Lysefjord cruise and Preikestolen hike one day trip from Stavanger

Lysefjord Cruise & Pulpit Rock Hike (How to Do It in One Day)

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Visiting Stavanger and wondering how to do a Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike in one day? This article is for you!

Most people come to Stavanger for two reasons – to see the famous Lysefjord and to do one of the most iconic hikes of Norway – Preikestolen, or the Pulpit Rock. When I first started planning our 2-week Norway trip, however, I thought that you need two days in order to do both – the Lysefjord cruise and the Pulpit Rock hike.

Every guidebook, every website seemed to suggest that Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock require two separate trips on two separate days. Luckily, we found a combination tour of the Lysefjord Cruise and Pulpit Rock hike that allowed us to do both in one day.

TIP: If you have no time to read about our experience, you can find more information and book this day trip here.

Rodne fjord cruise in Stavanger offers the best way to visit Lysefjord and do the Pulpit Rock hike in one day
Our boat for the Lysefjord Cruise
 

If you have more time in Stavanger, you can, of course, make these two trips separately. However, there is so much more to see and do in this beautiful region.

If you can save some time (and money) by combining these two trips in one day, it leaves you more time to explore the amazing museums in Stavanger (the Norwegian Canning Museum is a must!) or do some more hiking in the area (we highly recommend Florli 4444).

Stavanger is a perfect base for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts, so if you love nature, plan at least 3-4 nights in town. Here you can find some more ideas for the best things to do in Stavanger.

Lysefjord Cruise & Pulpit Rock Hike

Traveling around the Stavanger region might seem a bit overwhelming at first. For example, to get to the Pulpit Rock trailhead you need to take a ferry, a bus, and then again a bus and a ferry back. And then you still didn’t see the famous Lysefjord…

But you don’t have to worry about any practicalities if you book this combination trip, as everything is extremely well organized and explained.

Below you can read about our experience with doing Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike in one day. Find out!

Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike trip map
Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike trip map
 

Lysefjord Cruise

At 10 AM we took a boat from Skagenkaien – it’s located at the main harbor in Stavanger city center. We spent a bit more than two hours on the water sailing deep into the Lysefjord, passing some beautiful islands and idyllically located colorful houses that are so typical for Norway.

The boat is big and comfortable, it has all the facilities and a beautiful indoor setting area with huge windows on all sides, or you can choose to stand on one of the decks outside.

On the morning we visited, we had the worst weather: it was cold, it was raining, and the wind was literally blowing you off the deck, so it was difficult to stay outside all the time.

Beautiful coastline scenery of Lysefjord near Stavanger in Norway
Idyllic coastline scenery of the Lysefjord!
Lysefjord cruise near Stavanger in Norway
The whole cruise from beginning till the end is simply stunning
 

Luckily, the fjord was incredibly beautiful even in the rain, and we still spent as much time as we could outside. And yes, we needed really warm and waterproof clothing to actually be able to enjoy it.

What makes this Lysefjord cruise trip great is that the boat slows down at the most beautiful places and gives you lots of explanation about everything you see along the way. The commentary is available in several languages. There were lots of people on board on the day of our visit, but it never felt crowded.

Goats seen from the Lysefjord cruise
Our boat even stopped to watch the goats
Preikestolen as seen from Lysefjord cruise
Can you spot Preikestolen – the Pulpit Rock?
Hengjanefossen waterfall as seen from Lysefjord cruise in Norway
Hengjanefossen waterfall is one of the highlights of Lysefjord cruise
 

Transfer to the Pulpit Rock Trailhead

After a 2-hr Lysefjord cruise, around noon, our boat made a short stop in the tiny harbor of Oanes to drop off the passengers with the combination ticket for the hike.

Only a handful of people left the boat together with us. There was a bus waiting for us at the harbor, and 20 minutes later we were at the Pulpit Rock trailhead.

As I said, it was raining in the morning, but the weather forecast for Preikestolen showed dry weather in the afternoon. So instead of continuing straight to the Pulpit Rock, we decided to have a relaxing lunch first and wait for the rain to stop. And it did!

There is a lodge with a restaurant at the Pulpit Rock trailhead (Preikestolen Mountain Lodge). You can get a snack or a warm meal here, use a bathroom, refill your water bottles, or just warm up on a rainy day.

Note that food is extremely expensive here. The cheapest meal is a bowl of soup that costs 98NOK (11EUR), the main fish- or meat course costs about 280NOK (30EUR), etc. So you better pack a picnic and some snacks. Actually, these are the standard prices in Norway, except for the cities and bigger places where there is a bit more competition.

Lysefjord cruise with kids
Lysefjord is stunning even in the rain
 

Pulpit Rock Hike

The hike to Pulpit Rock is about 4km and 2 hours each way (so 8km, 3-4 hours in total). Some experienced hikers will say it’s an easy hike, but for us regular folks it definitely isn’t.

It’s a moderate hike with several steep climbs along the way, and you definitely need proper hiking shoes for Preikestolen. In dry weather, you might be ok in sneakers, but when it’s wet (and it usually is), you will need sturdy walking shoes with a good grip. The reviews from other travelers show that most people underestimate this hike.

The Pulpit Rock hike is not just about the Preikestolen itself. The scenery along the way is beautiful. And once you get to the top you will be rewarded by the most spectacular view over Lysefjord! We were extremely lucky that it stopped raining and there was no mist, so we could enjoy the view to the fullest.

Scenery along the way to the Pulpit Rock
Scenery along the way to the Pulpit Rock
Preikestolen hike is more than just the Pulpit Rock itself
Preikestolen hike is more than just the Pulpit Rock itself
Hiking to Preikestolen with the beautiful views over Lysefjord
Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the views along the way!
 

After a bit less than 2 hours we reached the Pulpit Rock. It was just as spectacular as I had imagined!

Also, it was a bit intimidating! The sheer drop of this 604-meter rock is dizzying to say the least. You better don’t look straight down when you stand on the edge. And please don’t do any stupid things and stay safe!

The hike back down took us about 1h30.

You can find more detailed information about this hike in our post about hiking to the Pulpit Rock.

How to do Pulpit Rock hike and Lysefjord cruise in one day
And then here it was – the PulpitRock!
Preikestolen - one of the most iconic hikes in Norway
Can you spot me on the Pulpit Rock?

From Pulpit Rock to Stavanger

The trip back to Stavanger requires you to take a bus to Tau and then from there a ferry to Stavanger. There are several bus companies doing this trip. The bus schedule is always in line with the ferry schedule to minimize waiting times.

The ticket price for the bus with Boreal is included in the Rodne Pulpit Rock cruise and hike combination ticket. There are buses approximately every hour, so check the schedule before you start your hike so that you know when to start hiking back down. The busses and ferries run till late in the evening in summer, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the hike without having to worry.

The ferry is operated by yet another company and this is the only ticket that is not included in this trip. You have to buy the ticket on the ferry itself, and it costs 56NOK (6EUR) for adults and half-price for the children.

We were back at the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge at around 6.20 PM. We had to wait 20min for the next bus. At 7.30 PM we were on the ferry on the way back to Stavanger. And at 8.15 PM we were back at our hotel. It was a long, but beautiful day. A great start of our two-week Norway trip!

To reach the Pulpit Rock trailhead - take a ferry from Stavanger to Tau followed by a bus to the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge
Car and passenger ferry from Stavanger to Tau
 

Practical Information for Lysefjord Cruise and Pulpit Rock Hike

  • There are daily departures with Rodne boats from Stavanger, from May till September, at 10 AM. In addition, there is an additional departure at noon in July and August.
  • Plan the whole day for the Lysefjord cruise and the Preikestolen hike. We took it easy and were back in town after 8 PM. If you are in a hurry, you could be back earlier, just plan well.
  • Lysefjord cruise can be done by anyone, but the Pulpit Rock hike requires good physical condition. Our kids of 6-8 years old could easily do the hike (quicker than us :)).
  • Dress in layers and carry a rain jacket. Wear good hiking shoes. Pack a picnic and carry plenty of drinking water. You can refill your bottles at Preikestolen Mountain Lodge.
  • For more practical information, check Rodne Fjord Cruise website.
  • If you rather not worry about the practical side of planning this trip, you can also opt for a guided Lysefjord Cruise & Pulpit Rock Hike tour. You can check availability and book this tour here.
Admiring the stunning views over Lysefjord on the hike to the Pulpit Rock
Aren’t these views simply stunning!
 
More tips for your trip to Stavanger:

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How to do both - Lysefjord cruise and the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) hike from Stavanger in one day. See two iconic highlights of Norway in just one day!
 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice. We’ll be on a cruise ship that will doc at 7.00 and leave at 18.00, do you think we’ll manage it? How long does the bus and boat trip take? We’ll be 4 adults and 2 children aged 10 & 7. Thanks Maria

    1. Author

      Hi Maria, I think it’s a bit too stretched and you risk missing the ship in the evening.
      The problem is that if you want to do both – the fjord and the Preikestolen hike, you can only start at 10AM as that’s when the boat leaves from Stavanger – please check the website of the company that runs these Lysefjord/ Pulpit Rock combination tours for more info.
      After the fjord cruise, they drop you off in Oanes, from where there is a bus to the trailhead of the Pulpit Rock hike. Then it all really depends on how fast you hike, when you can get the bus back to the boat in Tau, and at what time there is a boat from Tau to Stavanger. I just checked, we took the 10AM cruise and were back in Stavanger at around 8PM. So even if you hike fast and even if you get an earlier bus and an earlier boat, it will be very stressful.

      I think that you should look if the cruise company maybe has a similar tour that leaves immediately after the ship docks in town – then it would certainly be possible. Alternatively, I suggest you either do the Lysefjord cruise in combination with visiting the highlights of Stavanger town OR you do just the Pulpit Rock hike (so go there by ferry+bus first thing in the morning and don’t wait for the fjord cruise).

      If you don’t know where to start and don’t want to worry about the practical aspects of planning the hike, you can also book a guided Pulpit Rock hike. From what I see, it starts at around 7.15AM and lasts about 9 hours, so it would be just about right for you. I know the guy who runs this tour (we did the Florli4444 hike with him) and he’s great and very flexible.
      Hope this helps.

  2. Beautiful! Would it be safe to do the hike if alone? I wonder if there would be other hikers around if I needed help. Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Flor, yes, absolutely, you can hike to the Pulpit Rock on your own. If you travel in high season, there are always people around. If you travel in winter, early spring or late autumn, however, then no, I wouldn’t advice to attempt this on your own. In that case, better hire a local guide.

  3. What a spectacular place! I think even 3 metres from the edge might be a bit close for me, but I hear what you say about the safety – it’s just my fear of heights talking. Great advice from you too about maximising your time there. I like that the boat slowed down to give you a good look around.

    1. Author

      That’s indeed the idea behind this post, Bernadette – to give people an idea on how to get the most of their time in Stavanger. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Wow, what a views and what an adventure! It is amazing you can take your 3 little boy across the globe!

  5. Wow! off to Norway in November. Wish I had more time to visit some of these places. Thanks.

    1. Author

      I think that you can still do both – Lysefjord cruise and the hike (weather permitting) in November too, Tamsin. But not on the same day. UPDATE 28/8/17: see below – apparently it’s possible to do the combination trip in winter months as well – see below.

      1. Still possible in one day. November is normally no problem if well dressed.

        1. Author

          You are right! Just checked it again and the combination trips indeed run on certain days in winter too. If I see it right, from Wednesday to Sunday leaving Stavanger at 11AM (November to March). Thanks for sharing this, somehow I thought that combination trips didn’t go in winter. Just wonder how many hours of daylight do you have to finish the hike before it gets dark…

          1. Author

            Just an update (Aug 2018), I see that the situation has changed again and while Lysefjord cruise runs the whole year round, cruise&hike option is now only available from the 1st of May till the 30th of September.

    2. Hi Jurga,

      Lovely post and very helpful to us as we are planning to visit Norway this July. I was wondering if it’s possible to stay overnight in Stryn and the next day go hike up to see the glacier. Would you recommend this? Or is it better to stay in Geiranger. It’s just that the drive from Sogndal to Geiranger is a bit long in one day so we are thinking of breaking it up to two days with an overnight in Stryn.

      Appreciated if you could share insights.

      Thank you so much in advance.

      1. Author

        Hi Nana, you got me confused asking about this in a post about completely another area of Norway :).
        Anyway, there are some camping accommodations close to the Briksdal glacier, if I recall well, and there is a lodge there but I have no idea what kind of lodging it has. But if you want to stay at a hotel, it’s best to stay in Loen. Hotel Alexandra is probably the nicest hotel in that area (not to say the only hotel).
        Alternatively, there are some apartments and holiday homes in Olden.
        Stryn is a bit further away, but it has a bit more going on in terms of accommodation and restaurants.
        It’s about 2-2,5hrs drive from Geiranger to the Briksdal glacier one way. Doable as a day trip, but if you want to spend more time, you may want to stay nearby. It’s really up to you. In our Norway itinerary you can find info on how we did it.
        Whatever you decide, book quickly because there are just very few accommodation options close to that glacier. Same counts for Geiranger, which is extremely popular.

  6. Preikestolen was a major highlight when we went to Norway – I was far too terrified of the drop to stand as close to the edge as you did!!

    1. Author

      It really looks worse than it is, Suzie! We were at least 2-3 meters from all sides. That being said, yes, it’s a place where you have to be really careful. No picture is worth the risks of jumping for joy next to the edge or hanging with your feet down…

  7. Seriously Jurga I cannot believe the views you experienced, and I would totally do this cruise – I’m definitely bookmarking it and checking them out. You photo alone of the pulpit makes me feel nauseous!

    1. Author

      Haha, Alex, I am sure you are not the only one! It’s really a surreal feeling standing there and looking down. You would love this area for sure! Nature is spectacular and with the cruise it is also extremely accessible to everyone. But if you hike a bit, I would really recommend the Pulpit Rock hike – it’s simply stunning! Just try to imagine how the views would be when it’s sunny!

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