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A modern sign for the route.
Illustrated route of Pilegrimsleden by Nils Gunnar Svensson (2006)

The Nidaros Way, also known as St. Olav's Way (Norwegian Bokmål: Pilegrimsleden, Nynorsk: Pilegrimsleia), is a group of Christian pilgrim routes to 1 Nidarosdomen Nidaros Cathedral on Wikipedia in Trondheim, Norway. They are also used for non-religious slow tourism.

Understand[edit]

See also: Nordic history

The pilgrim routes have a long history, since the medieval times when Trondheim, at that time called Nidaros, was the religious centre of much of northern Europe, but have been revived in later years. Although real pilgrimages are arranged along the route, and many of the travellers on the routes are there for religious or at least spiritual reasons, the routes are also promoted as general slow-tourism routes, with emphasis on landscape, historical sights, local culture and local food.

Trails[edit]

Map of Nidaros Path

Gudbrandsdalsleden[edit]

From 2 Oslo through Gudbrandsdalen via 3 Gjövik Gjøvik (town) on Wikipedia and 4 Oppdal Oppdal (village) on Wikipedia to Trondheim.

Österdalsleden[edit]

From 5 Karlstad in Värmland through 6 Trysil and 7 Tynset to Trondheim. The marked trail starts at the Norwegian border, but the historic route starts at Hammarø by Vänern, and there was lively traffic along the route from the monastery in Vadstena by Vättern. The trail goes partly through very sparsely inhabited areas and some hiking and orienteering skills are needed to follow the route. There are simple cabins along the route, making budget travel easy also for those that do not want to use a tent.

St. Olav path[edit]

From Selånger outside 8 Sundsvall via 9 Östersund Östersund Municipality on Wikipedia to Trondheim. This path follows the route of St Olav when he returned from Novgorod in the summer of 1030 to reclaim the throne and Christianize Norway.

The Fjord Pilgrim Route[edit]

From 10 Rogaland along the fjords and archipelagos to Trondheim.

St. Olav Waterway[edit]

A new leg, the St. Olav Waterway from 11 Turku via the Archipelago Sea and 12 Åland connects to the established leg from 13 Hudiksvall Hudiksvall Municipality on Wikipedia. It was officially opened 24 May 2019, with a walk starting from Turku Cathedral the following day. Until Korpo the waterway partly follows the Archipelago Trail along Skärgådsvägen, the regional road, but also uses smaller gravel and dirt roads and ferries via smaller islands. It is also possible to use kayak or other small vessels for much of the distance.

The route seems to have been planned more to show the beauty of God's creation, and some sights on the way, than to make for comfortable walking. Be prepared. As hiking route it is still easy, and although there are some steep sections, the hills are still very moderate.

The route follows hiking trails perhaps half the distance in Kaarina, with usual caveats about possibly wet or rough terrain. Carts are severely impractical in some places. Already in Turku the trail crosses Rauvolanlahti bay, where the duckboards through the reeds may be flooded when sea water is high, and on the other side in Kaarina long stairs follow. Most of the route is along minor roads, though.

Stay safe[edit]

Some of the routes go through more desolate landscapes. For those you might want to take a look at Hiking in the Nordic countries#Stay safe.

If you are using sea kayaks or a boat on the Fjord Route or the St. Olav Waterway, follow appropriate security advice.

Ticks often carry TBE or borreliosis. If you have walked through vegetation where they might hide, do a check in the evening.

Go next[edit]

Time to go on to drive on modern routes:

Trondheim is well connected, so getting onwards or back by plane, train or ferry is easy.

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