If someone were to ask me, "Where is one place I have to visit before I die?" I would not hesitate to mention Preikestolen in Norway.
Preikestolen, otherwise known as Pulpit Rock in English, is a natural rock formation that stands 604m above Lysefjord. The top of the cliff is approximately 25 by 25 metres and almost flat.
View of Preikestolen
Preikestolen can be easily reached by taking a ferry from Stavanger (Norway's third largest city) to Tau. From Tau, Preikestolen is a short bus/car ride away.
Although you can enjoy the views of the rock from a boat ride along the fjord, the best way to experience Preikestolen is by viewing it from the top. The hike to Preikestolen is about 2 - 3 hours each way, depending on your walking pace.
Map of the hiking route
The hike can be challenging at times, with some steep inclines and uneven rocks forming the path. However it is fantastic to see that there are people of all ages and fitness levels attempting the hike, all of them enjoying themselves.
The more challenging sections of the path
Due to Preikestolen being such a popular hiking destination, it can become overcrowded during the summer months but the crowds can be avoided by hiking in the early morning. Tourists come from all over the world to visit this incredible sight and you may listen to more than 10 different languages spoken by people hiking next to you.
Hikers enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings
If you get hot along the way, there are lakes in which to take a dip
The hike is worth every effort. When you reach the top, you have the most beautiful view you can imagine in front of you and you can say "I made it, I'm here."
Finally at the top
You will be blown away by the sheer drop off of the cliff in front of you. Despite the potential dangers, there are no safety barriers to protect people from the fall. And believe me, if you fall, you have absolutely no chance of survival. Safety is totally in your own hands. This is probably for the best as any safety signs and structures would ruin the spectacular natural beauty.
To go all the way to the top and not go close to the edge is unacceptable! To do so will make any sane persons heart skip a beat and take them out of their comfort zone. However, once you have overcome your vertigo you may wish to join all the other thrill seekers and dangle your feet over the edge and take in the spectacular view! If this is to much for you handle, you can watch in nervous excitement as brave hikers casually pose on the brink of the precipice for a photo.