The name Gallipoli has long been associated with sacrifice and heroism, a place where history and legend have combined, with the events of 1915 leaving their mark on many nations. Crowded House’s daily Gallipoli tour can take you back to where history was made and myths were born, connecting the past with the present.
Your tour starts at the door of your hotel in Canakkale at around 11:45am, where you will be met by our passenger escort and accompanied to the ferry terminal, where you will board the waiting ferry for the short trip across the Dardanelles Strait.
On arrival in the town of Eceabat, once the ancient city of Madytos, located on the shores of the Dardanelles, you will be able to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, you board our coach for the 15 minute trip out to the battlefields, crossing the Gallipoli Peninsula and driving to the Aegean coast, and one of the most famous beaches in modern history – ANZAC Cove.
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 Crowded House Tours.
At the conclusion of the tour, our bus will return to Eceabat. Those guests wishing to travel to Istanbul will be able to take our specially configured bus, designed to provide more space and greater leg room for your comfort, for the approximately five hour trip.
For those guests wishing to return to Canakkale, you will be escorted to the nearby ferry for the trip back across the Dardanelles.
11.45 Pick up from your hotel in Canakkale
12.00 Ferry to Eceabat
12.00 Pick up from your hotel in Eceabat,
12.30 Restaurant lunch in Eceabat,
13.00 Depart for Fully Guided Gallipoli Tour.
18.00 Arrive back to Eceabat
This run rouns every day except 24th and 25th of April.