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5 Turkey holiday ideas for Anzac Day

Published April 25th, 2016

Anzac Day is a time to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service. To commemorate the Anzacs, more and more Australians are making the pilgrimage to Turkey on April 25, the day allied troops landed in Gallipoli back in 1915. From where to go on Anzac Day to what else to do while you’re in this amazing country, here are five holiday ideas for your trip to Turkey.


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1. Anzac Day at Gallipoli

If you’re planning on being in Turkey on 25 April, make the pilgrimage and join thousands of fellow Australians at the emotional Dawn Service at North Beach. Here the rendition of the Last Post will resonate with you louder than ever before – but you have to book quick as spaces are limited. Tours last between four to eight days and cover basics like accommodation, transport and entries to busy war memorial and trenches around Anzac Cove.

2. Troy

St Paul to Julius Caesar plus Byzantine Christians, Romans and Ottoman sultans – Turkey’s history is ambitious. From the coast to the mountains there’s always a helpful local to tell you a tale over an Efes beer or coffee. Perhaps no tale is more impressive than that of Troy. Not too far from Gallipoli, on the other side of the peninsula and south of narrow strait Dardanelles, you will find the 3,000-year-old ruins of Troy, widely believed to be the home of the Trojan War and the Spartans.


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3. Istanbul

Most Istanbul travel stories start off with something like ‘East meets West’ and ‘old meets new’ (guilty!), but being connected to Asia on one side and Europe on the other is part of this 2,500-year-old city’s unique charm. Get in a game of two-up with friendly locals on April 25. Shop through ancient labyrinth market place Grand Bazaar, stuff your face with spices and Turkish delights at the spice markets, ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at historical gems like the Blue Mosque and hit the streets to see what new wave Istanbul is all about.


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4. Sailing

You’re going to sun, sea and a bucket of charm-love Bodrum and its neighbouring islands on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. It’s quite a trek from Gallipoli, but worth it complete with its southern-France vibe and hidden treasures. Don’t soak up too many summer fun times on its paradisiacal beaches and nightly indulgences before boarding your traditional Turkish gulet for a sailing adventure. You’ve got mud baths, sea turtles, Cleopatra Island and Byzantine ruins ahead of you.

5. Pamukkale

If the water was good enough for Aphrodite, it’s sure as heck good enough for me. Head west near the ancient city of Aphrodisias (named after the goddess of love) and take a dip in some mineral-rich thermal waters. It’s not just the natural spa goodness that sucks you in like a seductive temptress – it’s the sheer beauty of the place. A great accident of nature, Pamukkale’s scalloped white terraces filled with aqua water and cascading over cliffs are a sight to behold.


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Jolee Wakefield

A seasoned backpacker and travel writer, Jolee has spent the past decade wandering the globe in pursuit of good vibes, unusual conversations and unforgettable adventures like cave diving in Mexico, mountain climbing in Borneo and learning (failing at) local dances in the Pacific nation of Kiribati.