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 Pyrenees were stunning, the hotels excellent and the food very good. Sadly this was all spoiled by the poor organisation of 'Purely Pyrenees'. The day before our self-guided walking holiday was to start we still didn't have a complete itinerary. We were given the wrong walks, incorrect maps, wrongly labelled maps, incorrect pick-up times, we weren't supplied with phone numbers for the luggage transfers, two hotels weren't expecting us, one hotel had 3 rooms booked for us. And that's just a few of the complaints. Almost every day of the 10 day walk something went wrong. All in all it was a shambles. We can only assume this was unusual for the company since they appear to have such good reviews from other customers. We won't be trying them again.
Purely Pyrenees :
Good morning Annie,
We are so glad that you appreciated the beauty of Pyrenean walking and the quality of the hotels and the food. This programme was subject to some necessary changes to one of the walking routes shortly before your start date and it is correct to say that you only received the modified documents at the start of your trip, however as far as we are aware you had all the correct documents at this point. We do not give a telephone number for luggage transfers as these are all pre-programmed and generally run very smoothly, if there are any issues all our customers have a 24hr helpline number. As you discovered, we had the flexibility to modify your transfers during your trip when you wished to shorten your walks. In relation to the hotel bookings we have a rigorous reservation and confirmation system with our partner hotels so if you were left with the impression that you weren’t expected on a couple of nights we can only apologise unreservedly for this. As you point out, the vast majority of our customers find the organisation of their trip to be top notch so we are sorry that you did not have the same impression.