a week in Paris & Provence

We are looking into the Paris & Provence week tour and have a few questions. Is it advantageous to go with a small group tour vs the regular sized group. Any particular time of year better? We are looking into the June 2 trip, September 1 trip or the the September 8 trip. Any feedback would be appreciated, especially regarding small groups.


  • The small vs regular group issue has been discussed several times on the forum - not this specific trip but in general. There are 2 camps. We've done 3 river cruises will group sizes anywhere from about 70 to 125 plus land tours in the UK and Ireland. The UK tour was supposed to be regular but some dropped out leaving us to about the small size. We liked the group so much we requested and paid for small group for Ireland and had a great tour.

    I'll give you some of the pros and cons that have been voiced here or that we've found.

    Small group -
    cons - extra cost, potential for annoying passengers it's hard to avoid
    pros - easier to get to know people, learn names, loading/unloading goes faster which may result in later start times, more room on the bus for luggage and to spread out if need be

    The spread out factor matters on Tauck land tours since they practice assigned seats with rotation each day so that everyone gets a fair shot at the front view seats. But sometimes it's nice just to go to the back of the bus and have a whole seat to yourself. With a half full bus, lots more flexibility.

    As to Jun vs Sep, both dates are good in that crowds are lighter (July and Aug are big vacation times for Europe). You could look at the weather and see if that makes a difference for you. Likely cooler in early Jun, more chance of sunflowers in Sep. You might also check airfare and see if that makes an appreciable difference.

    Hope you have a great tour. We've enjoyed our river cruises there.

  • We took this tour in June several years ago--regular sized tour--and it was wonderful. Mostly, weather was good, with rain in and around Paris. Nice was fabulous--we came in a day early and enjoyed the time on our own. Weather was gorgeous.

    We have never taken the small group tour (we’ve been on 5 previous tours), and have had ample space on each. It was nice getting to know a lot of people. When we went on Treasures of the Aegean (one of the last tours on which Istanbul was included), many people had canceled. We were left with a small group of 12, and in my opinion, it was too small especially for a 2-week tour. Not enough people with whom to mingle and circulate. We have 2 more tours booked, and opted for the standard tour size both because of cost and because we enjoy the larger group size.

    Hope this helps.

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