Sultans Trail in Turkey
Beautiful hiking trail inTurkey. The map below
shows the route of the Sultans Trail in Turkey.
The Sultans Trail in Turkey runs from Edirne to Istanbul and is about 341km long. It follows the northern course of an old Byzantine route, through the foothills of the Istrancalar or Yildiz Mountains (Bulgarian: Strandzha), the mountain range at the Black Sea coast. Larger towns along the way are Kirklareli, Pinarhisar, Vize and Saray.
From Saray, the Trail moves north towards Ҫilingoz Tabiat National Park to avoid the sprawl of approaching Istanbul. Development of Istanbul’s new airport at the Black Sea coast and urban development rapidly changes the landscape, notably for the final 66km, from Sazlibosna at Lake Sazlidere onwards.
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
Edirne has no airport but does have a bus connection to Istanbul Esenler Otogari (leaving every 2 hours, duration 3h 55m, costs 5€-11€).
From Esenler Otogari into Istanbul use Metro M1 (leaving every 5 min, duration 22 min, price 1€). See Metro Istanbul.
From Esenler Otogari to Istanbul Havalimani Airport (IATA code: IST), Havaist bus IST-3, departure every 30 minutes (between 05:00 and 01:30), duration approximately 75 min., depending on traffic, price 16 TL. See IETT
The train from Edirne Şehir to Istanbul Halkali leaves once a day and takes 3h 45m, price 3€-4€. See Seat61
Istanbul has 2 international airports, Istanbul airport (IATA code: IST) on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (IATA code: SAW ) at the Anatolian side of the city. Former Atatürk Airport does no longer service civil aviation, it is reserved for cargo and military operations.
Istanbul Airport is located 40 km north-west of the city at the Black Sea. It has a taxi connection to the city (duration 30m, price 16€-20) and a HAVAIST shuttle bus to different locations in the city. See Istanbul Airport
For the use of public transport in Istanbul, you need an Istanbulkart, available from the ticket machine at the bus terminal in the airport, 6 TL.
The bus terminal is located in the Airport building at floor -2.
Sabiha Gökçen Airport is located 35km southeast of the city, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The airport is connected to Taksim square by a shuttle bus Havabus (every 30 min. duration 1h 30m, price 2€-3€).
From Taksim square leaves metro line M2 into the centre (every 5 min., duration 7 min., price 1€/10TL). See www.sabihagokcen.aero
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.
In Kirklareli is the Hizirbey Complex (Mosque and Hamam) worth visiting. Pinarhisar has visible remains of Pınarhisar Kalesi a fortification of Byzantine origin. In Vize remains of a Roman Amphitheater are still visible. The lake near Istanbul ‘Alibey Baraji’ is crossed by two major aqueducts that are worthwhile seeing. The waterway enters Istanbul and is still visible at the Valens Aqueduct and feeds the Basilica Cistern at the heart of the city. Istanbul has many historical monuments from all ages, among which the Sultans Trail related Süleymaniye-mosque and the Imperial Topkapı Palace.