In August 2013 Sue and I walked the Lysefjorden Rundt. We found information about walking this route as a multi-day hike to be very incomplete, with very little either online or printed. The information we did find was limited to bland waymark lists or very scant descriptions… these web pages are an attempt to redress the balance.
Where is the Lysefjorden Rundt?
In the southwestern corner of Norway lies the port city of Stavanger. A few kilometres to the east lies the mighty west-east running Lysefjorden (the fjord of Light). At the head of the fjord lies Lysebotn village: a scattering of houses, a campsite, bar, cafe/info point/shop and a hostel. The walk takes in two famous points that are much photographed. The Preikestolen Rock, that juts out 650 metres above the waters beneath and the Kjeragbolten, a teardrop-shaped rock wedged between two vertical faces 1000 metres above the water! Two reasons to visit but lying in between the two is a fascinating, and in places hard, mountain walk that should take the average walker eight to ten days.
The comments below are based entirely on our experience of walking this route in the summer of 2013. Things change, we might have got things wrong. The intention is solely to give you more information than is out there already!
Getting to Lysefjorden
If your starting point is Stavanger and you don’t have a car, the best way is to join the tourist masses and take the Tau Ferry from Stavanger harbour. During the walking season, a bus meets many of the ferries at Tau to whisk expectant day walkers up to the Preikestolen Hostel for the four hour walk up to the Preikestolen Rock and back. They’ll be buying a return ticket with Ferry included, you’ll be buying a one way ticket and will have a slightly trepidatious smug grin on your face.
The trip takes about an hour from the ferry terminal to the hostel. The bus deposits you in the car park where there is a large loo block, a water tap and a small refreshment/souvenir shop. If you’ve become addicted to the Norwegian Hot Dogs (Ferry Dogs as they have been christened by our Norway living English friends who have to have one whenever they go on a ferry!), they sell them here and if you’re addicted, they will be your last for a few days! The hostel offers food, drink and accommodation if you plan to start the walk the following day, or back down the access road there is a campsite (but you should have got off the bus already!)
What happens at the end?
Apart from being able to bathe your feet in the Fjord, that depends on where you finish. Our last day was from the non-existent campsite at Fossmark down the road to Nedreidane and to the edge of the Fjord, where we hitched from a passing camper van to Forsand to discover that there was no boat back to Stavanger, so we walked back to the bridge tunnel entrance and hitched again and got a lift all the way back to Tau. We had urgent reasons to get out of the hills that day and get back to Tau and Stavanger quickly.
We also contemplated exiting via the Vindalen valley and getting the early bus on Monday morning (the only bus of the week) to Forsand and on to Tau. The other option was at Nedreidane to follow the lake-side path south west past Haukalivatnet and to Forsand. We did ask Stavanger Turistforenings (the body who oversees and waymarks the trails in this area) for information about buses out, only to be told that they couldn’t help as they didn’t deal with buses!
Hitching seems quite easy in our limited experience. We were carrying rucksacks and looked the part (they couldn’t smell us before we were onboard!)
The Lysefjorden Rundt Walk
I’m not going to describe the route in detail. The Lysefjorden Turkart 1:50000 map is detailed enough and presents you with various route options especially on the southern side. What I will do is give you a few clues as to what to expect along the way on each day (and explain why we didn’t do the full circuit!)
You’ll get information about the huts (some pages are in English) and membership of Stavanger Turistforening on their website.
Click on the links below for more details of the days as we planned them and what we actually did