• 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

2018

2019

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

    Filling Fast

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

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 ."

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?"

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"

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."

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."

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."

Barbara

Arvada, CO

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1-Giverny 2-Mont St Michel"

John

Kenton, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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.."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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?"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

Maria

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 07/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

(Please publish my name as Marie instead. Thanks!) 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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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 . . . ."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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.)"

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"

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."

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

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

Janice

Waseca, MN

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tapestry and the Normandy Beaches"

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!)"

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!"

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."

Gertrude

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best tour of my life time. The itinerary flowed beautifully. The sites were worth seeing with one exception - the rain and the mud and the cold as we toured the old fashioned building of a castle. No one in the group was prepared for that event. The composition of the group was amazingly harmonious. Linda is a tremendous guide. She is well versed in the culture, history, and many anecdotal stories of France. She is generously helpful and aware of the complexities of travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I fell in love with the two places I had not been to in my travels in France - The Monet Gardens and the Leonardo home. It was WOW from the beginning to very end."

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."

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...."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Gael

Monterey, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our guide, Linda, is outstanding. She has stellar people skills, is knowledgable about France and its history and culture, and she helped make our trip very wonderful. If it weren't for the terrible 2 hotels listed below, I would given a rating of "Outstanding" for my overall experience. My husband and I took a RS BPV tour last year and did not have an issue with unsanitary or dangerous hotels. I believe our group should be compensated for this.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments! Linda was fabulous! Highlights for me included: Sainte-Chapelle, Orsay, L'Orangerie, Guide Elisabeth's tour of Paris (wish it was done on Day 1), wine and cheese tasing at Chateau de Selles Sur Cher-loved how the owner of the winery/chateau spoke to us, Chateaus (so interesting!), including my favorite - Chenonceau, Leonardo da Vinci's home, Mont St-Michel, Sylvain's expertise - Normandy's D-Day beaches and cemeteries, Giverny, and our last group dinner."

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!"

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."

Dan

Monterey, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Linda was outstanding! She is very personable, knowledgable, accommodative (I am a vegetarian, and she worked hard to help me with my meals.) and was able to lead our group through some very trying situations. Linda was so informative and it made our journey so meaningful and special. Our bus driver, Ludwig, was charming and provided a welcome and friendly environment during the entire tour. Unfortunately, we had two problem hotels, which caused everyone grief and significant concerns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Linda was key to multiple "wow" moments! We loved the Sainte-Chapelle, Orsay, L'Orangerie, Chateau de Selles Sur Cher, (Wine/cheese tasting was exceptional) Chenonceau, Mt. Saint Michel, Leonardo da Vinci's home, Normandy's D-Day beaches, (Sylvain was excellent!) Giverny, our last group dinner and last Hotel."

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."

Thomas

Bandera, TX

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was terrific! We have been raving about it to everyone we have talked with since our return. The care with which the schedule was constructed gave us the optimum opportunities to really enjoy the place we visited and the experiences that we shared. For example, arriving at Mont St Michel as tour busses and mobs of tourists left gave us the opportunity to experience the town just as we had hoped. Then we left for other adventures the next day as the next mob of tourists arrived.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was my favorite. I learned about this wonderful place as a child and finally experienced it for myself. Our room looked out over the church and lower part of the town and from its deck looked up at the monastery. We watched the sun rise as the bells in to the tower outside tolled the morning and then looked with fascination as the tide wrapped around the mont and it became an island once more."

George

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just another wonderful Rick Steves Tour. We enjoyed the mix of activities, free time, and excellent tour guides during our Paris and the Heart of France 11-Day Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and visiting Mont St-Michel with our local guide!"

Thomas

Vero Beach, FL

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations. Hotels in fantastic locations ... very nice hotels. Great balance of tour and free time. Even the rest stops were unexpected treasures; in terms of things to see and places to eat. The Guide always gave us great suggestions for eating on our own. The guide, having been born in USA but choosing to live in France, knew the sort of things we wanted to know. Intimate knowledge of both cultures was extremely helpful. She helped us move beyond our comfort

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel ... walking across the causeway on a sunny day. We entered an ancient world. Who cared about steps to the hotel room; it was a treasure to be sleeping on the island. The winding street and surprising path to our hotel room. Lovely room with a view. Watching the tide come in. Even the endless steps to the top will be remembered. I felt like a pilgrim."

Sandra

Bandera, TX

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour far exceeded our already very high expectations. The combination of Paris, with time to really see parts and experience the tempo of the city and the relaxing easy paced countryside were a great balance for a wonderful trip. We felt an easy rapport with Julie and Steve, who continually provided just the right amount of advice and support.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had to be Normandy and the D-day experience. I must admit I was a little reluctant at first glance at the itinerary, thinking it would be sad or morose, but just the opposite happened for me. Our guide was so well informed and so deeply appreciative the sacrifice there, I went away awed at the courage of the allied forces and the way they transformed our world."

Shirley

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France tour met all of my expectations and more! Our guide, Julie, is so knowledgeable about France, but also about American culture. She helps us bridge the gap, because she knows what the differences are! And we celebrate those differences when we understand them better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments, but the one that will always stand out is the lowering of the flags and playing of taps at the American cemetery in Normandy. That was an experience I will never forget."

Ellen

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fun, informative, and made very good use of our time (mostly). Julie is a wonderful guide, and I really appreciated her knowledge of France against her American background. I like the time in Paris for independent activities, but some of the stops outside Paris felt rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Paris Metro is a wonder of the modern world. The trains come very frequently, the system seems to effectively cover the whole city, the trains and stations are clean (I didn't see anyone eating on the Metro), and the tickets are inexpensive. I am impressed that the city commits public resources to the system for the benefit of Parisians and visitors, and wish American cities would follow Paris's example."

Marianne

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour couldn't have been better. We got to see so much of Paris and the Loire Valley. All the castles and cathedrals and beautiful little towns with stone houses... it was all exactly what I had hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think there was a wow moment every single day. But here are a few examples..... Chemenceaux was such a glorious castle. The cathedral at Bourges was extraordinary. The visit to the Normandy beaches and American cemetery were sobering but a really good experience. And Monet's garden at Giverny was an utter delight."

Charles

Lafayette, CO

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though we have visited France before, I felt this tour took me to a deeper level of understanding and appreciating the history, culture, art, architecture and cuisine of France. From the sophistication and treasures of Paris, to the beauty of rural areas, to the medieval splendor of Mont St Michel, to the beauty of Monet's garden, I experienced the riches of France in the company of a delightful assembly of fellow travelers under the capable leadership of Julie and Stephen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was an unexpected jewel with a rich history in a beautiful setting. The steps were brutal at times but worth every step. I was fascinated, in particular, by the impressive tides: once as we gathered for a group dinner and again the following morning after a stunning sunrise."

Margaret

Vero Beach, FL

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was all I hoped for and more. Everything was organized and easy to follow. The accommodations and meals were amazing and led us to places we would not have visited on our own that were of great interest. Even our weather turned out to be perfect. Traveling only with our Rick Steves backpacks and money belts gave us hands free enjoyment. Coming to Paris days early added to our pleasure. We had fine leaders and delightful companions for our adventure. The Buddy System is great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was walking up to the beautiful spring gardens near the Chateau de Fougeres in Brittany, sitting on a bench there, going over to looking across at the chateau and all the greenery surrounding it before carefully walking down the steep beautiful pathway to the foot of the chateau. I have lots of pictures so I will never forget that!"

Cara

Sandy, UT

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoughtfully designed and expertly [INVALID]d tour, intended (and definitely delivered) to give me a new, fresh appreciation for how influential and important France is to how our modern world operates. The timing at each location was PERFECT[INVALID]long enough to savor the unique "must see's", but too short to fully satisfy. Julie gave a wonderful balance to help us understand the French perspective from her American background. Every day was a new, special treat. Spoiled us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our special time on Mont St. Michel; the most popular response because it really has to be experienced to feel it! Julie gave an excellent suggestion to wake up early for the 6:50 am monks songs/prayers up at the abbey which was a treat of a lifetime. So surreal to hear their beautiful voices praying as the sun rose and eventually bathed the whole nave in warmth. Praising the Creator of the Universe at sunrise in such a magical place will be forever etched in my heart. Privileged & blessed!"

Susan

Kensington, MD

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful lively tour with a very caring and knowledgeable guide--Antoine. Wish the Paris portion had a little more museum time and a little less walking in the heat of the day. Also hit Norte Dame during a crowded event, that maybe could have been avoided or known in advance. Chateau country exceeded expectations. Mont st Michel was super wow as hoped and giverny was as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sleeping on mt st Michel was spectacular, including walking up to the abbey for morning prayer with small group."

John

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience. It was everything we hoped it would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our accommodations on Mont. Saint Michel. It was very special being able to stay right on sight."

Nicholas

Kensington, MD

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a delightful tour of Paris and France. The French people were welcoming and made the trip rewarding. Our group was friendly, making the time enjoyable. The sights were all spectacular, and some of the cathedrals and chateaus were story-like.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the abbey at Mont St. Michel in the early morning was probably the "wow" moment for me. We had seen Paris and Normandy before so would not call them wow moments."

Steven

La Verne, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! This was my 8th trip with Rick Steves and another winner! Enjoyed the history, beauty, art and artists, great food, wine and cheeses, rolling hills, rivers and canals, pilgrimage sites and chateaus of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many diverse wow moments here. First siting of Guedelon castle and being instantly transported to 1249 AD. The beauty of the Loire Valley and its magnificent chateaus, especially Chenonceau. Mont St-Michel was double Wow moments-as an amazing pilgrimage site plus early morning vespers in the Abbey with monks, nuns and pilgrimages. The beauty and historic sadness along the Normandy coast. And the colors, aromas and reflections at Monet's in Giverny."

Doreen

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was all that I expected. I loved the art museums in Paris and the city tour. Notre Dame was too crowded to enjoy. Being there on the weekend was not good timing. Bourges was a pleasant surprise. The Guedelon tour was interesting, the goat cheese and wine tasting at Chateau Selles-sur-Cher great. Chambord, Chenenceau, Amboise and Clos Luce were wonderful. The Normandy tour was more interesting then I expected. Antoine did a good job providing history and background. Loved Giverny!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden and house at Giverny was definitely my WOW moment. Early May was a perfect time to experience the garden. It was extra special after seeing his paintings in Paris. I even had a very tasting soup and salad at the cafe."

Geneva

Daly City, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. We saw so much and Antoine was great and he gave us so much information and history. We wish that we could have had a little more time to explore some of the towns. We stoped for lunch and a potty break then not much time is left to enjoy the town. Not enough time in Normandy. We understand that we must keep moving to be able to see all that is scheduled on the tour. It was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed seeing the country side, so beautiful. Staying overnight on the Abby was magical."

Teri

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 1st Rick Steves tour. I'm 66 & went solo with the single supplemen.I thoroughly enjoyed our knowledgeable tour guide, the other tour members, some of whom I really hit it off with sharing lots of laughs. This tour was everything I had hoped for and I plan to take a RS tour every year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to narrow down- Probably seeing Mont St-Michel. But Chenonceau and Monet's gardens in Giverney were right up there as well."

Marino

Daly City, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was wow!"

Flavia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First off, I am ready to go back to France. The people were friendly, I survived the train strikes, the tour was well paced, accommodations were great, food delicious. The guide was very knowledgeable, the local guides were very interesting. It was special being in France on VE Day and Ascension Thursday. Traveling in the Spring enabled me to see the flowers-formal gardens, Monet's garden and even the private gardens of the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bayeux tapestry which I remember studying about in the 9th grade. Here it was in person after all these years."

Marcia

Olympic Valley, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Loved the combination of history and art and free time. Travel companions were very compatible and Antoine was everything we could have wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches and Da Vinci's home and garden."

Karen

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour as we have always thought we could do just fine by ourselves and were quite apprehensive about joining a group to herded about. What a wonderful surprise to meet Virginie who turned out to be absolutely the best; extremely knowledgeable, personal, kind, funny ... I can't think of anything she could do to improve. The group of fellow travelers was terrific, we came away with new friends. The itinerary was perfect from timing, sites, local guides ...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment of the trip was the first meeting in the hotel when we met Virginie and our fellow travelers ... I thought this tour thing looks like it is going to be just fine after all!"

Dave

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like summer camp for adults! Expertly managed logistics that maximize fun and learning for all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two: Sunrise at Mount St. Michel where I connected with its ancient spiritual energy. Omaha beach where the profound level of sacrifice required to preserve world peace became evident in a visceral way that overwhelmed me with sadness."

John

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience exceeded my expectations. All prior travel was as an independent traveler having never experienced an organized guided tour! Wow! What a great time. Virginie was fantastic. All other guides were fantastic as well. Bus rides included continued opportunities to comfortably move through the country side while learning and discovering historic events and more about the local culture. We plan to travel on future Rick Steves Tours.

Grace

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour, as others I have taken, did not disappoint! From the balance of a well thought out itinerary, to the suggestions of what to do with free time and surprises along the way, I loved and enjoyed this tour. Most importantly, we had a great guide, local guides and tour group!! Virginie was fun, educational and was always ready to direct us to get where we were interested to go in our free time. Great group!! All were friendly, fun and inclusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D-Day Beaches. The guide we had there brought the scene and history to life. It was a fascinating recount of the history there. Monet's Gardens was right up there in a different way. I never dreamed they were so grand and beautiful. Definitely a "wow" moment!"

James

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous lead guide-- Virginie was perfect! Wonderful schedule and special site guides! I'm ready to go again. The hotel rooms were a wonderful choice and a mixture of traditional and modern and always in a fantastic location in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy beaches and cemeteries visits were very impressive, as was the day's guide."

Marian

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was excellent in every way, not only because of the excellent Rick Steves' tour guide, Virginie More (awesomeness personified), but also all of the local guides. The informative "talks on the bus" between stops "filled in all the blanks" and made the trip a much richer experience. All of the hotels were very comfortable and the hoteliers gave us great service. I can't imagine any other tour company offering a better experience than Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the land and the friendliness of the French people were amazing, but the moments that have stayed with me the most were the talks by Dale Booth on the beaches at Normandy. The anguish, horror, and bravery displayed in the days around June 6, 1944 are hard for most of us to comprehend, but Dale brought all of the facts and the emotion of those days home for us. It was a grim reminder of how fragile our freedom is. (We were there the day after VE Day.)"

Lauren

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous, efficient tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving to Mont Saint-Michel when we looked from the bus out across the horizon and seeing the island appear through the fog was quite a moment. I also loved that evening when the day visitors left, and we were able to walk all around without the crowds. The views were beautiful. Another wow moment was our time at Utah and Omaha beaches. The local guide was great. Hard to look at those beautiful beaches and imagine the terror the soldiers endured there. Also wine tasting!!"

Margaret

Kent, WA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia was an awesome guide and truly brought the flavor of France to the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Normandy; the local guide wove a great story and made sure everyone understood the logistics of each location and battle."

Jane

Connelly Springs, NC

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and even though my husband and I were the youngsters of the group and only in our thirties we loved this style of travel. It was the perfect mix of structured activities and down time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be too hard to choose only one but the top three were the D-day beaches, Monet's garden, and Chateau de Chenonceau. Next in line would be Paris."

Martha

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous guide. Unique hotels. Great fellow tour members. Learned a great deal about France and the French people. Particularly liked Chenonceau, Monet's water garden, Saint- Chapelle, town of Bourge, wine & cheese tasting, seeing the castle lighting at night in Amboise, Bayeux tapestry, D'Orsay museum, and DaVinci's inventions in lower level of his house. Thewide choice of beverages always available on the bus was a nice option which added to the comfort of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" moments were: 1) the double helix spiral stairway at Chambord where you can peak and see each other through slits cut in center, but can never actually meet on the stairs. It was such an unusual and creative feature. 2) the water garden at Monet's home in Giverny where I felt I was magically transported back in time to when Monet was actually painting all his water lily pictures. The water garden was peaceful, calm, and vibrant with color."

Rob

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For our third RS Tour experience we chose Paris and the Heart of France. As we have come to expect, the tour was wonderful. Virginie More is a fabulous tour leader whose insights into life in France were fascinating. Our group was an amazingly diverse and interesting bunch. Again something we have come to expect from RS Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was our first sight of Mont St Michel. That iconic image was very much burned into my brain and seeing the real thing through the haze was a thrill. I have to admit that the reality of the crowds on the island soon lessened the thrill, but the first impression remains."

Gaby

Bellerose, NY

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour with lots of great sites to see, delicious meals, and a terrific guide. Our guide, Toni, was caring and kind, as well as very organized and a fountain of information. We saw many beautiful churches, chateaus and gardens, as well as great museums, and historic sites. Our driver, Ludwig, was great and did a wonderful job getting us from one place to another. This was my first, but hopefully not my last, time in France. A great trip in a wonderful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many great/"wow" moments, but some of my favorites were spending the night on Mt. St-Michel, visiting the Monet gardens in Giverny, seeing the Chenonceau chateau and grounds, and spending time in small towns such as Bourges and Fougeres"

Christine

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour intro to France without being frantic! Good combo of culture and history with enough free time for exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You must be kidding. Art? Food? History? I'm supposed to pick? I loved the quiet beauty of The Orangerie on a drizzly day. Monet sensory overload, with minimal tourist attendance."

Kraig

Scotia, NY

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fantastic except for our first day in Paris a day before the actual start of the tour when my wife was pick-pocketed. The people and guides were so nice and it was thrilling to see so many great places and all of the beautiful architecture and gardens.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For myself seeing all of the D-day sights was a very moving experience that I will never forget. Although I do feel much more time is needed at the museum and at Omaha beach."

Mary-Louise

Scotia, NY

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Before meeting up with the tour, I was pickpocketed in Paris, so that created complications (having cash wired, etc.). The tour guide (Toni) checked periodically, but she respected my privacy, and correctly saw that I was handling it myself. I enjoyed the challenges, and the opportunity to have most afternoons free. I was very happy with the guide and her knowledge of France and day-to-day life there. I was lucky as I was revisiting France, I studied in Paris long ago, and speak French.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Despite the crowds, it was a wonderful to visit Château du Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years. The French children visitng that day seemed to hold him in awe - which is reassuring. Also, Monet's home and gardens at Giverny were beautiful."

Joanne

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was one I have wanted to take for 50 years. I am happy I finally got to do it, and I can say with certainty that it was one of the best things I have ever done. I saw nothing ugly; God blessed us with sunshine. The people on the tour were ones I would like to see again. Experts and capable guides renewed my knowledge of French history and culture. My rooms were all comfortable, and the meals were all good. Those who planned the tour chose the very best experiences for me to have.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe it was when the lady in the candy shop in Villedieu sold me the one piece of candy that I requested[INVALID]in French! I had many opportunities to act like I LIVED in France. I got to know the neighborhoods where we stayed, I learned how to select the eating place that matched my needs, and I could manage the public transportation in Paris. The bus trip took us to many beautiful places, but most special to me was Mont-Saint-Michel, a spiritual goal for me since college days."

Loisann

Litchfield Park, AZ

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great weather, even the beaches of Normandy. The tour gave a wonderful variety of beautiful countryside and busy city living. Such a great mix of small towns, castles both old and one being built as it would have been way back when, and lots of picnics and wine tasting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's got to be Mont St. Michel, being there as the crowds were leaving and having the whole place to ourselves. At least it seemed like it. At night it was so quiet and so dark. Eerie, yet exciting being there."

Girts

Okemos, MI

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with the Rick Steves company. We had taken tours with several other companies and enjoyed those as well. However the Rick Steves tour was quite a bit more enjoyable. Our son and daughter in law have taken many Rick Steves tours and talked us in taking this one. The tour was well planned in terms of the places we visited, the places we stayed at, the restaurants where we ate at, and the final total experience we gained. Julie the tour guide was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick anything but the visit and the stay on Mont St. Michel itself. That was all enhanced by Julie taking the whole group out on the rampart in the evening and the whole group drinking a toast to ou visit to the Mont!"

Katrina

Naugatuck, CT

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would highly recommend this tour. The entire trip was very well planned, and not only included great destinations, but also covered a lot of interesting facts and history. It was also a great plus not having to worry about waiting in lines for purchasing tickets and entry into the museums, castles and churches. The dinners were also well planned and included lots of choices. Julie really put a lot of effort into every aspect of this tour and we appreciate her expertise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to narrow down to one "wow" moment, there were so many. The museum Orsay, the Louvre Museum,Monet's house, the wine tasting, and the bells ringing while we were at the Notre Dame Cathedral name just a few of the "wow" moments"

Gary

Litchfield Park, AZ

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our second RS tour and it had a lot to live up to (Italy 2015). It was a great tour which more then lived up to my expectations. The group came together quickly as a team/family and our guide Julie filled us with information and ongoing french lessons. This trip also confirmed for me that our first trip was not a fluke--what you say is what you deliver on these trips. A great trip with friendly, curious tour mates to places we have dreamed about for many years. Nicely done RSTs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This had to be spending the night on Mt. St. Michel. It was amazing just to see the place, but as the evening fell and the crowds died down it was even more incredible then I imagined. Walking the streets and castle walls that night was an unforgettable experience. Then in the morning Julie told us about the morning songs by the monks and nuns in the Abby as the sun came up, capping a perfect visit. A close second were the Normandy beaches. This was a prime reason for choosing this tour."

Teri

Eureka, IL

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and we could not have been more satisfied with our experiences. We enjoyed our time in Paris but truly appreciated the time we had in the countryside, the heart of France! The quaint villages, open markets, patisserie's, cafe's, and people of France. The weather was absolutely perfect, with sunshine and flowers in bloom. Our guide, Julie, was phenomenal. Her added touches really enhanced our experience. We also enjoyed the company of our travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a couple: Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral; the explosion of colors at Monet's gardens in Giverny. Also, seeing the D-day sites in Normandy left me with patriotic emotions. Then to top off that particular day of sightseeing, we dined in the same small restaurant as Chuck Yeager, who at age 95, was also taking in the sites!"

Carrie

Keller, TX

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I arrived in Paris a couple of days ahead of the tour, which allowed for travel transition and option to see a couple more icons. Everything was taken care of, well organized, and went off without a hitch. As with all of Rick's tours, it's such a joy to meet new friends and share in fun and laughter. By the end of the tour, you simply don't want to leave "camp." Julie was amazing, kept us all on track, and her knowledge of all things France was invaluable. Thanks for another great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing at the end, that France is my most favorite country to have visited. Paris - study it! I put a lot of energy in time spent there....and saw everything on my list! Mont St. Michel - timing it when not crowded, hearing the monks/nuns sing in early morning...spiritual and humbling Amboise - market, cathedral Chateaus - I'd be happy to live as a court-member D-day beaches and drive through countryside - God bless our soldiers Giverny - beautiful Monet home/gardens Country side!!"

Joseph

Naugatuck, CT

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More than exceeded our expectations. Everyday was an adventure and can't wait for our next Rick Steve's vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't have a single WOW moment. Everyday and sightseeing event was a WOW moment. To many to pick one favorite."

Paul

Gales Ferry, CT

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime! Beautiful, breathtaking, informative, relaxing, this tour did it all. While our Heart of Italy tour some years ago was great, this was spectacular. The sites of Paris, the beauty of the Loire Valley, the solemnity of the D Day Beaches, and the awe-inspiring chateaux and cathedrals, it is hard to cover the entire trip. The food was oustanding. Finally, Julie, our guide, made it very special with her detailed knowledge of life in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting off the shuttle bus at the base of Mont Saint-Michel was, without question, the most spectacular moment of the tour. And then to think we stayed the night on the island: Wow! It just didn't get much better than that."

Kevin

Eureka, IL

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would prefer to spend less time in Paris and more in some of the little towns. While in Paris I would have liked a group tour of Versailles.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The markets w/fresh food."

Kris

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed it. The Arnaud was a gracious host and tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden"

Michael

Vashon, WA

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good group size Tour was as advertised Good value

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny"

Rick

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Paris was...well, it's Paris...an amazing city. The three other highlights for me - Mont St. Michel, the Normandy D-Day sites, and Giverny - did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Opening up my hotel room window on Mont St. Michel to see a spectacular view of the abbey illuminated at night."

Richard

Roswell, NM

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour and I really enjoyed the activities and the stops on the tour. It was very educational and I gained a lot of knowledge..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was Mont St. Michel. What a great place to visit and I really enjoyed our time there."

Bernard

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the people on the tour were fascinating. I am not at ease in complex social situations. I takes me a while to become comfortable. The people and the experiences drew me in and drew me out. Loved France. The French are not "stuffy" They are warm and welcoming. The venues were all enlightening and beautiful. Definitely one of my best experiences ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm. I suppose first sight of Mont St Michel."

Patricia

High Springs, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour was wonderful. I've been to France and traveled to many of the places on our itinerary. I chose this tour because of the fact that many of the places were those that I loved. Always hard to choose just one. So I won't."

Kellie

Jb Andrews, MD

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

Ashley

Bowie, MD

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was great and the tour guide was very knowledgeable. He had an awesome sense of humor. We loved all the people we met on the tour..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy including Utah and Omaha beach"

Deborah

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day brought new fabulous sights and memories. I feel if you don't see the French countryside, you are not experiencing France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Gardens in Giverny"

Mary

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was wonderful! I am not a big traveler as a rule, but I loved the group tour concept. Not having to worry about transportation, directions, etc. was great! Having Arno to take care of things made the trip just a time to experience all the wonders. I loved the castles, the churches,the French countryside, the small towns we stopped in, and the French people. I also loved our tour group. We couldn't have found a more kind and pleasant group of people with whom to travel!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was so moved on our day in Normandy. The stories and sights will always be with me. I also loved all the churches as well as Giverny and Mont St. Michel."

Gary

High Springs, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had already visited all the locations except Guedelon and Bourges previously so we were more intermediate than beginner. The education provided by Arnaud and local guides was interesting and additive to knowledge we gained on previous tours and through our own travel experiences. The locations visited were interesting and most would merit a return visit. The tour was conducted well and tour members were varied and spirited. The overall effect was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Cathedral of St. Etienne in Bourges. I reminds me of Chartres Cathedral. I had a bit of difficulty understanding the local guide. Staying the night on Mont St-Michel reminded me of staying the night at Venice. The tourists left in late afternoon giving us the evening and early morning to enjoy an uncrowded visit."

Elaine

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third RS Tour and it didn't disappoint. The experience was wonderful, we truly weren't just tourists but travellers who were immersed in the culture, the history and the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. The Monet gardens and Mont St. Michel were the expected ones. But there were hidden gems like our Paris city walk in Les Halles and the church of Saint-Eustache. Of course the cheese and eclaires from the market made the walk even more memorable."

Magdalene

Copley, OH

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the pace of the tour, the balance between group activities and free time, the city center hotels, and the incredible breadth of knowledge of our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first view of Chenonceau.......still wow!"

Scott

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

5 yrs ago did Heart of Italy with Alfio. It was so good my expectations were so high I was concerned. But France was Marie was terrific and equally excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around Mount St Michel. And Nice on Mediterranean before tour began."

Susan

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour. (The first was the heart of Italy.) Not only was I concerned that this tour would have a hard time measuring up to our first wonderful experience, but I have always wanted to visit France and had very high expectations for the trip. I was very pleased with this tour and it was definitely as wonderful as the first one. The variety of sights both in Paris and in the French countryside made us feel like we got a good taste of France as a whole.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed spending the night on Mont Saint Michel. We had a delicious seafood dinner there as a group with a fabulous view. The tour made the history of the place come alive. It really felt like another world."

Barbara

Sunderland, MA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour. We arrived one day early and stayed at same hotel as the tour. They were so helpful and we took off on our own to explore Paris. We walked a lot and took in the ambience of the city. We sat at the cafes and peopled watched. Perfect for a start. Then we met our group and Marie and the real adventure started. We love the pace of your tours. Enough information and enough free time. When we got to a new town, Marie always gave a little tour to make it easy to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Is this a trick question? So many wow moments. The Eiffel Tower was amazing. Looking at the structure and gazing out from the top is something we will always remember. And seeing it glitter at night was the icing on the cake. Arriving at Le Mont St. Michele was incredible. We are so glad this was part of the tour. It was misting when we arrived but Marie told us this only added to the mystique of the Abbey. And she was right."

Linda

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was surprised by how much I liked France and how much art there was to see in Paris. Marie wss right, Paris is a very walkable city but the metro was very easy to use when we were tired of walking. Don't get me started on the food

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There,were so many wow moment but for me it was the art."

Ann

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. We had a great group of friendly, cheerful, interesting people, a superb guide and an amazing itinerary that included so much more than the listed highlights. Even a coffee break brought new experiences. Remember trying to work an automatic coffee machine, in French, with tap or chip and pin?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you choose? Guèdelon? The Bayeux tapestry? The bizarre towers at Chambord? Mont St Michel? Or just the fact that I actually made it to the top of the island? 21 "floors": not a record I ever expected to achieve, or expect to break!"

Tracy

Taos, NM

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip. Probably the best group of travelers that we have had on a RS tour. Lots of unexpected treats along the way

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel Chenenceau"

Carol

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt the tour did a great job of getting us to the highlights. The individual guides were excellent, entertaining, easy to understand and full of great information. We had plenty of free time to take in other sights, and the recommendations from Marie were accurate and helpful. It was a great tour for a taste of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Have to say the beaches of Normandy, although the Chateau Chenonceau was also wonderful. I would have liked to spend more time there, there was so much to see and not enough time to see it all."

Gary

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. Starting in Paris and experiencing the culture,must do attractions,and the crazy traffic, to the serene country that is France. Marie was an awesome guide leading us on our adventure that gave us a rich experience of what everybody loves about France. Friendly people, the Chateau's were breath taking, and lets not forget about the food and wine. Top 5 tour of my life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say driving to Mont St. Michel and seeing the abbey perched in the horizon. As you got closer the more breathe taking it became. It is a place you see in pictures but it is nothing to seeing it in person as you approach the island. Add to that, the night views do not really have words to describe what I felt looking at it from the promenade. Feel privileged to have had this experience."

Betsy

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a completely enjoyable experience. I loved each of the sites, and each of the guides was knowledgeable and helpful. There was a good mix of tour time, and personal time, which I really appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy!! Our guide, Dale was BEYOND marvelous....I loved all the history, personal stories and little-known facts about World War II. Ending the tour at the American Cemetery was so somber and moving."

Thomas

Concord, NC

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well orchestrated tour with a great itinerary! My wife and I had a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Loire Valley was very beautiful-Chenonceau and Amboise were breathtaking. Mont St-Michel was awe inspiring. The early morning prayer service we attended at the abbey was quite spiritual and very moving. Monet's Gardens at Giverny were beautiful. Having also seen a number of Monet's works at several museums in Paris it was wonderful to be able to visit the source of his inspiration."

Gwen

O Fallon, MO

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, Maria, was very knowledgeable, easy to get along with, and very helpful. We went to and toured so many interesting and beautiful areas. I felt like we really saw alot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved the wine and cheese tasting we did at the old chateau being restored. It was a lovely sunny day and the gardens where we sat were absolutely gorgeous with huge old trees."

Terri

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France was amazing. Paris is a big city with great attractions. As we learned however, to see Paris is not to say you have seen France. The countryside and Loire valley are gorgeous. The fun pit stops, exploring beautiful chateaux and quaint towns was amazing. The full day tour of Normandy with an expert historian was really quite special ... more than I expected. A fantastic tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few 'wow' moments. Of course all the chateaux were beautiful, in particular Chenonceau. And Mont St Michel was incredible, loved it. However, some of the simpler moments were just as memorable. I really enjoyed the wine and cheese tasting under a tree at the Chateau in Shell sur ser. It was a beautiful sunny day and just so pleasing. Love the pit stops along the way just as much as the destination."

Robert

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over all this was an outstanding tour. We really got a feel for Paris and the west. Though we have been to Paris a number of times this was the first time really on a tour. Everything on the tour went off without a hitch. We had been on the GAS tour just before this one with only a five day break between and we were concerned about maintaining our energy level. That ws not a problem and ever day was a new a wonderful experience or experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While every day was a highlight I would have to say that going to the medieval castle under construction [Guedelon] was a highlight as well as spending a day and night on Mont St. Michelle. And who cannot be overwhelmed with the Normandy invasion experience. Our guide for Normandy Dale Booth was outstanding and should be used for every tour there. ."

Ernest

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chambord. Humongous and majestic chateau."

Bart

Greeley, CO

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Extremely enjoyable trip; everything went right. Once we got over our initial trepidation of going out on our own to eat or sight-see we had a blast. It was just what we needed for a first trip abroad in a long time and not wanting to do all the planning ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We realized we didn't really have a "wow" moment. Paris, of course, was fantastic, however we enjoyed the countryside as well, and the experience at the Normandy beaches was simply unforgettable."

Marc

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first organized tour of more than a few days. My expectations were met n in ways exceeded. However, if I were to do this type of tour again I would spend more time on my own exploring. There were times when I felt this was an ABC(another bloody cathedral, chateau)tour. There may be people who enjoyed going to so many. I would have preferred more adventure options. Many of the chateaus and cathedrals were spectacular and a great entree to the history n culture but in every town?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel. But it was the island, the tides the skies not the cathedral that was a wow. I suppose without the cathedral there would be no Mont St. Michelle. The Louvre and the Musee Orangerie were also wonderful"

Mark

Shreveport, LA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I really enjoyed the tour of Paris, the Louir Valley and Normandy. Our guide, Andrew was not only knowledgeable but humorous and made the trip allot of fun for our entire crew. I would highly recommend this trip for anyone. The food, the chateauxs, the museums, wine tastings were so memorable. Looking forward to our next Rick Steve's trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Le St Mont Michel, Amboise, and a few of the chateaus, and Normandy and Paris were all the highlights for me."

Luann

Shreveport, LA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Arno was a great guide, very knowledgeable about the history of France, the culture, the social climate of the country and very organized about the details of our experience. We ended up going to the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month when it was free, thus packed! I think it would have been easy for us to have gone on Saturday with far fewer people if that had been planned for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we spent in Normandy was certainly very inspiring and humbling. Our local guide was also very knowledgeable and provided stories of real people that made history come alive. I was reminded of the sacrifice of so many as I looked upon the many graves of the men who died on those beaches and I was personally very saddened to think about the controversy surrounding those in America who do not stand out of respect for what our flag stands for."

Kathy

Framingham, MA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent choices of places to visit. Hotels were comfortable, clean and very convenient. Excellent coaching and information provided to help us understand the culture of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was the tide surrounding Mont St. Michele as well as the opportunity to climb to the Abbey and witness the chanting Monk's and nuns at 7:00 am"

Lisa

Pottsville, PA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour[INVALID]the itinerary, the guide, and the group were all outstanding. We were in Arnaud's very capable hands exploring the beautiful city of Paris and the French countryside. Makes me want to go back and explore more of France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel-everything about it is otherworldly. The vesper service was like being back in medieval times."

Carma

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour, however we've used Rick Steves guidebooks for many trips over the last twenty years or so. I especially enjoyed the freedom of not having to navigate, find out what was important to see, and then try to make our way around the sight, hoping not to miss anything. Knowing that our lodging was all arranged and most of our meals would be provided allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience! Thanks to Arnaud we had a wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found that Mount St-Michel was amazing. Seeing the tide come in with such force then watching the full moon reflect off the water later that night was awe inspiring! Mount St-Michel shining in the early morning sunlight was beautiful."

Mike

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized. A good mix of guided experiences and independent exploration time. Like minded , considerate tour members enhanced the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Reaching the abbey at Mont St Michel on a clear, crisp blue skied day with the shadow of the abbey reflected in the Atlantic."

Selby

Evansville, IN

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guides were excellent.my only complaint is that the Tour was not relaxing but we knew that going in .Meeting the Bus or group at 8:15 or 8:30 required us to get up at 6:30

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Quite a few WOW MOMENTS.I guess my wow moment came at the IMPRESSIONIST MUSEUM.Thanks to ARNEAU,I saw the Winners when the Impressionist were rejected- they were awful.I had been to that MUSEUM at least 3 times and never knew about those paintings"

Ron

Magnolia, DE

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had an enjoyable time. We were with a great group of people. We were able to see many great sights both in Paris and around France. The accommodations were nice and we were able to enjoy some great food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michael at 6:50 am listening to the monks and nuns sing and watching the daylight come through the stain glass windows."

Denton

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience. Our tour guide, Rebecca, made every moment special and remarkable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing to the top of Mont Saint Michel to the abbey for an early morning service to hear the nuns and priests sing was an amazing experience."

Cheri

Madison, WI

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the diverse experiences that were included in this tour. The local guides were fabulous. Rick Steve's Guide Rebecca was informative, passionate and motherly in all of the ways that she needed to be. The people that were companions on the tour well matched with each other. This is the first tour I have been on and enjoyed my experience greatly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Morning service at the abbey on Mont St. Michel. The star scape was like few I have seen and the sun rise at the end of the service was awe inspiring, filled with double meaning. I and many of my tour mates also LOVED the tour of Guedelon. The whole thing was fascinating."

Audrey

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with a repeat visit to Paris and to parts of France I had not visited. I could live in France....especially Normandy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel...I am still at a loss for words but Les Galettes de La Mere Poulard (Caramel Au Beurre Sale) are almost gone. I think I can order them from Amazon. Another WOW moment was the Normandy coast. I am still in awe of the love and respect for Americans the French have from June 1944. For every three flying French flags it seemed there was an American flag. I was moved to tears."

Mojgan

Thornton, CO

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

It was a great tour. our guide was very knowledgeable and everything was very well planed. Driver was polite, responsible and careful. overall our time was used very well productive. the face that driver and tour guide would eat and stay at the same place with us , would made the trip more enjoyable. overall I had a very outstanding experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"it is really hard to decide which part was the best , but for me the wow moment was at Mount St. Michelle."

Gail

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful experience - France is a beautiful country with friendly people. I will be going back there some day!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every place had its wow moments so I can't pick a favorite. Overall I was wowed by the country's sheer beauty and rich history."

Claire

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was well planned, educational, moving, enjoyable and efficient. Our tour guide was great: well organized, caring, knowledgeable and helpful. This is just a personal choice - I would have appreciated a little more emphasis on art and history rather than wine and cuisine, but it was France ????! We also could have had more time in Normandy, where things seemed pretty rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful visit to Mont St. Michel was extraordinary. The service at the Abbey was unbelievably beautiful and moving, with the voices of the monks and nuns angelic and so pure."

Beverly

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great group that were always on time and always upbeat. This was my second Paris and the Heart of France tour and I enjoyed seeing the progress that had occurred at Guedelon. Traveling later in the fall we experienced fewer crowds which was very nice.I could actually see and appreciate the rooms at Chenonceau and the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. I was disappointed that it was too late in the season for the Les Nuits Lumiere in Bourges. I had really enjoyed experiencing it on my first visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say arriving at The American Cemetery at 4 PM in time for the flag lowering ceremony. Playing taps while lowering the flag brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye."

Steven

Eureka, MO

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very Good, I have been on many tours and this was one of the better ones... Great job

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Dave

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip. First time to Paris and loved the culture, sights and people. Everything went like clockwork without any hiccups. The hotel rooms were great. The food and pastries/deserts lived up to the hype. The tour guide even set-up a nice birthday surprise for me. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and fun. The local guides were also extremely good and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few of course. Visiting the Eiffel Tower and seeing in light up at night was very special. But the biggest wow was at Mont St-Michel. During our morning tour, we came to a terrace overlooking the surrounding bay, and out in the water was the early morning shadow of the Mont. Pretty emotional for me."

Janet

Hendersonville, TN

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca was an amazing tour guide. She is extremely knowledgeable, professional, positive and fun. She adjusts on the fly, she is supportive and connects well with all kinds of people. I enjoyed all locations, accommodations, guides and our expert driver Ludwig. Our group was fun and I appreciated the mix of group time vs on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Approach and stay at St Mont Michele"

Douglas

Anoka, MN

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high exceptions which were fulfilled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The combination of sites and experiences create the total "wow" moment for me, not just one thing."

Rosa

Freeland, MD

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic trip from the itinerary, the hotel accommodations, the group dinners and lunches to the excellent tour guide, Michelleann. I have traveled to France a number of times as a teacher and chaperone. This was by far my best trip! There was something on the itinerary for everyone's interest. I especially liked the amount of free time to explore on our own in Paris, Giverny, and Amboise. Very nice. Having Giverny and Bourges in the itinerary was of special interest to me

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the airplane simulation at Utah Beach. Very meaningful. My other wow moment was the medieval Guedelon castle at Bourges. Both were very interesting and something I had not experienced in all of my other trips to France."

Nina

Hanover, PA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the trip. Some times I felt a little rushed but I understand why we had to keep to a strict timetable. As an artist, I would have liked to have a personal guide to help navigate in the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. Both museums have changed and I wasted so much time trying to find certain pieces. I could have been more prepared, but I would also like to see the tour offer a guide if we choose to pay extra for that experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As an artist, I was just overwhelmed to be at Giverny. It was an experience that will be hard to top! The gardens were spectacular and just the way I dreamed it would be."

Catherine

Anoka, MN

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this was an outstanding trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michelle"

Elizabeth

Toano, VA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved, Loved, Loved this tour. Good guide, comfortable hotels, good food, wonderful choice in sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to answer as there were many WOW moments. I think the actual word WOW came out of my mouth at the Chateau de Chambord - it looked like the Monument game. But, I think I liked the Paris neighborhood walk with the local guide the most. We could see old and new Paris, stopped for delicious tastings, saw sooooo much. But, but, but - the first glimpse of Mont St Michel was like a dream. When we came back to Paris and some of us walked to Trocadero Sq and saw Eiffel - WOW!"

Linda

Seven Valleys, PA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Michaelanne is a great tour guide! And, she is very caring about her "peeps" as well. Took very good care of me with my slight accident I had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the stop at the medieval castle, Chateau de Guedelon. . That was probably my favorite and unexpected moment. I do love the country towns so much better than big cities."

Eugene

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris was wonderful. We gained a lot of confidence quickly by learning how to navigate the Metro, which resulted in us trying to see so much more that we would have otherwise. Later we loved the wine tasting with the Frenchman Steven. He was quite the showman. The views from Mont St Michel were amazing. Michaelanne recommended we make the 6:50am morning vespers service in the Abby, sung by nuns and priests-it was a great memory!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting battle sites and the beaches at Normandy accompanyed by local guide brought the incredible heroism of the men and women who stormed the beaches. Today, I watched Saving Pvt Ryan and the movie vividly reminded me of what so many people lost their lives to literally save the world. We walked thru the American Cemetery, arriving in time for lowering of US flag, followed by Taps. One memory I will always remember."

Mark

San Angelo, TX

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable and educational. Well organized and executed. Michaelanne was excellent - very knowledgeable and friendly and pleasent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bus "trip" around the Arc du Triomphe was quite a surprise and very exciting."

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.