Crowded House has developed this three day package for visitors who want to experience the battlefields before the annual Dawn Service, and to learn some of the history of the campaign prior to attending the ceremonies of April 25.
This package also includes a visit to historic Troy, the most famous city in antiquity, and the scene of another campaign to gain control of the strategic Dardanelles, much as the Gallipoli Campaign was more than 2000 years later.
April 23: Istanbul – Eceabat Between 06.30 – 07.00 you will be picked up from your hotel in Istanbul by our private bus for the 300km trip south to Eceabat on the Gallipoli Peninsula, with a stop at 09:00 for breakfast.
Arriving at Eceabat at around 12:00 you will have lunch at a local restaurant before boarding one of our buses for the tour of the Anzac battlefields.
The first part of your tour takes in the area where the men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed on April 25 1915, with our experienced guide giving you both background to the campaign leading up to the landing as well as describing the events of that historic day and beyond.
Among the highlights of the first part of the tour are standing above Anzac Cove, site of the initial landing, and visiting the grave of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, the stretcher bearer famed as the Man with the Donkey for carrying wounded soldiers to a medical aid post using a stolen donkey.
Moving from the beaches up into the hills above, the tour then traces the line of the battle along what became known as Second Ridge, where the Allied advance was halted that first day of fighting by the Ottoman defenders and where the front line was located for the next seven months.
The tour follows the road along the top of Second Ridge, with the lines of Allied and Turkish trenches still clear on either side. The tours stops at a number of cemeteries and memorials, including the Australian memorial at Lone Pine – where almost 5000 Australians who have no known grave are commemorated – and Johnston’s Jolly Cemetery where we walk through the now abandoned trenches and tunnel entrances.
The final stop on the tour is Chunuk Bair, one of the highest points on the peninsula, and site of the New Zealand national memorial. The hill was captured in August by New Zealand troops and held for two days before being recaptured from the Allies by Ottoman forces under the personal command of Mustafa Kemal – later the president of modern Turkey.
Chunuk Bair was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign, with the names of more than 850 New Zealand soldiers who fell in the area commemorated on the memorial. The recapture of Chunuk Bair effectively ended Allied hopes of victory at Gallipoli and so is a fitting place for our tour to close.
Throughout the tour, to help bring you even closer to the past, our guides will use a number of photos to illustrate the terrain and conditions of 1915. These photos, from a private collection, are copies of original photos taken by soldiers at the time, with many never before displayed or published, making them exclusive to Crowed House Tours.
Among the highlights of the tour are:
Brighton Beach, the intended site of the landing on April 25.
Beach Cemetery at the southern tip of ANZAC Cove where John Simpson Kirkpatrick of “Simpson and his donkey” fame is buried.
ANZAC Cove, site of the first landing on April 25 and the main base for the Allied troops in this sector throughout the campaign.
Ariburnu Cemetery on the northern tip of ANZAC Cove.
The ANZAC Commemorative Site, where the annual Dawn Service is held.
The Lone Pine Australian Memorial, located at site of the successful attack and capture of Turkish trenches by Australians during the August offensive.
Johnston’s Jolly where you’ll explore original Allied and Turkish trenches and tunnels.
The 57. Regiment Turkish Memorial, where your guide will give the Turkish perspective on the campaign.
The Nek, site of the famous charge by men of the Australian Light Horse depicted in the movie Gallipoli.
Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, build on the hill taken by the New Zealanders during the August offensive, highest point captured during the entire campaign.
Following the conclusion of the tour, the bus returns to Eceabat, where you will check into your hotel.
April 24: Troy Tour
Our tour for Troy departs Eceabat at 08:30, after breakfast at your hotel, with the first stage of the journey a ferry ride across the historic Dardanelles to Çanakkale. From there you will travel by bus to the ancient site of Troy, some 40kms to the south.
During the tour your guide will explain the mythology surrounding Troy, as well as the history and discoveries of the archaeological excavations from its discovery by Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870s to the present day.
Nine cities have been discovered built one on top of the other dating back to before 3500 BC, with the city made famous by Homer in his book the Iliad describing the ten year war being just one of the layered settlements.
Not only will you see the still impressive defensive walls of the ancient city and learn the story of the Trojan War, but you will also be able to walk past the ruins of everyday houses dating back more than 3000 years, and walk the same paths as the people of the city did three millennia ago.
Among the highlights of our tour are:
Walking along the 3700 year old city walls; Standing before ancient sacrificial alters and the city’s open air theatre or Odeon; Seeing the remains of the settlements of Troy laid one atop the other; Looking at recent excavations at the site, which is still giving up its treasures after more than 150 years of archaeological work; and Learning from your guide the myths, legends and history of Troy, the fact and fiction that surround this ancient site.
Following your tour, you will re-board our tour bus to be carried back to Çanakkale, from where you will return by ferry to Eceabat.
The afternoon of April 24 is left free, with guests able to take in local sites or rest at their hotels ahead of travelling out to the Dawn Service commemorative site and to have dinner at the local restaurant of their choice. Buses taking guests out to the site depart from Eceabat at 20:00.
April 25 Anzac Day commemorative services
Dawn Service 05:30–06:30 Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site
11:45 New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair
Please note: this year the Australian government has decided not to hold a formal ceremony at the Australian memorial at Lone Pine. However, guests are encouraged to walk to Lone Pine to pay their respects before walking to Chunuk Bair if they wish to attend the New Zealand ceremony.
Following the New Zealand service buses will collect guests at designated pick up points and return to Eceabat.
After a brief break, buses will depart for Istanbul, with guests dropped at the door of their hotels.
23rd April Istanbul – Eceabat
06.30 – 07.00 Departure from Istanbul
09.00 Breakfast on the way,
12.00 Arrive in Eceabat and restaurant lunch in Eceabat
13.00 Gallipoli tour
18.00 Check in at your hotel
24th April Troy Tour
07:30 Breakfast at the hotel
08:00 Departure for Troy tour
11.00 Back to Canakkale
20:00 Departure from Eceabat to get to the Commemorative site,
25th April Dawn Service
05:30 Dawn Service at Anzac cove
10:30 Australian Service at Lone Pine
11:45 New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair
Return to Eceabat
Departure to Istanbul,