Isolation, tranquil and adventurous
If these three words entice you then I’d highly recommend visiting Flørli and staying at Flørli 4444 Hostel. Flørli is a car-free, peaceful getaway hidden away from civilisation on the banks of the Lysefjord in Norway’s fjords. It is the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate either before or after visiting Kjerag and/or Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock).
Flørli is home to the now historic hydropower hall (established in 1916) which has been tastefully transformed into a cafe and kiosk. They have created an exhibition for guests to visit where you can see the original turbine and control room. The exhibition provides guests with an insight into the challenges the workers and engineers of the power plant faced which are perfectly captured in photos, video and artifacts.
While you are here check out the old red school which has also been transformed into a pub and serves delicious bar snacks including pizza.
It can only be accessed via ferry which runs only 4 times within the day in both the slow or fast boats.
Ferry: You will need to catch either the express or tourist ferry ⛴ to the Flørli terminal which departs from Forsand, Lauvvik and Lysebotn. To save disappointment we would highly recommend booking onto these ferries as they fill up quickly. However, passengers can take the risk, wait for the ferry and approach the friendly staff to see if they can squeeze you on. This paid off for us on two occasions which we are super grateful for.
|Schedules 2017||With Kolumbus (all year)||With The Fjords (summer)|
|To Flørli from Lauvvik||06:05 / 13:55 / (16:45 fr/su)||09:30 / 15:00|
|From Flørli to Lauvvik||07:35 / 15:45 / (18:00 fr/su)||12:45 / 18:45|
|To Flørli from Lysebotn||07:20 / 15:30 / (17:45 fr/su)||12:00 / 18:00|
|From Flørli to Lysebotn||07:00 / 14:50 / (17:25 fr/su)||10:45 / 16:45|
|not on Saturdays and Sunday morning||all days|
If you are travelling by car and departing from Forsand you can leave your vehicle outside the retirement home where the Forsand Kommune has paved a parking area specifically for ferry passengers. It is free and our car was safe while we were away.
Book your Express Ferry tickets here or download the Kolumbus AS App. Check out the Express Ferry Travel Planner here to assist with your bookings and holiday plannings. Alternatively, check out the Flørin website for more detailed information on getting here.
The Flørli 4444 Hostel is one of a kind as it is the only commercial building on this little sanctuary. The hostel itself is an old house, decked out in vintage furniture and fresh flowers in every room to really make you feel at home.
Take in the spectacular views of the fjords and listen to the sounds of the waterfall which run adjacent to the hostel sending you into a state of zen. The views are incredible as you can see the stunning fjords towering from your hostel window.
The staff are welcoming, helpful and go out of their way to ensure you enjoy your stay, making this a friendly and happy place to be. This Hostel ranks highly on my list of lodging experiences which I would recommend to individuals and families from all walks of life.
Why is it worth the trip?
Not only is this area truly a piece of heaven but Flørli boasts the worlds largest wooden staircase, containing 4444 steps to the peak of the Lysefjord. These stairs rise 740 meters above sea level, to Lake Flørlivatnet. The staircase was originally built to assist the transportation of resources and equipment required to build the Flørli Power Plant.
Legend has it that the stairs were built after the crane which carries the trolley (as pictured above) up the mountainside failed, sending it racing down the hill with 9 men in it. Luckily all men on board managed to escape in time but from then on the workers of the Power Plant refused to ride in the trolley. Therefore the 4444 steps were built to assist them with transporting resources.
The staircase is situated alongside the water pipeline and is now a tourist destination. Adventurers travel here to follow in the footsteps of the brave and dedicated power plant workers.
It is certainly worth purchasing some beers from the kiosk and packing them into your backpack. Trust me when saying you will truly earn the crisp taste of hop at the top with views of the fjord which make the sweating worthwhile.
You simply follow the 4444 stairs to the top of the mountain which is impossible to get lost on. However, coming down is not as easy.
If you were doing this walk in the evening then I would recommend returning down the stairs as there is less chance of coming to a traffic jam with adventurers coming up.
At the top, facing lake Flørlivatnet, turn right, follow the concrete path and you see a large fairy canyon. Continue to follow the path until you’re standing on top of the fjord rock formations next to this canyon. See picture below.
Continue down the mountainside, following the red T’s which meander down the fjord. Be cautious coming down as the snowmelt has created water run-off making the rocks slippery. When you get to the bottom of the mountain you will have to cross over a small creek acting as a gutter before coming to a road.
To get back to Flørli Hostel cross the road directly straight. This can be deceiving as there is no clear signage and you naturally wish to follow the road.
Upon crossing the road you will notice a sign which is situated lower than the road and covered by foliage in July, which can be easily missed.
The path back to Flørli Hostel is clearly outlined with red T’s indicating the path. This part of the walk is beautiful as you venture over a suspension bridge which is above rushing rapids, down through the forest, past a rustic red house and continue down the mountainside with views of the rich, blue water.
The views of this exceptional location are totally worth the trip and especially worth the hike to achieve the world’s largest wooden staircase.
What was your favourite thing about visiting Flørli? Do you have a favourite hidden hostel?