Gudbrandsdalen valley: From Lillehammer to Dale-Gudbrands Farm and Vinstra
This seven day pilgrimage goes through the Gudbrandsdal valley, and offers a vast variety of experiences. You will have the chance to attend a city walk of the Olympic city of Lillehammer, before the trip continues on to grand and picturesque views of Norwegian landscapes. Gudbrandsdal valley entails nationally treasured farmlands and numerous historical points of interest. This trip will get you close to the various parts of the Norwegian cultural heritage.
Duration: 7 days (including one day in Lillehammer).
Starting point: Lillehammer
End point: Vinstra
The journey starts in Lillehammer, where you will have the chance to explore the city on a walking tour before you begin your pilgrimage towards the north. If you are travelling from Oslo or Oslo Airport Gardermoen, you can reach Lillehammer by express bus, or by trains leaving every hour.
Towards the end of this pilgrimage, you will find Dale-Gudbrands Farm situated in the middle of Gudbrandsdalen valley. This pilgrim centre offers lodging, meals and guided walking tours, among other services. To experience vibrant communities, cultural history, farmlands and the pleasant hospitality at the different accommodation alternatives will make this trip an unforgettable journey.
Day 1: Lillehammer
Lillehammer is a small and charming city, and boasts several attractions such as the Lillehammer Museum (Maihaugen) and Bjærkebek – the home of the author Sigrid Undset (1882-1949), which wrote Kristin Lavransdatter. You will also find the Olympic park from the 1994 Olympics here, and Storgata, the main street with charming old wooden houses and shopping opportunities.
Day 2: Lillehammer – Øyer, 25 km
The first day of walking takes you through Lillehammer city to the old manor of Storhove – the previous local power centre dating back to medieval times. Storhove is now the home of Lillehammer College. The name Hove (Hofvin) suggests that this was a cult place in pre-Christian times. Today Lillehammer College is located at Storhove, along with Østlandsforskning, Lillehammer Knowledge Park, Fakkelgården, The Norwegian Film School and NRK Hedmark and Oppland.
From Storhove the pilgrim path goes to Fåberg and continue to Hafjell. From Fåberg the path alternates between road and trail. After a few kilometers on tarmac you cross under the E6 and get into som steep the terrain. From there you follow good footpaths through the woods and some smaller gravel roads, The last kilometers into Øyer you follow the road, overlooking Hunderfossen family park and Hafjell, where the alpine skiing contest was held during the 1994 Winter Olympics, on the other side of the valley.
Day 3: Øyer – Tretten, 15 km
The third day begins with a solid upward climb. The path goes up in the valley throughout the day and cross pastures, over a number of fences and goes on narrow paths.
Along the road is the site of Skåe church from the 1300s, and the remains of the old Tjodvegen - an ancient route from the Middle Ages (approx. 500-1500). The trail goes through the magical forest at Kløv, before it passes Kjørkjehaugen (the Church Hill), which are also the remains of a medieval church. In summer, open-air church services are held here.
In Tretten, you can stay at Borkerud Pilgrim Attic, located along the path northeast of the village centre, or Glomstad Guesthouse, located a few kilometers further along the road.
Day 4: Tretten – Ringebu, 27 km
This day the trail takes you down to the bottom of the valley. The Pilgrim path goes down quite steeply through the forest before arriving at Rolla bridge and Rolla nature reserve, a nice place for a picnic. Rolla bridge was built in 1829 and replaced the original wooden bridge. Here, the route follows the old King's Road to Trondheim.
Onwards to Fåvang you follow Fåvangveien (Fåvang road) until you cross Tromsa bridge, a crossing place for travelers for centuries and a spectacular sight. In Fåvang there are several accommodation option for those who want a shorter stage.
Towards Ringebu the trail goes up to Elstadkleiva, with a view both north and south in the Gudbrandsdal Valley. From here, the trek continues down to Ringebu stave church, the only preserved stave church in the Gudbrandsdal Valley, and well worth a visit. It's neighbor is Ringebu rectory where you can see pictures of Jacob Weidemann (1923-2001), one of Norway’s more important artists of post-war Modernism, and other exhibits. There is also a café here.
Day 5: Ringebu – Hundorp, 16 km
Day five starts by going north along Panoramaveien (the Panoramic Road), which gives you a spectacular view. After passing the Våler Bridge, the path leads you through the residential area Kjønås and continues towards Bærsveinhølen, where you find the impressive river of Frya and its roaring rapids.
After crossing the river, you go through the forest, walk through a residential area and eventually head onto a path leading upwards. Soon after the descent to the Pilgrim centre Dale-Gudbrands Gard begins. The centre offers accommodation, catering, information and guided walking tours. The farm was an old chief seat and centre of power for the Gudbrandsdal valley during the Viking era (approx..790 to 1100 AD).
If you would like to learn the story about when Olav den Hellige (Olav the Holy) met Dale-Gudbrand in 1021, you can read the historically significant literary work “Kristningstinget” from Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings in Norway.
Day 6: Huntorp – Harpefoss, 7 km
This is a relatively short leg. The walk takes you past Sør-Fron church from 1792, a distinctive octagonal stone church located along the path. The road continues through the vicarage from the 1300s, where the Norwegian-Danish author Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754) lived for a time as a child.
The stage ends at Sygard Grytting, which has a unique medieval loft, where pilgrims have stayed since the 1300s. Sygard Grytting is an old manor which today operates as a small hotel and pilgrim hostels, where you can sleep on soft sheepskin and eat local food.
Day 7: Harpefoss – Vinstra, 7,5 km
The last day of the pilgrimage goes over it's highest point in the Gudbrandsdal valley, passing Skar located at about 600 meters above sea level. The climb is steep the first kilometers, but the rewards great when you reach the top. A simple shelter is set up in the area for pilgrims and other hikers, and here you can see both the Gudbrandsdal valley and Jotunheimen.
The path continues through a beautiful and varied landscape high above Vinstra, before a steep descent takes you down to the village centre. Here, you will among other find the train station, and your way back to Lillehammer.
Bjerkebæk - The home of Sigrid Undset
|Phone:||+47 612 59 400 (summer), +47 612 88 900 (rest of the year)|
Tromsa bridgeRead more
|Distance:||At the path|