It’s been barely a year of business for the Arlington-based family tour firm TripUSAFrance, but in that time, dozens of travelers have experienced the South of France with Julia Girard-Gervois and her Montpellier-based father Stephane, and the rave reviews are pouring in.
“I loved eating at places frequented by the locals and the picnic lunch catered by Julia’s mom at the beach was beautiful and delicious,” said Katie L. “We saw so much — from walled cities to Medieval castles to rides on Montpellier’s trolleys. Much better than fighting tourists in Paris!”
“We have traveled extensively throughout Europe and France, but had never been to Montpellier and its environs,” said Tim S. “TripUsaFrance put together a wonderful tour of Medieval cities, castles, cathedrals and country sides. Of particular note were the sound and light show of Chagall paintings and the cooking school. And hosts Julia and Stephane couldn’t have been nicer. They went out of their way to make sure everyone in our group — ages 35 to 92 — had a great time.”
The common theme to these comments is the personal touch Julia brings to each adventure. It’s part of the company’s purpose.
With the motto “Travel like a local,” TripUSAFrance crafts culturally interactive tours so you can actually experience the culture, not just see it.
“We want the travelers to experience France like a local would by sharing our culture and traditions, showing them our secret spots, teaching them our language and habits, introducing them to as many local French people as possible such as the owner of the hotel, friends, and neighbors. When these locals recognize our travelers and say hello to them it makes them feel like they are part of the community and even more welcome. This is only possible because we are a small group, no more than 14 people, and because they are staying in the same hotel and city for a week, which we consider more like a village. This is what makes our tour unique and special,” Julia said.
Upon arrival, Julia and Stephane drive you to your beautifully renovated beach hotel, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea. Each morning you are treated to a French Breakfast at the hotel before they pick you up for the day’s activities. With most of the sites within 1 hour of driving and departure times around 9:00am every day, you get plenty of rest and still have enough time to see everything on the tour without feeling rushed.
Inclusive pricing provides you with daily breakfast, lunch and snacks, three dinners, local transportation and accommodations, admission to wine tastings and other activities.
According to clients, highlights include homemade picnics of regional dishes, learning to play Petanque, interacting with locals, attending cooking classes, wine-tastings, learning French, and, said Julia, “simply realizing that we are becoming friends by the end of the week.”
Julia and Stephane’s tour is a perfect combination of historical sites and experiencing the French lifestyle with two passionate local tour guides. No lines, no tourist traps, no hassle. It is a one-of-a-kind insider tour of Southern France that those who partake in the journey will never forget.
Act fast and book before Dec 31, 2016 to save $300 off the regular tour price with their early bird discount!
The preceding post was sponsored by TripUSAFrance and written by Buzz McClain