About 3km north of Eceabat, the road to Kabatepe heads west into the park.
Çanakkale Epic Promotion Centre
If visiting Gallipoli independently, it's a good idea to start your tour at the Çanakkale Epic Promotion Centre, roughly 1km east of the village of Kabatepe. It comprises a two-floor museum and 11 gallery rooms in which high-tech 3D simulation equipment takes the viewer on a historical journey through the Gallipoli naval and land campaigns, taking a predominantly Turkish point of view. Individual headsets allow visitors to choose their presentation language. Note that the simulations are extremely loud, and are not suitable for young children. Bookings advisable.
The small harbour here was probably the object of the Allied landing on 25 April 1915. In the predawn dark it is possible that uncharted currents swept the Allies' landing craft northwards to the steep cliffs of Arıburnu – a bit of bad luck that may have sealed the campaign's fate from the start. Today there's little in Kabatepe except for a camping ground, a cafe and a dock for ferries to Gökçeada island. Just north of the promontory is the stretch of sand known as Brighton Beach, a favourite swimming spot for Anzac troops during the campaign. Today, it's the only officially sanctioned swimming spot on the peninsula.
A short drive north along the coastal road from Brighton Beach takes you to Beach (Hell Spit) Cemetery. Before it, a rough track cuts inland to Lone Pine (1.5km) and, across the road from the car park at the cemetery, another track heads inland to Shrapnel Valley Cemetery and Plugge's Plateau Cemetery.
Following the road for another 400m from the turn-off, or taking the footpath from Beach Cemetery past the WWII bunker, brings you to Anzac Cove. This now extremely narrow stretch of sand beneath and just south of the Arıburnu cliffs was where the ill-fated Allied landing began on 25 April 1915. Ordered to advance inland, the Allied forces at first gained some ground but later in the day met with fierce resistance from the Ottoman forces under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, who had foreseen where they would land and disobeyed an order to send his troops further south to Cape Helles.
In August of the same year a major offensive was staged in an attempt to advance beyond the beach up to the ridges of Chunuk Bair and Sarı Bair (Yellow Slope). It resulted in the battles at Lone Pine and the Nek, the bloodiest of the campaign, but little progress was made.
Another 300m along is the Arıburnu Sahil Anıtı, a moving Turkish monument inscribed with Atatürk's famous words of peace and reconciliation, spoken in 1934:
'To us there is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets…You, the mothers, who sent your sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom…After having lost their lives in this land, they have become our sons as well.'
The monument was largely dismantled in 2017, but authorities maintained this was for restoration works and that it would be reinstated in its original form.
Just beyond the memorial is Arıburnu Cemetery and, 750m further north, Canterbury Cemetery. Between them is the Anzac Commemorative Site at North Beach, where dawn services are held on Anzac Day (25 April). This is where the much-photographed Anzac monument is located. From it, look up towards the cliffs and you can easily make out the image in the sandy cliff face nicknamed 'the Sphinx' by young diggers (Aussie infantrymen) who had arrived from Australia via Egypt.
Less than 1km further along the seaside road on the right-hand side are the cemeteries at No 2 Outpost, set back inland from the road, and New Zealand No 2 Outpost. The Embarkation Pier Cemetery is 200m beyond the New Zealand No 2 Outpost on the left.
Towards Lone Pine
Returning to the Çanakkale Epic Promotion Centre, around 1km east of Kabatepe, you should then follow the signs to Lone Pine, 3.5km uphill.
En route, the first monument you'll come to is Mehmetçiğe Derin Saygı Anıtı, on the right-hand side of the road about 1km from the junction. It's dedicated to 'Mehmetçik' (Little Mehmet, the Turkish 'tommy' or 'digger'), who carried a Kiwi soldier to safety.
Another 1200m brings you to the Kanlısırt Kitabesi, a memorial that describes the battle of Lone Pine from the Turkish viewpoint.
Lone Pine, 400m uphill from Kanlısırt Kitabesi, is perhaps the most moving of all the Anzac cemeteries. Australian forces captured the Turkish positions here on the afternoon of 6 August 1915. During the battle, which was staged in an area the size of a soccer field, more than 4000 men died and thousands more were injured. The trees that once shaded the cemetery were swept away by a forest fire in 1994, leaving only one: a lone pine planted from the seed of the original solitary tree, that stood here at the beginning of the battle and gave the battlefield its name.
Explore the tombstones, which carry touching epitaphs. The cemetery includes the grave of the youngest soldier to die here, a boy of just 14. You can view the remains of trenches just behind the parking area.
From here, it's another 3km up the one-way road to the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair.
Johnston's Jolly to Quinn's Post
Progressing up the hill from Lone Pine, the ferocity of the battles becomes more apparent; at some points the trenches are only a few metres apart. The order to attack meant certain death to those who followed it, and virtually all did as they were ordered on both sides.
The road marks what was the thin strip of no-man's land between the two sides' trenches, as it continues to the cemeteries Johnston's Jolly, 200m on the right beyond Lone Pine, Courtney's & Steele's Post, roughly the same distance again, and Quinn's Post, 100m uphill.
57 Alay & Kesikdere Cemeteries
One kilometre uphill from Lone Pine is the cemetery and monument for the Ottoman 57th Regiment, which was led by Mustafa Kemal and almost completely wiped out on 25 April while halting the Anzac attempt to advance to the high ground of Chunuk Bair.
The statue of an old man showing his granddaughter the battle sites represents Hüseyin Kaçmaz, who fought in the Balkan Wars, the Gallipoli campaign and at the fateful Battle of Dumlupınar during the War of Independence. He died in 1994 aged 111, the last surviving Turkish Gallipoli veteran.
Down some steps from here, the Kesikdere Cemetery contains the remains of another 1115 Turkish soldiers from the 57th and other regiments.
Sergeant Mehmet Monument & The Nek
About 100m uphill past the 57th Alay Cemetery, a road goes west to the Sergeant Mehmet Monument, dedicated to the Turkish sergeant who fought with rocks and his fists after he ran out of ammunition, and the Nek. It was at the Nek on the morning of 7 August 1915 that the 8th (Victorian) and 10th (Western Australian) Regiments of the third Light Horse Brigade vaulted out of their trenches into withering fire and were cut down before they reached the enemy line, an episode immortalised in Peter Weir's 1981 film Gallipoli.
Baby 700 Cemetery & Mesudiye Topu
Düztepe & Talat Göktepe Monuments
The Düztepe Monument, uphill from the Baby 700 Cemetery, marks the spot where the Ottoman 10th Regiment held the line. Views of the Dardanelles and the surrounding countryside are superb. About 1km further on is a monument to a more recent casualty of Gallipoli: Talat Göktepe, chief director of the Çanakkale Forestry District, who died fighting the devastating forest fire of 1994.
Chunuk Bair & Around
At the top of the hill, some 500m past the Talat Göktepe Monument, a right turn at the T-junction takes you east to the Suyataği Anıtı. Having stayed awake for four days and nights, Mustafa Kemal spent the night of 9 August here, directing part of the counterattack to the Allied offensive.
Back at the T-junction, turn left for Chunuk Bair (known as Conk Bayiri in Turkish), the first objective of the Allied landing in April 1915, and now the site of the Chunuk Bair New Zealand Cemetery & Memorial and the Conkbayırı Atatürk Anıtı, a huge statue of the Turkish hero.
As the Anzac troops made their way up the scrub-covered slopes on 25 April, Mustafa Kemal brought up the 57th Infantry Regiment and gave them his famous order: 'I am not ordering you to attack, I am ordering you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders will arrive to take our places'.
Chunuk Bair was also at the heart of the struggle for the peninsula from 6 to 10 August 1915, when some 16,000 men died on this ridge. The Allied attack from 6 to 7 August, which included the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade and a Maori contingent, was deadly, but the attack on the following day was of a ferocity which, according to Mustafa Kemal, 'could scarcely be described'.
From Kabatepe it's about 12km to the village of Alçıtepe, formerly known as Krithia. A few metres north of the village's main intersection is the Salim Mutlu War Museum, a hodgepodge of rusty finds from the battlefields, giving a sense of just how much artillery was fired. At the main intersection, a sign points right to the Turkish Sargı Yeri Cemetery, approximately 1.5km away, with its enormous statue of 'Mehmet' and solid Nuri Yamut Monument. Take the first left for the Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, 2km away, and the Pink Farm Cemetery, 3km away.
From Pink Farm, the road passes the Lancashire Landing Cemetery. Turn right 1km before Seddülbahir village for the Cape Helles British Memorial, a commanding stone obelisk honouring the 20,000-plus Britons and Australians who perished in this area and have no known graves. The initial Allied attack was two-pronged: in addition to the landing at Anzac Cove in the north, there was a landing on 'V' Beach at the tip of the peninsula. Yahya Çavuş Şehitliği remembers the Turkish officer who led the resistance to the Allied landing here, and who caused heavy casualties. 'V' Beach Cemetery is visible 500m downhill.
North of Seddülbahir, the road divides; the left fork leads to the Skew Bridge Cemetery, followed by the Redoubt Cemetery. Turn right and head east, following signs for Abide or Çanakkale Şehitleri Anıtı at Morto Bay, and you'll pass the French War Memorial & Cemetery. French troops, including a regiment of Africans, attacked Kumkale on the Asian shore in March 1915 with complete success, then re-embarked and landed in support of their British comrades-in-arms at Cape Helles, where they were virtually wiped out. The rarely visited French cemetery is extremely moving, with rows of metal crosses and five white-concrete ossuaries each containing the bones of 3000 soldiers.
The Çanakkale Şehitleri Anıtı, also known as the Abide (Monument), is a gigantic stone structure that commemorates all the Turkish soldiers who fought and died at Gallipoli.