Got a hunger to wander through a wonderland of luxurious, artistic decadence? Then you're going to love Louis XIV's opulent 17th century Palace of Versailles. This three-day itinerary will immerse you in the Baroque details, flamboyant furnishings, works of art and amazing French gardens.
Day 1: Dive into the Grandeur
The best way to truly appreciate the history and detail of Versailles is to put yourself in the hands of the expert. Join a guided tour, where a guide-interpreter will bring back to life the history of the Palace of Versailles. You'll discover the Great Royal Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and the Queen's Apartments. Afterward, stroll the sculpture-filled French gardens. For a fitting end, take in a magnificent Versailles Fountain Show, accompanied by music composed at the time of Louis XIV's court. It'll make you want to reach for your powdered wigs!
Day 2: Show Me the Monet!
See where the inspiration for those famous Impressionist paintings originated from in a trip to nearby Giverny, Claude Monet's home from 1883 to 1926. (This is also an ideal day trip from Paris if you're there.) It was here that he painted his famous Nympheas water lily sequence. Wander his inspiring gardens before stopping for lunch at the Moulin de Fourges, a picturesque riverbank mill, then head back for a little more Versailles.
Day 3: Bikes and Baguettes
For your last day, feel truly French by taking to your bike, cycling through the greenery of Versailles and stopping for a picnic. Sounds like heaven, right? Together with a guide, you'll get to see highlights of Versailles that most visitors miss, including Marie Antoinette's country-style Hameau, the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon. You'll also enjoy a picnic (that you've picked up from Versailles' village market – ham, cheese, wine…) by the Grand Canal in the exact spot where Louis XIV, XV and XVI ate while they marveled at their palace. You'll finish off with a final lap around the chateau. What a glorious day!