The Gudbrandsdalen Path
Oslo – Gjøvik/Hamar – Trondheim
The Gudbrandsdalen path is the longest pilgrim route in Norway, and was the main road to Nidaros, todays Trondheim, during the Middle Ages. Walk in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims and be inspired by a diverse nature and cultural landscape.
The path stretches from the capital, Oslo, to Trondheim, 643 km of well-marked trail in a stunning and varied countryside. You can choose to take the path from Oslo past Old Aker Church through beautiful Hadeland on the west side of Mjøsa, or walk on the east side through calm forests and agricultural landscape. Here you’ll be able to see important Norwegian historical and cultural places. If you take the west side you are able to visit the birthplace of Saint Olav at Bønsnes, and The Sister Churches at Granavollen. From Granavollen you have the possibility to go to Kapp and take Norway’s oldest steamboat, Skibladner, and cross the lake to Hamar to visit the ruins of the medieval Hamar Cathedral. On the north side of Mjøsa you arrive in Lillehammer, the host of the Olympic winter games in 1994. The two paths connect at this point and it continues north through Gudbrandsdalen. Here you will find a varied and striking cultural landscape, from ancient forests to welcoming villages. You will experience serenity, wildlife, amazing countryside and of course culinary experiences based on traditional local food.
Untouched nature is a reoccurring theme of the path. The route runs from the cultural landscape of the valley and up in the mountains of Dovre. Here you will find magnificent nature where traces of men are few. What you will experience are the old kings’ road and ruins of “Sælehus”, resting places for pilgrims. You also find the Eysten church as a haven for wayfarers. After the mountain pass awaits Trønderlag with its forests and open countryside. This is the final part before you reach Trondheim and Nidaros Cathedral.
The Gudbrandsdalen path has countless cultural heritages to offer and reminds you of the way of life in the past. Here you will find tombstones, historical places and medieval buildings. You can even experience to be in a building that housed pilgrims dating back to the 1300s. The Gudbrandsdalen path gives you a close encounter with the legacy of Saint Olav. Several springs called “Olavskilder” are widespread and these would have a healing effect. Alongside the path we find the historical sites Bønsnes, Granavollen and Dale Gudbrands Gard. These places are indirectly or directly mentioned in Snorri's saga of Olav Haraldsson, later Saint Olav. And when you walk the Gudbrandsdalen path it is never far between the churches - monuments of the Christian traditions that have roots in Saint Olav and the christening of Norway.
Nature, culture and food stand strong in the experience of the local industries throughout the Gudbrandsdalen path. The accommodations convey this through their hospitality. Several of them also offer local food which has gained an important place for pilgrims and hikers as a part of the pilgrim experience.
FACTS ABOUT THE GUDBRANDSDALEN PATH:
- 161 accommodations
- 11 traditional gapahuker (open shelters)
- 50 hostels serving local and homemade food
- Highest point is 1321 meters above sea level (Vesle Elgsjøtangen)
Recommended walks along The Gudbrandsdalen Path:
Dovre Church - Kongsvold Mountain Lodge
Follow the pilgrim path crossing Dovrefjell, one of Norway’s most stunning areas. Find yourself in a scene from a… Read more
Oslo: From the Medival Park to Old Aker Church.
This short pilgrimage starts in the Old City in Oslo. Here you will find several of the preserved remainders of medieval… Read more
One day tour – From Lian to Baklandet
This short tour from the outskirts of Trondheim to the historic Baklandet takes you through the last leg of the pilgrim… Read more
From Bønsnes, past Ringerike, Hadeland and Toten to Gjøvik
On this six day trip, the St. Olav Way takes you through the areas of Ringerike, Hadeland and Toten, before it finally… Read more
From Kløfta to Jessheim – a pilgrimage through the farmlands of the Iron – and Middle ages.
The walk from Kløfta to Jessheim leads you along the Romerike pilgrim path, which gives you the chance to see several… Read more
Gudbrandsdalen valley: From Lillehammer to Dale-Gudbrands Farm and Vinstra
This seven day pilgrimage goes through the Gudbrandsdal valley, and offers a vast variety of experiences. You will have… Read more
Hedmarken District: From Hamar to Lillehammer.
This five day trip from Hamar to Lillehammer takes you through a peaceful countryside, rolling hills, forests and small … Read more