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 are Pyreneans. Many of us were born in the Pyrenees, and brought up in these mountains, so we know the Pyrenees, we love the Pyrenees, and we know just how good they are for walking and cycling.
We are Pyreneans.
Many of us were born and brought up in the Pyrenees, so we are passionate about what the Pyrenees offer – and although we have also travelled all over the world, we still believe that there is nowhere like the Pyrenees – and nowhere beats the Pyrenees.
We love walking in the Pyrenees – and some of us love cycling here too. We have walked the itineraries and footpaths ourselves in spring, summer and autumn. We know the best routes for particular people and for particular seasons.
We know the hoteliers, the taxi drivers, the guides, the crafts people, even the bus drivers and butchers, so we know the local prices, and can make sure you get best value for money.
We know the best places to stay – and stay in them ourselves. We know the people who own and run them. We know what they are good at, and what sort of person enjoys staying there the most.
We have tasted the transformation of Pyrenean cuisine. We know the best chefs – traditional and innovative. We know their best menus and signature dishes. We want you to be as enthusiastic as we are about the pleasures of eating in the Pyrenees!
Above all, we want you to understand for yourself why we are so passionate about living, working and walking in the Pyrenees.
Purely Pyrenees is dedicated to not only making sure you have the best possible experience of the Pyrenees, but you also have one of the most memorable and enjoyable holidays of your life.
And we’re pretty confident that’s what we will deliver.
Is it the slow, sure, under-the-skin way offered by walking, or the see more, do more pleasures of cycling? Either way, you can be sure that we provide comfortable itineraries. Read more
The Pyrenees are significantly warmer and drier than the Alps –but the water we are talking about is not water that falls on your head. Read more
Our “Pyrenees” has expanded over the last 30 years. The mountains haven’t moved, but we have explored and enjoyed more adjacent regions – but which of our themes appeals to you most? Read more