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This was one of the few tours we booked through Viator that went off without a hitch. However, if I could do it again, I would not book through Viator. Their prices are over inflated, the communication with the tour providers and AAA is absolutely horrible, and the customer service stinks! I strongly recommend you wait until you get to France to book your tours. There are plenty of tour providers there and your hotel can help you out. You will save lots of money and avoid the many, many problems we experienced with Viator. AVOID VIATOR!!!!
Due to the guide we were most unfortunately placed with, this tour was a waste of money and it did not allow us to maximize our time at this beautiful location. The tour guide, we'll call J, spoke with such a strong accent we could barely understand anything he said - although what he had to say was completely useless anyway. His editorial was specific only to the exploits of the 3 Kings, their wives and mistresses - he provided no information on Versailles itself. By the end of the tour we were trying to read the placard information to glean some information, which was difficult due to the fast pace he was setting. We got through the building in about 20 minutes - WHO TOURS VERSAILLES IN 20 MINUTES???. He then took us to the gardens, gave us a map, said to follow the trails left to right and meet him in 2 hours for lunch. No history, suggestions or information about the gardens. As we walked around we saw some other walking tours which I'm sure were a fraction of the cost of this tour - and boy did we wish we had taken them instead. The lunch was very nice and the group of people we were with were wonderful. We finished the leisurely lunch in about an hour and waited for J who wandered in about 1/2 an hour later. We then loaded into the van, drove by Grand Trianon he never even stopped the van and then went to the Queen's Hamlet. Once again J sped us through the building speaking indistinguishably, took us to the gardens handed us maps and told us to stay right. No information, no history no nothing. We took this tour because we wanted a small group experience with a professional guide. We got a small group of wonderful people and the worst guide I have ever had in 20 years of touring. Not only did we waste a lot of money to pay for the tour, but we did not get a full experience at these wonderful locations. If you are looking for a tour do NOT waste your money on this one unless you are GUARANTEED to not have J.
This tour is a must. It is the only way to do the Palace- Zara our tour guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable and made the ride there interesting by providing information that you would not get unless you were with a local. Once at the palace, you do skip the lines and Zara moved us past all the crowds, she is wonderful. Lunch was spectacular- very nice, elegant restaurant with great food. After lunch she took us to the Mini Palace that belonged to Marie Antoinette. It was spectacular. I do recommend a full day there as I am not sure if you get to the mini palace on a half day.
My husband and I booked Viator's Best of Versailles Day Trip from Paris, and we were generally happy with our experience.
This was a full-day, small group 8-person skip-the-line tour. We were instructed to meet the group at the tour company office at 8:00 a.m. with a scheduled departure of 8:20 a.m. We would have appreciated hotel pick-up, but that was not an option. We barely got there in time, since it was rush hour in Paris, and we had a difficult time getting a cab, despite the concerted efforts of our hotel concierge to call two cab companies. Apparently others had the same issue.
All was well, however, when we got underway. Our English speaking guide, Michelle, was most pleasant and informative. She got us into Versailles with very little wait and led us through the palace, providing helpful commentary along the way, which was communicated to us through our ear buds. Unfortunately, her equipment was not the best, so it was often difficult to hear her unless we were right beside her, which was not always possible given the very crowded conditions. This was not the fault of our guide the company should really invest in better equipment We did not have this problem on a 25-person tour of the Louvre the day prior. Of course, a highlight of the palace was the Hall of Mirrors, which was opulent, but hard to fully appreciate because of the crowds.
Once we had exited the palace, we had free time to explore the beautiful gardens, pools and fountains on our own before meeting back at La Flottille, a lovely Versailles café by the canal, for a delicious 3-course lunch with wine. By this time, we were all having a great time!
After lunch, we concluded our tour with a visit to the Queens Hamlet and the Grand Trianon, the charming estate and grounds of Madame Pompadour and Marie Antoinette. Despite a couple of minor glitches mentioned above, we enjoyed this tour very much and would not hesitate to recommend it.
It was an excellent tour. We were six in the group. The guide/driver was very knowledgeable of the history and general background of the area. Kept us informed and entertained. The reason for four stars is the two problems: First, during the drive the excellent commentary was not very audible in the back of the van as the guide did not use microphone/speakers. And, during the tour of the palace the personal audio systems given had frequent cut outs and/or static resulting in missing commentary.
Favorite tour of the 2 weeks in France ! Michelle was the best ! Our van was comfortable and air conditioned , Michelle is a master at French art and history and gives you sooooo much information that is well said and easy to understand . Versailles deserves 2 whole days , but with the skip the line pass and Michelle we did not feel that rushed. 4 in our group and we all loved the tour and Michelle .
This tour was excellent! Michelle was our guide and she was well informed, enthusiastic and full of interesting information, a joy to be with. The group was small 8 total and we all got along remarkably well. The lunch was delicious and not crowded, and the afternoon visit to the Trianons and gardens was well worth it. Definitely will recommend to friends!