Recently we had the joy of driving from our cozy little town of Alta (Norway) to Tornio (Finland). Winter Driving in Northern Scandinavia can be a challenge with the darkness and the wind.
To be honest, I don’t drive much in the winter, and Mr. Viking drove the entire way.
Of course one of the questions I often get from tourists is how we drive year round especially the trucks and buses. It is a legal requirement to have spiked tires on your car. If you don’t, you can be stopped at the border and not be allowed to drive. Every year everyone changes their tires around mid-October and each summer we change them back around mid-May. Of course, it is different the farther south you go.
The weather up here changes daily even hourly, so it’s always good to be prepared for anything. The first stretch of our drive it was windy, and there was a lot of snow on the road, so we had to drive much slower than usual. The rest of the way was pretty clear, so we were able to make up a little bit of time.
My Tips for Winter Driving in Northern Scandinavia
Allow More Time Than Necessary
If the wind and weather are bad, it can take a significantly longer time then google states. Be prepared for this and adjust your travel plans as necessary. Allow for more stops and breaks as well.
Pack Warm Clothes and Blankets
Even if it’s a day trip, you should be prepared just in case anything happens on the way to your destination. You need to pack extra warm clothing such as a wool sweater and outdoor pants. It is also important to pack warm blankets as well.
Pack Drinks and Snacks
Stops in the North can be few and far between so make sure you pack a thermos of coffee or tea, water and handful of snacks. Not only are you prepared in case anything happens but you won’t have to worry about getting hungry or thirsty on your journey.
Stop When You Can
This encompasses the fact that stops are few and far between in the north so when you come to a city/gas station go ahead and stop. It could be awhile before you stop again.
Fully Charge Your Phones
Before leaving make sure your cell phones are fully charged. I also recommend packing a fully charged Powerbank. In the cold, your cell phone will lose power faster, so it’s a good idea to have a backup source of power.
Driving up here in the north can be unpredictable. The weather can change at any minute putting you into a dangerous situation if you are not prepared. You must be prepared for anything. As long as you stay are and prepared you will be fine.
Have you driven somewhere like Northern Norway? What are your winter driving tips?