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
See the Eiffel Tower in Paris, explore tidal pools on the beaches of Normandy, and learn about pirates and seafaring history in the walled city on this packed 9-day family road trip. From delicious French pastries in the capital city to fresh-caught seafood in the neighborhood brasserie, there's no shortage of culinary delights. For young travelers, treasure hunts, sand yachting, and more up the adventure.
From the big city lights and historical museums of Paris to the quiet beaches of Western France, there's something on this 10-day road trip to delight everyone in the family, regardless of age. Start your trip in the capital city to explore highlights like the Louvre and Versaille, then rent a car and head west. Sample fresh seafood, try sand yachting and learn about D-Day history on the beaches of Normandy.
Immerse yourself in Southern European culture and Mediterranean landscapes, from the vibrant and trendy Barcelona, "the pearl of Catalunya", to Lyon, the unofficial capital of French cuisine. Visit 2000-year-old Vieux Lyon, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and sample authentic Spanish tapas in Barcelona
If you're short on time but don't want to cut back on the experience, this packed 7-day itinerary is for you. Start in Barcelona for authentic tapas and Art Nouveau, then explore Dali's life along the coast. Fly to Lyon for the second half of the week, where French wine and world-class cuisine await.
Eight days is the perfect amount of time for a quick getaway to see the Mediterranean and Provence. Sample tapas and learn about Salvador Dali's life in Barcelona, then head to Carcassone in France to tour ancient ruins and see the incredible Cathar Castles. Drive to Lyon, stopping to visit Roman ruins and Avignon along the way.
Recent trip reviews for Joël
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