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Customer reviews: Croatia cycling holidays

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 a lovely time, everything from visiting the amphitheatre in Pula to sitting outside enjoying a delicious breakfast overlooking the waterside in Fazana. Lots of lovely sea food and the routes were varied and interesting. Alot of the routes were tracks rather than tarmac but it was fine for our bikes with no suspension (we took our own). September was a good time to go with temperature in the mid twenties. All the hotels were very nice but we preferred Fazana most of all due to its location.

We used an app recommended by the representative in Croatia and made very little use of the printed instructions

Enjoyed the holiday looking forward to another family cycling holiday next year

Excellent hotels in great places, good bikes, excellent routes, everything worked faultlessly

An enjoyable and relaxed exploration of Istria

A great holiday in beautiful countryside and coast. The itinerary was good giving plenty of time to dawdle and have a swim in the sea. We did extend the route on the two shortest days to get a bit more cycling. The local cuisine was delicious especially the seafood.

Mrs D'Angelostamp
Coastal Croatia - Pula to Porec Cycling

We aren't the type to want to sit around on our holiday, so this was perfect for us. Fantastic riding along wonderful tracks, paths and roads alongside the coast, sometimes in dappled sunlight under trees, sometimes along quiet country lanes between olive trees and vineyards. By the end of each day we felt like we'd enjoyed the sunshine, had had some exercise and had seen some more of this beautiful country and was now ready for a cold glass of wine and a good meal, which were both readily available in all of the chosen beautiful coastal towns. Stunning! Have already highly recommended to all our friends and family!

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!

Mrs Hendrickse
Coastal Croatia - Pula to Porec Cycling

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

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.

Mr Collingwood
Coastal Croatia - Pula to Porec Cycling

A very enjoyable cycling holiday. Great hotels in lovely harbour towns. Some of the cycling was a little trickier than we're used to with lots of gravel/stone tracks and more gradients than we were expecting. The room at the Palazzo did not have a balcony which we were expecting. Apart from that, all great.

An excellent way to see a lovely part of Croatia.

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.

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

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.

Excellent holiday

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.

Great holiday.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

one of the best cycling holidays we have been on. Great cycling and relaxing swimming in warm seas.

Croatia lived up to all expectations and we would be more than happy to return. Everything about the holiday was first class but it was Bruna that stood out for us - she spent a lot of time with us and came to pick us up to avoid a very dangerous road.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Great Fun. Lovely area and great cycling.

Lovely coastline easy cycling

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fun and adventurous but no planning hassle

Maintained the high standard we have come to expect from Headwater.

Mr Fitzmaurice
Coastal Croatia - Pula to Porec Cycling

...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.

Great hotel locations, very friendly with good service and excellent food and drink especially the abundant and very good value seafood.

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.

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.

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

The whole holiday exceeded our expectations. Thank you. We will travel with you again.

Headwater response:
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.
Yours sincerely,

All 5 of us had an excellent hoiliday ,Thank you.

One possible improvement- the last day's 'Directions' (Porec to Novigrad) were much simpler to follow than the other days' , because they used the local cycle route signs as reference points ; but there had been cycle route signs all along the way on previous days - they just were not mentioned.

Excellent holiday overall, enhanced by a good mix of 4 couples in our group. BUT the performance of your reps was very poor in terms of availability and understanding of our needs.

Great location for biking, loads of marked routes, do go to the local tourist office and get the leaflet which gives all local cycle routes for that area, and use these whenever you can. Great hotels, with friendly staff, the locations vary but all interesting, our input to Headwater would be that the hotels need to be very good to make these holidays value for money. Good bikes which were well up to the local cycle routes! Do swim whenever you can as the sea was fabulous, and warm!

The holiday was perfect. The area, the hotels and the activities were just what we wanted from a holiday. This was one of the best Headwater holiday that we have been on. We were disappointed last year with The Jura but this holiday has given faith in Headwater again

This was our sixth Headwater Cycling Holiday and every bit as good as the others. Croatia is lovely place for cycling, not too strenuous.. The hotels were all excellent and well situated. Eating out was easy and good value. The towns and villages were all interesting places especially The Roman ruins in Pula and the round stone shepherds shelters were a highlight. We had time for two enjoyable boat trips.

Mrs Riseborough
Coastal Croatia - Pula to Porec Cycling

To get the most enjoyment out of this holiday one needs to build up cycling strength and stamina as there were some long rides with hills which needed a lot of energy, particularly for my age group (65+). Fortunately I had been doing this for 4 months so it was fine. This was not a problem for my 25 year old daughter. The cycle paths were a bit challenging as the surface was sharp loose stones and it was necessary to get off the bikes and walk on many occasions.

Croatia is beautiful and the weather was perfect - swimming was possible every day. This is a great way to experience a country up close and get to places most tourists cannot.

We have taken several holidays with Headwater mainly in France and have always enjoyed them,but this one in Croatia comes top.Lovely countryside, many wild flowers to admire, super accommodation and very friendly people.

We normally travel with our own bikes and a map, so this holiday was a wonderful luxury. Given the number of small back roads, I think we would have struggled to find such a good route on our own. The hotels were all very comfortable, friendly and welcoming and the countryside was beautiful. We went in September and the temperature was ideal both for cycling and for relaxing on the beach. On the evidence of this holiday we are keen to return and see some more of Croatia.

Great way to enjoy a weeks holiday with like minded people.Makes keeping fit enjoyable and easy.

This was the best cycling holiday we have been on with Headwater. Excellent cycling, if tough in places, great hotels and beautiful scenery. The water was crystal clear and it is well worth cycling beyond Pula to some excellent secluded beaches. The 4am start at Gatwick was the only downpoint of the holiday - please Headwater put on some more sensible flight times in future.

Great adventure, beautiful country new to us, superb mix of historic hilltop towns, world-class Roman heritage, lovely coast with tempting swimming coves, Italian food with a Viennese twist, red-earth olive groves and vineyards. Be prepared for some VERY rough tracks, thrills and spills, or get off and walk for extended sections. HOT, long days cycling but all very much worth it on arrival at characterful destinations and comfortable lodgings.

the cycle routes took us through beautiful countryside that we would never experienced without Headwaters' guides

Two excellent hotels, Villetta Phasiana and Villa Tuttorotto, the second with a harbour view that was beyond fantastic. The cycling was energetic at times with a couple of busy roads and the occasional error in the 'talk-round' leading to some extended routes and some interesting conversations with locals to get us back on track - but overall was fine. Good bikes by the way.

Croatia surpassed expectations. We would have happily have stayed longer in all the places we visited. There is so much to see and do as well as the cycling.The first 2 hotels especially were just a bit different and in all 3 resorts there was an abundance of restaurants to suit all tastes. The Croatian people were warm and welcoming and we would definitely go back. Be warned that August is perhaps a bit too hot for the cycles with the hills !

The holiday was described as soft and leisurely however, it was much tougher than that description. There were more steep climbs and a lot of gravel tracks which was difficult to cycle on. Each day did not get within the 3-4 hours detailed in your description of leisurely . Other than the cycle rides, the hotels, travel arrangements and representative were excellent.

beautiful part of the world best seen on a cycling tour like Headwater's

As has been the case with our many previous Headwater cycling holidays we have greatly enjoyed ourselves and appreciated

the consistently high quality of accommodation and locations.Perhaps even more so this year(esp. with no evening meals provided ) we are however very much aware that we are paying slightly more than we should be. and obviously this is likely to affect future decision -making.

Did everything that it said in the brochure

Great way of exploring the countryside in an environmentally friendly way

Excellent location although on occasion the cycling was more challenging than expected and we spent a lot of the cycling on busy roads rather than cycle paths.