• 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 $3,395 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

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 • Paris neighborhood walk • Louvre Museum • Historic Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • Sainte-Chapelle • Guédelon Castle • Bourges walking tour and Cathédrale St-Étienne • Château de Chambord • Château de Chenonceau • Mont St-Michel and abbey tour • Bayeux Tapestry • D-Day tour (American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and Ste-Mère Eglise) • Monet's Gardens at Giverny…and more
  • All group transportation from Paris to Paris
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2018
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions 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

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."

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."

Marino

Daly City, CA

Tour: 05/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was wow!"

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!"

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"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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"

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."

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"

Kellie

Jb Andrews, MD

Tour: 04/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

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."

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."

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"

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."

Linda

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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?"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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

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."

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

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."

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!!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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 :-)."

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?"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

William

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was all that we expected and more. It was perfect in every respect except for some rain in Normandy, and we don't hold Rick Steves accountable for that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending an early morning prayer service in the abbey at Mont St. Michelle. For me it wasn't the religious experience that was noteworthy but the historical significance of attending a ceremony that has been practiced at the site for over a thousand years. Staying overnight on the island was wonderful, so much better than a day visit with thousands of other tourists."

Pamela

Sharon, MA

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first night we met Rebecca, we started learning so much from her! She is a remarkable person! We love her! Everywhere we went she shared history and culture with all of us. It really exceeded our expectations and made our trip "The trip of a lifetime". The rooms were great, the food, the tours, Ludo our bus driver kept us safe and of course we miss Rebecca! The French people were wonderful as well! Every tour was an adventure! Thank you so much Mr. Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to say! Mont St. Michael !Just seeing it from a distance!OMG! Growing up in Boston and the beautiful churches we have seen.France had us beat!Loved seeing the work being done on the castle with the original tools etc. Impressive! The castles and little medieval villages. My grandfather was is Normandy. How moving! Our guide Dale was incredible! He was great!Monet's home and inspirational gardens. The museums! Perfect mix of French history,life and culture! Amboise and Bourge!"

Julie

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 06/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebecca, our tour guide, really made everything go so smoothly. Each location we visited was better than the last! This was a truly unique and unforgettable experience - I would not have picked some of the places or hotels we visited out of ignorance of their magnificence or even existence, but that added to the adventure, and I enjoyed every second of the tour. I learned so much about French history, culture, and cuisine. Cannot recommend the tour enough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment would probably be Mont St. Michel (though it's hard to pick just one moment!). Mont St. Michel was something I would not have thought to pick had I been planning my own vacation. But it was absolutely breathtaking - from the time I first saw it in the distance across the fields up, through the (optional) attendance of the early morning service, the tour of the abbey, watching the tide come in... everything about Mont St. Michel was truly awe-inspiring."

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!"

Berry

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like I was on a modern Magic Bus. Instead of Jack Kerouac spinning tales, we had our leader Graeme reciting thrilling and spell-binding historical events. Hailee, his assistant, always had our backs and Wim, our driver, was our voice of reason. Fellow tour mates were very merry travelers, indeed. Honestly, I just wanted to go on and on, traveling across Europe in a bus, listening to tales, and stopping along the way for great food and wonderful sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The big sights are always wow moments. On this trip, and this was my fifth RS tour, the small moments of shopping for our picnic lunches in Bourges and Amboise was a double wow. I had so much fun doing what Graeme suggested: Try something new and out of our comfort zone. This is why I ended up with five bars of honey and cream bath soap and a bag of honey and mint candies. Venders seemed pleased with my limited French, and were kind and chatty."

Marilyn

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected that I would enjoy my first Rick Steves Tour. I din't expect the depth and breadth of the enjoyment. It was so much more than a pleasurable vacation. It was an opportunity to learn about French history and culture, to sample cuisine I would not have found on my own and to have my experiences enhanced by the presence of others. Honestly, it was all overall sweetly amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? Come on! I'll give you two for different reasons. Historically- The Church of Angoville-au- Plain, where our superb local guide gave such a touching recreation of what happened there on June, 6,7,8,1944 that there was not a dry eye in the church. And then the mayor of the small village spoke of his gratitude that we had come. Aesthetically- The wine tasting at Selles-Sur-Cher. The outdoor setting with wines and cheeses was like a French movie set. It was perfect."

Carla

Albany, CA

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to France and it was an extraordinary experience. Our guide, Graeme, did an excellent job in orienting us to Paris and French culture, the history and art of Northern France, and in helping us plan our free time. It was also a pleasure sharing this experience with our tour mates who were all fun loving, respectful and punctual. We bring away many wonderful memories and affection and appreciation for the French people we met during our time in Paris and northern France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, spending the day at the D Day beaches at Normandy with our phenomenal local guide, Dale. His knowledge, story telling gift, and humor made it an unforgettable experience. D Day came alive while he stood with him at the Utah and Omaha Beaches and visualized the incredible heroism of the Allied Forces as wave after wave of young men crawled for hours into enemy fire, ultimately changing the course of the War."

Marisa

Craig, CO

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was amazing from our days in Paris to traveling around France from the Loire Valley, Mont St. Michel, and all the way to Normandy. I really enjoyed the food and the our tour guide as well as the atmosphere around the group because it was so positive and we all were interested in the history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that seeing the D-Day beaches was really powerful and we had a great guide who knew different stories and areas that I hadn't heard before."

Paul

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and thought out. While I know that you can't cover everything worthy of being seen and experienced, the RS choices of scenic and historic sights were excellent and we got a good taste of France, its history, and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is awfully difficult to select a "wow" moment as there were many. If forced to do so, I would opt for Normandy, Omaha and Utah beaches and, of course, the American Cemetary. We have been on many tours but the stop at the Cemetary was so very emotional. Probably the first time for me to experience a site in this way."

Carol

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my first Rick Steve's tour, I wasn't sure what to expect; however, I wasn't disappointed with the itinerary. The pace was good, and we had enough time to enjoy the French culture on our own. We've traveled with other companies with smaller groups so I was a little uncertain about having 28 in our group. Overall, we had experienced travel mates which made for a pleasant time. Our guide was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably my "wow" moment was our day at Normandy. I think it's important for Americans to know the hardships of D-Day, and our local guide Dale made it interesting to learn the details of the landings at Utah and Omaha Beaches. Being there and then coming home and celebrating the Fourth of July made the experience more meaningful. I still have my freedom because of those who gave their lives during WW II. Another "wow" is Mont St Michael. We've been there before, but it always impresses."

Doris

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How to summarize a week and a half of great experiences, great learning, great company, great locations! The tour took me places I'd wanted to see all my life, and did so with excellent planning and execution. That's not easy to do with a group of 20+ opinionated and well-traveled adults, but it happened. Each day had planned activities that I knew all about in advance, as well as some time to myself. I liked that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What sold me on the trip was the chance to visit the D-Day Beaches. I was not disappointed. Between Graeme's history lessons, and the info imparted by our special guide, Dale, those hallowed places were full of vivid details and personal stories. After visiting the American Cemetery at the end of the day, my heart was full, and I had a new gratitude for the sacrifice of those men and women all those years ago."

Donald

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great trip. Graeme was extremely well organized, and his historical narratives are in equal measure informative and entertaining. Hailee knows how to engage with everybody on the tour. In my opinion, they found a great balance between structure and adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, the biggest surprise was the Carolingian murals in the crypt of the Bayeux Cathederal. That and the embroidery really give a sense of the middle ages."

David

Manhasset, NY

Tour: 06/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations in every way. I was a little concerned about how the bus part of the tour would be, but thanks to Graeme's talent for making history so interesting the time spent between destinations added to the enjoyment. The choice of destinations couldn't have been any better, everyone in the group got along great, there was plenty of free time (got lost in the Metro and really got to know how helpful the French can be). Can't recommend it highly enough

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole thing was a WOW moment for me. If I had to I would pick the Normandy beaches, and Mt St Michelle (went to the monk's early morning prayers )"

Martin

Bend, OR

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. It was my first trip overseas and I was a little apprehensive. I never had one negative moment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral ceilings took my breath away Everytime I entered one."

Pat

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris made everyone feel like family.It seemed as if 'all' travelers inter-mingled,more on this tour,very enjoyable group,which says alot about our leader. I understand being on such a tight schedule time is paramount but rushing in some of the more strenuous uphill walks was quite taxing..my wife went on the Mont-saint Michel by herself,without rushing with no problem,but was very concerned about keeping up with the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course Normandy was very emotional, everything was very enjoyable, but on the last night in Paris,Chris took a bunch of us to view the EiffEl tower after dark,with the lighting and a street performer playing the violin in the background it seemed magical.,"

Marilyn

Jefferson, IA

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide, well planned itinerary, and an interesting introduction to different areas of France

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Giverny"

Marie

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great. We saw and did so many things. Our guide Chris was the very best. She was knowledge, helpful and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Lorie Valley."

Ann

Conover, NC

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From th first meeting to the final farewell, this tour was well organized and packed full of amazing experiences. Each day was planned to include informative descriptions from Chris and time to explore and individualize our experience. The cities and sights included on the tour provided a wide range of experiences. From the hustle of the city of Paris to the quiet garden of Giverny, all of our senses were engaged. The most wonderful part of the tour was the group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was filled with beautiful moments. Following a day in Normandy, the beauty of the gardens in Giverny was the perfect spot to be surrounded by colors, textures and calm. Monet's gardens were the highlight of the tour for me."

Bill

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Christine was by far the weakest guide we have had on our 4 tours. All of the other guides said several times how lucky/blessed/fortunate to be working for Rick Steves. Christine never said anything like that. She seemed to be going through the motions, the local guides seemed to do most of the work except on the bus and checking into the hotel. Christine looked like she just got out of bed when we started each morning. The local guides were well dressed and professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normady"

Linda

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Paris is beautiful with lots to see, but it was a relief to get into the countryside away from crowds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting into the French countryside after the crowds of Paris brought welcome relief. A wow afternoon was visiting Selles-sur-Cher and enjoying a wine and cheese pairing in a beautiful setting. The owner of the winery was delightful and charming. After the tasting we enjoyed more wine and the goodies we had purchased for lunch before leaving Bourges that morning. A perfect day!"

Paula

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scenery was beautiful. The tour guides were exceptional. You felt like you had been in France and seen the people as well as the sights. Tour size is great and they were so much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches of Normandy was the most moving experience but Mont St Michele was my favorite. Being able to stay on the island and walk the streets was amazing. I must say Givetny was a close second."

Robert

Jefferson, IA

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first experience with France and the entire 11 days were great. A good balance between city (Paris) and the countryside. Guide Chris took great care of us and we enjoyed everyone in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many: Mont St-Michel, Normandy D-Day beaches, Monet's gardens at Giverney, and watching the Eiffel Tower light show the last night with Chris and members of the group was very special. Perhaps the biggest "wow" is looking back on it all after a few weeks and thinking "wow," I really got to experience all that!"

Richard

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 06/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great time with a very helpful and knowledgeable leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cathedral in Bourges, late afternoon, with no other people around."

Paul

Woodland, CA

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Paris & Heart of France" tour was perfect! All of our stops were very significant & meaningful. Our guide, Rebecca, was wonderful! She was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about everything! The mix of tour members was also great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was probably Mont St. Michel."

Sylvia

Woodland, CA

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 6th tour with Rick Steves and it met my expectations! I liked the round trip itinerary starting and ending in Paris, so that made flight arrangements easy. 11 days went by quickly, but it allowed us to spend extra days in Paris on our own. By the end of the trip, we were experts at using the Metro and ordering food in French! Our tour group was very congenial which made the trip fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each sight was very different, but if I had to choose one place it would be Mont Saint Michel. I'm glad that we were able to avoid crowds by spending the night there. It also allowed us to attend the morning service which was amazing!"

Sharon

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great trip in all respects! Our tour guide, Rebecca was outstanding in every way. We enjoyed her company as much as the wonderful sights we saw. I was able to write off a few of my bucket list items. Was fascinated by the building of the chateau at Guedelon. Loved seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. I was amazed at all the green I saw in the countryside, fields and forest beautifully green and lush.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy beaches of WWII were especially moving. Incredible to think that even one of the allied forces were able to get through the german lines. Very sad, and a new perspective on the war."

John

Leesburg, VA

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With our great group of fellow travelers and our great guide, Rebecca, any destination in Europe would be fun and informative! And, therefore our Paris and the Heart of France tour was an outstanding success. We felt that we did "live like a local" many times as we were guided to farmer's markets to source several lunches and taken to out-of-the way places where we were the only group of tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment was climbing the many steps to the abbey at Mont St. Michel to hear the monks chant their early morning prayers. The moment was made special because of the solitude of the moment several hours before thousands of day visitors to St. Michel arrived. Spending the night on Mont St. Michel among just us Rick Steves travelers was just super special. PS--It is very hard to pick just one "wow" moment, but this was it for us."

Edwina

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall trip was wonderful it was enough time that we can enjoy every stop and we could take in all that we were experiencing. Our bus group was a lot of fun and our tour guide Rebecca was amazing and also a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I reflect on the trip I don't have a wow moment, I just enjoyed all of it and I can actually remember everything I saw.I think Saint Michelle was probably amazing sight from a distance.I really enjoyed the street in Paris where it was just The open air market and you could actually live there and work there and get everything you needed there from the fresh market and not have to go into the city any deeper."

Susan

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. We had very high expectations for our first tour in Europe. The Rick Steve's tour exceeded those expectations. The selection of sites, museums, visited cities and neighborhoods was incredible. Every day we were dazzled by what was offered. We liked the planned tours very much and greatly appreciated the free time to do extra activities that were of particular interest to us. The tour wasn't half complete, when we had decided that we would do a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is impossible to choose. Every day was a 'wow' moment. The cathedrals, the museums, the castle at Guedelon, the market at Bourges, the chateaus, Mont St Michel and the D Day beaches, were all above and beyond what we imagined. Even the things that we thought we would not like, we ended up loving. The entire experience was incredible. We are extremely well traveled in the US (have been to 20 national parks), but this Rick Steve's tour was the vacation of a lifetime. It was spectacular."

Anita

Oak Park, CA

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and it was fabulous. We especially loved our tour guide, Rebecca, and the way that everything ran so smoothly. The check in at hotels were easy and the plans for each day were made clear. I can see now why you have so many repeat clients! We loved learning about the places we went to and the way that our needs were met. Rick's insights on when to visit places and timing on when we arrived at places was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Giverny and seeing the tide come in at Mont St. Michel. We were awed by the great views from our room there."

Delores

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/23/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour had just the right balance on urban and rural sites. I saw everything that I wanted to see. Rebecca, the tour guide, was one of the best tour guides that I have had over my years of travelling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the museums and Leonardo Da Vinci's house and gardens."

Michael

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

good tour. I would have liked more time in Normandy, it didn't work for a free afternoon because of the bus in getting there. maybe another day in the Brittany area with a full afternoon at Omaha beach. I would have enjoyed walking on the beach below the American cemetery (though the path down to the beach was closed due to security concerns, I was told). we were in Normandy, Giverney on a holiday weekend in France. might be best to plan around that, especially at Mont St Michel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"maybe not "wow" but the monks chanting @ 7 am in the abbey at top of Mont St. Michel was very nice. watching the tide come in, with a heck of alot of other tourists at Mont St. Michel is pretty special."

Judi

Plano, TX

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing adventure through northern France!! Our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and fascinating from one venue to the next, he was great fun!! The care taken to plan the sights to visit, hotels, restaurants and stops along the way was thorough and well considered. The entire experience encouraged participation, observation and openness to all things French... and we did it ALL - the walking, discovering, tasting the food and soaking up the atmosphere... Forever memories!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very hard to choose a single favorite WOW moment - this tour, and France, are full of memory making moments. In Paris, it was watching the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower from the roof of Tour Montparnasse while sipping champagne - then suddenly it was twinkling, like magic! I loved the pretty hotel in Bourges, the first look at Chateau Chenonceau and it's flowers! The village of Amboise along the Loire River and Monet's breathtaking gardens. Or perhaps it was the romance most of all!!"

Rosemarie

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was excellent. Our RS guide was excellent as was Rudi, the guide for Normandy beaches and museums. It was a great itinerary. Liked the way the tour was organized especially our visit to Mont St. Michel to avoid the worst of the crowds. Fascinating seeing the castle at Guedelon being built and enjoyed the wine and cheese at Selles Sur Cher. One of the many advantages of a RS tour is some of the off the beaten track experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments. The day touring Normandy with the guide Rudi was a very special and a moving experience. Approaching Mont St. Michel was another wow moment along with Monet's house and gardens at Giverny. The castle Chenonceau was also so beautiful."

Robert

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th tour with you and they are all beyond excellent. They all give you a different experuience. This is why we travel. We do appox. 5 ventures a year and travel fOr the HCCW. HISTORY - CUYLTURE - CUISINE - WILD LIFE. You provide most of what we travel for. Thank You, We are Happy Travelers Bob Rose

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Total Trip. But Normandy was the most moving. Rudy was excellent...."

Sandra

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall a good trip. Strongly recommend more time for Normandy, as 1 day is not enough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many: -wine and cheese tasting for just our group at Selles Sur Cher in The Loire -Leonardo da Vinci home and park in Amboise (Chateau de Clos-Luce) -optional group picnic dinner in Amboise -Chateau de Chenonceaux beauty, floral arrangements and very interesting WWI and WWII history -Normandy sites were very powerful and moving. We by chance timed our visit for Memorial Day weekend, and all the headstones in The American Cemetery had French and American flags placed in front of them."

Susan

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Graeme led us on a really wonderful trip. Logistics were flawless. Loved the interesting rest stops (off highways) and suggestions for food, navigating, etc. Snacks on bus and picnic were great!! Graeme is very knowlegeable and was a joy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Market streets are my fav."

Lisa

Keller, TX

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I would say we were very happy with the tour experience with a few exceptions. I did not like having to purchase water on the bus at all. We are paying thousands of dollars for this tour...I think water should be provided especially since its a very low cost item that really isn't optional. You could provide "tickets" for one or two beers or wine and after that we can pay but I found charging for that stuff on the bus to be rather off putting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have studied European history in college so being in places where Kings lived and wars were fought is fascinating to me. Our tour guide was wonderful and brought those places to life with stories that refreshed my education."

Renee

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved this tour and Graeme was great! I will indeed go back to France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on my deck at Mont St. Michel and enjoying the sunrise across the sand flats. What a beautiful and spiritual place I'm so glad I was able to experience."

Edward

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide/host Graeme was truly outstanding. His knowledge and enthusiasm were remarkable. He made everyone in the group feel at ease and important. The tour itself was overwhelming. The sights, food and accommodation were all first rate. We will be doing another tour in the near fuiture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A cool Sunday morning spent near Notre Dam wandering an open air street market. The smells, colors and tastes made me want to return to Paris for an extended period of time. It was wonderful. Another of the numerous WOW moments was spent on the D-Day beaches in Normandy. Rudy our guide/educator was a true gem. His knowledge and insights made this an unforgettable part of our trip."

Donald

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 05/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour group was lively and sociable, so my spouse and I enjoyed our new friends. Still, we had only fleeting contacts with French people, mostly quick interchanges with waiters and waitresses, except for our tour guide, Linda. One wonderful exception was a wine and cheese tasting occasion at a rustic chateaux on the way to Bourges (I think). The winemaker and cheese maker described some of the processes of each food and made the event delightful. The cheese and wine tasted delightful, too

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the German and American Cemeteries at Normandy, I was overwhelmed at viewing numerous crosses, which stated that the identity of the soldier lying in the grave was "unknown except to God." The "wow" here was or sadness, not of exhilaration."

Kevin

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 05/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the full day of D Day experience. The guide was enthusiastic and really knew his stuff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hedgerows in fields around Normandy."

Irene

Claremont, CA

Tour: 05/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was well planned with a good balance of free time and organized activities. I really enjoyed it.

Susan

Needham Heights, MA

Tour: 05/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip and tour and wouldn't have changed one thing! We picked this tour to visit a variety of locales and it fully met and exceeded our expectations. We liked the variety of the locations and duration of each stay was perfect. This tour gave us the right combination of guided and free time in each location and we valued that. We felt overall there was great attention to detail in the planning and execution of our entire itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day we said it was a fantastic day and it was the best...and each next day was equally fantastic. We loved getting acquainted with the different neighborhoods of Paris, stopping for coffee or a carafe of wine and just taking in the atmosphere. This was unforgettable. We hadn't expected to be so wowed by the Eiffel Tower, so that was a treat and returning to the Trocadero at night to take in the lights was equally an unforgettable experience."

Eric

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Learned to appreciate the French perspective, and crossed off several bucket list items. It was so great to have a guide who was born and lives in France. The food and drink at shared meals were a good representation of the regions we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chambord was like a fairytale castle, but Mont St-Michel lived up to all my expectations. Simply an amazing experience from start to finish."

Larry

Malone, NY

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. A good blend of city and country, great food and interesting and comfortable lodging. Arnaud is a gifted guide and filled our days with information and experiences. We were never bored but never overwhelmed. I really enjoyed France and hope to return. A big factor in the enjoyment of this trip was sharing it with a great group of fellow travelers. Maybe it's the Rick Steves philosophy of travel that draws so many enjoyable and interesting people together. Thanks gang.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to choose, but probably walking the streets and ramparts of Mont St-Michel in the evening with almost no one around."

Gail

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be a fun, informative, busy and a truly a memorable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and staying at Mont St. Michel. It was mystical, romantic and spiritual. The tour was informative and great. Just amazing at what was built there."

Winnie

Malone, NY

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were happily immersed in everything that France had to offer, and our tour guide, Arnaud, made it fun, interesting, and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a tough one, because with everything that we saw, each was exceedingly more beautiful, but I guess I would have to say Mont St-Michel, and also being there for the inauguration of President Macron was a thrill for me, personally."

Jacqueline

Farmingdale, NJ

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At the end of the tour we wanted to go out and do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was breath-taking and sleeping on the Mont made it even better"

Frank

Farmingdale, NJ

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Arnaud was top-shelf. He made the experience better in every regard. The D-Day plane simulation and the blowing of taps was memorable, but overall the D-Day experience was too long of a day

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was stunning, and getting to sleep overnight on the Mont was something special. Being there at night bypassed the crowds. Good time management"

Nancy

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved hitting highlights in Paris and then leaving Paris to experience sights outside of Paris that I might never have gone to on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the medieval castle built, staying at Mont St. Michele, and going to the D Day beaches"

Barry

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The leaders was charming and well organized, with great stories and historic information. Good local guides at the individual stops. The hotels were quite nice, and higher end than we would have picked from the Rick Steve's books.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was different and interesting. The little unexpected touches, like the wine tasting at a chateau and the fresh raw oysters at the seaside added to the experience. It's hard to pick out one favorite "wow" moment, but the evening at Mount St. Michelle was a high point."

Robin

Pembroke Pines, FL

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Choreographed beautifully

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel in the evening & morning was surreal"

Sheila

Cookeville, TN

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour of the northwestern park of France. I truly enjoyed most of the stops although I found the Mt Saint Michel was somewhat difficult. Arnaud was exceptional--he was very patient, even when I was not. It was a bit difficult to eat after 7:00 pm since I'm used to getting ready for bed then! I am sharing my experience with people I talk with. Good job!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed being able to use the French leaned since fourth grade--occasionally it was useful. I also enjoyed the many places we got to see."

William

Cookeville, TN

Tour: 05/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy and Paris."

Denis

Woodstown, NJ

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was excellent. We had been on two RS tours in the past which we really enjoyed. I had high expectations for this one and was not disappointed. Excellent guides (the main reason I like these tours). Itinerary was great. A good mix of big city and then small towns. Arrived early so could spend an extra day in Paris (first time there, would love to go back). The remainder of the tour was stops in places which had wonderful things to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick one. Mont St-Michel. Views from the second deck of the Eiffel Tower at dusk. Impressionism galleries in the Orsay. The detailed and very moving description of the horror of war that was the Allied landing at Omaha beach."

Julie

Burlington, NC

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was just what we needed. Wish we could have stayed on the beach at Normandy longer. Chris made the trip extra special. The local guide from Normandy is a gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the small local church where the wounded were cared for. This occured before we went to the beaches at Normandy which is part of this WoW moment."

John

Alameda, CA

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very satisfied, this being my first trip with RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont St. Michel, and the entire Normandy experience"

Susan

Toledo, OH

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfectly planned. Busy, eye-candy Paris followed by serene center and north of France. Poignant Mont St. Michel and tearful Normandy followed by peace in Monet's garden. Food was outstanding, Chris the best I've ever experienced in half a dozen tours, and a tour group in true RS style: no grumps, willing to comfort and celebrate. Much more than a look at a country and it's people. We were encouraged to look at ourselves and happy to share our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. 7 am psalm chanting by nuns at Mont St. Michel was ethereal. 2. Guide at Normandy was beyond effective. I thought I had no interest in military history and now want to learn more. 3. Monet's and Da Vinci's house and garden."

Sarah

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an amazing time. Didn't have to worry about a lot of the logistics of getting around and the people in our group were fun and nice. Had several meals that were supposed to be "on your own" with other members, which was a great bonding time. All the castles we saw were awesome too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel for the first time. I was in the front of the bus and it was a clear day so I got see it on the horizon at 32km away! It was great when finally got there and settled into our hotel. The whole D-Day experience was very emotional but worthwhile. That was one of my favorite parts of the trip, was to learn about history and peoples' experiences on those days. We got to meet the mayor of the town and a lady who lived there during the invasion."

Sue

Valencia, CA

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Another successful tour! All the things I've come to expect were present - great people (fellow tour members, guides, bus drivers), well organized itinerary (mix of tours and free time), terrific food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many great moments but no one particular wow moment. Among my favorites: being surrounded by the stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle, seeing the process of building Guedelon, ethereal chanting of the monks and nuns of Mont St-Michel, historical detail of the Bayeux tapestry, and the awesome stories and sacrifices made during D-Day."

Kathy

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having gone on a Rick Steve's tour before, we knew what to expect and this tour met our expectations. The people in this particular group were very compatible. We went out to dinner most days together, even those days where a group dinner was not planned. It is amazing that people can have similar views and opinions, even though they live in different parts of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was watching the tide come in on Mt. Saint-Michel at night. It was so peaceful. I also liked the tour of the Normandy Beaches. It was very moving. But I must add that the tour would not have had such an impact were it not for the local guide Dale Booth. Watching T.V. and reading history could not fill in all the gaps about what happened on D-Day. Seeing the terrain and hearing Dale made it all come alive. It was a great experience."

Andrea

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris is a natural guide. As she choreographed our dance through Paris and northern France, she shared vast amounts of historical events and French culture without ever being pedantic. She melded 28 different personalities and expectations seamlessly. It was our inaugural Rick event and we are smitten. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you pick your favorite child? Perhaps gazing east at dusk high on Mont St Michel as the sunset cast the shadow of the Mont onto the sound as we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at La Croix Blanche."

Paul

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour. I learned a lot. History became real. To see and walk and listen to the experiences was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several such moments: Paris Mont St.Michel Normandy To stay on the Mont, have a wonderful meal over looking the bay, walking the narrow streets early in the morning...perfect."

Georgia

Placitas, NM

Tour: 05/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt I learned wonderful history and saw incredible sites. I may not have seen/learned these things if had not taken the tour. Chris was a great tour guide. She was organized and competent and made the group feel comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Normandy Beach and the American cemetery rendered me speechless. The British tour guide for that was so amazing. His visual presentation at the church is something I'll never forget. Thank you, Rick Steves Tours, for working with such talent. He made a most poignant time in history come alive. Being on the beaches was definitely "wow". The reminder of such sacrifice is heart-rending."

Jerry

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was perfect from start to finish. Graeme did a great job bringing us together as a team, our fellow travelers were wonderful and the hotels exceeded our expectations. The local tour guides were top notch. A big shout out to our bus driver is in order. He fit in perfectly with the group and had a great sense of humor. Talking with him was a treat - he gave us some insights into the area, tips on getting around and knew about the local area resturants and attractions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Orsay was the most moving experience. However every stop had some wow moments."

Kenneth

Chillicothe, OH

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience. The location of the hotels, the included meals, the wonderful extras Graeme provided all contributed to our enjoyment. We really got a "feel" for the places and people we encountered. All of the people at all of the hotels were exceptionally kind and helpful; they made it a pleasure to ask for their help with our many questions and requests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight on Mont St Michel, and rising early to climb to the summit to hear the monks chanting their daily ritual."

Ronald

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good tour, I will recommend it to friends. The guide, IMHO, makes any tour good or bad. Graeme was outstanding, as was his tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau de Chenonceau, a total surprise and so lovely. I did not read the details of this trip and chose to be surprised. It was wonderful."

Jenise

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and we loved it! We learned so much, explored places we would have never seen, experienced first rate guides, especially our main guide, Graham. We felt it was a great value for the price, with nice hotels, great meals together, and wonderful stops along the way. I felt that the places and visits during the day were well thought out for the maximum experience whether. The bus was great, driver Michele was an added bonus to the trip. People on the tour were fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We arrived at 5 PM after driving in the rain all day. Rain stopped and clouds began clearing. We were treated to a room just below the abbey, with a large patio and a 180 degree view of the ocean, looking east. After our lovely dinner (oysters and lamb!), we walked through the graveyard with a few bats flying and peered heavenward to see the seagulls circling St. Michel's golden statue atop the abbey. It was beautifully lit and then the clouds cleared revealing a bright moon. Magical!"

Becky

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Felt as though the tour encompassed the perfect amount of material and territory in the allotted 11 days. The balance of touring, lecture, and free time was expert; and the [INVALID]ion of hotels, restaurants and sites/sights was optimum! Graeme could not have been more accommodating or charming. Our tour group was exceptional; we forged was very nice friendships. We will always remember and cherish this awesome experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a very difficult question, as essentially every experience of every day was so impressive. We wanted to take pictures of everything we saw! Bourges and the Cathedral St. Etienne were breathtaking, and Mont St. Michele at night was magical."

Elizabeth

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful. We had rainy weather but that didn't stop us. The group bonded nicely and we had a fabulous guide in Graeme Sutherland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wows on the trip. Mont St-Michel - watching the tide roll in and having the place to ourselves after the day trippers left. Comparing big chateaux to small. The fabulous Monet Gardens! Earlier gardens were waiting to be planted with the summer flowers so it was especially nice to see full bloom. Meeting the wonderful tour group members. Having a fabulous guide (Graeme)."

Lisa

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had few preconceived notions about France, and would probably rate my interest level going into the trip as a 6 or 7 out of 10. That changed almost immediately, though, thanks to our outstanding guide, Graeme, who did an amazing job explaining history and culture and tying together disparate strands into a cohesive whole spanning 1000+ years of history. I wanted to spend a lot more time everywhere, and I left wanting to read dozens of history books. Merci for a job very well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the latter part of the tour the most. My wow moment was spending the night on Mont St Michel, watching the tide come in, having the island practically to ourselves, and hearing the monks and nuns singing at dawn. I was also wowed by the Bayeux tapestry and the D-Day beaches."

Michele

Loomis, CA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Positive, organized, friendly, relaxed, educational and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the big chateaus of the Loire Valley. It is hard to choose."

Christine

West Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour guide, Graeme, and the local guides you hired were equally fabulous. Loved the itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michele was my "WOW" portion of the tour! Just loved everything about it. Great local guide too."

William

West Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was excellent. Keep in mind that there is so much to do and not enough time to explore. Graeme helped condense the time and made excellent suggestions as what to do with our free time. If we had an objective, he would suggest on how to go about achieving it. All the hotels were great and in good locations for exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American cemetery at Normandy is at the same time beautiful but sobering. We must realize those men and women gave their lives to have the freedoms that we enjoy and have today; we must never forget that. Combined with observing that no matter at what angle the crosses are viewed, they are in a straight line. That is the "wow" factor."

Joel

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour guide and a great tour group made for a great tour! Graeme made France come alive for us in ways just reading the book couldn't.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel"

Robert

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 05/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had very high expectations going into this tour having previously experienced an excellent Rick Steves tour in Italy a few years ago. My expectations were more than met. The guide, Graeme, played a big part in that. His enthusiasm was infectious and his mini history lectures were informative and entertaining. The itinerary was well planned and well thought out with a good balance of walking and riding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very much pleased with the night we spent on Mont-St-Michel. There were very few other tourists on the streets and the views were terrific."

Debbie

Edinboro, PA

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour and it never disappoints. However, I guess we are now getting older and realize that we really do have to pay attention to the "activity" level of the tour. This tour kept you "hopping" and because we were participating in back to back tours, I will admit that we were a bit exhausted! Paris was wonderful....so much to see...and one does have to realize that you won't see it all in one trip...so just take small bites...and plan to return. Great itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunrise at Mont St. Michel, along with early morning service. D-Day Normandy Beaches, D day "experience" Champagne at the Eiffel Tower...wished it hadn't been raining so we could savor the moment...but still was fun! Watching French elections announcement with Patrick and Linda"

Ann

Grove City, OH

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

positive experience, enjoyable, educational, excellent balance of scheduled events and free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each scheduled event was a "Wow" moment. How do you [INVALID] one moment out of the many varied events; Mont St Michel, Normandy, Bourges, Giverny, food, scenery, a group of wonderful fellow travelers, and two fabulous guides"

Shawn

Castle Rock, CO

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an outstanding experience and would definitely consider booking with Rick Steves on our next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two. First the evening on Mont St. Michel. It was perfectly timed to beat the crowds and it was a beautiful experience to sleep on the island and be able to see th abbey lit up at night. The second wow moment for me was the day in Normandy. The local guide did an excellent job of bringing history alive for me and the stops all day were well timed and chosen to paint a picture of the history."

Patsy

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great destinations; knowledgeable, personable and enthusiastic guide; wonderful tour members

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Saint Michel in all its moments: first, seeing the image rise up out of the distance as we were first coming upon it; wandering the lanes among various shops and businesses housed within the centuries-old buildings; watching the tide come in to cut off the island from the shore; taking photographs at night of this medieval monastery looming out of the darkness like a medieval cloud suspended over the water. Breathtaking."

Deborah

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the trip! The hotels were all great, including the ones that were a little 'funky'-they had character; the guides were so awesome; the guest guides were amazing; I really liked the balance of time together as a group and the time on our own. We had a small group which made it very comfortable and more intimate. The restaurants the guides selected were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually it was the last night when we all had dinner, left the restaurant together with our bellies full of delicious food and strolled down the rainy streets of Paris to the Eiffel tower and had a glass of champagne to toast the end of a great trip. It was magical!"

Pat

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything ran like clockwork. Our every need was thought of and taken care of. The guides had so many historical points to make. They were willing to share up date facts and feelings about the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Mont St Michel and staying the night there. Walking the area at sun rise. being able to walk out and take photos at night. Also the American Cemetery and the day at the Normandy Beach museums and the landing sites. Being at the cemetery when the flags were taken down and hearing taps and seeing the vintage plane fly over was very moving, I had uncles in Europe during WWII."

Diane

Bow, WA

Tour: 05/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guedelon, Omaha and Utah beach, Giverney, Bayeaux, Amboise - all had features I had never heard about. Mostly, I enjoyed getting to know the French people, and it helped that I spoke french. I would recommend staying one or two extra days in Paris, just to make sure you haven't missed anything, like Versailles or the Eiffel Tower at night. I don't drink wine, and both guides tried very hard to make me feel totally comfortable, providing local interesting juices during wine tastings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Having Mt. Ste. Michele all to myself at 7 a.m., the chateaux, Giverney. But being on Omaha beach, and seeing what those men had to do to conquer that beach.... like one veteran said, "You tell me how we did that. It was crazy then, and it's crazy now." I would say the D-Day area, from Bayeaux to Caen, including someone who had lived through the battle in her town, was my humbling "wow" moment."

Rebecca

Medford, OR

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, this tour was a show stopper, even with the weather not cooperating all the time. Well-organized and fun, this tour offers a nice mix of free time and scheduled events. The smaller, lesser known villages like Fougeres and Bourges were especially delightful. We would have liked to add 2-3 days to this tour in order to linger longer in these special places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For my husband, the wow moment was the wine tasting and picnic lunch at Chateau de Selles sur Cher--what an amazingly delightful time with a wonderful host. My wow was finally seeing and staying on Mont St. Michel, a major dream come true."

Kevin

Louisville, KY

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was excellent with a good mix of outstanding sites, local guides, and free time. I enjoyed being able to tour the art museums on our own time - was able to spend time seeing the works that we wanted to view and skip those that did not interest us. The time spent on the bus was not excessive and the drivers were excellent. While the weather was not the best it did not mar the tour. The group itself was excellent and everyone made positive additions to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though we saw only a small part of the Normandy beaches, they were nevertheless very impressive. It is always hard to imagine what was asked of the soldiers may have just graduated from high school and had no military experience."

Kerry

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was well planned with more then adequate time to do and see other things if you so desired but there was plenty to see! I would say the weakest planned portion was Paris but that was maybe by design because there is so much to see in Paris. So I would say to someone taking this tour is really research and plan your your free time on the Paris portion of this trip. Great accommodations, great food, Rebecca was wonderful and attentive to our needs. Great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount St Michel."

Ben

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got to see and experience a lot in just 11 days. The sights were outstanding, especially in the Loire Valley and Brittany. We've been to Paris before, so the days there were excellent, but we knew what we wanted to see and had ideas about how to get to them. The places we stayed at were excellent quality. Our shared meals were also very good quality, along with the wines that came with our dinner. Our tour guide, Rebecca, was superb, and local guides were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sky out in the countryside during the day at Chateau Selles-Sur-Cher, and in Bourges at night, was astoudingly beautiful, an intense shade of blue that was mesmerizing. The morning prayer service at the Abbey of Mont Ste Michel was beautiful, followed by sights of the Abbey's silhouette cast against morning low fog and mist on the plains-like low-tide beach, was exquisite."

Peggy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves' tour. We had such a wonderful time on our first that I was ready for a let down - but that didn't happen! This tour was very well planned with excellent guides, wonderful hotels and delicious meals - an overall terrific experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The reason I signed up for this trip was for the stop in Normandy. The days there certainly met my expectations. (The tour as a whole was great and the time spent throughout France added so much to my trip.)"

Susan

Grayslake, IL

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first experience with a tour. I'm glad we joined a Rick Steves tour rather than another provider. The group was very congenial and we had a fantastic tour guide. The weather wasn't the greatest (cold and wet!), but the places picked for us to visit were well thought out with generally good preparation. For the part of the tour outside of Paris we had a comfortable bus, even with 28 people on the tour, it didn't feel crowded. We had a nice married couple as our bus drivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite places outside of Paris were the Loire Valley chateux and Monet's Garden at Giverny. I would have liked to have more time at Giverny."

Edward

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour of Paris and northern France. There was so much to see. Our tour guide Rebecca who is an American has been a tour guide for more than 30 years. She loves France and it's people. She taught us about the French language, history, dining, and culture. She taught us enough French so we could go to the local market to buy food for a picnic lunch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was walking up the hill and attending the 7 am morning worship service at the Abbey on top of Mount Saint Michel. The monks and nuns sang like angels. We felt that we were in Mideval France, except the hotel was first class."

Mark

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were great. Rebecca Berry did an excellent job. I would have liked fewer one night stops though to have more time in each area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D Day tour was moving but Mt. Saint Michel was most pleasantly surprising. I didn't know what to expect there and surprised how moving it was."

Carol

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was so varied. We started in the big, busy, beautiful city of Paris, then drove through the peaceful country side. We stayed in small towns and villages along the way which allowed us to experience an entirely different aspect of the country. We toured cathedrals, chateaux, and delightful neighborhoods. We walked on D-day beaches and in Monet's gardens. I felt I was steeped in French history and culture. It is a trip I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can honestly saw that for me every day was a wow moment. I marveled at stain glass that told stories, at a cathedral built on top of a large rock and on and on."

Teresa

Louisville, KY

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with a great guide and tour mates. All the rainy days did not dampen our spirits- in fact, the rain helped us bond as a group. I learned so much about French history, art, food, and culture from our fabulous guide, Rebecca!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending sunrise prayers at the Mont St-Michel Abbey. Monet's Garden at Giverny. Night cruise on the Seine with the Eiffel Tower twinkling (an activity my husband and I did before the tour started)."

Lisa

Pearland, TX

Tour: 04/25/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Despite the cold, windy and rainy weather we managed to have a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick a favorite so I'll say it was the surprise of Brouge and it's town and cathedral."

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

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

Trip Resources

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

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. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

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

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

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

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

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

Sightseeing on Your Own

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

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

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

Packing

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

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

Special packing note: We use an audio guide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.