Canakkale it the nearest town to Troy and the starting place for touring the WWI battlefields of Galipolli.
It is a lively place with lots of bars and restaurants.
These sites can be done by a very long day trip from Istanbul.
Frequent buses from Istanbul take 6 hours.
The wooden horse from the film Troy.
Most of the filming was done in Malta near Golden Bay & Mexico, how the horse ended up here I don’t know!
The Clock Tower near the harbour
Pleasant streets with lots of bars & restaurants -
If travelling by bus from Istanbul, ask to get off at the harbour rather than the bus station (otagar). The bus station is a few miles outside of town, but all the restaurants and hotels are around the harbour
Canakkale is on the Dardanelles with its 2 forts guarding the entrance to the Bosphorus & Istanbul. This was the scene of naval action as allied warships tried unsuccessfully to force their way through. The battlefields are on the far bank and the fort in Canakkale is a naval museum.
The ruins of Troy are 9 km from Canakkale. You can join one of the many coach trips, but much better is to walk to the local bus station, about 10 minutes walk from the harbour, and get the minibus for a few pence. They run every hour.
There are far better preserved ruins in Turkey than Troy, and not much remains of Homer’s Troy as it was built over multiple times -
From here, with time pressing, we rented a car and completed the rest of the trip. Car rental was cheap and driving, outside of the cities, was easy as the roads are very quiet, especially the toll roads (which are cheap). Near to any large town, driving is fast, erratic and dangerous!
Bergama known to the Greeks & Romans as Pergamon. Known for the Red Basilica, Acropolis & the Asklepion (medical centre)
There is not a long distance bus station at Bergama, so buses from Canakkale (after changing at Izmir), will drop you at the dual carriage way half a mile from the town -
We stayed in a wonderful place opposite the Red Basilica -
Other than these sites and less prominent sites, the town holds little else for the traveller.
The Red Basilica. Originally a Roman temple to the Egyptian gods but the heathens (that would be the Christians) wanted to turn it into a church. However, the building was too large so they built a church inside!
The Acropolis is close to the Red Basilica but it is a very steep ascent. Fortunately there is now a cable car to take you to the top.
The guide book says you can walk down -
They are amazing ruins and the very steep amphitheatre is well preserved with some of the originally entrances
Asklepion (medical centre)
A medical centre, small amphitheatre for students & lectures. The path was originally fully covered from here to the town centre.
It is possible to walk to these attractions. From the Red Basilica to the Acropolis is about 2.5 Km but it is a very steep climb although the cable car does cut a lot of this. If you are driving the car park is at the top of the hill!
The Red Basilica to the Asklepion is 2 km, about a 25 minute walk. You may be better getting a taxi!
From here it was quite a long drive to Selcuk. Selcuk is well worth the visit it has the best preserved Roman ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean which are breath taking. The town is also very pleasant it has some fine restaurants as well as numerous other sites. We didn't leave enough time, but it also has the a huge Church of St John, the remains (it must be said not a lot of!) The Temple of Artemis, a Byzantine fort and viaduct. It is also where St John wrote his contribution to the bible here & where he & Mary supposedly died.
Effes. Absolutely breath taking. Didn’t think such ruins existed. Extensive ruins of a Roman town & church of St Mary. Well worth a whole day -
A drive away from the main town of Selcuk, but taxis & tourist buses are everywhere.
Can get really crowded as It is not too far from the sea & Cruise liners organise tours here, so arrive early.
The Byzantine Viaduct thar is a feature of the town. It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
All that remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the world.
And what it did look like
The Roman town of Effes
The massive St John’s church & the Byzantine fort
And then it was a long drive back to Canakkale, another night there and a long bus journey back to Istanbul. A few more nights there and then home. With a bit more planning we might have been able to leave the car at Bodrum and fly home from there as it is much closer than Canakkale.