• 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

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

Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour

from $3,295 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $775

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2019

    • Apr 9–Apr 19 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,295 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 19–Apr 29 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Apr 26–May 6 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 3–May 13 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 7–May 17 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 14–May 24 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 17–May 27 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 21–May 31 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jun 4–Jun 14 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of France come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 14 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city • Historic Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • 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 Ste-Mère Eglise) • Monet's Gardens at Giverny…and more
  • All group transportation from Paris to Paris
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2019
  • 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.

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Paris

We'll meet at 5 p.m. at our hotel for a short "bienvenue à Paris" meeting. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood, followed by time to get acquainted over dinner together. Sleep in Paris (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Historic Paris and 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 visits to a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches: the legendary 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. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

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, where you'll come face-to-face with timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and hundreds more. Your afternoon will be free to be inspired by Monet's incredible Water Lilies at the Orangerie, perplexed by whimsical water fountains and modern art at the Pompidou, or compelled to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a classy stroll along the Champs-Elysées. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Medieval Guédelon and Bourges

Today we'll leave Paris and head for the Château de Guédelon — a medieval castle being built today using 13th-century materials and techniques. Local experts may give us a close-up look at masons cutting limestone, sheep being sheared, and blacksmiths at work. Then we'll drive past farms, forests, and vineyards to the overlooked town of Bourges. Once we arrive we'll wander along the cobbled lanes and medieval half-timbered houses on a walking tour with a local guide. Our tour will culminate with a visit of Bourges' Cathédrale St-Étienne, where we will learn how to read some of France's most remarkable and original medieval stained glass before having dinner together this evening. Sleep in Bourges (1 night). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: The Loire and Chambord

Today we'll head for the biggest and brightest of the Loire Valley châteaux — Chambord — where 365 fireplaces warmed royal hunting parties for more than 500 years. We'll have ample time to visit this magnificent château, its expansive grounds, and find some lunch. A bit farther up the road, our own Loire Valley accommodations will be every bit as French, but a little more down-to-earth. Dinner together tonight. Sleep in the Loire Valley (2 nights). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Chenonceau and Amboise

This morning we'll visit the elegant, river-straddling, 16th-century Château de Chenonceau. We'll learn more about royal life in France and have plenty of free time to roam through its opulent interior and gardens. This afternoon you'll have time on your own in Amboise to find lunch and sightsee. You can choose to visit Leonardo da Vinci's home, Clos-Lucé, and marvel at the working models of the Renaissance Man's cleverest inventions, tour Amboise's cliff-hanging castle, or wander the pleasant pedestrian-friendly streets. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Brittany and Mont St-Michel

We'll depart the Loire Valley this morning and make a beeline to Brittany. We'll stop for lunch and a walk through a quintessential Breton town, where we'll learn about the Bretons' Celtic origins. Later this afternoon, we'll take a short drive to the timeless, picture-perfect island of Mont St-Michel. We'll arrive as the tourist tide recedes, ensuring a less crowded experience here. We'll share dinner together and sleep on the Mont itself (1 night). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Treasure of Bayeux

This morning we'll take a walking tour of Mont St-Michel's town and its towering abbey to learn about local legends, monastic life, and the far-reaching influences exerted by abbeys in French history. Then we'll drive into the heart of Normandy to study the 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry — a 70-yard-long embroidered cartoon/work of art that brings to life William the Conqueror's victory over the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Sleep in Normandy (2 nights). Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 9: Normandy's D-Day Beaches

We'll spend the day with a local expert who will give us a powerful tour of the Normandy beaches where, in June of 1944, the Allied D-Day landings took place by sea and air. We'll visit Pointe du Hoc, where Army Rangers scaled the cliffs in pre-dawn darkness, and the American Cemetery, where 10,000 stark white markers memorialize the Americans who gave their lives on the beaches below. We'll also visit the strategic town of Ste-Mère Eglise, the airborne drop site made famous by The Longest Day and Band of Brothers. We'll return to our Normandy home base in time for dinner on your own. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Monet's Gardens at Giverny

We'll depart early this morning to visit Monet's beautifully preserved, masterpiece-inspiring gardens in the town of Giverny. In addition to the serene ponds made famous by Monet's paintings, we'll also see his house, studio, and Japanese garden. After free time for lunch, we'll make our way back to Paris and a farewell feast together tonight, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Salut! Sleep in Paris (1 night). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

(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

Sarah

Newburgh, IN

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful and enjoyable trip! Our guide Virginie was exceptional - she combines history and fun to make learning so enjoyable! We learned French culture, history, metro navigating, and a variety of French words to help us enjoy our experience. RS & company have designed a wonderful mix of experiences and places on this tour. We enjoyed the countryside towns as much as Paris. This tour has a nice balance of planned activities and time for yourself to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I agree with other tour members when they say how can you have just one "WOW" moment on a trip like this...everyday brought a "WOW"! I loved buying my lunch at local markets in the small towns we visited, the delightful wine and cheese tastings , Mont St. Michael: vista, staying overnight, walking the steps up to the morning prayer there,and the sunrise afterwards and of course Normandy and the D-Day beaches was so moving."

Cynthia

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour we enjoyed every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent on Mt St Michael especially the morning prayer service at the abbey & the tour with the local guide."

Tammy

Neenah, WI

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it. The tour was a wonderful blend of city and town experiences, providing a suitable pace to fully experience being in France and interacting with non-tourists. I enjoyed every site and experience, and was surprised to never run out of energy by the end of it unlike other tours. Wine tasting and seeing a chateau being built were nice surprises.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and Claude Monet's gardens were my two favorite moments of the tour. Being able to sleep on the island of Mont St Michel with full view of the abbey and being able to experience morning prayer at the abbey was wonderful. Claude Monet's gardens were vibrant and inspirational for any artist or nature-lover."

Marlene

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie More is a pool of knowledge and so personable. The tour was vigorous but not daunting. I know we are to assimilate to the culture but the concept of eating so much so late was very difficult to accept. The food was great and plentiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The veterans cemetery ar Omaha Beach was awesome."

Kevin

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and enjoyable trip. Virginie was a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable and scheduled the perfect weather for us, very unusual for this time of year, no rain! Wish I had my shorts in October.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The details of ordinary French life and priorities. The US needs more of this. She had a great ongoing story of a family growing up, school, earnings, etc."

Kenneth

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think the friendly helpful people in France made the biggest impression on me. We flew in early and the day before the tour was to begin my wife tripped and fell on a pavement in Paris. Blood, blood, blood and more blood..and broken glasses. Friendly strangers (who spoke little English) jumped to assistance and got my wife to a local cafe/bar where more people helped with towels and ice. The concern was real. We felt important. Our guide Virginie was contacted. Virginie was amazing. T

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The buildings did not impress me so much. Unless I was a historian I would not care about them. But the French people have heart. I like them. On the front of a school Virginie pointed out a memorial to students taken from the school during the war to their death in the gas chambers. Many would like to forget something like that. The French people chose to remember-and help us to remember."

Mark

Newburgh, IN

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. The balance of the guided tours, introduction to France, French culture and "free time" to explore is a very nice balance for a tour. Our guide, Virginie Moore was excellent; a wealth of knowledge and ability to relate and explain the French to our American group was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating lunch, that was purchased in an open market in Bourges comprised of bread, cheese, sausage and grapes, in the courtyard of a castle after a wine tasting class. Truly a unique experience that felt very French."

Scott

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, each day was filled with memorable experiences. This was our second Rick Steve's tour and I am sure we will be back for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You could find a "wow" moment everyday on this tour but I would narrow it to either climbing the steps at Mont Saint-Michel, in the early morning, to watch the monks perform their morning service, or standing in the middle of the American Cemetery after a day touring the D-Day beaches. Very different but inspiring moments on their own."

Sharon

Land O' Lakes, FL

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia was awesome. Hotels were excellent. Tour was diversified and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michelle"

Ramona

Mansfield, OH

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very informational. Through our tour guide I learned a lot about French history and culture. We got to experience riding on the metro to see the Arc de Triumph and The Eiffel Tower. WE had a tour of the Latin quarter and right bank. We saw the beautiful Loire Valley and the magnificent Abbey and the battlefields of Normandy. The cathedrals were very awe inspiring. The quilt brought to life William the Conquerer's journey of conquest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach in Normandy and the graveyard. I had no idea how huge the beach was and that was just one of them, and the one American graveyard. Very moving."

Robby

White Rock, NM

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

enjoyed the tour guide, the local guides, and the people in the tour group was fun and enjoyable trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I just booked the France tour since I was on another Rick Steves tour in Germany-Austria ... so had not researched the France tour stops, etc. When first riding the bus up to Mont Saint Michels ... Wow!!! What a view!"

Karen

Chatsworth, CA

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was made interesting everyday by our tour guide, Rebecca Berry and the itinerary. I would hope to do another tour with Rebecca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"People keep asking me what my favorite part of the tour was, and I enjoyed every day so much that it's hard to come up with a wow moment. The Normandy tour guide, Dale Booth, was an excellent story teller. He really gave a perception of the turmoil that existed on D Day. His passion for the subject was admirable. I also really enjoyed being taught by Rebecca how to use the Paris metro. It was very empowering."

Elena

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Wonderful places, great guide, great food, weather. I enjoyed everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Mont St. Michel was probably my "wow" moment, as well as the views from the top of it."

Ann

Dolan Springs, AZ

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was top notch and very well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the whole tour but the D-day tour stood out as the most profound and moving, excellent guide. I also enjoyed Guedelon medieval castle, much more than I thought I would."

Elizabeth

Lees Summit, MO

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations! I wouldn't change a thing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The morning at Chenonceau and the wine and cheese tasting/picnic the day before at the Chateau su Cher were my favorites. The gardens at Giverney were also magnificient!"

Janice

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations! This was my first tour and I was a little concerned it might be too much togetherness. Loved the ease of seeing the sights plus the flexibility for my husband and I to have a few "free" hours to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually hard to choose one "wow" moment but I really enjoyed the small beach towns of Normandy;not just the D-day beaches. The weather was beautiful, the towns charming and quaint and the crowds small. The passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of our guide Rudy really brought Utah and Omaha beach to life."

Leanne

Mound, MN

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very relaxing time. Yes, we had to be on time each morning, but there was never a feeling that we were rushed through the day's experience. Fellow tour members were all friendly and open to getting to know one another. Particularly liked the tour activities each morning, and then the freedom to on our own in the afternoon. The meals as a group were so much fun -- full of laughs and sharing experiences. A thoroughly wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two WOW experiences that come to mind. Normandy, the site of the Allied invasion was awesome. History I had only a small understanding of, and now want to research fully. Great local guide who brought it home in a personal manner with "then" pictures and the "now" of being at the site. Not-to-be-missed experience. The second WOW experience was becoming comfortable with the Metro system. Once you get that under your belt, you are free to travel throughout Paris. Found terrific sites!"

Katherine

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was an awesome experience."

Julia

Huntington, IN

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RS Tour, but my first tour that wasn't a city tour. (I have previously done the Best of London and the Best of Rome tours). I was very impressed by the degree of organization of every aspect of this type of tour, from the room assignments, the ordering of our group meals, the orientation to each site, and how we were always on time for everything. We were fortunate to have a great guide, Arnaud, a great driver, Joe, and a group that gelled pretty quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's always hard to pick one "wow" moment. I would say Mont St. Michel, the Chenonceau chateau, and Monet's gardens at Giverny. Even though I had seen pictures of each of these places, when I saw each of them in person, I said to myself, "wow"!"

Robert

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized, guided tour and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We saw and learned much more than had we attempted to design a self-guided tour of France. We though the balance of scheduled tours and free time was perfect! Arnaud was a terrific tour guide-very organized, energetic, knowledgeable, funny, and a great story-teller! And, we really enjoyed getting to know all of the other fine people in our tour group - it was fun meeting everyone and spending time with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the entire day exploring Normandy and the D-Day sites, particularly Pointe du Hoc and the US cemetery. These experiences really enabled me to understand and appreciate the challenges faced by our brave soldiers on those fateful days in 1944. This was the day of the tour that I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint. I was worried that one day was not going to be enough, but our guides packed a lot into that day and gave us the full experience."

Pamela

Juneau, AK

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was packed full of wonderful sights and experiences from Paris to Normandy, and Giverny. Our guide, Arnaud was outstanding. His knowledge of French history and the various places we visited, along with his informative and fascinating narratives about French life added extra spice to our trip. His sense of humor was an added perk! I found the pace of the tour, the amount of free time, knowledge and presence of expert guides along the way to fit well with my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Choosing one favorite "wow" moment is tough. I remember the stunning Chateau Chenonceau and its grounds, Mont St. Michel, Leonardo Da Vinci's home in Amboise, and my favorite, Monet's Gardens at Giverny!"

Noreen

Stroudsburg, PA

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour was wonderful! It was the perfect blend of history, current life and extra time to see and take more time at sites I wanted to explore more thoroughly on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michele for sure, with Giverny a close second"

Phillip

Tampa, FL

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Arnauld was terrific. I loved spending the night at Mont St Michel and being able to see the tides and go to Lauds. The guide there was very good. I loved Normandy, especially Pont du Roc and the guide there was exceptional. I really liked seeing the new chateau being built with the old methods. Paris was amazing but crowded and I was disappointed that we didn't have a separate guide for the Louvre, but were left on our own on a crowded Sunday afternoon. I loved Giverney, but again no guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Sue

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We're tour veterans. This is an active tour, and we learned so much. Paris is a big, overcrowded and sometimes overwhelming city. I'm glad I got to see all of the "hits" but I think this will be my Last Tango in Paris. We spent one extra day and hit the Orsay which was my absolute favorite museum. We topped it off with a dinner and show at the LIDO PARIS - highly, highly recommend! I much preferred the countryside and if I return to France, will do more of the wine country and Eastern France

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be Normandy. Taps at the American Cemetery. Also, Chateau Chenonceau's gardens and "the maze" in the woods. I'm a big nature lover and after the pounding of Paris, this was so welcome. My husband and I did a reverse tour and did the Chateau last. This allowed us peace and serenity throughout the grounds - we were often on our own! Also, Monet's gardens. Oh. My. Goodness. The maison was so overcrowded and not as wonderful - but worth a look see."

Ken

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really well planned. Great combination of local guides and a superb travel guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was the night at Mont. St. Michel, where we were able to be there for morning prayers, and see the sunrise over the bay where the water had encircled the island. Just a great moment."

Tara

Visalia, CA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many bucket list items accomplished in one trip! Patrick is such a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and warm tour guide. Seeing Guedelon before the grand chateau is brilliance, and really helps put into context the work that went into these giant treasures. We loved the small town of Bourges, and will cherish the memories of shopping in the market for our picnic lunch. Wish we had more time in Bourges. Seeing the Bayeux Tapestry was the dream of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Morning prayers with the nuns and monks in Mt St Michel will be with us forever."

Arnie

Edmond, OK

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour hit all the top spots that I wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view coming across the bridge to Mont Saint Michel"

Peggy

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderfully organized and took care of all the details. The Rick Steve's Co. experience eliminated unnecessary waiting to enter events. Our group of seven really appreciated the efficiencies.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far, our day spent with the guide at the Normandy Beaches. The stories and history that he provided really set the scene for us."

Eleanor

Stafford, VA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just don't know where to start. This is our first Rick Steves' tour, though not our first trip to France. It was a five star experience. Out tour director Patrick was first rate; experienced and resourceful. He really made the trip. Logistically I felt there was a good balance of planned activities and free time with lots of suggestions for personal time use. The hotels were great. Well located and everything you needed. The trip covered all the expected high points.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont Saint Michelle. The weather was beautiful. The high point was being able to stay over night and attend the peaceful early morning services in the chapel. Very Special indeed."

John

Stafford, VA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Selection of hotels and city guides were great. Tour director (Patrick ) was excellent. We enjoyed some of the built in "quiet time" when we weren't running to do something.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to select 'one wow"- the tour overall was great- and we saw some beautiful country side, enjoyed excellent food selected by the tour and overall had a relaxing vacation."

Linda

Chicopee, MA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time in Paris and the city did not disappoint! Spent a total of 6 nights there, and loved both hotel locations-- Montmartre and Trocadero. Visit to Guedelon, a Medieval castle being constructed using techniques and tools of the 1400s, was amazing. Visited several country chateaus, ate countless french pastries and baguettes. Loved our visit to Mt St Michel and to the Normandie beaches and cemetery, and seeing the Bayeux tapestry. Capped off the tour with a visit to the Eiffel Tower!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down for us was approaching Mt St Michel from a distance and coming closer and closer, then walking up what seemed like hundreds of stairs to our rooms and to the cathedral. I got up early in the morning, in the dark, and used my phone's flashlight to find my way to the cathedral to witness the nuns and monks chanting during morning Laudes. It was amazing."

Mary

Sumner, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful.........

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being confident using metro in Paris. Being part of the neighborhood. Watching parents taking kids to school. Wine tasting at a Château. D day tour and the stories."

Anne

Kingsport, TN

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the entire tour and everything we did. It was great to start in Paris and then wind up with the calm of the countryside. Also enjoyed all the local guides, particularly the D-Day guide, and our tour guide....and of course...the FOOD!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several....seeing the construction of the medieval chateau, staying at Montmartre overnight when it was quiet and peaceful, spending a moving and wonderful day at the Normandy beach, seeing the Japanese pond where Monet painted the water lilies, seeing the Bayeux tapestry, and seeing the Eiffel Tower at night...fabulous."

David

Kingsport, TN

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time and it was great to be back in france. enjoyed the food, the museums, and learning a lot with our guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number of great moments: Staying the night at Mont St Michael, The D Day tour, and seeing Monet's gardens."

Sherrie

Lake Forest, CA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour with great destinations. Paris is so incredible with so many museums to visit, Mont St Michel is otherworldly, Gudeleon was amazing, and the D-Day beaches were just unbelievable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a couple wow moments. Being at the Louvre on the night it was open late, I looked up through the pyramid entry and so overwhelmed that I was in Paris at the Louvre I had to sit down and take a moment to absorb it! Also, listening to Taps at the American Cemetety in Normandy was incredible."

Louisa

Niskayuna, NY

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour, having done "The Best of Venice, Florence and Rome" in 2016 with tour guide Alfio. Our tour of France was just as wonderful as our tour of Italy. Our guide, Patrick, was able to create the perfect blend of group time together and time when he would "set us free". The "little extras" that he offered: afternoon treats after a long tour, spontaneous wine tasting/cider sampling at the hotel, a personal bonus tour of the the Latin Quarter, were much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, some big and some small: - Spending the night on Mont St. Michel and being able to attend morning service before sunrise. -Visiting Normandy and spending the day with local guide Dale Booth. -Learning about French culture and history and seeing how people lived throughout the ages."

Cherie

Acampo, CA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn't think that we could ever surpass our 2016 RS Heart of Italy tour, but our France tour did! We fell in love with France: the people, the food, the history, the culture, and the architecture were all marvelous! This tour really gave us a feel for France- Paris of course with the art and café culture, plus the French countryside and medieval villages. We were able to appreciate so many different regions and enjoyed the food and drink specific to each.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the morning prayer service with the monks at the abbey on Mont St Michel, then exiting to be greeted by the most breathtaking sunrise...WOW! A once in a lifetime moment. I felt a connection to all of the pilgrims that have come to the Mont for the past 1000 years."

Janet

Shorewood, IL

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great introduction to the RS approach to travel and I loved every single day! Traveling with a tour guide as experienced as Rebecca made every aspect of this tour easy...all we had to do was relax and be "in the moment". I will definitely travel with RS again and again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial where more than 9,000 US military heroes are buried. We were there on a cold, rainy afternoon and had the privilege of witnessing the flag being lowered as Taps played. The flag was presented to a veteran who was there with his family. The entire experience of Normandy was incredibly moving...words fail me beyond "Wow"."

Timothy

Kalkaska, MI

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, overall, was outstanding, I just needed more time at Normandy, one day is not enough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches of Normandy."

Nancy Jean

Shorewood, IL

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first overseas tour I have ever taken and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Looking at taking the Best of Italy tour September 2019!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments...#1 seeing Toulouse-Lautrec's painting at the Louvre and #2 visiting Mont St Michel. Both breathtaking!"

Sarah

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 09/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WE had an incredible guide who was vey engaging in every way. Our local tour guides were also awesome. Each site we visited was breathtaking. A great travel agenda!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time on Mont St. Michael was so moving. Every moment and especially spending the night on the island."

Mavis

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the diversity of experiences that we had on the tour. From Paris to the construction of the 13th century castle, it all was so interesting. I hadn't expected to like the Normandy day as much as I did. It was very informative and sobering. The participants were all very compatible (as usual).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I opened my bedroom window of the hotel on Mount St. Michel and saw that I had a perfect view of the cathedral, I was overcome. It was an awesome experience!"

George

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Compared to other RS Tours I've been on this one, while very good, was not as outstanding as, say Turkey was. Maybe it is Europe fatigue on my part. For example, Notre Dame de Paris didn't blow me away. An after-tour visit to Chartres was more impressive and complimented with the Middle Ages coloration found in St. Aignan Church near-by.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As experienced before, there is a wow for the members of the group. I applaud RS for bringing together such good people including the tour guide and driver. Not a dud to be found! Then there is a wow for each and every professional who guided our experience. Antoine A+. Especially Jessica at Mont St. Michel A+ The experience wow and something that sets RS aside was our visit to Chateaux de Selles sur Cher. A beautiful setting for a wine tasting hosted by a passionate owner. Unique!"

Mark

Eagan, MN

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have never been on any guided tour before (other than a day tour). We did have some expectation due to the platitudes that my wife sister and husband had on previous tours with R.S. We had a great time and would not have picked up the level of historical details had we traveled to the same locations alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Normandy!"

Steve

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour met or exceeded our expectations and experience (17 day Italy 2013).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Steve: Amboise Chateau du Clos Luce'. Guedelon. Linda: Giverny & Amboise Chateau du Clos Luce'."

Peter

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day and location offered something beautiful to see and wonderful to learn about. I did not expect to learn so much on the tour. Our guide, Antoine, brought French history and current politics to life for us, and the local guides were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night at Mt. Ste Michel, closely followed by the D-Day Beaches day."

Delmas

Rome, GA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed both the big city experience of Paris and the many small towns we visited. There was a lot to see on the tour and our guide, Antoine, did a great job of showing us the sights and explaining the history and politics of France. I had always heard that French people were unfriendly, but that was not our experience. This was a great tour with many sights to see and wonderful food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour had so many wow moments. Mont St. Michel was an incredible place. Chateau de Chenonceau was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Paris really exceeded my expectations. As a veteran and a history buff the Normandy D-day beaches were a big bucket list for me. I really enjoyed the day we spend there."

Deborah

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. We had so many interesting experiences and a nice balance of free time so we could explore on our own. We are already picking out another Rick Steve's tour for 2019.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was the stay on Mount Saint Michel, an amazing experience, but really the whole tour was a wow moment."

Mary Ellen

Orchard Park, NY

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, overall. What attracted me in the first place was the wonderful itinerary. Each spot was so carefully chosen and all were so special. I would highly recommend this tour (and exploring other options as well). Nice mix of highlights. Not to many castles or cathedrals, for instance. Nice group size. We were able to travel well together, and socialize nicely as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was definitely Mont-Saint-Michel--only because it is so distinctive. Going to the early morning service in the chapel was mystical. I have never experienced anything like that! It is definitely a place that cannot be appreciated unless you stay over night."

Linda

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was carefully organized to give us a wide variety of experiences during the eleven days. We enjoyed the chateaus, the wine tasting, the medieval castle being built today using 13th century techniques, lunch outdoors, the lovely Loire Valley. The plan for eating together for one half of the dinners and being responsible for our own lunches works well. We felt confident in our guide's directions and knew that we could count on his directions and support as needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The easy favorite was the time spent at Mont St. Michel. It is a stunning place, so peaceful, and so beautiful! The plan to arrive in late afternoon, then have dinner and spend the night inside the abbey was great. We were able to walk around the abbey before dinner and get acquainted with the many walls, steps, etc. that drew us in. The local guide that shared her knowledge of the place with us in the morning was quite good. The only negative was being beset by mosquitoes while eating."

Susan

Eagan, MN

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a delightful tour full of great sites, history, interesting stories and a great tour group. Antoine, our guide was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a perfect day to visit Normandy beach. It was moving and beautiful."

Claudia

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have toured with other organizations and by ourselves using the RS guidebooks. The quality of this tour was far superior in every way. Our guide was a very special man who was obviously interested in our learning about his country. He was knowledgeable, energetic, kind, well versed in the subject matter and attuned to the needs of our group. The itinerary was very well planned. We were able to see a wide variety of sites without moving at an exhausteping pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Monet Garden."

Julie

Lexington, VA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped it would be, and everything I expected from Rick Steves (it was my second RS tour). I especially appreciated the lessons in getting around Paris, which enabled me to enjoy time on my own during and after the tour. And then outside Paris, I liked visiting places on and off the beaten path. I picked this tour of France because I wanted to experience Paris, the Normandy D-Day sites, and the Bayeaux Tapestry; I enjoyed all that and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are two: Mont St-Michel: Before dawn, in the dark, climbing the ancient stone staircases up and up and up to the entrance to the abbey to attend the service by the nuns and monks. Otherworldly. Normandy: Crying in the church at Angoville au Plain as I listened to our expert guide and storyteller Dale Booth tell us of the people whose lives intertwined there during the D-Day fighting."

Larry

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. The trip was well planned and well executed. The guide was knowlegble, intelligent, and very patient when a tour member needed extra assistance. Our drivers were top notch, both as drivers and as friends and aides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing at the water's edge on Omaha beach right after our fantastic guide lectured us on D-Day's action there."

Brenda

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

IT was my first RS tour and it exceeded all expectations.The accommodations, food, sites and people were all first class. Michaelanne took exceptional care of us.She went to great lengths to ensure each person had a great experience and was well care for. Her knowledge of the country and the sites was impressive. I especially loved the bus rides when she would give us so much background and history. I now have a love and appreciation for the country of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting outside on the grounds of the Chateau for the wine and cheese tasting. The setting and the experience was magical."

Joanne

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The French experience was superb -- we enjoyed it as much as we did the Italy 17-day tour a few years ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mont Ste. Michele stay was No. 1 WOW, for its surreal, unusual beauty and as many have said, the climb in the early morning to hear the nuns sing. But I didn't cry at Mont Ste. Michele. That happened in the little church in Normandy, hearing about the heroism and suffering. The stained glass in Bourges also moved me. Many WOWS to share, but those were the most emotional ones."

Lynn

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From our well-versed tour guide to a well-planned itinerary and well-located accommodations, this was a terrific trip. It was a nice balance of city and country, history, culture, and lifestyle. The way the days were divided between group and individual time allowed for guidance when appropriate and exploration on our own. I appreciated the roominess on the bus, our great driver team (Anne and Matt) with their personalized cabin service, and the expert on-site guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset over the incoming tide at Mont St Michel. Twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower our last night in Paris. Sorry, I had two!!"

Douglas

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. I liked the limited group size because it allowed us to get to know everybody. This made it easier to pair up with other people for meals or off-tour travel and to share the experiences of the day. This tour was a good mix of Paris and smaller towns. I enjoyed seeing some of the less touristy areas of Bourges, for example.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved staying on Mont Saint Michel. I just never expected to stay at such a magical place. I was also amazed at the beauty of the Sainte Chapelle stained glass. Being surrounded by it was breathtaking."

Ann

Alameda, CA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience in the small church during the Normandy day brought the war down to human terms and was the most emotionally moving time on the trip."

James

Blandon, PA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th Rick Steves' tour. Our experience with all the Rick Steves' tours have always been positive. The Paris & the Heart of France Tour exceeded our highest expectations. The sights on the tour were breathtaking and the other tour members were a delight to spend time with. We cannot say enough positive things about this tour and Rick Steves' tours in general.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was when we were approaching Mont St Michel. This has been a place that I have wanted to visit and experience for many years. Just seeing the abbey rise up out of the mud flats was exhilarating. Since we stayed overnight on Le Mont, we were able to experience Mont St Michel without the crowds. It was a magical experience. Once again, Rick Steves' Tours exceeded our expectations."

Jeffrey

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was wonderful. MichaelAnn was as attentive and knowledgeable as we could want. She always encouraged us to explore just a bit out of our comfort zone, which we ended up loving! She was a large part of the reason that this trip will go down in our memories as one of the best ever! The sights were amazing. Mont St. Michel and Giverny were some of our favorites. The Normandy beaches were the reason we booked this tour. Dale, our Normandy guide was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy Beaches were the "wow" moment for us! Dale brought history alive for us in a way we never imagined! His knowledge was amazing!"

Margaret

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent! I am writing for John Lefebvre also. We enjoyed what we saw, what we did, what we learned and what we ate. The group got along well and we were all enthusiastic for our days' adventures. Michaelanne is an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable and engaging. We really enjoyed ourselves and came away with the ability to take care of ourselves in France (in Paris an extra four days with no trouble communicating and exploring).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy and D-Day excursion. I European history and World War II in college and this was my first time visiting. It was extremely emotional and put reality into what I had studied so very long ago. The local tour guide was incredible. The church at Angoville-au-Plain had me in tears."

Barry

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, it was a good experience. I learned a lot about France and it's history. It just felt somewhat intense or not as relaxed as I would have liked. I would have appreciated a little more free time and a chance to enjoy the good life or whatever one associates with France. I would have liked to have taken a cooking class and to have learned a little more about French food. Your tours are a little heavy on religion, churches, and cathedrals. With that said, it was still very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I had one on this particular trip."

Jonathan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip. Good variety of activities. Enjoyed time in Paris, but, also, enjoyed days outside Paris. We definitely saw places that we would not have seen if we were traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for the trip when we first saw Mount St. Michel. It looked just like the pictures I had seen for over 50 years. It was great spending the night there because the crowds left and we could explore at our own pace."

Nancy

Troy, MI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really loved the entire trip! We were able to visit all the places that we wanted to see and Marie gave us the "Rick Steve's" extra touch with her knowledge of the culture, arts, and each area that we visited. We loved the little extras such as the cheese, macaroons, coffee, and other special stops that we were able to experience. We also enjoyed being able to spend time in most locations to explore on our own. The entire trip was truly a special experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard one to choose. My favorite stop was Mont Ste Michel and the ability to stay there overnight,walk the empty streets at night and wake up to the bells of the abbey. My husband enjoyed the D-Day beach experience so much that we want to go back and visit more of it later. However, the small touches were also memorable and made the day special. I will always remember the cheese and fruit that Marie provided as we walked through the Paris market."

Susan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steves' tour and it was great experience as usual. We were kept quite busy but there was much to see and experience so I appreciated the pace. We received a taste (more ways than one!) of many provinces around Paris. There is no way we could have experienced that on our own in such a short time. So I really liked the choices of sights, destinations and experiences besides the expert guidance of guide, Marie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many incredible moments - L'Orangerie, Mont St. Michel, D-Day beaches, croissants in Normandy. But the Wow moment for me was Giverny! After all these years of seeing & loving Monet's lily pond pictures in museums everywhere, I found myself standing on the bridge in his garden!!!! There was the lily pond and willows!!!"

Brian

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Good. Thought we tried to cover too much too quick. Would extend the tour and cover less day to day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No real "wow" moment. Although "Wow" moment might be that we had 1 server for each of our meals. And no wine!!!. One server took a long time to serve each table with 28 total folks. Meals were not good."

Denise

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoying meeting new people and learning history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise wine tasting!"

Stephen

Richboro, PA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time exploring France. Our tour group was great and Marie was great in leading us in our adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We keep trying to pick our wow moment and have concluded that all of our moments were great. Interacting with all of the people we met during our trip was really our favorite wow moment."

Don

Windsor, ON

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time with a great group of fellow travellers. Our guides, both local and tour were wonderful with excellent English skills. Our driver was personable, excellent English skills and knowledgeable about the area. The sites offered on this tour were all of great interest. We particularly enjoyed the balance between programmed activities and free time. Your advice to arrive a day or two early to adjust our body clocks was well advised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mary was ecstatic with her Mt. Saint Michael experience. Don was very awed by the art in the Musee D'Orsay and the lesson in reading stained glass windows."

Judy

Brookings, SD

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, the highlights included a great guide, Marie, and great traveling companions. Rick Steve's attracts veteran travelers who are fun to share new experiences with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a gardener, I have to say Monet's gardens at Giverny. Mont St. Michel was a close second."

Carole

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time with very good guides and a very nice group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed the wine tasting, our trip to Mont St. Michel, and the tour of Normandy."

Sylvia

Plymouth, WI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our September 2018 tour of Paris & the Heart of France was amazing. Our guide Marie was outstanding, and the local guides were nothing short of exceptional. All details were well organized, and efficiently and effectively communicated, both prior to and upon arrival in France. As a corporate meeting planner, I understand and appreciate the details that go into planning and executing a successful tour, and I have to congratulate the entire Rick Steves staff for your thoroughness and expertise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is not possible for me to identify one Wow moment, as there were three activities/locations that were equally impactful to me. The beaches of Normandy & American Cemetery, the morning prayer service at Mont St-Michel and Monet's Gardens at Giverny. Marie's history lessons and background to prepare us for each visit, plus our outstanding guide for the Beaches and Cemetery of Normandy significantly added to my appreciation of these historical sites."

Susan

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great trip! I enjoyed all parts of it. It was good to be in Paris again. We had done the one week in Paris Rick Steves tour four years ago in February. So we looked forward to much better weather this time and got it. We got to enjoy some of the gardens Paris is known for. Having never been anywhere else in France, this trip gave us an opportunity to see some regions of the country and to experience France with the locals of those regions including food and drink preferences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That has to be Giverny. It did rain on us but the gardens were still beautiful and very special. I enjoyed seeing Monet's house too, but the gardens were a really special treat. I would have loved more time there. I didn't get to see the rest of the town."

Mary

Windsor, ON

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Please read the survey completed under #FRH091418 for my complete response.

Lloyd

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After traveling in France and England on our own for a week before the tour, it was nice to have the excellent planning and guidance that a Rick Steves tour offers. We could relax and be taken care of. Our task from then on was to be a good tourist and be as helpful as possible to the guide, being up on time, being gracious to our fellow travelers, and learning to be temporary Europeans. Our fellow tour members were exceptional. The best we've ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was Utah Beach. I had heard that it a highlight and it really was. The paratrooper museum was amazing. I did not expect the collection to be that extensive and I was moved at seeing personal artifacts. It made their stories come to life. The logjam briefing felt real. The actor must have had veterans critique his work because it felt real. The C-47 ride was very well done and gave you an idea of what the soldiers went thru."

Bettie

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I had hoped it would be and more. This was my first trip to France but I had made two other Rick Steve's tours(( Italy and Scandanavia). The day tour guides on this trip were incredibly well informed and experienced. The hotels we stayed in were very nice and the food gave us a chance to try real French cuisine. However, for me the best part was our tour guide, Antoine. His knowledge, passion and integrity gave the tour so much texture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was our tour guide's personal family experience in WWII. Antoine made the point that there were big differences between the German army personnel and Nazis. It is important not to assume that all Germans during the war were Nazis. I felt like he did a great job explaining complicated French history. I loved every minute of Antoine's oral narrative. Antoine is a guide that lives the Rick Steve's philosophy of travel."

Michelle

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France is a wonderful tour. There is a good mix of big city and small town sites. We especially liked the walking tours in Paris and the ease of entry into the churches and museums. Staying overnight on Mont-Saint-Michel was a highlight, as was the day touring the D-Day sites in Normandy. As always, we enjoyed meeting other tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow"moment was attending the early morning lauds service at the abbey on Mont-Saint-Michel. It was a once in a lifetime experience -- one that we will not forget. We were also grateful that Antoine guided our way during this optional event."

Katherine

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th tour and we love this style of traveling! Our guide Antoine oriented us to each town giving historical information as well as practical details about places to visit and eat. We had easy group access to many of the major sights in each location and also free time to explore on our own from our centrally located hotels. We relaxed with the transportation and hotel logistics taken care of for us! Most important, we enjoyed the friendly and positive travel companions!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were surprisingly WOWED by the Guedelon castle visit! Seeing how castles were built in the 12th century prepared us for our visits to other castles and cathedrals. We were able to appreciate the work involved in building these amazing structures. Hiking up the hill in the dark to the Mont. St. Michel abbey for AM Matins sung by nuns and priests and returning to our room for the AM sunrise was definitely a memorable moment!"

Suzanne

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Antoinne, our guide, made the experience very enjoyable and informative. Other members were helpful and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The destinations most enjoyed were Mont St. Michel, the Guedelion Castle being built in Burgundy using original methods, and the Giverny Gardens of Monet (followed by a tour of his paintings at the L'Orangerie on our own). The day spent in Lower Normandy and on the beaches will be unforgettable! We were very impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the French people."

Janice

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves Tour and it was everything we expected and more. It was truly a cultural experience, incorporating the arts, architecture, history, and culinary treats to top it off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a "wow" moment for me. It was a splendid combination of the big city energy and delights of Paris and the charm of smaller, more intimate locations like Mont St-Michel. The itinerary had wonderful balance and flow."

Kristin

Brockport, NY

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Antoine is a great guide. There were a few times when we could have used a little more time in a place, even just 15-30 minutes. This applies to all the castle tours - just a few more minutes would have allowed a more complete self tour. The Normandy and Omaha beach tours really could have been a 2 day tour, there is so much to see and so much information. Also a tour through the Louvre to see the highlights would have been great. Overall, fantastic tour, it was my first!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden but also loved the Normandy and Omaha beach tours."

Nancy

East Jordan, MI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect blend of structured time and free time, tourist sites and neighborhood walks. Tour was just the right length. Our guide, Patrick, made the tour outstanding. He was informative, entertaining and responsive to the individual needs of our group, especially to our friend who walks slowly with a cane. The accommodations were as we expected of European hotels. They all had their charms but we especially enjoyed the Lenox Montparnasse in Paris where the staff was personable and very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all wonderful, but walking down the Champs Elysees on "no cars" day was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Melissa

Uxbridge, MA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first organized tour. We loved the group dynamic, the ability to see so many places in the time frame, and the chance to see some "off the beaten path" places. We made great friends and discovered some rare gems!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight in Mont St. Michele. It was both a "wow" and an "oops"...The opportunity to be there with minimal crowds was amazing! Our rooms were small but fabulous because of the views! The shared meal was probably one of the worst we had. Much too ambitious for the quality of the restaurant. Many of us agreed that a simpler meal would have sufficed."

Mitchell

East Jordan, MI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary, great balance of scheduled time and free time to explore, Great support by our tour guide Patrick and driver Ludwick both in suggesting destinations and how to find them and in helping out with problems that arose such as help in using the french postal service and flawlessly arranging rooms, meals, and activities. I think that the tour was well organized, the hotels and restaurants were well chosen and convenient for activities and the staffs were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many, walking my friend to mass in the predawn at St. Michel, the boat tour on the seine, the caramel chestnut crepe in the sidewalk cafe around the corner from our Paris hotel all leave memories, but the peak was the flag ceremony in the american cemetery at Omaha beach."

Richard

Hopkins, MN

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was or first larger tour and we had apprehensions about being in a large number of people. As it turned out we enjoyed meeting new folks from all over the US, discovering how many common interests we had, and making new friends. The hotels, food, bus, and tours were superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday there as a new "Wow" moment. From the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, to Mont Saint Michel, to the beaches of Normandy...........all wow."

Terry

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking a boat ride on the Seine at night and seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up."

Mark

Wilmington, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to the hype. We avoided the crowds, had great local guides, and the stops were great with lots of personal time. Our guide, Patrick took care of us, kept us on schedule, had a few pleasant surprises and wonderful evening soirée. The coach was very comfortable and our driver Ludwig was a master.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, the joke on the bus was how are they going to top this one. My favorite was the castle at Guedelon. But the view of Mont. St. Michel at night takes your breath away. And the somber state of heroism at the Normandy beaches is unequaled."

Peggy

Wilmington, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great time I had. I really liked the free time we had to explore on our own . I have been on tours before but you are very restricted to the itinerary and this was a pleasant surprise. experiences like wine and goat cheese tasting, the Guédelon castle are very special. Coach was very comfortable with plenty of room to move about or have your own seat. Historian guides in some of the cities were also special. Would like to spend more time in Bourges however !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a very hard question, so much to see but Inwould probably have to say Mont St Michel. The rooms were nice and the dinner meal was out of this world. Patrick our guide was so special on our trip and he made the day great with free time, and an impromptu social hour at one of the rooms with a balcony. Everyone had a great time there!"

Kaylynn

Charlevoix, MI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! The trip destinations, the hotels and restaurants were all very good,. We became friends with many of the other people on our tour and Patrick our tour guide, was fantastic! He was so knowledgeable, agreeable, and his humor all added to make our trip beyond our grandest dreams. Last but not least, was our bus driver , Ludwig. He added so much to our trip with is insight, and participation in the tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Saint Michele , I awoke early and made my way up to Mass with the Monks and Nuns. Amazing, and their singing with the acoustics was so beautiful! After the 1/2 hour service, the view from the top of the Abby as the sunrises, is breathtaking!!!!"

Donna

West Salem, WI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was fantastic and the bus driver so friendly. My husband and I especially liked the small hotels located in the heart of the town so we could walk the area and get a real understanding of the culture. The other tour members were so easy to talk with and we felt we had made friends in such a short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be Mont St. Michel - it was almost a fairy tale world. Arriving when we did and spending the night there was perfect timing."

Sandra

Hopkins, MN

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our tour! I was a little hesitant to travel in a group of 28 but I was impressed how well that group was handled by our guide. I appreciated a schedule and the emphasis on following it. It was good to have some flex time most days to be free of the group. Everyday was an adventure as we experienced locations, history, people and food. I loved not having to the the planning and arrangements.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the Champs -Elysees with crowd of tourists, Parisians, dogs and bikes and no cars. We were so fortunate to be in Paris the Sunday of no cars and our guide Patrick made it available to us."

Paul

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Patrick is a very knowledgeable guide and I would welcome him to lead any future tours that I will take with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time spent at Mont St. Michel. Very unique Abbey and the village is quaint."

Kimberly

North Oaks, MN

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris lead a fabulous tour throughout France. We hit so many 'must-do's' and 'must-see's' and then some. The itinerary was fast paced yet manageable. It would be so easy for us, as a couple, to spend a full day at any one of the sites, so to keep moving meant we got the fortune of so much cultural exposure! Having down-time/freetime built into the schedule is also much appreciated. Great tour that we would highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many ... Mount St Michel at high tide is pretty awesome tho' ; ) and attending the morning vespers was truly a unique experience!"

Sue A.

Foresthill, CA

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in France and we covered a lot of history. I have to admit I have toured enough castles and cathedrals for a while. We went on to a second tour after this one and saw a few more. The only negative of the experience was the distance from the bus to the hotels in several places. We have taken several Rick Steves tours and know the expectations, but I thought some of these treks were more than we had ever experienced on other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the Normandy beaches were an important part of the trip. I wish we had more time there. Beside Normandy, I loved the Guedelon Castle. I was fascinated by the medieval methods of construction and the amazing amount of research required to make it authentic. Mont St. Michel was a treat as well."

Ken

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. No issues, no complaints, only good things to say.

Dorothy

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour--very well organized, the schedule was adhered to, there was enough time allowed at most of the sights, our guides were very knowledgeable, the participants were all friendly and considerate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments for a variety of reasons: most amazing--Chenonceau, most unexpected--Guedelon was fascinating, most relaxing--Giverny, most moving--Omaha Beach and American Cemetery."

Deborah

Flowood, MS

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good variety of destinations. Congenial traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the craftsmen we saw working at Guédelon"

Jamie

Plattsburgh, NY

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. The itinerary was well-designed and Chris provided insight into French history and culture, which was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel-seeing it for the first time and being present for the grande maree. Also, visiting the wine and cheese tasting, Chenonceau and Giverny were highlights."

Jenna

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was very informative and we really enjoyed our bus drivers they were outstanding, helpful and courteous. I think they were from Belgium. We will cherish our time and experience there with awe and fond memories. Second trip and we are getting ready for our third with Rick Steve's.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was definitely most incredible "Wow" moment. Flanders field was a time for reflection and honor of those that served. These two were our favorite and most profound. Monet gardens were everything I had hoped for and more. Truly a highlight!!"

John

Columbus, IN

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Educational about France and its people. Normandy was humbling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience at Normandy-in a strange way it was a "wow" time."

Nancy

Maria Stein, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint! I had studied France and the French language many years ago so I have always wanted to go to the Paris and the Loire Valley. All the landmarks that I had envisioned in my mind finally came alive when I saw them for real!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Being atop Notre Dame cathedral in the rain with the gargoyles was memorable! Also, climbing to the abbey on Mont St. Michel in the early morning to hear the nuns and monks sing a cappella, then walking out to watch the sun rise over the mudflats was beautiful."

Theresa

Brighton, CO

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was overwhelmed by all the stuff we saw.. I was a bit scared to be in a another county having never left the states. My husband had lost his compression hand piece and we went into a medical supply place and they would have been able to replace it had we not been leaving in 2 days..The store man was most delightful knowledgeable and helpful. Funny note... We had spiders in one of our rooms and trying to explain to the bar attendant that I needed a can of raid.. That was a hoot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Utah and Omaha beech,. On sacred ground with the weather being cold and Rainey was a very special day ."

John

Kenton, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day in Normandy. The guide was outstanding."

Mariane

Columbus, IN

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Informative about France and its people>

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Gardens"

Barbara

Arvada, CO

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1-Giverny 2-Mont St Michel"

Carrie

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful! We learned so much and saw much more than we could have on our own. This was our first Rick Steves tour, but it won't be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was Sainte-Chapelle. The stained glass was breathtaking. For my husband it was Mont-Saint-Michel. Both sites invoked a feeling of reverence."

Laurie

Kenton, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed my RS tour because we travel with a small group and as the days pass, we get to know our fellow travelers. Because the group is small we are able to fit comfortably on a tour bus, stay overnight in small centrally located hotels, dine together in local restaurants, and enjoy neighborhood walking tours. The tour is led by a seasoned guide who is able to provide direction and advice. What appeals to me most about the RS experience is the feeling of being immersed in the local culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"our first close up view of Mont St-Michel.... no, it was definitely Monet's garden....but I really enjoyed seeing the construction site of medieval Guedelon....and the river-straddling 16th century Chateau de Chenonceau was so beautiful....hmm, but the group dinners were fun and the D-Day tour was so informative....could I just say that every day provided a "wow" moment?"

Carolyn

Gillette, WY

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves' Tour experience in Paris (PAR042416, EUR091017, FRH082818), and each had its unique elements or different perspectives on the same sights. There was some familiarity and a more in depth understanding. It was great to stay in and learn about other neighborhoods of Paris. The trip to sites beyond Paris was like a separate tour in itself. Our group came together in new ways when we were on the bus. I loved the sites, food, hotels, and above all the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite of my many "wow" moments was all about Mont St-Michel. From our first glimpses on the bus as we approached, to our backward last visages as we drove away, it was spectacular! Such a remarkable site to visit, climb, explore, climb, learn about, climb, and we spent the night there. Thanks to the sunny morning, we saw the shadow of the Abby on our guided tour. How wonderful!"

Lou

Redding, CA

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide Michaelann was well organized and well informed. She always responsive and helpful to participants. There was reasonable of structured and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and Chambord."

Christine

Surrey, BC

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour, especially our tour guide Marie who brought so much enthusiasm to the trip. She was well informed, organized, efficient and fun. Vim was our bus driver and kept us safe and on time. We have taken tours with other companies and found this one to be equivalent to the top rated tours. Local guides were a wealth of information and brought gave us an in depth picture of the facilities and surroundings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were taken aback by the grandness and spaciousness of central Paris, starting at Thr Louvre through to the Eiffel Tower. Also seeing Mont St. Michel as we approached the island."

Paula

Warthen, GA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, our tours are outstanding. Marie was well-organized, prepared many maps and handouts for us, had high expectations for our making the most of each moment we had on this tour. Having the Paris museum pass to use during our "free" time was especially helpful. The local guides added so much to my experience. Their passion for their town, community, country history, etc. and their enthusiasm for sharing with "visitors" was humbling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was expecting Mount Saint Michele to be my wow moment. This was one of my reasons we chose this trip. It did not disappoint and touched me deeply. The D-Day entire day with such a passionate and knowledgeable local guide provided me many wow moments...especially as we ended this emotional day by experiencing Taps at the American Cemetery. The respect and dignity I observed was overwhelming. Monet's home and gardens were WOW,WOW, WOW."

Jan

Oakdale, CA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Busy, with lots to see and do. Great trip, And Marie was a wonderful, knowledgeable and well organized guide. This made for a great overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was eating dinner with the view of the water coming in and surrounding the island of Mt St Michel, amazing."

James

Burbank, CA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

95% of the trio was great. Bus, tour guide, hotels, and food was great..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy..would have liked more time there.."

Peter

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This our first Rick Steve's tour and it was very good. We saw many wonderful places and it was very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches."

Robert

Chestertown, MD

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The first few days in Paris were a disappointment. Paris a disappointment? Yes. I loved our neighborhood and hotel, but our two walking tours in the mornings were less than satisfying. Marie's walking tour was OK, but no tour of the Louve or Notre Dame was a disappointment. I felt misled by the advance schedule. The walking tour the second day was terrible... I'm sorry to say. "Touring" St. Eustache cathedral as they prepared for a funeral felt intrusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moments items that were NOT on the tour. I loved the Paris Palais Garnier Opera house. Loved the Parisian Pastry shops! Loved the Eiffel Tower! Loved the Monet Water Lily paintings... and the gardens we eventually visited. A better job with Paris might have left me with more WOW moments."

Jean

Harrisville, NH

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie was very caring, wanted all of us to have a positive experience. She is very knowledgeable, amazing with historical information. The group meals were not up to the standard of my last trip with RS. (Sicily).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Cemetery. It is more beautiful, serene, and spiritual than I had envisioned from what I had read and seen. A most peaceful place to spend eternity. God bless all of those very special persons."

Nancy

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour covered more sites and we talked to more local guides than I thought possible. The pace was energetic but doable. It was a good mix of chateaus, cathedrals,and current projects such as the building at Guedelon. It gave me a new perspective on life in NW France and Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the first rays of light coming through the stained glass windows of the San Chapelle chapel. Wow!"

Karen

North Salt Lake, UT

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chambord Château & Château de Chenonceau"

John

Warthen, GA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgeable guide. Learned a lot about ww2. No previous knowledge or interest in this war.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View of and from Mont Saint- Michel."

John

Harrisville, NH

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide (Marie) was helpful and kept us organized and on time. Nice locations to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time in Paris, American cemetery."

Evangeline

Cerritos, CA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent choice of destinations! Excellent tour guides. All hotels had excellent locations. The quality of the hotel was fantastic except for Hotel Bellevue in Amboise and Hotel B-Montmartre in Paris. At Hotel B-Monmartre, two of us in the tour group fell on the stairs in the breakfast area next to the toaster. I forgot to tell the Marie about it but I told the front desk staff. He said"We will take your comment into consideration." I felt that my complaint went straight to the trash.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many it is hard to pick one. The French countryside, Bourges, the chateaus in Loire Valley, first sight of Mont St.-Michel, Giverny. Wow! D-Day was moving and so worth visiting."

Ray

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything came off without a hitch, very well run, pleasant guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sing along on the bus was a lot of fun."

Geoffrey

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ou tour experience was fantastic. The itinerary was excellent with enough structure to make sure things kept moving but enough 'on our own' time, allowing us to choose some must-sees. We really like Rick Steves' tours for getting out of the city and seeing beautiful and important sites in the countryside. Since the transportation, hotel, and ticket-purchasing is all done for us, we get to relax and enjoy the experience instead of always thinking about making the next arrangements.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to chose just one. I think driving through the forest surrounding Chambord and then getting the first glimpse of the chateau with all the intricate towers was an amazing moment. In that moment you knew that THIS is a real royal castle."

Christine

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous time. Our guide, Marie, took the time to explain many things about Paris and France. she gave good introductions to the museums in Paris and helped us get their on the bus. She was kind to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The raspberry and apricot jams and the butter we had at our breakfasts. I would go back just for those three things!"

Joseph Whitner

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour was excellent. A great group, great guide, great lodging and great meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel tower lit up after dinner on our last night with most of our group!"

Joseph

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour for the first time visitor to France or for a return visitor. We covered the basics of how to make sense of the extensive metro system in Paris from buying a ticket to finding the right track to changing trains. We also spent time with local guides who were experts in their fields and had in-depth knowledge (and in one case special access) to locations throughout France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment came not during a tour activity, but during a side trip that we took on our own. We booked tickets to go to the summit of the Eiffel Tower at 8:00 PM so that we could watch the sunset over the city of Paris. We stayed at the summit until just after the first light show. It was really special hearing the gasps from the city below as the lights on the tower started flashing."

Donna

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was amazing. Marie, and our driver Wim, went above and beyond to make sure we had a fabulous trip. We were safe, educated, and entertained at all times. Marie has amazing knowledge and a great personality, which combined with her experience, made her a perfect guide. Our traveling companions were delightful and we were one big family by the end of the tour. The tips for restaurant and shopping along with the orientation tours at each stop were greatly appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many- The Orsay Museum, the Bayeux Tapestry, Monet's Gardens at Giverny...Walking together as a group after our last dinner to see the Eiffel Tower in lights was very special!"

Thomas

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Paris & the Heart of France" tour was everything I had eagerly anticipated. A typical day involved a good dose of moderate walking, guided-touring, and free time. Our guide gave helpful suggestions regarding eating and using our the free time. For me, the tour was paced just right. (I'm in my mid 60's and am in good shape physically; I'm used to walking 3-4 miles daily.) During bus travel, our guide took advantage of the time to provide lots of info on France, the local region, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not really a "wow" moment guy. I mostly just "drank-in" each moment as it arrived."

Connie

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie was wonderful! She kept things moving and was fun to travel with! I liked the mixture of fun and history and doing things together as well as having free time. My tour buddies were fun and easy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As always, there were so many "wow" moments. It's hard to pick just one! My favorite "wow" moments were standing on Utah Beach in Normandy and being in the American cemetery when the flags were lowered."

Diane

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 07/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous and exhausting trip!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Paris when they won la Coupe du Monde!!!!!!!!!!!! Then our time in Fougère.....I found the city in France I could live."

Thomas

Bonners Ferry, ID

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. The guide was extremely well prepared, knowledgeable, and caring. Any of our special needs were attended to on the spot. Overall excellent tour.

Daniel

Georgetown, MA

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never travelled on a Rick Steves' tour before, so I was interested to check the value against the cost. My hopes were high - this is France after all. The Rick Steve's tour (RST) far exceeded my expectations. Having RS pre-book the details of our trip saved us countless hours vs if we were to try to coordinate all that was included on our own. Especially since we don't speak French. The tour guide Virginie More made all of French history come alive in a country that she loves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I told the group at our first orientation that I was looking forward to every bit of it and after all was said and done I did enjoy it all. My legs were tired after the walking but I did and saw A LOT. It was all so good I struggle to pick out one WOW moment."

Leila

Pea Ridge, AR

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first visit to France and the weather was sunny and hot. I loved Paris. It certainly is a MUST SEE place with the history and the museums. And as much as I liked Paris, for me, the following days in the country were my favorite. The people of France were so nice and welcoming. We definitely got to experience a good slice of culture, food, and history. Our traveling buddies were fabulous. Virginie was amazing! All of the Rick Steves guides are good but Virginie is a STAR!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was morning prayers on Mont St. Michelle. You seem to climb into the heavens and are closer to God."

Janet

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The usual wonderful experience we have come to expect from Rick Steves. Having been to Paris several times, it was fun to revisit favorite sites with a knowledgeable guide. I would recommend this tour to anyone interested in seeing rural France. I could happily revisit for a longer stay all of those adorable little towns that appear have looked the same for hundreds of years. Thanks to Virginie's "bus lectures" I think I am beginning to get a little better grasp of French culture & history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count but Mont Saint Michel was certainly one. I would also list Clos-Luce as an unexpected treasure."

Barbara

Bonners Ferry, ID

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour is a 5 star experience from the start! I found each day to be packed with new and exciting places with the relevant history of each site explained in advance. We had time to explore with the group and then had time to explore on our own. We enjoyed dining with each other, and also having an evening alone to find a unique cafe to our personal liking. Loved the itinerary and pace set during the tour and recognized each day contained a "golden" moment that was added as a special touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a "wow" moment every day! The iconic sights speak for themselves but the essence of France was also there to discover. Loved the fact that we stayed on Mont St. Michel overnight and enjoyed the solitude of the monastery through the evening and morning, watching the sun set and rise. At 7:00 am, we walked the steps to a cathedral built in the 1200's to join the nuns and monks for their morning prayers and beautiful singing. How could you capture that magic moment ever again?"

Lawrence

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent. That was a combination of a superb guide and a generally excellent tour plan and itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several "wow" moments were related to the visit to Mont St. Michel. While it wasn't a group experience per se, a 7 am visit to the Abbey Church on the top of the mount for a scheduled service, which was suggested by our guide, was certainly a "wow 30+ minutes" if not a moment. In that starkly beautiful setting. To hear the singing, chanting and readings was a truly remarkable and rare experience."

John

Eagan, MN

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie was a terrific guide. She was humorous and provided us with great history lessons by putting what we were seeing in the context of the history at the time. Our hotels were good and met our needs. There was one hotel did not have a safe which made us a little uncomfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Mont St. Michel was incredible. You timed our arrival and departure perfectly. The tour was excellent and well timed as well."

Jeffrey

Wheeling, IL

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on this tour from start to finish. We saw so many interesting places in such a short time, from the treasures of Paris to the chateaus of the Loire to the beaches of Normandy. We were fortunate to have the services of our excellent guide, who did an outstanding job of helping us learn more about life in France and its history. And France winning the World Cup while we were there was quite a bonus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very difficult to choose; was it standing under the sparkling Eiffel Tower at night? Or celebrating with the locals in the little town of Amboise as France won the World Cup? Or hearing "Taps" as the flag was lowered at the American Cemetery near the D-Day beaches? I think it was when I rose early on Mont St. Michel and watched a magnificent sunrise from a vantage point just below the abbey. I felt like I had the whole island to myself."

Dorothy

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour! I learned a lot about the people and history of France and I saw so many beautiful and interesting sights. Our tour guide, Virginie, was great. She was very knowledgeable, interesting and easy to listen to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Our tour was in France during the World Cup and the excitement, happiness and pride of the people was something I'll always remember. Guedelon was amazing. It gave a real insight into what went into the building of the castles. I loved the wine and cheese tasting at Selles-sur-Cher. It was so relaxing and informative at the same time. The tide coming in at Mont-Saint-Michel, D-day beaches, Giverny, they were all wow moments."

Leo

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a grand experience. I had some trepidation in the beginning, but it turned out to be quite groundless. My daughter, who had travelled to France several times and then our guide, Virginie, both erased my fears. The people, countryside, culture, history, cuisine were rich, beautiful and extremely enjoyable. There was just so much to see and soak in. I'm ready to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a tough one. There were several wow moments. To pick one, I'll go with Monet's gardens in Giverny. This surprises me, because I have never fancied myself as an artistic person, but rather unschooled. Though it was crowded, it was also a cloudy day. The colors of the grounds and flowers were rich yet subdued. It was rich, exciting and comforting all at once. Unlike any other gardens I have seen."

Carol

Rochester Hills, MI

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I believe the tour was made exceptional by the historical perspective and off beat humor of Graeme Sutherland. Though I thoroughly enjoy history and would have enjoyed a dry rendition of the history of the places we visited, Graeme made it come alive, and even those non-loving history individuals enjoyed his "stories". We had very good local guides and a bus driver who was not only personable, but also an expert on the roads and getting us where we were scheduled to be on time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't decide whether it was leaning out my hotel window on Mont St. Michel watching the light show of the Abbey or looking at a gravemarker of an unknown soldier in the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach."

Marcella

Kirkwood, MO

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic and exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments: Louvre, walking tours of Paris, cathedrals, chateaux, fortresses, beautiful countryside . . . ."

Edward

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An outstanding tour. I have been to Paris several times before but never had great guides to show us around. Loved every place we visited on the tour (except Giverny but I know I wouldn't like it going in). Mt. St. Michel and Normandy were amazing. Besides the major sights, I loved the wine tasting, cheese tasting and the sunset picnic on the river in Amboise. Luckily we were in France as France played the knock-out round games in the world cup so that added more excitement to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments include seeing Mt. Saint Michel appear off of the coastline, being on Mt St Michel in the evening when all the tourists were gone and the whole day in Normandy. The day in Normand ended at the American Cemetery with the american flag being lowered as taps was being played over the sound system.An emotional ending to a very emotional day."

Cynthia

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best trip I have taken in several years. Wonderful group, wonderful guide, wonderful sights, and a beautiful country and peoples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not one particular moment. It seemed like a dream come true to see and visit all of the many places I've read about or seen pictures of since I was in my teens."

Kurt

San Carlos, CA

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Graeme was great - very knowledgeable and he paced his history lessons well. We did notice a marked difference in the interactive experiences we had in Italy versus France and we LOVE the opportunity to be more connected to the people in each country we visit. We will return to Rick Steves' tours (next year is Greece!) but we may prefer the food/people in the Mediterranean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose but we agreed on the Monet Gardens - LOTS of people but worth it. Other highlights were the evening visit to the St. Michelle site (before the official tour), Normandy guided tour and the Paris self guided time."

Jean

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. However, if you could do something about the weather next time (Paris was beastly hot), it would be appreciated. It was my first time in France and I just loved it. I really had no idea what to expect - movies, photos and friends' anecdotes don't begin to describe the atmosphere and environments. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The accommodations were comfortable, meals were delicious and Graeme was great. The tour covered more than enough territory.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to decide between the tour of the Normandy beaches, the Bauyeaux tapestry or the chateaux, but I think Mt. Saint Michel would be it. I loved the fact that we stayed overnight, had the island nearly to ourselves and heard morning prayers in the abbey. I can't believe I climbed those stairs twice in one morning. It was a thrill to stay somewhere I read about in the National Geographic magazine when I was a child. I must mention Guedelon and how interesting that is."

Thomas

Louisville, KY

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour guide. Graeme was very informative in a way that brought together an overall perspective as well as the smaller details that made individual areas come alive. I feel that I have a much better understanding of the places we visited: the towns, the people and the histories of those places. I also appreciated his good sense of humor and the facility with which he dealt with occasional awkward moments. He was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to identify an individual moment, but for me, the day we spent in Normandy would be hard to top for emotional impact."

Diane

Takoma Park, MD

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was a good balance of sights and experiences from roman to contemporary france. We were in the group that added the visit to the German bunkers at the beginning of the Normandy tour. Viewing the experience of the enemy offered a balanced view and more understanding of the Allies challenges. The addition indeed made this the longest day, but was worthwhile. This was a sad but worthwhile day for me and I felt like I had been on a pilgrimage at the end of the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Saint Michel"

Robert

Takoma Park, MD

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the trip a great deal. Graeme was excellent and seeing Paris, Mont St. Michele, and the D-day beaches were a great experience. We also stated a few extra days and observed (from a distance) the world cup victory celebration. I enjoyed seeing the castle being built at Guedelon, but would prefer to cut out one or two castle trips and spend more time in one of the cities- Bourges, or Amboise or Bayeux.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying the night at Mont st. Michele attending lauds."

Maria

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was excellent and learned so much! It felt rushed due to the schedule, but enjoyed everything. I would've loved to have had more time to stop and shop at certain markets along the way. A couple of times, we had free time to explore for 20 min which was nice. Otherwise, we wouldn't have had time to go back to those particular spots to purchase a pastry or souvenirs...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed everyday of the tour, especially Chenonceau, Giverny and wine/cheese tasting. Many "wow" moments!"

Diane

Plano, TX

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour (our third with RS). There was a lot crammed into 11 (really 9) days, and I think this should probably be a 12-13 day tour. I especially felt that the day at the Normandy beaches was too rushed. We gave ourselves 4 extra days in Paris - 2 before and 2 after the tour. Without those extra days, it really would have seemed too short. I liked that we had so many opportunities to shop in local markets for picnic supplies and other food - this was a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Monet's water lillies in the L'Orangerie museum."

Patrice

Louisville, KY

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very enjoyable. Graeme was a wonderful guide and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with him. His knowledge and enthusiasm for France and his desire to make our experience a good one was greatly appreciated. I think that the RS way of managing a group is efficient and helpful. It was a treat to meet up with that fabulous Elizabeth again for her walking tour. (We encountered her on the Best of Paris tour 8 years ago and, if anything, she is even better now.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was probably my favorite single place to visit. You can't help that we were at Giverny in peak tourist season. A shame it was so crowded, but I enjoyed it and the gardens were beautiful."

Keith

Everett, WA

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first I was not sure about doing a tour with people i did not know but we had such a great time! Made new friends saw places we would have never seen if we did it on our own. Great mix of tour and free time. Can't say enough about our tour guide Graeme. He brought the tour alive and made it educational as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from but picking one would be Mont Saint Michel from the distance as we approached from the country side to actual site. Simply amazing."

Deborah

Manchester, MO

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exposed us to such a variety of things--art, architecture, culture, food and history. We got a great mix of city and country. It was a fabulous experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one[INVALID]picnicking under a 300 year old tree on the grounds of a chateau with food we [INVALID]ed from the local market that morning was wonderful. Chenonceau was beautiful and the Bayeaux tapestry was amazing. Being in France during the World Cup was fun oh, and have I mentioned the fabulous food!!"

Chester

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had some great people on our tour . Our guide Julie was fantastic she was very qood at getting around to every tour member and seeing if there was anything she could do to make our tour more enjoyable. Our group was from all parts of the US.our bus driver Rudy was fantastic also ! Our hotels were all top grade .This was our second tour and it was even better than the first.Thanks for what you do !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Celebrating my birthday on the Mount ,and then going to Normandy on the 4th of July.and being in Paris during the World Cup. All added up to a great trip."

Frederick

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience was beyond my expectation. After my first Rick Steves tour in 2011 to Italy that I totally enjoyed, I expected a good experience. But this Paris tour was above and beyond good. The fellow travelers were kind, conversational, and easy to get along with, helpful to each other. The sights were outstanding; the hotel rooms were comfortable and in the middle of town where public transportation was accessible. The local guides were full of stories and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is being in Normandy on the Fourth of July. The local guide Stephan was full of stories, information. He even knew about the Japanese Americans who did not storm Normandy but parachuted in France as the 442nd brigade. This experience gave me a greater appreciation for our freedom. I appreciated Stephan's honesty, sharing himself, his personal stories relating to the War. At the hotel Julie surprised us with little hot dogs and wine and we sang the Star Spangled Banner."

Renee

Tumwater, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Julie Sonveau, truly made France an awesome trip in all ways! Constantly on top of everything, so very caring of all of us, and always brilliantly informative about all that we saw and experienced! She was the difference-maker! I convinced my 2 brothers and their wives to join me on this trip and they were overwhelmingly thrilled that they decided to join this trip! We're all hoping that Julie can lead tours through other parts of Europe - we'd all opt for her every tour she led!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the the beautifully green tunnel of London Plane trees with the extraordinary Chenonceaux peeking through!"

Kathleen

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was perfect for getting us around Paris on the Metro. She also was a resident of Paris in the summer and citizen of US residing in Co. She gave us tips for ur 3 extra days in Paris. She was very knowledgeable and very willing to share your questions and answers, This guide was what I expected from the Rick Steves staff

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches tour of Pairs"

Mark

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris is an amazing city full of great art, food and culture – an experience of a lifetime but it is also a very busy and crowded place and it was refreshing to get out into the country – to experience the beauty of the French countryside and slower pace of the small towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me two experiences stand out. Watching the sunrise over the Loire River in the town of Amboise and seeing Monet's gardens and home in Giverny."

Bayard

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide is excellent. Courteous, knowledgeable and informed, responsive to participants' needs and questions, friendly, managed group and complicated logistics well. Local guides were excellent and appropriate. Adherence to timelines was well managed. Bus transportation was excellent, air conditioning worked well! Driver was outstanding, friendly and very expert. He had excellent navigation skills. Tour itinerary was better than we expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went on this tour to 'live in the moment' and that is exactly what we did. Difficult to identify a specific moment."

Mona

Wildwood, FL

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide, Julie, was the BEST.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sleeping at Mont Saint Michel."

Ellen

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris & theHeart of France exceeded our expectations. Guide Julie Sonveau communicated her deep love and understanding of France and the culture. Paris guide Elizabeth gave us terrific insight into neighborhood France with the Marais. And the Normandy Beaches guide Sylvan (spelling?) made the enormity of Dday and the ensuing hell come alive. The bus broke down & he had to give us an impromptu 1 hour discussion. He kept calm & kept everyone engaged and interested. It was a tour de force.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taps at the American cemetery as they lowered the flag brought tears to our eyes."

Jeannie

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This itinerary was really packed and wonderful. I was interested in all the cities on this tour and I was not disappointed. Our driver was great. Able to get us in and out of tight places and worked well with Julie. They were always figuring out traffic and projecting arrival times and if meals or arrivals at sites needed to be adjusted. I really felt well taken care of and I don't think we missed out on anything. There was a lot in this tour but it was also "paced well", allowing for free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overnight stay at Mt St Michel. Julie got us all set up with plenty of afternoon time to explore as the day tours emptied out. Happy Birthday toasting on one of the rooms veranda overlooking the bay before a spectacular dinner with a water view. Sun setting after 10pm as the tide crept in. 7am joining the Abby Lauds, breakfast and a local tour guide. She was really fascinating and even members with poor legs could participate as she lectured and climbed through the Abby and Mount. WOW!"

Mary Scott

Reno, NV

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've waited to submit this form only because I've struggled with trying to come up with adjectives other than "incredible" and "awesome". Until now, I've been an independent sort of traveler, studying, arranging, then exploring virtually alone. While I may continue to travel in that fashion occasionally, participating in this tour has radically changed my perception of group travel. It was an amazing, joyous, and completely comfortable experience. I CAN'T WAIT TO PARTICIPATE IN ANOTHER!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is an incredibly unfair question...there were SO many wow moments! I vividly remember the American Cemetery at Normandie on July 4 and the simple and beautiful surprise reception by the hotel staff on our return. Our wonderful bus driver, Rudi, wrote and read a heartfelt poem about the war at this reception and our group spontaneously broke into our National Anthem. It took my breath away."

David

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly as advertised. We had a very good travel group. Everyone was punctual and nobody seemed to take up more than their fair share of time with the tour guide. The hotels were great - quintessential Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the D-Day Beaches at Normandy."

Carol

Oakdale, CT

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 11 day Paris and France tour was everything I imagined and more. The whole premise of a Rick Steve tour is to encourage and teach you to become an independent traveler and this experience did meet this expectation. Right off we headed to the metro for our first lesson on mastering the underground world of travel. Julie, our guide, was very instrumental in making this fun and less stressful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was visiting the beaches of Normandy and taking part in the playing of Taps. Very emotional and moving experience. Our guide for the day was very knowledgeable and became quite personal with sharing his family history leading him to become an expert in this area."

Brian

Clinton Twp, MI

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves trip, so we had high expectations based on our wonderful first trip last year. Not only, did this trip meet our expectations, but it exceeded them! Paris and northern France were amazing and so was our wonderful guide Julie, our bus driver Rudi, all our fellow travelers. Everything went smoothly(including the weather - only one rainy day out of 11!). Even a short delay due to bus problems turned into an impromptu Bayeux sidewalk café class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While it is really impossible to pick one favorite, I was really not expecting how incredibly awesome the Bayeux Tapestry was up close! The immense size, amazing detail, and condition of the tapestry after almost 1000 years were stunning. A close second was Leonardo da Vinci's chateau in Amboise."

Vanessa

New Haven, CT

Tour: 06/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While the hustle and bustle of a city is always exciting, one would remiss if they didn't travel to the country side. The small, quaint towns were fun to experience. From the fresh food to the beautiful cathedrals-it was a travelers dream come true.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel was my wow moment. The site of this abbey was literally breath taking. The icing on the cake was listening to monks pray one morning."

Christopher

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great people with great travel attitudes. This tour was very special due to our caring energetic guide and the level of sharing within our group. Very strenuous is accurate. Lots of walking, fast paced yet had time to wander on our own. Incredible food and great hotels. Awesome team of bus drivers! Nothing like Mont StMichel or Giverny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The morning service at Mont St Michel. The light in the church was amazing!"

Edward

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was about as perfect as a tour could be. The guide was fantastic. The itinerary was well planned with good pacing and opportunities for individual exploration. The sights and activities were fascinating. I felt as though I got a real solid understanding of north western France as well as French history and culture. I was leery of the idea of a tour group as a large "family", but it turned out to be true. Everyone on the tour was really nice and we were all sorry for it to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was spending the night on Mont St. Michel. Our room was located near the top and had a fantastic view of inlet where we could watch the sunrise and the tides roll in and out. It would have been nice if the seagulls had quieted down at some point, but they did add to the ambiance. I was also impressed that everyone in our group attended the optional early morning worship service in the abbey."

Kathy

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was so amazing to be able to go to and learn about places and things that happened so long ago. I love history, but didn't know anything about French history, so I thoroughly enjoyed this learning experience. The tour of Paris was great, the castle at Guedelon was fascinating, Bourges was a surprise and so beautiful; I loved the medieval town and the leaded glass windows. Mt. St Michel incredible! The craftsmanship to be able to perch that abbey and city on top of that rock was mind-blowing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss up between the sunrise and the monks and nuns chanting at Mt. St. Michel and the flower arrangements at Chennenceau. I took over 30 pictures of them. They were stunning! And being able to hear an organ concert at St. Sulpice was a dream come true! My mother and I had hoped we could hear that organ sometime. She's been gone for 10 years now, but she was with me at that concert!"

Deborah

Oxford, MD

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This survey is from both my husband and myself. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Graeme was a great guide with a wealth of information and history. The written information prior to departure was very informative with a good base for starting the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were to many memorable experiences to choose just one."

Robert

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed every minute of this tour. The local guide in Paris was so very passionate about the food, culture, and history of Paris which just made everything unforgettable and memorable. Our guide's knowledge about the history, politics, and culture of each region we visited was impeccable. The Guèdelon castle south of Paris was fantastic. The views along the Loire river were spectacular as was the hotel in Amboise - right on the river! Mont St. Michele, a trip back in time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Church in Paris was our wow moment. We had hoped to renew our wedding vows while in Paris, but had no idea where to begin. Graeme, our guide, made the arrangements during a time when the church was closed to the public and when we had free time on our tour. How did he do that! We were shocked to see the entire tour group gave up their free time to go sight seeing in Paris to come to our ceremony. Graeme had made the impossible possible. Wow!"

Anne

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour. Our guide, Graeme, was knowledgeable and interesting, and I especially enjoyed his talks while we were in transit on the bus. The tour was a good mix of scheduled events and free time; the greater amount of free time in Paris was appreciated because we had been to Paris before. We liked the itinerary also, as we had not been to the northwestern corner of France. I would have liked to see more of Brittany, but that will be for another trip. The weather was fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel rising up out of the beach as we approached, and then the view from our hotel room at the top of the Mont. It was a dream come true to be able to spend the night on the Mont, watch the sun set, the moon rise, and then the sun rise the next morning. Due to the full moon, we were able to watch the tide come in and completely surround the Mont for a brief time before it began to recede again. I felt like one of the early pilgrims visiting the Mont."

Deanna

Bartlesville, OK

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide. She seemed very experienced and confident in her work. Very personable, which made me very comfortable on our trip. My husband and I like having a fan in the room at night. We were never miserable but it would have been nice to have air moving. Maybe the french don't use them (ceiling fans).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and staying the night on Mont St.-Michel."

Sara

Decatur, IL

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! Very well organized, plenty of free time and excellent guidance. There were three sets of grandmothers traveling with their granddaughters. The youthful company was charming! The bus was roomy and very clean. There were frequent stops for leg stretching and bathroom breaks. I never felt bus weary. There were many stairs and inclines. My knees will never be the same! My next trip will be somewhere flat (LOL!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont St. Michel was my favorite. I loved listening to the gulls ( although not everyone did!)! On a free afternoon in Paris, I was able to visit the Picasso Museum. There was a special exhibition of Guernica." The last time I saw it was in NYC at MOMA in 1981. I thought I would have to go to Spain to ever see it again. It was serendipitous to see it in Paris!"

Carol

Sequim, WA

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. I was impressed with the high level of organization and detail. I learned quite a bit from the local guides. Our guide for the tour, Rebecca was professional in every way. The Hotel in Amboise was poor. Sometimes good location alone isn't enough to overcome chronic plumbing and noise issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have one."

Linda

Manchester, KY

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable trip overall. Excellent guide. Centrally located hotels in very interesting cities. I especially enjoyed the "small town" feel of Bayeux and Bourges. Mont St Michel was the experience of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the light coming through the stained glass in Saint Chapelle Church!"

David

Palos Verdes Estates, CA

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I'd rate our tour as great. There are very few things I would recommend changing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming out of the countryside on the bus and seeing Mont St. Michel rising in the distance over the water. An incredible experience."

Craig

Bartlesville, OK

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stained glass inside the chapel at Saint Mere-Eglesse."

Elizabeth

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved our tour! Our guide, Rebecca, was excellent [INVALID] very professional, knowledgable, and helpful. The itinerary was excellent [INVALID] 2 very full days in Paris, then on to Bourges, the Loire Valley, and Normandy. A very congenial group, as always. This was our third Rick Steves tour, and we're already planning our next trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We absolutely loved Mont St. Michel. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to spend the night on the island itself. Our hotel room was high up on the mont "under the feet of St. Michel" (as our guide described it), and we loved finding all the back paths to our room. The early morning service with the monks' and nuns' singing was so memorable, and our local tour guide gave us a wonderful tour of the abbey. We also really loved Chenonceau!"

Evaline

Louisville, CO

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the trip and I learned a lot about France. My tour guide was very good, and I liked a lot of the group dinners and the group activities were very fun. I felt that we did a lot of standing around though, and at the end of the day my feet would usually hurt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the Mont Saint Michel and getting to see what the town is like with the ramparts and the abby as well as getting to see the nuns and monks do the morning prayer."

Richard

Miller Place, NY

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought we got to see many more destinations than I could have seen on my own for the length of the tour. Our guide, Chris, was very knowledgeable and she gave helpful suggestions regarding how to best use your "free time". The local guides were able to give more in-depth information for certain sites(Normandy, the abbey at Mount St Michel and others).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments including, Mount St Michel, the Greek statues in he Louvre and Normandy."

Bill

Richardson, TX

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Once we had endured our mauling by American Airlines it was so good that we pretty much forgot the initial travel issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps because I had preconceived ideas about French people and expected them to be somewhat rude (especially in Paris) I guess my favorite moment(s) were how nice they all were. As I am not exactly the best with languages (I'm still working on English lo these 63 years) that really made we feel more comfortable and made it much more fun."

David

Calhoun, GA

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, but certainly not our last. This was actually my first trip to Europe. Christine was an amazing guide. Just the right mix of information and humor. She insisted on our being prompt. The tour required lots of walking and hoofing up a few cobblestone streets with our luggage[INVALID]exactly as the tour literature described. Our group was a delightful mix of experienced travelers and a few newbies. Next tour? Eastern France or Village Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches of Normandy. My father landed on Utah Beach a few weeks after D-Day. Being able to trace the path of the 696th Armored Battalion from the beach to the Loire River made this a very meaningful tour."

George

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the selection of sites and places to visit and also the free time to choose things to do on our own The hotel rooms were simple but comfortable and staying at Mt St, Michel was a real treat. I really enjoyed the faster pace during the scheduled events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking to the top of Montemart for the view of Paris, Mt St-Michel at night, and listening to Taps at the cemetery in Normandy."

Mary

Appleton, WI

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My husband & I thoroughly enjoyed Paris as well as getting into the rural areas in northern & western France. It was a nice balance of activities & experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was overwhelmed at Giverny's never ending beauty. Monet could still be painting there today if he was alive! We were also deeply affected on our tour of Normandy's D-Day beaches, incredibly poignant & sobering. We fell in love with Brittany & found Mont St-Michel to be cooler than we could have ever imagined & were so happy to be staying there overnight without the crowds. The Chateaus in the Loire Valley were so beautiful! Learning about medieval castle building was a blast at Guedelon!"

Cathy

Richardson, TX

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of France Tour exceeded our expectations in every way! The tour group was congenial and we loved sharing our adventures together. The schedule suited us perfectly giving us ample time to see numerous amazing sights. Our guide, Chris, was delightful with her friendly, personable demeanor. We learned so much about French history, current events and customs as we toured by foot, bus or train. The Hotels and bus transportation were superb. There was never a dull moment!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments. An indelible mark on my memory was made by Paris's contagious energy, beautiful Loire Valley countrysides, wondrous chateaus, breathtaking St. Michel, and thought-provoking beaches of Normandy. My favorite wow moment was the sight of St. Michel as we approached the island. I loved walking the ramparts, exploring the bustling alleys, and experiencing a magical early morning service in the abbey. I watched in awe as the moonlit whitecaps rolled in with the incoming tide."

Deborah

Miller Place, NY

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I arrived one day early but would I make it two or three days early on the next trip due to jet lag. The tour was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. We visited everything on our itinerary and then some. Our guide, Chris, was fabulous and fun. We loved Rudy, our bus driver, who really was part of our group and who had years of driving experience. We enjoyed sharing our travel experiences with all members of our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was "wowed" visiting the village of Ste-Mere Eglise.I never forgot that scene in "The Longest Day" and I really felt emotionally connected to history by just being there.Our local guide for that day was super! Other "wow" moments would be Mont St-Michel(viewing the abbey lit at night from our pillow was an unforgettable experience)and the gorgeous market displays and picturesque storefront windows we saw in Paris. France also has some of the most delicious bread and pastries I ever ate!"

Stran

Quinton, VA

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. His books and shows created high expectations and those expectations were met and exceeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had "wow' moments, but actually setting foot on Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, and visiting the American Cemetery brought home the sacrifices made by young Americans on June 6, 1944. It was an emotional experience that even "wow" can't describe."

Ann

Bothell, WA

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on the Rick Steves "Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour! Our guide, Chris Coleman was friendly and informative. Our tour groups was filled with fun, interesting, and intelligent travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel....The views were amazing. Our room had a terrace! We had a lovely dinner in the village. Our guide informed us that the nuns and monks would be doing vespers at the abby early int the am. It was celestial and so moving to hear them singing praises in French. Even the sea gulls added to the music. What a wonderful experience!"

David

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour provided a good introduction to rural France and its its incredible variety. The exploration of Paris was well done as well, although we spent a week in Paris, pre tour. The Loire Valley, Mt San Michel,and Normandy were fascinatingly beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mt San Michel from a distance and then traveling closer until we arrived."

Peter

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual the tour was well organized from the start, Julie was adelight and the weather held out for us the whole time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bayeux tapestry without a doubt, what a history lesson that turned out to be"

Bobbi

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Julie our guide was great. There was a good mixture of planned time and free time. We saw the top sites and was wowed at all of them. Loved the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Saint Michel and staying on the island"

Kenneth

Oakton, VA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour guide (Julie) who was helpful whenever needed, and who provided very informative and useful narratives about history and current events. By design, tour was mostly about Palaces and Normandy beaches outside Paris; the tour only skims Paris. So if you want the focus to be Paris, this is not the right tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny gardens."

Donna

Farmers Branch, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very happy with my experience on the first RS tour I've taken! Everything was well organized and thought through. I appreciated the running educational commentary throughout the tour by Julie. The fact that she was an American living with her family in the area where we traveled made it even more interesting. Accommodations were good, food was good although in several instances it was actually too much food for me. I really don't have any complaints. It was a positive experience throughout

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to Mont St. Michele."

Frances Geraldine

Southampton, PA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour if Paris, the Loire valley, Normandy. Our host, Julie Sonveau was very competent and attentive. My husband left his IPad in the hotel in Amboise and she had it mailed to our Airbnb in Paris! She went above and beyond!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The chateau at Chenonceau!"

Paul

Farmers Branch, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Delightful trip, pacing and activities were informative, interesting, and have us all at authentic view of history, culture, art and society. The description of strenuous was accurate for most tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really each day had at least one. Some were anticipated like Mont St. Michel, others were nice surprises like the wine tasting and Gudelon. The most poignant moment was walking into the American Cemetary and seeing the beautiful sculpture of a perfect young man, in the prime of life, being lifted to the heavens."

Karin

Daytona Beach, FL

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than we ever expected! Busy yet comfortably paced, well-planned with knowledgeable tour guides yet with time on our own as well. We learned so much, saw so much, experienced so much of France...the places, people, culture and...can we talk about food??

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first "wow" moment was after my favorite meal. Our guide called the chef out of the kitchen so I could tell how I loved the meal. I told her that I loved eating with my eyes, because the presentation was so beautiful, and then enjoyed every bite because the taste was delicious! She hugged me tight whispering, "Merci, merci". The other "wow" was at Mont-St-Michel as we watched the tide quickly come in. The setting sun created a shadow of the Mont and turned the grass around it to gold. Wow!"

Paul

St Louis, MO

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall outstanding. I felt totally immersed in French culture. Most enjoyed Impressionist paintings at Orsee and other places. The 28 members of our group coming together so well was remarkable. Great people. I learned a lot and at times felt overwhelmed. It is a lot of information to absorb in a short period of time. Sometimes I felt stuffed and could not absorb anymore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the experience at Orsay was a wow experience although technically we saw it in our pre tour capacity. The Normandy beaches were an outstanding and moving experience. Visiting the Louvre was always a dream of mine so that was great."

Jennifer

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual (my 6th tour) on our Rick Steve's tour, we had a marvelous time. Our guide Julie was first class in everything she did for us. We have been to Paris by ourselves a couple of times but going with your tour made it special and pointed things out which we would never have known. The travel to the heart of France was full of interest and it was great to see a number of places and things on my bucket list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending a night on Mont Saint Michel was definitely a wow for us, especially as that night was a high tide. We sat in the restaurant watching the tide come in, with a number of boats sailing in. The view from our balcony was surreal. Also, seeing the Bayeau tapestry was amazing. I learned about it and the Battle of Hastings at school in England many decades ago but had never seen it or knew the size. The audio guide was very good."

Don

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Our guide was excellent as were the local guides. The [INVALID]ion of things to see was spot on for me despite my 76 years because I am still physically fit. However, for my wife, who is 64 and has a bad knee, some days were too much. This was also true for a number of others in our group. Your description of the tour did warn of some strenuous days but you might consider the demographic that takes your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say favorite but Normandy brought tears to this old Marine's eyes."

Peter

Peruibe, AP

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. The main factors that made this possible were: the quality of our main guide, Virginie, and the organization of the tour including the choice of accommodation, and the wonderful stopover places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Bourges"

Earlene

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an awesome experience! My first Rick Steves tour and I will definitely be doing another. Everything was so well planned for maximum experience with plenty of "on your own" time. We also had the best guide ever! Thank you Virginie More!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I chose this tour based on the fact that we would be spending the night on Mt. St. Michel. I have always wanted to visit and the thought of spending the night there seemed magical. It was a "wow" moment for sure and a group of us got up early to attend the 7a.m. prayer service w/ the nuns and monks that live in the Abbey. Wow!"

Kathryn

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing time. It was my first time overseas. The accommodations were comfortable. Our meals were delicious. Our bus driver was friendly. Virginie was incredibly insightful, warm and full of knowledge. Our group was a diverse age range, which was very fun. And what we saw of France[INVALID] breathtaking. It was so easy to just relax and travel and not have to worry about how we were getting places, where to stay, and what to do next. The 50% tour, 50% personal time was a great balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Chateau with cheese and wine tasting, St. Eustache neighborhood tour, Bourges city tour and market, watching the tide come in at Mt. St. Michel, Guedelon Castle, and Chenonceau. I also enjoyed walks through Montmartre-- great location for our Paris headquarters."

Susan

Brookfield, IL

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized, and the travel between destinations was very comfortable and enjoyable. Our bus driver, Ludwig, was courteous and engaging, and we felt very safe and well cared for on his bus. Our guide, Virginie, made the hours between locations go by quickly by providing insights into French history, culture, and the various sites we would be visiting. She did a wonderful job orienting us to each place we visited - we felt at ease exploring on our own after our group tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two - the unexpected beauty and magnificence of Mont St. Michel, and the overwhelming emotions felt during the journey of the D Day locations, concluding with the flag lowering ceremony at the American cemetery."

Tom

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, everything was fine. Virginie Moré was outstanding in every regard. Ludwig, our bus driver, was splendid at his job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have done so much traveling that I seldom have "wow" moments any longer. I really wanted to see the interior of S Chapell, many works of art in the Louvre and other Paris museums, visit Montmartre, Mont S Michel, to view the entire Bay. Tapestry, and Giverny. I think that in time, my memories and appreciation of having been to those locations will grow."

Charles

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have taken river cruises in the past. This was so very much better. The daily schedule was so well planned. We got to where we needed to go with outstanding tour guides. And then we were given any necessary information to plan the afternoon and evening. On river cruises you are cocooned into a plush life style that often has little to do with the country you are visiting. This trip had the perfect balance of being planned, informative and allowing us to investigate personal interests

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly..... the 26 participants. I think that the information ahead of time of not having any "grumps" really worked. We had a balance of high school, college age and all the way to senior citizens (myself) I think that was a surprise I had not expected."

Donald

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, friendly group of people with a wide age range that helped add unique perspective to the activities. Amazing guide, Virginie, and driver Ludwig. I loved being in Paris again but the smaller towns and villages provided a wonderful opportunity to explore French life.. As we ate our way across northern France, I enjoyed the group dinners but the stops for lunch in the small towns added great spice to the experience. The galette in Fourgers and the "hot dog" in Villedieu were memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments. The first was the moment I saw the stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle. I had been there many years ago but was still awed by the beauty. The second was the entire experience at Mont St-Michel. The first view of the abbey through the mist, walking to the top and taking the ramparts back down, experiencing the morning prayer service, and departing the next day as the human tide of day trippers was arriving was a once in a life time experience."

Susan

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We felt the tour was well-organized and executed without a hitch (at least that we were aware of.) Virginie was knowledgeable and personable. I loved it that she had lived in the US and was able to compare American life and attitudes with those of the French. She's really very good at what she does!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course Mont Ste-Michel is a "wow" any way you look at it. Staying on the island was a wonderful experience and having Laudes with the monks and nuns in the morning was truly memorable. I really enjoyed the wine and cheese tasting at Selles-sur-Cher. That's a keeper. One of our Wow moments was not a planned part of the tour, but we heard a Sunday afternoon concert of French Baroque music played on authentic instruments by world-class musicians at the Chateau at Amboise. (Thanks, Virginie.)"

Jean

Vernon, CT

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For our first visit to France, we chose the Heart of France tour, because we wanted some time in Paris and the opportunity to see other parts of France. This tour was perfect. Our introduction to Paris made us confident enough that we can return on our own someday. The travels to northern France touched on the history, culture and art of the region. Very powerful to stay overnight on the Mount, to visit the beaches of Normandy and to experience the dazzling colors of Monet's garden.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Thinking about many powerful moments, the most memorable for me occurred at the American cemetery in Normandy. Alongside the reflecting pool, there were many floral wreaths of remembrance. The most poignant one had a ribbon that read "American War Orphans Network In Memory of All of Our Fathers", a reminder that wartime sacrifices are also paid by the families over time."

Lars

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour covered a lot, both geography and culture. Well-contructed tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THe market in Bourges was amazing! Lucky for us that it was market day that morning- a Saturday. Seeing Montsaintmichel in the mist far away was also amazing, with the thousands of sheep in the foreground."

Dean

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie Altman was a wonderful tour guide - very knowledgeable along with being a very friendly person. The local tour guides were also great! What I enjoyed most was the mix of being in the big city (i.e., Paris) along with the smaller towns/locations including Bourges and Bayeux. A great mix and change of culture for a well rounded experience covering northern and central France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's gardens and home at Giverny was my favorite "wow" moment. I did not expect to see so much beauty in the gardens, but now know how they were such an inspiration for his artwork!"

Samuel

Dacono, CO

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Really loved Marie Altman, our tour guide. As a Parisian, she had a lot of insightful and useful information to share with the group. Most of the local guides were excellent also, except for the Normandy beaches guy... I think his name was Sylvan .. he was a bit boring and a lot full of himself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far, the American cemetery at Normandy. I only wish we could have spent more time there.. it felt rushed."

Erin

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a well balanced tour with a healthy mix of culture, art, chateaus, and history. Marie Altman is very knowledgeable guide and kept everything running on schedule. A few of the things I thought would be boring/set low expectations were actually some of my favorite experiences on this tour. The only thing I would change would be two night in Bourges and only one night in Amboise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel was more breathtaking in person. Pictures could never do it justice. The morning prayer service in the small 11th century Abbey chapel was worth waking up early for. The Normandy beaches were a close second, but wanted more time to really take everything in."

Ann

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were so many unexpected highlights - like the market that some of us visited at Bourges, the paintings in the basement floor of the l'Orangerie museum, and the timbered houses in Bourges. Loved it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the tide come in around Mont St Michel, eventually turning it into an island. Mt St Michel's tour of the abbey and its many layers. The wow moment was definitely Monet's garden at Giverny and walking around the water lily filled pond, with all its gorgeous greenery and flowers."

Sally

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Undeniably amazing! We were led by our wonderful, knowledgeable guide who didn't skip a beat with her effortless management skills to inform and teach us as we maneuvered through our jam-packed schedule(yet allowed for free time on our own to personalize our experiences) from Paris to the delightful countryside of quaint towns and villages of churches,chateaus, market places and more to explore. Wonderful bus drivers & a blend of congenial and amicable tour members made for a memorable time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This topic is difficult(like choosing your favorite child!) I had several WOW moments actually. Narrowed down, Mont St-Michel(absolute thrill to be there) wins over Chenonceau by a wink and a smile. But Normandy and its infamous beaches truly hugged at my heart strings(visiting the grave sites, observing the flag ceremony and the silence during Taps) ...reminders of such a sad time and reflecting on the huge sacrifices made."

Stowe

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Economic Value of the Tour is Very Good for its Hotels, Meals, Tour Leader/Daily Tour Guides and Travel arrangements The intrinsic value and value experience of the Tour's daily efficiency was Very Good The French Dinners were Outstanding The selected Cities and Villages were Outstanding My recommendation I believe would well compliment the Tour's itinerary: A Paris-wide highlight tour led by the Steves' Tour Leader; perhaps actually using the popular Double Decker bus

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1st view of Eiffel Tower, 1st drive thru entrance view of Louvre, 1st view of Champs Elysees"

Julie

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I especially liked the Paris portion and Mont St. Michel portion of the tour. Marie was an outstanding tour guide and very knowledgeable sharing facts on history and cultural aspects of each location visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel and the view of the surrounding area from our hotel room!"

Mark

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th Rick Steves' tour and I really enjoyed it because of the varied activities, the wonderful places we visited, the great food and a first class guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and visiting Mont St- Michel and spending the night there with a close second to the D day beaches as both were simply superb experiences! WOW!"

Linda

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time traveller with Rick Steves Tours, and having not been to Europe in over 20 years,& especially with a large group, I was so wonderfully surprised and pleased! My husband and I made the best choice. This trip was fabulous! We chose this trip as my husband wanted to go to Normandy. He was not disappointed! And the rest was a bonus! Paris was amazing, and going into the countryside was perfect with a lovely group of travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the "wow" moments for me was the Chateau de Chenonceau. The interior, with beautiful flower arrangements in every room, and history was most enjoyable."

Janice

Waseca, MN

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tapestry and the Normandy Beaches"

Donald

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good itinerary and choice of hotels, with minor issues concerning lack of fans in non-air conditioned hotels. I had my pocket picked while boarding the Metro in Paris (minor loss), and our initial hotel (b Montmartre) and our guide, Marie Altman, did an outstanding job of getting my wallet retturned when it was recovered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont San Michelle, being there late evening and early morning without lots of tourists. Also enjoyed the American Cemetery at Normandy"

Bruce

Vernon, CT

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent! This was my first visit to France, and this particular tour was chosen because it combined several days in Paris with the opportunity to experience other parts of the country. I came away with a good good understanding of French culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sunset from the ramparts of Mont Saint Michel."

Shirley

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steves. I accompanied a friend who was going on her 8th RS venture who knew I taught French many years ago. My husband was agreeable and I couldn't have asked for a better gift. I have been to Paris and the south of France before on a 2-week business/vacation combined trip but without the added educational aspect of RS tours. I loved learning more about the history, culture, food and wine and seeing locals I have dreamed of visiting for MANY years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say Mont Sainte Michele. Second would be the chateaux of the Loire and third, surprisingly was simply the beautiful, agricultural French countryside. I LOVED driving through small towns, visiting the gardens at Giverny and two other surprises to me: The Archeological Museum on Ile de la Cite and the Normandy beaches. I had no idea how awe inspiring both of those would be."

Donna

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the mix of a great cosmopolitan city (Paris) with the smaller towns. It's a great contrast. The inclusion of Guedelon, Bourges, Fougeres, and Selles sur Cher were fantastic. Our city (actually town) guides were great. The D-Day tours are exhausting physically and emotionally, but a must-do especially for generations younger than D-Day participants. It is a strenuous tour, but doable even for those of us in our seventies. The hotels were lovely, and the food was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything on these tours counts as a "wow" moment because every day is different, and every day has its treasures. However, seeing Guedelon take shape using medieval techniques, experiencing the beaches and galloping tides of Normandy, and Leonardo da Vinci's home stand out."

Mark

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-day beaches and the 10 hour tour with the local guide. It covered it all and then come home and watch The Longest Day and see the same sites that we were at"

Sarah

Battle Creek, MI

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The time in Paris allowed us to see a wide variety of museums and sites. We had ample group dinners at wonderful restaurants, enjoying the delicious cuisine of France. The local guides provided added knowledge of special sites. The D-Day tour was sobering and humbling, but was a must-see. Castles galore, wine tasting, and seeing Monet's gardens were also highlights. Rebecca was a wonderful guide and Rudi provided safe driving and a wonderful sense of humor. France is a beautiful place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience of the D-Day tour was probably the most single memorable day of the tour. As someone with little knowledge of this event, I now feel much more educated and connected to this event. In addition, being able to stay overnight at Mont Saint Michel was very special, as was the tour of the abbey. Other favorites were just walking the streets of France, where flower vendors and open markets await those walking by. It makes one long to spend more time in such a place!"

Roxane

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good group and itinerary was great and Rebecca Berry our guide was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny was everything I had hoped for and the beautiful sunny day only added to the moment."

Rebecca

Waynesboro, VA

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our eighth RS tour and just a delight! Rebecca made every moment enjoyable. Her enthusiasm and love for the country easily enhanced our own perspective of the many places we visited. We enjoyed sampling foods and wines from the different regions and learning about the history, architecture, art, and cultural differences. Everyday was full of delightful surprises! We had a great tour group, all amiable companions, eager to enjoy new experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments happened daily! Loved everything about Paris, medieval Guedelon and Bourges,Loire valley and the incredible chateaux, Brittany and Mom St-Michel, Normandy's D-Day beaches tour, and the beautiful Monet Gardens. Such a great itinerary! Would recommend this trip to anyone!"

Ellen

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was not looking forward to visiting Paris, a big crowded city with pick pockets. I was apprehensive getting from airport to hotel before the tour began. Once the tour began, our fears were allayed. Our guide showed us how to take the trains and Metro and helped us navigate them when venturing on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"3 of the dinners were "wow" moments- our first meal in Paris- Aux Iles Marquises, La Senat in Borges, seafood in Mt St Michell. Excellent meals where the restaurant seemed to go out of their way to serve us exceptional meals. I always looked forward to the tour meals."

Barbara

Indian Land, SC

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and every part of it was fantastic. Our guide Rebecca was fabulous. She made the tour fun and exciting. She showed us her love for France and taught us so much. All our city/town guides were great also. We sampled so much wonderful food and wine. One of my favorites was the wine and cheese tasting at Selles sur Cher. All our hotels were smaller and in great locations which we really enjoyed. I loved every part of this tour and would highly recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mt St Michel was breathtaking! Staying the night without the crowds made it all the better. Also the D Day beaches because it is such an important part of our history. Finding out the whole story was emotional but our guide was so knowledgeable. It is a must see."

Tom

Potomac, MD

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just another great Rick Steves' trip in Europe, ho-hum ;-) I literally can't think of anything to complain about; everything went smoothly and we got exactly what we expected from the tour. We are very much into the history/culture aspects of these tours and weren't disappointed. MichaelAnn was awesome and we had a great group of like-minded individuals on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a great room with a beautiful terrace and a spectacular view at Le Mont Saint Michel. Really too bad we didn't have a bottle of wine or the time to really enjoy it. Second to that was the entire day visiting the Normandy battlefields. At one point, our local guide Dale had everyone, including the men, in tears as he described the horrific conditions inside a battlefield hospital inside a small church in the countryside. The day ended with Taps at the US cemetery at Omaha beach."

Jon

Uniontown, OH

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The mix of Paris and country settings like the Loire Valley gave me a better perspective on what French life is like. It showed the diversity of lifestyles as well as the diversity of people that live there. I thought the Guedelon experience did not fit very well. Somehow a re-creation of building a 12th century castle seems rather artificial when there is so much else to see. I suggest more time in one of the beautiful villages we visited to more fully immerse in the lifestyle they live.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was Mont St-Michel rising like a mirage in the distance as the bus drew closer. I was just in awe that we got to go there. Even though it is hundreds of steps, the morning light coming through the windows of the church was beautiful."

Kenneth

Plain City, OH

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was very pleased. Good combination of organized tour and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pin down, but probably walking the streets of Mont Saint Michel"

Hillary

Potomac, MD

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my best trip on RS, although they have all been very good. This trip just seemed so well organized in all aspects. We also had great luck with weather/no strikes, etc. And it was a wonderful group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No question the Bayeux tapestry. I hadn't expected to be so moved by it. The audio tour makes the experience similar to a movie, describing the action as you view the artwork, against a back drop of music. It was quite an experience!"

Phyllis

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and I got a wonderful variety of what France has to offer. We spent 2 days in Paris before the tour began so had learned how to navigate our way around a bit. With the additional tours in Paris we saw much of what we had on our original list. The tours outside of Paris were great, with some history and some culture. Overall, a trip to be remembered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very difficult to zero in on one "wow" moment. I loved the tour of the D-Day beaches. The tour guide was so knowledgable it made what I have read about WWII history come alive. The morning service at Mont St. Miche was also something special. Another plus was the visit to Guerdon, where they are building the medieval chateau. But honestly, it was all wonderful."

Judey

Albany, CA

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our time in France so exceeded our expectations. We had already been in France for almost 2 weeks, part of it singing with a choir (large group) and then just the two of traveling on our own (w/the RS France book, of course) to the Dordogne. It is the unusual experiences, all of the tour guides (+Michealanne) and striking up of conversations (in my limited French) that made this such an incredible experience. We didn't play the name game so I found it hard to learn people's name

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- Listening to guide at Guiedelon & watching the blacksmith - Sung morning service at the Abbey on Mont St Michel - everything about Mont St Michel - Selecting fresh bread, fruit & cheese at the market, talking about agricultural machinery (in French) w/ a cheese seller then picnicking at Selles-sur-Cher after the fab wine cheese tasting. - Visiting the church in Normandy and listening to the mayor -Conversing over lunch w/local -Eating my first duck gizzard salad (delicious!)"

Christine

Bedford, NH

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

A wonderful tour well led and organized by our guide Linda. We enjoyed all the sites, especially the country side. Our fellow travelers were a pleasure to be around. The local guides added much to trip especially Elizabeth in Paris, Steve in Sulles Su Cher, Barbra in Bourges, Jessica at Mont Ste. Michel, Sylvan in Normandy. We had wished we could have spent more time at many of the stops that is trade off to seeing as much as we did. Our bus driver, Ludwig was top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Ste Michel having dinner at the Mont and watching the tide rush in was amazing. Seeing the Abby lit up and night. Bayeux Tapestry. Experiencing the Normandy D-Day beaches, museum and German and American Cemeteries."

Jeffrey

Sherman, TX

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I marked the tour as very good, but it really should be between an outstanding and a very good. This tour was a wonderful introduction to northern France, hitting all the high points. We arrived in Paris essentially 3 days before the tour began and still didn't see everything we wanted to see. Paris was fantastic. The French people were all very friendly, not one negative experience. Sometimes the tour felt a little rushed, probably a function of there being so much to see and do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two wow moments that stand out to me. The US flag lowering ceremony at the American Cemetery in Normandy. Hearing Taps played and looking out over all of the white crosses and Stars of David was an experience I will never forget. The other wow moment was entering the room in the Louvre where the Mona Lisa is on display. Seeing that famous painting in person took my breath away...."

Richard

Ripon, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves' tours are well organized and keep you moving but provide adequate free time to explore on your own. The tour highlights the areas that should be explored, gets you to the front of the line for most experiences (museums etc), and places you in centrally located hotels so access to local interests is convenient. You are treated with respect with friendly staff who keep a close eye on everyone and makes everyone feel special. We really like the Rick Steves' style.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all so different. Seeing Paris for the first time, the moving experience in Normandy, and the beauty of the Monet gardens. I especially enjoyed my afternoon of bike riding in Amboise. I toured the outer areas of the town, interacted with a lovely local woman who helped with me with directions and enjoyed the beauty of the river side trails and some of the outer neighborhoods."

Jane

Ripon, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first time to France and we felt like we received a good taste (literally and figuratively) of what the country was like. This tour included something for everyone, from wine tasting to walking the Normandy shores.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden. As a gardener, I could have moved right in! The gardens were spectacular with the beautiful blooms, fantastic placement of flowers, bushes and trees and the tranquil lily pond. Is it no wonder Mr. Monet never strayed far from home. Selles-Sur-Cher was also a favorite, after we left Paris, this visit in the French countryside to a chateau complete with wine and cheese tasting, really made us feel like we were in France."

Joel

Tiburon, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a terrific experience. Thoroughly appreciated not only the travel sites that this tour entailed, but also the mechanics of all the activities, bus ride, leadership directions day by day, the security of knowing we were in good hands, confident of getting the max from the ll day experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel. There were several others, but this one topped the list."

Livy

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well-organized and everything ran smoothly, except for the hotel fire alarm at 2 AM. Linda was a great guide. I wish you catered more to solo travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I chose this tour because of the visits to the Normandy D-Day beaches and Monet's Garden at Giverney. Both met my expectations."

Steve

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Linda did a great job getting us where we needed to be. France was great, weather cooperated, the group was fun. Everything we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's "Water Lillies" and his garden."

Maureen

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastic balance of the majestic city of Paris with all its noise, lights, and sights to the quaint towns in the Loire Valley with rolling hills and chateaus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two WOW moments for two different reasons. No US military veteran can walk the D-Day landing beaches of Omaha and Utah or visit the US cemetery in Normandy and not tear up and be ever grateful to the young men who landed here and answered 'the call.' The beauty of all the ART in the Paris museums..and especially Monet's "Water Lilies" at The Orangerie Museum."

Lesley

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour very smoothly organized. We saw and experienced more than we ever expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was exceptional. Normandy cemeteries and beaches tour was very done."

Andrew

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met our high expectations and the pre-tour advice. We have successfully made a couple Eueropean vists in the past, but we saw more and learnt more on the Rick Steves tour, and it cost no more. The best thing was the way that most major visits managed to avoid peak tourist hours by arriving either first thing as the facility opened, or mid afternoon as the crowds were starting to leave. Pre-booked group entries also avoided some long individual queues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be the view of Chateau Chenonceau, the river, and its gardens on a perfect, fresh blue sky morning."

Richard

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time on this tour. The itinerary allowed me to experience the art, culture and lifestyle of each of the French cities and towns that we visited. I felt that we had a good mix of free time and programed tour time. It was especially wonderful and a bit counter to the common rumor that virtually all Parisians that I interacted with were friendly, welcoming and willing to put up with my inept language skills. We had a great tour group, guide (Linda), and bus driver (Ludwig).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I booked this trip for my wife and my only personal interest was going to Normandy beaches. I came away having had a great time everywhere we went in France, enjoyed the people, food, art and architecture. There is much to see, so I hope that I might visit France again!"

Weather

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 your online customer account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your customer account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

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 or Orly 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.