This traditional swim race, which crosses the Hellespont, takes place on the 30th August annually. This swim commemorates the final victory for the Turks in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922 against the Greeks.
Held since 1986, this event draws swimmers from around Turkey and overseas. It has a flavour and colour all of its own and is a mainstay in the Turkish open water swimming calendar. Agreement has been reached with the Turkish Authorities to close the Straits to all boat traffic (except safety boats) during the swim, allowing this historic event to take place. The swim starts on the European shore and swimmers will head to the town of Çanakkale on the Asian side, our base for the event.
In addition, there is an opportunity for a swim coaching session prior to the swim with one of our experienced open water coaches. Along with a post race dinner and optional tours to Gallipoli & Troy, this is an excellent opportunity to swim this historic crossing.
The Trip will feature the following:
- Race entry into the Hellespont swim.
- A complimentary coaching session with SwimTrek’s own experienced open water swimming coaches.
- An escorted acclimatisation swim in the Hellespont the day before the event.
- A pre-race briefing and dinner on the day before the crossing.
- Complimentary Trip dinner to commemorate the swim.
The swim starts from the ancient town of Eceabat on the European side of the straits and finishes at the naval fort in Çanakkale. There will be plenty of support boats to provide safety cover during your swim.
The event is a race and prizes will be awarded for podium finishes in various age categories. However, we understand that for the significant majority of entrants, the sheer joy of completing the swim is the over riding factor in choosing to do this.
The strait is closed to all marine traffic (except safety boats) for 1½ hours. This allows plenty of time for the vast majority of swimmers to get across. Remember that Byron completed his crossing in approximately 1 hour 10 minutes and he swam breast stroke.
Further detailed information on the Byron Hellespont Bicentenary Swim can be found in the detailed Trip Notes.