• Arc de Triomphe in Paris
  • Sainte-Chapelle in Paris
  • france-chateau-de-chambord
    Château de Chambord in Loire Valley
  • Mont St-Michel
  • Bayeux Tapestry
  • Les Braves Sculpture on Omaha Beach
  • Giverny

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour

Stringing together an all-star collection of Rick's favorite places in and around the City of Light, your expert guide will bring you the very best of Paris along with its most stunning surroundings: the Loire Valley's exquisite châteaux; Brittany's half-timbered villages; Normandy's magical Mont St-Michel and stirring D-Day beaches; Monet's dreamy gardens at Giverny; the stained-glass wonders of Bourges Cathedral; and a medieval castle being built in Burgundy today — using lots of muscle and 13th-century technology. Join us for Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of France come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 13 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city • Louvre Museum • Historic Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • Sainte-Chapelle • Guédelon tour • Bourges walking tour and Cathédrale St-Étienne • Chambord Château • Chenonceau Château • Mont St-Michel and abbey tour • Bayeux Tapestry • D-Day tour (American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and Ste-Mère Eglise) • Monet's Gardens at Giverny...and more
  • All group transportation from Paris to Paris
  • 10 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves France and Paris guidebooks, French phrase book, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Paris

We'll meet at around 5 p.m. at our hotel for a short "bienvenue à Paris" meeting. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood, followed by time to get acquainted over dinner together. Sleep in Paris (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Historic Paris and the Orsay

Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour of the city's early history, including visits to a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches: the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral and the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle. Then we'll take a stroll through the bohemian Latin Quarter. After free time for lunch on your own, we'll regroup and make our way to the world's greatest collection of Impressionist art — from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin and more — at the Orsay Museum where, after an introduction, you'll be free to visit on your own. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Masterpieces of the Louvre

Our morning is devoted to exploring Europe's greatest museum — the Louvre — where you'll come face-to-face with timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo and hundreds more. Your afternoon will be free to be inspired by Monet's incredible Water Lilies at the recently renovated Orangerie, perplexed by whimsical water fountains and modern art at the Pompidou, or compelled to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a classy stroll along the Champs-Elysées. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Medieval Guédelon and Bourges

Today we'll leave Paris and head for the Château de Guédelon — a medieval castle being built today using 13th-century materials and techniques. Local experts may give us a close-up look at masons cutting limestone, sheep being sheared and blacksmiths at work. Then we'll drive past farms, forests and vineyards to the overlooked town of Bourges. Once we arrive we'll wander along the cobbled lanes and medieval half-timbered houses on a walking tour with a local guide. Our tour will culminate with a visit of Bourges' Cathédrale St-Étienne where we will learn how to read some of France's most remarkable and original medieval stained glass. Sleep in Bourges (1 night). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: The Loire and Chambord

Today we'll head for the biggest and brightest of the Loire Valley châteaux — Chambord — where 365 fireplaces warmed royal hunting parties for more than 500 years. We'll have ample time to visit this magnificent château, its expansive grounds, and find some lunch. A bit farther up the road, our own Loire Valley accommodations will be every bit as French, but a little more down-to-earth. Dinner together tonight. Sleep in the Loire Valley (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Chenonceau and Amboise

This morning we'll visit the elegant, river-straddling, 16th-century Château de Chenonceau. We'll learn more about royal life in France and have plenty of free time to roam through its opulent interior and gardens. This afternoon you'll have time on your own in Amboise to find lunch and sightsee. You can choose to visit Leonardo da Vinci's home, Clos Lucé, and marvel at the working models of the Renaissance Man's cleverest inventions, tour Amboise's cliff-hanging castle or wander the pleasant pedestrian-friendly streets. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Brittany and Mont St-Michel

We'll depart the Loire Valley this morning and make a beeline to Brittany. We'll stop for lunch and a walk through a quintessential Breton town, where we'll learn about the Bretons' Celtic origins. Later this afternoon, we'll take a short drive to the timeless, picture-perfect island of Mont St-Michel. We'll arrive as the tourist tide recedes, ensuring a less crowded experience here. We'll share dinner together and sleep on the Mont itself (1 night). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Treasure of Bayeux

This morning we'll take a walking tour of Mont St-Michel's town and its towering abbey to learn about local legends, monastic life, and the far-reaching influences exerted by abbeys in French history. Then we'll drive into the heart of Normandy to study the 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry — a 70-yard-long embroidered cartoon/work of art that brings to life William the Conqueror's victory over the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. We'll enjoy dinner together and sleep in Normandy (2 nights). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 9: Normandy's D-Day Beaches

We'll spend the day with a local expert who will give us a powerful tour of the Normandy beaches where, in June of 1944, the Allied D-Day landings took place by sea and air. We'll visit Pointe du Hoc, where Army Rangers scaled the cliffs in pre-dawn darkness, and the American Cemetery, where 10,000 stark white markers memorialize the Americans who gave their lives on the beaches below. We'll also visit the strategic town of Ste-Mère Eglise, the airborne drop site made famous by "The Longest Day" and "Band of Brothers." We'll return to our Normandy home base in time for dinner on your own. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Monet's Gardens at Giverny

We'll depart early this morning to visit Monet's beautifully-preserved, masterpiece-inspiring gardens in the town of Giverny. In addition to the serene ponds made famous by Monet's paintings, we'll also see his house, studio, and Japanese garden. After free time for lunch, we'll make our way back to Paris and a farewell feast together tonight, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Salut! Sleep in Paris (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Paris' airports by taxi, shuttle or public transportation. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Merci et au revoir!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Ronald

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Things I liked best: Michaelanne was organized, expectations were clear, check in and out of lodging was a breeze, time allocations at attractions was usually spot on, attraction tips were helpful, bus was uncrowded, group meals were usually good and service was usually good. I especially liked the talks on French politics, education, healthcare etc. While the Paris and France books were referenced, it would have been better if they were more actively referred to as we drove to or visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I had a favorite"

Stewart

Burnsville, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour covered the highlites we were most interested in. Staying on mont st michelle was great. Our guide was outstanding as were the local guides. our louve experience was marginal. we should have gotten there earlier

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the whole tour was wow. the arc, the eiffel tower. the orsay, normandy and mont st michelle."

Victoria

Clifton, VA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best. Vacation. Ever. We loved the whole thing. Michaelanne, was beyond extraordinary. She really shared her passion for France with us. We really enjoyed seeing and doing things we never would have though of doing on our own. The group we traveled with helped make the trip. We had a great time sharing meals and touring with them. Everyone was upbeat and up for an adventure. This will definitely be the first of many Rick Steves tours for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from. For me it is a toss up between Guedelon and Chenonceau. The guide at Guedelon was fantastic. I learned so much about medieval architecture and building. He was not only informative but also had a great sense of humor. Chenonceau was breathtakingly beautiful and so full of history. Michaelanne really made it come alive for us by explaining the backstory."

Alanna

Rolesville, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the right blend of organized experiences with individual time on your own. I really enjoyed the low-key and fun atmosphere that Michaelanne set for our tour. She was a great guide and very informative on history, sites, culture, economy and everything about France. Utilizing local tour guides at specific sites was also a unique experience I would not have set up for myself. I had been at some of these locations before, but learned far more this time around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Roy's house with his private collection of WWII collectibles. Having such a personal and unique experience was great. Mont St Michele is also great. I had been there once before but the power of that view and staying on the island was amazing!"

Patricia

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was a wonderful way to not only see Paris but Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. Each day was filled with unforgettable sights either historical or just beautiful countryside and quaint villages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. St. Michel was a "wow" moment as was the beautiful, sunny day we had at Giverny. All the days were pretty much "wow" days. I'll never forget the emotion of being on Omaha Beach."

Patricia

Dumont, NJ

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

fantastic!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"everything..."

Alfred

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The other tour members were very personable and this made the tour that much more pleasant. Rebecca did an excellent job as a tour guide; she was warm and friendly with all the tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay at Mount Saint Michel and the visit to Utah beack."

Sandra

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What really made our Paris & the Heart of France 11 Days Tour so wonderful was our really fantastic tour guide, Rebecca. Her enthusiasm and absolute willingness to help in any and all areas really made this trip fun. In addition, all of members of our tour were fun and a pleasure to be around. The hotels we stayed at, the food we ate, the coach we rode in, our excellent drivers, Matt and Annie, the sights we saw, the guides who explained those sights to us, everything was great & organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was a "wow" moment. Visiting the Normandy beaches and American D-day Cemetery were the reasons for signing up for this tour."

Stephanie

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've travelled a lot-usually on our own but using Rick Steve's guide books. We've had great experiences. Joining this guided tour was wonderful-the itinerary was fantastic; Rebecca, our tour guide, was interesting, organized and attended to each person's individual interests; the hotels and group meals were wonderful and the guides for various sights were great. I would highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved DaVinci museum in Ambroise; the day at Normandy - very moving; the castle-to-be at Guedelon. However, best wow experience was going to a Parisienne's house for dinner. We met her at an outdoor cafe; she invited us to her house and treated us to a wonderful dinner and very memorable evening. Very special, amazing experience."

Everett

Metairie, LA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed just about everything about this tour, including the sights, the hotels, the food, and our tour guide. The pace was just about right for us with a good balance between activities and free time on our own. The bus was was comfortable and stops along the way were timed just about right to allow everybody to stretch their legs. We were lucky that it rained only once during the entire trip, and other than that the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. St. Michel, and being able to spend the night there when the crowds go down and it is very quiet."

Amy

Fresno, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Paris and the heart of France in 11 days tour has been one of the best experiences of my life. Just when you thought that a single day was great, the next day was even better. There aren't enough great things to be said about our tour guide Marie. She was so charming, helpful and informative. She is quite simply the best! Even the extra guides we had along the way,such as at Mont St. Michel and the Normandy beaches were excellent.Thank you so much for making this holiday so extraordinary,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say that I have just A favorite wow moment. Going to the early morning service at the Mont St. Michel Abbey with the nuns and monks singing was so simple,yet very moving. The D-Day beaches,it was raining like mad,everyone was dripping wet and it is so humbling. Hearing taps played at the cemetary brings one to tears. The lovely countryside and small villages,so picturesque. Chenonceau,my favorite place,could live there. See....more than one "wow"."

Susan

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about this tour; it was all that Rick Steves promises-exciting, interesting, intense, and just plain fun. Just when I thought that our tour couldn't get any better, it did. From the delights of Paris to the intense, emotional experience of the Normandy beaches, no one could plan a better itinerary. The accommodations were excellent and the food was sensational. The recommendations of our guide were outstanding. I was sorry to end our tour and would repeat it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything about Paris but the "wow" moment was our trip to the Normandy beaches. Our guide Stuart Erikson made World War II come alive. Even the wet, windy, weather added to the gravitas of the day."

Patricia

Metairie, LA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itself was just what we desired, a chance to see Paris as well as other renowned places in France. The small towns we visited were an added bonus which we found completely delightful. Our guide was knowledgeable and fun to be with. One thing I missed was being able to access wi-fi on the bus as I had done on our Italy trip last year. I try to send a daily report to my family back home and being able to do that on the bus would have been helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a completely unexpected "wow" moment in the Orangerie Museum as I stood looking at the huge Monet canvasses. I was blown away by the beauty and magnitude of these paintings. I stood there wishing I could just absorb the magnificence and be able to put myself back in that moment whenever."

John

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the trip of a lifetime. I wouldn't change a thing -- except maybe to install an elevator on Mont St.Michel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. It was either Mont St. Michel, Guydelon or the Normandy beaches."

Linda

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We about 11 miles the first day. We never saw the Latin Quarter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount San Michel"

Diana

Fairfax, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

this tour was a great way to see a large section of France. The combination of Paris, Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy was excellent. Our days were full and the introduction given by Marie @ each stop gave the confidence to explore during free time. We had a nice group of people with a large age span - a few a bit infirm, but always up for the challenge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the first view of Mt. St Michel was like something from a dream. It was also very magical @ night."

Linda

Georgetown, KY

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the experience -- my first tour with Rick Steves Europe was excellent. While I had visited some of the sites years ago, it was just as vibrant and exciting as that first trip. Over the years, many sites have been the given a new touch in presentation and were even more alluring. Before the trip, I was somewhat worried about the pace of the activity, ponsibilites for our own luggage and expent of walking. However, I found we could go out our own pace and were not rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest "wow" for me was being on the beaches of Normandy and the recounting of the D-Day landing and bitter struggles. The US Cemetery was also very emotional experience. I also enjoyed the visits to the small villages off the beaten path that we visited."

Stephen

Feeding Hills, MA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and our first visit to France. It was a wonderful experience, and we couldn't have asked for a nicer group of people to spend time with. Julian is an excellent, experienced guide -- a real pro. He handled the logistics of the tour very efficiently and was a great source of background information and history lessons, along with a lot of entertaining stories. All in all, the tour was just what hoped it would be, and it left us wanting to go back and see more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One that stands out among many is something we did on our own, climbing to the top of Notre Dame's towers. It required standing in line for about 20 minutes and then hiking up and up on the spiral staircases. When we got to the top I was breathing pretty hard, but I'm fairly sure I literally said "Wow!" when we stepped out into the open and took in the famous view."

Diane

Winfield, IL

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous. I personally, learned so much about French history from our amazing guide Julian. We had some other equally informative guides on our tour. Elizabeth at the Louvre and Stuart at Normandy. Our fellow travelers were a wonderful friendly group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St, Michal. Those steps almost did me in though. Normandy was very Sobering. So tragic for all. Using the Metro was a new experience for me. It was overwhelming at first but I'm now a fan."

Patricia

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another RS stress free tour. As this was our first trip to France, I felt we covered all the most important sights and had fun doing it. As always, we value and enjoy the free time to explore on our own. The education you receive on the tours make the trips come alive and we learn so much more than by traveling on our own. That has been a big point for us in doing the RS tours. Also, having special guides for specific sites adds to the enjoyment and understanding of what we see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to say. The D Day Beaches had the most emotional impact. The Eiffel Tower the most favorite, especially at night."

David

Baton Rouge, LA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went smoothly from start to finish. Our guide, Julian, was excellent at getting our group orginized, and in giving us a succinct history and cultural context for each of the tour's points of interest. He's a gifted and entertaining story teller, which privided added value to the tour experice. Our drivers, Math and Annie were most effecient in conveying our group from place to place, while maintaing a polished and agreeable attitude.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Chenonceau was, for me, the highlight of our visit to France. The Chateau is an otherworldly blend of elegance and whimsy on a scale that doesn't overwhelm like either Chambord or Versailles. We were most fortunate in our visit to enjoy excellent weather, and our arrival was timed so that we enjoyed excellent lighting for photography. The Chateau and estate have been well maintained, so that a stroll about the grounds was as rewarding as walking through the Chateau itself."

William

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We hit 3 places I have always wanted to go on this tour, Paris, Mount St Michel, and the D-Day Beaches. Julian wove the many stories of the many places we went and saw into a pleasing informative package. Even being on the bus was an opprotunity to be entertained and educated, the bus rides seemed to move right along and Julian prepared us while on the bus forthe next adventure, whether it was the 100years War or WW11, or to see the building of the 13th Century Chateau presently going on.

Donna

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the whole experience was just wonderful! Julian was extremely knowledgeable and the sights, museums and cathedrals were awesome! Our group had so much fun together! Our accommodations were wonderful as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was awe inspiring to visit Normandy! Could not believe we were on Omaha Beach!"

Maureen

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' Tour but it won't be our last. The tour was so well organized but not in a regimented way. We saw things we would not have seen on our own and learned about them in a way not possible without the expert knowledge of our guides. At the end of each day our guide would lay out the next day so there were no surprises and he also posted the information in the hotel lobby. The group of people on the tour were lots of fun and enthusiastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many so it is hard to narrow down but I think I will [INVALID] Mont St. Michel. We arrived late afternoon when it was filled with tourists and not very appealing. But by the time we met for our group dinner the tourists had cleared out and we were able to experience the charm and beauty of the place. Our dinner was outstanding and after most of us headed outside to walk up and around the island to see the place lit up at night. It was so beautiful and a unique experience."

Ann

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was excellent and better than I expected. It was packed with information, and the chosen sights were each completely different and worthwhile. I had a fair knowledge of French history, but this tour filled in the gaps and brought it all alive. Our main guide, Julian, and our one-day WWII guide, Stuart Robertson, were excellent. In addition, our drivers, Math and Annie, were superbly competent and always cheerful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among the many 'wow' moments I think the most SURPRISING was the Normandy WWII sites. I had approached that day as a low priority but, frankly, our guide for the day, Stuart Robertson, made it all so movingly clear. I'm looking forward to reading his book which I bought that day."

Martha

Franklin Park, IL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour[INVALID]even though I have used the Rick Steve's guidebooks since our first trip to Europe in 1999. This tour was very well run. The places were visited all were interesting and as usual on a tour[INVALID]not enough time spent at certain sights and a little too much at others depending on your interests. The group I traveled with was really wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the "Abbey" at Mt. St. Michael. Although I wondered if I was going to make all those steps. I loved seeing the chateaus--all of them. They were all interesting to me."

Mary

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was everything advertised and more. We really enjoyed the mix of group guided activities but free time to do whatever else we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont St Michel! What a wonderful way to experience the island after the hordes of other tourists had left."

Jean

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! I saw a lot, learned a lot, and enjoyed the experience so much. I have traveled a lot (7 continents) but this was my first Rick Steves tour. I am happy that I chose it, and would leave on another one next week if I could!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in Claude Monet's bedroom, looking out the window at his flower garden. Watching the tide roll in on Mont St-Michel. The sparkling lights every hour on the Eiffel Tower."

Richard

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt the tour was extremely well organized. I actually learned a lot more than I had anticipated. This was my 3rd trip to France, previously done via Rick Steve's Books - so the tour was a plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy Beaches and the local guide from Bayeux who gave us a very realistic experience. Visiting the German Cemetery really brought home the value of human life. Riding a bike along the Loire River Valley outside of Amboise with Antoine. The kind and generous French People"

Jean

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everyone on our tour was a pleasure to travel with and I found the French people very pleasant as well. I felt that the tour was a great selection of sights and activities and the suggestions for things to see and do on our free time very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the visit to Guedelon was unique."

Mary Lou

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour couldn't have been better planned. I discovered that this form of travel is a little strenuous for my arthritic knees, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the tour. I would recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed all the sights, but my favorite part was being with the other people on the tour. Probably one of the best groups in my touring experience."

Richard

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another wonderful tour with Rick Steves. Outstanding way to learn that as marvelous as Paris is, there is more to France than Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we visited Utah and Omaha beaches and the U.S. and German cemeteries in Normandy."

Thomas

Wake Forest, NC

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were a little concerned about going to France hearing that the French may be a little cool and a few other things. Our experience was anything but this. We did read Rick's description in the guidebooks and he was right on target. We had a great trip. Our attempts at speaking French seemed to break down any barriers. We had good conversations with the French on the street and in restaurants. Michaelanne and Antoine were great, and I don't see how it could have been any better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Choosing a wow moment on this tour is difficult. It just seemed like their was one after another. Walking out of the hotel looking up and seeing the Eiffel Towerfor the first time may be my one most wow moment, because to me it set the tone for the trip. Everything seemed special. Then their was seeing Notre Dame for the first time, the boats on the Seine, the Loire Chateaus, Mont-St Michel, the Monet gardens in Giverny, or the singing of the nuns at a service at Sacre-Coeur. How do you choose?"

Glenn

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we hoped it would be and more. Nearly every day of the Paris and heart of France tour included experiences we had thought about all our lives. From the museums of Paris to Mont Saint-Michel to the D-Day beaches to Giverny, the trip was rich with amazing history and culture. It was our second Rick Steves tour and definitely not our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be very difficult to top the visit to Mont Saint-Michel. We attended the early morning service at the abbey, which was about as timeless as a travel experience can be. If I had to pick another moment, it is standing in the Orsay galleries literally surrounded by impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces."

Margaret

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful!! We saw and did so much...lots of memories. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one?? My first trip to France, to see the art I've loved my wholelife...priceless! The Orsay and the Louvre took my breath away, literally. To get up early and join a few others at the abby on Mt. St. Michel...ethereal! To visit the D-day Beaches...a somber reminder of our freedoms and how the world is thankfully shrinking and global awareness is so keen. Icing on the cake, to see France through MY eyes, finally. Thank you."

Steven

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having gone on a previous trip with your company we expected this to be as good as our first one. You met and exceeded those expectations. Our group was outstanding as were our guides. The only down side to the tour was that the time passed too quickly. I could go back there tomorrow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many wow moments, my favorite one was our visit to The Normandy beaches and cemeteries. Our guide for that day was excellent."

Kelley

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it, hope to do another RS tour in the future. The guides were wonderful, the trip was very well planned out. We enjoyed nearly everything we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ascending the steps to the chapel on Mont St Michel in the early morning dark for a prayer service. This moment eliminated the tourist feel of the island and drove home the reason it was built in the first place. Thank you Antoine for guiding us to this very memorable moment."

Corinne

Spanaway, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was the trip of a lifetime. It was very well planned and managed by our exceptional guide Michaelanne and her assistant Antoine. The sites we were able to pack into our 11 days would have taken an individual 3 or 4 times that long. All of our tour mates were very congenial and everyone had a terrific time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite 'WOW' was L'Orangerie and the Monet exhibits as well as Giverney. Totally unexpected . . . again a once in a lifetime."

Kathleen

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was two weeks of Paris, delightful French villages, great local guides, memorable D-Day beaches and cemeteries, all spent with wonderful new travel buddies. The weather was perfect - blue skies and warm temperatures. French food and wine in small bistros and charming restaurants. Perfect! I do miss that French bread!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was walking our on our terrace at 6am on Mont Saint Michel and seeing the stars against the dark sky and light coming up in the east. Then the church bells again to ring. Quite magical!"

Edward

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent overall tour experience. Our guide, Rebecca, provided a very warm, engaging, informative, personable, and well balanced tour. The tour was pleasantly balanced with "tour" time and "personal" time. The provided neighborhood maps, transportation information, dining recommendations, etc. allowed for great "personal" time exploration. The local guides were also very good. Our bus driver team, Math and Annie, were also excellent and contributed to enhancing our bus travel time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy D-Day Beaches segment was probably my favorite "wow". The local tour guide was just outstanding."

Susan

Rancho Murieta, CA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic from start to finish! We loved everything about it from the hotels, the planned and spontaneous stops, and our outstanding tour guide, Rebecca. This is our third tour and I swear that each one gets better than the last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to pick! I loved the Louvre and the D'orsay, but my favorite "bucket list" stop was Monet's garden(s) at Giverny. Absolutely breathtaking! Followed closely by Mont St Michel-what a memorable overnight stay!"

Marsha

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 1st trip to Europe and to France and, goes without saying, also my 1st Rick Steves trip. It exceeded any expectations I had. First of all our guide, Rebecca, was fantastic. Our drivers were Matt and Annie; we were honored to share Matt's 101st RS trip. The members of the tour were all delightful. The tour itself seemed designed to build upon knowledge gained at every stop. I highly recommend this tour. Thank you so much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I'd say our 1st stop outside Paris, at Guedelon, the medieval fortress being made in the 21st Century with medieval tools and techniques, was my 1st WOW. Chenonceau was another wow. Giverny, wow. But the biggest WOW was for the DDay beaches, and Dale, military historian without compare."

Dianne

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time. Marie was awesome as our tour guide. She was very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we went to Mont St. Michel. That was pretty awesome."

Diana

Granbury, TX

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I choose to use Rick Steve's Tours because I was traveling alone and this was my first trip to Europe. I have had a life time desire to visit France and tour Paris. This was MY time! I can in all honesty, I was Not disappoint. From the moment I walked into the Dauphine Hotel in Paris and the next 11 days was more exciting, more fun, more pleasing then I ever thought.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"OMG!!!! There were so many WOW moments for me. Hard to choose? The Louvre is a the top. ( the Wedding Feast, by Caliari) another is was the American National Cemitary in Normandy. The Orsay was outstanding !"

John

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was pretty cool, we have been on many other RS tours. This one ranks pretty high

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting locked in the Notre Dame cathedral in Bayeux. Fortunately we found a way out after being locked in at closing. The caretaker didn't check to see if anyone was there before throwing the bolt for the evening. An exciting moment--which pew was going to be the softest. Cell phone on charge at the Hotel and we had told no one of our destination. Lesson learned"

Richard

Bristow, VA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour is well designed and well balanced with a variety of sites for a variety of tastes and interests. The local guides have been well selected. Our Tour Guide Maria was wonderful

Catherine

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves Tour and we fully understand why people love them. Our personal preference is to travel on our own and find that 25 people is a lot of people to be around. However, these folks were great and our guide and driver made everything wonderfully easy. We went to places we wouldn't have on our own and discovered beauty and history we wouldn't have looked for otherwise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the suggestion of our guide, Marie, we went to a chamber music concert of Vivaldi's Four Seasons at Sainte-Chapelle. We will be forever grateful for that experience. The other "wow" moment was seeing the beautiful water gardens of Claude Monet. And then there was the Normandy beaches, spending the night on Mont-Saint-Michel, the wait staff singing "Happy Birthday" in French to my husband at dessert in Bourges, oh, don't make us choose..."

Daniel

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Made touring France easier because we went to places we would've never found or even known about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont-Saint-Michel was amazing and Leonardo DaVinci's home in Amboise was fascinating. Also, the stop at a farmhouse in Normandy that was both the German and Allied headquarters is something we will treasure."

Karen

Silvana, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I didn't know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. The tour was structured just enough for us to accomplish everything in the itinerary and still had alone or down time.

Margie

Bristow, VA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just wonderful in every way. Marie made the trip even more exciting for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be "Normandy"."

Stan

Dubuque, IA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized and interesting places

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one thing - but a good mix of sites."

Pat

Collinsville, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic - I experienced and learned so much and made some really nice people on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the "wow" moment was the tour in total because of all I had experienced and learned."

Mary

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, great group, great drivers, great itinerary, great hotels. We have now been on three Rick Steves tours, so we know that they aren't "relaxing" - they are very active in a good way. This tour is well organized to maximize time and effort, allowing us to see and experience a good part of Paris and the "heart" of France. I didn't feel like any place or activity was a waste of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't really have ONE moment. Favorite parts were Paris and the Normandy beaches."

James

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every part of this tour was magical. Everything went off without a hitch. The places we stayed were very nice. The food was unbelievable. It was a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the Normandy beaches and visualizing what took place there 70 years ago. No movie or TV show could capture that."

Corey

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was great. Everyone really knew what they were doing. Our guides, staff at the hotels and the bus drivers, were all so good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow for me was seeing the lights of Paris at night..WOW! One more WOW, how our bus drivers got that bus around the narrow streets. Not one scratch on the bus or anything else. This was our bus drivers 100th Rick Steves trip, they were the best."

Glenn

Apple Creek, OH

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julie was an exceptional guide, as we have experienced in all of our trips with you. The bus drivers were just as important as they were very courteous and helpful. We were able to experience the people and places of Central France and Normandy, as we could not have on our own for the first time. The thing we like to do the most is to walk the streets of a city and sit in the public spaces, watching the people and experiencing the culture that surrounds us. You help us do that very thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have a wow moment, instead I had a continual learning experience. Every trip taken with your tours helps me understand the European mind set and the way we as Americans are viewed by Europe. France has become a number of neighborhoods for me rather than just a place. Thant may be the wow moment that lasted 11 days."

Jane

Dubuque, IA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide (Julie), beautiful weather. There were several unexpected situations that arose which were handled with great concern and in a very professional manner by Julie. The tour group blended together well ..... the amount of group time and personal time seemed to work well for everyone. This was our first tour experience and it couldn't have been better. Julie's tutorials on the bus were interesting and gave much insight into the culture of France as well as priming us for the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After each day I thought this was the best day of the tour. Honestly, each day seemed to offer "wow" moments. Love Impressionism and seeing all the wonderful art in the Paris museums was pretty spectacular for me."

Bella

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour Paris and the Heart of France in 11 days was everything we had envisioned and more. We enjoyed all the places that were picked to introduce the many aspects of the area's culture and history. The magic of the tour is that even though it's a group of 28, you feel you are traveling with a friend that is giving you the inside scoop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. We have been to Paris before and love it but we had not been to the Loire Valley. Seeing the beautiful countryside, approaching the grand castles, Mont St. Michele, walking to the top of the small towns and getting the view from the there, they were all wow moments."

Jonathan

Toledo, OH

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour--in fact our first organized tour ever. I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the operation. There was plenty of free time, but no wasted time. We probably saw twice as much as we would had we travelled on our own. Many of the best experiences were places we certainly would have missed on our own, like Guedelon and Chateau de Selles-sur-Cher.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I hate to be just like everybody else, but Mont St. Michel at night is hard to get out of my mind. German and American cemeteries in Normandy a close second. Bayeux tapestry third."

David

Collinsville, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was very satisfied. Hopefully we can do another tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel and the old Cathedrals"

Sean

Bonita Springs, FL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with our very knowledgable and extremely helpful guide Julie. In addition the specialist guides, e.g. those for the Louvre, Mont St Michel, and wine tasting were excellent. This tour far exceeded my expectations. I think it is ideal for people (like my wife and I) making a first trip to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt St Michel and the American Cemetery in Normandy."

Robert

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our experience of Paris, French countryside and Normandy was top notch facilitated by our tour guide and the other guides at various stops. Our group was very combatable which also enhanced the tour. The opportunity afforded by the tour to visit different parts of Paris gave us a glimpse of French life, e.g., Rue Cler. The tour bus was very enjoyable enhanced by the owners Annie and Matt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we visited Normandy and the background given by our guide, followed by our visit to the construction of the castle."

Carolyn

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour overall was outstanding. The itinerary, the guide(s) and the other travelers made for a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was made up of "wow" moments. My favorites were the City of Paris sights and Normandy. Our guide in Normandy was really informative and brought the sights to life."

Patrick

Paris, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour and our fellow travelers were very good. The one night stays in hotels were difficult. We appreciated the individual guides who brought us much more than we would have seen on our own. Sarah at Guedelon and our guide at Mont Saint Michel were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing Mont Saint Michel. I will always be amazed at the architectural and construction abilities of those who lived hundreds of years ago."

Rebecca

Pittsburg, CA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WOW, I loved Northern France- from beautiful Chateau and Palaces to the homey, quaint small towns. We ate like royals, tasted wine from the regions, visited markets and we were reminded of the sacrifices made by others at the D-day Beaches to guard our precious freedom

Favorite "WOW" moment

"OH the food was beyond fabulous. Mont-Saint Michel was a wonderful experience, to stay on the island and morning prayer by the monks."

Susan

Paris, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Chenonceau castle. I especially enjoyed the floral arrangements and the flower gardens. The flowers in each room were beautiful and added to a very special experience."

Lynn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A truly wonderful and memorable trip! Our guide, Patrick was knowledgeable, thorough in his planning, explanations, and instructions to the group. Lodgings were clean, welcoming and comfortable. Special tour guides at our various stops were outstanding. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting and traveling with our fellow tour members. This was our second Rick Steves' tour (first-Florence to Rome) and we have just completed our plans for our third trip next May.

James

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour may have been expensive. After the tour, I feel I got my money's worth. I plan to take another Rick Steves' tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We spent the night on Mont St. Michel. We spent two nights in a hotel overlooking the Normandy beaches."

Cynthia

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish the tour surpassed my expectations. Everything ran like clockwork. We traveled with a wonderful group of people that Patrick (our guide) helped bring together the first evening. From then on we were on the go. Transportation was easy to navigate with the help of guidelines in the Rick Steve's travel book, along with Patrick's orientations. The knowledge of the history of the sites that Patrick passed on was priceless. His personality made the tour come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments. But Mount St. Michel was probably the biggest "wow". The abbey is such an impressive sight, sitting high atop a large rock island. It was an exciting experience watching the tide come in that evening, while eating dinner. And to be able to spend the night there was truly a dream come true."

Christine

Seneca Falls, NY

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would highly recommend the Paris & the Heart of France Tour to anyone, especially those who want to get a wonderful overview of northern France in a short amount of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was magnificent, but my favorite moment was the visit to the château Selles du Cher. The wine and cheese tasting was incredible."

Daniel

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole trip was great. Loved the French people, gardens, Normandy Beaches, special side/surprise trips that seem to just happen on RS trips; staying on Arromanches Beach at the hotel; and great group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Orsay Museum in Paris; the grand park system; and the huge boulevards of Paris."

Morteza

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent; just what I expect from RickSteves'. This is my second tour with RickSteves' (first: Istanbul). I especialy enjoyed the trip to Ambois, Mt St-Michel and the Normandy beaches; I would not have missed Bourges (but I enjoyed it nevertheless). Patrick did a fantastic job (he should be rewarded); bus (& driver) and other special tour guides were excellent. I will recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Mt St-Michel."

Theresa

Lombard, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The planning of the trip was perfect and we were able to make the most of every moment. We saw museums, chateaus, castles, vineyards, landmarks and more. We had picnic lunches and dinner and fine dining as well. There were 28 in our group and for me, that is my max for a pleasant experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a personal investment, so for me, Normandy was incredible. My dad landed June 12, 1944 on Omaha Beach and I felt like I was walking in some of his steps. Our lunch was on a farm, in a room with WWII memorabilia. Signed pictures from Chuck Yeager and Elvis, army equipment, articles and much more. Our guide explained so much and drew maps in the sand to give us a better understanding of what happened then."

William

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While this is our 6th RS Tour we found the sights that we saw were "pound for pound" equal to or more complete than any other tour. We saw SO MUCH and learned so much! The pace of activities was demanding but there was no choice if we were going to cover the territory outlined in advance for the tour. We were fortunate to have such a RS-ready tour group. People were on time with no complaints regarding the challenges of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to decide between Normandy and Mont St.Michel. While Mont St. Michel was like one of those Wonders of the World, the Normandy "experience" 70 years after it happened was very touching and emotional. Our guide provided us with a deep understanding of the breadth of the preparation and logistics necessary for the Allies to invade Europe."

Daniel

Seneca Falls, NY

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel."

Carol

Williamsville, NY

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided good value for money spent. Our guide and all local guides were excellent. The Louvre tour needs more time on works of art and less on the history of the museum. The tour bus was comfortable and made rest stops at reasonable intervals. We left a site too early and arrived at the next too late to do much shopping or exploring. The first and last hotels were great, but the in-betweens a bit primitive. Breakfasts were fine, but some dinners needed more options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was deeply touched and grateful when at Normandy we saw the graves of two of the four Niland brothers from our own area who are the real-life siblings on whom "Saving Private Ryan" is based. They are home town heroes, but I had not expected to find their graves among the thousands of others. It was a very special moment. Thank you to our guide, Michael."

Linda

Encino, CA

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was well-planned with attention to detail and included events that were not run-of-the-mill, like our overnight visit to Mont St Michel. We were not taken to tourist-traps where the tour guides would get a kick-back on items we might purchase, but rather we were advised of sights and places we might go in our "off-time" and encouraged to explore France as we would like. I do believe that Rick Steves tours value the countries of Europe and want their customers to have that same feeling

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That has to be the night we spent on Mt. St Michel. What a TREAT to see this beautiful place after most of the tourists have left! We were fortunate enough to get a room with a balcony overlooking the small church and cemetary half way up the mountain. There was a full moon over the water and the quiet after the gulls stopped calling was surreal. I will never in my life forget that night. It was one of the most beatiful experiences of my life."

Lynda

Torrance, CA

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I would recommend them to others. I thought the others on the tour were great people and the majority made every effort to cooperate and get along. No one held up the group. I thought most of the places we saw were worthwhile, with a few exceptions. The guide and assistant were great. All of the local guides did an excellent job. It was a very fun trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. St. Michel was the best! The fact that we stayed overnight on the island and had such awesome rooms made it perfect. The full moon didn't hurt, either. It was incredible to walk the narrow winding streets and be the only one there after the swarm of day-trippers was gone. Watching the tide rush in was incredible."

Rita

Folsom, CA

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed all of the tour. The guides were excellent. The extra guide, Dale, at Normandy was outstanding. I would definetly use your tour again if I went to Europe.

Kathleen

O'fallon, IL

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 4th tour with your company. I found it more tiring than others. We never had a morning where we didn't have to be up and out for an activity. Our free time was very limited and often wedged between other activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Arc de Triumph, as impressive as it might appear upon approach, and as arduous as the journey up its narrow staircase might be, did not seem high enough to afford a substantial view of the city. But then, WOW, there you are, the center of a wheel with its spokes the streets of Paris, stretching out in every direction. The view is stunning, memorable, and well worth the effort."

David

Langley, BC

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I thought the tour was very well organized. Our guides were polite, professional, knowledgeable and patient. The arranged transport and hotels were quite acceptable. We loved being in France and look forward to returning one day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Probably walking toward Mt.St.Michel and seeing how it seemed to rise toward the sky."

Priscilla

Ventura, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first venture to Europe and I was so glad I picked your tour company. Even though it was a tour we were challenged with learning the Metro and the train on our own and these skills will follow us in our future travels. Everyone on the tour was so friendly and outgoing. It was evident that this style of travel attracts the same type of down to earth people. We enjoyed their company and groups didn't form from different social strata. There were no high maintenance complainers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After an incredible 5 course meal in Mont St. Michel that was covered as part of the trip, most of our group walked out of the city to see the entire "mountain" lit up at night. We all knew each other pretty well by then and it was just a special time and place that we all shared. Also, Giverney! What an amazing place."

Robert

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were very pleased with the overall quality of our tour. We felt that our tour guide was exceptional as she possessed considerable knowledge of the history and importance of each venue. Everything was well organized from the bus trip to the hotels allowing us to visit the many interesting sites. In addition to seeing important historical sites, we would have enjoyed visiting a working winery when in the Loire Valley wine district.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Normandy Beach area with a very knowledgeable local guide, and feeling the history that took place 70 years ago. Also our visit to the Chateau de Chenonceau was very special because of it's location on the river Cher, and it felt like a property that was still in use today in spite of being a 16th Century Renaissance palace."

Bonnie

Granbury, TX

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high after watching so many of his TV shows. There were so many nice surprises along the way and I felt I was constantly learning something new about France, its history and its culture. I have absolutely no complaints about our tour. I wish I could offer some suggestions, but I think you have it figured out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" was when we first saw Mont Saint-Michel from a distance. I loved spending the night there, touring the abbey and being able to observe the early morning prayer ritual."

Elsa

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time, learned a lot, and went to wonderful places in 11 days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had four wow moments: - Seeing Normandy - Visiting Chenonceau Chateau - Walking around Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny - Viewing and spending the night in Mont St. Michel"

Steve

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful mix of art and history, chateaus and countryside, food and wine (and of course, cathedrals and museums!) - all flowing together and put into context by an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the most significant moment was standing in Leonardo's bedroom, the room in which he breathed his final breath. And of course, the D Day beaches. And the gardens at Giverny after having had visited The Orangerie Museum in Paris. And Chenonceau."

Starr

Redmond, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the people we went with, the locations visited, sites, history, culture, FOOD (of course - silly, we were in France!), etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible. But Arromanches and Port Winston took my breath away. Always love Paris."

Cynthia

Alameda, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour. We were very impressed. It was well balanced- ie, guided time vs free time. We were given direction as to how we could spend our free time, where to eat on our own, etc. The tour guide Virginie was fantastic. Our bus driver Phillipe was great too. They went out of their way to make our trip very special. The restaurants for our communal meals were very good too. The accomodations were in smaller unique hotels and very nice. We had no complaints.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was probably our early morning visit to the Abbey atop Mont St. Michel. We woke up early (it was still dark) and found our way to the chapel to experience the service at 7 am. It was sung beautifully in French by the resident Monks and Nuns as we observed from our benches. there was about 6 Monks and 5 Nuns and they sang in perfect harmony. It was a very moving experience and a nice way to start the day."

Cherylie

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie was great. The Rick Steves Tours are always exciting from the standpoint they are informative, full of new adventures every day yet relaxed when given our individual time to explore. On our recent trip Virginie gave us a real taste of France as she was raised in northwestern France so she gave us additional local info. when traveling to Mont St. Michele and Normandy. This my fifth tour with the organization. Will do it again

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip through the Loire Valley , Mont St. Michele and Normandy were great for me.."

Kimberley

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It measured up well in comparison to the other three Rick Steve's Tours on which we have gone. We have loved every tour; and we loved this one as well. Virginie made the experience fabulous. The only stop that I would exclude was the stop where we had lunch on an old estate in Normandy where the owner had a sort of WWII memorabelia collection - I don't remember the name of the place. The place had a lot of wonderful history, but the owner did not give a tour of the estate or allow self tours

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the wine tasting and self tour of the estate at Selle sur Cher - seeing the estate in different stages of restoration was interesting and the wine and cheese was wonderful. Although sleeping on Monte St Michelle was fabulous, as was the tour of Chenonceau. Fougeres was maybe the most picturesque town we saw; but then Bourges was nice, too. Giverney was awesome! Too many to count!"

Robert John

Hawthorne, NV

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned more than I thought possible about travel in general and the Paris / France areas in particular. Particularly liked the historical aspect, espeically the the theological background information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Saint Michel aspect...tour was especially good"

Jeannette

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well-organized and our guide, Virginie, was wonderful. All the members were pleasant and down-to-earth people. We had been to Paris many times previously so we elected to leave the tour of Paris for one day to see some more "off the beaten track" sights. In the countryside, we had fun wine and cheese tastings and stopped for lunches in beautiful little villages chosen by our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "WOW" moment was having tapas and cocktails right along the Loire River in Amboise at a bar called Le Shaker. Le Shaker is at the foot of the bridge over the Loire River in Amboise. When the sun set, the lights on the bridge played over the rushing river water and the full moon made the scene a setting from an enchanted fairy tale."

Gary

Lacrosse, WA

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking in all the history of the areas we traveled through and relating and connecting the history and the architecture to what I have read and learned about European history while in school and since leaving school -"

Myra

Tarkio, MO

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were very pleased with the trip. Accommodations were great and we were adventurous and tried some new foods. Paris, Bourges, Bayeux, Mt. St. Michel were all spectacular. I have favorite moments in each place. Chocolate, cheese, wine, bread, metro, museums, Monet, Liberti lighted tree event, Eiffel Tower, open top car ride at night in Paris, sunsets, moon rises, rainbows, drink service on the bus, Annie and Math -- the best bus drivers, all people on the trip were so nice!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to come up with just one. Eiffel tour sparkling at night and I could see from the hotel. Double rainbow at Mt. St. Michel when rain came at high tide. Super moon rising over the chateaux in Bourges as we drank wine and ate cheese. All of the experience around the Normandy Beaches."

Kim

Tarkio, MO

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide - Marie- was first class. She was so attentive to us all and has 20 plus years of experience behind her. And- all of the guides she hired were excellent. (Although our guide 'Stewart' could leave out the story he told us about the Nazis killing innocent civilians - just before we went into the German cemetery). We had an excellent time in France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is tough- but the evening we spent at St. Michel- Marie even managed a Double rainbow for us before dinner- with our champagne! And- we watched the tide come in - under the "Super-Moon!" How did our guide Marie arrange that also? She was magnificent!"

Marilyn

Los Alamitos, CA

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went with my husband on the Best of France tour which lasted eleven days. Our guide, Maria, did an outstanding job of explaining the details of the various places that we saw and was a pleasant person to be with. We loved seeing Normandy and the Mount Saint Michelle as well as the other sights on the tour. We have been on four Rick Steve's Tours and have enjoyed all of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Normandy Beach was my "wow" moment. Our guide, in charge of the Normandy Tour, did an exceptional job with explaining the history of the battles both on the ground and in the air. I strongly recommend this to future Rick Steve's tour choices."

Gordon

Los Alamitos, CA

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eiffel Tower which we saw on our own. Mont Saint Michel: amazing tides and amazing cathedral. Staying on the island was a must to see the tides and avoid the crush of people. Normandy tour was outstanding. I can't imagine touring Normandy without a guide, who was exceptional."

Lynn

LaCrosse, WA

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip out of the United States and our first Rick Steeves tour. We loved every second of it. We met some of the nicest people in our tour group. Marie, our tour guide, took such good care of us. We never had to worry about one thing! We saw amazing museums, cathedrals, chateaus, the French countryside, small towns, historical beaches, gardens and homes. It was a wonderful experience for us and a true trip of a lifetime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing Mont Saint Michel in France. The beauty of the Mont is breathtaking, during the day and at night. Our group celebrated with a champagne toast in the evening, as we watched the tide come in. It was so amazing to see the water rushing in. We had a fabulous dinner, overlooking the water, and afterwards took pictures of the Mont illuminated at night. So beautiful. There was a full moon overlooking the English Channel - it was a perfect night!"

Jan

Keizer, OR

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour. We have been to Turkey and Sicily previously. This tour of Paris and northern France was the best yet. Wonderful tour leader in Marie. 24 considerate people to travel with, fantastic meals, excellent hotels,appropriate amount of time on our own, nice paced tour, and outstanding local guides who told history of an area through interesting stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris is always a good idea!!! (Audry Hepburn.) We've been to Paris 7 times and never tire of it! Normandy Beaches were our favorite site- We learned so much from guide Stewart Robinson, who is passionate about his topic of the battle grounds. Hearing Vivaldi played at Saint Chapel surrounded by sparkling blue stained glass - best WOW moment! We will never forget it!"

Brad

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized with a good mixture of group activities and free time to explore on your own. Marie was lovely and made the experience very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris was amazing. The most moving moment was the American cemetery in Normandy."

Gregory

Katy, TX

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour, and Marie is an outstanding guide. The architecture and the history of France is amazing. The people in France were equally outstanding, and the specialty tour guides were especially good. It was an amazing educational experience. One of our dinners lasted three hours, which was too long, and the earplugs would not stay in my ears, so the street noises disturbed my sleep. I would recommend obtaining custom fitted earplugs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Way too many WOW moments to try to pick one."

Beverly

Anaheim, CA

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our third tour, first to France. Always enjoy the type of people who tour with Rick Steves...friendly, energetic, curious. Have come to expect fantastic tour guides and was not disappointed in Marie. She was relaxed and funny, but always aware of what was going on with us and our surroundings, full of great information and a wonderful ambassador from her country to ours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel - opened the window of our room to look out at the Abbey - like a picture postcard. We arrived on an evening when the tide was coming in and was especially high, so had the opportunity to see the water rush in and surround us. Then, after a brief shower, a rainbow across the full span of the water. Wow."

Michael

Ponca City, OK

Tour: 08/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second Rick Steve's tour. We were not disappointed. Enjoyed the total tour. Our fellow tour companions were the best. The group bonded early and with our great guide, Marie, and our fabulous bus drivers, the tour was quite special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not on the tour-can't beat the Eiffel Tower and the view from the top! On the tour there were many but Mont St. Michel brought history and the rugged beauty of the rock to life. Walking the historic beaches of Normandy not only reminds one of these places in history-but the sacrifices of so many for our way of life. Very moving."

Stanley

Rochester, NY

Tour: 07/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We truly enjoyed all of the tour. The hotel, travel and meal arrangements were excellent, our tour guide, Julie, was fantastic, and our bus drivers were attentive and fun. It was a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many including seeing the Bayeaux Tapestry and Monet's Garden."

Kathy

Scottsbluff, NE

Tour: 07/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group-great guide -just the right amount of fun and education.I have raved to all I know about the "Rick Steves" experience -This trip was well thought out. Good timing on seeing the sights, travel time -lunch stops, market exploring, wine tasting was all an exciting pleasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michele-small village moments and the overall beauty of France."

Fran

New London, CT

Tour: 07/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour delivered on everything promised. Julie is a gem, so helpful and enthusiastic. The expertise of our local guides made each stop memorable for both its historical and cultural importance. Though initially concerned about the time spent on the bus, each trip became an adventure with fun stops along the way. Math and Anne were such gracious hosts on their "home away from home". Paris exceeded all expectations, as did Mont St. Michel and Chenonceau. Great weather and great company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy, Normandy, Normandy. Best day of the entire trip."

Steve

Franklin, TN

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves and it was generally great. I would have preferred more time in Normandy and less in the chateaus. Arnaud was very well versed and informative. He provided a professional but also fun experience. Only way I'll return to Europe is on Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Cemetery and Memorial. This was very sobering and put our freedom and sacrifices in perspective."

Kathleen

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If we were Proust, 500 characters is simply too few characters to express this fascinating introduction and immersion into the history, culture, politics, gastronomy, humour of France. Arnaut is steeped in the history of France and imparts his knowledge with humour and irony. He is an excellent guide to the historical verities and practicalities of French life. As Hemingway said it was a moveable feast, moving from frog legs to duck breast to escargot. C'est magnifique!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Napolean's tomb was my wife's highlight, but for me to be in France and trying to understand the occupation of the City of Light and France was the highlight. And we both enjoyed wonderful meals at the cafes. The Normandy portion will inform my future readings of WWII."

Lawrence

Arlington, VA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rally enjoyed the whole tour. Enjoyed the places we anticipated, and several that we had no idea would be so great to visit. (E.g., had little idea of what we would see and enjoy in the Loire Valley!) It was a good group of people to meet, get to know and share the experience with. Our guide, Arnaud, was informative, helpful, and entertaining. Phillipe, our driver, added to the fun. The stops at several small towns as part of the longer bus rides also were great additions to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to identify one. The quiet of Mont St. Michel at night. Chenonceau and Chambord. Normandy beaches and the American cemetery."

Rose Mary

Arlington, VA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of the tour was conducted with thoughtful planning. The overall quality of the service from our initial inquiry was outstanding. Arnaud made us feel welcome from our first encounter. He was a wealth of knowledge and humor about the many points we visited. He also planned small excursions for interesting lunches in small villages. The locations of the hotels was convenient and the accommodations were, for the most part, comfortable. We certainly plan to go on another RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but probably staying the night on Mt. St. Michel topped all. Our room had a terrace overlooking a turret. During the night the moonlight bathed the turret in a glowing white light. Sea gulls were soaring about the sky in the morning. This historic place was filled with peace and history."

Clayton

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an absolutely fantastic time on the tour. Arnaud made every day informative and fun and the places we went were amazing. All of the small side trips for lunch were well chosen and the main sites gave us a great overview of the wonderful things France has to offer. Having a group of other travelers to share the experience with and to socialize with was very helpful as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I really enjoyed waking up in the morning and looking out over the bay on Mont Saint Michel and the abbey there was beautiful. However, I think the main thing that captured me about the tour was the wonderful people of France and the great people we met."

John

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was so impressed with Rebecca's ability to herd cats with a smile! Her organization and planning were spot on. The other members of the tour were wonderful and easy to be with. The pace surprised me in a positive way. My expectation was a lot of free time when in fact there was very little and days were packed with activity morning to evening. Would say just right. All in all it was wonderful! Felt we were prepared to go on by ourselves the following week in the Dordogne and Lourdes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Generally the day at the Normandy Beaches. Specifically the way our guide, Dale Booth brought the day to life in the eyes of the individual soldiers. Starting off the day with the church at Angoville-Au-Plain and the story of the wounded cared for by Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore set the stage for the rest of the day. By the time we got to the American Cemetery I needed to be alone among the crosses with my own thoughts of what these men and women did for the world and future generations."

Michael

Darien, CT

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca made the trip for me. She is very knowledgable and I learned a great deal from her. For a first time visitor like me the trip scope was just the right balance between Paris and the country side .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel"

Marla

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just right!! All well planned from morning to night on days that had all day plans. Enjoyed the free time available on other days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour through the Orsay museum. Seeing the original art work brought me to tears. The first glance of Mont St. Michel for the first time"

Michael

Prospect, KY

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great selection of locations, hotels, venues etc Scenic, informative, well chosen itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dale Booth's presentations on Normandy sites - His detailed talks, personal interview stories made D-Day understandable."

Judelle

Prospect, KY

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very successful tour for me because Steves' prioritized : 3-4* hotels in central locations, early visitation at major sightseeing destinations, a great selection of what should be visited with very knowledgeable local guides in the time allocated, amount of time spent viewing these places and sufficient free time to pursue your own interests. This tour was enriched by 'special & unusual stops in the French countryside as well as the Normandy area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Normandy! Dale, our guide there, truly fascinated me with his explanation of D-Day. His stop at the church in Bayeaux was very emotional. He is an exceptional person and I am enjoying his book, D-Day!"

Susan

Valrico, FL

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. It put to rest any concerns Americans might have about French hospitality. Everyone we met and interacted with was exceptionally kind and friendly ( and patient with my faltering French). The entire tour was well managed and allowed us to experience French culture in many different ways. Can't wait for our next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be the Normandy beaches! Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the history and military strategy surrounding the D Day invasion, and was able to make me "see" it."

Maria

Doral, FL

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rebecca is a great tour director. The group was amazing and the places you visit are very nice. Rebecca went the extra mile to get little details into the tour she taught us about the wines in the area. Little things that could be improved do not talk about the site under pouring rain. It was kind of hard to listen under the rain. We had bad weather and it would have been nicer to do it under covers. The food was good not excellent. Loved the opportunity to go to the fresh markets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Mt St Michael was my wow and seeing the tide rise. It was beautiful. I could have stayed there a little longer."

Nancy

Darien, CT

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca set the tone for an amazing tour. Under her guidance, everyone in the group got along very well. She had fun surprises along the way, and was very knowledgable - we learned a lot! We saw beautiful scenery, amazing structures, heard interesting stories, and ate delicious foods. It was an experience for the mind and the senses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to choose as there were so many, but the one that comes to mind is celebrating Bastille Day at Mont Saint Michel on the parapet with wine, French/American flag pins, a French flag, and friendship. Mont Saint Michel is a place I have always wanted to visit, which added to the "wow"ness. It's where we took our tour group photo."

Tom

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations for its variety and quality of experiences. I expected a lot of quality sights for the money, but I did not expect to the kind of bonding that developed over the tour with my fellow travelers.Eating together, napping on the bus together,,and going to the laundromat and WC together seems to develop a quick bond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed by so.many things it is impossible to just pick one. Watching the Eiffle Tower sparkle at night, drinking champagne on the ramparts of Mont St Michelle on Bastille Day, listening to the D Day stories told by Dale Booth, seeing the masterpieces at the Louvre, watching the artists at Sacre Coeu while sipping a latte and eating a crepe are just some of them."

Margaret

Rockbridge, OH

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca Berry made the tour seamless. We went to one venue after another with ease. We felt relaxed and we had a great time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had several wow moments. The first was the town of Bourge. It was a charming place and we wish we could have stayed another day. The tour of the Normandy beaches was particularly moving. Our guide made the history come alive."

Linda

Laurel, MD

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris venues were amazing. What's not to like. Communicated easily. Came early and did some sites not on the tour. Rodin, military museum,tower, marmot ten (Monet) Then the tour started. Fabulous. Lodging was perfect. Great tour members. The countryside was full of castles, villages, grazing livestock, churches Lots of history and stories Loved every minute ! Touring bus was very comfortable. Drivers were great. Snacks on the bus were unexpected pleasure Clean bus. Clean bath.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Woman's castle and gardens. Florals. Even with the rain. Spellbinding"

Judith

Carson City, NV

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour went extremely well in spite of much rain! Everything that could be done was done to make sure we were all well accommodated, fed, watered, wined, ample time for almost everything on the schedule. Thanks to Rebecca for a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was the metal sculpture "Les Braves" on Omaha Beach. Sadly we didn't stop at it. However, because I had a newspaper article about it from the San Francisco Chronicle I was looking for it. The good thing about not stopping was that by passing the sculpture it appeared that the metal shapes were MOVING toward the land from the beach! That part was unexpected and my "wow" moment."

Joyce

Portland, OR

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour and my daughter and I enjoyed it emmensely. I have become a Rick Steve's ambassador! There are so many reasons that I love the approach..it is the perfect balance of group time and free time..the best of both worlds. I love that we are helped to become independent and it build's one's confidence as we go along. I also love the emphasis on history, culture, good food and art which are all my favorite things. The hotels are gems too and all so different.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Believe it or not, I had been dreading going to the Normandy beaches because I knew it was a grim subject. But this turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip because we had such an outstanding English guide. He was able to walk the fine line between good cheer and seriousness. He was an amazing storyteller too and made us feel as if we were there. It was one of the best experiences of my life. No exaggeration."

Bonnie

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous! I loved the variety of activities from museums to wine and cheese tasting. Rebecca was the best guide I could have asked for. She was personally attentive to each person on the tour as well as a knowledgeable historian. I was equally pleased with the luxury bus. We even had beverage and snack service! I could have never covered all the sites we did on my own in the same amount of time. The companionship of the other travelers was also delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! When we went to Normandy we stopped at a small church that served as a hospital our Normandy guide was so moving with his story and photos of the actual medics that worked in there. It was very moving and brought some of us to tears. Also, spending the night at Mont St. Michel was special. I would have never experienced the serenity without the mass of tourists otherwise."

Elizabeth

Damascus, OR

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I hoped it would be and more! It was full of rich experiences both historical and cultural. I loved being able to spend time in some smaller towns and experience daily life in France. This was the first trip I've taken as a solo traveler and I couldn't have asked for a kinder, more welcoming group of people to travel with. They really were the icing on the cake of a wonderful trip. I can't wait to plan my next RS trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments on this trip but I keep coming back to our day at the Normandy Beaches. Our guide Dale was fantastic and really brought the history to life. Our stop at the church at Angoville-Au-Plain was especially moving."

David

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a very good trip and know much more about France now. The travel and locations were all quite manageable and comfortable. The selection of attractions was very good. There were many iconic locations to experience. A great introduction to Paris, The Loire an Normandy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Normandy D-Day beaches was wonderful. Our British guide was very knowledgeable and made the events of D Day come alive."

Robert

Port Arthur, TX

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beach was a somber experience that will always be remembered."

Flora

Allen, TX

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations. We had done Paris before when there was the London/Paris in 8 days. However, after leaving Paris, the tour was amazing. I appreciated how the sights we went to built on each other. For example, starting at Guedelon made the following chateau visits much more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a deserted Mont St. Michel to ourselves (well, the group and a few others)."

Karen

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie was marvelous. Always spot on with instructions. She was full of information, tips, history, culture, and humor. She made everything fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Day D sites. Our guide was outstanding."

Amanda

Allen, TX

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was very interesting. We got to visit small towns and lesser known locations that would have been difficult to reach on our own. With the tour, travel was much less stressful, and I learned more and saw more things than would have ever been possible on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing and learning about Brittany! It is a lovely and culturally rich area that I knew nothing about until the tour."

Carla

Danbury, CT

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely one of the best vacations I've ever taken. I've used Rick Steve's books before to travel independently in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Ireland, Italy. But this year I was interested in doing less work and having more company, so I tried this tour. Having all the arrangements done for me made it possible for me to see and do more while being so much more relaxed. And I met great people who I did not want to say good-bye to at the end. Just a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day on the Normandy beaches. And our group singing the American national anthem on July 4 at dinner in Bourges (at the behest of the waitress) when people everywhere in town were singing the French national anthem as France was in a World Cup game the same day and at the same hour."

Susan

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of France tour was our first Rick Steves tour, and truly exceeded our expectations. Virginie was awesome, and made our experience in France an incredibly rich immersion into French history, culture and food! Not only did we have fabulous experiences, but we also tasted delicious dishes, stayed in comfortable lodgings, and learned a great deal along the way. Best of all was bonding with a phenomenal group of like-minded travelers and making wonderful new friends. Two thumbs WAY up!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont St-Michel was a magical experience. We could literally feel the history surround us. The "wow" moment on the island was witnessing the 7:00 am service in the abbey, with the ringing of the bell and the ethereal singing of the monks and nuns echoing off the walls. Those of us who attended felt that we were part of something truly special and much larger than ourselves."

Dana

Lake Elmo, MN

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a blast from start to finish. The tour was well designed which means that we saw wonderful things, there was a good balance between group, structured time and "on your own" time and the guides were terrific. On top of that, the group chemistry was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel and our room - - the balcony room high up on the island. The entire stay at Mont St. Michel was magical."

David

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent time with Virginie, Antoine, and the cast of other tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several wow moments --- Omaha Beach was stunning in so many ways. Spending the night on Mont St. Michel. Monet's water garden at Giverny."

Philip

Asheville, NC

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just a great way to tour a city or country for the first time. Rebecca is first class in every way, and the guides for the various sites were also wonderful. The hotels were better than I expected, and there seemed to be a good balance of planned meals (which were always great with the "group") and meals on our own. It was a most pleasant learning experience, which has inspired me to research numerous sites and historical events since returning!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the first glimpse of Mont Sainte Michelle from the distance."

Debra

Narberth, PA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned a lot, and the group was great to be with, quite diverse in age. Overall, this tour was busier than some RS tours I have taken, no real vacation from your vacation opportunities. I find such opportunities really help me persist. Maybe in this tour, that is not possible because of the distance between locations. My perception of busyness may also be partly due to the time of year and the large number of tourists visiting the same places we did - it was high summer, after all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Mont Ste. Michel, though the Normandy Beaches tour was quite riveting and I had not been looking forward to them."

Wendie

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good food,good times, good wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel."

Patricia

Newtown, PA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca was wonderful. She made us all feel comfortable, helped us whenever needed and was an expert at all thing French.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was spectacular. After seeing the more primitive 13th century castle being built and the massive Chambord, Chenonceau was a great example of a chateau that was furnished and managed."

George

Asheville, NC

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a well organized and friendly tour conducted at a fast pace. There were early starts and busy (hectic) days. The hotel selection and meals provided were excellent. There was a good selection of sites to visit and good advice on preparation for each days tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Despite torrential rain the house and gardens at Giverny were a delight. In The Louvre seeing Charlemagne's sword and ceremonial equipment was unbelievable. How had it survived? The magnificence of Napoleon's apartments was overwhelming. No wonder the civil servants didn't want to leave!"

Angela

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days was our first Rick Steves tour and I can't image traveling any other way! Every aspect of this tour was fantastic and executed flawlessly. The experience was absolutely priceless!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our experience in Normandy under the direction of Dale was remarkable! It was an emotional and unforgettable day."

Mark

Newtown, PA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the very beginning it was like the pages of Rick's book unveiling itself to us. We had read and re-read the itinerary so many times that it was like a story unfolding as we checked off each destiantion along the way. From the moment we landed at Charles Degualle until we left our new friends after the "last breakfast" everything went according to plan. Our guide Rebecca made the trip so special becasue she brought her "American in Paris" point of view to everything we did together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the day tour of the Normandy area and in particular the beaches. Our guide for the day (Dale) was extraodinary with his knowledge and humor. It was a somber and emotional experience which will last a lifetime."

Kate

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca and Francois were an outstanding team. We were really lucky to have them. They were truly concerned that everyone have a great experience and each did little extra things to make the trip special. I was also really impressed with my fellow tour members who were very interesting people. I loved having many meals included - kept me from having to spend time trying to decide where and what to eat. It also encouraged me to try new things. Everything was really well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Saint Michel - viewing it from the bus, walking toward it, wandering around in it, touring the church with our great guide."

William

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dale's presentation on D-day was overwhelming - in a good way. He stripped the Hollywood facade away to reveal the ugliness, and thus the true sacrifice,courage and heroism, of modern warfare, particularly at Omaha Beach."

Bob

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour this was! As experienced independent travelers, we had trepidations about joining a tour group, especially the idea of being led on a lockstep series of canned sites. Instead, we found this Rick Steves experience to be personally enriching, insightful, and fun. The guides were consistently top-notch, the itinerary carefully and thoughtfully planned, and the hotels and meals were first class. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful experiences, but two that stand out for me are Mont St. Michel and Giverny. Both were beautiful and totally unique, and we were given the time to explore them at our leisure. Spending the night on Mont St. Michel is an experience that I will never forget."

Beverly

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EXTRAORDINARY!! From the easy enrollment phase through our fond farewells, this Paris & the Heart of France tour was fantastic! Apprehensive about taking a cookie-cutter tour, I was pleasantly surprised by the balance of free time and planned tours, as well as the caliber, knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides. Our tour group was a delightful mix of travelers who also helped to make this trip extremely enjoyable and memorable. I truly experienced the "Heart" of France and loved every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending a night on Mont Saint Michel was absolutely magical and mystical! With the crowds gone, the shops closed, and the tide encapsulating the entire island, we were embraced by a remarkable sense of peace and calm. Exploring the streets and steps to the abbey after dark was eerie, yet exhilarating. The most memorable experience was attending the sunrise prayer/chant service of the mont's monks and nuns...spiritual, hauntingly beautiful and unforgetable."

Derrick

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second Rick Steves tour and it was just as great as our previous experience! The overall leadership from Julie was fantastic and the hotels and locations were more than we could have hoped for. It was a great balance of free family time and group time and we felt like we really experienced France like a local. Our bus drivers (Annie and Matt) we're so friendly and became part of our extended travel group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite wow moments were sleeping at St. Mont Michelle after all the other tourists left for the day. It's a mystical place and definitely worth walking all the steps and halls at night time. Also, Normandy was an amazing experience with an incredible guide who educated us on all aspects of what happened (great story teller). And then there is Giverny! There is nothing you can say except that it was a beautiful way to end our journey in such a beautiful, peaceful place."

Angel

New York, NY

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel and Normandy!"

Tina

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I love the camaraderie among the tour group members. Most of the tour guides were outstanding. The trip started with Julie giving us very specific and detailed instructions for the Paris metro. I felt she was giving us baby steps in Paris travel. From the initial lesson, I then mistakenly expected the same level of detail with travel instructions. I felt there was uneven areas of emphasis in the trip, areas of the trip that was rushed and areas that were seemed unnessarily overempasized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was sitting inside the little church at Angoville Au Plain. Dale was commanding as a history teacher and storyteller. He made the heroic story of the two medics unforgettable. I also loved watching the World Cup at various French bars with the tour group. Sitting at a crowded bar at Mont Saint Michel, under the shadows of centuries old cathedral, watching a soccer game with new tour friends, along with other tourists from various countries was priceless."

Becky

Tiffin, OH

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole tour. We had a great group and a wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy D-Day beaches were a wow moment. Dale Booth was an excellent local guide and was successful in helping me "see" what happened on invasion day. I also thought visiting Monet's garden was a wonderful experience."

Beth

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great experience - delightful people, we dodged having the "one" person who was always late, obnoxious, etc. The tour was structured such to avoid the crowds - especially Chenonceux and Mt St Michel which was wonderful. I would not have wanted to visit either of those places when crowded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the D Day beaches, I especially liked going to the little church in Angoville-au-Plain and having lunch at Ray's place - can't remember the name of it but it was fascinating being there and seeing all his memorabilia."

William

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a nice combination of great people, places, and tour guides. This was our first guided tour in Europe after traveling for many years by ourselves and the overall experience was wonderful. I would highly recommend this tour to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Normandy beaches and Cemetery."

Kathleen

Hartville, OH

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip couldn't have been better. Everything was perfect. Julie is amazing. She kept us informed, inspired, charmed. This is the one and only trip I'll ever have to France and it was much more than I ever expected. The food, the hotels, the museums, the cathedrals, the history, the tour guides were exceptional. We did a lot each day, but still had enough free time to explore on our own and rest up for the next big day. Thank you for being sure we got our moneys worth and then some.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the people of France. Everyone was SO friendly, so helpful. The street life in Paris is like no place on earth. The cafes, the shopping, the nightlife, were so exciting. What a joy it was to be there soaking in the excitement that I've heard about all my life. Paris exceeded all expectations I had. People in Bayou, Bourges, Ambroise, Normandy were so kind, trying to help with shopping, directions, ordering lunch. I just can't say enough about how welcome I felt."

Richard

Cranford, NJ

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Let me start by explainng that this is my (our) third Rick Stves tour. My tour experience was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire day on the Normandy beaches. I have read quite a bit about the Normandy campaign over the years and felt I was fairly knowledgeable on the subject. I must credit our Normandy guide (Dale) with teaching me a number of facts about the invasion that I had not known. While my expectations were high for the day, the actual experience exceeded them. It was a day I will not forget for the rest of my life."

Sarah

Cranford, NJ

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Travel occurred without a hitch. Members of our tour group were easy travel companions (no grumps), guide and bus drivers seasoned and friendly. Even the weather cooperated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm. Probably Mont St. Michael. Pictured the Church and surrounding town as small, kitchy and less than interesting. The church is astonishing. The building effort construct this complex on a rock outcrop is unimagineable. However did they do it? The tour of the church is a "must." Also, our tour included an overnight on the Mont, which allowed us to be on the island after the mass of tourists had departed. The completion of the elevated causeway will only make the visit"

Rocco

Grand Junction, CO

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Much better than expected. That includes the hotels, meals, guide, transportation, and sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Never having been to France, everything was a WOW moment."

Denise

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine having the same Fabulous experience if I had simply done this on my own. The coordination, planning and organization of our guide and driver was 'seamless'. All I had to do was listen, pay attention, and ENJOY.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the day we spent exploring the beaches of Normandy was one of two Highpoints, in the tour that I will always remember, and that's not even why I chose this particular itinerary. Visiting the Normandy beaches, battlegrounds and cemeteries was a more emotional experience than I had anticipated. And yes, we saw all the sites in the area, but it was how they were presented by our superb guide, Sylvan, that created the most impact. Secondly, was visiting Giverny. It's always been on my List!"

Kathleen

Franklin, TN

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an excellent balance of planned activities and free time, as well as a good mix of activities (museums etc) and experiences (wine tasting). I really enjoyed traveling with like-minded travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, there are so many! Top of the list are probably sunset from the walls at Mont St. Michael after a fab group dinner and the whole day at the Normandy beaches."

Kathy

Towson, MD

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip with Rick Steves' Tours and I felt very comfortable. I liked the split time between group touring activities and the freedom to go it alone. The guidebook and the pretour suggestions for preparing for the trip were helpful and right on the mark. When we used local guides e.g. Normandy, it really enhanced the experience. Our guide Arnaud was terrific and a definite keeper for your France tours

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course Paris and the wonderful museums but my Hard to choose because several of my experiences tied for a wow moments: Visit to Chateau De Chenonceau also the home of Leonardo da Vinci Chateau du Clos Luce in Amboise (his many inventions) Monet's home and gardensof Monet at Giverny The least favorite was the Visit to San St Migel - the accomdations dinner and breakfast were fine but the tour of the abbey (local guide) was disappointing and didn't add to my experience"

Beverly

Highland, IN

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! Our tour guide was very personable, knowledgable, and did a great job organizing all the small details of the tour also. I really enjoyed the mix of guided tours and free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a gardener, I would have to choose Monet's Garden at Giverny. Walking through the Grande Alle'e and the water garden was like stepping into a Monet painting."

Ed

Towson, MD

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What could be wrong. Great guide,good food and company. Rooms were interesting. Some day maybe I will understand the bus driver being controlled by the hammer on the dash.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me its breakast. This sets the tone for the rest of the day. Overall Mont St Migel stands out in my mind. For me the WOW moment was continous i.e. interacting with the French people and their willingness to help us ."

Walter

Washington, DC

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had heard so many good things about Rick Steves' Tours that I had very high expectations. I'm happy to say those were met, and even exceeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""C'est magnifique" would be the phrase to describe so many "wow" moments. However, for me, it was the visit to the fabulous Chateau de Chenonceau. If I had one complaint about the whole trip it would be that I wish I could have stayed at that Chateau at least another hour. But I realize with 28 people everybody has different interests and somebody else my want to stay somewhere else longer."

Mike

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour. It visits the places that we wanted and we had ample time on our own. This was our third tour and it interesting to see the personalities of our three guides, all of whom were outstanding. Arnaud monitors well the group and the needs of the group. He gives a good amount of information at each site, and can answer specific questions if you have them. The guide has to be the guide, but he also has to be in control and do all of the things in a friendly manner. Arnaud does that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough, but probably Mont St. Michel. I have seen pictures of many of the sites that we visited on the entire tour, but that one is special on the approach. In addition, we were assigned to one of the highest rooms, which had a patio that overlooked everything. Great stop."

Dan

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The total tour was great and the participants were the most compatible of any tour I've ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the American cemetery and the German cemetery in Normandy."

Mary

Wickliffe, OH

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding!. I returned home having seen everything promised and i enjoyed the extra events that could only happen on your tours. The timing on every activity was close to perfect and Arno keep us all informed and on time. Traveling around Paris by Metro was enhanced by the ease of the directions given and using the bus was comfortable for the rest of the trip. I have been raving about it ever since! Please dont tell us not to wear "SNEAKERS' on Paris. I bought new shoes unnecessarily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden at Giverny was stunning and more than imagined. It was definitely A WOW moment! Staying at Mont St Michele was also a WOW moment. Being able to sleep there and experience the feel of a 12th century Abby and watch the tide come in, was a WOW moment! My more personal WOW moment came from sitting in the Gardens and watching the French people enjoy quiet time together. They talked in such personal and quiet ways to each other. It was an impressive Cultural exchange!"

Karen

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned much more information from Arnaud and the local guides about the sites we visited than I would have ever on my own. Most hotels were great - the rooms and bathrooms larger than I expected. Both my husband and I were pleased with the tour. I definitely appreciated having free time to do what we wanted to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's lily pad ponds and gardens. Visiting Giverny was on the top of my bucket list and it was everything I thought it would be--beautiful."

Elizabeth

Jamestown, MO

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment we met our entertaining and great guide, I knew my daughter and I were going to have a wonderful experience in France. The hotel rooms, food and planned activities were just as wonderful as our informative and super organized guide. I am saving right now for our next trip to France

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a wow moment."

Stephen

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am pleased with the combination of tour guides and time on our own. The food was great,except for one place. The hotel rooms were great, except for one place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went three days early, and the Versailles Chateau and its gardens were my "WOW" moment!"

Jacquie

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on the trip with Arnaud. He was a wonderful guide and very knowledgeable. It would be helpful to have a headphone set for all of us when we are out and about and not on the bus. On the bus, Arnoud did a great job with volume and keeping us informed. He was very organized and did a fantastic job.

Sugar

Grand Junction, CO

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have only been on bicycle tours before, so was not sure to expect. I wanted to learn and this totally fit the bill. I think that we had enough "tour time" and free time to explore on our own. My experience was very, very positive. I would certainly take a RS tour again and have already raved to my friends about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very hard. Never having been to France or Paris, everything was a WOW moment for me. I couldn't sleep on the bus because I loved looking at the countryside. I didn't want to miss anything. I woke up every morning excited about the coming day. I have heard that the last thing you learn stays with you. Perhaps this is so because I can't get Giverny out of my mind and I adored Chenonceau."

Arthur

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fast paced trip with lots to see and lots to learn.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont San Michael."

Linda

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a thoroughly enjoyable exploration and celebration of French culture. The hotels were excellent, the French cuisine was delectable, and the museums, abbeys, chateaus, and the lovingly "manicured" scenery of Brittany, Normandy, the Loire valley, AND Giverny were a visual treat. I miss the camaraderie of my excellent travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were entering the island of Mont St Michel and I looked up, and up, and UP to see the statue of Saint Michael glowing in the afternoon sunshine."

Rod

Alamo, CA

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itself was very good. Our tour group could have been much better. We are relatively young (49 years) and still like to laugh and have fun. Most of the group was older - which is okay - however, most were not fun loving. They were kind and friendly but not that engaging and didn't laugh much. Granted that the primary attraction is the sites and not the group itself. However, the next time we go on Rick Steve's trip, we will try to inquire about the age of other participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment turned out to be the beautiful countryside of the Loire valley. We expected the biggies (Paris, Normandy, and Mont St. Michael) to be great but the beauty of the Loire valley was an added bonus!"

Mary

Selah, WA

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the experience was wonderful. The planned sites were worthy, yet we had some free time, and that was helpful as well. The tour guide and the local guides were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. This is my second R.S. tour, and I see more in my future. I like the concept and the opportunity to learn relevant and important information. I also like that we walk whenever possible. It helps me to know my way around and to experience the country and its people more closely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was seeing the Normandy beaches and the cemeteries. Perhaps especially because this year was the 70th anniversary of D Day, I spent more time ahead of the trip studying and contemplating D Day and what it meant for all of the human beings involved."

Mark

Lincolnwood, IL

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was very good. Toni was an excellent guide. The other guides that were brought in were good. The only thing I would change would to be to have more stops in Paris. Less free time. Keep the entire tour in Paris busy with sightseeing, and no free time. People who wouldn't like that could opt out any morning or afternoon that they didn't feel like going on that particular stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No particular wow moment but the whole Normandy experience was the best part of the tour."

Marilyn

Worthington, OH

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I hoped it would be. Tony made traveling so easy and all the tour members bonded fairly quickly. I am planning to take another Rick Steve's tour as soon as I can afford it. I learned a great deal about France and have had lots of interesting "doors" opened up to me. Thanks to the tour guide and Rick's tour books I knew how to deal with waiters and store clerks and except for one waitress, had no trouble whatsoever with the French people. They were all remarkably nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was Paris itself. Such a beautiful city!! I also really liked the beaches at Normandy and our tour guide, "Sly" was excellent. I learned a lot from him and would like to go back and do the tour with him again. The other things were interesting, too, and I enjoyed every minute of them."

Laurie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We took this tour after 'Loire to the South of France' (with a few days on our own in Paris between the tours. France was wonderful and these two tours were really complimentary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to Mont St. Michel and Guedelon were very special. Staying on the Mont St. Michel island overnight was a very special experience as was the visit to the abbey. Guedelon (a 'medieval' castle being built today using 13th-century materials and techniques) was just fascinating and fun."

Lois

Yakima, WA

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-planned and paced. The guide and bus drivers were professional and friendly. I liked that the tour began in Paris and ended in Paris. I liked that the tour began in the city with the challenging experiences first, such as navigating the metro. I fall in love with every country I visit on a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot decide between driving through the French countryside and seeing an old man mowing hay with horses and returning to Paris to see the Arch in front of us."

Philip

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip seeing many of the same sights we saw in our first Rick Steves tour in 2000 with the same guide, but this time we were able to share them with our granddaughter! It was our 14th Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the castle in Fougeres on our lunch break between the Loire Valley and Mont St-Michel."

Robert

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour. It was everything that was promised and more. The extra stops on the longer bus rides -the French towns, Chateau de Guedelon, and wine tasting at the old chateau were special. Places I have always wanted to experience- Paris, Normandy, Mont St Michel, and Giverny- we're great! We saw a lot but had the time to appreciate each stop. There was a nice balance between organized time and time on our own to explore. I also enjoyed a great group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine and goat cheese tasting under a 300 hundred year old tree at a partially restored chateau on a beautiful summer day was my wow moment. Visiting Sainte Mere Eglise, the American Cemetery at Normandy, and the Orsay Museum were also wows."

Kathleen

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was perfectly planned. It was great to have our first and last hotel in different areas of Paris. We were able to explore first the area near the Eiffel Tower, then at the end, Montmartre. The mix of Paris, Loire Valley, and Normandy was great.. Urban life, beautiful views, and solemn history. Toni was a wonderful guide, down to earth, fun, and always responsive to questions and requests for more information. The local guides were amazing, especially the guide for the D Day beaches,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several experiences would qualify. Walking out of the Orsay Museum and seeing the Seine before us, first sight of the Eiffel Tower, looking out over Paris from the top of Montmartre. The wine and cheese tasting under the 300 year old tree , next to a half ruined chateau. During our stay in The village of Amboise, there was a summer solstice celebration with music and dancing into the night. It was so fun to be a part of a National Holiday!"

Lucille

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fantastic time! It has been one month since we took off on our adventure and I find myself constantly thinking about all the neat experiences we shared, places we saw, information we learned, people we met and foods we ate. Happy memories that make me smile!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! Looking out my bedroom window,seeing Le Mont Saint-Michel lit up in the night time sky with sea gulls gracefully flying by."

Holly

Kenner, LA

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour. Excellent way of travelling like a "temporary local".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy. I hadn't expected to find it uplifting and so educational. I felt tied to history."

Carleen

Albany, OR

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, excellent itinerary and accommodations. A friendly, engaged group over all; terrific drivers. 3 in the group did not seem physically able to keep up w/o discomfort and a struggle; Not sure if they fully understood how active the tour is when signing on. Loved shopping in the Bourges farmers' market for picnic prior to wonderful cheese/wine tasting in Selles sur Cher. Fougeres was spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely staying on Mont St Michel. Our room was mere steps below the abbey. It was a remarkable experience. I have to say I was wowed also by all the beautiful villages we drove through and or stopped in."

Rick

Albany, OR

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After hearing very good things about the Rick Steve's tours from other people I expected a very good experience and it far exceeded my expectations. The accommodations, the food, the local guides, and especially our guide, Rebecca were excellent. My wife, of a very short time, has always traveled and explored on her own and was reluctant to go on a tour. After finishing the tour she is ready to return to another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several"wow" moments but with our guide Stewart in Normandy the whole day was special."

John

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience in France, and it was a great one. The tour was well organized, Rebecca was a fantastic guide, and everything cooperated (including the weather). A fantastic experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening and early morning on Mont Saint Michel. Arriving when people were leaving, being able to walk around without all the tourists in the late evening, and then touring the abby before most of the people had arrived was wonderful. Then to top it off, we saw the tidal bore coming in during dinner. An amazing sight."

Barbara

Lake Lotawana, MO

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Rebecca was an outstanding guide and we had an excellent group of people to travel with. This tour is jam packed with sites to see and I must say that Rebecca made it all come to life! The city guides were amazing and except for getting tired you never wanted them to stop! The hotels overall were extremely nice and very well located. And our drivers were exceptional too, Annie and Matt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing Mont St. Michele for the first time. It looks like something out of a movie but it's real! I just wish I could have spent more time exploring it because of all the fun hidden alleyways and stairs. And the local guide was fantastic too because she made a basic old building come alive with her stories."

Karen

Fishers, IN

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France was an outstanding tour. This is our second Rick Steves tour and it meant and far exceeded my expectations. This tour was even better than our first. Rebecca was an outstanding guide and her love of France's people, places and food made the tour exceptional. The memories we made while on the tour will always be special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening and time spent at Mont St. Michael was a "wow" moment for me. To be there at night is a special experience and to be able to attend services at the abbey early that morning before the tour started was fantastic."

Lori

Dana Point, CA

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything exceeded my expectations. I love the philosophy of "no grumps." That sets the stage for a wonderful trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no single "wow" moment. Everytime we pulled into a new town for either lunch or a tour or an overnight stay, it created a"wow" moment. Each experience just kept adding one excitement after another."

David

Fishers, IN

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steve tour, it meet every expectation I had. The trip was a great combination of site seeing, history lessons, cultural experiences, and free time in a small group setting. Our tour leader Rebecca, displayed a great love for France and made it come alive for us from our first dinner together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the day at Normandy beaches with local guide, Stuart, was an "wow" day. His knowledge of D-Day events was outstanding and his story telling keep you hanging on every word. We started at the German cemetery, learning about the perils of war. The day included stops along the way at Utah beach, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha beach, and the American cemetery. It was an amazing day, reflecting back at what happens 70 years ago."

Daniel

Carmel, IN

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first experience with Rick Steve's and an organized tour in general, and I must say the tour far exceeded my expectations. Everything was very well planned with the proper mix of group activities and free time. As a business professional I tend to be very critical of planned activities in general, and I would recommend this and any Rick Steve's tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have a very difficult time identifying one 'wow' moment, as the entire tour from beginning to end was absolutely spectacular. Rather than using the term "wow" I would use our trip to the Normandy beaches on a drizzly, rather blustery day as the most 'moving' moment."

Cathy

Carmel, IN

Tour: 06/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations and was magical from beginning to end. Our hotels were fabulous, food excellent, our guide Rebecca and drivers Matt and Annie charming and the sights incredible. Bourge, Fougères, Amboise, Chateau de Guédelon were all unexpected delights. We have been to Europe a number of times and this was the best vacation we've taken. Being on a tour allowed us to relax, learn and make fewer decisions, yet we were given enough free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to choose but I would say Mont St. Michel was No.1. Rebecca managed to arrange for the crowds to leave, the tide to come in while we were eating dinner and for a beautiful sunset! Exquisite! Staying in a room right below the Abbey was like being in a fairytale. No. 2 The Normandy beaches were overwhelming both emotionally and visually. Our guide Stuart made history come alive. No. 3 was Giverny which was exploding in flowers. I took 300 pictures there-need I say more?"

Melanie

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome. Really enjoyed our guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel was outstanding; but, the whole trip was really a wow moment."

Glenn

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our tour. The group was congenial, our guide knowledgeable and organized, and the Rick Steve's way was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In no rank order: seeing the water lillies in the Orangerie before seeing Giverny, Guenandon, staying overnight at Mont St. Michel, Giverny, the Van Gogh exhibit at thr Orsay. I loved the Louvre, and would have liked to see more with info about other paintings, the crowds were a turn off (Giverny, as well). Overall, informative and fun. Bourges and the cathedral guide were excellent, also."

Diane

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited the church in a little Normandy town that was one of the first to be liberated by the allies after World War II (Sainte-Mere-Eglise I think.) I loved seeing the stained glass window which featured the virgin Mary with paratroopers dropping out of the sky around her. I also loved the amazing stained glass windows in St. Chapelle and walking the streets in the walled city of Mont St. Michel."

Thomas

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tour could have moved at a faster pace. There was time to include a stop at Versailles and Chartre. In Paris should have included trip to top of Eiffel tower. Also there was time to see at least one if not two more chateaus in Loire valley.

Mark

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been to France a couple times on my own but I found this is a nice way to go as well. I think having the tour guides and the local experts helped enhance the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite "wow" moment was the stained glass of Sainte-Chappelle. It's really all they say it is."

Martha

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a wonderful introduction to France. We chose it because it would take us to sites we have long wanted to see and experience, and we were not disappointed. Arnaud, our guide extraordinaire, created an atmosphere of adventure and conviviality that enhanced every moment of the trip. I only wish the tour had been a little longer, because a few times we felt a little rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to single out one wow moment. Monet's Water Lilies in the Orangerie. Guedelon. Staying overnight on Le Mont St. Michel. Giverny. Bayeux and the tapestry. D Day beaches. These are just a few. I can't think of a single place that disappointed."

William

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We added an extra day both in the beginning and the end. So, our focus was primarily Paris and we found the city wonderful. For a foreign country that spoke a different language, we feel it was relatively easy to negotiate. It was very easy to navigate the city, both by walking and the Paris Metro. The tour provided a very enjoyable mix of museums, cathedrals, and various neighborhoods. Most notably, our guide, Arnaud, was second to none - always pleasant and ready to be helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is going to sound strange because there were a host of very impressive sights to be seen around Paris. However, if a "wow" moment implies something unexpectedly informative/impressive/entertaining, then my biggest "wow" moment was the tour of the 13th century castle being built - Guedelon. The reason was that the logic of the construction methods and architecture were very interesting to me. Second to that, being up close to the Eiffel Tower was my 2nd most "wow" moment."

Charles

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well executed, memorable, enriching. All I expected and more. I've decided the best measure of a successful trip is finishing with the feeling I want to return. I'm ready!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Abbey at Mont Saint-Michel. After all those stairs, what a place and what a view!"

Steve

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Whatever expectations I may have had before the tour were met and exceeded beyond my wildest imagination. Our fellow travelers made for a great week as we travelled in style around the heart of France. My wife and I look forward to our next Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was staying on Mont St. Michel. Once the tourists left for the day we enjoyed a great dinner together and then had the village to ourselves."

Victoria

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an intense but very fun tour of the French countryside and points of interest west and north of Paris, as well as the city itself. Highlights for me were Mont St. Michel, Chenanceau, and - especially - the Normandy beaches. Almost as compelling were the towns and villages we stayed in or spent a lunch stop in, which gave a real flavor of France. Our tour guide, Virginie, was fantastic. She kept us on schedule but with humor, grace, and a lot of useful information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel in the morning, before the crowds arrived. Spectacular!"

Tom

Richfield, MN

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was the first time my wife and I took a tour of this nature to Paris and northern France and it was a very, very good experience. We were/are very pleased.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches of Normandy, the German cemetery. The American Cemetery. The timing was almost perfect to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing also the weather and the local historian made for a very interesting day."

Mary

River Forest, IL

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was marvelous! We felt we had the right amount of time in Paris and the countryside (tho' we did come in a couple of days early to see Versailles and Chartres which weren't on the tour). The guide, Virginie, was "oo-la-la" fabulous! I only wish she did them all. Virginie was fun, informative and really wanted us to understand the French culture and way of life as well as seeing the museums. She talked about living in France on our road trips. She made the trip for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THe Bayeux Tapestry was a real "wow" for me. To think of how old this masterpiece is and it is still in great shape is hard to imagine."

Fred

Sherwood Park, AB

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the cultural experience that Virginie provided for us. She was a major part of the tour, and her knowledge of French life and culture made the experience that much more enjoyable. The tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was hard to choose any one moment as a "wow" moment, since there were so many. Mont St Michel and the tour at the Louvre stand out."

Michael

Parkland, FL

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was engaging and invigorating! The contrast between Paris and the countryside and various towns that we visited was very interesting and informative. Our guide Arnaud was fantastic, as were the individual guides utilized at Normandy, the Louvre and Mont St. Michel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the 13th century castle being built @ Guedelon. Our guide was terrific and the idea of using methods, materials and plans from this era really appealed to me. To see the results so far and to understand how far they have come on this massive project was truly a "wow" moment."

Amelia

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour gave us the "heart" of the French experience and we had ample time to explore on our own at each site. It was easy to "feel" the rhythm of this beautiful city and thrilling to have so much history all around.I appreciated this and Arnaud coached us well on local details, what to do first, how to behave in polite ways, using the Metro, good restaurants, etc. Also, the amount of history and storytelling was just right; our guide was a fount of information and greatly appreciated by all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been to France before in Paris and eastern France on my own. Visiting the Louvre of course is jaw [INVALID]ping but I have to say that visiting Normandy and the beaches with an incredibly knowledgeable and passionate guide was a high point... an enormous and pivotal event of the 20th century when we have been looking at all the previous centuries. It was very moving and unforgettable."

Merritt

Spring Hill, FL

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded our expectations. We have traveled in Europe independently six times prior to this trip using Rick Steve's "Back Door" and his other guide books. Twice we leased a Van Camper for about a month in Germany and camped from Norway, Berlin, Prague, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Switzerland, and back to Bavaria. We had not traveled in France. This was our first guided land tour. Again, it exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one WOW. The overall Paris segment was one of them but Brittaney and Normandy were special. Our visit was one week prior to the 70th anniversary date, and as a Vet, was moving."

Sally

Blanchester, OH

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's experience and I was pleasantly surprised. The size of the group was good, hotels were very nice, and our guide was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stay on Mont Sainte Michel."

Kathleen

Novato, CA

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France was, of course, beautiful. I liked the hotels and restaurants that were chosen. I especially liked the hotel near Le Clerc St. Our guide Arneau was charming and patient as were all our on-site guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy beach tour was the most interesting."

Tim

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. The group was full of fun and likable people who were easy to get to know. Seeing the highlights of France with a Rick Steves tour is just what we expected since we have done a tour before. We love that we had some meals together and have enough free time to do some things on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michael was amazing. Loved staying overnight and having the place almost to ourselves. Just lovely."

Mary Ellen

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Enjoyed it very very much. Having the guides with us was invaluable - they're expertise turned ordinary sightseeing into incredible experiences with richer understanding and meaning. Some of the optional activities that our guide suggested for our free time were real highlights - Clos Luce in Amboise and a concert in Sainte Chapelle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the stained glass of Sainte Chapelle and then returning later for a concert."

Ellyn

Big Bear Lake, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The welcome meeting at the hotel was fun. I was surprised that the "Buddies" were spontaneous and not assigned. In 2009 Rolinka assigned the buddies. This was no problem though. The first full day was a little frustrating for me. The streets of Paris noises were very distracting as Marie explained the various districts and history of Paris. Her voice was loud enough. I wanted to absorb every word but the cars and trucks took some away from my ears! I learned not to be so greedy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bus view of Mt. San Michel in the distance! NOTE: ALL of our Tour companions were special and great! No slackers or whiners and we had age 21 to 75! Marie spoke nicely and softly on the bus about the countryside, and we asked questions as we rode along. She used the microphone well as I listened and enjoyed. This allowed some others to sleep if they wished. She even knew about the kind of cattle and produce in the fields. I loved it!"

Russ

Alameda, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We felt the tour was excellent and it exceeded our expectation. We felt all of the guides were exceptional and very knowledgable. Our tour Guide Marie was great and would love to do another tour with her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the night spend Saint Michelle. We had the top room and weahter was windy and rainy wich made the whole experinece very exciting."

Jack

Big Bear Lake, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, the first being the "Best of Europe in 21 Days" in 2009, and immediately noticed the difference in pace and lack of sufficient exploration time. This tour felt like a stronger focus on quantity of sites that needed to be squeezed into too tight a schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Normandy sites as the 70th anniversary of the cross-channel invasion. Unfortunately, there was no time allotted to visit the museums in Sainte Mer Eglise or at the coast."

Howard

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

Paul

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience! Dale Booth's presentation for the DD beaches was outstanding! My wife and I bought two(2)copies of his book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Omaha Beach!!"

Ann

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip, but very busy, not much down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying the night at Mont Saint-Michel."

Lynda

Martinez, CA

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been on many RS tours and they never disappoint! Virginie was fabulous! She was able to give us even more insight into the French culture and way of life than I had expected. Every minute was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy gave me several "wow" moments. The local guide taught me so much I hadn't realized before. He was amazing! I also enjoyed Monet's Gardens. I wish all tour groups handled the visit the way ours did. The other groups stayed together and really "clogged" things up. Virginie talked with us ahead of time and turned us loose. It seemed to work much better that way."

Rebecca

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first trip to Europe and it was such a wonderful experience. Thanks to our guide and fabulous itinerary it was filled with new adventures and sights that I could not have imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire Normandy D-Day excursion was my "WOW" day. I had caught a cold and was not sure about going. I am so glad I bundled up and was able to attend as it was certainly a chance I will never forget. The special guide that day was so engaging and informative that I felt I was there. Made me proud to be an American in France."

Larry

Martinez, CA

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was just what we have come to expect on a Rick Steves' Tour - great guide, well organized, good mix of group and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day spent at the Normandy Beaches. Great local guide provided a 6 hour history leason"

Annette

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 1st Rick Steve's tour and it was a very positive experience. We loved Toni. She was well informed and gave us lots of helpful information. She was also funny and very patient when issues arose. The local guides we had were excellent and made the trip a great learning experience. We learned so much about the history of France,that I don't think you get when you are traveling on your own. The accommodations were very comfortable with great breakfasts. We enjoyed the meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved Paris, and the day we returned on the bus, at the end of the tour, was so great. It was a perfect sunny day and being a Sunday, everyone seemed to be outside. It was so beautiful coming in along the Seine, seeing the Eiffel tour, and all the people."

Ronald

Moorhead, MN

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our own tour to the top of the Eiffel tower with the Fat Tire Bike Co. and your local guide that gave us the tour of the beaches of Normandy."

Steve

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was well balanced with huge Paris, small towns, Chateaus and Normandy. Having a guide in Paris was immensely helpful. She saved us a lot of time we would have wasted trying to figure out the Metro, standing in museum lines and figuring out where to eat. We also had a great group of folks on this tour who were always on time and cheerful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably 3 wow moments: 1) The artwork in the Louvre is overwhelming. We finally escaped crowds to other wonderful sections of the museum. 2) Our visit to Château de Guédelon which is the medieval castle currently being constructed using only tools and construction techniques available in medieval times. 3) The Bayeux Tapestry...I had no idea of how special this is. I naively thought it would be just another large tapestry hung on a wall. Its so much more."

Stephen

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was planned out and tour guide kept us on schedule. Restaraunt recommendations were excellent as always.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"wow moments" -eating at the L'Epicerie in Amboise. -German cemetery in Normandy. (Didn't know it existed) -Walking the streets Bourges -Eiffel tower lighting at night."

Connie

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a great time as always on our Rick Steve's tour. Our tour guides were very polite, fun, and knowledgeable. Having Tony's organizational skills and historical and present knowledge of our trips made them most enjoyable. We did not have to hassle with anything, just go and enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour in Normandy which was all about D Day of World War II. Very moving and made that time very real and personal for me."

Kerry

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being our third RS tour, we have yet to be disappointed. The guide was first-rate, the hotels were lovely, the local guides were excellent, the bus ride smooth, the stopovers were thoroughly enjoyable. It's a joy to travel when "someone else" has made all the reservations, acquired all the tickets, explained how the transportation works, and gives you enough information to "wing it" on our own. Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the twinkling Eiffel Tower. The gorgeous stained glass windows in St. Chapelle. The amazing art and sculptures in the Louvre (oh, my!). The sweet streets of Bourges! The wine tasting on the grounds of Selles Sur Cher (delightful!). Chambord! Chenenceaux! The Publique Jardin in Fougeres. Mont St. Michele and watching the tide march in! The Bayeux tapestry! ALL of the D-Day sights and our guide. They were ALL "wow" moments! Fantastic trip!"

Mark

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed ourselves. Our guide (Toni) was great. Everything was well organized, there were no hitches in lodging, meals or other activities (that were obvious to us). The bus was comfortable. The guides at the Louvre and D-Day beaches were well spoken, knowledgeable and loved what they were doing. An added bonus was others on the tour. We really had a great group and enjoyed their company. We could have gone another week!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many...Notre Dame, the American Cemetery at Normandy, each small town we visited."

Michael

Dawsonville, GA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. This was our first Rick Steve's Tour and it was more than we expected. We felt well taken care of and had enough free time to explore on our own. Toni was great. She has a good way about energizing everyone while keeping us all on schedule. Of course the sights were extraordinary. Couldn't have put this together by ourselves and seen the variety of sights, hotels, and restaurants we did. Truly special. Thanks so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner at Mont St Michel watching the tide come in and surround us with ocean!"

Joan

Quakertown, PA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour and we were not disappointed. We especially enjoyed the fact that the majority of the tour members were in our age range or close to it (55-70), however, this not being the case on our other tours, it did not take away from those tour's experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wouldn't want to cal it a "wow" moment but our time at the D Day beaches was certainly memorable. Our British guide,Dale, was extremely knowledgable and enthusiastic."

Joann

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour and my husband's first trip to Europe since his army service in Germany. He had no interest in returning to Europe, but I talked him into it. We both really enjoyed the tour. Rebecca and Rosie were a delight. We were part of a great group. I wish we could have had an extra day or two in Paris and would liked to have explored a little more of Brittany. This was my first trip to France and it exceeded all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one moment! If I had to pick one, it was our trip to the Eglise Sts Cosmos & Damian in Angoville-Au-Plain, our first stop on our Normandy Invasion sites day. Being in the tiny church that housed 81 injured paratroopers was very moving and evinced the reality of D-Day on a small scale. Thank you for including that stop in our tour."

Peggy

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. Having the hotels and transportation arranged for us was such a time-saver and stress reliever. The tour group was just the right size, plenty of room on the bus & could go to smaller hotels and restaurants. Everyone was friendly. Our tour guide gave us enough info to feel confident going out on our own for dinner or other sightseeing. This trip hit all the highlights of France on my "bucket list".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its hard to choose. But its probably the church on our first stop of the D-day tour, where our tour guide Dale & the mayor of Angoville-Au-Plain told the story about the 2 medics that turned the church into a field hospital on D-day. I also especially enjoyed our Louvre tour guide, the Orsay museum, the town of Bourgee & the hotel & cathedral there, our room with the balcony at St. Michel, and the perfect weather for Giverny."

Rebecca

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 7th Rick Steves tour and one of my best even though we had rain on 6 of our 10 days! Rebecca set the tone for the whole trip with her cheerful attitude and wonderful narration. France has risen to the top of my travel favorites--the countryside was exquisite and the food not to be believed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a minor "wow" moment, but my top memory will always be standing on the beaches of Normandy listening to Dale Booth describe the events of almost 70 years ago. I had used Rick's suggestions and prepped myself[INVALID]I read Stephen Ambrose D-Day and watched both The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan. I loved Dale's stories told from the heart. Sitting in the small church with him listening to how the two quite young American medics treated both American and German casualities moved me."

Kenneth

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Able to carry out many activities because planning in arrival times. Excellent use of time on tour and still some free time for our individual use. Our bus driver Hilde was remarkable in skill and managed to travel thru villages and one lane roads to our amazement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping out on our balcony with it's view of the town and incoming tide at Mont St-Michel. Nearly full moon as night fell."

Peggy

Garden Grove, CA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Great group, as always! Tour guides were knowledgeable, helpful, and fun. Good variety of locations and enough time at each to enjoy them quite fully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very impressed with the whole Normandy day. First off the tour guide was amazing! He was a great story teller and teacher. First the stop at the church of Angoville-au-Plain where he told the story of two medics during WWII that made us all teary eyed. The beach stops of Utah, Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach with the old bunkers brought history horrendously alive. When we arrived at the American Cemetary they played the Star Spangled Banner just as we arrived followed by Taps."

Brenda

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded our expectations in all ways. People were more friendly, the countryside more picturesque, and the key sites more special[INVALID] we had time to soak in what we were seeing. We 're-learned' history from medieval times through contemporary culture, weaving religion, wars, and art together to give us a snapshot of France. We added 4 days before tour and 1 after, using tour hotels, and that gave us needed time to do Paris justice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We agreed on our Wow moments[INVALID]and there were 3: the time spent in the village church in Angoville-Au-Plain hearing the story of 2 medics tending 75 casualties from both sides[INVALID]so touching and poignant; the gardens of Giverny, more spectacular than we imagined, and the surprise of the magnificence of the Bayeux Tapestry[INVALID]so much more than we expected. The iconic Eiffel Tower, Sainte Chapelle, Mt St Michel, Chenonceau, D-Day beaches, all c'est magnifique!"

Ann

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I knew the tour would be "first class," it far exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the history of every place we saw. People ask my favorite part of the tour, and I cannot choose just one thing."

Barbara

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience exceeded my hopes. I especially enjoyed the mix of group time and time to do things on our own. Having never been on a tour (with any company), I had been concerned about how much time we would spend in the big group and how that would work, but the mix was just about right. I loved the local guides, allowing Rebecca to be our facilitator, but not relying on her to be the "expert" in everything. The local guides were all excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On Mont Saint Michel, I went to the early morning service (after spending a glorious evening in the highest hotel room complete with terrace). As one of only three people in addition to the monks and nuns, I watched the sunrise and throw a shaft of light across the abbey, while listening to sacred music sung in a place that had heard those chants for a 1000 years."

Kris

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour with Rebecca and Rosie was great! I am so impressed with the knowledge of tour guides! The guided tours of the Louvre and Normandy were outstanding as well. We learned so much visiting the "tourist" stops as well as the "out of the way" stops where we saw few people. The bus was so comfortable and roomy, and our bus driver, Hilda, was amazing! We made many new friends on this tour. I can't think of any improvements I would make on this tour. It was fantastic1

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide at Normandy was awesome. His accounts of the invasions at Omaha Beach and at Utah Beach were very enlightening."

Judith

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well organized and well paced. There was a perfect balance of walking, free time and restfull bus riding for me. Rebecca was a perfect guide...loved her humor and well researched information. I would want to take my next Rick Steve,s tour with her!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was dazzled by Chateaau de Chenonceau...the marvelous setting on the River Cher,, exquisite floral arrangements and understated opulence. Loved The Cathedral at Ste. Cappelle, and the optional Vivaldi string ensemble there will remain personally an extraordinary memory of my lifetime. Picnics, Wine & cheese tastings and group dinners were well timed and nicely done."

William

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. Rebecca Barry is a natural She set the bar pretty high for our first Rick Steves' tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dale's 8 hour tour of D-Day & Mont Saint Michel"

Maureen

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As this was our first experience in Paris, we appreciated the tips on making our way through the city. Transportation tips were worked in over the first three days. By the fourth day we were confident to be on our own in the afternoon. We found our way to dinner at the Eiffel tower and from there we easily caught a bus back to our hotel. All meals together were outstanding and everyone in the group were interesting and pleasant. We all had stories to share at the end of the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This would have to be waking up to a beautiful morning on top of Mont San Michel. It had been overcast the day before and some of the time in Paris; so, waking to sunshine with a view across the water and the landscape there was a peak moment. The effort to be on the 'island' after crowds left made for a very quiet evening. Touring the abbey and then walking the ramparts put us back in time."

Kenneth

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, I would never be able to see nearly as many sights on my own. Having all the arrangements (hotel, bus, food, metro tickets, entrance tickets) made in advance was a wonderful convenience. Also, providing the knowledge about the history, the museums and where to stay was priceless! For example, staying overnight on the Mont St Michel was brilliant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) seeing the American landing beach and cemetery at Normandy"

Donald

Delmar, NY

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great trip to Europe, our fifth RS tour. Again we appreciated the efficient itinerary, helpful guides, and a congenial group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending the morning chant at Mont Saint Michel was a highlight. The monks' and nuns' voices echoed around the cathedral and sunlight streamed in through east-facing windows. But it was all on a human scale: one monk blew his nose loudly and two nuns giggled, then a third joined in. How DO you solve a problem like Maria?"

Aosta

Castleton, NY

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Good mix of scheduled and unscheduled time, with suggestions for those free times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think being on Mont Saint Michele was the highlight of my trip. The wow was getting up in the early hours to hear matins, or the early morning chanting of psalms. I'll never forget that!"

Seth

Castleton, NY

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience for our first tour ever. Well planned and well executed. Relaxed and friendly guides, drivers and fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Mont Saint-Michel and seeing the abbey church lit up at night."

Kent

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Every tour day was outstanding EXCEPT the Normandy beaches day. TOO MANY SITES WERE SEEN, to the point of rushing through all of them. Several could be deleted such as the German cemetery and the Omaha Beach "west end." The bus was parked so far away from the Omaha Beach "east" that the gift shop/museum could not be visited due to time constraints. Also, more time needed for the US cemetery and its outstanding museum

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Mont St. Michel and Normandy beaches."

Claire

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the guide, Virginie, to be very knowledgeable. The tour tried to reach the highlights of the region, and did a very good job. The group winetasting was a bit overcrowded. The group needs to be broken down into smaller groups. The wine tour guides had difficulty projecting their voices, thus I missed out on a lot said.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Louvre, and the sculpures and paintings within."

Robert

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Very good taste of the Heart of France. One of the prime reasons for the tour is the upfront costs with no hidden extras and tips. I am gratified at not having to deal with the commision-based stops that other tours force you to partake. I wished the tour was a little less arts oriented, and at times the stops were so packed together I felt somewhat rushed. Overall it was a very good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Saint Michel. The wow moment came when I saw how skillfully the tour avoided the crowds."

Thomas

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour with a good balance between Paris and the other parts of France we visited. Also, I enjoyed the mix of tour time, and free time to explore on our own. Virginie is an excellent tour guide. She said, several times, that she used to be a teacher. She still is, very much, a teacher, and one of the best I have had. She kept us interested on the bus with the mix of information, each day, and the to-be-continued stories about the life of our representative French family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was at Mont St Michel, on the balcony of our hotel, with our beautiful view, when I asked Julianne to marry me, and she said yes. Thank you, Virginie, for having us climb all those steps to such a beautiful place."

Steven

Ventura, CA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great experience and will recommend this tour to my friends. It was obvious that a lot of thought went into the tour itinerary. There was no wasted time and everything went smoothly. The tour employees were professional and seemed to enjoy their jobs. The tour hit the highlights that I signed up for, but what really made it special, were the little side trips to places I never would have found or people I never would have met on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Giverny. Not just Monet's garden, but the town itself. 2. Spending the night on Mont St.Michel. 3. Having the D-Day landing explained to us by our guide Michael (who had a dramatic baritone voice) while standing on the sand at Omaha beach was very moving. 4. Wine and cheese tasting one afternoon at a private Chateau owned by the man who made the wine. 5. Visiting Chateau De Chenonceau. 6. Visiting Fourgeres."

Gretchen

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour followed very closely an itinerary that my late husband and I had designed for revisiting France, where we first met in 1963. Although we had been to France with our sons about thirty years ago, we were never able to complete this tour due to extenuating circumstances. I might have added Chartres Cathedral and Rouen, but I don't know where since the tour was so jammed packed as it was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very difficult because there were so many WOW moments. We had never seen the great tapestry in Bayeaux so that was extremely impressive. However, for me personally, revisiting the American Cemetery as well as visiting the German cemetery for the first time was the most emotional, touching moment of the tour! I remember WWII well. Those graves all represent mothers' sons, regardless of whence they came!"

Kath

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was surprised by the level of sophistication in the planning and execution of the trip. When I watch Rich on TV, he seems a little folksy but the tour was such a great combination of history, culture and organization. Rich Steve's tours are my new favorite things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy beaches blew me away. It was almost sacred. Good job."

Sharon

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the insights into Paris - but, equally, appreciated the 'rural' areas with their gardens, markets, castles (wine tastings and tours). The physical level was exhilarating, actually- and my calf muscles show it! - but with good pacing. This group did not bond as well as two previous RS tours. Was it because we were afoot three days at the beginning? Because we never introduced each other - and only learned first names after four days? Disappointing -

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy experience (which was why we signed up for that tour instead of Turkey) was outstanding, from the local guide's in-depth explanations to the shocking scenes. A view that grabbed me was the paratrooper window at Mere Ste Eglise: totally unexpected and laden with insights into the hardships the French experienced as an occupied country. The window evoked instantaneous insight - and tears."

David

Denver, CO

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Almost everything in northern France that I had wanted to see most of my life was included on this tour--and extremely well too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was not to be missed. This is probably not the most important attraction on the tour but it was the most impressive arguably. And we stayed overnight there--not many visitors are able to do this."

Jeannette

Marysville, OH

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was skeptical about being a part of a tour group since my husband and I generally plan our trips and rarely travel with no more than 2-4 friends. I was pleasantly surprised that the 21 member group was so congenial and easy to travel with. We felt a genuine spirit of caring for one another as well as respect. As we got to know one another, there was more personal sharing and evidence of a sense of humor. Our tour guide helped nurture that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was experiencing the American Cemetery in Normandy after being on the invasion beaches as our local guide described the losses and sacrifice. Very close, however, was view as we looked out over the town of Bourges after climbing the 396 steps in the tower of St. Etienne Cathedral."

Kent

Brookhaven, NY

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't travel much and going to a France where I can't speak any of the language was for me a stretch. Your guide was very helpful and the French very gracious, when my conversational attempts fell short. There was almost too much to see and take in. The introductions and explanations from Virginie were the icing on the magnificent France cake. Time off allowed us to try our hand at navigating and becoming more comfortable with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incoming tide at Mont St. Micheal. I've been on the water my entire life and to see a 15' (5m) raise in the last 2 1/2 hours of the tide was awesome."

Maria

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was knowlegeble, well informed and kind. I also loved the fact that our hotels were right in the center of town, instead of the outskirts of town. The number of people in our tour is just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel, the fact that we spent the night there was a plus."

Larry

Dana Point, CA

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best european trip ever. It covered all the places Lorna and I wanted to go. Hotel rooms were all on suite, with hot showers. Next time we will have to get in better shape for the walking, but we made it panting some of the way. There was ample free time to explore rest, or just enjoy the ambience of Paris and the french countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best was spending the night on Mont St. Michel. and waking early to hear the monks and nuns singing at 7:00 am. Another was the wine and cheese tasting at Selles-Sur-Cher. I'm not a wine person, but these wines were exceptional, and the chateaux owner friendly and approachable."

Lorna

Dana Point, CA

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations. Our guide, Virginie, was exceptionally knowledgeable and answered our questions candidly. Overall, the variety of experiences kept every day exciting. A marvelous and memorable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending the Lauds service early in the morning on Mont Saint-Michele was by far the outstanding experience of a trip filled with high moments."

Gary

Littleton, CO

Tour: 04/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of travelers and the weather was nice through the whole trip. I never opened my umbrella once. I saw many sights and the travel books did describe them in some detail. I wish I had spent more time reading up on them before the tour. The directions to the hotel were good; but, addresses are hard to find in Paris. The tour guide, Virginie, did and excellent job and was very knowledgeable. The local tour guides also knew their territories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Chateau Chenonceau was very impressive and we had plenty of time to see it. All the flowers and greenery were out in a nice spring display. Another wow moment was in Paris when I went out for a quick meal and left my maps in the hotel room. It took me an hour to find my way back. Those French narrow streets criss crossing each other all with the same French name make it tough to find your way without a street map. Tear your maps out of the books and take them with you."

Carol

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The was my second Rick Steve tours and I plan to do others. The thing I like most about these tours is unique experiences that you wouldn't have traveling on your own. You can visit castles and museums in France on your own, but you probably wouldn't get a chance to meet "The Prince of Tomatoes." I thought our tour guide, Julie, was particularly warm and friendly. It might be fun to have a girls night out/boys night out during the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a fantastic guide to the D-Day beaches. Ours was the last tour to France of the season and it poured on our visit to Mont St. Michel. We all got soaked to the skin, but adversity further bonded the group!"

JoAnn

St Louis, MO

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Met expectations as described in the tour brochure. Excellent tour itinerary as an introduction to France. Guide was excellent introducing French history, culture, food, useful French phrases. We continued on to the Dordogne area and Bordeaux for a week more and felt that we had experienced many of the highlights of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The early morning service at the Abby of Mont Saint Michele. Walking through the narrow, rain soaked streets in the dark and climbing 150 or so steps made it even more magical. The 10 or so from our group who climbed the steps waited for the Friar to open the door at 10 minutes to seven a.m. When the elderly friar opened the door it felt like we were experiencing something few tourists know about- truly a Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door moment."

Nancy

Orinda, CA

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is clear to me that there was much planning and organization by experienced travel professionals to make the Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days so successful. Your pre-trip communication with us was reassuring and left nothing to the imagination. We were able to explore and dine on our own for just the right amount of time. This was our first Rick Steves tour, and I'm sure we'll book another trip with you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved staying at the chateau of the Gardener Prince. Our room was absolutely splendid, and we really enjoyed having dinner and breakfast there. Meeting the prince in person and having him explain about his zillions of tomatoes and dahlias while walking with him in his garden was a totally unexpected moment! Yes, I'd say Wow! Staying overnight on Mont St. Michel was another real treat."

Cynthia

Longmont, CO

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour - probably my favorite so far of all the Rick Steves tours I've been on (this was my fifth!) Even though I had been to Paris before on my own, I enjoyed it so much more this time. Julie, and our other local guides made everything so much more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we toured the D-day beaches was probably my favorite day of the tour. Our guide, Dale Booth, was fantastic - we didn't even mind the constant drizzle, or the fact that we couldn't tour the American Cemetery due to the US government shutdown. Dale had so many personal stories that he really made the war experience come alive. I also really enjoyed our trip to Guedelon - it was so interesting to see how the project workers have mastered the medieval techniques."

Terry

Great Falls, MT

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was somewhat dubious about a bus tour, but was pleasantly surprised. The guides, especially at the Louvre & Normandy made the visits much more meaningful. Julie, our tour guide was great. The scheduling of tours, hotels & meals was seamless. We got into places such as the Louvre, Mount St Michael & the chateau in the Loire valley much easier, than if I had tried to organize all this on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided tour of the Normandy D-Day sites was unforgettable."

Wendy

Chippewa Falls, WI

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Julie, our tour guide had the perfect balance. She made it fun, exciting, and comfortable, while keeping the pace so we could see and experience more than we ever imagined. The trip seemed to crescendo. Everyday got better and better! Resurrected some French from 3 years in High School. However, Julie helped most along with the Rick Steve's French book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in the Chateau De La Bourdaisiere and meeting the Prince Jardinier (Louis Albert De Broglie) was truly the highlight for me. He took us into the garden, we picked and ate the tomatoes, delighted in his Dalias of many colors, enjoyed a "healthy" meal in the castle, and slept in the most beautiful room! It was a fairytale day. I bought the Prince's book on Tomatoes and he is sending me a signature I can add to the book since I purchased it after he left. Magnifique!"

Patricia

Memphis, TN

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a "Mom-Daughter" trip, and it was a wonderful experience! It was well- organized to make the maximum use of time, but it left sufficient time on our own to explore other sites or to catch our breath. The sites were well chosen to give us various perspectives of France, and I learned so much about the country's history and culture! Our group was very compatible, and we enjoyed getting to know fellow travelers, especially on the bus trips and during our dinners together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the visit to Normandy and the D-Day beaches. Our guide, Dale Booth, is so knowledgeable and such a good teacher, that he made history come alive for me. I was especially moved by the personal stories he told of particular soldiers and their experiences during the invasion, as well as his maps in the sand on the three beaches to explain the logistics. Another "wow" moment was the stay at the Chateau de la Bourdaisiere and meeting Louis Albert de Broglie."

Robert

Chippewa Falls, WI

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very well organized, Tourguide was absolutely fantastic! The three tour guides at the Louvre, Bourges, Mt St Michael and Normandy Beach were also great! Bus was very very comfotable. Good hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beach The Chateau and meeting the Prince"

Caroline

Stamford, CT

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been wanting to take this tour for years and finally got my chance. I took your Paris in 7 Days tour in 2007 and loved it. This tour was just as great as that one so I am two for two on great Rick Steves tours. Since I had been to Paris twice already I wanted to see more of France. These were just the places I wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we stayed at the prince's chateau and got to meet him."

Margaret

Fullerton, CA

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loren and I loved the Paris sights which included the wonderful museums. We arrived early to go to the Eiffel Tower and Versailles. The Loire Valley, Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, and Giverny were the stops that sold us on the package. The visit to the Chateau de Chenonceau was such a treat for the senses. We got to meet "the Gardener Prince" at Chateau de la Bourdaisiere and spend the night in his beautiful chateau.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that we can't choose just one. Each place we visited had its own special quality that "spoke" to us."

JoAnn

North Olmsted, OH

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France was beautiful and I feel that we got the most out our time in there by going through the tour. We spent three days in Paris on our own and got lost several times and wasted time looking for places. Once we began with Julie and the tour everything was planned and very well organized. We didn't waste any time and we got more sights into our days. The tour guides at the specific sites were experts in their fields, as well as Julie. It was hard to believe she was born in the USA.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it's really hard to choose just one. Every night we talked about what we had done and seen and didn't think it could be topped. The next evening we thought the same thing. I was really impressed that Dale Booth at Normandy engaged me about WWII. I have no interest in that and find it very depressing. I hung on his every word and plan to buy five copies of his book for my husband and myself, and friends. We truly enjoyed meeting the Prince!"

Ron

North Olmsted, OH

Tour: 10/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Saw more than I expected. Learned so many things about France and its' history that I thought I already knew. Found out I can pack all I need in a carry on bag.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time we would stop at a new venue, I would tell my wife - "I don't how they could top this!" and then we would get to our next stop. My "WOW" moment lasted 11 days."

Su

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour - I enjoyed the mix of seeing the sites of Paris with the beautiful countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Normandy was the best part of the tour - wish it could have been longer (maybe less time at Bayeux). The local guide was excellent and gave a very personal feel to the tour with his stories of individual bravery."

Betty

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The places we went, the explanations of what we saw, the food, the pace, the size of the group, the buddy system, the Rick Steve's books and preparation guides, the superb tour guides, and the Rick Steve's people were all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything, I learned about France from our Tour guide Marie and the other tour guides. The tour guide at Normandy and the small town we visited. I learned a lot and felt the past and gratefulness of the French. The guides also told of the reality of the Catholic vs Protestant conflict. This reminded me of the reason why people came to America."

Jackie

Jackson, MS

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent! It was well organized, busy, but well balanced, with scheduled activities and free time. All guides were well versed on their particular areas, and our primary guide, Marie, was well versed on everything! This was the most memorable trip I have ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy sites wowed me the most. The stories Dale Booth shared with us were awe inspiring. I will never forget the tiny church that served as a combat field hospital, and the brave young men who cared for so many for so long! It made me proud to be an American! It made me proud to be a human!"

Lynn

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about my trip. Our hotels were perfect and located centrally so that when we were on our own we could get out and see things easily. The tour included all of the sites that interested us most, and there was more than enough time to explore these sites thoroughly. The group was completely congenial - not one grump or late-commer - and all of our meals were delicious. Marie Altman was very knowledgeable, helpful, organized and charming. Our special site guides were great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was our tour of the D-Day beaches. I had never been there before and was very moved by the experience."

Diane

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in France. We had a wonderfully congenial group of travelers who traveled well together. They enhanced our experience. The sights and sounds of Paris were memorable as were our visits to the many Chateau of the Loire Valley, the beaches and cemeteries of Normandy and the Abbey of Mont St. Michel. Our tour was truly memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to list one favorite "wow" moment. Our excellent guided tour of the Louvre with viewings of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo would be one. Another would be our visits to the many beautiful cathedrals throughout our tour. Another would be our time at Mont St. Michel, especially the early morning celebration of Lauds with the monastic community in the Abbey. Our time on the beaches of Normandy and visits to the German and British cemeteries touched our hearts and will long be treasured."

Gary

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience in France and it was wonderful. Time in Paris was well spent (plus additional days we tacked on for our own before/after the tour). Bus travel was broken up with detours to see interesting sights and to have lunch. Very good mix of culture, food, history and the sights. I was impressed by how much I was able to learn and experience in our time on the tour. An added plus was the terrific group of congenial people who were all part of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to separate this question into parts. The most wondrous, mystical moment was the time we spent at Mont St. Michel. An amazing day. The most emotional experience was the time we spent at the beaches in Normandy and the great tour guide we had that day. Paris was an experience of its own, since it is a world-class city with a 2,000-year history to its credit. And the morning we spent at the Louvre with our local guide, Charles, was unforgettable."

Rosemarie

Langhorne, PA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Up to your usual high-quality standards (based on this tour and the three others we've taken with you). Loved the choices of locations and advice from Marie, our guide. In an 11-day tour of a country rich in history and culture, you can't cover everything in such a short period of time, but you provided a good balance. We arrived a couple days early and stayed three days after the tour ended to fill the gap, and of course even that wasn't enough. Your tour books were a valuable resource.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost too many to include in this space, and not counting things we did on our own. A few examples: the World War II Normandy beaches (our guide evoking what happened there); Monet's Giverny gardens followed up by viewing the paintings of the gardens in Paris's Orangerie Museum; the never-ending Louvre; the Bayeux tapestry, all 60-feet of it; our time with the 15th generation winemaker in the Loire Valley; Chambord's roofline."

Craig

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

guide was great, locations for the hotels and dinners were excellent and the chateau stay was the best. Being able to tour the winery was an added bonus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"driving into the chateau."

Roxanne

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris was fantastic but the Loire Valley, Brittney and Normandy far exceeded our expectations. Wish we could have stayed longer at each stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive up to the Chateau de la Bourdaisiere when we were accompanied by period music on the bus was a breath- taking experience!! Literally brought tears to our eyes."

Bonita

Bedford, TX

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The France trip was absolutely perfect. (Weather aside) It all began with our tour guide Virginie More'. She was friendly, knowledgeable and an absolute delight. All of the local guides were just the best. Dale at Normandy was outstanding. You can tell that he loves his job. The night we spent at Loire Valley Chateau was a real surprise. That is something we would never do on our own. The knowledge you and your guides have of the different areas was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Loire Valley Chateau."

Russell

Olmsted Falls, OH

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was wonderful. A group of people from all over the United States getting together and enjoying each other's company for 11 days. This could only be done because of our Rick Steve's guide named Julian . His wonderful personality and knowledge made us all gel together ..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy Beach 's with Dale Booth . His knowledge of this area is outstanding . Upon the completion of our day with him , the bus trip back was very quite and some of our eyes had tears ."

Kathleen

Dalton, MA

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the pace of the trip,; our accommodations were comfortable and the food was an adventure as well as delicious. Seeing Paris with all its history and beauty was especially memorable; the boat ride down the Seine; seeing the beautiful countryside, Normandy and the D-day beaches; Staying at a Chateau; visiting Monet's birthplace; speaking French or at least trying to; for all these reasons and may more this was the best trip ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. How does one choose? All of Paris, especially the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Seeing where our ancestors came from (the Marais and the area of Normandy[INVALID]just across the bay from Mon St. Michel) were especially memorable for me. Staying at the Chateau, Mont St. Michel, the D-day beaches(my Dad was in France during WWII),"

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about France: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Paris is a major transportation hub, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy. 

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Paris before your tour begins, use Rick Steves France and Paris guidebooks to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of French, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise. Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Check with the local TI or your Rick Steves guidebooks.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Paris that we do not do as a group: walk the Champs-Elysées and climb the Arc de Triomphe; tour Montmartre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the Old Opera House; or take a day trip to Versailles. Visit these museums: Invalides (military); Cluny (medieval art); Rodin (sculpture); Pompidou (modern art); Orangerie (Impressionist and post-Impressionist art) and Marmottan (Impressionist art).

Eiffel Tower Reservations: The tour does not include a visit to the Eiffel Tower. However it is often a highlight for any traveler and one we highly recommend. Avoid the lines by booking tickets in advance at: http://ticket.toureiffel.fr. Pre- or post-tour is the best time to visit the tower. If you need to visit the tower during the tour, consider making your reservation for Day 1 before 12:00 or after 22:00; Day 2 after 17:30; or Day 3 after 16:00.

Packing

Rain and cooler weather are possible regardless of season — particularly in Normandy — so you’ll want to pack along a rain jacket or compact umbrella.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.