14 days – Journey through the beautiful Finnish archipelago, from island to island. The St. Olav Waterway starts in Turku (Finland) and ends in Eckerö (Åland). It follows the trail pilgrims walked and sailed in the Middle Ages on their way to Nidaros. The schedule that you see below is just a suggestion. You can plan in resting days or combine stages. Ask us for the possibilities.
On foot & by ferry: follow in the footsteps of the St. Olav pilgrims
Day 1: travel day
It is pleasant to take a stroll after a long journey – and Turku is the perfect place for that! Take a look at the cathedral; the place where you can get the first stamp for your pilgrim pass tomorrow. There are several good restaurants in the historic city centre where you can unwind before a good night’s rest.
Day 2: Turku – Pargas (approx. 30 km)
The first stage is a tough one, but also very enjoyable. You come across all kinds of scenery: urban, forest, rock formations and beautiful sea views. On this long day you pass several spots for a picnic or short stop. Attention: this stage can be divided into two days!
Day 3: Pargas – Pensar (approx. 19 km)
You pass the impressive Pargas mine towards the first ferry. Halfway the trail you can have a drink at a local pub, but the ferry’s schedule is leading, so don’t sit for too long. Pensar Island is peaceful and has a nature path.
Day 4: Pensar – Nagu (approx. 17 km)
With a ferry you cover the first kilometers over sea. You then follow a quiet road towards Nagu. Can you spot the deer? The two bridges you cross offer a nice view, but beware the cars passing you by. Nagu is a cozy town with a harbour, restaurants and supermarkets.
Day 5: Nagu – Korpo (approx. 24 km)
A scenic trail awaits you today. The path winds along old roads and through pretty villages. You won’t find a supermarket along the way and only one summer café, so remember to bring plenty of snacks in addition to your packed lunch. You also get on ferry number three to Korpo. Here you can dine in one of the best restaurants of the archipelago; we are happy to make a reservation for you!
Day 6: Korpo – Kökar (approx. 9 km)
After only five kilometers you reach the ferry. This boat ride takes longer than the previous ones, so enjoy the view while having a drink aboard. After arriving at Kökar it is an hour’s walk to the accommodation. Kick off your shoes and enjoy the thought that you have a resting day tomorrow.
Day 7: resting day on Kökar
This historical and remote island is the perfect place to relax a bit. Nordic Pilgrim chose this island for good reasons. What most of all attracts visitors to Kökar today is the stunning nature, composed of barren rocks with pockets of lush forests, wild fields and protected bays for swimming.
Day 8: Kökar – Lemland (approx. 16 km)
On day eight you can take it easy and this starts already on the boat. You sail past the smallest municipality of Finland, Sottunga, towards Åland. From there you walk to your next accommodation. The Church of Lumparland, is the oldest surviving wooden church in Åland, dating back to the 1720’s.
Day 9: Lemland – Lemböte (approx. 28 km)
Today you enjoy a varied landscape consisting of rocky hills, forest paths and village roads. Maneuver through stone fields that have been formed since the ice age and enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds you this day. A long but wonderful day.
Day 10: Lemböte – Mariehamn (approx. 21 km)
After spending a day in nature, this day you mostly walk through urban areas. You can see the single church dedicated to St. Olav on Åland: Jomala. You spend the night near the town of Mariehamn. A city filled with lots of shops, restaurants and a nice museum. If you want to, you can take a bus to the city centre.
Day 11: Mariehamn – Gottby (approx. 21 km)
The first kilometers you walk through an urban area and on a motorway. As soon as you turn towards Gottby, there is a pleasant road where you pass several cosy villages.
Day 12: Gottby – Kattnäs (approx. 21 km)
A relatively easy walk through woods, fields and small villages. You won’t find any cafes or supermarkets, so plan your own picnic today.
Day 13: Kattnäs – Eckerö (approx. 23 km)
This is your last long hike. You walk past farmlands and through forests until you reach the medieval church of Hammarland. Here you can get a stamp and can take a short break. From the church you cross smaller and larger roads, which can be challenging – but a little perseverance is part of every pilgrimage. Five kilometers before your tour ends, you can put your last stamp of the Waterway in your pilgrim pass: in the church of Eckerö.
Day 14: travel day
The last two kilometers of your journey take you to the ferry towards Sweden. Congratulations: you have walked a little more than 230 kilometers on the St. Olav Waterway! After two hours crossing the Baltic Sea you arrive on the mainland of Sweden. Will your adventure towards Nidaros continue right after that..? From Eckerö it is also possible to travel back to Mariehamn and take the ferry to Stockholm or Turku. We can arrange accommodation for you in these places and help you booking your ferry as well.
Duration: 14 days
Included: accommodation, meals (with a few exceptions), luggage transfer, booking, assistance through app (if needed). Luggage and meals can also be arranged by yourself – which will save costs.
Accommodation: in hut, inn or hotel. You can bring your own sleeping bag and bed linen. More luxurious accommodations can be booked in some places; this affects the costs.
Difficulty: the route is described as ‘moderate’ which means that if you are a trained walker the route is easy to do. In addition to walking through forests and on gravel, the route also regularly runs on asphalt. If you want to walk (or cycle) the entire route, you need to be in good shape. We also recommend that you bring good hiking equipment – broken-in hiking boots, a comfortable backpack and possibly walking sticks. Planning the entire route requires time, so start planning early and don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.
Important: the planning and booking of this route is done with the ferry time tables in mind. They are leading when planning your start date.