Sultans Trail cycling route (parts 1 & 2) including alternative routes
Here we have chosen for the natural beauty of the Fruška Gora containing Europe’s largest tilia tree forest and a large number of Serbian-Orthodox monasteries. The choice between main and alternative routes has also been influenced by geographical factors because we wanted to incorporate both sides of the Danube river in our cycling guide book.
In general, the route id flat but some climbs and descents have been incorporated in order to avoid busy roads. There is plenty of accommodation like campsites in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia but these can hardly be found in Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey. However, in all countries, you can easily find affordable sleeping places.
In the Serbian stage, two 10% climbs have been incorporated, every 10 kilometres in length. The descents are likewise on a reasonable surface and low traffic. You could describe these stretches as ‘mediocre heavy’ and it is something to take into account. In Bulgaria, we follow the valleys and climbing is limited. Turkey is by far the busiest when it comes to traffic once you start approaching Istanbul. From the Turkish city Çatalca onwards it gets very busy except for a 20-kilometre stage of the forest. If you would rather avoid this you can take a bus to Istanbul. Both city buses and the underground are not accessible with bicycles during rush hours. Intercity buses will carry your bicycle if they have enough room in their hold.
In Turkey, an alternative route is offered that takes you by the historically important city of Lüleburgaz. It has a beautiful old city centre where many old buildings have been renovated. In every country we pass through we can find Osman remains sometimes incorporated in the name of the city. The entire route may be described as mediocre heavy when it comes to climbing and descending and quiet enough when it comes to car traffic, with the exception of the cities.
“You are crazy!” A very common response I encounter when talking about my plan. Some people wonder if there are compelling and sensible reasons to cycle around the world. In my opinion, yes, there are actually many.
I look back with great satisfaction on my cycling adventure from Gemert to Istanbul. From April 25 to July 1, I was on the road. Distance wise it was almost a double Sultans Trail. First about 2000 km to get from Gemert via Prague to Vienna. From there to Istanbul was another 2000 km. A journey full of fascinating contradictions.
Sultans Trail – cycling part 2, Belgrade to Istanbul Upon arrival in Belgrade, we are pleasantly surprised that the bicycles have arrived unharmed. It is a bit drizzly so we immediately have to test the rain resistance of our outdoor clothing. And it works. As the...
Follow Sedat and Iris on their bycicle tour.The trip is recorded on Polarsteps. Swipe to see details. This picture diary gives an overview of the cycling days from Belgrade to Istanbul. We wrote little daily stories of our cycling adventure and even though you cycle...
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