Accommodation and Meals:
You will spend 8 nights in locally run hotels, all in good locations and some with sustainability certification. Our properties in Flam and Bergen are members of the Eco-Lighthouse (Miljøfyrtårn), Norway's most widely used certification system for businesses that want to measure their environmental efforts and demonstrate social responsibility.
The hotels use locally produced ingredients wherever possible for breakfast and picnic meals- this is usually a combination of fresh bread, cheeses, meats, fruit and vegetables. Where meals are provided, the food will often be typical of the region; however we do encourage clients to use authentic, small restaurants and cafes as well. Your guide will be able to recommend or take you to some traditional Scandinavian restaurants, selling elm, reindeer and fresh fish.
The tap water in Norway and Sweden is very safe to drink and strongly discourage people from buying any bottled water. Usually hotels will be happy to fill thermos flask with tea, coffee or hot blackcurrant juice sometimes for free or at a small charge, if it’s on check-out day.
Local Craft and Culture:
We are enthusiastic about exploring the local culture of each of the regions we visit in Norway and Sweden. There are several cultural stops on the trip, including a traditional cheese farm in the fjords, the Flam Railway and Vasa in Stockholm. All of these sites and surrounding communities benefit from profits generated by entrance fees and souvenirs sold. There are a wide range of local handicrafts available for purchase during the trip including, hand knitted hats, scarfs and mittens. Clients can also purchase locally produced specialties such honey, jams, cheese and even beer (in Flam), which are all made locally, often using the same traditional methods that have been in place for hundreds of years.
A Fair Deal:
All of our guides in Sweden and Norway are local and in exchange for their insider’s knowledge and passion for the area, we ensure they are paid and treated fairly. You will also find that those working in the hotels and museums are also locals. Our support of locally staffed businesses helps to provide employment opportunities in areas which are sometimes quite rural and lacking in other opportunities. The economy and local community therefore benefits.
Much of this trip is spent sightseeing in towns and cities or exploring the fjords around Flam, where we operate with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy. When we do use motor transport we ensure that it is always proportionate to our small group size and never excessive.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.