Who Are We ?
In 1984 a small walking holiday company was created, based in the beautiful Val d’Azun in the heart of the French Pyrenees. This company, named « La Balaguère » after the warm breeze that blows upwards from the Sahara to the Pyrenees, offered guided walking trips led by a small group of friends with a huge passion for the mountains.
Little by little La Balaguère expanded and more than 35 years later we help over 13,000 people every year enjoy walking and cycling holidays in the Pyrenees and further afield, to the most unspoilt areas of the world.
In 2018 we launched a new and exciting project. Purely Pyrenees is the English language branch of our business, offering self-guided and guided trips, walking and cycling from Spring to Autumn and snowshoeing in the Winter. Using our decades of experience we created a new range of holidays designed for English speakers who come, maybe for the first time, to experience the best the Pyrenees has to offer. Our focus is always to provide highlights, iconic places to visit, wonderful itineraries, authentic hotels and, of course, tremendous cuisine.
Purely Pyrenees and La Balaguère are now owned by the UCPA (Union des Centres Sportifs de Plein Air) which is a non-profit organisation in France that specialises in making outdoor sports holidays available for all. We are still based where we have always been, in the Pyrenean village of Arrens-Marsous.
We are very proud of our Pyrenean chain and of the knowledge that we have of it, amassed over years of providing guided and self-guided holidays. You can be sure that if you travel with us we will do everything we can to make sure you have a wonderful trip.
The good news was that we had an amazing time. Sally customized the trip to our needs for dates and nights in the hotels. 3 of the 4 hotels were excellent, and the other one was servicable but not great. The meals were uniformly above our expectation,s except for one - not bad for 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners! The bad news: the hike was more than we expected. We are all 65+, with various levels of hiking experience. Having never been to the area we did not really know what to expect and we found that the guidebook underestimated the amount of miles as well as the time it would take to hike. We also found the guidebook was not totally clear when it came to the directions - some of it was excellent and brought us to some out-of-the-way paths that were wonderful. Other parts were obscure and hard to find. If I were to make one suggestion it would be that in addition to having a "hard" and Easy" hiking optyion for each day, they have a third option for "over 65" hikers that want to experience the countryside but might not want to have quite as much "adventure".