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
Great accommodation. The team of guides were excellent. They provided details clearly and were very cooperative, pleasant and encouraging. Though only two of us were there for two days but they went with us on hikes and maintained the pace. Ride to the local train station was also very much appreciated!
My husband and I recently did the Northern Dolomites hut to hut self guided trip. We had no issues for any logistics during our vacation. The staff at Collett's was super responsive and well organized. We provided feedback on some “finer points” that we felt could be improved but they are minor and only icing on the cake...we would (Read more...)
We have had the most wonderful holiday walking the Pyrenean Peaks.
Cat and her team were all terrific and enthusiastic and keen to help us enjoy the Pyrenees as much as they do.
We certainly benefitted from their knowledge of the walks. It is impressive that they go and explore other walks/peaks on their day off.
Thank you very much indeed!
I just want to thank you and your Team in Corvara for assisting my wife and I in having a fantastic holiday in the Dolomites and a great way to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Since our first visit in 1990, this was our 4th and probably the best! Apart from a bit of poor weather (to be expected in any mountain environment) (Read more...)
This was our 6th trip with Colletts and we were not disappointed. The Pyrenees were amazing and the organisation was up to their normal high standard. If your looking for a challenge then this is it.
This was an outstanding holiday overall, The overall holiday style offered perfectly for me and I think the flexibility works really well for people with different abilities and objectives for their stay.
The Haus Valentin was delightful and very well located. I particularly want to commend the staff who were always friendly, inform(Read more...)
We did the Grand Tour of the Alta Badia. All the organisation from Collett's was perfect - From the initial conversation a few months ago, to the info pack sent out a couple of weeks before the trip, to the actual bookings and rifugios themselves. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. The dolomites are such a special area. You sure do (Read more...)
A truly great holiday made better by the dedication and enthusiasm of Sonny, Anna and Emily in the Picos. There is no doubt that we will travel with you again. Many thanks.
I had an amazing time on recent trip to the Dolomites. Even though I certainly made life difficult for Beth and Pete by rearranging the times, losing the map and a host of other indiscretions they were always more than accommodating.
Loved the hike, accommodation was perfect, scenery spectacular, hike info and details provided was g(Read more...)
All Collett’s staff are excellent and those we met this year were particularly friendly and helpful, even with people arriving and leaving daily no one felt left out.
From the moment I reached out about planning a trip, to the last round of farewell beers at Valentin House in Badia, Collett's friendly, knowledgeable and efficient team delivered an amazing experience. Office staff was always quick to get back to us--whether my question was about potential dates, upcoming weather, appropriate footwea(Read more...)
A very strenuous, but beautiful hike. The estimates trail times may be a bit (quite a bit) underestimated. Granted I'm no longer a young pup, but estimated hiking speeds equivalent of 2 to 3 km/hour is probably something 'wiser' folks may not want to assume/rely on in their day hike planning. The Refugios were a mix bag from 'tradit(Read more...)
We had a wonderful hut to hut hike in the Dolomites thanks to Collett's. They were always quick to respond to any questions/concerns as we made our plans... and I asked a lot of questions! At the first chalet in Badia we had time with staff to answer any questions about the daily hikes they had mapped out for us... then they served us(Read more...)
My holiday in Ehrwald was one of the best. First of all the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Collett's staff created an ambiance that was a pleasure to be involved in. The hotel was top class. Our room was spacious with lots of storage and all meals had a very wide range of good quality choices. The word that sprang to mind when standin(Read more...)
First walking holiday with Collett's. Stayed in Chalet Alpi and had a fantastic week walking around Corvara. Brilliant staff - special mention to Clare and Al for getting Annika up the climbs. I'm sure we'll be back for more. Scenery was breathtaking - as was the snow in late August. WWI walk and presentation added an extra dimension.(Read more...)
Very good holiday overall.
The walk leaders were very competent, friendly and professional. I couldn't fault them.
We were also very happy with the Hotel Sabocos.
Some of the walks were more strenuous than I had anticipated. I personally would have appreciated a greater choice of walks that were less demanding. Even the easiest of(Read more...)
We completed a 6 day tour of the Alta Badia and the route was spectacular every day. After speaking with other hikers in the huts I was so glad that Colletts had made our arrangements,others had difficulty booking for themselves.
Certainly worth paying the extra for private rooms as opposed to dorms.
Overall we had an excellent exp(Read more...)
As ever with a Collett’s holiday the staff were superb and the whole experience was fantastic. Lovely hotel (loved the menu translation each night) and really lovely walking made extra good by the friendly and helpful Cat, Monty, Cam and Abi. Beetroot sandwiches rule!
Just back from Ehrwald, our second holiday with Collett's.
We had a marvelous time in the beautiful Austrian Alps. The walks were fantastic, the range and choices excellent providing all levels of walking. We chose the hard / moderate and they were really great.
We were lucky to have good weather during our stay which made each (Read more...)
We enjoyed our Hut to Hut self guided 7 nights Central Dolomites and Sella Grand Tour in August 2018. From the time we arrived at Corvara we had excellent service and all the young staff were friendly and very helpful. Beth was extremely helpful with guiding us through our walk. Even during our walk we called Beth and she was very (Read more...)
What a wonderful week we had in Chalet Haus Valentin. Highlights - deep philosophical discussion, ridiculous childishness, excellent food, magnificent walks, tremendous company but, above all, hosting of the best standard from all of the Collett's walk organisers (just one of their many skills). Thank you Al, Ali, Greg, Helen, Max an(Read more...)
My first experience of a self-guided walking holiday (or indeed any type of organised walking holiday), and I would definitely consider further tours, with Collett's as my first port of call. Having someone knowledgeable create an itinerary and make all the accommodation arrangements is so convenient. The 3 night Zugspitz walk was a g(Read more...)
Brilliant at every stage of our trip.Really helpful with planning our hut to hut trip and booking the refugios. Then great advice for adding a few days on in an apartment at the end of our week some could do some via- ferrattas.
All staff were super helpful when we were in Corvara and made us feel very welcome, as well as answering(Read more...)
Everything was perfectly arranged - the gorgeous setting; the comfortable hotel with its endlessly welcoming staff; the expert and enthusiastic team to guide us on our walks; our fellow walkers, whom it was a pleasure to meet - all done with a relaxed, unstressful air.
Thank you, Colletts!
The Ciasa Roch was good, but we really missed the tea bar. The 5 day hut to hut hike was as good as expected. The accommodation was good, the scenery superb, although we did adjust the route to suit our particular interests on a day to day basis. Thanks Pete
Fantastic holiday, with some of best high Pyrenees walking one could wish for. Daily walks gave plenty of options for extensions and deviations with detailed local knowledge of conditions, exposure and difficulty. Took the guess work out of route finding and made sure we had a great day on the mountain everyday, getting the very bes(Read more...)
Wonderful way to have a walking trip where we could pick out own level of difficulty. The staff was a joy to be with and very helpful. I am recommending Collett's to friends in the States.
Ehrwald was a perfect location!