When planning our trip to Norway I came across a National Geographic article which named Besseggen Ridge as one of the best day hikes in the world. I knew then that I had to work Jotunheimen National Park into the itinerary. It is a 22km hike across a ridge that crosses between the beautiful turquoise glacial Gjende lake and Bessvatnet lake. Most advice recommends taking the morning ferry from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and hike back, so you don't have to worry about making it in time for the last ferry home at 4pm, plus it is seen as the 'easier' journey as you go up the steep ridge not down it.
However, we decided to complete the hike in reverse for two reasons - firstly to avoid the crowds and secondly the views are always ahead so you don't have to keep turning around to see the stunning scenery. We were not disappointed with our decision and I would definitely recommend to complete it this way - as long as you don't suffer from weak knees and are quite quick walkers!
As with most Norwegian hikes it began with a very steep uphill section which is one of the toughest parts of the hike. the trail is well marked though - and apart from a few scrambly bits it isn't too difficult. The walk plateau's for a distance before you reach the ridge itself. The view from the top is incredible - even if we didn't have the clearest of days. The ridge isn't actually as narrow as it looks but it was quite tough going. The rest of the hike continues to give beautiful views at it undulates between mountains and glaciers surrounded by lakes and waterfalls. The return ferry journey also allows you to reflect on what you have just accomplished. All in all, a fantastic hike. If you make it to Norway, take a break from the fjords and head inland to 'The Home of the Giants' Jotunheimen National Park - it is well worth it with some of the biggest mountains in Europe.