Norway: be enchanted by destinations that care about and prioritize sustainability

Meet some places that are committed to becoming more sustainable in relation to the environment, local communities, cultural heritage and the economy.

The places that receive this seal are committed to working consistently towards more sustainable tourism development. – Photo by: Torild Moland – TravelStock via VisitNorway.com

With practices that involve the preservation of the environment, the local community and the tourism industry, some Norwegian cities stand out in the country. In order to exalt and recognize such destinations, the seal of "Sustainable Destination“, it is the only national labeling scheme in the Nordic region for sustainability-focused travel destinations. In this way, the places receive this seal for having committed to work consistently towards a more sustainable tourism development, while preserving local communities and cultural heritage, and also with the aim of reducing the environmental footprint caused by tourism.

It should be noted that these destinations are not yet fully sustainable, but despite this, they are committed to embarking on a process of continuous improvement. Meet some of these:

Roros

Roros is a simple little town in Trøndelag, where you can, with a pinch of imagination, “travel to the past”. Photo by: Sven-Erik Knoff – VisitNorway.com

It is a simple little town in Trøndelag, where you can, with a pinch of imagination, “travel to the past”. In fact, this traditional mountain village is one of the oldest wooden villages in Europe and has even been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

It is known for being a living museum with centuries of history, especially among its charming streets. Røros was founded in 1644, after the first discovery of copper in the region. Over the years, it has become one of Norway's most prominent mining towns.

Røros was one of Norway's most prominent mining towns. Photo by: CH – VisitNorway.com

Currently, despite having a history related to the exploitation of copper in the mines it houses, Røros has obtained the certification of Sustainable Destination. Although this does not mean that the destination is sustainable, it does represent a commitment to combating the negative effects of tourism and, at the same time, enhancing its positive effects. 

In this way, the inhabitants of Røros have preserved the original charms of the city, with buildings dating back to the 1700s and 1800s, as well as the surrounding cultural landscape.

In Røros, you can visit the national parks of Femundsmarka and Forollhogna, go hiking, mountain biking and fishing, or even go to the largest canyon in northern Europe, the Jutulhogget.

man fishing in Femundsmarka. – Photo by: Thomas Rasmus Skaug – VisitNorway.com

Lillehammer

Lillehammer is another Norwegian city that has achieved Sustainable Destination certification. Located in the lush valley of Gudbrandsdalen, it has many special features. First, it stands out as an important Unesco City of Literature, offering a combination of a rich cultural life with an urban atmosphere, in addition to being located just 200 kilometers north of Oslo, the country's capital.

There, you can also go back in time with a visit to the 200th-century wooden church of Garmo, which is housed in the Maihaugen open-air museum. The museum also houses around XNUMX buildings that have been restored.

In Lillehammer it is possible to go back in time with a visit to the wooden church of Garmo (in the image), from the XNUMXth century, which is located in the Maihaugen open-air museum. – Photo by: Sven-Erik Knoff – VisitNorway.com
open air museum Maihaugen. – Photo by: Sven-Erik Knoff – VisitNorway.com

Another must-see attraction in the region is the Hunderfossen Adventure Park – where you can feel like you're part of a fairy tale on snow and ice. The park, which remains open even in midsummer, is one of the largest and most popular parks in Norway. It has many rides and attractions full of emotion.

Another unmissable attraction in the region is the Hunderfossen Adventure Park, one of the most popular in Norway. – Photo by: Joakim Mangen via VisitNorway.com

As in many Norwegian cities, in Lillehammer it is also possible to experience everything related to venturing into nature, from mountain biking in Hafjell, fishing in lake Mjøsa, even rafting in the river Sjoa.

Lysefjord

The Lysefjord, a fjord whose name means “fjord of light”, stands out for its breathtaking panorama, not being far from Stavanger, the fourth largest city in Norway. The region has the Sustainable Destination seal, as well as the other two. Its beauty, however, stands out for the fantastic natural landscapes it sustains.  

The beauty of Lysefjord stands out for the fantastic natural landscapes it sustains. – Photo by: Carl Cerstrand Nygh _ Unspash – VisitNorway.com

The Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) in Ryfylke is one of them. It is indeed Norway's biggest attraction and one of the most famous lookout points in the world. No wonder he is famous far beyond Norwegian borders, and has even appeared on Hollywood screens!

O Pulpit Rock (Pulpit Rock) in Ryfylke is Norway's biggest attraction and one of the most famous viewpoints in the world. – Photo by: Carl Cerstrand Nygh _ Unspash – VisitNorway.com

In addition to providing the experience of being in the midst of stunning nature, the place offers fjord cruises and unforgettable trails. A four kilometer hike is considered moderately demanding and takes you to the famous rock formation of Preikestolen, an incredible 604 meters above sea level.

Another possibility is to tackle the more than 4 steps of the world's largest wooden staircase, the Flørlitrappene (Flørli Staircase), which takes the traveler 740 meters above the fjord in less than two hours.

Facing the more than 4 steps of the largest wooden staircase in the world, the The Flørli stairs (Flørli Stairway) means reaching 740 meters above the fjord in less than two hours. – Photo by: Thomas Rasmus Skaug – VisitNorway.com
Longest wooden staircase in the world,  The Flørli stairs (Flørli Staircase). - Photo by: Thomas Rasmus Skaug – VisitNorway.com

It is also possible to enjoy the landscape from completely different perspectives, either aboard a kayak or on a beautiful cruise across the fjord. Most cruises depart from Stavanger and reach Lysefjorden in approximately three and a half hours. In the summer months, a passenger ferry departs from Lauvvik and Forsand to Flørli and Lysebotn. The ferry can also take a small number of cars (provided they are not motorhomes or caravans).

Sustainable Destination – local involvement in a long-term perspective - Photo by: Innovation Norway / Brand Norway – VisitNorway.com

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