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.
Our “Pyrenees” has expanded over the last 30 years. The mountains haven’t moved, but we have explored and enjoyed more adjacent regions – so our “Pyrenees” is anywhere you can just about see the Pyrenees on a clear day - with binoculars !
Often fairly gentle walks featuring both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts. On the Atlantic coast, we offer Across The Pays Basque To The Atlantic as well as a shorter version - Mountains To The Atlantic : Pays Basque Break – and the highlight filled Cultural Camino Break : Guernica, Guggenheim & Much More. On the Mediterranean side, we offer you two breaks Quintessential Collioure To Cadaques Break, and Cycling The Best Of The Pyrenean Mediterranean Break (LINK: FP9PUCO). If you want a full week’s coastal walking, then there’s nothing better than The Classic Mediterranean Pyrenees Coastal Walk : Collioure To Cadaques, but if it’s walking to the sea, then try The Art Of Walking: : A Gentle Cultural Journey To The Mediterranean, Walking From Mount Canigou To The Med, which includes monasteries, museums and vineyards among many other delightful discoveries, or consider From Cathar Castles To Mediterranean Collioure where history and culture are centre stage.
These exhilarating, memorable and slightly more challenging walks in the heart and heights of the French and Spanish Pyrenees – often both - include A World Class Journey To The Heart Of The Pyrenees, The Natural Magic of Aragon, The Very Best Of The Spanish Pyrenean Lakeland, and The Best Of The High Pyrenees : From Lourdes To (literally)The Stars where you stay at an observatory and have a private telescopic tour of the heavens.
Discover the real life of the Pyrenees, explore Carcassonne and Cathar castles, or walk the coast to the Guggenheim. On the Mediterranean side, we offer The Art Of Walking: : A Gentle Cultural Journey To The Mediterranean, while Walking From Mount Canigou To The Med includes monasteries, museums and vineyards among many other delightful discoveries, but if you want to immerse yourself in regional history and culture then consider From Cathar Castles To Mediterranean Collioure. On the other coast, is the remarkably highlight packed Cultural Camino Break: Guernica, Guggenheim & Much More.
Choose an itinerary to go from coast to coast in one week, two, or ten! For walkers, we offer Coast-To-Coast Pyrenees In 2 Weeks that includes daily transfers, so you only walk the very best of the Pyrenees , but if you have more time (and commitment) then The Purely Pyrénées Atlantic To The Med In 5 Fortnights may be right for you. Each section is broken down into 11 days walking over 2 weeks, so it is a comfortable itinerary which follows much of the famous GR10, but we show you better route options in many places thanks to our decades of experience. By bike – electric or not - we offer Cycling Enjoyably From The Atlantic To The Med.
We will be offering more camino walks and rides for 2018, and almost all of them are wonderful routes not travelled by the tourist hordes. For now, we are simply offering The Cultural Camino Break: Guernica, Guggenheim & Much More, and The Best Of The High Pyrenees : From Lourdes To The Stars which includes camino paths over the Pyrenees as well as Lourdes.
If you’re not yet convinced that the Pyrenees are right for you, or you are simply short of time, then perhaps a short break is the right choice for you ? You can choose to walk the Quintessential Collioure To Cadaques Break, or choose Cycling The Best Of The Pyrenean Mediterranean Break. On the Atlantic coast, there is The Cultural Camino Break : Guernica, Guggenheim & Much More as well as walking the very satisfying Mountains To The Atlantic: Pays Basque Break.
The foothills and valleys, not the mountain peaks. These are cycling holidays for people who enjoy cycling – but not racing around ! That’s why we offer electric bikes to make it that much more comfortable and enjoyable. We know what are the best cycling itineraries - and that a bike is the best way to see more in a short break, a week or a fortnight. You can enjoy Cycling The Best Of The Pyrenean Mediterranean, or see the highlights Cycling The Best Of The Pyrenean Mediterranean Break. If you want something less challenging then The Canal du Midi to the Med might be just right for you.
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