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active 17 hours 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. "

Joël is part of the following groups: France Travel Agents
Dancing in the Paris Sunlight
Family Road Trip in Western France: Paris, Normandy, & Brittany - 8 Days

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 

Enjoying the views
Family Road Trip in Western France: Paris, Normandy, & Brittany - 9 Days

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. 

Young child enjoying autumn in Paris
Family Road Trip in Western France: Paris, Normandy, & Brittany - 10 Days

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. 

View of Lyon from the Fourviere cathedral
Highlights of Spain & France: Barcelona & Lyon - 6 Days

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

Traditional street in Barcelona's Poble Espanyol
Highlights of Spain & France: Barcelona & Lyon - 7 Days

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.

La Sagrada Familia
Spain and France Road Trip: Barcelona, Carcassonne, & Lyon - 8 Days

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

Traveler: Mary R. - Local specialist: Joël Massé

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

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 would not be of much interest to our daughter, but he assured me that we would enjoy the historic aspects of the traditional Jewish community and the LGBTQ communities. The tour was far more about the French royalty and aristocracy than it was about the historic communities. Our itinerary also stated that we would be offered a midway stop at a traditional French and local cafe for a hot beverage — this did not happen. I felt that while Patrick was very knowledgeable, he was not reading his audience well at all.

While we found our Louvre guide, Melanie, did a great job, we found the itinerary description misleading. When we were told that we would have a private, after hours tour, we expected that the museum would be closed except for small private tours. This was not the case as the museum was open to the public at this time. I think you should be more accurate in the description of this tour. The term “after hours” has definite connotation.

I do want to offer a special accolade to our guide for Musee D’Orsay and L’Orangerie, Victor. He brought great insight and wonderful narrative to his tour with us. His passion and knowledge were outstanding. I am very glad that we were able to enjoy these two museums that highlight the Impressionists since Giverny was not an option at this time of year.

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

Bonjour Mary,
I want to thank you for taking the time of sending us your feed-back upon your recent past trip in Paris. These comments and reviews are indispensable for us to maintain and consistently improve the quality of our trips and services.
While I'm glad to see that you had a global very positive experience, I'm a bit concerned by your disappointment for the tours in Le Louvre Museum and Le Marais district. For Le Louvre, I had specified in the description that it was a small group... read more

Bonjour Mary,
I want to thank you for taking the time of sending us your feed-back upon your recent past trip in Paris. These comments and reviews are indispensable for us to maintain and consistently improve the quality of our trips and services.
While I'm glad to see that you had a global very positive experience, I'm a bit concerned by your disappointment for the tours in Le Louvre Museum and Le Marais district. For Le Louvre, I had specified in the description that it was a small group tour of 6 people max, but not a fully private tour. "After hours" meant that it's done later than usual, at the end of the afternoons, as the Museum closes later on this day, but it does not mean that the Museum is closed to the public at this time. We'll change the description of the tour to be more accurate and clear. For the tour in the Marais, it appears that the description given by Localers has changed, and I'm a bit surprised. not to see anymore the snack break and the details upon Jewish and LGBT communities. I'd like to offer you a partial refund for that tour, as it obviously did not correspond to what was written in the proposal. I hope however that you've had a great trip in Paris !

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