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Thoughts/advice from those who have combined a RS Tour to Italy and France?

We are deciding between an extended trip to Italy or to combine Italy and France. We have only been to Venice in Italy and it would be our first experience in France, so any thoughts would be very helpful (see the thread a few days ago from me about Italy). Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Posted by
134 posts

Hello again, I replied to your thread about the Best of Italy Tour. In 2013 we took the "Loire to the South of France" Tour followed by the "My Way Italy" Tour. The France tour ended in Nice, so we flew from there to Venice where the Italy tour started. We had a day or so in between so it worked out perfectly. The following year, 2014, we took the "Eastern France" Tour followed by the Best of Spain Tour and flew from Marseille to Barcelona. I mention this because I think either France Tour would work well with the Italy Tour. We have scrapbooks linked to Rick's website both years on all 4 tours if you are interested in seeing how well it worked (Theresa and William Barr). As others have mentioned, if you can possibly add a day or two before or after a tour it is great. And, as I am an early riser, I too find getting out and about anywhere at dawn is the best time to enjoy just being!
Teri

Posted by
1068 posts

I have not combined RS Italy and France tours, but have combined RS tours and also combined a RS tour with another tour of France (not RS.) I have been on RS tours in Italy as well. Don't have specific advice on particular tours for you, but I try to minimize the time between them. I rarely like more than a full day, plus the half day the RS tour starts, on my own. Just a personal preference. Two tours can be rather long and between 5-6 weeks is a longest I like to travel. I get in a few days early to get over jet lag, maybe see a difference city or country, then take tour 1, have a day or so for travel and a free day to explore, take tour 2 and may or may not stay extra time or go someplace else. Add that up, and it is usually around 5 weeks. Of course, that is when I am a solo traveler. When I have a travel partner my view changes. In any event, I have taken 2 tours 5-6 times and generally enjoy the experience. I have taken them in a very similar area or very different parts of Europe. Each scenario has advantages and disadvantages.

Posted by
7757 posts

Oh, sorry I didn't see this thread. I put a long answer on your other thread about Best of Italy regarding combining tours.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/thoughts-advice-from-those-who-have-taken-the-17-day-best-of-italy-tour

I travel solo as well but don't really have a time frame I need or want to stick to. I'll add I've combined Rick Steves tours as well as combining Road Scholar tours too. I like to be gone at least a month and I do like time in between tours. My longest was about 8 weeks and I have to tell you I was not ready to come home, lol!

I have decided I generally like to combine different cultures with tours so Italy and France would work really well for me. Of course, I do have to tell you I'm doing Villages of Southern England along with Best of Scotland this spring, lol!!

In the other thread I suggested Heart of Italy with Paris and Heart of France or Best of Italy and Paris and the Heart of France. Teri's suggestions with the other 2 France tours work well too! I probably would not do the Venice/Florence/Rome tour with the Best of Paris tour just because for me that would be too much city time and no time in the smaller towns and villages. That's just me though, it might work for you.

Posted by
6443 posts

If you have the time and money, do it. The fewer times you have to cross the Atlantic, the better. Means not having to reset your body clock 8-10 hours another time

Posted by
844 posts

Some years ago we did South Italy and then flew to Paris for the week in Paris tour.

Oct, 2016 we did the France Loire Valley tour and flew from Nice to Rome and picked up the Rome tour.
This worked well for us. We had been to Paris before the Paris tour, but wanted to see some different things with a guide. Both of these combinations were good for us. Combining smaller town and villages on one and then a city. Same for the Rome tour, we had been there a few times, but I'm Always ready to go back to Rome. Doing the 2 tours was just the right amount of time for us to be gone (at least for hubby)
I could stay longer,

We also go in at least 2 nights earlier than the beginning of the first tour to get over jet lag and relax.

Hope you have a great trip!
Mimi

Posted by
2355 posts

We combined Portugal and London. RS tours are active and packing/unpacking, moving around can be tiring. While the London tour was very active with much walking and use of public transit, we returned to our same hotel and room (and lobby bar) each night, only unpacking and repacking in the beginning and at the end. We did that after the Portugal tour. We loved the ease of one hotel. We will do this combo again- a city tour and a standard tour. We are thinking Rome + Villages of England/Sicily/Southern Italy or who knows in 2019!

Posted by
1 posts

We are doing RS Venice-Florence-Rome, which we start in Venice at the end of a reposition cruise. We will then have approximately 3 weeks before joining RS Paris and the Heart of France. We will squeeze in visits to Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Prague, and Munich, a Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, and a few days on our own in Paris. We will finish the trip in London before flying home.
David