Day 1: Istanbul – Gallipoli – Çanakkale (L)
Leave central Istanbul, and then travel by coach to the battlefields of Gallipoli. Your pickup time is early, so, if you’ve not had breakfast, enjoy a quick food stop just after leaving the city (own expense).
After roughly four hours on the road, arrive at the historic site where one of the most brutal and lengthy campaigns of WWI was waged. On April 25, 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps followed Allied orders to mount an attack with the aim of capturing Constantinople. The attack was met with unprecedented resistance from the Ottoman Turks and the campaign dragged out for some eight months, with thousands of fatalities.
As you walk about the area, learn all about the key battles that took place and see several poignant memorials that are visited by people from all over the world. Visit Lone Pine — Australia’s main memorial site — and explore the trenches of the Nek while hearing about the troops that stormed the surrounding woodland.
See Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, one of the rare sites that Allied troops captured for a short time, and pay your respects to fallen soldiers at ANZAC Cove where some of the most significant Gallipoli battles took place. Walk around Ari Burnu Cemetery where more than 200 servicemen are buried, and see other touching memorials including Brighton Beach, the Beach Cemetery and the trenches at Johnson’s Jolly.
Your day at the site includes ample free time for independent sightseeing, plus lunch in a restaurant halfway through your tour. After exploring, travel to your hotel in central Çanakkale, and then spend your evening at leisure.
Overnight: 3-star Grand Anzac Hotel or Büyük Truva Hotel in central Çanakkale
Day 2: Çanakkale – Troy – Istanbul (B, L)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast, we will be visiting Cimenlik Castle and Nusrat minelayer.
On a walking tour of the site, learn of Troy’s history and of its development as a series of settlements. Hear how it originated as a Bronze Age dwelling, and even a had stint as a Byzantine town before falling into a state of ruin. Troy is also famous for its links to the Trojan War, the Greek mythological story of the Trojan prince (Paris) who ran away with Zeus’ daughter (Helen) and sparked the 10-year battle. After exploring the ruins, visit the wooden Trojan Horse, which symbolizes the town, and enjoy free time to take photos at leisure.
Before starting your journey back to Istanbul, enjoy a break for lunch in a local restaurant, and then pass through the ancient city of Troy, roughly half an hour away. One of the world’s most famous archeological sites, Troy dates back around 4,000 years and is believed to be the city where the first contact between Anatolia (ancient Asia) and the Mediterranean region was made. Then, relax on the journey north, and finish with a hotel drop-off in central Istanbul in the late evening.