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
Bracun was a great apartment. Marcus was very helpful, and the maid was very good. We liked the sauna, steam room too.
All the team were very helpful, friendly and welcoming.
We’d our own thing most of the time, but enjoyed ski days out with Sandy and Robin, and Julia enjoyed her snow-shoe day with Alex.
We have been (Read more...)
Ski guiding was fantastic, staff were always available, knowledgeable and eager to help. The whole setup was conducive to a great atmosphere in the chalet and led to easy social interactions with other guests.
Clare, Bolton Ben and Ben were all excellent and we skied with each of them twice, they were a pleasure to be with and our holiday was made by them. We were lucky as the resort was very quiet and we had some of the slopes to ourselves! Everything was organised to suit us so we consider ourselves very lucky. Rob did our transfer which (Read more...)
Tuscany was a fantastic experience,with beautiful scenery. The accommodation in the Annex was very comfortable, with a touch of luxury. It had a lovely rustic charm. The family and their helpers were friendly and the food was very good, a self-service breakfast and a plentiful evening meal.
Last of all, I can't praise George, Duncan,(Read more...)
I made a late enquiry. Your staff (esp Peter Critchlow) most helpfully found me a room in Chalet Gumina near to Haus Valentin, with access to the skiing programme and meals in HV.
Have travelled with Collett's several times before and know that I am likely to meet compatible people with whom I can ski - as I come out on my own. Als(Read more...)
This was our first time skiing in the Dolomites - the skiing is extensive and the slopes are very well maintained. The local Collett's team were excellent. Their professionalism and enthusiasm greatly enhanced our holiday experience.
As always admin staff in the office friendly, helpful and informative when making pre-holiday enquiries.
Fabulous location and welcoming and friendly staff. Wow factor view from our room. Fantastic food. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Il Rigo. Enjoyed the wine tasting too! Thank you. The walks were fabulous, well researched givi(Read more...)
We enjoy walking and have done many guided walking holidays. Collett's were advertising in Ramblers magazine (I think) and a specialist walking company. Had a great holiday. Planning to join you again next year. In Tuscany only 6 out of 22 guests were new to Collett's! Many recommendations were for Dolomites, winter and summer, so that’s next!
The staff were all fantastic as usual, both during office hour and on the walks. A great choice of walks in a beautiful location. We are regular customers who love the Collett's formula. Thank you for introducing walking in Tuscany in the spring and autumn. We had an excellent holiday as usual.
Reason for coming with Collett's - The Walking, Tuscan Scenery, walking with Collett's, Historic Towns, Village Destinations, Food & Wine. The interaction between various members of staff was particularly impressive, both in the office and in-country. The repeat Collett's walkers gave great advice on where else to go. They are your be(Read more...)
I'd like to thank Collett's and its outstanding staff for such an amazing first experience of a Collett's holiday. My partner and I had a wonderful first experience of your company from the very start. The on-site staff were exceptionally knowledgeable, friendly, welcoming and attentive. Ben, Rachel, Duncan and George could not have d(Read more...)
A huge thank you to your staff, Millie, Alex, Ollie, Jim, James and Justin at Haus Valentin. Despite it being a difficult week for them personally with illness and injuries they ensured all guests were well looked after and their holiday expectations met.
Thanks also to Caroline your area manager who managed a large ski group to C(Read more...)
We were particularly impressed by the outstanding knowledge of the area, and professionalism, of Caroline (Manager, based in Arabba) who came over and led one of the ski days with us. She pointed out interesting local features throughout the day, explained the mountain topography, and answered our numerous questions happily. Complete (Read more...)
Collett's staff in House Valentin couldn't do enough to help us. My daughter and I had a fantastic holiday. Cleanliness was of a very high standard and the food was great. Thank you to all of them.
Another fab week with a great bunch of folk and such great levels of service. We could not recommend this company more highly. My only worry is that all our mates will now book and we won’t get a look in!! One little request. Any chance of a base in San Cassiano. Our favourite village in the Dolomites. Thanks
The group of friends I normally ski with have sadly fallen by the wayside and in the absence of like minded souls I have been forced to 'go it alone'. Having walked in Corvara ( with Collett's ) a couple of years ago I promised myself I would return to ski in the Dolomites - that ambition was achieved this year and whilst I was appreh(Read more...)
A superb three-generation family holiday. This was a particularly special holiday for us of taking grown-up kids and a three-year-old grandson son on his first trip to the mountains. Based on several holidays with Collett's, we put ourselves in your capable hands and nothing disappointed from the booking right through to a very happy (Read more...)
Overall I would say a huge thank you to all the team at Collett's. I had no preconception of how you would be except that previous group holidays with other companies haven't been great - but you outshone those very easily. well done and I hope you continue to be successful
I am very glad and thankful to my friend Mr. Amir Azimi who introduced Collett's Mountain Holidays to me. The company staff were very helpful and nice and The Serena hotel which I stayed was so good and kind staff.
Everything was really, really good. We have booked the same again - what more is there to say. My main requirements are a catered ski-in/ski-out chalet and ski-guiding, so Collett's at Chalet Angelo is perfect for me. It would be lovely if you could arrange it in more villages. If I were pressed to make a criticism the cakes were not (Read more...)
Appreciated all the company at evening meal particularly Caroline who came over from Corvara one evening and was especially attentive.
Relaxed approach welcomed - Regular customer. Enjoy Collett's set up
Cat’s catering was superb-the meals were delicious.
All of the chalet staff went out of their way to help our group at all times-they were all without exception an enthusiastic,lively,interested and engaging group(very well recruited!)
Having the staff as tour guides made our week much easier than usual and as a result we skied mu(Read more...)
Just a great set up and always relaxed but professional. I great time to chat and get to know the staff and other guests.
It is a nice touch that the hosts sit down and eat with the guests, don’t change that.
I don’t know how you carry out you recruitment but I have been going for the last two years and the staff are have all be(Read more...)
We have previously experienced both summer and winter holidays with Collett’s and have always had a great time.
Thanks to everyone at Collett's Mountain Holidays for another great holiday. We will be back!