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.
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.
From Trekking Association cabin to activity base
A lot has happened since then. 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 mountain lodge, a café and an activity centre. Almost 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 the Pulpit Rock being assigned National Hiking Trail status and, as part of the Lysefjord, the area has been certified as a Sustainable Destination.
Nothing beats the spectacular view
Some things haven’t changed though. If you want to stand on the plateau 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 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.
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 do I 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 Basecamp during the high season.
If you take your own car from Stavanger, you’ll drive through Ryfast, the world’s longest subsea tunnel and an attraction in itself. When you get to Solbakk, turn off towards Jørpeland and then follow the signs to Preikestolen. The car park has charging points for electric cars.