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.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on what you like doing most.
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 – these are holidays all about pleasure not pain – and comfortable places to stay, but we don’t think that’s enough.
We want you to discover the real Pyrenees, and the lives lived by real Pyreneans. We want you to enjoy the most authentic places to stay – villages as well as hotels. We want you to experience our wonderful cuisine. We want you to explore the best highlights, and plenty of them in each holiday. And we want you to feel well supported with help available 24/7 should you need it.
Whether you choose to pedal slowly or walk slowly, there is one thing above all that will tell us whether we have succeeded, and that’s that you choose a second – and maybe a third and fourth – holiday with Purely Pyrenees.