Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
This 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.
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.
A great holiday but it does have a few flaws!
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
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.
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.
We loved the freedom that a self-guided tour gave us to set off at the time that was right for us, take breaks when we wanted, stop for lunch where we wanted and travel at our own pace. The hotels along the way were excellent and far more "up market" than we expected. The Headwater staff, from the initial booking to the location rep, were extremely helpful and informative. We will definitely be going on another Headwater holiday.
We had a fantastic holiday mixing exercise with beautiful scenery, excellent food in a tranquil environment. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend a cycling holiday with Headwater.
An excellent balance of cycling (some challenging hills!) sightseeing, eating and drinking with plenty of opportunity for relaxing as well.
Our third cycling holiday ,great fun as always, and nice to travel around another different area.
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.
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.
Enjoyable rides, more challenging than expected remember French towns close on Sunday especially off season!
Marvellous area . Notes for cycling extremely poor . The hotel at Roussillon CLOSED at 8.00pm .and had no gin and no beer . It was like a travel road house !
Thank you for your feedback on the cycling notes which have now been revised. The Hotel in Roussilon is only a short walk from the village centre where there are bars and restaurants to enjoy and as the hotel is small they tend to stay open when the demand is there.
A very enjoyable cycling holiday. The route was well researched using very quiet roads whenever possible, passing through lovely and varied countryside with stops in all the interesting hilltop villages. The hotels were all very comfortable and meals where provided were excellent. Our guide Mark was knowledgeable and couldn't have been more helpful.
An excellent and varied exploration of the Vaucluse region of Provence, with opportunites to visit ancient Roman ruins, mediaeval villages and legendary Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards.
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
Great easy cycling for the most part amongst beautiful countryside with interesting places to visit all along the way.
Lovely area, great hotels mostly, very enjoyable
Really enjoyable way to experience local cultures and get ‘off the beaten track ‘ good local representative support .
A good concept for a cycling holiday and overall, a lovely and enjoyable time. Fabulous scenery and well selected routes to follow.
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!!
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.
Location/routes are excellent as is the food and value, just a shame many of the bedrooms are so basic
Lovely accommodation, great food and gentle cycling.
beautiful area for cycling and easy to manage distances
Always interesting, off the beaten track and a chance to meet the local population and enjoy the quiet and peace of the countryside.
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.
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.
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.
Incredible 200 km of beautiful countryside, cuisine and culture of Provence! Loved every minute despite 35° heat and 35% elevation. La vie est belle!
Surprisingly easy going for the independent traveller, yet adventurous, with a touch of comfort
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.
Excellent , few errors in information re places visited. Above strange error in travel arrangements. Otherwise great holiday.
We had a lovely holiday. The weather was perfect, the area very beautiful and interesting and the hotels were good, but we found the bikes very heavy and poorly geared for the fairly hilly nature of some of the routes.
Excellent short break in a beautiful region of France. Just the right balance if cycling and relaxation with my teenage daughter.
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.
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.
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.
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
Lovely holiday in beautiful part of world
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 two holidays we have had with Headwater were extremely enjoyable. Our first was a walking holiday and the second was a cycling holiday.
Suited us well as a mixture of cycling plus time to relax. We cycled each day and were pleased we visited the suggested towns. Pools at the hotels a great advantage. Always a gamble finding a lunch venue in unknown villages but we never had a bad meal all week.
I think we found only two signposts missing but it was easy to work the route out.
This holiday is as described. Cycling more difficult at start but definitely got easier. The hotels tended to be on the edge of villages but this didn't matter too much as they had lovely swimming pools and the weather was very hot and sunny.
Great all round experience
Takes you on new journeys
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)
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.
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.
A wonderful taste of Provencal scenery, wine and food!
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!
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
Great hotels and food - a great trip in a beautiful region..
Being able to easily visit several locations made the holiday much more interesting, and so nice not to have to think about where to park the car. Electric bikes gave us so much freedom to see more things at our age (66 and 76!)
We enjoyed our holiday in the lovely countryside and the cycling routes were scenic but it would have been nice to cycle past some lavender fields as they feature so prominently in postcards and appear in the brochure. We particularly enjoyed the traditional country hotel at the beginning of our holiday including breakfasting outdoors and the outdoor dining and leisure area of Montmirail was particularly nice. It is nice to return from a cycle to a relaxing swim. The food and wine is generally excellent and gives the opportunity to try some regional specialities. We really enjoyed our holiday.
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.
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.
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.
Exxcellent trip,superb reps,only complaint food at Les Pins - an uninspired menu for the demi pension. No choice,poor value
Wonderful relaxing holiday
This was our first trip with Headwater (recommended by our New Zealand travel agent) and we are very pleased with our choice and will definitely look at another cycling trip in the future- most likely in France. We were particularly impressed with by the friendliness of all the hotel staff we encountered - and their helpfulness!!
Cycling through wonderful rural landscapes; visiting beautiful hilltop villages
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 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
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.
An excellent way to see the countryside without the stress of organising all your own itinerary.
Excellent routes, great hotels, fabulous countryside, lots to see and good food to fuel your journey!
Extremely enjoyable, well organised and busy with an excellent mix of quiet countryside cycling and fascinating places to see and visit.
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.
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.
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday the excellent hotels and food were welcome relief at the end of a challenging day's cycling. Beautiful countryside and villages to visit on route.
A very rewarding type of holiday. A very good way to get insight into a particular region.
This was a fantastic hotel. The best hotel was in montignac, however the worst eating experience was in motignac at the terrace restaurant next to the building site of lascaux 4. In our opinion you should consider foregoing the 'gastronomic title' for one night and let your customers eat at one of the many riverside restaurants and save the taxi fare and let them upgrade their meal with the difference.
This must have been 15th Headwater holiday for me and I have no complains about any of them. My late husband and I have used two other companies in the past (one in Germany and one in France) but always came back to Headwater. The formula is excellent (rest day between cycling or walking), the hotels are always good and very often really excellent. The reps are very helpful. You know someone else has done the background work researching for suitable roads to cycle and hotels to stay, yet it feels like an adventure as you have to find your way from one hotel to the other. I have recommended Headwater for several of my friends looking for active holidays and hope I will do many more myself in the future.
This was a really excellent holiday despite the cycling being a little harder than expected. The food throughout was outstanding. Keith and Claire were friendly and helpful giving excellent advice and support.
The holiday was terrific. Lots of wonderful villages, castles, and caves. The biking routes were well planned and very enjoyable. This was our third Headwater Holiday and all of them have been phenomenal. The food was great too, The trip notes were excellent. The bikes were very good bikes. The holiday was not exactly leisurely. If one does just the trips on travel days, it still would not be leisurely due to many tough hills. If you do the optional trips on 'lay over days,' the accumulation can be quite exhausting. However, many of the really great things to see are on 'layover days' - so resting on these days is not really an option. Personally, we enjoyed the level, but agree with others that the level needs to be at least moderate. I would rate this trip as moderate to challenging. The good news is that even if you are not an active cyclist, you can always hop off your bike and push it to the top of the difficult hills - pushing is not as difficult as it might sound. And once you get to the top, it is worth the effort for long rides with great views on quiet roads. The sights Headwater recommends in the notes are perfect! The Headwater reps (Keith and Claire) were very helpful and went out of their way for us.
Very good. We have always enjoyed our Headwater holidays.
1. Be prepared for one disappointing hotel amongst the other gems
2. If cycling, some training beforehand will enhance your holiday
The Dordogne is a beautiful area for cycling, but be aware this is a hilly route. The benefit is that the cycling works off all the wonderful food you will be presented with at the hotels.
The hotels, with the exception of Le Quercy are first class,but the food is excellent at all.