Hiking up the Pulpit Rock was on our to-do list since day 1 of planning our trip. The hike showed us the breathtaking landscapes and views that are characteristic of Norway, and I’m glad we made the decision to do it. Hiking is a must-do when you’re in Norway!
Preikestolen / Pulpit Rock
The Pulpit Rock is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway, where the huge plateau (approximately 600 square metres!) sits 604 metres over the beautiful Lysefjord. You get an amazing bird’s eye view of the fjord from the plateau, while being able to dangle your feet over the cliff – if you dare to, of course.
Continue reading for how we made it through, and watch the little vlog I made!
A quick disclaimer though!
Although the hike was really scenic and beautiful, it was not an easy journey. We took an entire day to make a day trip to Stavanger – the city nearest to the Pulpit Rock – from Bergen, where we were staying. The hike alone also took almost 8 hours up and back down!
How to get there:
Since we had a few nights’ accommodation booked at Bergen, we could only afford a day trip out to Stavanger to reach the Pulpit Rock. A domestic flight between the two cities is under an hour, in fact only 25 minutes if the wind direction is favourable! Besides flying, you can also get to Stavanger by bus, ferry or driving – though those will probably take longer.
Once arriving in Stavanger, you can hop on a shuttle bus from the airport to take you to the ferry terminal. The ferry takes you from Stavanger to Tau, where you can catch a bus to the carpark to officially start your hike up the Pulpit Rock!
Sounds like an awfully long trip isn’t it? You can pre-purchase return tickets for both the ferry and bus ride online, which will help to make your trip smoother and faster – it costs roughly 300NOK (S$49) per person.
Our experience with the hike
We embarked on our day trip to the Pulpit Rock from approximately 4.30am in the morning, and needless to say, we were pretty tired before even hiking. Nevertheless, it was pretty unbelievable and commendable that we completed the hike as a family – especially since we aren’t athletic, and my little sister only being 11!
The hike begins right by the carpark, where you start off on seemingly the steepest road ever for 10-15 minutes. It was so steep I was afraid that my shoes wouldn’t be able to provide enough grip. My calves were also dying and within that short 15 minutes which felt like forever. I was already asking myself, “What the hell did we just get ourselves into?!”
Thankfully the steep climb led to a nice flat space, where most people stopped to take a little breather. We were seriously tired at that point.
There were no steep terrains on the rest of the way up, but the countless number of stone steps can be pretty high for children. I would climb steps any day instead of a steep hill though.
Expect large crowds when you’re on your hike, especially if you start off late. Just know that if you fall, you’re taking at least 10 people down with you. So you’d better watch your step! Getting started early (say 8am?) might help you avoid the crowds – only on your way up though.
ignorance is bliss.
One thing that helped me get through the seemingly endless amount of stone steps was the lack of expectations. I didn’t do my research on the Pulpit Rock hike, so I didn’t know how long our journey would take.
Basically expect about 4 hours’ worth of uphill steps on the hike up, and a way quicker hike down! We took roughly 8 hours to conquer the Pulpit Rock, including over an hour that we spent on the plateau.
What to bring
Bring plenty of water, a hat to block the sun, bug spray, and sunscreen! There were plenty of tiny flies along the entire hike, which left us with itchy red bumps on our arms. You should keep yourselves covered, or be prepared with insect repellant! While the Norwegian summer is nowhere as hot as Singapore, you can’t hide from the UV rays. We definitely got way tanner from the hike and sunscreen is a must!
Our overall hike gets a high difficulty rating mainly due to how long it took us to complete. The view however, was incredibly rewarding by the time we reached the top. You have to see it for yourselves! We got to overlook the entire fjord, even seeing small ferries making their way through.
You got to make at least one hiking trip when in Norway, especially in the summer! You won’t regret it, I promise 🙂
Also read about our cruise experience in Norway: Why cruising is the best way to travel Norway
This article was first published on TripZilla Magazine.