Gallipoli (Gelibolu in Turkish )is a peninsula and a district of Canakkale. Both the city and the peninsula have important locations and thousands of tourists visit there every year, especially on March and April. I’m going to refer some basic details and tips and if you think to visit there, I hope it’s going to be useful for your plan.
Let me clear that first: The region has two different importances. First one is about its history. Have you ever watched Troy (2004)? The second factor is WWI: The Gallipoli Campaign (the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Canakkale).
If you interest to visiting monuments, museums and martyrs of WWI, your plan has to be based on Gallipoli where is in Thrace lands.
Transportation to Gallipoli
You’ve two alternatives to go Gallipoli that’s up to your flight. I recommend you flying to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport or Istanbul Airport.
From Izmir and Istanbul
When you arrive to Izmir Airport
, you can go to Izmir Intercity Bus Terminal by public bus (204) or private bus, HAVAS. Then, you should go to Canakkale; but intercity bus terminal of Canakkale is in eastern side. So, please find a bus that goes to Gelibolu, Kesan, Edirne, Malkara, Kirklareli or Tekirdag. Bus traveling will get something like six hours.
If you fly to Istanbul Airport
, you can go to Esenler Intercity Bus Terminal by private bus, IST-3. Then, you should go Gallipoli by an intercity bus. It’ll take maximum four hours.
When you arrive to Gallipoli Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take a taxi to go your hotel. If you think rent a car, you should get the car in Gallipoli or Canakkale, not in Izmir or Istanbul. It’s going to be very expensive.
Your hotel has to be in Thrace region. If you stay in Canakkale city center (Asian side), you waste your time for urban transportation.
Possible Tour Plan
Agreement with a guide will be practical, especially if s/he has an own car. On the other hand, if you’re alone or a few persons, I don’t suggest tour companies indeed. If you won’t visit Gallipoli with a guide, so you should rent a car. There’s no public transportation around the peninsula and taking taxi is not an efficient choice.
If you’ll visit without a guide, please ask a local map to your hotel. Then, rent a car…
Gelibolu Peninsula Historical Park will be your destination and it is more than 30,000 hectares. There are graves and memorials of around 250,000 Turkish soldiers, and 250,000 from Australia, New Zealand, England and France.
It’s not possible to visit all monuments, museums and martyrs in the park in a single day. Two days will be enough. If you arrive your hotel in the morning, staying one night is better. On the other hand, two nights can be preferred, if you arrive late hours of the day.
A Few Tips:
~ Alexandria Troas, The Troy Museum, Troia Ruins, and too many castles are optional destinations on your travel. You should evaluate at least a few of them.
~ If you visit there on 18th March or 21st April, it might be hard to find hotel. Also transportation might be problem. I suggest you another day of spring or fall.
Letter from Mustafa Kemal ATATURK to Anzacs
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives …You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”