Rondane is Norway’s oldest National Park and is a high mountainous area in central Norway with over ten peaks above 2,000 metres. The highest point, at 2,178 meters, is Rondeslottet which translates as Rondes Castle due to its majestic stature. Rondane is part of an almost continual mountain ridge that stretches from Dovrefjell in the northwest down to Faaberg/Ringebu in the southeast.
The Rondane National Park is truly beautiful and spreads across the two counties of Hedmark and Oppland. The mountains are intersected with numerous valleys including the deepest one which is home to Rondavatnet Lake. It is also at the head of the Gudbrandsdalen valley or the ‘King of the Valleys’ which stretches up from Lillehammer.
Rondane is about a 4 hour drive from Oslo, or seven hours from Bergen, and there are daily train from Oslo to Otta where you can continue your journey by bus or taxi. It is also adjacent to the Dovrefjell National Park which is an even larger national park to the north of the Rondane.
Throughout centuries, Rondane has inspired people with art, music, literature, science and it’s a wonderfully inspiring area.
Rondane in Winter
The varied cross-country ski trails in Rondane - Dovrefjell are simply fantastic. The Rondane Mountains are a great backdrop for Høvringen mountain trails, and there’s no better way to make your day skiing perfect than to stop off at the Peer Gynt cabin for a high mountain waffle. From here, you can access Mysusæter trails or ski all the way to Lillehammer if you wish. See trail map on skisporet.no.
Rondane in Summer
Whether you prefer casual walks, a challenging hike, or enjoy the freedom of a bike, there are plenty options for everyone in the summer in the Rondane! Explore our numerous waterfalls, go rafting on the Sjoa River and soak up the fantastic mountain scenery, all on your own terms.
In summer, there are plenty of trails in the Rondane National Park and hiking is extremely popular. It is also a haven for nature and science lovers. With its unique ecosystem and habitat the Rondane is home to a number of unusual lichen species and some of today’s rarer animals such as Reindeer, musk ox, mountain fox and golden eagles. It is also an area where glacial melting is monitored so popular with geologists.
If you want to explore more than nature, visit Jørundgård in Kristin Lavransdatters kingdom. This farm was built as a realistic location set for the recording of the Norwegian film, Kristin Lavransdatter and hence a number of period buildings were reconstructed. It is now home to various events in Middelaldergården, such as theatre, exhibitions, concerts and tours.
In the Gudbrandsdalen valley, there are a number of yearly events featuring various arts throughout the year, including the Peer Gynt Festival in Gålå in August, and the Country Music Festival at Vinstra.
Peer Gynt was a five act play written in the Danish language in 1867 by the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen. The fairy tale follows the journey of the main character, a peasant known as ‘Peer Gynt’ as he travels from the Norwegian mountains to North Africa. This renowned piece of literature is one of Norway’s most widely performed plays. Seeing it acted out in the open overlooking the lake at Gålå with the dramatic landscape in the background is a very special occasion.
Traditional food from the Rondane
The Rondane is home to some of the traditional Norwegian mountain foods. The Gudbrandsdalen valley is famous for a type of brown cheese “Gudbrandsdalsost” or "Gudbrand Valley Cheese", popular in Norway. It is made from a blend of cow and goats milk. The cheese is made my boiling away the milk, cream and whey until it caramelises and gives the cheese a distinctive caramel colour and flavour.
If you want to visit a cheese factory then the Heidal Ysteri, or the Heidal Cheese Factory is in the mountain village of Heidal. They produce a traditional cheese called Heidal Ost made in a square mould and with historical akantus patterns. This cheese is synonymous with Norwegian history and culture.
Their shop is open ‘sporadically’ over the summer months and you can make a tour of the factory, but this does have to be booked in advance. When the shop is open they also serve great coffee and old fashioned rømmegraut, which is a type of Norwegian porridge made from sour cream. If they are closed during your visit you can find their products at other stores in the area or you can buy their products from their online shop.