Photo: Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen

Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke: Hiking Trails and Viewpoints

Featuring long fjords, high mountains and world-famous hiking trails, Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke packs in a wide array of views and experiences, both on the road and off. Running a total of 260 kilometers the route is easily accessed from Stavanger and leads from Oanes at the mouth of the Lysefjord to Håra near Røldal in the north. The route follows Road 13 with another branch travelling via Sauda and over the impressive Saudafjellet mountains.

Preikestolen and Kjerag are just two of the trails along the Lysefjord, with plenty more to discover if you choose to stick around. Elsewhere along the route, beyond the draw of the Lysefjord and its attractions, you can find quieter trails with wonderful panoramas, lakes and waterfalls, and even a meteorite crater.

The Ryfylke scenic route can be easily extended into a longer journey with Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger to the north and Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren to the south.

Road Closures

The section of road from Helandsbygd to Røldal along Road 520 at the northern part of the route is closed during winter, normally from December to May.

Check the current status and see closure dates from recent years.

Ferries

The scenic route includes a ferry between Hjelmeland and Nesvik. The ferries depart every 15 minutes and run from early in the morning to late at night. The crossing takes about 11 minutes.

Check departure times on Entur (Hjelmeland kai, Hjelmeland to Nesvik kai, Hjelmeland).

If you’re coming from the south, from Sandnes or the Jæren scenic route for example, there is a ferry from Lauvvik to Oanes. The ferries depart every 30 minutes and run from early in the morning to late at night. The crossing takes about 10 minutes.

Check departure times on Entur (Lauvvik ferjekai, Sandnes to Oanes kai, Strand).

Tips

  • Both Preikestolen and Kjerag are incredibly popular hikes and in summer you can expect to hike the trail in a line behind other people. If you want a less-crowded experience, consider visiting in the shoulder season or taking a guided sunrise tour. Alternatively, choose one of the other likes which are far less crowded but still provide incredible views, like Reinaknuten or Skomakarnibbå.
  • The disused Allmannajuvet zinc mines near Sauda are now an interesting museum. A guided tour runs several times daily from late June to late August, leading along the old mining road and into the mine. There is also a café and gallery.
Download this guide, including all hiking trails and maps, in the Outtt app.

Oanes to Håra

Preikestolen – Pulpit Rock

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Medium
7.6 km · 2 – 4 hr

Preikestolen – Pulpit Rock

The scenic route begins at the mouth of the Lysefjord, home to some of Norway’s most popular hikes. The main attraction is Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, a stone plateau 600 meters above the fjord. The hike is steep in parts, and is an almost 8 kilometer round trip, so ticking this one off your bucket list is no walk in the park. 

Read more about Preikestolen – Pulpit Rock

Kjerag

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Demanding
9.1 km · 5 – 6 hr

Kjerag

Further in the fjord and on the opposite side is another well-known destination, the Kjerag boulder. The hike is a bit tougher than Preikestolen with chains in steep sections to help you up. The view down to the fjord gives even the toughest trekkers butterflies in their stomach.

Read more about Kjerag

Reinaknuten

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Demanding
9.9 km · 5 – 6.5 hr

Reinaknuten

Away from the Lysefjord, an excellent alternative trail – or additional if you can’t get enough – is Reinaknuten. This mountain climbs high above Tysdalsvatnet Lake and features a panoramic view over the islands around Stavanger, plus a long-distance look at the seemingly endless surrounding mountains.

Read more about Reinaknuten

Ritland Crater

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Medium
6.2 km · 2 – 3 hr

Ritland Crater

Located not too far from Hjelmeland, the Ritland Crater has only been recognised as a meteorite impact crater in recent decades even though the event itself happened around 500 million years ago. This trail leads to a viewpoint and shelter above the crater before descending into the crater itself.

Read more about Ritland Crater

Skomakarnibbå

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Demanding
11.4 km · 6 – 7 hr

Skomakarnibbå

Also near Hjelmeland is a local gem known as Skomakarnibbå. The trail leads high above the Jøsenfjord to a plateau above a rocky outcrop, on which local folklore says a shoemaker made his last pair of shoes before his demise. You can stay safely away from the edge and visit a nearby peak for 360 degree views.

Read more about Skomakarnibbå

Hellandsnuten

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Demanding
6.4 km · 4.5 – 6 hr

Hellandsnuten

The highest mountain surrounding the village of Sand, Hellandsnuten is a tough, steep hike that rewards with more gorgeous fjord views. From the peak you can see across the Sandsfjord where the other branch of the scenic route winds along the coast.

Read more about Hellandsnuten

Ostasteidn

Ryfylke

Viewpoint
Easy
 

Ostasteidn

On the opposite side of the Sandsfjord by the Sandsfjordbrua Bridge is the Ostasteidn viewpoint and rest area. From here you can sit and enjoy views along the fjord with the mountains folding back towards the horizon.

Read more about Ostasteidn

Svandalsfossen Waterfall

Svandalsfossen is impossible to miss as it crashes down by the roadside. A staircase runs up to a small plateau so you can get closer to the action and feel the power of the rushing water. The falls (and the staircase) lead under the road and into the fjord.

Read more about Svandalsfossen Waterfall

Hovlandsnuten

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Easy
6.6 km · 2 – 3 hr

Hovlandsnuten

Stone steps laid by Nepalese Sherpas and a cosy cabin make Hovlandsnuten an accessible and popular trail near the town of Sauda. The hike leads through woods, cabins, and open terrain before the peak delivers views out over the Saudafjord.

Read more about Hovlandsnuten

Giant’s Cauldrons in Åbødalen

Ryfylke

Hiking Trail
Easy
6.4 km · 2 – 3 hr

Giant’s Cauldrons in Åbødalen

North of Sauda is a local recreation area with a swimming and picnic area popular with families. It’s also the starting point for exploring further into the Åbødalen Valley and the “Giant’s Cauldrons”, geological formations created in the earth over centuries.

Read more about Giant’s Cauldrons in Åbødalen

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