I'll be travelling from Bergen Aiport to Vik i Sogne over the New Year Period and I've never really had to drive in snow before, and I can't imagine the normal problems faced on a transport level for a country that has to deal with this.

First and foremost, how feasible is this route suggested by Google but also what tips are there for dealing with these weather conditions.

  • Well, no idea about Norway, but I would guess the main roads such as national roads are cleared. However, you should have snow chains in hand (and watch a youtube video how to put them on). Apart from that, just drive carefully: Drive slowly and leave plenty of space to the car in front of you.
    – dirkk
    Nov 9, 2015 at 12:58
  • The critical part of that route is Rv 13, Vikafjellet (Vik mountain), which can indeed be completely closed in the winter in periods of bad weather. This article (does not work well with Google translate as it is written in the Nynorsk variant of Norwegian) says that the road was closed more than 1000 hours in the 2013/2014 winter - that was apparently a bad year. I imagine the alternative route would be E39 north to Sognefjorden, ferry, east along route 55, then ferry again, this keeps a much lower altitude.
    – Jørgen
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:39
  • If you don't want to drive, there is a daily fast boat leaving Bergen at 16:30 arriving in Vik 20:05 schedule web page. There is also an airport in Sogndal which is closer to Vik.
    – Jørgen
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:42
  • 1
    @dirkk I don't know about southern Norway, but in northern Norway in winter, roads are definitely not cleared or salted. Near the coast roads may be bare or icy, in the inland they're often covered in a hard-packed snow surface.
    – gerrit
    Nov 9, 2015 at 14:13
  • 1
    @jumpingcode I might make an answer, but waiting for a few days as I really do not know these conditions first-hand and someone more knowledgeable might come along. As gerrit says, fast boats usually don't take cars.
    – Jørgen
    Nov 9, 2015 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


While the main roads in Norway are well maintained in winter and easily navigable for anyone comfortable driving, the experience can be very different than regular summer driving. There are several issues here:

  • Most main roads outside Eastern Norway are two-lane only, without any barrier separating traffic in opposite directions. You can examine road conditions in general using Google Street View, which has relatively good coverage in Norway.
  • Heavy snow can make driving difficult, and in some cases dangerous, as it cannot be cleared fast enough
  • Some roads close permanently in winter. This does not apply to your proposed route across Vikafjellet, though according to this news article (in Norwegian) it is frequently closed temporarily because of bad weather; in the 2013/2014 winter (apparently a bad season) it was closed for more than 1000 hours total. New Year's is in the middle of winter and the road would have a certain risk of being closed.
  • If you are uncomfortable driving it might be easier to drive during the (limited) daylight hours.

Alternative routes

A less weather-prone route would be to go north on the E39 toward Sognefjorden, cross the fjord by ferry, drive east, and then cross the fjord again by ferry. This route keeps a much lower altitude and I do not think any part of it has substantial risk of being closed save in the most extreme weather.

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