• Colmar, France
    Colmar
  • Reims Cathedral
  • Wine Tasting
  • Beaune, France
    Beaune
  • Vineyards, Pommard, France
    Burgundy Vineyards
  • Chamonix
  • Annecy, France
    Annecy
  • Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Aix-en-Provence, France
    Aix-en-Provence

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Best of Eastern France in 14 Days Tour

from $4,095 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

The bountiful vineyards, classic villages, and hearty cuisine of eastern France are legendary. Starting in the effervescent Champagne capital of Reims, you'll spend 14 fascinating days with your Rick Steves guide, exploring Colmar's cobbled lanes, Alsace's meandering Route du Vin, Verdun's historic battlefields, Burgundy's fabled Côte d'Or, Chamonix's majestic mountains, Provence's scenic Côtes du Rhône, and ending with a farewell toast in exquisite Aix-en-Provence. Join us for the Best of Eastern France in 14 Days!

Dates & Prices

2018

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 18 group sightseeing events • Reims walking tour • Reims Cathedral • Champagne tasting • Verdun WWI battlefields • Colmar walking tour • Unterlinden Museum • Alsatian wine region excursion • Alsatian wine tasting • Beaune walking tour • Hôtel Dieu • Market day in Beaune • Beaune wine tasting • Lake Annecy cruise • Hiking orientation in French Alps • Vaison-la-Romaine Roman ruins • Orange Roman Theater • Rhône Valley wine tasting • Aix-en-Provence walking tour…and more
  • All group transportation from Reims to Aix-en-Provence
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks 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 2018
  • 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 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 France's Champagne Region

Just 45 minutes from central Paris by frequent TGV (bullet) train, the effervescent city of Reims is famous for its royal history, its towering cathedral…and Champagne. We'll meet at 5 p.m. at our hotel for a short "bienvenue à Reims" meeting. Then we'll take an orientation walk through the heart of Reims, followed by time to get acquainted over dinner together. Sleep in Reims (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: All Day in Reims

We'll spend our morning on a walking tour through Reims' historic city center, where we'll learn about the design and history of its glorious Gothic cathedral. Rivaling Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral in beauty and prestige, more than two dozen kings and queens of France were crowned here over the course of six centuries. The cathedral and its surrounding neighborhood were virtually destroyed during World War I, then rebuilt during the Art Deco age, which is delightfully reflected in the design and décor of Reims' downtown buildings. Today we'll also learn about this region's most famous product — Champagne — with a tasting courtesy of a local producer. Dinner will be on your own this evening. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Battlefields and Lessons of Verdun

We'll meet our bus and driver today and take a short drive to the historic WWI battlefields at Verdun. We'll visit the ruins and monuments of one of Europe's costliest battles of attrition, where hundreds of thousands of French and German soldiers perished. Our day will end in France's Germanic region, the Alsace, the ultimate Franco-Germanic blend. Tonight we'll share a dinner of Alsatian specialties in the town of Colmar, where we'll sleep (3 nights). Bus: 6 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: All Day in Colmar

Today is devoted to exploring the enchanting town of Colmar. We'll take a walking tour this morning, wandering over its cobbled lanes lined with leaning, half-timbered buildings, and learn about the historic importance of the community's canals. We'll wrap things up at one of Rick's favorite museums in Europe — the Unterlinden — home to the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald. You'll have this afternoon and evening free to explore more of the city's sights and pedestrian-friendly lanes, and to enjoy more Alsatian specialties on your own. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: The Route du Vin

Let's take off and explore the region's scenic Route du Vin, where colorful villages and vineyards carpet the foothills of the Vosges Mountains — birthplace of the region's very dry Rieslings and aromatic Gewürztraminers. We'll visit Albert Schweitzer's hometown village of Kaysersberg and find the perfect winery to sample some local varieties. Then we'll return to Colmar, where you'll have the late afternoon and evening free. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: light.

Day 6: A Hearty Taste of Burgundy

This morning we'll drive from the Teutonic tidiness of Alsace to the red-tiled villages of Burgundy and its bustling wine capital of Beaune. After some free time for lunch, we'll hit the ground walking with a tour of the town and its eye-opening medieval charity hospital, Hôtel Dieu. Tonight we'll have a Burgundian dinner together. Sleep in Beaune (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: light.

Day 7: Market Day and Vineyards

It's outdoor market day in Beaune! Your morning will be free for rubbing elbows with locals sampling smelly cheeses, creamy patés, and fresh produce while doing their weekly shopping. This afternoon we set off for Burgundy's legendary and beautiful Côte d'Or wine country, where we'll have lunch together at a local domaine, along with a tasting of its celebrated harvest. We'll return to Beaune later this afternoon, where you'll be free for discoveries and dinner on your own. Escargots, anyone? Bus: 2 hours. Walking: light.

Day 8: To the Alpine Peaks of Chamonix

This morning we'll make a bee-line for Europe's highest point, Mont Blanc, arriving in the picturesque resort town of Chamonix in time to get acquainted with all the Alpine thrills this charming city offers. This evening we'll enjoy a traditional dinner of raclette or fondue together. Sleep in Chamonix (2 nights). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: light.

Day 9: Free Day in the French Alps

Today is your day to enjoy the wonders of the French Alps. Weather and lifts permitting, your guide will help you make your way up the Aiguille du Midi gondola and find the right trail to hike, rewarded with stunning views of nearly 16,000-foot Mont Blanc and a supporting cast of Alps that seem to stretch forever. Or if you prefer, simply find a view table in Chamonix and take the day off in après-ski style. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 10: From Peaks to Provence

Sit back and rest those hiking muscles as we spend our day driving south to sunny Provence, enjoying the countryside along the way. We'll stop for lunch and a boat ride (weather permitting) in exquisite Annecy — hands-down France's most beautiful lakefront town. We'll arrive at our history-rich, Provençal destination of Vaison-la-Romaine in time to get oriented and enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Vaison-la-Romaine (3 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: light.

Day 11: Roman Provence

We'll spend our morning sifting through the 2,000-year-old site of ancient Vaison-la-Romaine. There we'll tour the ruins of a sprawling Roman mansion and the 6,000-seat Roman theater that is still used for performances today. Consider this a warm-up act for the most impressive of all Roman theaters — the Theater of Orange — which we'll drive to and experience this afternoon. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône

This morning, we'll drive through some of Europe's most picturesque villages and vineyards, as we make our way to one of our favorite wineries. We'll stop there for a refreshing lunch and the chance to sample some formidable Côtes du Rhône wines at their source. Then we'll return to Vaison for free time this afternoon. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: light.

Day 13: Exquisite Aix-en-Provence

Today we'll continue south through Provence's intoxicating countryside, making our way to the affluent, artsy town of Aix-en-Provence, where we'll tour its pedestrian-friendly center with our local guide. This afternoon you'll have more time to explore the colorful lanes, shops, and galleries of Aix-en-Provence before we gather this evening to share travel memories and toast new friends at our farewell dinner together. Sleep in Aix-en-Provence (1 night). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's an easy 30-minute bus, shuttle, or taxi ride to the Marseille airport. For those staying longer, your guide will be happy to send you off in the right direction and help with any trip-planning needs. Au revoir et merci!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Eastern France in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) 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

John

River Falls, WI

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This area of France has so much history - good wine and customs to see that it was a great trip and a very fast two weeks. Virginie and Michaelanne did a great job of keeping us in good health ( some of us came down with a bug) and they made sure we where taken care of with seeing and talking to the right people. The hotels where the Rick Steves' normal - great location and able to walk everywhere. The transportation was excellent from town to town and around the tour areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman Ruins - For things to last 2000 years is just amazing to me, since we are used to tearing things down after 50 to 100 years. The wine that was on tour was great and the tour of the vineyards and olive groves was fantastic."

James

Mt Vernon, IL

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour, and they do nothing but get better and better. The planning of this tour was just outstanding. An extra day on the Verdun battlefield would have been beneficial to its appreciation. The local guides were outstanding as usual with great insight to their areas. The blend of German and French influence in Colmar was irresistible. Vaison la Romaine was so full of history and charm we did not want to leave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three of these. First was the Ossuary at Verdun. The place was haunting. The second was high about Chamonix on an absolutely clear day seeing Mt. Blanc in one direction and the Matterhorn in the other. The third was the serenity of lunch at Walter's home in the Mourchon winery. Heavenly!!"

Jane

Ithaca, NY

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the itinerary and the different guides we had.

Carol

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had a wonderful mix of history and culture and, our reason for taking this tour, vines and wines. Virginie did a fabulous job of preparing us for each stop, encouraging us to try local food and wine. She also spent quite a bit of bus time helping us to understand American/French cultural similarities and differences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Verdun. We had seen the American WW2 cemetery in central Italy last year, but the Verdun experience was amazing. Thanks, especially to our local guide and to the excellent explanatory film."

William

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more than a tour--it was a discovery of different regions of France, aided and assisted by the best of the guides I have had on a Rick Steve's tour...and we have had many. The guide, a former teacher who had visited the US for a number of years, created a fictional couple whose interactions with other French persons and the government, employer, etc. provided the framework for a delightful narration that covered the life of an average French person.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Something minor, but something unique: a picnic at a castle, with a wide variety of food harvested from the Market, along with fine wine."

Deborah

Beverly, MA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was extremely satisfied with the tour. The balance of organized time in free time was just right. The hotels were pleasant and well located. The group meals were well chosen. The size of the group was fine, although lacking in diversity. The schedule was comfortable. The bus was also comfortable but lacked Wi-Fi and recharging outlets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Because my birthday would occur during the tour, I was one of two guests permitted to learn the art of sabrage – topping a champagne bottle with a saber. This was a great moment."

James

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Verdun"

Susan

Mt Vernon, IL

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Of our 5 Rick Steves' trips to date, this one was probably our favorite. We had perfect fall weather for almost all of the trip, our guide was excellent (and it was nice to have a very good tour assistant along as well), our group of travelers was fun and got along well, the cities and hotels that we stayed in just seemed to get more charming as we went along, food and wine was excellent -- it was a wonderful trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There seemed to be numerous "wow" moments on this trip. Two of them involved food and wine. The first was a visit to a chateau outside of Beaune where the count gave us a tour and had a wine sampling for us followed by a perfect picnic on the grounds. A similar visit to a Cotes de Rhone winery with lunch at the owner's home was exceptional. And finally 2 days of perfect weather at Chamonix and in the French Alps was simply magical."

Rowe

Newton, IA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were looking forward to experiencing the wines, foods and terroir of Eastern France and this tour surpassed all our expectations. Virginie guided us through history (Reims' 1211 cathedral to the largely unknown end of WWII), wines (Champagne to Alsace to Burgundy to Provence), foods (local, fresh and delicious fare) and sites (vineyards, olive groves, Mont Ventoux and the French Alps). Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aside from the 9th century talisman of Charlemagne; 13th century Reim's Notre Dame cathedral; sober Verdun; markets with amazingly fresh and tasty foods; Koenigsbourg castle views; Chateau de Rully visit & picnic; Mont Blanc & Alps of Chamonix, Mourchon vineyards, winery and picnic with the owners; and Mont Ventoux of Tour de France fame, I can't think of any "wow" moments."

Joseph

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip. The guide was excellent, the itinerary was just what we wanted, and the weather was excellent for the beginning of October.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch on the lawn at Mourchon vineyards near the village of Séguret was worth the trip by itself. The food and wine served was probably the best we had in France but more importantly the setting was incredible. We were next to the beautiful vineyards with views in all directions of the lovely countryside and hills. Add the good company and it was perfect."

Barbara

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour! So interesting to see these beautiful, distinctive regions of France. Great guides, wonderful travel companions, exceptionally beautiful days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Reflecting on this trip, I keep thinking of all the great views...the vineyards, towns, mountains. It was one beautiful day after another. Just great."

Janet

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great group, We were so happy when we had 3 nights in one place -much prefer to a 2 night stop

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix mountain top"

Caroline

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was wonderful. We got lots of information in an easy to understand and remember form.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Blanc"

Gladi

River Falls, WI

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an incredibly fantastic experience. We enjoyed many varied experiences in just 2 weeks! Our tour guide, Virginie was truly an excellent educator. We traveled with a wonderful like-minded group of people. France is quietly beautiful, except the Alps - breathtaking. Fascinating, the variation of countryside we saw in such a short period of time, from quaint, flowered villages, modern city, to vineyards and snow covered mountains.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a "wow" moment, but a place, the Maurchon Winery. The winetasting was informative, the vineyard walk educational (loved being able to sample the delicious left over grapes). And the lunch. What a setting, perfect weather, wonderful food."

Marti

Cypress, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris was an outstanding tour leader and knew her history of the areas we visited. She was also sensitive to a problem I had and gave me some yoga exercises to try out. We had an exceptional tour group and we all seemed to get along. I would travel with this group anytime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The French Alps in Chamonix....wow! So beautiful!!!"

Linda

San Anselmo, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. I have been to France a few other times but not to Eastern region. It was very diverse and offered beautiful scenery, good food and it was a terrific group of folk as well. Chris was a wonderful guide and I found the travel to be very easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was in Chamonix, taking the gondola up to 12,600 feet and viewing the spectacular Mont Blanc and other mountains. It truly took my breath away."

Glenn

Apple Valley, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great itinerary. Perfect for our first tour. Could have done without the stop at Verdun. Too long and too depressing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going up to Mont Blanc in Chamonix"

Diana

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We totally enjoyed our Easter France tour and felt that Chris had a major part to play in our response... She is amazing young woman who is inclusive, sensitive to others, VERY knowledgeable and always positive, What more could you want! We were the only Canadians along with our neighbours from the US and felt it was a great time to get to Know our friends in the south!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time spent in Chamonix..the cable car ride to the top of Mt Blanc Although we live near the Canadian Rocky Mountains we were still most impressed with this and the views to be sure Loved our hotel there as we had a balcony to share with several of our tour mates and were able to have a small get together on the deck while gazing at the mountains ( at happy hour and good French vino!) So was quite a Bonding time for us all!"

Patrick

Underwood, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable and well organized, as with last year's Loire to south of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually my "Wow" moment came when another tour participant and I played hookey from the Colmar scheduled tour afternoon and took off for Mulhouse to visit "Cite de Automobile." "Cite" houses an incredible collection of cars, including two of the seven existing Bugatti Royales. Probably not something to include on the "regular" RS tour itinerary, but for sure a fantastic side trip for anyone with an automotive bent."

Pamela

Woodbridge, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned/paced itinerary introduced us to beautiful and distinctly diverse regions. Leader Chris was exemplary- intelligent, informative,intuitive. She took time to know tour members and reached out to enrich individual experiences. Hilde was the best driver we've had- skilled, personable, helpful. Groups meals were lively,memorable events even if the food wasn't. Hotels were all clean and well located, some were more comfortable and safer than others. Group was friendly and supportive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Happy hours organized by Chris were real "wow" moments. They created camaraderie and enhanced the overall experience as members shared their ideas/experiences with each other. Each region had uniquely spectacular vistas, but the lunch at Mourchon was idyllic. It created a lifetime memory for sure! Group had many (very nice) family/friend "cliques" who did things together, so we were "wowed" when we also "clicked" with a couple of tour members. We had such fun together!"

Chris

Vashon, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have taken three Rick Steves tours and this one was my favorite. Julie and Emily were a big part of the reason I enjoyed the trip. The tour was a very nice mix of walking, bus time and personal time. Time spent in each town was well thought out and utilized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Emma Stone for a drink and having a nice visit next to the swimming pool of the Belfrie Hotel. That kind of experience seldom happens twice but once was fine."

Peggy

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Though not quite as exciting as the Paris & HOF tour, overall a good tour. Our very nice guide, Julie, was well experienced and was able to give us good insights and suggestions. Slow start in Reims without the lightshow or wine cave tour at Martel, but the tour improved with each location! Good overview of many picture-perfect regions of France and good experiences. The extra lunches and included wine were nice treats! Great balance of group time and free time, as expected. Loved our group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The free time in Chamonix to explore and do many things -- gondalas, glaciers, bike paths; the optional get-togethers, picnics and other extra lunches together, the count's wine, too-cute Colmar and its indoor market, beautiful Lake Annecy, dinner with other tour friends at The Chez Toi in Vaison, outdoor markets..."

James

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfect: tour guides/group; places visited; communications, before and during; comfort, food, wine, accommodations, transportation; value and more. We are looking forward to our next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour - Best of Eastern France - is one "wow" moment after another. It is impossible to pick one. Every experience - Gothic cathedrals, famous works of art, Roman ruins, UNESCO World Heritage sites, standing on top of Mont Blanc, hiking vineyards, drinking French wine where it is grown, strolling outdoor markets, meeting French people - is memorable and unique."

Myra

Vashon, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The E. France tour was our 3rd Rick Steves trip and the best we've experienced thanks to the itinerary (slower paced, smaller towns/villages, picnicing in the vineyards, visiting with a Count in his chateau, etc) and thanks to our outstanding tour guide, Julie. She transformed all of our experiences into stories, was caring, very knowledgeable and fun. Emily, our tour assistant, was an added bonus. We would definitely rate this as 'highly recommended' out of the tours we experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite 'WOW' moment was riding in the back of a red pick-up truck with my tour-mates, up a dirt road, to a vineyard in the region of Provence. The tour of their winery, their dogs and an outdoor authentic French picnic was the highlight of my trip. I shall always remember it."

Janet

Temple, TX

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good tour. I really enjoyed all the smaller towns on this tour, especially Colmar. The wineries were interesting and the wine tasting was fun. The weather in mid September was perfect. Chamonix was magical.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment would have to be the incredible beauty of Mount Blanc. Whether it's the view from town or from the lookout at Aiguille du Midi, it is breathtaking and I couldnt help but marvel at the work of the "Creator"."

Steve

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had low expectations for eastern France. I had previously been to Paris a couple of times and it's a very fun place to visit for all the well-known reasons. I had also previously seen the countryside from the London-Paris bullet train and visited Reims for a day. I just assumed, ridiculously, that the rest of France would look like the little I'd seen. I was so so wrong. The countryside of eastern France is beautiful, the people friendly, the food fantastic, and the history interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch at the winery in Provence. Great winery tour and the food tied for the best lunch I've ever had in my life. (Tied with a lunch outside of Parma, Italy 30 years ago.). After lunch a few of us walked back to Vaison La Romaine along a road empty of traffic through a quiet, mostly shady, oak forest...beautiful."

Brian

Winnetka, IL

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just a hoot. Lots of fun, lots of learning

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vaison town, and Walters Winery!"

Tom

Chester, VA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going across to Italy on the cable car at Chamonix, also the lunch at the Murchon's vintner outside of Vaison la Romaine."

Laurie

White Bear Lake, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. Our group included our daughters (28 and 30) so that was a consideration to take into account. The presence of Virginie and Karin was key to their positive experience as the typical age was mid-60s and older. Another helpful aspect was the amount of unstructured time. As time passes since the end of the trip I find that the knowledge I gained about France through what Virginie shared during the bus rides is one of the take-aways that I did not expect and that I value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Domaine de Mourchon - wonderful, informative, dynamic tour of the vineyards and the wine making process. The tasting was great as well - loved how they said there would be a question at the end and a prize - we were an attentive group. But the 'wow' was the gracious luncheon served at their home in their beautiful yard surrounded by the vineyard on a sparkling sunny day (had not had a quantity of sun until then). It was a dreamlike experience. The family was so warm and welcoming."

Marlene

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and it was a wonderful experience! Virginie was an excellent guide, introducing us to the history, food and wine of France. She made us realize the diversity and uniqueness of each of the regions we visited. Even the hotels we stayed in were unique. My favourites were the Ramparts in Beaune and Hostellerie le Beffroi in Vaison la Romaine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow! moment was the day we visited the Mourchon winery in Seguret. it was a wonderful sunny day in Provence; hiking up the road to the winery, visiting the vineyards and cave and, most of all, the wonderful lunch we shared at the owners' home overlooking the vineyards where the crop was being harvested. it was a unique experience which, travelling on my own, I would not have experienced. My fellow travelers who had been strangers 2 weeks previously were now a group of friends. A perfect day"

Bart

Porter, TX

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had, as usual, a very good Rick Steves tour experience. Just enough "tour" time as well as "time on our own" along with a good group size and a great tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix. French Alps are magnificent. Wish we had a 3-night stay in Chamonix as well."

Joanne

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic Tour Guide, a wonderful group of tour members and a fabulous itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Verdun. We were at Verdun on a gloomy, rainy day. It was very moving."

Alan

Longmont, CO

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour... as always... Cork and Betty's 5th tour with Ricki and group.... always continue to say our recent tour was the best and this was no exception.... love the French and especially our leader Virginie.... she could beat me hiking even with her crutches.... She is the best and now rests with Tomaso, Peter, Helen and Cathie as the best guides possible.. and Karin...what a pleasure to be with... we need to get to Italy for her tour there....Next? To Portugal next year ? lovecorkandbetty

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toss Up..... Chamonix with the experience of the Aguille du Midi with an exceptional day viewing the top and Mont Blanc?? Mourchon Vineyard meeting Walter and his family with a great tasting and lunch with the best sunny day possible and a hike down through the vineyards back to Vaison la Romaine ?? Or the fantastic French countryside and lovely people everywhere.... take your pick..... lovecorkandbetty"

Barbara

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual all aspects of the tour were amazing...the free time was well balanced with the scheduled time. Food and wine were fabulous....thanks for including the wine....we tasted some amazing wines The sights, castles, and the people I find very enriching

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one moment, but here are two The awesomeness of the area around Verdun---what those people endured Chamonix and the amazing Mount Blanc ...."

Bruce

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had wonderful tour. Great itinerary, spectacular sights, and a terrific guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have difficulty defining wow moments, it was a great experience."

David

Springfield, MO

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Beaune-Hotel Des Ramparts, 8/25-8/27, unsafe hotel. We were placed on the third floor. Uneven floor tile, loose tile, no lightning in stairway going from second floor to third floor, dresser drawer turned upside down on top of small refrigerator to hold up a counter shelf. Informed tour guide Julie about our room and she noted they never have Rick Steve's guests placed on the third floor! Only way to receive Wi-Fi was to leave room and go into courtyard. I will send pictures of our room.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Hospital in Beaune and the evening light shows on several buildings in that beautiful town."

Erin

Duluth, MN

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned a ton and loved seeing so many beuatiful parts of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix is amazing! Beautiful mountains, charming town, and yummy fondue. I also really enjoyed renting bikes from our hotel in Beaune and riding through wine country. That bike trip is the best ride I've ever taken!"

Hugh

Duluth, MN

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall the tour was just good. Our guide was excellent and the tour itinerary was good as well. My complaints are with the food and the hotels. While we had two good meals on this tour (beef Bourgingone in Beaune and fondue in Chamonix)the rest were not good. Overall on a scale of 0 to 10 I would give the food on this tour a 3. I would recommend finding different restaurants to bring the tour groups to. The hotels were a mixed bag. Some were OK, others were barely adequate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the cable car from Chamonix and over to Hellbronner Point. I would have appreciated another day in Chamonix in exchange for one less day in Provence."

William

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it. Julie was magnificent as a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Chamonix to the top of aquelle du midi and going to Kayserburg to retrace my father's steps during WWII in the Colmar area."

Pat

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 12th trip with you folks and it was as good as the others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was not part of the tour but I got to visit my grandfather's house outside of Colmar. He came to the US 130 years ago and the house was in the family until 2010. The big reason I went on this trip was to go to Colmar."

Patricia

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very thorough itinerary, combining wine, history and food with a consummately professional guide and a compatible group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Living in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, I was mildly skeptical of previous posts lauding the Aguille Midi and the view of Mt. Blanc. Their reviews encouraged me to make the trip and it lived up to their enthusiasm. My other "wow" was marveling at the RS Tours ability to continually find exceptional guides. Each has their own style, but they all excel at what they do. Julie brought our group together as a cohesive traveling unit, which added to our overall tour experience."

Maxine

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. The itinerary looked intriguing on paper and was even better to experience. Julie was an excellent guide and we had a very friendly, flexible travel group. There was a good mix of guided time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment came at the end of the tour as I realized how really varied the country of France is--a real mix of "mini-countries" combined with defined sense of what it is to be French."

Pamela

Springfield, MO

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 4th RS tour, and it did not disappoint. Except for the weather, which was incredibly HOT, we enjoyed it all. The group was congenial, our guide Julie was outstanding, the bus was comfortable, and the sights.....well, those were just incredible. The included meals were incredible and delicious, the extras were wonderful surprises. And Julie smoothed the way for anything that was slightly stressful for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I probably said "WOW" about 100 times on this trip, so I can't state my favorite one. Each area where we traveled was different from the last, and each had its share of beauty and enchantment. My favorite town was Colmar, my favorite medieval site was in Vaisson, even if we had to climb that horrible hill to get there. Wow is an understatement for much of this trip."

William

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group got along better than any tour group I have been with. That was not an accident. And having only 20 people on the trip definitely added to the experience. The tour provided opportunities that I would not have encountered if I had traveled independently using the Rick Steves books. For example, the visits to Chateau de Rully and to Domaine de Mourchon. This being my first Rick Steves tour, I was expecting to just follow the book. It was definitely more than that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite experience was visiting Domaine de Mourchon. After this visit I had a basic understanding of the process of making French wines. The fact that the owners are British actually helped because I didn't have problems trying to understand a French accent. And it turns out that I can buy Mourchon wines at a wine store nearby in Austin, Texas. The lunch at Mourchon was outstanding. NOTE TO MR STEVES. I encourage you to visit Mourchon and meet Walter."

Paula

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I like places that are "off the beaten path." It was fun staying so close to all of the activities and local people. I also liked having the option to explore on our own. It was a perfect balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Chamonix! We took a hike recommended in the Rick Steves Book. It was challenging but I was awestruck by the French Alps. I also really liked the tours with Jean Claude (Alsace wines) and the Mourchon Winery."

Victoria

Dana Point, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Better than what we expected. Excellent tour guide, driver, & all amenities that came along with it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list but the most memorable one is the three nights at Vaison la Romaine."

Rebecca

Draper, UT

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour! The people were fabulous and fun to get to know. Reims' cathedral was beautiful and the history behind it extremely interesting. What a great way to begin the tour by viewing the cathedral light show. I loved Colmar along with the Alsace culture and food. Chamonix was my favorite place we stayed because the alps were on my bucket list. Now I've seen the Alps from the Switzerland, French and Italy side - all with Rick Steve's tours. Fabulous! Loved the hotel at Vaison.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the French Alps in Chamonix!!! The alps were gorgeous and I loved the gondola ride from the top of the tram over to the Italy border. Viewing the glacier from above was breathtaking!"

Mark

Draper, UT

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Eastern France tour was outstanding. Our guide Daniela was excellent; she was very informative about life in France and Germany and ensured we were all ready for each stop. She was clear and to the point in pointing out the highlights of each city. The bus was very nice; our driver was great. I like to have the room afforded with pretty much each person getting two seats. The smaller group size also helped at most sites; something I love with RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tour and lunch in Seguret at the Mourchon winery. Very much a home feel and great food."

Rollanda

Riverside, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one: an impromptus organ concert in a 13th century church in Reims Wine tasting and picnic in a 14th century chateau Visit to a 20th century church proposed by our wonderful guide, Daniela"

Andreas

Dana Point, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was filled with a new and unique experience. From wine tasting (very frequently) to explanations of the wine making process during a picnic in a vineyard setting or a castle actively producing exceptional wine to visiting Roman archeological sites. The small group of 19 travelers allowed for personal interaction which was stimulated by the outstanding personality and knowledge of our tour guide Daniela.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our 30 minute hike up to a hilltop surrounded by vineyards (or drive on top of a pickup truck for some) to enjoy a fabulous picnic and wine tasting. A tour of the vineyard, and explanation of the soil and climate conditions necessary to produce excellent wine. All delivered by the owner and son-in law of a Scotsman."

Marilyn

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful locations - a beautifully designed and run tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"all visits to the little villages were "wow""

Meredith

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. It was all I hoped for, and more. Daniela is a skilled tour guide who is excited to share with her group. She was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She took us on the regular excursions and found new locations to share with us. I wish I could request her for all of my future travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all new and exciting for me. I lived Kaysersberg Castle and the Mer de Glace. I also loved the lifht shoe w at the Catherdral in Reims. There realky is nothing that I was dissapointed with. I also loved the bonus stops at the church amd the olive oil places."

David

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was a really wonderful time. We enjoyed the tour, the tour guide, and our fellow group members.

Kimberlee

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont Blanc. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I thought I had seen mountains but Mont Blanc in Chamonix took my breath away."

Ed

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tremendous variety of sights and experiences - a terrific tour. Daniela did a superb job leading it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gravity and solemnity of Verdun - Fort Douaumont and the Ossuary and Cemetery. Powerful."

Jeannine

Gardner, MA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great people, great food and wonderful, quirky hotels!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the Alps (Chamonix)"

Sharon

Cottage Grove, WI

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of eastern France was fantastic. Delicious food, great wine, fun travel group, and,Toni, our travel guide was excellent! Loved the variety and unique experiences this trip offered. Being in the different wine regions, learning more about the vinyards, and then tasting the end product was interesting, fun and pleasurable. Loved going from north to south learning about the history and culture as well as the wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the French Alps, Mont Blanc, and Chamonix. Great views everywhere and fun to ride the gondolas and cogwheel train. Having fondue was a perfect way to cap a wonderful day. Our bus driver, Paul, did a great job cooking the meat at our end of the table."

Wayne

Gardner, MA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved every minute of it. We enjoyed the villages and towns we visited. Picnic lunch after the tour and wine tasting with the Count at his Chateau was amazing. As was the visit to the Mourchon vineyard in Seguret with lunch. Colmar was as beautiful as advertised. Dining in Burgundy on escargot,Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon and poached pears was amazing. All of our hotels were in great locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The top of the second tram going up towards Mt. Blanc was amazing, steep and scary!"

Chris

Bothell, WA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. This was my first tour as I travel with friends. However no one was available for the 3 weeks I wanted to go so I thought I'd take this tour as I've heard nothing but good things about the Rick Steves Tours. I was prepared to poke holes in the experience but I have to say I found none! There were so many things I felt I probably would not have done had a just had a car and gone with friends. We had a great mix of solo and group time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all so diverse and nothing was routine but I'd have to say the clear sunny day at the top of Chaminox Mount Blanc was a total treat! And visiting Vaison la Romaine, a city I'd not heard of. So medieval looking - I loved it!"

Pam

Burlington, MA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Touring Eastern France is like getting four countries in one - parts of France seem to be more like Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The variety is amazing, in scenery, culture, food, architecture and history. For wine lovers, this is the holy grail of tours, with vineyard walks and tastings in Alsace, Burgundy and Provence. There's also a hefty dose of Roman ruins and World War I history, so indeed something for everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but have to single out the ride to the top of the Alps in Chamonix on a gloriously clear day. The sky was full of parasailers and the mountains full of climbers and the rest of us just stared in awe. We stepped into a glass cube hanging out over the mountaintop, called "Step into the Void" where we looked beneath our feet at the cavernous drop. With Mont Blanc in the distance and elated mountaineers balancing precariously nearby, it was a scene never to be forgotten."

Heather

Cowichan Bay, BC

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ice cave in the Chamonix"

Sean

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip! Starting off in Reims (Champagne capital of the world - Love me some bubbles!) making our way down through charming villages and towns from Alsace region to Burgundy to the Alps to Provence all along eating fabulous food and drinking incredible wine, what more could one ask for...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking inside of a glacier!!! I mean I was actually standing inside of a glacier, incredible... It's a trek to get there but well worth the trip (cog train up the mountain to a gondola down to a platform leading to 480 stairs one way down and then having to do all that in reverse). You can see a glacier from afar but as you get closer you can see how far the glacier has retreated over the years."

Susan

Columbia, MD

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another fantastic Rick Steves tour that helped us learn more about the culture, people, and landscape of France. We especially enjoyed the tours of the vineyards and wine tasting in eastern France. From the champagne region near Reims to the breath-taking views of Mont Blanc to the charm of Colmar, Beaune and Vaison la Romaine, this tour allows time to digest the wonders of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited the village of Seguret and then drove to the Mourchon winery where we were greeted by Walter the owner. Hugo, a storyteller, explained the winemaking process from growing to producing to bottling to selling. Walter gave samples of these award winning wines. We then enjoyed a gourmet lunch prepared by Walter's wife that was absolutely delicious! A special treat for Rich Steves tour members."

Gregory

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. The hotels and locations were, for the most part, wonderful! Our city guides were all FABULOUS! We loved each and every one of them. Patrick and Linda were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colmar and Chamonix were both big WOW's for us."

Bill

Lithia, FL

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great itinerary with a great group and great tour guides. We had wonderful, but hot weather in the south of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the personal experiences at the wine tasting with Hugo and Kate in Provence was a wonderful experience. I have been to many wineries for tours and tastings in the US and abroad but the explanations provided and passion that Hugo and his family for making wine was apparent. The lunch at their home was also a tremendous experience!"

Ray

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Not being a wine drinker I went on the tour with my wife who is. As a result, I did not expect to have much of a good time but my expectations were way off the mark. It was actually one of the best tours I've been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paragliding in the Alps."

Cynthia

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Eastern France tour. The places we stayed, the wine , the food, our group and our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Chamonix two of us went paragliding which was an unbelievable ride. So beautiful and so fun. A definite Wow moment!!!"

Vance

Union, KY

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first (but not last!) RS Tour. We had a wonderful time and have been telling all of our friends about our experience. The itinerary was perfect. Our guide, Patrick, was knowledgable, helpful, solicitous of our comfort, informative and funny! The special events (wine tastings, meals, tours) were all very enjoyable and well planned. The bus was comfortable and the driver, Eric, was excellent. The pacing was good and we enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the wine tasting at the Chateau Rully"

Larry

Burlington, MA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was simpily amazing. It felt like four tours in one, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. It showcased the influences of the neighboring countries on France, the wine culture, and sites of antiquity. A very broad and manageable range of culture and topics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sight of 20 parasailors in the sky as we drove into Chamonix and the Roman theater in Orange. The changing countryside from north to south through the trip."

Rick

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our eastern France tour was our fourth Rick Steve's tour and like our previous tours it was outstanding. We hoped that it would be less "touristy" with fewer crowds and it did not disappoint. The local guides were good and the local tours were very unique and interesting. The wine tastings, picnics, walking tours, boat ride, etc were well planned and very enjoyable. The group dinners were not as good as our previous tours but were still pleasant events. Overall a great tour!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wonderful moments but riding the two trams to the top in Chamonix on a clear day. What a view!"

Leslie

Boston, MA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning much more about WWI, being at the top of the French Alps and seeing Roman ruins from 2000 years ago."

Lorna

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The diversity provided on this tour in scenery, history, food, wine etc. was wonderful. Our group was so friendly, interesting and kind, as was our tour guide, who I will talk positively about later (!), and our bus driver, Hilda. Bravo to Rick Steves and his employees for organizing and providing such wonderful experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to nail down one 'wow' moment because of the tour's variety....going from the north to the south of France. I would say the tour of the WWI living areas, along with seeing the hallowed grounds and the memorial was one that made an impact on us. Maybe our Mourchon wine tour, tasting and wonderful lunch that the family served us in their yard was a day we won't soon forget. What wonderful people, who are so passionate about what they do."

Rebecca

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our guide Chris and bus driver Hilda were great. There was a nice variety of towns and activities. There was probably more wine tasting than I was interested in. I was glad that there was only one single night stay so we were not packing up every day. As a solo female traveler in her early forties the rest of the tour was 55-75 years of age and few of the couples seemed interested in interacting with me. For my first Rick Steves' tour the group mix took away from the overall experience.

Ralph

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great people. Great leader. Excellent and varied sites. Accommodations and food were good. Breakfasts provided were most often subpar.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the heights above Chamonix. The chateau at Rully was right up there in a different way."

Martis

Durango, CO

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful trip...Chris is a super guide and interpreter of the language,and customs of France. Full of excitement for the food and wine. But most importantly watching that everyone is learning and having a great time. The group was wonderful and helpful to each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cable ride in up "Mont Blanc" in Chamonix LUNCH AT DOMAINE DE MOURCHON!!!!"

Cynthia

Cedar Park, TX

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WOW - France is amazing. This was our 3rd time to go to France (2 other RS tours), and we loved this one. We had a very congenial group of 23 and we all got along great. Everyone was always on time! I loved the variety of places we went...from the champagne country, Alsace, French Alps, and Provence area. This was our 7th RS tour and it was absolutely the best weather we've ever had. I thought there was a really good amount of free time to allow us to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, I have a few! I can't pick just one. 1. Chateau du Rully - I loved our tour of this chateau built in the 1100's, the wine tasting, and the wonderful picnic on the grounds provided by our RS guide. 2. The Koenigsbourg Castle 3. Mourchon winery - tour of vineyards, wine tasting, and the fabulous lunch at the owner's home out in the yard. It was magical! 4. Discovering the old town of Vaison la Romaine on our own. The ultimate French village. 5. The Hospice in Beaune"

Vito

Boston, MA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the things that keeps drawing me to RS tours is the free time. You get to a place, get the layout then are left alone.I bring back between 4-6000 shots. I then create videos which I post on my Youtube site. Getting off the beaten path is what I like.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the stairs of the Roman Amphitheaters. Walking inside a glacier going up a cable car to the top of the mountain, something I never thought I would do. Standing in front of some of the greatest achievements in art that humankind has created."

Carleen

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Eastern France is a wonderful tour, our 4th great experience with R.S. No crowds, gorgeous scenery and locales, unique side trips, small cities and towns w/o the bustle of bigger more touristy sites, an amazing guide and great bus driver. I learned so much about the history, wines and foods of the regions we visited and enjoyed interacting when on our own with the local residents in each area, all of whom were kind & patient with my very shaky French.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? I actually had several. The gondola rides into the heights of the Alps in Chamonix of course. Our wonderful day at Domaine Mourchon- meeting the lovely family that hosted us, the vineyard and winery tour and the spectacular lunch they provided at their picture postcard home. The market in Beaune, was a wow too. The boat ride on Lac d' Annecy."

Paul

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Every day of the tour was well thought out, the overall experience was very enjoyable and rewarding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found the gondola ride and the stunning views at Chamonix the top site, and the 2nd best experience was the wine tasting in the Côtes du Rhône area."

Charles

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An outstanding group of companions, we had a wonderful time together. Almost all were veteran travelers, lots of good stories and plenty of laughs. Patrick Vidal is a superb guide: knowledgeable, humorous, engaging, tirelessly cheerful and patient. The only disappointment was the food, an odd thing to say about France. The food was very good for the most part, but rarely outstanding. Maybe we are spoiled by the high quality of restaurants in Seattle these days, but I think it is more than that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the top of the gondola at Chamonix."

Joan

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was excellent! I loved the quaint villages we visited, the wine tasting, the luncheon at the winery, the picnic at the castle, the group dinners, and all the other places we visited. Our tour guide, Patrick was exceptional! We saw so many interesting places each day. We learned so much about the history, the culture, the architecture and more. The countryside was beautiful. The bus rides were relaxing and interesting. Our bus driver was really good too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenic town of Chamonix with the steep French Alps in the background. Also the medieval and Roman parts of Vaison La Romaine and the charming town of Seguret; both had so much character!"

Gloria

Birmingham, MI

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our fifth RS tour, and I have to say it was my least favorite. Not because of the guide, of course. Patrick is fantastic!! I think it was the itinerary that I found to be less interesting than prior trips, and the hotels and meals did not meet our RS expectations. I would have preferred to stay in Anacee and/or Keyserberg longer, and perhaps skipped Aix-en-Provence. On prior trips the last stop always provided a Wow finish. Not true on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course, Chamonix."

Karen

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was very good. Beautiful sights and good wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix...the Alps"

Helen

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken many RS tours, and each one always seems to surpass our previous experience. We enjoy the unique mix of "guided tour" time and free time to explore on our own, and we learn so much more on RS tours than we ever could on our own. This tour was no exception. Our guide, as always, was excellent, giving us a wonderful new perspective of the French culture. And what a great group of compatible tour members! This tour far exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One had to be Chamonix, and seeing the views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding snowy Alps after stepping off the gondola at nearly 13,000 ft. To us flat-landers, it was totally amazing, on a sunny and clear blue-sky day with gorgeous scenic views. Another was the Cotes du Rhone region, where the winery owners treated our group to a lovely picnic lunch under their Linden shade trees, overlooking the vineyards, after a wine tasting and tour of the winery. Beautiful!"

Daniel

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th Rick Steve's tour. Again, it was an outstanding experience. The combination of the itinerary, great guide, and group camaraderie made for a memorable experience that I'll cherish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix: walking along the main street in the valley while looking up to the peaks of the French Alps; riding the telepherique up to Aiguille du Midi, seeing the valley below, then looking up feeling you could reach out and touch Mont Blanc. Stepping out of the cog-wheeled train in Montenvers and seeing the amazing Mer du Glace glacier. "sublime wow":hillside vineyard tour & walk in Alsace with local guide Jean-Claude. Beautiful views & included a portion of Camino Santiago."

Magdalene

Jenkintown, PA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Blanc!"

Gary

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our 5th RS tour and a wonderful experience. It was a bit different than past tours in that there was more eating and drinking and somewhat less visits to churches, ruins, etc. Included dinners were some of the best of all our tours. We have always wanted to visit the famous wine regions of France and this tour certainly met all of our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 wine related activities- the first was a visit to the Count's chateau in Burgundy, including a personal tour and wine tasting of his own wines grown in his "front yard". The second was a tour of the winery in Provence including an incredible lunch prepared by the winery owner's wife. ok perhaps a 3rd "wow"- the indescribable light show projected onto the cathedral in Rheims."

Diane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous trip - history and stunning beauty around every turn, food and wine made by people with a passion for their craft, valuable insight into the French culture, and lovely inquisitive fellow travelers. We loved it all! The pace of this trip allowed for a deep appreciation of the cultural nuances of the French culture - there was time to linger over food and wine and to build relationships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was awed by Chamonix. It was the perfect to use this city as our 'vacation from our vacation' because the physical beauty required some private time to process. I took the cog train to take in the majesty of the mountains and just loved it all. The city of Colmar was unique and beautiful. Also, the tour of the winery and lunch in the home garden of the wine makers was stunning, delicious. The French culture was alive and well in that moment."

Howard

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. Just like the other two I've been on. I especially liked meeting "The Count" and "Hugo" and his wine making family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The video/sound show at Notre Dame in Reins."

Jack

Big Bear Lake, CA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth Rick Steves Tour and all have been terrific in regards to the tour guides and content. The quality and/or locations of a few hotels continues to be an issue that needs to be addressed. While it's extremely desirable to be in town, close to where the local population lives and works, the selection criteria should also include night-time street noise, bed comfort and internet access performance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several completely different "wow" moments which defy choosing as the one favorite. How does one choose between significant history, architecture, wineries/wines, Saturday Markets and great people to people experiences?"

Ginnie

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have enjoyed this tour. The travel mates were wonderful, friendly, considerate and a joy to be experiencing Eastern France with. Our guide, Toni Seymour was a gem. The dining experiences with French food and local wines were fun and educational. The overall experience with this tour was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the stay at Chamonix and the view from the top of the mountain was definitely a 'wow' moment for me."

Lynnae

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, great [INVALID]ion of places to visit. Loved the variety of cities and towns, and differing landscapes, rolling hills in Alsace and gorgeous Alps. Being in Reims on V-E Day in the room where WWII surrender papers were signed immediately after the French Presidential election, then visiting WWI battlefield of Verdun was poignant. Loved the walks through vineyards and getting feel of the French people. Enjoyed finding the Salvadore Dali musee in Beaunne. Mourchon winery was fab!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I visited Cezanne's studio on free time, then walked up the hill to where he had painted. Halfway up the flagstone stairs, I stopped to sit and enjoy the view, turned around. It took my breath away. Mt Sainte Victoire, which is featured in over 80 of Cezanne's paintings stood before me, and I teared up. WOW!"

Melanie

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Toni was an excellent guide. I loved the variety of cities/villages we either stayed in or stopped for a day visit.

Peter

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A truly wonderful tour of wineries, history and French culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Out tour and lunch at Mourchon winery!"

Ellyn

Big Bear Lake, CA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very nice and quality tour with great companions. No one late, rude or strange. We were so pleased to have such pleasant companions! Tour well laid out, as usual.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix mountains views from ANYWHERE were awesome! Vineyard at Cotes Du Rhone with Kate and Hugo was WONDERFUL! Aix-en-Provence was nice wrap up especially the Markets and the Apple Store. It felt like we were in the modern France city of today, fountains and all! I could live there."

Jay

Cocoa Beach, FL

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

A solo traveler for years,I'm used to the "table by the kitchen". Ricks European Best Two Month Trip(plus one month using a 90 day EUR pass},6 wks Greece,5wks Italy,6wks UK-I stayed in Ricks recommended hotels. I learned small,quirky,and shoehorned. This tour introduced me to knee-banging/head-banging, and suitable for small children and midgets only. I think of my hotel room as a possible refuge; not just a place to sleep with no room for my stuff. Easy to get another table, not so a room.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing that the shower in my randomly assigned wheelchair accessible room was bigger than some of the ENTIRE rooms I had to stay in earlier in the tour. At my request, I was assigned another room- WHY DIDN'T THEY DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!!!? I actually got to see the sky."

Alicia

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It started with the wonderful Julie our tour guide. After two minutes of listening to Julie, I knew we were in best hands and that this was going to be a great tour. It was. This was my first Rick Steves tour. I was unfamiliar with the Rick Steves "philosophy" that the others were talking about. I found out soon enough that the "philosophy" was get out there with the locals and enjoy the culture, food and the people and that is what we did. Best tour ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "Wow" moments, but the biggest WOW was the Roman Amphitheater in Orange. We walked down a street and around a corner and my jaw dropped. Here was a site straight out of the history books. I could not believe what I was seeing. So amazing. Another Wow was Hilda, our bus driver, for being able to drive that huge bus into any tiny space or parking spot. I have never seen anything like it. She was amazing."

Catherine

Meriden, CT

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tours that we have taken in the past have been different than the Rick Steves version. We are usually met at the airport by a representative of the tour group; they take our luggage and lead us to a van and off we go. Very easy. No thinking. This time we arrived in Paris and were responsible to find our way to Reims on our own. We enjoyed the challenge. We had to reach out to people, try out our French (Parlez-vous Anglais?), and be ready to make mistakes. It was fun, and a confidence builder.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, we were wowed a lot. I really liked the mix of places we visited...historic sites, vineyards, beautiful villages and scenery. Chamonix was just beautiful, but so was Colmar. Verdun was an eye-opener. Sorry to say I didn't know much about Verdun before I went, but I will never forget it. The markets we visited in Beaune and Annecy were just feasts for the eyes (and mouths). I was even glad we visited Marseille, a big city that gave us a different view of France."

Renee

Fairport, NY

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour is what I was looking for. Seeing and enjoying the smaller towns of France; the information about France from the tour guide; the local foods and hotels; shopping; and meeting other Americans who joined the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cable ride on Mont Blanc in Alps in Chamonix."

Terri

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour offered an interesting balance: touring, vineyards, wine lessons, historical and battlefield sites, group and downtime. The "whispers" system were a positive benefit. Julie, our capable and professional guide, did a fabulous job of leading, offering an abundance of current and political history. Hilda, our bus driver extraordinaire, worked smoothly with Julie and everyone. The large bus was comfortable, the extra room on longer rides was greatly appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix and all it's glory was a wow moment. The gondola ride up to Aiguille du Midi, and experiencing altitude sickness was uncomfortable but unforgettable, experiencing what real climbers feel. Learning all about the different wines, grapes, and regions."

Robert

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour, ever. We have traveled internationally over the past 30 years relying on websites, RS guidebooks & TV programs. We have worked and lived abroad. Planning a 2 week trip takes coordination and time to line up transportation, hotels and guides with still a great deal of uncertainty. Its even more challenging when traveling with friends and family. So when 3 couples decided to head to France we decided to take a RS tour. Our expectations were surpassed. Great Value!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a couple of WOW moments on the trip. Our arrival in Chamonix and the view of Mont Blanc was breathtaking. The experience of riding the tram to the top of the peak and experiencing the thin and rare air at 3842 meters was a memorable experience I will never forget. It was amazing to feel what mountain climbers feel when climbing the tallest peaks of the world. The 2nd was Verdun, to see the under appreciated cost of WW I and the lives that were lost in defending France. Quite sobering."

Mary Pat

Yankton, SD

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, this Rick Steves tour met every expectation. The tour guide, Julie, the schedule, the accommodations, the food, the wine tastings, the balance between scheduled time and free time - everything was splendid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cannot possibly list just one. The Unterlinden Museum with our marvelous local guide. AND around the corner, Rick Steves' recommendation of the painting the Virgin in the Rosebush in the Dominican church. The wine-tasting outside of Beaune at the Count de Rully's chateau with the picnic afterwards. Totally charming. AND the new addition (which MUST become a regularly scheduled visit) of the olive oil tasting and the Santon workshop. The folks there were delightful and so informative."

Robert

Yankton, SD

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was excellent. There were so many pleasing experiences. From the tour guides, places visited, & food/wine, and meeting new people, I enjoyed myself very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several moments: in particular, the natural beauty of Chamonix and the Alps: the cultural beauty of the Unterlinden Museum, and the Virgin of the Rosebush painting in the Dominican Church in Colmar; all of the champagne and wine-tasting events, but the Count de Ruly in Beaune rules!"

Margaret

Whitewater, WI

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After a number of RS tours my bar is set pretty high, and this tour did not disappoint. It was truly a highlight in my life. Our group enjoyed being together and we all enjoyed our tour leader and bus driver! The tour celebrates the diversity of French geography, cuisine, culture, wine, and more. It was an excellent way to learn more about the history of France and its contributions to the world today. Hilda the Bus Driver! She's a keeper. Organized, fearless and a great disposition!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stained glass windows by the German artist in the Notre Dame cathedral in Reims. It was such an emotional visit; to see what efforts the French are making to bolster their relationship with Germany gave me hope for the future."

Paul

Whitewater, WI

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have now taken six Rick Steves tours. All have been excellent; this one was great. All arrangements were very smooth, Julie (our tour guide) was superb and of course, France was amazing. The weather cooperated nicely and we had a convivial tour group. To add to the wonderful mix, Hilde, our bus driver, was very skilled, friendly and happy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments, one cultural and one geographical. Viewing Mont Blanc and the surrounding Alps after exiting the gondola/lift had to be the most breathtaking experience of the tour, literally and figuratively. My cultural wow moment was learning about and seeing the Beaune Hospice. To see a structure of such architectural beauty, built for comforting the poor, was amazing. To be sure, it was an indulgence - kind of a spiritual tax break - but a "WOW" nonetheless."

Elizabeth

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-planned and organized. Julie was a well informed and helpful guide. I liked the historic and individual characteristics of the hotels in which we stayed. They were clean, comfortable and well situated. I liked the variety of locales and experiences in each. I like the opportunities to meet locals and interact with the local guides. Meals were terrific, and, of course, the wine was fabulous. I like the distribution of time between scheduled activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Verdun was impressive and sobering. I was glad to see and learn about an area I have often read about. I also really liked the visit to the count and his chateau and the wine tasting there, followed by our picnic."

Janet

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Only consideration. . . might update a few of the hotels. . like the local ambiance but, at some point, the trade-off between ambience and comfort/ease of access might be re-evaluated.. . particularly in Vaison la Romaaies.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved hiking around Chamonix"

Gary

Northampton, MA

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Patrick was a great guide and the tour itself was enjoyable and relaxing, but I'd say the towns and sights visited were not particularly noteworthy in comparison to those visited on the other four Steves tours taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wouldn't classify any sights as Wow moments. The closest thing to a Wow experience would be the visit to the "top of the world" in Chamonix."

Jess

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the trip was very enjoyable. Patrick the main guide was excellent and the most of the local guides were informative and knowledgeable. Accommodations were very good, with excellent hotels and good meals. I would recommend this trip to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cable car to Mont Blanc was a wow moment."

Valerie

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was perfect for me - an older woman traveling solo. The pre-trip travel tips, the professional care of the tour guide, and the kindness of the tour group members throughout the journey made me feel safe and well cared for. And having watched Rick's travel videos on TV for many years, my husband felt very comfortable with me going solo on my "trip of a lifetime". The tour itself was perfect in every way - the places we visited, the weather, the food, the wine . . it was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we spent at the winery, having lunch on the grounds at the vineyard owners' home was surreal - overlooking the vineyards on one side, and a wide view of the valley on the other, a sumptuous spread prepared by the owner's wife, their dogs waiting to make friends with us, on a cool, crisp October day. It was just the best day ever."

Eleanor

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, pleasant fellow travellers . The charming French villages began to blur....especially when we arrived for a lunch break at the time of day when the village was pretty quiet.,( ie closed up for the mid day siesta) Annency could do with a miss., especially the unremarkable boat trip. Our final lunch at the home of the vintner was a real highlight. Personal connection with the locals!.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Atop the aiguille du midi in Chamonix..singing along within a Chinese group on the top deck."

Charles

San Angelo, TX

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a blast! Great tour through Eastern France. Loved the towns, the food and the vineyards. Remarkable history, culture, food, wine and especially people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps, Burgundy vineyards and lunch outside on the old port in Marseille."

Elizabeth

San Angelo, TX

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized and fun. Patrick was a GREAT tour guide. Fun and very helpful. His knowledge was incredible and we learned a lot about that region of France.

James

Tifton, GA

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the two weeks from beginning to end. Local tours, meaningful locations from north to south France, explanations of the wine regions, history of the complex ebb and flow of cultures. That doesn't begin to describe the wonder company, superb food, and tasty wines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The essence of wine country experience was the tour of Mourchon vineyards and winery near Seguret.The personal and detailed viticulture told by the owner's son-in-law was the most informative of the vineyard tours. The explanations of the wine making process was just as thorough and helpful. Wine tasting following that had extra meaning. The real highlight though was eating under the trees at the home of the owner of the vineyard and winery. It was my wow momment."

Carol

Erlanger, KY

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall very good. However, the bus ride on day 10 was way too long. The boat ride in Annecy was a boring list of facts about the lake. Would have preferred more time in the town to see the market and just roam around aimlessly. The boat ride wasn't mandatory but you didn't know how bad it was til too late. Also,would have liked more time to wander around Kaysersberg. Most everything was closed when we were there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments and they both involved outdoor picnics near vineyards. One was at the Duke's chateau near Beaune and the other was at the Mourchon vineyard. I don't think the hospitality, food, and ambiance could be duplicated on any other tour. They were like movie sets."

John

Kittery Point, ME

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Some of the hotel accommodations could have been better. Three star to four? I realize that to be in the "old section" of town limits choices. That's ok. But how 'bout coffee in the room? Two bars of soap? English speaking TV? Some of the local tours could be shorter. Theater in Orange, castle outside Beaune (?). Too much time especially given long bus rides there and back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Verdun battle field. Guide was excellent!"

Phil

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience as always. This is our seventh RS tour and all have been memorable and a positive experience, and for different reasons. On this tour, my wife (Liz) and I felt like we could get comfortable with traveling and doing things on our own in France thanks to Chris on this trip, as well as Julie and Patrick who had guided us in prior France trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Verdun gave me a strong sense of the hardship, the sacrifices made, and the importance of that 10-month battle that will certainly last. However, the "wow" experience has to be the siting of Mont Blanc and particularly seeing it from a vantage point at 12,000 feet. And, there was the first realization of the effects of the thin air at that altitude. It was a little disconcerting at first, but once I adjusted, the thin, crisp air, coupled with the view, was magical."

Elizabeth

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Chamonix - up in the mountains. I'm so glad that I did this trip up in the cable car. The view was spectacular. I never want to ever go up again, but I'm glad I did it this time."

Robert

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix and the alps."

Kristie

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christine was a fabulous tour guide! She was warm, engaging, thorough and very well versed in all things French!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be the lunch outdoors at the Domain Mourchon owner's home outside Vaison la Romaine. Spectacular and so special!!!"

Tammy

Helena, MT

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was organized but flexible. My tour guide was amazing both as a guide and caring as an individual. Hilda, the bus driver was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the peak of Mount Blanc in Chamonix. I experienced this w/my tour guide and we had a great time together."

Mary

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience. We learned so much about France and French history. We expanded our culinary horizons (escargot, anyone?), and enjoyed the process. We saw amazing sights (the Aiguille du Midi, the theater at Orange...), and we enjoyed the company of cheerful fellow travelers. Our guide did a wonderful job preparing us to make discoveries on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was probably the tour/wine-tasting at the Chateau de Rully, both conducted by the count, himself, followed by the picnic lunch of local and seasonal delicacies on the chateau grounds."

John

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour, and wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"for me it was experiencing the natural beauty of Chamonix!"

Alexis Bierce

Loveland, OH

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was outstanding. Covered a lot of territory but never felt rushed. There was just enough time in each location. Group size was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to pick out one. But I think getting to the top of Monte Blanc was the best."

Wayne

Erlanger, KY

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled before using Rick's books as our tourguide and this was our first organized tour. Everything about it was fantastic; the food, hotels, tours, comfortable bus, great tour guide and bus driver. We got along well with our other travelers and after just a few days it seemed like we knew them for years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the vineyards and winery in Cotes du Rhone. The luncheon served at the home of the winery owner was as if it had been taken out of a movie set. The food was gourmet quality, the wine heavenly, the picnic in their yard under trees and the overall ambiance was unbelievable. Without question my ultimate wow experience. I will relive it for years to come."

Rob

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the one of a kind experiences that this tour provides that could never be duplicated in independent travel. The pace of this tour is a little less hectic than our previous RS experience (BOE in 21 days) which we liked. The hotels were all excellent and our tour companions made our overall tour experience great. And lastly our tour guide Chris and bus driver Hilde did a great job of keeping it all going smoothly and making it look effortless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite moment from the tour was the sublime outdoor lunch at Domaine de Mourchon. The setting was fabulous as was the food and company. I think we really believed that we had gone to heaven that day."

Ron

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and we weren't in an way disappointed. We know we saw places and experienced things that we could never uncovered on our own. The tour was a perfect balance of activities and free time. City tours were very informative and worthwhile. On the bus, Julie told us a lot about our next experiences and I learned a lot about France's culture, customs, traditions and values from her talks. I loved our winery visits, our dinners together and our free time to explore

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of memorable times, but probably the visit to Mourchon winery and the the picnic there edged out several other wow moments."

Susette

Wauwatosa, WI

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time discovering Eastern France with a great group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Chamonix, taking the lift to bask in the icy shadow of Mont Blanc."

Susan

Livermore, CA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour - I especially enjoyed experiencing several different regions in France. They had such different wines, cuisine, and histories. The variety made this tour very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose; Mount Blanc was definitely wow-inspiring! But I especially enjoyed the lunch on the patio of the Mourchon Winery - a wonderful view and delicious food and wine. I felt like a native."

Bill

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Eastern France trip was TERRIFIC. Julie was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and cheerful. I appreciated her insights into French culture, especially from her American point of view. Except for one day (explained below), all of the days were well-paced and extremely informative, with plenty of free time to explore. The types of experiences were varied among history, geology, scenery and culture. I loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My No. 1 day was the Mourchon vineyard/winery, where we had the lecture in the vineyard, the tour of the winery, and tasting in the winery bar. Best of all was the smashing lunch in the owner's backyard patio, with more wine. It was capped off with a leisurely and beautiful walk back to town on winding backroads with gorgeous views."

Lynda

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful journey from north to south along the eastern border of France. We enjoyed each of the regions, learning about the local culture and history while visiting historic sites and local towns. Each city and town offered new and memorable experiences. Food and wine were especially prominent and enjoyable along the route.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In spite of weather, the trip to the top of the Aiguille du Midi and the view of Mont Blanc sticks in my mind as being unforgettable. The sun shone on the snow and made the whole image seem magical. Cold and windy, but beautiful in every way!"

James

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our eight tour so we knew what to expect and certainly were not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the picturesque town of Colmar and the ride up the lift to Mt Blanc."

Diana

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We took this tour because we wanted to see this part of France, taste wines and food and have it all planned for us. In that sense, the tour did everything we expected. We were a little disappointed in that much of this we could planned ourselves, and with the engagement of local guides could have had some similar experiences. We took the Turkey and Greece tours and felt that there was more engagement with the locals such as the talk with the Imam.. I didn't get this feeling on this tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding the cable car up to the Aguille du Midi. I am terrified of heights but I summoned my courage and made it to the top. Simply fantastic to be up there on the same level with the mountain tops. Not part of the tour but tour members should be encouraged to do this. Other wows - lunch in Provence at the winery, light show on the Reims Cathedral"

Terry

Fresno, CA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was a perfect blend of group activities and meals and time for individual experiences. We saw many villages in Eastern France as we drove through the area and had a wide variety of wine tasting experiences ranging from a group tour and tasting at a co-op to a group market participation picnic at a Count's home estate to a lovely buffet brunch after touring a wine domaine during harvest & tasting their wines. Our hotels were very good, meals delicious, a fun tour with a good leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed our free day in Chamonix. We walked along the river and learned of all the recreational opportunities right in town and everywhere we looked were beautiful Alps and glaciers. In the evening the group had a lot of fun with a traditional fondue and raclette meal."

Bert

Fresno, CA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the trip, countryside, friendly traveling companions, and Rick Steves style of travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was overwhelmed by the size of the Count's castle and its surroundings."

Judy

Apple Valley, MN

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Eastern France tour was one I was looking forward to for a very long time and it didn't disappoint. I was impressed by the variety of cultures, wine and food within one region of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From our tour, I have two "wow" moments. One was the visit to the Mourchon Winery with the delicious lunch on their backyard patio - charming! Another was the visit to Verdun. I had known nothing about this sad period in French history. It was both sobering and moving. On our own, the visit up the cable car in Chamonix. After going to the top, we stopped halfway down and hiked to the little mountainside restaurant, sat outside at picnic tables for lunch. I felt just like "Heidi"."

George

Dalton, MA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fun tour with a fine group of fellow travelers. The tour provided a wonderful mix of big and small with just the right mix of structure and personal time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After arriving in Chamonix amid a light rain and lots of fog, we woke up the following morning to bright sunlight and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains!"

Scott

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love the Rick Steves tour format, and we had a spectacular experience. The sites, scenery, history, and tastes of each of the regions of France that we visited were captivating and wonderful. The efficiency of traveling on a Rick Steves tour is a real plus, with each location well choreographed with few lines, little wasted time, and thoroughly communicated plans for what comes next. The balance of group activities and meals versus on-our-own time worked really well for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dramatic beauty and dizzying heights of the French Alps from the many vantage points on the cable cars and hikes, including views of Mont Blanc and several glaciers, were the wow moments for me."

Edwin

Perrysburg, OH

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth Rick Steves tour, and they have all been fantastic. The pace was very relaxed, and really felt like a vacation. We had a wonderful group to travel with. Very fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love the mountains, so Chamonix was just amazing. We had beautiful weather while we were there, so it was just perfect."

Kay

Perrysburg, OH

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was wonderful. The sights, history, wine and especially the traveling companions made this a fantastic trip. The tour had a good mix of free time, guided tours, art, history, and outdoor activities. And did I mention wine!?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix was spectacular and happening upon a church where the organist was practicing the "Hallelujah Chorus" was a perfect way to end the day of hiking. Another wow moment was in Colmar when the local guide and our guide, Daniella, brought the Grunewald altarpiece to life."

Daniel

Palm Desert, CA

Tour: 08/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela is a great tour guide. Very smart and entertaining. The town with the 3 different architectural styles you could drop from tour. So many better places to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DANIELA"

Debbi

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 08/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Danielle, and driver, Hilde,were knowledgeable, friendly and professional. The hotels were comfortable and the scenery was gorgeous. Our fellow travelers were fun and courteous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tram on Mount Blanc was awe inspiring and not something that should be missed. The lunch at Walter's winery was wonderful and such an ideal setting."

Fred

Olympia, WA

Tour: 08/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good trip. There were a few stops that weren't close to "wow" but overall it was informative , fun and a great introduction to France. Our guide, Daniella was very good. Reims was only so-so, and the champagne cellar and tasting was superficial and almost contrived.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Alps. We walked from the first stop on the tram down to the ice caves. A spectacular walk."

Teresa

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 08/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful trip due to :- 1) Daniela's all round knowledge for history, ART, food & wine. Her passion on these subjects did make a big impact on the receiving end. She was also very open to discuss culture, politics & the European/her point of view on things going on in France. I learned a lot in this trip. 2) Touring France wine region, especially Burgundy is on top of my bucket list, plus I love good food. This trip did fulfill my expectations. It gave me enough free time to venture

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was when i did a small hike in Mont-Blanc to see the breathtaking scenery & the peak in the middle of the morning clouds. Chomanix is still the most charming & beautiful town even this was my second time to visit."

Sandra

Palm Desert, CA

Tour: 08/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela was a awesome guide. You could really tell that she loved her job. She was always see the connections in history/culture as we went from city to city. She made sure that everyone was comfortable at all times. We had a very congenial group which she enjoyed. All the rooms went out expectations except for one place where the rooms were so small that one person had to sit on the bed for the other person to cross the room. We learned a lot about wine and held impromptu Happy Hours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first WOW moment was the light show at Reims Cathedral. The finale started at the bottom of the cathedral and worked its way to the top. It made you feel like someone who would be seeing it for the first time long ago. The towers seemed to reach heaven. My second WOW moment was personal. As we sipped an Apersol spritz at the Vieux Port in Marseille we enjoyed the ferris wheel, music, and people watching. The next day we went to Aix where I went to school. Next year you end in Aix."

Edward

Naples, FL

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Actually we did this route as part of a self guided tour using the RS guide book in 2009. So while there were some repeats, the use of our guide made a lot of difference. We saw things again but the return added perspective that we had not seen or realized in 09. Food was good, lodgings were good, people were great, guide was great. We laughed a lot and generally had fun. And yes, our driver was a hoot. A very good man.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, Chamonix is spectacular. Being from Seatle I am use to wonderful mountain scenes but this is different. I loved it in 2009 and it did not disappoint this time. Perfect weather, now living in flat Florida, it was my mountain fix."

Linda

Henderson, NV

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's does a great job of preparing travelers for a happy and successful trip with their trip planning guide. The directions for meeting the tour and information about hotels were helpful as were the books about the regions and cities of France that we were going to visit. We had to leave the tour after four days because my husband became sick, but our tour guide was so caring and helpful. The tour itself was so much fun and the tour guides were entertaining and full of knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought that Verdun, though sobering and sad, was very interesting. I guess the "wow" moment was realizing how ghastly this battlefield was and committing again in my own mind to peace. We cannot repeat such terrible wars with so much needless death and suffering. Colmar was the most fun and so lovely with floral baskets in every window. Unfortunately our tour ended as soon as we arrived in Beaune from Colmar."

Kathy

Aurora, OR

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julie Sonveau was an incredible tour guide: funny, smart, sensitive, incredibly knowledgeable about France's history, places to eat, etc. She added a wonderful dimension to the experience. The group was friendly and fun-loving. The meals were amazing. The towns were perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one, but I think it was when we entered Chamonix! The sky was blue, temp was in 70's, and all we could see was white mountains. The view from the top of the gondola was breathtaking on both sides of the valley. I also loved everything about Colmar - the flowers, half-timbered buildings, canal, cobbled streets, shops."

Maureen

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We restarted our Rick Steves travel after a 5 year absence. Our expectations were exceeded: fabulous wine and food, a great guide and wonderful group of new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but one was unscripted and memorable: after the French soccer team beat the Germans in the semifinal, Vaison-la-Ramaine, a town of 6000 where we were staying, erupted with a vibrant and beautiful fireworks display. We found ourselves with front row seats at 11PM watching the celebration from our third floor windows; an opportunistic "extra" we've often experienced on Rick Steves' tours!"

Ann

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was more lovely than I could have imagined. It was a great experience of Eastern France (and I had been in Alsace Lorraine and Reims before)!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few. But the biggest moment was seeing the mountains of Chamonix and riding the suspended cable from France to Italy. The second was staying at the Hotel Beffroi, fortress/castle. Loved it."

Marcia

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it! I loved that we hit 5 different regions of France and experienced the 5 different histories, foods, wines,etc. I loved learning about the history and culture of each different region. It was a great combination of eating with the group and being able to go out and experience the towns on our own. I liked that we ate together on the first night in a town and then ventured out after that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So difficult to have ONE! If I have to choose it would be the Comte Raul du Ternay's chateau and our picnic there with our market purchases OR the Mourchon winery in Seguret and the lunch in their garden."

Susan

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were several unique experiences that we would not have enjoyed had it not been for the tour. Firstly, the winery tour of the Count's chateau and winery, topped off with a picnic on the lawn. Secondly, the tour of the Mourchon winery in Vaison du Romain was a highlight as we reached riding in the back of a pick up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kaysersberg was my favorite wow village as we walked up to the castle ruins. Phenomenal views."

Joan

Milton, MA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect-the tour exceeded my expectations on all levels-sights seen, deep background, hotels, meals. Each village was a terrific choice offering a different, highly engaging experience. Julie was the glue along w/ Francois our driver. Congenial tourmates too. The winery visits perfectly enhanced our overall understanding of each region's history & unique culture. Each winery, hotel, restaurant made us feel special & went out of their way to enhance our visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix-two gondolas up to the top for breathtaking French Alps; one more gondola across the glaciers to Italian alps for the best hot chocolate w/ whipped cream!"

Eileen

Tigard, OR

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed this beautiful area of France. It was my 2nd visit to this country but I had not visited any of the areas on this tour. The countryside is beautiful, rolling hills of vineyards. Even though I am not a wine aficionado, the tours, talks and tastings of champagne and wine were interesting. My favorite areas were Colmar, Chamonix, Annecy and Vaison-la-Romaine. Our tour guide, Julie, was outstanding. The most congenial group I've experienced in my 5 Rick Steves' tours too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two of them: Colmar, the most charming, photogenic small town I have ever visited! Loved it! Glad we were there 3 nights! Chamonix atop the Aiguille du Midi with it's panoramic views of Mt. Blanc and surrounding mountains 11,000'+ elevation on a blue sky day! I was awed by it. I've visited the Swiss Alps (Wengen & Grindelwald) and adore that area, but the views from the Aiguille were unique!"

Ken

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met our expectations & in several ways exceeded them. Our guide excelled in helping us experience what the tour offered & assisted those who wanted to explore other opportunities on their own. The unscheduled happy hours were greatly appreciated. Our bus driver, Francois, was exceptional, both as a professional driver and traveling companion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting & lunch @ Domaine De Mourchon."

Linda

Charlevoix, MI

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves Tour. The group on this tour bonded quickly and interacted well with each other. Our guide, Julie, was friendly and helpful and fun. The hotels were wonderful. The food was delicious. Our driver, Francois, was a real asset to the trip. He served as driver, dinner companion, wine advisor and soccer explainer. Overall a really great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was being in the ice cave inside the glacier in Chamonix. My biggest wow that lasted was our stay at Hotel Beffroi. Eating on the terrace or in the garden for every meal we had there was divine! Oh, let's not forget our lunch after the winery tour. Cooked by the winemaker's wife, served by his daughter and grand daughters. The best meal on the tour!"

Deborah

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent schedule , good mix of sights, experiences & time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix gondola trip from France to Italy. Mt Blanc, breathtaking . Cotes da Rhone winery visit. Very educational on the wine growing and production. The lunch served by the family under shade tress at their home was one of the best of the trip. Extremely enjoyable day."

Sergey

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well constructed tour: it gives you more and more with each destination point. locations are exceptional. Combination of the visuals, the food and the information feed from the tour director and the guides provide an ultimate discovery experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Blanc and the cable car (telecabin) to Italy: the views are stunning."

Robert

Pasco, WA

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable. This was our second Rick Steve's Tour and it felt busier than the first, could be because I am six years older. Toni was awesome and our driver Henri was as well. They complimented each other and gave us wonderful service whether on the road or at events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard, forced to pick, I would choose Aiguille Du Midi. Due in part to sketchy weather to this point of our tour; arriving in a drizzle and not knowing whether we'd get a break in the weather. We did, it was awesome!!! Easily took about 500 pictures in about 2-3 hours. I was really looking forward to seeing Colmar, it seemed the most picturesque. It did not disappoint. Every stop was worthwhile and we never had enough time to enjoy them fully. Leave us wanting,n'est pas?"

Sherry

Pasco, WA

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the history and varied itinerary. Can't believe I saw and experienced so much in such a short time frame. Having said that, it was quite tiring and I would have liked a bit more down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix and the time on the mountain. Breathtaking!"

Robert

Lawrence, KS

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our fifth Rick Steve's tour and as all the others, this was a great trip. An excellent tour guide in Toni and all of the various guides at the sites we visited. All of the various arrangements such as hotels and meals were well made and handled with aplomb. The pace of the tour was well set, giving us a chance to both benefit from out guides and also experience adventures on our free time. Henri, our bus driver, was exceptional both in his driving and as a valued member of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two that I would highlight. One was at Verdun. It was very a very moving experience and one that I did not expect. The film at the end of the experience was very informative and touching. The other is similar to our other tours. I always find the lunches and picnics at sites we would not be able to visit as individuals to be very lovely and enjoyable."

Frank

Oceanport, NJ

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my tenth Rick Steves tour. I am obviously very satisfied with the itineraries, guides, hotels, bus drivers, and the company operations. This tour met all my expectations and provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride from the Aiguille du Midi to the Helbronner was my "wow" moment. The views and silence of the mountains was spectacular. I even forgot my fear of heights."

Ann

Yorktown, VA

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best group of people I had ever traveled with was in 2012 with the "Paris & The Heart of France" tour. I never thought I'd see that cohesiveness, that "go with the flow" attitude with another group but this group matched that one. It was a lovely relaxed and leisurely tour, and we had quite a bit of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 2 "wow" moments. Both were the picnic lunches: at the Chateau de Rully and at Domaine de Mourchon Winery. I enjoyed the private tour of his home by the Count de Ternay as well as meeting his adorable 3 sons. It was amazing to be eating lunch at both private homes. We ate inside at the Chateau due to the weather but we ate outside at the Winery on a beautiful lawn under the trees. I was relaxed and totally content."

Linda

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour. Loved the French Alps and Colmar especially. Even though I am not a wine drinker, I also enjoyed and learned a lot from our vineyard and champagne cave tours. The vineyard experience, complete with lunch at the Mourchon winery was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Always the Alps."

Frank

Camden, SC

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was extremely well-organized and paced. There was an excellent mix of organized activities and free time. The local guides were generally very good. Probably the biggest issue, and this isn't a gamebreaker, was that there wasn't much time to catch up on laundry in Chamonix, which was about the mid-point. Let me also say that Toni was a tremendous tour guide. Her expertise, enthusiasm, and flexibility were simply outstanding. A keeper!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the top of Mt. Blanc and then taking the cable car across to Italy."

Jean

Camden, SC

Tour: 06/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a memorable trip. The itinerary was wonderful and our group was outstanding. And our guide Toni! I can't say enough good things about her. She is knowledgeable, experienced, and has wonderful people skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going up to the top of Mont Blanc (L'Aiguille du Midi). The weather was perfect that day, and it seemed that you could see forever."

Paul

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time! Loved our guides, our driver, the people we met. Our guide William was very pleasant, gave us lots of fun facts. When one of the members on our tour got injured, he took the time to find a doctor and help her get care and medicine. Our local guides were great as well. They all had very good knowledge of the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved going to the markets and enjoying the local cuisine!"

Susan

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

William & Debi Jo were great! William went above & beyond to help several of us on a personal basis as well as providing our group with lots of great stories about each place we were going. The local city guides & winery/champagne presenters, were very passionate about their area of expertise and I learned more than I ever expected. Each and everyone of our tour members were fun and interesting to talk with. Everyone seemed to get along really well with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Seguret & Domaine de Mourchon was just like you imagine a visit to a Provence winery/town would be. From the minute we hopped into the back of his pick up(the bus couldn't go up the hill), hiking the vineyards & inside tour, tasting generous portions of wine & then enjoying a wonderful lunch overlooking vineyards & valley at the family home, I felt like I had known our hosts for many years! Lastly, can't forget the 3 winery dogs roaming from table to table for food!The day was perfect!"

Rod

Columbia, MD

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Despite the poor weather, the tour proved a good overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was our Mourchon vineyard tour that included wine tasting and lunch in Seguret. Was such a beautiful day with great hosts including the 3 family dogs."

Lucy

Columbia, MD

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a memorable time despite my husband picking up a stomach virus from another tour member, crummy weather, and national strikes that cancelled 2 of our 3 first class reserved Eurorail trains. William, our Parisian tour guide, was so helpful and chill. We needed someone like him to get us through the national strikes and focus on the tour at hand. I particularly appreciated having a guide who was a native of the country with unique insight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has got to be the tour of the Domaine de Mourchon Winery and the excellent group meal we had with the family and 3 dogs. Their estate was gorgeous and the food and wine superb!!"

William

Marietta, GA

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our first tour. I was very pleased with the tour guides (William and Debi Jo). William was a knowledge base of information and was excellent. The bus transport was excellent. There was plenty of scheduled free time that we enjoyed. The local guides were all very friendly and knowledgeable. There were clearly passionate about the subject matter and/or geographic locale. I feel I am being generous in my overall rating due to hotel experience noted below and average meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch picnic at the Mourchon winery. The hosts, location and food was outstanding."

Linda

Lexington, KY

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned a lot about France, wine, people, art, Roman ruins, and myself. We did plenty of walking which I like. I liked the fact that not everyone in France is on their cell phones while they walk around. I enjoyed museums that my husband and I visited in our free time. In a few days, my French was respectable. I didn't expect people to speak English. Prior to the tour, we spent 5 days in Honfleur, which was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After our last dinner in chamonix, when we walked outside, some of the clouds had lifted off the mountains, and we could see peaks we hadn't seen before. We took pictures to preserve the beautiful memory. The lunch at the vineyard was the best meal ever!"

Beverley

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was brought together nicely giving everyone a little information about each other. I loved the coverage of the countryside by William and our driver, Hilde, was the best. She was amazing. I think the areas we covered were well described and in depth information about each of our stops was extremely good. The only thing I would change would be that there be a little more time for laundry (maybe a day earlier in the trip and again at Chamonix), and more vegetarian meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Verdun and holding the shrapnel. The immersion of that experience was so impressive."

Carl

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was excellent. Good food, good art, excellent wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art in Colmar was very, very good - both in the museum, and the tryptic in St. Martin's Church."

Eve

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 05/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We were in expert company with William, Hilde, and Debi Jo. I loved visiting smaller towns in France - it was a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the countryside without worrying about logistics. The focus on wine was one of the main reasons I chose this tour. It did not disappoint! We visited many domaines and spent time with professionals. Each visit was different and learning about the French regions and terroir was a highlight. All in all: amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was our lunch after visiting the Mourchon winery in Séguret. The McKinlay family's home was devine. Our group was able to eat lunch outside on the lawn under trees next to blossoming terraces of roses, overlooking the vines. It was picture perfect. The food was exceptional and the hospitality unmatched. The weather smiled upon us and gave us a beautiful day. After tasting several wines, relaxing in such an ideal space was a dream come true."

Ted

Scotch Plains, NJ

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While this wasn't a winery tour as such, we did visit a number of vineyards and wineries. Much appreciated, as I grew up thinking that wine was drank from an old jelly glass (that changed while stationed in Germany with the Army). A laid back tour with a well educated group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The chateau and vineyards at Beaune. The young count did the tour, complete with his young children's toys scattered about the inner courtyard. The chateau/berg at Colmar was also excellent. I've been to a number of these rebuilt German castles; this was n excellent interior tour."

Sandra

Sedro-woolley, WA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where do I begin? The tour was more than absolutely amazing. And Toni Seymour made it happen!It was a tour that most people could never even dream of. It was like being at Disney World or Disneyland all the time only it was all real!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Holy cow! The champagne caves, Colmar, waking up to snow in Chamonix, standing in the glass box at Mont Blanc, the tram ride up there, the beautiful Eastern France countryside, the white cattle grazing on the beautiful green hillsides, the vineyards with the red poppies growing wild along the sides, the views from the castle, and the count's "chalet"....the inexpensive most excellent food and markets anywhere....Did you say my Wow moment? Too many wow's to tell about just one!"

William

Irvine, CA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have never felt the need to participate on a tour while visiting Europe, I have used Rick Steve's guidebooks in the past for suggestions & detail info from his 'Mona Winks' book to help me enjoy my own independent travel. However with my training as a sommelier this Eastern France tour met my needs to visit four primary French wine regions. The guide, Toni, was outstanding as were the meals and sights visited. I would take this tour again - it was that good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to [INVALID] just one moment, several tie for being outstanding: - walking the vineyards, tasting & speaking with the cellar master / winemaker for Kuehn Winery in Alsace, - tasting & visiting a Bourgogne Chateau and the Count with a tasty picnic by our guide, Toni, - SNOW in May at Chamonix = I was out at 6:30am playing !!! - tour, tasting & great lunch at Domaine Mourchon, in Seguret, - every group dinner on our tour ( & I hate asparagus & sauerkraut) was excellent."

Garnett

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I'd hoped for. We traveled through charming towns and villages in Eastern France each with a distinct flavor of it's own. Our start in Reim was followed by a bit of Germany in Colmar then on to the spectaular Alps and finally Vaisson with it's Roman ruins. Who would have thought we'd "taste" so many varied flavors.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit outside Vaisson to the Mourchon vineyards and winery was an incredible experience. After touring the grounds and a plethora of wine tastings we were led to a gorgeous luncheon at the winemaker's house. The setting was beautiful and food delectible!"

Julie

Washington, DC

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour! Our guide Toni did an excellent job immersing us in a culturally rich experience of Eastern France. From the cathedral in the champagne capital of Reims to the solemn battlefields of Verdun, to the charming town of Colmar which looked like a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale come alive. Then came other picturesque towns along the route de vin to Chamonix, with magnificent Mont Blanc as a backdrop. Provence, Chateau de Rully, the vineyards, food, hotels, all wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments! Seeing Mont Blanc at 12,600+ feet was an unforgettable experience. The picnic and wine tasting hosted by the charming count of Rully at his 1st Century chateau, the delicious hilltop lunch on a glorious day hosted by the gracious Mourchon family, the cobblestone streets of Vaison La Romaine, all things Lavender! The many wonderful dinners with fellow tour members, especially at our hotel in Provence, Hotel Dieu and food market at Beaune, making new friends."

Jacqueline

Napa, CA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my favorite of all the Rick Steve tours we have been on. I liked it because we really got to slow down and experience the different places we visited. It wasn't a mad rush to see all the sights and go to all the museums. It felt like a true vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the vineyards in Alsace. AND watching the equestrian riders practicing in the theater in Orange."

Debra

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was lovely. I really liked the variety of towns visited. Hotels were very good, food and wine excellent and fellow travelers very compatible! The weather was problematic, but nothing to be done about that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix"

Barbara

Los Alamitos, CA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great excellent leader, informative local guides, interesting history, fun wine tasting and picnics, and a great overview of Eastern France. RS tours attract a fun-loving group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful lunch/dinner on the lawn at the home of the vintner, Mourchon Winery."

Don

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A very good tour group, most of them experienced Rick Steves travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few great moments including the Alguille du Midi Gondola in Chamonix and the Mourchon wine tasting and lunch in the Cotes du Rhone. We also loved Colmar."

Gloria

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was a very good experience and a typical Rick Steves' tour. Our tour mates were all easy to spend time and we did get to know some quite well. There was a good mix of towns/cities visited although we had more free time in places with little to do than we preferred.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery tour, tasting and lunch at Mourchon Winery we a "not to miss" experience."

Nancy

Scotch Plains, NJ

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely positively enjoyed myself. Tour exceed my expectations. Our tour group seemed to jell immediately. Tour members were so very caring of each other. So much fun exploring places off usual tourist circuit. Nice blend of history and culture. Especially enjoyed food and wine tastings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having the picnic at Domaine De Mourchon. Views were awesome. Food and wine was excellent. Didn't want to leave!!!"

Gail

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour was first rate. The hotels, meals, and tour guides were top notch. Traveling from town to town was safe and comfortable. Each excursion enhanced the tour experience. I enjoyed the free time to explore each destination. Toni's guided tours and the RS guide book made my free time explorations enjoyable and effortless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several wow moments but now that I am home what resonates with me is the tour of the battlefield at Verdun. The scope of the death and destruction became a reality through the sobering facts the local guide shared. The cold dark fort and the rows of crosses in the cemetery were a stark reminder of a terrible period in Europe's history. I was stunned to see 100 years later craters left from artillery. It was truly a memorable part of my RS tour and will not be forgotten."

James

Aurora, IL

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patrick Vidal was very helpful going out of his way to make our trip . After I missed a departure for a laundry stop . He walked to the laundry and get on track for the day . He was always pleasant and helpful .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour at "Verdun " world war I site ."

Wallace

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I was quite happy with the tour. I'm not sure the fortress of Douaumont is the best single point to appreciate the horrors of trench warfare. I don't have an alternative to suggest but only left it feeling that, even with the ossuary, it didn't fully convey the experience. Chamonix, though Mont Blanc was fabulous, was a little touristy for me. Vaison and Marseilles were both high points, as were the series of winery/vineyard visits/tastings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Isenheim Altar Piece, with the visit to the vineyard/winery outside Vaison a close second."

Denise

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves' tour. Sights were not as impressive as my previous two tours (England 14 Day and Western France / Loire Valley). I had a rough time with hotel rooms (unable to sleep more than half the nights due to heat and noise). On the plus side: great guide, good fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix really stood out - stunning location and we had beautiful weather. Enjoyed the cog railway and diversity of museums."

Sloan

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was terrific! That's why we continue to go on Rick Steve's Tours!

Bill

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful. We explored many part of France that were previously unknown to us. It was an exciting blend of culture, history, sites and sounds, and of course, wonderful foods. This was our 7th Rick Steves tour and each has been memorable. We have encountered many tour guides since our first trip in 2007, but I would rate our travel with Patrick at the very top of the list of guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From the Alps, to the Roman ruins, to the time at Verdun, there were many "wow" moments."

Frank

Newbury Park, CA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An excellent experience. Tour was well designed and provided a a very good balance of free time and organized activities. I initially had concerns about ending the tour in Marseille but was most pleasantly surprised by Marseille, so much so that I wished that we would have had more time allotted there. A few hotels were sub-par. The "chemistry" of our fellow group members was exceptional, What a terrific group of new-found friends to spend two weeks traveling with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to the chateau near Beaune with a guided tour provided by its owner was a wonderful insight into the life and history of the gentry. This was made even more special by the excellent "picnic lunch" we enjoyed in the medieval kitchen of the manor."

Carol

Delta, BC

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first time in France - and I know I would love to return. Patrick gave each of us a huge map of France with our route marked out. There are obviously many more roads l'd like to travel on in France. The areas we visited were beautiful - loved the countryside and small towns. Our tour group was wonderful - interesting people who also very much enjoyed travelling and experiencing some of the same things we do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed our stay in Vaison la Romaine in the medieval city. Our lunch at the nearby winery - Mourchon - was absolutely delicious. The family was charming and their home surrounded by vineyards was a delight to see. Our visit to a Chateau in the Cote d'Or was also something that only a Rick Steves tour could have supplied. We met the young man whose ancestors build the Chateau centuries ago and heard of their history and difficulties. Our picnic in the ancient kitchen was excellent."

Barbara

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very fun time with a group of travelers, a leader and a bus driver! Everyting we needed to be successful was there! Made some new friends while traveling along under Patrick's care and Hilda's expert driving! Thanks again to Rick Steve's Tours! Looking forward to our next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the Mer de Glacier in Chamonix. The little train ride was fun and the scenry very picturesque. Just one of my many favorites."

Richard

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the thin air on the Aiguille du Midi to the salt air of Marseilles, I thoroughly enjoyed our tour experience in the small villages and towns along the wine trail of Eastern France. Our tour guide, Patrick and the many city guides), was knowledgeable, easy-going,and willing to share his passion for the people and country of France with us. The tour bus that provided the vital link between these towns and villages was piloted by the skilled and patient Hilda.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the top of the Aiguille du Midi was absolutely breath-taking. All of the visitors to the peak (as was I)were grinning from ear-to-ear."

Ronald

Delta, BC

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall tour experience was very good, and at times, outstanding. The tour was very well organized, and lead by an exceptionally good and astute guide (Patrick)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was decidedly the Chamonix Sky Tram which I took from the valley floor up to the Aiguille du Midi station at 12,605 feet elevation. Conditions were perfect."

James

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour, but I would like to see a bit more culture and art. I live close to Napa, California and have been on several wine tastings and vineyard tours. I do enjoy a good glass of wine, but thought four wine tastings was a bit much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The serenity of the Venice area in Colmar."

Richard

Long Beach, IN

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour, and maybe the best! Patrick gets better with age, it was 4 years ago we toured with him for the first time. Patrick has the special ability to mold a group quickly into a smooth running vacation. His humor, his candor, his watchful eyes always has his guests first and foremost in his sights. Never a dull moment, 13 days of fun and laughter. But, then, maybe it was all the great wine we tasted!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough question. However, I think eating a picnic lunch in the kitchen of Chateau de Rully, was an experience not to be forgotten. Imagine, eating in a 1st century chateau with the current owner and 22nd decendent of the original owner of the Chateau, and drinking his prized wine!"

Robert

Blaine, WA

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A delightful group of people artfully lead by Patrick covered a lot of ground in a trip that was entertaining and informative. We would happily recommend this trip to our friends who like food and wine with history and art accompanying it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vaison la Romaine and the related tour to the small village and winery was wonderful and what we view as a classic Rick Steves Tour experience. Great food, lodging, history, sights and wonderful hosts at the winery."

Roberta

Aurora, IL

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we thought it was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We viewed Mont Blanc from the ground the night we arrived in Chamonix. It was a beautiful clear night with a full moon and it was like a postcard. The next day we had a chance to take the gondola and elevator to the top of a nearby mountain and had an even closer view."

Raymond

Aurora, IL

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was fantastic! He and the local guides were interesting and informative. Such organization and information would be difficult to produce on our own. The pace of the trip and the variety of the places we visited made the two weeks a blur. My favorites included Verdun (a surprise for me), moonlit Mont Blanc from Chamonix , and port of Marseilles. The hotel in Vaison-la-Romaine was the best, hiking up the cobblestone "street", and the wonderful meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was standing in the glass enclosed "Void" at the summit of the gondola ride overlooking the town of Chamonix far below."

Kathleen

Long Beach, IN

Tour: 05/08/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know if it would properly be called a "wow" moment, but Verdun moved me to tears."

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather


France / Nice

Nice Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

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.

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

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.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members arrange to fly into Paris and out of Marseille ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). The Marseille airport is a 30-minute bus ride from Aix-en-Provence (www.navetteaixtgvaeroport.com). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in France. Both Paris and Marseille are major transportation hubs, 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 France before your tour begins, spending time in Paris or Strasbourg are logical choices. Reims is only 45 minutes and Strasbourg only two hours from central Paris via TGV (bullet) trains. Use the Rick Steves France guidebook 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.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Paris: visit the Eiffel Tower, walk the Champs-Elysées and climb the Arc de Triomphe, tour the Louvre and Orsay Museums, or take a day trip to Versailles.

If you'd rather spend your pre-tour time in Strasbourg, visit the cathedral, wander the waterways and stroll through the city. From Strasbourg it's a two-hour train ride to Reims, where you may want to visit the Museum of the Surrender (Musée de la Reddition) or add a Champagne tour at Mumm (we will not taste here as a group).

Packing

Weather and lifts permitting, you will have the opportunity to go to top of the Aiguille du Midi and/or hike in the Alps while in Chamonix. Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction and some warmer clothes. Regardless of season, the weather in the Alps can be cooler than expected, especially at the higher altitudes.

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

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.