Sultans Trail, path of peace
A new, historic long distance hiking trail from Vienna to Istanbul
Süleyman Kanuni, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, made the trip from Istanbul to Vienna for the first time in 1529, and then again in 1532. Both times he did not succeed in penetrating the city of Vienna. Contrary to its past the Sultans Trail nowadays forms a path of peace, a meeting place for people of all faiths and cultures. The trail starts at the Stephans Dom in the centre of Vienna. The clocks of this church are made of the remelted Ottoman canons. The path passes Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgarian and ends at the tomb of the Sultan, behind the Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul.
Since the path will often pass secluded rural areas the path will also help local communities in their economic development. This support of host communities, combined with the fact that walking is the most human and natural form of moving over the planet, makes the Sultans Trail an example of sustainable tourism pur sang.
The Sultan Trail partly uses existing European long distance paths, including parts of the E8 and the Donauweg. Partly the trail has still to be developed. The recently founded NGO Sultans Trail International, based in the Netherlands, will take the lead in this. In future there will also be a network of accommodations along the route, be it in private houses, lodges or hotels.
Different experience long distance hikers already walked parts of the Sultan Trail in 2009 and 2010. They share the same opinion: "It was sometimes pioneering but the experience was full of authenticity. The many natural and historical highlights, the varied landscape and the hospitality of the local people contributed greatly to this experience."
Beginning of April a small group has checked out possibilities in Vienna and Austria, on 13 April a group of 17 volunteers walked for 14 days on the Turkish part of the trail, in May two people started exploring in Hungary and in June we go to Croatia. Volunteers are welcome to join us (maybe Serbia in September).
Sedat Cakir made a guide on the (marked) Turkish part of the Sultans Trail with GPS-codes, suggestions for accommodation and restaurants and general and historical background information. You can order this guidebook by paying € 12,95 + € 2,80 porto to ING bank 73.60.190 of Stichting Sultan's Trail. Or come and pick on copy up at our office on Friday morning (Hagestraat 10, Haarlem). Tea is ready!