• Arc de Triomphe in Paris
  • Sainte-Chapelle in Paris
  • france-chateau-de-chambord
    Château de Chambord in Loire Valley
  • Mont St-Michel
  • Bayeux Tapestry
  • Les Braves Sculpture on Omaha Beach
  • Giverny

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

Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour

from $3,195 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $825

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

2016

    • May 3–May 13 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 6–May 16 (Fr-Mo)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 10–May 20 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 13–May 23 (Fr-Mo)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 17–May 27 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 20–May 30 (Fr-Mo)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 24–Jun 3 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jun 7–Jun 17 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Jun 10–Jun 20 (Fr-Mo)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Jun 14–Jun 24 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Jun 21–Jul 1 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Jun 28–Jul 8 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Jul 5–Jul 15 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,295 + Air

    Bastille Day in Paris!

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    • Jul 12–Jul 22 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,295 + Air

    Bastille Day in Paris!

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    • Sep 6–Sep 16 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Sep 20–Sep 30 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Sep 27–Oct 7 (Tu-Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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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 13 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city • Louvre Museum • Historic Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • Sainte-Chapelle • Guédelon tour • Bourges walking tour and Cathédrale St-Étienne • Chambord Château • Chenonceau Château • Mont St-Michel and abbey tour • 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
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2016
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement 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

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: Masterpieces of 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 within easy access of 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 recently renovated 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 hrs. 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 hrs. 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 hr. 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 hrs. 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 hrs. 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 hrs. 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 hrs. 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!

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 (several blocks possible) 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

Judi

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th trip with Rick Steves and we were not disappointed. We had a wonderful time with a great guide and trip mates. There was plenty of group time and alone time. The time spent on the bus traveling to the different towns was very balanced and comfortable. Toni guide) and Andrei (bus driver) were very informative and helpful on the ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel and the Normandy beach tour were awe inspiring! Going to a mass at the abbey before breakfast was a wonderful experience. Staying overnight and experiencing Mot St. Michel without the crowds and in the evening seeing the abbey lit up was fabulous."

David

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This has been our sixth Rick Steves tour and again, we were not disappointed on the quality and content of the tour. We learnt the history of France and how it has developed into the country it is today. Toni was knowledgeable, patience, and tolerance of the lack of French history that some of us had. She recommended some side trips for those that were staying over after the tour and gave great tips. Rick Steves tour has always gave more than advertised. We are looking forward to another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments but if I had to pick one, it was the night and morning after in Mont St. Michel. It is a completely different place at night after the majority of the tourist leaves, quiet and spiritual, this must have been what pilgrims experienced decades ago. The 6:50AM service in the abbey was also a highlight for me, the monks and nuns singing their hymns in the quiet reflective abbey lit with minimum lights. The walk up to and down the abbey is something I will never forget."

Mary

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my husband's & my first tour with your company & it exceeded our expectations. Our tour leader, Toni, was outstanding, & the tour itself was fantastic. We loved it all. The hotels were well-chosen & comfortable, the meals were good & the bus driver was polite & efficient, although I wish he wasn't a smoker. I have asthma & have trouble with cigarette smoker residue. I just avoided sitting too close to him. He quit his job so won't be driving for your group anymore, anyway.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's gardens at Giverny was so beautiful, although all of the things we did were "wow" moments. Normandy was great, & our guide Rudy was so good that it brought everything to life for us. Seeing those beaches & the American Cemetery was so emotional. And of course Mont St Michel is so amazing how can you not think of that as exceptional? The chateaus were also unbelievably beautiful as well. I also loved the Bayeux Tapestry, amazing!"

Owen

Kennebunk, ME

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! Toni was great! She is highly organized very friendly, intensely knowledgeable, and has a wonderful sense of humor. We enjoyed all of the hotels, the meals, and the wide variety of sights to visit. The entire group that we traveled with was fun to be with. Everybody was very friendly and helpful whenever necessary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say that seeing Mt. St. Michelle both during the day and then after dark was probably the most dramatic sight."

Richard

Durham, NC

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the tour was well organized, informative and fun! The pace of experiencing the museums, cathedrals, chateaux, etc was well thought out. Just enough time to get the essence, very good histrorical, cultural and social context provided by the guides, and usually enough free time to go back for more or move to something else. I enjoyed the group and this style of travel, as we traded travel experiences and got to know each other. I think I'd go a little earlier than late October

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Utah beach tour was a high point because of the way the guide took us through the landing and the next few days with recurring characters at different stages of the invasion. It really brought home the scale of the battle and the human experiences of those involved, military and civilian. Seeing the Giverny gardens after seeing Monet's Water Lilies in l'Orangerie really informed my memories of the paintings. Guedelon made me see the medieval builders as real, thinking characters."

Linda

Medina, OH

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Toni was very knowledgeable and also made our trip fun. Great tour guide. The places we visited were fascinating, staying over night at Mont St Michel was over the top! My favorite of many great sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and the visit to Normandy battlefields and cemetary."

Ben

Richmond, TX

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was one of the best that we have participated in over the years. A great balance between history and current items. The scheduling of the various tour events was great as it afforded an opportunity to recover between the more strenuous items. There were parts of France that are not on normal tours, which gave a more complete picture of the country. We last visited Paris in the mid 70's and saw a real change. The mix of fellow tour members was great and everyone was very cordial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lowering of the US Flag at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach followed by the playing of Taps. Being a retired US Army Officer, this had special meaning to me and my wife."

Mary Alice

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first timer, I was somewhat skeptical that a group would maintain a pace conducive to seeing as much at each stop as possible without having to keep track of stragglers. Not so! Our guide, Toni, and the "buddy" system of accountability were great at explaining expectations and possible alternatives for each stop. Toni is FABULOUS at what she does and, with all the facts, dates, and stories she shared, the entire experience literally came alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day spent at the Normandy sites, the American Cemetery in particular, was the highlight. It's been on my bucket list for a long time and the visit exceeding any expectations I may have had."

Linda

Hershey, PA

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't be happier with tour. Toni, our guide was awesome. She was cheerful, knowledgeable, and absolutely delightful to be around. Tour was about right in mix of free time and guided tours. Hotels were just right. One thing I did not expect was the fabulous quality of all the pre-arranged dinners. It was wonderful, then again it is France. Would recommend this Rick Steve's tours heartily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, there were so many. First seeing Mont St. Michael was one, but experiencing the beaches at Normandy was something I will never forget."

Shuk

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excellent overall despite the unusually cold weather"

Lisa

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour (ever) and our second time in Europe. Being part of this group was so much fun and having Julian to educate and entertain us with the stories about everything really made it special. We enjoyed getting to know so many other interesting - and interested - people; and not having to worry about where we would stay or how we would get around was the cherry on top! We are trying to decide which tour to take next!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each and every day brought a new "wow"! Guédelon was amazing, but so were the cathedrals, the palaces and chateaux, museums, and gardens. Mont St Michel - from a distance, and lighted at night - was probably my biggest "wow" vision, but knowing that my dad was on an LST back & forth to Omaha Beach on D-Day, learning more about that day & time was so moving and gave me more of a sense of what he endured. That day was a definite highlight for me. My main "wow" was: "Wow! We really are here!""

Robert

Lakewood, OH

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was wonderful. The guide, itinerary, hotels, etc. were well chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed being up in the morning at sunrise down on the boardwalk at Mont St. Michel, watching the residents and vendors get ready for a new day."

Carol

Woodland, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 6th trip to France in 20 years. This tour covered the areas I hadn't seen before......Mont St Michel and Giverny, plus an in-depth tour of the D Day Beaches. Our group was extremely congenial. The hotels have come a long way from my 1994 Rich Steves Best of Europe tour!! The few days in Paris were wonderful, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest WOW was overnight at Mont St Michel. We had a terrace room with a view over the buildings to the bay. The bell tower chimed at odd times and sounded like wind chimes. This was a dream come true for me to be there."

Ronald

Cave Creek, AZ

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well planned out, very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, Julian's knowledge of people, places, the arts and things."

Jan

Chula Vista, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a totally amazing guide in Julian. I have taken several Rick Steve's tours and have never had a guide like Julian.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Claude Monet's garden was Unbelievable. The D Day beaches were very emotional."

Barbara

Chula Vista, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of this tour and even though this was my fifth trip to France, there is always something marvelous to experience on a R. Steves' tour. All the places visited were enlightening and fun at the same time. Of course, having a fantastic tour guide who really knows the territory helps and Julian was as near perfect as any guide we've ever had. This is a great tour for those who want a taste of the country and those who don't have a lot of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night at Mont St. Michel and seeing the gorgeous snow-capped mountains at Chamonix. However, there were many, many "wow" moments, large and small."

Margaret

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour that really showcased parts of France that I have always wanted to see. Our group was terrific and really fun to get to know. I did enjoy the historical aspects of this tour and learned a great deal from our guide Julian as well as our other guides too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three wow moments: Chenenceau, Mont St. Michel and Monet's Garden at Giverney. Each outstanding in their own way and a dream come true to see them all."

William

Webster Groves, MO

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Learned much about French history, history of the monarchy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Approaching Mt. St. Michel and visiting the beautiful Giverny gardens."

Richard

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was better than I expected. The guide was so knowledgeable and engaging that it made the history of the area come to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour stop at Guedelon was amazing. It was cold and rainy but the local guide, dressed in period costume, was exceptional. I could tell that she was fully engaged in the work there and excited to pass the information about the build to those of us on tour."

John

Hanford, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour with company. Absolutely exceeded expectation....which were high!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A lot of "wows". Specifically interested in Normandy/D-Day. Very good and excellent local guide.o"

Linda

Ripon, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was wonderful! I took my first Rick Steve's tour, Heart of Italy in 2014. That was such a positive experience that I decided to take one this year. I was a little apprehensive that it just would not measure up. I am happy to say while this experience was different, it was equally as good if not better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment actually occurred in Musee de Montmartre. I arrived two days before the tour. I was armed with the RS walking tour. While walking by the gardens I heard singing. I joined a few people on a bench and enjoyed a woman singing a song from La Boheme. I thought how nice that they Musee hired someone to do this. When the song was over and the woman took her bows, I realized she was a visitor and just started singing in this garden!! It was a beautiful and unexpected moment!"

Jim

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We packed a lot of touring in two short weeks, which is good. Had a large but good group - no stragglers or smokers. Appreciate being able to sample the food specialties of different towns and regions. The weather was cold and in the beginning and we were listening to the guide out in the cold and wet. I wish he could have done this talking out of the weather so to speak. It was better later in the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first sight of Mont St-Michel. Also, the whole day at Normandy's D-Day beaches."

Mary

Lakewood, OH

Tour: 10/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julian made this trip special for me. His knowledge of the history and art of France, and his stories were so interesting. Having Annie and Matt as our bus drivers was also very special. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day was 'overnight' on Mt Sainte Michel. It was everything I expected and MORE."

Mary Frances

Naples, FL

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. I thought it had a good balance of organized touring and free time. There was a large variety of activities and sites visited during the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found the visit to Guedelon to be my "wow" moment. It was very interesting, certainly unique, and quite educational. The time and resources being devoted to making this modern recreation of a 13th century castle as authentic as possible is phenomenal."

John

Lisle, IL

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good & informative. Maria was a great tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most everything was a "wow" moment. Hard to pick only one thing!"

Noel

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a delightful trip! Each day was very different from the previous and full of surprises! I loved your choice of venues. I thought I might get tired of seeing so many chateaus but they were all so different. Guedelon was amazing and so interesting. It added understanding when seeing the other chateaus. Mt.St-Michel was awe inspiring and the Normany sites moving. The tapestry was also interesting and guided tour excellent. Ending the tour at Giverny was perfect....so peaceful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't narrow this to one. but the highlights for me were.....Guedelon, Bourges, Chenonceau, Mt. St-Michel and Giverny."

Jeri

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After visiting many European countries (always with a RS book), France was everything I could hope for. All of the warning about cold and rude Parisians were so wrong. The scenery, the people, the activities were all top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I go on a trip, I never know which event will be most memorable. It is never the one I think it will be. This time, I keep remembering the beaches of Normandy and visualizing the bravery of those boys. They really were not yet men. And the timing of our visit to the American cemetery, and the lowering of the flag with taps in the background still brings tears to my eyes."

David

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris was a treat, a total surprise. The French were polite and pleasant and, when needed, helpful. We got lost in Paris and two motorists pulled over and showed us how to read a map. The wine tasting was unexpected and delightful. Selles Sur Cheri Winery. The ruins of the old fort with attached (somewhat newer) chateau were amazing The French countryside was beautiful. Miles and miles of well tended fields, with forests and hedge rows to frame it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On our own we walked from Hotel Montfleuri to the Eifel Tower. We then caught the #69 and rode the route all the way to the end then back to the Louvre. Then we walked back to the hotel via the Tulleries garden, the Champs-Elysees, under the Arc and to our hotel. Five miles walked easy!"

Rita

Lisle, IL

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful leader, Marie. Interesting places. Very educational. Very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the flag down at the American Cemetery, taps."

James

Nashville, TN

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent agenda. Michaelanne was an outstanding tour guide aka Task Master. She really knows how to pack in an agenda. We would have liked a bit more time on our own at some of the places we visited but all in all it was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour agenda was packed with "wow" moments, sights and experiences. if I must name one it would have to be Mont St-Michel."

Kathleen

Claremont, CA

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped for and more. I had to cancel my husband due to disability and therefore had to share a room with a fellow single. This couldn't have worked out better! I had a lovely roommate and Michaelanne did a superb job selecting our rooms. Paris was incredible and our walking tour of the Marais was an added bonus. Michaelanne worked hard to arrange things around a possible strike of one of the museums. Fortunately, I was able to see all that I had planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to single out just one! Mont Saint Michel and my first sighting was just like pictured only real, not some fairy tale site. Staying the night there was extra special and going to the early morning service at the abbey, something beautiful that I will always remember. Our trip to Giverney, also a longtime desire of mine, was incredibly beautiful. Lots of wow! In this trip!"

Anita

Merced, CA

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely wonderful!! From the hotels we stayed in, to our guide, Michaelannne, to the bus drivers, and most of all to the places we visited, it was grand!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the most moving experience was the visit to Normandy. Our guide, Stuart Robertson, was so unbelievably passionate about the area that it made it come to life."

Susan

South Colby, WA

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very active and exciting. The history discussions with guides including our own really heightened the experience. Our whole group was very compatible and we all brought with us our own personality which made it feeling like family, without the family baggage. Michaelanne was awesome. We could not have asked for a better guide and friend. Quite pleased with the Rick Steves philosophy of cultural interaction and recommend to everyone to see how the other folks live.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing science, talent, skill and engineering feats that produced beautiful buildings, structures, paintings, infrastructure etc. I feel like our current generation is not living up to their potential when I see what was accomplished centuries ago."

Kim

South Colby, WA

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fantastic. We had earlier thought of doing it on our own. But having the Rick Steve's team take care of everything was the way to go. All we had to worry about was our meal choices and getting on the bus on time. We were especially fortunate to share the tour with a great bunch of fellow travelers. We would travel with anyone of them again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "WOW" moments. As an engineer and a military veteran, I was blown away by the Normandy visit and the tour of the castle under construction. But every place we visited had it's own special moments."

Larry

Gowanda, NY

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We got to see a lot in a short time. I enjoyed the tour. I learned a lot about the area and the people.

Karen

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very happy with the entire tour! Michealanne was a great tour guide and helpful in every situation. We were extremely happy with the hotels on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had been to the beaches of Normandy before, but on our own. Having Stuart as the tour guide made it an entirely different experience! His knowledge and passion for the history of D-Day made it an unforgettable experience. We arrived at the American Cemetery just before taps was played as the flag was lowered and I got goosebumps. Very moving!"

Patricia

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is a very good tour. It packs a lot into 11 days. I like the mix of big city Paris and the medieval towns of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. Could not have asked for a nicer group of people to travel with. Another reason to choose Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Chateau de Chenoceau was amazing. The setting is spectacular, the gardens beautiful and the chateau quite lovely.It has a rich history and gives one a sense of what "the good life" meant for French royalty and the aristocrisy. Also the stay on Mont St-Michel was special. It was great to be there without the crowds and experience this unique place. Okay,one more! Seeing Monet's water lily panels at the Orangerie and then seeing his gardens at Giverny. Wow!"

Scott

Somerset, NJ

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour. It surpassed our expectations by leaps and bounds. In fact, I could not imagine a better experience or a more effective organization: the tour was brilliant in conception and execution. Michaelanne was a superb guide. Not only the depth of her knowledge but the total personal concern for each member of the group made this an unforgettable experience. The regional guides, too, were of the highest order and contributed significantly to the success of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was one big wow moment. I cannot single out any of the places that we visited as a favorite. They were all favorites and were really well-chosen. After each visit, I wondered how the next would be and was further awed all over again."

Cathy

Somerset, NJ

Tour: 10/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of the tour. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be based on what I had seen on your television shows. The whole Rick Steves travel concept is very well conceived. I travel to see a people and a culture as well as the geography. Our particular tour was over the top as far as I am concerned because of Michaelanne, our amazing guide. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I thought, "This is going to be great!" The local guides she engaged were also fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot pick out one particular thing. Everything was "wow". ( I will tell you that it was a thrill for me to be able to sing a Benediction for the group in the monk's refectory on Mont St Michel.)"

Terri

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic. So many wonder ful experiences. The right combination of time with the group and time on our own. We learned so much from our guide and were so grateful that we did not need to make hotel or travel arrangements once in France. The time at Mont St Michel and on the Normandy beaches were highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick just one. Our day at Normandy was incredible. So moving. Our day at Mont St Michel had everything: beautiful setting, unique experience, incredible food, lots of history to learn."

Judy

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was WONDERFUL. We loved every minute of our tour. The Group was terrific, our bus driver (Rudy) was one of the group, and we had THE BEST GUIDES in Graeme and Miles. France was beautiful. We are very happy we selected October as our tour date, as the crowds were down, the weather was perfect, and we could all buy and wear French scarfs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had 3 - * Graeme told us about the concerts at La Sainte Chapelle in Paris so we purchased tickets for our free evening. What an amazing concert in the most heavenly setting. * The first vision from the bus of Mont Saint-Michel was definitely a WOW moment which was "topped" by attending morning prayers (thank you to Graeme for telling us about that opportunity). * Normandy was unforgettable."

Myron

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Our Tour Guides (Gram and Miles)added significantly to the overall experience. The trip exceed our expectations and we have been on a previous Rick Steves Tour, which was also excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to identify one WOW moment, because there were so many. For sure it would hard to top staying overnight at Mount St. Michael and getting up a dawn to witness (in the chapel) the chanting on the morning prayers, or the history of the Normandy D Day invasion, which our local guide brought to life."

Ken

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had an excellent tour experience. All the details were worked out to perfection. The hotels were unique and comfortable and our guide was extremely knowledgeable and very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening spent on Mont St-Michel was incredible. Especially the following morning at 6am with the singing in the monastery."

Scott

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The France trip was fantastic!!!! Graeme was a wonderful guide!!! He was very personable, knowledgeable and you are fortunate to have him as an employee. Miles was also wonderful, but he did a good job staying in the background and acting as support for Graeme. The lodging was excellent, the local guides were remarkable. The only negative thing that I can think of is that I wish we would have gone to the Lourve on Saturday because Sunday is free admission and it was a mad house.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and the Normandy beaches"

Magdalene

Meadowbrook, PA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour with great guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"sight of Mont Saint-Michel!"

Ken

Boulder City, NV

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Covered the high points. So much to see/do, but Graeme and Miles did a superb job...doing their best (and succeeding) to give max info. within our allotted time frame. I'm a Viet/vet so the beaches of Normandy held a special meaning. I purloined a shell from Omaha beach....its creamy whiteness and symmetry will forever remind me of the sacrifice laid down for freedom. And, Paris? Well, Paris will forever be the Gran Dame of all the world's great cities... I am the first agree.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy and St, Michele...getting up at 0600...Hearing the nuns raise their fragile voices to St Michael and the heavens in the cold darkness of the early-morning Abby...A relic of by-gone times. Moving, if you are or are not religious. Also, Monet and his beautiful impressionistic gardens. How could I forget?"

Robert

Dresher, PA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Graeme and Miles did a very good job managing our tour. Graeme was engaging and always there for any question sir issue. He managed my "gluten free:"dietary needs well. This is a particular challenge in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"American Cemetery in Normandy was overwhelming and very emotional. The trimming to arrive just before they lowered the flags an d played Taps was perfect. Overall the day at the Normandy Beaches made the trip worthwhile."

Pam

Troy, ID

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th RS tour and it was terrific. I booked based on the itinerary and it was great. I loved driving thru the French countryside and visiting the markets in Bourges and Amboise. Rebecca, the guide, was amazing. Very personable, energetic and knowledgeable on a wide range of topics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The DDay tour with Dale Booth was my WOW de WOW WOW moment. Really outstanding. He is a fabulous guide. I loved how he started with the basics of the land features of the area, then the basics of the German fortifications, then built up the story with the Plan, the weather, the people. I love how we did the small villages in the Drop zones first, then to Utah, then to Omaha. I learned so much. Amazing. Poignant. Sobering."

Jan

Plano, TX

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide Rebecca was wonderful. She possesses amazing skills in keeping us informed about the wonders of France that we would encounter, while not letting us feel like we were in school! She treated everyone with utmost respect, helping us fulfill our responsibilities to the group. She knows that it's important to laugh together! Her knowledge of French culture, history, and language was amazing! The tone was set for us to enjoy all of our travel companions as well as "the back door" travel!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When my husband saw the Normandie beaches where his father had come ashore as part of the D-Day invasion, and Dale Booth pointed out specific details of that momentous event, we were overwhelmed with emotion!"

Nancy

Chino, CA

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca is a born educator as well as a charming, funny, incredibly helpful gal. I enjoyed her commentaries more than I can say...her "brief" outline of the 100 years war is the single best description of an incredibly complex period that I have ever heard. She did a great job of being a leader but not a mommy. I loved her cultural observations and just hope that a lot doesn't change after this terrorism stuff. The hotels were wonderful. Bus too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me...the French countryside was a total surprise. So beautiful...so green and fertile. The climate was wonderful...the small towns were wonderful too...beautiful and so walkable. I particularly liked Bourges and Bayeaux...just so "livable"."

Ruth

Mableton, GA

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, but friends had raved about every aspect of their experiences. After our 11-day tour of Paris and the Heart of France I must wholeheartedly agree with them. The itinerary (admissions included), restaurants, group transportation, hotels, and especially our guide, Rebecca, were second to none. There was never a moment of boredom, and our group meshed well over the course of the trip. I'll think RICK STEVES first for future tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the museums like the Louvre and D'Orsay were definitely WOW, the grounds of Chenonceau Chateau and the gardens of Giverny blew me away. The D-Day tour was emotional and inspiring, a different kind of WOW. I can't narrow it down to one particular moment...impossible."

Cheryl

Mendota Heights, MN

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! Great mix of time with group and time to do our own thing. AWESOME guide in Rebecca. loved that we did some spontaneous things like the Vivaldi concert. The guides that we met up with in the various places were excellent. dale the guide to Normandy blew us away he was so excellent. Had a great group of people although the group was a bit large.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"iI had 3. The Vivaldi concert in the church in Paris, the Normandy tour and Monet's garden."

Ric

Mendota Heights, MN

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Rebecca, our tour leader was unbelievable. Her knowledge of French history, the French language, French food and wine, french culture were all magnificent! She engaged each member of our group multiple times each day. There was a good balance of group tours and time on our own. In addition, there was a "surprise" adventure almost daily. (An activity not shown on the itinerary). The group meals were always fun, and the recommended restaurants for meals on our own were topnotch

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wows occurred daily. Emotionally, the day at Normandy was the most anticipated, and the most satisfying in large part due to the expertise of Dale.(My father served during the war.) Being able to walk on the construction site of the chateaux using 13th century tools and techniques was amazing. The climb to the top on Mont St. Michel and attending the morning service and attending the evening concert at the St. Michael church surrounded by stained glass were the most spirtual!"

Lisa

Oceanside, NY

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Guide Rebecca was excellent and informative. Went out of her way to help you with whatever you wanted to do on your free time. Would recommend to anyone with confidence, hard not to have a good time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment was seeing Mont St Michele. Just spectacular !"

Loch

Lummi Island, WA

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful exposure to culture, and especially the history of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guédelon."

Lynda

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was amazing and was everything we had hoped for. It was locally focused, interesting, learning something new every day (both historically and culturally), breathtaking, fast paced, intriguing and most of all the "back door" experience we were looking for. Overall rating is an A- with more details below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wows! Ste Chappelle, Bourges, Mont Ste Michelle, Giverny My husband was blown away with Normandy; Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach-Local historian Dale Booth was amazing!"

Carolyn

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 09/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything I had hoped for, and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to narrow it down to one 'wow' moment...Chateau de Guedelon, Chambord, and the Normandy Beaches are at the top."

Margaret

Kewaunee, WI

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour of Paris & the heart of France was outstanding. I was given the opportunity to learn about France, its people, culture, history, and geography. Our guide, Arnaud, and driver, Ludwig, provided us with daily positive experiences. The daily destinations were varied and gave us historical perspective as well as modern day experiences. Our tour companions were great. People were friendly and accommodating. Many shared interesting stories enabling us to learn more about our fellow Americans.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment on our tour was our visit to the Normandy beaches. Our local guide, Stewart, was tremendous. His delivery of the historical events of the invasion was exceptional. He brought "the events to life" for us. The respect and reverence he showed and passed on to us was truly sobering and memorable."

Barbara

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on this tour! We had a great group of travelers, and our guide was fantastic! I looked forward to every day and what was on our itinerary. The hotels and food were excellent! I tried foods I normally wouldn't have if I were on my own. I enjoyed all the little towns that we went to and the beautiful chateaus. There was a good balance between group time and free time. As a solo traveler, I never did feel alone. We were all one big family!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Mont St. Michel! The reason I took this tour was to spend my birthday there, and it was a birthday I'll never forget! I also was "wowed" to be on the Normandy beaches and hearing the stories of our soldiers and the battles. And being in the gardens at Giverny was like being in a Monet picture! Amazing!!"

Margaret

Rancho Sante Fe, CA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

Alan

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding. Great itinerary, great hotels and meals. Arnaud was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches"

Diane

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really better than anticipated. Great guide, great driver (Ludvig), and very compatible group of people. We learned so much, saw so much, and had a fabulous time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out our room window at the top of hotel on Mont St Michel and having the view of the top of the abbey with lights. Really there were so many wow moments, it was a very memorable trip for our 35th anniversary."

Ronald

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the get go, Arnaud had our interest at heart; the do's and don'ts when interacting with the French. Arnaud's knowledge of French history was delivered with fact and humor leaving us in awe. This was my first tour with Rick Steves; our expectations were met. I believe that everyone in our group were thrilled that Arnaud was our guide; almost everyone remembered Arnaud either from an episode of Rick Steves' Europe on PBS or from a clip on the web site.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As we neared the Mont Saint-Michel Arnaud's timing to direct our attention to the upcoming view of the Mont, was incredible."

Anita

Cheshire, OR

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour but definitely not my last. The tour from beginning to end was well planned, entertaining and educational and it was certainly a once in a lifetime experience. Our guide, Arnaud was exceptional and took great care of us. We were very fortunate to have a congenial group of like minded people to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day that we visited the Louvre was a beautiful, sunny fall day. It just so happened that this day was the first ever "Paris Without Cars" day, meaning that all cars were banned leading into and around the Champs Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe. Our guide Arnaud, told us that this would be a "once in a lifetime" chance to walk from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe and have the street open only to pedestrians. We joined thousands of Parisians and tourists for this exciting event ."

Paula

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it! Great guide, great itinerary, great tour members. It was all I hoped for and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Ste Michel and the Normandy beaches"

Rick

Cheshire, OR

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Informative and entertaining. Outstanding guide and great group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the Champs Elysees on the first day ever of being closed off to traffic. Walked from the Louvre all the way to the Arc de Triomphe."

David

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything we imagined it would be and more. To be able to experience Paris, the chateaus of the Loire, Bourges and Amboise, the farms of Normandy, Mont St Michel, the D day beaches and Giverny in one trip was quite a feat. Spending 3 days in Paris before heading out of the city gave us a taste of what we wanted to see more of when we returned for the "Paris in 7 days" tour 3 days after we completed this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard not to pick Mont St Michel; first seeing it in the distance, watching it grow larger then watching the tides race in and out. Truly a unique place. Monet's home and garden in Giverny were a delightful surprise giving us great insight into the source of his water lilies which made Joelle's lecture at L'Orangerie on the next tour all the more meaningful. St-Etienne cathedral in Bourges was an unexpected site - like finding Notre Dame hidden in a residential neighborhood with no visitors!"

Philip

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience! Our tour guide was focused on making the trip memorable. The events provided an interesting mix, and our accommodations and group meals were excellent. This was our first experience where all tour group members were couples. We liked this group dynamic and came away knowing all of the members better than in the past.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel on the night following the moon eclipse with extreme high and low tides was an amazing experience! We didnt plan this and yet it was beyond a WOW."

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have been to Europe many times but this was our first guided tour. It was very nice to have all the travel details taken care of. I appreciated being given metro tickets and museum passes in Paris. It was also nice to be handed room keys at hotels and not have to check in or check out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole day of D Day sights was memorable and the sight of Mont Saint Michel as we approached definitely had a wow factor."

Erik

Chico, CA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well organized. The accommodations were great and the choice of restaurants was good. Antoine and Linda were fun guides. The local guides were also very informative. The choice of locations, given the time frame, was appropriate. It was fun getting to know other people on the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 spontaneous moments that we didn't anticipate, but became highlights: 1) the blue-light walk in Brogues. Very peaceful and thought-provoking. 2) the bike ride along the Loire river valley. beautiful."

Kinta

Friendsville, TN

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour began with a casual get together with everyone. It was nice to get to see the group and it was very relaxed. The guide was amazing. He made us feel welcomed and his confidence and positive attitude was well received. He knew the city inside and out. He tried to give suggestions to us with what to do with our free time. The movement from place to place seemed effortless for him. If he was worried he never let on. He always waited for everyone and never made anyone feel a bother.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the experience of staying on Mont. St Michel. It made you fully understand and be amazed by the island. The meal together was also one of the best. We had a super local guide. She made you see the monks and life on the island."

Charlene

Napavine, WA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The experience was everything that we expected and more. Our leaders took good care of us and answered our questions. We were really glad that we went to Paris three days early. And we were able to stay in the same hotel that our Rick Steves group was staying at so we didn't have to relocate.The weather turned out great and so we were able to walk and go on bike rides without worrying about rain! This was our second Rick Steves trip that we have enjoyed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have just one favorite "wow" but maybe three. Seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night and then to see it twinkling for 5 minutes on the hour was awesome. Another "wow" was seeing the American cemetery at Normandy. And a third was waking up at Mont St. Michel and being surrounded by water at high tide."

Robert

Danville, CA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great guide, great tour members!!! The local guide for Normandy DD was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"LeMont St Michelle overnight."

James

Napavine, WA

Tour: 09/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything I expected and more

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral with Gregorian chants."

Laura

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Magical" is the word I would use to describe my experience about this tour. I felt that I had been given a gift. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Our guide, Marie, was so personable, professional and helpful, which made my trip that much more enjoyable. I would highly recommend it and I look forward to my next Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was Mount St Michel. It was a long time coming after almost 30 years since the first I learned of the Mount. I was finally there. Staying overnight was a dream come true."

Andrew

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second trip (Best of Italy was the first) and we loved it. Our guide, Marie, was wonderful, with a great sense of humor. We spent 2 days in Paris prior to starting the tour and we felt that really helped us get over the jet lag and get acquainted with the city. The pace of the tour was just right and the other travelers were really fun to be around. Everyone was on-time. This was a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont St. Michel was definitely a highlight. It felt like having the Disneyland Castle all to yourself. We sat on our deck and drank wine with 3 other couples looking out over the bay as the sun set. Such a special moment."

Beverley

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the tour was well organized and gave me an experience of the "big name" sites as well as smaller, less well known sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mt. St. Michael was wonderful."

Pam

Woodland, CA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed everything about the tour! Love France and would love to see more of France on another Rick Steves Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several! The concert at St. Chapelle and St. Chapelle itself! Monet's Gardens at Giverney, the American Cemetery, Monet's water lilies at the Orangerie Museum, the Eiffel Tower by day and night"

Susan

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My sister-in-law and I had a wonderful time in France! I think the tour had just the right amount of free time, and you did a great job of picking which sites we would see and where we would spend our time. Even the little town of Bourges turned out to be delightful, and we had a wonderful hotel there. It was all just very well thought out and well executed. With the help of Rick's guide books, we were able to ride the metro and find our way around Paris very easily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying the night on Mont St Michel was the reason we picked this tour, and we were not disappointed. Getting up before dawn and walking up to the Abbey in the early morning quiet, with a cat scampering across our path and millions of stars in the sky, was quite magical. The Lauds service was the biggest "wow" - so moving. Was hard to believe it was only six monks and seven nuns doing the chanting. And when we left we walked out into a beautiful sunrise! Loved it!1"

Jessie

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am so happy I decided to take this tour. The timing and the group of people in this tour was the perfect combination. I knew we were getting museum passes, but it was wonderful to also get metro tickets. They were very helpful during the times on our own. Tour was well organized and gave me an overview of the area, just enough that I wanted to come back! The tour also gave members some free time to explore on their own, allowing them to choose which site to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments. However, it has to be going to the early morning mass at Mont St Michel. I hate early mornings, but it was worth it to hear the nuns and monks chanting in such a magnificent Abbey. There was only a handful of people at the mass so it was so peaceful not to be surrounded by hordes of people. Afterwards, we were further rewarded with a beautiful sunrise!"

Michael

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A lovely tour with a great guide and a nice group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Drinking champagne on the ramparts of Mont St. Michel with our guide and tour members."

Carol

Langley, BC

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was quite exhausting, but I loved every moment. I would recommend this tour 100%.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Apart from our fabulous guide (Rebecca), there were so many wow moments. My favourite was going to the little church at Angoville-Au-Plain. The local guide who showed us the beaches at Normandy introduced us to the Mayor of the small town. He was so passionate about the history. It was very nice that the local townspeople came out to greet us. Also seeing Mont St-Michel and staying overnight."

J

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Aside from the rain - can't control Mother Nature - it was a wonderful experience. We had a good group of people to see these sights together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in France is a wow - being in Paris is a wow - having a day with a passionate guide for the D-day beaches was a wow - ..."

Barbara

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on several other tours but never before with such a wonderful group! Everyone was friendly and fun no groups that excluded others and were "polite"as on a couple of other tours. Rebecca really took great care of us even got us cold medicine as one of the group had caught one on her flight. As a season trailer I loved the mix of time to do our personal interests with feeling totally pampered by Rebecca's care in the details and and tours she gave us. Best tour ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Part of the reason for this tour was to honor my father who landed on D day and survived all he would ever say was it was a long way to Germany. I wanted to place flowers in the water of the beach for him. Our wonderful guide took us to a market where I found beautiful carnations and our bus drivers even kept them stored in water for me. This was so important a lifetime dream for me that even telling this still makes me tear up with joy. No other tour company would have done this. Thank You"

Beverly

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing. We loved Rebecca, our tour guide. She was great! She was completely attentive to each person's hopes for a great experience in France. She helped us with everything from stamps to cold medications from the RER to shuttles to the airport! She gave us the history of the places we were visiting and was just generally the best leader we could have imagined! The selection of sites on our tour was also outstanding. A Highlight for us was spending the night on Mont St. Michel!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about our visit to Mont St. Michel was the highlight for me! The highlight for my husband was visiting the church at Angoville-au-Plain!"

Margaret

Bellaire, TX

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic and exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The top "wow" moment was the little church Angotville au Plain on the way to Utah Beach."

Bradford

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 09/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very enjoyable, great guide, great drivers.Rebeca was knowledgeable and fun to be with as were the local guides. Enjoyed the small group size helping to make group relationships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D Day beaches and the local guide. His knowledge and stories put history in a new light."

Janet

Goshen, IN

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Antoine and our fellow travelers were just wonderful. Not only were the guided times with Antoine very informative and well done but also our conversations on the bus and over shared meals. We had a group that loves history and exploring new places and cultures, so their curiosity and questions led to incredible conversations with Antione. If he was unsure about anything, he would research it and let us know what he found. We learned so much together and in delighrful, memorable ways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day trip to Normandy was a very moving, eye-opening experience. To understand a bit what the Allies were facing and what they endured to make the invasion successful was sobering. What incredible spirit and fortitude they had to succeed in both landing on the beaches and breaking through the German minefields and barricades to make the invasion successful. The American cemetery was a stark, haunting, beautiful reminder of their sacrifice."

Kathryn

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introduction to Paris and France. Historical and cultural highlights were well chosen, and thoroughly presented resulting in wonderful daily learning experience. The group included fun, curious, and enthusiastic members who added to the enjoyment. I have a new appreciation and understanding of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First sight of Mont St. Michel surrounded by tidal flats was spectacular. History, religion, and nature all in one inspiring moment."

Janna

Truckee, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As always with Rick Steves' tours the group covers a lot of ground and each day is jam packed with things to see and do. Being a museum junkie I found that for me, not enough time was allocated to visiting the scheduled museums - the D'Orsay, the Louvre, the Normandy D-day museums, Bayeux tapestry. It seemed we would arrive less than 2 hours before closing or mid-day when we would encounter crowds. I liked the itinerary except for the rainy afternoon in Amboise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking up to Mont St. Michel,and the Bayeux tapestry."

Taryn

Coon Rapids, MN

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with all my Rick Steves tours, this one was wonderful! My time was used to its fullest. I don't like "down-time" on my trips to Europe. Since my time is so limited, I want it to be very busy, I can rest at home. I enjoyed the pace of this trip. My fellow tourists were so fun and kind, and of course that adds to the experience. Rick Steve tours attract the most fun and engaging people. Antoine was a wonderful guide, and Ludwig was a wonderful driver, always greeting us with a kind smile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The early morning prayer service at Mont St. Michel was a wonderful experience. It was peaceful, and quiet, with no tourists (other than ourselves). It was very spiritual. The acoustics were amazing. A very unique experience (even the climb in the dark to get to it). I enjoy the unique experiences, more so than the "touristy" experiences. Normandy Beach - I've read so much about WWII, and it has always been a dream of mine to visit this place of so much tragedy, and heroism."

Vicki

Davis, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and our first Rick Steves' Tour. We had an amazing time--even when it was raining. The tour was a great way to see a variety of places with some great people. I loved our tour guide, Antoine, and I really appreciated his willingness to answer all sorts of questions about France. We will definitely book another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I experienced Wow moments each day. The Normandy Beaches were emotional, Mount St-Michel was spiritual, and Giverny was gorgeous. Having a private cheese and wine tasting at a castle--that was so much fun. However, I think my favorite "wow" moment was seeing the Chateau de Guedelon because I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did."

Catherine

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The guide was responsive and knowledgeable. Every detail was very well organized and the attention to detail made the trip go smoothly. I loved all the special opportunities provided......for example the wine tasting experience at one of the castles.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly could not identify one "wow" moment. I enjoyed every moment. I was very moved by the day spent on the tour of Normandy. I also loved staying at Mont St. Michelle."

Wayne

Truckee, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent tour, with the most sobering and impressive portion of the tour being our visit to Normandy and Mt. Saint Michel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to call Normandy a "wow" moment because it was sobering and fraught with all the deaths and horrors of war, but it was impressive and emotional. It was a highlight."

Mary Kay

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In the beginning, we were a bit overwheled, but adjusted quickly. It takes a litle time to get on board with the fast pace and early morning schedule. Our tour guide, Antoine was exceptional and so personable. We felt like he was an old friend at the end of the tour and we hated to see it come to an end (though we were too exhausted to go on much more). All the locations we visited were just fantastic! We feel like we really did get to see a beautiful area of France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris itself and how beautiful and different it is from the US. We did see more similarities as we went along, however. Loved the museums and especially the small villages after leaving Paris. The big WOWs were Mont-Saint Michele and Normany. Simply amazing! Loved all Antoine's and the other guides' stories. Such a personal touch!"

David

Hockessin, DE

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steves tour. We had an excellent group. This was the first time that I had a guide from the country I was touring in. Our sub-guide at "Utah Beach" and "The American Cemetery" was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Always hard to do one moment. The tour of "The American Cemetery" was extremely emotional. The stay at Mont St. Michele was very much a wow evening and morning."

David

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been back in the USA for almost three weeks, but my mind is still in France! The tour was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed traveling with other people, being part of the corporate "wow!" of the things we were seeing and doing. Traveling with a group enhances the experience. We enjoyed our tour guide, Antoine Bonfils. Antoine did a great job of keeping us informed of what we were seeing and gave us a good "feel" of what living in France is like.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick! Chateau de Chenonceau was breath-taking--fresh flowers in many of the rooms! Amazing! Mont-Saint-Michel-AMAZING! Touring the Normandy D-day beaches, towns and cemeteries--heart-felt! A lunch stop in Fougeres,Brittany,beautiful!"

Richard

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour experience was very good. Had a little difficulty in adjusting to the jet lag (nine hours) but we had arrived three days early so it eventually worked itself out. Seems to effect you more as you get older. Might be a smart thing to recommend that if you want to be at full strength to take on additional touring, to add those day to the end of the trip after you have made the adjustment. Early on you at some point in the day pass into the zombie zone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wows" actually. The first was the street The Hotel Lenox was located on, a cheese shop, a fish/seafood shop, a bakery shop and a butcher shop all located within two hundred feet of the hotel. You get a real sense of the different culture you are entering into. Best of all was the restaurant at the end of the street serving fresh native Belon oysters. The second "wow" were the two elementary age children riding their scooters alone down the sidewalk of Blvd Montparnasse to school."

Beverly

Mount Pleasant, WI

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour. It exceeded my expectations. The group we toured with was a lot of fun and all kept a good pace. The French people were wonderful and very welcoming and helpful, and more so if you greeted them initially in French. Our "back door" experience was in Bayeux where we joined in their annual September 15 war memorial remembrance. Hearing them play (and us sing) the American national anthem, meeting the event coordinator and joining their reception is something I'll never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the morning service on Mont St Michel with the monks and nuns was very special. The Normandy beaches and the local guide were incredible. I liked the chateaus much more than I expected. Amboise was a beautiful town and the Leonardo Da Vinci museum is well worth a visit. There were so many wonderful things to see and do in Paris...I loved the Orsay and Rodin museums, climbing to the top of Notre Dame and seeing the gargoyles close up. Mass and the organ at Notre Dame were great!"

Susan

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Three for three on having wonderful fellow travelers the past three tours. No grumps! Jennifer was knowledgeable, fun and organized. Anyone who hesitates to travel as a single need not worry. So far, everyone on the tours are gracious, inclusive, friendly and interesting. I appreciate being able to travel independently but within the safety of a group and a enthusiastic tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Thanks to the excesses of history's kings and queens, we now have these amazing architectural monuments to the past: Chateaux Chambord and Chenonceau, just to mention a couple."

Pamela

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our previous two tours it exceeded our expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing a french high school choir practicing in a small chapel on mont st. Michele as my husband and I were walking down from our room. We stood just outside, close to the cemetery, no one else around, and had a very special experience."

Mark

Mount Pleasant, WI

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour! Exceeded my expectations. Jennifer was an excellent guide. Terrific local guides. Great group of fellow travelers. The French people were very welcoming and helpful especially if you greeted them in French. Good mix of organized activities and free time. Of course, all of the attractions, sites, and museums were incredible. The tour raised my interest in French culture, history, art and current events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, the Mona Lisa and others. Going to mass at Notre Dame, the morning service and watching the tide roll in and out at Mont St Michel, the banana-nutella crepes at the little stand by our hotel in Paris. Being on the D-Day beaches, and seeing the American Cemetery was amazing."

Paula

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful group of travel buddies, probably the best of the three RS tours we have taken. The variety of places visited on this particular tour was also intriguing. Art, history, nature, small vs large cities. We loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly- for me the "wow" was the double rainbow I witnessed from our terraced room in Mont-St-Michel. A close second, also St Michel, was seeing the reflection of the abbey in the water over the west terrace."

Don

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first trip to Paris and France and we loved every minute We thought it would be difficult to match the quality of our Italy trip in 2014. Our only complaint is that it didn't last longer. Jennifer was an excellent guide and all of our travel partners were amazing interesting individuals. French people were friendly and helpful. We will definitely find a way to stop in Paris again next year after our Eastern Europe trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau Clemenceau and all of Paris"

Lollie

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We hadn't been on a group tour before - we have done a river cruise which we loved, and a big cruise which we didn't love- so this was our first try of a land based tour. We enjoyed all aspects of the trip- the hotels were great, food was excellent and the people on the trip were great travel companions. We liked having the flexibility of lots of free time to do things at our own pace, while having the expert guidance of our leader Jennifer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight for me was the visit to Mont St Michel- I joined a small group who attended the dawn Vespers at the Abbey- it was a memorable experience. Staying on the Mont and having a lovely seafood dinner in a gorgeous dining room with our new found friends was a real bonus. Our local guide there was excellent and we had a wonderful variety of weather rolling through- downpours, thunder, rainbows and gorgeous sunshine for the morning walking tour. It was the best!"

Dani

Katy, TX

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lots of fun meeting our diverse group of tour partners! Julian was very knowledgeable about the French history and the geography of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was attending the morning prayer at the Abbey at Mt Saint Michel."

Peggy

Centerville, OH

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was excellent. A good mix of city and country sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Guedelon, Monet's Home and Garden, and Normandy. I really liked the church in Angoville Au Plain and meeting the mayor and a woman who was a child during D Day."

Sharon

Bellbrook, OH

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our France tour exceeded our expectations. We were able to see, learn, enjoy and experience Paris and the French countryside without having to worry about any of the travel details. If we had traveled on our own, we would not have been able to see or learn nearly as much. All of our guides and travel companions were fun and interesting. I felt like we were able to get a real sense of French culture through our accommodations and planned meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy D-Day beaches were definitely a highlight of the trip. Our guide, as well as the smaller venues, gave us a more in-depth experience than the typical traveler receives. Of course, Paris was a highlight. Loved Chenonceau."

Joseph

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed our tour through France. Our guide was excellent and the guides at the individual stops were well in formed and passionate about their work. We saw a lot of history and culture which are very much a part of the human condition, however it would be interesting to learn about the agriculture,forestry and natural history of the land during our travels. The bounty of the land shapes the culture and has a significant influence on the history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a difficult question to answer. I think Mount Saint Michel was a very special place. The feeling of a holy place was evident in the functioning cloister and an estuary where the foot print of man has been minimal compared with other estuaries in the world."

Kelly

Evans City, PA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I thought the tour was well planned and met all my expectations for our first RS tour? I loved the size of the group (28 people), the organized meals were excellent and the amount of planned activities as well as "on your own time" were well balanced. I was surprised when planning this trip that iconic French sites such as the Eiffel Tower and Versailles were left off the itinerary as were others in my group. I would recommend that they be included in future trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St-Michel for the first time. "Wow" doesn't do it justice!"

Kris

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved spending the night on Mont St. Michel - it was magical!"

Archie

Katy, TX

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introductory tour to the people, culture, history and landscapes of France. Great helpful guide offering lots of information to keep the trip interesting. Only one minor complaint: some of the story telling sessions ran too long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "wow" moments seeing the beautiful and incredible cathedrals, chateaus, museums, landscapes and history in France. The French people were welcoming and friendly, we never felt unsafe at any moment during the trip. I would say viewing the D-Day invasion beaches and American and German cemeteries in the Normandy region was my greatest "wow" moment, even if they were somewhat somber moments."

Edward

Bellbrook, OH

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Itinerary was well planned out and offered a wide variety of things to see and do with both the group and on our own. Very active. Our guide did a good job of proving instructions and directions as to where to be and at what time without being "motherly." He did a great job of making sure our destinations were ready for our arrival. My wife has a gluten diety issue and he was extremely accommodating in seeing that she had appropriate menu items without making a big deal of it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to small church in Angoville-Au-Plain. Very sobering..."

Daniel

Irvine, CA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a wonderful exposure to the culture of Western France. Paris is another big city, but most of the sites we visited were the must sees. Once we left Paris, the tour perked up. Bourges has a friendly warm feeling about it. Chateau de Chenonceau is wonderfully decadent. Staying on island at Mont St-Michel is the perfectly awesome high point, and culmination of a dream held since high school french class. No way to get enough of Bayeux and the tapestry, and the Normandy Beaches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The perfect night view of the Abby on Mont St-Michel after having dinner on island."

Donald

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 09/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We chose to combine this tour with five additional nights in Paris in order to see more sites and experience more of the neighborhood scenes. Well worth the additional time. Paris has to be one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed all of France very much, but the highlight for me was Omaha Beach. We hiked down from the Colleville draw, walked along the beach, and then climbed up the bluff to the cemetery that our brave soldiers climbed under intense fire. I came home and re-read illustrated books on the invasion trying to contemplate what it must have been like to experience that horrific and significant battle on that now very peaceful beach."

Robert

La Canada, CA

Tour: 09/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Frankly I was nervous about taking a group tour, but from the orientation meeting on, I was so glad we had taken this. First, it was impressive that most of the people on the tour had taken other Rick Steves tours, a good sign. And Marie relaxed us, had a great sense of humor as she gave us a quick tour of the area, and made everyone very comfortable. But it was when we left Paris that I really realized how great this tour was, going to places that I never would have gone to on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the wine and cheese tasting at a chateau near the Loire valley. It was both relaxing and informative and the setting was spectacular. And not something I could have done on my own. Great wine and good cheese, and an entertaining host. But every day on the road had something great. So enjoyable I could actually see doing this again some day - and see how far they've gotten with Guedelon. (sp?)"

Charles

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the tour and the places we went. My bucket list is a little shorter now

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy and the d-day beaches and mont st. Michel morning prayers"

Michael

Windsor, CO

Tour: 09/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After Paris the tour felt a little rushed. Maybe because the other stops were so interesting to me and I wanted to spend more time at those places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick ONE......but Mont St. Michel was spectacular. Our room was near the top with its own terrace and the views were ahhhh some! Sunrise was very impressive over the water. The village off in the distance was covered in fog. This was the biggest Abby I have seen."

Carrie

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was phenomenal! Can't wait for the next one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny! Since I was a little girl I have loved Monet's art so it was truly a dream come true to visit his gardens!"

Kathleen

Henrico, VA

Tour: 09/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was good. We enjoyed the company of the other tour members, and everything went smoothly. The hotels were nice - some rooms were pretty tiny, but we were rarely in them. Hotel staff were all helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, hard to pick just one. Chateau Guedelon was fascinating! Wish we could have spent a little more time there. Seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night was also a wow moment. Staying on Mont Ste. Michele was amazing. Felt like we went back in time. And we were lucky to get a room with a balcony. Amazing views! Also going to Lourdes services the next morning was magical.But I think my favorite Wow moment was touring Monet's garden and seeing the "real thing"."

Arleen

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was well organized. It was stimulating, yet not over busy. The tour guide Patrick was delightful, energetic and knowledgeable. He kept the tour going at a good pace. Patrick did a wonderful job introducing the tour to French culture. For the most part, the hotels were just the type of experience I wanted...smaller, more intimate places, in good walking distances from places of interest. The restaurants all provided high quality meals. We had a great group of people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was the first good view of Mont St Michel...staying on the island and walking around the Main Street, eating at the restuarant ... It seemed like I was in another world on the island. I really liked the schedule which avoided the tide of tourists. Seeing the tide come in so quickly at night was fun!"

Susan

Columbia, MD

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

we really enjoyed the tour. It was well paced nice hotels the right size group and a great group of folks it was too. Leave out Chambered next time and go to the smaller Chateau nearby . The red machines were great. Everyone could hear and our group did't disturb others. Great idea

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many moments. The Water Lilies at the Orangeries; the awe of Omaha Beach; the reality of the American cemetery. But finding out the Ray mitchell our host for lunch in Normandy grew up in Baltimore MD four miles from me was the kicker!"

Judith

Independence, MO

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the group of people we traveled with. The information we got was outstanding. Our guide was very good at seeing to our needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough one - there were so many. I loved the little town Amboise. St. Chappelle was awe inspiring."

Ginger

Ridgeway, SC

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A wonderful trip with a great group. Patrick did a super job and Ludwig, the bus driver, was delightful. This tour was more physically demanding than the other Rick Steves' tour we did. Be sure and be in good shape before going! We made good use of the provided Paris Museum Pass allowing us to see more things while in Paris. I would highly recommend restructuring the tour to allow for one and one-half or two days at the D-Day Beaches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Cemetery, D Day Beaches, and gardens at Bourges and Chenonceaux were my favorites. Things we did on our own that were spectacular were: the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, the night river cruise on the Seine, going to the Galleria Lafayette Department Store, and touring the luxurious Opera House."

Anne

Hampton, NH

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic first experience in France with the Rick Steves tour - it could not have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have a one "wow" moment on this tour. Traipsing around France from chateau to chateau, museum to museum, experiencing the culture and cuisine, the day tour of Normandy, staying overnight on Mont St. Michel and more - each moment was special for me."

Jerroll

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth RS tour, and as always, it was a fabulous experience. We enjoy the balance of guided excursions and free time. Once again, we had a wonderful, experienced guide and learned so much about France - including the culture and historical events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"They were all WOW moments - each one special in its own way. The masterpieces in the Louvre, the stained glass of St. Chapellle, the first view of Chambord, the flowers and setting of Chenonceau, the sight of Mont Ste. Michele lit up at night, and the new friends we made on our tour."

Monrad

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 08/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was outstanding... nice hotels, good dinners, wonderful sites and a very comfortable tour bus. In Paris, it was a nice combination of being with the group and "free time" on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the Orsay museum, San Chapelle and Mont St. Michele... too hard to pick only one of these."

Randall

Bemidji, MN

Tour: 08/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized, things ran perfectly. Basically the tour covered what was in the brochure, and some added highlights thanks to our guide. I would recommend this tour to anyone who can't or doesn't care to handle all the details on their own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guedelon and Mt St Michel. These were even better than I had expected."

Wanda

Longmont, CO

Tour: 08/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I like the mix of large city experience (Paris) coupled with getting into the countryside and seeing smaller cities. Seeing Guedelon helped me understand the building process although it is much smaller. That was a part of the trip I was looking forward to and it did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was the most unique part of the itinerary. Watching one of the highest tides ever come in was amazing. It is hard to imagine how the abbey and the rest of the buildings were built 1,000 years ago. I was surprised at all the modern amenities in our room. Not a thing was missing."

Philanese

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 08/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the whole trip. Julian did a fine job and kept us well informed. Our bus drivers were such fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St Michel during and experiencing the exceptionally high tide. Surprised at how comfortable our room was."

Lauren

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 08/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Although we have many resources available to us to learn about the world, the greatest impact is to experience those places first hand through travel. Learning does not stop after you have seen all the places you read about, but the experience peaks your interest to learn more. This tour experience sparks interest in learning and the appreciation of the arts, architecture, and lessons taught through history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the sites were special and there was not one disappointment. My favorite site was Mont Saint Michel. This place is truly unique in that it combines a small village beneath the huge monastery. The amazement is how this was built in the time period using relatively crude tools to create such a building/village. It was a privilege to stay overnight in such a beautiful place."

Elizabeth

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very good tour. The Louvre was a zoo, as expected. Been better to get there very early or go later in the day. Would have preferred doing the Orsay earlier in the morning also although it wasn't as crowded. Think Rue Cler is over-rated by you.Touristy. Not intimate like some other neighborhoods. Loved Guedelon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy. Especially with Stuart who is so knowledgeable and a great teacher. I had wished one of our tour dinners had been that night after the Normandy tour because I think we all needed to decompress and talk together about the day. Community that evening would have been more grounding then sent adrift for dinner alone."

Kathy

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 08/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was more than I anticipated. After watching Rick's shows for years, I now understand what travel through the backdoor means. Rick Steves' process of getting all tour tickets in advance and having competent guides who ensure that we don't have to stand in lines, maximized our travel time. The daily itineraries were very helpful in keeping us on track with what to expect each day. Even though it rained at least half of the days, we still enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was probably my favorite experience, I really liked the quaintness of Bourges, sheer audacity and architectural variety of Chambord, rawness of Selles Sur Cher. Of course, the food EVERYWHERE was great (and I still have the pounds to prove I enjoyed it!)"

Carol

Stamford, CT

Tour: 08/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful first-time organized tour experience for us. Good balance of group and individual time, and fantastic guides who enriched us with history and culture. Even the bus rides which I was unsure about were very smooth and comfortable, offering a chance to nap and hear more stories from the guide en route to each amazing site. SO much more convenient than trying to navigate such an itinerary on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count: -Seeing Monet's immense murals of water lilies at L'Orangerie, and later visiting in person the gorgeous gardens in Giverny that were the subject of his inspired work. -The tour of Normandy with the most wonderful guide whose stories of individual soldiers' bravery and expansive knowledge of the battles at each site brought the magnitude of that history into 3D life. -Walking in beautiful gardens and then rounding the corner to see the magnificent Chateau de Chenonceau."

Erika

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience to get to see so many wonderful things in 11 days. The hotels and bus were comfortable and my tour guide, assistant, bus driver, tour mates and everyone were very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many wows. The scale and architecture of Chambord was one of them."

Irene

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 08/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been on eight Rick Steves tours, and this met the high standards set by the prior tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We signed up for this tour for the Normandy experience, and it certainly met our expectations."

Barbara

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 08/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the scheduled sites included on the tour. The weather was totally unexpected for the season and was a real challenge for everyone!! So it was a bit of a disappointment because some sites and outings were simply cut short due specifically to the weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Loire Valley is so incredibly pastoral and peaceful. I can really see why people, both past and present, retreat there."

Lesley

Manly, Queensland

Tour: 08/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My over all tour experience was pure enjoyment. Everything about the tour was enjoyable from the first nights dinner to the history quiz on ramparts of Mont St Michele. Along the way we not only learnt about French history, art & architecture we also learnt about everyday life such as going to the markets and more importantly wine and cheese. Also the fact that everyone one (even the 6 teenagers) on the tour went from strangers to firm friends by the end of 11 days was simply remarkable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was Mont St Michele. From the first glimpse in the distance it was everything I had hoped for. The moment we stepped off the shuttle bus I just wanted to stand and take in the scene. I think arriving late in the afternoon is a great strategy. Because once the crowds have gone it is even more special."

Suzanne

Del Mar, CA

Tour: 08/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent. I loved the food and restaurant choices, the itinerary. Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly and always open to questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several favorite "wow" moments, but one that stands out was our visit to the Chateau de Chenonceau. The gardens were green, lush, and filled with lovely pink, purple, and white flowers. It felt peaceful, with the river and forest surrounding the beautiful Chateau; a nice get away from the busy city of Paris. Other favorites, were wine and cheese tasting in the Loire Valley, the quaint hotels, amazing dinners;tour of Mont-Saint-Michel, the D-Day Beaches, and Monet's Giverny Gardens."

Nancy

Bridgewater, NJ

Tour: 08/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was my first tour and I was traveling with my daughter who has a developmental disability, but physically able to keep up; Julie was amazing as a guide and a person! she did everything to make sure my daughter, who has a limited diet, had meals she could enjoy. If I had to change one thing, it would be to allow a bit more time when visiting some of the wonderful small towns, so there was more time to explore... Overall - amazing trip...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were numerous moments, from the museums, cathedrals, iconic landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triumph; but I suppose I loved the small towns and the history of Normandy and Mont St Michel - ok, I can't single out only one "wow" moment:)"

Dhanya

Sanford, FL

Tour: 08/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the most amazing journey to date!! Our guide was superb. A trip filled with historical sites, beautiful palaces, museums, parks and gardens. We were so thrilled as a family to be able to experience this with Julie as well as all the wonderful people in our tour group. We have watched Rick Steves for years and years on PBS and found out the tour by accident while searching for vacation options and guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chananceau. Hands down the most wonderful experience with its immaculate gardens and beautiful Chateau. The place was so serene and really captured so much of the rich history of that era. It exceeded our expectations and filled our imagination. Well, the Museum D'Orsay was also a close second. Wait, let me also add the wine tasting... wait, the American cemetery in Normandy. You get the picture. It would be really hard to say because there were so many wonderful experiences."

Mike

Shelby, NC

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an exceptional guide in Virginie. She taught us history, social mores, explained how to avoid the "French Frown" and was always delightful in each days adventure. We had a small group that was well rounded and all friends within the first few days. The French countryside was beautiful and the people very friendly. Again, anothe outstanding tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Mt St Michel flood during high tide and become an island, and getting to remain there overnight. Also Dale, our guide at Normandy was exceptional."

Lydia

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the the fourth tour I have taken but first Rick Steves. There were only 14 people on this tour so that made a huge difference on how personal it was. I wish they could all be this small. Virginie was the absolute best tour guide. She made learning all the history involved so interesting. Her story of John Mary and Belle left no questions about everyday life in France. Such a great teaching technique this was. the trip was awesome in every way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the little church outside of Marie Inglese where two ladies that were children on D-Day met us and spoke about that day. Dale was the absolute best local guide and told the story of the two medics that helped 81 people in that tiny church on that horrific day. it was so emotional that I wept along with most of our group. And that began our tour of Normandy."

Steven

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had very high expectations & this tour exceeded them in every way. The accomodations, itinerary and meals were superb. The local guides were phenomenol, especially notewothy were Dale in Normandy and Julian at the Louvre. But the key to all of that was Virginie. Everyday was filled with surprises. Flexible; friendly, patient and extremely knowledgeable. She handled every detail. Cest' manifique!! She is a tremendous asset to the Rick Steve's organization and brand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was especially looking forward to the D-Day tours, being a hisotry buff and having Dale's insights and perspecitve on the human impact are expereicnes i will never forget. Visting the church at Angoville-Au-Plain was an incredibly emotional moment. Our picinic with goodies from a farmer's market at the chateau in Seeles-sur-Cher was a great group bonding experience. And morning prayers at Mont Ste michel. every day had a wow moment."

Colby

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to France several times before, but never as part of a Rick Steves tour. I learned so much more about France, especially its history and culture, than in all of my previous trips. Paris is a very unique, beautiful city that dazzles all of your senses. Visiting the Loire Valley chateau, Mont St. Michel and the Normandy WWII invasion sights with the expert local guides is an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking from our first nights group dinner to the Eiffel tower. The sight of the Eiffel tower always leaves me with that "wow" feeling."

Leigh

Auburn, CA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was wonderful. The tour was activity-filled, well planned and exceeded expectations! Great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying right on the island at mon st. Michel."

Ann

Shelby, NC

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. I loved all the sites we covered during the actual tour part and I also accomplished everything that I had on my list during our free time. It was perfect! Our tour group was extremely small (14) and were a blast!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my goodness. This will be hard. Mont St Michel was great! We felt very special getting to spend the night on the island,and the abbey was amazing! I got some fantastic pictures. Our Normandy guide, Dale, was amazing! He made you feel like you were actually there. It was very emotional."

Jennifer

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The logistic is amazing. Tour guide is professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Local guides are amazing too. accommodations are great. itineraries are well planned, and perfect, not rush, not boring, just perfect. Food and wine are just the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont St Michel, beautiful, unusual, and out of this world. There are so many wow moments. Normandy is unforgettable."

John

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We gained excellent insight into French culture, food, wine as well as French history. We ate very well and wide ranging, from nice restaurants to farmer's markets.

Lisa

Auburn, CA

Tour: 07/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Let me count the ways my recent tour experience exceeded my expectations...took hassle & fear out of travel & sightseeing in a foreign country where we do the speak the language, educationally and culturally rich, everyday had at least one surprise or wow element, tour guide was exceptional...her attention to detail was second to none. She made sure we had what we needed every step of the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to decide there were so many, but I think I would have to say Mont St. Michel. Stayed overnight, experienced it without all the tourists, saw a full tide cycle, prayed with the monks & nuns, etc..."

Pamela

Galena, MD

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Toni was on top of everything, helpful, very likable, answered everyone's questions, added things for us. We both loved the combination of touring with Toni as well as the ever-so-knowledgeable local guides and free time. And the free time worked because of the Rick Steves' books.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day. I've never seen anything like it. The million or so people, the music that coordinated with the well-designed fireworks for each song, the fireworks coming out of the Eiffel Tower, going around it, up and down.... amazing. Breathtaking. And on our second night!"

Dale

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All went well through trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to ST Michel, just being there."

James

Galena, MD

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about our France trip. It was the right combination of guided and self guided excursions. Toni was the best guide we could possibly have for a lot of reasons. She knew France and told the good and bad of each situation, she didn't gold plate everything. I appreciated that she allowed us to roam the museums rather than she explaining each work to us. That would have been deadly! I was ready for France and I was not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beauty of France. What can I say? Normandie was solemn for me because my uncle landed with those men. The church in Argoville au Plain was part of that solemn "wow" moment, too."

Jane

Rockford, IL

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"visiting the beaches of Normandy!"

Ingrid

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I simply love Paris and the heart of France area. I love the ease of traveling with ETTBD tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Leonardo's garden and the Bonnard art shoe at the Orsay Museum. I was also very impressed by the superb and comprehensive presentations at the Normandy beaches."

Don

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience of the tour was outstanding. The guides were experienced, informed, and helpful in all situations. They provided excellent information and suggestions and were helpful to individual participants. The transportation bus company was a great experience with both husband and wife as drivers providing for all needs and safely driving throughout the tour. This is our fifth trip with Rick Steves Tours and we were very impressed with the expertise and organization of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't just one "wow" moment. The stay in Mont-St-Michel was very special. A unique experience that will not be forgotten. The Chambord Chateaus was also unique and very worth while. Ode Guedelon, 13th Century Techniques was a fascinating and truly educational experience. The Normandy Beaches and American Cemetery were emotional experiences that will always be remembered."

Kerry

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was led by a great guide and the assitant was amazing as well. The people on our tour made for a nice, compatible group - and we all seemed to mix and match easily. We had a fairly ambitious schedule, which may have felt 'busier' due to the extreme heat on the continent this year. The bus drivers were also very nice, even with suggestions now and then for lunch. It was a good balance of moving and sitting. Everything went smoothly and was very enjoyable. I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Giverny was the highlight for me. I am a Monet lover, and was also wowed by L'Orangerie - a museum long on my bucket list. Being at Giverny garden was like having an opportunity to live inside one of Monet's paintings!"

Keith

Norton, MA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized and over delivered my expectations. It was a good mix of scheduled stops and free time. I particularly liked the " back roads" approach - boutique type hotels near historic locations and popular as well as lesser known attractions. Antoine and Cristina were excellent in providing good information as well as engaging the tour members. Their engagement brought the group together and resulted in great interaction within the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments so it is hard to choose just one. However, seeing and staying on Mtont St Michel was the best of my wow moments. The emotional moment for me was the Amercian cemetery in Normandy."

Catherine

Ballwin, MO

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed the villages we visited, the cathedrals, the countryside, and that this tour was as much about sightseeting as it was about learning French history, too. Guedelon especially was a great way to preface the chateaux we'd see later on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the excursions to local markets; it was very fun to have to fend for ourselves and speak the language with locals. The reward of fresh food made it even more worthwhile!"

Carolyn

Orinda, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having traveled with many tour companies, I would rate this as an exceptionally wonderful trip and am recommending Rick's tours to all my friends and finding partners. Unfortunately most of my friends are not able to manage the physical demands. Was very delighted to have some teens and a mixed group--super folks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To my surprise, loved Monet's DiVinci's homes and experiencing D-Day beaches. Also the many extras were a plus."

Sandy

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

City to countryside to beaches, Paris and the Heart of France opened up the culture, history and beauty of France. It takes away all stereotyping of the French people who are as varied as their country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St. Michel, as a pilgrim, allowed us to experience its serenity, holiness and natural beauty. Tidal flows and a full moon changed the landscape constantly. Night lighting of the cathedral and tolling church bells were reminders of its sanctified purpose."

Linda

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Loire Valley, and the bucolic countryside of Brittany and Normandy. It was a pleasure to be away from the crowds and heat of Paris, although Paris will always be my favorite city in the world! I enjoyed the pace of the trip....more relaxed than some. Although I've visited the Normandy beaches several times, I learned a great deal more this time. Mont St. Michel was stunning!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel! We had a beautiful terrace outside our hotel room, and there were gulls swirling and squawking all around and over our heads. We could see the abbey above us, and in the early morning we went to the laudes service to hear the monks and nuns sing. Absolutely beautiful! I woke up early and saw a gorgeous sunrise from our terrace. Timing was great...arriving late afternoon when everyone was leaving, and leaving by noon when everyone was arriving. Classic Rick Steves timing!"

Marion

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased with the itinerary, hotels, the food and the bus. The schedule had enough free time to give us some space, while maximizing what we were able to see and experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending the morning prayer service at the abbey at Mont St Michel. This made up for the excessive touristy nature of the village and hordes of day-tourists."

Angela

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never think a tour can get better and then it happens again. Activities, tour guide, bus rides and and hotels were all terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though the crowds were terrible, the Monet Gaden was very exciting to see, especially since we had been able to see the paintings in Paris. I also really liked staying on Mount St. Michelle. Of cours Normandy Beaches was a must see. Very educational day."

Barbara

Arnold, MD

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As you can see from my evaluation it was an outstanding tour/vacation. Ther only thing I would change would be to forget Montparnasse as there doesn't seem to be much there to do except to go up in the tower. It was a spectacular view but rather costly. We were there for several days before the tour and had to get out of there in order to see historic sites. The balance of time on our own and group activities was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel and the beautiful accommodations near the top near the abbey. Our view was breathtaking at sunrise as we prepared to go to morning prayers. The church bells are something I will always remember."

Tara

Maryville, IL

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide Gramme and Laural were awesome!!!!! The bus was great as well!. Ludwig, our driver, was fabulous- I would use him as much as possible. Thanks for still giving us the comfort of being able to spread out even though we had a smaller group! We had to change our date and working with the Rick Steves office was easy. Last year we took the Berlin - Vienna - Prague tour and did not have the wisper sets. What a difference they make - thank you!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I I had to choose one, it would be in Normandy, with a group of us taking off our shoes and standing in the water looking back at the cliffs of Omaha beach. Very humbling what our veterans went through when landing there. Next stop was the American cemetery where 9,000+ are buried from the Normandy campaign. A very memorable day."

Robert

Palatine, IL

Tour: 07/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a bit nervous about this tour because it would be the first time where I wasn't going to be able to skate by using English. However, I was determined to make the attempt to at least speak a little French. I really wish I'd spent more time with the French phrase book! I needn't have worried. Simply having a few phrases and making the attempt to speak French went a long way to bridging the gap.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. At our first Paris hotel, I was complimented by one of the hotel front desk people for the fact that I greeted him in French and even used bonsoir in the evening. He also complimented my pronunciation. The other moment was in Amboise at the Bigot chocolatier. I was stumbling over saying "nine pieces of chocolate". I said "pardon" (French pronunciation) to the salesperson after getting the proper pronunciation. She smiled at me and said "Don't worry. You're trying"."

Diane

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful trip to France. Paris was an incredible melting pot of people and history. I really enjoyed the Loire Valley with its story book chateaux, wine, and wonderful cheese. We also liked having the Rick Steves audio tours for use in the Orsay and Louvre museums. The fellow tour members were relaxed and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Saint Michel at night. Watching the island turn into a mythical place as the sunset and the lights illuminated the abbey. My second wow moment was listening to Dale Booth on Utah Beach (D-day beaches.) He clearly and efficiently educated us on the incredible efforts and valor of those men on that amazing day in history."

Emmett

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was Rebecca. The, Godsend and best friend of all to us. My son became seriously ill on the trip. Rebecca took charge of guiding his wife on getting emergency help at the American Hospital in Paris. She contacted the tour company of his situation and also their travel insurance company. She spent part of her "free" time helping us and being an A+ tour guide. Rebecca never let down any others on their tour of France. Always prepared, witty and informative. Perfect host

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy-6th of June 1944. The world changed for the better. My interest is WW II. I thought I understood the invasion until seeing the beeches and listening to the guest host. WOW!! Monet's garden. There is no other place that has the both the beauty of place and mystic of Monet's presence."

Stephen

Brewster, MA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful trip and Rebecca was a caring professional. France and Paris are fabulous to begin with and when the tour clicks it becomes over the top.I am recommending Rick Steve's to all my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment for me was when Rebecca started talking to a random frenchman in Amboise and got him to invite us all to vist his cave dwelling."

Jeanne

Brewster, MA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded all our expectations! Every detail was so thoughtfully arranged including the bus ride with Matt and Annie who took great care of us. We loved Paris, of course, but the medieval towns like Amboise and Bourges were incredible. Mont St. Michel was beyond words and to be able to spend a night there was indescribable. Our Normandy tour was amazing and so emotional. Our guide for that day was outstanding. And last but not least we loved Rebecca our guide. She made it fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say seeing the beaches at Normandy and the little church Dale took us too where two young medics took care of wounded soldiers for days. The young men were around 18-19 years of age and were responsible for the lives of many injured soldiers. Dale made the story come alive and many of us had tears in our eyes."

Linda

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on 4 Rick Steeves tours and none have ever been a disappointment. This one certainly was just as wonderful. There are always things you will never forget and wonderful people to meet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were certainly several "wow" moments but I would have to say the church in the Normandy village was certainly an emotional "wow". I also loved the unexpected tour of the wall house by the resident who spoke no English."

Doris

Fenton, MI

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca was a wonderful tour leader. Her enthusiasm, energy and knowledge was amazing and she was very helpful as well she even walked my grandson and I to the Air France bus stop to take us to the airport. All the sights we visited were outstanding as were the accommodations and meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can I have two? Mont Saint-Michel and watching the tide roar in. Thanks for arranging an overnight visit to avoid all the other tourists. The other would be Normandy. The guide, sorry forgot his name, was outstanding we felt we were reliving the experience. He held my 18 year old grandson spellbound."

Peter

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour and I know one of your objectives is to teach us how to travel safely and smart. I enjoyed every stop and did learn more about the country and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the tour of the D-Day sites in Normandy. The tour guide, Dale Booth, brought us back to that dreadful time. I felt the pain again."

Sharon

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was everything I expected and more! Everything ran smoothly, I met new friends and I learned so much about France and the French. I never imagined that France was such a beautiful country, not just the beautiful city of Paris!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was Mont St-Michel. Photos cannot capture the experience of being there. The tour plans it perfectly, to arrive when the other tourists are leaving. Spending the night on this monument was my highlight, so quiet with a cross-breeze room. We woke early to walk up to the Abbey and listen to the monks and nuns chant their morning prayers, unforgettable moments embedded in my memory. Mont St-Michel was absolutely enchanting."

Judy

Acton, CA

Tour: 06/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a whirlwind tour, never a dull moment. We visited so many places, that on our own, we couldn't have seen so much. It was well-organized. We couldn't have asked for better guides with greater personalities and knowledge. We loved all the places we went to. I, especially, loved Mont St.-Michel Abbey. The least favorites was the chateau-in-the-making at Guedelon and the winery. I would rather have skipped those and spent more time in Normandy, Bourges, or Amboise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St.-Michel Abbey. It was surreal, a gigantic abbey built on a huge rock, with the tides coming in twice a day! I would have liked to have spent more time there, but at least we got to stay overnight there."

Carol

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 06/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience for me and my 17-year-old granddaughter. The balance of tour-provided excursions and time on our own was perfect. I'd have liked for the Eiffel Tower and more of the Latin Quarter to have been included, but that is not a deal-breaker by any means. Not only were our guides Patrick and Jennifer excellent, but the local guides for every location (the Louvre,Bourges, Mont St. Michel, Normandy, have I missed any?) were the best . . . VERY knowledgeable, personable and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one. The profoundness of Utah and Omaha beaches, the American and German cemeteries were without equal."

Rick

Sioux City, IA

Tour: 06/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It met our expectations and went beyond in many positive ways. There is a tremendous benefit to having a small friendly group, a phenomenal tour guide and a very interesting itinerary planned and [INVALID]d for us. We usually plan and travel on our own, but this tour group allowed us to enjoy our time in France without having to stress out about hotels, itinerary, or missing out on some really cool experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having dinner with our group high on Mont Saint-Michel, and then walking out on the parapets to experience sunset high above the tides. It was quiet and spectacular, and something we will never forget."

Dawn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour went beyond my expectations. I feel like the tour was organized to teach us how to travel independently the first few days and as the tour continued, we took baby steps towards being independent. We started in an area that allowed us to explore the culture and people and as the trip continued, each day topped the next. Our last hotel was strategically placed near the AirFrance buses which was fabulous since the taxis were on strike.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fact that the Louvre was a palace before it was an art museum. I never knew. I appreciated it as much for its size and structure as I did for the art inside."

Kenna

Scituate, MA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. Loved every minute. Every day was a treat and Rebecca's occasional surprises and her excellent planning provided an atmosphere of relaxation, fun and exciting anticipation for whatever was next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to identify just one wow moment. I loved the beauty and richness of the history of France and the ways in which the meaning of that history has been preserved.. I especially was moved by the towns we visited that exemplified the history and culture of France. One shop owner described her personal history of owning her pottery business on that same sit for over 40 years."

Jonnie

Richland, WA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful tour and Rebecca was an amazing tour guide. Our stay at Mont St. Michelle was great. There were a few places I would have like to spend a bit more time (Chateau du Chambord) and felt rushed at several points. I would have liked to have time (even 30 minutes) at one of the Normandy beach museums. Maybe we could have started earlier in the day or even eaten on the bus? On the whole I loved the trip and would recommend it to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The morning trip to the Abbey on Mont St. Michelle. We were gifted with amazing weather and by staying overnight missed most of the terrible crowds that arrived at 10 a.m. Several people in the group went to morning mass and said it was one of the most amazing experiences of their travels."

Ron

Marshfield, MA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Loved the combination of structured and unstructured time. Surprised by the quality of the hotels and their great locations. All our guides were exceptional. Our main guide, Rebecca contributed greatly with her group management skills, her compassion, her humor, and especially her communication skills. Loved the itinerary, we saw things I would not have seen if I created my own itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many moments were 'wows' that it is difficult to name just one. Mont San Michel was one that made a lasting impression."

Gloria

Marshfield, MA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca was the absolute best. Rebecca was so accomodating and fun and full of knowledge. I had never been to France before and it was such a wonderful trip, we cannot wait to go on another We had a wonderful time with our fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet Gardens, Normandy Matt the tour guide in Normandy was terrific."

Anne

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a hotel concierge in New Orleans, I am always handling guest's itineraries and restaurant reservations. I thought I could easily put together a nice tour of France for 2 weeks. No, no, no. It was so frustrating. We made the decision to let someone else do the arrangements. Best decision was this Rick Steves Tour. Didn't want a tour where you followed the lady with the red flag. No red flags and no hassles. Lots of independence. It went by too quickly. Ready for another trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to spend the night on Mont St. Michel. The most incredible experience was attending the service in the church early in the morning before the island became inundated with tourists. A memory that will live forever being in this huge cathedral with 5 nuns and 3 monks. Only 9 visitors. WOW! It wasn't part of the official tour but our tour guide mentioned it. Loved Chenonceau and Monet's Gardens."

Katie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so successful because we had such a wonderful and helpful tour guide. Rebecca was passionate about our first time experiences and though always there to help, she encouraged us to be independent, which only enriched our experiences. Paris is so big we needed a few extra days outside of the tour to see more of it, but I wouldn't trade more guided time in Paris for the beautiful French countryside, the chateaus or the Normandy beaches. Only question is, which tour next?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden was the highlight but the biggest "wow" moment was the Louvre itself. I did not realize it was once a palace but once there, I could see that it was fit for royalty. The city of Bourges was also a great surprise. The cobblestone streets and half timber houses were charming and the cathedral was breathtaking. I recommend the local market - it was a wonderful experience, with friendly locals and delicious treats, as well as a good place to practice some French!"

John

Astoria, OR

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Rebecca is more than great. She enhanced our experience by 1000%. We definitely plan to take another Rick Steves tour in the future. Thank you for a great trip in France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beginning to end our whole eleven days was "wow"."

Jacqueline

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Paris and the Heart of France! First, the tour was well organized. Hotels were conveniently located. Our guide, Rebecca, was superb! Informative, patient, easy to see her love for France, art and history. I really enjoyed the food and wine. We experienced street markets, wineries, and had amazingly good food. Local guides were excellent. The visit to D Day beaches was very moving. The coach was new, immaculate, and we had excellent drivers, Annie and Matt. The coffee service was a hit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was one of a few people who attended an early morning church service in the abbey at Mont St Michel. A magical moment, serene, spiritual. Light streaming through the windows, acoustics were amazing. About 9 people on the island were there, only a few from our group. Highly recommend this experience. Another wow moment was attending an evening concert at St Chappelle. Light streaming though the stained glass, classical music, fantastic acoustics. Another highly recommended moment."

June

Lansing, KS

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being the first time. I had to pinch myself just to believe I was there. There was a lot of walking but oh the sights. So many beautiful sights. Wished I could of stayed longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was a "WOW" moment. What more can I say?"

Brian

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful group and an amazing guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel for the first time was amazing."

Pauline

Alhambra, CA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on a RS tour before, and I had high expectations; this tour exceeded them! I appreciate all that I learned and experienced under the able direction of our tour director Patrick and the local guides. While I loved the cultural sites in Paris, I have developed an even greater appreciation of the people, towns, and villages of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most amazing - Le Mont St. Michel; everything about it. Most poignant - D-day beach tour, the church in Angoville-Au-Plain and learning the story of the 2 young American soldiers caring for casualties from both sides. Most beautiful - Monet's home and gardens in Giverny. For me, the best were saved for last! Terrific!"

Elaine

Piedmont, SC

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the variety of daily excursions. The cathedrals were beautiful, each with their own style. The galleries provided opportunities for the 'must see' art, in addition to the Bayeux Tapestry. Normandy beaches and Monet's gardens, memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals were incredible, paired with the information provided by Patrick about their history."

Stephen

Piedmont, SC

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly as billed. The mix of planned and free time was very good and the little "extras" added to the overall enjoyment. Staying on Mont St Michel was special. By 6 PM when the day trippers leave, it feels like no one else is there and one can wander around easily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how chateaux were built in the 13th century at Guedelon."

Colleen

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour experience. Would like to go on another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites were great, but the thing that really amazed me was how nice everyone was. I have heard that Americans are not Europe's favorite group of people, to put it nicely. I guess that is the 'Rick Steves ' experience. We made a lot of mistakes, but the French were very helpful, friendly and laughed along with us."

Everett

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the people, and all the sites. Learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michael. It was so majestic. Thrilled to spend the night there. The view was very impressive."

Kyle

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed a great deal. Would recommend to everyone. Would go again in a minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bayeux tapestry was really impressive. Had heard about it, but was really worth seeing!"

Ryan

Du Bois, PA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a lot of fun. Got to see a lot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Notre Dame was amazing. Normandy landing sites made you think."

Brian

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the trip. Patrick was an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the most unexpected was Monet's Garden. I did not expect to be wowed, but matching it to the paintings we saw in Paris was astounding. Just being at all the places that we have seen and read about was neat."

Donna

Rockville, MD

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had some apprehension that the tour might be too structured, but a few hours into the first day, all that disappeared. There was an excellent balance between the escorted part of the tour and free time. The tour was almost stress free. We didn't have to make hotel reservations, find good restaurants, figure out the subway, etc. We saw more, did more, and at the same time had a relaxing vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was Mont St-Michelle - staying overnight on the island and being able to visit at night and early in the morning. My second was Monet's water lilies paintings at Orangerie Museum."

Carmen

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides were excellent, well informed, helpful and friendly. Their attention to detail and their willingness to be of help with small needs was admirable. Although we have traveled with other tour companies, this was the most congenial group of people traveling together that we have experienced. I think having a smaller group to spread out on the bus was great! I especially appreciated being taken to small towns with interesting things to see even when it was only a lunch stop. Great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure I could pick one "wow" moment because there were so many. Nevertheless, I would pick Giverny. After seeing the Monet Waterlillies at the Orangerie, seeing the gardens was a thrill!"

Sally

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't imagine yet another tour that could compare with the wonderful experiences we had on two previous tours--but this was great, different--and of course lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say--I expected D-Day Beaches to be that (and it was very moving), but the excitement we experienced at the castle-building at Guedelon was unexpected But Mont St-Michel was probably the favorite WOW as we walked on the city walls alone at dusk, and attended morning prayers in the abbey as the sun was rising and shining through the glass of the medieval church. Then there was the food....."

Michael

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time and really appreciated both Julie and Graeme's help and knowledge of Paris and France. Graeme's history knowledge was outstanding and added a real plus to the tour. Julie's local knowledge and comparison of the US culture compared to the France culture enhanced my appreciation of France and the various differences. I was pleased with the hotels, the meals and the bus transportation. The whisper systems worked great and the only way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the early morning lauds service with the monks and nuns on Monte St. Michele was wonderful and a moving spiritual experience for me. The peace of God was present!! Another moment was stepping on Utah beach and seeing what our soldiers had to face and the number of people that gave their lives in the D Day landings. Very moving."

Glorianne

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was fabulous. Our guide, Julie and tour apprentice Greime was very knowledgeable, friendly and available. My husband and I felt very taken care of with the information and guidance given by the guides. The hotels were wonderful and went beyond our expectations of 'local hotels. Staying over night and attending a morning service at Mont St Michele was a highlight for me and Visiting the Chateau at Guedelon.Our group of fellow travelers were awesome! Thanks Rick Steves and Staff

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' moment was seeing the building and interior of Opera Garnier, although we visited this on our own, being a musician seeing this was a dream come true."

Robin

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this rich and varied itinerary! It was a very efficient and enjoyable way to visit lots of sights and included all sorts of experiences that I never would have had on my own. Even our lunch stops offered opportunities to stroll through lovely medieval towns that were well off the beaten path. We had a great group of travelers, wonderful guides and mostly exceptional weather. The whisper system is a huge enhancement! I wouldn't want to take a guided tour without it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) The tour itinerary delivered a long list of expected WOWs, but the unexpected WOW for me was Guédelon. Just remarkable. 2) The magic of nighttime on Mont-St-Michel. Hiking up to the Abbey in the early morning to observe the singing of Laudes felt like time-traveling back to the Middle Ages. 3) Seeing the remnants of the Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches, which brought home the enormity of that operation."

Phillip

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even though the tour was advertised as having a guide and an apprentice, we truly had two very experienced, competent guides. Their knowledge of the history and background of our visits made them come even more alive. And the depth of knowledge of the local guides, particularly at the Louvre and the Normandy D-Day beaches, was incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont ST. Michael in the evening as the crowds were departing, and then waking the next morning seemingly having the entire town to ourselves, was a really WOW experience."

Karen

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to be in France so everything was a new experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The over night experience in Mount Saint Michel. Having this in the middle of the trip was perfect timing. The second wow was Monet's garden."

Johann

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgeable guides especially in historical context. Well paced tour in and out of Paris. One of the friendliest and most civil tour group I have ever traveled with. Graeme came on like a master rather than an "apprentice".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm. There were probably more than one of these moments. A big draw of this tour was the Bayeux Tapestry and I found it to be as compelling as promised. A less compelling draw were the Normandy beaches, but I believe that walking the large US memorial cemetery with the sea in the background was probably the single most moving time--which wasn't what I expected."

Shirleah

Greensburg, PA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides, Julie and Graeme were most EXCELLENT!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extent and beauty of Monet's GARDEN!"

Katherine

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again this Rick Steves' tour exceeded our expectations. This was our 2nd tour and our hope is that it won't be our last. There are so many things made possible by the extensive preparation that just wouldn't be possible if we were traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was the early morning chanting at the abbey on the top of Mont Saint Michel. Spending the night on Mont Saint Michel made our attendance possible. The island is such a unique and amazing place. Photography is my passion and there were so many incredible shots to be taken. A very close 2nd would be the day spent on the D-day beaches. Dale, our guide for the day, is extremely knowledgeable and did an awesome job of bringing that event alive. A very emotional experience."

Lynn

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS EVALUATION IS FROM LYNN AND ENNO FRITZ--WE DID IT TOGETHER. We really enjoyed the combo of Paris and the northern more rural countryside and villages. We had been to Paris before but really came to know it better. We stayed in Paris 4 extra nights--1 at the front end and 3 on the back end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Mt. Saint Michel[INVALID]the guides should really recommend a climb to the top in the early evening. We just happened to do it and loved the light and views[INVALID]much different than the daytime tour the next day. And the Normandy beach day was amazing for us[INVALID]it would be great for every American to be able to see it and think about what happened over those 61 miles of beaches and 77 days (hope we got that right!)."

Janis

Bartlesville, OK

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour guide and bus drivers. everything was great and the time spent at each destination was about perfect (although I would have liked an extra day at Normandy beaches). I was also impressed with the local guides at each destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D-Day tour okay my second favorite was mont st.michael at night"

James

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, Virginie, was my "wow" moment repeatedly throughout the tour. My wife and I travelled with our 14 and 13 year old granddaughters. Virginie teaching experience was perfect for young and old."

Patricia

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having taken 2 granddaughters on a previous great RS trip we took our 2 youngest granddaughters (just turned 13 and almost 15). The whole group welcomed them, especially Virginie. I think they could quote almost everything she told us. She is an excellent teacher and wanted us to love France as she does.Her experiences in the U.S. gave her good insight into comparing the 2 countries. We learned how to avoid the "French Frown" and were probably better received with her advice. Every day was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Seeing our granddaughters love every aspect of the trip. 2.My personal favorites were: Sainte Chappelle- a magnificent edifice of worship;Chenonceau-so beautiful and we saw it before the crowds arrived;Normandie the Angoville au Plain Church where 2 young men labored to save both American and German Soldiers with little equipment; and Giverney-a gardener's dream, indescribably lovely."

Sarah

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this was one of the best experiences in my life. Being only fourteen, the tour was different for me because the other tour members were much older. But, our tour guide, Virginie made the tour as fun for us as she could. My younger sister and I will always look back on this for as one of the best experiences in our lives. The things we saw, food, travel accommodations, hotel rooms, and our tour guides were absolutely outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was definitely the DDay beaches. Our guide for the day, Dale, was fantastic. Being a World War Two nerd, this was perfect. We saw Utah and Omaha beaches, and Utah was my favorite. Overall, however, a little church a couple miles from the beach was my wow moment. In the church, Dale told us the story of two young medics who saved 78 lives when 81 were brought into the church. Dale described everything to perfection from the sounds that would have been heard and the sights."

Anne

Ascot,

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent value for money and time. We were a little worn out as there was so much to see and do. Maybe our age was showing. Our tour guide, Virginie, was excellent. She explained the historical background clearly and was a gifted teacher. We were fortunate to have a caring, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. We had many amazing experiences in a very short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden."

David

Ascot,

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Extremely well led by Virginie. As usual, good value for money and well located hotels

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden"

Richard

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have a tradition in our family of taking the kids on a vacation of their choice when they graduate from high school. We had gone on a Rick Steves' tour before and loved it so they choice to go on another for our daughters graduation was easy. She chose the Heart of France Tour which surpassed all of our expectations...even better than our first tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had two. Staying on Mont St. Michel at night and waking up to the quiet solitude was memorable. The second was our tour of the D-Day Beaches and surrounding area in Normandy."

Carol

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Just the right mix of planned events and free time. Our guide was exceptional. We highly recommend Rick Steves tours and this one in particular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had an extraordinary day touring the D-Day beaches with our local guide Dale Booth. He put names and faces to the men that fought bravely against tremendous danger. Being there and seeing the sites and obstacles first hand really made the history of the invasion come alive. It was a very emotionally moving day."

Jan

Gunnison, UT

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Everything worked well because it was planned well. The group shows up at St. Chapel in Paris with a 1+ hour line waiting. We walk right in because it was a RS tour. Same with the Louvre. Same with Monet's gardens. The tour guides are their waiting for us. The bus is there waiting for us. Dinners together are in fun restaurants with a room waiting for us and dinner served in a timely fashion. Hotels with room keys are waiting for us. All of the trouble shooting is taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the night on Mount St. Michel was fun, Normandy was profoundly sobering."

Robert

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was without a doubt the best tour I have taken. Everything was well planned and organized. We had plenty of group time and plenty of free time. The hotels and restaurants were excellent. But most important was our tour guide. Virginie was outstanding. She was not only a wonderful leader but also a great historian. The bus drivers, Annie and Math were also terrific. It was just a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but Normandy and the DDay beaches top the list."

Juanita

Orlando, FL

Tour: 06/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We're small-cruise ship fans, but this tour opened us up to "land" options. We loved the itinerary & each "free time" was a chance to walk around, discover little towns w/ Virginie's helpful info. Superb guide, managed well the schedule, very knowledgeable of her country & current events, excellent command of English & always out of her way to let us experience "local color". Meals & wines - aptly introduced. Good bus drivers, bus always clean. Next RS tour here we come...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tops: Mont St Michel at sunset, midnight & early morn & the sound of the wind. Pensive: reflections on bravery & sacrifice freedom & its cost, at Normandie beaches, thanks to Dale's compelling accounts. Fun: local markets & queuing for "French hotdog"."

Reid

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Compatible traveling companions and fine tour guide. Good choices on where to spend our time. Just the right amount of guided touring and free time. I felt we packed a lot into a short time without becoming overloaded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was so much. Paris, of course. A moving and memorable trip to the Normandy beaches. The night we spent on Mont St. Michel. They were all WOWs."

Garrett

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although my tour was cut short due to health issue, the museums in Paris and the food were fantastic. As I have come to expect, everything from the hotels, tour guide Marie, and coach drivers were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art in the Orangerie were fantastic. I preferred the less crowded venue and the display of Monet paintings were breathtaking."

Ann Marie

Easton, MD

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! This was my 3rd tour; 1st with my husband. After raving about the previous two RS tours he agreed to go for our 30th wedding anniversary. Now he understands why I can't stop talking about these tours once I return home. Just wow! Marie is a fantastic guide. We absolutely loved her spirit, knowledge, humor, organizational skills! So impressed by all she did for us to keep us on track while getting the most out of the places we visited. Still can't get over all that we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel in person, experiencing it at night! That was an incredible experience. As was climbing all the stairs, lol :-)"

John

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and daughter enjoyed the greatly enjoyed the trip. I would have cut one day from Paris and added it to the Normandy beaches and museums

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pointe du Hoc & the 16th-century Château de Chenonceau."

Christina

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so packed with great sights and wow moments. The places we visited and had access to, I don't believe we would have been able to accomplish as much on our own. The bus transportation is relaxing and takes the stress out of moving from place to place. Hotels were all charming, and the staff in every one of them was friendly and helpful. Our guide was wonderful, she knows her history of France. Paris and Heart of France tour was our second Rick Steve's tour and plan to do more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to pin down. Chateaux du Chennonceau was a truly beautiful castle and gardens to match. I would say the multiple kitchens with the copper utensils was one of my favorites. Monet's garden was every bit as beautiful as it was described to be and very worth seeing. Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, were the reason I chose this tour and very moving."

Gerri

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

it was great. a little rushed because I had a sense of Marie being a bit naggy about our needing to be on time. it wasn't a problem so much as her saying we had so much to do (lots of bus travelog time) and had to be on time etc. Otherwise, Marie was a knowledgeable and entertaining guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three favorites, the castle building day, the chateau winery and Normandy beach because it was so close to d-day and the tour guide was awesome"

Michelle

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 05/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was much better than I expected. Even though we were slowed down by doing things as a group, the quality of the experience was much better than what I would have had arranging my own travel. Some the the sights that I was not that excited about, were actually incredible. It was the out of the way stops that make me want to do a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I think back on the trip, this is a very difficult question. I enjoyed everything we did. I loved seeing the Guedelon castle being built. And there was something surreal about Mont St. Michel. I was so glad that I got up early to hear the monks and nuns start their day in song at the Abbey. I will never forget seeing a monk lock the enormous door behind us with a large ancient key!"

Kay

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very fortunate to have a great group of 27 people with outstanding leadership by our guide, assistant guide, and bus driver. This is only the second tour we have been on; the other was an OAT trip to Costa Rica. We have done a lot of independent travel, beginning with a 4 1/2 month trip through Europe in 1986-87 guided by "Europe through the Back Door." I think we are still weighing the advantages of going on a tour (you learn more, spend less time on the basics of eating and sleeping).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excellent job on Mont St. Michel. We attended the Laudes service at 7 a.m. with the nuns and monks of the Order of Jerusalem in a small chapel below the main abbey. That will be a lifelong memory. Wonderful to spend the night and have the guided tour in the morning. We'd been there 19 years ago and got nothing out of it compared to this visit."

Mark

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first tour with Rick Steves. We actually went to Europe for 6 months in 1986 using Rick's Europe Thru The Back Door and Europe 101. Now, thirty years later, relatively well travelled, we decided to try a tour. Overall very impressed, our guides were outstanding and the people on the trip were all very nice. NO snobs or complainers but a few seemed a bit fragile and not in quite the shape that is expected, such as being to be able to walk 5-8 miles in a day. I would consider another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverney."

Gerry

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall we enjoyed our tour very much. Virginie was a very large part of what made it special. We appreciated that we had down time most days and we could decide what else we might want to do. For example, we were in Amboise on Market day so we hit the market and had a picnic on the bank of the Loire River. But we had to schedule extra time in Paris because the Palace of Versailles was not on the tour & we needed the extra time to see everything we wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel. This is truly a one of a kind place. The tour is arranged so that most of your time, on the island, is when it is not packed with other tourist. The peace and quiet in the early morning was very enjoyable."

Keith

Peoria, IL

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was EXCELLENT!!! The group of people we traveled with were all enjoyable people to be with, no grumps, HA! Our tour guides, Virginie and Graeme were excellent. They were very organized, kind and friendly people. I had a dental problem that began in Paris and Virginie and the hotel staff made several attempts to get me an emergency appt. in Paris or the next town on the tour. They weren't able to find a dentist, but I was so impressed at the efforts they made.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a "wow" moment, but to single out one, I would have to say it was the day in Normandy on the D Day Beaches. I really hadn't expected this to be the "wow" moment, but it definitely was. Our local guide, Dale, was excellent and really made the day memorable. Our day on the Beaches began at the German cemetery and ended at the American cemetery, a very sobering beginning and end to the experience."

Carol

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole reason I wanted to go to France was for an exhibit of 3,000 buttons at the Musee of Arts Decoratif. The Rick Steves guides were perfectly happy for me to go off on my own and visit whatever I wanted to visit-they made sure I knew how to get where I was going and how to get back, then kicked me out of the nest to fly on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Bayeaux Tapestry, knowing how old it was, and discovering how accurate the original producers of the tapestry were in portraying the horrors of war-they were very graphic. 2nd best was the guide that took us to the Bormandy D-day beaches and his telling us of everything that went wrong during the invasion and somehow the Allies still persevered."

Lisa

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the top two trips of my life. The other one being a walking safari through Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Every moment of this extraordinary eleven days was filled with something amazing. From the private tours of museums, cathedrals, and castles to the exquisite dining from [INVALID] restaurants, there was the sense of being spoiled by knowing the right people in France. Felt like a VIP everywhere we went. Our guides felt like old friends to us. Sad to end it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sleeping at Mount St. Michele and then going to the monk's service at 7am."

Melinda

Eureka, CA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I took this tour with our son and his wife to celebrate his graduation from Law School. The four of us had a fantastic time. The guides were knowledgable and fun. It was well organized and the guides (and bus driver) made us all feel comfortable. Our group got along with each other very well too. Each day brought a new adventure and experience. There was just enough free time to explore on our own. The meals were fabulous. Rick Steves does it right!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Normandy and the D-Day beaches was a very emotional experience for me and my family. Seeing and walking on Utah Beach when my Dad landed on D-Day plus one was an experience I'll never forget. Another Wow moment was the first sight of Mont Saint Michel. It truly looked like a fairytale castle and we got to spend the night there!"

Kathy

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was fantastic! Everything was very organized and no waiting in lines! The places we stopped were unbelievable. Just when I thought I had seen it all, I was blown away once more. I highly recommend this tour, especially as a first visitor to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every place we stopped was "WOW". I particularly liked Chenonceau and Giverny. (I am a flower person!)"

Rita

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was first-rate. Mike and I enjoyed Paris and all the great museums there but we found that visiting all the sites in the countryside was an even more interesting experience. Our group was great and the bus driver, Francois, was an amazing driver and person. The bus is very comfortable and roomy. All the hotels were very clean, beautiful and comfortable. All of the guides at the sites were outstanding We learned so much about French culture and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, visiting Monet's home and gardens in Giverney was the most wonderful experience of the tour. The flower gardens were just an explosion of color and the house is also so colorful and fun to see. I could move right in! For my husband, Mike, the visit to Normandy and the D-Day Beaches was the real highlight. Our guide there was so knowledgeable and also a great storyteller. Visiting the beaches and the cemetery was such a moving and emotional experience."

John

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip anywhere overseas. France was more than I could have ever expected and Rick Steves helped to make it truly fantastic. My guide brought so much to the experience by providing historical and modern information about all of the places I visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont Saint-Michel was the highlight of the trip for me. I wasn't prepared for its beauty and majesty. I very much want to go back there on my next trip to France."

Daniel

Woodland, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We feel very good about our expreriences while on the Paris/Heart of France Tour. All elements of the tour were handled professionally and without glitches or problems. The guides fostered a warm sense of group interaction and togetherness. The travel locations were well researched and high interest opportunities to see Northern France. We have been on ocean and river cruises but they do not provide the ability to experience the culture found on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A night on Mont St-Michel has to be at the top of a "wow" factor list. Chambord Castle and visiting Normandy with its incredible cemeteries and historical battlefields cannot be forgotten. Walking through Paris to various points of interest are things we will always remember."

Susan

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Traveling through the Heart of France with our newly formed friends and two charming guides was the highlight of my year. I appreciated the insider highlights and small touches that helped me finally understand why a Rick Steves tour adds so much more than just a tour. It is obvious that the legacy of Rick Steves precedes the tour on every event- you can appreciate the authentic, everyday life of the citizens of the towns and cities in an unobtrusive way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was following the 7 AM pealing bells to the top of Mount Saint Michel to the abbey, to quietly observe the sacred morning chants of the brothers and nuns. This is not a tourist -staged event, but an authentic daily ritual for the monastery . I was awed."

Tina

Loveland, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent! I was impressed with the detail and thought that went into planning the itinerary. It was well balanced to include a wide variety of interests, small and large cities and different regions of France. I liked travelling with a group this size and meeting new people from other places. Having some guided tours added so much to the overall experience. I also liked that there was some free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the early morning chanting prayer of the monks and nuns in the beautiful church at the top of Mont St-Michel."

David

Loveland, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many of the tour sites were places I had previously visited at as a teenager. The opportunity to experience a return visit as a "mature" adult was rewarding and emotional.. It brought into the present a flood of impressions...like the physical challenge of climbing many steps on Mount Saint-Miche, the musty odors inside a German bunker at Omaha beach and the noise riding the Parisian metro. It was a very personal and meaningful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A "wow" occurred when I looked out the window and watched the.evening tide roll in at Mt. St.-Michel."

Stephen

Eaton, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was nearly everything we expected, and we had high expectations after a previous ETBD tour and our guides and driver were excellent. As much of a measure as anything, we are already planning our next Rick Steves tour. The only reservation is that I would have liked to have spent more time in Normandy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Normandy beaches Seeing Mont St. Michel glowing in the night Walking through Montmartre Explosions of color in Monet's gardens"

June

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third tour with Rick Steves and, like the others, it was outstanding. The smaller towns visited each had its own charm, history and magical beauty. Our lead guide, Antoine exhibited all the professional, informational and social skills any tour member should expect. Asa was such a marvelous addition to the team, along with Ludwig, our bus driver. They helped 'round off' a great group of tour mates. The tour provided the perfect breadth of an initial visit to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As everyone always says, you can't pick one WOW. It depends on subjectivity and what causes you to pause and relate.I was amazed at the castle being authentically built at Guedelond; the engineering involved in all of the beautiful castles; the breathtaking art at the Orsay and Louvre Museums; the heart moving sites at Normandy; the striking beauty of Mount St. Michele and Monet's gardens and the warmth and pride of the French people. This tour was like participating in a Masters' class"

Barbara

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We know we wouldn't have seen or learned nearly as much had we had the same time on our own in France. The bus was very comfortable and I felt safe with our driver (Rene.) The food was excellent, and all of the guides were knowledgable and personable. I REALLY like the audio devices!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Bourges, I was taking a photo of a door when a French woman stopped to speak to me about it. I indicated that I didn't speak French, but she continued on as if I hadn't. Although I didn't understand one word of what she said, she clearly communicated to me that we should not waste time on the door, but that we should walk down the street, turn left, and continue walking until we found a beautiful park and cathedral. I so appreciated her making the effort!"

Michael

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To say that I had a fabulous time on my tour would be a gross understatement. Everything from the hotels, sites, and shared meals were stupendous. I could not have expected anything better. The routing of the tour was exquisite, from when we boarded the bus each morning to visit the sites to when we feasted upon wonderful meals as a group. The tour was flawless and seamless. I have never felt so relaxed and comfortable for such an extended time. A++++. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was very long, one that lasted for an entire 11 day period, the entire length of tour. Perhaps this is an absurd manner in which to answer such a question, but the answer is most truthful. I so appreciate how much Rick Steves' Tours values its clients. Looking back at the tour, I can appreciate the extensive planning that goes into such a venture and say that I received great value for the money spent on taking the tour."

Charles

Marietta, GA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was well organized. The small group size allows for more interaction between tour members and tour guide. On Normandy Beaches Day, I would suggest that the private house - lunch stop be dropped to allow for more time at the D Day sites. The stop at Omaha Beach was very rushed and needed to be longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy Beaches. Seeing those places while hearing what the soldiers were dealing with in addition to German troops really put it all in perspective. (Note: Local Guide was more interested in keeping a schedule than letting the tour members really see the places)"

Katherine

Garland, TX

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations after reading about the tours and speaking with others who have been on tours, and they were exceeded. Loved the organization and planning of the entire tour. Great balance between scheduled and free time. Loved the start time in the mornings and dinner times. Tour guide Chris was perfect balance of fun, informative and turtle-herder! The audio/headset system was fabulous. Having expert guides for the Louvre and the Mont was a huge plus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St. Michel. We were lucky to have a room with a balcony overlooking the bay. Incredible."

Jackie

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth Rick Steves tour, so we came with high expectations, and of course they were met. We know how much work you do to find just the right tour guides, local guides, historic small towns, and perfect locations for hotels. We've met some of the folks who update the travel guides, so we know that you've done all of the leg work, so we don't have to. All of this sets the stage for meaningful adventures. And that's what we had!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day brought meaningful moments. Here are just two of them: 1) Looking out of our hotel window on Mont Saint Michel, and watching the crowd of tourists leave. We felt so special that we could be there at night, while everyone else was leaving. 2) Standing on Omaha Beach, while our local guide, Michael Phillips, described the battle by drawing a diagram in the sand."

Tim

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a delightful time on this trip. We learned a tremdous amount and really became comfortable with France and the French people. The Loire Valley, Mont Ste. Michel and Normandy were marvelous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose just one "wow" moment in a trip full of them. The evening at Mont Saint Michel was glorious; the German and American cemeteries in Normandy were heart-rendering, and Monet's home and garden were absolutely delightful."

Steve

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our second tour with the first being the GAS tour. I felt that as good as the GAS tour was this one was better. We had a terrific group with not a single person one would not be happy to sit with at dinner. Although I loved the tour I for one ended up feeling I had seen more huge Chateaus than I needed to see. My biggest disappointment came in Normandy. The inclusion of Normandy was a large part of why I went on this tour. (See question 13)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"\When we were driving up to the Normandy beach-head and saw the church at St. Mere-Eglise, then the fields where the paratroopers and gliders landed, then stood on the beach. I have read so many books about it and now I stood where it happened. It was an experience I will not forget."

Linda

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How can one describe spending 10 days with an awesome tour guide and 26 other people who were positive, congenial, fun, and adventuresome? This was our second RS tour and we loved the audio headsets!!! Chris set the bar high for future RS tours. What we have learned from independent European travel versus traveling with a RS tour is that all the headaches of transportation, accommodations, admissions, etc. is done for you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite "wow" moment as most of the trip was exceptional. It is special to have a few activities you didn't know were planned show up on the next day's itinerary."

Kathy

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Guide, Chris Coleman was fantastic. She provided so much insight to each element of our tour whether it was conquering the Paris metro or enjoying Mt St Michel. she knew the history, the culture, the good places to eat and best views and times to be there. The tour itinerary was a perfect blend of Paris and the countryside. Our stays in Bourges, Amboise, Mt St Michel and Bayeux were just right to check out the wine, food and culture. And we can't wait to go back for more on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mt St Michel in a rainstorm and having the sun come out in time for the tide to come rushing in. It is one of the most special place on earth for so many reasons."

Kristi

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a highly enjoyable tour! Our tour Chris was fabulous and very knowledgeable about France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying the night on Mont St. Michele was a highlight. I had the opportunity to stay in a hotel room that was just below the abbey providing an amazing view."

Ralph

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Preparatory information was on point and your publications were very helpful. Our Guide, Chris, did a fantastic job of making sure we were well informed, comfortable and that we all having a great experience. She was friendly and very professional. She made our trip the best it could be!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel over-night stay."

Patrick

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Could not have had a better tour guide! Chris was very attentive to everyone's needs and her knowledge of France and its history we re superb. Our driver, Rene, was also personable and professional. Their combined experience gave me a better perspective on France and Europe as a whole. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dedilon!"

Jeffrey

Norfolk, VA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased with our first Rick Steves tour, and will most likely book another tour in the future. Our guide Chris was fantastic- we couldn't have asked for a better leader for our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to pick just one? Between the stained glass windows at Sainte Chapelle, "Winged Victory" at the Louvre, the view of Mont St-Michel at night, or Monet's Gardens at Giverny. I think my biggest wow was seeing my wife's expression when walking into Monet's Gardens, she was in her element and this was the highlight of her tour, in spite of all the tourists. They are just some of the wow moments after reading about them for so long."

Sandra

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every bit of it made all the more accessible with the great leadership of Rebecca. I had not previously explored France and I was charmed. I truly enjoyed both the diversity and the cohesiveness of the group. The oldest by several years, I never felt out of place or overly challenged. Having a sidekick in Trish was an extra treat and helped make everything go so smoothly. This is my second Rick Steve's Tour and I am hoping it will not be the last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One evening four of us women, including Trish, sought a Paris restaurant for oysters and found a small place made to order. We ended up having in depth conversation with a pair of locals as well as the owners about Normandy and the effect of liberation on France. It was so moving, truly unforgettable. It also deepened my experience of the beaches, village and cemeteries at Normandy."

Elaine

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We hit all the places I wanted to see and more! Rebecca and Trish were both amazing - personable, knowledgeable, accommodating - everything a tour participant could want. And the local guides that we had at places like the Louvre, D-Day Beaches, Mont. St. Michel, Amboise, and Guedelon were passionate about the information they provided. I loved hearing Rebecca's take on all things French - her viewpoint of an American who has lived in France for over 30 years was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" moments: viewing Mont. St. Michel from the causeway at dusk, all lighted up with the dark clouds still visible as a backdrop. And seeing the castle and surrounding town from way up high in the public gardens of Fougeres; I felt like I had been transported to olden days!"

Anne

Clarendon Hills, IL

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected the tour to be very good but it exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed all the places we visited and value highly the Rick Steves style of travel. I felt as though I truly experienced the culture of Paris and the rest of France that we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I found Paris with the museums and cathedrals and the beaches of Normandy and Mont St. Michael to be extremely interesting, my "wow" moments were in the Loire Valley and Giverny with Monet's gardens and house as well as seeing DaVinci's home. It was very gratifying to visit where these famous artists lived and worked. I just simply enjoyed seeing the countryside."

William

Signal Hill, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed this tour. Rebecca explained french history and other tidbits of relevent information during the tour helping give appreciation to the sites we were seeing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Must be Mont St Michael"

Rose

Missouri City, TX

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went alone, and paid single supplement. Our entire group was wonderful no slouches or grouches. This trip meant so much to me, I loved the wonderful Rebecca, and Trish was also along. This bus driver Matt was so good. All the hotels had lovely staff and the rooms were great. I arrived a day early and use the guidebook to find my way around Montparnesse and to the Eiffel Tower before our group met. Every meal we had as a group was delicious and we had fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, the first glimpse of Chamboard, the first glimpse of Mont. St Michel and the first glimpse of the American Cemetary. But I have to say that from a beauty standpoint Giverny and Monets' gardens was stunning, we hit it at just the right time of year."

Rob

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed tour on many levels. I felt Rebecca and Trish did a great job leading the tour and worked well together as a team. The tour was very well planned with plenty of events and also some down time to take it easy. I really liked the crowd-avoidance techniques and forethought that streamlined and enhanced the experiences of most all of the attractions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know if there was a "wow" moment for me. But plenty of very enjoyable experiences for sure"

Cynthia

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. We saw a lot and were very well informed by our guides at all times. Rebecca, often had samples for us to taste, or played a CD of local music after we re-boarded the bus. There was no time to be bored. The flip side is that there was not much time to do laundry in the room or shop. I wish we could've visited an outdoor market once, but we were always leaving during setup. Loved what we saw and did, though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many cathedrals with gorgeous stained glass, but my first view of Mont St. Michel was a big Wow. The views of the Monastery were amazing. It was so nice that we were arriving as the hoards of other tourists were leaving and that we left as they returned the next day."

Lars

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was terrific! The right balance - interesting stops, knowledgeable guides to explain the significant aspects, and enough time on our own to explore in detail the parts we are most interested in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one WOW moment because I loved it all. If I had to pick one, it would be Mont Saint Michel because it was spectacular, and it would have been the most difficult to see (and stay over night at) on my own."

Bill

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected the EXPECTED: (Being wowed by the Louvre and the sights of Paris, being moved by the Normandy beaches, Monet's gardens, etc.). But what I wasn't expecting was the UNEXPECTED experiences you provided: Wine and cheese tasting at a private chateau; superb dinners vs. bad chicken during my wife's tour group with her mom with another tour company); and stops (such as Bourges and Fougeres) that I would not have found on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but for someone that considers himself a really good gardener, my hat goes off to Claude Monet. I agree with him...his garden was perhaps his greatest work of art! But on a gut level, it really hit me and took me back to what it may have been like during the War when they turned on the 40's music during our lunch in the mini-museum in Normandy, followed by reading a copy of Ike's message to the troops on the eve of D-Day."

Robin

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mt. Ste Michel sunrise chanting was ethereal. Bayeaux was charming. The castles were a delight. I could live without Fougere - lovely city but nothing was open when we were there. A detour to Honfleur might have been more my cuppa tea. The wine and cheese tasting was terrific. Would love to have been at an artisanal cheese making operation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best part was having Dale narrate the D-day beaches portion of the trip. Just a phenomenal gentleman. Really brought home to me what took place in history. St. Mere Eglise was also a big plus. Unfortunately there was a funeral at the church and we were unable to go inside. Would like to have had time for the local museums and didn't."

Kathy

Norwell, MA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie and Graeme were so wonderful as guides, we feel we got the true feeling of France. Totally enjoyed the whole experience but here are some of our highlights that stick out ! Mon St Michel....WOW.. to go there when the timing was such that we beat the crowds and had the whole island to ourselves for the evening was such a unforgettable treat, well planned. Thank you.. In Paris being close enough to walk eveywhere , the Louvre, L'Orangerie, Giverny, loved all the small cities. thank you

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mon St Michel..ours for the evening"

Beth

Coralville, IA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic! Quality of presentations, attention to details, thoughtful "extras" were outstanding. Use of whisper technology is very welcome addition.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire D-Day experience and the Guedelon castle under construction."

Kathleen

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Last in France in 1978. Paris is cleaner, friendlier--or Virginie helped us to fit in better than college kids! Paris was great-Sainte Chappelle breathtaking. But I truly enjoyed the countryside: Chenonceau, Fougeres, Selles sur Cher, Amboise, Bourges,Bayeax, Giverny. So beautiful, relaxing, restorative,inspiring. Normandy tour somber but well done and one of the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Joyful: Lauds at Mont St. Michele. Music was so inspiring, we were speechless, literally. Meaningful: Normandy tour. Our "buddy" was named for an uncle buried at the American cemetery. He invited us to share his visit to honor him."

Janet

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! The tour guide, Virginia, was so informative. I really enjoyed her and her wealth of knowledge about so many things. Graeme was nice to have along with us, too. The group got along well with each other. I liked our bus driver, Francois, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several enjoyable places, but I was glued to the TV on D-day because of the knowledgeable history guide, Mr. Booth. I would have never watched a program on the war before learning so much on the tour at Normandy."

John

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A well-designed itinerary that was well planned, thanks to excellent guides, comfortable hotels and a good group of travelers. It afforded a wonderful glimpse into the food, history, culture and sites of France and left me with a thirst for more. Each day was satisfying and pleasantly fatiguing. The tour featured Rick Steves' characteristic blend of structured and unstructured time, optimizing the hours available while leaving time for personal exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day featured something special that appealed to all of us travelers. Personally, I especially enjoyed the vibrant Parisian street life, the in-progress Chateau de Guedelon, the beautiful towns and villages, Mont St-Michel, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Normandy D-Day sites punctuated with wonderful French meals and wine."

Patricia

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience on a tour of any kind. This tour was chosen because it covered significant sites outside of Paris that I did not want to visit on local day tours for each site. I had a wonderful experience and would readily recommend such a tour to others. I thoroughly enjoyed all of our hotels, group meals at selected restaurants, selected tour sites, and scheduled free time throughout. Our tour guides were experienced, knowledgeable, and clearly enjoyed their profession.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day in Normandy was wonderful. It was a very busy day, but it did not feel rushed. Coordination of arrival/departure from the various sites was well timed. Our local Normandy tour guide, Dale, was superb--his knowledge and delivery style were top-notch."

Gary

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Paris and Northern France was outstanding! I had high expectations for this trip and they were exceeded. We saw everything that was on our "must see" list both in Paris and in Northern France. The tour was well organized and contained the right amount of planned events and free time to explore on our own. The hotels were well located, clean and comfortable. The food was great too! Our group got along well. Virginie and Graeme did a wonderful job as tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Normandy D-Day beaches was the high point of my visit. The small church where the American paratrooper medics treated both Allied and German soldiers was particularly moving, as was the visit to the American cemetery. It's difficult to imagine how those soldiers managed to succeed that day, particularly at Omaha beach. I was pleased to see how much the French people still honor the sacrifices of the Allied troops. Our guide for the D-Day beach tour was outstanding."

Chuck

Chatfield, MN

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1. I signed up for this specific tour because of the $300 discount and the assumption that there would be a little smaller group. 2. I would have signed up for a Russia tour except for the time spent in Estonia. Why not spend this time in a smaller Russian city?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Seeing the bronze statue of the man ascending at the American Cemetery. I had to fight back tears. 2. Staying overnight on Mount St. Michel."

Paul

Blue Jay, CA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience exceeded my expectations. The places we visited were made all the better by the information our Rick Steves tour guide (Chris) provided and the local tour guides were all exceptional. The travel itself was pleasant because the drives were broken into short segments and interesting side trips were part of the overall tour. Hotels were pleasant and it was wonderful not to have to research them or make reservations ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, I was most surprised by how great the tour of the site reconstructing a 13th century castle was. But there were many "Wow!" Moments. We most enjoyed Bourges, the stop for oysters, and the wine and cheese tasting. The biggest and most astounding experience was the visit to the Louvre."

Julie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really appreciated having the audio devices throughout the tour. Having those made walking tours through Paris so much more effective and efficient than having to stop along the path often. They were also so very invaluable in Normany, making it possible to hear over the winds. The entire tour was so well planned out, the fascinating stops in the French countryside were varied and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No question, Mont St. Michel. It's been on my dream list since junior high school. The timing and arrangements for that visit exceeded my wildest expectations. Even the timing of the high tide fit into our schedule perfectly."

Thomas

Wilson, WY

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just like we've learned to expect from our rick steves friends. See you again soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at ray's -- a war museum of items that he personally assembled- in a place of history as a nazi and then british command centers--experienced with only our rick steves family on location. Talk about a 'special' tour experience."

Kris

Wilson, WY

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. We saw so many amazing things! I loved all of the towns we stayed in. It was a special treat to be able to sleep on Mt. Saint-Michel. It seemed that in each place we stopped I wanted to spend more time - but it was a big trip and there was a lot to pack in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few "wow" moments. I was entranced by the city of Bourges. I had not heard about it before and it was amazing. Walking through Cathedral St-Etienne was especially moving. The silence; the feeling of reverence; the sense of history and the thought that we were walking where Joan of Arc had walked really touched my spirit."

Nancy

Blue Jay, CA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Three days in Paris included staying at a four star hotel, visiting the Louvre and Orsay, Sainte Chapelle, and Notre Dame. We enjoyed the cathedral and dinner in Bourges We visited three chateaus. We toured Leonardo da Vinci's home and gardens. We stopped at some charming towns as part of our bus rides. We stayed and toured Mont St. Michele. We had a day's tour of Normandy's beaches. We stopped at GIverny, as we returned to Paris for an evening.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a wow moment. There was so much. The food is near the top of the list."

Tom

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was conducted in an efficient and outstanding manner. William and Heather were excellent in conducting our travel, assisting us as needed. William possesses outstanding knowledge of the tour, works well with people of all backgrounds. I felt very comfortable traveling through the tour with him at the helm. In today's environment, he made us feel safe and we all benefited from his information, humor and wit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, my "wow" moment was at the Beaches of Normandy and touring the American Cemetery. The sacrifice these young men made on June 6th was never more felt as we walked the invasion beaches and the cemetery."

Rick

Tollhouse, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first time to France and my second time to Europe and that was 40 yrs. ago. I enjoyed every day and every planned activity. I had really bad jet lag that caused me to miss the first day's tour activities. I slept for 7 hrs. in the hotel. But after that I quickly caught up. For a first time in France the planned stops were absolutely right. I know they were the tourist stops, but they needed to be seen. Second time I would do other things, but the planned stops were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt St Michel is a place I have always wanted to visit and my wife and I were shown to the fabulous room at the top of the hotel and the view was just incredible, at high or low tide. There were a lot of wow's for us, but that was my favorite."

Lyn

Newport Coast, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations. We felt like part of the family and William Altman was just the best tour guide, caretaker, organizer, comedian and all around personable and interesting guy. We were lucky to have him. Heather and he worked great together. We will definitely do another Rick Steves tour. It was amazing that all of the 65 and older people like us were right there everyday in the rain, wind or whatever the challenge was. We had a guy 85 who was right there with us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden's and the lunch afterward at the cafe were just delightful. So many "wow" moments but if I had to pick one it was the tide coming in at Mont St Michel. Watching that with a great dinner at the Abby was just something else."

Yvette

Newport Coast, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went very smoothly, except the weather LOL Our tour guides were fabulous. Our main guides William and Heather were on top of their game wherever we went. The pacing was good we had time to do our own thing as well as mix with the others on the tour. It was wonderful to go to the head of the line when we reached a scheduled tour. I was very skeptical of tours, but I would go on another Rick Steve's tour, very well thought out and researched.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Chenonceau Chateau, wonderfully preserved, gardens breath taking Givergy, was wonderful for me. loved the quaint town and the gardens were splendid."

Peggy

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour greatly exceeded my already high expectations. I have been on a number of tours offered by other companies but Rick Steves has obviously planned and created a schedule that is carefully designed to give us the best experiences possible. Our group arrived so early at the museums, chateaus, and designated sites that we were able to enjoy the lectures and tours before the hordes of tourists arrived. The hearing devices were also extremely helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments on the tour but Mont St. Michel was overwhelming in its beauty. So grateful to have spent the night there and to watch the tide come in as we ate a delicious dinner and to have an exciting tour the following morning, leaving before huge numbers of tourists arrived."

Donald

Waterloo, IA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour gave me an interest in seeing more of small town / village, France. Enjoyed Paris and found it to be a pleasing very large city. To me the tour gave me a good introduction to France from the urban of Paris with glimpses into smaller communities. The French men and women I encountered were polite and engaging. These were people I encountered in my passing not selling me something.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several WOW times, one was a small child and her family that we interacted with. This was one time when we were left on our-own to explore. Other times were when I think we were the only non-French in a place and I saw what was around me. For places Sainte-Chapelle this was a very interesting structure for me."

Tracy

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed all the things we saw. It was a nice mixture of history from different eras as well as artistic elements. We also had a great group of fellow travelers. It was unfortunate that the weather was not that good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel. It looked amazing at night, and I loved the little medieval street heading up the mountain. Staying overnight was definitely a plus, for crowd avoidance as well as the experience of eating and staying there."

Anna

Waterloo, IA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked everything about the tour: itinerary, tour guides, tour group. Unfortunately, it was raining half of the time and sightseeing was challenging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments: Louvre tour with a wonderful guide (do not remember his name) and with Rick Steves book. I am glad there were no scheduled activities that day, that gave us opportunity to spend more time in the museum. Wandering in the old streets of Bourges and Amboise in the short periods of no rain."

John

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour group was a good mix of friendly people who were well traveled and interested in the places we visited. Most were RS rookies, but one couple were on their 13th RS tour. Tour exceeded our expectations and we plan to take another RS tour in the future. We also plan to visit France again on our own to spend more time in Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views at and from Mont St Michel are spectacular, so that was a definite "wow" moment. Less popular but a "wow" to me was the Bayeaux tapestry telling in detail the story of the 1066 Battle of Hastings."

Wendy

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had traveled very little in France before this trip but now I feel like I have a better understanding of this beautiful country and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be impossible (for me) to say....however Mont St Michele is really something...mystical, beautiful and unbelievable ! The D-day beaches etc were also very moving and memorable."

Genevieve

Tollhouse, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My previous travel experience did not include a tour experience. I was very impressed at the balance of tour time and personal time. Both William and Heather were supportive of our individual needs on the tour, yet kept the tour gently moving. AsI reflect back on the overall experience, there is nothing I would change. The daily pace of activity was not overwhelming, but definitely vigorous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Orangerie. My last time in Paris I was unable to see this site, so it was top on my list. To see these paintings in their full glory, was indescribable! Then to go to Monet Garden, perfect."

Weldon

Malone, WI

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the hotel locations, especially the one on Mont St-Michel. The guides all were knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is like asking what my favorite chocolate is. Probably the time spent on Mont Saint Michal."

Susan

Malone, WI

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of France. It was satisfying to have visited so many well known sites. The choice of small hotels in small towns was a great fit for us. We enjoyed the markets and the opportunity to explore on our own. We were especially impressed with the timing of our travels to avoid the crowds that often occur.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The over night stay on Mont St-Michel was amazing. To have the opportunity to walk and explore the island after all the crowds were gone was special. We were fortunate to have been assigned a room far above main street with great views of the channel and Normandy."

Susan

Lexington, KY

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was very organized and we covered a lot of "ground" without much hassle. William was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Chenonceau."

Larry

Tehachapi, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very wet. Wonderful group. Great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the tide come in at Mont St Michel."

Cynthia

La Jolla, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Julie was the greatest! Wonderful knowledge of all regions we visited. We were lucky to have wonderful weather, not a drop of rain. (maybe at midnight). My friend & I had not been to France before, but could turn around and go back. I personally liked staying on the Left Bank in Paris. I was disappointed in the hotel at the end of the trip. Our tour group were very, very nice I enjoyed their company. Overall a gold star to all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Medieval ..Guedelon & Bourges. Also loved Chateau de Chenonceau."

Robert

New York, NY

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 8th RS Tour. What keeps us coming back? Each RS tour has proven to be a unique, interesting and fun filled adventure. Paris and the Heart of France was a thrilling and memory filled tour. Paris was literally in full bloom and spectacular. The Loire Valley was picturesque and peaceful. Mont St Michel and Normandy were special places that can truly be called must sees for one's lifetime. This tour packed a great deal in a fairly short time frame. It was simply over the top!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While springtime Paris was spectacular, the stops at Mont St-Michel and Normandy were what took our breath away. Watching from the Monastery ramparts as Tidal waves swept in was pretty awesome. Awakening to climb the steps to the Monastery to hear the monks and nuns chanting Vespers was pretty special too. That said, visiting the American cemetery at Normandy after stopping off to see the Omaha and Utah D-Day beaches was both sobering and overwhelming. Both were once in a lifetime must sees!"

Sharon

Centralia, WA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was well planned, and the special events Julie added just made the entire trip more special. The hotels were wonderful. Group activities (dinners, lunches etc. were delicious. I'm sure that many people have input into planning these tours for them I'm grateful. But, Julie was the crucial person who shared her knowledge and enthusiasm with all. I can't imagine any other guide being as terrific! Our group jelled well and watched out for each other. Our bus driver-GREAT!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's house and gardens were my favorites. The place was magical."

Brett

Spring, TX

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour certainly exceeded our already high expectations. To begin, Julie was an outstanding guide. Not only did she keep everyone on schedule, she shared her knowledge of architecture, french history, local customs and language. The tour was a great mix of Paris, the French countryside, and D-day sites and history. Hotel accomadations were good and in great locations, and the food served at group meals was delicious. The small group size (25) was nice as we had plenty of room on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pinpoint one "wow" moment as there were so many but I would have to say visiting the American cemetary in Normandy and seeing Mont St. Michel at night would be near the top of the list."

John

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an 11 on a score of 1 to 10. The weather was outstanding the entire trip (just lucky I guess). The entire tour was very well organized and [INVALID]d. Our fellow tour members were all terrific people from all across the country (and the world!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a retired engineer. I guess I was most amazed by our trip to Guedelon castle and learning the medieval techniques used to build castles. The other location that appealed to that side of me was Clos Luce in Amboise, which featured working models of some of Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical and civil engineering inventions."

Mary

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was so excited to be able to see Normandy with a great local guide. And this trip exceeded all of my expectations. Julie was an engaging and energetic guide. She was funny and emotional when speaking about the hardships that the citizens of Normandy had to deal with. That was very touching. Great group of fellow travelers. Another wonderful Rick Steves tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking up all of the steps to the Abbey on Mont St Michel with sun just coming up. The monks opened the big door and some of out group and a group of French Boy Scouts followed the monk up the steps to the top and the church. Then when we entered the church with the sunlight filtering through the windows throwing shadows everywhere, the first sight we saw was a monk pulling the rope to ring the bells. He was almost pulled off the floor. it was magical."

Elaine

La Jolla, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went into this trip with high expectations based on a friend's glowing recommendation, and I can surely say it did not disappoint! From the pre-trip planning to the farewell dinner, we were met with quality services and dazzling experiences! I liked the balance and variety that the tour provided: city/country, scheduled activities/free time, art/history, etc. From what I learned reading the guidebooks and from our guide's tuteledge, I feel like a much more confident traveler than before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel: being encircled by the sea at high tide while eating a delicious dinner and rising (literally rising up all those steps!) early the next day with the sun to join the monks and nuns at the top of the abbey in lauds morning prayer and song - a priceless pilgrimage!"

Gilbert

Erie, PA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never taken a Rick Steves before, I had no expectations. My experience on this tour was outstanding from having a wonderful tour guide in Julie, to the meals and accommodations, to the exceptional local guides. The overall experience was beyond exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was traveling around the heart of France, seeing the small town and villages, experiencing the people in whose accommodations and restuarants we visited, and the people of our tour group."

Francis

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an overall fantastic experience because we were exposed to the best of Paris and the north of France. What made this particularly great was the fact that Julie had done her homework and had arranged for unique experiences in towns and villages that brought us closer to the thoughts and feelings of the local people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Mont St Michel; dinner at a classy but friendly restaurant while we watched the tide come in. Climbing up the steps into such history was loved by us."

Mary

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour experience. Julie is a terrific tour leader - well organized, funny, and eager to share as much of the French way of life with us as she could. Her insight into the French view of the world was most helpful in making our encounters and experience much more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment occurred on our way to the Louvre. Our tour was booked for late morning, so Julie suggested that we might enjoy stopping in at L'Orangerie in the Tuileries to see Monet's "Water Lilies." They were spectacular ! I felt as if we were immersed in them and surrounded by beauty. Having had this experience early in the tour made me appreciate seeing them at Monet's garden in Giverny even more."

Dipti

Memphis, TN

Tour: 04/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were fortunate to have a small group of 12 for our tour which proved to be the perfect number for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, I am not sure I can narrow it down to one. The Loire Valley was breathtaking. We loved the little town of Bourges. Mont St Michel is unforgettable. Monet's gardens were spectacular. The pictures taken there look like impressionist paintings."

Jean

Wyoming, OH

Tour: 04/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed very much the Paris portion of the tour although we had a snag on the last day in Paris due to the strike. The pace in the tour in the countryside was a little bit slow - several late mornings and more free time than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Planning Tips

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about France: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews, and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Paris is a major transportation hub, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Paris before your tour begins, use the Rick Steves France and Paris guidebooks to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of French, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise. Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Check with the local TI or Rick Steves guidebooks.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Paris that we do not do as a group: walk the Champs-Elysées and climb the Arc de Triomphe; tour Montmartre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the Old Opera House; or take a day trip to Versailles. Visit these museums: Invalides (military); Cluny (medieval art); Rodin (sculpture); Pompidou (modern art); Orangerie (Impressionist and post-Impressionist art); and Marmottan (Impressionist art).

This tour does not include a visit to the Eiffel Tower. However it is often a highlight for any traveler and one we highly recommend. Avoid the lines by booking tickets several weeks in advance. For more details, visit our Eiffel Tower information page.

Packing

Rain and cooler weather are possible regardless of season — particularly in Normandy — so you'll want to pack along a rain jacket or compact umbrella.

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