I'll be taking my first trip to Europe this September as part of the 21-day Best of Europe tour. I'm hoping that others who have been on this tour (or another Rick Steves tour that includes Paris) can give me some itinerary feedback based on your experiences. I did some searching and couldn't find anything specific related to my questions, so apologies if this has already been discussed.
My dilemma at the moment is this: I would really like to make it to Versailles while I'm in Paris. I know that the recommendation is to take a full day after the conclusion of the tour to see the chateau and grounds, but unfortunately my tour ends on a Monday (when the chateau is closed), and because I have to get back to work, my flight home is on Tuesday morning. I'm trying to figure out what my best option would be to fit this in on another day. There is a full-day bike tour that looks really lovely and would be my first choice of how to see Versailles. To do that, however, I would have to skip any daytime group activities on Sunday--namely the group tour of the Louvre. I know that I could see the Louvre on my own on Monday with the audio guide, but based on your experiences, would I really be missing out if I went without the group?
If so, what about going and trying to see as much of Versailles as possible on Sunday afternoon, after the Louvre tour is finished? Would this be worth it, or too crowded/rushed? I know Sundays are supposed to be very crowded.
Finally, the site for the bike tour says that the tour returns to Paris at approximately 6:00 pm. Does anyone remember what time their farewell dinner was, and would a 6:00 pm return have me back in time? (I will most likely contact the Rick Steves staff to ask about this point, but while I'm posting, I thought I'd mention it).
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!