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Carved by glaciers during the ice age, the Lysefjord is one of Europe’s most spectacular sites, as well as a nature lover’s paradise. It is one of Norway’s certified sustainable tourist destinations.
For holiday destinations across the world, the environmental and social impact of tourism is huge. While the influx of tourists presents multiple opportunities for local value creation and employment, it also has negative impacts. These include increased pollution, damage to the landscape and disturbance to local communities.
“Sustainable Destination” certification is awarded to destinations in Norway that are working systematically to reduce the negative impact of tourism. In order to be certified, a destination must preserve local nature and culture, strengthen social values, demonstrate political commitment, have effective management, and be economically viable. Each of these five criteria has specific indicators that make it clear which actions are to be taken. Read more about sustainable tourism in Norway.
Travellers from around the world come to the Lysefjord for its natural beauty. The mountain rock formations Pulpit Rock and Kjerag are internationally renowned for their spectacular views, and are among the most visited attractions in Norway.
At Pulpit Rock and Kjerag, Visit Lysefjorden has worked for years to handle the increasing inflow of visitors while preserving nature and keeping people safe. Local staff is on hand to handle parking, toilets and litter. Sherpas from Nepal have even upgraded the trails with stone steps to facilitate access and protect the local environment. Mountain rescue services from Norwegian People’s Aid are also on hand to prevent accidents and provide assistance.
The Lysefjord, however, offers much more than its most famous viewpoints. Other highlights include the world’s longest wooden staircase with 4 444 steps, a hiking route taking tourists all the way around the fjord, and the centre for extreme sports at the end of the fjord in Lysebotn.
Tourists are increasingly choosing tour operators that focus on sustainability. Tour operators can recommend any Norwegian destination certified as sustainable, secure in the knowledge that the destination is working continually to advance sustainability – economically, socially and environmentally – while providing an excellent experience.
The Lysefjord region has traditionally been a summer destination but is now focusing on expanding activities during the other seasons as well, including by opening Pulpit Rock in winter with guided hikes in the snow.
Spreading visitor traffic throughout the year is important for creating a fully sustainable destination, with local, year-round, full-time jobs and minimal impact on nature.
The Lysefjord is located in southwestern Norway
The region is known for the world famous Pulpit Rock
An ideal summer destination, the region is also expanding its winter activities