Follow the Sultans from Vienna to Istanbul
Süleyman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, invaded Europe from Istanbul to Vienna for the first time in 1529, and then again in 1532. Both times the Sultan and his army failed to conquer the city of Vienna. This was the time the Ottoman empire was at its greatest extent and power and the failure at Vienna started a decline in Ottoman fortunes.
Later at the site outside Vienna where the sultan pitched his tents the Habsburg Emperor built a pleasure castle. That is why the historic Sultan’s Trail begins at the edge of Vienna. The path ends at the tomb of the Sultan, behind the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul.
The Sultan’s Trail
The Sultans Trail makes use of parts of the E8 and the Donauweg and runs more or less parallel to the Via Comitis (the Roman road to Jerusalem).
The total length of the trail is about 2100 km. The Turkish section is 330 km. In Turkey the route can be done by bike.
The Sultan’s Trail office in Haarlem, Holland, has a pilgrim card which can be stamped at several places along the route in order to get a certificate. The office will provide latest route and GPS information for walkers through its website.
The Sultan’s Trail can be walked almost year round. Some higher parts (like the Bulgarian mountains) are only accessible from May to October. Turkey may be hot in July and August.