Located in Turkey’s Marmara region on the southern bank of the Dardanelles Strait, Canakkale’s history stretches as far back as 3000 BC. Today this lively university town is not only a short distance from the historic city of Troy, draped in mythological legend, but also the sombre battlefields of Gallipoli, where both the Allied and Turkish forces saw heavy casualties during World War I.
Drive through the rugged landscapes surrounding Canakkale to the ancient city of Troy, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Troy was depicted in Homer’s epic tales of the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” as the setting for the great Trojan War. Its history dates back 4000 years, but it wasn’t until excavations took place in the late 19th century that its ruins were uncovered, revealing the initial contact between Mediterranean and Anatolian civilisations.
You can explore its extensive excavations, including nine main cities that comprise beautifully preserved walls, temples, a theatre, and an underground watercourse, and witness the immense Trojan Wooden Horse used in the filming of the movie “Troy”. Then visit its fascinating archaeological museum to discover a vast range of artefacts collected from the sites.
Exploring the nearby battlefields of Gallipoli have become like a pilgrimage for many Turks, Australians and New Zealanders. The museums and memorials detailing the impact of World War I on this region are fascinating tributes to the heroism and sacrifice of the men who lost their lives here. The Gallipoli Peninsula is an area of outstanding beauty, and has now been protected as the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park, or “Peace Park”. Visit the Kabatepe War Museum, Anzac Cove and the Lone Pine Cemetery, and see the first Anzac landing spot at Ari Burnu. The Gallipoli Campaign had a significant effect on the development of modern day Turkey, and this site has become a symbol of unity between the former enemy armies.
Those with more time can also visit the Canakkale Archaeological Museum, with a fine collection of ceramics and wooden crafts, as well as the impressive Sultan's Castle just outside Canakkale. With so much to do in and around this port city, why not join one of our Canakkale shore excursions to experience as much as possible.