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.
Firstly, we loved the walk - we did find some sections quite strenuous but we are a couple over 65 years old but we managed ok. Booking: the only problem was payment online, which you sorted for us. Transport of bags worked seamlessly. Hotels: Hotel Playa Sol was outstanding in Cadaques. All hotels were welcoming. Least preferred was Les Elmes. We would have preferred to be in the village itself choosing our own meal rather than the formula meal at the hotel. All the other meals were all good local food with well priced good quality local wines.
Route: The instructions were clear, easy to follow except the last hour of the last day where the gate across the path & subsequent fork in the path were not mentioned in the notes, but we worked out where to go eventually. We did not use or need GPS - the directions were clear & accurate. Poles were invaluable.
Collioure & Cadaques were stunningly beautiful villages. We highly recommend a full day at both places & doing the artists' walk following the map in Collioure. The circular walk to the lighthouse in Cadaques was a lovely extra day walk. On day 2, we chose the coastal route, which was beautiful along the waters' edge which we had not expected. We therefore had a good mix of mountain walking with stunning views plus coastal path. Early May was perfect walking weather - cool mornings 10 degrees, days to 18-20, no rain.
We strongly recommend the walk - good value, great scenery in a beautiful unspoilt area.
Thank you very much and we look forward to another walk with you in the future.