Stoplesteinan & St Olav's road

58°26’22.524”N 6°0’51.999”E

Stoplesteinan & St Olav’s road

Stone circle from Iron Age in Eigersund, Easy hike

How to get there

From Egersund, follow RV44 towards Hauge i Dalane. Pass by Bohus (shopping centre), take next exit to the left and park your car or bicycle along the road (W3W: ///distriktene.tilfelle.sveiper). Start walking towards North, and follow gravel road uphill. Pass through one gate and follow natural trail to Stoplesteinan.

Accessibility: Easy, but steep hike to Stoplesteinane.

Duration: 0,3 hours to Stoplesteinane

Special conditions:

  • Park at the parking place and show respect for private land.
  • Show respect to animals along the trail.
  • Don’t forget to close gates behind you so that animals would not get away.
  • Dogs have to be on leash.
  • Leave nothing but footprints!

Culture and history

Stoplesteinane (Stoplesteinan) is a stone settlement located on the top of Skårabrekka, in the land of farm Årstad. The name probably originates from old norse and is associated with staves or stacks.

Stoplesteinane consists of 16 raised stones in a circle with a diameter of about 21 meters. The tallest stones rise approx. 1.2 meters above ground. According to legends, Stoplesteinane is a place from the Viking age, ie the period 800-1000 AD. However, studies of similar stone settlements in Norway and Northern Europe, show that these could be graves from the late Bronze Age until the end of the old Iron Age, ie between 500 BC. and 600 AD.  The purpose and more exact information about these settlements still remain a mystery.

An old road, “The inner rideway” or “St. Olavs road ‘ between Egersund and Sokndal passes by Stoplesteinane. According to the legend Olav the Holy came sailing from the North, when he came to Egersund. He wanted to avoid his enemies and therefore he steered his ship over land and split the mountain with his keel.

The legend says that he came sailing straight towards Eigerøy by Kompåsen, where the ship caught wind and went in high speed over the sound between the mainland and the island, Eigerøy. Then the ship went up the Kveldskaret and down crossing Årstaddalen, then up Skårabrekkå og over to Skåra. From Skåra Olav set sail straight South West, going up and down in a furious speed.

At both sides of the valley you can still see some large rolling hills. They are said to be solidified waves left by Olav’s ship.


Pictures from Stoplesteinan & St Olav’s road