Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There’s just no two ways about it. Personally, I think it’s up there with Iceland when it comes to natural beauty. While that beauty isn’t cheap (Norway is the 4th most expensive country in the world) it is definitely worth a visit. While most backpackers spend a couple days in Oslo before moving on, there are some amazing places to visit in Norway if you’re willing to stretch your legs.
An 8 hour drive from Oslo, Preikestolen is one of the best views in the country. Known as Preacher’s Pulpit, Preacher’s Chair, or Pulpit Rock in English, Preikestolen is a natural rock outcropping that stands over 604m (1,982ft) above the Lysefjorden. Over 200,000 people visit Pulpit Rock every year, and those numbers are just going to increase. If you want to visit Pulpit Rock without the crowds, here are my tips to help you get the most out of your visit!
Hiking Preacher’s Pulpit
The hike up to the Preacher’s Chair takes around 90-120 minutes if you’re in decent shape. The trail is 6km and it’s a relatively easy hike. If you’re not in the best of shape you might want to allow 2 hours each way for ample breaks. It starts off steep and there are plenty of stairs to keep you out of breath. But the view is worth the effort, I promise!
Just to be safe, plan for 2 hours up and 2 hours down. Chances are you can do each quicker, but better to be safe than sorry. If you’re visiting in the shoulder season (Spring/Fall) then make sure you start before 2pm. Starting any later than that and you’ll likely be hiking in the dark on your way down — so be sure to get there early!
While admission to hike is free, there is a parking fee of 200 NOK (you’ll pay this by credit card; it’s an automated gate). At the parking lot you’ll also find bathrooms, a restaurant, and a place to fill up your water (plus some other touristy things like a place to go zip lining).
Tips for Visiting Pulpit Rock
Hike during the week to beat the crowds. Avoid the main summer months (June/July) if you can.
For a more unique visit you can actually camp near the summit of Preacher’s Chair. If I had camping gear with me I would have definitely done this!
To get more epic photos, take shots from the side of Pulpit Rock. Additionally, you can climb up above Preacher’s Chair to get an even more unique angle.
Drones are not allowed at Preikestolen, so leave your drone in the car!
Make sure to fill up your water bottle at the bottom. The hike is easy, but you don’t want to get dehydrated!
It can get windy at the top, so bring gloves and a rain coat/windbreaker just in case (even if it’s warm, bring these because it gets cool at the top).
Bring a headlamp/flashlight if you’re starting early or finishing late. Making the hike in the dark would not be enjoyable!
Consider staying in nearby Jørpeland. There are plenty of affordable Airbnb’s and it’s only a short drive away.
For the most up-to-date information, check out the official Preacher’s Chair Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/preikestolenofficial/
Have you hiked up to the Preacher’s Pulpit? Have any tips to share? Leave a comment and let me know!