Preikestolen in Norway (also known as the Pulpit Rock) has more than 300,000 visitors each year – and it is easy to understand why. It is a fairly easy hike and the reward is an outstanding view over the beautiful Lysefjord.
Preikestolen is a flat 25 x 25 m mountain plateau that rises 604 vertical meters above the fjord. One of Norway’s greatest photo spots!
How to get to Preikestolen
If you want to visit the plateau you will find the closest airport in the city Stavanger. From here airport buses (25 minutes) go directly to the port Fiskepiren in Stavanger, where you can catch the ferry to the small town of Tau (40 minutes). From here another bus will take you to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge where the trail starts (25 minutes) Plenty of daily departures and the possiblity to pay with credit card in both bus and ferry makes this very easy.
You can also drive your car on board the ferry, but note that it costs 200 NOK to park it by the trail – unless you stay at the Mountain Lodge.
Tickets to the airport bus from Stavanger Airport to the ferry (180 NOK / return ticket)
Bus from Tau to the start of the trail (200 NOK / return ticket).
There are several bus services operating and they usually run from March until October
How long does the Preikestolen hike take?
From the parking lot at the Mountain Lodge, the hike takes 2 hours each way – 4 hours in total. If you also want to have time to admire the view, take pictures and a have a few breaks along the way the hike will take you approximately 6 hours.
Map of the route from Stavanger airport to Preikestolen
Follow the T-marked trail a little longer to see the plateau from the opposite side
Avoiding the crowds at Preikestolen
Preikestolen is a very popular spot during the high season so instead I visited the plateau in early April to avoid the crowds. After a solid breakfast in the restaurant at the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge (with the most beautiful panorama view over the lake Revvatnet) I started off.
I had expected the trail to be free from snow and ice, but nevertheless the snow fell quietly all morning and the ground was covered in a thin layer of snow. But that only contributed to the serene atmosphere. The trail was beautiful and quiet and there were almost no other hikers on the trail the first hours.
Another great tip for avoiding the crowds is to start the hike very early in the morning.
The area around the lodge is really beautiful and definitely also worth exploring. Among other things, there is a trail around nearby lake Revsvatnet.
Places to stay near Preikestolen
The start of the trail is only one hour from Stavanger which makes it a perfect day trip from Stavanger. But if you would like to stay a little longer you can spend the night at the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge situated right by the trail. The Lodge has both comfortable hotel rooms, a hostel with private rooms and one with bunk beds, so there is something for every traveller.
If you prefer to sleep in a tent there is a campsite situated 4 km from the start of the trail. Or you can take the tent all the way up to the plateau to watch the sunset and sunrise. However, there are no facilities of any kind up there.
There is no supermarket on site (the nearest is in Jørpeland about 5 km away) but the lodge has a good but slightly expensive restaurant, where breakfast is also served for all guests staying on site.
When is the best time to visit Preikestolen in Norway?
The official season for hiking to the plateau runs from April to October. Most people do the hike in the summer when it’s warmest (the Norwegian spring and fall can be pretty chilly) but it is possibly to do the hike all year around. If there are a lot of snow on the trail it is advised to go with a guide.
You can always check how the conditions are on the trail at the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge website. Find the information right here
How demanding is the hike?
The hike is often described as demanding, but in my opinion it is a reasonably easy hike that can be done by most people who are normally fit. Older kids would also be able to do the hike. Some sections of the hike is rocky and steep while others are flat. The distance is 4 km long with an elevation of 330 meters. The popularity of this hike attracts a lot of people who are not used to walking in the mountains. Lots of people hike there in normal shoes or sandals which is definitely not advised. Proper hiking boots are a must.
I stayed here at Preikestolhytta. A cozy but very simple hostel run by the Mountain Lodge.
Winter atmosphere at Preikestolhytta
At Preikestolen Mountain Lodge it is also possible to rent a Lavvo – a traditional Sami tent with room for 30 people
I just love waking up to beautiful frosty mornings in the mountains
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