Jotunheimen National Park has the largest concentration of mountains higher than 2,000 metres in Northern Europe. Jotunheimen National Park is by the travel website StedenTripper.com elected as fifth on the list of the 10 Most Beautiful National Parks of Europe.
Jotunheimen is a mountain area in Southern Norway, covering an area of roughly 3500 square kilometres. The area includes Norway’s highest mountain Galdhøpiggen, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, glaciers and luxuriant valleys. Some of Europe’s most spectacular hiking is here, with everything from short strolls to multi-day hut to hut epics.
Jotunheimen, which is Norway’s most popular national park, is also ideally suited for cross-country and alpine skiers, cyclists and climbers who enjoy the experience of basically undisturbed nature and fresh air. Other popular activities in Jotunheimen include glacier walking, rafting, caving, canyoning and riding.
The high point (metaphorically, if not literally) is the path from Memurubu to Gjendesheim, along the narrow Besseggen ridge. The views south over an emerald coloured Lake Gjende (984 metres above sea level) and north over Lake Bessvatnet (1,373 metres above sea level) are as good as trekking gets. Only 1 hour from Herangtunet boutique hotel Norway!
The tour takes six to eight hours, depending on the chosen pace. You can also start the hike at Gjendesheim.
Jotunheimen holds the altitude record for a large number of Norway’s mountain flora. The beautiful glacier crowfoot is the highest growing flowering plant, thriving at 2,370 metres on Glittertind, only 100 metres below the summit. Purple saxifrage and rose-root also grow as high as 2,300 metres above sea level. In many parts of the national park the rocks are calciferous, supporting a rich variety of lime-loving plants, such as the sweet little mountain avens.
Most of Jotunheimen lies above the timber line, but mountain birch grows freely around Lake Gjende and there are trees at 1,200 metres above sea level. In the beautiful Utladalen you can find mountain pine, black alder, mountain birch, elm and hazel.
Jotunheimen National Park is also home to different animals: Reindeer, elk, deer, roe, fox, marten, mink, wolverines and lynx. Most lakes and rivers hold trout. Grouse, golden eagle and gerfalcon are the most special of all the birds that live here.
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