Customer reviews: Cycling 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 cycling 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 cycling 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 cycling 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 Collins on 27/01/2017
Andalucia has a lot to offer. The cycling aspect of the holiday was not as enjoyable as previous trips we have done with you. Time of year is most certainly part of the equation. The hotels you chose were pleasant enough but didn't quite have the wow factor we have become accustomed to from previous t
The climbs to Arcos and Vejer were very taxing at the end of the day though that has nothing to do with you. The route notes leave a lot to be desired and as soon as you go off road, there is not enough detail and it is quite easy to go wrong. Even the miles meter supplied with one bike was inaccurate, so we really didn't have great confidence in relying on the notes and the maps you supply are awful. We had to resort mostly to. Barry's iPad. All the towns were great
By Dr Tysseling on 11/01/2017
On the whole the holiday was a very good experience, and as our second holiday with Headwater , didn't disappoint.
There were just 2 negatives I would like to highlight.
The Breakfast at La Vista Medina was very disappointing (although the evening meal was very tasty.)
On the second day of cycling I believe there was an error in the cycle notes. Consequently we unwittingly added 13km of muddy, sandy and generally difficult terrain to our trip, which ended up with us back where we started. It says at one point 'go left at the fork by white house with grey bottom' I think it should have said (DONT go left at the fork by white house with grey bottom!' If we had continued straight ahead (which we did after our detour) the rest of the directions then were exactly appropriate.
The rest of the route notes on all other days, and before and after this appeared clear and easy to follow. I assume there was a typo in transcription ?!
Dear Dr Tysseling,
Thank you for taking the time to provide your post-holiday feedback.
It was great to read you enjoyed your holiday overall.
We were however sorry to read of the issues you encountered with the route notes on day 2. Since receiving your feedback, the route notes have been checked and updated as required. We would like to thank you for pointing out this error and apologise for the inconvenience this caused you. We were also sorry to hear of your disappointment with the breakfast served at La Vista Medina. We will continue to work with our suppliers to ensure they deliver the high standards of service and accommodation we expect.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater this winter and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer service team
By Mr Riley on 06/12/2016
We now realise that the weather in Andalucia is fickle at this time of year. Off road cycling on tracks was never an option because of earlier rain in the area and the major storm we encountered.
However we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the beautiful countryside, meeting local people and enjoyed eating local food and drinking gorgeous wine. Thank you.
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 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 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 Ms Grybaite on 22/11/2016
Nothing compares to an active holiday, exploring local culture at your own pace!
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 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 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 O'Sullivan on 14/09/2016
excellent. very informative guides and route plans with excellent accommodation provided
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Mr May on 20/10/2014
Everyday is an adventure with a luxury start and finish.
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 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 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 Mr Blain on 24/09/2014
A way of combiningexercise with comfort and an opportunity to see a region of a country
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Bolton on 18/06/2013
A very enjoyable holiday staying in excellent hotels.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Colquhoun on 07/07/2012
Very enjoyable and would like to try the longer route next time.
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 Ms Radford on 16/06/2012
Had a wonderful holiday with my husband!
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 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 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 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!