Places to Visit in Canakkale

Things to Know About Canakkale

Çanakkale holds a significant location at the entrance of Dardanelles, connecting the Aegean and Marmara Seas, which made it a crucial area for world-leading people throughout history.

This region, where the legendary Trojan War of Homer’s Iliad took place, is one of Turkey’s most valuable treasures, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area also saw the events of the Dardanelles Campaign, making it an essential location for human history.

Assos, an ancient city where philosophy was institutionalized, is an inspiring landscape that housed Aeneas, the founder of Rome.

Çanakkale is also where honorable World War 1 soldiers are laid to rest. The Gallipoli Peninsula National Park (Gelibolu Yarımadası Milli Parkı) was established to commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives during the Çanakkale Campaign. The park not only contains natural beauty, such as the Arıburnu Hills (Arıburnu Tepesi) and Tuzla Lake (Tuzla Gölü), but also monuments, tombs, and statues. Green hills, sandy beaches, and blue waters provide a resting place for the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives here.

Gökçeada, the second-largest island in Turkey, is located just across Çanakkale. The hills of Gökçeada are covered with olive and pine trees, and there are occasional monasteries. Regular ferry services from Kabatepe provide transportation to the island, with festivals held in August attracting visitors and locals alike.

Bozcaada is a charming island that will captivate you from the moment you arrive. The first thing you’ll notice is Bozcaada Castle, a magnificent fortress that dominates the landscape. From there, your eyes will be drawn to the picturesque white houses, restaurants, and cafes that line the beach. In Ayazma, a popular tourist district, you can explore the island’s wine production facilities. For a more laid-back beach experience, head to Poyraz or İğdelik, both of which offer pristine sandy beaches.

A visit to the Trojan Horse is a must-do activity for anyone traveling to Turkey. Located at Çanakkale Port, this iconic monument is a testament to the city’s rich history. The city of Alexandria-Troas was established in the 3rd century BCE and was visited by Saint Paul during his third expedition to Assos. The historic acropolis of Behramkale, which rises 238 meters above sea level, was constructed in the 6th century BCE and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. In the nearby village of Gülpınar (formerly Chryse), you can explore the temple of Apollo Smintheus, which dates back to the 2nd century BCE.

For budget-friendly outdoor activities, the Pınarbaşı region of Kazdağı National Park is a must-see destination. The north entrance to the park is located in Bayramic and Evciler, where you’ll find campsites and plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. The villages of Kaklmi, Hamdibey, and Akcsakoyun are particularly popular among nature enthusiasts.

Places to Visit in Canakkale

Ancient City of Troy

Troy, the renowned archaeological site and a crucial starting point in modern archaeology, is a prime example of an oriental city in an Aegean setting. Its history dates back to the early Bronze Age and has undergone numerous transformations, with the city reaching its zenith as a pivotal trading center in the Aegean region.

Troy II and Troy VI are two significant stages in the city’s development and represent typical examples of the ancient city’s architecture. The citadel, enclosing both administrative buildings and palaces, was fortified, as was the lower town during pre-Hellenistic periods. These edifices are directly associated with or alluded to in iconic literary works such as Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. Hellenistic tombs have been erected over the burial sites of key individuals, including Achilles and Ajax, who fought to save Troy, Hector, who attempted to infiltrate the city from enemy lines, as well as servants of Trojan leaders such as Patroclus.

Troy suffered significant earthquakes in 1350 BC, but the city swiftly recovered and was reconstructed in a more organized layout. However, in 1250 BC, Troy was devastated once again by a massive fire and brutal massacre, leading some scholars to identify this period as Troy VII, which culminated in the city’s legendary siege during the Trojan War. Later research revealed that these disasters resulted from fierce commercial competition between Troy and the Mycenaeans, who vied for control over trade routes connecting Europe with Asia Minor’s Black Sea region.

During 306 BC, Troy, the fabled capital of a league of cities in the Troad, flourished under Roman rule and was subsequently resettled by the Byzantines. It remained inhabited until the Ottoman Empire assumed control in 1402.

According to legend, Troy was founded by the descendants of Dardanus, the son of Tethys and the Titan of the Atlantic Ocean, Oceanus. Dardanus’ wife, Electra, was Zeus’ daughter and gave birth to him.

The discovery, exploration, and excavation of the Troy site date back to 1793. Heinrich Schliemann visited the site in 1868 but did not complete his work until 1893, after seven major campaigns. In 1873, Schliemann uncovered gold treasure, which some falsely labeled “King Priam’s Treasure,” although it came from Troy II rather than Troy VIIA.

Over a span of more than a century, 23 sections of Troy’s defensive walls, 11 gates, a paved stone ramp, and the lower portions of five citadel fortifications have been uncovered through excavations. Most of these structures date back to Troy II and VI, but one section from the earliest period (Troy I) is located near South Gate No. 1.

Troy II’s grand residential complex consists of five buildings with porches that run parallel to each other. The most notable of these is considered a precursor to Greek temples and is believed to have been some form of palace. The complex includes long rectangular houses from Troy II that are situated at the bottom of an excavated trench known as Schliemann’s Trench, named after Heinrich Schliemann, a 19th-century excavator who unsuccessfully searched for “the Citadel of Priam.”

Troy’s Greek and Roman cities are represented primarily by the sanctuary complex, along with two other public buildings. This complex’s architectural design reflects Roman urban organization and includes an odeon (concert hall) and tiers of seats made from limestone blocks.

In 1998, Troy was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Additionally, numerous archaeological sites are scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.

Assos Ancient City

Assos is an ancient city located on a rocky hill along the coast of the Aegean Sea. The Tuzla River, known as Satnoieis in ancient times, flows to the north of the city. Today, the remains of this ancient settlement are situated in the modern Turkish village and resort town of Behramkale.

Assos was founded in the 1st millennium BCE by settlers from the nearby island of Lesbos, now part of Greece. During the 4th century BCE, the city experienced a period of great prosperity under the rule of Hermeias, a student of Plato, who governed not just the city but the entire Troad peninsula. In 348 BCE, Aristotle came to Assos and founded a school where he taught for three years.

The famous student of Aristotle, Alexander the Great, expelled Persian troops from Assos in 334 BCE. Subsequently, his successors exercised nominal sovereignty over the city. From 241-133 BCE, the Kingdom of Pergamon ruled over Assos. Later on, it was assimilated into the Roman Empire and eventually emerged as a religious center associated with Saint Paul in 55 AD.

According to the Bible, just before his third missionary journey to Jerusalem, Saint Paul walked alone from Alexandria Troas to Assos, accompanied only by the Spirit, in reference to John 14:18 “The Spirit gives life; physical things do not. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their fleshly selves.” Once in Assos, he rejoined his colleagues and sailed off towards Lesbos.

Assos, located on the Aegean Sea coast of western Anatolia, is an ancient city with a rich history. It was converted to Christianity in the 5th century AD and was listed as an episcopacy from then until the 14th century. In the Byzantine period, it remained an important provincial city for regional and interregional trade.

The city was called Machram in Byzantine times, and it is believed that the current name of Behramkale was derived from it. The area was conquered by the Turks in the early 14th century, but the harbor remained important until the 18th century for the trade of cortices of Valonea oaks.

To enter the archaeological site, visitors must climb over the hilltop mosque in Behramkale and pay an entrance fee. A walk along the Roman walls and a small cistern leads to the 118 m high acropolis, which houses the foundations of a Doric-order Athena temple (14 x 30 m.) dating back to 530 BCE. Of the original 38 columns, only 6 remain. The acropolis is secured by a 14-m.-high ancient city wall and gate, along with 4th century BCE towers that are still intact.

Past the entrance gate is an ancient paved road that leads to a large gymnasium (52 x 52 m.) from the 2nd century BCE, followed by the ruins of a 5th-6th century church to the northeast. Further down the road, there is another ancient building complete with Hellenistic period shops and two-storey Doric columns.

Next on the lower road is the ancient bouleuterion (21 m x 21 m), and after that is a Greek theatre from the 3rd century BCE that could seat up to 5000 spectators. Outside of the city walls lies a large necropolis containing numerous Greco-Roman tombs dating back as far as 1000 BC.

Gallipoli Battlefields

The Gallipoli Peninsula is a site of pilgrimage and remembrance for many foreign visitors. It is a place to honor and commemorate the Allied forces who landed here during World War I, mainly representing Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, and France. Their mission, which began on April 25th, 1915, was to attack the Ottoman Empire, which was fighting on Germany’s side.

The nine-month-long campaign was brutal and resulted in over half a million deaths and numerous casualties. The Turks ultimately emerged victorious, thanks in part to the brilliant strategic command of army officer Mustafa Kemal, who later became known as Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Anzac Cove is home to a commemorative monument and several cemeteries, while the Lone Pine Cemetery area contains the most Australian graves and important battlefields such as Turkish Monument, which honors the Turk’s 57th Regiment, and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Cemetery and Chunuk Bair Mehmet Memorials. Many visitors find that organized tours of the battlefields are helpful in making sense of the complex history.

In the southern part of the Gallipoli Peninsula, visitors can find three memorials from the campaign. The village of Alçitepe is home to the Salim Mutlu War Museum, which contains many battle finds, as well as the Gallery of the Gallipoli Campaign, which showcases photos and dioramas of the battles. There are also several Turkish, British, and French cemeteries scattered throughout the area. The Abide Monument at Morto Bay serves as a commemoration of all fallen Turkish soldiers in the Gallipoli campaign.

Parion (Parium) Ancient City

Parion is an ancient village located in the Kemer region of the Biga District in Çanakkale Province. The origin of its name is not clear, but one theory suggests that it may have been named after Parion, the son of Iason or Demetria from Erythrai, or even Paris, the prince of Troy.

In 546 BC, Parion became a Greek city under Persian rule, and later in 334 BC, it fell under the sovereignty of Alexander the Great after he invaded Asia Minor. The city’s theatre, odeion, and baths are solid evidence of its historical significance during this period.

Starting in the 5th century AD, Parion became a city inhabited by Christians and an important Bishopric center during the Byzantine period due to the presence of various priests who were sent there. Notably, during the reign of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos (911-959 AD), the city became the Archbishopric Center, marking an important period for Christianity in Parion.

Parion, an ancient city located in Kemer, Biga District of Çanakkale Province, has undergone archaeological surveys, excavation, and restoration led by different teams of experts. Professor Dr. Cevat Başaran’s team conducted excavations in 1997, 1999, and 2002, while Professor Dr. Vedat Keleş from the Archeology Department of the Ondokuz Mayıs University has been leading the efforts since 2015.

Archaeological work in Parion started with systematic excavations in 2005, directed by Professor Dr. Cevat Başaran. However, Professor Dr. Vedat Keleş has been leading the excavations since 2015. These excavations have provided insight into the social life and public realm of the ancient city. As the excavations continue, archaeologists are discovering new mounds and cultural artifacts, contributing to our understanding of this historic site.

Bozcaada & Gokceada

Bozcaada, formerly known as Tenedos, is a serene island located just 4 nautical miles off the mainland. Its ancient architecture can be seen in the design of its charming houses and streets. The deep blue sea that surrounds the island provides a tranquil atmosphere, while the hills, perfumed with thyme, offer a delightful sensory experience during a leisurely stroll or a drive. The vineyards located nearby produce delicious wines.

Bozcaada is a striking island that can be visited in any season. It is an ideal place to watch the sunset from Polentos Lantern, located at its westernmost point, to go hiking or cycling along its relatively smooth roads, to kite-surf at Çayır Beach (Çayır Plajı), or to explore the underwater world in its bays.

This traditional fishing village boasts narrow, winding streets and brightly painted houses that climb up hillsides like stairs. Bozcaada is covered in pine forests and lush green fields that provide ample food for its inhabitants, who have been living off the land for over two thousand years. Throughout history, Turkey has been home to many different cultures, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, which have all left their mark on the country through the buildings that stand as a testament to these past times.


Gökçeada, the largest island in Turkey, can be reached by ferry from Kabatepe port. Imroz, as the island is also known, is located at the westernmost point of Turkey’s North Aegean coast and has a significant place in Turkish history and culture.

The island boasts a diverse ecosystem with rich flora and fauna, as well as abundant water resources. Olive cultivation has been a longstanding tradition on Gökçeada, with some olive trees dating back 300-400 years, ensuring a sustainable future for the island’s vegetation.

Gökçeada is renowned for having some of the cleanest beaches in Turkey, and its windy climate and unique geographic structure make it an excellent destination for surfing. In fact, it was previously recognized by international travel bureaus as one of the best surf centers not just in Turkey, but in the world.

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