Customer reviews: Holidays in Umbria
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 Hodgetts on 23/09/2016
The walks were well described and excellently waymarked, though we thought that certain sections were 2 boot+ especially with high humidity in hot weather. This is true of the continuous climb out of Spello on the high level route to Assisi, and the ascent to the Rifugio on the last day,which is ludicrously timed in the walk notes at 45 minutes. The CAI estimate is 70 and we did it in 80.
The accommodation in Assisi is out of town but this allows for a truly super pool. Sadly the Tavola may not survive as the need for small investment was clear but not forthcoming. Victor and Filippo are lovely and super helpful but 3 power cuts in one day could have been avoided by investing in a small back-up generator. Also there are only the two of them - we heard that the day we left Filippo was stung on the mouth by a hornet - which meant no chef. It is worth noting also that without a car you are stuck at La Tavola with nothing to do if it rains - and boy can it rain!
La Bastiglia and Le Silve are great, the latter is out of this world for views and food.
We would seriously recommend an extra day at the start of the holiday to acclimatise and also to spend a day in Spello which is spectacularly beautiful and otherwise largely missed on the normal schedule.
We fell in love with Umbria, which is Italy as you really don't expect - green, lush and verdant. The craft beers are superb - who knew the Italians were so into it. One range called Monasterio di San Biagio is brewed by the Agriturismo which runs La Tavola. Finally the Umbrian people were friendly, helpful and endlessly welcoming.
By Mrs McKay on 07/09/2016
Beautiful scenery. Cycling hard at times - some demanding hills. Hotels very good with individual attractions. Pools a great asset at end of a hard day cycling or on day off. Lots of good (and cheap) cafes on route. Interesting places to visit including Montefalco. Assisi very busy and expensive.
Overall a great holiday.
By Ms Kidney on 17/08/2016
A wonderfully well planned holiday in the most beautiful surroundings with quality accommodation.
By Ms Pilgrim on 17/08/2016
We felt the weather played an important part in the conditions we experienced which made the walks more challenging. It is a beautiful area and the second half of the holiday was particularly beautiful and quite isolated. This holiday offers a mixed experience of history, nature and good food and wine. Any problems we encountered were minor and I felt that St Francis must have been a tough guy with his Forbes and sandals!
By Mis Barrie on 16/06/2016
Many unspoilt cycle routes with stunning views
Hotel pools all very welcome after a hard day's cycling
By Mrs Keeley on 13/06/2016
Very enjoyable week in a lovely part of Italy. We found the walks varied and interesting, though more challenging overall than the 2 boot rating - particularly the first and last day's walking, which involved some long and fairly steep ascents and some difficult descents (not just because of the rain - a lot of sustained scrabbling down loose chippings which was very tough on the knees). The walking instructions were overall accurate and easy to follow, though part of one route - from Assissa - was closed, and obviously had been for some time (we were not told about this before setting off) and on the final day at several points on the walk to Spello we got briefly lost due to the lack of clarity in the instructions. The hotels varied - Le Silve was oustanding in terms of location, accomodation, food and service, with La Tavola not far behind. Le Terazza is a bit far out of town - we would have liked to have stayed in Assissi - but we found the restaurant, food and service there fine. The food (particularly for vegetarians) and service at La Bastiglia was poor - fortunately when we returned to spend an extra night in Spello the restaurant was closed so were were booked into another much better restaurant - 'The Wine Drinker'. Late May is a good time to walk in Umbria, lots of wild flowers and new growth and not too hot.
By Mr Loughlin on 06/06/2016
We expected 4 star hotels but got small 2 star rooms . Food was mostly not impressive and service poor . Staff were friendly and cycle agents excellent . Umbria lovely but route would have been very demanding without the power assist cycles which were excellent for ladies but ran out of steam for gents towards the end of each day
By Ms Spencer on 06/11/2015
we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves though the level of the first walk (the longer route) seemed to be harder tan 2 boots especially given the temperature. In view of the steep ascents/descents on parts of this walk it might be helpful to suggest sticks as essential.
We spent 4 nights in total at the hotel in Spello and for 2 of those nights we were unhappy with one of the beds which was a sofa bed and not really suitable for an adult. We were very tired on our first night so put up with it but when we asked for this to be changed on our return there were no staff able to change the bedding until the following day. This wasn't satisfactory. Two of the nights we spent at this hotel were on wednesdays which meant we ate at a different restaurant; this may have been just as well as the menu(which was short) didn't alter on the 2 nights we ate there.
By Mr Horsfall on 02/11/2015
We thought this was upper two boot level, but very enjoyable walking
By Mr Witts on 19/10/2015
Interesting cycle tour with plenty to visit.
By Mrs Dietz on 29/09/2015
A delightful area for cycling, mostly great locations for hotels, overall an excellent holiday. Our only reservation is Torgiano, where the hotel was anonymous and the little town uninteresting and the Tourist Office useless in our queries about buses.
By Mr Masters on 22/09/2015
Beautiful area with well chosen hotels that have excellent cuisine and wines. The Italian signposting system for footpaths is not consistently good, so walkers need to be alert.
By Mrs Walker on 19/08/2015
A fantastic holiday in a beautiful area of Italy. So great to look forward to a refreshing swim in the hotel pool at the end of each day's walking, and feeling we have earned our glass of Prosecco and delicious meal. Always lovely to receive a warm welcome at the hotels and find our room and luggage ready and waiting for us.
By Mr Thomas on 03/08/2015
We were a family group of four. Mum ,Dad and two grown up children, son aged 27 and daughter aged 30. We had a really enjoyable trip, exploring all the towns and villages along the route. We really enjoyed a totally relaxing and stay put day at the Grand Relais Laurenti. We had the place to ourselves! Wonderful setting, fantastic views. The 'city centre' Hotel Al Grappolo was our least favourite and it was not the sort of place that you would want to spend the entire day (like Grand Relais Laurenti). The food was excellent especially for vegetarians. Four courses was to much! And the wine was very good and very reasonably priced.
By Dr Dewar on 22/07/2015
Great holiday - cycling was wonderful through a picture perfect valley; a few climbs to hill-top towns but views compensate enormously. Well chosen hotels. Only minor gripe was that two hotels had a full menu (one with minor 2 euro mark-up for some dishes), while two have a very fixed menu with 2 and 3 choices respectively. On return to Bastiglia we had the same menu which had rabbit which we don't eat (just a promise we made as we keep rabbits !). This would have been just OK but we stayed two more nights and had the same menu given to us. To be fair we negotiated a slight change although our starter was still based on parma ham each night. The hotel was lovely but it did make us feel like we were second class diners who couldn't afford the full menu, which I am sure is unintentional but the created effect. We nearly dined elsewhere on the last night to get some variety of choice but this is probably our fault for staying 4 nights here - wonderful hotel but wouldn't half board in future if stay extra nights.
By Mrs Gee on 13/07/2015
A great way to see and experience the parts of a country that other travel companies often don't reach.
By Pro Campbell on 13/07/2015
Walking in the Footsteps of St Francis was a gem of a walking holiday and we felt thoroughly refreshed by it . The walking was well paced and the guide notes excellent. The National Park was stunning with a variety of scenery and the two places we stayed in the park were absolutely gorgeous. Assisi was also a lovely city to visit. It was our first time holidaying with Headwater and we are already planning our next.
By Mr Ford on 08/07/2015
Footsteps of St Francis (Self-Guided)
This was our first holiday with Headwater having previously used other well-known leading walking tours companies.
We couldnâ€™t fault the organization of Headwater both in the UK and the local rep Vlad. The walk notes were clear and precise without being to wordy. The amendment that Vlad recommended for the last day following the Roman Aqueduct was superb and good finish to the walking programme
The hotels were excellent the only slight downside was the Assisi hotel La Terraza where it was a 1Km outside of the town, the food there was good but certainly not up to the same standards as the other 3 hotels.
La Tavola dei Cavali at Satriano was an absolute delight it was welcoming, peaceful and gave us a most relaxing stay. the only noise was the sound of bees and birds.
Le Silve di Armenzano was also a delight with a most welcoming drink of cold water immediately on arrival after a very hot day of walking, a wonderful location to watch the setting sun whilst having dinner
La Bastiglia at Spello our hotel for the start and finish nights met the same standard as the previous two hotels with wonderful views from the Terrace.
We are already looking at other possible Headwater Holidays
Mike & Jean Ford
By Mrs Duncan on 02/07/2015
Welcome at La Macchia by the older couple felt off hand. Staff, however, were helpful and appeared over worked in the dining room. Food was good at Grapolo d pro but service was slow and we left before being offered a last course. Cycle routes good and notes clear Only got lost once.
By Mrs Alsop on 29/06/2015
It is an excellent format - two nights in each place is just right and the distances and terrain were sufficiently challenging for us to feel we deserved the increasingly good food as we progressed through the walk.
By Mrs Chessum on 24/06/2015
We had a very good time. It was a lovely holiday marred only by the directions being a little bit unreliable.
By Mrs Roberts on 22/06/2015
The holiday was well organised and gave us what was promised in the brochure. When we did run into problems ( minor and not the fault of Headwater) they were sorted out with the minimum of fuss and delay ( eg puncture as above and then BA cancelled our flight home from Rome with 48 hours notice! We contacted Vlad in resort and he immediately contacted Michelle Roberts in UK who sorted out alternative flight for us. Without such prompt and efficient service we would have had an anxious and stressful 2 days- not what you want on holiday!
The hotels were great- obviously hand picked- lovely rooms ,pools , food - everything. The routes were great although on occasion the notes were unclear. Also as one person wrote in the blue book- Italy- wonderful country- shame about the maps!! But a great holiday and only minor nit picks!
By Mrs Blay on 17/06/2015
Very enjoyable. You don't feel that you are part of a crowd but have the reassurance of the back up provided by a local representative, if required.
The routes were well put together but you need to be reasonably fit before you go.
Although you are travelling to a warmer country you need to be prepared. We had one very wet day and would have been lost without decent waterproof tops and trousers..
By Dr Bungay on 15/06/2015
Wonderful countryside, good cycling, plenty to see and stop at, so the routes filled the days with lots of interest. It was 30oC in the first week of May, and would be best when temperature was 25ish, which is what we had hoped by booking an early holiday. I don't know how it could be enjoyable in August.
By Mr Brown on 15/06/2015
Walking around Assisi there is great countryside with wonderful views in a very quiet area. Eating a picnic at about 1000m at Refugio Maddonna della Spella with great views all around was a wonderful reward for the strenuous walk to get there.
By Mrs Carrington-bro on 09/06/2015
We had a wonderful week away, we enjoyed being able to sightsee in Assisi and then to escape into the beautiful countryside where we saw hardly any walkers and few cars. We thought that the 2 boot grading was accurate, there were some uphills that made us feel that we had deserved our dinner - there were only a couple of stretches of steepish downhill. This was our first self guided walking holiday and we found the notes and map provided excellent - we were glad that we took our rep's advice of an alternative route on the last day - going to Collapino and having lunch at the Taverna di Silvestro and then following the path of the Roman aqueduct back to Spello - a really good end to the walk. The scenery along all of the route was pretty but the last morning was spectacular with a wonderful panoramic view. The hotels were well chosen and we enjoyed the variety between them. La Terraza was not in the same league as the other 3, but the staff were very friendly and whilst the food was not 'gormet' it felt 'honest', we would have preferred to stay right in Assisi but appreciate the appeal of a swimming pool and also delivering suitcases to the middle of Assisi would probably pose a challenge for the Headwater rep. We dined extremely well at our other 3 hotels and particularly enjoyed our stay at Le Silve with its tranquil setting and lovely views. Our top tip for packed lunches is the Bottega dei Sapori in Assisi's main square where our sandwiches were made to order with delicious ingredients from the owner's farm. Our only regret was that we didn't have time to add on a day to the holiday and visit Perugia.
Ann and Nigel Carrington Brook
By Mr Yellen on 03/06/2015
trouble free and relaxing
By Mis Devlin on 12/11/2014
It wasn't the relaxing biking holiday I was hoping for. Some parts were, but the published route involved too many busy main roads. There were a lot of mistakes in the notes, which added stress. I do wonder if anyone had actually rode it from Headwater? It could have been a lot better - for instance leaving La Macchia, instead of going down the busy main road, we went into town on the back roads, over the railway, then along a parallel road, then onto a cycle track - easy to do and much less traffic.
The hotels were not brilliant. We didn't eat the four courses offered at meal times, as it was just too much. I would have rather paid a bit less and just had two courses.
I may sound churlish, about the birthday cake, but the reason we went on this week was because we had a family tragedy the year before on my birthday, and I specifically wanted a totally un-birthday normal day. It worked fine, and I had genuinely forgotten about it, so was very angry and embarrassed about what happened. They should not have been looking at my passport - the only reason they had it was for legal reasons.
By Mr Mitchell on 29/10/2014
A most enjoyable week, blessed with good weather and walking of a well-chosen standard. Good accommodation.
By Mrs Mendham on 27/10/2014
We enjoyed the holiday but the directions were probably the worst we have ever had. They are not clear and some directions referred to signs/cafes etc that no longer seemed to be there. In Gualdo Catanneo the instructions sent us all round the village back to where we started but the road had collapsed and we had to go back. In fact we could have pushed the bikes 50m down the hill back to where we started! Often directions are given in distances but when you have no means of judging distance it is hard to know if you are in the correct place. There should be more information on how to get to places on the off days. We went to Perugia but found out how to get there on our own. It was simple and this information could be made available on your website. The bikes are very heavy and poorly maintained. I could only use 18 of the 21 gears until my husband fixed it after 3 days - not great on the Umbrian hills.
By Mrs Barker on 24/10/2014
Overall the holiday was as expected, we have been with you before. We do enjoy the holiday. Having said that, the hotel in Assisi was poor, the basement restaurant was soulless. I appreciate that it was probably chosen because it had a swimming pool. We would rather have stayed in a more upmarket hotel in the centre of Assisi rather than the outskirts with the swimming pool, and our 18 year old is in agreement. We could've looked around Assisi in the evening, and the rest day was spent looking around the churches, so not much time to lie by a pool. A more comfortable hotel with nicer food would've been appreciated! A choice would be nice.
The pool at La Tavola was impossible to sit by due to the flies, not sure whether that was due to pigs close by or the earlier summer weather causing an increase in fly population.
By Mr Collins on 24/10/2014
Headwater offers a very efficient and reliable service. The equipment was very good, the hotels were on the whole very agreeable, at a price. We travelled off season, but even so, the hotel restaurants were extremely busy and there were occasions when we had to wait so long, we gave up on the puddings!
Overall the cycling was most pleasant on quiet roads, very often for cyclists and walkers only. There were some demanding climbs into any town worth its salt in tourism, but then there was the added bonus of the long descent back down to terra firma. The weather was amazingly good and the lovely tranquil scenery.
By Mr Sillett on 14/10/2014
Wonderful holiday, with fantastic food and wine and one absolutely amazing hotel (Le Silve). Good two boot walking, especially on the first and last days.
If you like walking in Italy you will love this holiday.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 13/10/2014
This is our fourth Headwater trip. Our favorite trips in order are: 1) Alps 2) Dordogne 3) Amalfi Coast and 4) this one. All of the others have been 5 star plus. I don't even know how to rate this one. There were so many highs and lows that it is hard to average them. The hotels, Le Silve and Le Case, are spectacular and took care of every need. I can't say enough good about them. The food was exceptional in all hotels except the Assisi hotel where you eat in a nondescript big undecorated basement room. The hiking was perfect and challenging, but the trip notes were unenthusiastic and lacked the usual Headwater info bites and optional side trips - so we made our own side trips. The trip notes need some important updates - we did not get lost, but others did multiple times and their confusion was understandable. We had awesome trip mates that we had not met prior to the trip. The highlights of the trip were: 1) Being in Assisi for the Feast of St. Francis and being present for the parade and seeing the Prime Minister of Italy, 2) Vistas from the Rifuggio de Madonna (they rival what we saw in the Alps), 3) Le Silve and Le Case hotels were amazing places of rest and solitude. I think this trip had the potential of being my very favorite, but needs the kind of attention that Headwater is so great at on other vacations.
By Mr Caffyn on 29/09/2014
Efficient but lacks character..
By Mr Cobbold on 25/09/2014
The cycling can be very challenging in this area.
By Mr Hall on 19/09/2014
Excellent hotels and food in lovely locations. Italian roads lack signage and the camber on some roads is bad especially when trying to ride and navigate in heavy thunder storms. The maps issued are of too small a scale and our trip involved two maps. It would be preferable to order special maps based on a 30 mile radius of Spello with a bigger scale. From the Headwater book in each hotel, it is clear that most people get lost. We did on each of our transits but perhaps that is the fun of it.
By Mrs Robinson on 08/09/2014
Ask more questions regarding the walks prior to booking.e.g places to take refreshment.
Ensure that you understand the walking levels, as although we were able to complete the walks fairly easily we noticed a number of people having to be transported due to the physical demands.
Be prepared for isolation at two of the hotels as they were in remote situations.
If you like walking in forests and almost total solitude this is the holiday for you. We hardly met anyone on all walks.
By Mr O'Driscoll on 03/09/2014
A great holiday for cycling enthusiasts who like good food and wine, a few historical and cultural sites to visit, and time to relax after getting off your bike.
By Mrs Gapper on 27/08/2014
The cycling was good with varied scenery and interesting villages and towns. The route notes sometimes need careful interpretation using the area maps and a degree of common sense. however it is easy to go wrong which we did on a couple of occasions.One of the hotels, unfortunately the one we had opted to stay four nights, we thought was sub standard in terms of service and quality and choice of food. Generally the hotels were well located, clean and comfortable. We had a little trouble with two of our four bikes which either required urgent attention by the rep or we managed to borrow a tool from a garage. On previous holidays our Headwater bikes have been trouble free.
By Mr Hill on 11/08/2014
We had a wonderful holiday (our second with Headwater) and consistently hot weather in July; although it was too hot really and quite debilitating at the end of each travel day when having to cycle up hill to reach the next hotel. Each hotel was of a high standard with a pleasant welcome and the food was amazing. We look forward to trying another Headwater cycling holiday but will take more consideration of the cycle rating and likely weather conditions next time.
By Mr Somers on 31/07/2014
Cycling was fabulous along mainly quiet beatiful roads with some climbs which were all rewarding and enhanced the riding. Hotels were great, all small family run and so friendly. Food and wine was fantastic. Our 2 teenage girls (ages 16 and 15) hardly complained at all for the duration! Great family holiday!
By Ms Harris on 09/07/2014
Excellent service, tailored to us at very last minute. Wonderful hotels (with exception of the Assissi hotel which was nowhere near the quality of the others).terrific walks. We had fewer rests days which suited us - a days rest on day 2 felt too soon so we didn't and assiss is very very touristy though beautiful. We are already looking at our next holiday with you (and we always travel independetly so that's a big sign of our enjoyment).
By Mr Thompson-ashby on 28/06/2014
This was our first holiday with Headwater so we had no expectations on the grade of walk. As it turned out we coped very well, although our first day's walk to Assisi (the longer option) was tough, but we managed! The route notes were generally good, although they do need regular revision, as some signs etc. had been changed or removed. We did not lose our way, but less experienced walkers could have done so. The hotels were all good and some excellent. We particularly loved La Taviola for the way the staff went that extra mile to make us welcome and gave us a packed lunch without us asking for it, although the room we were given could hardly be describe as 'superior'. Our tour guide by his own admission seemed ready for a change. His briefing was perfunctory, but he was kind enough to lend us his walking poles. The walks were well designed - absolutely beautiful wildflowers and we didn't meet a single other traveller. Overall, a splendid holiday with good weather, a fabulous sense of history and pilgrimage plus great accommodation.
By Mrs Oram on 20/06/2014
Mt Subasio is a wonderful area in which to walk and the routes ensure good variety of walking. Spello is a lovely town (and Albergo Bastiglia a comfortable hotel with excellent food) to use as a base for further local travel (e.g. Perugia) and for relaxing pre/post the holiday.
The hotel at Assisi was very welcoming, but location is not great (neither in town nor out & on a busy road).
By Mrs Gregson on 19/06/2014
The holiday was a fantastic way to enjoy this beautiful area. An Italian feast!
By Mr Duncan on 31/05/2014
There was 5 in our family party. 2 x over 65 1 x over 40 & 2 x 36 to 39
All enjoyed the trip very much. However I have sent an e mail to Lisa regarding the representative.
The hotels , staff & food were excellent & we were made most welcome.
By Mr Ray-johnson on 30/05/2014
Stimulating and sufficiently challenging to arrive home with a sense of achievement as well as enjoying the local culture, history and scenery. Whilst we are still fit, we will consider taking another Headwater Cycling trip again.
By Mr Propert on 25/05/2014
Before you book, it would be useful to know the days when meals are not available. For example, at Spello the food is highly rated (an attraction for us) but we had two Wednesdays there, had had to walk the entire length of the town, returning in rain one evening, to get our alternative meal. It was good - but frankly, it is too far. At Assissi, it would be better to make it more clear that while you enjoy a brief tour of the town on the high route, you then have quite a trek out to the hotel. And the food here, is simply poor - but I guess choices are limited. We upgrade everything - and at la Tavola the food was excellent, but our upgrade room (10) was dire - it was not an upgrade! And it is really time to update the notes - we did not get lost, but bits are horrendous - ruts and mud, and things like benches 'from which to contemplate' - but broken down.
Our next holiday with you is in Germany - why oh why do you not do more there??
Dear Mr Propert,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire and for your constructive comments. Your feedback has been passed on to the programme manager and our local rep. Following on from your comments improvement have been put into place. We now provide a taxi to transfer customers to and from dinner in Spello when required. Unfortunately due to the unusually poor weather over the winter some of the routes were still quite muddy when you travelled out in early May. However this will remedy itself as the weather improves over spring. All route notes have now been checked and are up to date. We would like to apologise that you were given the incorrect room on arrival to the La Tavola the reservation team are sorry for this oversight and have assured us that this was a one off incident. A refund will be issued immediately. We would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Bruce on 31/01/2014
We cycled every day and enjoyed being in the area; our trip had some changeable weather, including warm sun, heavy rain and strong winds. If you had another cycle route in the area, we'd certainly like to consider returning!
By Mr Wright on 22/10/2013
Javier is an excellent rep. September is a great month for this sort of holiday - warm but mostly manageable temperatures for cycling. There is a great variety of places to visit and some delightful landscapes. From Il Poggio we had an excellent ride up to Gualdo Cattaneo but it's a bit of a slog - the view from the tower is good. From Relais de Ripa it's worth visiting Perugia on the 'day off' by bus after an early breakfast - don't even think of cycling there unless you are super fit. We also enjoyed visiting Montefalco and the olive and wine museums at Torgiano. We loved the variety of hotels and the meals and warm welcomes from the staff. Headwater have helped us to fall in love with Italy.
By Mrs Harland on 11/10/2013
We had an excellent holiday with everything very well sorted by Headwater. Our only real complaint was with the hotel in Spello who were not helpful. We were tired from travelling and there was no one really to welcome us or to tell us when dinner was served or give us a drink until 20.00hrs when the staff had finished their dinner. Head waiter was rude and off hand after he discovered we were Headwater guests but the food was good. La Tavola and La Silve were wonderful and couldn't have been better, at both hotels we were so well looked after and the food was delicious. We would have liked to have a had a 3rd night at La Silve as there was no room at Spello on our return so we had to go on to Perugia but this wasn't suggested by your agent.
By Mrs Weipers on 11/10/2013
Beautiful vistas of the Heart of Italy are your reward for the few 'lung busters' en route. Umbria is less developed than its neighbours but all the more perfect for it.
By Mr Compton on 07/10/2013
Excellent meet and greet, great walking and good food.
By Mrs Kinmonth on 04/10/2013
Harder cycling than expected, mainly due to wind.
By Dr Murphy on 04/10/2013
A lovely way to be relatively guilt free enjoying great food and fine wine, and working off the calories by day! Most cycling is relatively flat, but all the fantastic views come at a price - either a short steep climb or a long slow climb!
By Mr Greef on 02/10/2013
Excellent walking, really good hotels and food
By Mrs Dickinson on 22/09/2013
Some demanding hills but mostly flat cycling. Hotels very varied but all had wonderful views and good food.
By Mrs McLynn on 20/09/2013
Javier, the rep, was excellent! He had so much local knowledge, he knew and updated the routes, and he gave much useful advice on safe cycling and
cycle maintenance. He also made it clear that if we had any problem he was only a phone call away! Well done!
By Mr Kerr on 18/09/2013
A great way to explore Umbria, including the interesting towns of Spello, Spoletto, Motefalco, Bevagna and Assisi. The cycling is challenging enough and the well chosen hotels provide welcome refuge and refreshment at the end of the day. On the stay-put days it's good to have the opportunity to sight-see or relax, depending on your mood. We enjoyed the regional food and wine and our dinner at the Trattoria di Oscar in Bavagna was a particular highlight.
By Mrs Huddart on 18/09/2013
Headwater provided some lovely, quiet, cycling routes in what is perhaps not the most sparsely populated area of Italy. Montefalco, Bevagna and Assisi were the highlights. Definitely the easiest cycling we have done with Headwater. Knowledgeable rep. The food in all the hotels is excellent (I think more of me came back than arrived!). Hotel at Ripa is the best (but not much to do around it), rooms at Il Poggio are not of the same standard as appear on their website (raised separately with Headwater), views from this hotel are marvellous.
We did feel that the 8 day version of this holiday might have been better as the 4 night break at Spoleto was a little too soon in the holiday (directly after Spello), but this is personal preference.
Altogether an enjoyable holiday with some excellent food.
By Mr Fowler on 16/09/2013
We had a really good holiday, would say you need to be a reasonable walker as it is a fairly strenuous trail, but well worth the effort. Looking forward to doing something similar
By Mr Learmont on 28/08/2013
Excellent combination of choice accommodation; natural scenary for walking and opportunities for cultural visits.
By Mr Murdoch on 19/08/2013
We have just returned from a walking holiday in Umbria, having had an amazing experience, which has left us feeling revitalised and relaxed. The walks were all really beautiful and off the beaten track and despite the August heat many of the tracks were through shaded woodland. The notes and maps were clear and easy to follow and the only time we managed to lose our way was through our own misunderstanding. The hotels were in great locations, very welcoming and friendly, comfortable and the food was delicious. Our local rep Javier was always smiling, supportive and helpful. He knows the area like the back of his hand and is always there with interesting information. His motto should be Nothing is too much trouble.
We are both well travelled and have booked through other similar companies previously and would highly recommend Headwater. We are already wondering which one of their walking or activity holidays we will book next. Thank you Headwater and especially Javier. Steve and Andrea Murdoch
By Mr Rutter on 08/08/2013
We really enjoyed our cycling holiday. The route instructions were excellent and easy to follow. The Rep Javier was great, welcoming friendly and extremely helpful. He knew all the routes really well and checked them daily with some revisions where roads were closed or signs changed.At the start of the holiday he would turn up on a route ,unexpectedly, to check if we were alright so this was very reassuring when we were getting into the swing of things. The routes were on quiet roads or cycle paths and we felt we saw the real Italy with picturesque medieval towns and villages. We liked all the hotels, each with a different character and with lovely local food. The towns were full of Italian culture and we enjoyed exploring the narrow streets and tasting local food and wine. Well done Headwater, we can't wait for our next holiday.
By Mr Finn on 28/07/2013
An enjoyable trip deep in the Umbrian countryside with some fine local food and wine amidst some spectacular views.If you do decide to go walking in Italy in July and August make sure you start your walks early i.e 8.30 am - take plenty of water 2.5 litres a day at least IMO - adequate sunscreen ,insect repellent as the weather will get very hot from 10-11 am.
By Mrs Sansbury on 18/06/2013
Very enjoyable, beautiful region, mostly gentle cycling which I loved, historically very interesting.
The only problem was the bike. Though very sturdy, it is the second time with Headwater that I could not fully elevate the handlebar because the brake cables were TOO SHORT. As I am 6' foot tall with long legs the saddle was on the same height as the handlebar which pitched me forward and caused certain anatomical areas to be in discomfort!
This happened on my last holiday with Headwater and although I asked them to prepare a bike with a REALLY adjustable handlebar I still had the SAME problem. Please assemble bikes with LONGER brake cables!!!!!!!!!!
Otherwise what is the purpose of having an adjustable handlebar which CANNOT be raised to requirement!
By Mr Jackson on 19/05/2013
A wonderful holiday - we wished that it could have been longer, offering more walking days. Our rep (Javier) was particularly good, with an impressive knowledge of the area & checking the routes daily during bad weather.
By Mr Woolstone on 10/10/2012
An excellent holiday. Javier, the representative was outstanding in his concern, good cheer and attention to detail. He went the extra kilometre and more. The walking was spectacular and the hotels were equally as good. Everything abroad went perfectly & was almost always 5*.
The only slight drawback was Headwater's efficiency in the UK where we had to ring back on two occasions when calls were not returned and we had to chase up non-delivery of tickets as time was getting short. (And not sure about the sea view room listed on our itinerary as we were over 100 miles from the Med!)
By Dr Knight on 10/10/2012
V enjoyable holiday. The rep Javier was outstanding.
Walking instructions were good but distance estimates were out (according to our GPS) by as much as 100% so when a hut and shrine stated to be 800 metres is actually 1.6km (or 600 v 1200km) this creates doubts.
Advice on what grid reference the maps use would help and if not on Garmin a lat/long for critical points would help. We got lost on Monte Subasio on day one where path was indistinct and could not get grid ref for map. We got back due to realising we were too low and therefore heading up hill under a powerline to hit the correct track.
Extra 2 days in Assisi well worth it to walk Monte Subasio summit, see more of Assisi, San Damiano, Rivotorto and Commonwealth War Cemetery plus Santa Maria deglia Angeli
By Mrs Small on 06/10/2012
We had a brilliant holiday, a superb rep in Assisi, good food and great fun. This was our fourth cycling holiday with Headwater and we will definitely be going again!
By Mr Malia on 29/09/2012
Well-organised holiday, with good,nicely thought-out routes, although some maps/instructions were a little inaccurate.Lovely area, generally good food, comfortable hotels and nice people. Our rep,Xavier, was excellent and looked after us superbly.
By Mrs Walker on 29/09/2012
Excellent holiday with good walking and friendly comfortable hotels. Would highly recommend it. Good food (some very good) at all the hotels. Jaiver the local rep was excellent. Very efficient and unobtrusive. Please pass on our thanks to him.
By Mr Billing on 10/09/2012
A great holiday. Amazing scenery, wonderful hotels with lovely food and drink and a rep who really did welcome us and made sure we had the best possible experience.
By Mrs Dunn on 05/09/2012
It was a wonderful holiday combining fitness, beautiful scenery and superb food and service . We would recommend this combination to anyone.
By Mrs Morgan on 01/09/2012
A fantastic experience of Italy.
By Mrs Joekes on 29/08/2012
We had a brilliant time. The local Headwater agent, Javier, was helpful and friendly and provided us with local knowledge and insights. This is not the cheapest holiday, but worth every penny. All the important elements of this kind of trip (bikes, routes, baggage transfers, hotel bookings) were of excellent quality and well organised. Thanks.
By Mr White on 28/07/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday, it combined our favourite things, activity, culture and food. We have been recommending Headwater to all our friends since we returned home and will certainly book another trip.
By Mrs Ripley on 28/07/2012
We had a great holiday but temps were in the high 30s and touching 40C, so the need for an early start must be emphasised. The hotels obliged by allowing us to have an early breakfast. Our progress was delayed by a faulty inner tube on the first day, so not a good start, especially as this resulted in doing the steep climb to Trevi in the midday heat. Other cyclists had the same problem, so obviously a bad batch. Perhaps a way round 'teething troubles' could be devised? Without personal knowledge, adjustments to gear and brake cables could have been a problem on new bikes.
La Bastiglia and Ripa Relais couldn't be faulted and set a high standard for the rest of the holiday. La Macchia was so different, and once the initial shock of the 500m climb was over, we enjoyed it just as much. This was a good place to spend extra days as there is such a lot to see in Spoleto. The food was wonderful and the staff so friendly. Hotel Poggio dei Pettirossi was not of the same quality. There was no air conditioning but fans were provided on request. The food and service were not 3 * and the rooms needed a thorough clean.
I would highly recommend Hotel Fortuna in Perugia, but not room 208 where we stayed unless the stench of dirty water has been eradicated from the bathroom. Hotel Astoria Garden is to be recommended, but watch out for the bitng insects in the garden! Ruth Grundy
By Mrs O'Rourke on 23/07/2012
This was a wonderful 'relaxing active' holiday in a glorious part of the Italian countryside.
The Aspects of Assisi cycling holiday allowed us to actively explore the countryside, historical centres and combine it with time to relax by beautiful pools and enjoy great food. Having a programme of alternate days cycling between hotel locations gave plenty of time to relax and explore the various towns.
The rides between locations were not over challenging and perfect for leisure cycling, particularly given the very hot weather we experienced. The programme gave a good selection of optional extensions to journeys and extra/alternative rides on the days off.
Food and hotels were of a good standard.
By Mr Blunt on 23/07/2012
Very good value for money, although more expensive than some other Headwater walks. The routes were challenging and scenic; we were constantly rewarded with great views, flora and fauna. We especially enjoyed the contrasting experience of visiting Spello and Assisi. There is so much to see and treasure.
The hotels are exceptionally good; at the agroturismo in Satriano and Le Silve we really didn't want to stray very far as the locations are so gorgeous.
Javier, was very impressive and knew the location very well indeed. He has built up a good rapport with the hotels and this really adds enhances the experience.
By Mrs Roe on 11/07/2012
Beautiful scenery, lovely pools in hotels
By Ms Benton on 16/06/2012
A superb holiday. One of the best Headwater walking holidays we've had.
By Mr Allen on 16/06/2012
One of the best --- Javier was by far the best rep we have had in all our many headwater holidays over the past 30 years or so