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.
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).
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.
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.
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, …
… go climbing, cycling or horseback riding …
... 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!
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.
Many of the low-key mountain cabins and hotels in the area serve high-quality food based on seasonal ingredients.
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.
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?