A Collett’s Centre-based Walking Holiday - How it all works
A unique 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, World War Walks, Glacier Treks, Via Ferrata & Alpine Activities – all our destinations boast exquisite and spectacular flora. Our flower walks are free, optional and available 5 days a week in the Dolomites (June & July) and in early season in the Picos de Europa and Pyrenees. In the Dolomites, 5 days a week 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 a good range of alpine activities. We have all the details and work closely with local suppliers and this will have positive repercussions for anyone interested in e-biking, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning, paragliding, horse riding etc.
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).
Our resort day off is Wednesday and there are no organised walks, nor is there Office Hour.
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. 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 our own walkers, whose local knowledge is extensive. They will be happy 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. They 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
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...)