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.
Cycling down the Canal du Midi to the Mediterranean was such a good holiday. The canal itself was beautiful and flowed through lovely countryside, studded with stunning fairytale towns and villages. All the stages were short enough to enjoy spending time at overnight stops in fascinating places at friendly hotels. My husband had been a bit worried about the distances covered each day (he’s used to doing 100 mile rides…) but admitted that the route was quite challenging at times when the path got bumpy and was so interesting, with locks and bridges and wildlife (and local food and wine) along the way that it was not something to race through anyway. My bike was in very good condition, and it was really helpful having the big pannier bag. The dinners were fab too. Cassoulet is my new favourite! It was an ideal holiday for us - both relaxing and active, with everything taken care of, from breakfast to overnight bike storage, and from route planning to luggage lugging.