Royal Châteaux & Gardens around Paris
Full-day Tour or more
Exploring some of the world’s most enchanting gardens and châteaux in the countryside surrounding Paris.
Retrace the evolution of French garden design while visiting the royal châteaux and forests surrounding the City of Light with your specialist guide. Take advantage of your hotel in the heart of Paris to make daily excursions into the surrounding countryside.
Tour the royal Château de Fontainebleau, a monumental palace surrounded by a vast hunting forest. Architecturally, it bears the stamp of the Renaissance, admired by François I, and the Empire Style favoured by Napoleon I. Strolling through its courtyards, observe a landscape of stylistic contrasts between the secluded Jardin de Diane, the Jardin Anglais, and the terraces around the Bassin du Tibre.
Contemplate the imposing, privately owned Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, with its gardens designed by André Le Notre, which are a harmonious extension of its architecture and its interiors painted by Charles Le Brun. The precursor to Versailles, this castle was built in 1661 for Nicholas Fouquet, the finance minister of Louis XIV. Fouquet was arrested shortly after the opening celebrations of the château, and Louis XIV then employed Louis Le Vau and Jules Hardouin-Mansart, its designers, for his palace and gardens at Versailles.
Explore the celebrated interiors and gardens of the Château de Versailles, the epitome of French classical design and the blueprint for royal castles throughout Europe. The gods and goddesses of its richly sculpted fountain groups in the bosquets, closest to the palace, echo those in the magnificent painted decoration of the Hall of Mirrors and King’s Apartments.
Tour the romantic Trianons and the bucolic Hamlet of Marie-Antoinette, where its landscaped gardens are a poignant reminder of 18th century anglomania. A visit to the Potager du Roi illustrates the importance of homegrown fruits and vegetables on the royal menu.
Make an excursion to the Château de Maisons-Lafitte, one of the masterpieces of architect François Mansart from the 1640s, and a stop at the Château de St.-Germain-en-Laye to admire Le Nôtre’s terraced walk high above the river Seine. Then look for the exotic Desert de Retz, a pre-revolutionary example of a jardin anglo-chinois hidden in the forest of St. Germain-en-Laye.
Discover the Château de Malmaison, where the Empress Josephine created a rose garden immortalized by the botanist Redouté, and admire its original Empire-style furnishings. Then stroll through the gardens of the Château de Chantilly comparing its 17th century formal gardens by Le Nôtre with its 18th century natural “landscape gardens” adorned with rustic cottages. Inside this superb stylistic pastiche rebuilt by the Duc d’Aumale in the 19th century, take the time to admire its exceptional French painting collection, second in importance only to the Louvre.
This 5-day tour of the Royal Châteaux and Gardens in the Ile de France offers you a survey of the finest French châteaux and gardens with privileged introductions and exclusive access, accommodation for 7 nights at the Hôtel de Crillon, a half-day panoramic tour of the gardens of Paris, a specialist historian/guide, all entrance fees and taxes, the assistance of our Académie Hostess and a luxury vehicule.
The exclusive AAV tour can be customized to meet your requirements.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeCultural Tours, Guided Tours
Activity Level Active
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