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
Great accommodation. The team of guides were excellent. They provided details clearly and were very cooperative, pleasant and encouraging. Though only two of us were there for two days but they went with us on hikes and maintained the pace. Ride to the local train station was also very much appreciated!
My husband and I recently did the Northern Dolomites hut to hut self guided trip. We had no issues for any logistics during our vacation. The staff at Collett's was super responsive and well organized. We provided feedback on some “finer points” that we felt could be improved but they are minor and only icing on the cake...we would (Read more...)
We have had the most wonderful holiday walking the Pyrenean Peaks.
Cat and her team were all terrific and enthusiastic and keen to help us enjoy the Pyrenees as much as they do.
We certainly benefitted from their knowledge of the walks. It is impressive that they go and explore other walks/peaks on their day off.
Thank you very much indeed!
I just want to thank you and your Team in Corvara for assisting my wife and I in having a fantastic holiday in the Dolomites and a great way to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Since our first visit in 1990, this was our 4th and probably the best! Apart from a bit of poor weather (to be expected in any mountain environment) (Read more...)
This was our 6th trip with Colletts and we were not disappointed. The Pyrenees were amazing and the organisation was up to their normal high standard. If your looking for a challenge then this is it.
This was an outstanding holiday overall, The overall holiday style offered perfectly for me and I think the flexibility works really well for people with different abilities and objectives for their stay.
The Haus Valentin was delightful and very well located. I particularly want to commend the staff who were always friendly, inform(Read more...)
We did the Grand Tour of the Alta Badia. All the organisation from Collett's was perfect - From the initial conversation a few months ago, to the info pack sent out a couple of weeks before the trip, to the actual bookings and rifugios themselves. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. The dolomites are such a special area. You sure do (Read more...)
A truly great holiday made better by the dedication and enthusiasm of Sonny, Anna and Emily in the Picos. There is no doubt that we will travel with you again. Many thanks.
I had an amazing time on recent trip to the Dolomites. Even though I certainly made life difficult for Beth and Pete by rearranging the times, losing the map and a host of other indiscretions they were always more than accommodating.
Loved the hike, accommodation was perfect, scenery spectacular, hike info and details provided was g(Read more...)
All Collett’s staff are excellent and those we met this year were particularly friendly and helpful, even with people arriving and leaving daily no one felt left out.
From the moment I reached out about planning a trip, to the last round of farewell beers at Valentin House in Badia, Collett's friendly, knowledgeable and efficient team delivered an amazing experience. Office staff was always quick to get back to us--whether my question was about potential dates, upcoming weather, appropriate footwea(Read more...)
A very strenuous, but beautiful hike. The estimates trail times may be a bit (quite a bit) underestimated. Granted I'm no longer a young pup, but estimated hiking speeds equivalent of 2 to 3 km/hour is probably something 'wiser' folks may not want to assume/rely on in their day hike planning. The Refugios were a mix bag from 'tradit(Read more...)
We had a wonderful hut to hut hike in the Dolomites thanks to Collett's. They were always quick to respond to any questions/concerns as we made our plans... and I asked a lot of questions! At the first chalet in Badia we had time with staff to answer any questions about the daily hikes they had mapped out for us... then they served us(Read more...)
My holiday in Ehrwald was one of the best. First of all the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Collett's staff created an ambiance that was a pleasure to be involved in. The hotel was top class. Our room was spacious with lots of storage and all meals had a very wide range of good quality choices. The word that sprang to mind when standin(Read more...)
First walking holiday with Collett's. Stayed in Chalet Alpi and had a fantastic week walking around Corvara. Brilliant staff - special mention to Clare and Al for getting Annika up the climbs. I'm sure we'll be back for more. Scenery was breathtaking - as was the snow in late August. WWI walk and presentation added an extra dimension.(Read more...)
Very good holiday overall.
The walk leaders were very competent, friendly and professional. I couldn't fault them.
We were also very happy with the Hotel Sabocos.
Some of the walks were more strenuous than I had anticipated. I personally would have appreciated a greater choice of walks that were less demanding. Even the easiest of(Read more...)
We completed a 6 day tour of the Alta Badia and the route was spectacular every day. After speaking with other hikers in the huts I was so glad that Colletts had made our arrangements,others had difficulty booking for themselves.
Certainly worth paying the extra for private rooms as opposed to dorms.
Overall we had an excellent exp(Read more...)
As ever with a Collett’s holiday the staff were superb and the whole experience was fantastic. Lovely hotel (loved the menu translation each night) and really lovely walking made extra good by the friendly and helpful Cat, Monty, Cam and Abi. Beetroot sandwiches rule!
Just back from Ehrwald, our second holiday with Collett's.
We had a marvelous time in the beautiful Austrian Alps. The walks were fantastic, the range and choices excellent providing all levels of walking. We chose the hard / moderate and they were really great.
We were lucky to have good weather during our stay which made each (Read more...)
We enjoyed our Hut to Hut self guided 7 nights Central Dolomites and Sella Grand Tour in August 2018. From the time we arrived at Corvara we had excellent service and all the young staff were friendly and very helpful. Beth was extremely helpful with guiding us through our walk. Even during our walk we called Beth and she was very (Read more...)
What a wonderful week we had in Chalet Haus Valentin. Highlights - deep philosophical discussion, ridiculous childishness, excellent food, magnificent walks, tremendous company but, above all, hosting of the best standard from all of the Collett's walk organisers (just one of their many skills). Thank you Al, Ali, Greg, Helen, Max an(Read more...)
My first experience of a self-guided walking holiday (or indeed any type of organised walking holiday), and I would definitely consider further tours, with Collett's as my first port of call. Having someone knowledgeable create an itinerary and make all the accommodation arrangements is so convenient. The 3 night Zugspitz walk was a g(Read more...)
Brilliant at every stage of our trip.Really helpful with planning our hut to hut trip and booking the refugios. Then great advice for adding a few days on in an apartment at the end of our week some could do some via- ferrattas.
All staff were super helpful when we were in Corvara and made us feel very welcome, as well as answering(Read more...)
Everything was perfectly arranged - the gorgeous setting; the comfortable hotel with its endlessly welcoming staff; the expert and enthusiastic team to guide us on our walks; our fellow walkers, whom it was a pleasure to meet - all done with a relaxed, unstressful air.
Thank you, Colletts!
The Ciasa Roch was good, but we really missed the tea bar. The 5 day hut to hut hike was as good as expected. The accommodation was good, the scenery superb, although we did adjust the route to suit our particular interests on a day to day basis. Thanks Pete
Fantastic holiday, with some of best high Pyrenees walking one could wish for. Daily walks gave plenty of options for extensions and deviations with detailed local knowledge of conditions, exposure and difficulty. Took the guess work out of route finding and made sure we had a great day on the mountain everyday, getting the very bes(Read more...)
Wonderful way to have a walking trip where we could pick out own level of difficulty. The staff was a joy to be with and very helpful. I am recommending Collett's to friends in the States.
Ehrwald was a perfect location!