Numerous travel agencies operate tours year-round, and these usually go well. But tours on April 24th and April 25th, the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, are another matter.
Efendi Travel, a travel agency partner of TurkeyTravelPlanner.com, offers a variety of ANZAC Day tours, including a simple, inexpensive, adventurous, high-value-for-money ANZAC Day tour that begins in Istanbul early on the morning of April 24th, and gives you a clear idea of what it was like to be a soldier at Gallipoli on that date. More…
With upwards of 10,000 visitors crowding into the towns of Çanakkale, Eceabat and Gelibolu, and hundreds of buses and cars jamming the narrow one-lane roads of the Gallipoli peninsula, chaos is inevitable. Many visitors never reach the site of the commemoration ceremonies until long after the ceremonies are over.
It’s important to use a reliable travel agency or tour company for your visit on ANZAC Day to avoid disappointment. Turkey has many reliable companies. Here are my favorites. Whether you use these companies or others, do some research about the company before making your reservations so as to avoid disappointment.
With your sleeping bag and/or very warm clothespacked with you, you travel to Gallipoli by non-smoking, air-conditioned private motorcoach, stopping at a market along the way to buy snacks, drinks and supplies for the coming hours, which you will spend outdoors—as the troops did.
Upon arrival at Gallipoli, a licensed guide leads you on a tour of the northern battlefield high points:
· Çanakkale Epic Presentation Center
· Beach Cemetery (John Simpson’s Grave)
· Arı Burnu (First ANZAC landing place)
· Lone Pine Cemetery (Australian memorial)
· Johnston´s Jolly (Walk in the ANZAC trenches)
· View of Shrapnel Valley
· Turkish Memorial
· The Nek and Walker’s Ridge
· Chunuk Bair (Main New Zealand memorial)
Following the battlefield tour you settle in at ANZAC Cove, site of the commemoration, to secure a good location to witness the ceremonies.
Commemoration ceremonies begin in the evening. During the evening and night you attend the ceremonies as you like, or chat with other tour participants, reliving in your mind what it must have been like for the troops who were here in 1915. With luck, you get some sleep in the out-of-doors, as the soldiers experienced it.
The most important ceremonies are at dawn (05:30 am) on the morning of April 25th, and you’re already in a good position to participate.
After the ceremonies, your motorcoach picks you up in ANZAC Cove for the return to Istanbul; anyone wishing instead to travel onward from Gallipoli will be dropped at the bus terminal in Eceabat, from which buses depart for other destinations.
With a stop for brunch along the way, and several hours of comfortable travel to catch up on your sleep, you arrive back at Sultanahmet, Istanbul, by early afternoon.
If the soldier’s experience is not your cup of tea, consider a private tour with hotel accommodations, which Efendi Travel can be arranged for you, your family or small group any time of year, at very reasonable prices. More…
Keep in mind that Efendi Travel can also arrange onward transportation to, and accommodations at, your next destinations, whether they be Bergama (Pergamum), Foça, zmir, Ephesus, Bodrum, Pamukkale, Fethiye, Antalya, Cappadocia or anywhere else. More…
—by Tom Brosnahan
|1-Day Excursion to Gallipoli|