Trekking Preikestolen is one of those things just just have to do in Norway. Preikestolen trail is relatively easy and even if you don’t consider yourself to be a super fit person, you can still climb the pulpit rock and admire the breathtaking view over Lysefjord.
I travelled around Norway with Nordtrip.pl run by Wiktor and Aga who have lived in Norway for a few years now and organise budget and active trips to Norway. Check out the link to see what they offer.
Norway on a budget – how to organise your trip to Norway and not go bankrupt
It’s not a mystery that the northern countries such as Norway, Iceland, Sweden, etc. are bloody expensive. I put off visiting Norway until recently mainly due to high cost. I didn’t really want to bring all the food from Poland, sleep in a tent all the time and basically save every penny while travelling in Norway. That’s why I decided to explore this country with Nordtrip.pl.
In a really small price, Nordtrip organises trips up to 6 people where accommodation, food, drinks, and transport are all covered. What is even more important, the programme of the trip is really rich in attractions. You climb Preikestolen or go for a road trip on Suleskard plateau, go fishing, see many off-the-path places known only to the locals, such as Jettegrytene, have a cruise on the Norwegian riviera, and many more.
Driving to Preikestolen
Wiktor and Aga’s house is located in the south-eastern part of Norway. This means that in order to climb Preikestolen, we had to spend quite a long time driving in car. Although I am not the biggest fan of road trips, landscapes in Norway will prevent you from being bored. The views on the way were really magnificent and thanks to that, 6 hours went by quite quickly.
As you know already, I usually travel solo. This trip was special since I went with a small group of my travel blogging friends. Thanks to the fact, that we all run travel blogs, we had very similar expectations and needs during this trip and, unlike my other trip with friends, to Romania, I felt really good. I had all the time I wanted to take photographs which basically is crucial for my well being when I travel. Besides that, all those guys are really warmhearted and we had A LOT of fun. To the point that I laughed so hard that my cheeks were in pain.
Preikestolen – the most popular pulpit rock in Norway
Preikestolen is doubtless one of the biggest tourist attractions in Norway. It’s a mountain located by Lysefjord and what you might know from pictures, there’s a pulpit rock with a famous “selfie spot”.
Since Preikestolen is easy to climb, it’s also very crowded. The hiking trail was renovated not long ago and you can make it to the top even without sturdy shoes – I saw people in sneakers although I personally don’t recommend that approach. It’s irresponsible in case weather changes and it changes very fast.
How then do you beat the crowds? Wiktor organised our trip to Preikestolen in such a way, that we started trekking in late afternoon. Given the fact it was June and the sunset was around 11 pm, we had lot of time to make it to the top and back before it would get dark. As we were making our way up Preikestolen, CROWDS of people were walking down. When we reached the top, there was no sight of the crowds any more.
The pulpit rock overlooks a 604 meters deep chasm and if you have the guts, you can sit on its edge and feel adrenaline rushing in your body. I didn’t have the guts and stayed far from the edge. Lysefjord is 42 kilometres long and on the opposite side of the fjord, there’s another famous mountain – Kjerag.
How difficult it is to hike Preikestolen in Norway?
It’s the same type of question as “is it safe travelling to XYZ” and I have the same answer. It is as easy as you make it easy. The trail itself is not technically difficult. You don’t have to scramble, you don’t need to climb, there are no points with edges and vast exposure (except the pulpit rock of course). But there are a few things you should keep in mind before trekking Preikestolen.
Preikestolen is a mountain so the weather can change very fast. It was hot and sunny when we started our hike to the pulpit rock. Somewhere in the middle of the trail, a huge cloud covered the peak of Preikestolen, it got cold, dark, and windy. Luckily, we all had wind and water proof jackets and good walking shoes.
Also, there are moments when you have to walk uphill on the rocks. They are placed really conveniently, but you need to say focused as you hike. One moment of carelessness and you might trip over a rock and hurt yourself.
Summing up – it’s an easy trail in my opinion and if you are of standard fitness, you should easily make it. Remember not to rush and enjoy the views – the higher you hike, the more breathtaking the views get.
Somewhere in the middle of the trail, there’s a river spring with clear drinking water.
The trail is shaped in a way that enables you to manage your energy wisely. It’s like a sinusoid – after steeper parts, there are plateaus where you can take some rest.
Weather on Preikestolen – how to be prepared when sunshine changes into thick fog within a few minutes
Remember to take a long sleeve with you even if at the starting point of the trek to Preikestolen it is hot and sunny. Also, a hard shell would be good. I would also recommend taking a warm hat and hand gloves if you’re planning to take photographs and your hands get cold quickly.
Even though the trail is not difficult, I would also recommend taking shoes with a solid sole and ideally above ankle. This always gives additional support when walking on rocks.
Below you can see how the weather changed from sunny into really foggy. It literally took about 10 minutes between complete sun and grey fog.
Preikestolen Pulpit Rock – not for the fainthearted
Just before you reach the famous pulpit rock, you will have to walk on a pretty narrow edge which doesn’t have any railings. By “narrow” I mean 3 meters wide which is still not bad. When I approached the edge, though, I really felt my knees going soft.
The feeling of space and chasm is both scary and beautiful. On the one hand, I marvelled at the beauty of the landscape. On the other hand, I was so scared to be close to the edge, that I decided to give up on the idea of sitting there just for the sake of a photograph.
By the way, do you know that there is a cleft in the pulpit rock? It is a matter of time before the cleft gets deep enough to cause the rock fall into the water beneath it. Once this happens, Lysefjord will experience a huge tsunami wave which will flood Lysebotn village.
The best view on the Pulpit Rock in Norway – hiking above Preikestolen
We had a lot of luck when it comes to the weather. Once we reached the pulpit rock, the naughty cloud floated somewhere else and we could see the best of Lysefjord. Some 40 minutes later, another cloud arrived and the top of Preikestolen was covered in thick, grey fog.
To make the experience of hiking Preikestolen even better, Wiktor took us where almost no one goes – to a rock ABOVE the pulpit rock. There were maybe three other people than us and we had all the views for ourselves.
Wiktor also took us to another special place up there. At the edge of a scary looking chasm, he asked us to lie down on the ground and peek down. What I saw made me go dizzy. There were hundreds of meters of a steep rock falling down. If we fell, there would literally be nothing to hold on to.
Preikestolen in the fog
Before we started descending back to the car, we had a quick snack and a glass o wine on top of Preikestolen. We would have stayed longer, but the weather got really bad. It was cold and dark and the whole area which was previously so beautiful, looked rather ominous.
It was a short yet sweet trekking with awesome views on the way. If you prefer a more comfortable or organised way of travelling, check out the Nordtrip.pl‘s offer. Wiktor will drive you to the palce where the trekking to Preikestolen starts and he will also take care of food and drinks. Besides that, he’s an experienced travel guide and in case you would need a helping hand with facing your fear of heights, he will help (speaking from experience).
Belo is our crew sending greetings! :)