Norway is home to some amazing hikes with the most famous ones being: Kjeragbolten and Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock). These two spots are firmly placed on many travellers bucket lists and I was fortunate enough to manage both hikes on a weekend trip. In this post I share my key tips to help you in planning your own trip to Norway and hiking to these incredible spots!
The nearest airport is the Stavenger Airport, a small local airport. Depending on where you are flying from, you may have to first fly to Oslo and take a connecting flight. There are public transportation options to the two hikes from Stavenger, but I would recommend renting a car to have more flexibility. The drive from Stavenger to Kjerag was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever done, and you truly appreciate the natural beauty that Norway has to offer.
If you are staying in Stavenger, I would recommend the Hummeren Hotel. It’s located right along the river with floor to ceiling windows. If you have a rental car, stop by a grocery store on the way from the airport to Stavenger to pick up nourishments for your hike. There is nothing along the trail, and the stores are not open in the morning when you start your hike, so it’s important to plan ahead. Note, local laws disallow selling of alcohol at markets past 8 pm on Fridays and 6 pm on Saturdays.
What makes this hike popular is the boulder that’s wedged between the mountain and you have likely seen some epic pictures and You Tube videos of people on the rock. In my opinion, it’s the more challenging and longer of the two hikes, so spend the full day, if you’re only in town for the weekend.
It’s a 2 hour drive from Stavenger to the base of the hike. The parking fee is 100 Norwegian Krone (approx. USD 11.50), but if you don’t have local currency, they accept credit cards, as did most places throughout Norway.
Even in July, you will see snow along the way, and at times, it can come up past your ankles. For this hike, it’s really important to have proper hiking shoes that are waterproof. There are also rocks along the path that can get slippery, so make sure your shoes have good traction. It can get cold, especially when you are on the part of the hike with snow, so be sure you have a good windproof jacket.
In total, the hike took me about 6.5 hours. The hike was challenging, but that’s probably what made it fun. While there are trail markers guiding you in the general direction, there aren’t any paved trails, so it’s really up to you to decide on your path. There are plenty of people on the trail as well, so you can always follow them if you aren’t sure where to go.
Once you finally make it to the boulder, there is a rope that you can use as support to go to and from the rock. You have to take the obligatory selfie to show everyone what you’ve accomplished! For me, it was bigger than I thought and not as scary as I had anticipated. Just make sure you don’t look down! There is a restaurant at the foot of the hike where you can reward yourself with a drink after the hike.
WHERE TO STAY – FORSAND
We decided to spend our night in the town of Forsand, which was a 10-15 minute drive to the Pulpit rock. We took a ferry ride up the fjord to Forsand. The ferry is on the pricier side, but the ride was beautiful and very scenic. There is also a recording that provides some useful information about the places you see along the way.
There aren’t many lodging options in the area, but you can find some good options on Airbnb. Unfortunately, the town only has one restaurant inside a hotel (probably the only hotel in town), note that the restaurant (like most things in this part of the country) closes early so you should prepare for this. We arrived after 9pm, and fortunately they were nice enough to prepare something for us. You definitely won’t find nightlife here, but hiking and late nights don’t really go hand in hand!
This popular hike, also known as the Pulpit Rock, is located on a steep cliff above the Lysefjorden, and at the top, there is a flat top. It’s located on the north side of the fjord, opposite Kjerag, which is located on the south side. This area is definitely more crowded, with more families on the trail. There is a camp ground near by, so a lot of people must camp and do the hike.
The trails are better paved, and easier than Kjerag, but there were still parts that were steep and a bit challenging. After hiking about 2 hours, you will make it to the Pulpit Rock! Spend some time taking pictures and enjoying the view as your reward. You can hike a little more to get a top down view of the Pulpit Rock. The hike down take a little over an hour.
To return back to the Stavenger airport, you need to take a ferry for a part of the way, so make sure you give yourself enough time for that and make sure you check the ferry schedule!
If you are a nature lover, I would highly recommend visiting this part of Norway – you won’t regret it! If you are visiting in the summer, you will be amazed by how late the sun sets and how early the sun comes up!
Please share you own tips for a trip to Norway with our readers in the comments below!