Day trip from Paris: Vaux-le-Vicomte

Just North of the Forest of Fontainebleau, the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte is perfect for a one-day trip from Paris. It was built in 1656 by Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s ill-fated minister of finance. It’s perfect for a day-trip in the Countryside around Paris

After mismanaging the French treasury and accumulating a large personal fortune, Fouquet had the gall to invite Louis to a banquet at the château. Louis, offended by the minister’s ostentatious behavior and entertainments, brought him to trial, but not before he hired the same artists and architects who had built the château to begin work on the grand task of building Versailles.

With numerous guided tours organized to Vaux-le-Vicomte, visitors today can see the striking similarities between the two monuments to le grand siècle.

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte seen from the air
Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte from the air

The Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte

The view of the château from the main gate gives one an idea of the splendor of the 17th-century in France.

The French columns and pillars echo grandeur. On the south side, a majestic staircase sweeps toward the formal gardens, designed by Le-Notre. Lined by a border of trees and statues, the gardens are dominated by a copy of the Farnese Hercules. The Grand canal, flanked by cascading waterfalls, divides the lush greenery.

Vaux le Vicomte by night
Vaux le Vicomte by night

The interior of the château, now a private residence, is completely furnished and decorated in 17th-century pieces. The great entrance hall leads to 12 staterooms among which is the oval rotunda. Many of the rooms are hung with Gobelin tapestries and decorated with painted ceiling and wall panels by Le Brun with a sculpture by Girardon. A tour of the interior also includes the huge basement with its wine cellar the servants’ dining room, and the copper-filled kitchen.

Read also our selection of day-trips from Paris.

The Carriage Museum of Vaux-le-Vicomte

A carriage Museum was opened in 1979, lying in the stables of the castle. The carriage is of the three different types – country, town and sports and hunting. The 25 vehicles exhibited are perfectly restored dating from the 18th and 19th  centuries. Vehicles are displayed with manikin horses and people.

Where to eat at Vaux le Vicomte

You have many possibilities. The Restaurant l’Ecureuil lies in the first courtyard. The beautiful decoration follows the style of a 17th Century inn. Excellent for a meal in the family.

You can also try the gourmet restaurant Les Charmilles, which opened from May to the first week of October.

During sunny days, a good option is to have a picnic in one of the many dedicated places in the courtyard of gardens.

Vaux le Vicomte gardens
Vaux le Vicomte gardens

How to get to Vaux-Le-Vicomte from Paris?

The domain of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is open 7 days 7 from Mar. 8th till Nov. 8th.

It’s also open for Christmas Holidays.

How to access:

-by car:

take the Autoroute A6 and then the N104 road exit n°15 (Saint Germain Laxis). The Chateau is located in the commune of Maincy

-by train:

take the Train at Gare de Lyon direction Melun. and stop at Melun. Then take the shuttle named Chateaubus.

-special shuttle and guided tour:

the most comfortable way to visit the château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is to book a special Vaux-le-Vicomte guided tour. You will have the choice between a visit of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a package Visit+ dining or a combo Vaux-le-Vicomte + Fontainebleau

> more info and booking her

Read also: Day trip to  Versailles from Paris.

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