Grand Canal Tours
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As you exit onto the back terrace of the Palace of Versailles, the breathtaking view of the royal gardens is dominated by the Grand Canal, which leads your eye to the farthest perimeter of the grounds. But although it is a spectacular feature of the park, it was designed and is used today as a practical feature of the gardens.
Constructed over the course of a decade in the late 17th century under the reign of Louis the XIV, its original name – Little Venice – came from the canal's inaugural gifts from the Doge of Venice: a full set of gondolas, complete with Venetian gondoliers. Also moored there were various ships and yachts built to the scale of the canal and used in elaborate water shows and recreations of famous battles. But the canal is also the main feature of the irrigation systems for the gardens, used to drain off water from the higher elevations and pumped back uphill to re-water them – a genius move for its time.
Today the Grand Canal is not only the jewel of the gardens of Versailles, but thanks to row boats for rent, it also provides a unique view of the palace as it has been viewed for centuries. And watching the summertime fountain shows and fireworks reflected in the Grand Canal is a memory that lasts a lifetime!
Address: Versailles, France
3 Tours and Activities to Experience Grand Canal
Explore the enormous Versailles Park with ease on a 1- or 2-hour Segway tour. Glide along the Grand Canal to see the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, Queen's Hamlet and more. Take in magnificent views of the Palace of Versailles. Listen to stories about the UNESCO-listed site from your guide and cover a large swath of ground easily with a fun Segway ride. During the 3-hour tour, extend your reach to see some of the city of Versailles, too. Group size is limited to 14, ensuring more personalized attention from your guide.
Relive history at the time of the Sun King thanks to this full day passport, accompagnied by your Private Professionnal Guide. This expert will give you the keys to understand and visualize why this building is part of the World Heritage of Humanity. You will be amazed by Louis XIV's splendour passing through the worldwide known Hall of Mirror : host of the most important figures since the XVII° C. Admire the Royal Apartments and the Stabling facilities. Then, step into Marie Antoinette's life discovering it's Trianon and estate. Enjoy free time, on your own, to discover the marvelous French Style Gardens imagined by the master Le Notre. You will be impressed by the work of perspective, the magnificent fountains and great spaces. If you admire great work of art, sumptous baroque, history and legacy; this tour is your.
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Experience the magnificence of Versailles on a fun full-day bike tour, including round-trip transfers by train from Paris. Meet your guide on arrival and spend the day pedaling around the beautiful parks, royal gardens, and forest trails. Stop to explore Marie Antoinette’s hamlet, snap photos of the grandiose palace from unique viewpoints and enjoy a picnic (own expense) along the Versailles' Grand Canal.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Grand Canal?