The St. Olav Waterway is a pilgrimage route from the Middle Ages from the Turku in Finland to the village of Eckerö on Åland. It has been reopened in 2019. More information can be found on the page ‘About St. Olav’ and on the official website of the route,

The total distance is 340 kilometers, including ferries. However, the distance that you actually have to walk is approximately 215 kilometers.

On the St. Olav Waterway you walk on paved and unpaved roads and forest trails. The route also include some island hopping by taking ferries – most of which are free, but sometimes need booking. Good equipment and planning are required and you should be in good physical shape. But the route is doable for most hikers!

The St. Olav Waterway is accessible from April to October. During other periods the temperatures are not optimal and the weather too unpredictable. Also: during the low season there are not as many ferries running in-between the islands.

No need for assistance? Do you want to plan everything yourself? That is possible. You can find information on the website of the St. Olav Waterway. But if you need help with planning or booking, or need general info, please contact us.

You will have to book the journey to/and from Finland/Sweden yourself. These costs are not included in our prices.

There are several possibilities to travel to Finland, but we recommend traveling to Helsinki and then taking the train or bus to Turku. For your return trip you can take the ferry to Grisslehamn (Sweden) and from there the bus to Stockholm. You can also take a direct ferry from Mariehamn to Stockholm or a night ferry back to Turku. It can be a puzzle to find the best or cheapest trip. We are happy to help you find the best option.

You can also start your own puzzle by visiting these websites:

Yes! Ask us for details.

Many pilgrims choose to travel with their best four-legged friend: their dog. This is possible: most accommodations accept dogs – just be sure to check beforehand. On ferries dogs are allowed in the passenger salons. However: special rules apply for entering Finland with your dog. More information:

The accommodation along the route varies from rooms to cabins and small hostels and hotels. Nordic Pilgrim chooses all accommodation with care. However, the standard varies per accommodation – this is because there is not yet much available, as the route is relatively new.

Sleeping bag and/or bed linen (these can also be booked at the accommodation); thermos/water bottle; backpack; rain gear; (warm) clothing and equipment; good walking shoes (preferably waterproof); lighter shoes for relaxing; first aid supplies and blister plasters; insect spray; passport. Trekking poles can be a great tool. Also make sure you are insured.

When you visit the Nordic Pilgrim website, you quickly notice one hike is much more expensive than the other. Why is that? Mainly because life in the Finnish archipelago is simply more expensive. Another reason is that most accommodations along the Waterway – of which there are not many (yet) – are of a higher standard than along the St. Olavsleden and the Gudbrandsdalsleden.