The local food of the archipelago tastes better

Inner balance

Well-being and inner balance are important for sustainability. As you hike along the hill, you can put all your thoughts aside for a moment and just enjoy nature with all your senses. Nature has a positive impact on a person’s well-being. Contact with nature promotes both physical and mental health. Being out in nature can lead to reduced stress, strengthened cognitive ability and improved mental health. In a biosphere reserve, everyone has an important role in creating a sustainable future, which can be achieved through the constant pursuit of balance between man and nature. When you feel good and have balance within yourself, the conditions for a sustainable lifestyle are better. Stop and look around – what are you grateful for right now? What makes you feel a balance within yourself?

During a pilgrimage, the pilgrim takes care of both body and soul. A pilgrim differs from an ordinary tourist in that the choice of destination is chosen in search of spirituality. 

Today, we can walk through the biosphere reserve along the St. Olav Waterway pilgrimage trail. Olav Haraldsson was born in Norway around the year 995. Olav claimed the throne of Norway, and during his time as king laws were created to protect the weak in society; however, this created discontent. After Olav’s death, strange miracles were said to happen at his grave in present-day Trondheim. Olav was canonised, and pilgrims began to make pilgrimages to the burial site. Here, you can take part in the St. Olav’s animal path, which was developed as a collaboration between the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve and the St. Olav Waterway. The content of the animal path is based on the pilgrim’s seven keywords, which are symbolised by animals that are common in the biosphere reserve.

Can you balance like this?

Did you know? St. Olav (Olaf the Holy) was the most important saint of the Nordic countries, and the Cult of St. Olav united the Nordic countries during the Middle Ages. Around 500 churches were dedicated to Olav, especially in Sweden, but also in Finland and Åland.

Hike through the world’s most beautiful archipelago from island to island. The St. Olav Waterway trail runs from the cathedral in Turku, Finland to Åland and on to Sweden. In Sweden, you can choose between several routes that will take you to the final destination in Trondheim, Norway.