Home > Trips > WW1 The Somme battlefields

WW1 The Somme battlefields

5 day(s) | from 560.00 €

Moderate

Themes

History
Luxury

Included

4 nights with breakfast, maps, road-book with tourist information, daily luggage transfer, 7/7 days assistance and local tax

Transport

Paris-Amiens 1h15 by train
Arras-Paris 1h by train

When

From April to October

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  • Description
  • From Amiens to Arras, you can trace the First World War’s Somme battlefields. Here, you will discover the French department known as the Somme, as well as a the south of the Northern region of France.
    This area of outstanding, natural beauty is steeped in history and rich in tradition.
    How can one describe the wonderful people from this part of Northern France, whose reputation of a warm welcome and their generosity are renown throughout France!
    Your taste buds will not be disappointed either! The region’s cooking is heartwarming and, naturally, only the finest quality products are used. The excellent draught beers are always fresh.
    The countryside and accompanying discoveries are varied.
    A day’s cycle tour, using only the highest quality cycles, ranges between 50 and 60kms. in length and will include a certain number of some moderate climbs.
    This particular tour is aimed at everyone able to ride a two-wheeled cycle with confidence.
    For those cyclists looking for an extra challenge, trips of approximately 70kms. can also be arranged!

Highlights

  • Discovering Amiens and it's magestic Cathedrale classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
  • Cycling on the Somme territory between landscape and history
  • Discovering most of the museums and war memorials (Villers Bretonneux and it's wonderful australian memorial, the impressive edifice of Vimy ...
  • Taste the cooking specialities of the north of the France 

Bike tour itinerary : WW1 The Somme battlefields

  • D1 
  • Arrival in Amiens
    • Your hotel is situated in the centre of the town, close to the Cathedral. This beautiful edifice is the largest example of Gothic architecture in France and is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The Cathedral boasts the highest nave (in France?) and could easily accommodate Notre Dame twice over. Miraculously, the Cathedral survived the First World War. Visitors will notice a number of commemorative plaques, in memory the soldiers from the Allied front.

      The city was home to Jules Verne for a number of years. It was here that the writer wrote most of his novels.

      Amiens is a very pleasant city, where you can take time out to stroll along the canal path before you begin your cycle tour.

  • D2 
  • Amiens to Albert
    • After having collected your cycle, you head eastwards, following the river Somme. After about 23 km you arrive at Villers Bretonneux,  where, in 1918, between the 24th and the 26th April, the Australian, expeditionary army corps successfully stopped the advancing German troops and, as a consequence, prevented the city of Amiens being taken. The Australian National Memorial and the Franco-Australian Museum, which was established within the Victoria school, offer the visitor a fascinating, detailed historical insight into these events. 

      Continuing eastwards, you cross the Hamel battlefield, in order to gain access to the other side of the river Somme at Cérisy. You can enjoy the magnificent river views, along the road leading to Albert.

      Albert was the epicenter of the great battle of the Somme and was also the principal, industrial town in the Ancre Valley. The Somme museum, which was established in an anti-aircraft underground shelter, retraces military life during the First World War.

  • D3 
  • Albert to Arras
  • 45 ou 62 km /
    • Following the main road out of the town, you head North, towards the Ancre Valley, before climbing towards Thiépval Ridge. The first large offensive was launched on the 1st of July, 1916 and involved 20,000 men from the British Reserve army. It was known as “the bloodiest day in British military history.” Thiépval was liberated three months later on the 27th of September 1916.

      You pass the Belfast Tower, which was erected in 1921, in memory of the Ulster Battalion, which so courageously fought that day at Thiépval. After crossing Ancre, you arrive at Beaumont-Hamel Park, the 74 acre memorial site dedicated to the Newfoundland regiment, which was all but annihilated, in the space of thirty minutes, after the German soldiers opened fire on them.

      A little further on, you arrive at the German cemetery – Fricourt and two memorial sites: one dedicated to the South African regiment and known as Delville Wood and the other dedicated to the New Zealand Division called Longueval.

      The tour then takes you to the village of Pozières, where the Australian regiments, completely exhausted by the relentless artillery attacks, were eventually relieved by the Canadians. The names of 14,000 soldiers are engraved on the cemetery walls here.

      You then leave the Somme department and cycling for a further 20kms. Through countryside, you reach the commune of Arras, the Artois capital.

      Arras, with its Flemish Baroque style, has a long and established reputation for its superb draperies and tapestries. The city’s wealth and influence, which was particularly acquired during the Middle Ages, still remains today.

      Your hotel is ideally situated, in the heart of the city. The architecture, dating from the Flemish Baroque period through to the Art Deco style, will charm and captivate you. Two sites, which have been classified by UNESCO, as world class heritage sites, are the Belfry and Vauban’s citadel and merit a visit.

      At the end of the day, you can take some time out to relax at one of the cafés in the celebrated Place des Héros.

      .

  • D4 
  • Arras Vimy Arras
  • 41 km /
    • Today, you head North for about 20 km, until you reach Vimy.

      On April the 17th 1917, this large park became the centerpiece of a ferocious battle between the German army and the Canadian troops; the latter losing more than 11,000 soldiers. There are those who say that “modern day Canada” was born in the trenches at Vimy. The impressive Canadian National Vimy Memorial was built on Vimy Ridge and commemorates all the Canadians who lost their lives here.

      After a pause at Souchez village, you climb Lorette’s Hill where, in May 1915, French and German troops fought to gain control of Artois. The cemetery, Notre Dame de Lorette, where 40,000 soldiers found their final resting place, is considered the most important French military cemetery of today.

      Then, you go back to Arras by the countryside and eventually folllow the river Scarpe, offering wonderful scenery to end this moving day.

  • D5 
  • Trip ends in Arras after breakfast

Prices 2017

  • Standard Accommodation560 €
  • Comfort Accommodation690 €
  • Standard Single room sup.190 €
  • Comfort Single room sup.240 €
  • Solo traveller160 €
  • Hybrid Bike100 €
  • Road Bike from200 €
  • E-Bike200 €
  • Discount : party of 4+-5 %

All prices are per person. Accommodation price is on a 2-person basis.
The list of hotels included in this trip or details about your bikes are available upon request via our Contact Page.

Hotels

  • Albert Le Picardie ***Standard
  • Amiens Le Prieuré ***Comfort
  • Arras Hôtel de L'Univers ***Comfort

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