Glorious frosty morning with overnight dusting of snow
Krykja Mountain
The summit of the highest mountain in Northern Europe 
On the Bessegen Ridge
Morning light on Bessegen Ridge
Autumn colours on the fjell

Tour of the Jotunheim


Trip Overview

Our Tour of the Jotunheim is a circular hiking trip through the National Park, taking in some of the best views in Norway.  We spend 7 days hiking through the beautiful Jotunheim mountain range which contains twenty-nine of the highest mountains in Norway, including the very highest Galdhøpiggen which reaches 2469m (8098ft). The landscape is wild, rocky, and remote with accommodation in cosy traditional mountain cabins in spectacular locations.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

      • Hike Galdhøpiggen, highest mountain in Northern Europe 
      • Tackle the iconic Bessegen Ridge, a stunning day out
      • Watch the wild reindeer herds found throughout the Park
      • Seven days of hiking with excellent overnight cabins
      • Experience the true wilderness of Norway

The Jotunheim, which means 'Land of the Giants' is one of the most scenic mountain areas of Norway, and is a popular hiking destination. Our route takes us through valleys, over passes and around the summits of this National Park. This is an exceptional journey for experienced hikers who revel in remoteness. 


Itinerary

  • Today you will meet your International Mountain Leader at your hotel in Otta, Noway. There will be a briefing before dinner when you have the chance to learn more about the trip and ask any questions required. For details refer to 'Arrival & Departure' under 'Trip Information'.

  • We begin our circuit of the Jotunheim National Park with an early morning transfer, 1h15, from your hotel in Otta to Gjendesheim at the head of Lake Gjende. The drive takes us further and further into the mountains until we reach the DNT at Gjendesheim which is where we will begin our hike. Today our route undulates gently through the heather covered mountains, as it crosses over to the lakes of Bessvatnet and Russvatnet. The second of the lakes is an astonishing pale green colour and very distinctive compared to others in the area. We soon pass quaint little fishing huts by the lake, and begin to get a sense of towering mountains with glaciers coating their summits. Leaving the lakes behind we climb steadily to the rocky col at Vestre Hestlægerhøe from where we can see our overnight destination. We then have a gentle, but rocky descent down to Glitterheim Hut which lies in a remote valley below the second highest mountain in Norway, Glittertind which sits at 2452m (8042ft).  Our traditional DNT hut is cosy and welcoming and a good introduction to the type of accommodation and hospitality we will enjoy this week. The DNT is the Norwegian Trekking Association and they maintain the trails and staff the cabins which we stay at. 

    Ascent: 924m (3030ft)  Descent: 512m (1679ft) Distance: 22km (13.7 miles) Duration: 08h00 - 09h00

  • Norwegian breakfasts in the huts are an event which require time to 'graze' the buffet, but once you are stocked up we will south along the river until we begin our climb to pass the peak of Veopallan. Today we are getting closer to the glaciated peaks of the Jotunheim, and we really do enter the 'Land of the Giants'. As always on the Norwegian mountains we are focused on finding the trail through this rocky wild terrain, and picking the best route to allow for easy 'rock hopping'. You will certainly develop your balance and footwork during this trip! Once pass Veopallan we begin the descent to the next valley and we get our first proper look at the mighty Galdhøpiggen, our goal for the following day. As we descend we can see our overnight stop in the distance at Spiterstulen. This is a family business which is now run by the 8th generation of the Ovesen family, Tor Espen, and you might enjoy the old black and white images adorning the walls of this famous lodge. Tor Espen's grandfather climbed the highest mountain in Norway no less than 900 times from the door of Spiterstulen. 

    Ascent: 311m (1020ft)  Descent: 593m (1945ft) Distance: 16km (10 miles) Duration: 08h00 - 09h00

  • Today we hike to the summit of the highest mountain in Northern Europe, Galdhøpiggen with a summit at 2469m (8098ft). It is important to stress this can only be done in suitable conditions, and if the weather is against us we will do a low level hike in the area. Fingers crossed that we will be leaving the hut as soon after breakfast as possible to allow plenty of time for our summit attempt. The trail rises steeply from just in front of Spiterstulen hut and very soon becomes a rocky and wild boulder field which we follow all the way to the summit. We have found the rocks to be very stable and there is little movement on this slope so the rocks are not loose and difficult. After crossing a plateau area we come to the first of three summits, we then very quickly gain the second summit via a ridge line, which is in only place you might use your hands for a few steps, and eventually we see the small hut on the summit. A final push up a gentle slope and you are standing on the top of Northern Europe! The summit view is spectacular with glaciers and sharp peaks lying all around and enough space to enjoy our lunch on the top. Our route back down follows our ascent trail. We return to our cosy hut at Spiterstulen for a second night, this means you can hike today with a light day pack. 

    Ascent: 1374m (4506ft)  Descent: 1374m (4506ft) Distance: 12.2km (7.6 miles) Duration: 09h00 - 10h00

  • We head south after breakfast today, along an easy trail which follows the river valley, and where reindeer are often our companions in the mountains. Norway has an international responsibility to take care of its wild reindeer, and around 90 per cent of the world’s wild tundra reindeer can be found in Norway. Seeing them move at speed across the landscape it's clear this high mountain animal has adapted to the low temperatures and rugged barren pastures of the mountains. The mountain views are one of our favourites today, just stunning, with jagged peaks lined up ahead of us with perhaps the most spectacular of all being Krykja or 'Church Mountain'. It's hard not to take too many photos as we approach Krykja with Kyrkjetjonne Lake in the foreground, truly beautiful! Soon after we need to bring our view back to what lies in front of our feet as we tackle a final lakeside boulder field to reach our hut for the night. Tonight we are at Leirvassbu which is the largest of the huts owned and operated by the DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association, taking up to 225 guests. 

    Ascent: 395m (1295ft) Descent: 80m (262ft)  Distance: 15.5km (9.7 miles) Duration: 05h00 - 06h00

  • We begin with a short steady climb to our first pass of the day where we can see our route laid out ahead. Today is a day of sparkling water as we follow a string of lakes almost all the way to our overnight stop. The largest of these is Langvatnet and we follow the shoreline all the way to the waterfall at the end. Many Norwegians travel to the Jotunheim to spend the day fishing in the lakes, where they can catch trout. Historically, fishing these lakes was an activity which provided an important part of the diet for those living in the mountains. The lakes are surrounded by steep sided mountains which still retain small glaciers creating waterfalls that rush to the lake. Today we have a few rivers to cross where our rock-hopping skills will be put into action. When we reach the end of Langvatnet we drop down beside the roaring waterfall to a lower valley which leads to Gjendebu hut and our next overnight. Gjendebu sits at the head of the huge Lake Gjende and is an idyllic spot among the birch trees. 

    Ascent: 187m (613ft) Descent: 611m 2004ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles) Duration: 06h00 - 07h00

  • It's a ridge walk today as we tackle the Memurubu ridge line. A very steep climb leads us from the lakeside to sets of chains which help us negotiate three rock slabs that intersperse the trail. These are not difficult and should not present any issues to experienced hikers. Henrick Ibsen's play Peer Gynt describes how Peer rides down this trail, which is known as the Bukkelægret, on a bull reindeer. Soon we gain the ridge line and the views are fantastic - rocky peaks, lakes, deep valleys and glaciers on the horizon. This is a fabulous hike up onto the Memurutunga mountain plateau, and definitely a must do. Again the locals can be found fishing for trout in the lakes, and campers will often be cooking fish for supper. You cannot get much fresher than that! We eventually reach the end of the ridge line and we can see our overnight mountain cabin way below us. The descent is steep, but it is not long before you will find yourself in the bar at Memrubu Lodge. Waffles and hot chocolate or a beer finish the day off very nicely. 

    Ascent: 662m (2171ft) Descent: 633m (2076ft)  Distance: 10km (6.3 miles) Duration: 05h00 - 06h00

  • The finale! The iconic Bessegen Ridge is our goal today and it is a stunning route. One of the most recognised images of Norwegian tourism the lakes on either side of this ridge are renowned for their colour differences. On one side we have Bessvatnet which is blue, and on the other we have the Gjende which is green. The green is caused by the glacial run-off which contains clay. Bessegen is one of the most famous hikes in Norway and each year around 60,000 people climb to the summit. We aim to leave early to avoid the rush of hikers who arrive by boat to Memurubu.  The climb to start with is quite steep and rocky, but eventually you reach an undulating broad ridge line, before dropping steeply down to Bessvatnet lake where we then begin the ridge properly. The ridge is a low grade scramble in places, and at other times you will not need to use your hands and can simply walk. For some sections it can feel quite exposed, but it is never narrow, and the scrambling is easy. Once we gain the top the mountain broadens out and we spend the rest of the day on a descent down to Gjendesheim at the near of Lake Gjende. It is truly a magnificent day in the mountains and one that takes a lot of beating in terms of spectacular beauty. If for any reason the weather makes the ascent unadvisable we will take the lakeside trail to Gjendesheim, and if you want a day off you can take the boat to our next overnight. You will hike with a light day pack today as we will send our hut kit by boat. 

    Ascent: 1028m (3371ft) Descent: 1044m (3424ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles)  Duration: 08h00 - 10h00

  • Today you depart from the mountains. For details refer to 'Arrival & Departure' under 'Trip Information'. 

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

At all times we strive to provide comfortable, cosy, family run accommodation that we have personally checked. On trips like this into a remote area the only option are the mountain huts/lodges which in Norway are quite frankly more like rustic characterful hotels. Most are provided by the DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) and the food and facilities are excellent. All have showers, drying rooms for wet kit, and good food. You can read more about what it is like to stay in a DNT hut here. We also stay at two privately run mountain lodges at Spiterstulen and Memurubu.  

In all the accommodation on this trip the rooms will be for 2, 4, 6 or more people, though we aim to book rooms for 2 people and ensure that couples, friends etc are rooming together, but we cannot rule out staying in a larger dormitory style room. The ethos in the mountains is the no one is turned away from shelter, and occasionally this can mean too many people and not enough beds, but be assured your rooms will be booked in advance and small rooms secured whenever possible. 

Bed linen and towels - you can choose to carry a pack towel, and a sheet sleeping bag or hire from the huts. Bed linen is around 250-300 NOK per person per night, and towels are around 35-40 NOK per night. By giving you the choice we avoid passing on this cost. At Spiterstulen lodge, where we spend two nights, bed linen and towels are included in your trip fee. 

There is the possibility of a single room on a number of nights. Contact us to discuss if necessary. 

The  DNT operates  550 cabins across Norway, and maintains a network of about 22,000 km (13,750 miles). of marked trails and about 7000 km (437 miles) of branch-marked ski tracks. DNT members are given discounts on accomodation at all cabins and on served meals at the staffed cabins. DNT activities are based on extensive volunteer work. Each year, volunteers work in total more than 800,000 hours.

It is a condition of booking that you are a member of the DNT, you can book membership here. This allows us to charge less for this trip. Without this the trip price would increase to a level that is greater than the cost of your membership. 

Thon Hotel, Otta

Hotel

We begin our Jotunheim Tour with an overnight in Otta, at the Thon Hotel.  This makes it easy for guests to arrive at any time during the day and have access to their rooms. The other option, which is to gather everyone up in Otta on the first night and then take a taxi to the first hut means that any late arrivals will have serious issues catching up with the group. The hotel is very comfortable with an excellent dinner and breakfast buffet. It is also near to the train station and bus station and easily accessible. 

Glitterheim

DNT Staffed Cabin

Glitterheim hut is to be found in a wild remote valley, sitting at 1400m (4582ft) below the second highest mountain in Norway, Glittertind. Nearby peaks such as Glittertinden, Nautgardstinden, Memurutinden and Trollsteineggje are on the doorstep and are a challenge for those who collect 2000 metre (6560ft) peaks. The hut has space for 137 people, in 2-bed rooms, 4-bed rooms, and also in larger dormitories. There are showers, toilets, and a drying room for wet kit. The lodge serves local cuisine, based on local ingredients and traditions or on foods supplied by local vendors. DNT works with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to promote local cuisines and traditions at the staffed lodges.

Spiterstulen

Mountain Lodge

Spiterstulen is a former mountain farm, now a tourist cabin in the valley of Visdalen, near Lom. The cabin sits at  1100 metres (3280ft) above sea level, between the two highest mountains in Norway, Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind. It is the largest tourist cabin in Jotunheimen, with around 230 beds. Check out the webcam for current snow conditions.  The mountain lodge is currently managed by the 8th generation of the Ovesen family. Originally a mountain summer farm, the building was extended in the middle of the 19th century to offer one guest room for overnight travellers, since then it has been added to over the generations and now offers accommodation in a variety of cabins around the main building. The buildings are in traditional Norwegian style, and offer a range of bedrooms from twin rooms, to larger dormitory rooms. 

Spiterstulen was originally a mountain farm for the family of Nigard Solheim which since 1881 has been extended and modernized over several generations. From Spiterstulen you can access 17 of the highest peaks in Norway. Accommodation comes in a range of sizes and types.

Leirvassbu

DNT Staffed Cabin

Leirvassbu is one of the most famous lodges in Norway, it was one of the first to open and today is the latest and largest to be acquired and managed by the DNT  (Norwegian Trekking Association).  We love staying here with the spacious living space, fireplace, bar and restaurant it's a cosy mountain lodge in the middle of nowhere! It has been hosting mountain people since 1875 and today offers an exceptional dining experience for a mountain hut. The hut has 224 beds and 87 rooms. There is good 4G coverage and guest WiFi in the bar and reception area.

 

Gjendebu

DNT Staffed Cabin

Gjendebu, which was built in 1871 is the DNT's oldest lodge. In the heart of the Jotunheim mountains it is to be found at the end of Lake Gjende. Since the 1800's it has been extended and rebuilt several times, and today has 119 beds and relatively modern facilities, including a shower block, bar, drying room and large lounge area with a fireplace. It is one of the more basic huts we stay in on this trip, but is still very comfortable and cosy with good food served both at dinner and breakfast.

Memurubu

Mountain Lodge

Memurubu is to be found at the mouth of the river Muru, in the middle of Gjende, and has for centuries been a popular starting point for the mountains. Today, the old summer dwelling house has been turned into a modern mountain lodge serving local food and providing sustainable energy from its own hydro station. The Sveine family have running Memurubu since 1884. They first accommodated guests in the summer pastures, and in 1872, the Norwegian Trekking Association built one of their first lodges here, with the Sveine family as hosts. Today, Kjetil Sveine is the host, and the next generation, Nina and Espen, work at the lodge in school holidays and weekends. 

Memurubu have a total of 150 beds divided in rooms with 2, 3, 4 and 5 beds and dorm rooms with 8 to 13 beds. In the newest building there are 12 family rooms accommodating a total of 38 people.

Gjendesheim

DNT Staffed Cabin

Gjendesheim is in a spectacular location at the head of Lake Gjende in the Jotunheim. This DNT hut is very comfortable with a range of bedrooms on offer. It can take 185 people, and rooms range from singles, to twins, quads, and much larger dormitories. There are a number of lounge areas with cosy chairs, and fireplaces, and views to the lake. The hut has a small shop with hats, gloves, maps, etc and snacks. There are showers and a drying room for any wet kit. It is very close to the cafe at the pier on the lake which serves great cakes and coffee during the afternoon. You can check out conditions on the webcam.

 


  • Arrival

    To reach the start of the tour you will travel north by train/bus from Oslo Gardermoen Airport to the town of Otta. We will spend the first night in the town of Otta as this allows for anyone arriving late or having transport issues. Once we leave Otta we are in a remote area with few transport options. On the morning of our first hiking day we will take a private transfer to Gjendesheim to start the hike.

    On arrival day you should take the train at 1429 hrs to Otta, which is likely to be on the Departure board as the line to Trondheim S. It arrives at Otta at 1754 hrs. The train station is in the airport building at Gardermoen and it all works very efficiently in terms of connecting with your flight. Tickets are easily booked on line, and you will usually have a reduced price if you do this in advance at Norwegian Trains. 

    Important Update: Until further notice there are no trains travelling north of Lillehammer. At Lillehammer you will transfer to a bus for the remainder of your journey. In summer 2023 the railway bridge at Ringebu was destroyed by floods, and the train is now replaced by a bus service. It is crucial that you book your ticket (which will include the section by bus) as soon as they are available. 

    Departure

    On your departure day, which is the Sunday, we will organise a private transfer from Gjendesheim to Otta Railway Station. The timetables are still to be published,  but we are expecting to tkae the train at 1043hrs arriving into Oslo Airport at 1421hrs. 

    You can also consider booking a bus to Oslo airport which departs from directly outside our accommodation at Gjendesheim. The bus leaves at 1000hrs, and arrives at Oslo Airport at 1421hrs, note that the bus timetables for summer 2024 are yet to be published. If you require to be at the airport earlier you can catch a bus around 1735 hrs on the Saturday evening after your last day of hiking which gets to Oslo late evening. We are not able to offer any reduction in trip cost if you choose to make your own departure arrangements.

    Train information is available here. Bus information from Gjendesheim is available here.

    Please contact us to discuss travel if required. 

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

    The terrain in the Jotunheim is very rocky with boulder fields to be crossed most days, so boots with a good tread are very important. The rocks are granite and very 'grippy' which means the rocks are not generally slippy and offer good contact with the boot even when wet. Most of the huts we will stay in have a 'drying' room to dry kit overnight.

    Equipment

    • Walking boots - comfortable & waterproof, with a good tread. We have no objection to ‘low cut mountain walking shoes’ if they have a stiff sole for rough terrain. Be aware that early season snow can remain on the high passes.
    • Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
    • Rucksack – 35-40 litres, with a chest and waist strap, try using it loaded before your trip
    • Rucksack liner or cover - to keep the contents of your rucksack dry
    • Waterproof stuff sack - for hut kit, and for transport on the ferry on the last two days*
    • Water container - 1 to 1.5 litres, or hydration system
    • Short gaiters – useful, but not essential
    • Umbrella - useful for shade on very hot days/rain showers
    • Microspikes - useful for early season snow cover (we will advise nearer departure when we have an update on conditions)

    * For the last two days of hiking we will send any hut kit/spare clothes etc with the ferry on Lake Gjende. You need a waterproof stuff sack for these items. The sack will be left outdoors on the dock for collection by the ferry and could get wet. Otherwise bring a really strong bin bag that you can use for this purpose. 

    Clothing

    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain in the mountains and you need to be able to stay dry and warm
    • Waterproof over trousers - we consider these vital items for the reason given above. We reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if we deem them necessary, or to ask you to miss a day of the trip if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - comfortable walking trousers allowing free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat
    • Warm hat
    • Hat - sunhat
    • Gloves x 2 - one thick, one thin
    • Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops
    • Fleece jacket/shirt
    • Socks - technical walking socks 2/3 pairs
    • Waterproof socks - a good idea for Norway
    • Duvet jacket/second warm jacket
    • Thermal leggings - optional

    Comfort

    • Sunscreen
    • Lip salve
    • Sunglasses - eye protection is essential
    • Tissues
    • Antibacterial hand wash - small bottle
    • Swimwear - optional, we sometimes swim in lakes/rivers
    • Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mix
    • Book/Kindle/Music
    • Insect repellent 

    Documentation

    • Passport, plus a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory
    • Travel Insurance
    • Credit Card - Norway is moving towards a cashless society
    • Cash - some Norwegian Kroner
    • Waterproof bag for documents

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication - if required
    • Antiseptic cream/spray
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets – like Dioralyte
    • A few throat lozenges
    • Blister plasters 
    • Blister tape eg. Strappal

    Additional Items

    • Slippers for use at accommodation
    • Sheet sleeping bag 'liner' - lightweight ‘silk or cotton liner’ *
    • Pack towel*
    • Ear plugs - optional, but advised if room sharing
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Camera
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • Head torch - plus spare batteries 

    * We do not include bed linen at the DNT huts nor towels as this would increase the trip cost by around £220 per person and we prefer that you can choose to bring your own sheet sleeping liner and pack towel, or you can hire on arrival. Bed linen and towels will be included at Spiterstulen mountain lodge where we stay for two nights. 

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it to the next person.

  • We have graded this trip Expert due to the rocky nature of the terrain. The daily distances, ascent and descent are not difficult and are less than other Expert level trips, however, the nature of the trails adds time and effort to the day. Most days we will spend around 40 minutes to 1 hour negotiating rocks and boulders. Even when wet or covered in snow we have found that the rock, which is gabbro, offers a good grip for your hiking boots. There is the possibility that you may be asked to bring Microspikes if there is a lot of winter snow left on the trail. We can advise you of this before departure. 

    In addition there is no luggage support so you will carry everything you need for 7 days of hiking. In reality this involves just a few extra items for your hut overnights, such as wash kit, slippers and a change of clothes. Each accommodation sells a small selection of snacks, blister kit, sunscreen, maps, batteries, etc.

    On the three most challenging hiking days you will be carrying only a light day pack. When we ascend the highest mountain in Northern Europe, Galdhøpiggen we will return to Spiterstulen Hut for a second night so any unwanted items can be left in your room. If you choose not to attempt the summit you can simply rest at Spiterstulen or go for a valley hike. The route to Galdhøpiggen is basically a boulder field for much of the day, but the rocks are solid and grippy and it is not an issue for experienced hikers. Many thousands climb Galdhøpiggen each year as it is something of a Norwegian pilgrimage to do so. Many of these people will have much less experience than our guests yet successfully climb to the summit. 

    On the two other days on Memurubu Ridge, and Bessegen Ridge we will send extra items on the boat, so you once again only have a light daypack. This is particularly useful on the Bessegen which has a section where you will want to use your hands as well as your feet. The Bessegen presents a low grade scramble which does not have loose rocks and is generally good terrain. Some sense of exposure may be experienced, but essentially it is quite a wide ridge. 

    Although we stay in remote huts, three of them do have a dirt track access road for supplies, and it is possible to escape if you had major issues due to blisters or tiredness. Also on the second last day you could choose to take the boat between Gjendebu and Memurubu, and on the last day you can once again take the boat, from Memurubu to Gjendesheim, or hike the lakeside trail to Gjendesheim and avoid the Bessegen Ridge. If you opted to do this it would be on a self-guided basis. 

  • For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • On this trip a single room is available on the first night in Otta and there are other possibilities during the week, but it will depend on how busy the huts are. Please contact us if you would like to know more, and we will provide a quote.

    Most likely you will find yourself in a room with two beds sharing with one of the group, and at other times we may have a larger room with 3 or 4 people in the same room. If this is the case be assured that we always group people according to gender, relationships or friendships. This type of accommodation is normal in the mountains. 

    We would add that the huts in Norway are wonderful, and are certainly not the very basic huts you might find in the French/Swiss Alps. The food is usually excellent and the accommodation cosy. 

  • Tracks and Trails go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation for the countries that they work in.

    Note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.

  • On this trip there is no luggage support and you will carry everything you need for the hike. You will meet many Norwegians with enormous rucksacks carrying tents stoves, etc, but you just need a few extra items for the hut nights.  Our guides would normally arrive in Norway with only what they need for the hike, but you can use the Left Luggage either at Oslo airport or Oslo Central Station to store items for your return.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have a map detailing the entire seven day hike you can refer to the one below:

    Cappelen Damm Kart 45 - Jotunheimen 1:100,000/1:50,000

  • The weather in Norway is very similar to that found in the Scottish Highlands, in short you can have 4 seasons in one day. Everything from snow showers to strong sun. You should come equipped to deal with wet weather, and have sufficient waterproof stuff sacks in your rucksack to keep items dry. You can check a ten day forecast here.

    Even in summer you may need a thick pair of winter gloves if the weather turns inclement, so do refer to our Kit List. Water proof socks are a very good idea as we will often have to cross streams and rivers, hopping from rock to rock, and your feet may get damp. Most huts have a 'drying' room to dry kit overnight. 

    In July the average temperature for the Jotunheim mountains range from a high of 12°C (54°F) to a low of 5°C (41°F). In late autumn it ranges from 7°C (44°F) to 1°C (34°F). Winter snow can lie on the trails till mid-summer. 

  • The DNT system of cabins in Norway is a wonderful concept. 'DNT' stands for Den Norske Turistforening, which translates to the 'Norwegian Trekking Association'. 

    According to the DNT local member associations operate 550 cabins across Norway. They maintain a network of about 22,000 km (13,730 miles) of marked hiking trails and about 7000 km (4375 miles) of branch-marked ski tracks. Each year, volunteers work a total of more than 800,000 hours maintaining this system. 

    A number of our trips such as our require you to be a member of the DNT. Please check the 'Dates & Prices' section of the your trip itinerary. To become a member click here

    DNT Cabins are either 'staffed' or 'self-service':

    Staffed cabins

    Staffed cabins serve all meals; breakfast, dinner and a picnic lunch which you make yourself from the breakfast buffet. Meals are excellent in both quality and quantity! Many have showers and electricity, either from the power grid or from a local generator. They are very cosy and traditional in style and are just as comfortable as a rustic hotel. Staffed cabins are open only in certain seasons.

    Self-service cabins

    The self-service cabins are equipped with all that we need for cooking and sleeping. Firewood, gas, kitchen utensils, table linen and bunks with blanks or duvets and pillows. We do require you to bring a 'sheet sleeping bag liner' for reasons of hygiene. The cabins are also stocked with tinned and dried food which means we do not have to carry provisions! It is not possible to 'reserve' beds in self-service cabins and it is a case of 'first come, first served'. We aim to arrive in good time to secure the necessary number of beds which are usually in rooms with between 2 - 8 bunk beds. If we arrive late in the day and the cabin is already crowded then as 'members of the DNT' you will have priority over non-members in terms of acquiring a mattress. Please note this may be a mattress on the floor, think of it as camping, but with a roof!

    In the self-service cabins we look after ourselves: fetch water, cook food, wash up and chop wood. At the cabin we fill out a payment form which details everything we have used. The DNT then contact us on our email addresses and we make payment for your stay. 

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you are vegetarian his is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet contact us

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

    We ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2024

Limited availability Book

2025

Spaces available Book

What's Included

It is a condition of booking that you are a member of the DNT, (Norwegian Trekking Association) you can book membership here. This allows us to charge less for this trip. Without this the trip price would increase to a level that is greater than the cost of your membership. 

  • 7 nights full board accommodation in mountain huts, including packed lunch, based on a shared room
  • 1 night in an hotel in Otta, single rooms available for a supplementary charge
  • Services of a professional International Mountain Leader
  • Luggage transfer from Gjendebu to Memurubu by boat
  • Luggage transfer from Memurubu to Gjendesheim by boat
  • Bed linen and towels at Spiterstulen
  • Return private transfer from Otta to Gjendesheim - 1h15

What's Not Included

  • Flights 
  • Travel costs to Otta
  • Bus from Gjendesheim to Oslo
  • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory
  • Any alcoholic drinks and beverages
  • Pack Towels* & Sheet Sleeping Bags
  • DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association Membership)*

*Towels can be hired at the huts for around 25-35 NOK if you do not want to carry one. Bed linen can also be hired for around 300 NOK per person per night. It is cheaper to carry your own sheet sleeping bag liner and pack towel.

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Grade: Expert

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At a Glance

From Price £2195
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2469m (8098ft)
Countries Visited
Meet In Otta, Norway
View all Walking Holidays

Tour of the Jotunheim, Norway

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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