A modern pilgrimage

For more than 1,000 years, people from all over Europe have been embarking on pilgrimages to St Olav’s shrine at the Nidaros Cathedral. In the 21st century, pilgrimages can also take the form of family holidays with wonderful nature-based experiences, meetings with the locals and tasting local food as important ingredients.

Although the history of the pilgrim route is religious, the modern walk is suitable for everyone. Embarking on a modern-day pilgrimage allows you to escape everyday routines and spend quality time along well-marked trails that offer information, history and cultural monuments along the way.

Today, going on a pilgrimage is well organised with many accommodation options and activity options along the way.

Room for reflection. A sense of followship. Distance from the hectic trivia of everyday life.

You can go alone, with friends, with your romantic partner or take your family on a modern pilgrimage expedition that connects Norwegian outdoor recreation traditions with cultural history experiences and local food. If you put on your backpacks, get away from the routines of everyday life and have a common goal, you are assured of creating stronger bonds with each other as a family.

Whatever your motivation for setting off, we promise you will feel the carefreeness of having so little with you. You carry everything you need in a backpack, which is a stark contrast to the busy society in which we live.

Cultural Encounters

You will encounter a nice combination of culture and nature along the pilgrimage route. The cultural landscape has been tended by grazing animals and haymakers for many centuries, while the locals who live in the old brown wooden houses have been receiving pilgrims for just as long.

You will meet the people who live on and run the farms, and such encounters often make an impression. The food they serve is made from sustainable and locally sourced ingredients; food that gives strength after many long days with your hiking boots on.

Open Skies

There is plenty of space along the uncrowded paths, so you won’t need to walk in a line. In the days ahead of you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you can let your thoughts wander and sharpen your senses. Never have you experienced birdsong so strong and clear or scents of nature so intense.

The path leading to Trondheim crosses the majestic Dovre mountain plateau. After the ascent from Dovre, the landscape opens towards the plateau and you will see the mountain peak Snøhetta. Let your thoughts float away in the wind and allow yourself to enjoy the moment before continuing.

Highlights and Destination

The St. Olav’s Ways to Trondheim is a network of nine historic routes through beautiful nature, cultural landscapes and historical places. The routes lead from all directions to the burial site of St Olav at the Nidaros Cathedral, which was the northernmost pilgrimage site for Christendom throughout the Middle Ages.

In many ways, Trondheim is the focal point of cultural history in Trøndelag. When Nidaros (the former name of Trondheim) became an archdiocese in 1153, it marked the beginning of the nation becoming part of the European community. Modern-day pilgrims can experience traces of such cultural history along the way including a visit to the Austrått Manor along the Coastal Pilgrim Route or the monastery at Tautra if you complete the St. Olav’s Path from Stiklestad.

Whether you come from the north, south, east or along the coastal route, and regardless of which route you choose, one thing is certain: You will wander through magnificent nature, beautiful cultural landscapes and historical sites before ending up at the Nidaros Cathedral.

At the end of your journey

How far you walk, for how many days and on which route are entirely up to you. Regardless of the route you choose, you will be touched by wandering along these ancient routes used by pilgrims for centuries. After wandering through rural communities and cultural landscapes, you will arrive at your destination, Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, which also offers positive surprises at the end of your journey.

Today, you can conclude your trip with a visit to the Nidaros Cathedral followed by a pilgrim waffle at the Nidaros Pilgrim Centre. If you walk the final 100 km to Trondheim, you will receive the pilgrim’s certificate, the ‘Olav letter’, as proof of your achievement.

After a shower, a tasty dinner and a good night’s sleep, you can explore the streets and sights of Trondheim.

Read more

Read more about the nine pilgrim routes. Perhaps you will find your favourite.

  1. The Gudbrandsdalen path: Oslo – Gjøvik/Hama – Trondheim
  2. The St. Olav’s path: Selånger – Stiklestad – Trondheim
  3. The coastal pilgrim route: Egersund – Stavanger – Bergen – Ålesund – Trondheim
  4. The Valldal path: Valldal – Lesja- Dovrefjell
  5. The Borg path: Halden – Sarpsborg – Ås – Oslo
  6. The Østerdalen path: Trysil/Rena – Tynset – Trondheim
  7. The North path: Gløshaugen, Grong – Stiklestad
  8. The Rombo path: Tydal – Selbu – Trondheim
  9. The Tunsberg path: Larvik – Tønsberg – Bærum

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