Please sign in to post.

Driving above Arctic Circle

Has anyone driven above the Arctic Circle during the summer months. What’s the availability of diesel fuel and accommodations. Any other advice is welcome.

Posted by
1586 posts

Any particular area you are considering? Diesel is in general available at petrol stations, accomodations are also available. Although it is in general a sparsely populated area and the roads are not fast.

Posted by
149 posts

Where above the Arctic Circle are you thinking of driving? North America, Greenland, Europe or Russia and also, when? If this year you are out of luck, the window of opportunity usually closes at the end of August. North of the cities roads are few and far between if they are existing at all. Everything, food, gas etc. is very expensive. You need to be prepared for every sort of weather including snow. As you are asking about diesel I assume you are thinking of using a truck, or are you thinking to try and rent when you get to wherever you want to go. If you go make sure you take an ample supply of insect repellant the mozzies and black flies are killer.

Posted by
1175 posts

Since this question was asked in the Norway Forum I think the location is fairly obvious.

Posted by
24651 posts

Since this question was asked in the Norway Forum I think the location is fairly obvious.

Maybe. But we have a lot of posters who read posts in one Forum and then ask a question about something different forgetting to change to the Forum they need.

We can assume but we might not be right. It would help if the Original Poster was a little more specific.

Posted by
1586 posts

Maybe. But we have a lot of posters who read posts in one Forum and
then ask a question about something different forgetting to change to
the Forum they need.

That can happen, but since it was posted in the Norway forum I assumed that the question was about northern Norway.

Posted by
56 posts

Clarification. Thinking of driving above Arctic Circle in Norway June 2021. Will have rent car. Prefer diesel

Posted by
1586 posts

There are still many larger vehicles with diesel engines so it should not be a problem getting diesel. Although, if you plan to do a lot of driving you should consider renting an electric car instead.

Posted by
4610 posts

We did a cruise of Norway that visited the North Cape, the northern most point in Europe. Our tour took us over some highways. Our guides indicated that anyone driving from the southern part of Norway to the North Cape area would need to drive into Sweden (because of the mountainous terrain) to reach the North Cape area.

We did this is mid-June and it was cold even then. In my opinion driving to this area would be a colossal waste of time. Better to take the coastal ferry or cruise ship.

Posted by
1586 posts

There is no need to drive through Sweden go get to northern Norway from southern Norway, but it can often be the faster route for two reasons. The roads in Norway are bendy and narrow and hence slow, and Norway is not straight but more "banana shaped" so the shortest route might be through Sweden.

Posted by
1449 posts

I made two car trips to North Cape (2016 and 2018), one also further to Varanger and Russian border.

Availability of fuel and food in the summer months is good. North Norway has some visitors by car, campervan and motorcycle from all over Europe. Food (except fish and reindeer meat) is expensive because it traveled a long distance.

Up there the roads are long and animals often pass or walk on streets (example). You may also experience other unplanned stuff - such as stones / little rocks rolling / falling on the streets. Just take full insurance. Danger is waiting (example which caused me to stop my car :-) ).

Of course the network of fuel stations is thin and reduced to larger villages, so I was getting used to re-fill when I had 20-30% of fuel left which was finally very comfortable.

All gas stations have credit card payment which allows to fuel up 24/7 even when the shop is closed.

Accomodations around North Cape in the summer are rarely, often early booked out and expensive.
If you want to see midnight sun be aware that North Cape has fast changing and sometimes intense weather, so 2-3 nights are recommended to have a higher chance for a clear sky during midnight. And yes, it is worth waiting (my 2016 experience).

Tip: When you plan your trip early you can also book Hurtigruten car ferry passages without cabin to get from one port to the next. Some more information about this I tried to summarize on this page.