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JOTUNHEIMEN

Home of the giants

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

The Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen .
Photo: lkoimages / Shutterstock
The Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen .
Photo: lkoimages / Shutterstock

Once upon a time, according to Norse mythology, Jotunheimen was the place where the jotner – the trolls – lived.

Prepare yourself to become spellbound, as you set your feet into this massive mountain area in Eastern Norway, packed with waterfalls, rivers, lakes, glaciers, and valleys – and some of Northern Europe’s highest mountains.

The Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen .
Photo: lkoimages / Shutterstock
The Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen .
Photo: lkoimages / Shutterstock

But where do you start exploring an area covering roughly 3,500 square kilometres?

Undoubtedly the most beautiful way to enter Jotunheimen is via the Norwegian Scenic Routes Sognefjellet and Valdresflye (pictured).

Norwegian Scenic Route Valdresflye in Jotunheimen, Eastern Norway .
Photo: Visitnorway.com
Norwegian Scenic Route Valdresflye in Jotunheimen, Eastern Norway .
Photo: Visitnorway.com

Valdresflye passes the emerald green Lake Gjende.

If you want to try out one of Norway’s most popular hikes over the Besseggen ridge, this is where you should start.

Besseggen in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / Nasjonalparkriket
Besseggen in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / Nasjonalparkriket

Most people take the Gjende ferry from Gjendesheim to Memurubu, a scenic twenty-minute ride, and start their hike from there.

The hike takes up to eight hours and is recommended for experienced hikers only.

The ridge itself is both narrow and steep, so you really shouldn’t be afraid of heights.

Hiking Besseggen in Jotunheimen, Eastern Norway .
Photo: Visitnorway.com
Hiking Besseggen in Jotunheimen, Eastern Norway .
Photo: Visitnorway.com

Besseggen (1,743 m a.s.l.), Galdhøpiggen (2,469 m a.s.l.) and Glittertind (2,464 m a.s.l.) are Jotunheimen’s top three most iconic hikes – the latter two being Norway’s highest mountains.

However, Jotunheimen is not all about the giants.

With more than 50 marked routes within the national park and about 70 more in the surrounding areas, you can choose between everything from short strolls to multi-day epics.

Utladalen in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Utladalen in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Norwegians love their cabin to cabin hikes in the mountains, and The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) runs several cabins in Jotunheimen where you’ll get a bed for the night.

Fannaråken cabin in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Fannaråken cabin in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

There are some really charming hotels here too, elegantly blending in with the surroundings, like Billingen seterpensjonat (pictured) and Gammel-Kleppe Heritage Hotel …

Billingen Seterpensjonat in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Billingen seterpensjonat
Billingen Seterpensjonat in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Billingen seterpensjonat

… as well as cosy farms where you can spend the night, like the Strind Farm and Valbjør Gard (pictured).

Valbjør farm in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Valbjør Farm
Valbjør farm in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Valbjør Farm

But you don’t want to sleep the day away when you are in Jotunheimen.

Go rafting in the river Sjoa, considered Norway’s best rafting river, …

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

… go climbing, cycling or horseback riding …

Horseback riding in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Kristoffer Mæle Thuestad / Nasjonalparkriket
Horseback riding in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Kristoffer Mæle Thuestad / Nasjonalparkriket

... or enjoy superb opportunities for cross-country and alpine skiing in the winter.

Snow-capped mountains. Powder descents. And hundreds of kilometres of groomed ski trails.

Few things can beat the sight of Jotunheimen in its winter coat.

The Haute Route – Høgruta in Norwegian – is a real treat for hardcore ski touring enthusiasts. Five days, eight glaciers, and seven 2000-meter summits!

Ski touring in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Martin Andersen
Ski touring in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Martin Andersen

Winter, spring, summer, fall. Nothing tastes better than a homemade meal after an active day in the wild.

Jotunheimen has a long culinary tradition, and you will find local delicacies like reindeer meat, sausages, cured meat, cheese, and jam.

Handmade cheese from Brimi Sæter .
Photo: Tina Stafrèn / Visitnorway.com
Handmade cheese from Brimi Sæter .
Photo: Tina Stafrèn / Visitnorway.com

Many of the low-key mountain cabins and hotels in the area serve high-quality food based on seasonal ingredients.

Dinner at Hindsæter Hotel in Sjodalen .
Photo: Tina Stafrèn / Visitnorway.com
Dinner at Hindsæter Hotel in Sjodalen .
Photo: Tina Stafrèn / Visitnorway.com

When your stomach is full, your hunger for culture can be satisfied in Lom national park village.

Here you find famous attractions like the Lom Stave Church from the 1100s, Lom open-air museum, and the Norwegian Mountain Center.

Lom stave church in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Jørgen Hjelmsøy
Lom stave church in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Jørgen Hjelmsøy

Lom and its surrounding areas are also a natural hub for restless families.

Enjoy the feeling of complete freedom by ziplining down the Bøvre river, reach new heights in Galdhøpiggen climbing park, join a guided glacier walk, or go caving in the marble caves of the Dumma valley (Dumdalen).

Jotunheimen panorama in Lom .
Photo: Mari Wedum
Jotunheimen panorama in Lom .
Photo: Mari Wedum

Or enjoy the magic of winter – in the summer – at Galdhøpiggen Summer Ski Center!

Just make sure you don’t leave Lom before you have visited the one and only …

Galdhøpiggen summer ski centre in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Karl N. Nordlie
Galdhøpiggen summer ski centre in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Karl N. Nordlie

... Lom Bakery. There isn’t a single person in Norway who haven’t heard about their fluffy cinnamon buns. So, taste them yourself and find out what the rumours are all about.

The Bakery in Lom, Jotunheimen .
Photo: Tina Stafrèn / Visitnorway.com
The Bakery in Lom, Jotunheimen .
Photo: Tina Stafrèn / Visitnorway.com

New tastes also await in Brimiland between Vågå and Lom.

The region got its nickname after one of Norway’s most famous chefs, Arne Brimi, and consists of several providers offering unique experiences – from food and activities to the accommodations themselves.

Brimi sæter in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / HANEN.NO
Brimi sæter in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Cathrine Dokken / HANEN.NO

So, what exactly is it about this wild, wild place?

How come some of Norway’s most famous artist throughout time, including Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg, and Edvard Munch, all got inspired by Jotunheimen?

Vettismorki in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Vettismorki in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

The ones who have been here know.

So feel free to come and explore, but don’t expect to leave unaffected.

Plan your trip

Vettismorki in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Vettismorki in Jotunheimen .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
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