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

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

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. But you don’t have to worry about any practicalities if you book this combination trip (Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike), because everything is extremely well organized and explained.

Below you can read about our experience with doing the Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike in one day, as a day trip from Stavanger. 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. We 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.

Good to know: Please note that at the moment, the boat stops at Forsand and not in Oanes as it did in the past. But the rest is the same – you take the bus from there to the Pulpit Rock trailhead. The company has a bus waiting for you when the boat arrives – it’s all very well organized.

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 Base Camp). 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 98 NOK (+- 10 EUR), the main fish- or meat course costs about 280 NOK (+-30 EUR), 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 guide via the link below.

LEARN MORE: Pulpit Rock Hike

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?

Bus from Pulpit Rock to Stavanger

When we visited, the trip back to Stavanger involved a bus followed by a ferry. However, after the opening of the new sub-sea tunnel, the trip back to Stavanger can now be done with a direct bus.

When we traveled, the ticket price for the bus was included in the Rodne Pulpit Rock cruise & hike combination ticket. From what I see, it’s the case now as well.

The bus picks you up after the hike, at around 6 PM, and you’re back in Stavanger at around 7 PM. That’s at least an hour faster than the bus + ferry combo in the past.

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. Nowadays, you just take a bus.
 

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 July and August, they sometimes offer additional trips as well.
  • Plan the whole day for the Lysefjord cruise and the Preikestolen hike. In summer (May – September), you’ll leave Stavanger at around 10 AM and be back at around 7 PM. In winter, you should do the hike with a guide!
  • Lysefjord cruise can be done by anyone, but the Pulpit Rock hike requires good physical condition. That being said, our kids of 6-8 years old could easily do the hike.
  • 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 Base Camp.
  • If you rather not worry about the practical side of planning this trip or if you are visiting in winter, 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!
 
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Maria

Friday 19th of April 2019

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

Jurga

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

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.

Flor Martin

Sunday 20th of January 2019

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!

Jurga

Monday 21st of January 2019

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.

Bernadette

Sunday 27th of August 2017

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.

Jurga

Monday 28th of August 2017

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.

Lien

Sunday 27th of August 2017

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

Jurga

Monday 28th of August 2017

Thanks a lot, Lien.

Tamsin

Saturday 26th of August 2017

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

Nana

Friday 10th of January 2020

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.

Jurga

Saturday 26th of August 2017

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.

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