We have compiled a list of Iconic Hikes and put together this tour suggestion, suited for people who are travelling by car and looking for an active holiday in spectacular nature. The tour starts in Stavanger, and this charming harbor town will be the base of your hiking adventure. Venture south to Egersund, then inland to Preikestolen, Kjerag and the magnificent Åkrafjorden before circling back. Along with well-known landmarks you will also discover well-kept secrets such as Himakånå, Trollpikken and Magma Geopark.
Stavanger → Egersund →
Take some time to explore Stavanger’s gastronomy and sights before or after your hiking adventure. The town boasts three Michelin guide restaurants, one of them, RE-NAA, gained two stars in the guide. These top-notch restaurants combine innovation with tradition, bringing fresh seafood and local produce to your plate. We recommend a stroll through the streets of Stavanger’s Old Town and a visit to the bustling harbor.
First up among our iconic hikes is Trollpikken outside of Egersund. An hour-long drive along the E39 will take you straight to Egersund, although a detour via Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren is well worth some extra time on the road. This coastal road is dotted with white sandy beaches, green pastures and charming lighthouses. A mere 2 km drive outside of the center of Egersund lies the starting point for the hike to a nature attraction that is well on its way to world fame, a simple but potent rock formation that the tongue-in-cheek locals have named Trollpikken. Its translation will become clear as you approach the top of the hill and get a good view of the phallus-shaped rock formation! Trollpikken is situated in a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills and mountains and offers a much less challenging hike than Kjerag.
The nearby Magma UNESCO Global Geopark is a unique geological area with incredible diversity. Mountains, lakes, rivers and fjords and fascinating rock formations make up a truly lunar landscape; some of the rocks in the geopark are also found on the surface of the moon. Experience the magnificent landscape through fishing, kayaking and hiking, or get playful with coasteering. This unique, guided adventure lets you safely explore caves and leap from sea cliffs.
Preikestolen → Kjerag →
Both of our next iconic hikes are situated in the Lysefjord region. Kjerag and Preikestolen are magnificent cliff formations with a stunning view of the fjord, mountains, green pastures, forests and heather moors. The mountains are so high and steep that only a few villages and isolated hamlets dot the banks of the fjord. Local guide companies offer tours that take you off the beaten path to discover the magic of winter, spring, summer and autumn in the fjords.
On your way to Lysebotn and Kjerag, make time for a photo stop of the impressive Lysevegen road (closed during the winter), with its 27 hair pin bends descending from the top of the valley down to the fjord and Lysebotn village. The hike to Kjerag starts at the parking lot in Øygardstøl. This is a challenging route for hikers in good physical condition. Luckily, the view that you dreamed of while scaling the hills is worth every drop of sweat. The vertical granite wall below your feet towers 1000 meters above the Lysefjord, and nearby the plateau you will find Kjeragbolten. The enormous boulder wedged between a mountain crevasse reminds us of the power and playfulness of nature.
After the hike to Kjerag it is time to relax on the ferry from Lysebotn to Forsand quay (available during the summer). As the ferry glides through the Lysefjord past waterfalls, farms with grazing goats and rock formations, you may also see seals drowsing on the smooth rocks. Your next iconic hike is easily spotted from the deck, the impressive Preikestolen plateau is carved out from the mountainside 604 meters above you. Before tomorrow’s hike to Preikestolen, you can get a night’s well-deserved rest at Haukali 33/3 in Forsand, an authentic, “slow-life” accommodation. Stay in a charming and authentic farmer’s cottage to experience the slow, peaceful atmosphere of the 1850’s.
By Preikestolen Mountain Lodge you will find the well-marked path to the Preikestolen plateau. Whether you are hiking on a sunny day or in the light summer rain, or at sunrise to catch the first beams, the character of Preikestolen changes from one day to the next. The color palette of the Lysefjord can be anything from glimmering turquoise hues to deep blue, but its beauty is unchanging.
You can also experience Preikestolen and Kjerag by hiking around the Lysefjord. The 100 kilometer long trail consists of eight stages and goes around the entire Lysefjorden. The path is marked and you will discover many hidden gems on the hike.
The next iconic hike lies to the north, in Åkrafjord. After three and a half hours’ drive from Preikestolen you will reach one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, and a real test of strength for your legs. The impressive Langfoss waterfall is the fifth highest in Norway. Experience this natural wonder by climbing the old path to the summer farm Langfosstølen or challenge yourself on one of Norway’s toughest Via Ferrata routes with Åkrafjorden Nature. Once you reach the top it’s time to let tired legs have a rest and enjoy the view of the Åkrafjord and Folgefonna glacier in the distance. Restore your energy at Åkrafjorden Bed&Breakfast, and don’t miss the fjord cruise from the quay at Teigland if you are visiting in the summer.
Next up is our most challenging but rewarding hike. From Åkrafjorden, head north towards Odda and the stunning rock formation Trolltunga. The 12hr return hike is best suited for experienced hikers, and weather conditions must be taken into consideration. The path is usually snow-free in June - August, but the season varies. The rest of the year you can go on a guided adventure. Make sure to book accommodation in Odda or Skjeggedal before and after the hike, in order to have enough daylight hours to complete the hike.
Head back to Åkrafjord and continue to the coastal town of Haugesund and the final iconic hike: Himakånå. As you stroll along the harbor in Haugesund with the fresh ocean breeze from the North Sea, try to imagine the long ships of the Viking kings who once chose this area as their royal seat. At Avaldsnes you can walk along the reconstructed houses of a typical Viking farm and be greeted by shieldmaidens and Norse gods at Nordvegen History Centre. The peak of Himakånå may seem modest compared to Trolltunga and Kjerag, at a mere 357 meters above sea level. However, the view from the top of the will quickly change your mind. From the peak you have a panoramic view of Lysevatnet lake, the Nedstrandsfjord and farm hamlets surrounded by deep green forests. From Haugesund, a two-hour drive takes you back to Stavanger, where perhaps a Michelin-worthy meal awaits you?