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

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

Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days Tour

from $3,295 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $775

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2020

    • Apr 17–Apr 27 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,395 + Air

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    • Apr 24–May 4 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,395 + Air

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    • Apr 28–May 8 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 1–May 11 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 8–May 18 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • May 15–May 25 (Fr–Mo)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 15–Sep 25 (Tu–Fr)
    • $3,595 + Air

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of France come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 13 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass, allowing free admission throughout the city • 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 Ste-Mère Eglise) • Monet's Gardens at Giverny…and more
  • All group transportation from Paris to Paris
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2020
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Paris

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

Day 2: Historic Paris and Sainte-Chapelle

Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour of the city's early history, including a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches: the legendary and resilient Notre-Dame Cathedral and a visit to 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. With your smart phone in hand and the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, Rick’s voice will guide you through timeless treasures including 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

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."

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"

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 :-)"

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"

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."

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."

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."

Benjamin

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on the island of Mont Saint Michel."

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."

Jerald

Covington, WA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"NORMANDY"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

John

Monroe, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome trip! Arnaud our Guide was outstanding.

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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)"

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."

Paul

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Too many people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy Beach"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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.

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!

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."

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!"

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

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"

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"

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"

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."

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

Max

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent selection of places to visit. Excellent local guides. Good narrative and background, but a little too much pressure to "go, go", a little shy on time to digest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three are tied. Visits to Mont St. Michel, Clemenceau, and Guedelon."

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"

Robert

Carmel, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary, well paced timing and schedule, interesting hotels, superb RS guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the iconic symbol of France, the Eiffel Tower, on our last night to cap off the entire trip. When it is lighted at night takes your breath away."

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."

Scott

Canby, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Maria was wonderful. She is a very patient and pleasant person. Maria helped us plan our days, making sure that we were able to get the most out of our trip. She shared a wealth of information about France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the Eiffel Tour, climbing the Arc de Triumph and swimming in the English Channel at Omaha beach were all over the top moments! The whole tour of Normandy was awesome!"

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!"

Karen

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great variety of historical, social, and cultural activities. Knowledgeable and friendly local guides who willingly answered questions and made us feel very welcome. Dinners were fantastic and overly plentiful at times. Marie was experienced, kind, and worked hard to make it a good trip. Our bus drivers Matt and Anni were also experienced and so service-oriented.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching a visiting 94 year old American WWII Normandy landing survivor and his family stand at the lowering of the flag at the massive Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial where almost 10,000 of our soldiers have been laid to rest."

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."

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"

Joseph

Mountain City, TN

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, hotels (being close to everything),itinerary was excellent and local guides very good. The RS provided food was only fair.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day and guide at Normandy were probably the highlight of our trip - great job. There was kind of "wow" moment when a WW2 vet help fold the American flag that had just been lowered at the American cemetery at taps. There was also a wow momment when we had our first good view of Mont St. Michel."

Margaret

Mountain City, TN

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After touring with RS on the Italy and GAS tours, we opted to do this France tour while still able to keep up the pace. As expected the tour was excellent and did prove to be a very active tour with great locations and sights to visit. Even with a full schedule we could find moments to pause and savor a delicious coffee at a quaint cafe or enjoy a quiet picnic on a park bench. Our guide, Marie, was wonderful and so helpful. Loved this trip and those we traveled with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm always amazed at the perfect timing provided by our tour guides and bus drivers. But on this tour the timing couldn't have been any better than when we arrived at the American Cemetery at Normandy at 5 PM for the clock bells, the playing of Taps and the lowering of the American flags. Then, we were privileged to watch an American WWII veteran help fold one of the flags. WOW! What a moment to remember."

Mary

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my husband and I this was our 3rd overall Rick Steves tour and 2nd fully guided tour. The itinerary was a good mix of the big city (Paris) with the countryside, villages and smaller communities so we had a change to experience France outside of Paris. Paris is easy to navigate and people were friendly and willing to help with directions, etc. The countryside is beautiful and weather for the tour was perfect. Highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in visiting France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment is probably staying on Mont. St. Michel. However, the most "moving" moments of the tour were those experienced on the day spent at Normandy and the D-Day beaches and American Cemetery."

Gretchen

Berlin, BE

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourges was a pleasant surprise -- an attractive, walkable town with an impressive cathedral, Gallo-Roman wall and picturesque half-timbered houses. But the fun really began after dark with the sound and light show projected on the facades of various historic buildings. It was a bit like a scavenger hunt, following the blue lights to the different venues and then watching the colorful and creative presentation of history related to the site. The Hotel d'Angleterre in Bourges was also special."

Nikki

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth Rick Steve's tour and it did not disappoint! We were able to experience a good many of Paris' highlights, and then get out into the beautiful french countryside, my favorite part. Our group was great together, and the experiences varied, interesting and fun. The food and wine are everything you would hope they would be, and learning more about french history, politics and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always difficult to pick one! I would say that watching a veteran of the Omaha Beach landing stand from his wheelchair as taps was played at the American Cemetery in Normandy, and assist with the folding of the flag, was an extremely touching moment I will not forget."

Connie

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! The tour was well balanced between busy and urban Paris with the slower pace of the Loire Valley, Brittany, and Normandy. I enjoyed learning about the French culture, arts, history, and experience. There was a lot to see and do packed into a relatively short amount of time. We had a great set of guides (especially Arnaud), good food and hotels, a great group of fellow travelers, and perfect weather after the first couple of hot days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to say as there were many to choose from! Absolutely loved Giverny, so spectacular with so many beautiful flowers in bloom at once and straight out of Monet's paintings. Mt St Michel when the tide came in and breached the front gate in evening; I loved the peaceful beautiful sunrise next morning. D-Day history was sobering but inspirational. I also loved learning all about medieval castle building at Guedelon."

Julien

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An experience I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have never been to France. While walking around, looking at all the architecture, the fantastic art, the incredible bakeries, I just could not believe I was there. Many wow moments. I loved having a cappuccino and pastry out on the the sidewalk of the cafe, watching the world go by."

Donna

Huntington Station, NY

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, good mix of different types of sites and experiences at each stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Mont St Michel."

Bob

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time and would certainly do another tour with Rick Steves. The pace of the tour was good with just about the right amount of time spent at each site. The coach was clean, large and comfortable and the hotels selected were always nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a US History buff, my wow moment was of visit to Normandy. The Rick Steves tour had a professional local historian/guide on this leg of the tour. His local knowledge of the battles, locations and personal histories of the Normandy invasion were top notch. He also added a local French perspective to the battle which is often missed by Americans."

Anna

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Paris & the Heart of France tour. Each day brought a variety of different experiences from museums, chateaus, and cathedrals, architecture, gardens, food, and exploring various towns and cities. I learned so much French history and culture as well. Our tour guide, Arnaud, was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick, but here are a couple: I love visiting Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. It's a lovely chapel with stunning stained glass. So beautiful; it takes my breath away! And visiting Le Mont-Saint-Michel was such a memorable experience. All the history and character of the island...plus seeing the tides surround the island was amazing. Spending the night on the island was a real treat and adventure!"

Bill

Saratoga, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My least favorite of seven tours. Guide was good. Itinerary seemed rushed. Tour group clicked well together. Groups meals only OK but I find that the usual case. After taking Eastern France tour last year this may have been too much of same thing. Paris was mostly just walking around aside from Saint Chapelle which I saw on 21 Day tour years ago. Louvre tickets were distributed but I noticed date was the day before. It was resolved. For me not enough that was interesting and new.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found Mont St. Michel very interesting and would consider that my "wow" moment. The place is overrun during the day but much quieter at night so staying overnight made all the difference. From an emotional and American standpoint I found the Normandy part of the tour the most moving."

Milo

Fremont, NE

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the fulfillment of many "bucket list" travel sites. All the famous and historical places in and about Paris were magical. Visiting chateaus and castles along beautiful rivers or surging tides,and with their manicured grounds/gardens, was so memorable. And seeing both the beauty and the famous WWII places of Normandy was both emotional and inspiring for a student of that incredible part of our world's history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although not my most memorable moment of the entire trip, my favorite "wow" moment of organized tour events was watching the super high tide engulf and surround us in the late evening that we stayed on Mont St Michelle. A super new moon created higher than usual water levels and an amazingly fast advance of the water lit by the reflected fortress wall illumination."

Terri

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour included so many beautiful places, it's hard to remember them all. Every place we visited was unique and so very French and authentic, and I appreciated that. I learned much about French history that I had known, and that added to the adventure. This was our first experience on an organized tour. Last year we did Spain Your Way and loved every minute. If we were to do another RS tour, it would definitely be a MY Way type. This tour had a little too much togetherness and schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel was definitely a highlight for me, and the tour was so perfectly timed and organized, I feel we saw the very best of it. Our hotel was charming (even after the steep, winding staircase) and the view can't be matched. The dinner, however, left a lot to be desired. The guide to the top was charming and intelligent."

Jim

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very Good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint-Nichel Normandy Beaches"

William

Alameda, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I went on this same tour 20 years ago so I could accompany a friend. It was somewhat different as we didn't go t Bouges or Amboise before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night at Mont St. Michel plus the excellent discussion at Utah beach"

Christine

Webster, NY

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth tour and we are already registered for our fifth. This was the most fast paced tour with the least amount of down time of all the tours that we have taken. The tour was very well balanced in terms of seeing the usual tourist sites as well as cultural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites and stories/explanations related to Normandy D Day Beaches, the cemetary, Angoville-au-Plain Church and the Saint Mere Eglise Chuch."

David

West Bloomfield, MI

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was exactly as described. The guide was outstanding and the tour group was very congenial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michelle...after the hordes had departed. Spending the night on the site was special"

Charles

San Diego, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything went well with the highlight of Normandy . All the local guides are good & know there subject but Dale ( the Normandy Guide ) was excellent . He relieved the real happenings that depicted in the movie " The Longest Day " & everybody said they have to watch the movie again . We were in the place where they filmed it . The lowering of the flags at the American cemetery was very moving especially when they played Taps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Normandy ."

Edward

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very good time, and learned a lot in a very short period! There was a good mix of history, signature architectural elements (cathedrals, museums, castles), and locations, in addition to descriptions of French culture. We liked the hotels and restaurants (although uniquely French shower controls nearly defeated our efforts several times). Musical experience was limited to Virginie's recordings over the bus P.A. systems, with some "extracurricular" suggestions of evening events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had quite a few favorites, but it was quite a thrill to see the original Monets covering the walls of his studio at Giverney (and the gardens there were lush, too, as he'd evidently intended). Walking about Fougeres down the garden trail with its sculptures was a nice interlude in Bretagne, and the galettes we had there for lunch were quite tasty."

Rodney

Rochester, NY

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was information overload, in a good way. We learned a lot about French culture along with seeing many outstanding sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments: the 13th century castle being built at Guedelon and the visit to the small church in Ste-Mere Eglise where we learned about the two medical servicemen who took care of injured soldiers on D-Day."

Tom

Modesto, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful and our guide was outstanding. We enjoyed every day. The accommodations were comfortable and pleasant. We especially loved our time at Mont Saint-Michel. The pace was demanding, but not impossible. I wish we would have spend a bit more time getting to know each other early on. It was a very interesting crew. Food was consistently good and I appreciated Virginie 's tasty treats. I'm very glad we made the trip. For us it was also also a reunion with two other couples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Mont Saint-Michel was a delight. I was so glad we stayed there in the island overnight. So we could have a taste of the place apart from the mobs of tourists. In a very different way, the time at the Normandy Beaches, with a remarkable local guide was exceptional and very moving."

Hennie

Modesto, CA

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every day of our tour very much. I thought the choice of locations and activities was wonderfully varied, and the pace of the trip, though more strenuous than other trips I've taken, was still manageable. The company made every effort to make our experience a good one every step of the way. When the Louvre stopped letting Museum Pass holders through faster, our guide provided us with a timed ticket, costing the company more. I appreciated that and other gestures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: seeing the stained glass windows of Ste. Chapelle; glimpsing Mont St. Michael from a distance; seeing the cathedral in the small town of Bourges; but a surprising Wow moment was coming back to Paris together in the bus after touring around and singing the song "Champs-Elysees" with Virginie as we drove down it."

Bruce

Webster, NY

Tour: 08/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth tour, we are already registered for our fifth (Sicily) and soon sixth (Scotland). Very fast pasted tour with the least amount of downtown in all the trips we have taken. The tour was well balanced with sites and cultural experiences well coordinated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided Normandy/D-Day beaches tour."

Cindy

Buford, GA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very much enjoyed the tour. Had never visited France, this tour was a great introduction to the art, culture, and people of France. Such a beautiful country. Its very nice to have local guides join us for site specific tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was much more than I expected. Slipping in to stay the night and visit the abbey early in the morning was perfect. Definitely exceeded any preconceptions I had about the Mont."

Brian

Mountainside, NJ

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my family's first tour (and first trip to Europe) so we had no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to. That being said, the tour exceeded our expectations by far! While not inexpensive, the tour was an absolute bargain in my opinion. There's no way I could have planned such a tour on my own for the same money. Both guides (we had an apprentice) and our fellow travelers were all very friendly which made the whole trip that much better. I honestly have no complaints at all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the tour of Normandy. A local D-day expert guide met us at our hotel in the morning and spent the entire day with us. He provided interesting details about not only the battle but many other historical facts that I hadn't known from reading books and watching documentaries. It was amazing!"

Gwen

Hingham, MA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip exceeded our expectations! We have traveled independantly 3 times to Europe in the past, with a RS's guide of course, but given that we don't want to drive over there and trains/ buses were difficult to get to where we wanted to go, we figured we'd try a tour. I will say I'm glad we are in good shape as there was a lot of walking and stairs, so your advice is well given that this is an active tour. We loved our guides and their passion for French history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was great from Paris to the WWII beaches. My husband loved the side walk cafes and village markets . Maybe not a "wow moment" but some of his favorite."

Richard

Seaside, CA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First RS Tour. Always admired his "Europe by the backdoor" way of travel, his PBS shows, his radio interviews, etc. Coming from the travel industry myself, saw him at many travel shows in the S.F. Bay area I also displayed at.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amboise and the night time light/ history show featuring live actors, jousting horses bedazzled in lights & the castle facade the "screen". I had been to a number of "Sound & Light" shows at Uxmal, Athens, old Jaffa & Ottawa's Parliament, but this was remarkable. Thanks."

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."

Stephen

Hingham, MA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! Saw places we never would have seen on our own, nor on another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. St. Michael and D-Day beaches were the tops. My father flew in the D-Day invasion and that was very touching for me to be able to walk on the beaches and go through the cemetery. He completed 30 missions as a ball turret gunner on a B-24 bomber based out of England. Mt St Michael was a wonder unto itself. How it was built, the occupants and those that live there now. Staying there at night was wonderful and getting to see the lights from the causeway was spectacular."

William

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 07/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Antoine was a marvelous guide in every respect. Strong local guides, such as at Normandy, Paris neighborhood, and Bruges. Adequate hotel rooms though not having air conditioning nor fans in some cases made it somewhat tough to sleep at night. This was the most collegial and fun group that we've experienced. Great selection of touring venues, mixing chateaus, churches, military memorials, and the lovely Bayeux Tapestry. Bus and driver more than met expectations. To conclude, use Antoine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first impression of Mt. Ste Michel."

Francie

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy"

Louis

Woodstock, IL

Tour: 07/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well-planned and organized. Our guide did a fine job of handling this age-diverse group and making expectations known and carried out. The group meshed as well and created a singular experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow is France hot! Guedelon was an unexpected treat and thought-provoking. You could not take a bad picture at Mont Ste Michel. The D-Day beaches were outstanding, would have opted for an extra day there if possible."

Joe

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting tour; but one that should not be run in July because of the heat and the absence of AC is THREE hotels. The sequence of sites visited on our day at Normandy was very well done. Guedelon was fantastic ! ! !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Guedelon; but the tour needs to spend another 2 hours minimal there. There were numerous craft areas that I would have very much liked to have visited. I think it is even worth extending the tour another day so as to provide additional time in Guedelon. The day we visited Guedelon was a jam packed day as it was."

Eileen

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 07/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour! Our tour guide, Antoine, did an excellent job of educating us about the history of France and its people. Guedelon was so fascinating, especially as we learn more about the damage the fire at Notre Dame created, and the task ahead of them as they rebuild. All the places we visited were interesting.Our tour mates were fun and friendly, and our group dinners were great. I appreciated the mix of group time and free time to explore on our own. I loved this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Mont St Michel at sunset and seeing it light up, then again at sunrise as we walked up to the chapel for prayer services. This was an experience like no other and I was so appreciative to be there."

Christine

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 07/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

WE had a wonderful trip and were able to see many sights and communities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were astounded by the Chappelle Cathedral."

Alisha

Andover, KS

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mont Ste Michel and the Normandy beaches"

Nancy

Lone Tree, CO

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Virginie was outstanding. She made the trip so pleasant and interesting. The bus time flew by with her conversations about history in France and also the current culture. Loved all her recommendations for things to do and places to eat on our own. Our group was also great, lots of fun. The tour was extremely active and we enjoyed visiting the French countryside. All of the hotels we stayed at were great and everyone in the small towns were very friendly. Great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was amazing. Every day of the tour had a "wow" moment."

Elyse

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont Saint Michel for the first time"

Marcia

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous experience with Virginie in France. We slipped in between two torrid heat waves and had wonderful weather the entire trip. The places we stopped were varied and interesting. We hit many highlights and many out of the way places in our visit. Our group was very congenial, with teenagers, teachers, retired folk, and those taking time off from work to enjoy themselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Notre Dame damaged and still upright was very moving. For us, the D-Day beaches were a highlight, as we traced some of my father's route in 1944. Seeing the beautiful beaches being enjoyed by young and old, and imagining the carnage that was Omaha beach in 1944 was very, very moving."

Kiyo

Redding, CA

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd Rick Steves Tour, and it was everything I knew it would be! Virginie More is an excellent tour guide, and a lovely person as well. She is kind, thoughtful, friendly, loved her country of France, and was delighted to share her love of all things French with us. I don't know how Rick Steves finds such consistently excellent guides, but he does and I have never been disappointed on any of the tours I've taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Loire Valley experience. From the wines and cheeses to the chateaus and castles. It was wonderful!"

Mary

Mt Pleasant, SC

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and just as fabulous as our first. Both tours immersed us in the local culture rather than just showing it to us. With the benefit of expert local guides who introduced us to each new town, we were prepared to further explore on our own. The tours are masterful at time management. We arrived at sites either before or after the big crowds, or just in time for local market day for example. In Paris we learned to master the subway and maximized our time there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending morning prayers in the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel was one of the most moving experiences in all my travels. It was well worth getting up early and making the climb up to the abbey before breakfast. The Bayeux tapestry was fantastic. Normandy and the American Cemetery were hard to beat. And then there's Paris! Everything about Paris is a wow moment."

Robert

Lone Tree, CO

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As always, the tour guide made the tour for us. Virginie was engaging and knowledgable, pushing us sometimes outside our comfort zone; the very epitome of a Rick Steves guide. The time on the bus went very fast as Virginie engaged us in talks about French history, culture and present day events. We even got to meet her parents when we made a short stop in Brittany. The opportunity to stay the night on the Mont St Michel was a unique experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on Omaha Beach by myself, imagining what it like to be there 75 years ago. Humbling."

Kathryn

Encino, CA

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great value. The days were satisfying both for sites visited and the educational aspect. The daily tours and logistics were well thought out. I can't imaging a better tour guide then Virginie - she is so engaging in her teaching style. She is kind, fun, worldly and exerted the right amount of guidance and control. Kudos! The variety of hotels and food choices were not generic, so added to the character of the places we stayed or passed through.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Throughout the tour Virginie introduced us to French culture and French foods, especially the local cheeses and wine - and I know it sounds like a cliché but I felt physically good having the delicious cheeses - which are better in France. I felt like I experienced the intelligence of French cuisine, respect for quality vs production in small bites. Wows come in unexpected places sometimes - I enjoyed how the tour built on the theme of craft, whether Medieval stone architecture or terrior."

Ingrid

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour experience was wonderful. Virginie was a great guide and she did a great job telling us about her country, as well as her time spent in the USA. We thought the activities, hotels and meals were all well selected. We felt lucky to have missed the horrible heat wave!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The D Day beaches were especially memorable, as was Monte St. Michelle. Staying on the island was fantastic and very special, as was attending the early morning prayer."

Joanna

Durham, NC

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience with Paris and the Heart of France exceeded all of my expectations, even though they were pretty high to start with! I so appreciated the very careful coordination and consideration of timing for activities and meals and travel. I know how challenging it is to make a full day feel un-rushed. In general, the time available for each activity was enough to breathe it all in, without time to waste in the gift shops! Perfect! Our guide, Virginie, was absolutely fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont St. Michel was so "wow" for me that it practically erased the previous week of wonderful experiences. Spending the night there is key -- it was so crowded when we arrived and when we left, but in between it was perfect! Thank you!"

Linda

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 07/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour and it didn't disappoint. We had a small group of 15 which provided us with plenty of time for questions with our local guide and interaction with our tour manager, Antoine. All of the hotels were wonderful. We had an issue at one hotel, which was dealt with promptly and with great courtesy. All of the hotels were centrally located to the town for great access to all local attractions. Our bus driver, Rudy, was wonderful. He kept us on time and was very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving to see Mont St Michel at low tide- an amazing architectural feat and an awesome experience to stay overnight there. We got up early and climbed the 500 steps to the chapel for the morning prayer service. Hearing the priests and nuns singing Gregorian chants in French was an experience we will never forget."

Jeannie

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 07/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RSE tour and though I have visited Paris multiple times, I had not spent much time elsewhere. I loved the itinerary and getting the chance to spend a little bit of the trip in one of favorite cities sealed the deal. The cities we stayed in and even the stops were all gems. And of course, the food can't be beat. It was a wonderful tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to get a taste of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chenonceau was gorgeous. The sunrise on the Mont. Attending morning prayer service at Mont St. Michel was ethereal. Our Normandy D-Day stops at Angloville-au-Plain, Utah Beach and the American Cemetery were poignant and emotional."

Marla

Pella, IA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous time! I loved visiting some of the more out of the way places as well as many famous sites. It was wonderful not having to worry about any of the details and having everything planned out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I felt like the whole tour was a "wow"! Guedelon was definitely a stand out. The great thing about visiting there was it made you appreciate all that went into building so many of the other magnificent structures we visited."

Vincent

Naples, FL

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was great. It was very educational & wonderful. I was so impressed with the country & people. I learned many things that I never knew. Like Leonardo da Vinci. I knew of some of his paintings but never knew that he was an inventor of so many things. Gudelon, a Castle in the making was amazing. It was very interesting to see how they built Cadtles & buildings years ago. I find it hard to believe how well they built buildings of stone with primitive tools.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gudelon, a Castle in the making."

David

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall this was an excellent tour. Our guide was wonderful, and we really got a flavor for the real France instead of just the tourist spots.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunrise on Mont St Michel on the way to the singing in the chapel."

Gail

South Pasadena, FL

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Linda, was extraordinary. She was lively and fun and generous with special treats on the bus. She kept the group cohesive and on time. Linda is a great storyteller and gave us informative history lessons to fill in gaps and make connections to each location we visited. The locations and day tours were informative and interesting. The schedule was perfect, with a good balance of tours and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to Mont Saint-Michel, seeing it in the distance, thinking it looked like a dream, a fairy tale city. It was!"

Carolyne

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Interesting overall with the exception of Paris portion. The tour description was ambiguous with respect to such things as "an orientation to the Louvre". I interpreted this to mean a guided tour. If I had known that was not the case, I would have hired a private guide. since I've been in Paris a few times, basically those three days were a write-off for me since nothing new was offered. The rest of the tour was great but TOO SHORT. 12 days is not enough to do anything justification.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel and Guedelon castle."

Melinda

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I LOVED this tour and still think about our time in France every time I open my phone and see my new screen saver of Monet's garden. Our main tour guide was fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed the local tour guides at each of our destinations - everyone was so knowledgeable and skilled at storytelling. Our tour companions were interesting and fun to get to know, we all looked out for each other along the way. Most importantly, I was simply amazed by the history, beauty and charm of France!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had to name just one "wow" moment, it would have to be our initial approach to Mont St. Michel. As we walked toward the island, I was in awe. Our time there was unforgettable."

Kathy

Orinda, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, a great experience on all levels. We go to learn more about the French people and their way of life, their values, their outlook, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending our anniversary on Mont-Saint-Michel. Waking up with the sun glistening on the water and the sound of the birds. Just like a harbor, only divine. Linda was so kind. We really appreciate everything she did to make our tour an experience we forever look back on fondly."

Lauren

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of France tour was wonderful! Our guide, Linda, was so helpful, knowledgeable and fun. Having never been to France before, I was excited to see it all....from getting around Paris to seeing Mt. St. Michel and walking the beaches of Normandy. It was a great trip and tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mt. St. Michel for the evening and seeing the Eiffel tower sparkle at night!"

Randy

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our third RS tour matched our high expectations as set by the first two. This was the only summer tour for us and heat in France was a factor, though crowds were entirely manageable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first sighting of Mt St Michel from far off in the flatland approach was breathtaking and the ensuing views were punctuated by grasslands and fields, sheep and a cool breezy blue Norman (or were they Breton) sky. As we walked from the shuttle drop point to the island I sensed magnificence before me."

Cynthia

El Macero, CA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we are already planning our next. For us, a mother and teenage daughter taking our first trip to Europe together, the tour was the perfect combination of structure and free time. Our guide, Julie, did an excellent job of orienting us to our surroundings and making us feel confident when we were on our own. We also really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers, who were a friendly, funny, smart, and inclusive group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was Mont Saint Michel, which I have wanted to visit ever since seeing a poster of it in high school. Getting to spend the night there was a magical experience that I will never forget."

Debbie

Benicia, CA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was fantastic. Our guide, Julie, was a great balance on giving us information and pushing us out on our own. Traveling with her was like having a wonderful friend from France showing you around. The Local guides were all wonderful. Very knowledgeable and engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sending the night on Mount St. Michele. The whole experience was magical. It took some work to get there, but by that time our group knew each other well and dinner and the walk around outside to watch the sunset was like having a very intimate experience with a group of good friends. Then waking up in the morning with the place mostly to ourselves was just a delight. In general I also enjoyed the planned group dinners. All were quite lovely and afforded me with a uniquely "French" experience"

Raymundo

El Paso, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liked the food. Enjoyed the places we went. Julie made things interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandie, Omaha Beach"

Bob

Raymond, MS

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to France before, but this tour offered insights and viewpoints which had not been apparent in these previous visits. Made the third visit well worth it. I may do it yet again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The marvelous Sainte-Chapelle stained glass windows are just breathtaking The recent restoration seems to have been a complete success."

Mary Ann

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my sixth tour with RS and it more than met my expectations. My husband and I had been to Paris several times, but we enjoyed this trip because we didn't feel compelled to see all of the "must sees" such as the Mona Lisa and the top of the Eiffel Tour. There was enough time for us to explore on our own. We decided to do this trip because it checked off several things I had wanted to see for a number of years, i.e. Mont Ste. Michel and the Normandy beaches. The Loire Valley was a bonus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the flag lowering ceremony at the American Cemetery with the presentation of the flag to a wheelchair-bound American veteran was compelling. We were also fortunate to be in Normandy just after the 75th anniversary of D-Day which meant the flags and special thank you signs were still scattered throughout the region. Attending early services in the abbey on Mont Ste Michel was one of those experiences only a few are privileged to have and was very "wow.""

Pete

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Above all, I believe the timing of everything involved was terrific. It always seemed that we were in a location or stop at a good time, which I realize is the goal. Very well done, comfortable, with plenty of free time. All of the tour guides were very informative and easy to understand. Antoine, our primary tour guide was exceedingly helpful and has a great sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals, especially the interiors, simply stopped me in my tracks. I was also surprised at my reaction to the German cemetery in Normandy. It was very emotional, and much of this was due to our tour guide's explanation of the graves and who is buried there."

Heather

Medford, MA

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very nice tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach and cemeteries of Normandy."

Claudia

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was outstanding. Our time in Paris was very good, especially our tour guide (Elizabeth?)who took us to one of her favorite neighborhoods. The hotel was great here. I didn't expect to enjoy Normandy as much but it was a life moment. Monet's Garden was a great day. The group was so nice and welcoming, even to me as a single. Don't underestimate the walking. Some days were exhausting for EVERYONE.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was at Normandy in the American Cemetery. A WWII Veteran was in attendance for the flag lowering and Taps being played (happens at 5:00). He saluted the crowd. Amazing day. Another WOW was the morning service at the Cathedral on Mont St. Michel with the monks and nuns. Special."

Carolyn

Goose Creek, SC

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lovely experience with wonderful group of people. Our guide, was very familiar with all the obstacles we would need to overcome as well as an excellent teacher with a grand sense of humor. He was so knowledgable about French life and all the towns/attractions we visited. My only concern was that we did spend 3 nights in lovely sites that lacked air conditioning in late July climate; in fact, there was a heat wave in France during our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Monet's gardens. The gardens were breathtakingand an inspiration to all of us gardeners. Who would not have wanted to paint those lilies?"

David

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was very good. Good hotels,bus,guides food etc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy."

Micheline

Dartmouth, MA

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour to France was a very special time and a resounding success. At first I had another date all picked out and deposited, with a quick phone call from your office that there was only one spot left. Choose another tour or date I was told. So a few weeks later we chose 6/14/19 HOF. Dinive providence led us to this particular tour! Good fortune all around. Paris and the countryside were amazing. Everything was just great. Rick Steves has mastered this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris. The cathedrals and small chapels. Normandy and Utah beach. My Dad was there. Sainte-Mere Eglise. Getting my sneakers wet in the waves in Normandy....on purpose. Mont St Michel. Da Vinci house. Giverny. Pick pocketed by 3 clipboard girls Eiffel Tower. Tour guide? name. New friends. Metro solo. Musee Orsay. Views from our special rooms. Mona. Shakespeare and Co. Eiffel Tower lunch."

Maureene

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour. It was wonderful. We had a great group of people that just clicked. Best of all was the tour guide Rebecca! She had such a great personality and knowledge of everything.She was so fun and engaging with everyone! I must admit when I shared with my adult children that I was taking this tour their thought was your tours are for older people but I know they would have had a great time with Rebecca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy was huge for me because my dad was a ranger and was there on D Day. It was amazing but intense. Also all of France for me. I had a pretty negative attitude thinking everyone will be unfriendly and snobby. So far from the truth! They were very friendly, helpful and charming. I especially loved Paris-it is so beautiful."

Priscilla

Estes Park, CO

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely amazing ~ I truly enjoyed this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where shall I begin? The highlight, of course, was Rebecca ~ I'll expound on how amazing she is later. I loved staying on Mont St. Michel ~ we'd been there before, but spending the night was incredible. The view of the sunset on the water from our room was gorgeous. Looking up and feeling like you could touch the steeple was very special."

Ronald

Estes Park, CO

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Dday beaches."

Marybeth

Ventura, CA

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You know you've had a great trip when it stays in your mind weeks after it ended! We spent extra days in Paris before meeting the group.Glad to say it was an easy-going group and our tour guide, Rebecca, was superb. The itinerary was packed but very interesting and fun.I thought maybe one less chateau but my husband and sister totally disagreed.After Paris the Loire Valley was wonderful.Normandy had a special significance for us since our father was a Ranger who landed at Pointe du Hoc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh boy-way too many to pick a favorite.I was awestruck by the cathedral in Bourges. Also loved the riverside town of Ambroise where we visited Leonardo de Vinci's home and gardens. We were lucky to also view the tapestry of the Last Supper, which brings to mind the amazing amazing embroidered tapestry of the Norman Conquest in Bayeux.I could go on but I'd be relating the entire trip."

Liao

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! couldn't be better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The knowledge of tour guider Rebecca --- everything."

Kelli

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great. Lots of moving around and a bit too much time on the bus but thats the nature of the country we were in. I think I will try for smaller areas next time we tour. Some of the hotels were not great. More on that below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt St. Michel and Guidleon were my favorites."

Tom

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was "Rick Steves cool". Loved France, the tour guide and our co-travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow."

Lu Ann

Oriental, NC

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first visit to France. Being part of a Rick Steves tour made the experience (especially Paris) so much easier. The guides were excellent and the group meals were fun and delicious. Our tour leader, Linda, introduced us to public transportation and helped us to understand how to navigate through the various systems - even giving us French phrases to politely say excuse me to get through crowds. The whisper system was great for this!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" day, but Monet's Garden made me the happiest. Guedelon was the biggest surprise because it was so much more than I expected. These are the two places which give me the fondest memories."

Myra

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time in France and we really enjoyed our visit. I feel we learned a lot about French life, culture and history without a long boring tirade of facts and figures. We saw so many things: chateaux, castles, the Louvre, Muse d'Orsey, a market in Bourges, a winery in a chateau, the making of a castle. We enjoyed great food and wine and I began to feel like I could communicate with people in French (well, probably not really but we did learn a few words and phrases).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed going to Guedelon to see the building of the castle--an unexpected and amazing visit. I also enjoyed the chateaus of Chambord and Chenonceaux--so lovely. I'm a real fan of Monet's so I really enjoyed Giverny: the gardens and his home. The Normandy beaches were moving (we had a truly excellent guide that day). Mont St Michele was another high point (literally too)."

Dan

Oriental, NC

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to France and our first RS Tour. It was a fabulous experience. Our guide was so helpful and informative with a wonderful sense of humor. Our group was very congenial with a nice balance of group and individual activities and meals. The sites were a nice assortment of the do-not-miss attractions, like the Louvre and Mont-Saint-Michel, and places we would not have gotten to on our own, like Guedelon and Bourges.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening we spent on the island of Mont-Saint-Michel. As the sun went down and the huge crowds left the island, we were able to enjoy the splendor and quiet of the views since we were spending the night. A full moon illuminated the surging tide as we enjoyed a lovely group dinner. Plus, we got to celebrate a tour member's 80th birthday on a balcony with a fantastic view and bottles of cidre."

John

Framingham, MA

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience was remarkable and full of great memories. This was our first time as part of a tour. We have traveled before using Rick's guidebooks. We would do this again. We still like the solo method but this was a great group with a great guide and Hans, the incredible bus magician. How he got us where he got us was a mystery. Having rooms and transport and passes all set up was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each stop had memorable aspects. Standing on and touching the sand and surf of Omaha beach was powerful. The slow growing wow was after the first bus stop at Guedelon. After seeing how the stones were quarried and finished and then hoisted by man power into place, I was really in awe at every magnificent church or monastery we went to because I realized how much time and effort had to be invested in building these structures."

Roy

Louisville, KY

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time in Paris especially visiting the art museums. The two day pass was helpful. The chateauxs in the Loire Valley were pretty amazing. Mount Saint Michel is had to describe. The Normandy beaches are a little hard to experience, but having seen the "Longest Day" and "Band of Brothers" made everything come alive. The American Cemetery was special. Giverny was beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Saint Michel, seeing it for the first time and being able to spend the night there. Coming onto the island when everyone else was leaving was great."

Henry

Junction City, KS

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda our tour guide was quite organized and kept us on schedule. WE got to see and experience so many things on the tour that we would have missed if we had been traveling on our own. Our bus driver, Hans, was quite friendly and helpful and got us where we needed to be on time and was very friendly after hours at meals, etc..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Out day spent at the Normandy beaches, memorials, museums and cemeteries and the Monet gardens"

Karen

Framingham, MA

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about our tour. From the time we were in Paris to our stops on the road, it was a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moments were: Chateau de Chenonceau, walking torwards Mont St. Michel, seeing the American Cemetery and watching the flags be taken down and listening to Taps, the gardens and lily pond at Monet's home in Giverny."

Shari

Junction City, KS

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the variety of historical sights and local food/drink from each area of our tour. Our bus driver Hans was so friendly and courteous and our travel group was so friendly and polite. Everyone seemed to get along really well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think that I can pick just one "wow" moment. I was surprised how much I enjoyed Leonardo da Vinci's home and garden. I also was in awe of the picturesque island of Mont St.-Michel. The information and sights at Normandy D-Day Beaches was a powerful reminder of the sacrifices of many for our freedom. To be there for the lowering of the American flag and the playing of taps brought tears to many."

Thomas

Savage, MN

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Paris and the heart of France was incredible, due in no small part to the excellence of Linda, our tour guide, the location-specific tour guides along the way (Elizabeth in France was exceptional, as were the other guides), and even the contributions of our bus driver [Hans (sp?)- pronounced Ans, from Belgium]. Even the sites I had some trepidation about visiting turned out to be great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention - viewing Mont St-Michel for the first time, the lily pond at Monet's gardens in Giverny, the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, the Chateau de Chenonceau, the American cemetery in Normandy, the many street scenes in Paris; even the chaos of the traffic circle surrounding the Arc De Triomphe was mesmerizing. This is just a sampling of my wow moments - too many to mention!"

Helen

Louisville, KY

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The directions on how to find the hotel from the airport were excellent. It was nice to have a meal together on the first night. Two-day museum passes and several metro tickets made it possible to see more without additional expense. It was great not to have expensive optional activities at every stop like so many other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to see the Orangerie. (We missed it the last time we were in Paris.)"

Kirsten

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was our first ever, and we have been convinced that tours are worth it. I valued having a general guide during the whole tour, with the supplemental local guides to share their expertise. The balance between free time and scheduled time was great. The tour schedule helped us to see things we otherwise might have missed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to say just one. There was the anticipated "wow" of Mont Saint Michel with the tide racing in and later the breathtaking views at dusk. Then there were all the surprise "wows": gaining a new appreciation for castles at Guedelon, the gorgeous gardens at Giverny, the graceful beauty of Chenonecau chateau. A general "wow" of the whole tour was just how remarkably nice nearly every French person was after a simple "bonjour.""

Sharon

Marshall, WI

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Right from the very beginning of meeting our tour guide, Linda, we were off to an exceptional start of our family vacation with a tour of Paris. Throughout the entire tour our guide made the experience more meaningful with her knowledge of all the special sites of interest & history of the area. Not only was Linda able to relate to her love of France, but also to everyone in our tour group with her sense of humor & her caring manner. As I celebrated my 80th birthday, Linda brought wine & snacks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but seeing Claude Monet's work in the Louvre was inspiring as were his Gardens. Actually walking on the sands of the Normandy's beaches was humbling."

Caryn

Fallbrook, CA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose the HOF tour because it visits the places we really wanted to see -- Paris, Loire Valley Chateaux & Mont St Michel for me, and D-Day beaches for my husband. Those were outstanding! But visiting points along the way like Guedelon, Bayeux, Fougeres, Bourges, Giverny and Villedieu-les-Poeles were unexpected bonuses we would have never seen if I had planned an itinerary for us on our own. All around GREAT itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont St Michel! Peering out of our window in the middle of the night and seeing the abbey all lit up! Being wakened by a flock of seagulls! Having the island all to ourselves after dark! I must also mention that Chenonceau was amazing and my first glimpse of the the stained glass in Ste Chapelle was jaw dropping! Seeing Notre Dame after the fire was sad, but glad to see that a lot of the structure is still standing."

Dennis

Fallbrook, CA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded all my expectations. I never thought a tour could be so interesting and organised at the same time. I credit our tour guide Julie for this great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment on this tour was Normandy. When I saw Omaha Beach and visualized American troops coming ashore I became very emotional."

Janet

Nebo, NC

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a long time dream trip for me, and it was so great! From guides, to sights, to the people, to accommodations, to food (!!!) it all worked. An experience that will stay with me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely seeing Mont St Michel for the first time or the Normandy beaches were moments that grabbed me. But, Giverny. My parents had visited Giverny and brought some small prints home with them. Connecting those prints ( so loved by my mother) which hung on their wall with the reality of the water gardens and that place was truly memorable."

Bridget J

Nebo, NC

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Tour was more than expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to stay in Mount St. Michel for the night and getting up to hear the monks and nuns chant will never be forgotten."

Diane

Milford, CT

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people in the group were friendly, knowledgable and fun to travel with; it made our dinner conversation lively and interesting and our experience of the sights that we visited fun and enjoyable. Our guide Julie, was fun, well informed and enthusiastic. She kept us on schedule and made our travels on the bus interesting and insightful. I learn so much on a Rick Steve's tour! The guides we encountered along the way were also very well informed and outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised at how emotionally moved I was at the Normandy beaches. Seeing the place where my uncle was wounded on his first day in battle 75 years ago was an unexpected moment that I will treasure always. I feel as if I gained insight into his life that I was unaware of growing up."

Mary

Langley, WA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide and walking tour guides were so warm and informative. The sites were incredible. I have never been to French countryside before so seeing its beauty and the antiquity of the places we visited was awe inspiring. The food was also delicious. We had a great group that really clicked. Loved Bourge and Mont St Michel especially

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but perhaps the most memorable was climbing up the ancient stone steps of Mont St Michel to the Abbey at 6:30 am to listen to the monks and nuns chant. The sun came up behind them as they chanted sparkling mystically through the glass windows. The incredible antiquity of the building, the spine tingling purity of their voices echoing through this sacred space was very moving. I felt like I had been transported back through the centuries."

Mark

Olathe, KS

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a wonderful tour and our guide, Julie, did an outstanding job of keeping us on track and making France so interesting! In spite of this I was disappointed with the very small amount of time spent on Omaha Beach. Please see my further comments after question 16 below. I only offer these comments as a way to help improve the experience of future tour members on this trip. The overall tour experience was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Carl

Oberlin, OH

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In general our experience was a typical rick Steves tour (our fifth). Content and cultural/historical experiences were as expected, and the tour was well led. The proliferation of large tour groups due to D-day anniversary, Le Mans, Paris Air show, Women's Soccer, and a myriad of local school groups(exams were over - hurray!) made sites such as the Louvre and Chambord chaotic and less enjoyable (the Louvre was a jostling waste of time). All else was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many! Guedelon, Bourges, Amboise, Mont St. Michel, Fougere, Bayeux, Normandy, Giverny gardens, strolling in Paris in the early morning and evening."

Anita

Denver, NC

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julie was an awesome guide and we enjoyed her so much. She made the trip come alive and challenged us. This was the most amazing tour I have ever been on and am looking forward to the next one (Italy).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most WOW moment was Mount St Michel and second was Normandy"

Lupe

Folsom, CA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip to the heart of France was a particularly imporytrip for me as I was taking my grandson on this adventure as a hi school grad gift. We loved it! Your group leader Julie was such a key to the success of our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What a difficult question to answer when every location had its own special attraction. Normandy and it's beaches where much was sacrificed by so many and the specific stories of soldiers whose earthly vessels lie there, the playing of taps as the Stars n Stripes are lowered for the day was the most poignant."

Mary Angela

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose this tour because it included stops that we really wanted to see and which were not included in other tours or arranged differently. We also liked the idea that everything is included in the tour and it is limited in size. I really appreciated our tour guide, Julie, and all of her insights and care for us as the tour progressed. I also loved having the local tour guides and the insights that they gave to the areas that we saw. Overall, I think the tour is a great value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel[INVALID]the whole experience! Beautiful to see from all angles and special to be able to stay on the on the isle overnight. I especially loved our toast on the tower!"

Randall

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time in France. We saw and experienced a lot of art, history, food, people, and wine.really enjoyed the Paris walks and different hotels. Our guide was excellent and organized. She was extremely knowledgeable and did a great job at balancing talks while on the road with quiet rime. Local guides were terrific, especially in Normandy . Any "best of" tour is a compromise with exposure to lots but limited time in most places. We knew that going into the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel in the early morning was awesome ?? I"

David

Chatham, MA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was recommended to me by my sister-in-law who went on this tour several years ago. She said it was her favorite trip and I have to agree, it did not disappoint. From Marie our guide, to the hotels, stops, guides and included dinners it was a fabulous trip. It truly did give you a flavor of Paris and some the charming sites in the heart of France. A once in a lifetime experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Outside of the charm of Paris, I actually had 3 "wow" moments including Mont St. Michele, the D-Day beaches / American cemetery and Monet's gardens in Giverny. However, visiting the D-Day beaches and the American Cemetery was the most moving, emotional experience and the "bucket list" item for me in choosing this trip. I was not disappointed."

Mary

Kamuela, HI

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome :-)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So difficult to choose one favorite or wow moment, but the view from our Mont St. Michel accommodations was a highlight! The entire visit and stay at MSM was very special. Meeting Normandy locals who shared their family stories and their own appreciation for US/Canada/UK WWII assistance was powerful. These were young (40s) people whose parents were only small children during WWII and yet were keen in their effort to convey to us their gratitude. Waiters, the hotel owner, local guide and others"

Elizabeth

Chatham, MA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie and every guide/expert we had was amazing! They were enthusiastic, passionate and very knowledgeable. We also found them very engaging and personable!since I am an artist person I have to say visit

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I am a retired art teacher and love to garden, I'd have to save Giverny was breathtakingly beautiful and a wow for me! And seeing his home, where he painted, and his views from his windows, I could see how he would be so inspired!!!"

Marcia

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day was filled with new sights with corresponding information from our wonderful guide Marie. The dinners were excellent along with the extra surprise local treats. The cold, windy, rainy weather could not take away the enjoyment of this terrifically interesting, fun and poignant tour. The D-day sights were gripping. Mont St Michel was awesome. The chateaus were gorgeous. Da Vinci's home was amazing. The fellow travelers were fun. Each town we stayed in was delightful. Thank you!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Because it was the 75th anniversary of D-day, the local villages still had their decorations up. I learned so much more of what happened in France during the Nazi occupation and for the first time really understood the enormous impact of this day for France and also Europe."

Beverly

Aiken, SC

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Basically everything except the weather was wonderful. I loved the sites included in the tour, felt all of the guides were wonderful, the hotels were diverse and interesting, the food was great and Marie was like a mother hen hovering over us all to make sure we had a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was just wowed with Mont St Michel."

John

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well run. This is our second tour and it eclipsed the previous one. It also exceeded our expectations. Marie was particularly good as a guide and teacher. She did a great job introducing us to French culture and the ins and outs of travel in France. She taught us how to navigate the Parisian transit system so that we became confident in using it, which we did on the days we spent in Paris on our own and when we had free time during the tour. Everything about this tour was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. However, I did not expect that the French appreciated what the United States did to liberate them during WWII as much as they do. That surprised me."

Wanda

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie was wonderful. She was so knowledgeable about French history and all of the great places we visited. She was kind and fun. The sites we saw were magnificent and all of the food was beyond expectations. We loved this tour. The group of people on this tour were especially friendly and nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every meal was so delicious. The countryside was beautiful. Staying on Mt. St Michel was quite a highlight."

John

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Outstanding mix of big-city Paris with less populated regions surrounding the Ile-de-France area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sainte-Chapelle seemed to be made entirely of glass and was a kaleidoscope of color that literally took my breath away."

Morris

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was another well-organized Rick Steves tour with a great guide, Marie, and an expert driver, Rudy. We also enjoyed our tour group. We had two one-night stays on this tour--something we had not experienced on previous tours--but we knew that going in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel is a truly awe-inspiring place. Being able to spend a night there without the mob of tourists that shows up during the day was quite special."

Debbie

Campbell, CA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had many excellent experiences on this tour - I really enjoyed spending 3 days in Paris at the beginning of the tour, especially our walking tours throughout various neighborhoods. We walked past Notre Dame cathedral and were able to get a better sense of the damage it sustained during the fire. Michaelanne was an excellent guide - kept us entertained on the bus with much information about the French culture. I was also sad that no one sent around an e-mail list, but it was a great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was visiting the Monet Gardens and house in Giverny - his garden and ponds exceeded my expectations in terms of beauty and preservation of his home. Gardens were very crowded, but a very worthwhile expedition. Second on my list was Mont St. Michelle, a beautiful and historic little island that tested me in terms of the incredible number of steps to the top! Great to explore it after the large hordes of tourists had left for the day."

Jane

Sapulpa, OK

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is a good tour. The itinerary is varied and interesting. I love the range of sights and experiences. I enjoyed visiting Guedelon, Amboise, Mont St-Michel, the Normandy beaches, the winery, the markets, and Bayeux. Our guide Michaelanne was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Since she had spent many years in France, including her high school years, she knew a lot about the educational, economic, and political systems. Our bus drivers Annie and Matt also added to the quality of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bayeux Tapestry, hands down. I've seen pictures of it, of course, but seeing it in person, up close, was breathtaking. The detail! The wonderful colors! The facial expressions and cute little side note pictorial "comments" stitched into it are just delightful."

Constance

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour and our guide Michaelanne was superb! We had such a great time and while reviewing our photos last night, my husband and I decided we would like to do this exact same tour all over again! If possible, I would recommend getting to Paris several days early, as there is so much to see and do there. Also, I would recommend visiting the beautiful town of Beaune for a day or two (which we did after the tour was over).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would do everyday over again....there were so many WOW moment in each and every day!"

Ken

Modesto, CA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour agenda was as described, Michaelanne did an excellent job, bus rides and hotels were very good. By comparison, we took the 21 day Rick Steves Best of Europe trip in 2016. Our recollection is that by comparison, the Paris & Heart of France tour didn't include local "surprises"; ie entertainers after dinner in Austria and Switzerland. We enjoyed the built in personal time and overall flexibility of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our definite "wow" moment was the Normandy area; ie the D-Day beaches. However, it was also our biggest disappointment. 20 minutes at Omaha Beach? A need to rush through the museum at Utah Beach after lunch? We fully recognize that there is a lot to see in this area, but we felt like we were getting the "bums rush". And we recognize that coordinating the travel itinerary can be complicated, BUT we highly, highly recommend adding one day to this tour so that two days can be spent here."

Fonzie

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met all our expectations. Glad we chose this tour. With Notre Dame being damaged - it was amazing to visit Bourges and see the cathedral there. Wish we could have spent more time there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt - Mont St. Michel. Literally, a dream come true. Staying overnight on the Mont was amazing. Experiencing it without the crowds, having a room with an amazing view, a memorable dinner, and the personable tour with the local guide the next day. This was the reason we chose this tour and it did not disappoint. All of our "boxes" were checked with this one."

Glen

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another terrific RS Tour which had the perfect mix of free time and organized activities. Our guide Michaelanne was a wealth of information, has a good sense of humor, and was easy to get along with. This was our third RS tour, and it won't be our last. The only disappointment was realizing too late that nobody apparently took a group photo of tour members and email lists were not exchanged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most moving moment was standing on the D-Day beaches and reflecting on the significance of what occurred there 75 years ago. The best "wow" moment was the first view of Mont St-Michel."

Diane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pretty much all aspects of this tour exceeded my expectations. The accommodations were excellent at all locations. The expertise and sense of humor of our guide Michaelanne added so much to the overall experience. The cities and sites chosen for this tour gave us such a variety of experiences as we traveled through the week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be the Mont Ste. Michel Abbey. I never expected to visit a place both so spiritual and magical, let alone be able to stay there on the hilltop -- it really felt as if I had stepped back in time and the history of the Abbey itself was fascinating."

Deborah

Lafayette, LA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everyday was special with highlights throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a lover of Monet, being in HIS garden was my favorite few hours of the entire tour. Such beauty was a terrific treat!"

Victoria

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had several safety and security concerns. First hotel, 3 nights, required guests to leave room keys at desk when guest left the hotel. Upon return to the hotel you asked for key by room number. The hotel did not ask name/verify identity before providing key. On 4 separate occasions tour participant names and room assignments were announced on bus prior to hotel arrival. As a solo traveler I did not appreciate everyone on bus knowing this information

Robert

Lees Summit, MO

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best organized tour experience from planning through completion I have ever experienced. Great tour itinerary and very personable, fun and knowledgeable guide. Tour had the right mix of guided excursions and ample free time to pursue additional interests not directly provided within the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Clearly the visit to Mont Saint-Michel. This was my first time here ever. Walking and investigating every inch of the site was a so rewarding. Staying overnight was a fabulous moment topped off by an early morning attendance at the singing prayer service in the abbey and then a full abbey tour by a very articulate guide."

John

Saugus, CA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour and overall balance of tour vs free time. Can't wait to book the south of France tour. There isn't one thing I would have changed and was the most relaxing trip I have taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many on the trip as we went to many towns. The history of France was what I was amazed about, the chateau's, towns and Lorie valley."

Mark

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a great tour for someone who has never been to France, or wants to see more than just Paris. The places we visited were fantastic, the tour guides everywhere were wonderful, and the provided meals were awesome. Arnaud is a great tour guide, and really taught us about life in France. His stories and anecdotes were great! I LOVE the use of the whisper system. Makes the tour SO much easier for everyone - we can all hear everything quite clear regardless of where we're at. Awesome time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to spend the night on Mont St Michel was incredible. The information you get from Rick Steves is exactly right - the tourist crowds are gone by evening, and you have the place to yourself. It's a different world then. Taking night shots of the Mont was incredible. Getting to seed this iconic place was a highlight of the tour for me. Then, we got a group photo together at the Mont, the morning we left, and that was worth its weight in gold! Thanks to Arnaud for giving us that gift!"

Russell

Waxahachie, TX

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, "Arnaud", really made the tour entertaining. He was always prepared, on-time, helpful, friendly and so funny. Really bonded with the group and enjoyed all the group meals. The hotels were great and the coach driver was an expert at driving on such narrow streets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For scenery, it would be Mont Saint Michel. For emotionally stirring, it would be the beaches of Normandy."

Elizabeth

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and my first trip to France. I would do another in a heartbeat. In fact, there are enough items left over on "must do" list that I need to go back. It was a great introductory tour- now there are things that I know about that need more time. I went well prepared- followed the packing tips and traveled light. Took a French for travelers class- had no difficulties with language. Rick is right- if you are polite and respectful, English will get you by.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot pick one- there were so many Wows. A sad wow- Notre Dame! I liked the small towns that we toured after Paris, but Paris is magical. So a nice mix of both."

Stephen

Duluth, MN

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived in Paris a day early which was nice to adjust our bodies from the seven hour plane ride and seven hour time change from Minnesota. I enjoyed the slights of Paris and the fine food, especially the pastries and French Wine. Our guides were all fantastic with a vast knowledge of French and world history pertaining to the tour. I especially enjoyed our travels outside of Paris throughout the country side and visiting the Normandy beaches and American Cemetery. Wonderful tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Normandy D day beaches and American Cemetery. It was a touching sobering experience which made me really appreciate the sacrifice of the many soldiers who died or were wounded while fighting for our freedom.Arnou"

Susan

Duluth, MN

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our third RS tour and as expected it did not disappoint. Guides were great. I always appreciate how the tour is managed to avoid crowds and to see lesser visited areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Normandy Beaches and the American Cemetery. A sobering reminder of the sacrifices that were made for our freedom. Seeing the specials commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-day will be even more meaningful, since I have just been there"

Virginia

Buffalo, MN

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hotels,neighborhoods, dinners were excellent. Arnaud was very informative, a great coach for travel tips etc. The day guides were enthusiastic and approachable. Bus travel was broken into tolerable amounts. Loved it.

Kathy

Waxahachie, TX

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy was awesome."

Susan

Lake Worth, FL

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have fond memories of our trip with Arnaud touring the Heart of France. The hotels were very decent, especially those in the small towns outside of Paris. We were very glad that we had spent a few days a ahead of time getting to know Paris on our own;we had a feeling for the layout of the city and got to see a bit more of Paris before leaving for our road trip. The overall experience was all the more special thanks to our unique guide Arnoud and a great group of travelers from USA.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) Eating fresh oysters in Cancale.... 2) Staying overnight in Mont Saint Michel and getting up in the morning for our hike up the abbey."

Erica

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was when we reached the beaches of Normandy. Absolutely amazing to be in such an important place in history. We were also there around the time of the 75th anniversary, which was extra special."

Diane

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was excellent. A well planned excursion. Loved the little side stops for tastings and quick lunches. Every stop was a surprise. Everyone on the trip was wonderful. I'll definitely consider another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D Day beaches - this two day immersion changed the way I feel about military and the wars. It was humbling and quite moving. I've reflected the most over the time we spent in Normandy."

Steve

Hilliard, OH

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved visiting Paris and the heart of France. Linda, our guide, was a perfect host and guide. Our group of travelers was a great bunch of people who were all well traveled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel Tower and the view from the Arch of Triumph."

Jacobina

Louisville, KY

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 10 day tour was exactly as described in the brochure. The guides were top notch experienced and knew their history and gave their tour with personality! We had ample down time or free time to go on our own. Our tour guide leader was always available for assistance with questions or extra needs. She made sure everyone knew how to travel the Metro and gave pointers for safety.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have too many wow moments to claim a favorite! That's how great this tour was!"

David

Shell Beach, CA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all aspects of tour. The small size of the group makes it very pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a Vet standing on the Normandy cemetery and saluting as the flag was lowered and Taps was played by the bugler. Personally very moving."

Lori

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour! Everything was well organized- sightseeing, transportation, etc. Everyone was friendly too. The castle-building at Guedelon was fascinating and the Loire valley châteaux were beautiful. I wouldn't have minded spending slightly more time at all of these. I also enjoyed the history around Bayeux - both the tapestry and the D day beaches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tie between Monet's fabulous garden at Giverny and climbing the "butter tower" at the cathedral in Bourges. On our free morning, I went up the 400 steps and found myself completely alone on the roof with a 360 degree view. It was quite literally breathtaking (and a little vertigo inducing)."

Barry

Mundelein, IL

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and served to commit us to plan for many more. My wife travels to see places, I travel to visit friends; this Steves tour was a perfect compromise because we found the people we traveled with to be delightful and the places well chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps the thing about this tour is that is delightful through and through. Finding everything so enjoyable, one cannot fairly pick a 'wow' moment that doesn't thereby denigrate all the others. Perhaps, if I must choose, I would say that the comprehensive knowledge shown by the guides (our tour guide as well as the remarkable local guides) was encyclopedic."

John

Grass Valley, CA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Paris and Heart of France 11 day tour was a great blend of French culture, history and cuisine. Visiting Paris is always exciting and I stayed and extra two days following the tour. The Loirve valley visits to Chambord and Chenonceau chateaus and stay in Amboise dazzled the senses and afforded spectacular photo imagery. The over-night stop in St. Michel and visit to the abbey are not to be missed. We got early to hear the hymns sung by the monastery choir.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy beach experience was intensified by the preparation for the D-Day anniversary. The visit to both museums and beaches were both informative and interesting. Great tour."

Sandra

New Lenox, IL

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our Paris and the Heart of France tour. This was our second Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint. Our guide, Linda, did a great job, providing a good blend of history, culture, and fun! We couldn't have picked a nicer group of fellow travelers and enjoyed getting to know everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had several "wow" moments, but at the top of the list, Mont St-Michel with the impressive views, and of course the very moving D-Day beaches. Also, in general, the great bread, cheese, and macarons...yum!!!"

Rajesh

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our first tour, and it was full of great experiences. Wonderful food and conversations were had by all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tasting local cheeses from a vendor in the Latin Quarter street market!"

Karen

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyable and overall a good group. The last minute change to our guide was troubling but Patrick was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont st-Michel and Claude Monet's home and garden"

David

Street, MD

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was another great tour. Real good group, good leader and lots of good sights. (Good food too!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mt. St. Michel from a distance"

Bryan

Frederick, MD

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great tour! One of the best RS tours we have experienced. Our guide Patrick really opened up wonderful, bustling Paris to us and made us very comfortable to navigate the transportation system. The Loire Valley offered many beautiful villages, chateaux and cathedrals. The food and wine were spectacular, with many opportunities for tastings. Our visit to Mont Sainte Michel was one of the most memorable of our travel experiences. Our time in Normandy was very moving. Giverny was sublime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 4: 1) Experiencing the beauty of Sainte Chapelle cathedral, bathed in the spectacular light of the stained glass windows; 2) Being on Mont Sainte Michel, seeing the tide come in, walking the empty streets at night, sitting in the small chapel as locals worshipped; 3) Walking on the Normandy beaches and imagining the horror during the D-Day invasion while also experiencing the profound gratitude of the French; 4) Strolling through Monet's exquisite gardens, seeing the irises in full bloom."

Karen

Frederick, MD

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good food, good wine, wonderful sights, many of the WOW moments, above and beyond the call of duty, Patrick, our guide was wonderful. Loved the whole trip. We are RS groupies so we love the tours and can't wait to do another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to say...staying on Mont St-Michel, seeing Omaha and Utah beaches and the wonderful comments on the store owners windows thanking for their freedom was heart warming. Seeing Monet's house and garden was a high point. The food and wine was delicious. Great trip."

Rich

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Superb trip, excellent accomdoations and delicious food at wonderful restaurtants. But the highlight was our travel guide. Smart, funny, attentive, alert, sensitive, and charming. Our first experience with Rick Steve's Europe and it could note have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The inspiring and moving visit to World War II museums, beaches, and cemetery in Normandy."

James

Nipomo, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

enjoyed the whole experience very much. would and have highly recommend it to my friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole day we spent at Normandy beach, local towns, and museum."

Joanne

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the Paris neighborhoods and museums, to the chateaux of the Loire Valley, to spectacular Mont St. Michel, to powerful walks on Normandy beaches, to the beauty of Monet's garden, this tour was an amazing experience. Our guide, Patrick, gave us great insight into French culture and history, enhanced by his delightful sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel was that "Wow" moment for me. I read about Mont St. Michel in National Geographic Traveler magazine, which rated it a Best of the World site. It is absolutely breathtaking as it rises from the sea. To have the opportunity to not only tour this medieval village and abbey, but also to dine and spend the night here was wonderful!"

Suzanne

Nipomo, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience! Patrick, our guide kept us well informed and organized. He made the trip for me. Also, Rudy our bus driver was exceptional. The accommodations were very comfortable and I loved that they had in room coffee. (All the comforts of home). I liked having some free time to explore or relax because we were on the go so much. Loved having the use of the whisperes and the group size was nice. I will definitely plan on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 4 . I can't choose between them: Driving around Paris and seeing the beautiful architecture and landmarks, walking on Omaha and Utah Beaches, seeing Giverny (I'm a gardner), seeing Leonardo Divinvi's home and inventions. Truthfully this is not a fair question because I had many wow moments!"

Christopher

Napa, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience with knowledgeable guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"D day museums and historical places in Normandy."

James

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beach and memorial"

Joanne

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

FANTASTIC! It was exciting, inspirational, memorable, but mostly FUN. We got to explore the exciting city of Paris as well as so many beautiful and interesting places throughout the tour. It was great having a mix of big city, famous sights and the French countryside. We saw, we ate and we laughed our way through France. We had a wonderful mix of people and a fantastic guide in Rebecca Berry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had looked forward to our time on Mont St Michel and it was all I hoped for and more. Everything about it held a bit of magic for me. It is a very spiritual place and spending the night there allowed us to see the Abbey as if we were the only people on the island. Seeing the Abbey lit up on a cold and starry night was breathtaking. Getting up early to see the sunrise over the mudflats and attend the morning service was very inspirational. Many more "wows", but this was my favorite."

Leslie

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had taken two previous Rick Steves tours so our expectations were already set high. This tour did not disappoint. We loved the mix of big city - Paris, and small towns on this tour. Our guide - Rebecca - was amazing. The small group size enabled us to interact with all the group members - we made it a point to share at least one meal with each tour member as a means to get to know them better. We even formed a "back of the bus" contingent, sharing stories, food, and laughs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing a laser light show at the Eiffel Tower was exciting. Seeing that the Notre Dame Cathedral, while burned, was not destroyed was heart-warming. The treasures of the Louvre were astounding. Looking at the stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle was awe inspiring. Visiting the castle at Château de Guédelon a step back into the past The chateaus of the Loire Valley were stunning. The day at Normandy was sobering. My favorite moment: gazing over the mudflats to the abbey at Mont St-Michel."

Gretchen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! So many different experiences from cosmopolitan Paris to Bourges. We loved every minute of it!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That first view of Mt St-Michel, Laudes at Mt St-Michel, the American Cemetery in Normandy. Sitting in a cafe in Paris drinking a glass of rose. It was all "wow"."

Michael

Cranston, RI

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was comprehensive and provided a good feel of the culture as well as the sights of Paris and other cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We have traveled throughout Europe, (mostly on cruise ships) and we found that being at a location after 5-6PM when all the other tourists leave was a very good experience. When we spent the night in Mount St. Michel it was like we were the only people on the island. Made for a very special night."

Melinda

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. The balance of tour time & free time was perfect. Rebecca was terrific! She has such a positive attitude. I enjoyed the big city of Paris but was charmed by rural France. Loved seeing all the forests, the Loire, wild flowers, special gardens, agriculture, grazing animals, ancient buildings, & small modern cities. I enjoyed the exquisite food. I was especially touched by Normandy. The rain tried but failed to stop my glee. This was RS #10 for me. I hope to be back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St-Michel was magical from the first glance from across a field of sheep. I was awed by the sheer majesty as I approached on foot. It felt like I was in a dream walking the cobblestones, exploring the Abbey, and looking out over the vast sea bed."

Mark

Westfield, MA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was apprehensive about the tour experience having traveled with family members and by myself through parts of Europe and had enjoyed and experienced great times. I had utilized RS books and materials with great success. What I, we were looking for was the in-depth historical, cultural experience the RS tour offered. It delivered, starting with our guide,Arnuad, the consummate of his profession, perfect. The syllabus of the tour exactly what we were looking for and our tour mates, great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most emotionally moving moment was our visit to the U.S. cemetery at Normandy. This was a piece of history I was acquainted with since I was a kid, from my father who landed after the battle as a member of the Army Air Corps to the several books I read. The true expanse, the depth of the true human cost is a visual shock."

Barbara

Stoughton, WI

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have loved the 2 trips we've done with Rick Steves, and look forward to many more! Of course, I was disappointed we could not see Notre Dame, but that should have been replaced with a tour of a similar cathedral, like St Eutache. It seemed like we had more wandering around time, instead of a cathedral tour. I enjoyed seeing the building of a Chateau using medieval methods, and would have liked to spend more time there, investigating the craftsman workshops. Our guide was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Le Mont St Michel overnight in our little room with an amazing view; the dinner that night including a heaping pile of assorted shellfish! Wonderful!"

David

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was a very good mix of scheduled activities and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mont. St. Michael was very inspiring. The D-Day cemetery in Normandy was very moving."

Ed

Anderson, IN

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Planned over a year as a gift to my adult daughter. Could not have been better. I'm a little slower now but our guide and other guests were kind and supportive

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably mon-st-michael. Can I type WOW 500 times."

James

Gabriola, BC

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Please see my partner's evaluation for more comments on this trip. Was our first bus tour and we are already looking into another Rick Steve's tour for next year. Our guide, Arnaud, assisted us to get a taxi to take us to Juno Beach and the Canadian Cemetery on our own and be back in time for dinner in Arromanches with the others.Visiting the D-Day beaches now, it is hard to imagine what happened there in 1944.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel. As we approached on the bus, Arnaud came down the aisle and said "You have good hearts and sound legs". I thought that was a great compliment although certainly not deserved. Turns out he was assigning us one of the highest hotel rooms (most stairs!)on Mont St Michel, up there with the "young" people! Bonus - the hotel room had a large patio and an awesome view."

Mary

Gabriola Island, BC

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Please see my partner's comments too. This was a very interesting, well planned trip with a good mix of daily activities. Arnaud was well organized and kept us on time and entertained throughout! Using Local guides was helpful in that they could impart their specialized knowledge while actually showing us various places. The amount of walking/climbing stairs was just about all I could handle but the side benefit is that I am walking more now as a result!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three - Sainte-Chapelle, because of it's age, history and interior beauty/colors/gilt; Chateau Chenonceau in part due to it's location as well as it's very interesting history and interior splendor; and, Mont St. Michel because of it's natural beauty and ruggedness along with it's fascinating history of never being captured!"

Eleanor

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was inspiring and educational. The hotels were fine, well located, clean and comfortable. The Rick Steves guide book was so handy for meals; we ate well in small restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and staying a night was awesome in Mont St. Michel."

Erika

Tigard, OR

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour did an exceptional job weaving the history of France, architecture, culture, and art together over the course of 11 days. There was just enough free time to explore on our own. Despite being part of a group the experience felt small and local.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was sleeping on Mount St Michele just at the base of the Abby. Having the Mount to ourselves that night was something special."

Summer

Sugar Hill, GA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I base my score of "Very Good" on the quality of hotels and hotel proximity to first rate locations in Paris and France, the small size of group activities, planning location times for optimal viewing experiences without crowds of tourists, choice of walking tours and guides, special surprise activities, Metro guidelines in Paris and convenient eatery suggestions. I like the Rick Steves philosophical approach to encourage tourists to be more independent and show respect and courtesy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris was my favorite location and my favorite tour day was day 3 Neighborhood Paris and the Louvre It was the first Sunday, which means all the museums are free to the public. Surprisingly the crowd lines were minimal. I loved the walk down Rue Montorguiel. I wished we could have gone into St. Eustache or heard some music there.Another special day for me was touring Leonardo da Vinci's home in Amboise. This tour was optional. Viewing his art studio and the 3D models were incredible."

Cheryl

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I recently had the best travel experience of my life. My Rick Steves' Paris and the Heart of France tour greatly exceeded my expectations. The guide Arnaud was very knowledgeable and entertaining with a great sense of humor and great enthusiasm for his work. Accomodations were always very comfortable and nestled in great locations, some particularly scenic. Good company, great food and wine, and a great itinerary all combined to make this a memorable trip for a solo traveler. 5 ??

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of all the places on the tour, my favorite was Mont St.Michel. I was transported to a different, ethereal world totally set apart from all the rest. Its almost mystical air and stunning views of the sea from its ancient fortress-like heights captivated me. Walking through its winding steep streets and narrow passageways added to its allure. Divine! Dined well and slept well in this special spot. Sorry to leave it."

Nancy

Burlington, NC

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third, and perhaps the best, tour with RS. There was SO MUCH packed into our 11 days that it actually was also the most exhausting tour yet (those one night stays which are necessary for this tour are tough), but we would do it all over again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night on Mont-Saint-Michel was a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Walking back out onto the land bridge to look back at the abbey after dark was amazing, as was climbing the stairs (on the empty streets) at 7 am to hear vespers."

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in 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 stayingin 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.