First, I have to mention – Fat Tire Tours is hosting a trip to Paris giveaway! You can enter to win a trip for two to Paris from Fat Tire Tours here.
Originally founded as a company offering bike tours around Paris – Fat Tire Tours has since expanded into a wide array of tour services from bike tours to Segway tours and skip-the-line tours, in many different cities (Paris, Berlin, London and Barcelona).
The Eiffel Tower view lit up at night from the first platform.
I was invited by Fat Tire to join them on quite a few of their tours around Paris. The first being a nighttime champagne cruise with a top of the Eiffel Tower ticket, the second being a Versailles garden and chateau tour and the third being an evening Latin Quarter walking tour.
Fat Tire Tours boasted quite a few ‘features’ that made them stand out to the rest of the tour companies to me. The first being how convenient their arrival points/meeting spots were (not only was I given metro stations near to the meeting points, I was also given a map of the area with a pin-point of the location – HELLO CONVENIENCE!). Equally awesome was the Fat Tire Tours staff. I’ve been on quite a few tours, in quite a few cities, in quite a few countries and they can sometimes not only be boring or draining but occasionally your tour is operated by someone who blatantly hates their job. There as none of this with the Fat Tire Staff!
Paris At Sunset: Seine River Champagne Cruise and Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Entry:
The sunset champagne cruise was operated by a lively, charismatic young woman named Nasim who was visibly happy to be operating our tour. I can imagine that going to the top of the Eiffel Tower can get a bit draining – especially if you’ve done it a bunch of times, on a bunch of tours but she said she truly never gets sick of it and I truly believed her!
Check out some of the stunning scenes from my sunset river cruise – it’s almost as if Fat Tire Tours arranged with the universe to have this SPECTACULAR sunset for our tour. Bonus points to Fat Tire for arranging for the cruise to be right under the Eiffel Tower when the lights (20,000+ of them –thanks for the info, Nasim!) started to sparkle.
Seriously, could we have asked for a more perfect sunset?
The sky turned a few hues of pink over the Parisian skyline, creating the perfect #PinkHour
Even after the sun had set the sky was still full of colorful pastels.
Just as the boat began to dock, right on cue, the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle.
I was hosted on the Versailles Garden and Chateau Tour on a Sunday morning – the tour began at 9:00am and I hopped on the wrong metro in Paris, missing my tour guide and group that was taking the train to Versailles! I was able to call the Fat Tire Tours office and arrange to meet the group just outside of the Versaille entrance. Although not economical – the Uber ride I took to Versailles got me to the front of the gate just in time to meet with the group.
I met with Janicka and the rest of the (small) group outside of the Versailles palace where Janicka began to explain some of the history of the city of Versailles and the palace that was built there. I think one of the best parts of this particular tour was casually walking past the line of (quite literally) hundreds of people waiting to enter Versailles. Fat Tire Tours’ ‘skip the line’ was truly VIP.
We first toured the gardens with Janicka who hilariously painted pictures of the extreme extravagance (and quite honestly extreme waste – that eventually led to the French Revolution) that was boasted all around the garden. I don’t want to give away too many of the Fat Tire Tours secrets but the 18th century gossip was quite scandalous and I loved the stories that were told throughout the tour of the gardens.
The lighting was a little harsh being late-morning/early afternoon but the gardens were no less glorious. After the garden tour we were led to the Chateau tour where it was a self guided tour with an audiobox provided by Versailles. Check out some of my Versailles photos below:
The citrus garden where at one time thousands of citrus trees were imported. Citrus can’t grow too well in this region of France, but – alas, Versailles.
Again, not native to the area nor particularly easy to grow – palm trees were imported.
Our group played an eye-spy game here with our guide Janicka – I’m not going to give away the secret but it was fun to find the extravagant details around the gardens.
I don’t think we could’ve asked for weather any more perfect than what we were given on this day to tour the gardens.
After we toured the gardens, Janicka gave us our return to Paris train tickets, acquired the audio guides for us and sent us into the chateau to tour on our own. It was such a zoo in the Chateau that I completely understand why the tour operates this way. There was no way that our guide would have been able to speak over everyone to us and the audio guide was way more convenient in this setting.
Peeking out onto the gardens from one of the many, large, beautiful windows in Versailles.
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Just Jackie – being nosey.
Oh, look! Someone has my bed all made up for me.
The chapel at Versailles was SO GORGEOUS and so ornate. The detail on the ceiling stole my breath.
The Hall of Mirrors, was as predicted, packed. But! Still gorgeous nonetheless.
For me, one of the greatest parts about travel is immersing myself in another culture and what I love most about traveling around Europe is how old the culture is. The history is something we truly don’t have in America and it’s something I GREATLY appreciate when in Europe. I was lucky enough to have Janicka (from my Versailles tour) host my evening walking tour around the Latin Quarter. She was just as into the 17th-18th century gossip as I am and she had some great scandalous stories to tell during our walking tour of the Latin Quarter.
I also learned that the Latin Quarter is referred to as such because it was the center of the city where people from all backgrounds and countries came to learn at University. Since these individuals were all coming to learn in Paris (the city of light – for enlightenment) the central language they all spoke was Latin – making this area the Latin Quarter.
I think this tour was one of my favorites – and subsequently I was so immersed in the tour that I took very few photos. *insert monkey covering its eyes emoji*
Fat Tire Tours arranged with the universe for another spectacular sunset during one of their tours.
I loved the quaint, yet ornate, beauty of the Latin Quarter.
The lively Latin Quarter at night had some awesome artwork all around the buildings. Janicka even played another eye-spy game during this tour – such a fun way to incorporate the city’s history in the tour.
I’ve been on many tours, in many cities, and I truly believe Fat Tire Tours takes the cake when it comes to tours. The ease of booking, the extremely affordable pricing, the wonderful guides, the “not your average tour” experiences and so much more make Fat Tire Tours the premier tour operator in Paris.
*Disclaimer: I was hosted by Fat Tire Tours, complimentary, on all the tours listed above. My opinions remain my own.