ANZAC Day Gallipoli 2023. Starts: 21st April. Take in the highlights of Istanbul and enjoy a scenic cruise along the Bosphorus. Enjoy a guided tour of the WW1 battlefields on the Gallipoli Peninsula and commemorate the brave ANZACs at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service on this 6 day Turkey tour.
Istanbul - Gateway to the Exotic East
Fri 21 April 2023. Welcome to Turkey and the start of your exciting ANZAC experience! On arrival you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in Istanbul. The rest of the day is free for you to independently explore this captivating and culturally rich city. Istanbul is easy to get around on foot and there are plenty of attractions dotted about the old city.
Alternatively, those arriving early may wish to join 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
We spend the morning cruising the amazing Bosphorus strait, the geographical divide between Europe and Asia. After the cruise we take in the highlights of the old city on a guided sightseeing tour, including the stunning Iznik tiled Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome area, the 6th century Hagia Sofia (exterior only), the ancient Underground Cistern and more. This afternoon there's time for you to explore the mammoth Grand Bazaar and exotic Egyptian Spice Market. Afterwards, you can opt to stay and experience the old city by night or return to the hotel.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Gallipoli - WW1 Battlefields
Istanbul - Gallipoli - Canakkale/Ayvalik. This morning we depart Istanbul and drive to the Gallipoli Peninsula where we explore the WW1 battlefields and memorials. 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 which are still clearly visible among the scrub after all these years.
Overnight: Ayvalik/ Canakkale | Breakfast
ANZAC Eve at Gallipoli
Ayvalik – Troy - Kilitbahir - Gallipoli. After a morning at leisure we enjoy a short-guided tour of Troy, with its giant replica of the Trojan Horse. 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. After exploring Kilitbahir we stop in the town of Eceabat for dinner (at your own expense) before entering the Cove. Once we enter Anzac Cove you are free to visit the memorials and trenches in the area before taking our places among the many at the Dawn Service site for the atmosphere-charged ANZAC Eve vigil.
Overnight: Dawn Service Site (Anzac Cove) | Breakfast
ANZAC Day - Gallipoli 2023
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 gives 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 Australians have the opportunity to pay their respects at the Lone Pine Memorial Service, while New Zealanders can attend the service at Chunuk Bair. After the Chunuk Bair service we anticipate an early afternoon departure time from Gallipoli, for our return journey to Istanbul. Please note: the 2023 national memorial services at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair are subject to confirmation.
Wed 26 April 2023. After breakfast and hotel check out at 12 noon our tour concludes.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Kent Hotel, Istanbul
The charming Kent Hotel is a great example of contemporary design and a friendly atmosphere. Guest rooms are superbly equipped with modern facilities including Wi-Fi connectivity, state of the art technology and bright marbled bathrooms. Enjoying a delicious Turkish meal at the in house Calcedoine Restaurant after a hard days sightseeing is highly recommended. The hotel is also fantastically located within a 10-minute walk of the Grand Bazaar and Old Town in the Bayazit area in the European side of Istanbul.
Tusan Hotel, Canakkale
The family run Tusan Hotel offers modern facilities in a tranquil setting. Rooms are comfortable and well equipped and offer guests beautiful forest or sea views. The hotel benefits from a private beach and an indoor and outdoor restaurant. A refreshing pint of beer in the English Pub whilst challenging the bar staff to a game of pool is a great way to spend the evening. This accommodation sits within a beautiful pine forest looking across the Dardanelles with a private beach exclusively for guests.
An excellent trip, one of the best I have experienced, thank you.”
The tour was comprehensive and wonderful. Being able to experience Gallipoli and learn about the war from a Turkish perspective was invaluable. Our guide Reggie was the best! He was so knowledgeable and friendly, went out of his way to help me during the tour. I have expressed to all of my friends that a tour in Turkey wouldn't be complete without Reggie.
Thanks for a great tour!”
Reggie was an absolute star and a wonderful guide. His knowledge of the history and sites was great and he shared it in such an easy way. His tours were fun and relaxed. You could ask him any questions and while he told you when to be careful he certainly didn’t scare anyone with unnecessary warnings. I would most definitely book another tour, particularly if Reggie was the guide.
The coach was comfortable and clean and fine for the trip though I think it wouldn’t have been so comfortable if we had had a full tour compliment and you spent longer travelling.
Information on the ANZAC ceremonies was excellent - it was a real shame that you couldn’t do both the Lone Pine service and make it to Chanuk Bair in time for the NZ service but there isn’t much you can do about that. We were well informed and I think it is important to make sure that continues as I know there were other visitors who had been told conflicting information and didn’t make it to Chanuk Bair when that was the main service they wanted to get to.
I thought both the Backstreets tour and the City tour were very good and I would highly recommend doing both of them if people have the opportunity.
I am really pleased I booked with On the Go Tours. I had the most amazing experience and felt comfortable and safe because everything was so well organised. ”
I took your ANZAC digger tour last week and it was amazing. Experiencing the dawn service at Gallipoli was truly moving and our tour guide Reggie was so funny and knowledgeable. He answered our endless questions not just about ANZAC and Turkish history but also modern Turkish life in general. The tour was better for having him as our guide and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to other Australians considering touring Turkey. ”
I really enjoyed the time i spent in Turkey. As I had Recep for 2 tours that I did, I found we developed a good friendship. He was a excellent guide whose knowledge was excellent and he was never unable to answer a questioned asked to him. This added to the whole experience as you were never wondering about any unknowns. Our tour bus was great as was our driver who always had a smile even after a long day behind the wheel. All Fantastic. ”
Excellent fun.Very enjoyable.Loved meeting new people.Would not hesitate to recommend.”
We really enjoyed the tour, we felt we saw enough of Turkey to whet our appetite to want to come back and explore further, the tour was a good introduction. Ali was a great Guide, very knowledgeable, with a great sense of fun and humour. He also was very organized with meals and sorting the accommodation. He was also conscious that there were a few older people on the tour and was considerate towards their needs.”
Murat by far is the best tour guide I had had the pleasure to be associated with. His wealth of knowledge of the various ancient sites and Turkey was by far very comprehensive and detailed.
Nothing was to much trouble for him and he kept us entertained. He showed us and explained a lot of the modern history as well as the ancient history of TURKEY.
If I get back to Turkey again I would request that Murat be our guide.”
Thank you very much. I really enjoyed my tour. Thanks for all your great advice along the way, really enjoyed the history. ”
Guide excellent, Gallipoli Excellent, Istanbul Excellent. ”
Extra Tour Info
An excellent trip, one of the best I have experienced, thank you.”