Have you considered hiring a wheelchair?
I would be more concerned about ridiculous crowding than distance. We didn't find the distance around the palace rooms that bad, however the overcrowding was horrible in the extreme and deeply unpleasant. We chose what was supposedly a quieter time, but it was unbearable. So bad in fact you couldn't walk properly, you just got shoved along most of the way through, particularly entering the hall of mirrors. I would imagine it would be terrible & possibly dangerous for someone elderly or infirm.
The stunning gardens & grounds are much more pleasant than the palace interior and it's possible to hire golf-buggy things to drive around the grounds in. Personally had I known how crowded it would be, I would have skipped the palace altogether and just done the spectacular gardens instead.
If you want to see a lovely palace which you can actually enjoy in relative peace, go to Fontainebleau instead.
We booked the Kings Apartment tour off the website, it goes at a slower pace, but there was a lot of standing and there was also an option to take an elevator to avoid the stairs. The Golf cart idea is great, we rented one and drove around the grounds, stopped at the different palaces on the grounds, got a bite to eat and just had a fabulous time. After a few hours doing the gardens we went back to the palace around 3PM and did the inside, still really packed but not too bad.
thankyou, do you know if you can hire them at the palace itself?
thanks for that info. Do you know if you hire the golfbuggy thingies at the palace or before hand. that sound perfect to do
thanks, Ill look into that tours. Do you know if you hire the buggies at the palace or before hand. the buggies would be perfect.
Golf buggies are first come first served. So.. do them first. They are behind the palace in formal garden.
After you tour grounds and gardens then do Kings Apartment tour.. I really advise against doing a regular entry..crowds are horrible.. my 11 yr old saw mostly backs and bottoms of people standing and crowding around her.. I imagine your mom in a wheelchair would see even less.. but the tour would allow her to enjoy seeing some lovely uncrowded rooms.
I think I would aim to book the tour for noon or later.. ( its time slots) so that you can enjoy the gardens in am.. and the out buildings.. there is a lot to see.
thank you so much. the information is very helpful
Although the grounds and gardens are open in the morning, the Trianon buildings - which are really quite lovely and much less crowded than the main château - don't open until noon, so I would recommend waiting until 11 or 11:30 to head out to the garden to rent the golf cart. That way you can take full advantage of the opportunity to see all of the grounds, including the Queen's hamlet.
FWIW, I agree about the masses of people inside the main palace, although we visited during high season which must have been a factor. I also agree with Seacreature that the Garnier Palace/opera house is worthy of a visit if your mother has time.
Unfortunately.. heading out via golf cart by then.. means they likely will not get a golf cart.. or they will have to wait for one to return, quite awhile, as there are only so many.. could be luck of the draw. Actually .. when would this visit take place.. if its like a few weeks from now ( low season) as opposed to June.. ( high season) can make a big difference in answer.. the gardens and grounds are not fun in cold rain after all..