A well-designed tour will always help shield you from energy-sapping crowds, waiting in long lines, and stress. And there's no time this is more important than in the long days of summer! Rick Steves' June–August tour members happily benefit from that — and Europe's best weather, too. Here are 10 raves from travelers who are glad they traveled on a tour last summer…
"There were too many 'wow' moments to pick one, so here three favorites: the gondola ride in Venice on our 50th anniversary, rounding a corner in Florence and coming upon the Basilica di Santa Maria della Fiore and Brunelleschi's Duomo, and lunch at the winery/olive oil farm Poggio della Volara in Umbria while traveling by bus from Florence to Rome."
— Thomas in Aptos, CA
Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days tour
"On our tour, we heard the adjective 'brilliant' from our guide as she described sublime experiences and places. This tour was brilliant, with so many vastly different experiences. I was filled with awe at Blenheim Palace and full of joy at the gorgeous Bodnant Gardens, and amazed at the splendor of all the cathedrals, but at the same time, I will never forget the spiritually inspiring and unforgettable circle of stones at Castlerigg that are 4,500 years old. They invoked such a sense of reverence."
— Rita in Coronado, CA
Best of England in 14 Days tour
"Mont St-Michel! We arrived at 5 p.m. as crowds were leaving. Quaint alley-lit walks throughout the evening (by ourselves), lovely 5-course dinner with the tour group, followed by the WOW jaw-dropping view of the floodlit abbey on the mountain top! I got up early for the monk/nun chant service next morning in the hilltop abbey (with only a dozen monks/nuns, and a dozen tourists). Mont St-Michel is a lifetime overnight family experience that will forever be cherished!"
— Ron in Kirkwood, MO
Paris & the Heart of France in 11 Days tour
"I loved the tour. There was so much to see and do, and it was always amazing. Hiking in the Swiss Alps, riding the cable car to get to the top of the mountains, walking in each cute town. Scenery was outstanding on the whole tour. Seeing the castles in Germany, having dinner outside in great weather. Seeing Vienna, which is stunning. Having free time in Munich to see the art museum. Seeing all the sheep, cows and horses and waterfalls."
— Ann in Staten Island, NY
Best of Germany, Austria & Switzerland in 14 Days tour
"Impossible to pick one WOW…so many great moments. Our guide in Rheinfels Castle singing a haunting love song in the cavern. The witty Nightwatchman Tour in Rothenburg. The hike back to Reutte through the gorgeous forest and mountains. At a cafe in Venice, looking out at the lagoon, watching the sunset, the moonrise, and the lighted boats on the water. The mouth-watering second dinner in Tuscany, our best meal of the trip. The majesty and cruelty of the Colosseum. All WOW in their own way."
— Nicole in Decatur, GA
Family Europe: Amsterdam to Rome in 14 Days tour
"While WOW moments occurred DAILY, if pressed for one, my husband and I truly lost ourselves and experienced that great exhilaration while trekking along the mountain trail across Mt. Blanc. Thankfully, our wonderful Tour Manager advised us ahead of time: 'Remember to STOP, turn around and take it all in!' I did just that. As a result, I am left with vivid memories of the serenity and brilliance of life above the clouds."
— Mary in Jamaica, NY
My Way® Alpine Europe in 12 Days vacation
"It's hard to choose a favorite experience. Walking through ancient ruins (like the Colosseum), on medieval city walls (like Lucca), or exploring the narrow streets — each with their own vibrant sights and sounds — were amazing. And the food!!! I tasted some of the best food ever on this trip, some as part of the meals arranged by the tour, and others recommended in the guidebook. Definitely a few WOW moments there!"
— Robert in Binbrook, ON
Heart of Italy in 9 Days tour
"I was unprepared for my reaction when I opened the doors to our balcony at our hotel in Switzerland. The view was unlike anything I had ever seen or could imagine: the grandeur of the Alps, both in green and stone; the picturesque homes dotting the slopes; the train curving its way up the mountainside; and the cows grazing throughout. It took my breath away."
— Shelley in Portland, OR
Best of Europe in 14 Days tour
"We had a lot of wow moments, but two stand out. One was at the top of the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix. As a dedicated climber and skier for most of my adult life, this was almost a pilgrimage for me. The other was the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct. The aqueduct itself was stunning, but the museum was one of the best I've seen (on par with the best the Smithsonian has to offer). And an overall wow for me was the French people: incredibly nice and kind."
— Dave in Portland, OR
My Way® France in 12 Days vacation
"When the puppies were brought out to us at the sheep farm, squeals of delight were heard from us all! Also, seeing the Highland Cows after our picnic, when a random farmer came by and asked if we wanted to come see them, was such a treat. But best of all was the peacefulness of Iona. The powerful spiritual feeling on that little island that I knew absolutely nothing about before this trip will be my lasting memory."
─ Mary in Fort Worth, TX
Best of Scotland in 10 Days tour