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Walking the Via Francigena from Arras to Laon

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Stage 3
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136.5km
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9 days
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Starting From
€1063
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Arras to Laon Map
Travelling from Arras to Laon, the third section of the Via Francigena will take you through the famous region of the Somme. Much of the tranquil countryside and woodland were devastated by the World Wars, so you will have many opportunities to visit war memorials and cemeteries along the trails. This is a truly humbling part of the world to visit.

Highlights

War memorials

During the two World Wars, the north of France was badly damaged. On your routes from Arras to Laon you will see numerous memorial to the soldiers from around the world who fought in France. From the Canadian memorial to the Australian memorial, the memorials are rich in history.

Gastronomy

For meat-eaters, you can’t leave the north of France before you have tasted the famous Welsh, a succulent dish of croque-monsieur surrounded by cheddar cooked with beer. It’s the most famous dish in the north. The perfect pairing is a lovely Belgian beer.

This is a warm and comforting meal after a day of walking!

Landscapes

Crossing the Nord-pas-de-Calais for Picardie you will walk through green grass nourished by the morning rain. Then, crossing the countryside, you will be protected by lush trees all along your trip. You will see stunning old castles on your way, which are a great place to have some rest. Hilly and flat roads mix as you walk your way towards Laon. 

That is the diverse beauty of the North!

Arras to Laon
Via Francigena
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Services

Included in this package
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Specially Hand-Picked Accommodation
  • Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Virtual Face-to-Face Pre-Departure Briefing
Add-On
  • Premium Accommodation
  • Airport Pick-Up
  • Additional Nights
  • Dinners
  • Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel
  • Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest
Not included
  • Flights/trains
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

Itinerary

Day 1

ARRAS (Arrival)

This visual feast of architecture is a sight to behold for its Flemish and Baroque buildings. It also has a very well preserved military history from both World Wars and has France’s largest military cemetery. Visit the remarkable monument dedicated to around 58,000 soldiers called the Ring of Memory. Just north of Arras there is the Canadian War Memorial, dedicated to all Canadians who fought in World War I.


Day 2
26.07km

ARRAS
to
BAPAUME

Leaving Arras behind you will follow a country road towards the commune of Mercatel. Walking through the countryside and small villages, you will come upon numerous small war cemeteries and churches before arriving into Bapaume, your stop for the night. During both World Wars, this town experienced intense fighting due to its strategic position. Australian forces liberated it from the Germans in World War I, it fell to the Germans again, before at last it was captured by troops from New Zealand.


Day 3
27.41km

BAPAUME
to
PERONNE

Just before the halfway point of the day you will leave behind the Pas-de-Calais region and enter the ancient province of Picardie in the area known as the Somme. Passing through more tranquil villages and countryside, you will come to Péronne (where you will be spending the night). Here, it is recommended you visit the Museum of the Great War, which is housed in the mediaeval castle.


Day 4
17.99km

PERONNE
to
TREFCON

The walk today will pass through more crop fields and farming villages filled with war memorials. Later you will enter woodlands, leaving behind the area of the Somme and coming to your final stop for the evening, Trefcon.


Day 5
11.17km

TREFCON
to
ST QUENTIN

From Trefcon to St Quentin, the walk is relatively flat. You will pass through more crop fields and small villages before coming to the outer suburbs of St Quentin. Wander through the city to the Basilica of Saint-Quentin. There has been a religious building on the site of the Basilica since the 4th Century, all of which have been destroyed and then a new building rebuilt. The Basilica was extensively reconstructed after World War 1 and only reopened in 1956.


Day 6
21.23km

ST QUENTIN
to
TERGNIER

Crossing the Canal de Saint Quentin, you will return to walking through the crop fields. You will see your destination for the day, Tergnier, in the distance well before you arrive. Here, you will find the Musée de la Résistance et de la Deportation which tells of the resistance in this region to foreign occupation and shares the stories of those that were deported.


Day 7
32.65km

TERGNIER
to
LAON

Today the scenery changes drastically and you will be walking through the Forest of Saint Gobain. Meandering through the gently rolling hills of this woodland area, feel the peace of the secluded wood embrace you as you wind your way down into Cessières. Once there, a taxi will pick you up and take you to Laon to spend the night.


Day 8

LAON

After breakfast, we bid you farewell. If you want to explore Laon, the city contains numerous mediaeval buildings, including the 13th Century Cathedral Notre-Dame and the 12th Century Church of St Martin. Or, find a quiet square and people watch as life goes by.


Arras to Laon Elevation


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