Raves About Off-Season Touring

Seven fun ways to experience the best of off-season Europe

We're gearing up for our complete launch of 2019 tour dates on July 19. In the meantime, our popular off-season tours (February–March 2019) are ready for you to book TODAY!

Even with chillier weather, a Rick Steves off-season tour offers the same great indoor attractions (galleries, museums, restaurants), plus lighter crowds and often cheaper airfare. That's a cool bargain.

Use this "raves" page as your early 2019 travel dreamer, where you can connect with more than two dozen money-saving departures spread across seven all-season Rick Steves itineraries: Rome, Venice-Florence-Rome, Heart of Italy, Sicily, Paris, Barcelona-Madrid, and Greece.

Here are seven big raves from travelers who are glad they toured off-season this past year…


"I don't know how I could possibly pick just one WOW moment. Every day there was one right after the other. Our guide was absolutely a big WOW every day. We did so many very special things that I knew I would have missed if I had planned the trip myself. A huge WOW for me were the other travelers on our tour. There isn't anyone on the tour that I wouldn't want to travel with again. What a great group!"

— Jamie in Blacksburg, VA — Feb. 25 Best of Sicily in 11 Days Tour


"Seeing Gaudi's architecture in Barcelona was breathtaking, experiencing an authentic flamenco show in Madrid was fantastic, and our guide singing opera to us at our last dinner truly made this trip one of my favorites! However, my 'wow' was seeing Picasso's Guernica. It was a beautiful moment to see such an amazing painting by one of the master artists of the 20th century."

— Trisha in White Plains, NY — Feb. 18 Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days Tour


"How can I pick just one magic moment? Entering the Colosseum via the Gladiator's gate with few other people in the arena. Walking the quiet back streets in Volterra. Standing cliffside and looking down at the little harbor in Vernazza. Gazing up at the David statue in Florence. The 360-degree view from the tower at our hotel in Florence. Pick one? HA! How can I?"

— Leslie in Beaverton, OR — Mar. 4 Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour


"Since I love to learn, I most enjoyed the narrations that accompanied the tours, including our awesome local guides at Montmartre, the Louvre, Versailles, and the Orsay. And our guide gave us a final wow moment near the Eiffel Tower on our last night, where we toasted one another as the Eiffel Tower sparkled in the background!"

— Marianne in Parker, CO — Feb. 11 Best of Paris in 7 Days Tour


"I'll never forget the day we spent in Monemvasia, hiking around the ruins at the top of 'the Rock' — hip-deep in massive amounts of beautiful flowers. Seeing the harbour far below and the expanse of the Mediterranean Sea was a perfect reward for the long hike up. I felt lucky to be there when everything was lush, green, and full of flowers."

— Gary in Port Coquitlam, BC — Mar. 19 Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days Tour


"Walking into the Colosseum at ground level — coming into the arena as the participants would have — was amazing! We could hear the crowds roar! Also, learning from our guides about ancient and modern Rome made me realize that across the globe, and across time, we are all not that different. We share many common life threads."

— Luke in Indianapolis, IN — Feb. 18 Best of Rome in 7 Days Tour


"I truly enjoyed the cooking workshop and subsequent lunch in Florence. Our entire group was completely engaged in all parts of the cooking process. It was so rewarding to create Italian food at an Italian cooking school, taught by an Italian instructor. Well done!"

— Kitty in New York, NY — Mar. 2 Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days Tour