Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
This is the best active holiday we’ve been on - we loved every minute due to the fantastic information provided by Colin & Jill. The bikes were of a great standard & the bike lanes in Austria made it feel safer to get around than in the UK. Colin & Jill were so helpful & on hand if we had additional questions about routes or the local area. Wolfgangsee is such a beautiful area with lots of hiking & biking routes, a great way to get back to nature. The hotel food was excellent, both at breakfast & our delicious 5 course dinner every night. Only improvement would be air con or a ceiling fan in the bedroom as it was very warm at night. We plan to book with Headwater again!
We had a fabulous holiday. We enjoyed the cycling, the food and friends we made. Even the weather was perfect.
Austria has a lot to offer and my surprise many people. Clean,beautiful with plenty of healthy recreational activities.
Calella de Palefrugell is beautifully situated on a lovely stretch of rocky coat with small, sandy bays. The walking and cycling can be as strenuous or gentle as you wish with interesting viewpoints and places to stop. A must is the beautiful Cap Roig Botanic Gardens, which is a short walk or cycle ride from the hotel. The hotel itself is well situated in a quiet area a short walk from the busy and interesting seafront. Greg's recommendation of a visit to the local Tapas restaurant was much appreciated. Also, it was good to be able to fly to and from out local airport. Many thanks.
Lovely location and hotel. A beautiful area that I would visit again possibly with a car. Eating out is cheap and convenient. Walks and rides quite challenging due to the hills and flights of steps. The routes do overlap somewhat.
A great family holiday based at an ideal location for cycling in the valley and close to public transport for days out on the bus. Lovely quiet hotel just outside Strobl - the restaurant was excellent. There was so much to do, that we could choose each day to suit the weather.
Excellent holiday - in every respect - beautiful Alpine scenery, first class bicycles and first class accommodation and food. Jill and Colin were responsive to any slight problem and gave us loads of ideas for trips etc in case the weather changed. Enjoyed the visit at Bad Ischl to the Kaiservilla but particularly the Photo Museum that Jill had suggested. They really went the extra mile!
An excellent base for a single-centre holiday. The meals at the picture perfect hotel were a highlight (vegetarian? - not a problem), but it’s location set amongst meadows just a short stroll from Strobl and the lake shore was excellent. Our hosts, Jill & Colin, couldn’t do enough for us, including additional suggestions of routes and day trips to consider. There’s so much to do in this area that the bikes are almost superfluous - walking, swimming, canoeing, wake boarding, parasailing, paddle steamers, cable cars, funiculars, buses and trains. The only thing in short supply is the time to do it all!
We had great service booking the holiday and that was more than matched by the service from Greg at Calella de Palafrugell. A good selection of walks and cycle routes were available and good local knowledge to tailor trips. We had a great time exploring an area we knew very little about.
The Hotel Bergrose was a superb choice with a very spacious suite and superb meals every day. The quality of service was excellent in the hotel. The Headwater reps Colin and Jill couldn't have been more helpful. The bicycles provided were of a very high qualty. The holiday far exceeded our expectations.
A great location for a variety of outdoor activities, also with attractive local towns. We enjoyed all the recommended cycle rides and walks we did. On the more rainy days local bus and boat services were very helpful, and they also extended the range of possible cycling and walking trips. The Bergrose hotel was a beautiful and relaxing base; the view from our room was stunning, the food was outstanding, and the family running the hotel were eager to please. Reps Colin and Jill could not have been more helpful.
We recently returned home from the Austrian Lakes activities holiday based in Strobl. Pre holiday information given by Headwater was informative and helped us to get the most out of our trip. All communication with Headwater head office was clear and promptly given. The reps in Strobl, Colin and Jill, were friendly, enthusiastic and determined to make sure we got the most out of our holiday. Despite the weather, we had an amazing time in the Wolfgangsee region. The area is stunning and there are several great day trips within walking, cycling or public transport distance from base. The family run Hotel Bergroße was like a home away from home, with relaxing gardens and a beautiful, varied breakfast and dinner menu. We would thoroughly recommend this holiday for anyone who loves outdoor activities in a relaxing, unspoilt region. We decided to extend our stay by 2 further nights to explore Salzburg in more depth, which was well worth it.
This is a brilliant holiday to suit everyone with lots to do and the flexibility to do it as and when - walking, cycling, ferry boat trips, cable cars, lazing in the garden by the river etc, all surrounded by beautiful scenery. The infrastructure for getting around makes cycling a real pleasure. And at the end of the day there's the welcome spa and delicious food waiting. Colin and Jill are excellent reps and help to make the most of the area by their knowledge and love of this part of Austria.
The holiday exceeded expectations. The walking and cycle instructions were generally spot on. The GPS for the bike was wonderful and easy to use and follow. The bikes were new or nearly new and in exceptional condition. The proposed day activities which we followed were excellent. The scenery was gorgeous. Four of the six days were quite exerting so a reasonable fitness was required. It was a level one holiday but that didn’t mean flat and level! The hotel Garbí was excellent although having such great views did mean it was a very steep walk to the hotel. The rep, Greg was extremely helpful too and we felt we could rely on him should an emergency or accident arise (it didn’t!) All in all well worth the money and as a result we’re looking at booking another holiday with Headwater. Well done.
The highlight of our holiday was the wonderful care & attention from our guide/rep, Steve. He was full of good advice & suggestions & nothing too much trouble.
Dinan is a lovely town to visit. I recommend the St Louis restaurant & the outdoor swimming pool for anyone who enjoys that.
This was an excellent holiday - everyone enjoyed it, including both teenage daughters (16 & 13). The hotel was superb - delicious food, helpful staff, spacious accommodation which was really beneficial as we travelled as a family and stayed in a family suite. The location and scenery of this holiday were breathtaking. I also cannot fault Colin & Gill from Headwater - they were so friendly, helpful and really did go over and above to help us (especially with the loan of a travel adapter). They were also very knowledgeable about the area and the local attractions which really made planning our stay very easy.
Lovely hotel in great location for cycling. Tracks were quiet and we rarely had to use roads. Hotel staff were very friendly and breakfasts were a good varied selection of stuff. Greg was very helpful, punctual and good humored. The bikes were set up well and the panniers complete with tools were brilliant. The saddles were suited to soft cyclists too rather than racing style saddles that cripple you after a few hours. We managed 2 days cycling 30km rides and were surprised to find we could still walk normally afterwards. The GPS ride app worked pretty well, but we noticed 3 or 4 directions were slightly out of date or took us down one way streets the wrong way. Overall we had a great cycling holiday and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys cycling along country lanes in the sunshine.
A brilliant week at Hotel Bergrose. We were lucky with the weather so followed most of the self/guided cycle routes provided. Route instructions clear on all but one ride (feedback given to rep). Brilliant rides in nice scenery. Loved the ebikes - we had a puncture at one point and the hire company were out to us within15 mins with a replacement.
Colin and Jill, our reps, were excellent. Helpful and informative and put themselves out to tinker with the bikes as needed.
Fabulous experience which we recommend to anyone wondering whether to try a cycling holiday.
An excellent holiday set in wonderful scenery with plenty of relaxing walking and cycling to choose from throughout the week. The hotel food, service and comfort were all fantastic. The reps Colin & Jill couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. This was our second visit to the area with Headwater and we will, no doubt, be back again.
Fantastic .. beautiful area
A super family break with relaxed canoeing and more challenging cycling. The pool at every hotel was very welcome, the bag transfer service slick and efficient and nothing was too much trouble for the reps. Chateau de Monrecour was a particular highlight, as was trying the via ferrata above the Dordogne!
Fantastic family holiday. A beautiful area with so much to do. Bicycles provided were excellent quality.
My wife and I had an enjoyable holiday (mid-July 2018) staying in Dinan exploring the town, walking and cycling.
From our experience, future holidaymakers should note that:
1.The hotel, Hotel d’Avaugour (3 star), locks its doors at 9.00pm and sometimes up to an hour earlier. Access after this time is by code and keypad, and allows guests into the lobby and the rooms; the bar, lounge and garden (a prime feature of the hotel) are not accessible once the hotel is locked.
2.During weekdays, the owner seems to run the hotel on his own; he both staffs the reception desk and puts out the breakfast. As there is no cooked or hot food provided at breakfast, it only requires stored or freshly-delivered items to be laid out. At weekends (busier times), there seems to be two part-time staff members in addition to the owner.
3.As the owner carefully manages what he provides, three times during our 7-night stay he had to go, when requested,to a local bakery to supplement basic the breakfast items eg bread and croissants.
4.All the staff, when available, were friendly and very helpful.
5.The information provided notes for two cycle rides and four walks, two of which required a taxi ride and two were covered by the cycle routes. If you only want to walk or cycle, be prepared to find your own routes to supplement those covered by the notes.
Thank you so much for your feedback and for sharing your holiday experience. We are very pleased to hear that you found the hotel staff helpful, and we've been assured by the hotelier that should guests wish to enjoy the bar area and gardens they will remain open for them.
Many thanks again and I do hope we can welcome you on a Headwater holiday again soon.
The area was fantastic for walking and cycling with the added bonus of being able to swim in the lake. All the activity off set the 5 course evening meals which were beautifully presented, the perfect size and always delicious.
The holiday overall was very good, with some excellent and some distinctly average hotels. The holiday overall is about the activities and the surroundings that you are in and in this respect the holiday was excellent. The reps were excellent and no complaints there at all. The quality of the equipment was excellent and the introduction to the use of was also excellent. Two things to note, the walk from the river to the hotel in Souillac does take the a while and although flat, carrying all the equipment and if you have young ones is a task in hot temperatures. Secondly the position of the hotel in Sarlat is stunning for the views but is overall poor and is situated as stated out of town. After a hard day walking or cycling, to walk into town and and back (back is uphill and 2.8 k ) is not easy in heat, and the hotel said that it was almost impossible to get taxis to do the short distance (for them) to and from the hotel. These two things aside the holiday is a good one and we would reccomend to others and Headwater are a good company, we have had two holidays with them now and would use again. To clarify the earlier statement about some of the hotels being average, we have had several of this type of holiday with other companies as well as Headwater and they all seem to throw in one hotel that is a bit of a let down, we are now used to this and it becomes a bit of a game to guess which it will be. As with this type of holiday you are only in one place for a couple of nights before moving on you can put up with a poorish hotel as you are not spending that much time there, but if you like top notch all the time then research the hotels closely.
A fabulous week. Loads to do but very chilled and unspoilt region of the World
Lovely town. Excellent rep. Long climb back up to hotel/town from port.Hotel limited and closed doors with no reception (just code) or bar after 9pm. Increased number of suggested walks and rides would be helpful
Excellent holiday. Colin and Jill were great, very knowledgeable and helpful.
Thoroughly enjoyed our Austrian Lakes holiday. Would not hesitate to book through Headwater again
Thoroughly enjoyable week of mixed canoeing and cycling. We had intended walking days too, but found there was so much we wanted to see cycling was the only way to encompass as much as we could. Canoeing down the Dordogne was truly serene and magical. Most accomodation and food really excellent.
The whole holiday exceeded our expectations. Hotel wonderful and the scenery absolutely magical. Food at the hotel was world class and the staff went over the top as a daily norm. Your reps were excellent and very helpful and we would certainly recommend this holiday to anyone who likes travel and cycling. The weather was fantastic and at times a little too warm for us pensioners to cycle too much, thank goodness for the ferry and a lift back home on one occasion.
Dordogne is utterly beautiful, medieval chateaux rising from open woodland dotted with ancient villages. We hit a heatwave, so cycled rather than walked. Excellent maps (but read their key!) allowed us to discover our own way sometimes. The two days canoeing — we chose an open two-person canoe — were a revelation: clean river, beds of long green weeds flowering at the surface, home to dragonflies; real bliss, with occasional bursts of not-really-threatening adrenalin as we avoided shallows and bridge pillars. (Hard-working) Tim and Jude created a lovely laid-back, friendly, helpful feel for the 8 days. Hotels and food were superb.
professionally organised, good hotels in the main with excellent food. Local tour staff were first class, Jude and Tim were thoughtful, considerate and extremely helpful in every way. They provided excellent service and delivered a slick, personal service. The cycle routes were well mapped and very sensible quiet roads providing superb countryside views and charming tiny villages. The river canoe trips down the Dordogne were a highlight, so peaceful and the most relaxed activity we have ever done.
It was a great opportunity to take part in activities I might not otherwise have tried. You can only get the magnificent views of the Dordogne river that we had from a canoe.
This was our second visit ( the first 8 years ago) to Austrian Lakes Activities. We were lucky to have fantastic weather which helped. The area has outstanding scenery and views. Gentle cycle routes are not too long so you have time to explore the area and actually get to see/ do things things and not feel you are spending all day on a bike. We love the area which is why we went back a second time and were not disappointed. The Hotel is in a great location with a bus stop at the end of the road - very handy if you want a break from the bike. Hotel staff very welcoming and friendly and rooms very comfy and quiet with lovely views of the mountains. We have done several Headwater holidays now and continue to be impressed. Reps are great. Very helpful.
We liked the multi activity holiday, walking, cycling and canoeing.
It would be good if you offer more of these type of holidays.
On the last day we did the cycling. It is quite a long day and at the end the hotel is up a very steep and long hill. We felt it was a bit too steep to be enjoyable.
Once there the hotel is a little bit disappointing, especially after the Château for the two nights before.
Everything else was good.
A relaxing holiday with positive together time as a family - nothing gets everyone working together as well as arguing more - than getting lost in the Dordogne countryside an hour before lunch !
Lovely area with a good variety of walking, cycling and sightseeing activities. Hotel Bergrosse is excellent with fabulous food, large, clean and comfortable rooms and a lovely pool and spa area along with the gardens.
Austria is the perfect place for cycling as there are dedicated cycle paths everywhere. The scenery is spectacular. Plenty of opportunity to swim in the lake. Sightseeing opportunities were good and I highly recommend a visit to lovely Hallstadt. The electric bike provided by Headwater was a real boon and enhanced all the cycle rides. The weather was fantastic which added to our enjoyment of a perfect holiday.
We last took on a headwater holiday15 years. Now we have an 8 year old daughter and 11 year old son. The dordogne was lush, warm and beautiful. The reps were helpful and knowledgable. The hotels were very french with great food. The activities were well balanced with relaxation at the pool. Super holiday i hope we dont wait another 15 years.
A perfect mix of activities based in the most welcoming family hotel within an exquisite setting of water, woodland, pastures and mountains. The evening meals are a gastronomic tour de force without being at all heavy; the chef and his son are true artists who can conjure colours and tastes in perfect harmony - quite exceptional. We had memorable walks, cycle rides, visits to historical sites and swims and were reluctant to leave.
Great fun, lots of fresh air and lovely food.
Excellent base, fantastic views
Headwater provide gently active (this interpretation depends on one's level of fitness and expectation!) holidays in comfortable, interesting hotels and places. The restaurants vary, some are better than others, but in general they reach a very satisfactory standard. I think they are a great way to spend time exploring an area but with always the fall back of a pleasant hotel.
Our party consisted of Grandma and Granddad (late 60's), Son (48) and Grandson (10). We were all more than catered for and thoroughly enjoyed our activity holiday. We had an informative break down of the area from our reps, Colin and Jill and the map we were given + bus timetables were very useful throughout the week. Our bicycles were easy to ride and comfortable.
Our first outing was on the afternoon of arrival when we decided to visit the nearby village. There were very few days when we didn't use the bikes to visit nearby towns and villages and the routes were usually flat and safe for our 10 year old. Our grandson particularly enjoyed the toboggan run but warns other would be enthusiasts that it is possible to fall off!! He was, however, proud of his scraped leg! Got straight back on and finished the course.
The grandparents tackled the cycle ride to lake Schwazen which included a steep climb. We walked some of the way as it was very hot - but we made it and were very proud of ourselves especially as there were many people overtaking us on electric bikes! (a good idea if you are not used to cycling). We particularly enjoyed our day at the Salt Mines, using the local bus and train + a ferry to get to Hallstatt (a stunning place). The salt mines were great fun and a unique experience. We also visited the Ice Caves (by local buses) - also fascinating.
The boys hired an eco boat and also sampled tubing on the lake. Crazy golf and the train up the mountain was fab + the cable car up Katrin. The walk down the mountain was pretty tough, though out 10 year old completed the whole day without a murmur. Catching the bus back outside the Spar on the main road was a good idea as sustenance was required!!
Last, but not least, the hotel was superb - so friendly and the food was spectacular! Thank you Headwater for a great holiday, though we did need a rest on our return.
As a family of six, headwater is a great holiday choice for us. We enjoy spending the time together and the activities give us a shared focus and shared sense of achievement. The children age between 16 and eight, and they all enjoyed the holiday. It challenged their palates as well as their legs, as most of the hotels don't offer kids menus, but this worked out fine and they all discovered things they didn't know they might like. Canoeing was harder work than expected, but such a beautiful way to see the river. I really love headwater holidays, this is our third time and it definitely won't be our last. Now that all the children are confidently able to cycle we will try some more ambitious ones next time.
We really enjoyed our holiday. The arrangements were efficient, the hotel was comfortable if somewhat dated (it's years since I've seen one of those beige hairdriers attached to the bathroom wall in a hotel). The food was good on the whole, though with limited choice as is usual for this type of hotel in Austria not everything is going to suit everyone.
The area is great for all levels of activity and the option of returning on the boat after a walk or cycle was great for us with our 7 year old. We have been to the area before so knew it would be suitable for us even if we didn't want to opt for some of the suggested things on the itinerary.
We had a wonderful mixed activity holiday cycling and canoeing down the Dordogne knowing we had excellent food and drink to look forward to after a hard days work. Pure bliss !!
The family activity holiday was ideal for a family of mixed ability. The cycling to Bad Ischi , Saint Wolfgang and Saint Gilgen was suitable for everyone. All the places we visited had a wide selection of coffee shops, bars and restaurants. We also did a number of walks from the hotel. The most rewarding was the 20 minute ascent of the Thersienstein which gave excellent views of Wolfgangsee. A more adventurous walk was the Brustwand Aussichtsweg, although the highlight was probably a beer at the Kleefeld on the way back to the hotel with views up the Postalm valley. We used the hotels swimming pool everyday and on the hotter days you could walk out into the garden to a selection of sun beds. The hotels facilities were excellent. We had a bedroom with a mezzanine which gave 3 sleeping areas. The public areas were very spacious and clean. The food was a modern interpretation of Austrian cuisine that was very well cooked and presentated. However if you thought it a little adventurous they would give alternatives like Wiener schnitzel and chips . Overall the holiday is highly recommended.
I had a fantastic week on the Austrian Lakes Adventure. Colin and Jill were very welcoming and happy to help at any stage of the holiday. The family run Hotel was also brilliant! Rather than a standard room which I was expecting, I had my very own suite including window seating and table, sofa, en-suite, balcony and ample storage. Their buffet breakfast and 5 course evening menus were always first class too. I really could not complain! As for the hiking and cycling, there were numerous notes provided which gave flexibility and choice dependent on the level of ability I was looking for. This was a great way to visit the local area and integrate with local culture. I also incorporated a day trip to Salzburg by bus. Unlike the UK, this was very easy to organise, and stress free! This was a beautiful area to visit and will highly recommend to my friends and family. Thank you all.
We have just returned from an excellent 10 days in France, having never been to this area before, we now are keen to return! The walking and cycling was definitely 2 boot, but worth the climbs. And we really enjoyed the relaxed canoeing down The Dordogne. All hotels were excellent with fabulous food. Sarlet is very pretty and well worth the extra night, although it is a long climb up back to the hotel from the town.
Very good experience despite the travel arrangement errors.
well organised and helpful
The weather was dreadful for the entire week we spent in Austria. It was cold and rained every day. Several of the recommended restaurants and cafes remained closed because of the bad weather although it was the start of the summer season. We put on wet weather gear and did the walks anyway. It was great - we had the whole area to ourselves! The wild flowers were fantastic. It was a pleasure to come back to the Hotel Bergrose each day because we knew we could swim and sauna before dinner. The food in the hotel was excellent and we were very comfortable there. What could have been a dreary week turned out to be entirely pleasurable.
Excellent, good location, helpful reps, fantastic hotels, good food, well maintained equipment with all necessary ancillaries. It all makes to an active but stress free holiday.
We have had a superb holiday, Colin and Jill were very knowledgeable about the area and made useful suggestions with the accompanying literature about places to visit.
The hotel was five star and the food deserves Michelin stars.
The family treated us really well and we have promised ourselves that if circumstances allow we will return in 2 years, we will book through Headwater again
Fantastic. The whole experience was wonderful. Travel was smooth - the 'local reps (Keith and Claire) were lovely, informed, committed and really, really nice couple. The itinerary was easy to follow and worked very well. Food superb and hotels great. thank you
A brilliant and well thought out holiday, with super routes and excellent hotels - well worth adding extra days to.
A great week in an outstandingly beautiful area - as the notes say (and I paraphrase) any slog uphill is richly rewarded with ever more stunning views, and prices at the mountain-top cafes are the same as at the bottom, which is unusual. The weather was hot so we chose to do more cycling than walking to make our own breeze! Plenty of choice of walking and cycling routes and the teenagers were exercised adequately each day! The bicycles were good quality and very well maintained. We took the cog-railway up to Schafberg, walked up (and down) Katrin from Nussensee (which was a hard day's walk) and cycled to Bad Ischl, St Wolfgang, St Gilgen and Schwarzensee - that last one was hard too and we wished we'd taken our swimming stuff to cool off in the glorious lake! We added our own 4-night stay in Munich (including organising our own travel from Strobl and afterwards to Munich airport) and Headwater were happy to arrange our flight around this. We felt that everything had been carefully thought out and researched which meant we could just relax and enjoy ourselves.
The holiday offered varied activities which were not too strenuous, although you needed some degree of fitness to enjoy them. The support offered by the local reps was excellent as was the food at the various hotels.
An excellent family activity holiday with a lovely range of hotels and universally excellent food. Chateau de Monrecour was a particular highlight. Look at the cycling routes carefully and plan the day especially with regard to food stops and water refills.
Excellent Holiday with easy walking and kayaking
A wonderfully relaxing holiday featuring the opportunity to mix a range of outdoor activities in a beautiful part of France with the chance to explore its towns, villages, sights and cuisine.
7 of us shared this holiday. We ranged in age from 10 to 73 and we all had a great time. The wonderful weather helped in this very good location. We were very impressed with the efficient Austrian people,in the delightful Bergrose hotel and all the little farms, ,houses and neat, tidy floral gardens. It was a joy to cycle around. the scenery was spectacular. We particularly enjoyed the lake at Stroble as well as the bike rides to StWolfgang, St Gilgen and Bad Ischl and the ferry to Hallstatt.. The children were always busy and after dinner had a very competitive table tennis match. A very good family holiday!
Having done this holiday 5 years ago it was lovely to return & find everything was as good as last time. The family run Hotel Bergrose is a credit to the Zopf family & Francesca & the rest of the staff are a credit to the business. They also speak excellent English (as well as countless other languages)
The area is lovely & the bike rides & walking a real joy. With spas in Bad Ischal, Salt mines to explore, & cable cars plus the schafgerg railway you are never stuck for things to do.
Be careful which time of the year you choose to go to the Austrian lakes - it rained most of the time we were there!
Welcoming hotel in pretty area of austria with choice of things to do from walking cycling or sightseeing
A very good weeks holiday cycling around a beautiful lake which was also wonderful to swim in. The hotel was comfortable and quiet with delicious food and a lovely garden. It was also in an excellent location for exploring the area by bike.
Another superb Headwater holiday - everything perfect as always. We added three nights at the Weisses Kreuz Hotel in Bregenz which was also excellent.
Suitable for the lethargic or energetic, this holiday has it all
A very good holiday, despite rather variable weather. Fortunately the excellent bus connections from near the hotel made getting to Salzburg and Bad Ischl very easy on the really wet days. The general cool temperatures were probably not a bad thing when it came to cycling and walking. The hotel proved a splendidly welcoming environment each evening.