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Sultans Trail

2020 Camino Guides

karlyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019 Mid August- Mid September
Has anyone actually walked the Sultans Trail from Vienna, Austria to Istanbul, Turkey? I am looking for some first-hand experience from walkers. I'm holding off on purchasing any guidebooks until I know this is something I can reasonable expect to do on my own. I don't want to waste money if I won't complete the walk.

How was it?
What guidebooks/apps did you use? Was cell reception an issue?
How many km do you walk on average per day?
What are accommodations like and what is the average cost? I'm a serious budget traveler, given that I'm living on modest savings.
Is tent camping a possibility/requirement?
What is the terrain like? Mountainous? Rural? Urban?
Best time of year to walk? I'm considering starting in April, 2020.
Is it reasonable to expect a solo traveler to complete this? And, the question that always arises: is it safe for a young female solo walker?

Any info is welcome!

:) Karly
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Has anyone actually walked the Sultans Trail from Vienna, Austria to Istanbul, Turkey? I am looking for some first-hand experience from walkers. I'm holding off on purchasing any guidebooks until I know this is something I can reasonable expect to do on my own. I don't want to waste money if I won't complete the walk.

How was it?
What guidebooks/apps did you use? Was cell reception an issue?
How many km do you walk on average per day?
What are accommodations like and what is the average cost? I'm a serious budget traveler, given that I'm living on modest savings.
Is tent camping a possibility/requirement?
What is the terrain like? Mountainous? Rural? Urban?
Best time of year to walk? I'm considering starting in April, 2020.
Is it reasonable to expect a solo traveler to complete this? And, the question that always arises: is it safe for a young female solo walker?

Any info is welcome!

:) Karly
Hi, Karly,

I haven't walk it but I've been in NE and E Turkey. I can't say whter it is safe or not with Turks but you will definitely be spotted as a female, solo or not. The part around Istanbul is much more "europeanised" (did I invent a new word maybe???) so I doubt you would have any problems.

Anyway maybe you can find some more info here:

Happy planning!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
How was it?
Was cell reception an issue?
How many km do you walk on average per day?
What are accommodations like and what is the average cost?
Is tent camping a possibility/requirement?
What is the terrain like? Mountainous? Rural? Urban?
Best time of year to walk? I'm considering starting in April, 2020.
Is it reasonable to expect a solo traveler to complete this? And, the question that always arises: is it safe for a young female solo walker?
Apart from the route specifics, which will obviously be different, many of your general-region questions might be answered in the European Peace Walk section of this Forum. There are several blogs mentioned there that might be useful to you as well.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
Has anyone actually walked the Sultans Trail from Vienna, Austria to Istanbul, Turkey? I am looking for some first-hand experience from walkers. I'm holding off on purchasing any guidebooks until I know this is something I can reasonable expect to do on my own. I don't want to waste money if I won't complete the walk.

How was it?
What guidebooks/apps did you use? Was cell reception an issue?
How many km do you walk on average per day?
What are accommodations like and what is the average cost? I'm a serious budget traveler, given that I'm living on modest savings.
Is tent camping a possibility/requirement?
What is the terrain like? Mountainous? Rural? Urban?
Best time of year to walk? I'm considering starting in April, 2020.
Is it reasonable to expect a solo traveler to complete this? And, the question that always arises: is it safe for a young female solo walker?

Any info is welcome!

:) Karly
Hi Carly,
i am not sure whether it was the ‘Sultan’s way’ (Never heard of it) but I did walk from Vienna to Istanbul (and further).
I sent back my tent after Germany as the weather was so bad to camp (torrential rain for weeks) but also, the campsites were in lovely spots but away from any shops/villages... (only OK if you had a car or bicycle).
We walked through Austria, then on to Bratislava, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and finally Turkey.
The accommodation after Austria was very cheap, so was the food. I remember renting a whole house (beautiful) for 14 euros or thereabouts.
The terrain is varied, there aren’t walking paths as such, mostly empty roads, sometimes old Roman roads. Serbia was flat for the first few days but then you have to cross the mountains. I can’t judge how difficult it is because I had walked from England and by then I was pretty fit. The most I ever walked in a day was 51 km (any longer there wasn’t enough daylight).
Actually, I remember a lot of road walking in parts of Serbia and the traffic was quite scary! Same getting into Turkey (Edirne). Lots of lorries!

It is a very lonely walk and although I don’t scare easily, I wouldn’t do it on my own.... but you are probably braver than I am! In Turkey it was frowned upon my walking with a man (who was not a relative), but that was after Istanbul (Ankara, Konya).
I also encountered a lot of stray dogs in Serbia and Bulgaria, I carried a ‘dog dazzer’ which gave me some courage.

All in all, a fantastic walk - and I’d do it again in a jiffy - but it isn’t for the faint-hearted 😁
I walked that stretch in late Autumn and the only drawback was lack of daylight especially in the mountain parts. There was snow in Bulgaria and it was also very cold in Northern Turkey.

I wish you well, happy planning!
D
 
Last edited:

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Has anyone actually walked the Sultans Trail from Vienna, Austria to Istanbul, Turkey? I am looking for some first-hand experience from walkers. I'm holding off on purchasing any guidebooks until I know this is something I can reasonable expect to do on my own. I don't want to waste money if I won't complete the walk.

How was it?
What guidebooks/apps did you use? Was cell reception an issue?
How many km do you walk on average per day?
What are accommodations like and what is the average cost? I'm a serious budget traveler, given that I'm living on modest savings.
Is tent camping a possibility/requirement?
What is the terrain like? Mountainous? Rural? Urban?
Best time of year to walk? I'm considering starting in April, 2020.
Is it reasonable to expect a solo traveler to complete this? And, the question that always arises: is it safe for a young female solo walker?

Any info is welcome!

:) Karly
I'll be watching this thread with interest as this walk is on My List too @karlyk
I'll also be walking as a solo female but can't by any stretch claim 'young'! 👵
You don't mention if you're an experienced walker...any other long distance/less travelled trails under your belt (feet)? Your level of experience will dictate quite a bit as you may or may not know what suits you &/or what works for you.
Good luck with your planning. April isn't that far away for such an undertaking so I hope you'll keep us posted.
👣 🌏
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
You don't mention if you're an experienced walker...any other long distance/less travelled trails under your belt (feet)? Your level of experience will dictate quite a bit as you may or may not know what suits you &/or what works for you.
Very good point.
 

karlyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019 Mid August- Mid September
Very good point.

Completed the Camino Frances starting in SjPP immediately followed by the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon. Whole trip started in August 2019 and finished a few weeks ago. Caminos are quite clear. I don't have experience going it my own with maps, apps, and GPS. That's what's concerning me about the Sultans Trail, not the walking itself.
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
The long distance European trails (E1, E2, etc.) are very different from the caminos. I don't think the Sultan's trail is an E trail but I suspect the experience may be very similar.

I started the E2 from Hoek van Holland (sic?) on the North Sea, a couple of years ago. The E2 starts in Ireland, goes thru England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, across the French Alps and ends in Nice. In the French Alps it connects with the GR5. I abandoned the trail near Nancy, France, a long ways before the Alps. It's not really a contiguous trail. It's a series of day hike trails connected by long stretches of asphalt. It was like going from one day hiking trail to the next but rather than traveling by car, between trails, I was walking.

Also, I don't want to camp. Lodging was a problem. In order to time my walk thru the Alps right, I had to start earlier in the year when many hotels, B&B in the smaller villages were closed during the weekdays. Too early in the season. Or you hit a tourist town on a weekend and everything was booked. Or you were expected to stay more than one night or rent out the whole place. You really had to plan ahead.

I have done both the Francis and the Portuguese from Lisbon. They can be done without maps. In my opinion, these long distance paths (E trails) can't be done without maps, either paper or electronic. And you have to have a phone.

I did this solo and while I met a couple of long distance hikers, it is generally a very lonely walk, until you get to the Alps. I like doing really long walks, i.e. 50 days+ but I now do that by stringing together several caminos or medium sized, established walks. As an example, returning to do the GR5 portion thru the Alps is still on my list of trails to do.

Finally, this is not intended to dissuade you. Just my experience. My opinion. Of course, your mileage may vary.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Completed the Camino Frances starting in SjPP immediately followed by the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon. Whole trip started in August 2019 and finished a few weeks ago. Caminos are quite clear. I don't have experience going it my own with maps, apps, and GPS. That's what's concerning me about the Sultans Trail, not the walking itself.
Yes, that's what I meant by asking about your level of experience. Its not so much the walking but if you're comfortable with no signage, no infrastructure, no other pilgrims, no spoken English, etc. Some people aren't.
I discovered walking the VF that I really enjoyed going My Own Way...not worrying about 'official' routes or concerned with trail markers and I liked having to hunt down accom rather than it being provided, etc. I didn't like having to walk to a timeframe (Schengen visa) or having to do more daily kms than I prefer.
I hope you find the answers you're looking for on the Forum...I'm really interested in what you decide. Good luck! 😊
👣 🌏
 

Re-tired

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
I would think twice about walking through Turkey as a single woman or as a Westerner. I used to travel to Turkey for work yearly until 3 years ago. The last time I was there, the driver the company sent to pick me up at the ferry terminal asked me to lie down in the back seat so he wouldn't be seen helping an American.

I saw the country under Erdogan become more and more conservative Islam and anti-Western. Such a shame as it used to be a great place to visit and the people so friendly.

Visiting Istanbul as a tourist is probably still safe but get out into the rural areas and things are sketchy.
 

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