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.
What a wonderful holiday. Amazingly beautiful and varied scenery – from the coastal walks around Hermitage San Telmo (outside Zumaia), the wonderful view of the Oka river estuary from the Hermitage of San Pedro de Atxarre and the walk down and up (243 steps) to the Hermitage Gaztelugatx to the wonderful smells of the numerous Eucalyptus woods and Txakoli vineyards around Getaria (and we thoroughly enjoyed sampling the Txakoli) and the tranquillity of the walks through the Urdaibai Nature Reserve Everything is arranged for you and went like clockwork, so you can just enjoy the walking then relax at very nice comfortable & friendly hotels (we particularly enjoyed the Castillo de Arteaga). The road book and maps provided were very comprehensive and the descriptions accurate. We had no need to use mobile phones although we generally had a good signal every day. Each day was a lovely, unfolding surprise and our drivers were extremely nice people. The food in this part of the world is second to none and the Castello Arteaga was an exceptionally nice surprise after a very long walk! What a menu! And the final evening in Bilbao with a visit to the Guggenheim following by a trip to the old town was a lovely way to round off a great holiday. Everyone was very friendly and helpful although a bit of Spanish (or preferably Basque) would help. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday and already thinking about the next one.