A holiday of memorable days on beautiful walks
Join stunning walks of your chosen grade on a daily basis
or self guide… or do a mix of both
Once in the mountains you do just as you please. Walking is the main attraction and – with their mountains, National Parks or UNESCO World Heritage status – our destinations offer sensational walks in areas of outstanding beauty. Over the years we have discovered and even created many magnificent walking routes, from idyllic strolls at low and medium level, to awe-inspiring treks at high level. These tracks and trails comprise our weekly programme of organised walks, any of which you are welcome to join on a daily basis during your stay. They are optional and free of charge. Simply drop into Office Hour (see third tab above) to find out which walks are on offer the following day and sign up to the one that appeals to you. Our walks take place in a relaxed atmosphere – armed with a packed lunch, we set out at about 9am and, depending on the itinerary, return to the village in the mid or late afternoon, allowing you time to relax, maybe over a drink on your sun terrace or a stroll into the village.
Whilst we offer the ‘must-do’ local classics, many of our walks are the ones you would not discover if passing through independently. They are tried and tested gems, off the beaten track, rich in flora and fauna. At every turn you will be stopped in your tracks by your surroundings. Throughout the season in each destination, we offer at least two organised walks daily except Wednesdays – as follows:
Our Daily Organised Walks – Optional & Free of Charge
Walk 1 – Moderate Walk – Height Gain: 300m – 600m, 4–6 hours. Upland flower pastures, woodland trails, riverside tracks, sleepy hamlets and easier high paths.
Walk 2 – Harder Higher Walk – Height Gain: 600m – 1200m, 5-7 hours. Venture into the massifs on high trails amidst awe-inspiring landscapes.
Special Interest Walks & Cycling Tours – Optional & Free of Charge
Flower Walks – Dolomites, Picos de Europa & Pyrenees – Join our wildflower enthusiasts in profuse and vivid pastures and on carefully selected routes, where rare species flourish. Height Gain: 150m – 300m, 3-5 hours. Free of charge, optional & daily – except Wednesdays & Saturdays. Dolomites – June & July. Picos de Europa – 21 May to 9 June. Pyrenees – 4 to 23 June 2017.
Painting Strolls – Dolomites – Wander to an idyllic location and enjoy the informal tuition of our artist whatever your standard. Height Gain: 150m, 4-6 hours. Free of charge, optional & daily – except Wednesdays & Saturdays.
World War Walks – Dolomites – Walk among the remnants of a fascinating WWI military arena, lying in a high level area of real beauty, featuring tunnels, protected paths and trenches. Free of charge, optional & daily – except Wednesdays & Saturdays – later season only.
Cycling Tours – Dolomites – Local cycling tours on routes made famous by the Giro d’Italia. Itineraries vary from easy to hard. Free of charge (except for bike hire), optional & daily – except Wednesdays & Saturdays.
Guided Walks – At a supplement
Glacier Trek – Dolomites – join a trek across the glacier of our highest mountain, the Marmolada (3343m). Every Wednesday. Pre-book at £75 per person – maximum group size of 6.
Via Ferrata – West Ridge of Marmolada – Dolomites – trek to the western end of the Marmolada’s vast south wall before using one of the area’s most exposed Via Ferrata to access the summit. Pre-book at £95 per person – maximum group size of 4.
A Sample of our Organised Walks Programme
Below is an example of a weekly walks programme in the Dolomites. Something similar is produced on a weekly basis in each of our destinations, although remember we offer a few extra options in the Dolomites. The essential details of each featured walk can be browsed in our ‘Ideas & Information Files’ – or you can chat with our hosts at Office Hour about any walks which take your fancy. In the Dolomites, we have a separate timetable for Wildflower Walks in June and July and another for War Walks in August and September.
Ideas & Information – Easy access to our extensive local knowledge every day.
Day to day you can choose whether to join an organised walk or to self-guide. For self-guiders, our favourite walks – and many more gems – are available to you in our Ideas & Information Files, which are dotted around our properties – and widely available at Office Hour. They detail numerous stunning walks, which we categorise by degree of difficulty in categories, such as: Easy & Easy Moderate – Moderate & Moderate Hard – Hard & Very Hard. For each walk we give a ‘step by step’ route description, the duration, ascent, degree of difficulty and the relevant section of map. For the record, our Ideas & Information Files also contain Via Ferrata itineraries (Dolomites & Austria only), bike rides, scenic drives and other days out.
At Office Hour (see third tab above), self-guiders can also chat extensively with our own walkers, who will be happy to propose some appropriate walking options for you. Over a drink and a good walking map, you can glean useful information and opinions about the walks that take your fancy. To facilitate preparation and navigation, we can lend you a Route Card for your chosen walk, whether it is a gentle stroll in the beauty and peace of an idyllic valley, or a hardcore hike up in the dramatic massifs.
Route Descriptions & Laminates
- Each route contains the following details:
Grade; distance; ascent; descent; approx. walking time; Map #; Terrain; how to get there.
- They have a written outline of the walk, sometimes with numbers (in brackets) corresponding to specific points on the route itself.
- The route is also shown on a highlighted section of a specific map, which has not always been reproduced to the scale 1:25,000 due to size restrictions
- They use our ‘Layman’s grading system:
Easy – Easy/Moderate – Moderate – Moderate/Hard – Hard.
- This is not easily compared to any other type of grading system, but a rule of thumb would be that a hard here would be no harder than a big day out in the Lake District, north Wales or Scotland.
- There is a CAUTION NOTES, HINTS & TIPS section for particular dangers and points of interest we feel need extra focus.
- There is also an ALTERNATIVES/ VARIATIONS section which suggest ways of lengthening or shortening each route where applicable.
These route descriptions are NOT meant to be used as ‘stand-alone’ guides, in fact, they are specifically designed to be used in conjunction with a 1:25,000 scale map.You should not attempt these routes or any mountain walk without a suitable map and the ability to read it.
In all our destinations, Office Hour takes place each early evening at your accommodation or within easy walking distance of it. It is entirely optional and far less formal than its name suggests. Over maps and a relaxing, pre-dinner drink, you can chat with our own walkers about the following day’s organised walks. Together you can decide which walk might suit you best, signing up to your preferred option. In the Dolomites, we also offer flower walks, painting strolls and cycling tours, so simply chat with our flower walkers, artists or cyclists in case you want to join them the following day.
If you plan to self-guide, our Ideas & Information Files are available for you to browse numerous wonderful walks of all grades. Our own walkers will be happy to chat with you about any walks that take your fancy, offering you their opinions, advice and any poignant logistical information.
If you feel like a day off the walking, each of our destinations provides you with the opportunity to partake in a variety of alpine pursuits, such as mountain biking, horse riding, Via Ferrata, climbing, paragliding, rafting, canyoning etc. Simply ask us if you would like to book any such activity and we will be happy to organise it for you. Similarly, at Office Hour we can propose a host of local places of cultural or historic interest, which you might like to visit.
Office Hour is a popular feature of a Collett’s holiday. Like-minded guests, stimulated by great days out, relax over a drink. 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 Via Ferrata excursions or other alpine pursuits, whilst many guests just drop in for a drink to chat about their day.
In pictures – Organised & Self-Guided Walks & Planning Your Days
We returned last weekend from Corvara after spending a fantastic week at Pension Angelo. The Colletts staff, as always, were just wonderful and made a huge contribution to the enjoyment of our holiday.
This was the most fantastic ski holiday ever in over 30 years of skiing. Yes the weather and snow were excellent but the organization behind the holiday made it a brilliant week. From being picked up and delivered to the airport to our guide Mario who accompanied us this was an amazing week. Mario , born and bred in the Dolomites adde(Read more...)
We were extremely impressed with Max and the team. They were all professional and personable.
Without being intrusive they showed attention to detail and were very informative.
It was Peter’s birthday while we were there and Max organised a lovely birthday cake.
While walking we were given lots of information about which mounta(Read more...)
We had a great week in Chalet Angelo, sun snow and excellent company. The transfers went very well and the staff were very efficient in organising ski hire and passes. We have always enjoyed the catered chalet format and are sorry that has come to an end, however looking forward to next year in Bracun.
Terrific holiday for skiing and Walking.
Staff very very professional and well recruited. The driving to and from ski lifts very well organised and flexible on a dial a ride basis! Always friendly. Amazing you have a couple of doctors! What a team. Seriously felt very proud of them.
Whacky quiz !
Great chalet Valentin. (Read more...)
After spending a week in Arrabba with my father and two sons, in the very capable hands of Ben and Max, I booked a return journey for February with husband.
We were not disappointed. From the smooth transfer with Max, then sorting out our ski equipment, Max organised it all for us. Max and Ben are exceptional in their ability to put(Read more...)
Our first time with Collett’s and all expectations were exceeded ( perhaps with the exception of the room although it was very clean and comfy beds, it was a bit basic,). From a warm welcome to excellent ski and walking days to great food and lively, entertaining company the whole week was fabulous. Many thanks to the knowledgeable an(Read more...)
We had been on many ski holidays and wanted to experience something new, the safari is a fabulous idea.
We skied more than we ever have in 6 days, we had a wonderful guide (Super) Mario, we never looked at a piste map once (except to see where we had been at the end of the day). Mario chose some lovely places for lunch and our accomm(Read more...)
We have just returned from our third holiday with Collett's and once again it was a fabulous experience - this year we self catered in Bracun but enjoyed a couple of meals with the Roch guests which we thoroughly enjoyed. Once again you have recruited a fabulous team and Clare, Olivia, Henry and Peter looked after us superbly and org(Read more...)
We were lucky enough to be able to spend our first Christmas ever away from home with all our family and a few of our other friends and their families - it was everything, and more that I had hoped it would be. The staff at Haus Valentin were hospitable, obliging, hard working, fun and the food was top notch - particularly the never (Read more...)
Brilliant service from start to finish. Non-pushy and sensible people to talk to on the phone beforehand, and dedicated staff when we were out in the resort. Nick and Gemma were a particular highlight for us. A ski day to the Marmolada with Nick was fantastic and he was the sort of person you'd want to spend a day with! Good knowl(Read more...)
Really faultless service from the office staff. Great the way staff anticipated our every need e.g. getting ski hire done quickly and obtaining lift passes for us. Saved hours of time, when you are in a resort for the first time and don't know the ropes.
We had a self catering apartment at Bracun, because we are vegetarian and like(Read more...)
Just back from a great ski, snow shoe and cross country ski week.
First time with Collett's and first time in the Dolomites.
Full on every day! Never skied so far so fast or walked such lovely snow shoe routes. Couldn't fault it.
As hosts, Nick, Becky, Max, Tina, Gemma and Innes were all excellent (and fun) and nothing was too m(Read more...)
This was our belated summer holiday. We enjoyed a lovely week with Mick, Helen and Millie, and our group of 26 clients. The walks were excellent, though shorter than at some other venues - that gave us plenty of down time for some to enjoy the pool and hot tub at the villa, before making our way to gorge ourselves on delicious dinners(Read more...)
Wonderful week walking in Tuscany. First the accommodation. Having been to Andalucia last May, this was heaven! Unbelievably thoughtful hosts in a delightful simple, quiet house, with exceptional food, not flashy or haute cuisine, but local and always interesting.
Walking was gentle but always interesting, and the other walkers we(Read more...)
I came with the H&G walking group but want to add my personal thanks to your leaders. I love walking but am a bit slow on hills of which there are plenty in Andalusia. I found the going quite challenging but if I showed any sign of lagging one of your leaders was always there to walk with me and I was absolutely delighted to complet(Read more...)
What a stunning location for walking & relaxing in the sun in October. Mick has the local knowledge and coordinates the week with precision. We stayed in the Villa with the beautiful views down the valley and made good use of the swimming pool & terrace. Gustavo the hotel proprietor of the hotel where we ate had character and serve(Read more...)
We have returned from a week in Tuscany staying at Il Rigo, what a fantastic place for walking, eating and drinking! The food was fantastic and with special dietary requirements nothing was too much trouble. Collett's staff, Charlie, Ben, Claire and Caroline were fantastic guilds and full of fun. All that you need for another fantas(Read more...)
First time I’d used this type of holiday and was not disappointed. Everything ran on rails from start to finish. The walking was spectacular and the views amazing, even in the snow! Accommodation was spot on with great food and comfortable sleeping arrangements.
The maps and route guides made things very easy and still gave you en(Read more...)
Another brilliant holiday with Collett's - our 5th. It’s a great formula, please don’t change. Our thanks to Ben, Caroline, Claire and Charlie - nothing was too much trouble for them and thanks as well to all at Il Rigo. Can’t decide which location is best. We might have to do them all again!!
My dad and I recently finished the Camino tour with Collett's. This is my second tour with Collett's (previously did a wonderful Dolomites tour).
The tour was excellent, from start to finish. The logistics, from arrival transport, luggage transport, and taxi pick-up, was efficient and well-organized. Javier, the on-the-ground guid(Read more...)
Great formula, keep it going and don't sell out! Bavarian Alps and Lakes would interest me, although we have been to Ehrwald.
I think we've been to all of Collett's Walking Holiday locations except Andalucia and Tuscany although we have been to both of these locations independently.
I think your formula is ideal for the older, more experienced walker. Part of the trick is that your guys take the pace from the participants, rather than Alpine guides who lead from the front!
Keep it up!
I have probably had enough of end-to-end trekking at the age of 71. Your formula allows for the odd day off as well as a mix(Read more...)
My third walking holiday, been ski ing with the family with colletts out of Arraba many times, the formula is just right, going to Corvara for christmas, we know what to expect and as important don’t have to organise athing