Canakkale is the main city of the province of the same name situated on both sides of the Dardanelles and with its shores touching both Europe and Asia Minor. The city has been strategically significant for millennia as a crossover point of migrants, traders and armies. Today, colourful yachts pass through the strait and stop at Canakkale to visit this historically rich area, home to many widely known legends.
During its turbulent history it saw the Persian king Xerxes make the crossing in 481 BC, Alexander the Great followed about 150 years later and the Ottoman armies invaded Europe from here. But the two most important battles were the mythological war of Troy, immortalized by Homer in his Iliad, and during World War I when Turkish troops under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk defended the region against enemy forces. To honour the 500,000 soldiers who gave their lives at Gallipoli, the peninsula has been made a national park of remembrance.
Visitors to Canakkale come to see the modern Trojan horse that has been erected at the site of Troy as the symbol of the fabled war and to view the nearby battlefields and war memorials of Gallipoli.
Going Ashore in Canakkale
The ship is scheduled to dock at Canakkale Kepez Pier. The centre of town is approximately 3 miles (5 km) from the ships berth. Taxis are generally available at the pier entrance.
Traditional crafts, such as ceramic pots and as well as wines produced in the Bozcaada and Gokceada regions are a suggested purchase. The market is located in the adjoining streets behind the clock tower.
Not particularly known for haute cuisine, Canakkale's best eateries are located in area hotels. A most enjoyable and inexpensive meal may be taken along the waterfront close to the ferry docks. A regional favourite is "pideci" a flat bread topped with whole eggs, cheese and ground lamb, dabbed with butter and baked.
The town tourist office is located across from the clock tower near the ferry docks.
In the broad main street at the centre of town is a monument constructed of WWI cannons and commemorates a battle fought on March 18, 1915.
The Military & Naval Museum is located at the southern end of the waterfront. Within is a mock-up of the old minelayer Nusrat and memorabilia of the battle of Gallipoli.
Located on the road to Troy, the museum houses chronologically arranged exhibits of fossils and implements of Troy and Dardanos.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Shore Concierge Office on board.