Stavanger is very well known for its spectacular landscapes such as Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) or Kjerag Bolten, but there are numerous beautiful places that are less familiar to most of the tourists coming here.
If you are one of the curious visitors and have some extra time to spend, Sandnes with the surrounding hills will provide you with just a perfect dose of one-day trips well marked by local DNT (Det Norske Turistforening). More information with a map and trails can be found on their web page: www.ut.no.
How to get there?
Sandnes is a neighbouring municipality to Stavanger. If you do not have a car transport handy, the best connection is to get a local bus (check the timelines on www.kolumbus.no ). It is also possible to take a train, which may appeal to some of you 🙂 The train also opens the door to further destinations, but I will leave this topic for future posts. Check out the Norwegian railway for more information: www.nsb.no
As you get to Sandnes, you can reach closer routes on foot from the centre. However, Lifjell tour requires taking another bus (this time to Dale). The last stop is also your final destination and takes you to the start of the trail.
It is a perfect trip if you or the weather is somehow undecided 🙂 The full trip is about a 10-km hike, but there are marked paths that allow making it shorter or longer if necessary. If you are a kind of a person that likes to stay outdoors but with not much walking involved, you will find many pleasant spots to just relax. You can have your lunch in the forest, by the water or on the rocks, enjoying the view.
The hike itself, even though not very long, leads through a rocky terrain, which makes it more demanding. The very beginning of the path leads through a forest until it climbs on top of the rocky slope and follows along the fjord. This part is mostly a traverse and in few places, you can get a bit more exposure. In the most tricky spots, you can use the installed ropes and chains to get an extra support. However, remember that good boots are, as usual, a must! After reaching the ‘edge’ of the land, you will turn to climb Lifjell with a big antenna on the top . This is the highest point of the trip and provides a spectacular view of the area with Stavanger and Randaberg in the West. With a nice weather, you should be able to see the mountains of Sirdal to the East. There is quite a bit of descent ahead, but you can find pleasant snack or tea spots by the lakes before reaching Dale again.
The entire path is pretty well marked with standard red ‘T’ signs and plates with directions. But keep in mind, it is important to have a map with you or, at least, know the names of the main interest points you want to reach, so that you can follow the correct route! 🙂
Tip: you can buy a physical map in DNT shop in Stavanger centre, but you can also download the mobile version from DNT page for free.