The Lysefjorden Rundt Trail is one of the most breathtaking hiking adventures in the world. Of course, that’s from my point of view. I have been guiding 500+ tours here, and I currently work as a tourism developer in this fjord, just a stone-throw from our home in Jørpeland.
But it is true. It is also one of the hardest multi-day hikes you can think of. In Norway, we do not have the same trail management philosophy as in other countries such as Switzerland, New Zealand, or the USA. Trails in Norway, especially Fjord Norway, and particularly around the Lysefjord are steep, narrow, rough, slippery, swampy and not signposted as much as you would like or need. Of course, it is my passion and profession to do something about this.
In 2014, I hiked around the Lysefjord for the first time to explore this unique trail. I did not follow the official trail anywhere and did not hike all stages. I hiked clockwise, which in my opinion is the only/best way to do it. Well, except for the fact that you should not hike the Flørli staircase down, I learned that much. In 5 days, I hiked 80 km, with 5,500 meters of elevation gain.
I started at Preikestolen Fjellstue and camped at Bakken Gard. Tested the Songedalen Fjellgard Cabin (and its wooden throne toilet, no kidding). Instead of hiking through the boring valley, I hiked up the spectacular ridge of Søre Dalafjell. In Lysebotn, I spent the night at the best B&B in Norway – Hauane B&B. The owners even drove me up the 27 hairpins of asphalt to Øygardstøl, the starting point for the southern stages. After a night in the Langavatn cabin, I hiked all the way to the hamlet of Flørli, through the first snow of the year, before leaving the fjord by boat.
The Lysefjord is – I will say it again – stunning, especially when wrapped in autumn foliage. If you want to explore it all for yourself, check out the Lysefjorden Rundt Trail website.