- Get inside at last entry time, after most of the crowds have left
- A fully-guided tour of the Gardens of Versailles, not just an introduction
- Transport by luxury minibus to and from central Paris included
Step inside one of Europe’s most opulent building on this fully-guided tour of the Palace of Versailles. From the immense fountains that punctuate Louis XIV’s gardens to the splendor of the King’s and Queen’s Apartments and the incomparable Hall of Mirrors, this tour immerses you in the sights, stories, gossip, and legends of France’s lost age of splendor.
Your day starts in central Paris, where you’ll meet your expert guide and small group of no more than 19 fellow travelers. From there you’ll meet your private minibus for the 45-minute ride to the outskirts of Paris, where Louis XIII first built a hunting lodge that was later extended by his son into the royal palace you see today.
In order to retain some of the bucolic feel of his father’s lodge, the Sun King set aside nearly 2,000 acres for gardens and even sketched out a strict plan for how they should be visited. Your tour will begin these gardens, but don’t worry, you don’t have to follow Louis’ plan. Instead, you’ll learn how these came to be considered the epitome of the French style of gardens that you can still see all over the world. You’ll also get the story of how Louis snatched his garden designer off another project essentially out of jealousy.
As you go, your guide will point out details like the various symbols of the Greek sun god, Apollo, which Louis used all over the grounds as a reference to, well, himself. The highlights of the gardens are the immense fountains, which are packed with beautiful statuary and run on a system of gravity-driven hydraulics that has not changed since they were first installed. If you are visiting during the week you’ll only see the architecture of the fountains but if you go on the weekend you’ll witness their full grandeur when they are turned on and water spouts from them just as it did over 300 years ago.
After the gardens, you’ll enjoy skip the line entrance into the palace itself. It’s the final entrance of the day so Versailles will be as peaceful as you can get it without renting it for a private function (which you can do, actually, but as your guide will tell you, it’s pretty expensive).
This enormous palace wasn’t just a home for the King. In its heyday, it was a literal gilded cage for thousands of nobles whom Louis kept here for much of the year to make sure they weren’t plotting against him. As you go from one unimaginably decadent room to the next, your guide will bring the palace to life with stories of courtly intrigue and royal plots, while also giving you insight into the everyday lives of the people who lived here (it may not be as glamorous as you expect).
On your small group tour you will visit the most famous and impressive rooms in the palace, from the Royal private apartments, where the last of the Bourbon monarchs lived out their private lives; to the public state apartments, like the War Room and Peace room, which hosted balls, concerts and political functions. The most stunning of them all is the Hall of Mirrors, which is packed with so much art, symbolism and imagery, your guide will make sure to spend extra time there helping you decode it all. This is one of, if not the greatest and most ostentatious throne room ever created and it’s packed with diplomatic history. Be sure to ask lots of questions and soak it all up.
Since you entered the chateau from the back, you’ll leave from the front, making your last view of Versailles also the most impressive. Hopping back in your private minibus you’ll arrive in central Paris, next to the Eiffel Tower, at 7:00pm, just in time to get dinner recommendations from your guide and head off for a nice meal.
- Full Versailles tour including palace and gardens (with fountain or music gardens show on certain days)
- Transportation on private mini-bus
- Expert Guide
- Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off
Infants up to 3 years are free of charge.
Café Le Wilson, 2 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75116 Paris (Trocadero Square).
Meet us 15 minutes before departure in front of the Café Le Wilson. Metro stop: 'Trocadéro' (line 6 and 9). Take the 'Sortie' (exit) n°1 towards 'Tour Eiffel'. Cross the Avenue du Président Wilson. Your guide will be in front of the main entrance of the café, holding a Meeting Point sign.
- Small Groups of 19 people
- Latecomers and no-shows won't be able to join the group, reschedule or get a refund
- As with all museums, some galleries of the Palace of Versailles may be closed without prior notice. In this case, your guide will make an appropriate substitution.
- Exta security checks may cause delay or inconvenience at the entrance of the venue
- Suitcases, luggage, and larger bags are not allowed inside. Only bags smaller than 55 cm x 35 cm x 20 cm are permitted
- Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, wheelchairs or strollers on this tour
- Comfortable walking shoes recommended. No High Heels allowed inside the Palace.
- If option booked with show, depending on the day you are visiting the Versailles and the gardens, you will either enjoy a Fountain Show or a Musical Gardens Show.
- Running Days with Show Gardens
20 March - 31 March 2018
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays at 1:30 PM
01 April - 09 May 2018
Tuesdays, Sundays at 2:30 PM
10 May 2018
Thursday at 2:30 PM
11 May - 31 October 2018
Tuesdays, Sundays at 2:30 PM
- Running Days without Show Gardens
01 April - 31 October
Thursdays (except 10 May 2018) at 2:30 PM
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