Adventure holiday company in the French Pyrenees.

Our holidays are about discovering the mountain environment in both summer and winter seasons with qualified guides and excellent accommodation. We support our local economy by living and working in the Pyrenees year round using local guides and instructors, local craftsmen and tradesmen.

Robert and Emma Mason

Who we are

MountainBug was established as a Mountain activity company, in the high Pyrenees, more than 10 years ago by International Mountain Leaders, Robert and Emma Mason. Offering excellent accommodation in the mountain chalet they personalty renovated, Chalet Les Cailloux. Robert and Emma have built up a successful business offering intimate, guided walking, multi-activity and other activity holidays to guests from all over the world and their chalet is consistently number 1 on Trip Advisor..

Our ethos

Here at MountainBug we want to give our guests a chance to get out and enjoy the mountains, whatever their ability, interests and likes.

We deliver a personal, high quality service with carefully chosen guides, accommodation, and staff, so that our guests are looked after and have an enjoyable stay.

We’re also straight-talking – we tell you what you are getting for your money and don’t pad holidays out with words that sound exciting but aren’t. There are no surprise extra costs on our holidays.

Where a holiday says “guided” you will have a fully qualified guide for the activity you are doing.

We are qualified Mountain Guides. You can find out more about the International Mountain Leader guiding qualification in the box below – or ask our guides when you are here. They’ll be happy to tell you all about their qualifications and the on-going CPD and first aid training they undertake to ensure their qualifications are kept up to date!

As we’re a small business, we like to tailor our holidays to our guests, so if you have any special requests or requirements, please do email or call us and we’ll be happy to sort something out.


UIMLA logo

Many countries have Mountain Leader qualifications. In an unusual act of European cooperation a few years ago, virtually all of the EU countries became affiliated and members of UIMLA (Union of International Mountain Leader Associations), with each country modifying its Mountain Leader programme to achieve equivalence. More countries are joining the association each year, and the International Mountain Leader qualification is recognised all over the world. Robert and Emma are both IML qualified as well as being experts in the local fauna and fauna, with the added bonus of also holding Masters and Doctorate degrees from Bristol University in Geology.

It’s suprising to us, and our fellow IMLs, to find so many well known companies are still using un-qualified guides and instructors for their walking and activity holidays. UIMLA and UIAGM (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) leaders and Guide de Hautes Montagne are the only people who are insured and qualified to take you out walking in the middle and high mountains. IMLs like ourselves are qualified to lead guided walking holidays on mountainous terrain, where the use of a rope is not foreseen.

An IML has been trained in navigation, security on steep ground, use of ropes, snow hazards, wild camping/snow hole construction and rescue techniques. They also hold a valid first-aid certificate. For Alpine-style mountaineering (crampons, axes, ropes), via ferrata, climbing and off-piste ski guiding you need to look for the UIAGM “Guide de Haute Montagne” qualification.

If you are shopping elsewhere for a holiday in the mountains, PLEASE check the qualifications of the leaders – for your own safety – and indeed whether you are actually even getting a guide.

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