Alpine terrain, cloud-capped peaks and untouched slopes await at Scandinavia’s most mountainous region, Jotunheimen - the home of the giants.
A short distance from Oslo, access to the world-famous Jotunheimen National Park is a breeze, making it one of the continent’s most popular ski tour destinations – particularly in spring when the corn-snow conditions are at their very best.
From expansive mountain plateaus to steep couloirs, Jotunheimen’s varied landscapes offer an accessible challenge for every level of ski touring enthusiast. The diverse terrain also makes it a popular destination for Nordic skiing, kite-skiing and cross-country skiing.
Spanning the municipalities of Luster, Sogndal, Jølster and Stryn, Jostedalsbreen glacier is the largest glacier on Europe's mainland. Every year, a number of guided runs are organised, allowing ski tour enthusiasts to explore the glacier’s 487 kilometres of ice.
However, it’s the famous Haute Route that entices the most enthusiastic of winter adventurer.
Navigating eight glaciers and seven 2000 metre summits, the Haute Route is a six-day randonnée which encompasses nearly 80 kilometres of incredible ski tour terrain including a combined 7,000 vertical metres of descent. Each stage is approximately 15 kilometres and is comprised of 1,000 – 1,500 metre elevation gains going over some of the country’s most iconic summits – including Norway’s highest summits, Glittertind and Galdhøppigen.
The route includes five one-night sleep-overs across a selection of traditional (DNT) mountain cabins. Extending a friendly welcome and an authentic taste of mountain culture, many guests are surprised by the comfort and space on offer from the DNT accommodation.
Alternatively, Jotunheimen offers a wide selection of full-service hotels and mountain lodges, so if you don’t wish to follow the Haute Route but take your own path instead, this region is a great option for you.
Main ski touring season
Height of mountains
800 - 1800 metres
Height of mountains
800 - 1800 metres
Inclination of runs
20 - 50 degrees
Types of skiing terrain
Alpine peaks and couloirs
Open mountain plateaus
Types of accommodation
Hotels, B&Bs and hostels
Lodges and holiday houses
House boats (sail and ski)
Restaurants and bars
There are a number of restaurants in Lyngseidet (K-punkt cafe), Olderdalen, Storslett and Sørkjosen, Skjervøy. Bars in Svensby, Lyngseidet, Djupvik, Skjervøy, Storslett and Skibotn are open year around. From March to April there are also a few Apres Ski offers in the region. See all your options for eating and drinking in the Lyngen area.
Museums and art galleries
Most museums in the area are only open during the summer season (june - august). However, Center for Northern People and the Storslett Museum is open all year round. See all cultural attractions in Lyngen.
Excursions and other winter activities
From December to March there are many winter activities, try for example ice climbing or snow sledging. Naturally, you will also be able to witness the magnificent northern lights in the winter season. See a complete list of things to do in Lyngen.
"One of my favourite places to be ski touring in Norway is Jotunheimen, especially the west of Jotunheimen, where we find the beautiful and remote valley of Leirdalen with massive peaks on each side. The Smørstabbtindane peaks are both fun to ascend, descend and rest your eyes upon."
"Further west you have the steep mountain massive Hurrungane, which has a high alpine environment and contains 23 peaks over 2000 m.a.s.l."
"I would recommend to visit these areas in late winter and spring because of the accessibility is quite scarce in the middle of winter (closed roads and less hours of daylight)."
"If you want to add an extra dimension to the ski touring, go even further north and be able to ski to the sea, Lyngen is the place to be."
|Average snowfall (m)||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Average snow depth (m)||5.1||14.5||28.9||47.4||67.2||78.1||75||22.8||0.3|
|Average days with fresh snow||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Average sunny days||1.7||0||0||0||1||3.6||5.5||7.2||7.6|
|Average hours of daylight pr day||5||2||0||1||4||7||8||12|
There are plenty of Ski&Sail tour operators in the area. Nearly all boats depart from Tromsø in the morning and return in the afternoon.
There are daily ferries between Tromsø and Lyngen, but options may be limited in the evenings and during the weekends.
The nearest airport is Tromsø Airport (TOS). There are several daily flights to and from Oslo, and a number of direct international routes. From the airport, it is a 1.5 - 2.5 hours drive to the main skiing locations.
Rent a car in the airport or in Tromsø city centre. Many accommodation providers also offer transfers to and from the airport.
Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.