Welcome to Collett's
Your perfect mountain escape – in every way
Thank you for your interest in Collett’s Mountain Holidays. You have found a genuine walking holiday specialist in its 22nd year of providing the perfect alpine escape in Europe’s most beautiful mountains. In Summer 2018, over 70% of our guests had booked with us before.
Each of our beautiful destinations is a carefully-selected mountain resort, which is also a springboard for a sublime walking holiday… whether you seek out high level adventure or wildflower-strewn pastures, whether you opt for half-board in a delightful alpine hotel or you prefer to self-cater, whether you choose to join our daily free programme of organised walks or you prefer to self-guide.
For self-guiders, our abundant ‘Ideas & Information Files’ document up to 40 local walks, from easy to hard, all of them tried and tested gems rich in flora, fauna and outstanding scenery. And, if you fancy a day off walking, there are details of bike rides, scenic drives, local places of interest and other attractive options.
Still managed by our founders, Tom & Dee Collett, we are dedicated to the quality and success of every booking, from initial enquiry to the moment you set off back for home. We love the human touch and when you enquire or book, you can expect the first-hand knowledge of someone who has probably lived and walked in the destination that takes your fancy, plus the attention to detail that will ensure the booking process is an informative and reassuring pleasure.
Then comes the mountain holiday of a lifetime punctuated not only by our local knowledge and the sheer beauty of our walks and destinations, but also the character and contribution of our painstakingly‐recruited hosts and walkers. These outstanding people set us apart from the rest; they don’t wear uniforms or sell excursions. They are simply on hand (1) to make you feel welcome and supported, (2) to organise and host walks of a lifetime and (3) to pass on their local knowledge enthusiastically and constructively. The most common request from the guests who stay with us year after year is to keep it personal – and their wish is our command.
We look forward to seeing you in the mountains soon.
Summer alpine walking holidays – our unique and flexible formula
Italian Dolomites – world’s most beautiful mountains?
Austrian Alps – Zugspitz Arena – the Tyrol meets the Bavarian Alps
Austrian Alps – Hohe Tauern National Park – walk in the heartland of Austria
Wildflower Rambles – discover rare and celebrated species
Pyrenean Peaks – peaks and high passes for stronger walkers
Collett’s Classics – handpicked favourites for moderate walkers
Hike the GR11 – 5 consecutive stages of a celebrated trail at its most dramatic
Ordesa National Park Explorer – sheer mountain splendour for moderate walkers
The Picos de Europa
Wildflower Rambles – discover rare and celebrated species
Peaks & Passes – peaks and high passes for stronger walkers
Collett’s Classics – handpicked favourites for moderate walkers
Twin Centre Explorer – Explore both the northern and southern sides of the National Park
Skiing & Snowshoeing – magical winter holidays in the Dolomites
Yorkshire Dales – our gorgeous guest house in Wensleydale
Call us on 01799 513331 if you require help, information or advice.
Thank you for your interest in us. We might specialise in summer walking holidays and winter snowshoeing & skiing holidays, but our offices are in gently-undulating Essex. More precisely, we are in the market square of the charming town of Saffron Walden and it is from here that a team of people pull the strings that define our reputation and the quality of our unique holidays.
Nearly every member of our management team has lived and worked in one or more of our destinations, fallen in love with it and then come to join us on a full-time basis. Rest assured that, whoever you communicate with, we will provide the highest levels of personal service and attention to detail from your initial enquiry, through to the end of an unforgettable holiday.
Tom & Dee Collett
Tom and Dee founded Collett’s Mountain Holidays in 1997. They met in the Dolomites in 1995 when Tom employed Dee to work for the small ski chalet specialist he was running at the time. They married in 2002 and now have three daughters. As Managing Director, Tom is actively involved in all aspects of Collett’s, both in the UK and abroad, notably in the Dolomites, where he has many friends. Dee has overseen our office procedures since the outset. She now comes to the office three days a week. Having recently overseen the installation of a new bookings system, her main priority is the administration of our bookings, ultimately ensuring that the various aspects that comprise a plain-sailing and successful booking are all taken care of. The picture of Tom, Dee, Daisy, Martha and Georgie was taken in the Dolomites above Badia at the recent wedding of another colleague, Phil Melia…
Phil is one of four directors at Collett’s. He joined us in our very first summer season in 1998, originally as our resort artist in the Dolomites. He then did eight consecutive summer seasons based in the Dolomites, making him a real authority on the area. In 2012 Phil married his long-time girlfriend, Kamila, in Corvara. They met in the Dolomites when Kamila came to work for Collett’s in Summer 2000. Like everyone at our UK office, Phil is involved across the board. However, his key responsibility is the recruitment and training of our seasonal staff, arguably the most important role of all. He spends hours poring over applications, chatting with candidates, seeking out that special ‘something’ that makes them the right person for the job. Those of you who have holidayed with us will know how utterly effective Phil has been in this role.
Viv has been with us since 2001 and has been the mainstay of our office during that period. Her interest in the Dolomites was nurtured primarily by her friendship with Tom & Dee Collett and then by two Collett’s walking holidays in the late 1990’s. Soon after she joined Collett’s with responsibility for the administration of our bookings. After that, she gallantly tried one of our skiing holidays, but decided to stick to the walking! As many of you already know, she ensures the booking process is plainsailing, pleasurable and trouble-free, taking outstandingly good care of all aspects of our bookings day in day out, whether it concerns your accommodation, car hire, ferries, airport transfers, holiday insurance or payments.
Sam has worked for Collett’s since Summer 2000 when he joined us as a Via Ferrata organiser whilst still at university. On completing a degree in Photography, Sam came on board full time, splitting his time between the UK and the Dolomites, where he was our Resort Manager. Sam has taken on many responsibilities, notably in sales, advertising, marketing and IT. We turn to Sam when a computer fails or the broadband goes down. Sam has contributed significantly to the design and production of our brochures, website, online activity, advertisements and promotional material, not to mention our ‘Ideas & Information’ files, which are so pivotal to our walking holidays. In July 2011 he got married in Sicily to Jennifer (Jen), a former Collett’s walks organiser. In February 2014, they had a son, Max, who is now a regular visitor to our offices In Saffron Walden, which are short walk away from their home.
Lisa joined Collett’s in Summer 2002 as a Walk Organiser based at Haus Valentin in Badia. After doing Summer 2003 and 2004, she became full time in October 2005. She split her time between the Dolomites and the UK, taking on seasonal roles such as Chalet Host, Via Ferrata Organiser and Resort Manager, then returning to the UK to administer sales and bookings in the off-season. She knows every nook and cranny both here at our UK office and also out in the Dolomites. With Lisa’s fluent German, she has nurtured many of our key supplier relationships in the Dolomites, which has helped us to acquire attractive accommodation and to develop our winter business. Since October 2008 Lisa has been permanently based in the UK, looking after sales and managing contracts and relationships with our suppliers in Italy. In July 2010 she married Pete, a former Collett’s Via Ferrata organiser. They live near Cambridge, proud parents of Elsie and Jacob. Lisa now works on a part time basis.
Pete joined us in late 2014 after working for 5 years at TrailFinders in Cambridge. Pete started working for us during the summer in the Dolomites in 2004, he has walked and climbed extensively in the Dolomites which lead him to join us for three winter seasons on skis and snowshoes… It was during their seasons working in the Dolomites where Pete met Lisa… In July 2010 Lisa and Pete married. A keen road cyclist, Pete now enjoys ultra endurance multi-day bike races, and recently competed in the ‘Trans Dolomitics Way’, a 1000km unsupported race across the length and breadth of the Dolomites. Pete & Lisa now live just outside Cambridge, and are proud parents to Elsie & Jacob.
Tony & Jane Stirland
Tony and Jane set up and developed our holidays in the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa which we launched in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Prior to joining Collett’s they both had successful office jobs – Tony as a corporate lawyer in London and then Leeds; Jane as an Environmental Consultant. In 2005, they both decided to quit the ‘rat race’ and set off in search of somewhere to set up a walking business. They fell in love with the Pyrenees and the rest is history. Tony is now our Commercial Director, responsible for all things financial. They know both the Pyrenees and Picos inside out, so if you have any questions about either, they will almost certainly have the answer.
Kelly first joined Collett’s in the summer of 2010 as a Walk Organiser in the Spanish Pyrenees. She loved the area and we loved Kelly! Unsurprisingly, she returned the following year as our Resort Manager in Panticosa. Then we tempted her to the Dolomites for Summer 2013. She joined us full time in January 2014. She was immediately given the task of overseeing our first season in the Zugspitz Arena in the Austrian Alps. She excelled in this role and it was a considerable success. Then we asked her to develop our interests, concerning self guided walking on the Camino de Santiago, and Hut to Hut in the Austrian Alps and French Pyrenees. Kelly co-manages our holidays in the Picos de Europa and the Pyrenees, whilst also being responsible for Collett’s in Austria, Andalucia and the Camino de Santiago. Many of you will have met and walked with Kelly in the mountains and will therefore know how dedicated she is to ensuring every holiday is a complete success.
Jenny Allan joined us in September 2014. She became a friend of Tom and Dee Collett’s through the local village pub about eight years ago. Along with her husband, Doug, she is a keen walker and inevitably took great interest in Tom and Dee’s line of work. Soon they had visited most of our destinations as genuine holidaymakers in both summer and winter. They also became familiar faces at our B&B in Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales. And when Jenny relinquished her stressful job at a city bank, Tom had her in his sights for our sales and administration team here in Saffron Walden. The rest is history and Collett’s is delighted to have Jenny on board, ably assisted by her handsome labrador, Fogerty, one of three office dogs at Collett’s.
In pictures – Collett's Mountain Holidays
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
The fact that I keep coming back to Haus Valentin shows how much I enjoy my holidays there.
Because it is a relatively small family run guesthouse there is a feeling of intimacy and friendliness that would not be possible in a hotel. The food is excellent and necessarily plentiful for hungry walkers.
Above all it is the enthusi(Read more...)
Combination of guided and self-guided walks. Self-contained stay in central location. Great staff members for our trip. Knew the routes, suggested good alternatives based on weather, our skills and the like, plus they made all activities fun.
Once again you delivered a superb mountain holiday for us in Austria, Location in Zugspitz Arena was delightful, hotel Sonnenspitze was well up to standard and your efficient and dedicated staff once again excelled in helping to make this a memorable week in the Tyrol. Thanks again Collett's!
Excellent - we had a great time and so appreciated the care and attention of the staff and the great information for our hiking. Collett's have a variety of options for hiking daily and knowledge of the area!
We stayed in both a hosted chalet in Badia before our hut to hut and in a hotel following in Corvara - the above rating appl(Read more...)
Booked with you before and always had a good time previously. I don't know where you manage to get your staff from but they are the friendliest, funniest, most helpful and relaxed group of people we've ever walked with. Thank you Ollie, Jo, Sandy and Flee for an amazing holiday.
We had a wonderful week of Moderate Walks in the Picos de Europa. Our fellow walkers were all very friendly and the Collett’s staff of George, Rachel and Ross took excellent care of us and they had boundless good humour, energy and enthusiasm. The walks were very scenic, taken at a steady pace with time to admire views and stop whe(Read more...)
Thank you for a great holiday. The transfer from the airport was friendly and efficient, enabling four strangers to bond immediately and form a friendship grouping that lasted the whole week. A great welcome at the bar - such friendly staff and a much appreciated complimentary beer. The walks were all very well organised and led, wit(Read more...)
The laminates for my solo trek were well-done. The descriptions were easy to follow. I was concerned only 1 day, when the clouds hung in the mountains, and I doubted that I would be able to find the trail. Fortunately, a local couple took me with them to the next hut. I might have otherwise hiked back down to the valley and hoped to r(Read more...)
A week with Collett's in the Dolomites staying at Haus Valentin. Well organised, friendly and well priced. What’s not to like. 3rd time with Collett's and absolutely no reason we won’t use them again.
I was very impressed with how any queries I had were answered. Also, I had to change my departure date and was shocked to be given a refund - thank you! It was a lovely touch to have someone there to say hello and get me settled in! The sandwiches made by the team for lunch were a nice touch - and delicious. It was good to be offered (Read more...)
This is my second visit to Collett’s in Italy. First time with the missis, second with my mate, both times I’ve had a great time. The staff are always helpful, there is a joint interest with all the customers so there’s very much a family type atmosphere, the food and accommodation has been great and the office hour is great for hints(Read more...)
Many things make this trip outstanding. The tricky but enjoyable central sections of the GR11, the mountains, the lakes, the marmots, the accommodation, food & wine. The group size of eight clients and four Collett's staff (I understand this is normally three) was also perfect. However the biggest single factor that made this trip out(Read more...)
I had heard of Collett's Mountain Holidays and wanted to try it out... I enjoyed the holiday and found staff very helpful. I liked the personal approach of the office hours! I did two walks on my own and staff were very helpful in providing information and details for local travel. The hotel is very good and the staff very helpful... (Read more...)
This was our second year at Pension Angelo and once again we throughly enjoyed ourselves. It is stunning area with plenty of varied routes. This year we didn't do Colletts-arranged scheduled walks but organised the days ourselves. Nevertheless the team were very helpful in advising us and helping us sort out our days. We can't praise (Read more...)
I thought the team, Anna, Andy, Ben and Kate, seemed to work very well together - all very professional.
I did an Inntravel holiday in the Appennines, near Porretta Terme - thought it might be a good Colletts destination, though not mid-July-August. Have you thought of North-west Italy - Val d-Aosta or similar? Or Ireland
We have had several previous holidays with Collett's. Collett's provides an excellent combination of flexibility, great locations, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff and a good range of accommodation including self-catering. Office hour always entertaining. Other guests tend to be like minded people and this time it was great to hav(Read more...)
Friendly and helpful staff when first called. Reasonable prices and good/flexible walking itinerary. Receieved a very warm and friendly welcome from a great group of Collett's staff - very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We had a very enjoyable holiday. Your staff at in Corvara were excellent
I loved Office Hour, for both the information on the next day's walks and socialising with the other guests. I thoroughly enjoyed all the walks. Anna, Andy, Kate and Ben were wonderful. The location appealed to me, and I liked the flexibility of choosing my arrival and departure dates. It was important to me to know that my holiday wo(Read more...)