Jotunheimen is a vast area of untouched nature with beautiful lakes and majestic mountains. The area includes two top-of-mind hiking destinations: The National Park region and Valdres, both with a long tradition for outdoor recreation and easy access to classic routes like Besseggen.
The National Park Region constitutes a vast, mountainous area of surprising altitude. This is where Northern Europe’s highest peak Galdhøpiggen (2,469 metres above sea level) can be found, in good company with another 200 peaks over 2,000 metres.
The area also boasts the narrow and fairly challenging hike to the Besseggen mountain ridge, where you are rewarded with an astonishing view over one blue and one green lake on each side of the ridge.
Those who prefer to stay closer to the ground may choose to stroll through the flatter parts of the national parks. There are no less than six of them in the Fjell Norway region – Dovrefjell, Rondane, Jotunheimen, Breheimen, Reinheimen and Dovre.
The National Park Region is situated between Oslo and Trondheim.
Fresh air, grand views, peace and quiet – and a myriad of hiking trails, many of which are suitable for the whole family. The local tourist office has identified 30 family-friendly tour suggestions in the idyllic countryside in Valdres. The hikes vary in length and difficulty, but they are all easily accessible and clearly signposted.
Another benefit of Valdres is that it gives you the perfect base for hiking adventures in the Jotunheimen National Park, including the classic hike to Besseggen.
Hiking in Valdres can be combined with other outdoor activities like cycling, fishing, horse riding and dog sledding. Visits to traditional summer farms where you can try local delicacies are also highly recommended.
Situated in the middle of Southern Norway, Valdres is easy to get to from Oslo and Gardermoen (around three hours), and there are bus services from Bergen, Lillehammer, Gjøvik and Gol.
Let the Gjende boats carry you into the wilderness of Jotunheimen, surrounded by enchanting scenery.
There are seven daily departures from the pier at Gjendesheim to Memurubu and Gjendebu, and two departures returning from Gjendebu. The boats run throughout the summer and are perfect if you plan to hike Besseggen or other trails. Welcome on board!
Price example: NOK 140 pr person.
Get a genuine Norwegian hiking adventure at Bessheim Fjellstue og Hytter. Hearty, home-cooked food is served every day, and in the evening you can have a delicious three course dinner – often made with fish from the mountain lakes or with reindeer.
Choose to stay in a room, a cabin or at the campsite. There are ready-made beds in the lodge and most of the units have their own shower and toilet.
Price example: NOK 1,160 per night for a cabin with two bedrooms, sitting room, bathroom and kitchen.
Besseggen is a 6-8 hour hike – save your energy for the walk and check out this all inclusive weekend package (two nights).
Accommodation is arranged at Gjendesheim Lodge, beautifully located by the waterfront of the lake Gjende. The ferry to the Besseggen hiking trail leaves right outside the door. On your return, you will enjoy home-cooked food with local delicacies like reindeer and trout.
Price: NOK 5,900 for two people including two nights’ accommodation, food, boat tickets, a private hiking guide the first day and mountain bike rental the second day.
An irresistible offer if you plan to do the Besseggen hike, including accommodation at Nordre Ekre hotel, dinner, breakfast, tickets for the Gjende boat that takes you to the hike, a packed lunch and water bottle.
Remember that you need five to seven hours to complete the hike – it is a tough trek, but you will be rewarded by the astonishing views on route. And you can enjoy the three course dinner with a clear conscience! Transport to the boat and guide are not included.
Price from NOK 1,995 per person in a double room.
The express bus Valdresekspressen is your best friend if you want to take up the Besseggen hiking challenge and haven’t got a car. In only around three hours, it will take you from Oslo to beautiful Valdres, a region that stretches from the lush and forested valleys in the southern part to the mighty peaks of Jotunheimen.
For Besseggen, take the bus from central Oslo or Oslo Airport (Gardermoen) and get off at Gjendesheim. The arrival time corresponds with the Gjende boat departure to Memurubu (Besseggen).
Let Radisson Blu Beitostølen look after you if you’ve got your eyes set on Besseggen on your hiking holiday.
Located only 25 minutes by car or bus from the Besseggen hiking trail, this is a first-class full service hotel with 123 comfortable rooms and an impressive range of fitness facilities – relax in the 25 metre swimming pool or treat yourself to a spa visit. There is also a restaurant, a bar and a nightclub.
Price example: NOK 1,850 per person staying for two days in a double room, including two dinners, two breakfasts and a packed lunch
Stay at Thon Hotel Fagernes for complete comfort when you plan to conquer Besseggen. Situated in Fagernes town centre, in the heart of Valdres, this full service hotel has 138 rooms, a swimming pool, a spa and fitness facilities as well as their own restaurant and bar.
You can reach the hiking trail to Besseggen by taking the bus just outside the hotel to Gjendesheim.
Price example: NOK 1,250 per night (double room)
Storefjell Resort Hotel, situated at Golsfjellet in between Hallingsdal and Valdres, is a large full service hotel that offers a lot more than a place to rest your head. They have 300 rooms, a spa, sauna, a fitness room and several communal areas for socialising including a restaurant, bars and a night club.
Golsfjellet is perfect for family hiking: You are guaranteed enchanting views in all directions, even if you don’t intend to set off on strenuous treks in thorny terrain.
Price example: NOK 645 per person per night, including breakfast, maps and tour suggestions.
Whether you plan to conquer Jotunheimen’s highest peaks, or looking forward to leisurely strolls along calm cattle trails, you need a good base.
Situated on the mountain road Jotunheimvegen, Haugseter Fjellstue (1,044 metres above sea level) is a classic Norwegian lodge that goes back 140 years. It is the perfect place to put your feet up at the end of the day – full of traditional charm, you can enjoy a hot drink by the fireplace or try one of their homemade dishes.
Price example: NOK 995 per person per night for an apartment with bathroom
Get an idea of the location of the hike you want to do by using the map below.
Jotunheimen is located midway between Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. The easiest way to move around in the region is by car. Follow the E6 from Oslo, or the E16 via Lærdal from Bergen.
Three national tourist routes go through Jotunheimen: Sognefjellsvegen, Strynefjellsvegen and Valdresflya.
Travel by plane to Oslo or Bergen and continue by car or bus to the region, about 200 kilometres from Oslo.
Hop on the Bergen Railway, the train that goes between Oslo and Bergen, or Dovrebanen, which goes between Oslo and Trondheim. Book your ticket at NSB (the Norwegian State Railways).
Go hiking in Norway and discover why the locals can’t get enough of nature. Our most scenic landscapes are definitely best enjoyed on foot.
Enjoy the view from the top of Norway’s highest mountain Galdhøpiggen, walk along the narrow, but popular Besseggen ridge, and try some of the traditional food from the area.