The Somme is a river in Picardy, northern France. The name Somme comes from a Celtic word meaning tranquility andthe department "Somme" was named after this river. However, during the Great War, this region of France was to be anything but "tranquil" as the blood of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides was to stain the soil of the Somme Valley. The Somme Valley today has war cemeteries and memorials to soldiers, sailors and airmen from North America, the South Pacific and European countries and is now almost a place of pilgrimage for tens of thousands of family members who lost a relative in the "great war".
Ypres, the Somme and Vimy (for Canadians) - 4 days
Americans on the Western Front
Let our experienced driver-guide pick you up at your Paris hotel for a journey through the history of World War II. You will travel to the Beach of Normandy in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle. First you will stop at "The Pointe du Hoc", 90 feet high cliffs, where 225 Rangers landed on the morning of June 6, 1944. It was one of the strong points of the German fortifications. Then you will continue your day of remembrance and stop at Colleville sur Mer to visit the American Cemetery, Overlooking Omaha Beach, which contains over 9,000 white crosses perfectly aligned on 170 acres. A chapel and memorial add the finishing touches to this moving scene allowing visitors to reflect on the price of war. You will then leave and stop at other famous WWII locations such as Arromanches and the vestiges of the artificial harbour (Mulberry Bridge), Longues-sur-Mer and the German artillery battery, which gave the allied a pounding on the morning of 6th June. It is actually the only coastal battery to have kept its guns, giving an impressive picture of what an atlantic wall gun emplacement was really like. Before returning to your Paris hotel, you will visit the Caen Memorial, a place for reflecting on war in general and on what WWII meant, and still means, to the world.