Customer reviews: Activity holidays in Spain
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 Mrs Ward on 29/11/2016
Overall a very enjoyable holiday in great locations with good accommodation. The local representives were helpful and cycles and equipment excellent.
* the route guides need to be revisited generally, but specifically in relation to routes through towns. (If you require more specific information, I don't mind speaking in more depth about this.
* The Garbi hotel is satisfactory as a transit hotel....an over night on the way in and out. But should NOT be used for additional add on days. The place is soulless and despite us upgrading it felt no better than some travel lodges we have stayed in. The hotel has great potential because of its location and basic facilities, but it has passed it's best.
* The El Castell hotel needs to be looked at carefully by you for the future. If it continues to develop its wedding reception business which it is doing from information I gleened during our stay then your guests are going to be side lined with regards to service if they find themselves there at the same time as a wedding. They currently do not have the facilities to cater for both.
On arrival after a long day cycling we were told that we could only be booked in for dinner at 9pm ....in the poolside bar. They made as good a job as possible with the space they had. But this is a 4 star hotel which didn't come cheap especially with an upgrade. The other issue with the hotel is that there was not one scap of written information in the room about any of the hotels facilities including opening and closing times. This caused a potential problem on the second day when upon returning from another days cycling we we advised that the earliest dinner booking was 8.30pm. We quickly changed with the intention of getting a snack from the poolside bar. This was at almost 3.30pm and we were advised that the bar did not provide food after 3.30. As it happens the chef was cleaning down and I think took pity on us and provided us with a snack.
By Mr Hockin on 29/11/2016
Was exactly what it said on the can! - it fulfilled our expectations.
By Mrs Duguid on 29/11/2016
A fantastic location with plenty of variety in the walks. If you want a break from walking there are opportunities to visit to local towns/villages, or to relax at the hotel. Be prepared to deal with high temperatures, even in September!
By Mrs Cunningham on 29/11/2016
As first time cycling holiday, this was the perfect option for us. Travelling between hotels was really interesting and we could go at our own pace. On our first day it took us 4.5hours to cover just 20km due to a bird-watching husband. Our final ride back into L'Ampolla was substantially quicker! Each part of the holiday was a different experience as we moved from river delta to plain and into the mountains. We enjoyed the variety of hotels too.
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 Trustram eve on 28/11/2016
Asturias is a forgotten corner of Europe, and as a result all the cars on the mainly empty roads are Spanish. The advantage of this is that they treat cyclists like 'slow traffic' and give at least 1.5m room when they pass, in accordance with a new national law. This meant that my main concern about road safety and our teenagers was unfounded. The hotels we stayed in were all 3 star - individual, charming, quirky, clean and friendly. We learnt to look forward to what the next one would be like. The countryside is beautiful and some of the beaches really wonderful, think Rock/Trebetherick/St Mawes but with freshwater showers so we swam in the Atlantic most days and cycled on. The weather at the end of August was perfect - not too hot to cycle due to the breeze but we sat outside to eat most evenings. The cycling was demanding - we got a lot fitter. Despite discovering how refreshing cider is, we didn't get lost. Rural Asturias is atmospheric: villages, farms, cider cafes Casas Indianos - a bit of a time warp and most locals don't speak English, and yet all cafes had Wifi and warm, friendly customer service.
By Mr Baker on 28/11/2016
This particular holiday should be retained in your overall offering. Miguel and Imma are superb. It was marvellous to be so alone too - we would often hardly meet anther soul out walking the high ridges. Being in the open with great wide views was tremendous. However, expect unmetalled roads and slow journey times to get to a walk, unless you have a high chassis 4-wheel drive vehicle!
By Mrs Royle on 25/11/2016
We enjoyed our walking in Gran Canaria- great scenery, weather , interesting culture. Enjoyed the company of the other 3 clients with whom we shared our evening table. The instructions for the walks were not always clear but we always competed the walks with a sense of achievement.
By Ms MacFarlane on 24/11/2016
A great introduction to the more remote areas on Gran Canaria and the varied scenery. Holiday offered plenty of flexibility for walks and a high standard of comfort.
By Dr Goddard on 23/11/2016
Excellent hotel, great walks with an excellent local guide, and super company. There were gentle walks in the early days building up to a lovely long last day hike in the mountains. Good local food and opportunities to sample local bars and restaurants. A couple of excursions to Nerja caves and Malaga old town added variety to an excellent week.
By Ms Grybaite on 22/11/2016
Nothing compares to an active holiday, exploring local culture at your own pace!
By Mr Brooks on 22/11/2016
Ten self selected people on a group holiday.All of whom gelled together well.5 walks guided by experienced knowledgeable local guide.The walks were adapted to suit our group,which the guide described as faster than average.Excellent scenery.Transfers appeared on time.Picnics ,provided by guide,taken mid walk at any suitable site.One visit for lunch to a 'local'mountain cafÃ©. Experienced rustic food cooked by family.
Rest day my wife and I spent exploring by public bus. Doing a coast line walk at low level.
The hotel San Roque was described as 'boutique'.Service and food were excellent,although evening meal portion sizes were sometimes on the small side with a general lack of vegetables.Breakfast was a buffet with freshly cooked eggs to go with cold meats and tomatoes. There being plenty of rolls,jam and cheese.
I am Coeliac needing gluten free bread and food.I had notified Headwater and the hotel in advance.I was looked after extremely well.At breakfast I had gluten free ham,rolls and maize cakes provided.At evening meal my food was adapted to gluten free .
The guide did not know that I was gluten free until I informed him.However he acquired gluten free rolls for picnics and advised on gluten free options at the rustic cafÃ©.
I had booked a duplex room at the hotel.This was quirky.The jacuzzi bath was 'in the living area'.I could have bathed, watched TV and entertained guests at the same time
The bed was on a mezzanine but no external window.The wardrobes and other clothes storage areas were downstairs in the lounge area.All the floors were red coloured Canarian pine.This made the transition from floor to stairs difficult in poor light.Especially as the bathroom was up 3 stairs and there was no hand rail.
Although not needed the room did not have any area specifically to put wet coats or muddy boots.
The guide was excellent.His English improved through out the week .He was very knowledgeable about local flora,fauna and geology.He organised the transfers at the start and end of the day efficiently.He often altered our walk length and route to suit the conditions.
By Mr Newell on 22/11/2016
A combination of great walks in a beautiful place coupled with an outstanding hotel made it a week to remember.
By Ms Buddery on 18/11/2016
The holiday was well organised with great guides, knowledgeable on the area and walks. The accommodation was clean and David and Sue were very willing to help. I felt safe and confident and would recommend this holiday for singles as well as couples. A very good holiday and would love to go back and try the 3 boot holiday
By Mr Sutherland on 18/11/2016
Very good leaders for walking and giving info. about the area.
Accommodation and food of a high standard.
By Mr Banyard on 18/11/2016
A great place for a winter holiday. Clement weather, wonderful scenery, friendly local people and good facilities for eating out, transport and communications. I would not recommend the holiday to those who are inexperienced with navigation, though most routes were well marked. Athough we did not use it a GPS unit would have been helpful.
By Mrs Patel on 15/11/2016
A great holiday with technical walks offering spectacular views. The quality and effort put into each evening meal was a great bonus. I would definitely recommend this holiday and would say David & Sue are superb hosts.
By Mrs Searle on 14/11/2016
It was good
Walking harder than expected
La gomera was not as pretty as I had expected. Too barren
I think that though we are fit we are too old for that group and perhaps should have been warned
Hotel was marvellous. We had a deluxe room and it was worth every penny
By Mr Etchellsbutler on 11/11/2016
After long tiring days of walking, it was lovely to relax in rustic accommodation with comfortable beds, a good en suite and decent food. We thoroughly enjoyed 'Walking the Way of St. James.' The landscape was thoroughly unexpected in Galicia, - very lush, green and much like the U.K. and Ireland. It was particularly special to make friends (although very briefly) with people from all over the world.
By Mrs Marchant on 11/11/2016
Great holiday, great walks, great island. Javier was fantastic and a wonderful guide.
By Ms Myron on 11/11/2016
Everything about this holiday was top class. From the accommodation, the food, the walking, the guide, the transfers to the hotel staff. Most of all the company of the other walkers. Compliments to all concerned.
By Mrs Lewis on 09/11/2016
We are 2 female friends and booked single occupancy of rooms. We felt hotels were well chosen and variable, but all interesting and overall comfortable . We got a bit sick of the Pilgrim 10 euro menu, but also had some superb meals. The walking was excellent, and easier than we had expected. We enjoyed the independence of being self guided. There were a few minor faults in the daily walking guide and we have offered to come in and point them out. We live in Chester and decided to Travel from Liverpool to Madrid and spend a night there rather than at Heathrow. We did find that the schedule on Day 1 was a bit over-heavy. Everyone was exhausted that night. But, overall this was a Brilliant holiday! And May was a very good choice this year.
By Mr Goater on 08/11/2016
Most interesting and refreshing holiday exploring parts of Canaries not explored or seen before.
Unfortunately did get lost on a couple of occasions. We did not find Rambling Roger very helpful although his knowledge of island is extensive. His communication style and customer care clearly did not work for us.
By Mr Till on 31/10/2016
The notes were very detailed,accurate and all the paths well-marked locally; that made for a very relaxing walking experience. The hotels, whether grand or more humble, exceded our expectations; The Castell d'Emporda was a stunning place to spend our rest day, the food and friendliness at Hotel Rosa was great.
By Mr Ward on 31/10/2016
Excellent holiday with varied scenery. The 1+ rating is about right. The walks are too long for a 1, but the terrain is not difficult.The timing of the arrival of the plane into Barcelona gave insufficient time to make the scheduled train so we had to wait an hour for the next one.
By Mrs Ould on 31/10/2016
Bikes were excellent as were the reps but the accommodation was poor.
By Mrs Blease on 31/10/2016
Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday . Chose the harder/longer options every day and suggest a reasonable level of fitness required to do this. Probably would have chosen easier options some days or rest days in high season when weather warmer - mid October it was around 20C so great cycling/sightseeing weather. Enjoyed all the unspoiled medieval villages. Hotels all high quality but different in character. Will certainly try similar holidays with Headwater in the future.The reps Brian and Olivia were very personable and it was reassuring to know they would be available if required.
By Mrs Craik on 31/10/2016
This holiday was to be a special treat after a stressful year moving house plus a major renovation project. I am not a strong cyclist, and we chose the Catalan Coastal Cycling because it had the same pattern of two night stays with alternate days cycling and at leisure which we had enjoyed two years ago on the Venetian Villas and Vineyards holiday. Headwater emailed on 31 August 2016 in reply to our enquiry to say that all hotels had confirmed availability, so we booked our flights. On 5 September 2016, we got an email from Headwater to say that the Reservation Team at one of the hotels, the Castell dâ€™Emporda, had accepted our booking in error as they already had a wedding booked for what would have been the second night of our stay and could only accommodate us for one night. We had looked forward to the two nights at the Castell as the highlight of our trip, had specially wished to visit the ceramic workshops at the nearby town of La Bisbal on the â€œrestâ€ day, and did not feel confident of cycling around 35 kilometres on each of two consecutive days. I asked if another hotel could be found that could accommodate us for two nights, but was told that this was not possible. Our flights could not be cancelled or changed, so we had no option but to go ahead and accept the offer from Headwater of a refund of Â£72 per person to reflect the difference in price between the Castell and the next hotel where we would now spend three nights. In the event, the two consecutive days cycling were extremely tiring (as previous reviewers have noted, some of the cycling on this itinerary is on off-road tracks which makes it more strenuous than the equivalent distance on tarmac). When we arrived late in the afternoon at the Castell, a large British wedding party was there, with the main terrace area entirely occupied with tables for dinner and live music for them. The upgrade to a suite (offered to us by way of apology for the booking error) was of limited interest as we were there for such a short time, though the complimentary bottle of cava was more appreciated. What I find particularly unacceptable is that when I expressed astonishment that a hotel of this standard could make such a mistake with our booking, Headwater told me â€œit happens all the time, theyâ€™re not very organised out thereâ€. We have been organising our own independent travel to Europe and the US for over thirty years and have never had this happen before. It is no encouragement to use (and pay the premium for) the services of a travel agent. To conclude, I would like to say that the other three hotels we stayed in were excellent, obviously popular with Spanish people, and our two reps, Brian and Olivia, were friendly, helpful and efficient. However, the experience of paying for an expensive holiday which does not turn out to be as expected is not one we are likely to repeat.
By Mr Young on 31/10/2016
This was out second cycling trip with Headwater the first being the Canal Du Midi in 2014 .They helped us select this holiday as we wanted to go for a little longer and to move to level 2 (as we had kept up cycling in the UK.)
Classic Catalan 10 days worked just right for us .Ok the days are a little longer and you get three long but very cycleable hills but the variety is wonderful. Also we were given excellent ride out options on the interim days.In fact we only had one non cycling day but if you ever visit El Castell d'Emporda you'll maybe understand why..
The route notes were so accurate we never used the maps and the road surfaces were so good it took us a couple of days to stop pothole spotting ( Heres hoping someone from Devon/Somerset/Dorset highways read this)
Overall a great holiday excellent hotels and routes and the Catalan pople are lovely sort of Spanish without the shouting!
Thank you Headwater and thank you Brian and Olivia our excellent hosts.
By Mrs Aries on 31/10/2016
I felt safe travelling totally alone and venturing out on my bicycle by myself, secure in the knowledge that assistance would be readily available if required. Happily this was not needed but it made a huge difference to my piece of mind. I hope that Headwater can extend its leisurely options to include other trips. The travel notes routinely described inclines as 'gentle'. Some of these gentle inclines were about as much as I could manage. I now wouldn't attempt any cycling trips in the catalogue beyond 'leisurely'. The hotels were delightful, El Castell d'Emporda being top of my list.
By Mrs Mann on 31/10/2016
The region was flat for easy cycling, except for the climb up to the Parador Tortosa!! but it was fun trying. Allan made it to the top! All the hotels were great . A good mix of eating options.
By Mr Roberts on 31/10/2016
Casa Carrascal offers the perfect walking holiday in a friendly group atmosphere. The walks were challenging and varied providing superb views. Sue and David were the perfect hosts, providing expert guiding, comfortable accommodation and last but not least fabulous food.
By Mr Turnbull on 31/10/2016
A fascinating island and a guide who was passionate about it. The hotel was beautifully designed, food was excellent and staff were lovely.
By Mr Bellis on 31/10/2016
We had a very enjoyable trip, with great walking in beautiful locations, meeting interesting people, eating some delicious meals and we appreciated having our luggage transported!
By Ms Smith on 31/10/2016
By Mrs Gatward on 31/10/2016
This was my second visit to the finca - my first was in November when the weather was poor, and I wanted to see what it was like in sunshine. I was not disappointed - I would recommend this holiday to everyone who enjoys walking, eating good food and drinking wine!
By Mrs Rees on 13/10/2016
This was our first holiday with Headwater which did not disappoint. The scenery was beautiful, with the contrasting coastal and inland areas. We particularly enjoyed visiting all the medieval villages along the routes, especially Pals and Peratallada, although finding places to stop for refreshments in the smaller villages was sometimes rather hit and miss. The weather was lovely and warm, ideal for cycling, and the route notes were good for the most part. However, some of the forest tracks were a bit harder to cycle along. As regards accommodation, Hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for its excellent service, superb facilities and the most delicious food of the holiday. Our reps Olivia and Brian gave us great service too. We have been on cycling holidays with other companies before and they provide a small front pannier on the bikes, so perhaps Headwater could consider doing this also.
By Mr Moore on 13/10/2016
This particular holiday, cycling in the River Ebro region, offers the traveller a wonderful variety of scenery and opportunities to explore this relatively unspoiled part of Spain. Value is added by the extremely friendly and accommodating locals. The HW sourced accommodation was superb and the in-house dining second to none. Dining outside of the hotels was relatively cheap and of a very high standard.
Sections of the route instructions contain inaccuracies which, for us, simply added to the fun, though they should perhaps be revisited as they could cause problems for the more diffident.
Our reliable and extremely helpful representative in country did a wonderful job of making us feel welcome and we felt reassured that we could call on her any time in case of a crisis. Well done Triona!
By Mr Smith on 13/10/2016
Great holiday and well worth doing. fantastic Views which are well worth the climbing to get to the top..
By Mrs Webster on 13/10/2016
Absolutely fantastic, superb hotel a jewel in the island, delicious food well prepared, excellent staff. Beautiful hotel! So many varied and interesting walks away from the tourist areas. One of the best holidays we have had!
We will be returning one day to complete the other walks around the island. Just wish we had been able to stay longer.
By Mrs Melling on 13/10/2016
Lovely holiday with great food. Elaine was an excellent guide and very informative.
By Mrs Gill on 13/10/2016
The Finca was excellent, as were all meals. Our guide Elaine was fantastic,the walks not too long, the week was fun.
By Mrs Wright on 06/10/2016
Anyone of reasonable fitness can walk the Camino, but maybe you should consider grading your Camino walking holiday. One grade for people who are not really used to walking distances and another grade for people who have come to walk at least 25 - 30 km per day. Most of the walkers had booked hotels and albergues in towns and villages. Walkers like to meet up with each other in the evening and share experiences. At one place the hotel pick up was 1 hour 15 minutes late from the agreed time, with no apology or
By Mrs Feely on 04/10/2016
As with all Headwater Holidays experienced so far the Catalan Coastal Walk was a great experience,. The walking was challenging but the notes provided were meticulous and at the end of each day it was a joy to experience the comfortable, characterful hotels in interesting locations. I can't fault Headwater's meticulous arrangements.
By Ms Forsythe on 04/10/2016
It was far too hot for cycling ( beginning sept) and the rough stony tracks were hard going although they kept us off the main roads. The countryside wasn't quite as beautiful as say Tuscany although after a long hot summer, everything was rather parched-looking. The hotels were very good and hospitality excellent and we enjoyed falling into some lovely pools after our rides!
By Mr Winter on 04/10/2016
Absolutely brilliant, all the walk instructions easy to follow and the hotel acomodation and scenery magnificent.
By Mr Jones on 28/09/2016
We had promised ourselves a return to the Finca since our first brilliant experience a few years ago. We were not disappointed. Fabulous food, walks, & company in a glorious spot....we will return.
By Ms Nicolson on 23/09/2016
Catalan Coastal Walk has it all: wonderful walks, stunning scenery and fabulous hotels - one of the best!
By Mr O'Sullivan on 14/09/2016
excellent. very informative guides and route plans with excellent accommodation provided
By Mrs Johnson on 14/09/2016
Overall - excellent.
By Mr Tait on 12/09/2016
A beautiful area of Spain particularly the coastline with some wonderful accessible walks . Longer walks can be challenging on the warmer days !
By Mrs Capper on 12/09/2016
A very enjoyable holiday. A good opportunity to see a foreign country. Safe cycling routes and good hotels.
Olivia and Brian were good reps, giving us enough local information without going in excessive detail. We felt they were available if needed, but fortunately did we not have to contact them at all (apart from travel during the stay)
By Mr Paterson on 30/08/2016
Quite demanding. 9 days is a long walking holiday.
By Mr Horne on 23/08/2016
Fantastic location with a variety of interesting and diverse walks in an unspoilt part of Spain. The hotel, hospitality and food can't be faulted and Miguel and Inma are fantastic hosts with detailed knowledge of the walks and surrounding area.
By Ms Chapman on 17/08/2016
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Our reps couldn't have been more helpful or obliging, with useful tips about the route, hotels, places to eat and useful suggestions about places of interest to visit. They were a lovely couple and made the holiday go very smoothly.
By Mr Furness on 08/08/2016
This was our first self guided cycling holiday and it lived up to our expectations . From the office to Brian and Olivia , the service was excellent,professional and personable. The quality of hotels was of a very good standard with superb food and locations. The routes were were diverse, interesting, well supported with comprehensive notes and gave us the feeling that we had really seen and experienced the region. Brian and Olivia were hugely supportive , caring and very personable . We felt that we were not alone on our first cycling trip and they were a phone call away if needed. We really enjoyed our holiday and looking to another one next year in another European country. Mark and Philippa Furness.
By Mrs Valdes on 01/08/2016
Overall we enjoyed the holiday. The route was a lovely combination of countryside and seaside. On about half the cycle days, we went past the coast and there were some lovely places to go swimming (well worth buying a snorkel since there were loads of fish to see). Inland there were some lovely villages and quiet country lanes. There was one long climb (for us) but we were able to take it slowly and felt like an achievement when we got to the top. We went in early July and it was very hot so do make sure you drink enough. The reps (Brian and Olivia) were great. Some hotels were lovely, we particularly Iiked Mas Falgarona. Unfortunately we also had a very bad experience in El Castell d'Emporda. Very poor quality room and service (e.g. we waited 2.5 hours for food). This spoiled our overall view of the holiday.
By Ms Stowe on 25/07/2016
we had a fantastic time - the locations of the hotels were good and we had a mix of sea and rustic villages- really well planned trip. Some of the cycling was hard in the heat so not for the fainthearted
By Mrs Leonard on 22/07/2016
We have two teenage sons and this was the perfect family holiday for everyone. Combining the activity of cycling and rest days at beautiful hotels and locations, taking in the wonderful medieval villages of Catalunya, farm lands, bays and beeches. It was the perfect way to explore more of the region.
By Mrs Steen on 15/07/2016
An excellent walking holiday with a well chosen itinerary and beautiful scenery. Standards of food and accommodation were very high. We all had a great time.
By Mis Riley on 07/07/2016
Despite one of us not being able to walk very far we still had a lovely time. The hotel was in a lovely place and was a most relaxing place to stay.
By Mrs Chapman on 06/07/2016
A very well considered walking route with accurate and detailed route notes which helped to make the holiday very enjoyable. We opted to stay an extra night in one of the suggested hotels which worked out very well. We liked the independence and choice of pace the holiday presented even though we had the full back up of Headwater representatives there if we had needed them. The rating of 1 boot + for the Catalan Classic tour was appropriate as was the 'at a glance' write up in the brochure. Overall this walk/holiday fulfilled our expectations and introduced us to a lovely part of Spain.
By Mrs Burke on 06/07/2016
Great fun , challenging, well organised , thoroughly enjoyable
By Mr Harrison on 06/07/2016
We had a fantastic time in Catalunya. The route and scenery were magnificent. The areas that you took us to were away from the regular tourist routes.We were able to absorb the culture and enjoy being with the local people.
By Mrs Hughes on 30/06/2016
Great blend of good hotels and cycling with enough time for relaxation too. It was just what we needed for an active but relaxing holiday in a lovely part of Spain. Well organised and the rep was very helpful and really personalised the experience for us - for example by working with us to adjust the final days route including picking us up from the hotel and driving us to the start.
By Mr Robb on 27/06/2016
We enjoyed the lovely Catalunya countryside and villages, the contrast of coastal and rural cycling was most enjoyable. Hotel Sa Punta was the best we've had with Headwater and the others were very good too, each quite different from the others. We did feel that there were too many inclines and rough tracks for this to be a 1 bike grade, maybe 1+ would be our classification. Having been on three other 1 bike holidays, this was more challenging.
By Mrs Bibby on 27/06/2016
The Catalan coastal walk is challenging in parts, particularly when the weather is hot, but it is spectacular and the route notes were great (with one or two exceptions, see below) The hotels were all quite different, each lovely in its own way and the restaurants that were pre-booked offered varied and interesting menus.I would thoroughly recommend the holiday.
Last year we walked in the Venito and we think the walks and accommodation in Catalonya are even better than those last year.
Thank you Headwater.
By Mrs Gee on 27/06/2016
We knew from previous experience that the holiday itself would be great. This time we also experienced the highly professional, efficient and supportive nature of all the Headwater personnel in dealing with a string of unforeseen travel problems.
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 Cheek on 17/06/2016
We enjoyed our holiday however I must point out certain issues. The notes on page 3 of your Catalunya brochure are unclear - you have tried include notes for several holidays in one go using commas which results in it making little sense. In the first two lines you do not make it clear that you are talking about two different stations (Airport Terminus and Passeig de Garcia). I think you should investigate alternatives to having to wait at Passeig de Garcia station - it is busy, hot, no facilities, you are not allowed out of the station and we waited one and a half hours for the train. I think you should also give more information as to where to get off, it was luck we spotted the Viajuiga sign and managed to scramble off the train. Trail notes badly written and in parts not clear, there were two instances of them being totally wrong. Page 23 2nd para arriving at junction we could not understand which path to take so opted for the road route which says follow to Cala Joncois NO just the opposite is correct. Page 25 second column 3rd para on reaching T junction turn right NO turn left and at next T junction turn right. There are no road signs to help you.
By Mr Hall on 16/06/2016
Great holiday, wonderful guides, beautiful weather,gorgeous flowers ,perfect walks and fabulous views.
By Ms Friend on 16/06/2016
Sue and Dave are the most welcoming, well organised, hardworking , capable and fun hosts I have yet to come across on a walking holiday.
From the moment we met at the airport I felt confident that I was going to have a great holiday. They have perfected the art of gauging the ability of the group and pitching the pace of walks accordingly. By always having one leader at the front and one at the back everyone can walk at a pace that suits.
The food was of a consistently high quality. Freshly squeezed orange juice, cafetiÃ¨re coffee, fresh fruit cut and beautifully presented, yoghurt , toast and jams and something cooked too, breakfast was wonderful. Baguettes etc ready to collect before walks, lovely home cooked evening meals. Dave and Sue excelled themselves and we were all very happy and well fed throughout.
Daves jokes. Well, what can I say? There is no conversational topic that doesn't lead to a joke from his vast repertoire. And they all made me laugh!
Sue and Dave signposted what we could expect each day and created a relaxed and happy ambience though out. This enable the group to gel well. Our job was just to enjoy ourselves as they did everything else.
Dave took our requests for music for our last night paella party on the terrace, downloaded all our requests, even though we came up with way more than he asked for and we had a lot of fun dancing to them.
Dave even sent us a you tube link to a slideshow he made of the photos from our walks.
Thanks so much Sue and Dave, your efforts were much appreciated and way beyond the call of duty!
By Ms Feist on 16/06/2016
A very good trip. Where scores have been less than excellent this is because I think the hosts could welcome guests with an offer of drink after a day of exertion - including making tea/coffee available. At times the hosts were not visible and when they appeared it felt awkward asking for a service of this kind with the exception of Pazo Santemaria and Casa los Semoza (the latter had a bar). Some of the accommodation may not be conveniently located so meant waiting around to be picked up. An arrangement whereby the guest could have a taxi as he/she arrived at collection point would be better. Also in some places it was cool/damp weather and bed linen felt a little damp. Heating not always switched on (noticeable feature when one is tired) and I had to ask at one place for it to be put on as I was quite uncomfortable. However, luggage was always transported exactly which was reassuring. Blanca the guide in Leon was excellent and Headwater have made a very interesting programme of accommodation - full of interest/quirky and beautifully located. Thank you.
By Mrs Winter on 16/06/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday in Menorca. The weather was extremely hot all week so we often shortened the walks which is easy to do as many of them are linear walks. Although most of the walks are coastal there is plenty of variety. The hotel is absolutely lovely, in such a peaceful location with beautiful gardens. We had a very warm welcome on arrival and the service throughout the week was consistently good. All the staff were helpful and polite and nothing was too much trouble. Our accommodation, the gardens and all public areas were kept spotlessly clean and the food was good and plentiful.
By Mrs Reynard on 14/06/2016
A wonderfully relaxed but interesting holiday with good food and a comfy bed, a highlight was when we saw a Heron catch a snake and fly off with it in it's beak, as we were cycling along by the side of it!
By Mrs Robertson on 13/06/2016
Excellent holiday. Be sure to carefully check the travel details if you have requested any changes or non-standard arrangements.
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 Emerson on 13/06/2016
1/ Never give up the Morvedra Nou; one of the most relaxing and enjoyable hotels we have stayed at. We had a junoir suite with a patio overlooking the pool - the best in the house.
2/ I know this was only a grade 1, but any experienced walker could have done a lot more. We spent some spare time on the beach. Would not be so good at high season, would be too hot and crowded.
3/ 'Would you take another holiday with Headwater?' - I think we have done them all. at least at grades we can manage now. I am well in the 80-90 bracket - not in your age scale! - but I think we started with Heaswater in 1998. I have all the notes and paperwork in boxes in the attic.
4/ I was worried about French Air Traffic Control industrial action, but we were notaffected.
Dear Mr Emerson,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. Please be assured we value all of the feedback we receive and use this to help us continue to improve and develop our holidays for future customers.
It is lovely to see you continue to enjoy your walking holidays with us; we value you as a loyal customer dearly and look forward to welcoming you on your next holiday in the future.
By Mr Cross on 08/06/2016
Definitely a two--boot walk, especially the day to Almadabra Park hotel, which was the longest and had some quite hazardous sections on the coast path.We were in late May and had some disappointing weather, and there was no question of swimming in pools or on beaches. Hotels were good, although the dinners at the Monterey/Porto Christo were poor - dinners and breakfasts at other hotels and restaurants were good. Francisco our taxi driver did the job OK but he speaks only Catalan and a little French.
By Mr Godsall on 08/06/2016
We were very pleased with the walking routes and overall package, plus interesting days out in Cordoba and Malaga. The hotel in Zuheros was slightly 'simpler' than we'd normally choose but they worked so hard to provide excellent service; taxi was great too. A well planned holiday in an area we would not have discovered apart from through your brochure - we rate Headwater highly.
By Mr Abrahams on 07/06/2016
Excellent concept well executed
By Mr Sherrard on 07/06/2016
The holiday was booked as it offered a wide variety of scenery and it didn't disappoint. Driving to walks in the first week of May was pleasurable as the roads were virtually empty, the landscape interesting and tourism minimal. I was pleased to have the satnav for the drive from Bilbao to Uncastillo. The wild flowers at this time of year were stunning; the Puy Mone walk being the star. The vultures and kites were seen in the Lumbier gorge and at other times. Smaller birds including larks, fly catchers and bee eaters were seen and added interest to the dramatic scenery of the Las Bardenas walk. Miguel, our hotelier, provided map printouts to compliment the Headwater route directions and advised on the walks to do each day depending upon the weather. The home produced salads and meats used in the pack lunches were delicious.
By Mrs Fuller on 07/06/2016
Beautiful Island and walks. Morvedra Nou is a lovely small hotel. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. The breakfasts were very good, continental style with plenty of choice. The evening meals were a bit hit and miss unfortunately. You are given the menu in the morning and there is a choice of two of each of the courses. Choose wisely!
By Mrs Kyle on 06/06/2016
Excellent holiday, cycling is the perfect way to explore. We enjoyed it all - some freedom, some things sorted out
By Mrs Warnock on 06/06/2016
Our first cycling holiday and it will definitely not be our last!! Cycling through Catalunya was a real treat, beautiful peaceful countryside, wildflowers were so colourful, medieval villages to explore,lots of restaurants choice for coffee or lunch and then to end the day great hotels and delicious food. What's not to like?Highly recommended.
By Mr Shortman on 06/06/2016
We had a wonderful weeks walking, the hotel was in a lovely hill top village. The walking was good in wonderful scenery with beautiful wild flowers and birdsong.Antonio and his staff looked after us really well and we also enjoyed our day trip to CÃ³rdoba. This was our twelfth trip with yourselves and one of the best.
By Mr Charlett on 06/06/2016
Vistas of Valencia was an excellent holiday. The hosts/guides were exceptional. The accommodation was comfortable and characterful. The food was excellent. The walks were sometimes quite challenging but accomplished without difficulty for people who are reasonably fit and walk regularly. The scenery was stunning.
By Mrs Feerick on 06/06/2016
The Camino is a wonderful experience. The walking can be challenging so you need to practice before your holiday. The accommodation was mixed, breakfast tended to be a disappointment. The star of the show for us was Rectoral de Goian. A wonderful place with great food and a sincere welcome. Overall the accommodation is lovely and given the standard that some of the pilgrims use it is pure luxury. The bag transfers and pick ups ran like clockwork.
By Mr Eamer on 06/06/2016
Peaceful location, excellent coastal and inland walking away from the crowds
By Mr Langrish on 03/06/2016
Accurate description of contrasting scenery and cycling. Very quiet roads and plenty of flowers and birds to see.
By Mr Straughan on 03/06/2016
A beautiful area with quiet lanes and roads. Lovely villages, small towns and views. Super coastal locations, fantastic varied scenery and marvellous bird life and wild flowers. A fantastic holiday!
By Mr Dodds on 03/06/2016
We thought Zuheros and the HotelZuhayra were both charming and beguiling - extraordinarily peaceful and calming - we were very sorry to leave and it took us some time to grow accustomed to the comparative mayhem of Granada . The taxi arrangements in Zuheros were quite remarkably efficient hts off to Maria and her brother - we would return to Zuheros tomorrow if we could = perhaps a progressive walk around these white villages might the na idea
By Mr Homer on 03/06/2016
I find the website a bit 'clunky' to navigate but Ok once you get used to it. The holiday was accurately described and I enjoyed it. The casa Carrascal operation is very well run and gives a very good service to clients.
By Mrs Thornton on 03/06/2016
The Morvedra Nou was the kind of friendly, family run, quality hotel that we always hope we'll find but all too rarely do. The rooms may be compact for some people but we were very comfortable, especially given the spacious private terrace. The food was good, fresh and well presented. We were very happy with the choice of two dishes each day, though would have liked the chance to try the cheese for which the island is famous - either as an alternative to dessert or as an extra small course. But we would thoroughly recommend the hotel and the programme of walks, which were all surprisingly different, considering this is a small island. It was our first trip to Menorca and we found the holiday perfect for those who like an active morning and lazy afternoon!
By Mr Higginson on 03/06/2016
The holiday notes for Coastal trails of Minorca were pretty accurate. Overall we found the island delightful and at this time of year absolutely stunning with all the wild flowers in full bloom. Very easy to get around and not too crowded. We also were blessed with the weather which was in the low 20 C range
By Mr Monzani on 03/06/2016
This was an excellent hotel and Sue and Gordon really looked after us. The food was great and the facilities were super. The walks were mostly good for us although quite testing for me in places. They were relatively short but in my opinion were greater than a 1 boot+ probably more like a 2 boot. My particular problem is that I suffer from severe vertigo and this resort is nearly 600 meters above sea level with very steep winding roads and many of the higher ones had no barriers. The local taxi drivers were really good but nobody should talk to them when driving because they use their hands to answer. Our guide Elaine was excellent and very understanding. However I backed off the last walk because it used 4x4 trucks to go high up, across winding narrow tracks and the walk was a bit hairy too. Don't get me wrong overall it was a great holiday.
By Mr Dryburgh on 26/05/2016
Had a great holiday. Eleven off us in the party and we all got on well together. No cliques. Wine tasting on the Sunday got us all going.
By Mr Kaye on 18/05/2016
Outstanding food in lovely hotels. Top class local support, advice and guidance. Stunning walks through fascinating medieval villages, shady forests and patchwork quilts of colourful fields.
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 Mrs Broome on 16/05/2016
By Mr Aiken on 11/05/2016
Our only criticism is that of alternative departure airport does make a huge difference to the cost. The airline we were booked with is a low cost budget alternative, but we would have done far better to book independently. Any perceived benefit by having a 'package' booking was lost when flights were changed and no explanation or option was offered by Headwater. This is our 6th or 7th walking holiday with Headwater so we obviously happy overall, but the personal touch has been lost over the last few years. It is now much more of a 'package' and we would point that out to friends considering a walking/activity holiday. We have organised our own holidays of a very similar nature and that results in at least a 25% reduction in cost along with the benefit of being an independent booking at the destination - i.e. a higher value individual to the hotel.
By Ms Burrluck on 10/05/2016
A pretty perfect holiday. Headwater were very well organised and my reps, Brian and Olivia, were totally fantastic - helpful, very efficient and totally reliable. I was walking on my own and they texted me to ensure I had reached my destinations safely. The walks were wonderful and the instructions very clear. Everywhere I turned there was a picture postcard view. This is a wonderful area of Spain to visit - I did the Catalan Classic Walking holiday and walked every day, even though I didn't have to but there was so much I wanted to see. Wonderful that there was always hot water for a good soak in the bath when I got back to my hotel. I didn't want to come home although, to be honest I couldn't have kept up the walking for many more days.
By Mrs Heal on 05/05/2016
We had a great week with a wonderful guide and we saw some fantastic birds. However, it was very relaxed and not at all 'twitchy'. Extramadura is a beautiful, unspoilt region and well worth a visit.
By Ms Bartlett on 04/05/2016
I could not fault the hotel staff, who were all very friendly and extremely helpful. The walks were beautiful and April proved a lovely time of year with all the spring flowers.
By Mrs De fonblanque on 03/05/2016
A delightful and fascinating holiday with a charming and knowledgeable guide, lovely company, splendid accommodation and beautiful scenery.
By Mrs Ritchie on 03/05/2016
We enjoyed this holiday enormously although we spent quite a bit more than 5 hours on the walks between hotels so we didn't take the recommended walks on the days in between. The first walk is the hardest.
By Mrs Gates on 27/04/2016
For a carefree holiday with attention to detail and comfort this ticked all the boxes.
By Mr Thornton on 26/04/2016
Relaxing, interesting and enjoyable blend of easy walking and sightseeing.
By Ms Yih on 26/04/2016
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 Mrs Evans on 25/04/2016
Great walks experienced with excellent help provided by Rambling Roger in choosing the best walks for our needs. Fantastic vistas and variety of terrain and flora. Even had time for visiting the Botanic Garden on way to the airport before the flight home. The Gran Canaria map was an order of magnitude better than those for many holiday locations. Plus very friendly, charming and helpful hotel staff providing good food. What's not to like.
By Mr Hilary on 25/04/2016
A few suggestions
a) Update your travel notes to refer to the actual kilometre-markers which are now in place
b) Arrange the final leg so that your clients have the option to be in Santiago for the midday pilgrim service in the cathedral
c) The staffing of the Casa de los Samozo was a source of great amusement, somewhat lacking experience, but all was still delivered
d) Hotel Petit Palace was noisy but the location was perfect
But overall the holiday surpassed our expectation and we will certainly consider Headwater again
By Mr Johnston on 18/04/2016
Outstanding walking area. Thoroughly enjoyable.
By Mrs Moysey on 18/04/2016
A most enjoyable holiday - the organisation and transfers worked well and the hotel was a 'gem', friendly and relaxing and with helpful staff. The walking notes were easy to follow although care was needed on some paths where stony. Overall splendid walks in beautiful scenery with many spring flowers.
By Mr Schafer on 18/04/2016
Summary: Beautiful Hikes, Great Meals. Wonderful Hosts
The Hosts: Hardworking couple David and Sue will do their best to make
sure the holiday meets all your expectations.
The Hikes: With an exhaustive knowledge of the surrounding area David and Sue ensure that
best hikes in the area are chosen each day. During our trip, low clouds enshrouded the peaks
on one of the days and they substituted two shorter but equally beautiful hikes at a lower elevation.
We are avid photographers and they customized one of the hikes, dividing the group so that those of us who wanted to take advantage of enjoying the beautiful wildflowers could do so, while the other were able to accomplish the longer hike. The two boot difficulty level properly described the hikes. Several hikes had some short but steep ascents and loose stones so a hiking pole(s) may be helpful.
Lodging and Meals: Casa Carrascal is quirky updated townhouse in the middle of the small village of
Parcent, Our room, the Segovia suite was furnished with a double bed and and antique couch and chairs. The ensuite bathroom was nice but required that you duck under a beam to reach the area with the toilet/shower. The weather was cool and overcast during our stay and we were unable to take advantage of the outdoor terrace and the indoor common space outside the dining areas is very limited. Although WIFI is available in the bar just up the street, it would have been nice to have it available in the house.
The meals were excellent!!! Breakfast consisted of a choice of yogurts, fruits, cereals, and a hot
items that changed daily. Pack lunches were a choice of baquettes along with fruit, a sweet snack and a large bottle of water. Dinners were absolutely fabulous! Wonderful appetizers, a choice of delicious entrees, and a nice dessert, all complemented with a choice of white or red wine.
By Mr Payne on 18/04/2016
I have been on Headwater walking holidays before (not for at least 8 years ). I now have a partner and I needed to convince him that the holiday would be enjoyable. My partner is in good health and fit but he is 82 years and he was nervous that the walking would be difficult. I persuaded him that a 1 boot would be fine but it was harder that I thought it would be.
When I first telephone Headwater to enquire about the holiday the telephone rep was most helpful so I suggested that my partner telephoned so that he could ask for the information he needed - this time there was a different rep and she was not so reassuring.
However we enjoyed the holiday and will attempt another with Headwater..
By Mr Townsend on 18/04/2016
Accommodation at Hotel Finca was super and everyone on holiday there were very friendly, especially the five Singapore ladies who we were walking and dining with. They were great company.
By Mrs Randall on 18/04/2016
This was a brilliant, relaxing holiday and a fantastic introduction to Spain which we had never visited before. Wonderful countryside, a gem of a hotel, lovely food and really helpful staff and walks guide. It couldn't have been better.
By Mr Pontin on 06/04/2016
We enjoyed our holiday despite unseasonal weather. We were not prepared for narrow roads and tortuous bends when driving, especially with the steep gutters on the insides of the roads. However, we managed to stay out of trouble! We learned that the islanders are hardier souls than we because many restaurants kept their doors flung wide while people were dining. Take warm fleeces with you for dining out!
The Melva Suites Hotel was another cold experience where the dining room had no heating and our room had only a portable oil filled radiator to keep us warm.
I would thoroughly recommend Las Tirajanos Hotel though because it was very comfortable, had a bath as well as a shower (very necessary after a long hike in the rain!), wonderful views and private terraces.
By Mrs Kenward on 06/04/2016
Excellent group holiday with good accommodation and very well organised. Wine included was good.
Varied program & walking harder than expected for one boot but lovely. Walking guide lovely & encouraging!
By Mrs Mitchell on 04/04/2016
We had a very good holiday, the hotels were ideal and well located. We had no contact with any Headwater representative in Tenerife. Before the holiday your staff were concerned about oldies like us tackling the walks in Tenerife and did their best to put us off instead of helping us find a solution locally.
Dear Mrs Mitchell,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was lovely to read you had an enjoyable holiday overall. We were however sorry to read you did not receive your welcome brief. As highlighted in your holiday information booklet, due to the logistics of this holiday, we do not have a dedicated Headwater rep based in Tenerife, although, we do provide an in person welcome brief on arrival and offer 24/7 emergency assistance should this be required. However, due to the varying times our customers arrive, we ask that you contact your rep pre travel to arrange a suitable time for this, we are sorry if this was not clear. In future, the rep will also try to contact our customers on the evening of arrival and where possible, will deliver the welcome brief over the phone as required.
Our sales team are experts on the holidays they sell, having tested them directly. When customers are seeking guidance on holiday suitability, our main goal is to ensure we provide thorough information to ensure our customers have the best holiday experience possible. We are sorry you do not feel this was delivered on this occasion.
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.
Kind regards, Headwater customer service team
By Ms Chandler on 30/03/2016
A unique holiday experience that fully met our expectations. Would highly recommend
By Mr Siddons on 24/03/2016
The varied microclimates of Gran Caneria provided a range of varied interesting walks. Away from the tourist venues on the coast the island provides a great venue for walking. The network of paths was great and mainly in excellent condition which was an eye opener. Generally use is low so you get lots of space to yourself, great views and opportunity to enjoy the island.
By Mr Pattison on 23/03/2016
Another great guided walking holiday, despite unseasonable weather, Very varied and interesting walks, good hotels, and good food and wine. Javier dealt very well with the challenges presented by an unwell fellow traveller, and the changes forced on us by the weather. He judged our capabilities well in arranging a substitute walk which we felt was the best of the holiday.
By Ms Ringer on 23/03/2016
This was a very well planned, smoothly run holiday. All our connections/transfers/taxis operated like clockwork. We were very well catered for and the Finca
had everything we needed for an extremely rewarding and relaxing holiday. Our guide, Nick, was very attentive and inclusive and happy to impart his
knowledge of the area. We loved the challenge of walking in the morning and then plenty of time in the afternoon to chill around the beautiful grounds of the Finca - lovingly developed over the years by our hosts Sue and Gordon. All the staff were very accommodating and friendly. We couldn't have asked for more.
Thank you everyone involved.
By Mrs Spencer on 22/03/2016
Casa Carascal was dark, oppressive and the time we were there, cold. Heaters and extra blankets were happily supplied, the fire was lit 1 hr before dinner. Not enough seating for number of guests indoors. Outside area totally enclosed by walls. Neither conducive to socialising before or after meals.
Could do with updating re paint in rooms and new bed covers but they were I guess, in tradition with the building.
I acknowledge that mountains demand respect and health and safety rules demand acknowledgement but felt Sue was a little over enthusiastic! In her approach. Prefer to make my own judgement re use of poles and my walking style over rough scrambles. She was however helpful to those who had difficulty.
At dinner, it would have been good to have been offered tea or coffee at the end of the meal, it doesn't take long to arrange. It was grudgingly granted when asked for on the last night!
Wifi would have been appreciated.
Excellent food! Good portion sizes. Good wine.
By Mr Wall on 21/03/2016
Excellent Rep in Marita and driver in Diego.It was nice to have the same driver all the time. Bikes were excellent, much better than the ones we had in the Asturias holiday earlier in the year when half the gears slipped. Every hotel, except in Cadiz gave us freshly brewed wonderful coffee for breakfast. We have never had that before in a Headwater holiday .Hotels marked down for food was not because there was anything wrong with it just that breakfast was very limited.eg at Medina di Sidonia just bread with those awful sachets of packaged jams and spreads. Comfort marked down for a couple of hotels because it was difficult to get a good night's sleep because of noise outside. At Medina Sidonia some sort of machinery going all night .The hotel in Cadiz has the best rooms at the front as they have large French doors and a little balcony over a pedestrianised street. It is actually fine until after midnight when the bars from the square down the road empty out and revellers pass by the hotel until the eary hours. We had an extra night so changed to a room at the back where there is only a small nonopening window over the door. Slept very well though so it was worth it.Very scenic area. I think grading is 2 plus not a 2.
By Mrs Emmett on 21/03/2016
We found the first day hard: getting used to a new car, parking in a busy town to get lunch as suggested by the guide, an awkward and long drive to and from the start point and a very challenging walk. Rather too much for the first day. We suggest an easier itinerary for the first day would be preferable. We enjoyed a rest next day in the delightful little beach resort near the hotel. We enjoyed the transit day; an amazing drive and excellent FLAT walk near Mt Teide! The drive down into Garachico was exciting but we had got used to the car by then. Being in the centre of town was great. We found the walk in Teno Alto the best of all because of the diverse landscapes and exciting ridge walk. We had a second rest day with a pleasant and rewarding drive to Punto de Teno and some beach time. Finally we did most of the Masca Ridge en route to the airport. Unfortunately we were thwarted by a no entry sign on a gate not mentioned in the notes, but after wasting some time looking for a different route, clearly going through it was the best way forward. Overall this was a really good holiday, a few challenges but that is part of the fun. We were pleasantly surprised by how interesting and beautiful we found Tenerife to be, helped by the perfect weather we enjoyed.
By Mr Lloyd on 21/03/2016
Very different from our usual breaks, it was hard work but worth it. We would never have found these gems, and driving to them along the twisty mountain roads was half the adventure! The hotels were lovely, although quinta roja was a pain to get the bags and suitcases from the car, it was more than worth it.
By Mr Daum on 21/03/2016
We had an excellent holiday and Gran Canaria has stunning and varied scenery. The walking was hard, at times, but very rewarding which made it all worthwhile.
The Hotels were very different in character but enabled you to visit and experience the contrast between the North and South of the island which are very different. The food in both was excellent and the warm welcome and hospitality we received at Melva Suites stood out.
By Mrs Simms on 21/03/2016
The Finca el Cerrillo is a wonderful place to stay in a beautiful location. We were extremely well looked after and the organisation was seamless. The walks were, as stated in the brochure, very gentle and leisurely. We would definitely consider returning especially If some more challenging walks were on offer.
By Mrs Bertels on 15/03/2016
Excellent holiday, well described in the brochure. However I thought the walks were a bit short so there was quite a lot of free time at the Finca. While the Finca is a really lovely place it was a little remote so if you wanted to go into the village/town there was a very steep walk down the ravine and back up the other side. I am sure later in the season the Finca is a lovely place to stay with swimming pool and lots of outside sitting areas but in early March it was a bit chilly. I wasn't too keen on the wine tasting in the morning before a walk. We seemed to spend a lot of time eating. We only had picnic lunches on 2 days which meant a lot of food was provided both at lunchtime and in the evening. I would have been happy to have longer walks and more picnic lunches.
By Mrs Auger on 04/03/2016
The walks were varied and well within our ability, although we appreciated having a day off on the fourth day. The guides (Andreas and Javier) were very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna, geology and history of the island, which added enormously to our enjoyment. We couldn't fault the hotel (San Roque), and especially liked having a Jacuzzi bath to revive our muscles each evening, before dinner. The chef produced delicious and varied meals both on the set menu and the vegetarian alternative.
By Mrs Merry on 04/03/2016
This was our first Headwater holiday & we were impressed. The hotel is a real gem with impeccable service & wonderful food. Dietary requirements were known about by both hotel staff & our guides. Both guides were helpful & knowledgeable about the locality, flora, fauna etc. They also provided great picnic lunches. The idea to go to a local market one day to choose picnic items was a good one.
We had not visited Tenerife previously & being situated in the quiet town of Garachico was lovely. There was plenty to occupy us there on the free day. All in all this was a splendid holiday, the walks varied & interesting. We were only a small group, 2 couples only but we seemed to gel which is always a bonus. We really have no criticism to make. Wonderful & we'll book with Headwater again.
By Dr Holloway on 04/03/2016
We had an enjoyable walking experience in Gran Canaria and in general the walk instructions were excellent although there were some mistakes that were mostly corrected by the local guide at an initial meeting on arrival. It is worth asking as many searching questions from the local guide at this point.
By Mr Bumfrey on 04/03/2016
A very scenic island with lots of walking opportunities, some of which can be quite challenging. Friendly and comfortable hotels.
By Mrs Mendoza on 04/03/2016
This was the second Headwater holiday I have been on which was guided by Javier. He is a fantastic guide and so knowledgeable. As well as walking he showed us lots of flora and fauna and lots of other interesting things.
All the walks were very interesting and the views were great It was good that we stayed at two hotels, both very interesting.
By Mrs Gatward on 04/03/2016
The hotels, our guide Javier and the fellow-travellers were all excellent - unfortunately the weather wasn't as good as I'd hoped but nothing can be done about that. I think Javier realised when he had to re-arrange our final walk (due to snow) that the alternative was a bit difficult for me - but I got there! I have to say everyone else thought it was wonderful!
By Mrs George on 25/02/2016
Stunning scenery and great walking destination. Great climate for Jan/Feb.
By Mr Mattingly on 25/02/2016
Excellent hotel & guides. One or two walks do require a head for heights (this was pointed out in brochure).
By Mrs Woodruff on 25/02/2016
Well organised holiday with an excellent local guide.
By Mr Rayner on 25/02/2016
An excellent holiday with an exceptional guide (Javier) who was passionate about the geology, geography, and natural history of the island of La Palma.
The walks were well chosen and we saw different aspects of the island. He was adaptable - when the temperature dropped to 5C with a wind speed of 34kph he decided to forego the high altitude ridge walk for one further down the mountain. He took us to an interesting selection of restaurants so that we could experience local cuisine. And he was a good and careful driver and had a fine sense of humour.
By Mrs Harper on 24/02/2016
A great experience with a young enthusiastic guide. The only disappointment was the weather.
By Ms Brown on 24/02/2016
Perfect combination of varied and scenic walking, great hospitality, delicious food and comfortable accommodation.
By Mr Kell on 24/02/2016
We very much enjoyed our week in Gran Canaria. The walks we did provided panoramic views of the island and fortunately all the days we walked we were blessed with excellent weather and visibility. We opted out of the last walk on the Sunday because of poor weather conditions which seemed to affect most of the island. On balance we found the walks more strenuous than 2 Boot might have suggested, especially on some of the steep descents. We were quite stiff after 3 consecutive days but happily recovered quite quickly during the day's transfer. We do a lot of walking and exercise regularly at the gym so would stress the need for physical fitness to do these walks. See comments below about the Hotels. San Bartolome is so central really that on balance all of the walks can be accessed from there though it might involve a little more mountain driving which some folk may not appreciate.
By Mr Cross on 22/02/2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this Headwater holiday, of which I have had many. Luckily our small group all got on well with each other - important for a guided holiday. You can rely on the excellent guide (Javier) and the excellent hotel San Roque, and Garachico is a pretty little coastal town. What you cannot rely on - in mid-February in Tenerife - is good weather for walking every day. Cloud and/or rain, plus high winds, are a real risk. Javier was intelligent and flexible, taking us back to the 'always dry' Teide National Park more than once, after we got a soaking on one lower altitude walk.Would go walking again - probably to another of the Canary Islands - but in April/May, not February.
By Mrs Underwood on 22/02/2016
Fabulous weeks walking holiday our guide Javier was brilliant each day was a fun filled day, great walking routes and with an extremely pleasant knowledgeable young guide.
Would recommend 100%
By Mrs Bowen on 05/02/2016
An excellently run holiday in a beautiful area. Our guide was always prepared to go the extra mile to make our holiday a success. Walks were excellently prepared and led with extra visits such as to a banana plantation thrown in. He even took us to the market on the first walk day to show him what we all liked in our picnics which were amazing! He also avoided a long wait at the airport on our leaving day by taking us to a nearby beach unencumbered by our luggage and returning for us later. We recommend him very highly.
By Mrs Cockram on 05/02/2016
An excellent holiday all round. Everything was looked after for us both by Headwater and the local guide whose knowledge was exceptional on every subject and for whom nothing was too much trouble. Accommodation superb and just what was needed at the end of a day's walking.
By Mrs Morris on 05/02/2016
Superb leader - sociable, knowledgeable, charming, considerate. Excellent hotels, especially the Hacienda, where the staff were charming and the quality of the accommodation and surroundings excellent.
By Dr Simpson on 04/02/2016
Wonderful trip and made even better by out guides detailed knowledge of the area and his ability to swap walking days to suit the conditions - stayed in the woods when cloud cover was low. Everything was wonderful except that we had no hot water in our room at 7 am (it got going by 7.40) and again at 6 pm. This was because our room was a long way from the centre of the hotel and / or the system couldn't cope with lots of people all wanting hot water at the same time. I raised the issue with reception twice and was assured that the hot water boiler came on at 7 am, but this certainly wasn't sufficiently early to supply us. Compeletly wonderful hotel in all other ways, so this was a pity. I would certainly recommend this holiday to anyone, but it's ceratinly 2 boot!
By Mr Ridley on 04/02/2016
Another excellent holiday with Headwater
By Mr Booth on 29/01/2016
Both the guided and self guided parts of the holiday were excellent. We were taken to parts of Tenerife and Gran Canaria that were spectacularly beautiful, rugged and interesting.
By Mrs Riddaway on 28/01/2016
Hotel Las Tiranas is a very pleasant friendly place to stay with excellent faciities including a lovely swimming pool and wellness centre. The very extensive buffet breakfasts and lunches mean that it is possible to find plenty of food to please anyone's tastes. Lots of pleasant places both inside and out to sit and talk or just relax.
Hotel Melva Suites has a very minimalist design and is set in grounds covered mostly with small stones and few plants. It has no facilities except a restaurant but this was friendly and the food was good. Breakfast was very limited and cold and provided in the corner a huge hall. The whole experience would be much improved if breakfast was to be served in the restaurant.
By Mr Hirst on 25/01/2016
Northern Tenerife is dramatic and beautiful. The walks were very varied, with stunning views and much of interest along the way with excellent, knowledgable local guides. Our hotel was charming and after a day of walking it was lovely to relax each evening round the pool and enjoy a delicious dinner.
By Mr Learmont on 22/01/2016
We stayed in two hotels, the Tirajanas and Melva. Our stay in the Tirajanas was very enjoyable; there were a couple of niggles (separate charge for wi fi and use of safe in room) but overall amenities excellent, service and food both good, walks from hotel great (albeit quite physically challenging). We did not think the Melva was a good choice for Headwater customers - it was a long distance from the walk start points; the atmosphere and location were bleak; the food slightly odd - an excellent quality evening restaurant (even though menu choices were odd e.g. scrambled eggs and artichokes, anchovies with a small tomato) offset by a really poor breakfast in main hall (warm water from a thermos for tea/coffee; no fresh bread etc.). The rooms were clean, spacious and well equipped but the exterior was like a car park and not appealing at all. We enjoyed our visit to Gran Canaria but were we to go again we would prefer to stay for the whole week in Tirajanas and steer clear of Melva.I trust this is helpful.
By Mr Hooton on 20/01/2016
Cycling is not the main part of the holiday; it gets you through the county side and build up your appetite to enjoy food and drink in the towns and villages along the way. The break days enable you to take in the places along the way; it is well worth taking the time to explore and find out about the places, you'll discover the convent nuns who sell biscuits through a hatch in Arcos de la Fontera, and the 16th Century competition between the churches for supremacy through acquisition of increasing old a decaying bodies of saints.
By Mr Jamieson on 19/01/2016
We did all the walks in the itinerary except the Las Casas de Afur as it promised to be simply a descent of 700m on difficult footing followed an unrelenting climb (or bus trip) back up. As reasonably fit 70s we coped with all the others, but considered most to be at the top end of Headwaters two boot category because of the generally rocky terrain and occasional need for a head for heights
We found the individual walk descriptions out-of-date. In several cases there had been welcome improvements such as better waymaking and resurfaced roads (the Chamorga walk). But on the Los Organos walk we had to retrace our steps after 4km as a key section of path has been closed on safety grounds since at least February 2015. Yet Headwater still included the walk in our package.
As all the walks are some distance from the hotels a lot of driving is involved, much on twisting mountain roads; we did 700km in seven days (including 60 minutes each way for the aborted Los Organos walk). Not a problem for us, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
While sun hat, sunscreen and water are rightly mentioned as essential, layers of clothing and gloves are equally important as most of the walks approach 1000m (2000m in the case on the Teide National Park). In the winter months it can be quite cold at those altitudes, especially on cloudy days.
As for hotels, the Finca Salamanca is adequate, but lacks atmosphere. The Quinta Roja in Garachico (a lovely town with traditional architecture) is very good and is close to a range of restaurants. We enjoyed the fish restaurant, Aristides, just cross the square. In neither hotel did the staff show much knowledge of, or interest in, the Headwater programme of walks.
Overall, the holiday was a great way to explore the far corners and roof of Tenerife, but the balance of the overall programme and the individual walk descriptions need more attention to detail by Headwater.
By Mis Nair on 09/12/2015
A good holiday in a beautiful island, with good weather and a helpful and obliging guide.
NB ; Picnic lunches during the walks were a little excessive . It might be better for each person /couple to choose what they want for lunch before purchasing
it to avoid leftovers / carrying excess loads.
By Mr Shore on 07/12/2015
Hacienda de Abajo is a fabulous hotel - best staff ever, wonderful food, beautiful accommodation and stunning tropical gardens. Hotel San Telmo is charming, tucked away in the side streets and perfectly located for walking in Santa Cruz. Our guide - Javier - was an outstanding source of knowledge on the history, geology, flora and fauna of the islands. I recommend this holiday.
By Mrs Baron on 04/12/2015
A very enjoyable holiday with excellent guiding and accomodation
By Ms Findlay on 01/12/2015
La Gomera is a largely unspoilt island with wonderful plants and stunning views. Great to learn so much about its history and natural history, enjoy lovely walking and sample local food. An excellent guide and good company from our fellow travellers. Would thoroughly recommend this trip!
By Mrs Scott on 01/12/2015
An excellent holiday , helped by the weather!
By Ms Wellsted on 01/12/2015
Stress free excellence! I loved every minute of this holiday principally because all arrangements went super smoothly, the hotel staff, accommodation and location were way above my expectations. The week flew and the walking was thoroughly enjoyable. Would I go with Headwater holidays again? Absolutely.
By Dr Morris on 27/11/2015
Exhilarating and exciting cycling holiday in wonderful locations; good mix of town and country; typical Spanish scenery and food; good choice of evening restaurants; breakfasts a bit skimpy..bring snacks along to keep you going.
By Mrs Leslie on 13/11/2015
A completely unjustifiable cost for the quality of holiday provided
By Mrs Hutchinson on 13/11/2015
First hotel was in a lovely location but we didn't get the basic cleaning and breakfast service we would expect. We weren't expecting luxury here but basic cleaning and services. Also nobody was available who spoke English for most of our stay here. Obviously in a rural area we shouldn't necessarily have expected this but it would have been very helpful.
By Ms Heard on 10/11/2015
Cycling in Andalucia, excellent and, having experience of other Headwater Cycling holidays, would judge the grading to be spot on. It was very hilly in parts and maybe a couple of hills needed a 2+ grading but overall we thought a 2 bikes to be accurate grading. At nearly 70 and cycling at home approx. twice a month I managed the hills very well - one just has to remember it is not the Tour de France' there is no yellow top for the first one up the hill......
We flew from Heathrow and due to a missing passenger the flight to Madrid was delayed resulting in us missing the onward connection to Jerez. However, it all adds to the adventure!
The hotels were excellent and all very central with a great many options of restaurants in the towns for evening meals; apart from Medina. All of the towns we visited were lovely, very interesting and very different, Andalucia is the most attractive area of Spain we have visited. If possible it is well worth having an extra night in Jerez which we did - don't miss seeing a Flamenco show and sampling the sherry! Cadiz old town was delightful and again we added a couple of extra nights, well worth it. We ended our holiday with three nights in Seville - the icing on the cake.
The cycling was, as usual, great, good bikes, well written cycling instructions and wonderfully quite roads and tracks. Two negatives, we did find it difficult to find good picnic spots and we really missed not having map holders - apparently they hadn't arrived from England and the rep wasn't able to access them from elsewhere.
Overall an excellent holiday, we would certainly recommend it.
By Mr McKerchar on 03/11/2015
Hotel absolutely first rate - fantastic tranquil location; we were very well looked after; food was simple but good. Menorca delightfully quiet when we visited (October) but weather perfect for walking. Walks were straightforward if perhaps a trifle short. We skipped the town walks and added two other walks of our own that I would recommend
1. Santa Galdana to Saint Thomas via GR 223, returning along coastal path - just be aware that to leave Cala Trebaluger you need to use a cave passage.
2. Cala Tuqueta to Plagues de Son Saura (out & return via coastal path - we did not find the green route marked on the map but we did not spend much time looking).
By Mr Hadden on 31/10/2015
A very enjoyable holiday. We felt that the grading system does not have enough levels and that some of the cycling was quite challenging, particularly the three days that end with a climb to the finish. We found that we could get very good dinners/lunches at a reasonable price. The Spanish drivers were very considerate to cyclists; the best that we have found anywhere.
By Mr Bridge on 29/10/2015
Excellent mix of seaside and inland routes with fantastic hotels. A great introduction to the less commercial side of Spain. Brilliant weather in late September made it perfect.
By Mr Kettle on 28/10/2015
Exceeded all expectations. Very relaxing. Party of 10 ideal size to get to know each other. Excellent introduction to Andalucia
By Mrs Probett on 27/10/2015
Walking &birding good in both centres. Esther, our guide, was very friendly and tried to do her best for us.
By Mr Geh on 27/10/2015
We had an excellent time. Lovely scenery and weather and excellent food. I would definitely recommend doing this either early or late in the season as it was much cooler and less busy. Very few cars on the road and no traffic.
Felt a great sense of achievement after each cycle day. Our 2 boys- age 11 and 13 enjoyed themselves and there was not a single moan of ''are we there yet?!'
By Mrs Fairclough on 26/10/2015
Very enjoyable. Felt like we had seen and experienced the real Spain, not touristy and commercial. We speak no Spanish and very few people spoke English but we got by and all the meals were wonderful, trying different things. The walks were very good some more challenging than others. We did go wrong but never too badly. Not sure if the mistakes were due to vague directions or just misinterpretation of instructions (we easily go wrong in England!!)
By Mr Moore on 23/10/2015
David and Sue are excellent hosts and guides. They have a real knowledge and enthusiasm for the area which is reflected in the walks. We had one day of rain and they quickly adapted the programme to suit the conditions. Walks were varied and excellent giving a real flavour of the area.
By Mrs Peden on 20/10/2015
The holiday overall was most enjoyable, well organised, the cycling routes were at a good level and the documentation of the routes both on paper and on GPX excellent and the countryside lovely. There are some excellent wineries en route in the Emporda region.
By Ms McGrath on 20/10/2015
This was an excellent holiday that was really made by the superb service from the hosts, Sue and David. Nothing was too much trouble, they worked incredibly hard to ensure the whole group had the most enjoyment out of their holiday. Their knowledge of the walks was incredible and their good humour and patience second to none. The food was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the week. I walked and climbed to a level I had not reached for a number of years and felt a tremendous sense of achievement . I have already passed on details of the holiday to work colleagues.
By Mrs Tilley on 16/10/2015
Good overall. The time of year for the particular holiday needs to be better considered as it is billed as a birdwatching holiday and it is the wrong time of year for that. Quite a lot of the birds had left. The weather was also very hot so the countryside was very dry and the few birds that were around were hiding from the heat. I would suggest looking again at the best times to make sure you catch the migrating birds that you suggest people might see on your list. The accommodation at the Palacio Viejo is a pure delight - as is the owner, Carmen.
By Ms O'Dell on 15/10/2015
I was very pleased with the help and service I received from Headwater. The holiday was very enjoyable and I would certainly recommend the Valencia walking holiday.
By Mrs Kilpatrick on 15/10/2015
This was the best walking holiday I have had in recent years. Casa Carrascal is a lovingly restored house situated in a delightful Spanish village. Each bedroom in the hotel is different giving a lovely quirky feel to the place. While there is no Wifi (no bad thing in my opinion) this is available in the very welcoming hostelery just across the road. The walks, which are accurately described as two boot, are varied so that every day you are walking different terrain but always with spectacular views. I was slightly concerned that I might not be able to do all of them but David and Sue (who are excellent leaders) keep a close eye on everyone and present alternative walks if they think you might experience difficulties. Add to that tempting menus based on local produce cooked to perfection by David and you have the makings of a great holiday. All you have to do is enjoy it all!
By Mrs Satterthwaite on 14/10/2015
Great fun. Our reps were extremely helpful. We will definitely do another walking holiday.
By Mrs Ashcroft on 14/10/2015
Excellent in every respect
By Pro Davies on 12/10/2015
The holiday was disappointing. Onward travel from Barcelona airport was so awful the thought of having to make the return journey hung over the rest of the period, such that I changed my flight and went home a day early, using bus rather than train. If you use Passeig de Graca station you need to supply the timetable - there is no way of identifying if you are catching the right train (and there's a train every 2 minutes) and it is an awful place to wait.
By Mr Jenkinson on 12/10/2015
An interesting coastal and inland holiday on quite roads and tracks. Visiting in October the coastal locations and hilltop towns and villages are quiet, but the weather was good and ideal for cycling. having enjoyed many Headwater cycling holidays in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, we may well be interested in following-up an e-bike option in the future.
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 Mrs MacLeod on 09/10/2015
Excellent holiday; very interesting area of Spain to visit. The walks were varied with spectacular scenery. The hotel was well located and there was often something going on in the town square in the evening. Hotel staff friendly and helpful and the food was very good. I know the Spanish eat late but the 8.30pm evening meal was the only downside particularly when we wanted to have an early breakfast so we could start walking before it got too hot. Since Headwater clients have their own menu maybe an earlier sitting could be considered.
By Mrs Donnison on 08/10/2015
The team at the hotel couldn't do enough to help. A decent range of walks nothing too strenuous but just right in the unseasonably high temperatures.
Cordoba was a stunning place to visit so would strongly recommend this on the free day. We enjoyed having the extra days in Granada as a counterfoil to the tranquility of Zuheros.
By Mrs Read on 06/10/2015
Peaceful cycling along quiet country road, interesting villages and lovely scenery.
This holiday certainly shows the contrasts that Catalonia has to offer.
By Mrs Griffiths on 06/10/2015
A delightful area, away from the usual tourist spots. An attractive, friendly hotel and village. Varied walks with lovely long-distance views. Care needed on the stony tracks and paths after a prolonged period of dry weather.
By Ms Duncan on 06/10/2015
By Mrs Bathe on 05/10/2015
This holiday provides a stress-free camino experience for those who either do not wish to or cannot carry a full back pack. Accommodation and meals are of a significantly higher standard than is available in the hostels and dormitories along the route. As well as completing the 100km required for the compostela, it combines some interesting earlier sections of the camino as a bonus. The guided tour of Leon provides an excellent introduction to the camino combined with the visit to the impressive Cathedral and other historic buildings. It is well worth extending the holiday to spend two nights in both Leon and Santiago de Compostela.
By Mrs Spencer on 30/09/2015
Excellent guide who was very knowledgeable with birds and nature, and without his expertise it wouldn't haven't been so enjoyable.
By Mrs Hickling on 30/09/2015
Lovely village and some good walking. The vultures were impressive. Maybe more attractive in spring when the flowers are out. All the trvel arrangements worked flawlessly. The food at the hotel was very variable and a little disappointing at times. The walking was all in quite a small area and there was some repetition of sections. But overall it was a very enjoyable trip. Staying in a single location is definitely more relaxing than moving on every day. The bat cave in Zuheros was an amazing place, and a visit to Granada was definitely worthwhile. We were lucky too that our visit coincided with the cheese festival in the village
By Mr Jamieson on 29/09/2015
Well-chosen walks in a scenic area with classic limestone features. Can be rocky and stony underfoot in places, but all walks within Grade 2 definition. Arrangements at Hotel Zuhayra are excellent; Antonio was always helpful and the staff went out of their way to provide good, friendly service.
By Mr Taylor on 29/09/2015
From the first contact with Headwater until we left our Hotel the service was excellent. The Hotel was small, comfortable and the staff very friendly. The walking notes were fantastic, and the walks took in some most wonderful scenery. Cannot fault the holiday at all. Thank you.
By Mr Cross on 29/09/2015
A super holiday - no faults found!
Only comment is that 'two boots' did not quite fit our perception, compared with other Headwater 'two boots' holidays that we have taken. We would call this holiday 'two and a half boots'. Not because of distances but because of combination of gradients/ascents, narrow paths with steep drops, and much rough and rocky terrain which demands continuous concentration. Not a holiday for anyone suffering from vertigo.
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 Mrs Kill on 24/09/2015
A wonderful, unspoilt region. We had no idea that the Costa Brava was so wooded and had so many places of historical interest. Going just out of season, the beaches were quiet and devoid of sunbeds! The number of cycle tracks - albeit somewhat roughly surfaced in places - puts the UK to shame.
By Mrs Johnson on 23/09/2015
Really enjoyable week with everything thought of and attention to detail. Excellent route notes.
By Mrs Eidahl on 23/09/2015
Sue and David have an excellent concept. Have never met anyone so devoted to their customers as themselves. We could have eaten out on the evening we were at Valencia to give them an evening off. They were our chauffeurs our cooks, our guides, and entertained us too. Marvelous cooks, but we would have been just as happy with a choice of fewer alternatives of each course. I would return again.
The walking on the Vistas of Valencia was really, really stunning. What can beat that??
By Ms Nicolson on 23/09/2015
Having enjoyed many Headwater Holidays, this one surpassed expectations - which were high to begin with! David and Sue could not have been more helpful and sociable. Casa Carascal is a lovely base and the food exceptional. I learned more on this holiday than on any other - from local history, butterflies, birds and of course, David's jokes! Both David and Sue shared tips on walking properly on the different surfaces - their attention to health and safety for everyone was to be commended. The group gelled very well - that was a real bonus. New friends have been made. All in all, Headwater have a real winner with this holiday and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
By Mrs Hill on 23/09/2015
Booking straightforward. Transfer to and from Malaga airport efficient. Great welcome at the Finca. Excellent food including local dishes. Food and wine from local source. The Finca is located in spectacular countryside enabling walks to be varied. Our guide Nick supplied us with information of the area-the history and customs of the local people, the fruit production on the hillsides-avocados, olives, grapes etc.
By Mr Wilkinson on 23/09/2015
An excellent holiday.
Why [in no particular order]
wonderful scenery and excellent walking routes
superb group of walkers - we all got on well together, all of us at a similar standard.
great accommodation with 2 very welcoming hosts and their staff
excellent meals at all times - at the Finca and in the villages
a very knowledgeable guide
well organised transport throughout the holiday
By Mr Peckham on 22/09/2015
We had a wonderful holiday enjoying the contrasts of Catalunya, from the sea at the Costa Brava to the rice fields and woodlands inland. The reps Jim and Katie gave us a terrific service, from the introductory postcard sent to us prior to leaving, and the provision of satnav files to make navigation so easy. The hotels Hotel Sa Punta and the magnificent El Castell d'Emporda both exceeded our expectations, and to stay in the tower of an ancient castle was the highlight of our holiday. We have had three Headwater holidays now and will definitely be back for more.
By Mr Christy on 22/09/2015
A really excellent week - well organised and planned, allowing us to concentrate on the splendid walks. I hadn't been on an organised walking holiday before, but I will certainly try some more of these trips in future, since they allow you to get to places that you might not try on your own.
By Ms Jensen on 22/09/2015
Vistas of Valencia is one of the best walking holidays we have done with Headwater. Sue and Dave, our wonderful hosts just make everything work and nothing is too much trouble. The accommodation, food and walks are all excellent. Just a brilliant holiday.
By Mrs Gray on 22/09/2015
A wonderful holiday from start to finish, the accommodation surpassed our expectations and the food was some of the best we have had, especially in the Finca. The air of calm around the place made us relax from the first day, thanks to Sue, Gorden and the rest of their lovely staff. The walks were well led by Nick who was very knowledgeable and made the point of talking to everyone in the group and making sure all were OK as some days it was very hot. Would recommend Headwater to friends without any hesitation, thank you.
By Mr Sadler on 21/09/2015
The representatives Katie and Jim made the holiday truly wonderful. They were extremely helpful with nothing too much trouble.
By Mrs Campbell on 21/09/2015
Holiday was very good, gentle relaxed cycling in nice area and traffic free roads and tracks. Hotels and food were of a high standard.
By Mrs Wakefield on 21/09/2015
Wonderful variety of walks and scenery with comfortable hotels and good food.
By Mrs McInnes on 21/09/2015
This is my 10 th Headwater holiday,this time I convinced three friends to walk the Camino de Santiago with Headwater.
Our group of four were very pleased with Headwater and are looking at more holidays with them.
By Mrs Broad on 21/09/2015
Menorca is a lovely island, incredibly pretty and very easy to get around. The Morvedra Nou hotel is in a perfect setting if you want peace and quiet. The gardens and pool area are so relaxing, the bird song is the only thing you'll hear! Unfortunately, we were unable to upgrade at the time of booking, to one of the larger rooms, and although our room was spotlessly clean and had a sunny patio, we did find it on the small side. Not a big deal as we were out walking most days. The walks were excellent, sometimes really off the beaten track, great wildlife and fabulous scenery, quite a few 'wow' moments as we came round a headland or walked through the gorge to the caves. Our only gripe, was the food. Breakfast was fine, plenty of choice but dinner was very hit and miss. There was no comparison to the food photos on the hotel website, and the portion sizes and combinations were very strange. Sometimes the starters were far too big, and the main course would be just a large piece of meat/fish with one small potato if you were lucky (no veg). There was only one evening out of ten, that we both enjoyed the whole meal, which was so disappointing. Honestly, neither of us are fussy eaters, but we have never left so much food on our plates, and not once did anyone ask us about it.
By Mis Smith on 17/09/2015
This was our first Headwater walking holiday, and it has definitely lived up to our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the mixture of walks, as well as the cuisine and rest day activities. Jim and Katie are excellent reps, and definitely contributed to our memorable experience. Many thanks!
By Mrs Capper on 14/09/2015
An excellent holiday. Lovely area of Spain. Reps Katie and Jim are excellent and provide excellent information and advice (and are always willing to go the extra mile to make the holiday as enjoyable as possible). The bikes ar excellent and route information and maps are easy to follow. We did not use GPS but never got lost , even when meandering through villages
By Mrs Taylor on 11/09/2015
Would only recommend this holiday for fit people under 50 because of the terrain and the weather conditions .Lovely area with good accomodation
By Mrs Cox on 08/09/2015
Overall we had a great time. A few hiccups - BA losing a suitcase! not Headwaters fault (found it eventually) and on the return journey arriving at Barcelona airport to be told they only had two seats - we are a family of four! Eventually found us two more seats but made for a very stressful journey. We did not check in late and online checkin was not an option for us. It was VERY hot 35 degrees. A bit too hot to be honest and we probably would not do this holiday again in August! Go when it is a bit cooler. The area is fabulous and we would go back. The hotels are generally very good. We did have an issue at Garbi. Our first night the aircon was not working properly in our room but we got on with it. On our last night the aircon in the boys' room was not working at all and it was 29 degrees! The suggested remedies as the hotel was full was to a) live with it then b) sleep with the window open and they would provide insect repellent! We rejected both these options and in the end moved the two boys in with us for the night. The staff provided camp beds. We managed but not overly happy having paid for two double rooms. We did mention it to the reps in the morning but as it was our last night there was nothing to be done.
By Mrs Bush on 07/09/2015
We loved this walk. Accommodation on the whole was as good as it could be given the isolated nature of some places. We were particularly impressed with the helpfulness of staff at Headwater when BA cancelled our outward flight the evening before our journey so we didn't miss any of our holiday. The arrangements went very smoothly. The weather in mid July was very hot-unusually so according to locals- so if you suffer from the heat, earlier or later might be better!
By Mr Russell on 24/08/2015
I joined this vacation basically to walk through some lovely countryside and to see a lot of historic buildings in Spain. That was pretty much what I got. But in addition very enjoyable stays at the hotels where the staff all spoke great English and were really helpful. The guides made some very useful suggestions that saw me undertake day 2 hikes on day 1 and 2 . Good advice for the middle of summer and it enabled me to get back in time about 3.30 to enjoy the wonderful situation of Castell de Emporda. The Coastal phase was beautiful and after the completion of the hike and I stayed a few more days at Begur.
By Mr Hutchinson on 14/08/2015
Excellent experience, sights and places which can only be discovered on a bike. A lot tougher than expected, would definitely put in more miles on the bike before attempting the route again.
By Mr Howard on 13/08/2015
Excellent experience. A privilege to walk through such a beautiful and little known part of Spain!
By Mrs Thompson on 11/08/2015
Our reps were superb. Jim took particular care to ensure the bikes were fitted to each individual and this meant each of our party was comfortable throughout the holiday. He had specially removed the bottle holder from the ladies bikes so they would not catch their legs when getting on and off. This attention to detail was much appreciated. He had gone to great lengths to produce a gps version of all the trails and this was invaluable and worked without any problems. I had brought a smart phone holder and battery charger so had a days full battery life. While this would have been sufficient without the notes, the two worked in tandem well and should become a standard on all your cycling holidays.
The bikes would benefit from a small front pannier particularly for the ladies to keep a small water bottle in and a handbag.
Our reps kept in email contact to check our progress and made very helpful recommendations on places to eat and visit on the trip. They put their knowledge to good use so we had an excellent holiday.
By Ms Turner on 11/08/2015
Contrasts of Catalunya is a great route which takes in coast and countryside. We were two non-cyclists and found the routes achievable and well-planned, with thought given to where you could stop and explore different villages. Cycling was partly on quiet roads and partly on tracks - the routes through the rice fields and alongside apple orchards were particularly enjoyable, while some of the sandy tracks through pine forests were a bit harder going. The bikes were well-maintained and comfortable. Highlights on the route were medieval Pals and Begur, while the Sa Punta Hotel stood out for its fantastic service, excellent swimming pool and the best food we had all week. Service from the reps was also great, and they provided helpful map files and instructions on how to use these on a smartphone as well as practical tips. Highly recommendable!
By Mrs Coonan on 28/07/2015
Jim and Katie Illingworth, the Headwater reps, were absolutely fantastic - the best we have ever had; from the postcard we received a few days before our trip to their solicitous and detailed advice about the routes, the travel arrangements and thoughtful attention to detail e.g. Katie suggested that we buy a multi pack of bottled water which could be transported with our luggage every day. In addition as we experienced a heatwave during our trip, they suggested ways of shortening the walks to make them more manageable. They also recommended excellent restaurants when an evening meal was not included giving us lots of choices. Francisco, the taxi driver who transported the bags (and us on some days as it was so hot and we didn't want to walk) was delightful despite his lack of English and our lack of Spanish!
By Mrs Morris on 27/07/2015
An enjoyable holiday: a beautiful part of the world; the hotels were very good; the cycling was not strenuous but overly detailed and confusing directions for the cycling routes was frustrating and meant that our pleasure on the rides was diminished.
We enjoyed the cycling in Provence two years ago much more.
By Dr Taylor on 24/07/2015
We would not cycle in this area which is too urban really. The route notes require stopping every 100 or so meters in large parts of the journey to check directions.
By Mrs Tindle on 21/07/2015
An enjoyable experience. Some very contrasting hotels during the holiday. A great way to see the local area.
By Mr Thompson on 20/07/2015
First of all a big thank you to Jim & Katie Illingworth (headwater reps). This our 8th trip with Headwater and Katie & Jim are by far the most well prepared reps we have encountered. They have put lot of effort into helping guests make the most of their holiday with nice touches such as preparing a list of recommended restaurants by other guests to help on the days when we had to make our own arrangements. After reading reviews by previous visitors we chose the easy grade of cycling this year to give us time to enjoy the journey and explore the villages and coves along the way. The holiday lived up to all the positive reviews, and was our most relaxing holiday for years. This was our first visit to Catalunya and it is a very different place to southern Spain (Costa del Sol), the people are very polite and friendly and English is spoken in most places so our phrase book did not get much of an airing. The cycling was not difficult at all and you have plenty of time to enjoy the prettier villages.
The included meals were of a very high standard as were these hotels. We were advised by Jim and Katie that if the hotel at Palamos was not busy and you are allocated a room to the side or rear of the building without a balcony to ask for an up grade. We did this and were given a 2nd floor sea view room with a balcony for an extra 10 euros per night. Well worth it.
Glad to see Headwater are now including cycling suggestions for the rest days, this was much appreciated as on previous holidays we have spent the evening before planning our own route notes.
Our best holiday with Headwater since our visit to Provence.
The only comment we would make to improve the holiday are in regards the over descriptive notes for directions for which we felt compelled to find every detail on the notes and seemed to be stopping every few hundred kilometers or so to check notes. For example it would be simpler to record 'keep on straight ahead to the next T junction an ignore all turnings for 2 km' - whereas for example, the notes detail sign posts to a destination on the left in detail and instruct you to continue straight ahead. This said, we did not need to use the OS maps for the whole of the holiday.
By Ms Clark on 15/07/2015
Fantastic walking area if you like wild, remote stony terrain. Incredibly windy at times and also challenging steep downhill sections if these are not your forte! Superb coastal and inland scenery. Great to have suggested walks for free days especially as the weather wasn't really good enough for swimming and relaxing. The local taxi driver was great, carrying on the luggage and when we finished the last day's walking early we phoned him and he picked us up. He also helped us sort out an earlier train to Barcelona. We had the same reps in Tuscany last year and once again they were brilliant, providing extra route notes and e mailing changes. The initial briefing by phone worked well and we were delighted when they joined us for our last evening meal. They really go the extra mile to make things go smoothly. The hotels were all excellent and we liked the variety in the evening meal arrangement. Adding on 2 nights in Barcelona was the icing on the cake. The hotel there was of a lower standard, a very small room,but we did expect an ensuite room and not one with a bathroom down the corridor. We would have liked to have known this in advance and been given the chance to upgrade. Overall, a memorable holiday!
By Mr English on 14/07/2015
The holiday over all was very enjoyable BUT the 1 cycle rating was far from accurate. The 'tracks' mentioned in the brochure were rutted farm tracks full of sand and rubble. This was incredibly hard to negotiate, especially with the bikes we had which had narrow wheels not suitable for the purpose. The dry surface of the tracks meant the sand and rubble moved under us making it quite dangerous. This was not pleasant easy cycling but required all one's concentration to keep upright at times.
Occasionally the directions were out of date, or inaccurate, causing us to get 'lost' on several occasions.
J & S English
By Mrs Sinclair on 10/07/2015
We have been cycling to different parts of Europe for the past 7 years so we have a little experience of what to expect.. Headwater certainly is the best company we have cycled with. It was not the most interesting place we have been to but we wanted some sunshine and we certainly had that.
By Mr Wall on 10/07/2015
Beautiful area of Spain to explore.Cycling quite a challenge at times.Stay an extra night at Quinta Villanueva if you can.Highly recommended holiday.
By Mis Aplin on 07/07/2015
Pros: Beautiful varied scenery, mountains, craggy coastlines and lovely sandy beaches. Llanes was probably the nicest town to stay in. Lovely harbour, plenty of good restaurants and small shops.
Cons: Only 2 potential rest days and and one of those you would need to cycle somewhere as very little to do in Colunga. Bear in mind that none of the hotels had pools and on previous holidays it has been nice to have a few hours lounging by the pool. Some of the hotels had outdoor space but most not conducive to lounging about. There were plenty of nice sandy beaches but very little shade and only the occasional bench to sit on. Very little english spoken so even a few spanish phrases would be useful. On the last ride we found it better to head to Gijon as quickly as possible as the ride was unremarkable and it gave us a full afternoon and evening in Gijon.
By Mr Collins on 30/06/2015
A good mix of scenic, coastal, country and historic town locations for both walking and overnight stays. Introduced us to a lesser known area of Spain. While most of the walking had excellent scenery and moderate challenges, some sections were slightly tedious on tracks/roads rather than paths. However these were marked walking routes on the published maps, and it is difficult to see what alternatives were viable to get you to the next place of interest. No gain without pain! Walking instructions were excellent throughout.
By Ms Johnston on 25/06/2015
Excellent holiday in a beautiful location. Particularly enjoyed the self-guided element and found the route notes really comprehensive which gave confidence doing the self-guided bit. Loved the variety of hotels.
By Mr Collingham on 23/06/2015
Well organised; great choice of places to stay with walking well directed and right amount of effort per day. The Camino is not the most beautiful route we have walked but communion with fellow travellers made it feel special.
Only comment would be O Coto. Finished short walk to Casa de la Somoza by lunch and really not much to do that afternoon. While the hotel was adequate it was not the sort of place you could amuse yourself in for an afternoon. The common parts were a bit gloomy. We went for a walk! that afternoon.
A pity about baggage handlers' strike in Madrid, main problem was that we had our walking poles taken from us in Stansted in spite of the fact that my husband had checked with Ryanair that we could get them through security. This is categorically not true. We had to store our poles in Stansted at cost to ourselves and buy poles in Leon.
By Mrs Harding on 22/06/2015
A terrific holiday, just the right balance of activity and relaxing days off. We love Headwater cycling holidays, this is our fifth, and we will be booking another soon.
By Mr MacDonald on 22/06/2015
Well organised holiday. Trouble free. Excellent Hotels and food. Varied cycling coast and inland in foothills with mountain views.
By Mrs Mayor on 22/06/2015
Excellent equipment, good hotels and lovely route
By Mr Paine on 22/06/2015
The trip is excellent, the area is superb, with rural countryside and fantastic beaches- like Cornwall but better. OK it is not hot like it is in S Spain but for cycling ideal. The people are very hospitable but do not expect them to speak much English.
By Mr Marks on 22/06/2015
Hotel Don Thomas was gloomy and the town somewhat drab. Here, as in other places, we struggled to find somewhere decent to eat. After a hard days cycling, one is hungry at 6pm and in Spain this can be a problem as nothing happens until 8.30pm. It was therefore a joy to land at Hotel Figar and find an owner who was happy to serve dinner earlier and who produced magnificent home cooking. Six of the nine nights required us to find somewhere ourselves; a better balance of meals provided by the hotel might be something you could look at or list a few potential restaurants. The grade of this holiday in terms of the difficulty of the cycling, was a 3 not a 2 with some exceptionally challenging ascents for the occasional cyclist. The routes however were superb,the scenery impressive and the descents great fun. Paula at Villaneuva was a charming hostess and the lady who ran the Mar del Seuve equally obliging.
By Mr Warrington on 17/06/2015
A great experience cycling on Costa Brava coast route but just as well our guides/reps told us about and downloaded for us the gps as paragraphs missing from guide route. The notes had been cut and pasted from portrait to landscape and some notes did not transpose. The other independent coup,e had the same problems.
The food, service and attention to detail was top class at the Sa Punta. We upgraded to a sea view room but was of course charged.
The food at the Castell d'Empria was good but not a patch on Sa Punta. Service wasn't too wonderful either and knowledge of dishes. Facilities in bathroom below standard ie no separate towel/soap in separate bidet area. The views and location though were fantastic so I think they rely on this to pull them through. The cycle up to the Castell was really steep as you can imagine but can't change that! Bit tough though at the end of 32 km; came at it another way the next day.
In Paloma's The room at the Hotel Trias would have been at the back so we asked for a front room which they were able to do at no extra cost, so worth asking. The Gallerie seafood restaurant was great but we paid through the nose, Â£90 and no credit cards accepted, our co cyclist who also came into the restaurant after us, were scratching about for enough cash to pay later! We had Just 3 plentiful fish dishes, one dessert and 4 glasses wine. The old waiter just told us what special fish he had that day, there was no menu. So beware!
By Mrs Crowther on 17/06/2015
Met our needs brilliantly. Superb scenery. High level of service and comfort.
By Mrs Clark on 17/06/2015
Very enjoyable, Choice of hotels excellent in good locations. We had a Garmin on our cycle ride in Portugal. Unfortunately on this holiday I was not able to download the routes on every day because of Wifi difficulties. Garmin instructions so much better and safer than written instructions, and increase enjoyment of ride.
By Mrs Brown on 17/06/2015
Well organised, good fun, overpriced.
By Ms Robbins on 17/06/2015
Walking level was good. Leaders excellent. Hotel / food very good.
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 Woodgate on 17/06/2015
My 2nd camino walk holiday, a different personal experience but excellent, Galicia & Spain at its very best, Headwater organisation & bag moving en route is superb hassle & worry free,
By Mr Gingell on 17/06/2015
A most enjoyable week spent on a delightful, unspoilt island with comfortable accommodation and varied and interesting walking opportunities.
Driving on the smaller roads in Menorca can be challenging at times, particularly the fairly long stretch between Ciutadella and the hotel which is narrow,
winding and lined with unforgiving limestone walls - make sure you insure your hire car excess!
Ciutadella is a delightful town to explore and the Menorcan people are charming and very helpful to visitors.
By Mr Sutherland on 17/06/2015
Excellent accommodation and staff. Food variable from excellent (breakfast mainly) to indescribably bad for some meals/courses in the evening. English translations of menus were unhelpful. ('Meat Soup' turned out to be a bowl of pasta shells in a chicken stock. Marinated fish was a mystery). Wines excellent. Walks were great.
Dear Mr & Mrs Sutherland,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback. We were pleased to see that you had an enjoyable holiday overall. Although, we are sorry to see that you did not enjoy the meals at dinner. Ordinarily, this hotel receives good feedback in this area, however, we realise that we cannot allow our standards to slip, and therefore we will monitor the feedback we receive for the meals to ensure we are delivering the high standards our customers have come to expect.
Thank you for highlighting this feedback to us.
We would like to thank you for traveling with Headwater and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service
By Mrs Lawrence on 15/06/2015
A superb holiday experience that we will always remember. Headwater's advice & organisation was faultless.
By Mrs Preshaw on 15/06/2015
Another good Headwater holiday. We loved the island, the walking and swimming in the sea, but should have gone in May, June was a bit too hot for us and we were surprised how busy the beaches were. It was different getting a car at the airport and driving ourselves to the hotel and, once we had learned how to negotiate the narrow roads to and from the hotel, we loved having the opportunity to explore more of the island and plan our own sightseeing each day in addition to the walks. The hotel is a gem and being able to return to this tranquil country retreat each day and relax on your own terrace or swim in the pool before going for dinner made the holiday for us. The accommodation, food and service were all excellent. There was so much choice for breakfast including local cakes and pastries and in the evenings we enjoyed a good selection of Menorcan dishes served by friendly, attentive and helpful staff.
By Mr Schafer on 10/06/2015
As others have said in reviews, excellent hotel, hosts and food, The walks were relatively easy with very nice scenery,
By Mr Small on 09/06/2015
Casa Rural santa maria-would have been helpful to know that he would pick up from the town as the extra km was not good on a v hot day.La Posada de Muriel-the hosts had changed! The breakfast of one piece of toast was not enough for a long walk and certainly could not be described as a buffet! Pazo Santa Maria-should have informed us of the most direct way to get to it as it is also a bit out and at least a 20min walk from the track as described.Rectoral de Lestedo-it would have been very helpful to have known that there was no option of drinks(tea, coffee or anything else for the three hours before the meal,which was poor.It would be useful to suggest that walkers go into the cafe about a km before the accommodation as going back doesn't seem sensible and we were ok with water (from the tap)
By Mrs Ramsell on 09/06/2015
Interesting and active. Enjoyment of meals could be improved by more choices on the menu(at least three including salads). If necessary in a smallish establishment these could be pre-booked in the morning.
HW selection of hotels is VERY GOOD and we always enjoy their slightly off beat locations and warm atmosphere. We know that other HW guests will be like -minded people we can engage in friendly conversation and exchange anecdotes about each walk with in the evenings.
By Mrs Vandenberghe on 29/05/2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday - the walking was tough in places, but manageable for me. The food and hospitality were superb and could not be faulted. Would go again!
By Mrs Moxham on 29/05/2015
This is a classic walk which also includes extra interest such as a tour of Leon and the ability, due to transfers, to stay in some lovely establishments. This part of Spain is very beautiful and we walked through lovely little villages and farms. The flowers, particularly on the first day, along the way were stunning. Lots of places to get snacks and drinks. The Camino is so well signposted that there is very little need to consult notes and maps so it is easy to enjoy the walking.
By Mr Plumb on 29/05/2015
Although we had to look after ourselves the notes and guidance we were given were excellent. Sensible notes about our airport arrival, car hire, hotel, and walks told us everything we needed to know.
By Ms Perrin on 28/05/2015
Great week, excellent walks and perfect hosts, nothing was too much trouble for them and David's cooking is fabulous.
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 Mrs Small on 19/05/2015
One of the best (out of eight) cycling holidays we have done. Catalonia is a beautiful area, ideal for cycling by the coast. The representatives were excellent. Thoroughly enjoyable trip, busy working out our next year's jaunt!
By Mr Jackson on 18/05/2015
First time and we loved it.
By Mr Prior on 14/05/2015
We did this holiday two years ago and loved it - hence the decision to return. We think the new programme makes it even better, especially in hot weather, which we had! The mix of walking, visits and sightseeing exactly hit the spot for us. Gordon & Sue are, as ever, wonderful hosts; Jenny was a first-rate guide; and the local drivers were also first-class. Well done to all at the Finca - we cannot fault your excellent service, food and attention to detail!
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 Mr Mottram on 12/05/2015
Very friendly and helpful staff at the Hotel who took an interest on what we did each day. Delightful scenery, good weather and interesting walks at thee right level of difficulty.
By Mrs Lipscomb on 12/05/2015
Sue and Gordon offer a wonderful warm welcome and the friendly informal atmosphere at the Finca is very relaxing
By Mr Cameron on 07/05/2015
Excellent holiday and a lovely area of Spain with great food and wine
By Mis Ross on 07/05/2015
David and Sue worked very hard to give us an excellent week. The walks were super and the food and accommodation were excellent. They get everything just right.
By Mr Jaffe on 06/05/2015
This was our 10th Headwater cycling holiday and it lived up to expectations. We loved this area of Spain particularly at this time of year when the countryside is so colourful. The cycling was challenging but really enjoyable particularly the off road parts of the route. The climbs up to the hill top towns were tough but doable if taken at your own pace, and a great sense of achievement when you reach the top! The busy roads especially coming out of Jerez on the first day were a bit daunting though. All the hotels were of a good standard with very helpful and friendly staff. All were well located although Hotel Cortes de Cadiz was a bit noisy at night.We particularly liked the flexibility of choosing where to eat in the evenings as there were plenty of tapas bars and restaurants at each location. Overall we had a great time and would recommend this holiday to people who enjoy cycling and want to explore a beautiful and historical part of Spain.
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 Cant on 29/04/2015
The really good thing about Headwater holidays are the people who go on them. It is good to be in a small group so you get a chance to get to know everyone. On this holiday there variety of mountain flowers was amazing but I was surprised by the relatively few birds. David Eaton was really helpful to all those who had cameras making sure that the pictures were really good and providing advice on apps for sharing and editing.
By Mr Beal on 28/04/2015
On our holiday we found the attention to detail and the help from the reps was outstanding. The detailed route notes in particular were very helpful and made the walking a pleasure. We will definitely travel with Headwater again.
By Mr Cooper on 25/04/2015
David and sue were really wonderful leaders for our walking in the mountains, and very friendly and helpful throughout. They cooked really good food, and we felt as though we were very well looked after all the time. Sue and david are such good cooks, I really liked everything. My wife, who is vegetarian, felt that some of the dishes provided could have been a little better, but this is said not as a criticism, more as a way of adding a further challenge for david.....we think he would welcome this.....huge thanks for fabulous holiday. Phil and Ana cooper
By Mr Clothier on 22/04/2015
Excellent, well organised holidays with good company, first class accommodation and guides - and above all, personal service that cares!
By Mrs Thomas on 22/04/2015
There had been comments that the walking on this holiday was too challenging, but I would have preferred longer walks.
By Ms Thornton on 17/04/2015
My fourth Headwater walking holiday but the first based in one place. Loved the small, friendly hotel, and the flexibility to chose our walks according to mood, weather and stamina. Also the chance to take day trips to Cordoba and Granada.
By Mr Robson on 17/04/2015
An excellent location, good walks with knowledgeable guides who paid close attention to our safety, charming hosts at hotel and comfortable rooms with excellent food in the hotel and in nearby bars/restaurants - arranged by hotel
By Mrs Barber on 09/04/2015
Excellent holiday with good and varied walks and lots of interesting limestone scenery. Hotel was a welcoming base with friendly helpful staff and lovely food.
By Mrs Lecutier on 30/03/2015
We realised that one boot is probably our level. We consider ourselves to be reasonably fit. However that is reasonably fit for a 64 and 68 yr old!We found the walks that we did very demanding and it took us a lot longer.Maybe the memory is very selective but I don't remember the 2 boot walks in Majorca being as strenuous. The weather was also against us so we only managed to walk for 2 1/2 days. The moving on day we decided to have a day off . In fact when we reached the Teide National Park it was1 deg C and snowing. The car in front was struggling to move forward and skidding in the middle of the road. After a while we realised we were not able to continue as he was skidding and sliding back nearer us. We carefully did an almost 18 point turn and descended back to the coast! Incredibly as we travelled the coast road to Garachico it was 21 deg C in one area.
By Mrs Walter on 26/03/2015
The best Headwater holiday yet. Fantastic Guide, leading at just the right pace and giving lots of local information about his wonderful country.
By Mr Pryor on 26/03/2015
Lovely new experience. I enjoyed the variety. Nice not to have to start walks before 10.00 a.m.
The group were great and we all got on very well. Lovely having a leader, who told you about things. Wish you had more guided holidays.
They all said they preferred Headwater, because of the standards of accomodation, so lots of good quality hotels will be great for other holidays.
We all agreed that we are less keen on the three stars!
It was nice eating in sometimes and out at other times, and so you never knew what interesting thing was going to be provided next.
They were great walks and I loved everything about the holiday. We all liked the length of the holiday aswell. ie a week.
By Mrs White on 23/03/2015
A very enjoyable week at an excellent hotel with delicious food and friendly staff. The local guide was charming, knowledgeable and helpful. The walking was interesting and very varied.
By Mrs Mendoza on 23/03/2015
Wonderful week spent in Tenerife. Javier was a great guide, He was so knowledgeable about the volcanoes,trees,wild flowers and he bought a wide variety of
food for the picnics!
The Hotel San Roque was a jewel of a hotel. All the staff were so cheerful and helpful.The food was delicious every day. The hotel was so calm and peaceful.
By Ms Tennant on 18/03/2015
La Gomera is a beautiful island - greener than some of the other Canary Islands. The parador is a magnificent hotel with a lovely garden. I was lucky to have enjoyed a holiday with a really good group of people. The walks were tough owing to the precipitous nature of the terrain but I feel very fit and healthy now!
By Mr Farebrother on 16/03/2015
The combination of a small group (only four of us) and a really enthusiastic young guide in Javi made this a lovely holiday. The weather was disappointingly cool for Tenerife and it is not the cheapest of your holidays but the standard of hotel and cuisine for a walking holiday was much higher than we are used to....
By Mrs Barker on 16/03/2015
With headwater you most certainly get what you pay for. Great organisation, accommodation, walks and fantastic guide. We had fun, ate well and felt fitter at the end of the week, brilliant. Thank you.
By Mr Brown on 13/03/2015
An excellent and historic area to explore with some lovely rides and options for increasing the mileage if desired. The hill top white towns are wonderful and evocative of a previous age and are full of interest.
By Mr Johnson on 13/03/2015
Good points: Loved La Gomera, stunning scenery, good choice of routes. Our guide was excellent - friendly, helpful, knowledgeable etc.. Transfers, minibuses and all arrangements were looked after. Hotel was characterful and had lovely gardens. Food was good. Rooms were spacious.
Not so good: We were not impressed with the catering arrangements on the Thomson flight. On the outbound flight food was offered at about 10.30 - we had only recently had breakfast and our next meal was at 9pm. Inbound the food available was mostly junk - healthier options were not available. Toasties tasted of cardboard. We did not think the hotel merited its fourth star. The rooms were a bit tired - poorly lit; shutter would not close; french window jammed; shower leaked onto floor; etc.. Service in the restaurant was slow (on the last night when we wanted an early night dinner took 2 1/2 hours!
By Mr Britton on 09/03/2015
The Two Boots rating was optimistic - this was markedly harder and rougher than our previous Two Boots holidays. The length of the drives to the first two walks was excessive - perhaps a hotel can be found nearer the Anaga peninsula?The Las Casas de Afur walk was very slippery on the descent, not a good way to start the tour! Various paths in the Los Organos woods are closed at present, so we had to create our own walk. The parking for the Masca Ridge walk was very congested - an alternative would be useful. It all came together at the end of the week, with excellent weather on the last three days, and Garachico is a very appealing resort.
By Mrs Robertson on 06/03/2015
Although we are very fit over 60s we all found the walks tougher than expected due to rocky and steep terrain, damp weather making surfaces slippery and precipitous paths. We found walking poles to be essential especially on slippery descents. Scenery spectacular as was flora and fauna.
By Mrs Hampshire on 02/03/2015
Unfortunately the weather wasn't good. There was a blanket of low lying mist, rain or cloud every time we left the coast for the mountains which meant we didn't have the views. Fortunately the group and Lilly, the guide, were excellent.
By Mrs Hughes on 26/02/2015
The first couple of days felt like a boot camp - it was more strenuous than we'd anticipated, and the weather was a bit overcast and chilly too. The odometer on the bike didn't work and we had to estimate distances. By Day 3 however we were used to it all and really started to enjoy it. Once the sun came out and we had met several very hospitable and generous bar owners and enjoyed several delicious lunches and dinners we really warmed to it and felt ourselves getting so much fitter too. Our eventual verdict was that we would definitely do it again - there was so much to see and experience and the cycling was superb. The baggage deliveries always worked too, like clockwork, and we really appreciated the service running so smoothly.
By Mrs Shahbazian on 26/02/2015
I would like to make known to yourselves what an excellent team Sue and David in Valencia were, they really were amazing
By Mrs Sodring on 25/02/2015
Although neither of us was fit enough for the steep climbs (we had both had bad attacks of flu for the previous month) we had a great time. A few notes : Day 2 - fabulous flowers on the mountain! the fences have been repaired, newly sorted path from cafÃ© to old building with boards along the way for enjoyment of all. Also - all roads from bottom to top have been resurfaced and were perfect (no bumps and edges clearly marked). Day 3 - Rather slippery path down through woods - goats had previously slid down making some sections slightly difficult, otherwise great walk, just caught the 15.45 bus by one minute! Day 4 - it should have been a wonderful drive but we drove in in almost white-out! then couldn't find the start of the walk in the forest (along with many others) however, we did a short walk and then enjoyed locally caught trout in the cafÃ©. Day 5 - A very cold, foggy day so decided not to climb the steep mountain but to take the car to the top and have a short walk from there. Enjoyed lunch at the hostelry up to along with many other walking parties. Day 6 - wonderful weather and fabulous Masca ridge walk (we didn't bother to descend to the view points but stayed up top in the sunshine to enjoy our picnic). Day 7 - Long but interesting drive to Tiede where we began the suggested walk but finally decided to take the gondola to the top station : perfect weather and the views were amazing! Having only recently climbed Etna, it was so worth while going up top and seeing all the different colours of rock etc as opposed to Etna's grim black.
We wished we had had more time to explore Garachico and will return there and the surrounding areas of Tenerife in future. Many of the villages have such beautiful architecture and we would like to try the really 'local looking' restaurants where we believe we could try even more local dishes than those served by the more European establishments.
By Mr Naylor on 20/02/2015
Our holiday in Tenerife was beyond our expectations. Javier, the guide, could not be more helpful. For example he gave up an evening ( and half a night) to take us to the Carnival and provided us with suitable costumes! The walks were a superb balance, each different and of consistent high quality. The hotel was first class. The staff could not have been more helpful and the food was memorably good. There was only one other couple on the holiday and we got on with them very well indeed. All in all a memorable holiday. We will be back.
By Mr Patterson on 13/02/2015
An enjoyable holiday but far too much car travel (often on narrow mountain roads) for the amount of walking. It is perhaps a little too early in the year for this destination as the weather was quite wintery with low clouds on the mountain paths.
By Mis Logue on 03/02/2015
Holiday was a great break in January from depressing UK grey skies. It was also warmer than UK at about 15-16C. Tenerife presented several different landscapes, all of which were fascinating. It did help if you liked the colour black - I had never seen such huge lava flows. Hotel San Roque was really good, v good breakfasts and dinners and the picnic lunches produced by Juan Miguel, our guide, were lovely, comprising local, fresh ingredients.
By Mrs Harris on 03/02/2015
This holiday matched excellent, varied walking, beautiful scenery and wonderful food in the beautiful parador. Lunches at typical restaurants on two days were a superb idea and the unique experience was much appreciated.
By Mr Langley on 03/02/2015
Excellently organised and guided. Fascinating island to visit.
By Mr Smeeth on 05/01/2015
Disappointing, poor value for money, will not be booking future holidays through Headwater or recommending to family, friends or work colleagues
Dear Mr Smeeth, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post holiday feedback questionnaire. We were sorry to read that this holiday did not meet your expectations and that you do not feel you could recommend this holiday. So far the overall feedback we have received from this holiday has been positive, however, as it is a new holiday there have been some areas which have required improvement. Please be assured that we have passed on your feedback to our local agent and we are working closely with him to ensure all our customers have an enjoyable holiday. We would like to thank you for your feedback.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Harman on 08/12/2014
We enjoyed ourselves enormously. Both the hotels were great and staying in a little harbour town during a storm was certainly interesting. The weather was mixed and stopped us doing all the walks but I had bought a walks book for Tenerife and that was really useful as it had alternatives for the days when it was raining and cloudy in the mountains. Someone on your website suggested it and I really recommend anyone to do that. The recommended walks were good but we found them rather harder than expected and Everything took Longer both walks and driving. My partner works overseas a lot and is used to all sorts of driving but the timing was a bit optimistic. Also the instructions are not always very useful, partly because they are somethimes out of date. However, the map you provided was excellent. Overall it was a lovely holiday. We liked the contrast of the two hotels - the country stay at Salamanco with its botanic garden and swimming pool and being right on the square at Garachico. The receptionist at Garachico (Erasma) was most helpful re restaurants and we had some delicious evening meals at a variety of restaurants.
By Mrs Scott on 08/12/2014
On the whole a very good holiday but the two lunches were unnecessary and pretty awful! We would have preferred to have had just picnics which were delicious
Dear Mrs Scott, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was lovely to see that you had an enjoyable holiday in La Gomera. I have passed on your feedback regarding the lunches to the programme manager; she will discuss your recommendations with the local guide to ensure the meals provided are of the standard our customers expect, thank you for your constructive comments. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
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 Mr Martin on 21/11/2014
An invigorating holiday in an excellent and very enjoyable location.
By Mrs Maingay on 14/11/2014
Very pleasant. And we enjoyed our visits to Granada and Cordoba,the latter easily done by public transport
By Mr Pomfrett on 14/11/2014
a great variety of interseting walks in fantastic landscapes
By Ms Roberts on 05/11/2014
We had a lovely week in the mountains. We loved coming 'home' to the Finca after our days walking. Christine's cooking was an inspiration and we enjoyed our evening meals enormously. Jenny's guiding was safe and interesting and she gauged the pace of the walks perfectly. Sue, Gordon and Alison organised everything perfectly and all arrangements went like clockwork. We did not need to think about anything-wonderful! Thank you to Mari our taxi driver who negotiated the bends and hills expertly without making me feel sick.
By Mr Cumming on 04/11/2014
All aspects of booking and organisation went without hitch.
Taxi arrangements and driver were again excellent!
By Mr Barnes on 03/11/2014
A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Vejer and Cadiz were the highlights for us. (We added two nights in Seville. If you do the same, do not miss the Casa de Pilatos).
We felt very well looked after by the local rep. The trip notes were detailed and included distances that could be matched to the supplied bike computers, as well as post-turn indications, that gave reassurance (or warning) that we were on the right track (or not). These notes had a few inaccuracies that were still being ironed out at the time of our trip (we were the second set of Headwater clients). The hotel in Jerez had apparently dropped a star, and we were taken instead to a very comfortable 5 star hotel at a golf resort out of town. That was an ideal hotel to return to after a week of cycling, but not such a good hotel to start from, as it was a long way into town (~EUR20 taxi ride) for any who might wish to visit Jerez.
Dear Mr Barnes, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your recent holiday to Spain, 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 well received.
I was pleased to see you rated your holiday overall as good to excellent. I am sure that you have brought back some great memories to treasure. Since you travelled, we have made some improvements to the holiday in relation to your constructive feedback. We have changed the first hotel back to Jerez centre to ensure it is more convenient for customers wishing to visit the town. We have also corrected the inaccuracies you highlighted with the route notes. Thank you once again for your feedback, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Gibson on 29/10/2014
NOTE : Did not stay at Pousada Delmonte completed in error !
Finca and hosts ( Sue and Roger ) was excellent . Difficult to appreciate the countryside as most walks were steep climbs and descents .consequently most time was spent looking at footing ! Would have preferred more walking on flat ....but I guess that's Spain !
By Mr Dilnot smith on 27/10/2014
Excellent apart from Hotel Meson Castilla is in the middle of the University area and can be very noisy until early hours of the morning
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 Ruffler on 27/10/2014
I have a friend who is doing this trip next year and I have recommended your company
By Mr Lavender on 21/10/2014
We had a challenging and enjoyable week. The views from the mountains were spectacular and we were very lucky to see a family of wild boar. Sue & David were very informative during all aspects of our walks.
The food was all prepared daily and was very good.
We would recommend this walk.
By Mrs Dicks on 21/10/2014
Very good - except for single room supplements which seem very high
By Mr May on 20/10/2014
Everyday is an adventure with a luxury start and finish.
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 Mrs Holmes on 16/10/2014
An interestingly varied holiday with wooded hills, inland country and scenic coastal walking, giving a good taste of the area. We particularly enjoyed walking via some of the beautiful mediaeval villages included in the route of the second walk. Also, we really appreciated having route notes for some suggested 'rest-day' walks, especially as this holiday is relatively short. The three hotels were also quite different and all had a charm of their own - we thoroughly enjoyed each one. This holiday would suit those looking for variety and a balance between activity and rest. The walks were well constructed, with some challenging sections, but not too exhausting, so there is a sense of achievement at the end of the day and tired legs are soon revived by a gentle swim and a good dinner! Thank you, Headwater, for a great holiday and we hope to be back for another one.
By Mr Grant on 16/10/2014
We enjoyed the rest days and some parts of the walks were very enjoyable with spectacular landscapes. However, overall we felt that the holiday was not exactly as described. It is called a 'Coastal Walk' but it is, in fact, rather a tough mountain hike as the walks focus inland in dry arid and often rather inhospitable terrain. The holiday description states 'once you begin walking clockwise around the peninsula, the sea is your constant companion'. The sea is not your constant companion, as for the most part, it is far off and out of sight. There are no villages at all (bar one small one just before El Porta de la Salva) on the walks, pretty,'cute as a button' or otherwise. A lot of people would enjoy this but it could be clearer in the holiday description. A lot of the climbs and descents are steep and rocky and in one place you do have to do a small bit of rock climbing. The trails are often on loose rocks and stones and narrow.There is quite a lot of scrabbling required. I think this should have been flagged in the holiday description with better photos. I would have rated the holiday difficulty at least as a '2 boot +.' Cadaques is certainly the highlight but all the hotels were excellent and welcoming. Recommend the restaurant 'Can Rafa' in Cadaques.
By Mr Dyer on 14/10/2014
We would like to say how fantastic the man was who gave us the mini-moke ride from our hotel back into Portomarin and how hard our hostess (Maria) worked to keep everybody happy in the Casa de los Samoza.
The food in Rectoral de Goian was amazing! For the world's best bread and butter pudding go to O Muino de Pena>
By Mrs Potts on 10/10/2014
Varied walking, great countryside and wonderful, welcoming accommodation with excellent food. An ideal holiday with real feel good factor
By Ms Morgan on 08/10/2014
We had a wonderful holiday. The walking was a dream and took us to so many beautiful places we had never heard of. Two of the hotels were a bit basic for accommodation and we would have liked to have the option at Hotel Rosa to upgrade to a suite if we had known. Garbi first day the room was basic but on the last night we had a great room, much larger and with a view. Will be back....
By Mr Chantrell on 08/10/2014
Arrangements comprehensive, cycling testing at times though enjoyable, hotels all well situated and of a very good standard.
By Mr Petch on 08/10/2014
Couldn't fault it. Even the weather was excellent. Looking forward to next year's brochure.
By Mis Rodgers on 08/10/2014
Enjoyed the whole holiday. Walking and hotels were great and the scenery was fantastic. Enjoyed barcelona and the trip to the Dali House. Overall a good variety of experiences in the time.
By Mrs Ramsell on 08/10/2014
A lovely blend of activity and relaxation, plenty to see and do in the Catalonian region, congenial fellow travellers and good back up system for emergencies.
By Mrs Hughes on 08/10/2014
Overall it was a great holiday. We throughly enjoyed ourselves.
By Mrs Nanda on 08/10/2014
a superb holiday wonderful hotel and amazing hospitality
By Mrs Huddart on 07/10/2014
This is a lovely holiday. Catalonia is very well provided for cycling with lots of traffic free routes or roads with very little traffic.One of the easier two bike holidays we have done (perhaps we did all the hard ones first!). Beautiful countryside and plenty to see do, and contrasting landscapes (coast, hills, river delta) My one (slight) criticism would be that on the days where there is least to do in the area the hotel (de la font) is not a place to laze around at, only a very small courtyard. A little more information about what was accessible via public transport from Peralada, and/or a couple more rest day routes would have been good. Hotels were all good although we did not stay at the Moli del Mig as they were overbooked.
Best dinner - Mas Pau, best breakfast - Castell d'Emporda, best hotel Castell d'Emporda.
One tip...if you are travelling via air/rail and arrive a lot earlier than 1520 at Passeig de Gracia station get an earlier train to Flaca and wait in the cafe there for pick up....we could have spent over two hours in the Spanish equivalent of Tottenham Court Road station if we hadn't done this. Trains to Flaca are about every 30 minutes.
By Ms Stewart on 01/10/2014
Wonderful hotel in a beautiful, tranquil setting, with friendly, helpful staff. Close to some of the best beaches on the island.
By Mr Lewis on 26/09/2014
For us aged 79 and 74 the walks were challenging but we very much enjoyed our holiday in a beautiful area of Spain.
By Mrs Roderick on 25/09/2014
This was our second visit to Zuheros. The Hotel Zuhayra is the perfect base for a walking holiday. All the staff are friendly and helpful and the evening meals provide a wide range of well-cooked local food. The walks are challenging enough to feel that something has been achieved at the end of the day.
By Mr Blain on 24/09/2014
A way of combiningexercise with comfort and an opportunity to see a region of a country
By Mr Heald on 24/09/2014
It was an excellent holiday and very well planned so that we had a good morning sightseeing in Leon*, walked the best stretches of the Camino and had an attractive balance of accommodation.
* We were a bit concerned about starting the 1st days walk so late in such heat (30c+), but we managed it!
By Mr Banham on 19/09/2014
Interesting and varied walking through delightful countryside with visits to and refreshment stops in beautifully preserved historic villages. Each day culminated in a stay in excellent accommodation, the highlight of which was the 3 nights we spent at Castell d`Emporda.
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 Ms Caughey on 15/09/2014
Catalonia is a fantastic location for cycling. Routes were excellent, though occasionally challenging - you should expect a full day of cycling every day (with a couple of breaks). All hotels bar one were top notch.
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 Gower on 28/08/2014
Great walks. Plenty to see and do. Vegetarians beware.
Dear Mr Gower, Thank you for completing your post-holiday questionnaire and for the feedback you have provided, we have discussed your comment regarding vegetarian meals with the hoteliers. As a result of this they have advised us they will ensure a better variety of vegetarian meals are available for future customers. We are sorry for any disappointment this may have caused you during your holiday and were pleased to see that despite this you had an enjoyable holiday.
Headwater Customer Service team.
By Ms Summers on 28/08/2014
Everything extremely well-organized - comfortable and interesting accommodation. Would thoroughly recommend Headwater.
By Mr Royce on 28/08/2014
Our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela was a magical experience, and spiritually uplifting. We encountered so many memorable characters and different nationalities along the way, all with different stories and experiences, which will endure as we reflect on our journey in the years to come.
By Mrs Brown on 22/08/2014
This was the second Headwater holiday that I've taken and it gave me all that I wanted and more. The hotels were all really good and some offered way more that I expected. The entire holiday was a fantastic experience, very well organised and thought out and the cycle routes had clearly been given a great deal of thought. We felt very safe, very well fed, very welcome throughout, and this includes the locals, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time from start to finish. Thank you for coming up trumps again and I certainly will look at future holiday options.
By Mrs Onions on 18/08/2014
This 8 night trip visited a good mix of hotels and places. The cycling was mainly gentle, through orchards, cycle tracks and numerous medieval villages. Pleasant mix of activity and gastronomy!
By Mr Lipscomb on 18/08/2014
Brilliant family adventure: Cycling through beautiful scenery from beaches, through paddy fields, rolling countryside and little medieval villages and complemented by a range of hotels-2 with gastronomic cuisine and the third giving the opportunity to enjoy eating out in the small seaside town of Calella.
By Mrs Sharkey on 15/08/2014
This was our first Headwater holiday and we really enjoyed it . The coastal catalan area is great for cycling with beautiful countryside and unspoilt villages . Although we booked for August, the weather was not too hot . Route maps were very clear. The hotels were of a high standard and great places to relax after the daily exercise. A very enjoyable week.
By Mrs Wylde on 14/08/2014
Please see above comments - it was a wonderful experience walking the Camino but I was disappointed with the seesaw quality of the places we stayed - a couple lovely, several really miserable. Food poisoning episode only helped by the fact that there was a doctor on the trip who helped me. The venue seeemed unconcerned. Really spoiled the last few days of the holiday.
Dear Mrs Wylde,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your holiday this summer to Spain. Firstly, we were sorry to see you felt this holiday did not live up to your expectations with regards to the standard of some of the accommodations and the walk ratings. Please be assured that we have discussed your feedback in detail with our local agents, he will in turn discuss with our local suppliers and measures will be put into place to improve where necessary. We were also sorry to see that you were unwell at the end of your holiday; our agent was also disappointed to hear this and advised us that had you mentioned this to him he would have most certainly arranged onward transportation for you. We have not received any further complaints regarding sickness over this period or throughout the rest of the season. Our agent has advised us that food poisoning is a very rare occurrence in this region as the suppliers are used to dealing with high volumes of pilgrims and all of the food is prepared fresh daily. However, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive, and will ensure it is cascaded back to the suppliers should another incidence be reported. We were also sorry to see that you felt the accommodations were poor in places. Due to the amount of walking done on this holiday, we try to use accommodations which are on or close to the Camino and because of this the accommodation standards can vary, as reflected in our brochure and web page ratings, however, please be assured that we do realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip. With this in mind, our agent continually monitors any feedback received and provides feedback to both Headwater and the specific suppliers as appropriate. He also advised us that there are newer Albergues being built, however, these do not comply with our standards as most of them offer shared facilities and are mostly dorm type rooms with bunk beds and this is not the type of accommodation we feel is suitable for our customers. In closing we would like to thank you for your constructive feedback.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Simpson on 04/08/2014
It was hard work covering the average 12 miles/day. We enjoyed the 8 mile day with some 'free time' in the afternoon and felt very at home at Casa de la Somoza that afternoon. Enjoyed the company of the other 4 Headwater walkers we ate and walked with. Exciting to arrive at such an interesting and varied accomodation with such a variety of ambience and fare.
We were told on the 'phone when booking that we needed to get the 6.30 flight from Stanstead in order to have time to catch the train from Madrid to Leon. In fact it only took a short time by taxi to the station where we waited 4 hrs for the train. 2 hrs extra in bed and 8.30 flight would have got us off to a better start!
Thank you arranging all the accomodation and transfer of luggage which worked so well. Loved Leon and found it such a generous place - we kept being given little extras, whether from market traders or patisserie.
Route instructions generally good, but not clear that we needed to walk almost to the railway station to find the Hotel Roma at Sarria. That was a long last k.
Also the last k to Pazo Santa Maria directions could have been clearer with more detail.
By Mis Evans on 27/07/2014
This was an excellent holiday for us with our 12yr old son - a great mix of exercise, culture, wonderful scenery, good food, wine and decent weather. Well organised, very acceptable accommodation, clear route guidance. At times the cycling was challenging, but this was in part due to the heat - strongly advise wearing cycling kit, especially padded shorts. An occasional road with some traffic, but mostly quiet country roads and tracks and we always felt safe. The locals were very welcoming and once away from the coast we encountered very few tourists. Thoroughly recommended.
By Mr Bird on 22/07/2014
See comments on rail travel, and specifically Headwater's absence of advice. Naturally people from the UK expect a similar experience to using the rail at home, and while this assumption would be valid for rail travel in France, Germany, NL etc, Spain was very different.
Dear Mr Bird,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. We were pleased to see that you scored your holiday overall as good to excellent. However, it was disappointing to see that you encountered issues navigating the Spanish rail system. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
In order to improve the experience for future customers, we have been working closely with our local agents. With this in mind, we are pleased to advise you that for the 2015 season we will be pre purchasing all Spanish rail tickets. This should alleviate the time spent queuing and ensure a smoother trip through the Spanish region. Whilst we realise this does not help you personally. We do hope that it goes some way to show we take your feedback seriously.
Headwater Customer Service Team
By Mis Aplin on 21/07/2014
This holiday changed our perception of Spain. Catalonia is a beautiful area of varied scenery with wonderful food and hotels.
By Mrs Wakefield on 11/07/2014
We really enjoyed this holiday. Moving from hotel to hotel provides much variety. There was a real problem getting drinks especially at the castle hotel. A welcome drink immediately on arrival at the hotel should be offered especially as people are very tired and thirsty after a long walk in the heat.
Also the communication at the Castle Hotel needs to be improved, e.g. no one told us where to go for dinner when it was not outside as on the first evening.
However, we really enjoyed the holiday in spite of these little things.
By Mr Alden on 10/07/2014
Hotels were lovely . The region has some stunning scenery ,and beautiful villages.
Well done Headwater
By Mr Hughes on 07/07/2014
A well organised & supported holiday Cycling routes are well thought out & realistic The guides are beautifully written with succinct local notes. All the accommodation was comfortable & clean with some place outstanding The locals were all kind & helpful everywhere we went The roads chosen were not busy and great care was obviously taken to utilise the quieter & often more scenic routes The transfer support was reliable with the luggage waiting in your room at each new hotel
We had a really enjoyable holiday despite losing some of our luggage & will be considering a similar trip next year Thanks Sean & Annie Hughes
By Mr Anderson on 02/07/2014
In the circumstances, given the accident, very difficult to make comment on this occasion. The hotels were extremely satisfactory. And the countryside, certainly from the inside of a taxi, or the Headwater transport looked very interesting. A trip to maybe repeated in the future!
Dear Mr Anderson,
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 and is always well received.
It was great to see that you rated your holiday overall as good to excellent. Although, we were sorry to read that one of your party had an accident whilst on holiday, we hope they have made a speedy recovery. It was pleasing to read that during this stressful time you found our rep helpful and supportive. We will pass on your positive feedback to him.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater this summer and we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Smith on 29/06/2014
We were blessed with decent weather, and so enjoyed this 160km. very much. We found the O Munio De Pena a bit of a gloomy place, with Javier nowhere in sight until 8.30 that evening! The only other mild carp we have is at Sarria, where that last km. through the town was hard work. Could a pick-up closer to our entry into the town be considered?
Also, going into Arzua, the Pazo told us that if Headwater had told us we could have phoned the Pazo for a taxi from our entry into the town to the hotel for 4 euros! This could have been very valuable info. as we were being chased by a thunderstorm at that time! We also recommend the taxi back to the starting point next day.
By Mr McLeod on 21/06/2014
Enjoyable. In the inland parts the villages were lovely with less interesting walking, but the coastal walking was great.
By Mrs MacKenzie on 21/06/2014
Beautiful countryside to cycle in cpntrasting so well with the equally gorgeous coves and beaches - thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and would wholeheartedly recommend this holiday.
By Mr Ball on 20/06/2014
A lovely hotel (small and family-run) in a beautiful landscape. All food locally sourced as much as possible. We chose to pay extra for a better room, more spacious and with private terrace and a beautiful view, that was well worthwhile. I don't think we would have been happy in standard accommodation.
By Ms Yates on 17/06/2014
This was our third Headwater holiday and for us, the package balances good organisation with the freedom to discover little visited areas of the country while enjoying a good standard of accommodation and food.
By Mr Smith on 17/06/2014
A very good hotel on a lovely Island which provided an excellent base for a walking holiday on routes which were varied and not too 'testing'
By Mrs White on 15/06/2014
We loved the island, the walks and the hotel. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, just a little disappointed with the food at dinner: usually it was fine and occasionally good. Had our best meal on the way home at Meson Galicia in Es Mercadal near the car park with excellent views of mount Torro.
By Mrs Evans on 13/06/2014
Fantastic holiday - very good walks and directions. Only niggle was the train journey in Spain as instructions about tickets not clear. Ticket booth at Barcelona closed so ended up buying wrong ticket and then having to pay again on train. Again on return journey not enough detail about buying ticket and when I rang rep unfortunately he did not know so made journey slightly stressful! Overall a very enjoyable holiday
By Mrs Talbot on 05/06/2014
Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was very helpful having the Headwater local back up. Will definitely use Headwater again.
By Mrs Brown on 03/06/2014
Does what it says in the brochure - 7 days of interesting sights without using cars or trains - organisation during walk flawless.
By Mrs Currie on 03/06/2014
Excellent walking with fantastic scenery. All accommodation of high standard. Walking definitely 2 boot.
By Mrs Gajraj on 31/05/2014
Breathtaking scenery for our walks with a friendly, knowledgeable guide. Then, back to the Finca- a real gem of a hotel, nestling in the hills amongst typical white villages- for a swim before an excellent evening meal. On three nights we were taken to local restaurants where the food, though very good, still couldn't compete with the Finca. Sue, Gordon and Sybil (the dog) are wonderful hosts - no wonder they have so many visitors who return year after year !
By Mrs Price on 30/05/2014
We really enjoyed our Headwater walking in the Catalan region. The walking was a great combination of inland and coastal routes. The mediaeval villages were lovely and at this time of the year not overcrowded.
One or two of the walks had some challenging sections, particularly the suggested more interesting route to Begur on Day 4. We are older walkers and although experienced and fit we thought that the long relentless climb should come with a little more warning of the steepness. The weather was perfect for us but on very hot days this section of the route would be very demanding.
Otherwise the descriptions of the walks and the routes themselves were helpfully detailed and informative.
By Mrs Rathmell on 29/05/2014
All was very efficient and the walking instructions were excellent
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 Ms Hurst on 29/05/2014
Menorca is a really beautiful island and relatively unspoilt. May was ideal weather for walking and it was very quiet. The best walking by the sea that we have ever done. A week was not long enough so we will return1
By Mr Brown on 29/05/2014
Main concern was the grading of the walking routes, I run 10 miles each week, fitness is a priority , but found the gradients challenging as did many group members, ascents and descents.Thursdays walk was gentle and everyone enjoyed it more as we were able to take in the views , flowers ,without having our eyes glued to the terrain in case of fall, stumble, several of the group fell on previous walks, not what you want from a holiday.
The group dynamics were excellent and much laughter was shared, the idea of inhouse and restaurant meals, tapis lunches was the perfect mix. We did enjoy our holiday very much.
By Mrs Clifton on 28/05/2014
Hidden Valleys of Cordoba: a week at the charming Hotel Zuhayra in the pretty white mountain village of Zuheros in mid-May was all that six 70 somethings could wish for. Headwater certainly have a hit on their hands here. Very attentive, helpful staff, good regional food and wine, excellent, if strenuous in parts, walking and wonderful scenery. We added on two nights in Granada at the comfortable, centrally situated Hotel Dauro II from where it was an easy coach ride back to Malaga airport. Headwater's arrangements for our travel and stay were excellent.
By Mr Turton on 25/05/2014
The hotel is in an excellent rural location. Menorca in May is ideal for walking. It's not cheap but is good value if you can afford it.
By Mr Thompson on 23/05/2014
We enjoyed the holiday but did find some of the walks challenging. The accommodation was good but the quality of the food at the Hotel Rosa was outstanding.
By Mr Robertson on 23/05/2014
First try at a walking holiday and enjoyed it thoroughly. Would certainly recommend it.
By Mr Magee on 22/05/2014
Very welcoming owners in hotel in a beautiful area of Spain
By Dr Evans on 16/05/2014
The accommodation was variable between wonderful and very simple.
We were suprised by how few vegetables we were available both in the accommodations and in restaurants.
At the end of some of the walk sections the instructions/directions were less clear and this was a problem when you are tired at the end of a days walking.
We were part of the party with the Raeburns were there was a muddle about our tour of Leon which we missed out on. That shouldn't have happened.
By Mrs Langleben on 13/05/2014
We are seasoned Headwater clients and have been more than happy with all the holidays we have taken with the company.
By Mr Flanagan on 07/05/2014
A wonderful mixture of healthy exercise,beautiful scenery, fantastic food and friendly people.
By Mr Cundy on 06/05/2014
An excellent holiday. We were very well looked after by Sue and David , enjoyed exploring a new region of Spain and were encouraged to push ourselves to new heights - literally!
By Mis Millington on 30/04/2014
A true holiday experience from start to finish. Superb hosts, food, walking, scenery and experiences. Everything in just the right balance.
By Mrs Johnson on 30/04/2014
We were fantastically fortunate with the weather, the organisation was excellent and the Finca was a superb base for the walks. It is easy to see why visitors return several times - walkers and non-walkers alike. Our travel arrangements were good and Jenny, our guide, fun and informative. Food at the finca was exceptional and the atmosphere was a great balance of friendliness and conversation and peaceful relaxation. This was a beautiful time to visit with all the Spring flowers. Having tickets for the Alhambra and having transport arranged was a real plus - especially during Holy week.
By Mrs Grundy on 28/04/2014
Headwater holidays always live up to the descriptions in the brochure. Well planned walks, mainly excellent food and accomodation.
We had a great holiday. Well done Headwater.
By Mrs Evans on 26/04/2014
This was a great holiday. It's the walks are fairly straightforward, but there are some long days. The arrangement by Headwater worked like clockwork. The hotels are well-chosen and generally of a good standard. Our favourites were the 2 rectorals and Paze Santa Maria. This was a great way to explore the Camino de Santiago.
By Mr Lambert on 26/04/2014
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at the Finca el Cerillo and our hosts Sue and Gordon could not have been more helpful and considerate. The location, high on a ridge, gave wonderful views of the steep, rugged valleys with white villages clinging to the crests and in the distance the Mediterranean. Our bedroom was large, the bed equally so and very comfortable and the tiled bathroom had underfloor heating-great! The food at the Finca and the local restaurants was very good and the wines at the Finca first class. The walking was tough, lots of steep ascents on rocky paths. After the first morning we took the gentler option accompanied by Rose a super local guide. We hope to visit the Finca el Cerillo again.
By Mrs Potts on 25/04/2014
The Finca is a terrific destination for people who wish to enjoy rural Spain but the experience is heightened by the quality of the hospitality provided by Sue, Gordon, David and Christine. Their welcoming and informative approach, and the eye for detail, guarantees a good experience and, combined with the quality of the guides (principally Jenny), ensures a great holiday.
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 Mrs Carter on 14/04/2014
The highlight of the holday was the excellent local guide Ricardo and the Parador hotel on La Gomera. However our experience of the flight booking and travel between La Gomera and Tenerfife was very poor. We arrived at Gatwick airport check-in to find that we had been booked in for the wrong year - 2015 instead of 2014. We had also been told the wrong travel information in Tenerife and so had not taken a direct flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife south which made the journey much longer than necessary. When we arrived at Tenerfie South Airport we were told that we had 5 hours to wait until the next ferryto La Gomera and so spent hours waiting around in the airport. The connections on the return journey were also poor with a lot of unnecessary waiting around.
By Mis Smith on 14/04/2014
If you're looking for a completely stress-free holiday then book with Headwater. I didn't have to think about any arrangements for the week as they were all taken care of. The finca is the ultimate retreat and Sue, Gordon and Jenny were all outstanding in their welcome and guidance. I can't wait to go back and will use Headwater again for another trip.
By Mr Newbery on 13/04/2014
I think that the Hotel Finca el Cerillo is a delightful location, with a wonderfully warm welcome by the owners Sue and Gordon. The rooms are all individually presented, and the mals provided in house were excellent and on other nights the local restaurants used were very good. The walking is guided by Jenny who maintains a steady pace that anyone with modest levels of fitness should be able to maintain while spotting out all sorts of flora and fauna.
I would not hesitate to recommmend this hotel to other travellers.
My one caution is that the some of the walking is at the upper end of a 2 boot grading.
By Mr Walshe on 10/04/2014
This was a most enjoyable holiday. The walks were carefully selected by the guides with reference to weather and ability. Scenery is beautiful and there was an abundance of flowers and wildlife. Casa Carrascal is a delightful place to stay and David and Sue Eaton, the owners and guides, are very friendly, very knowledgeable and very efficient. The food, cooked by David, was superb and every evening was something to really look forward to. If you like walking in a fascinating area with top-class guides and a traditional hotel this is one of the best.
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 Ms Ettridge on 02/04/2014
Hugely enjoyable with a great bunch of like minded people
By Mr Harding on 29/03/2014
La Gomera is a very mountainous island and is a 'two and a half boot' experience and not for the unfit walker. Because of the terrain and complexity of the walks a guide with local knowledge is essential, as is walking gear for all eventualities. A very rewarding experience and one not to be missed.
By Mr Cloake on 26/03/2014
One of the most enjoyable walking holidays we have taken(and we have a fair number under our belts).We loved the house party atmosphere at the Casa Carrascal with Sue and David not only welcoming and professional hosts but also experienced and knowledgeable local guides.The walks mostly in superb mountain terrain were interesting,enjoyable and with just the right degree of challenge.
By Mrs Harris on 26/03/2014
The hosts made this a unique holiday experience. Their generosity in time and effort to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly was matchless. The walking was varied and challenging amid beautiful scenery. The food was excellent. My sincere thanks to Sue and David and to Headwater.
By Mr Longshaw on 26/03/2014
The Finca, the base for the 'Secrets of Andalucia' holiday is worth more than five stars! The welcome, friendliness of the owners an staff, and the 'house party atmosphere contribute to making this one of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken. Of course we went for the walking (and to get away from the cold weather) and this turned out to be pretty good as well. Jenny was the main guide, who was helped out by Rose when he walk was split into two levels. Both were excellent in their knowledge of the local flora, fauna and routes. The meals provided at the Finca were superb, and he packed lunches extremely filling. As part of the package two lunches and three diners were taken at local restaurants and this enabled us to sample local cooking aswell.
Overall a superb holiday that ticked all the boxes for us!
By Mrs Ritchie on 26/03/2014
Setting,food and walking were superb. Gordon and Sue were exceptional hosts and Christine's food deserved a rosette!
By Mrs Quincey on 26/03/2014
Excellent hotel and fantastic food, very friendly staff, taxis arranged to local restaurants, super walking with a great guide, lovely views in the hills and very quiet location. Only drawback really is that the hotel is a good walk from the nearest villages and towns, so you can't pop out after a walk to have a look around or do a bit of shopping unless you use a taxi, or get the boots out again. The map provided for the holiday wasn't any use for walking - good job we had a guide!
By Mr Batty on 25/03/2014
Good walking, very helpful guide and excellent company. Unseasonable rain meant that our guide did not take us on one of the listed walks, but he was good at chasing the sun!
By Mr Lewis on 22/03/2014
Great accommodation and food, excellent walking, wonderful company. The guide, though not local, had acquainted himself thoroughly with the walks and looked after us superbly.
By Mrs Young on 08/03/2014
A pity the 2 centre non guided holiday appears to be absent from your latest brochure. There are so many varied walks from both Guimar and Garachico. It would be possible to have a 2 week holiday staying at each place for a week. Some of the small coastal towns, Icod and Oratavia are interesting and also the Pyramids of Guimar museum. These could be visited if there was dense cloud on the ridges. The Rother Walking Guide to Tenerife had many additional walks which we adapted to the weather conditions. An outstanding easy walk was the Malpais de Guimar. The paths are usually well signposted with a TF number.
By Mrs Stewart on 01/03/2014
Good island venue for interesting walking in warm weather, with good accomodation and guide.
By Ms White on 24/02/2014
Lovely walks, excellent guides/hosts who continually went out of their way to make sure everyone was happy, food delicious, accommodation reasonable although not luxurious - altogether it was a most enjoyable week and a lot of fun was had by all. The photography was an added bonus and Sue Bishop a helpful, tactful and fun addition to the group.
By Mrs Walter on 19/02/2014
A Brilliant totally enjoyable holiday. Sue and David were excellent hosts, hardworking and taking care of us all as they shepherded us around the various walks. The standard of food was also outstanding
Sue Bishop was extremely helpful encouraging us to be more adventurous with our efforts and imparted her expertise with a very pleasant manner (must look out for her in the future)
Our fellow guests were interesting and humorous and great comrades for the week All in all a thoroughly memorable experience
By Mrs Mendoza on 15/02/2014
Great walks, dramatic scenery, and a wonderful, tranquil parador.
By Mrs Spencer on 10/02/2014
An Excellent winter break despite the unseasonably cool / wet weather in an excellent hotel.
By Mr Whyler on 07/02/2014
The walks did not do justice to the beauty of the island. The fire damage from 2012 still sadly evident. Timings of flights and ferries far from ideal.
By Mr Bisby on 01/02/2014
Our week on the Highlights of Tenerife trip was good, but I think that customers should be aware of a) the weather in the north of the island may be nowhere as good as in the south and is often wet at this time of year (January), b) there is a fair amount of driving on this tour to get to the walks.
By Mr Cross on 01/02/2014
In late January 2014 we had exceptionally poor weather and this, plus long minibus rides to start points of walks, reduced our enjoyment of the spectacular scenery of La Gomera. Our guide/rep. Roger, did a good job in the circumstances. The Parador was excellent. The long gaps in the transfers are a negative but again Roger did his best to keep us entertained.
By Mr Gair on 25/01/2014
Beautiful location, great holel, excellent walks in a varied and magnificent setting.
By Mr Rowlinson on 18/01/2014
Good fun, though walking was harder than we expected having not been on a walking holiday before
By Mrs Williams on 31/12/2013
Very good. Guide coped admirably with adverse weather conditions.
By Mr Rutherford on 19/12/2013
Does what it said in the brochure
By Dr Tudor on 24/11/2013
Overall it was a fantastic holiday - one of our best ever. We loved the Camino itself and our holiday was enhanced by the 6 others in our group.
Our stay in O'Cebriero was horrid, as the community was celebrating its local saints day and the hotel/pub was in the centre of the long festivities, including lots of pulpo (octopus) being prepared, boiled and eaten and an amplified band striking up at midnight. Understandably on such a big occasion it took quite a while before we could access our rooms, and it was not possible to get our cases through the crowds for a time either. Unfortunately the refuge at the quiet end of the village was fully booked otherwise we would have stayed there instead. Headwater should warn clients arriving on that day what to expect.
By Dr Jones on 17/11/2013
A good holiday as usual. Hotel lovely, excellent breakfast but evening meals rather unusual and could be improved. Delightful staff, very nice rooms, good local wines. Walking directions good except for one when the map was not accurate and made for a very long walk back to our car along a very busy road. I can provide details on request.
By Mr Hunter on 08/11/2013
Visit the Sierra de Gredos. It is a beautiful and unspoilt part of Spain
By Mr Hensman on 03/11/2013
We had a wonderful week at the Finca. It's a beautiful location and the hotel owners Sue and Gordon and their staff are great as is the food with a balance of eating in and out at local restaurants every other day.
The grading as leisurely is a little surprising as although the pace is not relentless the terrain is a little challenging at times and the week is packed with activity. That said it is of course not obligatory to undertake every walk or activity. The finca is a wonderful place just to relax.
On our week we had the benefit of Sue Bishop, a professional photographer. All took advantage of her great knowledge and skills which were freely and generously given.
We intend to revisit the Finca in the future.
By Mrs Brewster on 30/10/2013
We had a great holiday. The children thoroughly enjoyed the cycling, the scenery was beautiful, plenty of medieval villages to stop end explore and the hotels en route were great. We were extremely lucky with the weather - hot and sunny every day, so that we could enjoy the hotel pools at the end of each day. A brilliant family holiday.
By Mr Clews on 30/10/2013
I couldn't fault the location, the ambience, seclusion and comfort of the hotel, and how well we were looked after by the hosts, Sue and Gordon. They treated us like friends and bade us farewell as such. My only complaint is that the walking was tougher than advertised. I don't do vertigo-inducing walks and the last day gave me 2 hours of fear and feeling very uncomfortable and I had to be patiently guided by a very understanding guide. Being classed as a leisurely walking holiday, is the reason I chose this holiday, so I feel let down and misled by this description. I questioned the guide about the classification and she understood it to be classed as moderate. It doesn't say this on your website!
I will no doubt take another holiday with you, but if I feel misled the next time, it will be the last time I choose Headwater.
By Mrs Woodward on 30/10/2013
Welcoming hotel and great walking guide. Exactly as described. Level of walking was rather more than leisurely though. The group decided that it was more of a Moderate grade.
By Mr Baker on 30/10/2013
A wonderful holiday, but be aware that although the pace of walking may be leisurely the terrain is very hilly, making the walks moderate rather than easy.
By Mr Arscott on 23/10/2013
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 Price on 10/10/2013
Great holiday,due to very good accommodation and beautiful island
By Mr Adamson on 08/10/2013
Well planned cycling routes with excellent instructions. 2 out of the 3 hotels were excellent. Alan & Linda were extremely helpful throughout the holiday & largely responsible for it running so smoothly.
By Mrs Hawkins on 07/10/2013
Well chosen area for walking.Very good self guiding notes and helpful and efficient rep.Excellent choice and standard of hotel. Just everythig we expected of Headwater. Thank you.
By Mr Hutton on 07/10/2013
Good mixture of walking, history and culture which in combination produced an excellent break
By Mis Callaghan on 05/10/2013
This was a lovely holiday. The walks were quite tough and in particular the walk from Cadaques to Roses was demanding. The scenery was stunning and hotels very comfortable. Alan's guide notes were excellent. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in a beautiful location
By Mrs Shorney on 03/10/2013
We found the cycling to be very enjoyable. Excellent instructions and maps and lots of variety in the scenery - coastal and inland. Rather more riding on tracks [often sandy or stony] than expected, but little traffic to worry about. Thought the overrall grading was higher than 'soft'.
First class hotels throughout. Cannot speak too highly of the couriers, Alan and his wife. We were lucky to have fine weather throughout, so a very good holiday.
Only small drawback was the long time spent travelling - air/rail took the whole day, both outward and return
By Mr Howard on 02/10/2013
A super holiday hard work at times but well worth it , hotels and food excellent never to old from a seventy four year old
By Mr Higdon on 02/10/2013
Overall a good holiday, Menorca is unspoilt and spotlessly clean. The walks a very well marked, just follow the Cami De Cavalls marker posts which are everywhere. In hindsight, we probably should have gone at a different time of year (we went end Sept) as the temperature got to 30 deg on most days, and as the walking was mainly costal there was not much shade. We also felt a bit overdressed walking across “nudist” beaches in our walking boots, back packs and sun hats! The hotel is very nice, with friendly and helpful staff. The only drawback is that there is not a communal bar where you can meet fellow guests for a pre dinner drink so there is not much of a social atmosphere. You just sit down, eat and go! A shame as the hotel has so much to offer. Our recommendation would be to go out of season, when the temperature is lower, the beaches empty and the scenery greener.
By Mrs Paine on 01/10/2013
A well put together 10 day holiday with lots of variation. Interesting cycling which was demanding on a couple of occasions, really good accommodation and excellent local reps with lots of knowledge.
By Mrs Fox on 01/10/2013
Menorca is a beautiful island and the Hotel Movedra Nou is a delightful rural hotel and sanctuary away from the commercialisation of many of the coastal villages and small towns. The food was excellent and true Menorcan country cooking involving many different types of fish and numerous vegetables.
This Headwater holiday was different to our previous ones as we were provided with a car at Mahon airport for our use during the week. This had the impact of helping us to see more of the island and walk in more distant places although the negative point was that walks either involved a 'there and back' walk, or we needed to catch an expensive taxi to get back to our starting point. The maps provided were poor although by day 4 we were bequeathed an excellent map by a fellow Headwater traveller which improved things considerably. [Map now passed on yet again] This map 'Menorca Tour and Trail - Super Durable by David and Ros Brawn' is available on Amazon today at £8.99. I would recommend that Headwater send their customers this map as it gives a much better mapping of the coastal path that the walks are covering. The walking was a little tricky as the 'coastal trail' was often bumpy and rocky making it difficult to get any rhythm into our walking. Some of the walks need reviewing as they are out of date to current local developments. Several of the walks ended in very commercial areas which was disappointing after walking beautiful coastal routes. The Menorcan trail was popular and busy - we often shared it with other walkers, joggers mountain bikers and horse riders. Several walks involved some beach walking which involved picking your way through sunbathers!
Summary, great hotel and food - considerable daily driving miles - walking limited on rocky paths - maps need improvement.
By Dr Young on 30/09/2013
The local rep provided the MOST EXCELLENT route notes we have ever experienced. The routes allowed us a great taste of both inland and coastal scenery. There are some built up areas on this holiday and we had no difficulty getting through. He also led us most interesting routes through the little towns so we felt we had seen a great deal. He had obviously ridden the rides himself recently as there was no confusion at all over road work issues etc which we have found before.The routes for the 'rest 'days were fantastic although more challenging than the other days! But well worth the effort. He also provided us with the best maintained bikes we have ever experienced - so thank you enormously for that. 2 of the 3 hotels were just wonderful- quite a treat-and of a luxurious nature.
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 Ms Smith on 29/09/2013
Would you please update this website to remove the spelling errors - it's very annoying! (Note use of too instead of to and during is incorrectly spelled)
By Mr Stocks on 28/09/2013
Cycling for softies but the fitter you are the more enjoyable especially if you want to cycle and get the best from some of the 'rest day' route possibilities.
A real holiday.
By Mrs Riley on 26/09/2013
The holiday was good fun in a beautiful and interesting location with two wonderful guides who put themselves out to make the holiday one to remember fondly.
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 Lucas on 25/09/2013
One of the best Headwater holidays we have had. An ideal combination of great walks, excellent food and brilliant hosts/guides.
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 Wardrop on 25/09/2013
Lovely accomodation with hosts who went out of their way to make you feel like family friends. One of the best guides (Jenny) we have ever had on walking holidays.
By Mr Oborne on 25/09/2013
This was one of the best holidays we have had - hotel, walks, guide etc were more than excellent. Food at the Finca was worthy of accolades! A beautiful part of Spain to explore. Overall a holiday of a lifetime!
By Mrs Bonham on 23/09/2013
My husband, and our 23 and 20 year old off spring thoroughly enjoyed our first Headwater holiday. It was very well organised and the routes were well mapped. Alan our rep was helpful and on hand for assistance if required. I haven't ridden a bike for many years and my legs were challenged at times by day ten. I'd definitely recommend the holiday to others. The scenery was stunning and the food was out of this world both in the hotels and local restaurants.
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 Mrs Gambrill on 18/09/2013
This was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. I would never have seen this area of Spain doing a normal Hotel/Package deal. It is like a mini adventure with someone else doing all the arranging, absolutely loved it. Look forward to doing another one soon.
By Dr O'Brien on 18/09/2013
Exhilarating walks in magnificent mountainous landscape with dramatic views; hotel a 'home from home' in authentic village Spain looked after by genuinely kind and courteous staff; vegetarian food was outstanding here with a careful choice offered for each evening (a first on the continent!). Local driver was punctual, good driver and always cheerful. Local people were a really significant part of making this holiday so enjoyable. There was sufficient of historical and architectural interest locally, from neolithic caves to nineteenth century railway history, to interest us without needing to go elsewhere.
By Mr Goodall on 17/09/2013
The holiday overall exceeded our expectations. The Hotel Castell d'Emporda in particular is in a stunning location with exceptional service and quality. The food at the Hotel Rosa was excellent. The walking instructions were exemplary and Alan and Linda could not have been more helpful.
By Mrs Winward on 17/09/2013
use headwater and plan a holiday to fit your needs and wishes.
By Mr Pearce on 15/09/2013
Excellent walks but in places were much more demanding than 'leisurely.' Good mix of hotels. Generally good food. Roses was very much at the Costa Brava end of holidays but the rest was good. It was a bit disappointing to find so many extra costs - the train from Barcelona to Garriguella & back - the £59 for a relatively short taxi ride from Garriguella to Figueras for the train home (although the taxi people - Francisco & Maria - were very reliable). With a few exceptions the guidance notes were reliable - the optional walk at El Port de la Selva had loads of mistakes - I have pointed this out to the rep. Overall though it was a good experience & I would recommend it.
By Mrs McKinstry on 15/09/2013
The Catalan Cooastal Walk guides you through an area of outstanding beauty which remains unspoilt by tourism.
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 Mrs Allen on 14/08/2013
Think about biking in the heat as it can be hard work in the heat to go up the hills
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 Ms Jassey on 07/08/2013
Probably more challenging that you might expect, but in a very positive way, and well worth the effort. The views and experiences are unbeatable. Not sure if we could do a car-reliant holiday again!
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 Mrs Hales on 24/07/2013
Although we enjoyed the walking we found some of it challenging, and yet we are quite active walkers. It is not what we expected as a leisurely classification.
But the whole area was beautiful and enjoyable.
By Mr Hughes on 23/07/2013
This was a very enjoyable holiday, it exceeded our expectations. All hotels were of a decent and sometimes exceptional standard. The route maps and advice provided by the rep- Alan -were very comprehensive and the suggestions for the rest days were also enjoyable with alternatives to cycling if required. We would have no hesitation in recommending this type of holiday to other cyclists and intend to do something similar in a different area next year.
By Mrs McLaughlin on 20/07/2013
I really enjoyed the holiday. The local rep was excellent as were his directions. He'd obviously put a lot of work into them. The walks were very enjoyable and varied. The Castle Emporda which was the highlight. The hotel in Begur was OK but the location in the town centre was great and the restaurant of higher quality.
By Mr Moorhead on 18/07/2013
The holiday was enjoyable, the Castell d'Emporda was fantastic, and had the holiday been 30% cheaper we would have thought it good value for money. I've been on many cycling holidays (this was the first with my wife and son) and it's the first where there has not been support throughout the day. I know the reps were available by phone, but it would clearly have taken an hour or more to get help from them if a problem had arisen and at this price, that's not good enough. Next time I would simply book the hotels for myself, hire bikes and then organise a taxi to take the bags from place to place - you did not provide sufficient additional value to justify the cost. Cycling routes are also easy to find - with so many GPS users uploading data to the web I would have little problem in organising routes for myself. This was a premium price but what we got was a bike (in good condition to be fair), and a map, and then left alone for a week. My wife had a bad insect bike which became very inflamed and sore and required anti-biotics (it has still not fully subsided a week later) - we had to sort this out for ourselves in Barcelona - our guides expressed polite interest but offered no real suggestions about local medical help. This compares poorly with my experience on cycling holidays in France and the US where anyone with even a slight medical issue was promptly driven to the nearest clinic or pharmacy, helped with the language and sorted out very quickly.
Thank you for your feedback Mr Moorhead, we were pleased to read that your holiday was enjoyable.
However, we are sorry to see that some aspects did not appear to meet with your expectations. The type of holiday that you had booked is classed as a self-guided cycling holiday. Therefore, we do not provide support vehicles. This type of holiday is geared towards the more independent customers who like to travel at their own pace, starting and finishing at various times throughout the day. Therefore, it would not be practical to have a support vehicle on the route. We do however provide a 24/7 rep service which is available if needed in case of emergency or should you have any questions or queries along the way as well as a brief at the start and de brief at the end of the holiday.
We were sorry to read that Mrs Moorhead was bitten and required medical treatment, as you comment our reps was aware of the bite, but not necessarily the severity. Had they been made aware of this they would have offered assistance as required.
Despite these issues I am glad that you had an enjoyable holiday.
Thank you once again for your feedback.
By Mr Archer on 17/07/2013
The holiday was exactly as described. The route note were absolutely perfect, we did not go wrong on the wrong route once
By Mrs Ball on 16/07/2013
I am a Headwater Holidays fan! This is about the 16th cycling holiday I have been on with your company and it is my second trip to Catalunya. Last time, about 5 years age, I took the cycling hol in Catalunya and the guide was Robin! say no more he was useless. Alan is a real gem. Look after him. As I am getting older now and so are my two cycling friends we look for the flat cycling routes and each time you bring out a new one we seem to book it. So do keep adding new routes. I am sorry that you no longer go to Majorca. Many years ago we did the cycling around the centre of the island and was going to book the one centre hotel this year but you have removed it. I guess it was not popular. I think its so important to keep the standard of the hotels and food at a high level. Its such a big part of the holiday for us. After a day cycling the destination is always exciting and good accommodation is a must. I am a single person and mostly travel with my married friends so always have to pay a single supplement which does increase the cost rather.( This trip I went with my daughter and we shared a room so no supplement, a real bonus) If I get a double room for the cost this is fine but on occasions I am in the attic in a single room; not so good. Keep up the good standard and as long as I am able to cycle I will be booking!
By Mr Lindley on 09/07/2013
good experience well supported both by headoffice and at the resort. hotels were well chosen for quality of room and food. walking varied and interesting and routes accurate. let down by one hotel on one night which we will take up with the customer service team.
By Mrs Mizon on 06/07/2013
The holiday was a perfect. We cycling along quiet country roads alive with butterflies and birds, scented with blossom and decorated by a myriad of wild flowers. The route took through a quieter version of parts of Tuscany with hill top villages and stone farms but had the advantage of including a wonderful coast line of rocky coves and sandy beaches, so I swam and swam. The June/July weather was kind to us; hot sun but a cooling breeze, and then at the end of the ride, a great hotel and a good dinner. What more can I say!
By Mrs Crookes on 29/06/2013
Felt could have walked further each day, especially in order to reach Santiago more comfortably to experience the pilgrim's service (we walked the final 21kms in 4 hours in order to do this) plus that last part is the least interesting part of the walk. Appreciated the care taken to make the first 3 days so interesting - very glad that started at Leon and not at Sarria - and very glad that stayed way out of Sarria as it's a rather depressing town! Found the trek down to the resort at Portomarin a pain - felt had arrived, at the river, then found had another good up and down km to do to reach the entrance. The manager/owner offered to drive us the next morning, which we all appreciated. All the taxi and other drivers were excellent, on time, friendly and efficient. Would especially like to mention Blanca, the guide in Leon; such a lovely and enthusiastic person with immense knowledge - we were expecting to be bored, but were totally immersed and hope to go back. We all agreed that it would be useful to have a list of taxi and other drivers' phone numbers as we often arrived 2 or 3 hours before pick up time. O'Coto was a pleasant hotel, it was just a pity that was sandwiched between 2 busy roads with a car dump nearby. It was also a bit damp, tho the owners put the heating on for us (we know they are new owners so maybe will be making improvements for next year), and was difficult to dry our washing - which we all did as were staying 2 nights there. I am being very pernickety here, as overall we enjoyed the holiday immensely and have enthusiastically recommended it to our friends.
By Ms Apsey on 26/06/2013
Often very windy places but also sunny too. The rides usually undulate with the odd steeper climb here and there but even if they are a bit of a challenge at times but remember there are two sides to every hill and the end result whatever your day has been like is often a superb hotel in an outstanding or unique setting.
By Mrs Dietz on 24/06/2013
This was our best cycling holiday. The routes were varied: through woodland, rice fields, open country, along the coast, to a nature reserve, through medieval villages. All the hotels were good, but our favourites were the Moli de Mig and Mas Pau. The bikes, although not light, were suited to the terrain, as some of the tracks were rutted, and the front suspension protected wrists from jarring. We enjoyed hearing cuckoos (4 times) and seeing bee-eaters and hoopoes.
By Mr Davey on 24/06/2013
Menorca is ideal for walking with a diverse landscape and the whole island being relatively low- lying. The landscape is interesting, the coastal paths are really lovely and you are never more than 3 hours from a watering-hole! People are friendly. Driving on the island is very easy. Headwaters walking itinery was well-planned and descriptions excellent, even going so far as the tell you which cafe's will order a taxi for you. Coastal walking is particularly lovely as you have a light breeze coming in from the sea and plenty of opportunities for a cooling dip or paddle. Inland, there are castles and ancient monuments to explore. Hotel Morvedra Nou is a perfect base, being quiet and luxurious, an ideal spot to relax after a day (or a morning) walking
By Dr Clements on 24/06/2013
we had a wonderful week's walking holiday in Andalucia. Our hotel finca el cerrillo was a small friendly hotel with each of the rooms with individual character and charm. The gardens were beautiful with many little seating areas both in sun and shade. Lovely pool to soothe the aching muscles after day hikes.Wonderful dinners at the hotel and local restaurants.Walks set off not too early in the morning and our very experienced guide Jenny new the walks inside out and told us local history, the names of flora and fauna and never faded in her enthusiasm.She looked after us individually in the group and tailored the walk and stops for info chats to suite everyone. The weeks holiday lived up to out expectations and more! Richard and Yvonne Clements
By Mr Neilson on 22/06/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed the walking but preferred the days when the accommodation was actually on the Camino. The inconvenience and waste of time waiting for taxis in unpicturesque places at the end of a day's walking was irritating. Similarly starting a day with a taxi ride to get back to the Camino from remote accommodation was unsatisfactory.
By Mr Worthing on 19/06/2013
The route guidence was too detailed and involved too many off road tracks. It would have been better if the route had stuck to metaled roads even at the expence of more traffic and greater mileage. Having to stop every few yards to read the notes was tedious and spoilt pleasure of the ride.
By Mrs Dawe on 19/06/2013
Not your fault but one of the landowners appears to have gated off one of the walks. When I get a spare moment, I'll write to you about it.
Overall a superb holiday.
By Mrs Bolton on 18/06/2013
A very enjoyable holiday staying in excellent hotels.
By Mr Monck on 14/06/2013
Headwater had thought of everything and it's attention to detail that counts on a holiday like this. Thank you !
By Mr Bostock- smith on 12/06/2013
The holiday was excellent. We were fortunate with the weather and the walks were good. It is a simple task to calculate the costs of the basics in the holiday particully hotel prices. We are therefore paying a significant premium for the convenience and support of having a local guide & his imput into the walk instructions.. What you charge is of course up to you and many will no doubt be happy to pay this premium for the reassurance it provides but we would not regard it as value for money
By Mrs Molyneux-carte on 11/06/2013
Dinner at the hotel Morvedra Nou was generally not good. Fish was the best option. However the staff were delightful and made up for the cooking somewhat. Breakfast was good but if we should go again we would probably prefer to go B&B and take our chances with the A La Carte menu. We did not try A La Carte this time as we felt the standard of the half board dinner was poor and didn't bode well for the A La Carte. However some other guests tried it and said it was reasonable. It would be a bit of a trek to go elsewhere for dinner so some improvement is needed. In spite of this we would happily go again.
By Mr Davis on 07/06/2013
Excellent holiday. Walking notes by Alan were excellent and to a point that a map was unnecessary.
By Mrs Whybrow on 29/05/2013
The holiday was a chance to explore a region in depth and to do walks into deep countryside, which we could never have done without your detailed route notes. Lovely scenery, flowers, butterflies and birds. Some of the walks seemed quite long! - but worth the effort.
By Mrs Hilditch on 28/05/2013
Whilst we have had the most brilliant holiday as it was an old school reunion, considering the time in advance it was booked it seemed that the cost did not really reflect our expectation. We paid well over £1000 for a four night trip that did not seem very well tailored to our needs mostly in terms of transfer arrangements. We felt that for a group our size there could have been better transfer arrangements. The walking was very well organised and well marked and our guide whilst he clearly was not used to such a large group of opinionated women (!) he ensured that our needs were met.
By Dr Hand on 23/05/2013
My sister and I were looking for a walking holiday which neither of us had done before.
This was one of the best holidays I have ever had. The superb organisation from start to finish resulted in an almost totally stress free time.
The walks were very thoughtfully planned , varied and a total delight. The scenery and views were spectacular. The area is unspoilt and full of history. The hotels and food were a real pleasure.
The local knowledge meant that every aspect of the holiday was chosen carefully to maximise enjoyment.
You just couldn't do this yourself.
Grilled rep on way back about which holiday to do next.
I would highly recommend this trip
By Mr Cameron on 23/05/2013
We had a wonderful holiday. We last traveled with Headwater in 1994 and 1997, and there is no doubt that the standards of the hotels, route notes, and bikes have improved immensely. Alan was a hugely experienced rep who provided route notes of a superb standard. 2 out of the 3 hotels were truly excellent, and while the other was one of the weirder I've ever stayed in, it was perfectly serviceable, and the fact that it was B&B only was a good decision.
By Mr Bryant on 21/05/2013
Holiday was exactly as described, accommodation, food, service all very good. Headwater staff were excellent when required.
By Mr Prior on 20/05/2013
As other reviewers have noticed, the Finca el Cerillo is a gem. Gordon and Sue are great hosts; the location is stunning; and nothing is too much trouble for the hosts or the staff. The hotel is superb and the mix of local restaurants and eating in gave us an excellent mix of really enjoyable food. The grounds of the hotel are lovely and the views from the various patios are exceptional. The walking guides (Jenny & Rose) were also very good with a relaxed manner and a store of local knowledge. They responded well to the varying walking levels and needs of the group. This was unquestionably one of the best Headwater holidays that we have had.
By Mrs Ward on 18/05/2013
Owners, staff and guides at Hotel Finca el Cerrillo go the extra mile in all ways to ensure guests have a wonderful experience. The hotel is remote, but taxis are used to get Headwater guests to restaurants & to/from walks. Personally we recommend the 1-Boot option weeks, as this is hilly country and weather can be warm. Even the hotel is built on a hillside with many little oases of calm corners. Wonderful scenery & views; fantastic meals; great guides; and such great hosts.
By Mrs Tromans on 16/05/2013
A very relaxing holiday in superb locations with varied walks & interesting local historical interest. Away from the usual tourist spots. Manageable walking for those not used to walking great distances & very helpful & knowledgeable local rep.
By Mr Robson on 14/05/2013
An 'independent' Headwater Holiday can be adjusted to suit individual capacity, especially as one grows older! We wanted to go to this particular area but no longer operate at two boot level. So we used the notes, Antonio's advice and good public transport services to visit Cordoba and Granada, to tweak the holiday, enjoy the Subbetica National Park fully as well as two historic cities.
By Mrs White on 14/05/2013
Menora is a beatiful island and as it had rained the week before our arrival (beginning May) the wild flowers were fantastic. If you're a birdwatcher there is also a lot to see (and hear) - spent a great half hour one evening after dinner watching a Barn Owl coming and going between the trees and the hotel grounds. Morvedra Nou Hotel is a delightful, converted farmhouse, very peaceful location. Victoria and all her team made us feel really welcome and couldn't have been more helpful. The daily dinner menu was a great way to sample Menorcan cuisine.
By Mrs Winward on 07/05/2013
A fantastic holiday. Alans notes made the self guiding really easy. There was a lovely mix of different types of walks i.e. woodland, coastal, villages. Alan did his very best to plan the walks away from any main roads en route so we had a lovely, safe views and vistas. The Castella D'Emporada was one of the nicest hotels that we have stayed in, in the world. The food in both hotels was excellent. The bags arrived before us, as if by magic at each hotel. This is a beautiful area.
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 Mrs Scott on 24/04/2013
This was a most beautiful part of Spain and completely unexpected. As we were the first guests of the season our hotels and destinations were not at all crowded. People had time to stop and chat. The weather for walking was perfect at this time of year.
Although this was a 'soft' holiday, we found some of the walks quite challenging either in length (Castell d'Emporda to Begur) or difficulty (Cami de Ronda between Begur and Lafranc), but we took our time and shortened walks by taking the odd taxi (phone numbers thoughtfully provided by Alan). We have had many wonderful holidays over he years, both in Europe and elsewhere, but have never been so reluctant to leave an area.
By Mr Naylor on 24/04/2013
This was a really good package! All inclusive meals, wine and pack lunch, great menu choice and great walking containing probably the best walk I have ever been on (The Bernia Ridge Walk).
The hosts and guiders, David and Sue Eaton, are probably the most conscientious people in this business or certainly that I have come across. They were great hosts, very attentive to people's needs and capabilities and very knowledgable about the flora and fauna of this region and as if that's not enough, David is a pretty damn good chef too!
We did have an accident whilst out walking. My wife slipped on some loose soil/gravel and suffered what at the time we thought was an ankle sprain. Sue administered some first aid on the scene, went ahead and got the car and took us home. The following morning, still concerned because of the swelling, Sue took my wife to hospital, made sure we got treatment and then crutches before then taking us back to Casa Carrascal - bottom line is that Sue and Dave also know how to respond to these situations - thanks guys!
By Ms Clough on 24/04/2013
Fantastic, it was everyting I hoped it would be and more!
By Mr Grundy on 24/04/2013
This was an excellent holiday, the accomodation and hosts/guides were superb.BUT
The grading was classed as soft/leisurely which it definately was not.This is misleading.
We did the 'Vistas of Valencia' last year which was classed as moderate. This was the same level of walking.
By Mrs Langleben on 24/04/2013
Without doubt, Finca el Cerrillo, has to be one of the best hotels we have stayed in with Headwater. Nothing was too much trouble for Sue and Gordon. They are the perfect hosts and it was more like being part of a house party than being a paying customer.
Our guide, Jenny, was good fun as well as being excelletn at her job.
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 Ms Stewart on 13/04/2013
We had a wonderful trip. One or two of the walks were at the top end of our comfort zone however and we'd probably not do another two boot with Headwater. Also, given the small amount of involvement Headwater staff had once we got to our destination, I think the cut they take is quite high (ie. our accommodation provides their own packages for a significantly lower price even taking flights into account).
Thank you for your comments, we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in Andalucia, although we are sorry you feel the pricing of the holiday could be improved. On this particular holiday, the tour we offer is not the same as what the hotel offer direct to the public, therefore the prices do differ. We include tickets and transport to/from the Alhambra and we include wine with meals for example. That said, we want to keep our prices as competitive as possible as will certainly bear your comments in mind when looking at the costings for next year.
Many thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your feedback.
By Mr Richards on 13/04/2013
The Finca was exceptional, the walking fantastic and the guide (Jenny) was professional, well informed and great fun.
By Mrs Douglas on 23/03/2013
We were forewarned from your office that the Spanish weather was unusually wet and our flight was 1 hour late due to adverse weather in the UK but Antonio waited at the hotel until after we arrived with up to date information and advice about the walks. I myself was 'indisposed' for three days so Antonio gave my husband a choice of alternative walks which avoided all the streams and rivers that had become too dangerous to cross. The packed lunches provided were excellent and the staff were very helpful and considerate and nothing was a problem to them. The taxi was prompt and very carefully driven by Maria. Altogether, considering the weather etc
the hotel and staff were excellent and
and the food was superb with choices which always included at least 1 vegetarian option for my husband.
A holiday which was thoroughly enjoyed.
and can be recommended without qualms.
By Mrs Johns on 23/03/2013
We had a wonderful holiday thanks to David and Sue who worked really hard to ensure that all their guests enjoyed the week to its maximum. The walks were varied and appropriate to our standard and where, on occasion, a guest was lacking confidence in a particular route,an alternative was always found without fuss or bother. David provided a range of meals that took into consideration all of our dietary needs and Dinner was a relaxed sociable event each evening.
We could never have explored and enjoyed this wonderful walking area without the knowledge and expertise of David and Sue. We were also impressed with their level of organisation and professionalism. They are great ambasadors for Headwater.
By Mis Phillips on 14/03/2013
I loved the holiday, the hotel was exceptionally good in the warm welcome, helpfulness of hosts and all staff, good food, arrangements for transport and meals out, and the character of the hotel and beautiful location. Visit to Alhambra and Granada also brilliant. Inspite of rain excellent holiday, one to remember
By Mr Freeman on 09/03/2013
The holiday was all we were hoping for ; the hotels of a good standard, the walks challenging but not impossible and well selected to give us a good flavour of the island of Tenerife. Walk descriptions and instructions were excellent.
By Mrs Stewart on 09/03/2013
Good holiday in good location
By Mr Clarke on 26/02/2013
A most enjoyable holiday with a lovely group of people walking through impressive landscapes.
Roger, the guide, was excellent and took us to visit beautiful places after the walks. This was a bonus. He also adapted the itinerary according to the weather.
Roger’s partner made very nice salad pack lunches and made sure mine were gluten free.
The hotel and food were excellent.
By Mr Maher on 26/02/2013
As always we thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Headwater. The group gelled from the start and our walks were enhanced by Roger, our guide. He chose wisely and well, taking into account weather conditions and the capabilities of the group. This area of Tenerife was a revelation.
By Mrs Loken on 26/02/2013
Although the overall holiday was very enjoyable, the frequent bad weather (which seems to be normal in the North of Tenerife) meant that some of the walks were not possible. The alternatives of visiting lava caves was interesting, but gave us less walking time. The excellent hotel, however, was located in Garachica on the North coast, which necessitated long drives on precipitous winding roads at the beginning and end of each day. Some people found this problematical, even though our guide was a very safe and careful driver.
The hotel food was of a generally high standard, and elegantly presented, but vegetables of any kind were absolutely minimal. The wine offered was very good.
By Pro Pruetzelthomas on 26/02/2013
A wonderful, expertly guided walking holiday in the varied and dramatic landscapes of Tenerife
By Mrs Shepherd on 26/02/2013
David and Sue were excellent hosts. They could not do enough to assist us and they were a pleasure to walk with.
By Mr Gingell on 02/02/2013
Be cautious as regards the grading assessment of walks and be aware that walking profiles in the brochure can be misleading (the Baracan ridge walk in particular omitted a very severe climb at the beginning of the walk).
Also be aware that the current guide does not speak good Spanish so may struggle in an emergency.
Being an old manor house built around 2 courtyards means that hotel rooms are gloomy and can be stuffy, whilst public areas can be very chilly early in the year. Food is very good (though lacking in vegetables!), but there is limited indoor dining space and eating round the swimming pool requires warm clothing.
By Mrs McDougal on 24/01/2013
Just what we expected from a Headwater holiday, well organised, excellent walking with good accommodation and food and excellent guides/hosts.
By Mrs Acland on 07/01/2013
Super holiday. Our hosts Sue and David were brilliant, always helpful and informative. Dinners were always excellent and Christmas dinner, truly a feast, was superb. How David and Sue managed to guide us all during the day and still be able to present us with such a meal every evening was amazing.
Susan in Felixstowe
By Mr Summers on 07/01/2013
This was the third time I have been to this holiday and I would go again
By Mr Pritchard on 13/12/2012
David and Sue Eaton are very attentive hosts and guides and made us feel at home.
By Mr Hildrew on 24/11/2012
We had an excellent holiday, and saw the loveliest parts of Tenerife. This really is a 'two boot' holiday, at least. Some of the walks were very challenging, but the views were fantastic and we were pleased to have done them. Two nice hotels, and Garachico, in particular, is a pleasant little town. The pyramids of Guima are certainly worth a visit and the notes might suggest that more strongly. The driving too was a challenge, with hairpin bends going on almost for ever - but, again, it was all worthwhile. We would recommend this trip to anyone who is reasonably active and able to walk up steep hills!
By Mrs Hoghton on 24/11/2012
We were disappointed that the atmosphere in the Finca seemed to be a bit "us and them", ie between the 7 Headwater clients and the 20 or so non-Headwater guests. When we queried this we were told it was because we were having "free" wine with meals and it was too complicated to sort out billing should the two groups mingle. This unfortunately resulted in our smaller group feeling a bit ostracised from the main party, for example we were expected to sit on our own in the smaller sitting area which did not have the open fire, a feature which had sounded so attractive when we booked the Finca. The other group were clearly paying less for their holiday and adopted a rather superior attitude due to this.
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 Dr Miller on 03/11/2012
Note on Hotel Ratings: I did not stay at Castell D'Emporda, as they were booked with a private function. I was placed into Mas de Torrent, and my "all excellent" ratings are for that property. Mas de Torrent was perhaps the best hotel I stayed at in the ten hotels I used while I was in Europe. It was superb, and I would happily pay a surcharge to stay there if I was to cycle through Catalonia again.
Moli de Mig was a bit of a letdown. The service was friendly, but they did not really try to solve issues that I had with the room; I complained that my room had no functioning internet, and they responded by saying internet was working fine at the front desk, so the issue was with my computer, which it was not. More importantly, my half-board only covered my ordering from the set menu, which was very limited (Apple Menu) and the same both nights. The rooms and property are lovely, but I would have mixed feelings about staying there again.
Hotel de la Font is a modest hotel with smallish rooms and baths. However, it is absolutely off the scale for charm. The owners were delightful hosts, in the true sense of the word. The made me feel like a welcome guest, and their efforts more than made up for the physical limitations of the property itself.
I used the Hotel Alga as the last hotel of the trip, as Hotel Garbi was already closed for the season. This hotel was not up to the standard of the others on the trip. Cleanliness and service were only fair, and the restaurant was appallingly bad for dinner. Breakfast was better, but still below average.
The headwater reps at Calella were superb. Alan's route notes were meticulous, reasonably easy to follow and pointed out possible side excursions for more energetic riders. Alan and Linda's enthusiasm for the region was manifest. They went considerably out of their way to help me when I left my AC adapter plug behind at the first hotel.
I was very pleased with the bicycle that Headwater provided. It was in excellent working condition. The panniers were also in like-new condition, and were a really valuable item of equipment to have.
The tour of Catalonia was a great experience. The roads chosen were quiet, the small towns were charming and the ones away from the coast were completely unspoiled by mass tourism. The countryside was quite pretty, with rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves. It was not especially challenging riding. I averaged around 40 km per day, but that was with a few side excursions.
By Dr Ball on 03/11/2012
Excellent holiday, good value for money, very helpful and friendly hotel staff, food very good, lovely walks with great views.
By Mr Summers on 03/11/2012
Very good holiday. This was my second visit and I will be back in the spring next time to see the wild flowers!
By Mrs Garwood on 30/10/2012
Probably the best Headwater holiday we've had. Alan's walking directions were so good we didn't need to refer to the maps. The accommodation was excellent as was the food. The walking was varied through beautiful scenery which included pretty towns & villages, undulating farmland, cork & pine woods & rugged coves.
By Mr Stokes on 30/10/2012
This was another first-rate Headwater walking holiday. Where do you find such super local reps? Only gripe on this particular trip to Catalonia is that much of the walking was necessarily on paved or unpaved roads rather than footpaths or farm tracks; and with little shade for much of the time this was quite tiring. The area is perhaps better suited to cycling than to walking.
By Mr Harrison on 30/10/2012
The route had been planned to give you excellent ctcling and Alans enthusiasm for the region and the routes made a challenging very rewarding.
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 Mr Effingham on 30/10/2012
Everything that was promised as part of the walking holiday exceeded our expectations, especially the food and warm welcome that we received at El Cerrillo!
By Mr Kendall on 17/10/2012
Excellent hotels and food. Varied walking that would appeal most to those who prefer to use Tarmac roads and broad well made tracks. Nevertheless there are long sections of vehicle free rough tracks and trails that can give superb views. There are even some small hills.
The route notes were the best we have ever used.
By Mrs Beaney on 17/10/2012
A great holiday in some lovely locations. Well planned routes with easy to follow guidelines. We did the walk in late September/early October - not sure I'd want to do it in the summer months as some of the walks are quite open and hot!
By Mr Stables on 17/10/2012
Headwater came highly recommended and justifiably so we had a fantastic holiday. This region of Spain is stunning.
By Ms Smith on 17/10/2012
We had never been on a cycling holiday before but would certainly repeat the experience using Headwater based on the quality of the beauty and variety of the cycle routes and the quality of the accommodation.
By Mrs Warburton on 10/10/2012
A very well organised holiday with an excptional and knowledgable rep.
By Dr Mair on 10/10/2012
We had a really excellent holiday with Headwater. The reps were knowledgable and available and we had enough autonomy to allow us to enjoy it, but enough support that we felt safe at all times. The hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for the outstanding service and food.
By Mr Moore on 06/10/2012
We had a bad start, nothing to do with Headwater - wallet and knapsack pick pocketed/stolen in Barcelona Sants Station. Headwater (Alan Hughes, Kim Schreier and Francisco (taxi driver) were terrific in rescuing our spirits and on practical things like replacement medicine, hiking boots, knapsack.
We found the walks challenging for a 71 and 65 year old and rewarding scenically and for interest. We have minor suggestions on the walking instructions, but very minor, which we will give to Headwater.
We thought the hotels were all very good, not to knock the others, but in particular Playa del Sol in Cadaques - fine design, fine bedrooms and public rooms, 20 meters to the sea for swimming, fine pool and gardens and eating at pool.
We much enjoyed going to Garriguella. It was very good to be in a small hill town that was quite traditional.
We enjoyed our rest days:nice walk to the Dali House near Cadeques, very fine restaurant in Can Tinto; all the facilities at the Almadabra Hotel in Rosas, including superb food; two interesting vineyards in Garriguela and a good, traditional Catalan restaurant with a larger than life owner, plus the really helpful Vilamont Spa Hotel owner.
If you do not have Spanish or best of all Catalan, French is useful and English is less commonly spoken than you might think.
Iain More and Pam Siler
By Mr Gillies on 06/10/2012
Very good experience all round. Well organised by people who know what they are doing. A couple of the routes stretched us a bit more than we expected for first timers. Unusual/excellent, well-chosen hotels helped make the trip better value for money. The weather could make a major difference to your enjoyment of these trips however.
By Mrs Gatward on 06/10/2012
I did enjoy Carrascal enormously - as usual my fellow-travellers were a great and interesting bunch, and Sue and David were so hospitable - they seem to do everything (organise the walks, run the hotel,do the cooking, walk the dogs, etc!)and are ready to adapt the walks if the weather intervenes. Local knowledge is vital and adds so much enjoyment when you're only there for a week.
By Mr Taylor on 06/10/2012
the walks were varied and good. Our hosts at Casa carascal were excellant. I had only one negative comment and this couldn't be helped in that there was no garden or outsiude space in which to relax and no swimming pool but as the whole trip was good it really didn;t matter in the end.
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 Mr Makin on 01/10/2012
Probably the best cycling holiday we have had.
The weather was good and the accommodation was generally very good - although the hotel in Palamos was trying too hard to be something it wasn't.
By Mrs Currie on 24/09/2012
Varied walking through pretty towns and villages and along spectacular coastline. Very nice contrast of accommodation. Excellent food at the Castle; table d'haute was the same each day but there was a choice.
Temperatures in high 20's when we were there early September. Our guide Alan rightly emphasised the need to carry plenty of water.
By Mr Cooper on 24/09/2012
A successful first holiday! Headwater appears to be a company with a culture of great attention to detail and good organisation but with an eye on the personal touch.
By Mr Tuffill on 24/09/2012
We think this was our ninth holiday with Headwater - so you must be doing something right. We really enjoyed this holiday and would recommend it to others. You mark it as a One boot plus walk. I am not as agile as I was so we decided on this level. But there were some bits that were a bit more challenging in my opinion, in particular the coastal path from Begur and the piece of day 6 walk which made a big deal about vertigo - where the real problem was jumping across rocks. So we took the alternative which involved a 2km steady climb, close to scrambling at times to gain enough height to take an alternative trail high up. But, I repeat, we did enjoy the holiday.
By Mr Rowbotham on 24/09/2012
A good cycling holiday, a lot of it "off road", in beautiful and interesting countryside. However, in the holiday description in the Headwater brochure, greater emphasis should be given to the "gastronomic cuisine" aspect of this holiday. ALL of the evening meals provided were of this type and did not really suit our requirements.
By Mr Flynn on 24/09/2012
A fantastic hoilday that we would really recommend! Our guides, Alan and Linda were exceptionally helpful, and we hope to do another headwater hoilday in the very near future.
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 Pearson on 24/09/2012
Most of the hotels we stayed in were located alongside the Camino de Santiago de Compostela itself but some involved long taxi rides to/from the route. The standard of accommodation varied from fairly basic (as at Santa Marina,Portomarin)to outstanding in the case of Rectoral de Lestedo.The quality of cuisine also varied considerably.
We made our own arrangements for staying 3 nights in Madrid before travelling to Leon and were very pleased with the 3 star Hotel Reyes de Catholica in the Latina district - just 180 Euros for the three nights for us both(double, en suite).
Unfortunately, we both suffered severe sickness and diorrhea on our night at O Muina de Pena and this affected the rest of our trip and made the journey home an uncomfortable one but this does not detract from the fact that we still enjoyed this holiday greatly (with temps above 30 degrees C almost every day)and we enjoyed too the company throughout the Camino of Paul & Susan Hicks from Melbourne, NSW, who also booked with Headwater.
By Mrs Reeves on 24/09/2012
Lovely hotel in rural part of Minorca away from busy resorts on coast. Walking not particularly strenuous except in the heat!
By Mr Sharp on 10/09/2012
This was a magical holiday which my wife and I will remember for a long time. It had all the igrediants which we had hpoed for; excellent cycling restaurants hotels beaches.
We have been on the northern Italy holiday and we will be booking again for next year.
Best holidys ever.
By Mrs Allen on 29/08/2012
A perfect combination of wonderful, scenic walks; superb hotels and amazing food! This was our fourth Headwater holiday and was as enjoyable as all the others. The holiday felt we were immersed in local life; it is a pattern we have noticed in all our Headwater holidays and is something we really enjoy and want to be part of.
By Mr Hides on 13/08/2012
A very good balance of challenging walks and pampering at the hotels. The very personal treatment and superb food at Palau Savadera was particularly welcome and appreciated.
The mix of hotel character was a positive feature of the holiday.
The rest days were important when it was very hot, during high season, but we liked the opportunity offered by the additional walks.
Even though we didn't meet our rep in person, he was very accessible and extremely helpful and friendly over the phone, supporting our day-to-day experience and also communicating with us very well over a problem (outside of his or Headwater's control) with the final taxi transfer on the last day.
By Mrs Cox on 13/08/2012
Overall I think this holiday would be best done at a slightly cooler time of the year. Whilst the distances do not seem particularly long they are when done in the high twenties/thirties and especially when you have children. Some of the towns we passed through were beautiful and it would have been nice to spend longer exploring them. As it was we were not getting to the hotel until 6/7 pm on moving on days. We would love to go back the area again perhaps not on bikes so that we could see more of the medieval villages. The two hotels Castell D'Emporda and Sa Punta were excellent and the food lovely. The children loved them too particularly the pool at Sa Punta. Worth the effort up the hills to get to them. Callela is a charming seaside town. Not at all what we expected on the Costa Brava. Alan was very helpful with tips on where to eat. The Barcelona extension was well worth it but longer needed as there is so much to do. Another great holiday!
By Mis Gow on 07/08/2012
We very much enjoyed our holiday on the Catalan Coastal walk. The scenery and the views were lovely. For us Cadaques was the real highlight both in terms of the town itself and one of the nicest hotels and certainly the cleanest in which I have ever stayed.
We did find a couple of the walks quite hard going especially in the heat and in particular some of the downhill sections but we aren't particularly experienced walkers and the more sensible would no doubt have avoided July and perhaps would have had a better understanding of the grading. Our rucksacks were mostly full of litres of water which added an extra challenge!
We had a most unfortunate experience in Niu de Sol which we raised with Alan at the time. Headwater had clearly been put in an unacceptable position by the hotel owner but they responded promptly both during the holiday and immediately on our return. Alan called us several times and travelled the 2 hours to Port de la Selva to take us to the station on our return to Barcelona. We also received a call as soon as we got back from Steven in Head office. We felt the response of Headwater was excellent and genuine ie no-one was just going through the motions
Alan's notes were astonishingly detailed though we did suggest the insertion of some extra distances between marks, but given the effort he has put in I feel a bit petty raising that.
By Mrs Evans on 28/07/2012
This is a beautiful part of Spain, with lots of interesting little villages to visit. All in all a very enjoyable holiday.
By Mrs Midgley on 23/07/2012
it was a great family holiday with the option of cycling every day or not so we felt that we were having a rest and getting some exercise and seeing parts of Emporda that we would not be aware of if we had been in a car.
The Castle had a great location but found the other clientel a bit stuffy and the pool on the small size for such a lovely hotel and in the dry heat a bigger splash and swim area would have been ideal.
The half board system was a bit frustrating as we saw lovely food been given to other guests which made us very jealous and there was a feel of being a bit of a different kind of client because of this at the Castel on the first night however the second night and different Maitre D we were able to choose a la carte for no extra cost!
By Mrs Baillie-smith on 11/07/2012
Had a fantastic time, cycling varied and very enjoyable
By Mrs Sidders on 11/07/2012
A good enjoyable holiday in a beautiful and varied area of Spain.
By Mrs Winter on 11/07/2012
A challenging, but enjoyable holiday. Well organised by Headwater
By Mrs Colquhoun on 07/07/2012
Very enjoyable and would like to try the longer route next time.
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.
By Ms Dadley on 07/07/2012
A lovely holiday and a different experience. Some inevitable variations in hotels - but some disappointments - see below
By Mrs Godsall on 30/06/2012
A great holiday in a lovely quiet part of Spain which lived up to all our expectations.
By Dr Vetter on 30/06/2012
Excellent overall; quite taxing, but worth it
By Mr Warburton on 30/06/2012
walk was not as attractive as anticipated and holiday was marred by travel problems on the homeward journey.
By Mr Woodgate on 30/06/2012
a marvellous,experience, great organisation, thank you, i miss the camino already
By Mr Mooney on 23/06/2012
Excellent, well researched, varied walking holiday---no negative points--not even a drop of rain!!!
By Mr Rogers on 23/06/2012
By Mrs Durham on 23/06/2012
Some hotels poor eg posada de Muriel. Also Muino de Pena a bit shambolic. No- one to serve breakfast until 10 mins past 8 when it should have been 8. Rectoral de Lestedo good in so many ways but the outside terrace needs attention - a bit scruffy and nowhere comfortable to sit eg dog and stain on bench with cushions. It was very cold at casa somoza - could have done with heating but their personal service and desire to serve you the food you wanted was excellent. Antonio at Marina also excellent in welcome and servie. tho it is out of town he took us to start of camino in the morning
By Dr Pearson on 23/06/2012
Damp and dank
Quality of accommodation left a lot to be desired and we drew the short straw on many occasions considering we paid an equal amount to others.
By Mr Jones on 16/06/2012
Apart from 3 days of rain and 1 day of food poisoning (restaurant recommended by previous headwater clients in cadaques) we had a lovely holiday.
By Ms Radford on 16/06/2012
Had a wonderful holiday with my husband!
By Mrs Meikle on 16/06/2012
We enjoyed the experience. The area was beautiful and we would like to visit again.
By Ms Swinburne on 11/06/2012
Really enjoyable, despite poor weather. The hotels and Alan did their best to help us work around the rain. Only complaint was the Barcelona/LLanca transfer.
By Mrs Peasgood on 11/06/2012
An enjoyable experience shared with many others.
By Mr Gilmour on 25/05/2012
Good walking, good food, good hotels - an all round great experience in an interesting area of Spain. Also, great variety in the walks each day within a relatively small region.
By Dr Heneghan on 25/05/2012
Wonderful- one of the best holidays we have had or are likely to have.
By Mr Tromans on 25/05/2012
Very relaxing & enjoyable
By Mrs Best on 19/05/2012
By Mrs Fuller on 19/05/2012
Absolutely brilliant, really excellent route notes and advise from your rep Alan.
By Mrs Hodkinson on 19/05/2012
Good walking, very friendly & helpful staff in a wonderful village. We didn't want to leave.
By Mr Mason on 19/05/2012
Excellent holiday. Some improvement required for walking route notes and driving instructions. A little vague at times. Walking distance a little inaccurate.
By Mr Sadler on 19/05/2012
Great walks with time left over to explore the lovely island. Enjoyed the hotel and its location.
By Mr Hart on 12/05/2012
We were blessed with a great crowd of fellow walkers who got on very well. A great holiday with lots of great walks and much laughter.
By Mr Plummer on 12/05/2012
We are experienced and regular travellers both in Europe and beyond.Although this was a short break it ranks with some of the very best holidays we have taken anywhere.The group we met were exceptional,we all hit the ground running and determined to get the most from the experience which in part was because of the arrangements made on our behalf and by the welcome we received as soon as we arrived at the finca.It was truly a marvelous experience. Thankyou all very much.
By Mrs Baker on 09/05/2012
Really great holiday.
By Mr Sedgwick on 05/05/2012
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.Headwater, as usual,provided good quality hotels in scenic locations. However, the Hostel de la Font and the Hotel Mas Pau were the stars for us.
By Dr Williams on 05/05/2012
We have thought carefully about the responses and have no hesitation of the designation of "excellent" in nearly all cases. This was an excellent holiday, great routes and hotels, with strong back-up and local support by Alan.
By Mr Darch on 05/05/2012
The holiday was very well organised, with pleasant places to stay.
By Mrs Turner on 05/05/2012
Really outstanding - the finca, the food, the care, the walks. Sue and Gordon take the utmost care to ensure that their guests have a perfect holiday. We cannot think of anything that could be improved upon.
By Mr Christer on 28/04/2012
An excellent holiday which surpassed our already high expectations. Two excellent hotels in the Sa Punta and Castell D'empordia and a lovely area to cycle in.
By Mr Grebbell on 28/04/2012
This was our 18th Headwater holiday and it was well up there with the very best of them !!
By Mrs Headley on 28/04/2012
Good range of walks in an interesting location. Great views! Caring family run hotel where most staff were very helpful.
By Mrs Hewitt on 21/04/2012
Brilliant, we had a great time. Excellent organisation. Thank you!
By Mr Goodare on 21/04/2012
A very relaxing time spent in lovely accommodation with great staff. The hospitality was superb; Sue and Gordon the perfect hosts.
By Mrs Robertshaw on 17/04/2012
We had agreat time, [particularly at Garachicco where the hotel was lovely and the walks especially the Masca Ridge were excellent.
By Mrs Tracy on 17/04/2012
A great holiday.
By Mrs Grundy on 17/04/2012
The walking experience was excellent. Our hosts/guides were superb.
By Mr Douglas on 17/04/2012
Very enjoyable, for a large part because the company of Dave & Sue Eaton plus our fellow guests was excellent
By Ms Weber on 17/04/2012
Absolutely wonderful, loved it. Great variety of walks, and the hotel was just lovely. Also Neil is a fantastic guide and his picnic lunches are legendary :-)
By Ms Cattersonsmith on 17/04/2012
Our group of 7 bonded immediately - haven't laughed so much for ages! Neil was a great guide and not too full on - just right in fact. A brilliant holiday.
By Mrs Constantine on 17/04/2012
we were sad to come home,this is the best holiday we have had,the hotel/food,the company,and neil,we have booked Portugal in july but i doubt it will live up to la Gomera
By Mrs Collins on 17/04/2012
I can't rate this highly enough: everything about this holiday once we had landed in Tenerife was wonderful and surpassed my expectations. The only small niggle was that the food that Thomson offer on their flights is horrible.
By Mr Pickard on 17/04/2012
no problems,well organised with excellent local guide
By Mr Ingram on 05/04/2012
Walking was more difficult than we expected. Harshish terrain and lack of distinguishing features meant that walk notes were vague on occasions and one or two walks extended without obvious benefit. But overall we enjoyed the week.
By Mrs Barker on 05/04/2012
We had a lovely time, thank you.
The food was the only slight disappointment as the portions were meagre and no choice was offered. Otherwise the hotel was excellent.
By Mr Odell on 05/04/2012
Great holiday .. good hotel .. excellent guide .. good selection of walks
By Dr McLean on 31/03/2012
Extremely well organised with additional extras that were not anticipated
By Mrs Edmonds on 26/03/2012
Good. It met our expectations.
By Mr Plumb on 26/03/2012
an excellent holiday, and the hotel staff very welcoming, clearly expecting us.
By Mr Spedding on 26/03/2012
Enjoyable: excellent accommodation and walking
By Mrs Partridge on 26/03/2012
Wonderful holiday. Excellent walking. Superb guide
By Mr Waller on 17/03/2012
By Mr Harper on 17/03/2012
Walking notes need updated in places, unfortunately I did not have a pen to take notes
By Ms Thomson on 17/03/2012
A very enjoyable walking holiday.
By Mr Wilkinson on 10/03/2012
excellent.long journey due to ferry times late arrival at hotel
By Mr Tunbridge on 10/03/2012
Very enjoyable and suited us both
By Mr Boyd on 10/03/2012
Very good. Neil is a knowledgeable guide and skilful at pacing the walks to the different abilities of his clients, to everyones benefit.
By Mr Thorne on 08/03/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and Neil looked after us very well!
By Mis Smith on 08/03/2012
The walks were well chosen, the secenery lovely, the food truly excellent. Neil was, as ever a great guide, paying attention to the walking capabilities and preferences of all the group members, being prepared to accomodate requests and doing his best to mitigate the long gaps between the flight and ferry connections. He is also knowledgeable and good company. The holiday was slightly marred by the fact that I was woken up regularly during the night by other guests in the room above and the hotel staff seemed unwilling to put any effort into trying to change the room until the last night.I would suggest Headwater might consider booking upstairs non-smoking rooms away from the stairwell in the Parador San Sebastian as this would have been much pleasanter and quieter. Also (as below) the Thomson charter flight was really unpleasant and I would not travel by this means again. These two small things slightly marred an otherwise excellent holiday.
By Mr Searles on 25/02/2012
Very enjoyable - a welcome break from the English winter with stunning views
By Mr Thomas on 25/02/2012
By Dr Worthy on 25/02/2012
David & Sue were fantastic hosts- made us all very welcome. The walks were stunning. The food was great. It is a very beautiful area and was lovely to explore it. Sue & David guided the walks really well and encouraged those who struggled a bit. They really made the holiday special. We loved it!
By Mr Barlow on 25/02/2012
Disappointing that many of the walks were too challenging for my wife. We had completed a 2 Boot holiday in tehh summer, so we believed we would be OK for this one.
By Mrs Kennett on 18/02/2012
Excellent guide. A little cold at night so warmer clothes need to be recommended
By Mrs Penrose on 11/02/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed it although were not able to take advantage of all the walks due to the comments in the next box: we had to use the local bus services for a few days before hiring a car.
By Mr Stevens on 11/02/2012
Extremely pleasant and well organised winter walking break.
By Mr Boyle on 10/02/2012
Just what we have come to expect from headwater over the years.
By Mr Butler on 10/02/2012
Excellent walking in very varied and interesting landscapes. The only downside was the amount of driving involved on tortuous roads.
By Dr Jones on 10/02/2012
Local guide really knowledgeable and provided superb picnics. Resort (Garachico) was also a very attractive and it was good to have a free day to explore the town
By Mr Shaw on 10/02/2012
Very enjoyable. Well thought out programme of walks with excellent input from Neil Flynn.
By Mr Anderson on 10/02/2012
Neil was a fantastic guide -- well informed, interested in people and generally helpful.
By Mr Williams on 27/01/2012
Very enjoyable, but some of the guidance notes need updating due to recent changes in road layout, new signing on paths etc, repainting of buildings a different colour!
By Mr Hindmarch on 21/01/2012
Superb, our guide, Neale, paced the walks very well. Was encouraging to member who found last walk demanding. hotel superb.
By Mrs Ault on 21/01/2012
Just what we needed!
By Mrs Crawford on 00/00/0000
Wonderful, quiet cycle routes through stunning countryside and coastal villages. Catalonians were extremely friendly and welcoming and the whole area was clean and well maintained.
By Mr Ezra on 00/00/0000
The Catalan Coastal Walk holiday was really good, with interesting walks, stunning scenery, pleasant accommodation and great food. We would certainly return to a couple of the destinations we visited on the way. The walking was not too onerous and we were normally quicker than the expected time to be taken, even without rushing. The hotels were all welcoming and comfortable, with a discernible rising in quality of accommodation from one location to the next. The taxi arrangements were superb, with our driver, Fransisco, always early, cheerful and helpful. However, there are always some bug-bears, but these are merely small tweaks that could have made our personal experience better. Mainly, the notes were not to our taste and often needed re-reading, others may find differently. Also the location of the first and last night's accommodation, although nice enough, seems to be at odds with the holiday's overall description of 'coastal'.
Dear Mr Ezra,
Thank you for taking the time to write in with your post-holiday feedback. It was great to read you had an enjoyable holiday overall. We were however sorry to read, that you found issues with some of the route notes. Please be assured we check all of the routes and notes seasonally. We will keep your feedback in mind when we do our next update. In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater for your summer holiday; we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Tagger on 00/00/0000
We enjoyed the holiday. The variety was v good. Medina Sedona was poor location poor restaurants and poor hotel. Suggest find another venue. Access to beaches was nice change to cycling. Some routes were boring and occasionally v busy.
The worst point was the poor quality bikes. Marita kept pointing out that everything worked . This was not true. But as I said too her - everything worked on my grand mothers bike but I would not care to travel across Spain on it.
Shame about bikes as it is the one point that would stop me going on another of your holidays
On a brighter point transfers and luggage movement was excellent !
Also maritas help in getting back some left clothes was v good and thanks to her for that.
Find another hotel in Cadiz . Apart general points already expressed electrics in the room were not up to E U HEATHY AND SAFETY in my opinion.I would definitely have this check out if I was your company - 3 black outs in 1 night plus arrangement of balcony quite dangerous
Dear Mr Tagger, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback. It was lovely to see you enjoyed your holiday overall. We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with the bikes provided. Ordinarily, we have received positive feedback in this area, however, please be assured that we realise we cannot afford to let our standards slip, so with this in mind, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive and work closely with our suppliers to ensure they are providing the high quality products and service our customers expect. We were also sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with the hotel in Cadiz, since receiving your concerning feedback regarding the electrics tripping in your room, we have investigated this with the hotel owners, our local agent and the electricity board. They advised us of a maintenance issue that occurred on the 21st, which caused sporadic power outages throughout the town. As reported in the local press. This fault has since been resolved; and no further feedback received on this issue. In closing, we would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for your constructive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service Team
By Mrs Fernley on 00/00/0000
Cycling, location, accommodation and especially food were of a very high standard. Local reps were very attentive, and the postcard we received from them before the holiday with their phone number was a nice touch. We travelled from a 'non-standard' airport, and arranging this and transfers through Headwater was more difficult than we expected.
By Mr Taylor on 00/00/0000
We had a fantastic week cycling in Catalunya, food, wine and people were great.
By Mrs McCorriston on 00/00/0000
Good food wine and scenery for those who want a break from it all
By Mrs Feaviour on 00/00/0000
It was ideal for us. Lots of bird life so husband a happy chap, lovely cycling area so wife is happy!
By Mr Doublet on 00/00/0000
'This is a wonderful holiday for couples looking to visit an unspoilt region of Spain. Although the location was remote it proved great walking with varied scenery. The hotelier, Miguel was extremely helpful and provided daily information regarding the walks and places to visit in the area. Overall we would definitely recommend this holiday'
By Mrs Watson on 00/00/0000
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire set-up of this holiday. Our companions in the group were friendly and good company. The walk was spectacular with some of the more boring bits done by vehicular transfer. We were also extremely luck with the weather, it only rained once for 5 minutes! We felt a real sense of achievement when we arrived in Santiago de Compostella.
By Mrs Ross on 00/00/0000
Beautiful location of hotel - truly rural. Lovely swimming pool area. The lounge and bar area were comfy and inviting. Our room (junior suite) was very good.The walks were varied and all enjoyable. Wildlife was abundant. October was a great time to go as the crowds had gone and we had excellent weather.
By Mr Orlik on 00/00/0000
This was our first visit toSpain. It as well organised by Headwater, the arrangments worked perfectly and we would like to go again.