We believe, and customers tell us, that our holidays are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit, whether that's arranging travel from your regional airport, city breaks or extra nights at the start or end of your trip, or combining trips at particularly attractive prices.

Whether you are first-time Headwater traveller or an old hand, you never know what piece of information you might require and when, so here is our comprehensive guide to anything you might need to know in the months and weeks before your departure. There is no need to read it all, just follow the links to the sections of interest.

Choosing Your Trip  | 
Booking With Headwater  | 
Preparing for your trip  | 
Your Health and Wellbeing  | 
Find out more


You can find our full range of holidays on-line. Select the type of holidays you're interested in and then use the search filters to refine the results based on your particular requirements. If you need any additional help or further information on any of our tours simply call our friendly, knowlegeable sales team on 0044 1606 720199. You can also Request a Brochure to browse at your leisure.

Activity Gradings

To help you choose a holiday that best suits your level of fitness, all our walking and cycling holidays are rated using the Headwater activity grading system. On the individual holiday pages (and in our brochure) you'll see each tour is marked with a rating from 1 to 4.

On some holidays there is a choice of routes and, for these, two ratings will be shown (you’re free to choose between routes on a day-by-day basis). You’ll also notice a + symbol on a few holidays too - this is just letting you know that some small sections of the route will be slightly more challenging than the overall grading. Find out more about our Walking Ratings and Cycling Ratings.

In many of our cycling regions e-bikes are available at a supplement. You’ll be able to cycle further, faster, tackle steep climbs and ultimately discover more places than you thought possible.

Travel Arrangements

We can include flights, including from regional airports, and train and self-drive option are also available for many European destinations. See our Tailor-Made Travel Choices for further details.

The holiday dates shown in the price tables are the dates you arrive in your holiday area and not necessarily the date you leave the UK. Details of when and where your holiday starts are shown in holiday descriptions. All train, ferry and plane times shown on the website may change, so you do need to check your tickets and printed holiday itinerary immediately on receipt.

Booking Your Own Travel

If you prefer to arrange your own travel, simply use the 'Tour only' prices on the holiday pages. We can usually arrange non-standard transfers to meet your flight, however these must be requested and paid for in full at the time of booking. If you are booking a guided group holiday, you should note that tours subject to a minimum number of passengers are not always confirmed until 4 weeks before departure. Should we have to then cancel your holiday due to lack of numbers, we cannot make any refund for flights purchased independently.

Hotels and facilities

All accommodation has been inspected by the authorities of the countries concerned. As there is no direct British equivalent of many classifications, the broad expression ‘hotels’ includes all the different sorts of accommodation we use, from friendly family-run B&B's to hotels and country inns. See Hand-picked Hotels for further detaisl.

In Europe, people requesting a room for three will often be given a twin or double with an extra bed, which may be cramped. Single rooms (even if you’ve paid a supplement) sometimes just confer privacy, and are often of a lower standard than twins. More specifically, people requesting twin beds and travelling within Austria, Germany or Switzerland will be given a double bed frame with two single mattresses and separate bedding.

Please note that some facilities including swimming pools may not be available for early and late season holidays. The reduced prices for these holidays reflect this. Special children’s facilities are generally available only during local school holidays.

Holiday Itineraries

Please note that the itineraries given for all our holidays are for general guidance only, and we reserve the right to change these subject to local weather conditions etc.

Group Sizes

We keep our group sizes small (typically 4 to 16 people) as we feel it gives the tours a good mix of people whilst giving everyone the opportunity to learn from the local knowledge of our guides. This also allows us to use smaller, hand-picked guest houses, which is not possible with larger groups. The group sizes are shown on the individual holiday pages however, from time to time, we may operate holidays with lower numbers that the minimum group size shown.

On our self-guided holidays you travel independently, following our comprehensive route directions, while we transfer your luggage from one hotel to the next. As such there are no group size restrictions.


We offer a wide range of destinations for our walking and cycling holidays - you can view our interactive travel map here.

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You can check holiday availability via our website, by calling our sales team on 0044 1606 720199or by email at sales@headwater.com. Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays our sales team will need to check hotel and travel availability before confirming the availability of your chosen date. We aim to respond to on-line availability enquires within one working day.

Financial Protection

All the flights and Flight Inclusive holidays in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate visit www.caa.co.uk. Our ATOL number is 2582.

We will provide you with financial protection for package holidays you buy from us that do not include travel by air by way of a bond held by ABTA. We are a member of ABTA; membership number Y0751. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA visit www.abta.com.

Exodus Travels Limited, trading as Headwater Holidays, is a member of the Travelopia Group of Companies. Registered UK Office: Origin One, 108 High Street, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1BD. Registered in England and Wales No. 1150160. Vat no. 108216835.

Your Confirmation Invoice

Once you have paid the deposit for your holiday, our sales team will email you your booking confirmation and invoice. If you would prefer these by post, please let them know and it will go out first class within 24 hours (if you have booked through an agent, they will provide you with the necessary paperwork and you should check with them directly).

Once you have received your confirmation, please check the information carefully to make sure that we have booked the arrangements you requested. If there are any inaccuracies, please contact us so that we can make the necessary corrections.

What if I need to Change or Cancel my booking?

If you wish to make any changes to your booking, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

If you need to cancel your booking, please let us know as soon as possible. This is required in writing and you should refer to the booking conditions with regards to any cancellation charges that may apply. Normally, if you cancel before the final balance is due, the deposit and insurance premium are non-refundable but we can usually hold your balance for you to use on a future trip. Please note that there is a rebooking fee of £40 to do this. Once your final balance has been paid, there is a sliding scale of charges, outlined in the booking conditions.

If you wish to transfer your booking to a different holiday or traveller, you should contact us before the final balance is due for your existing holiday, and there is a £40 fee to do so. Any changes are also subject to any additional fees charged by local suppliers or airlines. Transfers after the final balance is due are classed as a cancellation and re-booking.

How can I pay my Balance?

The balance of your payment is due 90 days (133 days for Polar trips) before departure. Your invoice shows the date your final balance is due and, if you have booked directly with Headwater and we have an email address for you, a reminder will be sent out 1 to 2 weeks before this date. To pay, you can use any of the following methods, quoting your booking reference in all cases:

  • You can now pay the balance of your trip using our online payment form.
  • You can also call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199.
  • Pay us by Bank Transfer – payments in £ Sterling should be made to Exodus Travels Ltd. Sort Code 20-65-63, Account No. 53813509.
  • Send a cheque, made payable to 'Exodus Travels Limited', to Headwater Holidays, Unit 1, Theatre Court, London Road, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 5HB. Please include your name, booking reference and date of departure.

We accept all major Credit Cards and UK Debit Cards. Please note that we do not accept payment by Amex. There will be no fee applied to payments made on any other card types.

Loyalty Discounts

At Headwater we value loyalty, which is why we want to reward our customers who regularly travel with us. For your 3rd, 4th, and 5th trips you can get 5% off and from your 6th onwards you can get 8% off. The more you travel with us and get to know us, the better value you can get! You cn find full details of our layalty scheme here.

Final Joining Instructions

Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact us. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time. For all holidays you'll receive comprehensive holiday information prior to departure and, for self-guided trips, route directions or access to our route navigation app will also be provided.

Booking Conditions

All holidays shown on our website and in our brochures are subject to availability and booking conditions.

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All customers are expected to satisfy themselves prior to booking that they are fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen holiday. We provide comprehensive holiday information and route directions, where appropriate, but it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the necessary documents and cover to allow you to travel legally and safely.

Travel Insurance

Adequate and valid travel insurance is compulsory for all our travellers and it is a condition of accepting your booking that you agree you will have obtained adequate and valid travel insurance. We recommend you take out insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed.

Passport and Visa Requirements

For many holidays we need your passport details and sometimes other personal information. This might be for registration with the local authorities or for border crossings. A number of airlines now also require full passport information, known as Advanced Passenger Information, or APIS. If your passport details change before travel, you must provide us with the new details.

As soon as you begin thinking about travelling abroad check your passport, if you have one already, don't let it run out on you; and if you do not have a passport apply in good time via the 'Check and Send' service at your local Post Office. The UK Passport Service can provide all the information you need regarding your passport or passport application.

If you are travelling from the UK to any EU country, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or Vatican City, on the day of travel your passport must have at least 3 months left (Expiry Date) and be less than 10 years old (Date of Issue), even if it has 3 months or more left.

Full details of current visa requirements for British passport holders are given in the confirmation documents that are sent to you on booking. Other nationalities should check with the embassy of the country they are due to visit. Obtaining any visas that are required is your own responsibility. Be aware that visa regulations can change, and may do so at short notice and sometimes without announcement.

Travelling to or via the USA?

Please note that not all nationalities have the same eligibility for travel to or via the USA, and you may not be covered by the visa waiver programme below. If you do not hold a British passport, please check the visa requirements with your local US embassy.

If you are travelling to or via the USA, the US authorities have introduced a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) to register for Electronic Travel Authority or ESTA. For additional specifics, please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website.

Passengers who have not applied for and received travel authorisation via ESTA prior to travel may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing or be denied admission at the US port of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visa-free on the VWP, guarantees admission to the United States. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the port of entry.

Important reminder: If you are refused boarding or denied admission at the US port of entry you will still be subject to our cancellation charges in accordance with the terms of our contract with you. We recommend that you carry your ESTA approval with you when you travel. All queries in relation to this requirement should be addressed via the US Embassy Consular department.

Cycling Helmets

Please note that cycling helmets are a mandatory requirement in Spain for all cyclists, in Austria for children under 12 years, in Slovenia for children under 15 years and in Croatia for children under 16 years.

In countries where wearing a cycling helmet is mandatory (see above) you are expected to bring your own helmet as we cannot guarantee the availability of helmets for hire or purchase at your destination. If you decide to hire or purchase a helmet at your destination the choice of helmet and its suitability are at your discretion and Headwater will not be responsible for any issues or problems with helmets or other protective headwear. Note that if you do not have a helmet in countries where it is mandatory you will not be allowed to take part in any cycling element which may mean that you are not able to continue with the tour and Headwater will not be responsible for any costs you incur as a result.

Even in countries where cycling helmets are not a legal requirement, we strongly recommend that all customers wear helmets whilst on one of our cycling tours. You are expected to bring your own helmet as we cannot guarantee the availability of helmets for hire or purchase at your destination. If you do decide to hire or purchase a helmet at your destination the choice of helmet and its suitability are at your discretion and Headwater will not be responsible for any issues or problems with helmets or other protective headwear. If you choose to ignore our advice to wear a helmet or other protective headwear you understand that you do so at your own risk and that such action may affect the validity of your travel insurance.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Bike Hire

Should you require a bike or E-bike for any extra nights booked on your holiday please call for details of the required supplement.

Walking Boots

We strongly advise walkers to bring walking boots (not trainers) on all our walking holidays.

Representatives / Leaders

On holidays where we name a specific guide/leader, it is obviously our intention that the named person will lead your trip. However, should this not be possible for reasons outside our control (eg illness), we reserve the right to substitute with a suitably qualified and experienced replacement. In the unlikely event that we cannot provide an alternative, and if we feel the quality of your holiday looks to be compromised in any way, then the tour will be cancelled under the terms of force majeure, and a full refund of all monies paid will be given.

In some areas, the hoteliers or local agents also act as our representatives. Their names, addresses and telephone numbers are given in the information we send to you before travelling.

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Our holidays are run in adherence with the travel advice provided by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). For the latest travel advice from the FCO including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and facebook.com/FCOtravel. The advice can change so check regularly for updates.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The FCO's consular service is a major operation - every day their consular staff around the world are helping British nationals. Their website travelaware.campaign.gov.uk contains a wealth of information for anyone planning a trip overseas - country advice, travellers' tips, advice for you while you're there, and much more. For destinations specific advice visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice, call 0207 008 1500 or email traveladvicepublicenquiries@fco.gov.uk.

The FCO recommends that travellers should:

  • Take out appropriate travel insurance before travelling and make sure it covers you for all the activities you want to do.
  • If you are travelling within Europe, ensure you have a valid UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
  • Learn about the laws, customs and entry requirements of the country you’re visiting and understand how they differ from home.
  • Check your passport is valid, fill out the emergency details, look after it while travelling and keep it in a safe place. Make sure you have all necessary visas.
  • Make copies of important travel documents, take a picture or make copies and store them securely using a secure data storage site.
  • Research vaccinations or any other medical requirements for your destination, and if necessary visit a travel health clinic before you travel.
  • Tell your friends or family about your travel plans and where you’re going and leave emergency contact details.
  • Take enough money with you and have access to emergency funds.
  • Ensure you take the contact details of the local British Consulate in case of emergencies (www.gov.uk/government/world/embassies) and understand what consular staff can and can’t do to help British nationals travelling overseas (www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-british-nationals-abroad-a-guide).
  • Act responsibly, and be responsible for yourself when abroad.

Health Advice for Travellers

Provided by the NHS (Scotland), the fitfortravel website gives travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK . The website is compiled and updated by a team of experts from the Travel Medicine Division at the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health.

Commissioned by Public Health England, TravelHealthPro.org.uk is the website comprising the travel health resources of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

The NHS website offers essential information and advice on how to avoid the need for health care when abroad; how to plan for healthy travelling; how to obtain emergency medical treatment in countries throughout the world; and how to obtain and use the GHIC card, which will provide you with free or reduced-cost emergency medical treatment in countries within the EU.

UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

If you are a UK citizen and are travelling in Europe you should obtain the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). You can apply for this card, free of charge, by picking up an application form from your local post office, or online at www.nhs.uk.

Each member of the family or individual requires their own card. For more information, a copy of ‘Health Advice for Travellers’ is also available at the post office. Please be aware that this cover operates with only certain member countries of the EU. GHIC cover should not be considered a substitute for travel insurance.


At the time of printing, no compulsory vaccinations were required for any of the holidays we feature, however we recommend you to check with your doctor about any innoculations required or visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care. You are advised to obtain a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which entitles you to reduced cost, sometimes free, medical treatment when travelling in the EU, Switzerland and Norway.

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It's easy to get in touch with us for further information about any aspect of our holidays:

  0044 1606 720199


  Contact form

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