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GUDBRANDSDALEN

The king of the valleys

Scroll down for inspiration or go directly to our plan your trip page

GUDBRANDSDALEN

The king of the valleys

Scroll down for inspiration or
go directly to our plan your trip page

The Gudbrandsdalen valley in Eastern Norway .
Photo: Amund Meier
The Gudbrandsdalen Valley in Eastern Norway .
Photo: Amund Meier

Charming farms that have been around for centuries …

The old farm Dale-Gudbrands gard in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Ian Brodie / Lillehammer.com
The old farm Dale-Gudbrands gard in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Ian Brodie / Lillehammer.com

… combined with surprising modern art …

The mammoth sculpture in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Veiskille
The mammoth sculpture in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Veiskille

… and lots of family-friendly fun, like Hunderfossen Family Park …

Hunderfossen family park in Lillehammer .
Photo: Joakim Mangen
Hunderfossen Family Park in Lillehammer .
Photo: Joakim Mangen

… make the Gudbrandsdalen valley one of the top destinations in Eastern Norway.

With its tall mountains, mighty rivers, lush forests and rich cultural heritage, the valley has inspired artists, chefs, and outdoor enthusiasts for centuries.

The Grimsdalen valley in the Rondane mountains .
Photo: Yngve Ask / Mountains of Norway
The Grimsdalen valley in the Rondane mountains .
Photo: Yngve Ask / Mountains of Norway

The train and main road between Oslo and Trondheim run straight through here, but it’s the detours off the E6 highway that make this a truly memorable route to travel.

Train journey through Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Mono Media / Visit Lillehammer
Train journey through Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Mono Media / Visit Lillehammer

You can, for instance, follow the Gudbrandsdalsvegen road – also known as “the old E6” – to small villages, art centres and local food producers, like Annis Pølsemakeri, a butcher and eatery in Ringebu.

Here, you can try lots of yummy food from the region.

Food at Annis pølsemakeri in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Christine Baglo
Food at Annis pølsemakeri in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Christine Baglo

In Ringebu, you can also travel back in time in the old stave church. It's located right by the former rectory, Prestegården, which is a gallery and eatery during summer.

Ringebu stave church in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Amund Meier
Ringebu stave church in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Amund Meier

The timber walls of the many well-preserved mountain farms in the region have intriguing stories too.

Sygard Grytting has welcomed guests for more than 700 years. Here, you’ll get to try short-travelled food from the fields next to the houses …

… and perhaps swap stories over the table with pilgrims who seek shelter.

You see, a lot of people walk through the valley on their spiritual journey to Trondheim, as the famous St. Olav’s Way runs through Gudbrandsdalen.

Sygard Grytting in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Grim Berge – Natural Lights
Sygard Grytting in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Grim Berge – Natural Lights

Perhaps you’d like to try something completely different?

In Espedalen, one of Gudbrandsdalen’s side valleys, you can spend the night above “the moose highway.”

The observation tower Elgtårnet provides excellent views of the area where hundreds of moose migrate to and from the mountains every spring and autumn.

Moose observation tower in Espedalen Valley .
Photo: Elgtårnet
Moose observation tower in Espedalen Valley .
Photo: Elgtårnet

Another unique experience in Espedalen, is the Peer Gynt Festival.

The famous author Henrik Ibsen found inspiration for his well-known play here in Gudbrandsdalen.

Now, the story is celebrated with an outdoor theatre production every August.

Peer Gynt in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Amund Meier
Peer Gynt in Gudbrandsdalen .
Photo: Amund Meier

If you're seeking action-filled activities, downhill cycling in Hafjell is what you’re looking for. And yes, they got trails for the youngsters and mommy too!

If you prefer straighter roads, enjoy the scenery as you bike along the gravel roads through the mountains.

Another mountain biking paradise is Skeikampen, a mountain area on the west side of the valley. In winter, this is a popular skiing spot.

Mountain biking in Hafjell .
Photo: Gizmo Johnsen
Mountain biking in Hafjell .
Photo: Gizmo Johnsen

More fun awaits those who are not afraid to challenge the rapids in the river Sjoa, in the traditional Heidalen valley!

Rafting at the river Sjoa in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Kristoffer Mæle Thuestad
Rafting at the river Sjoa in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Kristoffer Mæle Thuestad

But in Gudbrandsdalen, the fun doesn’t stop when the green fields turn white.

It’s not difficult to understand why the Winter Olympics was arranged here in 1994 – it’s a snowtastic place when the temperatures drop.

Try dog sledding or enjoy downhill skiing in first class alpine resorts in Hafjell or Kvitfjell.

“Frozen” fans can sleep in an ice castle too, as Hunderfossen has its very own Snow Hotel!

Skiing in Lillehammer .
Photo: Hafjell
Skiing in Lillehammer .
Photo: Hafjell

The cosy Olympic town of Lillehammer serves as the gateway to the 230 kilometres long Gudbrandsdalen from the south.

This UNESCO City of Literature also houses the big open-air museum Maihaugen​, as well as the amusement parks Hunderfossen and Lilleputthammer.

Maihaugen, Lillehammer .
Photo: Jørgen Skaug
Maihaugen, Lillehammer .
Photo: Jørgen Skaug

As you travel north from Lillehammer, the Gudbrandsdalen valley leads the way to several national parks with unspoilt nature.

Norway’s tallest peaks soar above the fjords in the Jotunheimen area, while a Norwegian Scenic route awaits in the Rondane mountains – and it’s definitely worth the detour.

In Dovrefjell, you step into the kingdom of …

Hiking to Besseggen in the Jotunheimen mountains .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / Nasjonalparkriket
Hiking to Besseggen in the Jotunheimen mountains .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / Nasjonalparkriket

… the musk oxen!

On a guided tour you’ll get to see this magnificent creature from a safe distance while you explore the mountains. Pretty cool, right?

In Dovrefjell, you can also bike Tour de Dovre.

Musk ox safari in Dovrefjell .
Photo: Field production / Nasjonalparkriket
Musk ox safari in Dovrefjell .
Photo: Field production / Nasjonalparkriket

The Gudbrandsdalen valley ends in Lesja, a place known for its superb winters with lots of snow and dry summers.

Enjoy a day on the lake, go hiking or skiing, and enjoy local treats from the old grocery store Avdemsbue. Use the last days in the valley to relax and recap on everything you’ve experienced.

Paddling in Lesjaskogvatnet lake .
Photo: Maria Kampesæter Kleiven / Nasjonalparkriket
Paddling in Lesjaskogvatnet lake .
Photo: Maria Kampesæter Kleiven / Nasjonalparkriket
Paddling in Lesjaskogvatnet lake .
Photo: Maria Kampesæter Kleiven / Nasjonalparkriket
Paddling in Lesjaskogvatnet lake .
Photo: Maria Kampesæter Kleiven / Nasjonalparkriket
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