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 de Santiago and Hut to Hut in the Austrian Alps. 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
As this was our first time with Collett's and to the Zugspitz Arena. We were not sure what to expect, we were not disappointed as the holiday lived up to our expectations and more! Many thanks to the caring team who looked after us superbly: from organizing the walks, adapting the routes to our ability, and their friendliness through(Read more...)
Lovely walks and views with great company from all parts of the globe, both near and far. Dani and the team were excellent and helpful and we miss them telling us what bus to catch, which hill to climb, what to have for lunch, when to have more red wine (always). Stress levels were reduced brilliantly and we miss Tina.
Having recently returned from Chalet Roch in Corvara and Hotel Hinteregger in Matrei, I'd like to thank the staff in those locations for continuing to provide the winning formula for which Collett's are renowned. It certainly takes the pain out of organising a holiday for a mixed ability group.
The salad bar in the Gran Fanes restau(Read more...)
Apologies to the Colletts team in Ehrwald for the slow feedback, mainly due to filling out insurance claims for a damaged hire car (not done by us!) and a German speeding ticket (who said you could drive as fast as you want in Germany!), but all that is another story!
I think this is our summer trip 18 but starting to lose count. As (Read more...)
Lots of lovely organised walks, plus great advice on self-guiding from Dani, Cam and the team. For hardier walkers there is plenty of scope for pushing your limits, and we returned home well satisfied (if tired).
We didn't hire a car this time and didn't need to. The train from Munich Airport worked well and is incredibly cheap!
From the off, our lovely Colletts hosts Sonny, Izzie, Anna, and Emily made this a wonderfully convivial holiday, added to by an interesting and friendly mix of guests. The Colletts 'office hour' every evening gave us an opportunity to investigate and discuss each walk that was offered, and to consider its merits. Beers and G&Ts, deliv(Read more...)
Thank you once again for a special holiday, particularly with it being our Wedding Anniversary when we arrived; Danni, Cam, Kate and all the staff made us feel so welcome as always, plus the hosts and facilities at Hotel Spielmann were simply brilliant.
The Zugspitze Arena really is a fabulous adventure playground and the more Mounta(Read more...)
We chose you because my friends and I have been with your Collett's in the Dolomites before and last year in Austria. We have always had a lovely walking holiday with your company. We did the hut to hut in the Dolomites and you sent lots of information, maps etc so we could be prepared to do our walking well. We might do an Austria hu(Read more...)
Wonderful time in the Dolomites. Walking was great, instruction helpful and facilities what we were looking for. As a family with 2 kids of 7 and 11 this worked great, despite being the only family in the group.
Excellent holiday. Great accommodation, trips to suit whatever mood takes you, and the chance to make new friends from all over the UK. We felt really well looked after on this trip and really enjoyed being able to relax and go out for well thought through walking expeditions, without the hassle of planning the logistics. It really (Read more...)
6 day hut to hut - faultlessly organised, great trip notes.
4 days in Chalet Angelo - the usual very high standard I’ve come to expect from Collett's. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, accommodation of excellent quality and plentiful good food. All add up to a brilliant holiday experience and the reason why I and many others are (Read more...)
Loved every moment at Haus Valentin. The staff, atmosphere, walks and activities were terrific and as guests came and went the ambience remained. The family Valentin and the chalet are lovely too.
This was our second time with Collett's and our first time in Ehrwald. We had a really good holiday. Dani, Cam, Kate, Ted and Tim were excellent hosts; warm, friendly and very knowledgeable regarding the walks and other things to do around Erhwald. They couldn't do enough for us to help make our holiday a success. The guided walks(Read more...)
What a fantastic first experience with Collett's. Just back from an excellent week walking the High Pyrenees. Cat and her team were great, very professional, choosing the right routes on the right days to take best advantage of the weather. Hotel Sabocos exceeded expectations; very friendly. Being able to relax with a beer at the end(Read more...)
Probably the best Collett's holiday so far (it's my 5th time) - great location, stunning mountains, comfortable and roomy hotel (and rooms) and excellent staff. What I particularly appreciated was that two of the guides (Dani and Cameron) were older than usual. Given the average age of your clients (I'm guessing 50+) it's helpful to h(Read more...)
Great few days on hut to hut in Erhwald. Hotel Alpin was a lovely stop at either end of the walk. Hostess very friendly and welcoming.
We really enjoyed the huts- two very different in character. Wolfrathausen friendly, quiet and great food. Coburger bustling, good hearty food, fantastic setting and we really appreciated having o(Read more...)
Second time staying here for taking part in the maratona cycle race. The location is perfect, the staff are great, the food is great, storage for our bikes. My friend has been coming here for several years and I don't think we could find better.
Wonderful holiday, made enjoyable by your staff Sonny, Emilie, Izzy and Anna, a great group of people, very helpful, knowledgeable and good fun. Accommodation and variety of walks were brilliant and Sonny & Emilie managed the entire trip with skill and laughter.
We looked at your holiday information and then chose to return to the Sport Hotel Panorama in Covara... We don’t normally repeat holiday destinations so this is the exception! Thank you, once again, the Sport hotel is exceptional and in combination with all that Collett's offer, we once again had a fabulous walking holiday.
We had a fantastic walking holiday in the Dolomites. The views from our room were stunning, the food was delicious , the walks were amazing and all the Collets staff were brilliant. We could not fault any of it and will definately return.
We were a group of 12 family and friends including three US visitors in Ehrwald. For some it was the first Colletts holiday , for others it was our third . To everyone it was "special" . The location, hotel, walking, food and friendliness provided everything we wanted. Cameron, Danni ,Tim, Ted and Kate did everything to ensure succes(Read more...)
My friend and I had the most wonderful holiday in Ehrwald, Austria.
All aspects of it were spot on...the hotel, the food, the beauty of the Austrian Alps and the wonderful led walks.
However, as always, it is your staff that are the icing on the cake. They are warm, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and good company.
We will c(Read more...)
Had a great stay at Chalet Angelo in Alta Badia having turned up a couple of days before cycling the Maratona dles Dolomites with a couple of friends who had stayed there before. Beautiful and very convenient location, good facilities and friendly staff with excellent local knowledge. Joey, Jess and the rest of the team were extremely(Read more...)
Thank you for a wonderful stay in the Picos. We really enjoyed the walking, the supportive and helpful staff in particular, the scenery and the company. The hotel was good, too. Great.
As a regular Collett's visitor to the Dolomites this was our first visit to Austria and, whilst it's very different to the Dolomites it is equally majestic with stunning scenery and amazing walks. Massive thanks to Jo, Jack, Katie and the Hotel Hinteregger team for making us so welcome.
The food and company was excellent and I'm su(Read more...)
We had a lovely holiday and were very impressed by Collett's. Thank you very much and we thought the staff at Chalet Angelo were great, plus all the Rifugio bookings and taxi bookings you did for us were really efficient and lovely.
This was our second visit to Haus Valentin, Badia and it was just as wonderful second time around. Chalet Haus Valentin is delightful with good rooms, (we had one with a balcony and fantastic view), boot room, lovely bar with honour system and the most delicious food (and wine). But the most important factor was the amazing staff - u(Read more...)
Have recently returned from a wonderful 8 days in the Pyrenees with Collett's. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, and the organisation of the walks in those beautiful mountains was exceptional. Not only do they look after everyone and plan each walk well, they also managed to keep everyone amused maintaining great humour throu(Read more...)