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, dedicated to 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 Italian Dolomites, the Austrian Alps – Zugspitz Arena, the Austrian Alps – Hohe Tauern National Park, the Picos de Europa and the Pyrenees. 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 much more.
Other Collett’s holidays include a range of enthralling self-guided hut to hut itineraries in the Dolomites, Austrian Alps & the French Pyrenees; hiking the Camino de Santiago or the GR11 in Spain; Spring and Autumn walking breaks in Andalucia – plus our ever-popular skiing and snowshoeing holidays in the Dolomites. For some UK walking, our gorgeous guest house in Wensleydale is the perfect springboard for the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Much of our reputation is built on the quality and character 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 small and personal. Their wish is our command.
Wherever you choose to go, we are sure you will share our appreciation of the sheer 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 di Santiago, a work currently in progress. 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
The Pyrenees were stunning. Everything was well organised and thought out. The hotels were great. The Colletts staff were wonderful especially Jack. We've already booked another Colletts holiday for next year.
Sorry for the delay in replying. Thank you for arranging the accommodation at short notice, excellent hotel and staff in a very picturesque area. As some of the group I joined had been skiing numerous times they were able to arrange the walks so we did use your walking suggestions as we would otherwise have done. We all enjoyed our ho(Read more...)
I cannot praise enough you selection of resort staff. They are sociable, knowledgeable and long-suffering. Congratulations to your recruiting people.
Excellent previous holiday. Quality of previous years Collett's staff which was the same this year - General Comments: The strength of Collett's is the organisation and the wonderful staff.
We were made very welcome. We had a long and frustrating drive across the Brenner. Every need had already been thought out and we were quickly integrated into the group. All the smiling faces were very uplifting along with a dinner of comfort food and free flowing red wine.
I really felt staff had a good sense of our abilities and (Read more...)
All the team members in Ehrwald were really personable and natural in their communication socially and professionally. We appreciated the wealth of knowledge both of the area, but walking and nature generally that was generously shared. The group facilitation both in the evenings and on the walks was intuitive and easy.
Many of the(Read more...)
Have holidayed with you previously and we really appreciate the set-up, organised walks if you want to join, but plenty of other routes already scoped out for you if you don't! Cam, Dani & the team were outstanding throughout our stay- always had great ideas for us based on our fitness levels and what we wanted to do.
My daughter happened on Collett's and was enticed by the glorious mountain photographs of the Dolomites in your on-line brochure. We then discovered that a friend had stayed with you and gave a strong personal recommendation.
Extremely helpful and approachable. I felt I was dealing with real people who wanted me to enjoy my holiday(Read more...)
We have been twice before - to the Pyrenees and Dolomites. The staff have always made the holiday. We had already met Keith and Henry last year and we were pleased to see them again. All the team are great fun, easy to talk to and get along with and they have a whole range of interests which they can talk about on the walks.
We value the quality of relationship the staff have with clients. Everyone was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and good at connecting and communicating. This was our fourth year and we have consistently been very appreciative of the quality of responsiveness, intimacy and flexibility that is, as far as we can see, the hallmark of Collett's.
Your staff are fabulous. We could not complain at all. Who ever interviews them has it just right. They were fantastic in 2013 again in 2016 and again this year. Super.
Had a fab holiday in Ehrwald. Dani, Cam, Alex, Elly and Jack were great hosts. Hotel room, food and service all first class. Great walks and stunning scenery.
Just a quick email to thank you and the team for organising our recent holiday in Northern Spain. From the beginning when Javier collected us for the transfer to Hondarribia and took the trouble to show us around San Sebastián, so we were able to make the most of extra time in San Sebastián on our return, we knew we would have a good (Read more...)
I was very impressed by the whole holiday especially the enthusiasm and support given by all the staff. The food was excellent as was the support given during the guided walks. There was the correct distinction between providing help and guidance when required whilst not dictating on your holiday plans and freedom of action. Being a h(Read more...)
A big thank you to all the team at Matrei, Caroline, Charlie, Ali and Angus. It was the last week of the season and not great weather but they kept us well looked after until the last minute with enthusiastic ideas and good company. A lovely holiday again!
Brilliant week amongst limestone massifs and green alpine meadows to accompanying chimes of cow bells.
Great company, enthusiasm and knowledgeable help from Dani, Cam, Jack, Elli and Alex at office hour, on guided walks and for self guided outings.
Love the personable and easy format of the office hour and walking as a group as we chose.
Office Hour - A good set up and your team were very knowledgeable and helpful regarding the walks on offer. Enjoyed a couple of very nice evening meals with the rest of the Collett's guests in hotel Hinterigger.
We found the team (Ali, Angus, Caroline & Charlie) to be very welcoming and engaging. All the Collett's team helped to ma(Read more...)
The team at the Picos were great, as usual you have selected your team very carefully and they all added to our enjoyment with their enthusiasm and intelligent conversation and knowledge.
We chose Collett's again because of previous good experiences.
Two of our group had damaged knees the week before coming, which limited us a bit and made walking slow. Staff were able to devise very enjoyable walks for us without appearing bored themselves. Hats off to them.
When asked to take us to the Ostirodelbahn in Lienz on ou(Read more...)
As a first timer on a walking holiday I had a fantastic time,learned a lot about my own abilities and learned from other walkers too. The staff at the chalet were both professional and warm, nothing was too much trouble. The location was great and I'm glad that the office staff guided me to this choice when I was trying to decide in e(Read more...)
We have walked with Collett's before in the Dolomites and thoroughly enjoyed that holiday and were attracted to the idea of the Collett's GR11 holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees too, as we'd never been there. It was fab!
Value for money? Definitely.
We were particularly taken with the care of us by the staff. On our last day, every(Read more...)
We liked the flexibility of group or non group walks and how many days you could book plus the location. Staff went out of their way to indicate if the trail had any unusual terrain that might make people uncomfortable. Guides were so personable at dinner. So interesting to talk with both at dinner and walks. We only went on one walk (Read more...)
The staff were absolutely excellent from the walk organising to the cleaning to the catering etc. We have been with you on 4 previous occasions and always enjoyed the experience. We don't see how the accommodation could have possibly improved! The dinner menu was excellent.
From arriving to leaving, the team at Ehrwald had been fantastic, under the leadership of Cam and Dani.
We did the moderate hut 6 day walk, and the advice from both had been great.
We had a great time overall and enjoyed the walking in all weathers, rain, sleet snow, and some sun! The team at Ehrwald are a credit to Collett's a(Read more...)