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Jotunheimen Tour
Self-guided walking holiday

Key information Summer 2020

Start: Gjendesheim, Norway
End: Gjendesheim before a night in Otta
Season dates: 19 July to 29 August 2020, 18 July to 28 August 2021
Length: 6 days' walking (8-stage option also available)
Typical walk: 15km, 820m ascent
Total distance: 90.5km or 56.5 miles
Highest altitude: 2,258m, optionally 2,469m
Grade: Black 4 for our main route (Walking grades)
Red 4 if easier alternative on Days 2, 5 and 6 are taken
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups

Norway is truly a superb country for hiking and the Jotunheimen is a real gem among the nation's outstanding National Parks. It’s certainly the most popular for walkers: with it's high plateaus, imposing peaks, and deep valleys running with streams, rivers and waterfalls. Glaciers, sweeping valleys, flourishing meadows, and Nordic forests can all be traversed in a single day. In three years it's become one of out most popular walks and we hope you’ll love it!

The Norwegian approach is orderly with a time-honoured reverence to preserving their natural spaces and maintaining the parks for the next generation. You'll find little sign of human life other than the huts and the paths. Our tour is a circular route through the park over 6 or 8 days. 6 days covers most of the park’s varied landscapes but if you have more time, the wilder and trickier Eastern side can be explored further. The huts are very comfortable and provide an amazing Norwegian hut experience which we think you'll really enjoy.

With so few foreign walkers it's easy to feel warmly adopted into the Norwegian lifestyle. We hope you'll enjoy the cultural experience and sense of fellowship between all walkers, Norwegian and otherwise, that is formed through the shared common experience in the hills.

Alternative trip options
Prefer a different style of trip? Why not try one of these:
Guided Jotumheimen Tour - walk the trail with one of our guides
8-Stage Extended Tour - Extend your journey
Our 6-stage Jotunheimen Tour trip is suitable for strong hikers who are happy to walk for long distances over uneven terrain for consecutive days. Due to the spacing of huts along the trail, it's not possible to shorten any of the stages but longer and shorter itineraries are possible. We describe the options in detail below but please do ask if you'd like further information.

Make the trip shorter
Making the trip shorter is possible by starting your trek at either Spiterstulen or Leirvassbu (accessible by bus from Lom) to complete the final 3-4 stages of our classic 6-stage route back to Gjendesheim. It is also possible to skip the final 2 stages along lake Gjende by taking the ferry from Gjendebu or Memurubu to Gjendesheim. Due to the spacing of huts, it's not possible to shorten the actual stages. Please do just ask us if you'd like more information on either of these schedules.

Add a Rest Day
We don't include a rest day as standard on our Jotunheimen Tour trip, however, if you'd like to add in a rest day, we'd recommend taking on at Spiterstulen as this gives you the option to have a rest or climb Gladhopiggen. Pleae do just let us know if you'd like to add in a rest day to your shedule.

Make the trip longer

Option 1: Add in a day to climb Galdhopiggen
We have a number of ways in which to extend your trip. The first option is to spend an additional night at Spiterstulen where we offer the option to climb Galdhopiggen (2,469m), Norway's highest mountain as a day trip from the Spiterstulen hut. This day is graded at Black 4. Please do let us know if you'd like to add in an extra day to allow for the ascent.

Option 2: Our 8 stage trip
A great way to extend your trip is to add 2 further stages, making 8-stages in total (9 if you also include the ascent of Galdhopiggen). This fantastic extended tour would see you hike to Leirvassbu as normal and then split off to walk to Skogadalsboen, Fondsbu and then Gjendebu before completing the final 2 stages as normal. It's worth noting that the Stage from Skogadalsboen to Fondsbu is probably the toughest of the whole tour due to it's length and bouldery terrain with no visible path.

Jotunheimen Tour (Self-guided)
19 July to 29 August 2020
18 July to 28 August 2021
Dorms Private Rooms
Groups of 2+
6 stages
(7 nights)
GBP 970
Singles 40
Main Trip
GBP 1,090
Singles 40
8 stages
(9 nights)
GBP 1,170
Singles 40
Extended Tour
GBP 1,310
Singles 40
Specialised schedules
3 stages
(4 nights)
GBP 620
Singles 40
GBP 720
Singles 40
4 stages
(5 nights)
GBP 770
Singles 40
GBP 870
Singles 40
Baggage transfer
Not available

Where we stay
The Norewgian hut system is possibly our favourite of any nation and typifies the Norwegian culture. For example, it is expected that you will be trekking with a thermos flask, as is the Norwegian way and each evening guests line up their flasks, labelled with their name and hot beverage of choice and miraculously come breakfast they are full. Food in the huts is chiefly Norwegian and hearty mountain food is found for dinner as you might expect! A packed lunch is also incude at every hut, made in the morning before your depart.

The huts are comfortable, spacious and organised with most offering the option for private rooms. Meals are taken at communal tables and give an excellent opportunity to dine and chat with local hikers. English is also widely spoken. As standard we'll book your final night in a local hotel in Otta. If you prefer to stay in a hut on the last night that's also no problem, just let us know when you book.

Private rooms
As standard we book dormitory places at all huts. However, at all huts apart from Skogadalsboen, there is the option for private rooms which we can book for you if requested. At Skogadalsboen, we are unable to dictate the room type you recieve however there will always be a space for you to sleep. Unfortunately, because of the way the huts operate, it's not possible to book private rooms in the huts for solo travellers.

Single Supplement
The single supplement covers the difference in cost between a single room and a double room on a per person basis and is only added for a single room at the hotel in Otta on your final night.

DNT Membership
We are delighted to be able to include membership to the Norwegian DNT as part of your trip cost. The DNT (Den Norske Turistforening) is the Norwegian trekking and travel association and your membership will be valid for the year of your trip. Membership allows us (and you) to access discounted rates at huts and this saving is accounted for in our prices. Memebership also gives you benefits like discounts in DNT shops, discounted stays at huts across Norway (and Sweden) and also support the maintenance of the national parks.

In the run-up to your trip we will ask the date of birth of everyone in your group, as it's required for the DNT membership, and also a phone number to which your membership details can be texted. You can then use the DNT app on your Android or iPhone to show your membership to hut wardens and others.
Our approach to the Jotunheimen Tour
This Tour is a wonderful circuit of the Jotunheimen National Park visiting the main valleys of the National Park and experiencing the best of hiking available in just 1 week. We link fantastic catered huts with solid days of walking in the amazing Norwegian scenery. We also offer the option, as an additional extra, to climb Norways heighest mountain (Galdhopiggen).

People at Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory's 2020 research on the Jotunheimen Tour will be led by Steph Ward in July

The Terrain
The terrain encountered on the Tour varies greatly. Most days are generally a combination of good paths, and boulder fields where progress is slower and care must be taken. On these sections the path is less well defined but cairns mark the way, generally visible on the horizon for navigation in poor visibility. Small streams are quite common and mostly easily crossed. Throughout summer there is a good chance of snow patches lying on the higher paths, but the lower paths are likely to be snow-free. There are also short sections of scrambling where hands will be needed for stability. These sections are within the realm of normal mountain walking and are not via ferrata.

Is it for me?
If you’re a confident hiker with experience of mountain walking and navigation then you should love the Norwegian hiking style. We recommend extra care when considering the Jotunheimen for those with old injuries or niggles in their knees and ankles that tend to get worse on uneven terrain as the terrain can be pretty rocky underfoot, especially on the 8-stage hike.

Three stages on our normal 6-stage trek involve some Black terrain, all of which can be missed by taking paths at Red grade as described in our routecards. These are the Glittertind ascent (JHT2), the Bukkelaegret beyond Gjendebu (JHT5) and the Besseggen ridge (JHT6). The Besseggen ridge is a highlight and would be a shame to miss; we can advise further on its difficulty.

Our 8-stage trek includes a fourth section of Black terrain, being the extensive bouldery ground around Uradalsvatnet and Kvitevatnet (JHT8) that is difficult to bypass. Thus we recommend our 8-stage trek only to parties happy with Black ground.

We describe the difficulties of the trail and the alternatives on our routecards and you can always ask us to describe the route in more details if you would like. While your routecards make up the walking for the trip, you are of course free to walk wherever you choose, taking side trips or going by a different route of your own choice. Please note that if you follow your own route you will have left the holiday for the duration.

Boulder field on the ascent of Glittertind (Stage 2)

   For an even more detailed read, please see our Jotunheimen Tour Walking Guide
How to get there
Your holiday starts at the roadside mountain hut Gjendesheim and ends in the small town Otta. The most convenient airport is Oslo with Bergen also feasible. Travel to Gjendesheim is on the excellent Norwegian bus network and from Otta the train goes quickly to Oslo.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.

Reindeer on the route
  • Bespoke accommodation itinerary - tailored to suit your particular requirements
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Dinner at each hut plus a packed lunch and a refill of your thermous on each day walking (this would be 6 nights our main trip)
  • Detailed Routecards JHT1-6 (or JHT1-8 on our extended tour) of the Exploratory system, printed on waterproof paper
  • The 2 topographical hiking maps needed
  • Membership to the Norwegian DNT for the year of your trip
  • Expert advice and local information
  • A comprehensive 'Season Update' following our pre-season recce
  • Full support during your trip from the Alpine Exploratory team (9am until 9pm in the Alps)
Not included
  • Travel to and from your trip
  • Local transport whilst on the trip unless specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Additional snacks and drinks not specified above. Evening meals in the towns (this would be 1 night on our main trip; in Otta)
  • Baggage transfers (not available on this route)

Baggage transfer

Although baggage transfer isn't available on this hut-based trip, it's no problem to leave your baggage at the Gjendesheim hut while you trek. There is one possibility of luggage, using the ferry along lake Gjende. This can be organised on the ground and we give details in the info pack.

Booking form
2020 and 2021

Your holiday

Arrival day

First walking day

Departure day

Your party

Please add any more people in the Comments box below.
If you are adding to an existing booking, please give the main contact's details and just the new people. Thanks.

Number of people in your group

Main contact

Party member 2

Party member 3

Party member 4

Party member 5

Party member 6

Party member 7

Party member 8

Contact details

Address and post/zip code (For the delivery of your pack)

Email address

Telephone (Mobile)

Telephone (Home)

Party's details

Medical conditions relevant to a walking holiday?
(Please tell us in confidence. Thank you.)

Vegetarians, special diets or allergies?

Room types?


Please could we ask your dogs' type (breed or size?) Thanks

Baggage transfer

Baggage transfer?

Differences from the normal trip

Differences if any (extra nights, comfy or hutty mix, fewer rest days, etc.)?

Party's walking experience

Please may we ask for details of everyone's experience?
Especially helpful are names of trails, national parks, peaks or regular hikes. Thank you.

Main contact

Party member 2

Party member 3

Party member 4

Party member 5

Party member 6

Party member 7

Party member 8

Please add any more people in the Comments box below. Thanks.

Emergency contact

Please tell us about a friend or relative who we can contact in the event of emergency during your holiday.


Telephone number

Relationship to you

Comments or questions?

Please ask any questions or tell us anything else:

Optionally, to help us

Optionally, where did you first hear about us? We're always curious!

If a friend recommended us may we ask who it was? We might send a thank you!

Check and submit

We will reply to your booking form with a confirmation email giving the details of your balance and deposit amounts.
We'll send you instructions to pay your deposit by card, bank transfer, or cheque.
Your deposit will be 20% of the cost of your trip with a minimum of GBP 200 per person.
Your balance is due 8 weeks before your trip and we'll email you with a reminder.

Terms and Conditions
By submitting this form you confirm that you have read and agreed to Alpine Exploratory's Terms and Conditions (PDF).
In particular, as the main contact you confirm that:
+ Everyone in the group has read and agreed to the T&Cs.
+ Everyone in the group has the fitness and experience for the trip.
Please ask us if you have any questions. Thank you.

Got questions about the Jotunheimen Tour?
Feel free to ask us any questions you have about any aspects of your planning and preparations! Lucy, Steph, Hannah W, Hannah G, or Nicky will reply with expert advice. We spend a lot of time walking our routes and more broadly exploring ski and hiking trails around the world so do feel free to ask anything at all.

Jotunheimen Tour enquiry form

Your name

Your email address

Optionally, where did you first hear about us? We're always curious!

Your intended arrival date on the Jotunheimen Tour? (This helps us give you an idea of availability and doesn't need to be exact)

How many people will you be?

Any questions or preferences?

If you prefer, please feel welcome to email or call us. Thanks!

Contact Alpine Exploratory
Email info@alpineexploratory.com
Phone +44 (0)131 214 1144
Our times 9am to 5pm UK time
Monday to Friday
Australia 02 8319 2266
Canada 416-548-4819
Hong Kong 25 803 0282
New Zealand 04 889 4515
USA 646-757-1102

Open to the world
Since Alpine Exploratory started in 2005 we have loved getting to know our clients from around the world. Along with the UK, our best-represented countries are the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Please use our national-rate numbers for a cheaper call to contact our office in Edinburgh.

  Spiterstulen to Leirvassbu on Stage 3    Photos from the Jotuheimen Tour

Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.

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