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
Once again we have had a great holiday in the Dolomites staying At Chalet Angelo. You really have a great team all of whom go out of their way to ensure each person has a great holiday. The food was outstanding and office hour a great oportunity to meet other guests. With a great range of walks on offer I took advantage and walked alm(Read more...)
Me and my two sons had the best five days ever in the Dolomites, The organization was spot on , punctual and helpful. We stayed at Chalet Roch in Corvara , very clean and comfortable. The only thing we missed was the tea/ coffee making facilities in the room, that would have been great after a long wet walk! That’s only a minor point(Read more...)
I was part of a group of a recent 10 day walking holiday in Corvara. Via Ferrata was a "taster" for me and a thrilling experience. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday:)
The weather was great in August 2019. Collett's staff were excellent. They were very friendly, mature, experienced and well-equipped with people's & communicati(Read more...)
Although we have completed the online holiday questionnaire, I felt it important to send a letter of thanks.
We had such an enjoyable and happy holiday and our 11 year old was able to extend himself well beyond his comfort zone. It was very much the daily variety of activities which held much appeal. Your staff, and in particular, An(Read more...)
We booked a 2 night, 3 day 'difficult' hut-to-hut trek with Collett's and had a great time. The whole trip was well orgnaised and we loved the rifugios. Materials (maps, FAQs, etc) were provided well in advance.
Everything about my Collett's holiday was incredible... from the service level I got when booking my trip by phone, to the quality of the chalet and food, and most of all the people who work there... who were all utterly fantastic.
I was recommended to Collett's by another hiking company, who said they are the best... and best-pric(Read more...)
Great walks in beautiful surroundings.
We were well led and hosted by the Collett's team.
Impressed with our comfort room at the Hotel Sonnenspitze. Good food too and the hotel staff equally warm and welcoming.
Thanks for a great break.
I had an amazing time hiking in Ehrwald. The walk organisers were fantastic, and catered to the needs of all group members, as much as they could. Nothing was too much trouble. Hotel sonnenspitze was faultless in my opinion. Spotless and the food was plentiful and of an extremely high standard. I would do this holiday again in a heartbeat.
We had a fantastic week with Collett’s in Chalet Angelo. The staff were really helpful (Max in particular) and the food was super (Tom). The accommodation was lovely and the views across the valley from the balcony each evening were amazing.
We had great weather and managed to get out and climb 5 via ferrata during our week, includin(Read more...)
My husband and I have returned from yet another fantastic holiday with Collett's. Outstanding location in Erhwald Austria. Colett's staff team were excellent in their local knowledge of walks and various other pursuits as well as ensuring all guests expectations were met. A fantastic team thank you Kate Ben Anna and Andy for the chal(Read more...)
I can not praise this holiday highly enough. The leaders, Andy Anna Kate and Ben, were outstanding. The hotel was lovely in a perfect setting and with gorgeous food. The walking was excellent. Thank you all!
(Ps. A guided hutting holiday would be a welcome addition)
I wholeheartedly recommend this trip. The walks were varied & were challenging without being overwhelming. The scenery was breathtaking. Hotel Sabacos was comfortable & friendly & the evening meals were excellent, often local specialities & all made from scratch. It was a pleasure & delight to be looked after by Sandy, Jo & Ollie who (Read more...)
This was an excellent trip and coming back to work has been really tough this week however we do have several hundred pictures to edit and look back on! Everything went really smoothly your maps were clear and the Rifugios excellent although as a non meat eater I may well have consumed my body weight in cheese in various forms! Thanks(Read more...)
I had been with Collett's many years ago on a summer holiday in Arabba and their first winter holiday, again based in Arabba.
We felt the family deal for going in August represented good value for what we had at the hotel. The rooms were comfortable, plentiful food at mealtimes. We packed in a great deal and the advice/ideas from t(Read more...)
We had a fantastic holiday couldn’t of asked for anymore maybe to stay a bit longer staff were lovely everybody was really knowledgeable and helpful!
Please maintain the unparalleled quality of your staff. They are always so helpful, whether at HQ or in resort, and it is always a pleasure to meet them.
Office Hour is a great idea - informative and fun. The most amazing thing about Collett's is what a remarkable group of truly exceptional young people you employ. They couldn't have been more friendly, helpful or obliging, and they were intelligent and fun as well.
Amazing views, amazing walks, amazing team (Tom, Max, Becky, Alex, John, Caroline, Ali and everyone else involved were awesome). From the moment I arrived to the moment I left the team made me feel so at home and loved it (best holiday I have had in a very long time) nothing was too much trouble and even after very long days the guys were brill...
The level of information provide before booking was outstanding and it was clear that the company really knew what it was doing. As the only vegetarian staying at the Chalet I was very well catered for by the chefs who provided some lovely vegetarian alternatives for me.
I will be returning for another holiday
Another brilliant Collett's Walking Holiday - we have done skiing several times and this is our second walking holiday.
The package hasn't changed over the 18 years we have been customers. There is NO selling of 'extras' in resort unlike other operators.
The operation is slick
The OUTSTANDING feature is the young people (and on(Read more...)
Our 17 year old son and my husband and I spent a fantastic 11 days at Ehrwald with Anna, Andy, Kate and Ben. It was our second choice but we're so glad the other Austrian resort was full as we had a fantastic time. Mixture of guided and self-guided trips, enjoying making new friends or savouring the landscapes on our own. I swam in(Read more...)
My daughter and I had a great time. The scenery and wildflowers were wonderful. Length and difficulty of the hikes was just right. I am recommending to friends.
This was our second holiday with Collett's to Corvara. This time there were 3 generations of our family. The booking system was easy and we sought advice from your office in helping to decide what accommodation would suit us best. The youngest at 8 and 3 enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the chalet. We gave feedback on the activities(Read more...)
I have been with Collett's several times before and have always appreciated the your helpful and informative approach. The staff are friendly and informative. The accommodation excellent.
Just returned from a fantastic stay with Collett's in the Pyrenees. The hotel was brilliant and the hotel staff so helpful, friendly and professional. Panticosa and the Pyrenees is fantastic. We did the self-guided option and the staff at Collett's - Jo, Olly and Sandy - were great hosts and gave us detailed advice which enabled us to(Read more...)
I stayed with you in the Dolomites last year and the hospitality of your "non-guides" was as outstanding as a remembered. Knowledgeable, friendly, accommodating and just always eager to help...but none of it forced. A great combination with excellent non-guides. choice of hotel was also excellent with equally friendly and accommodatin(Read more...)
A wonderful introduction to Collett's who had been recommended by several friends over the years. It is a shame it has taken us so long. All the staff were unfailingly helpful and full of good advice, from both head office and once out in Corvara, on additions/alterations to our planned routes between huts as some in our group wanted (Read more...)
We always have good holidays with you. We don’t have to plan routes or think about the walking, we can just go to the hotel, Do the walks, relax and enjoy ourselves.
Have been with Collett's before and enjoy the freedom of choice available from booking to daily programme. Staff have always been exceptional. Accommodation and food excellent.
Another great holiday. All of our party very happy. It was our third visit to HV and on arrival felt perfectly at home. Staff were, once again, exceptional.