Make your way to southwest Paris and the Héliport d'Issy-Les-Moulineaux in the late afternoon of your scheduled tour to meet your pilot and climb into a helicopter. Take to the skies for a dazzling view over the tops of the city's most famous monuments on your way to the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte.
During the scenic helicopter flight, see landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral and the iconic Eiffel Tower from overhead, followed by the opulent Palace of Versailles and its surrounding gardens. Land at the 17th-century château near Maincy, roughly 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Paris.
The grandiose and awe-inspiring Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of Europe's most influential and most important architectural landmarks of the 17th century. It was the finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet’s Palace who outshone the young Sun King with its modern architecture, lavishly decorated interiors, with stunning gilded walls, statues, tapestries, and the era's finest furnishings.
Also, one of the château's best features is its well-groomed French-style gardens, the first major garden designed by the famous landscape architect Le Notre. Complete with fountains, canals and stone curbs, the gardens contain an interesting optical illusion, distorting its distance depending on where you look at it. It's no wonder why the young Sun King became so jealous and that Vaux-le-Vicomte became the origin of Versailles Palace.
Vaux le Vicomte is also seen in many movies such as James Bond’s 'Moonraker,' 'The Man in the Iron Mask' with Leonardo DiCaprio, 'Marie Antoinette,' and more recently, the TV show 'Versailles.' Today, the castle is privately owned and the family still lives on the grounds.
If you are lucky enough to be in France for the château's seasonal Saturday night Candlelight Visits, you can see the house become illuminated by over 2,000 candles as you drink champagne and listen to live classical music being played from the garden, in remembrance of Louis XIV and the 17th century festivities that were held there.
Upon arrival at the historic estate, enjoy a guided tour of the grounds by golf cart or make your way to the château itself for an audio-guide tour. See the rooms decorated with period furniture, tapestries, and artwork. Explore the castle at your leisure in the time before dinner is served.
At dusk, the gardens come to life with the light of over 2,000 candles, and it's time to make your way to the restaurant in the castle for dinner. Enjoy a 3-course meal with wine and Champagne while you listen to classical music. The menu specifics vary, but you can choose from a beef and lobster meal or a vegetarian menu. All dishes feature seasonal and local produce. (See the Itinerary section below for a sample menu.)
As your magical night winds down, climb into a luxury limo for the return trip to Paris and your hotel.