Around one thousand years ago, king Olav was laid to rest where now the mighty Nidaros Cathedral has its place in Trondheim. During the late medieval times, year by year, courageous travelers would make pilgrimages through Norway’s rough and beautiful nature to pay king Olav their respect. Today, the Østerdasleden is still the wildest and probably cheapest of the St. Olav pilgrim routes. Over the course of nine beautiful stages, you will hike from the village of Tynset through forests, valleys and over the Fjell, always following the path northward.
You will spend your nights in simple huts along the way or in a tent on a campground or on traditional Norwegian farms. Lush green Meadows in the Fjell and deep blue mountain lakes shape the scenery along your journey, as well as the historical wooden churches and chapels along the Pilgrimsleden, the Norwegian word for pilgrim route.
As a reward for the over 200 kilometers you will have under your feet by the end, the beautiful Nidarosdom Cathedral and its pilgrim center await you. There, you’ll be awarded with a certificate for what you just accomplished, as well as the opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved cup of coffee, eat some treats and to finally put your feet up. And if not already, the charming town of Trondheim will catch you with its charm, sights and people.
The small but well-known community Tynset on the shores of Glomma is the starting point for the nine-day pilgrimage to Trondheim. You can stay overnight at Tynset Rom & Camping, opposite there is a supermarket to stock up on groceries.The journey on the other side of Glomma up to the fjell, from where you have a great view of the summit of the Tron and into the Østerdal itself.
Today, the pilgrim route leads you again above the tree line towards the northeast to Dalsbygda. This small village is not only the home of many cows and sheep, but has also spawned one of the best Norwegian cross-country skiers: Therese Johaug.You can spend the night at the friendly Hof Meierigården, whose café sells local products and is a central meeting place for the 600 inhabitants of the village.
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After stocking up on food at Meierigården, the third stage will take you out of Dalsbygda through Vangrøftdalen. A bit off the beaten track is the rustic farm Spelmovollen, which also offers overnight accommodation.The pilgrimage continues to the small hut Hognabua on Forollsjøen. Enjoy the tranquility up here and if you still have energy left, make a detour to the Forollhogna, from where you have a fantastic view over the surrounding fjell.
Today you can expect a relaxing day: there are hardly any altitude to deal with while the path leads comfortably down to Budalen.All the more time is left to you today's stage destination, the open-air museum Storbekkøya, to explore more precisely and gather in the local café forces for the next stages.
A long stage is ahead of you today, but luckily it's more downhill than uphill. Once you have climbed the saddle between the lumps and the Vinterskaftet, you can relax at the pilgrim's hut and enjoy the view of the Budal.As a motivation at the end of the day you will find the village Singsås with supermarket, bakery and as a highlight a waffle café. You can spend the night either in the refuge opposite the miniature stave church or at the campsite Klokkerhazugen a little further the road to the west, just past the junction of the pilgrimage to the north.
The ascent to Storfjellet is rewarded with the view over the popular destination Samsjøen. Here the Norwegians like to go fishing, hiking and cycling in summer. Enjoy again the view above the tree line, because so slowly you approach Trondheim on the coast.The feel of the Fjell can be well enjoyed in today's refurbished Samatun hut. Cook something delicious and sit by the lake Håen to enjoy the sunset - maybe you'll get nice company from the valley too.
Shortly after departure, the first highlight of the day awaits you: St. Olavsknippen - source, pilgrim way markings and lookout point at the same time. From here you can already see for the first time the destination of your pilgrimage, the Nidarsdomen in Trondheim. In the course of the day, the vegetation becomes greener and more wooded and civilization is approaching.A bit out of the way of the E6 from Flå center, you can spend the night on Fogdegården; An old farm with beautifully restored bed and breakfast rooms and traditional food. Velbekomme!
The penultimate stage takes you through mostly forested areas to the southern foothills of Trondheim. Even some city dwellers will spend the weekend here in the countryside.A (recent) historic pilgrim highlight awaits you at Øyvindstjønna before the civilizations at Sandmoen Bed & Breakfast welcome you. You still have energy after a week and you finally want to arrive? Then you can also follow stage 9 (about 18 km) - after all, this is the last day and Trondheim is already waiting for you!
The final stage of the pilgrimage leads along the idyllic Nidelva, so you do not have to run across the city. If you cross the big bridge over the Nidelva, you can already see the destination: the imposing Nidaros Cathedral.When you reach the "0 kilometer" waystone, your pilgrimage is complete. Congratulations! You can pick up the stamp and your well-deserved certificate at the Pilgrim Center next door. Afterwards you can let yourself be seduced by Trondheim for relaxing, sightseeing and celebrations. You deserve it!