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active 2 days ago

Joël Massé

I'm the "southern man" of the team at Objectif France. I was born in Perpignan, at the south border of France with Spain, and I've spent the first 30 years of my life in the South, before “coming up” to Lyon, where I've worked for a tour operator for 10 years. That allowed me to travel in more than 30 countries around the world…before I finally realized that my own country was undoubtedly the most beautiful destination to live in and to visit !
Exclusive authentic experiences, unexpected encounters and charming accommodation spots are the main components of a successful trip for me. The most memorable part of a trip comes often from what is not written or planned! I will help you to design the voyage of your dreams, that rides that subtle balance between rigorous organization and real moments of poetry.
My most recent vacation: Corsica
My favourite areas in France : the soft mountains of the sunny Cerdagne in the Pyreenes, the majesty and mystery of the famous castles in the Loire Valley, the perched villages of Luberon in Provence, with their vibrant local markets...

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"As I've got two kids, I know pretty well how to organize a family trip, chosing an appropriate ryhtm and activities. I also love to design really tailor-made trips for honeymooners, and put some romantic suprises for them during the tour. Regarding the geographical expertise, I know Provence and the South of France pretty well, as well as Loire Valley, Normandy...and Lyon of course, where we are working.
In Europe, I know Spain, Scotland and Iceland very well. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"I did my Civil Service in a NGO in Senegal just after my studies. After 2 years of working and living in Tambacounda, at the East of that country, I've travelled as a backpacker with a friend of mine for 5 months in West Africa : Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast...A wonderful first experience of long time travel...After coming back home, it took me a few years before I could find a job in travel industry, but then I never came back to another sector ! "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"It's undoubtedly my first encounter with a mountain gorilla in the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. When your eyes meet those of these gentle heroes of the bamboo forets on the slopes of the mountains, you feel like you meet one of your ancestors or cousin. It's indescriptible ! I'm really fascinated by apes, and mountain gorillas are among the most incredible creatures in the world. "

Featured trips & expertise

Stay overnight in the French Alps while hiking Mont Blanc
Nice, Provence, Paris & the French Alps - 14 Days

This two-week adventure covers a great deal of ground while offering a range of unique excursions that capitalize on France's culture, cuisine, and scenery. Start the trip in Nice where you'll take a cooking class and check out towns along the Mediterranean coast. Then pick up a rental car and make your way to Provence, followed by Annecy at the foot of the French Alps. This is where you'll hike for two days—while staying at a mountain hut—before finishing in Paris, the 'City of Lights'.

Spend two leisurely days driving around the Brittany region
Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley - 14 Days

This epic trip loops around three beloved regions in France with a nice mix of free time and guided tours. Start in Normandy to visit historical sites—spanning 900 years—between Bayeux and Omaha Beach. Next is Brittany where you'll have free time (and a car) to explore the wild, rugged coastline at your own pace. Then experience UNESCO-listed villages and castles in the Loire Valley before finishing with two days in Paris.

Annecy's Palais de l'Isle, at dusk
Lyon, Annecy & Chamonix - 10 Days

This 10-day adventure combines three of France's easternmost gems starting with its capital of gastronomy: Lyon. While here, you'll explore an outstanding dining scene, visit nearby vineyards, and meet farmers and artisans. Then train to Annecy, a beautiful medieval town nicknamed the 'Venice of France'. Finish in Chamonix, next to the tallest peak in France—Mont Blanc—with opportunities to hit the trails for stunning views.

Château d'Azay le Rideau
Loire Valley Château Tour - 5 Days

This relaxing 5-day jaunt focuses on the Loire Valley, a fertile region south of Paris dotted with hundreds of opulent châteaux (many that are UNESCO-listed) that once belonged to kings, queens, dukes, and influential artists. Enjoy a series of full-day private tours where you'll explore the area's best estates, gardens, game reserves, vineyards, and charming towns, especially Amboise—your home base for the trip.

Mont Saint Michel dating back to the 8th century
Normandy Coast Excursion - 5 Days

Ideal for history buffs, this Northern France itinerary spans an impressive timeline from the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944. With the help of local guides, you'll experience the island monastery of Mont Saint Michel, pay respects at transfixing WWII memorials and museums, and enjoy free time in the evenings to explore the charming city of Bayeux—your home base for the trip.

Sunset on Chambord castle in Loire Valley
Highlights of France in Paris, Bordeaux & the Loire Valley - 9 Days

Experience three of the major regions of France with this trip through Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Paris. Start off shopping in the morning markets and sipping wine in historic vineyards, continue to tours of Renaissance-era castles and classic châteaux, and end your trip amid the city streets and cultural institutions of the City of Lights.

Recent trip reviews for Joël

Trip to france, France - Sep 13 - Sep 17, 2019

Traveler: Lauren K. - Local specialist: Joël Massé

Our trip to Paris was flawless and memorable thanks to Joel’s help from Kimkim. From airport pick-up to drop off, we didn’t have to worry about anything. Each guide we had was knowledgeable, helpful, and kind. We especially loved our guided trip to the Louvre, our pastry baking class, and our bike trip to Versailles. Our guide, Rachel, showed us where to get the best crepes and make the trip memorable and fun.

Joël Massé profile photo
Joël Massé, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Lauren, bonjour de France !
As I didn't have any news from you during your trip, I was wondering how it went and I'm glad to see that it went well ! (as often, no news is good news...). Thanks for your trust and your feed-back. It's definitely essential for us to have these comments (both positive or negative), that help us to control, maintain and improve the quality of our services and suppliers (guides, drivers, hotels...).
You can now open a bakery or a creperie near your home and prepare the best crepes for your compatriots !
Best
Joel

Trip to france, France - Jul 2 - Jul 14, 2019

Traveler: Damien M. - Local specialist: Joël Massé

Really enjoyed all 4 stops. Learned so much. Such a wonderful trip — we and our kids love France!!

Joël Massé profile photo
Joël Massé, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Damien,

I'm now back from my holidays after a revigorating 3 week break. I know we're lucky in France to have 5 weeks of vacation per year !

I'm dealing with my (long) list of tasks and things to do, and as usual, I always start with the post trip reviews.
As I really took care of your family trip, I'm really happy to hear that you had the great experience you expected, though there has been some minor quacks and some details that could have been improved.
Well noted that the... read more

Hi Damien,

I'm now back from my holidays after a revigorating 3 week break. I know we're lucky in France to have 5 weeks of vacation per year !

I'm dealing with my (long) list of tasks and things to do, and as usual, I always start with the post trip reviews.
As I really took care of your family trip, I'm really happy to hear that you had the great experience you expected, though there has been some minor quacks and some details that could have been improved.
Well noted that the appartment in St Remy did not fullfill your expectations, the main issue being that there was only 1 toilet.
I'm honnestly surprised about your feed back upon Daphne in Loire Valley, as I know her personnally and she's defintely a very expansive and talkative guide. And we've always great feed back on her and her colleagues. I believe she had a personal issue or something that troubled her mind on the day she guided you in Chambord. Sorry for that !
I wish you a great summer and thank you again for your trust in us and your love for France !
Joel

Trip to france, France - Jun 29 - Jul 12, 2019

Traveler: Sarah H. - Local specialist: Joël Massé

The trip was fantastic, the locations, the pace, and all the guides we encountered were terrific. Stand outs were Yoann at canyoning, Francesca at the Louvre and Dan for the bike tour around Versailles.

Joel was very patient and helpful during our planning, and providing ideas and insight as we were really not sure how to begin the planning of this trip.

Trip plan and vouchers were easy to use and follow, a very stress free vacation.

Joël Massé profile photo
Joël Massé, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sarah,

I'm now back to the office after great holidays in Dordogne and the Atlantic Coast. I'm glad to hear that your stay in France has been great as well and that you enjoyed the excursions and visits we had planned for you. Thanks also for your positive comments on our documents, which we always try to do as complete and easy-to-read as possible.
I wish you a great summer and stay at your disposal if you have any other future project of trip in France.
Best regards
Joel

Gigi

Trip to france, France - May 30 - Jun 22, 2019

Traveler: Gigi G. - Local specialist: Joël Massé

I had a great experience working with Joel in planning my month-long wine and food-focused road trip in France. I started in Bordeaux and went through all of the major wine regions in France (except for the Loire and Alsace) ending with an epic visit in Champagne and a few days in Paris. He planned the route, selected fantastic hotels and Chambre d'Hotes for me to stay. And in each location, he arranged wine excursions and food tours that were perfect for my interests.

At one point we had... read more

I had a great experience working with Joel in planning my month-long wine and food-focused road trip in France. I started in Bordeaux and went through all of the major wine regions in France (except for the Loire and Alsace) ending with an epic visit in Champagne and a few days in Paris. He planned the route, selected fantastic hotels and Chambre d'Hotes for me to stay. And in each location, he arranged wine excursions and food tours that were perfect for my interests.

At one point we had difficulty with one of the tours. I notified Joel right away and he was able to get things squared away for us quickly and easily.

Throughout this process (we refined the trip plan about 8 times), Joel was helpful and friendly. When we were in Beaujolais, he even came out to meet my sister and I. It was fantastic to put the face with the name and it felt like I was meeting a friend.

I will definitely work with KimKim again!

Joël Massé profile photo
Joël Massé, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Gigi,
This is just a quick mail to acknowledge I received your feed back on Kim Kim, otherwise it stays in my queue ! I'm leaving tomorrow for a 2 week vacation in Dordogne ;-)
Have a nice summer !
Joel