Aeneas Cultural Route
Following the narrative of the legendary Aeneas, the Aeneas Route is an archaeological route extending across five European and Mediterranean countries, starting from Türkiye’s northwest Aegean coast, and concluding in Latium, Italy. Registered as a Cultural Route by the Council of Europe, the Aeneas Route is the only one to originate in Türkiye.
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, sailing to the Latium coast in Italy via the modern-day countries of Greece, Albania and Tunisia in ships built with timbers sourced from Mount Ida (Kaz Dağları), in the ancient city of Edremit Antandros. After reaching Italy, Aeneas established the city of Lavinium and his descendants, Romulus, and Remus, founded Rome.
The Aeneas Route begins at the archaeological sites of Troy and Antandros, in Türkiye, and ends in Rome (Italy), combining rural landscapes with natural and archaeological sites, seven of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
As described in Homer’s Iliad, the ancient city of Troy was the setting for the Trojan War. This historic site is in Çanakkale, a city built along the Dardanelle Straits, where diving, hiking, and cycling amid beautiful nature complement cultural and gastronomic values. The second stop on the Aeneas Route is the Ancient City of Antandros, where a mythological beauty contest ignited the Trojan War and where Aeneas built his ships. Balıkesir, where Antandros is located, is also an important destination featuring natural, gastronomic, and cultural assets. Further along the Aeneas Route is Ainos, established at the confluence of the Meriç River and the Saros Gulf. Located in modern-day Edirne, Ainos has settlements dating to antiquity. Edirne, once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is another essential destination that offers activities such as diving, paragliding, and trekking, as well as historic structures and aristocratic dishes from the palace cuisine.
The Aeneas Route starts in Türkiye. Passing through the provinces of Çanakkale, Balıkesir and Edirne, the Route then connects Albania, Greece, Tunisia, and Italy.