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.
Excellent all round, except for holiday grading. Would definitely travel with you again.
It was a relaxing and carefree holiday, thanks to Headwater’s sorting of all the travel and accommodation details and the excellent service from the hotel and guides. They really covered all the bases, so all I had to do was turn up and enjoy my holiday.
The whole experience was excellent. Travel arrangements worked well. Walking level of group and local guides were very good. Hotel accommodation appropriate for activity. Food was exceptional.
Great holiday, well organised.
The initial problems with my booking were frustrating but afterwards, all the admin was correct & provided at the right time. The hotel location was excellent and would make a good location for snow showing. The hotel team & our guide, Wenche, were also excellent.
I was very impressed with all aspects of the holiday. The only thing I'd change would be the length of the wait for the train.
I have been to Venabu 3 times to ski and I wanted to see the area without snow (totally different). The week's walking is designed to show the culture and scenery of the area and the guide (Wenche) was very knowledgeable and interesting to be with. She had to cope with a wide spread of ability in the group which she managed to do as well as the weather which was not the best. We visited old churches, summer farms and an exhibition during the week either as part of the walk or afterwards. The staff in the hotel are very friendly and efficient speaking very good English. The food is plentiful and as a vegetarian I enjoyed all the evening meals especially the Norwegian meal. I was also glad to be able to arrange my own flights as those offered by Headwater did not suit my needs.
I especially enjoyed the little things that were not in the itinerary and were unexpected - like a visit to an old stave church, a stop to talk to an old farmer, and a second visit to the summer farm where we were given rhubarb pie.
Generally fine - and helpful with extra add-ons. Communication was good. As I've said above maybe the trip notes need a little fine tuning -and Exodus and Headwater need to agree on a standard grading for the holiday.
Nick, our guide, was excellent. His local knowledge meant that our walks were interesting and enjoyable. Some of the walks were steep but not of any great distance. If you are reasonably fit you will easily manage.The food at the finca was outstanding- local produce expertly cooked. Sue and Gordon were superb hosts-, they were efficient and organised-nothing was too much trouble. If you have not been on a Headwater holiday previously, the finca is a good place to start, you can't fail to enjoy yourself- highly recommended
Location of Finca rather remote but made up for by quality of accommodation, food and great staff. Having guide Nick enhanced the holiday due to his knowledge and wonderful manner. Please keep guided walks on your agenda as they make a good holiday great and encourage group bonding
My holiday to Finca el Cerrillo was one of the best. From the moment one arrives, the welcome, from Alison, David, Sue, Gordon and the whole team, the exquisite location, accommodation etc., mark it out as something very special and in my opinion, unique. It is remarkable what has been achieved by Sue and Gordon, the owners, over the years, both inside and out, the place filled with the most fascinating, eclectic collection of paintings, artefacts and memorabilia, a place full of love. No surprise then, that some return, time and time again. I so look forward to being back.
Good guided walking in a great location
Gordon and Sue are superb hosts, we loved the Finca
Sue & Gordon made us very welcome and did everything they could to ensure that we had a really enjoyable, memorable holiday. The weather was ideal for walking the hillside tracks; we even managed a swim on most days (this was early November!!) and the caves at Nerja make for a wonderful excursion. Although generally the wildlife has suffered from the heat and lack of rain earlier in the year, Rafa did manage to spot and point out a chocolate (black) squirrel and a mother + kid ibex on two of the walks.
Best holiday in a while
Lovely Finca in the mountains surrounded by groves of fruit and nut trees. Amazing hosts. Food beautifully served on the terrace under fairy lights in the unseasonably warm October evenings. Walks with knowledgeable guides, never too strenuous, back in time to enjoy a swim and relax in the pretty gardens.
I would recommend Headwater and hotel Finca el Cerrillo without hesitation. I enjoy walking and every thing about this holiday was excellent.
A well organised and varied programme of walks and activities. The Finca el Cerrillo was a wonderful place to relax after a day's walking.
This was absolutely wonderful. We cannot rate Finca el Cerrillo hiighly enough. Gordon and Sue were welcoming and kind hosts, and the whole atmospherre was that of a family holiday. Rafa was a superb local guide, and knew the hills around us intimately. He clearly tailored the walks to our ability. The mix of meals (in the Finca and in local restaurants) was really good. We liked the 'honesty bar' but spent too much there!
Of all the walking holidays we have experienced with Headwater , (this is the fifth) this one was the best. Maybe because it was based at a single centre (the excellent Finca) and was guided . A combination of an excellent small hotel, outstanding food, a well informed guide and varied interesting walks made this a holiday to treasure.
Finca el Cerillo is an excellent holiday location. Accomodation and food were if a very high standard.
The walking, graded as level 1, was more difficult than I had anticipated and was exacerbated by the temperatures.
Extremely gentle walking in beautiful Spanish scenery, excellent food and accommodation but rather a lot of idle time.
Thoroughly enjoyed seeing this unspoilt country where the hills meet the sea. Lots of travel but other than arrival day with 5.5 hour transfer rather than the advertised 3.5 it was fine and enjoyed watching the spectacular scenery through the windows. Usually do self guided but with the travel including 100s of hairpin bends and being unsure of how well marked paths would be decided on a guided tour and loved it. 7 guests on our tour. Hotels overall not quite as high quality as usual Headwater ones but we could see there is very limited choice especially inland. Felt it was more a 1 grade than 1+. Max height climbed was under 300m and walks mostly 2-3 hours. Boat trips and included lunches helped fill the days. Would recommend this holiday
(Am sending separate email for Headwateer staff with more specoific feedback)
Charming, pretty Finca spread out with different rooms in the garden area. Very relaxing atmosphere and very kind, friendly hosts (Sue and Gordon). It was very hot for May during our week but the walks were all adjusted to allow for this. Nick was a very knowledgeable guide and very helpful. Spent a great week there and met some lovely people. Would definitely go again.
There is not one thing I could fault about this holiday experience. From the helpfulness and service when booking a holiday 4 days before travel (!), information re Covid practicalities, the accommodation, food, walks, group size and transfers. Everything was spot on. To add a few extra words about Finca el Cerrillo, everything previously said about the hotel is true. Wonderful owners and staff make it feel like home from home, where nothing is too much trouble. The food was outstanding and plentiful. They went the extra mile for some in the group when the walks were too strenuous, and arranged at no extra cost, alternative walks and activities. I have already booked to go back again and I haven't yet been home a week! Thank you to both Karen at Headwater and everyone at Finca el Cirrello for a relaxing and wonderful stay.
Finca el Cerrillo is a stunning holiday destination. Sue and Gordon are wonderful hosts and made our holiday so enjoyable. The walking was great with spectacular views. The hotel itself is a tribute to the thought and hard work that Gordon and Sue have put into a run down olive mill over the years. It is cosy, quirky and picturesque with many seating areas around the interesting garden to catch the sun or find the shade when needed. We loved our holiday here and really hope to return..
I could not fault this holiday. Although I have been on many Headwater holidays both cycling and walking I would recommend this particular trip to anyone considering taking their first walking holiday, both with friends and alone. It was recommended to me mainly because the hotel was so nice and I certainly appreciated that as soon as I arrived.
Dear Mrs Whalley
Thank you for leaving such a lovely review and recommendation. We do hope that we will be able to welcome you back on another Headwater holiday in the not too distant future.
A wonderful area of Spain to explore and the easy walking on offer was just right and gave access to wonderful views. Everything was organised well and the walking guide was excellent.
Superb welcoming English hosts and staff at outstanding accommodation. Nice mixture of eating at local restaurants and at accommodation. 12 walkers in group were an ideal number. All walkers were good timekeepers (including four Icelanders) making for a very affable happy group. Our guide had excellent knowledge of the area and its inhabitants.
Great walking in an as yet fairly unspoilt country.
Montenegro is a beautiful country and this walking holiday enables you to see a large part of it, either on the coast or up in the mountains. Stunning views on the walks. Stayed in very comfortable hotels especially the Hotel Conte which served delicious help yourself breakfasts .
Excellent walking trips with a knowledgble guide. Varied scenery and routes that overall met the 2 boot standard. Lots of travelling, but necessary in order to satisfy the 'highlights' nature of the holiday. Good standard of accommodation throughout, with one excellent hotel overlooking the Bay of Kotor where its worth a room upgrade to one with a seaview.
We had an amazing time in Montenegro and the holiday exceeded our expectations. The guide Sinisa was fantastic and we had the added bonus of a second guide Anna that was learning the route. The driver was first class and very safe. We would say Hotel Zabljak is in a good spot but the rooms are too small to swing a cat and the food isn't great. Hotel Conte in Perast is in a stunning location and the food is fantastic. The waterside terrace for dinner is amazing. The hiking was amazing with some stunning views but not too tricky and we got around all the key sights. The wine tasting lunch was simply delightful as per all the lunches. We had a group of just 4 and it was a most enjoyable week sharing lots of stories. We are already looking to see what we can book next with Headwater. Thank you to Sinisa and Anna, Headwater and Sue and John!
This trip is an excellent introduction to Montenegro, a country with stunning scenery both mountainous and coastal. Whilst, yes, this is a walking holiday you should not under-estimate the time taken in traveling between centres - the terrain dictates slow, sometimes repetitious, driving. That said, this is the "Highlights of Montenegro" and you are based in both the north and south of this amazing country; you cannot experience what it has to offer unless you're prepared for that distance driving.
Marko, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable. helpful and very good company, offering a personal insight into this region. Nothing was too much trouble.
The trip grading was accurate, with some relatively steep ascents and descents; however, there are occasions when long ascents are stepped - so, a good all-round level of fitness is needed.
The standard of accommodation was excellent overall. Hotel Conte, in particular, provided a superb location, excellent food and service. Hotel Soa is located 15 mins walk from Durmitor National Park and offered, therefore, easy access to an amazing area of beauty. The room was small but adequate for the length of stay; cleanliness was first class. The Bianca Spa Resort, whilst a great hotel offering great amenities, its size was reflected in the quality of food available, which tended to be mass-produced. However, this is an overnight stop and did not impact on the overall positive experience.
We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this trip; Montenegro has a lot to offer and far exceeded our expectations on all levels.
Fabulous location -great walking and stunning scenery.
Tasty food - even for a vegetarian!
This is the second time we have visited the Finca, this time with friends to whom we recommended the holiday. It was a first class experience from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. Sue , Gordon and their team at the Finca were very welcoming knowledgeable and interested in all aspects of our days , they clearly loved the countryside and wanted us to maximise our experience. Our guide, Rafa was brilliant and added to the whole experience. The cuisine was also brilliant and in itself enough to draw us back!
Thanks to all involved....
A beautiful place...
Overall, a very good holiday. As I hadn't been on a walking holiday before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Given the location I expected slopes, and from photos realised that paths could be rough, however the walks were more challenging than I expected and I would not describe them as easy. In particular, on the last day we had a long steep, scrambly stretch up a fire break where I needed the guide to give me a hand in places. None of the walks are that long, but it was the terrain was quite difficult in places. However, Rafa the guide was great, and the vistas were great (when you weren't watching where to put your feet)! Some of the paths were narrow with prickly plants that were difficult to avoid, so long trousers would have prevented my legs getting scratched - mainly on the first and last walks.
On arrival, the photo of the cafe where we were to meet the taxi driver did not tally with the actual. A little map would have been helpful. The actual transfer takes about an hour - the first half along the coast and the second half going up the hillside on narrow winding roads with precipitous drops but Maria, (my taxi drive both to and from the airport) was an excellent driver.
The Finca was a delight, with lovely gardens. Don't expect TV's or telephones in the rooms, which are simply furnished, but clean and I found the bed comfortable. Meals were taken altogether around a long table. There were eleven of us in the Headwater group and we filled half the 14 rooms. The other rooms were taken by a group of artists from Canada on a painting course. Overall the food was excellent (although I wasn't too keen on the buffet meal one evening). Most nights at the Finca there was no choice of menu, with the exception of one night when it was a choice between two white fish for the main course, although vegetarians and dietary restrictions are catered for. Two evening meals are at local restaurants and we were then asked to make our choices before going off for our walk that day.
I didn't go on the trip down to Malaga as I had picked up a blister on the first day, so I stayed at the hotel and read. Although I was the only one staying in the hotel, Alison arranged for me to have a salad for lunch, and Sybil the dog came and kept me company for a while!
I was travelling alone, and was the only "solo" walker. I may have been very lucky, but my fellow walkers were all very nice and I never felt left out or uncomfortable in any way because I was travelling alone. The whole group seem to blend together very well, yet there was still time to sit alone if you wanted to.
Overall I was very happy with the holiday. I would have liked more time wandering around the white villages themselves, as opposed to seeing a little bit of them at the beginning or end of a walk, and I really would have liked to hear some Spanish guitar music sometime during the week. I also tried to book a massage (as advertised by the hotel), but apparently the lady who does it won't come for just one person.
Finca el Carrillo is a little paradise. Our walks took us round the white villages and up into the hills. We saw many butterflies, flowers and birds. We even heard a nightingale. We also enjoyed local cuisine. Our day in Malaga was an opportunity to see some wonderful art at the Carmen Thyssen Museum also the Picasso
A great way to explore the hills of Andalusia, if you don't mind walking with the hotel dog bounding around.
Beautiful walks. Guide was good in assessing group ability and provided challenging walks. The hotel was fabulous. I have never stayed in such a wonderful place with such good food and facilities.
This holiday exceeded my expectations. Excellent doesn’t do justice to this holiday.
We had a great time -The other members of the group were friendly and we had enjoyable walks and meals together. Gordon and Sue were so lovely . They were very knowledgeable and helpful both as guides and also as hotel owners.They have built such a great hotel ,both comfortable and efficient .I understood why so many of their guests return.
Very enjoyable with good company, good accommodation, lovely walks. A little more attention to detail with joining instructions would have helped.
The highlight of the holiday was most definitely the hotel. We were made to feel like old friends, even by fellow guests who weren’t part of our group. We’ve never stayed in a more relaxing hotel. The guide was excellent and the walks, particularly the last one into the mountains, where delightful. The accommodation was excellent as was the food.
A lovely week walking in the hills of Andalucia, based in a great little Finca. Wonderful food and friendly, helpful staff making for a very relaxing stay. Nice to have a day off in Malaga which has lots to see. A fabulous walking guide in Judith who although Dutch lives locally so knows the area very well. Would definitely recommend the week for gentle walks, great food and hopefully good weather!
Finca el Cerrillo was a beautiful property, with everything you could hope for. There was only 14 rooms but the outside space, with so many tucked away seating areas, was incredibly spacious. Dinner each evening was delicious. Our hosts were friendly and welcoming, and the staff always smiling and helpful. Judith, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable and very easy to get on with. She helped to make our walks a real experience.
5* location, 5* beautiful Finca with endless hidden terraces, where you could relax in peace if you wanted to. Lovely swimming pool. Food was exceptional throughout the week, including lunch tapas stops out and evening restaurant meals,. Best of all were the Finca meals. Wine was flowing and , if you wanted, you could purchase further drinks before meals from the Honesty bar. I found the walks accurately marked at 1+ and, at 67 and only recently having become a walker, I thought they were perfectly doable unless you had mobility issues, in which case, choose a trip which doesn't include rugged mountain tracks. The guide, Nick, gave us background geography and history, while walking, and many thought that was a welcome addition to some other trips they had been on. There were only 9 of us and I think, again, that that is what made the trip so enjoyable. We could chat to different people on the walk and evening meals were all the more pleasant because of the smaller group. Sue and Gordon, who run the Finca with help, provided an exceptional experience. They put themselves out and were charming but unobtrusive. I think I was very lucky to have chosen this trip as my first walking experience away on my own. It was a brilliant week and well worth every penny.
EXCELLENT WEEK AWAY, GOOD COMBINATION OF WALKING, SIGHTSEEING & RELAXATION IN PRETTY SURROUNDINGS
Brilliant! Fantastic guide (Nick), food, The Finca and hosts. Great company in our walking group.
The Finca was first rate , and an ideal base to return to after a days walking. The walks were challenging and interestingly brought to life by our guide. An all round holiday experience
Well organised, varied experiences,excellent guide
Excellent experience of the highlights of Montenegro but slightly too long in the minibus on some days.
A great first experience of Headwater organisation. We were fortunate to join 8 other wonderful walkers who were all Headwater advocates. The guide was a great guy, helpful, interesting and fun. Hotel Soa was not so good. We hope to travel with you again.
Montenegro is a very beautiful country and the programme certainly showed us many highlights; guide Sinisa with his excellent knowledge of the region and its history certainly enhanced our holiday - super group of people too!
The whole holiday was well organised to give a diverse interesting and relaxing introduction to a wonderful country complemented by an extremely helpful guide.
Good itinery , lovely accommodation , Excellent guides
Great locations, excellent guide and a great bunch of fellow hikers. Wonderful holiday.
Visiting Montenergro was a wonderful experience. The walks through pastures, by lakes to rewarding view points with our excellent guides, Misa and Stefan will be etched in our minds. The beautiful wild flowers. The lunches provided by your company were interesting, one in the pouring rain by a lake, one with the Garnet wine grower, then at the mausoleum to Peter 11. Nothing was too much trouble for Misa and Stefan. The walks were great fun and despite our ages we managed the steep ups and downs. We will certainly recommend it to our younger friends !! . Our companions Paul and Elisabeth were great company. Primrose and Tony Oakden
5 star holiday experience . Excellent hotel , location and walking experience.
Friendly, welcoming hosts in a beautiful location. Wonderful walking with Gordon and Sue.
A thoroughly enjoyable, relaxing time in beautiful surroundings. Congratulations to Sue and Gordon, and their team, they are wonderful hosts.
Amazing Spanish venue giving a true insight and feeling to old Spain (well away from fish and chips!). The Finca has been beautifully renovated to offer individually laidout room with plenty of quirky outdoor spaces (including a tree house with bar). The hosts are very welcoming with great enthusiasm and knowledge. The walks were well thought out with plenty to see.
Finca el Cerrillo is exceptional. The care and tought that have gone into the walking programmes is impressive.
Everything about the holiday was good, the hotel, the company, the food and the guides had an excellent knowledge of the environment. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable week.
Friendly, helpful, engaging and committed to ensuring a successful holiday experience.
Gentle walking in beautiful scenery. Nick was an excellent guide, and the Finca is a lovely, homely place to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Following receipt of the excellent documents describing the holiday in full we were extremely excited. If anything we were a little worried that we had too high an expectation but this certainly wasn't the case. The holiday was every bit as good as we expected. Even the weather was perfect. Everything was arranged so well and the people looking after us from the owners to the staff were excellent.
In a word, EXCELLENT. The Finca el Cerrillo provided comfortable accommodation in a wonderful location. Surrounded by beautiful gardens with excellent views across to the nearby (white) village, this was a great place to relax. Breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals (two at local restaurants) were all delicious. The hotel owners, Sue and Gordon Kind, were welcoming and attentive hosts, keen to make sure that every guest felt looked after. Our walking guide, Elaine, was first class, leading us at the right pace for the group, and informing us about the local area, history and wildlife. The walks were typically 4-5 miles in length, and correctly described as 1+. Nothing too challenging, but with enough ascent and descent to keep us active for a few hours each day. I greatly enjoyed the trip to the caves at Nerja, the visit to Theo's bar, and the journey by 4x4 up into the mountains to start the walk on the final day. All flights and transfers went well, including Headwater offering alternative flights very quickly and efficiently following the collapse of Monarch. As a single traveller this was a great opportunity to meet with some interesting and sociable fellow travellers who all got on well together. Overall, I would highly recommend this holiday.
One of my best holidays. Good company (others on same holiday). Nick the guide was excellent too.
Exceeded expectations in accommodation and general arrangements & attention to,detail. Walks were good. However needs,to be made clear these are not gentle strolls and a degree,of difficulty is involved
A well chosen rural, village based location for an experience of the real Spain. The Finca el Cerillo takes some beating,and we would recommend every aspect of the holiday, the experience was only positively added to by the whole location team. Thanks to all.
Excellent locations. Both hotels good,but Conte excellent. Food at Soa OK but not outstanding, while the meal out was really good. Super guide and a varied programme made it memorable.
It was good holiday, but travelling between hotels was longer than anticipated. Glad we booked an extra night either end as not much free time on the tour. And is hilly
Weather helped being nice but not too hot
A fascinating place to visit. Walking through beautiful 'alpine' scenery, gradually learning about the complex history of the area from a knowledgeable and amusing guide. Great local wine and food.
Well-guided, with a good range of features to please any traveller
Interesting country, good guide and walking. Fair amount of hill work, some with steep drops on one side. Would have helped if Headwater had provided good profiles for each walk. Very friendly people along the way.
We thoroughly enjoyed our walking holiday in Montenegro. Our guide Sonja was excellent and the scenery was superb with very good accommodation.
A wonderful way to explore and enjoy a beautiful new part of the world, with challenging and stimulating walks and experiences - and with all the concerns, planning and details in the safe hands of a friendly and knowledgeable guide.
I would have done away with the day to visit Malaga, instead put in another walk. The return flight was a mess because of B.A., nothing to do with you but it put a damper on future plans.
An excellent introduction to the area with a wonderful guide.
It was a five star Holiday.
Our third visit to the Finca. As always great - although the mixture of guide/companions made this possibly the most enjoyable visit yet. As always the Finca is a superb centre for the holiday; and Elaine is an outstanding guide in all respects.
This is the fourth time my sister and I have been to Finca El Cerillo. Its setting, garden and swimming pool are outstanding and the buildings have been adapted imaginatively to make comfortable en suite rooms. Staying there feels like staying in an idiosyncratic country house where nothing is too much trouble. Food is delicious, the welcome is exceptional, and suggestions for improvement are genuinely welcomed. The walking is great too, and very well guided. We like the practice of sitting with fellow guests at supper and on each occasion have found them congenial. Very few exceptions!
This holiday has a delightful base at the pretty finca run by Gordon and sue and their friendly and efficient team .Their commitment to making your holiday as enjoyable as possible includes excellent guiding, delicious food within a relaxed , comfortable atmosphere. Walks seem to be adjusted to match the weather and overall ability of the group. The inclusion of meals out in the local restaurants etc meant we really felt that we were experiencing the Spanish cuisine. Great fun in a lively group. Thank you!
This was a door to door excellent holiday and experience.
The Finca was excellent with varied & tasty food & comfortable rooms. The splendid location & walks were accurately graded & Nick the guide was very knowledgeable. He adjusted his pace to accommodate the slower walkers on the steep terrain. The programme was varied, but the days in Malaga & Nerja were not 'rest' days (this is not a criticism, but an observation)
Excellent accommodation & location, good guide & good variety of walks.
The finca el cerillo was in a spectacularly beautiful place. On top of this the owners and staff were delightful and highly efficient. The food at the finca was quite superb and the arrangements at local restaurants were very good too. Elaine, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable, kind and thoughtful. The whole week was filled with interesting walks, history and culture, and was wonderfully managed. It was like staying as a house guest with very kind friends. We will definitely look at Headwater holidays again.
Excellent hotel, great walks with an excellent local guide, and super company. There were gentle walks in the early days building up to a lovely long last day hike in the mountains. Good local food and opportunities to sample local bars and restaurants. A couple of excursions to Nerja caves and Malaga old town added variety to an excellent week.
A combination of great walks in a beautiful place coupled with an outstanding hotel made it a week to remember.
Everything about this holiday was top class. From the accommodation, the food, the walking, the guide, the transfers to the hotel staff. Most of all the company of the other walkers. Compliments to all concerned.
Lovely holiday with great food. Elaine was an excellent guide and very informative.
The Finca was excellent, as were all meals. Our guide Elaine was fantastic,the walks not too long, the week was fun.
This was my second visit to the finca - my first was in November when the weather was poor, and I wanted to see what it was like in sunshine. I was not disappointed - I would recommend this holiday to everyone who enjoys walking, eating good food and drinking wine!
We had promised ourselves a return to the Finca since our first brilliant experience a few years ago. We were not disappointed. Fabulous food, walks, & company in a glorious spot....we will return.
An excellent location, with good views, well appointed rooms and excellent food. The guide Nick was very knowledgeable. We would repeat in a different season to see the wildlife.
Montenegro must have some of the most beautiful, unspoilt landscapes in Europe. The walks are a good distance, mostly through woodland, but with some spectacular mountain top views as well. In September, the temperature was about right, although we did have some thunderstorms and rain, fortunately mostly at night. I have never seen so many varieties of fungi as there were in Durmitor National Park and the fields were carpeted with Autumn crocuses and the woods speckled with wild cyclamen. The group of 12 got on really well and our local guide was delightful and looked after us brilliantly. The food was delicious and we were able to buy wild berries, dried mushrooms and smoked ham and cheese, eat local pastries for our picnics drink Montenegran and Croatian wines and try local liqueurs. The second part of the week in Perast makes for an excellent contrast, with a bit a culture thrown in, a couple of boat trips and wonderful seafood.
I thought Montenegro was very beautiful. Headwater are an excellent and efficient organisation with well planned holidays.
Our guide was really knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. She led us on some excellent walks with stunning views. If you like organised group holidays and walking I would recommend this company.
An excellent experience discovering a fascinating region which is still mostly unspoilt by mass tourism.
Excellent scenery with a nice mix of challenging walking and more relaxed days. Montenegro is a really beautiful country and the guide really knows it well.
Very nice holiday in nice locations, with excellent local guide, only spoilt by extremely poor accommodation at Hotel Conte in Perast and extreme tiredness on first day due to ridiculously early flight time from Gatwick.
Dear Mr Goodfellow,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. We were pleased to see you enjoyed your holiday overall and rated our local guide as excellent, we will ensure your praise is passed on.
We were however sorry to read you felt the room allocated to you at Hotel Conte was extremely poor; this was disappointing to read; especially since past customers have rated this hotel highly. However, in light of your feedback, we will continue to monitor this hotel and work closely with the Hotelier to ensure our customers receive the standard of accommodation they have come to expect on a Headwater holiday.
We were also sorry to hear you felt extremely tired due to the early flight from Gatwick. In order to alleviate this, we do offer extra nights in Dubrovnik before the start of the holiday, which can help break up the travel a little. We are sorry if you were not aware of this option.
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
We had really good walks in quiet, beautiful countryside in a part of Europe that is so far relatively unspoiled by excessive tourism. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and the group of 13 got on very well with each other.
Had a great holiday. Eleven off us in the party and we all got on well together. No cliques. Wine tasting on the Sunday got us all going.
This was an excellent hotel and Sue and Gordon really looked after us. The food was great and the facilities were super. The walks were mostly good for us although quite testing for me in places. They were relatively short but in my opinion were greater than a 1 boot+ probably more like a 2 boot. My particular problem is that I suffer from severe vertigo and this resort is nearly 600 meters above sea level with very steep winding roads and many of the higher ones had no barriers. The local taxi drivers were really good but nobody should talk to them when driving because they use their hands to answer. Our guide Elaine was excellent and very understanding. However I backed off the last walk because it used 4x4 trucks to go high up, across winding narrow tracks and the walk was a bit hairy too. Don't get me wrong overall it was a great holiday.
Our only criticism is that of alternative departure airport does make a huge difference to the cost. The airline we were booked with is a low cost budget alternative, but we would have done far better to book independently. Any perceived benefit by having a 'package' booking was lost when flights were changed and no explanation or option was offered by Headwater. This is our 6th or 7th walking holiday with Headwater so we obviously happy overall, but the personal touch has been lost over the last few years. It is now much more of a 'package' and we would point that out to friends considering a walking/activity holiday. We have organised our own holidays of a very similar nature and that results in at least a 25% reduction in cost along with the benefit of being an independent booking at the destination - i.e. a higher value individual to the hotel.
For a carefree holiday with attention to detail and comfort this ticked all the boxes.
Relaxing, interesting and enjoyable blend of easy walking and sightseeing.
Accommodation at Hotel Finca was super and everyone on holiday there were very friendly, especially the five Singapore ladies who we were walking and dining with. They were great company.
This was a brilliant, relaxing holiday and a fantastic introduction to Spain which we had never visited before. Wonderful countryside, a gem of a hotel, lovely food and really helpful staff and walks guide. It couldn't have been better.
Excellent group holiday with good accommodation and very well organised. Wine included was good.
Varied program & walking harder than expected for one boot but lovely. Walking guide lovely & encouraging!
A unique holiday experience that fully met our expectations. Would highly recommend
This was a very well planned, smoothly run holiday. All our connections/transfers/taxis operated like clockwork. We were very well catered for and the Finca
had everything we needed for an extremely rewarding and relaxing holiday. Our guide, Nick, was very attentive and inclusive and happy to impart his
knowledge of the area. We loved the challenge of walking in the morning and then plenty of time in the afternoon to chill around the beautiful grounds of the Finca - lovingly developed over the years by our hosts Sue and Gordon. All the staff were very accommodating and friendly. We couldn't have asked for more.
Thank you everyone involved.
The Finca el Cerrillo is a wonderful place to stay in a beautiful location. We were extremely well looked after and the organisation was seamless. The walks were, as stated in the brochure, very gentle and leisurely. We would definitely consider returning especially If some more challenging walks were on offer.
Excellent holiday, well described in the brochure. However I thought the walks were a bit short so there was quite a lot of free time at the Finca. While the Finca is a really lovely place it was a little remote so if you wanted to go into the village/town there was a very steep walk down the ravine and back up the other side. I am sure later in the season the Finca is a lovely place to stay with swimming pool and lots of outside sitting areas but in early March it was a bit chilly. I wasn't too keen on the wine tasting in the morning before a walk. We seemed to spend a lot of time eating. We only had picnic lunches on 2 days which meant a lot of food was provided both at lunchtime and in the evening. I would have been happy to have longer walks and more picnic lunches.
I have been on Headwater walking holidays before (not for at least 8 years ). I now have a partner and I needed to convince him that the holiday would be enjoyable. My partner is in good health and fit but he is 82 years and he was nervous that the walking would be difficult. I persuaded him that a 1 boot would be fine but it was harder that I thought it would be.
When I first telephone Headwater to enquire about the holiday the telephone rep was most helpful so I suggested that my partner telephoned so that he could ask for the information he needed - this time there was a different rep and she was not so reassuring.
However we enjoyed the holiday and will attempt another with Headwater..
An excellent holiday , helped by the weather!
Stress free excellence! I loved every minute of this holiday principally because all arrangements went super smoothly, the hotel staff, accommodation and location were way above my expectations. The week flew and the walking was thoroughly enjoyable. Would I go with Headwater holidays again? Absolutely.
Exceeded all expectations. Very relaxing. Party of 10 ideal size to get to know each other. Excellent introduction to Andalucia
Montenegro was graded one and a half boots - I think two boots would be more accurate as some of the walks were more challenging that those in the holidays I had recently with Headwater on the Amalfi coast and in the south of France. Having said that, the country is very beautiful and unspoilt and although some of the bus rides from Perast were long (over two hours) the countryside was so interesting I didn't mind at all - despite the hairpin bends!
This was my first holiday with Headwater and I really enjoyed it. It was well organised, the accommodation and food was very good and our guide was really good, helpful and very knowledgeable.
Booking straightforward. Transfer to and from Malaga airport efficient. Great welcome at the Finca. Excellent food including local dishes. Food and wine from local source. The Finca is located in spectacular countryside enabling walks to be varied. Our guide Nick supplied us with information of the area-the history and customs of the local people, the fruit production on the hillsides-avocados, olives, grapes etc.
An excellent holiday.
Why [in no particular order]
wonderful scenery and excellent walking routes
superb group of walkers - we all got on well together, all of us at a similar standard.
great accommodation with 2 very welcoming hosts and their staff
excellent meals at all times - at the Finca and in the villages
a very knowledgeable guide
well organised transport throughout the holiday
A wonderful holiday from start to finish, the accommodation surpassed our expectations and the food was some of the best we have had, especially in the Finca. The air of calm around the place made us relax from the first day, thanks to Sue, Gorden and the rest of their lovely staff. The walks were well led by Nick who was very knowledgeable and made the point of talking to everyone in the group and making sure all were OK as some days it was very hot. Would recommend Headwater to friends without any hesitation, thank you.
Good walking in a stunningly beautiful Country though the geography meant some long drives to access them.
Hotel Zabljak though looked good, once experienced felt cheap....bathroom fitments all loose, no plug in a tiny washbasin, shower that flooded the bathroom, awful food, undrinkable coffee! Not up to what we believe are Headwater standards.
Hotel Conte stunning location very good food until last evening when our group played second fiddle to a wedding party. By the time we were offered dessert, very late, there was only ice cream on offer.
Dubrovnik Palace Hotel fabulous a brilliant way to end a good holiday.
The Hotel Conte in Perast, its staff and its service were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed being there, much more so than at the hotel in the mountains. What a pity that there are not more local walks in that lovely coastal area; although the boat trip in Kotor Bay was most enjoyable. The walks in the mountains (Durmitor NP, Tara River Canyon and Lovcen NP) have spectacular scenery but are somewhat dependent on fine weather for full enjoyment which, unfortunately, was not always the case for us - disappointing! Overall, though, a good holiday.
The holiday provides plenty of views of this country of contrasts during walks and (longer than expected) minibus transfers. Our local guide Olivera helped to explain much: from tourism on the crowded coasts to the many deserted buildings. Zabljak area provides mountain walks and scenery, so take warm layers as air can be cool if sun goes in (the hotel looks good, but only rates 2*). The village of Perast is a gem and fairly quiet in September, luckily 20mins drive from busy Kotor where the ocean liners stop. Hotel Conte really is 4*, with super food. All walks can be rugged from 1 to 2 boot (sturdy shoes and poles useful even on town walls of Kotor), and sometimes views hidden by low (wet) clouds (so thanks to our safe drivers). Not much evidence of wild life as we missed migration season.
Dear Mr Ward, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your holiday to Montenegro, Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is well received.
We were pleased to read you had and enjoyable holiday overall, taking in the contrasts this area has to offer. Since receiving your feedback and as we continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future, we have made some changes to this holiday for the 2016 season. Firstly, we have changed the hotel in Zabljak to a 4 star located in the heart town, we have also increased the rating to a 2-boot holiday; we hope you will agree that these changes will help enhance an already interesting and enjoyable holiday.
In closing, we would like to thank you for travelling with us this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
Very enjoyable. The first two walks in the Durmitor NP were fantastic, definitely my favourite.
Montenegro is a beautiful country, fantastic mountain scenery and Kotor Bay is wonderful. We didn't bring walking poles due to the 1+ grading but I would have found them very useful on some of the walks, especially the last day walking to Godinje. Can't comment on Lake Skadar boat trip as that wasn't possible for us. Our guide Sinica was great, very considerate and obviously knew all the walks well. We have had some wonderful holidays with Headwater and this was one of the best.
An excellent guide, wonderful walks and very agreeable fellow travellers. We would always recommend small group holidays - they are so much more friendly.
Do not stay at the Hotel Zabljak. See our separate email to you.
We were surprised at your recommendation of the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel - it is so different to what you offer elsewhere!
A series of walks in varied locations.
We did this holiday two years ago and loved it - hence the decision to return. We think the new programme makes it even better, especially in hot weather, which we had! The mix of walking, visits and sightseeing exactly hit the spot for us. Gordon & Sue are, as ever, wonderful hosts; Jenny was a first-rate guide; and the local drivers were also first-class. Well done to all at the Finca - we cannot fault your excellent service, food and attention to detail!
Sue and Gordon offer a wonderful warm welcome and the friendly informal atmosphere at the Finca is very relaxing
As others have said in reviews, excellent hotel, hosts and food, The walks were relatively easy with very nice scenery,
Excellent, well organised holidays with good company, first class accommodation and guides - and above all, personal service that cares!
An excellent location, good walks with knowledgeable guides who paid close attention to our safety, charming hosts at hotel and comfortable rooms with excellent food in the hotel and in nearby bars/restaurants - arranged by hotel
There had been comments that the walking on this holiday was too challenging, but I would have preferred longer walks.
This was our first visit toSpain. It as well organised by Headwater, the arrangments worked perfectly and we would like to go again.
Lovely new experience. I enjoyed the variety. Nice not to have to start walks before 10.00 a.m.
The group were great and we all got on very well. Lovely having a leader, who told you about things. Wish you had more guided holidays.
They all said they preferred Headwater, because of the standards of accomodation, so lots of good quality hotels will be great for other holidays.
We all agreed that we are less keen on the three stars!
It was nice eating in sometimes and out at other times, and so you never knew what interesting thing was going to be provided next.
They were great walks and I loved everything about the holiday. We all liked the length of the holiday aswell. ie a week.
An invigorating holiday in an excellent and very enjoyable location.
We had a lovely week in the mountains. We loved coming 'home' to the Finca after our days walking. Christine's cooking was an inspiration and we enjoyed our evening meals enormously. Jenny's guiding was safe and interesting and she gauged the pace of the walks perfectly. Sue, Gordon and Alison organised everything perfectly and all arrangements went like clockwork. We did not need to think about anything-wonderful! Thank you to Mari our taxi driver who negotiated the bends and hills expertly without making me feel sick.
NOTE : Did not stay at Pousada Delmonte completed in error !
Finca and hosts ( Sue and Roger ) was excellent . Difficult to appreciate the countryside as most walks were steep climbs and descents .consequently most time was spent looking at footing ! Would have preferred more walking on flat ....but I guess that's Spain !
Breathtaking scenery for our walks with a friendly, knowledgeable guide. Then, back to the Finca- a real gem of a hotel, nestling in the hills amongst typical white villages- for a swim before an excellent evening meal. On three nights we were taken to local restaurants where the food, though very good, still couldn't compete with the Finca. Sue, Gordon and Sybil (the dog) are wonderful hosts - no wonder they have so many visitors who return year after year !
Main concern was the grading of the walking routes, I run 10 miles each week, fitness is a priority , but found the gradients challenging as did many group members, ascents and descents.Thursdays walk was gentle and everyone enjoyed it more as we were able to take in the views , flowers ,without having our eyes glued to the terrain in case of fall, stumble, several of the group fell on previous walks, not what you want from a holiday.
The group dynamics were excellent and much laughter was shared, the idea of inhouse and restaurant meals, tapis lunches was the perfect mix. We did enjoy our holiday very much.
Very welcoming owners in hotel in a beautiful area of Spain
The Finca is a terrific destination for people who wish to enjoy rural Spain but the experience is heightened by the quality of the hospitality provided by Sue, Gordon, David and Christine. Their welcoming and informative approach, and the eye for detail, guarantees a good experience and, combined with the quality of the guides (principally Jenny), ensures a great holiday.
We were fantastically fortunate with the weather, the organisation was excellent and the Finca was a superb base for the walks. It is easy to see why visitors return several times - walkers and non-walkers alike. Our travel arrangements were good and Jenny, our guide, fun and informative. Food at the finca was exceptional and the atmosphere was a great balance of friendliness and conversation and peaceful relaxation. This was a beautiful time to visit with all the Spring flowers. Having tickets for the Alhambra and having transport arranged was a real plus - especially during Holy week.
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at the Finca el Cerillo and our hosts Sue and Gordon could not have been more helpful and considerate. The location, high on a ridge, gave wonderful views of the steep, rugged valleys with white villages clinging to the crests and in the distance the Mediterranean. Our bedroom was large, the bed equally so and very comfortable and the tiled bathroom had underfloor heating-great! The food at the Finca and the local restaurants was very good and the wines at the Finca first class. The walking was tough, lots of steep ascents on rocky paths. After the first morning we took the gentler option accompanied by Rose a super local guide. We hope to visit the Finca el Cerillo again.
I think that the Hotel Finca el Cerillo is a delightful location, with a wonderfully warm welcome by the owners Sue and Gordon. The rooms are all individually presented, and the mals provided in house were excellent and on other nights the local restaurants used were very good. The walking is guided by Jenny who maintains a steady pace that anyone with modest levels of fitness should be able to maintain while spotting out all sorts of flora and fauna.
I would not hesitate to recommmend this hotel to other travellers.
My one caution is that the some of the walking is at the upper end of a 2 boot grading.
If you're looking for a completely stress-free holiday then book with Headwater. I didn't have to think about any arrangements for the week as they were all taken care of. The finca is the ultimate retreat and Sue, Gordon and Jenny were all outstanding in their welcome and guidance. I can't wait to go back and will use Headwater again for another trip.
The Finca, the base for the 'Secrets of Andalucia' holiday is worth more than five stars! The welcome, friendliness of the owners an staff, and the 'house party atmosphere contribute to making this one of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken. Of course we went for the walking (and to get away from the cold weather) and this turned out to be pretty good as well. Jenny was the main guide, who was helped out by Rose when he walk was split into two levels. Both were excellent in their knowledge of the local flora, fauna and routes. The meals provided at the Finca were superb, and he packed lunches extremely filling. As part of the package two lunches and three diners were taken at local restaurants and this enabled us to sample local cooking aswell.
Overall a superb holiday that ticked all the boxes for us!
Setting,food and walking were superb. Gordon and Sue were exceptional hosts and Christine's food deserved a rosette!
Excellent hotel and fantastic food, very friendly staff, taxis arranged to local restaurants, super walking with a great guide, lovely views in the hills and very quiet location. Only drawback really is that the hotel is a good walk from the nearest villages and towns, so you can't pop out after a walk to have a look around or do a bit of shopping unless you use a taxi, or get the boots out again. The map provided for the holiday wasn't any use for walking - good job we had a guide!
We had a wonderful week at the Finca. It's a beautiful location and the hotel owners Sue and Gordon and their staff are great as is the food with a balance of eating in and out at local restaurants every other day.
The grading as leisurely is a little surprising as although the pace is not relentless the terrain is a little challenging at times and the week is packed with activity. That said it is of course not obligatory to undertake every walk or activity. The finca is a wonderful place just to relax.
On our week we had the benefit of Sue Bishop, a professional photographer. All took advantage of her great knowledge and skills which were freely and generously given.
We intend to revisit the Finca in the future.
Welcoming hotel and great walking guide. Exactly as described. Level of walking was rather more than leisurely though. The group decided that it was more of a Moderate grade.
I couldn't fault the location, the ambience, seclusion and comfort of the hotel, and how well we were looked after by the hosts, Sue and Gordon. They treated us like friends and bade us farewell as such. My only complaint is that the walking was tougher than advertised. I don't do vertigo-inducing walks and the last day gave me 2 hours of fear and feeling very uncomfortable and I had to be patiently guided by a very understanding guide. Being classed as a leisurely walking holiday, is the reason I chose this holiday, so I feel let down and misled by this description. I questioned the guide about the classification and she understood it to be classed as moderate. It doesn't say this on your website!
I will no doubt take another holiday with you, but if I feel misled the next time, it will be the last time I choose Headwater.
A wonderful holiday, but be aware that although the pace of walking may be leisurely the terrain is very hilly, making the walks moderate rather than easy.
Lovely accomodation with hosts who went out of their way to make you feel like family friends. One of the best guides (Jenny) we have ever had on walking holidays.
This was one of the best holidays we have had - hotel, walks, guide etc were more than excellent. Food at the Finca was worthy of accolades! A beautiful part of Spain to explore. Overall a holiday of a lifetime!
we had a wonderful week's walking holiday in Andalucia. Our hotel finca el cerrillo was a small friendly hotel with each of the rooms with individual character and charm. The gardens were beautiful with many little seating areas both in sun and shade. Lovely pool to soothe the aching muscles after day hikes.Wonderful dinners at the hotel and local restaurants.Walks set off not too early in the morning and our very experienced guide Jenny new the walks inside out and told us local history, the names of flora and fauna and never faded in her enthusiasm.She looked after us individually in the group and tailored the walk and stops for info chats to suite everyone. The weeks holiday lived up to out expectations and more! Richard and Yvonne Clements
As other reviewers have noticed, the Finca el Cerillo is a gem. Gordon and Sue are great hosts; the location is stunning; and nothing is too much trouble for the hosts or the staff. The hotel is superb and the mix of local restaurants and eating in gave us an excellent mix of really enjoyable food. The grounds of the hotel are lovely and the views from the various patios are exceptional. The walking guides (Jenny & Rose) were also very good with a relaxed manner and a store of local knowledge. They responded well to the varying walking levels and needs of the group. This was unquestionably one of the best Headwater holidays that we have had.
Owners, staff and guides at Hotel Finca el Cerrillo go the extra mile in all ways to ensure guests have a wonderful experience. The hotel is remote, but taxis are used to get Headwater guests to restaurants & to/from walks. Personally we recommend the 1-Boot option weeks, as this is hilly country and weather can be warm. Even the hotel is built on a hillside with many little oases of calm corners. Wonderful scenery & views; fantastic meals; great guides; and such great hosts.
This was an excellent holiday, the accomodation and hosts/guides were superb.BUT
The grading was classed as soft/leisurely which it definately was not.This is misleading.
We did the 'Vistas of Valencia' last year which was classed as moderate. This was the same level of walking.
Without doubt, Finca el Cerrillo, has to be one of the best hotels we have stayed in with Headwater. Nothing was too much trouble for Sue and Gordon. They are the perfect hosts and it was more like being part of a house party than being a paying customer.
Our guide, Jenny, was good fun as well as being excelletn at her job.
We had a wonderful trip. One or two of the walks were at the top end of our comfort zone however and we'd probably not do another two boot with Headwater. Also, given the small amount of involvement Headwater staff had once we got to our destination, I think the cut they take is quite high (ie. our accommodation provides their own packages for a significantly lower price even taking flights into account).
Thank you for your comments, we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in Andalucia, although we are sorry you feel the pricing of the holiday could be improved. On this particular holiday, the tour we offer is not the same as what the hotel offer direct to the public, therefore the prices do differ. We include tickets and transport to/from the Alhambra and we include wine with meals for example. That said, we want to keep our prices as competitive as possible as will certainly bear your comments in mind when looking at the costings for next year.
Many thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your feedback.
The Finca was exceptional, the walking fantastic and the guide (Jenny) was professional, well informed and great fun.
I loved the holiday, the hotel was exceptionally good in the warm welcome, helpfulness of hosts and all staff, good food, arrangements for transport and meals out, and the character of the hotel and beautiful location. Visit to Alhambra and Granada also brilliant. Inspite of rain excellent holiday, one to remember