France World War 1 & 2 Battlefields Self-Drive Tours

If you are particularly interested in World War history, we can craft a tour just for you. The key regions you will want to visit are Normandy, Verdun and the Somme. All you have to do is contact us and tell us your special interests, as well as any other activities you’d like to include in your trip (such as wine-tasting, hiking, and particular places you wish to visit). Then we’ll put together an itinerary based on your interests, allowing you to explore places, learn about the history, and enjoy activities at your own pace.

Montfaucon sur Argonne Cemetery
Montfaucon sur Argonne Cemetery
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France Just For You

Verdun and Argonne: Echoes from World War I

Explore the off-the-beaten-track landscapes of Verdun and Argonne, regions once scarred by the ravages of World War I. As you drive through and explore these regions on foot with an expert private guide, you'll witness the remnants of fierce battles and the memorials that now stand tall in honor of the fallen.

You’ll discover that the Verdun area has long played an important role in conflicts throughout European history, as it is situated at the crossroads of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Verdun resonates with stories of bravery, sacrifice, and the sheer endurance of the human spirit. Here, you can explore the Verdun Memorial, which not only commemorates the sacrifices of troops of several nationalities but also educates visitors about the grueling ten-month-long Battle of Verdun.

We’ll arrange for an expert private guide to take you to these key sites, as well as a village that was completely destroyed during the battle and never rebuilt. You’ll see some of the ruins and signs marking where different buildings in the village used to be.

Fleury-avant-Douaumont, a town that was destroyed during the Battle of Verdun
Fleury-avant-Douaumont, a town that was destroyed during the Battle of Verdun
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France Just For You

Amidst the tranquil forests of Argonne, stories of heroic American soldiers come to life, a testament to their unwavering spirit during intense combat. In Argonne you’ll be able to visit the Romagne-sous-Montfaucon German military cemetery and memorial, as well as the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, the largest American military cemetery in Europe. Over 14,000 American soldiers who died during World War I are buried here, making it an important pilgrimage site for Americans and a testament to the sacrifice of the U.S. soldiers during the First World War.

Varenne sur Argonne, Verdun, a war monument
The Varenne-sur-Argonne, Verdun was arranged by the state of Pennsylvania, in memory of the American soldiers who perished
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France Just For You

The Somme: The Great War's Fiercest Battles

The Somme region saw some of World War I's bloodiest confrontations. A journey through these once-devastated landscapes provides a somber reminder of the sheer scale of conflict and the human cost attached to it. 

The Battle of the Somme, which took place in 1916, remains one of the most fiercely fought battles in history, with over a million casualties. Today, this region, dappled with scars and memorials, serves as a living museum to the heroism and sacrifices made by those who served.

By visiting places like the Thiepval Memorial, you'll be paying homage to the thousands of soldiers whose final resting place remains unknown. The massive Lochnagar Crater, a result of underground warfare, shows the devastating might of artillery during the war. The numerous cemeteries across the region hold the remains of British, French, American, Australian and German soldiers and various other nationalities.

The Somme is more than just a battlefield; it's a testament to endurance, resilience, and the human spirit. France Just For You will arrange for a private guide to accompany you and help you gain a deeper understanding of the events that shaped the course of history and the legacies that still influence the world today. The stories from the Somme are not just about warfare but also hope, camaraderie, and the indomitable spirit of humanity amidst its darkest hours.

https://www.france-justforyou.com/sites/default/files/content-image/Le%20Hamel%20Australian%20war%20memorial%20CRT%20Somme%20Tourisme%20Samuel%20Crampon.jpegLe Hamel Australian war memorial in the Somme
Le Hamel Australian war memorial in the Somme
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Samuel Crampon, Somme Tourisme

Normandy: Relive World War II’s Pivotal Moments & Walk in Your Ancestors’ Footsteps

We’ll help you embark on an fascinating journey along the historic coastline of Normandy, where the traces of World War II still linger. As you explore these iconic shores, each beach tells a unique tale of courage and liberation. 

Omaha Beach stands as a stark reminder of the heavy casualties sustained by American forces, while Utah Beach saw more successful landings and advances made by the Allies.

Travelers Kathy, Keith, Rose and Brian at Utah Beach
Travelers Kathy, Keith, Rose and Brian at Utah Beach
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France Just For You

Gold Beach and Juno Beach, despite their calm beauty today, bear the weight of intense battles fought by British and Canadian forces respectively. Not far from these shores, the town of Sainte-Mère-Église tells tales of American paratroopers who played a crucial role in the early hours of D-Day. Each site, each stretch of sand, serves as a poignant marker of the pivotal Normandy landings.

Arromanches, Normandy
Arromanches, Normandy
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Calvados Attractivite

Arromanches has a key role in the memory of D-Day, best known for its remarkable Mulberry Harbors. These temporary portable harbors, a feat of wartime engineering, were crucial in the success of the Allied invasion, allowing vast amounts of supplies and troops to be landed in the days following D-Day. 

Not far from Arromanches lies the iconic Pegasus Bridge, the site of a daring airborne operation in the early hours of June 6, 1944. British paratroopers, in a swift and strategic move, captured this vital structure, ensuring that the eastern flank of the landings would be protected. Today, Pegasus Bridge stands as a testament to the meticulous planning, precision, and valiant efforts of these airborne troops.

Travelers Chee Keong & Zack on the Pegasus Bridge on the D-Day Anniversary
Travelers Chee Keong & Zack on the Pegasus Bridge on the D-Day Anniversary
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Chee Keong & Catherine Loo-Khaw

Many of our travelers over the years have had a father, grandfather or uncle who fought in the Battle of Normandy, and wanted to retrace their ancestor's footsteps. In these cases, we work with expert private guides to create an itinerary that includes the exact places where their ancestors would have stayed and fought. If you have a personal connection to France, let us know and we’ll help bring your family history alive for you.

Harry from Australia kneeling in front of a grave in a war cemetery in Normandy
Traveler Harry from Australia paying his respects at a war grave
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Harry from Australia

A Personal Touch with France Just For You

France Just For You brings history alive, allowing you not only to visit these iconic sites but to deeply engage with them. Through private tours, you can relive tales of bravery, understand the grand strategies, and, for those with ancestors who fought in these wars, follow in their footsteps. This may involve visiting the battlefields or beaches where they fought, towns they stayed in, or their grave, if they were killed in action in France. 

Expert guides, with an intimate knowledge of local history, ensure that every moment of your journey resonates with meaning and relates to your personal interests.

Embarking on this self-drive tour is not just about revisiting history, but honoring the millions of individuals who shaped it. As your self-guided itinerary takes you through these important sites (along with a private guide for some sites), you'll experience a blend of reflection, understanding, and profound respect. 

If you’re interested in booking a personalized tour of France World War 1 & 2 Battlefields with France Just For You, crafted according to your interests and/or family history, please contact us and we will get back to you within 1 working day. In the meantime, we invite you to take a look at our World War History Tour of France, which will give you an idea of the type of itinerary we can plan for you.

France World War 1 & 2 Battlefields

Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 5670
Region
in Paris, Somme, North, Verdun & Alsace

In 13 days, this tour will take you from Paris to the Somme region, and on to Lille at the Belgium border. You will then drive your way south-east to the Verdun area and the surrounding WWI sites. You will end your journey in Alsace, on the border with Germany. A great way to discover Northern France !

WWI & WWII Battlefields
Towns & Villages
Art & Museums
Duration
16 days
Price
US$ 6700
Region
in Champagne, Verdun, Somme, Normandy & Paris

Many of us are related in some way to the World Wars' history : a father, uncle, grandfather, family friend, or a famous soldier we admire, who fought amongst the Allied troops on French soil. We are very happy and proud to plan itineraries for you to learn more about the history of the two World Wars of the 20th century. The below tour is a sample and we will craft your own trip based on any information you may have available or are willing to discover.

WWI & WWII Battlefields
Towns & Villages
Duration
10 days
Price
US$ 3620
Region
in Verdun, Burgundy & Loire Valley

This itinerary gives a nice overview of the center of France: the Verdun WWI battlefields, the wine and heritage of Burgundy, and ending in the Loire Valley with its gardens, castles and sweet life.

Wine Tasting
WWI & WWII Battlefields
Heritage & History
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 4780
Region
in Champagne, Verdun, Burgundy & Paris

Explore North-Eastern France and jump into French wines & history! Starting in Reims, capital of the Champagne region, you will learn many stories starring Joan of Arc, Marie-Antoinette and a famous widow . . . Clicquot. A private guide will make World War I history come alive, allowing you to get a comprehensive overview of the Verdun battlefields. You will bike and taste wines in Burgundy and finish your journey with flourish in Paris.

Wine Tasting
WWI & WWII Battlefields
Duration
4 days
Price
US$ 2220
Region
in Normandy & Paris

If you are interested in WWII history and/or have a family member who fought in the Battle of Normandy, this tour is just for you. We can plan a general itinerary based on what we think you would be most interested in, or you can tell us. For example, North Americans may like to visit the American and Canadian beaches of Omaha , Utah and Juno , and the American and Canadian war cemeteries. If you have a family connection, we will plan an itinerary that follows the route your family member took with their battalion during the Battle of Normandy. WWII Family History Tour What is truly unique …

WWI & WWII Battlefields
Heritage & History
Duration
1 day
Price
US$ 600
Region
in Normandy

Get immersed into the Battle of Normandy and Bayeux history. How To Get There This Day Tour starts in Bayeux. From Paris, you can take a direct train. Bayeux Old City Bayeux may not be well known compared to Omaha Beach but the city has a lot to interest travelers. We plan for you to walk around Bayeux old city in the morning. We will provide a detailed map and information: restaurants, special shops, streets you don’t want to miss. You will also see the famous Bayeux Tapestry which is a beautiful testimony of the Middle Ages and William the Conqueror history. The WWII Landing Sites In the …

WWI & WWII Battlefields
Heritage & History
Duration
13 days
Price
US$ 4450
Region
in Normandy & Loire Valley

Normandy & the Loire Valley are 2 regions of France you should not miss: the climate is mild, the people are very welcoming and history is around every corner.

Wine Tasting
WWI & WWII Battlefields
Countryside

Our Travelers’ Reviews

Susan & Richard from the US
This trip was amazing, and Laura did such a fantastic job at planning it for us, with us. Wow, the detail and care the whole team put into our package was astonishing.
Suzanne & Bill
Cannot speak highly enough of our experience with Emilie and France Just for You. They attended to every detail and request. The B&Bs were welcoming and attractive - quaint and with modern conveniences. The table-d'hotes were very special and a chance to taste authentic, regional cuisine and wines. We were very thankful to discover this wonderful …
Deidre & Kevin
Such a professional company and their attention to every detail was amazing. Car hire , French phone, tours and suggested stops were all fantastic. And the B& B’s in the country and wine districts were fabulous. The owners all very friendly and helpful as well as the accommodation being clean and beautiful. We cannot give enough praise for Emilie …

Our Travelers’ Photos

Alan & Lucelle
From South Africa
In Mont Saint Michel at the border between Brittany & Normandy
Georgia & Matt from Australia
Cooking fresh stawberries from Carpentras in Provence
Bruce from Australia
Cooking outdoor in Provence, bon appétit !
Patricia, Brandon, Alyssa & Anika
from Canada
in a cellar in the Loire Valley
Yvette & David
from the US
on the French Riviera, near Nice
Ginger & Tom
from the US
On the Eiffel Tower
Sue & Chris
Romantic night in Montecarlo
Ginger & Tom
from the US
At their B&B in the Loire Valley
Diana & Michael
A glass of wine in the Provence vineyards, what else ?
Maureen & Victor
from the US
Visiting an Abbey in the Loire Valley
Ashish, Kaushiki & Kailash
From the US
In Paris, across the Seine river from the Louvre Museum
Bonnie & her 2 daughters
from Canada
In Ménerbes, Provence