Most travelers to the Palace of Versailles in France think it is one of the most magnificent palaces in the world, and it is. But the gardens around Versailles are just as impressive. André Le Nôtre is the designer behind this classic French style, and the manicured gardens cover 800 hectares of land. Just as much work went into designing them as the palace. You can spend an entire day wandering around the gardens and still miss a few sections. Here’s the ultimate guide to seeing the entire garden up close and personal.
Grand Parc and Royal Promenade
After you exit the Palace, you will be greeted by the sight of the Grand Parc and Royal Promenade with fountains and sculptures dotted all over. Walk amongst the sculptures and the manicured gardens with flower beds in the shape of a fleur-de-lis. You will feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, and Marie Antoinette could wander past at any moment. After walking around the main garden area, walk along the crushed gravel path to Petit Trianon.
This smaller estate was where Marie Antoinette spent a lot of her time. The gardens around Petit Trianon are not as stylized and have more bursts of wildflowers.
Arrive at the Palace early in the morning to avoid the crowds, and to give yourself sufficient time to wander the grounds.