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The Sultans Trail is a long-distance footpath from Vienna to Istanbul. It is 2,200 kilometres (1,400 mi) long. The path passes through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, East Macedonia and Thrace in northern Greece, and Turkey.
Sultans Trail [sic] (recte Sultan's) takes its name from sultan Süleyman Kanuni, Suleiman the Magnificent, of the Ottoman Empire who led Ottoman armies to conquer Belgrade and most of Hungary before his invasion was checked at the Siege of Vienna. The main path follows the route of sultan Suleiman the Magnificent on his way to Vienna. He started on 10 May 1529 from Istanbul and arrived 23 September 1529 in Vienna (141 days). It was to be the Ottoman Empire's most ambitious expedition to the west, but the Austrian garrison inflicted upon Suleiman his first defeat. A second attempt to conquer Vienna failed in 1532. In 1566, at the age of 60, the sultan led his army for the last time; he died close to Szigetvár in Hungary.
In contrast to its past the Sultan's Trail nowadays forms a path of peace, a meeting place for people of all faiths and cultures. The trail starts at St. Stephen's Cathedral in the centre of Vienna; the bells of this church are made from the melted iron of Ottoman cannons. It ends at the tomb of the Sultan in Istanbul. The Sultans Trail is developed by volunteers from the Netherlands-based NGO Sultans Trail - A European Cultural Route.
Apart from the Romanian and Bulgarian mountains, the trail can be walked all year round. Most parts of the route have ample accommodation such as hotels, pensions or private rooms. In parts of Hungary and Bulgaria a tent is necessary.
Route of the Sultans Trail
Austria - Purbach route: Wien-Simmering, Schwechat, Rauchenwarth, Trautmannsdorf an der Leitha, Sommerein, Breitenbrunn am Neusiedler See, Purbach am Neusiedler See, Donnerskirchen, Eisenstadt, St. Margarethen im Burgenland, Mörbisch am See, in Hungary Fertőrákos, Sopron, Brennbergbánya, back again in Austria, Ritzing, Lackenbach, Weppersdorf, St.Martin, Kaisersdorf, Drassmarkt, Weingraben, Karl, Oberrabnitz, Piringsdorf, Mannersdorf an der Rabnitz, Klostermarienberg .
Slovakia - Romantic route of Omar and Fatima: Devin, Bratislava, Marianka, Modra, Harmónia, Častá, Dobrá Voda, Prašník, Vrbové, Čachtice, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Beckov, Trenčín, Topoľčany, Nitra, Nové Zámky, Kolárovo, Kameničná,
MATS Balaton route (till Mohács):: Sopron, Brennbergbánya, to Austria, Ritzing, Lackenbach, Weppersdorf, St.Martin, Kaisersdorf, Drassmarkt, Weingraben, Karl, Oberrabnitz, Piringsdorf, Mannersdorf an der Rabnitz, Klostermarienberg, back to Hungary Köszeg, Sárvár, Sümeg, Keszthely, Szuliman, Csertő, Szigetvár, Pécs, Mohács, Sátorhely, Udvar.
Serbia Main route: Bačka Palanka, Morović, Sremska Mitrovica, Mačvanska Mitrovica, Jarak, Šabac, Belgrade, Grocka, Smederevo, Smederevska Palanka, Svilajnac, Despotovac, Paraćin, Kruševac, Niš, Niška Banja, Bela Palanka, Pirot, Dimitrovgrad.
Serbia Carski Drum route (till Belgrade):Bački Breg, Bezdan, Bački Monoštor, Sombor, Apatin, Bač, Bačka Palanka, Novi Sad, Petrovaradin, Sremski Karlovci, Krušedol Selo, Šatrinci, Dobrodol, Ljukovo, Golubinci, Vojka, Novi Banovci, Zemun.
Turkey Main route: Kapıkule, Kemalköy, Karabulut, Sarayakpınar, (Sırpsındığı), Avarız, Edirne, Kösençiftliği, Söğütlüdere, Hasköy, Hamzabey, Uluçınar, Ahmetbey, Karlı, Hallaçlı, İnceğiz, Çatalca, Dursunköy, Sazlıbosna, Hacımaşlı, Pirinçci, Eyüp Sultan Mosque, Fatih and Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul.
Turkey avyolu route (after Edirne): Hıdırağa, Karayusuf, Turkye, Karayusuf, Ortakça, Kavaklı, Yağcılı, Süloğlu, Büyük Gerdelli, Dolhan, Paşayeri, Koyunbaba, Kırklareli, Kızılcıkdere, Üsküpdere, Karıncak, Kaynarca, Pınarhisar, Erenler, Poyralı, Doğanca, Develi, Vize, Okçular, Evrenli, Çakıllı, Kavacık, Saray, Küçük Yoncalı, Safaalan, Binkılıç, Aydınlar, Yaylacık, Gümüşpınar, İhsaniye, Akalan, Dağyenice, Boyalık, Dursunköy, (after Dursunköy the same route as above).
- Official Sultans Trail website
- Official Sultans Trail website in Serbian Language
- Overview of cultural Routes in Turkey
- Sultanstrail and Sufipath united
- Article about the Sultans Trail in Zaman.
- Journal of Suleiman the Magnificent during 1. siege of Vienna German Language
- Sultan's Trail wandelgids - Wandelen in Thracië. Sedat Çakır, 2011. ISBN/EAN: 978-94-90787-02-8. Dutch Language guide book of Turkish part of Sultans Trail.