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The Lure of France

The lure of France is strong. If flaky croissants and magical castles don't pull you in, the fabulous wine, the whiff of a fresh bauguette or the gorgeous countryside view from a train window might get you. I, for one, could not resist and wanted to see it all. The time had come for me to do a "Tour de France" of my own, speedy bicycle not included. After months of looking in to the best way to do it,

I signed up for a May 2023 tour with Rick Steves Europe and the rest is history. 

If you would like to see it too, buckle up! Come with us as we travel along the eastern edge of France, from Reims to Aix-En-Provence, with many beautiful stops along the way. From the fizzy bubbles of the champagne capital to the depths of a dark, damp WWI bunker to the top of a majestic, snow-covered mountain, it was a mind-blowing 14-day tour. Along the way, we had many memorable experiences. We learned, listened, observed, imagined, ate, drank, toasted, laughed, climbed, oohed and awed, marveled and made a lot of new friends.

Some of the stand-outs for me (and there were SO many) were taking in the view from the top of Mont Blanc, learning how to pop the cork on a true champagne bottle with a saber, touring a 12th century chateau with the actual count who lives there and then picnicking on the grounds outside, taking a boat ride on one of the most scenic lakes in the world, walking through the ruins of a Roman mansion, feeling the heaviness of a war cemetery, taking in the beautiful views of grape vines as far as the eye can see, then walking through a vineyard in light rain and learning how complicated it is to get hearty grapes from the vine to those excellent French wine bottles, having lunch surrounded by giant wine vats on the floor of a winery, having fondue for the first time and wandering through the wonderful aisles of fresh produce, flowers and wares in various towns on market day. I don't think I've ever experienced so many "pinch me, is this real" moments in my life. I know a lot of French visitors are lured by the delicious food too, so I'll be including some culinary highlights for the foodies. If this trip sounds like something you might want to do, check out the details at

And the journey doesn't stop with this tour. My travel mate and I crammed in as much as we could before and after the tour, seeing more of France, a little bit of Italy, even London and Amsterdam. We arrived in France almost a month before the tour. It was April and it was Paris and the charm of spring really was everywhere!

And Cinque Terre was like no place I've ever been. It was a long trip, but so worth it.

The memories will be with me always.❤️

Below, you'll get a preview of where we went on the tour.

Click on Wandering to check out our pre and post tour adventures.

Click on Ways to see the different ways you can go to these places and the tours that will take you there.



Sneak Peek

A quick preview of a few of the things we saw on our trip.

Music - In Paradise - Moments We Live For

Music - Café Voyage - La Vita e Bella

Let the Adventure Begin...

Our big adventure starts here. This is a summary of the main places we visited on the Eastern France tour, with lots of interesting stops and day trips along the way. Pick what appeals to you and take a deeper dive or you can follow our trip day by day. Just click the images to see more and read about what we did. 

Fourteen days of a dream come true!

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