This 17-day battlefield tour will take you to a wide range of famous World War II locations. In four different countries, with four experienced battle tour guides, you will experience a unique trip. We have added some really nice extras for you. Besides the battlefield tour, you will visit the country’s specialties in food and drink. Each footstep of the tour will end at a unique restaurant. This will be an experience you will never forget.
Part 1: France
Day 1: Paris
On landing in Paris you will be welcomed by our host who will connect you with the luxurious bus that will bring you the hotel in Paris. There you can have a rest and a stroll in this marvelous city.
Day 2: Bayeux
Today you will be driven to Bayeux/ Normandy, where you will check-in at the monastery of La Joie Saint Benoît or a comparable hotel. You can take a rest or explore this beautiful location. You also will meet your second host Jenny Post, who lives in Bayeux. She can take you on a short city trip.
Day 3: Utah Beach and Cherbourg
Airborne! With Normandy Tour Guide, Florent Plana, the group will travel from Utah Beach to Cherbourg to learn about Operation Overlord and the capture of the Cotentin Peninsula. We will discover the Airborne Landings by the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division and talk about the crucial part played by airborne troops in the Normandy Invasion.
Day 4: Omaha Beach and St. Lo
This day will focus on the actions of the U.S. Army from Omaha Beach to St Lo. Sites include Point du Hoc where we explore the traces of war and the actions of the 2nd Ranger Battalion that assaulted this cliff. We will then move to Omaha Beach to see where the liberation of Europe began on June 6, 1944. Subsequently, we pay our respects to the fallen soldiers buried at Colleville Normandy Cemetery. From there we focus on the fight for St Lo.
Day 5: Mont Saint-Michel & Calvados?
Part 2: The Belgian Ardennes
Day 6: Travel day!
The tour bus will take you to the beautiful countryside of Belgium, the Ardennes. You will be welcomed in Grandmenil by your hosts Bob and Eveline Konings. Bob will also be your tour guide for the days in Belgium. Two couples will stay with the neighbors, who also have a very cozy and lovely guesthouse.
Day 7: The Joachim Peiper Tour
This tour will take you to Malmedy and Baugnez, where the very infamousMalmedy Massacre took place. We will visit the museum where to learn more about the battles that took place here. We drive the original route that the Leibstandarte took in December 1944. In the medieval town of Stavelot we will have a short walk and will enjoy lunch. We will continue to Trois Ponts, Cheneux, and Stoumont. We end our tour in La Gleize, where we will meet the famous King Tiger and visit the museum. We will stay in La Gleize and visit the brewery Brasserie de la Gleize. Dinner will be served at Guesthouse Bo Temps.
Day 8: Bastogne
We will leave the guesthouse promptly for another exciting day in the Ardennes. Bastogne is world-famous for its battles, and so is a must see! Bob will take you on a trip that traces the first days of the battles. We will visit the villages of Neffe, Magaret, Noville, and Foy where we will explore the famous foxholes of Easy Company. We will also visit the temporary cemetery of Foy and the German cemetery.
Day 9: Manhay, the Battle of the Crossroads
Today we delve further into the battles. We travel from Baraque de Fraiture to Manhay and Grandmenil. Outside of Grandmenil, we will visit the spot where the 2nd SS Das Reich finally was blocked with one bazooka shot. Our lunch will be very special: we will visit the chocolate factory of Defroidmont. From here we will visit the hamlets of Sadzot, Lamormenil, and Freyneux. In Grandmenil we will end the tour at the famous panther tank, and we will visit the MHM44 museum. We will end the Ardennes chapter in a fantastic Chateau in the Spa area, Manoir de Lébioles, where we will have an exclusive dinner.
Part 3: Operation Market Garden
Day 10: Henri Chapelle and ‘sHertogenbosch
Your tour guide will go with you to the first stop: the American cemetery of Henri Chapelle, where we will visit two graves. The staff of Henri Chapelle will give a short tour. From here it is time to say goodbye to the Ardennes and move on to the Netherlands to the picturesque town of Den Bosch. Here the group will have a free night eating cheese and stroopwafels!
Day 11: The Start of the Operation
To learn more about The Netherlands and to get a grasp of Operation Market Garden, the tour will begin on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. This is where the crucial ground troops for the Operation began their action. We then go in the direction of Eindhoven where we explore the landings of the 101st Airborne Division at Son. Driving through Eindhoven, we learn more about the paratroopers and the destruction of the big city shortly after the parachute landings. We visit the site where Joe E. Mann earned his medal of honor and then continue to Nuenen. In the town where Vincent Van Gogh once lived, we take a local guide to learn more about Van Gogh. Afterward, we explore the actions of the 506th PIR who fought in the town shortly after Operation Market Garden. The tour then heads into the direction of Veghel to continue the path of the 101st Airborne Division.
Day 12: The 82nd Airborne During the Operation
This day is almost solely focused on the 82nd Airborne Division as we visit their drop zones near Overasselt and Groesbeek. Sites include the capture of the John S. Thompson bridge, named after the officer who captured it on September 17, 1944, as part of Operation Market Garden. Here we can also have a look at the pre-war Dutch pillboxes. In Groesbeek we will be able to see a replica WACO Glider, used by the allied glider troops during Operation Market Garden. After lunch in Groesbeek, the tour will head for Nijmegen as we explore the Waal Crossings by the 504th PIR. After a quick stop at the Arnhem Bridge, we will drive over the Arnhem Bridge and make our way to the famous Crossroads site that is portrayed in Band of Brothers.
Part 4: The Hurtgen Forest and Aachen
Day 13: Travel Day to Aachen, German Cemetery Vossenack? Valkenburg Caves? Margraten?
Day 14: The 28th Infantry Division and the Siegfried Line
The Hürtgen Forest is infamous in the history of World War II. For more than six months, the battles raged through this area with heavy losses for both American and German troops. Tour Guide David Martin will take you on a journey to explore the battles of the Hürtgen Forest. You will walk in the footsteps of the 28th Infantry Division, a unit that suffered heavy casualties in this area. You will be able to visit the traces of war as we explore the former concrete bunkers of the Siegfried Line near Aachen
Day 15: Hill 400
During the second day of our Hürtgen Forest tour we pick up the story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion that fought at Pointe du Hoc. The group of rangers was sent to the Hürtgen Forest to assault Hill 400. We will visit the hill, including the command post of the Ranger’s commander, James Rudder. You will go on a long hike to view four superb and intact German bunkers, deep in the forest. Subject to the time available, we will visit American foxholes along the route, a German water cistern, and impact craters. In the town of Kleinhau, you will visit three very nice memorials, plus the location where an American M.G. squad was ambushed and tragically killed. In the area of Gey, you will visit the edge of the Forest where the 83rd Infantry Division fought so hard to finally eject the Germans from the forest.
Day 16: Brussels
Time to say goodbye to the beautiful Hürtgen Forest. Our bus driver will take us to the main capital of Brussels where we will check into our hotel. You will have free time to visit several famous spots in this city.
Day 17: Back to the U.S.
A bus will take you to Zaventem Airport to check in and travel back to the U.S.