The St. Olav Waterway

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. Olav is the patron saint of Åland and there are Olav churches on both the Finnish archipelago and Åland, which means Olav himself may have passed the area on his way from Novgorod to Sweden. The St. Olav Waterway is the first pilgrim trail connecting Finland and Sweden over the sea. This trail combines beautiful hikes with island hopping and takes about two weeks. The total distance is 340 kilometers, including ferries. However, the distance that you actually have to walk is approximately 215 kilometers.


A self-guided hike from Turku (Finland) to Eckerö (Åland). It follows the trail pilgrims walked and sailed in the Middle Ages on their way to Nidaros. The journey is a combination of hiking and taking ferries. The schedule that you see below is just a suggestion. You can plan in resting days or combine stages. Ask us for the possibilities.

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01. Travel day. Overnight stay in Turku

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.

02. Turku - Kirjala (approx. 23 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.

03. Kirjala - Pargas (approx. 8 km)

A short hike today, which gives you time to check in in your new accommodation, relax a bit and visit Pargas’ historical district on Gamla Malmen.

This day can be combined with day two into one hike. You can also hike from Kirjala all the way to the ferry to Pensar (ca. 27 km).

04. 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.

05. 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 harbor, restaurants and supermarkets.

06. 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.

Attention: you can get a lift for the approx. 10 kilometers.

07. 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.

08. 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.

09. 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.

10. 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. You take the bus back to Lemland for your accommodation.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Gottby – Frebbenby (approx. 30 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. Attention: you can get a lift for the first couple of kilometers.

14. Frebbenby – Eckerö (approx. 16 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.

15. Travel day (approx. 2 km)

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.

15 days of which you walk 13 days, an average of 20 kilometers per day. You can combine certain stages of this hike.


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 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.

You spend the nights B&B’s, hotels and cabins. The accommodations have a higher standard than for example along the Gudbrandsdalsleden. You don’t have to bring your own sleeping bag and don’t have to sleep in dorm rooms.

Meals are included, but not in all accommodations.

Luggage transfer is possible along this route. Ask us for details.

All except one ferries are free – which we book for you. Ferry ticket from Åland to Sweden is included in the price. Also: lift/taxi to Korpo if needed, bed linen, booking, assistance through app (if needed).

Luggage transfer, plane- and train tickets. You will of course be helped to find the trip that suits you best.

This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee. You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s website (

Contact us for more information: or +31 6 12834782.

  • € 2.150 (one person, single room where available)
  • € 3.575 (two persons, double room where available)


Self-guided hike along the St. Olav Waterway, from Turku to Eckerö

  • Available from April to October

  • 15 days of which you walk 13 days, an average of 20 kilometers per day.

  • € 2.150 (one person, single room where available)

  • € 3.575 (two persons, double room where available)

Contact us for more info