If you have a few days left, the Tour de Dovre is highly recommended. It is a 125 km magnificent tour around Dovre nasjonalpark. The new cycle route has been opened in 2017 and leads you through three national parks: Rondane, Dovre, and Dovrefjell. On the way you can admire iconic mountains, idyllic landscapes, and the most beautiful farmer’s valley in Norway. The GPS track and this route description start from Dombås, cycling ‘clockwise’. However, the route can be cycled in both directions, and you can start wherever you want. Other practical starting points are Dovre and Hjerkinn.
If you would like to combine the route with the Gudbrandsdalsleden you could cycle the route, after having arrived in Dovre, anti-clockwise and then continue on the Gudbrandsdalsleden from Hjerkinn. Doing so, you will miss the town of Dombås.
- Total distance of the stage in kilometres 124 km
- Percentage paved / unpaved 60% / 40%
- Highest point of the stage in metres 1175 m
- Total ascent /descent in metres 1265m / 1265m
- Download here the GPS-track.
- Start/end: Dombås (or Dovre, or Hjerkinn);
- Completely marked (red signs ‘Tour de Dovre’)
- Difficulty: moderate to difficult. The first kilometre leaving Dombås is the steepest climb;
- Best season: the road through Grimsdalen opens in June. (See QR code for the exact date.) The road stays open as long as there is no snowfall, usually till early October;
- Type of bicycle: a bike with at least seven gears. Race bikes are unsuitable (too thin tyres);
- Crowdedness: quiet.
The route starts at Dombås and winds for 32 km to Hjerkinn. Hjerkinn is the gate to Dovrefjell National Park with musk oxen and mountain Snøhetta. From Hjerkinn you follow the road to Folldal. Halfway choose between cycling over the main route or the rural road Baksidevegen. Folldal is one of the highest permanently inhabited villages in Norway.
In Folldal you go southwards and you follow the Atndalsvegen for 8 km. You climb gradually. You turn right onto the gravel road (Grimsdalsvegen). Now you're cycling through Grimsdalen and keep climbing. On the way you pass Grimsdalshytta where you can eat and/or stay the night. After a short steep climb you arrive at the highest point (1175 m) where you have a beautiful view on Dovrefjell and Gudbrandsdalen. You go down towards Dovre, but before you arrive there you turn right onto Øverbygdsvegen towards Dombås.
NB. The route between the three national parks makes the Tour de Dovre a unique route. In principle, you can go everywhere, but keep in mind that some nature reserves on the way (for instance, nature reserve Fokstumyra) have limited access during certain times of the year. Always take nature and animals into consideration.
A small museum in Dombås with objects and notes by the well-known amateur astronomist Sigurd Einbu (1866-1946). For more information and opening hours, see Einsbustugu.
Between Dombås and Hjerkinn, you find nature reserve Fokstumyra. In this highest heathland plateau in Europe, more than a hundred birds species can be found. Not only birds who breed there, but also many migrating birds who visit the relatively small reserve. The fanatic bird-watcher visits the place for the gyrfalcon, golden eagle, red-throated loon, common crane, and red-necked phalarope. But there is much more to see, for instance the sandpiper, ruff, ptarmigan, golden plover, common snipe, redshank, fieldfare, redwing, and snow bunting. The marshy area is open to the public. Only during the breeding season between May 1 and August 1 visitors have to stay on the paths.. More information can be found on Pilegrimsleden.no.
Eysteinkyrkja, built for travellers and pilgrims, dates from 1969 and is located on the border of Hedmark, Oppland, and Trøndelag. The name refers to king Eystein Magnusson who reigned the country between 1103 and 1123. Under his reign, the first church in this region was built. This building has disappeared. Magnus Poulsson is the architect of this modern church building. The silhouette was inspired by mountain Snøhetta. The materials for the concrete with which the church was built come from the area. When the sun shines, you can see the pyrite from Hjerkinn’s mine glisten. During the summer the church is open, and doubles as the pilgrim centre Dovrefjell. Information, coffee and tea for free! Check the opening hours on Pilegrimsleden.no.
Folldal is an old mining town with a museum that remembers the mining industry. See Visit Folldal.
The diversions along a 17-kilometre road is well worth it. The farm functions as it did a hundred years ago and has its own micro-purification plant making sour cream and brown cheese. You can also spend the night there. See Haverdalseter for more information and opening hours.
On the way
Use toilets at places of accommodation and dining establishments. There are also toilets at several of the rest stops.
Drinking water from rivers and streams
Feel free to fill your water bottle with water flowing from the mountains. Drink only from running water from larger streams or rivers. It is not advised to drink water from small mountain streams.
Food and drinks
In Dombås, Hjerkinn, and Dovre are various places to eat. You can also eat at Grimsdalshytta (on the route).
Grimsdalen has two fjellcampings, which are mountain campsites with no facilities apart from an outdoor toilet. Other accommodations can be found in Dombås and Hjerkinn.
Electric bikes can be charged at the mountain cabins along the way and at the Eysteinkirke.
More information can be found on the Tour de Dovre website.