Customer reviews: Portugal 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.

Fiona Payne
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Wonderful holiday, the Portuguese were friendly and welcoming. Eating out was very reasonably priced everywhere compared to UK which was a bonus. The terrain was easy going and more so with my electric bike. Lovely mix of coastline and countryside and rural villages and loads of places to stop for coffee breaks and the must have Pastel de Nata. Fab trip.

Very enjoyable, low fuss way to travel.

Simon Linstone
Cycling in The Real Algarve

We have done cycle tours before but usually totally independently. This is the first time we have used Headwaters (Or anybody else in Europe) and they made the experience so much easier. The navigation app was terrific and overall we had a great time exploring the south west corner of the Algarve. Thanks

Linda Sollis
Porto Coastal Cycling

We really enjoyed the Holiday and It was supported brilliantly by Headwater staff, with excellent accommodation, food and arrangements. We had an unfortunate problem in returning to Porto but this was due to an unplanned train delay.

Philip Harrison
Cycling in The Real Algarve

We had a excellent holiday. The routes and hotels were excellent. Most enjoyable trip

Edward Helps
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

A safe way to cycle through Portugal and experience Excellent food in great hotels.

Extremely well organised holiday, thoroughly planned and ideal level of detail. Great support structure and well timed updates for the trip with a superb app that contains all the details required.

Kate and her colleagues were always available to answer any questions we had and the local guides couldn't have been more helpful.

Really well maintained bikes and equipment and well planned routes through stunning locations with really good hotels at the end of each day.

Would absolutely recommend Headwater to others planning an activity holiday!

Philip Preston
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Great holiday. The balance of cycling and non-cycling days was perfect, and the routes and distances were just right for us on non-e-bikes. We went in April and the scenery was stunning. Excellent.

Timothy Stocker
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Already mentioned by the previous answers other than the route on day one, whilst generally very good could do with being looked at carefully for safety purposes. There is a stretch of gravelled cycle route detour which would have been dangerous to ride all the way on e bikes . On the last day there is the option of making a detour to one of the bays before the ride to C ape St Vincent - I don't have the route in front of me - the bay was something like 'Taheira,,,there is a fork in the detour toad - it is a left fork, we guesed correctly. It would be useful to add this to the route instructions

Christina Halsey
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Nicola Handcock
Porto Coastal Cycling

A lovely well-paced and leisurely cycling holiday - with no hills! Porto was the highlight - a fabulous city. Make sure when cycling up the Douro river to the coast that you visit the architect tea room and the swimming pools in the rocks - we managed to miss them! Some lovely hotels in beach locations. The Headwater app made the cycling very easy.

Tansy Keatinge
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Overall we enjoyed our holiday but my wife especially suffered on the uncomfortable bike.

Pre-travel booking etc was very efficient. Navigation app is excellent though a power bank for your phone is essential to last the day. Hotels were adequate to good but breakfasts were overall a bit disappointing in both choice and quality.

Peter Baylis
Azores Cycling

We had a great time in the Azores with the Whale watching and Volcano visit being the highlight. The cycling is quite hard ( and I am a fit keen cyclist) as there are many very steep hills on route and we were glad we opted to upgrade to the electric bikes. Interesting place to visit and we found the food to be both good and excellent value for money.

Howard Reece-smith
Porto Coastal Cycling

The route from Furodouro to Aveiro was very dull, enlivened only by the ferry. All other routes were very enjoyable, so was the one poor cycling day. We found it best to avoid the tramways in Porto, fely safer and easier on the road. The final cycle route at Praai de Mira was too short. There were plenty of cycle tracks and quiet roads to extend the route so I would suggest that you offer a choice of routes ,we found it very easy to cycle 30 kms on the tracks.

John Wealthall
Porto Coastal Cycling

Overall saw a lot of Portugal that would not normally be seen. Porto was a very interesting and lively place. Cycle paths etc excellent and the fact that the traffic slows down or stops for cyclists is both surprising and very peasant....
The train back from Aveiro to Porto worked well. However, I think more explanation is needed on how you get a ticket on the Metro to the airport. You need to get a numbered ticket first, then got to the ticket office and get a train ticket. Not easy when everything is in Portuguese. Also at the station in Aveiro it would have been good to know that you had to descend the steps to the ticket office and once purchased you had to verify the ticket at a machine on the platform. Little things that may help others in the future.

Gaby Pfeifer
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Overall, we had a wonderful cycling holiday and discovered many enjoyable facets of Portugal that would have been difficult to identify independently.

Ian Ralph
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Great holiday, bikes, routes, hotels all good (albeit we did pay for some upgrades). The agent we met was fine, but never had so little contact with them in all our holidays with you before. It would have been pretty perfect if they had mini - bused us back from Coimbra at the end of the holiday. Finally, of the three meals in restaurants, the two in Praia de Mira were excellent, delicious fish beautifully served. The restaurant in Porto was fussy and poor quality and we gave up and left when we had waited 40 minutes for a sweet and they clearly weren’t interested. Thanks, we will be back!

Michael Freer
Porto Coastal Cycling

Although not inexpensive, the holidays are excellent, good hotels, routes and restaurants

Peter Caldwell
Porto Coastal Cycling

Excellent itinerary - excellent hotels with wonderful food. Excellent bikes. Good travel arrangements organised by Headwatwer office staff

One amazing trip, with varied on/off road terrain and stunning views. A mix of off road trails and tracks, quiet tarmac roads, pine and eucalyptus forest trails, coastal paths, and a good level of climbs and descent plus a few really nice flowing downhills. The area is truly stunning throughout, and the beaches are incredibly beautiful and unspoilt. Our memories of this trip will stay with us forever. The mileages and level are different to what was published when we booked, being higher in reality, but suited us well as we wanted a bit more than the original outline offered.

Jennifer Rubenstein
Cycling in the Douro Valley

Jennifer Sterlini
Cycling the Algarve's Rota Vicentina

Very good communication with the agent allowed us to make good choices, and quickly. The information provided is very good, though oin this particular trip the it turned out to be more difficult that we had anticipated. That said, the hotels selected an the route plotted were excellent.

This is a self guided cycling trip in Northern Portugal. Bikes are provided and are good quality, although mountain bike tyres would have been a better offer as some of the off road routes are quite rocky. The hotels were of a good standard, The six days offered varied cycling largely off road. The first three days offered some lovely riverside routes; the coastal sections were less attractive and on the final day involved close up acquaintance with an oil refinery. Headwater offer a dedicated App for navigation which I chose not to use, as it would have drained my phone battery. Those with a Garmin will find that a better option.

Cycling the Algarve's Rota Vicentina

V well organised. Could provide a Sat navigation rather than using phone as Navigation device quickly uses battery on phone. First hotel booking in before 4pm would be helpful and hotel manageress and Victor in agreement on placement of bikes. Amazing views and off road routes made a super holiday.

Great overall experience. The bike rides were a good length but left plenty of time for other things and the countryside was beautiful. The terrain was a bit unpredictable with occasional steep and dangerous sections due to loose stones mud and sand. It was the first time we had use of a GPS for cycling and it was a bit unclear at first. Clearer written instructions would have been helpful on the first day out of Moncão. On the final day it was disconcerting to have to push our bikes through sand dunes that have overwhelmed the boardwalk.

A beautiful trip through some stunning scenery. You visit very remote and isolated parts of Northern Portugal that you would never normally get to see. The hotels are small and you are looked after extremely well by the hosts. The people we met were friendly and helpful. Overall it was a fabulous holiday

Cycling in The Real Algarve

We were so glad we opted for e-bikes. The cycling varies in enjoyment; some days were enjoyable, others only in parts. There are plenty of uphill sections, some sections involving slopes with loose stones, quite a bit of dust - and plenty of fairly stiff breezes. Ensuring the security of e-bikes at hotels involved effort in some cases though - two of the three do not have appropriate facilities readily available yet.

Overall there were some parts of this trip that were wonderful - sublime views, great food, lots of things to do - and others that were harder to find total enjoyment in.

Cycling in The Real Algarve

We enjoyed this holiday in the southern Algarve on our first visit to Portugal & our 10th cycle trip with Headwater.

Very glad indeed that we opted (also a first) for E-bikes. Despite being moderately fit there were some long uphills, occasional stretches of busy roads, in a headwind or on dusty tracks which we would have found challenging. Excellent quality bikes but hotels in Lagos & Pedralva not yet set up for suitable overnight storage.

The recommended routes were generally quiet & took in some nice inland scenery & lovely sections of coast. Cabo San Vicente diversion was spectacular but also spectacularly busy: buses, buskers & bratwurst stalls!

Memmo Baleira at Sagres was delightful; we’d recommend two nights there at the beginning to really make the most of this lovely hotel, the helpful staff & the facilities. The food at the renovated village in Pedralva was a bit disappointing. They pride themselves on local sourcing but breakfast was almost entirely packaged & plastic.

The Portuguese people were the highlight for us. Hospitable, helpful, courteous & very welcoming to visitors throughout our journey.

Cycling in The Real Algarve

Overall a reasonable itinerary though it does involve a lot of cycling on unmade tracks. The hotels were of contrasting styles the staff were pleasant, friendly and helpful and the meals good.

Very smooth reliable service.

Cycling in The Real Algarve

The hotels both accommodation wise and food were excellent. All three were very different in their own way. The breakfast and the service at the Hotel Memmo Baleeira in Sagres was fantastic. The cycling was tough going in places, off road and some long climbs. We had an issue with the e bikes at handover in that they were nothing like the ones we had been promised but the local agent managed to source suitable bikes at short notice. The scenery and coastline were stunning.

An excellent way to visit the less touristy areas of Northern Portugal, cycling through countryside and coastal regions. our party of 4 had a mixture of E-bikes and normal bikes, and this worked out well. The GPS system was excellent, once we had all learned how to use it, but would ask Headwater to ensure that the agent provides a mobile phone mount for every cyclist, rather than one per couple. The circular route on the 3rd day, where we stayed in the same hotel for 2 nights, was a totally different terrain, and much too difficult for our aging party! However, the day spent in Ponte de Lima was very enjoyable. We added extra nights in Porto and Lisbon, extending the holiday to a wonderful 10 day break.

Mrs Kilpatrick
Cycling in the Douro Valley

Excellent cycling trip exploring some very quiet areas of Portugal. The accommodation was of a vey high standard.

Mr Wilkinson
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Excellent activity holiday 9

Mrs Smith
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Great cycling experience in Algarve. We have been able to discover the coast and the countryside. Lovely hotels and great food.

Mrs Akers
Cycling in The Real Algarve

This was a lovely holiday with interesting, quiet cycling routes through fabulous coastal scenery. Our only slight disappointment was the hotel in Lagos. While the food was good and the room itself comfortable, in the winter sunshine, it was very dark in our room. This may be great in the summer but a hotel more like the one in Sagres, which has lots of natural light and lovely views, would me much better in the winter. Also my husband had an electric bike. While that was great, we were a bit concerned that the battery might run out on some of the longer routes. It didn’t but got very low. This might be a problem for someone who relies heavily on the battery. So perhaps just something to highlight to future clients who decide to use electric bikes.

Mrs Anderson
Cycling in The Real Algarve

This was a nice tour with lovely scenery and good opportunities for exploring the local area especially on the rest days. The first day is a tough one with a lot of hills and it was hotter than we expected for October. But we enjoyed our day off in Lagos with a boat trip and strolling through the old town. The route options from Lagos to Pedralva give a choice of hilly or less hilly , both were enjoyed by members of our group although the hilly option made for tired legs at the end of the day. Pedralva was a fun place to stay with a nice restaurant and friendly staff. The optional off road cliff top tour was a super ride with great scenery and we spent time on one of the beaches swimming and watching the surfers. The ride back to Sarges was less strenuous and we had plenty of time to see Cabo de Sao Vincente ( most south westerly point in Europe) although it was disappointing that the lighthouse was all in scaffolding with no visits possible. Overall a very good trip.

Mr Bashall
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

This was the first time we have been on a cycling holiday, and our first holiday with Headwater.

It exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was exactly as described; the hotels were all very comfortable, the bikes were more than adequate, and the administrative support around the edge of the holiday was all perfect. We enjoyed the routes, and cycling near to the coast before heading inland for the final two days. We were lucky to avoid any rain, and the temperature in October was ideal for cycling. The GPS Navigation App was simple to use and to follow. Everyone was very friendly and helpful; we were upgraded at two of the hotels without asking; and we especially enjoyed having a day in Aveiro to explore all the sights.

It was a perfect break, and very special to visit Portugal for the first time.

Mrs Collett
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Great selection of activity holidays to diverse destinations offering the traveller a whole range of activities. Hotels are carefully chosen and Headwater go to great trouble to find local restaurants that offer food and drink that reflect the local area. Routes are carefully planned and detailed information provided. Headwater seem to use quality advisors to assist holiday makers whilst on their trips.

Mrs Perkins
Cycling in The Real Algarve


An extremely enjoyable holiday but the cycling is quite challenging in places. The brochure does not make clear how much cycling is off road and on sandy , gravelly tracks - about 40% but the bikes provided are more than up to the task. Amazing scenery and plenty of opportunity to swim en route so make sure you carry your bathers.

Ms Driver
Azores Cycling

My self-guided cycling experience around Terceira was amazing in many ways. The hotels were really good quality and made you feel immediately welcome and relaxed. The beauty of the island needs to be seen, its incredibly lush and subtropical with a volcanic edginess. Tiago my guide was incredibly helpful and a wonderful mine of information which made the trip even more rewarding. I would highly recommend this holiday and look forward to returning.

Fantastic route with forest, rivers and sea, with historic villages.

Could have done with a complete support pack, tubes, brake pads as heavy rain caused punctures and brakes to wear quickly. The support team were great but would be useful to have back up kit at hotel. Great trip.

Mrs Agnew
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Self-Guided cycling across Portugal, Porto to Sagres. Brilliant. Great trip. Custom made holiday by the team at headwater. Excellent accommodation and support as needed by the local teams. Highly recommend.

Dr May
Porto Coastal Cycling

Underwhelming scenery and very average hotels. Headwater navigation app useful but massive drain on phone battery. Would be good if clients were advised to have back up battery. Will not be going to this part of Portugal again, nor will be be recommending this trip to others. The Headwater brochure description of the coastal cycling trip was completely inaccurate - has anyone at Headwater been on this trip. Cycling through industrial sites and run down seaside / touristy towns is not something we were expecting.

Mrs Roderick
Porto Coastal Cycling

We had a fun week with our friends

despite the rather dull cycling!

Miss Rutter
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Great place to cycle if first time as most of the routes are very flat and easy to follow. Lots of local life and architecture to see en-route.

Mr Hems
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We are a couple in our mid-70s and found the distances and cycling routes easily managed on our e-bikes. We were very impressed by the many cycle paths on the Atlantic coast. The few hills on the route to Coimbra were easily managed on our e-bikes. We appreciated the good quality of the hotels and their locations. Our Trek e-bikes were very good quality although we would have liked one female step-through bike rather than the sloping crossbar provided. Charging them was easily done in the hotels. It was worthwhile booking an extra day in Coimbra to explore the city. Most of the food was of very good quality and good value.

Mrs Britten
Porto Coastal Cycling

Very disappointed with this holiday. Not cycling on coastal routes as expected and stated in brochure and cycling some distances on main roads. Some poor hotels. Enjoyed Porto and Aveiro which are lovely cities. Some uninspiring cycle routes. Despite stating 4 star hotels, 2 of them very poor. Very expensive for what it was.

Mr Hutchinson
Porto Coastal Cycling

Expected to be cycling around small fishing villages and cycle trails, was not expecting to be around built up and overcrowded seaside resorts.

Ms Emerton
Porto Coastal Cycling

Great trip. Loved Porto and glad we added two extra days to explore the city. Excellent choice of small friendly hotels in good locations. Enjoyed visiting a part of Portugal that is less travelled by British tourists. All felt very Portuguese. Interesting cycle along the coast, mostly on good cycle paths, passing through sand-dunes, pine forests and lakes. Some stretches arid and scrubby but it didn't take away from our overall enjoyment of the trip. Fantastic seafood and fish - not to mention Portuguese wines - throughout the trip. The cycle ride was mostly flat although the wind was (apparently unusually) blowing South to North for the whole trip so we were cycling against it. Great for the whole family. Perfect cycling weather as the sea mist didn't burn off until early afternoon so it was warm but cloudy. The sun came through just in time to hit the beach. Fabulous long beaches, partic at Praia de Miro, with great waves.

Mr Turner
Azores Cycling

There were some good hotels (this questionnaire gives the wrong ones) and nice moments. Tiago is great. But this is not an easy trip and there needs to be more info about the bikes. Let's have a chat. I'll write a fair review - there aren't any at the moment and there needs to be at least one..

Mr Hunkin
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We have traveled with Headwater 7 times now. Once again we were very happy with the organisation and support we received. One day I had a flat tyre on my bike and we talked through the changing of it with the agent. He said someone would come to rescue us, but we fixed it ourselves so didn’t need help. The cycling varied between flat terrain down the coast and undulating through the countryside.

Mr Smith
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Enjoyable, well organised holiday with good local partner company. The equipment and navigation app were all good. We made it to every destination without mishap. Good hotels overall - only onecwas a wee bit belowvthe standards we were expecting. We would recommend Headwater and would be happy to use them again.

Mr Oxley
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

A lovely holiday with the right balance of activity and relaxing moments with an interesting and varied style of accomodation. The luggage transport between hotels was excellant. This holiday offers seaside and city, countryside and beach and the food oppportunities are memorable.

Mrs Johnson
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

The cycling was generally on flat terrain, the last couple of days involved use of the gears, which made a welome change. Some of the cycle days could be a bit boring with long straight roads or tracks without a change of scenery. We hit Portugal at the height of the heatwave, but it was possible to complete the rides in the morning avoiding the heat of the day. The beach stay In Praia de Mira was most welcome, a dip in the cool sea was refreshing.

Most if the Headwater holidays we have done before had the Headwater rep situated locally, we missed this service. Our initial briefing took place in a hot underground car park, delivered at a rate of knots with only verbal information for the whole trip. We saw nothing of the local reps after the initial meeting. However, the luggage transfer was excellent with our bags always there before us.

The hotels were of a good quality. The Palace Hotel in Curia was disappointing as the air con didn't work and the food wasn't great.

Mr Gittens
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Cycling from Porto to Coimbra was an absolute delight. We started with an extra day in Porto which we would highly recommend. I wish we had added an extra day at Coimbra.

The cycles provided were excellent as were the gps maps. All but one of the evening meals were excellent, particularly the seafood at the restaurant at Praia de Mira. We have cycled with Headwater and Exodus on many occasions and always had a great experience. Porto to Coimbra is a relatively gentle cycle and could be enjoyed by anybody with average fitness.

We would highly recommend this holiday.

One final tip, always take your own cycle seat.

Mr Mitchell
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

It was a good experience mostly flat cycling except for a few inclines at end with some good sights to see. We enjoyed the Port tour and tasting.

Mrs Kilpatrick
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Enjoyed trip. Tough enough cycling for a non cyclist as I am. Fine for my husband. First day especially tough. Lagos 2 night stay was a waste. Too tired after 1,St day to cycle and did not enjoy the experience of town of Lagos. Much too commercial and touristy. Be warned too the staff in hotel in Lagos try to ' upsell' drinks. 27 euro for a g and t. 27 euro for a bottle of very poor wine ....totally opposite of what was asked for.

On the contrary the staff in village were very knowledgeable about their products and we drank delicious wine.

Mr Watts
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Overall we were very pleased with Headwater and the holiday in Portugal.

Our holiday was however spoil by the cancellation of our outward flight at short notice by easyJet. This was overcome by the very quick and effficient service of Headwater in finding alternative flights outbound with TAP from Gatwick. We were very pleasantly surprised at the support Headwater provided late at night the day before we were due to travel and efficient reaction to the situation.

Return flights to Bristol necessitated a hire car from Bristol to Gatwick but we do not hold Headwater in any way at fault for this

In terms of the tour ouronly areas for comment would be:

We found three parts of the route where road/ rail works meant the app was not accurate. Do the local reps check accuracy of the app?

The hotel at Curia disappointed as the Spa facilities were unavailable , the outdoor pool area being dialapidated & the pool water very unwelcomimg!

Overall the holiday was excellent.

Mrs Gorton
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

The routes were well chosen, cycling along quiet roads and paths, passing through small villages, nature reserves, other unspoilt landscapes and agricultural areas. The bird life on and around the rivers and lagoons was fascinating, the wild flowers and trees lovely. From time to time there were views over the Atlantic ocean. There was plenty of time to stop for coffees and generally enjoy the ambience. The detour to Costa Nova was most enjoyable. The holiday timetable was perfect for us. The hotels were excellent. All in all a fab holiday.

Mr Alpine
Porto Coastal Cycling

Travel arrangements with KLM were good - breakfasts in hotels very good - route Porto to Praia de Mira made for easy riding and wonderful and varied scenery and some fun coffee and lunch stops. Fewer places of interest to stop and visit than in France, although birdlife worth seeing.

Mr Herne
Porto Coastal Cycling

Lovely holiday, we will travel with you again. It seemed expensive, but it probably wasn't for what it was, given the high quality of the bikes and especially of the hotels . which we loved but don't normally treat ourselves to!

Mr Cullen
Porto Coastal Cycling

Excellent first cycling holiday. Mixed experience with meal vouchers. Great group. Itinerary beautiful in some places.

A challenging cycle ride rewarded with superb views and Portuguese hospitality.

Mrs Newman
Porto Coastal Cycling

This is our second cycling holiday with Headwater (Austria 2019) and accommodation and helpfulness of local agents was first rate. An issue with bike set up was swiftly resolved with an alternative style being delivered within two hours. Rating of cycling difficulty was accurate.

Mrs Princep
Cycling in the Douro Valley

We had a wonderful holiday in the Douro Valley. The route was really scenery was beautiful and the choice of accommodation excellent. We felt well supported by staff and the high quality of equipment. Although the trip was graded challenging, it wasn't impossible but taking into account the length and steepness of the climbs we consider it to be accurate. Would highly recommend this holiday to people who cycle regularly.

Mrs Elphick
Cycling in the Douro Valley

You start in an unspoilt, beautiful part of NE Portugal and gradually work your way down to the Duoro valley. The wildflowers in May are stunning. There are some challenging climbs but it is worth it.

Mr Hanna
Cycling in The Real Algarve

A very well organised self guided cycle holiday. Great hotels & excellent cycle routes. The Headwater navigation app excellent. Alex the point of contact always available.

Cycling in The Real Algarve

Cycle routes were good and easy to follow, one bike needed new rear brake pads after first day, this should have been identified before bike was issued. Repair was promptly addressed. Also had a puncture on first day , front tyre had very little tread in the centre, so puncture could have been avoided. All accommodation was very good and food excellent with great advice from restaurant staff.

Quite tough for the grade. Super coastal scenery. Can be exciting riding. Would be hard in the wet.

Excellent adventure and great way to get to know Portugal.

Ms Turner
Cycling in The Real Algarve

This is a fantastic cycle route - every day interesting. Super scenery, lovely cycling, lots of places to visit, people everywhere wonderful. We enjoyed it SO much. Highly recommend.

Cycling in The Real Algarve

Well organised tour with efficient moving of luggage and good standard of accommodation. Wonderful scenery particularly around the coastal areas on the west side of the peninsula. The wind and steep hills on the first day in particular made it pretty tiring. Bikes were really good particularly on off road stretches. The luggage rack and Paniers did make the bikes quite heavy on the hilly areas. The app was excellent for guiding and very quickly indicated if you took a wrong turning. It is good to study the description as the app doesn’t always tell you where the optional stops are. We rode right past one of our planned lunch stops without realising.

Overall a really lovely and varied tour of the south west corner of the Algarve.

Cycling in The Real Algarve

Helen Hodson at Headwater was very helpful. The bike handover in Sagres was very poor with no arrangements having been made (we just happened to be in our room

when he arrived), no panniers provided, phone holder for one of us only. Trip notes said a mobile would be provided for duration holiday but this did not exist. Similarly on returning bikes no arrangements made.

Trip notes mention

cafes but not that they were closed on Sundays, opening times would be very helpful, particularly cycling to Petralva.

GPS worked well. Busy road section on route to Petralva and better if this could be avoided.

Accommodation and food good on the whole.

Luggage transfer worked well.

Overall we enjoyed the holiday.

Headwater response:
Thank you for your invaluable feedback, we are pleased to learn that overall you enjoyed your self guided cycling experience with us. Your holiday feedback is invaluable to us and we recognise that there are improvements to be made, we will work closely with our locally appointed agent to ensure they fully understand the importance of providing a high level of service and the correct equipment to accompany the bicycles. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to rectify this whilst you were on holiday with us.
Thank you for choosing Headwater.
Headwater Customer Service Team

Good varied cycling both inland and by the coast. Lovely countryside, good wine and food

Generally the terrain was very rough and in places difficult without a mountain bike . Had it been raining we would have had to give up. We were initially given mountain bikes but we are too old to manage these and there were no panniers, which are promised in your literature. We chose to change our bikes to step through hybrid bikes without being informed that we needed mountain bikes to manage the ride.. A bit more guidance on local places to eat and interesting points on the way and how to get to them would have been good. The sat nav directions were excellent for route finding. The hotels were adequate , especially in the time of Covid and we felt safe. But they were not outstanding and rather lacked character overall.

Headwater response:
Thank you for taking the time to review your holiday experience with us, feedback is very important to us and therefore we have spent some time with our local agent to improve services on the ground. It is great to know the Headwater app was excellent and you felt safe in the hotels during these difficult Covid times. We hope you will travel with us again soon.
Kind Regards
Customer Service

This area of Portugal is beautiful. We had Ebikes (mountain) which was great as they were needed due to the terrain in some places. The cycle routes varied from cycle paths, brilliant, cobbles roads, okay, and forest/ river tracks, not the easiest but manageable as long as you didn’t want to see the scenery. The hotel in Monção is slightly out of the town and no food was available in the hotel. Plus no air conditioning and the beds were very hard. The bikes were fine but the panniers provided were very small so unless you wanted to carry a backpack there was little room for water and valuables. Mostly the directions were great, only minor detours! One bridge we had to cross was closed which the agent had not informed us of. Warning about crossing the bridge at Viana do Castelo would be good. The pedestrian foot path is too narrow for bikes. On whole the holiday was good as the food in the region is excellent. We enjoyed the wine and beer but the first 2 wine tastings were not great.

Headwater response:
Thank you for your recent review, it is lovely to read that overall you enjoyed your holiday with us and discovered a beautiful part of Portugal. We would like to apologise for the difficulties encountered due to a bridge closure unfortunately this can happen on occasion and should our local agent be aware of possible detours required we have asked that this is highlighted in the holiday briefing. We look forward to welcoming you on a future Headwater holiday again soon.
Kindest Regards
Customer Service

Porto Coastal Cycling

Impressed by ability of office and ground agents to put programme together within the very short timescale

Mrs Hemingway
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Very well thought out and planned holiday with materials (detailed maps + descriptions + garmin, once I had read the clear instructions on how to turn it on to the relevant route,) provided excellent. We would have appreciated the detailed written routes accompanying the maps to have included place names

Mr Tayler
Porto Coastal Cycling

We enjoyed our holiday. The logistics worked very well, the hotels exceeded our expectations, and the meals, especially those in the outside restaurants you chose, were outstanding. One possible,very minor, improvement, would be to reduce the volume, or simplify the content of information sent to us before departure. Many thanks to all involved.

Headwater response:
Dear Mr.Tayler
Thank you for posting such a lovely review. Your comment regarding the pre departure information is currently being reviewed. Whilst we want to ensure that our customers have all the information required for their holiday we are actively looking at alternative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. For example; Holidays with Ride with GPS may not require printed route notes and a geographical map.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you on another Headwater Holiday in the not too distant future.
Kind regards
Customer Services

Mr Roff
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Lovely area to visit with excellent hotels and support. Only weakness is very poor standard of app based guidance which is fine if you just want a car-like sat nav experience but it fails completely to provide any useful background information on the places being visited or passed en route. Much lower quality than the excellent written notes which Headwater used to provide. To be fair, if all you want is to get from A to B on your bike on the prescribed route, they are absolutely fine.

Mr Sharp
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

This was our first Headwater holiday. We really enjoyed it. The scenery was diverse. The routes were interesting. The bikes, though heavy, served us well. The routes were easy to follow and the gps worked well. The weather in early October was fantastic - warm and sunny. Curia and Coinbra suffered from early morning mist which made the mornings cool. Evenings also made a Jumper advisable. Only issue we had was with the Mecarico Hotel where our upgraded room was directly opposite the building work which was no more than 20 feet away. We also had some difficulty in finding our way from the train station at Porto to the Metro. There are no signs. The escalators were not working. The Metro Route is route E. It was not operating a direct service. We had to change at Musica although we stayed on the same platform. Portuguese people were really helpful and friendly. Food was good and relatively inexpensive

Mr Hill
Porto Coastal Cycling

The cycle rating is very accurate, the bikes and equipment provided were excellent. We particularity enjoyed Porto, although unfortunately there was a lot of sea mist in the mornings at the time we were there affecting the views. In comparison to the three other Headwater cycling holidays we have enjoyed, this route was not as scenic or picturesque. The evening meals at local restaurants included in the holiday were all excellent. We arrived at Praia de Mira 'out of season' and struggled to find somewhere open for a lunchtime meal. The Portuguese people we met were all very helpful and friendly.

Very enjoyable mix of holiday with cycling over varied terrain and geography and good amount and quality of relaxation in most interesting cities towns and villages.

Mrs Wickstead
Porto Coastal Cycling

A very good trip. and we will return for more.

Mrs Brownscombe
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We enjoyed this holiday, it was well-organised with a good variety of hotels and easy cycling on great bikes. The Ride with GPS App, which we had never used before, worked very well and kept us 'on track'. We liked the contrast between the urban environments of Porto, Aveiro and Coimbra and the coastal stops at Furaduoro and Prairie de Mira. Curia was an experience in itself, a real step back in time. The food was good throughput and we especially enjoyed the local restaurant at Praia de Mira and a tapas bistro called Dux Taberna Urbana (recommended by the hotel reception) in Coimbra. We found the people very friendly and helpful everywhere we went.. Some of the cycling is a bit dull, but this is to be expected in a flat coastal area and we found it more interesting when we turned inland. There may well be more birds and w ildlife in the spring and early summer. However we were lucky with beautiful September sunshine all the way and It was interesting seeing the different ways in which life works in the different areas, especially the fascinating the way of netting fish in Praia de Mira. I would recommend ladies to consider taking a gel saddle cover as despite some long cycles on unmade tracks I did not experience any lasting discomfort. The upgrade to a sea view room at the front of the hotel in Praia de Mira was definitely a good idea, we loved sitting on the balcony in the sun overlooking the sea. One night would not be enough in Coimbra, there is so much to see.

Mrs Reid
Porto Coastal Cycling

We really enjoyed our holiday in Portugal. Porto is a lovely city. The cycle routes were good, lots of variety and no hills ! The cycle through the lagoons was wonderful. Some of route dictions were not clear and we got a bit lost most days but we could use our iPhones to find ourselves. We thought the written directions were sometimes out of date and did not take into account new road layouts. We sometimes found we could not exactyidentify where we were on the map as there were not enough landmarks mentioned. The hotel locations were all superb and well chosen. All the breakfasts were first class. All the people we met were very friendly and helpful. We would recommend this holiday to anyone who enjoys cycling along flat land near the sea.

Mrs Wheeler
Porto Coastal Cycling

We had a fabulous time. This was the first time we have done a multi centred activity holiday and we will definitely do another.

Mr Martin
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Another great holiday with Headwater, our first time outside France. Easy cycling often on cycle paths.

Mrs Laing
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

First time in Portugal , loved the people and the country would definitely like to return . The cycling was fairly easy ,even for over 70's .

The general route of this holiday is very beautiful but, as has been said before, there are extensive cobbled roads and unmade sections which are uncomfortable for cycling and dodgy when wet. A significant part of the route follows the Camino de Santiago so we met lots of walkers going in the opposite direction on often narrow tracks.

Mrs Muir
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Good itinerary with high standard of accommodation. Requests were noted. Appreciated upgrades with bath in 4 of the hotels. Restaurants for evening meals excellent. Enjoyed having time for sightseeing.

Mr Snodgrass
Porto Coastal Cycling

An excellent combination of easy cycling and excellent sight seeing.Good accommodation and excellent food. Headwater customised a standard trip to meeting our timings and wish to amend the final destination.The local agent added a number of helpful suggestions which enhanced our enjoyment. At all times we felt support was on hand ---but we never had to call on it.

Miss Hamer
Porto Coastal Cycling

The organisation of all elements of this holiday was excellent and especially from headquarters who realised I had omitted to arrange the air travel; the guide at the start of the hoiday was clear about what to expect and very clear in giving information re- the GPS, but I am glad I also had paper back up since it is impossible to realise that the batteries are fully charged.

Mrs Quick
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Lovely way to visit the real Portugal and experience the incredible friendliness of the local people.

Ms Smithson
Porto Coastal Cycling

Stunning beaches, great hotels, generous, helpful people, the unseen Portugal

Mr Rose
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Excellent service from Headwater throughout, representatives Tony and Ludmilla most helpful and ensure that everything is organised and correct for a great experience and a holiday with no worries. Ideal hotels, lovely countryside and coast with options for routes to suit the individual, and with the GPS app you can't go wrong. Highly recommend.

Ms Campbell
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Wonderful area to cycle in - varied terrain and scenery. Made harder by winds but did anticipate this. Very relaxing few days. Was great to know we had support from Tony and Ludmilla if needed. A lovely way to discover this area of Portugal

Mr Cronin
Cycling in The Real Algarve

The holidays and accommodation are very good

Mr Murray
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Having a "winter' cycling holiday is a great idea, and going through the Algarve during off peak season was a wonderful way to see the region. We really enjoyed going off the beaten track, through lanes and villages, and staying in interesting places like Pedralva (but a note of warning - its colder there than anywhere else in the trip so bring warm clothes!). The bikes were excellent! In spite of the sometimes quite rough terrain there was not a single puncture nor any issues! As usual, the trip was well organised, the accommodation and food very good, as we now expect from Headwater. The Ride with GPS is also brilliant and makes navigating a loss less stressful. Thank you for yet another great holiday!

Mrs Compton
Porto Coastal Cycling

A well-organised holiday with generally good 4-star accommodation (one specific difficulty was dealt with promptly and efficiently) . The grading system was very accurate for first-time cyclists. Equipment provided, the local support and the initial briefing were also excellent.

Mr Rugman
Cycling in The Real Algarve

This was our first Headwater cycling holiday and it was excellent in every way: choice of routes, route guidance (especially Ride with GPS), type and quality of bikes, location and quality of hotels, and transfers to/from the airport and luggage between hotels. Special mention of the local reps, Tony and Ludmilla, who were always friendly, helpful and efficient, with the right amount of advice at the right time. We are both over 70 but had no difficulty with this grade 2 holiday in the 'real' Algarve. We were lucky with the weather in mid October: 20C and sunny during the day but heavy rain at night. Waterproofs essential at that time of year. All in all, a memorable holiday.

Mrs Hardy
Porto Coastal Cycling

The Porto cycling trip was a brilliant holiday for the 4 of us - easy cycling through interesting countryside alongside the coast, great food and good accommodation. We were really lucky with the weather - blue skies all the way although the evenings were a little chilly and it was pretty windy at Costa Nova. As a bonus we saw flamingos and storks along the way! The only disappointment was building work going on next door to our last hotel which made sitting on the balcony a less than relaxing experience. But Headwater responded promptly to our concerns and we were treated to a couple of free bottles of wine to help make up for it, which was appreciated.

Mr Stead
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Following the maps provided for the days trips was hard as there was insufficient information on them. The places signposted on the route did not appear marked on the maps. That is the only grumble we have otherwise it was very well studied and planned. Good.

Mr Reid
Porto Coastal Cycling

Very enjoyable , good accommodation except for the hotel Porto Christal. This was a last minute change to the original tour. The location was not ideal and the food was terrible. There were a few hiccups starting with the meet and greet at the airport, which did not happen until we made several phone calls to the emergency contact but all problems were dealt with very courteously and all members of staff were extremely caring and helpful.

Mr Coppack
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

A very good holiday ,well organised and covering an interesting area of Portugal. Bikes were very good and we appreciated the port wine tour and the wine tasting sessions that had been arranged.

Mr Cramond
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

A great (mainly flat) ride with wonderful cycling past the Atlantic Ocean and, as always, interesting hotels and meals.

Mr O'Neill
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Great hotels. Very good food,easy cycling and we had magnificent weather. Met very friendly locals.

Mrs Mcgeown
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Headwater offer a quality experience, using excellent hotels, good bikes and gauge the difficulty of the cycling very well...well done Headwater!

Mr Glaser
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We had a very good time and were very happy with the planning, accommodation, itinerary etc.

Mrs Mckay
Porto Coastal Cycling

Excellent holiday. Easy cycling. Lovely scenery.Garmin makes a huge difference and avoids regular stops to review maps. Very good standard of hotels. Food in general excellent especially Restaurant in furadura. Furadoura and Praia de Miras bit busy and touristy but can easily escape on bikes. Aveiro is atmospheric with lots of good restaurants and cafes. All in all, great holiday

Mrs Wheeler
Porto Coastal Cycling


Mrs Keefe
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Wonderfully tranquil cycling by the lagoons, and through forests. A great holiday from start to finish - very relaxing!

Mr Taylor
Porto Coastal Cycling

perfect cycling holiday for newcomers/occasional cyclists

Mr Woods
Porto Coastal Cycling

All agency staff were terrific giving good tips for eating out and places to visit. The trips were well organised and the bikes were fine. Everything promised was delivered. It was nice to meet other people on the same trip and a good balance between your privacy and some interaction.

Mr Harrison
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

A great introduction to Portugal away from the Southern tourist areas.The cycling was just far enough to deserve the evening meal but not exhausting .Hotels varied and swimming pools excellant.

Mrs Hendrickse
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

lovely trip cycling mainly on flat coastal cycle paths visiting interesting places on the way Porto, Aveiro and Coimbra, a real relatively undiscovered part of Portugal overall a great holiday would highly recomend

Mrs Davison
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Slightly tarnished by the poor weather (which obviously you have absolutely no control over!) but felt we couldn't fully appreciate the scenery/picnic opportunities etc

Mrs Anderson
Porto Coastal Cycling

A good description of a one wheel cycle holiday for those not normally cycling. Lovely hotels. There could have been more 'human' contact from a rep. We received one phone call asking if we were ok but saw no-one from the Introduction until pick up time at the end. Had a good time though.

Mr Durant
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Very enjoyable holiday

Mrs Stevens
Cycling in The Real Algarve

We loved cycling this part of Portugal. At this time of year wild flowers were everywhere, enhancing our coastal and country rides The 2 headwater reps were really helpful and considerate in ensuring that we 2 technophobe senior citizens were able to fully enjoy the benefits of the Ride with GPS system. ( We had been provided with paper route guidance as back up but thanks to the reps this was not really needed) The rides were slightly challenging for us but we loved the coastal views and villages as well as the countryside - staying in the reclaimed village at Pedralva was a great experience, including the local bread stew We have enjoyed several Headwater cycling holidays in the past and we feel the standard has just continued to improve.

Mrs Haley
Porto Coastal Cycling

Very easy enjoyable cycling with no pressures. Lovely ocean views.

Mrs Devenish
Porto Coastal Cycling

This was our third self guided cycling holiday with Headwater and the easiest to navigate using GPS. The bikes have 24 gears and are very well maintained with good support if required from local agents. The hotels are all fabulous with amazing food, we lost count of the number of Portuguese custard tarts we ate! The itinerary was well designed with a great start in Porto (Port tasting arranged) and a break mid week if desired in very scenic Aveiro. The cycle paths are amazing, very well maintained and mostly far away from roads and the route around the numerous lagoons and pine forests were uplifting. We would definitely recommend this trip, the cycling is easy giving time to admire the surrounding scenery with the Atlantic Ocean waves in the background.

Mr Turney
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

This is an interesting journey with some urban routes in Porto and fairly flat and varied tracks along the coast. The pace is relaxed with well spaced optional rest days. The local reps. were very efficient and helpful if you have any problems. We would strongly recommend adding an extra night at Coimbra, which is a most interesting city, and a visit to the old University there. The Sat Nav was very useful.

Mrs Payne
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Fabulous cycling amongst Spring meadows. Fabulous flowers, rugged coastline and interesting villages.

Ms Danleigh
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Great holiday - excellent cycling on cycle tracks along the coast and inland around lagoons teeming with birdlife. The hotels were all of a very high standard and a great choice of local restaurants when we weren't eating in the hotel. A full briefing by the agency rep before we set off and maps, directions and Garmin all provided, including suggestions for coffee stops and lunches. the best cycling holiday we've ever been on.

Mrs Smith
Cycling in The Real Algarve

An excellent introduction to a cycling holiday abroad. Everything was made simple and the bikes provided were superb. Easy to follow notes and fantastic accommodation at the end of each day. Would definitely recommend to others.

Mr Nichols
Cycling in The Real Algarve

The routes were excellent; a mix of terrain and stunning scenery. We enjoyed the off-road sections particularly the optional coast and river valley route on our free day at Pedralva. We went in January and whilst the roads were very quiet it did mean that many cafes and restaurants were closed and the hotels were quiet. The weather is changeable at this time of year. We had one day of wind and steady rain but we went prepared for variable weather so this didn't spoil an enjoyable day cycling. We would like to do this route again in the Spring when the flora is in bloom and the birds are migrating.

Mrs Chowienczyk
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Thoroughly enjoyable relaxing holiday . Ideal for taking away the winter blues. Comfortable, well organised stress free booking travelling holiday. Thanks

Mr Wahl
Cycling in The Real Algarve

An excellent cycling holiday which brings you the delights of the western Algarve coast and hills behind Lagos. Fantastic scenery, super hotels with the delights of local food. The sardines in Salema were wonderful. Pedralva is a real find. All well delivered by the Headwater team.

Mrs Delahunt
Porto Coastal Cycling

Pretty good.

Mr Nicol
Cycling in The Real Algarve

from the time we landed we were looked after until we got back to the airport.all went very well.welldone headwater

Mr Bates
Porto Coastal Cycling

This was our first cycling holiday and we will certainly travel with Headwater again. The GPS and route notes worked well together.

Dr Leiper
Porto Coastal Cycling

This was an excellent holiday, easy cycling and great hotels. Local rep were very good.

Ms Allen
Porto Coastal Cycling

Thoroughly enjoyed our trip.Especially the wildlife and scenery along the way.We also appreciated the food-the lovely fresh fish.We always felt welcomed by the hoteliers and local people.

We were very pleased to meet up with fellow Headwater travellers too.

Mrs Broughton
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Fabulous locations, cycling mainly flat through breathtaking scenery, varied and unspoilt landscapes.

Ms Freeth
Porto Coastal Cycling

An excellent way for parents to holiday with teenagers: the right balance of activity, being together and opportunities for a feeling of solitude.

Mrs Sims
Porto Coastal Cycling

We thoroughly enjoyed our Porto Coastal cycling holiday and thought the organisation and planning was excellent throughout. The hotel accommodation was very good and the varied itinerary enabled us to explore both the interesting towns and delightful countryside of the region.

Mr Hoffman
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Fantastic holiday, great service from Headwater at home and at destination.

Hotels were all superb

Cycling was good although couple of the routes were bumpy and hard going (saddle wise!)

The wine tasting was a highlight!

The bikes were very robust and trustworthy.

Ms Scholes
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

A small group of us have been taking a cycling holiday together for 15 years, This was by far and away the best, the food, the hotels, the people, the cycling and the scenery combined it to make it a wonderful experience. We will be recommending to our friends.

Mrs Mollett
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Portugal is an amazing country for cycling, lots of dedicated cycle paths, incredibly friendly people, quiet roads, beautiful scenery. The Porto to Coimbra trip had varied cycling, most of it very easy on flat surfaces. It was a nice mix of coastal cycling and countryside cycling, and every day was different. A couple of days the cycling was on roads, but these roads were never too busy, and in general the motorists were polite and aware of cyclists.

Ms Hatten
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We found Nuno, the local operator from A to Z bike tours especially helpful, but we've also had a good experience with Headwater in Italy. The riding was mostly very flat and easy, but we hit a heatwave at the end, so maybe that was just as well. Porto is fantastic and Aveiro is nice, but the rest day in Praia de Mira isn't needed and it's not a very beautiful or interesting place. Neither is Furadouro. In fact we enjoyed riding through villages and nature reserves much more than along the coast, which is quite developed. We loved the hotel in Curia most of all, because the building is so unbelievably beautiful, it's like stepping back in time. Coimbra is also interesting and worth spending an extra night. We dealt with the heat by starting early and arriving at our destination for lunch.

Mr Hurles
Porto Coastal Cycling

Terrific fun, with easy cycling in variety of scenery on generally good surfaces, although some were challenging. Nice people everywhere and two great towns in Porto and Aveiro. Mainly excellent food. Incidentally, you missed out our hotel in Aveiro from your survey above, which was by far the best all-round quality on the tour.

Mr Black
Porto Coastal Cycling

very enjoyable. standard of hotels excellent. scenery beautiful. We learned a lot about undiscovered parts of Portugal.

Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We really enjoyed the trip and were completely satisfied.

Mr Merryweather
Cycling in The Real Algarve

'Wonderful holiday! Delightful (and very) varied accommodation, excellent food and terrific sights and smells in some wonderful countryside. But this can be a physically demanding cycle tour, so do ensure you are prepared to cycle - or push - your bike up some stiff hills.

Thanks to all at Headwater and, in particular, to Ludmilla.'

Mrs Rudd
Porto Coastal Cycling

A lovely part of Portugal to visit and a great holiday.

Mr Nicol
Porto Coastal Cycling

weather--service--hotels--people--could not ask for any better..this last ride we had gps on the bikes.but sometimes lost signal

Mr Burrell
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Quite simply the best holiday we have had in several years. Great food, great scenery, helpful staff, activity and brilliant weather. Just what we needed. Thank you

Ms Bernard
Cycling in The Real Algarve

A challenging cycle experience in variable weather, with far reaching views at the end of Europe.

Mr Turner
Cycling in The Real Algarve

The toughest Headwater cycling holiday I have been on, due to the preponderance of off road some of which was quite rough and steep, plus the fact that for two and a half days of the three days cycling there was a strong cold headwind, therefore I think the grading should be changed.

Mr Corlett
Cycling in The Real Algarve

I was fortunate to have absolutely perfect weather and low wind levels for my cycling trip to southern portugal.. a very enjoyable experience and would definitely do a repeat.

Mr Morgan
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Cycling is a great way to experience a country

Mr Levitch
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

We have always found Headwater to be a most professional company in their approach and this holiday proved to be the same. However, due to both of us coming down with a nasty cold virus virtually from day one, we also found a caring and flexible company in the Local Agent who offered helpful suggestion's and bike transfers on bad days. Now in our September, years this was important and will bring us back to Headwater in the future.

Mr Aston
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Lovely holiday - the northern Portuguese seemed very friendly and welcoming of tourists.

Mr Warren
Cycling in The Real Algarve

quite challenging cycling on day one for the over70s - entirely our choice made enjoyable by rescue and advice from Tony and Ludmilla - absolute gems throughout - electric bikes would be a good option on this holiday - easy enough to avoid the offroad stuff if that is a worry with them - overall an excellent holiday with spectacular beaches and coastal views

Mrs Harraway
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Excellent hotels, and food .

Extremely well organised .

Reps very helpful.

Cycling tough !

Mr Marsh
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Everything was well thought though, GPS, local mobile and bike equipment. Very relaxing and enjoyable holiday

Mr Plant
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Very positive experience.

Interesting series of landscapes/urbanscapes travelled.

Excellent birdwatching along the way.

Very good hotels selected.

Mrs Collins
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Our 9 days on the Porto to Coimbra cycling holiday was overall a very enjoyable experience. For those who are not regular cyclists, the first 4 or 5 days, the cycling is along very quiet cycle tracks and mainly flat. The weather was not especially favourable for the first half of our stay, but good cycling temperature. On the other hand, it only rained on the day off and not for long, or at night. We were near the Atlantic coast most of the time, so we didnt get to see the beaches bathed in warmth and sunshine. We cycled along a lot of lagoons and saw flamingos which was exciting and one of the other couples doing the same holiday, was an avid birder and apparently crossed off most of the birds on his list.

Porto is a charming town and the first restaurant that Headwater booked us in for our first evening meal was terrific. Furodouro, the 2nd night's accommodation, hasnt that much to offer, apart from a nice beach and a most welcoming Manager and a lovely indoor pool. The accommodation itself is very

light and spacious.

Aveiro is also a pleasant town, a miniature Venice. The reception recommended a fantastic fish restaurant on the opposite side of the canal, called Mare Cheia, very regional. Excellent hotel, and next door to the Art Nouveau Museum, which is a bit quirky.

The Macarico Hotel in Praia de Mira has a lovely pool on the rooftop. The restaurant, for which you are given Vouchers is good, once you know how and what to order. Not many of the waiters speak English.

The Curia Palace Hotel is extremely grand though not quite as luxurious in its features as we have become accustomed. However there is a huge pool and on the other side of the pool wall, a field with fairly tame fallow deer. The hotel dates back to 1926 and is very much a heritage hotel, with swing music playing in the background at breakfast which is held in a vast ballroom or banqueting hall.

The last hotel in Coimbra is very modern, and you virtually have your own personalised lift. We encountered the only mosquito of the whole trip there! Lovely pool, and it is about a 20 minute walk to the train station, and probably less up to the main part of Coimbra.

The weather and the scenery improved vastly once we headed away from Mira. There are some quite steep hills on the last leg to Coimbra, but we saw electricity pylons layered with nesting White Storks.

Mrs Barr
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

The website does not make it clear that a lot of the cycling is in built up areas ,which was disappointing and unlike our many previous Headwater holidays.Although all the hotels ,apart from the one in Curia ,were outstanding, I would not recommend this area for cycling.

Mr Mitchell
Porto Coastal Cycling

We enjoyed our holiday, hotels and food were good, people very friendly and helpful, not a particularly scenic route but pretty good for non-cyclist as very flat.

Mrs Jones
Porto Coastal Cycling

Cycling was mainly along flat cycle ways and quiet roads although some of the cycle track surfaces were a little bumpy. The hotels were a very good standard, meals, whether taken within or outside the hotels, were very good, especially the fresh fish dishes. Porto was well worth seeing and an interesting city. A bus trip to Costa Nova from Aveiro is worth doing to see the pretty painted houses. The cycle along the estuary and nature reserve was very enjoyable watching out for flamingoes and other seabirds and we were lucky to be doing this at low to half tide when the wading birds and lots of local fisherman, digging for cockles and clams, can be seen. On the beach at Praia de Mira we were lucky enough to see the local fishermen hauling in their nets full of sardines. The final cycle from Praia de Mira along the water canals was a lovely cycle too.

Mrs Clark
Porto Coastal Cycling

Wonderful way to see a country on a bike, real sense of achievement when you arrive at a new destination by bike. A fair amount of exercise - not too strenuous, but much better than sitting on a sunbed all week.

Mrs Hoskins
Porto Coastal Cycling

An unforgettable experience travelling in rural Portugal, getting to see sights other holidays don't offer, off the beaten track, just the right amount of effort for cycling. Excellent choice of hotels, although not the best views! Very good help from rep and good support offered. Nice to know the baggage was taken care of although we arrived before it at one location and it was 5.30pm before they arrived! We could cycle the route at our own pace and felt secure in the knowledge that we were being taken care of and knew where we were going with very good instructions and maps.

Mr York
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Very good.

We've done several similar cycling holidays in Europe and this was up there with the best.

Mrs Malone
Porto Coastal Cycling

We cycled 5 out of 7 days. Joanna met us on arrival and got us on track. The trails were very easy to manage - the GPS was a superb tool. The scenery was magnificent, and we really saw the hidden Portugal. The cycle lanes were completely segregated from the roads and this made for a relaxed and peaceful experience. Each evening we arrived at our hotel to a warm welcome and our luggage in our room. The standard of all the hotels was extremely high and they were all in beautiful locations. The printed maps and route descriptions were also helpful, and the level of difficulty ultimate ascribed to the cycle was accurate.

Mrs Garth
Porto Coastal Cycling

Thoroughly enjoyed my holiday on my first visit to Portugal. Excellent service from local reps. Great hotels. Ebikes fun. Delicious food, wine and port. Loved the routes.

Mr Mathias
Porto Coastal Cycling

Good .Poor room in the hotel Carrie Porto small room small window looking across a narrow ally straight into a derelict building.This room should not be let in this state.

Headwater response:
Dear Mr Mathias,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. We were pleased to see you had a good holiday, although, we were sorry to read of your disappointment with the standard of room you were allocated at Carris Porto Ribeira. Since receiving your feedback, we have asked the hotelier to ensure they do not allocate this room to future Headwater customers. Whilst we realise this does not affect your holiday, we do hope it goes some way to show we take our customers feedback seriously. We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Kind regards,
Headwater Customer Service team

Mrs Whiteley
Porto Coastal Cycling

Very well organised holiday - excellent helpful Portuguese reps looked after us well throughout. GPS was a very successful means of not getting lost en route. Hotels all good, although 2 out of 4 gave us rooms looking at blank walls. Some time is spent riding on roads, though we used footpaths where available, and there are dedicated cycle paths for the majority of the route. Some interesting coastal scenery. Riding through the lagoon wasn't as spectacular as we'd hoped as much of the the cycle path was rocky and potholed and you had to concentrate on the path surface immediately ahead to avoid falling, rather than enjoying the scenery and wildlife. All in all though, a very enjoyable holiday.

Mr Allin
Porto to Coimbra Cycling

Excellent holiday. The bikes were quite heavy but the cycling was flat and the electric bike was modern and excellent.

Mrs Dillnutt
Porto Coastal Cycling

The cycle tracks in Portugal were good and holiday would suit people new to cycling holidays

Mr Daniel
Cycling in The Real Algarve

First visit to the Algarve and first cycling holiday. Hard work for a couple of days but the rewards matched the effort. Lovely locations and hotels had top quality staff. Our two reps were lovely and incredibly helpful. We have used Headwater only a few times over 20 or so years, but every time the holiday has been special. That is why we have always looked them up when considering a trip overseas.

Mrs Griffiths
Porto Coastal Cycling

Excellent cycling along the Atlantic coast, lovely hotels, interesting area to explore. The Furadouro Hotel was outstanding - welcome, food, swimming pool, rooms all superb.

Mrs Cronin
Porto Coastal Cycling

A very well organised holiday giving us the chance to visit places we would not have otherwise seen.

Mr Milward
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Extremely well organised , with excellent local representative (Tony) who provided additional information and support without hesitation. Also provided local maps and timetables for my time in Faro which allowed me to enjoy that day, he also informed me about the industrial action at the airport which allowed me to make appropriate arrangements.

Mr Kilby
Porto Coastal Cycling

We enjoyed our cycling holiday but the weather was terrible which marred our experience. We also thought some of the cycling was a bit monotonous, going through residential areas, particularly at the beginning and would have preferred not to have had to get the train, although it proved invaluable in the end due to weather. The lagoon part was generally nice however towards the end, the path had completely disintegrated and the little bridge had been washed away. It certainly needed two people to carry the bikes down and across. We informed the guide at the end of the holiday. I dont think this holiday would be suitable for families in summertime as the roads get very busy and there were more roads than we had expectred. We thought the route tracking on the garmin was an excellent idea and the best part of following the route. Totally reliable. The hotels were all good though not all were properly equipped to accept bikes, namely the one in Porto and the Hotel Moliciero.

Dr Goldberg
Porto Coastal Cycling

This was an excellent holiday. The cycling was along very flat routes down the beautiful Atlantic Coast and around the pretty lagoons. Porto and Aveiro were great places to have days off. The hotels were good or very good. We ate some delicious fish and everyone was very friendly and welcoming.

Mrs Gibson
Cycling in The Real Algarve

It was excellent from start to finish. Our reps Tony & Ludmila Lewis made our holiday experience special with their friendliness, humour and knowledge. Please pass on our thanks.I am hoping to book a walking holiday with Headwater next year with my friend please send me a brochure

Mr Spiller
Porto Coastal Cycling

The pleasure of Headwater is that they do everything to make ensure your experience is exceptional - so it is!

Mrs Roper
Cycling in The Real Algarve

This was a lovely holiday.The wild flowers were magnificent and the scents of orange blossom and fresh herbs will long remain with us.We enjoyed the variety of different tracks and the headland loop at Amado beach was stunning.The bikes were excellent with especially low gears for those hills,and the tour notes were pretty good. The welcome at all three hotels was genuinely warm and the accommodation very comfortable, except at Pedralva,where the bed felt like a marble slab, and gave us a restless 2 nights. The food and wine was fresh, wholesome and very well prepared.We thoroughly enjoyed this break and came back feeling refreshed and invigorated. We will definitely consider Headwater when choosing our next holiday.

Dr Davies
Cycling in The Real Algarve

A very nice holiday. The cycling was generally very good. It is a little hilly so is certainly a grade 2. There was a little bit more off road than we expected and one part of this was a particularly bad track which was slow going. Everything else was fine. The accommodation was good.

Ms Bronger
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Fun. We enjoyed our visit to Portugal.

Mrs Maclehose
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Excellent cycling on wonderful bikes. Tony and Ludmilla were fantastically helpful and we were especially grateful that Tony picked us up from not the usual collection point. The notes were perfect and we were very lucky with the weather. The suggestions for rest days were also very good. Hotels all fine, especially Memmo. Pedralva rooms could do with better heating and much better lighting but the bar and restaurant areas were very good . Food at Pedralva was excellent. Would definitely recommend the holiday and commend highly Tony and Ludmilla who definitely had a 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude and who clearly enjoy their roles. Thank you very much.

Mr Tweed
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Seamless from start to finish with excellent opportunities to explore and relax in equal measure.

Mr Shrubsole
Cycling in The Real Algarve

An absolutely fantastic holiday - you see things on a bike that you wouldn't normally see - birds, flora and fauna and of course local villages with delightful local Portuguese people

Ms MacEachern
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Surprisingly quiet routes, wonderful scenery and sunshine, excellent food. Pacing suited us with a day's cycling followed by hiking on our rest days. Pedralva was a highlight in all respects from accommodation and surroundings to food.

Mrs Stratford
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Excellent Holiday and very knowledgeable and helpful Representative.

Mrs Pogson
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Cycling through fantastic scenery in mimosa eucalyptus pine scented warm air within a day of leaving flood & storm ravaged UK - wonderful. Tony & Ludmilla are great hosts. Their warm welcome quickly overcame the effects of a long laborious day long journey via Lisbon - Faro & taxi halves the travel time at little if any overall extra cost. The 2 hotels we stayed in are 2 of the best we've had in 20yrs of Headwater holidays. However Pedralva - it no doubt has it's charms but is basically self catering units more suited to summer use. Compared to our 2 previous stops the welcome here was 'grumpy' & our room was cold gloomy & oppressive - more like a cell with 2 v small windows looking straight out at other houses across narrow streets at eye level so no privacy in the bedroom or sitting area without closing little shutters making it even gloomier. The shower room was unheated & there was no hair dryer. A Youth Hostel style kitchen dominated our sitting area - a dirty hot plate, a dustpan & brush in full view as also a slop bucket (ugh) & the upmarket 'coffee making facilities' were of no practical use as no pods - a simple kettle would be much better & more welcoming. The swimming pool is outdoors & was not available so no 'relaxing by the pool' & given the cold location of Pedralva I doubt would be for many of the Headwater months. I was unable to access wifi on my iPad at the designated spot in Reception - I did on the 2nd night with some perseverance find a tiny area in the Bar where I could get a signal. Ah - the Bar! & it's tender & the food he serves in the evenings are the outstanding highlight of Pedralva - make the most of it - the breakfasts are fairly meagre. We felt Pedralva fell short on many of the facilities promised in the Headwater description.

Mr Rudd
Cycling in The Real Algarve

A great place for a cycling holiday. The routes were good and varied.

Mr Edwards
Cycling in The Real Algarve

We were pleasantly surprised by the professional way everything was handled by office staff. The reps who were new to the area were so helpful and were even working on new tracks as alternatives the night before we would use them. It was a lovely relaxing holiday with just the right amount of activity,also the pleasant weather for time of the year helped.

Mis Polkey
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Lovely holiday. Headwater made all it very easy. Leisurely cycling - nice mixture of exercise and relaxation. Excellent food and accommodation.

Mr Beaven
Cycling in The Real Algarve

Excellent organisation and welcome / support from local Headwater reps. Interesting terrain and wildlife.