TripUSAFrance
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Palavas-les-Flots, Occitanie, France

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(9 reviews)
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
33 reviews
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33
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MelanieF416
Belleville, IL98 contributions
Oct. 2022 • Friends
This tour was like a local friend taking you to her favorite sights, wineries and restaurants in the South of France! It was intimate and slower paced than the big tours. Some highlights on the tour included a picnic at a winery with Julia’s mom’s homemade cooking, singalongs and games of pétanque; very tasty restaurants; and lighted art installation in a quarry cave — a very cool experience! More than I could have imagined!!!

Plenty of evenings on your own to eat at the many restaurants in Palavas or go downstairs to the Hotel Les Coquilles wine store for a bottle of wine, around the corner to the bakery and market for my charcuterie plate ingredients! I enjoyed that on my balcony overlooking the Mediterranean several evenings which was perfect way to end the day.

Palavas is a quaint resort town with old town charm. Before I arrived I thought there wouldn’t be enough to fill the free time but I fully enjoyed strolling the beach and the canal area. It was the perfect pace for me!

Hotel Les Coquilles, it is CUTE & clean and modern boutique hotel just steps to the beach! The owners are so pleasant and accommodating!

Julia and her father Stephane were the perfect hosts fun & full of laughs! I highly recommend TripUSAFrance! I hope to return for another of their tours!
Written October 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dawn B
Lenexa, Kansas, United States12 contributions
May 2022
This tour of the south of France was one of the greatest adventures I have experienced. I have travelled a lot and by far this was the most interesting trips I have taken. Not only did we see historic sites but we also learned lessons along the way. The highlights of the life of Vincent Van Gogh was so enlightening, including the visit to the asylum where he was treated.

Everything was included in the tour. Our boutique hotel, La Coquille, was overlooking the Med, beautifully appointed rooms and breakfast to die for. While on tour in the different villages and cities lunch and some dinners were eaten as a group and the meals were awesome. Julia , our host, put together dining venues that were a delight.

I can without a doubt thank Julia and her dad Stephan for their driving skills , incredible knowledge of the country and the kindness they showed to everyone. And a huge thanks to Julia's Mom for putting together a wonderful picnic lunch at a local vineyard.

I worked as a Travel Agent for many years and without a doubt I would recommend TripUSAFrance every chance I could. Julia has put together one of the best organized tours I have ever been involved in. I have recommended this tour company to anyone who is interested in a holiday where you can actually learn something.
Written September 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karla
Lincoln, AL3 contributions
May 2022
I found TripUSAFrance while researching individual cities for what was going to be a "do it yourself" tour of the south of France. I'm so glad I didn't try to do this myself. I never would have known about some of the great experiences Julia and her family/crew packed into 10 days. Castles of the Knights Templar, gorgeous villages in the mountains, learning to play petanque at a winery - plus the stuff that "normal tourists" get to do. It was a great mix of activities, excellent food, and only 14 guests. Julia is an excellent tour guide and the guides she hires for some settings (such as in Arles) are subject matter experts who bring lots of expertise and fun stories to the tour. We stayed in a boutique hotel that was dedicated to our group, so we felt pampered and well-cared for the whole trip. If you don't like big tour groups, but don't want to do it all yourself, this is a perfect alternative.
Written August 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David and Libbie E
Raleigh, NC1 contribution
Jul. 2022 • Couples
Julia‘s trip was recommended to us by friends who are experienced travelers. We are so happy we took their advice. This trip is absolutely fabulous from start to finish. The accommodations, the food, and the general experience were absolutely wonderful and we felt like we were really locals. Julia picked out a wide variety of wineries to visit and sites to see and she is very knowledgeable in explaining things to us especially the history of each of the beautiful villages we visited. One of our main memories is the lunch/picnic provided by Julia‘s mom and dad and singing with them and visiting with them and eating the most delicious food they prepared for us. we highly, make that very high recommend this trip to anyone who wants to travel through Southern France as a local. David & Libbie
Written August 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

2020sandyh
London, UK3 contributions
May 2022
The trip of a lifetime started with a simple internet search that led us to TripUSAFrance. Our group of 4 well-traveled couples wanted to minimize the logistics of traveling to the Normandy region. When TripUSAFrance popped up as a Normandy tour company with private, customizable tours, we took a leap of faith that turned out to be our best travel decision.

Peter Perantonakis, TripUSAFrance Tour Director, was a collaborative partner who provided insight, suggestions, and helpful feedback. We provided a wish list of activities, destinations, duration and cost then Peter built a user-friendly itinerary that fit our needs. Here are some of the logistics arranged by Peter that made our trip so fun:

• Tour Guide/Driver picked us up at our Paris hotel in a 9 person van & was our daily guide for the duration; our guide was a Normandy expert whose knowledge, humor and flexibility allowed us to get the most out of our time in Normandy.
• Worked with new venues to arrange activities that interested our group.
• Coordinated hotel & restaurant reservations.
• Assisted with a medical issue.
• Most importantly, Peter listened to our concerns and interests. He made many adjustments to our itinerary without hesitation! He was easily reachable before and during our trip, which was essential during our medical issue.

Our itinerary was fantastic! We enjoyed lunch in the beautiful harbor of Honfleur; sipped cider at a lovely Calvados distillery; walked on the historic cobblestones of Mont St Michel; strolled through Bayeux and gazed at its remarkable tapestry; toured Chateau Falaise and the lifestyle of William the Conqueror. Personally, there were a couple of activities that I will always remember. At one end of the spectrum were the American and British Sector Tours. Each tour was a full day led by military experts whose passion and knowledge brought the invasion to life. Many people have commented on the emotional impact of these tours, and they are correct. Both tours are unforgettable and worth your time. At the other end of our itinerary spectrum was a visit to a goat farm run by an energetic French family who are raising 42 goats in the beautiful French countryside of Livarot-Pays-d'Auge. We hilariously milked goats, walked them to a scenic pasture then helped make delicious organic cheese. We finished our visit with a picnic of cheese, fresh bread, apple cider and wonderful conversation while sitting at a table on a French hillside. What more could you want during a visit to the Normandy countryside?

Thank you Peter and TripUSAFrance for coordinating a Normandy trip of a lifetime!
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beth B
Coronado, CA26 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
What made our visit so memorable? It was the variety of opportunities and activities.

Our guides offered in-depth accounts and thoughtful reflection of the British and American invasions. Their depth of knowledge, personal research and interviews with veterans provided a priceless experience. The visits to the American and British cemeteries were powerful. The grounds and headstones are beautiful, sacred and cared for meticulously.

Another highlight, there were many, was a visit to a goat farm. It was a small family farm where we milked, mingled and learned all about making cheese. Our hostess was delightful. She walked us through the entire process and made it fun and entertaining. It offered a nice balance to our heavy history days.

Mount St. Michele, the Bayeux Tapestry, the castles, the Calvados Distillery and Honfleur were all spectacular. Thank you Peter for working with Sandy to create the trip of a lifetime!
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy C
Mandeville, Louisiana9 contributions
May 2022
The nine-day south of France tour was a FABULOUS experience! Julia created a varied and interesting itinerary that included the usual highlights (places like Arles, Avignon, and Nimes) as well as places and activities that are not on the usual big group package tours: a cheese cave, Camarque cowboys and bulls, petanque (the local version of bocce), walks on ramparts in small medieval villages, and accommodations in a beachfront hotel in a Mediterranean town that is not overbuilt like so many places are becoming. The food was wonderful; Julia took great care to select fine restaurants that represent the best of the regional cuisine - and wine was included with lunch and dinner. We had tours and tastings at 3 wineries. And if you love to take pictures (I do!) there were infinite opportunities to take pictures of mountains, vineyards, castles, cathedrals, monuments, horses, flowers, people, and more.
This tour included everything except for 5 dinners (and we were given a helpful list of recommended restaurants), airfare, and souvenirs, and was VERY reasonably priced. Julia, Isabelle (the other guide), and her family warmly welcomed us and introduced us to Provence and we truly felt like we were "Traveling like a local!"
Tip: if a balcony room is available when you book the trip, it is worth the small upgrade expense!
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lynne W
1 contribution
Sep. 2021
With Peter's experience in France, we learned the complex history of the Normandy Invasion, met Claude Monet the gardener and artist, heard the bells and chants at Saint-Mount Michel, the ancient and incredible tapestry of the Battle of Hastings, and lovely Normandie countryside. Wow what a week! BravoTripUSAFrance!
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

clayton r
Greenwich, CT1 contribution
Sep. 2021
We were two adult couples going to Normandy from Paris and back and spent five days in the Normandy region including visiting the WWII sites. Our trip was very well organized in every respect including hotel accommodations. driver, restaurant choices and especially the local guides. Everything was high quality, on time and we always felt we were in the right place at the right time. I highly recommend TripUSAFrance and plan to use them again.
Written September 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jim B
1 contribution
May 2019
I must say that the 8-day TripUSAFrance tour of southern France that I took in early May 2019 with eleven other women is arguably the best, most fun vacation I’ve ever taken. Julia and her father, Stephane, are friendly and very knowledgeable tour guides. Did I mention accommodating? They picked us up at the Montpellier airport bearing much-welcomed sandwiches (such fresh bread) and beverages in hand, then drove us to our small but comfortable hotel where the innkeepers, Gerard and his wife Katy, provided personal hospitality and breakfast every morning. Julia and Stephane (we started calling him Papa because they came to feel like family to us) drove us to many historical sites as well as street markets and wineries. And the food! The lunches and dinners they planned for us were in sometimes sophisticated, sometimes cozy restaurants, but always delicious. One was even a family affair in which Julia’s mother provided and served a home-made picnic. I could go on and on about how wonderful this trip was for me, but I’ll end with this concise recommendation: “You’ll love it!”
Written November 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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TRIPUSAFRANCE (Palavas-les-Flots) - 2022 What to Know BEFORE You Go