Inspired by the Hero of Troy, ‘Aeneas’…

The legend of Aeneas inspires the Aeneas Culture Route as it was narrated by the Latin poet Virgil.  Virgil’s Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas, the noble son of a Trojan prince and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. According to legend, Aeneas fled the ravaged city of Troy with his father and son and went on a long journey through civilisations, cultures and landscapes to build a “new Troy”. Aeneas travelled to the ancient city of Edremit Antandros, where he built ships using timber from Mount Ida (Kaz Dağları). Aeneas boarded these ships with the other survivors and set sail to create a new Troy.  The hero's journey began on the coasts of Thrace, continued through Greece, Albania, and Tunisia, and ended in Italy. Then, by establishing the foundations of Roman civilisation on Italian land, he marked one of the most significant shifts in history. Legendary “father” of Roman civilisation and a timeless source of inspiration for the artistic and cultural creation of Europeanness through the centuries, the Trojan hero Aeneas remains a symbol of European identity.

The route covers five countries and 21 stops.

The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme was launched in 1987 to demonstrate, using a journey through space and time, how heritage from different countries of Europe contributes to a shared cultural heritage. The Aeneas Culture Route, along which the mythological hero also experienced a challenging journey, is currently one of more than 50 routes. Today, the route goes through 21 ports in 5 European and Mediterranean countries. The route, which starts on Türkiye’s shores of the North-West Aegean Sea and extends to Italy's Latium coast, includes six UNESCO heritage sites: Troy, Butrint, Delos, Etna Volcano, Carthage, and Cilento - Vallo di Diano. It also has three national parks: Ida Mountains, Butrint National Park and Cilento - Vallo di Diano National Park.

From Türkiye, Troy, Antandros, and Ainos are on the route.

The Aeneas Route starts in Türkiye, passing through the provinces of Çanakkale, Balıkesir and Edirne; it connects Albania, Greece, Tunisia, and Italy. The route begins in the Ancient City of Troy, where the Trojan War is said to have occurred. The Antandros Ancient City near Balıkesir is the second stop, where Aeneas built his ships. The ancient city of Ainos, where Aeneas landed on the shores of Thrace and began to build the new Troy, is also on the route. Today's town is in Edirne, at the Meriç River and Saros Gulf meeting point.

 Troy: A journey to where it all began

The Aeneas Route has a lot to offer travellers interested in history, archaeology, and mythology. Stepping on Troy, the route's starting point in Türkiye, you can experience the fantastic geography. Troy's archaeological ruins take visitors on a fascinating journey through the history of civilisations destroyed and rebuilt in the exact location. With the declaration of 2018 as the ‘Year of Troy’ and the ‘opening of the Troy Museum’ at the city's entrance, Çanakkale has been transformed into a cultural and artistic hub, thanks to the city's unique riches from the ancient city of Troy. Don't forget to visit the Troy Museum, where the city's unique artwork is on display, after exploring numerous findings from the Ancient City of Troy, such as the theatre and baths, to learn more about the mystery of Troy!