Walk the GR11 with Collett’s
Hiking & Trekking in the Pyrenees at its most dramatic
- Five consecutive stages on this world renowned long distance footpath
- Some of the best high level hiking in the Pyrenees
- 2 – 9 September or 9 – 16 September 2017 – £775 per person (excluding flights)
Join Collett’s for a week on the GR11
In early September Collett’s Mountain Holidays is offering you the chance to walk 5 consecutive stages of the awe-inspiring GR11 high in the Pyrenees.
When Wainwright devised his coast to coast walk in 1973, one can only ponder whether he was in any way inspired to do so by news reaching England of a similar coast to coast route through the mighty Spanish Pyrenees, known as the Gran Recorrido 11, or GR11. Walking in the Pyrenees is a joy for anyone who seeks out a quieter alternative to the more developed areas of the Alps. A combination of spectacular peaks, glistening tarns, deep valleys and expanses of wild beauty unseen by many visitors makes the Pyrenees an excellent choice for the adventurous walker. Indeed, much of the Spanish Pyrenees remains relatively undeveloped and it is still possible to get a true wilderness experience as you leave the trail heads and civilisation far behind.
Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.
A Collett’s Walking Holiday on the GR11
In early September Collett’s Mountain Holidays is offering you the chance to walk 5 consecutive stages of the awe-inspiring GR11 high in the Pyrenees. Your base for 5 nights will be the delightful 3* Hotel Sabocos in Panticosa, but you will also spend one night at the dramatic Refugio Respomuso and one night in the picturesque village of Torla, gateway to the Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park. The itinerary is specifically designed so that you can enjoy the high mountain wilderness of a world-renowned route, whilst being able to return each evening (except two) to the comforts of the Hotel Sabocos, where a hot shower, a cold beer and a delicious three course evening meal (with wine included) await you.
Each day (except Wednesday, your rest day) a dedicated Collett’s Walk Organiser will take care of your transport to and from the GR11 as well as provide you with a hearty packed lunch. The price of £750 per person (based on two people sharing a double or twin room – Single Supplement £85) will include all your transport on walk days together with an airport transfer at the start and end of your holiday.
Be warned! Each stage involves between 700-1000m of ascent, 100-1200m of descent and 11-20km of walking, so this particular holiday is not for the faint-hearted and has a Collett’s grading of hard and long!
Day 1 (Saturday)
Arrive & Settle in
After being picked up, you will be transferred to the delightful Hotel Sabocos, our base in Panticosa, high in the Valle de Tena. This will become your ‘home from home’ for most of your stay. After checking in, you will be free to settle in, explore Panticosa or simply relax on the hotel’s lovely sun terrace or in its spacious lounge.
Day 2 (Sunday)
the Canal Roya and Ibones de Anayet
14.5km, 900m ascent and 600m descent – A superb ‘first day’ walk which ascends the Canal Roya up to its near vertical headwall starting off on a good track. Soon the track gives way to a path which in turn somehow manages to find its way up between rocky crags and pops out into the high mountain plateau which is home to the idyllic Ibones (lakes) de Anayet. Weather and legs permitting, you will then have the option to either enjoy an extended lunch stop at the lakes – taking in the magnificent views north to the iconic Pic du Midi d’Ossau – or to climb the distinctive Vértice d’Anayet (2559m, an additional 300m ascent) from where there are panoramic views to be enjoyed. The GR11 then weaves its way down into the Valle de Tena, affording you stunning views of Balaitous (3144m), Vignemale (3298m) and the Picos del Infierno (3083m)
the very mountains you and the GR11 will be rubbing shoulders with over the coming days.
Day 3 (Mon)
Aguas Limpias, the Ibones de Arriel and Refugio Respomuso
11km, 800m ascent and 100m descent – After a short transfer to the GR11 trailhead at La Sarra, just north of Sallent de Gállego, you will continue to follow the now familiar red and white markers of the GR11 on a well graded path as you ascend the Aguas Limpias valley deep into the wilderness. Today you will have the option to leave the GR11 in order to visit the spectacular Ibones de Arriel – four stunning lakes which nestle in the shadow of the mighty Balaitous. From the Ibones you will follow a superb high level traverse into the Circo de Piedrafitta above which many of Spain’s 3000m peaks tower. Since the ascent to the Ibones is a tough climb across steep, loose scree and small boulders, you may choose to stay true to the GR11 and follow it directly to Refugio Respomuso. Tonight, you will sleep in mixed sex dormitories of between 6 and 14 people, and your evening dinner will be provided by the refugio – which serves a fairly basic but none-the-less adequate three course evening meal (wine will be provided). Refugio Respomuso is remote and you will need to carry your own personal belongings for the overnight stay in the refugio.
Day 4 (Tue)
Collado de Tebberai, Ibones Azules & Embalse de Bachimaña to Baños de Panticosa
12.5km, 700m ascent and 1150m descent – After an early breakfast in the refugio (which again is fairly basic), you will continue to follow the GR11 as it weaves it way up and over the Collado de Teberai – at 2782m, it is the second highest point along the entire GR11 route! It is a truly stunning ascent – at first over grassy pastures, then over loose scree and finally up a short but very steep and narrow gully to the collado. An equally short but just as steep descent then follows and leads into a narrow traverse above the enchanting Ibón (lake) de Tebarrai. A well trod but very rocky path then twists and turns as it makes a steady descent past the Ibones Azules and Embalse de Bachimaña into the historic spa village of Baños de Paticosa.
You will need to sure-footed, have a good head for heights and be comfortable on very steep and loose ground in order to rise to the challenge of today’s section of the GR11. On reaching Baños de Panticosa we will arrange for you to be driven the short distance down the mountain to Panticosa, where Hotel Sabocos awaits your return.
Day 5 (Weds)
You are free to have a well deserved lie-in (breakfast is served until 10am!) and to spend the day relaxing in Panticosa. Perhaps you will take a dip in Panticosa’s outdoor pool, or visit the 4* spa at Baños de Panticosa. On Tuesday night we will be on hand to help you to arrange taxi shares should you want to visit the Spa or explore the Valle de Tena.
Day 6 (Thurs)
Cuello Alto del Brazato & the Ara Valley to San Nicolas de Bujaruelo
18.5km, 1000m ascent and 1200m descent – Shortly after breakfast we will whisk you back up the mountain to re-join the GR11 where you left it on Tuesday evening. A well graded path will help you to gain height relatively quickly and will lead you on to the Cuello Alto del Brazato (2578m) which you will reach by another short but steep ascent which is loose under-foot, and a tricky traverse across a small boulder field. From here fantastic views of the impressive Vignemale (the highest peak in the French Pyrenees) may be enjoyed. The descent down to and along the Ara Valley is both stunning and long but other than another short section of boulder hopping and a river crossing, will follow a well trodden path. Upon reaching San Nicolas de Bujaruelo you may feel that a drink at the refugio is long over-due!
You will then make the short transfer to the picturesque village of Torla by taxi where you will spend the night at the Hotel Bujaruelo. You will need to carry your own personal belongings for the overnight stay in the Torla.
Day 7 (Fri)
Faja de Pelay and Ordesa canyon
20km, 800m ascent and 800m descent – Today you will make the short journey (approx 20 mins) deep into the Ordesa canyon on a national park shuttle bus. The final walk of the week is a true classic. This stunning high level walk begins with an intense ascent to a breathtaking mirador (lookout) high above the canyon floor. It then continues along a natural, and at times narrow balcony (faja) which has been formed by millions of years of erosion. Once on the faja, magnificent views of the Ordesa canyon far below, Monte Perdido and the Brèche de Roland are your rewards. After the exhilaration of the faja, you will meander back along the valley floor through delightful forests of beech, pine and fir. Stronger walkers may also choose to continue to follow the GR11 up to Refugio Goriz. The national park shuttle bus will then transfer you to Torla, from where we will return you back to Panticosa (approx. 1hr) in good time for your farewell evening dinner in Hotel Sabocos.
Day 8 (Sat)
Departure Depending on your transfer time, you will have a free morning to have a well deserved late breakfast, and then pack at your leisure. Most guests tend to use the Stansted-Zaragoza flight and will depart for the airport at about 1pm – after a light tapas style lunch at the hotel. Alternatively, if you choose to stay longer, another superb local walk will await you.
Dates & Prices
2nd – 9th September 2017 £775
9th – 16th September 2017 £775
Single supplement £85
Prices are based on two people sharing a double or twin room and sharing a bunk room in Refugio Respomuso.
Please note that there are no single rooms available at Refugio Respomuso.
This is a Saturday to Saturday itinerary, although guests are naturally welcome to extend their stay with Collett’s either side of this itinerary, taking advantage of our usual programme of organised walks which are free of charge and optional. Call for pricing.
Grade : Hard and long
Ascents : 700m to 1000m each day
Walking Time : 7 to 10 hours each day
Descents : 100m to 1200m each day
Terrain : Way-marked paths which can be steep, rocky and loose underfoot. Some short sections are very steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, a good head for heights and a good level of fitness are essential. Some basic scrambling experience would also be beneficial for the crossing of the Collado Tebberai. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email email@example.com and we will be happy to discuss the route in more detail with you.
Included in the price
- Detailed route notes
- Transport to/from the GR11 trailheads each walking day
- Accommodation – 5 nights in the 3* Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa – 1 night in Refugio Respomuso, located at 2200m
- 1 night in 2* Hotel Bujaruelo, Torla
Not included in the price
- Flights & Insurance
- Transport and activities on the Wednesday – your rest day
- Lunch and your evening meal on the Wednesday – your rest day
Your ‘Week on the GR11’ will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.
The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Week on the GR11’ – which we refer to as organised, not guided.
Our ‘Week on the GR11’ is a series of organised walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.
It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.
In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.
Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.
Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.
Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Week on the GR11’, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.
Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organizers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.
At your own risk
You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.
In pictures – A Collett’s Walking Holiday, Hiking the GR11
A cracking 2 weeks in the Pyrenees staying at the Sabocos Hotel, there is very little that can be faulted. The hotel was very comfortable and well located for all the walks in the region, the staff were friendly and the rooms cleaned daily and the food was excellent,plenty of breakfast to keep us going in the morning and not one duff meal from the 3 courses in the evening which were introduced by Davide every evening, with the meal came plenty of wine.
The Collett's staff were excellent from start to end, with the daily office hour which were very informative about the choices of walks and the local knowledge, they were always going out of their way to try to arrange a walk that would suit everyone. Even on their day off they were still willing to help us to go on a horse ride as they could speak the language, unfortunately the ride got cancelled because of recent rain, but it's the thought that counts. The walks themselves were very pleasant not just because of the 'spectacular' views, but thanks to the liveliness and the chats with the staff and the other clients. We were also blessed with the Vuelta cycling race passing by the town. Overall the holiday was a very pleasant experience making it all the harder to return to normal life. A special thanks to Catlin,Dan,Flee and Beth who accompanied us on our walks and always managed to lead us home safely.
The week on the GR11 in the Pyrenees was one of the best walking I have had recently. The two leaders - Rick & Caitlin ensured
that everything ran smoothly & that the whole group enjoyed their walking.
We needed to be warned about a closed road (the round Spain bike race was in the valley) and Rick succeeded in contacting us in time.
We like the flexibility of the holiday dates, the ethos of the company and the way the staff are so enthusiastic, helpful and informative. The Picos de Europa holiday was excellent last year. Friends who recommended Collett's stayed at the Dolomites centre.
Just back from a 10 day stay at Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa after our best Collett's holiday yet, having previously been to The Dolomites and Picos. The hotel accommodation, food and staff were excellent, especially David who made dinner times a delight.
The Collett's staff, as always, were brilliant and it was nice to be greeted on arrival by Ric who remembered us from 3 years ago. We did most of our walks with Caitlin, Flee and Dan who non-guided us on walks that we would not have done otherwise. They were marvelous hosts and great for conversation and information on the walks.
The Pyrenees is an outstanding area of natural beauty and we managed to see chamois, marmots, eagles and vultures as well. The whole experience was enhanced by other guests who made the walks, office hour and dinner entertaining. Must be Austria next.
Although we were in self catering we took considerable advantage of the Dinner option and thoroughly enjoyed both the quality and variety of the food.
My family and I went on a Collett's Holiday in 2012 and always considered it one of their standout holidays.
Fabulous holiday. We were able to do a number of proper mountain walks with a real sense of seclusion, altitude and spectacular views. Saw a good variety of flowers and animals despite it being late August, the Pyrenees demand further exploration. The walk leaders were great company and making sure everyone was looked after and entertained!
Thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with the other guests and hosts, Hotel Sabocos is probably the best hotel we have stayed at for this style of holiday.
Another fantastic trip with Colletts walking GR11 in The Pyrenees. Our guides were Cam and Beth who were both very professional and informative. The five days walking consisted of hard, long treks but were just what we expected. Both hotels we stayed in were very comfortable and the food was really good. The night in the refuge was also a great experience.
Thanks guys for a most enjoyable week!
Best food ever. And David (waiter) lovely. The Hotel Sabocos owners incredibly kind. The routes are not as well marked here (vs. Dolomites, for example), so we did not feel as comfortable branching out on our own. The laminates are helpful but one can still take the wrong path - often many - and cairns may have blown over.
Mountains were outstanding, everything we'd hoped for. Other participants were lovely, we miss them already. Staff leaders - not guides! - were wonderful, particularly those with experience of a few years. More experienced leaders know that it is not the goal (getting somewhere) that is key, but the journey, which includes looking at plants, taking pictures, and absorbing the views along the way. Staff who have not had a prior summer may focus only on the goal. Specifically, Ric, Flee (Felicity) and Dan were amazing people and wonderful leaders.
We went to Corvara, Dolomites last year and had a wonderful time. Thus we wanted to go with Colletts again. Being from the US, it saves enormous research/effort time to go with a group. Plus we meet interesting, fun people.
Thanks for a wonderful holiday. Hotel Sabocos, staff leaders, and admn. staff (Viv, Kelly) were all absolutely terrific.
We know that if Collett's have a base somewhere, it will be outstandingly beautiful, with top notch accommodation. Your staff are always very welcoming, extremely enthusiastic and interested in people. By the end of the week, we felt that we were walking with friends. Sam, Amanda and Caitlin were very helpful and were good at encouraging the less adventurous members of our party without making them feel that they were holding the others up I did not have any trips with Ric but he too was very friendly during office hour. The team went out of their way to organise horse riding for us as well as a trip to the high ropes park and advised us about other, unaccompanied walks we might lie to tackle.
We had a lovely week with an excellent team of Rick, Amanda, Sam and Caitlin. The Collett's team went out of their way to make sure everyone enjoyed their walking and got the most out of the holiday. Their friendly professionalism and sociability really helped. Magnificent scenery and weather thank you!!
Panticosa is fantastic and the Valle de Tena is so beautiful. the welcome at the hotel was warm and office hour was informative and interesting. the staff in the hotel couldn't have been more accommodating and friendly The walks we did were well guided and just super. We would love to come again for longer. One tiny negative about the hotel was that one of our rooms, on the top floor in the eves and on the south west side, was very hot. An electric fan would be an excellent addition.
I very much enjoyed my stay in Panticosa. Rick and his team tried very hard to meet the needs of the whole group (which was very mixed in terms of age, ability and character) and to make everybody feel welcome. The hotel and food were excellent.
The four staff at Panticosa are a terrific advertisement for everything that is good about Colletts. Ric, Sam, Caitlin and Amanda were great value - professional, knowledgeable and patient (very important since none of us were in the first flush of youth.) They're a good team and made the holiday that little bit special.
The four staff at Panticosa were wonderful, and we greatly appreciated their support, advice and hospitality. They are an excellent young team, and a real credit to the organisation. They were great company, but also knowledgeable, caring and sensitive and they worked very hard to make sure the walks were suitable for everyone.
We had an excellent holiday and feel very satisfied with the experience.
This was our fourth Collett's holiday, and easily equaled our stay in the Dolomites, which I had thought the best walking holiday we'd had. The accommodation and meals were excellent, and the hotel staff were wonderful, even meeting us at our 3am arrival. What really made the difference though were Ric, Mandy, Sam and Caitlin. Although a diverse group they perfectly complemented each other. They were unfailingly cheerful, helpful and knowledgeable, and were easy and entertaining company. We're already planning our next trip.
Collett's was a recommendation from a colleague who had visited both Panticosa and Picos. In resort staff member (Ric) greeted us and made sure we had everything we needed. He was friendly, helpful and professional as well as being very knowledgeable.
Thank you to the great staff that made our week brilliant - Ric, Sam, Amanda and Caitlin - and of course the closely David at dinner!!
Arrival Comments: Despite arriving later than expected, we were immediately greeted, shown to our rooms, and invited to join the other guests,(already at dinner) as soon as we were able to do so. Your staff were so friendly and helpful, tailoring our needs to various route possibilities. They are very impressive young people. Entirely comfortable and happy with being "at your own risk", hopefully this means that all of the party have mountain walking experience and are self-sufficient and competent.
Flexibility of walking options as one of us is a stronger walker and it was good to know that we could both do suitable walks without limiting the other.
Excellent value for money.
As a long standing customer and previous visitor to the Pyrenees, the brochure and website were not important in our planning of the trip. Weather forecasting for the Pyrenees is not the best, but this is not the fault of the staff, they found the most accurate forecasts that they could. Given that the route marking in the Pyrenees is not to the same standard of the Dolomites, we thought the route laminates could be a bit more detailed.
We seemed to find ourselves out with Rémy on most of our walks (it just worked out that way) what a top chap! Perfect pacing for the group and just good fun to be with. We've been travelling with you since 2007, we like the freedom to travel when we like and for how long. Also the ability to either 'do your thing' or just relax and join a group suits us perfectly.
1. Ric, Amanda, Sam and Caitlin were extremely friendly and knowledgeable, nothing was too much trouble. On one particular day I was the only client who wanted to do the organised walk, for safety reasons Ric organised Amanda to join us, as three is the minimum number for a walk. I had been prepared to do a walk on my own that day but Ric and Amanda we more than happy to ensure that the planned walk went ahead. On a couple of sections I struggled with some very steep downhill scrambling, they ensured I descended safely, this was all done in a tactful manner. At the end of the walk I was tired but very happy, I enjoyed my beer when I got back to the hotel. The attitude of all the Collett's staff in particular Ric reinforces my high opinion of the Collet's staff and is one of the reasons why we are repeat customers.
2.The Hotel Sabocos is very clean and well run in particular the restaurant and reception staff are very friendly and helpful. The multiple choices on the menu suited all tastes and was wholesome as required after a day in the mountains. The noise from the stream outside the hotel can on occasions seem a bit loud, but it never stopped us sleeping at night.
3.The scenery is absolutely stunning, some walks start from the hotel the majority of the remainder required short journeys on good access roads. We will return to Collett's/Hotel Sabocos.
We were welcomed extremely warmly by Will – who couldn't have been more helpful. All 4 Members of staff (Will, Claire, Clare and Remy) were friendly, enthusiastic, helpful, careful and professional at all times. They were superb and we would like to thank them
The hotel staff and the four young people representing Colletts were very welcoming and made us feel at home. My friends invited me to join them and they had already used the company and venue before.
I really enjoyed this holiday and it was a great way to discover the area.
The Collett's team were fantastic - very confident, considerate and helpful. A really good flag to be waving for employing your people.
I understand that walking to the slowest pace is important but when some members of the group have another agenda - ie flower spotting, they perhaps needed a bit of chivying along for the sake of the rest of the group.
We both enjoyed an excellent holiday at Panticosa. The hotel was comfortable and the food was excellent. The staff - Rich, Sam, Caitlin, Amanda and Cam - were all welcoming, considerate and great company.
Inevitably, I compared Panticosa with my previous experience at Haus Valentin. As I expected, this area of the Pyrenees does not offer quite the range of walking as the Dolomites. Probably as a result, this meant that the two walks on offer were of a similar standard. I think that snow, which cut out some of the harder trails, probably also contributed to this. The flexibility to extend some of the walks was helpful.
Hotel staff/owners wonderful. Improved English translations of evening menu would help! Tuna in what appeared to be a vegetarian option would not suit a lot of people(personally not a problem). Staff extremely good, knowledgeable and helpful all round except for the following comment: A number of routes had not been walked by any of staff in resort and none of the staff had been there before.
Internet search for organised walking in Pyrenees with flexibility and especially two levels of walks. Impressed with website and prices.
Our thanks to Ric, Cam, Sam & Caitlin & the owners & staff at the Sabocos...for all being fantastic. This was our first experience of Colletts and we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, the company of the other guests and staff and the walking was wonderful. We particularly enjoyed the flexibility and informal but professional approach to it all..suited us perfectly. We will be off to try other destinations!
We find your knowledge about the accommodation and local area invaluable and the flexibility offered to put accommodation on hold whilst we organise other holiday arrangements extremely helpful.
We received a warm welcome and the added bonus for us was that we met Will, Claire and Remy whilst we were at Haus Valentin earlier in the season and it was great to see them again.
The room for office hour was really pleasant. We found the Collett's team knowledge of walks and weather conditions extremely helpful and accurate which enabled us to make the best choice of walk linked with our personal preferences in hot weather conditions to which we were unaccustomed. The advice to have your own transport for the Pyrenees we felt was essential.
All our holidays with Collett's, summer and winter, have been pleasurable. You have the right ingredients for us!
Thank you to Collett's for yet another fabulous holiday, this time in the spectacular Pyrenees. Our time in the Pyrenees was made more special to be welcomed by Will, Claire, Remy whom we had previously met in the Dolomites and Clare. Thank you to each of them who in their own individual way enhanced our holiday with their friendliness, help, knowledge and practical skills. As a team they were excellent in dealing with all the day to day arrangements and we thoroughly enjoyed the walking programme and scrummy lunches. Thank you.
All four staff were really great – well informed, good company, and able to motivate two normally less than enthusiastic teenagers! Been with you to the Dolomites and had a great time! We all had a fantastic time - please pass on our thanks to Will, Remy, Claire and Clare for being such lovely hosts!
I was surprised that none of the 4 staff had been in Panticosa before - and hence were walking the walks with us for the first time too. Having said that, they were all very good.
You offered something that was different, at a good value. We liked the idea of there being 2 different walks per day, coupled with a decent size group of like-minded people.
A good holiday, and we will certainly do it again with you in the fututre.
We left the hotel at 10am which meant we were at the airport at midday. Our flight did not leave until 5pm. We were the only people in the airport for a couple of hours! Perhaps leaving the hotel could be made a bit later for later flight times if it were possible or at least giving warning that this would happen at the time of booking.
Your resort staff are the icing on the cake! Fantastic young people with the right attitude to customer service. Friendly, helpful, nothing too much trouble, knowledgeable – I can't think of enough kind things to say about them.
We were reminded every day before the start of the walk and during office hour the risky elements of each walk were fully explained. There was no room left for doubt. You had been recommended by close friends who happened to choose to spot your website for one summer walking holiday some years ago.
Value for money? Yes I think so when you add up all that was on offer. Even if you did not choose to walk in a group, the staff were still on hand to advise on other walks or trips.
The flexible start & finish dates meant we could combine a walking holiday with some time elsewhere in the region. Having never been on a walking holiday we liked the fact that we could choose the level of walk to suit our capabilities.
We arrived just after office hour had started. We were met by a staff member, shown to our room, left our cases and immediately proceeded to join office hour. Well under way by then. Routes for next day explained etc. However we did not receive an actual briefing re the hotel amenities and Collett's initial intro. We did ask lots of subsequent questions and did eventually have all the info we needed. This is not a reflection on Collett's staff but more to do with our late arrival. Definitely looking forward to our first walk.
All in all accommodation and meals were first class. However the hotel website indicated there was a minibar. There was none in our room. The fridge element would have been an asset in the extreme heat. That and a room safe would have been helpful. Didn't ruin our holiday in any way though. When booking, albeit a bit late in the season we asked for a room with a balcony. Advised in advance that this may not be possible. Imagine our surprise to have a room with a terrace. Well done Hotel Sabocos and Collett's! Only problem was it was so hot we couldn't make full use of it. Some folk are never satisfied.
No pressure for anyone to go on the organised routes of the day. Alternatives readily suggested. We were looking for a walking holiday in the Pyrenees esp one that covered the Ordesa Valley and the surrounding area. My wife and I Were last in the area 36 years ago. The Ordesa valley did not disappoint!
All in all we had a very enjoyable week both walking and socially. I must congratulate Collett's' staff for the interaction they had with the guests. It must be hard to always be chatting to different people each week, not knowing how they would be accepted or what was expected of them over and above the walking side of things. Our thanks to Will, Remy, Claire and Kiwi Clare for a very enjoyable week and wish them all well wherever they decide to go in the future.
The staff were fantastic and made the holiday. The fact that you could decide your own degree of involvement in group activities and doing your own thing, with advice from the team, was great. We would love to come with you again but unfortunately we have been to all your other destinations so may have to wait until you have new destinations before we come again. We'll definitely recommend you to our friends.
We wanted a holiday in the mountains at a time of year when there would be a good range of flowers in bloom. We liked the idea of moderate walking in view of our ages and levels of fitness. The hotel was very good and the owners were friendly and helpful. Your team of "guides" were excellent, although we walked only with the two Claires.
Outstanding service over email and phone. Extremely helpful with choosing an alternative location once we realised that our available dates were fully booked for the Dolomites.
Reps were fantastic – really friendly and professional.
One of the route laminates we used lacked a bit of detail but this was because the current cohort of reps had not had a chance to walk the route completely and update them. However their advice about the walk up to the point they had walked was spot on. We really cannot praise the reps at Panticosa enough – they were fantastic and good fun. It was great to be able to easily chat with them and the rest of the group while walking as a group. It really felt like a group of friends rather than a "leader" and a group. The reps really were the icing on the cake of a fantastic holiday :)
Combination of the mountain areas we wanted to visit, excellent online reviews, excellent independent ratings for the accommodation you use and sensible prices for the holidays.
Thank you for an excellent holiday. Whether walking with the group or self-guiding the friendliness and professionalism of the reps was outstanding and the hotel and food was fantastic. We look forward to our next holiday with you!
Will, Claire, Clare and Remy all did a great job of describing the routes on offer each day, and how to get to the start, water sources, refreshments etc. It was "beastly" hot and they were great on details of shade vs sun exposure as well.
You have a great bunch of young people! I had met Will and Claire before, but they were all great, interesting to talk to, well informed, pleasant and helpful. We had some big groups with varying paces , but this was not a major issue.
The walks I did were well designed and risks (apart from the heat!) were modest, and well-described at Office Hour. Our reciprocal duty of care was always well described.
Previous (wonderful) experience in the Dolomites. Great for the solo traveller, finding a ready-made group of generally like-minded walking companions, in some outstanding scenery.
Thanks for the welcome pack, arriving to find milk, teabags and a teapot was really nice after a long journey. Online handbook was good, really helped us with our walks. The driving map we used was a bit out of date as they have built a motorway and changed some of the signs. Sometimes the walking maps could have done with a few landmarks especially walking across pasture but if you use the larger map in conjunction its fine.
As a lot of guests had small hire cars and we we had our own car whilst were happy to drive there did seem to be a reliance on us to transport guests. so did not get a break from driving and some of them were quite a distance. Not sure there is much alternative but we did note at the end Colletts had a mini bus which took some guests out the day we didnt drive. Only an observation, not a complaint.
It was made clear time and again we were responsible for our own safety which we understood. However they were very good at making sure they had our phone numbers, first aid kit etc as both were needed on two of our walks so was very happy with arrangements.
We had been with you before and like the concept of being able to walk in a group for social and safety and also so we can split up as a couple and husband can do harder walks and get a challenge and I can still have a lovely walk which is not so taxing.
Book again? Yes definitely. We find Colletts very good value for money.
An excellent company, very friendly and personal service with mountain friends (reps) who do an excellent job of ensuring you get the maximum enjoyment from your stay.
It was great being welcomed by the staff and shown the hotel. I think it is just fine to make all of us responsible for ourselves. I did have a minor accident–fell and cut a finger–and it was all handled just fine. I was looking for walking holiday in the area and found excellent reviews on the web. Overall, this was a fantastic holiday! Thanks so much for making it happen.
Our first walking holiday and was concerned we were fit enough Person on phone very helpful. Our four mountain friends were excellent! First holiday of walking and intend to do it again. Flexibility as could arrive and depart when we wanted to... Really enjoyed the company of your young staff and the general camaraderie of the group was great fun
We were the youngest in the group, 39 and 40. This average age was 50, not that this was a problem - we quite liked this as the company and conversations were entertaining and insightful. As a young couple it gave us something to aim for in life. We did two hikes, I made a video of our first hike https://animoto.com/play/Yl3acRKhyasFJ41MWvOfkw
Bevan, our guide, was great. Kind Regards -Adrian
User friendly website and easy to navigate. When registering prior to holiday everything worked! Check List was very handy. Printing out the A-Z information at home used a lot of ink! Having found Collett's on the internet, my wife & I were impressed with our entire dealings with the company - from receiving a return call to our initial enquiry on a Saturday afternoon through to easy registration on the website, comprehensive information, a text message prior to our arrival in Panticosa and young affable leaders who were prepared to tailor the walking to our needs, were great fun and good company. Such attention to detail and customer focus is a rare but welcome find! We had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in the Pyrenees and would love to return. Collett's are now on our (small) list of companies we would recommend without hesitation.
Jack and Alice were old friends from Haus Valentin in February. Their care, patience, constant good humour, friendliness and helpfulness were truly outstanding: it was a great pleasure and reassurance to have them hosting the GR11 walks. The first rate quality of the young staff is always the key to the success of Collett's holidays in my opinion and these two (and I believe the other two) were absolutely first rate and deserve the highest praise.
Good reputation and do just what we wanted to get to know walks and to have some independence - We have a property in France and wanted to explore the Pyrenees..and this did just that, giving us some knowledge of the area and a chance to do our own thing too. excellent , mature staff, who worked hard and developed a good understanding of our requirements.
Thoroughly enjoyable experience. Office Hour was a rally positive feature as were the shared tables for meals. Collett's and hotel staff were outstandingly friendly and willing to help.
The tapas lunch was lovely and an excellent way to meet up with some of the fellow walkers going on the GR11. Very welcoming and a nice touch. As we were on the GR11 week we didn't attend the normal office hour. However every evening before dinner Hanaa and Bevan went through the route for the following day, handing out maps when required. This worked very well. Have been with Collett's before and enjoyed the previous holiday. Also wanted to walk sections of the GR11 without needing to camp/stay in refugios every night. Collett's week on the GR11 fitted in with our requirements.Special mention must go to Bevan and Hanaa for 'going the extra mile' to ensure the week's walk on the GR11 was most enjoyable and memorable. Nothing was too much for them and little extra touches, such as carrying nibbles for us to have in the refugio and marking the birthday of one of the group with fizz and cake, were much appreciated. Both Bob and I wish them all the best for the future.
We thought that the information provided was fantastic, maybe you could let people know that there is washing up liquid, laundry powder etc. provided in the self catering units and to really emphasis that you need to bring towels.
I know it's hard to include photos of everything but a photo of how great the self catering unit is would be good. thanks for dealing with questions in such a quick, positive way. We had no trouble at all booking our holiday from oz and we really appreciated the skype call early on. Arriving tired and hungry after a long drive our welcome to the resort by Hannah was fantastic, she got us settled in and excited about the week ahead and made sure to ask if there was anything we needed.We did one of the guided walks each day, so didn't use routes/maps etc. We loved the way the walks were explained each night, the discussions and access to reference books. The guides were more than willing to listen to suggestions, amend plans or add extra on to accommodate the groups ideas/needs. It was wonderful listening to everyone's tales from their days walk and we thoroughly enjoyed each night. We had a wonderful holiday and the week with Collett's was a highlight of our five weeks away. We will definitely book with Collett's again.
We would love to thank all the wonderful guides who made our time so enjoyable with their enthusiasm, knowledge and friendliness.
It may of been nice to participate in a few more harder walks, however the group staying in Panticosa were a really good group to go out walking with each day, so it was a brilliant week.
The 4 four Colletts staff in the resort were a pleasure to meet, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all 4 all the very best in whatever they go on to do next.
Because I had been with Colletts many times to the Dolomites, I wanted to go to the Pyrenees instead this year and have always liked the way Colletts work and the opportunity to go along and join like minded people walking in the mountains.
Certainly like to return to Panticosa, very enjoyable week. The weather was even kind!
Great location and wonderful walking – we had a great time.
Our car broke down on the drive down through France so we missed a day. The Collett’s staff at the resort negotiated with the Hotel and offered a 1-day deferred start if we wanted.
Hotel and food were excellent – always 3 options available on the menu with a number of local dishes.
Walking in Odessa and round the Pic du Midi were fantastic.
Great Collett’s team on site – thanks Hanna, Alice, Bevan and Jack
See you next year!
The staff in both centres were excellent and were very skilled in making sure everyone was included and all ages were catered for at mealtimes, there company and knowledge was excellent in both resorts,however we would add that the staff in the Picos were outstanding, difficult to put your finger on the reason but they worked very well as a team and provided outstanding hosting skills. we wish the young people in both resorts all the very best , and can honestly say that they are your greatest asset!
Everyone in the office was very helpful, especially as we added another person to our ferry ticket and then had to change our date of arrival in Panticosa by a day. Nothing was any problem.
Great holiday and we would love to return! Thank you!
Hannah went above and beyond the call of duty providing freshly baked goodies almost daily – very welcome!
The formula of providing optional 'guided' walks daily combined with flexible arrival and departure days ensures a very sociable atmosphere in which to enjoy some fabulous settings.
The Collett's team was outstanding as usual. You couldn't ask for better hospitality.
Office hour worked really with with whole family agreing the walk the night before. Everyone then knew what wa expected the next day so everyone got on with it without questioning it. This was a really important aspect to the holiday which we all liked and helped make it such a success. Well done for setting it up that way. We aso liked the chance to meet the other guests that we would walk with as we were S/C so otherwise would have been out of the loop a bit. The kids both really looked forward to office hour we even attended on our last night when we were no longer walking the next day! It was good to chat over the days sightings of wildlife etc.
The four organisers were really outstanding and worked great as a team. They were all great at getting on with people and we all liked them. The kids (aged 13 and 17 loved talking to them). They were excellent role models for our kids and good company and the walks and effective leaders for us and the rest of the group.
I am a very experienced mountain climber and would be able to lead all the walks easily myself, however, we went with colletts for the family experience and meeting others and also so that I did not need to carry the organisational role for my family. Although I know what I am doing in hill ground I had complete faith in the guides abilities
The whole experience was very well organised so thanks for that. It is probably the best family holiday we have had.
The individual walks selected for each day were very well worked out to get the full Pyrennes experience and great views, good wildlife and give full days walk but not getting too tired.
As a butterfly enthusiast I got 65 different species during my holiday. Most of these came in my first two days in the Pyrennes with Colletts. That kept me more than happy. Whales and dolphins on ferry crossing on the outward and return legs were another highlight of the trip.
We have used Colletts before and have always enjoyed our holidays with you. They are well managed and enjoyable with friendly, professional staff. The team in the Pyrenees were always available to help with anything. Thanks again for a wonderful, memorable holiday.
The staff went out of their way to welcome us even though it was their day off (Wednesday). The organisers (Alice, Jack, Hanaa and Bevan) were absolutely brilliant. They made a very special holiday extra special. Best Brochure plus holiday met our needs which were self-catering in the Spanish Pyrenees and to be able to decide whether or not to join in walks (which in the end we did all 7 days of our stay!).
just returned from a great week in the company of Jack, Alice, Bevan and Hanna, all were first class hosts. there wasn't a day we didn't enjoy to the full which included a day driving around the southern area to see the vultures.
highly recommend this as an ideal way of being introduced to the Pyrenees.
make sure Jack finds you the elusive Black Woodpecker, he knows just where to look!
The organisers (Alice, Jack, Hanaa and Bevan) were absolutely brilliant. They made a very special holiday extra special.
Best Brochure plus holiday met our needs which were self-catering in the Spanish Pyrenees and to be able to decide whether or not to join in walks (which in the end we did all 7 days of our stay).
Thank you, we had a wonderful time
After seeing advert and calling the office I got a good feeling about our holiday in the Pyrenees from the conversation I had with the staff.I was confident I had made the right choice. The holiday was everything I was looking for and so pleased I used Collett's. I must also give great credit and praise for our guides Jo and Tom,both of whom were fantastic and really worked hard to make it a most enjoyable holiday!
The Colletts staff and the hotel staff were outstanding and made the holiday a great success for us. I would definitely recommend Collett's. I can't say enough good things about the staff. The formula suits us very well, where you can stay with the group or do something quite different (we went horseriding and canyoning while we were there).
Looking forward to coming back again!
You came up quickly on the website page. Most of all though when I rang you was the excellent quality of your greeting; your knowledge and friendliness. I made my mind up immediately following this conversation. I also want to congratulate you on the quality of your staff in the Pyrenees. Tom, Jo, Sam and Cat were excellent. Friendly, intelligent, humorous and knowledgeable. They made the holiday.
We stayed in a family group in Hotel Sabocos in Panticosa. Lovely village, lovely hotel, lovely walks and best of all, Collett's team, Tom, Jo, Cat and Sam: really nice people with great local knowledge. All the other guests we spoke to seemed to be as pleased as we were. The option of organised walks or self-guiding gives plenty of scope, and the loan of maps is very helpful. There is no annoying hard-sell of extras, but the team helped us to find the extra trips we asked for. I would definitely recommend both Colletts and the Hotel Sabocos.
Many thanks for a wonderful trip to the Pyrenees. We only stayed a week, doing hard walks every day, and felt exhausted when we came home. Next year we will try 2 weeks and have a few lazy days in between the hard ones.
Your staff are superb. Especially Joanna and Sam.who we saw most of. Very knowledgeable, helpful and full of enthusiasm. Your training and choice of staff is first class. I have been on a Colletts holiday in the Dolomites, and I booked my sister and brother in law on a holiday in The French Pyrenees . I visited them there and thought it was lovely. I feel Colletts is an ideal company for people of an independent nature. It allows for flexibility in dates, accommodation, group or individual activities. The Staff are outstanding in every way.helpful and enthusiastic. I like travelling individually but really appreciate the back up of knowledgeable staff, and the opportunity to meet others with similar interests. Thankyou for a wonderful holiday.
Although your staff always announce that they are not qualified guides etc the preparation and training your staff receive for the specific area they work in (as opposed to general training most tour leaders receive) is much superior to what I have encountered with other companies offering mountain walking. We chose Collett's because of the combination of guided walks and supported independent walking being available. We took both of these options and in both cases these worked very well. This was our first tour with Collett's and we were impressed by the arrangements and the ambience of the holiday.
Your team in the resort where excellant. They couldn't do enough for us. I didnt take any walking poles but found I needed some. They where happy to lend me theirs for the whole during of my stay. I was very grateful for this. As we didnt have any transport they offered us a lift to the supermarket/spa if we wanted to go. They all made the effort to get to know us and it was a pleasure spending time with them.
I thought your staff were excellent. We walked with Sam twice and he was entertaining and very knowledgeable on both occasions. His love of Outdoor Pursuits shines through and he made us feel extremely welcome. Jo was of course AWSOME - and Scottish! (She will get that!). Cat and Tom exuded a quiet confidence which meant it was so easy to listen to advice - which was accurate and relevant.
Sam was the perfect host - greeting us and giving us all the information we needed to begin our holiday! All our guides were simply outstanding - with superb social skills, great sense of humour, solicitous for the comfort and well being of every member of the party, and adept at choosing walks suitable for the general ability level of each group of guests.
I would recommend Collett's in a heartbeat to anyone who is interested in a walking holiday.
Really enjoyed walks esp the new walks which Jo and Dan are finding as snow line was low
Have said to Jo she needs to find 6 new Mod/hard walks so we come back next year!!!! et again a really enjoyable holiday. Look forward to next year ???Dolomites or back to Panticosa?
Dear All, I feel that I must email you to say what a wonderful time we had on our holiday last week in Panticosa. The hotel was excellent, the food good and our hosts and their staff ever helpful. Jo, Tom, Sam and Cat were delightful young people and a great credit to you. Nothing was too much trouble and their company was truely enjoyable. Please convey our thanks to the team and wish them success in whatever they decide to do in the future.
This was our second holiday with Colletts and I am sure that it will not be our last.
Regards, Jan Jenkinson