• 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

from $3,195 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $825

See Tour Dates

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!

Dates & Prices

2015

2016

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
  • $100 Shopping Spree (per household) at the Rick Steves Travel Store to get guidebooks and gear for your trip
  • 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 2016
  • 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 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 before having dinner together this evening. 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. 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

Dhanya

Sanford, FL

Tour: 08/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the most amazing journey to date!! Our guide was superb. A trip filled with historical sites, beautiful palaces, museums, parks and gardens. We were so thrilled as a family to be able to experience this with Julie as well as all the wonderful people in our tour group. We have watched Rick Steves for years and years on PBS and found out the tour by accident while searching for vacation options and guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chananceau. Hands down the most wonderful experience with its immaculate gardens and beautiful Chateau. The place was so serene and really captured so much of the rich history of that era. It exceeded our expectations and filled our imagination. Well, the Museum D'Orsay was also a close second. Wait, let me also add the wine tasting... wait, the American cemetery in Normandy. You get the picture. It would be really hard to say because there were so many wonderful experiences."

Nancy

Bridgewater, NJ

Tour: 08/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was my first tour and I was traveling with my daughter who has a developmental disability, but physically able to keep up; Julie was amazing as a guide and a person! she did everything to make sure my daughter, who has a limited diet, had meals she could enjoy. If I had to change one thing, it would be to allow a bit more time when visiting some of the wonderful small towns, so there was more time to explore... Overall - amazing trip...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were numerous moments, from the museums, cathedrals, iconic landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triumph; but I suppose I loved the small towns and the history of Normandy and Mont St Michel - ok, I can't single out only one "wow" moment:)"

Leigh

Auburn, CA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was wonderful. The tour was activity-filled, well planned and exceeded expectations! Great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying right on the island at mon st. Michel."

Lisa

Auburn, CA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Let me count the ways my recent tour experience exceeded my expectations...took hassle & fear out of travel & sightseeing in a foreign country where we do the speak the language, educationally and culturally rich, everyday had at least one surprise or wow element, tour guide was exceptional...her attention to detail was second to none. She made sure we had what we needed every step of the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to decide there were so many, but I think I would have to say Mont St. Michel. Stayed overnight, experienced it without all the tourists, saw a full tide cycle, prayed with the monks & nuns, etc..."

Ann

Shelby, NC

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. I loved all the sites we covered during the actual tour part and I also accomplished everything that I had on my list during our free time. It was perfect! Our tour group was extremely small (14) and were a blast!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my goodness. This will be hard. Mont St Michel was great! We felt very special getting to spend the night on the island,and the abbey was amazing! I got some fantastic pictures. Our Normandy guide, Dale, was amazing! He made you feel like you were actually there. It was very emotional."

Jennifer

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The logistic is amazing. Tour guide is professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Local guides are amazing too. accommodations are great. itineraries are well planned, and perfect, not rush, not boring, just perfect. Food and wine are just the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont St Michel, beautiful, unusual, and out of this world. There are so many wow moments. Normandy is unforgettable."

John

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We gained excellent insight into French culture, food, wine as well as French history. We ate very well and wide ranging, from nice restaurants to farmer's markets.

Mike

Shelby, NC

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an exceptional guide in Virginie. She taught us history, social mores, explained how to avoid the "French Frown" and was always delightful in each days adventure. We had a small group that was well rounded and all friends within the first few days. The French countryside was beautiful and the people very friendly. Again, anothe outstanding tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Mt St Michel flood during high tide and become an island, and getting to remain there overnight. Also Dale, our guide at Normandy was exceptional."

Steven

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had very high expectations & this tour exceeded them in every way. The accomodations, itinerary and meals were superb. The local guides were phenomenol, especially notewothy were Dale in Normandy and Julian at the Louvre. But the key to all of that was Virginie. Everyday was filled with surprises. Flexible; friendly, patient and extremely knowledgeable. She handled every detail. Cest' manifique!! She is a tremendous asset to the Rick Steve's organization and brand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was especially looking forward to the D-Day tours, being a hisotry buff and having Dale's insights and perspecitve on the human impact are expereicnes i will never forget. Visting the church at Angoville-Au-Plain was an incredibly emotional moment. Our picinic with goodies from a farmer's market at the chateau in Seeles-sur-Cher was a great group bonding experience. And morning prayers at Mont Ste michel. every day had a wow moment."

Lydia

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the the fourth tour I have taken but first Rick Steves. There were only 14 people on this tour so that made a huge difference on how personal it was. I wish they could all be this small. Virginie was the absolute best tour guide. She made learning all the history involved so interesting. Her story of John Mary and Belle left no questions about everyday life in France. Such a great teaching technique this was. the trip was awesome in every way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the little church outside of Marie Inglese where two ladies that were children on D-Day met us and spoke about that day. Dale was the absolute best local guide and told the story of the two medics that helped 81 people in that tiny church on that horrific day. it was so emotional that I wept along with most of our group. And that began our tour of Normandy."

Colby

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to France several times before, but never as part of a Rick Steves tour. I learned so much more about France, especially its history and culture, than in all of my previous trips. Paris is a very unique, beautiful city that dazzles all of your senses. Visiting the Loire Valley chateau, Mont St. Michel and the Normandy WWII invasion sights with the expert local guides is an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking from our first nights group dinner to the Eiffel tower. The sight of the Eiffel tower always leaves me with that "wow" feeling."

Dale

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All went well through trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to ST Michel, just being there."

Ingrid

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I simply love Paris and the heart of France area. I love the ease of traveling with ETTBD tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Leonardo's garden and the Bonnard art shoe at the Orsay Museum. I was also very impressed by the superb and comprehensive presentations at the Normandy beaches."

James

Galena, MD

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about our France trip. It was the right combination of guided and self guided excursions. Toni was the best guide we could possibly have for a lot of reasons. She knew France and told the good and bad of each situation, she didn't gold plate everything. I appreciated that she allowed us to roam the museums rather than she explaining each work to us. That would have been deadly! I was ready for France and I was not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beauty of France. What can I say? Normandie was solemn for me because my uncle landed with those men. The church in Argoville au Plain was part of that solemn "wow" moment, too."

Jane

Rockford, IL

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"visiting the beaches of Normandy!"

Pamela

Galena, MD

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Toni was on top of everything, helpful, very likable, answered everyone's questions, added things for us. We both loved the combination of touring with Toni as well as the ever-so-knowledgeable local guides and free time. And the free time worked because of the Rick Steves' books.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day. I've never seen anything like it. The million or so people, the music that coordinated with the well-designed fireworks for each song, the fireworks coming out of the Eiffel Tower, going around it, up and down.... amazing. Breathtaking. And on our second night!"

Kerry

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was led by a great guide and the assitant was amazing as well. The people on our tour made for a nice, compatible group - and we all seemed to mix and match easily. We had a fairly ambitious schedule, which may have felt 'busier' due to the extreme heat on the continent this year. The bus drivers were also very nice, even with suggestions now and then for lunch. It was a good balance of moving and sitting. Everything went smoothly and was very enjoyable. I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Giverny was the highlight for me. I am a Monet lover, and was also wowed by L'Orangerie - a museum long on my bucket list. Being at Giverny garden was like having an opportunity to live inside one of Monet's paintings!"

Sandy

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

City to countryside to beaches, Paris and the Heart of France opened up the culture, history and beauty of France. It takes away all stereotyping of the French people who are as varied as their country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St. Michel, as a pilgrim, allowed us to experience its serenity, holiness and natural beauty. Tidal flows and a full moon changed the landscape constantly. Night lighting of the cathedral and tolling church bells were reminders of its sanctified purpose."

Carolyn

Orinda, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having traveled with many tour companies, I would rate this as an exceptionally wonderful trip and am recommending Rick's tours to all my friends and finding partners. Unfortunately most of my friends are not able to manage the physical demands. Was very delighted to have some teens and a mixed group--super folks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To my surprise, loved Monet's DiVinci's homes and experiencing D-Day beaches. Also the many extras were a plus."

Catherine

Ballwin, MO

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed the villages we visited, the cathedrals, the countryside, and that this tour was as much about sightseeting as it was about learning French history, too. Guedelon especially was a great way to preface the chateaux we'd see later on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the excursions to local markets; it was very fun to have to fend for ourselves and speak the language with locals. The reward of fresh food made it even more worthwhile!"

Keith

Norton, MA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized and over delivered my expectations. It was a good mix of scheduled stops and free time. I particularly liked the " back roads" approach - boutique type hotels near historic locations and popular as well as lesser known attractions. Antoine and Cristina were excellent in providing good information as well as engaging the tour members. Their engagement brought the group together and resulted in great interaction within the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments so it is hard to choose just one. However, seeing and staying on Mtont St Michel was the best of my wow moments. The emotional moment for me was the Amercian cemetery in Normandy."

Don

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience of the tour was outstanding. The guides were experienced, informed, and helpful in all situations. They provided excellent information and suggestions and were helpful to individual participants. The transportation bus company was a great experience with both husband and wife as drivers providing for all needs and safely driving throughout the tour. This is our fifth trip with Rick Steves Tours and we were very impressed with the expertise and organization of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't just one "wow" moment. The stay in Mont-St-Michel was very special. A unique experience that will not be forgotten. The Chambord Chateaus was also unique and very worth while. Ode Guedelon, 13th Century Techniques was a fascinating and truly educational experience. The Normandy Beaches and American Cemetery were emotional experiences that will always be remembered."

Marion

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased with the itinerary, hotels, the food and the bus. The schedule had enough free time to give us some space, while maximizing what we were able to see and experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending the morning prayer service at the abbey at Mont St Michel. This made up for the excessive touristy nature of the village and hordes of day-tourists."

Robert

Palatine, IL

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a bit nervous about this tour because it would be the first time where I wasn't going to be able to skate by using English. However, I was determined to make the attempt to at least speak a little French. I really wish I'd spent more time with the French phrase book! I needn't have worried. Simply having a few phrases and making the attempt to speak French went a long way to bridging the gap.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. At our first Paris hotel, I was complimented by one of the hotel front desk people for the fact that I greeted him in French and even used bonsoir in the evening. He also complimented my pronunciation. The other moment was in Amboise at the Bigot chocolatier. I was stumbling over saying "nine pieces of chocolate". I said "pardon" (French pronunciation) to the salesperson after getting the proper pronunciation. She smiled at me and said "Don't worry. You're trying"."

Linda

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Loire Valley, and the bucolic countryside of Brittany and Normandy. It was a pleasure to be away from the crowds and heat of Paris, although Paris will always be my favorite city in the world! I enjoyed the pace of the trip....more relaxed than some. Although I've visited the Normandy beaches several times, I learned a great deal more this time. Mont St. Michel was stunning!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel! We had a beautiful terrace outside our hotel room, and there were gulls swirling and squawking all around and over our heads. We could see the abbey above us, and in the early morning we went to the laudes service to hear the monks and nuns sing. Absolutely beautiful! I woke up early and saw a gorgeous sunrise from our terrace. Timing was great...arriving late afternoon when everyone was leaving, and leaving by noon when everyone was arriving. Classic Rick Steves timing!"

Tara

Maryville, IL

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide Gramme and Laural were awesome!!!!! The bus was great as well!. Ludwig, our driver, was fabulous- I would use him as much as possible. Thanks for still giving us the comfort of being able to spread out even though we had a smaller group! We had to change our date and working with the Rick Steves office was easy. Last year we took the Berlin - Vienna - Prague tour and did not have the wisper sets. What a difference they make - thank you!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I I had to choose one, it would be in Normandy, with a group of us taking off our shoes and standing in the water looking back at the cliffs of Omaha beach. Very humbling what our veterans went through when landing there. Next stop was the American cemetery where 9,000+ are buried from the Normandy campaign. A very memorable day."

Angela

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never think a tour can get better and then it happens again. Activities, tour guide, bus rides and and hotels were all terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though the crowds were terrible, the Monet Gaden was very exciting to see, especially since we had been able to see the paintings in Paris. I also really liked staying on Mount St. Michelle. Of cours Normandy Beaches was a must see. Very educational day."

Barbara

Arnold, MD

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As you can see from my evaluation it was an outstanding tour/vacation. Ther only thing I would change would be to forget Montparnasse as there doesn't seem to be much there to do except to go up in the tower. It was a spectacular view but rather costly. We were there for several days before the tour and had to get out of there in order to see historic sites. The balance of time on our own and group activities was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel and the beautiful accommodations near the top near the abbey. Our view was breathtaking at sunrise as we prepared to go to morning prayers. The church bells are something I will always remember."

Jeanne

Brewster, MA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded all our expectations! Every detail was so thoughtfully arranged including the bus ride with Matt and Annie who took great care of us. We loved Paris, of course, but the medieval towns like Amboise and Bourges were incredible. Mont St. Michel was beyond words and to be able to spend a night there was indescribable. Our Normandy tour was amazing and so emotional. Our guide for that day was outstanding. And last but not least we loved Rebecca our guide. She made it fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say seeing the beaches at Normandy and the little church Dale took us too where two young medics took care of wounded soldiers for days. The young men were around 18-19 years of age and were responsible for the lives of many injured soldiers. Dale made the story come alive and many of us had tears in our eyes."

Doris

Fenton, MI

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca was a wonderful tour leader. Her enthusiasm, energy and knowledge was amazing and she was very helpful as well she even walked my grandson and I to the Air France bus stop to take us to the airport. All the sights we visited were outstanding as were the accommodations and meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can I have two? Mont Saint-Michel and watching the tide roar in. Thanks for arranging an overnight visit to avoid all the other tourists. The other would be Normandy. The guide, sorry forgot his name, was outstanding we felt we were reliving the experience. He held my 18 year old grandson spellbound."

Stephen

Brewster, MA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful trip and Rebecca was a caring professional. France and Paris are fabulous to begin with and when the tour clicks it becomes over the top.I am recommending Rick Steve's to all my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment for me was when Rebecca started talking to a random frenchman in Amboise and got him to invite us all to vist his cave dwelling."

Diane

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful trip to France. Paris was an incredible melting pot of people and history. I really enjoyed the Loire Valley with its story book chateaux, wine, and wonderful cheese. We also liked having the Rick Steves audio tours for use in the Orsay and Louvre museums. The fellow tour members were relaxed and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Saint Michel at night. Watching the island turn into a mythical place as the sunset and the lights illuminated the abbey. My second wow moment was listening to Dale Booth on Utah Beach (D-day beaches.) He clearly and efficiently educated us on the incredible efforts and valor of those men on that amazing day in history."

Linda

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on 4 Rick Steeves tours and none have ever been a disappointment. This one certainly was just as wonderful. There are always things you will never forget and wonderful people to meet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were certainly several "wow" moments but I would have to say the church in the Normandy village was certainly an emotional "wow". I also loved the unexpected tour of the wall house by the resident who spoke no English."

Peter

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour and I know one of your objectives is to teach us how to travel safely and smart. I enjoyed every stop and did learn more about the country and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the tour of the D-Day sites in Normandy. The tour guide, Dale Booth, brought us back to that dreadful time. I felt the pain again."

Sharon

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was everything I expected and more! Everything ran smoothly, I met new friends and I learned so much about France and the French. I never imagined that France was such a beautiful country, not just the beautiful city of Paris!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was Mont St-Michel. Photos cannot capture the experience of being there. The tour plans it perfectly, to arrive when the other tourists are leaving. Spending the night on this monument was my highlight, so quiet with a cross-breeze room. We woke early to walk up to the Abbey and listen to the monks and nuns chant their morning prayers, unforgettable moments embedded in my memory. Mont St-Michel was absolutely enchanting."

Emmett

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was Rebecca. The, Godsend and best friend of all to us. My son became seriously ill on the trip. Rebecca took charge of guiding his wife on getting emergency help at the American Hospital in Paris. She contacted the tour company of his situation and also their travel insurance company. She spent part of her "free" time helping us and being an A+ tour guide. Rebecca never let down any others on their tour of France. Always prepared, witty and informative. Perfect host

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy-6th of June 1944. The world changed for the better. My interest is WW II. I thought I understood the invasion until seeing the beeches and listening to the guest host. WOW!! Monet's garden. There is no other place that has the both the beauty of place and mystic of Monet's presence."

Judy

Acton, CA

Tour: 06/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a whirlwind tour, never a dull moment. We visited so many places, that on our own, we couldn't have seen so much. It was well-organized. We couldn't have asked for better guides with greater personalities and knowledge. We loved all the places we went to. I, especially, loved Mont St.-Michel Abbey. The least favorites was the chateau-in-the-making at Guedelon and the winery. I would rather have skipped those and spent more time in Normandy, Bourges, or Amboise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St.-Michel Abbey. It was surreal, a gigantic abbey built on a huge rock, with the tides coming in twice a day! I would have liked to have spent more time there, but at least we got to stay overnight there."

Rick

Sioux City, IA

Tour: 06/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It met our expectations and went beyond in many positive ways. There is a tremendous benefit to having a small friendly group, a phenomenal tour guide and a very interesting itinerary planned and [INVALID]d for us. We usually plan and travel on our own, but this tour group allowed us to enjoy our time in France without having to stress out about hotels, itinerary, or missing out on some really cool experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having dinner with our group high on Mont Saint-Michel, and then walking out on the parapets to experience sunset high above the tides. It was quiet and spectacular, and something we will never forget."

Carol

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 06/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience for me and my 17-year-old granddaughter. The balance of tour-provided excursions and time on our own was perfect. I'd have liked for the Eiffel Tower and more of the Latin Quarter to have been included, but that is not a deal-breaker by any means. Not only were our guides Patrick and Jennifer excellent, but the local guides for every location (the Louvre,Bourges, Mont St. Michel, Normandy, have I missed any?) were the best . . . VERY knowledgeable, personable and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one. The profoundness of Utah and Omaha beaches, the American and German cemeteries were without equal."

Kenna

Scituate, MA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. Loved every minute. Every day was a treat and Rebecca's occasional surprises and her excellent planning provided an atmosphere of relaxation, fun and exciting anticipation for whatever was next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to identify just one wow moment. I loved the beauty and richness of the history of France and the ways in which the meaning of that history has been preserved.. I especially was moved by the towns we visited that exemplified the history and culture of France. One shop owner described her personal history of owning her pottery business on that same sit for over 40 years."

Katie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so successful because we had such a wonderful and helpful tour guide. Rebecca was passionate about our first time experiences and though always there to help, she encouraged us to be independent, which only enriched our experiences. Paris is so big we needed a few extra days outside of the tour to see more of it, but I wouldn't trade more guided time in Paris for the beautiful French countryside, the chateaus or the Normandy beaches. Only question is, which tour next?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden was the highlight but the biggest "wow" moment was the Louvre itself. I did not realize it was once a palace but once there, I could see that it was fit for royalty. The city of Bourges was also a great surprise. The cobblestone streets and half timber houses were charming and the cathedral was breathtaking. I recommend the local market - it was a wonderful experience, with friendly locals and delicious treats, as well as a good place to practice some French!"

Dawn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour went beyond my expectations. I feel like the tour was organized to teach us how to travel independently the first few days and as the tour continued, we took baby steps towards being independent. We started in an area that allowed us to explore the culture and people and as the trip continued, each day topped the next. Our last hotel was strategically placed near the AirFrance buses which was fabulous since the taxis were on strike.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fact that the Louvre was a palace before it was an art museum. I never knew. I appreciated it as much for its size and structure as I did for the art inside."

Anne

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a hotel concierge in New Orleans, I am always handling guest's itineraries and restaurant reservations. I thought I could easily put together a nice tour of France for 2 weeks. No, no, no. It was so frustrating. We made the decision to let someone else do the arrangements. Best decision was this Rick Steves Tour. Didn't want a tour where you followed the lady with the red flag. No red flags and no hassles. Lots of independence. It went by too quickly. Ready for another trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to spend the night on Mont St. Michel. The most incredible experience was attending the service in the church early in the morning before the island became inundated with tourists. A memory that will live forever being in this huge cathedral with 5 nuns and 3 monks. Only 9 visitors. WOW! It wasn't part of the official tour but our tour guide mentioned it. Loved Chenonceau and Monet's Gardens."

Gloria

Marshfield, MA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca was the absolute best. Rebecca was so accomodating and fun and full of knowledge. I had never been to France before and it was such a wonderful trip, we cannot wait to go on another We had a wonderful time with our fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet Gardens, Normandy Matt the tour guide in Normandy was terrific."

Jacqueline

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Paris and the Heart of France! First, the tour was well organized. Hotels were conveniently located. Our guide, Rebecca, was superb! Informative, patient, easy to see her love for France, art and history. I really enjoyed the food and wine. We experienced street markets, wineries, and had amazingly good food. Local guides were excellent. The visit to D Day beaches was very moving. The coach was new, immaculate, and we had excellent drivers, Annie and Matt. The coffee service was a hit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was one of a few people who attended an early morning church service in the abbey at Mont St Michel. A magical moment, serene, spiritual. Light streaming through the windows, acoustics were amazing. About 9 people on the island were there, only a few from our group. Highly recommend this experience. Another wow moment was attending an evening concert at St Chappelle. Light streaming though the stained glass, classical music, fantastic acoustics. Another highly recommended moment."

Ron

Marshfield, MA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Loved the combination of structured and unstructured time. Surprised by the quality of the hotels and their great locations. All our guides were exceptional. Our main guide, Rebecca contributed greatly with her group management skills, her compassion, her humor, and especially her communication skills. Loved the itinerary, we saw things I would not have seen if I created my own itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many moments were 'wows' that it is difficult to name just one. Mont San Michel was one that made a lasting impression."

Jonnie

Richland, WA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful tour and Rebecca was an amazing tour guide. Our stay at Mont St. Michelle was great. There were a few places I would have like to spend a bit more time (Chateau du Chambord) and felt rushed at several points. I would have liked to have time (even 30 minutes) at one of the Normandy beach museums. Maybe we could have started earlier in the day or even eaten on the bus? On the whole I loved the trip and would recommend it to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The morning trip to the Abbey on Mont St. Michelle. We were gifted with amazing weather and by staying overnight missed most of the terrible crowds that arrived at 10 a.m. Several people in the group went to morning mass and said it was one of the most amazing experiences of their travels."

John

Astoria, OR

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Rebecca is more than great. She enhanced our experience by 1000%. We definitely plan to take another Rick Steves tour in the future. Thank you for a great trip in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beginning to end our whole eleven days was "wow"."

Brian

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful group and an amazing guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel for the first time was amazing."

Brian

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the trip. Patrick was an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the most unexpected was Monet's Garden. I did not expect to be wowed, but matching it to the paintings we saw in Paris was astounding. Just being at all the places that we have seen and read about was neat."

Ryan

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a lot of fun. Got to see a lot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Notre Dame was amazing. Normandy landing sites made you think."

Kyle

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed a great deal. Would recommend to everyone. Would go again in a minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bayeux tapestry was really impressive. Had heard about it, but was really worth seeing!"

Everett

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the people, and all the sites. Learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michael. It was so majestic. Thrilled to spend the night there. The view was very impressive."

Colleen

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour experience. Would like to go on another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites were great, but the thing that really amazed me was how nice everyone was. I have heard that Americans are not Europe's favorite group of people, to put it nicely. I guess that is the 'Rick Steves ' experience. We made a lot of mistakes, but the French were very helpful, friendly and laughed along with us."

Stephen

Piedmont, SC

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly as billed. The mix of planned and free time was very good and the little "extras" added to the overall enjoyment. Staying on Mont St Michel was special. By 6 PM when the day trippers leave, it feels like no one else is there and one can wander around easily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how chateaux were built in the 13th century at Guedelon."

Elaine

Piedmont, SC

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the variety of daily excursions. The cathedrals were beautiful, each with their own style. The galleries provided opportunities for the 'must see' art, in addition to the Bayeux Tapestry. Normandy beaches and Monet's gardens, memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals were incredible, paired with the information provided by Patrick about their history."

Pauline

Alhambra, CA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on a RS tour before, and I had high expectations; this tour exceeded them! I appreciate all that I learned and experienced under the able direction of our tour director Patrick and the local guides. While I loved the cultural sites in Paris, I have developed an even greater appreciation of the people, towns, and villages of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most amazing - Le Mont St. Michel; everything about it. Most poignant - D-day beach tour, the church in Angoville-Au-Plain and learning the story of the 2 young American soldiers caring for casualties from both sides. Most beautiful - Monet's home and gardens in Giverny. For me, the best were saved for last! Terrific!"

Phillip

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even though the tour was advertised as having a guide and an apprentice, we truly had two very experienced, competent guides. Their knowledge of the history and background of our visits made them come even more alive. And the depth of knowledge of the local guides, particularly at the Louvre and the Normandy D-Day beaches, was incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont ST. Michael in the evening as the crowds were departing, and then waking the next morning seemingly having the entire town to ourselves, was a really WOW experience."

Robin

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this rich and varied itinerary! It was a very efficient and enjoyable way to visit lots of sights and included all sorts of experiences that I never would have had on my own. Even our lunch stops offered opportunities to stroll through lovely medieval towns that were well off the beaten path. We had a great group of travelers, wonderful guides and mostly exceptional weather. The whisper system is a huge enhancement! I wouldn't want to take a guided tour without it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) The tour itinerary delivered a long list of expected WOWs, but the unexpected WOW for me was Guédelon. Just remarkable. 2) The magic of nighttime on Mont-St-Michel. Hiking up to the Abbey in the early morning to observe the singing of Laudes felt like time-traveling back to the Middle Ages. 3) Seeing the remnants of the Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches, which brought home the enormity of that operation."

Glorianne

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was fabulous. Our guide, Julie and tour apprentice Greime was very knowledgeable, friendly and available. My husband and I felt very taken care of with the information and guidance given by the guides. The hotels were wonderful and went beyond our expectations of 'local hotels. Staying over night and attending a morning service at Mont St Michele was a highlight for me and Visiting the Chateau at Guedelon.Our group of fellow travelers were awesome! Thanks Rick Steves and Staff

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' moment was seeing the building and interior of Opera Garnier, although we visited this on our own, being a musician seeing this was a dream come true."

Michael

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time and really appreciated both Julie and Graeme's help and knowledge of Paris and France. Graeme's history knowledge was outstanding and added a real plus to the tour. Julie's local knowledge and comparison of the US culture compared to the France culture enhanced my appreciation of France and the various differences. I was pleased with the hotels, the meals and the bus transportation. The whisper systems worked great and the only way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the early morning lauds service with the monks and nuns on Monte St. Michele was wonderful and a moving spiritual experience for me. The peace of God was present!! Another moment was stepping on Utah beach and seeing what our soldiers had to face and the number of people that gave their lives in the D Day landings. Very moving."

Sally

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't imagine yet another tour that could compare with the wonderful experiences we had on two previous tours--but this was great, different--and of course lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say--I expected D-Day Beaches to be that (and it was very moving), but the excitement we experienced at the castle-building at Guedelon was unexpected But Mont St-Michel was probably the favorite WOW as we walked on the city walls alone at dusk, and attended morning prayers in the abbey as the sun was rising and shining through the glass of the medieval church. Then there was the food....."

Johann

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgeable guides especially in historical context. Well paced tour in and out of Paris. One of the friendliest and most civil tour group I have ever traveled with. Graeme came on like a master rather than an "apprentice".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm. There were probably more than one of these moments. A big draw of this tour was the Bayeux Tapestry and I found it to be as compelling as promised. A less compelling draw were the Normandy beaches, but I believe that walking the large US memorial cemetery with the sea in the background was probably the single most moving time--which wasn't what I expected."

Donna

Rockville, MD

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had some apprehension that the tour might be too structured, but a few hours into the first day, all that disappeared. There was an excellent balance between the escorted part of the tour and free time. The tour was almost stress free. We didn't have to make hotel reservations, find good restaurants, figure out the subway, etc. We saw more, did more, and at the same time had a relaxing vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was Mont St-Michelle - staying overnight on the island and being able to visit at night and early in the morning. My second was Monet's water lilies paintings at Orangerie Museum."

Shirleah

Greensburg, PA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides, Julie and Graeme were most EXCELLENT!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extent and beauty of Monet's GARDEN!"

Carmen

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides were excellent, well informed, helpful and friendly. Their attention to detail and their willingness to be of help with small needs was admirable. Although we have traveled with other tour companies, this was the most congenial group of people traveling together that we have experienced. I think having a smaller group to spread out on the bus was great! I especially appreciated being taken to small towns with interesting things to see even when it was only a lunch stop. Great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure I could pick one "wow" moment because there were so many. Nevertheless, I would pick Giverny. After seeing the Monet Waterlillies at the Orangerie, seeing the gardens was a thrill!"

Karen

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to be in France so everything was a new experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The over night experience in Mount Saint Michel. Having this in the middle of the trip was perfect timing. The second wow was Monet's garden."

Jan

Gunnison, UT

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Everything worked well because it was planned well. The group shows up at St. Chapel in Paris with a 1+ hour line waiting. We walk right in because it was a RS tour. Same with the Louvre. Same with Monet's gardens. The tour guides are their waiting for us. The bus is there waiting for us. Dinners together are in fun restaurants with a room waiting for us and dinner served in a timely fashion. Hotels with room keys are waiting for us. All of the trouble shooting is taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the night on Mount St. Michel was fun, Normandy was profoundly sobering."

Carol

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Just the right mix of planned events and free time. Our guide was exceptional. We highly recommend Rick Steves tours and this one in particular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had an extraordinary day touring the D-Day beaches with our local guide Dale Booth. He put names and faces to the men that fought bravely against tremendous danger. Being there and seeing the sites and obstacles first hand really made the history of the invasion come alive. It was a very emotionally moving day."

Richard

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have a tradition in our family of taking the kids on a vacation of their choice when they graduate from high school. We had gone on a Rick Steves' tour before and loved it so they choice to go on another for our daughters graduation was easy. She chose the Heart of France Tour which surpassed all of our expectations...even better than our first tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had two. Staying on Mont St. Michel at night and waking up to the quiet solitude was memorable. The second was our tour of the D-Day Beaches and surrounding area in Normandy."

David

Ascot,

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Extremely well led by Virginie. As usual, good value for money and well located hotels

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden"

Lynn

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS EVALUATION IS FROM LYNN AND ENNO FRITZ--WE DID IT TOGETHER. We really enjoyed the combo of Paris and the northern more rural countryside and villages. We had been to Paris before but really came to know it better. We stayed in Paris 4 extra nights--1 at the front end and 3 on the back end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Mt. Saint Michel[INVALID]the guides should really recommend a climb to the top in the early evening. We just happened to do it and loved the light and views[INVALID]much different than the daytime tour the next day. And the Normandy beach day was amazing for us[INVALID]it would be great for every American to be able to see it and think about what happened over those 61 miles of beaches and 77 days (hope we got that right!)."

Anne

Ascot,

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent value for money and time. We were a little worn out as there was so much to see and do. Maybe our age was showing. Our tour guide, Virginie, was excellent. She explained the historical background clearly and was a gifted teacher. We were fortunate to have a caring, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. We had many amazing experiences in a very short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden."

Sarah

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this was one of the best experiences in my life. Being only fourteen, the tour was different for me because the other tour members were much older. But, our tour guide, Virginie made the tour as fun for us as she could. My younger sister and I will always look back on this for as one of the best experiences in our lives. The things we saw, food, travel accommodations, hotel rooms, and our tour guides were absolutely outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was definitely the DDay beaches. Our guide for the day, Dale, was fantastic. Being a World War Two nerd, this was perfect. We saw Utah and Omaha beaches, and Utah was my favorite. Overall, however, a little church a couple miles from the beach was my wow moment. In the church, Dale told us the story of two young medics who saved 78 lives when 81 were brought into the church. Dale described everything to perfection from the sounds that would have been heard and the sights."

Patricia

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having taken 2 granddaughters on a previous great RS trip we took our 2 youngest granddaughters (just turned 13 and almost 15). The whole group welcomed them, especially Virginie. I think they could quote almost everything she told us. She is an excellent teacher and wanted us to love France as she does.Her experiences in the U.S. gave her good insight into comparing the 2 countries. We learned how to avoid the "French Frown" and were probably better received with her advice. Every day was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Seeing our granddaughters love every aspect of the trip. 2.My personal favorites were: Sainte Chappelle- a magnificent edifice of worship;Chenonceau-so beautiful and we saw it before the crowds arrived;Normandie the Angoville au Plain Church where 2 young men labored to save both American and German Soldiers with little equipment; and Giverney-a gardener's dream, indescribably lovely."

James

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, Virginie, was my "wow" moment repeatedly throughout the tour. My wife and I travelled with our 14 and 13 year old granddaughters. Virginie teaching experience was perfect for young and old."

Katherine

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again this Rick Steves' tour exceeded our expectations. This was our 2nd tour and our hope is that it won't be our last. There are so many things made possible by the extensive preparation that just wouldn't be possible if we were traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was the early morning chanting at the abbey on the top of Mont Saint Michel. Spending the night on Mont Saint Michel made our attendance possible. The island is such a unique and amazing place. Photography is my passion and there were so many incredible shots to be taken. A very close 2nd would be the day spent on the D-day beaches. Dale, our guide for the day, is extremely knowledgeable and did an awesome job of bringing that event alive. A very emotional experience."

Janis

Bartlesville, OK

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour guide and bus drivers. everything was great and the time spent at each destination was about perfect (although I would have liked an extra day at Normandy beaches). I was also impressed with the local guides at each destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day tour okay my second favorite was mont st.michael at night"

Juanita

Orlando, FL

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We're small-cruise ship fans, but this tour opened us up to "land" options. We loved the itinerary & each "free time" was a chance to walk around, discover little towns w/ Virginie's helpful info. Superb guide, managed well the schedule, very knowledgeable of her country & current events, excellent command of English & always out of her way to let us experience "local color". Meals & wines - aptly introduced. Good bus drivers, bus always clean. Next RS tour here we come...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tops: Mont St Michel at sunset, midnight & early morn & the sound of the wind. Pensive: reflections on bravery & sacrifice freedom & its cost, at Normandie beaches, thanks to Dale's compelling accounts. Fun: local markets & queuing for "French hotdog"."

Robert

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was without a doubt the best tour I have taken. Everything was well planned and organized. We had plenty of group time and plenty of free time. The hotels and restaurants were excellent. But most important was our tour guide. Virginie was outstanding. She was not only a wonderful leader but also a great historian. The bus drivers, Annie and Math were also terrific. It was just a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but Normandy and the DDay beaches top the list."

Garrett

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although my tour was cut short due to health issue, the museums in Paris and the food were fantastic. As I have come to expect, everything from the hotels, tour guide Marie, and coach drivers were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art in the Orangerie were fantastic. I preferred the less crowded venue and the display of Monet paintings were breathtaking."

Reid

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Compatible traveling companions and fine tour guide. Good choices on where to spend our time. Just the right amount of guided touring and free time. I felt we packed a lot into a short time without becoming overloaded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was so much. Paris, of course. A moving and memorable trip to the Normandy beaches. The night we spent on Mont St. Michel. They were all WOWs."

Michelle

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was much better than I expected. Even though we were slowed down by doing things as a group, the quality of the experience was much better than what I would have had arranging my own travel. Some the the sights that I was not that excited about, were actually incredible. It was the out of the way stops that make me want to do a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I think back on the trip, this is a very difficult question. I enjoyed everything we did. I loved seeing the Guedelon castle being built. And there was something surreal about Mont St. Michel. I was so glad that I got up early to hear the monks and nuns start their day in song at the Abbey. I will never forget seeing a monk lock the enormous door behind us with a large ancient key!"

Gerri

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

it was great. a little rushed because I had a sense of Marie being a bit naggy about our needing to be on time. it wasn't a problem so much as her saying we had so much to do (lots of bus travelog time) and had to be on time etc. Otherwise, Marie was a knowledgeable and entertaining guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three favorites, the castle building day, the chateau winery and Normandy beach because it was so close to d-day and the tour guide was awesome"

Christina

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so packed with great sights and wow moments. The places we visited and had access to, I don't believe we would have been able to accomplish as much on our own. The bus transportation is relaxing and takes the stress out of moving from place to place. Hotels were all charming, and the staff in every one of them was friendly and helpful. Our guide was wonderful, she knows her history of France. Paris and Heart of France tour was our second Rick Steve's tour and plan to do more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to pin down. Chateaux du Chennonceau was a truly beautiful castle and gardens to match. I would say the multiple kitchens with the copper utensils was one of my favorites. Monet's garden was every bit as beautiful as it was described to be and very worth seeing. Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, were the reason I chose this tour and very moving."

John

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and daughter enjoyed the greatly enjoyed the trip. I would have cut one day from Paris and added it to the Normandy beaches and museums

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pointe du Hoc & the 16th-century Château de Chenonceau."

Ann Marie

Easton, MD

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! This was my 3rd tour; 1st with my husband. After raving about the previous two RS tours he agreed to go for our 30th wedding anniversary. Now he understands why I can't stop talking about these tours once I return home. Just wow! Marie is a fantastic guide. We absolutely loved her spirit, knowledge, humor, organizational skills! So impressed by all she did for us to keep us on track while getting the most out of the places we visited. Still can't get over all that we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel in person, experiencing it at night! That was an incredible experience. As was climbing all the stairs, lol :-)"

Lisa

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the top two trips of my life. The other one being a walking safari through Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Every moment of this extraordinary eleven days was filled with something amazing. From the private tours of museums, cathedrals, and castles to the exquisite dining from [INVALID] restaurants, there was the sense of being spoiled by knowing the right people in France. Felt like a VIP everywhere we went. Our guides felt like old friends to us. Sad to end it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sleeping at Mount St. Michele and then going to the monk's service at 7am."

Carol

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole reason I wanted to go to France was for an exhibit of 3,000 buttons at the Musee of Arts Decoratif. The Rick Steves guides were perfectly happy for me to go off on my own and visit whatever I wanted to visit-they made sure I knew how to get where I was going and how to get back, then kicked me out of the nest to fly on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Bayeaux Tapestry, knowing how old it was, and discovering how accurate the original producers of the tapestry were in portraying the horrors of war-they were very graphic. 2nd best was the guide that took us to the Bormandy D-day beaches and his telling us of everything that went wrong during the invasion and somehow the Allies still persevered."

Keith

Peoria, IL

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was EXCELLENT!!! The group of people we traveled with were all enjoyable people to be with, no grumps, HA! Our tour guides, Virginie and Graeme were excellent. They were very organized, kind and friendly people. I had a dental problem that began in Paris and Virginie and the hotel staff made several attempts to get me an emergency appt. in Paris or the next town on the tour. They weren't able to find a dentist, but I was so impressed at the efforts they made.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a "wow" moment, but to single out one, I would have to say it was the day in Normandy on the D Day Beaches. I really hadn't expected this to be the "wow" moment, but it definitely was. Our local guide, Dale, was excellent and really made the day memorable. Our day on the Beaches began at the German cemetery and ended at the American cemetery, a very sobering beginning and end to the experience."

Gerry

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall we enjoyed our tour very much. Virginie was a very large part of what made it special. We appreciated that we had down time most days and we could decide what else we might want to do. For example, we were in Amboise on Market day so we hit the market and had a picnic on the bank of the Loire River. But we had to schedule extra time in Paris because the Palace of Versailles was not on the tour & we needed the extra time to see everything we wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel. This is truly a one of a kind place. The tour is arranged so that most of your time, on the island, is when it is not packed with other tourist. The peace and quiet in the early morning was very enjoyable."

Mark

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first tour with Rick Steves. We actually went to Europe for 6 months in 1986 using Rick's Europe Thru The Back Door and Europe 101. Now, thirty years later, relatively well travelled, we decided to try a tour. Overall very impressed, our guides were outstanding and the people on the trip were all very nice. NO snobs or complainers but a few seemed a bit fragile and not in quite the shape that is expected, such as being to be able to walk 5-8 miles in a day. I would consider another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverney."

Kay

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very fortunate to have a great group of 27 people with outstanding leadership by our guide, assistant guide, and bus driver. This is only the second tour we have been on; the other was an OAT trip to Costa Rica. We have done a lot of independent travel, beginning with a 4 1/2 month trip through Europe in 1986-87 guided by "Europe through the Back Door." I think we are still weighing the advantages of going on a tour (you learn more, spend less time on the basics of eating and sleeping).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excellent job on Mont St. Michel. We attended the Laudes service at 7 a.m. with the nuns and monks of the Order of Jerusalem in a small chapel below the main abbey. That will be a lifelong memory. Wonderful to spend the night and have the guided tour in the morning. We'd been there 19 years ago and got nothing out of it compared to this visit."

John

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip anywhere overseas. France was more than I could have ever expected and Rick Steves helped to make it truly fantastic. My guide brought so much to the experience by providing historical and modern information about all of the places I visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont Saint-Michel was the highlight of the trip for me. I wasn't prepared for its beauty and majesty. I very much want to go back there on my next trip to France."

Melinda

Eureka, CA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I took this tour with our son and his wife to celebrate his graduation from Law School. The four of us had a fantastic time. The guides were knowledgable and fun. It was well organized and the guides (and bus driver) made us all feel comfortable. Our group got along with each other very well too. Each day brought a new adventure and experience. There was just enough free time to explore on our own. The meals were fabulous. Rick Steves does it right!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Normandy and the D-Day beaches was a very emotional experience for me and my family. Seeing and walking on Utah Beach when my Dad landed on D-Day plus one was an experience I'll never forget. Another Wow moment was the first sight of Mont Saint Michel. It truly looked like a fairytale castle and we got to spend the night there!"

Kathy

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was fantastic! Everything was very organized and no waiting in lines! The places we stopped were unbelievable. Just when I thought I had seen it all, I was blown away once more. I highly recommend this tour, especially as a first visitor to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every place we stopped was "WOW". I particularly liked Chenonceau and Giverny. (I am a flower person!)"

Rita

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was first-rate. Mike and I enjoyed Paris and all the great museums there but we found that visiting all the sites in the countryside was an even more interesting experience. Our group was great and the bus driver, Francois, was an amazing driver and person. The bus is very comfortable and roomy. All the hotels were very clean, beautiful and comfortable. All of the guides at the sites were outstanding We learned so much about French culture and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, visiting Monet's home and gardens in Giverney was the most wonderful experience of the tour. The flower gardens were just an explosion of color and the house is also so colorful and fun to see. I could move right in! For my husband, Mike, the visit to Normandy and the D-Day Beaches was the real highlight. Our guide there was so knowledgeable and also a great storyteller. Visiting the beaches and the cemetery was such a moving and emotional experience."

Susan

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Traveling through the Heart of France with our newly formed friends and two charming guides was the highlight of my year. I appreciated the insider highlights and small touches that helped me finally understand why a Rick Steves tour adds so much more than just a tour. It is obvious that the legacy of Rick Steves precedes the tour on every event- you can appreciate the authentic, everyday life of the citizens of the towns and cities in an unobtrusive way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was following the 7 AM pealing bells to the top of Mount Saint Michel to the abbey, to quietly observe the sacred morning chants of the brothers and nuns. This is not a tourist -staged event, but an authentic daily ritual for the monastery . I was awed."

Tina

Loveland, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent! I was impressed with the detail and thought that went into planning the itinerary. It was well balanced to include a wide variety of interests, small and large cities and different regions of France. I liked travelling with a group this size and meeting new people from other places. Having some guided tours added so much to the overall experience. I also liked that there was some free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the early morning chanting prayer of the monks and nuns in the beautiful church at the top of Mont St-Michel."

David

Loveland, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many of the tour sites were places I had previously visited at as a teenager. The opportunity to experience a return visit as a "mature" adult was rewarding and emotional.. It brought into the present a flood of impressions...like the physical challenge of climbing many steps on Mount Saint-Miche, the musty odors inside a German bunker at Omaha beach and the noise riding the Parisian metro. It was a very personal and meaningful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A "wow" occurred when I looked out the window and watched the.evening tide roll in at Mt. St.-Michel."

Daniel

Woodland, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We feel very good about our expreriences while on the Paris/Heart of France Tour. All elements of the tour were handled professionally and without glitches or problems. The guides fostered a warm sense of group interaction and togetherness. The travel locations were well researched and high interest opportunities to see Northern France. We have been on ocean and river cruises but they do not provide the ability to experience the culture found on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A night on Mont St-Michel has to be at the top of a "wow" factor list. Chambord Castle and visiting Normandy with its incredible cemeteries and historical battlefields cannot be forgotten. Walking through Paris to various points of interest are things we will always remember."

Stephen

Eaton, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was nearly everything we expected, and we had high expectations after a previous ETBD tour and our guides and driver were excellent. As much of a measure as anything, we are already planning our next Rick Steves tour. The only reservation is that I would have liked to have spent more time in Normandy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Normandy beaches Seeing Mont St. Michel glowing in the night Walking through Montmartre Explosions of color in Monet's gardens"

June

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third tour with Rick Steves and, like the others, it was outstanding. The smaller towns visited each had its own charm, history and magical beauty. Our lead guide, Antoine exhibited all the professional, informational and social skills any tour member should expect. Asa was such a marvelous addition to the team, along with Ludwig, our bus driver. They helped 'round off' a great group of tour mates. The tour provided the perfect breadth of an initial visit to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As everyone always says, you can't pick one WOW. It depends on subjectivity and what causes you to pause and relate.I was amazed at the castle being authentically built at Guedelond; the engineering involved in all of the beautiful castles; the breathtaking art at the Orsay and Louvre Museums; the heart moving sites at Normandy; the striking beauty of Mount St. Michele and Monet's gardens and the warmth and pride of the French people. This tour was like participating in a Masters' class"

Linda

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How can one describe spending 10 days with an awesome tour guide and 26 other people who were positive, congenial, fun, and adventuresome? This was our second RS tour and we loved the audio headsets!!! Chris set the bar high for future RS tours. What we have learned from independent European travel versus traveling with a RS tour is that all the headaches of transportation, accommodations, admissions, etc. is done for you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite "wow" moment as most of the trip was exceptional. It is special to have a few activities you didn't know were planned show up on the next day's itinerary."

Michael

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To say that I had a fabulous time on my tour would be a gross understatement. Everything from the hotels, sites, and shared meals were stupendous. I could not have expected anything better. The routing of the tour was exquisite, from when we boarded the bus each morning to visit the sites to when we feasted upon wonderful meals as a group. The tour was flawless and seamless. I have never felt so relaxed and comfortable for such an extended time. A++++. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was very long, one that lasted for an entire 11 day period, the entire length of tour. Perhaps this is an absurd manner in which to answer such a question, but the answer is most truthful. I so appreciate how much Rick Steves' Tours values its clients. Looking back at the tour, I can appreciate the extensive planning that goes into such a venture and say that I received great value for the money spent on taking the tour."

Kristi

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a highly enjoyable tour! Our tour Chris was fabulous and very knowledgeable about France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying the night on Mont St. Michele was a highlight. I had the opportunity to stay in a hotel room that was just below the abbey providing an amazing view."

Kathy

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Guide, Chris Coleman was fantastic. She provided so much insight to each element of our tour whether it was conquering the Paris metro or enjoying Mt St Michel. she knew the history, the culture, the good places to eat and best views and times to be there. The tour itinerary was a perfect blend of Paris and the countryside. Our stays in Bourges, Amboise, Mt St Michel and Bayeux were just right to check out the wine, food and culture. And we can't wait to go back for more on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mt St Michel in a rainstorm and having the sun come out in time for the tide to come rushing in. It is one of the most special place on earth for so many reasons."

Steve

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our second tour with the first being the GAS tour. I felt that as good as the GAS tour was this one was better. We had a terrific group with not a single person one would not be happy to sit with at dinner. Although I loved the tour I for one ended up feeling I had seen more huge Chateaus than I needed to see. My biggest disappointment came in Normandy. The inclusion of Normandy was a large part of why I went on this tour. (See question 13)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"\When we were driving up to the Normandy beach-head and saw the church at St. Mere-Eglise, then the fields where the paratroopers and gliders landed, then stood on the beach. I have read so many books about it and now I stood where it happened. It was an experience I will not forget."

Tim

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a delightful time on this trip. We learned a tremdous amount and really became comfortable with France and the French people. The Loire Valley, Mont Ste. Michel and Normandy were marvelous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose just one "wow" moment in a trip full of them. The evening at Mont Saint Michel was glorious; the German and American cemeteries in Normandy were heart-rendering, and Monet's home and garden were absolutely delightful."

Jackie

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth Rick Steves tour, so we came with high expectations, and of course they were met. We know how much work you do to find just the right tour guides, local guides, historic small towns, and perfect locations for hotels. We've met some of the folks who update the travel guides, so we know that you've done all of the leg work, so we don't have to. All of this sets the stage for meaningful adventures. And that's what we had!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day brought meaningful moments. Here are just two of them: 1) Looking out of our hotel window on Mont Saint Michel, and watching the crowd of tourists leave. We felt so special that we could be there at night, while everyone else was leaving. 2) Standing on Omaha Beach, while our local guide, Michael Phillips, described the battle by drawing a diagram in the sand."

Charles

Marietta, GA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was well organized. The small group size allows for more interaction between tour members and tour guide. On Normandy Beaches Day, I would suggest that the private house - lunch stop be dropped to allow for more time at the D Day sites. The stop at Omaha Beach was very rushed and needed to be longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy Beaches. Seeing those places while hearing what the soldiers were dealing with in addition to German troops really put it all in perspective. (Note: Local Guide was more interested in keeping a schedule than letting the tour members really see the places)"

Katherine

Garland, TX

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations after reading about the tours and speaking with others who have been on tours, and they were exceeded. Loved the organization and planning of the entire tour. Great balance between scheduled and free time. Loved the start time in the mornings and dinner times. Tour guide Chris was perfect balance of fun, informative and turtle-herder! The audio/headset system was fabulous. Having expert guides for the Louvre and the Mont was a huge plus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St. Michel. We were lucky to have a room with a balcony overlooking the bay. Incredible."

Jeffrey

Norfolk, VA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased with our first Rick Steves tour, and will most likely book another tour in the future. Our guide Chris was fantastic- we couldn't have asked for a better leader for our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to pick just one? Between the stained glass windows at Sainte Chapelle, "Winged Victory" at the Louvre, the view of Mont St-Michel at night, or Monet's Gardens at Giverny. I think my biggest wow was seeing my wife's expression when walking into Monet's Gardens, she was in her element and this was the highlight of her tour, in spite of all the tourists. They are just some of the wow moments after reading about them for so long."

Barbara

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We know we wouldn't have seen or learned nearly as much had we had the same time on our own in France. The bus was very comfortable and I felt safe with our driver (Rene.) The food was excellent, and all of the guides were knowledgable and personable. I REALLY like the audio devices!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Bourges, I was taking a photo of a door when a French woman stopped to speak to me about it. I indicated that I didn't speak French, but she continued on as if I hadn't. Although I didn't understand one word of what she said, she clearly communicated to me that we should not waste time on the door, but that we should walk down the street, turn left, and continue walking until we found a beautiful park and cathedral. I so appreciated her making the effort!"

Patrick

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Could not have had a better tour guide! Chris was very attentive to everyone's needs and her knowledge of France and its history we re superb. Our driver, Rene, was also personable and professional. Their combined experience gave me a better perspective on France and Europe as a whole. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dedilon!"

Ralph

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Preparatory information was on point and your publications were very helpful. Our Guide, Chris, did a fantastic job of making sure we were well informed, comfortable and that we all having a great experience. She was friendly and very professional. She made our trip the best it could be!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel over-night stay."

Rob

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed tour on many levels. I felt Rebecca and Trish did a great job leading the tour and worked well together as a team. The tour was very well planned with plenty of events and also some down time to take it easy. I really liked the crowd-avoidance techniques and forethought that streamlined and enhanced the experiences of most all of the attractions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know if there was a "wow" moment for me. But plenty of very enjoyable experiences for sure"

Rose

Missouri City, TX

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went alone, and paid single supplement. Our entire group was wonderful no slouches or grouches. This trip meant so much to me, I loved the wonderful Rebecca, and Trish was also along. This bus driver Matt was so good. All the hotels had lovely staff and the rooms were great. I arrived a day early and use the guidebook to find my way around Montparnesse and to the Eiffel Tower before our group met. Every meal we had as a group was delicious and we had fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, the first glimpse of Chamboard, the first glimpse of Mont. St Michel and the first glimpse of the American Cemetary. But I have to say that from a beauty standpoint Giverny and Monets' gardens was stunning, we hit it at just the right time of year."

William

Signal Hill, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed this tour. Rebecca explained french history and other tidbits of relevent information during the tour helping give appreciation to the sites we were seeing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Must be Mont St Michael"

Anne

Clarendon Hills, IL

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected the tour to be very good but it exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed all the places we visited and value highly the Rick Steves style of travel. I felt as though I truly experienced the culture of Paris and the rest of France that we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I found Paris with the museums and cathedrals and the beaches of Normandy and Mont St. Michael to be extremely interesting, my "wow" moments were in the Loire Valley and Giverny with Monet's gardens and house as well as seeing DaVinci's home. It was very gratifying to visit where these famous artists lived and worked. I just simply enjoyed seeing the countryside."

Sandra

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every bit of it made all the more accessible with the great leadership of Rebecca. I had not previously explored France and I was charmed. I truly enjoyed both the diversity and the cohesiveness of the group. The oldest by several years, I never felt out of place or overly challenged. Having a sidekick in Trish was an extra treat and helped make everything go so smoothly. This is my second Rick Steve's Tour and I am hoping it will not be the last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One evening four of us women, including Trish, sought a Paris restaurant for oysters and found a small place made to order. We ended up having in depth conversation with a pair of locals as well as the owners about Normandy and the effect of liberation on France. It was so moving, truly unforgettable. It also deepened my experience of the beaches, village and cemeteries at Normandy."

Bill

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected the EXPECTED: (Being wowed by the Louvre and the sights of Paris, being moved by the Normandy beaches, Monet's gardens, etc.). But what I wasn't expecting was the UNEXPECTED experiences you provided: Wine and cheese tasting at a private chateau; superb dinners vs. bad chicken during my wife's tour group with her mom with another tour company); and stops (such as Bourges and Fougeres) that I would not have found on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but for someone that considers himself a really good gardener, my hat goes off to Claude Monet. I agree with him...his garden was perhaps his greatest work of art! But on a gut level, it really hit me and took me back to what it may have been like during the War when they turned on the 40's music during our lunch in the mini-museum in Normandy, followed by reading a copy of Ike's message to the troops on the eve of D-Day."

Elaine

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We hit all the places I wanted to see and more! Rebecca and Trish were both amazing - personable, knowledgeable, accommodating - everything a tour participant could want. And the local guides that we had at places like the Louvre, D-Day Beaches, Mont. St. Michel, Amboise, and Guedelon were passionate about the information they provided. I loved hearing Rebecca's take on all things French - her viewpoint of an American who has lived in France for over 30 years was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" moments: viewing Mont. St. Michel from the causeway at dusk, all lighted up with the dark clouds still visible as a backdrop. And seeing the castle and surrounding town from way up high in the public gardens of Fougeres; I felt like I had been transported to olden days!"

Lars

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was terrific! The right balance - interesting stops, knowledgeable guides to explain the significant aspects, and enough time on our own to explore in detail the parts we are most interested in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one WOW moment because I loved it all. If I had to pick one, it would be Mont Saint Michel because it was spectacular, and it would have been the most difficult to see (and stay over night at) on my own."

Cynthia

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. We saw a lot and were very well informed by our guides at all times. Rebecca, often had samples for us to taste, or played a CD of local music after we re-boarded the bus. There was no time to be bored. The flip side is that there was not much time to do laundry in the room or shop. I wish we could've visited an outdoor market once, but we were always leaving during setup. Loved what we saw and did, though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many cathedrals with gorgeous stained glass, but my first view of Mont St. Michel was a big Wow. The views of the Monastery were amazing. It was so nice that we were arriving as the hoards of other tourists were leaving and that we left as they returned the next day."

Beth

Coralville, IA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic! Quality of presentations, attention to details, thoughtful "extras" were outstanding. Use of whisper technology is very welcome addition.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire D-Day experience and the Guedelon castle under construction."

Janet

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! The tour guide, Virginia, was so informative. I really enjoyed her and her wealth of knowledge about so many things. Graeme was nice to have along with us, too. The group got along well with each other. I liked our bus driver, Francois, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several enjoyable places, but I was glued to the TV on D-day because of the knowledgeable history guide, Mr. Booth. I would have never watched a program on the war before learning so much on the tour at Normandy."

Patricia

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience on a tour of any kind. This tour was chosen because it covered significant sites outside of Paris that I did not want to visit on local day tours for each site. I had a wonderful experience and would readily recommend such a tour to others. I thoroughly enjoyed all of our hotels, group meals at selected restaurants, selected tour sites, and scheduled free time throughout. Our tour guides were experienced, knowledgeable, and clearly enjoyed their profession.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day in Normandy was wonderful. It was a very busy day, but it did not feel rushed. Coordination of arrival/departure from the various sites was well timed. Our local Normandy tour guide, Dale, was superb--his knowledge and delivery style were top-notch."

John

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A well-designed itinerary that was well planned, thanks to excellent guides, comfortable hotels and a good group of travelers. It afforded a wonderful glimpse into the food, history, culture and sites of France and left me with a thirst for more. Each day was satisfying and pleasantly fatiguing. The tour featured Rick Steves' characteristic blend of structured and unstructured time, optimizing the hours available while leaving time for personal exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day featured something special that appealed to all of us travelers. Personally, I especially enjoyed the vibrant Parisian street life, the in-progress Chateau de Guedelon, the beautiful towns and villages, Mont St-Michel, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Normandy D-Day sites punctuated with wonderful French meals and wine."

Kathleen

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Last in France in 1978. Paris is cleaner, friendlier--or Virginie helped us to fit in better than college kids! Paris was great-Sainte Chappelle breathtaking. But I truly enjoyed the countryside: Chenonceau, Fougeres, Selles sur Cher, Amboise, Bourges,Bayeax, Giverny. So beautiful, relaxing, restorative,inspiring. Normandy tour somber but well done and one of the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Joyful: Lauds at Mont St. Michele. Music was so inspiring, we were speechless, literally. Meaningful: Normandy tour. Our "buddy" was named for an uncle buried at the American cemetery. He invited us to share his visit to honor him."

Kathy

Norwell, MA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie and Graeme were so wonderful as guides, we feel we got the true feeling of France. Totally enjoyed the whole experience but here are some of our highlights that stick out ! Mon St Michel....WOW.. to go there when the timing was such that we beat the crowds and had the whole island to ourselves for the evening was such a unforgettable treat, well planned. Thank you.. In Paris being close enough to walk eveywhere , the Louvre, L'Orangerie, Giverny, loved all the small cities. thank you

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mon St Michel..ours for the evening"

Robin

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mt. Ste Michel sunrise chanting was ethereal. Bayeaux was charming. The castles were a delight. I could live without Fougere - lovely city but nothing was open when we were there. A detour to Honfleur might have been more my cuppa tea. The wine and cheese tasting was terrific. Would love to have been at an artisanal cheese making operation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best part was having Dale narrate the D-day beaches portion of the trip. Just a phenomenal gentleman. Really brought home to me what took place in history. St. Mere Eglise was also a big plus. Unfortunately there was a funeral at the church and we were unable to go inside. Would like to have had time for the local museums and didn't."

Gary

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Paris and Northern France was outstanding! I had high expectations for this trip and they were exceeded. We saw everything that was on our "must see" list both in Paris and in Northern France. The tour was well organized and contained the right amount of planned events and free time to explore on our own. The hotels were well located, clean and comfortable. The food was great too! Our group got along well. Virginie and Graeme did a wonderful job as tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Normandy D-Day beaches was the high point of my visit. The small church where the American paratrooper medics treated both Allied and German soldiers was particularly moving, as was the visit to the American cemetery. It's difficult to imagine how those soldiers managed to succeed that day, particularly at Omaha beach. I was pleased to see how much the French people still honor the sacrifices of the Allied troops. Our guide for the D-Day beach tour was outstanding."

Kris

Wilson, WY

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. We saw so many amazing things! I loved all of the towns we stayed in. It was a special treat to be able to sleep on Mt. Saint-Michel. It seemed that in each place we stopped I wanted to spend more time - but it was a big trip and there was a lot to pack in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few "wow" moments. I was entranced by the city of Bourges. I had not heard about it before and it was amazing. Walking through Cathedral St-Etienne was especially moving. The silence; the feeling of reverence; the sense of history and the thought that we were walking where Joan of Arc had walked really touched my spirit."

Paul

Blue Jay, CA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience exceeded my expectations. The places we visited were made all the better by the information our Rick Steves tour guide (Chris) provided and the local tour guides were all exceptional. The travel itself was pleasant because the drives were broken into short segments and interesting side trips were part of the overall tour. Hotels were pleasant and it was wonderful not to have to research them or make reservations ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, I was most surprised by how great the tour of the site reconstructing a 13th century castle was. But there were many "Wow!" Moments. We most enjoyed Bourges, the stop for oysters, and the wine and cheese tasting. The biggest and most astounding experience was the visit to the Louvre."

Chuck

Chatfield, MN

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1. I signed up for this specific tour because of the $300 discount and the assumption that there would be a little smaller group. 2. I would have signed up for a Russia tour except for the time spent in Estonia. Why not spend this time in a smaller Russian city?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Seeing the bronze statue of the man ascending at the American Cemetery. I had to fight back tears. 2. Staying overnight on Mount St. Michel."

Thomas

Wilson, WY

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just like we've learned to expect from our rick steves friends. See you again soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at ray's -- a war museum of items that he personally assembled- in a place of history as a nazi and then british command centers--experienced with only our rick steves family on location. Talk about a 'special' tour experience."

Julie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really appreciated having the audio devices throughout the tour. Having those made walking tours through Paris so much more effective and efficient than having to stop along the path often. They were also so very invaluable in Normany, making it possible to hear over the winds. The entire tour was so well planned out, the fascinating stops in the French countryside were varied and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No question, Mont St. Michel. It's been on my dream list since junior high school. The timing and arrangements for that visit exceeded my wildest expectations. Even the timing of the high tide fit into our schedule perfectly."

Nancy

Blue Jay, CA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Three days in Paris included staying at a four star hotel, visiting the Louvre and Orsay, Sainte Chapelle, and Notre Dame. We enjoyed the cathedral and dinner in Bourges We visited three chateaus. We toured Leonardo da Vinci's home and gardens. We stopped at some charming towns as part of our bus rides. We stayed and toured Mont St. Michele. We had a day's tour of Normandy's beaches. We stopped at GIverny, as we returned to Paris for an evening.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a wow moment. There was so much. The food is near the top of the list."

Larry

Tehachapi, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very wet. Wonderful group. Great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the tide come in at Mont St Michel."

Weldon

Malone, WI

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the hotel locations, especially the one on Mont St-Michel. The guides all were knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is like asking what my favorite chocolate is. Probably the time spent on Mont Saint Michal."

Susan

Malone, WI

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of France. It was satisfying to have visited so many well known sites. The choice of small hotels in small towns was a great fit for us. We enjoyed the markets and the opportunity to explore on our own. We were especially impressed with the timing of our travels to avoid the crowds that often occur.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The over night stay on Mont St-Michel was amazing. To have the opportunity to walk and explore the island after all the crowds were gone was special. We were fortunate to have been assigned a room far above main street with great views of the channel and Normandy."

Susan

Lexington, KY

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was very organized and we covered a lot of "ground" without much hassle. William was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Chenonceau."

Tom

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was conducted in an efficient and outstanding manner. William and Heather were excellent in conducting our travel, assisting us as needed. William possesses outstanding knowledge of the tour, works well with people of all backgrounds. I felt very comfortable traveling through the tour with him at the helm. In today's environment, he made us feel safe and we all benefited from his information, humor and wit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, my "wow" moment was at the Beaches of Normandy and touring the American Cemetery. The sacrifice these young men made on June 6th was never more felt as we walked the invasion beaches and the cemetery."

Tracy

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed all the things we saw. It was a nice mixture of history from different eras as well as artistic elements. We also had a great group of fellow travelers. It was unfortunate that the weather was not that good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel. It looked amazing at night, and I loved the little medieval street heading up the mountain. Staying overnight was definitely a plus, for crowd avoidance as well as the experience of eating and staying there."

Donald

Waterloo, IA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour gave me an interest in seeing more of small town / village, France. Enjoyed Paris and found it to be a pleasing very large city. To me the tour gave me a good introduction to France from the urban of Paris with glimpses into smaller communities. The French men and women I encountered were polite and engaging. These were people I encountered in my passing not selling me something.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several WOW times, one was a small child and her family that we interacted with. This was one time when we were left on our-own to explore. Other times were when I think we were the only non-French in a place and I saw what was around me. For places Sainte-Chapelle this was a very interesting structure for me."

Peggy

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour greatly exceeded my already high expectations. I have been on a number of tours offered by other companies but Rick Steves has obviously planned and created a schedule that is carefully designed to give us the best experiences possible. Our group arrived so early at the museums, chateaus, and designated sites that we were able to enjoy the lectures and tours before the hordes of tourists arrived. The hearing devices were also extremely helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments on the tour but Mont St. Michel was overwhelming in its beauty. So grateful to have spent the night there and to watch the tide come in as we ate a delicious dinner and to have an exciting tour the following morning, leaving before huge numbers of tourists arrived."

Yvette

Newport Coast, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went very smoothly, except the weather LOL Our tour guides were fabulous. Our main guides William and Heather were on top of their game wherever we went. The pacing was good we had time to do our own thing as well as mix with the others on the tour. It was wonderful to go to the head of the line when we reached a scheduled tour. I was very skeptical of tours, but I would go on another Rick Steve's tour, very well thought out and researched.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Chenonceau Chateau, wonderfully preserved, gardens breath taking Givergy, was wonderful for me. loved the quaint town and the gardens were splendid."

Lyn

Newport Coast, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations. We felt like part of the family and William Altman was just the best tour guide, caretaker, organizer, comedian and all around personable and interesting guy. We were lucky to have him. Heather and he worked great together. We will definitely do another Rick Steves tour. It was amazing that all of the 65 and older people like us were right there everyday in the rain, wind or whatever the challenge was. We had a guy 85 who was right there with us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden's and the lunch afterward at the cafe were just delightful. So many "wow" moments but if I had to pick one it was the tide coming in at Mont St Michel. Watching that with a great dinner at the Abby was just something else."

John

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour group was a good mix of friendly people who were well traveled and interested in the places we visited. Most were RS rookies, but one couple were on their 13th RS tour. Tour exceeded our expectations and we plan to take another RS tour in the future. We also plan to visit France again on our own to spend more time in Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views at and from Mont St Michel are spectacular, so that was a definite "wow" moment. Less popular but a "wow" to me was the Bayeaux tapestry telling in detail the story of the 1066 Battle of Hastings."

Wendy

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had traveled very little in France before this trip but now I feel like I have a better understanding of this beautiful country and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be impossible (for me) to say....however Mont St Michele is really something...mystical, beautiful and unbelievable ! The D-day beaches etc were also very moving and memorable."

Genevieve

Tollhouse, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My previous travel experience did not include a tour experience. I was very impressed at the balance of tour time and personal time. Both William and Heather were supportive of our individual needs on the tour, yet kept the tour gently moving. AsI reflect back on the overall experience, there is nothing I would change. The daily pace of activity was not overwhelming, but definitely vigorous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Orangerie. My last time in Paris I was unable to see this site, so it was top on my list. To see these paintings in their full glory, was indescribable! Then to go to Monet Garden, perfect."

Anna

Waterloo, IA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked everything about the tour: itinerary, tour guides, tour group. Unfortunately, it was raining half of the time and sightseeing was challenging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments: Louvre tour with a wonderful guide (do not remember his name) and with Rick Steves book. I am glad there were no scheduled activities that day, that gave us opportunity to spend more time in the museum. Wandering in the old streets of Bourges and Amboise in the short periods of no rain."

Rick

Tollhouse, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first time to France and my second time to Europe and that was 40 yrs. ago. I enjoyed every day and every planned activity. I had really bad jet lag that caused me to miss the first day's tour activities. I slept for 7 hrs. in the hotel. But after that I quickly caught up. For a first time in France the planned stops were absolutely right. I know they were the tourist stops, but they needed to be seen. Second time I would do other things, but the planned stops were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt St Michel is a place I have always wanted to visit and my wife and I were shown to the fabulous room at the top of the hotel and the view was just incredible, at high or low tide. There were a lot of wow's for us, but that was my favorite."

Francis

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an overall fantastic experience because we were exposed to the best of Paris and the north of France. What made this particularly great was the fact that Julie had done her homework and had arranged for unique experiences in towns and villages that brought us closer to the thoughts and feelings of the local people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Mont St Michel; dinner at a classy but friendly restaurant while we watched the tide come in. Climbing up the steps into such history was loved by us."

Gilbert

Erie, PA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never taken a Rick Steves before, I had no expectations. My experience on this tour was outstanding from having a wonderful tour guide in Julie, to the meals and accommodations, to the exceptional local guides. The overall experience was beyond exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was traveling around the heart of France, seeing the small town and villages, experiencing the people in whose accommodations and restuarants we visited, and the people of our tour group."

Elaine

La Jolla, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went into this trip with high expectations based on a friend's glowing recommendation, and I can surely say it did not disappoint! From the pre-trip planning to the farewell dinner, we were met with quality services and dazzling experiences! I liked the balance and variety that the tour provided: city/country, scheduled activities/free time, art/history, etc. From what I learned reading the guidebooks and from our guide's tuteledge, I feel like a much more confident traveler than before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel: being encircled by the sea at high tide while eating a delicious dinner and rising (literally rising up all those steps!) early the next day with the sun to join the monks and nuns at the top of the abbey in lauds morning prayer and song - a priceless pilgrimage!"

Cynthia

La Jolla, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Julie was the greatest! Wonderful knowledge of all regions we visited. We were lucky to have wonderful weather, not a drop of rain. (maybe at midnight). My friend & I had not been to France before, but could turn around and go back. I personally liked staying on the Left Bank in Paris. I was disappointed in the hotel at the end of the trip. Our tour group were very, very nice I enjoyed their company. Overall a gold star to all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Medieval ..Guedelon & Bourges. Also loved Chateau de Chenonceau."

Mary

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour experience. Julie is a terrific tour leader - well organized, funny, and eager to share as much of the French way of life with us as she could. Her insight into the French view of the world was most helpful in making our encounters and experience much more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment occurred on our way to the Louvre. Our tour was booked for late morning, so Julie suggested that we might enjoy stopping in at L'Orangerie in the Tuileries to see Monet's "Water Lilies." They were spectacular ! I felt as if we were immersed in them and surrounded by beauty. Having had this experience early in the tour made me appreciate seeing them at Monet's garden in Giverny even more."

Robert

New York, NY

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 8th RS Tour. What keeps us coming back? Each RS tour has proven to be a unique, interesting and fun filled adventure. Paris and the Heart of France was a thrilling and memory filled tour. Paris was literally in full bloom and spectacular. The Loire Valley was picturesque and peaceful. Mont St Michel and Normandy were special places that can truly be called must sees for one's lifetime. This tour packed a great deal in a fairly short time frame. It was simply over the top!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While springtime Paris was spectacular, the stops at Mont St-Michel and Normandy were what took our breath away. Watching from the Monastery ramparts as Tidal waves swept in was pretty awesome. Awakening to climb the steps to the Monastery to hear the monks and nuns chanting Vespers was pretty special too. That said, visiting the American cemetery at Normandy after stopping off to see the Omaha and Utah D-Day beaches was both sobering and overwhelming. Both were once in a lifetime must sees!"

Sharon

Centralia, WA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was well planned, and the special events Julie added just made the entire trip more special. The hotels were wonderful. Group activities (dinners, lunches etc. were delicious. I'm sure that many people have input into planning these tours for them I'm grateful. But, Julie was the crucial person who shared her knowledge and enthusiasm with all. I can't imagine any other guide being as terrific! Our group jelled well and watched out for each other. Our bus driver-GREAT!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's house and gardens were my favorites. The place was magical."

Brett

Spring, TX

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour certainly exceeded our already high expectations. To begin, Julie was an outstanding guide. Not only did she keep everyone on schedule, she shared her knowledge of architecture, french history, local customs and language. The tour was a great mix of Paris, the French countryside, and D-day sites and history. Hotel accomadations were good and in great locations, and the food served at group meals was delicious. The small group size (25) was nice as we had plenty of room on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pinpoint one "wow" moment as there were so many but I would have to say visiting the American cemetary in Normandy and seeing Mont St. Michel at night would be near the top of the list."

John

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an 11 on a score of 1 to 10. The weather was outstanding the entire trip (just lucky I guess). The entire tour was very well organized and [INVALID]d. Our fellow tour members were all terrific people from all across the country (and the world!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a retired engineer. I guess I was most amazed by our trip to Guedelon castle and learning the medieval techniques used to build castles. The other location that appealed to that side of me was Clos Luce in Amboise, which featured working models of some of Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical and civil engineering inventions."

Mary

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was so excited to be able to see Normandy with a great local guide. And this trip exceeded all of my expectations. Julie was an engaging and energetic guide. She was funny and emotional when speaking about the hardships that the citizens of Normandy had to deal with. That was very touching. Great group of fellow travelers. Another wonderful Rick Steves tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking up all of the steps to the Abbey on Mont St Michel with sun just coming up. The monks opened the big door and some of out group and a group of French Boy Scouts followed the monk up the steps to the top and the church. Then when we entered the church with the sunlight filtering through the windows throwing shadows everywhere, the first sight we saw was a monk pulling the rope to ring the bells. He was almost pulled off the floor. it was magical."

Dipti

Memphis, TN

Tour: 04/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were fortunate to have a small group of 12 for our tour which proved to be the perfect number for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, I am not sure I can narrow it down to one. The Loire Valley was breathtaking. We loved the little town of Bourges. Mont St Michel is unforgettable. Monet's gardens were spectacular. The pictures taken there look like impressionist paintings."

Ronald

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The greatest measure of this tour experience was showing me how little I know about the culture, people and history of other parts of the world. I was constantly amazed seeing Roman walls from 400AD still standing and used as foundations for existing cities, seeing cathedrals built around 1200AD and learning how they were built, learning of French history in the very locations it took place, and so on. Our guide, Arnaud, was instrumental in bringing the tour alive in so many ways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a difficult question since everyday was a new discovery. I was particularly influenced by the Normandy D-Day Beaches. Much as Arnaud brought the tour to life in every place, our guide, Dale, with explicit facts and stories, brought the beaches and surrounding area to life. It was a very emotional day. I never knew..."

Denise

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the minute we landed in Paris the tour exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Arnaud, was outstanding. He kept the mood light and fun but was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the sites! The tour was so well planned. From the fast-pace of Paris to the more relaxed atmosphere of the smaller towns in the Loire Valley, Normandy and Brittany. We enjoyed our travel companions very much and feel as though we made some great friends. Loved every minute!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick just one but it would probably be seeing the Mont St. Michel. Incredible! One of the other members of our group and I went to the 7:00 a.m. service in the abbey and heard the monks and nuns singing the psalms. I'll never forget it. Breathtaking."

Jean

Wyoming, OH

Tour: 04/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed very much the Paris portion of the tour although we had a snag on the last day in Paris due to the strike. The pace in the tour in the countryside was a little bit slow - several late mornings and more free time than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

John

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the French countryside, the charming towns and chateaus, Normandy and Mont St. Michele. While we were able to do a lot of varied activities, the tour was well-paced, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. We didn't feel pushed from one activity to the next, and we were able to absorb the culture, history and people of France. All the meals were quite good, especially the group's last five-course meal in Paris. Virginie was an excellent guide and host for the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spectacular view of Mont St. Michele, all lit up at night from the causeway."

Mary Jane

Lincoln City, OR

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie is a wonderful tour guide. I've never had better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy beaches with Paul as our guide. I ordered his D-Day book."

Leo

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide. Ms Fore kept us well informed throughout the tour about accommodations, meals , what to expect, culture, language, history, places and things. We got to know our fellow tour travelers from all over the US and Canada. The bus was very comfortable and the bus driver was pleasant and accommodating. Good accommodations!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the most memorable was Normandy as presented by the guide, Paul from Great Britain, who brought the invasion on the beaches to life with his detailed narrative."

Terry

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We experienced a lot of wonderful sights and were given background info before we arrived. Of course, we all read our Rick Steves' Guide ahead of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very excited to be at Normandy. It was very emotional to see the American cemetery, the beaches, and the Nazi cement bunkers and guns. The bus ride there was wonderful as we passed through many lovely little farming communities. Mt. St. Michel was AMAZING! I could not believe that we were able to actually stay right on the island. Loire Valley castles were spectacular, especially the Ladies' Castle."

Nancy

Richland, WA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about this tour, but especially felt that RST had done an excellent job of describing what all was involved so I knew what to expect. We had a nice balance of being on our own, and being with the tour, and appreciated the extra "experts" brought in to enlighten us on some specifics. My purpose was to see, experience and learn about France and its history, and this tour more than met my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being present on the D Day beaches and at the American Cemetery were my WOW moment, the somber realization of what took place there 70 years ago. The churches and museums of Paris were also just amazing. I realized how young the U.S. is compared to the centuries' old countries of Europe."

Lori

Norwood, OH

Tour: 10/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was not my first guided tour vacation but this is the first that has exceeded my expectations. I would not change a thing and am already looking forward to my next Rick Steve's trip. It was amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but probably coming up the stairs at Saint Chapelle to be bathed in the light from the stained glass. Unbelievable that is so old, so beautiful and still so powerfully moving."

Susan

Eden, NY

Tour: 10/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting France has been a life long dream and having taken this tour, I can not imagine a better introduction. We saw and learned so much more than had we been on our own. Having taken other tours, I can emphatically say that Rick Steves gave us a far superior experience; The content and lesser known places-a real plus. Everyday was a wonderful, memorable adventure.Thank You!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day there were "Wow" moments,so it is very hard to pick just one! Perhaps seeing the first glimpse of the incredibly beautiful windows in Sainte-Chapelle----I literally gasped! Perhaps spending the night on Mont St Michel. Perhaps the awesome beauty of the D-Day beaches juxtaposed with their heart wrenching, brutal history."

Deborah

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Again, another tour (we proceeded this with the 7 days Paris tour) that was packed with outstanding experiences. Larry and I would never have accomplished seeing 2/3rds of the locations we saw on our own. It was like our previous tour in that it was "cultural boot camp", a lot to absorb, quite happily, I must emphasize. We had experiences that will nourish us for years; I'd do it over again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though Larry and I both come from military families, I never expected the D Day excursion to move me so deeply. Curiously enough, it was our first visit of the day, at the German cemetery, that really spoke to me in a profound way. Our guide gave us a general background of many of those buried there; young, often prisoners of war conscripted for the Nazi's. Walking the grounds, the recently placed photo of a young man on a grave with fresh flowers brought me to tears. History speaking."

Alicyn

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 10/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our third Rick Steve's tour and we have never been disappointed. Lovely, comfortable hotels, knowledgeable and friendly tour guides, carefully planned agendas, all makes for a delightful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It actually was the view from our hotel window on Mont St Michel. We were at the top of the top...it was a priceless, romantic view of the bay and sand and shore. I'm sure there was a bottle of wine nearby!"

Judy

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 10/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very informative, entertaining, and enjoyable. Both my husband and I felt it was wonderful. We loved Jennifer and Julian our tour guides. I learned so much about French History, culture, and customs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the beaches in Normandy"

Paul

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a great tour for the first time visitor to France. This was our 6th time, but we still say it was great, especially with Marie as our guide. Would have liked more time in Brittany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Big WOW! - to actually see the Bayeux Tapestry. So may other wow's - Mont St. Michel, the D-Day beaches, Gudelon, flowers at Monet's Giverny home."

Vito

Boston, MA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. I am a European history buff and to see some of these places that I have read about since I was six years old was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt St Michel: being able to stay there overnight after other groups left is amazing."

Kenneth

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 10/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel"

Anne

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 10/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel"

Rex

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 10/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Tour guide was excellent. The group was good together, and all the stays were in great locations. The tour provided an excellent sampling of the areas we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the reconstruction with period tools and techniques at Guédelon."

Alanna

Rolesville, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Burnsville, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have always traveled on our own with our Rick Steves books but realize we miss much about the history and events of the past. It was great to have such wonderful, informative guides and be taken care of by Michaelanne. We would never have been able to get to places like Guedelon. I was disappointed that we did not have a guide at the Louvre, we were too tired by the time we got to the museum to do justice on our own. I loved our unscheduled stop at the L'Orangrie to see Monet panels

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St Michel from a distance and then learning about it on our tour of the Abbey"

Isabel

Land O Lakes, FL

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was apprehensive about doing a tour group,especially when we arrived four days earlier to Paris. My husband and I had a wonderful time by ourselves. Nevertheless, I must say, we had an incredible time with Michaelanne , the local guides, and the group. The sites, history, and information that the guides provided were great. We would have missed this if we were by ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments: Louvre Museum, Mt. St. Michel, Bourges, to mention a few. But personally, my most unforgettable moment was walking on the streets of France and realizing that the French people are amicable, funny, and approachable as oppose to what we have been told back home. We are definitely going back to France!"

Ellen

Stockton, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour showed us parts of France that we would never even know to visit. We loved every minute of it. I will (and already have) recommend this tour. It's by far the best travel experience I have ever had! I already want to go back to France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"SO many "wow" moments... -Visiting the D-Day sites with our incredibly knowledgable guide -Seeing the tide rush in at Mont Saint-Michel -Chenonceau!! -Walking around the beautiful streets of Paris"

Nelson

Evans, GA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had an exceptionally enjoyable tour. Every minute was one to be savored for either the beauty of the location being visited, the historic value of the visit or the commraderie we enjoyed with our fellow tour mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two. The first being the initial view of Mont St-Michel (followed by our time on the island) and the second being the solemnity of the visit to the American Cemetery in Normandy."

Nelson

Land O Lakes, FL

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our trip to France. The people that we met, were great, with a fantastic sense of humor, and a good, straight and forward way of looking at, and enjoying life. This was refreshing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people we met! Many of the people I told about my plans to go to France, warned me of the negative " attitude" of the french. My wife and I didn't encounter this. Instead, we found good people trying to enjoy life as it is, and looked forward to their day. They made us feel welcomed, and often shared a good laugh with us, especially after two glasses of wine. I'm beginning to suspect my colleagues are watching too much Fox news. I'll look into this!"

Margaret

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All aspects of the tour were handled with attention to detail: bus, meals, hotels, local guides, and tour stops. I especially liked the history and cultural/social information given by all the guides. It made the tour so much more meaningful. I always felt at ease and well cared for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay at Mont St. Michel was the highlight for me. Being able to spend the night there and attend the morning prayer service, along with the tour of the abbey with the local guide, made this very special. Even experiencing the tides, which I realize is nothing the tour controls, was memorable."

Andrea

Surrey, BC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it was amazing. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The people in my group were great and I felt like we were family by the end. I enjoyed the fact that we weren't rushed through sites and that we had a chance to explore on our own. I will definitely go on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say my wow moment was Mont St. Michel. The view from the room was breathtaking especially at night when the moon was reflecting off the water and lighting our room. Then getting up early in the morning to go to service at the cathedral and listening to the nuns singing was haunting and beautiful."

Stewart

Burnsville, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Victoria

Clifton, VA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronald

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I had a favorite"

Sandra

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Dumont, NJ

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

fantastic!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"everything..."

Stephanie

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gilbert

Toms River, NJ

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour from beginning to end in every respect, the guide the locations the food

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the whole trip"

Herb

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca is an outstanding tour guide. Knowledgeable, personable, accessable. Was impressed the way she engages everyone, makes everyone feel comfortable on a personal basis. Have experienced several tour guides prior to this tour and she is the best by far. The tour was a bit ambitious but that's OK. Feel like the tour was a good value. I think everyone on the tour feels much the same as me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment of the tour was Rebecca's organizational ability, so it was several wow's."

Alfred

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lawrence

Harahan, LA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our time in France. The tour presented a wonderful cross-section of French culture, people, and places. It was the experience that we had hoped it would be!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Chateau Chenonceau, and Mont St. Michel. They both stand out as our favorite moments."

Diana

Fairfax, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Georgetown, KY

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Metairie, LA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Fresno, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Everett

Metairie, LA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount San Michel"

David

Baton Rouge, LA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Winfield, IL

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Stephen

Feeding Hills, MA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Art

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the tour very much. Michaelanne was a great guide along with Antoine. As with our other RS tour everything went very smooth. I liked the education on how to act and what is proper to say in the countries you are in. I don't ever want to be the ugly American.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel Tower in person and seeing the American cemetery in Normandy. I was astounded at the immaculate appearance of the grounds. It made me proud to be an American."

Martha

Franklin Park, IL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kelley

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Glenn

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Corinne

Spanaway, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Wake Forest, NC

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the visit to Guedelon was unique."

Mary Lou

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marsha

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim Chi

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I collaborated on our responses, so our answers will be uncannily similar. :) I believe it was our destiny to be on this tour. We switched from another tour at the last minute and I can't imagine any tour being better than this one. The weather was great, as were the other travelers in our group (we miss them!). Foremost was our good fortune to be guided by Rebecca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be our view of Mont St-Michel as we got closer and closer. Mont St-Michel was one of the primary reasons we chose this tour and we were not disappointed in the least. Once we arrived it was one "wow" moment after another as we explored from bottom to top."

Edward

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Rancho Murieta, CA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I believe it was our destiny to be on this tour. We switched from another tour at the last minute and I can't imagine any tour being better than this one. The weather was great, as were the other travelers in our group (we miss them!). Foremost was our good fortune to be guided by Rebecca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be our view of Mont St-Michel as we got closer and closer. Mont St-Michel was one of the primary reasons we chose this tour and we were not disappointed in the least. Once we arrived it was one "wow" moment after another as we explored from bottom to top."

Judy

St Petersburg, FL

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many parts of the tour were Outstanding. Compared to my previous tour I wish there had been more time at the beginning of the tour to interact with the group. Starting in Paris with a lot of free time up front, it took longer to get to know the other tour members than my previous experience. Of course, by the end, we knew one another quite well, and as expected, Rick Steves groups are interesting and fun to be around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I alternate among 3 or 4...The building of the castle at Guedelon was fascinating in every way. I loved staying overnight at Mont St. Michel and experiencing the quiet streets after hours and in the early morning; had we spent only a day tripping over crowds of tourists I'd have been disappointed in a place I'd always wanted to visit. The D-Day tour was tremendously moving, making us truly appreciate the sacrifices of my parents' generation. (The Bayeaux Tapestry was a delightful surprise too.)"

Glen

Medicine Hat, AB

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steeves tour. We found it well organized and paced just right for us. Not to long, but long enough at all the places visited. Tour guides were all knowledgable and made all our stops very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I had one specific "wow" moment. With this being our first visit to France we enjoyed all of the tour."

Diana

Granbury, TX

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margie

Bristow, VA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be "Normandy"."

Catherine

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Silvana, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

John

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Bristow, VA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Dianne

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pat

Collinsville, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Corey

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Collinsville, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was very satisfied. Hopefully we can do another tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel and the old Cathedrals"

Mary

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bella

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stan

Dubuque, IA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized and interesting places

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jonathan

Toledo, OH

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Paris, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Pittsburg, CA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patrick

Paris, IL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Glenn

Apple Creek, OH

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sean

Bonita Springs, FL

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Dubuque, IA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Theresa

Lombard, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Morteza

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Mt St-Michel."

William

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Williamsville, NY

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christine

Seneca Falls, NY

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Daniel

Seneca Falls, NY

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel."

David

Langley, BC

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynda

Torrance, CA

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

O'fallon, IL

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rita

Folsom, CA

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Linda

Encino, CA

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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.."

Robert

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bonnie

Granbury, TX

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Alameda, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Starr

Redmond, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elsa

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

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!"

David

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Damascus, OR

Tour: 07/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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!"

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 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 the 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 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).

This 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 several weeks in advance. For more details, visit our Eiffel Tower information page.

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.