• 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

2019

2020

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 2019
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Paris

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

Day 2: Historic Paris and Sainte-Chapelle

Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour of the city's early history, including a pair of Europe's most significant medieval Gothic churches: the resilient and legendary 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, where you'll come face-to-face with timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and hundreds more. Your afternoon will be free to be inspired by Monet's incredible Water Lilies at the Orangerie, perplexed by whimsical water fountains and modern art at the Pompidou, or compelled to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a classy stroll along the Champs-Elysées. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Medieval Guédelon and Bourges

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

Day 5: The Loire and Chambord

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

Day 6: Chenonceau and Amboise

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

Day 7: Brittany and Mont St-Michel

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

Day 8: Treasure of Bayeux

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

Day 9: Normandy's D-Day Beaches

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

Day 10: Monet's Gardens at Giverny

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

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!!!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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.

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."

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."

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."

Kathy

Waxahachie, TX

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy was awesome."

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"

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."

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"

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)."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!!!"

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!"

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

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

Gail

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience far exceeded my expectations. The places we visited were windows into the past as well as examples of France today. This was my 2nd RS tour which reinforced my sense of how brilliant your tours are.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in St Mere Eglise on the 75th anniversary of the declaration of the end of WWII for France was deeply moving. To witness how the French sincerely honored the Americans who participated in D Day was unexpected. We heard bells ringing after a church service to honor the end of the war, then a small parade with children carrying flowers to put on the local memorial. Tears came to my eyes when they played the American and French anthems."

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."

Chris

Austin, TX

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Still sifting through my 3000 pictures and remembering so many fabulous moments. We had a WONDERFUL tour guide, Chris, and many great local guides as well. (Elizabeth, Sylvain, Emily, Jessica...) We felt safe driving with Matt and Annie and we saw and did so much more than we ever anticipated. Every day brought new surprises and happy experiences. We learned a ton of history and saw things we had no idea existed. Great group of like-minded people and an overall outstanding experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourges was an absolute surprise and a real treat, would love to go back. Amboise was out of this world - had so many wonderful moments while there - Chateau Chenonceau, Clos-Luce - DESSERTS! Accordian player on the street after a lovely sunset on the Loire!!! The town of Fougeres was unbelievable! But Mont St. Michel was definitely the icing on the cake - Wow - what an experience that was - having the rock to ourselves!!! And that was followed up by Normandy and Monet's gardens!!! Magnifique!"

Susanne

San Jose, CA

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Paris and the Heart of France Tour was extremely well orchestrated. Everything worked like clock work. Wonderful sites! Great food! I was impressed with the quality and location of the hotels. Chris is a true profession, She is very knowledgable, a good historian and story teller. She made sure the tour ran very smoothly from one site to the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "Wow" moments on this tour. In Paris, climbing up the Arc de Triomphe and seeing the 360 degree views of Paris, visiting the museums(Louvre, d'Orsay, Orangerie), the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Montmartre. Outside of Paris, the two "Wow" moments were listening to the Monks chanting on Mont St. Michel and visiting Monet's home and gardens at Giverny."

Andrew

Austin, TX

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was more than the information supplied. How could you tell someone how it would be to be standing in Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy by far. The history and the sacrifice they gave. To stand on the same ground where so much world changing history took place. Now for the wow. The Eiffel Tower. The abby at Mont St. Michel."

Pauline

Tigard, OR

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our tenth Rick Steve tour and, as always, outstanding. Everything is planned to the finest detail, and explained prior to traveling. The idea of no tipping, right amount of guided time and free time, and staying in small, family run hotels close to transportation and sights when possible, are definite pluses. Our guides have always been super! Learning about new places, meeting people, the ambience of Europe and it's history is special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many Wow" moments it is difficult to name just one. However, the lights on Mont St. Michel at night and the morning "singing" by the Monks and Nuns in the chapel was angelic. The visit to the Normandy beaches was so impressive, informative and humbling. Monet's gardens were just like his paintings, and the building of the medieval castle in Gildeon was amazing. Seeing bustling Paris and museums, and then the contrast of the beautiful chateaux and lush countrysides of France."

Bonnie

Nashua, NH

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything (except the weather) was super! Linda was excellent . She was very professional dealing with late comers, yellow vest plan changes, and the President going to Amboise which necessitated getting permission for our bus to pick u s up so we could leave. The local guides at every stop were super well versed in their towns and very pleasant. All the hotels and planned meals were superb. She even went out of her way to take us to places not on the official tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches at Normandy were awe inspiring. Our guide's stories made us feel we could visualize the battles. The view from the top of Mont St. Michel was also a wow."

Nancy

Nashville, TN

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The heart of France was more than I expected. Each stop was outstanding. Giverny was astounding- I cannot stop thinking about it. I did not bring enough warm clothes, and was cold the whole trip, my mistake.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverny- we were fortunate to be there on a cloudy day, which is perfect for photographs, and I have many wonderful photos."

Thomas

Tigard, OR

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual we have been very pleased with all aspects of our Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual, it is difficult to come up with one "WOW" moment. The highpoints were experiencing Normandy and Mont St- Michael."

Scott

Nashua, NH

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We could have never planned such a trip on our own. I really enjoyed the structure and we were constantly on the move. We were able to see everything that was important to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be Mt. Saint Michelle. The experience was amazing."

Kristi

Hudson, NH

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rick Steves tours sculpts a beautiful trip full of amazing and unique experiences. In addition to seeing all of the main attractions, RS also allowed us to experience all of the hidden gems that other tours miss. The people in our tour group were all very nice people, but there were definitely a few couples who did not read the descriptions about the strenuous walking involved. I felt like we spent a lot of time waiting for those who were slower, which was different from our last tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was attending the morning chorale in the abbey of Mont St. Michel. Those perfectly harmonized, a capella voices created a beautiful, moving experience that I will never forget. Another favorite wow moment was standing on Omaha beach, where my grandfather had landed 75 years earlier. Seeing that the French people still remember our troops' sacrifice was very touching to me."

Karen

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went smoothly for 11 days. Good hotels, good tour stops, guides were informative, meals were delicious, driver and tour guide kept us on schedule and followed our itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the impressionist paintings at the Orsay museum, The colors in the paintings were beautiful. I was amazed at the scale or size of some of the famous paintings by Renoir. But I loved Chenonceau, Mont St. Michel, and Monet's house and gardens also."

Robert

Leland, NC

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Three weeks before departure my back started acting up, effecting my ability to walk. Two days before departure I received an epidural injection in hopes of relief. Relief was minor, but with the help of pain pills we decided to proceed. Having been on previous tours I knew I would be hard pushed and I surely was. We were able to participate in 80% of the tour activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and it's painful, early morning climb to attend "Hours". Beautiful and inspiring but took enough out of me that we skipped the guided tour and the rain had made the footing somewhat treacherous."

Sandra

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, so much to take in on a first visit! I wasn't expecting to walk away in love with FRANCE! The heartfelt essence of France that will stay with me, is their innate awareness to preserve what is beautiful and needed, to nourish one's soul. The architecture, the numerous museums housing precious art, historical cathedrals and breathtaking gardens.The lush green, immaculate landscapes of Loire Valley and beyond, all of this being honored and recognized as their country's treasures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments but my favorite was the intimate time spent at the Chateau and wine tasting at Selles-sur Cher."

Clifford

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it. Exceeded our expectations based on the online description. The format enabled us to cover a lot of ground and still have time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I knew that mont saint michel would be the highlight but the Normandy beaches and giverny were right up there ."

Nina

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed this tour, as I have of the other 2 Rick Steve Tours I have gone on! I knew I would like France, but it was even more wonderful, because of Linda!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be way too hard to choose one 'wow' moment. I truly enjoyed the whole trip! I am still trying to wrap my head around all the wonderful things I got to see!"

Ruth

Fayetteville, PA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour. I wish we had longer in Normandy. I would like to see an extra day added to the tour to cover Normandy in more depth. We didn't have an opportunity to explore the museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Cemetery in Normandy. The entire tour of Normandy was great."

David

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best RS tours we have taken. It was a very active tour with a wide variety of sights and experiences. This was a well structured tour in that we got to experience many eras of history over the 11 days. A good mix of museums, cathedrals, chateaus, and countryside villages and towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked the small towns of Bourges and Fougères. I had been to Paris before and knew what to expect at Mont-St-Michel but did not know how historic and quaint the smaller towns were."

Herb

Duncannon, PA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was better than expected. For years I had heard how the French are unfriendly and not particularly welcoming to tourists. My experience was the very opposite. I found the French to be very helpful and very pleasant, as welcoming as you will find anywhere. This is important because meeting people is a wonderful part of travel, and it was great, from the Algerian-French Muslim young lady we got into a long conversation with at a café near our hotel to total strangers offering help.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found it interesting that looking at different sources, many suggested that dealing with the crowds at the Eiffel Tower just wasn't worth it. Of course, they had all done the Eiffel Tower, so it didn't make much sense. Getting a glimpse of the lines and surroundings of the Eiffel Tower early in the trip tended to confirm that view. But we had advance tixs for 9 pm later in the trip and we found virtually no lines. It proved to be an unforgettable experience."

Jeanette

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was even better than I hoped or imagined. It was wonderful to visit the castle being built, the winery and some of the other less well known places as well as the big famous ones. I liked the mix of guided activity and free time, meals together and on our own. Even the bus was comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauds at Mt. St. Michel. Sleeping on the island and being there when it was quiet."

Ray

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda made it all happen for us. Organized, enthusiastic and friendly, Linda is not only a wonderful representative of the citizens of France, but a wonderful Rick Steves team member. She really brought our group together helping us understand the French culture & long history of her beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Uncle is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery. Linda, thru our local Normandy/D-Day guide arranged for my wife an I a personal visit to his grave. An emotional/uplifting experience for which I have Linda to thank !!"

Brian

Hudson, NH

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour had a little bit of everything, and overall was very good. Some aspects of this tour fell short of our Taste of Europe tour in 2017 however, and it meant for some disappointment due to being rushed through the tour while then having to wait on the bus. I'd rather spend time touring than waiting on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose one. Staying overnight at Le Mt St Michel was very special, as was visiting the Normandy region and learning about World War 2."

Carol

Billings, MT

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Normandy was outstanding. But I experienced so much more of the French lifestyle in the country. thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy. It has been a goal of our to get there fore years, and the local guide was outstanding. What a complete day. Frosting on the cake was Mont St. Michele. It's so iconic. glad it was on the itinerary."

Michael

Billings, MT

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour director and local guides were outstandin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Utah beach came alive with Dale booth local guide."

Susan

Dallas, TX

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour and our quide Michealann was.very friendly and could herd cats if she.needed to. .She took good care of us with.practical info.at.every stop.Great group of people,all very adult.Never felt talked down to always felt.cared about. When in one of the small towns.I lost my way.back to.the.bus.I found the.local police station and was brought back a abo an hour late. MICHEALANN HAD GIVEN ME HER.PHONE NUMBER BUT.I WAS.HAVING.PHONE.ISSUES AND COULDNT.CALL HER BACK.She was so cari

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Ethel Tower at.night.Also the great art in the Paris museums. Loved the city.of.Paris,everything.about.it.The wine.the food,the relaxed.attitude.Loved the local experience and the french.people.Will go again love the local guides and they're there personal experiences and how they love their culture love the Rick Steves method of feeling like I lived in France and we'll definitely go again especially with MichaelANN."

Mary

Durango, CO

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary, excellent guide and local guides, good group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Early morning vespers at Mont St-Michel abbey."

Katherine

Carbondale, CO

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Michaelanne was superb! A wealth of inside France information, kind, fun, and more helpful than ever expected with even off tour experiences. The hotels were great, comfortable, with helpful professional staffs. Dinners were over the top, a true taste of France. All the additional tour guides did an amazing job of getting to the back stories, things and places you'd never see alone. I was a little skeptical about being on a "tour" but I would recommend R S Tours to everyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "Wow". Have been asked this a lot but really enjoyed it all equally."

John

Abu Dhabi, AZ

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour of the heart of France. I will always remember the food, wine and friends I made on this trip. The guide did an excellent job of scheduling our adventures such that we avoided the crowds and had the best opportunity to see the sights. She gave wonderful insight to her experiences and the day to day life in France today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to the D-day beaches was much more personal than I expected. Our guide really brought home the issues the young GIs faced wading into shore on Utah and Omaha beaches, June 6th 1944. That day started in a little church where two young medics tended to American, French and German wounded, eventually taking care of 80 patients."

Jane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say anything bad about the whole experience! Michaelanne is the best! I felt totally taken care of by her. All the tour leaders in each town were outstanding. I'm so glad we decided to do France on a tour, rather than on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I loved the chateau Chenonceau - so beautiful. Touring Guedelon was so interesting. I was so looking forward to Mont St Michel and it was grander than I expected. And the tour of the Normandy beaches was unexpectedly fascinating and altogether humbling. Dale Booth was probably the best of the guides but they were all good. The dinners were so delicious, another unexpected joy! Sorry I can't name one."

William

Napa, CA

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a repeat of same tour I did in 2010. I wanted my woman friend to experience the same places that I did. We got to Paris early but unfortunately saw Notre Dame burning on the first day. When we started the tour the next week, Michaelanne was able to explain some of the positives and help to deal with some of loss that I was feeling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy experience was well done and especially the discussion at the little church that served as a mini hospital. Very moving, and over all day was very informative and thought provoking ."

William

Bloomington, IN

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour destinations were fantastic, good balance between guided time and free time, bus travel and driver were pleasant. I wouldn't recommend spending 3 days in Paris on a weekend and especially Easter weekend. The crowds were awful. Museums were too crowded to enjoy. Thankfully we had been to Paris previously on our own and enjoyed the major sites without the horrible crowds. In addition, half the Metro lines were closed during the Yellow Vest protests on Saturday making travel difficult.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount St. Michel was amazing and hard to beat but being present at the 5 pm flag lowering and playing of Taps at the American D-day Cemetery was my emotional "wow" moment. The organ recital (8,000 pipes!) at Ste. Eustace in Paris was amazing."

Barbara

Bloomington, IN

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Per our past experiences, the tour was comprised of an excellent guide, compatible travel group, good accommodations and lovely meals. Put all together it was an excellent tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't identify just one place considering all the beautiful and historical sites we visited. Favorites were Mont St. Michel and Monet's gardens as well as Paris overall."

William

Irvine, CA

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Arnaud was very personable, informative, & attentive to details. He went out his way to add special experiences--ie. unique little treats, organ concert. Well organized. Conveniently located accommodations without the frills. We like the philosophy of supporting local businesses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Laying eyes on Mont. St. Michelle & the gardens of Giverny."

Alden

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was over way too fast - it was so enjoyable.

Aurora

Oakdale, CA

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw things we would not have seen on our own and the tour overall met our expectations. We did feel the tour could easily have been a 14 day tour instead of 11 days and we could have more time in places like Monet's garden as well as other places. We also would have enjoyed a little more time on our own. We felt a little rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at MSM was awe inspiring and long in our bucket list. Seeing the tapestry in Bayeux was another highlight for us and it didn't disappoint. We had been on an ocean cruise a couple of years ago that docked in LeHavre but they didn't offer a tour to see the tapestry and this was one of the reasons we chose this particular land tour."

Corliss

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour all around. Our guide Arnaud provided us with his deep understanding of French history and provided such a vivid view of the rich culture, politics and heritage of the country. He also patiently saw that we kept to schedule, provided us with samples of some delightful local goodies, and even polished up our spoken French for us. He truly contributed to a very enjoyable group tour experience. I am sure I would not have sampled the fresh raw oysters without his enthusiasm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the abbey at Mont St. Michel. Hearing taps played at the flag lowering at the American Cemetery at Normandy. Seeing the treasures at the Louvre. So many moments were awesome that it is difficult to pick one."

Catherine

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was Fantastic! We did and saw everything we had hoped for. The tour was very busy but at the same time had enough time built in to provide downtime if you needed it. Arnaud was an outstanding guide. He had a great deal of knowledge about the areas we visited and beyond. He was fun and very organized so that the trip moved along seamlessly. This was our 1st Rick Steves trip and we will be doing more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one but the one thing that stands out for me is visiting the Medieval Guédelon. It was an impressive site. It was amazing how much these people have learned about the building methods of that era and how much they have accomplished."

Mary

Pittsfield, MA

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introduction to Paris and northern France, including history, art, culture, food and wine. It was an energetic tour to cover all this in the time available, but there was also enough down time for rest and for exploration on your own. We were also lucky to have great spring weather!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At Mont St Michel, going out to the bridge at dawn to see the sun rising from the English Channel in the east while the full moon was setting in the Channel in the west. Unforgettable!"

Edward

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was organized to provide excellent exposure to Paris and the Heart of France, including sights, culture, and history. Also provided some time for individual exploration. The tour removed much of the planning burden from tour members without adding unnecessary restrictions. Guides provided additional exposure that individual travelers would miss, unless they identified and hired guides of similar caliber.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two - One Scenic and One Cultural: 1) Views of and from Mount St. Michel were excellent (tide and weather co-operated). Timing of the visit (ie, to minimize crowds) embellished the experience. 2) Riding Paris Metro lines 1 and 13 after 11:00 PM provided the outstanding cultural experience. My fellow metro-riders appeared completely at ease, free to enjoy their evening in the city without threat of violent crime. What, No Guns?"

Theresa

Worton, MD

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had France in my wish list for a very long time and held very high expectations for the trip. It was also my first European trip, so I was a bit nervous. The tour EXCEEDED ally expectations and made me want to travel even more. There was a great balance of guidance and freedom. We were respected and educated while being given the chance to really see the country and its people. The agenda, group, accommodations, driver and guide were all fabulous

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on Mt St Michel was a true highlight of the trip. It felt magical to be on the island as the tide closed in and the full moon shone brightly. Giverny was also spectacular, despite tge large number of people there on Easter Sunday. The best thing had to be the leadership and zip provides by Michaelanne. She was an expert guide who handled all the personalities and situations with grace, humor and respect."

Elizabeth

Madison, WI

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent variety of things to do and see. Not all churches and chateaus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments. But my favorite was a super high tide at Mont St Michel. Been on my bucket list for a very long time."

Ann

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thought it would be a good experience and it was. It was fast paced and so interesting. We were exhausted at the end which is how it should be. Vacations are all about great experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a hotel room near the top of Mont St. Michel (Auberge Saint Pierre) that was a few feet from the bell tower. It was a sunny afternoon and the view was wonderful. I must add that we attended service in the Abbey at 11 pm on Holy Thursday and it was very cold and quiet dark. The singing of the nuns and the prayers from the monks was literally heavenly with the Abbey's acoustics. I felt that we were back in the middle ages."

Douglas

Madison, WI

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about and observing medieval building tools and techniques at Guédelon...and trying to fathom how they were used to build the chateaus, but especially the magnificent Gothic cathedrals, that are all over Europe."

Janice

Watkinsville, GA

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations. All of the sites were memorable, especially the personal experiences: wine tasting at the chateau, listening to the hymns sung at Mont St -Michel, walking through Monet's garden. Our tour guide, Michaelanne, was a true professional who was knowledgeable, not just about the tour sites, about about French history and culture as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard choice to make. France is such an interesting, beautiful country. If I had to pick one, I'd say Mont St Michel. When you see it rising above the sands on that tremendous rock with the town beneath it, its breathtaking. Then, to have the opportunity to spend the night on the Mont and hear the singing in the chapel, was very spiritual moment. I also enjoyed the medieval town at the foot of the Mont."

Rush

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastic tour packed with so much variety of sights and culture. We were fully satiated in every way by the end of eleven days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick one. Here is a handful: Sainte Chapelle in Paris, Mont Want Michel, all of the Normandy experience, and Monet's garden in Giverny!"

Tom

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

where to start? great group as always. Linda was so much fun and so informative. her knowledge of her country and her way with presenting it was so entertainingly educational!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"my "wow" moment changed daily as the tour went along but i decided the view of mt ste michel was definitely it. when youre on the causeway far enough away to take it all in, its almost surreal."

Robyn

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

our Leader Linda was Fantastic - she shared many infos on French culture that was very interesting to us.She has a terrific sense of humor and kept our motley crew together. The Sights were awesome- each day was exciting and also plenty of free time. We lucked out with good weather too.The Tour members were all very fun loving and positive- and Joost our driver was The Best. Seeing these sights were a dream come true for me- Thanks Rick for your Tours- they are The Best!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were the first visitors to arrive at the Chateau Chenonceau in the morning, we had the whole place to ourselves while Linda explained the history and background to us- it is a Beautiful location and grounds-it blew me away, second was Mont St-Michel, again we arrived as everyone was leaving and we had it pretty much to ourselves- a truly unique sight-at night with the floodlights was breathtaking, and the Normandy Beach day was another Wow Day- our local guide did a super job."

Carolyn

Rochester, NY

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed our guide's personal perspective as we traveled brought her home country. We had the right balance of togetherness and alone time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a food-related "wow" moment! I very, very much enjoyed getting to know more about French culture and their pride is evident in their food. My palate has been forever changed!"

David

Rochester, NY

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Too much free time at the start of the tour. It would have been very beneficial to have a guide at the Louvre or have been told to prepare if going there. There were two times when the Guide said that there were "lots restaurants" in an area of the town we were in and lunch was on our own. She was right, but most of the restaurants were closed. Further, when in Ambroise, it would have been beneficial if we were told to make reservations for dinner. We found take away, but this could benefit oth

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No real Wow moment on this tour. I thought it would be Mont St. Michel or Utah/Omaha beaches, but they didn't hit me as I expected. This is not a criticism of the tour. I enjoyed it very much."

Hong-Thuy

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steves, and my first tour ever in general. I was a little anxious about what to expect, but my friends had traveled with Rick Steves tours before and raved about their trips. I had such a wonderful and memorable experience! I went to places I would never have gone on my own, and gained much information and knowledge from our awesome tour guides. Everyone who was part of our tour was lovely. I would highly recommend Rick Steves tours and can't wait to go again

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the morning of our stay at Mont Saint Michel. Attending Laudes, seeing the abbey without crowds, and experiencing the quietness of Mont Saint Michel before the arrival of tourists was absolutely beautiful."

Scott

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, each day was filled with memorable experiences. This was our second Rick Steve's tour and I am sure we will be back for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You could find a "wow" moment everyday on this tour but I would narrow it to either climbing the steps at Mont Saint-Michel, in the early morning, to watch the monks perform their morning service, or standing in the middle of the American Cemetery after a day touring the D-Day beaches. Very different but inspiring moments on their own."

Kevin

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and enjoyable trip. Virginie was a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable and scheduled the perfect weather for us, very unusual for this time of year, no rain! Wish I had my shorts in October.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The details of ordinary French life and priorities. The US needs more of this. She had a great ongoing story of a family growing up, school, earnings, etc."

Sharon

Land O' Lakes, FL

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia was awesome. Hotels were excellent. Tour was diversified and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michelle"

Kenneth

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think the friendly helpful people in France made the biggest impression on me. We flew in early and the day before the tour was to begin my wife tripped and fell on a pavement in Paris. Blood, blood, blood and more blood..and broken glasses. Friendly strangers (who spoke little English) jumped to assistance and got my wife to a local cafe/bar where more people helped with towels and ice. The concern was real. We felt important. Our guide Virginie was contacted. Virginie was amazing. T

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The buildings did not impress me so much. Unless I was a historian I would not care about them. But the French people have heart. I like them. On the front of a school Virginie pointed out a memorial to students taken from the school during the war to their death in the gas chambers. Many would like to forget something like that. The French people chose to remember-and help us to remember."

Dennis

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was my first to France and it was far more than I expected. Everything went very smoothly with fantastic leadership and great folks in the group. The learning curve was straight up and totally positive. One of my preconceived ideas from what I had heard and read was the French people were a bit cold and stand-offish to Americans.Not true. The hotels and meals were very good and we both appreciated the time on our own to explore and see new things not included in the trip.No bad wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few but my favorite has to be the Normandy beaches and tour. Quite emotional and historically important."

Mark

Newburgh, IN

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. The balance of the guided tours, introduction to France, French culture and "free time" to explore is a very nice balance for a tour. Our guide, Virginie Moore was excellent; a wealth of knowledge and ability to relate and explain the French to our American group was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating lunch, that was purchased in an open market in Bourges comprised of bread, cheese, sausage and grapes, in the courtyard of a castle after a wine tasting class. Truly a unique experience that felt very French."

Tammy

Neenah, WI

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it. The tour was a wonderful blend of city and town experiences, providing a suitable pace to fully experience being in France and interacting with non-tourists. I enjoyed every site and experience, and was surprised to never run out of energy by the end of it unlike other tours. Wine tasting and seeing a chateau being built were nice surprises.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and Claude Monet's gardens were my two favorite moments of the tour. Being able to sleep on the island of Mont St Michel with full view of the abbey and being able to experience morning prayer at the abbey was wonderful. Claude Monet's gardens were vibrant and inspirational for any artist or nature-lover."

Sarah

Newburgh, IN

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful and enjoyable trip! Our guide Virginie was exceptional - she combines history and fun to make learning so enjoyable! We learned French culture, history, metro navigating, and a variety of French words to help us enjoy our experience. RS & company have designed a wonderful mix of experiences and places on this tour. We enjoyed the countryside towns as much as Paris. This tour has a nice balance of planned activities and time for yourself to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I agree with other tour members when they say how can you have just one "WOW" moment on a trip like this...everyday brought a "WOW"! I loved buying my lunch at local markets in the small towns we visited, the delightful wine and cheese tastings , Mont St. Michael: vista, staying overnight, walking the steps up to the morning prayer there,and the sunrise afterwards and of course Normandy and the D-Day beaches was so moving."

Paula

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We learned so much while we were in France. We saw a wide variety of places and had the opportunity to go to local markets and visit different areas that were off the beaten path. I would definitely go on another Rick Steves tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two wow moments. First was getting to go to Mont St-Michel. Getting to spend the night there was awesome. Our dinner that night was wonderful with so many new foods. Actually getting to go into the abbey and learning so much of the history was the best. My second wow was getting to go to Giverny to see Monet's house and gardens. He is one of my favorite painters and it was so interesting to see where he lived. The gardens where he got his inspiration for Water Lilies was great."

Cynthia

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour we enjoyed every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent on Mt St Michael especially the morning prayer service at the abbey & the tour with the local guide."

Marlene

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginie More is a pool of knowledge and so personable. The tour was vigorous but not daunting. I know we are to assimilate to the culture but the concept of eating so much so late was very difficult to accept. The food was great and plentiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The veterans cemetery ar Omaha Beach was awesome."

Ramona

Mansfield, OH

Tour: 10/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very informational. Through our tour guide I learned a lot about French history and culture. We got to experience riding on the metro to see the Arc de Triumph and The Eiffel Tower. WE had a tour of the Latin quarter and right bank. We saw the beautiful Loire Valley and the magnificent Abbey and the battlefields of Normandy. The cathedrals were very awe inspiring. The quilt brought to life William the Conquerer's journey of conquest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach in Normandy and the graveyard. I had no idea how huge the beach was and that was just one of them, and the one American graveyard. Very moving."

Carl

Fairfield, IA

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour (our first) was very well planned. Excellent balance of activities and free time. Great food and great fellow tour members. I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide and Rebecca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giverney - Monet's house and gardens were beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better."

Ann

Dolan Springs, AZ

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was top notch and very well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the whole tour but the D-day tour stood out as the most profound and moving, excellent guide. I also enjoyed Guedelon medieval castle, much more than I thought I would."

Elizabeth

Lees Summit, MO

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations! I wouldn't change a thing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The morning at Chenonceau and the wine and cheese tasting/picnic the day before at the Chateau su Cher were my favorites. The gardens at Giverney were also magnificient!"

Robby

White Rock, NM

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

enjoyed the tour guide, the local guides, and the people in the tour group was fun and enjoyable trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I just booked the France tour since I was on another Rick Steves tour in Germany-Austria ... so had not researched the France tour stops, etc. When first riding the bus up to Mont Saint Michels ... Wow!!! What a view!"

Claire

Fairfield, IA

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a wonderful balance of different types of experiences and sites that we visited. We could not have done so much on our own in such a short time. Rebecca and all of our other specialized guides were very knowledgeable and interesting and added so much to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of them were wow moments! I really appreciated staying overnight at Mont St-Michel which most tourists there don't get to do."

Karen

Chatsworth, CA

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was made interesting everyday by our tour guide, Rebecca Berry and the itinerary. I would hope to do another tour with Rebecca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"People keep asking me what my favorite part of the tour was, and I enjoyed every day so much that it's hard to come up with a wow moment. The Normandy tour guide, Dale Booth, was an excellent story teller. He really gave a perception of the turmoil that existed on D Day. His passion for the subject was admirable. I also really enjoyed being taught by Rebecca how to use the Paris metro. It was very empowering."

Elena

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 10/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Wonderful places, great guide, great food, weather. I enjoyed everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Mont St. Michel was probably my "wow" moment, as well as the views from the top of it."

Leanne

Mound, MN

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very relaxing time. Yes, we had to be on time each morning, but there was never a feeling that we were rushed through the day's experience. Fellow tour members were all friendly and open to getting to know one another. Particularly liked the tour activities each morning, and then the freedom to on our own in the afternoon. The meals as a group were so much fun -- full of laughs and sharing experiences. A thoroughly wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two WOW experiences that come to mind. Normandy, the site of the Allied invasion was awesome. History I had only a small understanding of, and now want to research fully. Great local guide who brought it home in a personal manner with "then" pictures and the "now" of being at the site. Not-to-be-missed experience. The second WOW experience was becoming comfortable with the Metro system. Once you get that under your belt, you are free to travel throughout Paris. Found terrific sites!"

Pamela

Juneau, AK

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was packed full of wonderful sights and experiences from Paris to Normandy, and Giverny. Our guide, Arnaud was outstanding. His knowledge of French history and the various places we visited, along with his informative and fascinating narratives about French life added extra spice to our trip. His sense of humor was an added perk! I found the pace of the tour, the amount of free time, knowledge and presence of expert guides along the way to fit well with my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Choosing one favorite "wow" moment is tough. I remember the stunning Chateau Chenonceau and its grounds, Mont St. Michel, Leonardo Da Vinci's home in Amboise, and my favorite, Monet's Gardens at Giverny!"

Katherine

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel was an awesome experience."

Phillip

Tampa, FL

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Arnauld was terrific. I loved spending the night at Mont St Michel and being able to see the tides and go to Lauds. The guide there was very good. I loved Normandy, especially Pont du Roc and the guide there was exceptional. I really liked seeing the new chateau being built with the old methods. Paris was amazing but crowded and I was disappointed that we didn't have a separate guide for the Louvre, but were left on our own on a crowded Sunday afternoon. I loved Giverney, but again no guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel"

Julia

Huntington, IN

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RS Tour, but my first tour that wasn't a city tour. (I have previously done the Best of London and the Best of Rome tours). I was very impressed by the degree of organization of every aspect of this type of tour, from the room assignments, the ordering of our group meals, the orientation to each site, and how we were always on time for everything. We were fortunate to have a great guide, Arnaud, a great driver, Joe, and a group that gelled pretty quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's always hard to pick one "wow" moment. I would say Mont St. Michel, the Chenonceau chateau, and Monet's gardens at Giverny. Even though I had seen pictures of each of these places, when I saw each of them in person, I said to myself, "wow"!"

Janice

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations! This was my first tour and I was a little concerned it might be too much togetherness. Loved the ease of seeing the sights plus the flexibility for my husband and I to have a few "free" hours to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually hard to choose one "wow" moment but I really enjoyed the small beach towns of Normandy;not just the D-day beaches. The weather was beautiful, the towns charming and quaint and the crowds small. The passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of our guide Rudy really brought Utah and Omaha beach to life."

Noreen

Stroudsburg, PA

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour was wonderful! It was the perfect blend of history, current life and extra time to see and take more time at sites I wanted to explore more thoroughly on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michele for sure, with Giverny a close second"

Robert

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 10/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized, guided tour and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We saw and learned much more than had we attempted to design a self-guided tour of France. We though the balance of scheduled tours and free time was perfect! Arnaud was a terrific tour guide-very organized, energetic, knowledgeable, funny, and a great story-teller! And, we really enjoyed getting to know all of the other fine people in our tour group - it was fun meeting everyone and spending time with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the entire day exploring Normandy and the D-Day sites, particularly Pointe du Hoc and the US cemetery. These experiences really enabled me to understand and appreciate the challenges faced by our brave soldiers on those fateful days in 1944. This was the day of the tour that I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint. I was worried that one day was not going to be enough, but our guides packed a lot into that day and gave us the full experience."

Arnie

Edmond, OK

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour hit all the top spots that I wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view coming across the bridge to Mont Saint Michel"

Linda

St Louis, MO

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves tour, and once again, the tour more than exceeded my expectations. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Activities were varied and well organized, with a good mixture of group time and on-our-own time. I like how this tour was organized - some time in Paris, then time in less urban areas, returning again to Paris. And spending the night on Mont St. Michel - now that's thoughtful planning!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moments every day! Topping my list, though, is our time on Mont St. Michel, in particular, climbing to the abbey before sunrise to attend mass. In the hushed pre-dawn, stars lit our path up the twisting stairs. Then when we came out of the abbey after mass, all was still quiet, and we watched the tide coming in across the mud flats. Wow! Ste. Chapelle, the Bayeux Tapestry, Monet's Garden at Giverny, Guedelon, Chenonceau...all "wow" moments!"

Mary

Sumner, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful.........

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being confident using metro in Paris. Being part of the neighborhood. Watching parents taking kids to school. Wine tasting at a Château. D day tour and the stories."

Ken

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really well planned. Great combination of local guides and a superb travel guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was the night at Mont. St. Michel, where we were able to be there for morning prayers, and see the sunrise over the bay where the water had encircled the island. Just a great moment."

Sherrie

Lake Forest, CA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour with great destinations. Paris is so incredible with so many museums to visit, Mont St Michel is otherworldly, Gudeleon was amazing, and the D-Day beaches were just unbelievable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a couple wow moments. Being at the Louvre on the night it was open late, I looked up through the pyramid entry and so overwhelmed that I was in Paris at the Louvre I had to sit down and take a moment to absorb it! Also, listening to Taps at the American Cemetety in Normandy was incredible."

Tara

Visalia, CA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many bucket list items accomplished in one trip! Patrick is such a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and warm tour guide. Seeing Guedelon before the grand chateau is brilliance, and really helps put into context the work that went into these giant treasures. We loved the small town of Bourges, and will cherish the memories of shopping in the market for our picnic lunch. Wish we had more time in Bourges. Seeing the Bayeux Tapestry was the dream of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Morning prayers with the nuns and monks in Mt St Michel will be with us forever."

David

Kingsport, TN

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time and it was great to be back in france. enjoyed the food, the museums, and learning a lot with our guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number of great moments: Staying the night at Mont St Michael, The D Day tour, and seeing Monet's gardens."

Anne

Kingsport, TN

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the entire tour and everything we did. It was great to start in Paris and then wind up with the calm of the countryside. Also enjoyed all the local guides, particularly the D-Day guide, and our tour guide....and of course...the FOOD!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several....seeing the construction of the medieval chateau, staying at Montmartre overnight when it was quiet and peaceful, spending a moving and wonderful day at the Normandy beach, seeing the Japanese pond where Monet painted the water lilies, seeing the Bayeux tapestry, and seeing the Eiffel Tower at night...fabulous."

Eleanor

Stafford, VA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just don't know where to start. This is our first Rick Steves' tour, though not our first trip to France. It was a five star experience. Out tour director Patrick was first rate; experienced and resourceful. He really made the trip. Logistically I felt there was a good balance of planned activities and free time with lots of suggestions for personal time use. The hotels were great. Well located and everything you needed. The trip covered all the expected high points.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Mont Saint Michelle. The weather was beautiful. The high point was being able to stay over night and attend the peaceful early morning services in the chapel. Very Special indeed."

John

Stafford, VA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Selection of hotels and city guides were great. Tour director (Patrick ) was excellent. We enjoyed some of the built in "quiet time" when we weren't running to do something.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to select 'one wow"- the tour overall was great- and we saw some beautiful country side, enjoyed excellent food selected by the tour and overall had a relaxing vacation."

Sue

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We're tour veterans. This is an active tour, and we learned so much. Paris is a big, overcrowded and sometimes overwhelming city. I'm glad I got to see all of the "hits" but I think this will be my Last Tango in Paris. We spent one extra day and hit the Orsay which was my absolute favorite museum. We topped it off with a dinner and show at the LIDO PARIS - highly, highly recommend! I much preferred the countryside and if I return to France, will do more of the wine country and Eastern France

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be Normandy. Taps at the American Cemetery. Also, Chateau Chenonceau's gardens and "the maze" in the woods. I'm a big nature lover and after the pounding of Paris, this was so welcome. My husband and I did a reverse tour and did the Chateau last. This allowed us peace and serenity throughout the grounds - we were often on our own! Also, Monet's gardens. Oh. My. Goodness. The maison was so overcrowded and not as wonderful - but worth a look see."

Linda

Chicopee, MA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time in Paris and the city did not disappoint! Spent a total of 6 nights there, and loved both hotel locations-- Montmartre and Trocadero. Visit to Guedelon, a Medieval castle being constructed using techniques and tools of the 1400s, was amazing. Visited several country chateaus, ate countless french pastries and baguettes. Loved our visit to Mt St Michel and to the Normandie beaches and cemetery, and seeing the Bayeux tapestry. Capped off the tour with a visit to the Eiffel Tower!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down for us was approaching Mt St Michel from a distance and coming closer and closer, then walking up what seemed like hundreds of stairs to our rooms and to the cathedral. I got up early in the morning, in the dark, and used my phone's flashlight to find my way to the cathedral to witness the nuns and monks chanting during morning Laudes. It was amazing."

Louisa

Niskayuna, NY

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour, having done "The Best of Venice, Florence and Rome" in 2016 with tour guide Alfio. Our tour of France was just as wonderful as our tour of Italy. Our guide, Patrick, was able to create the perfect blend of group time together and time when he would "set us free". The "little extras" that he offered: afternoon treats after a long tour, spontaneous wine tasting/cider sampling at the hotel, a personal bonus tour of the the Latin Quarter, were much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, some big and some small: - Spending the night on Mont St. Michel and being able to attend morning service before sunrise. -Visiting Normandy and spending the day with local guide Dale Booth. -Learning about French culture and history and seeing how people lived throughout the ages."

Peggy

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderfully organized and took care of all the details. The Rick Steve's Co. experience eliminated unnecessary waiting to enter events. Our group of seven really appreciated the efficiencies.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far, our day spent with the guide at the Normandy Beaches. The stories and history that he provided really set the scene for us."

Nancy

Bemidji, MN

Tour: 10/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again the troupe at Rick Steves has crafted an excellent tour which encompasses the highlights and history of "Paris and the Heart of France" by deftly combining the metro, museums, & magnificent medieval sites into a memorable experience. Because of the expertise and people skills of our guide and local experts, the culture and wonders of this part of the world were unlocked for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MONT ST. MICHEL: standing on the ramparts in the quiet of the evening (after the "other tourists" receded), watching the tide come creeping closer & up to the stone walls of this medieval fortress; trodding these winding streets from pilgrims & prisoners of past progress....attending the Abbey service in the early light. I was unexpectedly moved by expert D Day guide Dale deliver heart-rending tales of the grit & gore of the beach assaults, putting a human face on Hollywood glory wars of yore."

Janet

Shorewood, IL

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great introduction to the RS approach to travel and I loved every single day! Traveling with a tour guide as experienced as Rebecca made every aspect of this tour easy...all we had to do was relax and be "in the moment". I will definitely travel with RS again and again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial where more than 9,000 US military heroes are buried. We were there on a cold, rainy afternoon and had the privilege of witnessing the flag being lowered as Taps played. The flag was presented to a veteran who was there with his family. The entire experience of Normandy was incredibly moving...words fail me beyond "Wow"."

Nancy Jean

Shorewood, IL

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first overseas tour I have ever taken and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Looking at taking the Best of Italy tour September 2019!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments...#1 seeing Toulouse-Lautrec's painting at the Louvre and #2 visiting Mont St Michel. Both breathtaking!"

Timothy

Kalkaska, MI

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, overall, was outstanding, I just needed more time at Normandy, one day is not enough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beaches of Normandy."

Cherie

Acampo, CA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn't think that we could ever surpass our 2016 RS Heart of Italy tour, but our France tour did! We fell in love with France: the people, the food, the history, the culture, and the architecture were all marvelous! This tour really gave us a feel for France- Paris of course with the art and café culture, plus the French countryside and medieval villages. We were able to appreciate so many different regions and enjoyed the food and drink specific to each.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the morning prayer service with the monks at the abbey on Mont St Michel, then exiting to be greeted by the most breathtaking sunrise...WOW! A once in a lifetime moment. I felt a connection to all of the pilgrims that have come to the Mont for the past 1000 years."

Sarah

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 09/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WE had an incredible guide who was vey engaging in every way. Our local tour guides were also awesome. Each site we visited was breathtaking. A great travel agenda!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time on Mont St. Michael was so moving. Every moment and especially spending the night on the island."

Nina

Hamden, CT

Tour: 09/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everywhere we went weather it was a quaint countryside cafe or the louvre in Paris, I not only felt welcomed and accepted by the locals, I also felt like I belonged in France. I was excited to wake up every day to experience a new town with new friendly people to meet. Almost everyone we talked to spoke English which was a huge relief. I now know why people say Paris is the most magical place in the world, and I am so happy to witness the magic in person!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest wow factor of my trip was experiencing the French culture. I was amazed how happy and friendly everyone was, and that the French focus on living a happy life filled with good friends, good food, and good wine. I noticed stores closed around 7 pm, giving more time to spend with loved ones, and the waiters get paid salary versus a low hourly wage. Linda told us about the healthcare and social security, by the time she was done I wanted to pack my bags and move to France!"

Mary Ellen

Orchard Park, NY

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, overall. What attracted me in the first place was the wonderful itinerary. Each spot was so carefully chosen and all were so special. I would highly recommend this tour (and exploring other options as well). Nice mix of highlights. Not to many castles or cathedrals, for instance. Nice group size. We were able to travel well together, and socialize nicely as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was definitely Mont-Saint-Michel--only because it is so distinctive. Going to the early morning service in the chapel was mystical. I have never experienced anything like that! It is definitely a place that cannot be appreciated unless you stay over night."

Deborah

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. We had so many interesting experiences and a nice balance of free time so we could explore on our own. We are already picking out another Rick Steve's tour for 2019.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was the stay on Mount Saint Michel, an amazing experience, but really the whole tour was a wow moment."

Susan

Eagan, MN

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a delightful tour full of great sites, history, interesting stories and a great tour group. Antoine, our guide was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a perfect day to visit Normandy beach. It was moving and beautiful."

Linda

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was carefully organized to give us a wide variety of experiences during the eleven days. We enjoyed the chateaus, the wine tasting, the medieval castle being built today using 13th century techniques, lunch outdoors, the lovely Loire Valley. The plan for eating together for one half of the dinners and being responsible for our own lunches works well. We felt confident in our guide's directions and knew that we could count on his directions and support as needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The easy favorite was the time spent at Mont St. Michel. It is a stunning place, so peaceful, and so beautiful! The plan to arrive in late afternoon, then have dinner and spend the night inside the abbey was great. We were able to walk around the abbey before dinner and get acquainted with the many walls, steps, etc. that drew us in. The local guide that shared her knowledge of the place with us in the morning was quite good. The only negative was being beset by mosquitoes while eating."

George

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Compared to other RS Tours I've been on this one, while very good, was not as outstanding as, say Turkey was. Maybe it is Europe fatigue on my part. For example, Notre Dame de Paris didn't blow me away. An after-tour visit to Chartres was more impressive and complimented with the Middle Ages coloration found in St. Aignan Church near-by.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As experienced before, there is a wow for the members of the group. I applaud RS for bringing together such good people including the tour guide and driver. Not a dud to be found! Then there is a wow for each and every professional who guided our experience. Antoine A+. Especially Jessica at Mont St. Michel A+ The experience wow and something that sets RS aside was our visit to Chateaux de Selles sur Cher. A beautiful setting for a wine tasting hosted by a passionate owner. Unique!"

Mark

Eagan, MN

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have never been on any guided tour before (other than a day tour). We did have some expectation due to the platitudes that my wife sister and husband had on previous tours with R.S. We had a great time and would not have picked up the level of historical details had we traveled to the same locations alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Normandy!"

Delmas

Rome, GA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed both the big city experience of Paris and the many small towns we visited. There was a lot to see on the tour and our guide, Antoine, did a great job of showing us the sights and explaining the history and politics of France. I had always heard that French people were unfriendly, but that was not our experience. This was a great tour with many sights to see and wonderful food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour had so many wow moments. Mont St. Michel was an incredible place. Chateau de Chenonceau was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Paris really exceeded my expectations. As a veteran and a history buff the Normandy D-day beaches were a big bucket list for me. I really enjoyed the day we spend there."

Mavis

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the diversity of experiences that we had on the tour. From Paris to the construction of the 13th century castle, it all was so interesting. I hadn't expected to like the Normandy day as much as I did. It was very informative and sobering. The participants were all very compatible (as usual).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I opened my bedroom window of the hotel on Mount St. Michel and saw that I had a perfect view of the cathedral, I was overcome. It was an awesome experience!"

Claudia

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have toured with other organizations and by ourselves using the RS guidebooks. The quality of this tour was far superior in every way. Our guide was a very special man who was obviously interested in our learning about his country. He was knowledgeable, energetic, kind, well versed in the subject matter and attuned to the needs of our group. The itinerary was very well planned. We were able to see a wide variety of sites without moving at an exhausteping pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Monet Garden."

Peter

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day and location offered something beautiful to see and wonderful to learn about. I did not expect to learn so much on the tour. Our guide, Antoine, brought French history and current politics to life for us, and the local guides were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the night at Mt. Ste Michel, closely followed by the D-Day Beaches day."

Steve

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour met or exceeded our expectations and experience (17 day Italy 2013).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Steve: Amboise Chateau du Clos Luce'. Guedelon. Linda: Giverny & Amboise Chateau du Clos Luce'."

Brenda

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

IT was my first RS tour and it exceeded all expectations.The accommodations, food, sites and people were all first class. Michaelanne took exceptional care of us.She went to great lengths to ensure each person had a great experience and was well care for. Her knowledge of the country and the sites was impressive. I especially loved the bus rides when she would give us so much background and history. I now have a love and appreciation for the country of France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting outside on the grounds of the Chateau for the wine and cheese tasting. The setting and the experience was magical."

Joanne

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The French experience was superb -- we enjoyed it as much as we did the Italy 17-day tour a few years ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mont Ste. Michele stay was No. 1 WOW, for its surreal, unusual beauty and as many have said, the climb in the early morning to hear the nuns sing. But I didn't cry at Mont Ste. Michele. That happened in the little church in Normandy, hearing about the heroism and suffering. The stained glass in Bourges also moved me. Many WOWS to share, but those were the most emotional ones."

Lynn

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From our well-versed tour guide to a well-planned itinerary and well-located accommodations, this was a terrific trip. It was a nice balance of city and country, history, culture, and lifestyle. The way the days were divided between group and individual time allowed for guidance when appropriate and exploration on our own. I appreciated the roominess on the bus, our great driver team (Anne and Matt) with their personalized cabin service, and the expert on-site guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset over the incoming tide at Mont St Michel. Twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower our last night in Paris. Sorry, I had two!!"

Larry

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. The trip was well planned and well executed. The guide was knowlegble, intelligent, and very patient when a tour member needed extra assistance. Our drivers were top notch, both as drivers and as friends and aides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing at the water's edge on Omaha beach right after our fantastic guide lectured us on D-Day's action there."

Douglas

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. I liked the limited group size because it allowed us to get to know everybody. This made it easier to pair up with other people for meals or off-tour travel and to share the experiences of the day. This tour was a good mix of Paris and smaller towns. I enjoyed seeing some of the less touristy areas of Bourges, for example.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved staying on Mont Saint Michel. I just never expected to stay at such a magical place. I was also amazed at the beauty of the Sainte Chapelle stained glass. Being surrounded by it was breathtaking."

Ann

Alameda, CA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience in the small church during the Normandy day brought the war down to human terms and was the most emotionally moving time on the trip."

Julie

Lexington, VA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped it would be, and everything I expected from Rick Steves (it was my second RS tour). I especially appreciated the lessons in getting around Paris, which enabled me to enjoy time on my own during and after the tour. And then outside Paris, I liked visiting places on and off the beaten path. I picked this tour of France because I wanted to experience Paris, the Normandy D-Day sites, and the Bayeaux Tapestry; I enjoyed all that and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are two: Mont St-Michel: Before dawn, in the dark, climbing the ancient stone staircases up and up and up to the entrance to the abbey to attend the service by the nuns and monks. Otherworldly. Normandy: Crying in the church at Angoville au Plain as I listened to our expert guide and storyteller Dale Booth tell us of the people whose lives intertwined there during the D-Day fighting."

James

Blandon, PA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th Rick Steves' tour. Our experience with all the Rick Steves' tours have always been positive. The Paris & the Heart of France Tour exceeded our highest expectations. The sights on the tour were breathtaking and the other tour members were a delight to spend time with. We cannot say enough positive things about this tour and Rick Steves' tours in general.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was when we were approaching Mont St Michel. This has been a place that I have wanted to visit and experience for many years. Just seeing the abbey rise up out of the mud flats was exhilarating. Since we stayed overnight on Le Mont, we were able to experience Mont St Michel without the crowds. It was a magical experience. Once again, Rick Steves' Tours exceeded our expectations."

Jeffrey

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was wonderful. MichaelAnn was as attentive and knowledgeable as we could want. She always encouraged us to explore just a bit out of our comfort zone, which we ended up loving! She was a large part of the reason that this trip will go down in our memories as one of the best ever! The sights were amazing. Mont St. Michel and Giverny were some of our favorites. The Normandy beaches were the reason we booked this tour. Dale, our Normandy guide was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy Beaches were the "wow" moment for us! Dale brought history alive for us in a way we never imagined! His knowledge was amazing!"

Margaret

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent! I am writing for John Lefebvre also. We enjoyed what we saw, what we did, what we learned and what we ate. The group got along well and we were all enthusiastic for our days' adventures. Michaelanne is an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable and engaging. We really enjoyed ourselves and came away with the ability to take care of ourselves in France (in Paris an extra four days with no trouble communicating and exploring).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Normandy and D-Day excursion. I European history and World War II in college and this was my first time visiting. It was extremely emotional and put reality into what I had studied so very long ago. The local tour guide was incredible. The church at Angoville-au-Plain had me in tears."

Sylvia

Plymouth, WI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our September 2018 tour of Paris & the Heart of France was amazing. Our guide Marie was outstanding, and the local guides were nothing short of exceptional. All details were well organized, and efficiently and effectively communicated, both prior to and upon arrival in France. As a corporate meeting planner, I understand and appreciate the details that go into planning and executing a successful tour, and I have to congratulate the entire Rick Steves staff for your thoroughness and expertise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is not possible for me to identify one Wow moment, as there were three activities/locations that were equally impactful to me. The beaches of Normandy & American Cemetery, the morning prayer service at Mont St-Michel and Monet's Gardens at Giverny. Marie's history lessons and background to prepare us for each visit, plus our outstanding guide for the Beaches and Cemetery of Normandy significantly added to my appreciation of these historical sites."

Jonathan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip. Good variety of activities. Enjoyed time in Paris, but, also, enjoyed days outside Paris. We definitely saw places that we would not have seen if we were traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for the trip when we first saw Mount St. Michel. It looked just like the pictures I had seen for over 50 years. It was great spending the night there because the crowds left and we could explore at our own pace."

Carole

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time with very good guides and a very nice group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed the wine tasting, our trip to Mont St. Michel, and the tour of Normandy."

Brian

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Good. Thought we tried to cover too much too quick. Would extend the tour and cover less day to day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No real "wow" moment. Although "Wow" moment might be that we had 1 server for each of our meals. And no wine!!!. One server took a long time to serve each table with 28 total folks. Meals were not good."

Susan

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great trip! I enjoyed all parts of it. It was good to be in Paris again. We had done the one week in Paris Rick Steves tour four years ago in February. So we looked forward to much better weather this time and got it. We got to enjoy some of the gardens Paris is known for. Having never been anywhere else in France, this trip gave us an opportunity to see some regions of the country and to experience France with the locals of those regions including food and drink preferences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That has to be Giverny. It did rain on us but the gardens were still beautiful and very special. I enjoyed seeing Monet's house too, but the gardens were a really special treat. I would have loved more time there. I didn't get to see the rest of the town."

Judy

Brookings, SD

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, the highlights included a great guide, Marie, and great traveling companions. Rick Steve's attracts veteran travelers who are fun to share new experiences with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a gardener, I have to say Monet's gardens at Giverny. Mont St. Michel was a close second."

Denise

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoying meeting new people and learning history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise wine tasting!"

Barry

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, it was a good experience. I learned a lot about France and it's history. It just felt somewhat intense or not as relaxed as I would have liked. I would have appreciated a little more free time and a chance to enjoy the good life or whatever one associates with France. I would have liked to have taken a cooking class and to have learned a little more about French food. Your tours are a little heavy on religion, churches, and cathedrals. With that said, it was still very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I had one on this particular trip."

Stephen

Richboro, PA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time exploring France. Our tour group was great and Marie was great in leading us in our adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We keep trying to pick our wow moment and have concluded that all of our moments were great. Interacting with all of the people we met during our trip was really our favorite wow moment."

Mary

Windsor, ON

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Please read the survey completed under #FRH091418 for my complete response.

Don

Windsor, ON

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time with a great group of fellow travellers. Our guides, both local and tour were wonderful with excellent English skills. Our driver was personable, excellent English skills and knowledgeable about the area. The sites offered on this tour were all of great interest. We particularly enjoyed the balance between programmed activities and free time. Your advice to arrive a day or two early to adjust our body clocks was well advised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mary was ecstatic with her Mt. Saint Michael experience. Don was very awed by the art in the Musee D'Orsay and the lesson in reading stained glass windows."

Nancy

Troy, MI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really loved the entire trip! We were able to visit all the places that we wanted to see and Marie gave us the "Rick Steve's" extra touch with her knowledge of the culture, arts, and each area that we visited. We loved the little extras such as the cheese, macaroons, coffee, and other special stops that we were able to experience. We also enjoyed being able to spend time in most locations to explore on our own. The entire trip was truly a special experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard one to choose. My favorite stop was Mont Ste Michel and the ability to stay there overnight,walk the empty streets at night and wake up to the bells of the abbey. My husband enjoyed the D-Day beach experience so much that we want to go back and visit more of it later. However, the small touches were also memorable and made the day special. I will always remember the cheese and fruit that Marie provided as we walked through the Paris market."

Susan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steves' tour and it was great experience as usual. We were kept quite busy but there was much to see and experience so I appreciated the pace. We received a taste (more ways than one!) of many provinces around Paris. There is no way we could have experienced that on our own in such a short time. So I really liked the choices of sights, destinations and experiences besides the expert guidance of guide, Marie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many incredible moments - L'Orangerie, Mont St. Michel, D-Day beaches, croissants in Normandy. But the Wow moment for me was Giverny! After all these years of seeing & loving Monet's lily pond pictures in museums everywhere, I found myself standing on the bridge in his garden!!!! There was the lily pond and willows!!!"

Suzanne

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Antoinne, our guide, made the experience very enjoyable and informative. Other members were helpful and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The destinations most enjoyed were Mont St. Michel, the Guedelion Castle being built in Burgundy using original methods, and the Giverny Gardens of Monet (followed by a tour of his paintings at the L'Orangerie on our own). The day spent in Lower Normandy and on the beaches will be unforgettable! We were very impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the French people."

Michelle

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paris and the Heart of France is a wonderful tour. There is a good mix of big city and small town sites. We especially liked the walking tours in Paris and the ease of entry into the churches and museums. Staying overnight on Mont-Saint-Michel was a highlight, as was the day touring the D-Day sites in Normandy. As always, we enjoyed meeting other tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow"moment was attending the early morning lauds service at the abbey on Mont-Saint-Michel. It was a once in a lifetime experience -- one that we will not forget. We were also grateful that Antoine guided our way during this optional event."

Katherine

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th tour and we love this style of traveling! Our guide Antoine oriented us to each town giving historical information as well as practical details about places to visit and eat. We had easy group access to many of the major sights in each location and also free time to explore on our own from our centrally located hotels. We relaxed with the transportation and hotel logistics taken care of for us! Most important, we enjoyed the friendly and positive travel companions!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were surprisingly WOWED by the Guedelon castle visit! Seeing how castles were built in the 12th century prepared us for our visits to other castles and cathedrals. We were able to appreciate the work involved in building these amazing structures. Hiking up the hill in the dark to the Mont. St. Michel abbey for AM Matins sung by nuns and priests and returning to our room for the AM sunrise was definitely a memorable moment!"

Janice

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves Tour and it was everything we expected and more. It was truly a cultural experience, incorporating the arts, architecture, history, and culinary treats to top it off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a "wow" moment for me. It was a splendid combination of the big city energy and delights of Paris and the charm of smaller, more intimate locations like Mont St-Michel. The itinerary had wonderful balance and flow."

Lloyd

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After traveling in France and England on our own for a week before the tour, it was nice to have the excellent planning and guidance that a Rick Steves tour offers. We could relax and be taken care of. Our task from then on was to be a good tourist and be as helpful as possible to the guide, being up on time, being gracious to our fellow travelers, and learning to be temporary Europeans. Our fellow tour members were exceptional. The best we've ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was Utah Beach. I had heard that it a highlight and it really was. The paratrooper museum was amazing. I did not expect the collection to be that extensive and I was moved at seeing personal artifacts. It made their stories come to life. The logjam briefing felt real. The actor must have had veterans critique his work because it felt real. The C-47 ride was very well done and gave you an idea of what the soldiers went thru."

Kristin

Brockport, NY

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Antoine is a great guide. There were a few times when we could have used a little more time in a place, even just 15-30 minutes. This applies to all the castle tours - just a few more minutes would have allowed a more complete self tour. The Normandy and Omaha beach tours really could have been a 2 day tour, there is so much to see and so much information. Also a tour through the Louvre to see the highlights would have been great. Overall, fantastic tour, it was my first!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's garden but also loved the Normandy and Omaha beach tours."

Bettie

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I had hoped it would be and more. This was my first trip to France but I had made two other Rick Steve's tours(( Italy and Scandanavia). The day tour guides on this trip were incredibly well informed and experienced. The hotels we stayed in were very nice and the food gave us a chance to try real French cuisine. However, for me the best part was our tour guide, Antoine. His knowledge, passion and integrity gave the tour so much texture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was our tour guide's personal family experience in WWII. Antoine made the point that there were big differences between the German army personnel and Nazis. It is important not to assume that all Germans during the war were Nazis. I felt like he did a great job explaining complicated French history. I loved every minute of Antoine's oral narrative. Antoine is a guide that lives the Rick Steve's philosophy of travel."

Mitchell

East Jordan, MI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary, great balance of scheduled time and free time to explore, Great support by our tour guide Patrick and driver Ludwick both in suggesting destinations and how to find them and in helping out with problems that arose such as help in using the french postal service and flawlessly arranging rooms, meals, and activities. I think that the tour was well organized, the hotels and restaurants were well chosen and convenient for activities and the staffs were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many, walking my friend to mass in the predawn at St. Michel, the boat tour on the seine, the caramel chestnut crepe in the sidewalk cafe around the corner from our Paris hotel all leave memories, but the peak was the flag ceremony in the american cemetery at Omaha beach."

Paul

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Patrick is a very knowledgeable guide and I would welcome him to lead any future tours that I will take with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time spent at Mont St. Michel. Very unique Abbey and the village is quaint."

Mark

Wilmington, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to the hype. We avoided the crowds, had great local guides, and the stops were great with lots of personal time. Our guide, Patrick took care of us, kept us on schedule, had a few pleasant surprises and wonderful evening soirée. The coach was very comfortable and our driver Ludwig was a master.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, the joke on the bus was how are they going to top this one. My favorite was the castle at Guedelon. But the view of Mont. St. Michel at night takes your breath away. And the somber state of heroism at the Normandy beaches is unequaled."

Peggy

Wilmington, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great time I had. I really liked the free time we had to explore on our own . I have been on tours before but you are very restricted to the itinerary and this was a pleasant surprise. experiences like wine and goat cheese tasting, the Guédelon castle are very special. Coach was very comfortable with plenty of room to move about or have your own seat. Historian guides in some of the cities were also special. Would like to spend more time in Bourges however !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a very hard question, so much to see but Inwould probably have to say Mont St Michel. The rooms were nice and the dinner meal was out of this world. Patrick our guide was so special on our trip and he made the day great with free time, and an impromptu social hour at one of the rooms with a balcony. Everyone had a great time there!"

Sandra

Hopkins, MN

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our tour! I was a little hesitant to travel in a group of 28 but I was impressed how well that group was handled by our guide. I appreciated a schedule and the emphasis on following it. It was good to have some flex time most days to be free of the group. Everyday was an adventure as we experienced locations, history, people and food. I loved not having to the the planning and arrangements.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the Champs -Elysees with crowd of tourists, Parisians, dogs and bikes and no cars. We were so fortunate to be in Paris the Sunday of no cars and our guide Patrick made it available to us."

Terry

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking a boat ride on the Seine at night and seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up."

Donna

West Salem, WI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was fantastic and the bus driver so friendly. My husband and I especially liked the small hotels located in the heart of the town so we could walk the area and get a real understanding of the culture. The other tour members were so easy to talk with and we felt we had made friends in such a short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be Mont St. Michel - it was almost a fairy tale world. Arriving when we did and spending the night there was perfect timing."

Kaylynn

Charlevoix, MI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! The trip destinations, the hotels and restaurants were all very good,. We became friends with many of the other people on our tour and Patrick our tour guide, was fantastic! He was so knowledgeable, agreeable, and his humor all added to make our trip beyond our grandest dreams. Last but not least, was our bus driver , Ludwig. He added so much to our trip with is insight, and participation in the tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Saint Michele , I awoke early and made my way up to Mass with the Monks and Nuns. Amazing, and their singing with the acoustics was so beautiful! After the 1/2 hour service, the view from the top of the Abby as the sunrises, is breathtaking!!!!"

Nancy

East Jordan, MI

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect blend of structured time and free time, tourist sites and neighborhood walks. Tour was just the right length. Our guide, Patrick, made the tour outstanding. He was informative, entertaining and responsive to the individual needs of our group, especially to our friend who walks slowly with a cane. The accommodations were as we expected of European hotels. They all had their charms but we especially enjoyed the Lenox Montparnasse in Paris where the staff was personable and very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all wonderful, but walking down the Champs Elysees on "no cars" day was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Richard

Hopkins, MN

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was or first larger tour and we had apprehensions about being in a large number of people. As it turned out we enjoyed meeting new folks from all over the US, discovering how many common interests we had, and making new friends. The hotels, food, bus, and tours were superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday there as a new "Wow" moment. From the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, to Mont Saint Michel, to the beaches of Normandy...........all wow."

Melissa

Uxbridge, MA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first organized tour. We loved the group dynamic, the ability to see so many places in the time frame, and the chance to see some "off the beaten path" places. We made great friends and discovered some rare gems!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying overnight in Mont St. Michele. It was both a "wow" and an "oops"...The opportunity to be there with minimal crowds was amazing! Our rooms were small but fabulous because of the views! The shared meal was probably one of the worst we had. Much too ambitious for the quality of the restaurant. Many of us agreed that a simpler meal would have sufficed."

Dorothy

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour--very well organized, the schedule was adhered to, there was enough time allowed at most of the sights, our guides were very knowledgeable, the participants were all friendly and considerate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments for a variety of reasons: most amazing--Chenonceau, most unexpected--Guedelon was fascinating, most relaxing--Giverny, most moving--Omaha Beach and American Cemetery."

Ken

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. No issues, no complaints, only good things to say.

Deborah

Flowood, MS

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good variety of destinations. Congenial traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the craftsmen we saw working at Guédelon"

Jamie

Plattsburgh, NY

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. The itinerary was well-designed and Chris provided insight into French history and culture, which was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St. Michel-seeing it for the first time and being present for the grande maree. Also, visiting the wine and cheese tasting, Chenonceau and Giverny were highlights."

Kimberly

North Oaks, MN

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chris lead a fabulous tour throughout France. We hit so many 'must-do's' and 'must-see's' and then some. The itinerary was fast paced yet manageable. It would be so easy for us, as a couple, to spend a full day at any one of the sites, so to keep moving meant we got the fortune of so much cultural exposure! Having down-time/freetime built into the schedule is also much appreciated. Great tour that we would highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many ... Mount St Michel at high tide is pretty awesome tho' ; ) and attending the morning vespers was truly a unique experience!"

Sue A.

Foresthill, CA

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in France and we covered a lot of history. I have to admit I have toured enough castles and cathedrals for a while. We went on to a second tour after this one and saw a few more. The only negative of the experience was the distance from the bus to the hotels in several places. We have taken several Rick Steves tours and know the expectations, but I thought some of these treks were more than we had ever experienced on other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the Normandy beaches were an important part of the trip. I wish we had more time there. Beside Normandy, I loved the Guedelon Castle. I was fascinated by the medieval methods of construction and the amazing amount of research required to make it authentic. Mont St. Michel was a treat as well."

Jenna

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was very informative and we really enjoyed our bus drivers they were outstanding, helpful and courteous. I think they were from Belgium. We will cherish our time and experience there with awe and fond memories. Second trip and we are getting ready for our third with Rick Steve's.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont Saint Michel was definitely most incredible "Wow" moment. Flanders field was a time for reflection and honor of those that served. These two were our favorite and most profound. Monet gardens were everything I had hoped for and more. Truly a highlight!!"

Theresa

Brighton, CO

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was overwhelmed by all the stuff we saw.. I was a bit scared to be in a another county having never left the states. My husband had lost his compression hand piece and we went into a medical supply place and they would have been able to replace it had we not been leaving in 2 days..The store man was most delightful knowledgeable and helpful. Funny note... We had spiders in one of our rooms and trying to explain to the bar attendant that I needed a can of raid.. That was a hoot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Utah and Omaha beech,. On sacred ground with the weather being cold and Rainey was a very special day ."

Lou

Redding, CA

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide Michaelann was well organized and well informed. She always responsive and helpful to participants. There was reasonable of structured and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mont St Michel and Chambord."

John

Columbus, IN

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Educational about France and its people. Normandy was humbling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience at Normandy-in a strange way it was a "wow" time."

Barbara

Arvada, CO

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1-Giverny 2-Mont St Michel"

Nancy

Maria Stein, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint! I had studied France and the French language many years ago so I have always wanted to go to the Paris and the Loire Valley. All the landmarks that I had envisioned in my mind finally came alive when I saw them for real!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Being atop Notre Dame cathedral in the rain with the gargoyles was memorable! Also, climbing to the abbey on Mont St. Michel in the early morning to hear the nuns and monks sing a cappella, then walking out to watch the sun rise over the mudflats was beautiful."

Carolyn

Gillette, WY

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves' Tour experience in Paris (PAR042416, EUR091017, FRH082818), and each had its unique elements or different perspectives on the same sights. There was some familiarity and a more in depth understanding. It was great to stay in and learn about other neighborhoods of Paris. The trip to sites beyond Paris was like a separate tour in itself. Our group came together in new ways when we were on the bus. I loved the sites, food, hotels, and above all the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite of my many "wow" moments was all about Mont St-Michel. From our first glimpses on the bus as we approached, to our backward last visages as we drove away, it was spectacular! Such a remarkable site to visit, climb, explore, climb, learn about, climb, and we spent the night there. Thanks to the sunny morning, we saw the shadow of the Abby on our guided tour. How wonderful!"

John

Kenton, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day in Normandy. The guide was outstanding."

Mariane

Columbus, IN

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Informative about France and its people>

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monet's Gardens"

Carrie

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful! We learned so much and saw much more than we could have on our own. This was our first Rick Steves tour, but it won't be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was Sainte-Chapelle. The stained glass was breathtaking. For my husband it was Mont-Saint-Michel. Both sites invoked a feeling of reverence."

Laurie

Kenton, OH

Tour: 08/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed my RS tour because we travel with a small group and as the days pass, we get to know our fellow travelers. Because the group is small we are able to fit comfortably on a tour bus, stay overnight in small centrally located hotels, dine together in local restaurants, and enjoy neighborhood walking tours. The tour is led by a seasoned guide who is able to provide direction and advice. What appeals to me most about the RS experience is the feeling of being immersed in the local culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"our first close up view of Mont St-Michel.... no, it was definitely Monet's garden....but I really enjoyed seeing the construction site of medieval Guedelon....and the river-straddling 16th century Chateau de Chenonceau was so beautiful....hmm, but the group dinners were fun and the D-Day tour was so informative....could I just say that every day provided a "wow" moment?"

Evangeline

Cerritos, CA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent choice of destinations! Excellent tour guides. All hotels had excellent locations. The quality of the hotel was fantastic except for Hotel Bellevue in Amboise and Hotel B-Montmartre in Paris. At Hotel B-Monmartre, two of us in the tour group fell on the stairs in the breakfast area next to the toaster. I forgot to tell the Marie about it but I told the front desk staff. He said"We will take your comment into consideration." I felt that my complaint went straight to the trash.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many it is hard to pick one. The French countryside, Bourges, the chateaus in Loire Valley, first sight of Mont St.-Michel, Giverny. Wow! D-Day was moving and so worth visiting."

Peter

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This our first Rick Steve's tour and it was very good. We saw many wonderful places and it was very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy beaches."

Jean

Harrisville, NH

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie was very caring, wanted all of us to have a positive experience. She is very knowledgeable, amazing with historical information. The group meals were not up to the standard of my last trip with RS. (Sicily).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The American Cemetery. It is more beautiful, serene, and spiritual than I had envisioned from what I had read and seen. A most peaceful place to spend eternity. God bless all of those very special persons."

Karen

North Salt Lake, UT

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chambord Château & Château de Chenonceau"

John

Warthen, GA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgeable guide. Learned a lot about ww2. No previous knowledge or interest in this war.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View of and from Mont Saint- Michel."

Jan

Oakdale, CA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Busy, with lots to see and do. Great trip, And Marie was a wonderful, knowledgeable and well organized guide. This made for a great overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was eating dinner with the view of the water coming in and surrounding the island of Mt St Michel, amazing."

John

Harrisville, NH

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide (Marie) was helpful and kept us organized and on time. Nice locations to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time in Paris, American cemetery."

Ray

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything came off without a hitch, very well run, pleasant guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sing along on the bus was a lot of fun."

James

Burbank, CA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

95% of the trio was great. Bus, tour guide, hotels, and food was great..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Normandy..would have liked more time there.."

Christine

Surrey, BC

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour, especially our tour guide Marie who brought so much enthusiasm to the trip. She was well informed, organized, efficient and fun. Vim was our bus driver and kept us safe and on time. We have taken tours with other companies and found this one to be equivalent to the top rated tours. Local guides were a wealth of information and brought gave us an in depth picture of the facilities and surroundings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were taken aback by the grandness and spaciousness of central Paris, starting at Thr Louvre through to the Eiffel Tower. Also seeing Mont St. Michel as we approached the island."

Paula

Warthen, GA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, our tours are outstanding. Marie was well-organized, prepared many maps and handouts for us, had high expectations for our making the most of each moment we had on this tour. Having the Paris museum pass to use during our "free" time was especially helpful. The local guides added so much to my experience. Their passion for their town, community, country history, etc. and their enthusiasm for sharing with "visitors" was humbling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was expecting Mount Saint Michele to be my wow moment. This was one of my reasons we chose this trip. It did not disappoint and touched me deeply. The D-Day entire day with such a passionate and knowledgeable local guide provided me many wow moments...especially as we ended this emotional day by experiencing Taps at the American Cemetery. The respect and dignity I observed was overwhelming. Monet's home and gardens were WOW,WOW, WOW."

Robert

Chestertown, MD

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The first few days in Paris were a disappointment. Paris a disappointment? Yes. I loved our neighborhood and hotel, but our two walking tours in the mornings were less than satisfying. Marie's walking tour was OK, but no tour of the Louve or Notre Dame was a disappointment. I felt misled by the advance schedule. The walking tour the second day was terrible... I'm sorry to say. "Touring" St. Eustache cathedral as they prepared for a funeral felt intrusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moments items that were NOT on the tour. I loved the Paris Palais Garnier Opera house. Loved the Parisian Pastry shops! Loved the Eiffel Tower! Loved the Monet Water Lily paintings... and the gardens we eventually visited. A better job with Paris might have left me with more WOW moments."

Nancy

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour covered more sites and we talked to more local guides than I thought possible. The pace was energetic but doable. It was a good mix of chateaus, cathedrals,and current projects such as the building at Guedelon. It gave me a new perspective on life in NW France and Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the first rays of light coming through the stained glass windows of the San Chapelle chapel. Wow!"

Thomas

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Paris & the Heart of France" tour was everything I had eagerly anticipated. A typical day involved a good dose of moderate walking, guided-touring, and free time. Our guide gave helpful suggestions regarding eating and using our the free time. For me, the tour was paced just right. (I'm in my mid 60's and am in good shape physically; I'm used to walking 3-4 miles daily.) During bus travel, our guide took advantage of the time to provide lots of info on France, the local region, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not really a "wow" moment guy. I mostly just "drank-in" each moment as it arrived."

Joseph

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour for the first time visitor to France or for a return visitor. We covered the basics of how to make sense of the extensive metro system in Paris from buying a ticket to finding the right track to changing trains. We also spent time with local guides who were experts in their fields and had in-depth knowledge (and in one case special access) to locations throughout France.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment came not during a tour activity, but during a side trip that we took on our own. We booked tickets to go to the summit of the Eiffel Tower at 8:00 PM so that we could watch the sunset over the city of Paris. We stayed at the summit until just after the first light show. It was really special hearing the gasps from the city below as the lights on the tower started flashing."

Geoffrey

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ou tour experience was fantastic. The itinerary was excellent with enough structure to make sure things kept moving but enough 'on our own' time, allowing us to choose some must-sees. We really like Rick Steves' tours for getting out of the city and seeing beautiful and important sites in the countryside. Since the transportation, hotel, and ticket-purchasing is all done for us, we get to relax and enjoy the experience instead of always thinking about making the next arrangements.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to chose just one. I think driving through the forest surrounding Chambord and then getting the first glimpse of the chateau with all the intricate towers was an amazing moment. In that moment you knew that THIS is a real royal castle."

Joseph Whitner

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour was excellent. A great group, great guide, great lodging and great meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel tower lit up after dinner on our last night with most of our group!"

Connie

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marie was wonderful! She kept things moving and was fun to travel with! I liked the mixture of fun and history and doing things together as well as having free time. My tour buddies were fun and easy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As always, there were so many "wow" moments. It's hard to pick just one! My favorite "wow" moments were standing on Utah Beach in Normandy and being in the American cemetery when the flags were lowered."

Donna

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was amazing. Marie, and our driver Wim, went above and beyond to make sure we had a fabulous trip. We were safe, educated, and entertained at all times. Marie has amazing knowledge and a great personality, which combined with her experience, made her a perfect guide. Our traveling companions were delightful and we were one big family by the end of the tour. The tips for restaurant and shopping along with the orientation tours at each stop were greatly appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many- The Orsay Museum, the Bayeux Tapestry, Monet's Gardens at Giverny...Walking together as a group after our last dinner to see the Eiffel Tower in lights was very special!"

Christine

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 08/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous time. Our guide, Marie, took the time to explain many things about Paris and France. she gave good introductions to the museums in Paris and helped us get their on the bus. She was kind to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The raspberry and apricot jams and the butter we had at our breakfasts. I would go back just for those three things!"

Diane

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 07/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous and exhausting trip!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Paris when they won la Coupe du Monde!!!!!!!!!!!! Then our time in Fougère.....I found the city in France I could live."

Lawrence

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent. That was a combination of a superb guide and a generally excellent tour plan and itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several "wow" moments were related to the visit to Mont St. Michel. While it wasn't a group experience per se, a 7 am visit to the Abbey Church on the top of the mount for a scheduled service, which was suggested by our guide, was certainly a "wow 30+ minutes" if not a moment. In that starkly beautiful setting. To hear the singing, chanting and readings was a truly remarkable and rare experience."

Dorothy

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour! I learned a lot about the people and history of France and I saw so many beautiful and interesting sights. Our tour guide, Virginie, was great. She was very knowledgeable, interesting and easy to listen to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Our tour was in France during the World Cup and the excitement, happiness and pride of the people was something I'll always remember. Guedelon was amazing. It gave a real insight into what went into the building of the castles. I loved the wine and cheese tasting at Selles-sur-Cher. It was so relaxing and informative at the same time. The tide coming in at Mont-Saint-Michel, D-day beaches, Giverny, they were all wow moments."

Leo

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 07/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a grand experience. I had some trepidation in the beginning, but it turned out to be quite groundless. My daughter, who had travelled to France several times and then our guide, Virginie, both erased my fears. The people, countryside, culture, history, cuisine were rich, beautiful and extremely enjoyable. There was just so much to see and soak in. I'm ready to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a tough one. There were several wow moments. To pick one, I'll go with Monet's gardens in Giverny. This surprises me, because I have never fancied myself as an artistic person, but rather unschooled. Though it was crowded, it was also a cloudy day. The colors of the grounds and flowers were rich yet subdued. It was rich, exciting and comforting all at once. Unlike any other gardens I have seen."

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

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