Executive Excellence (EE) is proud to present a travel experience retracing some of Australia’s major WWI battlefields. The tour takes in Gallipoli and the battlefields of The Western Front in France & Belgium. There is also sight seeing in Istanbul and historical townships along the way. The tour’s expert commentator is Patrick Lindsay, one of Australia’s leading non-fiction authors, having written 15 best-sellers including The Spirit of Kokoda, The Spirit of The Digger, Cosgrove – Portrait of a Leader, The Spirit of Gallipoli, Fromelles, Kokoda Spirit and The Coast Watchers. Patrick will help you explore the rich history of the Australian Digger’s involvement in “the war to end all wars”, where the Anzac legend was born. He will set the scene for the conflict, bring to life some of the heroes and the villains and walk with you on the sacred ground which witnessed the tragedies and the glories. We will visit the places which helped form our nation’s heritage, including the major sites on the Gallipoli Peninsular in Turkey and at Fromelles in France, where the Australians suffered what is still today, the darkest day in our history. We’ll also visit Peronne, Hamel, Poziers and Mont St Quentin – considered by many as Australia’s greatest battle victory. Whether you are young or old, whether you have ancestors who fought in The Great War or whether you are just interested in the history, this is a trip of a lifetime! We have carefully blended the itinerary to give a ‘snap-shot’ of Australia’s military action in Gallipoli & The Western Front, focussing on our major WWI battles, while ensuring ample time to enjoy the incomparable delights of Instanbul and many other places of interest!
See our EE calendar to view dates of upcoming treks.
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Price & Inclusions
Price on application – ex Brisbane *Flight upgrades and single supplement available.
Price will depend on numbers.
||Arrive in Istanbul in the morning. You are met at the airport and taken to your hotel. Today is relaxed given your long flight. It consists of a trip up the Bospherous by ferry and lunch at Andaolukvai village near the Black Sea. In the evening we enjoy a group meal where you can meet everyone and discuss the following days in detail.
||Discover Istanbul – After breakfast, we are taken to many of the “must see” places which Istanbul has to offer. These include some of the Byzantine remains – Chora Church, St Sophia, The Tekfur Palace, parts of the Old City and the Underground Cistern. You’ll also spend time at The Grand Bazaar to trawl for bargains! Lunch will be provided on the way. Dinner is at a traditional Turkish restaurant near the famous Taksim Square.
||Discover Istanbul – We set off after breakfast for famous sites from the Ottoman Empire including the spectacular Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniye Mosque and Dolmabahce Palace. Prior to lunch we’ll visit a local family-owned sweet shop (which claims to offer Turkey’s best Baklava!) After lunch, we visit the wonderful spice markets and surroundings before heading back to the hotel. Dinner is at a beautiful seafood grill restaurant.
||After breakfast, we meet at the hotel foyer for our group transfer to the Gallipoli Peninsular by air-conditioned mini bus. Lunch is provided along the way. After a short visit to Eceabat and other places of interest on the European side of the country, we take the ferry across the Dardanelles to the lovely city of Canakkale on the Asian side. On arrival at the hotel Akol you will be hosted to drinks on the balcony overlooking the Dardanelles prior to a sumptuous group dinner at a local restaurant.
||After an early breakfast, today we will explore where the Australians spent their 8-month campaign. We’ll visit ANZAC Cove where the landings took place, and the iconic battlefields – Lone Pine and the nearby trenches, The Nek, Shrapnel Gully and the famous associated memorials. We’ll also visit the very moving Turkish memorial. Lunch is included. We’ll dine at Canakkale on our return.
||Today is a spectacular adventure as we head south and explore the fabled city of Troy – the centre of the Trojan Wars. Then on to Assos where we’ll have an unforgettable sea-side lunch. After lunch we’ll visit the surrounding areas, including the Roman Amphitheatre, the Temple of Athena and the Acropolis before heading back to Canakkale for dinner.
||After breakfast and a leisurely hour or so in Canakkale, we take a mini bus back to Istanbul. Lunch is in the quaint city of Tekirdag before heading to the airport where we fly to Paris CDG. Arriving in Paris in the evening, we transfer to our hotel near the airport to rest for the next morning’s trip to the Somme battlefields.
||We set off after breakfast for a full day. First stop is Villers Bretonneux – a small village liberated by the Australians in 1918. We’ll visit the Australian Memorial, Victoria School and its ANZAC Museum – the school was named in honour of the Victorian school children who raised money for its rebuilding after the war. On then to the nearby National Australian Memorial, site of the main Western Front Anzac Day Dawn Service. After this, we head to the Corbie battlefield and a traditional French pub lunch before moving on to Hamel, where Australia’s Sir John Monash conducted his famous “near perfect battle” (which he planned would take 40 minutes but in fact took 43!). Prior to dinner on the Canal in Amiens we check-in at the Hotel Mercure where we’ll spend the next two nights.
||After breakfast we head to the township of Peronne and Mont St. Quentin where you’ll visit the Australian 2nd Division Memorial and see the remarkable battlefield landscape with craters still left from the war. Then we head to the nearby WWI History Museum before having a traditional lunch. We visit Pozieres and the Australian First Division’s memorial, the Mouquet Farm Memorial – site of the Old Windmill – before heading off to visit to the inspirational Theipval Memorial, Cemetery and Museum. After this we visit the Slouch Hat Memorial and the Peter Corlett Bronze statue at Bullecourt which stands on part of what was the Hindenburg Line. Time permitting, we head through Albert on the way home before having dining in Amiens.
||After a hearty breakfast, we check out of the hotel and set off north towards Fromelles. First stop is a visit to the newly created Pheasant Wood Cemetery, where the recently exhumed Missing Diggers of Fromelles now rest. We’ll visit the wonderful museum above the town’s Marie (Mayor’s office) and then we’ll walk the battlefields, unchanged since the battle on 19 July 1916. On to VC Corner to see the famous Cobbers Memorial and pay our tribute to the almost 2000 Australians who died in a single night in the battle of Fromelles. Lunch and other local sites of significances, like Hitler’s WWI bunker nearby, are along the way, as is a delightful afternoon tea stop in the beautiful old town square of Lille. We overnight at hotel Novatel Ypres where we stay for two nights.
||Today we visit the Belgian battlefields with Australian significance. We drive to the Polygon Wood Cemetery, the Australian 5th Division Memorial, the Buttes British Cemetery and a walk through the woods to see the German pillboxes. Lunch is nearby before heading to Hill 60 (featured in the recent Australian movie) where the Australian Tunnelling Company blew up what was a German stronghold. After this we head to the Tyne Cot Exhibition and Cemetery, the largest of The Western Front. In the afternoon we head back to Ypres where we’ll explore the Flanders Museum in the Cloth Hall and the market square prior to dinner in town. Then we will visit the Menin Gates for the chillingly-moving 8.00pm Last Post ceremony, which the local fire brigade has commemorated every night since the 1918 Armistice.
||After breakfast we head back to Paris in air-conditioned comfort. Our trip ends around mid-afternoon at arrival in Paris at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
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