Jotunheimen National Park
– The home of the Giants
Your travelguide for Jotunheimen, Breheimen and Reinheimen
With over 250 mountains of almost 2000 meters high, including the 2469 meters Galdhøpiggen, Jotunheimen offers nature at its peak. Hike, bike, climb or ski. Flow with rivers and listen to waterfalls. Camp wild and free, spend the night sleeping inside the park’s wooden huts, cabins and lodges or built a fire in a suite of a boutique hotel called Herangtunet or stay nearby the Besseggen at Gjendesheim.
In the Home of the Giants you touch the sky walking over the famous Besseggen ridge with Beitostølen nearby. Fly with eagles standing on top of the mighty Galdhøpiggen or just lie on your back in the lush meadows of this natural beauty embraced by picturesque Lom, the green slopes of Gudbrandsdalen, traditional Valdres, the waters of the Sognefjord and the eternal ice of the Jostedalsbreen glacier.
So watch and be watched by the abundant wildlife. Experience the freedom, beauty, Zen and mystique of Europe’s wildest nature. Come, meet the seasons and listen to the heart of Norway, beating in Jotunheimen. Jotunheimen National Park, the heart of Norway beats between Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.
Let us take you to experience the magic of Jotunheimen, a grand mountain area located between Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, covering roughly 3,500 square kilometres in the heart of Norway. You will find some of the most famous hiking trails and summit hikes in Norway. Like Besseggen, Svartdalen and Galdhøpiggen.
Jotunheimen National Park
History of Jotunheimen
The area was given the name Jotunheimen, meaning “The Giants home”, by Norwegian poet Aasmund Olavsson Vinje in 1862. Jotunheimen is said to be the home of “Jotnene” – colossal fabled creatures of Norse mythology. The name is no doubt suiting, as the area is just as mystical, spellbinding and spectacular as the name might suggest.
It has in fact inspired some of Norway’s most influential artists, musicians, and writers in their work. Amongst them is the infamous Norwegian author and playwright Henrik Ibsen, who has detailed the spectacular Besseggen ridge in his renowned piece “Peer Gynt”. Some however believe his writings are actually referring to the majestic nearby mountain, Knutshøe.
Whichever it is, you will be able to explore it here – stepping into a piece of literary history and some of Norway’s most profound historical culture and nature while you are at it.
Why Visit Jotunheimen?
Home to numerous majestic mountains, beautiful lakes, wondrous glaciers, and Jotunheimen national park. Jotunheimen is filled to the brim with beautiful trails and tracks, spectacular sceneris, air so fresh you can only imagine, and everything from action filled- to fun and family friendly activities and excursions. Here you can experience freedom, mysticism, peace and solitude like never before. But also take on challenges that will offer a great sense of achievement and personal growth. Here you can make memories that will last a lifetime! It does not matter if you are a beginner or a great outdoors man. Jotunheimen national park has something for everyone, at any level of skill.
Activities and Excursions
You can go about exploring Jotunheimen in many ways. For example you can keep it classic and go hiking through the mountains and valleys on your own two feet, or you can strap on a pair of skies, or perhaps even snowshoes. You can also climb the mountains; either you are a pro that can go about it on your own, or you prefer doing it with a guide. If you are a beginner, or maybe not in the best of shape, then the via ferrata maybe just your thing if you like your adventures airy.
Are you more of the type that prefers your feet safely planted on the solid ground? Perhaps you would prefer horse trekking, or being a passenger – or even the driver – of a dogsled. Or maybe a ride in a snow coach is more your style? In Jotunheimen you can have it all! It is only the seasons that sets the limits. For instance you will hardly find it pleasant to go skiing on rocks and shrubs during summer. If you know what we mean!
In Jotunheimen every season has Its charm. The winter turns the mountainy area of wonder into a white snow paradise, with a calm, tranquillity and peace to which you have never seen the like. In the wintertime you can strap on a pair of skis and explore the wonders of winter, on what is the Norwegians’ favourite means of transportation. Norwegians are in fact said to be born with skis on their feet!
Maybe you get your skiing thrills from soaring down high peaks through untouched winter wonderlands? Welcome to ski touring heaven! We have plenty of hidden secret routes! But make sure to book a certified guided tour, as the winter landscape can be treacherous if you do not know the landcape.
You can also go off piste snowboarding or snowshoeing, or you can enjoy some simple and fun filled sledging, build a snow cave or snowman, and simply play around in the snow. You can also hop on a roundtrip on a historical snowcoach, which is like a tiny bus that runs on snow, or you can engage in and action-packed day of dog sledding, or explore the mountainous scenery from the back of a horse. Why not just try it all!
During the summer, the number one thing to do is hiking, exploring the numerous trails and paths. You can also go glacier trekking, exploring one (or more!) of the many wondrous glaciers of the area. There is also countless opportunities for climbing, for instance in the popular southwest area of Hurrungane. This alpine area has 23 peaks above 2000 meters, many of which have characteristic pointy tops, with a summit only reachable by climbing. Should this prove a bit challenging, guided climbing on a via ferrata can be a better option. Via ferrata is Italian for “iron path” and is a route through what would often otherwise be inaccessible ground, made accessible by putting down metal rungs or footplates and a continuous steel wire cable, to which you clip your safety gear for protection. Via ferrata is suitable for everyone with a normal physical health.
As well as during winter, you can go horse trekking in the summer. You can even go dog sledding on wheels. If you are into adventures of the action-filled sort, white water rafting might be just the thing for you. The opportunities are endless!
Jotunheimen, The Capital of Hikes
Jotunheimen National Park have been one of the most popular areas of the country for mountain climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities and adventures since the 19th century. Jotunheimen is known to have some of the best hikes in Norway. You will find a well-established network of miles of marked up trails, tagged with a red “T”, which are safe footpaths for hikers. These trails are maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association. In Norwegian: Den Norske Turistforening, DNT. DNT is an organization that also maintains a number of unstaffed huts, and staffed mountain lodges in the area. This is just some of the options where hikers and skiers can find shelter for the night.
There is a great variety of trails that differs in both length and degree of difficulty. Some will take you up on the highest mountains. Others down into the deep U-shaped valleys, or across steep mountain ridges. There is truly something for everyone here.