21st April 2017. Welcome to Turkey and the start of your awesome ANZAC experience! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Rest of the day free in Istanbul – a city that straddles both Europe and Asia!
If you are arriving to Istanbul early, you may wish to consider joining our Optional Backstreets Of Istanbul Tour taking place today. The tour commences at 9am. For further details of the excursion, please see our tour Trip Notes.
Istanbul Old City Tour
This morning we spend a couple of hours cruising the Bosphorus and embarking on a guided sightseeing tour of the old city, taking in the stunning Iznik tiled Blue Mosque, Hippodrome area, the 6th century Hagia Sofia, the ancient Underground Cistern and more. This afternoon time is given for you to explore the immense Grand Bazaar and the exotic Egyptian Spice Market, the latter is located opposite from the ferry terminal. From here you can opt to stay and discover the old city by night or return with your guide to our hotel for a little R&R.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Guided tour of Gallipoli & ANZAC Museum
Istanbul - Gallipoli. Early today we set off to explore the WW1 battlefields on the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the 25th April 1915, under the guidance of the British Command, the combined forces of Australia and New Zealand, otherwise known as the ‘ANZACs’, mounted an ill conceived assault on the Central Powers here at Gallipoli. The futile campaign, infamously known as Gallipoli, is poignantly etched in history of all Australians and New Zealanders due to the enormous loss of lives and the impossibly hopeless situation faced by these brave young soldiers, destined never to return.
Today we walk the trails of the ANZAC’s with guided visits to the Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, The ANZA Museum, Johnston’s Jolly, The Nek, ANZAC Cove and a number of other notable points of interest within the region. Free time is offered for you to independently explore the battlefields and trenches, before we cross the Dardenelles by ferry arriving at the seaside village of Canakkale. Tonight, we include dinner at our hotel. After you might like to take a walk with our guide for a coffee or tea at a nearby cafe.
Overnight: Canakkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Kilitbahir Fort, Wreath Laying & ANZAC Eve
This morning offers a lie in and a leisurely breakfast before returning to the Gallipoli region to explore the well preserved Kilitbahir Fort. Kilitbahir - meaning lock of the sea, duly lives up to its name. The fortified stronghold was built in 1453 by Mehmet II the Conqueror, as part of his successful siege on Constantinople. Many of the naval battles of the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli campaign were carried out from this strategically placed landmark.
Mid afternoon we relax at our exclusive ANZAC Eve Turkish BBQ before the Australians can head to Lone Pine for the Australian Wreath Laying Ceremony. Once we've entered the Anzac Cove area you are free to make further visits to the nearby memorials and trenches before taking your place amongst the many at the Dawn Service site for the atmosphere charged ANZAC Eve vigil.
Overnight: Dawn Service site (ANZAC Cove) | Breakfast, Lunch
ANZAC Day - Gallipoli 2017
Gallipoli - Ayvalik. First light heralds the Dawn Service, which starts with a poignant bugle call. The service lasts for an hour before we drive to Eceabat – a seaside village approx 20 minutes away for breakfast (payable locally). Later this morning Australian’s have the option to visit Lone Pine Memorial for independent exploration of the cemetery and dignified, quiet reflection. Our New Zealanders are invited to attend the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair. Please note that there will be no Lone Pine service as in previous years. Later this afternoon, we’ll journey back to Ayvalik by coach, arriving in the evening. (Timing on 25 April subject to coach traffic).
Troy & Pergamum
Ayvalik – Kusadasi. This morning we drive south stopping at Troy - the legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer's poetry was brought alive by its rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed 9 ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000BC! We continue to the Roman ruins of Pergamum and its impressive hillside amphitheatre. We also visit the neighbouring Asclepion - a Roman precursor to modern-day hospitals before continuing onto coastal Kusadasi.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi - Pamukkale. On day 6 we enjoy a guided tour of the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. After a short stop at a leather factory we continue to Pamukkale. Famous for its unique cascades of natural mineral rich pools perhaps opt for a swim at Pamukkale Thermal Pools. On day 7 we drive back to Istanbul
Overnight: Pamukkale (1) Istanbul (1) | Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 1
29 April 2017. Today marks the end of your stay in Turkey. We hope you have had a wonderful tour of Turkey and memorable Anzac Day experience.
Prices & Dates
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Ramada Old City, Istanbul
A member of the reputable Ramada chain, the Istanbul Old Town property is modern and comfortable with excellent amenities. Guestrooms are bright and spacious with contemporary amenities. Two restaurants are on offer and our personal favourite is the wonderful roof top restaurant, serving delicious local cuisine coupled with a magnificent view of the City and Sea. The perfect way to end the day. Located very close to the Historical part of the city with major Monuments are all walking distance.
Parion Hotel, Canakkale
The Parion is an elegant property situated in the heart of Canakkale on the southern coast of the Dardanelles in Turkey. The hotel features 162 guest rooms and suites with en suit facilities, air conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV and a fully stocked minibar. Those looking for a bite to eat can check out the hotel restaurant, which serves a breakfast buffet and a la carte menus at lunch and dinner. There is also a hotel bar and room service is available.
Grand Hotel Temizel, Ayvalik
Located on a private beach, the Grand Hotel Temizel is an imposing accommodation with lots of excellent amenities. Guest rooms are spacious with private balconies, giving lovely views across the nearby beach. The hotel benefits from free Wi-fi, an expansive restaurant that serves a range of delicious cuisine and a beautiful outdoor pool area. The onsite spa includes a sauna, Turkish baths and massage treatments. For those seeking some excitement, the nearby waterpark is a great place for a fun day day out.
Marina Hotel, Kusadasi
Marina hotel is a modern hotel with a sea view and balcony from nearly every spacious room. It has recently been renovated and features an indoor and outdoor pool and you may also use the facilities and beach of 5-Star Pine Bay.
Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel, Pamukkale
Set in landscaped gardens, the Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel has an envious location in Pamukkale. Guest rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated and offer a wonderful level of comfort, ensuring a good night's sleep. The on site thermal spa offers guests the chance to relax, revitalise and enjoy what this region is most famous for. Breakfast can be eaten outside on the terrace while dinner is often taken by the shimmering water of the pool.