Hiking in Norway is a truly unique experience; with its spectacular nature, fjords and the remote but jaw-dropping scenes. Due to the vast size of the country and the large uninhabited territories, when travelling at any time outside peak holiday season, Norway will give you that great remote feeling which many of us are looking for.
Having lived in Scandinavia and being a huge fan of the Nordic countries, I would like to share some of my adventures with you, and maybe inspire you to set off on a Nordic adventure of your own.
One of the best adventures I have ever done was with my father, on the Norwegian west coast. We took on two of the most iconic hikes of Norway, both the bucket list for many adventure seekers; the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) and Kjerag. Both hikes are situated fairly close to each other, conveniently accessible from Stavanger. Stavanger itself is a lovely fishing town, full of colourful traditional Norwegian wooden houses. The location of these hikes provides a great opportunity to do both within one visit.
We started our adventure with the Pulpit Rock (known in Norwegian as Preikestolen). This looms 604 metres over the Lysefjord and is best visited from April to October, depending on the weather conditions. The rewarding hike takes about 2 hours each way, and it peaks on a plateau where we truly felt the height of the stunning rock formation. The more stout-hearted can go all the way to the edge of the platform.
Beside its photogenic feature, the Preikestolen rock proved to be one of the best lunch spots around. After a meal with a view, it’s a comfortable walk heading back down. The terrain is a good mix of rocks and sand, and suitable for everyone with a good level of fitness.
After a good night sleep, we were up for a new challenge. This time we faced the conquest of Kjerag. The drive to Kjerag is already a fantastic experience; the untouched nature, the majestic mountains and the snowy peaks set the mood for the day. The beautiful views made us more excited than ever just to get out and explore!
We visited the area in early June; and even in summer the higher you drive, the higher the snow walls get beside the road. Once you arrive to the parking lot where the hike to Kjerag, starts you can mentally prepare yourself for the upcoming adventure by looking at the board with all the elevations ahead of you.
On the trickier parts there are metal chains installed as handrails in order to be able to pull yourself up and avoid slipping. Even though Kjerag can only be visited in the summer time, be prepared for snow. The snow will rarely, if ever, disappear from the path, which makes the experience even more unique.
Once we got through the first couple of hills, we got to a flatter part of the hike, where all that surrounded us were mountain peaks. It gives you a proper “I am on top of the world” feeling. After some demanding climbs, we got to Kjeragbolten which is 1084 meters above sea level with the iconic rock that everyone wants a picture on. The rock appears like you see on all the pictures; there is nothing below for over 1000 meters!
Standing on the rock is not for the faint-hearted. There is no handrail or chain, just you and the rock, which gives quite an adrenaline rush. The secret is of course not looking down, but that is hard to do due to human curiosity! I am serious though: don’t look down while you are on the rock if you are scared of heights! 😉
After admiring the view and resting a bit, it was time to head back down. This can be just as much fun! Sliding down on the snow makes it much quicker to get back down than the climb up. After the full 5-hour hike, all that awaited us was the drive back, while we admired the mountain sunset.
Even tough both hikes allow you views looking down into the Lysefjord, they offer such different perspectives. The difficulty and the elevation of the hikes differ, but both tick the boxes for beautiful scenery and a sense of achievement.
Both of these highlights can be enjoyed on this drive & hike holiday from Stavanger to Bergen, and I could not recommend visiting the area highly enough. I can’t wait to do it all again! Do contact myself or the team here at Macs Adventure on [email protected] if you’d like more information about taking on this adventure yourself.