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  • 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 | Email tour@ricksteves.com

Best of Eastern France in 14 Days Tour

from $4,395 per person + air

Single Supplement $725

See Dates & Prices

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, and Provence's scenic Côtes du Rhône, ending with a farewell toast in exquisite Aix-en-Provence. Join us for the Best of Eastern France in 14 Days!

Dates & Prices

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 19 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Eastern France tour:

  • Reims walking tour
  • Reims Cathedral
  • Champagne tasting
  • Verdun WWI battlefields
  • Colmar walking tour
  • Unterlinden Museum
  • Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg
  • Alsatian wine region excursion
  • Alsatian wine tasting
  • Beaune walking tour
  • Hôtel Dieu
  • Market day in Beaune
  • Beaune wine tasting
  • Lake Annecy boat cruise (weather permitting)
  • Hiking orientation in French Alps
  • Vaison-la-Romaine Roman ruins
  • Orange Roman Theater
  • Rhône Valley wine tasting
  • Aix-en-Provence walking tour

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 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
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel 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.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

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 our hotel at 5 p.m. 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Reims.

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 (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. This afternoon we'll 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Reims.

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 Alsace region, the ultimate Franco-Germanic blend. Tonight we'll share a dinner of Alsatian specialties in the town of Colmar.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Colmar.

Day 4: All Day in Colmar

Today is devoted to exploring the enchanting town of Colmar. We'll start the day with a walking tour, wandering over cobbled lanes lined with leaning, half-timbered buildings and learning 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Colmar.

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. Our first stop is the imposing Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg, perched sky-high in the Vosges Mountains. After lunch in a small Alsatian village, we'll wander through the vineyards 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Colmar.

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, the Hôtel Dieu. Tonight we'll have a Burgundian dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Beaune.

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 pâtés, 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 a picnic 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?

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Beaune.

Day 8: To the Alpine Peaks of Chamonix

This morning we'll make a beeline for western 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Chamonix.

Day 9: Free Day in the French Alps

Today is all yours to enjoy the wonders of the French Alps. You can choose among several great hiking trails with stunning views of Mont Blanc and a supporting cast of Alps that seem to stretch forever. For one of Europe's great alpine thrills (weather permitting), take Europe's longest vertical gondola rides up to the 12,600-foot Aiguille du Midi viewpoint. From there, mini-gondolas take travelers over the snowfields and on to Italy (and back)!

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Chamonix.

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 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Vaison-la-Romaine.

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's 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in Vaison-la-Romaine.

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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mosty level terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Vaison-la-Romaine.

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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Aix-en-Provence.

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

Evie

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the beginning, Virginie showed herself to be an excellent guide. She taught us so much about the places we visited but also about French society and culture. This is why I travel. The places visited were enjoyable and memorable. The food great! Was very pleased with the French style Sauerkraut in Colmar and the escargot in Chamonix. Would have loved perhaps a slower pace, maybe more downtime as it seemed more fast paced than other tours we’ve taken. This was our 7th RS Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s always difficult to say what wowed me the most. Verdun was an important stop as we need to be reminded of the costs of war. An impressive memorial. Loved Beaune- really enjoyed the market there. Loved going to the top to see MontBlanc up close and personal in Chamonix. Actually staying in an ancient bell tower in Vaison La Romaine was an awesome experience. Really enjoyed the visit to the Mourchon winery—walking up & down the road, the tasting, the beautiful lunch. Excellent."

Joanne

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was look for a tour that would take me thru the French countryside and small to medium towns. This tour was ideal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two wow moments 1. Chamonix/Mt Blanc - Riding up the gondola to the top and being able to see the peak on a beautiful clear day. It was spectacular. 2. Afternoon wine tasting and lunch at the Mourchon winery in Vaison-la-Romaine - what a great afternoon!!"

Patricia

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Enough time in each city to get a feel for the culture. Our guide, Virginie always had something planned for everyone. Visiting the markets and watching the locals was such a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont. Blanc and hiking around the Blue Lake. When the clouds parted and the sun came out and Mont Blanc became visible was a breath taking experience."

Gary

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at vineyard near Vaison-La-Romaine"

Roger

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 12th RSE tour, and one of the four best, due to the constant engagement and teaching of Virginie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting in Burgundy at de Rully and wine tasting with lunch buffet in Provence at Mourshon."

Bernadine

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour did not live up to my overall expectations compared to the previous 3 RS tours I have taken. When the tour was over I felt that a lot of the Best of Eastern France was completely overlooked and that there was too much free time in places that free time was not necessary! 3 nights in Vaison-la-Romaine could easily be condensed and we could visit Avignon! Avignon is certainly one of the "Best of Eastern France"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling via cable car to Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix is certainly a "wow" moment! However, the "family style" picnic at the Domaine de Mourchon was extra special, delicious and truly felt like the Best of Eastern France!"

Ruth

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The first part of the tour was nice. We enjoyed our fellow travelers, and Daniela was a good guide. Unfortunately, I contracted Covid after one week of the two week tour. So we missed the second half. Daniela and Rick Steves' Europe were very generous and helped us figure out our next steps. By the time we arrived home, a reimbursement for the missed tour days was in our stack of mail. I call that excellent customer service!

Sharie

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time with Rick Steve's or even doing a tour. Our guide was outstanding and very knowledgeable. We are use to traveling on our own but Rick Steve's tour opened doors that the average person would not be able to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Blanc, Chamonix"

Joseph

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed most of the locations and most of the hotels. Our guide was outstanding, and she handled the pain in the neck fellow traveler gracefully. (There's always one.) The lack of charging plugs and WiFi on the bus was disappointing. I work virtually and was hoping to be productive on the longer travel days. The mask policy is just "COVID theater", since we ended up shoulder to shoulder without masks at every meal and wine tasting. Time to re-think that one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the tram to Aiguille Du Midi in Chamonix and walking around up there.Just beautiful."

Andrea

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was relatively laid back compared to others I've taken (10+). This is not meant as a criticism,just an observation.Small cities and towns, four wine tastings, good food, just a slower pace. On the other hand, there is the up-hill walk to the hotel in Vaison la Romaine

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful lunch at the Mourchon winery in Seguret and the opportunity to ride the tram to Aiguille du Midi for breath-taking view of the French Alps."

Cheryce

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the beauty and relaxing pace of this tour. Daniela did a great job caring for the group, making us laugh, and teaching us new things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The delicious lunch in the yard of Kate's vineyard outside of Vaison-la-Romaine."

Lisa

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time, enjoyed our fellow travelers and our guide was outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Blanc up close"

Thomas

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was varied and interesting. Everything went without a hitch.Hotels were superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stained glass windows in the church on the medieval town hill in Vaison la Romaine. I stumbled on them by accident while wandering to take pictures. They appeared to have been recently installed, maybe as part of an art exhibit that was being set up. I don't know if they are temporary or permanent, but they should definitely be part of the tour as long as they are there."

Mary

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, the guides were knowledgeable, engaging and fun people. Our tour comrades were ready for a good trip and were interested in getting to know each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite moments was in Reims when we stumbled upon a Carnegie library. I paid for my college education by working at the local public library which was a Carnegie building. I have been "collecting" them ever since, beginning in the USA and then discovering some of those that are in Europe!"

Frances

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful guide, great bus driver, fun group. I liked the itinerary featuring smaller cities and wine tasting. Please note that a group of 27 people is too big! It was hard to stay together on walking tours. So many voices made us noisy in restaurants for group meals. Plus it took a long time to get to know each other. You advertise "Small Groups." 27 tour members is not a small group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one big WOW, but several smaller lovely wows. Looking out my hotel window at the lighted tower in Vaison. Late afternoon light on the mountains in Chamonix. Photographing the cathedral in Reims. Successfully ordering sliced sausage for the picnic at the market in Beaune."

Michael

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were fortunate to have a great guide and group that made this tour exceptionally fun and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During the winery tour at the end of the tour we learned what makes Cote de Rhône’s so special. The wine tasting and lunch were both outstanding."

Robert

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a good blend of history, culture and social enjoyment. We were lucky we had a good group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I went paragliding in Chamonix at the base of Mont Blanc"

Mariette

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was delightful! Our guide Julie was outstanding - organized, energetic, knowledgeable and FUN! Each location was a revelation, and the food and wines were tres delicieux.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tossup between the stunningly beautiful snowy peaks surrounding Chamonix and the gorgeous, lavish al fresco luncheon at the Mourchon winery in Seguret with the sunshine dapplng the trees and a china-blue sky overhead."

Josh

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our previous 2 Rick Steves tours, we were very impressed with the entire tour and with our guide, Julie. The hotels were excellent. We had been to other parts of Provence on 2 previous trips, yet our time in Vaison- la-Romaine was very special. What a charming town and hotel and the visit to the Mourchon Winery was an absolute treat. Our visits to Colmar and Beaune could not have been better planned. And, our time in Chamonix, seeing Mont Blanc up close, was just perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As far as "wow" moments go, there were several. Seeing Mont Blanc up close in perfect weather was hard to beat. We expected to be charmed by Colmar and it did not disappoint. The biggest surprise was our visit to Vaison-la-Romaine which we both found to be very special."

Alan

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding experience. Excellent tour guide. Great itinerary. Good group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix / Mont Blanc and Annecy / The weather was perfect for our days in the French Alpine region. Plus the Count and the Château visit with his personal touch wine tasting was special."

Allison

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, adventuresome and cohesive group, perfect mix of town and country, food and wine

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colmar"

Daniel

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an adventure in wine tasting with a touch of chateaus, medieval towns, Roman ruins and snowy French Alps stirred in. Are you interested in sharing a drink with a Count? Everyone loved our guide, Julie, and her thoughtfulness and endless energy. The hotels were well located and Rick Steve's modest, except for the Aparthotel Adagio in Aix en Provence which was a blessing. I was glad we went to Verdun; it was a thoughtful lesson on the hell of a stupid war fought in a very stupid way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First place goes to the French Alps high and up close from Aiguille du Midi on a clear day. Unfortunately, the lift to Helbronner was closed. Tied for Second place is (1) the group picnic and view of the vineyards from Chateau de Rully near Beaune, and (2) the awesome Roman Theater of Orange, which was a feast for this Roman History Buff's eyes. BTW: Someone sang AVE MARIA in front of the stage without a microphone and you could hear it loud and clear in the top rows of the theater where I sat."

Bill

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was everything we anticipated, and then some! Everything was excellent, as advertised, and as much information and fun activities as we could absorb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Up until we visited Domaine de Mourchon, I would have said Chamonix, but the entire day at Domaine de Mourchon epitomized everything I had hoped that France would be - congenial hosts, perfect weather, active harvesting as we visited the vineyards, the wine tasting that gave us a renewed appreciation for French wines, and the picnic lunch on the grounds, with a gourmet chef, three generations of hosts making our experience everything we could have hoped for, and stunning scenery everywhere!"

Debra

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great, good guiding, convivial group of tour members, nice amount of organized activity, vineyard walks with guide were nice “extras”.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nice weather allowed a great Mont Blanc viewing experience, couple of great vineyards tours and tastings as well."

Helene

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous. Well organized. Personable, helpful guide. Comfortable, clean hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix. And seeing my husband up paragliding."

Susan

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved that ot was a group of 22. Easier to connect with everyone. Enjoyed all of the sites and activities. Patrick was super.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix was incredible. Mountains were impressive and town was unique."

Charles

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great group of experienced travelers. A great tour guide in Patrick V. Perfect weather. Great food and wine. Picturesque towns and vineyards. What’s not to like?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 actually: the old town of Annecy and the viticulture lesson by Kate at her vineyard in Séguret."

Kathy

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The timing of the tour with the harvesting of the wine/champagne grapes couldn't have been better. Every day was a new adventure with a great guide and a congenial group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire Domaine de Mourchon experience, especially having lunch with the patriarch of the winery"

Jane

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole experience was fantastic. Every single person on the tour including the guide and the bus driver were wonderful and we all got along so well. There was a perfect mix of activities and free time which I loved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was certain that it would be Chamonix with glorious weather and spectacular alps but when I thought about it -- it was actually the tour. I've done tours before but nothing like this. The group was fantastic - we quickly became a family and we were all so interested in the culture and history and people of France. This trip was truly special in every way. This was my first Rick Steves tour but it will definitely not be my last."

Marilyn

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were blessed with beautiful weather which really allowed us to enjoy the places we visited. Beautiful countrysides and quaint towns, fine wines tasting, great local guides and ancient ruins exceeded expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our wow moment was the view of snow covered Mount Blanc from the streets of Chamonix."

Kat

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first guided tour was a home run. Every town had unexpected highlights. I had no real interest in Verdun but I learned much and don't regret the time. Our guide Julie was so much fun and great at providing background information before we arrived at each town and suggesting things we might like to see/do in our free time. The wine tastings were all wonderful, each with a different style of presentation mostly by an owner/family member and in different settings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The picnic days were both "wows" for me. The castle tour by a gracious count touring his castle in his family since the 12th (?) century along with the wine tasting and then picnicking on the grounds was perfect! Equally wonderful was touring the Mourchon vineyards and wine making process conducted by one of the owners, followed by an absolutely delicious picnic lunch prepared by their gifted chef/cook/artist on another glorious day. Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi-- a joy to see the alps"

Leigh

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great mix of visiting historical sites, picturesque villages, experiencing French food and learning about wine making in the different regions and wine tastings. All the Guides were personable and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix -Aiguille du Midi"

Lisa

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Toni and Guillam were easy to talk to and helpful. I love how down to earth they were. I really enjoyed the smaller villages and wine tasting. The beauty on this tour was everywhere. The bigger cities were not my favorite

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the top of the gondola viewing Mont Blanc and the other Alps. It was breathtaking!!!"

Ann

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Toni is a superb guide! Her familiarity with France and this region, in particular, is evident. I loved this wine and food tasting tour of eastern France. Guillaume, the assistant guide was also very nice and really helped some of our folks who needed a little extra assistance. Great group of people on our tour, and Hilda, our bus driver was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOWZER moment for me was up on the Aiguille du Midi looking up at Mt Blanc and the surrounding alp peaks. We had perfect weather, so it literally took my breath away! Coming up into high altitude from Chamonix it makes you a little light headed or is it from the incredible majestic beauty of these mountains...hard to say. We went back down to the mid-point of the gondola ride and then hiked the traverse trail to the Mer de Glace glacier and then took the cog wheel train back to Chamonix!"

Kirk

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide “and a half” (Toni and Guillaume) are knowledgable and experienced leaders. I felt fortunate to tour with the two of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The skies were blue when I ascended to Le Brévent and Aiguille du Midi lift stations. Wow, what views! During the hike from Plan de l'Aiguille to Montenvers-Mer de Glace, I kept glancing over my shoulder to Aiguille du Midi‘s needle-like tower and thinking, “I can’t believe I was up there!”"

Cecilia

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was my first R S tour and loved it. Looking into another tour for next year!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps la"

John

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour. Our first was Sicily and both were wonderful. We are already signed up for 2 more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to name two. In Chamonix we had views of Mt. Blanc from our hotel window and our "free day" hike from the mid level of the tram to the cog train was all the alpine views and exercise we could have wished for. And the winery tour and lunch near Vaison was the most enjoyable and educational we have experienced."

Ron

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Have taken a number of ETBD tours, this was one of the more relaxed versions, but still very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time spent in Chamonix was spectacular, but enjoyed the numerous Medieval towns along the way."

Joan

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Daniella our tour guide made the trip outstanding. Her knowledge and her personality were invaluable. We also had a great group of people. As usual, the tour experiences were mind-expanding and I learned more about history in the context of today's politics than I expected to. I value your tours because I know I am going to experience culture and history of a place that would not happen if traveling on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two wow moments. First was seeing the reality of the horrors of WWI at Verdun. Because I am an urban planner I am always wowed anytime we get to visit ruins from the Roman Empire."

Wendy

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great RS tour, my fourth. Our guide Daniela’s knowledge of history and art history was impressive. She was organized, kind and a great resource when we had questions, a pleasure. Luc our driver was awesome. The scenery was beautiful and the tour members were a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colmar, Chamonix, dinner in Beaune, lunch at the winery in Vaison and our last dinner in Aix"

Bill

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. Our tour guide, Daniela, was extremely knowledgeable and professional. I appreciate the level of detail she provided whether it was in reference to history, art, or food and wine! We have done all of our European vacations on our own, but thought this region would be better served by a tour and it did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was Chamonix, taking the lift to the Aiguille du Midi and then onto Hellbronner Italy. We were fortunate to have a perfectly clear day which makes the experience unforgettable,"

Margaret

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and we were extremely happy with our tour guide, Daniela. It was our first time touring with a large group and everything went as smoothly as possible.There was some free time to do our own thing along with the many group activities scheduled. There was a lot of time on the bus and Daniela made it fun by giving information about the history, culture, and background of each area we were entering.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed Chamonix and going up the Aiguille du Midi to the Helbrunner pass and going from France into Italy! The weather was perfect and visibility was great. Such spectacular views. Having breakfast in France and lunch in Italy was fun! I ate my pain au chocolat in the cable car! I also enjoyed going through 4 great wine regions - Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, and Cotes du Rhone - and visiting the estates of the winemakers."

Joshua

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip had an outstanding itinerary, every stop was new and exhilarating experience. To top it off, our tour guide was terrific, offering history lessons and insight at every stop along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but the light show at Reims cathedral was stunning; we just happened to be in the city on the right day. I really enjoyed it!"

Diane

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good but not exceptional

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing hospital in Beaune"

Dennis

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great group, excellent bus driver, and the very best guide we've ever had. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. It was ungodly hot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the mountains surrounding Chamonix. What a beautiful mountain resort!"

Linda

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The cities visited were outstandingly interesting. The tour group was very friendly and got along great. The guide was extremely helpful with suggestions and answering all our questions. Hotels were so unique and interesting.,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the French Alps was the wow moment for my husband but I enjoyed Colmar the best. The market, the museums and the friendly people was so welcoming."

Gary

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was fantastic, the people we met were more than great and the sights were amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from Aiguille Du Midi was great."

Marilyn

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Eastern France tour with Daniella as our guide was fantastic. We had a great group of travelers from all over the US which made the trip that much better. My suggested changes or additions would be more tours of Champagne Houses while in Reims. It was a disappointment that we only toured 1 when we were in the region of some of the best champagne in the world. If impossible to add more tours, an email should be sent to travelers to make appointments on their own and provide suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many Wow moments, but I loved the vineyards of Beaune and the beauty of Chamonix. My favorite city or village was Vaison. I loved the ancient roads, bridge, and ruins. The hotel was fantastic and I didn't mind the hill up to reach it; however, the air conditioning situation was tough because we were there during a heatwave. That being said, I wouldn't change that experience one bit."

Joyce

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the itinerary, our guides, and the group of fellow travelers. Everyone was kind, considerate, and engaged in our experience together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to pick just one. But I have to say it was watching the clouds passing over Mont Blanc from the top of Aiguille du midi."

Debra

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we were hoping it would be. Even during the most challenging of times the guides made our experience as informative, comfortable and fun as anyone could hope for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beaune was a beautiful town that we didn’t know much about. It was simply lovely! The market day was perfect and the wineries and tastings were delightful. Really special to meet winemakers and their families in such a historically significant part of france."

Maggi

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was great. Every city had its unique beauty and charm, each hotel was located in the perfect spot for exploring, and our tour guides were knowledgeable, warm and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour of the vineyard in the Cote de Rhône, followed by a fabulous luncheon under the trees, was simply heaven. Our guide, Patric, gave us the opportunity to hike back to town from the winery, and 3 of us chose to do so, making a perfect day even more so."

JoAn

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was so much fun and I learned so much about the country, the people and the culture. It was a very well rounded and fun trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was the group of people on the tour. We all got along so well and the guides were GREAT."

Ralph

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very competent guide with great knowledge of the areas we traveled ~ helpful in every respect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix France and our experience going up to Mont Blanc and also taking the small panoramic cable car to Italy."

Annie

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific adventure with Daniella. The group (18 of us) was perfect and we got along famously. I learned so much, about past conquests, the people we visited and the guides that we met. The number of group events worked nicely - mostly because we loved being together. And Daniella is an exceptional person - brilliant, articulate, diplomatic, and just a lovely human being to each of us. Thank you for a terrific adventure and for keeping us healthy the entire time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to settle on one. Meeting Raoul, the Count, was very special. It was amazing that he was willing to open his home and his life to us so generously. It was very special to be with Muriel's daughter in Colmar who was still training to be a guide - her excitement about taking us through the fortress was a joy. Her mother's tour through the Verdun fortress was very moving; it was so tragic to think of the frightening end to so many very young lives."

Barbara

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Absolutely LOVED our tour guide, Daniela! She went out of her way to make sure everyone was always comfortable, taken care of, and knew how to get to where they wanted to go and especially how to get back to the hotel at night! She was extremely knowledgeable about all the history and was great about making it relevant to the time period and tying things in from my high school history. She made things come alive & helped me feel like I was there!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I adored Colmar and could easily spend more time there, I really was wowed by the charm and beauty of Eguisheim! It blew me away!"

Susan

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous tour de France! If you want outstanding wine, food, pastry, and chocolate, no one does it better than the French. And Rick Steves tours give you an upclose and personal experience in every village. You get a different flavor from each place, whether it be the mini Paris feel of Beaune, the German influence in Alcace, the Roman feel of Vaison La Romaine, or the magnificent French Alps, along with castles and vineyards galore. I fell in love with France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The absolute wow moment is Chamonix. Not to be missed. I enjoyed the French Alps even more than the Italian or Swiss. Do not miss the tram ride from France to Italy and back. If you miss it, you miss the most beautiful vistas the Alps have to offer. Absolutely breathtaking!"

Maria

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experiences, tours and local guides in every town and city we'd visited during our 14 day tour was outstanding and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW factor was the experience in Chamonix. There were several other unexpected and surprising experiences during this tour; but overall the mountains and the gondola rides were unforgettable."

Jim

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Chris was amazing in every way including her knowledge, sense of humor, language, and caring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Blanc and being in the glacial cave."

Karen

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the varied experiences on this tour itinerary. Each stop had something new and different to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stunning scenery in the French Alps was my wow moment. And the fact that we purchased the multipass for the lifts let us experience the views from different vantage points."

Catherine

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great mix of attractions, tours and free time. We traveled the eastern side of France through diverse terrain. Our guide, Julie, exhibited a perfect balance of enthusiasm, practicality and joie de vivre. In spite of traveling while Covid remained around every corner we has a chance to relax and enjoy the beauty and cuisine of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to articulate just one but perhaps the visit to the winery in Cote de Rhone. Besides the delightful explanations of our host, sitting in the garden while enjoying a beautiful lunch of fresh ingredients from the land left me completely grateful to be alive and to have chosen this tour."

Merrill

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth Rick Steves tour and it was my favorite with respect to our guide and our fellow travelers. The group was thoughtful, engaged and incredibly respectful of our French hosts and one another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Colmar washed over me like a rich, vivid European tide. The visuals that emerged around each curve of the winding streets were such a delight...picturesque canals, colorful half-timbered buildings, and bursting flower boxes. The ability to visit during stork nesting season seeing the new hatchlings test their wings was especially memorable."

James

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves tour and it's hard not to make it my favorite. Every experience has provided such a range of new and different elements, that it always seems like it's my first trip to Europ - which it certainly isn't. We tested positive for Covid near the end of the trip - and we didn't have much to endure with it - except 8 extra days in France! Julie was an amazing leader, with a "just right" style balance between enthusiast, teacher, and logistics expert!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The daily hotel balcony view in Chamonix - Mt Blanc, the Glacier, and Aigullie du Midi will live forever in my memory."

Victor

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Eastern France was a lovely and cultured a tour as we had hoped. Julie was a good guide who could interpret French culture for Americans. The wine did not disappoint and the food was an adventure. The best experience was the French culture and ambiance. Everything was charming and enjoyable except Verdun. That stop was a bummer a tourist could do without. The anachronistic stop was a wart on an Empress. Lunch in Verdun Cafe was fine and enough. Our time was better spent elsewhere

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colmar stroll in the most picturesque place I've been. There aren't enough pixels to portray the charm and ambiance of this town. Our side-visit to Strasbourg was fantastic and it should REALLY should be part of this tour. Vinyard wine tasting and picnics in Beaune and Vaison la Romaine were real highlights and fun! Market Squares were fun to explore."

Melinda

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We learned far more than we expected and went to places like the little winery just outside Chateauneuf de Pape that we’d never find on our own

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sun on the snow capped mountains of Chamonix was stunning"

Francisco

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a delightfully diverse mix of history, food, wine, and geographies. Our excellent lead guide, Julie, struck the right balance between programmed and free time, keeping us prepared and eager to learn about people, places, and events as we journeyed through Eastern France. From the wine making traditions of Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, and Cote d'Or, to the breathtaking Alpine peaks above Chamonix, to the Roman Ruins of Provence, with great food along the way, this tour had it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with our four prior Rick Steves tours, it is never easy to pick just one "wow" moment. That said, with ideal weather for the day (sandwiched between a thunderstorm the day before and rain the day after), the gondola ride to the Auguille du Midi viewpoint some 12,600 feet high tops the list, with clear views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in the distance, and Chamonix down below."

James

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable trip, but covid is still the elephant in the room. Can't ignore the anxiety re testing at the beginning and the end of trip. Added difficulty for the guide too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Alps and being in the valley in Chamonix - stunning."

Jane

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, Rick Steves' tours are exceptional!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The majesty of Mont Blanc. Photos cannot capture the ever changing looks and vistas that one can see from Chamonix and the mountains themselves."

Jeanine

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time I learned a lot I was really happy with our guide (and driver) And enjoyed getting to know our nice group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gosh, that’s really hard there were so many. I think looking back at dusk in Chamonix after a merry dinner of fondue and seeing mount blanc Looming white,clear and ghostly in the darkening dusk-almost like science fiction! And the little quaint village, Seguerin I think, perched on a sunny hill surrounded by green Vineyards as far as you could see with Mount Ventoux a bit hazy in the distance."

Carol

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even after living in Dijon my Jr year, and even after returning to France over a dozen times, and taking 4 previous RS tours, Eastern France took me to so many delightful places that I had never been. I loved our Reims walking tour with our experienced guide Toni Seymour and our skilled bus driver Hilde L. (both with an endearing sense of humor). Adding all of that to the delicious food & wine, hotels with very comfortable beds, and a diverse itinerary made this a most enjoyable experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"SO MANY WOW moments but I especially liked exploring the cobblestone path of the upper medieval hill town of Vaison-la-Romaine + the cathedral in Reims, colorful Colmar & Eguisheim, the outdoor market and charity hospital in Beaune, the fondue in Chamonix + the climbers and paragliders on Mont-Blanc, the cogwheel train to Montenvers, the boat ride in lovely Annecy, wine tasting with Kate at Domaine de Mourchon, and the exquisite Aquabella Hotel in Aix-en-Provence, a perfectly varied itinerary!"

Thomas

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at Domaine de Mourchon in Seguret. The weather was picture perfect, food was excellent and the wine was wonderful. The walk back from the winery to Vaison-la-Romaine then capped off the day."

Daniel

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very pleasant 2 weeks in France with a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two both outdoor picnic were very enjoyable."

Joyce

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well planned and well executed. Although tour members realized that the schedule might have to be adapted because of Covid concerns, everything ran smoothly. There was terrific variety in the range of planned excursions..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Under a blazing sun, site guide, Arthur, took us through the Roman ruins in Vaison-la-Romaine. His in-depth explanation of the house remains brought to life the time of Imperial Rome in France."

Anne

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While the weather was really hot at times, this was a beautiful tour with a lot of variety. One suggestion, the timing of our tour in Aix-en-Provence was 1:30. It was so hot, our guide didn't get the attention she deserved, and I really understood that afternoon the importance of the siesta! When really hot, rethink the timing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly think my favorite was the tasting and lunch at Mourchon. We had several wine tastings, but the setting for lunch and the lunch served were perfect. Mount Blanc was also impressive."

Kimball

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had the perfect mix of scheduled, guided tours and events versus free time to wander and explore on our own. Our tour guide always made sure we had the resources to venture out, she always gave us a map, showed us landmarks, and encouraged us to interact with our imperfect and limited French language skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The picnic at the Count's chateau and winery in Cote d'Or. First we felt vested in the event as we took a morning visit to the Beaune market. We had an assignment to purchase thin sliced white ham. We practiced our ordering to make sure we got it right. The experience was delightful and we made other purchases. At the Count's chateau, we were treated to an intimate tour of his home of 20+ generations. Great history! We bought wine. The gardens outstanding and the day was perfect for the picnic."

Karen

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we've come to expect from a Rick Steves tour (This was our 8th). A good balance of tour time and independent time. Great experiences that we could get on our own (Chateau de Rully). A great guide and a fun group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola to the top of Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix. Awesome experience."

Deborah

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the tour and were glad to resume traveling after our tour was cancelled in 2020. We found ourselves a little rusty after the 2 year delay and a few of the hotels were gearing up as well. The one thing was that we were happy to be traveling and our hosts were glad we were back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed visiting Rully with the Count’s tour and story along with the picnic on the grounds."

Valerie

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was comprised of endless « wow »moments! I really appreciated the care from our guide, Julie and the carefully chosen activities and locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last wine tasting, the setting and the lunch combined to make a « wow » event."

Marci

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience was excellent. When people ask me what my favorite day was I reply “all of the days on the trip were my favorite.” We visited interesting places, had new experiences, enjoyed a wonderful guide, and learned a great deal. It was my 3rd RS tour and I am ready to go again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps the day at Chateau Rully. Although. I did love Reims, Colmar, Beaune, and Vaison. Each city was unique and all very enjoyable. The fact that we had almost perfect weather was a plus."

Lydia

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great band of merry travelers -- the chemistry was great. The tour had the right mx of organized tour and free time. Weather was great (we were expecting rain). The groups meals were excellent and fun, accomodations were in great locations and overall good/ very good. Julie was top notch: informative, challenged us to explore and step out of our comfort zones ala' independent travel. Luc was a PHENOMENAL driver; skiiled and personable. Local guides always add so much to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tours of the wineries, and the stories of the passion that goes into making truly great wine. Especially noteworthy were the picnics at Chateau Rully in Beaune and Domaine Maurchon. The town markets were beautiful and allowed us to experience life in small town France. Communicating with the vendors in the markets was a fun mixutre of French and pantomine. The cable ride to Mont Blanc was spectacular."

Thomas

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Eastern France trip was a journey through the various regions and wines. Our guide was very knowledgable and a great communicator. The tour included excellent meals featuring local cusine. The winery tours were exceptional, informative and focused on smaller local wineries, with a nice sampling of their various vitanges.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The care and extra support provided by our guide, Julie Sonveau, when an accident sent me to the hospital. Julie provided support above and beyond while still focusing on our fellow travels and their needs. Other wow moments included the picnic lunch at the winery and the presentations by the vintners."

Marylou

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We visited beautiful,places, ate delicious meals, and traveled with a compatible group and leader. Chris, our tour leader, shared many French stories and interwove French history into our experiences. Her language skills and background were perfect for this trip. Paul, our bus driver, was a safe and outstanding driver, too. He was knowledgeable and well traveled as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting picturesque Chamonix, surrounded by the Alps, was a “wow” time for me. I went on the gondolas to the highest point. I didn’t want to leave the whole setting of Chamonix. It was majestic looking up or looking down from the top. Another incredible experience was the day in Seguret - the little village we toured and the visit to the vineyard of Domaine de Mourchon. The owner was informative and gracious. Wine tasting and lunch were extraordinary! Beautiful place."

John

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really great to be out traveling again. I appreciate knowing that once we join the tour we can relax, knowing our travel and accommodations are taken care of and that we will see some amazing places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"not just one, but several unique wine tasting and tours including a chateau that has been in the same family since the 1500s and an amazing lunch and tour at a family operation in the Cotes du Rhone"

Karen

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our long awaited return to travel was spectacular. We had an excellent guide, spent time in lovely places eating great food and seeing amazing sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our winery tour, tasting, and fabulous lunch under the trees in Seguret. Runner up: group dinner in Beaune with excellent food, lovely setting and service, and wonderful conversation with tour mates."

Shannon

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great trip! Wonderful to be out in the world again! Our guide was knowledgable, organized, fun and helpful; Chris did a super job! We went places we've never been before and it was fascinating to be just a bit more off the beaten path than in western France and to see the French and German influences melded together. Accommodations were good and well located, although those crazy showers take some getting used to again. The food was fantastic! Amazing scenery! Ohlala, the wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many moments. The scenery on this trip continued to amaze! Chamonix, the beautiful vineyards, the half-timbered houses, the tragic ossuary at Verdun. I think Americans tend to think of Paris as the quintessential France but it's really not. The smaller towns and cities on this trip were so French and wonderful in their variety. Pale, elegant Beaune was gorgeous! I feel like I really learned something about wines on this trip. Kate at Moucheron Winery was a fantastic host and teacher."

David

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris Coleman did an outstanding job herding her charges through eastern France. She was always helpful, informative and worked hard to make it a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix was spectacular. Stunning location at the foot of Mt. Blanc. Even though the summit was socked in when we went up the gondola, still a great experience."

John

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This as a very fun and relaxing tour. Our tour guide Chris Coleman was great. Our tours of the vineyards, Castles and all cities were all informative and interesting. The local guides were also great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Chamonix was absolutely breathtaking. The mountains and local hiking trails were stunning. The food and people were friendly and helpful."

Ann

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris the guide was a fabulous mix of knowledge, French language skills, humor and kindness, an exceptional mix. Our tour benefited from a group of women known as the Golden Girls, who have an extraordinary number of notches on their RS travel belt. This mix provided an extra, more inclusive mixing from the usual couple-centric tours. The towns visited were superb, the views from Chamonix incredible, our driver Paul exceptional and kind. My husband with Aphasia was surrounded with love. Besous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the tram up Mt Blanc! And the Into the Void box moment."

Anna

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"France is a very lovely country. The vineyards and wine tasting in the various regions was lots of fun but, my wow moment was the Alps. Hiking in the mountains with friends we met on the tour was great fun."

Edmund

Tour: 05/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A surprising amount of fun and adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually have two WOW!s 1. The tour of Domaine de Mourchon vineyards and facilities with Kate McKinlay and the picnic at her home afterwards. 2. Chamonix play day: from looking for Ruskin's Stone to thrilling at the views from Aiguille du Midi to the Mer de Glace and afterward taking a quiet train ride to close to the Swiss border."

Joseph

Tour: 05/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We've been on tour before and allowed time on both ends to do R&R. The tour was certainly pretty easy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was blown away by L'Orange's ampitheter. It's amazing what one can do with unlimited slaves."

Jim

Tour: 05/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well-designed tour showing a wide range of sites in Eastern France. Excellent hotels, very good meals, efficient travel and knowledgeable and helpful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the alps from atop Aguille du Midi in Chamonix."

William

Tour: 05/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patrick and Henri were both outstanding. Patrick's knowledge and insight into the material, cultural and historical aspects of the tour enriched a dazzling series of sites, experiences and scenery. Henry was unfailingly punctual and navigated the tight corners of Beaune and the open roads with efficiency, while supplying his own insights on the occasions when I got to dine or lunch with him. A great team

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the top of Chamonix. I'm a sierra, wasatch and rocky mountain skier, and nothing I've seen from the dozens of summits of skied from comes close to the packed in your face peaks of the Alps."

Kevin

Tour: 05/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a well-thought-out tour, with great sites, activities and food, well-spaced and timed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Aiguille du Midi viewpoint was truly spectacular. We were lucky to have a clear day and could see the top of Mont Blanc. The trip up, and especially down, the gondola was amazing. The whole day was amazing."

Julia

Tour: 05/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour Guide Patrick and Bus Driver Henri were wonderful at everything involving the tour and lovely people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to distinguish a lots of "wows" from start to finish."

Mario A

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a blast. It was our 11th trip with RSE and we are already planning our next visit to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We selected the visit to the observation platform of the Mount Black from many "wow" moments."

Graig

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France was beautiful and the tour helped us enjoy and understand the country and some of its history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the gondola ride up Aiguille du Midi. Breathless in more than one way."

Sharon

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an excellent tour experience! Our guide, Julie, all members of the group, and our bus driver, Hilde, were pleasant and congenial, and we all interacted well with each other. Accommodations were comfortable and interesting, tours and mini-presentations on the bus by Julie were informative. There was a perfect balance between being together as a group and having time on our own to explore each town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always a difficult question for me to answer! How can I choose between the experience of actually walking medieval streets, sleeping in ancient castles and chateaus, learning about daily life in these old cities, and seeing the current town embrace the old streets and buildings, and the beauty of Mt Blanc and the vineyards and fields of Provence?"

Kathi

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Julie was absolutely incredible! She’s from the US but has lived in France for many years. She gave us several examples of differences between the 2 countries such as medical care, education, politics, etc. The tour was a delight because we could obviously understand her as English is her primary language. She also had a great personality!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola to Mount Blanc on a beautiful clear day!"

Donna

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

It was an OK tour. I feel we were left on our own too much and the group was not that inclusive. The tour did go to interesting towns and the guides were fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to a Chateau that the family lives in"

Joseph

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well chosen stops, with a fantastic guide to lead us. Made great friends too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix! Hard to imagine !"

When To Go & Weather

Any time between May and October is a good time to take a Best of Eastern France tour. However, the months of May, September, and October are best for offering generally good weather, lighter crowds, and the full range of tourist fun.

France / Paris

Paris Weather


France / Nice

Nice Weather

Hotels & Flights

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, as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Paris (CDG or ORY) and out of Marseille (MRS) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Paris is a 45-minute train ride from Reims (where the tour begins), and the Marseille airport is a 30-minute bus ride from Aix-en-Provence (where the tour ends). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in France. There are direct TGV (fast) trains from Aix-en-Provence to Paris and Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves France guidebook.