Find your route

The St. Olav Waterway is dedicated to Saint Olav, patron saint of Norway. The beautiful archipelago and the sea view freckled by islands make the route truly one-of-a-kind. Enjoy the calm of archipelago nature and let your mind rest.

St. Olav Waterway is part of St. Olav Ways, a networks of pilgrim paths to Trondheim and a certified Cultural Route of The Council of Europe.

The sea route begins in Finland’s former capital, Turku and passes through historically interesting areas in the archipelago of Finland and Åland. You can be very flexible when planning your journey. Do you want to walk the entire distance? Do you want to walk some of the legs and choose bus transport for others? Or would you prefer to divide the route up for several occasions? A hiker on St. Olav Waterway does furthermore have the added bonus of resting during the crossings on water. During these you will be transported on board road and passenger ferries.

Maps – both as overviews and in details – of the St Olav Waterway are found here. Travelling in different ways on the road and through the sea offers nice variety to your journey. You can bike, sail or kayak part of the way.

St. Olav Waterway – The only pilgrims’ path with sauna and sea views every day!

The route through the archipelago, from Turku to Galtby in Korpo, takes 4-5 days, and takes your through Turku, Kaarina and the main islands of Pargas, Nagu and Korpo and is described in detail on our digital maps.  

Would you like to get to know the archipelago in your own way and find alternatives to main roads? There are many opportunities to wander off route and tread your own path, but it does require some extra planning and time. Beautiful secret places await you along small roads.
Did you know that most of the route within the archipelago belongs to the UNESCO Biosphere area?

The Finnish Archipelago – alternative archipelago routes

A few tips for finding true gems in the archipelago:

  • Get advice and tips from blogs in the stories section or from our Facebook community group.
  • The main route is described on our digital maps.
  •  Travel by boat between central Turku, Själö and Nagu. This is great as a 2-3 day hike from Turku to Nagu and return by boat. M/S Vitharun Turku – Själö – Nagu- Turku (summers and weekends during spring)
    M/S Östern Nagu – Själö – Rymättylä (Hanka)(summers only), part of The Small Archipelago Trail
  • Visit the southern archipelago of Pargas and Nagu by using Stage 2b from Sattmark to Granvik. The ferry m/s Viken takes you to Björkholm and Pensar. Book your accommodation in advance and check the ferry schedules as they also need to be reserved in advance. From Pensar you continue by ferry to Kirjais in Nagu. There is a summer shop and restaurant in Kirjais village. Walk 9km up to stage 3 on the main trail or you can continue island hopping from Kirjais to Brännskär, see below. Combine this with the bus from Turku and walking (Sattmark-Granvik 8km + Kirjais to main road 14km) for a short pilgrimage over two or three days.
    Route map and links to ferry and bus timetables for stage 2b
    Pensar Sandvik
  • Take the ferry from Kirjais to Brännskär. Bränskär offers accommodation, food and an authentic archipelago atmosphere. You can get to Kirjais by following the St. Olav signs and taking the main road after the Nagu ferry for 6,2 km and then turning left to Kirjais (14,3 km). There is a summer shop and restaurant in Kirjais village. The ferry pier is a 3km walk from the village.
  • Experience the outer archipelago by ferry. M/s Eivor departs from Pärnäs in Nagu where it can be found next to the Korpo ferry. Visit Nötö, Aspö, Jurmo or Utö. . Plan your route well and you can do a day trip from Pärnäs or visit more than one island per day. 
    Route map and links to ferry and bus timetables for stage 5
    (ferry information only in Swedish)
    Jurmo cultural path is connected to St. Olav Waterway
  • Charter transport from Korpoström to the outer archipelago and for groups to Kökar.

St. Olav Waterway for children and families! For the route between Turku and Korpo, there is a special pilgrim’s passport available for children. The passport follows Olav’s life journey from viking to king and saint. You can collect stamps and solve tasks during your way. The passport is free. Ask for a copy  at Turku Cathedral or other churches or libaries along the path, or at the tourist information points in Pargas, Nagu and Korpo. More information and extra tasks are found here.

Åland archipelago and Åland, travel tips

Uppland, Gästrikland and Hälsningland in Sweden – choose an inland or coastal route

From Eckerö in Western Åland the passage continues to Grisslehamn in Sweden. On the Swedish side the trail travels north on Vikingaleden through beautiful cultural landscapes to Uppland, Gästrikland and Hälsningland. You may choose whether you want to continue inland or follow the coastal route from Grisslehamn to the direction of Söderhamn and Hudiksvall. The coastal routes requires your own boat or kayak. The Vikingaleden route continues through Uppland, Gästrikland and Hälsningland. It is connected to Helgonleden, which runs from Uppsala. 

In Sweden pilgrims have the opportunity to enjoy versatile sceneries. Marine and coastal landscapes turn into farmlands and in the west you will be faced by Norway’s large forest and mountain areas. Once you arrive in Nidaros and Trondheim you are at the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.

To reach Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim pilgrims need to use S:t Olavsleden or Romboleden.