Customer reviews: Holidays in Tuscany
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 Mr Lomax on 07/12/2016
A wonderful holiday in a beautiful region of Italy. The walks were challenging and the guide notes very occasionally confusing or inaccurate but we got through! The hotel was lovely and very comfortable, the owner Ercole was helpful and kind. Two small gripes! Each night at dinner we were asked if we want mineral water but we were not advised that it cost â‚¬3 a bottle until the end of the holiday. A small thing but it would have been nice to know. Also, the picnic lunch was a little disappointing. I would have expected a small bottle of water and perhaps some chocolate or biscuit but then then breakfast and dinner were extremely substantial.
By Lor Butler on 29/11/2016
Headwater had found an excellent base in a lovely region of Italy and the walks were just right for us
By Mr Glass on 09/11/2016
The key to this successful holiday was the welcome and hospitality and helfulness of staff at Acquaviva. And the fact that we were travelling with two other couples and good friends. So planning each day and experimenting with walks and different trip was great fun.
By Ms Elliott on 31/10/2016
This was a really terrific week. We were lucky in that the weather was absolutely perfect - no rain (until we were on the plane out!), 25C days, constant sunshine. The base, Villa Acquaviva, is just beautiful, surrounded by its own vineyards and a fine garden dotted with fruit trees. Our room was in the villa, was spacious enough and had a nice view back towards Montemerano. The food was outstanding. At dinner there's a wide choice for you three courses and we tried most of the options. The food is mostly locally sourced, really fresh and the cooking is first rate. They only sell the wines they themselves make, but they too were very good. Breakfast was also excellent, though you won't find a full English on offer. The staff were charming and helpful, and very quick to sort out a couple of minor glitches (safe batteries, hot water, wifi)
The walking was nicely varied, with plenty of options. There's a bit more on offer than you can easily cover in a week, and we didn't get to the Maremma walk.
The others ranged from fairly short and easy (Vitozza and Vulci) to fairly strenuous (Sorano, Argentaria). Argentaria in particular was, as advertised, quite a big hike. The notes were highly reliable, and there's quite a lot of Etruscan history as a bonus. There's a certain amount of driving involved, some of it on winding roads, but the scenery is lovely, and we didn't find it too onerous.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
By Mr Bulmer on 31/10/2016
Elizabetta is an outstanding leader and this holiday fully lived up to the description given to us by the Headwater office. It was an interesting and varied combination of walking and sightseeing in at least six towns, there were good walks on several days which on the whole were pleasant , and the use of the van was of key importance in providing this variety. In many ways it was unique and difficult to reproduce with a different leader. The CinqTerra walk at the start of the holiday was more challenging than we expected, with a long and very steep descent, but Elisabetta helped us get through it.
By Mr Craig on 31/10/2016
Our guide was outstanding and helped to make the holiday memorable, but note she will no longer be the guide for this holiday next year.
By Mrs McGill on 13/10/2016
In general the holiday was very good, no complaints. What made the holiday for us was Elisabetta, the guide. She was energetic, informative, great fun and nothing was too much trouble. If I was Headwater I would give her a pay rise and hang onto her for dear life. Ann McGill
By Ms Evans on 04/10/2016
Tuscany for connessesours puts us in the heart of the southern Tuscany countryside and the family-run, well-appointed hotel (excellent service and food) was set amongst sweeping vineyards and cornfields. The walking notes provided never let us down and afforded the best views and experiences of the area.
By Mrs Walker on 16/08/2016
The scenery was quite spectacular. The footpaths were quiet and on most days we did not see a sole whilst walking. I was disappointed not to see more villages, We did walk from Marradi but the start of the walk was on the outskirts so we were unable to have a walk around the town. Our guild did arrange for us to visit Ravenna on the Wednesday by bus and train, we enjoyed the visit and were happy to have a break from the walks for a day. The hotel was good, our bedroom had just been decorated and refurbished. Ercole and Roberta were very friendly and went out of their way for us. Ercole invited me into the kitchen to watch him and his chef cook, which was a lovely extra touch. James the Guide lived close to the hotel so we saw him everyday.
By Ms Culshaw on 21/07/2016
An excellent holiday. The small group size meant it felt very much like a private guided holiday but with the advantage of company.
By Mr Cooper on 06/07/2016
A lovely green area, with super footpaths and great views within natural unspoilt countryside
By Mrs Conaghan on 29/06/2016
This was a good mix of hiking and city . We enjoyed the beautiful Tuscan countryside and the guided tours of the wonderful cities of Florence and Sienna. The tour guide was helpful and completely knowledgeable. We also had a lot of fun!
By Mr Johnson on 28/06/2016
The holiday delivered everything we were hoping for and more. This was mainly due to the excellent tour leader, who went above and beyond the call of duty. As expected, she was very knowledgeable with regard to the actual locations and the walks, but she was also very helpful in her suggestions for places to eat, as not so many meals were included on this particular holiday. She is one of the best tour guides we have encountered and her sense of humour added to the enjoyment of the whole group.
By Mrs Officer on 07/06/2016
Excellent holiday all round. Information provided in the brochure was accurate. Headwater team very helpful and efficient in booking and administering the holiday.
By Mrs Morgan on 06/06/2016
Southern Tuscany is beautiful and the food fabulous. Villa Acquaviva is a beautiful place to stay with much of its produce organically home grown.
By Mrs Jackson on 26/05/2016
This was a well designed holiday with a good balance of walking and sightseeing . The group size was just right.
I doubt we could have had a better leader. Elisabetta was a delight to be with. She was charming, witty, knowledgeable , interesting and keen to ensure we were involved in decision making wherever it was possible . Her recommendations for places to eat were excellent.
By Mr Poole on 04/12/2015
Hidden Tuscany is in an interesting, quiet area. It is necessary to travel significant distances to get the best out of the holiday and the area, as is probably true of Western Europe in general, will be at its best in Spring/Early Summer.
By Mr Grant on 04/11/2015
An excellent mix of walking ( none of which is too taxing at least in the cooler October weather ) and sightseeing . The trip will give a good exposure to several of the main must see places in Tuscany. and also shows some of those places less visited by tourists. We were very fortunate in having a great guide in Elizabetta . It was perhaps a mark of how good she is that she was warmly welcomed in each new place we visited . My main tip for future travelers is to go to the Uffizi as early as you can as it can be crowded . Booking in advance is to be recommended and it is best to phone ( you go through the options by pushing the telephone key pad - it is all in English and then you have a very brief discussion with an English speaking member of staff . The advantage is that you will get a wider availability of times to visit than you do booking online and some people according to tripadvisor don`t get their confirmation email ( TripAdvisor has a section on booking for the Uffizi which is v helpful ) . You can book up once you are in Florence for the next day if you go late in the afternoon the day before ( a couple of people did this and got early slots ) but i don`t know how many slots will be available for those going along the day before and many people will want to see the Uffizi and may not want to wait and see if they can get in and when . The last thing you want to do is to queue up on the day - people were being told it would be a 2 hour wait to get in at 10am on the Saturday we were there !!!
By Mrs Beddow on 26/10/2015
The travel arrangements were good. The information supplied for the walks and local places of interest was very good. The directions to the hotel were clear.
The hotel was in a lovely location and it was family run. It was very clean. There was no bar and no refreshment facilities in the form of a bar or restaurant available during the day, but if asked for specific items, staff would provide drinks and snacks and it was possible for guests to make their own hot drinks at any time.
The dinner menu was varied and the standard of food in the restaurant in the evening was excellent.
By Ms Bevan on 26/10/2015
A busy holiday but a great introduction to Tuscany and the Cinque Terra. The mixture of sightseeing and walking was what I wanted and left me feeling I'd like to return to see more of the region in the future. We were a full group of 8 from diverse backgrounds and locations but we gelled well. Much of the success of our trip was due to our guide Elisabetta, who was wonderful throughout - from her excellent driving skills to the endless humour and patience she showed guiding us through menus and sharing her invaluable local knowledge! Our official city guides in Florence and Siena were also excellent and gave us interesting and thorough introductions to their cities.
By Mrs Copeland on 22/10/2015
Excellent our escort Elizbetta was wonderful she made our holiday helpful witty charming
By Mrs Steggles on 20/10/2015
Overall we enjoyed our holiday - it was an extremely peaceful location and the service at the hotel was always excellent and friendly. We have a few suggestions for improvements, mostly on the food side. Breakfasts were a bit disappointing - few healthy options available and limited choice. The evening meals in the restaurant were of a high standard and again the service was excellent. The only slight downside from our perspective was that we thought there might have been a different fixed (market) menu every day instead of a standard restaurant menu which offered only limited daily specials (and not every day). Over the course of a week we found ourselves struggling for choice a bit and often had to repeat meals or ask the chef to omit certain ingredients (which they were happy to accommodate) to find something we liked. This is really only an issue if you are staying for a longer period or are less fond of a what was a predominantly meat-based menu.
I would also highly recommend upgrading the hire car as we had a very basic Fiat Panda with an underpowered engine which struggled on the numerous hills and hairpin bends - definitely worth considering an upgrade.
By Mr Cunningham on 12/10/2015
I reckon a good deal of planning and research has gone into preparing this holiday. It was a perfect balance of walking, sightseeing and doing what you wanted to do. It was also flexible enough to be able to change plans on one occasion to take in an unexpected, extra trip. Tuscany is my favourite holiday destination, so it would be difficult for me not to enjoy myself, but the incomparable Elisabetta Piseddu, our guide, took my enjoyment to another level. I really enjoyed her company. Among her many accomplishments - apart form managing a disparate gang of Aussies, Yanks and a lone Brit - was to knock up a classic vinaigrette salad dressing during one of our lunches that would have added Â£10 to a UK restaurant bill. And our immaculate guides in Sienna and Florence, whose names unforgivably I haven't noted, were passionate and entertaining. Always an attractive mixture. Passionate and entertaining. What more could I want? Grazie mille, Elisabetta.
By Mrs Williams on 08/10/2015
We had a wonderful stay in Hotel Acquaviva. The location is beautiful and the hotel is within reasonable walking distance of the nearest village, Montemerano, as well as the thermal springs and village at Saturnia. There are many other ancient villages and historical sites within 1 to 1.5 hours drive, along winding but un-busy roads. The coast is well worth a visit, as is the truly beautiful city of Orvieto. Our holiday was a wonderful introduction to the beauty of Southern Tuscany.
By Mrs Potts on 29/09/2015
Excellent walking , wonderful food and welcoming host
By Mr Murison on 25/09/2015
The undiscovered Tuscany walks were very enjoyable and the Locanda Senio in Palazzuolo was superb with a wonderful atmosphere created by Ercole and superb food created by Roberta. We'd love to return!
By Mr Harrison on 21/09/2015
Undiscovered Tuscany, was as it says, undiscovered and unspoilt. The walks each day showed a different aspect of the local hills and valleys of this region. The food and wine were unbeatable. The hospitality of the hotelier Ercole and staff was excellent.
By Mis Davis on 15/09/2015
Brilliant all we wanted
By Ms Read on 04/09/2015
Really enjoyed the location, and the food etc at Locando Senio.
We very much appreciated the catering for our strict vegetarian diet. They took it very seriously and offered a good range of veggie food.
Walking notes were good, and it was a pleasure to relax into the whole few days of walking with confidence in the notes.
Liked hotel touring very much. Clean and very central to Bologna. Helpful staff.
By Mrs Taverner on 17/08/2015
Lovely location with excellent walks. Plenty of shade so, although 35 degrees in the first week of August, not too hot to walk (just). Not at all touristy ðŸ˜„Breakfast was a bit of a let down but the evening (all vegetarian) meals were very nice.... although my husband was craving a burger by the middle of the week! No courses were repeated during the week and the food freshly prepared and well presented. We enjoyed the pasta making demonstration. Do check your bill on leaving - an extra bottle of wine had mysteriously appeared on ours.
By Ms Halliday on 13/08/2015
Very relaxing holiday. Loved Maremma, interesting and varied walks, stunning unspoilt locations. Villa Aqua Viva was set in beautiful gardens surrounded by picturesque countryside, elegantly furnished and impeccably clean. Wonderful views from the swimming pool and the restaraunt. Staff were friendly and helpful. Was a little disappointed by the food. Some dishes were delicious but others were poor. Shower cubicle in deluxe room was tiny and the other room, although comfortable, did not meet the advertised deluxe criteria. 5 hour delay and missing connection marred return journey. Treated poorly by BA staff at Rome airport, lots of queuing and no information about where we would spend the night or new flight times. When we arrived at Heathrow, BA staff there had booked us into a hotel and booked new flights but there was no consultation about flight times. We arrived home very tired as we did not get to hotel until 12.45 am and were up again at 5.45 am to get an early connecting flight.
By Mr Burke on 12/08/2015
Our location was excellent and we were well looked after but your currency pricing policy for Euro residents is unfair and uncompetitive. I estimate it doubled the cost of our holiday.
By Mrs Hart on 12/08/2015
We had a simply brilliant and superbly relaxing week at Locanda Senio. Everything about the hotel was faultless (great vegetarian food, friendly and helpful people, and a gorgeous location). It is perfectly possible to enjoy a break here without doing any serious walking and whether you want to hike 20km+ each day or just potter around the village and environs you should find something to suit!
The travel arrangements also worked seamlessly.
By Ms Toward on 30/07/2015
Enjoyed the holiday. Not many tourists in the area- good.
Quiet and relaxing. Very much left to your own devices.
By Mrs Priest on 16/07/2015
Elizebtta helps make Italy magical, she looks after you and helps you get the most out of your holiday. The places visited, the food and the people you meet are excellent.
By Ms Allison on 10/07/2015
I feel that the room we were offered was definitely not delux. We paid an extra Â£54 per night for a room that I would struggle to call standard. You could hardly move in the shower as the cubicle was so small. We took a cross country skiing holiday with Headwater a couple of years ago in Dobbiaco and the room we had was far superior and we had no extra money to pay. I was really disappointed. The hotel we stayed at was in an amazing setting. The food was good but I am vegetarian and had to have the same thing 3 times as there aren't that many alternatives.
By Dr Patel on 07/07/2015
A tranquil location with panoramic scenery in the heart of rural Tuscany that is an excellent hub for some beautiful hikes. Deserted trails and an opportunity to walk back in time along Etruscan trails, vie cave, tombs and grottos. The hedgerows and fields are abundant with wild flowers under clear blue skies. Vivid images of the familiar profile of hilltop hamlets with their red tiles and iconic church towers and valleys green with vines and Cyprus trees will provide happy memories for years to come.
By Mr Duggleby on 05/06/2015
An excellent walking holiday in an undiscovered and little known part of Italy.The village of Palazzuolo is a delight and the hotel wonderful.Walks are fairly tough and you need to be prepared. Walking poles were essential.
By Mr Dane on 29/05/2015
We were lucky with the weather. This area of Tuscany is a delight, unspoilt with hardly a tourist insight. The walks took us through some spectacular scenery and the route directions ( apart from those from the airport) were accurate and easy to follow.
By Mr Braide on 20/05/2015
Well organised trip, excellent guides and friendly group. Lots of interesting activities and enough space to go our own way from time to time.
By Mrs Barnes on 17/10/2014
Walks were fairly strenuous but scenery magnificent - lovely unspoilt village - excellent food.
By Mrs Butler on 10/10/2014
An excellent holiday which gave us a wonderful introduction to Tuscany. Great combination of sightseeing and walking. Elisabetta is a real asset and looked after us all well. We particularly enjoyed the meals she organised and our group of 8 gelled well. The Puccini concert in Lucca followed by our group meal in a slightly alternative restaurant was one of the highlights.
By Mrs Ames on 07/10/2014
The hotel was excellent - food wonderful, service could not have been better and a great location. The walks were interesting and varied with the advantage of being able to do longer or shorter versions. This is our third holiday with Headwater and we can highly recommend the company. If there is a choice we would suggest flying to Rome rather than Pisa as we found it a long drive (3 hours) after already travelling to gatwick and flight to Pisa.
By Dr Kipps on 25/09/2014
Very good overall.
Would like Headwater to provide interesting holidays for their aged faithful customers ... we have had about 12 holidays with you, but are now feeling that we can no longer do strenuous walking.
By Mr Shaw on 16/09/2014
Magnificent walking in the Dolomites, with very good local transport links. Tuscan walking an enjoyable contrast, gentler and relaxing.
By Mr Alderman on 28/08/2014
Overall very good holiday but off to a bad start waiting for hire car. 2 hours was an unacceptable time to have to wait without any pre warning that this could be a problem.
Dear Mr Alderman,
Thank you for your feedback; it was a pleasure to read you had an enjoyable holiday. I am sure you have brought back some great memories to treasure.
We were sorry to read of your longer than expected wait to collect your hire car. We have passed on your feedback to Europcar.
We will also add a note to our know before you go booklet, to advise of the longer than average waits which may apply during the busy summer periods, thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Headwater Customer Service
By Ms Wenner on 15/08/2014
As we ended up being only 2 plus our Guide Paola it was a different and interesting experience. I think that both I and my fellow traveller would praise Paola to the hilt! She made the holiday really with her enduring patience, humour, fun, real ness!, openness, her suggestions for activities, her flexibility, her absolute care for us and our well being, her helpfulness. All in all she was terrific!! Also my Italian has improved hugely!!
I think again that I and my fellow traveller would say, as we did discuss this, that there are too many hotel changes. I believe the time in Florence could be left out especially in mid August as it is so hot and full of other tourists! More time in Cinque Terre would be great so either a hotel in the Cinque Terre or more time in La Spezia? The La Spezia hotel was excellent. So more time by the sea and possibly extra night/s in Sienna or Lucca rather than Florence.
For me personally more walking would be fantastic. I totally loved the Via Francigena walk and possibly another day on it would be good or another, similar longer days walk elsewhere.
Overall however a really fabulous holiday so well managed by our guide as just having 2 people could be tricky but Paola was incredibly sensitive and my fellow traveller and I got on well so all was good!
By Mr Eagles on 11/08/2014
The Villa Aquavivia was a beautifully designed and comfortable hotel; our room was furnished with Tuscan furniture with a view of Montemerano; it was spotlessly clean and the air conditioning was quiet and efficient. The garden is gorgeous and melts naturally into the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. The restaurant is in a converted barn next to the pool; it has panoramic views of the country side, is air conditioned and midge free (and child free!); the menu had both Tuscan and Maremma dishes â€“ we had difficulty choosing!
Our hire car, a Fiat Panda, had the centre of gravity of an Argentinian footballer and the gripping power of a Gecko, so spinning around the quite roads visiting the local hill top towns was easy.
The â€˜Connoisseurs Tuscanyâ€™ Booklet was informative, and the walking notes contained lots of interesting historical cultural information. We enjoyed the local walks and had a day out to Orvieto and its stunning cathedral. If you want to go to Mass in Montemerano, follow Fabrizioâ€™s Way walking notes to Chiesa di San Giorgio (by the northern archway): Saturday at 18.30 or Sunday 11.45.
If you like domestic and ecclesiastical architecture, really good food and wine, and just enjoy being in Tuscany, you will enjoy this holiday.
By Mr Moss on 23/07/2014
Really excellent. Do think that the first walk was more than two boots. The narratives seemed to have been written by different people sometimes. One would give specific distances whilst another would tell you you'd 'soon' come across the next landmark.
By Mrs Compton on 08/07/2014
We have been on many Headwater Holidays and this was one of the best. A wonderful mix of walking and sight seeing. We experienced great walks, breathtaking views, and the history and culture of beautiful cities. Our guide, Elisabetta Piseddu, contributed greatly to our enjoyment of all this. Her knowledge, organisation, driving and friendliness were exceptional. - this women is an absolute princess! Look forward to seeing her on future Headwater Holidays.
By Mrs Lynch on 03/07/2014
This is a good mix of sightseeing and walking (but see below). Our guide, Elisabetta Piseddu, was exceptional. Her local knowledge and expertise contributed substantially to our enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mrs Cosford on 02/07/2014
Very enjoyable overall. Excellent guide , very informative about the country which was interesting. Hotels varied a lot - some good , one excellent and one not so good . Being only 4 of us in the group was too small - better with more numbers for variety.
By Mr Mason on 28/06/2014
Very leisurely walking combined with varied cultural sightseeing opportunities. A very beautiful part of Tuscany away from the hoards of tourists. Very enjoyable.
Villa Acquaviva is a wonderful place to stay. Very relaxing. Fabrizio and his team were very attentive and helpful at all times. Good vegetarian food options available.
An extremely well- organised holiday by Headwater.
By Mr Pantridge on 24/06/2014
Well up to our expectations. The provision of a car was a necessity, given the varied locations of the daily walks, and allowed the schedule to be varied according to weather, and personal inclination. The hotel itself was a haven of hospitality and comfort in a peaceful part of Tuscany, with obliging staff and a good standard of facilities.
By Ms Stearn on 23/06/2014
Having travelled and holidayed with headwater before we were pleased with this Holiday in Italy in Palazzuolo. This was a one centre holiday with very good food and friendly staff, and loved the 2 dogs. We found the walks very challenging particularly in the heat (beginning of June).
It is a very quiet village so in the evening once you have had the evening meal there isn't anything to do. Although there is a local bus service to Maradi (the local train station) it is not vey frequent. Would recommend hiring a car in future for this holiday.
By Mrs Van praag on 22/06/2014
Very enjoyable and relaxing. Lived upto expectations
By Mrs Campbell-kelly on 17/06/2014
This was an absolutely fanastic holiday - it did everything it said on the tin and more. The guide was second to none, she was amazing, from picking us up at Pisa to dropping us off again. Se made it all special by taking us to local restaraunts and haunts, places we would never have found ourselves. Her attention to detail was brilliant be it driving the mini bus or in sourcing really good guides in Florence and Siena. We really liked her!
By Mr Curwen on 05/06/2014
The holiday at Aquaviva was wonderful, the facilities offered there are excellent. There's lots to do - breathtakingly beautiful walks through varied terrain and fascinating historical sites to visit. There's also plenty of wildlife in the area. We were serenaded by scops owls each eveing and saw fireflies for the first time - a magical experience.
By Mr Potter on 03/06/2014
Having a trip manager native to the country, who also lives in London and understands her guests, really made the trip. Elisabetta's enthusiasm, knowledge of local food and wine specialities, and recommendations on genuine, non-touristy places to see and experience (especially restaurants), were outstanding.
By Mr Palmer on 03/06/2014
Very enjoyable and varied introduction to Tuscany.
By Mrs Hughes on 29/05/2014
Stunning hotel and food in a little known part of Tuscany with fascinating range of walking/history/scenery/towns/coast.
By Mr Crozier on 22/05/2014
Excellent holiday which was well designed and lead by a truly exceptional local rep/leader/driver! Travel distances not too great and well driven. The location of the hotels were all excellent and in very pleasant towns and locations. The sightseeing was varied and most interesting as was the walking which was interesting and scenic although somewhat limited due to the time available. The local restaurants were very good and our guide had already discovered some excellent venues for lunch and/ or dinner where she was usually well known. This made a big difference and increased our enjoyment. The group of 6 was ideal and everyone pulled together well with the encouragement and help of the guide.
By Mrs Dodds on 21/05/2014
I enjoyed the variety of this holiday, beautiful walks and interesting cities, but above all, it was our tour leader who made the holiday such a success. She was knowledgable, considerate and fun to be with.
By Mr Lacey on 03/10/2013
Very good food in a welcoming hotel in a lovely location with interesting walks.
By Mr Bennett on 02/10/2013
This is a beautiful area and we loved it! Our experience was greatly enhanced by the hotel and particularly the hotel staff who were always most friendly and helpful. The food was excellent, the best we have enjoyed over a number of Headwater holidays.
By Mr Eamer on 01/10/2013
Pleased with the way Headwater arranged the holiday to our personal requirements at short notice.
By Mrs Ketteringham on 30/09/2013
All the arrangements worked well, even driving from Rome as the directions were faultless. The walks were paced just right for us and the food at the hotel was excellent.
By Ms Bolter on 04/09/2013
A very varied and interesting holiday, with beautiful scenery, fascinating local towns, good guided walks and plenty of opportunities for shopping, discovering history and looking at Italian architecture. Wide range of places to eat and chances to explore on one's own - if wished.
By Mr Broughall on 28/08/2013
A relaxing weeks walking in quiet and beautiful scenery with guaranteed excellent food and service every day.
By Ms Drabble on 04/08/2013
Our guide was fantastic and really made the holiday. Excellent itinerary which managed to cram a huge range of experiences into 10 days. The first walk was rather more challenging than I expected but that was probably partly due to the heat. The accommodation was generally good but the single rooms at La Spezia and Lucca were very small and dark. They would not have represented good value if the single room supplement had been applied to them
By Mis McAfee on 24/07/2013
This holiday is a wonderful blend of the cultural highlights of Tuscany with opportunities to explore the beautiful countryside.
By Mr Gagnon on 22/07/2013
First time with Headwater, first time on a walking holiday. Tuscany was great. One the best holidays we've had and will cetainly book again.
By Ms Peters on 22/07/2013
good for a first time walking holiday as the walks are easy with optional extra sections if you feel like it, plus you'll have a car
scenery in the region is lovely, it's quiet compared with Northern Tuscany
all the family and staff at Villa Acquaviva are genuinely friendly and welcoming, plus the food and wine there are outstanding
By Mis McWilliam on 19/07/2013
accommodation, food and service exceeded our expectation. Using Headwater makes planning a lot easier
By Mrs Hancock on 17/07/2013
We would recommend this area of Italy .It's such a shame that the hotel was so quiet . The wild flowers and butterflies are amazing . It was very easy to get to Florence by train . Ercole and Roberta made us so welcome and Sissi ,the dog , is a star in her own right .During the week we only met one other couple on our walks .You have to be confident about navigation but apart from a few things the notes were good .All the food was home made and organic -not for those on a diet.
By Ms Butler on 22/06/2013
Unfortunately I'm a single traveller and the rooms were pretty poor, particularly in Florence, relative to the cost of the holiday. I realise that using traditional hotels, which I like, often means that single rooms are disappointing. However I do feel that this should be reflected in the charges applied....after all there is a hefty single supplement to pay.
By Ms Jones on 30/05/2013
Heavy rain in Nov 2012 has caused a lot of damage to some of the trails - Pitigliano optional return 3A impassable due to a landslide - Maremma Park A2 has been re-routed (shortened & less varied) - Strolling to Saturnia track taped off to stop vehicles, passable on foot - Sorano, Via Cava di San Rocco officially closed - Monte Argentario, suggested driving tour of island not advisable due to a large section of dirt road south of Porto Ercole.
La Cascia restaurant in Montemerano changed ownership in March - menu only in Italian, no English spoken, quality of food a poor substitute for Villa Acquaviva.
Route notes could include directions to the free Saturnia thermal river cascade.
By Mr Balaam on 22/05/2013
We had a great week, the weather certainly helped us to make the most of our stay in Tuscany.
By Mr Cannon on 16/05/2013
We enjoyed our stay with Ercole and Roberta at Locanda Senio where the food and wine was excellent. We completed all the walks except for day 5 when instead we walked halfway up the road to Lozzle. On day 2 in a heavy thunderstorm we failed to turn back at the slabs to cross the ridge down to the Piane valley and continued on the ridge for a much longer walk mainly due to protecting papers from rain. On day 3 we turn off the ridge early at the Eco village Campanara due to not reading clear instructions. On day 4 we continued straight down past the front gate at Gruffieto instead of turning left due to not reading clear instructions and climbed over a large tree trunk to rejoin the walk later on the ridge.
By Mrs Sutherland on 24/04/2013
This is a lovely and relaxing holiday with no strenuous walking. You do have to drive to all but two of the walks, but we found this a lovely way of seeing more of the area and we really enjoyed exploring the delightful hilltop towns. As you don't move on, you have the flexibility of choosing what to do when. The accommodation (we had an upgrade with balcony looking over the vineyards towards Montemerano), food and wine are all excellent and the family and their staff very warm, friendly and knowledgeable of the area.
By Mr Baxter on 06/10/2012
Whilst this holiday was good, comfortable and up to expectations, it was not as exciting as our previous trips with you on the Amalfi Coast or in the Mont Blanc Foothills. However, the Tuscan countryside and the nature, quality and location of the hotel were first class.
By Mrs Wakeham on 13/09/2012
The hotel was superb: accommodation,food & staff. The instructions from Headwater were clear and concise. One of the best ever holidays you could ever go on! Thanks to Headwater and Fabbio and his family.
By Mr Sledge on 10/09/2012
We have had quite a number of holidays with Headwater. Most - but not all - have been good, and the two which weren't are thankfully no longer offered.
We had one or two minor grumbles about this holiday - some of the accommodation was a bit poky and we had to live out of suitcases ( I see you carefully didn't ask for a view about the quality of the rooms ) - but generally speaking Headwater is a holiday company which we trust and would recommend.
By Mrs Hoile on 18/08/2012
Our holiday in Tuscany was one of our best holidays in Italy to date the region's landscape and history were quite amazing. The hilltop towns were unique and the local people were so accomodating. A must for any seasoned Headwater traveller
By Ms Warren on 13/08/2012
The hotel would of been more comfortable if it had air conditioning, the tempreture was 34 during the day, and 25 at night.
Al fresco dining sounds wonderful,(as the main dining room was closed) but not when you are bitten by mosquitos and sharing your dinner with flys. The hoteliers dogs were very sweet,but using the gardens surrounding the dining are todo their business whilst we were eating was not acceptable.
On a more positive note the walks and scenery were lovely.
Dear Ms Warren,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our questionnaire, and for your feedback.
It was great to read that you enjoyed the walks and scenery. Tuscany certainly is a beautiful part of Italy.
I was however sorry to read of your disappointment with the hotel regarding the air conditioning and hoteliers dogs. We have discussed both of these points with them and asked for their feedback.
Firstly, they would like to offer a sincere apology that you were unhappy with certain parts of your stay at their hotel, regarding the dogs, whilst they do roam around the hotel grounds he assures us that they have a separate area where they do their business, he was very surprised to hear your feedback and has assured us that it will not happen again. We will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure future customers do not encounter this. Regarding the air conditioning, due to the lower temperatures experienced in the mountains compared to what you might find in the lower lying regions in Italy, the hotels in this area do not use air conditioning. The average temperatures in Aug range from upper 20s to low 30s. All of our brochure pages have a temperature guide which highlights the warmer and colder times of the season to travel, along with a hotel description which shows all of the facilities included. Whilst this hotel has a wide range of facilities air conditioning is not one of them. I am sorry that you were uncomfortable because of the temperatures. But was glad to see it did not spoil your holiday.
In closing I would like to assure you that we take all of the feedback we receive seriously and continue to work with our suppliers to ensure that we deliver a high quality, interesting and enjoyable holiday.
We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future
By Mr Sillett on 07/08/2012
A very enjoyable one boot sight seeing and walking holiday. The Villa Acquaviva is a wonderfully relaxing base with excellent food, wine and service.
The range of walking/sight seeing options available is fairly good however it would have been helpful to have been told in advance that the best independent walking routes in the Maremma National Park are unavailable during peak season.
We combined the Montemerano and Saturnia walk into one on our final day which we definitely recommend as it adds more of a challenge.
Having been on many 2 boot Headwater walking holidays we felt that this was more of a sightseeing than walking holiday itself as without the Maremma National Park there were really only two good length walks. We had expected the difference between boot 1 and boot 2 walking to be the distance and number of ascents and descents. However in this case we felt some walks had been tagged on to sightseeing (Pitigliano and Vitozza) just to make up the number of walks.
By Mrs Fisher on 23/07/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Rome and Southern Tuscany. The variety of walks was lovely,including countryside, coastal and in-town rambles. However the weather was mid-30s so we were not too adventurous returning in the arly afternoon and appreciating the pool at the villa.
By Mr Williams on 23/07/2012
Good holiday made by excellent weather and good company.
By Mr Jowers on 11/07/2012
Room was small and the en-suite cramped. The lack of air conditioning is a negative aspect. Vegetarian food was very good albeit heavily dependent upon cheese. Bit more variety would have been welcomed.
As far as the food was concerned it was, again, very good. However, I would have preferred to have seen more vegetables and a salad option instead of one of the courses would have been helpful for those with smaller appetites. Strangely for breakfast one couldn't get a cappuccino whereas elsewhere in Italy they are available at that time.
By Mrs Whybrow on 30/06/2012
Really eEnjoyable variety of walks. Delightful excursions.
By Dr Westwood on 30/06/2012
A most enjoyable holiday, with an experienced guide.We had good food and enjoyed the local wines and the hot sunny weather.
By Mr Dooley on 30/06/2012
Varied mix of sightseeing, locations & walks
By Mrs Bown on 23/06/2012
Excellent hotel but walks overall disappointing as only 3 days had what we would consider satisfying and challenging walks as opposed to local sightseeing or pottering which should have been additional options rather than planned days also the national park walks did not appeal due to the fact that the buses only ran hourly in the morning or once or twice later on which would waste a lot of time hanging around in the heat of the day.
Dear Mrs Brown, thank you for your comments. Following a staff visit to the area we are now sending out updated route notes to all guests who are due to travel. We appreciate that this doesn't effect you, but hope that this will rectify the problems which you had for future guests. Thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater. Kind regards, Melanie.
By Mr Slater on 23/06/2012
enjoyable great fun loved tuscany.
By Mr Fleckney on 11/06/2012
a wonderful almost undiscovered part og Tuscany to walk and relax in
By Sir Dobson on 00/00/0000
By Mrs Allsop on 00/00/0000
A perfect combination of stunning scenery, culture and gastronomy. I would definitely recommend this holiday.
By Mr Baker on 00/00/0000
very good. the hotels were in great locations and very accessible to the city/town we were in.
our guide was excellent. food was good.
the only criticism is - i think you should be more precise about the suitability of the collective ages of the group. we are aged 65 and 66 but we are fit. the others in the group were aged 75 and one over 80. we felt the walking part of the trip was slow and had to cater for the age of the oldest. our guide tried to accommodate everyone and did a good job but we still found it quite hard to achieve a nice pace.
By Mrs Austin on 00/00/0000
The accommodation, hospitality and food were of a high standard. The area was actractive, if somewhat remote, with limited transport links to other towns and villages. The limited accuracy of the map, with some parts of the routes described in the guide notes not shown on the map, made some of the walking more challenging than they would appear from the 'boot' rating. For a 1:25000 scale map they were extremely poor compared with Ordnance Survey maps of the same scale. Timings given were optimistic not allowing for the heat, and despite feeling that the fitness level required was within our capability we ended up opting for some non walking days and for the shorter less challenging routes.