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.
What made me choose this particular trip ? I subscribe to British travel mag Wanderlust , and they had a short article on this particular trip as a short break (from the UK !). I was thinking of retracing part of The Camino del Norte and this was a perfect addition to get me to Bilbao, while seeing more of the coastline !
Highlights… arriving in some of the small towns, ie Getaria, and enjoying the ambience. The wonderful views from clifftops... the solitude of gazing out to sea with a constant breeze in your face... the Flysch formations... arriving and staying at the Castillo de Artiega.
The museo de La Paz was interesting, I was not aware of the tragic history of Guernica. The outside of the Guggenheim (designed by Gehry, a Canadian !) was spectacular… unfortunately I am not a fan of many forms of the modern art inside... The Balenciaga museum and the replicas of cave drawings held little interest for me.
The whole experience was great. The organization by Purely Pyrenees was first rate… even the one time I had to call for help (taxi connection), everything was handled well. This was my first self guided walking holiday outside The Camino Frances… most enjoyable, will do it again, and recommend to others !
See the trip taken by John « Culture and "Camino" : Guernica, Guggenheim & much more » FP2PUBI
See all of our trips in the Basque Country
See all of our walking trips in the Pyrenees