Gallipoli peninsula & the Aegean Coast

Tour Code : CUL 02

–    Istanbul; historical peninsula Sultanahmet
–    Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque & Topkapi palace
–    Hippodrome square; Basilica cistern & Grand Bazaar
–    Gallipoli peninsula; ANZAC cove; cemeteries & memorials
–    ancient ruins of Troy & ancient Assos 
–    Selcuk & ancient Ephesus


Best Season   
Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct / Nov / Dec


Duration of the Trip
8 Days / 7 Nights


Difficulty Level
= A (Easy) 


Hotel    :    7 Nights

Day 1 : Istanbul

Meet at the Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport with Demavend Travels representative and drive to the Hotel, located in the historical centre of Istanbul, known as Sultanahmet.
Transfer time: 30 min.; transfer distance: 18 km; (Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport – Hotel)
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / –

Day 2 : Istanbul sightseeing; Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque & Topkapi palace

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was the hub of the Ottoman Empire, and many of the grand buildings of this period are present today. You could easily spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sites. Today we will explore the old Sultanahmet Area. We visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) was built between 1609 and 1616. The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral. The building was a mosque from 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on February 1935. The Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624 year reign. As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammad’s cloak and sword. The Topkapi Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / –

Day 3 : Istanbul Bosphorus tour by boat & sightseeing Hippodrome square; Basilica Cistern & Grand Bazaar

After breakfast we continue our fascinating Tour through Istanbul, we take time to explore the city with a Boat Tour on the Bosphorus, explore Hippodrome square; visit the Basilica Cistern and the Grand (Covered) Bazaar.
Bosphorus tour by Boat (Public Tour / approximately 3 h): Exploring Istanbul by boat, known as Bosphorus tour and right through the heart of Istanbul. The Bosphorus is a 32 km (20-mile) long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul and separates the continents of Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus, also known as the Istanbul Strait, as part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, has always been of great commercial and strategic importance. The most impressive sights along the shores of the Bosphorus are the Topkapi Palace, the Bosphorus Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi) and Dolmabahce Palace, several Ottoman palaces, fortresses, forested hills and shore villages with Ottoman architecture. The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydani (Sultan Ahmet Square) and largely follows the ground plan and dimensions of the now vanished Hippodrome. The surviving monuments of the Spina (the middle barrier of the racecourse), the two obelisks (Obelisk of Thutmose III & Walled Obelisk) and the Serpentine Column, now sit in holes in a landscaped garden. The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Ancient texts indicated that the basilica contained gardens, surrounded by a colonnade and facing the Hagia Sophia, Historical texts claim that 7,000 slaves were involved in the construction of the cistern. The Grand Bazaar (Covered Bazaar/Kapali Carsi) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: B / – / –

Day 4 : Istanbul to Gallipoli peninsula; south cemeteries & memorials

In the morning we leave Istanbul and drive to Gallipoli and Canakkale region; on the southern (Asian) coast of the Dardanelles. The strait has always played a strategic role in history; the Dardanelles is unique in many respects. The very narrow and winding shape of the strait is more akin to that of a river. It is considered one of the most hazardous, crowded, difficult and potentially dangerous waterways in the world. The Persian army of Xerxes I of Persia and later the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in opposite directions to invade each other’s lands.  In 1915, the western Allies sent a massive invasion force of British, Indian, Australian, and New Zealand troops to attempt to open up the strait. After arrival we first take time to visit the South Cemeteries & Memorials; we visit Cape Helles Memorial; Morto Bay with the French War Cemetery & Canakkale Martyrs’ Memorial; and if time is permitting we will visit Soganlidere & Sahindere Cemeteries; Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery and N.Z. Memorial; The Helles Memorial is both the memorial to the Gallipoli campaign and to men who fell in that campaign and whose graves are unknown and/or who were lost or buried at sea in Gallipoli waters. Inscribed on it are the names of all the ships that took part in the campaign and the titles of the army formations and units which served on the Peninsula. It stands on the tip of the Peninsula and is in the form of an obelisk over 30m high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles. Morto Bay with the French War Cemetery & Canakkale Martyrs’ Memorial is located on the south of the Peninsula. The French War Cemetery commemorates the 14,300 French troops who died in the Gallipoli campaign, some of whom are buried in individual graves whilst the remains of others are contained in ossuaries within the cemetery. The Canakkale Martyrs Memorial is over 40m high and commemorates Turkish losses in the Battle of Canakkale, as the campaign is known there. In the late afternoon/or early evening we cross over to Canakkale where we spend the Night at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 4 h; transfer distance: 320 km (Istanbul – Canakkale via Kilitbahir & Gallipoli)
ON: in Canakkale at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 5 : Gallipoli peninsula; north cemeteries & memorials

After breakfast we cross over to Gallipoli peninsula again and take time to walk through North Cemeteries & Memorials; we first visit Kabatepe (Gallipoli) Museum located within the Gallipoli Historic National Park and commemorates the Gallipoli Campaign, now considered a defining moment in the modern history of not only Turkey, but of Australia and New Zealand as well. The museum hosts numerous relics from the campaign, including weapons, sniper shields, ammunition, uniforms, photographs, letters written by the soldiers to their families, and private belongings such as shaving tools, cocoa cases, leather flasks, dress buttons, belt buckles are on display in the museum. Afterwards we take time to walk through the national park housing many relics of the naval and land battles that took place in 1915 during World War One and to visit the Landing points of the western Allies, known as ANZAC Cove, became the main base for the Australian and New Zealand troops for the eight months of the Battle of Gallipoli. We visit Beach Cemetery; Shrapnel Valley Cemetery; Plugge’s Plateau Cemetery; Shell Green Cemetery & Lone Pine Cemetery, the largest graveyard-cum-memorial to those buried unmarked or at sea. Afterwards we continue towards Chunuk Bair Cemetery via Johnston’s Jolly Cemetery; Quinn’s Post Cemetery; 57th Regiment Memorial & Cemetery; Walker’s Ridge Cemetery; The Nek Cemetery; Sgt. Mehmet’s monument (Mehmet Cavus Anıtı) & Baby 700 Cemetery. In the late afternoon/or early evening we cross over to Canakkale where we spend the Night at the Hotel.
ON: in Canakkale at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Troy & ancient Assos – Selcuk

Today we leave Canakkale and drive to Selcuk, on our way we take time to visit ancient Troy and Behram, better known as Assos. Ancient Troy; is best known for being the focus of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlik, in 1868 Heinrich Schliemann, wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area after a chance meeting with Calvert in Canakkale. Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998. Alexander the Great visited the site in 334 BC and made sacrifices at tombs there associated with the Homeric heroes Achilles and Patroclus. Behramkale/Assos; the city was founded from 1000 to 900 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos. The settlers built a Doric Temple to Athena on top of the crag. After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias and opened an Academy in this city. When the Persians attacked Assos Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon, where he tutored Philip’s son, Alexander the Great. St. Paul also visited the city during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor on his way to Lesbos. After visiting Behramkale/Assos we continue to Selcuk, known as Ayasoluk under the Ottoman Empire, Selcuk is one of the most visited touristic destinations within Turkey. The 6th century Basilica of St. John the Apostle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostle’s tomb, is also inside the town. The old quarter of Selcuk retains much traditional Turkish culture. Ayasoluk Hill dominates the surrounding area, with several historical buildings on its slopes, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. Depending on arrival time it is possible to explore the city centre of Selcuk, with its traditional Turkish culture and lifestyle.
Transfer time: 4/5 h; transfer distance: 390 km; (Canakkale – Selcuk via Troy & Behramkale/Assos)
ON: in Selcuk at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Selcuk; house of virgin Mary & ancient Ephesus

Today we take time to visit the ancient city of Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary. The house of Virgin Mary was discovered in the 19th century. The Roman Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the house, for lack of acceptable evidence but nevertheless maintains a steady flow of pilgrimage since its discovery.  Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there until her Assumption. Afterwards we take time to visit ancient Ephesus; one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, it was for many years the second largest city of the Roman Empire; ranking behind Rome. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15 % has been excavated. The ruins that are visible give some idea of the city’s original splendour and the names associated with the ruins are evocative of its former life. In the late afternoon/early evening we return to Selcuk, where we spend the Night at the Hotel.                          
ON: in Selcuk at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Selcuk to Izmir – Home

Transfer to Izmir airport where the Trip concludes.
Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 60 km (Selcuk – Izmir airport)
Meals: B / – / –

ON = Overnight accommodation / B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner

Price Includes
–    All transfers and transportations with private vehicles to the places mentioned in the Itinerary
      Day 1: One (one way) arrival transfer from/to Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport/Hotel in Sultanahmet
      Transfers in Istanbul valid for Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport only/Extra transfer cost will be charged for each transfer
      Day 8: One (one way) departure transfer from/to Hotel in Selcuk/Izmir airport
–    Demavend Travel English speaking Tour Leader
–    Hotel accommodations, rooms on double/twin share base;
      Bed & Breakfast (BB) and Half Board (HB) service; Important: HB Dinner Service available until 20:30/21:00 h
–    7 x Breakfast, 4 x Lunch, 4 x Dinner
–    Day 3: Bosphorus tour by Boat (Public Tour/approximately 3 h)


Price Excludes
–    All International and Domestic Flights
–    Travel insurance
–    Extra Transports and transfers other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of Soft and Alcoholic drinks, Bottled Water, Tea & Coffee
–    Meals other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of personal expenses
–    All kind of Entrance fees for historical and natural sites
–    All kind of optional activities
–    Extra Nights
–    Single supplements
–    Personal Equipment
–    Tips