The Gallipoli battlefields consist of three main sectors : Suvla, Anzac and Helles. To get a good general overview of the campaign one should allow half a day for each, possibly a full day for Anzac and again a full day for Helles.
Every battlefield-enthusiast however will tell you that the only way to get the 'real experience' is walk the battlefields. So if possible, allow a day (or two) for hiking places such as Plugge's Plateau, the New Zealand trail from Chunuk Bair to the outposts, the Kirectepe Ridge and/or Gully Ravine. Not only are these hikes of historical value but they also offer beautiful scenery and with a bit of luck a glimpse at the local wildlife.
Many of our guests from down-under do not have so much time available and therefore limit their visit to the Anzac sector. That, however, does not mean you shouldn't have a meaningful and memorable experience. Read more at "the anzac sector".
If you are planning to visit all of the three major battlefields you will need your own wheels. Public transport is in its infancy and consists of a few minibus services which are limited to a few runs per day only and once you arrive you will still have to do a good deal of walking to get to the battlefields.
Therefore a rental car is the best way to tour the Gallipoli peninsula. It gives you total freedom and nearly all places in the Gallipoli National Park can be reached by regular car from May till October. Note that some of the roads to remote locations may be a bit bumpy and put some strain on your vehicle. In early spring and late autumn access to these areas is limited as the tracks become difficult (impossible even) to handle without a 4WD vehicle, fitted with suitable MT tires. If wanted a professional guide can accompany you (on one or more days) in your car. Two outstanding guides are available : Bulent (Bill) Korkmaz (recommended by Lonely Planet) and Kenan Celik (recommended by the Rough Guide).
A chartered vehicle is the second alternative. For those who prefer more organised trips, a chauffeur driven vehicle with/without local guide (note that English speaking drivers are a rarity) booked through a reliable travel agency (Istanbul or local) is probably the best but a more expensive solution. If you are planning to include some serious walking, a chartered vehicle has the advantage that you can be dropped off in one spot and picked up in another, to avoid a circular walk.
Another alternative is a taxi; they are available for transfers and daily tours. Note however that they are more expensive than city cabs as they operate on a "rural" fare structure, probably double the rate of the urban taxis. It is possible to work out a fixed fee with the driver. For those wanting to walk the battlefields, a drop-off in the morning and pick-up in the afternoon from any point on the battlefields can be organised and is cheaper than a full day rental of the taxi.
A word of advice for those who plan to do some walking. Come prepared, it's rough country. Good walking boots, long pants, a sun hat, and lots of water are a must! Due to the rough terrain and remoteness of some of the positions it is advisable not to go on your own.
The battlefields are walkable but you still need a transfer to the starting point and a transfer back at the end of the day. Anzac is the most compact of the three and can be covered in one day. Helles is more spread out and can be covered in two to three days. It is not advisable to go to Suvla without some sort of transportation as this area is not only remote but points of interest are spread out. Note however that the high temperature from mid-June to early September puts an extra strain on the effort.
... Barbara and I very much enjoyed our recent stay at the Gallipoli Houses. We would also like to thank you for your help and advice on visiting the various Memorials at Gallipoli and for your research on the involvement of the Auckland Mounted Rifles at Chunuk Bair ...
Colin Le Quesne
New Zealand - October 2009
... I was grateful for the help you kindly gave me in following in the steps of my Great Uncle, general Sir Charles Trotman, RMLI. Your help, advice and huge knowledge helped me enormously.
United Kingdom - May 2011