Walking Holidays

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

Walking Holidays | Welcome | Contact | Offers | Reviews |Collett's Ltd. is ABTA bonded W6883 - Travel with confidence
p +44 (0) 1799 513331
- Open Today - 9am to 5.30pm
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

We look forward to seeing you in the mountains. Please forward this link to all members of your party – and perhaps bookmark it for quick reference?
Any questions or concerns? Please call us on 01799 513331.

Essential Info.
Switzerland - The Engadine Handbook Information

Useful to know before you go

Arrival

We ask that all guests, regardless of which hotel or apartment they are staying in, to make their way directly to the Hotel Maria. If you have provided us with an ETA, a member of the team will be waiting to greet you and settle you in to your accommodation. On your arrival at the Hotel Maria, you will be asked to hand in the signed disclaimer sent to the person who booked the holiday prior to your departure. This should be signed by all members of your party. See the Disclaimer tab for a copy and more details.

We will also need to take a copy of your passports for the purpose of tourist registration, so please ensure you have your passport to hand or bring your own copy.

Banks

There is one bank with a cash machine/ATM in the village of Sils.

Day Off – Wednesday

We have our local day-off on a Wednesday. In the Hotel Maria, breakfast is served but dinner is not included as a part of your half-board stay, although the restaurant still serves food. Most guests use Wednesday as an opportunity to eat out locally. There are no organised walks on a Wednesday and there is no Office Hour. You can subscribe to Thursday’s organised walks on Tuesday evening. If you are arriving on a Wednesday, whilst there won’t be a member of the Collett’s team on duty, your hotel reception staff will meet you and settle you in. They will pass on the walking options for the following day or a member of the team will be available in the Hotel Maria the following morning to discuss options.

Dietary Requirements

We need to know of any dietary requirements at least 7 days before your holiday. Please contact us now if you have not informed us if you, or any of your party, are vegetarian, vegan or coeliac etc. Thank you.

Disclaimer & At Your Own Risk

During your stay, please always bear in mind that you are responsible for your own safety. You join organised walks at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Similarly, we cannot be held responsible for the opinions and information we offer for self-guiding. In an age of litigation, we repeat the ‘at your own’ risk message at the start of each organised walk and it can become repetitive, but the message is too important.

Estimated Time of Arrival

Please contact us ASAP with your arrival time if you haven’t already. So that we can be there to greet you and settle you in. Please visit www.colletts.co.uk/eta and enter your details. Have a guess if you are not sure. Please also keen our team in Sils updated on the day if you are delayed or early, by texting the resort mobile number. Your ETA is not required if you have booked an airport transfer.

Fly-Drivers & Self-Drivers

If you have booked a hire car, a credit (not debit!) card is essential. It is generally swiped but not debited, although it is wise to make sure it is not being debited.
You will also need your license DVLA Licence Check Code from the DVLA website.
Self-drivers should familiarise themselves with the driving requirements for Switzerland, and the compulsory equipment that must be carried in your car. See www.theaa.com
There are no free car parking spaces in the village and all guests staying at any of our accomdation need to pay a daily charge for this. THere is an underground car park in the village.
For driving directions see the Travel & Directions tab.

Hair Dryers

Fixed hair dryers are available in every en-suite bathroom of the Hotel Maria and are also provided in all our self-catering accommodation.

Internet

Free Wi-Fi access is available in the reception and dining room in the Hotel Maria for guests with their own laptops or other devices. Please ask at reception for the password. There is free Wi-Fi in all of our self-catering accommodation also.

Insurance

Being adequately insured during your stay with us is essential – we strongly recommend you buy a comprehensive holiday insurance package at the time of booking. Having a travel insurance policy is one of the booking conditions for joining us on a Collett’s Mountain Holiday. Full details are available on request or on our website – www.colletts.co.uk/walking-holiday-insurance
Collett’s Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd. who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the FCA’s register by visiting the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6787.

Packed Lunches

Packed lunches are available to you wherever you are staying, except on Wednesdays. Simply order one at Office Hour for collection from the Hotel Maria the following day. A standard packed lunch includes a sandwich with a choice of fillings, a piece of fruit, a snack bar and a drink. TThese will be added to your Red File account, which you can settle up on the eve of your departure. See – Red File.

Supermarkets

Sils has one small supermarket. VOLG is located less than a 5 minute walk from the Hotel Maria and the centre of the village, and is open 7:15am ‐ 7:30pm Mon‐Fri and 7:15am ‐ 6:00pm Sat. Note that all supermarkets will be closed on Sundays, and just a small deli is open on Sunday.

Other Info. & Local A-Z
Switzerland - The Engadine Handbook Information

Local A-Z

Here is some local information in an A-Z format that will hopefully whet the appetite and help you hit the ground running.

Bakers

Bread can be purchased in the Grond Café Bakery in Sils which is a few minutes’ walk from the self-catering apartments, they will also be happy to make sandwiches. Bread can also be purchased from the local supermarket, Volg which is a minute’s walk from Hotel Maria.

Beer

If you would like a beer, ask for ‘ein bier’. The most popular bottled beers in the Engadine are from a small brewery in Pontresina which produces a variety including the Bernina bier and Palü bier.

Bike Hire

Both mountain bikes and road bikes are available to hire from the Parkplatz Fainera which is just across the road from the hotel, and cost around CHF 35 – 60 per day.

Day Off – Wednesday

Our resort staff have their day‐off on a Wednesday. In hotel Maria, breakfast is served but dinner is not included. It is possible to book in for dinner on this evening and pay locally, please speak to a member of staff in advance if you would like to do this. Alternatively, our staff can recommend some great nearby restaurants. There are no Organised Walks and there is no Office Hour so you will need to subscribe to Thursday’s Organised Walks on Tuesday evening.
Some options for Wednesday:
St Moritz: The well-known glamorous town of St Moritz is a great day exploring all the high-end shops and visiting the famous Cresta run which hosted the 1928 & 1948 Winter Olympics.
Bernina Express: Hop on the world famous train that heads up the Bernina pass to take you to the Diavolezza cable car or why not extend your train journey all the way to Tirano, Italy.

Environmental Awareness

We would be grateful for your support in reducing our impact on the local environment.
‐ In the hills, leave the landscape in its natural state, in particular take any litter away with you and do not pick flowers;
‐ Turn off lights when you leave your room, turn down heating if not required and be conscious of your water usage.

Flora

Nestled in the South-east Alps of Switzerland, the Engadine is home to a number of wildflowers including Gentians and a variety of Orchids which are in bloom throughout the late spring/early summer months.

Fauna

The region is home to a wide range of wildlife, with Ibex and deer roaming the woodland, with squirrels and marmots also ever present in the area.

Horse-drawn carriage rides

Take a trip by horse-drawn carriage into the Val Fex which is one of the most enjoyable experiences. Journey prices vary depending on the route, single and return tickets are available.

Internet

Free WiFi access is available throughout hotel Maria, for guests with their own laptops or other devices.

National Park

Visit the only National Park in Switzerland and is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Find out more in visitor centre located in Zernez or take a walk in the vast forest and be sure to look out for Red Squirrels, Marmots, Chamois, Ibex etc…

Packed Lunches

Packed lunches are available to you wherever you are staying ‐ and can be ordered for a cost of CHF 8 at Office Hour for collection from our staff team the following day. They include a sandwich with a choice of fillings, a piece of fruit, a snack bar and a drink.

Petrol & Diesel

The nearest petrol station is located on the way into the town of St Moritz and is a BP garage.

Pharmacy

In Switzerland a chemist is always indicated by a green cross. There are a couple of chemist’s located in St Moritz, the closest to Sils. They are open Mon to Fri from 8am to 12.15pm then re-open later in the afternoon from 2 until 6.30pm.

Piz Bernina

The highest peak in the Engadine, sitting at 4048m is Piz Bernina and is located within the Bernina range.

Post Office

The nearest post office is 100m down the road from the hotel and is behind the bus station. Stamps can be purchased from here so you can send postcards to the UK or any other destination and usually takes 4 days to get there.

Rainy Days

Hopefully there won’t be any! If you are unlucky, please bear in mind that the weather in the mountains can be very localised and it is not unusual to leave the village on a rainy day to find brighter conditions a few miles away. Suggestions for what to do if it does rain are available at Office Hour or please ask a member of staff for more information. Our Organised Walks would only be cancelled if it is deemed that the weather makes conditions dangerous.

Sauna and spa

The Arena resort Schweizerhof is a 5-minute walk from the hotel and offers a variety of massages and also has a saltwater pool to relax in after a day out on the mountain. This can be paid for locally and if you want a massage please ask a member of staff to book this. This a good relaxing day off option.

Sils

Sils is a small village located in the valley bottom between two big lakes. It boasts a few small bars that catch the last of the days sun, and as an extra treat horse and carriage rides are available to transport you into the next valley.
Smoking
Since May 2010, smoking in public places has been illegal in Switzerland. All of our accommodation is non‐smoking.

Supermarkets

The nearest supermarket is Volg in Sils. It sells most things and is just a few minute’s walk from the hotel.
Towels & Bed Linen
One bath towel and one hand towel is supplied for each guest. Towels can be changed at any time during your stay when put in the bottom of the bath or shower.

Water sports

As Sils is situated between two big lakes there is a variety of water sport activities that include windsurfing, kitesurfing and paddle boarding. If this is something you fancy, please ask a member of staff for more details.

Travel & Directions
Switzerland - The Engadine Handbook Information

Travel & Transfers

Before leaving home

Passport – Is it in date? Contact the passport office here if you need to renew your passport
Walking Holiday Insurance – Do you have any? Contact us on 01799 513331 or click here for details
Flight Check-in – Remember to print off your boarding pass
Baggage – Have you checked the size & weight of your baggage?
Book Airport Hotel – Click here
Book Airport Parking – Click here

Fly Drivers and Self Drivers

We ask that all guests (regardless of which hotel or apartment) make their way to the Hotel Maria in the centre of Sils. From there, if staying elsewhere, one of our team will show you to your accommodation. You can check-in to your accommodation from 3pm onwards and if you have provided us with an ETA, a member of Collett’s staff will be available to meet you. Please contact us if you have not yet provided an ETA, or are delayed. Click here to submit your E.T.A.

Parking – Underground parking is availble in the village at a daily charge. There is no free parking within the village.

Google Map Directions

Go to www.bit.ly/Hotel-Sonnenspitze-Directions or www.bit.ly/Hotel-Romantik-Directions for Google Map Directions from any location.

Train Travel

If you plan to arrive in Ehrwald by train, you can pre-book train tickets online using the website www.bahn.com or alternatively purchase tickets at Munich airport from the tickets manchines in the terminal. You will first take an S-Bahn shuttle train from Munich airport to Munich Main Station “Munchen Hauptbahnhof”, before changing platforms and buildings take a train direct to Ehrwald. The name of Ehrwald station is “Ehrwald Zugspitzbahn”. Sometimes the carriages separate at the town of Garmisch-Partenkichen before continuing on to Ehrwald. Please contact us for any advice or guidance on train travel, and ask for Kelly.

Upon arrival in Ehrwald you can walk from the station to the Hotel Sonnenspitze on the central Kirchplatz square in approx. 20mins. Please download and refer to our Directions and Maps here.

Alternatively, if you prefer not to walk, there are periodic buses that stop at the station or you can pre-book a taxi from the station with a locally based taxi firm called ‘Shuttle & More…’ It’s a 5 minute drive to Hotel Sonnenspitze or the Romantik Spielmann – they offer a 24 hour service and speak good English and the cost is approx. €5 – €10. Please note that Ehrwald station is small and there will not be taxis waiting at the station.

Tel: 0043 664 266 7166
Email: office@shuttle-and-more.com
Web: www.shuttle-and-more.com

Milan Bergamo Airport Transfer

If you are booked to join an Airport Transfer, you will be met by a member of our staff at Milan Bergamo airport at a pre‐arranged time. Details of transfer times are sent by post by Dee Collett to the person who booked the holiday approximately 2 weeks before your holiday.
We meet by the “food factory” café, which is 20m to the right as you come out of arrivals and is inside the arrivals hall of the terminal building. A member of our team will take you to your transfer vehicle but will not accompany you on your journey. The transfer time is around 2 hours 45 mins.
Important Notes concerning Collett’s Transfers – We try to keep ‘waiting at the airport’ to a minimum, but you have booked a transfer on the understanding that it is a possibility on both your day of arrival and departure. We are not offering a personal taxi service. Our transfer times are set to help us group people together from a number of different flights, both morning and afternoon. Waiting may also be caused by delayed flights – within reason. Please cancel your airport transfer and make your own plans if you are not happy with these arrangements, which by and large work very well.
On arrival at Hotel Maria, you will be met by another member of our staff who will help you with your luggage and settle you in to your room. Please note that any guests staying in self-catering will also be dropped off at hotel Maria then walked over by a member of staff, roughly a 5 minute walk.

Resort Contacts

Useful Numbers & Contact Info.

Please ensure you enter the following telephone numbers in to your phone so you have them with you on your day of travel.

Collett's Mountain Holidays
Hotel Maria
Via da Marias 19,
CH-7514,
Sils i.E./Segl,
Engadin,
Switzerland,
+41 81832 61 00
Google Map Link
Resort Mobile - 0044 7456 043 762
Collett's Mountain Holidays UK - 0044 (0) 1799 513331 Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm / Saturday 9am-3pm
(Outside of these hours please call the Resort Mobile - thank you)

Disclaimer
Switzerland - The Engadine Handbook Information

Important

On arrival, you will be asked to hand in the disclaimer sent by post to the person who booked the holiday. In this age of litigation, it is important that you understand your relationship with Collett’s Ltd. when joining our organised walks or using our information to self-guide.
1. The disclaimer below sets out this relationship, emphasising that we are not qualified guides and that you join our organised walks at your own risk as a member of a group in which each member has a duty of care to the other. See more detailed notes in our brochure on Page 81.
2. Ideally it will be signed by each member of your party and handed to us on your arrival. If you require more copies, click here to print it as a PDF.

Copy of our Disclaimer – for your reference

Party Name:
Mobile Phone No:

Everything you do during your stay in Switzerland is done ‘at your own risk’.
To make your arrival in Switzerland as plain sailing as possible, please could you and each member of your party read and sign this disclaimer, handing it to us on your arrival. If it is not possible to obtain all signatures prior to your holiday, signatures will need to be obtained on your party’s arrival in Switzerland. In these days of litigation, it is important you and your party understand your relationship with Collett’s and without your party’s signatures on this disclaimer, you will not be able to join our Organised Walks and we would be reluctant to pass on information and opinions to you during your stay.

Information & Opinions
We are happy to offer information and opinions on the area (including walks, protected paths, Via Ferrata, sport climbs, bike rides, places of interest etc). We always endeavour to give accurate and appropriate information and opinions, but we do not take any responsibility for them and they are acted upon by you at your own risk. By signing this disclaimer, you agree you do not hold Collett’s responsible for any information or opinions it offers you during your stay and that you do everything during your stay with Collett’s at your own risk

Organised Walks
Our Walk Organisers attend these on a goodwill basis so that you might partake in an itinerary you might not otherwise come across during your stay in a sociable atmosphere with like-minded people.
By signing this disclaimer you confirm the following:

  • You understand the Walk Organisers are not qualified mountain guides.
  • You join them at your own risk and of your own free will.
  • You are part of an autonomous group, responsible for your own safety and happy to accept the discretion and actions of any or all participants on that Organised Walk or activity in the event of injury to you, the need to have you rescued or otherwise.
  • You will only sign up to an Organised Walk having independently studied the route sufficiently and deemed it to be within your capability.

Transport
When joining an Organised Walk, you might be asked to drive/accept a lift from someone, who is not in your booking party, to and from an excursion. The system works well but by signing this disclaimer you accept that Collett’s will not accept any liability in the event of a road accident and that you enter into any such arrangements at your own risk.

Activities supplied by Third Parties
We are happy to inform you of (and book) activities supplied by third parties, but it is important that you understand that: these excursions and activities are neither run nor controlled by Collett’s (even if advertised by us); that we only act as your agent; and that your contract for these services is with the third party supplier in question and not Collett’s Limited. Consequently, we are not responsible/liable for the provision of any such third party excursions or activities or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the supplier. This applies to all activities advertised by Collett’s in our brochure, on our website and in resort.

Finally, during your stay, you might inadvertently (or not!) be included in photography that subsequently appears in Collett’s promotional materials. By signing this disclaimer, you agree that this is ok with you.

Signature 1 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 2 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 3 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 4 :
Print Name :
Date :

Thank you. Have a good and safe stay in Switzerland.
Collett’s Limited trading as Collett’s Mountain Holidays – 3a Market Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HQ

Packing Suggestions
Switzerland - The Engadine Handbook Information

Checklist & Packing Suggestions

Essential Items

☐ Passport
☐ Euros or credit/debit cards (there is one cash machine in Sils)
☐ Holiday Insurance
☐ EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)
☐ Mobile telephone & charger
☐ Signed disclaimer
☐ Medication?

Flyers

☐ Flight tickets and/or printed boarding pass
☐ Have you checked the size & weight of your baggage?

Fly Drivers

☐ Driving licence
☐ International Driving Permit (if required for driving in the EU)
☐ Printed copy of driving licence ‘check code’ Visit gov.uk/view-driving-licence
☐ Car hire voucher
☐ Credit card of the lead driver
☐ Sat Nav & European road map
☐ Torch

Self Drivers

☐ Driving licence
☐ International Driving Permit (if required for driving in the EU)
☐ Ferry / tunnel ticket
☐ Insurance & car registration documents
☐ European breakdown cover
☐ GB Sticker (must be displayed in the EU)
☐ Warning triangle (must be carried in the EU)
☐ Fluorescent bibs (must be carried in the EU)
☐ Spare bulbs
☐ Sat Nav & European road map
☐ Torch

General

☐ Clothes, footwear & wash kit
☐ Sunglasses, sun hat & sun cream
☐ Swimming kit (indoor pool in Ehrwald)
☐ Camera, memory card, batteries & charger
☐ Binoculars
☐ Pocket reference books (e.g. flowers)
☐ German phrase book
☐ Games, playing cards, books?
☐ Continental plug-adapter (European voltage for normal appliances is 220-240 Volts)
☐ A level of fitness to suit your own intentions!

For Walking

☐ Strong, light, comfortable walking boots,
which support the ankle
☐ Waterproof jacket and trousers
☐ Clothing suitable for hot and cold temperatures
☐ Lightweight rucksack (25 litres plus)
☐ Telescopic walking poles
☐ Basic first-aid kit
☐ Water bottle (min. 2 litres, 3 litres is recommended for harder walks)
☐ Map case
☐ Compass, whistle, torch, survival bag

To Add to Your Mobile Contacts

☐ Resort Mobiles: 0044 7456 043 762
☐ Hotel Sonnenspitze: 0041 818 326 100
☐ Collett’s UK Office: 0044 1799 513331
☐ Emergency Services 1414

Procedures & Safety
Andalucia Handbook Information

At Your Own Risk, Duty of Care, Procedures & Mountain Safety

As you will know, we offer a weekly programme of organised walks which you can join at no extra cost. Our walk organisers are not qualified guides and you join them at your own risk. Similarly, if you choose to walk independently, we cannot take responsibility for information gleaned from our Ideas & Information Files, Route Laminates and the first-hand knowledge/opinions of our own people. To this extent, it is essential that you ultimately decide independently whether any itinerary you choose to do – be it self-guided or ‘organised’ – is suitable for you and your party.

In short, everything you do during your stay in the mountains is done at your own risk. In the event of personal injury or death, we are not liable for efforts made by us to enhance your stay, amongst which are our organised walks and various printed and verbal suggestions. It is a fact that activities undertaken in the mountains are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such an area with Collett’s Mountain Holidays – or indeed independently – you are exposing yourself and your party to the (thankfully small) possibility of personal injury or 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.

We put safety first but you are as responsible as we are!
You join our organised walks as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Not being professionally responsible for you does not mean we turn a blind eye to safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to you. Your safety is essential to us and we therefore take our own safety measures, endeavouring to minimise the possibility of personal injury and death. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We assess, communicate and manage risk as part of a formal company Health & Safety Policy, which is regularly reviewed and includes the training our own walkers. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and their responsibilities as part of a group. As with any person or organisation involved with activities where there is a possibility of personal injury or death, the issue of duty of care is ever-present and, in the absence of a qualified guide in ‘non-professional’ activities anywhere in the world, such as walking (whether organised by a company, club, university or even a friend) every member of the group has a legal commitment to all involved. This commitment to your fellow walkers should form the basis of your behaviour and actions during an organised walk, especially in the event of accident or injury. Our focus on safety should not influence whether you decide to join an organised walk or not, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by any walker when preparing for a day out in the mountains, especially when walking/climbing in a group, where your actions (or inaction) could compromise your safety as well as that of other people in the group.

Some notes about our Organised Walks

Our programme of organised walks is put together on a goodwill basis by our own walk organisers and we ask you to accept their discretion where the selection of walks is concerned. You won’t be disappointed. Each week the programme changes and is duly published to our guests. Everyday except on our local day-off, Wednesday, we offer two different walks, one more demanding than the other. Prior to joining up to an organised walk, please remember somebody else’s opinion of a walk is their opinion, not your knowledge. Try to acquaint yourself independently with the proposed route using the relevant map to help you decide if it is suitable for your level of fitness and experience. Also, ask about precipitous features if prone to vertigo. Some walks feature ledge paths with significant drops and switchback tracks on steep slopes. Wednesday is our staff day off and there are no organised walks on this day. Our organised walks take place in a sociable and informal atmosphere and, whilst you are encouraged not to join one unless you are certain it is within your physical capabilities, we walk at the pace of the slowest person and pause regularly. You do not pay to join our organised walks and in the event of a walk organiser being ill, we cannot guarantee the excursion will take place. Children can join our organised walks but only if accompanied by a guardian, who takes full responsibility for their safety and behaviour.

Guest Car Sharing & Taxis – With various people choosing to join various walks in various locations, you might be asked to give (or take) a lift with someone. Please do not do either unless you are happy that, in the event of an accident, Collett’s will not accept any liability. If ever taxis are used, the cost is shared across the party.

Procedures on meeting up for a walk – All organised walks will depart from the Hotel Sonnenspitze at a time established at Office Hour the night before. Prior to leaving, the walk organiser will run through an equipment checklist and at the start of the actual walk, he/she will state the following:

  • They are not qualified guides and everyone joins the Organised Walk at their own risk;
  • The party is walking as a group of non-qualified individuals and the walk organiser, as someone who knows the route, is the nominal leader only;
  • Everyone should follow the course and progress of the route on their map checking the correct route is being adhered to;
  • They will generally walk at the pace of the slowest person in the party and it is the responsibility of each member of the party to keep the rest of the group in sight;
  • If anyone wants to rest at any time, they should not hesitate to ask;
  • If anyone wants to leave the party at any time could they please let someone in the group know, otherwise we might have to assume you are lost and alert mountain rescue;
  • Everyone owes a ‘duty of care’ to each other. In the event of an accident, the organiser will act in a way they deem safest to offer assistance, but would of course appreciate the assistance of the rest of the party;
  • If it is the first time the organiser has done a route, the party understand this and it is an ‘adventure’ for all involved.

Mountain Safety & Emergency Procedures

Here are some notes that might help you refresh or improve your awareness of safety in the mountains. When in the mountains and when planning itineraries, apply your mind to safety at all times. Poor preparation is often the cause of many accidents and dramas. As a general guide to safety we have used information published by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) and the British Mountaineering Council to produce the following notes:

Prevention Of Accidents – Basic Rules For Increased Safety In The Mountains

  • Never underestimate the dangers and the risks attached to a day out in the mountains – hostile environments, rapid changes in weather conditions, etc.
  • Select itineraries within your level of fitness and technical/physical ability and within those of your party members.
  • Do not go alone – if possible, go with others or, for more safety, go in the company of an alpine guide or a qualified organisation. (Collett’s is not a qualified organisation but we will endeavour to arrange local guides if requested to do so). Prior to departing, research and familiarise yourself adequately with the characteristics and difficulties of the itinerary. Study carefully the relevant topographical map.
  • Let someone know where you are going and leave details of your itinerary. (Do not change your itinerary without informing somebody).
  • Have a contingency plan in the event of the unexpected. An innacurate or out of date map, route deterioration or a landslide, could all cause a change in your itinerary.
  • Mountain Weather conditions should always be taken into account. A forecast is available from local tourist offices every day and whilst variations in mountain forecasts are not uncommon, they are worth consulting.
  • Have the right clothing. You should have a robust pair of walking boots/shoes, which support the ankle. Take a waterproof/wind-proof jacket and some spare clothes in your rucksack.
  • Be responsible. Always carry the relevant map at all times. Carry safety equipment such as a compass, torch, whistle, spare food and an understanding of how to use them in case of emergency. If you have a health condition, please ensure that you carry any necessary medication at all times, and inform another member of your party so that somebody is aware of your circumstances.
  • Have adequate insurance cover. Don’t leave home without it, you can’t take out insurance after you departure!

Some Points Specific To Mountainous Areas

  • Avalanches – residual snow and early snow falls, coupled with high summer temperatures can lead to the risk of avalanche. Avoid walking on steep sided, snow covered slopes.
  • Lightning – thunderstorms are a feature of mountain weather. If lightning is close, avoid any cables, summits, ridges, trees and caves. There are various opinions as to the best course of action in this event, but it is probably safest to sit the storm out on a rucksack in open ground.
  • Residual Snow – in early-mid summer be aware of residual snow on some trails. Late lying snow can be treacherous underfoot, and if you slip it may be difficult to stop. There may also be hidden hazards underneath (ditches, streams etc). If you are concerned, talk to members of your party and if appropriate, consider walking around these areas. If you are thinking about crossing any snow, always ascertain, as far as possible, what risks are involved and only cross if you think it is safe to do so.
  • Rock Falls – due to the easily fractured nature of limestone, loose rocks and rock fall are a significant feature of the mountains. Take care when walking near the base of cliffs, and consider taking a climbing helmet if planning a long walk in such areas. Be careful not to dislodge loose rocks yourself, as there may be other people below you. Warn other if you dislodge a rock. In English the usual shouted warning is ‘Below!’, but in Switzerland you should shout ‘Achtung!’.
  • Steep, loose paths – many of the waymarked routes in the area include sections of steep, rocky track, often loose under foot. Walking poles are widely recognised as being helpful on such terrain. Check the gradient of any paths you are unsure of using a map and looking at the contour intervals (there is a contour interval of 20 metres on the 1:25,000 scale Mayr maps). If faced with exceptionally steep ground, the general rule to remember is not to go up if you don’t think you can come back down.
  • Vertigo – many of the routes in the area include paths that traverse steep sided sections of mountainside. If you suffer from vertigo then sections like this can give you a sense of exposure. Plan your walks carefully.

Emergency Procedures

Based on information published by the Swiss Alpine Club and the British Mountaineering Council – for anyone wishing to take the following emergency notes with them on an itinerary, a printed copy is available:

  • Stay calm and do not do anything on impulse.
  • Evaluate the situation and identify the actual dangers;
  • Take immediate and sensible precautions to prevent further risk;
  • Give spare clothing to the injured person and do your best to provide shelter
  • All reasonable efforts should be made to cope with the situation without resorting to the rescue services, providing that you do not make any injuries worse than they are already. If self-help is not possible, rescue services should be contacted. Call for 112. The rescue team will need to know where you are and have an idea about the condition of the victim;
  • If you do not have a mobile, you would have to use a nearby refugio, or descend to find a landline. Choose a safe route – this might not be the quickest, but the possibility of a second accident must be avoided;
  • Mark the casualties’ position on a map and take it along with you. Going for help is a relatively easy decision to make if there are four or more people in the party. At least two can leave to ring for help, leaving one to care for the casualty. If there are only two or three in the group then this becomes a more difficult judgement. In this situation, attracting help from others in the mountains will help;
  • To attract attention use the International Distress Signal, using either a light, a whistle or by shouting: six long flashes of a torch/blasts of a whistle/shouts/waves in succession, repeated at one minute intervals. Repeat until replied to. A reply is given 3 times a minute (every 20 seconds) in either a visible or audible manner. If a helicopter is involved, the pilot’s questions can be answered as described on the right;
  • If no local help is forthcoming a decision will have to be made to leave the casualty alone or potentially sending somebody on his or her own. To make this decision you would have to consider the injury, the conditions and the capabilities of the other members of the party; and
  • As far as the injured are concerned, do for them only those things that you are certain you can do safely.

Emergency Contact – Call 1414

If the operator manning the emergency line does not speak English and you are unable to communicate, please try calling one of our staff and we will relate the information as best we can.

  • Call 112 – give your full name.
  • Say where you are calling from and let them know your telephone number.
  • If the location of the accident (and casualties) is far away, try to memorise some landmarks to help the search party find the group.
  • Explain in brief what has happened.
  • Give the time of the accident and the exact number of casualties and their relative conditions.
  • Give the number of people in the rest of the group still at the accident, and try to remember the colour of their jackets etc. in order to aid finding them.
  • Describe the weather conditions and the visibility.
  • Do not leave the place from which you are making the call, in case the rescue services have to contact you again.

Mountain Weather

We keep a firm eye on weather conditions and try to ensure it is safe to proceed with an excursion, but it is everybody’s responsibility to consider the possibility of cancelling an excursion (and voice any anxiety) if worried about the risk of adverse weather conditions.

  • Winds increase and temperatures drop at altitude
  • Snow and ice are not uncommon at high altitudes, especially in early and late season
  • Take plenty of liquid (min. 2-3 litres)
  • Protect yourself from the sun with high factor sun cream, sunglasses and a hat
  • Plan your route according to the weather
  • Plan for worse weather than forecast as the weather can change rapidly
  • Always carry clothing for poor weather, even if the day starts fine

One of the best things about nature and the outdoors is the freedom to forget about the struggles of life and unwind in open spaces. If you choose the right places to go, Mother Nature still dominates and this affords us the endless and priceless possibilities to experience what this planet has to offer.

Since a child I have always been a keen walker and I am grateful to my parents for the camping trips and walking holidays, which led me to an Outdoor degree and then to Collett’s Mountain Holidays with whom I’ve been working for 4 years now.

The Zugspitze in the Austrian Alps The Zugspitze in the Austrian Alps
High level walking holidays in Austria High level walking holidays in Austria
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps

Musings on the Mountain Pass & walking in Switzerland’s gorgeous Engadine

I am a firm believer in maximising access to the outdoors, so that people of all ages and backgrounds can discover the joys. On a walking holiday in Switzerland’s beautiful Engadine, (where I just happened to find myself on a research mission for Collett’s during Summer 2019), I learned that if you stay in a hotel for 2 nights or more, you will be provided with a free mountain pass, granting you access to the 13 cable cars and various buses and trains linking you with all the key villages and trailheads in the valley. If that isn’t good access, what is?!

Not only does the Engadine’s Mountsin Pass provide amazing value in an expensive country, but it is a gesture from the Engadine tourism board that makes you feel welcome. It whets the appetite and fuels the enthusiasm for adventure in one of the most breathtaking corners of the Swiss Alps.

One of my favourite hikes which takes advantage of the Mountain Pass starts at a funicular called Muottas Muragl, a small mountain train that ascends the mountainside giving you significant height gain without any effort. Once at the top, spectacular views of the valley await you, including the glamorous town of St Moritz. It’s a wonderful place to sit and have a drink whilst enjoying one of the best views in the Engadine. Sitting in front of panoramas like these are moments to savour. They are the moments that diminish the aforementioned struggles of life and clear troubled minds.

There are a few walk options from this location, which suit a variety of fitness levels, including a popular panorama walk which meanders along the hillside and regularly offers sightings of the elusive ibex. However, we climb higher on to a lesser-frequented trail. Soon we are away from other hikers, enjoying a delightful coffee stop at the Segantini hut that has stunning views towards to the Roseg valley. Further along the path as you look across to the Bernina Massif (the biggest range in the Eastern Alps), the Moteratsch glacier will eventually come into view. It’s a wonderful sight and it is a privilege to drink it in in peace (apart from the occasional cowbell perhaps?!) and surrounded by the purest alpine air.

At the end of the walk a short chairlift lowers us into the town of Pontresina, a vibrant and pretty resort in a stunning mountain location. This is a lovely place to do little shopping, grab a drink and wind down after a great day out.

With my Mountain Pass this walk costs me nothing and it simultaneously gives me access to an incredible abundance of natural splendour. It is a Swiss classic: majestic mountain views, ubiquitous cowbells, hospitable mountain huts, a funicular ride and lots of ‘feel-good’ factor. I go to bed feeling better and hardly any poorer – and that’s not bad for Switzerland!

Huge thanks to Emma Monk for the words and photos.

For more photos, dates and information on our Holidays in Switzerland – Click here

Collett’s is pleased to announce a new destination for our Classic Summer Walking Holidays.
Slightly off the beaten track, this is iconic Switzerland and we know it will be another centre-based paradise for Collett’s walkers for years to come.

Introducing the Engadine in the Swiss Alps
Where the Swiss go hiking

“We’ve had an eye on the Swiss Alps for a while…
in the Engadine we found just what we were looking for.”

The Zugspitze in the Austrian Alps The Zugspitze in the Austrian Alps
High level walking holidays in Austria High level walking holidays in Austria
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps Hotel Maria - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps
Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps Walking Holidays - Engadine, Swiss Alps

Walk in breathtaking scenery amidst 4000m peaks

Join walks of your chosen grade, or self-guide – or do a mix of both. We have everything you need. Let the Collett’s Walks Team help you get the very best of your time in the Swiss Alps.

Free Mountain Pass – Invaluable!

A Collett’s holiday here comes with a fantastic perk – free local cable cars, mountain trains and buses.

A brilliant springboard near St Moritz

Our base is picturesque Sils near St Moritz. Its unique location between two large mountain lakes offers superb access to a host of unforgettable walks.

The perfect hotel for a Collett’s Holiday

The Hotel Maria is endlessly welcoming and hospitable with fabulous cuisine & lovely rooms. Enjoy stunning views and a charming location just 300m from the pretty village centre.

For more photos dates and information – Click here

£1175 per person – Half-board
(£1275pp Superior Room)

includes

7 nights half board – at the delightful Hotel Maria in Sils near St. Moritz
(Breakfast 7 days, 3 course dinner 6 evenings a week, not Wednesdays)
Mountain Pass – free local cable cars, mountain trains & buses
A programme of beautiful walks – free, optional, 6 days a week – not Wednesdays
The Collett’s Walks Team and our Ideas & Info files – everything you need to self-guide

Choose any date of arrival & stay as long as you wish.
Calculate stays of more or less than 7 nights on a pro rata basis.

How to get there?

Arrive in the Engadine on a UNESCO World Heritage Train Journey?
Travel to us by train from Zurich Airport. Change at Chur and join a stunning mountain train ride that ends at St Moritz, where a 15 minute bus ride links you to Sils.

Or book an airport transfer from Milan Bergamo
Every Thursday or Sunday you can join a Collett’s transfer to and from Milan Bergamo Airport – £80 return.

Fly-drive or Self-drive
Fly-drive via Milan, Zurich or Innsbruck. Self-drive: Calais – 10hrs

For more photos dates and information – Click here

Sils, Swiss Alps
Half Board in Hotel Maria or Self Cater in one of our Apartments

Swiss Alps Prices 2020

Hotel Maria

Hotel Maria - Double BedroomSils£1175 pppw
Hotel Maria - Superior BedroomSils£1275 pppw - On request
Hotel Maria - Junior SuiteSilsOn request
Hotel Maria - Single RoomSils£1225 pppw - On request

Prices are for half-board accommodation and per person per week based on 2 people sharing an en suite bedroom.
Half-board accommodation includes bed, breakfast (7 days) & 4 course dinner with wine included (6 days).
Calculate price of stays of more or less than 7 days on a pro rata basis.
All prices include participation in our various daily organised walks.
Free Mountain Pass - No expensive chairlifts or cable cars to pay for – all local transport is included (for guests staying in the Hotel Maria for stays of more than 3 nights)
B&B prices available on request.
Parking is 8CHF/day outside the hotel in their own spaces. There are around 10 spaces - or - It's 14CHF/day in the public parking garage. Or 80CHF/week, there are many spaces.
Day Off – Wednesday – Breakfast is served as normal but there is no dinner or Office Hour - nor are there any organised walks.
Deposit - £100 per person – Balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Self Catering Apartments

Contact us for details - Click here. or call 01799 513331
Superior Apartments (for 2 or 3)SilsOn request
Superior Apartments (for 4 or more)SilsOn request

Prices are per person per week and include gas, electricity, bed linen and a small welcome pack.
Towels are included in all Apts.
Calculate price of stays of more or less than 7 days on a pro rata basis.
All prices include participation in our various daily organised walks.
Self catering guests are welcome to dine in Hotel Maria with other guests – just ask a member of staff.
Deposit - £100 per person – Balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Notes

Notes

  • Prices are per person per week based on two people sharing a room.
  • Calculate the price of stays that are not 7 nights on a pro-rata basis.
  • Deposit – £100 per person.
  • Balance is due 8 weeks prior to departure.
  • Prices include participation in our programme of organised itineraries. Available six days a week throughout the summer and is completely optional.
  • Details of reductions and supplements below.

Accommodation Notes

Hotel Maria

  • Half-board comprises accommodation, breakfast and four course dinner with wine.
  • Towels are provided and bedrooms are given a light clean every other day.
  • All bedrooms are en-suite.
  • Some bedrooms have a third bed and discounts are applied if these are used.
  • Parking is 8CHF/day outside the hotel in their own spaces. There are around 10 spaces – or – It’s 14CHF/day in the public parking garage. Or 80CHF/week, there are many spaces.
  • Office Hour is each evening in Hotel Maria (except Wednesday).
  • Day Off – Wednesday – Breakfast is served as normal but there is no dinner or Office Hour – nor are there any organised walks.

Self Catering Apartments

  • Self catering prices include a welcome pack, gas, electricity and bed linen.
  • Towels are included.
  • Apartments are not cleaned during your stay.
  • Most of our self catering apartments have a double sofa-bed in the living area & discounts are applied when these are used.
  • Office Hour is each evening in Hotel Maria (except Wednesday).
  • Day Off – Wednesday – there is no Office Hour – nor are there any organised walks

Payments

  • We accept cheques, debit cards and credit cards (Visa & Mastercard only). You can also pay by bank transfer.
  • Please note: There are no charges for credit cards, debit cards or cheques.
  • There is an £8 charge for all overseas Bank Transfers.
  • We are fully bonded with ABTA – guaranteeing 100% financial protection.

Making a Booking

  • If you would like to make a booking, please contact us by telephone on 01799 513331 so we can confirm your chosen accommodation is available. Accommodation enquiries can also be made online at enquiries@colletts.co.uk or preferably via our website enquiry page – please click here.
  • We will send you a booking form, whilst holding the accommodation in your name.
  • On return of the form and a deposit of £100 per person, we will immediately reconfirm your booking by email. Deposits can be paid by cheque or by debit or credit card or by bank transfer.
  • The final balance is due eight weeks prior to your departure. We will send you a Statement of Account as a reminder.
  • Two weeks before your holiday we will correspond with you for the final time sending you our Online Guest Handbook with packing suggestions, directions and arrival instructions for fly-drivers and self-drivers and lots more information to whet the appetite and to help you hit the ground running.
  • Two weeks before your holiday we will correspond with you for the final time sending you your Airport Transfer collection times if you have booked one. Please note our Airport Transfers are not private Taxis and waiting may be unavoidable.
  • We are happy to ‘hold’ rooms without commitment for a few days while you finalise travel plans or make arrangements with family or friends.

Walking Holiday Information

  • All you need to know about our holidays in the Engadine
  • Seasons & Services, Day Off, Insurance, Booking Conditions, At Your Own Risk, Making a Booking…

Please refer here for any further information concerning your walking holiday in the Swiss Alps. If you have any further questions that aren’t covered here, please feel free to get in touch by calling 01799 513331 or make an accommodation enquiry here.

Organised Itineraries

Organised Walks - At Your Own Risk

You join us on our organised walks at your own risk, responsible for your own safety, as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other.

You will be asked to sign a disclaimer in this respect. This is an explanation of the status of our organised itineraries whether they involve walking, snowshoeing or skiing. We refer to such itineraries as organised, not guided. They are available on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy an itinerary you might not otherwise discover. They are nothing more than an opportunity to go out in beautiful scenery in company. 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 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 every time you (and each member of your party) join us on an organised itinerary you do so 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 hosts all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our outdoor staff in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on risk assessment and recognised mountain safety procedures.

Not being professionally responsible for you on 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 by you when deciding to join an organised itinerary, 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 stay you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our hosts or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area. Thank you for your understanding on all of the above.

Day Off

Our Day Off in Sils

Wednesday is our day off in Sils. There are no organised walks nor Office Hour. However, there is somebody to meet and settle in new arrivals. Breakfast is served as normal. Dinner is available at the Hotel Maria, but not as part of your half-board holiday price (i.e. at a supplement). Many guests use this as an opportunity to eat out locally in one of Sils’ restaurants.

Seasonality & Transport

Seasons & Services

There is generally a period at each end of the season when local services (e.g. certain bus routes, lifts, local businesses, mountain huts, suppliers of activities) are not as intensive as they are in high season. As it happens, in Switzerland local services are generally pretty good even in May, June and September, so during these quieter periods – whilst some local businesses might remain closed – guests are barely compromised and ‘seasonality’ has a minimal bearing. Moreover, we offer our full programme of organised walks throughout the season, so if you are coming to Switzerland exclusively for the walking, you are sure to thrive. Finally, in all our destinations, early season is accompanied by an exquisite profusion of flora.

Transport during your holiday

Collett’s has vehicles in each of its destinations but it is simply not possible for us to provide all our guests with transport to and from our organised walks. Naturally, we regularly use local transport or cable cars to good effect, notably in the Swiss Alps, Austrian Alps and the Italian Dolomites, where local services and facilities – and the number of walks that you can do from the villages themselves allow us to do many wonderful walks without using a car.

If you decide to have a car with you, you will be able to join all the organised walks of your choice, whilst simultaneously being free to visit, say, Innsbruck and other places of interest a short drive away. Our destinations are majestic; driving conditions are generally excellent and every journey should be a pleasurable part of your day. Naturally, having a car also gives you complete flexibility on your days of arrival and departure. Collett’s sends directions to your destination about 3 weeks before your holiday.

That said, we think you can have a great walking holiday in Switzerland without a car. There are many walks from the doorstep and also, with the use of local lifts and public transport (cheap and reliable), we create numerous itineraries that will suit non-drivers, whether they join our organised walks or choose to do self guided walking.

In resort, we also operate a guest car share system, which works well, but can occasionally fall short of guaranteeing your participation on a certain organised itinerary for which transport is required. Obviously, whenever possible our own vehicles help, but they are often committed to airport transfers or elsewhere. Of course, having a car guarantees (1) your participation in each and every organised walk, (2) access to all featured places of interest and activity suppliers and (3) flexibility on your days of arrival and departure. For regular self guided via ferrata, having a car is almost essential.

Dietary

Special Dietary Requirements & Severe Allergies

We are happy to cater for ‘special’ dietary requirements and minor intolerances (vegetarian, gluten free etc.) Our kitchens are of a domestic standard and we endeavour to maintain good food preparation practices.

However, due to the limited size and specifications of these kitchens we would advise anyone with a ‘severe food allergy’ which, represents a health threat, serious or otherwise, that we cannot guarantee that traces of some commonly used ingredients (such as nuts, mushrooms etc.), will not make their way into meals, which are not meant to contain such ingredients. Our booking conditions require all guests to inform us at the booking stage of any matters concerning diet or allergies. However, if your intolerance or allergy represents a health threat of any sort, we would strongly recommend that you are carrying the necessary medication during your stay with us.

Booking Conditions

Collett’s Mountain Holidays Booking Conditions

1. CONTRACT: Please read these booking conditions carefully as they, together with the specific information in your booking confirmation, form an important part of your contract with Collett's Limited (company number : 03467538 whose registered office is at Market House, 10 Market Walk, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1JZ) trading as Collett's Mountain Holidays.

2. PRICES: We reserve the right to alter any of our advertised prices. Our prices were set on 31 October 2019, and the reference exchange rate was 1.159 (as published by the Financial Times). You will be advised of the current price of the holiday that you wish to book before your contract is confirmed. All prices quoted are fully inclusive of non-optional charges.

3. SUPPLEMENTS: We reserve the right to apply a supplement to your holiday after you have booked in the event of increases to the costs of supplying your holiday, which might result from changes in the cost of fuel or other power sources, accommodation costs, costs of compliance with local rules and laws, exchange rate fluctuations and/or government action (including changes in any levels of taxation such as VAT). Supplements will not be applied within 20 days of your arrival date.

4. MAKING A BOOKING AND PAYMENT: When you have chosen your accommodation and you make a request to us to book it, you must pay a deposit of £100 (or £150 for our Ski Safari, Camino de Santiago, Kitzbuhel to Cortina, Mountains to the Med, and all Hut to Hut holidays), or if you are booking within 8 weeks of your arrival date the full cost of the booking. Your booking is only confirmed and a contract between us will only exist when a) your party leader has ticked the box on our client portal confirming that they accept our terms and conditions; b) we have received in cleared funds a deposit of £100 or £150 (as appropriate) per person; and c) we have issued our confirmation by email. Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately.

5. FINAL BALANCES: If you have paid a deposit, the ‘final balance’ of the cost of your holiday is due 56 days (8 weeks) before departure. If the balance is not received on time, we will remind you that it is overdue. If you then do not pay within 7 days of this reminder we reserve the right to cancel your booking and retain your deposit.

6. INSURANCE: It is essential that you take out adequate and valid insurance, which should include (without limitation) cover against the cost of cancellation by you, assistance (including repatriation) in the event of accident or illness, and third party liability for injury and damage. We recommend that your policy is as extensive as our recommended insurance policy, details of which can be found on our website. Insurance premiums in respect of travel insurance purchased from us are non-refundable and non-transferable.

7. BOOKING CHANGES: After our confirmation has been issued, any requests for changes must be sent to us in writing by e-mail or post, by the person that made the booking. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your request but we will try to do so. If you change the number in your party, the accommodation price will be re-calculated. If the party size is reduced, this is likely to mean the remaining members paying more due to under-occupancy.

8. CANCELLATIONS: If you want to cancel your booking, the person who made the booking must send this in writing to us, by email or post. You will be charged a cancellation fee as follows: If you cancel (this is the date on which we receive your written notice of cancellation during the hours of 9am to 5.30pm):

More than 57 days before your arrival date: deposit only;
Between 56 and 43 days before your arrival date: 25%;
Between 42 and 29 days before your arrival date: 50%; and
Within 28 days of arrival date: 100%
Charges are shown as a percentage of your total holiday cost (including any excursions).

9. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR BOOKING: When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions. This means that you are responsible for making all payments due, notifying us if any changes or cancellations are required and for receiving the confirmation and keeping your party informed.

10. OUR LIABILITY, CONDITIONS of CARRIAGE & LIMITATIONS: (a) Our obligations, in providing any accommodation or service included in your holiday, are to take reasonable skill and care to arrange for the provision of such accommodation or services. Therefore, providing we have selected our providers with reasonable care and skill, we will have no liability to you for anything that happens at the accommodation or any acts or omissions of the provider or other service providers. We will also have no liability in the following situations: (i) where the accommodation or services cannot be provided as booked due to circumstances beyond our control or which amount to "force majeure" (including, without limitation, terrorist activity, natural disasters and adverse weather conditions); (ii) where you incur any loss or damage that could not have been foreseen at the time of your booking, based on the information provided by you; (iii) where you incur any loss or damage that relates to any business activity; (iv) where any loss or damage relates to any services which do not form part of our contract with you. (b) Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of 2 times the cost of your holiday with us. We shall have no liability where the cause of the failure to provide, or failure in, your holiday or any death or personal injury you may suffer is not due to any fault on our part or that of our agents or suppliers, because it is either attributable to you, or attributable to someone unconnected with your holiday and is unforeseeable or unavoidable, or is due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised, or an event which neither we, nor our agents or suppliers could have foreseen or forestalled. We will only accept liability for negligent acts or omissions of our employees, suppliers, sub-contractors, servants or agents providing they were at the time undertaking work authorised by us. (c) Our liability will also be limited: in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to the contractual terms of the companies that provide us with third party services (such as accommodation and transport) and these terms are incorporated into this contract; and by any relevant international conventions which apply to, or govern, any of the accommodation or services included in your holiday with us. Other than as set out above, and as is detailed elsewhere in these booking conditions, we shall have no legal liability whatsoever to you for any loss or damage.

11. ROOM ALLOCATIONS: All accommodation is allocated by us. We will not accept liability for any complaints based on one bedroom being deemed less attractive than another on account of its size, views, character and/or location. The provision of a bedroom with a balcony will only be guaranteed if a balcony is requested verbally at the time of booking by you, then, if available, in writing on the booking form and finally confirmed in writing by us. We reserve the right to change your accommodation, provided the accommodation allocated is of the same or superior category to that originally booked.

12. SPECIAL REQUESTS: Any specific requests by you, such as matters concerning diet or allergies, must be advised to us on the booking form. Whilst endeavouring to fulfil all such requests, we shall not be liable to you if we fail to do so.

13. IF WE CHANGE OR CANCEL YOUR BOOKING: We may occasionally have to make changes or cancel your booking and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Changes If we make a major change to your holiday, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. You will have the choice of accepting the change of accommodation, or you can take any alternative accommodation we are able to offer you (you will pay the increase in cost if the replacement is advertised at a higher price than your original booking, or receive a refund of the difference if it is less expensive), or a refund. These options don’t apply for minor changes. Examples of minor changes include, but are not limited to, change of accommodation to another of the same or higher standard, temporary withdrawal of facilities or seasonal unavailability of amenities. Cancellation We will not cancel your travel arrangements less than four weeks before your departure date, except for reasons beyond our control (also known as force majeure) or failure by you to pay the final balance. If your holiday is cancelled you can either have a refund or accept an offer of alternative accommodation of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). Any amendment or cancellation fees you incur in terms of other arrangements you have made with other providers under separate contracts are not claimable from us. Please note that if a change or cancellation occurs because of circumstances beyond our control, for example as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, war, riot, industrial dispute, actual or threatened terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, flood, epidemic or pandemic illness and all similar situations we will have no further liability to you. No compensation, costs, damages, losses, expenses or any other sums, including the cost of securing alternative transport or accommodation will be paid by us.

14. BEHAVIOUR: When you book a holiday with us, you accept responsibility for the proper conduct of all members of your party during your stay. We reserve the right at any time to terminate the stay of any party member(s) whose behaviour is such, in our reasonable opinion, as to cause or to be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to anyone else or damage to property. Full cancellation charges will then apply and no refund will be given. Furthermore, we shall be under no obligation whatsoever to pay compensation or meet any costs or expenses (including but not limited to alternative accommodation) you may occur as a result of your stay being terminated. In addition, you agree to fully reimburse any accommodation provider concerned for the cost of any damage you cause to the accommodation in which you are staying before the end of your stay if the cost has been established by then or as soon as it has been established if later. You must also indemnify us for the full amount of any claim (including all legal costs) made against us by the accommodation provider or any third party as a result.

15. FINANCIAL PROTECTION: The monies you pay to us for your holiday are protected by means of an ABTA bond provided by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited. This means that, if in the unlikely event of our insolvency your holiday can't be provided, you will receive your money back or, if your stay has started, arrangements will be made for you to be able to continue as planned.

16. DATA PROTECTION: Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us. This information will be passed on to the principal and to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Our policy can be viewed at www.colletts.co.uk

17. ABTA: We are a Member of ABTA, membership number W6883. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can’t resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.com to use ABTA’s simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR) Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. This ODR platform is a means of notifying us of your complaint; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.

18. SKI SAFARI: Your guide, itinerary and accommodation shall be supplied by MSA srl trading as Arabba Holidays, for which Collett's Limited acts as an agent. Consequently each Ski Safari is neither run nor controlled by Collett's Limited and we are therefore not responsible/liable for its provision or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by Arabba Holidays. You therefore acknowledge that Collett's Limited acts as the disclosed agent of Arabba Holidays, and you agree that in the unlikely event that you need to make a claim, you shall make this against Arabba Holidays, and not Collett's Limited.

19. CONDITIONS OF SUPPLIERS : Many of the services which make up your holiday are provided by independent suppliers. This is particularly relevant to all our “Point to Point” holidays where your transport (unless provided by us), accommodation and food will be supplied by third parties (whose identities are available at www.colletts.co.uk/thirdparties) and for whom Collett's Limited acts as an agent. You therefore acknowledge that Collett’s Limited acts as the disclosed agent of these third party suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions which will form part of your contract with us. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier's liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable International Conventions. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available on request from us or the supplier concerned.

20. LIFT CLOSURES: We will not be held responsible for the closure of lifts during the winter season for any reason. In the event of lack of snow, we cannot be held liable, but will endeavour to make mutually suitable arrangements, and these may incur additional costs to you.

21. EXCURSIONS: Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your package holiday or contracted arrangements provided by us. All excursions are supplied by third party suppliers and are subject to their own terms and conditions. They do not form part of your holiday and are not governed by the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992. For any excursion or other tour that you book, your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.

22. DELAYED TRAVEL: Collett’s can take no responsibility for repercussions concerning delayed flights or other travel arrangements. If your flight, bus or train is delayed, your allocated transfer will wait for up to 60 minutes – but no longer. We cannot wait any longer because our drivers are on time limits. So, if the delay exceeds 60 minutes, we either (1) allocate you to a later Collett’s transfer free of charge subject to seats being available or (2) in the event of there not being a later transfer, we will endeavour to book you a taxi transfer, although this will be at your expense. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding in the event of your transfer being delayed due to the delayed flight of other guests.

23. PASSPORT, VISA & IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS : Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements.

24. ACCURACY: (i) We make every effort to give accurate information on our website but cannot be liable to you in the event of changes, which occur after information has been published on the website; and (ii) Any view expressed on the website is the personal view of a member of our staff. Whilst our staff will express personal opinions based on first-hand knowledge of the resort, the final choice of holiday remains yours. We will not accept responsibility for any verbal statement made by a member of our staff unless it is confirmed in writing prior to the start date of your holiday with us.

25. COMPLAINTS: In the unlikely event of any dissatisfaction with the accommodation or any of the services provided during your holiday, the matter must be reported immediately to our resort manager who will endeavour to put things right. You should also try to find a solution whilst you're on holiday. Unless the opportunity for rectification of complaints is given to our resort manager whilst you are in the resort, we will not accept responsibility at a later date. We will not accept liability for complaints unless a complaint form has been obtained from the resort manager by you, and then completed and signed by both you and the resort manager. If we are unable to resolve the complaint satisfactorily during your stay, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing to Tom Collett at 3a Market Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HQ giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. We will not accept liability for complaints made outside this period. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. If you fail to follow the requirement to report your complaint in resort we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify it and this may affect your rights under this booking. Please also see clause 17 above on ABTA.

26. DISPUTES: Any dispute or claim arising out of this contract that can't be settled between us can be referred by you to ABTA’s dispute resolution (see clause 17) or court.

27. JURISDICTION: You agree that the courts of England and Wales have exclusive jurisdiction and that English law shall apply.

28. FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE TRAVEL ADVICE: You should always check FCO advice on travel to the country you are visiting prior to travelling at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

29. WEBSITE DISCLAIMER:The information contained on www.colletts.co.uk ('our website') is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Collett’s Mountain Holidays and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to our website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on our website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of our website. Through our website you are able to link to other websites which are not under our control. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. Every effort is made to keep our website up and running smoothly. However, we take no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, our website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.

Other Information

Other Information

Our offices are open today from 9am to 5.30pm. To book, please call 01799 513331, Or click here to make an enquiry. We will reply within 24hrs. Or 48hrs at the weekend.

Queries relating to passports or visas should be directed to the Swiss Embassy: Tel 020 7616 6000 https://www.eda.admin.ch/london
For general information on EHIC cards and healthcare whilst travelling visit www.bit.ly/HealthcareAbroad

For pre-travel information visit www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo

Or use the ABTA information line on 020 3117 0599 or visit www.abta.com

Welcome to the Engadine in the Swiss Alps
Where the Swiss go hiking

  • Join free daily organised walks or self guide – or do a mix of both
  • Classic Moderate Hikes & Harder High Level Treks
  • Everything you need to self-guide on up to 35 stunning walks from easy to hard.

Overview
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Organised and self guided

Walking in the Swiss Alps on a Collett’s holiday

Join free daily organised walks or self-guide

We specifically chose Sils as our summer base in the Engadine because of the superb access it offers to stunning walks of all grades. We can do some of these walks right from the doorstep of the Hotel Maria. But we also take good advantage of free local transport on buses and 13 cable cars, funiculars and chairlifts, not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage Bernina Express.This allows us to explore breathtaking hikes further up the valley near St Moritz and Pontresina.

The Walking
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Organised and self guidedWalking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised WalksWalking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised WalksWalking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised WalksWalking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised WalksWalking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised WalksWalking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised Walks

Idyllic lakeside strolls, cowbells, flower-strewn pastures and woodland tracks,
Panorama-rich high trails in magisterial mountain landscapes

The location of the Engadine on the southern side of the Alps means it enjoys an Italian climate and you can bet on 300 days of sunshine a year! The higher elevation of the valley floor also means intensely fresh alpine air and very comfortable walking temperatures.

Our base in the upper Engadine village of Sils is the perfect location for hikes at all levels. Nestled just down the road from St. Moritz between the two largest lakes in the region and surrounded by the largest peaks in the Eastern Central Alps, this pretty village has been carefully selected by us to provide you with many glorious walks and a real opportunity to explore this slightly undiscovered Swiss gem.

To complete your Swiss discovery, during your stay, we will occasionally take short rides on free buses, mountain trains and cable cars, so that you can explore the splendid mountainous landscapes that surround nearby St Moritz and Pontresina. Your free travel ticket also extends to the UNESCO World Heritage Bernina Express. It’s all part of discovering the glorious Upper Engadine!

Moderate & Easier Walking

The Engadine in the Swiss Alps is an abundance of treasures for the moderate (or more leisurely) walker, whether you join our organised walks or opt to self-guide. From our picturesque resort of Sils, tracks and trails radiate in all directions. These routes are part of an expansive network of alpine trails that traverse the whole region, giving hikers brilliant access to the hills and mountains that form our inspirational backdrops. The locals insist that this walking terrain is unrivalled in variety and splendour. The very easiest of these beautiful strolls would be simply to venture out from Sils on the easy and idyllic tracks that circumnavigate the two lakes that extend east and west from Sils itself. It’s a stunning way to while away a few hours at your own pace without any need to achieve the altitude gains associated with some other itineraries.

Due to the unique location and altitude of this valley, Spring is late in the Engadine. As a result, flower enthusiasts will enjoy lush and abundant alpine meadows right through to the end of July. The magnificent Val Fex is a short walk from Sils and boasts an array of floral colours that has to be seen. A little higher up, woodland trails rife with larch and spruce trees are flanked by waterfalls and upland pastures filled with iconic Swiss cattle. Meandering waymarked tracks rise a little more and soon you are above the treeline surrounded by breathtaking mountain landscapes, home to an abundance of wildlife including eagles, vultures, ibex, marmots and, dare we say, the elusive European brown bear. Whilst it’s not always easy to spot these impressive animals, the location of Switzerland’s only National Park, just a short distance from us, should reassure you that the chance is always there. The Collett’s Walks Team had a fantastic viewing of ibex on the Panorama trail above Pontresina in 2019. Blending in perfectly with their surroundings, they can be almost impossible to spot, but this corner of Switzerland has some of the largest herds in Europe and we were lucky enough to see this first-hand. Whether you catch a glimpse of ibex or bear, a certain joy unfolds amidst this wealth of flora, fauna and scenery, all of which is in the immediate vicinity of our base in Sils.

A key advantage for the moderate walker is the cable car system and the network of attractive mountain trains. Free of charge to guests of Collett’s thanks to the free mountain pass, a few short journeys and well selected cable car rides open up a magical opportunity to experience some easier hikes at high level, from which the most outstanding and crystal-clear panoramas unfold before your eyes. The ‘Furtchellas’ cable car is just a short walk from the Hotel Maria in Sils and it will transport you into a panorama-rich alpine paradise. We offer a few walks that start from the cable car itself. One of our absolute favourites is an 11km loop that passes below dramatic cliffs before traversing a simply stunning path right above the two large lakes in the valley floor. We named this hike after the cable car, in its honour almost – our way of thanking it for access to such stunning scenery! On these higher trails, it is impossible to miss the genuine and generic majesty of the Swiss Alps; it is a unique splendour that you don’t witness elsewhere.

High Level Walking

Being surrounded by imposing peaks comes as standard in the Engadine and we will take full advantage of the trails that connect them. Piz Bernina is the easternmost 4000m peak in the Alps and the dramatic glaciers cascading from the summits that surround it can all be seen up-close from our wide variety of high level treks. We have researched carefully selected treks that you will find awe-inspiring and unforgettable, from mountain passes and flowing ice fields, to high peaks and river headwaters. The dramatic Morteratsch glacier cascades down from the summits of Piz Bernina and Piz Palu; we will hike alongside the glacier on our way to ‘Boval Hutte,’ a mountain restaurant towered over by colossal natural monuments. The moderate version of the same hike will give you a glimpse of the history of the area, literally carved into the rock by the glacier that acts as your escort all the way to one of the best natural terraces in the region, where a hearty lunch will replenish you!

A lot of our walks take place amongst the highest peaks in the Eastern Swiss Alps and we are often trekking at an altitude of 2500m or more. You will venture over historic passes and trek dramatic contouring trails, once used as trading and smuggling routes between Italy and Germany. The addition of a welcoming mountain hut (berghaus) is always a bonus and it is a rewarding moment to drink in once-in-a-lifetime mountain panoramas from the sun terrace of a hut with a well-earned drink in your hand. Many of our hard grade walks are very local to our base in Sils, but others are accessed by short rides on the local mountain trains and/or cable car. Once or twice during your stay we will enjoy a free ride on the world-celebrated UNESCO Bernina Express at the start and end of the day.

We think this is the best high-level hiking in Switzerland and maybe the Swiss think so too! This is certainly where many of them come to hike. Are they escaping the crowds and the queues in the Bernese Oberland? Or are they lured by the charm and sheer natural beauty of the Upper Engadine? Probably a bit of both.

Our Organised Walks
Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Our Organised Walks

Daily, Free & Optional – Unfailingly Breathtaking

Choose a Classic Moderate Hike or Higher Harder Trek

Your stay will surely be enhanced by the Collett’s Walks Team. You can join them on inspiring walks day to day, except Wednesdays, our local day-off. You simply choose the walk that takes your fancy – see below. All our walks take place in a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere. Armed with a packed lunch (available to all guests at 8CHF each), we generally set out at around 9am and, depending on the itinerary, return to the village in the mid or late afternoon, allowing you enough time to relax before Office Hour at 6pm, maybe over a drink on the terrace or a stroll into the village. Here are the walks we offer on a daily basis:

A Classic Moderate Walk

Height Gain: 200m – 500m, 4–6 hours
Upland flower pastures, woodland trails, mountain lakes, riverside tracks, sleepy hamlets and some easier higher level paths.

A Higher Harder Walk

Height Gain: 500m – 1000m, 5-7 hours
Venture into high alpine terrain along trails that cross mountain passes that historically connected Switzerland to southern Europe, all surrounded by spectacular mountains and glaciers.

Please click here for notes concerning our weekly day off (Wednesday), seasonality, transport and joining our organised walks at your own risk.

Self Guiding

Everything you need for self-guided walking

Swiss Alps - Walking Holiday Ideas and Information

Daily access to the extensive local knowledge and suggestions of the Collett’s Walks Team

Some days – or every day even – you might prefer to walk independently. The extensive local knowledge of our own walkers is available every evening at Office Hour. Over maps and a pre-dinner drink, they will be delighted to help you create a succession of wonderful self-guided walks to suit your ambitions. You can also browse our invaluable Ideas & Info files, which are dotted around the place at Office Hour. These feature many walks, from heavenly short strolls to dramatic high trails into the rocky reaches. For each walk we give the duration, ascent, degree of difficulty and the relevant section of map. You can also borrow on a daily basis an easy-to-carry Route Laminate for each itinerary. The files also contain other days out just in case you fancy something different: places of interest, alpine activities, bike rides and ideas for a rainy day – as if!

We fully understand if you would prefer to be left to your own devices and we can provide you with whatever information you need to create a succession of enjoyable days out. Obviously if you would prefer to join our Organised Walks then that’s absolutely fine with us too – we are happy for you to ‘mix and match’, doing your own thing one day and joining an Organised Walk the next. Our unique format enables you to do as much or as little as you like.

Office Hour
Information for Walking Holidays in the Swiss Alps - Organised and self guided

Plan your days at Office Hour over a sociable pre-dinner drink

Office Hour takes place each early evening (except Wednesdays) in the welcoming atmosphere of the Hotel Maria.  Over maps and a relaxing pre-dinner drink with other guests, you can chat with members of our Walks Team and glean information about the organised walks on offer the next day. They will be pleased to help you choose the itinerary that would best suit you.  If you choose to self-guide, they will make suggestions that will define your walking holiday, whether you seek out a gentle lakeside potter or a challenging high hardcore trek.

All our walks are also available for you to research in our abundant Ideas & Info files, which are dotted about at Office Hour  Also, if you fancy a day off from walking, we can advise you on a host of locally-provided activities, such as horse-riding, windsurfing, mountain biking and many more etc. Lazy days are fine by us and you might just want to know where to find the perfect sunny spot in this enchanting alpine retreat. Whatever it is, just ask and we will do everything possible to help you get the very best from your time here.

It’s Office Hour that really makes the holiday…
Sarah & John Gilman, New Mills

Office Hour is not as formal as its name suggests. Whilst it is a most popular and effective feature of a Collett’s mountain holiday, it is also entirely optional and many guests just drop in for a sociable drink with other guests. Flower lovers compare photographs and gather around digital cameras to identify species. Walkers mull over trails, from the idyllic to the awe-inspiring. Adventure seekers plan thrilling high treks. Either way, another memorable day in the mountains takes shape, leaving you to enjoy the evening with everything sorted.

Holiday Insurance

Travel Insurance with Campbell Irvine

Being adequately insured during your stay with us is essential - we strongly recommend you buy a comprehensive holiday insurance package at the time of booking. Having a travel insurance policy is one of the booking conditions for joining us on a Collett's Mountain Holiday.

If you have an existing insurance policy, please take the time to make sure it is up to date, and cover is adequate for your chosen destination and activity.

If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine Ltd for a quote by visiting their website or by telephone on 0207 938 1734.

The following declared activities are covered under the standard policy terms:

  • Walking up to 3,500m,
  • via ferrata
  • guided glacier treks
  • trekking to the summit of Marmolada

Collett’s Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd. who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the FCA's register by visiting the FCA's website at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6787.

Campbell Irvine

Holiday Travel Insurance

For Walking holidays

  • How to get to the Engadine in the Swiss Alps
  • Fly-drive, self-drive, Arrive by Train
  • Airport Transfers to and from Milan Bergamo Airport (every Thursday & Sunday)

Travel
Engadine, Swiss Alps - Collett's Walking Holidays Map Location

Getting to us can be easy and inexpensive

  • We are completely flexible
  • Arrive and depart on whatever day suits you best and stay for as long as you like
  • Make your time in the Engadine part of a longer trip or stay with us in the Austrian Alps as well on a ‘twin-centre break’!
  • Fly-drive, self-drive – or fly to Zurich and arrive on the Bernina Express in St. Moritz
  • Or book a Collett’s airport transfer from Milan Bergamo every Thursday or Sunday.

On a Classic Summer Walking Holiday in Switzerland’s Engadine, you can arrive and depart on the days of your choice and stay for as long as you like. If a twin-centre walking holiday is an option, our nearest destination is Ehrwald in Austria’s Tyrol & Bavarian Alps.

Fly-Train
Fly Drive to the Zugspitz Arena

Fly to Zurich & Catch the Train

This memorable mountain train journey requires two changes. A 15 minute ride takes you from the airport terminal to Zurich’s main station. Then a spectacular train journey through the Rhein valley takes you to Chur in 75 minutes. Change here onto a narrow gauge mountain train to St. Moritz and enjoy a 2hr ride on the UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railway. Outside St. Moritz station jump on a No.4 bus for the 15 minute bus ride that will drop you 150m from the Hotel Maria in Sils. (There is a bus every hour at 15 mins. past the hour) Rail tickets are available 60 days before your day of travel from www.sbb.ch. The tickets we suggest are:

Point to point ticket – This costs around £130 pp return, 2nd class (£228 pp, 1st class) from Zurich airport to St Moritz and is valid for any train on the day of travel. If you end up cancelling your holiday this ticket is partially refundable. Tickets can be purchased up to 2 months in advance.

1-day Travelpass: Saver Day Pass – Thecost is around £99 pp return, 2nd class from Zurich airport to St Moritz and is valid for any train and bus service on the day of travel. This is a non refundable ticket however. The Travelpass can be purchased up to 2 months in advance.

A ‘half fare pass’, which costs £96 can also be purchased, this then gets you half price travel on all Swiss transport for 1 month – this option is better if you are making your Collett’s Mountain Holiday part of a larger itinerary.

Who flies where can change very quickly so consider visiting www.skyscanner.net for an overview of current low fare services with different airline. Click here for flights to Zurich. As always, to get the best prices it’s always best to book as far in advance as possible.

Train
Getting to and from the Dolomites by Train

Take the train to St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps

Travelling by rail within Switzerland is a comfortable, efficient and scenic way to reach Sils; and Swiss trains run like clockwork. It is easy to get from St. Moritz to Sils by bus or taxi fresh from an unforgettable UNESCO World Heritage train ride.

Airport Transfers
Getting to and from the Zugspitz Arena by Car - Airport Transfers

Airport Transfers from Milan Bergamo Airport

Return Transfers at £80 per person to the Swiss Alps
Available Thursdays & Sundays

Our airport transfer service is easy to use and popular. If you need any help or advice or have any questions regarding how our Airport Transfer System works please call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

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 Milan (if time permits) or at the airport. In short, we send one vehicle down to the airport to drop off all our departees for their flights home, whilst the same vehicle will collect all our arrivals to take them up to the mountains.

Transfer Times – Every Thursday & Sunday we send a Collett’s minibus to Bergamo with departing guests. The same vehicle will collect any new arrivals and bring them back to the Engadine. We will contact you 2 weeks before your holiday with the exact times of your transfers, which are determined by the flight times of everyone we collect on that day. The deadline is 4pm, so please do not book a flight that lands after 4pm. Some waiting might be inevitable, so please only book a transfer if you are relaxed about the possibility of some waiting. For example, if you land at 11.00 and other guests land at 14.30, the transfer will leave at 15.00. If you are our only arrivals on that day, we will drive you straight to the mountains.

On your home-bound journey, please be prepared for an early start. The earliest we will depart Sils is 6am. So please do not book a homebound flight that takes off before 11.00. Our departure time from Sils is dictated by the earliest flight booked after 11.00am by any of our departing guests.

On your outward journey, your flight should arrive before 4pm and leave after 1100am on the day of your departure. Make sure you understand how our transfer system works by reading this page in full – Thank you. Before booking a flight or transfer, please make sure your desired accommodation is available.

Fly-Drive

Fly to Zurich & hire a car

Fly-driving gives you complete flexibility on your days of travel. It also allows you to bimble off at your leisure during your stay to explore places of interest, perhaps on a rainy day. But such is the quality of public transport in the Engadine, this is a Collett’s destination where a car is surplus to requirements during your stay. The main airports serving the Engadine are Milan Linate (2hrs 30m), Milan Bergamo (2hrs 45m), Milan Malpensa (2hrs 45m) and Zurich (3hrs), but fly-drivers might also consider Innsbruck and even Munich.

Who flies where can change very quickly so consider visiting www.skyscanner.net for an overview of current low fare services with different airline. Click here for flights to Zurich. As always, to get the best prices it’s always best to book as far in advance as possible.

Parking

Parking is 8CHF/day outside the hotel in their own spaces. There are around 10 spaces – or – It’s 14CHF/day in the public parking garage. Or 80CHF/week, there are many spaces.

Self-Drive
Getting to and from the Zugspitz Arena by Car - Self Drive

Bring your own car to the Swiss Alps
for ultimate flexibility

Self-drivers should allow 9-10 hours from Calais and with Collett’s you can take advantage of a 10% discount with P&O Ferries between Dover & Calais. We reccommend P&O Ferries for crossings from Dover to Calais or use the Channel Tunnel.

Parking

Parking is 8CHF/day outside the hotel in their own spaces. There are around 10 spaces – or – It’s 14CHF/day in the public parking garage. Or 80CHF/week, there are many spaces.

Car Hire

Car Hire

Getting to and from the Austrian Alps - Fly Drive

Fly-driving is popular and most of our guests choose this option, if you need any help or advice please call us on 01799 513331.

Having a car in the mountains gives you complete flexibility during your stay and also on your days of arrival and departure. It guarantees access to everything that is featured in our brochure and if you get a rainy day, a car will allow you to visit numerous places of interest (including several attractive alpine towns) that are within easy driving distance of us.

The journey from our nearest airports is simple. Driving conditions are good and motorists are civil – the spectacular surroundings tend to remove the need to hurry.

If a stay with Collett’s is part of a bigger holiday itinerary, then it is easy to arrange one way car hire. (although a one-way drop off fee may apply, which is payable locally). If you require a People Carrier or a 9-seater, book early.

Parking

Parking is 8CHF/day outside the hotel in their own spaces. There are around 10 spaces – or – It’s 14CHF/day in the public parking garage. Or 80CHF/week, there are many spaces.

How car hire with Collett’s works

Collett’s have teamed up with Car Trawler in order to offer you car hire from all the big name brands (as well as some of the lesser known local suppliers), at some of the most competitive prices available anywhere on the internet. All we ask is you give our car hire a try before making your final decision – you may well be pleasantly surprised by what we can offer you. Fill in the details in the form below and the search engine will open up in a new tab or window – If you need any help or advice please call 01799 513331.

Please note that :
* Cartrawler deals direct with all customer service issues, and their Helpdesk number is 0207 043 9764 or alternatively visit their Frequently Asked Questions Webpage.
* it is essential that you read carefully the full rental conditions of the vehicle you intend to book, paying particular attention to matters such as whether unlimited mileage is included, fuel policies (eg. some rentals require you to buy a full tank of fuel on collection and then return the vehicle empty), the accepted forms of payment and ID, and the applicable cancellation policy. It is very important that you are familiar with all rental conditions in order to avoid incurring any additional fees or unexpected charges on collection or return.
* your rental will be direct with the supplier identified on your confirmation e-mail not Collett’s.
* if you return the vehicle at a later time than your collection time you will be charged an extra days rental. Pro rata.
* you may add additional drivers when you collect your vehicle. Prices vary but are approximately €8.50 per additional driver per day.
* Worldwide Insure can offer you Excess Reimbursement Insurance for only £2.50 per day, click here to take out this cover.

Hiring a vehicle abroad

After 8 June 2015 if you are hiring a vehicle you will be asked to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you will be able to do this online for free by accessing the DVLA's 'Share Driving Licence' service. This service is currently in development but will be available before the counterpart is abolished. The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders and will also allow you to download a summary of your licence record which can be printed or shared.

For full details please visit the DVLA's website here.
To view or share your driving licence information visit the DVLA's website here. You must take this as a printout with you to show to your car hire company.

Insurance
Walking Holiday Insurance

Walking Holiday & Travel Insurance

We recommend you buy a good insurance package at the time of booking (or certainly prior to purchasing flights or booking ferries etc.), so that you are covered in the unlikely event of you having to cancel for an ‘insurable’ reason.

For more information on Walking Holiday & Travel Insurance – Click here

Our fabulous base in the Engadine

  • Wonderful food and warm alpine hospitality
  • A heart-warming mix of modern and traditional
  • 2 mins. walk from the pretty village centre; 5 mins walk from the village cable car

Hotel Maria
Swiss Alps Organised and Self Guided Walking HolidaysWalking Holiday Accommodation in the Swiss Alps, Comfort Room - Hotel SonnenspitzeAlpine Spa - Hotel SonnenspitzeAlpine Spa - Hotel Sonnenspitze

Comfortable bedrooms
Arrive & Depart any day – stay for as long as you wish

A very short walk from the pretty village centre of Sils is the Hotel Maria. Built in a typically Germanic alpine style, its impressive exterior is softened by pretty flower boxes and hides the immense warmth and welcome that awaits you inside.

The views from the hotel are absorbing and you can spend hours gazing across the valley to the looming Piz Lagrev, Piz Grevasalvas and the Lunghin Pass. Remarkably, somewhere up there, rainfall can run off the mountain into 3 different seas hundreds of miles away; via the Danube to the Black Sea, via the Po to the Adriatic and via the Rhine to the North Sea.

The hotel is run by a husband and wife team, Andreas & Regula. They clearly love what they do and every member of their endlessly hospitable team is seemingly touched by their enthusiasm and focus on the well-being of guests. It is a pleasure to stay here and during your holiday you will surely appreciate some delightful and carefully thought-out hospitality touches.

Like a lot of good alpine hotels, the Hotel Maria is a heart-warming mix of traditional and modern. It’s an attractive combination and you will feel very much at home here, whilst simultaneously being able to self-indulge in good comfort and hospitality.

All the bedrooms have attractive furnishings and offer a good level of comfort and relaxation. Superior bedrooms are available on request. Regula and Andreas are particularly proud of their dining room and this will certainly have positive repercussions on your stay. The dining room itself is an attractive space and a pleasure to be in. Breakfast is robust, semi-continental and buffet-style. A good packed lunch can be ordered daily at 8CHF. And each morning you can fill up your flasks with complimentary tea before you set off on a walk.

To ensure you have an excellent gastronomic experience here, Regula and Andreas have staffed the kitchen and dining room with talented and professional Italian chefs and waiters. A fantastic 4 course dinner with complimentary wine is a focal point of each day. It is all very sociable: people with largely common interests, inspired by a day out in the beautiful Engadine mountains, eat at a couple of shared tables. Vibrant chat and laughter prevail, and it is a delightful way to end the day.

As with all our centre-based Classic Summer Walking Holidays, you can stay with us here for as long as you wish, arriving and departing on the dates of your choice. If you are not staying for 7 nights, simply calculate the cost of your stay on a pro rata basis.

During your stay you will have your own house account for packed lunches and drinks. This can be settled on the eve of your departure. Wifi is available, as is parking for an extra daily fee, if you choose to fly-drive or self-drive.

Click here to make an enquiry

Prices

Hotel Maria

Hotel Maria - Double BedroomSils£1175 pppw
Hotel Maria - Superior BedroomSils£1275 pppw - On request
Hotel Maria - Junior SuiteSilsOn request
Hotel Maria - Single RoomSils£1225 pppw - On request

Prices are for half-board accommodation and per person per week based on 2 people sharing an en suite bedroom.
Half-board accommodation includes bed, breakfast (7 days) & 4 course dinner with wine included (6 days).
Calculate price of stays of more or less than 7 days on a pro rata basis.
All prices include participation in our various daily organised walks.
Free Mountain Pass - No expensive chairlifts or cable cars to pay for – all local transport is included (for guests staying in the Hotel Maria for stays of more than 3 nights)
B&B prices available on request.
Parking is 8CHF/day outside the hotel in their own spaces. There are around 10 spaces - or - It's 14CHF/day in the public parking garage. Or 80CHF/week, there are many spaces.
Day Off – Wednesday – Breakfast is served as normal but there is no dinner or Office Hour - nor are there any organised walks.
Deposit - £100 per person – Balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Call us on 01799 513331 to book – we are open from 9am to 5.30pm – or make an enquiry below.

Make an Enquiry