Besseggen is a ridge in Vågå municipality, four hours drive from Oslo. It’s the most popular mountain hike in Norway, with more than 30’000 visitors every year. As part of our mini-honeymoon, we decided to become two of these visitors.
Most visitors opt to take the boat (Gjendebåten) from Gjendesheim to Memurubu, which is what we did. You then walk from Memurubu, across the Besseggen ridge, and back to Gjendesheim. The trip takes between 5 and 8 hours, depending on your stamina, and you should wear proper hiking boots as there are several rocky areas. You should also be aware that some parts of the trip are quite steep, which is also part of the attraction!
Our trip started on a beautiful Saturday morning with clear skies and warm weather. Since we were not the only ones planning to walk Besseggen on this particular day, we had to queue for 90 minutes before we got a spot on the boat. As we got up really early, Ragnhild didn’t really mind the wait.
When we got to Memurubu, the first leg was quite steep but without any difficulty finding the right direction. As with many of the common hikes in Norway you simply follow the red Ts. Or you photograph them…
On the way up to the ridge, you get beautiful views of the emerald green lake Gjende. The very distinct colour comes from sedements and minerals brought to the lake by melting water from a nearby glacier. As you get closer to the ridge, you also see lake Bessvatnet, which has a very distinct darkish blue color. When climbing Besseggen you have these two waters on opposite sides, and the contrast is one of the spectacles of this hike. Not to mention the spectacular view of Jotunheimen once you reach the peak.
Since we have a cabin nearby, we used that as a starting point, but the most convinient accomodation is Gjendesheim. Getting to Gjendesheim from Oslo you can either drive or take the bus Valdresekspressen.