Pilgrim passport and the Olav Letter

On a pilgrimage trough Norway, it is tradition to use a pilgrim passport to document the journey and to verify that you are a true pilgrim.

Pilgrim passport with various stamps. Photo

A unique pilgrim tradition

The tradition of pilgrim passports dates back to the Middle Ages. The passport was originally used to document that you were a true pilgrim when you came to a new place as a stranger. Today, pilgrims carry on the tradition as a way to document the trip. Each stamp becomes a unique memory, and the passport itself becomes the "memory book" from the walk. Many pilgrims hang it on the wall when they return home.

Pilgrims can recieve stamps at the pilgrim hostels, the regional pilgrimage centers and in some churches. At accommodation that does not have a stamp, you can ask the host to give you a simple endorsement in the passport.

Two women holding up their Olav letters. Photo

The Olav Letter

The Olav letter is your proof of a completed pilgrimage. The letter is a great keepsake, and many pilgrims choose to hang it on their wall when they return home. The Olav letter is issued at Nidaros Pilgrim Centre in Trondheim, and you must present your pilgrim passport with stamps and signatures to document your pilgrimage the last 100 kilometres into Trondheim and the Nidaros Cathedral.

The Olav Letter and the last hundred kilometres to Nidaros

The Olav Letter is a confirmation that you have walked the last stage, minimum 100 kilometers, of any of the St. Olav Ways into Trondheim, or biked the last 200 kilometers. You need to present your pilgrim passport in person with stamps as documentation, in order to recieve the Olav Letter. The only place the Olav Letter is issued is the Nidaros Pilgrim Center, which is located close to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

Recommended walks that qualify for the Olav Letter are Berkåk to Trondheim on Gudbrandsdalsleden, Stiklestad to Trondheim on St. Olavsleden or Tynset to Trondheim on Østerdalsleden.

If you want to qualify for the Olav Letter by bicycle we recommend that you take the trip from Åre, Sweden to Trondheim on St. Olavsleden.

How to buy the pilgrim passport?

The pilgrim passport costs 50 NOK and can be purchased at all regional pilgrim centers, as well as selected places (see overview below). If you want to have the passport sent in advance of your pilgrimage, you can order it in the online store: northernpilgrimshop.com
Buy here
The following places sell the pilgrim passport:


Northern Pilgrim Shop


Pilegrimssenter Oslo
Akersbakken 30
0172 Oslo
tel: +47 48052949

Domkirken i Oslo
Karl Johans g. 11
0154 Oslo
tel: + 47 23 31 46 00

Oslo Bispedømmekontor
St. Halvards plass 3
0192 Oslo
tel: + 47 23 30 11 60

Pilegrimssenter Hamar
Storhamargata 125
2305 Hamar
tel: +47 47 47 82 66

Pilegrimssenter Granavollen
Kommunehuset på Granavollen
2770 Jaren
tel: +47 40 60 01 77

Bønsnes kirke
3530 Røyse

Lillehammer Vandrehjem Stasjonen
Jernbanetorget 2-4
2609 Lillehammer
+47 61260024

Gildesvollen herberge
Gråvåbakken 5
2630 Ringebu
+47 95940499

Ringebu Prestegård
2630 Ringebu
+47 61282700

Pilegrimssenter Dale-Gudbrands Gard
2647 Sør-Fron
tlf: +47 45 60 46 08

Nidaros Pilegrimsgård
Kjøpmannsgt. 1
7013 Trondheim
tel: + 47 73 52 50 00

Bygdestua på Hoffsvangen
Tømmerholsvegen 320
2850 Lena
+47 908 87 582

Gammelbua i Rennebu
Voll, 7393 Rennebu
+47 995 42 018

Pilegrimssenter Dovrefjell
2661 Hjerkinnhus
tlf: +47 911 43651


Kirkekontoret i Trysil ved kirkevergen
Liavegen 25
2420 Trysil
tel: + 47 62 45 13 84


Hilde Kirkvoll
Kirkvollen, 7590 Tydal
tel: + 47 73 81 53 57


Stiklestad Nasjonale Kultursenter
tel: + 47 74 04 42 00

Every summer, a pilgrim breakfast is organized at Lian outside Trondheim, and a stamp in the pilgrim passport is a must for the pilgrims. Photo: Hans Morten Løvrød
You can get the Olav Letter at Nidaros Pilgrim Center which is situated close to the Nidaros Cathedral and the peaceful river Nidelven.