Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the 2-Day Small-Group Troy and Gallipoli Tour from Istanbul. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
We booked online with Viator, and the tour was run by 'Hassle Free Tours'. Everything went like clockwork. We brought some fruit and bottled water with us for breakfast on the first day, and were surprised when we stopped at a fairly flash brunch style restaurant along the way and, carried away by the moment, we had breakfast. We were not told that the cost was not included (three meals were included - one each of breakfast, lunch and dinner), and I was called back inside to pay 25 Lire each. I felt like I had tried to leave without paying, and felt somewhat piqued that I was paying for something that we did not need. But it enabled the driver and guide to have breakfast, and it was a heads-up for us to ask specifically and clearly if we had to pay for things as the tour unfolded. The lunch (included) at a winery (www.suvla.com) at Eceabat was excellent and in a beautiful setting, but our appetite had been depleted somewhat by the buffet breakfast. It was great to see Gallipoli and Troy, and the excellent explanations assisted our understanding. Gallipoli is a long time ago now, and so there is not a lot to see, and Troy is a set of ruins, which really do require some tidying up - basic weeding and soil removal from the ruins on display would assist. We stayed overnight at the Helen hotel in Canakkale, 50 metres or so walking distance from the ferry. It was clean and comfortable and the meals were nice. We were a little curious about 'Anzac House'. We thought it was some sort of establishment by the Australian government with memorial items and a small theatre, etc. It turned out to be the hostel next door to the Helen hotel (www.anzachouse.com). There was no offer to view films about Gallipoli; viewing films is noted in the itinerary. The tour was very worthwhile and good value, and provided a practical and efficient way to visit Gallipoli and Troy from Istanbul. If interested, then go for it. If short of time, then omit Troy.
The driver drove at speeds of 130km per hour and only slowed down when we made pointed comments.
The Troy tour was truncated to suit your schedules leaving us stranded in a nearby town for 5 hours. After the introductory walk around the Troy site which was rushed I needed several hours to go back to take it all in. Our protests were met with refusals. I bought a guide book and it shows me how much I missed. We then asked to be taken back to Istanbul earlier and were told that you had tto pick up three other people. No additional people joined our bus for the trip back - so whatever was going on, it was 'no hassle' for you - and hassles all round for us.
At one stop on the way back at a hotel we bought some chocolate that was sun affected. I found the same chocolate in Istanbul in a small corner shop for 1.38 lire - but was charged 6 lira at the stop, for chocolate that turned out to be unfit for human consumption.
The evening meal stop on the way back was hopeless fast food that was not even warm. Prices were a rip off for what was provided. Several people resorted to eating a packet of crisps - because the food offered was so poor.
There are some very good parts to this tour, and other things that make it frustrating. The good parts were the tours of Gallipoli and Troy and the vey good guide we had at both sites. The not so good parts was the chaotic organization of the traveling arrangements. The tour started with an early morning pickup - 6.30 am for us and earlier for some others. After we were picked up the bus traveled around Istanbul picking up other passengers, and at about 7.30am we passed by the end of the street of our own hotel again. We eventually were on our way by 8.00am. The "guide" on the bus told us very little during the journey down to Gallipoli, and actually went to sleep for a while. There was a stop for breakfast one the way down. Fortunately once we had arrived at Gallipoli and had lunch we met up with a new professional guide who took us through the main sites of the Gallipoli peninsula during the afternoon. We were then taken by ferry across to Canakkale where we stayed the night, and were picked up the following morning for the tour of Troy. We had the same excellent guide for this tour. At the end of the tour we were returned to Canakkale at midday and advised that we had to fill in the next 5 hours before we should meet again at the tour company office (at Anzac hotel) to catch the ferry back to Eceabat or Kilitbahir. Once we arrived back on the other side of the Dardanelles, and driven further up to Gelibolu (Gallipoli), we were transferred to a bigger bus along with people who done a one day trip to Gallipoli. We finally got back to our hotel at 1.00am. The forced wait in Canakkle is completely unnecessary and is done so they can combine the 2 day and 1 day tours on one bus back to Istanbul.
Fabulous tour. Rearranged our itinerary so we spent a leisurely afternoon at our hotel - the Kolin - which was fabulous. The tour guide Murat was professional, knowledgeable and good fun. A great way to experience this very moving place. Highly recommended.
this tour was amazing and emotional, the tour guide was fantastic, he was very informative, very interesting and also very diplomatic and careful with his delivery of the events. My only complaint with this tour is that we were squashed into the bus, it was completely full with 5 across a back suit that would comfortably seat 4 adults, this was not good enough for a 5 hour journey!! very uncomfortable and should be addressed by your company, it made for a unhappy group of people who were in the back seat and had to be sitting on top of one another or standing in the doorway so the other 4 could have some elbow room.
The main focus of this tour is the Gallipoli peninsula and its WWI sites. Being American, I didn't have a strong connection to the area, where the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp lost a lot of lives during WWI, but it was still a very interesting tour, and quite beautiful, as well. Now, the beaches, coastal cemeteries and hilltop monuments are so peaceful, it's hard to imagine the brutal fighting. We had a fabulous tour guide, Morat, who was able to answer all our questions and took us to visit a few places that the other crowds didn't. He was also so nice, he took us to a cemetery not on the usual itinerary because a woman in our group had a great uncle buried there.
The included lunch was pretty good -- 3 courses -- and right on a pretty bay. The next day was the Troy tour. It was cool to be in such an ancient place and hear about all the stories I learned in school about Greek mythology. The ruins are easy to walk around and you can get very close to them.
The hotel was also quite nice. We stayed at the Helen Hotel in Canakkale.
All in all, a great two days!
It was an early start and a long journey from Istanbul to Gallipoli and the tour was excellent but everyone agreed that although the guide was knowledgeable he was difficult to inderstand because of his accent. The guides were extremely helpful with luggage onto and off the ferry. Hotel Helen was adequate for one night but the walls were thin and we had to ring reception because of the noise from the next room at 11pm. In retrospect we would have booked a better hotel. The tour of Troy was just one hour (the guide was excellent) leavihg us with five hours to wait before the ferry back to the awaiting coach. Everyone complained about this particularly as the journey back to Istanbul was so long. We asked the man at the travel company why we couldn't start back earlier and he replied "You can take a local bus if you want" !!
As a result, we didn't get back to our hotel until 11.30pm and we were the first to be dropped off!
Excellent trip. Picked up on time from Taksim Sq. Comfortable run down to Galipoli, with two stops. Two very good, knowledgeable guides - Murat (Galipoli) and Seyhan (Troy). Very good hotel (Kolins). And a nice group of people to spend a weekend with! Would recommend this trip to anybody.
Good trip, only problem is that you have to spend a whole afternoon in cannakale where there isnt much to do, would be much better if you could leave at lunchtime on day 2 and arrive back in Istanbul at a reasonable time
Loved this trip and it was perfect to be able to see Gallipoli in the short period of time. If you don't have two days I would recommend doing the day trip but it would be a long day.
I enjoyed the time in the afternoon on the second day but it could be a long wait if you are traveling by yourself. The bus could afford to leave earlier than it does but understand it is picking up other people.
I thought it was great value for money
I think the accomodation I stayed in actually costed the same as what I paid for the whole 2 days. I felt I might have been upgraded on the accomodation because the rest of the group stayed in town but my accomodation was a 20min drive from the town
The tour of Gallipoli was excellent and our guide (Murat) was the best. Unless you are definitely keen on Troy, I would not recommend doing the 2nd day to visit it, in the tour's current format. We had 6 hours to kill, after seeing Troy in the morning, in Cannakale. While it is a nice place, there is not 6 hours worth of things to do and therefore was not pleasant. I would suggest they take you down the night before the Gallipoli tour (arrive in Cannakale for dinner), wake up and do the Troy tour the next day, then do Gallipoli, then go back to Istanbul.
The Gallipoli tour was great. Our guide was very generous with information, knew what he was talking about and was enthusiastic about his subject. He was a delight. The visits to the different cemeteries and memorials were very moving. A must do!!!
A couple of negatives, There were only 4 of us on the tour who were staying overnight in Cannakale before going on the Troy tour the next day. We all had to stay in separate hotels which was quite disconcerting - even though we didn't know each other beforehand, it was quite odd to be suddenly left alone. It was unexpected. The other negative was the afternoon of free time in Cannakale. It was just too long!. Six hours ends up being a lot of time to fill in, when the only reward at the end of it is a long trip back to Istanbul. Maybe something can be done to improve these, as the tours themselves were excellent. Oh! Something else. The time available to us at the Troy site was quite short. We all commented that we would have liked to have had some more time to wander around.
A very interesting tour and the guide was excellent. He was informative and also humourous. Pick ups etc were on time. My only 'complaint' was that the tour is described as a Gallipoli Tour and yet only northern Gallipoli is covered. Whilst it was interesting to see the Anzac sites coming from Britain we also wanted to see the British War Graves etc. When we mentioned this to our guide the next day he pointed out that this was not part of the ANZAC Tour we had booked. The name of the tour had suddenly changed after we booked it and before we received a faxed confirmation of pick up at our hotel. However, the guide arranged a special tour for us to see the British, French and Turkish War Graves but we did have to pay a lot extra for this but it did fill in the wasted afternoon after the Troy visit. We weren't offered an opportunity to watch a DVD documentary as per itinery.