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The Preikestolen: Norway’s most beautiful hike? How to avoid the crowds?

Preikestolen hiking in Norway

The Preikestolen hike takes you to the incredible site of Pulpit Rock, a granite boulder that falls sheer into the waters of Lyselfjord. One of the most beautiful panoramas of our stay in Norway.

However, the site has been a victim of its own success since its appearance in Mission Impossible 6. This is one of Norway’s most popular hikes. With this popularity comes the challenge of preparing your visit properly to get the most out of the experience.

When to start hiking to avoid the crowds? Which route to follow? How do I get to the site? Is it possible to hike with children? We’ll answer all your questions.

We’ve put together all the information you need to plan your trip. You can use our table of contents to navigate through the article and find the information you’re looking for.

The Preikestolen: our opinion

This is one ofour favorite hikes in Norway (we did around ten during our stay). We were a little afraid of the difficulty and the world. In the end, by being well prepared, we were able to enjoy our hike to the full.

The distance to the“Pulpit Rock” platform is reasonable. An important point to note to encourage you: unlike most hikes in Norway, which climb to the summit steeply, at the Preikestolen thealternation of ascents and passages on flat areas allows you to recuperate.

There were only around thirty of us on the rock, and we were able to fully appreciate the incredible panorama before our very eyes, in a calm atmosphere that we’ll never forget. We were delighted with our choice of starting time.

Pulpit Rock presentation + map

Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, is a granite boulder perched at 604 metres, dropping sheer into the waters of Lyselfjord. It’s a completely crazy place, and the view of the fjord is breathtaking. One of the most beautiful panoramas of our trip to Norway.

The site has become famous in part for being one of the filming locations for Mission Impossible 6, starring Tom Cruise. This site attracts thousands of hikers every year, so it’s important to be well-prepared for the climb so as not to be too bothered by the crowds. We give you all the tips and tricks you need to make the most of your hike.

It is located in south-west Norway, the nearest town being Stavanger, 40 km away. We recommend visiting the colorful town of Stavanger before or after your climb.

➡️Depuis Stavanger, you can opt for a Panoramic cruise to Lysefjord and Preikestolen. From the fjords, the rock is equally impressive.

Hiking route and topo: our complete guide

Topography

  • Distance: 8km return
  • Difference in altitude: 500m D+.
  • Duration: 3h30 on average (4h for us with our daughter)
  • Departure point: Preikestolen parking lot
preikestolen-norvege-randonee
The route on the Alltrails website

Description of the hiking trail

The trail to the Preikestolen is made up of 3 zones with a steep gradient, interspersed with flat areas for recuperation. The gradient is 500 metres with some fairly steep sections.

To give you an idea of the type of terrain, on the uphill sections, the terrain is made up ofstaircases of large boulders, and on the flatter sections, wooden footbridges allow you to cross the marsh, which is really great for recovering a little energy. The path is well marked and maintained. There are also numerous ponds along the way where you can swim in summer or camp nearby.

And don’t forget to look up from time to time to admire the breathtaking views! Before arriving at the famous boulders, there are some nice viewpoints along the way. You can check out our Instagram reels to give you an idea of the route.

Planning your hike is not an impossible mission!

We had to do this one, so don’t hesitate to let us know if this is how you heard about the rock.

When to visit the Preikestolen?

➡️S There’s just one thing to remember, and that’s to choose your departure time carefully. We started the hike at around 4pm, passing many hikers in the opposite direction. Then, once we reached the viewpoint, there must have been more than thirty of us (early June). We didn’t even have to queue to take photos.

We enjoyed our typically Norwegian cinnamon rolls and shrimp tartines on the platform level in sublime surroundings. Then, on the way back, we were almost alone to enjoy the beautiful light at the end of the day.

➡️Une Another option is to leave at 6 a.m. as soon as the parking lot opens, to take advantage of the beautiful sunrise over the rock faces. This was not an option with our 3-year-old daughter. If you’d like to try this adventure, you can make the ascent in the dark with a guide who knows the terrain well.

In terms of time of year, the Preikestolen is best visited from May to October, when the days are longer and nature is at its best. July and August are particularly popular, but expect more people on the trails. For a more tranquil experience, why not visit in June (like us) or September.

Our tips for your equipment

In terms of equipment, sturdy hiking boots are a must. The trail can be slippery, especially after rain. And don’t forget to bring water, snacks and weather-appropriate clothing. The temperature was around 20 degrees and the ground was quite dry. At the summit, we all donned our fleeces to protect us from the wind.

The weather in Norway can be fickle, so it’s best to be prepared. As always, we recommend the famous onion technique, which involves layering several layers of clothing.

Here’s a list of clothes you can pack in your suitcase: a warm under-sweater (heattech or wool), a warm sweater, fleece, waterproof pants, hiking boots and, above all, waterproof footwear.

Safety on the Preikestolen: is it a dangerous hike?

It’s also a point that’s come up on social networks: is the hike to Preikestolen dangerous? That’s why we’re taking the liberty of addressing it to prepare future hikers. It’s worth noting that at the Preikestolen, as on all the hikes we did in Norway, there are no safety barriers on the hiking trail or at the viewpoints. This was a little confusing for us at the start of our stay. Matthieu is afraid of heights, so he stayed several metres before the ravine. Although the photos are impressive, it’s also possible to take some nice shots from several meters away. For example, below, Matthew (standing) is 15 metres from the tip.

Although Preikestolen is a popular tourist destination, hiking is not to be underestimated. Paths can be slippery, especially after rain. It’s crucial to stay on the marked trails and exercise caution, especially when approaching the summit. We strongly advise you to keep a safe distance by not venturing too close to the edge, and not to take unnecessary risks for photos…

Some hikers lie down to get closer to the edge. The view must be insane, with the void just a few metres below. We did read that there was an accident on the site in 2013. A tourist got a little too close to the edge to take a photo and fell …

If you’re careful, we don’t think there’s any risk involved.

➡️Depuis Stavanger, you can opt for a guided hike to the Preikestolen, an excellent option if you want to leave with peace of mind!

Preikestolen with your family: Tips for an accessible hike

It’s also a question you’ve been asking us a lot on Instagram, is the Preikestolen accessible with children? Let us reassure you right away, the Preikestolen is not just an adventure for seasoned hikers; it’s also a family destination.

Many children use the hiking trail on a daily basis. In particular, very young Norwegians who are well equipped and, above all, used to this type of topology, and it shows. Our 3-year-old daughter walked the first quarter of the route, with the biggest difference in altitude. There were 2 of us to supervise him and give him a hand on certain parts. Matthieu was relieved, as she walked halfway up the hill. He felt the difference on the last climb with our daughter on his back.

As you can see, we didn’t have time to take any photos, as we were too busy helping him. She would have liked to keep going, but it was a bit of a pain to manage her with all the people on the climb.

Ahead of us, a 6 – 7 year-old Norwegian child completed the entire hike at the same speed as the adults. The trickiest part is just before reaching Pulpit Rock, where the path is narrow and on a cliffside. For this area, children should of course be supervised by an adult, and the youngest by a baby carrier.

Tips for Safe and Fun Hiking

  • Choosing the right timing: we started the hike at around 4pm, so there weren’t many of us to begin the route, and even though we passed a few people going in the opposite direction, we were able to keep up with our daughter’s pace.
  • Turning the hike into a fun adventure: from the first few meters, the trail turns into a hike/climb (welcome to Norway), with small rocks to climb, which was a big hit with our daughter. There’s also a lot to look out for on the course.
  • Equipping your child: in our opinion, it’s essential to set off in dry weather, and to equip your child with hiking boots with gripping crampons. Here’s the Decathlon model we had for her.
  • Investing in a good baby carrier: this is the physiological Manduca model we’ve had since our daughter was born, and which has accompanied us on many hikes.

Organization of the stay : Accommodation and Transport

How to get to the Preikestolen

Preikestolen can be reached by car or bus from Stavanger. From the road, the views over the fjord are already very nice. We went there with our camper van, and there’s a service station between Stavanger and the Preikestolen. If you choose to drive, the route already offers some very nice scenery.

For a stress-free approach, consider organized tours that include round-trip transportation and, in some cases, a guide.

If you’d like to know more about the different options for getting to the Preikestolen from Stavanger, we’ve written a full article on the subject.

Car and camper parking

There’s only one road for the last few kilometers to the start of the hike. There’s no option for free parking, as spaces are either blocked by stones or by no-parking signs.

The parking lot at the start of the hike can accommodate 1,000 vehicles, and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is not possible to stay overnight. An employee came to remind us. The cost for a camper or van is €22 and for a car €10 per day.

Where to stay?

If, like us, you’re setting off in the late afternoon, the best option is to choose accommodation close to the start of the hike, around the town of Jørpeland, about 20 minutes from the start of the hike. Book online in advance, especially during high season, to ensure you have the best choice.

Another option, if you want to explore southern Norway after your hike, is to book a hotel in Stavanger, the largest city in the area.

If you’re in a converted vehicle, we drove here #86332 Park4night, 20 minutes away, quiet, but only about ten spaces. (sold out early June)

An excursion to the Preikestolen

Here’s a summary of the different options for going on a guided tour:

  • Set off at sunrise : the climb takes place at night, so if you want to try it out, it’s best to set off with a guide who knows the terrain well.
  • From Stavanger, you can opt for a guided hike to the Preikestolen, an excellent option if you want to leave with peace of mind.
  • From Stavanger, you can opt for a panoramic scenic cruise the fjords to Lysefjord and Preikestolen. From the fjord, the rock is equally impressive.

Nous espérons que cet article vous a inspiré et donné toutes les informations nécessaires pour votre exploration du Preikestolen. Don’t hesitate to explore other wonders of Norway!

We had a lot of fun writing this article about this hike, which we absolutely loved. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Don’t hesitate to leave us a note or 5 stars below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, below we’ll answer you with great pleasure. Vous pouvez consulter nos stories sur Instagram de notre voyage en Norvège, pour vous donner un avant gout de ce qui vous attend !

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Floriane
Floriane
Je m'appelle Floriane, aventurière et passionnée de voyages depuis mon plus jeune âge. J'aime plus que tout partager nos récits et astuces de voyage avec vous. Nous aimons les escapades courtes ainsi que les voyages longs. Ce blog est né après notre Tour du Monde en sac à dos. Nous avons également réalisé un tour d'Europe en famille.

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