How We Got Started
After being inspired by the Camino the Santiago, a lonesome hiker Sedat Cakir had a dream to make a hiking route towards his home country Turkey. The first part to cover was crossing Europe to the gates of east Istanbul. From Zandvoort to Istanbul Sedat hiked the first steps of what we now know is the Sultans Trail, the old way that attracted enthusiastic volunteers that are still with us today building with their hearts and soul to a well-marked route towards Istanbul.
The theme of the route is based on the dairies of Sultan Suleyman who left traces up to present-day Vienna.
The Sultans Trail Foundation – A European Cultural Route aims to:
- Develop, preserve and promote the Sultans Trail: the cultural-historical long- distance-hiking and cycling route from Vienna to Istanbul, passing through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
- Collect historical facts and information, as well as to publish guidebooks and other promotional materials in relation to the Sultans Trail;
- Categorize and support historical buildings, places, customs and traditions, along the Sultans Trail;
- To establish the route, and undertake all actions related to the previous.
Among others, the foundation tries to realize its goals by means of historical research, building, informing and supporting sister organizations and local networks, organize promotional activities, mark the route, either with the support of local people, groups, organizations, universities, companies or governmental institutions. Annually we organize at least one event or expedition with a group of hikers and or historians.
Sultan Süleyman the magnificentBritish Museum
About the Sultans Trail
The Sultans Trail is a long-distance hiking and cycling trail from Vienna to Istanbul. It is 2.500 kilometres long (1,550 mi). The trail passes through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey.
The Sultans Trail is inspired by an event that took place in the year 1529. That year siege was laid on Vienna by Sultan Süleyman, also known as Kanuni Sultan Süleyman or Suleiman the Lawgiver and Suleiman the Magnificent. He led the armies of his Ottoman Empire to conquer Belgrade and Budapest before he set out for Vienna, where his invasion stopped at the Siege of Vienna in 1529.
The Sultans Trail Foundation is a legal entity under Dutch law (“Stichting”). The Foundation is represented by the board of directors.
The Sultans Trail Foundation is a non-profit organisation, which is run by volunteers and financed by donations.
The executive board is assisted by a working committee “the Academic Council” which is represented in the board by its chairman.
The Sultans Trail was established in the year 2000 we have to thank all the people who were or still are friends of Sultans Trail. You can see the current people working for Sultans Trail on a voluntary basis and contact them through their profiles.
The academic council makes research possible on the Sultans Trail which has started from a historical itinerary connecting past and present of the network of roads across Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
Sultans Trail is run only by volunteers. There is no paid staff
Since 2019 Sultans Trail Foundation had regular openings for interns in different fields of science. The interns who worked for Sultans Trail have shared their end projects, thesis and research work that you can view on the intern page.
World Trades network
Bisikletliler is a cycling association in Turkey and a partner of Sultans Trail on Bicycle. Bisikletliler Derneği and Sultans Trail will develop a signposted bicycle route from Edirne to Istanbul. You can read about the Turkish cycling association on the website Bisikletliler Derneği in Turkish.
Istanbul on Bike
Istanbul on Bicycle organizes tours in Istanbul and is a Sultans Trail partner for cyclists and hikers. Many people start their Sultans Trail journey with Cem Balsun in Istanbul. They are specialists in bicycle transport and have helped many world cyclists on their way on and off to airports and storage of their bicycle boxes. We have a special Sufi Trail bicycle packed that you can order with the knowledge and know-how of our excellent Turkish partner in Istanbul. You can check out the details of the Sultans bicycle route here
The Sultans Trail Foundation is an international non-governmental organization with offices in Haarlem (The Netherlands), Berlin (Germany) and Istanbul (Turkey). The foundation was founded by Sedat Çakir and the mission is to stimulate and simplify the journey for hikers, cyclists along the Sultans Trail.
In the countries along the Trail the foundation is supported by the local tourist information offices and also by the local communities.
The Sultans Trail is a multi-cultural, non-religious and non-political organization without profit or commercial purposes. Respect for all people, cultures and religions is highly important for the Sultans Trail. That is why the Foundation cannot accept donations that serve any political or religious motives.
In order to preserve its independence the Foundation strives for a balanced financial construction with incomes from donations. The Foundation is supported by a number of organizations, foundations and individuals from 21 different countries.
The Sultans Trail uses any donations received from the countries along the trail exclusively to reinvest in the countries that invest in the Sultans Trail projects. The intention of these projects is to stimulate economical and cultural development for the local communities. The Foundation encourages the governments of these countries to preserve and maintain the Sultans Trail to support their local communities.
The Sultans Trail Foundation collaborates with universities in student projects, as part of the academic curriculum. Current involvement is with Wageningen University Research, Breda University of Applied Sciences and NHL-Stenden University of Applied Sciences.
Academic Consultancy Training.
Society Based Education of the Wageningen University & Research (WUR)connects questions from society to education. Academic Consultancy Training (ACT) is a format in which this is achieved. The ACT-course is mandatory for the majority of Masterprograms of WUR. Students of different studies and nationalities work together during 8 weeks, in teamsof 5 to 7 people, on a consultancy assignment addressing a real life issue. The students are guided by a coach and an academic advisor during this period.
Breda University of Applied Sciences and Wageningen University & Research jointly run the Bachelor of Science Tourism program. In this academic program students study tourism and explore the interrelationships between tourism, economy, society and environment. BSc Tourism is an English-taught interdisciplinary academic bachelor program focusing on sustainable development.
The Sultans Trail. Strategic Development
Four students from the NHL-Stenden, International Tourism Management presented the results of their research in Leeuwarden On June 17 2021.. The main aim of this project was to develop an actionable strategy for the Sultans Trail Foundation to follow and take further steps in developing the trail as a tourist destination while contributing to the development of the regions that the trail leads through consciously and sustainably.