A spotlight on Norway’s Preikestolen
Charlotte, one of our Nordic Travel Specialists, heads to Fjord Norway to discover the area’s astounding natural beauty and local charm.
Otherwise known as the Preacher’s Pulpit due to its resemblance to a pulpit from below, Preikestolen is an impressive rock formation in the Ryfylke area of the Norwegian Fjords. I embarked on a three-hour hike to the top in the summer, and the view that was waiting for me was simply out-of-this-world.
With weather conditions similar to those in the UK, I set off prepared for all weather conditions on a 2½ mile hike to the 300 metre-high clifftop. I was previously advised that the hike would be easy and that children and dogs often use the trail, and sure enough – I spotted children and even a Chihuahua tackling the rocky path ahead!
Both the start of the hike and the middle of the trail are known as the hardest parts due to the steady incline, and the steep stairs in the middle proved to be a little testing – but a big gulp of water, shedding a few layers and a dash of self-motivation soon got me to the top.
Nothing could have prepared me for the view at the summit. The rock juts out over the fjord and the scenery is simply breathtaking. From the deep blue water below and beyond, to the contrasting grey rocks dotted with lush green trees as far as the eye could see – I was in awe. Scenes of fellow-hikers in multi-coloured jackets brandishing selfie-sticks and dangling their legs over the cliff edge was a sight indeed, and one that twisted my stomach in knots just watching as they dare to take snaps from great heights!
Coming down from the rock proved a little bit more challenging, due to the amount of people exploring the beauty of Preikestolen. In fact, there have been over 40,000 visitors this summer alone, and large groups of cruise ship guests are taken on guided tours along the trail.
Once you reach the bottom of the rock, there is a small shop which sells a selection of drinks and snacks, as well as a handful of local souvenirs. You can also book a range of nearby activities which include paddleboarding in the fjord, zipwiring activities and more.
Charlotte’s top tips for hiking Preikestolen
Arrive early to beat the crowds
- Bring plenty of food and drink – eating your lunch at the top of the summit is a glorious experience
- Be aware of your surroundings: the trail has recently been widened, but you may still have to let people pass occasionally
- Do be careful on the cliff edge, particularly in wet weather conditions
- Ensure you’re wearing enough layers. Whilst it can get warm on your hike, your temperature will drop rapidly when cooling down
Don’t forget your camera!