Way back in 1984, I was inspired by my love of walking in the Pyrenees to start a company sharing my knowledge and enjoyment with others.
I named the company after the warm breeze that blows up from the south – from the Sahara in fact – that gives us such a unique climate making the Pyrenees both warm and green.
And now we help over 13,000 people every year to enjoy walking and cycling holidays in the Pyrenees, and in other equally beautiful and unspoilt parts of the world.
While I am French and a Pyrenean through and through, I have always had, as you say, a soft spot for Britain, and worked there while learning English.
So I am delighted that we are now launching a proper English language holiday programme with itineraries, accommodation, transfers and packages designed exclusively for the worldwide English speaking market.
One of the major differences is this: many English speakers may visit the Pyrenees only once, so we have packed as many highlights into each itinerary as we can. You visit iconic places every day, and stay in truly authentic hotels enjoying some of the best cuisine in France.
So if you ask who we are, we are Pyreneans – and you can be sure we will do everything in our powers to give you the best possible experience of our homeland.
As people say these days, ENJOY !
Founder, La Balaguere & Purely Pyrenees
1. Purely Pyrenees was created by La Balaguere exclusively to provide exceptional walking (and cycling) holidays in the Pyrenees to English speakers from all over the world.
2. La Balaguere (pronounced bal-a-gair) is by far the best known and most respected tour operator in the Pyrenees as well as being the largest and oldest. Over 30 people work in our offices in Arrens-Marsous, yet we are still very much the independent company that Vincent Fonvieille founded in 1984, and still runs for pride and pleasure rather more than for profit. What’s more La Balaguere contributes significantly to environmental and other initiatives to improve the lives and holidays of those in the Pyrenees.
3. We have more satisfied customers than any other regional travel company. We were the first company dedicated to walking and cycling holidays in the Pyrenees, and over 14,000 people (mainly French, of course) choose us each year.
4. We are the only company to have our own network of guides, drivers and people carriers across the Pyrenees, so no one can offer more convenient, faster or better value transfers and support.
5. We are the only company experienced in the whole of the Pyrenees without frontiers. Our “Pyrenees” is anywhere you can see the Pyrenees on a clear day (with binoculars!) - from the foothills to the highest peaks, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, from Perpignan to Santiago de Compostela, and from Toulouse to Barcelona, we know the Pyrenees. We speak French, Catalan and Spanish – many of us all three languages – as well as English.
6. We have a dedicated Purely Pyrenees team, most of whom speak English as their first language, and all of whom understand the distinctive needs and wants, doubts and issues of those who don’t live in France, and perhaps speak only limited – or no – French. Call our dedicated Purely Pyrenees number and you will have a conversation in English.
7. Every holiday offered by Purely Pyrenees has been tailor made for English speakers. Many of the holidays are similar to those offered to our French customers – but none are the same. They have been designed and developed to suit you, often offering different itineraries and accommodation, always committed to delivering you the best possible experience of any particular area or itinerary.
8. No other tour operator gets even close to offering as many, or as wide a choice of, Pyrenean walking (and cycling) holiday experiences as we do in both the French and Spanish Pyrenees.
9. Purely Pyrenees is the only tour operator offering walking holidays in the Pyrenees covered by both French (APST) and British (ABTA) consumer protection regulations as well as international consumer rights, not least when using credit cards. You could not be in safer hands – and when on holiday can call us 24/7 to speak to a member of staff, not a call centre.
10. We are always keen to hear what our customers think, respond to them, and put into practice their practical suggestions. That’s why we quickly upload customer comments and testimonials, and respond to any queries you may have, or comments you make, before, during or after your holiday.
Having walked most of the mountain ranges around the world, we always come back to our homeland, and ask : is there a better mountain range in the world for walking than the Pyrenees ? Our answer is invariably no ! Here are some reasons why. Read more.
You can enjoy cycling independently in the Pyrenees anytime between April and early November almost anywhere, but to make the cycling even more comfortable and enjoyable – and enable you to travel further and see more - we offer electric bikes as an option. Read more
Nobody is able to provide as much support, or have as many human and physical resources available to help if needed. Read more
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