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The Gudbrandsdalen valley, the essence of Norwegian cultural heritage

In the heart of Norway, the Gudbrandsdalen valley offers dramatic nature, small villages and old traditions. This was Peer Gynt’s birthplace.
Maihaugen, Lillehammer

Maihaugen, Lillehammer

An inspirational valley

In the Gudbrandsdalen valley, you will find yourself among the local people and the nature that inspired Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt". Other Norwegian authors like Sigrid Undset and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, also found inspiration for their writing here, and even Knut Hamsun spent a few years here during his childhood.

Painters also learned to love the beautiful natural surroundings in the Gudbrandsdalen valley – Harald Sohlberg, Adolph Tidemand, Hans Gude, Henrik Sørensen, Erik Werenskiold, and Jakob Weidemann are a few examples.

The famous composer Edvard Grieg was also inspired by this region, and used elements of local traditional music when writing many of his musical masterpieces, like the "Peer Gynt suite". And last but not least, Norway's most known folktale collectors Asbjørnsen and Moe made the traditional folktales known far beyond the borders.

Experience the Norwegian nature

The Gudbrandsdalen valley is situated between the mountains of Jotunheimen and Rondane, and offers endless possibilities for outdoor experiences. You can explore the wilderness on your own, or take part in organized excursions.

Just as in the historical Peer Gynt's time, you can still see wild reindeer roaming the mountain plateaus, and the king of the forest, the great moose, hiding behind a tree nearby.

There are numerous mountain roads and paths. Whether you choose to explore the Gudbrandsdalen valley on a bike, on the horseback, in a canoe, or on foot, you will adore it's old mountain farms, which are still very much alive, and its quiet mountain lakes where you can see the trout leaping. You can also simply spend your time enjoying the peace and tranquility the magnificent surroundings have to offer.

Most hiking trails are well marked, and good maps will lead you to both well-known and hidden natural treasures. Learn more about hiking in Norway with the Norwegian Trekking Association.

From Skei mountain you can walk the Peer Gynt trail for a hike with great scenery in the Gudbrandsdalen valley. You can also drive the Peer Gynt road through Peer Gynt's kingdom. This mountain road also takes you to the Peer Gynt theatre venue by lake Gålåvatnet.