Hike to Preikestolen - an adventure for the brave
- What is Preikestolen
- Helpful information
- How to reach the Pulpit Rock
- What else to see near the Pulpit Rock
A spectacular view opens from a giant cliff towering over Lysefjord making the rock one of the main natural attractions in Norway.
What is Preikestolen
Due to the nature of the terrain, the shores of the Lysefjord are almost non-inhabited by people what allows brave tourists enjoy pristine nature from the rock. The same as it was 10,000 years, when the deglaciation formed a huge crack that in a matter of minutes filled with pure ice water.
Preikestolen, or the Preacher’s Pulpit,is a huge rock with a height of 600 meters and almost flat area at the top 25 by 25 meters. On top of the rock there are no fences, so the boldest can take a look into the abyss or dangle their feet sitting on the edge. When standing on top, you may feel that the rock is about to collapse. A crack in the middle of the plateau (with width about 25 cm), as if confirmed terrible suspicion, is slowly but constantly increasing.
However, if you believe one of the legends about the Pulpit Rock (another name of Preikestolen), this will not happen until seven sisters (i.e. 7 waterfalls from Geirangerfjord) meet with seven brothers from another region of Norway. Another local legend tells that, in ancient times, the rock was used for executions and sacrifices.
Before a trip to the Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock, you need to prepare as to any other hike to the mountains.
- Take care for some food before the trip to the Pulpit Rock, at least a couple of sandwiches. On the way, you will hardly find food stores, and the only restaurant, located at the foot of the cliff, is closed at 20.00, and the prices are high enough.
- Do not forget to bring warm clothes. An ascent to Preikestolen is quite hard; you can get hot very much, but at the top cold wind often blows.
- And, of course, before hiking carefully check your photo equipment: take an additional flash card, an extra set of batteries. Such shots can be done nowhere else in the world as only at the top of the Pulpit Rock.
When to go
Though the road to the rock is considered simple, sometimes it, being very steep, passes over the rocks, repeatedly raises and lowers. Therefore, you should choose the summer months for travelling, when there will be possibly no rain. However, not only rain can prevent an easy hike but also mist that often comes down to the track in the evening.
Take good tracking shoes, as you might get on the wet stones, and a cloak, not to get wet in the rain, suddenly started. The weather can change several times a day: even if you started up hiking at the overcast and light fog at the top, it is likely that, after an hour walking, you would be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the entire Lysefjord in the sunshine.
There are also desperate tourists who try to climb the Preacher’s Rock in the winter. But to climb the icy rocks in freezing temperatures, in the wind, is extremely difficult. Chances are you will reach only the middle of the track, and the further descent, as well as the way back, will be impossible.
Where to stay
It is better to hike the Pulpit Rock in the morning, and if you come to the Lysefjord late afternoon, you'll have to find a place for a night. You can choose any campsite on the shore of the fjord or in the nearby towns where from you can go to the starting point of Preikestolen at a convenient time:
- At the foot of the track there is a small camping Preikestolhytta Youth Hostel, which includes a small hotel and a small cottage made of wood with a roof covered with grass, in traditional Norwegian style. In these traditional buildings, wooden floor is raised above the ground. But the most interesting thing is the roof. Wooden boards are covered with birch bark, fertile soil and planted grass. This combination provides a very good hydro-and thermal insulation.
- The nearest city to the Lysefjord is Stavanger (60 km) where you can stay in one of the local hotels, cottages or campsites. The average price for a double room is about 100 Euros. Stavanger Mosvangen Hostel, located on the lake shore, 3 km from the city center, is especially popular. The cost of a double room in a hostel is about 68 Euros.
- Another nearby city to Preikestolen is Haugesend, located 3 hours from the starting point to the rock. You will give about 140 Euros per night in a double room in one of Haugesend hotels. You can save staying at one of the campsites, in a tent or a more comfortable cottage.
If you do not want to arrange a route, choose transportation and accommodation, you can go to any travel agency that arranges tours to Preikestolen.
How to reach the Pulpit Rock
Annually, Preikestolen, one of the main Norwegian natural attractions, is visited by more than 100,000 tourists. Transport connections are developed here very well, and the road to the Pulpit Rock will not cause any difficulties, regardless of the option you choose.
How to get to the starting point
To get to the Preacher’s Pulpit (GPS: 58°59′10″N 6°11′19″E), you should focus on the highways and other ways leading to the Lysefjord. The nearest big city is Stavanger which can be reached from Oslo and Bergen:
- From Bergen to Stavanger, there is a bus: the travel time is about 6 hours; the cost of a single ticket is 550 NOK; buses run from 6 am. It takes 7 hours to get from Oslo to Stavanger.
- If you prefer a faster way choose air travel. From Bergen to Stavanger you will get in just 40 minutes, paying for a one-way ticket at least 70 Euros. The road from Oslo to Stavanger takes about 10 minutes longer, though the cost will be the same.
- The final part of your journey is the road from Stavanger to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, where you can get by ferry from Stavanger to Tau. Ferries run frequently – about 30 times a day; the ticket costs 39 NOK. You can also choose a speed boat paying 44 NOK; the travel time is half an hour. After the ferry you need to overcome another 19 km journey by bus (they run only in the summer) or hitchhiking to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge.
If you prefer to move by car, feel free to set off for a trip: it takes just over 1.5 hours to get from Stavanger to the Pulpit Rock, taking into account a ferry trip. From Stavanger, take the E39 highway to Sandnes, then turn to the Rv13 and go till Lauvvika where you should take ferry to Oanes, then continue your way along the Rv13 to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge. You can also take a ferry to Tau right in Stavanger, and then, by the Rv13 go to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge.
Cars can be parked at the foot of the cliff for 100 NOK per a car and 30 NOK for a motorbike. You can leave your vehicle at the parking lot only at the day time.
Hike to the Pulpit Rock
Mount to Preikestolen is available for almost everyone, so the place is always crowded; travelers of all ages (including retirees and families with very young children) rush to see whether such an amazing view opens from the Preacher’s Pulpit.
Hike to the Rock begins from the track at the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge. The road itself is not long – only about 4 km, but as the track is quite steep and repeatedly raised and lowered, it takes two hours to mount and from hour to three to get back for an average traveler, depending on weather conditions. Experienced travelers will be able to overcome the track for an hour. Most of the path runs along the upland, there are several narrow climbs and part of the track goes through the waterfall, which dries in the summer, but after heavy rains the remaining water makes the hike difficult.
Going to Preikestolen, you will see that the vegetation changes dramatically: at the foot, there are mainly birch, spruce, and pine; the higher you climb the smaller the trees are and there are more mosses and lichens. That is, the vegetation of the moderate climate is replaced by tundra vegetation. Along the way, you will see a small lake where you can rest a little. It is difficult to loose your way when hiking the Pulpit Rock as the whole route is marked with red T-signs.
The view from the cliffs is awesomely beautiful and every traveler tries to take a photo not just sitting on a rock but at the same time looking down at the green waters of the fjord.
In addition to common travelers, the Pulpit Rock attracts fans of extreme sports. The Pulpit Rock is one of objects used for BASE jumping – parachuting, not from the plane, but from a cliff or skyscraper. However, there are not many extreme jumpers on the Pulpit Rock. To date, a little more than 30,000 sky-divers reportedly jumped from a rock Preikestolen and Kjerag plateau to the waters of Lysefjord.
What else to see near the Pulpit Rock
Lysefjord is popular among hikers and boaters. In summer, several times a day a boat goes along the fjord. Also, there is an opportunity to travel by kayak and enjoy the beauty of the Rock from the water.
Another attraction of the fjord is Kjerag plateau. Accompanied by a guide, you can climb the Kjerag and the main natural attraction of the rock, Kjeragbolten (pea-stone) that stuck between the slopes over the abyss. Rugged relief of the Fjord is not suitable for the development of roads and cities. On its shores there are no major settlements: only a few villages and farms. Two largest settlements are Lysebotn and Forsann.
As you will get to Preikestolen through Stavanger, you may want to stay there for a while and explore the city. Stavanger is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Norway and the cultural capital of Europe in 2008. The Cathedral of the 12th century is one of the attractions you should see first. Stavanger is famous for the largest number of preserved wooden houses in Europe since the 18th century. Moreover, in the Stavanger region there are the most beautiful and longest sand beaches in Norway.
It is difficult to put into words the beauty of the Preacher’s Pulpit; moreover, thrilling sensation of views opening from the rock is unparalleled. It is certainly worth seeing it by your own eyes.