Florli 4444 epic hike in Stavanger region in Norway

Florli 4444 Epic Hike in Norway

In Europe, Inspiration, Norway by Jurga15 Comments

Stavanger – Ryfylke region offers a lot of hiking possibilities, including the world-famous Pulpit Rock and Kjerag. But there are many more spectacular hikes in the region that are a bit less known to tourists, but just as impressive. Today I want to share one of the best hikes in Norway and the most memorable hike we ever made – Flørli 4444.

Florli

Florli is a tiny little village along the Lysefjord. There are only 4 people living in the village year-round, but it’s a charming and quite lively place in summer. You won’t find huge crowds in Florli (unless on the day when they organise the 4444 stairs run – can you imagine that?!). It’s a nice little place that is only visited by those familiar with the area, or those looking to explore the region deeper. I have a feeling that it’s one of those charming places that locals prefer to keep to themselves. It’s a true hidden gem of Lysefjord, and well worth a visit!

Florli is home to hydroelectric power station and the world’s longest wooden staircase with 4444 steps. The stairway follows an old pipeline that was built from 1917 – 1921 and used by the old Florli power station. The old power station has been long replaced by the new one and the staircase has now become a popular tourist site.

Florli village as seen from the boat at Lysefjord in Norway

First glimpse of Florli

 

Florli 4444 – climbing the world’s longest wooden staircase

I don’t think you can truly appreciate how strenuous this hike is till you arrive at Florli by boat and see the staircase leading to the top of that huge mountain in front of you. And then the reality hits you – 4444 steps. That’s some 270 floors!

At the start of Florli 4444 staircase - Lysefjorden, Norway

At the bottom of Florli 4444

 

If I would have thought this through, I would have probably never dared to embark on this hike, and certainly with kids. But somehow we found the strength to do it and Florli 4444 has become one of the most memorable hiking experiences ever. And I should not have worried about the kids – as our guide said, for them this hike was like a walk in the park… Not so much for us though. 🙂

Florli 4444 hike with Geir from Lysefjorden Adventure

Kids with our guide, Geir, were unstoppable on the stairs!

 

Florli 4444 climb is long and steep, it’s not a hike for those who have a fear of heights, or have problems with their heart. There is very little encouragement along the way: every 500 stairs there is a number showing the slow progress you made. By the time you reach the first sign, 500, you already wish it was 4000… But then you turn around to see where you came from, and you are mesmerised by the incredible views. And somehow you find some more energy to go on. And on, and on.

Florli 4444 staircase with kids - Stavanger Norway

The higher you go, the better the views

 

The stairs follow the water pipelines and the rails where a trolley used to transport people and materials up the mountain. Kids asked several times if we could just take the trolley instead.

There are many lookout points along the way, also some tiny benches right next to the staircase. We took our time and stopped to catch our breath and to admire the stunning panorama of the Lysefjord stretching below us. There are several picnic tables too, and we had picnic lunch somewhere between stair 2000 and 2500. Good excuse to rest a bit and recover before continuing further.

Epic Norway hike - Florli 4444 - longest wooden staircase in the world

Somewhere half way… An no, this is not really a cafe

 

You don’t have to do the whole 4444 steps and can always turn around and head back to the village. It’s not advisable to hike the whole 4444 stairs down, as the staircase is narrow, so you will have difficulties passing the people who are going up. However, don’t give up too quickly. The higher you go, the more spectacular the views. And it just gets better and better. If you are fit enough, it’s well worth it to make an effort and climb all the way to the top.

climbing the 4444 stairs on the world's longest wooden staircase in Florli Norway

When the staircase becomes less steep, you know you are almost there!

 

After about 2,5 hours of climbing (including lunch along the way), we finally heard the kids shout that they found the 4444th stair. Once you get there you will see that there are actually about 30 stairs more afterwards, but by this point it will not matter any more. I guess 4444 sounds better than 4476 or so.

The 4444th stair at the world's longest wooden staircase in Florli Norway

The 4444th stair. We made it!

 

On top of the mountain there is a small lake, Ternevatnet. The water is so pristine here that our guide told us we could refill our drinking bottles. The views from the top are phenomenal, so make sure to take your time on top before heading down.

Ternevatnet lake at the end of Florli 4444 staircase

Ternevatnet lake on top of Florli 4444 staircase

On top of Florli 4444 staircase - one of Norway's most epic hikes

Tired, but happy

 

Descent to Florli – use alternative trail

In addition to taking the staircase down (not recommended), there are two alternative routes to get back down to Florli: Store Runden (4hrs) and Rallarstien (3 hours). They are both well marked. We took the shorter route.

Hiking down to Florli with Lysefjord in the background - Florli 4444 epic hike in Norway

Hiking down to Florli with Lysefjord in the background

 

The scenery is very different on this path. You will pass mountain rivers and a lush forest. It’s more like a regular mountain hike that we are used to. Except – it’s extremely muddy after it’s been raining. So you definitely need good hiking shoes, and hiking poles would be useful too.

Hiking with kids in Florli by Lysefjord in Norway

The descent can be a bit muddy after the rain

 

The descent follows the hundred-year old path that was once used by the people, The Rallarer, who were employed to build the pipeline and the other infrastructure around the Florli power plant. The Rallarer were unprivileged men doing the most physically demanding jobs. They would carry their own weight worth of load on their backs. When you see the infrastructure they had built more than 100 years ago, you cannot help but admire the human persistence and determination.

Rallarsti hiking path to Florli Norway

Rallarsti hiking path to Florli Norway

 

The descent to Florli took us about 2,5 hours. Kids were stopping every couple of meters to build dams in the mountain streams. On top of that, it was blueberry season and there were berries all over the forest. They just loved picking them and we all ate hands full of blueberries that day.

Hiking in Norway with kids

The scenery along this hike is constantly changing

Hiking in Florli Norway

Almost down in Florli

 

What to do in Florli

Once back in Florli, you have to wait for a ferry (there are only several ferries a day, and ours was at 6.45PM). We had a few hours left when we reached the village, and decided to pay a short visit to the old power plant.

Afterwards we had dinner at the small cafe in Florli. The food is really good and surprisingly affordable for Norwegian standards and since you don’t get to town before 9PM, it’s probably a good idea to have dinner in Florli anyway.

The café and the hostel is run by Hessel, a friendly Dutchman, who’s been living in Florli for a few years now. He said he couldn’t imagine a better place to live!

If you have more time, ask Hessel about other things you can do in Florli. Possibilities include a hot tub (pack your swimwear), rod fishing, or kayaking. If you do the Florli 4444 hike real fast, you may have more time left for all these activities than we did.

Old hydroelectric power plant in Florli Norway

Make sure to take a look inside the old power plant of Florli

 

Lysefjord

Florli is located deep inside the Lysefjord. So in addition to the Florli 4444 hike, you also get to admire the incredible scenery of the fjord twice – in the morning, and then again in the evening.

We were very lucky with the weather the day we went to Florli, so it made up for the bad weather we had on Lysefjord-Pulpit Rock cruise the day before. The boat that brings you to Florli is a car ferry though, so it’s not the same as the cruise in terms of stops and commentary. But the scenery is incredible either way!

Waiting for a ferry at Florli in Lysefjord Norway

Waiting for a ferry back to Lauvvik

Lysefjord cruise - reflections

Lysefjord reflections

Little Sognesand village along the Lysefjord in Norway

Little Sognesand village along the Lysefjord

 

Florli 4444 – who is this hike for?

Florli 4444 is one of the most challenging hikes we ever did. But it’s also one of the most special, memorable experiences ever. We are not experienced hikers, and we are in no way in fantastic physical shape, yet we did it. It’s not a long walk; the biggest challenge is continuous climbing.

Our three kids (6, 6, and 8 years old) had no difficulty with the stairs, or with the steep hike down. In fact, they did it so well, that it made us realise that from now on kid-friendly hike means that we can probably do it. The kids can do any hike by now.

We met a few other families on Florli 4444 staircase. There were many kids of all ages, there were older couples too. Everyone (except our kids and our guide) went rather slow and stopped a lot. And everyone who I saw start the hike, made it to the top.

As I said, before, it’s not a hike for those with fear of heights.

Florli 4444 practical information

Florli4444 requires a full day trip from Stavanger. You cannot do it in one day if you don’t have a car, since the ferry to Florli doesn’t depart from Stavanger, but from Lauvvik, about 45min drive from town. And public transport connections just don’t work out. If you still want to do it using public transport, then it’s best to plan to spend a night in Florli.

We started our day at 8.30AM with the pick-up from our hotel. We were back in town around 9PM. It’s a long day, but you spend quite some time on the boat, so you have plenty of time to relax.

We did the Florli 4444 hike with Geir from Lysefjorden Adventure and had an amazing day. He took care of all arrangements and we didn’t have to worry about which boat to take from which harbour, or which trail to follow. Sometimes it’s nice to give yourself a break and just enjoy the trip without having to deal with the practical side of planning.

There was one more reason why we were glad to have a guide on the Florli 4444 hike. Our kids were ahead of us on the stairs the whole time, but we didn’t have to worry because Geir was with them. He’s great with kids, and won their hearts by packing some Norwegian chocolate to share with them on the hike.

Geir is an excellent guide who knows the region like the back of his hand. He organises a variety of private hiking day trips from Stavanger, including the iconic hikes to Preikestolen, Kjerag, and Florli 4444 amongst others. If you are looking for a guided hiking trip from Stavanger, Geir is the perfect person to help you find the most suitable trip. For more information take a look on the website of Lysefjorden Adventure.

Geir - our guide from Lysefjorden Adventure

With our guide, Geir, on the way back to Stavanger

 

What to pack for Florli 4444

  • Hiking shoes are a must.
  • Hiking poles might be nice to have on the descent.
  • Wear comfortable sports clothing in layers and pack a rain jacket.
  • Carry sun protection in summer.
  • Take a picnic and some snacks for the hike.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle.
  • Pack swimwear if you would like to use a hot tub in Florli after the hike.
Hiking at Florli in Norway

The hike can be wet, so good shoes are a must

 

We were the only foreign tourists on the Florli 4444 that day. As I said before, it seems that locals rather keep this place to themselves. So if you are looking to escape the crowds and do one of the most epic hikes of Norway, I cannot recommend Florli 4444 highly enough.

Read also: Our 2-week Norway trip itinerary

So tell me – would you take the challenge and climb the Florli 4444 stairs, the longest wooden staircase in the world?

Disclaimer: This experience was sponsored by Region Stavanger and we were guests of Lysefjorden Adventure, but all opinions are as always our own.

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Hiking Florli 4444 - one of Norway's most epic hikes. #Norway #hike

Florli 4444 with kids - an epic hike in Stavanger region at Lyefjord in Norway. #Hiking #Norway
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Florli 4444 Epic Hike in Norway was last modified: October 16th, 2017 by Jurga

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Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, my son was so proud of himself for bounding up 1438 steps recently, this is a whole ‘nother level. On our list of things to climb now.

    1. Author

      1438 is a big achievement too, Kaylie. It’s only when you are actually standing there at 500, at 1000, at 1500… steps that you actually realise the magnitude of this hike!
      This is definitely the hike I will be recommending to everyone who loves challenges and epic experiences! If you ever make it there, I would love to hear about your experience!

  2. Beautiful post on Flori. I would love to go here and do this hike. I’ll follow all the advice given by you in your post.

  3. I love the looks of this hike – quite challenging, but doable! The scenery is magnificent – makes it worthwhile! We recently did a hike that was ‘the hike’ of our lives in New Zealand. Actually it is in my most recent post. Not sure if this would be more difficult or not. I know you did this one too https://adventurousretirement.com/blog/mountain-high-to-deep-waterways-lake-taupo-new-zealand/?fref=gc&dti=710248859052147. What do you think – was Florli more difficult?

    1. Author

      Hi Wendy. It’s a tough question. Tongariro crossing in New Zeland is extremely challenging too, mostly because it’s so long. I remember I could hardly walk the last few kilometres of it… It’s one of the toughest hikes we ever done for sure.
      Florli 4444 is very different. It’s a constant climb of 2 hours, which is really tough for your heart. And the hike down is quite steep as well.
      Difficult to compare. One thing is clear – they are both epic hikes and I feel privileged to have done both.

  4. Four THOUSAND four hundred and forty four steps? Two and a half hours! Good grief! You have a lot more stamina than me! Wow! Very cool. I sort of want to rise to the challenge, and the promise of amazing views tempts me but four THOUSAND four hundred and forty four steps!

    1. Author

      🙂 Your comment made me smile, Sol! It’s kind of what I was thinking during the hike… Exactly same words: four thousand four hundred and forty four steps. 🙂

  5. It’s a great post with beautiful pictures. I am not sure that I would make it to the top, but the views are awesome throughout the whole hike. Thank you for sharing this well kept Norwegian secret.

    1. Author

      Hi Natalia, glad you enjoyed it. The views were indeed spectacular and we were really lucky with the weather too.

  6. Oh wow this looks like a great hike though I think I would be tired after going up all those stairs. Glad to see that you got nice weather as well.

    1. Author

      I think you would love this hike, Melissa! It’s perfect for adventurous outdoor enthusiasts, like yourself! 😉 Indeed, we were extremely lucky with the weather that day, which made the whole experience even more enjoyable.

  7. An amazing achievement! I am not a fan of heights and rather badly at the moment I am not fit enough but I can imagine the sense of accomplishment when you reach that 4444 number!! And of course the views! Great reward!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Tracy. I know that this hike is definitely not for everyone, but if I could do it, I think most people in regular physical condition could as well.
      After you have seen and done so much, it’s sometimes difficult to still be really impressed by new places. Florli 4444 is one of those experiences with the WOW effect!

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