Tours to the World War I battlefields at Gallipoli are popular, especially on ANZAC Day (April 25th).
Numerous travel agencies operate tours year-round, and these usually go well. But tours on April 24th and Apirl 25th are another matter.
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 they’ve been concluded.
Backpackers Travel, a travel agency partner of TurkeyTravelPlanner.com, operates a variety of tours that have distinct advantages:
1. Daily Tour: Every day at 06:30 am a vehicle departs the Backpackers Travel office near Sultanahmet for Istanbul’s Main Bus Terminal to put you on a big, comfortable scheduled bus departing at 07:30 am for the town of Eceabat on the Gallipoli peninsula. Arriving at Eceabat around 12:30 pm, you are met by a licensed professional guide who escorts you to the battlefields, visiting:
—The Kabatepe War Museum
—Beach Cemetery (John Simpson´s Grave)
—Ari Burnu (First ANZAC landing place)
—Lone Pine Cemetery (Australian memorial)
—Johnston´s Jolly (walk in the ANZAC trenches)
—View of Shrapnel Valley
—The Nek and Walker´s Ridge
—Chunuk Bair (main New Zealand memorial)
After your tour, you are escorted back to the Eceabat bus terminal for your return coach to Istanbul, departing at 17:30 (5:30 pm), arriving in Istanbul about 22:30 (10:30 pm). A Backpackers Travel vehicle then shuttles you from the Istanbul Bus Terminal to Sultanahmet.
By utilizing scheduled public buses, Backpackers Travel provides a more comfortable journey and a more-value-for-money tour.
This basic tour can be modified in all sorts of ways to fit your needs exactly:
—If you have more time and wish to visit Troy as well, stay over one night at Gallipoli in either an inexpensive dorm room or a 3-star hotel
—If you intend to travel onward from Gallipoli (ie, not return to Istanbul right away), the tour is available with one-way coach transportation Istanbul—>Gallipoli.
—Backpackers Travel can arrange onward transportation to, and accommodations at, your next destinations, whether they be Bergama (Pergamum), Izmir, Ephesus, Bodrum, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia or anywhere else.
1. The Express Tour takes you from Istanbul to Gallipoli and back in one day, allowing you to visit the battlefields without moving hotels. It’s a long day, but well-planned and time-efficient.
2. The Overnight Tour avoids the crowded, overbooked hotels of the nearest towns in favor of quieter, more sedate and comfortable lodgings elsewhere.
3. The Gallipoli & Ephesus Tour takes advantage of the fact that Gallipoli is at the northern end of the Aegean coast: after visiting Gallipoli, you continue south along the Aegean to Ephesus.
4. Private Tours in Mercedes-Benz vehicles can be arranged for you, your family or small group any time of year, at very reasonable prices.