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Sustainable travel in Norway

These days, more and more travellers are focused on sustainable travel. People want to experience their dream destinations while minimizing the negative impact on the local environment and community. Fortunately, Norway is one of the most sustainable countries in the world, and plenty of measures have been taken to ensure that travellers can enjoy an eco-friendly Norwegian holiday.
But what exactly is Norway doing to preserve its natural environment, and how can you ensure your trip involves the least environmental impact possible? Keep reading to find out!

Is Norway known for sustainable tourism?

There are plenty of opportunities for environmentally conscious travel within Norway, so if you’d like to explore natural beauty and unforgettable experiences without worrying about your carbon footprint, you’ve come to the right place! In fact, Norway has been focused on sustainability within travel for a long time, and the country is well-known internationally for its efforts within eco-friendly tourism.
There’s plenty you can do to make greener choices for your upcoming trip to Norway. By making your environmental footprint as low as possible, you can enjoy an unforgettable trip to unique travel destinations in Norway while also preserving the local nature, environment and cultural heritage of the area.
One of the best examples of a sustainable tour in Norway would be Fjord Tours’ Lofoten Islands in a nutshell™ Tour. The stunning Lofoten Islands is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Norway, and this comprehensive tour makes it possible to explore the region in an eco-friendly way. Lofoten is a certified Sustainable Destination, meaning travellers can enjoy their time in this gorgeous natural area without worrying about the potential negative impact on the local environment.
Electric Fjord Cruise in Oslo - Norway
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS

What is Norway doing to protect its natural environment?

Norway and the other Scandinavian countries are at the very top of the list of the world’s most sustainable countries. The Norwegian government and its people have placed a high emphasis on creating a greener society and preserving the natural environment in Norway. The steps they’ve taken include switching to hydroelectricity, shifting transport to be mostly electric, establishing recycling initiatives, and investing a huge amount of money in efforts to keep the seas and nature as free of pollution as possible. 
In Norway, protecting the environment and heritage sites is a key priority, and this has led to an increased focus on creating eco-friendly travel opportunities. Fortunately for travellers, it’s possible to explore our beautiful country with a clean conscience by making an effort to use greener transport options, eating local food, using environmentally certified tour operators and visiting sustainable destinations. Several places in Norway have been designated Sustainable Destinations, such as the historic mining town of Røros which is also recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Polar city of Tromsø, the stunning Geirangerfjord and the unique and remote Longyearbyen and Svalbard.
Enjoying the view on Flåmsbana between Flåm and Myrdal - Norway

How can I travel sustainably in Norway?

Eco-conscious travellers will likely be impressed with Norway’s many options for sustainable travel. An increasingly green country, Norway is focused on making it possible for visitors to our shores to travel with as little impact on nature as possible. To that end, there are plenty of greener travel options that will also give you a fantastic experience, such as our many scenic railway journeys. In fact, the breathtaking Flåm Railway is considered the most beautiful train journey in the world and is truly an experience on its own! 
We all know that culinary experiences are a big part of experiencing a country, and you’re likely excited to try some Norwegian food during your stay in Norway. Fortunately, you can sample local delicacies and popular dishes guilt-free as Norway is focused on sustainable eating trends.
By taking part in a sustainable tour during your trip to Norway, you’ll be contributing to preserving the country’s stunning natural areas while taking in all the great sights and attractions you’re dreaming of seeing in person. Fjord Tours is a certified sustainable tour operator with plenty of experience with helping travellers to explore our country in a sustainable way, and there are a range of eco-friendly tours you can choose from.

Green Alternatives to Get Around Norway

We know that many of our customers have questions about the best ways to travel within the country. We always recommend finding the most eco-friendly ways to get around Norway. Once you experience the stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife our country has to offer, you’ll no doubt understand the importance of doing everything you can to protect it.
At Fjord Tours, sustainable travel is an important focus. We are proud to be a certified Eco-Lighthouse (Miljøfyrtårn) company. Eco-Lighthouse is a Norwegian certification used by companies who are seeking to document their efforts towards environmentalism and social responsibility. Companies can gain the designation by implementing and adhering to a strong environmental strategy.
Fjord Tours is proud to have achieved this designation in 2010. Since becoming certified, we have also received the European Sustainable Tourism Award. This award was granted by The Vestas in the Tour Package category. This category recognizes providers contributing to sustainable and responsible tourism. We take our responsibility as leaders in ecotravel very seriously and we love to help our clients find ways to sustainably travel. So, if you’re looking for green travel options for your next trip to Norway, here are a few strategies we recommend!
Norway in a nutshell® - Electric fjord cruise on the Nærøyfjord
Flåm AS / Sverre Hjornevik

Norway in a Nutshell®

One of the best ways to see all that Norway has to offer is on our Norway in a Nutshell® tour. We recommend this tour for individuals who are looking for an eco-friendly travel option because you can rest easy knowing that we’ve taken care of it all for you. This tour is not only our most popular but, it is also incredibly environmentally friendly.
Norway is a vast country and getting around on your own can be difficult. Often, without the help of an organized tour, visitors resort to hiring a car, which is a less than ideal option in terms of sustainability. On the Norway in a Nutshell® tour, you'll be on eco-friendly modes of transportation by sea, road and railway! This comprehensive tour will take you from Fjords to snow-capped mountains with options to begin your travels in either Oslo, Bergen, Flåm or Voss. You can take in the scenery and feel good knowing you’re doing your part to protect the stunning landscape and the animals that inhabit it for generations to come.

Did you know

That by flying from Oslo to Bergen the CO2 emission per person is equivalent to 69kg? On the Norway in a Nutshell® tour your total emission comes to only 7 kg! As well as the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint, you get to see and experience much more.
Moskenes - Lofoten Islands, Norway
Christian Bothner / Wwwnordnorgecom

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

The truth is, most types of travel will create a carbon footprint, however large or small. But, the good news is there are many ways you can work to offset your footprint. If you’re planning on flying into an airport in Norway, you should consider flying with Norwegian Airlines. Why? Because the airline recently signed a groundbreaking pledge with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to become carbon neutral within the next 30 years. In addition to several other strategies, Norwegian Airlines will also allow passengers the opportunity to compare carbon emissions produced when booking their flight and pay a carbon offsetting fee at the checkout.
Depending on where you are traveling from, there are also several good ways of getting to Norway by train. Oslo is the natural entry point for train arriving from abroad, and from Oslo you can travel more or less anywhere in Norway.

Sustainable Tourism

In today’s tourism climate people are eager to experience a unique destination while ensuring that the environmental impact stays as low as possible. As a society, we are slowly becoming more environmentally aware, striving to become as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
But what is sustainable tourism and why is it important? I hear you ask.
Sustainability in itself can be defined as the ability to meet the needs of the current generation without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In order to achieve sustainability one must positively impact three main principles encompassing the economy, society, and the environment.
Mayur Gala unsplash.com
Sustainable tourism commits to making a low impact on the environment and local culture. It is important in order to generate income in local economies and secure long term employment for local people. Sustainable tourism should be a positive experience for travel companies, tourists and locals alike.

How do I plan a sustainable holiday?

Examples of sustainable activities combined with travel include eco-friendly safaris in the wilds of Africa, hiking holidays in the Alps, volunteering in Costa Rican wildlife sanctuaries, or our personal favorite, chasing the Northern Lights in Northern Norway.
Northern Lights in Tromsø - Norway
Tromsø Friluftsenter

Is Norway a sustainable travel destination?

In a word, YES!
Norway is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world. From the school curriculum to initiatives for recycling, everyone takes an interest and does their bit. Plastic bags come with an extra charge in all supermarkets, the genial “pant” system rewards people financially for returning plastic bottles and second-hand thrift stores such as Fretex thrive in towns and cities across the country.
There is a strong cross-industry focus to keep the air, the seas, and nature as free from pollution as possible. In fact, Tesla was the most sold car brand in 2019 and almost 50% of all new cars sold were fully electric.
The capital Oslo received the 2019 European Green Capital award, with the downtown core now car-free and a promise to make all public transit fossil-free by 2021.
Oslo Harbour - Oslo, Norway

What are sustainable activities in Norway?

Whether you seek unforgettable cultural experiences, traveling to super cozy traditional towns or you’re more of a thrillseeker looking to climb the highest peaks, Norway has it all. In the world heritage archipelago Vega along the Helgeland coast, you can kayak, fish, bike, and see how feathers from the eider duck’s nesting boxes are collected and turned into some of the world´s most exclusive duvets.
Røros is another UNESCO protected site (there are 8 such sites in Norway), where you can visit a traditional old mining town.
Autumn in Røros, Norway
CH - Visitnorway.com
You should consider an immersion program with the indigenous Sámi people. A secretive and often outcast society, the Sami have recently embraced sustainable tourism as a vital source of local income.
Norway is renowned as a destination for hiking, ice climbing, base jumping, and fishing all of which qualify as sustainable options and we are happy to help you plan the perfect trip. Fjord Tours Norway offers whale watching, dog sledding, and electric fjord cruises. And of course...cross country skiing.
Summer ski at Folgefonna Glacier - Folgefonna Langrennscamp
Norway is often touted as “The Home of Skiing” and indeed boasts some of the best conditions in the world. The tradition dates back thousands of years to a time when skis were used purely as a means of transportation across the winter landscape. Rock drawings have been discovered depicting hunters using some kind of primitive ski but it was not until the early 1800s, that skiing began to develop into a leisure sport. Away from the chair-lifts and resorts, there are thousands of km waiting to explore at no cost to the environment.
Whatever you choose to do on your next holiday, choose sustainability and we hope that not only will you choose Norway but you will choose Fjord Tours to guide you along the way.

Sustainable Destination Designation

Norway is an incredibly welcoming country known for embracing tourists as they visit the stunning destinations within Scandinavia. Tourism is also an important industry in Norway. It makes up for approximately 4.2 % of the country’s GDP and creates 10% of all new jobs in the country. However, Norway has been equally mindful of the impact travel can have on the environment. In order to continue to be a welcoming and thriving tourist destination while also protecting the country’s natural landscape, Norway is taking significant steps to become a more sustainable travel destination.
Most notably, Innovation Norway launched the Sustainable Destination designation in 2013. There are ten key principles for sustainable tourism that must be met in order to qualify for the designation. The destination must work to conserve nature, the environment, and culture. It must also work to strengthen social values. Finally, the destination should promote economic sustainability. In 2018, Innovation Norway’s Sustainable Destination Standard became recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
If you’re planning your trip to Norway and you’re curious about how to make sustainable travel choices, sticking to Innovation Norway’s Sustainable Destinations might be a good idea. Here are a few of the locations that meet the standard.
Christmas street in Røros, Norway


This small mining town of Røros is a UNESCO world heritage site. The town has conserved its 17th and 18th-century wooden buildings. You can expect to be warmly welcomed by locals at traditional food markets, farms and shops around the small town. Once you’ve explored the historic mining town, there are three national parks nearby to discover. Dog sledding tours work to promote ecotourism within the area. In addition, visitors can enjoy fishing, cycling, canoeing, and horseback riding in Røros.
Tromsø Northern lights - Tromsø, Norway
Yngve Olsen Saebbe_www.nordnorge.com


Tromsø is called the "Gateway to the Arctic" because it enjoys more Northern Lights than anywhere else in the world. The city also has two whole months of Midnight Sun. Tromsø is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle in the Nordic countries and it is famous for the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun, Polar Nights, the Arctic Cathedral and the University of Tromsø.
We highly recommend experiencing Tromsø and the Northern Lights on a Northern Lights chase tour.
Frank Andreassen

Longyearbyen & Svalbard

As a part of Norway’s vulnerable Arctic, it’s no surprise that Longyearbyen and Svalbard are also Sustainable Destination certified. These destinations have been hit the hardest by climate change and, as a result, they are now working hard to protect the delicate balance of their ecosystem. A visit to Svalbard island to see the incredible population of polar bears (that actually outnumber the humans on the island!) is definitely a stop worth making. Once you see these incredible creatures, it’s hard not to feel inspired to protect them.
Norway’s unique and stunning landscapes are undoubtedly worth protecting. Arctic regions of the country are already experiencing the devastating impact of climate change. But it’s not too late to turn things around. If you’re looking for ways to ensure that you travel responsibly and sustainably while you are in Norway, we can help! Reach out to our team to go over your options for creating a trip that does its part to help preserve Norway’s beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife for generations to come.
Things to do on a Voss- guided hike to Rimstigen from Voss, on the way to the top - Voss, Norway

Fjord Tours & Sustainable Travel

Fjord Tours is Norway’s largest provider of tours and activities. This is something that we are of course very proud of, but we are also aware of the responsibility that comes with it.
Although we already focus on eco-friendly travel, which you can read more about in the article Eco-Friendly Travel with Fjord Tours, we are currently working on implementing a Sustainability Strategy for 2023 and the years ahead. We look forward to presenting this strategy which will be posted on our website.
If you are looking for ways to ensure that your travels to Norway and within the country are as eco-friendly as possible, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We are more than happy to highlight the best tour and travel options for you. We look forward to working together with you, our clients and our partners to help preserve and protect the beauty of our country for generations to come.

Eco-friendly activities

We have loads of eco-friendly activities available all over Norway. This is just a small sample of some of our most popular alternatives. You can see all our activities here.

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