The ultimate guide to hiking the St. Olav Ways

In 2016, 278,232 people made the pilgrimage across Spain and Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. At least, that’s how many actually received their certificates at the end. The same year, a mere 1,045 people made the pilgrimage to Nidaros Cathedral on the St. Olav Ways in Norway.

In historical terms, the two are pretty equal. Both the Camino de Santiago and the St. Olav Ways are Christian pilgrimage routes dating back to the Middle Ages. Both involve buried saints and cathedrals, and both require an unwavering, superhero level of dedication. But where the Camino has seen its modern-day renaissance, the St. Olav Ways has not. There is no other 1,000-year-old path like it, and certainly no path as endlessly serene.

This is not a walk you take to socialize with fellow backpackers, nab entire bottles of wine and pilgrim dinners for €10, and wonder whether a way-sign is real or an effort to direct you to the local bar. Here, you come for the eternal summertime sunset. You come to feast on medieval homemade stews in dimly lit and ever-creaking barns. You come to climb in circles to remote mountain farms and to be the only one for miles caught in the rain.

You hike the St. Olav Ways for yourself. For your spirituality, self-improvement, rescue from all things digital, health, peace of mind, and time simply spent wandering the Norwegian countryside.

Here’s how you do it…


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