The Norwegian Fjords, which topped the charts in National Geographic Magazine’s 2004 ranking, get even higher marks this year.“About as good as can be done” says one panelist. The gorgeous scenery and the “ well-preserved Norwegian rural life” are vigorously protected, plus “the local people seem to benefit.”
The sixth “places rated” list – isn’t a popularity contest. It is an assessment of authenticity and stewardship, evaluating the qualitites that makes a destination unique and measuring its “integrity of place.”
National Geographic Traveler has assembled a panel of 437 well-traveled experts in a variety of fields – historic preservation, site management, geography, sustainable tourism, ecology, indigenous cultures, travel wrting and photograpy, and archaeology.
The panelist were asked to evaluate only the place with which they were familiar, using customary six criteria, weighted according to importance: environmental and ecological quality; social and cultural intergrity; condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites; aesthetic appeal; quality of tourism management; and outlook for the future.
Here is a representative sampling of anonymous comments from the panelists (not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society):
“Environmental quality is at the highest level. Landscape is amazing and aesthetically one of the most beautiful. The icons of Norway are so unique that it is difficult to imagine anything else. The local culture can be seen on the shores and mountains. It gives an ideal overview of well-preserved rural life.”
“The short tourist season, rugged terrain, limited population, and inherent sensitivity of the locals to the environment bode well for for the fjord region.”
The rating comes on the heels of National Geographic Adventure Magazine calling Norway and its fjords “Europe’s Next Adrenaline Capital.” Steve Casimiro: “Look out, Chamonix. Norway is Europe’s new home for all things action.”
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Once again the Norwegian fjords have been rated the best destination in the world by National Geographic Traveler.
Norway's Fjords rated the Best Place in the World
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