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Go electric – by train, onboard super-silent sightseeing boats, or in an Instagram-friendly, fun EV. Go healthy – sample organic food grown by local farmers. Here are some travel tips for a more sustainable vacation in Norway. 

Dynamic Variation:

If you want to go by boat, several ferry providers from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany have upgraded to more environmentally friendly fuel. When docked in Oslo and Kristiansand, the majority of these ferries are now connected to land-power to lower emissions.

But as Norway is a very long and rugged country, there are some destinations where flying there will be the most convenient, and sometimes only, option. Staying longer lowers your total environmental impact.

Read more about getting to Norway.

2. Travel like a local

The best way to explore the nooks and crannies of Norway is by public transport, and trains are often the most environmentally-friendly option. Not only that – train journeys like the Bergen Railway, the Rauma Railway, the Nordland Railway, and the Ofoten Line are among the most beautiful in the world!

You can also easily visit amazing destinations by the fjords or in the mountains and valleys by bus or boat. If you wish to explore the Norwegian coastline, local ferries make it convenient to go island hopping from major ports in Bergen, Ålesund, Kristiansund, Trondheim, and Bodø.

The travel planner Entur gives you an overview of timetables and routes, and several destinations offer pre-planned round trip passes and travel passes.

3. Electric road trips

If you wish to embark on an epic road trip by yourself, you can easily do so in an electric car (or even an electric bike), whether it is a rental or your own. There are more than 10,000 charging stations across Norway, and the number is still rising. If you are driving a Tesla, you can use their fast-charging stations. Moreover, several hotels have designated charging spots in their car parks.

In Oslo, you can explore the city with an electric city car from Greenmobile, and in Geiranger and Flåm you can go exploring in a mini electric car provided by eMobility.

Find charging stations at ladestasjoner.no (in Norwegian only) and find more EV information on elbil.no to plan your journey.

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Havila Kystruten is now offering cruises on the route between Bergen and Kirkenes. Its fleet consists of ships that run purely on electric batteries and LNG (liquified natural gas).

Photo: Cappella

5. Destinations with a focus on sustainability

In Norway, many destinations work systematically to reduce the negative impacts of tourism and strengthen the benefits, and ensure that you get the most amazing and unique experiences. These places are part of the sustainability labelling scheme Sustainable Destination, which focuses on developing more sustainable and responsible tourism across Norway. The organisation also aims to enhance value for the local culture and community, making them a great place to visit as well as a good place in which to live.

You will also find many eco-certified travel providers throughout the country.

6. Experience Oslo

Oslo has some of the most innovative environmental solutions in Europe and was named European Green Capital 2019.

Experience the new face of the city by the fjord and find out why several international travel experts, such as Lonely Planet, have crowned Oslo one of the top cities in the world to visit.

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8. Pure activity

Norway is a natural amusement park, and there are so many fun ways to explore the country. Use your own muscle power and go hiking, cycling, skiing, climbing or kayaking, or enjoy other outdoor activities. To ensure your safety and gain fascinating insight, you can also take a variety of guided tours. Local guides are experienced experts. By choosing a company located in the area, you are also supporting the local economy. You can usually hire any necessary equipment.

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Further north, you can embark on the hybrid vessel Brim Explorer and go on a day cruise from the cosy fishing villages of Lofoten in the summer, or on a winter whale safari in Tromsø. The latter was featured on The Telegraph’s list of The 50 greatest adventures on Earth!

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More and more Norwegian restaurants are striving to be more sustainable, and many offer exquisite vegetarian and plant based dishes and locally sourced ingredients. Try Himkok, a bar in Oslo that was named “The world's most sustainable bar” in 2018, or Credo restaurant in Trondheim, which received the first Michelin Nordic Guide Sustainability Award in 2019. Not to mention Rest, a unique restaurant in Oslo that turns leftovers into world-class gourmet meals.

Don't forget that delicious Norwegian water is totally free! Get it straight from a mountain stream.

11. Look out for an eco certification

Norsk Økoturisme (Norwegian Ecotourism) is one of the strictest Norwegian eco labels in tourism. Only businesses and operators that hold a high international level can become certified. There are over 100 strict criteria on environmental performance, the role of the host, local community integration, and procurement that must be met.

In other words, if you visit a place that holds this certification, you can rest assured that the providers work very hard to eliminate the negative consequences of tourism and to boost its positive impact. 

Check out these certified businesses and operators:

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  • Classic "Norway in a Nutshell' Hiking Tour by 50 Degrees North
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    Classic "Norway in a Nutshell' Hiking Tour by 50 Degrees North
    Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Visit Norway
    Classic Hiking Tour
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    Norway in a nutshell winter
    Photo: Fjord Tours
    Norway in a nutshell® Winter Tour
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    Norway Roundtrip from Oslo by Book Nordics
    Photo: Daniele D'Andreti / Unsplash
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    Photo: Fjord Tours
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    Sognefjord Adventure by Authentic Scandinavia
    Photo: Frithjof Fure / Fjord Norway
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    Norwegian Fjords & Glaciers by Authentic Scandinavia
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    Arctic Circle Express by Up Norway
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    Norway in a Nutshell® Premium
    Photo: Robert Bye / Unsplash
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    The Golden Route by Authentic Scandinavia
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    Oslo, Bergen & Fjord Experience by Authentic Scandinavia
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    Discover Fjord Norway by Authentic Scandinavia
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    Norway in a nutshell by Fjord Tours
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    Sognefjord in a nutshell by Fjord Tours
    Photo: Sverre Hjoernevik, Visit Norway
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    Coast & Fjords of Norway by Authentic Scandinavia
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    UNESCO Geirangerfjord in a nutshell
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Find eco-certified alternatives

Find environmentally certified activities and accommodation all over Norway.

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