2 days tour of Troy and the Gallipoli First World War battlefields with a full day tour of mosaics of Istanbul.
Duration: 2 Days
Operating Days: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
Tour Starting Time: 06.30
Child: Ages 5–11
Day 1: Istanbul – Gallipoli – Çanakkale (L-D)
You will be picked up from your centrally located Istanbul hotel, following a ride to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Your tour starts with a visit to the historic WWI battlefields in Gallipoli where the brutal and lengthy battles raged towards the end of the war. On April 25, 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) followed Allied orders to mount an attack with the aim of capturing Constantinople. The attack was met with fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turks and the fatal fighting lasted for roughly eight months. You will explore the Gallipoli battlefields and learn of the key fights that took place while discovering the poignant memorials, visited by people from all over the world. Next you will visit the Australian memorial site of Lone Pine and explore the trenches of the Nek. Visit Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, one of the few sites that Allied troops captured, and pay your respects to lost soldiers at ANZAC Cove where some of the most significant Gallipoli battles took place. Stroll around Ari Burnu Cemetery, and see other stirring sites including the Beach Cemetery, Brighton Beach, and the trenches at Johnson’s Jolly. Your day at the site includes ample free time for independent sightseeing, plus lunch in a restaurant halfway through your tour. As the tour ends, you will be transferred to your hotel in Çanakkale (5-star Kolin Hotel in Canakkale or similar) and enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Day 2: Çanakkale – Troy – Istanbul (B,L)
After breakfast, you will take a ride to the ancient city of Troy, approximately half an hour away. One of the most famous archeological sites in the world, Troy dates back some 4,000 years and is thought to be the city where contact between Anatolia (ancient Asia) and the Mediterranean region was first made. On a walking tour, you will hear stories about Troy’s history and of its development as a series of settlements. Having started out as a Bronze Age dwelling, Troy enjoyed a stint as a prosperous Byzantine town before falling to ruin. The city is also famous for its links to the Trojan War, the Greek mythological story of the Trojan prince (Paris) who ran away with Zeus’ daughter (Helen) and sparked the 10-year battle. Explore the ruins, and then visit the wooden Trojan Horse, a symbol of the town. Before returning to Istanbul, enjoy a break for lunch in a local restaurant and relax on your journey north, and finish your 2-day experience with a drop-off in central Istanbul in the evening.
Overnight: No Istanbul accommodation is included on this night. Make your own arrangements for your Day 2 overnight stay Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour.
Day 3: Istanbul (L)
You will be picked up from your hotel and start your tour of Istanbul’s historical Sultanahmet neighborhood for your day of exploring Istanbul’s top attractions and landmarks. The order of your day’s itinerary varies, but all attractions mentioned will be seen (with the exception of Topkapi Palace if Day 3 falls on a Tuesday). You will visit the church-mosque-museum of Hagia Sophia with its medley of Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, and then head inside the city’s Blue Mosque, an elaborate place of worship that’s known for its skyline-dominating minarets. Admire its ornate interior with your guide and marvel at its ceiling — consisting almost entirely of blue tiles — that attributes to the building’s name. Then you will go underground for a visit to the Basilica Cistern, walking around the gates and amazing columns of the cistern. Next you will be at Topkapi Palace — one of the world’s oldest and largest palaces that has been transformed into a museum. Explore the courtyards and marvel at the rich ornamentation that was lavished on the palace rooms by the sultans and harems of bygone days. See the Hippodrome, the site that represented the center of politics and sports during the Ottoman era, and pose for photos by the Egyptian obelisk that dates back around 3,500 years.
Finally, you will be at the Grand Bazaar to browse the stalls spread around the narrow streets, thick with the fragrance of spices. The souk sells almost everything from Turkish carpets to kebabs, so let your guide show you its highlights while walking around. Your tour includes lunch at a traditional Turkish restaurant roughly halfway through the day. Dishes are subject to change but typically, you can expect grilled meat, dips and vegetables. Drinks are extra by your own expense. After visiting the final attraction, you will be transferred to your Istanbul hotel in the early evening.
Topkapi Palace (Closed on Tuesdays; will be replaced with Istanbul Archaeology Museum), Hagia Sophia (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Chora Museum), Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the other locations).