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
Pack the family and hit the road for a self-drive trip through western France. Spend eight days seeing art in Paris, learning about history in Normandy, and vacationing on the seaside like the French. See Paris from the eyes of your kids with a treasure hunt at the Louvre, tour D-Day sites, and get an adrenaline rush when you try sand yachting
You will be delighted by this trip in Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux and the Dordogne region. This is a subtle mix of French history and culture, wine and flavors, and some bucolic landscapes such as the Atlantic coast and Dordogne perched villages. A great road trip adventure for the whole family!
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'.
Leave it all behind and enjoy eleven magical days in France for your honeymoon (or any other special occasion!) Start in Paris, where romantic dinners at streetside cafes blend perfectly with relaxed strolls through the Louvre and a night at the Eiffel Tower. Wrap up your trip in Avignon and Nice, where history, nature, and wine await you and your sweetie.
Visit the royal castle of Blois, known as the Château Royal de Blois. Classified as a historical monument since 1845, the royal chateau presents a magnificent panorama of the art and history that filled the castles of the Loire Valley. Surrounding an inner courtyard, its four wings constitute a...
Nestled by the northwestern shore of its namesake lake, Annecy is the jewel of the Haute-Savoie. From its crowning Château d'Annecy down to its gurgling canals, Annecy's Vieille Ville (Old Town) is infused with antique charm. Made great by the medieval Counts of Geneva and augmented by the Dukes...
Explore the picturesque and historic villages of the Dordogne River, starting in Domme, a trapezoid city creating a bastide (fortified medieval town) adapted to the surrounding terrain. The city is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France). Enjoy a walking...
Just about an hour northwest of Aix-en-Provence is the medieval city of Avignon. You'll find centuries' worth of fascinating history here, as this is where Pope Clemente V moved his court in the 14th century. For several decades after that, it was the seat of the Catholic popes. Spend the day...
Recent trip reviews for Joël
Our trip to France was awesome. Kimkim put m... · France - Sep 29 - Oct 8, 2021
Our trip to France was awesome. Kimkim put me in touch with Joel who put together a perfect trip for us. He listened to me and executed exactly what we wanted. He was unfamiliar with a couple of our requests but set out to find options for us and delivered an experience of a lifetime! Huge thanks! Online travel agent.... worked for me!!!
Great Trip . . . A few constructive comments · France - Feb 15 - Feb 20, 2020
Overall this was a wonderful trip, and we were very pleased with our accommodations at Hotel a la Villa des Artistes in the Montparnasse area. That Les Jardins de Luxembourg was walking distance made it even lovelier.
All of our guides through Localers were extremely knowledgeable. We do want to offer a bit of constructive feedback regarding the Treasures of the Marais walking tour with
Patrick. I was at first reluctant to book this tour during discussions with Joel because I felt it... read more
Trip to France · France - Sep 13 - Sep 17, 2019
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.
Trip to France · France - Jul 2 - Jul 14, 2019
Really enjoyed all 4 stops. Learned so much. Such a wonderful trip — we and our kids love France!!
Trip to France · France - Jun 29 - Jul 12, 2019
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.
Trip to France · France - May 30 - Jun 22, 2019
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