2021 - Candlelit Chateau & The Gardens Of Versailles
This super little weekend break visits a chic château as well as the glorious gardens of Versailles, staying in a lovely green setting south of Paris. Get swept up in the romance of times gone at the magnificent Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and enjoy a fabulous candlelit evening at this spectacular location, beautifully illuminated by over 2000 flickering candles. The château was the film location for the BBC’s headline drama series ‘Versailles’ and was the original ‘Jardin à la française’. An included visit to Versailles itself gives time to explore Louis XIV’s town with its colourful Sunday market, cathedral, museums and café scene. Included entrance to the Gardens of the famous palace will allow you to explore the wonderful displays at its water features, fountains and groves (entrance to the Palace itself not included).
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
DAY 1 – Head to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais, then continue to via the auto-routes to Saclay to check into 4* Novotel Saclay for your 3-night stay. Evening meals may be taken at tables of 8-10 in the banqueting suite. DBB
DAY 2 – Enjoy a morning at leisure to make use of the hotel facilities or maybe stroll into the traditional little village of Saclay. There is an included lunch at the hotel today (instead of dinner) before you head off this afternoon to stunning Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, the 17th century palace of unparalleled harmony and beauty built by Louis XIV's Minister of Finance, Nicolas Fouquet. He constructed the residence and invited the monarch over for a lavish soiréee, but Louis had Nicolas arrested and then employed Nicolas’ landscape gardener, architect and painter to build the Château de Versailles. The magical candlelit visit of the château and gardens is a dreamlike and unique experience as you explore the formal gardens, the impressive façade and sumptuous interiors by the flickering light of 2000 candles - reminiscent of the famous party of August 17, 1661. There is a good quality on-site, self-service restaurant, Le Relais de l’Ecureuil, where you can purchase dinner (not included). This memorable evening concludes with a display of fireworks at 11pm. Return to the hotel late this evening. Breakfast & lunch included
DAY 3 - A relaxed start today before heading to lovely Versailles. The town itself is often overlooked in favour of its famous palace but it is full of hidden treasures and well worth a visit to take in the quaint little houses of Le Carré Saint Louis, the baroque inspired cathedral and the array of brasseries, boutiques and cafes. Stroll around Versailles Sunday morning markets brimming with tempting local produce. The Notre Dame market hall was built during King Louis XIII's reign and offers all the colours and flavours from the Île de France region. (Markets close at 2pm). Entrance to magnificent Gardens of Versailles is included for you to experience formal French-style gardening at its best. Designed to impress, the massive number of topiaries clipped into immaculate shapes is amazing. At the weekend, visitors can enjoy the wonderful water features of all kinds from waterfalls in some of the groves, jets of water in the fountains and the calm reflections in the Water Parterre. With 372 statues, 55 water features, 600 fountains and 35km of canals you can't help but be wowed! There are various water displays throughout the day at different locations in the gardens. (NB entrance to Versailles Palace is NOT included. Cost in 2020 approx. €20 with advanced booking online recommended). DBB
DAY 4 – Drive back to Calais today and the return ferry crossing to Dover, arriving home during the evening.Back to top
AccommodationNovotel Paris Saclay
This modern 4* hotel has been built around a renovated farmhouse and courtyard and is located in the countryside south of Paris. The light and comfortable bedrooms are equipped with TV, hairdryer, WiFi and tea / coffee making facilities. There is a contemporary restaurant and lounge / bar area and also gardens, an outdoor pool, mini golf course, tennis and a large terrace area with plenty of seating. There are ground floor rooms as well as a lift. Back to top