Along Norway’s southwestern coast, near the charming port city of Stavanger, one of the country’s iconic and most accessible fjord trips awaits. Preikestolen, or ‘Pulpit Rock’ in English, is a tall, flat outcropping of rock that offers dramatic cliff views of the Lysefjord and the surrounding mountains. Luckily for tourists and locals alike, it is quite convenient to get to from town on public transportation.
What to Expect on the Hike
There is a large welcome center with information and a café before you begin your ascent. Since this is one of southern Norway’s premier tourist attractions, much of the information will be in English. The trek itself (or tur in Norwegian) generally takes about 90 minutes-2 hours each way. There are bound to be some muddy patches and in a few places the trail becomes quite steep, with the possibility of a few slippery rocks. Overall, the trail is very doable by those of an average fitness level. While hiking boots are not strictly needed, a sturdy pair of running shoes with decent tread is strongly recommended. There are signs along the way to mark hikers’ progress and let them know what is up ahead. This is a popular trail, so expect to be trudging up hills with quite a few other sweaty individuals from around the world.
On a sunny day, the scenery is simply breathtaking. Pack some snacks, stake out a piece of the rock, and marvel. Once at the official top of the trail, you can go a bit further to get an overview of Pulpit Rock itself from a slightly higher vantage point, if you so choose.
The ferry over to the Preikestolen area leaves from the main ferry terminal. The boat (ferje in Norwegian) will take you to the small town of Tau and the journey lasts about 30 minutes. There are comfortable seating areas and hot meal and refreshment options onboard. Upon disembarking the ferry, a municipal bus is usually waiting to pick up passengers (this is a small additional fee unless you booked the private service that includes everything in its price up front) and drive them to the base of the trail, about another 30 minutes. Do check on when the last bus/ferry departure for the day is scheduled and keep that in mind when timing your hike and relaxation time. The visitors’ center does offer accommodation if you would like to spend the night, however.