- Self-guided point-to-point hiking with luggage transferred by boat
- All meals included
- 8-day tour includes guided Besseggen and glacier hikes
- Atmospheric and characterful mountain accommodation
- Flexible dates throughout the hiking season
- Return bus tickets from Oslo included
This tour is the self-guided version of Hiking Besseggen and Jotunheimen National Park and offers great flexibility in stunning mountain landscapes, with the freedom to hike at your own pace, choose your own tour dates, and vary the level of challenge.
Bus tickets for the 4-hour ride from Oslo are included in connection with the start/end of the hiking tour, making this a very convenient way to explore this beautiful region.
The core itinerary is 6 days/5 nights. You will hike between mountain cabins, with full map and description provided, staying at three different locations during your tour. You begin with two nights at charming mountain hotel for a day summit tour to one of two local peaks, then continue your hike through the Svartdalen and Veslådalen valleys amid glorious mountain scenery.
From sweeping glacial valleys to dramatic peaks, the landscape of the Jotunheimen region is captivating. Photo: MON.
Two nights during your self-guided hiking tour are spent at Gjendebu cabins, with a choice of spectacular day hikes or a chance to rest.
All meals are included, with three-course dinner served at your accommodation each night. Your main luggage will be transferred between overnight locations by boat, meaning you need to hike only with a daypack.
The Uranostind Glacier hike on the 8-day itinerary offers a rewarding conclusion your week in the Jotunheimen mountains. Photo: MON.
For additional challenge, the 8-day/7-night itinerary adds a guided day walk along the Besseggen Ridge, deservedly called "Norway's most beautiful day hike", and a demanding guided ascent of the Uranostind Glacier.
Self-guided Hiking in the Jotunheimen Mountains is suitable for adults (min. age 16) with previous experience of hiking who would like to explore world-class mountain scenery with the freedom of a self-guided itinerary. The 8-day tour is suitable for experienced hikers looking for an additional challenge.
The itinerary below describes the full 8-day programme, the most challenging option, including guided hike on Besseggen Ridge Day 3 and guided Uranostind Glacier hike on Day 7.
If choosing the 6-day itinerary, the hiking route is the same but without the guided components of Besseggen (Day 3) and Uranostind (Day 7). Guests on the 6-day tour will therefore reach Gjendebu on Day 3 and Fondsbu on Day 5, departing Day 6.
Each morning, pack your lunch from the breakfast buffet at your accommodation for the day's hike.
6-day tour: (flexible dates)
- Day 1: Arrival, overnight at Bygdin.
- Day 2: Day hike from Bygdin to Bitihorn or Synshorn peaks.
- Day 3: Boat from Bygdin to Torfinnsbu and hike to Gjendebu.
- Day 4: Day hike from Gjendebu.
- Day 5: Hike to Fondsbu.
- Day 6: Departure.
See below for detailed daily itinerary.
8-day tour: (Sunday-Sunday only)
- Day 1: Arrival, overnight at Bygdin.
- Day 2: Day hike from Bygdin to Bitihorn or Synshorn peaks.
- Day 3: Bus to Gjendesheim for boat to Memurubu, hike back along Besseggen Ridge (guided), overnight at Bygdin.
- Day 4: Boat from Bygdin to Torfinnsbu, hike to Gjendebu.
- Day 5: Day hike from Gjendebu.
- Day 6: Hike to Fondsbu.
- Day 7: Uranostind Glacier summit hike (guided), overnight at Fondsbu.
- Day 8: Departure.
See below for detailed daily itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival at Bygdin
Bus (ticket included - an e-ticket will be sent out approx. one month before departure) from Oslo to Bygdin* is an atmospheric, traditional mountain hotel which has been welcoming hikers to the Jotunheimen area for more than a century. The hotel is located on the lakseshore a few kilometres outside the local resort of Beitostølen.
Here you will receive an information pack and map for the tour ahead.
A 3-course dinner is served in the hotel dining hall before retiring for your first night in the Norwegian mountains.
Daily connection departs Oslo bus station 13.05 arriving Bygdin 17.33 (or 17.23 on Sundays) direct (bus from Oslo Gardermoen airport to central Oslo can be added as optional extra). On Sundays, bus departs Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) airport 13.20 arriving Bygdin 17.23 (with change of bus in Fagernes, no extra charge for this option).
Day 2: Day hike from Bygdin
To prepare for the point-to-point hikes ahead, today is a "warm-up" day, with a choice of two peaks to explore.
Head for Bitihorn (approx. 4 hours) or Synshorn (approx. 3 hours) for stunning views of the surrounding mountains. If you're feeling really energetic, you could of course try for both!
A 3-course dinner awaits back at the hotel.
For Bitihorn option: Distance: 9km; Ascent: 550m.
Day 3 (8-day tours only): Guided hike on Besseggen Ridge
This is a demanding day's hike, with uneven, rocky ground and at times steep drops on both sides. While accessible to most hikers with general good level of fitness, this walk is not suitable for persons afraid of heights.
Hiking the Besseggen Ridge is often described as "Norway's most beautiful day hike", and the title is well-deserved. With dramatic views on both sides during the day, Besseggen is a spectacular walk.
The bus from Bygdin leaves at 08.58 arriving at the cabins at Gjendesheim at 09.20. From here, you meet your guide and take the boat from Gjendesheim along the lake to the cabins at Memurubu.
From Memurubu, you walk back along the Besseggen Ridge to Gjendesheim to meet the last bus departing 17.30 (if back later than 17.30, private transfer back to Bygdin must be arranged at own cost).
You'll probably have some tired legs this day by the time you return to Bygdin, where dinner will be served for your final night here.
Distance: 13.1km; Ascent: 1100m.
Day 4 (Day 3 for 6-day tours): Bygdin to Gjendebu
You pack the luggage you will not need during the day, attach the tag you will be given, and deliver you bag to the boat, which will transfer your luggage to the end point at Gjendebu.
The boat takes you along the lake to the charming cabins at Torfinnsbu, where you begin your hike through the sweeping glacial valley Svartdalen. A long, shallow uphill walk brings you up to the valley floor. Hiking through the valley ends with a lovely view down over the cabins at Gjendebu, with the last part a steep descent towards the lake.
Accommodation this night is at the cabins at Gjendebu, steeped in history and beautifully located surrounded by mountains. A 3-course dinner is served at the cabins.
Distance: 14.2km; Ascent: 450m.
Day 5 (Day 4 for 6-day tours): Day hike from Gjendebu
Today you can choose to be as active (or not!) as you wish. There are a number of options for self-guided walks from the cabins. A popular option is to hike to the viewpoint at Gjendetunga, a tour of approx. 4.5 hours.
If you're feeling like a full day of hiking and would like to increase the challenge level of your tour, you can take the boat from Gjendebu at 08.35 arriving Memurubu 08.55 (additional cost payable locally, around 180 NOK/person) and hike back along the dramatic Bukkelagret Ridge with views of the rich glacial waters of Lake Gjende. Distance approx. 9.5km, height difference approx. 700m. NB: This is a challenging walk with some extremely steep parts (chains are fixed to the hillside on one section to assist you), suitable only for experienced hikers and in good weather conditions.
There is also a programme of guided hikes from the cabins which you may join if you wish (at additional cost payable locally).
A 3-course dinner is served back at the cabins in the evening.
Distance/ascent: Flexible depending on options chosen.
Day 6 (Day 5 for 6-day tours): Gjendebu to Fondsbu
Take your luggage to the boat jetty (a 5-minute walk from the cabins) and you then hike (approx. 5-7 hours) through the birch forest and along the Veslådalen valley to reach the settlement of Eidsbugarden and your accommodation for the night at Fondsbu.
Distance: 16km; Ascent: 550m.
Day 7 (8-day tours only): Guided ascent of Uranostind Glacier
A very demanding day's hike, which is suitable only for experienced hikers with very good level of fitness - but one which, in good weather, will reward you with truly magnificent views!
From Fondsbu, you will leave at 08.00 for a short transfer to the day's hike, which takes around 8-10 hours. Crampons and other necessary equipment are provided.
You walk part Urdadalsvannet towards the valley of Koldedalen and the glacier. Here you change equipment for the ascent to Uranostind.
A 3-course dinner is served back at Fondsbu for your last night in the mountains.
Distance: 18km; Ascent: 1100m.
Day 8 (Day 6 for 6-day tours): Departure
After breakfast, connections (ticket included) depart for Oslo. You will reach Oslo in the evening and so will need to overnight in Oslo after your tour.
There are two options for returning to Oslo (both included at no extra charge). For environmental reasons, and to enjoy the beautiful boat journey between Eidsbugarden and Bygdin, we recommend Option 2. Please let us know in advance which you are choosing:
- Option 1: Private transfer (departs around 09.15 time TBC locally) to connect with bus from Tyinkrysset leaving 09.58 arriving Oslo bus station 14.50 (change bus in Fagernes).
- Option 2: Boat departs Eidsbugarden 11.30 arriving Bygdin 13.15 to connect with bus from Bygdin departing every day at 15.50 arriving 20.15 or (Sundays only) departing 14.20 arriving 18.50.
- 6-day tour: Flexible dates by arrangement between 30th June and 25th August 2019 (latest start 25th August).
- 8-day tour: Sunday-Sunday only between 30th June and 25th August 2019 (latest start 25th August), as the guided components of this itinerary operate only on fixed days.
Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Norwegian Kronor (NOK) - please contact us for details.
|6-day tour (per person)||GBP 878||EUR 977|
|8-day tour (per person)||GBP 1,406||EUR 1,564|
|Extra bus ticket Oslo-Oslo airport (if required*), one-way||GBP 23||EUR 26|
*Tickets for bus between Oslo city and the start/end points of the tour are included. On start days where bus connections between Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) airport the start points of the tour are offered (see itinerary), this is also included. This extra ticket is therefore only applicable if travelling when airport connections are not available. You are of course also welcome to make own arrangements for travel between Oslo airport and the city.
What's Included »
During the tour you will stay in each of the following locations, normally based on 2-person rooms. For larger or odd-numbered groups, guests may have multi-person rooms depending on availability or possibly odd-numbered guest in group may share with another same gender hiker staying at the cabins.
- Bygdin mountain hotel (2 nights for 6-day itinerary, 3 nights for 8-day itinerary); Gjendebu (2 nights); Fondsbu (1 night for 6-day itinerary, 2 nights for 8-day itinerary).
- Shared WC/shower facilities at all accommodation.
- Bed linen and towel is provided at all accommodation.
The cabins at Gjendebu. Photo: MON
All meals from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure. Meals at the cabins are served and taken communally with other guests at the cabins in the dining areas. Guests should prepare packed lunch for each day from the breakfast buffet at the accommodation.
You may wish to bring additional snacks such as chocolate/energy bars for between meals when hiking. Snacks are available to purchase at the overnight accommodation locations.
Please provide information on any dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian) in advance.
- Bus transfer by public bus from Oslo (or Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) airport on certain days) to/from the start/end points of the tour.
- Transfer of luggage (one bag per person) between overnight locations during the hike.
- 8-day tour only: Local transfers required for glacier summit hike.
8-day tour only: Experienced and knowledgeable guide for Besseggen Ridge (Day 3) and Uranostind Glacier (Day 7) hikes. Guests will join other participants doing these hikes.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (available to purchase at the overnight accommodation locations).
Good To Know »
Minimum 2 persons required for safety reasons. You should have some previous experience of walking in a mountain landscape on uneven terrain and be in good physical condition. Minimum recommended age 16 years.
Transfer of main luggage between accommodation is included, but you will need to carry a daypack with lunch, water and extra clothes. You should be comfortable with the distances and height gain/loss as per itinerary information.
The 6-day tour has a medium level of challenge. The 8-day tour has a hard level of challenge.
The 8-day tour requires a higher level of fitness and is suitable for more experienced hikers only. The Besseggen Ridge has some very steep and narrow sections and is not suitable for persons afraid of heights. The Uranostind Glacier hike is a very challenging tour requiring high level of fitness and requires use of crampons/ropes (no climbing experience required).
What makes this "Medium" (6-day tour) or "Hard" (8-day tour)?
The tour features simple hotel standard accommodation and simple but comfortable accommodation in the mountain cabins, as well as luggage transfers between overnight locations. There is an optional rest day built in to the itinerary and it can be possible to take a boat between overnight locations on one day and therefore "skip" that day's hike.
However, the distances covered and height gained/lost on the tour can be challenging. The terrain is steep, paths can be uneven and some parts can be especially challenging in wet or slippery conditions.
Choosing the 8-day tour will considerably increase the level of challenge, while choosing certain options for the 6-day tour (such as Bukkelagret Ridge hike from Gjendebu) will also increase the overall difficulty of the tour.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
Minimum 2 persons required.
This experience is ideal for groups. If choosing the 8-day tour, the guided components can also be offered on other days on request for min. 4 persons and so groups may have a greater degree of flexibility for tour dates for this option. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has a detailed environmental policy. The tour makes use of public transport connections both by bus and boat and supports sustainable tourism in the area through the use of local accommodation and food.
Getting There »
Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Oslo for bus (approx. 4 hours, included) to Bygdin (arrival) and back from Eidsbugarden (departure).