By Michael Lanza

Take three minutes right now to daydream about hiking in a wild place half a world away, a rugged, Arctic-looking landscape vibrantly colorful with shrubs, mosses, and wildflowers, where cliffs and mountains look like they were chopped from the earth with an axe. A place where thick, crack-riddled glaciers pour off snow-plastered peaks like pancake batter that needs more water, and wild, braided rivers meander down mostly treeless valleys. Where reindeer are real (but don’t fly—sorry)—and you stay in supremely comfortable huts with excellent food.

My family, joined by two friends and my 75-year-old mom, hiked hut-to-hut for a week through Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park. Jotunheimen—the name translates as “Home of the Giants”—contains the highest European mountains north of the Alps, starkly barren peaks rising to more than 8,000 feet.

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Perhaps best of all, a trek in Jotunheimen combines pristine wilderness with the most luxurious huts I’ve ever stayed in—many featuring private rooms, hot showers, and the quality of meals you’d find in a five-star restaurant. And the huts and trails are situated to allow flexible route options and side hikes.

Watch the video from that trip (below), then read my full story “Walking Among Giants: A Three-Generation Hut Trek in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park,” with lots of photos and detailed trip-planning information.

See also all of my stories about international adventures at The Big Outside, including “15 Adventures on Earth That Will Change Your Life” and “My 10 Rules of Adventure Travel.”

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