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active 8 hours ago

Simon Hardy

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!"

Simon is part of the following groups: France Travel Agents, France Family Travel Agents
Top itineraries and travel advice
Family itineraries
Road trip itineraries

Favorite experiences

Provençal Cooking Class & Markets of Aix-en-Provence

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...

Nice Off the Beaten Path

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...

Soap Atelier Experience in Marseille

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...

Discover Lyon on e-Bike

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...

Explore the Lakeside Town of Annecy

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...

Pastry Tour of Le Marais in Paris

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

A perfect fit for our family
France | Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2023

Ryan
Ryan S.
Canada | Reviewed on Jul 06, 2023
There are so many good things to say about Simon and the trip he planned for us. Let me start with our initial plan. He created so many fun and interesting things for us. Some weren't quite for our family so Simon was responsive to help choose different activities that were a prefect fit. Once we had everything all in place it turned out that we couldn't get the dates we had planned for. Within a few hours Simon had rebooked everything on our new dates. I can't imaging doing this... Read more

There are so many good things to say about Simon and the trip he planned for us. Let me start with our initial plan. He created so many fun and interesting things for us. Some weren't quite for our family so Simon was responsive to help choose different activities that were a prefect fit. Once we had everything all in place it turned out that we couldn't get the dates we had planned for. Within a few hours Simon had rebooked everything on our new dates. I can't imaging doing this myself, this alone was worth it.
Simon sent us our detailed itinerary a week before the trip so we could be comfortable in planning our timing, moving around the country.
When we landed in France we were greeted by a beautiful Limo that took us straight to the hotel. The Hotel in Paris was an apartment and nicely located for us to get around the city by Metro. The accommodations were clean and the breakfast each morning was very nice. We made good use of the coffee machine. We explored the city and loved our river cruise of the Seine at night. We also took the opportunity to climb the Eiffel Tower. After a long night of travel we found the cruise to be a perfect way to start the trip.
On day two we all loved the ride out to the palace of Versaille. The kids loved exploring the rooms and the gardens. When we returned to the city we explored the Jardins du Luxembourg on Simon's recommendation. It was perfect.
On day three we did a treasure hunt of the Louvre with the kids. We got to see all the important parts of the museum and the kids loved learning and seeing all the beauty of the museum.
Our next day took us by train to Marseille. Our first impression was a little off, but this was in large part due to the protests that were going on. However the hotel was in a great location and allowed us to get where we needed to go easily. After a good sleep we woke up to a new town. The streets had been cleaned and the energy was much better. Here again Simon was an excellent communicator for our trip. We had planned a morning cruise out to the Calanque national park, but the wind and the sea prevented us from going. Simon gave us plenty of notice and cancelled the excursion and provided a full refund very quickly. In the afternoon we did the e-bike tour of Marseille. The kids claimed this was the highlight of our whole trip. The views were spectacular, the exercise was fun and I highly recommend this as a way to connect with the city. Thanks to Simon notifying us that we couldn't sail in the morning. We were able to book a dinner cruise of the harbour and sea for the evening when the seas had calmed. This also was a highlight.
Then we were off to Nice. The train ride was smooth and easy. We checked in to another centrally located hotel that was cozy and again served a nice breakfast. We went and did some shopping and spent the afternoon splashing in the sea.
On our final full day we took a very lovely ride into Monaco. Our guide was very informative and it was a beautiful city. Definitely worth seeing. And of course getting to do a lap of the course of the Monaco Grand Prix was fun for everyone.
Upon returning to Nice we had more time to play in the Sea.
On our final day our limo to the airport was right on time and delivered us to the airport for a safe flight home.
Our family was so impressed by Simon and our kimkim experience. We had amazing things to do everyday and Simon created the trip of a lifetime for us. We are grateful!!

Hotel Reviews
Citadines Bastille Marais Paris
Paris

The apartments were clean. The breakfast was very good. The location was close to several Metro lines allowing you to get around easily.

Authenticity & Character
It was a more modern feel.
Location
close to the Metro, easy to get around Paris
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Maison Saint Louis Vieux Port
Marseille

Rooms were small but that is to be expected. We had a decent view. Very warm in the rooms. The breakfast was good. The location was very close to the harbour.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hôtel Aria
Nice

A nice hotel. Rooms were clean with a nice washroom. The breakfast was very good.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Easy to walk to the Sea
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Paris: Illuminations River Cruise
Paris: Illuminations River Cruise
Paris

This was the perfect way to start our vacation. The cruise is beautiful at night showing off Paris at sunset. There is lots of room and the views are spectacular.

Quality of Experience
The view of the city
Louvre Treasure Hunt (kids or teens tour)
Louvre Treasure Hunt (kids or teens tour)
Paris

This was the best way to see the Museum. Our guide, Marine, was knowledgeable and fun. She told wonderful and engaging stories that kept our kids interested and fascinated. My wife and I were able to enjoy the stories as well and we saw all the the best of the Louvre. We were by the lines and avoided the crowds. We all learned a lot.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Knowledgeable, fun, and a great storyteller. We loved Marine!!
Marseille Fada Guided Ebike Tour
Marseille Fada Guided Ebike Tour
Marseille

The whole family said this was the highlight of our vacation. This is the only way to see a city. Our guide was knowledgeable and able to navigate the city with ease. The e-bike made it possible for us to cover a lot of ground. The view were spectacular and we were able to cover so much. They had a bike for my son and my daughter was just a little small but loved riding in the buggy behind me.

Quality of Experience
Just the best way to see the city
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Fantastic
DU Half-day excursion to Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze & La Turbie
DU Half-day excursion to Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze & La Turbie
Nice

A visit to Monaco was well worth it. And we were pleasantly surprised to have the visit tot the village of Eze on the trip. It was quite the contrast of the old city of Eze and the activity and grandeur of Monaco. Our driver was very knowledgeable and was very good and navigating the busy streets. It was fun to do a lap of the Formula 1 course.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
clean
Palace of Versailles Half day trip (Skip the line, audioguided & gardens) by minivan from Paris
Palace of Versailles Half day trip (Skip the line, audioguided & gardens) by minivan from Paris
Paris

This was a beautiful look at history. The palace is immaculately maintained and it made you feel a part of the history of the culture and country. The gardens are so vast you could spend days there. We loved the hall of mirrors and the artwork is truly a site to see.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Jul 12, 2023

Hello Ryan,
Thank you very much for these sweet words here on Kimkim! I also transmitted your encouragement to my team; it was Noemi who took care of the reservations and Baptiste who assisted me with your digital travel booklet :)
Thank you again. We look forward to welcoming you again in France.
Simon

Memorable and active week in Provence
France | Jun 20 - Jun 29, 2023

Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie G.
Austin, TX | Reviewed on Jun 30, 2023
We enjoyed the hotel and boat ride in Marseille. It was nice for everything to be walking distance. We also loved staying in Moustiers St Marie and the activities near there. Le Jas du Colombier was perfect to walk to town and hang out by the pool. The canyineering with Armand from the Verdoniers was epic. Our kids loved that so much. The kayaking with Christophe of Aquattitude was also a favorite. The horseback riding was a bit of a long and hot day for beginners. Same with biking, it was... Read more

We enjoyed the hotel and boat ride in Marseille. It was nice for everything to be walking distance. We also loved staying in Moustiers St Marie and the activities near there. Le Jas du Colombier was perfect to walk to town and hang out by the pool. The canyineering with Armand from the Verdoniers was epic. Our kids loved that so much. The kayaking with Christophe of Aquattitude was also a favorite. The horseback riding was a bit of a long and hot day for beginners. Same with biking, it was really hot and a bit challenging for the kids. We appreciated seeing the region from all these vantage points. It is really important for you to share any necessary info to be prepared ahead of time, since we are not in direct contact with the guide.

Hotel Reviews
Maison Saint Louis Vieux Port
Marseille

Great location in the middle of the city. Clean and comfortable. Convenient to everything.

Authenticity & Character
Architecture
Location
Walkable
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Le Jas du Colombier
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

We had a huge house to ourselves. Very well equipped to cook and wash clothes. We loved the salt water pool at the end of a long hot day. The views are amazing and we enjoyed eating meals outside. It is really more of a house rental, not a hotel. This should be more clear for setting expectations.

Authenticity & Character
A but cluttered with their personal items but we really enjoyed our stay.
Location
Walkable to village center
Staff
Jeanine is very welcoming.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Comfortable beds
Activity Reviews
Half-Day morning Cruise to Calanques National Park - small group
Half-Day morning Cruise to Calanques National Park - small group
Marseille

Fun ride and swim, but captain was not not sharing a lot of info.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
More friendly and sharing info
Transport
We walked there
A day in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
A day in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Tons to see and do. Truly a gorgeous village. The hike to the church at the top earns you ice cream.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Canyoneering in the Verdon Gorges
Canyoneering in the Verdon Gorges
France

A big hit with our entire family.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Armand was so friendly and able to adapt to each persons ability.
Transport
Horse riding in the Gorges, full-day
Horse riding in the Gorges, full-day
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

A bit too long and not as scenic as expected. We were supposed to bring our own lunch, would have been better if provided because travelers don’t typically have packs for lunches.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Half-day Canoë kayak Excursion in the lower Verdon canyon
Half-day Canoë kayak Excursion in the lower Verdon canyon
France

Gorgeous view of the canyon and great explanations.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Christophe from Aquattitude was phenomenal.
Transport
Mountain-biking around the lake
Mountain-biking around the lake
France

A bit long and challenging for our kids. We enjoyed the picnic at the lake and biking through the region.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Jul 04, 2023
Bonjour Anne-Marie,
Thank you for this detailed review of your trip to Southern France in June! I am glad you enjoyed the knowledge and the professional behavior of the local guides you met in the Verdon region with your family. I note that we could have shared more necessary info to be prepared beforehand. We will continue improving our digital travel booklets, especially regarding outdoor activities requiring sharing of any specifications.
ça a été un plaisir de vous avoir comme voyageurs....
Read more

Bonjour Anne-Marie,
Thank you for this detailed review of your trip to Southern France in June! I am glad you enjoyed the knowledge and the professional behavior of the local guides you met in the Verdon region with your family. I note that we could have shared more necessary info to be prepared beforehand. We will continue improving our digital travel booklets, especially regarding outdoor activities requiring sharing of any specifications.
ça a été un plaisir de vous avoir comme voyageurs. Tout comme Christophe, William et vos hôtes qui me disent avoir passé de très agréables moments en votre compagnie.
Kind regards,
Simon

It could have been better ...
France | May 1 - May 28, 2023

Khanh
Khanh V.
Henderson, NC | Reviewed on Jun 13, 2023

Simon and his team provided thorough itineraries however there is no follow up contact from them to check on us, the travelers. With minimal of 4 arrangements with local guides during our 28 day trip, we were very much on our own most of the time. It would be more informative for us to have a guide in a city. We did not expect to have ones in small town or village stays. With the amount of research that we did ourselves, at times we thought that we could have done the trip without having to go with KimKim.

Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Jul 04, 2023

Bonjour Khanh,
Thank you very much for your feedback and detailed suggestions. I hope you could have enjoyed the itinerary I prepared along with central and comfortable accommodations! It is not always easy to include guides and activities during a self-drive of almost a month time without exceeding the budget or losing the sense of freedom and independence that characterize long-haul travels, but I take your comment into consideration for future travelers.
Kind regards,
Simon

60th Birthday Tour of France
France | May 28 - Jun 10, 2023

G
Gregory S.
Cornelius, NC | Reviewed on Jun 13, 2023

Many thanks to Kimkim and Simon for helping us to plan our two-week tour of France to celebrate my wife's 60th Birthday. The full itinerary brought in all the highlights we wanted to view and experience in a thoughtful well laid out order. The top highlight was Mont-Saint-Michel, a true wonder (although it was difficult to choose). The trip started in Paris, we then traveled to Bayeaux, in Normandy, then to the Loire Valley for Chateau tours before traveling to Avignon to experience Provance with the Roman ruins and wonderful wine. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.

Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Jul 04, 2023

Dear Greg,
Thank you for this detailed feedback about your trip from North to South. We are always interested in hearing about your overall experience and what you thought of our services. This is important for us and the following travelers!
See you maybe another time in other French regions!
Kind regards,
Simon

Honeymoon in Paris & Loire Valley
France | Oct 20 - Oct 29, 2022

Miranda
Miranda Z.
Allison Park, PA | Reviewed on Nov 07, 2022
We had an amazing time on our honeymoon in Paris and the Loire Valley! We started the trip arriving in Paris and stayed at Hotel a la Villa des Artistes. We loved this neighborhood and the hotel very nice/had a great breakfast. We took day trips from Paris to Giverny to see Claude Monet's house and went to Versailles. While in Paris, we did a chocolate & pastry tour & did lots of sightseeing. We then took TGV train to Tours where we spent an evening. The hotel in Tours (Chateau Belmont) was... Read more

We had an amazing time on our honeymoon in Paris and the Loire Valley! We started the trip arriving in Paris and stayed at Hotel a la Villa des Artistes. We loved this neighborhood and the hotel very nice/had a great breakfast. We took day trips from Paris to Giverny to see Claude Monet's house and went to Versailles. While in Paris, we did a chocolate & pastry tour & did lots of sightseeing. We then took TGV train to Tours where we spent an evening. The hotel in Tours (Chateau Belmont) was very nice but we did not love the city itself. We took our rental car from Tours and drove to the Loire Valley and stayed in Amboise. Amboise was beautiful and we loved the hotel we stayed at (Le Manoir St Thomas). While in the Loire Valley, we did some wine tours and castle tours. Our absolute favorite tour of the whole trip was the all day excursion to Chenonceau, Chambord, and a private chateau where we had lunch. Our guide was amazing and very informative. We took the train back from Tours to Paris for our last day and stayed at the Handsome Hotel. This was our least favorite hotel of the trip as it was very small and in a very noisy area. The hotel was centrally located though and was near a lot of shopping destinations which was convenient for our last day. The only hiccup we had on our trip was that the driver never showed up to pick us up to go to the airport as he was given an incorrect time. We ended up calling a cab ourselves though and were refunded the money. Simon was very helpful throughout the whole process and we definitely would recommend using him and KimKim to book a trip.

Hotel Reviews
Hôtel A la Villa des Artistes
Paris

Hotel is on a quiet side street in a very nice neighborhood. We are glad we stayed in this arrondissement for the majority of our time in Paris. Breakfast was delicious too!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Château Belmont Tours by The Crest Collection
Tours

Hotel was very nice and we wished we would have booked a spa package earlier as they did not have any available when we checked in. Breakfast was very good. We had dinner at the restaurant and thought it was average.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Le Manoir Saint Thomas
Amboise

We loved the charm of this hotel and how friendly the staff was. There is no elevator in this hotel so it may not be good for people with mobility issues, but we had no problem staying here. The breakfast here was wonderful. Hotel was a few minute walk from all of the shops/restaurants in Amboise. It was also close to Restaurant l'Ilôt which was one of our favorite restaurants we ate at on our trip.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Handsome Hotel Paris
Paris

This hotel was good for a one night stay as it was centrally located and close to the Marais district. It was quite loud though so I do not think I would have liked to stay here for several nights. The room itself was very nice and staff was friendly.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Versailles Palace & Gardens Half-day Guided Tour from Paris - small group
Versailles Palace & Gardens Half-day Guided Tour from Paris - small group
Paris

Our tour guide was great and we are so glad we got to see Versailles!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Marais Pastry and Chocolate Tour
Marais Pastry and Chocolate Tour
Paris

We enjoyed this tour, however, we felt we did not try enough pastries and mainly tasted a lot of chocolates. It also was extremely busy in the Marais district when we visited, so at times our guide had us wait outside instead of going into the shops with her. I think this would be better to do on a weekday when it is a little less crowded instead of on a weekend.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Monet's Giverny House & Gardens Small-Group Half Day Trip From Paris
Monet's Giverny House & Gardens Small-Group Half Day Trip From Paris
Paris

The gardens at Giverny house were absolutely beautiful and we loved exploring the house as well. We were under the assumption that this would be a guided tour though and instead of the tour guide going with us through the gardens/house, he just dropped us off and let us explore on our own. While it was nice to walk through on our own pace, I think we would have liked more explanations behind Giverny and Monet's work. Definitely still recommend going to Giverny, but perhaps with a different tour company.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Vouvray & Montlouis Wine tour
Vouvray & Montlouis Wine tour
France

The guide was extremely knowledgeable and we loved being able to see all the behind scenes of the wine making process along with tasting all of the delicious wines. Definitely recommend!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Chambord, Chenonceau & lunch at a chateau - Full-day
Chambord, Chenonceau & lunch at a chateau - Full-day
France

This was absolutely the best tour of our trip. We felt we learned so much about both castles and our guide was awesome. We also loved having a private lunch at a chateau to be able to experience some home cooked French food. Highly recommend!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Transfer from Paris hotel to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
France

Our transfer was not scheduled for the correct time so the driver did not show up when he was supposed to. We waited for fifteen minutes and then ended up calling a taxi so we would not be late to the airport. Kimkim did refund us for our taxi ride.

Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Nov 09, 2022

Hello Miranda,
Thank you so much for your lovely feedback. It was an absolute pleasure to organize your once-a-lifetime honeymoon trip! I hope you come back home with a lot of memories.
I wish you a healthy and lovely end of the year. See you soon in France,
Best,
Simon

Great Trip - Wish It Had Been Longer!We landed at CDG and were met by our driver a...
France | Sep 1 - Sep 10, 2022

N
Nancy B.
Petoskey, MI | Reviewed on Sep 17, 2022
We landed at CDG and were met by our driver and taken to our first hotel. Having a driver lined up takes so much stress off the end of a long flight/ beginning of the vacation!
After an initial day free, we jumped into our first organized event, an e-bike tour called Paris Charms and Secrets. Tour guide Pierre was part artist, part historian and part actor - animated, passionate and interesting! From Paris we headed south on the train for Lyon, a city we loved and want to return to. A...
Read more

We landed at CDG and were met by our driver and taken to our first hotel. Having a driver lined up takes so much stress off the end of a long flight/ beginning of the vacation!
After an initial day free, we jumped into our first organized event, an e-bike tour called Paris Charms and Secrets. Tour guide Pierre was part artist, part historian and part actor - animated, passionate and interesting! From Paris we headed south on the train for Lyon, a city we loved and want to return to. A highlight of our stay there was the Lyon Traditional Food Tour with guide Semaan that was a foodie’s delight, but also a history lesson and walking tour of old Lyon rolled into one.
From Lyon we headed to Marsaille, again by train, and and a memorable Cassis and Bandol Wine tour. Our guide, Eric, was extremely knowledgeable and personable. We learned so much about wine and winemaking, met the families who owned the 3 vineyards we visited and heard the history of their operations. The countryside was exquisitely beautiful! We had a delicious lunch at a port side restaurant in Cassis, then rode to the top of a National (?) park that overlooked Marsaille. Amazing.
Our tours were all either private (just the two of us) or 8 or less. Perfect for getting around easily and for being able to ask questions and have the attention of the guide.
Our trip included transportation to and from CDG and train tickets for the inner France travel. With this arrangement we would advise making sure you know which train station you need to show up at (many cities have more than one) and (especially in Paris) where you need to be standing to board the train - they are very long and crowded trains and the stops are short: there isn’t time to figure anything out last minute.
Another consideration is transportation to/from train stations and to tours. Cabs are expensive and can add a considerable amount to your trip. The metro systems take a little time to figure out, but are a great way to go if your destination is too far to walk.
We chose to stay at smaller, boutique hotels and they were more than adequate.
Our trip was an abbreviated version of a longer trip planned and postponed due to the Covid pandemic. If we had it to do again, we would not try to pack visits to so many cities into 7 days.
We highly recommend KimKim if you want a tour, but not the “30-people wearing green scarves- following a flag” variety.

Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Nov 09, 2022

Bonjour Nancy,
Thank you very much for your feedback and detailed suggestions. I am so glad we could finally set your trip to France after your first travel request in 2019 and so many uncertainties during this period!
It is important to us to get some comments on each tour and especially from our local guides in Paris, Lyon and Marseille/Cassis. FYI The Calanques is indeed a national park (born in 2012).
Your review will be helpful for future travelers coming to France too!
All my best, à bientôt!
Simon

An amazing 12 days in France (family of 4)
France | Aug 8 - Aug 19, 2022

D
Dawn B.
Belmont, CA | Reviewed on Aug 26, 2022
We really enjoyed our experience planning our trip with KimKim and our rep Simon. We were thrilled with the collaboration to set up the trip and how Simon accomodated our requests and questions especially as it related to suitability for our children. It wasn’t a one time correspondence, but a good back and forth of ideas, suggestions and then a final plan. Once we arrived it was such a breeze. Everything happened as it should and made our trip so enjoyable. Standout tours were Cedric... Read more

We really enjoyed our experience planning our trip with KimKim and our rep Simon. We were thrilled with the collaboration to set up the trip and how Simon accomodated our requests and questions especially as it related to suitability for our children. It wasn’t a one time correspondence, but a good back and forth of ideas, suggestions and then a final plan.

Once we arrived it was such a breeze. Everything happened as it should and made our trip so enjoyable. Standout tours were Cedric with Normandy Excursions (he was really amazing keeping our children's attention!), Manuel at the Eiffel Tower, chocolate and pastry tours of Le Marias and Loire Valley wine.

We have already recommended kimkim to friends and will certainly use them again.

Hotel Review
Hotel Sainte-Beuve
Paris

Wonderful hotel, great location and amazing staff. We had a lovely experience at this hotel for our family of 4. The breakfast was phenomenal.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Easy access to multiple metro lines and the neighborhood itself is wonderful to explore and relax in.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Nov 09, 2022

Bonjour Dawn and Brian,
Thank you so much for your review
It is so important to us to get some comments on each tour and especially from our local guides. Cedric is our trustful guide in Normandy, and we are happy to read that he adapted the tour to your family!
See you soon in another region of France!
Regards,
Simon

This trip was amazing! Simon did such a grea...
France | Jul 12 - Jul 21, 2022

A
ANNE N.
West Bloomfield Township, MI | Reviewed on Jul 28, 2022
This trip was amazing! Simon did such a great job in knowing exactly what to plan. In Paris, our dinner cruise on the Seine was outstanding -one of our favorite meals by far! Our tour of the Eiffel Tour at sunset was awesome and our tour guide Christina was so interesting, fun and knowledgeable. Our family of 5 became pastry chefs and created delicious macaroons which was so fun, but planning this on Bastille Day made travel to the kitchen a challenge;( Our hotel was great. The staff was... Read more

This trip was amazing! Simon did such a great job in knowing exactly what to plan. In Paris, our dinner cruise on the Seine was outstanding -one of our favorite meals by far! Our tour of the Eiffel Tour at sunset was awesome and our tour guide Christina was so interesting, fun and knowledgeable. Our family of 5 became pastry chefs and created delicious macaroons which was so fun, but planning this on Bastille Day made travel to the kitchen a challenge;( Our hotel was great. The staff was so wonderful and the accommodations were superb at Hotel Bourdonnais- we would highly recommend!!!

On to the South of France via train. We wish we were given better insight on how these trains work. Our destination was Aix de Provence-but at the train station we did not know which train was which because this train was traveling to Marsailles and I am not sure how we would know that without speaking to someone that could speak english. Another bit of advise- have your luggage ready to leave the train ahead-the stops are very quick!

Aix de Provence was amazing. Our dinner at Jardin Mazarin was delicious and the restaurant was very pretty! The highlights was our trip with Pierre to all the villages - this was so worth it. Our Chef Giles adventure in picking put ingredients, visiting a winery and preparing and eating a masterpiece was an amazing experience.

J'adore France - Merci mon ami!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel La Bourdonnais - Tour Eiffel
Paris

Amazing people that work there ! So accommodating and beautiful accommodations. Great breakfast and delicious pastries. We would stay here again for sure.

Authenticity & Character
Location
so close to the Eiffle Tower
Staff
great people that were so helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
everything was clean all the time;)
Aparthotel Adagio Aix en Provence Centre
Aix-en-Provence

Great location to stay and tour. Offers laundry and great space. I didn't understand a cleaning fee or paying for new towels. I enjoyed the people that worked there. They were very nice;)

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Novotel Suites Paris CDG Airport
Roissy-en-France

so close to our gate! EASY and very nice lodging to make our flight on time

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Versailles Palace & Gardens Half-day Guided Tour from Paris - small group
Versailles Palace & Gardens Half-day Guided Tour from Paris - small group
Paris

This was not a guided tour- it was a ride.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
air was not great
Paris Dinner Cruise
Paris Dinner Cruise
Paris

awesome dinner and entertainment! Great service.

Quality of Experience
Food
you will not leave hungry!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Macarons class
Macarons class
Paris

I was excited to learn and enjoyed it! I felt bad we were very late because we had t find a ride and it was far. On Bastille day you can not travel anywhere.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
(DU) Evening Eiffel Tower Private Tour + tickets
(DU) Evening Eiffel Tower Private Tour + tickets
Paris

This was amazing. Our guide Christine was fabulous !

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
so close to our hotel we walked.
Luberon Markets and Villages small-group guided tour
Luberon Markets and Villages small-group guided tour
Aix-en-Provence

Our guide, Pierre was amazing and so knowledgeable. we will never forget these visits.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
everything
Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence
Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence

what an amazing experience to learn of an actual day in a life of a resident. Our Chef did amazing in including us, showing us, and creating masterpieces. I loved going to his home and sharing in our creations.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Simon Hardy

Overall a great trip!
France | Jul 9 - Jul 17, 2022

M
Manpreet S.
Washington, DC | Reviewed on Jul 20, 2022
Simon had the local experiences perfect. The cooking class, boat tour, and wine tastings were great. Having the train tickets taken care of in advance was needed. If I had to do it again, I would've tried to have an actual call with Simon to discuss some stuff as doing it all over email was a bit difficult at times. We would have probably also figured out that the hotel back in Paris on the last night was probably not the best one to use. But that is made up by the hotel in Marseille! It was... Read more

Simon had the local experiences perfect. The cooking class, boat tour, and wine tastings were great. Having the train tickets taken care of in advance was needed. If I had to do it again, I would've tried to have an actual call with Simon to discuss some stuff as doing it all over email was a bit difficult at times. We would have probably also figured out that the hotel back in Paris on the last night was probably not the best one to use. But that is made up by the hotel in Marseille! It was great. We had such an awesome view of the Bastille Day activities from our room while looking at the massive crowds below. We had a few minor hiccups with transfers and dinner reservations, but no vacation goes 100% smooth and we all recovered and Simon was quick to fix what he could. Thank you, Simon.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel OFF Paris Seine 4*
Paris

Such a unique hotel! It's literally a floating barge on the river! The staff was great. It is close enough to walk to the TGV train station if you are going to another part of France, but a bit far from the attractions you might want to visit in Paris. But the local metro station is directly across the street to get to those locations. If proximity to the TGV is what you want, this is great. If you want to stay closer to the Paris attractions, you might want to try another place.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Aquabella Hotel & Spa
Aix en Provence

One of the few places in Aix that has a pool and it was a great pool! It's still walkable to everything in Aix. The rooms are actually very spacious.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux-Port - MGallery
Marseille

This hotel is right on the Old Port. You can walk to many restaurants and shops. The metro station is right in front as well. The staff was very nice and helpful. They helped us translate some documents! The only complaint would be that this location was sometimes noisy at night given it's location right on a busy part of the Old Port. But this location also allowed us to view the Bastille Day festivities without having to venture into the massive crowds! This will be tradition European size hotel rooms.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Handsome Hotel Paris
Paris

The good is that this hotel is walking distance to some of the Paris attractions you want to see. It is also very close to endless Parisien cafes and shopping. This hotel is TINY even by European standards. The elevator was borderline claustrophobic. I would have been happier paying higher room charges for a better hotel.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Chateauneuf du Pape & Gigondas Wine Tour
Chateauneuf du Pape & Gigondas Wine Tour
France

Our guide, Eric was AWESOME! He knew the area and the wine so well. He also knew the general area very well. He took us to some non wine related stops for some nice pictures and history lessons.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Eric was the best!
Transport
Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence
Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence

Gilles was an excellent host. We cooked at his house which was a unique experience. We had a fun group. The only thing I wish was for Gilles to involve us more in the shopping experience by showing us how he was picking things at the market, but that is a very minor complaint. He gave everyone their jobs and helped people who needed help during the cooking process. The stop at the winery was a nice stop. The food was delicious as well.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
It was a little crowded in the transport
Full-day Private Cassis & Bandol Rosé Wine Tour
Full-day Private Cassis & Bandol Rosé Wine Tour
France

Eric, the guide, was amazing! He knew the wine and the surrounding regions so well. He was more than a wine guide, he was a tour guide. I would book a tour with him again!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Half-Day Cruise to Calanques National Park - private group
Half-Day Cruise to Calanques National Park - private group
Marseille

This was such an awesome excursion. The boat was comfortable (no bathroom). Caesar was our guide and was incredible. He captained the boat with expertise and provided context to all the places we visited. The area itself is gorgeous!! The blue waters and the unique Calanques were so cool. Caesar even dropped us off at a different location as he made lunch reservations for us at a friend's restaurant which turned out to be amazing! Book this trip!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Transfer from Paris hotel to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
France

On time and big enough for our group.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Simon Hardy

A trip we’ll never forget!
France | Jun 3 - Jun 14, 2022

S
Sarah H.
Saint Peters, MO | Reviewed on Jun 15, 2022
We had the most amazing trip to France because of Simon. He helped us plan out every detail. We enjoyed fantastic excursions, our favorites being a wine tour in Bandol & Cassis and a cooking course in Provence that was absolutely incredible in a Michelin starred kitchen! Simon was also available and incredibly responsive when I had a couple questions during our trip. I cannot say enough good things about Simon and the unforgettable trip he helped design for my family. Merci beaucoup Simon!!!!!!! Read more

We had the most amazing trip to France because of Simon. He helped us plan out every detail. We enjoyed fantastic excursions, our favorites being a wine tour in Bandol & Cassis and a cooking course in Provence that was absolutely incredible in a Michelin starred kitchen! Simon was also available and incredibly responsive when I had a couple questions during our trip. I cannot say enough good things about Simon and the unforgettable trip he helped design for my family. Merci beaucoup Simon!!!!!!!

Hotel Reviews
Capelongue, a Beaumier hotel
Bonnieux

This hotel is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Le Parisis Paris Tour Eiffel
Paris

We loved the location and our view of the Eiffel tower, the rooms are quite small and the bathrooms left a little to be desired (paint chipping in showers, a little unsightly).

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Restaurant | Welcome gastronomic dinner in Aix en Provence
Restaurant | Welcome gastronomic dinner in Aix en Provence
Aix-en-Provence

Of all of the restaurants we enjoyed on our trip, this one was one of our least favorites.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Full-day Private Cassis & Bandol Rosé Wine Tour
Full-day Private Cassis & Bandol Rosé Wine Tour
France

So fun! Great trip and beautiful views! Our guide was fantastic.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private exclusive cooking class, Spa and Dinner in Joucas
Private exclusive cooking class, Spa and Dinner in Joucas
France

This was our favorite excursion. We couldnt believe how hands on the chefs were and how much time they spent with us! Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to use the spa, but the 7 course meal was amazing!!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
(DU) Evening Eiffel Tower Private Tour + tickets
(DU) Evening Eiffel Tower Private Tour + tickets
Paris

Wow! The eiffel tower at sunset was unbelievable! It is a MUST DO!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transfer from Paris hotel to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
France

On time and pleasant! Also were prepared with car seats for our children which was very appreciated!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Simon Hardy
Simon
Simon Hardy
Local specialist in Marseille, France | Replied on Jun 28, 2022

Bonjour Sarah,
Merci beaucoup! Thank you very much for your very nice comments and suggestions! I am glad we could finally make this beautiful trip running in 2022, after having postponed it in Covid time..
I think your family will keep nice memories, maybe even the youngest ;)
Many thanks,
Simon