Summertime Raves

A well-designed tour will always help shield you from energy-sapping crowds, time wasted waiting in long lines, and the stress of navigating it all. 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 seven 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

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

"The view from our balcony at our hotel in Switzerland 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

"Ljubljana. What a jewel of a city. Fascinating history, beautiful architecture, young, vibrant population, beautiful gardens and markets and museums, and excellent restaurants. We regularly heard classical music and choirs practicing in rehearsal halls through open windows on our evening walks. Truly magical!"

— Carolyn in Friendswood, TX — Best of the Adriatic in 14 Days tour

Aiguille du Midi gondolas, near Chamonix, France

"While every new village seemed more picturesque than the one before, our biggest 'wow' was Chamonix and Mt. Blanc in the French Alps! Having never seen the Alps 'up close and personal,' I was completely blown away by their breathtaking beauty! I couldn't stop looking up at them in awe for two whole days!"

— Gary in Saco, ME — Best of Eastern France in 14 Days tour

"In Rome, we walked past the Pantheon and listened to a couple local musicians then turned a corner and there was the Trevi Fountain. As a child I loved the song 'Three Coins in the Fountain,' and here I was. My wife and I tossed coins into the fountain over our shoulder. A very magical moment for me."

— John in Vancouver, WA — Best of Europe in 21 Days tour

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

"My biggest WOW moment was hiking at Plitvice Lakes National Park! The waterfalls were gorgeous, and the lake water was crystal clear and ran from deep blue to turquoise green. Really, you could have just left me there all day and I would have been happy to soak in all the beauty and take hundreds of photos."

— Lois in Beaverton, OR — Best of Eastern Europe in 15 Days tour

Manarola (Cinque Terre), Italy

"My 'wow' moment was Cinque Terre and Monterosso. I was absolutely blown away by the area's beauty, its people, and the Mediterranean. I had brought my swimsuit, so after a day of riding the boat from village to village, I went swimming. I don't know what I expected but the SALTY WATER totally surprised me! Memories!"

— Victoria in Yale, OK — Best of Italy in 17 Days tour