• Location: Paris, France
  • Duration: 9 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 91.43 View price calendar

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Take a day trip from Paris to Fontainebleau to visit two castles once home to members of France’s extravagant aristocracy. First, explore Château Vaux le Vicomte, said to have inspired the Palace of Versailles. Then head to Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage site whose history dates back to the 12th century. You’ll have free time at each castle to look around on your own via provided audio guides, checking out the ornate architecture and opulent gardens.

Highlights

  • Visit two French castles in one day on a full-day trip from Paris
  • Discover the opulence of Vaux le Vicomte Castle, admiring the extravagant interiors that put its creator in prison
  • Hear tales of French royalty from an audio guide while exploring Château Fontainebleau -- a UNESCO-listed site
  • Spend free time in the gardens of both castles at leisure
  • Transport from Paris by luxury, air-conditioned coach

What You Can Expect

Chateaux de Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte Day Trip from Paris

Chateaux de Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte Day Trip from Paris

Your day trip starts as you depart Paris on board a luxury coach for the 35-mile (55-km) drive southeast to Château Vaux le Vicomte, a baroque castle that is said to have been the inspiration for France’s most famous royal residence, the Palace of Versailles.

When you arrive, you are free to explore independently using your provided audio guide. See elaborate interiors and vaulted cellars, and learn about the man behind this massive home, Nicholas Fouquet, who was King Louis XIV’s minister of finance. After Fouquet commissioned Vaux le Vicomte to be designed by a top architect, the king felt upstaged and threw the minister in jail. When you’re finished inside, walk outside to discover the castle’s 99 acres (40 hectares) of grounds made up of fountains, flowerbeds and sprawling lawns. If you’re hungry, grab some lunch from the onsite café (own expense) before returning to the coach.

Then make your way south to Château de Fontainebleau, the only royal castle in France to be continuously inhabited for more than 700 years. With its Renaissance architecture, ceiling frescos, 15th-century furniture and detailed wood carvings, this World Heritage site is a great alternative to visiting Versailles. Tour the building independently via the audio guide, listening to tales about the French royalty who once lived here.

Château de Fontainebleau is also home to extensive gardens and lakes, so take time to wander the grounds before hopping back on your coach for the return drive to Paris, where your day trip ends.

Customer Reviews

Luisa B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Enjoyed the tour and guide which made it interesting and a very nice day overall. These two chateaux attract less crowds making them more accessible and able to experience all their grandeur.

simpleblossomskincar ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

Vaux-le-Vicomte has a nice cafe in the garden to eat at. Save time for the gardens and pay to climb to the dome. Better than Versailles no -crowds!

bmasters621

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This was a great tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English -- well worth whatever extra money it is. I loved Vaux le Vicomte -- if you're interested in Louis XIV era, this is the place to go. Versailles was re-decorated after his death and then

Michael W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This is the best Viator excursion we have taken. Both locations are beautiful but we actually preferred Vaux le Vicomte; beautiful setting and not too many people. This trip provides ample time to explore and see each location. I highly recommend this excursion. And it was a comfortable bus and great driver.

Theresa C USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2018

Although it is a long day, the time moves quickly as there is so much of interest to see. Both locations were beautiful Jean-Louis our guide did a fantastic commentary enroute and also during our tours of the chateaus and grounds. We very much enjoyed our day. Fontainebleau had a power outage while we were there and no one could enter the chateau until it was restored. Jean-Louis did an good job of showing us the grounds until we were able to enter the chateau. Well done!

Ayessa USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

You need to go to this Tour! This was my 4th time in Paris and I have been to Versailles 3x, but first time in Fontainebleau and Vaux...IT IS ABSOLUTELY BETTER...if you want a quieter, less touristy site, but just as beautiful with amazing history...look no further than this tour and these two sites. GO HERE BEFORE IT GETS INVADED BY TOURISTS!

Meli

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2018

We went to a lot of Chateau's while in France, the Vaux le Vicomte was by far our favorite! The grounds and the interior of the building is beautiful. It's wasn't packed on the day we went and we got to really enjoy it. We just wish we had a little more time in that specific place. The grounds are really large and it takes a long time to walk through the building and the grounds. However, we still spent a nice amount of time there. We would recommend paying the additional 3 euros per person to go to the top! You pay when you start walking through the building. The view from the top was beautiful. We would recommend this tour.

Ying T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Excellent

AnnaK

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Well organized, enjoyed the sights very much. It was mostly transport between the sights and then you do a tour with audioguide. Definitely worth it.

fancynks

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Taking the coach bus from Viator to Chateaux de Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte Day trip from Paris was easy and a pleasure. Both palaces are worth visiting, and have lots of furniture to view. The audio guides are included in the tour, and are a great way to explore. We did not want to drive from Paris, and the coach bus was so convenient. Clean, air conditioned and on time were all highlights.

Visiting the two palaces was amazing. Be sure to pay the extra fee and go up to the roof top for the view at Vaux Le Vicomte, if you are able to manage stairs easily. We chose to visit these two palaces instead of Versaille. There were no crowds and the tour offers plenty of time to see both palaces.
Bring snacks, although there is some food available on site.

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