This tour combines trips to two of the most notable attractions within driving distance of Paris: Claude Monet’s estate at Giverny and the famously extravagant Palace of Versailles. Learn about two different chapters from French history – the Baroque-era excess of Versailles and the hugely influential Impressionist art movement.
In the morning, travel from Paris to the quaint country village of Giverny by air-conditioned coach. During the drive, which takes around an hour, your guide will provide an enlightening introduction to the day’s agenda. First stop is the Fondation Claude Monet, where you’ll be treated to a short but informative introduction to the estate where the Impressionist master Monet made his home. After the orientation tour, you are free to explore at your leisure. You might simply stroll slowly around the lily pad ponds of the garden, made so famous by Monet’s own masterpieces. Or make your way around the artist’s ivy-clad house, which has been restored to show how it would have appeared during the painter’s lifetime. You might even want to get lunch in one of the town’s tranquil bars or restaurants, which exude provincial charm.
After lunch, we’ll regroup and make the short trip to Versailles on the outskirts of Paris. Upon arrival an official palace guide will be accompany you for a comprehensive two-hour guided tour of the Palace and gardens.
Enjoy skip the line access via pre-booked entrance to Versailles and your guide will lead you around the labyrinthine interior, showing you the resplendent rooms where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette threw lavish soirées for fellow aristocrats as well as the royals’ own private chambers. Marvel at the sheer array of magnificent art, which could rival even the finest museum collections, You’ll see the King and Queen’s apartments, the Chapel, the Coronation Room, the Hall of Mirrors and the Salon of Abundance.
Just when you think that you have seen all that the Palace of Versailles has to offer, you’ll step out into its dazzling manicured gardens. The gardens measure more than 1,800 acres in size so to help you get your bearings, we’ll give you a tour, before letting you off to wander them at will. Depending on what day you visit, you may also manage to catch the famous Versailles Fountain Show or Musical Gardens (tickets are included in tour price on show days). The Fountain Shows sees Versailles’ famous water features spray and spurt to life, while the Musical Gardens event allows you to enjoy the garden against a soundtrack of classical music. After ambling around the gardens at your preferred pace, you can hop back on board the return coach to Paris.