8 days – Travel slowly, breathe deeply, and savour the the Nordic Riviera – one island at a time. This part of the St. Olav Waterway starts in Turku (Finland) and ends on the beautiful island of Kökar. It follows part of 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.
“Travel through the largest archipelago in the world, by foot and by ferry
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. 30 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! Attention: you can get a lift for the last couple of kilometres.
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: travel day
Back to Turku or on to Mariehamn (and Stockholm)! We can help you finding the best connections.
Duration: 8 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.