The Kjerag hiking area, including the hike to Kjeragbolten, is one of Norway’s most famous hikes, and you need to get to Lysebotn to start your Kjerag adventure. But like many of Norway’s top natural attractions, even getting to the starting point is a journey in itself.
Lysebotn is no different, and you do need to prepare ahead of time to actually get to Lysebotn to start the Kjerag hike. So, how do you get to Lysebotn, and what are the different options?
The main way to get to Lysebotn is to ride the passenger ferry from Lauvvik or Forsand. This is operational all year round, but you should book tickets ahead of time during the summer season. You can reach Lysebotn by car during the summer, but all roads are closed at winter.
So you have a few options to get to Lysebotn during the summer season when the roads are open, but you’re pretty much stuck with riding the ferry if you’re visiting in winter or spring.
We’re going to look closer at both the ferry and the road in the rest of the article, giving you a detailed guide on how to get to Lyseboth by either options. So keep reading to find out how to book tickets for the ferry, check if the road is open, or just want to be prepared for your visit to Kjerag.
How to get to Lysebotn by ferry
The main method of getting to Lysebotn is by riding the passenger ferry. Most tourists board the ferry “MS Lysefjord” at Lauvvik port terminal, which is reachable by bus from Stavanger and other big cities.
The MS Lysefjord ferry can transport 8 cars, and I really urge you to book tickets in advance if you want to bring your car to Lysebotn since it tends to fill up fast.
You might even consider booking at least a few days in advance for regular passengers during the main summer season. It rarely fills up with regular passengers, but it does happen every once in a while in the main tourist season in July, so it’s best to be on the safe side.
The ferry is operational all year round, so you can get to Lysebotn by ferry even in the middle of the winter.
Lysebotn ferry departure times
The ferry depart from Lauvvik roughly 2 or 3 times daily at around 6 in the morning, around noon and either in early or late afternoon depending on the day. Check out the time table board by clicking here to see updated information on exactly when the ferry departs.
Please be aware that the times depend on the day of the week, and that there are different departure times outside of the tourism season.
How to buy tickets for MS Lysefjord
You can purchase tickets for the ferry at Kolumbus’ website, and the price is surprisingly affordable at 72 NOK per adult. However, be prepared to shell out over 300 NOK if you want to bring your car along for the ride.
You can board the Lysebotn ferry at different ports
The ferry to Lysebotn begins in Lauvvik, but you can actually board it at the following ports if they are closer to you:
The Forsand dock is closed for maintenence during the 2023 season, but will be open and operational again in 2024. This means that you need to ride the ferry from Lauvvik or any of the other ports in 2023 if you want to get to Lysebotn.
Pretty much all tourists board the ferry at Lauvvik, which is the port that is closest to Stavanger.
Driving to Lysebotn during the summer season
It’s an absolutely amazing experience to drive to Lysebotn, especially for the final stretch down the mountain where you pass the incredible 27 hairpin road descent. This is without a doubt breathtaking, especially if you’re in the passenger seat and can enjoy the ride without looking out for traffic.
The road itself is called Fv500, and is only open in the summer season. The exact opening dates depend on the snowfall, but it generally opens in early June and closes in October.
To get to Lysebotn by car, drive your car to the Sirdal area (you can get there from Stavanger by E39 and Rv450, then drive north on Sirdalsveien). From Sirdal, follow the signs pointing towards Lysebotn and Øygardstøl until you take a left towards Fv500.
The full ride from Stavanger is roughly 3 hours long.
The Fv500 road itself is a typical mountain pass road, which is narrow and difficult to drive. Be prepared to face some challenges along the road, especially when it comes to passing cars or buses on the narrow road. That said, most drivers will handle it without too much trouble in good conditions.
Other options for getting to Lysebotn
There are a few other options for getting to Lysebotn besides the ones we’ve already looked at, but these are far less used. However, they might be worth checking out if they fit your planned trip better than driving or riding the ferry.
Getting to Lysebotn by bus
There are certain buses who drive between places like Stavanger and Lysebotn during the main tourist season. These are all guided tourist buses, and there are no public buses going to Lysebotn.
The price point can very, but it’s generally much more expensive than riding a public bus.
Getting to Lysebotn by bus is a pretty good option if you want to experience the road down to Lysebotn, but I would personally rather recommend taking the bus to Lauvvik, then switching to the passenger ferry. I guess it depends on whether you want to arrive by the hairpin bends or in the fjord.
That said, these guided tour buses also stop at some pretty cool attractions and places along the way!
Cruise ship from Stavanger to Lysebotn
Certain cruise tour operators stop by Lysebotn, so it’s absolutely possible to book a cruise tour from Stavanger to Lysebotn. One of the most popular cruise tour operators who offer this is Rødne Fjord Cruise, but there are also a few other options available.
This is definitely a great way to get to Lysebotn since day cruises like these ones are an amazing experience in themselves, but the price tag is for sure going to be very different from riding the public ferry.
But if you’re looking to both experience a day cruise tour as well as want to get to Lysebotn, combining these two makes for a truly great trip!
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.