There are two things that separate Norway from most other countries: First, it is extremely expensive and second, you need a car to explore the nature. Now the question is: how can you handle that?
Norwegian landscapes are simply incredible. Due to its geographical location and natural formations, Norway is a dream destination for adventure and nature lovers; and Stavanger is one of the best spots to get a glimpse of this beauty. With affordable flight connections from all over Europe with budget airlines like Norwegian, flying to Stavanger shouldn´t be a huge expense with some basic planning.
The Stavanger region offers some of the most iconic landscapes of Norway and the city of Stavanger is a good place to start this adventure. Located in the south west part of the country, Stavanger is not as cold as other regions in Norway and is a great spot for maritime adventures like sailing, swimming, diving or kayaking, but also offers wonderful trekking paths, climbing and hiking routes and amazing views of its two main fjords: Lysenfyord and the small Frafjord
It´s two most known landmarks, pulpit rock and Kjerag, are located in the same fyord, and while many tour companies offer day trips between Stavanger city and these attractions, these tend to be rather expensive, filled with tourists and relatively quick.
Renting a car is the best option for discovering Stavanger´s region with your own itinerary and with some planning in advance and tips, you might even save some money.
Tips when renting a car
Compare different prices, vehicles and insurance types.
Based on price, flexibility and comfort, we rented our car at SIXT. They offered the largest variety of vehicles and although we drove around mountains and small islands, Norwegian roads are in perfect shape and we didn´t need a large vehicle.
Plan your routes
GPS is necessary to move around Norway and now with free roaming data within European countries, it is even easier to travel around without spending money on renting a GPS. Download the google map of the area in advance or turn on your data plan to move around the region.
Think about parking fees and ferries
Parking and ferries can be a large expense in Norway and unfortunately attractions like the Pulpit Rock use this as a way to cash more money, charging over 20 EUR for just parking. The ferries charge per vehicle and number of people.
Also, while renting a car makes traveling way easier, take into consideration that Stavanger is a very touristic region.To take the best photographs of its main attractions, you should wake up early. Here I give you some tips on how to make your road trip a more individual travel experience and take these amazing photographs of only you and the nature.
Check the timetables
To go from Stavanger to the Pulpit Rock you have two options. Either you take a ferry directly from Stavanger to Tau and drive for 30 minutes (the ferry lasts 40 min) or you take a ferry from Lauvvik to Oanesand spend only 10 minutes on the ferry. For any of these options, I would totally recommend to sleep early the night before and try to catch a very early ferry. I promise you: waking up earlier DOES make a difference.
Prepare to hike
The hike from the parking spot of the pulpit rock to the actual rock takes around 90-120 minutes depending on your speed and while some views are very beautiful and can be perfect for a picnic break, I would recommend to go straight to the goal and enjoy the rock for yourself (as this can get very crowded in the later morning hours). Once you return you will have plenty of time to hike in a slower pace, take wonderful photos and enjoy the amazing views.
Norwegian landscapes are simply amazing and there is nothing better than having lunch with your loved one or some friends in a remote location with an incredible view of the fjords. Getting some food at supermarkets is not only a good way to save some cash, but also to make your experience more unique and memorable.
The Stavanger region is a destination that can take weeks to discover and travel around and while it can be a little bit more expensive than most regions of the world, this doesn´t mean you have to sell all your stuff to afford a trip here. Also, renting a car might sound more expensive than using public transportation, but at the end of the day, if you are traveling together with more than 2 people, it´s actually even cheaper.