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BESSEGGEN 1174 meters in total

What to expect: No matter which side of this hike you start, it’s a long and somewhat steep hike with beautiful lakes of different colors on both sides of the trail. You are up and sniffing the high mountains in one of Norway’s most famous national parks. And this is by far the most popular mountain tour in Jotunheimen. 

  • Area: Gjende 
  • Type:
  • Grading:
    Demanding. Suitable for adults, teenagers and children used to mountains.
  • Length and duration:
    13.7 km/ 6-8 hours, some take longer. This depends on the individual’s form and the number of breaks one takes along the way.
  • Height:
    1174 meters in total
  • Season:
    June – Sept/Oct
  • Nature area:
    The tour takes place in a protected area

How is the trip along the way: Most people choose to start the trip from the pier at Gjendesheim. If you buy a ticket online, you are guaranteed a place on the boat departure you have planned with. So after a great trip with one of the Gjende boats you find yourself on the dock below Memurubu. Here the journey starts step by step. You round the tourist hut Memurubu in a group from the boat, and then you go up steeply for the first 400 meters of altitude. Here the herd extends in length based on different interests and fitness. Many choose a small pit stop after you have made it up the hill. It continues hilly until Bessvatnet, which marks the start of Besseggen itself. You have the majestic Besshøe (2248 m above sea level) on your left all the way to Bessvatnet. On the high side, the emerald green Gjendevatnet lies far below you, and the view goes as far as the eye can see to both ends of the water. Up on the two “flats” along the tour, you will be served a cocktail of majestic mountains here in Jotunheimen National Park. 

From Bessvatnet’s 1373 m above sea level, and up Besseggen itself to the top of Vestfjellet, there are 370 new spectacular height meters. The egg itself is just over a kilometer long, and offers some splitting. Even if you are never directly exposed to the height, some people will feel a pull in their stomach here. If you have a fear of heights, you should therefore prepare yourself mentally for this, but just as much for spectacular views, fantastic hiking experiences and magical moments such a bucket list trip will be able to provide.

At the top of Vestfjellet you have the iconic view towards the west side of Gjende that many before you have immortalized with a photo or film. If you choose to go the opposite way, you’ll get a bit more stomachache here since you’ll be walking down Besseggen instead of up. In addition, you have to think about catching the boat back, or whether there is accommodation available at Memurubu. At the very top of Vestfjellet you will perhaps find Norway’s largest cairn? It is almost a small peak in itself. After the summit, the trail splits.

Most people stroll down to Gjendesheim, but there are also some who choose to go down to Bessheim a little further east.  

Regardless of where you end up, it is recommended to order something good to drink and eat after the trip, pat yourself on the back and share your photos and/or experiences with friends and family. 

Around 50,000 people come every year to experience one of Norway’s most popular hikes during the short season window from June to September. But the crowds hardly draw from the experience of walking through the “fatherland”, in all its ancient myth and stories.

Expectation for you: It is a demanding trip of 6 to 8 hours one way. Although no technical skills are required, hikers must be fit. Bring plenty of drinks, something to bite into, some extra clothes – and remember to visit the toilet before the trip, as there are not many opportunities during the trip, in fact none.

Easier alternative: There is a flatter path along Gjende, which is often called the “flower route” along Norway’s most beautiful mountain lake. The tour goes gently hilly along Gjende vannett, where lush nature, sandy beaches and stone clocks give you an unforgettable tour of approx. 11.5 km

Access with your own car: Parking options at Reinsvangen approx. 2 km away and includes a round trip shuttle bus to the starting point at Gjende. Attention parking fee. 

Access by public transport: Bus with the Valdresekspressen to Gjendesheim from Oslo or Sogndal.

Recommended map:  Besseggen 1:50,000 Turkart

More photos from Besseggen below and more other TOUR DESCRIPTIONS here.