Kjerag (the mountain) and Kjeragbolten (the boulder) became so popular on the last years, especially because of the social media, and nowadays thousands of Instagramers from all over the over the world come to do the hike to Kjerag and get the daredevil no-photoshopped picture.
After spending one and half day in Olso in the beginning of August of 2015, I took a flight to Stavanger. There are plenty of flights from Oslo to Stavanger, and prices can be as low as 25.00 euros. As I was by myself and not planing to rent a car, I opted for this city as a start point to my hikes in Norway because there is a bus during the high season running from Stavanger to Øygardstøl (the start point to Kjerag).
After a 50min flight, a bus from the airport to Stavanger’s terminal, and a 15min walk I arrived at the hotel. I just checked-in, drooped off my stuff and went to explore the city a little bit. There’s a very charming old city in Stavanger, with white washed houses, dotted with plenty of flowers and cobblestone streets.
After a quickly walk and some snaps I went to the supermarket to get some groceries for the next day (cereal bars, nuts, sandwich, juice and probably the most expensive mineral water I’ve ever gotten, almost US$ 4.00 each one). Norway is not a cheap country! Actually I heard that Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe…
Hike to Kjerag
The bus to Kjerag departed from the Stavanger bus terminal at 7:30 AM. As soon as we left the city I could appreciate the beautiful Norwegian countryside. The weather was cloudy but pleasant. The drive was telling us a little bit about the local life. He also said that year (2015) they had a lot of snow, in some places up to 2 to 3m, and in the mountains up to 10m of snow. So, as I was imaging the fjords would be covered with snow, which for me would make it even more picturesque. The ride took three hours and 15 minutes, and at 10:45 we arrived at Øygardstøl, the start point of the hike.
The hike was not easy!! Full of ups and downs, sometimes I walked on steps, other time from water streams to waterfalls, and even mud. There are some chains attached to the ground that help a lot. There is a T (trail) in red painted in many rocks all over the trail. Actually there are so many rocks in this hike, that sometimes I wondered if I were walking on the moon…
The excited part was when I walked to edge of the mountain and could see the fjord. What a breathtaking view! I will never forget when I stepped on the fjord’s edge for the first time. It’s so high, so high that I was scared of fell down, but at the same time the adrenaline motivated me to be there for a while. A mix of feelings that is very hard to explain… I just opened a smile like an innocent child in an awe-inspiring moment. Of course I could not miss the opportunity to register it.
After 1:50 hiking I arrived at the Kjeragbolten (the suspended rock). The final 10m was covered with snow, and I even warned people who were taking pictures and said that there was more dangerous than on the top of the rock itself. As soon as I got in line I heard from an Italian lady: “Ma che paura.” (I’m so scared.). As I replied, his boyfriend warned to not look down. I can confess that before I stepped on the suspended rock, I looked down and got some butterflies on my stomach because it’s around 1000m high. However when I was on the rock I was so self-confident that even did a tree pose (an yoga pose which one stands in just one foot, putting the other foot on your knee and your hands together facing each other up to one’s head).
The weather changed a lot that day, partly cloudy, mostly sunny and foggy. The view of the fjord was unbelievably beautiful!! Three waterfalls, snow and the fjord’s lake pictured magnificent scenery! I was surprised with this scenery, because I had seen only pictures of people on the top of the rock, but I would not imagine all those waterfalls. I couldn’t resist and sat down on the edge again to contemplate the stunning view and take some pictures. The funny thing was that I asked a teenager girl to take a picture and she was so scared meanwhile I was fearless.
After the lunch break and got some rest, it was time to take the way back, what I did with the Italian couple. We did all the way admiring the landscape, taking pictures, drinking clear water direct from the fountain, and talking about some of our trips.
At 4:45 the bus departed to Stavanger. When I arrived, I took a shower, had dinner and went back to the grocery store shopping for the next day. Stavanger is a small city, with a lake in the city center. Something about this city reminded me Switzerland, and I’m almost sure that was not only the prices…
Here is the full video of the hike to Kjerag.
∗ This is a post of the serie: 3 best hikes in Norway in 3 days
- Where is it located?
Kjerag is located 1084m above others peaks along Lysefjord. The hike starts at Øygardstøl south of the Lysefjord by the Lysevegen road above Lysebotn.
- How to get there?
∗ By bus: there is a bus running from Stavanger to Øygardstøl operated by Tide Reiser.
∗ By car: to get to Øygardstøl you need to take the ferry to Lysebotn and continue by car, or drive there via Sirdalen (this road is closed in the winter). Travel time: 2,5 hours one way (from Stavanger).
∗ There is a paid parking at Øygardstøl.
- Best time to visit?
∗The hike is only open during the summer (from June to September).
∗The bus runs daily from June to August (in 2016 from June 11th to August 31th).
- Where did I stay?
I stayed at Scandic Stavanger City, and if you’re looking for accommodation my recommendations are:
* Budget: Stavanger Lille Guesthouse and Stavanger Pop Up Hostel.
* Great Value for Money: Stavanger Bed & Breakfast, Scandic Stavanger Park and Radisson Blu Royal.
* Luxury: Myhregaarden Hotel, Best Western Plus Victoria Hotel and Thon Hotel Stavanger.
- Travel Costs
∗ Norwegian Airline flight from Oslo to Stavanger: US$71.
* Two nights at Scandic Stavanger City with breakfast included: US$ 150.
∗ Bus ride: US$ 64.
∗ All the hikes in Norway are at your own risk.
∗ Use appropriate clothes for hiking.
∗ Bring food, water, maps, and a first aid kit.
∗ There is no cellphone coverage in certain areas
∗ Norwegian Airline and Sas operate flights from Oslo to Stavanger.
∗ Tide Reiser bus company.
∗ More information regard accommodation, transportation and the hikes can be found at www.visitnorway.com