After spending our first day in Norway Hiking Prekestolen (Pulpit Rock), we treated ourselves with the hike to Kjerag on the following day. Did I say a treat? It was like those sour and sweet candies. It was challenging at the steep start but as soon you see the views opening before you, you can feel the sweetness🍬
Transfer to Kjerag
As you may know from the Peikestolen hike blog, we based ourselves in Stavanger. This time we did not use a ferry or coach/bus to get to the start of the hike. We rented a car from Stavanger, which was a more economical option for a group of 4 people. The drive from Stavanger to Kjerag parking through was around 2.5h one way and we had no problem in using Google maps for navigation. We left around 08:00 and by the time we got to Kjerag Parking it was already busy with cars/vans/motorcycles. The parking cost us 200NOK. The parking as in Preikestolen had toilets, water for refilling your bottles, and restaurant/cafe. Interestingly, you are already 640 meters above the sea level at the car park!
If you do not drive, there is a coach (pre-book) operating between Stavanger and Øygardstøl. It leaves Stavanger at 07:30 in the morning and leaves Øygardstøl at 16:15, so you have enough time to complete the hike. The price is 630NOK.
Hike to Kjearg
Kjerag is another iconic hike in Norway, best known for the famous Kjeragbolten. Kjerag peak is the highest of the peaks in the Lysefjord. It rises 1,084 metres whereas Preikestolen peak is only 604 metres. The hike is well marked with red markers but no illusions here, it does require effort! The average round trip is 5hours. The track starts with a steep climb up the cliffs from the parking base of 640 meters to 825 meters. There are also chains to use to help with this steep part. After completing this section, you can already see Lysefjord. Personally, this was the most challenging part of the hike, maybe because on other hikes we did not need to use chains. The following two steep sections were actually better. In contrast to the Pulpit Rock, this hike was much less crowded and we saw fewer families with children, just confirming that the hike was not an easy one. Did I mention that we had a lovely sunny weather? Clear skies and shinning sun.
After the first steep section was completed the path followed a track up and over a new ridge before coming down to a lovely valley. After this, there were two more steep sections and then a plateau section coming towards the Kjeragbolten. The very last section was unusual as it was narrow, almost like a mountain riverbed, or maybe it was.
The best recommended time for the hike is from June to September. In winter season a guide is recommended. The hike had a very rocky terrain and you without a doubt need appropriate footwear, comfortable clothing (think layers), food and water for 5 hours, and a good level of fitness. This time we did not see people in flip flops like in Preikestolen.
Kjeragbolten (The Kjerag Bolt)
This is another very popular photo-taking spot but one that requires some bravery. Why is it so impressive? Well, it is a round stone block held in place in a crevice between mountains and from it there is a drop of nearly 1000 meters to the Lysefjord! I am sure you have seen pictures of people on the Kjeragbolten but it is more than enough just to look at it. Of course, we could not resist and tried to step on it. Friends kept saying don't look down and guess what I did? I looked down! For me it was just enough to sit on it (because I did not manage to stand up), which to be fair is worse than to stand as getting on and off it was not that easy. On our visit the queue for the Kjeragbolten was quite short, only 15-20 minutes.
Amazing experience with breathtaking views. A must do for sure and it was the best of hikes we had done so far! This marked the end of hiking in Norway for us on this holiday. We treated ourselves with ice cream at the restaurant Øygardstøl at base, which had good views and a viewing platform, and drove back to Stavanger. The next day and stop is Bergen!