If you’re a hiker with good shoes, strong legs and a bag with water, snacks, sunblock and a good guidebook, you can tour some of the northern highpoints of the Gallipoli battlefields in a day of walking (about 16 km/10 miles)(map).
The Gallipoli peninsula is long, and the distance from the northernmost battlefield to the peninsula’s tip at Cape Helles, Abide and Seddülbahir is over 35 km (22 miles), so this day-hike does not show you any of the southern Gallipoli battlefields such as those at Twelve Tree Copse, Lancashire Landing, Pink Farm, Y Beach, V Beach, Seddülbahir or Cape Helles.
(Backpackers Travel of Istanbul organizes great value-for-money guided tours, if that’s what you’d prefer. More…)
Northern Gallipoli Peninsula
Start your hiking tour by taking the car ferry from the center of Çanakkale to Kilitbahir or Eceabat, then hire a taxi to take you all the way uphill to the New Zealand memorial at Chunuk Bair (Conk Bayırı), 13 km from Eceabat. By starting here you immediately get a breathtaking view of the battlefields, and most of your walking will be downhill.
From the New Zealand memorial at Chunuk Bair it’s about 3 km (2 miles) downhill to Lone Pine and the Australian war memorial, another 3.75 km (2.3 miles) to the Çanakkale Epic Information Center (Çanakkale Destanı Tanıtım Merkezi), and 9 km (5.6 miles) from the museum back to Eceabat and the ferry docks.
From Chunuk Bair, walk south and east along the road for 100 meters and turn right. The five gigantic stone tablets of the Turkish Conk Bayırı memorial loom nearby.
600 meters downhill is the monument to Talat Göktepe, the heroic Chief Director of the Çanakkale Forestry District who died here on July 25, 1994 fighting the disastrous conflagration that denuded these hills.
One km farther downhill is Düztepe and a monument to the Ottoman 10th Regiment.
1500 meters farther along are Baby 700 and the Mesudiye Topu memorials.
300 meters more brings you to a road heading west to The Nek and the Mehmet Çavuş memorial.
100 meters farther downhill is the cemetery and memorial to the Ottoman 57th Regiment, and one km farther down is Lone Pine, the Australian memorial, and numerous other monuments recalling important events in the campaign.
From Lone Pine a path of sorts leads west across the hills and down Shrapnel Valley to the Aegean coast near Anzac Cove.
From Anzac Cove, with its famous memorial by Atatürk honoring the fallen of both sides, it’s about 3.5 km (2.2 miles back to the Çanakkale Epic Information Center. Along the way at the Kabatepe beach are small restaurants, snack stands, toilets and such services.
At this point you may have walked about 12 km (7.5 miles) in about 4 or 5 hours, depending upon how much time you spent at the various monuments and memorials. To return to the ferry dock at Eceabat (9 km/5.6 miles), try to hitch a ride with a passing car, (or ask at the information center for help in summoning a taxi.
Southern Gallipoli Peninsula
To visit some of the sites at the southern tip of the peninsula, you can take a minibus from Eceabat or Kilitbahir along the eastern shore of the peninsula, then west into the hills through Alçıtepe (Krythia) and south again to Seddülbahir at Cape Helles.
Here you can visit the Abide, the towering four-legged Turkish war memorial; the ruins of the ancient Seddülbahir fortress; the Cape Helles Memorial and, after a short walk, the Lancashire Landing Cemetery.
To the south is the Dardanelles, and across it in the distance, the Troad (Plain of Troy) and the ruins of ancient Troy itself. More…
—by Tom Brosnahan