Day 1: Istanbul – Gallipoli – Çanakkale (L)Early in the morning, meet your guide in central Istanbul and hop aboard your comfy coach for a voyage to Gallipoli’s historic battlefields. Along the way stop briefly for a quick bite to eat (own expense).
After about a four hour journey, arrive in Gallipoli and learn about the long and dreadful WWI campaign fought here between the Ottoman Turks and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). ANZAC, who was a member of the Allies, followed orders to sack Constantinople, but were met by a surprisingly determined Ottoman Turk army who battled them to a standstill. Hear about the thousands who fell in Gallipoli during nearly eight months of fighting as you walk with your guide through this historic site.
Begin your walking tour exploring the most interesting battlefields and observing quaint memorials which are visited by many foreigners every year. See the most poignant Australian memorial site - Lone Pine. Then stroll to the trenches of the Nek while learning about the soldiers who attacked from the nearby forest.
Next, head to Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial and discover a rare battleground where Allied troops were triumphant, but only for a short period. Continue to ANZAC Cove, where most battles were fought, and pay your heartfelt respects to the troops who died here. Then, stroll through Ari Burnu Cemetery and see where 200 servicemen lay forever. Observe more memorials at Beach Cemetery, Brighton Beach, and the somber trenches at Johnson’s Jolly.
Stop for lunch about midway through your tour and enjoy plenty of opportunities for leisure time to continue sightseeing on your own. Then, meet your guide at a predetermined time and drive to your accommodation in central Çanakkale where you will have more free time.
Lodging: 3-star Büyük Truva Hotel or Grand Anzac Hotel in central Çanakkale
Day 2: Çanakkale – Troy – Istanbul (B, L)After breakfast depart from your hotel with your guide and head to Nusrat minelayer and Cimenlik Castle. Start the day with a walking tour and learn how Troy evolved from a series of small villages and became a Bronze Age dwelling only to fall as a Byzantine town. With your guide, hear about the ancient history of Troy and the Greek mythology of the Trojan War, a 10-year war started by the Trojan prince (Paris) who took off with Zeus’ daughter (Helen). Admire these historical ruins and then see the timber built Trojan Horse, the town’s icon. Afterward, spend some free time snapping photos and walking around.
Next, head to lunch at a restaurant nearby, before continuing through one of the most famous archeological sites in the world, the 4,000 year old ancient city of Troy. Learn how Troy is thought to be the first place where people connected from the Mediterranean region and Anatolia (ancient Asia). Finally, hop back on your coach and return to your Istanbul lodging where your tour ends in the late evening.