• Paris
  • Château de Chenonceau
  • Lyon
  • Chamonix
  • Annecy, France
    Annecy
  • Kayaker at Pont du Gard, Provence, France
    Pont du Gard
  • St. Bénezet Bridge, Avignon, France
    Avignon
  • Arles
  • Promenade du Paillon, Nice, France
    Nice

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

My Way® France in 13 Days

from $2,795 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $925

See Tour Dates

Your vacation to France starts by following a route that connects France's must-see sights — from monumental Paris to sunny Nice, with the Loire Valley, Lyon, Annecy, the French Alps, the Pont du Gard, and Avignon in between. Rick Steves' money-saving My Way vacation package gives you the freedom to decide your own daily sightseeing priorities and pace. We cut the stress by providing comfortable rooms in centrally located hotels, private bus transportation from city to city, and a France-savvy tour manager to advise you along the way. Join us for My Way®: France in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2018

    • May 22–Jun 3 (Tu-Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jun 26–Jul 8 (Tu-Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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What's Included

  • This is an "un-guided" tour — giving you the freedom (and responsibility) to manage your daily sightseeing schedule and meals
  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people will share our big, comfy bus during the trip, but not do organized sightseeing together
  • A Rick Steves tour manager will coordinate the group's transportation and hotel arrangements, and provide advice for sightseeing, meals, etc.
  • All group transportation from Paris to Nice
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts are included
  • All tips for tour manager and driver
  • Free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (free podcast/mp3 files) featuring Rick's audio walking tours of sights, museums, and neighborhoods in Paris. Also includes Rick's radio interviews with experts on destinations covered in this itinerary
  • 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

Costs not covered: As this is not a guided tour, you will be responsible for the cost of all your lunches, dinners, drinks, admissions, sightseeing, and non-group transportation. Be sure to plan and budget accordingly. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Sightseeing notes

(r) = reserve a time before you leave the US
* = included in Rick's
Audio Europe™ app

Day 1: Welcome to France

Bienvenue à Paris! Known as the City of Light, Paris is blessed with more monuments and museums than anyone could ever hope to see in a single visit. So get a jump start on your sightseeing priorities today by tackling some of the city's world-class museums, such as the Orsay*, Picasso (r), or Rodin (plan accordingly using the Rick Steves France guidebook; many museums are closed one day a week). If jetlag has you yawning, take a promenade along the famous Champs-Elysées or through one of Paris' many attractive parks, such as the Tuileries or Luxembourg Gardens. This evening, we'll meet at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a group get-together. Your tour manager will give an overview of the days ahead, answer your questions, and offer a quick orientation to our neighborhood. Then you're free for dinner on your own and perhaps a twilight ride to the top of the brilliantly lit Eiffel Tower (r). Or, enjoy the views from below, aboard a floodlit Seine River cruise. Sleep in Paris (2 nights).

Day 2: All day in Paris

Today Paris is all yours. With your guidebook and audio tours in hand, you might begin your day where Paris did — on the Ile de la Cite* — visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral and the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle*. Or take all the time you want to cover the most famous museum in the world — the Louvre* — home to the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and Venus de Milo. This evening, head up to Montmartre to savor the bohemian flair of Amélie's "village" Paris. Take in the breathtaking vistas from the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and drop in to a lively café for a post-dinner drink. As with every day of this trip, everything is your choice! No bus today.

Day 3: To the Loire Valley

This morning we'll bid adieu to Paris. Meeting up with our bus and driver, we'll head to the château-rich Loire Valley, stopping en route to visit the immense Château de Chambord. Farther down the road, our home base of Blois looks and feels more important than other Loire towns…because it was. The Château Royal de Blois is the dominant must-see sight in town. However, don't miss out on the flying-buttressed St. Nicolas Church, the medieval warren of lanes below St. Louis Cathedral, or the traffic-free streets lined with colorful shops and cafés. Sleep in Loire Valley (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours.

Day 4: Loire Valley Châteaux

Your entire day is free for sightseeing in the Loire Valley — the land of a thousand châteaux. To help save you time and effort, our coach will make a morning run to the Château de Chenonceau (arguably the greatest, and hardest to reach château), continuing on to the town of Amboise in the afternoon, and returning to Blois in time for dinner. Many more châteaux are a convenient train, bus, taxi, bike, or rental car drive away from Blois. The choice is entirely yours. (Blois is so charming, you could stay in town all day!) Your guidebook and your tour manager will help you sort through all the happy possibilities this day has to offer. Bus (optional): 2 hours.

Day 5: To Lyon on the Saône

Today we'll drive across the center of France to Lyon, in many ways the cultural capital of France. This is a city where restaurants outnumber cars, chefs are more famous than soccer players, and residents live by the saying, "How well you eat determines how well you live." We'll arrive and get settled in our hotel with plenty of time for you to find your new favorite eatery. (Note: To guarantee a table at any one of Lyon's highest-rated restaurants, make your reservation well in advance.) After dinner, once the sun has set, take in the view from the Bonaparte Bridge on the Saône. Lyon's riverfront walks and floodlit buildings make an evening stroll here an absolute must. Sleep in Lyon (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours

Day 6: All day to Explore Lyon

Lyon is France's most historic and culturally important city after Paris. You'll experience two different-as-night-and-day cities: Vieux Lyon's old-world cobbled alleys, quaint shops, and pastel Renaissance mansions; and the Parisian-feeling shopping streets of the Presqu'île. Buy a 1-day Lyon City Card to get you into all the city's museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Resistance and Deportation History Center. The pass also covers all public transportation, including the Fourvière Hill funiculars. Up on the hill you can tour the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fouvière, enjoy a panoramic city view, and visit the Roman Theaters and Gallo-Roman Museum. No bus today.

Day 7: To Idyllic Annecy

After breakfast this morning we'll drive straight to Annecy, so you can spend all afternoon and evening enjoying this sophisticated, outdoor-oriented — and absolutely bike-crazy — lakeside town. There's something for everyone here: mountain views, romantic canals, a hilltop château, and the irresistible urge to swim in, paddle on, or bicycle around the translucent lake (with cafés well-spaced along the way). Idyllic Annecy may very well end up being your favorite city on the tour. Sleep in Annecy (2 nights). Bus: 2 hours.

Day 8: Annecy and the French Alps

A thriving outdoor food market occupies much of Annecy's old town center until 12:30 today. With your market finds in hand, picnicking along the shores of the lake with the snow-dipped peaks in the distance is a wonderful way to spend your afternoon. But if getting up into the French Alps is your highest priority, our bus will take you to Chamonix and the base of snowy Mont Blanc this morning, returning to Annecy in time for dinner. In Chamonix, you can hike the mountain trails, take a cogwheel train to Montenvers and the Mer de Glace, or a cable car to the dizzying height of 12,600 feet atop the famous Aiguille du Midi (weather permitting). Bus (optional): 3 hours.

Day 9: To the Pont du Gard and Avignon

This morning we'll make our way into Provence, with a long stop to savor one of Europe's most impressive Roman structures, the Pont du Gard. Set in a beautiful national park, this massive aqueduct spanning the Gardon River was constructed of locally quarried, golden limestone more than 2,000 years ago. The Pont and its setting have since become one of France's iconic sights. Spend time in the museum learning how and why the Pont was built. If the weather permits, take a swim, rent a canoe, or hike within the national park. Later this afternoon, we'll make our way to Avignon, the 14th-century home of the pope (or antipope, depending on where you stood). Sleep in Avignon (2 nights) Bus: 4 hours.

Day 10: A Day in Avignon and Arles

Famous for its nursery rhyme, medieval bridge, and brooding Palace of the Popes, Avignon looks and feels like it's stepped out of a fairytale. You'll have all day to explore this medieval-walled city, wandering through the palace, strolling along the pedestrian streets, and quietly humming "sur le pont d'Avignon." A day-tripping alternative is to take a 20-minute train ride to the nearby city of Arles. Here you can walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh, hang out at the lively Forum Square, and take in the impressive Roman Arena (still used for public events) and Ancient History Museum. No bus today.

Day 11: To the Riviera and Nice

This morning we'll make our way from Provence along the azure waters of the French Riviera, arriving in Nice by midday. You'll be set free to dive into your Riviera experience in Old Nice, starting with the lively Cours Saleya market square, getting lost in the maze of Italianate Old City lanes, then breaking out onto the spacious boulevards and shopping promenades of the city's newer side. Chagall and Matisse both called Nice home, and the museums bearing their names are must-see sights. A dip into the sea or a stroll along the palm-tree-lined Promenade des Anglais (with a gelato in hand) are great ways to cap the day. Sleep in Nice (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours.

Day 12: Day-Tripping on the Riviera

There is no better way to end your French adventure than with a day-trip along the French Riviera. The only problem: there are so many dazzling destinations nearby! Cannes, Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Eze, and Monaco are all in easy reach by train or public bus. Will you stay in Nice? Or maybe go to Antibes for its Picasso museum? Or head east to Villefranche-sur-Mer for a hike around Cap Ferrat to visit Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild? Or travel up to Eze for spectacular views and a whiff of perfume? Or check out Monaco's yacht-filled harbor, historic casino, royal palace, and Oceanographic Museum? It's your final day in France, so get out and make it special. No bus today.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Nice's airports and train station by bus or taxi. Your tour manager can help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Au revoir et merci!

(To avoid long lines at the Eiffel Tower, we recommend booking tickets several weeks in advance. For details, see our Eiffel Tower ticket tips for tour members.)

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 My Way: France in 13 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. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  3. Be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  4. Be responsible for your own daily sightseeing, admissions, meals (except breakfasts), and non-group transportation.

Reviews

Carolyn

Ventura, CA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Going "My Way" was not as intimidating as I had thought it may be, given that this was both my first trip to France and my first Rick Steves tour. Our escort provided just enough information on the bus between destinations, and offered an optional orientation at each destination, to help us "newbies" gain confidence that we would be able to navigate public transportation, get wonderfully lost at times, and explore (or not)as we wished.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? Not in any particular order: Lyon - the ceiling detail at the Notre Dame Basilica; Chateau Chenonceau including walkways and gardens, and Chateau of Chambord."

Gloria

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda was a wonderful, informative, and fun guide! All the tour members got along well and enjoyed each other. The tour was well organized and the time spent in each city was great. Not too much time spent in the bus! The south of France was absolutely stunning!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to pick one wow moment! Enjoyed every experience but really enjoyed Annecy and Arles."

Jenny

Milford, OH

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our third My Way tour and the tour experience on our My Way France was great. The My Way format allows a lot of flexibility which we appreciate. We had many activities and excursions where others from the tour group joined us, as well as times when we were off on our own. It was a perfect balance! Linda our tour manager would familiarize us with each city with recommendations on restaurants and possible activities before turning us loose. The My Way format is the best way for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments: seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, the majesty of the Pont du Gard, the blue of the Mediterranean of the Cote d'Azur in Nice."

Doug

Milford, OH

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience with a great tour manager (Linda).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nice with beautiful weather and the beautiful Mediterranean sea."

Lisa

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an excellent experience. We had a great tour group and we loved the My Way concept which allowed us a lot of flexibility.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nice and the riviera."

Kathleen

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our Tour Manager Linda was amazing and really helped us get the most out of our tour experience. We covered so much territory and history of France and ancient Rome. Once we left Paris we had a great tour routine of checking into our next hotel and then taking an orientation walk with Linda where she gave us a city map and oriented us to our new town. Our fellow travelers were all friendly, flexible, and we enjoyed each others' company and sharing insights into the local community.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Provence; Pont du Gard and the magnificent Roman history museum; moving on to Avignon and a day trip to Arles. We went to Arles with the expectation of walking in the place that inspired Van Gogh but were as "wowed" by the Roman Arena and Roman Theatre and the ancient history of the area. The Cote d'Azur and walking the Promenade des Anglais."

Arlon

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very exciting. Moving every other day was tough. Had a wonder leader and bus driver. Visited many historic sites We enjoy the My Way format.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Roman sites and how they handle the many years. Nice was great too with the many wonderful views of the sea."

Mary Anne

Woodburn, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip. Our guide, Linda, was amazing and the group was so much fun to travel with. This was our first "My Way" trip and it was a fun adventure. We took a lot of time to read about where we were going and what there is to do there. We made reservations ahead so we knew what our schedule would be and where we would have free time. The one disappointment was that we had reservations to parasail in the French Alps but the day we arrived it was pouring rain and the adventure was cancel

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We attended mass in the cathedral in Lyon "Fourviere". It was a spectacular production in a spectacular place."

Linda

Blaine, MN

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first My Way Tour. I was very pleased with the amount of assistance I received from Linda. She gave answers and met requests in a very timely fashion. As far as the tour itself, I would prefer to have at least 3 nights at some destinations. The town of Blois could be skipped all together. Consider more time in Lyon, Paris, and Nice. Our bus driver was very enjoyable also. Love the bus size. Allowing people to spread out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Top of the Eiffel Tower at sunset with a glass of champagne ! Loved the Roman amphitheater and museum in Lyon."

Ram

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our third trip; we certainly enjoyed every aspect and every day of the tour. Our tour guide and the bus driver were funny, entertaining, and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture, the preservation of the historic sites and their present condition of the chateaus. We were also impressed with scenic French countryside, the kindness and openness of the French people and the cuisine."

Linda

Shelton, WA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough positive things about our tour consultant, Trish. (I say 'consultant' because I was on a RS My Way tour, but Trish was very often a guide. Every stop, she took us on a short orientation tour of the new town. She made sure we checked our surroundings, knew where our hotel was located, and that we all had a map as we walked to the visitor's center for any other information we needed. Additionally, on the bus, Trish always gave us a heads-up on anything we needed to know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lyon at night. Saint Chappelle in Paris. L'Orangerie. Annecy. Too difficult to select just one 'wow' moment. Our whole trip was "Wow!""

Josh

Shelton, WA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think my trip through Rick Steve's under promised and over performed. Our travel guide was beneficial in our seeing extra sites and provided her expertise for each city we visited. Of all the cities, Avignon was my least favorite, but was full of historical informaton, Arles was close by and would have been a better choice. Rick Steve's gives Avignon 1 star and Arles 3. Great trip, great people and great fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Annecy and Lyon were wow town's. With rivers in Lyon and the lake in Annecy, the night views were spectacular. Of course, Paris stands alone with it's beauty and history."

Janet

Moro, OR

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was so much fun! I was dubious about the bus since I get carsick, but I didn't have any trouble! Trish and Henry were fantastic! I had to adjust the clothes I packed at the last minute since I could see that it wasn't going to be as warm and sunny as I would have thought for September in France, but the cooler days actually made for good traveling! We had a great group of people, from all over the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the U.S., so that made conversations interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau des Baux, near Avignon. Trish had a research day there and invited us along to make use of the bus and it was awesome. A beautiful day to start with and a beautiful location, with some difficult walking and steps, to be honest, but so worth it. Incredible sound and light show."

Terri

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to France, so the itinerary was perfect for seeing many parts of the country in 2 weeks. The hotels were are nice and centrally located. The tour guide, Linda, was fantastic! She was fun and informative. I really enjoyed the "My Way" tour, with just the right amount of guidance from Linda.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one! There were many highlight experiences along the way, something special in each place we visited."

Don

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was very pleased with the overall tour experience. Our tour leader and bus driver were very good, experienced and professional. The itinerary for the tour was varied and interesting. The other tour members were good travel companions. The length of the tour was just right. Overall---excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the ancient roman aqueduct at Ponte du Garde( spelling may be wrong) was a favourite wow moment!, Also the chateaus of Chambord and Chenennceau were spectacular in their own ways."

Leslie

Flourtown, PA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a fabulous time. Linda was a great guide and enjoyed seeing France with an expert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the chateau's they almost didn't seem real even though they were right in front of you."

Chris

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed having the hotel and transportation end of our trip all taken care of. This left us with the flexibility and time to explore our stops in whatever way we chose. It's like having the "best of both worlds". As a relatively shy person, it was also great getting to know some of our fellow travelers in the group. People from all over the US and Canada. I had a wonderful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed learning about the culture of France from our tour guide! Not only did we learn the history of the sights we could see, but also learned about the everyday lives of people in France."

Charles

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

For us this was a perfect balance of providing services which took the guesswork and hassle out of overseas travel while still allowing us to make all our own decisions about what to see at what pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were able to visit my wife's cousins in Nice. It was a special treat to see where my mother-in-law lived during her teenage years. We were lucky enough to have a great lunch in Villefrance-Sur-Mer at a seaside restaurant managed by my wife's cousin's son celebrating his 35th birthday with cousins, children, grandchildren, etc. It felt like we were in a movie."

Claire

Dayton, OH

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think the My Way Tour is the way to go. You can decide what you want to see in each city. You can make it as busy or relaxing as you want. You don't feel overwhelmed with what there is to seeing each city. You didn't like you were on the go every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite stop was Annecy. It was great to have a break from the museums and just to enjoy our surroundings. The views were wonderful."

Mary

Catonsville, MD

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was very good plus (I seldom give an outstanding). Linda was great as a tour manager, Peter an excellent bus driver. The hotels were good to very good. I had no problems during the 2 weeks. Fellow travelers were friendly and courteous and nobody whined!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monaco was my favorite "wow" few hours more than a moment. France is a country that has an abundance of "wow" moments and I travel there as often as I can afford to do so."

Pamela

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Have been wanting to go to France since my first experience in French class at age 13. Guess I was waiting for the MyWay tour! It did not disappoint. We added 6 additional days in Paris divided before and after the tour. This allowed us to take in so much of the wonderful beauty and culture of that great city. Appreciated the additional visits to places near the tour cities on the itinerary which enhanced our experience. (chateaux, Ambois, Point du Gard, etc).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris, Paris, Paris. Loved the art, architecture,food!"

Randy

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were first timers to visit France and this My Way tour was a great way to experience the country. Splitting time between Paris and the other distinctive regions, having a wonderfully personable tour guide to help us choose the best experiences, and having the flexibility to go off on our own, all helped to make this our best vacation ever. We are sold on the My Way tours and will hope that Rick adds many new countries for folks to enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many French sights, sounds, tastes and experiences over those two weeks, it is really hard to narrow it down to just one. But I do have one personal "wow" moment that happened our second day in Paris. I will never forget the initial surprise and then the utter amazement at the beauty of all those breath-taking stained glass depictions at Sainte-Chappelle. Wow, indeed!"

Laurie

Everett, WA

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love the My Way tour format. It takes the stress out of travel and lets me enjoy Each city. Our guide Linda gave us a great insight to French people as well giving us sightseeing advice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the differences and beauty between regions throughout France. The beauty of Annecy and the Alps. The incredible food of France."

Nicole

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing time! Linda, our tour guide, and Henri, our bus driver, were such joys to be around and I will always cherish our chats! I am someone who LOVES planning, so this trip was perfect for me to get what I wanted out of every location, while not having to worry about getting to any of the cities safely - the bus and the hotels included in the tour took care of that. I will forever remember this trip and cannot wait to book other RS tours in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Annecy I was able to do a 20 mile bike ride around the lake and mountains, and will never be able to put into words how amazing it was. I also enjoyed all of the local wines and cuisines. Getting to walk among lavender fields an hour out of Avignon, enjoy a Michelin star restaurant in Lyon...I truly cannot choose just one "wow" moment because they ALL were "wow" moments!"

Barbara

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just loved the concept of a tour that does not move as a single body once it arrived at a place. The idea that I could spend as much [or little]time in a specific tourist destination or go to dinner with two or three others was very workable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Blanc. I wanted to see the mountains up close. I did not ascend to the hiking areas because I didn't want to spend hours on line waiting for the gondola but seeing the glacier and exploring the town was great."

David

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful countryside. Hotels were in good locations...not sure if usual, but all but one had A/C. Given that it was summer, that's a good thing. :-) The "My Way" tour provided the opportunity to see much of France without the uncertainties of arranging accomodations in the various towns along the way. A great thing for travelers who might be a little intimidated by that sort of thing. It also provided us with confidence in being able to do it ourselves next visit we take.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the scenery, countryside, history, etc., all provided WOW moments, my favorite parts (and there were many) were the meals we had a little out of the way restaurants during out journey. Why can't we have such quality, friendliness, good wine and good bread here in the States?"

Laurie

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was wonderful. Having our hotels and transportation between towns made it possible to focus on sightseeing. Our tour guide was the BEST. I loved the towns and cities we visited. I was surprised that some of the ones I was less enthusiastic about visiting turned out to be some of my favorites. I enjoyed meeting new people on the tour, but we all had our own preferences of what to see, so it worked out great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many special moments. Maybe my favorite was an idea I had to rent a car in Avignon and drive up into the Luberon hills to visit L'isle Sur la Sorgue, Gordes, Roussillon, and the Pont Julien. Linda gave us information on who to ask about it. We really made our tour a super "My Way" tour, catching the train to Amboise on our own schedule, and adding the drive along the coast to Barcelona. Thanks!!!"

William

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time: an exceptional tour guide and bus driver, good hotels, and pleasant fellow travelers. We visited a variety of interesting locations, which provided us a wealth of memories. The length of time we stayed in each location was adequate (though it sometimes left us wanting more).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I came to France expecting to see great art and great scenery, to taste great food and wine. I was not disappointed, and these things yielded numerous "wows." It's hard for me to identify a single favorite "wow" moment, but I suppose I felt a sense of awe (or "wow") when I visited Roman features like Pont du Gard, and realized how advanced Roman civilization was in the first, second, and third centuries."

Suzanne

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first My Way tour. It was outstanding. Great leader and wonderful group of fellow travelers. Every location on the tour offered new experiences. Very easy to see and do everything that we planned to do. We look forward to our next My Way tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cycling beside Lac Annecy and enjoying a leisurely lunch at the Oasis at a table by the Lac."

Stephanie

New York, NY

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's just the right tour for us! The experience is a good combination of explorations of many cities and nature, with hotels, breakfast and transportation taken care of, and freedom to explore on our own with a local insider's guides. We could not have done it ourselves in a relaxed way, explored so many places, and learned about France! Hotels were great, the bus was clean, the driver was professional and fun, the inputs from the guide is relevant, useful and personalized. Highly recommended!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After experiencing some big cities and smaller towns, arriving in Annecy on a sunny July afternoon was perfect! The lake glistening against the mountain, people were walking, sunning, boating and running...it was a great place for all seasons."

Timothy

Newburgh, IN

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Trip, well planned with very nice accommodations. Transport was clean and roomy with very good driver, "Henri". This was our 2nd Rick Steves' my may tour and certainly not our last. When you do the math on planning this trip yourself vs letting Rick handle it you find the value is there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list. France is worth the visit with every stop along the way having a "wow" moment"

Susan

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful, our bus driver Henri, the comfortable perfectly located hotels, the satisfying breakfasts to start each day, and our exceptional tour guide Linda. We had an amazing group and made some awesome new friends, of all ages. "My way" gave our family a chance to do whatever we wanted in each city and the tour book made it easy for us to plan our days to the fullest. We have over 800 beautiful photos and wonderful memories to last a lifetime. It was all that we wanted and more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the orientation walk in Annecy. The lake with the mountains in the background was breathtaking! It is the clearest lake in Europe and the bicycle/walking path goes all around it. We rented bicycles and rode 7 miles to the city of Duingt and back with beautiful views the entire ride. It was truly paradise! We even had a lake view from our hotel!"

Dave

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Prior to this trip, my wife and I had been to Paris quite a lot but never anywhere south of there. So, we were really looking forward to this tour, and we were not disappointed. This was a great tour in every way: great group, great tour guide (Linda), great bus driver (Henry), great food, etc. This was our first My Way tour and we will do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a lot of wow moments, but two stand out. One was at the top of the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix. As a dedicated climber and skier for most of my adult life, this was almost a pilgrimage for me. The other was the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct. The aqueduct itself was stunning, but the museum on the history of water and the Roman Empire was one of the best I've seen (on par with the best the Smithsonian has to offer). An overall wow for me was the French people: incredibly nice and kind."

Robert

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the trip very much and Trish was a great guide and facitator. We had a great time and I was glad Henry did all the driving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed bicycling along Lake Annecy and taking the tram up Mont Blanc."

Lois

Maineville, OH

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary for the trip was a good balance of big cities, small towns, mountains,valleys, countryside and seaside. The "my way" format was a great way for us to travel. We had independence yet guidance along the way. Plus, having the transportation and hotels arranged for us made it easy. We appreciated having the option of taking our bus to Chenonceau and Chamonix. This was our 3rd Rick Steves Tour and, as in the previous two, our fellow tour members were great fun, easy-going, good sports.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really hard to narrow down to one. I expected to love Annecy, Avignon and Blois but I was surprised to be so impressed by Lyon. Maybe the biggest wow was the top of Aiguille du Midi."

Thomas

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This MyWay tour had the perfect itinerary. Just a few days in Paris to experience the city, and then off to the French countryside to explore castles and chateaus. We ended in Nice just in time for the film festival and Grand Prix. We started 3 days early in Paris to have time to go out to Normandy to tour the beaches and memorials. We extended two more nights in Nice to be able to rent motorcycles to tour the area. Beautiful weather in southern France. Food, wine, and people were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The excursion up to Charmonix up to 12,600 feet was amazing. Renting a Harley to ride around Nice and Monaco was fun. We even rode on part of the Grand Prix course. This was a great group of 25 people that got along great."

William

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was perfect. The my way tour lets you do what you want, yet the guide is there to suggest places to go and what to expect at each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one WOW moment of the tour, since there were so many levels of WOW. Swimming in the river under Pont du Gard, or standing in the VOID at Mt. Blanc, or riding motorcycles in the French Riviera, only scratches the surface of WOW."

Ellen

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent, really. Our guide was great[INVALID]informative and helpful. Henry our bus driver was also great and integrated into the group effectively. Hotel locations were great, even if it meant sacrificing space for big people like us. I liked the balance between city and the small towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose: Discovering that Lyon was such an important city in the Roman Empire. The blue of the Mediterranean at Nice the magnificence of Mont Blanc the Pont du Gard--incredible engineering"

Laura

Myrtle Beach, SC

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expections many times over. We saw an incredible amount of the country in a two week period however I never felt rushed. Paris was full of awe inspiring experiences (including performances in Saint-Chapelle and Norte-Dame cathedral) however I fell in love with France after we left the city. The countryside from the Loire valley to Chamonix down to Nice was covered in spring foliage and watching it go by from the comfortable seat of Henry's bus was truly the way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The chateau of Chenonceau was the "wow" moment for me. It is privately owned and maintained extremely well. The gardens were full of spring flowers which were made into arrangements placed in every room of the chateau."

Terri

Bertram, TX

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour, and our second My Way tour. We really enjoy the My Way experience because we get to travel with a congenial group of independent travelers who have many interests in common with us. Yet, we all experienced this trip in our own individual ways. And we are sharing those experiences and photos post tour on our Facebook group. This trip to diverse areas in France was our favorite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had seats in the third row for the ballet at the Opera Garnier. On a previous visit to Paris, we toured that beautiful place, so this was definitely on our bucket list! It was a very special and magical evening for us."

James

El Macero, CA

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really liked the My Way format. The tour leader, organization, hotel and transportation arrangements created a great base for a wonderful trip. This plus the Rick Steves' guidebook allowed us to tailor a marvelous travel experience for our particular interests and some personal physical limits. Even though we all did different activities, it was very enjoyable traveling with the group; fun to share experiences, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Wow was the contnual joy of interactions with the French people in the restaurant, service and tourist industry. They are a polite, precise, energetic people who made a great effort to communicate in English and responded kindly to my limited French. Bounjour, Merci, Au Revoir were magic words. This plus the marvelous and varied beauty of France on this broad sweep across the country."

Larry

Springfield, OR

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It took some time to finally say how joyful was this fine France My Way Tour. As this was # 20 tour, since 2002, my expectations have a certain level. Which always are exceeded! Trish is an enthusiastic TREASURE! Thankful for her kind efforts to assist this less then perfectly mobile traveler in many ways, especially in Nice for her language skills with a certain taxi driver! Loved seeing France in all its remarkable geography. From Paris splendor, to mountain highs in the Alps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many...Yet certainly the museum of Pont Du Gard, in its explaining completely the history and complexity of this Roman artifact, filled my afternoon with AC comfortable insights...A Certain Wow. Also there I met several other travelers, from England, the US and french locals, who again confirmed why these tours bring you new friendships at the spur of the moment!"

Carol

Davis, CA

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our ninth RS Tour and our first My Way Tour. We had been to most of the locations before, but this time we did it "Our Way." We pre-arranged cooking classes, French market food tours, winery visits and tastings, boat tours and other ways to explore each location that we had not done previously. I have mobility issues and can no longer keep up with the group on a regular RS Tour, so going at my own pace, taking taxis and other transportation instead of always walking was so helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although we had been there before, being on Mont Blanc, on the water at Lake Annecy and being Wowed by the views at Nice and the one hour boat tour there were stand outs. My favorite Wow, though was taking the golf cart to tour the massive grounds at Chateau de Chambord! We got to see it in a different way than we had before, even in the pouring rain. My photos of the chateau from that vantage point are spectacular."

Susan

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

3rd RS tour, but first 'my way' trip. We enjoyed it very much. Assistance when we needed it and the bonus of choosing our own timetable and schedule. Accommodations were great and central (for the most part) and all the folks in the group were congenial. Trish did a great job and used her people skills to pull our group together. Great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment??? Everything was great... We had one of those picture perfect days in Chamonix. Bright sunshine, blue sky and no wind. The view of Mont Blanc was breathtaking and the mountains looked like they were white and navy blue. No photo shop necessary. Absolutely perfect"

Carol-ann

Naples, FL

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third My Way Tour - we love them! We very much enjoy the freedom to explore the tour destinations at our own pace, focused on the aspects that interest us most. Leaving the logistics to the experts allow us to relax and experience Europe more readily. Linda was a fantastic Tour Manager. Her love of France was enthusiastically shared with us throughout the journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the village of Eze on our last day in Nice. The charming climb up to the lovely garden with the scenic views were unparalleled."

Mary

Galesburg, IL

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The My Way tour is our preferred way to travel in Europe. We can relax on the bus between locations and rely on local recommendations for sightseeing, culture and restaurants/food. Hotels being arranged is also nice for us with limited planning time. We have also found a hidden bonus in getting to know fellow tour members, the guide and bus driver! We found France a little more difficult to maneuver than other countries, with more of a language barrier. The RS books helped a lot with this

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The street markets across France were cultural experiences in their own right; mouth watering, visually stimulating, free smells experiences. Oh, tasted good too!"

Lori

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being my first my-way tour I really didn't know what to expect. I have always been skeptical about tours. It was the perfect fit for my husband & I. Our tour guide Linda could not have been more helpful or accommodating, the bus was most comfortable and our driver Henri was great. We really were able to relax as we traveled from place to place. We also enjoyed the rest of the group and made new friends. It was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cities we visited were beautiful! Its impossible to pick one! The variety was perfect."

Saunders

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was great. The group was cohesive but independent. Linda and Henri well able to gauge the dynamics and seemed to tailor their input to those dynamics. I think EVERYONE enjoyed it. The hotels were good as expected, and their location to the areas I wanted to visit were great. The one area that should be revised should be the amount and the lengths of stops in the coach between locations. I believe some of our time could have been better spent in the towns.

Virginia

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This My Way France tour was perfect for my husband and me. This was our third RS tour; the others were the standard format. This time we wanted the security of having a guide available for information or emergencies, and we didn't want to plan the hotel or bus logistics. We like to explore on our own without the pressure to participate in the group. Our group was delightful, very compatible, and we discovered they all felt much like we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: the combination of the ethereal sun-lit beauty of the pale blue and gold mosaics along with the architecture and the Mass singing priest at La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere in Lyons; viewing the magnitude and age of the Pont du Gard from the shallows of the Garder River below; the intense colors of the bay and buildings in Nice under the piercing blue sky; finding the actual locations where Van Gogh painted his canvases on the Van Gogh Walk in Arles."

Doug

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour but first My Way tour. We loved the My Way tour for the size of the group and the freedom to pursue our own interest most of the time but at the same time have the hotels and transportation taken care of. On top of that it was great to have the tour leader (consultant) available for questions, some directions, and in case of any problems of which there were none. The other people on the tour were very compatible which added to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I stepped into Lyon's Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fouvière and was struck by the beauty of the interior. However, a close second would be the opportunity to walk the narrow streets of the different towns' historic districts and coming upon small shops, churches, markets, and people watching."

Sheldon

Naples, FL

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was a great experience. The logistics were flawless, the sites were great and the tour leader superb. After three of your tours, we think Linda was the best tour leader overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chennanceau and its gardens were just amazing."

Efren

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour after my wife and I traveled twice to Italy on our own using Rick's guidebooks. We are not "tour" people, preferring to see, eat and do things independently at our own pace. Based on feedback from friends who had traveled on several My Way tours, we decided to sign up; glad we did! It was wonderful to not have to worry about transportation and lodging for each leg of the Tour, and we enjoyed being with a small group of like-minded people. Linda was terrific!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing France and each city for the first time. Just when you thought nothing can top this, you encounter something else amazing, whether it is the food, the wine, the people, the shops, the views, the sites, etc."

Maribeth

Dearing, GA

Tour: 09/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The destinations chosen provided a nice overview of the charms of France. We felt like we had enough time to enjoy each place but also had a list of things to see and do when/if we get back there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the resilience of the French people in the face of terrorism! Truly inspiring."

Diana

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the France MyWay tour and felt that we had a good overview of the country after it ended. Although there was a lot of time spent on the bus, we realize it was because France is a large country. Even so, we now know where we would return for a future trip: Provence and southern France! So, it was worth it being able to see a lot of this lovely country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pont du Gard was my wow moment, well worth the stopover."

Scott

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly organized and complete. Relentless cheerfulness...that's a good thing. Though a "my way" trip it still was "guided" but non-intrusively.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman Museum in Lyon..."

Mary Lou

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Having done the signature tour of Greece last year I was interested in the MY Way for France, since I was more familiar with that country. Overall it was similar in tone and the fellow travelers. It also worked well with my sister and her husband, as we had lots of time to do our own thing. If I were on my own I would prefer the signature style.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having potage and a kir on Mont Blanc. The hike down to the small restaurant was a good 30 minutes and I thought I missed it but some fellow hikers encouraged me. Then, while dining, we watched some hang-gliders gracefully ride the air currents. When we returned we found out one of them was from our group. There were also 2 crazy folk who were in flying squirrel suits who flew past. Yikes!"

Richard

Manlius, NY

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The France - My Way tour gave me what I wanted as far as a look at France that went beyond the Paris - Versaille - Verdun that I'd seen several times before. By adding two days in Normandy prior to tour start, and complemented by a really great tour manager (Marie), it was just about all I could have hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Nice from the castle point."

LeeAnn

Seabrook, TX

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "My Way" tour and my third Rick Steves trip. The "My Way" concept worked perfectly for me and my travel buddy. It took care of the planning chores we don't especially enjoy (finding hotels and transportation) and left those we do enjoy (choosing daily activities)to us. This was also a perfect itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The definition of a "wow" moment has to be stepping into the "Pas dans le vide" at Aiguille du Midi. Yes,it is possible to feel terror and exhilaration at the same time! As my travel buddy and I shuffled our way into the glass box, we were compelled to touch the glass to verify it was really there and to hold hands for security. The views of Mont Blanc and surrounding Alps kept my jaw dropped in awe the entire time up there!"

Brendle

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a wonderful time and very much enjoyed my trip around France! The group was great as well and I enjoyed the occasional social events that were offered as options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The crystal clear weather for our trip to the French Alps which allowed for bike riding along Lake Annecy and a trip up to the Aiguille du Midi. The views were astonishing. As this was the portion of the trip I was looking forward to most, it was just brilliant and fantastic. A high point literally and figuratively."

Patricia

Uncasville, CT

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect way to travel for us. Your travel and hotel arrangements took stress out of the trip. Our travel manager, Mary, was a great mentor. She helped us with travel plans, and also guided us through basics French language and etiquette. As a result, we were more confident in our dealing with the French people. The bus day trip options saved us from additional transportation issues. The cities included in the tour gave a great feel for the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have just one "wow" moment. Every day I was in the midst of a historic and culturally rich environment."

Robert

Uncasville, CT

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France My Way was everything we hoped it would be. The pace of the tour was very good for us. We were able to do and see the things we wanted to experience, but were not limited to the need to remain with a tour group. We had originally planned to tour France for 3 weeks on our own, but this tour took care of those difficult logistical elements of travelling (e.g., how to get from one place to another and where to sleep once you got there).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau chateau. The grounds, the chateau, the beautiful and determined women, the palace intrigue, it had it all. History really came alive as I toured through the chateau."

Lillian

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first experience with a RS tour, after previously having used his Europe Through the Back Door guide books. We loved having the accomodations and transportation provided for us. What was unexpected and much appreciated was our tour manager Mary with her suggestions for daily explorations. She encouraged us to frequently say Bonjour Madame/Monsieur when first meeting a local, which was so helpful in breaking the ice. Wished more more days in some cities/towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow-Paris and Nice."

Michael

Boulder Creek, CA

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great my way tour of France, hitting several interesting locations, and the bonus optional sides trips were not to be missed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We did our own walking tour of historic Paris, including Sainte-Chapelle, Notre-Dame, and the left Bank including Shakespeare and Company. Particularly memorable was a pleasant lunch at a cape down the street from the entrance of Notre-Dame, relaxing at a cafe in the shade of Notre-Dame, and taking in that magnificent church."

Judith

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We joined the group, and right from the start, it was easy to see we had joined a group of friendly travelers. As first-time travelers to Europe, we were the only "newbies" in the group, but our guide quickly helped us feel at home. We appreciated the comfy bus trips, and the destinations offered a variety of great places to visit in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The absolute high-point of the trip was our visit to the Mont Blanc and Chamonix. The vistas were amazing, and we were thrilled to have a perfect weather day to make it perfect!"

Diane

Taylor Lake Village, TX

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous vacation: great tour manager, itinerary, and tour group. The fact that this My Way tour included some stops enroute to the next town, and that the bus took those interested to Chenonceaux and Chamonix was part of the reason my friend and I chose this tour--and we were really glad we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pas dans la Vide at the top of Aiguille du Midi. "Stepping into the void" of that 5-sided glass room with walls so clear we had to touch them to be sure they were there was terrifying but exhilarating. Unexpectedly, it was scarier to look out at Mont Blanc and the Alps than it was to look down from an elevation of about 12,400 feet. I'm about as risk-averse as they come, but I am so glad I did this!"

Loretta

La Grange Park, IL

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in Europe and using Rick Steve's My Way tour was a great overview of France. Because I didn't have to worry about accommodations or travel between cities, I was able to focus on the activities I was most interested in doing. The travel bus was comfortable and efficient. The hotels were clean, in great locations with varieties styles. Having a good breakfast and delicious coffee every morning was a great way to start the day and gave each of us a chance to share notes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was getting off the tour bus at Chamonix to see clear blue skies and the amazing and breathtaking view of Mont Blanc. We boarded the gondola, crammed in like sardines and zipped to the top with a small bump halfway up that made the whole crowd squeal. We were presented with an unobstructed view of the Alps for 360 degrees. There wasn't a breeze and very few clouds. All sun and snow. I could have stayed in that moment forever."

John

Lagrange Park, IL

Tour: 09/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time! Thank you Mary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alp's! Chamonix and the Aiguille De Midi cable car was spectacular. The views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains toke my breath away."

Patricia

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I entered into this tour with little to no knowledge of France except that there was a fancy large city that had a tall tower. This tour left me so enriched with "all things French" through the expert commentaries provided by Linda along with the cultural, historical, political, educational, and artistic experiences we experienced. This was truly a most wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments in each town we visited. Paris's night Seine boat ride with all the lighted buildings was stunning. The Roman ruins in Lyon and Pont du Gard was humbling. Biking along Lake du Annecey was beautiful with the French Alps as backdrop. And Nice was by far the most beautiful city I have experienced."

Peter

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary here was nicely laid out, and I particularly enjoyed the Loire, Lyon, Annecy portion. I'd recommend perhaps that the tour focus more on Arles than Avignon, as Arles is much more open and cheerful a spot. It's obviously an easy train hop from one city to the other, so just a question of what would work the best for hotels, etc. Nice has changed significantly for the better in the past 15 years (from our last visit), and was a very pleasant endpoint on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Blanc without hesitation. What a spectacular view! We were uncertain if the weather would accommodate us up to the very last minute, and then, WOW! Worth every euro (and it was a lot!), but great fun. Second, somewhat surprising wow moment was the Pont du Gard - that was interesting and impressive, much more than I expected."

Jennifer

Loveland, OH

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We love the freedom of the "My Way" tours. Henri (a terrific bus driver) took care of getting us to each beautiful town, then Linda got us oriented and we were off to explore. This is a great tour for people who enjoy doing some trip planning, particularly for the days in Paris. As always, a great guide, and fun, interesting tour members. "My Way" tours allow you to enjoy more of what you love about travelling to Europe, whether that is art, history, churches, markets, food, beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the day in Chamonix, as well as enjoying the Paris evenings. We also really loved having lunches in outdoor cafes in the small towns. There are some beautiful squares that you just happen upon, and it is such a treat to enjoy lunch while looking at architecture and cobblestones that we'd never see at home."

John

Mechanicsville, VA

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda, our guide, was super. She added so much human interest information regarding France, past and present.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lift in Chamonix"

Trudy

Connoquenessing, PA

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour of France very much, from beginning to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed each site we visited but was especially impressed by the endurance of the Gallo-Roman ruins we encountered throughout France."

Becky

Glendive, MT

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We liked the variety of the cities we visited and the people we traveled with. All had been on Rick Steve's tours before. We like the open plan of the "My way " tours. This was our second, the first was Spain and this trip was France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Annessy was just the right sized town; the city sits on the cannel and the lake was pretty."

Diane

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had never been to France before. This itinerary through central France was ideal. We have been on several RS tours before including My Way Italy so we came quite prepared for independent excursions. Our escort Linda was very good and well liked by everyone. We chose not to buy the Museum Pass in Paris and had no trouble with lines for Versailles or Paris proper. We arrived in Paris 3 days before the tour. The one thing I would have liked more information on before the trip is a more detaile

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Point du Gard and Chamonix. Wish we had a full day at Pont du Gard to hike and spend time in the excellent museum"

James

Elma, NY

Tour: 09/06/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda our tour guide was very friendly and helpful. She sat down individually with us to help plan with our itineraries. It was nice to go off and explore on our own and at our own pace places that we didn't get a chance to visit when we were in this region. We had been to France a couple of times as well as Lyon, Provence and Avignon once before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix, Mount Blanc. Majestic beauty. Thrilling to see sky divers jump off the top of the mountain."

Jeff

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 07/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the format of the France My Way Tour. No hassles with transportation or hotels made traveling much easier. And no preprogrammed museum trips allowed us the flexibility to explore at our own pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The high point of the trip was literally and figuratively the trip to Chamonix. We went as a group but once there were on our own. The tram ride up the mountain was breath taking, not because we were packed like sardines in a can but because of the sheer beauty."

Denise

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 07/12/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My family and I did the Heart of Italy two years ago. We loved it but it was very full. This was perfect. Enough guidance from Linda and enough family time. I appreciated not having to plan hotels and transportation knowing we would go to great places. Linda was wonderful. She would guide us to the visitors centers, give some ideas, and was always enthusiastic. She handled the crisis in Nice well. She is a treasure and a great person on top of being a great tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming under a Roman Aquaduct. How many people can say that? Everyone around us was European."

Richard

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda was a great guide. We appreciated her help and suggestions. Got to see a lot of places but still did not feel rushed. Hotels were always centrally located to allow easy access to areas of interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No specific item comes to mind but enjoyed seeing the many historical sites and beautiful cities."

Gordon

El Paso, TX

Tour: 07/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing variety of experiences on our My Way tour through the heart of France. Starting with vibrant, cosmopolitan Paris, we rode to pastoral Blois, bustling Lyon, lovely lake-side Annecy, alpine Chaminoix, festival crazy Avignom, and finally Nice where the local people talked of their grieving and sadness. I fell in love with France on this trip, and felt that I really got to know her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Clearly, the cable car ride to the top of Mont Blanc. When I stepped into the first car for the ride up, I did not grasp just how high this device was going to take me. My heart was pounding by the time I reached the top at 12,604 feet. The vistas were utterly breathtaking. After an hour, I was feeling the effects of mountain sickness and had to descend. This was an experience that I will never forget."

Diane

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 06/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous trip for us. It helped us gain some independence in our travels, but Mary was always there to support, suggest, and speak French with????. We loved Paris. The hotel was parfait! I really felt like we saw so much that France had to offer. We ended in Nice and extended our stay a few days....Monday before the attack we walked the Promenade Anglaise.....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ease of using the metro in Paris. I was amazed at how easy it was to get from place to place, once you understood the map of course?? Being in France during the Eurocup was amazing as well."

Marlene

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved the personal freedom of the "My Way" experience! Appreciated the logistics planning which freed me to have the experiences I chose. Great tour mates. One of my most memorable trips!.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed exploring the sites of Blois while my travel mates went to Amboise. The Blois chateau and the "House of Magic" dragons were wonderful, as were the other sites in the city. Archeologic Museum in Arles was amazing, as was the Van Gogh Exhibit. Used the free bus from the train station and extensively to get around the city- GREAT!"

Gerard

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/28/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour is an excellent overview of most of France. We enjoyed the variety of all the places we visited and seeing many various regions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Chamonix day was exceptional even with marginal weather. The glacier visit was almost surreal especially when I compare it now to the glacier we saw on Ricks video from about 20 years ago. It's a much longer walk up and down now!"

Linda

Midland, MI

Tour: 06/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great opportunity to get to see parts of France that I might not have gone to on my own. The bus was comfortable, and the length of each day's trip was reasonable. I really appreciated that we spent two nights in each hotel. Since this was a "My Way" tour, our fellow travelers were an interesting, independent group. We enjoyed comparing notes on our experiences on the bus and during happy hours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Alps from Chamonix was a highlight. We started and ended our day in the beautiful, warm, sunny town of Annecy but spent much of the day admiring the snow either from the Aguille de Midi or from a cafe in Chamonix. The contrast was wonderful. Seeing the Pont du Gard is a close second. The structure itself is amazing, the setting is beautiful, and the museum is a surprising gem."

Bryon

Concord, CA

Tour: 05/24/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very enjoyable and well done. The leadership was excellent and the venues were well thought out. The accommodations were good to excellent and the motor coach and driver (Peter) were outstanding. Perhaps one of the stops could have been eliminated to allow an extra night at some of the other locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed the glacier and ice caves in Chamonix and the museum and ruins at Pont-du-Gard."

Matt

Richland, WA

Tour: 05/24/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

was the perfect mix of locations with planning and support to allow the independent traveler to hit the ground running and optimize their travel experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Feeling a bit like a Parisian - and the Orsay - and the food (especially in Lyon)"

Joanne

Depew, NY

Tour: 05/24/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After seeing pictures of Annecy and really wanting to visit Monaco, I decided to go on this tour! By taking this tour, I did not have to worry about transportation or accommodations. It was my first Rick Steves tour and it was wonderful. The group was small and our guides were great!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Annecy was just beautiful! Taking a boat ride and seeing the serene villages more than made up for the drizzle!! And Chamonix was awesome!! The ice cave was incredible!! And, I can't say enough about the pastries!!!"

Suzanne

Selah, WA

Tour: 05/24/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. I have always wanted to try one but was unsure if I could do the "strenuous walking" days at age 71. When I saw the "my way" tour I decided that would be a good one to try because I could see what I wanted to see and stop and rest whenever I needed to. It was a little more structured then I expected but it was very doable for me. I enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the wow moment for me was seeing Pont du Gard. I've seen lots of Roman ruins but that was spectacular."

Connie

Northfield, MN

Tour: 05/24/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was nice to have a smaller group. Navigation was easier and we weren't waiting around for anyone, nor did anyone get too "tiresome" as a travel companion. We appreciated the opportunity to do our own thing, but liked having the logistics taken care of. I especially appreciated the bus company and the RS office approving transportation for us from Avignon to Arles, as the trains were not operating on schedule due to a strike, allowing us to get back in time to do a wine tour we'd booked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We made it to Lyon in time to see the silk painting workshop, go to the Papal Palace, and dine at an amazing restaurant all in the evening of our arrival, and we had all the next day to day-trip to Arles in the morning and do a wine tour in Chateauneuf du Pape in the afternoon. I was hoping for a better day in the Alps in Chamonix, but the weather was crummy and instead of taking the Aiguille du Midi and hiking down we went to Montenvers and inside the ice cave. And of course, the Paris museums."

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 a list of 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 Nice ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in France.

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.

Thinking you could use some expert, in-depth help to plan your sightseeing days? Tour members enjoy a 50 percent discount on Rick's Trip Consulting services!

Sightseeing on Your Own

When you arrive in Paris, use the Rick Steves France guidebook to get oriented. Try out a few words of French, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Use the free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files), which includes a wealth of Paris neighborhood walks and self-guided museum tours. Check the guidebook for museum hours (some are closed one day per week; some stay open late one day per week).

Remember, you will be in charge of your own sightseeing for ALL destinations on this trip, so you should begin planning well before you fly to France! To avoid very long lines at the Eiffel Tower, book tickets several weeks in advance (see our Eiffel Tower ticket tips for tour members).

Packing

The scenic trails in the French Alps can be rugged in spots. While hiking boots are not necessary, you'll want to bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes.

We also recommend you bring a smartphone, tablet, or other device to assist in planning your activities, and to access Rick's Audio Europe™ app and walking tours.

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