Half and Full-day excursions explore exceptional chateaux and historic gardens outside of Paris.
Picturesque Voyages day tours are designed for a leisurely pace, allowing ample time to fully appreciate extraordinary architecture and garden design. We evoke the history of the chateau owners – the lavish parties and personal intrigues that contributed to the history of France – and consider how these magnificent sites influence world cultural heritage.
Admission tickets are an additional per person fee, they are pre-purchased by us and non-refundable. We can arrange private transportation and propose luncheon options that typify French cuisine and local specialties. Car service and dining costs are in addition to the tour fee.
Then & Now: Each tour begins with an iBook presentation of images selected from historical archives, providing a comparative context for viewing Paris today. After the tour, you can add your own photos to create a personal souvenir of your Picturesque Voyage.
Picturesque Voyages Tours Adhere to Recommended Health and Safety Guidelines
- Masks can be provided upon request.
- Tours are limited to 6 people. Family groups may be larger.
- All garden and walking tours maintain social distancing standards.
Custom tours are our specialty. Contact us to plan a personalized itinerary for a most memorable, life-long learning experience.
Full-Day Tour: The Château and the Petit Park (650€, 1-6 persons, entrance fee excluded, transportation and luncheon options can be arranged at an additional cost)
Our visit to Versailles considers how Louis XIV developed a landscape garden that embodied the absolute power of the French monarchy for over 200 years. André Le Nôtre, the exceptionally talented landscape architect, refined the French formal garden style for the Sun King. We examine the political, social, and cultural aspects of LeNotre’s design as we discover the allées, bosquets, fountains, and exceptional plantings.
Our Versailles tour focuses on the chateau and the Petit Park. If you are interested in visiting Marie-Antoinette’s domain, please visit our Picturesque Pleasures tour option.
Exclusive Versailles Experiences: Louis XV Apartments
Half-Day Tour with Special Access: The Private Apartments of the King and Main Palace (650 € per group 1-6 persons, entrance fee 1,100€, transportation and luncheon options can be arranged at an additional cost)
I’m certified to offer special access tours to the Private Apartments of Louis XV at Versailles. This series of rooms were redecorated by Louis XV as more intimate apartments. The tour also includes the royal chapel and opera house. These are not included on general admission tickets. This special access tour can be included in a half-day tour of the interior of the palace and close gardens. Advance booking of 6-8 weeks required.
Exclusive Versailles Experiences: Marie-Antoinette Apartments
Half-Day Tour with Special Access: The Private Apartments of Queen Marie Antoinette and Main Palace (650€ per group 2-6 persons, 1,000€ entrance fee , transportation and luncheon options can be arranged at an additional cost)
Ideal for fans of Marie-Antoinette or return visitors to Versailles, this tour includes the exclusive Private Apartments of the Queen. Recently restored, in was in these apartments where Marie-Antoinette retreated from public life. Early Rococo in style, a highlight of the tour is her Toilette, or private bathroom. A visit to these apartments can be included in a half-day tour or full day tour of Versailles. This tour can also be paired with a visit to our Marie-Antoinette themed tour of Versailles.
With restricted access, this special VIP experience requires advance booking.
Full-Day Tour: The Château and Gardens (650€ per group of 1-6 persons, excluding entrance fee, transport and lunch options that can be arranged at an additional fee. This is an ideal trip for families)
The château and gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte predated the development of Versailles and are widely considered the most beautiful example of 17th-century French gardens. The privately owned château once belonged to Nicolas Fouquet. Fouquet commissioned three of the greatest artists of his time – the painter Charles LeBrun, the architect Louis LeVau, and the landscape architect André LeNôtre – who together transformed French art, architecture, and landscape design. We combine our visit with a short trip to the nearby château of Blandy-les-Tours, a medieval fortress that provides an opportunity to better understand how Fouquet encouraged LeNôtre to create the modern cultural landscape.
5-hour Tour: Gardens and Museums 550€ per group of 1-6 persons excluding entrance fees. Transport and lunch options can be arranged at an additional fee)
When Claude Monet settled at the house in Giverny in 1883, he was still a struggling painter. At his death 43 years later, he had transformed the surrounding landscape into a private garden that not only inspired other artists but also has come to define the Impressionist movement. Our visit to Giverny is a celebration of floriculture for garden lovers in all seasons. We also visit the Musées des Impressionismes, featuring temporary exhibitions and surrounded by a garden inspired by Giverny and conceived by the American landscape architect Mark Rudkin.
Full-Day Tour: Château and Garden – 650€ per group of 1-6 persons excluding entrance fees. Transport and lunch options can be arranged for an additional fee.
The Domaine at Chantilly still resembles a royal estate: an historic château, an exceptional art collection, horse stables, and gardens designed by André LeNôtre. The present-day château was singularly remodeled by Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, who was one of the most important 19th-century collectors of magnificent paintings and rare books. Our tour of Chantilly includes a visit to the restored apartments, art collections and the gardens. We will visit the kitchens where one of the first celebrity chefs, Vatel, introduced nouvelle cuisine. In the garden we will enjoy a tasting of one of his most celebrated recipes for Chantilly cream.