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Hidden Gems
Ibsen's Rondane Mountain Circuit

Ibsen’s Rondane Mountain Circuit

Overview

Rondane National Park is the oldest national park in Norway, containing ten peaks above 2,000 metres, with the highest being Rondeslottet at an altitude of 2,178 m. The name means “the castle of Rondane”. The landscapes of Rondane have inspired many Norwegian writers; probably the best-known work is Peer Gynt, Henrik Ibsen’s most famous play, which is partly set in Rondane. The park is an important habitat for herds of wild reindeer. This circular itinerary takes in the best of the Rondane Mountains and is the perfect multi-day trek for those looking for friendly terrain and well-marked trails, surrounded by grand landscapes and dramatic peaks. You’ll be staying at three family-owned and comfortable mountain lodges. All of them have rooms with private facilities and serve traditional Norwegian mountain cuisine.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Høvringen / Optional Walk to Vardhøe Viewpoint

Arrive in the popular mountain village of Høvringen. Depending on your arrival time, we recommend that you take the nice warm-up loop walk from Høvringen up on the mountain near Øigardseter to the Vardhøe viewpoint. It can be accomplished by most hikers, even small children. If you do the walk in the late afternoon you can catch the sunset from here as well. You will spend the night in Øigardseter, a large lodge combining hotel standard with friendly service.

  • Walking for the day (optional): 3-4 hours, 5 km ↑230 m
  • Accommodation: Øigardseter Lodge or similar

Day 2: Høvringen to Putten Seter

Historic Øigardseter with its protected houses and mountain pastures is the starting point of today’s hike that takes you over Karihaugen to Putten Seter. The trail takes you 1260 metres above sea level to astonishing views of the mountains of Jotunheimen and Dovre. You enter grounds that have inspired numerous Norwegian painters, writers, and composers with its beautiful and imposing nature. If you feel like taking a little detour, there are 100-year-old animal burial grounds to the left of the trail, just before you reach the top of Karihaugen. Overnight in Putten Seter Lodge, originally a small mountain farm now converted into a cosy getaway with traditional cottages, apartments and rooms. Three hundred metres from Putten Seter there is a chapel called Rossbukapell, well worth a visit.

Day 3: Hårrtjønnin Lakes or Formokampen Peak Circular Walk

Today you have two walking options (or you can do them both if you start early):

Option 1: A 2-hour walk to the three small Hårrtjønnin lakes, also known as Harrtjern, is a relaxing hiking adventure. Make sure to bring a fishing rod, as there is a lot of trout to fish. The northern lake is said to be the best for fishing, but all lakes have plenty of fish and do not require a fishing license. For an extra “koselig” (cosy) time bring coffee and hot cocoa to make over the open fire. The terrain to the lakes is rather flat and the shores are surrounded by fine rocks rather than sand. Fishing gear is available for rent at Putten Seter if you don’t bring your own. In the late summer and early autumn, bring a bucket for collecting all the blueberries you will see on the trip.

Option 2: Formokampen is a popular mountain peak (1428 m) providing amazing views of the mountains in all directions, including Norway’s highest mountains, Galdhøpiggen and Glittertinden. There is a mountain sighting disc at the top to help you name the surrounding mountains and viewpoints. The hike to Formokampen is suitable for all ages (3-4 hours) and is unique for all the incredible views that it offers from the top. No matter if it is sunny or cloudy, the winds are strong on this mountain so make sure you wear enough layers. Please note that you can also climb Formokampen on the next day, it is a short detour from the Smuksjøseter walk.

  • Walking for the day: 1.5-2 hours, 8 km ↑300 m (Option 1) or 3-4 hours, 9 km ↑470 m (Option 2)
  • Accommodation: Putten Seter Lodge or similar

Day 4: Putten Seter to Smuksjøseter

Enter the land of trolls and Norwegian fairy tales as you hike through the heather-covered landscape of the Rondane national park with its small, gurgling streams and tall, rugged mountains. From the renowned sour cream waffles of Putten Seter to Smuksjøseter situated by the shimmering lake Høvringsvatnet, you’ll enjoy panoramic views following the trail through easy terrain. If you did not choose Option 2 yesterday, you can climb up Formokampen on the way to Smuksjøseter. Overnight in a traditional mountain lodge, located on the shore of a beautiful lake in quiet surroundings.

Day 5: Peer Gynt Circular Walk

This loop will take you from Smuksjøseter to the Peer Gynt cabin in Rondane National Park. The trail is easy to hike and has no steep sections or other difficult areas. There are great views all around, including a glimpse of the range of peaks hovering 2,000 meters above sea level further inside the national park. The Peer Gynt cabin is open daily between July 3–August 17 and serves some of the best waffles to be found anywhere in the Norwegian mountains.

Day 6: Bråkdalsbelgen Peak Circular Walk

This less travelled peak is a real hidden gem. This is mostly because it falls just short of the magic 2,000-metre mark by just 85 meters. But rest assured that this peak is just as fun as its famous neighbours like Rondeslottet. A great view of Rondane and the scenic Verkilsdalen valley awaits you. Please note that this is a demanding hike that requires previous experience with hiking in steep and rugged terrain. You can optionally do only a part of the walk or skip it and just stroll around the lodge.

Day 7: Smuksjøseter to Høvringen

The hike from Smuksjøseter back to Øigardseter will close the loop and give you spectacular views. An elevation difference of around 130 meters and a family-friendly trail make the hike very popular among families. During the hike, you will see the rugged mountains of the national parks Rondane and Jotunheimen as you’re following the vivid stream of the mountain river, Høvringsåa. For those interested in fishing, there are several opportunities along this hike to fish for trout.

Day 8: Departure

Departure or an extra day on request.

Hotels

Accommodations on this tour include three charming lodges. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and unique services. All of them have rooms with private facilities and serve traditional Norwegian mountain cuisine.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days. You can prepare a self-made lunch pack from the breakfast buffet incl. thermos refill (no extra charge). Dinners (buffet or three-course meal) are also included. There is a small shop located at Høvringen, close to Øigardseter. All lodges sell snacks, drinks and simple meals in the time between the main meals.

Travel

The closest international airport is Oslo (OSL), 270 km away.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily, so do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

The nearest train station is Otta, which is served by 4 daily direct train departures from Oslo/Oslo Airport on the Dovre Line (Oslo-Trondheim). Travel time to Otta is 3 hours, and an onward shuttle service is optionally provided by your first accommodation or you can take a taxi (25 min). See ​www.vy.no​ for timetables and tickets. If you arrive by car you can park the car for free at your first accommodation during the whole trek.

Luggage Transfers

Your main luggage will be transported between the lodges. Please deliver your bag at the reception before 10:00 on the transfer days. Make sure that the bag is properly marked with your name and phone number.

Travel Insurance

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A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.

Buy travel insurance online

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on Norway is available here.

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate

The grade is easy to moderate and the longest day is 17 km (it is an optional circular walk which can be shortened or completely skipped). The walking is not challenging (3-5 hours per day) but it is an undulating landscape (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

The trail follows well-maintained footpaths and the trails are waymarked. Comprehensive route notes are supplied. You will receive a detailed hiking map of Rondane National Park upon arrival at the first lodge. The staff at all lodges will assist with advice and tips if you have any questions about the hikes. You can also call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to Go

This trip is available to start from early July till early October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that you can start on any date within the season.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15–20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several T-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included

  • 7 nights in comfortable mountain lodges (private en-suite rooms) as listed in the itinerary
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 packed lunches (self-prepared from the breakfast buffet)
  • 7 dinners (3-course or buffet)
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information: personalised trip notes and maps (emailed before departure and a map provided at first hotel; one set per room)
  • Luggage transfers (up to 20 kg per person) when changing hotels
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (subject to availability)
  • This trip is not available to solo walkers as it would be cost-prohibitive

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Extra nights in Oslo or along the trail are bookable upon request

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