For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ.

  • 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 $3,495 per person + air

Single Supplement $775

See Dates & Prices

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 today in Burgundy — using lots of muscle and 13th-century technology. Join us for Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

What's Included

You'll get at least 13 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on this tour of France:

  • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city
  • Historic Paris walking tour
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Paris neighborhood walk
  • Louvre Museum
  • Château de Guédelon
  • Bourges walking tour and Cathédrale St-Étienne
  • Château de Chambord
  • Château de Chenonceau
  • Mont St-Michel and abbey
  • Bayeux Tapestry
  • D-Day tour (American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and Sainte-Mère Eglise)
  • Monet's gardens at Giverny

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 group transportation from Paris to Paris
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt 
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Paris.

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 a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches — the legendary and resilient 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.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Paris.

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. With your smartphone in hand and the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, Rick’s voice will guide you through timeless treasures including the 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Paris.

Day 4: Medieval Guédelon and Bourges

Today we'll leave Paris and head for the Château de Guédelon — a medieval castle being built today in Burgundy 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-Etienne, where we'll learn how to read some of France's most remarkable and original medieval stained glass before having dinner together this evening.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Bourges.

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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in the Loire Valley.

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 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in the Loire Valley.

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 stay on the Mont itself.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep on Mont St-Michel.

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.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Normandy.

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 Sainte-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.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Normandy.

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!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Paris.

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

Shauna

Reston, VA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. I enjoyed the activity and variety of revisiting Paris in more depth. There is always something special to see and experience. The Normandy coast and D-Day part of the tour was very sobering and enlightening. Dale was full of detailed information and compelling descriptions, bringing the beaches alive. Monet's gardens in Giverny were lovely, with lots of blooms and color even in late October.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was special for the unique location and experience. The morning prayers at the Abbey, the quiet of the evening overlooking the wide beach, and just the ancient history involved were all very memorable."

Soon-ok

Santa Clarita, CA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was excellent; the guide Virgine exceptional. In particular, her presentation of educating us of French social structure and educational and health systems through a fictitious family was very engaging and easier to understand and follow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wows. If I have to pick one that touched me the most is Utah and Omaha beaches at Normandy. It made me realize the awesome sacrifice that these young soldiers made for our freedom."

Jason

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply wonderful trip, perhaps the best we have been on! Virginie made every day exciting and fun and each of the places we visited was superb with nice balance of scheduled events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every waking minute :-)"

Phillip

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed it. Even if the weather didn't always cooperate. We had a good guide and group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not really a "wow" because of all the pictures but seeing Mont St Michel in person was great. The D-Day beaches was semi-wow for the opposite reason. Most of the pictures don't show them correctly or show what great beaches they are"

Buzz

Santa Clarita, CA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. While we certainly enjoyed Paris we were also delighted to get out into the Normandy region and see several smaller French towns and cities

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel fascinated me since I read about it as a child and finally getting to visit it was wonderful"

Mike

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was exceptional. From registration to communication to the actual tour itself, the process was smooth and easy. I had an excellent tour guide that taught me a lot about life in France. The places I visited were amazing and memorable. Details of the visits were planned very well so that our group enjoyed the sites and sounds with least amount of crowds. The food was amazing. I was lucky to get the opportunity to travel with one of the most kind and generous group of mates

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Mont St. Michel was a wow moment. I thought the ability to spend a night there was amazing and unique. I didn't even know that's its possible. I had to chance to go up the Abbey early in the morning for prayer. It was surreal to listen to the nuns and priests chant for 30 minutes. The resonance and acoustics in the Abbey are phenomenal. It was an experience I'll never forget."

Janet

Orlando, FL

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, in fact my first group tour ever, and I'm happy to say it was a very enjoyable and memorable experience. As a single traveler, I was welcomed into the group and never felt "alone". What a nice group of people! One of the reasons I chose Rick Steves was I felt that there would be a better chance of travelling with "like-minded" people who shared my attitude toward travel and learning about other cultures and that's exactly what I found!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among several high points, my "wow" moment was undoubtedly our overnight stay on Mont St Michel. The weather was perfect for walking the alleys and ramparts in the evening after most tourists had left, followed by a wonderful group dinner celebrating Normandy's 4 C's. Oui, Virginie, Calvados does indeed mysteriously allow one to eat more! I rose early in the morning to see the sunrise from the deserted ramparts before touring the Abbey with the group. Another beautiful day!"

Richard

Reston, VA

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! thoroughly enjoyed Guédelon Castle, the small towns of France, the Normandy beaches, and Monet's house and gardens. Our guide, Virgine, was wonderful - she knows Americans almost as well as she knows the French and was able to help us understand the France and french society. And we had a great group of fellow travellers to share the experience with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We stayed one night on Mont-Saint-Michel. In the morning we got up early to go up to see the monks and nuns sing morning prayers. The sky was just lightening up when we left our room, with wisps of marine layer fog wafting around the buildings. A monk met our small group at the abbey door and walked us up to the church where we took seats on benches. The six monks and eight nuns chanted and sang, while we sat in quiet reverie. It was both simple and beautiful."

Thomas

Manlius, NY

Tour: 10/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever. We have been big Rick fans in our other few trips to Europe, but have self-directed our sightseeing activities. We really enjoyed not having to worry about all the logistics and planning, and especially enjoyed the learning from all of our guides. I highly complement Virginie; she is a great guide, has a good sense of humor and upbeat personnality, and she just is a really nice person. She was more of a friend to all of us tourists than a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things... First we attended the morning prayer service at the Mont St Michel Abby. This was simply beautiful and was like going back to the year 1000. The Second "WOW" moment was Omaha Beach. Just seeing the challenge the allies faced, and hearing of their efforts was overwhelming. Our D-Day guide Dale was supurb at bringing history to life."

Jerald

Covington, WA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"NORMANDY"

Mark

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was great. It was fun, educational and inspirational. It was fun to visit Paris for the first time with a knowledgeable and entertaining guide like Patrick Vidal, and to see, in person, what I've only seen in movies and books. It was educational to visit the Normandy D-Day beaches and Mont-Saint-Michel for the first time, with the assistance of expert local guides. And it was inspirational to see and hear about the D-Day invasion from local guide Dale Booth, a skillful story teller.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments on this tour. However, Mont-Saint-Michel was truly a highlight. Staying overnight on Mont-Saint-Michel, visiting the abbey at the top of the island, viewing the island when it was illuminated at night, and watching the incoming tide at sunset from the ramparts, were my "wow" moments."

George

Raynham, MA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first trip to France. We really enjoyed Paris. We were taken to parts of France that we might not have known to go to. We enjoyed the small hotels in the middle of the towns where we stayed. Some of the towns that we stopped for lunch had few options because shops and store fronts had closed and been vacated. Visiting Mont St-Michel, Normandy and Monet's garden were definite highlights of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough to pick one "wow" moment. The first time we saw the Eiffel Tower. Arriving at Mont St-Michel was breath taking. Being able to spend the night there was an experience few travelers get to enjoy."

Benjamin

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on the island of Mont Saint Michel."

Brian

Folsom, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I did the 11-day Paris and the Heart of France tour. A good variety of experiences and locations, although some of the stops were a bit rushed; we would have preferred a little more time on our own at times. Unfortunately my wife injured her leg on the 2nd or 3rd day when a wayward bicyclist struck her, so this limited her ability to join the group on all the walking tours, but we were okay with going some things on our own at her pace. The tour packed in a lot for the 11 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Spending a night at Mont St. Michelle was special, but so were Monet's gardens."

Dennis

Appleton, WI

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first time in France was extraordinary. Having been on a Rick Steves tour twice previously, I felt confident that the tour guides would be exceptional. For me, the tour guide is the key for enjoying a trip, and on every tour they have been great . They are multilingual, calm, knowledgeable, and attentive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the beaches of Normandy. Seeing the place where so many young people, kids, sacrificed their lives, was very moving. The day was very rainy--fitting for contemplation of this huge event."

Coleen

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was great. Really liked the two tour leaders which contrasted nicely with my previous experience. Rebecca was like having a nice mother along, who took care of you, but encouraged you to grow and spread your wings. Veronique was very kind to me about my French, and encouraged me to continue learning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was truly amazing when Father Henry rang the bells of the parish church for us (St. Pierre) on Mont St Michel. What a glorious sound."

Denise

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic trip with great guides and fellow travelers. Planned excursions helped us learn about France, it's history and culture. I came away with the desire to return and see more. We missed a day due to illness, but Rebecca made sure we were taken care of and had the information and tools to rejoin the group by traveling on our own by train.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick one? A few were the view from our room and overnight stay at Mont St Michel to experience the quiet of the place after the day visitors left. Taps at the American cemetery near Omaha beach. And the lily pond at Monet's house that brought his paintings to life."

Betsy

Champlin, MN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France Tour was extremely well led by Rebecca and Veronique. We saw so much in just eleven days and Rebecca and Veronique were certain to include special treats - such as Macarons in the Tuilleries, a champagne treat at sunset on Mount St. Michel, and dinner at the Bouillon Camille Chartier. People have asked what was my favorite thing and I cannot actually pinpoint what it was. So many fabulous experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See above! Before we started the tour I wasn't very excited about the Chateaus and Guedelon and now I tell everyone all about those experiences. Seeing Monet's work displaced at L'Orangerie and visiting his gardens were very high. The Impressionist display at the Orsay and visiting Bourges and its cathedral were amazing things. Loved the D-Day Beach tour even though it was chilly and rainy."

Marci

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. When friends have asked about the trip I have said that every day was my favorite day of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Ste. Michele. It was one of photos in my beginning French book when I was a Freshman in High School and it captivated me. The real thing lived up to my dreams. It was very special to spend the night on the Mont."

Cheryl

Sitka, AK

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. It was fabulous. Rebecca was an excellent guide- warm, organized, knowledgeable. I loved all the history she gave us on each stop. Getting so much background on each town and site really added depth to our visits. Veronique was the same- no matter what questions we had, they both had answers. The trip had just the right combination of walking, free, and bus time. The destinations really gave us a great overview of that part of France. Loved the food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment from the tour was when I got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. It brought tears to my eyes. I knew I was really in France! I also found the sunrise service at the abbey in Mont St. Michel and Taps at the cemetery in Normandy very moving."

Karen

Mount Pleasant, SC

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France tour was very well organized and the adventure of a lifetime. Each day was full of new places to explore, history to learn, and exposure to new experiences. I looked forward to everyday and enjoyed all the scheduled stops, but the surprise stops and unexpected treats along the way added to the fun. We had two great guides, Rebecca and Veronique, who were excellent and always were excited about sharing each location with us.The group was so much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was absolutely breathtaking. I love architecture, design and gardens, so I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being there. The floral arrangements and gardens were spectacular. Mont St. Michel was also a very special experience. Giverny was a favorite of mine."

Beth

Brenham, TX

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was tremendous! It was more than we even imagined it to be! We seemed to spend the perfect amount of time at each spot, we had a wonderful and thorough instruction on how to use the metro, we had ample free time to do things that we wanted to do on our own and we always seemed to be at the most perfectly positioned place to see the most at each spot (I know not by chance but by a tremendous amount of planning).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say 3 - watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle from the top of the Arche de Triomphe, staying the night on Mont St Michel and being at the lowering of flags ceremony at the Omaha Beach cemetery. I was literally saying WOW multiple times every day!"

Kevin

Champlin, MN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides were outstanding! We had a great group of people that were a lot of fun and got along very well. There were a couple of health issues within the group that the guides took care of very professionally without missing a beat. We saw a lot of sites that I would have never thought to seek out by going on my own. Overall, I had a terrific time and felt it was well worth the money.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite site was the castle being constructed using 13th century technology. Amazing! But the cathedral in Bourges was equally breathtaking."

Barbara

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I think back on how many places we went and how much we did, I am blown away!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guedelon absolutely captured my heart and my imagination. I am thrilled by what they are doing there. And I never would have known about it if it hadn't been for this tour. THANK YOU!"

John

Monroe, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome trip! Arnaud our Guide was outstanding.

Carol

Madison, WI

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my fifth RS tour so that should tell you how highly I value my travel experience with you. I enjoyed this trip and would certainly recommend it to other travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and the Bayeux tapestry were on my bucket list for many years and were wonderful. I expected the day in Normandy to be interesting and educational, but I was surprised that it was my wow. Not a big WOW but a quiet and moving wow. Daley was an excellent guide."

Paul

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Too many people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy Beach"

Susan

Havertown, PA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very pleasurable trip. Itinerary, tour guide and fellow travelers were first rate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight at Mont St. Michel was a memory for a lifetime and participating in the early morning prayer service was an incredible experience."

Susan

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our favorite Rick Steves Tour so far. The itinerary provided such a wide range of experiences from the iconic sites and art of Paris, thru medieval castle construction, opulent chateaus, solemn Normandy, and witnessing a prayer vigil on Mont St. Michel, before returning to Paris through the outdoor splendor of Giverny. We also were appreciative of Antoine's extra efforts during "free times" to get tickets, search out stamps, or just walk with us before taking his leave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being invited to walk up to the chapel on Mont St. Michel, in the pre-dawn darkness, to witness the morning prayer service in the Abbey, followed by the beautiful sunrise that greeted us on our walk back down to breakfast at our hotel."

David

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience. It was a fabulous blend of rural and urban, old and new, structured activity and free time. Paris needs all the time a person can devote to it. Because the tour starts and ends in Paris, it is easy to add days at the beginning and/or the end. We went in the fall, and the cool weather and diminished crowds were a big plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose the biggest single WOW moment actually happened on our visit to the Eiffel Tower, which was not on the tour itself, but on the last of our three extra days in Paris. We looked down on the city and recognized so many places that now held precious memories for us. Because of all the things we had done, places we had visited and people we had met through the tour, France no longer seemed like a daunting, foreign place, and we recognized our oneness with the rest of the world."

John

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This itinerary was the most varied of any tour that we have taken. The sights were great as was our Tour Director, Antoine. Who could be unhappy in Paris!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Mont Ste. Michel and attending the early morning service at the abbey."

Josey

Lander, WY

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour experience in France and I enjoyed it all, especially the experiences in Mont St-Michel, Normandy and Giverny. We had a good group of travel buddies, wonderful bus drivers, Matt and Annie, and our guide, Antoine, made it very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in the Hotel de la Marine Arromanches right on Gold Beach in Normandy. It was amazing to walk out of the hotel right onto the beach where we could see the big concrete blocks remaining from the Mulberry Harbor. Other "wow" moments were staying on Mont St-Michel overnight and seeing the beautiful Monet gardens at Giverny."

Priscilla

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Waited 57 years to see Mont St Michel since first seeing picture in high school French textbook. And then to stay overnight, too!! Giverny much more beautiful than I ever expected. Going through the home was really lovely also. It blew my mind to tour Chenonceau where royalty really used the place over years of transition. We went to Rodin museum and garden on our own. That is really well done. We went to St. Sulpice on our own---should be on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing a sculpture depicting God's hands giving "birth" to Adam and Eve. (Paris)"

Pam

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France is a journey full of the drama of French history and culture. From exploring medieval cathedrals, castles and abbeys to the beaches of Normandy to the grace and excitement of Paris, this tour has it all. Add in the world-renowned art, the incomparable food and wine, and a gracious Frenchman to explore all this with, and voila - a fantastic trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had wanted to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle, which it does for five minutes on the hour at night. We did, and it was magical! Of course, I can't stop at one - there was the early morning climb to Mont Saint-Michel's abbey to hear the monks and nuns do their morning chants. And taps at the American Cemetery in Normandy is certainly a moment not to be forgotten."

Greg

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been on a very brief tour of Paris a number of years ago, but without a guide. Having Antoine show us around the City was enormously beneficial and because there is so much to see, a guide is essential to make the most of the trip. That was just Paris, too...France has so much to see and do, and Antoine helped us make the best of a wonderful number of excursions throughout the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St Michel in person was awesome, and attending the 7:00 AM mass in the chapel at the top was incredible."

Hart

Lander, WY

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide Antoine was superb. He reviewed french newspapers and each day on the bus would give us summaries. He treated us to local items to eat and drink. It made places as Mont St-Michel so memorable. He was always looking out for those who were not quite so fast in getting around. He gave us an appreciation for the French People and how they think.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first sight of the stain glass at Sainte-Chappele as I emerged from the spiral staircase was astounding. The second was seeing history relived at the Chateau de Guedelon."

Claudia

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the entire tour. It was well paced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D-Day area visit was amazing and our guide explained the war strategies so well! Mont St Michel was pretty amazing too! Seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up was great! There were many 'wow' moments."

Joan

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves trip, and it was a wonderful experience. I especially enjoyed our time in the French countryside, visiting the less traveled spots, that Rick Steves is known for. As a solo traveler, I always enjoy the comaraderie of the group, and getting to know people from across the country. This group was truly friendly and fun! I also appreciated the competence of our group leader, (who happened to be Minnesota nice), and even the bus driver was charming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many..."

Steve

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris was everything your site said she'd be and more. It was a delight having her as our guide on this RS tour.I appreciated the way she treated us as self sufficient thinking people. She's the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being an engineer and a history major the museums and architecture always amazes me. To be honest though, it was the wine and food."

Gretchen

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was quite possibly the best Rick Steves tour I have taken, and It is my 4th. From the minute I met our group and Chris our tour guide, I knew it would be a great trip. Chris was a delight. She is knowledgeable, proficient in French, and just a lot of fun. She kept us entertained on the bus with bits of french trivia, and great stories and history lessons. She was highly organized and kept things running very smoothly. She was patient and kind, yet firm in appropriate situations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sooo many. The Autumnal equinox high tide that surrounded Mont St Michel and flooded over the access bridge and in through the town gates. The twinkling of the lights on the Eiffel tower at night. Monet's beautiful gardens in Giverney. The gigantic Chambord Chateau with its many rooms and beautiful landscaped grounds. The emotional impact of standing before all the white crosses in the American Cemetary in Normandy, and finding one of a soldier from my home state of Oregon."

Patricia

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris, our tour guide, was amazing. Thoughtful, insightful, great sense of humor, and intelligent. I loved the information she imparted to us about France, France culture, France politics, etc. All the places we visited and our accommodations were great. I loved our travel group. Everyone was very nice and respected each other. This was our first Rick Steves tour and we would definitely do another one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to chose from but Mont Saint-Michel (we were there on a very high tide which made the experience even better) Our last night together viewing the Eiffel Tower twinkling was a memory I will never forgot (Thanks Chris) Di Vinci's museum, an optional tour but so glad we took it. Getting to know the other tour people. No matter who we sat next to, getting to know others was quite the experience. I love hearing other people stories."

Peggy

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was packed full of unique experiences beyond the set itinerary. The community of travelers was again pleasurable and we met 50 interesting people on back to back tours! We were determined to know everyone...and we did! We lean toward making friends with solo travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mont Saint Michel and attending the 7am chanting service at the Abbey! Once in a lifetime experience & only 4 of us choose this experience!"

Judy

Atwater, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steve's tour, and it was truly amazing! Once again, the group of people we traveled were wonderful. Our guide was outstanding. And our bus driver, who drove us to so many a incredible places in France, was a special part of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many... I think my favorite was in a small church in Normandy where, on D-Day, two US medics set up a place to treat injured and dying soldiers. Our guide that day, gave us a very moving experience. I learned so much about the events of D-Day."

Julius

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Chris, our leader,was fantastic. She was very knowledgeable, well organized and very approachable. Our co-adventurers meshed very well. People mingled with one another and became a cohesive group. Chris shared a great deal of French history,politics and culture with us which made our sightseeing more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont st. Michele, without a doubt a doubt! And, learning from Chris how to navigate the Paris Metro."

Martha

Clarkston, MI

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with my first Rick Steve's tour. It was wonderful from start to finish. Linda was an outstanding tour guide, the fellow travelers were great, the food was exceptional, and the sights were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was like being in a fairy tale."

Sandra

Madison, WI

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide ( Linda)was exceptional. Having never been on a RS tour I didn't know what to expect. It far exceeded all expectations in company, itinerary, accommodations , food. There was just the right mix of tour activities and free time. I felt we experienced places and activities in greater depth than would be possible on larger tours, never feeling like you are on the " tour" experience. It was a travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel -this was why this tour was chosen. It was amazing, an experience I will never forget. Cameras cannot fully capture the sights, the memories, the feelings of evening and daybreak on the isle. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. Paris is amazing, take extra time. Giverny- it truly was magical,like being in the paintings. The itinerary was exceptional- but the Mont was it!"

Janet

Moultonborough, NH

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every night we were sure it was 'the best day of the tour.' Then, the next day, you matched the previous days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I walked through Monet's Gardens, I felt as if I was in one of his impressionist paintings."

Liz

Fernandina Beach, FL

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great! Wonderful first trip experience to France! A nice balance of cities, museums, countryside, history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel! My husband and I got up early and climbed the ramparts high above the beach in the early morning stillness to attend the morning service at the abbey. The singing was beautiful. The sun was just coming up over the horizon lighting the sky in pinks and yellows. We could hear the waves crashing on the rocks far below with not another person in sight!"

Inga

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the trip was really good. Linda is a seasoned tour group leader, and her managing of the tour was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the 4 beaches the Allies landed, especially Omaha Beach was a moving experience for me. I really enjoyed the singing monks at St. Migel too. It seemed wherever we stayed, there were places to buy food at reasonable rates."

Carrie

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group/mix of people. So many places were visited and the history lesson was very impactful from the guides. Their opinions and insights on what the current situations were in each country were interesting and current.

Robert

Amherst, VA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As I clicked, it was very good. Our guide was excellent, our tour group was excellent, the hotels -- excepting Amboise --were excellent. Paris was everything we expected, as were the other places we visited. I chose "very good" overall instead of outstanding because I think the tour tried to cover too many places. And I know the Louvre is one of those boxes that people think must be checked, but spending a part of a day there is ludicrous. That's like trying to learn French in a day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourges, all of it. The most moving moment was our visit to the American cemetery at Collevillr-sur-Mer."

Tom

Woodbridge, VA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pantheon, and Saint-Chapelle. Guedelon, Chambord, Chenonceau, Mont St-Michel, Learning the whole story of the Battle of Hastings from the tapestry. Normandy Beaches and Giverny were all equally amazing."

Peter

Chadds Ford, PA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just what we were looking for. Excellent overview for us (who had never toured in France) gave us a terrific overview, and enough deep dives to provide insight into the culture and habits of the French. Well planned level of free time let us explore what we were learning about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a WOW moment, but a WOW day experience. One attraction of this particular trip was the visit to Normandy. It was excellent, from the review of history leading to the invasion, the transparent explanation of errors and successes and the contribution of the Allies to the D Day landing were outstanding. I wouldn't change a thing. It exceeded my expectations!"

Patricia

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've never taken a guided tour before and I was extremely impressed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toss up between Mont St-Michel, Chateau de Chenonceau, and Monet's gardens at Giverny."

Kevin

Tampa, FL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steve's Tour & our 1st time visiting Paris & France: it was a great experience! We arrived in Paris two days early, so we were 100% ready for the tour to start. Our overall guide, Chris was outstanding. Given the pretty short time allotted (10 days) and the plethora of possible choices, we thought the selection & mix of sites to visit, hotels & group meals were very well chosen. I really liked the knowledgeable presentations, sprinkled with personal anecdotes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, I can't pick just 1: Saint Chappel & St. Etienne stained glass windows with some guidance as to what we were looking at, was really interesting. Mont St Michelle, especially the dinner & a late night solo stroll around the narrow, winding, nearly deserted paths was fantastic. The broken remnants of rusting hulks of the caissons embedded in the sand at Arromanches, and what they signified was awesome to contemplate. Guedelon were really cool! Chenonceau & Chamborg were awesome..."

Karen

Phoenix, MD

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have hopped for more. Well planned, with general tour guide (Chris) and local tour guides for specific locations. There was prep information prior to arriving at sites and then the local tour guides. Just terrific. Nice accommodations, great tour bus, lots of room and great bus drivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont St Michel. We arrived in the afternoon and you could barely walk around because there were so many people. Got into our accommodations crowds were leaving and the area quite eyed down. We had our local guide the next morning and it was serene for our tour. Also 7 am singing at the chapel was heavenly. As we were leaving for our next destination the crowds were beginning to return. It was perfect."

Susan

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good balance of group tour and personal time. Group "gelled" well together, due to great leadership by Rebecca Berry. Good decision not to try to include the Eiffel Tower and Arc du Triumphe in the group tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden and flag-lowering ceremony at American Cemetery."

Corrie

Kentwood, MI

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel was a highlight for sure. This has been on my bucket list for years so I had some pretty high expectations - and they were all met/exceeded! Even viewing the island for the first time was a 'wow' moment, and then the moments just kept piling up! After getting to our room, the bells started ringing for the hour and we couldn't help but stop and listen while taking in the view. The dawn service at the Abbey was so beautiful that I cried! And our local guide was fantastic."

Bonnijill

Valencia, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Guide and a great group of people. Loved every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont Saint-Michele. Loved the quiet streets after the day tourists had departed."

Kathy

Montesano, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rebbeca Berry was our guide.She was outstanding.very personable,animated, knowledgeable,&obviously loves what she does!She took great care of us.Always making sure we knew what was going on each day.She always had her details down pat.Took us to great restaurants.The other tour guides that joined us were great too. We had a great group. We got along well and enjoyed each others company. She loved treating us to a Kir or sharing cookies on the bus.This was my 1st trip to Europe.Glad I choice RS

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments.I liked the variety.I loved Amboise. I loved Normandy.I loved Paris.I loved it all.Loved all the hotels. My only negatives would be all the stairs & lack of elevators & lack of toilettes."

Carol

Woodland, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have taken this tour once before. It is such a wonderful picture of France that most tours do not cover. To spend the night on Mt St Michel again was an event! To see the D day Beaches on the 75th anniversary of the landings was never to be forgotten. Plus....our guide for that day was outstanding. What made this trip over the top was our Rebecca Berry. She really cared about us. She taught us the Metro system in Paris - an amazing experience at rush hour! She taught us France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night once again on Mont St. Michel plus to be at the d-Day Beaches and cemeteries was unforgettable."

Mary

Yakima, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An experienced independent traveler, this was my first tour experience. While I throughly enjoyed the people, the "groupness" was challenging at times for me. P&HF is a sampler of many things, rather than a deep dive into any one. Where it shone for me was in the smaller villages and venues...and it was lovely not to have responsibility for the driving or navigating!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found our evening and early morning on Mont-St-Michel deeply moving. What a gift to be there after-hours. Guedelon, too, was fascinating. I could have spent many days there."

Dolores

Bethel, CT

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour and like our previous tours, the experience was wonderful. We love the on-the-ground, up close, immersive way we travel with Rick Steves! We saw and did so much - the pace of this tour at times felt a bit rushed, with less than optimal time allotted for some of our shared adventures. For example, the time we had to enjoy our picnic lunches at the winery was very short. There were comments shared among several tour members who had similar perceptions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments - The immersive experience with Monet's large format water lily paintings was such an emotional high. It literally took my breath away. And then to visit Giverney and bear witness to his inspiration for these masterpieces - That was beyond amazing!"

Terry

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything that I expected and more. The small group experiences was ideal and every destination was an experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Morning services at Mont St. Michel."

Bob

Bethel, CT

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, excellent. This is a very hectic, activity filled tour itinerary. Lots to see and do with tight timelines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This question needs to be structured. The "What" needs to be accompanied by a "Why". What - Giverny - The home of impressionist painter Claude Monet. Why - The gardens are a place of overwhelming beauty, tranquility and elegance. While you are there you're breath is taken away - continuously. Claude's house is fascinating. Additionally, it was one of the few stops on our trip where we had an adequate amount of time to visit and explore. This wasn't the case on the majority of stops."

Barbara

Hutchinson Island, FL

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned. We toured an incredible amount of places. Rebecca was wicked awesome. She is a fabulous tor guide and provides a wealth of information.

Sharon

Omaha, NE

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and was a great experience! Rebecca was a fabulous guide...taking care of every detail with lots of fun surprises planned for us. We had wonderful weather and a great group of fellow travelers...all from different parts of the USA and all different backgrounds. We enjoyed every minute!

Kathleen

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The moments keep sinking in, even now. A fun and funny, knowledgeable, and very French (though technically American) guide--Rebecca--led a fun and engaged group of travelers as locals through France. Our 11 days were full of profound moments and light and hilarious ones. Loved what we learned about the culture and history, the places we traveled and experiences we had, the hotels where we stayed (great staffs--very friendly, fun and helpful!), and the food and drink, of course!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! But, if I have to pick one, I would say Normandy--St. Mere Eglise, Utah and Omaha Beaches, the cemeteries of the fallen--made WWII so personal and connected us so profoundly with the people of France. Our Normandy guide was excellent."

David

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with an excellent guide and a wonderful group of fellow travelers. One area to improve would be a way to guide us through the Louvre, which was a waste of an afternoon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, including Normandy, the Loire Valley and Mont St. Michelle."

Steve

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. Group was good and friendly and guide was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prayer service at mont Saint Michel"

Charissa

Zionsville, IN

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Antoine is the best. Wonderful educator. You can tell he loves his country."

Steve

Springboro, OH

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the Heart of France Tour! I love history, art and walking so the tour was a wonderful combination of all three. The tour group was filled with nice, interesting and enjoyable couples so that made it easy. Also Antoine was outstanding in relating to everyone as well as in his knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount St. Michele Giverney - Lily Pond"

Gene

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is not our first Rick Steves tour and we got what we expected from this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Michael"

Marjorie

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time touring Paris and the Heart of France with our very friendly and congenial group. Our tour guide, Antoine, was exceptional. His knowledge of France and it's history, his love of his country and his easy spirit, set the tone for our very energetic exploration of Paris and her beautiful sites, our strolls through quaint little towns and villages, visiting beautiful old chateaus, and learning about and visiting the very sobering beaches of Normandy. Cest Magnifique!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was filled with so many "wow" moments, and all for different reasons. But having the opportunity to spend one night on Mont St-Michel, was quite magical. Our local tour guide, Jessica, took us up through the pathways and steps, leading us to the abbey, all the while talking us through the inception of the idea, how it was built, its history through time, making you feel like you were experiencing it through time. It was an awe-inspiring experience. Such an engineering feat!"

Mary

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour met my expectations - it covered a lot of Northern France. I stood on Normandy beaches where many of my father's generation died for future generations freedom. (Sylvan was a fabulous guide) The disappointment of Mont St Michelle 's overly crowded tourist frenzy-was diminished by spending the night and taking back lanes up to the chapel for morning matins. It is magical. Our Bourges tour guide was superior -I wanted more time We had perfect weather to enjoy Loire castles.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"included above were wows.... not mentioned was the incredible market our Paris guide took us to ... the vegetables and fruit displays were a wow... sorry I can not remember her name (Barbara?)but she was great.I loved the Bayeaux tapestry... having heard about it in school as a child I was amazed to finally see it. Loved the humor in it and it was a high point."

Michael

Aurora, IL

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. My wife and I had been to Paris and half the tour locales before, but we accompanied a friend on this trip celebrating a milestone birthday with her first trip to France, & we did very much enjoy our guide (Antoine) and the local guides providing us with greater understanding of the region. The group dinners were highlights. There was enough independent time to see things on our own. Hotels were decent and well-located. Bus ride was real smooth and drivers were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say I had any new "wows." Just seeing the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Mont St. Michel are "wow" moments. We had done much of this tour route as a self-drive 14 years ago so only the Loire Valley chateaus were new to us. One highlight was the outdoor wine and cheese tasting between Paris and Bourges, a delightful way to spend a couple hours. The soldier banners on utility poles all around the D-Day beaches was awesome. The view out our room at Marine Hotel Arromanches was amazing."

Mary

Geneva, IL

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and I certainly hope it will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel that I learned a lot as well. Our guide was knowledgeable, organized, professional but fun and very approachable. Every detail seemed to be considered and the choices of what to see and when to see it were always spot on. I definitely feel like the beneficiary of years and years of travel experience and research. It was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is difficult as there were several "wow" moments. I suppose my favorite was Mont St. Michel. Half of our group went with our guide to early morning prayer service at the Abbey. Climbing the stairs in the dark, hearing the monks and nuns chant their prayers inside the beautiful Abbey, observing the other believers in prayer...it was very ethereal."

Linda

Surrey, BC

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that the tour itself was very well planned out. Not too much travelling per day, the hotels were great as were the meals provided, and Antoine was a fabulous tour guide. As a solo traveller, I found my tour companions very friendly and inclusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Garden at Giverny"

D'Lene

Liberty Hill, TX

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, the itinerary is amazing, and included so many places on my personal must-see list. As with other Rick Steves tours I have been on, there is the right amount of free time for the tour members to create their own experiences outside of the tour. Our tour guide, Michaelanne's knowledge of the French culture, history, economy and political system, and her personal stories of living and traveling extensively in France, greatly enhanced our tour experience. I highly recommend this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were WOW moments every day during the tour, which makes it impossible for me to choose only one. So I will pick two: Spending the night on Mont St.-Michel, and the emotional day spent on the tour of the Normandy beaches with the local guide, where we arrived at the American Cemetery on September 11 in time for taps. The experiences of this tour will live on in my memory forever."

Rodney

Monroeville, PA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first organized tour. I have always planed all of our vacations both in the States and also overseas. My wife and I decided to use your services for our trip to France. I was a little nervous about an "organized" tour, but the experience was wonderful. From very nice hotels to good food and a wonderful tour guide, all of my expectations were met. Thank you very much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we first saw the Eiffel Tower"

William

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect mix of tour time and free time. Our guide was suberb with her knowledge of French history, culture, society, etal. Hotels were comfortable and a real treat every night. Dinners and breakfasts were a good insight into the cuisine. I especially enjoyed the excusions in the smaller rural towns and the up close exposure to the real France. Paris was lovely and the tour gave us a good taste of the city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The German cemetery at Normandy. Monet's garden. Da Vinci's home. Sitting in the garden sipping coffee and eating pastry at the various hotels. A marvelous group of classy folks for 10 days."

Donna

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting and enriching tour, with a variety of historical and cultural information. All nightly accommodations were very good. All breakfasts and included lunches/dinners were delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually it was a tie !! 1) Spending the night at Mont St Michel, and being able to listen to the nuns with their early morning chanting/singing in the Abbey. 2) Being physically present at Utah Beach, Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach and learning about the U.S. and allies war strategies to turn the war toward our victory."

Steve

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good organization. Good mix of sites and activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chateau de Guedelon, Mont St-Michel and the D-Day beaches"

David

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall this was an outstanding tour. The people, the sights, the food and our guide all combined to make this a trip to remember. That does not mean it was perfect. I find that the places where we had local guides were the places that I remember the most. I would have liked the opportunity to have a guide in the Louvre and the Orsay, even if it meant adding a couple of days to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly the early morning opportunity at Mont St-Michel to hear the nuns of the abbey singing their morning prayers. Honorable mention to the Normandy's D-Day Beaches, due mostly to our outstanding local guide."

Pamela

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, our tour leader, Michaelanne, kept us informed, entertained and on the go! The tour information helped us to prepare for our trip from tips about what to pack and how to navigate the metro to sights to see during our free time. The tour bus was very comfortable and our driver helpful. Each day, we knew the itinerary and could plan accordingly. Our accommodations were comfortable and at time luxurious. Each hotel had delicious breakfasts and helpful staff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed visiting the medieval castle in Guedelon and Chateau de Selles Sur Cher with the wine and cheese tasting as well as the grounds of Chateau de Chenonceau. I enjoyed visiting the towns along the route to Normandy. Getting to be in the country side was a treat. Getting to stroll along the streets of the smaller villages and towns was enlightening. The special talks from the various "experts" in several towns gave extra insights into those areas."

Elizabeth

Redding, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank you thank you rick Steve!! For a amazing experience I had .. I have to say I did not research anything so every day was a surprise ????

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the Beautiful churches and the elf tower"

Connie

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves' tour. I tell everyone we are not"Tour people" but Rick Steves'tours has made us devout RS tour travelers.Your tours continue to be magical. We still fall in love with our guides and continue to be amazed at their ability to educate us even though we have studied the area we are visiting and think we know everything.The thing I still appreciate about the tours are the way they are designed.The perfect mix between educational and a stress free environment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always the hardest question to answer (I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way). To name just one site or event would not do the tour justice. The tour itself is one big WIN."

Mary

Westerville, OH

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good tour. Exceeded expectations. We had gone 4 days early, so we're quite settled by the time we met the group. Loved the variety of the city of Paris and each of its areas and the villages outside Paris. Also liked flexibility of doing many things with tour then time to venture out and explore on own. Was surprised I so enjoyed some areas I didn't think I would like that much. I was surprised how much high school French I recalled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My father, a WWII vet who flew 2 missions to Normandy on D Day had died 4 months before our trip. On the day of our Normandy experience, I met a sweet WWII vet in a wheelchair at the museum at Utah Beach. He had come ashore D Day. That in itself was a highlight. But at 5:00 PM, when we attended the flag retreat at the American Cemetery, there was that same man. I watched, and cried, as he stood from the wheelchair saluting, then folding the flag. Wow!"

Douglas

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After experiencing a more traditional bus tour in Italy, we were hesitant to book another crowded, shopping filled experience. This tour was exactly the opposite and everything we hoped for. Fast paced but laid back, no hidden costs, very informative and, at times, intensely emotional. Best of all, an outstanding tour guide, Marie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Easily the best for us was the night on Mont St-Michel"

Arthur

Westerville, OH

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were surpassed. Paris was exciting and embedded in history, but my favorite part of the trip was after Paris. I enjoyed the independent exploration of the towns and villages of France. Our guide Marie gave insightful tips on dining and exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Opening the window of our room in Arromanches and seeing the Mullberry Harbor from the Normandy invasion still just off shore."

Keith

Irvine, CA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was excellent. The attention to detail by the guides was great and we avoided many long lines and instead got rapid admission to many attractions. The short info sessions on the bus were very good. The hotels were all acceptable to very good. The chateau st Michelle visit was an incredible highlight. The bus was nice and always on time, but it lacked wifi. There were a couple group meals that were not very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing chataeu st Michelle rise from the farm fields as we approached and spending the night there."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to take a Paris & the Heart of France tour. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with generally good weather and lighter crowds.

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

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