St. Olavsleden is a pilgrim trail from the Middle Ages. The trail extends through Swedish and Norwegian cultural landscapes from the Baltic Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, from Selånger (Sweden) to Trondheim (Norway). Olav Haraldsson the Viking stepped ashore in Selånger in the year 1030, and started the journey to Norway and Trondheim to reclaim power after two years in exile in Russia. The trail was re-opened in 2013 after extensive renovation work.
It is approximately 580 kilometres long. Thousands of markings and signposts indicate the way. About 45% of the path is along gravel roads, 36% on asphalt and 19% on trails.
Yes, that is perfectly fine. Under stages you can read more about the different sections and get ideas for day trips. Many choose to walk about 20 to 30 kilometers a day, but feel free to adjust the distance so it suits you. The trail often passes roads and villages which means that it is easy to get onto it almost anywhere and walk a shorter distance.
An estimated 30 days or so.
The main hiking season is from mid-May to mid-September. Snow may remain in May, and in September snow may have fallen in some locations. If you plan to go earlier or later than this period, you can contact the tourist information officies for more detailed information about the conditions along the trail.
Yes you can, but if you want help or company, you can take a look the available travel packages.
Yes, but in some places there’s a longer distance between shops, such as from Borgsjö-Bräcke and Duved-Verdal (four days of walking), so it’s important to plan ahead. On many of the sections there are restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a moment’s break in your hiking.
In Sweden and Norway, it’s common to pay with credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard, this works in most shops. Bed and breakfasts, hotels and the larger facilities accept cards, but payment is mostly by cash or swish for private accommodation.
You are welcome to bring your dog with you, but special rules apply for entering Sweden and Norway with your four-legged friend.
You can read more about entering Sweden with your dog at Jordbruksverkets webpage.
You can read more about entering Norway with your dog at Mattilsynets webpage.
Please note that Norway has different rules than Sweden, and you will have to see a veterinarian before crossing the border. Norway also have breeds that are not allowed in to the country. At the moment that applies to the following breeds:
- Pit bull terrier
- American Staffordshire terrier
- Fila Brasilerio
- Toso Inu
- Dogo Argentino
- Ceskoslovenský vlciak
No, there are no animals that are dangerous for humans along the trail. But remember to show respect for the animals you encounter.
Yes, in most places. Please choose a waterway with running water, where the water isn’t standing still.
Yes, either the entire trail or parts of it. You can see maps here for both horse-riding and cycling.
A sleeping bag and/or bedding, a thermos/water bottle, a backpack, rain clothing, (warm) clothing, good hiking shoes (preferably waterproof), a first-aid kit and blister plasters, your passport. Also make sure that you are insured.
Yes, there’s a guide book in four languages, Swedish, English, German and Dutch. The Swedish guide provides detailed information about all 29 stages, and the cultural and natural experiences along the trail. You can buy the book here.
There are tourist information offices in the following towns along the trail: Sundsvall, Borgsjö, Östersund, Åre and Trondheim. There is also several Info Points in Krokom municipality. You can buy and stamp your pilgrim passport here and receive useful information about the surrounding area. Please check opening hours.
There are three pilgrim centres along the trail: Selånger Pilgrim centre, Stiklestad National Culture Centre and Nidaros pilegrimsgård in Trondheim. You will find useful information about the trail and can buy your pilgrim passport in these centers. In Trondheim you can also receive a Diploma. Read more in the section Pilgrim passport and stamps.
There’s a long tradition of Pilgrim passports and stamps; in former times they certified that you were a true pilgrim. Pilgrim passports still exist today, but more as a nice symbol and a pleasant travel memory. If you would like to have a diploma for your hike you need to have a pilgrim passport with stamps that show that you have hiked at least 100 km or biked/ridden at least 200 km of the last part of the trail before the final destination Trondheim.
You can collect your stamps at your accommodation, churches and other places along the trail.
You can buy a pilgrim diploma for a symbolic amount at:
- all the tourist offices along the trail (note their opening hours)
- Selånger’s parish
- Quality Comfort hotel in Sundsvall, at reception
- The cultural centre in Stiklestad
- Nidaros Pilgrimsgård in Trondheim
- S:t Olavsledens shop
In Sweden and Norway the 4G network are well-developed along the trail. Several places of accommodation also offer wi-fi to guests and wi-fi is also available at tourist offices.
Sweden: Emergency services 112, Police 114 14 (for non-emergencies)
Norway: Ambulance 113, Police 112, Fire services 110
You can read more about hiking preparations and safety at Fjällsäkerhetsrådet (the mountain safety council of Sweden)