Visiting Chateaux de Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte was a wonderful trip. I have been using Viator in France for the past three summers and each time I book about three to four trips with them. Always very professional and they pick the best places in and around the Paris area. The tour guides know what they are doing and try to make it very pleasant for all the passengers. The coach bus is very comfortable and it is great at the end of the day to get back on a nice air conditioned bus, let the driver take the wheel and enjoy the trip back into Paris.
This is definitely a transport only tour. After telling us where we were going and a timeline sketch not another word was spoken on the bus. Thought they could have at least given us a history of the chateaux and Vaux le Vicomte. The restaurant was expensive and my piece of pork was 75% fat. There is no other option to eat except for a walk up snack bar.
The trip to Vaux le Vicomte was interesting and enjoyable. We had lunch there. Unfortunately we were then told that the Chateaux de Fontainebleau was closed because of the weather. We were told that we would be refunded the entrance fee for the Chateau. That seemed completely unfair to me, since the whole reason for the tour was to go to Fontainebleau. I felt I had missed one-half on my trip and they were refunding me one-sixth of the price. I wrote to the corporate office about my complaint and have been told I will receive one-half of my tour price back. So I feel the company responded in good faith. I have been to Fontainebleau and it is well worth visiting.
This was a great tour. There was no narration on the bus but we knew this from previous comments. We did have an audio guide at both places. To our surprise we much preferred Vaux le Vicomte to Fontainebleau as we felt the latter was so overdone it was almost gaudy.
Great tour! Although it would have been nice to hear a little history or information during the ride to the chateaux's, it was still great. You aren't forced to stand in a group and do what the tour entails but are allowed to explore the chateaux's and grounds on your own with your audio guide. I loved this as sometimes there are things I would like to linger on and somethings I can skip quicker through. All you have to do is get back to the bus at the required time. All in all five stars.
The tour was an exceptional experience. I enjoyed discovering Fontainebleau at my own pace -- that's my favorite kind of tour. Our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable. Since I'm in second language acquisition, I compliment our tour guide for not only is correct, clear, fluent English but also his mastery of idiom and American culture.
The chateaux were wonderful, of course, but the tour itself was very casual and unfocused. We weren't sure when to be where, one woman was almost left behind, no one said anything about anything. We just got on the bus and went, on our own. Maybe it's the CityParis crowd that's so unfocused, but it made the day a bit nerve-wracking.
Our driver appeared to not be into this tour. Very little information was volunteered as we drove from Paris to chateau to chateau. On our return trip to Paris, he appeared to become very agitated with the traffic and became upset with another driver who cut him off and drove very recklessly.
The chateaus ( Vaux le Vicompte and Fontainebleau ) were most definitely worth visiting; however, the staff from the agency seemed a bit disorganized. Upon arriving at VLV most in our group remained waiting in the parking area unsure of what to do next. The “guide” who accompanied us on the bus was no where to be found. Several of us decided to take the initiative and begin our chateau tour independent of the “guide”. Apparently, this was the correct thing to do. Later after arriving at the Chateau de Fontainbleau we waited in line to obtain our audioguides ( these were provided at the first chateau ) only to be informed that we were required to wait in a separate line first to pay for the audioguide charge. This information was never made clear to us prior to our departure from Paris. The positives re booking for the service is transportation and tickets provided in advance.
Although we had no expectation that these would be guided tours, we did not expect to be simply left at the bus park and told what time to return to the bus. No information whatsoever. We were to have lunch at Vaux le Vicomte. The only restaurant that was available did not open until 12, so there was nowhere to sit with a coffee and enjoy the gardens. Viator's information said "head inside for your audio-guided tour". Audio guides were available, but at extra cost. At Fontainbleau, only a small part of the chateau was open to the general public. The "mesmerising ceilings" etc. in the Viator information could only be seen with a separate guided tour (11 euros extra). By the time we realised this, (no information) there was not sufficient time left to join a tour. The last tour of the day had closed. All in all, a very disappointing tour - should have gone by train.
Bus left right on time, good driver. Had enough time at each Chateau. Nice having an audio guide.
This was basically a transportation trip, but I enjoyed both Chateaux's very much. There as no real tour and basically the bus driver got us into both locations.
Very good gave us 3 hours at each place, Fontainebleau is the bigger so make sure you keep moving here - you can get lunch cheaper down the street at the local boulangerie bakery for families - both worth visiting for mixture of beautiful gardens and chateaus.
Excellent trip, but a lot for one day. Plenty of time at both locations. My only complaint is that I was refused the audio-visual guide at Fontainebleau even though it was supposedly included.
No commentary at all during the trip. Something, even if bare bones, would be nice.
An extraordinary palace and grounds. We traveled there via a clean and modern bus; the countryside was beautiful.
The lawns and water features of this fabulous place are awe-inspiring. We rented a golf cart to see it all, saving our legs for the huge chateau itself. We bought a nice lunch at the cafe next to the coach house, which contained many restored carriages from centuries gone by. A wonderful day trip.
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