(National Parks from Venabu) River crossing below Snohetta
NATIONAL PARKS FROM VENABU (GUIDED)   6 stages . 7 nights . Rondane, Jotunheimen and Dovrefjell   Booking

National Parks from Venabu
Guided walking holiday

+ Three National Parks: Rondane, Jotuneheimen and Dovrefjell
+ Guided daywalks to selected peaks and views
+ Our comfortable base with local Norwegian food

Latest news November 2019
Our 2020 dates and prices are up! Availability is great at this early point. Please ask us about a trip - thank you.

From our base at Venabu Fjellhotell we reach some of the most famous walks in Norway. Our trip uses transfers to discover Norway's wilderness: to plunging waterfalls, glaciers and deep valleys. Walk far above blue lakes and enjoy vistas across the dark peaks of the Jotunheimen, home to Northern Europe's highest mountains. Explore deep into the remote rockiness of the Rondane and the dramatic landscape of Dovrefjell. We discover the untamed, mythical landscapes and breathtaking trails that make Norway unique.

With walks across three National Parks (Rondane, Jotunheimen and Dovre) we take in the famous Besseggen ridge and the summit of Snohetta. There is the chance of seeing Musk Ox in Dovrefjell. We operate in wild reindeer country, starting just beyond our lodge. We see the Nordic flora and fauna, migratory and ground nesting birds, birds of prey and rare arctic alpine plants.

Our base each night is the comfortable Venabu Fjellhotell, a family-owned lodge, hotel and outdoor centre. Venabu is roughly 3.5 hours North of Norway by train and transfer, in a fine location on the edge of the moorland.


Alpine Exploratory
NPVg National Parks from Venabu (Guided)
19 July to 5 September 2020
Prices in GBP
per person
Classic Comfy
Scheduled guided trips
6 daywalks
(7 nights)
Singles 160
Main NPV
Please ask
Private guided trips
6 daywalks
(7 nights)

Please ask
Please ask

Baggage transfer

No baggage transfer is needed on this centre-based trip. Please ask us for tips about making this trip within your longer travels in Norway: we know the train and bus routes.

About Venabu

Venabu Fjellhotell sits in the middle of the Venabygdsfjellet plateau at the southern edge of the Rondane National Park, 78kms north of Lillehammer.

Owned and run by the Tvete family, the hotel has been welcoming guests since 1950 and has a well-earned reputation for friendly, attentive hospitality. Many guests return year after year, summer and winter.

The hotel has 56 comfortable en-suite rooms. The superb mountain views from the dining room and the open fire in the sitting room make this a wonderful place to relax. There is also a library, a television room, saunas and a yoga room. Tea and coffee are always available in the lounge and free to guests.

Good food is important! Venabu serves daily buffets of high quality homemade food and a variety of vegetarian dishes. Every Wednesday evening the hotel serves a Norwegian Buffet: a wide selection of traditional Norwegian food with an explanation of the traditions behind the food.

The group

This holiday at Venabu lodge is offered to Venabu's clients as well as Alpine Exploratory's, and possibly those of other companies. It is hoped that each group will be a sociable mix of walkers.


Here is our normal schedule of 6 daywalks.

Arrival day: Arrival at Venabu
Evening arrival in Venabu. The hotel offers pick-ups from the train station at Ringebu. After arriving the group shares a first dinner in Venabu's dining room. Its picture windows give views towards the hills.

Day 1: Rondane National Park, Store Ramshogda (1,463m)
Red3 grade, 18km, 460m ascent, 620m descent
(15 min transfer)
We start our week with a hike to the peak of Store Ramshogda. We discover the Rondane, Norway's first National Park, created to protect the genetically unique wild reindeer living here. Descending from our high point we explore an unfrequented valley where we may see merlin and rough legged buzzards, or fjellvok, hunting.
Hotel at Venabu

Day 2: Dovrefjell, Snøhetta (2,286m)
Black3 grade, 12km, 800m ascent and descent
(1 hour 30 min transfer plus bus to Snøheim)
There are few places on Earth where you can see musk oxen in the wild, none are as accessible as Dovrefjell National Park. Our hike to the summit of Snøhetta takes us through a land of rare arctic-alpine flora, wild reindeer and arctic foxes. The route is more challenging than the numbers would suggest as it climbs over bouldery terrain. On the summit we are above the dramatic corrie where Snøhetta's glacier sits. The rewards for the effort are stunning views stretching to each horizon.
Hotel at Venabu

Day 3: Jotunheimen, Besseggen ridge (1,743m)
Black3 grade, 14km, 1100m ascent, 1000m descent
(1 hour 45 mins transfer)
Justifiably one of Norway's most famous hikes with extraordinarily beautiful views. We take a boat along the lake Gjende to Memurubu to start the ascent. Our route takes us between the emerald green water of Gjende, high, dark peaks and the glacier blue water of Bessvatnet. The Besseggen itself challenges us with straightforward scrambling, on good quality rock and with some exposure. (This walk also features on our Jotuheimen Tour.)
Hotel at Venabu

Day 4: Finnsjovola and Pika (1,157m)
Red3 grade, 12km, 380m ascent
(30 min transfer)
Both tranquil and sublime, Finnsjovola offers us an easier yet spectacular day to balance the week's adventures. We ascend steadily through delightful pine forest to open land and sparkling lakes with views of the Rondane massif and east towards Sweden. As we walk and soak up the beautiful scenery we might be lucky enough to hear the cries of the golden plover.
Hotel at Venabu

Day 5: Rondane National Park, Doralseter
Red3 grade, 24km, 400m ascent, 700m descent
(1 hour 30 min transfer)
Today we hike into the sculpted, elemental landscape of the Rondane massif. We make a traverse through the heart of the park, surrounded by its dramatic, imposing peaks.
Hotel at Venabu

Day 6: Gravskardhogda (1,767m)
Black3 grade, 21km, 1200m ascent, 1000m descent
(50 min transfer)
Our final ascent in Eastern Norway will not disappoint. Wild and stunning, we hike high above Atnasjoen. Gravskardhogda's broad summit ridge provides outstanding 360 degree views. On a clear day you can see all the way from the Rondane massif to Sweden in the east.
Hotel at Venabu

Departure day: Departure
Depart from Venabu after a last of the week's superb breakfast buffets. Transfers are available to the station at Ringebu for trains to Oslo or Trondheim.

This itinerary is typical of our standard 6 days of mountain walking. Depending on weather, conditions and the group's wishes the mix of walks might vary.

The route

Our approach to the National Parks
With six days available we use the minibus to explore widely within range of Venabu. From the Besseggen ridge to the Rondane the aim is a wide coverage of the highlights.

We expect to find the full range of Norwegian walking trails up to and including the rocky, scrambly, Besseggen ridge and the ascent of Snohetta. Underfoot we cross side-streams and some particularly loose and rough sections of path. The going can be slow for much of a day.

How to get there

Your holiday starts and ends at Venabu. A free pick-up is offered from the local station, Ringebu, with trains from Oslo and Oslo airport. It is also possible to take the local bus, which runs til mid-August (dates to come in your info pack) and to leave a car at Venabu.

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.

Key information Summer 2020

Trip name: National Parks from Venabu
Guided or self-guided? Guided
Trip code: NPVg
Route: The Lillehammer to Snohetta
(Walking guide)
(Prefer the hut-to-hut Jotunheimen Tour?)
Group size: 4 to 10 people
Length: 6 days' mountain walking
Start: Venabu
End: Venabu
Typical walk: 17km, 730m ascent (Up to 24km and 1,200m ascent, not on the same day)
Total distance: 101km or 63 miles
Highest altitude: 2,286m
Grade: Black3 (Walking grades)

Dates Summer 2020

Scheduled trips 2020
Please join our 2 guided trips:

NPVg3 9 to 16 August 2020
Guided by Joy and Venabu leaders
Book (Spaces)
Leaders at Alpine Exploratory

NPVg4 29 August to 5 Sept 2020
Guided by Joy and Venabu leaders
Book (Spaces)
Leaders at Alpine Exploratory

Private trips 2020
Please join us any time in our season from
19 July to 5 September 2020

Research Summer 2020

Alpine Exploratory's 2019 research in the Rondane and Dovrefjell was led by:

Joy O'Flanagan at Alpine Exploratory Simon Stevens at Alpine Exploratory

Joy O'Flanagan in June-September
Simon Stevens in June

Recces 2020

Venabu from the air
Venabu from the air (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

7 nights, staying in:
Venabu lodge hotel (7)

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts, packed lunches, 7 evening meals
Transfers to the walks
Boat on lake Gjende
Transfers to & from Ringebu station
Expert and unlimited advice
Lots of local information
Guided trekking with your IML

The UIMLA logo An IML leads your walks

The IML is the award needed to lead walks in Norway

The IML award

The waterfall Myfallet
The waterfall Myfallet (Photo gallery)

The Rondane, Jotunheimen and Dovrefjell

Map of the Rondane and Jotunheimen within Norway

Our city information in your info pack:
Olso, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger

City breaks after trekking

Find out more

About our walking holidays Our FAQs page covering equipment, weather, insurance and more about how our trips work

Walking guides Our background page on the Lillehammer to Snøhetta (SAGA) route

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Alpine Exploratory
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