Palace of Versailles

Today we took an 8 hour bike tour of the Palace of Versailles with Fat Tire Tours.  I had taken a 4 hour city tour with them in 2015 and loved every bit of it.  The guides are energetic anglophones who are very knowledgeable about the city and all of it's history.  Since I had never seen Versailles before, I thought it would be a good idea to see it by bike.  

You start the tour by meeting your group and guide at their office in Paris.  Then you take a train to Versailles, where you buy food for a picnic lunch at the local market.  The town of Versailles is lovely and so is the market.  Fresh fruit, European cheeses, and wonderful baguettes are just a few of the great things we enjoyed while we were there.

After the market, you head over to the grounds of the palace, first exploring the long roads lined by trees.  After a bit of biking, you explore what I like to call Marie Antoinette's "fantasy land".  This area was built so she could escape her royal duties and her sometimes-suffocating daily structure.  She enjoyed being away from the Palace and even liked to pretend she was a farm girl, which is why the small village built for her included a farm house, mill, a lighthouse, and other casual places for her to enjoy.  Then you cycle to the Grand Canal, a large pool of water, which King Louis XIV had shaped like a cross.  On the tour, you bike around the entire Grand Canal and stop halfway to enjoy the picnic lunch purchased in town.  

Marie Antoinette's Hamlet 

The Lighthouse 

The Queen's farm house

The grounds had many farm animals, along with this little guy!

Part of the Grand Canal and our lunch spot

View of the Palace from the green.

After lunch, it's time to head to the actual palace.  Lines can be very long to enter the building, so going with Fat Tire Tours is an advantage because you don't have to wait with all of the other individual people trying to get in.  

The Palace is enormous, so we didn't have time/the energy to see all of it, but here are some pictures of the highlights.  

Hall of Mirrors 

Gardens of Versailles 

To learn more about the Palace of Versailles, click here.

To view the Palace of Versailles bike tour by Fat Tire Tours, click here

Katherine McVey