In the sixth installment of a family ecotourism series that provides suggestions for families traveling through Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate Oslo. A remote Scandinavian land of a thousand fjords and islands, Norway always ranks high in environmental surveys for its water quality and hydro power plants. Its capital, Oslo, is located at the start of the 100-kilometre Oslofjord. The fjord’s 40 islands each have unique character and abundant recreational activities. Over half of Oslo is covered by forests and parks, making it a truly green city. What I found most appealing about its architecture was the abundant use of turf roofs, which allows for natural insulation.
Oslo is well connected by trams, underground, buses, and ferries all of which share a ticket system. Also, within about a 10 minute ferry ride from Oslo, you can reach any of the 40 islands that encompass the Oslofjord.
Family ecotourism activities:
- Hovedoya island is a nature reserve that offers tourists an opportunity to visit some botanical gardens that contain Norway’s rarest flowers, historical sites including monasteries, and beaches.
- Ostensjovannet and Akerselva islands are havens for birders. The Ostensjovannet Lake is Oslo’s biggest wetland and bird reserve and with more than 200 species of birds registered, the area is widely used for hiking. Akerselva’s southern part features the spectacle of salmon spawning. Also, along the river more than 100 species of birds have been found including the national bird, the fossekall.
Check out our eco-certified vacations in Europe.