Beaches & Battlefields of France – Day Trips From Paris

Revisit history at memorable battlefields of two world wars. France was a central battle ground in both world wars, including the World War I battles of Vimy Ridge and the Somme. Who can forget the dramatic events at the Normandy Beaches in June of 1944 during the D-Day landings of World War II. Day trips from Paris take you to the actual sites where these dramas played out.

It's a chance to honor the memory of the millions of soldiers from around the globe who lost their lives. Visiting the landscapes, cemeteries, museums, and monuments is both awe inspiring and mournful. Let's look at a few day tours from Paris that take you to the places that shaped the recent history of the western world.

D-Day Battlefields & Beaches Day Trip

Normandy D-Day Battlefields and Beaches Day Trip

Make a poignant pilgrimage to the Normandy battlefields and landing beaches of World War II to pay tribute at the American cemetery, the Caen Memorial, wartime sites, and the historic beaches. Spend a day in the calm countryside of Normandy, imagining the dramatic events of June 1944.

It's amazing to visit the famous German defense position of Pointe du Hoc that was captured by American soldiers. You also visit the final resting place of almost 10,000 soldiers at the American Cemetery of Saint-Laurent. At Omaha Beach learn about the epic battle at the Visitor Center.

At the end of the day, visit Juno Beach and the Canadian Memorial to view the remains of the artificial landing harbor built by the Allies in less than two weeks. We always recommend you small-group day tours from Paris (like this one) to have a more intimate experience. The tours include transportation, all entrance fees, and the services of a professional guide.

World War I – Battle of the Somme

World War I – Battle of the Somme Tour

This day-long activity takes you to the locations of World War I battles, including the Somme where one of the longest-fought skirmishes took place. You have to chance to visit memorials, cemeteries, and the windswept landscapes where the battle raged less than two hours away from Paris.

The Australian flag flies over Poziere to honor the sacrifice made by the ANZAC forces during the battle of the Somme. Then there's the memorial in Thiepval dedicated to the 72,000 South African and British soldiers whose bodies were never found. The Ulster Tower is home to the shrine to the men of the 36th Ulster Volunteer Division. At the Peronne Cultural Museum of World War I you learn about the original conflict and consequences. The collection has over 50,000 artifacts and documents from daily life during the war.

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The Most Popular Ways to Visit Versailles

Best of Versailles. Skip the Line, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
This day trip from Paris gets you inside the royal estate without waiting in the long lines. Included is a 3-course traditional lunch by the Grand Canal.
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VIP Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters
Skip-the-Line entrance to the chateau through a VIP entrance, plus a private tour of the royal chambers and opera house not open to tourists.
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World War I at Vimy Ridge – O! Canada

World War I – Vimy Ridge

Discover history in one of France's most famous World War I battlefields — Vimy Ridge. See where the Canadian Corps bravely fought to capture Vimy Ridge from enemy forces. Venture to Nord-Pas-de-Calais (formerly Artois) and the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez where thousands of soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and Britain lie in their final resting place.

The famous cemetery here was designed by Frank Higginson,a former Canadian Army officer. The remains of an unknown Canadian soldier were taken from here and buried at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada. The unknown soldier represents the 116,000 Canadians who lost their lives during World War I. Explore the 250-acre (100-hectare) Canadian National Vimy Memorial park and learn about their significant role in the battle. See the Vimy Ridge monument where the names of thousands of soldiers who lost their lives are etched into stone.

World War I Ypres – In Flanders Fields

Ypres Cloth Hall

Spend the day discovering the dramatic history of Ypres Salient, the famous battlefield in the Flanders region of Belgium. You're driven north through the Belgium landscape to visit the World War I battlefields where so many lives were lost. See the famous Brooding Soldier sculpture in St Julien Memorial. Visit the Essex Farm Cemetery and bunkers where Canadian soldier John McCrae was stationed. Discover the inspiration for his world-famous poem In Flanders Fields that made poppies the most recognized memorial symbol.

Be sure to walk up Hill 60, a famous World War I battlefield that was fought on land as well in underground tunnels created by land mines. See the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, where a stone wall surrounds it with the names of missing soldiers. There's also time to explore the Belgium town of Ypres. Ypres is an ancient settlement dating back to the Romans. See the highlights of Ypres — the Cloth Hall built in the 13th century, the Menin Memorial to the Missing (pictured), the fountain in the Grote Market and St. Martin's Cathedral built in the 1550s.

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