Feb 7, 2024
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Snøvegen, the Snow Road in Norway

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Snøvegen, or The Snow Road (in Norwegian, Snø means snow, and Vegen means road), is a 45 km (28 miles) scenic route located in Western Norway. The road connects the municipalities of Aurlandsvangen with Laerdal and ascends from sea level to an impressive altitude of 1,309 meters (4,394 feet) above sea level. It’s one of the 18 designated National Tourist Routes in the country, known for its dramatic scenery and breathtaking views. The name “Snøvegen” is aptly given due to the substantial amounts of snow found at the road’s highest point, persisting even into the summer months. During winter, Snøvegen is closed because of the considerable snowfall, rendering the journey impassable. Typically, the road closure lasts from mid-October to early June.

Length45 km (28 miles)
Highest point1,306 meters (4,285 feet) above sea level
Open season: Usually from June 1st to October 15th
ActivitiesScenic driving, hiking, biking, photography

On the top, picture: Aconcagua

When is Snøvegen open?

The road is closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall, but even in summer you’ll likely see snowbanks lining the roadside, hence its nickname. The contrasts between the lush green valleys and the snow-capped peaks are truly impressive.

One of the most popular stops along the Snow Road is Stegastein, a viewing platform that juts out from the mountainside and offers panoramic views of the Aurlandsfjord. There are also several other viewpoints, waterfalls, and hiking trails along the route.

Snøvegen, Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Snøvegen, Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Driving Snøvegen

Starting directly from the village of Aurland, Snøvegen winds its way through numerous tight curves, providing breathtaking views of the Aurlandsfjord. Today, the road serves primarily as access to summer pastures and has become a popular tourist route for enthusiasts seeking scenic drives. In June 2006, the stunning Stegastein viewpoint opened just a few kilometers from Aurlandsvangen, adding to the allure of the area.

In addition to the allure of Snøvegen, Aurlandsvangen boasts other notable tourist attractions. It is in close proximity to the Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European continent, and Hornindalsvatnet, the deepest lake in Europe. Hornindalsvatnet reaches a depth of 514 meters, and despite being at 53 meters above sea level, it descends to an astonishing 461 meters below sea level.

Hornindalsvatnet Lake

Hornindalsvatnet Lake: Picture: Markus Tacker

The Laerdal tunnel

The Laerdal Tunnel, a significant engineering marvel, was completed in the year 2000, providing an underground connection beneath the Snow Road. Recognized as the longest road tunnel globally, stretching 24 kilometers, the Laerdal Tunnel ensures a safe and convenient passage during the challenging winter months, offering a fascinating juxtaposition to the scenic surface route. If you’re planning a trip to Norway, I highly recommend adding Snøvegen to your itinerary. It’s a truly unforgettable experience!

Header picture, Caruba

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Europe · Norway

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