Walking Holidays

Europe’s majestic mountains ~ with a genuine specialist
Organised & Self-guided Walking

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Tel. 01799 513331 - - Open Today - 9am to 5.30pmCollett's Ltd. is ABTA bonded W6883 - Travel with confidence
Organised & Self-guided Walking with a Genuine Specialist

The best access to both the northern and southern approaches to the Picos National Park

  • Enjoy a selection of the best day walks in both the north and south of the Picos massif – handpicked by Collett’s
  • Includes the three ‘must-do walks’ – Fuente Dé, The Cares Gorge & Covadonga lakes
  • This holiday includes airport transfers from Bilbao and all transport throughout the week
  • Grade: Moderate – Moderate/Hard
  • 23 – 30 June 2019
  • 7 – 14 July 2019
  • 22 – 29 September 2019
  • £875 per person
  • Single Supplement – £125

Twin Centre Explorer

Handpicked medium & high level walks for moderate walkers

Twin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays

The Picos de Europa is an impressive range of beautiful mountains that might not be on the radar of too many UK walkers, but year in year out their grandeur and beauty blow the socks off our first-time guests. The intermediate and high-level walking here is truly spectacular. This twin-centre holiday will give you the outstanding access to both the southern and northern approaches to the Picos National Park. It includes ‘must-do’ walks, such as Fuente De, the Covadonga Lakes and the Cares Gorge. You will spend your first three nights in the delightful Posada El Corcal, situated in the hamlet of Tama, a mile or so from the vibrant market town of Potes. Your last four nights are in the 3* Hotel Picos de Europa in Arenas de Cabrales. Both locations are superb springboards for this stunning mountain range and each day you will explore this splendour on the best moderate and moderate/hard walks we know, returning each late afternoon to your charming accommodation.

Return transfers from Bilbao, as well as daily transport to walk trailheads, is included in the holiday.

Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.

Itinerary & Factsheet
Twin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysTwin centre hiking in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays

A Picos de Europa Walking Holiday
Twin Centre Explorer

To download and print this factsheet on our Twin Centre Explorer Weeks, click here.

At a glance

Grade : Moderate – Moderate/Hard
Ascents/Descents : 400m to 650m each day (950m for Refugio Vega de la Urriellu)
Walking Time : 5 to 6 hours each day
Terrain : Generally good footpaths which at times can be steep, rocky and loose underfoot. Some short sections are very steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, a good head for heights and a good level of fitness are essential. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email enquiries@colletts.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss the likely itinerary in more detail with you.

The Picos is rich in great day walks, many of which have become favourites of ours. Consequently below is just a sample itinerary to whet the appetite. The exact programme may of course also vary as a result of adverse weather or trail conditions. Please note that where we outline two walks on any given day, both walks will be offered, but depending on interest, this may require some walkers to indulge in a well earnt rest and drink in a local bar or cafe at the end of their walk whilst they wait for their transport to arrive.

Day 1 (Sunday)
Arrive & Settle in

After being picked up from Bilbao, you will be transferred to Posada El Corcal, our delightful base in Tama, a hamlet in the Liébana valley nestled in the foothills of the central massif. You will stay here for your first three nights. Settle into your room after a quick check-in process. Dinner will be served at 8.15pm during which there will be a brief welcome meeting.

Day 2 (Monday)
Coriscau (2234m)

8.6km, 550m ascent/descent– A fabulous first day walk to help you find your walking legs, orientate yourself and settle in to your week in the Picos. This enchanting ridge walk offers stunning panoramic views of the mountains of the Picos de Europa National Park in one direction, and of the Cordillera Cantabrica in the other.

Day 3 (Tuesday)
Fuente Dé Ramble or Horcadas Rojos (2503m)

The impressive Fuente De glacial cirque is the starting point of both one of the most spectacular cable car rides in Europe ‐ 753m of ascent in 3 mins 40 secs ‐ and one of the ‘must do’ trips in the Picos de Europa alongside the Cares Gorge!

Fuente De Ramble – 9km, 400m ascent/descent – This leisurely ramble first explores the Aliva high pastures, where cattle roam free and the historic Chalet Real – King Alfonso’s hunting lodge – proudly stands. We then have a rest stop at the Aliva Refugio where sweeping views can be enjoyed over a drink. If energy levels and time permit, this route can be extended to explore the old mine workings from the days when minerals were heavily mined here in the Picos.
Horcadas Rojos – 9.7km, 550m ascent/descent – This route climbs through rocky terrain under the summit of Pena Vieja leading to Horcados Rojas, which offers fantastic views over to Naranjo de Bulnes and the Cantabria Mountain Range.

Day 4 (Wednesday)
San Pedro or Cicera Loop

San Pedro Circular – 10.2km, 400m ascent/descent – This lovely walk passes through a variety of lanscapes (forests, openmeadows and vineyards), offers spectacular views of the mountain and Hermida Gorge, and meanders through three typical Cantabrian villages.
Cicera Loop – 11.7km, 650m ascent/descent – A fantastic walk with superb views overlooking the Liebana region and the La Hermida Gorge, passing through the picturesque village of Cicera and experiencing the tranquillity of this ‘off the beaten track’ area.

At the end of today’s walk, you will be transferred (40 mins) to the 3* Hotel Picos de Europa in the village of Arenas de Cabrales, the ‘gateway’ to the Cares Gorge, on the northern side of the central massif, for the remaining four nights.

Day 5 (Thursday)
Cares Gorge

12.1km, 400m ascent/descent – no trip to the Picos de Europa would be complete without doing this world-renowned classic. It is the signature walk of the range. This deep narrow canyon separates the western and central massifs and is home to a route which only exists because of a mind-boggling feat of engineering in the 1920s, when the water canal for the Poncebos hydroelectric power station was built. This is a there and back itinerary, and so can be made as easy / difficult as you like.

Day 6 (Friday)
The Covadonga Lakes

The twin lakes of Lago Enol and Lago Ercina – another ‘must do’ of the Picos. After enjoying both lakes, we will seek out the quieter trails of the surrounding landscapes. We could walk towards the Mirador del Rey and indulge in the stunning views of the western massif; or we could venture towards Refugio Vega de Ario where the enormity of the Cares Gorge can be appreciated from above; finally, we could opt for the ancient mule trails and farmers tracks, which meander through open pastures and woodland back towards Arenas de Cabrales. Itinerary and time permitting, we may also stop off and visit the famous Covadonga Sanctuary. Today involves a transfer of approx. 1hr each way and might involve the use of a local shuttle bus along the approach road to the lakes.

Day 7 (Saturday)
Ruta de Bulnes or Refugio de la Vega Urriellu

Ruta de Bulnes – 8.3km, 600m ascent/descent – The remote village of Bulnes, nestled high in the central massif, remains without road access even today. This picturesque walk heads deep into the Picos and offers a glimpse of a land that time forgot.
Refugio de la Vega Urriellu – 19.5km, 950m ascent/descent This classic route of the central massif visits Refugio de Urriellu, which at 1960m nestles in a moonscape at the foot of the spectacular peak of Naranjo de Bulnes – the signature peak of the Picos.

Day 8 (Sunday)
Departure

Depending on the exact time of the transfer, after a breakfast you will be transferred to Bilbao Airport.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation – 4 nights in Posada El Corcal, Tama & 3 nights in the 3* Hotel Picos de Europa, Arenas de Cabrales
  • Breakfast each day
  • Packed lunch each walking day (6 days)
  • 3 course evening meal, wine included (7 nights)
  • Detailed route notes
  • Transport to/from the trailheads each walking day
  • Transfers to/from Bilbao Airport. See the ‘Travel’ tab for more details.

Not included in the price

  • Flights & Insurance

Places are limited, so book early – Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

At your own risk

You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

Accommodation
Walking Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa - Posada El CorcalWalking Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa - Posada El Corcal

The exquisite Posada el Corcal

Our base in the Picos de Europa is the beautifully appointed Posada El Corcal. It is run courteously and with unassuming efficiency by its owners, the Soberon family. Posada el Corcal is in a charming rural setting in the hamlet of Tama alongside the road between Potes and Panes near the Picos National Park. It is less than 2km (5 minutes in the car) to Potes, but you can also walk there in 40 minutes along a riverside track.

You will be more than comfortable at El Corcal. It is immaculately presented throughout. Whilst modern inside, there are some delightfully rustic touches. All of its en suite bedrooms, most with balconies, have been individually decorated with exquisite taste. Bright colours and stylish furnishings characterise every room.

After a day in the mountains, relax in the lounge over a book and a drink, or wander through French windows into an attractive garden with furnished terraces. Or you can take time out in the posada's health spa, where there is a jacuzzi, sauna and small gym.

At the entrance of El Corcal’s driveway just 50 yards from the posada itself, there is a traditional Spanish taverna restaurant, Casa Fofi, which is also run by the Soberon family. It has the charming and easy-going atmosphere of a rural restaurant and it is where we meet each evening (except Thursday) to enjoy a three course dinner (with wine included). A good breakfast is served everyday in El Corcal’s attractive breakfast room.


Walking Holiday Accommodation in the delightful 3* Hotel Picos de EuropaWalking Holiday Accommodation in the delightful 3* Hotel Picos de Europa

The delightful 3* Hotel Picos de Europa

Our base for the last four nights of our Twin Centre Explorer is the delightful Hotel Picos de Europa situated on the banks of the Rio Cares in the centre of the village of Arenas de Cabrales - gateway to both the 'must see' Cares Gorge and ideal springboard from which to explore the northern corners of the National Park.

Whilst it has a reassuringly modern air about it, it has been run by the Somohana family for generations.  You will be more than comfortable here - it is run by friendly and attentive staff who will make you feel very welcome and it will soon become another 'home from home'.

After a day in the mountains, you will find it easy to relax here – either in the large lounge bar over a book and a drink, in the garden, or beside the refreshing swimming pool. Arenas is also home to many bars and cafes, all of which are only a short stroll from the hotel.

An extensive breakfast buffet is available each day, and each evening we will enjoy a delicious three course evening meal (with win included) either in the hotel’s restaurant, or weather permitting outside on the terrace.

Travel

Airport Transfers

Getting to the Picos de Europa is easy and airport transfers are included in the price of your holiday.

Inbound

We offer transfers every Sunday to/from Bilbao Airport to pick-up people who have flown with Easyjet from Edinburgh, Stansted, Manchester & Bristol; with BA from Gatwick; and with Aer Lingus from Dublin. 
Please do not book a flight that lands later than 17:00.

Outbound

Please do not book a return flight that departs earlier than 10:30.
Exact transfer timings will be confirmed approx. three weeks before your holiday.  Our transfer service is not a personal taxi service and waiting can be unavoidable, so please do not book a transfer unless you are relaxed about the possibility of having to kill time in Bilbao or at the airport. 

Places are limited, so please check availability with us before you book your flights.

Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

Self Drivers

Some people may like to travel to Northern Spain with their own car using Brittany Ferries services into Santander and Bilbao. Others might fly and then hire a car via Santander (1½ hours), Bilbao (2½ hours) or Asturias (2½ hours).

Either way, in such cases, we reduce your holiday price by £50 per person but you would be expected to use your own vehicle to drive to the walk trailheads during the week - unless we have space in our designated minibus(es).

Extra Nights - If you choose to self-drive or fly-drive and you require accommodation for an extra night or two at the start or end of your stay in order to help with flights, ferries or wider holiday plans – simply let us know and we will be happy to help.

Car Hire - For a competitive car hire quote please visit our Car Hire page.

Notes

Notes

To download and print this factsheet on our Twin Centre Explorer Weeks, click here.

Your ‘Twin Centre Explorer’ holiday will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.
The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Twin Centre Explorer’ holiday – which we refer to as organised, not guided.

Our ‘Twin Centre Explorer’ holiday is a series of self-guided walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.

It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.
In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.

Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.

Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.

Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Twin Centre Explorer’ holiday, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.

Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organizers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.

7 Night Holiday for stronger walkers exploring the dramatic splendour of the high trails

  • Awe-inspiring hikes through the majestic peaks & high mountain passes of the Picos de Europa
  • This holiday is ideal for the more ambitious hikers in search of more demanding days out in the mountains
  • The itineraries include classic routes in both the Picos de Europa National Park and the Cordillera Cantabria
  • Includes a midweek rest day, airport transfers from Bilbao and all transport throughout the week
  • Grade: Moderate/Hard – Hard
  • 14 – 21 July 2019
  • 28 July – 4 August 2019
  • 1 – 8 September 2019
  • 15 – 22 September 2019
  • £825 per person
  • Self-Drivers – deduct £50 per person
  • Single Supplement – £125

Picos Peaks & Passes

Join Collett’s for a week of higher level harder walks in the Picos

hike peaks and passes in the Picos with Collett's Mountain Holidays

This holiday has been especially designed for stronger walkers in search of awe-inspiring days in high mountains in the good company of other like‐minded walkers. This impressive range of beautiful mountains might not be on the radar of too many UK walkers, but year in year out we watch as their grandeur and beauty blow the socks off our first-time guests. The intermediate and high-level walking here is truly spectacular. Each day (except Thursday, your rest day) you will venture out on glorious higher level and harder walks, returning each evening to your accommodation at Posada El Corcal in Tama just outside the vibrant town of Potes. This is a week of tried and tested ‘winners’ located either in the Picos de Europa National Park or the surrounding Cordillera Cantabria.

Return transfers from Bilbao, as well as daily transport to walk trailheads, is included in the holiday.

Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.

Itinerary & Factsheet
Peaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays - Cares GorgePeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays

A Picos de Europa Walking Holiday – Peaks & Passes

To download and print this factsheet on our Picos de Europa Peaks & Passes Walking Weeks, click here.

At a glance

Grade : Moderate – Moderate/Hard
Ascents : 550m to 1000m each day
Walking Time : 4 to 7 hours each day
Descents : 550m to 1000m each day
Terrain : Footpaths which can be steep, rocky and loose underfoot. Some sections are steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, a good head for heights and a good level of fitness are essential. Some basic scrambling experience may also be beneficial for one short section of the Pena Prieta walk. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email enquiries@colletts.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss the likely itinerary in more detail with you.

The following is a sample itinerary only and the exact programme may vary due to adverse weather or trail conditions.

Day 1 (Sunday)
Arrive & Settle in

We will meet you at Bilbao and transfer you to the Posada El Corcal, our attractive base in Tama, a hamlet in the Liébana valley nestled in the foothills of the central massif. This will soon be a welcoming ‘home from home’ for you. After a quick check-in, you can settle into your room. Dinner will be at 8.15pm during which there will be a brief welcome meeting.

Day 2 (Monday)
Coriscao Ridge & Peak (2234m)

8.6km, 550m ascent/descent – A fabulous ‘first day’ walk to help you find your walking legs, orientate yourself and settle in to your week in the Picos. This walk offers stunning panoramic views of the mountains of the Picos de Europa National Park in one direction, and of the Cordillera Cantabrica in the other. Stunning scenery throughout.

Day 3 (Tuesday)
Vega de Liourdes (2559m)

13.2km, 950m ascent/descent – This spectacular route to Vega de Liordes, which was once an impressive high mountain lake, offers a fantastic contrast between the lush green of the vega and the ring of 2000m+ limestone peaks which tower above it.

Day 4 (Wednesday)
The Cares Gorge

12.1km, 400m ascent/descent – Whilst neither a peak nor a pass, no trip to the Picos de Europa would be complete without doing this world-renowned classic. It is the signature walk of the range and well worth the one hour drive to the trailhead. This deep narrow canyon separates the western and central massifs and is home to a route which only exists because of a mind-boggling feat of engineering in the 1920s, when the water canal for the Poncebos hydroelectric power station was built.

Day 5 (Thursday)
Rest day

You are free to have a well-deserved lie-in. Breakfast is served until 10.30am. This is a day for you to rest and relax. You might take a leisurely tour of the excellent Picos de Europa Visitor Centre, which is close to the Posada, or take an easy stroll into Potes along the river for a late lunch. On Wednesday night we will be on hand to help you to arrange taxi shares should you want to team up with other guests to visit the spa or travel further afield.

Day 6 (Friday)
Fuente Dé, Cabana Veronica & Horcados Rojos (2503m)

9.7km, 550m ascent/descent – After taking the dramatic Fuente De Cable Car, there awaits one of the most sublime walks in the Central Massif. The route climbs through rocky terrain under the summit of Pena Vieja leading to Horcados Rojas. You will have breathtaking views over to the iconic Naranjo de Bulnes and the Cantabria Mountain Range.

Day 7 (Saturday)
Pena Prieta (2536m)

17.5km, 1000m ascent/descent – This is a spectacular high mountain ridge walk to the highest peak in the Cordillera Cantabrica. It is a fascinating part of the range and the geology and landscapes will captivate you at length. Indeed, it has been described as North Wales on steroids – and hopefully without the rain! A truly impressive walk to finish the week.

Day 8 (Sunday)
Departure

Depending on the exact time of the transfer, after a breakfast you will be transferred to Bilbao Airport.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation – 7 nights in Posada El Corcal, Tama
  • Breakfast each day
  • Packed lunch each walking day (5 days)
  • 3 course evening meal, wine included (6 nights, not Thursday- your rest day)
  • Detailed route notes
  • Transport to/from the trailheads each walking day
  • Transfers to/from Bilbao Airport. See the “Travel” tab for more details.

Not included in the price

  • Flights & Insurance
  • Transport, activities, lunch and dinner on Thursday – your rest day

Places are limited, so book early – Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

At your own risk

You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

Accommodation
Walking Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa - Posada El CorcalWalking Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa - Posada El Corcal

The exquisite Posada el Corcal

Our base in the Picos de Europa is the beautifully appointed Posada El Corcal. It is run courteously and with unassuming efficiency by its owners, the Soberon family. Posada el Corcal is in a charming rural setting in the hamlet of Tama alongside the road between Potes and Panes near the Picos National Park. It is less than 2km (5 minutes in the car) to Potes, but you can also walk there in 40 minutes along a riverside track.

You will be more than comfortable at El Corcal. It is immaculately presented throughout. Whilst modern inside, there are some delightfully rustic touches. All of its en suite bedrooms, most with balconies, have been individually decorated with exquisite taste. Bright colours and stylish furnishings characterise every room.

After a day in the mountains, relax in the lounge over a book and a drink, or wander through French windows into an attractive garden with furnished terraces. Or you can take time out in the posada's health spa, where there is a jacuzzi, sauna and small gym.

At the entrance of El Corcal’s driveway just 50 yards from the posada itself, there is a traditional Spanish taverna restaurant, Casa Fofi, which is also run by the Soberon family. It has the charming and easy-going atmosphere of a rural restaurant and it is where we meet each evening (except Thursday) to enjoy a three course dinner (with wine included). A good breakfast is served everyday in El Corcal’s attractive breakfast room.

Travel

Airport Transfers

Getting to the Picos de Europa is easy and airport transfers are included in the price of your holiday.

Inbound

We offer transfers every Sunday to/from Bilbao Airport to pick-up people who have flown with Easyjet from Edinburgh, Stansted, Manchester & Bristol; with BA from Gatwick; and with Aer Lingus from Dublin. 
Please do not book a flight that lands later than 17:00.

Outbound

Please do not book a return flight that departs earlier than 10:30.
Exact transfer timings will be confirmed approx. three weeks before your holiday.  Our transfer service is not a personal taxi service and waiting can be unavoidable, so please do not book a transfer unless you are relaxed about the possibility of having to kill time in Bilbao or at the airport. 

Places are limited, so please check availability with us before you book your flights.

Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

Self Drivers

Some people may like to travel to Northern Spain with their own car using Brittany Ferries services into Santander and Bilbao. Others might fly and then hire a car via Santander (1½ hours), Bilbao (2½ hours) or Asturias (2½ hours).

Either way, in such cases, we reduce your holiday price by £50 per person but you would be expected to use your own vehicle to drive to the walk trailheads during the week - unless we have space in our designated minibus(es).

Extra Nights - If you choose to self-drive or fly-drive and you require accommodation for an extra night or two at the start or end of your stay in order to help with flights, ferries or wider holiday plans – simply let us know and we will be happy to help.

Car Hire - For a competitive car hire quote please visit our Car Hire page.

Notes

Notes

To download and print this factsheet on our Picos de Europa Peaks & Passes Walking Weeks, click here.

Your ‘Picos Peaks & Passes’ holiday will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.
The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Picos Peaks & Passes’ – which we refer to as organised, not guided.

Our ‘Picos Peaks & Passes’ is a series of organised self-guided walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.

It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.
In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.

Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.

Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.

Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Picos Peaks & Passes’ holiday, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.

Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organizers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.

Handpicked gems for moderate walkers at medium and higher level

  • Enjoy a selection of the best day walks in the area – handpicked by Collett’s
  • Includes the two ‘must-do walks’ – Fuente Dé & The Cares Gorge
  • This week is ideal for fellwalkers in search of rewarding days out in the mountains
  • This holiday includes both airport transfers and all transport throughout the week
  • Grade: Moderate
  • 9 – 16 June 2019
  • 16 – 23 June 2019
  • 30 June – 7 July 2019
  • 21 – 28 July 2019
  • 8 – 15 September 2019
  • £825 per person
  • Self-Drivers – deduct £50 per person
  • Single Supplement – £125

Collett’s Classics

Handpicked Medium & High Level Walks for Moderate Walkers

hike peaks and passes in the Picos with Collett's Mountain Holidays

This holiday has been especially designed for moderate walkers in search of rewarding days out on the hills and mountains in the company of other like‐minded walkers. This impressive range of beautiful mountains might not be on the radar of too many UK walkers, but year in year out their grandeur and beauty blow the socks off any first-time guests. The intermediate and high-level walking here is truly spectacular. Each day (except Thursday, your rest day) you will venture out on our favourite intermediate walks, tried and tested ‘winners’ that will enthrall you. We return each late afternoon to our accommodation at Posada El Corcal in Tama just outside the vibrant town of Potes. A couple of times, on the way back to the Posada, we will stop-off in Potes. Here you can wander the cobbled streets or have a drink in one of its picturesque squares, whilst soaking in its vibrant medieval character. Your walks will take place in both the Picos de Europa National Park and the surrounding Cordillera Cantabria.

Return transfers from Bilbao, as well as daily transport to walk trailheads, is included in the holiday.

For those of you in search of more strenuous routes, and later finishes, then our ‘Peaks & Passes’ walking holiday might be of more interest.

Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.

Itinerary & Factsheet
Classic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Picos de Europa - Coriscau PeakClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain HolidaysClassic Peaks in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays

A Picos Walking Holiday – The Collett’s Classics

To download and print this factsheet on our Collett’s Classics Weeks, click here.

At a glance

Grade : Moderate
Ascents/Descents : 400m to 550m each day
Walking Time : 4 to 5 hours each day
Terrain : Footpaths which are generally good underfoot. Some short sections are steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, a good head for heights and a good level of fitness are essential. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email enquiries@colletts.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss the route in more detail with you.

The Picos is rich in great day walks, many of which have become favourites of ours. Consequently below is just a sample itinerary to whet the appetite. The exact programme may of course also vary as a result of adverse weather or trail conditions.

Day 1 (Sunday) Arrive & Settle in

We will meet you at Bilbao and transfer you to the Posada El Corcal, our attractive base in Tama, a hamlet in the Liébana valley nestled in the foothills of the central massif. This will soon become a welcoming ‘home from home’ for you. After a quick check-in, you can settle into your room. Dinner will be at 8.15pm during which there will be a brief welcome meeting.

Day 2 (Monday) Pico Jano

9.2km, 500m ascent/descent ‐ A fabulous first day walk to help you find your walking legs, orientate yourself and settle in to your week in the Picos. This is an excellent circular walk taking in Pico Jano with its panoramic 360° views of the Picos de Europa and Cordillera Cantabrica.

Day 3 (Tuesday) Mogrovejo Circular

9km, 450 m ascent/descent – a sublime walk, which introduce you to the idyllic, step-back-in time character of the foothills, featuring timeless hamlets that are dotted about the flower-rich upland pastures and pretty woodlands. This walk starts at the supremely quaint village of Mogrovejo and weaves its way between the hamlets of Redo and Tanarrio, through stunning meadows and passes beneath the high flanks of the Picos mountains, giving walkers both a superb close‐up view of the imposing limestone cliffs as well as beautiful views down into the Liebana Valley.

Day 4 (Wednesday) The Cares Gorge

12.1km, 400m ascent/descent – no trip to the Picos de Europa would be complete without doing this world-renowned classic. It is the signature walk of the range and well worth the 60 – 90 min drive to the trailhead. This deep narrow canyon separates the western and central massifs and is home to a route which only exists because of a mind-boggling feat of engineering in the 1920s, when the water canal for the Poncebos hydroelectric power station was built. 

Day 5 (Thursday) Rest day

You are free to have a well-deserved lie-in. Breakfast is served until 10.30am. This is a day for you to rest and relax. You might take a leisurely tour of the excellent Picos de Europa Visitor Centre, which is close to the Posada, or take an easy stroll into Potes along the river for a late lunch. There are also a couple of excellent local walks which you could self guide. On Wednesday night we will be on hand to help you to arrange taxi shares should you want to team up with other guests to visit the spa in the La Hermida Gorge or travel further afield. In the evening you are free to sample the delights of one of Potes’ many excellent restaurants – taxis are inexpensive for the 5 minute journey.

Day 6 (Friday) The Fuente Dé Ramble

9km, 400m ascent/descent– The impressive Fuente De glacial cirque is the starting point of both one of the most spectacular cable car rides in Europe ‐ 753m of ascent in 3 mins 40 secs ‐ and one of the ‘must do’ trips in the Picos de Europa alongside the Cares Gorge. This leisurely ramble first explores the Aliva high pastures, where cattle roam free and the historic Chalet Real – King Alfonso’s hunting lodge – proudly stands. We then have a rest stop at the Aliva Refugio where sweeping views can be enjoyed over a drink.  If energy levels and time permits, this route can be extended to explore the old mine workings from the days when minerals were heavily mined here in the Picos.

Day 7 (Saturday) San Pedro Circular

10.2km, 400m ascent/descent – this gorgeous walk passes through a variety of idyllic landscapes (forests, open meadows and vineyards). Enjoy spectacular views of La Hermida Gorge and surrounding peaks. Includes three exquisitely typical Cantabrian villages.

Day 8 (Sunday) Departure

Depending on the exact time of the transfer, after a breakfast you will be transferred to Bilbao Airport.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation – 7 nights in Posada El Corcal, Tama
  • Breakfast each day
  • Packed lunch each walking day (5 days)
  • 3 course evening meal, wine included (6 nights, not Thursday- your rest day)
  • Detailed route notes
  • Transport to/from the trailheads each walking day
  • Transfers to/from Bilbao or Santander Airport. See the “Transfers” tab for more details.

Not included in the price

  • Flights & Insurance
  • Lunch, dinner, transport and activities on the Thursday – your rest day

Places are limited, so book early – Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

At your own risk

You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

Accommodation
Walking Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa - Posada El CorcalWalking Holiday Accommodation in the Picos de Europa - Posada El Corcal

The exquisite Posada el Corcal

Our base in the Picos de Europa is the beautifully appointed Posada El Corcal. It is run courteously and with unassuming efficiency by its owners, the Soberon family. Posada el Corcal is in a charming rural setting in the hamlet of Tama alongside the road between Potes and Panes near the Picos National Park. It is less than 2km (5 minutes in the car) to Potes, but you can also walk there in 40 minutes along a riverside track.

You will be more than comfortable at El Corcal. It is immaculately presented throughout. Whilst modern inside, there are some delightfully rustic touches. All of its en suite bedrooms, most with balconies, have been individually decorated with exquisite taste. Bright colours and stylish furnishings characterise every room.

After a day in the mountains, relax in the lounge over a book and a drink, or wander through French windows into an attractive garden with furnished terraces. Or you can take time out in the posada's health spa, where there is a jacuzzi, sauna and small gym.

At the entrance of El Corcal’s driveway just 50 yards from the posada itself, there is a traditional Spanish taverna restaurant, Casa Fofi, which is also run by the Soberon family. It has the charming and easy-going atmosphere of a rural restaurant and it is where we meet each evening (except Thursday) to enjoy a three course dinner (with wine included). A good breakfast is served everyday in El Corcal’s attractive breakfast room.

Travel

Airport Transfers

Getting to the Picos de Europa is easy and airport transfers are included in the price of your holiday.

Inbound

We offer transfers every Sunday to/from Bilbao Airport to pick-up people who have flown with Easyjet from Edinburgh, Stansted, Manchester & Bristol; with BA from Gatwick; and with Aer Lingus from Dublin. 
Please do not book a flight that lands later than 17:00.

Outbound

Please do not book a return flight that departs earlier than 10:30.
Exact transfer timings will be confirmed approx. three weeks before your holiday.  Our transfer service is not a personal taxi service and waiting can be unavoidable, so please do not book a transfer unless you are relaxed about the possibility of having to kill time in Bilbao or at the airport. 

Places are limited, so please check availability with us before you book your flights.

Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

Self Drivers

Some people may like to travel to Northern Spain with their own car using Brittany Ferries services into Santander and Bilbao. Others might fly and then hire a car via Santander (1½ hours), Bilbao (2½ hours) or Asturias (2½ hours).

Either way, in such cases, we reduce your holiday price by £50 per person but you would be expected to use your own vehicle to drive to the walk trailheads during the week - unless we have space in our designated minibus(es).

Extra Nights - If you choose to self-drive or fly-drive and you require accommodation for an extra night or two at the start or end of your stay in order to help with flights, ferries or wider holiday plans – simply let us know and we will be happy to help.

Car Hire - For a competitive car hire quote please visit our Car Hire page.

Notes

Notes

To download and print this factsheet on our Collett’s Classics Weeks, click here.

Your ‘Collett’s Classics’ holiday will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.
The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Collett’s Classics’ – which we refer to as organised, not guided.

Our ‘Collett’s Classics’ is a series of self-guided walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.

It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.
In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.

Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.

Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.

Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Collett’s Classics’ holiday, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.

Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organizers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.

There are 31 recommended walking routes in the Picos de Europa and they range from easy, moderate and hard. One particular route stands out in the ideas and information folder; with an ascent/descent of 1650m, a walking time of 8 hours and a distance of 20km, not forgetting the added 1hr drive each way, the Naranjo de Bulnes circular route is a super challenge for some of our guests. Three guests in particular were up for giving this hard walk a go this week which gave our eager walk organiser Jack an opportunity to explore the area for the first time.

Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Accommodation in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
The Picos de Europa
Accommodation in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Potes
Posada El Corcal, Tama, Potes - Picos de Europa
Posada El Corcal, Tama, Potes - Picos de Europa

As we reached the hidden village of Bulnes an hour into our walk, we looked back at the track we had just ascended in amazement. For us, it was a mere morning stroll which was enhanced by the towering rock and flowing waterfalls. For the small community (of no more than 50 people) this track used to be their only access into the isolated village until a funicular was opened in 2001, reducing 370m and a distance of 6km for the transportation of animals and food goods. With the boost and support of rural tourism, small tapas bars and restaurants now thrive which is more than can be said for the abandoned village of ….. which is set slightly higher up in the mountains. The dramatic limestone peak of Naranjo de Bulnes, or the Orange of Bulnes (deriving its name from the orange glow during sunset), could be seen from this point in the distance.

Our ascent to the top took us through woodland, across many brooks and amongst lush, open fields which were covered in wild flowers and abandoned farm buildings. Fresh running mountain water allowed us to re-fill our bottles as we found a beautiful spot for lunch. Guest Kate decided to head back down to Bulnes as the rest of the group persevered up towards the peak which still seemed quite far away at this point!

But we finally made it! The Alpine Choughs were quick to scavenge whatever they could but we had earned our biscuits and we weren’t sharing. The peak of Naranjo didn’t look quite as dominating from this perspective and as tempting as it was to enjoy the warmth of Refugio de Urriellu, we decided to begin the 4 hour descent.
A mix of scree slopes, patches of snow and basic scrambling over rocks kept us on our toes all the way back down to Bulnes. We had agreed that the Funicular ride to the car park was deserved by all but to our disappointment we had missed the last run by half an hour. Never mind, spirits still high we continued on down and absorbed the completely new view that we had turned our back to on the way up.

A relieved wave from Kate as we came into view reassured us that we were almost done. The added bonus of finding an open bar that sold cold beer and ice-cream helped us all wind down after such a big day. 9 hours after we had set off, we toasted our achievement and headed back to the Posada in time for a late dinner to tell everyone about the real mountain adventure we had just experienced together – an adventure that I can safely say will be remembered by all for a long time to come.

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, wildflower walk or any day out with her you are sure to be included in her photographs and in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

There are certain locations which make walking holidays in the Picos de Europa special and memorable. The Fuente de cable car is the only one in the area and after only a 3 minute ride will drop you off high amongst the peaks, opening up terrific views as far as the eye can see. Today’s walk saw 11 guests joining both Jack and Beth, this summer’s walk organisers, for a day’s ramble at over 1,500m to see if this moderate/hard walk really did live up to its name.

Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa
Hiking in the Picos de Europa
Walking holidays in the Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa
Hiking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Self guided walking holidays in the Picos de Europa
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
The Picos de Europa

Looking up at the cable disappearing into the cloud, we could only hope that our return ticket would get us above them and into the sunshine. And our positivity paid off! As we climbed higher everyone turned round to admire the stunning cloud inversion as we all ‘ahhhh’d’ in turn. It was only right to take time for photos at the top and he who dared stood on the see-through platform that hung over the edge of the rock face!

Once we reached the top of the track the views opened up over the Forgotten Mountain – an impressive rock formation protruding solo with its head sticking above the cloud. Our walk group fancied a bit of a challenge and decided to climb to the top of 3 small(ish) peaks which ran along the ridge of the massif. It was well worth the detour as a small herd of Chamois came to investigate and conveniently posed on the rocks for photographs. We stopped for a quick snack break but it was hard to choose a direction to face as the 360° view was continually breathtaking.

As we wandered down into the glacial bowl, the clouds began to rise so that the sunshine could follow us. Young cattle showed an interest as we wandered by, chatting away to each other whilst identifying the flowers. We all agreed that flower enthusiast David Charlton would have appreciated the hundreds of deep blue Gentians dotted amongst the grass, but a photograph to show at office hour would have to do.

The Rifugio that had been in view most of the day had been in discussion all morning. Would it be open? Was there a cold beer waiting? After a hot zig-zag climb to its doors, a sigh of relief and big grins let the rest of the group know that it was open for service. Being the only group on the mountain, we enjoyed a cool drink along with our packed lunch and watched the Vultures soar above on the thermals.

It was no surprise to find some snow up at this level and on the way back to the cable car, a small snowball fight let loose – and not just between the staff!
The view we enjoyed earlier was now covered in cloud so our timing to head back down to the car park was perfect.
A massive well done to guest Ailie for overcoming her fear of heights and for getting up and down the cable car (without the aid of the Dutch courage she was carrying in her bag!)

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, wildflower walk or any day out with her you are sure to be included in her photographs and in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

The start of a brand new summer season in the Picos de Europa has begun and David Charlton has joined the team for 3 weeks to share his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for wild flowers in the area. Having spent the past few years wild flower walking in the Italian Dolomites and subsequently producing a book (Wild Flowers – The Dolomites) about the different species, David and his wife Judy know Collett’s well and they never fail to stir up some excitement before heading out into the mountains for the day. With a large interest in resort this week, guests went out in convoy to try and find as many orchids as possible; setting the challenge of 20 different species in one day.

Walking Holiday Ideas and Information
Walking holidays in the Pyrenees - Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa
Walking holidays in the Pyrenees - Panticosa
Swimming pool Panticosa
Walking in the Pyrenees - Foratata Peak
Hiking the GR11 in the Pyrenees
Walking in the Spanish Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees

The clouds were beginning to part as the three cars wound their way through the Hermida Gorge to the first orchid spotting place of the day. David brought with him a collection of reference books and between the group enough cameras hung around necks to ensure each and every find was captured. The first spot was an unlikely place to find beautiful orchids – in a lay-by at the side of a quiet road. However, putting all faith in the flower enthusiast it wasn’t long before we were all crouching down to have a look at the intricate Man orchid, quickly followed by the Bee Orchid.

At the next stop the group split up along the valley, staring intently at the ground as they walked along. Whilst some guests admired the Pink Pentrocoptis (a flower found only in the Picos) hanging from the rocky outcrops, others called over to David in hope that they had found another Orchid to add to the list. The small walk along the river was stunning and the large cave encouraged everyone to look up and admire the view every now and again.

We diverted onto a windy road in order to reach a wildflower meadow that was now flourishing and ticked off a number of Orchids including Heart Tongue, Pyramid, Fragrant, Woodcock, Early Spider and the Red Helleborine Orchid. With a proud total of 12 so far, we headed up to Pica de Laspuertas to enjoy the view and a well earned sandwich. But this lunchtime break did not go without entertainment and this time we were looking to the skies. Griffin and Egyptian vultures appeared in their numbers, with a total of 20 soaring above as at one time! They flew in from above, below and almost within arms reach which resulted in group neck ache by the end of the show. Lizards chased each other along the fence and one went in search of food in a guest’s rucksack when she wasn’t looking.

On our last stop we were given the challenge of finding the Fly Orchid. After 20 minutes of searching we were about to give up when a proud guest spotted it amongst the grass. This took our daily total to 15 which everybody was happy with; ensuring the day was left on a high we decided to end it by enjoying a refreshing drink in the sunshine. It was evident that sharing a day with interested guests, regardless of whether they knew their flowers or not, brought to life the enjoyment and passion that David holds for wildflower walking, spotting and identifying. It was a great day to be a part of.

For more information or to book our Organised Wildflower Walks click here.

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, wildflower walk or any day out with her you are sure to be included in her photographs and in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

When thinking of a mountain holiday many of us may think that this activity is exclusive to professional climbers, sportsmen and adrenaline junkies alone. Here at Collett’s we aim to prove this notion wrong – with holidays in the mountains available for absolutely everyone. Seaside holidays are ten-a-penny, sightseeing getaways are typically too expensive, spa resort holidays can be boring and cruise ships allow no room for real adventure. So why not try something different? Try something unique, memorable and completely customisable to your own personal wishes.

Whilst holidaying with us in any of our fantastic destinations, you choose when you arrive, when you leave, where you wish to stay and what activities you’d like to take part in. In a nut shell – your holiday is tailored and designed totally by you. All of our organised walks are completely free and utilise our unrivalled knowledge of the Dolomites area; running every day apart from Wednesday. For self-guided walks, we are always happy to help with route planning, recommendations and advice.

Italian Dolomites

The Italian Dolomites is one of the most awe-inspiring valleys in the Alps and provides a picture-perfect environment for walking holidays. With such a wide range of different routes available to you, at various different grades, the Dolomites really are the envy of the rest of Europe. The area also includes two National Parks, a range of rare flowers and birds, old WWI sites and the magnificent Sella massif and Marmolada (3343m mountain). Collett’s exact location in the Dolomites is set in the neighbouring villages of Badia and Corvara within the Val Badia.


Moderate Walking in the Passo Gardena
Easy walking in the Val Badia

Accommodation: We have four fantastic chalet hotels available, all with en-suite bedrooms and excellent cuisine. You also have the choice between three mountain hotels, all of which come with spectacular views and incredible hospitality. Your options are full-board, half-board, self-catering and B&B – the choice is up to you. All accommodation provided is within easy walking distance from the village centres and the starting points of many of our walks.

Activities: Whilst holidaying with us in the Dolomites you have the option of participating in the following activities:

  • High level walks on rocky terrains
  • Moderate walks through stunning mountain scenery
  • Easy treks along woodland and riverside paths
  • Floral walks with a flower specialist throughout June & July
  • Painting strolls take you somewhere majestic armed with watercolours
  • Self-guided walks allow you to roam independently with the use of our expert knowledge

Extras: The Dolomites has a wealth of amazing extra activities for you to take part in, including tours of the famous Via Ferrata and World War walks that take place every Wednesday. There are also guided glacier tours and summit ascents available on the same day. We can help you hire a mountain bike for your adventures and can also put you in contact with local suppliers of alpine pursuits; including climbing walls, canyoning, white-water rafting, horse riding, tandem paragliding, golf and much more.

Picos de Europa

Located within the autonomous communities of Asturias, Cantabria, Castile & León (20km from the north coast of Spain) the spectacular mountain range forms part of the Cordillera Cantabrica. The majority of rocks in the Picos are made up of limestone and some peaks can reach altitudes up to 2,600m. The area itself, famous for its cider and piquant blue cheese, is largely protected by the Picos de Europa National Park and as such can offer some absolutely remarkable views.

Accommodation: Our main hosted accommodation is the beautiful Posada El Corcal, located 2km away from the town of Potes. With en-suite bathrooms, modern interior design and rustic tradition – this is the idyllic setting to lay your head after a day’s walk. These rooms are available as full board, half board or B&B. Alternatively; you can stay in Tama near Potes or arrange your own self-catering apartments.

Activities: Whilst holidaying with us in Picos de Europa you can participate in the following activities:

  • Hard level walks along magnificent high trails
  • Moderate rambles through meadows and the beautiful Picos massifs
  • Easy walks following woodland tracks and riverside trails
  • Floral walks throughout May and June
  • Self-guided walks of all grades with local knowledge provided

Extras: Supplements in Picos de Europa include mountain biking, horse riding, canoeing, paragliding and canyoning. Also, if you’re visiting this remarkable area you won’t want to miss the Cares Gorge or the Fuente De, where you can take cable car rides to enjoy the breath-taking scenery and atmosphere.

Organised walks with Collett’s

High level walking in the Picos

Self guided walks with Collett’s

Pyrenees

This natural border between Spain and France spreads across approximately 491km of land and encompasses numerous National Parks along with the beautiful Valle de Tena. These magnificent assets make the Pyrenees a photographer’s heaven with beautiful wildflowers and charming scenery to revel in. Collett’s is based in Panticosa – an idyllic village placed amongst the beautiful scenery high up in the mountains.

Accommodation: The Hotel Sabocos is a wonderful 3 star hotel located in the Valle de Tena, right in the centre of the Pyrenees. With modern interior design, en-suite bathrooms and many balconies available to enjoy the view; rest assured your stay will be a comfortable and relaxing one. This hotel is available on half board or B&B basis. You also have the option of self-catering in apartments that sleep 2-6 people.

Activities: When staying with us in the Pyrenees why not take part in the following activities:

  • High level walks along the peaks of the frontier ridge and Ordesa canyon
  • Moderate strolls through wonderful wilderness areas
  • Self-guided walks of moderate and harder levels with expert advice and direction
  • Walk 5 stages of the famous GR11 footpath, involving 700-1000m ascent and 11-20km of walking

Extras: Third party suppliers also have a range of extra activities to offer, including mountain biking, horse riding, canyoning, high ropes, swimming, tennis and much more. The Mediterranean and Costa Verde are also within easy reach for something a little different.

Organised walks with Collett’s

Hike the Valle de Tena, Pyrenees

On the Pic du Midi circuit

Yorkshire Dales

You do not necessarily need to leave the country to enjoy some of the greatest views nature has to offer; here in the UK we display some of the most spectacular scenery available to man. Our base in Yorkshire is perfect for those wanting a quick and easy trip, or maybe a quiet weekend away with family and friends. Leyburn, close to Dales National Park, is where we are based; but there are many options of different walks available to you in this magnificent setting.

Accommodation: Eastfield Lodge in Leyburn is a beautiful guest house just 300 yards away from the village market square. This lodge consists of 8 en-suite bedrooms which are furnished to great taste and individuality. Each room comes with Wi-Fi, flat screen television, DVD players and unmatchable comfort. Awarded four stars by Visit England, you won’t be disappointed with your time spent here!

Activities: Yorkshire has a wealth of activities to offer, some of which include:

  • Pennhill circuit covering 11 miles, taking you through Coverdale, Bishopdale and Wensleydale
  • Fremington Edge encompasses 500m of ascent across 10 miles, providing an immaculate view of Arkengarthdale
  • Gunnerside Gill and Swinner Gill stretch across 11 miles and takes in amazing woodland and limestone scars.

Extras: There are countless other things to enjoy around the Yorkshire Dales, such as visiting nearby Middleham, Richmond, Kettleworth and Reeth. You can also see the Dales National Park Visitor Centre, the Wensleydale Railway, Aysgarth Falls and the beautiful Bolton Abbey. Wherever you choose to visit, you will not be too far away from the lodge and transport is readily accessible at most times of the day.

Another bedroom at Eastfield Lodge
One of our bedrooms in Eastfield Lodge, Leyburn
Walking in Wensleydale

Winter in the Italian Dolomites

As well as offering fantastic summertime walks in the Italian Dolomites, we also cater for winter holidays in the same stunning surroundings. When the snow falls on these mountains the landscape turns into a magical winter wonderland, perfect for winter walkers and skiers alike. Here at Collett’s we organise walks, cater for downhill skiing and also offer snowshoeing as an alternative activity. Don’t let the cold put you off – come and experience something different this winter!


Skiing the Val Mesdi
high in the Dolomites

Snowshoeing on the Pralongià Plateau above Corvara

Santa Croce above Badia

Due to a recent high level of interest from our guests, organisers from Chalet Haus Valentin made sure that a walk through the WW1 tunnels was on offer this week.

Upon arrival to the car park, the 30 minute zig-zag route alongside Lagazuoi, which leads to the entrance of the tunnels, could be seen. We made our way up the gravel track as views opened up over the Marmolada and surrounding mountain peaks. Getting geared up for the adventure ahead sent excitement through the group as everybody checked that torches were working and helmets were on sturdy. Ready and raring to go, organiser Alice lead the guests into the tunnels where the cooling air made for a nice break from the 20⁰+ temperatures outside.


Start of the Lagazuoi tunnels

Evacuation points offer fantastic views of surrounding mountains and provide sufficient natural light inside the tunnel system.

Almost instantly the conditions of WW1 came to life as we carefully walked through what was once home to many soldiers. Sections of Via Ferrata cable are still being used to guide your way around open ledges leading to look-out posts and ammunition stations. After a quick look, we headed back inside to begin climbing the many steps that reach some 600m to the top of Lagazuoi.

During our ascent, guests enjoyed sticking their heads out of the ‘evacuation’ points (for disposal of rubble and rock during construction) which could be found every 50m or so. Information plaques have been placed periodically at points of interest, many of which have been quoted from soldiers’ diaries; this was made more dramatic as our guests took it in turns to read them aloud to the group.

The last ten minute stretch took us through original trenches, accentuated by the presence of barbed wire.

A much appreciated break from the many steps to the top

A sense of dissapointment radiated through everybody as we made our way out of the tunnel. A dramatic back drop of peaks against Rifugio Lagazuoi created a perfect spot for a snack as comments were passed back and forth about how fantastic it is to enjoy such an important part of history for free.


Investigating the tunnels on Lagazuoi
The Lagazuoi Cable Car at Passo Falzarego

Plenty of people gathered at the Rifugio as our guests found a nice, quiet spot overlooking the beautiful landscape to enjoy their lunch. With some more time to spare we meandered over to the cross which sits at the official highest point of the mountain and is a fantastic spot to take some time to absorb the surroundings. With only one thing left to do, we all hopped on to what has to be one of the steepest cable cars in the Dolomite Mountain range, practically dropping us to the door of the car – a wonderful end to such a pleasant day walking and exploring with our wonderful guests.

Rifugio Lagazuoi on the Falzarego Pass
Cinque Torre open air museum opposite Passo Falzarego & Lagazuoi

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer and walker, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk with her you are sure to be included in her photographs in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here.

Organised & Self Guided Walking
Arrive & Depart Any day

Our winter staff have all returned home safely, after an amazing season of heavy snow, great skiing, super snowshoeing and some wonderful winter walks. We are already booking up fast for next winter so make sure you have a look at our new Chalet in Corvara and what we have to offer next winter here.

Our summer season is nearly with us and as we look forward to the spring in the UK, we look await the first crocuses poking through the remaining snow in the Dolomites, Pyrenees and Picos de Europa.

Organised and Self Guided walking holidays with Collett’s offer so much by means of enjoyment and camaraderie, relaxation and downtime from the stresses and strains of your day to day life. With Collett’s you can do as much or as little as you like, arriving and departing on days that suit you!* Each evening we hold ‘Office Hour’ where you can discuss the following day’s walks, sign up to come along with us or get first hand information, maps and route laminates to allow you to self guide.

Collett’s walking holidays appeal to so many, walkers, climbers, botanists, painters and historians alike (friends, families or couples), who all have one thing in common, the love of the outdoors. You can pursue your hobby in the glorious mountain surroundings that we have made our home, coming back to one of our homely chalets or hotels for ‘Office Hour’ and a good meal with the chance to discuss the day’s events, sharing photographs of your walk, flowers or maybe even a via ferrata.

Collett’s Mountain Holidays have been successfully looking after our guests for 14 years. All of our holidays can be tailiored to suit you – from the type of accommodation, your travel and transport, your dietary requirements and most importantly your walking requirements. Whatever you need, we can accommodate any specific personal preferences to make sure your holiday is one to remember, even a holiday of a lifetime! We pride ourselves on our customer satisfaction, you can see our excellent reviews and thank you letter from the recent winter season here. You will take away so many happy memories if you choose Collett’s walking holidays whether you join us in the Dolomites, Pyrenees and Picos de Europa.

*Subject to availability.