The walk to Preikestolen is one of the most popular activities in Norway. Preikestolen is a natural rock formation formed by the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age some ten thousand years ago. The famous cliff towers 604 meters above the Lysefjord and offers one of the most impressive views of Norway.
Where is the Preikestolen located?
Preikestolen is located near the village of Forsand in the southern part of the Ryfylke district in western Norway. It lies by the Lysefjord, Norway's southernmost fjord, and is often reached via Stavanger, which is located 25 kilometers from the tourist attraction. In total you can count on an hour of travel time from Stavanger.
How do you reach Preikestolen?
Travelers who want to walk the Preikestolen will have to travel by ferry and car or bus.
Ferry + car
Ferries leave from Stavanger to Tau. This ferry has a journey time of about 35-40 minutes. The fiskepirterminalen is the pier where you have to wait. A ferry leaves every 40 minutes. There are a lot less on weekends. When you arrive in Tau, drive further south via the National Trust route and follow the signs to Preikestolen. Travel time: 1,5h - 2h. Tickets must be purchased on the ferry itself. Reservation is not possible. Ticket price: 56 NOK / adult, 28 NOK / child, car 167 NOK to 1156 NOK depending on the size. (driver included) The alternative is to drive to Lauvvik and there take the ferry to Oanes (8 minutes). After this you continue your journey along route 13.
Ferry + bus
Reaching Preikestolen with public transport is also an option. Take the ferry from Stavanger to Tau as explained above and continue your journey by bus. Buses run in high season (April-September) and take you to Preikestolen Fjellstue where the walk starts.
At Preikestolen there is a parking lot where you can leave your car. The cost per car is 200 NOK.
Best time to walk the Preikestolen
The spring and summer months (April-October) are the best months for hiking Preikestolen, as winter often involves snow and ice that make it very difficult. Yet we also want to give you an insight into the timing of the day. Most tourists walk the Preikestolen around noon. If you plan to avoid these crowds, we recommend that you start your hike early in the morning. This significantly increases your chances of being on the Preikestolen alone. A hike in the late afternoon is also an option so you can see the sunset. Keep in mind that this may cause you to go back down in the dark.
Preikestolen is considered a walk of average level according to the Norwegian standard. However, this is counted on people with a good physical condition and experience in walking. The Preikestolen is easier than the nearby Kjeragbolten, although the uphill sections can be a challenge for inexperienced hikers.
What do you need?
Norway has a reputation for rapidly changing weather conditions. Sturdy walking shoes and rain clothing are therefore always recommended, just like bringing a few extra layers of clothing. A first aid kit is always useful, the same goes for some food and drink, since there are no facilities above. If you leave late in the day, a flashlight can be handy in case you descend after sunset.
The main route starts near the car park at Preikestolen Fjellstue in the municipality of Strand. The full walk from the parking takes about 3-4 hours depending on your stamina. The trail starts at an altitude of about 270 meters and has a total distance of 7.6 kilometers (round-trip). Despite the fact that the height difference is only 334 meters and the trail is not that long, the total number of altimeters is larger than you would expect. This is because the path often goes up and down. The trail is easy to follow since it’s marked by signs and red markings.
The Preikestolen may be very popular, but there are few accidents with fatal outcome. However, that does not mean that the walk is 100% safe. It is important to behave responsibly and take certain safety measures:
- Make sure you have the right equipment
- Check the weather forecast in advance
- Make sure you have a good stamina
- Be responsible - Dangerous selfies for likes on Instagram are not worth your life.