National Pilgrim Center

National Pilgrim Center is responsible for the public pilgrimage development in Norway, coordinating and prioritizing tasks and resources. The public pilgrim routes in Norway are meant to function as incubators for positive and sustainable development. The pilgrim routes are open for all.

Reports and statistics

Every year reports and statistics are produced on the basis of activities and available documentation.


NPS is engaged in both small and large projects, nationally and internationally in cooperation with the pilgrimage initiative's stakeholders.

Merking og skjøtsel

Merkehåndbok for Pilegrimsleden – St. Olavsvegene til Trondheim er en veileder til fylker, kommuner og merkemannskaper langs pilegrimsleder med Nidarosdomen i Trondheim som mål. Merkehåndboka 2015 - 2018 er gjeldende inntil revidert versjon publiseres.

Logo and profile

The logo is the official brand of St. Olav ways. The logo is used to mark and promote the officially approved St. Olav's Roads, and is the main element of the Pilgrim Route's graphic profile. All use of the logo must be approved by NPS.

Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

NPS is "Route Management" for Nordic co-operation on the status of European Cultural Route for the Pilgrim Route - St. Olav ways. The work is organized through the member association "Association for the Cultural Route of St. Olav Ways" (ACSOW).
Sustainable development of the Pilgrim Trails

The Norwegian National Pilgrim Center, in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, has prepared a sustainability analysis of the Pilgrimsleden trails.

Master's thesis for NMBU, The sustainable development of the pilgrim trail, by Mattias Jansson, 2021

This was written as an independent, objective master's thesis however its findings and results, as well as its recommendations, may also be relevant for other pilgrim trails.

For any questions, e-mail

Read the abstract here:

"Sustainable development of the Pilgrim Trails”

Interest in pilgrimage and the use of pilgrim trails has flourished in recent years, both in Norway and abroad. The increasing number of pilgrims in Spain has necessitated the development of plans and strategies to safeguard the sustainability of these areas. Along the Pilgrim trail between Oslo and Trondheim, the number of pilgrims has increased annually by about 20%. This trail leads through vulnerable nature and in close proximity to cultural landscapes. The need for research that examines challenges and opportunities involved in further sustainable use of the trail must also be addressed here.

This master's thesis examines the types of situations and uses impacting the sustainability of the St. Olav’s Route “Gudbrandsdalsleden” between Oslo and Trondheim. This includes the impact on the natural and cultural environment, attitudes towards infrastructure, sustainability measures and environmental certifications related to UNWTO's strategy for sustainable tourism. I have conducted two surveys and answered four questions that deal with these topics. The data is based on a quantitative survey of hikers on the Pilgrim trail, as well as a qualitative survey with interviews of ten participants who work with or in the vicinity of the trail. Results of the quantitative survey show that the most important factors for a pilgrimage are to experience nature and a desire to walk in peace and quiet. The 120 respondents walked an average of 16 days. They show little purism and express preferences for a good infrastructure with good signage, marked trails, planking and rest stops and also showed positive attitudes towards sustainability and environmental certifications. Statistical analyses show that the answers from Norwegian and foreign pilgrims are generally similar, the exception being that foreign pilgrims to a greater extent wanted to “walk alone” and “walk for miles without meeting others”. They also believe to a greater extent, that it is difficult to be environmentally friendly along the trail. The qualitative study reveals initially positive views of the pilgrim trail for the regions through which it passes, but that there is also some degradation of the natural and cultural environment; this being associated with camping, water erosion of paths and variation of central infrastructure. The participants also wanted greater focus on the availability of information along the trail, as a means of strengthening sustainability and an infrastructure that takes greater care of the existing cultural landscape.

The thesis discusses challenges associated with pricing, the role of hosts, waste disposal and toilet facilities as well as challenges associated with the right of public access. The thesis concludes with recommendations for developments in infrastructure, dissemination of information and channelisation. It also encourages greater network building as well as greater use of environmental certification schemes.

Key words: sustainable development, infrastructure, environmental certification, Pilgrim Trail, St. Olav’s route to Trondheim, hiking trails.


Profile picture of Hans Morten Løvrød
Hans Morten Løvrød
Tlf: (+47) 402 40 092
Department Director
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Mattias Jansson
Tlf: (+47) 952 95 953
Senior Advisor
Profile picture of Guro Berge Vistad
Guro Berge Vistad
Tlf: (+47) 920 38 460
Senior Advisor
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Sissel Nervik
Tlf: (+47) 958 49 242
Kjersti Hansen Eggen
Tlf: (+47) 900 71 906
Communications Advisor