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.
We really enjoyed our walking holiday and thank you again for all you did in organising and arranging it.
Our walk around the secret canyons was a great success. The walks were strenuous and stretching, but not too arduous. The landscapes were wonderful and varied and astonishingly empty. Except for our walk from Rodellar on the last day, we hardly met anyone while we were walking. Considering how rare it is to 'get away from it all' on our crowded planet, we thought this was wonderful.
We found the 'road book' and the walk descriptions extremely helpful. They were usually very easy to use and provided guidance just at the right moment. If you wanted to improve, it might be helpful to add mileage to the points at which guidance is given as well as or instead of times, as obviously people walk at different rates. As the lengths between points of guidance vary a lot, this would have been clarifying. All in all, I felt these were highly comprehensive directions and it helped that we could have confidence in them. I also felt the walks were very well chosen and interesting.
In the main we were also extremely happy with the accommodation, some was excellent and some less so. One difficulty we had was the delay in the taxi pick up when we arrived, which made me nervous about all the connections relying on taxis or luggage matters for the coming days. Obviously it was all fine in the end, but it would be a great help if the road book included more detailed information about who exactly is picking you up.
Even though I think there are one or two small ways in which things might be improved to make it even better I felt it was the most wonderful holiday - a really special experience to be able to walk through these little-known (by most people I think) countries and to meet the great people in the hotels where we stayed. I would not hesitate to recommend Purely Pyrenees to someone else.