Versailles tour?

Aug 31st, 2000, 09:57 PM
  #1  
Patricia
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Versailles tour?

Hi everyone again! I feel like I live at this forum lately, but I have yet another question for you experts. I have succumbed to the idea of taking a guided tour of Versailles. I realize that Versailles offers some themed tours, but I am looking for something out of the ordinary. Has anyone ever been on just *the best* themed or guided tour of Versailles with a group? And what was it?

Thanks again!
Patricia
 
Sep 1st, 2000, 06:53 AM
  #2  
Karen
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I have friends who have used Paris Vision and said it was excellent. They were on-time, bus was comfortable, guide was incredibly knowledgeable and price was reasonable. Although we usually don't use tours, we plan to use Paris Vision in November for Versailles.
 
Sep 1st, 2000, 09:14 AM
  #3  
Lee
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Patricia: We took the RER to Versailles Rive Gauche and walked a couple of blocks to the chateau. There, you can stroll the front courtyard and also the gardens on your own. They are quite extensive. Inside, we took two tours of the castle. One was unguided and we walked through the chapel, Hall of Mirrors, the Queens' bedchamber, Hall of Battles, etc. and the second was an English tour that went through the apartments of Louis' XV and Louis' XVI and the Opera. We enjoyed going through both ways. I think that the part we liked best was that we could take our time and see what we wanted for as long as we wanted. We spent the day.

One of the things that I don't like about bus tours is you are part of a crowd and you know, I just don't like the idea of arriving and then leaving when they think you should, not to mention what they think you should see. I like the "discover" on your own element.
 
Sep 1st, 2000, 08:16 PM
  #4  
Patricia
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Karen,
Thanks! I will check out the paris vision tours.

Lee,
While I can see what you mean about feeling like 'cattle being herded', I choose to look at it from another perspective that I feel would be just as worthy. I would like to have a themed tour --something like... the secret lives of the kings and queens, and their mistresses/lovers.
I believe even though the majority of time you will be with other people "herded" around, most tours will offer some time to spend on your own, and oftentimes even have a whole lunch or longer to go off exploring. You can even choose to stay behind if you prefer to off.
I agree with you, there are pros and cons to both kinds of touring, and don't get me wrong exploring on your own is fun too, but I think by that time I will need to have some kind of guided tour --and the headphone prospect doesn't sound very exciting. I happen to prefer live people and to hear stories that will make the castle come alive to me.
I don't particularly agree with the myth that group tours are so confining. Especially if you go on the right tour. They can be very fun too! I even saw one with horse drawn carriages, and that just seems to make up for the several hours in a group.
I only wish I could see the musical fountain show!!!!


Thanks for all of your help!
Patricia
 
Sep 2nd, 2000, 04:14 AM
  #5  
topper
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.
 
Sep 2nd, 2000, 06:13 AM
  #6  
jo ann
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Patricia: Good luck finding a special tour, and if you do, perhaps you could post back about it. Otherwise, I would say do it on your own. I have done it with just a good guidebook several times, and really spent my time, and loved it. Plus, last year I thought the headsets were informative and interesting! Last summer, we were 3 generations, and I was worried that my mother would have trouble with the amount of walking that Versailles encompasses, especially as she was really keen on seeing the "farm" area. So, our hotel lined up a tour with us that was only the 4 of us and 4 other Americans. Well, it was the pits, and expensive to boot.
The other Americans were rather obnoxious (complaining the whole drive about everything). Finally got to Versailles, I didn't have time to finish the headset and stay with the group (I guess they fast forwarded or something.)
It was a first visit for my husband and daughter, and the guide had put us in a spot that didn't even include the Hall of Mirrors! Got to the farm, had a minimum of time, must get back to Paris, etc.
 
Jan 7th, 2011, 01:03 PM
  #7  
 
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I would not recommend taking a bus tour of Versailles. Besides the quick entrance, you'll have an impersonal and dry experience. A couple we met at our hotel took one and hated it. To avoid that, my wife and I booked a tour with Aeon Tours (http://www.aeontours.com) in November and had a wonderful experience. Our guide met us at our hotel and took us directly to the palace. We had a reservation through the tour company, which mean we didn't have to wait in line at all. One word of advice - plan a full day at Versailles. There is so much to do and see.
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