Aurlandsdalen walking holiday, Norway

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Aurlandsdalen walking holiday, Norway

Environment

By rambling, you will be a part of the nature in a way, and you don’t destroy anything as long as you never throw away rubbish in the outdoors. Walking/rambling doesn’t make any sort of pollution itself. Always leave the environment as you would like to find it yourself! The food that you are served in the hotels is normally local produced / local cuisine and some of the hotels serve organic food.

The law on the management of nature's diversity (from 1st of July 2009) (Naturmangfoldloven) has been very important to keep the nature in Norway and also the international perspective to protect the nature and the environment. Different arts in the nature that disappears will disappear forever. Therefore, Norway has a demanding and ambitious goal of halting the loss of biodiversity. This is a new law that will be helpful and taking care of the wildlife and the national parks as well.

Our hiking / rambling trips are self-guided or with local guide, and all transport that are needed are with local bus or train. You stay at private hotels or family owned guesthouse with a high focus on the environment. Environmental policies are the same in all places you will visit during this tour. The hotels mostly do recycling of waste materials and energy saving. The staff at the hotels will also advise you to turn of the light when you leave the room. We request that suppliers limit cardboard and the number of deliveries and cleaning materials are ecologically friendly if possible. The hotels advise their guests to use the towels again, and leave them on the floor when they need to be changed. Most of the hotels also have a “saving shower” which reduce the amount of water flowing and they use soap dispensers in the bathrooms.

The Norwegian law allows you to walk wherever you want, as long as nothing else is announced. This gives numerous possibilities for exciting excursions! Private ground and cultivated land however, should not be trafficked. The nature must not be damaged! There might be stricter access to protected areas. Stick to paths and roads when you walk in agricultural and populated areas. Show respect for people and animals. Open fire is forbidden between the 15th of April until the 15th of September. It’s not allowed to smoke inside at our office, and all public places, public offices, bars and restaurants, and all kind of workplaces. In this mountain area you will find a lot of clean and fresh air.

Journeys further afield may utilize public transport, and the local economy benefits from our groups purchasing supplies. We use green transport on all our trips. You stay at traditional rambling resorts.

Aurlandsdalen is located at the head of the Sognefjord. The path that passes through the narrow valley from the mountain at Geitryggen and down to the Aurlandfjord is known for its varied and dramatically beautiful scenery. The valley is a classic example of how the glacier for thousands of years can give a landscape its typical and distinctive form. On a hike through the lush and diverse natural heritage you will pass old homesteads and farms. Arts richness is due to both the soil rich with minerals and the cultural influence over many centuries. The river that flows through the valley varies from beeing wild to slow flowing water.

Much of the life that once lived in the valley is now history. The ancient settlements are abandoned and life in the valley has silenced. Today, local efforts are active working for the restoration of cultural heritage and landscape in the Aurland Valley. The dramatic nature as a frame, and the well-preserved historical sites, therefore provides an idea of how life once appeared to be.

Underdal Valley and the Nærøyfjord (on the 2005 Unesco's World Heritage List) during this time. The Fjords Geiranger and Nærøy are the first natural properties from Norway to be included in the World Heritage List.

The conservation law is a general law which includes the use of the environment. "Nature is a national value that must be protected" and that "intervention in nature should only be carried out from a long-term and comprehensive resource optimization, which takes into account the nature of the future is maintained as the basis for human business, health and well-being." The Act provides further rules on the protection of special natural areas and natural resources (National Parks, conservation areas, nature reserves & nature memories) including the following below:

- Nature must not be damaged!
- Always bring back your litter, never throw rubbish outdoors
- There might be stricter access to protected areas
- Show respect for people and animals
- Open fire is forbidden between the 15th of April until the 15th of September
- It’s not permitted to smoke inside our office, and all public places, bars & restaurants, and all workplaces
- You cannot drink alcohol and drive afterwards

Community

You can choose between self-guided trips and guided trips. For the self-guided trips you receive a guidebook and good map and the trails are good marked, so it is easy to find. You meet local tour guide, mostly local staff at the hotels, the food is local and we’ll use local bus companies where transport is necessary. As a result of this, the money generated will stay within the local area, and provide local employment. You will get to know local specialities of food. In some of the places the local owner is working at the hotel.

It has been working for the local expertise to ensure the tourism industry in such a way that promotes sustainable development in local communities. Restoration of cultural heritage and landscape of Aurland valley has been important. In this you get the opportunity to make contact with the nature of people and heritage, people and feel part of their identity.

Local ownership and to refine the raw materials one has, and provide product as belongs in the landscape, is important fundamental ideas in Aurland. Actively involving themselves in the landscape with all the senses, both through landscape, culinary experiences, hiking and practical work, are seen as an important and appropriate way to go to create development in the community.

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