Traces of World War I in France and Belgium - Firebird Tours ®
Douaumont
Verdun
Douaumont

You are here

Trip Overview

Turn back the clock to 1914-1918 and traverse WWI landmarks of France and Belgium. Visit iconic World War I related places such as the Christmas Truce Monument, destinations connected with the five-month battle of the Somme, the fortress city of Verdun and Chateau-Thierry. Moreover, pay tribute to WWI soldiers together with locals as you attend the Last Post Ceremony in Ypres.

Tour type:
Private tour
Tour rating:
4.82 / 5, Based on
  • BEST HOTELS
  • 4-star central hotels
    Standard rooms
    5 nights
  • BEST CONNECTIONS
  • Airport-hotel transfers
    Private drivers
    2 train rides
  • BEST SIGHTSEEING
  • 4 thematic WWI tours
    3 WWI museum visits
  • MEALS
  • 5 breakfasts

Day-by-Day

Day 1
Arrival to Paris

Welcome to Paris! Upon arrival, your driver meets you at the arrivals hall of the airport and takes you to your centrally located hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is free so you can start exploring the magnificent city center on your own, dine in one of the local restaurants or take a good rest in your comfortable room.

No meals included.

Day 2
Train to Lille & Last Post Ceremony in Ypres

Today following breakfast you check out and have the morning at leisure.

  • Optional tours: Public (or private) Boat Ride on Seine River, Paris
    Start the cruise in the very heart of Paris and discover the most wonderful city gems including Louvre Museum and other beautiful monuments from an absolutely different perspective.

In the afternoon you meet your driver who transfers you to the train station for a short train ride. In 1 hour you arrive to Lille, the capital of Hauts-de-France region, meet your private guide and driver and start the tour around the places that still keep the traces of European history's darkest moments.

You first cross the French-Belgian border and head for the Berks Cemetery Extension and Prowse Point Cemetery. You then stop at the Christmas Truce Monument which commemorates the series of ceasefires along the Western Front of World War I around Christmas 1914. Next you visit the Hill 60 memorial and park which still have the remains of bunkers and craters reminding of the battle that took place there in 1915.

You then reach Ypres, the lovely Belgian city which endured the incredible highs and lows in its history. At first it faced the extreme wealth in the Middle Ages and then was the center of the Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces during the World War I. Nowadays the city is a fitting reminder of the people's resilience and their ability to bounce back from adversity. Since 1982, every evening its inhabitants have been paying homage to those who fell defending the Ypres Salient by conducting the Last Post Ceremony under the Ieper Menin Gate. You attend the ceremony and visit the historic city center reconstructed after the war.

After the tour you return to Lille, check in to the centrally located hotel and have a good rest.

Breakfast is included.

Day 3
Reminders of Somme Offensive & Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge

Following breakfast you check out from the hotel, meet your guide-driver and embark on one more emotional journey around military sights.

First head to places connected with the five-month battle of the Somme. With its 1.2 million casualties, Somme Offensive was one of the bloodiest battles in human history. You visit Somme battlefields as well as the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial established on the ground which saw heavy fighting and holds the graves of 1,844 US soldiers.

Proceed to the Fort de la Pompelle which was assaulted and bombarded many times during World War I. Classified as a historic monument, the fort is now a museum. The next sight on your way is the American Monument, situated on Blanc Mont Ridge. There is an observation tower on the top of the monument, it opens a perfect view of the surrounding battlefields, gun emplacements, trenches and dugouts.

After the tour you arrive to the town of Verdun, check in to your hotel and have a good rest before the next day.

Breakfast is included.

Day 4
Verdun and the Surrounding Battlefields

Today after breakfast you meet your driver-guide and start another day-tour which takes you around the famous battlefields, cemeteries and memorials.

Start today's exploration in the fortress city of Verdun. The Battle of Verdun with its nearly one-year duration was the longest and the largest battle of WWI on the Western Front. The total number of dead, wounded and missing throughout the entire war in the Verdun sector is about 1.25 million people. Your first stops are Verdun Memorial and the recently refurbished Memorial de Verdun Museum commemorating the great battle. Proceed to the American Memorial in Montfaucon, which is certainly one the most imposing American monuments in Europe, standing on the ruins of the former village and German bunkers.

Next visit the places connected to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (also known as the Battle of the Argonne Forest) which was the largest land battle in the United States' military history. Meuse-Argonne American cemetery contains the largest number of American military dead in Europe, totally 14,246 soldiers who lost their lives in the 1918 offensive.

Continue with a visit to the impressive French cemetery and ossuary located on the place of Douaumont village totally destroyed during the war. There are the remains of 130 thousand unidentified soldiers buried in Douaumont ossuary. You can climb the 204 steps to the top of 46 m (151 ft) tower which offers a panoramic view of the battlefields. The tower has a huge bronze death-bell offered by an American benefactor in 1927.

The last stop for today is Saint-Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial. The majority of buried here died in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel involving 110,000 French troops and the American Expeditionary Force.

After the tour you return to your hotel in Verdun and have the rest of the day free.

Breakfast is included.

Day 5
American Monuments around Chateau-Thierry & Compiegne Museum

Following breakfast you check out from the hotel, meet your guide and drive about 2 hours to the east from Verdun.

Your first stop is near the powerful Croix Rouge Farm Memorial by the British sculptor James Butler, depicting an American soldier carrying a dead comrade. The monument commemorates the 42nd 'Rainbow' Division which is believed to have seen more days of battles than any other American Division during the World War I.

You then make your way to Chateau-Thierry which was the site of the important Battle of 1918 between Germany and the United States. Here you see the impressive American Monument overlooking the valley of the Marne River. Not far there is the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial located at the foot of the hill where Belleau Wood Battle between the United States', British and French forces against the German units was fought.

Continue driving towards the town of Compiegne, hosting the Armistice Museum with a replica of the Compiegne Wagon. In this historical carriage, the first and the second Armistice at Compiegne were signed.

Your tour finishes at Compiegne station where you take a train to Paris. After an hour of train ride, you arrive to Paris, have a transfer to your hotel and check-in. The rest of the day is free.

  • Optional tour: French Pastry Master Class, Paris
    Join a small group of up to 8 participants for a masterclass of preparing some of the most famous French pastries: croissant, macaron, etc.
  • Optional tour: French Market tour and Cooking Class, Paris
    Enjoy a tour of the French market and pick up fresh products to cook them on the masterclass.

Breakfast is included.

Day 6
Departure from Paris

This is the last day of your tour dedicated to the First World War. After breakfast your driver transfers you to the airport for your flight back home. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips!

  • Optional tour: Tour to Claude Monet's House and Gardens in Giverny
    Together with your guide-driver you make your way to outstanding Giverny where you get to visit the unique house and museum of Monet and walk the gardens of Monet.

Breakfast is included.


Included

5 nights at centrally-located 4-star hotels

  • Hand picked hotels
  • Best value rooms
  • Restaurant

Always included:

  • Best location for sightseeing
  • Breakfasts
  • All taxes and fees

What's Included
  • Accommodation in 4* or boutique centrally located hotels in Paris, Lille and Verdun;
  • Delicious breakfasts at the hotels;
  • Airport transfer and all transportation according to the itinerary with private drivers;
  • 1st class train tickets: Paris - Lille, Compiegne - Paris;
  • Professional licensed English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance tickets to: Fort de la Pompelle Museum, Memorial de Verdun Museum, Armistice Museum in Compiegne;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.

Not included: flights, visas, optional tours, gratuities and all personal expenses.

Tour Highlights
  • Visiting Berks Cemetery Extension, the Christmas Truce Monument and the Hill 60 memorial and park
  • Attending the Last Post Ceremony under the Ieper Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium
  • Touring places connected with the five-month battle of the Somme
  • Seeing Fort de la Pompelle and the American Monument, situated on Blanc Mont Ridge
  • Exploring the fortress city of Verdun and places connected with the Meuse-Argonne Offensive
What to Know
  • French breakfast is not as heavy as other European breakfast meals, it usually includes sweet pastries, toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal
  • Tipping in French restaurants might be included in the bill, "service compris" (tip included) or "service non-compris" (tip not included), but in any case, if you liked the service you can leave few Euros on the table either way
  • Most communication equipment takes 220/110 volts, you will need an adapter plug (type E) to make your plug fit into the socket

Dates & Rates

Package type Price
Friends Trip (4+ travelers)
$3,338
Deposit $668
Regular package
$3,838
Deposit $768
View all dates
Package type Price
Friends Trip (4+ travelers)
$3,338
Deposit $668
Regular package
$3,838
Deposit $768

Map