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Customer reviews: Spain 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.

Ms Heald
Classic Catalan Cycling

One of the best trips we’ve ever done.

Mr Jones
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Great location. Easy quiet cycling excellent food plenty of interesting places to visit

Ms Richards
Classic Catalan Cycling

Great holiday- we wished we’d opted to stay 2 nights at Calella de Palafrugell as it was a lovely spot with beautiful clear water for swimming. Our guide, Greig, was brilliant - particularly when we had a day of storms and ran around transferring everyone and their bikes to their destination as if it were no trouble at all. The area is beautiful with fascinating old villages and towns - Girona a real highlight

A thoroughly enjoyable 3 days cycling with my daughter on (predominantly) designated cycle paths and quiet country roads in beautiful and unspoilt Catalonian countryside. We had a warm welcome wherever we went and found 3-4 hours in the saddle each day suited us perfectly. Easy to reach beaches enhanced our holiday and we'd both like to repeat it all.

Mr Fitzmaurice
Classic Catalan Cycling

We had a great time on our cycling holiday in Catalunya. We enjoyed the cycling and also enjoyed the sightseeing in Figueres and Girona. Not a lot to see in Figueres but the Salvador Dali museum is not to be missed. Not a lot of good restaurants in Figueres but we found the tapas bar El Asador was brilliant. Greg, our rep, was brilliant, nothing seemed to much trouble for him. We also liked the navigation app, it made route finding so much easier, even though we did have the printed notes as well.

We added 2 nights on to the end of the holiday in Calella de Palafrugell, and enjoyed some lovely coastal walks.

Mr Crawley
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A mixture of excellent (hotels) and fair (cycling). The cycling was only spoilt by really rough tracks, demanding too much concentration on the riding hence missing the surrounding landscape and features.

Mrs Hayden
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

The hotels were in general well located. We particularly liked Sa Punta and the food here was very good. The cycling tracks were mainly gravel or sandy and a bit rutted and could be quite tricky in places and one had to keep one's eye on the track rather than the scenery but that may be because we are not used to cycling off road. The route takes you through some lovely old towns and villages the highlight of which was probably Pals. Despite our initial reluctance, we were pleased that we used the GPS route guide as it would have been difficult without it to navigate the tracks. The area is spectacular and we would definitely consider re-visiting Catalan.

Mr May
Classic Catalan Cycling

This was our first self guided cycle trip and the first with Headwater. Cycling in groups with a leader, mini bus etc is becoming more demanding This cycle trip was enhanced immeasurably with the audio GPS navigation app, which meant not having to pour over maps or follow route directions at every turn. The route on this trip has been very well planned on beautifully quiet roads or tracks and passing through interesting villages and some lovely scenery. Initially, we thought the hybrid, flat bar bikes were too heavy but they proved to be ideal on the well-maintained tracks. There was only one stretch of approx 3 miles on a fairly busy road and that is when cycling into Girona but it's nothing to worry about. To our surprise, we found the average Spanish motorist pretty considerate and prepared to give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking or at junctions.

The hotels were very good with excellent service, quiet rooms, delicious breakfasts and safe parking for the bikes.

Greg, our rep, was spot on right from the start, giving reassuring advice on using the GPS app, what minor problems to be aware of and any adjustments the bikes.

It's a leisurely cycling holiday to be highly recommended. We have enjoyed cycling with groups for many years in lots of places throughout the world but self guided trips are much more leisurely and gives the rider the opportunity to appreciate the scenery, to stop whenever you wish, to explore some of the major sights and small villages etc.

Mrs Lucas
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Lovely cycling through varied terrain; but be prepared for a good few sharp climbs. The hotels were well appointed and the food was generally delicious. Although the location and development of the Castell D' Emporda was unique, for us the better hotel was the Sa Punta where we spent two lovely relaxed evenings.

Mr Whitehead
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Great cycling on quiet roads. Hotels were very good and evening meals at half board hotels were sensational.

Mr Nicholson
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

An excellent introduction into cycling holidays that we will be certain to repeat.

Mrs Shann
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Lovely to see a bit of Spain away from the main tourist areas.

Two of the hotels were very good with sensational food and good service

The cycling was through some scenic and interesting areas

Mr Cook
Classic Catalan Cycling

A wonderful way to see the real Costa Brava and get to know Catalunya as a region. The holiday was well constructed and well organised. The instructions are not fool proof but that is half the fun!

Mr Brown
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A great tour around a wonderful area wth everything from beaches to early churches and ancient ruins.

Mrs Heron
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Excellent holiday. Varied scenery, good bikes, lovely hotels. Each ride was like a mini adventure. We loved it.

Mr Gough
Classic Catalan Cycling

We found this a very enjoyable April holiday, aided by lovely weather. We are only occasional cyclists, but we found the cycling quite manageable although a little challenging on the first day in the saddle. We were the first couple on this revised tour, and the first to use the route notes and did get lost occasionally. However, there were many cyclists around and someone always stopped and helped us get going again. Very friendly and helpful people. The hotels were generally good and well located. Figeures and Girona are very pleasant cities with plenty to do and see on the 'rest' days.

Mr Hockin
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Was exactly what it said on the can! - it fulfilled our expectations.

Ms Grybaite
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Nothing compares to an active holiday, exploring local culture at your own pace!

Mrs Aries
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

I felt safe travelling totally alone and venturing out on my bicycle by myself, secure in the knowledge that assistance would be readily available if required. Happily this was not needed but it made a huge difference to my piece of mind. I hope that Headwater can extend its leisurely options to include other trips. The travel notes routinely described inclines as 'gentle'. Some of these gentle inclines were about as much as I could manage. I now wouldn't attempt any cycling trips in the catalogue beyond 'leisurely'. The hotels were delightful, El Castell d'Emporda being top of my list.

Mrs Rees
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

This was our first holiday with Headwater which did not disappoint. The scenery was beautiful, with the contrasting coastal and inland areas. We particularly enjoyed visiting all the medieval villages along the routes, especially Pals and Peratallada, although finding places to stop for refreshments in the smaller villages was sometimes rather hit and miss. The weather was lovely and warm, ideal for cycling, and the route notes were good for the most part. However, some of the forest tracks were a bit harder to cycle along. As regards accommodation, Hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for its excellent service, superb facilities and the most delicious food of the holiday. Our reps Olivia and Brian gave us great service too. We have been on cycling holidays with other companies before and they provide a small front pannier on the bikes, so perhaps Headwater could consider doing this also.

Mrs Leonard
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We have two teenage sons and this was the perfect family holiday for everyone. Combining the activity of cycling and rest days at beautiful hotels and locations, taking in the wonderful medieval villages of Catalunya, farm lands, bays and beeches. It was the perfect way to explore more of the region.

Mrs Kyle
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Excellent holiday, cycling is the perfect way to explore. We enjoyed it all - some freedom, some things sorted out

Mrs Warnock
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Our first cycling holiday and it will definitely not be our last!! Cycling through Catalunya was a real treat, beautiful peaceful countryside, wildflowers were so colourful, medieval villages to explore,lots of restaurants choice for coffee or lunch and then to end the day great hotels and delicious food. What's not to like?Highly recommended.

Mr Langrish
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Accurate description of contrasting scenery and cycling. Very quiet roads and plenty of flowers and birds to see.

Mr Straughan
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A beautiful area with quiet lanes and roads. Lovely villages, small towns and views. Super coastal locations, fantastic varied scenery and marvellous bird life and wild flowers. A fantastic holiday!

We had an excellent time. Lovely scenery and weather and excellent food. I would definitely recommend doing this either early or late in the season as it was much cooler and less busy. Very few cars on the road and no traffic.

Felt a great sense of achievement after each cycle day. Our 2 boys- age 11 and 13 enjoyed themselves and there was not a single moan of ''are we there yet?!'

Mr Jenkinson
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

An interesting coastal and inland holiday on quite roads and tracks. Visiting in October the coastal locations and hilltop towns and villages are quiet, but the weather was good and ideal for cycling. having enjoyed many Headwater cycling holidays in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, we may well be interested in following-up an e-bike option in the future.

Mrs Read
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Peaceful cycling along quiet country road, interesting villages and lovely scenery.

This holiday certainly shows the contrasts that Catalonia has to offer.

Mrs Kill
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A wonderful, unspoilt region. We had no idea that the Costa Brava was so wooded and had so many places of historical interest. Going just out of season, the beaches were quiet and devoid of sunbeds! The number of cycle tracks - albeit somewhat roughly surfaced in places - puts the UK to shame.

Mr Peckham
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We had a wonderful holiday enjoying the contrasts of Catalunya, from the sea at the Costa Brava to the rice fields and woodlands inland. The reps Jim and Katie gave us a terrific service, from the introductory postcard sent to us prior to leaving, and the provision of satnav files to make navigation so easy. The hotels Hotel Sa Punta and the magnificent El Castell d'Emporda both exceeded our expectations, and to stay in the tower of an ancient castle was the highlight of our holiday. We have had three Headwater holidays now and will definitely be back for more.

Overall we had a great time. A few hiccups - BA losing a suitcase! not Headwaters fault (found it eventually) and on the return journey arriving at Barcelona airport to be told they only had two seats - we are a family of four! Eventually found us two more seats but made for a very stressful journey. We did not check in late and online checkin was not an option for us. It was VERY hot 35 degrees. A bit too hot to be honest and we probably would not do this holiday again in August! Go when it is a bit cooler. The area is fabulous and we would go back. The hotels are generally very good. We did have an issue at Garbi. Our first night the aircon was not working properly in our room but we got on with it. On our last night the aircon in the boys' room was not working at all and it was 29 degrees! The suggested remedies as the hotel was full was to a) live with it then b) sleep with the window open and they would provide insect repellent! We rejected both these options and in the end moved the two boys in with us for the night. The staff provided camp beds. We managed but not overly happy having paid for two double rooms. We did mention it to the reps in the morning but as it was our last night there was nothing to be done.

Mrs Thompson
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Our reps were superb. Jim took particular care to ensure the bikes were fitted to each individual and this meant each of our party was comfortable throughout the holiday. He had specially removed the bottle holder from the ladies bikes so they would not catch their legs when getting on and off. This attention to detail was much appreciated. He had gone to great lengths to produce a gps version of all the trails and this was invaluable and worked without any problems. I had brought a smart phone holder and battery charger so had a days full battery life. While this would have been sufficient without the notes, the two worked in tandem well and should become a standard on all your cycling holidays.

The bikes would benefit from a small front pannier particularly for the ladies to keep a small water bottle in and a handbag.

Our reps kept in email contact to check our progress and made very helpful recommendations on places to eat and visit on the trip. They put their knowledge to good use so we had an excellent holiday.

Ms Turner
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Contrasts of Catalunya is a great route which takes in coast and countryside. We were two non-cyclists and found the routes achievable and well-planned, with thought given to where you could stop and explore different villages. Cycling was partly on quiet roads and partly on tracks - the routes through the rice fields and alongside apple orchards were particularly enjoyable, while some of the sandy tracks through pine forests were a bit harder going. The bikes were well-maintained and comfortable. Highlights on the route were medieval Pals and Begur, while the Sa Punta Hotel stood out for its fantastic service, excellent swimming pool and the best food we had all week. Service from the reps was also great, and they provided helpful map files and instructions on how to use these on a smartphone as well as practical tips. Highly recommendable!

Mrs Mayor
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Excellent equipment, good hotels and lovely route

Mr Dilnot Smith
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Excellent apart from Hotel Meson Castilla is in the middle of the University area and can be very noisy until early hours of the morning

Mrs Ramsell
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A lovely blend of activity and relaxation, plenty to see and do in the Catalonian region, congenial fellow travellers and good back up system for emergencies.

Mr Lipscomb
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Brilliant family adventure: Cycling through beautiful scenery from beaches, through paddy fields, rolling countryside and little medieval villages and complemented by a range of hotels-2 with gastronomic cuisine and the third giving the opportunity to enjoy eating out in the small seaside town of Calella.

Mrs Brewster
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We had a great holiday. The children thoroughly enjoyed the cycling, the scenery was beautiful, plenty of medieval villages to stop end explore and the hotels en route were great. We were extremely lucky with the weather - hot and sunny every day, so that we could enjoy the hotel pools at the end of each day. A brilliant family holiday.

Mr Adamson
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Well planned cycling routes with excellent instructions. 2 out of the 3 hotels were excellent. Alan & Linda were extremely helpful throughout the holiday & largely responsible for it running so smoothly.

Dr Young
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

The local rep provided the MOST EXCELLENT route notes we have ever experienced. The routes allowed us a great taste of both inland and coastal scenery. There are some built up areas on this holiday and we had no difficulty getting through. He also led us most interesting routes through the little towns so we felt we had seen a great deal. He had obviously ridden the rides himself recently as there was no confusion at all over road work issues etc which we have found before.The routes for the 'rest 'days were fantastic although more challenging than the other days! But well worth the effort. He also provided us with the best maintained bikes we have ever experienced - so thank you enormously for that. 2 of the 3 hotels were just wonderful- quite a treat-and of a luxurious nature.

Ms Jassey
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Probably more challenging that you might expect, but in a very positive way, and well worth the effort. The views and experiences are unbeatable. Not sure if we could do a car-reliant holiday again!

Mr Moorhead
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

The holiday was enjoyable, the Castell d'Emporda was fantastic, and had the holiday been 30% cheaper we would have thought it good value for money. I've been on many cycling holidays (this was the first with my wife and son) and it's the first where there has not been support throughout the day. I know the reps were available by phone, but it would clearly have taken an hour or more to get help from them if a problem had arisen and at this price, that's not good enough. Next time I would simply book the hotels for myself, hire bikes and then organise a taxi to take the bags from place to place - you did not provide sufficient additional value to justify the cost. Cycling routes are also easy to find - with so many GPS users uploading data to the web I would have little problem in organising routes for myself. This was a premium price but what we got was a bike (in good condition to be fair), and a map, and then left alone for a week. My wife had a bad insect bike which became very inflamed and sore and required anti-biotics (it has still not fully subsided a week later) - we had to sort this out for ourselves in Barcelona - our guides expressed polite interest but offered no real suggestions about local medical help. This compares poorly with my experience on cycling holidays in France and the US where anyone with even a slight medical issue was promptly driven to the nearest clinic or pharmacy, helped with the language and sorted out very quickly.

Headwater response:
Thank you for your feedback Mr Moorhead, we were pleased to read that your holiday was enjoyable.
However, we are sorry to see that some aspects did not appear to meet with your expectations. The type of holiday that you had booked is classed as a self-guided cycling holiday. Therefore, we do not provide support vehicles. This type of holiday is geared towards the more independent customers who like to travel at their own pace, starting and finishing at various times throughout the day. Therefore, it would not be practical to have a support vehicle on the route. We do however provide a 24/7 rep service which is available if needed in case of emergency or should you have any questions or queries along the way as well as a brief at the start and de brief at the end of the holiday.
We were sorry to read that Mrs Moorhead was bitten and required medical treatment, as you comment our reps was aware of the bite, but not necessarily the severity. Had they been made aware of this they would have offered assistance as required.
Despite these issues I am glad that you had an enjoyable holiday.
Thank you once again for your feedback.
Yours sincerely,

Mrs Ball
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

I am a Headwater Holidays fan! This is about the 16th cycling holiday I have been on with your company and it is my second trip to Catalunya. Last time, about 5 years age, I took the cycling hol in Catalunya and the guide was Robin! say no more he was useless. Alan is a real gem. Look after him. As I am getting older now and so are my two cycling friends we look for the flat cycling routes and each time you bring out a new one we seem to book it. So do keep adding new routes. I am sorry that you no longer go to Majorca. Many years ago we did the cycling around the centre of the island and was going to book the one centre hotel this year but you have removed it. I guess it was not popular. I think its so important to keep the standard of the hotels and food at a high level. Its such a big part of the holiday for us. After a day cycling the destination is always exciting and good accommodation is a must. I am a single person and mostly travel with my married friends so always have to pay a single supplement which does increase the cost rather.( This trip I went with my daughter and we shared a room so no supplement, a real bonus) If I get a double room for the cost this is fine but on occasions I am in the attic in a single room; not so good. Keep up the good standard and as long as I am able to cycle I will be booking!

Mr Worthing
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

The route guidence was too detailed and involved too many off road tracks. It would have been better if the route had stuck to metaled roads even at the expence of more traffic and greater mileage. Having to stop every few yards to read the notes was tedious and spoilt pleasure of the ride.

Mrs Bolton
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A very enjoyable holiday staying in excellent hotels.

Mr Cameron
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We had a wonderful holiday. We last traveled with Headwater in 1994 and 1997, and there is no doubt that the standards of the hotels, route notes, and bikes have improved immensely. Alan was a hugely experienced rep who provided route notes of a superb standard. 2 out of the 3 hotels were truly excellent, and while the other was one of the weirder I've ever stayed in, it was perfectly serviceable, and the fact that it was B&B only was a good decision.