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Paris, Normandy & the Loire Valley

10 days
Few countries offer such an enticing combination of history, scenery and mouthwatering food and drink. Immerse yourself in the history of Normandy. Visit iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Mont Saint-Michel. Sample the sauvignon blanc and feast on coq au vin. From the iconic sights of Paris to the beautiful scenery of the Loire Valley, this is the France you’ve read about—now yours to discover.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 1 wine tasting

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Paris today.

Paris2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Paris

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Paris! Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

A guided tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods.

• Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées in view of the Arc de Triomphe 

• Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River 

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square 

• Marvel at the eclectic and iconic architecture of the Louvre 

Enjoy a free afternoon in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens $109*pp Details

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Normandy Coast2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Normandy via Rouen & Honfleur

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Travel through the historic cities and pristine port towns on your way to the historic Normandy region.

• Visit Rouen, home to a large 16th-century clock and the two-towered Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral 

• Walk through the market square where Joan of Arc was executed

• Enjoy a tasting of calvados, the region’s distinctive apple brandy 

• See the untouched Honfleur harbor, once an important port

Day 5: Free day in Normandy

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Normandy on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - D-Day Beaches of Normandy $75*pp Details

Relive World War II history during this excursion to Normandy, where the Allied troops landed in June 1944. First, travel to the D-Day Museum in Arromanches. Next, stop at the American Cemetery in Colleville—the burial place for more than 9,000 American soldiers who lost their lives during the battle of Normandy. From there, visit Pointe du Hoc to view the evocative granite monument erected by the French in honor of the American Second Ranger Battalion, who seized the German canons here before they could be used to fire on American troops landing on Omaha Beach.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Saint-Malo1 night Hotel info

Day 6: Saint-Malo via Mont Saint-Michel

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Explore the striking 8th-century island monastery of Mont Saint-Michel on a guided sightseeing tour.

• See how the UNESCO World Heritage-recognized monastery, perched high on a granite rock, is surrounded by water at high tide and quicksand at low tide

• Enter the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel with your local guide 

Then, continue your journey toward Saint-Malo.

Loire Valley2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Travel to the Loire Valley

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take in Saint-Malo’s narrow streets, tall granite homes and medieval ramparts on a guided tour. Later, drive through the Loire Valley, once known as France’s “Playground of the Kings.”

Day 8: Château de Chenonceau

Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know châteaux country on a guided tour of the Loire Valley region.

• Step inside the extravagant Château de Chenonceau and explore its gardens

• Discover how the castle got the nickname “Château de Femmes”—some of its famous female residents included Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici

Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Loire Valley Dinner & Wine Tasting $99*pp Details

Cap off your day in the Loire Valley taking in views of the Valley's châteaux and greenery on your way to a local wine cellar. With its central location in the country, this area draws culinary influence from several parts of France, which you'll experience during a wine tasting and dinner at a local restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Paris1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Travel to Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Return to France’s capital city making a photo stop at Château Chambord on the way, and enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $115*pp Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: The dress code may vary depending your restaurant. Your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 10: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home or extend your stay to continue exploring Paris.

Add Paris $329 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Paris—the city of life, love and light. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the mysterious Mona Lisa, from the bustling Champs Elysées to the winding streets of Montmartre, you'll find romance, history and beauty. Browse boutiques, stroll manicured parks, take a seat at a sidewalk cafe and watch the sun set over the Seine.

Paris2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Paris on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Notre-Dame & the Marais $75*pp Details

Your guided walking tour of Paris begins on Île de la Cité, the city’s legendary birthplace and home to the majestic Notre-Dame Cathedral. Step inside the cathedral to admire the stained-glass rose windows and seemingly weightless vaulted ceilings. Walk along the flower market beside the island’s Palais de Justice, which houses the Conciergerie, the former prison where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned. Wander past the Hôtel de Ville, the city’s administrative heart, and continue through the Jewish Quarter to the gardens of Musée Carnavalet and Place des Vosges, noted as one of the prettiest squares in Paris. Lunch is included.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Day 11: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend another day exploring Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Monet & the Landscapes of Giverny $85*pp Details

The village of Giverny was home to Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. On a visit to Monet’s home and gardens, discover the subtle palette of colors that inspired his Water Lilies series and gave rise to a new way of seeing. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 12: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Paris, France
  • Saint-Malo, France
  • Amboise, France
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport and Visa Requirements

In order to enter France, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return to the United States. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the French consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry- on luggage.

Clothing and Packing Tips

Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable in something more formal. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to France. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. Throughout France, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For the most casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, patés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from the cafés. On the restaurant scene, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or four-course set menu for a good price. Nearly all restaurants post a menu outside. Browse around until something strikes your fancy.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Paris. After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, a shuttle service will provide your transfer to your hotel (details will be sent to you prior to your departure). Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations on tour are best explored on foot, but in Paris you may want to take advantage of the excellent transportation system. Paris’ massive Métro is world class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your tour director which one might work best. Often the daily passes are not actually the best deal.

Electricity

France operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

France is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6 p.m. in Paris.

Currency

The Euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in France, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards, credit cards and traveler’s checks, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. Please note: With the conversion to the Euro, it has been increasingly difficult to exchange traveler’s checks outside Europe’s major cities—both at banks and shops—and they often attract higher fees.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/ CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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2 / 5

2 / 5

Traveled On: 3/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: OK

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Bring your own toilet seat and sanitizer

First of all, this is my second trip with goahead; my first trip was amazing and I can't say enough about it so I was really excited to go on another trip, this time to see France. The past reviews and photos made it an easy choice to decide. Unfortunately, I had the expectation that this trip would be like my last. Boy was I wrong!! If you plan on taking this trip in the future, be aware of how utterly gross and unclean all of the public restrooms are, and bring your own toilet seat, and a vat of hand sanitizer, as French restrooms are the nastiest I've ever seen. Their restrooms do not have toilet seats on the toilets, except in the hotels, that is if you're lucky to come across a stall that even has a toilet in it, some are just holes in the floor....most bathrooms didn't have soap in the dispensers or hand dryers/paper towels to wash your hands afterwards, unless you were lucky. And they appear to not have been cleaned in this decade. Be aware that Paris, like NYC, is very dirty, with trash and vandalism everywhere, homeless people and lots of solicitors wherever you go. If you can look past all that, then some of the sites might be okay to see. As for the tour itself, it was overall very disappointing. My tour director this time around was the worst. He was very unorganized, rude, never stopped talking to let us even attempt to enjoy the scenery and rushed us through every place we actually wanted to see. Not to forget, my "fellow travelers" were a group from Texas, they needed to be on tour by themselves as their Texas sized egos overran the entire trip like it was all their own and I was only partially allowed to be there at the same time. By the end of the trip I was so frustrated I just wanted to come home. It was not worth what I paid for and will think long and hard before deciding to take another tour with goahead. And thus my actual review begins.................. Upon arrival on our "first day" (technically day 2), our overnight flight didn't have us arriving in Paris until 2pm, which already wasted most of the first day. Unfortunately our plane had mechanical issues that caused us to be over 2 hours late. When we finally arrived in Paris, the "car service" (aka an airport shuttle) had picked up a lady that wasn't with the tour group and dropped her off at a different location, also dropping off whoever met us at the airport at a different location, so it took an hour to get from the airport to our hotel. So instead of a 2pm arrival time, it was a 5pm arrival time. As soon as we walked into the hotel, the tour director's way of "greeting us" was to tell us we had "15 minutes to freshen up because we were immediately leaving for dinner". He very rudely told my mother, whom I was traveling with, after she objected to being rushed like that, that she didn't have to go but her meal wouldn't be comped if she decided not to be down in the 15 minutes he allotted us to have. After all the exhaustion from traveling and being late, this was not the kind of greeting I was expecting. And this set the tone as to how the entire trip was going to be: RUSHED. After I was allowed to take my bags up to my room, splash some water on my face and came down to the lobby, the group was ready to go, but he decided to spend the next 30 minutes talking about things that didn't need to be addressed at that point. It was very irritating that he made me rush only to find that he was taking his time talking; I could have had a few more minutes to actually change clothes before going to dinner. When we finally left to go to dinner, the food the restaurant served was inedible; the steak was so chewy, I could barely eat it. I paid for a dinner that I couldn't hardly eat. This was lost on the tour director. The next morning, on the "guided tour", the local tour guide was nice, however driving through the city streets of Paris, you can't take good pictures on a moving bus with sun glare on the windows, so all of my pictures of the things I really wanted to see: ruined. I have no good pictures of the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Louvre, we never even passed the opera house as advertised, when we finally did stop at Place de la Concorde we were accosted by very aggressive solicitors that it was kind of scary. We were only given 15 minutes when stopping at the Eiffel tower to take pictures, then it was back on the bus. The whole point of this tour was to give us a chance to make memories and all of mine are non existent, except for the bitter ones. This to me was a waste and it left me very disappointed. The optional excursion to Versailles was okay, the inside was lovely, but the outside was not. The back, where the gardens and fountains were was under construction, obviously nothing was in bloom as it was off season and the water fountains were empty. I do not feel this excursion was worth the cost. If I'd have known it wasn't going to be spectacular as advertised, I would have skipped it and spent the time in Paris trying to get pictures of the places I wasn't able to get instead. After the tour and Versailles, when we came back to Paris, many of the people in our group asked our tour director for assistance in finding a good creperie to eat at. He walked us down many streets lined with creperies but wouldn't tell us or help us chose one, as he was too self involved with wanting to show us a restaurant he wanted to eat at. And again, when we finally reached that destination he spent an ungodly amount of time reading the menu and talking, when everyone was exhausted and starving and kept asking about crepes. Finally he got the message and we had to turn around and walk back to where we started but he kept on walking past all the creperies, so finally one of the group members stopped and said how about this one and went in. He was just clueless. He's supposed to be there to help us, but he was so preoccupied with what he wanted to do that he didn't pay any attention to the needs of any of the group members. I think it's safe to say we were all a bit aggravated by this at that point. The next day, we traveled to Rouen where, again, we were met by a local tour guide, who was okay. Rouen appeared to be a wonderful city to be able to walk through and explore, however we were allotted approximately 2 hours at this stopping point and 1 1/2 hours of that was walking with a guide. Our tour director, throughout the entire trip, rushed through every part, not allowing us to take good pictures (unless you count for having someone's head in the frame) because we were walking so fast. And made it a point to lecture us that he wanted everyone to "stay together and not slinky around". I'm a grown woman, I don't need nor do I appreciate being treated like a kindergarten student on a school trip, being restricted to what I can and can't do while on tour. I didn't pay a small fortune to travel across the world to be put on such a tight leash. The only way to take any kind of good pictures that didn't have someone from our group getting in the way of the shot was to either rush ahead or stay behind, otherwise it would have been pointless to try. I would have loved more time to see Rouen but we again rushed to the bus and off to the next stop. This time we stopped in Honfluer. This port city reeked of fish and had very dirty bathrooms. For whatever reason we were allotted over an hour to stop here, which was a complete waste of time. We should have stayed at Rouen longer and bypassed this stop altogether. There was nothing spectacular to see or do here, we stopped to eat and were left wondering the streets bored. I barely remember what was to see here as I have no pictures because it was that unimpressive. The next stop was to taste Calvados, which was an okay stop. I don't drink so this stop was a waste of time for me. Sampling some local cheese was about all I got out of this. Day 5, the Normandy beaches / WWII museum / American Cemetery ... FINALLY was impressed with the scenery, the views, the experience, the pictures. Although I'm really not sure why this excursion cost that much, I'm pretty sure beaches are free, except for the small cost to get in the museum...??? It only took until day 5 that we FINALLY got some FREE TIME to roam through and take pictures by ourselves and not be tied to the group. As much as I enjoyed this day, every stop we made was too rushed. Would have liked more time at the cemetery, an hour to walk the grounds and go to the museum was just barely enough time. Day 6, St Malo - Absolutely wonderful. But again, we were stuck with a local tour guide for an enormous amount of time and not given a fraction of the free time we should have gotten or deserved to have for such a beautiful place / again, by this point, it was way too much time to be forced to stick with the group and not be able to enjoy the scenery and take pictures without them everywhere you turned and way too much talking. Food - Since when is it acceptable to serve WHOLE SHRIMP as an appetizer. There is NOTHING appetizing about having to remove the head, tentacles and clean your own food before you can even eat it. Mont St Michel was spectacular but again being stuck with a local guide and the tour director was rushing up the 1000 steps to the cathedral that he was not receptive to the needs of the people in the group; not everybody can walk that fast or climb stairs that fast, a lot of the tour members were having difficulty and he was clueless. And stopping at Cancale was the WORST place, it was so disgusting and such a complete waste of time. Unacceptable. Day 7-8, The Loire Valley. Other than it smelling like manure everywhere we went, the scenery was fantastic. I would have loved more time in Amboise but the one afternoon (2 or 3 hrs max) to explore it rained and it was very cold. So we ate and got back on the bus and sat there for over an hour. This was the first place we finally found a restaurant that served something other than seafood. YAY!!! Chateaux de Chenonceax was an okay stop, the grounds were lovely but the inside wasn't all that. And again we were expected to spend 1 1/2 hr with the local guide and only given 30 minutes of free time on our own. The optional excursion was good, I didn't care for the wine tasting as I don't drink but the dinner was the very best of the entire trip. Day 9, back in Paris, this is when our tour director finally decided to let us see Paris, but he guided the tour and again, was so rushed it was not enjoyable. But at least we FINALLY got pictures of Notre Dame (a whole 15 minutes to walk through the cathedral)....The farewell dinner was nice and so was the river cruise excursion, however to end the night on the same awful note as the trip was started, the tour director wanted to take a night drive around Paris, but when asked if he could drop me off at the hotel because I had 4 hours to sleep before having to get up at 3am the next morning to catch my flight home, he refused and said I could sleep on the plane the next day. The night drive wasted an hour of valuable time I needed. This kind of behavior is completely unacceptable and so beyond rude and unprofessional. If I ever decide to take another trip with goahead I will make sure he is not my tour director. I will also make sure that I am allowed to have free time to take pictures, shop, have a better food selection, cleaner places to stop at, and hopefully won't be packed in a group of loud, obnoxious and overbearing Texans. Also, another note, the hotel in Amboise marked on my luggage with chalk and upon returning to Paris, the hotel attempted to, luckily I stopped them before they could. This practice is unacceptable. I didn't spend a small fortune on nice luggage for hotel staff to deface my bags with chalk without my permission. But at least the hotels were nice though.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/17/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous Tour and Wonderful Tour Guide

We had a fabulous trip this October. The tour was everything we could have wanted and so much more. We had a small group only 25 tourists which made the trip much more enjoyable. Our tour guide Brian was personable and extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Do not hesitate to take this tour. You will love it.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/4/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

France and Tour Director

This past summer was my first trip to France taking in Paris, Normandy and Lorie Valley. It was absolutely wonderful. Paris is so magical and romantic as was the northern coastal area. Our tour director, Tristan, was the best you could have. The history of France that he shared with us was wonderful. He simply went out of his way to make sure we saw as much as possible during the time we were there and helped us out with the ins and outs of Paris. Can't wait to go back.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Best Normandy Tour Director

I have been on three Go Ahead Tours and this was by far the best. The element that made it the best was our tour director Suzanne. Suzanne went out of her way to make this a memorable tour. Suzanne did many additional "mini" excursions which were not included in the package. One example was taking the group on a tour of the Paris subway system and providing guidance on how to navigate. This and many other examples I could provide were never done on previous tours. Great job Suzannne! You are a true professional! We were attracted to Go Ahead Tours due to their value. Unfortunately what I'm finding is they are providing tour accomodations that are not in the city centers. While the accomodations are nice they are removed from the city, which can make it more of a challenge to get back into the city. This also impacts travelling to other destinations. Our accomodations in Deauville, France were nice but it added almost another 1.5hrs (each way) to our Normandy tour. This resulted in about a 12 hour day, when it could have been 9 hours. In this case a city closer to Normandy would have been a more suitable option.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director EVER

I would go on another Go Ahead Tour simply to tour with the greatest tour director EVER again Suzanne was AWESOME. She went out of her way for us and took us to the best places. Some slight snafus with the Hotel on the last night otherwise just an amazing amazing tour...More than I had dreamed of. I didnt know what to expect since this was my first trip abroad and tour, but I am so glad we went with Go Ahead and did the tour because we saw much more than we would have been able to on our own......the fact Suzanne personally took us to the Metro and showed us how to use it on our own time was just one of the additional services she provided. The tour was fabulous, but honestly Suzanne was the best part of the tour. Her knowledge of French History was amazing and her delivery and sense of humor were top notch..she made the group feel like one big happy family! Can't wait to do another Go Ahead Tour!

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1 / 6

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/8/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent French Experience

As a first time traveler to the country of France, I feel my tour experience was a wonderful introduction into the quality of life and culture of this amazing country. Tour director Jean, a Parisian local and proud French man was a delight. His knowledge and passion for his country was evident and he shared most generously..as a director he met our needs and was always available to help in whatever way possible. He loves his job and that too is evident..the passion brought a fun and deeper cultural experience for our group. France is beautiful and intriguing..I can't wait to go back and know now, from this tour, what more I can experience. Thank you Go Ahead!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/2/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great overview of France

This tour gave a good overall view of Paris, the Normandy region and the Loire Valley. The tour director Tristen was very knowledgeable of the history in each area which helped make the tour interesting

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1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MD

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful tour!

We saw some amazing sights. Mont St. Michele was worth the price of the tour. The Normandy beaches were very powerful. Paris is a lovely city. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and took good care of us.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/24/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Bus driver ever!

Having been in Paris already for two weeks prior to this tour, we were in LOVE with Paris. Seeing our hotel with the tour being sooooooo far out of the city, we were disappointed, until we learned that the metro two blocks away went to the heart of all the city sights. We had walked the city of Paris for two weeks, rarely taking the metro and never a bus so taking a LONG METRO ride was something new. Our hotel was typical business hotel but it was Normandy we meant to see and so didn't mind too much. We met all our tour companions and they were delightful. Very glad there were only 33 so we got a chance to get to know them. Even met some people from our old home town and they knew our friends...small world. Since this trip was the 70th Anniversary of the D Day WWII invasion in Normandy, most of the people on the tour had family and memories of WWII. The Queen was in Paris when we were there, just a block away (before the Go Ahead Trip). I was disappointed that when I called Go Ahead before our tour, that no one knew of this special event. It was world wide!!!! and on national news.... But seeing the beaches and walking around was wonderful! Our tour guide tried to be informative and the local guides he chose were outstanding, especially the guide for Mt. Saint Michel. I was regretting not having rented a car and just traveled on our own and stayed in a tiny hotel on Mt.Saint Michel like my sister had done the year before; but our tour guide was so incredible. She brought the mt. to life! I felt like I'd been a monk there as well as a prisoner. I love the places we stayed even if they were far from city life. One place was on the beach...glorious! Loved walking along the beach boardwalk, all alone, into town. Only way to get to town easily was walking through the casino or historic hotel, which was an adventure in itself. I loved staying in the heart of the walled city of St. Malo. The walk around the wall overlooking the sea was super...just a mile or so...great for an early morning walk. Our tour guide in her leather pants and artist's smock was delightful. Made me want to raise kids there and get them into sailing at age 6. The hotel itself was "funky" but I prefer that to a modern "Hilton" type place. More personality and great being in the heart of the city. We had a marvelous fish dinner there with the tour! Good choice!! We really enjoyed the stop at the Apple Cider farm and learned a great deal about cider making. Reminded me so of my childhood in Northern California when my dad made cider from our apple trees, I love the castle Chenenceau having been there before. I could spend days there...pretending I lived in the castle and wandering the gardens and the maze. I do so wish we'd had many more hours there to explore the area and have lunch there at the Orangerie. I ate a very hurried lunch at Orangerie...the most relaxing and gorgeous restaurant next to the winery at Chenenceau. But we had to "rush off" to SHOP in the nearby city...how dull. I HATE SHOPPING! I do think if we'd spent just one more hour at the castle, and one less hour at the village, the tour would have been much better. That is the most gorgeous castle I've been too..you can really imagine living there, unlike the kings huge places full of gold (yck!). On the way back to Paris, we stopped at the gigantic castle (didn't go in) where a gun show and dog show were going on. It was interesting to see how people in France really spend their fun time. My biggest complaint of the tour was not spending enough time in cities like Rouen. We were left in the center to eat lunch and shop but not enough time to walk to the amazing tower where Jean D'Ar was held or go to the amazing art museum and the metal museum . Both I'd been to on my own but so wanted to show my husband. I know I could have not taken the "tour" guided tour and just gone off on our own, but the guide was interesting and seeing the cathedral improvements (5 years ago it was a mess) was well worth it. Big question....why stops for SHOPPING! Every store has the same things the US has! One other complaint other than hotels being out of town mostly, is that our tour guide didn't even realize he was to stop at Honfleur until one member of group showed hi the Go Ahead brochure and it mentioned Honfleur! I do think Go Ahead people need to communicate better. Go Ahead arranged our flight for us along with the tour. We left 2 weeks ahead of the tour. I had to call many times to get the info for our flight. Even though it was on their computer, no one seemed to READ.. The day the materials were to have arrived (plane tickets, etc.) I called and was told they would send them in two weeks! I reminded them that we were leaving on the plane they'd arranged in TWO DAYS, Nicely they apologized and Fed Exed it out to us so we didn't miss our flight. Things like this happened to others, too, If there is a holiday during the tour...when the city closes down, it should be on the itinerary!!! Back to bus drive....I still don't know how anyone can drive a huge bus in the heart of the cities and tiny streets and squeeze by...amazing! Thanks for having great bus drivers..

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1 / 5

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 4/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MO

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Bad Tour Director

It was a good trip through Normandy. Really enjoyed that part of the tour. Didn't get to see much in Paris during the tour. We saw it on our own during the "extension"(our two free days in Paris). Really only saw one chateau in the Loire Valley(and not the one I remember being pictured in the brochure), though we rushed through a couple other places during our free couple hours in Amboise(most the people went back to the hotel, we just kept going). The main problem was our tour director(Susan, I think). Very disorganized. Figuring out who ordered what at dinner was always an ordeal(she never kept notes). When we arrived in Paris, she didn't seem to know much about the museums and misinformed us with regard to the museum passes(costing us extra money). Bad for someone who has lived in Paris for decades. Might have been better to make this a two week tour, spending a bit more time in Paris and giving us a couple days to visit other chateaus in the Loire Valley and not just the one that all the tour groups visit.

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