Depart from central Paris and head east toward your first stop in the Meuse region. Along the way, note some of the lasting marks on the landscape that the war left behind.
Your first stop is the Battlefield of Verdun, site of a 300-day-long World War I battle in 1916, known today by its nickname of 'The Hell of Verdun.' Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died here, and your guide will help conjure images of the past to give you an idea of the cost and impact of the battle.
Travel past the London Trench, a point where British Troops delivered medical assistance and much-needed supplies, to your next stop at the Ossuary of Douaumont. The memorial contains the remains of more than 100,000 unknown soldiers – both French and German – who died at the Battle of Verdun.
Next, visit Fort Douaumont, one of the 19 defensive forts circling Verdun built in the 1890s. It's the biggest and tallest of the 19, and during WWI the Germans managed to gain control of it. Listen as your guide explains how this strategic move turned the French military's plan on its head and set the stage for the Battle of Verdun.
Continue your tour to the Trench of Bayonets. A line of 12 bayonets was discovered after the war, sticking out of the ground in what used to be a trench of French soldiers. It's now believed that the Germans bombed the trench, burying the French soldiers where they stood with their bayonets ready.
Take a midday break in Argonne for lunch (included) after leaving the landscape of Verdun, and then visit one of the key points of the 1918 Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Here, you'll see the battlefields where the American Expeditionary Force led by General Pershing first got involved, and how the Meuse-Argonne Offensive was part of the Allies' final push along the whole Western Front.
Visit the Romagne War Museum nearby to see exhibits of war artifacts, the majority of which came from with 2 miles (3 km) of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. Learn about both the American and German troops who fought here. Enjoy some free time in the museum's gift shop for souvenirs, including battlefield relics.
The last stop on your tour is the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial. More than 14,000 soldiers are buried here, making it the largest US cemetery in Europe. The cemetery is near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, and the majority of the soldiers buried in it died during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Return to Paris with a newfound understanding of these key World War I battle sites.