"Hiking to Preikestolen (the Pulpit rock)" Top 5 Page for this destination Stavanger Travelogue by Gard
Stavanger Travel Guide: 303 reviews and 996 photos
Preikestolen is one of Stavanger's most popular tourist attractions. In the following travelogue I will give some details about my trip to Prekestolen on the 25th of May 2003. Preikestolen is know as the Pulpit rock in English by the way (which is a translation of the Norwegian name) and I think you will understand why when you get there :-)
First of all a little bit on how you can get there: you have to take a ferry from Stavanger to Tau (time tables can be found on www.kolumbus.no). The trip takes about 40 minutes at the moment and it costs 110 kroner for a car (including the driver) and about 30 kroner for each person. When you get to Tau you should take route 13 towards Sandnes and then follow the brown signs leading the way to the Preikestolen parking. The parking costs about 50 kroner for a standard car (there are different prices for motorcycles, RV's and so on).
I got in touch with a Canadian girl named Caroline on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and I bragged about how beautiful my hometown Stavanger is and the great view that you can get from Preikestolen. To make a long story short I ended up being a tour guide for Caroline when she came to Stavanger and the first thing I wanted to show her was Preikestolen of course. We had to get up pretty early on Sunday morning because we wanted to catch the 07.20 ferry to Tau but it was worth it...when we came to the parking at Prekestolen I think we were the first ones there :-)
The trip from the parking to Prekestolen is not really that far. In distance it is about 3,8 kilometers but it will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to the top. The parking is at about 270 meters above sea level and Prekestolen is at 600 meters which means that there is a 330 height difference. The path leading up to Preikestolen has been improved a lot since the first time I went up there (in 1989) but you still need a pair of good shoes (or boots). As the height difference suggest it is a bit of a climb at some places so bring some water, some snack and maybe even some dry clothes. Finding the way to the top is not a problem at all...just follow the path and if you can't see a path then you can look for the red T's :-) The path varies from gravel path, rocks and wooden paths. On the way up you will also find some benches and tables that can be used if you want to take a break and enjoy some of the food that you have brought along.
We started walking about about 8.30 and we walked alone all the way up to Preikestolen. I was quite surprised that we were alone because this is one of the major tourist attractions in the area and it can be pretty crowded in the summer time. But I guess it was a combination that it is early in the season, it was early in the morning and the weather forecast was not great. But I'm not complaining...in fact it made it into a really special experience. When we got up to the top we were more or less alone there (a couple had spent the night in a tent there) so we could enjoy the view and take some pictures of the place.
So what is unique with this place? Well, as the name indicates this looks like a pulpit when seen from below. The rock itself is something like 25 by 25 meters and when you stand on the edge it is basically 600 meters straight down. And on clear days you get a great view of the Lysefjord. The path leading up to Preikestolen is also very scenic.
There was a big debate a few years ago in the local community by the way. Some people suggested that a pier should be constructed in Lysefjord and a lift should be built from the fjord to the Pulpit rock. I am sure that this would have attracted quite a lot of cruise ships to the Stavanger area but on the other hand I think it would have spoiled some of the experience. A few years ago there used to be a little "shop" on top of Prekestolen. The girl who worked there walked up every morning carrying some of the supplies on her back. I guess that is the kind of summer job that makes you fit :-)
On the way down we met quite a few on their way up and some had the traditional question "how much longer to Preikestolen?" :-) It is always fun serving a white lie telling them that there is still 3 hours to go just to see how people react :-)
There are a few other trails in the area so if you like trekking it is possible to stay at the youth hostel Prekestolhytta which is located at the parking lot. There is a lot more information on http://www.prekestolhytta.no
When going back to Stavanger you have the option of going back the same when as you came. It is also possible to follow route 13 to Oanes. At this place you can make a stop at Lysefjordsenteret (http://www.lysefjordsenteret.no/) where you can have a meal. From here you can take a 10 minute ferry over to Lauvik and from there you can drive back to Stavanger.
Well, I hope that this has been of some help to people that want to see Preikestolen. For me this was a super nice trip :-)
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