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  • Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France
    Arc de Triomphe in Paris
  • Sainte-Chapelle in Paris
  • Château de Chenonceau
  • Amboise, France
    Amboise
  • Mont St-Michel
  • Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux, France
    Bayeux Tapestry
  • Norman coastline, France
    Normandy Coast
  • 'Ever Forward' memorial statue, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France
    D-Day Beaches
  • Claude Monet's Garden, Giverny, France
    Giverny

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Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour

from $3,695 per person + air

Single Supplement $825

See Dates & Prices

Stringing together an all-star collection of Rick's favorite places in and around the City of Light, your expert guide will bring you the very best of Paris along with its most stunning surroundings: the Loire Valley's exquisite châteaux, Brittany's half-timbered villages, Normandy's magical Mont St-Michel and stirring D-Day beaches, Monet's dreamy gardens at Giverny, the stained-glass wonders of Bourges Cathedral, and a medieval castle being built today in Burgundy — using lots of muscle and 13th-century technology. Join us for Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 13 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on this tour of France:

  • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city
  • Historic Paris walking tour
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Paris neighborhood walk
  • Louvre Museum
  • Château de Guédelon
  • Bourges walking tour and Cathédrale St-Étienne
  • Château de Chambord
  • Château de Chenonceau
  • Mont St-Michel and abbey
  • Bayeux Tapestry
  • D-Day tour (American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and Sainte-Mère Eglise)
  • Monet's gardens at Giverny

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 Paris to Paris
  • 10 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
  • 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 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 Paris

We'll meet at 5 p.m. at our hotel for a short "bienvenue à Paris" meeting. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood, followed by time to get acquainted over dinner together.

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

Day 2: Historic Paris and Sainte-Chapelle

Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour of the city's early history, including a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches — the legendary and resilient Notre-Dame Cathedral and the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle — along with a stroll through the bohemian Latin Quarter. This afternoon, armed with your Paris Museum Pass, you'll be free to explore more of Paris, including the world's greatest collection of Impressionist art — from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin and more — at the Orsay Museum.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Paris.

Day 3: Neighborhood Paris and the Louvre

This morning we'll take a more intimate look at Paris and what gives the French their joie de vivre with a promenade through one of your guide's favorite Parisian neighborhoods. Your walk will end with an orientation to the Louvre Museum. With your smartphone in hand and the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, Rick’s voice will guide you through timeless treasures including the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and hundreds more. Your afternoon will be free to be inspired by Monet's incredible Water Lilies at the Orangerie, perplexed by whimsical water fountains and modern art at the Pompidou, or compelled to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a classy stroll along the Champs-Elysées.

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

Day 4: Medieval Guédelon and Bourges

Today we'll leave Paris and head for the Château de Guédelon — a medieval castle being built today in Burgundy using 13th-century materials and techniques. Local experts may give us a close-up look at masons cutting limestone, sheep being sheared, and blacksmiths at work. Then we'll drive past farms, forests, and vineyards to the overlooked town of Bourges. Once we arrive we'll wander along the cobbled lanes and medieval half-timbered houses on a walking tour with a local guide. Our tour will culminate with a visit of Bourges' Cathédrale St-Etienne, where we'll learn how to read some of France's most remarkable and original medieval stained glass before having dinner together this evening.

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

Day 5: The Loire and Chambord

Today we'll head for the biggest and brightest of the Loire Valley châteaux — Chambord — where 365 fireplaces warmed royal hunting parties for more than 500 years. We'll have ample time to visit this magnificent château, its expansive grounds, and find some lunch. A bit farther up the road, our own Loire Valley accommodations will be every bit as French, but a little more down-to-earth. Dinner together tonight.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in the Loire Valley.

Day 6: Chenonceau and Amboise

This morning we'll visit the elegant, river-straddling, 16th-century Château de Chenonceau. We'll learn more about royal life in France and have plenty of free time to roam its opulent interior and gardens. This afternoon you'll have time on your own in Amboise to find lunch and sightsee. You can choose to visit Leonardo da Vinci's home, Clos-Lucé, and marvel at the working models of the Renaissance Man's cleverest inventions; tour Amboise's cliff-hanging castle; or wander the pleasant pedestrian-friendly streets.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in the Loire Valley.

Day 7: Brittany and Mont St-Michel

We'll depart the Loire Valley this morning and make a beeline to Brittany. We'll stop for lunch and a walk through a quintessential Breton town, where we'll learn about the Bretons' Celtic origins. Later this afternoon, we'll take a short drive to the timeless, picture-perfect island of Mont St-Michel. We'll arrive as the tourist tide recedes, ensuring a less crowded experience here. We'll share dinner together and stay on the Mont itself.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep on Mont St-Michel.

Day 8: Treasure of Bayeux

This morning we'll take a walking tour of Mont St-Michel's town and its towering abbey to learn about local legends, monastic life, and the far-reaching influences exerted by abbeys in French history. Then we'll drive into the heart of Normandy to study the 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry — a 70-yard-long embroidered cartoon/work of art that brings to life William the Conqueror's victory over the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Normandy.

Day 9: Normandy's D-Day Beaches

We'll spend the day with a local expert who will give us a powerful tour of the Normandy beaches where, in June of 1944, the Allied D-Day landings took place by sea and air. We'll visit Pointe du Hoc, where Army Rangers scaled the cliffs in pre-dawn darkness, and the American Cemetery, where 10,000 stark white markers memorialize the Americans who gave their lives on the beaches below. We'll also visit the strategic town of Sainte-Mère Eglise, the airborne drop site made famous by The Longest Day and Band of Brothers. We'll return to our Normandy home base in time for dinner on your own.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Normandy.

Day 10: Monet's Gardens at Giverny

We'll depart early this morning to visit Monet's beautifully preserved, masterpiece-inspiring gardens in the town of Giverny. In addition to the serene ponds made famous by Monet's paintings, we'll also see his house, studio, and Japanese garden. After free time for lunch, we'll make our way back to Paris and a farewell feast together tonight, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Salut!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Paris.

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Paris' airports by taxi, shuttle, or public transportation. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Merci et au revoir!

(This tour does not include the Eiffel Tower. To avoid its long lines, 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 Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (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

Joan

Tour: 08/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well run, with good itinerary. Balanced independent time with structured activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At Omaha Beach our guide made a point of stopping at a location near where my father landed on D Day."

Dana

Tour: 08/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 11th Rick Steves tour. As always, it was well organized, with the perfect mix of organized/group activities and free time. For Paris, it's always wonderful to be handed a carnet of Metro tickets and a Museum pass first thing. Rebecca, our guide, was a wonderful guide, with the added bonus of having lived in France for 40 years; she had many wonderful stories to share with us about life in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to spend the night on Mont Saint-Michel, something I've dreamed about since the first time I saw a photo of the medieval abbey. As an artist, I was able to get hundreds of "paintable" reference photos on the trip."

Timothy

Tour: 08/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour is exactly what was promised. Knowledgeable guide, wonderful history, art, and architecture, and the food was lovely. We were more than satisfied with our trip. It may seem "minor," but we truly appreciated the space allowed to us all on the bus. No feelings of being "cramped up." That's important when you spend eleven days with total strangers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Normandy was especially moving. So long ago and yet so many of our tour members were deeply touched on a personal level. Our local guide, Sabrina, was knowledgeable and engaging. The American Cemetery was amazing."

Leonard

Tour: 08/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Paris and the other parts of France were spectacular. Paris looks just like it does in the movies, and then some. I was overwhelmed by the culture, the architecture is incredible, centuries old and in such good shape. The castles, the château’s are beautiful, the small towns and the countryside makes me want to move to France. Just loved the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOWs. To narrow it down to one is difficult but Mont Saint-Michel is the most amazing. To see this huge abbey dominate the island it’s on was spectacular. So many steps to climb but it was worth it. It dates back to the 8th century."

James

Tour: 08/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day sights"

Stuart

Tour: 08/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Saw so much of France that would be difficult to see on my own. Each location was special in its own way. The group members were friendly and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cannot pick a favorite one, as each location had it’s own wow moment. The blue light festival at Bourges, the tide coming in at Mont St Michel before the Abbey tour, the wine tasting at the castle, the D Day beaches and just being in Paris. It was all a wow moment"

Susan

Tour: 08/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well planned with alot of attention to comfort. The group was a grate match. We saw ALOT our first 2 days, maybe stress arriving a day or two early.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The new castle construction and our guide for the DDay sights."

Eddy

Tour: 07/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very well organized; outstanding guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt San Michel"

Ana

Tour: 07/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We did a tour on our own starting from Amsterdam to Venice with Rick Steve’s book. I was able to compare both and the main difference was that I did not have to do anything but show up on time. So I was definitely impressed by the organization, accuracy and effectiveness of time if the tour. It was better than doing it on our own with my husband.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was definitely Mount Saint Mitchel. It was beautiful, in your face experience. Normandy beaches was also a wow moment because of the history and how it connects to our country."

Mark

Tour: 07/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Linda was very knowledgeable and very interactive with the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Night on Mont-Saint-Michele"

Bart

Tour: 07/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour and felt comfortable traveling abroad thanks to our great tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the best part of the tour was that it we were handheld by our tour guide which made sure that everyone was comfortable, safe and happy while also providing geographic and historical context."

Emily

Tour: 07/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything and more than we expected. The pace was good. Recommendations of time on our own and options available were logical and easy to implement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mt. St. Michel and being able to savor the atmosphere of the island when it has its lowest "population.""

Rick

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was well organized and the guides were very good. The group in our tour was a mixture of very friendly people a some that were not very friendly and did not try to fit in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire day of the Normandy tour was spectacular."

Doug

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it, we booked the trip to be in Paris for July 14th, excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day beached with private guide."

Colin

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic experience for us. We had originally planned on a tour to celebrate our son's college graduation in 2020, but COVID intervened. I can say we all feel the wait was worth it. Our guide, Arnaud Servignat, was 10 stars on a scale of 1 to 5. He was very engaging, nothing threw him off his game. We were very surprised at his depth of knowledge about everything. His sense of humor was so enjoyable. Our driver, Vim, was a standout. He was quite skilled, funny & outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard question because there were so many but the American Cemetery at Normandy and Monet's Pond and Garden standout as very powerful moments. We enjoyed numerous meals with our group that were terrific as well."

Diane

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was better than I expected - I had gone on the long Best of France in 2004; my sister really wanted to do this tour. Our guide added some new and interesting twists to places I had been - really enjoyed myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The unscheduled experiences that let me feel like I was experiencing the true essence of France: Cancale for oyster tasting; Chateau de Selles-sur-Cher for wine tasting; the lunch stop in Villedieu-les-Poêles where Mauviel copper pots are manufactured (great to see where my newly purchased Mauviel copper paella pan from E. Dehillerin in Paris was made, learn a little history) - brand new experiences that gave me a better -back door- taste of France."

Mark

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour: we became friends with everyone in the group and Arnaud was great. My only complaint would be about the weather, which, obviously, you can't control. One thing that COULD be done to improve is to have the hotels with no air conditioning to install ceiling fans. Spending hour afer hour on Mont St. Michel with the temperature above 106 degrees was challenging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention: Sainte Chappelle, the Louvre, Orsay Museum, Bayeux Tapestry, Pointe du Hoc, Cathedral at Bourges, Normandy Beaches and Cemeteries."

Kimberley

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Arnaud is all around fantastic! So bright, well educated, energetic, organized and patient with our group. I had my own guest room. The single room at Mont Saint Michel was horrible but besides that, my single rooms weren't bad. For summer tours, I would definitely say NOT to stay at Mont-Saint-Michel because it is insanely busy. Instead, I would incorporate a guided walk across the bay there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"learning about French history and culture across the ages."

Adam

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! Great sights, people, cities, and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing the first chateau"

Linda

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the streets of Paris and seeing the amazing architecture. I loved the variety of wrought iron on the buildings. Truly beautiful. I never tired of it."

Robert

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience. a great guide and a fun group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The building of the castle Guedelon with period construction and Chenonceau with it's rich history.( Rob) The tapestry Bayeux and the stained glass windows at Bourges. ( Ellen)"

Guillermo

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marvelous tour specially the country side of France, lovely towns with amazing cathedrals, be prepare the tour it's intensive but it's worth every moment, you will not regreat at all

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount St Michele, amazing island with small street and an amazing cathedral."

Diane

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, this tour was everything I expected it to be and more. In spite of an unexpected walking issue, I was able to participate in many of the activities and learned far more than I would have anticipated about France and its history and modern-day living. Our guide, local guides, bus driver, and tour participants were all kind, caring, interesting, and fun people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments -- Medieval Guedelon, Chambord, Chenonceau, Mont St-Michel, Bayeux Tapestry, D-Day beaches and cemeteries, Monet's Gardens!!!"

Allan

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right blend of guidance and commentary with chances to explore on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel coming into view."

Steve

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was thoroughly enjoyable. Our guide, Linda, was really fabulous at bringing the rich French culture and deep history to us. I was surprised at just how delicious the food was. I was unexpectedly pleased with Guedelon castle, the Bayeaux tapestry and expansive châteaus. I enjoyed every day. All the tour members were great, thoughtful and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont St-Michel and attending the morning prayer service in the Abbey was wonderful. Also being at the American cemetery in Normandy when they played taps was moving."

Jim

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about it: the places visited and the food we enjoyed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though every place was magical, we'd have to pick Chateau Du Clos Luce where we were amazed and awed by the creative genius of Leonardo da Vinci"

Robert

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day provided something that was interesting, different, and informative. No low points at all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prior to the tour, the site I was least interested in visiting turned out to be the one I was most mesmerized by. It was Monet's gardens. His paintings are beautiful, but the gardens around his home may be his greatest works of art. So colorful. So peaceful."

Anne

Tour: 06/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized, friendly and willing to go out of their way to assist. Our guide Linda was amazing with great sense of humor and lots of interesting facts and stories about France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel. Staying the night and exploring in late eve and early morning in the quiet with hoards of people. The morning prayer service was a wonderful spiritual experience."

Donna

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was so well thought out that it felt like I was just moving from one delight to another the whole trip. Our guide was very good, and we were fortunate enough to also have an apprentice guide along, which added to the experience because she was also wonderful. My fellow tour members were thoughtful and kind. I just really loved my trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Early morning on Mont Saint-Michel was magical--the chance to see the sun rising over the water, and especially to hear the Brothers and Sisters sing matins at the Abbey in such peace, without the chaos of the crowds. It was just beautiful."

Melanie

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itinerary was excellent. The guides were awesome. It was fun to share this experience with a great group of tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many so to mention a few: Experiencing Mont St-Michel and morning prayer service. The day exploring the Normandy Beaches. Exploring the chateaus in the Loire Valley."

Larry

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic time exploring places we'd only heard about before. Our guide Rebecca was nothing short of amazing - knowledgable, grace under fire, unfailingly pleasant and helpful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Micheal - our hotel room window looked directly up to the Abbey - first thing we saw when waking up each morning."

Suk

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris HOF was a wonderful tour experience. This would be our 5th RS tour. My wife and I agree that this is our favorite tour to date. While all the tour guides have been great, Rebecca really made it her mission to make sure that all the tour members were well taken care of. From her top notch tour information, checking up on us daily, great conversationalist, giving us treats, ever cheerful demeanor, evening toast on Mont St. Michel - she made the tour experience truly special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking at the fields from Mont St. Michel ramparts and also walking along the shore of Mont St. Michel during low tide."

Maddox

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guides, sites, and transportation were all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to the clerical chants on Mont Saint Michelle"

Eleanor

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really loved our tour guide Rebecca, the group of fellow travelers, and diverse and historically rich destinations such as Paris, the World War II beaches of Normandy, and the spiritually rich traditions at Mt. St. Michel. This tour really covers so much art, history and culture in one of the best Rick Steve's itineraries ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up at 6:30 a.m. after sleeping overnight at Mt. St. Michel and joining the clergy at the Abbey for a truly uplifting singing and chanting session at the crack of dawn."

Brandon

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Rebecca was very helpful and friendly to our tour group. She was focused and knowledgeable about French history. All of the hotels in our “Paris and the Heart of France” tour were clean, the staff was helpful, and the location was convenient for all of the tour sites we were visiting for that day or few days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment from the tour was trying traditional French food on the first night of the tour and wondering how the cooks made the food taste so good."

Sharon

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Organized. Outstanding tour guide, Rebecca, and apprentice, Claire. A great team!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny - Claude Monet's Garden and seeing the pond w/water lilies, after seeing the paintings in the Orangie Museum"

Diane

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved everything about it !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the gardens at Giverny. And the cemetery in Normandy, for the other kind of wow."

Kathy

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, beautiful, great learning experience, amazing food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tie between the breathtaking stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle and Mont St Michel…. Being able to stay overnight there and experiencing the matins the next morning was really moving. Even though they chanted in French, I knew enough French to follow along as long as I could find the right page in the book….and a very gracious French woman sitting beside me solved that by pointing the page numbers out."

Terry

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour gave us an understanding of France, its history and its culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The chateau at Chenoceau, and the Mont St. Michele, but spending the night there did not enhance the experience. Our favorite towns were Bayeux and Amboise."

John

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding & informative

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First glimpse of Mont St Michel while riding on bus"

Suellen

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the cultural immersion that our tour guide provided on this tour. In Paris, our guide educated us on how to use the various forms of mass transit to get around Paris. We had an opportunity to put our skills to the test during our free afternoons. Next time I get to Paris, I feel empowered to navigate the City without having the security blanket of a guide or group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do I have to pick one? Seeing the Mona Lisa in person (and the Louvre) was spectacular. However, seeing and staying on Mont St Michel (especially at sunset, and on the morning of the solstice listening to “mass” sang in chants in the Abbey) was sublime. Walking Normandy beaches and visiting the Cemetery (during their EOD taps ceremony) was incredibly moving. Two surprise gems were Amboise castle (and the little winery below its walls); and Bayeux during its summer solstice music festival."

Marlene

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a very good tour! We were worried about Covid interrupting, but we stayed healthy. Our tour guide is what made the tour so good! She was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Michele in the distance as we approached."

Julie

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the guides and of course Virginie was so wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"no way to narrow down to one moment, it was an experience with many pieces of wonder."

Peter

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, sites, meals, hotels, and planning all exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many “WOW” moments. Being at Mont St Michel was wonderful, but so were the gardens at Giverny, and the listening to taps above Omaha Beach."

Delia

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fabulous trip! Our guide Virginie made the experience educational and fun filled. We saw so much and learned a great deal about French customs, history and people. The tour was well organized and I was able to simply relax and enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bayeux Tapestry was more than I anticipated it would be. As a British history major, I knew about William the Conqueror but had no idea that the tapestry was more of a story cloth. The audio guide was excellent. The National Night of Music on Summer Solstice happening that evening added to the wonder of the time in Bayeux."

Ron

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the Tour Guide, the sites, the hotels, the food, the history, the education, the fellow travelers, the entire experience was wonderful and memorable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment as a first-time international traveler. My biggest "wow" was Mont St-Michel."

Martin

Tour: 06/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall I cannot say the experience was all that I hoped for as we had to leave the tour halfway through due to coming down with and testing positive for Covid! (It was the first time either of us had been affected by the virus. Fortunately, the symptoms were very mild and shortlived). Even so, the first half of the tour was wonderful and more enjoyable than I could have imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truth is I never had much desire to tour Europe until I became a fan of The Rick Steves series on PBS. His approach and philosophy of interacting with the people who live in other parts of the world appealed and intrigued me. Turns out he is right! The people we met and interacted with, both during and after we left the tour, were the "wow" factor of the trip. The kind and cordial behavior of nearly every person we encountered was remarkable."

Darlene

Tour: 06/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Veronique was fabulous. A native French women who lived and worked in the Northwest had a depth of insight in both cultures. What a treasure to have her guide us through Paris and France. My 18 year old granddaughter and I learned so much about history, art, culture and food that has enriched our lives in ways that are still unfolding. Veronique gave very clear instructions and most of us already knew the Rick Steves way of travel;buddies, timeliness, no grumps, pack light.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My lifetime dream was to visit Mont St Michele. It did not disappoint!! Our room had a fabulous patio where we could watch the amazing tide. It was like a Harry Potter fairy tale. Truly, there were many WOW moments, I didn’t see coming. The wine and goat cheese tasting at Chateau Selles-Sur-Cher was an absolutely fabulous experience. My granddaughters first wine tasting. The owner was a delight and I hope this will always be on the tour?? Veronique was always finding ways to surprise us."

Joe

Tour: 06/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations. It was well paced, providing a good balance of tour time and free time. Our tour guide, Veronique, shared her vast knowledge of Paris and France and was also fun and excellent at handling logistics. The meals provided a good exposure to French cuisine. Our tour group members were enjoyable and respectful of one another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two. Mont Saint-Michel was awesome! Staying overnight and watching the water surround the island was special. Touring the abbey was also a highlight! The 2nd wow moment was the lowering of the American flag at the Omaha beach cemetery."

Stephanie

Tour: 06/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being our second RS tour we knew about the general routine. Our overall experience was unbelievably positive with so many wonderful towns and villages to see along with learning about French culture and meeting so many friendly French people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had so many “Wow” moment’s especially seeing the beaches and American cemetery in Normandy. Another wow moment for me was seeing Mont Saint Michel! All the personal stories of young soldiers and their heroism in Normandy was another “wow” for my husband and I."

Rebekah

Tour: 06/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like the tour was very well balanced overall. I loved the mix of being in Paris and the time in smaller areas around the country. This was my first Rick Steves' tour, and I had such a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night we spent on Mont St. Michel also aligned with a particularly strong high tide, and being able to watch the tide rush in around the Mont while having dinner was just incredible. (Also, the view from my room absolutely was worth all the stairs I had to climb!)"

John

Tour: 06/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well run and orchestrated. Both Verinigue and her assistant John were informative and organized. They were on top of things and kept the tour moving which added to the enjoyment of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Cemetery at Normandy, everything about it but the playing of taps as the flag was lowered was overwhelming! These few minutes was so emotional it brought us to tears. The tragedy of all those lives lost was so emotional."

Kristen

Tour: 06/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a satisfying blend of the city experience in Paris and country experience the rest of the time. The activities and meals were varied and all extremely enjoyable. It was extremely well-organized; even when there was a problem with our bus, we travelers were barely aware of the effort required to get a replacement. Shout-out to our delightful guide, Veronique, and our bus driver, Byron. I'd had my eye on this tour for a while, and it completely met my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day of the tour was the visit to Monet's house and gardens. I could wander in those gardens for hours. For sheer WOW, however, seeing the Abbey from our hotel window on Mont Saint-Michel was tops. And very honorable mentions go to the wine-tasting picnic and seeing the tapestry in Bayeux."

Joanna

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful time! Was, finally!, able to go to Normandy, Guedelin, Giverny and see the Bayeux tapestry. These places can be challenging to get to but the tour made it possible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bayeux Tapestry. I’m a stitcher and being able to see the Tapestry (ok it’s an embroidery) was fabulous! Spent most of my time admiring it, went thru a couple of times. The shop on the way agreed to stay open past closing (thanks Rebecca!) which enabled me to go back and do some shopping—my work will not be on the level of the Tapestry however I’m going to love stitching the pieces I got and have fond memories of my trip!"

Lindsay

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful in every way! It was our first trip to France, so we appreciated seeing the different regions we visited. The group was very congenial; everyone was friendly and got along well. The pace of the tour was relatively fast…but we know that is the price one pays to see more. I wouldn’t want to eliminate any of our overnight locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me (Melinda), it was probably spending the night on Mont SM—and going to the 6:50 a.m. service in the abbey, with very few people out and about. For my husband (Lindsay), it was probably the American Cemetery in Normandy. He has a distant cousin buried there, and Cemetery personnel took him to the grave and performed a little ceremony. It was very touching."

Thomas

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introduction to France. Sites visited were well selected to give a solid overview of the culture and history of the country. Rebecca Berry was an outstanding guide (5 out of 5)! She was knowledgable in the customs and history of France and was extremely well organized, funny and really cared for her guests. Hotels were clean and each was unique. Plenty of planned activities while givings us free time to enjoy France on our own. Tour members were excellent as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day beaches was a "bucket list" visit for me. I have wanted to see this since I was 10 years old! Excellent local guide too.,"

Sheila

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Under the leadership of Rebecca, our tour guide, we had a wonderful experience. She set such a positive tone that our group quickly became a friendly, cooperative large family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The German Cemetery on Utah Beach. The black crosses and the black modern statues of grieving parents really drove home that these were young soldiers who were killed no matter which side of the war. Their youth and the fact that most were not in the war to support Hitler was really poignant."

Emma

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Rick Steves trip experience was so much more than I expected. France was brought to life to me once again with the outstanding and energetic Rebecca as our guide. Rebecca made me feel like I was a true Parisian for 11 days and I can't wait to come back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery tour. The owners were beautiful people. I learned so much. I pick out wine differently now. They gave me a whole new understanding of what it takes to love what you do for a living. They put their heart and soul in their wine and that came through as they passionately taught us how to taste and enjoy their wine."

Veronica

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Merveilleux! We had a wonderful time. We enjoyed our tour buddies and absolutely loved Rebecca!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't think we have 1 - Brouges, Normandy, Giverny, Mt San Michel"

Patricia

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fast paced and at times felt somewhat frantic to make the most of every moment and opportunity each day. Guide, Rebecca, was fantastic always tuned in and always ‘on.’

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking tour of Paris, Mont St. Michel, Normandy Beaches and monuments. It was all sort of ‘wow.’"

Linda

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw all the places I wanted to see and appreciated having excellent narratives

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First glimpseof Mont-Saint-Michel"

Nancy

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful combination of sightseeing, history and culture (both current day and historical). The schedule was busy (I didn't take a RSE tour to relax), but also there was also downtime if a person was interested. The RSE guide book and audio guides were very helpful in preparing for the trip. I would definitely take another RSE tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a 40 year fan of Impressionism, standing in Monet's garden and touring his home was a high point. Also viewing the Eiffel Tower at night when the lights went on at 10:00 pm was magical."

John

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very impressed. We covered a lot of ground and it was all interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire Mont St Michal experience."

Karen

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very positive. Lots of interesting experiences that were even better than anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont St. Michel."

Barbara

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized, and the guide excellent. The food and accommodations were excellent. I gave taken several RS tours and like them this more than lived up to my expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up on Mount St. Michael and seeing it before all the crowds arrived."

Wendy

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour with our 4 kids (ages 15-22) and we loved knowing that all the ‘details’ (hotels, transportation, entrance to attractions, guides, some meals, overall route) were taken care of by NOT us! All we had to do was pay+show up then enjoy our kids experiencing the WOW of the destinations and adventures. Our French guide Arnaud and driver Henri along with the local guides were outstanding, knowledgeable, entertaining and enthusiastic and our entire group stayed COVID free!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel - arriving as the crowds were leaving in the late afternoon so we had the whole space to ourselves including sleeping overnight and waking at sunrise to climb up rampart walls to the abbey at the very top for the early morning service was utterly WOW! Also having our whole group make an early morning bus stop at the tiny train station in Amboise to pick-up our oldest child who had just finished her school year studying in France and had taken the overnight train to join us!"

Thomas

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour with great guides.

Margo

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the time I arrived at the first hotel in Paris everyone treated me like a VIP. I had never been on a tour before but the guide Chris and personnel at each hotel made it easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either tossing a memento of my late husband into Jim Morrison’s gravesite (total bullseye) before the first tour meeting or sunrise chanting service on top of Mont St Michel. Amazing every day tho, really."

Jane

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the tide come in around Mt Ste. Michele…..attending early morning church service at the abbey…."

James

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful itinerary with great travel companions in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel visit."

Sandra

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, it was a good tour. I especially enjoyed the local guides, especially at Guedelon and Mont St-Michel. This tour lacked the some of the camaraderie of my past three tours, which I attribute to the constant threat of being dropped from the tour due to Covid. We lost ten people, beginning about three days in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was staying in a room with a terrace overlooking the rooftops at Mont St-Michel and attending the morning singing service in the Abbey."

Tom

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience! Great to be back traveling in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day tour of the Normandy beaches and American cemetary"

Kathryn

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was very well-planned as I expected from a RS tour. This was my first one but I hope there are many others. Our French guide, Patrick, was outstanding as were all the local tour guides that were hired. The visited sites were amazing and I would highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel"

Linda

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our France tour was fabulous. We enjoyed all of the boutique hotel in Paris, Bourges, the Liore Valley and Normandy. Our guide Patrick was alot of fun with unlimited energy. We were impressed with the ease of navigating the city vis the metro system, busses and trains. The French people were very cordial and helpful. We plan to come back soon

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. St Michel was a wow! We stayed at a hotel there. We had a fabulous room with a large terrace overlooking the town The timing of our arrival and departure from Mt. St Michel was well planned and strategized to mimize the crowds to provide the best experience. Our local guide was great."

Jeff

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful tour, the guide was very knowledgeable and did a very good job of making everything run smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If there was a "wow" moment, it was probably the American cemetery in Normandy. But really, there were numerous small moments that made it a memorable tour."

Cheri

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the France tour and Patrick who lead the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just being in Paris was my biggest Wow. The beauty and the energy of that city is amazing."

Alysa

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was busy, but also had a good amount of free time, particularly in Paris. I didn't feel trapped into doing activities that didn't interest me and felt like I got to choose what I wanted to do there. Once we left Paris, the tour included things I likely would not have thought to see on my own, but thoroughly enjoyed, like Guedelon castle and the Bayeaux tapestry. I enjoyed every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day at Normandy was incredible. It was invaluable to have a guide with us all day to explain everything and make it come to life. It would not have been as meaningful if I had just gone on my own to see the beaches without really understanding what happened there."

Richard

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Our tour to Paris and France was delayed by 3 days. Because of that we were touring on a Natioanal Bank Holiday 26-29 MAY 2022. The Louvre on a Sunday was not enjoyable 22 May. Need a tour guide for help. Mt St Michel was so crowded (26-27 MAY) it was unbelievable. Leaving the area the traffic was backed up for miles....but Patrick Vidal made the most of it. without his decision making it would have been a lot worse.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy Tour with Rudy. Very very excellent."

Michael

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed myself very much. I had anticipated Paris being exciting and Normandy being emotional, but i didn’t think the rest of the tour sounded very appealing. I was certainly wrong.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on Omaha Beach."

Robert

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour planning with enough free time to exlore independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel. Staying on the island during dinner while the tide came in."

Lisa

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our tour! It was a wonderful overview of several areas of France. We will return to some areas that we would like to explore further. Our guide, Marie was very good. Who better than a native French woman to show us her beautiful country?! The local guides were also very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The building of the castle in Guedelon. I thought this would be an average event when reading the itinerary. It was fabulous!! Sarah the guide was so knowledgeable and interesting. I could have spent another hour or 2 there easily. So interesting!!"

Theresa

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was the perfect mix of guided activities and free time to explore on our own. Our guide, Marie, did a great job of acclimating us to each stop on the tour and made sure we had plenty of suggestions for interesting things to do in our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the Normandy beaches and visiting the American Cemetery brought a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by so many American soldiers who fought for our freedom. The lowering of the flag at the American Cemetery was a very emotional moment."

Judith

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and our first European group tour. The tour totally met all our expectations for guiding, hotels, and organization. We appreciated the extra care given for safety due to Covid and building group awareness for time and enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guedelon tour: we'd watched a video but were overwhelmed by the actual site visit with an excellent guide. The lunch stop at Fougeres for the medieval castle where we could see the Guedelon techniques first hand. Spending the night at Mt St-Michel!!!!! Comprehensive D-Day beaches tour with excellent guide."

Laura

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie was a wonderful guide! She is very knowledgeable and thoughtful and paid attention to every detail of our trip in order to make it thoroughly enjoyable for everyone in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s really difficult to pick one moment out of such a wonderful trip, but Mont Saint Michel was definitely one of my “wow” moments! To be able to stay overnight when all the crowds go home and have dinner, while watching the tide come in to surround us was a once in a lifetime experience."

Howard

Tour: 05/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great from beginning to end

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day beaches."

Peggy

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! Our guide Linda was knowledgeable and friendly, and we had an outstanding group of people. We toured places and features that were unique and interesting, and our hotels were comfortable and accommodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved Chateau de Guedelon! I could have spent many more hours there learning about the construction of the medieval castle. I'm a retired science teacher, and I found myself mentally making up lesson plans about their uses of simple machines and other medieval "technology.""

Suon

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth RS tour and it did not disappoint. It was our second tour with Linda and she was outstanding as usual. It met and exceeded our expectations, especially the visit to the D-Day memorial sites where we had an amazing guide who brought it all to life for us. We had a great group of tour mates who all got along well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was our favorite "wow" moment. We loved spending the night there and going up to the Abbey for "Laudes", the special service early in the morning. It was a once in a lifetime mystical experience. Another special surprise was the private wine tasting with the owner of the Chateau de Selles sur Cher and picnic on the grounds."

Tamara

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it! Enjoyed every moment of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were the first group to arrive at the Chateau de Chenonceau, so we had the place to ourselves for an hour or so. Looking out over the grounds, it was easy to envision the ladies of the past strolling thru the gardens."

Eric

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was exactly what we wanted. It was a good balance of being guided but with enough time to go out and try things on our own. Our tour guide Linda was wonderful! We learned a lot and feel a little more comfortable in France now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really there were way too many wow moments to list them all here. One of our favorite activities was the surprise wine tasting on the grounds of a gorgeous chateau, with a picnic lunch afterward on the lawn. Delicious wine, beautiful grounds - we felt like royalty!"

Chris

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France tour was very well organized and our guide Linda provided a great education on both the history and current functioning of France as we moved from one interesting site to another. There was a nice mix of time as a group and unscheduled time to allow for our own self-directed exploration and meal choices.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to narrow it down to one "wow" moment, so I will say our time at Mont St. Michele (including attending the morning Laudes service), our day at the D Day beaches, and Monet's Garden were all amazing. The beauty of Chenonceau was also an unexpected delight."

Sandra

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was booked for the perfect time of year! Beautiful weather, beautiful countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never realized that Mont St Michel was so impressive! And beautiful. And big."

James

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide Linda was great. Her knowledge of France was outstanding and was very caring of the tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel and Medieval Guedelon"

Jack

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide and our itinerary were great. We had enough time in Paris to see the major sites, and the places we visited during the rest of our tour were very well chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel! It was a magical place, and we were able to stay there overnight, after all of the other tourists had left. A great experience!"

Barbara

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great way for us to see a lot of the "must see" sites that we have wanted to visit. While we enjoyed Paris, we loved getting out into the smaller towns and the beautiful countryside. The tour was well planned and our guide and bus driver were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to spend the night on Mont St Michel and then getting up to attend the 7:00 AM Laudes service in the Abbey was our favorite of many "wow" moments on the tour."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was all I had hoped for and more. Linda was so personable, knowledgeable, and fun. We saw so much and experienced France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was the best. Being able to spend the night there and experience the morning service was so special."

Penelope

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thanks to our wonderful tour guide, Linda, and a really friendly and cooperative group of individuals, this tour was fabulous. Every group meal was open to mixing with new people, making new friends. Perfect balance of activity and free time; go, go, go in the morning one day then free to laze or museum browse in the afternoon. Hotel rooms were always good, frequently fabulous (a view of the Normandy beach in Amboise anyone?). Notre Dame was unavailable but St, Eustace was open and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I’ve wanted to see the Bayeux Tapestry since high school, 50 years ago. It did not disappoint. The Normandy beach experience filled me with deep overwhelming gratitude to every one of these lost heroes. Sunset on Mount St Michel in the quiet was stunning, too. So lovely to have the place to ourselves!"

Shawn

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves tour and was fabulous...our guide, Chris, was great and her leadership, plus the "guest guides" brought all the history to life and really immersed us in the culture. The great thing about these tours is the balance between group activities and time on our own to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many - Mont St. Michel was a highlight for me, the walking tours in Paris, including Sainte-Chapelle were great, visiting the small towns and of course the food - definitely all highlights for me."

Lauren

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every hotel, meal and experience were exceptional. Our tour guide Chris was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. I think one of the best parts of any Rick Steves tour is the camaraderie with the other travelers in the group. It's amazing how quickly everyone bonds and forms a (temporary) happy family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While being on Mont Saint Michel was definitely a highlight, my WOW moment was actually a WOW Day. The D-Day tour given by Dale Booth was exceptional. Dale provided a day of touring the bridges, towns, causeways and beaches and he painted vivid stories of the battles and the heroes. The day ended at the American Cemetery with the playing of Taps and the lowering of the flags."

Stephen

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 9th RS tour and all have been outstanding. Itinerary, our tour guide (Chris), the local guides, restaurants, hotels, fellow tour members, and the whole experience met all my expectations (and my expectations are high). Can't wait for my next RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have always wanted to visit Mont Saint-Michel, and I wasn't disappointed. "Wow!" is the best way to describe it. And the Rick Steves' way is the best! Get there when the massive crowds are leaving! Walking out a couple of hundred yards when the tide is out, and later being amazed at how deep the water is where you were walking a couple of hours before! Going up to the top and visiting the Abbey is another unforgettable experience. This will definitely remain a "WOW!" moment for me!!"

Cindy

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves tour and we once again enjoyed worry free touring and wonderful memories

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was touring Monet's garden and home. It was especially meaningful after seeing his work at the D'Orsay, and the Orangerie."

Wendi

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great guides, fabulous locales, enjoyable tour companions. The French people we met were warm and welcoming. It's so good to travel again! Although truly enjoyable, the tour felt a bit disjointed. Group dinners weren't great, especially compared to prior tours; some places were understaffed. Maybe inflation affected the discretionary budget. And our guide hadn't been in France for two years, so was unsure about some free-time recommendations for dining and exploring. I am still glad I went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending the dawn Laude Service at Mont Saint-Michel was my "wow" moment. The singing of the monks and nuns echoing through the abbey was exquisite. Their faith was palpable. Touring churches, temples and mosques lets me appreciate them as artistic and cultural treasures. But being in a sacred place as it is used by the faithful adds both spiritual and personal layers to its beauty and history. It's an opportunity to connect to something deep and abiding in our shared humanity."

William

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another outstanding Rick Steves tour! This was the fourth of the available France tours we have gone on, and we enjoyed every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel was the most "wow" moment of many on this tour. Monet's gardens in Giverny were a close second."

Snehal

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. The tour covered a wide range of sights and activities over a week and a half.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the D-Day sites in Normandy was very moving. I gained a greater appreciation for the sacrifice made by those young men (boys, really) almost 80 years ago."

Sandra

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great group; nice tour guide; good pace; fun sights

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stained glass at Saint Chappell"

Jock

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Inspiring, educational, exhausting!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along the causeway to Mont Saint Michel. Climbing the 100’s of steps in the early morning to go to the early morning service at the Abbey."

Laura

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed most of the sights & experiences. Wonderful bus driver Joost and guide Chris Coleman.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy - Dale (guide) is EXCELLENT!"

Richard

Tour: 04/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour and it Chris was a great guide and well-organized, everything went smoothly including the COVID testing at the end for the flights back to the US. Dale Booth was fantastic as the local guide to the D-Day sites seemed to be perfectly paced and guided through the interesting sites in northern France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel was definitely the “wow” moment. Being able to stay in a room on the island overnight and walk about the area after the tourists left was like experiencing life in the Middle Ages in this commune."

Sally

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France is a marvelous country with much to see and appreciate. The tour managers Linda and asst Veronique were most helpful teaching us what and how to appreciate their country. One of our Chateau visits was on a day when the Chateau was closed to the public and we had the property to ourselves for a picnic. It was magical. In advance of group meals Linda would give us choices for each course which was thoughtful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont St-Michel and the one street was jammed with tourists that promptly left at 5pm. Mont St-Michel has a pop. of 20 and 12 are the monks & nuns of the Abby. From 5pm one-day to 10am the next the 24 members of the Rick Steves group had the island almost to themselves. Our dinner together was extraordinary and at 6:30am most of us quietly and silently climbed the 350 steps to the abby for the 7am service. After breakfast & the meaning worship service our group had a private guide"

Elizabeth

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Your and we were thoroughly impressed! From the time we booked until completion everything was well organized and thorough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel, especially in the evening and early morning when there were very few people."

John

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was overwhelming in a very positive sense. The schedules, the food, the hotels were all so well thought out. This tour surpassed all my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but if I had to pick just one it would be standing on the D-Day beaches, amid the remaining German bunkers, and gazing around trying to imagine the horrors and triumphs of that day. I have been reading about D Day my whole life, and so to stand for the fist time in the midst of those iconic places like St. Mer Eglise and Omaha beach was very special."

Cynthia

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We toured some of the top sights in Paris and northern France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Eglise St. Etienne, a beautiful church in Bourges, given by Isabelle, who knew all the stories of the stained glass windows and the carved figures inside and outside on the church."

Jack

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our third trip with RS. Linda was a great guide very knowledge about French history and culture. We appreciated her insight on all the sites we visited. Each country is unique and France is no exception. A lot of France is art and religion which goes with the territory. We were disappointed that we did not spend more time at the Normandy beaches and Museums. A real miss for us Americans. We could have spent hours at Mont St Michel instead of an overnight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy area and most importantly the American Cementary. One constructive comment would be about our tour guide that day. We recall how the guide that we had at Pompeii was captivating on how he set the stage and virtually brought the place alive on our tour. The guide at Normandy was good and very knowledgable but could have done a better job of telling us in 15 minutes or so the big picture, planning, weather on D-day, how the various countries were amassed in the UK etc."

Jennifer

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All tour events were really good and we thought we covered all of the highlights for each area, nice amount of free time, great tours guides and local guides, good timing on bus breaks, really good talks on local culture during bus rides,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husbands wow was Monet’s Gardens. I was wowed by Gudelon, Chenonceau, Mont St Michel, Normandy, the Bayeux tapestry and Monet’s Gardens. They are all wows but each in a different way."

George

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I think that Linda and her assistant Veronique were perfect in working through a few understandable hitches (like the bus being too tall for some anticipated routes).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing much of the art I had studied for a Traditions of Art course in the Orsay and Louvre Museums."

Patricia

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third tour and it exceeded our already high expectations. France is especially beautiful in the spring and we enjoyed seeing it in bloom.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to choose one, however three standouts were the castle in Guedelon, Mont Saint-Michel and Monet's gardens."

Rawley

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. The hotels and planned dinners were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night at Mont Saint Michel was so neat! Loved the whole experience of being there."

Becky

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steve’s tour, and it was exactly as we had expected - organized, well planned, and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont Saint-Michele as throngs of people were leaving, knowing we’d not have to deal with those crowds."

Margaret

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France is an excellent tour. The itinerary is so interesting and the weather was great. Everyone was excited to be in France and our tour guide seemed happy to be back on the road. Hotels were good, local guides were outstanding, food was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It sounds a little crazy, with all the block-buster sights, but the château at Selles-sur-Cher and the wine and cheese tasting were my wow moment. The vintner gave very clear and enthusiastic explanations for the wine production and cheese making. It was the best wine tasting I’ve been to in 15 tours!"

Carolyn

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was perfect and we had enough time in each place to enjoy the different areas of the beautiful country of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont de Saint-Michel. The views from our room were stunning."

Carter

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont st Michel"

John

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Saw many great things that would not have been on my radar otherwise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches"

Edward

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded all expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The friendliness, charm, and history of the smaller towns."

Frances

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was too short. Time wise. And felt kind of rushed. Thank goodness for the whisper system if you ended up at the tail of the group. The local guides were knowledgeable and charming and hoteliers very welcoming. Outside the tour staff things were a bit tricky not knowing the language. Phrases are all very well but understanding the answers you get is a whole nother ball game. Doing Duolingo for 6 months instead of 3 would likely have helped ??????

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D Day. Particularly the little church that was the first aid station for the airborne drop. David Booth is phenomenal. Yes we bought his book lol. My dad landed at Utah Beach with the 79th div and his transportation unit so Normandy was a must. Loved Chenenceau and it’s women stories. Loved the markets and the local foods. Loved the small hotels."

Danilo

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Discovering Paris and that part of France was wonderful. We were in Europe a week before the tour, and the negative covid test requirement before joining the RS tour was always on our minds. Testing negative the day before was a relief, to say the least. As all RS tours that we've been on, the tour was well planned and well thought out. When I was in academe the biggest compliment you could give a collegue was, "Thanks, I learned a lot." I can say the same about this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Château de Chenonceau. I loved the seeing up close the mannerist elements of the chateau, e.g., the varying spans of the arches across the Cher, the offset keystones in the vaults of some of the hallways. I was also impressed that very little of it was roped off. Inside, the floral arrangements were a wonderful touch, emphasizing that this was a 'Ladies' castle. Indeed, the fact that it's size was muted compared to, for example, Chambord, was a way of saying, "Size isn't everything!""

Ron

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our Rick Steves guide, and bus driver and were great We had a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy sites: particularly the stop at Angoville-au-Plain where the former mayor and his wife visited with us. Our local guide for Normandy (Dale Booth) was terrific. Also, the special stop at Selle/Sur/Cher (Nicolas Massezi) was outstanding."

Joan

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This tour was colored for me in that I was ill at the beginning with what I considered the flu (but I was tested twice to make sure that I did not have Covid and I did not) and I was not able to do all the activities that I usually do on a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the overnight and early morning chapel visit on Mont St Michel was a bucket list item for myself, the moments I truly enjoyed the most was with the guide that talked to us extensively about the Normandy invasion."

Daniel

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France is the ideal way to become familiar with French culture, attractions, cuisine, and wine. The tour group is of manageable size, and each stop was a nice mixture of organized activities and "on your own" exploration. Our guide was very good about encouraging us to mix with the locals (the Rick Steves way), such as visiting the local village market, or having a cup of coffee and a pastry in the best people watching spots. Highly recommended!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The elegant way that Chateaux Chenonceau was presented on Easter Sunday was unforgettable. Fresh flower arrangements adorned every room, and their beauty was matched by the fragrant aromas. A feast for the eye and the nose! I can still smell them! The furnishings were equally impressive -- historically accurate and gorgeous. This chateaux, while not the largest one we visited, delivered far more than the others."

LaFray

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our tour! Our guide, Julie, was great! I liked her perspective as an American who had lived in France for years. I liked the variety of city and rural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden was beautiful!"

Kathryn

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was terrific. Julie Sonveau, our guide, from the beginning to the end of the tour, went above and beyond to ensure that it was a great trip for everyone. Before each site Julie provided some history and interesting facts about whatever we were to visit. She pointed out many aspects not to miss of whatever site we were visiting at the moment. And, she was always accessible to all tour members. I appreciated getting to know the other tour participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several moments: visiting Sainte-Chapelle, the Paris neighborhood tour with Elizabeth, Mont St-Michel, Normandy and Monet's Garden."

Kristie

Tour: 04/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the variety this tour offered. Having a mix of cities and villages, art and history, leisurely dinners and takeaways from local street markets, time with the group and on our own - it lived up to the “Best of” tour name. Julie is an excellent guide - she is knowledgeable, friendly, and treated us with little extras (e.g., sampler of French music on the bus, Easter bunny visit) that perfectly complimented the planned itinerary. We found the other group members to be engaging and nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The colorful and fragrant gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny on a glorious, sunny Spring day and the peaceful lauds service at Mont-Saint-Michel with the sun rise shining through the abbey windows are experiences that will stick with me forever."

Richard

Reston, VA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! thoroughly enjoyed Guédelon Castle, the small towns of France, the Normandy beaches, and Monet's house and gardens. Our guide, Virgine, was wonderful - she knows Americans almost as well as she knows the French and was able to help us understand the France and french society. And we had a great group of fellow travellers to share the experience with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We stayed one night on Mont-Saint-Michel. In the morning we got up early to go up to see the monks and nuns sing morning prayers. The sky was just lightening up when we left our room, with wisps of marine layer fog wafting around the buildings. A monk met our small group at the abbey door and walked us up to the church where we took seats on benches. The six monks and eight nuns chanted and sang, while we sat in quiet reverie. It was both simple and beautiful."

Shauna

Reston, VA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. I enjoyed the activity and variety of revisiting Paris in more depth. There is always something special to see and experience. The Normandy coast and D-Day part of the tour was very sobering and enlightening. Dale was full of detailed information and compelling descriptions, bringing the beaches alive. Monet's gardens in Giverny were lovely, with lots of blooms and color even in late October.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was special for the unique location and experience. The morning prayers at the Abbey, the quiet of the evening overlooking the wide beach, and just the ancient history involved were all very memorable."

Mike

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was exceptional. From registration to communication to the actual tour itself, the process was smooth and easy. I had an excellent tour guide that taught me a lot about life in France. The places I visited were amazing and memorable. Details of the visits were planned very well so that our group enjoyed the sites and sounds with least amount of crowds. The food was amazing. I was lucky to get the opportunity to travel with one of the most kind and generous group of mates

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Mont St. Michel was a wow moment. I thought the ability to spend a night there was amazing and unique. I didn't even know that's its possible. I had to chance to go up the Abbey early in the morning for prayer. It was surreal to listen to the nuns and priests chant for 30 minutes. The resonance and acoustics in the Abbey are phenomenal. It was an experience I'll never forget."

Janet

Orlando, FL

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, in fact my first group tour ever, and I'm happy to say it was a very enjoyable and memorable experience. As a single traveler, I was welcomed into the group and never felt "alone". What a nice group of people! One of the reasons I chose Rick Steves was I felt that there would be a better chance of travelling with "like-minded" people who shared my attitude toward travel and learning about other cultures and that's exactly what I found!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among several high points, my "wow" moment was undoubtedly our overnight stay on Mont St Michel. The weather was perfect for walking the alleys and ramparts in the evening after most tourists had left, followed by a wonderful group dinner celebrating Normandy's 4 C's. Oui, Virginie, Calvados does indeed mysteriously allow one to eat more! I rose early in the morning to see the sunrise from the deserted ramparts before touring the Abbey with the group. Another beautiful day!"

Jason

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply wonderful trip, perhaps the best we have been on! Virginie made every day exciting and fun and each of the places we visited was superb with nice balance of scheduled events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every waking minute :-)"

Thomas

Manlius, NY

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever. We have been big Rick fans in our other few trips to Europe, but have self-directed our sightseeing activities. We really enjoyed not having to worry about all the logistics and planning, and especially enjoyed the learning from all of our guides. I highly complement Virginie; she is a great guide, has a good sense of humor and upbeat personnality, and she just is a really nice person. She was more of a friend to all of us tourists than a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things... First we attended the morning prayer service at the Mont St Michel Abby. This was simply beautiful and was like going back to the year 1000. The Second "WOW" moment was Omaha Beach. Just seeing the challenge the allies faced, and hearing of their efforts was overwhelming. Our D-Day guide Dale was supurb at bringing history to life."

Phillip

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed it. Even if the weather didn't always cooperate. We had a good guide and group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not really a "wow" because of all the pictures but seeing Mont St Michel in person was great. The D-Day beaches was semi-wow for the opposite reason. Most of the pictures don't show them correctly or show what great beaches they are"

Buzz

Santa Clarita, CA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. While we certainly enjoyed Paris we were also delighted to get out into the Normandy region and see several smaller French towns and cities

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel fascinated me since I read about it as a child and finally getting to visit it was wonderful"

Soon-ok

Santa Clarita, CA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was excellent; the guide Virgine exceptional. In particular, her presentation of educating us of French social structure and educational and health systems through a fictitious family was very engaging and easier to understand and follow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wows. If I have to pick one that touched me the most is Utah and Omaha beaches at Normandy. It made me realize the awesome sacrifice that these young soldiers made for our freedom."

George

Raynham, MA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first trip to France. We really enjoyed Paris. We were taken to parts of France that we might not have known to go to. We enjoyed the small hotels in the middle of the towns where we stayed. Some of the towns that we stopped for lunch had few options because shops and store fronts had closed and been vacated. Visiting Mont St-Michel, Normandy and Monet's garden were definite highlights of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough to pick one "wow" moment. The first time we saw the Eiffel Tower. Arriving at Mont St-Michel was breath taking. Being able to spend the night there was an experience few travelers get to enjoy."

Mark

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was great. It was fun, educational and inspirational. It was fun to visit Paris for the first time with a knowledgeable and entertaining guide like Patrick Vidal, and to see, in person, what I've only seen in movies and books. It was educational to visit the Normandy D-Day beaches and Mont-Saint-Michel for the first time, with the assistance of expert local guides. And it was inspirational to see and hear about the D-Day invasion from local guide Dale Booth, a skillful story teller.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments on this tour. However, Mont-Saint-Michel was truly a highlight. Staying overnight on Mont-Saint-Michel, visiting the abbey at the top of the island, viewing the island when it was illuminated at night, and watching the incoming tide at sunset from the ramparts, were my "wow" moments."

Jerald

Covington, WA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"NORMANDY"

Brian

Folsom, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I did the 11-day Paris and the Heart of France tour. A good variety of experiences and locations, although some of the stops were a bit rushed; we would have preferred a little more time on our own at times. Unfortunately my wife injured her leg on the 2nd or 3rd day when a wayward bicyclist struck her, so this limited her ability to join the group on all the walking tours, but we were okay with going some things on our own at her pace. The tour packed in a lot for the 11 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Spending a night at Mont St. Michelle was special, but so were Monet's gardens."

Benjamin

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on the island of Mont Saint Michel."

Dennis

Appleton, WI

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first time in France was extraordinary. Having been on a Rick Steves tour twice previously, I felt confident that the tour guides would be exceptional. For me, the tour guide is the key for enjoying a trip, and on every tour they have been great . They are multilingual, calm, knowledgeable, and attentive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the beaches of Normandy. Seeing the place where so many young people, kids, sacrificed their lives, was very moving. The day was very rainy--fitting for contemplation of this huge event."

Betsy

Champlin, MN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France Tour was extremely well led by Rebecca and Veronique. We saw so much in just eleven days and Rebecca and Veronique were certain to include special treats - such as Macarons in the Tuilleries, a champagne treat at sunset on Mount St. Michel, and dinner at the Bouillon Camille Chartier. People have asked what was my favorite thing and I cannot actually pinpoint what it was. So many fabulous experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See above! Before we started the tour I wasn't very excited about the Chateaus and Guedelon and now I tell everyone all about those experiences. Seeing Monet's work displaced at L'Orangerie and visiting his gardens were very high. The Impressionist display at the Orsay and visiting Bourges and its cathedral were amazing things. Loved the D-Day Beach tour even though it was chilly and rainy."

Marci

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. When friends have asked about the trip I have said that every day was my favorite day of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Ste. Michele. It was one of photos in my beginning French book when I was a Freshman in High School and it captivated me. The real thing lived up to my dreams. It was very special to spend the night on the Mont."

Karen

Mount Pleasant, SC

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France tour was very well organized and the adventure of a lifetime. Each day was full of new places to explore, history to learn, and exposure to new experiences. I looked forward to everyday and enjoyed all the scheduled stops, but the surprise stops and unexpected treats along the way added to the fun. We had two great guides, Rebecca and Veronique, who were excellent and always were excited about sharing each location with us.The group was so much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was absolutely breathtaking. I love architecture, design and gardens, so I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being there. The floral arrangements and gardens were spectacular. Mont St. Michel was also a very special experience. Giverny was a favorite of mine."

Coleen

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was great. Really liked the two tour leaders which contrasted nicely with my previous experience. Rebecca was like having a nice mother along, who took care of you, but encouraged you to grow and spread your wings. Veronique was very kind to me about my French, and encouraged me to continue learning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was truly amazing when Father Henry rang the bells of the parish church for us (St. Pierre) on Mont St Michel. What a glorious sound."

Denise

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic trip with great guides and fellow travelers. Planned excursions helped us learn about France, it's history and culture. I came away with the desire to return and see more. We missed a day due to illness, but Rebecca made sure we were taken care of and had the information and tools to rejoin the group by traveling on our own by train.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick one? A few were the view from our room and overnight stay at Mont St Michel to experience the quiet of the place after the day visitors left. Taps at the American cemetery near Omaha beach. And the lily pond at Monet's house that brought his paintings to life."

Kevin

Champlin, MN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides were outstanding! We had a great group of people that were a lot of fun and got along very well. There were a couple of health issues within the group that the guides took care of very professionally without missing a beat. We saw a lot of sites that I would have never thought to seek out by going on my own. Overall, I had a terrific time and felt it was well worth the money.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite site was the castle being constructed using 13th century technology. Amazing! But the cathedral in Bourges was equally breathtaking."

Beth

Brenham, TX

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was tremendous! It was more than we even imagined it to be! We seemed to spend the perfect amount of time at each spot, we had a wonderful and thorough instruction on how to use the metro, we had ample free time to do things that we wanted to do on our own and we always seemed to be at the most perfectly positioned place to see the most at each spot (I know not by chance but by a tremendous amount of planning).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say 3 - watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle from the top of the Arche de Triomphe, staying the night on Mont St Michel and being at the lowering of flags ceremony at the Omaha Beach cemetery. I was literally saying WOW multiple times every day!"

Cheryl

Sitka, AK

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. It was fabulous. Rebecca was an excellent guide- warm, organized, knowledgeable. I loved all the history she gave us on each stop. Getting so much background on each town and site really added depth to our visits. Veronique was the same- no matter what questions we had, they both had answers. The trip had just the right combination of walking, free, and bus time. The destinations really gave us a great overview of that part of France. Loved the food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment from the tour was when I got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. It brought tears to my eyes. I knew I was really in France! I also found the sunrise service at the abbey in Mont St. Michel and Taps at the cemetery in Normandy very moving."

Carol

Madison, WI

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my fifth RS tour so that should tell you how highly I value my travel experience with you. I enjoyed this trip and would certainly recommend it to other travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and the Bayeux tapestry were on my bucket list for many years and were wonderful. I expected the day in Normandy to be interesting and educational, but I was surprised that it was my wow. Not a big WOW but a quiet and moving wow. Daley was an excellent guide."

John

Monroe, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome trip! Arnaud our Guide was outstanding.

Barbara

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I think back on how many places we went and how much we did, I am blown away!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guedelon absolutely captured my heart and my imagination. I am thrilled by what they are doing there. And I never would have known about it if it hadn't been for this tour. THANK YOU!"

Priscilla

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Waited 57 years to see Mont St Michel since first seeing picture in high school French textbook. And then to stay overnight, too!! Giverny much more beautiful than I ever expected. Going through the home was really lovely also. It blew my mind to tour Chenonceau where royalty really used the place over years of transition. We went to Rodin museum and garden on our own. That is really well done. We went to St. Sulpice on our own---should be on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing a sculpture depicting God's hands giving "birth" to Adam and Eve. (Paris)"

Greg

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been on a very brief tour of Paris a number of years ago, but without a guide. Having Antoine show us around the City was enormously beneficial and because there is so much to see, a guide is essential to make the most of the trip. That was just Paris, too...France has so much to see and do, and Antoine helped us make the best of a wonderful number of excursions throughout the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St Michel in person was awesome, and attending the 7:00 AM mass in the chapel at the top was incredible."

Josey

Lander, WY

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour experience in France and I enjoyed it all, especially the experiences in Mont St-Michel, Normandy and Giverny. We had a good group of travel buddies, wonderful bus drivers, Matt and Annie, and our guide, Antoine, made it very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in the Hotel de la Marine Arromanches right on Gold Beach in Normandy. It was amazing to walk out of the hotel right onto the beach where we could see the big concrete blocks remaining from the Mulberry Harbor. Other "wow" moments were staying on Mont St-Michel overnight and seeing the beautiful Monet gardens at Giverny."

Hart

Lander, WY

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide Antoine was superb. He reviewed french newspapers and each day on the bus would give us summaries. He treated us to local items to eat and drink. It made places as Mont St-Michel so memorable. He was always looking out for those who were not quite so fast in getting around. He gave us an appreciation for the French People and how they think.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first sight of the stain glass at Sainte-Chappele as I emerged from the spiral staircase was astounding. The second was seeing history relived at the Chateau de Guedelon."

David

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience. It was a fabulous blend of rural and urban, old and new, structured activity and free time. Paris needs all the time a person can devote to it. Because the tour starts and ends in Paris, it is easy to add days at the beginning and/or the end. We went in the fall, and the cool weather and diminished crowds were a big plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose the biggest single WOW moment actually happened on our visit to the Eiffel Tower, which was not on the tour itself, but on the last of our three extra days in Paris. We looked down on the city and recognized so many places that now held precious memories for us. Because of all the things we had done, places we had visited and people we had met through the tour, France no longer seemed like a daunting, foreign place, and we recognized our oneness with the rest of the world."

Susan

Havertown, PA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very pleasurable trip. Itinerary, tour guide and fellow travelers were first rate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St. Michel was a memory for a lifetime and participating in the early morning prayer service was an incredible experience."

Susan

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our favorite Rick Steves Tour so far. The itinerary provided such a wide range of experiences from the iconic sites and art of Paris, thru medieval castle construction, opulent chateaus, solemn Normandy, and witnessing a prayer vigil on Mont St. Michel, before returning to Paris through the outdoor splendor of Giverny. We also were appreciative of Antoine's extra efforts during "free times" to get tickets, search out stamps, or just walk with us before taking his leave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being invited to walk up to the chapel on Mont St. Michel, in the pre-dawn darkness, to witness the morning prayer service in the Abbey, followed by the beautiful sunrise that greeted us on our walk back down to breakfast at our hotel."

Pam

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France is a journey full of the drama of French history and culture. From exploring medieval cathedrals, castles and abbeys to the beaches of Normandy to the grace and excitement of Paris, this tour has it all. Add in the world-renowned art, the incomparable food and wine, and a gracious Frenchman to explore all this with, and voila - a fantastic trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had wanted to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle, which it does for five minutes on the hour at night. We did, and it was magical! Of course, I can't stop at one - there was the early morning climb to Mont Saint-Michel's abbey to hear the monks and nuns do their morning chants. And taps at the American Cemetery in Normandy is certainly a moment not to be forgotten."

John

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This itinerary was the most varied of any tour that we have taken. The sights were great as was our Tour Director, Antoine. Who could be unhappy in Paris!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Mont Ste. Michel and attending the early morning service at the abbey."

Paul

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Too many people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy Beach"

Claudia

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the entire tour. It was well paced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D-Day area visit was amazing and our guide explained the war strategies so well! Mont St Michel was pretty amazing too! Seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up was great! There were many 'wow' moments."

Peggy

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was packed full of unique experiences beyond the set itinerary. The community of travelers was again pleasurable and we met 50 interesting people on back to back tours! We were determined to know everyone...and we did! We lean toward making friends with solo travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont Saint Michel and attending the 7am chanting service at the Abbey! Once in a lifetime experience & only 4 of us choose this experience!"

Gretchen

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was quite possibly the best Rick Steves tour I have taken, and It is my 4th. From the minute I met our group and Chris our tour guide, I knew it would be a great trip. Chris was a delight. She is knowledgeable, proficient in French, and just a lot of fun. She kept us entertained on the bus with bits of french trivia, and great stories and history lessons. She was highly organized and kept things running very smoothly. She was patient and kind, yet firm in appropriate situations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sooo many. The Autumnal equinox high tide that surrounded Mont St Michel and flooded over the access bridge and in through the town gates. The twinkling of the lights on the Eiffel tower at night. Monet's beautiful gardens in Giverney. The gigantic Chambord Chateau with its many rooms and beautiful landscaped grounds. The emotional impact of standing before all the white crosses in the American Cemetary in Normandy, and finding one of a soldier from my home state of Oregon."

Steve

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris was everything your site said she'd be and more. It was a delight having her as our guide on this RS tour.I appreciated the way she treated us as self sufficient thinking people. She's the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being an engineer and a history major the museums and architecture always amazes me. To be honest though, it was the wine and food."

Patricia

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris, our tour guide, was amazing. Thoughtful, insightful, great sense of humor, and intelligent. I loved the information she imparted to us about France, France culture, France politics, etc. All the places we visited and our accommodations were great. I loved our travel group. Everyone was very nice and respected each other. This was our first Rick Steves tour and we would definitely do another one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to chose from but Mont Saint-Michel (we were there on a very high tide which made the experience even better) Our last night together viewing the Eiffel Tower twinkling was a memory I will never forgot (Thanks Chris) Di Vinci's museum, an optional tour but so glad we took it. Getting to know the other tour people. No matter who we sat next to, getting to know others was quite the experience. I love hearing other people stories."

Julius

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Chris, our leader,was fantastic. She was very knowledgeable, well organized and very approachable. Our co-adventurers meshed very well. People mingled with one another and became a cohesive group. Chris shared a great deal of French history,politics and culture with us which made our sightseeing more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont st. Michele, without a doubt a doubt! And, learning from Chris how to navigate the Paris Metro."

Judy

Atwater, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steve's tour, and it was truly amazing! Once again, the group of people we traveled were wonderful. Our guide was outstanding. And our bus driver, who drove us to so many a incredible places in France, was a special part of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many... I think my favorite was in a small church in Normandy where, on D-Day, two US medics set up a place to treat injured and dying soldiers. Our guide that day, gave us a very moving experience. I learned so much about the events of D-Day."

Joan

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves trip, and it was a wonderful experience. I especially enjoyed our time in the French countryside, visiting the less traveled spots, that Rick Steves is known for. As a solo traveler, I always enjoy the comaraderie of the group, and getting to know people from across the country. This group was truly friendly and fun! I also appreciated the competence of our group leader, (who happened to be Minnesota nice), and even the bus driver was charming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many..."

Janet

Moultonborough, NH

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every night we were sure it was 'the best day of the tour.' Then, the next day, you matched the previous days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I walked through Monet's Gardens, I felt as if I was in one of his impressionist paintings."

Martha

Clarkston, MI

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with my first Rick Steve's tour. It was wonderful from start to finish. Linda was an outstanding tour guide, the fellow travelers were great, the food was exceptional, and the sights were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was like being in a fairy tale."

Liz

Fernandina Beach, FL

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great! Wonderful first trip experience to France! A nice balance of cities, museums, countryside, history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel! My husband and I got up early and climbed the ramparts high above the beach in the early morning stillness to attend the morning service at the abbey. The singing was beautiful. The sun was just coming up over the horizon lighting the sky in pinks and yellows. We could hear the waves crashing on the rocks far below with not another person in sight!"

Inga

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the trip was really good. Linda is a seasoned tour group leader, and her managing of the tour was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the 4 beaches the Allies landed, especially Omaha Beach was a moving experience for me. I really enjoyed the singing monks at St. Migel too. It seemed wherever we stayed, there were places to buy food at reasonable rates."

Sandra

Madison, WI

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide ( Linda)was exceptional. Having never been on a RS tour I didn't know what to expect. It far exceeded all expectations in company, itinerary, accommodations , food. There was just the right mix of tour activities and free time. I felt we experienced places and activities in greater depth than would be possible on larger tours, never feeling like you are on the " tour" experience. It was a travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel -this was why this tour was chosen. It was amazing, an experience I will never forget. Cameras cannot fully capture the sights, the memories, the feelings of evening and daybreak on the isle. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. Paris is amazing, take extra time. Giverny- it truly was magical,like being in the paintings. The itinerary was exceptional- but the Mont was it!"

Carrie

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group/mix of people. So many places were visited and the history lesson was very impactful from the guides. Their opinions and insights on what the current situations were in each country were interesting and current.

Robert

Amherst, VA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As I clicked, it was very good. Our guide was excellent, our tour group was excellent, the hotels -- excepting Amboise --were excellent. Paris was everything we expected, as were the other places we visited. I chose "very good" overall instead of outstanding because I think the tour tried to cover too many places. And I know the Louvre is one of those boxes that people think must be checked, but spending a part of a day there is ludicrous. That's like trying to learn French in a day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourges, all of it. The most moving moment was our visit to the American cemetery at Collevillr-sur-Mer."

Tom

Woodbridge, VA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pantheon, and Saint-Chapelle. Guedelon, Chambord, Chenonceau, Mont St-Michel, Learning the whole story of the Battle of Hastings from the tapestry. Normandy Beaches and Giverny were all equally amazing."

Kevin

Tampa, FL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steve's Tour & our 1st time visiting Paris & France: it was a great experience! We arrived in Paris two days early, so we were 100% ready for the tour to start. Our overall guide, Chris was outstanding. Given the pretty short time allotted (10 days) and the plethora of possible choices, we thought the selection & mix of sites to visit, hotels & group meals were very well chosen. I really liked the knowledgeable presentations, sprinkled with personal anecdotes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, I can't pick just 1: Saint Chappel & St. Etienne stained glass windows with some guidance as to what we were looking at, was really interesting. Mont St Michelle, especially the dinner & a late night solo stroll around the narrow, winding, nearly deserted paths was fantastic. The broken remnants of rusting hulks of the caissons embedded in the sand at Arromanches, and what they signified was awesome to contemplate. Guedelon were really cool! Chenonceau & Chamborg were awesome..."

Karen

Phoenix, MD

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have hopped for more. Well planned, with general tour guide (Chris) and local tour guides for specific locations. There was prep information prior to arriving at sites and then the local tour guides. Just terrific. Nice accommodations, great tour bus, lots of room and great bus drivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont St Michel. We arrived in the afternoon and you could barely walk around because there were so many people. Got into our accommodations crowds were leaving and the area quite eyed down. We had our local guide the next morning and it was serene for our tour. Also 7 am singing at the chapel was heavenly. As we were leaving for our next destination the crowds were beginning to return. It was perfect."

Peter

Chadds Ford, PA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just what we were looking for. Excellent overview for us (who had never toured in France) gave us a terrific overview, and enough deep dives to provide insight into the culture and habits of the French. Well planned level of free time let us explore what we were learning about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a WOW moment, but a WOW day experience. One attraction of this particular trip was the visit to Normandy. It was excellent, from the review of history leading to the invasion, the transparent explanation of errors and successes and the contribution of the Allies to the D Day landing were outstanding. I wouldn't change a thing. It exceeded my expectations!"

Patricia

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've never taken a guided tour before and I was extremely impressed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toss up between Mont St-Michel, Chateau de Chenonceau, and Monet's gardens at Giverny."

Kathy

Montesano, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebbeca Berry was our guide.She was outstanding.very personable,animated, knowledgeable,&obviously loves what she does!She took great care of us.Always making sure we knew what was going on each day.She always had her details down pat.Took us to great restaurants.The other tour guides that joined us were great too. We had a great group. We got along well and enjoyed each others company. She loved treating us to a Kir or sharing cookies on the bus.This was my 1st trip to Europe.Glad I choice RS

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments.I liked the variety.I loved Amboise. I loved Normandy.I loved Paris.I loved it all.Loved all the hotels. My only negatives would be all the stairs & lack of elevators & lack of toilettes."

Barbara

Hutchinson Island, FL

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned. We toured an incredible amount of places. Rebecca was wicked awesome. She is a fabulous tor guide and provides a wealth of information.

Sharon

Omaha, NE

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and was a great experience! Rebecca was a fabulous guide...taking care of every detail with lots of fun surprises planned for us. We had wonderful weather and a great group of fellow travelers...all from different parts of the USA and all different backgrounds. We enjoyed every minute!

Terry

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything that I expected and more. The small group experiences was ideal and every destination was an experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Morning services at Mont St. Michel."

Bob

Bethel, CT

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, excellent. This is a very hectic, activity filled tour itinerary. Lots to see and do with tight timelines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This question needs to be structured. The "What" needs to be accompanied by a "Why". What - Giverny - The home of impressionist painter Claude Monet. Why - The gardens are a place of overwhelming beauty, tranquility and elegance. While you are there you're breath is taken away - continuously. Claude's house is fascinating. Additionally, it was one of the few stops on our trip where we had an adequate amount of time to visit and explore. This wasn't the case on the majority of stops."

Dolores

Bethel, CT

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour and like our previous tours, the experience was wonderful. We love the on-the-ground, up close, immersive way we travel with Rick Steves! We saw and did so much - the pace of this tour at times felt a bit rushed, with less than optimal time allotted for some of our shared adventures. For example, the time we had to enjoy our picnic lunches at the winery was very short. There were comments shared among several tour members who had similar perceptions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments - The immersive experience with Monet's large format water lily paintings was such an emotional high. It literally took my breath away. And then to visit Giverney and bear witness to his inspiration for these masterpieces - That was beyond amazing!"

Bonnijill

Valencia, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Guide and a great group of people. Loved every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont Saint-Michele. Loved the quiet streets after the day tourists had departed."

Mary

Yakima, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An experienced independent traveler, this was my first tour experience. While I throughly enjoyed the people, the "groupness" was challenging at times for me. P&HF is a sampler of many things, rather than a deep dive into any one. Where it shone for me was in the smaller villages and venues...and it was lovely not to have responsibility for the driving or navigating!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found our evening and early morning on Mont-St-Michel deeply moving. What a gift to be there after-hours. Guedelon, too, was fascinating. I could have spent many days there."

Susan

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good balance of group tour and personal time. Group "gelled" well together, due to great leadership by Rebecca Berry. Good decision not to try to include the Eiffel Tower and Arc du Triumphe in the group tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden and flag-lowering ceremony at American Cemetery."

Carol

Woodland, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have taken this tour once before. It is such a wonderful picture of France that most tours do not cover. To spend the night on Mt St Michel again was an event! To see the D day Beaches on the 75th anniversary of the landings was never to be forgotten. Plus....our guide for that day was outstanding. What made this trip over the top was our Rebecca Berry. She really cared about us. She taught us the Metro system in Paris - an amazing experience at rush hour! She taught us France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night once again on Mont St. Michel plus to be at the d-Day Beaches and cemeteries was unforgettable."

Corrie

Kentwood, MI

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel was a highlight for sure. This has been on my bucket list for years so I had some pretty high expectations - and they were all met/exceeded! Even viewing the island for the first time was a 'wow' moment, and then the moments just kept piling up! After getting to our room, the bells started ringing for the hour and we couldn't help but stop and listen while taking in the view. The dawn service at the Abbey was so beautiful that I cried! And our local guide was fantastic."

David

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with an excellent guide and a wonderful group of fellow travelers. One area to improve would be a way to guide us through the Louvre, which was a waste of an afternoon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, including Normandy, the Loire Valley and Mont St. Michelle."

Kathleen

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The moments keep sinking in, even now. A fun and funny, knowledgeable, and very French (though technically American) guide--Rebecca--led a fun and engaged group of travelers as locals through France. Our 11 days were full of profound moments and light and hilarious ones. Loved what we learned about the culture and history, the places we traveled and experiences we had, the hotels where we stayed (great staffs--very friendly, fun and helpful!), and the food and drink, of course!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! But, if I have to pick one, I would say Normandy--St. Mere Eglise, Utah and Omaha Beaches, the cemeteries of the fallen--made WWII so personal and connected us so profoundly with the people of France. Our Normandy guide was excellent."

Marjorie

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time touring Paris and the Heart of France with our very friendly and congenial group. Our tour guide, Antoine, was exceptional. His knowledge of France and it's history, his love of his country and his easy spirit, set the tone for our very energetic exploration of Paris and her beautiful sites, our strolls through quaint little towns and villages, visiting beautiful old chateaus, and learning about and visiting the very sobering beaches of Normandy. Cest Magnifique!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was filled with so many "wow" moments, and all for different reasons. But having the opportunity to spend one night on Mont St-Michel, was quite magical. Our local tour guide, Jessica, took us up through the pathways and steps, leading us to the abbey, all the while talking us through the inception of the idea, how it was built, its history through time, making you feel like you were experiencing it through time. It was an awe-inspiring experience. Such an engineering feat!"

Linda

Surrey, BC

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that the tour itself was very well planned out. Not too much travelling per day, the hotels were great as were the meals provided, and Antoine was a fabulous tour guide. As a solo traveller, I found my tour companions very friendly and inclusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden at Giverny"

Steve

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. Group was good and friendly and guide was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prayer service at mont Saint Michel"

Mary

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour met my expectations - it covered a lot of Northern France. I stood on Normandy beaches where many of my father's generation died for future generations freedom. (Sylvan was a fabulous guide) The disappointment of Mont St Michelle 's overly crowded tourist frenzy-was diminished by spending the night and taking back lanes up to the chapel for morning matins. It is magical. Our Bourges tour guide was superior -I wanted more time We had perfect weather to enjoy Loire castles.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"included above were wows.... not mentioned was the incredible market our Paris guide took us to ... the vegetables and fruit displays were a wow... sorry I can not remember her name (Barbara?)but she was great.I loved the Bayeaux tapestry... having heard about it in school as a child I was amazed to finally see it. Loved the humor in it and it was a high point."

Michael

Aurora, IL

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. My wife and I had been to Paris and half the tour locales before, but we accompanied a friend on this trip celebrating a milestone birthday with her first trip to France, & we did very much enjoy our guide (Antoine) and the local guides providing us with greater understanding of the region. The group dinners were highlights. There was enough independent time to see things on our own. Hotels were decent and well-located. Bus ride was real smooth and drivers were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say I had any new "wows." Just seeing the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Mont St. Michel are "wow" moments. We had done much of this tour route as a self-drive 14 years ago so only the Loire Valley chateaus were new to us. One highlight was the outdoor wine and cheese tasting between Paris and Bourges, a delightful way to spend a couple hours. The soldier banners on utility poles all around the D-Day beaches was awesome. The view out our room at Marine Hotel Arromanches was amazing."

Charissa

Zionsville, IN

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Antoine is the best. Wonderful educator. You can tell he loves his country."

Gene

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is not our first Rick Steves tour and we got what we expected from this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Michael"

Steve

Springboro, OH

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the Heart of France Tour! I love history, art and walking so the tour was a wonderful combination of all three. The tour group was filled with nice, interesting and enjoyable couples so that made it easy. Also Antoine was outstanding in relating to everyone as well as in his knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount St. Michele Giverney - Lily Pond"

Mary

Geneva, IL

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and I certainly hope it will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel that I learned a lot as well. Our guide was knowledgeable, organized, professional but fun and very approachable. Every detail seemed to be considered and the choices of what to see and when to see it were always spot on. I definitely feel like the beneficiary of years and years of travel experience and research. It was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is difficult as there were several "wow" moments. I suppose my favorite was Mont St. Michel. Half of our group went with our guide to early morning prayer service at the Abbey. Climbing the stairs in the dark, hearing the monks and nuns chant their prayers inside the beautiful Abbey, observing the other believers in prayer...it was very ethereal."

Connie

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves' tour. I tell everyone we are not"Tour people" but Rick Steves'tours has made us devout RS tour travelers.Your tours continue to be magical. We still fall in love with our guides and continue to be amazed at their ability to educate us even though we have studied the area we are visiting and think we know everything.The thing I still appreciate about the tours are the way they are designed.The perfect mix between educational and a stress free environment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always the hardest question to answer (I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way). To name just one site or event would not do the tour justice. The tour itself is one big WIN."

William

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect mix of tour time and free time. Our guide was suberb with her knowledge of French history, culture, society, etal. Hotels were comfortable and a real treat every night. Dinners and breakfasts were a good insight into the cuisine. I especially enjoyed the excusions in the smaller rural towns and the up close exposure to the real France. Paris was lovely and the tour gave us a good taste of the city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The German cemetery at Normandy. Monet's garden. Da Vinci's home. Sitting in the garden sipping coffee and eating pastry at the various hotels. A marvelous group of classy folks for 10 days."

Pamela

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, our tour leader, Michaelanne, kept us informed, entertained and on the go! The tour information helped us to prepare for our trip from tips about what to pack and how to navigate the metro to sights to see during our free time. The tour bus was very comfortable and our driver helpful. Each day, we knew the itinerary and could plan accordingly. Our accommodations were comfortable and at time luxurious. Each hotel had delicious breakfasts and helpful staff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed visiting the medieval castle in Guedelon and Chateau de Selles Sur Cher with the wine and cheese tasting as well as the grounds of Chateau de Chenonceau. I enjoyed visiting the towns along the route to Normandy. Getting to be in the country side was a treat. Getting to stroll along the streets of the smaller villages and towns was enlightening. The special talks from the various "experts" in several towns gave extra insights into those areas."

Steve

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good organization. Good mix of sites and activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau de Guedelon, Mont St-Michel and the D-Day beaches"

Donna

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting and enriching tour, with a variety of historical and cultural information. All nightly accommodations were very good. All breakfasts and included lunches/dinners were delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually it was a tie !! 1) Spending the night at Mont St Michel, and being able to listen to the nuns with their early morning chanting/singing in the Abbey. 2) Being physically present at Utah Beach, Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach and learning about the U.S. and allies war strategies to turn the war toward our victory."

D'Lene

Liberty Hill, TX

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, the itinerary is amazing, and included so many places on my personal must-see list. As with other Rick Steves tours I have been on, there is the right amount of free time for the tour members to create their own experiences outside of the tour. Our tour guide, Michaelanne's knowledge of the French culture, history, economy and political system, and her personal stories of living and traveling extensively in France, greatly enhanced our tour experience. I highly recommend this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were WOW moments every day during the tour, which makes it impossible for me to choose only one. So I will pick two: Spending the night on Mont St.-Michel, and the emotional day spent on the tour of the Normandy beaches with the local guide, where we arrived at the American Cemetery on September 11 in time for taps. The experiences of this tour will live on in my memory forever."

Rodney

Monroeville, PA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first organized tour. I have always planed all of our vacations both in the States and also overseas. My wife and I decided to use your services for our trip to France. I was a little nervous about an "organized" tour, but the experience was wonderful. From very nice hotels to good food and a wonderful tour guide, all of my expectations were met. Thank you very much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we first saw the Eiffel Tower"

Max

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent selection of places to visit. Excellent local guides. Good narrative and background, but a little too much pressure to "go, go", a little shy on time to digest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three are tied. Visits to Mont St. Michel, Clemenceau, and Guedelon."

Elizabeth

Redding, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank you thank you rick Steve!! For a amazing experience I had .. I have to say I did not research anything so every day was a surprise ????

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the Beautiful churches and the elf tower"

Robert

Carmel, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary, well paced timing and schedule, interesting hotels, superb RS guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the iconic symbol of France, the Eiffel Tower, on our last night to cap off the entire trip. When it is lighted at night takes your breath away."

David

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall this was an outstanding tour. The people, the sights, the food and our guide all combined to make this a trip to remember. That does not mean it was perfect. I find that the places where we had local guides were the places that I remember the most. I would have liked the opportunity to have a guide in the Louvre and the Orsay, even if it meant adding a couple of days to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly the early morning opportunity at Mont St-Michel to hear the nuns of the abbey singing their morning prayers. Honorable mention to the Normandy's D-Day Beaches, due mostly to our outstanding local guide."

Mary

Westerville, OH

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good tour. Exceeded expectations. We had gone 4 days early, so we're quite settled by the time we met the group. Loved the variety of the city of Paris and each of its areas and the villages outside Paris. Also liked flexibility of doing many things with tour then time to venture out and explore on own. Was surprised I so enjoyed some areas I didn't think I would like that much. I was surprised how much high school French I recalled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My father, a WWII vet who flew 2 missions to Normandy on D Day had died 4 months before our trip. On the day of our Normandy experience, I met a sweet WWII vet in a wheelchair at the museum at Utah Beach. He had come ashore D Day. That in itself was a highlight. But at 5:00 PM, when we attended the flag retreat at the American Cemetery, there was that same man. I watched, and cried, as he stood from the wheelchair saluting, then folding the flag. Wow!"

Gretchen

Berlin, BE

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourges was a pleasant surprise -- an attractive, walkable town with an impressive cathedral, Gallo-Roman wall and picturesque half-timbered houses. But the fun really began after dark with the sound and light show projected on the facades of various historic buildings. It was a bit like a scavenger hunt, following the blue lights to the different venues and then watching the colorful and creative presentation of history related to the site. The Hotel d'Angleterre in Bourges was also special."

Douglas

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After experiencing a more traditional bus tour in Italy, we were hesitant to book another crowded, shopping filled experience. This tour was exactly the opposite and everything we hoped for. Fast paced but laid back, no hidden costs, very informative and, at times, intensely emotional. Best of all, an outstanding tour guide, Marie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Easily the best for us was the night on Mont St-Michel"

Nikki

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth Rick Steve's tour and it did not disappoint! We were able to experience a good many of Paris' highlights, and then get out into the beautiful french countryside, my favorite part. Our group was great together, and the experiences varied, interesting and fun. The food and wine are everything you would hope they would be, and learning more about french history, politics and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always difficult to pick one! I would say that watching a veteran of the Omaha Beach landing stand from his wheelchair as taps was played at the American Cemetery in Normandy, and assist with the folding of the flag, was an extremely touching moment I will not forget."

Karen

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great variety of historical, social, and cultural activities. Knowledgeable and friendly local guides who willingly answered questions and made us feel very welcome. Dinners were fantastic and overly plentiful at times. Marie was experienced, kind, and worked hard to make it a good trip. Our bus drivers Matt and Anni were also experienced and so service-oriented.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching a visiting 94 year old American WWII Normandy landing survivor and his family stand at the lowering of the flag at the massive Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial where almost 10,000 of our soldiers have been laid to rest."

Joseph

Mountain City, TN

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, hotels (being close to everything),itinerary was excellent and local guides very good. The RS provided food was only fair.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day and guide at Normandy were probably the highlight of our trip - great job. There was kind of "wow" moment when a WW2 vet help fold the American flag that had just been lowered at the American cemetery at taps. There was also a wow momment when we had our first good view of Mont St. Michel."

Mary

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my husband and I this was our 3rd overall Rick Steves tour and 2nd fully guided tour. The itinerary was a good mix of the big city (Paris) with the countryside, villages and smaller communities so we had a change to experience France outside of Paris. Paris is easy to navigate and people were friendly and willing to help with directions, etc. The countryside is beautiful and weather for the tour was perfect. Highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in visiting France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment is probably staying on Mont. St. Michel. However, the most "moving" moments of the tour were those experienced on the day spent at Normandy and the D-Day beaches and American Cemetery."

Scott

Canby, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Maria was wonderful. She is a very patient and pleasant person. Maria helped us plan our days, making sure that we were able to get the most out of our trip. She shared a wealth of information about France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the Eiffel Tour, climbing the Arc de Triumph and swimming in the English Channel at Omaha beach were all over the top moments! The whole tour of Normandy was awesome!"

Arthur

Westerville, OH

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were surpassed. Paris was exciting and embedded in history, but my favorite part of the trip was after Paris. I enjoyed the independent exploration of the towns and villages of France. Our guide Marie gave insightful tips on dining and exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Opening the window of our room in Arromanches and seeing the Mullberry Harbor from the Normandy invasion still just off shore."

Margaret

Mountain City, TN

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After touring with RS on the Italy and GAS tours, we opted to do this France tour while still able to keep up the pace. As expected the tour was excellent and did prove to be a very active tour with great locations and sights to visit. Even with a full schedule we could find moments to pause and savor a delicious coffee at a quaint cafe or enjoy a quiet picnic on a park bench. Our guide, Marie, was wonderful and so helpful. Loved this trip and those we traveled with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm always amazed at the perfect timing provided by our tour guides and bus drivers. But on this tour the timing couldn't have been any better than when we arrived at the American Cemetery at Normandy at 5 PM for the clock bells, the playing of Taps and the lowering of the American flags. Then, we were privileged to watch an American WWII veteran help fold one of the flags. WOW! What a moment to remember."

Terri

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour included so many beautiful places, it's hard to remember them all. Every place we visited was unique and so very French and authentic, and I appreciated that. I learned much about French history that I had known, and that added to the adventure. This was our first experience on an organized tour. Last year we did Spain Your Way and loved every minute. If we were to do another RS tour, it would definitely be a MY Way type. This tour had a little too much togetherness and schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel was definitely a highlight for me, and the tour was so perfectly timed and organized, I feel we saw the very best of it. Our hotel was charming (even after the steep, winding staircase) and the view can't be matched. The dinner, however, left a lot to be desired. The guide to the top was charming and intelligent."

Bob

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time and would certainly do another tour with Rick Steves. The pace of the tour was good with just about the right amount of time spent at each site. The coach was clean, large and comfortable and the hotels selected were always nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a US History buff, my wow moment was of visit to Normandy. The Rick Steves tour had a professional local historian/guide on this leg of the tour. His local knowledge of the battles, locations and personal histories of the Normandy invasion were top notch. He also added a local French perspective to the battle which is often missed by Americans."

Connie

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! The tour was well balanced between busy and urban Paris with the slower pace of the Loire Valley, Brittany, and Normandy. I enjoyed learning about the French culture, arts, history, and experience. There was a lot to see and do packed into a relatively short amount of time. We had a great set of guides (especially Arnaud), good food and hotels, a great group of fellow travelers, and perfect weather after the first couple of hot days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to say as there were many to choose from! Absolutely loved Giverny, so spectacular with so many beautiful flowers in bloom at once and straight out of Monet's paintings. Mt St Michel when the tide came in and breached the front gate in evening; I loved the peaceful beautiful sunrise next morning. D-Day history was sobering but inspirational. I also loved learning all about medieval castle building at Guedelon."

Julien

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An experience I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have never been to France. While walking around, looking at all the architecture, the fantastic art, the incredible bakeries, I just could not believe I was there. Many wow moments. I loved having a cappuccino and pastry out on the the sidewalk of the cafe, watching the world go by."

Milo

Fremont, NE

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the fulfillment of many "bucket list" travel sites. All the famous and historical places in and about Paris were magical. Visiting chateaus and castles along beautiful rivers or surging tides,and with their manicured grounds/gardens, was so memorable. And seeing both the beauty and the famous WWII places of Normandy was both emotional and inspiring for a student of that incredible part of our world's history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although not my most memorable moment of the entire trip, my favorite "wow" moment of organized tour events was watching the super high tide engulf and surround us in the late evening that we stayed on Mont St Michelle. A super new moon created higher than usual water levels and an amazingly fast advance of the water lit by the reflected fortress wall illumination."

Donna

Huntington Station, NY

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, good mix of different types of sites and experiences at each stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Mont St Michel."

Anna

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Paris & the Heart of France tour. Each day brought a variety of different experiences from museums, chateaus, and cathedrals, architecture, gardens, food, and exploring various towns and cities. I learned so much French history and culture as well. Our tour guide, Arnaud, was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick, but here are a couple: I love visiting Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. It's a lovely chapel with stunning stained glass. So beautiful; it takes my breath away! And visiting Le Mont-Saint-Michel was such a memorable experience. All the history and character of the island...plus seeing the tides surround the island was amazing. Spending the night on the island was a real treat and adventure!"

Bill

Saratoga, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My least favorite of seven tours. Guide was good. Itinerary seemed rushed. Tour group clicked well together. Groups meals only OK but I find that the usual case. After taking Eastern France tour last year this may have been too much of same thing. Paris was mostly just walking around aside from Saint Chapelle which I saw on 21 Day tour years ago. Louvre tickets were distributed but I noticed date was the day before. It was resolved. For me not enough that was interesting and new.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found Mont St. Michel very interesting and would consider that my "wow" moment. The place is overrun during the day but much quieter at night so staying overnight made all the difference. From an emotional and American standpoint I found the Normandy part of the tour the most moving."

William

Alameda, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I went on this same tour 20 years ago so I could accompany a friend. It was somewhat different as we didn't go t Bouges or Amboise before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night at Mont St. Michel plus the excellent discussion at Utah beach"

Tom

Modesto, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful and our guide was outstanding. We enjoyed every day. The accommodations were comfortable and pleasant. We especially loved our time at Mont Saint-Michel. The pace was demanding, but not impossible. I wish we would have spend a bit more time getting to know each other early on. It was a very interesting crew. Food was consistently good and I appreciated Virginie 's tasty treats. I'm very glad we made the trip. For us it was also also a reunion with two other couples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont Saint-Michel was a delight. I was so glad we stayed there in the island overnight. So we could have a taste of the place apart from the mobs of tourists. In a very different way, the time at the Normandy Beaches, with a remarkable local guide was exceptional and very moving."

Hennie

Modesto, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every day of our tour very much. I thought the choice of locations and activities was wonderfully varied, and the pace of the trip, though more strenuous than other trips I've taken, was still manageable. The company made every effort to make our experience a good one every step of the way. When the Louvre stopped letting Museum Pass holders through faster, our guide provided us with a timed ticket, costing the company more. I appreciated that and other gestures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: seeing the stained glass windows of Ste. Chapelle; glimpsing Mont St. Michael from a distance; seeing the cathedral in the small town of Bourges; but a surprising Wow moment was coming back to Paris together in the bus after touring around and singing the song "Champs-Elysees" with Virginie as we drove down it."

Christine

Webster, NY

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth tour and we are already registered for our fifth. This was the most fast paced tour with the least amount of down time of all the tours that we have taken. The tour was very well balanced in terms of seeing the usual tourist sites as well as cultural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites and stories/explanations related to Normandy D Day Beaches, the cemetary, Angoville-au-Plain Church and the Saint Mere Eglise Chuch."

Bruce

Webster, NY

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth tour, we are already registered for our fifth (Sicily) and soon sixth (Scotland). Very fast pasted tour with the least amount of downtown in all the trips we have taken. The tour was well balanced with sites and cultural experiences well coordinated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided Normandy/D-Day beaches tour."

Charles

San Diego, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything went well with the highlight of Normandy . All the local guides are good & know there subject but Dale ( the Normandy Guide ) was excellent . He relieved the real happenings that depicted in the movie " The Longest Day " & everybody said they have to watch the movie again . We were in the place where they filmed it . The lowering of the flags at the American cemetery was very moving especially when they played Taps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Normandy ."

Rodney

Rochester, NY

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was information overload, in a good way. We learned a lot about French culture along with seeing many outstanding sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments: the 13th century castle being built at Guedelon and the visit to the small church in Ste-Mere Eglise where we learned about the two medical servicemen who took care of injured soldiers on D-Day."

Jim

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very Good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Nichel Normandy Beaches"

Edward

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very good time, and learned a lot in a very short period! There was a good mix of history, signature architectural elements (cathedrals, museums, castles), and locations, in addition to descriptions of French culture. We liked the hotels and restaurants (although uniquely French shower controls nearly defeated our efforts several times). Musical experience was limited to Virginie's recordings over the bus P.A. systems, with some "extracurricular" suggestions of evening events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had quite a few favorites, but it was quite a thrill to see the original Monets covering the walls of his studio at Giverney (and the gardens there were lush, too, as he'd evidently intended). Walking about Fougeres down the garden trail with its sculptures was a nice interlude in Bretagne, and the galettes we had there for lunch were quite tasty."

David

West Bloomfield, MI

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was exactly as described. The guide was outstanding and the tour group was very congenial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michelle...after the hordes had departed. Spending the night on the site was special"

Brian

Mountainside, NJ

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my family's first tour (and first trip to Europe) so we had no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to. That being said, the tour exceeded our expectations by far! While not inexpensive, the tour was an absolute bargain in my opinion. There's no way I could have planned such a tour on my own for the same money. Both guides (we had an apprentice) and our fellow travelers were all very friendly which made the whole trip that much better. I honestly have no complaints at all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the tour of Normandy. A local D-day expert guide met us at our hotel in the morning and spent the entire day with us. He provided interesting details about not only the battle but many other historical facts that I hadn't known from reading books and watching documentaries. It was amazing!"

Keith

Irvine, CA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was excellent. The attention to detail by the guides was great and we avoided many long lines and instead got rapid admission to many attractions. The short info sessions on the bus were very good. The hotels were all acceptable to very good. The chateau st Michelle visit was an incredible highlight. The bus was nice and always on time, but it lacked wifi. There were a couple group meals that were not very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing chataeu st Michelle rise from the farm fields as we approached and spending the night there."

Richard

Seaside, CA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First RS Tour. Always admired his "Europe by the backdoor" way of travel, his PBS shows, his radio interviews, etc. Coming from the travel industry myself, saw him at many travel shows in the S.F. Bay area I also displayed at.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amboise and the night time light/ history show featuring live actors, jousting horses bedazzled in lights & the castle facade the "screen". I had been to a number of "Sound & Light" shows at Uxmal, Athens, old Jaffa & Ottawa's Parliament, but this was remarkable. Thanks."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to take a Paris & the Heart of France tour. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with generally good weather and lighter crowds.

France / Paris

Paris 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 online customer 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 customer account.

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of Paris' Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY) airports.

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.