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
Katy and I have just returned from our 1st ever experience of a 'Collets Holiday' and have been blown away by the sheer beauty of the area, the incredible staff and the friendliness of other guests. So much so, we were rather emotional as we said our goodbyes! The area around Ehrwald was breathtaking and each and every turn offered an(Read more...)
A very successful holiday for me as it was very flexible how much I had to walk. I have Cerubellar Ataxia; i.e. I walk like a drunkard as my balance is afftected. Also I get tired! The idea was for me to do the flower walks and my husband to do harder ones. In the end he had developed a knee problem before we went and so he also did t(Read more...)
Having been using Collett's for many years now this was yet another great holiday (as to be expected!).
We stayed in Chalet Angelo and it was the first time we had stayed in such a large hosted chalet run entirely by the Collett's team who did an amazing job. Food as usual was done to a great standard and all the team headed by Helen(Read more...)
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the Collett’s staff involved in setting up and running our recent Picos walking holiday. We had such a marvellous time. The area was stunning and our organisers – Cat, Rachel and George – gave us a wonderful introduction to the surroundings. They were, at all times, kind, helpful, knowle(Read more...)
We recently returned from a fabulous holiday in Matrei, in Hohe Tauern National Park. Our third holiday with Collett's. A big thank you to the team (Rachel, Emily and Chris) as they were excellent and looked after us really well. The walks on offer were spectacular and we enjoyed every single one, whether they be easy, moderate or (Read more...)
Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed my recent holiday with Collett's - the walk organisers Jo, Ollie and Sandy went out of their way to help guests and were fun to walk with. The hotel Sabocos was of a very high standard and the staff there were very accommodating, even serving gazpacho on the last meal! Many thanks for making(Read more...)
We had a wonderful holiday, self-catering in Ehrwald. The walking, the mountains, the companionship and the Collett's staff were all excellent. The Collett's formula and ethos is wonderful and suits us down to the ground. Looking forward to going again ASAP!
Just a quick note to say how much my friend and I enjoyed our recent walking holiday in the Dolomites.
The staff at Haus Valentin were exceptional, very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and obviously passionate about their roles. The food prepared by the chef was truly delicious too.
Many thanks again, I am sure this recent tri(Read more...)
I would just like to say thank you to the Collett's Team for my second fantastic holiday with you, it was as enjoyable as my first (September 2019). Instead of Hut-to-Hut and doing Via Ferrata, I came this time with my road bike and had 5 wonderful days cycling the various passes and classic routes in the area. Two of these cycles w(Read more...)
I had a lovely time with 3 great hosts.
We had quite a small group of about 6 of us stayed in a lovely hotel, full of character called Hotel Sabocos in Panticosa.
We did different types of walks every day and it was just simply fab! I would be back here again next year to do another Collett's holidays.
We felt very well looked after by Collett's even though we are walking without guides. The staff were helpful and friendly at all times from booking through to the trip itself and everything ran to schedule perfectly such as pick ups and drop offs. The maps were great quality and easy to follow. Would definitely book with this company again.
The staff were great—friendly and very helpful. They knew our names right away and were always cheerful and industrious. They did a great job organizing hikes as well. The food was very good and, of course, the view was fantastic. The atmosphere was really friendly and conducive to making friends and great conversation.
Found your website via a Google search. Can’t believe we hadn’t heard of Collett's before ! We had a fantastic holiday. You have great staff and a winning formula. I am sure we will book again in the future.
Our first experience of a Collett's holiday and the office hour. We liked the concept and mainly did the planned walks, but the staff were unfailingly helpful and attentive and when we wanted a self-guided walk we felt the staff were really responsive to what we needed and planned a great walk for us.
The staff were welcoming, frie(Read more...)
Our first holiday with Colletts and it was all that we hoped for. The accommodation at the Posada El Corcal was of a high a standard, clean and comfortable. The buffet breakfast was great and staff were happy to provide cooked options on request. The lunches provided by Colletts were very good and enough to keep any walker going! As v(Read more...)
We had an amazing week. The walks and scenery were lovely, food was very good, and plentiful, and the leaders were absolutely outstanding, and helped to make our week most memorable.
We had a wonderful holiday and would do it all again tomorrow if we had the time and money. The hotel was lovely and the guides very helpful and friendly.
Could have put "outstanding" for almost everything, but wanted to reserve that accolade for your staff in Badia. They were friendly and attentive and combined this with a professionalism and competence which belied their years. We were extremely impressed and would go as far as to say they made the holiday. Huge thanks therefore to Al(Read more...)
Brochure & website looked amazing & walks looked fantastic. Liked the idea of being able to self guide or go on an organised walk. In the event, we only used you on 1 of the days.
Think you’re offering some great holidays. Keep up the good work. You have some fabulous staff. Wouldn’ hesitate to recommend you.
We have just returned from a wonderful week in the Picos de Europa. Our trip was made all the more enjoyable thanks to the wonderful Collett's staff. Their professional approach, enthusiasm and local knowledge was impressive and we really enjoyed their company. The Picos is an interesting part of Spain, lovely people and stunning s(Read more...)
The Flower Leader, David Charlton made this holiday extra special, with his enthusiasm, local knowledge, plant recognition and constant willingness to answer questions.
I had a great week in the Pyrenees with Colletts. The staff were totally amazing and great company. There were plenty of flowers to be found at each site that had been carefully chosen to provide the enthusiast with different varieties.
I have just returned from the walking holiday in Ehrwald and just wanted to express our thanks to everyone involved in the organisation. Your staff were extremely professional and very helpful at all times. It was certainly one of the best holidays I have had and will certainly be going again next year with Collett's although it may b(Read more...)
We were looking at other companies for a walking/scenery flora holiday but Collets website was the best and brightest and easy to use to check accommodation - also the small traditional guest houses looked much more homely and comfortable and more suitable for us as an older couple and not keen on busy noisy places x also nice to be l(Read more...)
Your young staff in Chalet Haus Valentin were really well chosen. every one was kind, patient, helpful & knowledgeable to us 'oldies'.. & really made the holiday special.. grazie mille
Corvara is a perfect location surrounded by majestic mountains, Alpine meadows, and many walks; also an efficient and cheap bus service for local venues. The self-catering apartment was excellent, even wifi. The young hosts/guides were outstandingly helpful, sociable, and efficient. My long-held dreams holidaying in the Dolomites were(Read more...)
This was our third holiday with Collett's and as always the staff, George, Rachel, Duncan and Ben were amazing. The accommodation was spectacular and the walks were beautiful and not too challenging, across lovely countryside and quaint towns and villages. The other guests were great company too.
The most memorable feature for us w(Read more...)