Sultans Trail in Slovakia
Beautiful hiking in Slovakia. The map below
shows the route of the Sultans Trail in Slovakia
The Sultans Trail offers some 170 km of easy hiking in Slovakia, between Bratislava and Esztergom.
The Trail follows the Danube closely, mainly on the cycling path.
The trail starts in the historic main square (Hlavné námestie) of the old town (Staré Mesto) of Bratislava.
How to get there
Although Bratislava has an International Airport, many visitors chose the Vienna Airport as an entry point because it has much more connections to the world.
A fast bus service connects Vienna Airport to Bratislava on an hourly basis. Travel time about 1 hour.
Austria, Slovakia and Hungary are EU members and part of the Schengen zone (no border formalities between them).
The currency in Austria and Slovakia is Euro.
The currency in Hungary is Florint, with a relatively stable exchange rate to the Euro. Currency code HUF. Credit cards and bank cards are readily accepted.
The main languages along the route are Slovakian and Hungarian, but English and German are also often understood.
The landscape is predominantly flat arable land on one side of the trail and the Danube on the other. The Danube used to meander through this lowland and flood seasonally, causing mischief to the people. The Water is now controlled by dykes and levees. But the former riverbeds are still visible in the landscape as trenches, backwaters and swamps, pools and puddles.
South of Bratislava, the flood-prone Danube has been brought under control by extensive canalisation works. The huge Gabčíkovo reservoir is a result of it. However, much of the old floodplain has been preserved on the Hungarian side of this reservoir, with many creeks, varying water levels, rapids and permeable dams.
Bratislava. The Celts built a fortified settlement on the castle hill and later the Romans. In the 8th century, the Slavs arrived, and the market place below the castle developed into a trade centre and became a free royal town in 1291.
Bratislava was the Hungarian capital between 1526 and 1784 when most of the middle Danube basin was in the hands of the Turks. The Hungarian parliament stayed to meet here until 1848.
The Habsburg rulers were crowned kings of Hungary in the city’s Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin.
In 1741 Empress Maria Theresa fled to Bratislava when French and Bavarian troop threatened Vienna. In 1805, Napoleon and the Austrian emperor Francis II signed the Peace of Pressburg, here.
Bratislava has been the capital of Slovakia since the country became an independent nation in 1993.
Komárno, At the confluence of the Danube and the Váh, the Romans built a fortress. This fortress controlled trade and traffic in the lowlands and has been a stronghold against invading hordes such as the Tatar invasions, ever since. It has never been captured “NEC CARTE – NEC MARTE”, neither by trick nor by force.
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.
Historical sites in Bratislava are the old town, Michael’s tower-gate, Bratislava Castle, St.Martin’s Cathedral, Primate’s Palace and Grassalkovich Palace.
The rebuilt centre of Komárno is exciting, and the Fortress is worth a visit. 4km from Komárno, the trail passes the remains of the Roman Castellum Kalemantia.
In Žitava we find a monument commemorating the Zittau Peace Treaty, which ended the “Fifteen Years’ War” between the Turks and the Habsburg Monarchy.