A 10 day holiday to see visit the cultural capital of Europe; Istanbul that sits on two continents literally connecting Europe to Asia and then onto an ancient site of Troy, the playground of Greek Gods as decribed in Homer’s “Iliad” while commemorating one of the greatest battles of modern times between Turkish and Australian/New Zealand troops clashing on one another in Gallipoli with such epic rivalry stories turning into a strong bond between the nations forever. The battlefields are visited by 10.000 visitors, annually, mostly by the descendants of who fought here heroically and become part of many historical legends. This 10 day trip will be as entertaining as touching that will definitely change your perspective on the vast history of mankind with a Dawn Service to be remembered for a lifetime. On top all this feast for your eyes and souls, you will be mesmerized by a historical roller coaster towards ancient times in Pergamon, Kusadasi and Ephesus, enjoy the a wonderous calcium Terraces of Pamukkale.
Day 1 : Istanbul Arrival Day – Wedneday, 21st April 2021
Welcome to Istanbul! We are waiting for you directly at the gate behind passport control / immigration at Istanbul International Airport (IST). Arrival airport transfer from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) can be arranged at additional expenses. Transfer to your five star hotel, you will be given your room key and the rest of the day is yours to explore Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 : Istanbul City Tour & Anzac Conference – Thursday, 22nd April 2021
Welcome Drink, Breakfast Included
We depart from your hotel after breakfast at 08:30am for your guided Istanbul City Tour.Visit to TOPKAPI PALACE The great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle; enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque: The mosque, built between 1609 and 1616, is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. With its six minarets and a great cascade of domes, the mosque is a worthy sibling to Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). Pope Benedict XVI visited the Sultan Ahmed Mosque on 30th November 2006 during his visit to Turkey. It marks only the second papal visit in history to a Muslim place of worship.
Hippodrome: Today the area is officially called Sultan Ahmet Square, and is carefully maintained by the Turkish authorities. The course of the old racetrack has been indicated with paving, although the actual track is some 2 m below the present surface. The surviving monuments of the Spina, the two obelisks and the Serpentine Column, now sit in holes in a landscaped garden. The German Fountain, an octagonal domed fountain in neo-Byzantine style, which was constructed by the German government in 1900 to mark the German Emperor Wilhelm II's visit to Istanbul in 1898, is located at the northern entrance to the Hippodrome area, right in front of the Blue Mosque.
Spice Bazaar: The Spice Bazaar, or Egyptian Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Eminonu, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. After your Istanbul city tour there is an option to experience a Bosphorus boat cruise, enjoy the magnificent views of the Bosphorus which connects Asia to Europe, the best way of seeing the Bosphorus in all its beauty. With the shores rising to heights up to 200m, lined with palaces, ruins, villages, and gardens, this is one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery in Turkey.
At 18:00, we will start our conference about ANZAC Dawn Service and Turkey (Duration of approx 1 hour). The conference is held by ANZAC experts from Australia and New Zealand and by our professional Turkish ANZAC tour guides. Welcome cocktail, coffee, tea and snacks are included. You will meet your fellow ANZAC Day Gallipoli tour members and the our staff. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 : Gallipoli Tour - Friday, 23rd April 2021
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included
We depart for Gallipoli at 7:00am (4,5 hour distance). On the way, we will watch the latest documentaries about the Gallipoli campaign. We arrive in Gallipoli for lunch on the coast of Gabatepe. After lunch, we start our tour of the Gallipoli peninsula. Visit Kabatepe War Museum, ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australias Memorial and Cemetery, Quinns Post, Turkish 57th Regiment Cemetery, the Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial and Cemetery. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Please Note: Normally on 23rd April; Anzac Cove is open for visitors but this year Anzac Cove and Beach Cemetery was closed for security as one of the company staff was from Syria. So the Australian Government and Turkish Government take a decision from 22nd April to 25th April noon time, means ceremony finish time was closed to visitors. Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair and other places were open and allowed for guided tour.
Day 4 : Troy Tour & ANZAC Cove – Saturday, 24th April 2021
Breakfast and Dinner Included
The governments of Australia and New Zealand have announced that the Gallipoli peninsula will be closed on 24th April 2021 for safety and security purposes, cemeteries and memorials cannot be visited as in previous years. Therefore, we have visited the Gallipoli peninsula and done our guided Gallipoli Tour yesterday already. Today, we will visit the Trojan horse and the ancient city of Troy, located on the other side of the Dardanelles (approx. 1.5 hour distance including ferry).Troy is one of the most famous cities in the history, recalling us Hector, Achilles and Achaean Greeks, the sake of Helen, Paris, Agamemnon and Priam.
Your guide will explain the mythology surrounding Troy, the Trojan Horse and Helen of Troy. If you wish to buy snacks for the overnight camp, today is best time to do it. There are also some food and drink stalls available at ANZAC Cove. Tonight at 17:30, we will meet at the hotel for our buffet dinner before heading to ANZAC Cove for the Dawn Service. Overnight at ANZAC Cove. If you dont wish to stay outside at the ANZAC Commemorative Site overnight, we provide optional hotel accommodation in Canakkale. This option is not available after your arrival in Turkey, pre-booking is required.
Please Note: In 2021 the ANZAC Commemorative Site will open later than it has in previous years. The new opening time will be decided later on and before guests arrival we will inform you. The ANZAC Commemorative Site will not open before the designated opening time. Please, all the guests should be registered for attendance passes.
Day 5 : ANZAC Dawn Service at Commemorative Site Gallipoli- Sunday, 25th April 2021
Don't forget your warm clothes, sleeping bags, wet weather gear, torches, hat, sunscreen and good walking shoes because Gallipoli is still as cold and dark as it was 99 years ago! Optionally, we provide sleepings bags, please let us know at time of booking.
05.30-06.15 Dawn Service, ANZAC Commemorative Site, North Beach
09.30 – 10.15 Australian Memorial Service, Lone Pine
11.30 - 12.15 New Zealand Memorial Service, Chunuk Bair
After attending the ANZAC services, at approx. 15:00, we will travel back to your hotel in Canakkale. The night is yours to relax, dinner will be served at the hotel. Overnight in Çanakkale.
Day 6 : Bergama Tour - Kusadasi – Monday, 26th April 2021
Breakfast and Dinner Included
Drive to Pergamon (2 hours distance) - see Asklepion, Zeus's alter, the Red Bassilcia etc. Pergamon is the site of the Hellenistic - and later Roman city of Pergamon, ruled for several centuries by a powerful local dynasty. Its foremost attraction is the Red Basilica, a huge edifice on the river not far from the acropolis, originally built as a temple to the Egyptian god Osiris and converted to a basilica by the early Christians, when it was one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor addressed by St John in the book of Revelation - though sadly it's now a crumbling ruin with a mosque in one of its towers. After our guided Pergamon Tour, we continue towards Kusadasi.
On the way, we will visit a place which continues to perform one of the oldest arts of Turkey; a carpet weaving centre, followed by an optional Turkish Bath. After a good scrub down we will check-in your hotel in time for dinner. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 7 : Ephesus & Kusadasi - Tuesday, 27th April 2021
Breakfast and Dinner Included
At 08.30, we depart to Ephesus (20 minute distance) - once the commercial center of the ancient world - is a highlight of any visit to Turkey. Ephesus, whose wealth and patronage supported its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Her enormous temple, considered one of the Seven Wonders, dates in its latest form from the third century B.C. The guided Ephesus tour also includes a theater, gymnasium, agora and baths, as well as the Library of Celsus.
After lunch, we will make a shopping tour in which you will be aware of the ancient arts of Turkey like jewelry and leather manufacturing. On this guided tour, you will avoid the constant nagging and sometimes bullying that is well known in the markets of Turkey. Enabling you to enjoy the shopping experience whilst gaining the knowledge of the ancient craftsmen. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 8 : Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour - Wednesday, 28th April 2021
Breakfast and Dinner Included
At 08.30, we leave Kusadasi for Pamukkale (2,5 hour distance). We visit the Cotton Castle calcium terraces of Pamukkale and ancient Hierapolis, walking around this natural phenomenon, gives you the option of lying in the waters of the natural springs that flow down the calcium terraces. Check-in your hotel in time for dinner and the rest of the evening is yours to explore the small village or relax around the swimming pool. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 9 : Pamukkale & Istanbul - Thursday, 29th April 2021
After breakfast, you can enjoy the thermal pool and sun until 10.00, then, we depart to Istanbul. (8.5 hour distance). The night is yours in Istanbul once we arrived. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 10 : Istanbul - ANZAC Tour End - Friday, 30th April 2021
After breakfast, we check out from your hotel before 11.00. Please make your own arrangements for departure transfers or simply ask our staff.
We hope you had a memorable ANZAC day tour and we look forward to seeing you in the future on another our Turkey Tour. Have a safe trip back home and thanks for choosing us.