Sustainable travel in Norway

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Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik

Sustainable travel in Norway

by | Nov 16, 2023

Norway is known for its stunning natural beauty and a societal structure that promotes equality.

Responsible travel practices are essential to preserve its pristine landscapes and unique culture. The Norwegian sustainability scheme focuses on reducing the negative environmental, social, and cultural impacts of tourism while maximizing the benefits for local communities and the natural environment. This also involves maintaining a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensuring a meaningful experience for the traveler. 

There are five reflections that most travelers do: Allow us to share these reflections, from the perspective of sustainability, in Norway.

When to travel?

A good place to live is a good place to visit. During high season, over-tourism can sometimes dilute the local culture and charm and diminish the overall experience. If you choose to travel during the summer, visit less-known places. However, we recommend traveling during the low season, in October – April. It offers a more authentic and less touristy atmosphere at the iconic destinations and stimulates the local economy. Providers can offer full-year jobs as opposed to seasonal work, which translates into overall higher quality of the provided services.

Norway has four natural seasons; spring, summer, fall and winter. Each offers unique qualities. Fall comes with a firework of red, orange and yellow colors. Winter covers parts of the land with snow and ice, creating a magical atmosphere. It is the best time to cuddle up in front of a warm fireplace. Let us not forget the northern lights… Spring is a vibrant explosion of life with radiant green and brave flowers bursting through the snow.  

Photo: Fjord Norway

Photo: Reinhold Kager/Fjord Norway

How to travel?

Norway is a global leader in the adoption of electric vehicles and has made significant strides in developing infrastructure to support them. The country has invested in a widespread network of charging stations, so no need for range anxiety on your electric road trip. 

We urge you to take advantage of the excellent, increasingly electric, public transportation that Norway provides. Electric busses, trains and ferries will take you comfortably and effortlessly through some of the most scenically outstanding landscapes in the world, such as the UNSECO-fjords in the west of Norway. And yes, there is Wi-Fi on board.

Photo: Ruben Soltvedt/Fjord Norway


When you made it this far, why not stay for a while? Staying in one place longer allows you to travel less, but experience more in depth. When your travel itinerary is not packed with all possible things to see and do, you might create a space that allows those random, unforgettable meetings to occur. Naturally, while dwelling in stunning landscapes and ridiculously beautiful scenery.

Where to stay?

If you are seeking unforgettable cultural and scenic experiences, you can discover cozy small towns and villages with rich local traditions. In Norway’s remote areas, there is still the option of local and family-owned hotels, lodges and other unique accommodations. Instead of using the big chain hotels, why not treat yourself to a stay at these authentic places, while at the same time contributing to the local economy? These accommodations are not always easy to find, as you are planning your trip, and therefore unlikely to attract crowds of tourists. We, here at Norway Insight, have spent a lot of time sourcing out the best spots, and we are pleased to connect the dots for you. 

What to experience?

One unique aspect of Norwegian culture is the concept of “friluftsliv,” which translates to “open-air living.” Norwegians have a deep connection with nature and outdoor activities. Local guides and activity providers give access to local expertise so that you can explore nature as the locals do, safely. We reccomend limiting motorized activities, instead go hiking, cycling or kayaking with your own muscle power, or perhaps by horsepower, riding across white sandy beaches or vast mountain plateaus? How about being powered by dogs or reindeer?

Photo: Håvard Nesbø/Fjord Norway

Photo: Mattias Fredriksson/Fjord Norway

Photo: Visit Ryfylke

What to eat?

We emphasize eating fresh, local and seasonal foods. However, the season for those tasty slow-growing vegetables, berries and fruits is short this far north. Smoking, pickling, drying and curing are culinary techniques that have been around for centuries. These techniques came out of necessity rather than desire. The methods offer gastronomic uniqueness, but also sustainability as the food is preserved.

The Norwegian government has set standards and guidelines to ensure sustainable and ethical practices in the farming industry. This includes regulations related to animal welfare, land use, and environmental impact. Norway is among the countries in the world with the lowest consumption of pesticides and uses the least antibiotics in food production in the whole of Europe.

Can dairy and meat production be sustainable? Large parts of Norway are too rugged and weathered to be used as farming land. These areas, however, provide excellent grazing for animals like goats, sheep, reindeer and game. Livestock keeping in Norway has traditionally been a way to unlock the local resources, turning plants that are inedible, for humans, into meat, butter and cheese. We recommend carefully sourcing your meat and dairy. Choose local, small-scale producers when possible.

Photo: Feien og Fjong

Photo: Feien og Fjong

Photo: Fjord Norway

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