The city of Canakkale lies at the narrow, 1200-meter entrance to the Canakkale Strait that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean. Passenger and car ferries run daily between Canakkale, on the Asian side, and Eceabat and Kilitbahir, on the European side. Yachts navigating the straits stop at the wellequipped Canakkale Marina to allow tourists more time in the area. Hotels, restaurants and cafes along the promenade offer a place to en joy the comings and goings of the harbour, and views 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 of 1915, one of the most celebrated of World War I.
To honor the 500,000 soldiers who lost their lives at Gelibolu (Gallipoli ), the peninsula was made into a national park. It includes memorial monuments, the Ariburnu Cliffs and Tuz 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.
Homer immortalized Truva (Troia) in the stories of King Priam, 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 theater. A symbolic wooden Trojan horse commemorates the legendary war.
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 Igdelik.
The largest of the Turkish islands, Gokceada, 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 ferryboats make the trip from Canakkale and Kabatepe. In August, islanders and tourists gather for colorful local fairs. In Bayramic, 60 km from Canakkale, is the 18th-century Hadimogullam Mansion, ( Ottoman House).