The Sojourner Tour Philosophy
You deserve a memorable, worry-free vacation that includes the perfect combination of luxury and mainstream culture. When you choose to take a Sojourner Tour, you trust us to plan the logistics of your stay and our philosophy affects everything from where you will sleep and what you will eat to how you will get around and what you will see and experience.
At Sojourner Tours, we believe that our guests ought to have the finest opportunities to experience the full range of a country’s culture:
- exploring cities, villages and the countryside with an experienced small group guide;
- discovering charming remote villages, including the rare and exceptional ones that have been awarded the title of “Most Beautiful Village of France”;
- eating authentic regional foods in both the most refined and most typical local restaurants;
- visiting artisanal producers;
- staying in charming villas or locally owned hotels, depending on the tour you select;
- shopping in outdoor markets and traditional boutiques.
With Sojourner Tours, everywhere you go, you will be immersed in the local culture and have opportunities to mingle with local people. Below, we've outlined our selection standards so that you can be sure they meet with your traveling goals.
ENRICHING EXPERIENCES: Our trips are about sojourning like a local and we specifically design each Sojourner Tour so you eat, sleep and sightsee in the places where locals like to go. We like to say that the trip is just the beginning of the experience because when you immerse yourself in another culture you can return home with intangible “souvenirs” that enrich your daily life forever.
EXCLUSIVE LOCATIONS: With Sojourner Tours, you will visit hidden treasures that are usually inaccessible to foreign visitors, whether they are located in well known cities or deep in the countryside. We use eight criteria to select the places where your tours are based: 1) natural beauty; 2) historic architecture; 3) number of points of interest and fascinating sights; 4) great restaurants and cafés 6) high quality accommodation; 7) genuine atmosphere (one of our objectives is to avoid overly “touristy” spots); 8) nightlife; and 9) interesting places to shop.
CHARMING HOTELS: You will stay in independently owned boutique hotels chosen for their charm and character. You can make the most of your leisure time because the hotels are located right in the heart of cities. They offer a more authentic cultural experience than resorts or chain hotels enabling you to experience another way of life. We choose hotels based on 1) location, 2) high quality amenities, comfort and service: three French stars or higher, 3) historic and/or cultural interest, 4) elegance and style, 5) a largely local clientele base, and 6) private local ownership.
OUTSTANDING RESTAURANTS: Culinary tourism is one of the primary components of your sojourns. We use three criteria to select the places where you will eat: 1) local Ingredients and regional specialties; 2) skillful chefs and noteworthy preparation; 3) culturally remarkable setting. The decisive factor in our selection is whether or not a restaurant reflects the character and food of the area you are visiting. Many outstanding restaurants meet all three of our criteria.
SUBTLE & EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION: The kind of transportation we employ depends on what is easiest and most appropriate for a particular tour. We are adamant about avoiding charter buses because we strive to offer you intimate, unaffected interactions with locals. In short, we strive to “blend in” as serious and savvy travelers who do things like the locals by using the most reliable, comfortable and efficient form of local transportation available. In France and Switzerland you will ride in privately chauffeured vehicles. In Paris you'll travel by metro.