If you’re like me, then your favourite kind of getaway won’t be to a crowded city, but to the wide open spaces, to freedom and beauty and nature. Few parts of the world encapsulate that as well as the Jotunheimen National Park in Norway.
The name means “Home of the Giants” and it is easy to see why. Covering 1,151 square kilometres, and with over two hundred and fifty peaks, including the highest two in Northern Europe (Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind, both at nearly 2500m), the park is simply stunning. It is part of the larger Jotunheimen mountain region and the unique topography was mostly created by glacial movement, which led to the severe, crisp landscape you will find there.
The park has such variety of activities and interesting features you won’t want to leave. History buffs will be intrigued by the historical hunting sites which date back to the Stone Age.
For those interested in literature, the park captured the imagination of the world-famous playwright Henrik Ibsen in his drama Peer Gynt.
The wildlife is abundant and diverse, and it is not at all unusual to run into groups of reindeer on a trail.
The Besseggen Ridge Hike: This is one of the most popular hikes in all of Norway (and the world). It involves a total distance of about 13km, a descent of 759m, and takes between five and eight hours for someone with a reasonable level of fitness. Be warned that you should come prepared for this hike, bring plenty of water and food, warm clothes and the aforementioned fitness!
For those who want more adventure, you can also find:
- Glacier walks in the Jotunheimen
- Sjoa river rafting
- Kite Skiing & Ski Touring
- Summer Fun Parks –Very child friendly
- Cross Country Husky Sledding
- Horseback Riding
- Scaling Glittertind
There are hotels, cottages and houses to rent, private cabins and camping all available in Jotunheimen. You can cabin it like a local or stay at a nice hotel right in nature.
Reviews of Jotunheimen National Park
The are is a hit. A great destination that will leave everyone happy.
On Tripadvisor, the two worst reviews are “very good”, and the only reason for a review that isn’t “excellent” is that the particular walk (the Bessengen Ridge Hike), was too difficult for the hikers due to their fitness level. Every other review is excellent, with people citing the abundance of wildlife and breath-taking scenery as their favorite aspects.
Can I get there by public transport?
Is there a fee for the use of the park?
There is a toll of 100 NOK (about $12) for entry to the park, which is very reasonable compared to many national parks in the world. It is also recommended that if you plan to spent more than two days in the park, that you buy a membership to the DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) as it will give you discounts on accommodation as well as tonnes of information on treks and trails.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the most wild and unspoiled parts of Europe. Always be prepared and plan your trip safely, this park is unique in every way.