Tips for organising a trip to the Lysefjord. Ferry to Lysebotn, passing Preikestolen, Flørli and Flørlitrappene, seals. View of Kjerag, destination of hikers and base jumpers. Lysebotn.

Travelogue Norway 2021

Our next destination was the Lysefjord, as a fjord in itself (according to Lonely Planet “the favorite fjord of many visitors”, but similar is said for a number of other fjords) as well as a starting point for the hikes to Preikestolen and Kjeragbolten. After a rough look at the map and available accommodations I had chosen an accommodation north of Forsand. As nice as this accommodation and its location was, I had not considered some points:

  • I had already pointed out how important it is to pay attention to the ferry connection.
  • The nearest grocery store was seven kilometers away and the nearest restaurant fifteen. Grocery stores in small towns are also only open for shorter periods on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays. And there was no kitchen in our accommodation. As a result, the food supply became a bit of a logistical challenge.
  • Our destination Kjeragbolten was only 30 kilometres away as the crow flies. Taking into account ferry connections and long travel times (up to 120 kilometers!), it was impossible to make this trek from here and return the same day.

An optimized program and assuming optimal weather could have looked like this:

  • Two overnight stays near Jørpeland.
  • On the first day hike to the Preikestolen.
  • On the second day, travel by tourist ferry through the Lysefjord (with your own vehicle on board).
  • Overnight stay in or near Lysebotn.
  • On the third day hike to Kjeragbolten.

We did it differently due to both sub-optimal preparation and the weather. I hope our experiences will help some of you in your travel planning.

Accommodation by Lysefjord, Norway
A whole house to ourselves! Beautifully situated! And really tiny. Just because Airbnb says “whole accommodation” doesn’t mean you should easily assume you have a kitchen or even a dining table.

There was some rain forecast for the next day, plus it had taken us a little longer to get breakfast in the morning. Therefore we decided to visit the Lysefjord by ferry today. Ideally, you should also plan something like this the evening before at the latest, find out about the departure times and book your ticket online. Important: There are two different ferries, both travel approximately the same distance. One is quite expensive, the other quite cheap. But while the cheap normal ferry simply drives in the middle of the fjord on a direct way to Lysebotn, the expensive tourist ferry navigates to different beautiful or interesting points at the shore and there is information by loudspeaker without which one would probably not discover one or the other.

Lysefjord tourist ferry, Norway
The ferry is ready to swallow a few tourists and their vehicles.
Lysefjord, Norway
Preisestolen seen from Lysefjord, Norway
Do you see the beak of rock in the middle at the top? This is Preikestolen. Remember this picture when you look at the pictures from our hike up there.
Flørli, Norwegen
View of the idyllic village of Flørli. From the large building at the bottom left, the hydroelectric power station, you can walk up Flørlitrappene, with 4444 steps one of the longest wooden staircases in the world, always along the water pipes. Well, if you like it… We don’t think we missed much, especially since there are so many other great hikes in the area.
Seals in the Lysefjord, Norway
If you look closely, you can see grey seals lying on the rocks along the water’s edge here. Better with binoculars, of course, but even then you pass it quickly with the ferry and don’t see much.
View from Lysefjord towards Kjeragbolten
All the way up there, above the green hill, lies Kjeragbolten. Unfortunately, it is not visible in this picture. Still, remember also this picture when you see the photos of our hike there. Up there is also a popular drop-off point for base jumpers, who then land down here on the very shore and are brought back to Lysebotn by boat, where you can even take base jumping courses. Only for very experienced skydivers, I suppose.
Here’s a video showing the spot from above. The cliff drops 984 meters. Wow, I’d like to experience that. But this will almost certainly never happen.
Lysebotn, Norway
At the very end of the fjord is Lysebotn, where, if you take the ferry back, you only have a few minutes to take photos. But there is not much to see anyway. Behind Lysebotn a narrow and often photographed road winds up to 1000 meters. That would have been the most direct route to Kjeragbolten.
Lysefjord, Norway
Last view from the ferry to the Lysefjord, for us one of the few with some sun, some blue sky.

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