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

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

Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour

from $3,295 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $775

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2018

2019

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of France come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 14 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city • Historic Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • Sainte-Chapelle • Paris neighborhood walk • Louvre Museum • Château de Guédelon • Bourges walking tour and Cathédrale St-Étienne • Château de Chambord • Château de Chenonceau • Mont St-Michel and abbey • Bayeux Tapestry • D-Day tour (American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and Ste-Mère Eglise) • Monet's Gardens at Giverny…and more
  • All group transportation from Paris to Paris
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2019
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Paris

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

Day 2: Historic Paris and Sainte-Chapelle

Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour of the city's early history, including visits to a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches: the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral and the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle, along with a stroll through the bohemian Latin Quarter. This afternoon, armed with your Paris Museum Pass, you'll be free to explore more of Paris, including the world's greatest collection of Impressionist art — from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin and more — at the Orsay Museum. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Neighborhood Paris and the Louvre

This morning we'll take a more intimate look at Paris and what gives the French their joie de vivre with a promenade through one of your guide's favorite Parisian neighborhoods. Your walk will end with an orientation to the Louvre museum, where you'll come face-to-face with timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and hundreds more. Your afternoon will be free to be inspired by Monet's incredible Water Lilies at the Orangerie, perplexed by whimsical water fountains and modern art at the Pompidou, or compelled to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a classy stroll along the Champs-Elysées. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Medieval Guédelon and Bourges

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

Day 5: The Loire and Chambord

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

Day 6: Chenonceau and Amboise

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

Day 7: Brittany and Mont St-Michel

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

Day 8: Treasure of Bayeux

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

Day 9: Normandy's D-Day Beaches

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

Day 10: Monet's Gardens at Giverny

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

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

(This tour does not include the Eiffel Tower. To avoid its long lines, we recommend booking tickets several weeks in advance. For details, see our Eiffel Tower ticket tips for tour members.)

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Craig

Bartlesville, OK

Tour: 06/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stran

Quinton, VA

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Richardson, TX

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cathy

Richardson, TX

Tour: 06/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Farmers Branch, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frances Geraldine

Southampton, PA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The chateau at Chenonceau!"

Don

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kenneth

Oakton, VA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny gardens."

Bobbi

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Saint Michel and staying on the island"

Jennifer

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Farmers Branch, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to Mont St. Michele."

Karin

Daytona Beach, FL

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

St Louis, MO

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Earlene

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tom

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Brookfield, IL

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathryn

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janice

Waseca, MN

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tapestry and the Normandy Beaches"

Dean

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sally

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Samuel

Dacono, CO

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erin

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bruce

Vernon, CT

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lars

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stowe

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Vernon, CT

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sarah

Battle Creek, MI

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Waynesboro, VA

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roxane

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phyllis

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Hillary

Potomac, MD

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kenneth

Plain City, OH

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judey

Albany, CA

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jon

Uniontown, OH

Tour: 05/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gertrude

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Ripon, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeffrey

Sherman, TX

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lesley

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christine

Bedford, NH

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gael

Monterey, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Ripon, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrew

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Livy

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Monterey, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joel

Tiburon, CA

Tour: 05/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Lafayette, CO

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Bandera, TX

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shirley

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Vero Beach, FL

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marianne

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

George

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Vero Beach, FL

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Bandera, TX

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cara

Sandy, UT

Tour: 05/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Geneva

Daly City, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

La Verne, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Doreen

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marcia

Olympic Valley, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Kensington, MD

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Flavia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Teri

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marino

Daly City, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was wow!"

Nicholas

Kensington, MD

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Dave

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Grace

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Martha

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Kent, WA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marian

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lauren

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous, efficient tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rob

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Connelly Springs, NC

Tour: 05/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kraig

Scotia, NY

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary-Louise

Scotia, NY

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gaby

Bellerose, NY

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christine

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carrie

Keller, TX

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Litchfield Park, AZ

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Teri

Eureka, IL

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Naugatuck, CT

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Girts

Okemos, MI

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katrina

Naugatuck, CT

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Gales Ferry, CT

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kevin

Eureka, IL

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The markets w/fresh food."

Loisann

Litchfield Park, AZ

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanne

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ashley

Bowie, MD

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy including Utah and Omaha beach"

Kris

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden"

Rick

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

High Springs, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bernard

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Roswell, NM

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kellie

Jb Andrews, MD

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

Michael

Vashon, WA

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good group size Tour was as advertised Good value

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny"

Deborah

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Gardens in Giverny"

Gary

High Springs, FL

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tracy

Taos, NM

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Michel Chenenceau"

Elaine

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Magdalene

Copley, OH

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Sunderland, MA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gwen

O Fallon, MO

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Betsy

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ernest

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chambord. Humongous and majestic chateau."

Thomas

Concord, NC

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bart

Greeley, CO

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marc

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Shreveport, LA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Luann

Shreveport, LA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathy

Framingham, MA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Pottsville, PA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carma

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mike

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Selby

Evansville, IN

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denton

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheri

Madison, WI

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Audrey

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mojgan

Thornton, CO

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gail

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Claire

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Beverly

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Eureka, MO

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Dave

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Hendersonville, TN

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Approach and stay at St Mont Michele"

Ron

Magnolia, DE

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rosa

Freeland, MD

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nina

Hanover, PA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Ogden, UT

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this tour was an amazing experience. So many of my friends, upon seeing my pictures on social media, were so impressed with everything I was able to see and do and I've already recommended it to a lot of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to choose just one! I really loved seeing Mont St. Michel at night. Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night was magical. I really enjoyed the day we spent at Normandy, visiting the D Day sites. Visiting Monet's gardens at Giverny was probably the most pleasant surprise -- wasn't sure if there would be a lot to see in September but the flowers were stunning!"

Catherine

Anoka, MN

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this was an outstanding trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michelle"

Elizabeth

Toano, VA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Anoka, MN

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high exceptions which were fulfilled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Seven Valleys, PA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eugene

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

San Angelo, TX

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

San Angelo, TX

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. This was our first Rick Steves trip. Every advertised activity was given. The trip was so well organized with guided and individual time available. Every stop was phenomenal. One of the best parts was our guide, Michaelanne. She gave professional and personal attention to every aspect of our trip. She made it possible for our entire group to get to know each other better to allow a more cohesive group. We ended our trip having new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Saint Michele was like seeing a castle in the clouds. Staying on the mont was incredible. Being there at night without the crowds was like having the mont all to ourselves. It felt like traveling back into time."

Gayl

Browntown, WI

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a great tour, experience! A wonderful tour guide, almost perfect weather, great folks to travel with, no grouches, or slowpokes. Everyone was always on time with great attitudes and concern for one another. We were first timers and in the minority; the majority were second, third and eleventh time Rick Steves' travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first glimpse of Mont St. Michel! We were riding along enjoying the countryside and quietly Michaelanne got on the microphone and announced that we could see it. I looked out the window, across the fields, past the trees and off in the distance there it was! Not a picture or a postcard, but the real thing! I was looking at it in some magazine; I was really here and not only was I going to visit it, I was going to sleep there! Now it seems like a dream, but, I have the pictures! I was re"

Milo

Browntown, WI

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The neighbor hood walks were enjoyable, the guides were great, we saw so many interesting sites tucked away that we would have never experienced on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Special in my mind was exploring the market in Bourges to find and purchase a picnic lunch and then at the "Chateau De Selles Sur Cher", the surprise wine and cheese tasting! The wine maker was especially enjoyable along with sharing our picnics! The only drawback was the amount of time we had to visit, enjoy and explore the Chateau; we had to leave too quickly. During the cheese tasting on our neighborhood walk, a lady, whom we're sure was local, squeezed through and had a sample."

MaryLou

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing tour! Wonderful way to travel in a small group with a great guide who gives you enough information to have a full experience but also get to venture on your own. You LEARN so much and DO so much! I've not only SEEN places, I feel like I KNOW places, AND want to go back. Ah, Paris. Magnific! Needed more time there. Skip Chateau de Guedelon,give me more time in Paris, Bourges or Chambord. Needed WAY more time in charming Fougeres! And, thank you for the D-day beaches! Inspiring, humbling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving into Mont St-Michel with the fog slowly lifting, exposing the out-of-this world magnificent towering abbey. At dinner, the water surrounded us, then we SLEPT OVERNIGHT there, and in the morning the water greeted us, then receded as we took a marvelous tour of this awesome abbey. I'm not making this stuff up!! It happened as if you were being transported into your own fairy tale. And, that was just ONE of the many wow moments."

John

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really had a great time. Marie was a wonderful tour guide and itinrery was excellent. We also were part of a great group of participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one, but I would chose the Giverny Gardens of Monet."

Cozette

Wilbraham, MA

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was by far our best vacation ever! The tour was outstanding, guide professional, well versed, caring, intuitive! She knew our names first day, intuitively knew who needed what kind of help at given moment, immersed us into the French culture in every way possible! She even saved one traveler on the Metro by plying open the closing doors, grabbing him onto the platform before it took off! Now THAT'S going above and beyond the call of duty!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have 3 WOW moments: My husband and I got up at 5:45 am to climb the steps atop Mont St. Michelle to attend the 7 am daily chanting service. The sky was crystal clear, we could hear, smell, and see the ocean current rolling in. It was a surreal moment to spend the night there, and attend this holy service before dawn. Omaha Beach, the 4 pm daily taps ceremony, lowering the flag, brought tears to everyone! We went to a Saturday evening concert at Sainte Chapelle! Brought tears of joy!"

Camille

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Totally organized and went without a hitch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont San Michel and the Normandy Beach tours."

Melissa

Syracuse, NY

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic, starting with Marie's leadership. The itinerary was excellent and fellow tour members congenial and easy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's gardens at Giverny -- a genuine "pinch me" moment."

Suzanne

Cardiff By The Sea, CA

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was extremely well-planned and organized. Our Guide, Marie, kept us on schedule in a gentle manner. She has excellent knowledge of the history of France and French royalty which she shared that gave dimension to our visits to the various cathedrals and chateaus on our journey. Our bus was large and comfortable: Annie and Matt were excellent drivers and companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont. St. Michel in the fog was lovely. The trip to Normandy was very moving."

Anne

Cary, NC

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. My only suggestion would be that for the Musee d'Orsay, we not arrive at 3 p.m., pretty exhausted from a day of extensive walking. We stayed until closing at 6 p.m., and we could have used more time. For a collection of that magnitude, it would have been better to arrive earlier in the day with a bit more energy. After Saint Chapelle and Notre Dame, cut out an hour of the walking tour and arrive at the Musee d'Orsay by 2:00.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. Normandy, Mont St. Michel and Giverny were all very memorable."

Janice

Brandon, MS

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience and I enjoyed it immensely. The group was so compatible. I loved the opportunity to have time to explore on our own. Loved being in the city of Paris and also to enjoy the rural of France. Some days were quite crowded and tiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE IN LIFE, I MAKE A GOOD MOVE. SOMETIMES I DON'T REALIZE IT RIGHT AWAY. GOING ON THIS ADVENTURE (PARIS AND THE HEART OF FRANCE) WAS A GREAT MOVE. FROM OUR GUIDE, MARIE (AWESOME), MY FELLOW TRAVELERS, THE WEATHER, AND THE VARIOUS PLACES WE WENT TO ,,,, I'M SMILING RIGHT NOW.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THERE WERE TWO. ONE WAS DOING A WINE TASTING WITH GOAT CHEESE AND BREAD AT THIS CHATEAU. UNDERNEATH A 300 YEAR OLD TREE, WITH PUFFY CLOUDS AND THE SUN SHINING BETWEEN THEM. FLIPPING AWESOME. AND THE OTHER WAS MONT SAINT MICHEL. SHOWING UP AND IT IS GRAY AND RAINING, STILL NEAT. STAY THE NIGHT!! WAKE UP TO THE MIST BURNING OFF, AND SUNSHINE, AND THE MONT IN ALL ITS GLORY. TRULY GREAT."

Bob

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We wanted to stay at Mt St Micheal, and we did. That was the high point of the trip. Seeing the D-Day beaches was a sobering day, having studied those days of the invasion at the US Military Academy, West Point.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Mt St. Michael over night. Getting to see the tide come in was a wonderful experience."

Loris

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was very enjoyable. Chris was a great tour guide and Ludwig a wonderful bus driver. Accommodations were good and food okay. I thought the pace was good and we were able to see a lot of things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say arriving at Mont St. Michele. I didn't really know what to expect, but this was fascinating. Interesting hotel rooms, good tour. Learned a lot about the times and how it was built."

Patricia

West Hills, CA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience was outstanding. This was my first tour ever but not my last. I was apprehensive spending 10 days with strangers and being scheduled but it was prefect. On the tour you never worry about transportation, tickets, not knowing the language, and coordination. All the planning is done by experts that know all about locations that you visit. The strangers that I feared actually became friends. We are planning our next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all great. The night on Mont Saint-Michel- very special."

Carol

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

France was wonderful. Like many people, I had heard that the French were rude, especially the Parisians. Rubbish. Chris, our guide, told us that it was very important to greet people with bonjour madame or whatever was appropriate. We did this and tried to use French whenever possible. We found people to be friendly and helpful. Chris was great...funky, full of info, and fun. The local guides were excellent. Our tour group was made up of friendly, smart people. I loved Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cemetery near Omaha beach was "sobering". And I cried for these men and four women who died because many were so young and because of the sad state of the leadership in the US. MONET's garden was stunning. The 70 degree temps and blue skies added to the beauty."

Bernadine

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! Our guide was first rate! The participants were a great group, we enjoyed making new friends with similar interests and sharing new experiences with them. Really enjoyed every stop, especially the "surprise" stops that were not on the schedule. Lunch in Dinan, fresh oysters from the Atlantic in Cancale, wine & cheese tasting in Selles sur Cher & a sausage lunch Vielldieux les Poelles!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Absolutely loved visiting Guedelon!! Was not sure what to expect with this visit, but loved every bit of it!! Am so glad this was included on the tour! Guedelon made you feel like you were back in the 13th century!! Very insightful for me! Also, the Bayeux tapestry was excellent. The audio tour kept us moving while explaining the sections of the tapestry & made it very enjoyable. We would never have gotten much out of it without the audio tour."

Robert

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. We have never taken an organized tour before and were pleased with expertise of the guide and all of the sites that we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moments for me was seeing the construction of Gedelon according to medieval plans and eating fresh oysters from the Atlantic in the fishing village of Cancale."

Renee

Westerville, OH

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience exceeded expectations. Never having been on a Rick Steves tour we only had other tour reviews and Rick's stellar reputation to trust. It did not take long to realize we made the right choice! The tour was incredibly well-organized, covered all the high points and did not totally exhaust us! With the somewhat flexible schedule, small changes only enhanced the experience when adjustments were made due to weather or special places the guide wanted to show the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The one thing I was anxious to see was the Chateau de Guedelon. Being a facilities manager in the "real world" I looked forward to seeing this medieval castle being built today using 13th century materials and techniques. It did not disappoint. Our guide, Sarah, did a super job bringing the time capsule to life."

Glenda

Sherwood Park, AB

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our third Rick Steeves tour and we have enjoyed each of them, I always enjoy meeting new people and find that the group becomes cohesive quickly. On each tour we have been on, the coach driver has always added a great deal to the trip. Ludwig was the driver on this trip and kudos to him, he was so friendly and so capable of getting us to each location safely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was not a moment but it encapsulated the entire trip. The French practice of greeting you every time you saw them with a cheerful "Bonjour" made me smile continually. It was a welcoming and inclusive custom that I have not expereienced in an other country!! We especially enjoyed the wine stop and Nicola and his very English assistants at Selle de Sur"

Janet

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau Chenonceau and the gardens were beautiful! Giverny gardens ere also just beautiful! I took my own personal water lillies pictures!"

Nicholas

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just excellent. We found the French to be friendly and welcoming, even in the big city of Paris, contrary to what we had heard previously. Our guide, Chris, was terrific and gave us lots of insights to France and the French. The local guides were also excellent - knowledgeable, friendly and eager to answer questions. The radio/earphones worked very well and were a great improvement over what we had in Italy two years ago - we could hear everything all the time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were three "wows". Gedelon. Giverny. The general friendliness, and obvious welcome we felt from the French, even in the big city of Paris, which was contrary to what we had heard previously. It was remarkable how a simple "Bonjour" opened people up. Just trying to say a few words from our French phrase books engaged people."

Douglas

Canoga Park, CA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded our expectations. Struck a good balance between "all-things-arranged" and free time to go out on our own.

Suzanne

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved every hotel and environment for its uniqueness. The hotels alone created an adventure. Several hotels had a single tiny elevator that could accommodate 4 passengers packed like sardines. Our room at Mont St. Michel was 5 floors up a narrow, spiral wrought iron staircase. The itinerary was just right. I know I could have spent a week or more at each stop but our route delivered a wonderful taste of France! There's still enough to see and do independently on another trip to the area!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It wasn't just a moment. So many say Mont St. Michel was their wow moment and it was for me but the choices of chateaus in the Loire Valley were perfect! After reading the guide book and seeing the Rick Steves DVD about the area, I would have found it difficult to choose which ones to see on my own. The two that we saw were so very different from each other. Also just seeing two was just enough."

Joe

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip and food were great. Michealanne did a fabulous job on tour and providing local flavor of France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and sleeping at St Mon Micheal."

Elizabeth

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My family had an absolutely amazing trip. We learned so much about France and it's people and culture and food and history!!! Michaelanne did a wonderful job guiding the group and teaching us. Each city had its own marvels and I loved soaking it all in. Each local guide was fabulous and really knew their stuff. They were passionate about their subjects and made learning fun. The bus rides were even fun, with Michaelanne teaching us during the drives. The trip made me want to move to France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from! I really loved Guedelon and the Chateau de Chenonceau. Also the Bayeu tapestry really surprised me. I wasn't expecting to like a tapestry but it was a fascinating story and the audio guide was really well done there. The Paris walk with our local guide Elizabeth through the marketplace was delightful because I could picture living in Paris and going to the market and picking out fresh foods. Finally, the DDay sites were incredible and really meaningful."

Barb

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour but our first time to France. As always we thoroughly enjoyed the Rick Steves tour format of helping us get to know and appreciate a new European country not to mention the ease of just "showing up" and having all the planning done for me. I love learning the culture, history, people and sites first hand in a variety of ways which is what a RS tour offers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are the typical wow moments that I expected like Normandy, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower etc but it was the unexpected that were a wonderful surprise. I was fascinated with our visit to Guedelon and the awesome local guide that was so informative about the building of a 13th century castle. Other unexpected Wow moments included Leonardo da Vinci's home, spending the night on Mont St. Michel. and Monet's garden at Giverny."

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour featured good food, good wine, and a pleasant group of traveling companions. We traveled on a comfortable bus, with skilled (and very nice) drivers. The on board coffee and drinks was a nice touch. Michaelanne did a great job of keeping us reasonably (but not unreasonably) on track. The selection of places to go and sights to see was very good, and of course played a big part in our choice of this tour. We were not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour highlights: Mont St Michel in the evening after most people had left, the American cemetery at Normandy, the remains of the mulberry at Arromaches. Seeing the Bayeux tapestry which I studied in college 50 years ago was quite an experience. The lily pond at Giverny put the Monet paintings in perspective. All great. But the 'wow' moment came during the 3 days we spent on our own in Paris after the tour. I realized our easy use of the metro was due to Michaelanne's practical instructions."

Mike

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a beautiful county, wonderful people, great food....delicious wine. Whats not to enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The City of Paris...Normandy, DaVinci's home, and Monet's garden."

Raissa

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Paris and the Heart of France tour was delightful. It provided the right balance of sightseeing with the tour group and on your own. Each day provided grander and grander experiences and the tour members were very engaged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day had it's wow moments from seeing the Louvre, Chambord, Chenonceau, Mont St-Michel, Normandy Beaches and Monet's Garden. However, the most magical moment was the last day when we were returning to Paris via bus. It was a beautiful sunny day and the city was bustling with energy. Everywhere you turned you saw a famous structure: Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Opera House, cafes, and you realize you are witness to history and thrilled with the opportunity to be there!"

Corinne

Hilliard, OH

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our second Rick Steve's tour and we thoroughly enjoyed it and felt we definitely hit the highlights of Paris, the Loire valley and Normandy and saw a wide variety of sights art, history, churches, chateaus, small towns and big city.Both our tour guide and the local guides provided detailed information not usually found in a tour book and this added depth to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We got up early on Mont St. Michel to attend lauds at the Abbey. The sound of the singing by the monks and nuns in that beautiful space was captivating and a great start to the day. My second WOW moment was the Bayeux Tapestry. I had not expected to be impressed but was with the handcrafted needlepoint telling history on a 70 m long fabric that is almost 1000 years old. Fantastic."

David

Hilliard, OH

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I like the Rick Steves' tours because of the combination of the guided tour and the time on our own. The tour is helpful for access to certain attractions on a preferred basis. However, you do not spend the entire time in a large group which can be difficult.

Sheelah

Hendersonville, TN

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My trip was like a menu if you please, there were many delicious appetizers but no entree. Our guide , Marie, was excellent ! She was so knowledgeable informative and very helpful ! Her love of France, and all it has to offer...culture food , buildings were woven wonderfully like the tapestries we saw. All in all my trip was enjoyable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel, Normandy and the Arc d'Triumph topped my list"

JJ

Hendersonville, TN

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well-organized and the time allotted for major cities and sites was very good. The free time allowed the travelers to go places that our tour guide recommended. Our tour guide, Marie, was outstanding. She always prepared us well, was explicit in her directions, was a "walking French History Book, and had a most pleasant and enthusiastic personality. Marie definitely made the tour so fun and positive. We especially enjoyed the sites on the backroads of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the beaches of Normandy, hearing the history of each site-Utah Beach, Point du Hoc, and Omaha Beach- was sobering and profoundly moving. The visit to the American Cemetery summarized how all the American soldiers, many of whom were so young, fought and died for the freedom of all of Europe."

Richard

Northridge, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour very much. Lots of walking, all the museums, churches, new friendships all added up to a great experience. I loved the small towns once we left Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but one that stood out was standing in the American Cemetery during the lowering of the flag ceremony. Everyone stood at attention and never moved during the playing of taps. I forgot to mention that it was during a very heavy downpour! Quite a moving experience."

Rachael

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on the Paris & the Heart of France tour. The sights we saw were amazing. The tour was paced well--a lot was planned for us, but I liked that we also had some free time. I was a little nervous since I was a solo traveler, but everyone on the tour was friendly, and I enjoyed getting to know them. My roommate and I got along really well--everyone (including our tour guide) thought we were already friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the tide come in at Mont St Michel while we were eating dinner. I loved that we spent the night there."

Nancy

Milpitas, CA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I, our 18-year-old daughter, and a good friend of ours, all had a trip that exceeded our expectations! I think it is extraordinary that regardless of our age, gender and individual differences, we found the trip meaningful and impactful in ways we had not imagined prior to the trip. In addition to the many wonderful sites visited, our guide, Arnaud, was fabulous. We all agreed that we would go on any tour that he leads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had "wow" moments literally every day, but the most significant was on Mont St. Michel. It was duing the tour of the abby, when it hit me that countless numbers of people throughout the centuries have hoped, dreamed, pilgrimaged, toiled, sacrificed, and devoted themselves to this phenomenal site in which I was standing!"

Patricia

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide (Arnaud), went beyond the call of duty on many occasions to help make our trip a major success, in my opinion. A couple of us experienced some health issues at the beginning of our tour, and Arnaud personally assisted both of us so we could get better and enjoy our trip. The tour itinerary was just right for me; some city and out in the countryside. The food was fabulous and we were fortunate to have nice weather and lovely sightseeing opportunities throughout.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was spending the evening and overnight at Mont St. Michel; some of us got up very early the morning we were there to experience the "vespers" at the Abbey...it was an amazing thing to see and to hear. Watching the incoming tide from our restaurant was also a "wow" experience there!"

Ann

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to France and to Europe. We couldn't have put together a better trip. So much value was added by having a well-considered itinerary, as well as experienced, knowledgeable guides. It was all of the little details that surely would have passed us by without notice had we been completely on our own. We appreciated the underlying expertise and passion behind every destination and experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip changed me at a deep cellular level.There wasn't one single "WOW" experience. That said, Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel was certainly one of the highlights. Sleeping on the Mont was incredible,an honor in fact. The dawn prayers (psalms sung acapella in French and in perfect pitch in the church of the Abbey were indescribably exquisite and worth getting up at the crack of dawn and climbing every single step to witness a routine that has been going for 100's of years. Timeless and perfect."

Lourdes

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation. The "No grumps" motto is great and it helps instill that mentality with the tour group - at least that's how it was with my tour group. This was my first trip to Europe and it was the best vacation I've ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments it's difficult to pick just one. Seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre tops my tour experience. She was absolutely mesmerizing."

Frances

La Canada Flintridge, CA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic,the tour guide is organized and knowledgeable, funny, very good use of our time, we seen so much, good hotel, good food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the delicious welcoming dinner, liked the Gueleond 13 century castle construction, fun and learning experience."

Steven

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a whirlwind of great experiences. Our tour guide, Arnaud, was great, as were the various local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. Paris, and the local tours of some areas, as well as the experiences and tours of the incredible smaller towns, such as Bourges, Amboise, and Mont St-Michel. Normandy was unexpectedly impactful. Overall, a great tour."

Steve

Mundelein, IL

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Paris and France was a great look into the culture, the people and life in France. We got to experience big city life in Paris, including the food, transportation (metra and buses), great museums and of course the Eiffel Tower. The tour through the countryside and small villages was a vary interesting and a sharp contrast to Paris. Normandy...very moving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel was truly a unique experience. Info about the history and the tides was fascinating. And also have to mention visiting the Normandy beaches and allied cemetery was a real moving experience."

Susan

Mundelein, IL

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip I'd been dreaming of most of my life. While there is no way I could have seen everything in our 2 week visit, I definetly experienced enough to satisfy my dream. The variety of activities from the lights of Paris to sleeping beneath a fairy tale castle to the tides at Mont St Michel to the somber quiet of the American Cemetery, they all told the story of the French people and culture. Arnaud did a great job of sheparding us through travels and helping us have fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to pick one. But Monet's garden at Giverney was a standout for me. It made his wonderful paintings come alive for me. I can't wait to start my own garden with seeds I bought there."

Sandra

Centralia, WA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't have asked for more. France is so beautiful, the people, the places, the food, the wine, the gardens, the art, the sense of history all exceeded expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying the night on Mont St Michelle made it possible to climb the abbey at 5:30 in the morning to be there for the very short window of time the doors were opened to allow us in to the cathedral for 6 AM Laudes. I have never heard anything so beautiful. The service was sung, with pleasing harmonies and occasional wind instruments. It was stunning and personally very meaningful. This and 37 flights of stairs before breakfast is a personal experience not soon to be forgotten"

Wendy

Mechanicsburg, PA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour as a whole. It was the perfect balance of guided tours and time on our own. Our guide Arnaud gave us guidance on using the transportation, ideas for where to eat and helpful hints for touring on our own. I loved the smaller hotels in great locations. We had great views from most of our rooms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard for me to pick one moment. My absolute favorite was the Water Lily gardens in Giverny...so beautiful. I was also fascinated by the stained glass windows in St. Chapelle and at St. Etienne in Bourges. Can I add the chills that I got when it started to rain as Taps was playing at the American Cemetery in Normandy?"

Robert

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed all sites visited on our tour. While the museums and architecture in Paris was fantastic, we did find Paris a bit frenetic (recognizing tourist season) and, overall, enjoyed the locations away from Paris a bit more. Beautiful countryside, chateaus, museums, and historical sites. Loved them! Re Paris, I was prepared for and wired to immerse myself in the culture, yet felt the level of multi-ethnicity brought people who seemed unconcerned with respecting / understanding each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments (can't keep to one!) were seeing the Eiffel tower in all it's lit splendor from the steps adjacent to Trocadero AND the day visiting the D-Day Beaches."

Sara

Novato, CA

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and our first trip to Europe. My main desire was to see Paris so all of the rest was pure dessert. I enjoyed Paris and the areas we explored on the tour and we stayed there after the tour to explore and enjoy even more. The countryside, towns and villages were delightful and far more than can be described in books. Some places made me want to moved there. In Normandy the memorials and the stories were moving and taught me some details of history that I did not know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau and Guidelon stand out in my memory."

Victoria

Bellbowrie,

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Paris & the Heart of France tour was the first group tour we had ever taken. On the basis of this tour, I would highly recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone! The tour exceeded our expectations in every aspect. The tour guide, Armand, was outstanding, the level of activity exactly right, the tour content was perfect and the number of tour participants (27) made for a very comfortable and enjoyable tour. We have only praise. 5 months later I think about the trip almost every day!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick a particular 'wow' moment, there were so many! In a country as beautiful as France with an abundance of breathtaking sights, museums, chateaus, castles, etc. 'wow' could have been uttered on almost a daily basis. The Louvre Museum was outstanding and visiting was the realisation of a dream -- the contents -- well 'wow', 'wow', 'wow'! The Chateau de Guedelon was an unexpected 'wow'; with the workmanship taking place using only 13th-century materials and techniques."

Maria

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the tour very much. We just wish we had an extra few hours to spend in a few places (Normandy, Guedelon, and Mont St Michelle). Overall, another outstanding tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the tide come in and the sunrise at Mont St Michel :-)"

Sara

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. Although I had been to Paris everything else was a totally new experience. Loved seeing the medieval castle being built, the beautiful chateaux, Normandy, and Giverny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Always difficult to choose just one "wow" moment but Mont St-Michel is so unique. It is really a fascinating place."

Marion

Erie, PA

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed all the activities and the tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both experiencing Normandy and Giverny - both outstanding."

Nancy

Homewood, IL

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every experience we had during this tour. I wish there had been more time in Paris, as I would have liked to experience more of the daily life of the Parisians. I loved the Loire Valley experience and found it more relaxing. I especially enjoyed Bourges and Amboise. Enjoyed Mont Saint Michel (sp?) though the steps were a huge challenge for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy experience was more than I had anticipated, more emotional for me, learning about the experience, for example, of the two medics in the church and then seeing the tombstone for Wright later. Walking through the German ammunition bunkers, looking at the very steep dunes the soldiers had to climb really was moving. And of course, the cemetery where so many were buried. This was truly a wow moment!"

Meghan

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 08/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it exceeded my expectations. I have always been a huge fan of Rick's PBS program. My husband and I are avid travelers and knew we needed a vacation where the details were taken care of for us but we had sufficient time for self-exploration. I cannot stop raving about this vacation to friends and family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. Each wow moment my husband and I had we turned to each other and commented how it couldn't get more interesting or amazing than this. From taking the suggested Fat Tire Tour up the Eiffel Tour and seeing the evening lights, to the amazing history and views at Mont St. Michel to seeing where my Grandfather would have landed on the D-Day beaches. Many wow moments!!"

Barbara

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 08/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 8th RS Tour, so our expectations were high. They were exceeded. We loved the balance between Paris and several small villages and towns. The food was great, wines and cider and aperitifs were delightful. The crepes in Brittany!! It is always the guides that bring exceptional value to these tours. We come to experience and to learn, not just to see. Our guide, Virginie, was wonderful. Dale, at the Normandy beaches was an amazing teacher. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the small church that housed 80 wounded paratroopers and two medics on D Day was so emotional. Dale, our local guide, recreated that day and it felt as though those boys were still there. The local mayor and several townswomen came to greet us, forging a very personal connection across time and place. Seeing the Bayeaux tapestry is a wonderful experience, not just for the historical importance, but for an appreciation of the artistry and labor that went into its creation."

John

Princeton Junction, NJ

Tour: 08/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded all my expectations. Virginie was an outstanding tour guide and added so much to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Normandy beaches and Omaha beach in particular. To stand on the beach during the summer and think about what happened on that beach over 70 years ago was humbling."

Jeanne

Irwin, PA

Tour: 08/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RSE tour, and we were certainly not disappointed. I can never say enough good things about RSE. Well organized with plenty of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glimpsing Mont St. Michel from across the fields drove me to tears...not just tears but SOBS! Seeing the mountain island abbey was something I only dreamed about. The Bayeux Tapestry comes in a close second. Wish we had more time there. One of our favorite stops was not even on the itinerary. Our guide chose Fougeres as a lunch stop. We loved it! Climbing up the winding streets to the cathedral at the top of the hill, then looking down over the medieval town was a tour highlight."

Helen

West Windsor, NJ

Tour: 08/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour in Europe. For six previous trips to Europe, we made our own arrangements, and had great experiences. This tour was outstanding because of the careful planning and attention to detail by your organization, and our tour guide, Virginie, a treasure!Loved the extras: wine tasting, treats, fellow travelers. Balance between structured time and free time was good. Access to sights not easily reached by train.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the tide come in around Mont St-Michel from the ramparts."

Ken

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 08/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyable tour from every perspective!! Educational,good scenery, instructive discussions with our guide who was pleasant, informative,helpful,organized and simply wonderful. Overall this was well organized and efficient use of travel time. Our driver,Sylvan was careful, considerate and made us feel safe on the road.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring one's ponds, gardens and home with his personal art collection."

Roger

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 08/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with a balance of activity and free time. Virginie was a particularly good guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beach experience"

Robert

Atherton, CA

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Tour Director Everyday exceeded my expectations. I fell in love with France, and I wasn't sure I would. Traveling companions were very nice. Most hotels were good. I few could have been more comfortable, especially if they had larger bathrooms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cathedral in Bourges. Totally unexpected and magnificent."

Jeanne

Portland, OR

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We did have a great time. We usually travel with just the two of us on our own, but we found our first experience with a group to be very good! Our tour guide Graeme was a delight and very much helped make the adventure fun and positive and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was certainly fun celebrating my birthday in Paris :-)."

Amy

Mount Pleasant, SC

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. I took my son for his 16th birthday. After just finishing his AP European history course, he was delighted to see the places he had just studied and it certainly made the history he had just read about in a book come alive! Our guide, Graeme, was fantastic- warm, funny and so knowledgable. And as usual (this was my 3rd RS tour), the group was a lovely mix of fun and fascinating people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm, I don't think I had a particular "moment," but I would say I loved seeing the French countryside. From fields of sunflowers to tiny stone homes with colorful wooden shutters and cascading flower boxes to Gothic churches almost touching the roadside, I fell in love with rural and small town France."

Jay

Hailey, ID

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Graeme's grasp of the history, culture, food, language etc was impressive. Also, his personality and his overall concern for the well being of every individual in the group made the experience a memorable one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a favorite. Whole trip was a wow moment; but Bayeux Tapestry, and Normandy beaches still very fresh in my mind. Also will never forget Graeme's hilarious lecture on French showers. The Chateau de Guedelon project also left a lasting impression"

Likavanh

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it won't be our last. Having a dedicated bus and professional driver along with a knowledgable guide added to our experience. Graeme's knowledge of European and French history was far reaching and gave us context enabling us to immerse into the history while on the bus ahead of reaching each destination. Food, lodging, number of people, ground rules (no grumps), sites visited, transportation, clear instructions, group meals, free time - ALL FANTASTIC.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are many wow moments. One we recall is running into our guide in a grocery store while shopping for picnic items for a planned lunch. He was helpful and pointed us toward a must buy item - Rillettes d'Oie (delicious browned goose meat). Our friendly hotelier loaned us a knife and we ventured off to Leonardo De Vinci's house (Château du Clos Lucé) for a picnic in his gardens. On the menu: baguette, salami, avocado, tomato, and chevre (goat cheese) & wine from Château de Selles sur Cher."

Miriam

Norfolk, VA

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was superb! Trip was a college graduation gift for my daughter. Watching her reactions throughout was well worth the price of the trip. The wide age range of the group kept things interesting-everyone was friendly and inclusive. Rotating dining partners just happened naturally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As many of the reviews of this trip have said, picking one moment from this itinerary is very difficult. Arriving at our hotel in Arromanches to find we were right on D-Day's Gold Beach with parts of the Mulberry Harbors right outside our window lead to a wonderful walk on the beach. The American Cemetery provided a good case of goose-bums."

Carrie

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The heart of France tour was superb. Graeme is a wonderful guide, with deep knowledge of the history and culture of the areas we visited. He was thoughtful, patient, and fun. All the places we visited were special and deepened my love for France. From touring a 13th century castle being built in the present day but as it would have been built then, to visiting the beautiful chateaux of the Loire Valley, there was much to see. The Normandy D-Day beaches were powerful and moving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rising early on Mont St. Michel to witness and soak in morning prayers being chanted by the monks and nuns in the abbey was spectacular. Being able to witness the fast and extreme monthly tide come in the night before was pretty amazing too. In Bourge, climbing 396 stairs to reach the top of the cathedral tower was great. Discovering we were the only ones there and getting to take in the view and just sit and enjoy by ourselves was special."

Julie

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My friend and I took our daughters on the tour as a girls trip before they go off to college. This was my first tour, and I absolutely loved it! The tour was a fantastic and low-stress way to experience places and activities we never would have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many favorites: wine and cheese tasting on a manor lawn, monks and nuns singing morning prayers on Mt-St Michel, exploring gorgeous palaces and cathedrals, seeing a 13th century castle being build (Guedelon), walking through one of the prettiest towns I've ever seen (Fougeres), sitting in Monet's beautiful gardens..."

Amy

Webster, NY

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We love traveling with Rick Steves tours. It is nice to have a guide with you to help understand the area we are in and to truly learn about the culture. It is nice to have someone else find unique hotels to stay at and for cool sites to see that you would not usually consider. One of my favorite times is the time spent on the bus. While the countryside is passing by our trusted guide tells stories and history of the area we are in. It is a great way to learn about another country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I truely enjoyed the Chateau de Chenonceau, Mont St Michel, and seeing the beaches of a Normandy, especially the little church, a makeshift hospital during the liberation. And how can you not absolutely love Monets Gardens?"

Terry

Columbus, OH

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided a great overview of Paris and France. Every site and tour was informative and interesting. There is never enough time to spend at all of the sites, but the tour was well organized with no hassles. Toni was an amazing guide and Hilda, the bus driver, did a great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dale gave an amazing tour of Normandy! He was particularly good at giving personal stories that made the scenes real in the moment."

Linda

Omaha, NE

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The touring days were well planned with the right amount of guided touring and free time. I [INVALID]ed this tour for not only the places included but also the timeframe. Ending on Bastille Day and staying for the celebration was probably the highlight of the trip. The Waldorf Trocadero was only a 10 min walk from the grassy area where we sat for the concert and fireworks display. All the while watching the Eiffel tour light up in a variety of colors and patterns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See previous answer."

Todd

Portland, OR

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was great. I really enjoyed myself. We had a warm and friendly reception on day one and it was followed up with a very nice dinner with our group. This was my first time doing a Rick Steves' tour, but not my first time in Europe. I enjoyed the "fast-paced" itinerary. I can't believe how much I saw, visited, and experienced in just 11 days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Mont Saint-Michel. I liked the fact that we were able to spend some time on the island strolling around before having dinner (while watching the tide come in with such incredible speed) and then spending the night (full moon). Next day having breakfast, doing a morning tour, and then heading back to the bus before the crowds came in - brilliant!"

Joel

Lakeland, FL

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tours guides AND a wonderful balance of scheduled tour activities and free time. Our primary guide,Toni, made this tour fun, educational and seamless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Normandy with guide Dale at a small church reliving D Day. The moment was moving and gave the group a glimpse into the chaos these young men and French citizens experienced. The moment was capped off by a short speech by the town's mayor thanking all Americans for their sacrifice in helping free the French. This is a memory that I will never forget."

Leonard

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour guide and her ability to herd cats. Good restaurants and wonderful places to visit. Most not on the beaten path. Just a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy by far. It took my breath away and left me humbled for several days. I still can not get it out of my mind. The Tour guide, Dale truly made it special."

Jim

Reston, VA

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Considering this was my first guided tour, it was great. Accommodations, places visited, meals, Metro tickets. museum tickets, tour guides. I really can't complain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be Mont St.Michel but Normandy Beaches a close second. But there were other "wow" moments too, like the chateaus we visited in the Loire Valley."

Cindy

Siloam Springs, AR

Tour: 07/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip marked my first time to travel outside the United States. I could not have been more pleased!!! My 18-year old daughter and I went to celebrate her high school graduation (she completed four years of high school French). Our group members were so great! One taught my daughter about tasting wine, since she was able to drink wine in France! We stayed in delightful hotels, ate wonderful food, and had the absolute best guides I could imagine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? It was probably the first time I saw Mont-St-Michel. Incredible! But I have to say a close second was at the church in the village of Angoville-Au-Plain Our Normandy guide, Dale, told us the story of what happened in that church around D-Day. What a story teller he was! Most of the women in our group, including myself, were in tears. It was so emotional."

Roberta

O Fallon, IL

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gave us the opportunity to visit many memorable sites both in Paris and the countryside, and along the way we enjoyed learning more about the French people and their history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the little town of Bourges and having the opportunity to shop for a picnic lunch in the local market. I would have enjoyed spending an extra day there. I was also awed by the visit to Mont-St-Michel, the Bayeux tapestry, and the excellent tour of the Normandy D-Day beaches. The Monet gardens and home at Giverny were very beautiful and not to be missed."

Sharon

Sedona, AZ

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first Rick Steve's Tour though we have used the books for travel for years! Marie, our guide was OUTSTANDING!!! I am so looking forward to our two tours next year, Sicily and Spain Your Way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour, the kindness Marie extended, to us all!"

William

Sedona, AZ

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all my expectations. My wife and I are not what we always referred to as "tour people". We have traveled extensively for 17 years on our own using Rick's books but this was our first tour. We enjoyed it so much that we are planning another tour next year. It is a perfect mix of organized tour time and our treasured alone time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one particular Wow moment, but: Favorite chateau - Chàteau de Chenonceau Most moving moment for me as a veteran - Normandy's D-Day Beaches Appreciated the planning and timing of visit to Mont St-Michel Found Guédelon very interesting"

Barney

Shushan, NY

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun, adventuresome, great places, great people and wonderful fellow travelers. A great mix of culture, exploration and education. Appropriate structured time vs free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amboise and Bourges. Both towns were great. Loved the markets too"

Nina

Kaneohe, HI

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the route and the stops along the way. Thought 28 was a rather large number for a small group tour especially for crowded places like Paris. Difficult for tour guide to ensure everyone keeps pace although our guide was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel tour"

Steven

Kaneohe, HI

Tour: 06/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. The pace was just right and interaction with the other tour members great. I really believe the tour guide is critical and we had an excellent one. She was very knowledgeable, accomodating and interacted well with all members. I have used Rick Steve's guides in the past and this tour was no different: nice pace, interesting destinations, good timing as far as trying to keep away from visit times with large crowds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one moment. I certainly enjoyed the time away from Paris the most."

Kim

Peru, IN

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an incredible experience it was to tour Paris & the Heart of France with the Rick Steve's tour. This was a perfect fit for me since I don't speak French and didn't want to research hotels and distances from desired destinations. Not having to rent a car and navigate, etc. We were able to pack much more into our experience by using your tour service. Instead of driving from place to place, we got to visit and nap between sites while the tour guide and bus driver simply took care of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont Saint-Michel. My view was facing the abbey. Time nearly stood still as I opened my window in the morning and listened to the birds call out. The peaceful and serene setting was simply breath-taking!"

Ed

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything that I have come to expect from a Rick Steves' Tour. Rebecca, our guide, smoothly began to integrate the individuals into a group at our first meeting. I loved the organization and the excellent variety of sightseeing adventures. The tour showcased the most important aspects of France's culture, beauty and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has long been my desire to visit, remember and pay respects to the sacrifice made on the beaches of Normandy. Standing on Utah beach with our local guide, Dale, was well worth the trip by itself. Maybe if Monty and Ike themselves had been our guide we might have learned more about the planning, goals, failures and successes of the D-Day landings than we did from Dale."

Susan

Elkins Park, PA

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw beauty. I learned things. I stood in places that I have read about and heard about throughout my life.I saw things I had never heard about until I ead the itinerary for the tour. I traveled with interesting people. I ate good food. I drank good wine. I paid my respects to the young men of WWII who did not survive the war. I stood by a place where horrific death took place (high tide prevented us standing on Omaha beach itself). I made new friends. I had fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in Monet's gardens looking across the pond towards the Japanese bridge feeling as though I was in a Monet painting."

Suzanne

Alamo, CA

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like we were a part of the French culture since we ate locally produced food from the regions. Added touches were the tastings and toasts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont St Michel."

Paul

Redlands, CA

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. It exceeded my expectations. I would change very little.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly for me, the day that we spent on the D-day beaches stands out. I wasn't expecting that to be as moving an experience as it was. I think a lot of that was due to the talent and expertise of our guides. Also, seeing the invasion in contrast to the "ancient" history of Mont St. Michel as a siege bastion, and the Bayeux tapestry delineating the battle of Hastings, put this relatively modern battle in an interesting historical context."

Martin

Sharon, MA

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was wonderful. From the moment that our tour group met, it felt very comfortable. Our tour guide Rebecca did a superb job of giving out the initial information and letting us know what to expect. From the our first stop, Sainte-Chapell, to our last stop, Monet's Gardens at Giverny, Rebacca was very professional, knowledgable and had a great sense of humor. The time that was allocated for the group and individual time was spot on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was experiencing the stained glass at Sainte-Chapell. The vibrant colors of the stained glass was a memory that will always be with me."

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in your online customer account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your customer account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Flights

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

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

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves France guidebook.