Visiting Versailles in the fall
As one of the largest and beautiful palaces in the world Le château de Versailles should (hopefully) be high on the list of places to visit when you are in Paris.
The royal reign at Versailles ended in the late 1700’s around the time when the French were in the mood for choping off some heads and thus decapitated their King and Queen (Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). Yet the palace remains in pristine condition, with much of its former splendour perfectly preserved. The chateau itself is amazing, full to bursting with works of art, murals, furniture and sculptures inviting you to wander open mouthed through the maze of rooms imaging what it would have been like living there as a member of the Royal family. BUT for me the real treat lies outside the place in its gardens, which are perfectly manicured and simply breathtaking.
From my experience the best time to visit the chateau gardens is in autumn. As fall kicks in the trees and shrubs undergo the most amazing transition from greens to golden browns and oranges, and if you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, there is no end to the fun you can have in the gardens! Obviously picnicking on the grand lawns eating your baguette and camembert is compulsory, but you could treat yourself to a pedalo or rowing boat cruise on the huge lake and get some close up photos of the swans in residence. There are many labyrinth mazes for you to wander round and some 1400 fountains so even on a crowded day there is always a secluded space away from the other tourists.
Also if you are under 25-years-old and from an EU country be sure to take you ID with you because like many Parisian museums and attractions you will benefit from free admission, leaving a few extra Euros to spend at the gift shop on your way out.
So ladies, stop mourning the end of summer, grab a cardi and head out to enjoy that enchanting autumn sunshine.
This post was written by Lorna Stokes, part of the travelettes team from 2009 to 2013. Originally from the UK but currently based in Brussels after stints in Canada, Peru, Italy and a job for the French military, she’s always had an unquenchable thirst for exploring new places! She’s still travelling the world with her family so catch up with her adventures on Instagram & Twitter.