If Norway had been designed by landscape architects, Preikestolen would be a brilliant, award-winning work. No other mountain better sums up the dramatic beauty of the Norwegian scenery, and the iconic mountain plateau has a charm all of its own during every season.
Iconic mountain plateau
Measuring 25 x 25 metres, it was probably formed by frost erosion some 10,000 years ago. Water that had frozen between the cracks in the mountain blasted away huge angular blocks that the glacier had brought with it. The plateau was formerly known as Hyvlatånnå (planer blade) and was a well-known landmark for people sailing on the Lysefjord. It was not until around 1900 that the first tourists made their way to the top, and Preikestolen became a tourist destination.
Some things haven’t changed though. If you want to stand on Preikestolen and gaze across the Lysefjord, there’s no way around it; you have to set off on foot. This means that you also get to experience the fantastic hike on the way up, along steep mountainsides, on narrow paths and up fantastic steps built by Sherpas in beautiful, lush nature.
The hike to Preikestolen is a total of 8 kilometers, and the round trip usually takes four hours. You can visit Preikestolen all year round. Sunrise and winter hikes are popular. Off season we recommend professional guides from Explore Lysefjorden.
Nothing beats the view
The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly the spectacular view that awaits when you stand on the iconic plateau and gaze across the famous Lysefjord, 604 metres below. Preikestolen has been named one of the world's most spectacular viewing points by both CNN Go and Lonely Planet. Visitors have shared their unique photos on social media, and a visit to Preikestolen is now on the bucket lists of both Norwegian tourists and those from further afield.
How to get to Preikestolen?
You can get to Preikestolen in several ways, both by bus and car.
Buses depart daily from the centre of Stavanger to Preikestolen parking during the high season.
By car from Stavanger, drive the subsea tunnel to Solbakk and follow signposting to Preikestolen. Parking fee.
The car park has charging points for electric cars.
Accommodation near Preikestolen
In 1949, Stavanger Trekking Association built the cabin Preikstolhytta, and a road was built all the way up to make it easy to get there. Today, Preikestolen Basecamp comprises this old cabin, Preikestolen fjellstue (mountain lodge) with a restaurant, several mini cabins, a café and an activity centre.
Preikestolen camping is a popular campsite only five minutes' drive from Preikestolen Basecamp.
Preikestolen from the fjord
It is also wonderful to experience Preikestolen from the fjord. All year you can join a fjord cruise with Rødne from Stavanger. You can also take the Kolumbus ferry (all year) or Tourist ferry (summer season) between Lauvvik and Lysebotn.
Around 1900 the gymnastic Thomas Peter Randulff was travelling in the Lysefjord with steamboat Oscar II. The captain of the ship pointed his finger at the special rock formation high above the fjord, and said; - This looks just like a pulpit! For the gymnastic and athletic Randulff the goal was set. He wanted to get to the top of this mountain. This was the start of the tourist traffic to Preikestolen.
More than 300,000 people visit the icon towering above the Lysefjord every year. Endeavours are made to look after the environment and nature in the area to ensure visitors a great, unique experience. This work has resulted in Preikestolen being assigned National Hiking Trail status and, as part of the Lysefjord, the area is participating in the Sustainable Destination Program.