ANZAC Day Gallipoli 2020. Starts: 18th April. Kicking off in Istanbul, fly to Pamukkale to experience the incredible mineral rich natural pools. Visit Roman ruins, hear ancient stories and discover Turkeys diverse capital. Commemorate the brave fallen soldiers at the ANZAC dawn service.
Istanbul - Gateway to the East
18th April 2020. Welcome to Turkey and the start of a memorable ANZAC experience! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. The remainder of the day offers free time for you to explore 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 - City Tour
Today we enjoy a guided tour of the old city, taking in the stunning Iznik tiled Blue Mosque, Hippodrome area, the 6th century Hagia Sofia, the ancient Underground Cistern, Topkapi Palace and more. This afternoon, we take a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus Strait. You'll see waterside palaces framed by a modern city skyline dotted with expansive domed mosques and towering minarets of traditional Ottoman style. Afterwards time is given for you to explore the exotic Egyptian Spice Market, located opposite the cruise 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, Dinner
This morning we drive to Pamukkale - home of the famous gleaming white calcium terraced pools. Known locally as the Cotton Castles, they're a natural phenomena and gift from Mother Nature. Pamukkale was formed when warm, calcium rich mineral water cascaded over the cliff edge, cooling and depositing in the process. The calcium built natural shelves and pools on the cliffs are known as travertines.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Pamukkale - Ephesus - Kusadasi. Famed for its unique cascades of natural mineral rich pools, Pammukale is home to some stunning natural mineral pools. Here we can paddle our feet in the warm water flowing over the terraces or perhaps opt for a swim at the Pamukkale Thermal Baths. Just beyond the thermal pools a stop is made at the Roman ruins of Hierapolis.
This afternoon our journey continues to the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000. Rumoured to have been founded in the 13th century BC, it became the Roman capital of Asia Minor. It reveled in its prosperity from commerce and visiting pilgrims who came to see its great Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, Ephesus boasts carefully restored elements within the huge archaeological area including the Great Theatre once capable of seating 25,000 spectators at one time, Curetes Way (one of the main thoroughfares) the Temple of Serapis, the elegant façades of the Temple of Hadrian and the awesome Library of Celsus. Off Curetes Way are ancient public toilets, a brothel, remains of fountains and various temples. We end our day at our hotel in Kusadasi.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi - Pergamum - Ayvalik. This morning we drive north, stopping at 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 to Ayvalik.
Overnight: Ayvalik | Breakfast
Gallipoli - WW1 Battlefields
Istanbul - Gallipoli - Canakkale/Ayvalik. Today we explore ANZAC Cove and the many memorials dotted across the WW1 battlefields. Our guided tour takes in sights including ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Bair Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years.
Overnight: Ayvalik/Canakkale | Breakfast
Kilitbahir & ANZAC Eve
Ayvalik - Troy - Kilitbahir - Gallipoli. This morning we enjoy a short-guided tour of Troy. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was brought to life by its rediscovery in 1863. We then continue to the village of Kilitbahir, situated on the eastern shore of the Gallipoli peninsula, and dominated by the fortress of the same name.
You'll have some free this afternoon before early this evening we all relax at before entering the Cove. Once we're in Anzac Cove you are free to visit the memorials and trenches that dot the area before taking our places amongst the many at the Dawn Service site for the atmosphere-charged ANZAC Eve vigil.
Overnight: Dawn Service site (ANZAC Cove) | Breakfast
ANZAC Day - Gallipoli 2020
Gallipoli - Istanbul. Today, the 25th April is the reason we came to Turkey and Gallipoli. Dawn and first light signals the commencement of the annual Dawn Service, attended by Australian, New Zealand and other foreign dignitaries, military personnel and a strong following of regular Australian and New Zealand folk. The poignant and emotive service commemorating this important and historical date allows us time to reflect. Lest we forget.
The service lasts for an hour and public wreath laying at the ANZAC Memorial site is possible afterwards. Later this morning Australian’s have the opportunity to visit the Lone Pine Memorial Service. Our New Zealanders are invited to attend the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair later on in the morning Everyone will be picked up after the service at Chunuk Bair (exact time and location to be confirmed with your guide). We anticipate an early afternoon departure time from Gallipoli for onward travel to Istanbul. Crossing the Dardanelles by ferry we will arrive into Istanbul later this afternoon.
26th April 2020. Tour ends after breakfast and hotel check out. We hope you have had a wonderful holiday in Turkey and memorable ANZAC Day 2020 experience.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.Read More
Dear On The Go,
I was lucky enough to be apart of the 8 Day Royal Engineers Tour that went to Dawn Service for the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli. This was a very special trip for me and thanks to On The Go and our amazing guide, Murat, I had a trip that I will cherish forever.
I am an experienced traveller and never have I had a better guide than Murat. His knowledge of Turkey and the ancient sites that we visited is second to none but more importantly, his charisma and grace under pressure ensured the success of this trip. I feel so lucky to have had a Turkish guide who was not only able to teach me the history of Turkey but also provide an insight into Turkish culture and life; the kind of insight that only a Turkish person could provide and all of this in fluent English. He is a credit to your company and the main reason why I will be recommending On The Go to anyone who will listen.
Thank you so much for making this a trip of a lifetime.
Amazing. Fantastic tour led by the best guide I've ever been with. Aytuk managed the group so well and we all got along great. He was knowledgeable and efficient, always making sure we were comfortable and on time. Thanks to him we were the 40th coach onto Gallipoli, and about the 10th coach off which just topped off the whole experience. The tour itself gave us a great feel for Turkey, and Aytuk shared not just stories of the places we visited but told us of cultural customs and personal experiences. I have no hesitation in recommending on the go tours to anyone.”
The tour was great. We saw a lot of Turkey. Our guide Kemal was great, his knowledge was excellent. ”
Our tour director was Huseyin Salikoglu. He is Turkish, but his English was amazing and very easy to understand. Huseyin was very knowledgable about his country and could tell us so much about all the sites we visted. He was always there when you needed him and easily grabbed the attention of everyone. We were always on time if not early and we put that down to him having control and understanding of the group. He also organised for the bus to take people to the airport at the end of the tour (at our own cost but cheaper than a taxi). Turkey was such an amazing country and thanks to our tour guide and bus driver we had a great time and learnt so much. Would definately recommend On The Go. ”
Well what can I say other than it was absolutely awesome!!! I honestly couldn't fault anything. Our tour guide (Huseyin Salikoglu) was absolutely amazing - he was so knowledgeable and provided some much great information, but still with a great sense of humour (and he is a brilliant singer and dancer!!!). In particular though, his management of our trip to Galipoli was above and beyond. He arranged it so we were the first bus in and first ones in the gate at Galipoli meaning we had the prime position on the grass right near the stage (I literally had the media just in front of me) and we were able to sleep overnight. And then he arranged so that we were the first bus to leave the sight after all the services and we went off down the hill looking at a queue of hundreds of buses as we were well on the road back to Istanbul. It was absolutley brilliant and I know everyone on the tour was super impressed.
The hotels were all fantastic and the service in terms of having luggage delivered to our rooms everywhere was something I certainly didn't expect. And all the breakfasts and dinners were all great (although not a huge fan of the Turkish food myself). And all the sightseeing was just perfect. ”
This tour was fantastic. I had a brilliant time and met some really great people. I was a little nervous as it was my first tour and I was doing this by myself but was made to feel welcome from the minute I landed!
Wow! what an experience!
Pamukkale is mind blowing! I just couldn't believe my eyes! Could have spent there more time though.
Big thank you to the guide who looked after us all the time and got us the best spot at the Dawn Service. ”
Turkey is amazing!
The only thing I regeret is that I didn't stay there longer. I will definitely go back to explore this magnificent country.
Istanbul was definitely the highlight with beautiful Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia. The tour was very intense bringing new exciting surprises every day!
Anzac services were touching and memorable.
Everything was well over my expectations.
Thank you On the Go”
The guide was very knowledgeable, helpful and caring, and most of all very patient with us.
His organizational skills were very impressive, especially when it came to getting all the group together for ANZAC Day services.
Great bunch of people to share this experience with, awesome tour guide who really made the trip and an amazing country to visit, cheers! ”
He was amazing. Running around after us over and over again. Always had more details of anything you asked about. Was able to talk to us as a group or individual and was easy going and good to talk to.”