From the trenches of Ypres to monuments marking The Somme, our ANZAC tour maps Australian and New Zealand troops' movements in WWI - delving into the stories of the soldiers' involvement in the battles of the Western Front. With poignant visits to cemeteries and national memorials on the agenda, as well as a special ANZAC Day service at Villers-Bretonneux - join us in remembering those who fought during the Great War on an unforgettable history-themed journey.
After meeting the group in Lille, we’ll kick off our remarkable journey with a delicious welcome dinner. Accommodation: Hôtel Couvent des Minimes (or similar)
Today’s itinerary will take us from Lille to Ypres via the historic Messines Ridge. Our first stop will be the Passchendaele battlefields – where we’ll walk in the footsteps of WWI allied soldiers who fought to break the German line in 1917. Next, we’ll pay our respects at Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Military Cemetery before visiting the shell-scarred Hill 60. This afternoon, there’s an opportunity to explore the fascinating Hooge Crater Museum – home to a unique collection of WWI artefacts and reconstructed trenches. We’ll enjoy some free time this evening in Ypres – our home for the next two nights. Accommodation: Albion Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast, we’ll continue to delve into the moving stories of the West Flanders Front beginning with a visit to the In Flanders Fields Museum – a unique institution that commemorates the four-year trench war and conveys a contemporary message of peace. This afternoon, you’ll be free to explore Ypres at your leisure. A medieval town that was completely destroyed during WWI and rebuilt anew, there is plenty of history to uncover here. This evening we’ll reconvene to attend the playing of the Last Post under the iconic Menin Gate. Accommodation: Albion Hotel (or similar)
Today it’s out of Belgium and across the border. Our destination? Fromelles, the site of the disastrous attack of 19 July 1916 – where we’ll pay an emotional visit to Pheasant Wood Cemetery and the fascinating exhibition nearby. After, we’ll move on to the Wellington Quarries: a network of tunnels built by the New Zealand Tunnelling Company as part of the preparations for the Battle of Arras. We’ll remember Australia’s role in this battle at Bullecourt, with a stop at the Digger Memorial later this afternoon. Concluding the day in lovely Amiens, we’ll have the evening to spend as we wish. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
The Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux commemorates the battle of 24-25 April 1918 – during which Australian and Commonwealth Soldiers liberated the town. Buried here are more than 2,100 servicemen of the First World War – including over 770 Australians. Since 2008, the memorial has been the site of a special ANZAC Day service. Today, stand with fellow visitors from Australia and New Zealand and local townspeople in remembering those who fought during the Great War at one its most poignant sites. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
The Somme still captivates the soul and it’s here that the ANZACs first saw major action in 1916. This morning, we’ll visit Pozières and Mouquet Farm – significant sites for the Australian soldiers, as well as Longueval and Flers which were similarly monumental to the Kiwis. Before returning to Amiens, we’ll also take some time to remember the colossal loss experienced by Great Britain – with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. This evening, we’ll regroup for one final dinner together and reminisce on our unforgettable journey. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
As the home of the National War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is central to Australian WWI commemoration and memory. Before we say our goodbyes today, we’ll visit the Franco-Australian Museum – a site paying tribute to the brave Australian soldiers who helped to save the town and monument to international solidarity. We’ll make a brief stop at Sir John Monash Centre before shifting our focus to the last year of the war – with a visit to Le Hamel. Our tour will conclude upon our return to Lille.
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With more than 30 years’ experience in small group and tailor-made tours across the UK, Europe and Asia, Back-Roads Touring is truly the original Small Group Touring company.
With each tour capped at 18 passengers (14 for Asia tours), Back-Roads curates authentic, off-the-beaten-track travel experiences.
Catering for the mature traveller, Back-Roads has built up a brand rooted in expert local knowledge, sustainable tourism, culinary excellence and premium boutique accommodation.
Their award-winning tour leaders are committed to delivering the ‘Back-Roads difference’ whether that be dining with the group, offering the flexibility to change the itinerary, giving personal recommendations for lunch or bringing each destination to life with their insight and knowledge. Their Tour leaders are dedicated to delivering a truly authentic, personalised experience. The Back-Roads Difference inludes:
Back-Roads Touring was named Best Small Coach Holidays Company for 2015, 2016 and 2017 in the British Travel Awards and have been nominated for two awards in 2018.