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Istanbul to Gallipoli by coach, private transfer.
The city of Canakkale lies at the narrow, 1200 meter entrance to the Canakkale Strait (the Dardanelles) that connects the Sea of Marmara & the Aegean. Passenger & car ferries run daily between Canakkale on the Asian side & Eceabat & Kilitbahir on the European side…

TJ’s can book any travel route for you. Whether it be a charter flight, local bus or rent a car, just email us with your requirements & we can take the stress out of organizing it for you.


From Istanbul
By plane: Turkish Airlines, who intervened after that Atlasjet Company served out the flights between Istanbul & Canakkale, began flights on the same route with an Airbus A-319. Turkish Airlines is now operating these flights under its own low cost carrier Anadolu Jet (no thrills airline). Please note that this flight departs from Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian Side, for those who will be staying around Sultanahmet & Taksim area hotels this would mean apx. 1½ hrs driving time to the airport. Turkish Airlines flight details are: 21:50 Istanbul – 22:50 Canakkale everyday & 07:15 Canakkale – 08:15 Istanbul everyday, (Please check before planning as this might not have stayed current informartion). Arriving in Canakkale, we have a service to get you from the airport to the ferry port where you cross the Dardanelles, reaching Eceabat in 25min. The plane now has just 90 seats so email us for a booking as soon as possible to ensure availability in peak season. The price is very reasonable but varies according to time of purchase. So get in quick for the best offers.

By bus : Coaches, no less than two years old depart Istanbul hourly for Eceabat. Each coach has a host or hostess who serves drinks & nibblies free of charge. The journey takes approx 5hrs. Make sure you have Eceabat written on your ticket before departure to ensure you are not dropped off in the town of Gelibolu, 45km north of the battlefields. Or you can email us & we can organise it for you & have the ticket delivered to your accommodation. This way, you can choose the public shuttle or you can ask us for a private transfer to the bus station & a car & driver will collect you.

Chauffered car : We can organise a private vehicle with English speaking driver on request.

Self drive : Driving in Turkey can be very hazardous, so we suggest self-drive only for the very confident & experienced driver. When driving from Istanbul to Eceabat, it’s important to stick to the main highways rather than take what seems to be the scenic route on the map following the coastline, as the coast road is military owned & is basically a graded track in some areas with only one car width & steep cliff edges.

From rest of Turkey
By plane: You can catch a charter flight from many places down south such as Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman, Antalya, Kayseri (Cappadocia) direct to Istanbul, where you can transfer to the 21:50 flight heading to Canakkale from Sabiha Gokcen Airport domestic terminal. You must be careful to make sure the flight you are on is landing at the Sabiha Gokcen airport as some companies do not fly to Sabiha Gokcen Airport at all. Arriving in Canakkale, we have a service to get you from the airport to the ferry port where you cross the Dardanelles, reaching Eceabat in 25min.

By bus : Turkey has a very sophistaced, modern, comfortable & efficient bus system. Most buses are only a few years old with air conditioning, entertainment, a steward to bring you snacks & drinks & even free Wifi Internet connections (on some buses (more in the bus terminals). Turkish buses are not usually equipped with onboard toilets, so use the facilities in the terminal before your board & at the mola (rest stops) about every 2 to 2-1/2 hours along the way. Drinks, snacks & meals are avilable at the stops & smokers light up (no smoking is allowed on public buses). Buses run almost hourly if not less between Turkey’s major cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, Adana etc.. There are also frequent buses from the smaller provinces to Canakkale of which some also go through Eceabat. Make sure you have Eceabat written on your ticket before departure to ensure you are not dropped off in the town of Gelibolu, 45km north of the battlefields. You can email us & we can organise it for you & have the ticket delivered to your accommodation. Or ask at your place of accommodation & they can help you out.

Chauffered car : We can organise a private vehicle with English speaking driver on request.

Self drive : Driving in Turkey can be very hazardous, so we suggest self-drive only for the very confident & experienced driver. If you decide to self drive, email us & we’ll send through some route details for you.

The distance between Canakkale to neighbouring provinces & important centres:
Ankara 659 km / Istanbul 310 km / Izmir 331 km / Bursa 303 km / Balıkesir 210 km / Tekirdag 171 km / Edirne 217 km

Transport to Gokceada
Ferryboats run from Canakkale & the Gallipoli Peninsula Kabatepe wharves to Gokceada.The timetables change in summer & winter months. For information on schedules please contact us or The Canakkale Port Authority +286 212 9876 Eceabat Port : 0286 814 1033
Do not forget that speed limits inside the city are 50 km/hour & out of city 90 km/hour.

The post Maps & Transport first appeared on Anzac Gallipoli Tours.


Canakkale Abide Memorial, Suvla Bay.
When you reach the Gallipoli Peninsula you can feel the spirit of the heroes from centuries ago. Today the Gallipoli region is a national park, which acts as an open air museum & is open to all visitors who come to pay their respects at different memorials but on the same soil…

Dardanelles & Hellespont
Dardanelles & Hellespont are the old names of what is now Canakkale. The word Dardanelles comes from Dardanos, a mythical ancestor of one of the survivors of Troy. Canakkale’s other ancient name, Hellespont, also comes from mythology. According to the mythological story of the “Golden Fleece”, that was intensely used by ancient writers, the region was named after means Helle, who legend says fell into the waters of the Strait & drowned while riding on a flying ram with a golden fleece when she & her brother were fleeing to the Black Sea city of Colchis. Apart from its being on a crossing point between two continents, Canakkale attracted the attention of the Eastern Roman Empire, later to become the Byzantine Empire; the Mediterranean countries for trading with the Black Sea, famous for its fish, & the Black Sea countries for whom the Bosphorus & the Dardanelles were the only opening from their inland sea to the world. At times in history, armies from one continent crossed to the other by building bridges of boats or bridges supported by buoys. Though there have been no specific find from Dardanos it is believed that its history goes further back than that of Troy. While the history of Troy I, discovered after excavations that were carried out over a period of years, goes back to 3000 BC, the earliest known settlement in the region has been dated to more than 5000 years ago. The city of Troy that was founded in 3000 BC was destroyed by an earthquake 500 years later. Troy, which was to re-established & destroyed many times after that, founded a great civilization.

Canakkale has seen this & other civilisations rule the region at different times. In 500 BC, it was the Persians that flooded over all of Anatolia. In 386 BC, with the “Peace of Kings” between the Persians & the Spartans, Persian sovereignty in the region was reinforced. The Persian King Xerxes build a bridge of ships & buoys across the Strait in order to cross into Greece & Macedonia, passing his army over the Strait from Abydos to Sestos. Persian rule in the region was destroyed with the defeat inflicted by the Macedonian King Alexander the Great on the Persian army at the battle of Granicas (the Biga stream) in 334 BC. Shortly after the death of Alexander, there were conflicts between the Macedonian commanders over control of the region. Under the rule of the Pergamum Kingdom the region was renamed Galat. It gained importance during the times of the Roman & Byzantine Empires. The first territory seized by the Ottomans in the region was the town of Gelibolu. It was only later that full Ottoman sovereignty over the region was attained.

Canakkale ceramics
One of the suggestions is that the name Canakkale came from long ago due to the tradition of pottery & ceramics in the region, ‘Canak’ meaning pot in Turkish. From the end of the 17th century to the first quarter of the 19th the type of ceramics produced in Canakkale had very different characteristics to those tiles & ceramics of Iznik or Kutahya.

The interest in Canakkale ceramics by the museums & the collectors has increased in the recent years. In these ceramics a reddish clay or more rarely a cream coloured one is used. At the end of the 17th & early 18th centuries examples of more deep bowls, plates & large post were produced. The designs on them were painted with a non-colourful green or cream coloured almost transparent glaze. The colours applied under the coating are mostly a purplish dark brown, orange, yellow, dark blue & white. There was a decrease in the quality in the 19th & early 20th centuries in Çanakkale ceramics. The best collection of the Canakkale ceramics is by Suna-Ä°nan Kirac displayed at the Kaleici museum in Antalya.

Turk – Islam works
Gelibolu is rich in respect of Turkish & Islam works. Near to the Astsubay Orduevi (Non-Commissioned Officers House) there is the grave of Bayrakli (Flag) Dede who was the standard bearer for Suleyman Pasha. From the 14th century onward people came to visit his grave & to hang flags on it. This is why he is known as “Bayrakli Dede” (Dede means a religious figure). The mosque known as the Suleyman Pasha or Buyuk Cami was built in 1358. It was repaired in 1676 & 1889. It has a rectangular plan, stone walls & three entrance doors. There are many türbes (tombs) such as that of Bayraklı Dede. The main ones are those of Ahmet Bican, Mehmet Bican, Hallacı Mansur, Kalafat Mehmed Pasha, Emir Ali Pasha & his son in law Sinan Pasha. The Gelibolu Mevlevihanesi is especially worth seeing, having been built in 1656 by the followers of the symbol of tolerance in sufism, the Mevlana. The restoration work on this impressive building will be completed by the end of 2004. This building, which is located in the grounds of the Military Hospital is the largest second Tekke (Dervish lodge) in Turkey. It had supplementary buildings that have not survived. It used to host 80 poor people with its school, han & refectory. The area where the Dervish sema ceremony (the whirling dance of the Dervishes) is at times performed can cater to 1000 spectators

The post Canakkale History & Culture first appeared on Anzac Gallipoli Tours.


Canakkale is not only name of a city but also the province including the battlefields & memorials of Gallipoli, the legendary ancient city Troy, the mystical & fascinating ancient city Assos, the unknown historical island Bozcaada, the impressive nature of Mt. Ida…

Canakkale, a city & region of education, culture & history with past stretching back 5,000 years, has been nourished by the legacy of ancient cultural treasures such as The Illiad by Homer & has come to appreciate the enchanting historical sites within its boundaries & is now an significant tourism centre.

In ancient times Canakkale was known as the “Hellespont” & “Dardanel” & is one of Turkey’s most beautiful provinces, sitting astride both the Marmara & Aegean regions, with 671 kms of coastline & where geography & history meet in a meaningful way. The Gallipoli Historic National Park, where one of the most important events in Turkey’s history & that of the First World War, the Gallipoli Campaign, took place; & two of the most important ancient centres in western Anatolia, Troy & Assos, which are of the indispensable value as historical & tourism sites, are all in the province of Canakkale.

Stretching from the Trojan War to the Gallipoli Campaign the ancient cities & the sacred land have added “peace” as a characteristic of the identity of the province. While the founding father of the Turkish Republic M. Kemal ATATURK addressed “You, the mothers who sent their sons from the far away countries,” by saying that “your sons are now lying in our bosom,” he delivered his message “Peace at home, peace in the world,” to the world from this land.

Canakkale is one of our country’s most important cultural & tourism centres, with the hospitality of the local people, unspoiled nature, unique buildings, ancient cities, historical walls, cemeteries of those who fell in the war, examples of civil architecture, its clean shores & beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag, enchanting islands, thermal spas, mild climate, rich range of agricultural products, local dishes, a wide range of fresh & very varied fish, handcrafts & artists. Canakkale reveals a different beauty for all seasons, with the geography of the sea passing through it, the fertility of its lands, & the glamour of its history. It is an ancient, natural & modern province.

On both sides of the wharf & on the waterfront…
Like in all seaside cities the criteria what sets the character of Canakkale is the sea & its wharf. Either side of the waterfront from the jetty in Canakkale have been set out to promote walking & entertainment. Stretching both ways from the car ferry wharf there are restaurants, bars, cafes & benches placed so one can look out over the sea or rest. The area around the wharf & the waterfront is busy day & night. Many of the restaurants on the waterfront feature a seafood menu. In season one can always find fresh fish in the restaurants.

The Clock Tower
One street back from the wharf there is a clock tower that is one of the symbols of the city. It was built in 1897 by an Italian, Emili Vitali tradesman & honorary consul of the time. There is a clock on each of the four sides of the tower, which was built from the local Ayvalik stone. The square shaped tower narrows slightly as it rises. The public fountain beneath it was built in 1889 by a wealthy Jewish resident of the town called Halyo..

Old Canakkale
The two streets either side of the tower lead into the older districts of the city. Most of the old houses on these very narrow streets are either used as shops or cafes. There are small hans in the marketplace. Once upon a time the famed Muriel Bazaar (Aynali Carsi or Mirror Bazaar) was in this region. The Muriel Bazaar, which was made famous in a well known song about Gallipoli Campaign, was built by Ilia Halyo in 1889 during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamit & was a replica of the famed Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul. According to some accounts it was destroyed by shells from the British battleship Queen Elizabeth, which were fired at the defences around Canakkale. The bazaar remained a ruin for some time after the war & later 14 shops that were not in keeping with the former styles were erected.

Canakkale in 1 day
One can start a tour of Canakkale from the Cimenlik Castle. The tour, which would follow a visit to the old district, would have as its first stop at the Turkish districts of Camii Kebir & Cay & a stop at the Fatih Mosque. Later one can see the Jewish district, the Victory Square, the Nedime Hanim Girls School, the Tifli Mosque, the Muriel Bazaar, the synagogue, the Anatolian Greek (Rum) district, school buildings, the Orta Mektep School, the Cumhuriyet Meydani (Republican Square), the Public Gardens (Halk Bahcesi), the waterfront, the Clock Tower, Yali & Fetvahane Streets & the Yali Mosque.

The old district & the partly protected houses & streets are very pleasant but one can take a break at the Yali Han, located off one of the streets leading from the Clock Tower. In the han, apart from a bookstore & several other shops, there is a coffee shop & if the weather is suitable you can even sit in the garden area which is very pleasant. The han is also the venue for a number of cultural activities in Canakkale

The Dardanos Tumulus
The tumulus is on the Izmir road in an area owned by the local university & the finds from the site are on display at the Canakkale Archaeology Museum. However, there is not much for the amateur visitor to see. The site’s importance lies in its having the traces of the oldest settlement known in Canakkale. The old name for Canakkale, Dardanos, comes from this old city that was founded here but there are no other traces of it barring the tumulus. The Dardanos tumulus is one of the oldest in the world.

Historical places opening hours
Troy Ancient City : Open hours 08:00 – 17:00 (winter) / 08:00 – 19:30 (summer) open every day, Entrance fee.

Assos : Behramkale Koyu Ayvacik Canakkale, Open hours 08:00 – 17:00 (throughout the year), (open every day), Entrance fee.

Alexandria Troas : Dalyan Koyu Ezine Canakkale, Open hours 08:00 – 17:00 (throughout the year), (open every day), Entrance fee.

The Military Museum & the Cimenlik Fortress
The Cimenlik Castle, which now serves as a military museum, was built by Sultan Fatih the Conqueror in 1462 in order to control the Strait. It was known as Bogaz Hisari & Kala-i Sultaniye in the past. In the fortress area one can still see the holes made by British shellfire from the Gallipoli Campaign. The small two-story Fatih Mosque inside the castle was built at the same at the fortress. The other parts of the fortress have been turned into a military museum. In the museum there are displays of Ottoman era arms & military equipment, material & equipment from World War One as well as copies of books & maps prepared by the famed Ottoman sailor & cartographer Piri Reis. An exact scale replica of the mine layer the Nusrat, which played a prominent part in the Gallipoli Campaign, is on display in the open garden of museum. The real Nusrat, which has recently been restored, is on display in a park in Mersin in the south of Turkey.

Troy Ancient City
A warning to travellers who plan to visit Troy. Troy is not a historical site that one can visit & understand on one’s own. It definitely should be visited in the company of an expert guide. In Canakkale & Eceabat many travel agencies organise tours with good guides. We strongly recommend that those who do not come to the region with a tour group should consider joining one of these tours. Troy is the common name for the city at the entrance of the Dardanelles located on the Hisarl覺k Hill, the Bronze Age fortress & the settlement, the legendary city of King Priam that was completely destroyed at the end of the ten year long Trojan War. Troy was also known as Ilios & Ilion. One of the most important aspects of Troy for archaeologists & historians is that it was destroyed, burnt down & rebuilt on the same site. In general, once a city was destroyed another would be built at a different location. In contrast, Troy was rebuilt on the very same location again & again. Thus it presents us with the opportunity to study & learn the 5,000 years long history of humans, culture & architecture in the region. There is a small museum at the entrance of the site, which was opened in 1955. Some finds from the excavation that had been held in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum were transferred to this museum in 1970. There are plans to build a larger museum at the site, with the intention of bringing together most of the finds from generations of excavation, including pieces smuggled out of Turkey & currently held in Russia & the Berlin Archaeology Museum.

The post Çanakkale first appeared on Anzac Gallipoli Tours.


Every soldier at Gallipoli had stories to tell of the fighting, but two battles stand out because they were so fierce. One was fought at a place the Australians called Lone Pine. The ridge line was given its name because when the Turks were making roofs for their trenches, they chopped down every tree except one…

Gallipoli (Turkish: Gelibolu) is a peninsula locality in north-western Turkey, close to Istanbul. The Gallipoli Peninsula is the site of extensive First World War battlefields & memorials on the north bank of the Dardanelles Strait. It is a commemorative site for the Allied (British Empire, France) & Turkish forces who fought, died & were wounded there. The Gallipoli Campaign also known as the Battle of the Dardanelles was very costly for both sides & casualties & losses amount to 220,000 with a 59% casualty rate for the Allied forces & 253 000 with a 60% casualty rate for the Turkish forces.

The battle resonated profoundly among some nations involved. In Turkey, the battle is perceived as a defining moment in the history of the Turkish people – a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the centuries-old Ottoman Empire was crumbling; and in Australia & New Zealand, the then perceived duty to serve their “Mother Country” Britain, resulted in their military defeat, but their sacrifice & heroism marked the birth of a separate national consciousness in both of these countries.

The Gallipoli peninsula is one of the most sacred sites for the Turkish nation, with many monuments such as the Monument of Martyrs erected in the honor of the Turkish soldiers who died in the Battle of the Dardanelles against the Allied forces, whose defeat staved off a potential invasion of Turkey. The victory over the Allies is celebrated on 18 March as Canakkale Zaferi (Canakkale Victory), every year, with tens of thousands of Turks attending the events on the battlefields & memorials.

The area around Anzac Cove is particularly significant for Australians & New Zealanders, whose armies received their baptism in fire on the cliffs there & carved a fine military reputation under extreme adversity & enourmous loss of life; & this military disaster marked the beginning of a separate Australian & New Zealand nationhood. The 1915 landings & battles are commemorated by Australians & New Zealanders on ANZAC Day, 25 April, every year. At this time especially, Gallipoli becomes a place of pilgrimage for many Aussies & Kiwis who want to honour the memory of their forbears.

There are three main battlefield areas – Cape Helles (Turkish: Seddulbahir), Anzac / Pine Ridge & Suvla Bay (which has fewer places to visit). Depending on how detailed your itinerary is, it would be possible to visit the main sites of interest, particularly around Cape Helles & Anzac – Pine Ridge, in a single day. More realistically, two or three days allows plenty of time for an extensive tour, taking in all the battlefield sites, cemeteries & memorials. Must sees include: The Cannakale Martyrs Memorial (near Cape Helles); The British Memorial at Cape Helles; Anzac Cove; Pine Ridge Australian Memorial; New Zealand Monument, Chunuk Bair; Ataturk Statue, Chunuk Bair.

Aside from the 1915 battlefields, why not visit the new Gelibolu Milli Park visitors centre where there are excellent displays relating to the natural history of the peninsula. You can also visit the ancient fortress of Kilitbahir south of Eceabat or take a ferry across the Straits to Asia; from Canakkale, drive to what is reputed to be the site of Ancient Troy (signposted Troia) about 30 kilometres to the south. The ruins of the legendary city – complete with (reconstructed) wooden horse – are open to the public.

The post Gallipoli Overview first appeared on Anzac Gallipoli Tours.