Preikestolen Sunrise Hike

Discover the most famous lookout of Norway, and avoid the tourists

Seeing the sunrise on the Preikestolen is a unique excursion. The Preikestolen has been on my Bucket List for years. But I also read about crowds and so it never happened. Until I heard about the Sunrise hike to Preikestolen. That sounds very good. So I go out; in the middle of the night. On foot to one of the sights in the mighty Norwegian fjords.

The Preikestolen is a cliff that towers 605 meters above the Lysefjord. The top of this remarkable plateau in Norway is a square of 25 meters and practically flat. It offers a spectacular view.

The hike to Preikestolen

The trail to the top of the Preikestolen is about 6 kilometers (one and a half hours), and the views are more than worth the effort. The Preikestolen is a cliff towering 605 meters above the Lysefjord. Bring a picnic basket and check the weather in advance, because fog or rain could spoil your day.

Consider that with 200,000 hikers a year, this is the most popular of all hikes in Norway. So it can be really busy here at times. But there is an alternative.

How can I avoid the tourists on Preikestolen?

Hiking at dawn to the Preikestolen. ©Corno van den Berg

You can go on a so called Preikestolen Sunrise Hike where you (hopefully) will see the sun rise over the fjord whilst standing on the top. Even if it is cloudy, it is still quite spectacular.

You leave in the middle of the night with a guide. As dawn settles you will slowly start to see the contours of the landscape. By the time you have reached the top, you will see the sun rising over the fjord.

Chances of mist

I was unlucky to be in the mist in the morning. ©Corno van den Berg

It is half past four in the morning. When I get to the top I see only one thing: dense fog. I am fed up, but I can also enjoy the thick tufts of clouds that pass by. It gives everything a unique atmosphere.

My guide says this can happen with nature. It is Mother Nature reigning here. We wait an hour, but it doesn't clear up. It's time to go back. The Outdoorlife Norway guide shows photos from the day before. I don't want to keep that from you ...

The moment before the sun comes up at the Preikestolen Sunrise Hike.
The first sunlight of the Sunrise Hike.
Enjoying the Sunrise Hike.
A view at the fjord in the early morning.

Remarkably, there is no fence here. You can just look straight over the edge, into the fjord. It can be chilly in the early morning, so dress well. It can also be slippery due to rainfall, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear.

How do I get there?

The Preikestolen is a 2-hour drive from Stavanger. Most guided hikes will leave from Stavanger.

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