Lysefjord: the gateway to Norway’s fjords

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Clear blue water that finds its way through steep mountain walls – experience the typical Norwegian nature at the Lysefjord in southern Norway. The southernmost of Norway’s large fjords offers a lot of things to discover – from spectacular hikes and exciting boat tours to small well-hidden villages inland. Find out everything you need to know about how and when to get there and what you shouldn’t miss out when visiting the Lysefjord.

Why go to the Lysefjord?

The magic of Norway’s fjords attracts thousands of visitors to the Nordic country every year – blue water, dense forests and rugged mountains form the setting of an environment in which you can lose yourself for hours or even days. Along its approximately 40 kilometres, the Lysefjord offers a variety of activities – from hikes through spectacular nature with breathtaking views to relaxed boat trips on the water. It is the southernmost of Norway’s large fjords and therefore forms the “entrance ” to the country’s wild fjord landscape, so to speak.

Lysefjord Holidays
The Lysefjord is a natural paradise in the south of Norway.

By the way: Lysefjord means “bright fjord”. The fjord owes its name to the polished rocky walls that surround it.

Where is the Lysefjord located?

As the southernmost of Norway’s large fjords, the Lysefjord is unsurprisingly located in the southern part of the country in the Rogaland region. Not far away is the well-known city of Stavanger on the south-west coast of Norway, which is an ideal starting point for a possible day trip to the Lysefjord, as it is only about 60 kilometres away by car.

It is about 435 kilometres to the Norwegian capital Oslo and about 255 kilometres to Kristiansand in the south, so a stop at the Lysefjord is a good idea when on a road trip through Norway. You could visit other large fjords in Norway on a road trip as well – for example the Sognefjord, which is about 400 kilometres away, or the impressive Geirangerfjord, which is 610 kilometres away.

Lysefjord: weather

The weather in Lysefjord is typical of southern Norway – compared to the northern parts of the country, the temperatures here are rather mild. The best time to visit is from May to September, as temperatures are at their highest during the summer months. The warmest month is July, when the average temperature is 16° Celsius. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t forget your rain jacket or umbrella even in summer – August, for example, is one of the rainiest months of the year!

Activities and sights at the Lysefjord

Boat tour and round trip on the Lysefjord

A round trip on a boat or ship is a very popular leisure activity on the Lysefjord, and as the typical part of a fjord trip it is of course a must. There is a wide variety of options, from the standard fjord cruise on a tourist ferry to spectacular speedboat trips or independent canoe or kayak tours. That means you can experience the spectacular nature and landscape around the fjord from the water, but also comfortably explore the various villages and sights.


Lysefjord: Preikestolen
Preikestolen is the most famous excursion destination on the Lysefjord.

Preikestolen is one of the best known and most popular excursion destinations in Norway. The “Preikestolen” is a natural plateau at an altitude of over 600 metres and offers a breathtaking view of the Lysefjord and the surrounding mountains.

The varied hike takes around four to five hours over eight kilometres and is also doable for less experienced hikers. However, if you don’t feel confident enough to climb Preikestolen on your own, you can take part in a guided hike and learn even more about the special landscape of the Lysefjord.


Lysefjord: Kjerag
Kjerag at the Lysefjord is not for the faint-hearted.

Another nature highlight for hiking fans on the Lysefjord is the Kjerag. The hike to Kjerag is just as varied, but also a little more challenging and takes around six to ten hours, as the route is about 11 kilometres long in total.

At 1084 metres, Kjerag is the highest point of the Lysefjord – the hike involves a difference in altitude of approximately 800 metres. Once you reach the top, you are able to enjoy the impressive panorama or climb the Kjerag stone – a stone wedged in a crevice.

It is also possible to book guided hikes on Kjerag, which is particularly suitable for less experienced hikers.

Fishing at the Lysefjord

Even if the Lysefjord is not a typical fishing area, as it is more inland, fishing fans can still catch plenty of fish here and in the fjords around it. In addition to marlin, you can also find pollack, cod, saithe and ling here, especially on the steep edges of the shore. Incidentally, fishing in Norwegian fjords is free and possible without a fishing licence. The fishing season in southern Norway is from May to September.

Accommodation by the Lysefjord

Camping by the Lysefjord

Camping in Norway is a very popular type of holiday, especially in the summer months, as it is very close to nature, uncomplicated and inexpensive. Because of that, there are a number of campsites in Norway, most of which are located in a peaceful natural setting by the water. Most campsites offer a wide range of accommodation, from simple pitches – which are ideal for road trips – to mobile homes or hikers’ cabins.

Alternatively, you can try wild camping. In Norway, the “Allemannsretten” law allows you to camp in the great outdoors, provided you stay at least 150 metres away from residential buildings and parked cars. Free-standing with a car or motorhome is not permitted, but Norway has a large number of pitches – or campsites.

Hotels by the Lysefjord

Those who prefer to stay in a comfortable hotel can head for one of the towns around the Lysefjord, especially Stavanger. Hotels offer a welcome change, especially during an active holiday with exciting and strenuous day trips, so that you can enjoy comfort, peace and quiet. Especially in a city like Stavanger, there is a large selection of hotels so that there is suitable accommodation for every budget.

Travelling to the Lysefjord

Travelling by plane

If you want to travel to the Lysefjord in Norway quickly and easily by plane, you can fly to Stavanger. Various airlines offer direct flights, otherwise a stopover in Oslo is a good option. From Stavanger, you can get to the Lysefjord by bus or a rental car.

Travelling to Lysefjord
The Lysefjord is ideal for travelling by car.
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