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.
All up this was a great experience - one to be thoroughly recommended to traveller friends in NZ.
We took the coastal route on all days and found it to be just challenging enough for us, past 60 but in good health and reasonable fitness. On the hot days (most of them) we needed two to three liters of water each - there is little shelter or shade on the paths. A good hat and footwear is essential. Navigating is easy using the walk narrative and topo maps supplied by Purely Pyrenees. We found a couple of baguettes, cheese, pate and fruit for lunch was ideal and easily purchased in the villages and towns in the mornings before starting off.
Food and wine were consistently very good indeed everywhere, as was the accommodation.
Wonderful scenery and views, as well as frequent opportunities to swim in the Mediterranean. A good story to be told is how you get to walk into Spain from France rather than arrive by train, car or plane, or perhaps ship .
We were able to resolve a couple of administrative bumps easily and in a timely manner. Purely Pyrenees back up was immediately responsive and efficient.
A European experience with a difference. Well recommended.