DAY 1 ISTANBUL
You will be met at Istanbul Ataturk airport and transferred to your hotel.
This evening join your fellow travelling companions and Turkish Guide for
a traditional Turkish kebab dinner in a local restaurant. (D)
Your Istanbul Hotel – Hotel Dosso Dossi. Located in the historical Sultanahmet
district, this hotel boasts 93 air conditioned rooms, featuring stylish décor, and
a location in the heart of Istanbul’s historical old city.
DAY 2 ISTANBUL
Straddling 2 continents – Europe and Asia – Istanbul dates back thousands of
years and its grand monuments bear testament to ancient empires and the
Byzantine and Ottoman eras. First stop of the day will be at the Byzantine
Hippodrome, now known as Sultanahmet Square, to visit one of the world’s
great religious sites – the magnificent Blue Mosque. The highlight of your day
will be a tour of Topkapi Palace (formerly the Sultan’s Palace), home to the
treasures of the Ottoman Empire and visiting the fourth century, Yerabatan
underground cisterns which riddle the foundations ofthe city. Your tour of
Istanbul would not be complete without the exotic experience of having
Turkish tea in a historic Medrese (16th & 17th century Ottoman and Islamic
Schools). Here you will be able to sample varieties of Turkish coffee, traditional
apple tea and, if you wish, try a ‘Shisha’(waterpipe). Your evening is at leisure. (B)
DAY 3 GALLIPOLI
Departing Istanbulwe drive to the Gallipoli Peninsula, where our ‘Gallipoli Campaign’ begins. After time at leisure for lunch in Gelibolu (Gallipoli town) we journey to Cape Helles on the remote tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. Here, at themost south-westerly corner of Europe, is the British Commonwealth’s main monument to the whole Gallipoli campaign – the Helles Memorial. All Australian & New Zealand units which fought on the peninsula between April and December 1915 are commemorated here.
On the outside walls of the memorial, along with thousands of other Allies servicemen, are the names of hundreds of Australian and New Zealand infantrymen who died in battle on this, the Helles Front, and ‘have no known grave’. Theirs is a forgotten story of the ANZAC struggle at Gallipoli.
From the heights of the spectacular Turkish Memorial – the Canakkale Martyrs Memorial – we view the mouth of the Straits of the Dardanelles, that great waterway which was the primary Allied objective of the Gallipoli campaign. Later we cross the Dardanelles to Canakkale town where we stay here for the next three nights allowing us to properly immerse ourselves into the conflict and tragedy that evolved almost 100 years ago. This evening we have invited a local historian to join us and give an interesting overview of the Gallipoli Campaign from the Turkish perspective. (B,D)
Your Canakkale Hotel: Truva Hotel.
Recently fully refurbished and centrally located on the Canakkale town foreshore, the Truva Hotel has a large shadow outside café terrace overlooking the narrows of the Dardanelles.
DAY 4 GALLIPOLI
Our Gallipoli Campaign continues today. The peninsula is filled with cemeteries, a war museum and many memorials to the tragic events of 1915. As you enter this almost barren land, you can still sense thewar and heartache that once dominated the landscape, breaking the silent air. Our expert guides have handled numerous special ANZAC Day commemorative tours and worked closely with our team of War Historians. Their intimate background knowledge separates fact from fiction and provides numerous fascinating insights into the lifestyle and living conditions of the infamous ‘ANZAC Diggers’. Our first visits will be to Anzac Cove and Beach Cemetery – now home to one of Australia’s most legendary soldiers, Private John Simpson. We will then trace the steps of the ANZACs up into the rugged hills to visit the ANZAC Memorials at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. Amongst the numerous sights also visited will be Shrapnel Valley, Walker’s Ridge, the Nek and the surrounding trenches. Our last stop on the Gallipoli Peninsulawill be the Kabatepe War Museum with its absorbing collection of war relics and memorabilia. We have included lunch at a nearby hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 GALLIPOLI
A special day has been planned. Departing early we will cross the Dardanelles and gather under the earlymorning sun for a private wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the tragic events of 25th April 1915.
Eachmember of our small group will be welcome to say a few words and express their thoughts. It will be your own personal tribute. Maybe a simple ‘thanks’, a personal poem or a minute of silence. The choice is entirely yours.Midmorningwewill return to our hotel for a late breakfast and then visit the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Troy, the site of the mythological battle Homer immortalised in his Illiad.Archaeologists have proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement here dating back to 3,000 BC. Your afternoon is at leisure in Canakkale. (B, D)
DAY 6 ISTANBUL
Returning to Istanbul we visit the famous Grand Bazaar, a maze of 65 winding, covered streets and arguably the most famous ‘covered market’ in the world. In its 4,000 shops you will find Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, leather clothes and many other treasures.
Tonight we have included a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)
Your Istanbul Hotel: Innova Sultanahmet Hotel
DAY 7 ISTANBUL
Sadly your tour finishes thismorning after breakfastwith a transfer to the airport. (B)