Versailles day tripThe arts in excellence, in a very special place of French history SCHEDULE AND BOOK ONLINE
Ticket and audioguide included
Secure online booking
Tour in French
Visit on program or on demand!
Welcome to the monarch residence
Next scheduled date: Sunday 19th, February 2023. Guaranteed tour with a minimum of 5 registered persons.
Price : 30€ per person
Duration : 1 day (9.30am-6pm)
Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of the Sun King and bask in the dazzling beauty of gilding and sparkling mirrors? Just picture yourself strutting down the pristine royal garden paths… Can you hear Lully’s music ring out? Ladies, put on your finest petticoats and dresses. Gentlemen, dig out your embroidered justaucorps jacket, silk shirt, breeches and best wig.
Louis XIV had the Château de Versailles built to celebrate the French monarchy. Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI’s main residence is a historical landmark and classical masterpiece jam-packed with decorative treasures and French gardens. Visiting Versailles in a day? You’re in for a royally great day out!
Tour includes (order subject to change)
- Royal Chapel
- Hall of Mirrors, King’s and Queen’s Apartments, Salon of Mars
- Gardens, Grand Canal, Groves
- Neptune Fountain, Latona Fountain
- Grand and Petit Trianon
- Queen’s Hamlet
Versailles day trip by Vacances Actives
- Meet outside Château de Versailles (you will be informed of the meeting point when you book)
- French group leader
- Day ticket for the Château de Versailles provided at entrance
- Audioguide included
Not included :
- Transport (train : highly recommended). Not included.
- Lunch and snacks. Bring a picnic!
- Purchases, tips and personal expenses
- Any tickets not mentioned
The promises of a day in Versailles
The immensity of Versailles…
Versailles is simply huge… 800ha of buildings, gardens and grounds living in harmony. Where to begin? We’ll start with the Royal Chapel and Apartments and save the Gardens and Queen’s Hamlet for the afternoon.
The Royal Chapel, to immerse yourself in the universe of Versailles
The Royal Chapel takes your breath away as soon as you step inside. Mansart completed his masterpiece at the end of Louis XIV’s reign and it brings to mind the Sainte Chapelle in Paris (visit it on our tour). Feast your eyes on the Gothic exterior elevation, interior colonnades inspired by Antiquity and staggering painted ceiling!
The Grand Apartments
Let’s move onto the Grand Apartments home to the famous Hall of Mirrors and the King’s and Queen’s Apartments. As you wander through salons, cabinets and chambers, you’ll see a row of magical and opulent rooms named after allegories (Abundance) or Greek gods (Venus, Diana, Mars, Mercury, Apollo). Each and every feature is upholstered, gilded, inlaid and elevated; the floorboards creak and the chandeliers twinkle. This part of the tour ends on a high: the Hall of Mirrors in the middle of the main building. It’s the work of our loyal Mansart, an architect at his peak, alongside the artist Charles le Brun. 600 mirrors on 17 glass panels reflect sunlight, especially at sunset, into the castle wing. An ostentatious gallery that welcomes the sun in all its glory to please the king who held the golden orb so dear.
Hungry for more ?
The Gardens, Grand Canal, Fountains
Let’s take our tour of Versailles outside! A little picnic break with a minuet playing in the background is very welcome after such a busy morning.
Welcome to the world designed by Le Nôtre, the master landscaper who had already earned his stripes at Château Vaux-le-Vicomte. With Colbert as his guide, he designed the property’s first French gardens decorated with hundreds of fountains and sculptures (by Charles Le Brun). Mansart put his own stamp on the grounds in 1684 with the Orangery: a garden with 1500 orange trees, lemon trees, palm trees and other plants oozing springtime aromas.
You’re in for a garden stroll like no other: there are surprises galore along the paths among the trimmed hedges, bubbling fountains, sleek ponds, clipped groves and endless views. There’s an air of romanticism and refinement. Every last bit of the perfectly symmetrical green layout is designed to exude royal power in a place where people would come to relax or celebrate.
Next step: The Groves
The groves are curious places: they’re little green lounges hidden by hedges to provide the royal entertainment with some privacy. We have 4 or 5 favourites out of the 14 groves in the grounds. Just take the Ballroom Grove where the Sun King would dance with his guests among the rockery, shells and burstone. The Queen’s Grove was a botanical garden where Marie Antoinette could walk away from the prying eyes of the many visitors. This unique grove is unusual for the gardens of Versailles in that it’s home to a wonderfully wide variety of plants that bloom at different times. Then there’s the Colonnade Grove, Obelisk Grove, Dauphin’s Grove and more.
Next step: Petit and Grand Trianon
After such a long time outside, let’s make our way to the Petit Trianon: the estate inspired by Madame de Pompadour came from Louis XV’s great passion for botany. The palace is also home to English gardens, the Queen’s Theatre and Temple of Love. The architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel was commissioned to build a large enough palace to house some of King Louis XV’s suite.
The Grand Trianon is the older of the two palaces and designed by Mansart who described it as a “little pink marble and porphyry palace with delicious gardens”. The peristyle and its colonnades are utterly magical whilst the rooms couldn’t be any more sophisticated and stylish: Room of Mirrors, Room of Malachite, Music Room, Fresh Lounge and more.
Next step: the Queen’s Hamlet
Let’s end this royal day out with a change of scene and take a break from the opulence of Versailles in the Queen’s Hamlet. Marie-Antionette’s beloved hamlet blends several rustic architectural styles and stands near a lake. It’s home to houses and farm buildings: the windmill, boudoir, Queen’s house, billiard room, barn, working dairy, fisherman’s cottage and more. Did the Queen play at being farmers with her court here? Probably not but Marie-Antoinette did use it for walks and to host small gatherings! The working farm that once stood here served an educational role for the royal children!
So many incredible stories and sights! End your day with a head full of golden memories and a little extra time in the Gardens to watch Versailles glow with gold under the setting sun.
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