Every time I have the chance to travel, I try to fully experience the destination that I am discovering. The colors, scents, tastes, sounds - all these sensations are the essence of the trip and are magnified even more by unique encounters with locals.
I was born in France (country of fragrances and gastronomy!) and raised between countryside and mountains, which is why I love proposing outdoor travel experiences to my guests when they discover France. Provence and the French Riviera are perfect illustrations of my approach: the Art de Vivre combined with the beauty of great outdoors!
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"Based both in Provence hinterlands and Marseille's old harbor, our local travel agency is dedicated to ecotourism and active travel in Southern France. We are specialists of the Southern Alps, the French Riviera, Provence hinterlands and its legendary « Mont Ventoux ». We organize self-driven trips and guided tours with our local ambassadors and guides: off-the-beaten-path but without missing the essentials! All year long we propose outdoor activities and tours around local products: black truffles and Mediterranean olives in winter, lavender in summer, southern Côte-du-Rhône wine in autumn…every month you'll have a reason to discover Southern France!
Which of the following experiences would you choose in our wide scope of activities? Climbing the Mont Ventoux with or without a pedal assist system…Sleeping under the dome of an observatory in the Southern Alps (one of the best night skies of Europe!), or maybe Enjoying a 4* Ecolodge perched above the biggest European canyon? The choice is entirely yours, and I am here to assist you in creating a unique experience!"
How did you get involved in travel?
"In 2007, I was given the opportunity to rediscover the deep Laos while designing trekking paths along the Hô Chi Minh trails. Since then I have worked and lived in Ethiopia, Thailand, Mali. My work has focused on ecotourism and travel.
When I returned to France in 2013, I decided to make my dreams come true by creating my own local travel agency in a region I particularly loved. I then became a specialist in ecotourism and off-the-beaten-track tours in Southern France, and I love it! "
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I experienced the Seychelles islands during a break when I was an international volunteer in Ethiopia. With our group, we hiked through the granite mountains of La Digue until spotting the beautiful coast. Once down on the rocky shore, we followed our local guide Dario and continued the trek with an aquatic walk in the turquoise Indian Ocean, backpacks on our heads, and finally reached a stunning deserted beach … I will never forget the feeling of being an ‘explorer’, even in a very popular and touristy place such as the Seychelles.
Hiking from the mountains to the sea is now definitely my preferred itinerary! Fortunately for me, I can continue this adventure, walking or bike-riding along great paths and roads from the Southern Alps to the Mediterranean Sea!"
Featured trips & expertise
Experience the quintessential highlights of the Provence region from the Mediterranean Sea to the deepest gorge in France (Gorges du Verdon) on this self-drive itinerary. Along with a mix of outdoor activities and cultural tours, you'll have plenty of free time to explore charming villages, famous vineyards, and UNESCO-listed monuments at your own pace for an adventure to remember.
Get behind the wheel in the South of France during this weeklong road trip through the Provence region. Starting in Marseille, you'll swim in the Mediterranean, tour cafés and vineyards in Aix en Provence, and explore a range of picturesque hilltop villages in the Luberon. At the end of each day, hang your hat on some of the most charming hotels in France while choosing between exquisite dining options.
This itinerary covers a boggling number of must-see places and unique excursions for an authentic taste of French life. Over the course of 10 days, you'll enjoy the beauty of Paris with the help of a local guide before spending three nights in Aix en Provence. From here, tour the French Riviera's best seaside towns starting in Cassis and heading east to Cannes and Nice where you'll complete the adventure.
On this nature and culture tour, you'll experience the best of the Southern Alps and French Riviera, famous for their alpine scenery and Mediterranean coastal beauty. Over three days, you'll discover the historic city of Nice, the valleys of Mercantour National Park, ancient petroglyphs, and much more.
On this self-drive tour, you'll get behind the wheel and take off into the south of France, discovering the highlights of the famed Provence region in just over a week. The tour will take you from the nation's oldest city, Marseille, to the markets and cafés of charming Aix-en-Provence. It continues to the historic city of Avignon, on the Rhône River, as well as into the Alpilles Mountains and over the valleys of the Luberon region. At the end of each day, you'll hang your hat in some of the most charming hotels and B&Bs in all of France.
The southeastern French region of Provence is one of the most scenic in the country. It's the land of the Riveria, medieval villages, lavender fields, and endless olive groves and vineyards. But Provence is as much a way of life as it is a point on a map. Today you'll experience Provence's...
On the French Riviera, near the border with Italy, lies Nice. Nicknamed Nissa La Bella ("Nice the Beautiful"), it's a historic city famous for its artistic spirit, grand plazas, crescent-shaped pebble beaches, and the narrow streets of its colorful old town, Vieille Ville. Nice is a densely...
Explore a different art form as you learn about the region's emblematic Savon de Marseille (Marseille soap). This traditional hard soap, typically made with vegetable oils, has been around for nearly 600 years, with the first record of soap making in Marseille from 1370 CE. It was so popular and...
Lyon sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, creating scenic bike paths perfect for city exploration. First, get suited with all your gear, including an easy-to-use e-bike that will allow you to zip up hills without much effort. Then, you'll set off on two wheels to discover Lyon’s...
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...
Eating pastries and enjoying art is synonymous with French culture, and you'll get to do plenty of both while in Paris! Start your morning with a tour of the beloved Le Marais neighborhood with a local guide (a neighborhood resident, in fact). Le Marais has played an important part in French...
Recent trip reviews for Simon
Our trip to the Rhone valley and the Luberon · France - May 4 - May 13, 2022
Simon was very attentive and designed a wonderful trip for us. We visited Lyon, Avignon, the Luberon, and Marseille. It was a good balance of planned activities and free time for exploration on our own. Each stop had something memorable. In Lyon, the gastronomy walking tour peas our favorite. In Avingon, Pont de Gare and a side trip to Nimes. Both the cooking class and the e-bike tour were great, and staying in Roussillon was superb. We didn't have much time in Marseille so that was some... read more
We spent 3 weeks in France with my family of ... · France - Mar 18 - Apr 8, 2022
We spent 3 weeks in France with my family of four! I love to plan and research but it was becoming too time consuming so I reached out to KimKim. They connected us to Simon, who completed a full 3-week itinerary for us - including hotels, train, transfers, and tours and experiences. It was fun picking and choosing what our family wanted from the options given. Simon then booked everything for us after we had finalized our selection. I am writing this out in the review because to be... read more
Memorable trip to the South of France · France - Oct 16 - Oct 30, 2021
I can't thank Simon and Ambre Marie enough for all their planning and recommendations for our group! Everything was truly wonderful, from when we arrived in Marseille to our last night in Eze. Our guides throughout the week - LuLu, Arthur, Alex, Nathalie and Stephan - were all excellent, and the towns and locations visited spectacular. A highlight for us all was Captain Laurence, on our boat tour out of Marseille - she is wonderful. Our first dinner in Marseille at Restaurant Une table au... read more
Our trip was amazing! · France - Feb 10 - Feb 18, 2020
Our trip was Amazing! Simon was so responsive, both before AND during our trip. I've traveled a lot but never used a travel agent before and what a difference it makes! Thanks to Simon, KimKim, and the So Provence! So Alps! team, we enjoyed sights and experiences we would not have planned ourselves. All of our guides were very knowledgeable and experienced. We had a great trip.
Good trip itinerary but a couple of mis-steps. · France - Nov 15 - Nov 24, 2019
I enjoyed the trip and tours arranged by kimkim. The hotels and guides were good with 2 exceptions - described below. I did not interact much with Simon so cannot provide comments on his service.
There are 2 things that were of poor quality however:
1. The hotel in Aux-du-Provence was not good quality. I also had a safety issue there, in that someone I did not know, tried to come into my room late at night. Also, my bathroom smelled bad and my refrigerator did not work. I would not stay at... read more
Great time in Provence, but · France - Sep 19 - Sep 22, 2019
I think overall KimKim did the best they could to service my group. They provided many options based on my request but our intentions were different. The KimKim service is best for those who are ok with someone taking care of everything and not worries about the additional cost. I think I was trying to learn more about the place and see various price options and activities lined up next to each other so I could get a good comparison and it’s not meant for that.
On that note Simon and Lucie... read more
Trip to France · France - Sep 19 - Sep 22, 2019
KimKim did a great job planning for the wants/needs of our group. We used KimKim for transportation, cooking classes, winery tours, and train tickets. I can’t say enough about our cooking class. Mathilde was knowledgeable, providing history and passion for her cooking class. She was also a great resource for things to do in the area. The meal we created in her kitchen was informative, fun, and delicious.
The train tickets and transportation was also great. With 5 girls and luggage, we... read more
Culinary Rhône Valley Tour: Lyon to Marseille - 8 Days · France - Jul 8 - Jul 19, 2019
This trip was perfection. Our local specialist Simon planned it seamlessly. Each leg of the trip was different and special. The location of the Lyon hotel and the gourmet walking tour and winery trip with Tasty Lyon was great too.
Domaine Capelongue was stunning and a great location to visit all the small towns around.
Our favourite by far was Caroline’s beautiful B&B Villa Astoria. She was a great host and her help Sylvie is very sweet. The location, views and house are perfection .
Thank you to Simon again for the great planning, communication and making our holiday a Dream!
Highlights of Provence - 12 Days · France - Jun 20 - Jun 29, 2019
Overall itinerary was well planned and hotel selection was superb with good location and services except for the following :
1) Hotel Splendid Nice, who did the dinner booking for us, failed to inform us of the change in restaurant. We had a nasty shock when we went to the given restaurant and found it to be empty of furniture. The alternative restaurant we managed to locate was poor with meat dishes.
2) Hotel in Forcalquier is an excellent resort hotel, but is located 2 km from town.... read more
Discover Provence by Electric Bike - 6 Days · France - Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2019
This was the perfect travel experience and one that my wife and I will remember for a lifetime.
The accommodations that were booked for us in every town were in a beautiful setting, always very comfortable and with an extraordinary staff. We were especially impressed with our room in Sault maintained by Kevin. Not only was it in a beautiful valley each and every space was perfectly furnished. Dominique who was our host outside of Roussillon was very helpful and took great pains to make us... read more
Trip to France · France - Oct 16 - Oct 22, 2018
I thought the hotels and guides were great. The first two nights in Aix Provence were the best as far as service and hotels go. This small hotel provided great service and an excellent room. The cooking school was enjoyable with a trip to the market and then a quick wine tasting before the class. The food proved amazing and the event filled the day. Don't suggest having any more meals that day. The hotel in Arles was quite beautiful. It was a treat to stay there. The wine trip the... read more
GolfTrip · France - Sep 23 - Sep 29, 2018
Estelle from sun e bikes was great and very helpful. The staff at the restaurants: Fort in Marseille, La Fourchette in Avignon were very pleasant and good experiences. Heily Lucullus in Avignon was very good and our owner/hostess was very nice. Eating dinner outside at Les Fin Roches in CDP had excellent ambiance. CDP itself was just OK. Sylvie at La Nerth gave a great tour although a little rushed since we were a little late. But she spent a lot of time with us in the the tasting... read more
Trip to France · France - Sep 23 - Sep 29, 2018
Our Trip to Provence and The French Riveria was great. Alex our guide and driver was fantastic. Very professional but friendly, excellent driver, so knowledgeable on the history and geography of the area and very flexible when we had requests for small variations. Our hotel accommodations were all very good - the last one - Hotel La Perouse was fabulous - great way to end our holiday. Regarding the activities we partook in - we all thought the hike in Calanques National Park was great but in... read more
Short visit in Cote d'Azur area. · France - Sep 17 - Sep 19, 2018
The two days of hiking in the "Vallee des Merveilles" was wonderful with Damien. He was very considerate, interesting and fun. The tour was exactly what I was hoping. Sometime in the future, I would love to plan another but longer hike through that part of France.
The tour of Nice was good. Our guide knew the information and presented it well. Our only problem was that she talks too long with a very fast loud voice. Sometimes she talked so quickly that we could not follow her strain of... read more
An active trip that coordinates w an nternational munich flight · France - Sep 4 - Sep 8, 2018
Simon was very helpful to meet with me pre trip and make sure I understood where I was supposed to be each day. The hotels and restaurants that he selected were fantastic. I especially loved Danielle at the wine b and b. The wine experience was fantastic. Sun E bikes made the trip pretty tough. While I am certain they had the best of intentions, the person who drops off the bike needs to be trained on how to set the GPS up for success. I asked immediately how to zoom in and he wasn't able to... read more
Family friendly tour of Provence · France - Jul 9 - Jul 13, 2018
We are a family of 4 who travelled to Provence in July 2018. Our children are aged 4 and 6. All our accommodation was superb and the guided tours excellent. The tour of the calenques with skipper Laurence was one of the most unique and memorable experiences of our travels so far - we traveled quickly to some magnificent swimming locations and saw a really different side of Marseille.
The tour of an Olive mill was delicious and fascinating. The family were really welcoming and involved the... read more
Aix de Provence · France - Jun 28 - Jul 8, 2018
What an incredible journey! Merci merci merci Simon for a well thought out itinerary and the amazing guides that were assigned to take us to all those beautiful places. Having a private guide made all the difference because we were able to see even more than what was on our agenda Alex and Natalie were incredibly knowledgeable and so nice! Our hotels were fantastic! Located close to everything. The one in Marseille was amazing located right across from the Old Port and just around the corner... read more
Sightsee and relax · France - May 31 - Jun 9, 2018
We enjoyed the whole experience.
The itinerary was meticulously planned, the guides were very professional , yet friendly and helpful, the vehicles comfortable and the small groups made interaction and time management easy.
One of my most memorable experiences was the Gallimard perfumery - I enjoyed making my own perfume!
My husband greatly enjoyed the trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo.
On the whole, a fabulous trip!
provence village tour · France - May 20 - May 20, 2018
I had a wonderful experience working with kimkim to arrange for private vans and guides to villages in Provence for a group of university students. When we were in Barcelona we were affected by the train strike in France, and our train was cancelled...which left us (a group of 16) stranded and unable to get to our hotel in Avignon. Out of desperation, I contacted Simon, who was my kimkim contact based in Marseille and he took time on a Saturday (holiday weekend) to make calls for me and... read more
Wine tours · France - Apr 25 - Apr 27, 2018
Simon helped make our vacation effortless. He stayed in constant communication during the planning stages with great suggestions and coordinated our pick up from the train station.
He even left his cell number in case I had questions while on our trip.
Our guide, Alex, was amazing. He was so knowledgeable on various subjects and made our tours
Delightful. He was punctual as well, which we appreciated being in Provence a short time.
I highly recommend the kimkim team!