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

Walking Holidays with Collett’s

It is always great when a group of people collectively venture out for the day somewhere unknown. A simple shared interest, such as walking holidays in Europe, bring people from all different backgrounds together, beginning as strangers but ending with a real sense of connection – a sign of a good day out in the mountains!

This was particularly true late in August 2013, as Chalet Angelo guests headed to the northern Dolomites for a walk around Sas de Putia. Neither myself, or our guests had explored this area before, so we started the day by planning our route on the map with Emma, our walk organiser for the day. Sas de Putia stood over us as we made our way round the circular route along the gravel path. It soon seemed rather busy as we climbed the many switchbacks and realised that we were walking part of the Alta Via 2 – a hut to hut excursion still very popular at this time of the year.

Venice in Winter
Venice in Winter
Mountain & city breaks - Venice Hotels
Mountain & city breaks - Venice Hotels
Venice in Winter

We reached a point where a route to the left could be taken to the summit. Gazing up into the low, grey cloud perched right on top, we were all thankful today’s walk wouldn’t take us up there. That couldn’t be said however, for one of Haus Valentin’s guests who caught us up and excitedly prepared for the 1A Via Ferrata to the top! I was already looking forward to hearing all about it over dinner that evening.

As we descended across wide-spread grasslands, the walk suddenly became very unique. In the distance we would hear a low booming sound coming from the edge of a hill. Upon approach, we came across 3 very large wooden horns; an instant temptation. Everybody gave it a go, blasting out funny sounds across the valley and creating intrigue for the next walkers drawing near. Carvings of snails, an eagle and even a bicycle sat in the surrounding area, a fantastic hand-made collection by very proud local people. What a very unprecedented and unforeseen addition to our walk that could be enjoyed by everybody.

Just when we thought it was over, another charming place came into view as we traversed our way along a rocky path. Munt de fornella, a small wooden restaurant stood with a beautiful back-drop of the Sas de Putia peak. A sweet signpost pointed to places across the globe, as well as their distance – even the 15m walk to the restaurant itself had been included. Docile goats wandered the premises, ponies stood munching the grass nearby and a low hum of a happy crowd filled the place with a sense of contentment after a long days walking!

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, snowshoe itinerary or ski day 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. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

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

Whilst in the UK it is very difficult to spend a night in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle, in the Dolomites it is possible to escape for a night (or three) to enjoy a very unique experience in a mountain hut or rifugio.

If you prefer a bit more comfort than what is afforded by the hut on the Col di Lana (featured in the blog below), you can spend nights out in the mountains – we can easily organise self guided hut to hut itineraries in the Dolomites.

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Chalet Verena, Corvara
Skiing Holidays
Skiing above Arabba
Snowshoeing Holidays
Snowshoeing in Italy
Snowshoeing

Collett’s now offers self guided hut to hut holidays in the Dolomites from late June to mid-September. You choose the itinerary and dates that take your fancy, whilst we take care of all necessary arrangements, including the provision of maps, route notes and airport transfers to and from Venice or Treviso. We accommodate you in Badia or Corvara on the first and last nights of your holiday. Click here for more information on our hut to hut walking itineraries.

The Col di Lana

The Col Di Lana, standing at 2452m, is a mountain situated in the Livinallongo del Col Di Lana a few Km East of Arabba. During World War 1, it was the scene of heavy fighting which resulted in over 200 deaths, many due to avalanches alone. When the Austrians discovered that the Italians had silently executed a mine in the peak, they retaliated by creating a counter mine nearby before blowing it up. This resulted in a loss of almost 100m from the summit of Col Di Lana and was surrounded by the Austrians in 1916.

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Webcam from Rifugio Bioch, between Corvara & Arabba
View of Santa Croce and the Alta Badia above Badia from Rifugio Bioch
Webcam from Rifugio Nagler, above Badia
Webcam from Rifugio Moritizino, between Corvara & Badia
Webcam from Piz La Ila, between Corvara & Badia
Webcam of Corvara
Webcam from Piz La Ila, between Corvara & Badia
Badia Webcam from Haus Valentin
Webcam from Chalet Haus Valentin

A continued interest in the peaks history alongside stunning views and a challenging walk is what has kept Col Di Lana on the map for both locals and tourists alike. A chapel stands on the summit as a memorial to the soldiers who died during the war and communications trenches have been left for visitors to explore. On top of that, a small hut just metres from the summit has been built to encourage avid walkers to enjoy a sheltered lunch, or even to stay the night.

The room holding two bunks beds has been personalised by previous guests and includes a wardrobe of blankets, dried food stuffs and a pack of cards. The adjoining room is complimented by a large wooden table and bench, perfect for eating, socialising and playing games as the view of Marmolada can be enjoyed from the window. For added effect, note books have been left in hope for frequent messages from the huts valued customers; an interesting read dating as far back as 2009.

A popular route up to Col Di Lana follows path #21 which starts just north of Soraru. Expect to climb 700m across 3.5km and enjoy stunning views over Civetta, Pelmo and the surrounding Dolomite mountains as you reach gaps in the tree line. The steep climb becomes worthwhile as the summit comes in to view, followed by a breath-taking 360⁰ view of the surrounding mountains.

If a challenging but pleasant walk and an exciting night in the hut won’t suffice, might I suggest setting the alarm clock in time for sunrise. Enjoy blissful silence as the sun creeps up from behind the Fanes National Park, catching a glimpse of the orange glowing Limestone. The Marmots will soon awaken and can be heard from the valleys below; keep your eyes peeled for Chamois bouncing across the scree.

An evening on the Col Di Lana can be enjoyed either alone, with friends or family and is an easily accessible home from home. An evening in the hut is cost free but an unobtrusive donation box can be found near to the door. It is just one of the Dolomites treats that will have you begging the question – “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

The First World War

In July, August and September Collett’s offers WWI Historical Walks for you to learn more about what happened in the Dolomites on the Austrian – Italian front during the First World War.

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, snowshoe itinerary or ski day 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. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

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