St. James' Way: Via Baltica – where boundaries lose all sense of meaning

The Via Baltica is a St. James' Way route from the Baltic region to Westphalia. It connects east and west for pilgrims who want to start at the Polish border and cross into five German federal states, bringing Europe a little closer together in the process.

Although it seems like an easy and accessible route with good infrastructure and very few hills, the Via Baltica in the St. James' Way network requires good fitness levels, both physically and mentally, to manage the daily average of 20 to 30 kilometres. On some days, the distance travelled even exceeds 30 km! The pilgrimage route is a total of more than 760 kilometres in length. It connects the Baltic states and Scandinavia to other routes heading to Spain. It starts in Usedom and goes to Greifswald and Rostock, through Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein to Lübeck. It then continues on to Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony. The route's final destination is in Osnabrück.

You need to allow at least one month if you want to do this route in one go. This route rewards pilgrims with beautiful backdrops, prominent churches, abbeys and monasteries and the charm of old Hanseatic cities steeped in history. Those who prefer the leisure and tranquillity of the Alster Valley to the hustle and bustle of city life can leave the historic pilgrimage route between Bad Oldesloe and Hamburg to take a detour via Nütschau Priory, the northernmost Benedictine monastery in Germany with a surprisingly young age: founded as recently as 1951. And for those who would rather go by bike than on foot, there is a cycling pilgrimage from Lübeck to Bremen via Hamburg.

St. James' Way: Via Baltica

Length of route: approx. 760 km, 34 stages

Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes; for churches with pilgrim accommodation (in German), visit:

Starts: Świnoujście/island of Usedom or Sassnitz/Jasmund peninsula/island of Rügen

Arrival options: seaside resort of Heringsdorf

Departure options: Osnabrück

About the route: easily accessible; continue on the St. James' Way route through Westphalia from Osnabrück

For GPS tracking information (in German), visit:

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