Updated - 2006
and Additional Visitors Information
We once again
flew British Airways,
and while the cost of this was included in the tour we
were doing, BA are doing some good deals to Istanbul at
present. Some of the cheaper UK based airlines will also
be flying into Istanbul fairly soon, which will make it
even cheaper to get there. A new internal flight between
Istanbul to Canakkale will be in operation shortly which
will cut down the time it takes to get to the area.
Government still operate a Visa system, with a £10 fee
payable in cash to all UK passport holders who arrive at
Istanbul. It is a similar fee for EU member states, but
it varies for other countries. For more details visit this
The journey to
Gallipoli was improved on last time, with marginally
better road conditions in most places. There is a good
services at Takirdag, with large parking, good, clean
toilets, food and a shop. You can also get fuel here.
- Cost of Living
Since I was
last in Turkey the currency has devalued by taking six
zeros off the Lire and it is now shown as 'YTL' - which
stands for New Turkish Lire. In May 2006 it was roughly
2.5 YTL to £1. Notes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50
denominations, but there are also large notes as well.
Coins are mainly 25c, 50c and 1 YTL. The old currency is
no longer valid.
particularly noticeable, and possibly due to these
changes, is that Turkey is no longer as cheap as it was.
In Istanbul we could rarely get a meal for less than 30
YTL; in Gallipoli it was nearer 20/25 YTL. The cost of a
beer varied from 2.5 YTL in Gallipoli to nearly 10 YTL
in Istanbul. Fuel was more expensive than in the UK,
which surprised me. Prices did vary, though.
We stayed in
the excellent Kum
Hotel which is located near Gaba Tepe, and is about
20 minutes from ANZAC and under 30 from the Helles
battlefield. It has its own beach, pool, restaurant and
bar, and the evening meals are buffet style and very
good indeed. You can also camp and caravan here. Rooms
are all en-suite, with shower and toilet, plus TV and
air conditioning. Using the website link above you can
now make a reservation on-line.
There are also
hotels now well established in Eceabat, such as TJ
Tours Hostel. I also met Eric Goossens on the trip,
who is opening a 10 bedroom hotel in the area in
late 2006 or early 2007. His website is found
use hotels across the narrows in Canakkale such as the ANZAC
Hotel. However, I understand from some of the locals
that the tremendous number of Turkish tour groups coming
into the area, there can be heavy delays on the ferries
across to Gallipoli - with delays of up to 5 hours not
being unusual. The standard of hotels in Canakkale is
generally higher than on Gallipoli, and only personal
choice can determine whether such a delay is worth it.
A new Visitors
Centre opened in 2005 at the main entrance to the
Gallipoli National Park (Milli Park), just north of
Eceabat. It is a modern building with a display of
photos, a cinema, battlefield information plus a shop
and café; the excellent Park Map (see below) can be
bought here. There are also good, clean toilets. For
more details visit this
page on the site.
This is now
available at the new Visitors Centre mentioned above for
5 YTL and has been updated since I was last in
Gallipoli. It still represents the best map available of
the Gallipoli battlefields.
the increase - we were told between 2.5 and 6 million
Turks visit the area each year, and it is clear the infrastructure
is both changing and finding it hard to cope with the
numbers; there was a lot of rubbish about and many
'souvenir stalls' which many would not see appropriate.
The ferry across the Dardenelles is also finding it hard
to cope with groups coming from Asia; on many days there
are delays of up to 5 hours getting across.
It is clear
more British people are visiting the Gallipoli
battlefields, but still the greatest number are from
Australia and New Zealand; the fewest number come from
France - the visitor's book in the French cemetery at
Morto Bay went back to the early 1990s in only a few
remains one of the most amazing and beautiful Great War
battlefields - and one which anyone seriously interested
in the subject should visit.