Normally snorkelling would be a thrilling activity in any part of the world. To get the opportunity to observe underwater life, the flora and fauna, with minimal effort required is invigorating in itself. But what if apart from the natural beauty you get the chance to see ancient and historic remains of an important era, reminiscent of a significant war between nations? Wouldn’t it double the adventure of going underwater?
Well in Gallipoli there are tours organised specially for the purpose of seeing an underwater steamer. For those who do not know, Gallipoli was the location of an important battleground between the army of the Ottoman Empire and the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. Since then this place has become a rallying point for people around the world commemorating the loss of life in wars. The steamer is called Milo. And it is the remains of this that you may snorkel over if you get the chance to go snorkelling in Gallipoli.
This steamer was purposefully sunk to act as breakwater for the Williams’ Pier to survive the storms so that it would be useful in landing and embarking in spite of the rough weather at that time. Well you can go for snorkelling in Gallipoli as part of an overall tour of this place, which includes visits to the ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly where you can witness the trenches and tunnels dug as part of the war strategy by both the Allied and Turk forces, and the Ariburnu Cemetery where those who died in the war as well as some of the civilian labourers are buried. There are other landmarks of importance, like the stone monolith inscribed with the words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, delivered in 1934 to honor the dead when people from Australia, New Zealand and Britain came to visit the battlegrounds in 1934.
There are several options available if you want to travel in this region to absorb the events leading up to an eventful time in history. A 2 day tour from Istanbul ending at Selcuk or vice versa costs about €145 per person. The overnight stay is at Eceabat. The first day is spent in a fully guided tour of the places aforementioned to add to your information and many others like the ANZAC Commemorative Site and the Mehmetcik statue, while the next day is spent snorkelling in the peninsula. As the steamer is about 75 meters away from the shore your fitness will have to be determined first.
The entrance fee and lunch is included in the overall fee, which is a fair deal considering the fuel price and the like. You also get to have some free time to spend at your own whim exploring the neighboring area. Alaturka also do package deals for those that book Gallipoli, Milo snorkelling and cabin cruises. The more you book the bigger the discount!
So if you plan to visit this region make sure you get the chance to snorkel in the cozy waters amid the lush view while also getting a taste of history.