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.
Fairly easy cycling through undulating countryside with some nice coastal sections. Wonderful food and good swimming in clear water. Some fine hotels, particularly the agriturismo and Room of Andrea. Unfortunately, Sicily is an opencast landfill of rubbish, and it is so sad and depressing to ride along otherwise wonderful backroads lined by endless garbage. The tourist board needs to apply some pressure to stop the accepted culture of dumping. I wouldnt recommend it as a cycling destination purely for this.
Really enjoyed the trip and would explore more of Euro Velo 6 but hotels did not live up to 4 star expectations
The trip went like clockwork.Headwater delivered the entire y like clockwork .
This is our second holiday with headwater and we would definitely travel with Headwater again. The organisation is good and all staff friendly and helpful. . We enjoyed Sicily very much and were very pleased with the bikes, locations and liked the mix of hotels . However we were really shocked by the rubbish that litters the Sicilian countryside and found it difficult to see past this to enjoy the countryside as we would have liked to. Most of the hotels were very good , one was a bit past it’s best . Mostly the food ( usual just breakfast ) was good, but our 2 last hotels the breakfast was poor and in one case very poor, with dreadful coffee in both. The other thing that I struggled with is that the beds were generally very firm to hard and in all the hotels but one the pillows were very hard foam and very uncomfortable. This of course could be normal for Sicily, but unfortunately I came home with a very sore neck. I am sounding negative, but really overall it was a great holiday .
The self- guided holiday model requires excellent equipment and extremely clear route notes. We spent a lot of time stopping and pondering which way to go and sometimes having to retrace our steps. Only a smallish portion of the ride from Vienna to Budapest actually borders the Danube.
please see below
Excellent holiday. Villa Favourita at Noto a real highlight
The route takes you through beautiful cities, where you eat delicious local food and sample local drinks. Cycling through the beautiful agricultural land and coast lines is throughly enjoyable on quiet roads. The routes each day are enjoyable but not too challenging. All the accommodation is delightful.
Stunning views and wonderful small towns and villages to meander through. There are quite a few new roads and cycle ways which have been built since the route notes were last printed, and so a degree of deduction and use of the two Kompass maps is recommended.
I loved being able to use an electric bike for the first time, the bike was of very good quality and was able to keep pace with my partner on a regular bike. The landscape we cycled through was mostly olive tree plantations, the towns were very interesting historically and particularly enjoyed our stay in Alberobello. Lots to see and the accommodation was in a trulli building which added to the atmosphere. Our favourite accommodation was at Masseria Salamina,
Fabulous food, lovely grounds and even had a dip in the pool in October! Altogether a great trip to an undiscovered area of Italy for me and my husband. The organisation and support was excellent. Two points that made it a challenge was the incomplete routes on the Headwater App not taking account of all our accommodation locations and the shortage of information on the routes , more detail would have been appreciated. I was quite shocked at the amount of rubbish, general waste tipping on the road sides. An excellent trip.
Wonderful accommodation linked by average itineraries and heavy clunky bikes
(Copied into separate email to Joanne Chaplin - I seem to have rambled too much!)
An absolutely fabulous experience. Customer service response to a couple of minor issues was nearly instantaneous and resolved problems immediately. Accommodations were never less than fine, and on a couple of occasions went far above and beyond expectations.
Doing our cycling holiday as a self-guided tour was an excellent way for four of us to travel, to see and experience this part of Sicily.
Absolutely super trip - fab hotels and very well organised. Definitely an extra day in Seville to sight see and in Cadiz if you can. The cycling is probably easy for experienced riders but would feel quite hardcore for recreational cyclists (we are the latter!). One day is 70KMs and over 700m ascent with most of the ascent at the end of the day. A lot on lovely quiet country lanes but also need to be confident on main roads in towns with traffic. Is about 30% off road which is a nice change but the bikes are road bikes so lack suspension so be prepared for some bone rattling riding along the way. We loved the challenge and every aspect of the holiday. The Parador hotels are fabulous. Very much recommend. Thank you Headwater for another great holiday.
Our Mallorca cost to coast trip was another great Headwater holiday for us. We loved the variety going across the island and stayed in some quirky but fantastic places. I would recommend it to others as a great way to see some of the real Mallorca and have a varied holiday at the same time. The travel arrangements were great and the bike rental was no problem at all, even when we had a puncture on a small country road. Someone attended to it very quickly. All in all a great holiday.
We had an amazing holiday and have recommended to lots of our friends. Everything was managed really well, staff were friendly and the route was pretty easy to follow. Some of the instructions were a little tricky to follow at times but we got better at interpreting them as the holiday went on. The hotels are quite basic we had all 4 star but i would compare most of them to a UK premier inn standard - clean and comfy but standard and basic. However we would 100% go on another
This was a first cycling holiday for my two friends and I and so we decided to get E-bikes. This turned out to be a good idea as there were quite a few hill towns to visit and the 'boost' was needed on some steeper climbs. The navigation app was very easy to follow and we never got lost. The accommodation along the route was excellent and having two nights in most places was very welcome. Cycling around this area of Puglia was really enjoyable and beautiful. I would definitely book another cycling holiday with Headwater as they were super helpful from start to finish and the whole trip was flawless
Wonderful welcome and support from Stefano and his team. Beautiful rides with some amazing views through varied terrain in the Val d'Orcia, challenging at times but not too much to handle. Lovely pool, ideal for a wind down after a day in the saddle. We looked forward to dinner every night, cooked with love from local produce. Excellent value home produced wines. We highly recommend this holiday. The Headwater team were incredibly helpful and efficient in answering our queries and arranging transfers. It is so refreshing (and so rare nowadays) to be able to speak to named helpful people who know what they are talking about.
A relaxing holiday, in a mix of beautiful country & small towns & villages. We were made to feel welcome by hoteliers & locals alike. Grape harvest was underway whilst we were in area & we found that very interesting!
Great place to cycle if first time as most of the routes are very flat and easy to follow. Lots of local life and architecture to see en-route.
Thoroughly enjoyable cycling holiday! The phone app was superb - an excellent addition. By far and away the best days were on cycle tracks / Via Verdes away from the traffic / roads. Some of the towns along the way were simply stunning and we loved the fact that they were mostly off the tourist trail. Hotel Xauen was disappointing and I haven't completed the review for Hotel Sancho III as we didn't stay there! All in all, it was a great trip which I would be very happy to replicate in the future.
We enjoyed our holiday in Catalan. We found the medieval towns such as Pals, Begur and Corca very interesting. Also the villages on the coast. We visited Salvador Dali's Castle at Pubol which I would recommend. At Pubol we had very tasty and inexpensive lunch at the hotel there.
All the hotels were good but Hotel Castel d'Emporda was amazing. The battle of Waterloo display there was well worth viewing.
We went in the middle of September was lovely. Not too hot for cycling. The cycling was good too but there we did not like the hills to Begur or near the coast route so I would say it should have been marked as grade 1 bicycle with some steep hills occasionally
This was a nice tour with lovely scenery and good opportunities for exploring the local area especially on the rest days. The first day is a tough one with a lot of hills and it was hotter than we expected for October. But we enjoyed our day off in Lagos with a boat trip and strolling through the old town. The route options from Lagos to Pedralva give a choice of hilly or less hilly , both were enjoyed by members of our group although the hilly option made for tired legs at the end of the day. Pedralva was a fun place to stay with a nice restaurant and friendly staff. The optional off road cliff top tour was a super ride with great scenery and we spent time on one of the beaches swimming and watching the surfers. The ride back to Sarges was less strenuous and we had plenty of time to see Cabo de Sao Vincente ( most south westerly point in Europe) although it was disappointing that the lighthouse was all in scaffolding with no visits possible. Overall a very good trip.
My self-guided cycling experience around Terceira was amazing in many ways. The hotels were really good quality and made you feel immediately welcome and relaxed. The beauty of the island needs to be seen, its incredibly lush and subtropical with a volcanic edginess. Tiago my guide was incredibly helpful and a wonderful mine of information which made the trip even more rewarding. I would highly recommend this holiday and look forward to returning.
This was the first time we have been on a cycling holiday, and our first holiday with Headwater.
It exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was exactly as described; the hotels were all very comfortable, the bikes were more than adequate, and the administrative support around the edge of the holiday was all perfect. We enjoyed the routes, and cycling near to the coast before heading inland for the final two days. We were lucky to avoid any rain, and the temperature in October was ideal for cycling. The GPS Navigation App was simple to use and to follow. Everyone was very friendly and helpful; we were upgraded at two of the hotels without asking; and we especially enjoyed having a day in Aveiro to explore all the sights.
It was a perfect break, and very special to visit Portugal for the first time.
Great to visit Seville, Carmona, Jerez & Cadiz but as a cycling holiday this was less interesting than other more rural Headwater holidays we have done. Long stretches of monotonous agricultural scenery on the Andalusian plains with little shade & few villages to stop in. Also a lot of heavy going off road cycling. But it is level 3 & early September very hot. Glad we had EBikes!
Sicily is a country of contrasts. The archeological sites are amazing, Segentum and Selinunte are fantastic. The roads are not in a great state of repair, and at times we had to wade through mud. The roadsides are disappointingly covered in rubbish, and fly tipping is very prevalent. The roads are also very busy for cycling, and the drivers don’t give you much room. As someone previously mentioned the bikes are not high quality, , heavy and really suitable for short city rides.
I’m sorry I don’t buy into the fact that they need to be sturdy as there are panniers. We carried virtually nothing . We went to the Egadi islands for a few days….they were fantastic, and great cycling, well worth a visit.
Eating out was very expensive.
We travelled in September , temperatures were great, and often a gentle wind.
The hotels were mainly great. It’s worth spending extra time in Palermo, as there are some amazing museums and palaces, The archeological museum has a lot of information on Selinunte.
Very disappointed with this holiday. Not cycling on coastal routes as expected and stated in brochure and cycling some distances on main roads. Some poor hotels. Enjoyed Porto and Aveiro which are lovely cities. Some uninspiring cycle routes. Despite stating 4 star hotels, 2 of them very poor. Very expensive for what it was.
Great selection of activity holidays to diverse destinations offering the traveller a whole range of activities. Hotels are carefully chosen and Headwater go to great trouble to find local restaurants that offer food and drink that reflect the local area. Routes are carefully planned and detailed information provided. Headwater seem to use quality advisors to assist holiday makers whilst on their trips.
All the Hotels were spotless all staff very polite and helpful Food was tasty and well presented in the hotels we dined in. The E-Bikes were to a high standard and well maintained a pleasure to ride Magnificent scenery and wonderful beaches so take swimming costumes in the panniers
Do'nt give it a second thought book it and get on your bike
Although rated as 1+, there are a lot of hills on this trip so we were glad we chose ebikes . My ebike started to emitt an enervating wailing sound from the front wheel hub and Philipo came out in a storm that evening to repair it. The scenery was varied and interesting, but there was a fair bit of urban and main road to negotiate, which was not pleasant. The hotel breakfasts were on the whole limited for vegans. We spent a couple of additional nights in Selinute, with a beautiful beach, warm sea and a laid back feel.
Underwhelming scenery and very average hotels. Headwater navigation app useful but massive drain on phone battery. Would be good if clients were advised to have back up battery. Will not be going to this part of Portugal again, nor will be be recommending this trip to others. The Headwater brochure description of the coastal cycling trip was completely inaccurate - has anyone at Headwater been on this trip. Cycling through industrial sites and run down seaside / touristy towns is not something we were expecting.
Excellent holiday, great accommodation, good quality bikes and stunning scenery
We had a lovely time, everything from visiting the amphitheatre in Pula to sitting outside enjoying a delicious breakfast overlooking the waterside in Fazana. Lots of lovely sea food and the routes were varied and interesting. Alot of the routes were tracks rather than tarmac but it was fine for our bikes with no suspension (we took our own). September was a good time to go with temperature in the mid twenties. All the hotels were very nice but we preferred Fazana most of all due to its location.
This is a new trip for Headwater and it definitely needs tweaking. First night accommodation (Portoscuco) was disappointing and very overpriced, no wonder it was empty. We had to get an expensive cab ride back to the start (Nebida) Cycling for the first 4 days was enjoyable and varied however the last day was hardly worth doing! And then no more cycling but free day in Pula. Too summarise it was a poorly set out itinerary which could have been wrapped up in 6 days, or alternately an extra night in Aquadulci, which was lovely.
We had a great time on this cycling trip, particularly enjoying staying in both the agriturismos, the one at Villaganzerla having the most convivial atmosphere at mealtimes, while 'il Feudo' was a more intimate family farmstead.
Whilst my husband is a regular cyclist for whom the (relatively rare) 'hills' and hair-pin bends were as to be expected, I as more of an occasional cyclist would have found them a challenge without the e.bike! We loved Este and Montelice, but didn't have enough time to see all the attractions, so if doing again would perhaps have built in an extra day. Similarly the canal boat museum at Battaglia was a gem. Our highlight in Teolo was being able to listen to a concert in the art gallery literally across from our accommodation (a once-a-month 'friends of' event). While October is clearly turning 'end of season', for us September was a perfect time as the weather was like a nice summer day in Britain.
The team also excelled with our extra night in Verona.
Overall very good, only gripe we had was the hotel in Vienna was a long way from the city Center, luckily we had an extra day staying there.
Product as delivered for ike touring and accomodation was up to headwaters high standard. No complaints. However dealing with headwater was both tedious and time consuming.
The bikes ordered were not supplied and put this down to the use of multiple contractors by headwater as messaged conveyed clearly did not get to bike delivery contractor.
Booking arrangements good but a couple of minor glitches. Travel to and from destination good but see comment below.Cycles reliable and easy to use.Cycling involved quite long distances on minor roads and dedicated cycle tracks. Mostly excellent although muddy and slippery in one or two points. Chateaus did not disappoint although visits a bit hurried after a day on the bikes. If repeated would allow an extra day at Blois. Hotels and restaurants generally excellent but that at Amboise overlooked a noisy street and did not serve dinner.All in all an excellent break and would do again in another part of France.
More personal Headwater monitoring is needed overall - you are not as in touch as you were in 2012 when we last did this trip. For example, don't arrange an evening meal (in a particularly poor Beer Garden) too close to the time for the evening briefing! You need to check hotels and their location personally - especially in cities - leaving it to your partner-company to sort out is not satisfactory. The route directions to hotels were generally very poor and need to be re-written - based on your own personal experience!
The Bolzano to Venice cycle had beautiful scenery, especially in the Dolomites and Lake Garda. The cycle paths were excellent but some days cafes and restaurants en route were scarce and no guidance on this was given by the Girolibero agent. Usually the Headwater agent is very helpful about this. The only guidance we were given was about the electric bikes which were excellent and made the longer days, 75km, very manageable, although never staying in the same hotel for two nights made the cycle a bit intense. Hotels were not up to the usual Headwater standard except for the Sporting Hotel near Padua which was excellent. Some rooms especially in Mestre were very small. No advice was given about roadworks detours which caused problems.
We really enjoyed our trip in the Cotswolds - the weather was clement and the places to visit were really nice. Not as many coffee options are perhaps on the continental cycling holidays but very pleasant villages and small towns to stay. The roads we cycled on weren't too busy with only the occasional need to cross or cycle on a busy road for short periods. Very relaxing:)
This is a great trip through the backroads of Provence.
Very well organised holiday staying in comfortable hotels. We experienced more of the country than we expected and really enjoyed the experience.
Really interesting and entertaining trip. Route notes need very careful study though.
We had a really great week cycling in Puglia. It’s a beautiful place and we felt we got closer to the countryside seeing it from a bike.
At all times felt that our expectations were met
An extremely enjoyable holiday but the cycling is quite challenging in places. The brochure does not make clear how much cycling is off road and on sandy , gravelly tracks - about 40% but the bikes provided are more than up to the task. Amazing scenery and plenty of opportunity to swim en route so make sure you carry your bathers.
Enjoyable holiday provided with excellent bikes. Impressive towns and countryside and excellent routes
Overall we enjoyed the holiday but based on previous experience we felt the holiday should have been graded as a 2, and not 1+. The opportunities for visiting ancient sites on St Antioco and at Pula were well worth doing. We really enjoyed the frequent swimming breaks from the very many stunning beaches along the route, and the excellent food and wine! The support from the local agents, especially Naomi, was excellent
Wonderful (first time) leisurely biking high class gastronomic wine tour with beautiful mountain vistas every day
Pleasant cycling on quiet roads through impressive mountain scenery
Excellent holiday, especially for visiting places of historic interest
Really enjoyable holiday! Well organised. Good bikes, easy cycling. Excellent, easy navigation app. Very quiet, rural location. Walking distance into the local village. Clean and comfortable accommodation. The pool and garden was an added bonus. Excellent home cooked food. I would recommend bringing a travel kettle and tea/coffee. It is also worth noting that not all rooms have a fridge.
Would highly recommend to anyone looking to experience a taste of rural life in Italy along with the chance to visit beautiful Vicenza.
There is a local supermarket, bakery and and a small café/bar in the village but worth noting that they seem to close at about 12.30 and don’t reopen until late afternoon.
Self-Guided cycling across Portugal, Porto to Sagres. Brilliant. Great trip. Custom made holiday by the team at headwater. Excellent accommodation and support as needed by the local teams. Highly recommend.
The holiday provides a great tour of the beautiful coastline of Southern Sardinia and the islands. The cycling is relaxed with lots of opportunities to stop off at beautiful beaches
Our trip to Provence was spectacular ! Headwater very kindly customised our trip, to allow my husband to fulfil a long term dream - cycling up Mont Ventoux, for his 60th birthday.
Megan, at Headwater, kept me involved and up to date with the progress of the booking from when the initial enquiry was made until we departed for France. The standard of the hotels was superb, the navigation app kept us on track and the road bikes we were provided with for the ascent of Mont Ventoux were spot on. Overall an excellent trip.
We are a couple in our mid-70s and found the distances and cycling routes easily managed on our e-bikes. We were very impressed by the many cycle paths on the Atlantic coast. The few hills on the route to Coimbra were easily managed on our e-bikes. We appreciated the good quality of the hotels and their locations. Our Trek e-bikes were very good quality although we would have liked one female step-through bike rather than the sloping crossbar provided. Charging them was easily done in the hotels. It was worthwhile booking an extra day in Coimbra to explore the city. Most of the food was of very good quality and good value.
A very good holiday, much enjoyed.
A business hotel, but with the personal touch, in a pleasant location and good food. The cycling was easy (rating perhaps a 1) but the routes were long, leaving us as casual cyclists little time to explore the many attractions passed on the routes. The landscape was flat but there were many pretty streets, houses and farms to engage the eye. All the cycling was on cycle paths or quiet roads so there was no significant interaction with traffic. Transport between Schipol airport and the hotel was very easy using trains and taxis, but be prepared for long queues at the airport. We would suggest that an extra day to explore Utrecht on foot could provide a break in the four long days of cycling. Everyone spoke good English so there was never any need to take a Dutch phrasebook.
We really enjoyed the Barola wine trip. The hotels and the service was excellent. The countryside was beautiful, similar to Tuscany and no crowds. The hilltop villages were so pretty and each hotel was so comfortable and welcoming.I like some previous reviewers recommend an e bike unless you are a seasoned biker. Some of the hills were grueling.
For headwater. Recommend your guests to book ahead for the wine tours in Fontanafredda. We got there and they were all booked up which was disappointing.
Fantastic route with forest, rivers and sea, with historic villages.
Could have done with a complete support pack, tubes, brake pads as heavy rain caused punctures and brakes to wear quickly. The support team were great but would be useful to have back up kit at hotel. Great trip.
Expected to be cycling around small fishing villages and cycle trails, was not expecting to be around built up and overcrowded seaside resorts.
An excellent choice for a first cycle tour. With comfortable accommodation and plenty to do and see on the days we were not cycling.
What a glorious holiday! The cycling routes; the quality of the bikes; the standard of the hotels; the locations; the food - everything was perfect! One of our best ever holidays. Hard to find any ways this holiday could be improved.
The staff at headwater were extremely helpful during the booking stage. They arranged an e bike at short notice a few days before we were due to travel. All hotels were comfortable with excellent breakfasts. The route was easy to follow although gps would have been helpful when going into the larger towns. Will definitely use Headwater again.
It really was quite a magical trip, with some outstanding rides, breath-taking views and great places to stay. We enjoyed the sense of an overall journey from the mountains to the sea, and the variety along the way. Our local agent was outstanding.
Another great holiday with Headwater!
We loved our trip! and we are already planning more bike trips in 2023!! Some disappointments. 1. The boys’ bikes seemed to be much older than for the girls, with batteries that would hardly last a day, so that Fabrizio ended up replacing one of the batteries. Their power for turbo was often not enough for the steeper hills (and we all have bikes in Canada so we are used to pedal assist on hills). The girls’ bikes were excellent. 2. The app was great, except outdated for some places, which might have been a covid related issue. It would be handy for the app to include where free charging stations are, as it seemed that quite a few villages had them, and we definitely needed these at times with the battery issues. 3. We were disappointed with Fontanafredda, who did not seem to know how to deal with bikes, such that one of the bikes was plugged in near the lobby. 4. The other hotels were excellent in handling the bikes, and just lovely. Thanks for such a great trip!
We enjoyed the holiday. The cycling alongside the River Danube often on the old tow path was excellent, along well maintained, clearly signposted routes with lovely scenery. There were often lovely river boats and barges on the river and we often crossed the river on dams or small boat ferries. We decided to have E-bikes although tended to only need a bit of input from the batteries towards the end of the longer 50Km plus cycling days. The standard of our hotels was generally good although evening meal options in some places were limited. The Zur Post hotel in Melk and the Wolfinger in Linz were very central and very comfortable. Our two evening meals in the Zur Post were excellent. After a long day’s cycle there was often limited time to explore some of the towns and cities E.g Linz. It was wonderful to be able to cycle the final leg from Tulln to our central hotel in the beautiful historical part of Vienna and we stayed for two nights to explore the city.
We enjoyed this cycling route through hills, forests, attractive villages and around the Bavarian lakes and Alps. Our e-bikes were excellent, though we would have appreciated a more detailed introuduction from the Eurobikes rep. The hotels were all very comfortable and welcoming, while the luggage transfers worked smoothly. As far as route finding was concerned, the Guibo mapping app was essential and very reliable but the written route instructions (translated from German) were not easy to understand or relate to the actual route, while some of the cycle way signposting was hard to spot, especially in towns and villages. We took a few wrong turnings!
All in all, though, a most enjoyable tour of Bavarian landscapes, food and architecture.
Great trip well supported and will book again
The ideal combination of active days in beautiful surroundings with indulgent meals and lovely accommodation, all arranged for you.
This holiday was a new challenge for us as we are occasional cyclists and normally organise everything for ourselves. The experience was just great! All of the arrangements worked perfectly and we had a fantastic holiday. The cycling was perfectly suited to our standard and the chateau and landscapes were magnificent. We arrived home and immediately grabbed the brochure to plan our next trip.
We had a fun week with our friends
despite the rather dull cycling!
This holiday gave us the unique opportunity to explore the Catalan countryside while cycling on gravel paths and country roads combined with rest days exploring Girona and the wonderful Dali museum. We chose to use E bikes and were very glad we did as it gave us the opportunity to go 'off piste' to visit small fishing ports without the worry of having to cycle back up a long hill on a hot afternoon. The most impressive aspect of cycling in this part of Catalonia is how worry free it is. There are cycle paths everywhere and we found the local drivers to be very considerate to cyclists. The cycle into Girona, for example, was a joy as the route followed leafy paths alongside a river for much of the way leading straight to the heart of this beautiful city and our hotel. The navigation app was brilliant; that little reassuring voice in your ear saving endless minute of debate about the 'right way'.
We have travelled with Headwater pre and post dependent children for over 25 years and loved every trip. Locations and itineraries alwasys spot on.
The Santiago ride was a pleasure but the information from the app caused us both delays, detours and frustration before reaching destinations
We were a party of one 25 year old who used a regular road bike and his 2 parents who were glad we’d booked ebikes as the route was very hilly in parts, as described in the route literature. The cities and towns we stopped in were beautiful and so interesting. The hotels in Florence and Pisa were a little out of town but pleasant walks there along the river. The routes between the stops were through mainly agricultural landscape and largely on roads, some quite busy, or on tough gravel riverside paths. In the cites luckily there were dedicated cycle lanes. The holiday was well organised and the local agent helpful although stressed he wouldn’t come to assist with punctures (fortunately we had none). The bikes were well maintained although some suspension in the saddle would have helped. All in all we had an excellent holiday - our third with Headwater - and would definitely recommend the company and look forward to going with them again some day
The cycling from Utrecht holiday is excellent in terms of the hotel, good facilities, excellent service and food, as well as the perfect location for touring north, south, east and west of the city. The bike routes were excellent, provided you read the details and understood that the cycle route signs could be high up, low down or anywhere in between; they provide for journeying through countryside, river locations and seeing castles, windmills and places of interest on route. Whilst the countryside is flat, so cycling is easy, be aware of the long routes, which if completed can take all day. Great way to see parts of picturesque Holland.
Overall we had a good holiday. The quality of the hotels were good. The bikes were sturdy and we had no problems. The local agents used by Headwater holidays did not follow the itinerary that was given on the Headwater website. This meant that some days we cycled longer than expected (other days less) and stayed in very rural villages that had little or no facilities.
This was our first Headwater holiday for 4 years and was a very enjoyable holiday, with relatively easy cycling, and a sense of achievement when we finally made it to the coast. The scenery at the start of the holiday is stunning and the time in the mountains is definitely the best cycling. Once you leave Udine it is not so interesting, but visiting Palmanova and Aquileia made up for this. The best evening meals were to be found in Udine and La Carmagnola is definitely worth a visit. It was the first time we had encountered the Headwater app…didn’t really use it in anger as the route is very well signposted. On the downside the written route notes generated from whatever technology is used lacked descriptive detail which would have been helpful on a couple of occasions..
Hotels were all good and had good bike storage facilities.
it wasn't the most scenic trip on a daily basis, but we particularly enjoyed Dinan and Mont Saint Michel. I preferred the cycling holiday Bolzano to Venice for the scenery. Food was a bit hard to come by on a daily basis for lunches, we made a filled baguette at breakfast. There was a local grocery shop in St Malo and carafours in Forgeres and one other enroute, but they were the only ones we spotted. we found a place for coffee, 4/6 days but they don't always have food.
The scenery was ok, very agricultural, lots and lots of corn on the cob fields, which got a bit boring, mostly very quiet roads or cycle track, a few hills. I had an ebike but my daughter had a normal but which she found heavy especially up the hills and she is used to cycling. helmets were provided but we had taken our own. take a phone holder as the ones provided weren't great. the GPX maps worked really well. we found kayaking and sand surfing enroute which were fun. overall very enjoyable
Excellent week spent round lake Konstanz. Plenty of places to stop off for swimming, mini golf, food and drink and even fishing. Stunning scenery, great accommodation. Would recommend b&b only as plenty of places to eat out but if you did want to eat in hotel book ahead. Bikes were excellent quality .
If I was bringing really picky I would suggest that GPS app for route would be a lot easier as it was a bit of a pain having to stop to read directions/turn page.
We did the recommends wine tasting at Hendricks (joesoh Furst) this was a fantasy experience with a wonderful lady who was so passionate and knowledgeable and extremely friendly, she also has amazing English, we really wished we could had carried more wine on our bikes.
Overall this was an excellent family holiday and would definitely recommend it.
As 'first timers' on a cycling holiday, we all enjoyed every moment of the trip. Visited amazing places and a great way for a group of friends to catch up and have fun. Already arguing about the destination of next years cycling holiday !
Amazing holiday but beware the gradient guide can be deceptive! Barolo Gastronomic is hilly - electric bike recommended and we are active fit cyclists !
This was an amazing holiday. From the time of booking to the completion of the tour all ran smoothly. The app for navigation was brilliant - would only go on trips like this in future if this app was used. Puglia Cycling who did our transfers were always on time and very pleasant. Luggage was delivered by 4 pm each day, often earlier and usually waiting in room for us.
The weather was hot but a breeze kept it comfortable. Plenty of water is essential. It is worth noting that in some towns the public toilets are locked during siesta time but restaurants/bars were still open. There are many beaches and swimming holes along the way to stop and have a dip.
Unforgettable. Thank you to Headwater and Puglia Cycling.
There were some good hotels (this questionnaire gives the wrong ones) and nice moments. Tiago is great. But this is not an easy trip and there needs to be more info about the bikes. Let's have a chat. I'll write a fair review - there aren't any at the moment and there needs to be at least one..
Great trip. Loved Porto and glad we added two extra days to explore the city. Excellent choice of small friendly hotels in good locations. Enjoyed visiting a part of Portugal that is less travelled by British tourists. All felt very Portuguese. Interesting cycle along the coast, mostly on good cycle paths, passing through sand-dunes, pine forests and lakes. Some stretches arid and scrubby but it didn't take away from our overall enjoyment of the trip. Fantastic seafood and fish - not to mention Portuguese wines - throughout the trip. The cycle ride was mostly flat although the wind was (apparently unusually) blowing South to North for the whole trip so we were cycling against it. Great for the whole family. Perfect cycling weather as the sea mist didn't burn off until early afternoon so it was warm but cloudy. The sun came through just in time to hit the beach. Fabulous long beaches, partic at Praia de Miro, with great waves.
We had an excellent cycling holiday from Passau to Vienna. We would have liked more time in Passau as we arrived late in the evening, probably should have added an extra day there . We had an excellent time and plenty of recreational time each day when we arrived at a new place.
Would highly recommend this holiday.
We had the most wonderful holiday cycling on electric bikes in the Ventoux region of Provence, to celebrate my 70th birthday earlier this month. Our guide, Christophe, was very helpful and charming and most anxious to ensure that we had a fantastic holiday. Similarly the hotel staff were very keen to provide a high quality of service, particularly in helping me locate a lost jacket. The Jardin de Mazan was the most wonderful hotel both in the quality of accommodation and the wonderful meal Eric cooked for us, Both Eric and his wife did everything possible to make our stay memorable and nothing was too much trouble for them. It will be a very hard holiday to beat.
Headwater offer the opportunity to explore a region in the best way possible, cycling. Interesting places to visit and a variety of accommodation and food. Great adventures to be had.
We used an app recommended by the representative in Croatia and made very little use of the printed instructions
Enjoyed the holiday looking forward to another family cycling holiday next year
This was an excellent holiday on all fronts. The Headwater staff were their usual helpful self, including a mix up with bikes in France which was resolved very quickly. The hotels and locations were first-class and we could not fault anything at all. This was our third Headwater holiday. Much more interesting than the last one in Chablis where the villages were almost deserted in August and on a par with our first one in Umbria. A big thanks to Helen, Sara, Katie , Steph , Cecile and all who helped. Not cheap but we think great value for money and just what the doctor ordered after COVID!
Great trip for people with different levels of cycling experience
Will do this on feefo
A varied cycle tour with lovely locations at the end of each day. There are some challenging sections along the valleys when windy, but otherwise enjoyable. Although there are some pretty towns and villages along the way, it is best to travel to the end points to spend time in those areas.
Easy cycling, mostly adjacent to the Danube with some forays inland, with ample opportunites for refreshing dips in the river and cafe stops along the way. Perfect for a heatwave!
An excellent holiday- a combination of a great cycling route, interesting places to visit en route and very welcoming, high standard accommodation. The cycling is easy and pleasurable- the longer distances are planned for days where it is very flat or downhill. The scenery- particularly for the first few days is spectacular.The app is excellent , making following the route and also visiting interesting places along the way very easy. There was plenty to do in the non- cycling days (Lussari cable car, Orrido della Slizza gorge walk, the tobogganing and the mini golf all excellent and mostly free thanks to the card provided at the hotel in Tarviso).Each hotel was very welcoming- booking excellent restaurants for us each night. Steph at Headwater and Miroslav and team in Slovenia/Italy were very good at organising all parts of the trip. Our first Headwater holiday but definitely not our last - we all voted to do another trip next year!
Really enjoyable, accommodation and food were really good, navigation app was brilliant, Christophe’s advice on where to go and to eat was invaluable, itinerary was also fantastic with options to do as much or little as we wanted. The routes were very well planned being mostly on quiet back roads through beautiful scenery. As the weather was very hot we chose to bike in the mornings so we could relax in the afternoons. In cooler whether we would have taken more time and explored more en route.
Enjoyable, well organised holiday with good local partner company. The equipment and navigation app were all good. We made it to every destination without mishap. Good hotels overall - only onecwas a wee bit belowvthe standards we were expecting. We would recommend Headwater and would be happy to use them again.
Cycling from Porto to Coimbra was an absolute delight. We started with an extra day in Porto which we would highly recommend. I wish we had added an extra day at Coimbra.
The cycles provided were excellent as were the gps maps. All but one of the evening meals were excellent, particularly the seafood at the restaurant at Praia de Mira. We have cycled with Headwater and Exodus on many occasions and always had a great experience. Porto to Coimbra is a relatively gentle cycle and could be enjoyed by anybody with average fitness.
We would highly recommend this holiday.
One final tip, always take your own cycle seat.
Excellent holiday, very highly recommended. However, 3 comments. Bike collection in Astorga, your directions say collect from Bike Shop at 9.00 am but the Bike Shop does not open until 9.30 am. MY Ebike was very good but the chain kept coming off,. On 13 Aug, our accommodation was changed to Casa Blanco but the route given in both the App and paper maps was only to A Parada das Bastas. We had to go to A Parada day Bastas and ask them for directions, which thankfully worked.
This is a fantastic way to see parts of a country you would probably never see. The routes are so well planned and thought through taking you along cycle paths and quiet country lanes to villages and towns and places of interest away from busy main roads( mostly). The app is really accurate, useful and easy to use. The bikes are sturdy hybrids that are well maintained. If you don’t use an e-bike then you do have to have a certain level of fitness as cycling each day as some parts of the routes can be a bit of a challenge( some uphills require a bit of effort). Also you should be aware how the heat might affect your ability to do cycle. This caught me off guard but we just chose to leave earlier to avoid the sun. The arrival in Florence was fabulous, finishing at the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge with a cool beer and then having the following day to explore was wonderful. Truly spectacular city. On the last day we biked part way to Pisa and then took the train. A unique way to see Tuscany
Fabulous countryside, interesting villages, great wines.
We have traveled with Headwater 7 times now. Once again we were very happy with the organisation and support we received. One day I had a flat tyre on my bike and we talked through the changing of it with the agent. He said someone would come to rescue us, but we fixed it ourselves so didn’t need help. The cycling varied between flat terrain down the coast and undulating through the countryside.
We have traveled with Headwater on many occasions. Lake Konstance cycling is a well structured circular route generally following the lake. Hotels are generally 3-4 star, and fine for this type of tour. The holiday is pretty good, and the day cycling/ day rest works well for us; it is quite relaxed. Dinner was not included so can be a hassle after a day's cycling to find somewhere to eat. Some of the hotels have good dinner menus.
Switzerland (Arbon and Stein am Rhein) are in Switzerland and prices in bars and restaurants are very expensive.
The one significant negative point are the quality and detail of the maps/ route instructions. This had a huge impact on our holiday. The route instructions are very poor and maps are not detailed enough to follow the route.
Excellent hotels in great places, good bikes, excellent routes, everything worked faultlessly
A beautiful area to cycle in and the Headwater electric bikes were brilliant. So comfortable and easy to use. The route was well planned; lots of interesting places to visit and just the right distances so that on hot days we could do most of the miles in the mornings.
Enjoyable safe cycling along mainly dedicated cycle tracks through some beautiful countryside. Everything ran very smoothly - with our luggage generally waiting for us when we arrived at our hotel. The hotels were all very pleasant and the breakfasts were plentiful with a focus on fresh local ingredients. The hotel staff were pleasant and helpful and all spoke good English (whilst also humouring our attempts to speak German) The arrangements for picking up our bikes were straightforward and the bikes were comfortable and well maintained. The route is extremely well sign posted and once we realised this on the first morning we stopped trying to use the overly complicated/excessively detailed notes provided by Headwater.
Good. We enjoyed outselves.
We went on the Secrets of Sicily cycling holiday but happened to hit a heatwave which made the first couple of days cycling very hard due to the intense heat and lack of shade, but Headwater were very accomodating and arranged with the accomadations to provide breakfast earlier so that we could leave early in the morning and beat the sun, after that we enjoyed our trip a lot, the cycling was relatively easy and the scenery was lovely especially in the last few days, I thuink this trip would suit people who are interested in history, architecture and local "real" Sicily, we didn't see another tourist at all while we were cycling, only once we stopped in the cities. The highlights were the meal that we had in the Eco-Tourism hotel, and the small seaside resort of Selinunte on the last day - simply lovely !
Reliable and always providing interest and challenges.
We absolutely loved this holiday. It was our first time in Sardinia and we were blown away by the magnificent blue sea and coastal line. The most magical moment for us was seeing the flamingos grazing in the salt pans. A sight to behold. The Sardinian people were lovely and welcoming and the food along with the Sardinian wines, delicious. This was a beautiful quiet part of Sardinia and cycling was definitely a great way to absorb as much of this beautiful island as possible. Given that we were mainly cycling on the coastal roads, we were amazed by the very considerate car drivers who always gave us loads of room and were incredibly respectful of cyclists. All in all this was a joyful holiday.
The cycling was generally on flat terrain, the last couple of days involved use of the gears, which made a welome change. Some of the cycle days could be a bit boring with long straight roads or tracks without a change of scenery. We hit Portugal at the height of the heatwave, but it was possible to complete the rides in the morning avoiding the heat of the day. The beach stay In Praia de Mira was most welcome, a dip in the cool sea was refreshing.
Most if the Headwater holidays we have done before had the Headwater rep situated locally, we missed this service. Our initial briefing took place in a hot underground car park, delivered at a rate of knots with only verbal information for the whole trip. We saw nothing of the local reps after the initial meeting. However, the luggage transfer was excellent with our bags always there before us.
The hotels were of a good quality. The Palace Hotel in Curia was disappointing as the air con didn't work and the food wasn't great.
A lovely holiday with the right balance of activity and relaxing moments with an interesting and varied style of accomodation. The luggage transport between hotels was excellant. This holiday offers seaside and city, countryside and beach and the food oppportunities are memorable.
Good itinerary. Comfortable distances even though weather was hot
Wow wow wow! Wonderful scenic routes, amazing hotels in St Emillion and Blaye! Great cycling on good routes and very good quality bikes
Well organised in every way. Excellent app giving general information and providing routes to follow. We loved every minute.
Great holiday and service from the team at Headwater, particularly Joanne who is really pleasant and helpful. Disappointed with travel advice and recommend researching own travel and transfers unless you want to go from Heathrow and have a long train journey to follow.
I was going to Umbria so a flight to Perugia made sense not to Rome which is the route taken by Headwater.
I think Headwater could be better informed and provide more information about local airports even if travellers are making their own travel arrangements .
We've holidayed with Headwater for many years in many countries and loved their GPS routes and journeying through a variety of different, characterful hotels they have provided with careful thought. This summer's route across the SE tomato growing region of Sicily was contracted out to a local agency & too busy with too heavy road traffic for our liking in June 2022 and breath-taking views were spoilt by significant roadside rubbish all along the route which had been fly-tipped (discarded loos, fridges, building material, endless bags of rubbish). Our local taxi driver explained that the Mafia wait for rubbish emergencies to be declared and then they pick up the contracts. Make sure 1. You challenge the hotel rooms you are given when busy as we had unacceptably poor rooms offered for the price we paid. (clearly some were struggling post pandemic) 2. You know how to change tyres (bring plastic gloves and wipes). 3. It can be very hot so ask hotels to freeze your water bottles overnight.
Thank you for taking the time to post your review and for the additional comments made. We are truly sorry that certain elements of your holiday were disappointing. Fly tipping unfortunately does appear to be commonplace in this region, and I feel that the taxi driver explained the situation well. I’m glad that we were able to discuss your holiday with you directly.
Overall, an enjoyable holiday. Local guides were friendly and helpful. The hotels were of good quality or better and the service was generally very good. The exception would be Les Sables d'Ocre; there were no staff available after 8pm (and thus no bar). This was very disappointing. It is not a long walk into the village but sometimes this is not what is wanted after a day's cycling; the information was not given to us prior to the holiday. The major disappointment is that Headwater, or possibly the parent group Exodus, seem to have kept prices relatively high but there is evidence that an increasing number of holidays on offer do NOT include evening meals. This, for us, is a real negative and we don't accept the theory given that it was to give us more flexibility. It gives more headaches and time on the internet/phone attempting to arrange evening meals. We enjoyed much of the holiday but felt it was the least enjoyable of the five holidays we have undertaken since 2008.
A lovely region of Italy to visit, cycling through the vines and hazelnut forests. Loved the combination of cycling in the country but also visiting some interesting towns. The hotels were in lovely locations.
This was a great tour (our third with Headwater and our first in Spain). Our hosts were good and friendly and we enjoyed every moment, the hotels chosen were excellent. The ride was beautiful, flat and interesting. The only downside was that the contracted person taking us to the rail station on our return got us there too late. We didn't mind too much, but it caused us an extra hour. Overall this short Catalunya ride was perfect for us (in our late 50s). Please Headwater, can you add some more short break rides!
Perfect first family bike trip!
Lovely cycling routes and the electric bikes allow hilltop village visits with ease. Excellent bikes and support. And our stay at the Jardin de Mazan was an absolute highlight of the trip.
We did the Landscapes of Thee Luberon self guided tour in July. The dinners were great and the itinerary was excellent. Special thanks to the staff at Les Imberts who helped us recover a backpack we accidentally left on the side of the road!
Most enjoyable, lovely scenery, excellent cycle paths, perfect bikes and very good hotels.
The beautiful views of the Tuscan landscape never failed to draw a smile whether it was a daytime view across fields of sunflowers or an evening sunset over the vineyards. The wine tasting experiences were first class and we have many beautiful memories thanks to the passion of the wine makers and their families. The cycling was fun and not difficult for anyone in moderate physical condition.
An excellent holiday. Spoiled by the PanoramaHotel Altmunster. There us insufficient space here to describe it, so see separate email.
A very moving cycling tour. Lovely countryside and only the odd long hill!
Local agents advice and help was invaluable.
Lovely accommodation although my room was very basic. The location was very scenic and the hotel owners were lovely. However the main criticism is that all 6 cycle routes were far too short and the 4th route was particularly dull and tedious due to it mainly being alongside I busy monotonous main road.
Lovely area but Apt was a disappointment. Accommodation was clean and comfortable but nowhere to sit during the day and rooms very small also would have chosen to have had another day at first hotel and not stay in Apt for 2 days
Overall we were very pleased with Headwater and the holiday in Portugal.
Our holiday was however spoil by the cancellation of our outward flight at short notice by easyJet. This was overcome by the very quick and effficient service of Headwater in finding alternative flights outbound with TAP from Gatwick. We were very pleasantly surprised at the support Headwater provided late at night the day before we were due to travel and efficient reaction to the situation.
Return flights to Bristol necessitated a hire car from Bristol to Gatwick but we do not hold Headwater in any way at fault for this
In terms of the tour ouronly areas for comment would be:
We found three parts of the route where road/ rail works meant the app was not accurate. Do the local reps check accuracy of the app?
The hotel at Curia disappointed as the Spa facilities were unavailable , the outdoor pool area being dialapidated & the pool water very unwelcomimg!
Overall the holiday was excellent.
Wonderful area with excellent cycling and bikes . We were very disappointed with the Hotel Hermitage which we had stayed at 3 times before but had changed hands . The welcome was dismissive and the quality of rooms within our group was very different. Other hotels were excellent with the reception at Le Jardiniere de Mazan the ambience and food quite marvellous . We were disappointed that the representative on the ground felt that helping with a difficult puncture was not in his brief
The routes were well chosen, cycling along quiet roads and paths, passing through small villages, nature reserves, other unspoilt landscapes and agricultural areas. The bird life on and around the rivers and lagoons was fascinating, the wild flowers and trees lovely. From time to time there were views over the Atlantic ocean. There was plenty of time to stop for coffees and generally enjoy the ambience. The detour to Costa Nova was most enjoyable. The holiday timetable was perfect for us. The hotels were excellent. All in all a fab holiday.
Can’t fault anything. All very good and highly recommended.
Cycling per se was enjoyable. Very angry to be offered a family room at Chenonceaux when we are not related. Gastronomic meal on the last night never materialised.
Experience left a bitter taste.
Thank you for your comments. We are really pleased to read that you enjoyed your cycling , however sorry that your experience was impacted by the hotel accommodation with your friends and the disappointment with your meal on the last evening of which we have responded in writing.
Easy run down to the Adriatic
Wonderful holiday. The scenery was spectacular and every hotel was a great experience.
Cycling the Camino de Santiago was great but the description in the brochure is a little deceptive as there was a lot of cycling on roads (not on the Camino), even though not much traffic. Last 2 days didn’t see the Camino signs at all! I believe the brochure should describe this a little better. Electric bikes a must if you are a leisure cyclist as extremely hilly! Having said this Headwater were very helpful and we would definitely recommend them.
Wonderful itinerary with first class bikes & good hotels. . Hotel Seegarten & hotel Rheinfells had superb restaurants. Enjoyed having one day off between cycles.
Wonderful locations cycling through the Piedmont countryside with its vineyards, Hazel groves and rolling hills. On clear days we could see the French Alps in the West and the Italian Alps to the East. Great choice of hotels, with warm welcomes after a hard day’s cycling. Always delicious meals and a great choice of wines. E bikes are essential unless you are strong cyclists. These bikes enabled us to conquer the steepest climbs. Relatively expensive but good value for money; highly recommended.
Excellent route through pretty villages, vineyards etc with stops at some wonderful Palladian villas. E bikes were a must in July as it reached 35 most days. Good route with reliable back up transport of bags etc
A very pleasant area to cycle around from an excellent base location.
An enjoyable and relaxed exploration of Istria
We had a fantastic holiday overall. Megan was very professional and helpful during the booking process and we were delighted with our choice of route. The bikes were brilliant, some hotels were absolutely excellent (in Gyor and Bratislava specifically) and all personnel were amazing. The distances of the routes were just right for us (despite the blazing hot sunshine!) and we loved the cities and towns we visited throughout.
A generally enjoyable trip slightly marred by a couple of issues which were not Headwater's fault. As part of the holiday booking, we paid for three 'gastronomic' meals in the places we stayed, where local alternatives were very limited but found only one of these could be remotely worthy of the term 'gastronomic' and we could have purchased the same meals much cheaper directly at the hotels concerned.
It was a good experience mostly flat cycling except for a few inclines at end with some good sights to see. We enjoyed the Port tour and tasting.
This was an excellent trip, made particularly memorable by the excellent (but very warm) weather. The itinerary is first class, but be aware that there are long stretches (full days in some cases) where you won't see the Danube. So, it is definitely not a cycle along the river bank. The route is mainly flat and there are stages where you cycle along man made 'dams' which are pretty boring at times. It is worth using the maps supplied to vary the route and explore other areas/routes.
The hotels were excellent and of 4 star quality. Our luggage always made it to the next hotel before us and we had no issues checking in.
The bikes are robust and 'industrial' and were in very good condition - we had no issues.
Overall, a great way to explore the 3 countries. I would definitely recommend it.
This seemed much harder than the other 1+ Dolomites to Lake Garda cycling holiday we have done despite our fitness being better. However this was probably largely due to an Italian heatwave in late May/early June when we travelled with the thermometer at 30C in the shade each day by 9am. Thoroughly enjoyed it though and were very glad we chose the 10 rather than 7 night option. The extra nights further south contrasted well and it was good to cycle by the sea. Hotels all of good quality and each had its own special qualities. Not being tecchies and with basic phone contracts had some concerns re the GPS app pre travel but after a few minutes on the first morning we coped fine with it. Much easier than the old paper instructions. Had taken a battery charger pack but never used more than half a phones battery whilst out. Amazed how cheap prices were when stopping for drinks in small rural villages eg 1 euro for usual menu of coffees
Travel arrangements with KLM were good - breakfasts in hotels very good - route Porto to Praia de Mira made for easy riding and wonderful and varied scenery and some fun coffee and lunch stops. Fewer places of interest to stop and visit than in France, although birdlife worth seeing.
Lovely holiday, we will travel with you again. It seemed expensive, but it probably wasn't for what it was, given the high quality of the bikes and especially of the hotels . which we loved but don't normally treat ourselves to!
A challenging cycle ride rewarded with superb views and Portuguese hospitality.
Absolutely fantastic week. The second hotel were,abit grumpy when we arrived and said we were B&B when we were half board so we missed two evening meal. Everything else was incredible. We feel like we've been on a honeymoon .
The North Norfolk tour was a new area for us and was definitely worth doing. The scenery was varied and there was scope to visit a number of places of interest (e.g. Sandringham, Holkham) but booking in advance is necessary.
Enjoyed trip. Tough enough cycling for a non cyclist as I am. Fine for my husband. First day especially tough. Lagos 2 night stay was a waste. Too tired after 1,St day to cycle and did not enjoy the experience of town of Lagos. Much too commercial and touristy. Be warned too the staff in hotel in Lagos try to ' upsell' drinks. 27 euro for a g and t. 27 euro for a bottle of very poor wine ....totally opposite of what was asked for.
On the contrary the staff in village were very knowledgeable about their products and we drank delicious wine.
Beautiful cycling holiday- would have enjoyed more time in Slovenia/Alps
Please see separate trip report which we will email to you
We had a fabulous cycling holiday for our first trip to Sardinia. Headwater provided a superb itinerary, great bikes and lovely independent hotels run by Sardinian families. The scenery was jaw dropping and we could not have packed in so many memorable sights and locations without the Sardinian Headwater teams’ thorough knowledge of the region. The ride was more moderate than “easy” in the high temperatures of June, but perfectly manageable with care and our luggage was always waiting for us in the room of our new hotel, a welcome sight after a hot day’s cycling. We’ll definitely be back to Sardinia and back to Headwater for another adventure on wheels. Charlotte and Clive Makin.
Wonderful historic hilltop villages with fantastic views easily accessible on an e bike . Each days cycling was really enjoyable and the hotels were good. Hotel Villa Zuccari was wonderful, the pool was gorgeous and we had 2 amazing meals there. The hotel Terrazza in Assisi although out of the town was within easy walking distance. We had a fab holiday and would recommend Headwater holidays.
We thoroughly enjoyed cycling the Wine Route of Alsace. It is a very picturesque part of France, and the villages we visited were lovely, including storks nesting on rooftops. The second day was a bit hilly, but nothing we couldn't manage and the length of ride each day suited us well.We were very fortunate to have perfect weather, which made the holiday even more enjoyable. The hotels were very clean and comfortable and in the evening there was a good choice of restaurants in every town or village. Lots of interesting ice-cream flavours to try too, such as rhubarb, gooseberry, red currant etc in most towns. All in all a great holiday, and we returned home with lots of photos and happy memories.
A very enjoyable cycling holiday, lovely scenery especially the paths along the river and through the woods. It was hard work for those of us not that used to cycling, but a good achievement to have made it! We enjoyed visiting some of the chateaux along the way. Lovely food and wine, of course! However, the Gastronomic package of 4 days of half board was unfortunately poor value for money. It would have been better to have our dinner reservations made and for us to pay locally. We packed our cycling helmets and water bottles as the information we received indicated we needed them but these were all provided by the local agent so we didn't actually need to bring them and could have saved a lot of space in our bags.
This holiday had a lot going for it - wonderful scenery, nice hotels, good food, friendly, helpful people. Overall, I enjoyed it but there were, unfortunately, two negative issues. First, a lot of the cycling was on very busy main roads with lorries, buses, motorcyclists and fast cars. On days when there were strong cross winds I found the experience unnerving at times. The second was the shortness of the routes. Four of them were less than 20 miles, the other two just over 20 . Admittedly they were often hilly but hills present few problems for an ebike rider and with limited opportunities to stop this meant that I was often arriving at my destination by mid-day - on two occasions before my room was ready and in one 4 hours before the arrival of my luggage. I appreciate that logistically there are probably no alternatives to the use of the main roads and the particular routes chosen but additional options, as on other Headwater holidays would have benefitted me.
Good cycle routes through lovely countryside. Accommodation in Rome was excellent, with very attentive staff. Accommodation at Agriturismo La Peitriccia was disappointing, but Stefano was very helpful.
The cycle paths on this trip were excellent. Only traffic was going to our hotels.
Route was very easy to follow.
Excellent first cycling holiday. Mixed experience with meal vouchers. Great group. Itinerary beautiful in some places.
Extremely well researched & organised. Accommodation was varied & always clean, with helpful friendly staff, particularly Stefano at the Agriturismo & Martina at Hotel Marin. Length of cycling each day was perfect...not too much, so enough time to relax & swim in the clear warm silky sea or the swimming pools at two of the hotels too. Fresh fish was delicious. It was a tremendous week.
Fantastic scenery and lovely villages to visit
Can be very hot and is constantly uphill or downhill for cycling with some very steep sections and some busy roads
The Loire region was lovely and a great holiday location. This was our first cycling holiday so, we chose a level 1 trip. .But We found 40 kilometres a day to be far to long and took too much time. We had minimal time to visit places of interest. We struggled with some directions and indeed were lost on 3 occasions. Also be aware that the gps on phone overheats on the hot days so you do need to master the paper routes. We suggest booking 4* hotels as we found the 3* a bit basic.
Some beautiful rides through the countryside, including a national park. However, the ride into and out of Bari was extremely unpleasant. Our experience of the hotels was very mixed, however, Headwater is not currently using one of the hotels we were booked into.
Bikes very good. Very attractive towns and we would have liked longer to explore them.
Organisation excellent. GPS App and map booklets were excellent. Good route with plenty of cycle lanes. One tougher day mainly on roads. Route was a good one with plenty to see in the Italian towns we visited.
Beautiful cycling through varied landscape. Wonderful wild flowers and bird life. Gorgeous villages and friendly people. Definite things to improve: a lot of transfers required to get to the first hotel (3x train then pick up); the app is pretty good but could have a bit more navigation description; bikes should be fitted with cradles for phones (or recommend that clients bring one) so that you can track the map while also listening to directions. There seemed to be many different itineraries and guides emailed (plus links embedded) that it is difficult to be sure you’ve got all the right info. A printed pack in the post would still be the most useful thing. Final small point - there is a killer climb on the last day which isn’t mentioned anywhere. There is an easy detour to avoid it though. Maybe worth giving this option in the notes?
Fabulous holiday made perfect by hiring the electric bikes as it was hilly and the electric bikes made the whole biking experience really enjoyable. The scenery and hotels were super and we were really well looked after.
Superb accommodations, excellent app guide, interesting cities but a misconceived holiday. Cycling into and out of big cities through the inevitable busy and sometimes scrappy outskirts is not enjoyable. Most of the tracks were difficult and uncomfortable apart from the Via Verde. Our advice is to go for a city break to visit cities and stay for a few nights then go for a cycling holiday in more interesting and scenic countryside. Senderos y Pueblos fine, Senderos y Ciudads not good.
The activity level of the cycling was not difficult, but the distances are quite long (we were not on e-bikes!). If booking again we would add a rest day either in Grein or Melk. The scenery was varied with some spectacular sections but also some flat bland areas. That said we really enjoyed the overall experience.
An excellent holiday giving us opportunity to discover the contrasting landscapes of Slovenia. Everybody we met in hotels and cafes was extremely hospitable. Our guide was very helpful too. However the rides involved long and many very steep hills so be prepared for getting off and pushing. Some gravel paths have very deep gravel. Although I'd ordered a manual bike, our guide offered a swap to E bike without which I would not have been able to complete the rides. I am a reasonably fit cyclist and was surprised that this holiday was only pitched a activity level 2. I think customers should be advised of the hills involved.
Excellent cycling in pretty north coast of Norfolk mostly along quiet country lanes . The 3 nights in Holt with suggested circular routes was particularly good . We recommend the steam train trip from Holt to Sheringham which had volunteers dressed up as train staff of old and was fun. Once at destination we cycled to Cromer which was a bit like a trip down memory lane to an old, seaside resort with a pier, albeit past its best now. Suggested stopoffs elsewhere en route were very good . The Hat shop in Burnham Market was a surprising highlight en route but we also enjoyed lunch at the windmill and of course a visit inside Sandringham and having morning coffee at holkham Hall. At Cley next the sea, it is worth going slightly east along the coast off the route to go to a cafe with viewing at the nature reserve and then cycling down a track to get right on to the beach
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Booking through Headwater was easy, though in retrospect we could have booked the same holiday ourselves much cheaper. Our contact, Joanne, was very helpful in sorting out our late booking.
We had a great time but we should have asked for e-bikes. Some of the hills were very long.
Excellent way to see beautiful places. Good routes and well selected hotels
We had a wonderful holiday in the Douro Valley. The route was really scenery was beautiful and the choice of accommodation excellent. We felt well supported by staff and the high quality of equipment. Although the trip was graded challenging, it wasn't impossible but taking into account the length and steepness of the climbs we consider it to be accurate. Would highly recommend this holiday to people who cycle regularly.
This is our second cycling holiday with Headwater (Austria 2019) and accommodation and helpfulness of local agents was first rate. An issue with bike set up was swiftly resolved with an alternative style being delivered within two hours. Rating of cycling difficulty was accurate.
My wife and I have travelled widely and with various other holiday companies but this, our first holiday with Headwater is probably the best one we have had. Certainly, the most enjoyable. Everything from the initial planning through to our return travel arrangements were all perfect. It has to be said that the bikes we used were excellent as were the support services around Lake Constance if you encountered any problems which we didn't. The weather was perfect. Only the isolated short shower otherwise wall to wall sunshine. My wife and I are in our 70s and only occasional cyclists. However, the cycle paths around the lake were of good quality and very flat. The scenery was magnificent and varied. Lots of wildlife and beautiful flowers. Pretty lakeside villages, harbours, cafes, beaches and toilets . In the distance were beautiful snow capped mountains. I cannot put into words just how good this holiday was. Thoroughly recommend it. Well done Headwater and thanks for everything.
Dordogne beautiful area to travel round can be very hilly in parts,local people very helpful
Well-planned and interesting itinerary. Cycling is a great way to explore this region and we enjoyed the variety of destinations and accommodation, all of which were clean and comfortable. I would recommend this area for vegetarians- we had some great vegetable dishes and found restaurants were happy to adapt a pasta dish on request.
For me this was to an excellent cycling holiday in the heart of the Tuscan Val d’Orcia, considering I was an ‘senior’ solo rider in early season. The hire of an E-MTB bike was a boon for the hilly ’strade bianche’ (gravel roads). A week at the Agriturismo ‘La Pietriccia’ was a very good choice. Stefano, the main host and his brother Simone, were extremely helpful in everything. From organising me on and off the suggested App routes, to giving me a beer when I got back and providing tasty 4 course meals in the evening. The ‘tasting’ at BradiToscani food/wine shop and the Chianciano Thermal Spa arranged visits were a delight. The cookery session was unfortunately cancelled because of Covid restrictions but was substituted with an enjoyable local pizzeria visit.
Highly recommended to any cycling Italophiles.
You start in an unspoilt, beautiful part of NE Portugal and gradually work your way down to the Duoro valley. The wildflowers in May are stunning. There are some challenging climbs but it is worth it.
A great holiday in beautiful countryside and coast. The itinerary was good giving plenty of time to dawdle and have a swim in the sea. We did extend the route on the two shortest days to get a bit more cycling. The local cuisine was delicious especially the seafood.
Our holiday was as good as described in the headwater brochure. All arrangements,bookings, preferences etc worked well. All queries, however trivial dealt with quickly and completely.
A brilliantly varied and interesting cycle ride on excellent infrastructure. Fascinating history, physical geography and welcoming communities.
We enjoyed our trip through this wine growing region and thought the routes were well planned though they do involve cycling past many vines! . The Jardin de Mazan hotel was a highlight with beautiful rooms and delightful owners. The food was good throughout the trip. Christophe gave us an excellent briefing with many useful pointers and recommendations. Although the app generally worked well we still do prefer to have actual maps of the area, not just the route, and we would definitely recommend having a portable charger for the phone.
A very well organised self guided cycle holiday. Great hotels & excellent cycle routes. The Headwater navigation app excellent. Alex the point of contact always available.
We aren't the type to want to sit around on our holiday, so this was perfect for us. Fantastic riding along wonderful tracks, paths and roads alongside the coast, sometimes in dappled sunlight under trees, sometimes along quiet country lanes between olive trees and vineyards. By the end of each day we felt like we'd enjoyed the sunshine, had had some exercise and had seen some more of this beautiful country and was now ready for a cold glass of wine and a good meal, which were both readily available in all of the chosen beautiful coastal towns. Stunning! Have already highly recommended to all our friends and family!
Great holiday, headwater app very easy to follow, hotels very good some better than others.
Really enjoyed our holiday, hotels were of a good standard and in great locations, the route was varied and flexible allowing us to explore other areas on route.
Cycling hillier than expected, Lascaux caves a highlight, food at Les Glycines excellent, prefered new longer 25mile rather than 20mile trips with 2 days at one location, grateful for taxi for 2hour trip to Toulouse when train failed but strongly dislike single person supplement
An enjoyable varied route. An excellent introduction to the region.
We really enjoyed this holiday with you. We were met on arrival at the first hotel by the local rep , who was very helpful. The cycling was very good and with beautiful scenery. The hotels were excellent and very welcoming. Certainly it has given us a taste of Sicily and we will definitely want to visit again.
Quite tough for the grade. Super coastal scenery. Can be exciting riding. Would be hard in the wet.
Cycle routes were good and easy to follow, one bike needed new rear brake pads after first day, this should have been identified before bike was issued. Repair was promptly addressed. Also had a puncture on first day , front tyre had very little tread in the centre, so puncture could have been avoided. All accommodation was very good and food excellent with great advice from restaurant staff.
Excellent organisation and support, all hotels were fantastic in superb locations, navigation app was brilliant. Would definitely recommend this holiday.
We really enjoyed the biking adventure, we are not avid bikers, but found the routes a good pace for us. We did have one challenge because we did not receive our last days GPS map, so our advice to others is to double check to ensure you have them all before you go.
Generally we loved our holiday through Headwater. The only disappointment was the rental bikes - we are both very keen cyclists and felt, in the spirit of openness, advertising the bikes as 'high quality' is a little wide of the mark. They are heavy, clunky and are more of an entry level city explorer bike rather than biking 200 or so kilometres on. Scenery was beautiful in parts and the route great, however it was disappointing in parts to see so much rubbish dumped on the side of the roads (which we know is no fault of HW). Everything ran incredibly smoothly, mapping was very easy to follow, local support staff were excellent and in constant communication - we felt very safe and looked after :)
Would highly recommend and will definitely travel again using HW. The booking process was efficient and very friendly. On the whole we had a fantastic time.
Thank you for your feedback we are so pleased you had a lovely holiday and thank you for your comments regarding the bicycles. The bikes do need to be sturdy enough to withhold the usage, the weight of the pannier racks and panniers, the stand, heavier saddles and the suspension - all of which contribute to the overall weight.
Its such a shame that you experienced rubbish that had been dumped on the side of the road. Our team, when planning the routes do try to choose the most scenic routes
I do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to Headwater for another holiday in the future.
Excellent adventure and great way to get to know Portugal.
Good however the eather was rather inconsistent some days with heavy rain. The bikes are not geared to cope with adverse weather they are only fair to good weather bikes. And regardless the rain was to heavy and cold to cycle in. I think it maybe better to start this trip a little later in the year as it's to unpredictable this time of the year weatehr wise and some of teh hotels were not offereing any services e.g the first hotel had no restaurant / bar or any other service open. Headwater Custome service was excellant especially Paula!
The Seville - Cadiz route provides a great cycle through this part of Spain. Not to hilly and last couple of days pretty flat. Lunches can be a bit basic, but evening meals were excellent with a bit of searching and waiting until 8pm. Seville, Carmona, Arcos, Jerez and Cadiz all have lots to offer.
This is a fantastic cycle route - every day interesting. Super scenery, lovely cycling, lots of places to visit, people everywhere wonderful. We enjoyed it SO much. Highly recommend.
The cycling holiday from Oxford to Bath, I cycled further on to Abingdon and also Bristol on an extra days, provided excellent opportunities to view little known Cotswolds villages and experience the Oxford and also Kennett and Avon Canal systems. The B&B accommodation was top notch but it was sometimes difficult to find satisfactory places for evening meals.
Well organised tour with efficient moving of luggage and good standard of accommodation. Wonderful scenery particularly around the coastal areas on the west side of the peninsula. The wind and steep hills on the first day in particular made it pretty tiring. Bikes were really good particularly on off road stretches. The luggage rack and Paniers did make the bikes quite heavy on the hilly areas. The app was excellent for guiding and very quickly indicated if you took a wrong turning. It is good to study the description as the app doesn’t always tell you where the optional stops are. We rode right past one of our planned lunch stops without realising.
Overall a really lovely and varied tour of the south west corner of the Algarve.
Very enjoyable. The first day's cycling is the hardest - make sure you have plenty of water. We also managed to view Ragusa on our arrival day so were able to set off and do the major climb before the main heat of the day. There is a beach bar at the Isola delle Correnti which we really enjoyed - it may not be open all the time but if fun if it's open.
Great cycling route along the coast and inland through very pretty villages in Norfolk. Great hotels and very welcoming staff and very helpful at all times.
Cycling round the countryside and coast of North Norfolk. Bird reserves and stately homes and gardens en route.
We loved Sicily and the routes we biked through. The countryside was varied and the town’s spectacular. My bike was perfect but my partner’s had both technical difficulties and two flat tires on the last day. We were very quickly rescued though and that made all the difference. The GPS worked beautifully and we felt guided the whole way. Most of the hotels were lovely and beautifully located but a couple were disappointing so we would suggest you research the choices and make sure you like where you are going to be. Generally it was a very fun and interesting trip and with a few tweaks would have been perfect.
Cycling in north Norfolk was a great way to see the area in a bit more detail and offered a good variety of countryside, seaside, country house estates etc to ride through and allowed time to look around if we wanted to. It was great to have the app to tell us our route without having to constantly check a map. The hotels were all very comfortable. Very enjoyable. A few bike issues which was a bit unfortunate but we still had a good time.
A lovely way to see a lovely and interesting part of the country. Our weather was mixed, but that did not prove to be a problem, with a comfy and welcoming hotel waiting at the end of each day. Universally, we were given a warm welcome, and the navigation app was a boon : we didn't get lost at all.
The cycling was a little harder than we had expected, it is rated 1+ but could perhaps have been a 2. One bike that was originally supplied was really in need of a service and was not very good. Having said that once I mentioned this it was changed the next day and the replacement was fine. The shower in the hotel at Holt was very weak but we were told that the water pressure in the area is very low. The last day of cycling is quite tiring though there are quite a few potential stopping places. Overall this was a very good holiday. We used to cycle daily to work but having retired and so cycling less we found this a little more of a challenge.
Really great experience but overpriced.
It was okay but not as good as Headwater's holidays on the Continent. Not so well organised. That said, the routes took us through some lovely villages.
This was one of the best holidays we have ever had. Being able to cycle for long distances on quiet country roads in the UK has been a dream come true. The car drivers in Norfolk were certainly used to cyclists and both car drivers and farm workers were very considerate and we felt very safe. The Norfolk scenery was beautiful and the hotels well selected. The 09:30 baggage pickups for transportation to the next hotels was a very welcome and civilised time and we didn’t have to rush our breakfast before setting off for the day. Although everyone kept saying to us that Norfolk is flat, it would be prudent to be cognisant of the fact that there are rolling hills and the 1.5 rating is appropriately reflective of that.
An enjoyable holiday in a part of the country we have never previously visited.
Great experience from booking to departure! Pity about the weather - we got drenched on the first day!
Expensive but reliable
It was a wonderful tour with a true taste of the contrasts of Norfolk and we will definitely return. There's almost too much to see this is why we will happily return. All the accommodation and onsite restaurants were great and so were the bikes. I am used to a high standard from Headwater so now I expect lovely hotels and great food! Why choose another company when you know you'll get quality with Headwater?!
It was interesting to explore a part of the country we did not know. The countryside was very attractive, as were the villages we passed through, and fortunately there was only one day of rain and a few showers on our last day. This was the first time we had cycled from place to place and it was a good way to see more places than if we had stayed in one place. The hotels were mostly excellent , though in one of them we had to store the bikes outside overnight so they were rather damp in the morning. The local food was delicious and much appreciated and staff were all friendly and helpful.
A wonderful way to see the beautiful Norfolk countryside.
Great cycling holiday. Very comfortable welcoming hotels in great locations. Lovely undulating routes on mainly quiet roads with varied views and lanscapes. Plenty of places to stop for coffee or something to eat. Possible to cycle less or extend as individuals wish. We loved it.
Thank you for your review of our Norfolk cycling holiday, it was a pleasure to read that you had a great time with us. We look forward to welcoming you on many more trips with us in the future.
Headwater Customer Service Team
Beautiful countryside to ride through. Lovely accommodation and great food.
We had an amazing week with Stefano and his family and team. The equipment was excellent and the cycling amazing, pretty challenging, but we got to see the beautiful countryside and villages of the region. The food at La Pietriccia was outstanding. Despite the Covid restrictions Stefano did everything he could to help us keep our plans flexible so that we could complete all the routes. We would certainly recommend this holiday for people like us, who like their cycling, wine and food in equal measures.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are all delighted that you had an amazing holiday and we hope we can welcome you on another trip with us again soon.
Headwater Customer Services Team
The hotels and the area generally were beautiful. However some of the cycle routes were along busy highways , particularly around Bari and were not particularly enjoyable. The GPS guide app was particularly helpful in keeping us on the right track. The local agents were very helpful and on hand if we needed any assistance.
Good varied cycling both inland and by the coast. Lovely countryside, good wine and food
Probably the best way to enjoy the scenery and do so at your own pace is on a bike
Wonderful views while cycling although we found some of hills slightly challenging especially on hot days! GPS guidance was better than we expected but on occasions instructions should be given slightly earlier and repeated - traffic noise could obscure! Printed instructions are if anything too detailed and would be difficult to follow if GPS failed. In event of GPS failure a visible point of reference, like a nearby town on the screen shot maps might enable easier identification of where you were on a map!
excellent itinerary with lots of variety .
excellent local support when we needed it
This area of Portugal is beautiful. We had Ebikes (mountain) which was great as they were needed due to the terrain in some places. The cycle routes varied from cycle paths, brilliant, cobbles roads, okay, and forest/ river tracks, not the easiest but manageable as long as you didn’t want to see the scenery. The hotel in Monção is slightly out of the town and no food was available in the hotel. Plus no air conditioning and the beds were very hard. The bikes were fine but the panniers provided were very small so unless you wanted to carry a backpack there was little room for water and valuables. Mostly the directions were great, only minor detours! One bridge we had to cross was closed which the agent had not informed us of. Warning about crossing the bridge at Viana do Castelo would be good. The pedestrian foot path is too narrow for bikes. On whole the holiday was good as the food in the region is excellent. We enjoyed the wine and beer but the first 2 wine tastings were not great.
Thank you for your recent review, it is lovely to read that overall you enjoyed your holiday with us and discovered a beautiful part of Portugal. We would like to apologise for the difficulties encountered due to a bridge closure unfortunately this can happen on occasion and should our local agent be aware of possible detours required we have asked that this is highlighted in the holiday briefing. We look forward to welcoming you on a future Headwater holiday again soon.
lovely unspoilt region of Italy !
Impressed by ability of office and ground agents to put programme together within the very short timescale
The personal care and attention provided by ALL staff throughout the holiday was excellent. The hotels were a haven of peace and sophistication after our energetic days. The trip to Puglia included highlights such as the Trulli houses and the ancient olive groves. In general the cycling was pleasurable and, when our cycle let us down, we were rescued swiftly. Of interest to us was the fact that the residents of Puglia took great pride in their houses, gardens, vineyards and fields however outside of this the roads were strewn with litter, the like of which we have never before witnessed. It detracted from our enjoyment and reflected badly upon the region as a whole. Thank you again to all who made our holiday so memorable. Phil & Kath
This was a first cycling holiday for us so we were apprehensive. However we definitely would recommend both Headwater and the Contrasts of Puglia tour. The organisation was excellent as were the hotels. In the end we took e bikes ( having deliberated about this) . We didn’t use the power so much but we felt that we definitely enjoyed the holiday more and did more on the bikes than we would have without the power. It was a very pleasurable and relaxed week.
The app works really well and is relatively easy to download and use though we found it useful to use the printed out route maps as well as a check. If you are not used to using apps etc it might be a little tricky to initially set up. We loved the routes that were chosen - mostly on very quiet country roads with minimal traffic situations. We found the car drivers very considerate, more so than in UK. The hotels were all in great locations and very nice.
Very well thought out and planned holiday with materials (detailed maps + descriptions + garmin, once I had read the clear instructions on how to turn it on to the relevant route,) provided excellent. We would have appreciated the detailed written routes accompanying the maps to have included place names
Very enjoyable rides with a range of scenery and interesting places to visit. Vicenza and Padua which we visited on bike free days were particularly beautiful.
The bikes were fantastically maintained by our rep James - in contrast to Headwater agent holidays that we've been on before.
Lovely area to visit with excellent hotels and support. Only weakness is very poor standard of app based guidance which is fine if you just want a car-like sat nav experience but it fails completely to provide any useful background information on the places being visited or passed en route. Much lower quality than the excellent written notes which Headwater used to provide. To be fair, if all you want is to get from A to B on your bike on the prescribed route, they are absolutely fine.
The cycle rating is very accurate, the bikes and equipment provided were excellent. We particularity enjoyed Porto, although unfortunately there was a lot of sea mist in the mornings at the time we were there affecting the views. In comparison to the three other Headwater cycling holidays we have enjoyed, this route was not as scenic or picturesque. The evening meals at local restaurants included in the holiday were all excellent. We arrived at Praia de Mira 'out of season' and struggled to find somewhere open for a lunchtime meal. The Portuguese people we met were all very helpful and friendly.
Beautiful country area over Italy with lovely summer weather at the end of October. Lots to see, lovely little beaches. Pleasant cycling, especially with bikes for the occasional severe hill!
Headwater holidays are amazing! The hassle of scrutinising where I’m going on holiday is taken care of by Headwater as I know they would have chosen great places to visit and stay. Thank you Headwater
We enjoyed our holiday. The logistics worked very well, the hotels exceeded our expectations, and the meals, especially those in the outside restaurants you chose, were outstanding. One possible,very minor, improvement, would be to reduce the volume, or simplify the content of information sent to us before departure. Many thanks to all involved.
Thank you for posting such a lovely review. Your comment regarding the pre departure information is currently being reviewed. Whilst we want to ensure that our customers have all the information required for their holiday we are actively looking at alternative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. For example; Holidays with Ride with GPS may not require printed route notes and a geographical map.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you on another Headwater Holiday in the not too distant future.
Easy cycling, wonderful sightseeing and a great way to explore the Danube and Austria. We love cycling holidays and this was was very enjoyable. Headwater holidays aren't cheap, but they are very well organised, totally reliable and always great fun.
We have just come back from cycling around Lake Constanz. Really easy cycle routes and great, wide paths, which made it much more sociable than when you have to cycle on main roads. The notes were generally good to follow, though we got caught out a couple of times because the distances to the next set of directions weren't always stipulated and sometimes much further than we expected. I do think that the hotels could coordinate a bit on menus: each one gave us beef consomme with pancakes as a starter soup on one of the two nights we were there and there was a lot of pork and trout. A bit more choice would have been nice. Overall though, the scenery around the lake was stunning, the days off in St Gallen and visiting the Rhein falls were superb and we were incredibly fortunate with the weather considering we were cycling in October.
Very enjoyable but two of the rides were slightly more difficult than we anticipated from a 1+ rating
We have travelled with Headwater many times and holidays obviously vary. Frankie the rep was excellent and had good practical knowledge of e-bikes. We found the roads were rather busy and not suitable for families. We realised the choice of routes was limited. Our first night coincided with two coach loads of visitors, the food was poor and we were not happy to be asked to vacate our table immediately at the end of our meal. The places we visited were all fascinating and the bus trip to Sienna was brilliant.
This was our first Headwater holiday. We really enjoyed it. The scenery was diverse. The routes were interesting. The bikes, though heavy, served us well. The routes were easy to follow and the gps worked well. The weather in early October was fantastic - warm and sunny. Curia and Coinbra suffered from early morning mist which made the mornings cool. Evenings also made a Jumper advisable. Only issue we had was with the Mecarico Hotel where our upgraded room was directly opposite the building work which was no more than 20 feet away. We also had some difficulty in finding our way from the train station at Porto to the Metro. There are no signs. The escalators were not working. The Metro Route is route E. It was not operating a direct service. We had to change at Musica although we stayed on the same platform. Portuguese people were really helpful and friendly. Food was good and relatively inexpensive
One of the best trips we’ve ever done.
A great way to see a country. Headwater have obviously done their homework. Lovely places to stay - great routes between locations - not too strenuous, but enough to make you feel you deserved that beer at the end!
Excellent centre for exploring rural Tuscany that was off the usual tourist trail.
This was a well organised tour taking in some pretty hilltop villages. We have done several Headwater holidays, but think that this was our first '2 bike '. It was quite demanding and many locals had electric bikes, but the hills are manageable. Les Imberts is a very small place, but the suggested trip to Gordes is well worth it, but we took an easier, but longer route there to avoid the main road. We found Apt to be rather uninspiring for a 2 night stay, We looked on Trip Advisor and found a couple of good local restaurants, but there was little to do during the day. Instead we cycled to the small town of Cereste along a cycle route- but it was a demanding ride. Our last hotel on the route was very picturesque and the welcome was the best we had, but we would have liked some choice at dinner especially as they hadn't noted the dietary preferences we have noted with Headwater ( luckily I had a good lunch that day). La Pernes de la Fontaines is a very pleasant town.
We started our holiday with a night in Avignon and would recommend this. Our guide Joey contacted us the night before and made excellent recommendations for our morning in Avignon. The week we stayed was a busy one for Joey ( he could have done with some help), but his cheerfulness and enthusiasm were most welcome.
We would recommend this holiday.
Had a lovely time, got what we expected and Joey the Rep was absolutely fantastic. The only area of complaint was the Hotel des pins. Location and room fine, Food not that great. We could clearly see from the other guests that the food was very good but we got a set menu which was not great. On both nights they forgot I had a Nut and Fish allergy which wouldn't have been to big an issue if they had provided me with a reasonable replacement but on the second night the starter, Fish and Salad was replaced with just salad for me. The main course was poor compared to the other hotels and then they finished me off with stewed apple sprinkled with nuts, good job my allergy is mild. Having said all that lets not forget that the Hotel Montmirail was absolutely fantastic.
Journey to start of holiday not easy. Cycle route good for inexperienced cyclists. Interesting area.
Hotel meals seemed to be a little downmarket ie. special menu for Headwater clients.
Excellent cycling holiday with plenty of diversity from the Alps of Slovenia & Italy to the Adriatic coast. Cable Car to Monte Lussari shouldn't be missed.
first night restaurant Kamera in puglia not friendly or good food should change this.
Not a part of Italy we knew much about but Puglia was a great region for cycling. All the places we visited were interesting and the hotels were of a high standard. The food and wine were also very good and, generally, good value for money. The cycling wasn’t difficult although the Day 2 journey from Conversano to Alberobello, was quite hilly and would have been very tiring had we not had ebikes. It is definitely worth visiting Ostuni while at Pezze di Greco; we didn’t fancy cycling there as the route was long and hilly but the hotel organised a taxi for us which worked well. All in all, this was one of the best Headwater holidays we have experienced and we are currently planning our next cycling holiday for 2020.
Our holiday was to celebrate a big birthday. It was as good as we hoped and we would travel again with Headwater
A GREAT BREAK FOR CYCLIST WHO LOVE ITALY
Amazing scenery, fantastic hotels and excellent service as usual from Headwater. Totally loved Slovenia and Italy, stayed 2 nights in the hotels at the start ( Lake Bled ) and end ( Grado ). Preferred Lake Bled though Grado nice too especially the lagoon and bird watching. Found the cycling quite a lot more challenging than in the Loire, slightly surprised its only graded as a 1 plus. but we are not regular cyclists. The first 3 days felt a little too long, but maybe because we were delayed starting first day; the cycle path blocked on second day meaning a detour and we were staying in Valbruna so 7 further on than the standard tour and the third day it was 28 degrees and a fair few inclines. We only stayed one night at each place en route and this worked well and the later shorter days were easy and fun. Loved the variation and found when we were in towns the Italian drivers were very supportive of cyclists. Will book more Headwater holidays!
Another excellent holiday with Headwater. The routes, the towns, the accommodation all just right. My only request would be that some new routes are added for France as we have nearly exhausted them all.
Headwater holidays definitely seem to include the eating experience as very important. They are well put together and well located.
A good cycling break with a wide variety of good eating. Spectacular scenery. Be prepared for some serious hill climbs if you don't use an electric bike, gradients up to 13%, but manageable for those who are used to it. The mobile phone based navigation leaves a bit to be desired: difficult to hear in traffic, difficult to see if you need reading glasses: and a few quirks. A back-up paper map is useful or possibly a Garmin type GPS works better. If you like cycling this is a great holiday: if you are an occasional cyclist it would be fair to say that some routes take the long and occasionally tortuous way round between places which are quite close to each other. A few sections use quite rough tracks: if you aren't confident riding over large pebbles and avoiding big potholes, take care! A great selection of wineries to visit, and if you are tempted to buy, many will ship it for you.
Great location. Easy quiet cycling excellent food plenty of interesting places to visit
Great holiday with lovely contrasts in cycling through the mountains and along the valleys and coast. Some really nice hotels along the route. Hotel Triglav was particularly nice with wonderful balcony and views across the lake. Make sure you take clothing for all weather conditions, in the main weather was lovely warm and sunny but be prepared for heavy rain in the mountains.
Excellent all round. Good mix of accommodation all good anor excellent. Fascinating route : mountains to the sea. Very interesting to see the earthquake damage and recovery in Versone. Plenty to do an the rest days. Good to have the occasional two day stay. Really liked the electric bikes (first time use). M tours and hotel staff all very pleasant and helpful.
A great holiday but it does have a few flaws!
A lovely activity holiday, cycling through interesting countryside, on quiet roads, visiting interesting towns and staying in characterful and comfortable hotels. The distances of approx 40km each day were just about right for over 60’s and the GPS navigation was excellent. It would have been impossible with paper maps only.
A wonderful opportunity to explore another part of Europe. Cycling allowed us to see genuine ways of life in Puglia and to enjoy the excellent cuisine guilt free after active cycling.
Tuscany is indeed hilly, be prepared for some pretty hard cycling. You will be rewarded with some fantastic views though and some great food along the way. Our rep Frankie was incredibly helpful and offered some great advice. All of the places we visited along the way were very friendly and our stop off at the end in Pisa was a great addition.
We enjoyed this holiday, it was well-organised with a good variety of hotels and easy cycling on great bikes. The Ride with GPS App, which we had never used before, worked very well and kept us 'on track'. We liked the contrast between the urban environments of Porto, Aveiro and Coimbra and the coastal stops at Furaduoro and Prairie de Mira. Curia was an experience in itself, a real step back in time. The food was good throughput and we especially enjoyed the local restaurant at Praia de Mira and a tapas bistro called Dux Taberna Urbana (recommended by the hotel reception) in Coimbra. We found the people very friendly and helpful everywhere we went.. Some of the cycling is a bit dull, but this is to be expected in a flat coastal area and we found it more interesting when we turned inland. There may well be more birds and w ildlife in the spring and early summer. However we were lucky with beautiful September sunshine all the way and It was interesting seeing the different ways in which life works in the different areas, especially the fascinating the way of netting fish in Praia de Mira. I would recommend ladies to consider taking a gel saddle cover as despite some long cycles on unmade tracks I did not experience any lasting discomfort. The upgrade to a sea view room at the front of the hotel in Praia de Mira was definitely a good idea, we loved sitting on the balcony in the sun overlooking the sea. One night would not be enough in Coimbra, there is so much to see.
Excellent trip, great scenery and locations, overall hotels superb, bikes were fine and the itinerary worked really well. Having one day cycling, one day sightseeing is an excellent way to balance exercise and having the time to visit some of the excellent museums, buildings and scenery around the Lake.
Very enjoyable holiday, leisurely cycling, good time of year to go (September), good accommodation. Route notes generally good but need review in a couple of locations (subject of separate email), much to see on the non-cycling days (Linz, Melk, Krems).
Stunning coastline, beautiful old towns with lots of historical interest, amazing sunsets and glorious food and wine! Some of the cycling tracks were very rough with uneven surfaces on unmade roads, not gravel as described. The agent Bruna was extremely helpful and we would recommend taking up her offer of a lift to avoid cycling on a dangerous stretch of road. We had a really enjoyable holiday and are now planning our next Headwater experience!
Good all round, except a cycling itinerary for the rest day at Apt would have been very welcome. The hotel at Apr lacked a Headwater blue book. The manager / owner did not seem to know about them.
Dear Mr. Chandler
Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you you enjoyed a good holiday. Headwater continually aim to improve on the services that we provide based on customer feedback and your comments regarding a cycling itinerant on the rest day has been passed to our product manager to consider. The Headwater blue book that you refer to was not replaced for this season; so this would have been the reason the hotelier was not aware of them.
Thanks again for your comments and I do hope that we will be able to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future
Ring of Kerry's scenery and hospitality is wonderful - extremely earthy and heartening. You truly feel connected to both the people and the land through this experience. The riding is by no means for the faint hearted though. The hills over mountain passes are challenging, particularly with Ireland's wet and windy conditions. You will need to be fit, resilient and prepared to be wet!. Bring wet weather gear. The rewards are significant though - a sense of achievement and a highly authentic cultural experience riding through Irelands farmlands, history and natural landscapes.
Well organised and efficiently run with good choice of hotels.
Having taken several group and self-guided cycling holidays with Exodus and Headwater, the 'Contrasts of Puglia' self-guided holiday has to be ranked number one. The whole trip was wonderful, for the route through the various contrasting landscapes and the wonderful locations and excellent hotels. Best cycling holiday yet and would thoroughly recommend to anyone want a real insight into Puglia region of Italy. E-bikes were great up some of the hills !
This was a really delightful holiday in a most beautiful part of the world. The cycling was perfect for us.
Where dinner was provided we felt that the eating options were adequate rather than good. When we selected our own restaurants we fared much better.
A great holiday with good routes and accommodation. We really enjoyed the sense of freedom and variety.
A company that is all about subtle choices of accommodation, destinations and routes; knowing also how essential their own representatives are on the ground to make everything work well.
Great holiday- we wished we’d opted to stay 2 nights at Calella de Palafrugell as it was a lovely spot with beautiful clear water for swimming. Our guide, Greig, was brilliant - particularly when we had a day of storms and ran around transferring everyone and their bikes to their destination as if it were no trouble at all. The area is beautiful with fascinating old villages and towns - Girona a real highlight
Great holiday staying in three different lovely old Croatian towns on the coast with good cycling with the added bonus of being able to add extra nights in Venice at the end of the holiday
Great adventure from beginning to end. Thankyou
A great taste of Tuscany - scenery, food and wine were all lovely! Stefano was very helpful, ensuring that the holiday would cater for each individual's needs. The fact that about 50% of the recommended routes were on gravel tracks (varying from flat, easy to ride sections, to quite steep and slightly more challenging sections) made the provision of mountain bikes most welcome.
A great way to see beautiful countries, keep fit and enjoy good food & wine
Beautiful area of Northern Italy - it was a total feast for the senses. Our rep was the best ever and our first cycling holiday in Italy was a lovely experience overall.
Joanne Chaplin, our contact at Headwater was excellent, as were Phaedra and Paul our reps in Piedmont. The e-bikes were amazing - they made the whole experience a real pleasure and enabled our group of different ages and abilities to enjoy the cycling equally. Thank you for a really happy and memorable holiday.
My friend and I had a great holiday. I had previously been on cycling holiday with Headwater, about 7 years, ago level 2 ish - from Auxerre in France. Comparing the two, the ride was not significantly harder than this one at level 1.
The cycling routes were good and quite varied with some hills and beautiful scenery. Sometimes it was difficult to hear the GPS in traffic but most of the routes were on cycle paths or quiet roads. I came home feeling very relaxed.
This holiday had quite a lot of off road sections. We had excellent weather but these would be difficult if wet. Lots of choices of restaurants to eat at in the evenings, and interesting towns to enjoy. First two hotels really excellent with helpful and friendly staff. Beaches very rocky so take shoes to swim or buy some there. We enjoyed some Snorkelling .
Absolute stand out features were the delightful hotels in Fazana and Rovinj. Utterly charming in every possible way. Sadly, Hotel Flores in Porec was utterly grim...in every possible way, and a disappointment to end what was otherwise a wonderful holiday. Fazana and Rovinj hotels were perfectly located, the staff were tirelessly charming, genuinely welcoming and really went the extra mile. If you can, I would recommend selecting somewhere other than Flores for the two final nights of the stay in Porec. The coastal cycling paths gave spectacular views and were mostly level and of a reasonable length. Suggest taking the bikes from Fazana to the island on the first cycling day rather than going to Pula. The city doesn’t seem to have much to offer apart from amphitheatre - maybe you can squeeze in both trips?? One part of the route took us inland to Bale. Whilst the destination was lovely, the long climb uphill on a busy road to get there was a bit of a trek. Would suggest sticking to the coast and avoiding the uphill if you are a softie like me. The country route from Porec was beautiful, passing through pretty villages and opening up a view of real Istria away from the tourist areas at the coast. Do stop at the caves on the final day - well worth seeing. Bruna was a super rep who took us off the beaten track to see the gorge from the shore and the view from the top - singing to us much of the way! Quite a character in the best possible way. Already considering where to next.
Lovely countryside and picturesque towns - almost too many of them. Some of the days are packed with sightseeing, leaving little time to do the cycling! Excellent hotels, and very well looked after by the Headwater rep. The route is at times quite piecemeal, trying to avoid busy roads, which is made just about manageable by using the GPS system provided.
This was our third cycling holiday with Headwater and, once again, it proved to be a very enjoyable experience. Transport to and from the airport was quick and efficient and the rep, Antonio gave us valuable advice on the week ahead. The accommodation provided was as good as ever and the navigation app proved to be invaluable. This app makes like so much easier and it is one of the main reasons we travel with Headwater; no more pouring over maps or guidance notes which can be quite dangerous on busy or poorly surfaced roads etc. This holiday offers the opportunity to stay in or visit five beautiful medieval towns which are quite breathtaking. The route is quite manageable for the average cyclist with a few hills to contend with but nothing very difficult. Don’t forget, that walking up a difficult hill is a perfectly acceptable option. The road surfaces were a bit dodgy at times and it’s clear that the economic situation in Italy is having some effect on road maintenance. None of this detracted from the enjoyment of cycling in some beautiful countryside and through some beautiful and fascinating towns. This sort of trouble-free cycling really is a wonderful way of visiting a country and the saunter through this is part of Puglia was no exception.
Headwater takes care of all the arrangements, leaving you free to enjoy the cycling. Thanks for a first class holiday.
Fabulous scenery, food and wine. Some of the gradients were challenging for those less used to cycling, but the views were worth the effort.
GREAT HOLIDAY. ALL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS WENT TO PLAN. THE VENETO AREA IN ITALY IS SUPERB FOR CYCLING AS THE ROADS ARE VERY QUIET AND THE CYCLE TRACKS ALONG THE CANAL WERE LOVELY. GPS WAS REALLY GOOD AS WE DIDN'T HAVE TO KEEP STOPPING. THE WRITTEN ARRANGEMENTS WERE ALSO VERY GOOD WITH EXTRA INFORMATION ON VISITING PLACES ON FREE DAYS. WE WERE A GROUP OF FOUR WHICH WAS PERFECT AS WE COULD KEEP TOGETHER MOST OF THE TIME. WOULDN'T HESITATE TO BOOK ANOTHER CYCLING HOLIDAY WITH HEADWATER AND AM ALREADY LOOKING AT THE BROCHURE FOR NEXT YEAR!
A very good trip. and we will return for more.
The location is perfect for quiet (often off road) cycling. Roads and gravel tracks gave access to a variety of stunning scenery. There was plenty of opportunity to experience the culture, local food and drink.
Our base for the week, Agriturismo ‘La Pietriccia’, a small family-run farm, was idyllic and the hosts very friendly, welcoming and entertaining!
Excellent mountains bikes were provided and were ideal for the hilly, gravelly terrain. We greatly enjoyed pedal cycling but the option of e-bikes would be a very good alternative for those less confident or fit. The routes gave a splendid variety and were never repetitive. It was a fabulous week.
Great holiday cycling through beautiful countryside with wonderful historical UNESCO cities to explore.
Great holiday if you like mountain bikes and fairly rough terrain. Beautiful countryside and friendly people, wonderful Agriturismo accommodation.
Unless you are extremely fit, make sure you hire electric bikes to make the most of the stunning countryside.
Overall a very enjoyable holiday with excellent accommodation and bicycles (ebikes). The cycle paths are easy to follow and well maintained. A lovely cycling trail which can be done by any age group. Many young families were following the route. Perfect also for those of a more advancing age! (We are both in our mid seventies.). Cannot but recommend this holiday very highly to all. Cycling into the centre of Vienna was so easy. The Austrian’s do look after their cyclists. Only criticism would be the lack of a designated contact person for the holiday but the cycling back up service was good and luggage transfer excellent.
Overall a really enjoyable cycling tour of Slovenia and North Italy offering wonderful scenery on dedicated cycle tracks. We would have benefited from local advice of where to have lunch stops as some were quite a distance. It was our first experience of using GPS and more information on the first day about its alert function etc would have been useful as we went off piste a few times on the first days.
You need to be an experienced cyclist as there are some pretty busy roads. Scenery spoiled somewhat by the amount of litter. All,hotels excellent. Electric bikes superb. Baroque landscape superb.
Generally everything was fine
We really enjoyed our holiday in Portugal. Porto is a lovely city. The cycle routes were good, lots of variety and no hills ! The cycle through the lagoons was wonderful. Some of route dictions were not clear and we got a bit lost most days but we could use our iPhones to find ourselves. We thought the written directions were sometimes out of date and did not take into account new road layouts. We sometimes found we could not exactyidentify where we were on the map as there were not enough landmarks mentioned. The hotel locations were all superb and well chosen. All the breakfasts were first class. All the people we met were very friendly and helpful. We would recommend this holiday to anyone who enjoys cycling along flat land near the sea.
From the greeting by Antonio at the airport, throughout the holiday everyone was welcoming and helpful. The hotels we stayed in were quirky but excellent. They helped to make the holiday. The hotels location, mainly in the heart of the community allowed us to immerse ourselves in the Italian culture and feel a part of that community. The ride, at times was hillier than expected but our decision to hire ebikes made it so much more enjoyable and gave us extra time to go off route and explore the countryside more without putting any strain on us. We could also spend more time exploring the villages and towns that we passed through knowing that the pedal assist would help us getting to the next hotel without taking too much out of us to enjoy the evening and the next days ride. The RidewithGPS kept us on course but allowed us some leeway to go our own way but giving the ability to get back on course. The help and assistance from Morgan at Headwater before we left was excellent. She always got back to us with answers to our queries, which for us on our first cycle tour may have seemed silly but she always answered promptly and helpfully. We thoroughly enjoyed the cycling holiday and are looking forward to another one next year.
As the title implies there are some steep hills but the villages are very attractive. Magnificent countryside and panoramas from the elevated villages.
A wonderful cycling holiday that had some hilly sections so the option of the e bike was great for the less fit, especially in the summer heat. Each hotel offered excellent service and food and the pools were lovely. We enjoyed the variety of quiet countryside hotels and the bustle of staying in Vaison with the fantastic Roman ruins to visit. The routes take you on quiet roads through vineyards and quaint villages with beautiful scenery every day.
Excellent relaxing holiday - accommodation was faultless.
Lovely route .Every day seemed to be completely different in scenery . We went through places that we would never have seen on any other type of holiday.
The new Ridewithgps system is good and a great help especially now we need glasses to read the notes alternating them with sunglasses all day long!
This is one of the best holidays we have done with Headwater, with an interesting variety of scenery, but luckily mostly downhill gradients.
Inevitably the highlights were in the first half of the holiday as we cycled through the Julian Alps. We particularly enjoyed the day between Tarvisio and Venzone - fabulous views and really interesting cycling through tunnels along the old railway line. We would also recommend the suggested excursion to Arnoldstein - the climb to the chairlift is tough but well worth it.
The second half through flatter land is obviously a bit less dramatic, but we enjoyed Aquilea in particular and Grado was fun.
An excellent mixture of accommodation. We had a few early problems with the route finding (not clear at a couple of points on the full day in the Lake Bled area) but you can't really go wrong if you follow the FVR signs in Italy.
We enjoyed this holiday in this lovely Veneto region which seemed unspoilt and with few tourists. Particularly enjoyable were our visits to Padua (by bus) and to Vicenza by bike. Particular highlights in these cities were the stunning Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (book on line the day before), and the ancient indoor theatre in Vicenza. The weather was particularly hot (early July) for the duration of our holiday and we were glad to have booked a couple of extra days of relaxation at the L'Albara which had an excellent pool. It also had air conditioning which we considered an essential feature during our stay. Unfortunately we were moving on on a Monday when a couple of the best reviewed villas were closed. Cycling was generally easy and flat apart from the climb up to Hotel Lussana with four hairpin bends, and the final day with a climb up and down hills before our last stop at Il Feudo. Generally we were very impressed by the very many cycle paths in this area.
We had a fabulous time. This was the first time we have done a multi centred activity holiday and we will definitely do another.
A very enjoyable cycling holiday. Great hotels in lovely harbour towns. Some of the cycling was a little trickier than we're used to with lots of gravel/stone tracks and more gradients than we were expecting. The room at the Palazzo did not have a balcony which we were expecting. Apart from that, all great.
An excellent week cycling round Lake Constance. The route took in many villages and towns with opportunities for sightseeing and refreshments. The lakeside sections provided beautiful views and lots of picnic opportunities. The cycling was not difficult and the distances each day allowed for leisurely cycling with lots of breaks. On the shortest day there was plenty to see en route so we did not arrive at our destination too early. The directions were clear and easy to follow. We had been warned that it is busy in August and certainly at the weekend especially the route was well used but it never felt over crowded and in many ways this added to the atmosphere. For anyone who does not like cycling on roads this trip is ideal, the majority was on dedicated cycle paths and the short sections that were on roads usually had a dedicated lane. We also found that motorists were much more considerate of cyclists than we are used to! The hotels were all good with individual charms, the quality of the food was very good and we enjoyed every meal and not having to find restaurants in unfamiliar places every day. This is one of few holidays we have said we would consider doing again as there is so much more we could explore.
We loved the freedom that a self-guided tour gave us to set off at the time that was right for us, take breaks when we wanted, stop for lunch where we wanted and travel at our own pace. The hotels along the way were excellent and far more "up market" than we expected. The Headwater staff, from the initial booking to the location rep, were extremely helpful and informative. We will definitely be going on another Headwater holiday.
We had a fantastic holiday mixing exercise with beautiful scenery, excellent food in a tranquil environment. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend a cycling holiday with Headwater.
The holiday was well described and you can do as much or as little as you want. The food provided was the best Italian food I have ever tasted! So...different from UK Italian restaurants and the local wine was very easy to drink. There is a Family atmosphere to farm location and overall very relaxing. The cycling APP used with headphones makes life a lot easier and means you don’t have to stop and start at each junction. The cycling is generally easy, although it can be very hot, so be careful on the days where the route is longer. The other main thing to be aware of during July/August is that (other than in Vicenza) almost everything is closed during the middle of the day. So be very careful planning cultural, shop or restaurant visits else you are likely to be disappointed. Overall a really good holiday and ideal for one where you want a balance of activity and relaxation.
Great value holiday with very good back up service. Cycling offers a very good opportunity to see an area and experience it's culture while at the same time not feeling guilty for eating and drinking too much.
Piedmont is the next big thing in international tourism with its stunning countryside and world class restaurants so get in before it takes off.
An excellent holiday, well organised with fantastic food (and range of options). The sights are beautiful and varied. This holiday has something to offer everyone and I would recommend it as a way to explore the towns and villages along this part of the Danube. The cycling is easy and relaxed; there is flexibility and so this holiday will suit the majority of people, including families.
Superb a real sensory experience.
You notice lots of detail when exploring a region by cycling at a gentle pace. You can stop whenever you want to and explore more or speak with people along the way. GPS is a must and saves so much time. The standard of hotel accommodation and cuisine at the end of each day's cycle is a delight. You feel yourself getting fitter and fitter with each day of your holiday. We enjoyed the Gastronomic Barolo Cycling so much two years ago that we returned this year and were not disappointed. We especially love Hotel Villa d'Amelia near Benevello.
A thoroughly enjoyable 3 days cycling with my daughter on (predominantly) designated cycle paths and quiet country roads in beautiful and unspoilt Catalonian countryside. We had a warm welcome wherever we went and found 3-4 hours in the saddle each day suited us perfectly. Easy to reach beaches enhanced our holiday and we'd both like to repeat it all.
Challenging, enjoyable, comfortable. Scenery and locations excellent.
We both thought this was the best holiday ever. Great bikes; cycle tracks, hotels; places to visit, and food. Not a cheap holiday; the way we did it; but what great fun; we really didn't want to go home to UK. So don't tell too many people how lovely and quiet and clean this was.
Best hotel in my mind was Hotel Rheinfels staff, food and room all were great; needs a special mention.
Thank you for such a lovely review. We'll try not to share how lovely and quiet it was; 'Promise!'
We'll be sure to feedback your comments to the Hotel Rheinfels as its always nice to know that you are doing a good job .
Don't forget we've over 70 cycling holidays to choose from and we would love to be able to welcome you back to enjoy some more.
Our holiday experience was everything we had hoped it would be.
From our initial arrival in Passau to the spectacular cycling of the Danube Island into Vienna, this was an adventure not to be missed. From concert halls, wall graffiti and art museums to medieval towns, meandering rivers, mountain trams and jaw-dropping monasteries, Austria never ceased to amaze. We do recommend taking the short journey into Linz on the train and definitely recommend cycling into Vienna on the traffic-free Danube Island.
The holiday was excellent. The hotels and food was great, we did flag one restaurant that needs to be changed. Our only negative point would be that the steepness of the routes were not reflective of the grade of holiday and we found this quite unpleasant. I think you need to offer e-bikes only! We made it though and the sense of achievement I guess is greater!
Great holiday and wonderful experience.
This was our fourth holiday with Headwater and our third cycling tour. We felt that our last cycling tour, Passau to Vienna, was going to be a very hard act to follow.
As we have now come to expect from Headwater and their agents, the travel, transfer and luggage arrangements were seamless and the local agents were excellent and engaging. Remarkably, our luggage was always ready for our arrival; even on the shorter rides at the furthest point from their base. A great effort!
The stay in Bled was enjoyable but the cycling to Venzone through Tarvisio was truly exceptional; an absolute delight and without doubt the highlight of this tour for us. Indeed, probably the highlight of all tours to date. The mountains and the river gorge provide a spectacular backdrop to the perfect tar sealed path through countless tunnels and over many bridges. So many photo stops needed!
As advised at the briefing, after Venzone, the landscape changes and frankly, it is in stark contrast to the previous days. Although the destinations of Udine, Palmanova and Grado were certainly photogenic, we didn't find ourselves making so many photo stops en-route now. Also, many of the tracks are now gravel requiring heightened concentration. Although mostly fairly well compacted surfaces there were inevitably are few places where we struggled at times.
For us, we would have happily foregone the stopover days in Udine and in Grado but we appreciate that others would likely have a different view. We would suggest that these could perhaps be optional.
Overall, a really enjoyable tour and the Julian Alps will live long in the memory.
An excellent balance of cycling (some challenging hills!) sightseeing, eating and drinking with plenty of opportunity for relaxing as well.
Another great holiday with Headwater, our first time outside France. Easy cycling often on cycle paths.
A good cycling holiday.
This was our honeymoon trip, and I can safely say overall it was a brilliant experience. The hotels were excellent, the food and restaurants selected gave us a good variety and experience of what that part of Italy had to offer. Transfers and bag drops worked very well, and the support team were readily available for queries and help when needed.
We feel more information should have been available about the longer routes, and better advice about suitability of gearing and types of bikes needed in advance of the trip (we wanted to take our own bikes). The longer optional routes have some very steep sections and even a seasoned club rider would need gearing lower than is standard on most road bikes.
Amazing scenic approach into Ljubiana airport. Scenery in the mountains was fantastic. M Tours (the local agents) were brilliant; always there to help and always on time. Good level of cycling fitness required especially during hot weather. Very good accommodation. Route signage when you know what you are looking for is great.
A fascinating and varied cycling holiday through beautiful countryside and interesting locations, plenty to see and do and much to admire in the countries visited.
We had a fantastic holiday. We were particularly impressed by the company that provided the bikes as they went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect and that we were happy with the bikes before we set off.
We love the sporting holiday as a family. It brings us all close together. The Barolo experience was relatively difficult and at times the weather was rather hot. The E bikes made it more enjoyable for the 2 of us who are a bit older. The hotels and restaurants were all unique and enjoyable.
Good journeys both ways without rushing. Lovely riding around Lake Constance with plenty to see on our days off.
Great holiday. The route was full of contrasts between the coast and rural inland areas. We preferred the inland areas with the olive groves, stunning wildflowers, trulli and drystone walling. The coastal sections were tainted by the amount of rubbish everywhere. The routes were generally quiet. Sufficient challenge provided by hills and length of ride to make the cycling interesting without being exhausting. In the countryside motorists were considerate to cyclists.
We used the GPS in conjunction with the paper instructions. Be aware that your phone may overheat and shut down. The screen can be hard to see in bright sunlight. The battery may not have the capacity to last the day so you need to have a backup/charger. Excellent organisation from Headwater and the local operator - Antonio.
In general the holiday was good. Some of the hotels (eg Portopalo Suite, Ferro Hotel) were not of the usual Headwater standard in particular with regard to location. Some outdoor space and perhaps a pool would have been nice. Torre Dantona and Villa Favorita were far more what we expected. We loved both of these places.
Fantastic holiday, we did not choose the Gastronomic tour as we prefer to explore for ourselves. Be aware though that restaurants close on different days and are all well supported by locals so without reservations you may not get a table! We ate at some amazing places with no English menu, just what we enjoy...but take your phrase book. Everywhere we ate we had excellent food and wine. Veal features on the menu in many forms along with hazelnuts! The scenery was stunning and mileage travelled each day very manageable. We would strongly recommend electric bikes, unless you are a Club level cyclist many of the hills go on and on. My husband who cycles regularly at home on a road bike found the ordinary bike heavy and inappropriate. My electric bike was amazing!!
The holiday was about as good as it gets, especially the accommodation and food, which was often provided in nearby restaurants. The only worrying glitch was a vey late cancellation of our flight from Gatwick to Turin. Morgan at Headwater dealt with this efficiently and quickly arranged an alternative flight from London City to Milan.
A lovely ride through beautiful varied scenery. The hardest rides were the optional detours and those suggested for ‘rest days’. Seamless logistical support and generally lovely hotels. Definitely worth arranging own flights direct rather than involving stops in Germany which makes for hideously long days travelling.
This was a fabulous holiday one of the best that we have had with Headwater because there was jaw dropping scenery, easy route & excellent hotels "What's not to love"!!
Very interesting area with beautiful sights and and transfers of bags between hotel went seamless. Very good, would use again.
An excellent combination of easy cycling and excellent sight seeing.Good accommodation and excellent food. Headwater customised a standard trip to meeting our timings and wish to amend the final destination.The local agent added a number of helpful suggestions which enhanced our enjoyment. At all times we felt support was on hand ---but we never had to call on it.
Fantastic routes, mainly downhill and 90% safe cycle tracks. Beautiful scenery en route with good options for days off.All hotels in great locations and great service and bikes.
Excellently thought out, organised and worry-free holiday with a good blend of saddle days and optional activities. Enjoyed having two nights in some hotels.
Food excellent. James very helpful.
An excellent holiday and itinerary, embracing 5 fascinating baroque towns and 2 pleasant coastal resorts. The cycling is not particularly demanding and passes through some lovely countryside. Usually, there are a fair number of cafes/refreshment places on the route. Most of the roads are reasonably quiet although there is the occasional fairly busy road for short periods. The hotels chosen are very good, especially The Stephano Palace and Villa Favorita. Claudio, our representative, was charming, informative and very helpful. He came out to rectify a mechanical problem within an hour of being called. The whole trip worked seamlessly including the audio app and transport to and from the airport.
Our third cycling holiday ,great fun as always, and nice to travel around another different area.
Beautiful countryside, friendly, full of culture and excellent food and wine. Cycling not too onerous but there are some hills which are well worth it for the view.
We wouldn't have done this type of holiday if it hadn't been packaged by some one else. It felt like good value for money. I can't think of anything that I would have wanted to be different.
The organisation of all elements of this holiday was excellent and especially from headquarters who realised I had omitted to arrange the air travel; the guide at the start of the hoiday was clear about what to expect and very clear in giving information re- the GPS, but I am glad I also had paper back up since it is impossible to realise that the batteries are fully charged.
our self guided cycling holiday was organised perfectly despite our booking at short notice. Fabulous scenery of Julian Alps and the Alpe Adria exceeded our expectations. Everything worked perfectly. Worth noting that as some gravel cycle paths are quite rough and potholed, progress on these is much slower than when you are on a good surface.
Puglia is a great place for cycling, and the food and accommodation were excellent. We used ebikes, which were revelatory for us, opening up the possibility of resuming cycle touring which it seemed our knees had put beyond reach. The GPS navigating system, while not perfect, did allow much easier navigation than with paper maps and written instructions, making for a more relaxing holiday.
Fantastic rep who couldn't have been more helpful. Helpful office staff in the UK. Mixed bag of accommodation. Most was very good. One definitely let everything down. Same with food - some truly excellent some distinctly average. Route information very good but could have done with slightly longer routes. If you happen to have bad weather as we did for a couple of days you can end up quite stranded with very little to do - especially in Pancole. Taxis are very expensive but often no alternative form of transport. This was very nearly a truly excellent holiday. Just needs a couple of tweaks with some of the accommodation and meal options to have given it full marks.
My wife and I holidayed in Puglia in April, and are fair-weather cyclists. The grading we believe is more akin to 2 rather than 1+. The weather was sunny and warm; cycling in the higher temperatures expected later on in summer would have been tiring. Although there was one hiccup with a bike, the matter was resolved and the rep. helpful and attentive. Accommodation good throughout and at times pleasantly quirky.
The towns in this region are welcoming, interesting and attractive (especially Alberobello), all the accommodation was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed the cuisine and the wines. However, as the scenery is mostly olive groves and dry-stone walls, and the area is sparsely populated, the rides from place to place are less varied and hence slightly less interesting than other locations offered by Headwater. The most enjoyable ride was the "loop" from Alberobello through Locorotondo and Martina Franca.
Lovely way to visit the real Portugal and experience the incredible friendliness of the local people.
Stunning beaches, great hotels, generous, helpful people, the unseen Portugal
Our trip was excellent. We have taken many enjoyable Headwater holidays and this is one of our favourites. We cycled through beatuful Spring countryside with flowering orchards and wildflowers. The accommodation was delightful and made the most of the historical features. The food at the Masseria was amazing. The local people were friendly and spoke a lot of English.
Excellent service from Headwater throughout, representatives Tony and Ludmilla most helpful and ensure that everything is organised and correct for a great experience and a holiday with no worries. Ideal hotels, lovely countryside and coast with options for routes to suit the individual, and with the GPS app you can't go wrong. Highly recommend.
Wonderful area to cycle in - varied terrain and scenery. Made harder by winds but did anticipate this. Very relaxing few days. Was great to know we had support from Tony and Ludmilla if needed. A lovely way to discover this area of Portugal
The holidays and accommodation are very good
We would highly recommend this holiday. The cycling was easy and interesting, the hotels were comfortable and welcoming and the dinners were delicious. Cycling every second day gave us the opportunity to really explore the towns we were in and we appreciated the notes in the regional guides. The only criticism we have was that the route notes were confusing and usually unnecessary as the journey followed a well signposted cycle route around the lake that was very easy to follow.
Barry and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Provence cycling with Headwater. The only difficult thing was to get a good cup of coffee!
Our cycling holiday in the Luberon was typical Headwater style. Friendly rustic hotels, minor road routes, places to visit, great scenery and great local food and wine. Other cyclists on the same route were great company when we bumped into them.
Excellent but a bit hillier than expected.
Great hotels. Very good food,easy cycling and we had magnificent weather. Met very friendly locals.
We had a wonderful holiday. Tuscany is beautiful and La Pietriccia a little gem. Stefano (the owner) runs a highly efficient setup with his helpful and friendly staff. He is one of those rare men who can multi-task (!) whether it’s reorganizing our cycle routes, finding new routes for others, briefing groups, getting bicycles mended, cooking and so on and all with a smile and quick wit. We were impressed that groups were given GPS locators in case they got lost and so clearly a lot of thought had gone into making the best experience for guests. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday.
A well-organised holiday with generally good 4-star accommodation (one specific difficulty was dealt with promptly and efficiently) . The grading system was very accurate for first-time cyclists. Equipment provided, the local support and the initial briefing were also excellent.
This was our first Headwater cycling holiday and it was excellent in every way: choice of routes, route guidance (especially Ride with GPS), type and quality of bikes, location and quality of hotels, and transfers to/from the airport and luggage between hotels. Special mention of the local reps, Tony and Ludmilla, who were always friendly, helpful and efficient, with the right amount of advice at the right time. We are both over 70 but had no difficulty with this grade 2 holiday in the 'real' Algarve. We were lucky with the weather in mid October: 20C and sunny during the day but heavy rain at night. Waterproofs essential at that time of year. All in all, a memorable holiday.
This is a good holiday and Insel Mainau is a must. Could not see much purpose of Friedrichshafen if you are not interested in the Zeppelin - arguable an extra day in Konstanz and a longer cycle on cycling day 4 as others recommended the other island nearby, Reichenau, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. My disappointment was how much of the cycle route was away from the lake - there were plenty of non-cycling footpaths nearer the lake and these would have been lovely - my love of suburban housing estates is limited. The Cycle providers were excellent and nothing was too much trouble. Nevertheless, some superb places to visit and interesting things to see - huge orchards laden with apples, storks, herons, red kites, large and small fish in the lake, grape picking to name but a few.
Lake Constance cycling — super holiday excellent hotels and meals ... relatively easy cycling with option of electric bikes ... highly recommended
On paper the distances seem a bit daunting but in reality lovely gentle cycling with some spectacular scenery.
An excellent way to see a lovely part of Croatia.
The holiday did exactly as described. This is an easy but highly enjoyable cycle.
This was our first single centre cycling holiday and was chosen because I have been troubled with a leg injury and we felt my wife could cycle if I could no. As it worked out we cycled every day! Our reservations about a single centre were quickly dispelled. The accommodation is run by a marvellous family who have created a wonderful ambience. After the cycling we relaxed in the grounds, cooled off in the pool, and finally dined on the full Italian evening meal. We are both vegetarian s and one gluten intolerance. The food was the best we have had in Europe.
The presence of a local rep was reassuring and James was always available but never intrusive.
If you want a Tour de France this holiday is not for you, if you want enjoyable cycling with time to soak up the local environment go for it.
Well done Headwater.
Excellent routes and good hotels, good reps
We had a very good time and were very happy with the planning, accommodation, itinerary etc.
An excellent range of spectacular scenery around lake constance
Absolutely breath taking scenery, couldn't recommend this holiday highly enough. Do make the effort when in Tarvisio to cycle to Arnoldstein & take the chairlift. The hill to get to the chairlift is very very steep, I walked, but my husband who is a regular cyclist did manage it. What a view from the top. The accommodation throughout our holiday was lovely. We would recommend this holiday. At the end of our holiday if we could have gone straight back to the beginning we would have cycled it all again!
Very scenic tour. Gentle easy cycling, definitely not challenging. Good food & wine with friendly welcome along the journey. Very efficient baggage delivery service.
Ride with GPS took a while to download before the trip but was very worthwhile & worked well.
The briefing by the reps about the bikes and the Ride with GPS app was very good. The route notes were also useful. The bicycles were excellent. The ladies needed the electric bikes in the Dordogne because they had not done much cycling preparation beforehand. The meals at each hotel were very good. The countryside was beautiful and there were many interesting sites to visit.
Wonderful holiday in a beautiful region with an excellent and charming rep. Marred by the anxiety for me (Jane) over the working of the new app, battery running out before reaching the destination and the lack of good and accurate back up directions. The apps need a bit of tweaking but will be good. Attachment to bikes need to be stronger and visible in strong sunlight.
Thank you for your feedback. Overall it looks as though you had a lovely holiday . The team at Headwater are constantly reviewing what we do based on our customer feedback and can assure you that all that you have mentioned have been under review to improve.
Brilliant hotels, great food, wine and beer. fabulous scenery good weather (could have done without the mosquitoes), fine bikes, excellent rep BUT you are let down by the quality of the paper cycling directions which were in places totally inaccurate. If the holiday is going to be based around an app on a smart phone then make that clear. We have been on several cycling holidays in Europe and are experienced at following directions but on each of the first four days we had instances where the directions made no sense. By the fifth day we had lost confidence in them and didn't go on the last round trip. Some of the inaccuracies were just irritating but at least two were very concerning! I have details of the main inaccuracies if you are interested. It's a shame because we both enjoyed the holiday and with better directions would certainly have gone with your company again.
In all good holiday if you enjoy cycling.
Great cycling - some challenging- in a beautiful area. Fabulous reps - Paul and Phaedra who were helpful, informative and assisted in every way they could. Siena and San Gimignano were good places to explore on the rest days.
Following the maps provided for the days trips was hard as there was insufficient information on them. The places signposted on the route did not appear marked on the maps. That is the only grumble we have otherwise it was very well studied and planned. Good.
This is a brilliant location for cycling. We chose it because we have both had hip replacements in the past year, but even so, we would have liked one or two more challenging days on the bike. We doubled up some days and went “off piste” a couple of times. Italian cities, other than Venice, are very cycle friendly. James Robertson is a superb rep for Headwater, hands on in his teaching us to use the bike Satnav. He did not crowd us and was always there when he promised. Good guy.
We had a great time on our cycling holiday in Catalunya. We enjoyed the cycling and also enjoyed the sightseeing in Figueres and Girona. Not a lot to see in Figueres but the Salvador Dali museum is not to be missed. Not a lot of good restaurants in Figueres but we found the tapas bar El Asador was brilliant. Greg, our rep, was brilliant, nothing seemed to much trouble for him. We also liked the navigation app, it made route finding so much easier, even though we did have the printed notes as well.
We added 2 nights on to the end of the holiday in Calella de Palafrugell, and enjoyed some lovely coastal walks.
A great cycling holiday .. would recommend either end of the season as Croatia looks as if it will get full in peak time with RV's and people. So best to go when quieter and cooler for cycling. Bruna is great ..take her advice on road section to Porec as road is steep , very narrow and with a lot of vehicles is dangerous. Please check the distances as given in the notes, for example in one place it says continue on road for 2Km but it is much nearer 4.
A leisurely end of season break
An excellent opportunity to see the Istria region and visit quiet but beautiful villages. Cycling can be a little challenging on some days, but well worth the effort
Enjoyable rides, more challenging than expected remember French towns close on Sunday especially off season!
Very enjoyable , good accommodation except for the hotel Porto Christal. This was a last minute change to the original tour. The location was not ideal and the food was terrible. There were a few hiccups starting with the meet and greet at the airport, which did not happen until we made several phone calls to the emergency contact but all problems were dealt with very courteously and all members of staff were extremely caring and helpful.
The Porto cycling trip was a brilliant holiday for the 4 of us - easy cycling through interesting countryside alongside the coast, great food and good accommodation. We were really lucky with the weather - blue skies all the way although the evenings were a little chilly and it was pretty windy at Costa Nova. As a bonus we saw flamingos and storks along the way! The only disappointment was building work going on next door to our last hotel which made sitting on the balcony a less than relaxing experience. But Headwater responded promptly to our concerns and we were treated to a couple of free bottles of wine to help make up for it, which was appreciated.
Well organised and stress free holiday
Well organised and interesting range of accommodation. Interesting routes and good navigation aids.
GPS application for navigation is excellent. But ensure you have backup battery
A wonderful adventure. Challenging cycling through stunningly beautiful countryside. Ending each day with fantastic food and wine in very comfortable hotels.
A great (mainly flat) ride with wonderful cycling past the Atlantic Ocean and, as always, interesting hotels and meals.
We enjoyed the holiday overall, but felt that it wasn't the most picturesque, having been on various other cycling holidays like the Carinthian Lakes. We did not enjoy the long day's cycle under and around motorways and through endless tunnels, some of which were pitch black and pot holey. Miroslav and his team were excellent and replied to my emails very quickly. We would really have appreciated getting our bikes and having the briefing on the first day, particularly as we arrived very early and could have cycled around the lake. We had our briefing at 0930 on the second day, which meant that we couldn't start cycling that day until 11am, and it was really hot. The other disappointment was that the Hotel Triglav did not have an outside seating area, apart from the small terrace for dinner. We absolutely loved Lake Bled and it was wonderful to have a day on the beach in Grado which was delightful.
First half of journey was through magnificent mountain scenery on well maintained and exciting trails, including old train tracks, tunnels and bridges. Would liked to have spent longer there, but the latter journey to the Adriatic is an enjoyable contrast, culminating in a dip in the sea.
This is our second holiday with Headwater and both have been excellent. We enjoyed cycling Piedmond and the high standard of accommodation and food that was on offer. The two nights spent in every stop over is a great format giving one time to explore the area. Some of the cycling was challenging which we expected but were able to complete it successfully. However we feel the grading could possibly be reviewed and changed to a 2.5 We went in the third week of September and the weather was wonderful. Thanks to Headwater and also to Greg and Laura for all their advice and information on each village that we stayed in. Jim/Anne Sandy/Janet
A very good holiday ,well organised and covering an interesting area of Portugal. Bikes were very good and we appreciated the port wine tour and the wine tasting sessions that had been arranged.
We thoroughly enjoyed our gourmet cycling holiday in Piedmont. Everything was well organised. The scenery, the food and wine were all excellent. The Hotels were all different and very comfortable . All the hotels and meals were of a high standard. We were very glad that we had electric bilkes. We would have struggled on the very challenging hills in the beautiful weather, and would not have enjoyed our holiday so well. Unless very young or fit I would recommend e bikes. You will still have plenty exercise to earn your dinner! Although quite an expensive holiday it was good value for money.
This was a wonderful holiday in all respects. We loved the family atmosphere at La Pietriccia, everyone was very friendly and helpful and the food was delicious. Stefano is passionate about the food he serves and was very happy to share his knowledge and expertise. He also helped us to amend the cycling routes to avoid some of the more difficult terrain, which was greatly appreciated. We expected hills but steep gravel tracks were challenging until we swapped to electric bikes for the last two days and it was a completely different experience. We would wholeheartedly recommend this holiday.
Pleasant rides, but a fair amount on relatively busy roads. Good and varied styles of hotels.
Headwater offer a quality experience, using excellent hotels, good bikes and gauge the difficulty of the cycling very well...well done Headwater!
A mixture of excellent (hotels) and fair (cycling). The cycling was only spoilt by really rough tracks, demanding too much concentration on the riding hence missing the surrounding landscape and features.
Great way to explore a region little visited by Brits. Despite no Headwater rep and notes which show their age (and accuracy) the maps and general set up for cycling made this a great holiday.
A good combination of sun, sight-seeing and cycling. The cycling was rarely strenuous and was a good way to see this very attractive part of Croatia.
Fantastic holiday. Great locations, especially Rovinj, which is fabulous, we really want to return there. Cycling was the right level of distance and slopes. We are already booking next years holiday with Headwater as we loved it so much.. Only negative was the very wordy, and sometimes out of date route notes. A little map would help and they should be checked more often. Would definitely recommend this trip.
Scenic cycling through a wide range of terrain. Good options to reach off-track sights. Nice sense of achievement to cycle from the Alps to the seaside.
Absolutely lovely, easy cycling through the beautiful Veneto countryside.
Staying at L’Albara was a real treat especially the invigorating swim after each day’s cycling.
James was very pleasant & obliging.
Please tell future clients to pack water bottles & a variety of snacks as there are no shops & very few cafes en route. Local supermarkets are +1.5km away from L’Albara.
GPS cycling worked well.
The hotels were in general well located. We particularly liked Sa Punta and the food here was very good. The cycling tracks were mainly gravel or sandy and a bit rutted and could be quite tricky in places and one had to keep one's eye on the track rather than the scenery but that may be because we are not used to cycling off road. The route takes you through some lovely old towns and villages the highlight of which was probably Pals. Despite our initial reluctance, we were pleased that we used the GPS route guide as it would have been difficult without it to navigate the tracks. The area is spectacular and we would definitely consider re-visiting Catalan.
First class.! From the moment we spoke to staff at the London Destinations show in February, through to the first enquiry, booking and follow ups; it all went very smoothly and we had a great time including being upgraded in three hotel to Suites!!
Enjoyable, well organised
This was a really good holiday, the cycling was challenging in the heat so we would recommend early morning starts or later in the day cycling! Stefano the agritourismo owner could not have been more helpful and informative, the hotel was charming and all the staff very good and helpful. The food was really excellent and we would definitely recommend taking up the option of the wine and food event in the local town. Have already recommended this holiday to friends.
Very well organised holiday, local reps were excellent, and great hotels. Good quality bikes and easy to follow route instructions (Ride GPS worked well). This is a stunning area, with beautiful views and interesting historic towns. The cycling is challenging in places as Tuscany is hilly!! However, the views, hotels and food/wine availbale compensate for the effort required.
This was our first self guided cycle trip and the first with Headwater. Cycling in groups with a leader, mini bus etc is becoming more demanding This cycle trip was enhanced immeasurably with the audio GPS navigation app, which meant not having to pour over maps or follow route directions at every turn. The route on this trip has been very well planned on beautifully quiet roads or tracks and passing through interesting villages and some lovely scenery. Initially, we thought the hybrid, flat bar bikes were too heavy but they proved to be ideal on the well-maintained tracks. There was only one stretch of approx 3 miles on a fairly busy road and that is when cycling into Girona but it's nothing to worry about. To our surprise, we found the average Spanish motorist pretty considerate and prepared to give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking or at junctions.
The hotels were very good with excellent service, quiet rooms, delicious breakfasts and safe parking for the bikes.
Greg, our rep, was spot on right from the start, giving reassuring advice on using the GPS app, what minor problems to be aware of and any adjustments the bikes.
It's a leisurely cycling holiday to be highly recommended. We have enjoyed cycling with groups for many years in lots of places throughout the world but self guided trips are much more leisurely and gives the rider the opportunity to appreciate the scenery, to stop whenever you wish, to explore some of the major sights and small villages etc.
A lovely trip. Easy cycling, attractive scenery, good bikes and excellent accommodation. All this plus good weather and wonderful companionship made this my best-ever Headwater experience.
A well balanced holiday. A good insight into Slovenia, and the part of Italy South of it. Worth researching the areas that you will travel through as they have survived some amazing changes. The cycling at the start of the holiday was more interesting than the last few days but there were still some wonderful sites to see. We had a great holiday!
Marvellous area . Notes for cycling extremely poor . The hotel at Roussillon CLOSED at 8.00pm .and had no gin and no beer . It was like a travel road house !
Thank you for your feedback on the cycling notes which have now been revised. The Hotel in Roussilon is only a short walk from the village centre where there are bars and restaurants to enjoy and as the hotel is small they tend to stay open when the demand is there.
A very enjoyable cycling holiday. The route was well researched using very quiet roads whenever possible, passing through lovely and varied countryside with stops in all the interesting hilltop villages. The hotels were all very comfortable and meals where provided were excellent. Our guide Mark was knowledgeable and couldn't have been more helpful.
An excellent and varied exploration of the Vaucluse region of Provence, with opportunites to visit ancient Roman ruins, mediaeval villages and legendary Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards.
James was the best Headwater representative that we have ever encountered. His knowledge & summary of the area was excellent. The bikes, bag collection & transfer excellent. He could run the company! Thank you for one of the best holidays ever. We will be back for another Headwater holiday.
lovely trip cycling mainly on flat coastal cycle paths visiting interesting places on the way Porto, Aveiro and Coimbra, a real relatively undiscovered part of Portugal overall a great holiday would highly recomend
Our holiday run smoothly, hotels were good and the cycling was very enjoyable.
Wonderful experience.We are both now in our 70s and wondered whether this was still for us.The Danube route is easy to follow and passes through ever changing scenery.The hotels were a great in themselves and we had some very good food..breakfast was always exceptional.The transfer of our luggage was exceptionally well handled
Well planned holiday. Cultural notes and cycling instructions excellent. Picture book countryside, very high standard food offerings everywhere. Our rep James was lovely and helpful.
Memorable holiday. Will definitely travel with Headwater again if still able to . Had a splendid holiday with HW also about 15 years ago cycling through Umbria.
Lovely cycling through varied terrain; but be prepared for a good few sharp climbs. The hotels were well appointed and the food was generally delicious. Although the location and development of the Castell D' Emporda was unique, for us the better hotel was the Sa Punta where we spent two lovely relaxed evenings.
an excellent location for an easy cycling holiday with many options to vary the length of the cycling day due to the number of stations close to the route.
Thoroughly enjoyed cycling in Croatia - a great way to experience this lovely part of the country. The hotels were all gems and the itinerary allowed us to see and do everything we wanted to. Headwater always gets it just right! The cycle routes aren't as well-established as some we have followed in France and Italy but it appeared that they are being improved, for instance a new stretch of coastal path designed for both pedestrians and cyclists had just been completed.
A beautiful trip through the Julian Alps visiting places I had never really heard of. Stunning and varied scenery from the mountains to the coast on largely safe cycle ways. fabulous hotels and food.
Fantastic Holiday with 'Wow!' locations and good accomodation.
We have been on 9 Headwater holidays and enjoyed them all but this one was the best. We really enjoyed the scenery in the Julian Alps. As we headed south we cycled through interesting countryside and visited places we would never otherwise have seen. The hotels were all very good, with friendly and helpful staff. The holiday definitely lived up to its “billing“ in your brochure.
Headwater has never disappointed. We have travelled with Headwater at least 6 times. The hotels are always full of character and the food good. We had a problem with a persistent puncture and Mark came twice to fix. I left a necklace in one of the room safes. All the hotels replied promptly. It was found at Chateau Mazan who sent it back very effeciently and quickly
Excellent experience, so many lovely places and the accommodation was really good. Some of the hills were tougher than expected, but not impossible. The service from Donna when booking was outstanding. Great way to see Puglia which is largely unspoilt by tourism and the wine is fabulous. So many more memories than just a beach holiday,
We went on the PIedmont Gastronomic cycling 2 years ago so had a good idea what to expect this time. The accommodation was all of a very good standard and well chosen. All the accommodation had bags of character and made a fantastic change from staying in standard generic branded hotels. The cycling was easier than Piedmont but still a challenge in 30 - 32 degrees. Although, the bikes are fitted with non puncture tyres, we unfortunately suffered a puncture! We were unable to complete a roadside repair due to a combination of the extra thick tyre walls and flimsy tyre leavers supplied. However, Antonio from the support team quickly came to our rescue and we were soon back on the road. Overall, a very stress free, enjoyable holiday, cycling through beautiful countryside one moment and along side the Adriatic the next. Also great wine, superb food and lovely sunshine.
An adventure and yes, it certainly provided "contrasts" of Puglia. We found Italian people (including drivers) friendly and very accommodating, they made us feel very welcome, especially the farmer who brought us 2 ice cold bottles of water and offered us a shaded bench in his garden to eat our lunch!
Our first time to Puglia and we loved the rural relatively undeveloped charm of this part of Italy! Acres of cherry, fig and olive orchards, a pretty coastline and towns with narrow streets and ancient buildings that have been there for centuries.
Headwater came through as a very ambitious counterparty. The planning and execution of our tour was professional, excellent route notes and good accommodation.
This is our third holiday with Headwater and we very much enjoyed our experience. The Barolo Gastronomic cycling trip in Piedmont was excellent with amazing countryside.
We had a fantastic trip, a great mix of cycling in spectacular surroundings and relaxation, sightseeing and indulging in the local food and wine. For people of average fitness, the cycling is challenging in parts, not because of the distances involved, but because of the hills in some sections. The lovely reps, Phaedra and Paul, were friendly, helpful, professional, available and unobtrusive. The bikes were sparkling clean/new and well equipped with water cage, phone holder and panniers. Remember to bring a helmet as these are not supplied. GPS worked well. The accommodation was varied and generally good and we really appreciated having a pool at every stop. We did not meet any other Headwater holiday makers on the trip, so it very much felt like an intimate private holiday.
A good description of a one wheel cycle holiday for those not normally cycling. Lovely hotels. There could have been more 'human' contact from a rep. We received one phone call asking if we were ok but saw no-one from the Introduction until pick up time at the end. Had a good time though.
Wonderfully tranquil cycling by the lagoons, and through forests. A great holiday from start to finish - very relaxing!
Slightly tarnished by the poor weather (which obviously you have absolutely no control over!) but felt we couldn't fully appreciate the scenery/picnic opportunities etc
Very enjoyable holiday
Beautiful lake with some great cycles - different scenery every day. Perfect iced coffees and strawberries for sale on the way.
Good organisation, bikes excellent, hotels well chosen, guidance and maps very clear. Steady and easy cycling between 25 and 35 miles each day. We didn't use the train but carried on cycling right into Vienna - magic. We really enjoyed our non-cycling days too, all in well-chosen places. A great holiday.
Varied, interesting holiday. Easy cycling, but bikes a little heavy and saddles not as comfortable as usual. You can catch an earlier train from Munich than the one stated on the ticket, although Headwater advised otherwise. We did check with a guard before travelling. All the breakfasts were great. Typical Austrian fare is a little heavy, especially the dumplings! An extra night in Passau meant that we could enjoy the organ music at midday and we thoroughly enjoyed our extra nights, two, in Vienna.
We had a wonderful time , bar the lack of working air-conditioning in 1 hotel. We met friendly helpful people on our trip, and enjoyed the wonderful and rugged scenery.
Great easy cycling for the most part amongst beautiful countryside with interesting places to visit all along the way.
Cycle route is definitely more than 1 bike
We found the Trulli house rather dark, cold and uncomfortable but an experience. i would suggest that the tour only offers one night there. Eating well at night proved difficult, everywhere was booked the first night and the we did not know that Tuesday evenings is the night restaurants close there, so that night we has almost no choice along with most of the other tourists there.
Contrast of Puglia - just as it says - contrast in accommodation, cycling inland and to the coast, food different in each area - perfect mixed holiday
A delightful holiday in the Veneto. L’Albara provides comfortable, relaxing and welcoming farmhouse accommodation and the food is excellent. The region offers plenty of opportunities for interesting visits and the cycling is predominantly flat and on very quiet roads or cycle tracks. We cycled to Este and Padova, which although long rides were worth the effort. If you go to Padova a visit to the Scrovegni Chapel is highly recommended - book in advance on line to be sure of getting in. The Palazzo Bo is also fascinating. James our holiday rep was very helpful, especially in helping with the App for the rides. We made our own way to Mestre railway station having spent a few days in Venice and the travel arrangements arranged by Headwater all worked perfectly. A lovely holiday.
Great food, beautiful scenery, cycling level wrong it is tough, some routes not good. not enough choice, but overall enjoyable holiday.
Excellent holiday. Very helpful and friendly Headwater staff. Be honest with yourself with regards your fitness for long uphill rides
This was a very relaxed holiday, all the hotels were in the countryside where the views were lovely, the air clean and the environment quiet and peaceful.
Although graded as "easy", there was a particularly "challenging" prolonged uphill stretch to reach Teolo, where I had to get off and push but Teolo was so worth it. The Villa Lussana provided the best accommodation and vegetarian food on the trip. It was good to have a variety of individual styles of accommodation.
We are not into Apps and downloads, so our Rep provided us with excellent detailed written route instructions, having just recently cycled the route himself. We enjoyed meeting up with other cyclists for the 2 nights spent at Villaganzerla and with 2 walkers at Galzignano. I am not a competent cyclist and it had been some time since I was on a bike, so there was a certain sense of achievement at having completed the route unscathed!
We loved cycling this part of Portugal. At this time of year wild flowers were everywhere, enhancing our coastal and country rides The 2 headwater reps were really helpful and considerate in ensuring that we 2 technophobe senior citizens were able to fully enjoy the benefits of the Ride with GPS system. ( We had been provided with paper route guidance as back up but thanks to the reps this was not really needed) The rides were slightly challenging for us but we loved the coastal views and villages as well as the countryside - staying in the reclaimed village at Pedralva was a great experience, including the local bread stew We have enjoyed several Headwater cycling holidays in the past and we feel the standard has just continued to improve.
This is an interesting journey with some urban routes in Porto and fairly flat and varied tracks along the coast. The pace is relaxed with well spaced optional rest days. The local reps. were very efficient and helpful if you have any problems. We would strongly recommend adding an extra night at Coimbra, which is a most interesting city, and a visit to the old University there. The Sat Nav was very useful.
Lovely area, great hotels mostly, very enjoyable
Excellent holiday. Easy cycling. Lovely scenery.Garmin makes a huge difference and avoids regular stops to review maps. Very good standard of hotels. Food in general excellent especially Restaurant in furadura. Furadoura and Praia de Miras bit busy and touristy but can easily escape on bikes. Aveiro is atmospheric with lots of good restaurants and cafes. All in all, great holiday
An excellent cycling holiday for those who enjoy fine scenery and want to avoid demanding gradients
From Passau to Vienna is an unforgettable experience. Impossibly beautiful countryside, vineyards and medieval villages are only some of the highlights you enjoy on level cycling paths and quiet streets. If history, art or music is your thing, there are also countless opportunities to indulge during stays at Linz, Milk and of course, Vienna. Our only question mark came at the end of the trip, when we felt that more time should have been scheduled in this incredible city and less time apportioned to Krems and Tullin.
Lovely cycling holiday with changing landscapes from Lake Bled and the Mountains down to Grado by the sea. Opportunities to swim in lakes, rivers and the sea. Mainly well signposted dedicated cycle paths. Excellent Hotels and food. Definitely recommend this trip!
Really enjoyable way to experience local cultures and get ‘off the beaten track ‘ good local representative support .
A good concept for a cycling holiday and overall, a lovely and enjoyable time. Fabulous scenery and well selected routes to follow.
Our party of 10 really enjoyed the Puglia cycling trip. The route is well chosen and delivered comprehensively by the GPS app. Logistics re luggage and bike support were excellent. Accommodation choices were spot on. We felt privileged to stay at these impressive locations and found a very warm welcome at each.
Well organised, reps were lovely and very helpful.
Fabulous cycling amongst Spring meadows. Fabulous flowers, rugged coastline and interesting villages.
Fabulous holiday, beautiful scenery and towns, bikes were fab and transfer of luggage excellent. Trip notes were a little confusing in some places and we weren't the only ones that came across this problem, Google maps did come in handy on these occasions. A few more busier roads than I expected but none of these issues prevented me from such a wonderful holiday experience.. Having the extra night in each town enabled us to enjoy and explore the towns that much more than if we had only had 7 nights. All in all a wonderful holiday, would definitely travel with Headwater again and Donau Touristika.
Enjoyable, comfortable rides easily achieve by two 70 year olds. Accommodation very good although food somewhat variable.
VERY NICE HOLIDAYS!! Nice cycling, with wonderful food and wine.
A lovely way to explore this beautiful and historic area of France while building up a good appetite for a classic french meal
We had a relaxing week in the Dordogne, with cycling and beautiful food every day. The routes, although appearing short, are very hilly in places and are not to be taken lightly. We really would recommend kayaking on this trip, as there were lots of opportunities alongside the cycling and it added a great extra dimension. There are lots of ancient monuments and castles to explore, but simply soaking up the medieval architecture is a treat in itself. In August, it was nearly 40 degrees so be prepared, and get the cycles done early, so you have time to relax. Try the local vin de noix, and all the lovely cheeses and meats. After all, you will cycle them off! And do NOT forget insect repellent!!
Enjoyable easy flat cycling, very scenic. Lovely hotels in Germany and Austria with air conditioning which was needed as temperatures were in the high 20's / low 30's.
We are a family of six, with kids 18, 15, 13 and 10. All of the cycling is completely doable on this route, with the longest day being the nicest cycling day that we have every done. We stopped at waterfalls, swam in rivers and generally glided down hill for about 50km! Nice and varied route, but the early days were my favourites up in the mountains. This is our fourth Headwater holiday and we always enjoy them immensely. The guide (Miroslav) was fantastic, really detailed induction all of which was helpful, came and changed a bike for us very promptly, and tried to help us with flight issues too.
Really enjoyed the holiday and out rep Mark was extremely pleasant and helpful. As we were 4 ladies we had requested twin rooms and this was confirmed by Headwater. However this was not the case in three of the hotels which provided double beds with single duvets. This was a 1+ cycle and we had elected for electric bikes which proved to be the right choice.
Ireland is stunningly beautiful. Cycle paths were quiet. Accommodation was fantastic with very friendly and helpful Irish hosts who made you feel most welcome.
Avoid taking this holiday in August. We loved the holiday but it was too hot.
Fantastic route, fantastic hotels, fantastic holiday. Thank you.
Location/routes are excellent as is the food and value, just a shame many of the bedrooms are so basic
Phaedra and Paul made us so welcome, and were very helpful (returning our key one day when we rode off with it). They gave us some very useful tips about the routes and hotels, and they set the tone for a lovely week right from the start. The bikes are easy to ride, good quality and very smooth. We were provided with water bottles and a cage each, so we could drink on the go. That helped a lot - do not underestimate the heat and the hills - those rest days are needed! We're reasonably fit, regular road cyclists and we found the hills quite challenging in the heat.
We saw some beautiful countryside in Tuscany, met some very friendly people and ate some good food. We will go back - but maybe not in June!
As this was our first cycling holiday we were apprehensive especially regarding the train transfers from Zurich airport to our destination but with the excellent information provided with train timetables and platform numbers from Headwater we were able to travel with confidence by train to our first destination of Bregenz at Lake Constance. We enjoyed a fabulous holiday and would highly recommend Headwater to make all travel arrangements.
Lovely accommodation, great food and gentle cycling.
perfect cycling holiday for newcomers/occasional cyclists
Lovely scenery and easy cycling (even for less experienced cyclists).
An fantastic way to see the region with a host that makes you feel like you're home
Great varied holiday with beautiful scenery in the mountains and easy cycling in the main. Nice hotels, friendly welcoming staff. Cable car trip at Camporosso was fantastic on our day at Tarvisio. Route easy to follow using FVG1 signs with occasional reference to the written notes. Bike panniers were very good and bikes comfortable. Havng to change flghts in Germany made for a long journey at each end. Everywhere we went was very cycle friendly and lots of people out cycling on the route. All in all a lovely holiday.
Relaxing, peaceful cycling in the Italian sunshine; great home-made food and wine at the agriturismo.
Excellent holiday, lovely hotels and good food. Cycling was quite tough but we still enjoyed the routes and the countryside was beautiful. One problem we had was when going by bus to Siena no one told us that in Italy you need to validate your ticket on the bus. As a result we ended up with a €120 fine!
A very good holiday package around a great lake for cycling.
Great cycling on quiet roads. Hotels were very good and evening meals at half board hotels were sensational.
An excellent introduction into cycling holidays that we will be certain to repeat.
Lovely to see a bit of Spain away from the main tourist areas.
Two of the hotels were very good with sensational food and good service
The cycling was through some scenic and interesting areas
Its great to have everything done for you, and someone on hand to deal with problems or issues that arise. Cycling planned routes enables you to see far more of the country and its interiors. if you like the idea of activity during the day and chilling during the evenings and nights then this is the type of holiday for you.
beautiful area for cycling and easy to manage distances
Very good but we took time to adjust to the mobile phone app instructions and the volume on the app was too low even with the phone on highest volume. We would prefer bike computers and detailed maps as this is what we are used to.
All agency staff were terrific giving good tips for eating out and places to visit. The trips were well organised and the bikes were fine. Everything promised was delivered. It was nice to meet other people on the same trip and a good balance between your privacy and some interaction.
We were very satisfied with the care and attention Headwater provided at every point of contact from booking through to during our holiday. As far as the trip experience we were somewhat disappointed with the route as many stretches were just an easy pleasant pedal but with not much to see or do along the way. It wasn’t until after Melk that the route charmed us all in all though headwater is great at creating just the right mix for an active holiday
Very varied and beautiful scenery, excellent and varied hotels. Really enjoyable holiday.
Route notes generally very clear, just got a bit lost a couple of times.
Always interesting, off the beaten track and a chance to meet the local population and enjoy the quiet and peace of the countryside.
Very good but you are not cheap.
This was our third self guided cycling holiday with Headwater and the easiest to navigate using GPS. The bikes have 24 gears and are very well maintained with good support if required from local agents. The hotels are all fabulous with amazing food, we lost count of the number of Portuguese custard tarts we ate! The itinerary was well designed with a great start in Porto (Port tasting arranged) and a break mid week if desired in very scenic Aveiro. The cycle paths are amazing, very well maintained and mostly far away from roads and the route around the numerous lagoons and pine forests were uplifting. We would definitely recommend this trip, the cycling is easy giving time to admire the surrounding scenery with the Atlantic Ocean waves in the background.
Great holiday - excellent cycling on cycle tracks along the coast and inland around lagoons teeming with birdlife. The hotels were all of a very high standard and a great choice of local restaurants when we weren't eating in the hotel. A full briefing by the agency rep before we set off and maps, directions and Garmin all provided, including suggestions for coffee stops and lunches. the best cycling holiday we've ever been on.
An excellent introduction to a cycling holiday abroad. Everything was made simple and the bikes provided were superb. Easy to follow notes and fantastic accommodation at the end of each day. Would definitely recommend to others.
excellently located hotels good value for money and a delightful way to visit 3 countries.
Fabulous locations, cycling mainly flat through breathtaking scenery, varied and unspoilt landscapes.
A Headwater cycling holiday is by no means a cheap option. . Given the quality of the bikes, the route notes and suggestions for 'rest' days, however, we rate these holidays highly and feel safe and supported throughout. The fact that we have just completed our 5th holiday with the company must surely indicate our overall level of satisfaction! Keep up the good work, Headwater. Nothing quite compares to the freedom of travelling by bike. It's liberating and quite intoxicating!
Very well organised, with excellent directions and achievable distances to cycle daily. Cycles very good condition, well maintained, clean and comfortable to ride. All staff willing and able to support if required.
Well-organised holiday, drawing on deep experience of the area, tried and well-tested, excellent hotels, supported by great staff.
Wonderful hotels, exquisite food and a friendly warm welcome from reps and hoteliers. The cycling was challenging at times but the uphills rewarded us with stunning views and we felt deserving of our gastronomic delights!
An excellent way for parents to holiday with teenagers: the right balance of activity, being together and opportunities for a feeling of solitude.
A fantastic holiday all round; great bikes, great route through 3 contrasting countries around the Bodensee. A wonderful opportunity to travel by bike and to explore at your own pace and under your own steam. A unique experience !
The holiday in terms of the arrangements was fine. The bikes were handed over to us with no problems and were of excellent quality. Unfortunately one of my fellow bikers had a puncture. The process of dealing with getting a replacement bike was very easy, a phone call was all that was needed to achieve this. The itinerary was excellent. The amount of travelling time was about right bearing in mind that I am not a regular cyclist. I feel that the itinerary was a bit ambitious for the time we were there as we did not have time to explore some of the places we passed through. The other main thing is that the panniers on the bikes were not of the best quality, they were old and after we started the trip I found a small tear in mine. Perhaps you could look at more substantial panniers rather than the material ones we had. All in all a very good experience.
Enjoyable holiday in pleasant area using friendly hotels with meals. Impressed by knowledgable and flexible arrangements for bike provision and set up. Luggage transport worked well and trouble free. Cycling mostly on dedicated well maintained cycle paths or quiet roads. Navigation generally straight forward. Distance and terrain matched expectations of grading. Some interesting sites en route and at stayovers.
Lovely cycling along quiet lanes, hilltop villages, olive groves.
Coastal Croatia Cycling was a great holiday, in an interesting and scenic coastal area and we followed it with the Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling as it is easy to get a ferry from Porec to Venice (prebooked on line). Bruna was an excellent rep, providing a thorough and useful briefing at the start and a debrief meeting at the end and was very contactable if needed. We took up her offer of a lift across a busy section of road in the last week of the Croatian school holidays and a detour to view the Lim Fjord on Day 6. The stone/Kazuni houses were well worth visiting on Day 3. Note that if you really want to visit the Jama cave on Day 7 in a busy holiday time you may need to book ahead or wait 2 hours for a tour. Swimming is possible on many of the days, however the beaches are stony/rocky so beach shoes are required and are available to buy in Fazana near the hotel for only about 10 Euro. This was our 3rd Headwater cycling trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
The early part of the holiday in the mountainous areas of Slovenia and Italy was spectacular. We loved being away from busy roads and using the old railway line dedicated cycle paths. You can't beat Italian food!
Excellent holiday, Great route even though we were not blessed with the best weather. The hotels were great , so were the bikes and the luggage was transported without any problems.
A perfect way to experience nature and culture in this region of Provence.
Headwater could provide water bottles and helmet options for travellers outside Europe. We were fortunate previous visitors had left 2 helmets for our use this visit.
Great cycling, fabulous food, quiet roads in a busy area, plenty of local places of interest, well done Headwater.
Cycling in lovely countryside with places of interest to see. Evenings spent in comfortable hotels with good local food.
Puglia is a beautiful région which, in September isn’t crowded with tourists. The food and wines are delicious and the locals are very welcoming.
A pleasurable experience cycling in Puglia
Headwater provide good all round holidays for active people. Their staff both in England and abroad are efficient, but I would suggest you be careful before you decide which level/grade of cycling holiday you chose. I have done 8 Headwater holidays and I think this one in Puglia should have been rated a 2 star, not lower. It was quite challenging in places - not too much so but this needs to be noted.
A truly gastronomic experience! An excellent introduction to the food, wines and culture of Piedmont. The cycling was sometimes frustratingly hilly but that is the nature of vineyards!
Stunning scenery, stunning locations - a holiday to remember! We weren't really sure what to expect with the 2+ rating for cycling - I would say on average the cycling ranged between enjoyable undulating roads & exhilarating descents which were interspersed with some really (really!) tough climbs - beware of the Strava Biancas & just enjoy the scenery on route - the pain is quickly forgotten & the achievement of arriving at each destination makes it all worthwhile! I truly memorable holiday - thank you Headwater!
Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling lived up to its name as there is an opportunity to visit many villas in this area. We travelled during the grape harvest season and it was interesting to see both hand picking (especially around Cortela) and mechanical harvesting and to taste wine near Cortela. Sarah Hall is an excellent rep with 10 years experience and knowledge of the area and the routes. She keeps the bicycles in immaculate condition, and provided a comprehensive briefing and was always available if needed. The Villa Lussana Hotel was our favourite with wonderful views and delicious meals. We should have done more research on sights to see in Padua and Vicenza to make more use of the day trips. We added 3 nights at the Hotel Kette in Venice which was in a good location but very touristy compared to the relatively quiet and non-tourist cycling. Great trip overall and easy to add to the Coastal Croatia Cycling as we did that trip first and caught the ferry from Porec to Venice then on to Vicenza.
This was an excellent holiday, easy cycling and great hotels. Local rep were very good.
The cycle around Lake Constance was an opportunity to experience different weather situations from the comfort of your bike, to see lovely villages, local areas and explore to your hearts content.
Lake Constance cycling is the ideal holiday -- exercise (though not too much), sunshine & warmth, nice scenery, variety (three countries), and excellent accommodation, food & drink.
A great holiday, virtually traffic free rides, excellent food and lovely scenery. A brilliant combination of cultural cities (if you wish to visit them) and rural isolation. However, consider the best time to go - the temperature hit 42 degrees & humidity was very high which made cycling difficult (4-13 July). We were the only guests at our first three holels and owners told us they consider July to be low season due to the heat. If you were expecting to meet other travellers you could be disappointed. On the other hand places of interest were not crowded & we didn't need to queue with the exception of Venice.
Good balance of cycling and rest times creating a relaxing holiday.
A wonderful way to see the real Costa Brava and get to know Catalunya as a region. The holiday was well constructed and well organised. The instructions are not fool proof but that is half the fun!
A gentle cycling experience along the Danube and through the Wachau vineyards, with options to shorten the day's cycling by using boat, train or minibus if desired.
An excellent trip for the novice of 'non hardcore' cyclist. Route and cycle paths are excellent - scenery stunning. Accommodation good considering where the route goes.
We left Manchester in pouring rain to spend a week climbing Tuscan hills at 34c. The theme of the accommodation is Tuscan hill towns so every morning was an easy start but you soon realise every days ride finishes with a picturesque uphill! The hotels were always a good standard and a couple of the swimming pools were simply amazing. Eating outside in the courtyard at the 'Relais della Rovere' was particularly special. We had researched eating out in San Gimignano beforehand which proved well worthwhile and it is definitely wiser to book ahead from UK if you can.
The first day is quite a challenge so carry plenty of water. We hadn't realised that Headwater don't supply the water bottles anymore but luckily our local reps found us a couple of spares from last year. Phaedra and Paul were kind and attentive keeping in touch by text if we needed them. The bikes were reliable and comfortable to ride. The routes do get easier after the first day and it is worth carrying a small picnic most days as the cafes tend to be towards the end of the ride. There are some good sights to see on the rest days or else there are the lovely pools just to lounge by instead.
It was a great holiday and the hills made sure you felt fitter coming home.
Thanks again Headwater
The route was generally disappointing, lots of detours through small hamlets where there was nothing, very few places to stop for a coffee. May just be that the topography dictates the route but I would have hoped Chianti could have yielded more places of interest. This was our 3rd Headwater holiday and I'd place this route 3rd by some margin. The hotels were generally excellent, Le Fonti in Volterra was very professional with good views, La Renaie in Pancole was the highlight, excellent family run hotel with nice feel and really good food. Relais della Rovere was Ok but needs to employ some gardeners, the grass everywhere hadn't been cut for weeks, bushes badly trimmed etc all contributing to an unkempt appearance. The catering being separate from the hotel was unusal and contributed to the disjointed feel. This should be a fantastic hotel but needs a lot of work to get there. Pescille was really good with great views of San Gimignano.
The bikes were new so in perfect condition, should have had a bottle cage on each bike rather than 2 on one bike and none on the other. We would have brought our own water bottles if we'd known these were no longer provided, contrary to what your literature said.
Dear Mr Campbell,
Thank you for taking the time to provide your post-holiday feedback. We were pleased to read you had an enjoyable holiday. We were however sorry to read there were areas of your holiday that you felt required improvement. Please be assured all of the feedback we receive, whether positive or constructive is valued and used to help improve our holidays for the future. With this in mind, we were sorry to read you felt the gardens at Relais della Rovere required maintenance. This is the first time we have received constructive feedback for this hotel. We have discussed your comments with the hotelier; we expect to see an immediate improvement. We are sorry for any disappointment this may have caused.
We were pleased to read you found the bikes in perfect condition; our Reps receive extensive training in this area and do pride themselves on providing well-serviced bikes. They do not provide water bottle cages to our low framed bikes; this is due to past customer feedback, where customers advised us they were banging their legs on the cages, our Reps will provide water bottle cages if requested. Again, due to customer feedback we discontinued providing our water bottles, customers advised they preferred to use their own. Our Reps may have a surplus if required. This information is included in our pre travel information booklets; we are sorry you were unaware and hope this did not cause you an inconvenience.
In closing, we would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
From the moment our agent Antonio picked us up from the airport we have been looked after so well. The cycle route and accommodation was carefully thought out. My only concern is that the cycling in my opinion was not for beginners as there were some quite challenging inclines on a few busy roads. Overall a tremendous experience.
The routes were excellent; a mix of terrain and stunning scenery. We enjoyed the off-road sections particularly the optional coast and river valley route on our free day at Pedralva. We went in January and whilst the roads were very quiet it did mean that many cafes and restaurants were closed and the hotels were quiet. The weather is changeable at this time of year. We had one day of wind and steady rain but we went prepared for variable weather so this didn't spoil an enjoyable day cycling. We would like to do this route again in the Spring when the flora is in bloom and the birds are migrating.
Lovely locations, great hotels with well thought-out cycling routes that took us to parts of the beautiful Istrian peninsula that other visitors would never see.
A superb blend of countryside cycles and splendid evening meals. Our local representatives Greg and Laura were consistently helpful; rescuing our bikes when needed, and proactively working out a new route for us when they realised a car rally would make the original journey planned for that day impossible. The restaurants were varied but all delightful. The unanticipated June heatwave made some of the uphill stretches a little more challenging than might be expected from its grading
Portugal is an amazing country for cycling, lots of dedicated cycle paths, incredibly friendly people, quiet roads, beautiful scenery. The Porto to Coimbra trip had varied cycling, most of it very easy on flat surfaces. It was a nice mix of coastal cycling and countryside cycling, and every day was different. A couple of days the cycling was on roads, but these roads were never too busy, and in general the motorists were polite and aware of cyclists.
A great tour around a wonderful area wth everything from beaches to early churches and ancient ruins.
We like the Headwater cycling format to the extent that we cannot remember the number of holidays we have been on.
Despite being of the same modest grading as our two previous HW cycling holidays, this was significantly harder, because of the heat (over 34 degrees) and some long uphill stretches, especially on the Lafare-Vaison day. However, it was worth it for the lovely scenery, the downhill bits, and the hotels, two of which had lovely pools, and some excellent food, especially at Hotel Montmirail (if only it had air-con as well!) and at La Dame d'Oie at Pernes. Plenty of opportunities to sample the Provence Rose, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and Gigondas wines. The archaeological sites and mediaeval town at Vaison la Romaine are well worth the 'rest' day.
Fabulous scenery, hotels, food. Cycling easy on days that had to cycle - slightly more challenging when on 'rest days' Up to St Gallen and the Rhine Falls but still easy to complete. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
We thoroughly enjoyed the stunning scenery and the experience. The cycle paths were excellent and the route was very well signposted. We enjoyed the suggested days off . This was one of the best Headwater Holidays that we have been on.
We had a fab holiday. Everything went perfectly. The trail was so pretty and interesting and not as difficult as either of us expected. Austria was lovely. We left Passau and saw the different waters of the rivers Danube and Inn merge. Soon afterwards we were in the countryside, cycling by the Danube and along verges and meadows of wild flowers - scabious, chicory, vipers bugloss, clover etc. It was fascinating to see the scenery, the agriculture and the Danube change as we progressed. The villages were picture-book pretty, each with their own history. The towns we stayed in were all delightful - Linz, Melk, Krems and Tulln. Schlogen was quite lovely on a meander of the Danube, we watched the light change on the water and cargo boats go up and down river.
Incredible 200 km of beautiful countryside, cuisine and culture of Provence! Loved every minute despite 35° heat and 35% elevation. La vie est belle!
Great time, hills in Tuscany are not hills....So get in shape, but scenery worth the ride...amazing! We were able to meet the locals and enjoy ourselves without any pressure when and when not to ride...
Rheine falls very busy. Should offer stop en-route for rail and more options for long journeys (over 300 miles). Make sure camera charged up every night. Allow time to explore en route on bike. All locals very friendly in every country and willing to talk. All to easy to eat and drink too much. Hotel staff less likely want to speak English.
Surprisingly easy going for the independent traveller, yet adventurous, with a touch of comfort
Of our 3 Headwater cycling holidays this was the best. The accommodation was better and the cycling was the right amount although we skipped the circular route around Alberobello. The hard copy route guides were better than previous ones and the GPS app with the handle bar bracket worked brilliantly once one had sussed it out. We were fortunate that the bracket was just big enough to hold our phones; it was not big enough to hold the larger smart phones.
Great combination of challenging cycling, breathtaking views, a range of different hotels with excellent food and wine
The holiday provided a wonderful experience of cycling in this most scenic of Tuscan landscapes. Some of the cycling was tough in the hot weather but the excellent hotels were perfect for relaxing after the cycle rides
Cycling around the hills of Tuscany is challenging and you need to be in good shape to take them on. Its worth it though for the views and the downhill stretches. I particularly enjoyed the four night stop allowing for visits to Florence and Siena. The highlight though for me was San Gimignano.
We found Nuno, the local operator from A to Z bike tours especially helpful, but we've also had a good experience with Headwater in Italy. The riding was mostly very flat and easy, but we hit a heatwave at the end, so maybe that was just as well. Porto is fantastic and Aveiro is nice, but the rest day in Praia de Mira isn't needed and it's not a very beautiful or interesting place. Neither is Furadouro. In fact we enjoyed riding through villages and nature reserves much more than along the coast, which is quite developed. We loved the hotel in Curia most of all, because the building is so unbelievably beautiful, it's like stepping back in time. Coimbra is also interesting and worth spending an extra night. We dealt with the heat by starting early and arriving at our destination for lunch.
Very friendly and approachable reps. Nothing too much trouble. Good support with cycling information.
Excellent holiday in a truly beautiful part of the Dordogne. Extremely comfortable hotels with some fantastic cycling and so many varied places to stop including villages, chateaus, gardens,caves etc which meant every day was a different experience. However, a word of caution. If you are not a reasonable cyclist consider an e bike or choose more direct routes between hotels which avoid some good hill climbs.
A gentle introduction to the Veneto Plain based at a very welcoming agriturismo.
Really pleased we chose this tour. Fantastic location, food and wine. We were lucky to have great weather and tour reps (Laura and Greg), that certainly helped. The cycling was tough at times in the heat, so glad we had water and could top up at fountains. Invariably there was a tough hill climb to the hotel destination, Peidmont is all about hill top locations, however the reward of a nice room, shower and dip in the pool made it worthwhile before dinner. Hotel staff were friendly and welcoming. We would do a similar tour again without question. Thanks Headwater!
very enjoyable. standard of hotels excellent. scenery beautiful. We learned a lot about undiscovered parts of Portugal.
We really enjoyed the trip and were completely satisfied.
Headwaters holidays came highly recommended. We could find no fault with the trip. Our scoring of the recommended hotels was 'excellent' but where we marked 'good' it was usually because the other hotels (breakfast) were exceptional.
It would have been a good idea (on our last day of cycling,Tulln-Vienna) to suggest cycling on the south bank & visiting Klosterneuberg then crossing on the small ferry (we noticed) to the North bank to join the Donauinsel. It is not a criticism by any means. We didn't opt for any of the train/ferry alternatives suggested although they were very useful options.
Cycling into Vienna on the Donauinsel was a joy, imagine cycling into the heart of a big city on a traffic free (20km) island, on the Danube, it was truly amazing! Thank you.
This was our 8th cycling holiday and was certainly the most dramatic in terms of different scenery. From the snow-topped peaks of the Julian Alps through the fertile vineyards to the sea was certainly an unforgettable experience and the 65-km run from Tarvisio to Venzone was eminently easy with a more than 500-metre drop in altitude to assist! As pensioners, we were concerned that this holiday might be hard for us but we had no difficulty at all and it was certainly a lot easier than Headwater's previous Lot Valley and Jura routes.
We were unfortunate in getting a spell of 'very unusual' September wet weather. On Day 3, the wind-lashed rain and temperature of just 3 degrees persuaded even the hardiest of us to travel in the van and the excellent Miroslav was happy to organise this, even stopping off to ensure we didn't miss the planned Alpine Museum visit. We used the rest day in Tarvisio to retrace the route as far as Kranjska Gora so we didn't miss much at all (and we could admire the snow not much higher than us!) Again, on Day 8, we got very wet between Udine and Palmanova but we had turned down the option of taking the train as we had assumed, wrongly, that it couldn't rain all day.
The hotels were varied in their accommodation and comforts but all were clean and welcoming (particularly at Palmanova where the arrival of 10 very wet cyclists was just greeted with laughs and loads of towels). Breakfasts were usually excellent as also were the supplied dinners.
The route notes could do with some improvement (as noted by most people in the Grado blue book) but the FVG1 signs were all that we actually needed.
We really enjoyed the cycle from The Julian Alps to the Adriatic. The scenery was stunning , it felt very untouristy and we got to see the real Italy. Every location was an interesting place to visit and we loved the variety of moving from place to place. The cycle paths were excellent as we're the route maps. We will definitely be booking another cycling holiday with Headwater!
Excellent , few errors in information re places visited. Above strange error in travel arrangements. Otherwise great holiday.
We had a lovely holiday. The weather was perfect, the area very beautiful and interesting and the hotels were good, but we found the bikes very heavy and poorly geared for the fairly hilly nature of some of the routes.
Wonderful way to see Tuscany. The fitter you are though, the more you will enjoy it.
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip.Especially the wildlife and scenery along the way.We also appreciated the food-the lovely fresh fish.We always felt welcomed by the hoteliers and local people.
We were very pleased to meet up with fellow Headwater travellers too.
Excellent holiday. Varied scenery, good bikes, lovely hotels. Each ride was like a mini adventure. We loved it.
Overall an excellent holiday in a region new to us .... Headwater Reps excellent ...
The Julian Alps cycling holiday is an amazing trip. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone. The cycle routes are amazing through the Alps and down to the Adriatic and for approximately 95% of the time we were on traffic free routes, away from cars in the beautiful, peaceful countryside.
A lovely part of Portugal to visit and a great holiday.
from the time we landed we were looked after until we got back to the airport.all went very well.welldone headwater
An excellent cycling holiday which brings you the delights of the western Algarve coast and hills behind Lagos. Fantastic scenery, super hotels with the delights of local food. The sardines in Salema were wonderful. Pedralva is a real find. All well delivered by the Headwater team.
This was our fourth Headwater cycling holiday. All have been good, and this was at least as good, if not better, than the others. Contrasts of Puglia is an accurate description, and we feel we have got to know something of a previously unknown part of Italy. We enjoyed the routes, the accommodation and the food and wine of the area. We met some very friendly and courteous locals. We had a week of perfect cycling weather. It was a really good holiday.
This was a fantastic holiday! In fact it was our best ever holiday. It was full of contrasts, starting with beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia and then through into Italy on very safe dedicated cycle paths stopping at great hotels. The route was either downhill or flat as we cycled down from the alps towards the Adriatic coast. The scenery was marvellous and the people we met were very kind and friendly. Weather was mixed, including four days being cold and wet but overall it was all very very good!
Excellent short break in a beautiful region of France. Just the right balance if cycling and relaxation with my teenage daughter.
We all throughly enjoyed our cycling in the Veneto. The food and accommodation were excellent as was the pool at the end of the day! The family were extremely welcoming and we enjoyed out trip around the farm. Sarah couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. The routes were well planned and the gps talking to us made our journeys easy, without having to look at a map all of the time.
This was the first time that we've tried a single-centre cycling holiday and we're now hooked. The potential downsides would be if you don't like the accommodation you're stuck there for the whole week (but the accommodation on this holiday was perfect) and the cycling might be repetitive if there aren't enough different directions to go in (but on this holiday the cycle routes went in all directions with only a few short stretches repeated). The upsides are not having to pack and unpack every couple of days, you can pick and choose where to go each day (and in our case skip a day when the weather was against us, and then double-up on a later day to make sure we didn't miss anything) and you feel like you're really getting to know the area that you're in. The RWGPS phone app is a fantastic new addition; it didn't matter who was in front as we both heard the same instructions, and afterwards you can see exactly where you've cycled - even down to the detail of where one of us was chased by a wasp around a car park! To top things off, this was the best place we've ever stayed abroad for understanding vegetarianism - no need to worry that a bit of fish or chicken might creep onto the menu. Overall, a great holiday!
Cycling through the Veneto area allowed us to get a feel for rural Italy and the people who live there, as well as to experience the history of the area. The route takes you primarily through farmland and, since our trip was in October and after harvest time, many of the fields were plowed so we missed some of the greenery that probably characterizes the area in summer. We enjoyed visiting Vicenza on one of our non-cycling days and also had the opportunity to take a bus to Padova, a larger and more modern city than we thought. Sarah was attentive to our needs throughout the trip.
This was our first cycle holiday on a supported basis, as we usually travel alone. Very good experience and we felt we were left on our own as much as we wanted and yet knew luggage etc was well organised. Arrangements for transporting us and luggage was very good. All Minibus drivers were interested and interesting. Good conversations and pleasant company. Cycling was not demanding and the scenery was just perfect, in fact we will return to Slovenia. Just a perfect location and not one bad word or thought about those Slovenians we met. Great advert for their country and for Headwater.
This was our first cycling holiday and we will certainly travel with Headwater again. The GPS and route notes worked well together.
We have enjoyed at least 10 Headwater holidays since our first ride in the Loire in 2002, and the Gastronomic Barolo would have to be one of the best.
We have enjoyed at least 10 Headwater holidays since our first time cycling in the Loire and as we have travelled all the way from Perth in Australia, we obviously love our Headwater experiences. Gastronomic Barolo Cycling is probably the best in terms of countryside, scenery, accommodation, fantastic cuisine and helpful rep. But I suggest that grading of 2 bike is misleading as countryside is very hilly indeed. Thank goodness that my husband and I who are fit but 70 and 72 chose ebikes! Another couple in their late 60s struggled each day with the steep terrain and had to spend much time pushing their bikes. The weather was perfect for riding but it would have been very difficult if the temperatures were high. Another couple on the ride who are serious cyclists who ride regularly found some sections very difficult. Overall it was a great ride for us as it showed how enjoyable ebikes can be as we still got plenty of exercise to justify eating the amazing 4 course meals; enjoying the famous local wines and enjoying the company of fellow Headwater travellers.
Lovely way to see the country and get fitter
This is the second holiday we have taken with Headwater and both have been excellent. Two years ago we did the Gastronomic Barollo cycling holiday. Both were really enjoyable. Tuscany was stunning, the hotels excellent and our reps really friendly and helpful. On balance we preferred the Barollo holiday, but only because the cycling is on less busy roads and it is slightly less touristy, but I don't think we could find fault with either holiday.
There was a weakness in the bus and train transfer information!
Great family holiday with views second to none. Highly recommend the location and activity.
Most enjoyable holiday cycling through beautiful quiet countryside with stunning views. There were plenty places of interest from Chateaux to Caves. The food and accommodation was of a high standard. The Vielle Auberge in Souillac could have been more comfortable but we forgave it for the food.
After reading previous reviews, we hired electric bikes this year. This was a good decision as, although we still had plenty exercise, we enjoyed each days cycle without feeling terminally exhausted. We saw more as we always chose the longer route. It is a very hilly region and definitely a grade 2 cycling holiday.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Porto Coastal cycling holiday and thought the organisation and planning was excellent throughout. The hotel accommodation was very good and the varied itinerary enabled us to explore both the interesting towns and delightful countryside of the region.
Fantastic holiday, great service from Headwater at home and at destination.
Hotels were all superb
Cycling was good although couple of the routes were bumpy and hard going (saddle wise!)
The wine tasting was a highlight!
The bikes were very robust and trustworthy.
Nice area though hillier than we expected when we booked. Well maintained bikes, though rather heavy. Good food. We were lucky that we had a cooler than average week for August.
Excellent routes through lovely rural Italy. First &I last accommodation very disappointing because we thought we would enjoy basic country accommodation &I enjoy the food & wine of the area - we felt this was not the case at this accommodation. Food &I wine at Il Feudo were very poor - accommodation not good - rooms hot &stuffy - noisy -bed not comfortable & very poor lighting.
Headwater never fails to deliver in putting together a great cycling trip. The holidays offer wonderful variety in terms of the scenery, locations and things to see and do . They also provide places to stay which are varied , high in quality and usually with a unique charm. Added to this the level of service provided by the staff both at head office and the reps on site is first class. This explains why so many of us return to book with Headwater time and time again!
The cycling holiday to Northern Croatia was a joy. Knowing that your bags were in safe hands and that they would be delivered to the next destination was fantastic. It meant you were able to cycle at your own pace, take in all the sights and scenery, take a dip in the water at your choosing and as many times as you like and stop at a restaurant for lunch along the ways was just the best. A really wonderful holiday.
Brian McAlea, Belfast
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and would recommend it to other travellers.
This is our third trip with Headwater. The organisation was excellent and the hotels all superbly located and of a good standard. We enjoyed the route immensely, cycling in beautiful countryside with a good mix of mountain and lowlands and coast with amazing scenery.
A very enjoyable experience, beautiful scenery and amazing food.
This was our 7th Headwater cycling holiday and by far the best in terms of overall satisfaction - cycling, routes, variety of countrysides(not circular), choice of hotels, prearranged dinner and personally arranged dinners. Previously we have booked gastronomic itineraries but this holiday surpassed our expectations.
This was a wonderful holiday, the best of several good holidays that we have done with Headwater. The variety of landscapes, routes, and hotels, taking us from the stunning landscapes of Lake Bled and the Julian Alps down through the plains of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the lagoons and coastal islands around Grado, with a variety of fascinating places to visit en route, provided for a wonderful experience. The cycling was superb - the majority on cycle tracks and lanes, with the sections on the Alpe-Adriatica long-distance route often being of a very high quality - sections are gradually being improved and tarmacked each year & hopefully it won't be too long before some of the remaining gravel sections are renewed. My anxieties concerning 'too steep uphill/too steep downhill/too long distances' proved totally unfounded. The local agent, Miroslav, was wonderful. His briefing was thorough, full of advice and illustrated with images on his laptop. We were able to easily contact him when necessary - as on the day that it looked as if thunderstorms and heavy rain forecast would continue into the afternoon, thus would making cycling difficult - he was able to advise on alternatives; in fact the B&B owner had already produced a train timetable and driven Gordon. to the station to show him the route & correct platform, how to get tickets etc - typical of the friendliness and help received throughout the trip. Miroslav also suggested and organised for us to spend a few hours in central Ljubljana before returning to the airport. We also took the train to Trieste from Udine, an interesting city and well worth the visit (having arrived in Udine earlier than expected, by train, the previous day). Thank you Headwater and Miroslav for setting up such a fantastic holiday!
other than wrong hotel ..ACE
one of the best cycling holidays we have been on. Great cycling and relaxing swimming in warm seas.
Croatia lived up to all expectations and we would be more than happy to return. Everything about the holiday was first class but it was Bruna that stood out for us - she spent a lot of time with us and came to pick us up to avoid a very dangerous road.
its a great way to see places in an area of a country, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying different foods, whilst achieving a level of exercise and time to relax
Excellent route and great scenery
This was a first rate cycling trip, with overnight stops at interesting places. Excellent weather helped tremendously and allowed full enjoyment of the amazing mountain scenery as we passed through the Julian Alps. With large sections of the route on an old railway line, it made for relatively easy cycling. The hotels were very varied but quality standards were consistently high. We enjoyed all the overnight stops but especially that in Palmanova, such a fascinating small town.
Having done several Headwater holidays over the years, we would give this holiday our highest marks for variety and quality.
At the end of a busy academic year two teachers find this the ideal way of switching off and relaxing. All we have to do is pedal by day following pre designated tested routes, often along traffic free cycle paths , then feel fully justified in eating wonderful meals we know will be waiting for us at good local hotels, all booked and waiting to welcome us.
Lovely area, easy cycling, good food and lovely hotels! Hotel Tuttorotto deserves a particular mention. It is a very special place, the staff extremely welcoming and breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea was fantastic.
Croatia is a beautiful, welcoming and friendly country. We were told by locals that we were mad attempting to cycle in high season because it is too hot and the roads are too busy to be safe. Yes it was hot, but there was a good breeze and much of the cycling is on quiet back roads or off-road. We enjoyed exploring on our bikes and felt safe. There is one stretch of dangerous road on the way to Porec that our rep told us she would not allow us to cycle and would drive to pick us up and take us to the other side. She does this for everyone, this could do with being updated in the notes. Fazana and the first hotel were superb, Rovinj was very different but again beautiful and the hotel was quirky and fabulous. The trouble was that the further we went the more touristy and busy it became. Porec was fine but too many tourists and a very ordinary hotel with mass produced breakfast was a bit of an anticlimax at the end of the route. It may be worth Headwater looking into running this holiday in reverse so that it ends on a high. This having been said, it was a fabulous holiday, the crystal clear turquoise sea round every turn was beautiful to swim in, we swam in the sea every day, it was a fitting reward at the end of each cycle ride.
Cycling the Istrian coast was a prefect holiday. We were able to enjoy the right mix of cycling, swimming and relaxing at the beach. The side trips to small towns were well worth it. The food and wine is excellent. A highly recommended holiday.
active, cultural, sociable, reasonably paced , good relaxation Thank you Headwater
We had a great experience with Headwater, cycling the hill-tops of Provence in 35-40C heat. The Reps were great;, the bikes eminently suitable for the route; the hotels generally good; the food superb; and we both enjoyed the few days that we had.
Wonderful again!! Our fifth holiday with you & again it was perfect. Perfectly organised routes so that we didn't need to see our great reps from start to finish! Beautiful, well considered hotels which all had really positive things to say about Headwater guests!
Exactly as it said it would be. Well organised. Efficient. comfortable.
A very enjoyable holiday which surpassed expectations. Bikes, Information, Logistics, Food and Accommodation were all very good. The price is on the high side and we booked extra nights and travel ourselves as the additional charges from Headwater were too steep. Would recommend to friends.
Croatia is a wonderful country and everyone was really friendly and helpful. Bruna, our local rep, made the holiday. She gave us a lift up the busy steep road by Lim fjord and took us to a wonderful viewpoint which we wouldn't otherwise have seen. I would actually say it is a 1-2 bike standard rather than 1 bike
It was great to stay in one place all week and not have to move on to different hotels. Also we liked the accommodation with swimming pool and the food was fantastic
The cycling was easy and enjoyable. We will probably hire electric bikes next trip which will open up a bigger choice of cycle rides
Beautiful, varied scenery. Easy cycling most days and some fabulous places of interest, especially if interested in Roman history. The mosaics at Aquilea were fascinating and the audio guide was most interesting. The proprietors of the B @ B at Venzone were so helpful and kind. One of the valves on the tyre of our proved faulty and resulted in a flat tyre. They drove us to a neighbouring town to a cycle repair shop to try to get it fixed. Unfortunately it was a Monday, so all the shops were shut! Miroslav came to our rescue after a couple of hours.
A small group of us have been taking a cycling holiday together for 15 years, This was by far and away the best, the food, the hotels, the people, the cycling and the scenery combined it to make it a wonderful experience. We will be recommending to our friends.
After three outstanding trips with Headwater previously (twice to Italy, and once to Spain), we were wondering whether our 4th excursion, 'Venetian Villas and Vineyards Cycling' could possibly live up to our high expectations. We were looking for an interesting and relaxing break that would immerse us in the Italian culture and suit the mixed cycling abilities of our group (two couples). This holiday managed to satisfy us all. While most of the routes were relatively flat, there were a few more challenging hills and options along the way. Highlights (just to list a few) included exploring the neighborhoods and museums of Vicenza and Padua, getting lost in the maze at Valsanzibio gardens, taking in the view from Villa Lussana after an exhilarating cycle up to Teolo, and the welcoming family atmosphere at L'Albara agriturismo (not to mention delicious meals they conjured up from homegrown produce). To surprise one of our party, we requested a birthday cake along the way. Our rep Sarah wisely chose Villa Lussana as the place for the surprise, and their experienced chef produced an amazing fruit flan right on cue, which helped make the event very special and memorable. There were a couple of slight disappointments - a room 'upgrade' that was of a lower specification than a standard room, and as seasoned Headwater fans we missed the detailed route notes that we've had every other time - but these are only minor niggles that did not detract from what was otherwise an excellent holiday, and great value for money. Thank you, Headwater, and we look forward to our next trip with you - wherever that may be!
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in Puglia. We were very pleased with all the accommodation. The route took us through beautiful and vary varied countryside from olive groves and cherry orchards to coastal villages - in other words truly 'contrasts of Puglia'. The people we met were very friendly and helpful and the drivers considerate giving us a warning beep before overtaking. The food and wine on offer was generally locally produced and we felt it was an important part of the Puglia experience. Travelling mid-May meant, however, that the weather was much warmer than was currently the case in England and therefore we found cycling the uphill stretches in 24 degree or higher full sun quite challenging and it gets warm early in the day. We cycled last year in the Veneto - level 1 - and found the Puglia holiday - 1+ - much more difficult with some very steep hills and some very hilly sections. We are all year cyclists not averse to hills but we are over 65. The people we met were very friendly and helpful and the drivers considerate giving us a warning beep before overtaking. Overall it was an enjoyable adventure with lot to see and learn which is what we look for in a cycling holiday. .
The Dordogne is a beautiful area. Good routes on quiet roads but testing hills! Accommodation is very good and the food lived up to the expectations as advertised. If anything the four course evening meal every night is too much but no doubt others will disagree! We felt the grading system was slightly underrated as at times the hills were testing given the very warm sunny days we enjoyed. Overall a lovely week in a lovely part of the world. Thank you
This holiday is well organised with reliable backup available if needed. Although we were initially sceptical we found the Ride with GPS system was good when the printed out notes were ambiguous! It would be nice to have more descriptive notes on points of interest on the itinerary. The cycling was varied and on interesting and not too hilly routes often with lovely views to enjoy. We were slightly disappointed with the quality of food, apart from at the Villa Lussana, as it didn't live up to our expectations of what we have enjoyed previously with Headwater. Also breakfasts could be a bit variable in what was offered e.g. in the Belvedere Resort ai Colli there was a 5 Euro extra charge if you wished cheese or cold meat or eggs while in other hotels these were included. On the whole we were made to feel very welcome but I would certainly recommend bringing a travel kettle if like us you enjoy a cup of tea as they clearly do not understand how to make decent tea and also charge a lot for it! Air conditioning is an absolute necessity and it was also of variable efficiency in the different accommodations, actually blowing the lights in the L'Albara Agriturismo when we tried to turn it up a little. However each place had different pros and cons e.g. L.'Albara had wonderful baking and fruit and the freshest lettuce straight from the vegetable garden even thought the main courses were pretty dire! We also had the best Tira Misu I have ever tasted and the pool was a real bonus! In summary a great holiday so long as you are prepared for a variety of accommodation and standards of food,
weather--service--hotels--people--could not ask for any better..this last ride we had gps on the bikes.but sometimes lost signal
'Wonderful holiday! Delightful (and very) varied accommodation, excellent food and terrific sights and smells in some wonderful countryside. But this can be a physically demanding cycle tour, so do ensure you are prepared to cycle - or push - your bike up some stiff hills.
Thanks to all at Headwater and, in particular, to Ludmilla.'
Quite simply the best holiday we have had in several years. Great food, great scenery, helpful staff, activity and brilliant weather. Just what we needed. Thank you
We found this a very enjoyable April holiday, aided by lovely weather. We are only occasional cyclists, but we found the cycling quite manageable although a little challenging on the first day in the saddle. We were the first couple on this revised tour, and the first to use the route notes and did get lost occasionally. However, there were many cyclists around and someone always stopped and helped us get going again. Very friendly and helpful people. The hotels were generally good and well located. Figeures and Girona are very pleasant cities with plenty to do and see on the 'rest' days.
The toughest Headwater cycling holiday I have been on, due to the preponderance of off road some of which was quite rough and steep, plus the fact that for two and a half days of the three days cycling there was a strong cold headwind, therefore I think the grading should be changed.
Puglia is a fabulous area of Italy. A great variety of terrain with scenic routes.
I was fortunate to have absolutely perfect weather and low wind levels for my cycling trip to southern portugal.. a very enjoyable experience and would definitely do a repeat.
Lovely holiday in beautiful part of world
Great holiday. The cycling was easy with the odd tougher bits but they were short lived. Varied scenery with coast and countryside. The notes/directions were at times diddicult to follow and really need updating because signs have fallen down or gone altogether and new roads have been built with new layouts so the notes are out of date. Monopoli is really lovely Palazzo Indelli is well situated right in the pretty main square. The rooms vary so if you are booking a standard room ask for the larger ones at the back of the hotel because the one we were given at the end of our trip was tiny and noisy being on the side at the front. Corte Altavilla is nice too but the staff on reception were unhelpful and grumpy. I am a coeliac and despite telling them in advance it was the only hotel that did not provide anything for me at breakfast other than fruit. The restaurant in the hotel for the evening was very good. Alberobella unfortunately has rather sold its soul and is very over commercialised. The Trulli are nice but we would have preferred some outside space as they are rather dark. Masseria Salamina is fabulous we had a huge room and you really feel like you are staying in a castle. The swimming pool was lovely and we really enjoyed our stay here. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable trip and we are now looking for another one!
We did have a good holiday but experience could have been much better for reasons stated above and below.
Excellent route with just the right amount of easy flat cycling and some more strenuous hilly sections. Beautiful part of France with plenty to see and do whilst cycling. Lots of good lunch options too. Another well put together holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed.
The cycling from Passau to Vienna was a wonderful experience. We were sorry when we had to hand back the bikes as we enjoyed the cycling so much. The holiday was well planned with two day stops so that we had time to explore the beautiful towns en route. Everything was well organised and supported.
Organisation was excellent unfortunately the route notes were poor leading to us losing our way a couple of times. Luckily the guide was very knowledgeable. She talked us through the section through the Fjord. Once we decided not to cycle that part she kindly agreed to transport us for this section. The route description of the Fjord did not include that this was a busy section with very limited space and no where to push the bikes if we decided that we could not manage the hills. A real omission of Headwater. Our middle hotel room while being comfortable had a locked interconnecting door. Unfortunately the only small child in the hotel was in the next door room which meant that we could not sleep in once the child was awake which was very early. The other two hotels were excellent
Stunning scenery, good food and wine and safe cycleways
Excellent. The best cycling holiday we have done. Fantastic scenery and excellent food.
The two holidays we have had with Headwater were extremely enjoyable. Our first was a walking holiday and the second was a cycling holiday.
Suited us well as a mixture of cycling plus time to relax. We cycled each day and were pleased we visited the suggested towns. Pools at the hotels a great advantage. Always a gamble finding a lunch venue in unknown villages but we never had a bad meal all week.
I think we found only two signposts missing but it was easy to work the route out.
This holiday is as described. Cycling more difficult at start but definitely got easier. The hotels tended to be on the edge of villages but this didn't matter too much as they had lovely swimming pools and the weather was very hot and sunny.
The holiday certainly lived up to its name: Contrasts of Puglia. We enjoyed beautiful places both in town and in country. Weather conditions ranged from bright sunshine and blue skies to thunder-storm deluges --- but with the offer of alternative transport on the wettest days. Italian food was wonderful. Overall, it was a memorable week, and we are looking forward to a next time.
Perfect. What far better than we could have imagined. The accommodation, food and quality of the cycles were all excellent.
We had a great week touring Piedmont on our pushbikes Most of the days rides were quite challenging with some steep climbs but fortunately the distances we travelled were quite short We were blessed with fantastic weather in September so the secret was to set off promptly after a great breakfast each day to get to your destination before mid-afternoon and the hottest part of the day
The standard of hotels is very good although the air conditioning in a couple of them was not really very effective The hosts & locals were all very friendly whenever we stopped or needed directions The pre-arranged meals were all of a high standard and there are plenty of excellent places for lunch on the routes
The roads were always pretty much traffic free with occasional tractors & trailers passing laden with grapes
The guest exclusive secluded pool at the Albergo Castiglione deserves a special mention & I will remember our picnic lunch by the pool brought down by the hotel owner & two beautiful daughters on a baking hot day for a long time
All the route plans were accurate & realistic with several options on some days The bikes themselves worked well and the support team Dan & Cat were discreet but attentive
Finally the food, every meal was enjoyable ranging from a delightful local trattoria in the village to the award winning castle. No matter how hard you try I suspect you will eat too much of it! All the hosts seemed happy to advise you & would often let you drink it by the glass rather than the whole bottle if you wanted
This was an excellent holiday & I think reflects Headwaters long experience in organising these sort of trips Well Done
The cycling routes and notes were excellent, the food was gorgeous and the scenery beguiling. Luke & Eleanor were more than welcoming and helpful. When I reported a small technical issue with one of our bikes, it was changed within an hour. The restaurant suggestions were lovely for the nights not on half board.
The opportunity to take a day in Sienna or Florence should not be missed.
This was our first experience with Headwater. We were extremely impressed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Our local Rep Sarah was helpful and informative. She knew the area extremely well and had clearly worked hard to develop helpful contacts and provide useful and interesting information about the area we were cycling in. She provided excellent notes and maps and obviously had good relationships with the hotel owners which helped us to feel cared for and welcomed. Sarah is literally the best holiday rep that we have ever encountered. We are full of admiration and gratitude and will definitely book with Headwater again.
A very enjoyable cycling holiday exploring the less known areas west of Venice.
The website does not make it clear that a lot of the cycling is in built up areas ,which was disappointing and unlike our many previous Headwater holidays.Although all the hotels ,apart from the one in Curia ,were outstanding, I would not recommend this area for cycling.
Very positive experience.
Interesting series of landscapes/urbanscapes travelled.
Excellent birdwatching along the way.
Very good hotels selected.
Our 9 days on the Porto to Coimbra cycling holiday was overall a very enjoyable experience. For those who are not regular cyclists, the first 4 or 5 days, the cycling is along very quiet cycle tracks and mainly flat. The weather was not especially favourable for the first half of our stay, but good cycling temperature. On the other hand, it only rained on the day off and not for long, or at night. We were near the Atlantic coast most of the time, so we didnt get to see the beaches bathed in warmth and sunshine. We cycled along a lot of lagoons and saw flamingos which was exciting and one of the other couples doing the same holiday, was an avid birder and apparently crossed off most of the birds on his list.
Porto is a charming town and the first restaurant that Headwater booked us in for our first evening meal was terrific. Furodouro, the 2nd night's accommodation, hasnt that much to offer, apart from a nice beach and a most welcoming Manager and a lovely indoor pool. The accommodation itself is very
light and spacious.
Aveiro is also a pleasant town, a miniature Venice. The reception recommended a fantastic fish restaurant on the opposite side of the canal, called Mare Cheia, very regional. Excellent hotel, and next door to the Art Nouveau Museum, which is a bit quirky.
The Macarico Hotel in Praia de Mira has a lovely pool on the rooftop. The restaurant, for which you are given Vouchers is good, once you know how and what to order. Not many of the waiters speak English.
The Curia Palace Hotel is extremely grand though not quite as luxurious in its features as we have become accustomed. However there is a huge pool and on the other side of the pool wall, a field with fairly tame fallow deer. The hotel dates back to 1926 and is very much a heritage hotel, with swing music playing in the background at breakfast which is held in a vast ballroom or banqueting hall.
The last hotel in Coimbra is very modern, and you virtually have your own personalised lift. We encountered the only mosquito of the whole trip there! Lovely pool, and it is about a 20 minute walk to the train station, and probably less up to the main part of Coimbra.
The weather and the scenery improved vastly once we headed away from Mira. There are some quite steep hills on the last leg to Coimbra, but we saw electricity pylons layered with nesting White Storks.
Was exactly what it said on the can! - it fulfilled our expectations.
This was our third cycling holiday with Headwater. Our first and second were excellent, but this was the best ever. Indeed this holiday now sits on our list of best holidays ever.
Everything about the trip excelled. The bikes were new, comfortable and well set up. The hotels were all excellent, each offered a first class welcome and service. Whilst being very different, from large chain hotels to small family units typical of a B and B, each was special and offered a memorable experience. But most of all what made this holiday was the cycling. The Alp Adria trail is something to behold. 200 miles of dedicated cycle track. Track that is off road for most of the route and as wide as a country road. Because of this the cycling was stress free, and you were able to take in the magnificent countryside in all its glory. Starting in the mountains and finishing at sea level meant that a good proportion was downhill.
The scenery all the way was outstanding. From the mountains of Slovenia, Kranski Gora being particularly memorable. To the salt water marsh areas of Grado. The contrasts were astonishing. The towns passed through were every one interesting with their own history (ancient in most cases). Also very quiet which suited us. Even in July/August, you never felt like a tourist. You just fit in to their normal life.This meant that we were also afforded the opportunity to practice our languages (most spoke English when needed).
We added two days to the end of our trip in Venice. What can be said about Venice. NOthing except that it needs to be on everyones Bucket list.
Overall a fabulous trip, We recommend unreservedly to anyone contemplating a cycling holiday but are maybe not in the best of shape, right up to an experienced cyclist. There is something for everyone on this trip.
I hope this comment communicates how much we loved our holiday. Thank you Headwater for introducing us to this part of the world and to the Alp Adria trail. The rest of Europe, indeed the world should take a good long look at this piece of engineering,it should be a model to all and duplicated by all.
Chris and Liz, Cardiff
Dear Dr Wigham,
Thank you for taking the time to share your holiday experience with us, it sounds like you had a memorable holiday. I am sure your comments will inspire future customers to try this holiday and hope they enjoy it as much as you did.
Headwater Customer Service team
Nothing compares to an active holiday, exploring local culture at your own pace!
Good .Poor room in the hotel Carrie Porto small room small window looking across a narrow ally straight into a derelict building.This room should not be let in this state.
Dear Mr Mathias,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. We were pleased to see you had a good holiday, although, we were sorry to read of your disappointment with the standard of room you were allocated at Carris Porto Ribeira. Since receiving your feedback, we have asked the hotelier to ensure they do not allocate this room to future Headwater customers. Whilst we realise this does not affect your holiday, we do hope it goes some way to show we take our customers feedback seriously. We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
Lovely holiday - the northern Portuguese seemed very friendly and welcoming of tourists.
The cycle tracks in Portugal were good and holiday would suit people new to cycling holidays
Have been on a few of your holidays and they have always been very very good.
Headwater Holidays are always an interesting and memorable holiday. The variety of accomodation combined with cycling or walking abroad is a winning formula whether you travel as a couple or with fitness minded friends. We have tried over 10 destinations now over the years including the canoeing down the dorgogne and every combination has been wonderful. The guided walking gives you a chance to see and learn about areas of europe that are off the beaten track and you feel like you are experiencing the real country.
Great all round experience
Takes you on new journeys
Easy pedalling in the sun with local cuisine and a great chance to be somewhere where English is hardly spoken!
Excellent holiday but, perhaps, not so much n the shoulder season.
The Secrets of San Gimignano holiday was fantastic. Eleanor and Luke, the reps, simply could not have been more helpful, the cycling was excellent (but hard work - Tuscany is hilly) and the hotels and food amazing.
Excellent hotels, and food .
Extremely well organised .
Reps very helpful.
Cycling tough !
Cycling is a great way to experience a country
quite challenging cycling on day one for the over70s - entirely our choice made enjoyable by rescue and advice from Tony and Ludmilla - absolute gems throughout - electric bikes would be a good option on this holiday - easy enough to avoid the offroad stuff if that is a worry with them - overall an excellent holiday with spectacular beaches and coastal views
Everything was well thought though, GPS, local mobile and bike equipment. Very relaxing and enjoyable holiday
We have always found Headwater to be a most professional company in their approach and this holiday proved to be the same. However, due to both of us coming down with a nasty cold virus virtually from day one, we also found a caring and flexible company in the Local Agent who offered helpful suggestion's and bike transfers on bad days. Now in our September, years this was important and will bring us back to Headwater in the future.
I felt safe travelling totally alone and venturing out on my bicycle by myself, secure in the knowledge that assistance would be readily available if required. Happily this was not needed but it made a huge difference to my piece of mind. I hope that Headwater can extend its leisurely options to include other trips. The travel notes routinely described inclines as 'gentle'. Some of these gentle inclines were about as much as I could manage. I now wouldn't attempt any cycling trips in the catalogue beyond 'leisurely'. The hotels were delightful, El Castell d'Emporda being top of my list.
We have had a wonderful holiday with Headwater. Everything was well organised and thought out. We have cycled through gorgeous countryside, with great scenery and the majority on quiet country roads. Perfect as always somewhere nice to stop and have lunch on route and cheaply, eaten miles too much but then have cycled it off 🙂
We have been on a few other trips with headwater and this was our least favorite. There are a number of problems with the instructions. The area is not as scenic at the time of year we rode as others. The distances are quite short with little to do once the ride is over. There are things that need to be thought out and tips and pointers given such as availability of taxis to St. Remy and restaurant/store availability. Still a number of bugs that need to be worked out.
Hilltop villages of Provence
This was an excellent holiday, lovely scenery and good hotels and we had a lot of fun. Days 1 and 3 are quite challenging and justify the 2 bike plus rating but the other days are not overly taxing, and there is no shame in pushing your bike up the hill into Gordes! If you start the cycling bit of this holiday on a Sunday there is an excellent market in Isles sur la Sorgue where you can get picnic supplies...although pushing the bike through the packed town was a bit challenging.(I would give this holiday 5 stars)
Vineyards of the Vaucluse
Pleasant cycling through some enjoyable countryside, and lots of good wine! Le Grand Jardin is one of the loveliest places we have stayed. The food at Castel Mireio was delicious and the service (unlike a previous reviewer we didn't find it slow) and welcome very friendly. We are not quite sure it merits anything higher than a one bike rating - some of the distances for full days cycling were a bit short (but we had done 'Hilltop Villages of Provence' the week before so this may have coloured our view). It is not a very touristy area (apart from Vaison la Romain) so many places you visit are quite quiet.
(I would give this holiday 3 stars)
Good pre-booked accommodation, excellent notes and seamless baggage transfer between locations meant that we could focus on enjoying our cycle ride along the Danube. We would have no hesitation in recommending this holiday to potential future travellers.
Another fantastic Headwater cycling holiday! The scenery was amazing, hotels were all high quality and in excellent locations. The cycling was undemanding and very enjoyable, linking up lots of interesting and attractive places. We are already thinking about next year's holiday!
This holiday has given us the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful villages in Provence under our own steam and away from the crowds you'd find on a typical coach trip The exercise of cycling during the day is a great appetite-sharpener for enjoying some excellent food and local wines in the evening.
The Heart of Veneto cycling tour was a very positive experience for us. The rides were interesting, the distances appropriate and the cycling notes were very clear. Sarah, our Headwater rep, was very helpful and approachable. L’Albara, our Agriturisimo accommodation, was perfectly fine, the farm interesting and the meals delicious but there wasn’t a lot to do in the evenings. Happily, we became acquainted with 3 friendly, fellow cyclists from Britain and at our dinners every evening we shared the day’s experiences amid laughter and lively conversation. We would definitely choose Headwater again but would choose a tour on which we would stay in a different place every evening,
Good healthy weeks holiday
Despite being in a National Park, this was a less rural holiday than we were expecting. While some of the routes are rural in nature, you are never out of sight of a dwelling and you are on, or next to, or crossing, busy roads quite a lot of the time. Italy is also home to a plague of noisy motor bikes and scooters but I guess this is part of the culture! That said, the hotels and the food were mostly very good. We did an extra two days in Teolo which worked well and gave us two days in Padua (easy bus ride) as well as a pleasant local hike. Rep Sarah was as good as we had been led to believe and gave us a most detailed briefing. Her route notes were also excellent.
This was our first holiday with Headwater which did not disappoint. The scenery was beautiful, with the contrasting coastal and inland areas. We particularly enjoyed visiting all the medieval villages along the routes, especially Pals and Peratallada, although finding places to stop for refreshments in the smaller villages was sometimes rather hit and miss. The weather was lovely and warm, ideal for cycling, and the route notes were good for the most part. However, some of the forest tracks were a bit harder to cycle along. As regards accommodation, Hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for its excellent service, superb facilities and the most delicious food of the holiday. Our reps Olivia and Brian gave us great service too. We have been on cycling holidays with other companies before and they provide a small front pannier on the bikes, so perhaps Headwater could consider doing this also.
route notes could be better but otherwise great scenery and people
A pleasant way to experience 'off the beaten' track regions through a very manageable itinerary and allowing for a high level of independence whilst in the comfort of knowing the back up is there if required. The quality of both bikes and hotels excellent - would use Headwater again.
Mostly excellent, but disappointed there were more main roads than on previous cycling trips with Headwater.
In our opinion Alberobello should be dropped - too much of a tourist trap and not a 'Headwater' type destination.
Lovely place to stay, great food. Wine a little expensive at the farm.
Exercise, fresh air, excellent food and drink and, as ever with Headwater, getting to know a new area pretty well.
Excellent way to experience the beauty and friendliness of Croatia and in particular the Istrian coast. Bikes excellent and fit for the sometimes stoney cycle paths. Not as daunting as we had envisioned bearing in mind we are both over 70. Rep excellent and very helpful. All accommodation is well chosen and perfectly located. A cycling holiday with an emphasis on the holiday aspect.
A healthy way to explore a new part of the world, if you want it to be! Very easy to reward oneself after a cycle with fine wine and food, but after all it is a holiday! Travelling self guided allows one to be completely flexible, but others might prefer to have a leader to avoid unnecessary cycling, should one take the wrong route.
Would certainly recommend this type of holiday for a group of friends.
A wonderful taste of Provencal scenery, wine and food!
Great Fun. Lovely area and great cycling.
Lovely coastline easy cycling
Very good, but next time would try a higher grade of route
If you like being outdoors and lots of exercise, this is a perfect balance to stay active and work up an appetite to indulge in the gastronomy and wine. Compared to the South East of England the lack of traffic and potholes is wonderful!
Cycling was mainly along flat cycle ways and quiet roads although some of the cycle track surfaces were a little bumpy. The hotels were a very good standard, meals, whether taken within or outside the hotels, were very good, especially the fresh fish dishes. Porto was well worth seeing and an interesting city. A bus trip to Costa Nova from Aveiro is worth doing to see the pretty painted houses. The cycle along the estuary and nature reserve was very enjoyable watching out for flamingoes and other seabirds and we were lucky to be doing this at low to half tide when the wading birds and lots of local fisherman, digging for cockles and clams, can be seen. On the beach at Praia de Mira we were lucky enough to see the local fishermen hauling in their nets full of sardines. The final cycle from Praia de Mira along the water canals was a lovely cycle too.
A really lovely week touring a rural area of Provence. The scenery within the Luberon valley, protected by the two wooded and rocky ridges was delightful, shame we missed the lavender in bloom (late August) but the fruit trees and vineyards were pretty scenic. The grading is fair, one or two climbs to the hillside villages worth it for the views and a welcome cool drink! Accommodation on the whole, whilst modest, was acceptable, the highlights being the pool at Les Mas de Senecole and the 'Country Home' lounge at L'Hermitage. Not terribly taken with St Saturnin les Apt as a stop, either as a village and particularly unimpressed with the Hotel St Hubert. Routes well planned on country lanes and bike tracks but still offering interesting stop off points - we loved the Caves at Thouzon, not least for its cool temperatures on a hot day! Great reliable support from reps Laura and Tim.
Dear Mr Holt,
Thank you for taking the time to write in with your post-holiday feedback. It was great to read you enjoyed a lovely week in Provence.
We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with Hotel St Hubert. Over the course of the summer, we monitor the feedback we receive from our customers. We then use this feedback to help us to improve our holidays for future customers. With this in mind, we have made the decision to change this hotel for the 2017 season. We are sure you will agree, this will help us continue to enhance this holiday.
We were pleased to read you rated our reps support highly. I am sure they were delighted to read your comments.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing Headwater and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
A perfect holiday for cycling softies, we loved the fact that most of it was on beautiful scenic paths, (we certainly wouldn't have enjoyed cycling on Italy's busy roads). We loved the days in between visiting historic villages and sites and really enjoyed the changing landscape as we descended from the alps in Slovenia to the coast in north east Italy. The handbook provided by Headwater was very useful when looking for things to do and visit on the non cycling days.
Beautiful quiet region of Italy. Family at L'Albara are very welcoming. The food is excellent. A real get away from it all experience. This is our second visit and it was just as good the second time. Would happily go back again.
We were initially nervous about a holiday which was managed locally by an agency other than Headwater. Our previous experience had not been great. However we need not have worried. Donau Touristik were hugely well organised and the bikes were excellent. The cycling was just about the flattest we had ever experienced and, partly because of the excellent weather, partly because of the excellent food and accommodation, this was as enjoyable a holiday as we have ever had.
A couple of small blemishes. At Bregenz on the first night we were served only a three course meal instead of the advertised four. (We only realised subsequently about this when we returned on the final night).
Hotel Buchornerhof was not in the same league as the other accommodation. We were served the wrong food on one evening and the air/conditioning leaked. The staff's hearts did not seem to be in their work as it was in the other hotels.
One warning - wine in the hotel restaurants (especially the Swiss ones) is very expensive indeed.
These are small gripes. It was a great holiday and I'd do it all again anytime.
The countryside was pretty and the places we stayed in had narrow, windy roads barely wide enough for a car which were intriguing to explore. Snorklling was fun and there were fish to see from waist height just standing in the water. The cycling was not overly challenging but the heat had to be managed with plenty of water and early starts.
The ride down from Bled to Grado was a great trip. Except for the two short days at the end of the trip our days were full of wonderful scenery and beautiful towns. The majority of our hotels exceeded expectations being in great locations with good service and food. Stopover destinations were interesting and Udine, Palmanova and Grado were especial delights. Support from the Slovenian team was good and as usual the Headwater experience was one we will repeat.
Great hotels and food - a great trip in a beautiful region..
This was our first cycling holiday abroad so we were looking for a central base from which we could explore on a daily basis rather than living out of suitcases. With hindsight I'm not sure we could have chosen better. The accommodation was superb (in particular Angelina's cooking!), the cycle routes of the right length (such that we had time to ride the mornings and relax in the afternoons) and there were opportunities to visit Vicenza or go further afield.
Wonderful way to see a country on a bike, real sense of achievement when you arrive at a new destination by bike. A fair amount of exercise - not too strenuous, but much better than sitting on a sunbed all week.
We've done several similar cycling holidays in Europe and this was up there with the best.
Croatia and the Istrian Coastline are a gem and offer a variety of historic and scenic opportunities.
Headwater never fails to please. We have holidayed with them on three occasions now, love their routes, their choice of hotels and attention to every detail.
Very good cycling with very few up-hill stretches, lots to see and do en route - we would gladly do the holiday again. Bikes were comfortable and easy to use. The routes are largely on cycle paths that kept us feeling safe from traffic. All the hotels made us feel very welcome. Everyone seemed to understand pidgin Italian or German, or English so communication was rarely a problem. M Tours reps were reliable and helpful.
We had a lovely cycling holiday on the Cotes to Ventoux tour. The reps were great in picking us up and explaining about the bikes and timings etc. The hotels were lovely especially the first 2, which had the best food too! It was nice cycling along at our own time and the notes were good in explaining where to go so didn't get lost.
Being able to easily visit several locations made the holiday much more interesting, and so nice not to have to think about where to park the car. Electric bikes gave us so much freedom to see more things at our age (66 and 76!)
We enjoyed our holiday in the lovely countryside and the cycling routes were scenic but it would have been nice to cycle past some lavender fields as they feature so prominently in postcards and appear in the brochure. We particularly enjoyed the traditional country hotel at the beginning of our holiday including breakfasting outdoors and the outdoor dining and leisure area of Montmirail was particularly nice. It is nice to return from a cycle to a relaxing swim. The food and wine is generally excellent and gives the opportunity to try some regional specialities. We really enjoyed our holiday.
A superb holiday, tailored exactly to our needs and specifications. Our reception from our reps, Luke and Eleanor, was outstanding: nothing was too much. Very personable and up-beat - exactly what you want on holiday. Headwater's hotels are second to none, in perfect locations and with wonderful facilities. I can not recommend Headwater holidays high enough.
This was my fourth holiday with Headwaters and have enjoyed them all
Great way to explore Italy.
Great holiday. Our rep Sarah was really helpful and ensured everything ran smoothly. Was sick on first day of arrival. Sarah and the people running the hotel helped me straight away so that I was able to get better and enjoy a great holiday. The scenery is stunning and people so friendly and helpful. Also the food was delicious in every place we stayed. You would pay an awful lot for that standard of food in the UK. We went in July so the weather was really hot in the afternoon so make sure you take lots of shade and water breaks.Was a fun holiday.
The 'multi-choice' approach to answering disguises the variable nature of the accommodation and cuisine. The route notes (for cycling) were written in almost narrative style and A4 landscape which may be appropriate and helpful to walkers but were cumbersome and awkward to follow for cyclists. Some defences were clearly lifted from walking notes e.g. references to maps not available to cyclists.
Headwaters choice of hotels / restaurants resulted in us having some superb meals.
Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Quite sad when it finished. Could easily have kept going
The routes were lovely, mostly on cycle tracks which was great and well planned mileages.
Especially enjoyed Slovenia. Would like to go back.
Hotels generally of a very good standard although next time we would make requests eg. for a quiet room or room with good outlook
the provision of laundry local laundry services would be much appreciated.
We cycled 5 out of 7 days. Joanna met us on arrival and got us on track. The trails were very easy to manage - the GPS was a superb tool. The scenery was magnificent, and we really saw the hidden Portugal. The cycle lanes were completely segregated from the roads and this made for a relaxed and peaceful experience. Each evening we arrived at our hotel to a warm welcome and our luggage in our room. The standard of all the hotels was extremely high and they were all in beautiful locations. The printed maps and route descriptions were also helpful, and the level of difficulty ultimate ascribed to the cycle was accurate.
An unforgettable experience travelling in rural Portugal, getting to see sights other holidays don't offer, off the beaten track, just the right amount of effort for cycling. Excellent choice of hotels, although not the best views! Very good help from rep and good support offered. Nice to know the baggage was taken care of although we arrived before it at one location and it was 5.30pm before they arrived! We could cycle the route at our own pace and felt secure in the knowledge that we were being taken care of and knew where we were going with very good instructions and maps.
Cycling the Istrian coast was such a wonderful holiday for myself and my husband. The sea was gorgeous, some of the routes were a bit bumpy and confusing but each location was so beautiful it was incredible. Food was great in the first two hotels and such stunning locations. We would definitely recommend to a friend and think about going on another holiday with headwater.
Great cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops - definitely a great way to explore the region - you can smell the lavender fields and really enjoy the countryside. Both Keith and Claire were excellent reps - really friendly, helpful and flexible in every way. The food at Dame L'Oie in Perne la Fontaine was superb as was the food at Hotel de Sable. Quality of the bikes was very good. The itinerary for the rest day at Maubec was a little underwhelming as we felt the villages weren't that picturesque with few options for coffee/stop-offs and only managed to get lunch at the last stop in Robion. We would have preferred to go back to Lacoste and Menerbes which we had whizzed through the day before.
A lovely week of gentle rides on quiet roads through beautiful countryside. At the end of the day we could look forward to a few hours relaxing by the pool at the wonderful agriturismo L'Albara, before a truly magnificent evening meal. We loved every minute.
Overall we found the holiday a great break for us. The route, notes, hotel locations, things to do etc all added to the enjoyment. Everything was well explained and set out for us.
Exxcellent trip,superb reps,only complaint food at Les Pins - an uninspired menu for the demi pension. No choice,poor value
Well planned and organised, good routes accurately described, very helpful staff.
Very well organised holiday - excellent helpful Portuguese reps looked after us well throughout. GPS was a very successful means of not getting lost en route. Hotels all good, although 2 out of 4 gave us rooms looking at blank walls. Some time is spent riding on roads, though we used footpaths where available, and there are dedicated cycle paths for the majority of the route. Some interesting coastal scenery. Riding through the lagoon wasn't as spectacular as we'd hoped as much of the the cycle path was rocky and potholed and you had to concentrate on the path surface immediately ahead to avoid falling, rather than enjoying the scenery and wildlife. All in all though, a very enjoyable holiday.
Excellent holiday. The bikes were quite heavy but the cycling was flat and the electric bike was modern and excellent.
We have two teenage sons and this was the perfect family holiday for everyone. Combining the activity of cycling and rest days at beautiful hotels and locations, taking in the wonderful medieval villages of Catalunya, farm lands, bays and beeches. It was the perfect way to explore more of the region.
This is a beautiful part of the world. some of the nicest scenery we have cycled through. I think possibly the nicest hotels and food [apart from 2 nights see below] we have enjoyed. BUT it is hard!! There is more climbing on this route than we have experienced before on other 2 bike routes. I think this does need flagged up. The 2 women in their mid 60s found the going very tough on the first day - over 900metres of climbing. BUT our excellent reps jumped to the rescue and produced e- bikes for the 2 elderly ladies! What a transformation - we could enjoy the rides- the views- and our husbands did not have the worry about us! Highly to be recommended on [in our opinion]this 3 bike holiday.On 2 nights we had to travel to a restaurant . this meant we had the same menu 2 nights running -for a non meat eater- the fish was poor. It was not a great ambience. We did speak to the reps about it. the food elsewhere was largely extraordinary and the hotels that only did breakfasts gave excellent breakfasts.
We did not find your new map system helpful. the route notes mentioned names of places that were not on your new maps. Thankfully our reps provided proper maps at our request.
Wonderful relaxing holiday
This was our first trip with Headwater (recommended by our New Zealand travel agent) and we are very pleased with our choice and will definitely look at another cycling trip in the future- most likely in France. We were particularly impressed with by the friendliness of all the hotel staff we encountered - and their helpfulness!!
This is a lovely cycling holiday but quite challenging with regard to the hills especially when its 34C! An early start is recommended to avoid the hottest part of the day. The hotels are all good and food at the Della Rovere is excellent. Nice pools at all the hotels. Plenty to do on the off days. The walled town of Monteriggioni is a relatively easy cycle from the Della Rovere. Worth booking an extra night at the end of the holiday in Volterra. Beautiful town with lots of little shops, cafes and alleyways. Thanks to Luke and Eleanor who were excellent reps.
This was our first cycling holiday, we are both reasonably fit but not regular cyclists so this was an excellent introduction.we found the routes fairly straight forward and enjoyable with the route notes easy to follow as long as we didn't read too far ahead (short term memory problems!). All the hotels were very good in their different ways , we ate well everywhere but the stand out food was at the Villa Lussana in Teolo. unfortunately we missed the ride to Teolo because of an extremely heavy thunder storm but Sarah our Rep picked us up and transfered us. The day wasn't wasted though, we were able to do a lovely circular walk later on in the afternoon to set us up for the first of our fabulous evening meals there. We took a bus into Padua on the rest day, well worth doing, we visited the Scrovegni Chapel and the the University to see the anatomy theatre. The two nights at the Agritourismo L' Albara were very convivial and the pool was lovely. To sum up, we had a great time, Sarah our rep was extremely helpful and helped make our holiday .
Thoroughly enjoyed my holiday on my first visit to Portugal. Excellent service from local reps. Great hotels. Ebikes fun. Delicious food, wine and port. Loved the routes.
Generally an excellent service but based on past experience will only go for future holidays with you where a Headwater rep is involved rather than an agent
Bikes excellent. Lunches en route excellent. Accommodation a bit mixed.
Cycling through wonderful rural landscapes; visiting beautiful hilltop villages
Loved this little known area, which was perfect for easy cycling. Good variety of cycling ; quiet roads, alongside canals and dedicated cycle paths. Sarah our rep couldn't have been better and was always working hard for us to get the most out of our holiday. Loved Albara, which had a pool which was a bonus in our hot weather (30s). There is another holiday option to stay here as a base for week, I would think this would work well , as it was our favourite stopover out of the four we stayed at. Food and wine excellent all the way round and plenty of places to stop enroute.
We had a fantastic holiday, The scenery, food and accomodation were great. Although we are both pretty fit my wife isn't such a keen cyclist but she really enjoyed this. The reps were really helpful when my wife wanted to swap to an E-bike towards the end when it got really hot, and now she wants to go again which I never thought would happen! I would really recommend this holiday and the E- bikes for those less enthusiastic about cycling
This was not our best holiday with Headwater the weather in the Dordonge was just awful and we had to contend with a train strike none of which Headwater could have done anything about. We dried out on the last three days in Sete which was lovely. Electric bikes are wonderful
We were surprised at how strenuous the cycling actually was! The distances were not long, and so we really expected to complete the routes much quicker than we did.Very big hills, but the bikes have good gears and we managed to cycle to the top of them all. The downs were brilliant. Roads were mainly very quiet.
The hotels were all lovely and we enjoyed having non cycling days to explore the interesting hill top towns.
Lots of great food and wine was had.
This holiday delivered on great food, amazing scenery, friendly staff along the route and comfortable hotels. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience
A break that takes you off the beaten track to meet the people who live in the region, rather than just other tourists. A holiday that slows you down to the speed you can cycle including the most amazing 60km down hill ride!
Excellent cycling along the Atlantic coast, lovely hotels, interesting area to explore. The Furadouro Hotel was outstanding - welcome, food, swimming pool, rooms all superb.
Great cycle holiday on easy cycle paths with quality bikes and excellent hotels.
We found the holiday extremely well organised, we had no problem with arrangements from start to finish despite the problems France are having at the moment with strikes. The reps Jon and Neu were the best we have experienced on any Headwater holiday, they worked hard to ensure the experience was as good as it could be. We were also impressed with the bikes, which were easy to operate and very comfortable.
Superb cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops. The reps were really helpful in every way and we enjoyed our time with them. Whilst staying at the Hermitage hotel we ate in the local town at the restaurant - Dame L'Oie which was superb. At Vaison la Romaine we ate at La Barantavelle which was a wonderful meal and far superior to the alternative restaurant in the Old Town. The most disappointing was Castel Mirei as although the owners were very helpful, both breakfasts and evening meals were very poor with extremely slow service and the room was very 'tired' with traffic noise from a side road interrupting any peace. There is however a decent sized pool and small cool sitting room with cold drinks to purchase which were very welcome.
The cycling instructions were generally easy to follow though we would welcome more distances being included between turning points and perhaps a small trip metre on the bike which we have had on other holidays with one of Headwater' s competitors.
Dear Mrs Ramsden,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. Please be assured, all of the feedback we receive is valued and used to help enhance our holidays for the future.
It sounds from your feedback that you had an enjoyable holiday and made the most of your time in this region. We were pleased to see you found the service provided by our reps useful and enjoyed spending your time with them.
We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with Castel Mirei, whilst we agree there are a number of great features to this accommodation, we have taken the decision to replace this hotel for the 2017 season.
We are also making some exciting changes to the way we produce our route notes.
Over the past couple of summers, we have received many requests to make the notes electronic and downloadable so customers can use them on their smart phone or tablet device. We are going to trial this in the cycling resorts that feature experienced Headwater reps, and for all of our new cycling holidays. Then once we gain feedback, we plan to roll this out to other resorts for future seasons.
We will, of course still provide hard copy notes for any customers that prefer this style and for our non-rep regions.
We hope you will agree, these changes will help to continue to enhance this holidays for the future.
In closing, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued loyalty, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
We really enjoyed this first cycling holiday, we loved the Tuscan countryside and the rustic food, delicious wine! We regularly enjoy our bicycles at home but are not 'cyclists'. So the 'undulating hills' and ' steady climbs' mentioned in the brochure were a lot more challenging than we expected. Having said this, we completed the route with a great sense of achievement and looked forward each day to a new adventure !
I was a little sniffy with the 40km every other day distance. However the hills more than make up for it. We are both very fit and did manage the hills but it was warm and quite a few are long and on the stranda bianca which are unmade up and with the wrong size of stones which makes cycling quite difficult at times. The area is lovely and the reps were delightful and extremely helpful.
A very well organised holiday giving us the chance to visit places we would not have otherwise seen.
No comment - the unseasonal weather curtailed cycling on one day (thunderstorms) so this did affect the overall holiday experience with another day that was also wet.
The holiday, although accurately described etc,, the reality exceeded my expectations! Thoroughly enjoyed every moment. The meals, wines, and accommodation were all of a consistently high standard - without pretension or ostentation - a testament to the Italians respect and belief in the quality of their products. The countryside and people were also amazing, acts of kindness from strangers showed me several times what it means 'to go the extra mile'. The cycle routes are well designed, as is the holiday that alternates cycle days with rest days.
Great holiday. Good challenging cycling days and a region with great food and wine for lunch and dinner. Headwater looked after us well again in Italy.
Don't be put off by the two and a half star rating of this holiday. We are two averagely fit 50+ couple that managed all the hills and they were well worth it for the fantastic views. Each hotel was unique and individual and the welcome you received at the end of a days cycling was lovely. The standard of food for most was good. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and have come back invigorated and amazingly pounds lighter! The reps Luke and Eleanor were very helpful and couldn't do enough for you - even texting us to see if we were alright on the only rainy day we had.
This was an interesting area of Italy and our holiday passed all too quickly with the usual Headwater mix of cultural visits and, of course cycling. The routes were well selected and mostly on cycle paths. Food was great. We didnt visit Padua, Vincenza or Venice as we preferred to explore the countryside. Otherwise the holiday was pretty much as described in the brochure.
don't under-estimate how hilly/undulating Tuscany is.
First visit to the Algarve and first cycling holiday. Hard work for a couple of days but the rewards matched the effort. Lovely locations and hotels had top quality staff. Our two reps were lovely and incredibly helpful. We have used Headwater only a few times over 20 or so years, but every time the holiday has been special. That is why we have always looked them up when considering a trip overseas.
A most enjoyable holiday in Provence - beautiful surroundings and the villages could always serve great coffees! Good to have a chance to explore locally on alternate days, on the bus or on the bikes. Excellent accommodation and support from Jon and Neu.
We enjoyed our cycling holiday but the weather was terrible which marred our experience. We also thought some of the cycling was a bit monotonous, going through residential areas, particularly at the beginning and would have preferred not to have had to get the train, although it proved invaluable in the end due to weather. The lagoon part was generally nice however towards the end, the path had completely disintegrated and the little bridge had been washed away. It certainly needed two people to carry the bikes down and across. We informed the guide at the end of the holiday. I dont think this holiday would be suitable for families in summertime as the roads get very busy and there were more roads than we had expectred. We thought the route tracking on the garmin was an excellent idea and the best part of following the route. Totally reliable. The hotels were all good though not all were properly equipped to accept bikes, namely the one in Porto and the Hotel Moliciero.
Adventure before dementure!
We went for our honeymoon and the holiday was a perfect mixture of challenging cycling with beautiful views, lovely hotels and fantastic food.
We were very lucky with the weather and this is important when on a cycling holiday! The accommodation was varied and highly suited to starting and ending a days cycling. We loved the routes which were through beautiful countryside ( isn't this lovely! I kept saying) and which provided us with convenient coffee and lunch stops. The cycling was spot on for a 1 cycle ride but it also offered more hilly routes is we wished to challenge ourselves. We soon found we had total confidence in the route notes and once when we went wrong I said - Sarah would never send us down this road! And I was right. You have to be a little flexible - one of our routes was blocked off by a motorcycling event but we were able to use the notes to rejoin the trail. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the delicious local wine. I made friends with my bike and always looked forward to the next day's expedition. Great holiday!
Excellent holiday, cycling is the perfect way to explore. We enjoyed it all - some freedom, some things sorted out
Our first cycling holiday and it will definitely not be our last!! Cycling through Catalunya was a real treat, beautiful peaceful countryside, wildflowers were so colourful, medieval villages to explore,lots of restaurants choice for coffee or lunch and then to end the day great hotels and delicious food. What's not to like?Highly recommended.
This was our first organised cycling holiday and it exceeded our expectations, the quality of hotels were fabulous and we really liked that we had 2 nights in each hotel which gave us time to explore each area. On reflection we would prefer to have had dinner in the hotel halm included as finding somewhere to eat was a real hit or miss and compared to the meals we had in the hotels we didn't find anything better. From our first enquiry with headwater the whole holiday couldn't have gone smoother, Michelle (I think) tailored the holiday to fit our needs perfectly adding in 4 extra days and organising the hotel for two of them. I certainly can't recommend headwater highly enough and have already looking at where to go next. Thank you to the whole team as this has to be one of our best holidays and we have had many! A special thanks to the couple at the bike hire, they were extremely friendly and very helpful.
This was a great holiday, well organised, excellent communication, excellent rep who was very helpful, great route notes, good quality bikes and gives you an opportunity to visit some fantastic places on the Istrian coast in Croatia and see some lovely sights.
My only concern is that some of the routes, in my opinion, are quite dangerous, especially the unsurfaced roads and gravel tracks. If you have no experience, or little experience of cycling, this holiday I would suggest is not for you. Even as a regular cyclist I found some routes difficult and challenging. If you struggle with heat, I would suggest not choosing a holiday in July/August, but go for May or early June. You could be spending 4/5 hours out in the heat on some days.
However, if you love cycling, then this holiday is perfect and first class, a great company to go with as everything was organised as advertised and I would throughly recommend it.
Thoroughly enjoyable holiday in a beautiful unspoilt part of Southern Italy. The people here are incredibly friendly, not just in the hotels but everywhere. The cycling wasn't too strenuous and the 7km descent into Capitolo was exhilarating ! All the hotels were of a very good standard. Enjoyed staying in the Trulli house even though Alberobello can become very busy with day trippers but our favourite place was the Masseria Salamina, (keep some space in the luggage to stock up on their excellent home produced extra virgin olive oil) ! The food in this region is wonderful with a good choice of restaurants at all the locations except Prezze di Greco where the evening meal is included. This was our 12th Headwater cycling holiday and it lived up to expectations.
A fabulous way to explore the beauty of rural Italy. The exercise during the day is balanced by delightful food and wine in the evenings. Self-guided cycling with Headwater offers independence, but with the comfort and reassurance of excellent local Reps. This was our second holiday with Headwater and is unlikely to be our last.
Accurate description of contrasting scenery and cycling. Very quiet roads and plenty of flowers and birds to see.
A beautiful area with quiet lanes and roads. Lovely villages, small towns and views. Super coastal locations, fantastic varied scenery and marvellous bird life and wild flowers. A fantastic holiday!
Extremely well organised , with excellent local representative (Tony) who provided additional information and support without hesitation. Also provided local maps and timetables for my time in Faro which allowed me to enjoy that day, he also informed me about the industrial action at the airport which allowed me to make appropriate arrangements.
Puglia is a fantastic part of Italy to visit - a real hidden gem - and a perfect location for cycling. We were lucky with the weather and got a good week but the weather in April can be variable (i.e. cooler and wetter than we had). Beautiful countryside and lovely coastline with proper beaches. Excellent food and friendly people, We would go back again.
This was an excellent holiday. The cycling was along very flat routes down the beautiful Atlantic Coast and around the pretty lagoons. Porto and Aveiro were great places to have days off. The hotels were good or very good. We ate some delicious fish and everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
It was excellent from start to finish. Our reps Tony & Ludmila Lewis made our holiday experience special with their friendliness, humour and knowledge. Please pass on our thanks.I am hoping to book a walking holiday with Headwater next year with my friend please send me a brochure
The pleasure of Headwater is that they do everything to make ensure your experience is exceptional - so it is!
A very nice holiday. The cycling was generally very good. It is a little hilly so is certainly a grade 2. There was a little bit more off road than we expected and one part of this was a particularly bad track which was slow going. Everything else was fine. The accommodation was good.
April was a beautiful time of year to travel to Puglia; lovely weather for cycling and the fields were full of wildflowers, cherry blossom, flowering mimosas etc. Although the cycling was all on roads, they were mainly very quiet, country lanes and we found the Italian drivers surprisingly patient and respectful of cyclists. The route deserved its 1 1/2 bike rating; it certainly seemed a bit more strenuous than the previous '1 bike' holiday we had done and we were very glad not to be tackling it in the heat of summer. This was our second Headwater holiday as a family and we think the formula works well for both us and the children (aged 11 and 13). They particularly embraced the Italian love of gelati!
This was a lovely holiday.The wild flowers were magnificent and the scents of orange blossom and fresh herbs will long remain with us.We enjoyed the variety of different tracks and the headland loop at Amado beach was stunning.The bikes were excellent with especially low gears for those hills,and the tour notes were pretty good. The welcome at all three hotels was genuinely warm and the accommodation very comfortable, except at Pedralva,where the bed felt like a marble slab, and gave us a restless 2 nights. The food and wine was fresh, wholesome and very well prepared.We thoroughly enjoyed this break and came back feeling refreshed and invigorated. We will definitely consider Headwater when choosing our next holiday.
Fun. We enjoyed our visit to Portugal.
Our cycling holiday was just the BEST! I am a non-cycling person, afraid in traffic, and not especially into sport and fitness. My husband is Mr Fit, and cycles quite a bit. This holiday was so much fun for both of us. Well within my capabilities, and although not very demanding, the cycling was enough to keep my husband happy. Can't wait to book another Headwater holiday.
We enjoyed our visit to the area very much, and apart from the luggage problem, we had no real difficulties.
However, we did have one concern that troubled us. On previous headwater holidays, we always felt that we had the reassurance of a Headwater rep to contact in the event of any difficulty, e.g. in the event of an accident, buckled wheel etc.When we asked the Donnau lady what would happen in the event of such a situation arising, (expecting her to say we'd come out to you), we were most disconcerted to hear her say that 'you have a list of Donnau stations around the lake. If you have a problem you must go to them - they will not come to you'.
We had not realised the implication of the arrangement Headwater had with Donnau, that resulted in raising our anxiety levels if anything had gone wrong. We would certainly check with Headwater if booking a future holiday that we had a local rep at hand. If there wasn't , we would not book that particular holiday..
One last point. In places, the fine detail in the instructions was inaccurate and misleading. this delayed us on occasions.
A beautiful part of the world made even more special by great hotels, great food and great cycling
We had an excellent time. Lovely scenery and weather and excellent food. I would definitely recommend doing this either early or late in the season as it was much cooler and less busy. Very few cars on the road and no traffic.
Felt a great sense of achievement after each cycle day. Our 2 boys- age 11 and 13 enjoyed themselves and there was not a single moan of ''are we there yet?!'
An enjoyable holiday. Well organised, good bikes, very comfortable accommodation and breakfasts. Croatian coast attractive, and not too busy in September when we went and Croatian staff in hotels and local restaurants all friendly and helpful. Rides well planned, and maps and directions good. I had an unfortunate fall skidding on a wet road, and couldn't ride one day, but the support from local bike hire was excellent, and myself and bike both made it to the end of the holiday. Would recommend as good medium level cycling break.
A lovely rural part of northern Italy with a number of quiet country roads, largely traffic free, to enjoy. The relative closeness of Vicenza and Padua gives the opportunity also to experience a number of cultural and architectural delights. Add to this the wonderful food prepared at The L'Albara Agriturismo and this is a holiday to savour.
Beautiful cycling! Great route and some excellent hotels.
We were well looked after in all aspects of the holiday, from the comprehensive introductory talk, which was both entertaining and full of useful bits of information, through the well-planned and comprehensive route notes, to the excellent accommodation and surroundings of the rides.
Pleasant cycling through mix of peaceful rural landscapes and historic coastal and plateau towns. Although experienced cycle tourists we found the cycling more tiring than expected due to the heat, even in early October, so were glad that the distances were relatively short. Puglian food lived up to its reputation and the local wines recommended by the rep were enjoyable. All the hotels had spacious and well equipped rooms - though we did benefit from an upgrade for the base hotel as the normal one was full. Detailed route notes a great relief after getting minimal and inaccurate ones last year with another company. Unplanned highlight was doing the 7km downhill run while road closed to cars as a proper cycle race came up.! Although not mentioned in the brochure, Monopoli is well connected to the rest of Italy by train, and the station is within walking distance (20 min) of hotel. So we negotiated a reduction in package cost as not needing a transfer to Bari, and made the cycling week the centre of an Italian / French train tour.
An interesting coastal and inland holiday on quite roads and tracks. Visiting in October the coastal locations and hilltop towns and villages are quiet, but the weather was good and ideal for cycling. having enjoyed many Headwater cycling holidays in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, we may well be interested in following-up an e-bike option in the future.
An excellent way to see the countryside without the stress of organising all your own itinerary.
Good accommodation, clear instructions and good cycling. Met interesting people. Guides were very friendly and helpful.
Great holiday. Everything just worked. Reps were helpful and knowledgable. Hotels and food were amazing. Cycling up the hills was hard work but all worth it when you reached the view at the top.
Very good holiday overall, in a very interesting area. Route notes were at times inaccurate and ambiguous, which made the ride more like a treasure hunt!
All the hotels and accommodation were of a high standard and staff very friendly and helpful. Bikes were ok but not as good as the Headwater branded ones that we had in Burgundy last year. We would strongly recommend a Headwater holiday.
Peaceful cycling along quiet country road, interesting villages and lovely scenery.
This holiday certainly shows the contrasts that Catalonia has to offer.
Excellent accommodation. Confidence with the equipment and support. Good maps and route details very comprehensive. Cycling down the Danube is great as the Danube cycleway is either a dedicated path or where it runs along side a road it is separate and safe. An added advantage is that it is flat and well surfaced.
Very easy and enjoyable cycling through lovely scenery with excellent accommodation and many places of interest to visit.
This was my fifth cycle holiday with Headwater, and it was the most enjoyable. The cycling is very easy, and the route is very clearly marked, so there is absolutely no navigation skill required. Unlike some of the tours in rural Italy or Spain, there were numerous, widely-varied eating establishments with long opening hours right along the cycle path.
The cycling path is flat, but it passes through some varied and hilly terrain. There are opportunities to make short (and possibly hilly) detours to see some pretty villages and interesting sights along the way. One very moving side trip is to do the short day trip (about 50 km round trip from the hotel at Linz) to the memorial at the former Mauthausen concentration camp.
The high point of the tour is when it passes through the Wachau Valley, which is one of the loveliest wine growing regions I have cycled through.
I did the entire ride, even covering the short stretch from Linz to Grein, which the normal tour bypasses by shuttle van due to its being thought too industrial. Also, the tour guide recommends taking a train into the heart of Vienna in order to by-pass a slightly grimy and graffiti-covered stretch of the outskirts of the city. I did not find this stretch particularly objectionable, and there is a certain satisfaction to completing the entire cycle path from Passau to the heart of Vienna.
This would be a perfect ride for someone who is uncertain about committing to a bicycle tour. There are river boats and trains that allow one to skip cycling portions when the weather is bad or one is too fatigued. The cycling could not be any easier, and the maps and signs along the way make it all quite fool-proof.
Note that Headwater will supply participants with a spiral bound book that contains high resolution maps for the entire route. This book is easily ignored as the usual Headwater instructions are so well done, but the book does contain some historical tidbits and also suggestions for interesting detours, so it is worth a read.
A note in closing; the Passau-Vienna path is said to be very busy in the summer. I did my tour in late September and the path was wide open. Only the Wachau Valley section had any significant bicycle traffic.
Fun and adventurous but no planning hassle
This holiday does 'what it says on the tin' - provides accomodation, meals & cycling with a rep available as required.
The accomodation was a bit too far out of town for my liking - once dinner was over at 9:30 - 10.00 there was not much else to do.
s a solo traveller, I had several days when there were no other guests to talk to, despite Headwater implying there was limited space avilable when I booked..
Finally, as a non-drinker, I was disappointed in the lack of alternative drinks at dinner: water or water.
Apart from these small gripes I had a great time and loved cycling in the countryside. The food at the accomodation was generally very good and certainly ample quantities.
Very well organised lovely places to visit !!!!
It was well organised, the reps were great and we had a great time. The hotels were terrific, very comfortable, a great selection.
We have been on 3 previous Headwater holidays, but this one was the most enjoyable of them all. The cycling was wonderful, though it wouldnt suit those who dislike cycling mainly on flat terrain. The cycle paths much of the way to Grado were amazing and Italy in particular is very much geared towards the cyclist. The hotels ranged from quite posh to comfortable, located centrally and excellent. Four of the dinners were included in our holiday and were very good and not having to go and find somewhere to eat in those two hotels was a fortuitous because of the inclement weather. However we enjoyed having the freedom to find our own restaurants subsequently.
The tour operator was very reliable with excellent English.
The route notes were challenging and there were times when we were directed right instead of left. My husband has offered to 're-write' them since they could be modified to make it much less likely to have to retrace your pedaling.
On our second day, our tour guide asked us if we wanted to cycle because it was raining quite heavily with the forecast of no let up all day. I asked him if there was a choice and he offered to transport us to our next destination in the car. We had no idea that this was an option, but foolishly or not, we declined and arrived at our next hotel, very wet and bedraggled. However we were allocated the most wonderful room, with loads of space to dry off all our dripping clothing and bags. What a silver lining that was. Sadly we didnt see much of that day's route since the rain was relentless.
I would definitely like to do this trip again.
Really enjoyable, few small comments, maps were hard to read, water bottles ideally insulated, stands of bikes needed, lovely holiday, expensive especially because of euro/sterling exchange
This was a wonderful holiday. We have done a number of cycling holidays in Italy with different tour operators and this was by far and away the best. Such beautiful landscape, food and wine and so un touristy. We didn't meet a single Brit. The hotels were simply fabulous and Headwater organisation faultless. We are a 70 and 65 year old who for various reasons had not managed do as much cycling this summer as we had intended and the cycling was challenging but we managed it. Hills meant wonderful views at every turn and then a downhill glide, and most hills were very manageable in lowest gear, slow steady pedalling and plenty of stops to admire the views. The distances aren't huge so you can afford to take your time, and with 2 nights at every hotel, you can break up the cycling with a rest day. We enjoyed this aspect, especially as the hotels were so lovely, and it was nice not to be re packing the suitcase each morning. We will definitely choose Headwater again, but this holiday has spoilt me and I shall be looking for another gastronomic trip!!!
A wonderful, unspoilt region. We had no idea that the Costa Brava was so wooded and had so many places of historical interest. Going just out of season, the beaches were quiet and devoid of sunbeds! The number of cycle tracks - albeit somewhat roughly surfaced in places - puts the UK to shame.
This is our 7th cycling holiday with Headwater and once again we have had a really enjoyable holiday.
Puglia is a great destination for a cycling holiday. Hotels were welcoming, helpful and of good standard.But you definitely need better arrangements for route checking/updating and translation of self-guiding instructions, which misrepresented a number of key instructions, resuling in errors and distress. You continue to give paper instructions which don't fit the holders. Other companies provide mileometers and satnavigation
We had a wonderful holiday enjoying the contrasts of Catalunya, from the sea at the Costa Brava to the rice fields and woodlands inland. The reps Jim and Katie gave us a terrific service, from the introductory postcard sent to us prior to leaving, and the provision of satnav files to make navigation so easy. The hotels Hotel Sa Punta and the magnificent El Castell d'Emporda both exceeded our expectations, and to stay in the tower of an ancient castle was the highlight of our holiday. We have had three Headwater holidays now and will definitely be back for more.
It was a real fun adventure. The excellent support and hotels allowed for maximum enjoyment.
Maintained the high standard we have come to expect from Headwater.
Lovely cycling trip, local agents, hotels and bikes were very good. The Trulli hotel was interesting, but dark and lacking in facilities.
Everybody was so professional, friendly and helpful from our first phone call to the office to our final goodbye to the reps. The routes were great - enough cycling to feel we'd earned our lovely hotel, pool and dinner but not too much to feel disheartened. There was plenty of time built in to sight see with excellent suggestions for rest days. We visited some great places that we'd never have found on our own as well as some more main stream destinations. A lovely combination and so well organised.
Well organised and professional service - headwater deliver what they promise and the holidays are excellent. A reasonable degree of fitness is required for the cycling holidays - not suitable for beginners or irregular cyclists.
Enjoyable; well managed; good variety of scenery and places; lots of fresh air and opportunities to enjoy tasty regional cooking.
Excellent holiday. The holiday representatives are a credit to the company. We would certainly book another holiday with Headwater!
The Italians could be encouraged to look after their surroundings better .The amount of rubbish by the sides of the roads is awful .It's such a shame and detracts from the unspoilt countryside.The historic centres of the town's are really interesting and not crowded.
An Italian adventure. Excellent bikes, fabulous food. Sometimes the instructions were a challenge but generally ok. Accommodation was varied which added to the overall experience, The Masseria Salamina was exceptional. Our rep Dave was a joy .
This was our 5th Headwater holiday. We like the attention to detail and the fact that we can rely on the equipment and the rep. We feel we are in good hands and that we can be sure of everything running smoothly. We enjoy meeting other Headwater customers.
(I have put myself in the 'over 64' bracket, but my son now age 31 has been coming on these holidays with me since he was in his teens, and continues to enjoy them)
This was our first experience of an activity holiday and none of us are experienced cyclists so we chose a grade one single centre holiday, whilst a little apprehensive after a hefty breakfast and a briefing from our excellent rep Sarah we set off on our first ride. The cycling was well graded and the route description very easy to follow, we did not get lost or go wrong at all during our weeks stay, best of all we were able to go at our own pace and explore some lovely countryside. Returning to our accommodation we were able to share experiences with the other groups over a glass or two of the local wines. We never thought we would find a cycling holiday relaxing but have returned home very chilled and despite the exercise about 5lbs heavier than when we started, which is a testament to the quality and quantity of the food. Thank you to all.
Excellent holiday overall.
It might have been better to have an extra day in Vienna at the end of the trip instead of a free day in Krems which was not as exciting as Vienna.
The weather could have been better too!!
A thoroughly restful holiday through stunning countryside. Excellent cycle paths which take you away from the busy roads and where you can set your own pace. The option to shorten journeys using trains or ferries was useful. Our ninth headwater holiday and one we would take again in a few years time. Switzerland is an expensive place to visit but the half board basis of this holiday offsets some of that cost. Our group of eight ranged in age from 48 to 72 and everyone found it a comfortable and enjoyable cycle. Lots to see and do on the rest days which meant that we packed a lot into each day. The fabulous chocolate, kaffee und kuchen could be offset quite easily which was a bonus!
Excellent routes, great hotels, fabulous countryside, lots to see and good food to fuel your journey!
A fantastic package, great value for money in superb, friendly & family-run hotels. Great cycling routes through some challenging terrain, very good, sensibly built bikes. Reps & Headwater office staff were very helpful, couldn't do enough to make sure we were sorted.
Overall we had a great time. A few hiccups - BA losing a suitcase! not Headwaters fault (found it eventually) and on the return journey arriving at Barcelona airport to be told they only had two seats - we are a family of four! Eventually found us two more seats but made for a very stressful journey. We did not check in late and online checkin was not an option for us. It was VERY hot 35 degrees. A bit too hot to be honest and we probably would not do this holiday again in August! Go when it is a bit cooler. The area is fabulous and we would go back. The hotels are generally very good. We did have an issue at Garbi. Our first night the aircon was not working properly in our room but we got on with it. On our last night the aircon in the boys' room was not working at all and it was 29 degrees! The suggested remedies as the hotel was full was to a) live with it then b) sleep with the window open and they would provide insect repellent! We rejected both these options and in the end moved the two boys in with us for the night. The staff provided camp beds. We managed but not overly happy having paid for two double rooms. We did mention it to the reps in the morning but as it was our last night there was nothing to be done.
Our most scenic Headwater cycling holiday to date and well worth the physical effort!
A great place to tour on cycles, local people and hospitality are excellent
A challenging holiday but thoroughly enjoyable. The views were amazing and the rides took you through beautiful places. The use of the word undulating in the notes was over used, hill was closer! Had such a sense of achievement at the end of the holiday! Would love to do this again.
We found the holiday provided a good mix of cycling and relaxation. The cycling in July was very hot and the hills quite challenging while the hotels were very comfortable and quiet. Enough choice of things to do from the hotels or simply relax by the pool.
Cycle routes were very well mapped, cycles were properly geared for the climbs and well maintained.
Transfers from the airport to the hotel were well organised and on cycling days our luggage was promptly transferred between hotels.
We were initially slightly worried by the directions and unknown roads etc, however the notes proved to be excellent and only got momentarily lost once during the whole holiday. Take plenty of food, water and sun cream on the rides as shops and shelter can be few and far between.
A fantastic holiday for a family with teenagers. Easy but very enjoyable cycling in stunning countryside.
An excellent first holiday with Headwater. We chose a 2+ cycle standard which was tougher than we expected, however the heart had a large effect on our ability. All the hotels were beautiful my only complaint was the air conditioning could of been a lot more powerful. The scenery was just breathtaking on the rides and over all i would highly recommend this trip.
I have found Headwater holidays to be consistently excellent over the three occasions that I've used them. You find some amazing places for us to stay in and provide really useful information on local places to visit. It's lovely to get off the usual tourist tracks and really get to see the countries in more detail, experiencing far more of the areas we visit. The views were spectacular which made up for the challenging sections of the rides, and we were entertained by a golden eagle only metres away from us on the first and last cycle days.
Extremely enjoyable, well organised and busy with an excellent mix of quiet countryside cycling and fascinating places to see and visit.
We didn't think this holiday was representative of Headwater cycling holidays in general. This was our fourth Headwater holiday, and compared to the others (Italy, Spain and France), it was disappointing. The cycling routes were not as pretty as on other holidays, and there weren't so many nice places to stop for lunch or to admire the scenery. This was partly to do with the different culture, of course, but it also had a lot to do with the cycling routes themselves and the hotels. We didn't feel that the usual Headwater support was there, and this was partly reflected in the route notes. Although they were OK, we thought they could have been more helpful and they were at times inaccurate. The cycling was more difficult than we expected it to be, so we were glad to have the option of cutting some days short by using the ferries or trains. Although there were a lot of cycle paths, they were often alongside (or on) quite busy roads.
We were a group of 9, who were made to feel most welcome. L'alhambra is in a beautiful setting, and the pool was most welcome after a hot days cycling. The evening meals were always delightful, using produce from the farm, breakfast was however a little un imaginative and we had to ask for eggs-which were then available every morning.
Sarah is very knowledgeable, whether your asking about pumping the tyres, local wine or the times of trains! She quickly found answers to our queries and made calls on our behalf. The wine tour and tasting at Catalunga was the highlight of the week- bigger saddle bags required!!
It was our first cycling holiday and both of us enjoyed the experience. The pool was excellent, the bikes excellent, the weather superb, and our hosts Valfrido and Angelina, their daughter Romina and son Frederico certainly made us welcome. If circumstances allowed, for we are both skiers, i think we would certainly entertain repeating the holiday. As we never cycled after 2 pm, we both thought the pool was an essential requirement. As for the food and drink. I can certainly believe it all comes from the farm, as it tasted so fresh, but this means only wine and water are served with the evening meal. Finally the rep, Sarah was organised and helpfull.
This was a fantastic holiday mixing activity through cycling with culture by visiting Vicenza, Padua and Venice. It is great if you want an authentic holiday experience getting the feel of a country independently by cycling along country lanes and canal banks undisturbed by traffic and stopping at local markets or cafes for lunch with the security of knowing that a comfortable bed and good food awaits you at the end of a day. You feel you have earned the glass of wine and the lovely food using fresh local ingredients . The hotels were all different but individual and whilst not needed it is good to know that there is a local rep on hand to sort out any problems. It was 10 years since our last headwater cycling holiday but we were pleased that we still easily coped with the cycling and this holiday was the best mix of scenery, cycle routes, hotels and food out of the other 4 I have had over a 25 year period. Thank you for a great time.
Our reps were superb. Jim took particular care to ensure the bikes were fitted to each individual and this meant each of our party was comfortable throughout the holiday. He had specially removed the bottle holder from the ladies bikes so they would not catch their legs when getting on and off. This attention to detail was much appreciated. He had gone to great lengths to produce a gps version of all the trails and this was invaluable and worked without any problems. I had brought a smart phone holder and battery charger so had a days full battery life. While this would have been sufficient without the notes, the two worked in tandem well and should become a standard on all your cycling holidays.
The bikes would benefit from a small front pannier particularly for the ladies to keep a small water bottle in and a handbag.
Our reps kept in email contact to check our progress and made very helpful recommendations on places to eat and visit on the trip. They put their knowledge to good use so we had an excellent holiday.
Contrasts of Catalunya is a great route which takes in coast and countryside. We were two non-cyclists and found the routes achievable and well-planned, with thought given to where you could stop and explore different villages. Cycling was partly on quiet roads and partly on tracks - the routes through the rice fields and alongside apple orchards were particularly enjoyable, while some of the sandy tracks through pine forests were a bit harder going. The bikes were well-maintained and comfortable. Highlights on the route were medieval Pals and Begur, while the Sa Punta Hotel stood out for its fantastic service, excellent swimming pool and the best food we had all week. Service from the reps was also great, and they provided helpful map files and instructions on how to use these on a smartphone as well as practical tips. Highly recommendable!
An extremely positive experience, wonderful accommodation and cuisine, superb support from the rep, gorgeous rides offered suitable to our experience, great fun and relaxing holiday had by all!
...the 3 hotels were very different, but, were all in good locations with quality offerings. the people and staff of Croatia are very welcoming and have no airs and graces about themselves. the bikes are well maintained and sturdy, and, need to be for some of the unsurfaced paths. Rovinj was our favourite place, but, all towns / hotels that we visited were pretty and welcoming.
This is just a wonderful part of the world for cyclists who like to immerse themselves in a beautiful, safe and friendly place. As you'd expect in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, everything works so well to give you a hassle-free holiday. Everyone was so welcoming, locals as well as people providing service and quite happy to use their excellent English in place of my stumbling schoolboy German.
The travel arrangements/organisation and detail excellent. Two of the hotels were not nearly as good as the rest . In fact the last hotel was way below standard but the food at that hotel was excellent. The rooms were far too small there was no air conditioning and it resembled the most basic accommodation. The middle two hotels were outstanding as was Bregenz but Seegarten again had no air conditioning is not well positioned.
Overall this is an excellent holiday well put together and if the two hotels were improved upon it would be almost the perfect break
Booking was not entirely straight forward. I appreciate that we had different members of the party coming from different places - and indeed staying for different lengths of time -and with some dietary requests - but for me there is not the attention to detail that i would expect. I picked up several errors during the booking and invoicing procedures - that were just frustrating. Everything was eventually resolved but not without my going through every detail carefully. Unfortunately when one error arises one has to look even more closely at all the documentation- all of which was exceptionally time consuming.At all times I was dealt with politely, and am grateful for the written apology I received on this occasion .
However if one can push through this - your holidays are just superb.Recognising that we were fairly energetic, Sarah provided us with 2 extensions on the given routes which were just what some members needed. Also, a previous guest, had written an alternative route back on the visit to the lake. That was wonderful but certainly in the 2 to 3 cycle realm - but we loved it.- so there is room to offer this as a more than one cycle if wished.
The hotel pool was wonderful and much used in the very hot conditions! The family at the hotel could not have been more helpful and the atmosphere there was just lovely- marvellous to relax there after the cycling.
For future customers you may like to add that if you have an inordinate wait at venice station there is a great restaurant opposite called Soul Kitchen - who allowed us to sit for 2 and a half hours over a lovely easy meal.
Despite having to opt out of cycling, thanks to the help given by M Tours we had a most enjoyable holiday. (We had flu just before departure)
The arrangements were very good and instructions easy to follow. However, we found the bikes to be very heavy, and the crossbar on the ladies' bike was far too high, to the extent that my husband had to help me on and off the bike as I could not tilt it far enough towards me to get my leg over the crossbar without it falling on me (as it did on one occasion, resulting on me banging my head (thank goodness for my cycle helmet) and skinning my elbow!
This is a great way to explore Tuscany with a good physical challenge and lots of wonderful gastronomic experiences thrown in.
We almost always travel independently and avoid package holidays. However, we wanted to do a cycling holiday and were attracted by the idea of being able to cycle from place to place with our luggage transported. Headwater did not let us down - we felt we had all the advantages of independent travel (getting off the well-worn tourist routes, meeting local people and eating regional food) yet had backup if we wanted or needed it. Our rep, Sarah, was outstanding, friendly and knowledgeable and generous with her time. Cycle routes were clear and had plenty of suggestions for detours to places of interest, or to make the day's trip more or less taxing. We liked all the places where we stayed - the two hotels were polished and comfortable, a lovely complement to the country cooking and warm family atmosphere of the two agritourismi.
Great hotel locations, very friendly with good service and excellent food and drink especially the abundant and very good value seafood.
Excellent from start to finish as usual!
Super holiday, loved the area, and all the hotels. Our rep, Sarah, was absolutely wonderful. She found us a taxi at a good price, she knew all about the area, the bag transfer was done most efficiently, what a lovely lady. She even recognised that we felt more comfortable eating as just a couple, and not in a larger group, and without us asking she organised a table for just us two. How perceptive!! Thank you Sarah.
This cycle trip from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic was really excellent - beautiful and varied countryside, interesting towns and cities on route, well-chosen hotels (and some excellent food) and a very good route using well established cycle track most of the way. The highlight for us was a couple of days cycling on the route of a former railway through the mountains of Slovenia and northern Italy. Miroslav and the team looked after us beautifully throughout. Thank you for a great holiday!
Delightful easy cycling (totally flat with excellent largely traffic free trails) in scenic countryside. Lots of opportunities to stop for coffe, cake, drinks etc
It seems that overall the employees and agents of Headwater have forgotten who is the guest and who is the host
A really enjoyable holiday,in a beautiful area. Take note of the weather forecast in the Veneto - it seems it is often stormy in June. Great cycling but take your own saddle - I have a ladies saddle on my own bike and I never made friends with the one on the bike that was supplied, which, despite being a gel saddle was a generic one rather than a saddle for a women. The bike itself was excellent apart from the saddle problem. Another warning is take high strength anti-mosquito solution, I was bitten badly even though I was using what I thought was a good quality solution - I bought some high strength from the local supermarket and that worked well but I had to make sure I put it on every exposed bit!!
Lovely relaxed cycles with plenty of 'things' to see along the way. The only difficulty was the route notes which had had the maps removed and left only descriptions and a very large region map. The guides had removed the maps because they were 'confusing' - I suspect that reflects a difference between visual and aural people - we would have been MUCH more comfortable with a MAP - particularly since some of the descriptions in the guide were a little wrong.
Biking from Slovenia to the Adriatic provided us with diverse scenery and conditions ,which we enjoyed.However it was by no means easy and two 50 km bike rides back to back was fairly challenging .
Every day was different. The bikes were excellent as was the luggage transfer. The mix of cycling and non cycling days was a bonus and allowed one to explore the local towns. Following a river downstream provided continuity and progression as it made its way down stream.
Highly recommend tis holiday. Slovenia was new to us. Especially enjoyed all the cultural highlights of Udine, Palmanova and Aquiliea.
After several good walking holidays with Headwater, this was our first cycling holiday, suggested by experienced cycling friends who accompanied us. The route is mainly downhill, but there are some longish steady uphill climbs, and we calculated an average of 50km/day (exc. Rest days) and did 64km on one day. Some beautiful Slovenian/Italian mountain scenery (albeit rarely out of sight or sound of roads) is succeeded by some very interesting Italian town stopovers (Venzone, Udine, Palmanova) and stopping at Aquilieia's basilica is highly recommended.
Great food and accommodation. Tough cycling but scenic. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Cycling easy even for us oldies,nice hotels,beautiful scenery and relaxed pace.
This was an easy ride for us and I would say ideal for less experienced cyclists. Everyone we met in hotels and restaurants was friendly and helpful.
The welcome briefing was far too long, we expected it to last for about 15 minutes and it went for over 2 hours. We could have read the notes ourselves, rather than having the rep read them to us. The route notes were excellent and easy to follow. Puglia is a varied part of Italy, some parts are stunningly beautiful, other bits less picturesque. Alberobello has been spoilt by the number of tourists and souvenir shops, we would have preferred to stay in Locorotondo, which is a far more beautiful town without the hoards of cruise ship tourists, although staying in a Trullo was a great experience. The people of Puglia that we came in contact with were incredibly friendly, helpful and kind, and the food and wine were amazing. All in all it was a good cycling holiday with lots to see and varied cycling.
A first class package in terms of organisation, accommodation and quality of food. The cycling was a challenge in that the temperatures were in the mid thirties and the route notes could be improved.
A challenging (take note) cycling tour taking you to some beautiful places in Tuscany. The bike was great and despite having to get off a few times in a few places I was mostly very happy with the km and the routes. If I could change any part of the route it would be the strada biancha on day 1 as that really is a bit tough with no views for most of it. The rest of the routes were fine and took you to beautiful scenery.
I was sorely disappointed with the hotel in Siena and would strongly recommend that Headwater change this option as it spoilt my trip a bit. The other hotels were great - my favourite was Pescile. Hotel Revere was good if the weather was ok but I can imagine this is a bit gloomy if its raining as there are limited places to sit inside.
The food was mostly good - breakfasts can be a bit 'Italian' but on the whole not too bad. The biggest let down for food was being sent to two Pizzerias two nights in a row in Certaldo. There is a huge choice of restaurants in Certaldo Alto and I would have preferred paying for my own meal and being given options.
A highlight was a tour of Montalcino (can be done from hotel Revere) and finding some amazing restaurants in San Gim (better at night to avoid the day trippers) and Siena.
For anyone wanting to know here are my restaurant highlights:
Siena - La taverna de San Giuseppe
San Gim - Cum Quibus
Certaldo Alto - Fonte Antica
Overall very happy and am missing the cycling now I am back in the UK
It was our first cycling holiday - we both really enjoyed it. Just the right amount of cycling. The suggestions of what to do on the non cycling days were very helpful. Unfortunately we got lost in Potigano - maybe you should recheck the route notes for leaving the old town. One of the highlights of our holiday was a boat trip on the final day on the Yasemin Sultan.
Excellent equipment, good hotels and lovely route
A really great and varied cycling itinerary, including fantastic scenery, sites of historic interest and interesting museums. Mostly traffic free or along cycle paths, starting in the mountains and cycling through plains to the coast. Would recommend adding a couple of days at Lake Bled and exploring the area by bike and foot. The hotel there is lovely with friendly staff and excellent food and Slovenian wines (an education!). Varied accommodation, but all clean & comfortable and in the right locations for a well paced cycle ride. We really enjoyed ourselves and were fully relaxed at the end.
An exceptionally well designed tour, which includes valuable 2 night stops at the en-route hotels in Linz, Melk and Krems, the first two of which are really interesting to explore. The daily distances were will within the capabilities of these two 68-71 year old occasional cyclists. The Danube routes were well signed and easy to follow.
Lovely flat (mostly) easy cycling. Very clean hotel rooms, most with a nice view. Good food.
We were the first people on the Julian Alps holiday. We really enjoyed it. The concept is excellent, and achieved. We did find it quite hard, though we both cycle
(mountain bike) regularly. Some days were long, and hot. I think it was the hardest holiday we've done with you, though my husband thinks some days on the 'Discovering Secret Provence' holiday were harder, because there was more climbing. Don't think it would be for people who don't normally cycle ( though we are getting on a bit).
There was one day which couldn't be done as anticipated, because the cablecar didn't start running on the advertised date, so an alternative had been suggested, and arranged for us. I think this might not affect anyone else though; I think the cablecar starts this week.
Miroslav and Matej were really keen to help, and on the whole experience. Miroslav was a bit concerned that Locanda al Fogolar might not come up to our expectations as it isn't a hotel; but we loved it, and couldn't have been made more welcome, despite Fulvio having very little English, and us having very little Italian
We found that if you don't speak Italian, German is more useful than English in this part of Italy. English is fine in Slovenia.
Later in the year, it could get very hot; take plenty to drink.
The cycling was more challenging than expected from the description mainly because of the many climbs involved. One of our party struggled with this, the fitter members of the party found it hard at times but more manageable
Puglia is a lovely uncommercial area of Italy and I would like to visit it again. The people are very friendly and helpful.
The bikes are very good but would benefit from the water bottles more easily accessible instead of having to be stored in the panniers. This is not allowed because of some ridiculous health and safety rule. There is a worry that you will try and drink from your water bottle when cycling.
This was our 13th holiday out of 15 with Headwater and the best yet! You are ahead of your competitors that we have tried.
The location of the trip was ideal.
Accommodation and transfer/transport arrangements were good and enjoyed. We thought a Grading of 2 would be more appropriate ; the first two days were difficult. However the route directions were disappointing and in one place wrong. Although the directions were recently revised, I suggest they are reviewed, in particular:
Page 9: the ERG petrol station has been replaced by a building site. On the same page, the 2 electric poles are on a right turn and the Via Marascelli sign is not there. The directions in and out of Noci were confusing and need clarity, probably by removing choice of routes around the town.
Page 28. Conchia to monopoli at the junction with the give way sign , it should say turn left! At present no direction is given. There were other minor errors along the whole route but as you say, signs change !
Everything ran smoothly, with no problems with the transportation of luggage or airport pickup and drop off. The initial briefing by Davide was very thorough and informative. We found the route notes straightforward on the whole but there were a few inaccuracies. Hotels were of a good standard, but we were glad to have taken the option to upgrade, particularly at the Palazzo Indelli where our junior suite had a large terrace overlooking the lively piazza. Having outdoor space at the Trullo was also beneficial. Alberobello is interesting but very touristy and on the leisure day there, we opted to take the train to nearby Martina Franca, via Locorotundo and would recommend this. Italian trains are cheap and easy to use - just don't forget to validate your ticket before boarding! The cycling generally was perfectly manageable, although there was the odd challenging climb. On the last day, we chose to go our own way and followed the coastal route back to Monopoli, rather than go inland. This gave us an enjoyable but shorter ride, allowing us to enjoy the rest of the day in Monopoli.
A beautiful area unspoilt by development. Fabulous food and wine. Loved it.
A very good holiday. Some of the roads were a bit dangerous narrow fast and bendy like the road round the fjord. Some of the off road was too rough with big limestone chippings. Your reps were working on different maps to us.
Fantastic holiday all round. Accommodation, food, service etc all excellent if a little bit variable. The cycle routes were well planned and took us through some lovely areas. Would definitely recommend an e-bike for anyone who is not a regular cyclist or accustomed to hill work. The food was very good all round if a little heavy on the gourmet- we will not want to see any more frois gras or duck for a long time! The one exception is the bistro at Hotel Pere Leon - best avoided and easily done with the plethora of good alternatives in Toulouse.
A well planned and run cycle tour through a beautiful part of Italy with good accommodation.
The cycle route along the Danube from Paschau to Vienna was excellent - easy cycling, well signposted and extremely beautiful. We passed pretty wild flower meadows, dense forested slopes and wide terraced vineyards. The route took in many delightful towns and villages, with their pretty squares, narrow cobbled streets, castles, cathedrals and monasteries. Vienna is amazing and definitely worth staying on for a few extra days! The hotels were in great locations and the meals were very good. Headwater and their local representatives arranged a great trip for us - their customer service and attention to detail was excellent. Thank you!
A fun way to exercise in a beautiful location
Well organised , enjoyable and healthy
Yet again a very enjoyable and successful holiday with Headwater. What a smooth running organisation you are.............efficient at home and abroad............friendly, welcoming and enthisiastic. The hotels in Fazania and Rovinj were exceptional. the staff were not only helpful, but also truly passionate about their work and their country. The cycle rides had been well researched and, apart from one transfer day (Fazania to Rovinj) when the busy roads far outweighed the quiet lanes and tracks, took us through fascinating places. Thank you to all and here's to the next time. Jenny and Paul Newman
Very good accommodation in interesting buildings; friendly people; interesting towns; remarkable ancient olive trees; some days are very hilly.
Loved Puglia and everything about the region - scenery, cycle rides, food and especially the negro amaro wine we discovered. The accommodation was brilliant especially the Masseria although we did also really like the vibe of the main square in Monopoli.
There were just 3 slight disappointments
1. The spa at the Corte Altavilla in Conversano was all style over substance and was over-priced
2. The food at the Corte Altavilla was also slightly disappointing after our experience in Monopoli
3. The town and local maps provided by the local agent were utterly useless. Google was much better! They also didn't sometimes tally with the Headwater accurate directions
This experience allowed us to see the delights of Puglia at our leisure. The route took us through the most beautiful countryside and was made perfect with the excellent food, wine and accommodation
Marvellous trip. Good that you arranged no rain and temperatures of 32 degrees
Good with one serious caveat below
We have just had a wonderful week cycling in Puglia with Headwater. We would highly recommend going in late April/May as the countryside was covered in wild flowers and the weather was perfect for cycling at around 18C. The bikes were just right for the routes which are all on roads. Most roads are quiet but some were busier than I was expecting especially coming into the towns but the Italian drivers were surprisingly deferential and careful around cyclists. The hotels chosen by Headwater were all excellent. All the evening meals we had were delicious, both those provided and those we found ourselves. Not one disappointing lunch or dinner in the whole week! Some of the route instructions need clarification and personally I would have preferred them to be a bit shorter but overall an excellent weeks holiday. I'm sure we will be booking again with Headwater next year.
We loved this holiday. Dave provided comprehensive information on the routes and accommodation at our initial briefing, and could not have been more helpful. He also gave us lots of background information to help us make the most out of our holiday. Puglia is a beautiful area ideal for cycling, and the hotels (which were all excellent) all had very different characters, which added extra interest to the holiday.
Excellent cycling on wonderful bikes. Tony and Ludmilla were fantastically helpful and we were especially grateful that Tony picked us up from not the usual collection point. The notes were perfect and we were very lucky with the weather. The suggestions for rest days were also very good. Hotels all fine, especially Memmo. Pedralva rooms could do with better heating and much better lighting but the bar and restaurant areas were very good . Food at Pedralva was excellent. Would definitely recommend the holiday and commend highly Tony and Ludmilla who definitely had a 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude and who clearly enjoy their roles. Thank you very much.
Seamless from start to finish with excellent opportunities to explore and relax in equal measure.
An absolutely fantastic holiday - you see things on a bike that you wouldn't normally see - birds, flora and fauna and of course local villages with delightful local Portuguese people
We had a wonderful holiday and will have plenty of fond memories and photo's. It was a nice mix of exercise,visiting some lovely cities and villages and relaxation.The beauty about cycling is that you get time to appreciate the views, the Tuscan countryside is absolutely amazing. Our reps were extremely pleasant and helpful which went a long way towards our holiday enjoyment. We would definitely do another cycling holiday or even a walking one, but would not want to cycle on another Strada Bianca! It was a very well organised holiday from start to finish. Thank-you Headwater
Excellent apart from Hotel Meson Castilla is in the middle of the University area and can be very noisy until early hours of the morning
Well organised holiday. Lots of places to visit and experience as a result of thoughtful planning. Good, comfortable accommodation and food.
The cycling was challenging, much more difficult than we expected from the rating. We would not have made it without the help and assistance from the reps Katy and Jim. They were excellent. There were downhill parts of the route that were dangerous for moderate cyclists. I know the area is hilly, however some of the climbing was more akin to a cycling race than a holiday.
We especially appreciated the well-chosen routes through beautiful countryside on little roads with little traffic. A highlight is the long downhills we enjoyed from ridges to river level.
Great dinners, basic breakfasts (although there were always delicious cakes).
This was our first time with Headwater and the impressive, friendly and efficient service, together with very good hotels in a variety of beautuful locations, ensured our total enjoyment. The routes suggested were good and we had the option of extending our rides (in particular an extension to the coastal ride on Day 1). A slight criticism would be that the directions could be clearer and presented in specific instructional order rather than paragraph narratives; we were not sure that anyone had actually cycled these routes 'blind' and thus we made some mistakes. neverthelessall rides were completed successfully. Puglia is something of a gem and the programme ensure that we enjoyed a full flavour of its varied geography and history. We would have no hesitation in booking another of your holidays and thank you for such a pleasureable experience.
The scenery is spectacular - typical Tuscany -but beware the cycling is not for the inexperienced. The region is hilly and you do cycle on some busy roads. Good location for visits to Sienna and other famous hill top villages We very much enjoyed the holiday
A great area with varied cycling and a relaxing base. Sarah was very helpful with advice on alternative routes.
The holiday satisfaction, accommodation and value would all have ranked 'excellent' had it not been for the experience on nights 4 & 5. We did not aloow that to impinge on our overall enjoyment, but it was annoying and frustrating at the time.
The whole holiday exceeded our expectations. Thank you. We will travel with you again.
Dear Mr Aries,
Thank you for your lovely feedback, we were pleased to see you enjoyed your holiday in Croatia.
We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
We are not regular cyclists and this was our group's (6 of us) first experience of a cycling holiday and of using Headwater.
The organisation was very good and the suggestion of Puglia for this adventure was first class.
We had excellent weather to enjoy lovely countryside and well chosen locations and accommodation.
A most enjoyable holiday.However I think that it should be graded as a 3 bike holiday or 2++ at least. the cycling on the last day was extremely challenging-- we chose to go via Dogliani.
Headwater take the headache out of arranging your holiday all you have to do is turn up and enjoy.
The holiday was fantastic, better than expected. Hotels, food, wine, weather all perfect, with great cycling routes on very quiet roads.
The views were to die for, and the hills a challenge but rewarded with the downward ride on the other side.
Would love to do it all again.
A lovely blend of activity and relaxation, plenty to see and do in the Catalonian region, congenial fellow travellers and good back up system for emergencies.
Beautiful countryside, tough cycling you would need to do some cycling at home prior to a 2 bike plus. We feel the hotels are much more cosmopolitan than in the past. Whilst they are of a very good standard we miss the more authentic accommodation with more local traditionally prepared food and eating together as a group.
My husband found the food at Relais della Rovere disappointing.
I found cycling in Piemonte quite challenging. I did the Undiscovered Provence and also the Umbria cycling trips last year, and I would say I found Piemonte a notch more difficult, at least subjectively (I reviewed my cycling computer data, and Provence was actually much more climbing). It may be because there were very few flat spots, the hills were quite relentless and the warmth and humidity were quite high on several days.
Piemonte had the best food and hotels of the three itineraries I mentioned, while Provence had the better scenery and riding terrain variety (but much poorer hotels and food). Umbria was probably the best compromise of food and hotel quality and terrain variety.
A very easy, relaxing and stimulating holiday. At times we would have liked to ride slightly longer distances, but accept that the intermediate hotels were all, in their different ways good.
All 5 of us had an excellent hoiliday ,Thank you.
One possible improvement- the last day's 'Directions' (Porec to Novigrad) were much simpler to follow than the other days' , because they used the local cycle route signs as reference points ; but there had been cycle route signs all along the way on previous days - they just were not mentioned.
Hugely enjoyable, a great adventure on an achievable scale.
Definately worth a try and nice varied holiday. It was good to experience a different part of Italy. Whilst for us it doesn't quite match up to the scenary of home and other parts of Italy such asTuscany and Umbria, it has its own charm. Our cycling route took in a good mix of the coast, the coastal planes and the plateau and some lovely little towns. The cycle down from Alberobello was lush. As we live in God's own countyclose to the Yorkshitre Dales all the miles of dry stone walling made us feel quite at home. Luckily we don't have anywhere near the problems the Italian's have with roadside litter and fly tipping. It's a real shame. However, it's not all like that by any means. It certainly isn't something in Headwater's control as isn't the weather, which was indifferent but we managed not to get wet whilst riding, which was good and we did see some sun - just thought it might have been a bit better in early September, but your in the lap of the gods . There's some fantastic old olive vines throwing up some weird and wonderful trunk shapes to feast your eyes on. We saw very few animals despite there been a plentiful array of meat on the evening meal menus. The people we met from Southern Visions your local agent were all very friendly and they provided an excellent service. Manopoli was a wonderful place to start and the Palazzo Indelli a nice little hotel right in the thick of the old historic quarter in a lovely little square, which came alive at night, and close to the waterfront with its fortifications and castle. Worth doing the extra short loop on the first day if you want a bit of fish for lunch. Corte Altavilla was a nice little hotel also and well located just off the square by the cathedral and near the castle in Conservano. I just thought the hotel restaurant on the top floor lacked a bit of atmosphere, but we were only there for one night, so no great shakes. This hotel looked to have a good spa, but it was fully booked, so if you want to partake best to book in advance. Staying in the Truli house was an experience, as were the bangs on the head I gave myself on the low doorways! However, previous reviews on your website weren't wrong that you had saved the best until last - the Masseria Salamina. I dont think I've ever felt so relaxed so quickly on arrival at a hotel and I've stayed at many. We were so pleased that after reading the other reviews we'd opted for another night. In fact if we went back and did this trip again I'd be looking to rejig things to stay in Arerobello and the Trulli House for just 1 night instead of 2 and have a further night at Masseria Salamina. What a lovely place. There's opportunities for those who want to mix cycling with a bit of train travel with the bikes, such as the round journey from Alberobello where we actually chose in the end to take the train back from Marta Franca. Be aware Italian drivers seem to like to honk their horns I guess to tell you they are coming even though you've already heard them. Overall a very pleasurable experience well worth a go.
Really excellent trip. Cycling was great and not too strenuous although cycling every day a reasonable distance. Beautiful scenery passing through coastal areas with shimmering sea and quiet coves, on to endless olive groves with not a person in sight. The Puglia towns are delightful in character. Hotels are undoubtedly excellent especially Masseria Salamina (a gem - what a location, luxurious pool area, fabulous dinners) and Trulli stay was also a delight, with very friendly but not intrusive staff. The cycling is all on surfaced roads which means that the provided bikes were more sporty and made cycling easier (lighter frame, thinner tyres, gearing better, no mudguards or bell). Southern visions, your local partners, were really helpful - we were travelling on to Dubrovnik by ferry and the transfer driver spent quite some time locating the left luggage for us, which would have been impossible for us without good Italian. Thus was really appreciated as we were able to relax in Bari for the day. Finally the Spa in a Corte Altavilla was a great bonus - each of us had a well-earned massage from Andreas after steam room and soaking in the hot tub. Weather was excellent (iPhone weather suggests cloudy and thunder storms but neither was accurate - sunshine daily in mid to late September.
Interesting and enjoyable. Pleasantly surprised by high standard of hotels and food!
Lake Konstanz is a lovely location. The cycling is mostly very easy and having two-day stops provide an opportunity to explore around each town.
Another great cycling holiday. Thoroughly enjoyed our trip along the Danube. Cycling just at the right level of effort. Food grew, people great. Best organised cycling holiday so far.
Excellent holiday overall, enhanced by a good mix of 4 couples in our group. BUT the performance of your reps was very poor in terms of availability and understanding of our needs.
The first couple of days was through fairly uninteresting landscape. Thereafter it was fine but not outstanding. The headwater format is generally constant, but on this occasion we had no representative. It didn't really matter, but first timers could find this difficult.
Puglia as a region is over-hyped. You will mainly be cycling along dusty roads through olive trees. The southern Italian towns have very messy litter strewn outskirts with disused factories and omnipresent graffiti but once you get to the centres you will find lovely old walled towns with stone pavements - completely closed as you are most likely to arrive in the middle of the afternoon siesta!
you did ask!!
We celebrated our wedding anniversary with this holiday. Overall we had a wonderful experience despite the unseasonably wet weather in Apuglia this September. We flew independently and organised ourselves 2 days in Lecce which we would recommend. We arrived in Monopoli by train and walked to the hotel - from there on we were welcomed and looked after by Southern Vision rep Davide who was extremely informative. We were a bit concerned that we would end up on a group tour but the other headwater guests were lovely and everyone had their own plans and did their own thing. The cycling was just the right level for us, the hotels great! The inclusive food was very good standard and elsewhere we did not have one course of food that was not delicious! Highlights were the pretty town squares, the Esspressini, the Vongole, the Negramero wine, the sea food at Savelletri, the afternoons lazily cycling through olive groves, the quiet routes and the friendly people of Southern Italy. When we arrived at Bari airport with the wrong passports with 50 minutes before the gate closed, Southern Vision contacted Salamina, and then the young Boss Phillipo (apologies for spelling) broke the land speed record, and every level of service and commitment to get our passports to us! while the Southern Vision team worked on a backup plan the accommodate us and rearrange flights - All in under 45 minutes! We made our flight, sweating, tired, but very happy that we had chosen Headwater for a great fun way to celebrate.
What a wonderful holiday! We thoroughly enjoyed it. Regarding the hills - yes, they're steep, but the bikes were perfectly maintained (thanks, Esme!) and the overall distances aren't that long, so I (reasonably fit but not a great cyclist, had probably been out 10 times this year previously and in Hertfordshire so hardly hilly) found them perfectly doable, and certainly easier than I had feared from reading earlier reviews. We did all the tougher options and the amount of cycling was just hard enough to give a sense of achievement/work up an appetite for the next feast! Personally, I enjoyed the challenge of the hills and the wonderful views at the tops! Having said that, if you haven't been on a bike in years/aren't generally active, this might not be the holiday for you.
Hotels were all lovely; restaurants all very good and the majority truly excellent. Spa facilities at Villa d'Amelia were particularly good.
We found plenty to fill the non-cycling days, sometimes on foot and sometimes by bike. Almost always there were local walks (e.g. on noticeboards in the town centre and signposted from there) which we enjoyed.
Overall a hugely enjoyable and memorable holiday!
Excellent holiday, very well organised. Will definitely take another holiday with headwater
A special thank you to the reps Kate and Jim Illingworth who went far over and above there duty to make our holiday outstanding
A special thank you to headwater for the 2 bottles of wine we received for our 30th wedding anniversary
Thank you all
Excellent! Not a cheap holiday, but worth every penny. Good hotels, excellent food. Bikes were good. Friendly helpful service from the reps who went out of their way to meet the needs of individual guests.
Great location for biking, loads of marked routes, do go to the local tourist office and get the leaflet which gives all local cycle routes for that area, and use these whenever you can. Great hotels, with friendly staff, the locations vary but all interesting, our input to Headwater would be that the hotels need to be very good to make these holidays value for money. Good bikes which were well up to the local cycle routes! Do swim whenever you can as the sea was fabulous, and warm!
Overall great holiday. Cycling excellent. Lovely scenery and great condition of cycle paths. Some of hotels were disappointing in certain aspects - no tea/coffee; old, tired bathrooms with no bath; small room however usually made up with friendly service and excellent food. Friedrichschafen is not a very attractive town - Lindhau might be a better option. Hotel Weisses Kreuz the favourite hotel - great sized room, comfortable bed and pillows and great bathroom.
We felt disappointed as there was no personal service, the Donnau company just gave us bikes without help and tried to palm of bald tyres and broken lights, luckily we insisted they change the bikes to our satisfaction but if this had been a couple who had never taken a Headwater bike holiday I would feel very sorry for them. We were very disappointed that we saw no one representing Headwater no welcome meeting as described in the literature. We enjoyed the holiday but certainly rated it as the least enjoyable out of the previous 3 trips. Cycling good, the free days poor, no suggestions of bike excursions no information found in english. No one to talk to about trips. St Gallons not that special the hand written medieval books in German advised in broshure not that exciting. The food described as 4 courses were very limited with minimal choice and 2 of the hotels were really poor.
We enjoyed the holiday, and the hotels and their service were generally very good or excellent, apart from at the Hotel Donauschlinge, where the staff were not as friendly and we felt they hurried our evening meal, bringing the second course before we had finished the first! In our view, the Hotel Zur Post in Melk was by far the most efficient, with the most helpful staff. The Steigenberger in Krems, although a very nice hotel, had less character (much more a standard 'chain' hotel) and our table in the dining room was tucked away in a rather gloomy corner, rather than the main restaurant – unfortunately the weather was not good enough for us to have a table on the terrace. We were impressed by Greenways Travel, who were very efficient and prompt about delivering our bikes, transporting us from Linz to Grein and then collecting the bikes at the end. They also provided a mobile phone for us to contact them if we needed to. We were unprepared for quite how flat the ride would be, and with hindsight should perhaps have opted for something a little more challenging. I think we expected it to be more like the Moselle ride, which we did with Headwater a few years ago and which rolled up and down a little – our 'best bit' on this holiday was therefore the ride from Melk to Krems through the Wachau, which was not totally flat.
Not sure - with 6 of us booking together (ie a lot of custom for Headwater) it would have been much more helpful if someone in head office had thought through our travelling requirements more carefully. The girl who took the booking always said that we could fly on Friday or Sunday, but did not explain the implications of choosing the Friday in terms of extra travel problems to and from Munich, nor at the outset of the cost implications. The extra costs crept in as the booking progressed - as full time workers it was easier to just carry on with the booking than say hang on, why weren't all these extra costs explained before we started this process (room supplements, transfers, extra prices for flight because a busy weekend (did the UK sales rep explore whether the Sunday departure would have been cheaper for us, for instance - I think not). We also thought that Headwater should have had another rep out there in Piedmont - Martha and Esme could not help us out on non cycling days as they were on airport runs .... but with a holiday of this quality, there should be someone available at all times.. I would also add that I have been on a number of other holidays with cycling companies - more down market - but the experience and knowledge of the rep and mechanic has far outweighed the knowledge and experience of Esme and Martha; they did nothing wrong, but did not add the type of spark to the holiday a good rep can.
The daily notes explaining the route would have benefitted enormously from a proper map - with other companies we have been given laminated copies of the map giving all the local details - your sketches together with the provided maps were not easy to interpret. We suspected they needed a bit of an update - gradient outlines for example would help - we knew it would not be easy but the hills did seem to dominate!
We probably will go with Headwater again on account of the quality of the hotels, but will ask a lot more questions next time about exactly what is involved and what help will be available.
We did have a good time, but a lot of niggles that ought to have been sorted. I have never complained before about a holiday .....
Outstanding experience in terms of cycling, locations chosen, landscapes and scenery, cultural activities and overall enjoyment.
This was our first holiday with Headwater and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The cycling was challenging and we would advised others choosing this holiday to be prepared for the 'undulations' also known as long, steep hills! However, saying that if you are of a competitive nature they only added to the enjoyment when you reach the top. On the whole the accommodation was fantastic especially the Relais della Rovere where nothing was too much trouble and Le Renaie whose family atmosphere was lovely. We're now looking forward to choosing from next year's brochure - roll on next summer!
Wonderful - just what we were after
We enjoyed another quality holiday with Headwater. This area of Italy is very pretty, ideal for gentle cycling and sightseeing. All of the hotels provided excellent food, wine and accomodation.
Brilliant family adventure: Cycling through beautiful scenery from beaches, through paddy fields, rolling countryside and little medieval villages and complemented by a range of hotels-2 with gastronomic cuisine and the third giving the opportunity to enjoy eating out in the small seaside town of Calella.
our third Headwater holiday. Set dinners in the hotels often poor and we are really fed up with this. It is not a cheap holiday but we seem to get the dregs of the food. Our best meals were out in independent restaurants. On the first night when Pallatzo Indelli couldn't feed us they sent us out for a wonderful simple fresh supper at a restaurant. Dinner with them the second night was DISGUSTING. We felt like the poor relations.
Dear Mrs Alexander, Thank you for your constructive feedback, We were sorry to see that you were disappointed with the standard of meals served at some of the restaurants on this holiday . We have discussed your comments with our local suppliers and from this some new menus have been put into place with more choices available. Whilst the overall feedback for this holiday is positive, we realise we cannot afford to let our standard slip and thank you for bringing these points to our attention. We hope that by making these small changes our customers will continue to enjoy this lovely area of Italy.
Headwater Customer Service team
Good family fun
We had a wonderful holiday with Headwater. The hotels and food were excellent. The scenery is stunning because the area is hilly. (You definitely need to have done some recent cycling and be reasonably fit.) A great holiday for food and wine enthusiasts. We were planning our next Headwater trip on the flight back!
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday the excellent hotels and food were welcome relief at the end of a challenging day's cycling. Beautiful countryside and villages to visit on route.
Excellent service from Kate and Jim starting with a postcard before hand saying that they were looking forward to meeting us. Excellent combination of sight seeing and cycling
it was very interesting, enjoyed the countryside, the people especial. the l' Albara family met some very good people and cycled with some . Pleasantly different
Cycling this route was very easy. The paths were almost all off-road, or well separated from the traffic, on good quality cycle paths, even in the towns and cities we visited. Hardly any inclines on the whole route, with only one where we had to get off and push. The bikes were in excellent condition and ideally suited to the task. The hotels were all of a very good standard and well located. Lake Constance is very scenic and has a relaxed holiday feel to it, no matter where you are around its periphery, with countless places to stop and eat/drink/admire the view. Overall, a very enjoyable holiday and one of the best we have done with Headwater.
The route notes were clearly wrong in places (I made this point two yearsago!) and gave the impression of being written by someone who had not cycled the whole route.
to start on a negative we did not like the evening meal voucher facillity, the food offered on this fixed 4 course meal option wasn,t to our liking,
we would have preferred an allowance for our evening meal to choose of the al a carte menu, the quality of the fixed four course meal was rather bland and most salad and main courses were heavily caked in sauces, we felt like second class guests when other guests not on a cycling holiday had the choice of other menus and were choosing more appetising dishes, although we read in your small print that we could have requested this option it was never offered at any of the hotels,
the welcome at the first hotel was poor, the girl who handed out the documents could speak very little english so communications were a problem leading to a mix up of when the bikes could be collected. also the manager on duty that day was very surly so our first day didn.t get off to the best of starts,
thank fully though there were plenty of plus points!!
the team who sorted the bikes and transfer of luggage were exellent, Lydia and Sylvester were superb and a credit to the company.
the route notes were ok but we found on the first day that we were having to stop too many times so from day two we found it much easier to just follow the bycycle signs which kept you more or less on the right route and allowed for more enjoyable touring without the stops.
We really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly book with you again.
It would be more enjoyable though if you could give some thought to the meal situation as we were not the only ones to raise the above point.
Overall though we would give the holiday 10/10
thank you paul and pam owens
You really get to know a country on a bike - the real people, the flora and fauna, food and customs. Eat like a king and not feel guilty!
You have to accept some discomfort - mosquitos, missing/faulty air conditioning, rain showers, bikes with no suspension at all, miss the odd lunch, but it's got to be better than plonked next to a pool reading a book, and cramming another meal in.
Not sure you'd want to publish these comments though!
Seriously, we enjoyed our holiday, and look forward to our next one - maybe Denmark?
A very rewarding type of holiday. A very good way to get insight into a particular region.
People can book with confidence as the description in the Headwater booklet is an accurate description of the experience on offer. Sarah, our holiday rep, was very friendly and helpful. Our accommodation was very good, lovely location and great food. However, as a family group of between ages 10 and 67, we did feel that eating our dinner at 8.00 pm was far too late and we would have appreciated the availability of tea-making facilities in our rooms.
We had a fabulous cycling trip in this beautiful part of Italy. The accommodations were lovely and the dinners ranged from very good to excellent. The cycling was challenging at times, but not unmanageable. As usual, the Headwater bikes were great and the local reps were very helpful. The people in this region are very friendly and there were lots of opportunities to do wine and grappa tastings. This was our 4th Headwater trip and we are already planning the next one.
Overall a superb holiday, occasional cyclist managed route, good accommodation, good route and other notes. Good access to other locations for tourist visiting.
Excellent local rep.
Absolutely perfect in every way. The office staff at Headwater recommended this holiday to us when we couldn't get the accommodation for our chosen holiday (Austrian Lakes). We are so grateful for her recommendation as it was a wonderful holiday. The bikes were superb and all the routes were incredibly safe and bike friendly with most of the cycling being on dedicated cycle tracks. Bliss!
The holiday was perfect. The area, the hotels and the activities were just what we wanted from a holiday. This was one of the best Headwater holiday that we have been on. We were disappointed last year with The Jura but this holiday has given faith in Headwater again
The perfect holiday for the more active.
The rep, Erhard, was the best we have ever had and produced lots of good information and even mobile phones for emergency use (not needed).
The Schlogen hotel has the most dramatic location on a bend in the river that you can imagine, and it is worth the tough climb up the hill behind to view it from the top.
Vienna is a big city in every sense with lots of grand buildings to see, and the trams make them very accessible, which we discovered thanks to the superb staff on the hotel recepion who know their town well.
The route down the Danube is beautiful and ever changing and full of interest.
The holiday was a lovely mixture of fabulous scenery, challenging cycling and good food and wine. Your website does have some comments about the grading of the cycling, we did all the longest routes and although there were some steep hills the overall length of the routes was quite short so we agreed with the grading.
Thoroughly enjoyable adventure for all ages and the over 65s! Excellent organisation and help from travel arrangements tailored to our needs to hotel accommodation.
Excellent holiday - we look forward to coming again. Would like to see longer holidays offered - 14 days plus.
Enjoyed Blue Book comments but we were the first to make a comment this year. (Hotel Halm had never heard of the Blue Book!)
This was our sixth Headwater Cycling Holiday and every bit as good as the others. Croatia is lovely place for cycling, not too strenuous.. The hotels were all excellent and well situated. Eating out was easy and good value. The towns and villages were all interesting places especially The Roman ruins in Pula and the round stone shepherds shelters were a highlight. We had time for two enjoyable boat trips.
A very well organised holiday with excellent travel arrangements and a warm welcome from rep and hosts.
This was our third holiday with Headwater and as always everything was great, the guides, accommodation, trip routes, bikes, excellent and memorable holiday
Tuscany is wonderful. Beautiful countryside and enchanting hilltop towns. However the cycling routes are long and steep, and hard work in the very high temperatures we experienced. It's a glorious holiday if you're fit!
The holiday was very enjoyable and the suggested places to visit/eat and short town guides were very helpful. The food in this part of Italy was amazing and there was a lovely mix of Coast and hills.
This was a fantastic hotel. The best hotel was in montignac, however the worst eating experience was in motignac at the terrace restaurant next to the building site of lascaux 4. In our opinion you should consider foregoing the 'gastronomic title' for one night and let your customers eat at one of the many riverside restaurants and save the taxi fare and let them upgrade their meal with the difference.
Excellent route through the countryside beautiful but the cycling can be very challenging at times particularly if it is very hot.
A solitary bat swinging from the arched roof of an underground Marmini Etruscan tomb. Lizards posing on sun bleached steps or rustling through the undergrowth as you cycle past. The call of frogs, the flash of jays. An abundance of flowers, butterflies, insects and birds and stunning panoramic views. Loads of local colour and culture. Pasta, gnocchi, pecorino cheese with a honey and pine nut dip, ricotta cheesecake, pizza al taglio, gelato. Buongiornos and waves from Italian cyclists. Enjoy those downhill whizzes because there are also some climbs - but you will survive to tell the tale!
We travelled to Passau via Munich Airport followed by an over 3-hour journey by bus to Freising station, train to Passau and taxi to the hotel. We purchased on-line a Bayern-Ticket for 27 Euros for 2 people which included both the bus and train journeys. We are both in our late sixties and found the cycling easy, although adjustments had to be made for the weather. It rained on the first day but after that the weather was hot and sunny necessitating early starts. The cycle paths were clearly signed so it was easy to follow the route and German and Austrian drivers are courteous to cyclists so cycling in towns was not a problem. The hotels were varied and well chosen and near the main attractions, the only exception being the one in Krems which was up a steep hill, but the hotel's facilities make the climb worthwhile. The instructions suggested going by train from Ottensheim to Linz but the cycle path was well separated from the busy road so cycling to Linz was not a problem. Similarly, the instructions suggest travelling by train in to Vienna but the cycle route was easy and the graffiti no worse than you find on the outskirts of most cities and it cheered up the drab concrete walls even though most of it was not up to the standard of Banksy. The food provided by the hotels was generally good and the hotels were near to restaurants when evening meals were not provided.
Easy cycling - with options to reduce length every day (only used once when one person unwell) - hotels in interesting or beautiful locations with plenty to see - good white wine area with everywhere having choice of wines by the glass (125ml) at reasonable prices.
Cycling quite tough; should be rated Two-Bike +. Landscape lovely but little variation. Rest days can be hard to fill. Accommodation good, breakfasts mostly wonderful.
To get the most enjoyment out of this holiday one needs to build up cycling strength and stamina as there were some long rides with hills which needed a lot of energy, particularly for my age group (65+). Fortunately I had been doing this for 4 months so it was fine. This was not a problem for my 25 year old daughter. The cycle paths were a bit challenging as the surface was sharp loose stones and it was necessary to get off the bikes and walk on many occasions.
Croatia is beautiful and the weather was perfect - swimming was possible every day. This is a great way to experience a country up close and get to places most tourists cannot.
This was our 13th consecutive year of cycling holidays with Headwater and was one of the best. This was partly because the weather was so good but mainly because the Veneto is such a lovely area for cycling and hoidaying. The food at all hotels was excellent and the local wines are not only excellent but cheap.
This must have been 15th Headwater holiday for me and I have no complains about any of them. My late husband and I have used two other companies in the past (one in Germany and one in France) but always came back to Headwater. The formula is excellent (rest day between cycling or walking), the hotels are always good and very often really excellent. The reps are very helpful. You know someone else has done the background work researching for suitable roads to cycle and hotels to stay, yet it feels like an adventure as you have to find your way from one hotel to the other. I have recommended Headwater for several of my friends looking for active holidays and hope I will do many more myself in the future.
We have taken several holidays with Headwater mainly in France and have always enjoyed them,but this one in Croatia comes top.Lovely countryside, many wild flowers to admire, super accommodation and very friendly people.
Good fun helped by good weather, hotels, food and wine.
Our stay in Monopoli was wonderful and the hotel was ideal - got a little lost on our way back on the first cycle ride as we mis-counted some of the 'Y' turns. Enjoyed the cycle rides along the side roads - pretty wild flowers in May.
L'Albara was wonderful and accommodated our dietary requirements (vegan) very well - every course had a vegan version and the quality of the food was the best we've had.
Katie and Jim looked after all our needs and we are grateful to them for making our holiday work. We found the cycling very tough, but were able to switch to the walking holiday with their help. We probably over estimated our ability but the grading of the holiday was a little misleading to us. Some of the other guests agreed that they had found it tougher than they had expected. Overall, the holiday was enjoyable and we would use Headwater Holidays again.
Because of our ages (I am 80, my wife is 78) we decided not to do the Puglia trip on bikes but by car. This worked very well. The only problem was the very narrow streets and difficulty in finding the way in Monopoli. Doing it by car meant we had more time to explore the places where we stayed and time to drive to Lecce. We thought that Masseria Salamina would be a very good base for anyone wishing to explore Puglia by car. It is a lovely hotel, easy to find and in a good location for visiting other interesting places in that area. The sea food restaurants on the coast are excellent, especially one at La Forcatella. The remains of the Roman town and port at Egnazia and the museum are very intersting.
A wonderfully authentic Puglian expeience -great locations, countryside, food, wine & cycling
We decided to book our own direct flights with BA instead of using the advertised Alitalia via Milan flights. The timings don't differ significantly and Headwater were happy to arrange non standard transfers at no extra cost. The standard of accommodation throughout the trip was of a high standard. We really enjoyed the stay in the Trulli house and were pleasantly surprised to be given a Trulli suite with a small patio garden! The highlight however was our stay in the Masseria Salamina. On booking we upgraded to a garden suite but on arrival we were delighted to be allocated the luxury suite complete with private balcony and sea views. We were made to feel really welcome by the family and the food was excellent. Simple, fresh and plentiful with much of it coming from their own farm.
The map of the area is only good for an overview but the route notes and briefing were excellent and at no point did we stray off route. Some of the roads (as has been mentioned before) are in a poor condition but this did not detract from the enjoyment of the cycling.
Another enjoyable, well organised and well supported holiday from Headwater. The next one is already booked!
Surprisingly quiet routes, wonderful scenery and sunshine, excellent food. Pacing suited us with a day's cycling followed by hiking on our rest days. Pedralva was a highlight in all respects from accommodation and surroundings to food.
Excellent Holiday and very knowledgeable and helpful Representative.
A great place for a cycling holiday. The routes were good and varied.
Cycling through fantastic scenery in mimosa eucalyptus pine scented warm air within a day of leaving flood & storm ravaged UK - wonderful. Tony & Ludmilla are great hosts. Their warm welcome quickly overcame the effects of a long laborious day long journey via Lisbon - Faro & taxi halves the travel time at little if any overall extra cost. The 2 hotels we stayed in are 2 of the best we've had in 20yrs of Headwater holidays. However Pedralva - it no doubt has it's charms but is basically self catering units more suited to summer use. Compared to our 2 previous stops the welcome here was 'grumpy' & our room was cold gloomy & oppressive - more like a cell with 2 v small windows looking straight out at other houses across narrow streets at eye level so no privacy in the bedroom or sitting area without closing little shutters making it even gloomier. The shower room was unheated & there was no hair dryer. A Youth Hostel style kitchen dominated our sitting area - a dirty hot plate, a dustpan & brush in full view as also a slop bucket (ugh) & the upmarket 'coffee making facilities' were of no practical use as no pods - a simple kettle would be much better & more welcoming. The swimming pool is outdoors & was not available so no 'relaxing by the pool' & given the cold location of Pedralva I doubt would be for many of the Headwater months. I was unable to access wifi on my iPad at the designated spot in Reception - I did on the 2nd night with some perseverance find a tiny area in the Bar where I could get a signal. Ah - the Bar! & it's tender & the food he serves in the evenings are the outstanding highlight of Pedralva - make the most of it - the breakfasts are fairly meagre. We felt Pedralva fell short on many of the facilities promised in the Headwater description.
We were pleasantly surprised by the professional way everything was handled by office staff. The reps who were new to the area were so helpful and were even working on new tracks as alternatives the night before we would use them. It was a lovely relaxing holiday with just the right amount of activity,also the pleasant weather for time of the year helped.
An excellent holiday with the usual high standards of food, accommodation and planning.
Lovely holiday. Headwater made all it very easy. Leisurely cycling - nice mixture of exercise and relaxation. Excellent food and accommodation.
Excellent organisation and welcome / support from local Headwater reps. Interesting terrain and wildlife.
This area of Italy proved to be lovely for cycling. Most of the routes were along very quiet lanes lined with dry stone walls, along side olive groves and vineyards. Staying in a Trulli in Alberrobello was a delightful experience, so much so that we wish we had been able to book an extra night: we didn't cycle on the middle day as we wanted to look round the town.
We had a great holiday. The children thoroughly enjoyed the cycling, the scenery was beautiful, plenty of medieval villages to stop end explore and the hotels en route were great. We were extremely lucky with the weather - hot and sunny every day, so that we could enjoy the hotel pools at the end of each day. A brilliant family holiday.
We normally travel with our own bikes and a map, so this holiday was a wonderful luxury. Given the number of small back roads, I think we would have struggled to find such a good route on our own. The hotels were all very comfortable, friendly and welcoming and the countryside was beautiful. We went in September and the temperature was ideal both for cycling and for relaxing on the beach. On the evidence of this holiday we are keen to return and see some more of Croatia.
I have completed your feedback form but you have got one of the hotels listed incorrect. We did not stay at Hotel Rheinfels as they did not have any available rooms. We stayed at Hotel Hoeri am Bodensee and my comments are obviously about that hotel. Apparently every year on that weekend there is a conference in Stein am Rhein which takes over all hotel rooms so this should be noted for future reference. My bike was stolen from outside Hotel Halm. The lock up arrangements for the bikes at that hotel were not adequate and these need to be improved. However the staff who helped me were brilliant and it was all sorted out very quickly.
This was a really excellent holiday despite the cycling being a little harder than expected. The food throughout was outstanding. Keith and Claire were friendly and helpful giving excellent advice and support.
Piedmont is a very attractive area and not at all 'touristy'. It is, however, much hillier than we expected from brochure description, and though the climbs were interesting at times, the rewards were the views from the top and the descents!
The accommodation was excellent in every respect, the hotel and restaurant staff almost invariably very welcoming and helpful and the food and wines were generally very good. Special mention to the Osteria Dai Cateri in Monforte d'Alba for the best dinner of the holiday but most of the others were extremely good. Moda again in Monforte d'Alba was only average and Verde Rama in Castiglione Tinella was a bit disappointing; they gave us a restricted '?Headwater' menu and several of the dishes served were poor. I think all the other restaurants gave us a choice from their a la carte menus.
This is our third Headwater holiday and the bikes provided were the worst. The bikes were fairly basic and slightly heavy hybrids compared with what the Chain Gang gave us last year but they were poorly maintained and my bike was unsafe. My wife's bike's handlebars weren't straight and she couldn't get into the lowest gear (not handy in hilly terrain!). My bike's gears were also not set up corrrectly but I was able to sort that myself, but the bike felt unsteady on corners. Eventually it started creaking loudly going up hills and my wife observed the rear wheel wobble especially on corners. I've a little experience in bike maintenance and the problem seemed to be due to slack spokes that needed tensioned. Marc brought out, the following morning, a replacement wheel taken from another bike and this seemed ok during a quick test in the hotel's garage but after a few yards with panniers on, ball bearings started falling out of the rear wheel bearing. Unfortunately the reps had gone and as they'd forgotten their mobile, it was some time before I got a replacement bike. This was a Giant and much better than my original Headwater bike, thankfully. If both our bikes had been of this quality, we would have definitely considered another Headwater holiday and recommended you to our friends and family.
During the booking process, Headwater arranged the train tickets from Nice to Cuneo and informed me on the phone and in the original invoice, the train departure times and that we would change trains at Breil Sur Roya. When the final invoice arrived, train depature time and station to switch trains at (now Ventimiglia), had been changed. Fortunately I noticed the alterations but I think Headwater should have drawn our attention, specifically, to this, as we might have missed it.
Your local agent organised a great tour through Puglia, linking key sights of interest via lovely quiet back roads where we observed rural life.
A cycling holiday is an adventure. We started in summer weather and ended in cold and rain which did somewhat marr this experience. This was our 6th cycling holiday, and we felt that the route was somewhat artificial. [Our favourite was the Danube, Passau to Vienna, which was a real journey.]
The holiday itinerary was well-planned and took us through a delightful and unfamiliar part of northern Italy. The cycling was leisurely but varied, with opportunities to visit a range of very interesting and attractive places and sights. Sarah's advice and suggestions were excellent, and she dealt promptly with a problem with one of the bikes. Accommodation was very good: we particularly enjoyed our stays at Belvedere Resort ai Colle and at Agriturismo l'Albara (where dining alongside the family made for a great atmosphere). Everyone we met was friendly and helpful, the weather was excellent at this time of year, and the local wine a revelation (unfortunately we were only able to bring back 2 bottles from Gabriella at Agriturismo Il Feudo)!
Great combination of exercise, exploration and recreation.
good mix of cycling and rest days. Profile maps giving an indication of the heights gained and lost would be of interest. We cycled an extra day whilst at H della Rovere, and some information about possible routes might have been useful. In fairness, we hadn't told the reps we intended to do this as it was a last moment decision. Hotel Rovere room 404 was noisy as it was opposite reception and trundling suitcases early and late were noisily intrusive. Don't book this room or ask the hotel to lay down a rubberised pathway... The room was also quite dark.
Reps were excellent and helpful setting up and checking the bikes.. Rattly rear mudguards over the via bianchi and uneven road surfaces needed a bit of first aid. A bike bottle holder on the bike frame would have been nice
Well planned cycling routes with excellent instructions. 2 out of the 3 hotels were excellent. Alan & Linda were extremely helpful throughout the holiday & largely responsible for it running so smoothly.
The holiday was terrific. Lots of wonderful villages, castles, and caves. The biking routes were well planned and very enjoyable. This was our third Headwater Holiday and all of them have been phenomenal. The food was great too, The trip notes were excellent. The bikes were very good bikes. The holiday was not exactly leisurely. If one does just the trips on travel days, it still would not be leisurely due to many tough hills. If you do the optional trips on 'lay over days,' the accumulation can be quite exhausting. However, many of the really great things to see are on 'layover days' - so resting on these days is not really an option. Personally, we enjoyed the level, but agree with others that the level needs to be at least moderate. I would rate this trip as moderate to challenging. The good news is that even if you are not an active cyclist, you can always hop off your bike and push it to the top of the difficult hills - pushing is not as difficult as it might sound. And once you get to the top, it is worth the effort for long rides with great views on quiet roads. The sights Headwater recommends in the notes are perfect! The Headwater reps (Keith and Claire) were very helpful and went out of their way for us.
We were unprepared for the heat or the severity of the hills
nice hotels, gentle cycling and wonderful surroundings....all makes for an enjoyable and relaxing break
On the whole all the hotels exceeded our expectations as did the bikes, which were very good, though I would recommend extra padded cycling shorts.
If you arent going to have lunch at a restaurant en route, buy your provisions early, because everything closes for lunch, we never did work out the closing times, as we always seemed to be on the road. Many of the roads are awful, so those padded shorts will serve you doubly!
The dinners are plentiful and wonderful food. The routes are delightful, mainly on small roads with little traffic. There was only one day which proved to be rather taxing with a lot of ups and downs from Alberobello to Martina Franca. Luggage transportation went without any hiccups and all in all it was a really enjoyable destination to catch the last of the summer warmth.
The local rep provided the MOST EXCELLENT route notes we have ever experienced. The routes allowed us a great taste of both inland and coastal scenery. There are some built up areas on this holiday and we had no difficulty getting through. He also led us most interesting routes through the little towns so we felt we had seen a great deal. He had obviously ridden the rides himself recently as there was no confusion at all over road work issues etc which we have found before.The routes for the 'rest 'days were fantastic although more challenging than the other days! But well worth the effort. He also provided us with the best maintained bikes we have ever experienced - so thank you enormously for that. 2 of the 3 hotels were just wonderful- quite a treat-and of a luxurious nature.
A very good holiday. All the hotels were good and the local reps were fantastic.
Great way to enjoy a weeks holiday with like minded people.Makes keeping fit enjoyable and easy.
Helpful reps and decent kit with good route notes but accommodation and food variable; slightly disappointing overall. 50 euro 'cash back' for dinner in San G when hotel restaurant closed was a bit tight based on what the hotel charged for a 3 course meal (but did mean that we had a good night out in San G and the best meal of the holiday by far!). Cycling tough at times, more road work than expected and would have struggled if it had been in the height of the summer heat but rewarding and some memorable views.
Wonderful cycling holiday with varied days and experiences. The cycling could be easy or more challenging according to the options. The scenery and architecture was amazing, but very few tourists (except Venice)
have spoken to joanne prior to your e mail but conform we thought the holiday was excellent in every respect. bikes were brilliant hotels and food better than expected. the area was fascinating and very unspoilt and great cycling routes.We were dismayed to hear of Ali accident just after our our meeting and hope she recovers quickly and fully because she was really great and helpful and knowledgeable and sensible. One set of directions per cyclist would have been better and advance warning of city taxes in two of the hotels might be wise. Otherwise a really great holiday.
We had a lovely, lovely holiday. The bikes were so good we wanted to run away with them, the food was universally very good and the hotels were pretty good at providing for our vegetarian diets. The breakfast buffets were wonderful - I'm converted to Bircher muesli now. It was easy cycling with excellent route description in a very beautiful part of the world. Who would believe you can have a cycling holiday in Switzerland, Austria, Germany with no hills!
Very good. We have always enjoyed our Headwater holidays.
This was the best Headwater Holiday so far . Almost the entire route was on flat dedicated cycle paths or through quiet country lanes with little or no other traffic. Each day's cycling was easy and on average only about 25 miles. ( my wife and I are OAPs and we managed each day with no problem). The real bonus with this holiday is reaching Vienna at the end of the journey. I would recommend an extra night in Vienna before returning home..
An excellent holiday cycling 285 KM from Passau to Vienna along flat safe routes. The Tulln hotel was a bit basic and the train journey to Stein was a pain but probably necessary. We followed the reps advice and went into Vienna using the island route which avoided the train route suggested. Overall the holiday ticked all the boxes as is usually the case with Headwater. Thanks, we will be back next September with our friends for another adventure!
The outgoing travel was poor as we waited 5hours in Venice for out train as our rep did not have the time to meet us earlier.
We were all very tired having been up since 3 a.m and not arriving at our destination until 5.30p.m. On our return we were offered a coach to take us directly to the airport for an extra cost of 10 euros each forfeiting our return train tickets. Why could this not have been done on the outward journey ad we could have spent a pleasant afternoon around the pool instead of waiting on a station. We used the main Station in Venice not the one of your choice as this one had left luggage facilities and restaurants.
As a holiday it represented poor value for money with poor communication skills on behalf of the hosts ad the area had little variety. The food was fair at best and nothing like we had expected or experienced on previous headwater holidays. Overall not good value.
Overall, very enjoyable with delicious local food and beautiful scenery. The thrilling downhill sections made up for the uphill challenges. Volterra is a gem and a wonderful place to celebrate your cycling achievements on the final night.
Negatives first: Somewhat expensive for the type of holiday which will cause us to carefully evaluate 'rival' companies for next year. The countryside was too similar and the beaches poor unlike the Alsace tour we went on previously which was pleasantly varied with overall better hotels. The trulli experience was not to be recommended, no working air conditioning, light bulbs missing etc... On pointing this out told the air conditioning had been switched off as weather getting cooler ! In fact it could be switched on but did not work. Our friend next door discovered the air conditioning in his house had no plug. The plumber was to be told about the problem and we had a fan so clearly problem was longer standing.
Positives: the hotels were all good and staff helpful in most, the organisation of the tour by Southern Visions was excellent and the Salamina was to be particularly recommended. Weather perfect.
Overall we were happy with holiday but will be more careful over selecting the area we go to next year to ensure variety/interest. That is not the fault of Headwater!
This was an excellent, well designed, well organised holiday with very good back-up from Greenways Travel.
Very well organised. Excellent reps on site. Excellent choice of hotels
This was the best cycling holiday we have been on with Headwater. Excellent cycling, if tough in places, great hotels and beautiful scenery. The water was crystal clear and it is well worth cycling beyond Pula to some excellent secluded beaches. The 4am start at Gatwick was the only downpoint of the holiday - please Headwater put on some more sensible flight times in future.
Great adventure, beautiful country new to us, superb mix of historic hilltop towns, world-class Roman heritage, lovely coast with tempting swimming coves, Italian food with a Viennese twist, red-earth olive groves and vineyards. Be prepared for some VERY rough tracks, thrills and spills, or get off and walk for extended sections. HOT, long days cycling but all very much worth it on arrival at characterful destinations and comfortable lodgings.
Headwater were friendly, efficient and the holiday was well organised throughout with comprehensive directions. Rest days offered the opportunity to put the bikes on the train for part of the tours, or just cycle part of the routes and the hotels were well placed for this and other sightseeing. All in all, a very good holiday was had by all!
After having many successful holidays without problem with Headwater Booking we were surprised to have difficulties getting: the rail return details confirmed; the invoice correct; the correct Reginal booklet sent through (3 tries); and the return transfer was still incorrectly notified to the local representative. Having said that your agents, Greenways' organisation was excellent leading to a successful holiday.
We enjoyed our holiday in Piedmonte a great deal. Accommodation and food etc were excellent. Backup was good too. However, we felt that the cycling difficulty rating as stated (moderate/leisurely) was a little on the optimistic side Having cycled the 'Secrets of San Gemiagno' route last year (moderate), we thought 'Gastronomic Barolo' was significantly more difficult, despite selecting the 'easier' options when there was a choice of route.
Future travellers heading for this holiday via Nice (Easyjet) should note that you will have a 5 hour wait in Nice following the 6 a.m.departure from Gatwick The Castle Hill to the east of the city is pleasant place to spend a few peaceful hours, but had we known that we could have dumped our cases at the station this would have improved the experience.
1. Be prepared for one disappointing hotel amongst the other gems