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.
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
Great holiday. The routes were varied in cycling surface, scenery, difficulty and amenities. The routes passed through spectacular scenery. If you would like to visit Culloden and Cawdor on the last day, you will need to leave yourselves a lot of time. We visited Culloden separately and would have been hard pushed to do it justice if we had visited whilst cycling. We did visit Cawdor Castle where only the gardens were open. If the castle itself had been open we would have been pushed to explore it properly.
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!
We enjoyed the picturesque countryside, quiet lanes, beautiful houses and accommodation, ( keep the curtains closed in Winchcombe, the buses are at window height). There were a couple of steep hills, but most were manageable, and we are not super fit.
All accommodation was comfortable, with variety. Some people will undoubtedly prefer some to others.
We were very lucky with the weather, which was bright and sunny. This would not have been so much fun had it rained continuously, but this is England.
The main road on day 1 was a little scary, cars passing too fast and close on a narrow road. There was very little leeway for pot holes so plenty of concentration was required. Not for children, this route.
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
Excellent holiday with good hotels, great scenery and realistic riding days for the described activity level. The bikes were excellent and comfortable.
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
We spent 5 days cycling with Headwater in Burgundy, through the wine lands and along the canals. Routes very varied and interesting, with excellent directions. Accommodation was first class, with gourmet meals in beautiful restaurants, yet some of our favourite moments were simple al fresco lunches - I would recommend this to any prospective traveller, as a lot of the lunch fare on offer in the villages was relatively poor, totally in contrast to the wonderful evening meals. Load up with wonderful bread, cheese and fruit and you will be very happy come lunchtime! The routes suggested did have some notes on places of interest; in general these are worth considering but some are poor - such as the dilapidated aeroplane museum - a huge disappointment. In contrast, stopping for spontaneous wine tastings was a delight! Bring a swim costume - the hotel at Sainte Sabine is joyous, and bring a smart shirt - at the restaurant on the second night we felt totally under-dressed, yet still very welcome. Do try as many of the wonderful local cheeses as you can - they are delicious! And - don't feel guilty as you can cycle them off the next day! But also, don't forget insect repellant, especially through the wooded sections!
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.
As 4th time travellers with Headwater during the past 11 years we have cycled in France, Italy, Spain and now Portugal. Each holiday has been different to the previous and all very interesting countries and regions. The Algarve Coast has definitely been a spectacular area to visit with the opportunity to experience both the Eastern and Western coastlines all within the 6 day cycling itinerary. From the small beach villages and the city of Lagos with it's Grotto's to the rugged coastal cliffs near Carrapateira and it's well suited surfing haven, we were so glad to have chosen this region for our first visit to the south western region of Portugal. Our choice to usually ride on the off- road optional tracks also made for peaceful cycling through quiet forest trails and back country roads which is always a bonus. We would definitely recommend this cycling holiday and as always the accommodation was excellent.
Tom & Vicki.
The whole trip was excellent and well put together by Headwater giving a new insight into the real Algarve, not just the "touristy" side of the country we typically see, but a great opportunity to explore the real Portugal environment we rarely see. The Ride with GPS system was wonderful. Being slightly hard of hearing and wearing hearing aids, I wondered if I would get enough volume to hear the prompts while cycling, but it worked really well and there was no need for worry. I am 69 and my wife is 67 and we managed the cycling well... the first day had a few more fairly steep sections than anticipated, but we were up to the challenge. Loved it.
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.
This was our first cycling holiday (we are in our seventies) We had the most enjoyable time, meeting up with fellow cyclist from other countries on route
The towns we stayed in and the hotel were all very good. The cycling was almost all on quiet roads. We would certainly like to book another trip. Mary and Tim
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.
An excellent combination of cycling culture and Italian cuisine. The routes are well chosen with good views and interesting places to visit each day. The layers of history and architecture in the hill towns and churches is astonishing. You can see 5 epochs of architecture in an hour. The backdrop of the Appennines in the distance and cycling through olive groves and vineyards in warm weather (20 - 25 deg in mid Sep - one afternoon of rain only). was a pleasure. And we ate and drank extremely well. The choice and richness of food and the Sagrantino grape are a revelation to first timers to Umbria.
We were very well looked after on our first self guided cycling trip with Headwater. There were some small issues with train travel bookings and with our bikes but the local rep Joey was fantastic, contactable any time and extremely helpful. We would definitely go back. Provence was beautiful, and the route interesting. The hills particularly into the villages are pretty steep and it was striking how many folk were using e-bikes which we previously thought of as “cheating” but would definitely consider in the future to make more beautiful hilltop towns more easily accessible. A great holiday
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
Lovely landscapes and comfortable accommodation. Hotels in great locations and Umbrian people are very welcoming. E-bike is a real bonus/must for less active/experienced riders, but care also needed in handling these bikes, as they offer significant power when the battery is activated. Overall this is a beautiful itinerary on immaculately prepared bikes supported by very helpful and responsive local reps.
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.
A memorable experience. Visiting the lovely hilltop villages made so pleasurable with e bikes
Great location. Easy quiet cycling excellent food plenty of interesting places to visit
An enjoyable and unique holiday experience in France. Great accommodation, exceptional food, and easy to follow GPS. The rides were relatively easy, mostly flat, but having some bike fitness beforehand to avoid muscle tiredness and saddle sore will definitely make the experience more enjoyable.
My husband survived ( just) on his flawed e-bike while I on my normal bike had to go really slowly, lots of stopping and starting because of the ap which caused me considerable distress as it was on my husband's hearing-aids so I had no idea what was going on. Give me a good old OS map any day! Other than that we had a lovely time.
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.
We have done 10 Headwater cycling trips but this was the best. Fantastic scenery from start to finish. Very good hotels and easy cycling, mostly downhill on well defined asphalt paths.
Wonderful flat cycling on asphalt cycle paths with great signposting. Hotels generally very good. Great mixture of cycling in pretty mountain valleys and later around a lake. A bit of the cycling was close to motorways but very distinct from them
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!
The overall package was first class. The detail route planning was good, but some omissions of significance did occur. For folk of our age maybe the trip days involving many Chateau visits were a trifle busy. Maybe shorter distances might have helped. The milieu of the Loire was totally immersive; we really enjoyed the quiet rural road cycling. The E-bikes were a huge help. Except that one morning they were dead. The support of Helen our local rep was exemplary in solving this issue.
Dear Mr. Thornington
Thank you for leaving your review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your overall package. I agree with you that the E-bikes are a great help especially if you have a few hills to contend with! I am so sorry that the battery went flat though but great to hear that Helen was on hand to help.
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
Generally good, but for the first time since we started using Headwater some 18 years ago, we found the organisational aspects rather problematic. Examples are difficulties in loading the GPS app as the short code was not provided to us initially and despite the instructions given we were unable to check in online for our flight to Salzburg. For both issues, we had to phone to obtain clarity. In addition, we had to pre-pay £95.00 for what was described as a "non-standard transfer" from Mondsee to Salzburg airport (a distance of less than 20 miles) which was in fact carried out by the local reps who had done the same trip at least twice before on the same day as well as the reverse journey at the beginning of our holiday. Frankly we felt this additional was expensive and unnecessary.
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
Everything we wanted when we chose the holiday. Steve could not have been more helpful. At our age we decided not to take up his suggestion of Nordic Skiing with Headwater this coming winter although he was very persuasive. He is a great asset for Headwater. Just what we expected from other reviews.
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
Cycling was mainly downhill, the few steep up hills could be walked in a few minutes. Most of the route was on excellent cycle tracks through beautiful scenery.
First time we chose E-Bikes and on this holiday we were glad we did. Probably use E-Bikes on future holidays.
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.
A fantastic insight into the delights of Brittany. Safe and quiet roads, lots of places to stop for refreshment, perfectly located hotels and fabulous food. Cycling is fairly challenging for weekend cyclists but doable. No monstrous hills and good distances. Support from Headwater rep was second to none. Would gladly do the whole holiday again.
This was a very enjoyable holiday with lovely hotels and beautiful scenery. The bikes are very comfortable and, although quite heavy, the gearing system is excellent so that climbing the hills wasn't a problem. The hotels are a mix of real rural France and more modern but all are clean and comfortable. The hotel in Nitry is rather isolated which is fine if the weather is good as there are lots of places to sit outside but the rooms are rather small and therefore not so good if the weather forces you inside.
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.
Overall, this was a good trip. Umbria was very scenic and the September weather wonderful. Staff in hotels were pleasant and helpful and although my Italian was virtually non-existent, language was never a problem. None of my hotel rooms was luxurious but all were clean with air-con and good bathroom facilities. I was delighted that all beds had sheets instead of, or as well as, duvets! Dinners were very good overall but there was a disappointing paucity of fish and few options for vegetarians - the locals appear to enjoy their red meat! Local wines weren't too expensive. Breakfasts were adequate with the usual pork products and cheeses and usually an extensive array of cakes and tarts - so much for the much-vaunted Mediterranean diet!
I had an e bike for the first time and it was a godsend - I don't think I would have survived without it. Some of the gradients were formidable and the road surfaces sometimes rough and treacherous on descents. Not a trip for an inexperienced or unfit cyclist - other than with an e bike.
I am a huge fan of Ride With GPS and, as usual, it performed well although I experienced a couple of glitches which caused some anxiety. At times some extra detail would have been useful to avoid the dreaded "Off course" admonition. On one occasion, because of some ambiguity, I had initially gone wrong and then, after exhausting every alternative option, found that the system had frozen!
Finally, rep Glyn was extremely helpful. and informative.
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.
The Loire is beautiful cycling country with most routes away from busy roads. There are chateaux to see and the hotels are well appointed and most have pools which are very welcome after a day in the saddle. We would like to thank our rep, Mike, for going the extra mile and helping me apply on line for a temporary passport as I lost mine. Not to be recommended!
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 trip is easy for the most part, and the areas and towns beautiful. But much of the route is next to major highways.
The selected hotels were of a very high standard and the food mainly was of a good standard. The term 'Gastronomic' may possibly be considered a little bit OTT.
Very enjoyable - our hosts were very helpful. The only issue was the GPS did not work on our first cycle day. The shower in Relais des Landes did not have a shower door and water went everywhere! Food was superb
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.
This was our sixth Headwater holiday and was probably the most memorable. The mountain scenery from Dobbiaco to Lake Garda was stunning. The general trend of the cycling was downhill and did not pose too great a challenge. The only disappointing note was that the bicycles provided by the local agents , FunActiv were heavy and the gears were quite clunky. In our party of four , two of the bikes did not seem to have been particularly well maintained , although this di not really spoil our enjoyment. The hotels on the tour were all very good. We really enjoyed the local cuisine. We spent an extra couple of days in Lake Garda which were certainly well spent. We finished our trip with an extra couple of days in Verona which is a spectacular location and were fortunate enough to see the opera Aida in the roman arena which was quite excellent and a real experience.
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.
The French cuisine is supreme & the tour around the Chablis area was very satisfying & suites us. There was not a lot happening along the way as many small towns were very quiet - not easy to find a coffee on route. It was rather hot & the rooms not well air conditioned. These were not huge negatives as we still had a wonderful holiday & were well backed up by headwater. If you are looking for action then this holiday probably would not suit. However for us it was a pleasant experience & would recommend this tour for those looking for great food, good wine & relaxing quiet countryside.
Fantastic good fun for all the family and loads of different things to do whatever the age group. Our 10 year old son loved it.
Excellent with the exception of Hotel Normandue
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.
From the very first phone call to Headwater, all e-mails and posts were polite, helpful and welcoming. Helen was always happy to answer any questions and arrange any additional requests promptly and professionally. I was always pleased to talk to her and nothing was too much trouble. This gave both my husband and I so much confidence in the company and our holiday. Our overseas reps (Collin and Jill) sent us a lovely postcard introducing themselves a week before the holiday. This was such a lovely thought and the help and support continued for the duration of the holiday. Collin and Jill were lovely, kind people who offered more than we could have expected. Thank you so much. Hotels were very good and in some lovely locations, swimming in a lake was one of the highlights of the holiday!
Well worth the money and the Austrian scenery and people were brilliant. Would thoroughly recommend this holiday and have "earmarked" a future one for next year!
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.
Our rep Joey was very suppportive and even came out to make sure a slight problem had been overcome. The cycling and Headwaters choice of hotel are what ensured another great holiday. We particularly like the Provence regional France as the old villages and endless ancient buildings are just a delight.
As a couple of first-timers on a self-guided cycling tour, this was venturing into the unknown. We felt that a clearer description of what to expect and how the tour would actually "work" would have been much better at preparing us for what to expect. For example, we were unclear of our overall itinerary, our daily distance etc. This would have allowed us to ensure we were of sufficient health and fitness. I think this would have been a simple, valuable addition to pre-departure information. Once we met our guides, who explained the self-guided GPS app and how it worked, we felt we had a much clearer idea of what to expect.
In addition, when we requested an itinerary change, it would have been good to have had this better explained.
That said, once we were in the capable hands of our hosts and the itinerary was better laid out for us, we felt we had a better understanding of what lay ahead. Our guides were excellent - very responsive. Always in phone contact ensuring that when we cycling during a heatwave we were well-equipped and well-watered and safe. We felt Helen and Mike were never far away.
We have recommended Headwater to a number of our friends who followed our adventures on social media. Many are keen to now give it a try - and we will certainly do it again - hoping we won't be cycling in a heatwave next time!
Excellent holiday - particularly in a group environment.
A very efficiently organised, stress-free holiday, taking in the beauty of the Austrian Lakes. “Ride With GPS” made navigation very simple, and the route was predominantly flat. Some roads were busier than anticipated, but this was because there were no alternatives between or around some lakes. Reps were enthusiastic and attentive throughout, and we valued their advice. All hotels were also excellent, although half-board was perhaps unnecessary in some of the larger towns, where it would have been fun to explore alternative food options.
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.
A wonderful all round experience. Highly recommended
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.
An excellent, relaxed holiday. Avignon was easy and interesting to explore on foot from the first hotel. The cycling was occasionally challenging, but never exceeded the "2+" rating, Drivers were always considerate towards cyclists. Accommodation, swimming pools and food were good all round and well-earned! The hoteliers were very helpful and most of the dining was al fresco. English was widely spoken, and even where it was not, locals were willing to communicate.
A wonderful gastronomic experience.
Headwaters always provide an excellent service from booking through to the actual holiday. The guides and reps you have are extremely helpful and very informative. We have travelled with Headwaters on 4 previous occasions and the service is always of a high standard, which is rare to find nowadays. Thank you for great holiday
Excellent organisation from the Headwater team, it ran like clockwork. I wanted to make transfer alterations which included a different airport and a couple of train journeys and it was all done without fuss. A very professional company who I wouldn't hesitate to use again and would be delighted to recommend to others.
Our only problem was one of the bikes hired from Funactiv wasn't really up to scratch, the wheel bearings grinding from the second day. By the time we got to Bressanone, it was a real problem. Funactiv told us to go to a bike shop. We went to three and they all said it couldn't be fixed overnight. After telling Funactiv this, hours later a replacement bike was left at our hotel for my husband, only problem was it was a ladies frame and too small.
Enjoyable easy riding in a beautiful area of France. Support was excellent as was the food.
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.
We had a great holiday cycling in Austria. Our reps Jill and Colin were fantastic, easy to contact when needed and very good at giving us ideas for stops or outings on the rest days. Some of the cycling was next to a busy road but whenever possible it was on quiet roads and cycle paths. The people working in the hotels were all very friendly and helpful. We were lucky enough to have great weather, even a bit too warm towards the end but there were many places to swim in the lakes and cool down. We enjoyed it very much.
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.
Very interesting castles to visit along the way. Roads have very little traffic and great country and village scenery
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.
This is a fantastic cycle route from Dobbiaco to Riva del Garda. The welcome briefing, bikes, suitably detailed directions, maps, information with GPS locator app, and accommodation provided by FUNactive Tours were excellent; we highly recommend them. The cycle routes were 95% on cycle paths. The landscape and countryside are so interesting. The hotel accommodation was superb.
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.
HELEN AND MIKE WERE ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC - SO WELCOMING, KNOWLEDGEABLE AND ENTHUSIASTIC.
A lovely holiday in a beautiful part of the world. The hotels were chosen well and we had a couple of lovely lake views. We enjoyed having two and three night stops so we could explore the area at our leisure. We had mixed weather - you have to prepare for rain in mountainous regions - but it didn't stop us getting out and about. We decided to go for electric bikes for the first time and what a revelation they were. It meant that we could enthusiastically head off the beaten track and tackle sights that would have been exhausting to reach with just gears. We would like to thank Colin and Jill who were brilliant reps - so helpful and friendly and very knowledgeable about the area. We finished up with an extra night in Salzburg which Headwater were happy to arrange. One negative aspect of the holiday which is worth mentioning for those planning to bring children - the lakeside roads are very busy with traffic in early July and although 95% have safe cycle paths alongside the road, it can be a bit gruelling at times. So maybe it would be a good idea to take the boat sometimes.
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.
Excellent , beautiful scenery and landscape, delicious food and thoroughly enjoyable
We cycled along quiet roads and beside rivers, it was delightful.
Another great holiday with Headwater. Mike and Helen exceeded our high expections of the service provided by Headwater representatives. We upgraded our room at Hotel chissay on the advice we read from other customers. It should be noted that rooms only have a bath with a shower attached to the taps. No shower curtain meant that it was difficult to shower with out water spraying everywhere.
It was a great trip and catered for a range of cycling experience and ages. Distances were good each day and we appreciated the rest days. Would recommend!
Great way to see the real country, plenty of opportunity to meet local people.small ,friendly hotels.Have recommended you to loads of people over the years. the scenery and cycling were excellent , just the right balance of quiet villages and then busier towns (but never overcrowded).
Glyn the rep was always at the end of the phone if needed (we went wrong a couple of times) to offer advice and support which is a strength of Headwater. We used e bikes for the first time and we were glad we had them for the hills in the extreme heat.
Already looking to see where to go next.
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.
A great holiday and very good guidance from Mike and Helen. Only suggestion is perhaps you could provide a wider array of destinations and experiences for our self guided days. For e.g. restaurants, vineyards, activities such as canoeing.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We're glad that Mike and Helen were able to give you good guidance and your kind words will be passed onto them.
Your suggestions have been shared with the team and you will be pleased to know that we have a variety of 20 new holidays going into next season from as far a field as Costa Rica to nearer home in the Cotswolds and Northumberland.
Keep your eye out for the new brochure dropping through the letterbox!
Location excellent, views magnificent, nearly all tarmac cycle paths so easy cycling, and good hotels. Unfortunately final day was less enjoyable as sections were near motorway or traffic but there are probably no other routes available. Destination at Lake Garda worth it. We did feel that the bikes were rather heavy, but maybe this view was influenced by the extra high temperatures of the hottest heatwave Europe has experienced!
Headwater pulled out all the stops to get us a fabulous holiday at the last minute. Colin and Jill started the holiday off brilliantly keeping in touch as our flight was delayed and continued to be the perfect reps throughout. Their briefing gave us the best recommendations for local specialties and excursions throughout our holiday which proved very successful. Easy cycling along beautiful lake sides and through incredible mountains. Gorgeous villages and fabulous cakes!
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.
Very pleasant holiday. We were pleased that we had e-bikes because there are a number of climbs which we managed without difficulty despite some very warm weather.
A good cycling holiday.
Backroads of Brittany was our 4th holiday and they have all been fantastic. Our tour leader Steve was excellent and gave us plenty of ideas for where to stop to eat or what to stop and look at. The moving of our luggage went smoothly; the bikes were great, the APP made life so much easier compared to the previous 3 trips when we had to use the maps and instructions on the handle bars; the staff at the accommodation were very good. We like the concept of staying 2 nights at each hotel. We liked the mixture of modern and authentic French buildings.
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.
Overall, we had a really enjoyable 8 days. Umbria is very like Tuscany, wonderful scenery but without the crowds of tourists, and offering really good value for money. The rides were a good mix of hill climbs to scenic ancient towns and villages, and valley routes through sunflower fields and olive groves. Beware the road surfaces though - much worse than ours in many places. Also, many Italian drivers show little respect for cyclists and frequently, and unnecessarily, pass far too close for comfort. It is not a holiday for nervous or inexperienced cyclists.
Our local Rep, Glyn, and the provider of our e bikes, Paulo, were untiringly helpful and supportive. Our thanks go out to both. The bikes were good quality and easily coped with the terrain. Our 4 hotels were all very different to each other eg one was in the very middle of a big busy town, another on the outskirts of a very small peaceful village, but each had its charms. All had reasonably good a/c in our bedrooms, essential in the sultry heat of late June! We must mention the host at the Hotel Relais Laurenti, Diana, who made us feel so welcome (a lesson to other, seemingly quite indifferent, hoteliers).
One last thought, whilst we ate well on our holiday, Umbrian restaurants rarely offer much in the way of fish, so be prepared for menus dominated by meat dishes.
Very enjoyable trip overall
Excellent directions on app.with backup maps given
Fairly relaxed itinerary with days off from biking, if wanted.
Lovely scenery for the most part on dedicated bike paths.
Bicycles equipped with good panniers, lights , odometer and brakes
Bicycles were heavy citibike style bikes ( with 24 gears). There was one size for woman , and one for men with only seat adjustments differentiating height. Gears were either not the greatest or weren’t serviced properly as the chains would come off periodically when climbing hills. A good hybrid type bike would be more suitable, better mechanically and much lighter.
Tip: I would suggest spending at least 1 extra day in Riva del Garda and biking along the beautiful Sarca river dedicated bike path
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.
Excellent for convenience with luggage transfers, local information and confidence in the local reps. Very friendly and helpful.
Brilliant variety with great rep
We’ve travelled three times with Headwater, cycling on e-bikes in Italy and France and all holidays have been excellent in every respect. The local reps have always been helpful, very friendly and give that air of security if anything needs their attention. Couldn’t rate these holidays anything less than excellent. There must be a lot of research to provide such good itineraries on uncrowded roads and tracks.
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.
Wonderful cycling, Chateau visits and food. Interesting hotels all very different. Both the Loire and Cher are beautiful rivers and delightful to cycle by
Fabulous holiday, really would have benefitted from having a pool at all the hotels after a long day cycling.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The cycling was a challenge in some parts but being reasonably fit it was doable ( and to be fair you could always hire electric bikes! The GPS system made everything easy and the routes we were taken on were spectacular. The suggestions for rest days were spot on- something for everyone whether you wanted to relax locally, visit nearby towns and do more cycling!
Our local reps could not have been more helpful. We had a couple of issues and nothing was too much trouble. Add to the fact Jude and Tim collected our wine for us on a daily basis and it all made the holiday perfect. Thank you
Good journeys both ways without rushing. Lovely riding around Lake Constance with plenty to see on our days off.
Great fun holiday but service by local guide was not good. We were not given any instructions on the ebikes. One of the bikes had a puncture and as we had not been told which inner tube to use changing the tyre became a problem. Nobody contacted us as to restaurant arrangements on our return and there were no instructions as to our collection for the train back. We had a big problem in our last restaurant as they told us at the beginning of the meal we could have anything off the menu and then announced after we had chose and were half way through that we had a budget. Our starter and main course were double that budget so we did not have pudding or cheese.
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 great holiday. Fabulous rep. Great e bikes to tackle the hills.
An amazing holiday words can not express the beauty of the lakes
Reps Jill and Collin made the holiday perfect Very helpful and full of tips and advise nothing was to much trouble
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.
Neither of us are seasoned cyclists and this was our first cycling holiday. Granted the weather was good, but this was one of the best holidays we have ever had. The hotels were excellent, the lakes and mountain views stunning and the organisation and support from Colin and Jill was first class.
We would highly recommend this holiday to anyone who likes to cycle whilst also taking time to appreciate and enjoy the scenery and surroundings. The fantastic e-bikes took the strain, giving all the benefits of cycling, with a little extra assistance! A word of warning though; all the good work on the bike can easily be undone with the delicious cakes available!
A brilliant holiday, thank you Headwater, and also a big thank you to Colin and Jill- just the right level of involvement and advice.
A very hassle free and enjoyable experience. The planning takes the stress out of the day to day cycling and wine tasting. highly recommended.
We have now had four holidays with Headwater and this was probably the best. Umbria is still relatively unspoiled and the roads were quiet if not always well surfaced. The holiday took us to several picturesque villages but unfortunately they were often at the top of steep hills so unless you are young and fit be prepared to get off and push occasionally. One of us was happy with four days in Spoleto whereas the other would have preferred more time in any of the other hotels which were clearly better. We took advantage of the extra time in Spoleto by taking the train to Assisi. This seemed to be a better option than visiting it on the final day when we would have been encumbered by bikes. A special mention should be made of the warm welcome and stunning views at he Grand Relais Laurenti
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.
Extremely well-planned and well-paced cycling holidays, at a price that is great value for money. I enjoyed staying two nights in each location rather than moving on every day.
A reasonably pleasant holiday which I think I would have enjoyed more had the weather been better - it was unseasonably cold for mid-June and quite wet on two of the eight days. While others might welcome the alternate "rest days", as a solo traveller who normally arrived at my destinations in early afternoon and thus had a few hours that day for doing the local rounds, I would have preferred to forego the full days' inactivity in Chablis and Vezelay.
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.
Smoothly organised, superb accommodation; all mean that you can enjoy the cycling, countryside and local ambience knowing everything will be sorted for you at the next destination, where you're guaranteed a great welcome, fab food and a comfortable night ready for the next day!
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.
The local agent Steve Barrington was 100% more helpful than previous agents and that made a difference
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the holiday. The GPS system closed down on a couple of occasions but other than that, for us, the holiday was faultless.
WE had a lovely time. All accommodation was very good, with the Hotel Montmirail and Chateau de Mazan being truly excellent. The Restaurants at Hotel Montmirail and those taken to whilst staying at Perne les Fontaines (particularly Les Ramparts)were truly memorable
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.
My mum and I (60 and 28 years old) just completed the Cycling the Real Algarve five day tour (three days cycling). The Headwater reps on the ground in Sagres were fantastic, knowledgable and helpful. The GPS app was easy to use and the routes each day were variable and always beautiful in their own way. We especially enjoyed the excellent food at each hotel and the uniqueness of Pedralva village. We were so glad to see the quieter parts of Portugal and always felt safe and welcomed.
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.
Very early 6 am flight was quite hard, but achievable. I expected a cycling holiday in the Loire Valley to be fairly flat. As it turned out it was quite hilly sometimes and we had to push the bikes occasionally uphill. Other than that, the scenery was lovely and some of us chose to cycle one day and sightsee the next, giving us a break from the saddle. Having said that, we did cycle a short distance to visit Amboise on the “off” day. Others in our group cycled every day.
I agree the scenery in the Loire Valley is beautiful. Should you choose another cycling holiday may I recommenced choosing an E-bike that have the additional benefit of a small electric motor to tackle those hills!
Our gastronomic cycling holiday along the Loire and Cher rivers was great fun. We travelled as a group of ten people and were the first Headwater cycling group of the 2019 season to hit the region. The weather was kind to us and the routes were varied. They took in some of the most beautiful and interesting Chateaux. We cycled mainly on quiet roads through undulating, rural France. We were surprised to hear so many cuckoos and even to see a red squirrel. We managed to get around any potential problems which President Macron's untimely visit to Clos Luce at Amboise could have caused. The hotels were great and our evening meals were very special indeed. I highly recommend this trip for an experience French culture, the wonderful Loire and Cher valleys and for the thoroughly over-indulgent meals.
This sounded like an amazing holiday thanks for feeding back with a great review!
Excellent accommodation, food and service of reps.
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.
The bedroom at the Auberge was very small in the roof.
Friendly and helpful staff make this a carefree holiday where you can focus on having a great holiday.
I have used Headwater many times for holidays and always come back to them. This trip was excellent, great hotels, all different with welcoming staff and good food.
I thoroughly enjoy the anticipation of cycling onto the next destination, never knowing what we will pass on the way and the sights we will see ( often a delightful surprise).
Knowing our luggage will be there at the other end leaving the panniers with the minimum weight inside is liberating.
This holiday had smaller mileages than we have had previously but we always used the map to detour off at leisure and explored with the bikes on our days off.
The reps Jill and Colin were marvellous, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable coupled with enthusiasm for the area, a winning combination.
The briefing was thorough and clear plus additional texts during the week with updates on weather or route.
Would recommend this trip for the scenery, green meadows, alpine buildings and a sense of the true Austria. Jane Tulloch
My second cycling trip with Headwater and won’t be my last. A memorable holiday of real quality. I’m already looking forward to next year.
Fantastic holiday for family group of various ages.
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.
Possibly mixing gastro dining and cycling is a mistake as you are very tired after 6-7 hours cycling. The trip was well organised - through vineyards, forests, by a canal and through small villages but had more hard hills than expected and there were few high gears on the bike. But overall a very pleasant way to see a beautiful part of France
Please see below. I do not wish to make any review comments for publication
Excellent but a bit hillier than expected.
Great hotels. Very good food,easy cycling and we had magnificent weather. Met very friendly locals.
Great variety and contrasts
Really lovely way to enjoy rural France. Lots of fun good wine and food.
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 generally very enjoyable activity holiday in a beautiful part of Italy. The cycling was generally flat with occasional steep gradients which as two cyclists in their mid 60s used to cycle tracks at home we would have been unable to complete without the e-bikes, this is particularly true of the optional route to Bevanga which my wife was unable to complete even with e-bike (gradient up to 15%). All the hotels as you might expect had their strengths and weaknesses, La Bastiglia best food,Relais Laurentia warmest welcome, al Grappolo best room, but overall they were all acceptable. Headwater organization was excellent and our local reps Luke and Eleanor, who were also with us in Piedmont in May, were once again outstanding.
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.
Our tenth Headwater cycling holiday and we decided to repeat the first one we did. It was nice to see the Blue Book in Le Manoir des Portes and to see our previous comments. It was also nice to see Steve, our holiday rep, again. We flew from Southampton to Rennes where there was a long delay to get through passport control but Steve waited patiently to pick us up. The cycling routes have been improved and the RideWithGPS application was very helpful. There was an excellent choice of places to eat in Dinard and Dinan; where the Hotel Le d'Avaugour did not have a restaurant. The Evran loop (on the rest day at Dinan) was very pleasant but take a picnic, as we didn't find a shop in Evran.
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
Wonderful change of scenery as we travelled from the German speaking area into the Italian area.
We were fortunate to have fantastic weather to go with the amazing scenery. First couple of days most scenic and interesting cycling. A varied holiday with several potential walking options including using several cable cars for high level walks - most free with local card. The area is really set up for cyclists and the route follows a popular long distance path. As others have said there are some long flat stretches which are less interesting and at times you are close to the road but it did not detract from the beauty of the area. Well recommended.
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 organisation was excellent and we benefited from having a rep on arrival and departure-steve helped us in many ways and was always contactable.the food choices were too limited but the food was always acceptable.
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 greatly enjoyed our Burgundy tour. Arrangements were faultless. Accommodation was excellent. We had the best of cheerful support from Glyn. We found electric bikes to be essential.
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.
Great itinerary in a beautiful part of Italy.
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 7 day bike holiday from Auxerre to Auxerre was perhaps the highlight of our 6 weeks in Europe. The local guides, Helen and Mike were amazing and made our trip so special. They went that extra mile to make sure all went well, always with a smile. The accommodation was great as were the meals and thank goodness for electric bikes at our age...a great investment! We will definitely use Headwater's services again to another destination when we travel again.
Dale and Peter
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.
A second brilliant holiday with Headwater. Taken early October, a few sites were closed, but there was still plenty to see. Excellent organisation and help from Marc in particular. I had an e-bike, which was interesting, and took some getting used to, but was helpful on the hills, as I am not a regular cyclist. The food was magnificent, especially at "Auberge de la Caillere" where we were taken as the restaurant at the Auberge du Centre was closed.
Well organised and stress free holiday
Cycling in France is one of the best ways of experiencing the lovely regions with all they have to offer
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.
Cycling the Wine Trails of Umbria was a great holiday for us. The mix of easy cycling on the flat plain and a few challenging climbs was just right, in particular the ride up to Assisi was worth every hard fought breath. We travelled in late September/early October when the weather was cooler , but I may have found the climbs more uncomfortable in the heat of summer. On the 'rest' days we adapted the suggested routes as they often involved big climbs; in particular our excellent local reps, Luke and Eleanor (one of the main reasons we use Headwater) suggested we visit Bavagna en-route to Spoleto instead of on the later day cycle ride, this proved to be really good advice. The evenings were quite cool and we didn't have the opportunity to eat outside, except for one breakfast in Marcellano. We also made little use of the outdoor pools owing to the cooler weather( the one in Spello couldn't be used as it wasn't clean). The welcome in Marcellano was fantastic and as we were more or less the only guests for the weekend it felt quite special.
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.
This was our first cycling holiday with Headwater where there was no Headwater rep. (a local agent was used instead). Our expectations were therefore based on our previous experience with local Headwater reps. and, as such, we were not prepared for a very different experience with a local agent (detailed comments on this provided directly to Headwater). Having said that, this is a terrific cycling holiday which takes you through some lovely towns and countryside. We chose not to do the optional side trip to Merano from Bolzano – instead, we took a cable car to Soprabolzano and hiked to the “Earth pyramids”.
This type of holiday suits us perfectly - we like to be outdoors and active, and we also appreciate top quality hotels and restaurants. The e-bikes are essential for us, and are great fun. It’s great to have our luggage transported, and to have the restaurants pre-booked. It would be good to have a glass of recommended quality wine of the region included with the gastronomique menu. The backroad routes were perfectly put together and the route notes accurate. It was re-assuring knowing that Glyn would come immediately if a problem arose - we did in fact have a puncture and he was there within 40 minutes.
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.
Another excellent holiday with Headwater. The accommodation and food at the chosen hotels was ideal. Lots of activities and alternative cycle routes to do on our free days. The cycling days were well planned and just the right distance and difficulty level. Mike and Helen were excellent and provided us with lots of helpful advice. We have been on many Headwater cycling holidays, this rates as one of the best.
Beautiful countryside of Germanic Italy!
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!!
The Backroads of Brittany cycling holiday was SO enjoyable! The countryside was spectacular, hotels lovely and the food amazing! The Headwater Rep , Steve Barrington, was very helpful and provided us with many local sites of interest, walks and restaurant recommendations. We have been on 8 cycling holidays with Headwater and they have all been very excellent. We enjoy the varied styles of hotels (all to a high standard) and Headwater are very helpful and efficient.
Enjoyable, well organised
Burgundy is a lovely part of France for cycling with quiet roads and a good variety of beautiful countryside
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!
The Gastronomic Burgundy 4 night cycling holiday is a lovely break but a bit rushed, there was not enough time to explore your destinations or venture to Beaune or Dijon. The cycling routes were a good mix of vineyard tracks, canal tow paths and quiet country roads through forests and pasture land. We found the distances meant there was limited time for the suggested sight seeing trips. On day two we visited Chateau de Savigny-les-Beaune for it's eclectic and extensive auto collections and on day four had a brief tour and tasting at Chateau Pommard. Les Deux Chevres was a delight - (btw they offer inhouse wine tastings and trips to vineyards - cannot comment on how they are as sadly we had no time to sample them)
A very enjoyable holiday.
The first impression comes from the wonderful concise on-line brochure.
The human side comes from the sales consultant and we were lucky to deal with Jo Chaplin. She's very patient and very thorough and professional.
We were met by our rep Glyn when we arrived at our destination. He was delightful. Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) was too much to ask from this absolute gent! He helped us to fined a cobbler, drove us to the airport, made repairs to bikes, drove us around etc.
Thanks to Headwater for a fabulous and unforgettable holiday.
Very interesting and good accommodation, great food, varied and scenic countryside, bike distances just about right
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.
Fabulous holiday. Very well supported.
Fun group activity with lovely food, wine and poppies
We had such a wonderful holiday cycling through the country lanes and vineyards. Coupled with fabulous food and wine, what else could one ask for.
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.
Umbria offered great routes and food options, accommodation could have been stronger.
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.
Endless immaculate cycle tracks following rushing rivers downstream, with pretty villages to provide torta (cakes) and gelato (ice cream), and mountains all around. Apart from a few steep climbs and descents, very easy cycling.
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
An excellent leisurely cycle route in beautiful countryside. Chateau de Chissay accommodation was outstanding, and L'Aubiniere first class. Wonderful food in all locations - in truth, probably too much for six successive nights.
I found the bicycle was too big and heavy for me. This did spoil the holiday a bit for me. In the Auberge de Centre we were in a very small room in the Annexe which we didn't like very much. But overall the holiday was very good. The Headwater staff were helpful when we had to come home a day early.
Fantastically well organised and great hotels. Interesting and sometime a little challenging cycle routes with some of the best view you will see. Routes pass many land marks with detour options as well. Will be using headwater again .
Good route - beautiful landscapes, pleasant cycling through a mix of agricultural scenery and hilltop villages. A few tough climbs, - timing them around lunchtime means you are rewarded with an opportunity to explore and eat in a great spot! Usual mix of individual hotels, although one fell far short of expectation and was substandard. Bikes brand new and easy to use.
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.
Very good holiday. Our room in Bad Ischl was an upgrade (which we had to accept if we wanted this specific holiday). We travelled in a group of 7 and one couple did not get an upgraded room. Although the rooms were lovely we would all have preferred not to have to pay the extra.
Your reps Jill and Colin were excellent. I would go as far to say the best reps I have ever had on any holiday. Friendly, professional and nothing was too much trouble. I hope as a company you realise what an asset they are to you. The sat nav routing was very good. Only at one very awkward junction it was not clear. I would certainly recommend using it but would want the paper maps as back up, especially if the phone ran out of power.
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.
Despite some adverse comments above, we enjoyed the holiday very much, partly because we were with a group pf friends. The food was excellent, but I doubt we could have survived many more six course meals. We were surprised that Marc didn't check with us that everything was OK during the holiday, and that no account was taken of our age (over 75) or level of fitness. 27 miles incorporating a number of fairly steep hills was at the upper limit of our abilities.
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.
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.
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!
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 introduction to a cycling holiday, easy going but with a few challenging climbs. Good hotels,food and wine
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.
A peaceful and engaging easy-going trip seeing parts of France off the usual tourist track. Not too far even for less-than-fit folk like ourselves. We missed the companionship we've had on other trips, but actually it was lovely to come and go as we pleased, in our own time.
Warm welcomes, great food and lovely leisurely rides through beautiful countryside
We had a brilliant time
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
We had an excellent cycling holiday in Umbria. The cycling was a bit tougher than we had expected but this is probably a factor or our age and the general geography of Umbria where destinations are generally on top of hills. The hotels were generally good and well located and our on the ground representative was very helpful.
To get away from the crowds (especially those that like to sit on a coach for hours on end) and to enjoy the natural countryside and historic villages. The exercise in cycling helps to justify our enjoyment of the amazing food on offer in the evening.
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!
This is a fabulous holiday, especially as the route was almost entirely on cycle paths and easy to navigate. Having two days in most towns was also a boon.
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.
The Austrian Lakes are a fantastic destination and your reps are superb.
Been travelling with Headwater for some years. Holiday was as good a ever: reps, hotels, route all excellent, but somehow seemed to get at cross-purposes with booking this year and there were minor problems and misunderstandings. Might be me, might be just one of those things or has there been a change of regime or system? Relais St Vincent outstandingly good.
Very well organised. Great quality of hotels and gastronomic. Bike GPS system was excellent. As a technophobe I was initially very cautious but it was easy to use and a must have!
Lovely area, great hotels mostly, very enjoyable
Overall very good (although not our best ever Headwater holiday). There are pros and cons:
Pros: excellent hotels; excellent cycle tracks (very well signposted, we hardly needed the notes); super scenery (Dolomites); interesting towns en route (beautiful old centres, museums etc); good stops/restaurants for lunches/dinners.
Cons: some long monotonous straight stretches of cycle track where the (beautiful) scenery hardly changes; some of the track is very close to busy roads; on day 7 the 66km into a strong headwind was too much; the return transfer arrangement could easily be a 65km direct minibus to Verona - but isn't; be aware that lunches and dinners out (none included) can add £300 per head to the already quite high holiday cost.
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 .
The usual efficient organisation, with just a couple of exceptions this time when Head Office did not inform the local rep about my customised arrangements for cycling routes and the dinner reservation on my last night, which the hotel did not initially accept. This was all sorted out within hours and did not detract from my enjoyment of the holiday as a whole. I'll be back again next year.
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.
The overnight stays are in very interesting and attractive towns. The cycling includes some beautiful and unspoilt scenery, especially the first couple of days.
Excellent scenic ride from Dolomites to Lake Garda in Springtime, with very good accommodation, and local bike providers and couriers. Fascinating historic towns to discover en route. Good cycle paths. May be much busier and hotter later in the season.
Exploring a region by bike is a great way to get to know a small part of a country better. We enjoy the exercise too!
Our rep was exceptional in knowledge, enthusiasm and helpfulness. Also, we found Ride with GPS a great innovation. We loved our mini-break, which included both peaceful and challenging pedalling, interesting sights, sea and pool swims, lovely meals and as a bonus, we made new friends from amongst fellow cyclists. Thanks Headwater!
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.
An excellent holiday overall with the right level of physical activity and leisure time. Many of the stops provided an insight into the 'real' Austria with some excellent opportunities for more major attractions at the multi-night stop overs. The reps were always on hand for help and advice and made it clear that included lifts if required. However our 11 year old daughter who is by no means an avid cyclist completed the whole route (including extensions) without issue.
Enjoyable, comfortable rides easily achieve by two 70 year olds. Accommodation very good although food somewhat variable.
Excellent organisation made it all very easy. Great bikes - 21 gears and gel seats made it a comfortable ride. Routes were very quiet or completely off-road, very well chosen. Very nice meals and the Chateau de Chissay in particular was a lovely place to stay.
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!!
A superb holiday, and although not marketed for families, suited our 11 year old kids perfectly. Cycle distances just right for them, routes generally quiet, but with options to skip the busier sections; great hotels and food and such a beautiful area - clean, quiet (even though it was August) and so lovely turquoise lakes at every turn. The reps Colin and Jill are passionate about their area and very attentive. Go now!
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.
Excellent experience. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Great variety of hotels, wonderful food, nice quiet routes through beautiful scenery, very relaxing as the thinking has already been done so we don't have to .
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.
Location/routes are excellent as is the food and value, just a shame many of the bedrooms are so basic
The Dolomite biking trip was a fabulous experience. Well organized, the local provider was very efficient, the bikes were excellent and the hotels chosen were of very high quality.
We thoroughly enjoyed our short (5 day) cycling holiday with Headwater. The arrangements worked like clockwork and the two local reps were outstanding. The Hostellerie des Clos was a fantastic place to stay and the food was amazing. The cycle routes were beautiful with lots to do on route.
Nice to know that you can just sit back and everything has been well researched and taken care of - accommodation, bicycles and other transport, routes etc. Also assuring to know that there is back-up when needed.
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!
This was one of the best holidays we have had. We were lucky with the weather perhaps, but it was a joy to cycle through such stunning countryside. The numerous stops en route to swim in the lakes and rivers were wonderful.
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.
The Loire Chateaux gastronomic experience was exceptional. The three chateaux we chose to visit (it would be overload to visit all the chateaux on offer) were fascinating each in a different way. We loved the many gardens we experienced and appreciated the daily swims. The weather was hot! So the cycling seemed harder than it should have done. The contrasting menus each evening were a highlight. We delayed wine purchase until our last day. That also was highly successful....
Lovely accommodation, great food and gentle cycling.
Another cracker of a holiday from Headwater.The availability of an E-bike enabled my husband to cycle with our small group after his hernia op,otherwise he would have been travelling with the luggage! Thanks, Headwater!
perfect cycling holiday for newcomers/occasional cyclists
Lovely scenery and easy cycling (even for less experienced cyclists).
Three of us (sixty somethings) completed the 8 day Classic Burgundy cycle holiday in July 2018. We have used Headwater on a previous cycle trip, and again, we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday which was superbly organized by Headwater. The Ride with GPS was great to use, all accomodation was 'spot on' and very comfortable and the food provided was outstanding. Each day's cycling was about right for us - just a few hills, but so what! Scenery magnificent. In-country reps met us at the train station as pre-arranged and their own suggestions to enhance our holiday were greatly appreciated. Another great cycle holiday with Headwater and I am sure there will be more... Headwater are extremely organised and very responsive to our enquiries when developing holiday options.
We had an outstanding holiday. The Headwater team making the booking arrangements could not have been more helpful, informed, or responsive. Sharon and Marc, our reps, were were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming. All of the arrangements worked so well - it was a delight for the 4 of us to cycle through the beautiful Loire Valley surrounded by vineyards and sunflower fields, visiting the stunning chateaus on the way, and then relishing wonderful dinners in the lovely hotels each evening. It met all of our expectations, and we will definitely do more holidays like this, and would be very happy to highly recommend the Headwater team - they were great.
This Brittany cycling holiday allowed us to explore an interesting and lovely part of France, though it was harder than the published rating would have us believe. Headwater's local rep was absolutely excellent with his advice and help. Altogether this was yet another splendid Headwater holiday!
Another great Headwater Cycling Holiday with lovely, virtually traffic free, quiet roads / cycle paths. An interesting collection of hotels, so different from each other but all small, intimate and full of character with great food, especially in Chablis. The cycling was delightful and varied from vast open countryside to the pretty meandering canals and rivers. Finally, our reps Helen and Mike, they were so supportive, nothing was too much trouble, especially on our arrival; when at the train station before ours the train changed direction and we found ourselves speeding towards Dijon- a long story but with a happy ending... Also for their help in the use of GPS........ Thank you
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.
Cycling through the French countryside was a real pleasure and to end the day in a swimming pool of one of the lovely hotels, looking forward to the superb meals was all anyone could ask from a hoilday.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip in July 2018. Food was very good, bikes were in excellent condition and the cycling was not difficult. Accommodation was also good. Would have no problem recommending if you like biking holidays.
An excellent wy to enjoy the rolling french countryside with rivers and chateaux gallore. Pretty easy riding with lovely hotels and gigantic meals ,etc.
Fantastic. Great bikes, cycle paths, places of interest, good choice of places for lunch breaks, good accommodation, wonderful local agent with practical information.
Relaxing, peaceful cycling in the Italian sunshine; great home-made food and wine at the agriturismo.
This is a great trip!
The area and scenery is fabulous and breathtaking throughout.
The cycling is easy being flat or downhill most of the way, which is amazing considering you are in the mountains for most of the time. The cycle paths are very safe, indeed to call them paths is a misnomer, most of the time they are as good as roads and extremely well kept and signposted.
The hotels on this trip were of a very good standard, and well located in towns with lots of character and interest.
This was our first time in the Sud-Tyrol and Trentino areas of Italy and found them a real revelation. They are both interesting in their own right but you can see the Austro/Germanic and Italian influence change as you travel southwards. This is especially visible in the food that is traditional in these area.
We would strongly recommend cyclists of all levels even outright beginners to take this holiday.
Our only reservation is that this holiday does not offer pre-arranged evening meals, so be sure to budget for this as eating out in this area can be expensive. Each town offered many eating opportunities and you can eat cheaply on pizza very easily if you wish. However if you are looking for the culinary experience of the region it will cost you a fair bit more.
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.
We loved every minute and are especially grateful to Marc and Sharon for going the extra mile to help mum and dad with transport after they had given up on their bikes! Food was magnificent and we loved cycling through forests, sunflower fields, vineyards - a wonderful and unforgettable holiday. Well done headwater for getting everything right.
Overall an enjoyable experience. Underpinning the whole holiday was the comfort of knowing the good quality of each hotel. In particular the food and dining experience at Albergo La Bastiglia was outstanding, definitely the best food we had! All the hotels offered a different experience; a town centre -Hotel Charleston; a warm welcome at Grande Relais Laurenti (shame about the area it is in - nothing much there and slightly shabby on the approach); the lovely room and pool area at Al Grappolo d'Oro and the nice food at their restaurant down the road although there was some confusion over what we were allowed to eat; and it was great to return to Albergo La Bastiglia with its wonderful food and setting in the lovely town of Spelo.
The bikes are robust but quite heavy but do the job. Ride with GPS guided us well but would benefit from some refinement such as the ability to listen to a repeat of instruction as in traffic (especially in towns) it was often difficult to hear and sometimes information was missed.
Circumstances meant that we had a rep with little experience or knowledge of the area as she had been drafted in from Tuscany at late notice. This meant that we had no hints or tips about places to see/eat along the routes, or any guidance about the routes. We did the optional ride from Marcellano to Bevagne and it pushed my wife to her limits (and she is fit ) as the route was extremely steep. We felt that 'insider' knowledge may have prepared us for this. At each of the destinations she was there to meet us with our luggage which was good. She also quickly replaced a broken phone holder.
On the whole we enjoyed the routes we went on. most being on quiet country roads and cycling paths although some of the latter were difficult to ride on if they were stoney and downhill such as part of the route down from Trevi and one down from Eggi. The highlight was reaching Assisi which we really enjoyed despite a strenuous climb up coming at the end of a 33km ride.
A great experience all round.
For my husband and I and our 19 and 20 year old sons, this was our first Headwater holiday. Our group consists of 3 reasonably fit casual cyclists and one extremely fit competitive cyclist, nevertheless it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all. The routes were superb, mostly on country lanes and cycle paths with a few stretches on the road. Hills were infrequent and in the main doable. The scenery was stunning and the wildlife a pleasure to behold (deer, birds, salamander, butterflies etc) the choice and location of hotels was mainly excellent l, especially at Gmunden, Bad Ischal and Wolfgang. The route allowed you lots of time to organize your own sightseeing and additional cycling. In this regard a visit to the salt mine in Hadshtalt and the train trip from Wolfgang (although a bit pricey) were great fun and are highly recommended. Last but by no means least our Headwater agents in Austria were simply superb in all respects. If the opportunity arises we would be very happy to plan another holiday with Headwater.
A lovely holiday, nearly all the cycling is on dedicated cycle paths with a tarmac surface, relatively easy cycling with few hills. Beautiful scenery, and lovely towns. a fascinating mix of cultures which changes as you get further into Italy. It is worth adding an extra night or two at lake Garda to enjoy the lake or just relax the pool and gardens at the Astoria Park Hotel. There was plenty to do on days off from cycling. The information pack of maps etc from FunActiv tours was excellent. The Brixen card (included with the holiday) saved us a lot of money! The hotels were all good, excellent breakfasts throughout. We also spent a couple of nights in Verona where the hotel punched well above its weight for a three star. Overall one of the best Headwater holidays we have done.
Worth noting if you do this holiday that if you want to see Otzi the Iceman in Bolzano unless you are there in July or August the museum is closed on Mondays...so make sure you get there in time on Sunday. Entry is free with the Brixen card. On the day you cycle from Bolzano to Trento there is very little shade so take plenty of water. It is worth doing the detour to the the lake on this leg...and you can cut the distance you have to cycle short by taking the train from Salurno or Egna (free with the Brixen card) to Trento. Get the bus or a taxi if you want to go up the Plose cable car at Bressanone (worth doing for the views).
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
Our reps Helen and Mike could not have been more accommodating and diligent. The Hotels were excellent and superbly situated. The bikes were good. The routes were quiet. All in all an excellent holiday.
Well organised simply a great break allowing us to relax with no worries and full confidence in the back up.
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.
Brilliant experience! Headwater has planned everything in great detail: routes, lovely boutique hotels, dinners. Most importantly, Helen went out of way to make sure I was comfortable throughout the holiday. She ensured that I had a perfect holiday , simply amazing!
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.
Excellent traditional accommodation and good gastronomic French food. However unless you have a GPS or other device a proper map holder and maps are essential. Rep/guide excellent and helpful dealing with some-one who has no mobile!!
Cycling through lovely countryside with the opportunity to visit many places of interest including chateaux
The cycling was superb with a huge variety of scenery including vineyards,canals,beautiful villages and panoramic views. The weather was gorgeous and the routes were on quite country roads and canal paths with hardly any traffic. Our Reps Helen and Mike were fantastic and so helpful and informative we had some great laughs they were so friendly they made sure we were seated comfortably on our bikes and even changed saddles for Better comfort it was reassuring that we had excellent support on hand. We visited many vineyards in Chablis and mike and Helen collected the wine we bought. The food was delicious and the welcome in hotels were so friendly. Thank you Headwater and Mike And Helen for giving us a superb holiday
Bill & Heather.
The food on this holiday is very good, as was the standard of the hotels. I would recommend it as a proper gastronomic experience.
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 eighth Headwater holiday and, although the two and half hour drive from Venice airport is a bit of a drag on twisty roads, it was definitely one of the best. The Tyrolean scenery was beautiful, the Fun Active electric bikes were excellent (better than the Headwater ones we had in Burgundy which were ok, but not as good), although the one non electric bike in our party broke down twice. However, Fun Active arrived with a replacement within an hour or so. the second problem was a broken chain and happily a passing German couple had a joining link which did the job.
The cycling was mainly level or downhill on excellent surfaced cycle tracks, the best we've experienced. The hotels were pretty good too, The Grand in Trento being my favourite. Lots to do and see like cable cars, Otzi museum, train trip to Merano using our Free Brixen card, and plenty bar/cafe stops on the way.
Having done eight tours, not sure if we'll do any more, in which case this will have been a great holiday with which to finish.
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.
Our 4th holiday with headwater and in 4th country . Cycle routes provide interest and choice of accommodation always is excellent as generally is the food - both in the half board hotels and the reps local recommendations . Reps are always friendly , knowledgable and helpful . Would recommend Ride with GPS . Tony was excellent in his pre holiday briefing keeping it brief simple but informative ( re bike,GPS , Route etc )
excellently located hotels good value for money and a delightful way to visit 3 countries.
Very Good overall, we enjoyed the rural sightseeing in this region and the opportunity to meet the local friendly people in the villages and the vineyards we visited. All accommodation was very good (with the exception of Ligny). Food was excellent with a wide variety in most cases. Planning of stops essential with shops closing during the day! Our tour guides, Helen & Mike, a pleasure to deal with and did their job very well. This was our first headwater holiday and we will certainly consider holidaying with them again. Declan & Marie (Ireland)
This was a really lovely holiday experience. Beautiful countryside and wonderful views throughout our trip. This was our second Headwater holiday which lived up to our expectations.
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!
Without exception, the quality of the hotels and the meals either taken at the hotels or at prearranged restaurants was excellent throughout. The cycling routes were of the right distance and had good variation of terrain from canalside to vineyards to meadows. A very enjoyable holiday that was well organised.
My partner and I loved this holiday. We are not regular cyclists but are reasonably fit and active, aged 58 and 60. The level of cycling was enough to provide a bit of a challenge at some points, but well within our capabilities. We enjoyed the varied and beautiful countryside offered by the itinerary. We did the optional cycle on day 3 and would not have wanted to miss this as it was a beautiful day and an easy cycle. The gorgeous garden at Chateau de Berbirey is well worth a visit. We added an extra day to the end of the itinerary so were still able to spend a day in historical Dijon which is a must. The tour lived up to the title of gastronomic - we loved all the restaurants from the quirky Berger du Temps on the first night to the swanky one Michelin star L'Hostelerie on the last night. (We went to l'Hostelerie because the usual choice Jardin des Ramparts is closed on Monday). All the hotels were lovely but I especially enjoyed the Deux Chevres, thanks to owner Paul, his sensational cellar (definitely try his great value private wine tasting of local wines) and lovely breakfasts. We used the gps trip notes which generally worked well. I would recommend adding directions from Deux Chevres to the train station and back again (important on the optional day 3 ride) as well as more information about historical sites passed during the itinerary, which would have added to our enjoyment of the wonderful scenery. Our on site contact Lyn was extremely helpful and friendly. Thank you for a holiday which lived up to all our expectations.
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.
Overall, a lovely holiday with great cycling, accommodation and food - everything we have come to expect from a Headwater holiday.
A challenge rewarded by every dining experience
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.
Excellent booking staff and regional reps. Hotels and meals very comfortable with regional character. This part of rural France is very attractive, has many places of great interest, and above all, is wonderfully quiet.
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.
A very well thought out cycling tour of a most interesting area. Good to have alternate days of cycling and sightseeing. The distances on the cycling days were, for us, just right. The route guidance app was invaluable.
The extremely quiet roads, beautiful chateaux and wonderful food made this a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Excellent choices for cycling of all grades with good routes calculated to give relaxing distances between comfortable cycle friendly hotels, and plenty of time to go sightseeing.
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.
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 pleasurable experience cycling in Puglia
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!
Great combination of healthy exercise, excellent hotels and high quality food and wine!!
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.
A very enjoyable cycling holiday , with time also to stop and enjoy the places we were staying with days off here and there.
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 relaxing holiday in rural France, with quiet cycling on good roads and lots of amazing food.
Great bikes , routes and on the whole hotels
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.
Beautiful views, lots of opportunity for great outings on non-cycling days; fresh air in abundance. Gmunden beautiful with panoramic and relaxing walks and the trip to Hallstatt and its salt mines is exhilerating!
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.
Very well organised, all our questions & queries dealt with, any requests for help dealt with promptly, gave us confidence that if we needed help it would quickly be there. Good local knowledge, well planned routes through lovely countryside. Excellent. Lovely helpful friendly reps. All the wine we purchased along the way made it safely back to base for us to take back home with us. No negative comments to make at all.
Perfect cycling holiday.
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.
This was everything we had hoped it would be. Very relaxed. Great quality of hotels and food. Excellent scenic routes. Brilliant!
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.
Our first visit to this part of France, Beautiful coast and countryside, our first cycling holiday, glad we had battery assisted bikes, it made us feel 18 again each time we came to a hill, not bad for two seventy year olds.
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.
A genuine taste of traditional France
Excellent all round, really easy cycling, lovely chateaus to visit, accommodation good, food at hotels amazing, hate to 'moan' but after 3 days I just needed a light salad!
Really enjoyed cycling and food L'aubiniere
A great way for a very keen and a not so keen cyclist to enjoy an excellent cycling holiday together.
Surprisingly easy going for the independent traveller, yet adventurous, with a touch of comfort
Lovely route, lovely hotels and great bikes - some of the hills were longer and steeper than anticipated, the last day is particularly tough for a 1+ ride.
Most enjoyable holiday. Lovely rural scenery and ebikes a revelation!!
This was one of the best Headwater holidays we've had, maybe made more enjoyable due to having e-bikes for the first time! We enjoyed the quiet routes through lovely and varied countryside, although most of the small villages we passed through were so quiet as to seem almost deserted. We were glad of our excellent reps' advice to take a picnic and drinks from our starting point before setting off. Our reps, Mike and Helen, couldn't have been more helpful, from meeting us after arriving late due to a delayed flight and hour long passport control at CDG airport, to always responding immediately to texts with our queries about battery charging etc.
Good holiday. But do check with Headwater the timings of connections with arrival by air and transfer across Paris. You would be better spending more on the TGV which would leave later.
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
Less hilly overall than expected with long very flat rides in between long climbs and some big steep hills. Challenging in the heat. Stunning scenery all the way with beautiful picturesque hill top towns. Wonderful region to visit with friendly locals, great food and wines.
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.
Fantastic holiday. My husband is a keen cyclist and I am not, but I loved it. The routes were just the right distance and not too many hills. Add in great food and wine tasting and it was a perfect holiday. We made good use of the wine collection service! Already planning which holiday to book next!
Easy cycling, superb countryside, delicious food and lovely people.
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!
Umbria is a beautiful part of Italy and it is well worth visiting all of the hilltop towns as they each have their own unique atmosphere - but be aware that there is a lot of climbing! The hotels, especially the Grand Relais Laurenti, are very welcoming and the standard of accommodation in all of them is excellent.
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.
Great way to explore, great fun in a group.
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.
Sometimes challenging, but great fun,lovely wine and food.
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
Interesting area to visit; good Italian food
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.
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!
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.
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.
Recovering from recent back surgery, this was the ideal rehabilitation program for me and my family. We had never visited Brittany before and found it an excellent introduction to this lovely region of France; the route for the week was perfectly balanced with activity and rest days and the hotels very well located to explore the ancient and historic towns of Northern Brittany. Our nine year old daughter was very proud of covering 163 km in a week without having to get off her steed 'Scooby' and push once - and the excellent cycling app took about an hour a day off the cycling time as the navigation was almost faultless. Also - the one day it rained, Steve the rep appeared like magic at the restaurant where we had holed up for lunch with the offer of a lift for the last soggy stretch to the hotel - very much appreciated!
Organisation and customer care was excellent. Our rep--Jen Toy--was brilliant and extremely helpful
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 picked a fine selection of independently run hotels that were a joy to stay in. The cycle routes were well selected on safe quiet roads and the GPS made them easy to follow. We had a great time
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.
Fautless. The service was excellent from booking to picking up our bikes. Hotels were all unique and food wonderful. We found the cycling a bit much but the countryside was amazing and empty. GPS a great asset.
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!
We had a wonderful holiday; the route was varied and interesting with plenty of time for stops, picnics and swimming on most days. It is exactly as suggested a relaxed activity holiday with fabulous scenery. There are enough hills to make the route interesting but not so many to be off-putting; in general I'd say there were more fun down-hills than tiring up-hills with lots of flat in-between. We had standard bikes but were surprised by the number of cyclists in Austria using electric bikes, so if you take this option you will blend in well! We were amazed at the courtesy shown to bikes on the road; we were given space and other road users were really respectful; we could learn from that back home.
As always in the mountains we had varied weather; some really hot days and some very soggy days ... just as you'd expect. We were lucky that we were at the Villa Seilern in Bad Ischl when the weather was really wet so were able to make use of the hotel's pool and spa which are great. The pool is stunning!
The hotels were mostly very good (although the beginning and end at The Post were not the best) and were organised for Headwater guests. In the evenings, food was plentiful and hot, if not always varied but breakfasts were good with lots of choice to fortify for the day ahead. Rooms were lovely and clean.
The bikes were well maintained and modern.... if the weather looks as if it might be wet, take your own lights as there are none provided! Bike storage was no problem; everywhere was expecting us and had good bike facilities. Security of bikes doesn't seem to be such an issue in Austria; many people left bikes unlocked outside shops etc ... we always locked them securely and they were safe.
We had easy access to shops along the way for getting picnic lunches. Eating out in Mondsee was easy and varied.
We used Ride with GPS which is new to Headwater but also had the printed route instructions and maps; if you have the option do both ... there were times when the printed instructions were invaluable (giving more reassuring details) but also times when the GPS was useful as it showed us where we were if we diverted off the route for a reason!) Embrace both and you're covered!
Throughout the holiday we were thrilled with the kindliness and helpfulness of our reps Jill and Colin. The pre holiday postcard was a lovely touch, their were organised, welcoming and very genuine in their desire to help in any way they could. You are in very safe hands with them.
This was our first trip with Headwater and we were very impressed with the organisation of the holiday. We met a couple who were on their 11th holiday with Headwater which we think speaks volumes. We would certainly book with Headwater again.
other than wrong hotel ..ACE
one of the best cycling holidays we have been on. Great cycling and relaxing swimming in warm seas.
Very pleasant cycling on quiet country lanes and tracks, interesting chateau visits, wine tasting and fabulous evening meals.
1st class service from rep & hotels. Easy cycling over interesting terrain + amazing food
It was simply beautiful. Wonderful food, cycling and scenery.
The Austrian Lakes Cycling Holiday met our full expectations, the scenery and the hospitality was superb and the small hills very forgiving to inexperienced cyclists! The majority of the tracks were on very quiet cycle paths through beautiful meadows and villages. However we did find the first hour after leaving the Hotel Post in Weissenbach quite daunting , this may have been because it was a Saturday in high season. So pleased that Jill and Colin suggested that we visit Hallstatt when we were in Bad Ischl , the village and visit to the Salzwelten were most interesting and the scenery breath-taking.
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.
Excellent holiday overall staying in some beautiful locations. Cycling was just at the right standard for me and my more mature father. Hotels were well chosen, particularly the Auberge de beursaudiere and the Glycines. Reps Helen and Mike were friendly and helpful when needed. Can't think of anything negative!
Our first cycling holiday and we absolutely loved it. Easy routes to follow, wonderful scenery and amazing food. Wonderful. We were very glad that we travelled by Eurostar.
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.
Fantastic accommodation and food , just make sure you bring well padded cycling shorts, they are a must even with gel covered saddles.
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!
Quoting half the actual price is poor otherwise a well-organised holiday
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. .
A great way to visit chateaux in the Loire Valley. All the hotels had pools which were much appreciated after the cycling and the standard of food was very good.
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.
Excellent organisation and friendliness of staff/guides at Headwater. We opted for cycling in Burgundy with the gastronomic option. We're all foodies to a degree but found it was all just too much of a good thing and relished the thought of beans on toast when we got back to the UK. The problem with 5 course meals for a group is that when the meal's over it's time for bed! A wholesome beef casserole would have gone down a treat with time afterwards for a drink or two. The bikes were great and fit for purpose, most of them new.
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.
This was our best holiday so far with headwater. Each hotel was better than the last. The hotel Le Clos was quaint with lovely breakfasts served in the garden . A new owner was taking over when we were there. Le Deux Chevres was excellent, a very comfortable room and excellent breakfasts and packed lunch. The Chateau Sainte Sabine was stunning. Our room was beautiful with a lovely view over the park .
We cycled every day. From Gevrey Chambertin we cycled into Dijon on our 'rest day' . At Sainte Sabine we did the suggested cycle. On our extra day at Beaune we cycled into town along the cycle path. We were glad that we had booked the extra day to recover at Le Clos. Beaune was very interesting .
All the meals were excellent and well earned! The transport to restaurants, when required, well organised.The distances were doable by 2 slightly elderly occasional cyclists! There are two steep climbs but the views are worth it and offset by some easier stretches by the picturesque canal .
Overall a very enjoyable holiday. Although not difficult, I do think a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Not sure this was made clear in the brochure.
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.
A well organised cycling tour thoroughly enjoyed by us both. Hotels were very well selected for the type of holiday, with much good food to enjoy whilst there.
The luggage transportation was good and the Headwater Rep, Steve was amazing! well done to him for all he did for us!
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.
Great experience but slightly inconsistent and ambiguous route instructions which are very difficult to relate to the overall large maps
Cycling in Umbria- need to review road going down from Gualdo Cattaneo down the hill to Torre del colle. Steep 15% average with turns .High risk even for reasonably experienced cyclist.Could an alternative route be looked at even if the roads are busier?
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!
Easy cycling, great countryside and good accommodation but take protection against mosquitoes.
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.
I would advise potential customers to double check that the cycle rating reflects reality. For the Brittany Coastal holiday there is clearly a major discrepancy which completely ruined our holiday.
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.
An opportunity to experience something different in a beautiful part of the world with the benefit of the professional way Headwater looked after us.
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.
Our first Headwater holiday and we can really recommend Umbria as a destination. We worried about whether the bikes would be up to scratch and the potential restrictions of half-board, but on both counts we were pleasantly surprised. The week's route circling the valley meant that the long views often included hill towns we'd visited or would be visiting. This created a real sense of achievement! And most of all, the fantastic cycling meant we could indulge in all that amazing food and wine and still come home only a couple of pounds heavier!
Enjoyable relaxing holiday, with good mix of activites, beautiful scenery,great food and comfortable hotels, highly recommended!
We really enjoyed our holiday, but because we chose the 10 day option, which included 4 nights in the hotel we liked least, Albergo La Macchia (all other hotels were 2 nights) we ended up being disappointed with this part of the trip. On one of our days off we took a train from Spoleto (very easy, but remember to validate tickets) to do a one day visit to Assisi (get the bus from the station to the last stop then walk down through Assisi), rather than stopping off for a short time on the last leg of the cycling. It was better to have a relaxing time to wander through Assisi. We will will certainly be thinking about another Headwater holiday.
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 great introduction to the pleasure of a cycling holiday, wonderful varied scenery with ever changing views at every turn and well chosen stopovers.
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.
They said we were mad- ' too hot!', ' too hilly!' ' too far' - they were wrong! We went in August and we are both only moderately fit and over 60. We have never enjoyed a holiday so much. Because you are cycling there is always a breeze. I would recommend taking ' camelpacks' ; these helped us to drink enough water and kept the water cool. Together with factor 50 liberally applied in the morning we never burned nor were we uncomfortable.
There was always a place to grab a juicy nectarine, cheese and bread en route and a swim at the end of the day before delicious evening meals in all the hotels.
We were greeted like royalty and slept like babies. I am officially in love with Italy.
So , any improvements? Yes, we went awol from Torgiano so that we could spend a whole day in Assisi. Assisi is so beautiful that it deserves more than a quick exhausted ramble in the middle of a cycle so, personally I would have preferred to stay closer to the this wonderful town rather than in Torgiano which was rather small and a little uninteresting.
Spoleto is also stunning and we extended our holiday both here and in Rome. Can't wait for the next one.... Now to choose.
A wonderful taste of Provencal scenery, wine and food!
Great Fun. Lovely area and great cycling.
Lovely coastline easy cycling
Good, bikes, good hotels, delicious food and wine, what more could you wish for.
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!
An excellent first bike trip to the Loire, with 8 nights seeming just about right. We could not have eaten much more of the multiple courses of excellent food. Lovely experience to visit so many interesting towns, villages and chateaux en route, without having to drag the luggage around. Some beautiful countryside and riverside landscapes to explore. Comprehensive maps, directions and travel tips - as well as very helpful and professional Reps - were very useful to help us get the most out of the trip.
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 scenery. Cycling hard at times - some demanding hills. Hotels very good with individual attractions. Pools a great asset at end of a hard day cycling or on day off. Lots of good (and cheap) cafes on route. Interesting places to visit including Montefalco. Assisi very busy and expensive.
Overall a great holiday.
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.
Lots of planning 'legwork' saved by going through Headwater. Hotels all carefully chosen for their individuality. We had the back up of a large organisation but the personal service of, what seemed, a much smaller one. Great standard of evening meal on the Gastronomic tour.
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.
lovely holiday with easy cycling through attractive countryside and interesting hotels each with their own charms.
Harder work than I expected - August too hot for long cycles - Restaurants selected weere good
This is a great family holiday: the cycling was pretty easy for all of us (the children were 15, 13 and 10), but there was enough challenge for us to feel proud of ourselves by the end of the week. The routes were incredibly easy to follow, and took us through wonderfully varied terrain - through beautiful fields of sunflowers, past vineyards, through shady forests and along the rivers Cher and Loir. Every day brought something new to see or do. The roads were all quiet and there were lots of well-maintained cycle paths. The hotels were well-chosen and welcoming, and the only downside of the week was that we ate far too much delicious food! The back-up from James and Hazel, the local reps, was fantastic, and the bikes themselves were excellent. We're looking forward to another cycling holiday soon!
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.
A great holiday, well organised and not as physically demanding as we imagined. Steve was a very knowledgeable and accommodating host. Please let him know that I was reunited with my wedding ring and that I think we found the hidden aircraft factory that he told us about.
We had a superb holiday cycling in the Loire Valley. At times I felt i was cycling through a picture postcard, the scenery was so beautiful. The cycling was manageable for our 12 year old twins and the bikes were an excellent standard. The roads were quiet and the French were very polite and patient with cyclists (unlike British drivers!). The food was excellent quality
Beautiful scenery, wonderful dining and comfortable cycling in a lovely part of the country
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 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.
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.
Great cycling. Authentic hamlets, nice quiet route.
Bikes and Cycling routes excellent. Very good choices of varied hotels - all very good locations. The Brittany coast is best seen by bike!
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
Gentle cycling through beautiful countryside - with stunning chateaux to visit - fabulous fragrances in the air - luxurious accommodation and wonderful food and wine. At the end we were fitter - but possibly fatter too!
the provision of laundry local laundry services would be much appreciated.
A wonderfully well planned holiday in the most beautiful surroundings with quality accommodation.
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.
The area is beautiful with many castles to visit and easy to cycle. Food is gourmet & delicious, many restaurants and cafes on route. Plenty of history. Weather is great. Though problems I mentioned need to be dealt with.
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.
Fantastic service from Steve and great routes to cycle. The Manoir des Portes served the most wonderful food. Both the Manoir and the Hotel Printania were full of character and gave wonderful service. Thank you!
I can't imagine any other type of holiday that is so satisfying in terms of exercise combined with relaxation, visiting new places, and truly excellent food & drink.
Leisurely cycling tour through beautiful and quiet countryside with leisurely breaks at excellent hotels, providing sufficient time to visit chateaux and gardens along the way.
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.
We can warmly recommend the Loire Gastronomic Cycling holiday which is particularly suitable for the reasonably fit and active over-65s. The hotels are excellent and all had swimming pools, the meals were really delicious and the cycling was not too strenuous. The countryside is stunning, as are the many chateaux along the route which are of special interest and add greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday.
Great holiday - easy cycling on quiet roads and cycle routes - delightful reps and first class hotels and food. A very successful Gastronomic holiday.
Exxcellent trip,superb reps,only complaint food at Les Pins - an uninspired menu for the demi pension. No choice,poor value
Careful consideration of grading and your own physical ability. Whilst every care is taken - cycling can be strenuous. Using electric bikes solves everything! ( But less exercise- but great for hills and admiring the country side! Using e-bikes helps multi generational inclusion and would enable less strong cyclists to participate easily on harder routes.
OK but accommodation, especially Auberge de la Chappelle, which was pretty poor, ordinary for the price and not representing good value.
Dear Mr Clayton,
Thank you for taking the time to provide your post-holiday feedback. Please be assured, we do review all of the feedback we receive to ensure we continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future.
With this in mind, we were sorry to read of your dissatisfaction with the Auberge da la Chappelle. You may be pleased to hear that we have made some changes to this holiday for the 2017 season, these include a revamp to some of the routes and we will no longer be using the Auberge da la Chappelle.
We are sure you will agree that these changes will continue to add to the overall enjoyment of this holiday.
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
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.
This area of Brittany is excellent for cycling with lots of off road cycling to interesting towns with lovely views. The long time Headwater rep here goes out of his way to provide support. He is the best rep we have had after over a dozen Headwater holidays.
Wonderful relaxing holiday
E bikes were excellent although son enjoyed physical demands of ordinary bike. Need to see them on more routes and more routes on an easy grading. Hotels can be a bit variable, all had their plus points but especially French Hotels can be a bit shabby. Need detailed larger scale maps are necessary to support the route notes which can be confusing. Food generally very good. The e bikes need to be able to manage demands of terrain and the needs of the riders.
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!!
all in all - good trip, excellent gear - too much food!
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.
Excellent organisation and support, fantastic accommodation and food, very enjoyable cycle routes
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.
An exciting and demanding adventure with the reward of wonderful food in beautiful surroundings.
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!
Good alternative holiday
Many unspoilt cycle routes with stunning views
Hotel pools all very welcome after a hard day's cycling
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.
great support right from time of booking, challenges such as French floods tackled proactively, very comfortable, civilised cycling
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!
Good holiday, scenic routes and very pleasant towns and villages. Excellent support from local Headwater staff Stephen Miles - you are lucky to have such an experienced person on board.
The holiday overall was good with two provisos
It is a misnomer to call it a coastal cycling holiday. Very litle time was spent cycling along the coast or even close to it.
It is harder than a 1 cycle holiday. It fits into the description of a 2 cycle holiday without a doubt. Too many times were spent walking the bicycle uphill. Only one of the 5 days could be considered 1 cycle.
We went for our honeymoon and the holiday was a perfect mixture of challenging cycling with beautiful views, lovely hotels and fantastic food.
We expected 4 star hotels but got small 2 star rooms . Food was mostly not impressive and service poor . Staff were friendly and cycle agents excellent . Umbria lovely but route would have been very demanding without the power assist cycles which were excellent for ladies but ran out of steam for gents towards the end of each day
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?!'
Another excellent Headwater holiday. This was one of the flattest ones we have done with some undulation only on the first and last days. Most of the route was on tracks through the forest, cycle paths and minor roads - it was only crossing the river in Amboise that we encountered alarming traffic. The hotels were all good, the food excellent. Along with other Headwater guests, we found the meals at the Manoir Bel Air too overwhelming - but it was easy to ask to drop a course. Lots of different chateaux to visit and we spent an additional two days in Chitenay which enabled us to go back and spend a complete day in Blois (an easy cycle ride through the forest and on cycle-tracks) and to further explore the area.
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.
Interesting cycle tour with plenty to visit.
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.
We really enjoyed the holiday which was very well organised. The only slight downsides were that the route notes were ambiguous on occasion and we got lost on a few occasions meaning that the distances were somewhat longer than they should have been and it would have been really appreciated if all 4 hotels had carried our luggage up to our room. Two hotels did this but it was no fun after a long day's cycling having to carry all our bags up 2 flights of stairs.
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.
In one word.....relaxing......because of the fantastic accommodation in great locations, simplicity of directions and easy routes with plenty of see and do along the way, topped off with superb food every evening! Hassle free holiday, thank you.
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.
We have done many Headwater cycling holidays, and this was very good. The routes were relatively easy, but there were plenty of options to do your own thing too. Accommodation and food great.
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
Excellent concept of relatively easy cycling (30km/day) in pleasant countryside. Plenty of places (e.g. chateaux) to visit on the way. Some fantastic food experience (i.e. at l'Aubiniere) that merits the word 'gastronomic'. L'Auberge du Centre was competent too. Chateaux de Chissay was the one disappointment - with poor levels of service - going through the motions but not really getting it unlike l'Aubiniere. They also had large tour parties (Taiwanese in our case) at Chissay which detracted from the experience and the service level in particular.
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.
A wonderfully relaxed holiday with broad open views and interest on the journey every day.
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.
A delightful area for cycling, mostly great locations for hotels, overall an excellent holiday. Our only reservation is Torgiano, where the hotel was anonymous and the little town uninteresting and the Tourist Office useless in our queries about buses.
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 a very pleasant holiday and easy enough for people over 65. There is plenty of interest in the towns along the way - and plenty of chateaux, if that's your go. The weather was a bit mixed in mid-September, but we had good company on the ride which made up any disappointment. We had done the Loire Gastronomic a decade earlier, but the route has changes significantly and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Our ride this time was trouble-free, but the Headwater agents were very helpful always at hand if needed.
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.
An excellent holiday with well researched routes off the beaten track , very clear written instructions given . Lovely villages and gardens en route , giving a good taste of France at its most typical. The hotels selected were all excellent and varied in nature.
We had initially considered a Headwater walking tour of Loire as my wife is not a confident cyclist. But reading the website comments - decided Loire region was quite poor walking country but great cycling country. My wife more than coped with the itinerary and we are both raring to go on our next Headwater cycling holiday next year when we will both be 69!
Hotels and meals all excellent but we did feel that the rooms we stayed in at Chissay were a bit tired and in need of renovation, hence the fair rating.
Your HQ staff gave us excellent advice and James and Hazel as tour managers were the most brilliant ever encountered and helped make an excellent experience.
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.
The food was excellent but having 5 course gourmet dinners every night was probably more than we really needed. The hotels were all very comfortable and very different with genuinely excellent restaurants and helpfull staff.
We had an excellent, well organised holiday ,in beautiful surroundings with delicious food and wine. It was at the correct standard for our level of cycling.
The reps were efficient, friendly, and well informed. The three hotels were very different but all very comfortable with excellent food.
This was our third cycling holiday in France with headwater and by far the best. Previous holidays , Brittany and Canal du Midi, were not such good value and conditions more challenging.
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 initial problem with the rail tickets (we were not allocated seats with those with whom we were travelling) was sorted out speedily and new tickets allocated. In addition, due to the illness of one of the party members Ross picked up 2 members along with the luggage on the last cycling day. This removed a lot of stress/worry of getting back to Auxerre.
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday (despite the illness) and the weather was kind too!
Apart from the Auberge in Clamecy the rating of the food relates to breakfast only as meals were taken elsewhere.
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 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.
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)
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!!
I am only learning to cycle, so some of the route was hard for me but the rep, Steve, was brilliant, very supportive and made sure I relaxed and built my confidence. The scenery was stunning and the route varied. Lovely holiday.
Easy cycling with great wine tasting opportunities.
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 all round except evening meal at the Relais.
Amazing holiday, well thought out. All hotels were unique and special. Beautiful cycling routes. Try.practising cycling at home before you go. It would improve the enjoyment of the holiday.
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.
The gastronomic cycling holiday was a great way to see the Loire valley up close. The notes for cycling were easy to follow and enabled us to enjoy the holiday at our own pace. The bikes were well maintained with a comfy gel saddle which ensured no aches and pains were felt in unwanted places! On this holiday you can keep fit and build up an appetite for the excellent French cuisine and wines which you enjoy guilt-free and come home the same weight as when you left.
Our most scenic Headwater cycling holiday to date and well worth the physical effort!
Exceeded our expectations, really enjoyable experience. Our rep, Ross, was always on hand, with advice even acting as a taxi service taking us to and from the local restaurant for evening meals and also to Vezelay for the day, nothing was too much trouble.
Will be looking forward to booking our next cycling holiday!
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.
Fabulous holiday, very well planned. We were immersed in the countryside and every day we saw beautiful places that we would never have seen travelling by car. Every night we ate a sumptuous meal of fabulous quality. A real joy.
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.
This holiday is an ideal introduction to Headwater. Rep, Ross Brown, was excellent: knew the area well, had very good relationships with local hotels, very helpful and inspired confidence. Hotel Normandie excellent urban base to begin the holiday. Relais St Vincent is a quite outstanding hotel, full of character, very comfortable, superbly run and offering excellent food in a fine dining room. Vermenton relaxed, informal and welcoming, and food at Accolay excellent. Varied and interesting route with places to visit and wonderful rides on fine towpaths beside the rover Yonne.
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.
This was my 16th cycling holiday with your company in the last 12 years! Had a really good time but the grading should be a 2 bike holiday as it was tough with lots of really steep hills. I was with my daughter and she found parts of it challenging. We stayed in the walkers hotel in Dinan as the cyclists was full at the time of booking. I paid 100 euros to upgrade to a room at the back of the hotel as the front was too noisey. The room was small with a large bathroom but not really worth the amount extra I paid. I think you should maybe look to have a different hotel in Dinan as there seemed to be lots of good hotels with more competitve rates which would be better. The proprietor and staff at the Hotel d'Avaugour were not welcoming and at times quite rude. There was no hot water on the first morning. As for your rep STEVE - he is amazing. So helpful, kind and thoughtful. You need to look after him. He is taking lots of photos for your monthly competition! I hope to book with you again next year. Josephine Ball
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.
Excellent all round except for the dreadful welcome at Bel Air (the lady is a bit hit and miss we understand) of which we made light hearted remarks!
The highlight hotel was the Auiberge du Centre at Chittenay where FOUR people took our bags to our room when we arrived.
We have been many many times with Headwater and find the routes marvellous and varied with fantastic food and hotels. All the arrangements were excellent.
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!
Our first cycling holiday and it was a PERFECT introduction! Looking forward to the next one.
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.
A great way of getting to know a small area of France and savouring local life. On a bike you see and hear things and also meet people that would pass you by if travelling by car.
We were a family group of four. Mum ,Dad and two grown up children, son aged 27 and daughter aged 30. We had a really enjoyable trip, exploring all the towns and villages along the route. We really enjoyed a totally relaxing and stay put day at the Grand Relais Laurenti. We had the place to ourselves! Wonderful setting, fantastic views. The 'city centre' Hotel Al Grappolo was our least favourite and it was not the sort of place that you would want to spend the entire day (like Grand Relais Laurenti). The food was excellent especially for vegetarians. Four courses was to much! And the wine was very good and very reasonably priced.
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.
Excellent way to enjoy an area. Taste the food and visit the local areas of interest.
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)
Had a fabulous time especially in view of the fact that we organised it within 24hours! Great work from Headwater on that.
Weather was brilliant too even with the 39degree heat day. It was always very supportive to know that we could call James and/or Hazel anytime form anywhere and they would help us. We did. One day, we didn't make the whole distance and were picked up without any issues at all.
I didn't take a helmet and I do feel it is compulsory for me, whatever the law. I think a bigger 'heads-up' re taking a helmet could be made, plus at least for the girls, take cycling pants.
All the meals were sensational. The routes were scenic and thoroughly enjoyable, especially the dedicated bike tracks and those along the rivers.
Loved the entire experience and working with this company. Five stars. Thank you.
Annual fitness check up for the occasional cyclist and food lover
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!
Great holiday - cycling was wonderful through a picture perfect valley; a few climbs to hill-top towns but views compensate enormously. Well chosen hotels. Only minor gripe was that two hotels had a full menu (one with minor 2 euro mark-up for some dishes), while two have a very fixed menu with 2 and 3 choices respectively. On return to Bastiglia we had the same menu which had rabbit which we don't eat (just a promise we made as we keep rabbits !). This would have been just OK but we stayed two more nights and had the same menu given to us. To be fair we negotiated a slight change although our starter was still based on parma ham each night. The hotel was lovely but it did make us feel like we were second class diners who couldn't afford the full menu, which I am sure is unintentional but the created effect. We nearly dined elsewhere on the last night to get some variety of choice but this is probably our fault for staying 4 nights here - wonderful hotel but wouldn't half board in future if stay extra nights.
We were very happy with the entire trip. The accommodations and food were amazing. I've already recommended this vacation to several friends.
I appreciated the choice of routes given on one of the days and the rep gave us many tips to add to our enjoyment eg a restaurant off the beaten track and certain view points. He also made sure we were aware of any obstacles on our route such as road closures.
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.
Really good holiday, challenging and rewarding.Loved the routes through the byways, hamlets and villages.
Steve gave us lots of confidence, we felt that if there was a problem, he would soon sort it.
However we did think it was quite expensive and the hotels and meals though very good did not quiet reach
the standard that we might have expected. In 2007 we did a Loire valley cycling tour with Inntravel and their
hotels and dinners were superior
Great hotel locations, very friendly with good service and excellent food and drink especially the abundant and very good value seafood.
We had a fabulous holiday, the support we got from our reps (particularly James) was of a really high standard, and definitely added to the holiday experience.
The hotels (especially Vallagon and Chissay) definitely lived up to or surpassed expectations.
This sort of holiday was new to us, but we would definitely do it again.
Chateaux of the Loire is an excellent intro to Headwaters cycling holidays, excellent bicycles with professional support, gently rolling hills, routes on quiet country lanes through golden fields of ripening crops, and welcome warming sunshine . With ample opportunity to visit the numerous Chateaux on route, whilst staying in a variety of outstanding Hotels/Chateaux all with superb menues to choose from, and most with swimming pools what more is there to wish for ?. This was out 8th holiday with Headwater and it is definitely in the top 3.
Excellent from start to finish as usual!
A great way to see and experience the parts of a country that other travel companies often don't reach.
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!
Perfect mix of activity and opportunity to explore with time built in for relaxing. The 'two night stop' arrangement works well and whilst it helps to travel light, you soon get efficient at packing and unpacking. Even with a few challenging cycling moments (especially the visit to chateauneauf from St Sabine) it is hard to cycle off all the beautiful food and wine taken on board! Each day offered something different, both in terms of scenery, sightseeing and accommodation. The ebike was much appreciated by one of our party to help with some of the longer climbs.
We have now taken two cycling holidays with Headwater - the Carinthian Lakes, Austria and Gastonomic Burgundy, France, which were both in their first season, but were really well put together and we enjoyed the first so much we brought some friends with us on the second!
Delightful easy cycling (totally flat with excellent largely traffic free trails) in scenic countryside. Lots of opportunities to stop for coffe, cake, drinks etc
We luckily met another couple on our trip with similar interests so it was lovely to meet up in the evenings with them, could have been solitary on our own.
Wouldn't do Gastronomique as food was too much and very similar menu at each hotel, No Air Con at hotel on 1st and last night and it was very hot when we were on holiday. The villages we cycled through had few shops and often seemed closed when we went through them but on the whole this wasn't a major problem. The chateaus were lovely and the hotel staff on the whole very helpful. The bikes were very good.
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 .
Welcome at La Macchia by the older couple felt off hand. Staff, however, were helpful and appeared over worked in the dining room. Food was good at Grapolo d pro but service was slow and we left before being offered a last course. Cycle routes good and notes clear Only got lost once.
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.
I am truely impressed with Headwater , Steve was fantastic , we rode together on 2 days.
Mick the film maker/photographer joined on the last day , really great company.
I'd love to see the movie you made of me cycling to promote Headwater .
Great food and accommodation. Tough cycling but scenic. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Cycling easy even for us oldies,nice hotels,beautiful scenery and relaxed pace.
An excellent and relaxed holiday made all the better by a very helpful and knowledgeable local representative, Ross Brown. The cycle routes along the canal and river paths especially on the final day, were delightful. Wine tasting and buying opportunities were frequent and fun and the wine collection service worked flawlessly.
Overall a good holiday well organised excellent friendly reps and a good variety of hotels some excellent some very good weather could have been a little better!
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.
Excellant holiday with one of the best travel reps we have come across .He put himself out to help us and nothing was too much trouble
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.
We had a very good time. It was a lovely holiday marred only by the directions being a little bit unreliable.
Apart from the excellent food and accommodation, the cycling was about as perfect as it can get: smooth, quiet gently undulating roads, considerate drivers, friendly people and good weather but not too hot. Plenty to see and visit.
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
The easy way to enjoy a cycling holiday abroad
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.
The holiday was well organised and gave us what was promised in the brochure. When we did run into problems ( minor and not the fault of Headwater) they were sorted out with the minimum of fuss and delay ( eg puncture as above and then BA cancelled our flight home from Rome with 48 hours notice! We contacted Vlad in resort and he immediately contacted Michelle Roberts in UK who sorted out alternative flight for us. Without such prompt and efficient service we would have had an anxious and stressful 2 days- not what you want on holiday!
The hotels were great- obviously hand picked- lovely rooms ,pools , food - everything. The routes were great although on occasion the notes were unclear. Also as one person wrote in the blue book- Italy- wonderful country- shame about the maps!! But a great holiday and only minor nit picks!
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.
Ross was great as a tour guide, and very helpful in pointing out places of note/interest. Countryside and views were glorious, and the villages were delightful. However, 2 things stuck out on this tour: This was a level 1 tour but there were several 1-plus hills on the route - i think that could be better explained; and most of the pretty villages we visited were empty of life, no people, no animals, no cafes/bars or facilities - i think that needs to be better explained too, as it was a disappointment to find them shuttered up. Auxerre was interesting, and Chablis and Vezelay very pretty with plenty to see and do, but not much in between. Our 2 nights with external dinners in Vermenton were great - superb choice of restaurants, and Ross was a very considerate driver, waiting for us to finish late on both occasions!
Most enjoyable. Well planned and varied routes with excellent dining in the evening. Something for everyone.
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.
Very enjoyable. You don't feel that you are part of a crowd but have the reassurance of the back up provided by a local representative, if required.
The routes were well put together but you need to be reasonably fit before you go.
Although you are travelling to a warmer country you need to be prepared. We had one very wet day and would have been lost without decent waterproof tops and trousers..
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.
As with my previous Headwater holiday in Brittany last year, the organisation and logistics of this holiday worked like clockwork, luggage was collected and delivered to successive hotels in time for my arrival. In all but one instance the hotel reception was excellent and the quality of the dining experience was commensurate with fine dining. In one hotel only, the restaurant was busy and the front of house staff were flustered and made several mistakes with my menus and orders, but this was compensated by the quality of the food and the wine suggestions of the other staff. One evening our group was taken by taxi for the evening meal to a nearby Hotel/Restaurant as our hotel's restaurant was closed for the evening. This was done with efficiency and the dining experience worth the trip. The Rep, James, made every effort to meet me when I arrived and to explain things to me and took the trouble to see me off as I left. The Reps were very helpful, sending me a postcard with their contact details on before I started the holiday, giving me the confidence that they would be there to help if anything went wrong, which I am glad to say did not happen. If you like French food and good wines this is a good choice for you. I am a keen cyclist and prefer to cycle further each day than the Headwater brochure routes. I appreciate the flexibility Headwater adopt with me in negotiating support for a longer route than the one in the brochure. I will be booking with Headwater again next year.
Lovely to have everything arranged for us ; quiet cycling routes and accommodation planned by people with local knowledge and luggage taken care of . All we had to do was relax and enjoy the holiday !
Not Headwaters fault , but coming back on May 31st , we arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to find that we had been put on Standby and had no seats allocated . We have since learned that this is common practice by airlines but we did spend a stressful couple of hours before being told that we could get on the 13.05 flight for which we had reservations .
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.
Wonderful countryside, good cycling, plenty to see and stop at, so the routes filled the days with lots of interest. It was 30oC in the first week of May, and would be best when temperature was 25ish, which is what we had hoped by booking an early holiday. I don't know how it could be enjoyable in August.
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
trouble free and relaxing
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.
Excellent, good fun and good value.
We were a family group of six with ages ranging from 30 to 67 and we all enjoyed the whole experience. One of our party was a vegetarian which we recognised might be a bit of a challenge for the hotels, given that this was a gastronomic experience, but she was quite happy with the range of vegetarian options available.
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.
It wasn't the relaxing biking holiday I was hoping for. Some parts were, but the published route involved too many busy main roads. There were a lot of mistakes in the notes, which added stress. I do wonder if anyone had actually rode it from Headwater? It could have been a lot better - for instance leaving La Macchia, instead of going down the busy main road, we went into town on the back roads, over the railway, then along a parallel road, then onto a cycle track - easy to do and much less traffic.
The hotels were not brilliant. We didn't eat the four courses offered at meal times, as it was just too much. I would have rather paid a bit less and just had two courses.
I may sound churlish, about the birthday cake, but the reason we went on this week was because we had a family tragedy the year before on my birthday, and I specifically wanted a totally un-birthday normal day. It worked fine, and I had genuinely forgotten about it, so was very angry and embarrassed about what happened. They should not have been looking at my passport - the only reason they had it was for legal reasons.
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
We enjoyed the holiday but the directions were probably the worst we have ever had. They are not clear and some directions referred to signs/cafes etc that no longer seemed to be there. In Gualdo Catanneo the instructions sent us all round the village back to where we started but the road had collapsed and we had to go back. In fact we could have pushed the bikes 50m down the hill back to where we started! Often directions are given in distances but when you have no means of judging distance it is hard to know if you are in the correct place. There should be more information on how to get to places on the off days. We went to Perugia but found out how to get there on our own. It was simple and this information could be made available on your website. The bikes are very heavy and poorly maintained. I could only use 18 of the 21 gears until my husband fixed it after 3 days - not great on the Umbrian hills.
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
Headwater offers a very efficient and reliable service. The equipment was very good, the hotels were on the whole very agreeable, at a price. We travelled off season, but even so, the hotel restaurants were extremely busy and there were occasions when we had to wait so long, we gave up on the puddings!
Overall the cycling was most pleasant on quiet roads, very often for cyclists and walkers only. There were some demanding climbs into any town worth its salt in tourism, but then there was the added bonus of the long descent back down to terra firma. The weather was amazingly good and the lovely tranquil scenery.
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 find Headwater a very professional organisation. The cycling routes and notes are well thought out and the reps are knowledgeable and very helpful.
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.
Compared to other companies, our view is that 'Headwater', is at the top of the tree.
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.
Beautiful area of France with easy cycling days,many interesting places to visit and, at the end of the day, mouth watering food to enjoy.
Lovely area with some very good cycle routes. The accommodation and meals were excellent. The cycling was relatively easy, however you could add extra mileage and create longer routes if you wanted.
We had a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday which was organised without fault.
Easy cycling. Good hotels with excellent food and accommodation in the main. Weather in late September was brilliant which made visits to chateaus etc more spectacular. All in all we had a really good holiday.
The holiday met all our expectations, as the description in your brochure proved to be accurate in all respects. The level of accommodation, in fact, exceeded expectations as did the dining experiences. Whilst not a budget holiday, you provided excellent value for money.
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.
This was a good holiday made more enjoyable by perfect weather throughout. The cycling was varied and the terrain different and interesting. We spent two extra days in Dinan (we prefer 10-night tours) and found plenty to do. There were lots of opportunities for cafe stops throughout the tour. There were some hills but we four pensioners just walked up them - the countryside would have been less interesting without them! None was longer than 700 metres - nothing like the 3-km walks onto the Lot Valley causses or the 5-km slogs in the Jura. The rep, Steve, was excellent. We had heard good reports of him from other cyclists on earlier Headwater holidays and he fully lived up to his reputation. The loan of large-scale maps (1:25,000) was an excellent idea and should be taken up everywhere. And when we had our first bike problem in four years of Headwater cycling (a seized wheel bearing), he had the problem fixed with a new wheel within 30 minutes of the call for assistance. Informative, interesting and always cheerful, he is the gold standard to which every Headwater rep should aspire.
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.