountain walks in particular were fantastic. The El Milano Real hotel and its staff were also fabulous. We also really enjoyed all the local food, and tried almost everything on the menu and it was all superb, in presentation and taste. The 'tasting breakfast' deserves a special mention for being both unusual and outstanding.
By Mr Howard on 07/07/2012
We had a wonderful holiday. A very unique experience, quite different to the other Headwater holidays we have taken, mainly because of the location.El Milano Real was superb, and we felt we were really well looked after. We did not cover all the recommended walks, so we would be happy to go back and repeat the experience.