We've done 5 RS tours - best of London, best of Paris, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Southern France/Loire Valley, and Village Italy. Trying to decide next year between 2 week Ireland, 2 week England, 2 week Eastern France, and 2 week Greece. Any comments from some who have done any of these? I've heard there will be 2 new tours next year but don't know for sure if it's true - best of southern England villages and best of Switzerland.
How could you go wrong with any of those?! I will say that we fell in love with Greece because of our RS Greece tour. Guides, both tour and local are outstanding; the country felt safe and welcoming. We did the tour last year and I don't know if it's because of their need for tourist dollars, but they seemed to go out of their way to help tourists navigate. From the older gentleman who helped us when, emerging from the metro at dusk, we got turned around, to the shop owner sharing local honey in tiny Lagadia, who spoke barely any English ( probably more than we spoke Greek) to the postal worker in Monemavasia who helped us ship items home, everyone made it an easy country to navigate. Plus, they have really great food.
But, any of these tours would be great.
I always find it hard to decide where to go, but you have to break it down. I have been on the 14 day Ireland tour and it was wonderful. But they are all wonderful, been on 12 tours! Ireland is very scenic, few museums, except for Dublin. Cooler temps, meaning, more layers even in the summer. More time spent in the evening in pubs ( not a bad way to spend your time), more on being outside, seeing mountains, land, less on food, more on beer than wine. Great fun and very casual dining and very casual clothes. England, ( been there years ago, not on a RS tour, loved it). Good food, more pubs, more small towns, take into consideration the currency rate is high for the pound compared to the Euro. Not saying don't go but it will be more expensive. Eastern France, well, lots of wonderful food, wine, quaint towns. Greece, never been, love to go, but right now a problem. Given the countries economic problems. I am trying to give you an idea of what to think about, what are your interests, what do you want from the vacation, besides an excellent time which you will regardless of what you choose. Watch YouTube videos of the places the tours go to, look at the RS scrapbooks to see where the tours go to. I hope this helps to give you a path of trying to decide what tour to go on. Have a wonderful trip.
Go to Greece. The people will love you for coming, there will be fewer tourists, and the RS tour is amazing. You will see places that many, many US tourists have never heard of--Kardamyli and Monemvasia. And the guides are fantastic.
Have done half a dozen RS tours including several you have taken. Our choices, from those we have been on, would be Eastern France, Ireland, and England in that order. Have been to Greece but not with a RS tour.
I have done all of the ones you mention except Italy. My suggestion would be to go on an Ireland tour from the existing RS tours you listed. I did that one a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Easy to get to from the US, the weather was great, people very friendly, food excellent (even those meals were we got potatoes 3 ways). And they speak English.
I too am looking forward to the new tours. Will be a tough decision between the new England tour and the Switzerland tour. Switzerland is on top right now even though I don't know the details yet.
Cindy, the 2016 Winter tours have just been posted. You might find something there to your liking. I haven't looked past Sicily yet but he Greece tour just may be there.
You do not mention what time of year you will be traveling. That certainly could influence your choice to go to northern Europe or southern Europe. I have taken 13 RS tours in 14 years and have taken all of the ones you mention. If you were going in the middle of summer, I would recommend Ireland or England. If going in the fall or spring, I would certainly recommend Greece if things settle down by then. I have enjoyed all of the tours I have taken, having just taken the RS Bulgaria tour. Not sure where we will go next year as our bucket list is getting pretty empty. Happy travels.
Of your four contenders for next year, I have taken only the 2 weeks in Eastern France tour. I must say it is one of my favorites in that the locations were so varied: Alsace, Burgundy, Alps, Provence, Mediterranean. It is a lovely tour.
England and Ireland I have visited on my own, and Greece may be a future tour for me. But I really enjoyed Eastern France and hope to return to some of the locations, especially if they are part of a MyWay France.
My 1st and only trip with RS was august 2014 14 day best of Ireland and all I can say was it was FANASTIC!!!!!. I would go back in a heartbeat! Good luck deciding. My next one (I think is Holland/Belgium April or May 2016. Waiting is hard for 2016 tour list coming out middle of august. I also am interested in the best of Switzerland but want to do Holland first.