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Lågen river at Lillehammer - Photo: Visnes, lillehammer.com
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Lågen river at Lillehammer Photo: Visnes, lillehammer.com

Key facts about Gudbrandsdalen

The Gudbandsdalen area consists of a main valley, with the smaller valleys of Gausdal, Espedalen, Vinstradalen, Heidal and Ottadalen.

The Gudbrandsdalen Valley is located in Eastern Norway, 180 kilometres north of Oslo. The Olympic town of Lillehammer serves as the gateway to Gudbrandsdalen in the south.

Fast facts

The main valley is 230 kilometres long and stretches from Lillehammer and Lake Mjøsa in the south towards Lesja and Romsdal in the north

  • Distance from Oslo Airport Gardermoen: 150 kilometres
  • Population: 69,602 (1 January 2007)
  • Total area: 15,342 square kilometres
  • The large river Gudbrandsdalslågen flows through the valley, starting in Lake Lesjaskogvatnet in the north and ending in Lake Mjøsa in the south

The Gudbrandsdalen Valley lies in the county of Oppland and is divided into three parts:

  • Nord-Gudbrandsdalen (the municipalities of Lesja, Dovre, Skjåk, Lom, Vågå and Sel)
  • Midt-Gudbrandsdalen (the municipalities of Nord-Fron, Sør-Fron and Ringebu)
  • Sør-Gudbrandsdalen (the municipalities of Øyer, Gausdal and Lillehammer)

The Gudbrandsdalen Valley has a wealth of flora and fauna, and a varied natural environment, with large areas of forests, mountains, watercourses and cultivated land.

National parks

The Gudbrandsdalen Valley lies near several national parks:

The first six are situated in the northern areas of the valley. All the parks offer excellent opportunities for walking and skiing in spectacular surroundings.

The last one, Langsua National Park, is located only an hour's drive from Lillehammer in Gausdal Vestfjell. With its spectacular low-mountain landscape and rich biodiversity, the park provides important habitats for endangered and rare species. 

The protected areas comprise historic pastures still in use, and offer a unique mountain farm environment with a rich cultural heritage. The area is ideal for hunting, fishing, hiking and skiing. Prepared cross-country ski trails are available in winter, and during summer visitors can enjoy a network of way-marked as well as unmarked trails.

To learn more about the national parks, visit the Jotunheimen National Park Visitor Centre and the Rondane National Park Visitor Centre

Peer Gynt's Rike - Skeikampen, Espedalen, Gålå and Fefor

The Espedalen Valley stretches north from Vestre Gausdal to Vinstradalen. At 1,571 metres above sea level, Ruten is the highest point and offers visitors breathtaking views towards Jotunheimen, as well as Rondane.

Gålå, Fefor, SkeikampenKvitfjell and Espedalen are set amid stunning scenery where all activities are based on the spectacular surroundings and local culture. With its strong fishing traditions, the area offers numerous opportunities whether you prefer rod or other methods.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a hike to Prestkampen Mountain or a heritage walk covering ancient monuments and the birthplace of the local Gudbrandsdalen goat cheese. Or maybe you prefer a trip to the top of Valsfjell Mountain by chairlift and a ride down the alpine runs on a mountain bike? As evening falls, you can join in an elk safari with guide and minibus.

Bicycles, canoes and rowing boats can be hired, and organised activities with guides are also available. For further information, please contact Lillehammer Tourist Office.

The Venabygd and Kvam mountains

The Venabygd and Kvam mountains are the southern gateway to Rondane. During summer, visitors can enjoy a network of marked trails in gentle and varied mountain terrain. The birch forest is close by, and the mountain plateau with over 30 small and large peaks is within easy reach. Venabu is a good area for cyclinghorse riding, canoeing and fishing.

Whether you prefer low-pace hiking through gentle terrain or a more challenging experience featuring plateaus, waterfalls, ravines and peaks - the opportunities are many. For organised trips and activities such as guided walks, mountain farm lunches, traditional Norwegian food and slide shows, please contact Venabu Fjellhotell.

Lillehammer, Nordseter, Sjusjøen and Hafjell/Øyerfjellet

The Olympic town of Lillehammer serves as the gateway to the Gudbrandsdalen Valley in the south. Lillehammer has a small town atmosphere, but boasts some of the best museums in Norway, as well as mountain resorts with endless possibilities for outdoors activities within a short drive from the centre.

Enjoy biking and walking on gravel roads and marked trails during the summer or come during the winter to experience some of the world's best trails for cross-country skiing. The Gudbrandsdalen Valley and the mountain plateaus in the region offer some 4,000 kilometres of cross-country trails. These are connected to each other so you can begin in Lillehammer and continue over the mountain plateau all the way to Rondane National Park.   

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Last updated:  2013-02-25
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Lågen river at Lillehammer - Photo: Visnes, lillehammer.com

Key facts about Gudbrandsdalen

The Gudbandsdalen area consists of a main valley, with the smaller valleys of Gausdal, Espedalen, Vinstradalen, Heidal and Ottadalen.

Key facts about Gudbrandsdalen

Source: Visitnorway

About Gudbrandsdalen

The Lillehammer Region

Visit Lillehammer and enjoy attractions such as the Olympic arenas, Maihaugen and Hafjell. Explore the area by bicycle, on foot or on skis.

Tourist information for the Gudbrandsdalen Valley

Visit a tourist information office to help plan your holiday in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley.

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