Oslo – Gjøvik/Hamar – Trondheim
643 KM 32 days
The main road to Nidaros, todays Trondheim, in the Middle Ages.

Pilgrimage - an experience of a lifetime

Gudbrandsdalsleden takes you from the capital of Norway, Oslo, to the pilgrimage town of Trondheim. It is a 643 km long, well-marked pilgrim path. Along the way you can experience beautiful cultural landscapes by lake Mjøsa, stay at historic farms in the valley Gudbrandsdalen, hike across the vast Dovrefjell mountain plateau, and enjoy the lush nature of Trøndelag. Walking from Oslo to Trondheim, and finally reaching Nidaros Cathedral - St. Olav's burial place - is an experience of a lifetime.

It is recommended to walk the Gudbrandsdalsleden between 1 June and 1 September. If you go outside this period, you risk the paths being covered with snow and meltwater, and the accommodations may be closed.

The legacy of St. Olav

Gudbrandsdalsleden has hundreds of cultural heritage stories and places along the path. You will see ancient burial sites, historically significant locations, beautiful churches, and preserved buildings from the Middle Ages. You might even have the chance to stay in a building that once housed pilgrims as far back as the 1300's at Sygard Grytting.

Gudbrandsdalsleden brings you close to the legacy of the Viking king Olav Haraldsson, later known as Saint Olav (St. Olav). Water springs named after St. Olav are widespread, and they are known to have healing effects. Along Gudbrandsdalsleden you'll find the historical sites St. Hallvard Cathedral, Bønsnes, Granavollen, Hamardomen and Dale-Gudbrands Gard. Many of these locations have direct or indirect connections to the saga of Olav Haraldsson, later St. Olav.

Along the path we also find our foremost cultural carriers, the churches, and when you walk the Gudbrandsdalsleden it is never far between these sanctuaries that stand as a monument of the Christian tradition to which St. Olav introduced to Norway in the early Middle Ages.

Ringebu stavechurch is a hidden gem along Gudbrandsdalsleden and an important church for pilgrims. Photo: Eskil Roll

How to do a pilgrimage on Gudbrandsdalsleden?

If you have the opportunity, it is recommended to walk the entire path from Oslo to Trondheim. Walking on average 20 kilometres per day, you will spend around 4-5 weeks on your pilgrimage. This is the optimal pilgrimage where you get the opportunity to relax and live the pilgrim life to the fullest. You only need to focus on where to go, eat and sleep, and you will have plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings, the people you meet and the food and cultural experience along the path.

Another popular way of doing a pilgrimage is to walk the Gudbrandsdalsleden in stages. You can do one week at a time, for example walk from Oslo to Gjøvik, and do the next stage from Gjøvik to Lillehammer another time.

It is also quite possible to do three-day pilgrimages or day trips on the Gudbrandsdalsleden. Have a look at our list of recommended walks.

Budsjord pilgrim farm, located in Dovre, offers wonderful local food for hungry pilgrims. Photo: Eskil Roll
Foto: Eskil Roll

Should you choose the western or eastern route?

Gudbrandsdalsleden starts in Oslo, at the ruins of the St. Hallvard Cathedral. Shortly after the starting point, the trail splits into a western and an eastern route, each following one side of Lake Mjøsa, before they converge again in Lillehammer.

The choise is yours: Do you want to take the western route out of Oslo, through the forest called Krokskogen, then trough the beautiful Hadeland region on the western side of Lake Mjøsa?
Or the eastern route through Groruddalen, crossing Skedsmo toward historic Eidsvoll and the agricultural Stange region on the eastern side of Lake Mjøsa? Both options are equally lovely and cover approximately the same distance between Oslo and Lillehammer.

If you take the western route you can visit the area where St. Olav grew up, Bønsnes, and the sister churches of Granavollen. If you would like more information on the western route we recommend you to contact the Granavollen Pilgrim Center or the Oslo Pilgrim Center.

If you take the eastern route you will experience forests and agricultural landscape on the way to Tangen and Stange Vestbygd, as well as the ruins of Hamardomen in the city Hamar. Hamar was the bishop's seat and the only inland village in medieval Norway, and an obvious stop for pilgrims. If you would like more information on the eastern route we recommend you to contact the Hamar Pilgrim Center or the Oslo Pilgrim Center.

It is also possible to combine an experience from both routes by going from Granavollen to Kapp or Gjøvik and then take Skibladner, the world's oldest active steamboat, over to Hamar. You can also travel with Skibladner on the eastern route, from Eidsvoll to Hamar or Lillehammer.

At Lillehammer, the western and eastern route meet and the path enter the valley of Gudbrand - Gudbrandsdalen. The valley has a varied landscape which ranges from ancient primeval forests to small pleasant villages. Here you will experience tranquillity, wildlife and culinary experiences based on local traditional food.

Skibladner, the exquisite steamboat, is a wonderful way for pilgrims to combine walking the Gudbrandsdalsleden, west and east of lake Mjøsa. Photo: Eskil Roll

Across the mountain range

The journey continues up to the Dovrefjell mountain range, reaching the trail's highest point at approximately 1300 meters above sea level. At Dovre mountain you will find traces of king roads, fishing grounds and thousand year old shelters. You’ll find the Eystein church, which is an important place to visit for many pilgrims.

The trek across the mountains require careful planning to ensure a safe journey, and the walking season is shorter than the rest of the trail (from approximately June 10th). Before you set off, check if the winter snow has melted and if the accommodations are open. If not, you should take the train across this area instead. Dovrefjell Pilgrim Center can provide you with guidance.

Don't set off too early!

Until the beginning of June, the route is "technically closed" over Dovrefjell, which means: it lacks infrastructure such as bridges, open hostels and has no visible markings. In addition, there is deep snow and subzero temperatures, usually well into June. We strongly advise against seeking out the Pilegrimsleden over the mountain during this period, it is not passable. In addition to a lot of snow, the rivers have ice water (cold meltwater), and cannot be waded across. Bridges over the rivers Hondyrju and Vesle Hondyrju will be laid out approximately June 10th.

Wild reindeer

Two of the stretches across Dovre mountain coincide with calving areas for wild reindeer. The reindeer is very vulnerable, and a European responsibility species. By scaring the wild reindeer, we deprive them of time that should have been spent on vital grazing and rest, and this is particulary important in the calving period. We generally encourage you not to walk the Pilegrimsleden over Dovrefjell before the calving period is over (10 June).

Even after the snow has melted, you must be prepared for sudden weather changes, with temperatures dropping to near zero degrees Celcius, even in the middle of summer. Always check the weather forecast on before crossing the mountains, and be sure to bring sufficient clothes, including gloves and a hat.

The pilgrim destination

After the high mountain plateau, you'll enter Trøndelag with its forested landscapes. Passing through the woods of Trøndelag, interspersed with some open stretches and river crossings, you'll arrive in the city of Trondheim. Awaiting you here is the Nidaros Cathedral, the burial church of St. Olav and the destination of your pilgrimage.

Outside the western facade of the cathedral, you'll find the last mile stone engraved with the pilgrim symbol. Nearby, you'll also find Nidaros Pilgrim Center, located on the other side of the Nidaros Cathedral graveyard, down by the river.

At Buvika, south of Trondheim, the pilgrims see the Trondheim fjord for the first time after walking for weeks in mountains and valleys. Photo: Hans-Jacob Dahl
Foto: Hans-Jacob Dahl
Regional pilgrim centers

Along Gudbrandsdalsleden there are six regional pilgrimage centers you can visit on your pilgrimage or contact in advance. They offer guidance and information. The centers are located in Oslo, Gran (Hadeland), Hamar, Hundorp (Gudbrandsdalen), Dovre mountain and Trondheim. The centers are regional, but have general knowledge on the whole Gudbrandsdalsleden from Oslo to Trondheim.

Oslo Pilgrim Center can help you if you are starting your pilgrimage in Oslo.

Hamar Pilgrim Center offer guidance and information about the Hamar region.

Granavollen Pilgrim Center offer guidance and information about the Hadeland region.

Dale-Gudbrand Pilgrim Center offer guidance and information about the Gudbrandsdalen region.

Dovrefjell Pilgrim Center offer guidance and information about the Dovrefjell mountain range and Trøndelag region.

Nidaros Pilgrim Center offer guidance and information about the Trondheim region.

Frequently asked questions

Where do I buy the pilgrim passport?

You can buy the pilgrim passport at several places along Gudbrandsdalsleden, check our overview here. Alternatively you can buy the passport in the online store at

When should I walk?

The main season for pilgrimage walking in Norway is during the summer, from June 1st to September 1st. Walking outside the main season is possible but not recommended, as it can be cold with more unstable weather, and many of the accommodation options are closed.
In areas where you need to cross mountains, the season is shorter due to snow and snowmelt. Contact the regional pilgrim center for the area you plan to walk through to check whether the conditions are safe.

How long does it take to walk the entire Gudbrandsdalsleden?

Pilgrims walk on average 20 km per day, and it can take up to 32 days to walk from Oslo to Trondheim. We recommend planning enough time to also be able to take rest days if necessary.

Can I order luggage transport?

Along Gudbrandsdalsleden (from Hadeland (west) or Tangen (east), all the way to Trondheim) you can easily order luggage transfer between the accommodations. See detailed information here.

How is the level of accommodation?

The level of accommodation varies from simple self-catering cottages, to pilgrim hostels or hotels. See overview of accommodations here.

Do you need to book accommodation in advance?

We recommend that you reserve a place at the pilgrim hostels in advance. The accommodations along the Gudbrandsdalsleden are usually small hostels with few beds. For that reason, it is advisable to secure a bed a few days before arriving. You can find a list of accommodations here.

How is the terrain on Gudbrandsdalsleden?

Gudbrandsdalsleden is long and therefore very varied. You will hike in both fields and on asphalt, up steep slopes and through moors and meadows. The weather will make the grass wet and the tarmac warm. Be prepared for a varied hike. Read more about how to prepare and choose the right equipment for your pilgrimage.

Which footwear should I choose?

We recommend hiking boots with good cushioning and durability. Some pilgrims choose mountain boots, some choose Gore-Tex, and some choose technical running shoes or sandals. Choice of shoes is individual and depends a bit on which stages you choose to go and what surface you’ll walk on.

Is the Gudbrandsdalsleden well marked?

Gudbrandsdalsleden is well marked from Oslo to Trondheim. Still, we recommend that you bring with you a map for safety reasons.

I've packed too much and the bag is too heavy to carry, what do I do?

Send excess content by mail. See how to do it here.

Can there be snow on Dovrefjell Mountain range?

There may be snow in the mountains, often until mid-June. If there is still snow on Dovrefjell mountain range we strongly advice against crossing it by foot, take the train instead. Some accommodations remain closed as long as there's snow. Check the weather conditions before you start the crossing, for example at, and be aware that bad weather and temperatures near zero degrees can occur, even during the pilgrimage season from June to September. Contact Pilgrim Center Dovrefjell for advice and tips.

Is it safe to walk the Gudbrandsdalsleden alone?

It is safe to walk alone as the path is well marked and in most parts goes through agricultural landscapes and small towns from Oslo to Trondheim. About 20% of pilgrims walking the Gudbrandsdalsleden actually prefer to walk alone.

Are the churches open?

Along Gudbrandsdalsleden there are many beautiful churches, but unfortunately not all churches are open when a pilgrim is passing/visiting. If you meet a closed door, check if there is information available which might say something about pilgrim offerings. Many congregations open the church outside opening hours for pilgrims by request.

Can I do a pilgrimage with my dog?

It is quite possible to do a pilgrimage with your dog, but there are some things to keep in mind. It is strongly recommended to keep your dog on a leash at all times as you go through a lot of pasture where you can meet pasture animals. By law, dogs should be on a leash from April to August, in some places it is extended.

In some areas the dog must also be able to climb stairs that have been set up to help cross fences. If not, the dog must be lifted over. For accommodation with a dog in the room this must be agreed with the owners.

Ask other pilgrims for advice on Facebook

On Facebook you will find the group "Hiking along Gudbrandsdalsleden", where experienced pilgrims, hosts and enthusiasts help you with answers to your questions.

You can find the group here: Hiking along Gudbrandsdalsleden | Facebook

Accommodation list

The best way to find information about all accommodations along the Gudbrandsdalsleden is on the digital map here at

But we have also listed all the accommodations with minimum information in a separate downloadable document.

Accommodation list Gudbransdalsleden


Are there guidebooks for Gudbrandsdalsleden? Yes, there are Norwegian, German, English and Dutch guidebooks.

Please note that we cannot guarantee updated information in guidebooks, these may be out of date. You can find updated information on the digital map at here at


Pilegrimsleden fra Oslo til Trondheim - en praktisk guide til vandringen. Voll, Bjørn Ivar A. and Gilbert, Ellen Rykkja. 2023. Imprint publisher. (To order the book from the authors, click here.)


Norwegen: Olavsweg. Outdoor. Fürtig, Hanna og Hennemann, Michael. 2024. Conrad Stein Verlag. (To order, click here)

Olavsweg - Von Oslo über Mjøsasee und Dovrefjell nach Trondheim by Susanne und Walter Elsner, Bergverlag Rother (2023). You can get it at Rother publisher or Oslo Pilgrim Center.

This is the newest ones, but there are several books in German. Please go to and search for Olavsweg, and pick the guidbook to your liking. A great coffe table book to read in advance or after your pilgrimage is "Nach Nidaros…", Olaf Deppe (2018) (To order the book click here)


Hiking guide Gudbrandsdalsleden. Warmerdam, Ria. 2024. (To order click here)

Cycling guide Gudbrandsdalsleden. van Veen, Gea. 2024. Via Gaia. (To order click here).

At, you can search for St. Olav Ways and Nidaros, then you'll get some alternatives to choose from.


The Olav Road. Warmerdam, Ria. 2015. (To order the book click here)

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