Overview

World War I & World War II were defining events for Europe, even the world, in the early 20th century. They reshaped nations, states, & politics as well as left a lasting memory of the scaled & scope of destruction war can take. This tour is chance to learn about these seminal moment’s in world history & commemorate the impact they had, then & now. You will see both city & countryside as you travel through France & visit some of the important sites of WWI & WWII.    

Highlights

  • Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel – A chapel located on island Mont St. Michel, a French commune in Normandy; it has long served as a tactical fortification & is now one of France’s most notable landmarks; the island is connected by a tidal causeway & can only be accessed during low tide.
  • Caen Peace Museum – Also known as Mémorial de Caen, it is a war memorial & museum memorializing the Second World War, particularly the Battle for Caen & the allied offensive against Germany on the European western front.
  • Eiffel Tower – Enjoy a dinner at restaurant located at this iconic lattice tower located in central Paris; it was designed to serve as the entranceway to the 1889 World’s Fair, a commemoration of the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • Normandy – The northwestern region of France perhaps well known for its role in the D Day landings during the Second World War as Allied forces invaded German-occupied Europe.
  • Paris – The capital city of France & one of the largest metropolitan centers in Europe; home to numerous world-renowned cultural & historical landmarks.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Paris

Upon arrival in Paris, you will be greeted & transferred to your hotel for the evening. Time permitting, you may explore some of the sights & sounds of Paris; sip on a coffee or class of wine at a local bistro or roam Champs-Élysées, a street famous for retail. That evening, you will enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel or local restaurant, at your group’s request.

Day 2: Paris - Compiènge – Amiens

Following breakfast at the hotel, you will leave for Compiènge. Compiènge. located in northern France, is a town with a long history of war. It was here that Joan of Arc was captured during the Hundred Years War & it was the origin of the Martyrs of Compiènge who were executed for being enemies of the French Revolution. During the First World War, the Allied armistice with Germany was signed at Le Francport near Compiènge. This was the same site that the armistice was signed between a defeated France & Germany during the Second World War & soon became an internment camp. You will then continue you on to Amiens. Like Compiènge, Amiens has played an important role in French military history. Because of its proximity to Britain as well as it being a railway hub, Amiens was often a tactical military focus for either side in the world wars.

Day 3: Amiens

With the help of a local expert guide, today you will have the entire day to explore with Somme Region. The Somme region, which is situated on the Somme River, was the site of the most costly battles of WWI in terms of casualties. With over 1,000,000 soldiers being killed or wounded, the Battle of Somme, is also considered to be one of the bloodiest battles in the history of humanity. Because of the losses during the Battle of Somme as well as the number of other battles fought in the region, Somme is home to many military cemeteries, memorials & museums. You will have the chance to visit two such monuments, the Somme American Cemetery & Memorial & the Musée Somme 1916, located in former aircraft shelters from WWII. That evening, you will have dinner & stay overnight in an Amiens hotel.

Day 4: Caen

After breakfast in the hotel, you will depart from Amiens for Normandy. Along the route, you will stop to visit the Memorial Pegasus, a monument to the 6th Airborne Division of the British army who were the first airborne force to aide in the Normandy landings. From the memorial, you will continue on to Normandy where you will have dinner at the hotel & stay overnight.

Day 5: Caen

You will have breakfast in the hotel, then set off for a full day of excursions in Normandy, your first top being a visit to Bayeux. Like Amiens, Bayeux’s coastal location has made it crucial for European military history. Bayeux was the first city to be liberated during the beach landings & was later the site where Charles de Gaulle would declare France to be a friend of the Allied Powers. The Battle of Bayeux did very little physical damage to the city, so as you explore the city, you are able to see the same buildings that were standing during the World Wars. After Bayeux, you will continue to one of France’s most iconic landmarks, the Abbey of Mont St. Michel. Mont St. Michel is a commune accessible only by a tidal causeway. The Abbey sits atop a hill, a part of the communal design meant to reflect feudal society – the Abbey & monastery at the top, then the Great halls, followed by retail & stores with the bottom of the hill being the houses of fishermen & farmers. Because of its location & topography, Mont St. Michel has served as a strategic fort in many military engagements. That evening, you can relax & enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Day 6: Caen

Today, a local guide will lead you on your full-day excursion to the Normandy battlefields & beaches. First, you will stop at the U.S. Cemetery which sits atop a cliff overlooking the English Channel & Omaha Beach. From the cemetery, you will spend the remainder of the day at Omaha Beach, a 5-mile stretch of beach that was one of the 5 segments of territory planned to be recovered from German occupation during the Normandy landings. Though the offensive at Omaha Beach was eventually successful, this particular segment of the operation proved difficult as very little went as planned. A highlight to today’s trip, & exclusive to your tour, is that you will be able to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony on one of the D-Day beaches. You will conclude your day with dinner & an overnight at a Caen hotel.

Day 7: Paris

You will begin today with the trip to the Caen Memorial Museum. While the museum offers a wide variety exhibits about the Second World War, its emphasis is on the Allied offensives against Germany on the European front. Following the museum, you will return to Paris for a farewell dinner. Look forward to your Parisian evening as you will be taken to Eiffel Tower & treated to a meal at the first floor restaurant, 58 Tour Eiffel.  It should be an unforgettable end to your time & travels in France. You will have your overnight in Paris.

Day 8: Paris

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Optional Add-on

Tour of Western Europe
  • Once in France, you are only a short train or plane ride away from experiencing the either sights and sounds of Europe. Personalize your European excursion to suit your interests.