Hi from Rick: France’s Undeniable Joie de Vivre

This month is a great time to look back on 2023 travels, and to feel thankful for all the amazing experiences we enjoyed this year in Europe.

This spring I ate my way through many of my favorite corners of France: escargot, foie gras, my favorite wines (you should hear me say "Bandol" with my sexy French-wine-expert voice) and called it work! I was with my guidebook co-author and Francophile friend Steve Smith for our annual rendezvous to update our guidebook.

If you're looking back on your own vivid memories from a 2023 Rick Steves tour, we have a great incentive to organize those memories into an online scrapbook — your chance to win a free tour! Every year we give away prizes for the best tour alum scrapbooks…and first prize is always a Rick Steves tour. We're now accepting submissions for our Tour Scrapbook Contest. We get about a hundred entries a year and one of my great joys is helping my staff sort through all the wonderful experiences to choose a winner. So many magic moments, so many great photos, and so many happy faces.

If you traveled with us in 2023 and would like to throw your hat in the ring, create a website scrapbook of your 2023 tour experience and submit your entry by February 29. The odds of winning are pretty good!

By the way, we have plenty of seats available on our 2024 France tours. You can dig into the art, fashion, food, and culture of Paris for a full week, or spend 11 days exploring the heart of France including Paris, Normandy, Mont St-Michel, and the Loire Valley. You can wind your way south from the historic town of Chartres to the French Riviera (where I spent a few days this year) or delve into the vineyards and villages of eastern France enjoying plenty of wine along the way. We also have My Way tours, family tours, and Best of Europe tours that pass through France.

In this month's Tour News, you can learn more about France: Flip through a vivid, day-by-day slideshow of our Loire to the South of France tour, take a stroll with me along Nice's seaside promenade and through its traffic-free old town, read about the magic moments on our France tours from recent tour members, and get to know one of our favorite France guides, Julie Sonveau.

As we head toward winter, I'm feeling thankful for my 2023 travels…and already excited for more great travels in 2024.

Happy travels!



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