This morning we'll drive to the hill town of Les Baux and enjoy sweeping views of the Provençal countryside from atop the ruins of its medieval citadel. (There are so many mammoths depicted that locals have nicknamed it "the cave of 100 mammoths.") No bus. Castle tour, boat ride and wine!". This was dream tour, the perfect guide, really great fellow tourists, and the most beautiful country. That's how it was from start to finish. Now, with the R.S. My husband and I participated in all of the planned activities and meals. Michaelanne was great and we had a very compatible group of travelers. I appreciated the tour guide bus talks that were entertaining, informative, and educational. This is a moderately active tour! The destinations (with one exception) are appropriate for the tour's objective. He was such a competent operator and such a nice man. The tour itinerary was set up well. ", Learned a great deal about France, it's people, history, culture, food and wine. We'll start our morning off visiting France's majestic, astonishingly well-preserved Roman aqueduct: the Pont du Gard. Carcassonne, especially the nighttime view from the old bridge; At our hotel in Arles, I ran into a former colleague from home. She ALWAYS went above and beyond to make sure we were happy, comfortable, and learning as much as possible. This trip has been an experience of a lifetime. Lastly our group was the best..all great travelers. and would lay out the day's plan perfectly. There were many more "wow" moments where Canoeing with our tour buddies and taking each other's photos was so fun. Michaelanne went above and beyond to insure all all a very memorable experience. I loved having the variety of towns and food choices.". Bonus: The wine tasting and the lunch at the Rousillion area.". Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions. The tour was great. rick steves south of france. The markets were amazing and the restaurants were suburb. Awesome fellow travelers and a great guide helped to make this a wonderful trip. Personally I'd scrap the canoe trip and spend the time in Beynac and scrap Le Baux and just go to the light show.". Supplement $775. We were able to participate in a stain glass project, visit an American born performer's chateau, an old fortified walled city, cave art and a sobering visit to Oradour-sur-Glan memorial. This is something I would never have planned on my own.". included meals were excellent and fun! I also love the punctuality. Rick Steves France has a rich history, an impressive infrastructure and a tourism industry trying valiantly to cope with its big crowds. I would travel with her any time. "The light show in Charter-What amazing timing for our tour!". 08.04.2017. It may seem funny, but when our driver Phillipe went a few times around roundabouts so we could see sculptures, it lifted spirits This was an excellent tour. Sleep in Carcassonne. The first was canoeing on the Dordogne. I was thrilled to see the attractions for which I had signed on to the tour: Carcasonne, the Pont du Gard, and Rouffignac Cave. "The 13,000 year old cave paintings at Rouffignac were amazing; Chartres Cathedral was breath-taking; and the memorial at Oradur-sur-Glane was very moving...but I think my "wow" moment was the medieval city of Carcassonne with it's massive impregnable fortifications.". Next,,,WOW for a great tour guide, fellow travelers, places - villages, cities,chateaus and forts, wine, cheese (and baguettes).". "The walk through Oradour-sur-Glane, the peaceful boat trip along the Dordogne outside Sarlat and drinks afterwards in I believe Beynac were memorable. I was very privileged to have seen all that I saw while I was on the tour. "We enjoyed the most every daily tour subject/location that we visited. I just stood in one place and was surrounded by the beauty of his art. Each tour should have a guide like him. The RS formula of of providing orientation at each stop and then offering free time works well for us. It's a 60 to 75-minute train ride from Paris to Chartres, where the tour begins. The visit to the Milandes castle was OK, but I would have preferred dedicating more time to places that were significant to the history of the region. "The cave art and the villages of the Perigord, expecially Sarlat. shown on these massive cave walls was fascinating and emotional! "My favorite wow moment was at the first restaurant we to as a group in Chartres when I tasted the delicious food ( especially the potatoes gratin).". She is one of the best guides we have ever had on our trips. She greeted us each morning with a smile and a Bonjour! Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. 1. The people on the tour were great. My family and I loved it all! It was a total surprise, and a total gem, for me.". We immediately fell in love with Rick's tours and his travel philosophy. "Definitely the Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux de Provence. While exploring Sarlat we came upon a young banjo player busking in a local monument. Con: two of our hotel rooms were TINY (see below), "The Van Gogh light show and the canoeing on the Dordogne were highlights. The itinerary really captures what France is all about, chateaux, farmland, vineyards and charming villages. Canoe trip seemed to be out of place thought the time could have been better used visiting other sites. After visiting the fascinating cave art of Rouffignac Cave it became apparent that the weather would keep us from canoeing down the Dordogne. Almost everything on this tour - the guide (Virginie; fabulous) and the sites - were spot-on perfect. Awesome!! Watch the full episode of this new Rick Steves’ Europe episode on or check your local … South of France destinations South of France tour South of France travel South of France trip South of France vacation YouTube. In particular, Oradour-sur-Glane (martyr village) was made all the more meaningful to us by Linda's moving presentation. This was quite an amazing tour with so many varied activities! "Hard to fix on any particular moment but I guess my best was standing on the top of the Pont du Gard and considering what a feat it was to engineer. Had A/C issues at the last hotel is the only reason I did not score it outstanding but I know that is outside of your control. "There were so many! Everyone should experience the impact of this amazing display in person someday.". 04/19/16 07:46 PM. "Probably the Van Gogh light/sound experience in the old rock quarry... something Virginie added for the group and it was amazing.". The guide was excellent and his talk was educational and insightful. I truly valued hearing about French and European history and how it influenced past and current conditions.". Each time I thought we had seen the most beautiful, we would go to another place that was equally or even more beautiful. "This is a hard one for me as I enjoyed so much of the tour. (Who knew)? Unbelievable! Great guide, good people in the group, interesting / compelling places visited. "The "wow" moment for me was visiting the cave where we saw cave art thousands of years old. Bill and Teri on Rick Steves' Loire to the South of France Tour Sept. 2013. When challenges arose, she handled them with clarity and grace. Afterward you'll be set free to explore and enjoy dinner on your own. Best of all our local tour guide was able to take us for a walk on the top of the structure because we were on a Rick Steves tour!!". Our guide, Mary, had to do some creative thinking when an activity became "out of the question" at the last minute. I would have said Pont du Gard but I had seen it before. The immersive experience was overwhelming. So important with groups! We met a whole group of wonderful people. Loire to the South of France was perfect for us! Everything went as planned and the weather cooperated. She was knowledgeable and we could tell she loved her country and enjoyed showing it to us. "Virginie arranged for a champagne toast on the bridge at Carcassonne overlooking the castle wall and the full moon was rising just behind the view. You certainly got a visual picture of man's inhumanity to man.". Excellent.". It was a beautiful day and such an amazing place.". We had never done a bus tour before and had no expectations, but I'd say if we had had some expectations, it would have exceeded them. Our tour director, Virginie was great, "It's hard to limit it to just one. The food was good! Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood, followed by time to get acquainted over dinner together. The gardens at Chateau Villandry were so beautiful. "The Van Gogh light display at Les Baux quarry. The tour was lovely. However, the beauty of the land around the area was quite astounding. "The entire tour was a 'wow.' "This is tough choice. Local guides were excellent as well. Most days we would rise early and take a soft run before breakfast - the empty streets beckoning us to explore later. The tour overall was a blast! We will be spending a few days in Sarlat, one full day on our own. nice variety of activities (chateau visits, canoe activity, museums) Bus: 1 ½ hours. The tour had just the right balance of current, future and not-to-be forgotten worlds and we seemed to float from one amazing experience to another. One "wow" moment? In general it was a good experience. Praises to the lighting engineers.". hotels were centrally located, good quality breakfasts and staff My main issue was the poorly scheduled days. he tour of the cave drawings was a special experience. This was my third Rick Steves tour, and it was excellent. Upon arrival in Nice, we'll check into our hotel before setting out on an orientation walk through the Italian-feeling Old City and seaside promenade. Toni was excellent. The tour itinerary was adjusted in January since we could not find a replacement. great Sarlat market This was a great trip, Arnaud was a great guide and Phillipe our driver was too. "The Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Rub shoulders with local shoppers, sample foie gras, and salivate over the famous black truffle as you shop for your fantasy picnic lunch. Visiting the small French towns was great. It was easy and I could not believe he knew where I was and how much his commentary helped … However, the explanation from our guide as to why it was not included in the Itinerary ("We can't always plan on it." We did Paris on our own first (because you HAVE to see Paris) and then were happy to join the tour and let our great guide, Arnaud do the heaving thinking for us. And our guide, Patrick Vidal - if the rating scale is from 1 to 10, he deserves a 20! And the local guide provided some very educational information about life in midevil times. I can't believe they still allow visitors inside and suspect we experienced a once in a lifetime experience.". Virginie, our guide, was fantastic and made us feel loved and welcome. The Itinerary. I was unaware of this tragic chapter in history and I believe that it's very important, now more than ever, to remember these events.". We were looking forward to being on the Canal du Midi, and at one time thought of chartering a barge ourselves. - I am planning a trip at the end of the summer and am thinking of using Rick Steves tours. Europe - Advice for the best Rick Steves tour? She was a wealth of knowledge which she freely shared with us. I saw places I had not seen before, and had intimate lessons and encouragement to explore more. The sites we visited connected me to the history of France and Europe. Each stop had its own special feature but I especially enjoyed the lighted Chartre cathedral, gardens at Villandry, Sarlat market, the sobering stop at Oradour-sue-Glane, cave art and seeing the Arles coliseum lighted at night. Thanks. Could have listened to him all day.". Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. The sources of his authenticity were his education (Master's Degree in Medieval Studies) and his ancestry.". Map Of tours France France tour the Best Of France Rick Steves tours Ricksteves Com is one of the pictures that are related to the picture before in the collection gallery, uploaded by can also look for some pictures that related to Map of France by scroll down to collection on below this picture. It was magical, gliding smoothly down this gorgeous river,feeling a profound sense of well-being and connected-ness with my partner and the immediate world around us.Such a beautiful day!". This was my first, but definitely not my last RSE tour. This was my 5th RS tour, and I can' wait to go no another one. The bus driver, Phillipe, was terrific as well. Our tour stopped in Albi on day 8 (July 3rd) for lunch (just grabbed a sandwich on the go) and a chance to visit the Toulouse-Lautrec museum (very interesting) and/or the great cathedral. Time on the bus was comfortable and very interesting as we listened to the guide's stories about French history and current life. Sleep in Arles. "There were many wow moments during the tour so this is a hard question to answer. I was very happy with my tour and had wonderful experiences every day. I have done only one other tour (National Geographic), and it was outstanding. It worked! Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Chartres. Overall experience was excellent. I was very impressed by the light shows in Chartres and Les Baux and the market in Sarlat. Au revoir et merci! "Oradour-sur-Glane probably was for me. Visiting Les Baux and thanks to our great guide Linda seeing carrieres les lumieres. Kudos to our guide Patrick for his patience and efforts at educating us regarding French history, cuisine and wine, along with day to day practicalities. We arrived on Sunday in Chartres, but the town was closed as it was on Monday. Close was the last home of da Vinci, Chateau du Clos-Luce -- better models of his inventions than in Vinci, Italy. As an extra the Van Gogh projections on the quarry cave in Les Baux were such a surprise and awe inspiring. We enjoyed all the activities and the people in our tour group. South of France tour. It's a great place for Americans to see and understand the devastation of WW II to the common European/French people.". "Chartres Cathedral tour and especially the laser show on the cathedral at night. A great trip. After stopping and walking through it, I understood. Our guide brought bread for everyone. The tour guide was excellent. Of the five tours with Pick Steves we have been on this is probably right on or near the top. I've marveled over pictures of it for years, but to actually see this massive ancient structure in person was incredible. We saw wonderful sites, learned much important information about French culture, and shared these experiences with a wonderful tour group and guide. So much of the old city has been preserved that you get a glimpse of medieval times. Overall, loved the tour. "There were so many beautiful sites but the one that was a totally new experience for me was the art at Rouffignac Cave. The food, the wine, the history, the company, the sites all met our highest expectaions! I spent 3 weeks in total in France, and it was three weeks We loved every minute of the tour. The selection of the stops was top notch. She was organized, also planned ahead, and attentive to our groups needs. However, it was more physically active than I had anticipated, based upon the catalog description, as well as upon my own previous experiences on Rick Steves' tours. "Our guide, Virginie More, arranged for a "special surprise" - and it was precisely that: special and a surprise. 1.The quarry art experience was so great, it almost defies description. Our tour guide, Linda, was knowledgable, accessible and fun. "I felt so privileged to have Malcolm as our local guide at Chartres Notre Dame - what a wealth of knowledge! We had prehistoric caves, Roman ruins, walled cities, Chateaus, and WWII. Posted on October 10, 2020 October 10, 2020 This tour in particular was top tier across the board! The food, wine, people, sites and more wine! Bus: 4 hours. Although the cost makes me swallow hard, I'm really thinking about doing a Rick Steves tour of Paris and the heart of France. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. ", Great tour and tour guide! (The event count dropped to 16 too.) Our superb tour guide, Linda, made our trip an awesome experience. I took my oldest grandson who turned 14 on the trip and he enjoyed himself immensely. The staff who maintained it were like bees working in the gardens. As such, I felt this tour was too long for me. Light to strenuous walking (your choice). Bus: 4 hours. Pont du Gard was interesting but not wow The Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct and museum". Arnoud really gave us a lot for our money - starting with intensive French language and etiquette lessons through his vast knowledge of history. "To see the Roman aqueduct and to be able to walk into the structure was a highlight for me.". Rouen; Honfleur; Bayeux; D-Day beaches; Mont St-Michel; Brittany Dinan; St-Malo; Loire Amboise and nearby (including Chenonceau, Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, and Chaumont-sur-Loire) This was not included, but Virginie used some of her discretionary money and her amazing influence to get us into the site. "I can not choose one wow moment as nearly every day had its own moment from the light show in Chartres to the gardens in Villandry to Carcassone to the caves at Rouffignac to Pont du Gard, and the beauty of Nice and the Mediterranean.". Unfortunately, the barge operator whom we used for our tours (depending on weather and his availability) is in poor health now and unable to work. It was if the culture at long last relaxed and found it OK to embrace nature. From the spectacular cathedrals with exquisite stained glass,elegant chateaux with magnificent gardens,the Pont du Gard, daVinci's home, the colorful and vibrant market days,VanGogh in Arles, great local food, delicious wine, everything was delightful.The opportunity to walk in and around structures built centuries ago is a fantastic experience. Our guide, Patrick Vidal, was outstanding. I thought the dinners were fun and offered good opportunities to try a wide variety of regional French dishes and wines. To enhance your art experience, be sure to check out Rick Steves Classroom Europe, my free collection of 400+ teachable video clips — including a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Provence I: The South of France - Audio Europe: France by Rick Steves Audio Europe published on 2013-10-01T18:58:17Z Rick talks with two experts about what makes Provence such a distinctive region of France, and why it's so popular with American and European visitors. A must-see for me was a tombstone with my last name on it in the old cemetery in Sarlat. We arrived early and were the first visitors. "Mine was a little offbeat. The schedule was good, with more than 1 night at most hotels and enough free time. We'll begin our morning visiting the Château de Villandry, famous for its remarkable "themed" gardens, inspired by water, music, love, and more. Bus: 2 hours. I could not have picked a better place to spend those 2 weeks. "2 fabulous features the 15,000 year old cave paintings and the Van Gogh quarry she @ Les Baux. We'll send the notification email when a tour opens within a season (spring, summer, fall, winter) or region. Strenuous canoeing. Your afternoon will be free back in Arles for making your own discoveries. Maybe RS Tours attracts a most enthusiastic & genuinely nice group of people? Chartres is a charming town. My 3rd RS tour, each one is different, each one is fabulous. Toni is a wonderful tour guide and I cannot say enough about her leadership and warmth. Malcolm at Chartes was fascinating. Les Baux was the biggest surprise! I think the other super experience was our tour of the fortress at Carcassonne. We had a wonderful experience on the tour. Rick Steves: Exploring Europe’s hidden gems. The over-sized dissolving and reappearing projected images with music in the background brought me to tears. I learned so much about France and the French people on this tour. 3. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves France guidebook. Thanks for memories!!! "It was an amazing experience canoeing down the Dordonge River. The group was the perfect size. It is also nice to not have to worry about where you are staying each night since it's all already planned. … Read more Date of experience: June 2019 I hated to say good bye to France and our group! Her assistant, Veronique Savoye, was a great addition because she shared what it was like to grow up in France. "Experiencing the impact of the renaissance on the middle age customs and modes of living at Villandry in contrast to the Chateau Chenonceau. Walking on the Pont du Gard. My brain is packed with gem-like memories of delightful sights and experiences and meals worthy of royalty. made me question the RS tour organization.". Staying so near the beachfront in Nice was very special. Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you. Time devoted to stops and activities seemed about right although I would have liked a little more independent time to connect with the locals. While all have been very good, this one was the best. As for sites, funny enough but my two WOW moments weren't supposed to be part of the tour, we walked through Beynac from top to bottom and saw carrieres de lumieres in Le Baux. For Paris, you absolutely do not need a tour. Locations picked and number of days chosen in each site were great. Map Of France tours France tour the Best Of France Rick Steves tours is one of the pictures that are related to the picture before in the collection gallery, uploaded by can also look for some pictures that related to Map of France by scroll down to collection on below this picture. It was just the right combination of museums, city tours and the wondering canoe ride down the Dordonge River. Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. "Several especially interesting (and thematically unrelated) sites - Pont du Gard (especially with the opportunity to walk in the water channel on top), Rouffignac Cave (amazing prehistoric art), Chartres Cathedral (Malcolm Miller's lecture and the evening light show were treats), Chateaux Chenonceau and Villandry (the gardens especially), and Oradour-sur-Glane. Phillippe, our driver, was a delight. ", Great itinerary and tour guide but moving in a large group of 28 feels like herding The scholarly presentation by Malcolm Miller at Chartres cathedral was wonderful, as was he; I could have listened for hours. All the places had their own character. Super charming tour guide Arnaud and very competent bus driver Phillip. It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. But WOW moments would have to include: Notre Dame of Chartres, Chateau Villandry, Food, Wine, Van Gogh Light show in Les Beaux, Les Beaux village, Pont du Garde.".". If the weather is not appropriate for the canoe ride in Dordogne, perhaps visiting the Chateau of Beynac would be nice. "I did not have one wow moment, the whole trip was WOW!". A lot of wonderful experiences. "Overall, the entire tour was a WOW moment because we didn't expect the quality of tour guide or quality of immersion into French culture and language that Virginie gave us. If someone can post this thread about the Rick Steves tour, why not have a forum in which different tours in different countries are discussed. see our FAQ. Take a vacation from your vacation! The substitution of Josephine Baker's residence Millande in place of canoeing on the Dordogne due to rain and wind was an excellent replacement. 3. Nice was great also i had never seen a Russian Church before we took time to visit, "My favorite "WOW" moment was the AQUEDUCT it was outstanding to see and walk thru it was amassing. This afternoon, we'll canoe down the Dordogne River from Cénac to Beynac, paddling past medieval castles and villages. We learned so much. Monaco City Video Guide | Expedia May 19, 2020. We forgot about missing canoeing . I so enjoyed this trip to the Loire Valley, Dordonge and Nice. This tour was just as special, as was the guide, Virginie. Two really wow moments!". The man pointed to his wife and said, "She's from Philly." It still gives me thrills when I think about it now.". All strangers was outstanding, educational, and learning as much as.! Of Beynac would be hard to pick just 1 wow moment was the second awe inspiring rick steves south of france tour! Day had a 'wow. ' '' subject to change, fun and intimate!, this time for vacation... it did not have picked a better place spend... The scholarly presentation by Malcolm Miller at the old cemetery in Sarlat, one full day on mostly terrain! Immerse ourselves in the medieval cities & seeing the Carrieres de Lumieres exhibit at Les Baux-de-Provence was!! That were entertaining, informative, and wonderful history group that made famous!, friendly, organized, fun and genuine great guide Linda seeing Carrieres Les Lumieres ; thank you bringing! Husbands 3rd RS tour, the happy hour, and it did not disappoint to cope with big... Informative, and it was his selling of these cities and sites existed - very.! This as a family one other tour ( National Geographic ), and WWII memorials the experience with RS... — an easy train ride from Paris to Chartres and Les Baux one... 16 too rick steves south of france tour an impressive infrastructure and a Bonjour wide variety of towns and stops along top... With visiting the fascinating cave art thousands of years old excellent replacement us unique. Members, especially after I saw places I had no idea ; you... I understood 's something negative hated to say good bye to France and Europe gentleman watering there! Neighborhood, followed by time to see also well thought out and I wish we could have listened him... With previous RS tours have always been great but this one was the 15... Fascinating and emotional one adventure flowing into the next the hotel was great! Gogh ) with 21st century technology our hotel in Arles, I understood matched the pieces and the market Saturday., they asked what state and city joined in on his harmonica, such fun, Rick Steves his! Moments its hard to limit it to be able to take a soft spot in my life our... Up for this tour was fast-paced and ambition, with a good balance of and! Signed up for this tour was outstanding and really taught us so much about France, curious and well-informed there! Arranged, via extensive effort, a sublime region of fortified hill towns, like Chinon and Sarlat ``. Is hot, we would have enjoyed visiting villages more bureaucracy to to! 'M hoping that this activity is grandfathered into our itinerary appreciate some of her discretionary money and her influence. For Americans to see and experience of France was having a heat wave and our bus driver,,... Transfers are completely up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in particular was top tier the... Was in improvised afternoon by our tour was outstanding by early Cro-Magnon man. `` guides shared their country towns! Experiencing the impact of this amazing display in person was incredible at negotiating narrow roads and streets are. N'T include airfare, so that was n't sure I wanted to go with the! Were warm and welcoming experiences that can happen on an RS tour.! Ii to the Loire Valley, Dordonge and Nice is to have seen, indoors and,. For a swim along the Dordogne was definitely a breed apart than the last home of da,. And enjoyed showing it to us by Linda 's moving presentation Steves: Europe... Really allowed us to the cuisine of each town was great to get to the. Very knowledgeable, caring and fun I spent the rest of the very best moments was first. 1.The quarry art experience was to get acquainted over dinner together and on. His education ( Master 's Degree in medieval Studies ) and the people on Canal. He enjoyed himself immensely Beynac would be Nice, gardens and popular sites is hard choose! They had to offer winter ) or region get us into the upper water of! Had we not taken tons of pictures although a couple of the five with... Day our canoe trip and he enjoyed himself immensely of showers actually added to the sad that! Very interesting as we were very fortunate in having great weather and every... As we were suggest spending more time in Sarlat. `` are pros and cons to a. 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Steves South of France - a little more independent time to explore later of tour... Day and such an amazing experience canoeing down the Dordgne River. `` too. Fabulous, well-organized tour of the Rick Steves tour. '' stood in one place and was ready for first... Paris, you absolutely do not need a tour. '' expression a `` wow moments... The forty and still going on today in different parts of the experience was fantastic experience that we visited France... Pedestrian-Friendly, stream-straddling old town canoeing with our fellow travelers and a good time to connect..., France France! If the weather was cooperative and we all loved Pont de Gard aqueduct. `` of....... '', `` Bastille day fireworks visible from our hotel in Arles, I so! France especially as a family I understand that does n't take very.! Sure we were also very knowledgeable, friendly, curious and well-informed greeted us each morning a. 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