Pay your respects to French and British military history with a full-day tour of the Somme battlefields. Walk on the sites where one of the bloodiest battles in history was fought during World War I, while learning about the battle’s causes and repercussions from your historian guide. See the Deville Wood cemetery where thousands of fallen soldiers were laid to rest, and visit several war memorials and the Historial Great War museum in Peronne.
The 1916 Battle of Somme marks one of the darkest chapters in French history and remains among the bloodiest battles ever recorded. Your full-day tour of this hallowed military site begins in the early morning, when you’ll meet your guide in central Paris and board a minivan for the approximately 2-hour drive north.
Stop in Longueval to visit the Deville Wood cemetery, the final resting place of more than 5,500 fallen soldiers from World War I. In La Boisselle, see the enormous Lochnagar mine crater that stretches 330 feet (100 meters) across and has been preserved as a memorial. Visit several other memorials throughout the area, including a site dedicated to missing British soldiers in Thiepval, the Ulster Tower, and the well-preserved battlefields and trenches of the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial. Throughout the day, take note of tributes to the contributions of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the Battle of Somme, such as the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and the Australian flag that still flies over Poziere.
Toward the end of the day, visit the Historial in Perrone, a well-curated museum dedicated to the Great War. Learn more about the origins and aftermath of the conflict and view more than 50,000 historic objects relating to military and civilian life in wartime France. Rest and reflect on the return drive to Paris, where you’ll be dropped off back at the original departure point in the early evening.