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Jotunheimen

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Northern Europe : Norway : Jotunheimen
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Walking on Besseggen

Jotunheimen [1] is Norway's most famous mountain area and national park. The name "Jotunheimen" has its roots in Norse mythology, and literally means "The home of the giants".

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

Several English and German noblemen used to visit Jotunheimen in late 1800s and early 1900s to explore the mountain area, and climb the mountains. The Norwegian poet Vinje named many of the peaks in the western part of the park and is justly celebrated with a monument near Fondsbu DNT Hut. The Norwegian national playwright Ibsen set one of the most famous scenes in his classic Peer Gynt on the dramatic Besseggen Ridge in the eastern part of the park. The Besseggen Ridge has become one of the most visited natural attractions in Norway with 1-2 people passing any given point every 2-3 minutes in high summer -- not a place for solitude! The eccentric Englishman HC Slingsby popularised the area through his trip reports published in the Scottish Mountaineering Journal in the 1880s and 1890s. He also published a classic book-length account entitled Norway: the northern playground.

Landscape[edit]

Alpine mountains, glaciers with lakes and small rivers.

Flora and fauna[edit]

High mountain area with very few trees, mostly heathery terrain with some bushes.

Climate[edit]

Rapid weather changes can occur, lots of snow in the winter due to the high altitude, nice summer with over up to 25 degrees celcius if good and sunny weather.

Get in[edit]

Jotunheimen can be accessed from north and south. From Oslo its about 380km to the north (Lom) and about 230km to the south (Beitostølen) or 265km to Tyinkrysset.

By train[edit]

Train from Oslo and Gardermoen Airport to Otta 300km north of Oslo and take bus 80km west to Lom.

By bus[edit]

Fees/Permits[edit]

If you want to fish, there is a small fee. Contact the local tourist information for more details.

Get around[edit]

The only way to travel within Jotunheimen national park is by foot or by cross-country skis. The DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) have a lot of hiking routes with accommodation in Jotunheimen.

See[edit][add listing]

A fabulous alpine mountain area; probably the best in the whole of scandinavia. There are several glaciers and steep cliffs in a national park environment.

Do[edit][add listing]

Here you can go hiking both in summer and by cross country skiing in the winter. Several possibilities of guided glacier hiking and guided climbing in the high mountains.

In Jotunheimen you climb several alpine mountains. Jotunheimens highest mountain is Galdhøpiggen at 2469m above sea level. Second highest is Glittertind with 2464m. These are both long, but technically easy hikes. One of the most famous hiking routes in Jotunheimen is across Besseggen a narrow edge with steep cliffs on both sides. The most famous mountain where you have to climb to get to the top, is Store Skagastølstind (2405m).

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

What you bring with you, or buy at the local hotels in the park. Try Elk Burgers or Reindeer Steak.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Fresh mountain water

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are several places where you can get accommodation in the mountain, both full service mountain hotels and self service cabins. Visit DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) for more information.

Lodging[edit]

Camping[edit]

Wild camp. Not more than three days in a row on the same spot.

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Always bring a map and a compass, pay attention to the local weather forcasts. Always remember to tell where you go an when you expect to arrive there. Talk to locals if you're in doubt.

Get out[edit]

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