CANAKKALE

The city of Canakkale lies at the narrow,1,200 meter entrance to the Canakkale Strait that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean whose shores touch both Europe and Asia. Passenger and car ferries run daily between Canakkale on the Asian side; Eceabat and Kilitbahir on the European side. Yachts navigating the straits stop at the well-equipped Canakkale Marina to allow tourists more time in the area. Hotels, restaurants and cafes along the promenade, offer a place to enjoy the comings and goings of the harbor, and view of the Kilitbahir Fortress and the Canakkale Archaeological Museum.

In 1451, Sultan Mehmet II, later the conqueror of Istanbul, built one fortress on the European side of the Canakkale Strait at Kilitbahir and one on the opposite shore at Cimenlik to control the passage of ships through the strait. Today the Cimenlik fortress serves as a military museum dedicated to the Canakkale Battle.

Gelibolu

Çanakkale Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park was established to honor the 500,000 soldiers who gave their lives on Gelibolu also known as Gallipoli. In 1915, Mustafa Kemal, commander of the Turkish army, led a successful campaign to drive out the allied powers from the area. The park includes memorials, monuments, cemeteries, the natural beauty of the Arıburnu Cliffs and Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake). The beauty of the green hills, sandy beaches and blue waters provides an honored resting place for the soldiers who bravely fought and died in this historic battle. You cannot help but sense the heart of the Turkish nation in the special spirit of this place.

The largest of the Turkish islands, Gökçeada is ringed with pristine bays. Its hills, covered in the contrasting greens of pines and olive trees are dotted with sacred springs and monasteries. Regularly scheduled ferry boats make the trip from Çanakkale and Kabatepe. In August, islanders and tourists gather for colorful local fairs.

As you approach Bozcaada Island, the Venetian castle commands your attention. Then your eyes are drawn to the glistening white houses and the restaurants and cafes which line the promenade. Wine seems as plentiful as water on this island; a circuit reveals many vineyards and wine cellars. There are good sandy beaches at Ayazma, Poyraz and Iğdelik.

Çanakkale TruvaHomer immortalized Truva (Troy) in the stories of King Priamus, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. Archaeological excavations have revealed nine separate periods of settlement and the ruins of city walls, house foundations, a temple and a theatre. A symbolic wooden Trojan horse commemorates the legendary war. The ancient harbor of Alexandria-Troas was built in the 3rd century B.C. St. Paul visited here twice, and on his third missionary journey, he continued from here to Assos.

The acropolis of Assos (Behramkale) is 238 meters above sea level and the Temple of Athena was constructed on this site in the 6th century B.C. This Doric temple is being restored to its former glory and role as guardian of the Biga Peninsula and  Edremit Gulf. Linger to see the moonlight scattered through the temple ruins, or rise early for the gentle awakening of dawn over the acropolis, from the top of which you can take in the magnificent vista of the Gulf of Edremit; and you will appreciate why this heavenly location was chosen. On the terraces descending to the sea are agoras, a gymnasium and a theatre. From the northern corner of the acropolis, you can see a mosque, a bridge and fortress, all built in the l4th century by the Ottoman Sultan Murat I. Below lies a tiny and idyllic ancient harbor. Assos has gained the reputation of being the center of the Turkish art community with its lively, friendly and bohemian atmosphere. This may be the holiday you will remember for years to come. 25 km west of Behramkale, in the village of Gülpınar is the ancient city of Chryse where the 2nd century B.C: temple of Apollon Smintheus is located. 15 km west of Gulpinar on an unmarked road along the jagged coastline lies Babakale, a scenic village of houses terraced on a cliff which drops to the sea.

The town of Biga has lent its name to its entire peninsula. A town of parks, it is a good place to see houses built in a traditional style. The closest beaches are at Karabiga and Sahmelek, where you will find reasonably priced accommodations. Karabiga was known in ancient times as Priapos, after the god, and thus has cult and fertility associations. Can is well known for its ceramics and sulphur springs, said to be helpful in various disorders of the liver, intestine and urinary tract. There are two other hot springs at nearby Kulculer and Kirazlı.

Kaz Dağı (Mt. Ida, 1774 meters) is situated at the southern tip of Canakkale by the beautiful Kaz Dagı National Park with magnificent landscapes, peaceful green areas and several hot springs. At the northern entrance, via Bayramiç and Evciler, to the Kaz Dagı National Park are the main day-camping facilities. In Bayramic, 60 km from Canakkale is the beautiful 18th century Hadimogullari Mansion (Ottoman House) with its ethnography museum.