No, you do not need a permit to hike S:t Olavsleden. You might want to get a Pilgrim passport where you can collect stamps along the way. With enough stamps you can collect an Olav’s Letter when you arrive in Trondheim.
The S:t Olavsleden trail is approximately 580 km long and takes between 3 to 4 weeks to hike, depending on your pace and itinerary. However, it is essential to plan your route and schedule according to your fitness level, available time, and weather conditions.
Since this is an ideal slow travel adventure, you will find it much more enjoyable if you take your time during the hike.
Our motto is: Travel slow, experience more. You can always cut the hike in two or more hikes and revisit S:t Olavsleden another time, another season.
It is also possible to jump on the train and skip a section or two ( oh, we know this is frowned upon among some serious pilgrims but in the end, you do your camino/ S:t Olavsleden!)
Check out this Norwegian page for S:t Olavsleden to find out exact distances and how long it would take to walk the distance.
There are four major considerations to keep in mind when deciding what time of the year would be best for you. The walking season starts in Mid-May and ends in mid-September.
One is the weather – there is a high chance that there will be snow the closer to the Norwegian border you come – even in June. If the snow has melted, there will be areas that are quite wet early in the season. The best tip we can gie you is: Dress accordingly. Check out our post about the climate in three places along S:t Olavsleden: What’s the weather going to be like?
Two – After midsummer, the gnats and mosquitoes can make life miserable at times.
Three – Late in the season, the weather can be lovely, the bugs are gone but it is getting dark earlier.
Four – there will not be as many choices for accommodation later in the season. Especially near the border, when hunting parties rent most available accommodation. You might want to bring a tent and make sure you can cook your food in the bush.
One solution, if you find yourself without lodging or food is to take the train part of the way.
Let us know if you have any questions we have not been able to answer!
We locals enjoy taking a stroll on S:t Olavsleden. Choosing a section and walk all day only to return home in the evening by train is also popular.
There are not that many people that can take a month long hiking vacation, or that would want to walk the 580 kms in one go.
Coming back to continue the walk you started last spring or last year, has a charm of it’s own. You are a little bit more familiar with S:t Olavsleden and its surroundings. You might have been able to do some extra research in the meantime. After the first hike along S:t Olavsleden, you’re probably not the same person that started in Selånger the last time. You have grown and maybe learned to slow down and appreciate the little things in life a bit more. Maybe you have someone you wanted to bring with you now, someone you think also needs to experience the adventure of hiking S:t Olavsleden.
While it is generally safe to hike the S:t Olavsleden trail alone, you should inform someone of your itinerary before embarking on the trip. You can also join our online community. This will allow you to stay in touch while on the path. You can reach out to the community, or us, whenever you need and for any reason. Check out the community here.
45% gravel roads
19% forest trails
The Pilgrim passport has a long history and is an essential part of the camino de Santiago de Compostela. It does not have the same importance on S:t Olavsleden. You don’t have to show it along the way and it doesn’t necessarily give you any special advantages on the path.
It is once you get to Trondheim and Nidaros Pilgrimcenter that it becomes valuable:
The Olav Letter
Pilgrims who have walked the last 100 km, cycled the last 200 km, and aquired the required stamps along the way, qualify to receive the Olav Letter at the pilgrimage destination. The Olav Letter holds great significance for many pilgrims and is a valuable proof that testifies to the long days spent on the pilgrimage trail.
The Olav Letter is a cherished souvenir that serves as a testament to the pilgrims’ dedication and endurance in completing their pilgrimage. It is a tangible reminder of the challenges and triumphs that they experienced on their journey. Moreover, it is a symbol of the spiritual growth and personal transformation that they underwent during their pilgrimage.
Receiving the Olav Letter is a significant achievement for many pilgrims, and it is a recognition of their commitment to the pilgrimage.
And you get to visit the Nidaros cathedral free of charge!
We’re working on making the passport a bit more valuable – making the trades people along the path realising that catering to pilgrims is a good thing and give them some encouragement in the form of a discount or a freebie is a good thing to do! You already have a 20% at Jamtli, the open air museum in Östersund when you show your Pilgrim Passport.
Our register features many of the lodgings along the S.t Olavsleden. You can also contact them via our register. You can find it here.
There are various accommodation options along the S:t Olavsleden trail, including hotels, hostels, camping sites, and cabins. It is advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak hiking season.
Be aware of the short season for some of them. From late August, you might have a hard time find lodging in Sweden after Åre/Duved. You might need to bring a tent and a good sleeping bag.
There are several towns and villages along S:t Olavsleden where you can buy food and refill your water bottles. However, it is advisable to carry enough food and water for a day’s hike and pack a water filtration system in case of emergencies. The closer you get to the border between Sweden and Norway the more difficult it gets to find provisions so you might need a few more days worth. Chose your food wisely for this part of the path.
There are ATMs in some towns and villages along the S:t Olavsleden trail, but it is advisable to carry cash and a credit card as a backup.
While it is helpful to know some basic Swedish or Norwegian phrases, it is not essential to speak the local language to hike the S:t Olavsleden trail. English is widely spoken and understood in most tourist areas.
Välkommen till S:t Olavsleden!
The cost of a pilgrimage to Nidaros can vary significantly.
A major expense is of course the lodging. From 350 kr and up per person. Bringing a tent would bring down the cost.
Food is not cheap either.
Don’t forget the cost of your equipment. You don’t want to save on that.
We imagine your S:t Olavsleden adventure to be a trip of a lifetime and just one of those things you want to be just right. It’s not the time to think about keeping a stringent budget in our opinion.
Not really, this might change in the future, but there are many places to ski in Sweden and Norway. We suggest you explore the many ski resorts in our area.
Snow shoeing is not yet very common here, but there are plenty of other things to do here in the winter, with and without skis – how about a husky tour?
If you plan on travelling with your furry companion to Sweden or Norway, you must adhere to certain regulations. However, these regulations differ between the two countries. To familiarise yourself with the regulations specific to Sweden, you can refer to Bringing your pet dog to Sweden (Jordbruksverkets). Meanwhile, if you intend to take your dog to Norway, you must seek assistance from a veterinarian prior to crossing the border. More information for Norway can be found here (Mattilsynet.no). It’s also essential to note that certain breeds, namely Pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Ceskoslovenský vlciak, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasilerio and Toso Inu, are currently banned from entering Norway.
This also applies to mixed breeds from the above breeds.
If there is suspicion that an animal is of a dangerous breed of dog, the police and customs authorities can require the dog owner to document its breed or type in accordance with the law. If there is doubt about the breed, the police can have the dog killed or require that the dog be sent out of the country.