Versailles: Biking Through the Town

posted by Sharon March 6, 2017 39 Comments
Versailles

Versailles is known for the palace that housed kings and queens and hosted the treaty negotiations at the end of WWI. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI lived here until their arrest and early deaths. The palace and grounds occupy a vast area, and a great way to tour the outside is by bicycle. We signed up for the all-day tour with Fat Tire Tours and we’re so glad we did. This day is definitely a highlight of our time in Paris.

Discovering the little city of Versailles proved to be one of the unexpected pleasures of the day. Many people ride the train from Paris for about 30 minutes, get off at the train station, and go right to the palace. We headed instead to downtown Versailles to pick up our bikes at the company office there.

Versailles

That day happened to be market day in Versailles, which is famed for one of the best farmer’s markets in France. Our guide turned us loose to find something for our picnic lunch. Cheeses, fruit, fresh baguettes – we were spoiled for choice. And it was fun to mingle with the locals who were out doing their grocery shopping.

VersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersailles has no lack of fancy pastries. And the homemade caramels melt in your mouth. VersaillesVersaillesVersailles

The first king to occupy the palace here was Louis XIV. Then Louis XV and Louis XVI lived here until the government returned to Paris. This is a mural of one of the kings. As there are no photographs from those years, I’m not sure which Louis this is. Any experts out there want to chime in?

Versailles

After carefully choosing from among all the bounty, we carried our bags of food through the town to do a little sightseeing.

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Back at the bikes, we stashed our goodies and headed to the palace grounds. Versailles

Our excellent guide Drew gave us a brief history of Versailles as we took in the beauty of the greenery.

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VersaillesFor lunch, we rode to the end of the grand canal and set up our picnic on the lawn. Our guide provided plates and utensils and the all-important corkscrew. We settled back to bask in the view of the vast backyard of the palace.

VersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersaillesVersailles IMG_1830Fortified by our fresh French food, we got back on our bikes and rode towards the Palace.

Coming up:  Versailles – the Palace and Marie Antoinette’s play village, the Hamlet

 If you go:

For comprehensive information on tours, hours, prices, and history, visit this website.

The palace is open every day except Monday from 9:00 to 5:30. You can purchase general admission tickets online before you go to save time in line.

Prices: Palace tickets are 20 Euro. For days when the musical fountain show is in the gardens, tickets are 27 Euro.

The gardens are open every day for no charge.

Fat Tire Tours offers tours of Paris, Versailles, and Giverny. The two tours we have been on have been very well organized and the guides are fun and knowledgeable. I highly recommend this company.

Linking up with Image-in-ingLittle Things ThursdayWednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, Seasons at Life-n-Reflection, Travel Photo Thursday, City Tripping, Weekend Wanderlust, and Life Thru the Lens, Faraway Files, All About France, Weekend Travel Inspiration, and Monday Mural.

Biking in Versailles

 

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39 Comments

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Jim, Sydney, Australia March 6, 2017 at 3:54 am

Fantastic shots. Cake shop window looks so yummy.

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t March 6, 2017 at 3:59 am

…one of the most regal murals that I’ve seen.

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handmade by amalia March 6, 2017 at 5:05 am

This looks like a brilliant day out. The city, and especially the market, look beautiful. I’m another who’ve been to the palace and completely missed the town. Now I want to go back.
Amalia
xo

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Margaret Birding For Pleasure March 6, 2017 at 7:38 am

What a wonderful fun thing to do and those markets are so full off colourful things to buy and eat. Great idea having a guide on a bike

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Handmade in Israel March 6, 2017 at 7:55 am

What a wonderful day out! I love that you picked up your lunch first! Everything looks so beautiful.

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Mersad March 6, 2017 at 8:26 am

Wonderful images. You had a great day and used it wisely! 😀 Thank you for linking in with “Through My Lens”

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin March 6, 2017 at 10:07 am

All of that food looks amazing!!

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kelleyn rothaermel March 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm

What a fun day! Those cakes have me drooling!

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Carol March 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Looks like such a fun tour, and don’t get me started on the pastries.

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Kat March 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

How cool are you?! I used to love getting around on bikes in Europe! I don’t know why, but I felt safer on a bike there than anywhere else.

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Sharon Anck March 6, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Oh my, I’m suddenly very hungry and I fear I won’t find anything to eat nearly as gorgeous as you’ve shown us here. Wonderful tour.

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Photo(Geo)grapher March 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Great post. A lot of nice pictures, but the first one is my favorite

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jesh StG March 6, 2017 at 9:22 pm

Oh, now you made me hungry for baguette, eclairs and cheese!! Interesting (but I guess not for Europe) to have a guided bike tour:)
Nice of the guide to provide utensils:) Smiled at the photo of you two – you look so Californian:):) Am sure that when you travel a lot, you can have a good guess from which country a person is, just by their clothes and demeanor:)
Thank you for sharing your bike tour in Versailles with ALL SEASONS:) Have a happy week!

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bettyl - NZ March 6, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Thanks for taking us along on your tour of the city. What great sights, especially those yummy goodies!

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Oakland Daily Photo March 7, 2017 at 1:04 am

His majesty is still looking majestic. Thanks for contributing to this week’s Monday Mural.

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Rajesh March 7, 2017 at 3:40 am

Beautiful tour of the place on the bike.

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Lessandra Grimley March 7, 2017 at 4:26 am

Looks fantastic! I hope to go there some day!

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Rhonda Albom March 7, 2017 at 11:50 am

You have a great idea of cycling through Versailles and picking up some food at the market for a picnic.I think the sweets would have won out over the healthy food for my family.

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Klara S March 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Fantastic pictures. I love shots of park the most. All fruits and sweets look delicious!

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Phoebe | Lou Messugo March 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

What a lovely and unusual way to visit Versailles, the picnic spot looks perfect. I run a monthly linky #AllAboutFrance which is on now (closes tomorrow) if you’d like to add this to it. You’ll find the details in my blog.

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Lolo March 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm

OMG I love this idea sooooo much! Pinned!! I’ve been to Versailles but after Christmas, so it was cold and gloomy, so it definitely was not as beautiful as this! #CityTripping

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Hilary March 7, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Lovely!! We recently visited Versailles, and really enjoyed walking through the town before heading to the Palace. We weren’t there on market day, or I’m not sure we would have made it further than those amazing looking desserts! #citytripping

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Mandy March 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

My husband and I stayed at night in Versailles and got up early the morning before we had to fly home to explore the market. The people there were so nice! And, of course, we found the perfect breakfast! Maybe I’ll return one day and explore Versailles further! 🙂

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Liz March 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm

What an interesting town! That first image is fabulous!!

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Susanne March 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Such pretty photos and what a nice day you must have had in Versailles!!

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Marti March 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm

That is a great farmer’s market. The fruits and veggies look so fresh! Do you bike often so you were in shape to ride a bike all day? I’m not sure I could do that, but it does look like a good way to see the city.

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Emma Raphael March 8, 2017 at 9:57 pm

How lovely that you got to see some of the real Versaille as well as the main sights. The bike ride sounds really lovely! #citytripping

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Phoebe | Lou Messugo March 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Thanks for linking to #AllAboutFrance, I hope you come back again next month.

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Ruth March 10, 2017 at 5:23 am

Activities and tours like this are my kind of thing. I have been to the Palace of Versailles but not to the town. After seeing your pictures, I can see that the town is very colorful and cheerful. I would have indulged like crazy on that market. #TPThursday

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Laura March 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm

That sounds like a perfect day! I’d love to have a fresh French picnic like that one day, but in the meantime, your words and photos allowed me to have an imaginary one in my head. I’ve been to Giverny but didn’t know they offered a bike tour- another reason to go back!

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Rhonda Albom March 10, 2017 at 7:07 pm

We sure missed out on a treat by only going to the palace when we were in Versailles. What a charming town, and how lucky for you it was market day. The food looks so fresh and delicious.

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Katy Clarke March 10, 2017 at 9:41 pm

I love bike tours and French markets so this might be the perfect tour for me! I havent been to Versailles for many years but I think I might need to revisit after reading your post. Thanks for joining us on #farawayfiles

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Cathy (Mummytravels) March 12, 2017 at 7:08 am

What a great way to explore Versailles. I’ve been a couple of times but have always focused more on the palaces than seeing something like the market. Must be lovely to cycle around. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute March 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

What a gorgeous ride! I love how you led with the food shots! That eclair would have been on my picnic lunch list for sure. Thanks for linking in this week at #wkendtravelinspiration!

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Elizabeth (Wander Mum) March 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Great idea! I didn’t know much about Versailles other than the palace so a great insight into the area. #citytripping

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Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) March 14, 2017 at 4:59 am

I love this idea! We did end up spending all day at the palace and grounds, but would love to spend some time around town. Hopping on a bike sounds wonderful! Our list of notes for our next visit is getting very long! 😉 Thanks for the idea!

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Erin Gustafson | Oregon Girl Around the World March 16, 2017 at 8:44 am

Ohhh – what a great idea! I will admit that when I started reading – I had a moment – Versailles has a town too? Zut alors! That market! Yes please. Thank you for sharing with #FarawayFiles – cheers from Copenhagen where we all ride bikes all the time! Erin

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Faraway Files #22 - oregon girl around the world March 16, 2017 at 9:46 am

[…] VERSAILLES: BIKING THROUGH THE TOWN | Exploring Our World […]

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Kimberly March 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Versailles is one of my favorite places to visit. My favorite thing to do is saunter around the grounds. I haven’t tried Fat Tire yet but I want too!

#allaboutfrance

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