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Loire to the South of France

Anyone care to comment? We were going to go on the Greek tour but this one is awfully appealing, even tthough we've been to some of the towns before. Would appreciate any reviews. We would go on one of the last Fall trips.

Posted by
556 posts

Hi Laura,

I did this tour in June/July. I loved it! I would say it has been my second favorite (of 4 total so far). It reminded me in some ways of Village Italy, if you've done that one... Smaller cities and towns, so a few less tourists. I really enjoyed the Chartres Cathedral ( and I'm not a museum/church person in general). The Loire chateaux and Sarlat were great too! I would have spent at least another day on Arles if possible- lots to do there. Then ending in Nice with perfect weather! Awesome!! Loved it! Loved it! If you do go, you may want to do a quick read of this post to see my comments...

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/rs-loire-south-of-france-june-july-2014

If you have any specific questions, please let me know.

Also, you can't really go wrong with Greek Isles either ( I haven't done it yet, but I'll bet it will be great).

I can't wait to hear which you choose.

Posted by
865 posts

Hi, Laura. I just got back from this tour yesterday. Loved it! The small towns are marvelous, and it was actually a teeny bit of a shock to wind up in a big city like Nice (but the gorgeous weather more than made up for it!). We had good hotels and good meals; you don't have to like duck, but it would help. I don't but didn't really have any trouble getting something else to eat. September was a great time to go. We did have a couple of days with rain, but the rest of the time it was sunny and warm.

Any questions, please ask.

[If this response doesn't make a whole lot of sense, please put it down to jet lag. ;) ]

Posted by
1616 posts

Hi Laura, I did the Loire to the South of France tour in May 2014 and enjoyed it very much! It's a slower paced tour than some of the others and we spent a lot of time wandering through the chateaux and charming small villages. I loved seeing Da Vinci's home in Amboise, market day in Sarlat (I do like duck!), and the terrific photo ops in Carcassonne and Arles. It was a very nice trip. I haven't been to Greece but it's on my bucket list. Hope you have a great trip.

Posted by
260 posts

Thanks for the comments so far, guys! Very helpful. Was thinking of going on the last trip (Oct) but maybe should consider the Sept option. We did do the Village Italy trip and loved it, ditto the eastern France trip that ended in Nice (we loved the town). So this one sounds like a good match for us! Keep the comments flowing! Best, L

Posted by
14 posts

We did the tour in May 2014 too (Hi, Donna!), and really enjoyed the mix of small towns and larger. And so many cool spots... Rouffignac Cave, Arles, the canal boat lunch, Pont du Gard, Nice, Chartres, Sarlat, all of it was a blast.

Posted by
2466 posts

We have done both Greece and this tour. We enjoyed both, and I try not to let the week of rain in France cloud my judgement. But, that aside, I would give Greece the edge. It is a bit third world in terms of toilet facilities, and Athens is, as RS says, a place to see the sights and leave. But, the country is beautiful, the people warm, the food crazy good. But, you won't go wrong with either tour, so don't beat yourself up!

Posted by
1939 posts

I have also been on and loved both these tours but give Greece a slight edge in the favorite rankings. Seems as if you have seen some of the places in France already so Greece might be a little (a lot???) different experience for you? I thoroughly enjoyed both tours (no rain in France in July; a little in Greece, last tour in Oct) but if I had to choose, it would probably be Greece. Much more of an "adventure"! Hard to choose just one, isn't it!