The province of Çanakkale lies in the northwest of Turkey on both sides of the Dardanelles (the ancient Hellespont), a strait which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. Its shores touch both Europe and Asia.
Çanakkale is the name of both the city and the province which includes the legendary citadel of Troy,the ruins of Assos where the famous Temple of Athena was built, and the battlefields of Gallipoli.Archaeologists say there are up to 200 ancient sites in this region, many still unexcavated, so it is possible you may be wandering among ruins thousands of years old without even knowing it! There are also many Ottoman structures still standing; castles, bridges, mosques, mansions and Turkish baths. In the villages and towns, centuries-old crafts, cooking and styles of dress can still be seen.
Although you will occassionally feel as if you have stepped back in history, Çanakkale has firmly embraced the first century of the new millenium when it comes to the essentials of living and you will have no difficulty finding an internet cafe, fax facilities, cornflakes, cashpoints and the rest. According to the stastistics, half of all families in the city of Canakkale own a car, about half use a mobile phone and there is one of the lowest crime rates in Turkey.
Those of you who are enraptured by history will find plenty to slake your thirst in the area. There are also lots of uncrowded corners where you can paddle along the shore, stretch out on the sand, scuba dive or just park yourself in the shade, sip something exotic and gaze out at the sea hoping for a glimpse of some playful dolphins.
In the Gulf of Edremit, the air is claimed to have one of the highest concentrations of oxygen in the world. Around the province there are thermal spas in small towns where a variety of ailments are treated. Geologists may have a field day studying these and other mineral springs where both hot and cold water gush from the ground. Bears are very rare nowadays, but small game and wild boars are plentiful in the countryside. Here, the rich variety of insect life, plants, mosses and lichens would keep a botanist busy for a lifetime.
When night falls, most of the socialising takes place on or near the seafront, where there are cafes, bars, tea gardens and discos to suit everyone’s taste. In short, the city and province of Çanakkale present a spectrum of pleasures, beliefs, larger-than-life characters, customs and undiscovered history awaiting exploration by the inquisitive mind or advent