The national park

Glaciers emerge where there is an abundance of snow and cold summers. The Jostedalsbreen has evolved in a mountain region along a coast that is exposed to one low-pressure weather system after the other. The Jostedalsbreen and Breheimen National Parks include 9 of the 30 largest glaciers in Norway. The Jostedalen valley is the nexus between Jostedalsbreen, with its large areas of wilderness, and Breheimen, with its lush mountain farm valleys and dry highland regions.
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Langsua nasjonalpark

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Breheimsenteret
6871 Jostedal, Norway
T: +47 57 68 32 50
E: jostedal@jostedal.com

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Picture of Brenibba

Breheimen National Park

Breheimen is a greatly varied area, encompassing a mix of lush mountain farm valleys, desolate highlands, and glaciers. It ranges from an elevation of over 2,000 metres above the sea and almost all the way down to the fjord. Encompassing areas with some of either the lowest or highest rainfall in Norway, the national park features a varied flora endemic to the various highlands, screes, old pine forests, calcareous birch forests, rich and old deciduous forests, waterfall mist zones, and glacial river deltas found there.

Two people skiing in Breheimen
Animals to be found in Breheimen include wild reindeer. Norway has an international responsibility to ensure the wild reindeer’s habitats. There are relatively few animals in the highlands apart from the wild reindeer. Several of Norway’s largest predators (particularly wolverines), birds of prey (golden eagles, gyrfalcons, and rough-legged buzzards), and other red-listed bird species are to be found here. Breheimen National Park was established in 2009 and covers 1,691 km². The national park extends over the three mountain municipalities of Luster, Skjåk, and Lom.

The network of cabins run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) also encompasses Breheimen, where 10 cabins are connected to the DNT trekking routes. From Jostedalen, visitors have the opportunity to explore several popular routes in Breheimen, such as for example the ones to Vangsen, Myrhyrna, and Spørteggbreen (see the UT trekking website).

Reindeer in Breheimen

Jostedalsbreen National Park

Jostedalsbreen is one of the largest tracts of unspoilt nature that remains in the southern half of Norway. As a result, the area is of great national value both for nature conservation and outdoor recreation. Significant height differences, local climate variations, and the glacial impact have led to a wide range of landscape formations.

Picture of Jostedalsbreen
Glaciers and watercourses have formed a landscape of U-shaped valleys, moraines, naked mountainsides, flat river plains, and screes full of rocks and boulders of various sizes, and this landscape is continuously changing. The area is characterized by the mountainsides and valleys and their gushing creeks, rivers, and waterfalls.

As the largest glacier in both mainland Norway and mainland Europe, Jostedalsbreen has a contiguous length of around 60 km. Jostedalsbreen National Park was protected in 1991 and has an area of 1,314 km², of which around half is covered by glaciers. The national park lies in the municipalities of Luster, Stryn, Sunnfjord, Gloppen, and Sogndal. Jostedalsbreen is a plateau glacier with no fewer than 28 glacier arms extending over its edges. These glacier arms lie from around 300 to 2,000 metres above the sea.

Jostedalsbreen National Park features many popular tourist destinations, particularly ones with a focus on glacier and mountain activities. Skiing and glacier hiking have long been practised in the area. Popular trips include glacier hiking on Nigardsbreen, a springtime skiing trip across Jostedalsbreen (Josten på langs), and glacier crossings between Jostedalen and Nordfjord.

People skiing on Jostedalsbreen