Preikestolen (Pulpit rock) | 604 m | Lysefjord, Norway | 13-16 april, 2017
For this year’s Easter holidays my girlfriend and I decided to go have a look at the much notorious Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock, which is the name most english speaking folks know the peak by. It is one of Scandinavia’s as well as Northern Europe’s absolute top natural attractions. Sitting on the Western side of the Lysefjord it is in close proximity of one of Norways larger cities Stavanger (NOR), which is connected to the rest of the world by both airport and ferry, which makes it very accessible.
That’s me and my girlfriend Mie sitting on the edge of Preikestolen. It is “only” a 604 m drop behind us :p
We decided to go by boat, as Denmark is connected with a direct ferry-line to Stavanger from Hirtshals (DK). We got a very good deal as the return ticket was only about 400 kr (60 USD). In fact, going by boat saved us quite a lot, as plane tickets during Easter time were very expensive. Even low-cost carriers to other european destinations, such as Rome, Vienna or Lisbon were more than 1000 kr (150 USD) a person. The explanation for this, of course, is that we were out quite late before we decided where to go for the holidays. Ordering tickets at an earlier stage will make it a lot cheaper.
The view from the Preikestolshytta is absolutely gorgeous.
Another great thing about taking the ferry is that you can bring your car along. And so we did. And let me tell you, it is an absolute delight to drive in the Norwegian landscapes. It was the first time doing so for both of us, and we absolutely loved it. The infrastructure is great and roads are excellent. From the harbor (Risavika, Norway) it is only a 1,5 hour drive before you reach the base of Preikestolen. You can go there in there different directions. Drive to Høle and take the ferry to Sandness or take a ferry directly from Stavanger going to Tau. Feeling a little tossed after a 10 hour long and rather shaky ferry ride from Denmark, we decided not to go on the ferry to Tau, as it is another 1/2 hour. The road to Høle is gorgeous and goes through lovely pastures with little farm houses sitting in the hills, as you approach the mountains. The ferry ride from Høle only takes some 5-7 minutes and then you find yourself on the “right side” of the fjord only a short drive away from the Preikestolshytta (Pulpit rock hostel), where we would stay for our trip.
Preikestolen is roughly a plateau of 25×25 metres. With a drop like that, it is a little scary to think that this is one of Norway’s biggest tourist attractions.
During our stay we slept in a small double room in the original Preikestolshytta. The Preikestolshytta area actually consists of 3 or 4 buildings, among which the old and the new Preikestolshytta hold most of the accommodation seats. In the new hut you will find the more luxurious rooms and facilities, while rooms in the old hut are kept simple. And I aint gonna talk it up, our room was very small, comprising a bunk bed and only a half-meter of walkway. However, as we spent most of our time out of the room, this was not a problem at all. We also got a fairly good price (compared to Norwegian standards) paying only 1800 kr (271 USD) for 3 nights for two persons. The hut sits right at the base of the hike to Preikestolen overlooking a small lake. The view is splendid.
This is my girlfriend Mie sitting on the edge of Preikestolen. She is a very brave girl :)
The hike to Preikestolen is a 2 hour hike in good conditions. You have to take into account that you are on the northern latitudes, why you may not have great conditions half of the year. As for Easter, I was a little curious to see what the conditions would be like. Fortunately they turned out to be great. It had been warm weather for quite some time before our visit, why there was almost no snow left, and we enjoyed warm weather for most of our days there, with one very sunny day in particular. And that was the day we chose for the hike. However, since it was only mid april, it freezes during the night, which made the rocks quite slippery in a number of places. You definitely have to take that into account, if you’re planning a trip to Preikestolen outside of the summer season (june-august).
Although the icy conditions made it more challenging, the path is actually very well made and it only becomes exposed the last couple of minutes of the hike, where the cliff faces the fjord. The cliff itself is very easy to point out “You know it when you see it” :) Quite incredibly, it rises from the fjord with more than 600 m. Truly a remarkable sight. Having started early, we reached it at about 10 o’ clock in the morning, which meant that only a handful of other people were there when we arrived. It was quite amazing to see it with hardly any people there, which is not uncommon outside of the summer season. However a lot more people showed up in the coming hours, making me feel a little uncomfortable about sitting on the edge. The plateau of Preikestolen is only about 25×25 meters after all :)
That’s me on the summit of Preikestolsfjellet at 701 metres. You can see the bottom of the Lysefjord and snow-capped peaks surrounding it :)
Before going back to the hut I had a quick hike to the actual summit of Preikestolen, which sits about a hundred metres higher just above Preikestolen. The summit is very nice with views in all directions, and if you have the time I would definitely recommend going there. It is only about 20 minutes away from Preikestolen. On the way down we took our time and just enjoyed the landscapes along the way. And upon returning to the hut we enjoyed a lovely and quite sunny afternoon by the lake.
When you visit Norway in the spring, snow is quite common. We also had the pleasure a few times. Here’s how it looked from inside our room at Preikestolshytta.