Licensed Guide and Norway Tour Planner

Lysefjord Guide

Lysefjord, located in southwestern Norway, is a majestic fjord that stretches about 42 kilometers (26 miles) long.

Flanked by towering granite cliffs that rise to heights of over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) in some places. One of the most iconic landmarks along the Lysefjord is the famous Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, a flat-topped cliff that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the fjord below.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Lysefjord in Norway largely depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and the type of experience you're seeking. Here are some considerations for different seasons:

Blog: See my packing list for Norway.

Summer (June to August): Summer is the most popular time to visit Lysefjord due to the milder temperatures and longer days. The weather is relatively comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This is an ideal time for hiking, boat cruises, and other outdoor activities. Keep in mind that summer is also the peak tourist season, so popular sites may be more crowded.

Spring (May to June) and Fall (September to October): Spring and fall offer a balance between fewer tourists and reasonably good weather. During these seasons, you can experience the beauty of blooming flowers in spring or the changing colors of autumn. Temperatures can vary, but you can generally expect cooler weather compared to summer.

Winter (November to March): Winter in Lysefjord can be a magical experience, especially if you enjoy a snowy landscape. While boat tours may be less frequent, the area transforms into a winter wonderland. If you're a fan of winter sports like skiing or simply want to experience the fjord in a quieter setting, visiting during the winter months can be a unique and serene experience. Keep in mind that some hiking trails may be closed or challenging due to snow and ice.

Getting Into

The Lysefjord is quite secluded with road (523) reaching the western part and the scenic FV500 road reaching the end of the fjord at Lysebotn. Most travel to the Lysefjord for a day trip to either hike the Pulpit Rock, Kjeragbolten, and/or do a fjord cruise, and keep the nearby town of Stavanger as their base.

Bus: The Company Go Fjords has an Express-bus taking you to Øygardsstøl, for those who want to hike up to Kjeragbolten (The Kjerag Boulder). They also offer a bus that takes you to the starting point of the hiking trail for Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock).

Ferry: Lysefjorden 365 is a ferry company with several options for cruising on the Lysefjord. Their ferries stop at several of the main docks throughout the fjord. Rødne has a ferry heading to Flørli, where you can climb the Flørli stairs. Go Fjords operates a summer fjord cruise with one of their ferries.

Car: There are plenty of parking spots along the fjord where you can start various hikes. Find the Preikestolen parking here and the Kjerag parking here. The drive on FV550 to Lysebotn is a scenic and winding road which can be a fun experience. Rent a car in Norway here.

Village in Lysefjord next to the water

Places to Stay

Most who visit the lysefjord will end up staying in Stavanger (see my guide for Stavanger), but if you’d like to stay in the fjord area closer to nature there are a few options.

The Gøysa Farm is located at the west end of the Lysefjord in the small village of Forsand. It’s a family friendly place with their own playground and there is a grill you can use for cooking. The scenery is beautiful here and the area is great for biking trips.

If you plan on hiking the Pulpit Rock and want to stay nearby the hiking trail, then you could spend a couple of nights at the Hikers Camp which is part of the Pulpit Rock basecamp. Accommodations are small solid tent-like structures and you need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Further inside the fjord is the Flørli 4444 hostel which is a basic, but great option for staying deep inside the fjord and have easy access to the 4,444 steps (hence the hostel name) taking you up the mountain side with great views of the fjord.

If you are looking for some luxury accommodation, head to the Bolder Lodge nearby the Pulpit Rock. This place was designed by the architecture firm Snøhetta (designed the Opera House in Oslo) and is a architectural gem located high above the fjord.

Note that prices for hotels highly fluctuate throughout the year, and if you book early you can sometimes find good deals! The high season in Norway goes from June to August.

Places to Eat

Many end up renting a place with a kitchen and do some of their own cooking, and pack big lunches suited for long hikes.

You can find some restaurants/cafés in either Jørpeland, Flørli or Lysebotn.

Things to Do

Lysefjord is known for offering a range of outdoor activities and breathtaking natural attractions.

Here are some of my favorite things to do in and around Lysefjord:

Fjord cruises

The Lysefjord is surrounded by steep dramatic mountain sides, which makes it ideal for fjord cruises. Starting in Stavanger, you can join the Rødne Lysefjord Cruise which makes three stops along the way, including below the Pulpit Rock. The silent electric ferry makes this a very enjoyable cruise.

For a higher pace, check out this RIB-fjord cruise from Stavanger to the Lysefjord.

For another type of cruise take a guided kayak-tour bringing you close to wildlife and the scenery.

Hiking

Lysefjorden offers a lot of possibilities for hiking, but there are three hikes that are particularly popular. The most well-known being the hike up to Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock). To hike up is moderately-demanding and you can expect the hike to be about 4-5 hours round-trip. It’s advisable to be well-equipped with good shoes, hiking clothes, and something warm and waterproof. Check out the page of Visit Norway for more information on this hike.

For Guided tours of the Pulpit Rock I’d check out: GetYourGuide and Pulpit Rock Tours.

The second most famous hike is up to Kjeragbolten (The Kjerag Boulder). This is basically a big boulder jammed in between two mountain sides. Being able to stand on top of the boulder makes for some very memorable photos. In addition to that, it’s a great hike which I can highly recommend. The hike is a bit longer (6-10 hours) than the Pulpit Rock and you should be in a fairly good condition to enjoy it. Check out the page of Visit Norway for more information on this hike.

For guided tours of the Kjerag Boulder I’d check out: GetYourGuide and Lysefjorden Adventure.

A third hike goes up the 4444 stairs of Flørli. The stairs follow next to the two water pipelines and the rails where a trolley used to transport people and materials up and down the mountain. This is a fairly easy 3-4 hour hike, and you can find more information here.

woman sitting on the edge of a mountain on a summer day

How to Get Around

Public transportation

The Lysefjord has road access to the west and east (end) part, and there are several ferry companies connecting smaller villages along the fjord. Most who explore the Lysefjord end up staying in Stavanger, and do day trips from there.

The website ENTUR can be helpful for planning public transportation in the area.

woman sitting on the edge of a mountain on a summer day

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