The immensity of Dovrefjell’s landscapes is very much linked with Norway’s self-image, the permanence of the rugged terrain was use to symbolise the hopes of the nation when delegates at Eidsvoll in 1814 finished work on the Norwegian constitution with the oath «agreed and faithfull ‘til Dovre falls». Wide sweeping plains, mountains gently rising to show-speckled tundra, and in the west, rapidly deepening valleys gouged by powerful glaciers – these are the landsacpes that harbour perhaps the finest arctic-alpine flora and fauna in northern Europe.
Knutshøa Mountain has been known since the 1750s to have the highest species diversity of alpine plants in Northern Europe. We’ll explore it from the magical Kongsvold a small settlement steeped in the history of the Norwegian Mountains and now over three hundred years old. Lapland Buntings and Snow Buntings scatter like snowflakes as we photograph lovely flame-tipped Pedicularis oederii and the Norwegian and Swedish endemic Primula scandinavica. Nearby is Snøhetta Mountain, one of Norway’s most famous mountains, featured in many fairy tales and old stories. These mountains possess a true tundra with an incredibly short growing season. We’ll find many little botanical gems such as the tiny fern Botrychium boreale, yellow-flowered Viola biflora, Saxifraga cespitosa, Erigeron boreale, several beautiful Milkvetches, the tiny bell-shaped flowers of Harrimanella hypnoides, and an abundance of Ranunculus glacialis. Ptarmigan and Eurasian Dotterel are both very approachable and we’ll hope that the many Musk Oxen (introduced from Greenland) will keep a more respectful distance!
Sheets of Dryas octopetala decorate the calcareous mountain plateaux around Orkelsjøen Lake alongside red Moss Campion and the orchids Coeloglossum viride and Pseudorchis straminea. Bramblings and Bluethroats dazzle us as we walk through the subalpine birch forests of the beautiful Gjevillvassdalen Valley admiring Trientalis europaea, Cornus suecica, and the deep blue, starlike flowers of Gentiana nivalis. Taller herb communities have some equally attractive species such as Aconitum septentrionale, Cicerbita alpina and Ranunculus platanifolius.
A mosaic of shapely peaks, highland plateaux and lakes form the magnificent landscapes of the Einundalen Valley. Rare Papaver radicatum blooms by the tracks while Azure Hawkers course across pools where we can find Red-necked Phalaropes spinning in characteristic fashion.
Arctic-Alpine Flowers. Landscapes and Birds.
Generally easy, no more than five or six miles in a day, optionally more on Day 4. The ground will not be very steep, but sometimes rocky. Some of the best high alpine plants will be on screes, but most of the plants will found outside such areas.
Included in the Price
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in Norway. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature, including insurance and tips, are not included.
One leader for a group of up to 5, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 10.
For the first four nights we’ll stay in the modern Quality Hotel Skifer in Oppdal, 120 km south of Trondheim. Oppdal is mountain village and is a very attractive ski and hiking center. Then we move 35km south to Kongvold Fjeldstue where we spend the last three nights of the tour in a historic setting. Kongsvold is three hundred years old. Here we’ll also find the Kongsvold Biological Station where there is research on plants and wildlife in this mountain area. A botanical garden with emphasis on Norwegian mountain plants is right next to the hotel. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
UK flights are from London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester or Edinburgh via Oslo, Stavanger or Amsterdam to Trondheim. Indirect routes from other regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Even though it is summer, the weather can be very varied in the Norwegian mountains with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 25°C. Though the weather is often sunny we can also expect some rain and windy weather is also likely.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Flower and bird checklists are available.