Connect with your guide at Paris’s Dupleix Métro station in the morning, and together hop on a Versailles-bound train with included round-trip tickets. After arrival in the famous leafy suburbs, pick up your rental bike and helmet and pedal to a renowned market for French picnic provisions (own expense). Bike through some of the town’s more than 2,000 acres of tree-lined paths to reach the Queen’s Hamlet, a private rural retreat built for Marie Antoinette. See the replica farm where the queen once frolicked as a faux shepherdess, as well as her Trianon and Petite Trianon residences.
Take a break for a picnic in the sprawling, elaborately manicured gardens of Versailles near the end of the Grand Canal, where you can enjoy fantastic views of ponds, fountains, and statuary. In the afternoon, skip the lines with reserved entry to the UNESCO-listed chateau, and begin with a behind-the-scenes tour of King Louis XIV’s apartments, including a section that is not open to the general public.
Afterward, explore other areas of the opulent palace at your leisure, including the resplendent Hall of Mirrors, Marie Antoinette’s bedrooms, and other royal apartments. Walk in blue-blooded footsteps on a stroll through the formal gardens before reconnecting with your guide for the return train ride to Paris, where the 8- to 9-hour tour concludes in the early evening back at the Métro station.