With this year marking the centenary of World War I and the Battle of Gallipoli, there's been no better time to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula near the Turkish town of Canakkale and its charming neighbouring towns. Pegasus Airlines flies to Balikesir/Edremit Airport via Istanbul from London Stansted with fares starting at just £119 one way, including taxes and charges
The Gallipoli Peninsula is a short boat ride from Canakkale’s mainland and offers lush green and deep blue horizons for a timelessly Aegean setting. Known for its historical strait which is a gateway through the Dardanelles from Europe to Asia, travellers can visit the two castles on either side of the waters – Gallipoli’s architecture belying its role as a watchtower through the years. With picturesque views and a land laden with monumental history, visitors can make use of local guides’ knowledge to discover the surrounding area. Visits to monuments and key sites, from the site of the female run WWI hospital to the trenches, will provide an unforgettable experience enhanced by evenings spent enjoying the seasonal catch and fresh salads on Canakkale’s cool, calm coast.
Located to the northwest of Mount Ida, the city of Troy is renowned in classical mythology, legend and history. Best known as the site of the Trojan War, today the site holds UNESCO World Heritage status and is considered a beacon of insight into the region for many a historian, archaeologist, traveller and enthusiast. Those visiting the area can take a tour of the remains of the ancient city of Troy and its museum exhibiting a priceless collection recounting the city’s culture and lives of its inhabitants.
Mount Ida (Kaz Daglari) offers great opportunities for trekking, horse-riding and mountain-biking across scenic stretches of forest. A key setting in the Iliad and the Aeneid, Mount Ida, also known as the mountain of the goddess, has featured in classical literature and history as a setting for the Greek gods to watch battles fought by their romantic heroes. Travellers can take an expedition to explore the mountain, enjoy its fresh spring water lakes known for their health benefits and even stay at a characterful boutique hotel to enjoy the mountain air and sea views for a longer period.
Formerly known as Tenedos, the beautiful off-the-beaten-track island of Bozacaada sets a romantic scene with its cobbled streets, charming wooden houses and tremendous Genoese castle. Accessible by boat from Canakkale and Edremit, this small but characteristically Aegean island is perfect for day-trippers wishing to immerse themselves in island life. Travellers can enjoy the cuisine which is a time-perfected fusion of Turkish and Greek dishes with local wines to accompany it, relax on the island's soft sandy beaches and explore its craft ateliers. Those wanting a longer stay can take advantage of one of the island's boutique hotels, snap the photogenic and colourful historical architecture while rubbing shoulders with the friendly locals.
The northern Aegean region of Turkey has a long history of wine-making, where grapes have been cultivated since around 3000BC. With vineyards dotting the countryside, trying local wines is a must on any visitor's itinerary.
Pegasus Airlines flies to Balikesir/Edremit, 1.5 hours’ drive from Canakkale, via Istanbul from London Stansted with fares starting at just £119 one way, including taxes and charges.
Pegasus is launching its London Gatwick–Istanbul route in May this year with connections to Balikesir/Edremit Airport.
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