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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

Recent Photos of This Tour

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

catchelliott

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

The time allowed at each location was enough to enjoy all the aspects of the chateaux's.

Melissa B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour allowed me to see two very different style chateaus. Found the history of these two very interesting. The guide was very knowledgeable and filled us in on information before arriving at each location. Prompt and on time, followed schedule perfectly. I would recommend taking a tour out of Paris proper with this company. Conveniently located near the Louvre and Tuilliers.

Cynthia H United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Interesting history and beautiful gardens.

Shap B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great trip! Both are very beautiful! Would definitely recommend this trip.

Ryan A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Rent the golf cart, it was a blast!

lgilman01

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent way to see the castles

Anne T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Just a bus ride. Perfect.

Yangtian L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Very good and easy. This is exactly what I want, basically includes transportation, tickets and audio guide, then you are on your own. The timing is pretty good too. Recommended!

Alice Shiqing H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Wonderful trip especially like Vaux le Vicomte. Strongly recommend this tour.

Kevin S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

The trip was as advertised. The bus was on time and an efficient way to see both sites in one day. Both sites were tours on your own with audio-guides which as perfect. You could proceed or skip areas at your discretion.

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