Stavanger to Pulpit Rock

How to get from Stavanger to Pulpit Rock in Norway

The journey from Stavanger to Pulpit Rock in Norway is one of the most popular hikes the country has to offer. The trail is surprisingly easy – making it a great choice for beginners, and it offers phenomenal views of Norway’s dramatic landscapes. 

Hiking from Pulpit Rock to Stavanger will usually take around one to four hours, depending on your walking speed, the weather, and other common factors. If you’re looking for a great way to check out some of the best views in Norway, while getting some exercise, this could be the perfect tour for you.

Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about getting to pulpit rock from Stavanger and vice versa, so you can plan the perfect trip.

Where is Pulpit Rock in Norway?

Pulpit rock, otherwise known as Preikestolen to the locals, is located around 604 meters above the Lysefjord, near Lysefjorden, Ryfylke. Each year, more than 130,000 people take the trip out to the stunning mountain ledge, which offers truly unforgettable views across Norway. 

According to the history of the region, an enormous glacier responsible for shaping Lysefjorden began to melt away about 10 thousand years ago. As the water from the glacier pushed through the mountain crevices, it chiseled blocks of rock out of the mountain sides. 

One of the most impressive gifts of Norway was left behind as a result: Preikestolen. The iconic rock looks almost entirely flat on top. From the mountain edge, visitors can see for miles around.

Travelling to Pulpit rock is simple enough, with options to visit via bus, car, and ferry. However, the most popular choice is usually the hiking trail.

Where is Stavanger in Norway? How to get to Pulpit Rock

Stavanger is one of the major metropolitan cities in Norway, closest to the Pulpit Rock attraction. Getting to pulpit rock from Stavanger is much easier than travelling to the destination from other local cities like Oslo. 

While you’re in Stavanger, you’ll also have an opportunity to check out some of the beautiful sights, like Stavanger cathedral.

How to get to Pulpit Rock from Stavanger

You won’t want to hike or walk the entire route from the center of Stavanger to the Pulpit Rock trail, so you’ll need some initial transportation for this section of the journey. 

There are various Pulpit Rock tour groups and similar companies who can help you get to your starting point. For instance, Pulpit Rock Tours is a popular choice. You can also consider bus trips like “Go Fjords”, which include a cruise on the Lysefjord too. 

Another option is to travel by car. You can drive directly from Stavanger to the Pulpit Rock parking lot without having to take the ferry, using the Ryfylketunnelen. You will need to pay toll fees for your trip, and a parking fee which can bring your costs to around 530 NOK without fuel costs. 

Driving to the pulpit rock trail will usually take around 45 minutes to an hour.

Stavanger to Pulpit Rock

The Pulpit Rock trail: Hiking Preikestolen 

The official Pulpit Rock hiking trail is open all year round, though the most popular times to tackle the trail are usually in the summer, due to the harsh winters in November. You can avoid some of the crowds by visiting between November and April. 

Here’s what you can expect from climbing Pulpit Rock:

  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Distance: 7.6km
  • Length: 4 to 5 hours
  • Elevation: 1150 feet

Hiking Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen will take around four to five hours in total, depending on your fitness level. You can also take it slow and spend some time soaking up the scenery if you don’t want to put yourself under too much physical strain. 

The climb will take you around 1150 feet up from where you started, to a point where you can see all across Norway’s stunning fjords. 

Named one of the most impressive viewpoints in the world by Lonely Planet, and often seen in movies like Mission Impossible, Pulpit Rock tour companies frequently show tourists and locals alike around the incredible location. 

Make sure you schedule your day, so you have an hour or two to check out the destination once you’re done walking.

How difficult is Pulpit Rock hiking?

By Norwegian standards, the hike to Pulpit Rock is a “moderate” one, suitable for active adults and adventurous youngsters. However, you can also visit the destination and take it slow if you’re a beginner. 

There’s a lot of alternation in the Preikestolen hiking trail between simple, flat stretches of path, and extremely steep staircases made from huge rocks. 

You won’t have much of a view for the first half of the hike, leading up to Lysefjord, but you do get to experience a number of pine forests, and may encounter some local flora and fauna, depending on what time of year you choose to visit. 

For many visitors, the last kilometer before you reach pulpit rock is the best part of the trip. This is where the trail starts to level out, giving you impeccable views of Lysefjord. 

One point to keep in mind is the Pulpit Rock trail does have a section where you’re quite close to the edge of the cliff. This part of the hike can be troublesome for people who have a fear of heights. 

You can consider taking the secondary “hill trail” to avoid this part of the walk, but it will add a little more challenge and elevation to your journey.

How dangerous is Pulpit Rock? Preikestolen deaths

Pulpit rock in Norway is relatively safe to visit. Authorities haven’t installed any fences around the edges of the rock, to preserve its natural beauty, but provided you’re careful, you shouldn’t encounter any major dangers. Of course, there is always a risk when visiting any natural location. 

Up until 2013, Preikestolen had no accidental fatalities to report at all. However, there have been some recorded suicide attempts. In 2000, an Austrian man and woman jumped to their deaths after forming a suicide pact on the internet, which did lead to some concern about the trail for a while. 

In 2013, a Spanish tourist died in the first “accident” on the rock, though the family of this man followed up to say the “accident” was actually a suicide.

Stavanger to Pulpit Rock

Exploring Pulpit Rock: What to do near Pulpit Rock

The hike to Pulpit Rock is often enough of an adventure on its own for many visitors. However, if you want to stay in the location for a while before heading back, you can always check out the Lysefjord area, and consider taking part in a boat tour. 

Most people prefer to simply relax when they get to the top of the trail and take plenty of pictures. 

After you’re done soaking up the scenery, the journey to Stavanger from Pulpit Rock is simple enough. You can hike back down to the starting point of the trail within 45 minutes, and either drive or take the bus back into Stavanger. 

Alternatively you can spend some more time exploring Lysefjord before making your return journey.

To preserve the natural beauty of the area, there aren’t a lot of buildings or attractions nearby, so you’re best off taking your own supplies when it comes to food and drink. It’s also worth making sure your kids are comfortable with the idea of a long hike if you’re going to be taking them along. 

Most kids will probably need to be at least 7 or 8 to manage the hiking trail physically.

When to hike from Stavanger to Pulpit Rock

The best time for hiking in Norway will depend on your preferences and fitness level. You can access the Pulpit Rock trail for most of the year, and the main season is between April and October. Keep in mind sunnier days will give you some great views, but they’ll also attract more tourists, so you’ll be dealing with a lot of company on your journey. 

The busiest season for Pulpit Rock is usually between June and August, where lots of crowds will come to enjoy the summer. You can avoid some of the clutter by hiking on a weekday and starting as early in the morning as possible. 

If you are open to a challenge, you can also explore the Pulpit Rock trail through November to March, when temperatures are cold. Be wary of ice and snow on the ground during these months, and remember you’ll only have limited daylight in the winter too. 

If you’re not certain about your hiking prowess, you may want to consider a safer or easier route during the colder months. 

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