Starting day 1 at the Somme in Albert we make a 4 days Battlefield Tour through Northern France and Flanders Fields in Belgium.
Very touching cycling tour with optional adjustments according to your own nationality. Whether you want to focus on the British, German, French, Belgian, Irish, Canadian, New-Zealand, Australian, South-African or even Chinese-Indian and Portugese presence during the First World War in these areas, it will always become an unforgettable experience. It makes you having a look on all aspects and so many human concerns that are at stake when a war rushes through so many lives.
Part 1: 65 KM Location: Albert - Thiepval/Beaumont-Hamel - Arras
The first stage is about 65 km from Albert at the Somme to Arras in Artois. Depending on your own priorities we consider stops at Thiepval, Ulster Tower, Beaumont-Hamel, or go another way from Thiepval up to Pozières (the first Tanks-offensive) up to South-African monument of Delville Wood before we have a lunch stop in Bapaume. Optional extentions may be the Memorial Park of Bullecourt & the Cariboo in Monchy-le-Preux, before finishing our daytour in beautiful Arras.
Suggestion: a visit to the Wellington Quarry (do not arrive later than around 16.30 hrs for last visit), if not this afternoon, perhaps first thing in the (next) morning?
Part 2: 55 KM Location: Arras - Vimy Ridge/N.D. de la Lorette - Lens
In the morning you might visit first the Wellington Quarry to learn about the underground war. We have more underground stories for you once we arrive at the Canadian ‘Sanctuary’ of Vimy Ridge. A little guided tour by Canadian students (free of charge) is a must as well as taking time to walk around the imposing Mother Canada Statue with large view on Lens and even the Hills of Flanders (Belgium). We continue on some partly off-road tracks towards the silence of Notre Dame de la Lorette, the French Memorial including Chapel, Mausoleum and a quite interesting museum with trenches! We also recommend to have a lunch/drinking stop here, before heading up for next overnight-place: the former coalmine city of Lens.
Part 3: 60 KM Location: Lens - Fromelles/Plougstreet - Kemmelberg
Another fascinating day-trip, first on the mainly flat and open lands around the slack hills. Hill 170 and the cemetery that reminds to the Battle of Loos. Then up to the Australian Memorial of Fromelles – lunch stop. We approach and will cross the French-Belgian border (Mademoiselle from Armentières-song…). Plougstreet, the Christmas Truce, the Peace Park of Messines… It leads us to our final destination of today: the highest point of Flanders, which is known as the Kemmelberg, a panoramic view from your hotel room window is waiting…
Part 4: 60 KM Location: Kemmel - Mining Battle - Passchendaele - Ypres
Last day of our tour unless you want to add a supplementary day-tour in Flanders (see our guided day-tour programs). We try to give you the maximum of very concentrated Battlefield spots, memorials, cemeteries, craters, trenches and bunkers. If you want to go through the 4 Battles of Ypres we must leave quite early this morning. On the other hand, after a few days together we are able to figure out the best thinkable balance in the program for you. You want a focus on cycling, on stops, on enjoying from time to time a good eating and drinking? Or perhaps you don’t want to miss the opportunity of visiting some of the Battlefield Museums? Our briefing the night before will certainly be an important one in making the right choices.
Geniet na van een lekker drankje of versnapering in onze fietsbar, in het historisch centrum van Ieper!