Discover the rich culture and untrodden landscapes of Hauts-de-France with a self-drive holiday.
See the wonders of Amiens, Lille, Arras and Compiègne with this self-drive itinerary.
Heading to Northern France? Treat yourself to this unforgettable Hauts-de-France self-drive holiday! Spend some time exploring this historical and charming region bursting with spectacular discoveries. The battles in World War I have left their mark in the form of compelling museums as well cemeteries and memorials. But these war sites are just part and parcel of what Hauts-de-France is all about. This region is also famed for Gothic art, royal castles, horses and the Chantilly whipped cream! Boasting a stunning location in the northernmost part of the country, Hauts-de-France delights the senses with long stretches of fine sandy beaches, unforgettable nature, and epic cultural treasures.
Travel Dates: 01 March 2020 – 30 November 2020
Valid for sale: Now until 31 March 2020.
Car hire includes:
- Compact automatic, Peugeot 308 or similar (CDAR)
- Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) - with excess
- Theft Protection (TP) - with excess
- Unlimited Kilometres
- Early Bird Offer - Book Early and Save (conditions apply)
- Fuel Policy: Pick-up Full and Return Full
Today, you will pick up your car in Paris and make your way towards Amiens. You may like to stop in Beauvais for a short break and visit the Cathedral. Beauvais took quite a bit of war damage but still has its share of medieval buildings to grab your attention. Its cathedral is one of a kind, with the highest choir in the world. Once in Amiens, you will have the remainder of the day at your leisure. Explore Amiens and other tales like the Hortillonages, a maze of floating gardens, 65 kilometres of 'rieux' - the local word for water channels flowing around the plots – along which you can travel by boat. You can choose between a traditional 'barque à cornet' (with one raised pointed end) with a boatman/guide who can tell you all about the history of the gardens. (140 km)
Enjoy your day exploring Amiens and its surrounds. You may wish to visit the Somme and its famous war sites such as the Australian National Memorial, the Sir John Monash Centre, The Franco Australian Museum and the Australian Corps Memorial Park. (50 km)
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you will depart Amiens and drive north to Lille. You may like to take a detour east and visit Berck, which is located on the coast of the English Chanel. Enjoy a walk along the long sandy beach and take a stroll through the city before continuing to Lille. (230 km)
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at your hotel before enjoying the day a leisure. Lille is the capital of the Hauts-de-France and is located near the board of Belgium. The historic centre, Vieux Lille, is characterized by 17th-century brick town houses, cobbled pedestrian streets and the large central square, Grand Place. You might like to join a City tour to discover the diversity of Lille's heritage: the Lille Fine Arts Museum, the second museum in France, the City Hall belfry, listed as a world heritage, the Notre-Dame de la Treille Cathedral and many more...You may also visit the museums like Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille and Hospice Comtesse Museum.
Today, after breakfast you will drive south to Arras. The capital of the historic Artois region has a strong Flemish accent, clear in the names, architecture, food and art. Upon arrival into Arras enjoy the reminder of the day at leisure. (52 km)
Today, you have the day to yourself. You may wish to visit Les Boves, limestone caves which were dug in the 10th Century right under the Hotel de Ville in the centre of the town. There is guided tours which run daily. You could also visit the Wellington Tunnels, a Memorial of the Battle of Arras November 1916 to March 1917. New Zealand soldiers linked the tunnels which are can hold up to 24,000 soldiers.
Starting out as a humble royal hunting lodge for the Forest of Compiègne, this cultured town quickly came into fashion in the 1800s when it won the approval of Napoleon I and Joséphine. Once you have check into your hotel you have the remainder of the day free. We suggest you visit the Château de Compiègne and The Forest of Compiègne if time allows. (109 km)
Today, we suggest you drive south and visit the city of Senlis. Australians are discovering this Gallo-Roman Royal City after falling in love with the film Seraphine. Visit the works of Seraphine Louis at the Museum of Art and Archaeology and Notre Dame Cathedral. Then head to Chantilly, only a short drive east of Senlis, to visit its famous Château. The Château de Chantilly houses France’s large collection of antique paintings after the Louvre, though the town is best known for its horses – its 17th-century stables are home to the fascinating Museum of the Horse, while the stunning 19th-century racecourse is one of the most prestigious in Europe.
This morning, you bid farewell to the Hauts-de-France as you drive South to Paris and return your car.
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