A Collett’s Centre-based Walking Holiday - How it all works
A uniquely flexible formula from a genuine specialist
Delightful Accommodation Options
Arrive and depart in majestic locations on the days of your choice. Stay as long as you wish in delightful half-board or self-catering accommodation. Fly-drive, self-drive or book an airport transfer.
Or self-guide - or do a mix of both
Free & optional, we offer 2 awe-inspiring walks daily - an easier moderate walk or a harder high level trek. For self-guiding, borrow Route Cards for up to 40 stunning walks from easy to hard or glean ideas direct from our own team.
An abundance of knowledge & ideas
Each early evening use our intimate local knowledge to plan your days over maps and a sociable drink. Subscribe to group walks, plan self-guided itineraries, book alpine activities or arrange other days out. Enjoy your evenings with everything sorted.
Painting Strolls, Cycling
World War Walks & Alpine Activities
Join free & optional flower walks early season in the Dolomites, Picos & Pyrenees. Join painting strolls & cycle tours all season in the Dolomites. We can also help you with via ferrata, alpine activities & places of interest.
Explore Europe's most majestic mountains - just as you wish
Choice & flexibility at every stage
A Collett’s centre-based walking holiday is (1) choice and flexibility (2) unforgettable walks in majestic mountains (3) the human touch.
Stunning Destinations, Delightful Accommodation – Arrive & Depart Any Day – Our 5 destinations rival each other in beauty, awe and character. Each has amazing backdrops and is close to the area’s best walks, whether you seek idyllic strolls through wildflower-strewn pastures or dramatic ventures on high rocky trails. In each resort, we have a delightful hotel, which is our local base. But you might prefer to self-cater in an attractive apartment nearby. In the Dolomites – our original destination – we also offer our ever-popular alpine chalet hotels. Stay as long as you wish. Most guests stay for 7 – 14 nights but some drop in for 4 or 5. Travel as you please – fly-driving, self-driving or using our airport transfers. These are daily in the Dolomites; twice a week in Austria and on request in the Pyrenees. In the Picos de Europa, having your own transport is essential.
Join Organised Walks or Self-guide – Plan your days at Office Hour – Our impressive Ideas & Information Files – Choose day to day whether to self-guide or join other guests on our free and optional organised walks – or do a mix of both. Each day – except Wednesdays – we offer a hard, high level walk (6-7hrs / Height gain: 600m-1200m) and also a moderate easier one (4-6hrs / Height Gain: 300m-600m). Both walks are off the beaten track, featuring breathtaking scenery, flora and fauna. You can research and subscribe to our organised walks – or other days out – each early evening over maps and a sociable pre-dinner drink with our own hosts and walkers. Our walkers are also there to offer their first-hand knowledge to self-guiders. Moreover, our Ideas & Information Files are widely available for you to browse. They document 30-40 local walks in each destination from easy to hard, giving you the duration, ascent, degree of difficulty and the relevant section of map. There is a Route Card for each itinerary, which you can borrow on a daily basis. Our files also feature alpine activities, via ferrata, bike rides, scenic drives and places of interest. Simply choose the itinerary that takes your fancy. This is Office Hour, a popular Collett’s institution. It is optional and informal and it will help you create a succession of memorable days out. Essentially, you can relax every evening with everything in place for the next day.
Lazy days are fine by us. It’s easy to unwind in these idyllic mountain retreats, whether you seek out an idyllic local spot to read a book, take a scenic drive or write a postcard on the sun terrace of a village café.
Flower Walks, Painting, Road Cycling, e-Biking, World War Walks, Glacier Treks, Via Ferrata & Alpine Activities – – all our destinations boast exquisite flora. Our flower walks are free, optional and available 5 days a week – throughout June & July in the Dolomites and in early season in the Picos de Europa and Pyrenees. In the Dolomites, 5 days a week and throughout the season we also offer free and optional painting strolls, cycling tours and easy rambles. World War I walks are available from mid-August to mid-September. We keep abundant route information on Via Ferrata (Dolomites & Zugspitz Arena) and we can help you hire kit and book guides for Via Ferrata, glacier excursions and other adventures. All our destinations offer various alpine activities (such as e-biking, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning, paragliding, horse riding etc.), so if you fancy doing something different, just ask.
The Human Touch – and attention to detail is ever-present at Collett’s from your initial enquiry onwards. In the mountains, our painstakingly-recruited hosts and walkers set us apart from the rest. They don’t wear uniforms or try to sell you excursions. Careful not to interfere, they will make you feel welcome and relaxed, passing on their knowledge enthusiastically so you have wonderful days to suit your level of fitness. Here in the UK, most of our team have lived and worked in our destinations – myself included. Our aim is to use our first-hand knowledge to make your booking experience 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.
A holiday of memorable days on beautiful walks
Join stunning walks of your chosen grade or self guide… or do a mix of both. Your holiday will surely be enhanced by our own walks and walkers. We pride ourselves on the quality of our walks and over the years we have researched many magnificent walking routes, from idyllic itineraries at low and medium level to awe-inspiring high level treks. These waymarked tracks and trails comprise our weekly programme of organised walks, any of which you are welcome to join on a daily basis during your stay. Naturally, we include the local classics but many of our walks are off the beaten track, tried and tested gems, rich in flora, fauna and wonderful mountain landscapes.
Every day of the week (except Wednesdays) throughout the season, we offer two organised walks – one is harder and higher – the other is easier and more moderate – both are stunning, free of charge and entirely optional. In addition to these walks (and depending on destination) we offer organised flower walks, painting strolls, easy walks, cycling tours and World War walks (Aug/Sept), which are also free of charge – see below. Simply drop into Office Hour each early evening to see which walks are on offer the following day and sign up to the one that takes your fancy. Our walks take place in a relaxed atmosphere of like-minded people. Armed with a packed lunch, we set out at about 9am and, depending on the itinerary, return to the village in the mid or late afternoon, allowing you time to relax, maybe over a drink on your sun terrace or a stroll into the village.
Our daily programme of organised walks
The following walks are optional, free of charge, unfailingly beautiful and available 6 days a week (or as indicated below).
Please note – there are no organised walks (nor Office Hour) on a Wednesday, which is our day off in resort.
Scroll down to see a sample of a weekly programme of organised walks. It is from the Dolomites, our original destination, where we often offer three walks a day as opposed to two.
Walk 1 – Moderate Walk
Height Gain: 300m – 600m, 4-6 hours.
Upland flower pastures, woodland trails, riverside tracks, sleepy hamlets and easier high paths.
Walk 2 – Harder Higher Walk
Height Gain: 600m – 1200m, 5-7 hours.
Venture into the massifs on high trails amidst awe-inspiring landscapes.
Special Interest Walks & Cycling Tours
Optional, free of charge & daily except Wednesdays & Saturdays
Dolomites, Picos de Europa & Pyrenees only
Height Gain: 150m – 300m, 3-5 hours.
Join our wildflower enthusiasts in profuse and vivid pastures and on carefully selected routes, where rare species flourish.
Dolomites – June & July. Picos de Europa – 21 May to 9 June. Pyrenees – 4 to 23 June 2017.
Height Gain: 150m, 4-6 hours.
Wander to an idyllic location and enjoy the informal tuition of our artist whatever your standard.
World War Walks
Walk among the remnants of a fascinating WWI military arena, lying in a high level area of real beauty, featuring tunnels, protected paths and trenches. Mid-August to mid-September.
Local cycling tours on routes made famous by the Giro d’Italia.
Itineraries vary from easy to hard. Free of charge (except for bike hire), optional & daily – except Wednesdays & Saturdays.
A Sample of our Organised Walks Programme
Below is an example of a weekly walks programme in the Dolomites. Something similar is produced on a weekly basis in each of our destinations, although remember we offer a few extra options in the Dolomites. The essential details of each featured walk can be browsed in our ‘Ideas & Information Files’ – or you can chat with our hosts at Office Hour about any walks which take your fancy. In the Dolomites, we have a separate timetable for Wildflower Walks in June and July and another for War Walks in August and September. For an overview of daily walking options, special interest walks and alpine activities click here.
At Your Own Risk
You join us on our organised itineraries at your own risk, responsible for your own safety and as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. You will be asked to sign a disclaimer in this respect, which is expanded upon here.
Planning Your Days
Join organised walks or plan self-guided itineraries
Easy access to our extensive local knowledge every day.
In all our destinations, Office Hour takes place each early evening. Over maps and a relaxing pre-dinner drink, you can chat with our own walkers about the following day’s organised walks. Together you can decide which walk might suit you best and you sign up accordingly. Self-guiders can chat with us and we will use our extensive local knowledge to propose appropriate and memorable walks for you. You can also browse our favourite walks – and many more gems – in our Ideas & Information Files, which are dotted around our properties – and widely available at Office Hour. These files detail numerous stunning walks, which we put in categories, such as: Easy & Easy Moderate – Moderate & Moderate Hard – Hard & Very Hard. For each walk we give a ‘step by step’ route description, the duration, ascent, degree of difficulty and the relevant section of map. To facilitate preparation and navigation, we can lend you a Route Card for your chosen walk, whether it is a gentle stroll in the beauty and peace of an idyllic valley, or a hardcore hike up in the dramatic massifs. Our Ideas & Information Files also contain Via Ferrata itineraries (Dolomites & Austria only), bike rides, scenic drives and other days out.
“It’s Office Hour that really makes the holiday…“
Sarah & John Gilman, New Mills
Office Hour is a popular feature of a Collett’s holiday. Like‐minded guests, stimulated by great days out, relax over a drink. Flower lovers compare photographs and gather around digital cameras to identify species. Walkers mull over trails, from the idyllic to the awe-inspiring. Adventure seekers plan Via Ferrata excursions, whilst many guests just drop in for a drink to chat about their day. Either way, another memorable day in the mountains takes shape, leaving you to enjoy the evening with everything sorted.
Route Descriptions & Laminates
- Each route contains the following details: Grade; distance; ascent; descent; approx. walking time; Map #; Terrain; how to get there.
- They have a written outline of the walk, sometimes with numbers (in brackets) corresponding to specific points on the route itself.
- The route is also shown on a highlighted section of a specific map, which has not always been reproduced to the scale 1:25,000 due to size restrictions
- They use our ‘Layman’s grading system: Easy – Easy/Moderate – Moderate – Moderate/Hard – Hard. This is not easily compared to any other type of grading system, but a rule of thumb would be that a hard here would be no harder than a big day out in the Lake District, north Wales or Scotland.
- There is a CAUTION NOTES, HINTS & TIPS section for particular dangers and points of interest we feel need extra focus.
- There is also an ALTERNATIVES/ VARIATIONS section which suggest ways of lengthening or shortening each route where applicable.
These route descriptions are NOT meant to be used as ‘stand-alone’ guides, in fact, they are specifically designed to be used in conjunction with a 1:25,000 scale map.You should not attempt these routes or any mountain walk without a suitable map and the ability to read it.
In pictures – Collett's Mountain Holidays
Thank you for helping make our ski trip so fantastic. Angus Katie Tom Chris and Rachel are a great team and couldn’t have looked after us any better!
Your offer of providing skiing and snowshoeing activities, which suits us perfectly. We had a great time on our holiday. The lovely staff were all wonderful - so friendly, helpful, cheerful, competent and caring. They accompanied us on some wonderful itineraries and it was always a treat to get back to the house after a great day out.(Read more...)
Had heard about you from a friend who had done summer walking, I was searching internet looking for ski week in Dolomites and noticed your website
Previous holidays with Collett's gave us the confidence to know that our holiday would be catered for in a way which suited our needs. The friendliness of staff and their willingness to help in whatever way we required was outstanding and really made the holiday. This included the welcome given by Petra and her family at Chalet Roch.
The ski safari which we went on was excellent. The Refugios were far better than expected and the food was good. The host with us on the trip was Angus, who worked exceptionally well with the instructor Alex and between them made the week a great success. The second week was at the Panorama, which was outstanding. The staff, food and (Read more...)
We had a great holiday. The Colletts staff were all very friendly, keen and engaging. Accommodation was fine and the options of taking part in colletts guided ski days, doing your own thing or a mixture of the two worked really well. Petra who runs the Casa Roch looked after us very well, food was copious and the ski hire although not(Read more...)
A fantastic introduction to Snow Shoeing thanks to the enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment of all your staff which includes the administration team as well as those at Chalet Valentin. My best ever activity-based holiday and I will definitely be coming back every year. The chalet team were absolutely brilliant and their attention to (Read more...)
We are skiers but we wanted to try snow showing and have the option to ski. As it was we loved the snow showing so didn't ski in the end. The quality of your website and how my initial enquiries were handled also impressed me.
We had a truly fabulous holiday. Collett's were outstanding and the chalet staff were so friendly, knowled(Read more...)
Previous experiences were Outstanding. Location is superb, holiday concept of join in or plan your own adventure suits us perfectly. Love the camaraderie in the hosted chalets.
Just keep on doing what you are doing - it works and we love it!
We had previously stayed 4 times at House Valentin so knew our way around without help from the staff who were busy with the others on the bus. We always enjoy office hour and the staff were available and didn't hesitate to answer queries and explain routes.We could not have wished for better ski hosting and routes, my best ski holida(Read more...)
Guiliano, the ski guide, gave us an excellent overview of the ski safari on the first evening and was very insistent that we ask him about anything at all that we needed to know.
All the accommodation and food throughout the ski safari was excellent. I would single out Albergo Alle Codole for their cuisine - a superb 6-course dinne(Read more...)
Excellent in every way. lovely chalet - we were at the top - huge room with good view over Corvara: worth the 2 flights of stairs to climb.
The staff ( Mike, Emily,Sonny, Jack etc) were marvellous and their unofficial leading was much appreciated and enjoyed. They were all great fun to be with - intelligent, empathic,helpful, fu(Read more...)
First winter trip to the dolomites. Excellent skiing, super staff and good food. Chalet Brigitte was comfortable, spacious accommodation and lovely breakfast. Good location too. 5 minutes to the slopes.
Chris, Rachel and Tom very helpful, great company, full of good advice about where to eat and ski.
Hotel Malita had good f(Read more...)
Enjoyed Haus Valentin as much as my last visit in 2013. Great atmosphere, nice accommodation and excellent food and wine. The Colletts team are so friendly and helpful which matters a great deal. A wonderful location also helps to make for a most enjoyable holiday. Thank you to our hosts and the Colletts team.
This was our third trip to Haus Valentin. As usual it exceeded all expectations.
The staff are so friendly,helpful and knowledgeable about the area.
The food, not forgetting the free flowing wine, was terrific. Certainly filled you up after a good day on the slopes.
The rooms were comfortable and warm. Could do with some big ha(Read more...)
Another brilliant skiing holiday with Collett's. The hosting around the mountains was excellent, Caisa Roch (the new chalet replacing Verena) was very comfortable, dinner each evening at the hotel was very good and the shuttle service to the slopes worked well. It was our third trip to Corvara with Collett's and we will be back for a fourth.
Superb second snowshoeing trip with Colletts. To receive such outstanding service from dedicated staff is why so many people return year on year. You really do have the winning holiday formula and we look forward to many more fabulous holidays with you.
Good value for money - Recommendation from a friend and wanting to travel to this area you seemed to be one of the only UK companies to have hosted chalets. One of the best skiing holidays we have ever had and completely loved this area of Italy.
We love Collett's holidays, everything is organised from lift pass to best ski run in the winter or most amazing hike in the summer.The staff teams everywhere we have stayed are unfailingly enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable. The office team make the booking and admin effortless. This was our third time at Haus Valentin, rooms an(Read more...)
We have travelled with you x 3 in the summer to the Dolomites so know the area and Collett's - we knew things would be well organised and that your staff would be friendly, informed and helpful.
Fantastic stay at Haus Valentin. The hosts were superb and the chalet was always very clean and tidy.
I booked my very first ski lesson whilst in Haus Valentin. It was efficiently organised for me, and I was helped to hire my equipment. Staff also showed me how to use equipment, and were more than happy to take me down to the Ski S(Read more...)
Love the down to earth approach. Always a great team and lovely like minded guests. And Corvara is a perfect base for skiing in the Dolomites
Very interested in hearing more about the walking holidays in Poland in 2019
We have had a couple of good summer holidays (Picos & Pyrenees) and love the Dolomites; the option of doing other winter activities besides skiing was very appealing; the photos on the Facebook page were what eventually seduced us into booking an extra winter holiday that we couldn't really afford, but it was the best ever, so well wo(Read more...)
Very helpful and informative. I returned to Haus Valentin after staying in the summer of 2016. Was wonderful to be back and be welcomed by Jane and Jack, such a lovely greeting and good to still see familiar staff members.
The food was really good, especially as I am a vegetarian, he does very well to do so many different choices a(Read more...)