Sultans Trail in Austria
shows the route of the Sultans Trail in Austria.
The Sultans Trail in Austria covers some 220km of easy hiking through Niederösterreich and Burgenland. The trail consists of 2 branches, the main route following the Danube towards Bratislava (105km) and a secondary route towards Sopron, along the Neusiedlersee (115km).
Highest point is the Kahlenberg 484m.
The trail starts with an excursion to the Kahlenberg (Prolog), from where Polish Huszar’s led by their king Sobieski assaulted the Ottoman army headquarter and broke the siege of Vienna in 1683.
The trail comes down from the Kahlenberg (484), passes through Vienna and follows the course of the Danube towards Bratislava.
The Sopron branch leaves the main route at Trautmansdorf, crosses over the Leitha hills to get to the Neusiedlersee basin, a UNESCO heritage site.
The starting point of the Sultans Trail is the Stephans Dom, in the centre of the ancient city.
How to get there
Both Vienna and Bratislava have international airports.
Vienna Airport has better connections to the world and is therefore also used by travellers to Bratislava.
High-frequency bus lines connect both cities. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Vienna Airport has high-frequency bus and train connections to the city, both fast and regular trains.
For further information, check:
Austria is an EU member and part of the Schengen zone.
The currency in Austria is Euro. Credit cards and bank cards are readily accepted.
The main language is German. English is well understood.
The Prolog runs down the sloops of the Wienerwald, bordering Vienna to the north, through the many wineries.
The main route passes through the fields using country roads and field tracks. The Leitha river is bordered by woods, providing sun shelter in the summer.
The landscape contains many wind-turbine.
When the Danube curves around two large hills, the Hundesheimer Berg and the Braunsberg, the trail runs close to the river. In springtime, the track can be flooded. When it does, a short detour is recommended.
From the Danube bent the trail follows the Danube on a towpath (Treppelweg) until Bratislava.
The Danubian wetlands (Donau Auen) between Vienna and Hainburg are an National Park.
The Leitha river is a Natura 200 site and makes good fishing. It is home to several bever families. In summer, the area is also rich in musquitos.
The Braunsberg and Hundesheimer Berg are rich of game.
In the area around Vienna, some good wineries are found.
The shores of shallow Neusiedlersee are cover by reeds, making it an ideal habitat for wildlife. The lake itself is a vital resting place for migrating birds.
Lower Austria produces some outstanding wines. A typical drink is Most (grape juice) and Heurige (young wine).
Burgenland is known for its cereals, especially spelt, used in bread, cakes and even beer, and fish from the lake, like Zander, Eel, Pikes and Carp.
Typical food of Lower Austria is: a potato dumpling called Mohnnudels, the Wachau apricot dumpling and Mohnzelten, according to the Taste Atlas.
The wineries around Rauchenwarth take turns in offering Heuriger (or Buschenschank) where this young wine is served together with a limited selection of food in a very simple and sociable setting. Ask locals for the calendar.
Bad Deutsch-Altenburg is a popular Spa resort with iodine-sulphur springs.
People have lived in this area since 8.000 BC. Around 400 BC, Celtic tribes settled here, and from 15 BC, the Romans dominated the region. German tribes took over in the mid-500s, and around 800, Charlemagne, king of the Franks, ruled.
In the middle ages, the Babenberg family possessed the lands and later the Habsburg family.
In 1529 the Ottoman arrived at the gates of Vienna. During the next 150 years, they would fight with the Habsburgs for control over the area. Eventually, they lost, and Austria entered the lush Baroque era, challenged only briefly by Napoleon in the early 19th century.
Vienna, capital of the Habsburg empire, reflects the grandeur of this empire, with Schloss Schönebrunn, the Hofburg Palace and the Imperial palace and above all, Belvedere Palace.
Outside the city, we find Roman Carnuntum in Roman times more important than Vindobona (Vienna), located at the crossroad of the Amber Route (trade route between the Baltic and Adriatic sea) and the Roman Limes (border defence road).
Bruck/Leitha still has some preserved medieval walls and towers. Here we pass through Schloss Prugg and its beautiful arboretum.
In Bad Deutsch-Altenburg we find the beautiful 12th-century sandstone Marienkirche.
Hainburg still has fully intact medieval walls, gates and towers, and the Heimenburg (ruins) on top of the hill behind the town.