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Walking the Via Francigena from Arras to Laon

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Stage 3
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136.9km
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9 days
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Starting From
€820
Jan
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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.

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
From €820
Preferred Month & Year
Number of people
Additional Information / Request

Services

Included
  • Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack
Add-On
  • Premium Accommodation
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Additional Night
  • Dinners
  • Day Tours Available
Not included
  • Flights/train
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

Itinerary

Day 1

ARRAS (Arrival)

Arrive into Arras. This architecturally visual feast 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 to 58,000 soldiers called the Ring of Memory. Just north of Arras there is the Canadian War Memorial which is in memory to all Canadians who fought or gave their lives in World War I.


Day 2
26.1km

ARRAS
to
BAPAUME

Leaving Arras behind you will follow a country road towards Mercatel. Walking through the countryside and small villages, you will come upon 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. It was liberated from the Germans in World War I, first by Australian forces, then after falling to the Germans again, by troops from New Zealand.


Day 3
27.6km

BAPAUME
to
PERONNE

Just before halfway through 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 the 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 medieval castle.


Day 4
18.1km

PERONNE
to
TREFCON

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


Day 5
11.1km

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 repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. The Basilica extensive reconstructed after World War 1, and only reopened in 1956.


Day 6
21.3km

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 and those that were deported.


Day 7
23.1km

TERGNIER
to
CESSIERES

Today the scenery changes and you will be walking through the Forest of Saint Gobain. Meandering through the gently rolling hills of this woodland area, you will wind your way down into your stop for tonight, Cessières. This quaint town sits between two forests lending it an element of storybook charm.


Day 8
9.5999999999999km

CESSIERES
to
LAON

The walk today will be a short walk taking you to your final stop for this section, Laon. Leaving the forests behind you will slowly rise to Laon, which is set 100 meters above the Picardy plain. In Laon, you can visit the Cathedral Notre-Dame of Laon which dates from the 12th and 13th century and is a sight to behold both externally and internally. While here, why not take a ride in the only fully automated cable car system in the world the Poma 2000, which links the upper historical town centre with the lower town on the plateau.


Day 9

LAON

After breakfast, we bid you farewell, or welcome you to the next section of the Via Francigena.


If you wish to extend your stay anywhere along your journey just ask us to add a few days to your accommodation.



Map of route from Arras to Laon

Arras to Laon Elevation

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