Probably one of the best cruise excursions to do in Norway is the hike to the iconic Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock, at least when your ship pays a visit to Stavanger.

The big question: how difficult is it?

Cruise ship and nearby ferry terminal

Before showing some photos I would like to give you some facts:

The excursion package sold onboard your ship includes: a ten-minute bus ride to the ferry terminal, a 35-minute ferry crossing followed by some more time in the bus (25 min), and the identical return trip.

A guide will accompany the group, and the ship will provide a packed lunch.

The hike itself takes two hours up, and two hours down. If you’re a fast hiker you will have one hour on the Pulpit Rock.

The total duration of the excursion is typically 8 hours maximum.

Some important remarks to make you hike enjoyable and successful:

Have good hiking shoes. (we saw people dressed as if they were going to a gala evening)

Wear multiple layers of clothes, which will allow you to adjust according to the changing temperature. It can be hot when you start the hike, and cold and windy once up. The effort will also make you sweat. It is important to wear fabrics that are breathable, moisture wicking.

A rucksack is good to be able to walk hands free, to put your extra clothes in, and to carry water and lunch.

Take sun protection: oil, glasses, hat.

Take something for when it rains. In Norway you never now.

Take some extra food, such as energy bars, fruit, chocolate.. according to your taste. Often the packed lunch is not enough. If you are used to drink a lot do not forget extra water.

During the hike, keep on focusing on where you put your feet. If you want to look around, stop for a minute.

Once up: be careful. There is no fence (which is fantastic).

Be back on time. 

Let’s now have a look at some pictures, to give you an idea what you can expect.

The path is well marked.

The car park is 270m above the sea level. The Preikestolen is 604m high. The hike is 3,8km and takes two hours each way.

Time to start the return journey.

Traffic jam on a difficult point.

Hopefully the photos gave you a good idea. As you can see it is a wonderful hike for anyone who has a good condition. No need to be superman!

Text and photos: Mike Louagie