Landfolk

Summer vacation in eastern Norway: your guide to the most beautiful nature experiences

Green forests, towering peaks, and vast mountain landscapes. Eastern Norway is known as the home of the trolls and is packed with exceptional summer experiences for the whole family. In this guide, you'll find everything you need to tailor the perfect vacation in Eastern Norway.

The Norwegian national parks in the East have a special position in Norwegian culture and history. They are the mountains that both divide and unite the country. When the fathers of Eidsvoll in 1814 said "United and faithful until Dovre falls," it was to honour this, and the legends of the mountain areas at Dovre stretch from mystical myths to Peer Gynt, depicted by both Ibsen and Grieg. In these national parks, you can explore unique nature experiences, breathtaking hikes, the deep tranquillity of the mountains, and the overwhelming forces of nature. Enjoy your trip!

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Exceptional hikes in Eastern Norway

Eastern Norway is home to some of Norway's most beautiful national parks and is packed with activities for the whole family. At the same time, the vast mountain landscapes offer a tranquil environment for contemplation, togetherness, and relaxation. Finding a beautiful Landfolk holiday home to serve as a base for your summer vacation in Eastern Norway is not difficult, as some of our most beautiful holiday homes are located here and they provide the perfect starting point if you want to relax and connect deeper, as well as to conquer some of the country's highest peaks.

Some of the best hikes for both beginners and more experienced mountain enthusiasts include:

  • Besseggen, at 1743 metres above sea level, is one of the most popular hikes in Eastern Norway with over 60,000 visitors annually. The hike takes approximately 6-8 hours and involves an elevation o almost 1000 metres. The trek along the ridge is challenging, steep, and often windy, but rewards you with a truly unique view at the top. Taking the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu, crossing the emerald-green lake Gjende, to start this hike is an experience in itself.
  • Glittertind, at 2457 metres above sea level, is Norway's second-highest mountain. It's a challenging hike of 6 km from Glitterheim. Here, you'll be rewarded with a stunning view over Jotunheimen.
  • Galdhøpiggen, at 2469 metres above sea level, is Norway's highest mountain and is a demanding hike requiring cooperation, good physical fitness, balance, and endurance. You start the hike at Juvasshytta, and the hike is 11 km long with 650 metres of elevation gain. Expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours.
  • Rasletinden, at 2105 metres above sea level, is a moderately challenging hike suitable for the whole family, offering a fantastic view over Leirungsdalen.
  • Rondeslottet, towering at 2178 metres above sea level as the highest point in Norway's oldest national park, is a hike that requires extra warm clothing, even in the middle of summer.
  • Formokampen, standing at 1428 metres above sea level, is another beautiful hike in Rondane and is well-suited for the youngest members of the family, rewarding you with a fantastic view at the top.
  • Snøhetta is one of the most stunning hikes in Dovrefjell, located at the highest point on Dovrefjell at 2286 metres above sea level. The hike is considered challenging and takes 5-7 hours to complete.

Guide: How to pack your backpack for a summer hike in the Norwegian mountains.

Dovrefjell

Dovrefjell is the realm of the muskox, where vast mountain landscapes, wild rivers, and high peaks reign. Here, you can truly find peace, enjoy the stunning views, and have experiences you'll remember for a lifetime. This massive mountain area offers exceptional nature and a powerful tranquillity that will send you back to your everyday life with relaxed shoulders and an abundance of experiences to look back on.

Here are some of the experiences you can enjoy:

  • Dovrefjell is the realm of the muskox and is the only place in Europe where you can encounter these majestic creatures. Consider booking a guided tour to ensure you witness this extraordinary sight, and always maintain a distance of at least 200 metres. Remember to also keep an eye out for trolls; they are said to dwell here.
  • Feel the sense of accomplishment and the muscle burn as you ascend one of the many magnificent peaks on Dovrefjell.
  • Tour de Dovre is a newly established 32 km long route you can explore on two wheels. It leads you from Dombås to Hjerkinn and is perfect for those who want to experience the scenery on bike. There are over 130 km of roads suitable for cycling in the area with beautiful detours and side paths.

If you want to experience Dovre, Sigurd and Lene's holiday home in Vågå is a fantastic place to use as a base. Vegard's traditional log cabin located on Dovrefjell itself is an beautiful place to rest and recharge.

Rondane National Park

With impressive peaks towering over vast plateaus lies Rondane – Norway's oldest national park. If you dream of adventures in the mountains, Rondane should be at the top of your list. Even though this is a popular mountain area, you'll still experience the tranquillity that descends when you're alone in the mountains. With countless marked trails for all experience levels, Rondane is the perfect starting point for those who want to experience the Norwegian mountains in their purest form.

Here are some of the experiences you can enjoy:

  • Høvringen is a fantastic starting point if you want to explore the beautiful mountain landscape on foot. There are many hikes to choose from with trails in all directions and routes suitable for every experience level, fitness and ambition. Here, you’ll find a total of 10 peaks that are towering over 2000 metres above sea level.
  • The Peer Gynt cabin is located next to one of the areas most beautiful rivers, which also bears his name. Here, in between the gateways of Høvringen and Maurseter, you can buy fresh sour cream waffles and coffee and continue on to one of the many marked hiking trails.
  • Slow down and take in the stunning scenery. There's no need to rush. Let nature inspire you to take a deep breath and enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the ice cold lakes, throw out your fishing line, or rent a canoe or rowboat.

Erik's beautiful holiday home in Savalen near Tynset is a lovely starting point for your summer vacation. If you want to stay in Peer Gynt's land, Niki's cabin i Gåla is a wonderful choice.

Jotunheimen National Park

Jotunheimen is a paradise for peaks and summit tours. Here, you'll find mighty waterfalls, deep valleys, and several of Northern Europe's highest mountains. It's no coincidence that both Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg, and Edvard Munch found peace and inspiration in Jotunheimen. Here, you can climb Norway's two highest peaks, take in the stunning view from the Besseggen mountain ridge, or enjoy ice cold baths in rivers and lakes.

Here are some of the experiences you can enjoy:

  • Valdresflye is one of the entrances to Jotunheimen National Park and is one of the most beautiful tourist roads in the area – with breathtaking views and many exciting places to stop along the way to your destination.
  • Rafting in Sjoa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sjoa is Norway's best rafting river, and is a great destination for anyone who enjoys a rush of adrenaline.
  • If you've seen the movie The Troll Hunter, you already know that Jotunheimen is the home of the trolls. Hike the more than 50 marked trails in the national park and let the youngest members of the family look for all the visible signs that the trolls still live in Jotunheimen.
  • On the way to the spectacular mountain hike over Besseggen lies Ridderspranget, which is a deep gorge where the river Sjoa has carved deep into the mountain. A fantastic sight, where the youngest family members should hold your hand for safety.
  • Lom Stave Church is one of the largest and oldest stave churches in Norway and despite being built in 1158, it’s still the main church in Lom. The stave churches are a unique part of world heritage and mark the transition from the Viking Age to the Middle Ages. Visit the Bakery in Lom while you're there and enjoy the pastries by one of the beautiful lakes on the way to Besseggen and Ridderspranget.

Mats’ cabin has to be one of the most beautiful in Jotunheimen and is the perfect starting point for stunning hikes, tranquillity, and togetherness embraced by beautiful nature. The log cabin of Hilde and Jo in Beitostølen is also a lovely base for unique nature experiences.

Places you should visit along the way

Even though the breathtaking scenery is more than enough reason to visit Eastern Norway, there are also lots of other things you should consider doing while you are there. The journey is part of the adventure, so we have selected some of the places we hope you'll visit along the way to your destination.

Bakeriet i Lom
– One of the best bakeries in the region, located on the way to Besseggen and Ridderspranget. It’s right next to Lom stavkyrkje - which is worth a visit if cultural heritage and the viking age is something you are interested in.

Fossheim Steinsenter
– A geological museum and shop where you can find local crystals from Norwegian mountains, and other rare stones.

Muskox Safari
– An exceptional experience suitable for the whole family in Dovrefjell. Olav's holiday home in Oppdal is a great place to stay if you go there.

Viewpoint Snøhetta
– An architectural gem a short walk from E6 on Dovrefjell. The building won the "World Building of the Year 2011" for its unique contribution framing the view of the Snøhettamassif.

Remember to look around
– In the national parks you’ll be driving through, you can spot more than just muskox; you’ll also see wild reindeer, arctic foxes, moose, and other friends of the mountain. Rondane is home to one of Norway's last wild reindeer herds.

Moose safari in Rondane
– The density of moose in Rondane is the highest in Norway, so you're almost guaranteed to meet the king of the forest here.

Sohlbergplassen
– An architectural experience where nature and architecture merge. From this stunning lookout point, you’ll have the exact same view as Harald Sohlberg had when he painted Norway's national painting "Winter Night in Rondane."

Aukrustsenteret
– is located in Alvdal, where you can meet the characters from the cult movie Flåklypa.

Hunderfossen Eventyrpark – This activity park is located close to Lillehammer on your way into Gudbrandsdalen and is perfect for the kids. It offers a journey into Norwegian fairytales and you can stay in Anders’ gorgeous, architect-designed holiday home when you visit.

Create your own Collection of your favourite holiday homes.

Guro Sofie Ulsaker Nordahl
Written by Guro Sofie Ulsaker NordahlJune 2024
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