2018 Western Front and Cobbles 7 Days

Tyne Cot Memorial 2

TRIP DETAILS : 
Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Dates: Tuesday, July 10 – Monday, July 16, 2018
Start: Lille, Hauts-de-France
Finish: Paris, Île-de-France
Accommodation: 3 and 4 Star hotels
Group Size: 20 Guests (4 Staff)
Suitable for: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
TRIP COST: AUD$4490.00 (US$3460.00)
OPTIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: AUD$600.00 (US$460.00)

Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If traveling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively, you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  • Explore the famous battlefields of the Great War
  • Commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice with the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate
  • Guided tour of the Ieper Salient including, Passchendaele, Polygon Wood, Tyne Cot, Hill 60
  • Visit the Newfoundland memorial, Thiepval museum, and Villers-Bretonneux memorial
  • Visit Roubaix velodrome
  • Watch an exciting stage finish to Amiens
  • Experience Le Tour as riders race over cobbled roads

Escorted by Former Pro-Cyclist, Lorian Graham

Lorian is a survivor and a caring Bikestyle Tours guide. Her insights into women’s racing, highs and lows of the sport are just some of the stories she is able to share. Guests love having Lorian as their guide because her care and encouragement toward them creates something very special about being on the bike. The Adelaide Hills are a special place for Lorian as it was here that she was crowned National Road Cycling Champion.

Since retiring from the sport, Lorian believes riding is a great source of leisure and a necessary escape from the day-to-day chores.

Who is this trip for?

Our Western Front and Cobbles trip combines watching the Tour de France and recognising 100 years since the armistice of the Great War. We will visit the most significant sites on the Western Front, in the Ieper Salient and the Somme. Our trip coincides with seeing two stages of the Tour live; the arrival of the Tour de France in Amiens, and the much-anticipated stage on cobbles. A special commemorative trip with riding and non-riding activities.

Our rides on this trip are leisurely paced and suit social riders. Riding around the Western Front gives you a unique perspective on the landscapes and struggles on the battlefields. We have a local historian to guide us through the Ieper Salient, visiting Tyne Cot, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Hill 60 and the newest installation at Fromelles. We then visit the Somme, a location where soldiers endured the opening battles and where their final push ended the war. We will spend some time at Newfoundland Memorial, Thiepval museum and the Australian memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

The awe of the Great War and the subsequent armistice will always remind us of the importance of diplomacy over force. Our Western Front trip will be emotional, relaxing and memorable. Our final days in the region will access the excitement of the Tour live, including a spectacular stage finish and the anticipated stage on cobbles into Roubaix.

Itinerary

Bikestyle 2017-07-02-16

Tuesday 10 July: Bienvenue (Welcome) to France

Our staff will meet you at Lille TGV station at 11:00 am. Lille is easily accessible by TGV from Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport as well as other European destinations. There are also regular services from Amsterdam. Arriving in Europe a day early is the best way to prepare for your trip.

After collecting you from the station, we’ll transfer you to our 4-star hotel behind significant landmarks on the Ieper salient, Les Halles in the Grote Markt. Staff will help you ready your bike, or fit your pedals to your hire bike before heading out for an easy warm-up ride. Belgium is one of the most friendly places to ride and one of our favourite destinations. There are many dedicated paths, courteous drivers, quiet interconnecting country roads and not too many hills.

If you are not riding today, after settling into our hotel you should explore Ieper. Les Halles has a great museum and a there are a number of walking tours that start from there.

Tonight we’ll enjoy a special welcome dinner at our hotel’s beautiful restaurant, a perfect opportunity to meet fellow guests and staff who will be on hand to answer questions about your cycling holiday with Bikestyle Tours.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Welcome Dinner (with drinks)

Overnight
Ieper, Belgium

Harder Ride Option

Wednesday 11 July: Kemmelberg, Ieper Salient and Tyne Cot

Later today we have our guided tour of the Ieper Salient. After breakfast, we’ll take the opportunity to ride one of the famous roads in the area. The Kemmelberg is part of cycling lore, thanks to the Flanders Classics race Gent-Wevelgem. It was also a strategic site during the Great War for its elevated position.

The steep cobbled road reaches over a gradient of more than 20% and is similar to what you’d find in Gent-Wevelgem’s bigger cousin, Ronde van Vlaanderen. It is only short and therefore a manageable climb. Although, it would be grueling after 150 km of racing. After reaching the top you can descend down the safe bitumen road. You have the option of avoiding the cobbled road and riding around the climb. We will return to our hotel to freshen up before meeting with our tour guide for the afternoon.

image3

The limits of the Allies supply was the Menin Gate, the eastern porte through the medieval wall in Ieper. It was through this gate that 300,000 commonwealth soldiers passed and never returned. 90,000 of whom have no known grave. Menin Gate is now a memorial to the soldiers with no known grave, inscribing their names. Unfortunately such were the casualties that close to 35,000 names could not fit on the memorial and their names instead, are inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing.

Our tour tells us the history of trench warfare, Tyne Cot cemetery, the significant battles and memorials of Polygon Wood and Hill 60. This evening, we will return to Ieper in time to observe the evening memorial at Menin Gate, the Last Post ceremony. Every evening since 1928 the Last Post has been played under the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper at 8 o’clock sharp. This evening is the 31,097th consecutive ceremony.

Today will be one of your most memorable days ever, and it is impossible not to be moved by the experience. After the Menin Gate service, you are free to dine at one of the restaurants in Ieper.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Ieper, Belgium

Harder Ride Option

Thursday 12 July: Battle of Fromelles and Roubaix velodrome

We are often reminded that the Great War is only recent history. In 2009, a team of archaeologists uncovered the bodies of 250 British and Australian soldiers missing in Fromelles. A campaign to identify the soldiers used DNA and as their identities were restored, their stories were discovered. The Museum, adjacent to Pheasant Wood where the soldiers are buried, recounts the battle, honours the fallen soldiers and shows the archaeological research. Our experienced local guide will also take us to the Hitler Bunker, VC Corner Cemetery and Australian Memorial Park.

After lunch and the finish of our guided tour, we will ride through the stunning countryside to another famous cycling location. The Roubaix velodrome hosts the finish each year of the famous Hell of the North race — Paris-Roubaix. In a few days, the Tour de France will arrive in Roubaix. But we will have the opportunity to visit the velodrome before the crowds arrive.

After riding on the velodrome, we will travel back to Ieper, or if you feel up for it, you can ride the 40km back to our hotel. We will arrive back to Ieper in time to watch the finish of today’s stage to Mûr-de-Bretagne on TV. Tonight, we will have another lovely dinner together at our hotel. Another memorable day exploring the Western Front.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner

Overnight
Ieper, Belgium

Harder Ride Option

Friday 13 July: Battles of the Somme and Villers-Bretonneux

There was little distance gained or lost during the battles on the Somme. The close proximity of each battlefield reminds us of the horrid conditions and immense struggle. The trench warfare essentially became a tactical stalemate with one of the highest casualty rates in history. The British forces suffered 60,000 casualties on the opening day of battle in the Somme offensive — making it the worst day in history of the British army.

Today, we will travel to Newfoundland memorial and its museum that recognises the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers during the Great War. This site has well-preserved trenches to explore. Our visit here will give you perspective on “no man’s land”. We will then take to our bikes and ride to Thiepval memorial, that has a great museum and impressive monument to British soldiers. We will carry on and visit a number of ANZAC monuments and finish at Villers-Bretonneux. It was in this area that Lieutenant General Sir John Monash commanded one of the greatest offensives marking a turning-point of the war.

Villers-Bretonneux

After our visit to Villers-Bretonneux we will travel to our hotel conveniently located for watching the Tour. Our 4 star hotel is situated on the river Somme, and in the location where the final battles of 1918 ended the Great War. The main square where our hotel is located in a lovely large open space with attractive buildings in Flemish and art deco styles.We will arrive with plenty of time for you to check-in, freshen up and venture into the old town for dinner.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Aisne, Hauts-de-France

Harder Ride Option

Saturday 14 July: Stage finish in Amiens

Today is a special day for the French, and the French riders will have the hopes of a nation to win today’s sprint. Fête Nationale, also known as Bastille day is a national holiday and it also marks the beginning of their Summer holidays. This evening there will the fireworks displays across the country. It is a day celebrated with patriotism and optimism and for us, it is great to be in France to share in the celebrations.

Our day starts with a wholesome breakfast before a ride from our hotel. We’ve had a number of days visiting war memorials. So today, we’ll change pace a little and enjoy a scenic country ride and see some of the art deco style architecture in the area. For non-riders, you can take a stroll in Saint-Quentin’s own ‘Champs-Élysées’, an extensive and nicely maintained garden and park area.

After our morning activities, we will travel to Amiens Métropole for the stage finish. Today’s stage, on Bastille day will honour the sacrifice of soldiers during WW1, as Amiens was a main French station during the Great War. Andre Greipel won Stage 5 in 2015 to Amiens and 2018 will be another day for the sprinters. The wide finishing boulevard is high paced and has great access for spectators.

After seeing today’s finish and winners presentation we will travel back to our hotel for a group dinner at our 4 star hotel.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Aisne, Hauts-de-France

Harder Ride Option

Sunday 15 July: Le Tour de France on cobbles

Today is one of the most anticipated stages of the 2018 Tour de France. Riders will be nervous until they exit the final sector of cobbles. Often the Tour de France navigates the cobbled roads, made famous by the Hell of the North. However, none more daunting than in 2018 with more than 21km of pavé to pass on 15 secteurs. Mountain specialists will have a distinct disadvantage today. Expect the general classification to have a shakeup.

After breakfast, we will visit the famous secteurs that are often included in Paris-Roubaix. We will see their most challenging, and if you’d like, ride some of the better secteurs. Our ride will finish at one of the secteurs included in today’s stage where we’ll watch the peloton “float” over the cobbles. Our luxury coach with its warm shower will be on hand for you to freshen up before going to watch the stage.

After an exciting day watching this highly anticipated stage live, we will travel back to our hotel for a special farewell dinner. Our final night is celebrated with a lovely meal and accompanying wine. We’ll acknowledge our new friendships and reflect on our memorable visit to the Western Front and the Tour de France.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Aisne, Hauts-de-France

Harder Ride Option

Monday 16 July: Au Revoir (Farewell) to new friends

Sadly, our trip comes to an end today. We hope our 7 days of commemorating the history of the Great War combining with our scenic rides and cheering on the Tour de France has created new friendships and great memories. After breakfast this morning we will make one transfer to Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport.

We will arrive at the airport by 11:00 am. For booking international flights, plan for departure after 2:00 pm and for flights within Europe, after 1:00 pm. There are also RER and taxi links into the centre of Paris, as well as TGV’s that depart from the airport to many European destinations. You should book your TGV for departure after 12:00 pm.

Why not make the Western Front an hors d’œurve for seeing the Tour through the Alps and Pyrenees? For the full three week experience, join our GC Classic trip and we will transfer you to Aix-les-Bains today before visiting Lake Annecy and staying on the race route for the stage finish on top of Alpe d’Huez.

Meals: Breakfast

Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by custom mini vans or luxury coach
  • Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
  • 6 nights accommodation in quality 3 & 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 4 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Guided tours
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Lille TGV Station
  • Transfer to Paris, Charle de Gaulle airport on final day
  • Ride files and Bikestyle guide to the 2018 Tour de France
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2018 Western Front and Cobbles 7 Days ($1000pp)
2018 Western Front and Cobbles Bicycle Hire ($420.00)
2018 Western Front and Cobbles Single Supplement ($600.00)
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

Register Your Interest

  Tick the box to ask your own question about the trip.
Navigation