Route from Bergen to Flam

Hello! I am planning a driving trip through Norway in late July, 2014. We are flying into Bergen and renting a car. Everytime I try to plan a route from Bergen to Flam, which looks easy via the E16, Google maps takes me this long, circuitous route which adds two hours to the drive. Is there some reason why we can't drive direct to Flam via the E16?

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

We drove from Voss to Flam a few years ago, then continued on to Balestrand - it was a beautiful drive, many waterfalls in mid-June. I googled the Gudvanga Tunnel and found there was a major fire in the tunnel in August, resulting in 55 people hospitalized. That is probably the reason for the convoluted routing.

Posted by Wendy
Warminster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

Thanks for the info, Cynthia! I would hope the problems will be fixed by next July!

Posted by Beth
Sacramento, CA
21 posts

It is a beautiful area of Norway. You will love it! The Train was great too!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9133 posts

Wendy, I'm not sure if it will apply in the areas you plan to drive, but make sure you understand the toll system on Norwegian roads before leaving the rental agency. It's very non-intuitive. I'm planning a similar trip next summer, so if you ask any further questions, I hope you don't mind if I steal some of the ideas people give to you!

Posted by Wendy
Warminster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

Hi Tom! Thanks for the great information!! We'll be renting a car and I am not sure how that will work. The Web site you provided has an e-mail link, so I just shot off an e-mail asking about rental cars. I'll let you know what they say. Cheers!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9133 posts

There's a possibility your rental car might already be covered, but you'll have to ask the agency. If you rent the car in Norway, I can imagine they may already have some kind of arrangement. And at worst, you can just pay at the next service station. I found out about this system when I drove a Swedish-registered rental car from Åre to Trondheim. I saw the signs indicating that a toll was approaching, but then I became confused when I never saw a toll booth. On my return trip, that's when I noticed the cameras, and I didn't understand how the system worked until I looked it up later. And there's also the possibility that there won't be any toll roads along your route, but you'll need to check.

Posted by Wendy
Warminster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

Hi Tom! I was also thinking that the rental car agencies probably have a system worked out with the toll agency. I'll get the scoop. And I am certain we will have tolls. As I was working with Google maps to plan out routes, they virtually all have tolls and ferries. I doubt you can get around that easily in Norway!

Posted by Tara
Sarasota
142 posts

We rented a car in Norway for 7 days and don't recall any issues with tolls. I guess it wasn't a problem! ;-) The ferries were fun to ride on, and you could get to some neat places via car. We went in 2011, and while the rental car was expensive, it was very easy to drive in Norway and a lot of fun. Enjoy!

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

"I doubt you can get around that easily in Norway!" I also thought this when we were planning, but it was actually quite easy to drive in Norway. The main roads go down to the edge of a fjord where there will be a frequent ferry. Think of the ferries as movable bridges. You pay a fare when you drive onto the ferry. I don't recall paying any other tolls - I think they were covered by Hertz....When you get to the tops of the mountains, there is usually a tunnel through the mountain. There are very few roads where you go over the top of the mountain with steep drops - we did not encounter anything like the Conner Pass (Ireland) or the Applecross Road (Scottish Highlands)....One thing that was different was how few roads there were in the countryside. The main roads were excellent, but there weren't little sideroads everywhere like you see in England....We were frustrated, however, by the many beautiful photo spots we saw when driving because there was rarely a nearby place to pull off.....Hope this helps....

Posted by Wendy
Warminster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

Thanks for the info, Tara and Cynthia! And FYI Tom, the toll agency in Norway responded to my e-mail by telling me to work with the rental car agency. So I think clearly that the tolls are handled through the rental car agency. That will make life easier. Quick question about ferries: do you need to reserve a spot on these short ferry rides or can you just show up, get in line and wait for the next available spot? We are planning this trip in July, 2014, at the height of the tourist season. Are there long waits for ferries? If we decided to do one of these longer ferries, such as the Gudvangen to Kaupanger ferry, which I think takes about 3 hours, I would definitely try to make a reservation. But there seem to be lots of short 15 - 20 minute ferries in various locations where I would hope we could just show up. Sorry for all the questions but I am totally excited about planning this trip, as you can probably tell!

Posted by Tara
Sarasota
142 posts

Nope. You just show up and wait until the next ferry comes. I don't ever remember waiting very long. :-)

Posted by Wendy
Warminster, Pennsylvan, United States
11 posts

Thanks, Tara!! I am very glad to hear that!!