“So magical that it almost does not seem real”
- Destination: Ryfylke
- Season: April–October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 7.9 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 450 meters
- Duration: 2–4 hours
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As with most of Norway’s cliffs and mountain landscape, Preikestolen was most probably shaped by the expansion of ice some 10,000 years ago. Water froze in the mountain crevices and large-edged blocks of stone broke loose. The glacier carried them away and left the famous rock where it sits today. Interestingly, it was not until around 1900 that the first tourist traveled to the top and Preikestolen as a destination was discovered.
The hike to the top consists of slightly hilly terrain with an elevation gain of 350 meters. If the weather is nice, there are possibilities for a quick dip, as well as enjoyable rest areas along the path. Of course, the main attraction will reward you with a mesmerizing view of the outstanding Lysefjorden.
Hiking to Preikestolen when there is snow in the mountains is not recommended, and you should always check the weather report before hiking. Bring sturdy footwear, warm clothing, food, and water. Check out our packing list for day hikes in Norway to make sure you have everything you need. Good physical fitness is recommended and you should start early to make sure you can get up and back in plenty of daylight (and possibly avoid the crowds).
Fjord cruise & hike
If you are keen to experience both the fjord and hike in the same day, Rødne offers a combined tour taking around 8 hours for 780 NOK. A fjord cruise departs Stavanger at 10:00 and sails into Lysefjorden, directly below Preikestolen. At 12.15 a bus takes you from Oanes to the start of the trail. After you've completed the hike another bus will take you to Tau to meet the ferry back to Stavanger (this ferry isn't included in the price, buy the ticket onboard). See route two on their map. Book and find more information at rodne.no.
Ferry & bus
Tide offers a combined ferry and bus ticket for return trips from Stavanger to the start of the trail. The journey takes around an hour each way and costs 320 NOK for a return ticket. The service runs until October 1st. See the timetable and book at tide.no. It's also possible to buy one-way bus tickets to and from Tau.
To drive from Stavanger, drive onto the Tau ferry (35–40 minutes) and then take Road 13 through Jørpeland. Alternatively, drive to Lauvvik and take a ferry to Oanes (8 minutes) before taking road 13 north. Either trip will take around an hour and a half.
To & from Trolltunga
If you're also planning to visit Trolltunga on the same trip, Tide runs daily buses in July and August from the Preikestolen parking lot to Odda and Tyssedal. The bus leaves at 14:45 and arrives at 19:20 (Odda) or 19:30 (Tyssedal). Going the other way, the bus leaves Tyssedal at 7:30 and Odda at 7:50, arriving at the Preikestolen parking lot at 12:10. Book on tide.no.
Starting from the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, a steep climb awaits you, but it won’t take long before you are scrambling up boulders amidst pine forests. If you are moving fast, you'll soon be stripping off layers to stay cool. This is where you’ll be climbing up over rocky boulders and feel the thigh burn and will be most out of breath. Bring plenty of water and a backpack with sandwiches and snacks for a little picnic at the top.
The route is well signposted with lots of red-painted markers. Follow these and you should be fine. Along the path, you will walk on well-groomed trails, boardwalks, gravel pathways and natural terrain. About halfway you will find flat terrain and this is where the views will start appearing. After the last push, all that’s left is step out on rock that looks like it has been hand-carved by the gods.
There are two possible routes when you get towards the top. One will take you over the hilltop and the other one will take you down onto the ledge. It’s worth trying one on the way down and the other one back. No barriers are present along the trail and some might find this a bit odd, but this is done to preserve the natural beauty of the cliff. Fear not, when hiking to the top, you follow a wide path. The plateau itself is 25 by 25 meters, providing a perfect rest stop and a view that must be added to your photo album. Be extremely careful getting close to the edge.
The mountain itself has a large crack, separating the plateau from the rest. The legend says that if seven sisters marry seven brothers from the Lysefjord area, the cliff will fall into the fjord creating a tsunami to destroy all life around the area. So be sure to check out this hike before it is too late!
- Preikestolen Mountain Lodge has a cafe and restaurant
- Toilets are also available at Preikestolen Mountain Lodge
- Mobile phone coverage is poor and unreliable with an occasional signal through the Telenor network
Where to stay
There is a base camp at the parking lot for Preikestolen, consisting of three accommodation options. Preikestolen Fjellstue (Preikestolen Mountain Lodge) is known for its sleek and environmentally friendly design. Preikestolhytta is the hostel on the premises which offers rooms with 2 and 4 beds that have a shared bathroom. Vatnegården is the oldest building on the premises and has dorms. All accommodation options have awesome views of Lake Refsvatnet and include breakfast.