Paris tours and activities

Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau Day Trip

Skip crowded Versailles and visit two historic castles near Paris in one day.

Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel or apartment in central Paris. Admissions included.


Price: $340 per person


Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau Itinerary

wine tours from ParisThere are three spectacular castles within an easy drive from Paris: Vaux Le Vicomte, Fontainbleau, and of course, Versailles. Our Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau day trip from Paris is a great way to experience two castles in one day. They are also less crowded than Versailles, but just as impressive.

In the morning you'll be picked up at your Paris hotel or apartment by our driver/guide in a comfortable, air-conditioned, WiFi-enabled mini-van.

All admissions are included, with skip- the-line tickets. Lunch is not included, but ample time will be provided for lunch and, if you like, a glass or two of wine.

The tour lasts approximately 9 hours. Available from early March through the first week of November, seven days a week.


About Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau

Vaux le Vicomte - Just an hour’s drive south of Paris, Vaux Le Vicomte is a masterwork of 17th century splendor.

Bought by Nicolas Fouquet in 1641, Vaux le Vicomte was turned into a jewel of cutting edge garden and interior design, thanks to the great talents of architect Lois Le Vau, painter Charles Le Brun and  landscape gardener Andre le Notre. The transformation of the estate took 20 years. Fouqet hardly got to enjoy the result as his close friendship with King Louis XIII was much envied; jealous courtiers convinced the king Fouqet was an enemy.  He was sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. The estate’s priceless paintings and decorations were seized, ultimately forming the design template for Versailles.

A long decline of the property as it changed hands over the centuries ended in 1875, when sugar magnate Alfred Sommier bought it, determined to restore its beauty.  His heirs continue the process to this day.

Visitors will particularly note Fouquet’s private rooms, and get a glimpse of estate life by visiting the cellars and kitchens as well.  The 86 acres of gardens feature whimsical topiary, meticulously planted flower beds and truly communicate the philosophy of 17th century style formal   French garden design.

Chateau FontainebleauNext, you’ll visit Chateau de Fontainebleau, perhaps the world’s most elaborate hunting lodge.

This palace has been continuously occupied for seven centuries, making it a UNESCO World Heritage site.   Starting in the  12th century as a medieval fortification, it became the hunting lodge of the French royal family  thanks to the abundant game, dense forest and local fresh water springs.  By the early 1500’s, construction to make a truly  modern palace had begun under King Francis I.  Italian artisans and designers were building such palaces all over Europe, and the French royal family wanted this new style.

Henry III and IV in particular greatly expanded the footprint of the chateau, adding grand apartments, ballrooms and portrait galleries.   Subsequent kings continued the tradition of lavish decoration , culminating with Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s  contributions, adding courtier apartments and new boudoirs in the then-trendy Arab style. 

The Revolution and turmoil of the Republic meant Fontainebleua’s treasures were taken and sold, though the estate escaped being torn down.  Napoleon I and II restored  much of the grandeur.  Subsequent conflicts saw the estate occupied by the Prussian Army, the German Army during WWII, and the Allied forces during the liberation in 1944.


Practical Information


  • Hotel or apartment pick-up in central Paris
  • Skip the line entrances at both Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleu
  • Dedicated knowledgable English speaking driver guide

Not included: Lunch, personal expenses.

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