The Gallipoli peninsula stretches 80 kilometres southwest of Istanbul, forming the northern shore of the Dardanelles. As a result of its strategic importance, this picturesque peninsula of pine trees, beaches and sand dunes has been the target of numerous historical attacks by those keen to gain a tactical stranglehold on the great city of Istanbul. The battlefields of the most recent invasion, the failed Allied assault in 1915, have become sites of pilgrimage for many descendants of those who fought there – in particular the Australian and New Zealand regiments who provided the bulk of the force. On the opposite side of the narrow strait is another famous battle site, ancient Troy, of Homer’s Iliad and the famous Wooden Horse. Today, despite the scant remains of the city itself, the excavation site is a worthwhile excursion with an expert local guide. The drive to Gallipoli from Istanbul takes around four hours, so while it is possible to visit Gallipoli as a day trip, we recommend the more comfortable option which is to stay for one or two nights in the area. You can choose to be based in the city of Canakkale, just across the sea of Marmara from Gallipoli and reached by a short ferry ride, or at the charming Hotel Caeli on the peninsula itself and surrounded by vineyards.

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