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

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

Visiting Stavanger in Norway 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 on Viator or directly with Rodne Fjord Cruise.

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. 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 very expensive here. So if you want to save time and money, you better pack a picnic and some snacks. The prices in Norway are very high, especially in the rural areas.

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.
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 Norway:

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

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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Monday 12th of September 2022

Hi, we are going to Stavenger October 13. Can we still hiking to pulpit rock. the tour "pulpit rock and hike in style" date stop on September 30th. Rodne fjord cruise still available in October


Monday 12th of September 2022

@Jurga, Thank you. I think it is make senses that the day become shorter and we cannot do 2 in 1 anymore.


Monday 12th of September 2022

Hi Andreas, from what I see, the cruise & hike combo is indeed only available until September. So you'd have to do the two separately. I guess it could be due to the fact that the days are much shorter, so maybe there's not enough daylight for both on the same day. I'm not sure though. It's possible that there is simply less demand and it makes no sense for them to have the bus running.

chaitra harsha

Thursday 8th of September 2022

hi, this is amazing. can the cruise be booked one way so that i do pulpit rock hike and head back on my own?


Thursday 8th of September 2022

Hi, unless you book some guided tour and simply go with a cruise+ hike option, the hike is always unguided. So you hike on your own. First, you do the cruise. Then they drop you off at the bus that takes you to the trailhead, and from there on, you are alone. I think that nowadays they have a bus to take you back to Stavanger, but I'm not sure if it's just one bus at a specific time (I doubt it), or they have a few buses that you can take depending on when you get back down from the mountain (I think it's the case indeed). In any case, if you stay much longer or decide to camp or whatever, nobody will be expecting you back. So you'll have to get back to Stavanger on your own (be sure to research how you'll do it and how late buses run).


Saturday 16th of July 2022

This is just what I was looking for, thanks so much.


Tuesday 19th of July 2022

Glad to help. Have a great time in Stavanger!

Rosemary M

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Your website has been so helpful in planning our trip! Do you think the cruise is worth the money if we are already going to see Sognefjord and Geirangerfjord? Thanks!


Saturday 4th of June 2022

Hi Rosemary, we did all three of these fjords and enjoyed them all. While each is somewhat different, of course, it's also a rather similar experience. So you don't absolutely have to see each of them. We did the Lysefjord cruise in combination with the Pulpit Rock hike and then the other day - on our way to Florli4444 hike. So for us, it was just part of the day that included other great attractions/ hikes as well. In both cases, we found it totally worth it. If you are only in Stavanger for one day, you can easily fill the day just visiting the city (but visiting all the museums, etc. won't be cheap either - but really interesting too) - see our guide to the best things to do in Stavanger. But if you have more than a day in the city and the weather is nice, I'd definitely do it (potentially in combination with one of the hikes, as we did). Have a great trip!

Jennifer Frankenhoff

Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences, I’ve enjoyed following along! I’m heading to Stavanger next week and would love to fit in both the Lysefjord cruise and Pulpit Rock hike in the same day also. I can’t seem to locate the combination tour, did you book the morning hike to the Pulpit Rock and then the cruise separately? I’m wondering if I’ll have enough time to do the 5am hike and be back to make the 10am cruise? Thank you again for your recommendations!!

Jennifer Frankenhoff

Wednesday 4th of May 2022


Thank you soooo much for the quick responses and additional information!! I’m really looking forward to the trip and wish I had more time to explore. Many thanks, again!


Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Hi Jennifer, all the info is in our article, but indeed some tours are now unavailable so I updated those links. Anyway, I was able to find this tour on Viator that is exactly what we did - the cruise and then hike (on our own). Or you can also book it on Rodne website as explained in the article. You don't have to return to the city. After visiting the fjord, the cruise drops you off where there's a bus waiting to bring you to Preikestolen. After the hike, you have to return to the city on your own, which is really easy to do too. If you absolutely want to have a guide for your hike, then you'll have to do these two trips separately (see tours here), but if you don't mind hiking on your own, these are really the best options. And no, even if you take a 5am trip, you won't be back in the city at 10am. Most Preikestolen hike tours from Stavanger and back take about 9 hours. Have a wonderful trip!

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