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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.

Stephen Rose
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

As always a really excellent service from Headwater and well organised operation led by Mark at the location. Lovely cycling trip with good hotels.

Excellent holiday - cycling was challenging but not hard and good to get off early to avoid the heat arriving at destination for lunch and relaxing / visiting. We took our own gravel bikes which were perfect for the terrain. All the hotels were excellent and very accommodating and welcoming

Steven Chapman
Cycling in Mallorca: Coast to Coast

We are long time Headwater customers. We really liked when Headwater had their own staff in situ. Those tours were really special. That said subcontracting to local companies works well in out experience. Appreciate that allows Headwater to offer more tours but there is less opportunity to differentiate from competition.

Very good holiday, well organised, lovely hotels. Warm welcome from all hotel staff. Have holidayed with Heatwater for over 20 years and this holiday was one of the best. Thank you.

Mark Finn
Vineyards of La Rioja Cycling

From start to finish a brilliant experience. The team are first class.

Well organised and excellent cycle trip on mainly good rural back roads. Generally very good hotels and excellent transfers. Electric bikes were brand new and easy to use-much needed in 30 degree heat.

Susan Jones
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We had a really fabulous holiday and would really recommend this type of trip to friends who like cycling. Its perfect if you don't want to sit by the pool/on beach all day. its great to have the itinerary sorted and have bags transferred every day. Two of the locations were really excellent. Despite it being high temperatures it was fine when cycling on e-bikes.

Susan Warren
Vineyards of La Rioja Cycling

Booking with Headwater is always a positive experience and the holidays are of the highest standard.

Fantastic holiday, cycling was just the right level of challenge. Some busy roads / hills/ rough terrain meant I would not want to have been a complete beginner but having some cycling experience I found the level perfect. . Hotels were all fantastic except for error at hotel Sa Punta not serving anything (food or a coffee) at the end of our first day of cycling. Alternative restaurant sorted by hotel and prompt generous refund from Headwater but really first night was not a four star experience (second night at same hotel was excellent) . We would quite liked to have small spanner so we could alter seat height ourselves (called rep out twice which was not a problem but could have been avoided) Fantastic route, very varied, lovely mix of coastal scenery and inland villages. Some very remote villages which were lovely to visit away from other tourists. I would highly recommend this holiday as a perfect mix of rest / relaxation / cycling

Classic Catalan Cycling

We had a fabulous time cycling in Catalonia. Cycling was not too challenging and mostly on tracks and cycle paths. There were a few short sections on bigger roads but the drivers were courteous and allowed us plenty of room. All destinations were interesting and hotels of a high standard, all serving delicious breakfasts. We cycled past stunning coastline, acres of apple orchards, rice fields full of egrets and through historic, almost deserted, villages. Highlights were evenings in picturesque Calella de Palafrugell, everything about the city of Girona and the fabulous 40+ kilometres down hill from Girona to the coast on the Via Verde. Mark and Shelley were friendly, efficient and gave us lots of local insider information on our drive from the station to Calella.

Great trip, interesting & sometimes challenging itinerary. Definitely make sure you include the optional extra from Haro. Wonderful hotels!

Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We had a very pleasurable holiday in Catalunya. Fantastic scenery and very comfortable hotels. Efficient luggage transfer and very helpful contacts. The train travel to Flaca was quite tricky and confusing - it would have been better to have headed for Girona and it was much easier to return to the airport in Barcelona from there. The cycling routes and equipment and itinerary were terrific and the app was brilliant although the mobile phone holders didn't allow easy visual checking so we relied on audio.

At the Castell d'emporda hotel, although a beautiful location, there seemed to be a two-tier system of guest dining for the half-board option as the limited evening menu provided insufficient choice.

We appreciated staying for two nights in two hotels as it allowed us to take a rest day when it rained all day.

Organised. Stress free. Challenging but very rewarding

Our third cycling holiday with Headwater in a beautiful part of Spain. Travelling in early May Platja de Pals was very quiet and lots of bars and restaurants closed. We felt a hotel in the town of Begur would have given us more eating options. However, we had a lovely holiday and enjoyed exploring the Catalan coast and inland medieval villages.

Super trip around the Valencian coast, city and mountains with fabulous scenery, food and Spanish hospitality. Loved the diversity of this adventure and the whole experience more than lived up to our expectations. Would go back to Valencia for sure

Thanks Headwater

Cycling in Mallorca: Coast to Coast

A really pleasant and relatively easy-going cycling holiday on peaceful country roads in an area of Mallorca that relatively few visitors - apart from cyclists - see. Excellent welcome and very co-operative staff at all four hotels - Finca Es Torrent, Petit Algaida, Sa Bisbal (using Con Cota facilities) & Son Sant Jordi.

Our holiday was exactly what we had hoped for. The cycling grade and distances were suitable for our ability and central Mallorca offers fantastic countryside to explore. The villages were lovely and the hotels gave great service and accommodation. Although we used the paper maps at times, the Headwater App. has inspired us to look into what Apps. we can acquire for ourselves. A highly recommended trip and we will holiday with Headwater again in the future.

Really challenging cycle ride with excellent stopovers and luggage carrying

My husband and I had always wanted to go to Sevilla and Cadiz and as we like cycling it seemed an ideal thing to do, to cycle from one to the other, however, although the villages and towns along the way were well worth visiting the cycle each day was pretty uninspiring and just a means to the end. I enjoyed the holiday but not sure I would actually recommend this particular journey. There was another person who mentioned the uninteresting cycle routes, but we chose to ignore it! The Paradores are fabulous to stay at but our hotel in Jerez was a complete come down and should not be on their list of places to stay.

Mr Chestnutt
Cycling in Mallorca: Coast to Coast

We have holidays with Headwater/Exodus for over 20 years - on both self-guided and group holidays. This was our first time using the app. I was anxious about this but it was fantastic - easy to install and easy use during the cycling. Thank you to Megan Wyatt who looked after our booking and answered initial queries.

Otherwise excellent service from the team and from all of the people who looked after us in Mallorca.

A great way to see Andalucia. Seville and Cadiz are spectacular and extra days at each end are recommended. Excellent hotels in good locations. The ride through the hills around Montellano was lovely and the disused railway track to Arcos was a gem. Everything was well organised by Headwater and went to plan. Recommended to anyone wanting to sample Andalucia.

Wonderful accommodation linked by average itineraries and heavy clunky bikes

Absolutely super trip - fab hotels and very well organised. Definitely an extra day in Seville to sight see and in Cadiz if you can. The cycling is probably easy for experienced riders but would feel quite hardcore for recreational cyclists (we are the latter!). One day is 70KMs and over 700m ascent with most of the ascent at the end of the day. A lot on lovely quiet country lanes but also need to be confident on main roads in towns with traffic. Is about 30% off road which is a nice change but the bikes are road bikes so lack suspension so be prepared for some bone rattling riding along the way. We loved the challenge and every aspect of the holiday. The Parador hotels are fabulous. Very much recommend. Thank you Headwater for another great holiday.

Thoroughly enjoyable cycling holiday! The phone app was superb - an excellent addition. By far and away the best days were on cycle tracks / Via Verdes away from the traffic / roads. Some of the towns along the way were simply stunning and we loved the fact that they were mostly off the tourist trail. Hotel Xauen was disappointing and I haven't completed the review for Hotel Sancho III as we didn't stay there! All in all, it was a great trip which I would be very happy to replicate in the future.

Pleasant cycling on quiet roads through impressive mountain scenery

Mrs Reid
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We enjoyed our holiday in Catalan. We found the medieval towns such as Pals, Begur and Corca very interesting. Also the villages on the coast. We visited Salvador Dali's Castle at Pubol which I would recommend. At Pubol we had very tasty and inexpensive lunch at the hotel there.

All the hotels were good but Hotel Castel d'Emporda was amazing. The battle of Waterloo display there was well worth viewing.

We went in the middle of September was lovely. Not too hot for cycling. The cycling was good too but there we did not like the hills to Begur or near the coast route so I would say it should have been marked as grade 1 bicycle with some steep hills occasionally

Great to visit Seville, Carmona, Jerez & Cadiz but as a cycling holiday this was less interesting than other more rural Headwater holidays we have done. Long stretches of monotonous agricultural scenery on the Andalusian plains with little shade & few villages to stop in. Also a lot of heavy going off road cycling. But it is level 3 & early September very hot. Glad we had EBikes!

Mrs Macalister Hal
Cycling in Mallorca: Coast to Coast

Our Mallorca cost to coast trip was another great Headwater holiday for us. We loved the variety going across the island and stayed in some quirky but fantastic places. I would recommend it to others as a great way to see some of the real Mallorca and have a varied holiday at the same time. The travel arrangements were great and the bike rental was no problem at all, even when we had a puncture on a small country road. Someone attended to it very quickly. All in all a great holiday.

Mrs Coleman
Classic Catalan Cycling

This holiday gave us the unique opportunity to explore the Catalan countryside while cycling on gravel paths and country roads combined with rest days exploring Girona and the wonderful Dali museum. We chose to use E bikes and were very glad we did as it gave us the opportunity to go 'off piste' to visit small fishing ports without the worry of having to cycle back up a long hill on a hot afternoon. The most impressive aspect of cycling in this part of Catalonia is how worry free it is. There are cycle paths everywhere and we found the local drivers to be very considerate to cyclists. The cycle into Girona, for example, was a joy as the route followed leafy paths alongside a river for much of the way leading straight to the heart of this beautiful city and our hotel. The navigation app was brilliant; that little reassuring voice in your ear saving endless minute of debate about the 'right way'.

Mr Luard
Cycling the Camino de Santiago

Excellent holiday, very highly recommended. However, 3 comments. Bike collection in Astorga, your directions say collect from Bike Shop at 9.00 am but the Bike Shop does not open until 9.30 am. MY Ebike was very good but the chain kept coming off,. On 13 Aug, our accommodation was changed to Casa Blanco but the route given in both the App and paper maps was only to A Parada das Bastas. We had to go to A Parada day Bastas and ask them for directions, which thankfully worked.

Cycling the Camino de Santiago

The Santiago ride was a pleasure but the information from the app caused us both delays, detours and frustration before reaching destinations

Mrs Bedford
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Well organised in every way. Excellent app giving general information and providing routes to follow. We loved every minute.

Mrs Morgan
Cycling the Camino de Santiago

Cycling the Camino de Santiago was great but the description in the brochure is a little deceptive as there was a lot of cycling on roads (not on the Camino), even though not much traffic. Last 2 days didn’t see the Camino signs at all! I believe the brochure should describe this a little better. Electric bikes a must if you are a leisure cyclist as extremely hilly! Having said this Headwater were very helpful and we would definitely recommend them.

A pleasant holiday cycling in the mountains behind valencia and along the Orange Blossom coast with its magnificent beaches and nature spots. Holiday slightly tarnished by the very heavy bicycle i was given was unsuitable for the steep mountain climbs. The others had e-bikes and were fine. The mountain sections are pretty strenuous especially in the spanish heat and the heavy bike. So i would not recommend this holiday to the casual cycler unless they are quite fit or take e-bikes. Also the mountain sections are mainly on roads, which although not busy, you never felt like you were getting off the beaten track. Hotel accommodation was all very good apart from the hotel Xauen in Montanejos which was quite basic and had poor breakfast compared to the other hotels. Eating out was a pleasure with both food and wine very cheap compared to UK. We would have welcomed a few recommendations from Headwater on where to eat, as some restaurants were a lot better than others for a similar price.

This was a great tour (our third with Headwater and our first in Spain). Our hosts were good and friendly and we enjoyed every moment, the hotels chosen were excellent. The ride was beautiful, flat and interesting. The only downside was that the contracted person taking us to the rail station on our return got us there too late. We didn't mind too much, but it caused us an extra hour. Overall this short Catalunya ride was perfect for us (in our late 50s). Please Headwater, can you add some more short break rides!

Mrs Atkinson
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Absolutely fantastic week. The second hotel were,abit grumpy when we arrived and said we were B&B when we were half board so we missed two evening meal. Everything else was incredible. We feel like we've been on a honeymoon .

Beautiful cycling through varied landscape. Wonderful wild flowers and bird life. Gorgeous villages and friendly people. Definite things to improve: a lot of transfers required to get to the first hotel (3x train then pick up); the app is pretty good but could have a bit more navigation description; bikes should be fitted with cradles for phones (or recommend that clients bring one) so that you can track the map while also listening to directions. There seemed to be many different itineraries and guides emailed (plus links embedded) that it is difficult to be sure you’ve got all the right info. A printed pack in the post would still be the most useful thing. Final small point - there is a killer climb on the last day which isn’t mentioned anywhere. There is an easy detour to avoid it though. Maybe worth giving this option in the notes?

Superb accommodations, excellent app guide, interesting cities but a misconceived holiday. Cycling into and out of big cities through the inevitable busy and sometimes scrappy outskirts is not enjoyable. Most of the tracks were difficult and uncomfortable apart from the Via Verde. Our advice is to go for a city break to visit cities and stay for a few nights then go for a cycling holiday in more interesting and scenic countryside. Senderos y Pueblos fine, Senderos y Ciudads not good.

Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Really enjoyed our holiday, hotels were of a good standard and in great locations, the route was varied and flexible allowing us to explore other areas on route.

An enjoyable varied route. An excellent introduction to the region.

Excellent organisation and support, all hotels were fantastic in superb locations, navigation app was brilliant. Would definitely recommend this holiday.

Good however the eather was rather inconsistent some days with heavy rain. The bikes are not geared to cope with adverse weather they are only fair to good weather bikes. And regardless the rain was to heavy and cold to cycle in. I think it maybe better to start this trip a little later in the year as it's to unpredictable this time of the year weatehr wise and some of teh hotels were not offereing any services e.g the first hotel had no restaurant / bar or any other service open. Headwater Custome service was excellant especially Paula!

The Seville - Cadiz route provides a great cycle through this part of Spain. Not to hilly and last couple of days pretty flat. Lunches can be a bit basic, but evening meals were excellent with a bit of searching and waiting until 8pm. Seville, Carmona, Arcos, Jerez and Cadiz all have lots to offer.

Mr Jones
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

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

Ms Heald
Classic Catalan Cycling

One of the best trips we’ve ever done.

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

N.B. Will send this separately. Thanks.

Note this has already been published on the Exodus website:

This was our first self-guided holiday in a long time although we have done many group holidays. Mallorca is very well set up to cycle covered in good condition country lanes and feels very safe. In my opinion the rides were grade 2 some days, and 3 on others. The hotels were of varying quality. Hotel es Torrent was a lovely place to start but there was no choice over the evening meal and was some way away from the village. At Reco de Randa we were given an upgraded room, and the pool and restaurant were both lovely. Food was really good everywhere we stayed. However in Pollenca we were put in an apartment which wasn’t really appropriate for a hotel holiday (shame as the hotel itself seemed lovely).

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Do cycle (or walk) up the hill to the Sancturi de Cura in Randa.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Because Headwater didn’t provide them, I mapped all the rides on RideWithGPS (if you would like them please let me know). Google maps was very good as a back-up if you take a detour.

Interesting location and places stayed. Parador hotels in particular fabulous character and hilltop locations gave spectacular views. Bikes good quality which was just as well as note of caution some of the off road tracks very rough sharp stones potholes. The first day while shorter mainly off road so took a lot longer and left us exhausted luckily roads better after this.

A great way to see parts of the country you wouldn’t normally see. The hotels were first class and the people we met were so friendly.

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.

From our wonderful rep Greg to our amazing accommodation, great bikes and well thought out routes - it was an amazing holiday. Everything ran smoothly. Cycling through scenic countryside and ending the cycle with a dip in the clear sea followed by a jug of sangria in the sun - pure bliss. Can't wait until next year!

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.

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 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 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 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 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 Whitehead
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

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

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 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 Nicholson
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

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

Mr Thompson
Classic Catalan Cycling

The addition of a fully functional cycling app completely transformed my overall enjoyment of the cycling. So much easier to download map and receive voice activated instructions, also phone holder supplied. Inclusion of trip meter complimented use of app. HW - please include these on all your holidays if possible. Our second time in this region, the hotels are of good standard, clean and very helpful staff. We added additional days at hotel Garbi to enjoy the local area **A visit to the Calau tapas bar is a must in Calella be there for 7:30 ish and you should get a table (July), after 8:30 you may have to wait for an hour +. Only other recommendation for food is La Tasca in Girona. The bus tour in Girona is a bit of a waste of money with minimal information via head phones and spent most of the 2 km trip waiting at pick up and drop off points on the circuit. If you have time a cycle to Pals it is well worth the effort (about 25km round trip) we used the app for the first days cycling towards Begur for directions and turned off to Pals * the road into Pals has cycle lanes. Overall, very enjoyable cycling and in our opinion the first days cycling was the most strenuous after that the rest is reasonably easy for the grade.

Mr Brown
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

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

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.

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.

Ms Grybaite
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

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

Mr Hockin
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

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

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.

Mr Taylor
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

We had a fantastic week cycling in Catalunya, food, wine and people were great.

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!

Mrs Fernley
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

Cycling, location, accommodation and especially food were of a very high standard. Local reps were very attentive, and the postcard we received from them before the holiday with their phone number was a nice touch. We travelled from a 'non-standard' airport, and arranging this and transfers through Headwater was more difficult than we expected.

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.

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 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.

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.

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!

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.

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 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 Bolton
Contrasts of Catalunya Cycling

A very enjoyable holiday staying in excellent hotels.

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.

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.