Welcome to Collett's Mountain Holidays
21 years as a genuine walking holiday specialist
Thank you for your interest in Collett’s Mountain Holidays. We are an independent, ABTA-bonded holiday specialist, providing plain-sailing and memorable holidays for walkers and alpine enthusiasts and – in winter – to skiers and snowshoers. We started 21 years ago in the Italian Dolomites with one alpine chalet, hosted by me and my wife, Dee. Now we are the UK’s genuine specialist for walking holidays, offering a unique and flexible centre-based walking holiday formula in the following magical mountain destinations. Walking is the main attraction (you choose day to day whether to self-guide or join free daily group walks at moderate or high level or do a mix of both) but we also offer flower walks, painting strolls, cycling tours, WW1 Walks and more.
Italian Dolomites – world’s most beautiful mountains?
Austrian Alps – Zugspitz Arena – the Tirol meets the Bavarian Alps
Austrian Alps – Hohe Tauern National Park – the rooftops of Austria in central Europe’s largest National Park
Picos de Europa – step back in time in Northern Spain’s coastal gems
Pyrenees – Western Europe’s last great wilderness including Ordesa Canyon & Monte Perdido
Other Collett’s holidays include an exciting range of self-guided and group trail walking holidays:
Hut to Hut – unforgettable self guiding holidays in the Dolomites, Austrian Alps & Pyrenees
Camino de Santiago – self-guided coastal hill walking from San Sebastian to Guernika, Northern Spain
Hike the GR11 – 5 consecutive stages of a world-renowned mountain trail
Pyrenean Peaks – peaks and passes for stronger walkers
Our reputation is not only built on our local knowledge and the quality of our destinations and walks, but also on the character and contribution of our painstakingly‐recruited hosts and walkers, who 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 free, optional and unforgettable walks of all grades and (3) to pass on their local knowledge enthusiastically and constructively. Here in our UK office, most of us have lived and worked in our destinations – myself included. We use our first-hand knowledge to ensure your booking experience is a reassuring pleasure. The most common request from the guests who stay with us year after year is to keep it personal. Their wish is our command. Wherever you choose to go, we are sure you will share our appreciation of the magnificence and charm that awaits you on a Collett’s mountain holiday. We look forward to seeing you in the mountains soon.
Call us on 01799 513331 if you require help, information or advice.
Collett’s Mountain Holidays
3a Market Hill
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, which is also why Lisa currently 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. They live near Cambridge, proud parents of Elsie and 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 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 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 di Santiago, a work currently in progress. As a Spanish speaker, Kelly now co-manages our holidays in Andalucia, the Picos de Europa, the Pyrenees and the Camino de Santiago, whilst also being responsible for Collett’s in Austria. Many of you will have met 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
Thank you for helping make our ski trip so fantastic. Angus Katie Tom Chris and Rachel are a great team and couldn’t have looked after us any better!
Your offer of providing skiing and snowshoeing activities, which suits us perfectly. We had a great time on our holiday. The lovely staff were all wonderful - so friendly, helpful, cheerful, competent and caring. They accompanied us on some wonderful itineraries and it was always a treat to get back to the house after a great day out.(Read more...)
Had heard about you from a friend who had done summer walking, I was searching internet looking for ski week in Dolomites and noticed your website
Previous holidays with Collett's gave us the confidence to know that our holiday would be catered for in a way which suited our needs. The friendliness of staff and their willingness to help in whatever way we required was outstanding and really made the holiday. This included the welcome given by Petra and her family at Chalet Roch.
The ski safari which we went on was excellent. The Refugios were far better than expected and the food was good. The host with us on the trip was Angus, who worked exceptionally well with the instructor Alex and between them made the week a great success. The second week was at the Panorama, which was outstanding. The staff, food and (Read more...)
We had a great holiday. The Colletts staff were all very friendly, keen and engaging. Accommodation was fine and the options of taking part in colletts guided ski days, doing your own thing or a mixture of the two worked really well. Petra who runs the Casa Roch looked after us very well, food was copious and the ski hire although not(Read more...)
A fantastic introduction to Snow Shoeing thanks to the enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment of all your staff which includes the administration team as well as those at Chalet Valentin. My best ever activity-based holiday and I will definitely be coming back every year. The chalet team were absolutely brilliant and their attention to (Read more...)
We are skiers but we wanted to try snow showing and have the option to ski. As it was we loved the snow showing so didn't ski in the end. The quality of your website and how my initial enquiries were handled also impressed me.
We had a truly fabulous holiday. Collett's were outstanding and the chalet staff were so friendly, knowled(Read more...)
Previous experiences were Outstanding. Location is superb, holiday concept of join in or plan your own adventure suits us perfectly. Love the camaraderie in the hosted chalets.
Just keep on doing what you are doing - it works and we love it!
We had previously stayed 4 times at House Valentin so knew our way around without help from the staff who were busy with the others on the bus. We always enjoy office hour and the staff were available and didn't hesitate to answer queries and explain routes.We could not have wished for better ski hosting and routes, my best ski holida(Read more...)
Guiliano, the ski guide, gave us an excellent overview of the ski safari on the first evening and was very insistent that we ask him about anything at all that we needed to know.
All the accommodation and food throughout the ski safari was excellent. I would single out Albergo Alle Codole for their cuisine - a superb 6-course dinne(Read more...)
Excellent in every way. lovely chalet - we were at the top - huge room with good view over Corvara: worth the 2 flights of stairs to climb.
The staff ( Mike, Emily,Sonny, Jack etc) were marvellous and their unofficial leading was much appreciated and enjoyed. They were all great fun to be with - intelligent, empathic,helpful, fu(Read more...)
First winter trip to the dolomites. Excellent skiing, super staff and good food. Chalet Brigitte was comfortable, spacious accommodation and lovely breakfast. Good location too. 5 minutes to the slopes.
Chris, Rachel and Tom very helpful, great company, full of good advice about where to eat and ski.
Hotel Malita had good f(Read more...)
Enjoyed Haus Valentin as much as my last visit in 2013. Great atmosphere, nice accommodation and excellent food and wine. The Colletts team are so friendly and helpful which matters a great deal. A wonderful location also helps to make for a most enjoyable holiday. Thank you to our hosts and the Colletts team.
This was our third trip to Haus Valentin. As usual it exceeded all expectations.
The staff are so friendly,helpful and knowledgeable about the area.
The food, not forgetting the free flowing wine, was terrific. Certainly filled you up after a good day on the slopes.
The rooms were comfortable and warm. Could do with some big ha(Read more...)
Another brilliant skiing holiday with Collett's. The hosting around the mountains was excellent, Caisa Roch (the new chalet replacing Verena) was very comfortable, dinner each evening at the hotel was very good and the shuttle service to the slopes worked well. It was our third trip to Corvara with Collett's and we will be back for a fourth.
Superb second snowshoeing trip with Colletts. To receive such outstanding service from dedicated staff is why so many people return year on year. You really do have the winning holiday formula and we look forward to many more fabulous holidays with you.
Good value for money - Recommendation from a friend and wanting to travel to this area you seemed to be one of the only UK companies to have hosted chalets. One of the best skiing holidays we have ever had and completely loved this area of Italy.
We love Collett's holidays, everything is organised from lift pass to best ski run in the winter or most amazing hike in the summer.The staff teams everywhere we have stayed are unfailingly enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable. The office team make the booking and admin effortless. This was our third time at Haus Valentin, rooms an(Read more...)
We have travelled with you x 3 in the summer to the Dolomites so know the area and Collett's - we knew things would be well organised and that your staff would be friendly, informed and helpful.
Fantastic stay at Haus Valentin. The hosts were superb and the chalet was always very clean and tidy.
I booked my very first ski lesson whilst in Haus Valentin. It was efficiently organised for me, and I was helped to hire my equipment. Staff also showed me how to use equipment, and were more than happy to take me down to the Ski S(Read more...)
Love the down to earth approach. Always a great team and lovely like minded guests. And Corvara is a perfect base for skiing in the Dolomites
Very interested in hearing more about the walking holidays in Poland in 2019
We have had a couple of good summer holidays (Picos & Pyrenees) and love the Dolomites; the option of doing other winter activities besides skiing was very appealing; the photos on the Facebook page were what eventually seduced us into booking an extra winter holiday that we couldn't really afford, but it was the best ever, so well wo(Read more...)
Very helpful and informative. I returned to Haus Valentin after staying in the summer of 2016. Was wonderful to be back and be welcomed by Jane and Jack, such a lovely greeting and good to still see familiar staff members.
The food was really good, especially as I am a vegetarian, he does very well to do so many different choices a(Read more...)