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 23rd year of providing the perfect alpine escape in Europe’s most beautiful mountains. In Summer 2019, over 70% of our guests had booked with us before.
Each of our beautiful destinations is a carefully-selected mountain resort and the 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 organised walks of your chosen grade or you prefer to self-guide – or you fancy a mix of both.
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. We also have an exciting range of dedicated self-guided walking holidays, notably Hut-to-Hut trekking, 7 nights on a gorgeous section of the Camino de Santiago, a grand alpine traverse from Kitzbuhel to Cortina and a stunning hike in Corsica from the mountains to the Mediterranean.
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.
Our Classic Walking Holidays in Switzerland, Italy, Austria & Spain – our unique and flexible formula
Italian Dolomites – world’s most beautiful mountains?
Swiss Alps – The Engadine, ehere the Swiss go hiking
Austrian Alps – Tyrol & Bavarian Alps – the Tyrol meets the Bavarian Alps
Austrian Alps – Hohe Tyrol – walk in the heartland of Austria
Spanish Pyrenees – alpine Europe’s last great wilderness
The Picos de Europa – Northern Spain’s coastal gems
Our Self-guided Hut-to-Hut Walking Holidays
Hut to Hut – unforgettable walking holidays in Austrian Alps, Dolomites & Pyrenees
Our Self-guided Point-to-Point Walking Holidays
Camino de Santiago – coastal and inland hillwalking from San Sebastian to Guernika
Kitzbuhel to Cortina – A grand alpine traverse
Corsica – Mountains to Mediterranean
Special Walking Holidays in Spain
Wildflower Rambles – discover rare and celebrated species
Ordesa National Park Explorer – sheer mountain splendour for moderate walkers
Hike the GR11 – 5 consecutive stages of a celebrated trail at its most dramatic
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
We returned last weekend from Corvara after spending a fantastic week at Pension Angelo. The Colletts staff, as always, were just wonderful and made a huge contribution to the enjoyment of our holiday.
This was the most fantastic ski holiday ever in over 30 years of skiing. Yes the weather and snow were excellent but the organization behind the holiday made it a brilliant week. From being picked up and delivered to the airport to our guide Mario who accompanied us this was an amazing week. Mario , born and bred in the Dolomites adde(Read more...)
We were extremely impressed with Max and the team. They were all professional and personable.
Without being intrusive they showed attention to detail and were very informative.
It was Peter’s birthday while we were there and Max organised a lovely birthday cake.
While walking we were given lots of information about which mounta(Read more...)
We had a great week in Chalet Angelo, sun snow and excellent company. The transfers went very well and the staff were very efficient in organising ski hire and passes. We have always enjoyed the catered chalet format and are sorry that has come to an end, however looking forward to next year in Bracun.
Terrific holiday for skiing and Walking.
Staff very very professional and well recruited. The driving to and from ski lifts very well organised and flexible on a dial a ride basis! Always friendly. Amazing you have a couple of doctors! What a team. Seriously felt very proud of them.
Whacky quiz !
Great chalet Valentin. (Read more...)
After spending a week in Arrabba with my father and two sons, in the very capable hands of Ben and Max, I booked a return journey for February with husband.
We were not disappointed. From the smooth transfer with Max, then sorting out our ski equipment, Max organised it all for us. Max and Ben are exceptional in their ability to put(Read more...)
Our first time with Collett’s and all expectations were exceeded ( perhaps with the exception of the room although it was very clean and comfy beds, it was a bit basic,). From a warm welcome to excellent ski and walking days to great food and lively, entertaining company the whole week was fabulous. Many thanks to the knowledgeable an(Read more...)
We had been on many ski holidays and wanted to experience something new, the safari is a fabulous idea.
We skied more than we ever have in 6 days, we had a wonderful guide (Super) Mario, we never looked at a piste map once (except to see where we had been at the end of the day). Mario chose some lovely places for lunch and our accomm(Read more...)
We have just returned from our third holiday with Collett's and once again it was a fabulous experience - this year we self catered in Bracun but enjoyed a couple of meals with the Roch guests which we thoroughly enjoyed. Once again you have recruited a fabulous team and Clare, Olivia, Henry and Peter looked after us superbly and org(Read more...)
We were lucky enough to be able to spend our first Christmas ever away from home with all our family and a few of our other friends and their families - it was everything, and more that I had hoped it would be. The staff at Haus Valentin were hospitable, obliging, hard working, fun and the food was top notch - particularly the never (Read more...)
Brilliant service from start to finish. Non-pushy and sensible people to talk to on the phone beforehand, and dedicated staff when we were out in the resort. Nick and Gemma were a particular highlight for us. A ski day to the Marmolada with Nick was fantastic and he was the sort of person you'd want to spend a day with! Good knowl(Read more...)
Really faultless service from the office staff. Great the way staff anticipated our every need e.g. getting ski hire done quickly and obtaining lift passes for us. Saved hours of time, when you are in a resort for the first time and don't know the ropes.
We had a self catering apartment at Bracun, because we are vegetarian and like(Read more...)
Just back from a great ski, snow shoe and cross country ski week.
First time with Collett's and first time in the Dolomites.
Full on every day! Never skied so far so fast or walked such lovely snow shoe routes. Couldn't fault it.
As hosts, Nick, Becky, Max, Tina, Gemma and Innes were all excellent (and fun) and nothing was too m(Read more...)
This was our belated summer holiday. We enjoyed a lovely week with Mick, Helen and Millie, and our group of 26 clients. The walks were excellent, though shorter than at some other venues - that gave us plenty of down time for some to enjoy the pool and hot tub at the villa, before making our way to gorge ourselves on delicious dinners(Read more...)
Wonderful week walking in Tuscany. First the accommodation. Having been to Andalucia last May, this was heaven! Unbelievably thoughtful hosts in a delightful simple, quiet house, with exceptional food, not flashy or haute cuisine, but local and always interesting.
Walking was gentle but always interesting, and the other walkers we(Read more...)
I came with the H&G walking group but want to add my personal thanks to your leaders. I love walking but am a bit slow on hills of which there are plenty in Andalusia. I found the going quite challenging but if I showed any sign of lagging one of your leaders was always there to walk with me and I was absolutely delighted to complet(Read more...)
What a stunning location for walking & relaxing in the sun in October. Mick has the local knowledge and coordinates the week with precision. We stayed in the Villa with the beautiful views down the valley and made good use of the swimming pool & terrace. Gustavo the hotel proprietor of the hotel where we ate had character and serve(Read more...)
We have returned from a week in Tuscany staying at Il Rigo, what a fantastic place for walking, eating and drinking! The food was fantastic and with special dietary requirements nothing was too much trouble. Collett's staff, Charlie, Ben, Claire and Caroline were fantastic guilds and full of fun. All that you need for another fantas(Read more...)
First time I’d used this type of holiday and was not disappointed. Everything ran on rails from start to finish. The walking was spectacular and the views amazing, even in the snow! Accommodation was spot on with great food and comfortable sleeping arrangements.
The maps and route guides made things very easy and still gave you en(Read more...)
Another brilliant holiday with Collett's - our 5th. It’s a great formula, please don’t change. Our thanks to Ben, Caroline, Claire and Charlie - nothing was too much trouble for them and thanks as well to all at Il Rigo. Can’t decide which location is best. We might have to do them all again!!
My dad and I recently finished the Camino tour with Collett's. This is my second tour with Collett's (previously did a wonderful Dolomites tour).
The tour was excellent, from start to finish. The logistics, from arrival transport, luggage transport, and taxi pick-up, was efficient and well-organized. Javier, the on-the-ground guid(Read more...)
Great formula, keep it going and don't sell out! Bavarian Alps and Lakes would interest me, although we have been to Ehrwald.
I think we've been to all of Collett's Walking Holiday locations except Andalucia and Tuscany although we have been to both of these locations independently.
I think your formula is ideal for the older, more experienced walker. Part of the trick is that your guys take the pace from the participants, rather than Alpine guides who lead from the front!
Keep it up!
I have probably had enough of end-to-end trekking at the age of 71. Your formula allows for the odd day off as well as a mix(Read more...)
My third walking holiday, been ski ing with the family with colletts out of Arraba many times, the formula is just right, going to Corvara for christmas, we know what to expect and as important don’t have to organise athing