2020 Pilgrimage to norway

Walking the Olavsleden

For hundreds of years, pilgrims have walked a route to the great Cathedral at Nidaros to venerate the burial site of St. Olav Haraldsson (c. 995-1030), canonized in 1164 by Pope Alexander III; he is the patron saint of Norway. Olav organized episcopal sees in Norway, and - legend has it - he is credited with Christianizing much of the country.  Regardless of the legend, pilgrims have walked the route from Oslo to Nidaros for centuries, mirroring their own spiritual journeys in Norway's stunning landscape, mountain trails, and sweeping valleys.

You are invited to join us to make this pilgrimage again as we make our way on foot from Oslo to Nidaros on Norway's long-distance hiking trail, maintained by the government and frequented by many pilgrims on their way. Lodging, cultural experiences, concerts, and worship services are planned along the way as we enter deeply into this time of learning, breathtaking scenery, and spiritual discernment.


Astrid Hovingen (above, left), LPC and Pr Kerry Holder Joffrion (above, right) will be our guides on a journey of a lifetime through the fjords, byways and valleys of Gudbransdalen and the Laagan River, to Trondheim and the ancient seat of Saint Olav.  The journey will take us through high mountain passes and sheep fields, holy islands and cathedrals, over a twelve day course in nature and spirituality.  What better place than Norway and the ancient path of pilgrims as we explore the path of a bridge figure who integrated the Old Norse validations with the new learning of the ages and symbolized the role of transformative power through purposeful action.  St. Olav's death crystalized a new world view that was compatible with Norway's growth among peoples.  

Astrid and Asmund Hovingen are professionals who have guided pilgrimages past, and are hiking enthusiasts with a penchant for adventure.  Our hiking will average between 2-13 miles at the center of our high mountain path to the sea, to less than 2 miles per day in Oslo and Trondheim; though the trails are well-maintained and frequently walked, it is important that travelers be capable of a moderately-robust level of physical activity (walking).  We will attend dramatic performances, organ concertos, worship services in Nidaros Cathedral and be led by diocesan staff who are revitalizing the pathways for generations to come.  This is non-denominatial.  It is a purposeful, spiritual exploration of creation and the power of nature.  How does nature inform us in our living and growth as human beings in 2020?

Additional information on the Turning Point Group - who will be leading this trip - as well as the tour's leaders, can be found by clicking here.


July 18-30

The pilgrimage will be held July 18 to July 30 and will culminate at the Olsok Festival and Stiklestad Drama by the fjord. We will travel on foot, by historic paddle steamer boat, train and row boat.  The weather in Norway in the summertime is customarily both temperate and delightful.  Please consider joining us for a path way to growth that you will never forget!   

A sample itinerary can be found by clicking here.  Bear in mind: our final itinerary, while similar, will not be identical to this one, as we must take into consideration variations in concert venues, routes, etc.  A final itinerary will be posted on this webpage when it is...final!

The cost of the pilgrimage is  $4,995.00 per person, exclusive of airfare, and will include meals on the trail, ground transportation and lodging plus guide fees.  A non-refundable deposit of $750 will be due by February 28 or until spaces in the program are filled. This is a customized package that will include pilgrim hostels, fellowship with companions from across the world, open-air theater, and an experience of one of the most sacred sites in walking prayer.  Pilgrimage is an invaluable part of human development in spiritual traditions across the world.  Pilgrims walk sacred paths where other feet have followed for generations, experience authentic and cultural expressions of hospitality, encounter rich spiritual connectedness, and have amazing space- and beautiful views- to reflect on their own life's purpose, direction and calling.  Pilgrims are invited to bring and share their own stories and traditions during conversations.  This pilgrimage is offered to all participants regardless of faith tradition or perspective.  We provide open, welcoming space to explore and encourage people to use their own values in discovery and analysis of their individual life goals and meanings.  We invite you to join us!

For more information on "Are You Hearing the Call of Adventure: Norway 2020?" pilgrimage, please contact Pr. Kerry Holder Joffrion at kerryholder@knology.net at 256-679-3854.