Join us for a full day visit to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. Visit the lavish State Apartments and stroll through the glittering Hall of Mirrors as the Royals once did. But there is much more to Versailles! We then take you through the spectacular gardens to the private estate of Queen Marie Antoinette, including her charming Petit Trianon, hamlet and farm.
Your guide will meet you in downtown Paris and accompany you to Versailles by local train. Once you reach the Chateau, you’ll begin your trip through time as you gain a vivid understanding of the royal personalities who inhabited the site. Versailles was the most splendid capital in the world during the 17th century reign of Louis XIV. Courtiers and diplomats came from all over Europe to admire the decor and curry favor with the king. Crowds are still lining up at the gates today, but our pre-booked entrance tickets will guarantee you direct access, and your friendly local guide will ensure you see all these rooms and halls have to offer.
You’ll hear about how the royal family was continuously on display, how they subjugated the proud nobles, and recaptured preeminence in fashion and art production from Italy back to France. Enjoy astonishing anecdotes about the lavish lifestyle of Marie Antoinette, and you’ll understand how uncomfortable she was at this public palace, preferring her private domains. Her excesses at Versailles failed to impress the French people, and in 1789 she fell from power never to see the palace again.
Upon completing your tour of the royal apartments, your guide will accompany you through the luxurious gardens of Versailles, the setting for promenades, performances, and pyrotechnics! On days when the fountains are active, you’ll appreciate the added value of the elegant and omnipresent bubbling jets of water.
After a break for lunch, treat yourself to an afternoon excursion to the queen’s personal domain. During this three-hour tour you’ll visit the Petit Trianon, an exquisite private palace set in a luxuriant garden where Marie Antoinette spent much of her time. With your expert and entertaining guide, you have the rare opportunity to really make the period and the personalities come to life by continuing your visit into more exclusive areas. Upon leaving the main palace behind, explore the surprising atmospheres and art hidden in the garden’s many groves. Distance the crowds and access areas reserved for the private lives and loves of the royalty.
With a diamond-encrusted key, Louis XVI offered his wife Marie Antoinette an escape from the ritualized public life she found so suffocating. This key unlocked the small Petit Trianon palace, sheltered from gossip and criticism, where she could feel free. Follow in her footsteps, through her English gardens and into the place she called home. The furniture and decoration authentically represents the queen’s own taste and favored craftsmen. You won’t forget Marie Antoinette’s private theatre, a hidden jewel of Versailles, installed so the queen herself could star in popular plays applauded by her fashionable ladies-in-waiting!
Just down the path from the richly adorned palace, Marie Antoinette commissioned a replica rustic village, evoking Normandy with its thatched cottages and dairy herd. Here she appreciated the informal atmosphere and healthy air, and indulged in pastoral amusements.
Spend a full day exploring in depth the magnificence of the Palace of Versailles. Learn about the public and private lives of the royals, step into their shoes and discover their secrets. It is only by seeing into both sides of their life here that you can truly understand the tumultuous events that were to follow and lead to their ultimate downfall.