• 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

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"

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!"

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."

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.."

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."

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."

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 -"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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

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."

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"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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)."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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 ."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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?"

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."

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."

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!"

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Howard

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

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"

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

Jennifer

Waukegan, IL

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was extremely impressed by the Paris and the Heart of France tour. It allowed us to see many of the incredible sites in Paris and Northern France, while encouraging us to explore some of the smaller cities and local culture as well. As a lone traveler, I was impressed with my fellow travelers for their curiosity, adventuresome natures, and generosity; these people made the experience even more amazing. I was very happy with the emphasis on culture, art, education, and culinary experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on a mound of earth in the back of Chateau de la Bourdaisiere and looking at the Dahlia garden in full bloom. Watching my tour mates run around taking pictures of the amazing flowers in bloom, laughing at ourselves and our amazing luck of staying in our own personal Chateau for the night. We felt like Royalty surrounded by such beauty."

Norma

Alamo, CA

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! I loved our guides, loved our food and hotels, and the group we traveled with was so nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy Tour with Dale Booth was one of the top highlights of the trip and the second was the stay at the Prince's Chateau in the Liore Valley."

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."

Peter

Guerneville, CA

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The French people were much friendlier than I'd been led to expect. Just start a conversation in French - Bon Joir Madam - and almost everyone will respond in English. It is the polite way to do things there and isn't really much to ask. Paris's municipal transportation system is easy to negotiate and we were able to utilize our free time to maximum advantage. Once leaving Paris, every day in the countryside was a unique adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to Normandy and the WWII landing sites at Utah and Omaha beaches were very emotional experiences. Dan, our local guide, brought the historic events to life and made the experience a day to remember for a lifetime."

Alice

Park Forest, IL

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A tour is made by the people on it, and my husband, Dan, and I were just so blessed with the best group! Everyone was friendly, interested, full of energy, and eager to participate in whatever came along. We made friends who mean a lot to us. Marie, our guide, and Annie and Matt, our drivers, went out of their way to make sure everything was just right. Each experience was a joy in itself, but then there always seemed to be just that little bit extra provided that put it over the top

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was finally coming to a full realization of what D-Day had meant to my Dad. He was in the Army Air Corps and never went overseas, but he talked about the men who landed on those beaches and fought over there all his life. He would call each June 6th to remind us (his children) that it was D-Day. He was so very proud of those soldiers. This Wow moment is for you, Dad."

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."

James

Alamo, CA

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After taking a Rick Steve's tour last year my bar was set pretty high. This tour was different but met or exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D-Day beach area was a wow experience since I didn't know what to expect and the guide Dale Booth was a top notch person to have."

Robby

Jackson, MS

Tour: 10/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first "organized tour" with a professional tour company. We have been to Europe many, many times before, but have always been on our own or with friends who were familiar with the area we were visiting. I was really impressed with the entire experience from the organization of our guide, Marie to the excellent choices of hotels, restaurants and additional guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say Mont St. Michel. From the time we first saw it in a distance from the bus until we checked out the next day! I probably said "WOW" over 100 times !!!"

Kevin

Colchester, VT

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an excellent introduction to France and encouraged us to travel to Europe again in the future. We were able to see parts of Paris that most interested us. Found & photographed several Paris churches where my wife's ancestors were baptized, married, or buried. I thoroughly enjoyed the history and art. We had some inter-actions with French citizens and they were great. For me -best vacation in many years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Mont St Michel and climbing to the abbey and church. Your guides made history come alive. We had a wonderful dinner while over looking the bay around the island."

Lawrence

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned adventure. Virginia was a wonderful guide. Her experiences in the States gave her a a special kid of perspective that added to our pleasure.Laura was also a pleasure. Phillip, our Belgian bus driver, was a skilled driver who emphasized our comfort with smooth driving and safety. The participants were excellent. There was never a case of someone being late. Everyone was pleasant and helpful and very committed to Rick Steves' Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"(1) The Louvre Museum which was even more spectacular than I had expected. (2) The beaches at Normandy. As an elderly man, Omaha and Utah Beaches hold a special place in my heart. I was exceedingly disappointed by the closure of the American Cemetery, a responsibility of our bekoved House of Representative."

Judith

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I did not receive my pretor package(i.e. books, money belt) until 3 weeks before the tour began. When I did not receive those things, I called the tour department, spoke to a supervisor asking for help to find a hotel in Paris as I had already planned to arrive a day early and she was rude. She said that the late arrival of pretour info. was not their fault and that I better start looking. That put a damper on my attitude. But Virginie was great, helpful, kind and always available!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Orsay museum was fabulous!"

Terry

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour of any kind so I did not know what to expect. The Paris and Heart of France Tour hit all of my high points. From the first group meeting I could tell this was a professionally run operation. Our guide, Virginie, was superlative throughout the entire tour and answered many in-depth questions from our tour group of mostly teachers. I can't imagine a better guide or overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments are the ones that take me by surprise. We were in the Orsay Museum which was a former railroad station. After viewing some incredible artwork from several masters I turned the corner and found myself in a large open room with wooden floors, high gilded and vaulted ceiling, as well as mirrors all around. I was so elated that I wanted to start dancing even without music. I can only imagine the types of fetes this room has witnessed."

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."

Dennis

San Dimas, CA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It provided a lot of great memories and photos and was everything you said it would be. It was difficult at times for my brother and me as we are in our 70's and the pace was very fast at times but we made it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had it's "wow" moments. There were two stops that were pleasant surprises and I am so grateful that we got to see them: Giverny and Guedelon. I could have spent all day at each of those places for totally different reasons."

Sherrie

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth ETBD tour, so I knew what to expect: excellence. This tour exceeded my expectations. The locations we visited, the suggestions on how to get the most out of each of them, the leadership, the learning, the traveling companions--it all came together so well that the trip was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really? I have to choose ONE? Can't do it. I'd say spending quiet time in L'Orangerie with Monet's waterlilies was high on the list. Genius. Or maybe it was watching the construction of a Middle Ages chateau (once I gathered the nerve to walk up those stairs). I was so impressed with the project. But the most memorable was touring the different rooms we all stayed in at La Bourdaisiere. It was really fun as we ran from room to room in delight, seeing each person's surroundings."

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."

Michael

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Third Rick Steve's trip. Virgenie is gem and the itinerary was spot on. Great mix of history, museums, chateaus, food and free time. Individual guides are well chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most surprised by Giverny which I had anticipated being too much Monet. The biggest "wow" was collectively the time in Normandy including Bayeux itself, the tapestry, the cathedral and of course Normandy. I very much appreciated the scope of the Normandy tour which allowed me a better sense of how the chaos of that battle played out."

Karen

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a great time! Our guide, Virginie, was fabulous! She had humor, knowledge and a great personality. I had visited France before but learned so much more this time! I very much enjoyed all the places on the tour. I would NEVER have thought I would enjoy the D-Day beaches, not being a history buff, but our guide, Stuart Robertson, made it all come alive. I had a much warmer appreciation for all the service men did during that war.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the wine & cheese tasting at Selles Sur Cher. I really enjoyed meeting both the vintner and the cheese maker. I even got to speak French with the cheese maker...to the surprise of both of us! Of course, he soon caught on that I didn't speak quite as well as he, a native speaker, but we both had a great time talking about cheese. The setting was so lovely, also."

Alex

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! It really exceeded all expectations. We will be doing more tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many choices that I can't pick just one."

Trey

Placerville, CA

Tour: 09/24/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed Paris much less than I anticipated I would. It was very noisy and congested, more like I would expect NYC to be. The countryside was a different experience completely. I liked how we started by seeing Guedelon first. This informed how we experienced the rest of the stone chateaus and fortifications. Everything about this tour was as advertised, but at the end, I felt that it tried to do a bit too much in too little time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau de Chenonceau was a gem inside and out. The gardens were also perfect. It was raining that when we visited, and that made the greens of the gardens and the trees more vibrant. I was OK with how we pushed to get there early, even if it meant an early start on the bus, as this got us there ahead of the crush. (Even in the shoulder season, the crowds were thick everywhere.) I wish we could have stayed longer at this chateau."

Kathy

Reno, NV

Tour: 09/24/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was very good. Loved the group of people we toured with and Arnaund was a terrific guide. I liked his talks on the bus as we were driving along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in the Chateau De La Bourdaisiere. After touring so many Chateau's on the tour it was wonderful to stay in one. Also the gardens at Chambord and Monets house were fantastic."

Mary

The Villages, FL

Tour: 09/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful!! I would use Rich Steve's Tour Company again in a heart beat. I would also highly recommend this trip and use of his Company to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be hard to say. Everyday I said to my friend and traveling companion "This was the best"."

Kathleen

Cortland, OH

Tour: 09/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

By far the best travel experience in my life from the City of Paris to the beaches of Normandy. The accommodations were phenomenal, meals provided by the tour were superior, tour guide was great. I am definitely going on another Rick Steve's tour . It was so wonderful to go back home & say " no the French people do not hate Americans! " - that is where travel opens up your mind. I feel so lucky to have had this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mount St. Michel - looking out our balcony over the bell towel & up to the Abby steeple- totally awesome !"

Barbara

West Chester, OH

Tour: 09/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was very wonderful: the accomodations, meals, places visited, guides, bus & drivers, etc. I was provided with a meaningful experience in Paris and other parts of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count."

Priscilla

Studio City, CA

Tour: 09/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent tour experience! The weather end of September/beginning of October was perfectly comfortable. We used Rick Steves' Paris and France books a lot, even though we had a tour guide, as it helped us navigate neighborhoods on our own during our free time and choose restaurants in which to eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband loved Monet's house, gardens, and pond at Giverny. I really appreciated seeing Guedelon because it made me be more in awe of all the cathedrals, castles, and other stone buildings we would later see, that each stone was hand cut by a stone-cutter! Being a teacher, I also enjoyed seeing how the builders used their rope measuring tool to figure out the geometry in constructing the structures. My other favorite thing was the amazing Paris Metro system. We were able to get anywhere!"

Jane

Cornwall, NY

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I give this tour very high marks! really appreciate the thoughtfully put together days,from the small town stops, like Fougeres, chosen along the way, to time in mid-size cities, with lesser know treasures, it all enriched our French experience. I thought the "Back Door" approach delightful,from the small winery in Montlouis-sur-Loire to medieval Guedelon(which I was initially skeptical about) but they provided a great backdrop from which to visit the Loire's chateaus

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We need some categories here: Historical:Chenonceau and Normandy's DDay sites Cultural: Musee d'Orsay and Giverny religious:Ste Chapelle Countryside:glimpses of Burgundy and Brittany"

Patrick

Daphne, AL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Flying space available, we cautiously arrived in Europe 13 days before our Rick Steves' tour began. Using our six day Germany/France rail pass, we had an opportunity to experience both an unguided and guided European experience. The unguided tour of Germany was great, but lacked some important things the Rick Steves' tour provided (no accommodation & transportation planning worries, a guide to consult with for our free time, no waiting in lines, camaraderie, interpretation assistance)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "WOW" moments on our trip it is nearly impossible to pick just one. Nevertheless, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Medieval Castle build at Guedelon. It gave me an appreciation for the effort and engineering required to build and protect those fortresses. I typically do not spend a lot of time in art museums, however our expert tour guide at the Louvre brought to life the artists and their works in a way that pulled me into their world. The Louvre was a keeper."

Louis

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded ALL of my expectations. The tour was a tour of high points of French art, architecture, food, cities, countryside[INVALID]impossible to pack into a self-guided tour with twice the time (and money). Our guide and the many special guides at various locations were excellent (for me, at the Louve and in Bourges).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one! The tour of the Bourges and especially of La cathedrale Saint-Etienne was a wow among many wows. Our guide provided a detailed explanation of the beautiful XIII century stained glass windows[INVALID]greatly enriching the experience of seeing the art. Bourges is not a "must see" of many guide books but it should be. The core of the city is very easy to visit (our guide provided a very helpful overview) with many excellent restaurants."

Therese

Daphne, AL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca Barry was an outstanding guide. She knows France and kept us all together and informed. Sylvia at the Louvre, Madeline at Mont St. Michele were excellent. Stuart Robertson our guide to the Normandy Battle Fields was exceptional. He brought that history alive. I would say everything on the tour was well thought out and high quality. All the hotels were unique and comfortable. I will say I followed the pack light guidelines and am glad I did. Never could have pulled this off myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourges Cathedral was breathtaking and the Bishop's Garden. A welcome contrast from the busy busy Notre Dame in Paris. All the small towns of France we visited. The garden at Chenonseau. The tour of the Louvre with our guide was priceless. I would have never been able to get through it the Louvre without that guide!"

Carol

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When traveling in the past, we have done it on our own. This has always resulted in stress, wasted time, missed opportunities, and being lost. The tour was seamless, it had structure with just enough time to explore solo. Also, our traveling companions were delightful people who enhanced our experience. This was the best vacation ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Until one sees Mount St. Michel "in the flesh" it is hard to imagine how awesome it is. Visiting the abbey and having the opportunity to be guided through the various levels with a very interesting and knowledgeable guide made this a remarkable experience. In addition, night that we stayed on Mont St. Michel we were treated to an unexpected 15 minute firework show at midnight. It made us feel like our presence was being celebrated!"

Damian

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As my Irish friends say "Brilliant". Can't say enough about Rebecca Berry. A 20 on the on-ten-scale. She created a sense of community among the tour members. And she was so patient with my 'inner ADHD' who only wanted to explore. The tour model is effective, superbly organized. Great balance of tour time and personal time. Rebecca was fantastic at coaching on personal time alternatives and the 'how-to' of doing them. Use of expert guides at particular locations really put things in context

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel...11:30 PM...picture taking (have some great available light pics) on the causeway. And what can you say about a midnight fireworks show. We all teased Rebecca about setting that up just for the tour :-)"

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very good and covered a lot of great places. Rebecca Berry was a wonderful guide and I would highly recommend her. It was an enjoyable trip and everything went very smoothly

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment and I would not change any of it."

Larry

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have used Rick's books as our guide on numerous trips to Europe in the past when we used cars & trains and made our own arrangements as we traveled. This tour was our first organized tour with Rick Steves, and from the start, we were not convinced that the loss of flexibility and independence would be worth the gain in convenience and timely professional advice. However, by the end, we concluded that, for us, the balance tipped in favor of the organized tour. We will do more in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toward the end of the tour, my wife and I compared notes and found we were both realizing that each tour stop or event had been really better than we had expected -- without exception. That marvelous realization crystalized for us as we left the gallery of the Bayeuse Tapestry saying to each other, "Wow!! I had no idea what a treasure we were going to see here.""

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."

Pauline

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a very good mix of the big city and smaller towns. The tour guide was fabulous, very knowledgeable and pleasant. The other people on our tour were great, all enjoyable and fun to be with. The bus drivers were nice and the bus itself was very comfortable; almost too comfortable as I kept falling asleep! We had amazing meals at the group dinners. It is great that we did a lot of walking or I would have gained a lot more weight!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up the driveway at Chateau de la Bourdaisiere and learning that was were we were going to spend the night. It was a wonderful surprise. A close second was the water gardens and regular gardens at Giverny, even more beautiful than I imagined,"

Kristin

Dublin, OH

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was awesome. I felt like I really had gotten my money's worth. We stayed in an exceptional hotel in Paris and a nice combination of hotels elsewhere. We ate really well, though not enough vegetables. The bus drivers Matt and Annie were really nice, and most important safe drivers. The bus heidebloom was top notch. All local guides were knowledgeable. The group dynamics were good. Maria was a great guide, excellent English, always had us on time. Trip was smooth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to chateau with royal music playing on the cd. Drinking champagne on mt San Michel. Seeing Eiffel Tower twinkle at the top of hour from tour boat. The group meals, particularly the last one, were really fun. I enjoyed the chateau tomato plants, who knew there were so many varieties? The d-day tour was really insightful, thought provoking as my dad was in WWII, though s pacific. Seeing Monet gardens were inspiring, made me want to chuck it all and paint at giverny."

Kathy

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

People ask me, "What did you like best about the tour"; I consider my response and really cannot find one place or one aspect to talk about. It was all wonderful from Marie to each of the hotels we stayed in and from the planned tours to the tour members. I keep telling people about how wonderful the entire experience has been.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It might have been driving into the Chateau de la Bourdaisiere and realizing I was actually staying here; it might have been the lecture on specific paintings at the Louvre; it might have been walking past the Bayeaux Tapestry and reading the explanation of each part; it might have been the historian who explained the American plans and actual invasion of Normandy with the various stops; it might have been Giverny which I had never expected to see beyond the paintings. I never could pick."

Jim

Indian Trail, NC

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour group was great with couples and singles from all over the US. Our guide, Marie, was a bit of "French sunshine" as she showed her passion for the culture and people of France. The meals were wonderful and the French people we met were open, generous, and friendly. Arriving two days early, I used the Metro, the busses and my feet to get a genuine feel for a very accessible city. I used my three years of high school French (and your book) and hurdled the language barrier easily!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Talking to two French Bulldog owners, in French, at the Eiffel Tower, and behind our hotel in Bayeux. My wife and I own one and the connection I made was fun. They helped me get photos holding their pups. Both couples spoke English but let me get into it with: J'ai une Bulldogue de Francais aussi! Elle nom est Macy. Viewing Paris from the Arc de Triomphe and the Seine River cruise wasn't too shabby either!"

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."

Diane

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

was a wonderful 11 day tour of Paris up to Normandy. our guide, Marie was womderful, full of history info each day plus a touch of humor to keep things exciting. The Rick Steves tour was everything we expected and then some. Seeing the trip thru Rick's eyes is an adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We stayed one nite in a castle and another in an abbey - we have nothing like that at home."

John

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time on this tour. The hotels, the tours, the guides, and the whole experience went well beyond our expectations. We certainly enjoyed the smaller size of the tour group ( 28 people) as this avoided any crowding. And the individual people on the tour all seemed to bond and formed a caring and watchful group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to Chateau de la Boudaisiere and staying in the "Diane de la Poitier" room."

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."

Michael

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every thing was wonderful! The accomodations, meals the agenda and particularly the guide. She made the trip even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guide"

Susan

Omaha, NE

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

we had a great guide and bus driver. The hotels were nice very modern considering we were in Europe. THe food was good and the people on the trip were all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy was so interesting and the guide Dale was outstanding you could understand him clearly. I just wished it would have been a day and half trip instead of a day."

John

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, and we were not disappointed. Again we experienced well organized transportation, efficient check-in at hotels, knowledgeable local guides, and a great [INVALID]ion of sites to visit. Visiting Guedelon and staying at Chateaux de la Bourdaisiere were unexpected treats. I hope that Rick Steves continues its unique policy of covering all tips. This helped develop personal relationships, where helpfulness was not viewed as an insincere ploy for compensation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Chateaux de la Bourdaisiere fits that description."

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."

Ann

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip met and, in some cases, exceeded my expectations! We had incredible tour guides at all points along the trip, including Virginie, who was our Rick Steve's guide for the whole trip. The accommodations were excellent, group meals were well done, and every site visited was worthwhile. The balance between time with the group and time on your own was perfect. Virginie taught us a lot about France, everything from kings to food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were present at the morning prayers at Mont St. Michel. Candles were lit, the abbey bell was ringing, the monks and nuns were on their knees in prayer, the songs were sung, and scriptures read - all as the sun began to come up!"

Nancy

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was good and the people made it even better. The small group size made it easier to remember names. The only thing I did not like is packing up and moving every day or 2 days. So, there may not be any more Rick Steves tours in my future so I won't have to do that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the castle being built - Guedelon."

Richard

Eau Claire, WI

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! We learned some French history as well as modern French culture, economics, politics and education - all in a friendly and entertaining way. And we ate a lot of very good French food, and learned sandwiches are excellent at boulangeries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Perhaps the view when first entering St. Chapelle's upper chamber. Maybe seeing the Normandy countryside and beaches, in overcast and sunshine. Certainly the chateaus Chambord, Chenonceau. I particularly enjoyed the gardens at Chateau de la Bourdaisiere."

Sandra

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. We chose it because we wanted a worry-free trip to France. We did not have to worry about hotel arrangements, reservations, travel from one city to another one, driving, renting a car, etc. (All the things you have to "put together" to create a great vacation. We chose this company because of the small group size and the unique places they are able to stay and things they are able to do because they keep the group size small. We were not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were fortunate enough to arrive at the American Cemetery at the end of the day. As they were retiring the colors for the evening, I was fortunate enough to be one of the Veterans chosen to help retire the colors for the evening. To stand on ground where my father trod and fought in WWII, to be able to hear 'Taps' played and to assist other Veterans fold the flag... I was speechless."

Charles

Medina, OH

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Julian Brown, was superb in every way[INVALID]No detail was left unattended, He was knowledgeable of each site visit, the specialized guides Julian handed us off to were also terrific, especially our guide in Normandy. The food provided at each group meal offered choices that suited everyone. I am not a fan of French food!! The bus used and drivers did a great job and accommodated each need.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the date at Normandy was the most memorable, but Mt Ste. Michel was close behind."

Bryan

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julian was an incredible joy. With a wealth of knowledge, along with a little BS, he made our travel experience one of a lifetime. So here is to you, Julian, Saunte! Bryan and Gloria P.S. If yo have a guide equal to Julian, then you are twice blessed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches of Normandy. Our guide, Paul, was able to recreate our past in an exciting way."

Douglas

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour very much. We have done 4 R. Steves' tours and this one is certainly one of the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our day at Normandy with the beaches, cemeteries, and Dale Booth's stories. He is an amazing local guide."

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 ."

Lynette

Eau Claire, WI

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a true vacation. It went too quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I saw three items on my "bucket list" --Napolean's Tomb, Mont St. Michel, & my Uncle's grave in the American Cemetery. I was not disappointed...everyday seemed to be a "wow"."

Susan

Medina, OH

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was excellent. Although we do not find Paris to be one of our favorite European locations, Julian's knowledge, humor, and overall expertise, as well as the company of our fellow travelers, made the trip one filled with treasured memories, particularly in the villages of Northern France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sure this is quite trite, but standing on Omaha Beach and visiting the cemetery brought tears to my eyes. We decided that any person who thinks war is the answer to problems needs to visit these locations."

Linda

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, a Rick Steves tour never fails to disappoint. Other than Paris, this one took us to parts of France we'd never seen. The variety of stops was great in that we enjoyed half-built medieval castles, incredible chateaus, sleepy little French villages, an ancient Abbey built on a rock, and gorgeous gardens created by one of our favorite artists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me (an avid flower lover), I was blown away when we entered Monet's lily pond gardens. Visiting Giverny has been on my bucket list for years, and this did not disappoint. And the fact that an otherwise rainy trip turned sunny for our visit to the gardens was a very special experience."

Wayne

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and just what I expected. Our guide was excellent and the coach and it's operators were first class. The lodging far exceeded my expectations. The meals provided were top notch and added to the France experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick just one moment but I think I would have to say the American Cemetery at Normandy was very moving."

Jill

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was a wonderful experience: lots of interesting and beautiful sights, fun experiences, wonderful food and wine, and we learned a lot from our amazing tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to settle on one "wow" moment. Maybe staying on Mont St. Michel, seeing it lit up at night and walking the ramparts at dusk."

Katherine

Kailua-kona, HI

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

See attached.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See attached."

Patricia

South San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. Rebecca is a great guide. Her talks on the various places we visited were witty and extremely interesting. I thought she was great fun. Antoine, too, was great. He was always there to help or answer questions. One person on our trip had a bad accident and was hospitalized. Both Rebecca and Antoine did everything possible to help--Antoine spending time at the hospital with Lana and Rebecca making several arrangements for her care and return home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I would have to choose among many, it would be the evening on Mont St. Michel sipping champagne on the ramparts as the sun set."

Elizabeth

Burien, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Seeing all the sights in France with the excellent group we had made it so much more memorable than if we had travelled on our own. The Montparnasse location made a great base and is very much a working neighborhood with all the traditional food shops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the Eiffel Tower at night watching the camera flashes from the Seine river boats and the top of the Arc de Triomphe echo the flashing lights on the tower at a quarter past the hour with all of Paris lit up at our feet."

Richard

Burien, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As this was our first Rick Steves Tour, I was very pleased with the friendliness and compatibility of our tour mates. They were all a lot of fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D Day beaches at Normandy"

John

Mount Prospect, IL

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Great Guides. Great itinerary. Probably too many hotel stops (6 over nine days). Need to cut out at least one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day was worth the trip by itself. We had a fabulous local guide with expertise on war was extraordinary."

Carol

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed our tour guide, Rebecca who kept things moving and light hearted during the tour. The sights we toured were wonderful and the meals were outstanding. Our group was congenial and we all had a wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel was especially enjoyable because my husband celebrated his birthday there along with another tour member. I don't know how we are going to top his birthday celebration next year."

Dick

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour lived up to our expectations. The time in Paris, Loire Valley, Normandy, Giverney, the chateaux's were wonderful. The only drawback is that the weather could have been better but not even Rick Steves can control that. We had a very congenial group and an outstanding tour guide. It prepared us well for the next two weeks on our own in Paris, Provence and the Riviera.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two, Mont St. Michel on my birthday and our stay in a beautiful chateau."

Bernadeen

Sherwood Park, AB

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw some amazing sites and had awesome tour guides especially for the D-Day beaches tour with Dale. He was a gold mine of facts and he also personalized it by telling about specific people. Our tour ran very smoothly thanks to Rebecca and Antoine. They went above and beyond when a tour member got hurt. This is our second Rick Steve's tour and neither one has disappointed us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to just choose one but if I have too I would say approaching Mont St. Michael and then staying there for the night. At night, most of the tourist leave and it is a totally different place."

Susan

Mount Prospect, IL

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was a wonderful experience. The guides were exceptional, the other tour members were very friendly and easy to get along with and the sights were amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the entire day in Normandy with Dale Booth was incredible. He made D-Day come alive. Everything we had read about or seen on history shows became so real. It was an emotional experience that will forever change how I think about that time in history."

Linda

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous, outstanding and a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"was driving up to a wonderul chateau, realizing we were going to get to stay at the Chateau DELA Bourdaisiere, very cool, and then later meeting a Frenchman who runs his own winery, touring his winery even the caves!!! magnifique"

Charles

Kailua-Kona, HI

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour more than met my expectations. A good balance of group time an individual time. Also, a good balance between Paris and the French countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just being back in France after some 45 years was a big wow for me. I am a big fan of the Impressionists, especially Monet. So, Monet's Water Lilies at the Orangerie Museum was special. The Tapisserie de Bayeux was an unexpected wow. It accurately depicts the story of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. It is in amazing condition. The experience at the Normandy D-Day Beaches noteworthy and very emotional."

Deborah

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels/chateaus and meals were great, and we felt we were always treated with kindness. The sites we saw gave us a comprehensive tour, and we learned a huge amount. We know we couldn't have done this on our own. We had hoped for a few more untouristy events, such as the meeting with the vintner, but did enjoy the ones we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but the Bayeaux tapestry was probably the biggest "Wow" for me. I had heard of it in history and English courses, but never had a clear picture of what it is. It was amazing to actually see it and realize how incredible it is that it still exists."

Jill

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our third RS tour and although we enjoyed the tour we did not like it as well as Spain and Italy tours. While we had guides in some places such as Louve and D Day Beaches many times we were taken to a stop and either given an audio guide or left on our own. There seemed to be a lack of personal attention on this tour and our guide, while good, did not organize any optional activities like our prior guides so the tour was not quite as fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No "wow" moment but enjoyed the Louve, Mont St. Michel, D-Day Beaches, and seeing the Bayeux tapestry. Many of my favorite moments were done on our own before the tour. Walking up Eiffel Tower, walking up Notre Dam, Versailles and dinner cruise on the Seine."

Carrie

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and will definitely not be our last. My favorite part about the tour was that we saw things that I would have never planned myself - and they were very interesting and well worth the visit. I would not had the same experience if I tried to plan it myself. Amazing and very well done! And the bus was modern, clean, and a enjoyable ride!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Mont St. Michel - the Abbey on the Rock is amazing in itself but the privilege to stay on the rock in rooms with fantastic views - was the highlight. I could really feel why Mont St Michel as been a place for pilgrimage for so many hundreds of years - I had the same feeling when entering the gates. Ok, and meeting a Prince while staying at his Chateau - very cool!"

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),"

Richard

Leawood, KS

Tour: 08/27/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches"

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.