A long hiking distance part of the road from Niš to Sofia

Belgrade – City of Niš – Bojanine vode – Bela Palanka – Pirot –
Dimitrovgrad – Dragoman – Slivnitsa –
Bankya – Sofia

Sultanstrail is named after sultan Süleyman Kanuni, also called Suleiman the Magnificent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, who led Ottoman armies to conquer Belgrade and most of Hungary, then marched on Vienna, where his invasion was checked at the Siege of Vienna. He started out from Istanbul on 10 May 1529 and arrived at the gates of Vienna after 141 days on 23 September 1529. It was to be the Ottoman Empire’s most ambitious expedition to the west, but the Austrian garrison inflicted upon Suleiman his first defeat. A second attempt by the sultan to conquer Vienna failed in 1532. In 1566, at the age of 60, the sultan led his army towards Vienna for the last time but he died close to Szigetvár in Hungary, before reaching his goal. The Sultanstrail roughly follows the route of sultan Suleiman on his way to Vienna.

In contrast to its past the Sultanstrail nowadays forms a path of peace, a meeting place for people of all faiths and cultures. The trail starts at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the centre of Vienna; the bells of this church were ever casted of the metal of captured Ottoman cannons. The trail ends at the tomb of Sultan Süleiman in Istanbul. The Sultanstrail is developed by volunteers from the Netherlands-based NGO Sultans Trail – A European Cultural Route.

Tour plan:

Driving distance: 250 km on highway
Arrival at Belgrade airport at 17.00 hrs and transfer to City of Niš. Accommodation in 3-star hotel. Meeting the local guide. Dinner. Overnight
stay.

Driving distance: 15 km; Walking distance: 5 km
Breakfast. Start of, the walking tour at Niš Fortress, symbol of the city, accompanied by a local guide. Visit to King Milan’s square and Obrenoviceva street (pedestrian zone), all the way to the Tinkers alley, an old and unique small part of former „Turkish street” from XVII and XVIII century. Also, to be seen: the main building of the University of Niš, City hall, the monument of the Liberators of Niš, the old centre of the town with buildings built in XVIII and XIX century, the square of Stevan Sremac – famous Serbian writer, the monument dedicated to Stevan Sremac, legendary hunter Kalča, and his loyal dog Čapa. Lunch break in one of the restaurants in Tinkers alley. The sightseeing continues with a visit to the former German Concentration camp (Red Cross), Bubanj Memorial park, The Skull tower and Cegar hill. Dinner in traditional village Malča. Back to Niš. Accommodation. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 26 km; Elevation: 560m
We start hiling on the Sultantrail after breakfast. All the way from Niš to Bojanine vode we will use asphalt road. Hiking tour follows the main Boulevard (Zoran Djindjić) which leads us to Niška Banja Spa. Lunch break in one of the restaurants in Niška banja. After lunch, we will continue walking to Bojanine Vode through the astounding villages of the Suva planina mountain. Accommodation in the Ski house. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 25 km; Elevation: 255m
Breakfast. Hiking from Bojanine vode via Preslap to Bela Palanka. We are all the way on the mountain road (no asphalt). Passing through the foothill of Suva Planina Mountain, through beautiful Kosmovac valley, from where we are getting out to one of the most beautiful viewpoints on this rout – the mountain pass Preslap. Lunch package. Then, through the forest we will be going down to Bela Palanka. Overnight stay in Bela Palanka at our friend’s private house. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 29 km; Elevation: 27m
After breakfast, hiking from Bela Palanka via Belava down to Pirot. We are on one of two old roads. Lunch package. Arrival in Pirot. Accommodation in hotel Alma. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 27 km; Elevation: 178 m
Breakfast. Walking from Pirot through Poljska Ržana, Trnjane, Mali Jovanovac, Činiglavac, Milojkovac and Paskašija to Dimitrovgrad. Lunch package. Arrival in Dimitrovgrad. Accommodation in private villas and dinner in local restaurant. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 25 km; Elevation: 158m
After breakfast, walking 8 km to the border between Republic of Serbia and Republic of Bulgaria. Border formalities. Lunch package. Walking through Kalotina, Novo Bardo and Dragoil to Dragoman. Accommodation in hotel Dragoman. Spa and wellness. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 16 km; Elevation: 152 m
Breakfast. Hiking tour from Dragoman through Izvor to Aldomirovtsi. Lunch break at our friend’s accommodation “Guest houses Daya and Dan”. Hiking to Slivnitsa. Time for rest. Dinner. Accommodation in hotel Mehana Gergana. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 25 km; Elevation: 144m
After breakfast, hiking from Slivnitsa to Bankya. Lunch break. Accommodation in Darling Bankia hotel. Free time. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Hiking distance: 14 km; Elevation: 195m
Breakfast. Hiking from Bankya through Ivanyane and Suhodol to Sofia. Break for lunch. Accommodation in 3-star hotel. Free time. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Walking distance: around 6 km
Breakfast. Start of the walking tour at St. Nedelya sqare, accompanied by a local guide. We will see all important Sofia monuments with break for traditional lunch: Nedelya church, St. Sofia Monument, St. Petka Church, The old Serdika Ruins, The mineral springs, The council of ministers, The Rotunda “Saint George”, The Presidency, The mosque “Banya Bashi”, The building of the National archaeology museum, The National Bank of Bulgaria, Knyaz Alexander Battenberg Square, The King’s palace, The Russian church “St. Nikolas”, St. Sofia Church, The Roman Necropolis, The National Theater, The Monument of the “unknown soldier”, The Alexander Nevski Memorial Church. Back to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Driving distance: 15 km
Breakfast. Transport to Sofia airport. Departure. End of the program.

Details:

• Transportation by minibus, van or car from Nikola Tesla Airport to Nis as planned in the program;
• Luggage Transportation on the trail, between accommodations;
• Accommodation for eight nights at the 3-star hotels, two nights at the private guest house, and one night at the ski lodge;
• 11 half board services in 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 rooms (breakfast and dinner include one drink with a meal per person);
• 5 traditional lunches on the hiking tour (lunch includes one drink with a meal per person)
• 5 lunch packages on the hiking tour. Every passenger gets a lunch package before departure on the planed days;
• One traditional dinner in restaurant in Malča village;
• All entrance tickets are provided in the program;
• City of Niš and Sofia sightseeing with licensed tourist guide;
• One certified mountain leader for tours planned program;
• One certified tour escort for tours planned program;
• Organization costs and 24-hour support of NTO team.

• Airfare tickets
• Travel medical insurance
• Individual costs and expenses
• Optional transfers
• Optional activities and excursions

Sneakers or climbing shoes, a few pairs of socks, T-shirts, a hooded waterproof parka, sweatshirt, spare pants, sun glasses, a cap, suntan cream. It’s also recommended to take candy bars, nibbles, refreshing beverages and water. Put everything into a small backpack.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 30 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE

NOTE: This program is based on at least 6 applied people. If there changes occur a on the monetary market, commodity and services market, or when there is not a sufficient number of participants, the organizer retains the right to adjust the price, change or cancel the program at least 3 days before the start of the program. It takes at least 8 people from Nis or Belgrade for the departure.

Organizator putovanja je turistička agencija Nature Travel Office, licenca OTP 45/2018, izdata od Agencije za privredne registre od 17.08.2018. godine. Nature Travel Office osiguran je polisom osiguranja od odgovornosti turističkih agencija za slučaj insolventnosti i odgovornosti za slučaj štete nanete putniku br. 30000006801-1, osiguravača “MILENIJUM OSIGURANJE” A.D.O Beograd. Polisa važi od 12.04.2019. do 01.10.2019. godine. Uz ovaj program važe Opšti uslovi putovanja turističke agencije Nature Travel Office koji su sastavni deo prijave putovanja.