Book with confidence for 2021
The Besseggen Ridge in the Jotunheimen National Park

Jotunheimen Tour
Self-guided walking holiday


Key information Summer 2021

Start: Gjendesheim, Norway
End: Gjendesheim before a night in Otta
Season dates: 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 3 on our main route (Walking grades)
Red 3 with easier alternatives on Days 2, 5 and 6
Black 4 with ascent of Galdhopiggen
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups


Norway stands out as a country for hiking; the Jotunheimen is a gem among the nation's National Parks. It’s the highest in its mountain, it contains Norway's highest mountain Galdhopiggen (2,469m) and it's the most popular for walkers. We cross high plateaus, walk under imposing peaks, and traverse deep valleys running with streams, rivers and waterfalls. In a single day, hikers see glaciers, sweeping valleys, flourishing meadows, and Nordic forests. Since 2018 it has become one of our most popular trips, and we hope you’ll love it!

The Norwegian approach is orderly with a time-honoured reverence to preserving 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. In 6 days you cover most of the park’s varied landscapes but if you have more time, the wilder and trickier Eastern side can be explored further. (This replaces the Leirvassbu-Gjendebu stage with a 3-day loop via Skogadalsboen and Fondsbu). The huts are comfortable and provide an amazing Norwegian hut experience which our hikers have really enjoyed.

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 among walkers, Norwegian and otherwise, that is formed through the shared experience in the hills and the adherence to the simple, sensible norms of hut life.

Walk self-guided to enjoy the scenery at your own speed or please ask us for details of hiking with a leader. We organise privately guided trips of the Jotunheimen Tour accompanied by one of our International Mountain Leaders.

Alternative trip options
Looking for other trips in Scandinavia:
Kungsleden - Sweden, introducing self-catered huts
Norway's National Parks (Guided daywalks) - Guided daywalks in Norway
Map
Options
Our 6-stage Jotunheimen Tour 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 isn't possible to shorten any of the stages, but longer and shorter itineraries are possible. We describe the options in detail and please ask if you'd like more information.

Make the trip shorter
Making the trip shorter is possible by starting your trek at either Spiterstulen or Leirvassbu (each accessible by bus from Lom) to complete the final 4 stages (from Spiterstulen) or 3 stages (from Leirvassbu) 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 to Gjendesheim. (Due to the spacing of huts, it isn't really possible to complete the entire route in fewer than our normal 6 stages.)

Add a rest day
We don't include a rest day as standard on our Jotunheimen Tour; however, if you'd like to add in a rest day, we'd recommend taking one at Spiterstulen as this gives you the option to have a rest (maybe taking the morning bus to Lom and afternoon bus back) or to climb Galdhopiggen. At 2,469m Galdhopiggen is Norway's highest mountain and can be summitted on a day trip from the Spiterstulen hut. This day is graded at Black 4. Please let us know if you'd like to add an extra night here.

Make the trip longer
A great way to extend your trip is to add 2 further stages, making 8stages 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 its length and its bouldery terrain, often with no visible path.

Hike with a leader
Hike with confidence in the company of our fully qualified International Mountain Leaders (IMLs), with the navigation, accommodation and all arrangements taken care of. You're welcome to walk on any dates within our season and we can adjust the hike to suit your needs. Please ask for more details.




Prices
Jotunheimen Tour
18 July to 28 August 2021
Dorms Private Rooms
Groups of 2+
Self-guided
3 stages
(4 nights)
Long-weekend
GBP 720
Singles 40
GBP 780
Singles 40
6 stages
(7 nights)
GBP 990
Singles 40
GBP 1,110
Singles 40
Main Trip
8 stages
(9 nights)
Extended Tour
GBP 1,170
Singles 40
GBP 1,310
Singles 40
Private guided
6 stages
(7 nights)
Group of 4 or more
GBP 1,690
Singles 40
GBP 1,810
Singles 40
8 stages
(9 nights)
Group of 4 or more
GBP 2,070
Singles 40
GBP 2,210
Singles 40
Smaller group
Group of 1, 2 or 3
Please ask us
Options
Baggage transfer
Not available

Accommodation
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. Each evening guests line up their flasks on a trolley, labelled with their name and hot beverage of choice and miraculously come breakfast they are full. Food in the huts is chiefly Norwegian; it's hearty mountain food for dinner as you might expect! A packed lunch is also incuded at every hut. Guests make sandwiches from the breakfast buffet and wrap them in special DNT greaseproof paper. There is an art to the Norwegian hut sandwich!

The huts are comfortable, spacious and organised with most offering the option of private rooms. Meals are taken at communal tables and give an excellent opportunity to dine and chat with local hikers. Norwegians are proud of their excellent English. As standard we'll book your final night in a hotel in Otta. If you prefer to stay your last night in the Gjendesheim hut, this is an option and please ask us.

Private rooms
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 fix the room type you recieve; however, there will always be a space for you to sleep. Unfortunately, because of the way the huts operate, for solo hikers it is not possible to book private rooms.

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 of 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 and discounted stays at huts across Norway (and Sweden), and also supports 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.
Route
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 one 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 Norway's heighest mountain (Galdhopiggen).

People at Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory's 2021 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 (and the snow slopes of Glittertind are guaranteed) 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 is more consistently rocky underfoot than our other trips, especially on our 8-stage hike.

Difficulty
Three stages on our normal 6-stage trek involve some Black-graded terrain, all of which can be missed by taking paths at Red grade as described in our routecards. These are the Glittertind ascent (routecard JHT2), the Bukkelaegret beyond Gjendebu (JHT5) and the Besseggen ridge (JHT6). The Besseggen ridge is a highlight and it would be a shame to miss it; 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 especially bouldery and rocky ground.
Boulder field on the ascent of Glittertind
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.

Of special note about the Jotunheimen Tour is that travel must be carefully planned so as not to need an extra day. This is because, unlike on our Alpine routes, Norwegian buses and trains run 2 or 3 times a day as opposed to every hour throughout the day. We make sure your arrangements are suitable and we are here for advice any time. As an example, the Oslo to Gjendesheim bus runs in the afternoon and we advise by what time to arrive by air. On the way back from Otta, you can plan afternoon flights from Oslo after a certain time.

If your plans include extra time in Norway then travel times are less critical. Please let us know your ideas and we'll be glad to advise what to see in Norway, and how to get about.

At Alpine Exploratory we travel widely in the countries we visit and we love to try unusual routes to the mountains, so equally we love to advise hikers on their travel plans.

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
Reindeer on the route
Included
  • 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 thermos flask on each day walking (this would be 6 nights our main trip)
  • Detailed Routecards JHT1-6 (or JHT1-9 on our extended tour plus JHT10 for the ascent of Gladhopiggen) 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 Scandinavia)
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 for the Jotuheimen Tour
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?



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.

Name


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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


Payment
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 Lervassbu in the Jotunheimen National Park
  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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