After , the temperature has slowly cooled, but has been known to rapidly heat again; in the surrounding area, liquid rock is just two kilometres just over a mile under the surface of the earth, meaning it can be very unpredictable. You are welcome, however, to at least feel the water and dip your feet in to relax.
The lava cave and hot spring, however, have such an ethereal, otherworldly beauty that they attract many visitors a year. Icelandic mountain ranges can also be seen cut behind scenes filmed in countries such as Ireland and Croatia. Reaching it and getting to the hot spring, however, requires a reasonable level of fitness and a little sense of adventure. There is a slightly rocky path that takes you from Dimmuborgir to the cave itself, which you will need to be careful descending into; lava caves are very jagged, and the ground is uneven. Often visited by those travelling the popular sightseeing route along the South Coast , it is a wonderful place to stop, recharge, and if you are taking your time, rest for the night.
Though it only has around residents, the village is very popular amongst tourists for its convenience and beautiful surrounding landscapes. Out to sea in especially good weather, the Westman Islands can also be seen on the horizon. This is one of the best places for birdwatching in Iceland, with thousands of puffins nesting here from May to August. Particularly of note are the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks , said to be two trolls frozen in the light of the morning sun as they tried to pull a ship into shore.
Lives have been lost here before. Short walks from the village will take you to the nesting grounds of gulls, fulmar, guillemots, and in summer, puffins. There are gas stations, shops and cafes, a swimming pool, a wool factory that can be visited, and a wide range of accommodation options for all budgets. The beauty of its formation and surroundings draw thousands of guest a year, and have inspired artists for centuries. Svartifoss is best renowned for the hexagonal basalt columns that surround it and lay shattered at its base.
At none of these locations, however, is there a cascade of foaming white water to add to the beauty and fantasy of the site. The geology surrounding Svartifoss has inspired many artists and architects, spanning generations. This reserve is renowned for it diverse and spectacular sceneries. It is partly forested in birch, partly covered in lava, divided by rivers and streams, and has many glacier tongues and lagoons within its boundaries. Avid hikers, photographers and nature lovers, therefore, find Skaftafell to be an oasis of beauty. To many, Svartifoss is its highlight. Svartifoss, within Skaftafell, has a host of sites that compete for attention from visitors.
Visitors are encouraged to spend several hours following different treks in the path, to discover a whole host of unspoiled spots of incredible natural beauty. The four hours it should take you is likely to extend much longer, however, as you stop off at the many sites en route. While these sites are majestic places, where you can see enormous icebergs cruise from a vast lake to the ocean, amongst dozens of playing seals, Svartifoss still stands up as a natural highlight next to them, and visitors should still attempt to see it.
It also boasts a quaint and popular Heritage Museum, which has several remodelled turf-houses, replicas of the homes Icelanders lived in for centuries. The town also features an airport which is mostly used for domestic flights, although an increasing number of international airlines are beginning to fly there. The town also boasts a college and a health centre.
It is a favourite destination for hikers and bikers, with over 40 kilometres 25 miles of marked paths. It is also a favoured spot for birdwatchers, due to the dozens of species indigenous to the area. Since the 14th Century, there have been many reports of a great wyrm living in its depths, and sightings of this mythical beast continue to this day. Like the Westfjords , this is one of the most remote places in the country, and as you wind around the giant mountains and look across the sparkling bays, there will often be no other soul in sight.
Those travelling the East Fjords should be sure to soak up the culture of the fishing villages, the magnificent views, and the extensive wildlife. Looking towards the sea cliffs will provide plentiful opportunities to see many species of nesting bird; on the shores you may see colonies of seals; and out amongst the waves, perhaps even the breaking fin of a whale or dolphin. This is also the only place in the country where reindeer can be found. Brought over initially to be farmed for meat, the industry was never as lucrative as sheep and horse farming, so the animals have roamed in their herds ever since.
It is often travelled through or stopped off in by those exploring the South Coast or encircling the country. It also has a tiny local airport, with flights to the Westman Islands. These sagas were epic works of fiction, which encapsulated much of the history and folklore of Iceland in its early era. There is an excellent Icelandic Saga Centre in the town that those who love literature and history should not miss checking out. The other is on the history of trade, commerce and the cooperative movement in the 20th century.
In the early s, the country had little changed since the medieval era. People still scraped a living off fishing and farming, lived in turf houses or, if they were extremely poor, caves, and had very little industry or infrastructure. The nation was still under the Danish Crown, with little to no contact with the outside world.
Fast-forward to , and Iceland was already the developed country it is today, leading the world on issues such as gender equality, technological prowess, social fairness and civil rights. There is also a nice gallery in town, and a good restaurant in the Saga Hall, a replica of a medieval longhouse. According to Njal's Saga, its hero, Gunnar, lived there. There is good trout and salmon fishing in the nearby rivers.
It is the northernmost town of the mainland. Along with its natural beauty, it is a cultural hub, with an award-winning Herring Era Museum, Folk Music Museum and the Folk Music Festival that attracts ever more travellers every year. Like with the rest of Iceland, in recent years services and tourism have become increasingly essential parts of the economy.
Thus, there has been a large increase in visitors over the past decade. By the middle of the 20th century it was one of the largest settlements in Iceland. From this period, it was the capital of herring fishing in the North Atlantic, and the town's fishing museum bears proud witness to this history. Here, you can learn all about how important the seas were to the survival of all Icelanders from settlement to modernisation. Called the Herring Era Museum, it is one of Iceland's largest seafaring and industry museums in the country. It is split into three houses; in one, you can learn about the fishing itself and the national processing processes.
In another, you can see many ships and boats from the s. The salting station retains the old look of the place and on good summer days travelers may observe the salting process in action. Here, the the old folk songs are brought to life, and you can hear recordings of people singing quint songs, called tvisongur; chanting the epic rhymes, or rimur; playing the langspil; and singing the old Icelandic nursery rhymes. Various events take place, including lectures and courses on music and handicraft, along with dances, concerts and parties.
The birdlife is varied, with some 2, birds of 16 to18 species usually be found in the fjord, particularly in summer. In the 20th Century, there were usually five inhabited farms in the fjord, as the vegetation in the region is rich and food could be obtained from land and sea.
The winters were hard, however, the area saw many avalanches, and the fjord was also hard to reach, so none remain. Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by Debivort. It has a population of around people. It is a service centre for the local area and a common stop for travellers of the Ring Road. The town has a hotel and a guesthouse, as well as summerhouses and a camping area and offers general commerce and services.
Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by Emstrur. Birdwatching is popular in the area, as well as horse riding tours. The nearby lakes and rivers are some of the best in the country for fishing trout and salmon. A small golf course is also located in the town. You might also want to check out the handicraft museum, the Sea Ice Exhibition Centre and the textile museum, the only one of its kind in Iceland.
The local church, also called 'the new church', has interesting architecture, inspired by nature and made to resemble a volcanic crater. The older church, built in is particularly notable for its beauty, built in Romanesque style from metre thick granite blocks. The ceiling is painted with a thousand stars and the church has a thousand small window panes. Kjarval, one of Iceland's foremost painters. There are several tour operators who offer trips to the Golden Circle.
This is only to help the landowners preserve and protect the crater; after all, it is on privately owned land. This vivid redness is part of the appeal of visiting this crater. The crimson rocks contrast dramatically with their surroundings, particularly the intense azure colour of the waters within the crater lake, and the verdant bursts of vegetation. Many crater lakes can be found in nearby, a region known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone.
The area surrounding it is of barren, stark lava fields, further illustrating the volcanism of the region. Upon eruption, it is widely believed that the volcano depleted its magma reserve, causing the foundation to fall in upon itself and result in the formation it has today. Of course, this was two thousand years before settlement, so no one is quite certain. The resulting lake is between seven and fourteen metres deep, depending on the time of year and the amount of rainfall.
The reason why the lake is so vividly coloured is that of the minerals from the rocks, seeping into and dyeing the water the aquamarine colour for which it is renowned. Its beauty and isolation make it a dream location for photographers and hikers alike. Though the valley was only formed at the end of the last ice age approximately 10, years ago, the bedrock here is much older, dating back two million years.
The ravine was created by the runoff from a glacial lake, which wore away the soft stone and left only the more resistant rocks behind. It is possible to walk along the ridges above, or in the valley itself. The site is popular amongst photographers for the contrasts between the dark rocks, foaming waters and verdant moss. If taking the route along ridges of the valley, look up as well as down, as, in clear weather, you will attain great views of the South Coast , Highlands , and surrounding glaciers. While this is safe, you will want either waterproof, sturdy boots, or sandals with a strap on the back that you can easily change in and out of.
The South Coast itself is lined with other features to visit during your travel. You will also see sites such the beach Reynisfjara , with its great sea-stacks, Reynisdrangar , said to be trolls frozen in the light of the morning sun. The South Coast can be explored in a day, but to get to all the sites and enjoy them properly, visitors are encouraged to spend two or three days in the region.
In the beginning of the 19th Century, the trading post was abandoned but today, the area prospers economically because of tourism. These include rare and protected species. The eastern part of the lava field has been an official nature reserve since When it came to deciding the location, an old woman reportedly suggested making a man spin in circles until he became dazed and then have him shoot three arrows into the air.
Where the third arrow landed, the church should be built. A small turf chapel was built two years later, where it stood until it was dismissed by orders of the Danish King Christian VIII in A woman named Steinunn had meticulously cared for the artefacts from the old chapel, which resulted in the church still donning some of its original items, such a door latch engraved by Bent in Renovations were made in , and again in the s when it got slightly relocated and reconstructed according to its original Danish design.
The waterfall has a height of 13 metres 44 feet and an average width of six metres 20 feet.http://rails3.lunenburg.org/124-clorochina-fosfato-e.php
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The waterfall can be visited year round, but expect large crowds during the peak season of the summer. During the depths of winter, the waterfall is entirely frozen over. Ice climbers have been known to scale it, but this should only be done with and by experts. The National Park is one of the three famous sites of the Golden Circle along with Gullfoss waterfall and the Geyser Geothermal Area , for both geological and historical reasons. As they pull apart, the land is torn, and thus there are many beautiful ravines and lava fields to be found. The most famous of these ravines is Silfra.
Like the others, it is filled with crystal clear glacial water, which emerges from a spring, but unlike the others, it is possible to take snorkelling and diving tours here. Icelanders would meet annually to pass laws, settle disputes, and share news. It was both incredibly progressive, giving a voice to all people and granting women divorces long before many other nations were considering it, and barbaric, hosting many battles and the prosecution of dozens of witches.
One notable piece of folklore about the waterfall was that it was said to have prophetic powers for the year ahead. At midnight on New Years Eve, it would run red with either wine or blood, with the former promising prosperity ahead, and the latter warning of war. Haukadalur is a geothermal valley in South Iceland on the popular Golden Circle route. Lying to the north of Lake Laugarvatn , it is home to hot springs, fumaroles, mud pots and geysers, including the famous Great Geysir and the active Strokkur.
The area is noted for the vivid colouration of its surrounding hills, caused by elements deep in the earth being brought to the surface by the geothermal activity. Haukadalur has been mentioned in historic writings as far back as , in which its geysers were described following an earthquake that activated them. Throughout the 20th Century, images of the Great Geysir erupting at Haukadular began to symbolise Iceland. Even so, the geyser Strokkur is still very active, erupting to heights of 30 metres 98 ft every five to ten minutes.
Today, most of the near-two million visitors to Iceland will see Haukadalur Valley on their travels. Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Kkaefer. Faxi is a wide, serene waterfall in South Iceland. Faxi falls is approximately twelve kilometres seven miles away from Gullfoss and Geysir , two incredibly popular attractions on the Golden Circle. It is thus easy to detour from these for one extra attraction, and extend a day out.
Gullfoss, otherwise known as the Golden Waterfall, is 32 metres feet tall, falling in two tiers into a beautiful canyon. Though more powerful and dramatic than Faxi, it has less of its serenity, and there are usually much bigger crowds at Gullfoss. Geysir, meanwhile, is a geothermal area that, as its name suggests, is home to geysers. The most active of these, Strokkur, erupts to heights of up to forty metres feet every ten minutes or so.
Geysir itself has been inactive for the past few years, only going off sporadically. The area is also home to many fumaroles, hot-springs and mud-pits. This location sits directly between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, in the Mid-Atlantic Rift, and is an oasis of beautiful lava landscapes, forest and crystal clear streams.
Icelanders formed it here in AD, before much of the rest of Europe had even starting thinking about representative democracies. The Golden Circle is as close to an essential-Icelandic experience there is, and Faxi is a perfect addition to extend the day. Photo Credit: Callie Reed. Hiking through the countryside around Faxi waterfall is a pleasure.
Many Icelandic horses and a wealth of birdlife can be expected in summer. The area also draws those who enjoy salmon fishing, and the falls is pregnant with them. Although it is not particularly rapid, kayaking and rafting are banned here. There are thus many sites, alongside Faxi, that visitors could add to their sightseeing journey if travelling alone. A comprehensive list of detours can be found on this site.
It is the only pool of its size in the area and is ever increasing in popularity. It is recommended you book tickets in advance in the summer. The water here is packed with minerals, particularly sulphur, which is said to be good for respiratory and skin problems. There are also two steam-baths, sat directly on top of churning geothermal waters.
The site also has a hot tub and a separate pool for young children, as well as a restaurant. The price for adult entry is 4, ISK for the winter season until the end of April and ISK in summer until the end of September ; 1, and ISK respectively for teenagers aged ; and 3, ISK respectively for senior citizens, handicapped customers and students; and free for those 12 and younger with an adult.
On this pass, you will find dozens of seething fumaroles and bubbling mud pits, that dye the land vivid colours and fill the air with noxious fumes. Nearby you will also find geological wonders, such as at Dimmuborgir. While you cannot bathe here, you can feel the water and see where Jon Snow and his Wildling lover consummated their relationship.
Those interested in flora will be interested to know that this is one of the few places in the world where you can see moss balls. It is located by Route 1, which encircles the country. This is due to the heat beneath the earth, the acidity in the soil, and poisonous fumes being expelled. That is not to say, however, that the site is dull; its life comes from the vivid colours that streak through the earth, dyed by the elements brought up with the steam.
The air smells intensely of sulphur throughout the area, which, while unpleasant, is a constant reminder of the powerful forces at work beneath your feet. Though it would be damaging for your health to spend too long breathing it, a visit for a few hours will not cause any problems. Also, give all the hot springs a reasonably wide berth, as the land surrounding them may be unstable, with scalding steam just beneath the surface. Fascinating remnants of this period are found in the form of four ancient lifting stones that still occupy the beach. The stones range in weight from 23 kg 50 lbs to kg lbs and were used to test the strength of fishermen.
Even today, you can see how you would have fared working on Iceland's dangerous seas by trying your luck at lifting these stones. In , the English trawler Epine GY 7 from Grimsby shipwrecked on the shore, with fourteen dead and five survivors. The rusty iron remains of the vessel remain scattered on the beach, now protected as a monument to those who perished. Though believed in olden times to be bottomless, the water bodies were later revealed to reach the depth of just five metres.
This beach is not one for wading, but enjoying from a safe distance, especially if the weather is stormy. It is the oldest pool in the country, and one of the most popular for locals and tourists alike. Though not as busy as the Blue Lagoon , it still requires pre-booking in the summer. This village is renowned for its greenhouse activity, which is used for horticulture and agriculture in the form of many greenhouses.
This helps Iceland produce fresh food throughout the year. Another major advantage of this geothermal activity is the natural and age-old thermal pools to be found in the area. Hrunalaug is one of those, a minuscule natural hot spring that has regrettably undergone a great deal of damage in the last years due to increased numbers of visitors. The Secret Lagoon, however, has been modified to accommodate a much larger number of people. The area all around the hot spring consists of mossy lava fields and geothermal hot-spots, including a small geyser that erupts every 5 minutes or so, which can be seen from the pool.
A path by the pool allows you to explore this area with ease. The steam that rises from the surrounding terrain into the air gives the place its distinct and magical atmosphere. The pool was constructed in and is officially the oldest swimming pool in the entire country. Icelanders simply call it 'the old pool' or 'gamla laugin'. Before the s, the Icelandic people rarely knew how to swim, in spite of being a nation of fishermen surrounded by an ocean. Today, near every single Icelandic person is an able swimmer, since swimming lessons are conducted in pools and are mandatory for every Icelandic child.
Once its ownership changed hands, however, it underwent a renaissance. It has since then been thoroughly renovated, although maintains both a natural charm and air of abandoned, fairytale-like mystery. The Secret Lagoon is often compared favourable to the Blue Lagoon, for being cheaper and less busy. While true, the Blue Lagoon has more facilities, such as saunas and steam rooms, and a wealth of unique properties, such as its azure waters and silica masks, that distinguish it. This means that it can be visited to refresh after a long flight, or in preparation for one. Both, however, are in beautiful, serene locations and have their own distinct charm, so many visitors indulge in trips to both.
The tallest here is Mount Kerling , which is over 1, metres ft tall.
In spite of its elevation, the permanent glaciers on the peaks are miniscule compared to even average Icelandic ice caps. Many valleys and bays were carved at the end of the last ice age, meaning the region is home to many rivers and waterfalls. In spite of its tall mountains, its lowland regions have quite a high population, due to excellent fishing and surprisingly fertile lands. Most farms are horse-farms, and riding is a popular activity in the area. Icelandic horses are a unique breed, known for being smaller than others, but also more intelligent, curious and sturdy.
Though only at the base of the peninsula, Akureyri is the most popular town in the area. Those who have a walk along the cliffs here will also note some beautiful basalt rock formations. The pool was built in , making it one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. Seljavallalaug is 10 metres 30 feet in width and 25 metres 82 feet in length. This made it the largest swimming pool in Iceland until Its establishment was designed to be a place for children to learn how to swim.
In spite of being a nation of largely fishermen, swimming was not a widely practised skill back then. Nowadays, every child is taught it in school as a mandatory requirement. Since it was built, Seljavallalaug has experienced few changes. It was entirely filled with ash, making it unusable, until the following summer, when a team of volunteers cleared it out. So long as, when you arrive, there is space for you, you are welcome to hop in. Please be aware that if you get there before anyone else, you have no claims to the pool, and are required to share.
It should be noted that swimmers enter at their own risk. There are no lifeguards on duty or other measures to ensure you are safe, so take care, particularly if swimming with children. This is particularly the case considering the algae in the pool. This can cover the sides and bottom throughout summer, making it a little bit slippery. If this algae is growing excessively, the pool will be dyed a beautiful shade of green. It should also be noted that Seljavallalaug is only cleaned once a year. This means that those sensitive to bacteria may want to avoid the water, or find out when this is so they can plan a trip straight after.
The pool is situated a short hike north. Perhaps most notable of these, and best for a stop, is the waterfall Seljalandsfoss , which you can fully encircle for some marvellous views. Both of these sit atop mighty, explosive volcanoes. Mightily powerful, this feature should not be missed by those in the area. It was formed during a lava flow that occurred in the area in AD.
Lava tubes are formed when a river of running lava cools from the outside, creating a solid shell. When the liquid lava within this flows out, a cave is left remaining. This river must have been vast, as it left the largest cave in the country. Not only is it the longest, but also its widest, with the walls The former were formed when lava at the top part of the cave cooled as it dripped from above, and the latter indicated where this lava landed, pooled and began to stack.
Unlike in limestone caves, these features never grow back if broken off, thus it is absolutely essential that you do not touch them or attempt to break them off. There are large fines for those who break these rules, and many of the more beautiful features are cordoned off. This means those who are less confident on their feet do not need to worry about the uneven lava or relying on their own torch. The scale of the cave also makes walking it much less challenging, as there is no crawling, stooping or clambering needed to get through. Many of these moved into caves and lived out their lives as notorious bandits.
These artefacts are now kept in the National Museum of Iceland. The South Coast of Iceland is the country's most visited sightseeing route, along with the Golden Circle. The area consists of a diverse lowland that transitions between, marshlands, bays, cultivated pastures, estuaries and black sand deserts. Its edges reach several hundred metres offshore where the ocean waves crash upon them, thereby protecting the lowland from the invasion of the sea.
This results in the South Coast being unusually lacking in the deep fjords that so distinctly characterise the rest of Iceland's shoreline. The region boasts vibrant bird life during all seasons. Some species stay throughout the harsh Icelandic winter, including the northern diver, the loom and various species of gulls and ducks. As with everywhere in Iceland, you should always keep an eye out to sea, as whales and dolphins reside all along its coastline. The South Coast offers an unprecedented array of natural wonders that draw thousands of visitors each day.
On clear days from these beautiful cascades, the Westman Islands can be seen across the ocean. Even if you come outside of puffin season, they are well worth a visit; jutting out to sea is an enormous rock arch of the same name, which you can marvel at from many angles.
Though beautiful, this area is gaining notoriety for its dangerous sneaker waves, so visitors should be sure to stay well away from the edge of the water, even on a calm, still day. There are no landmasses between Reynisfjara beach and the continent of Antarctica, so you can imagine how the waves can build momentum. While almost all of these sites can be seen from Route 1, they make up a fraction of what the South Coast has to offer.
Many seals call this beach home, and it is one of the best places in the country to see orcas from the shore. Many of these are seen en route to the Diamond Beach as you travel along the South Coast. Such sand plains are a common part of the Icelandic landscape, due to the island being volcanically active as well as boasting numerous ice caps. Although now the deepest lake in all of Iceland, it only began to form in The glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach are fantastical sites, however, the rate of their expansion is, unfortunately, a consequence of climate change.
With the rate that the glaciers are melting, there may be no ice left at either site within decades. Floating on the lagoon are enumerable icebergs that have broken off the resident glacier, creating an ever-changing scenery of incredible allure. The Diamond Beach is a safe place for any responsible traveller; unlike at Reynisfjara , another South Coast black-sand-beach, sneaker waves and rip currents are not notorious for whisking unwitting tourists out to sea. However, there are still dangers to consider.
The main one of these is the icebergs themselves. Under no circumstance should you climb upon an iceberg, due to their slippery surfaces and sharp edges. This is especially the case if the iceberg is at all in the water, as it could flip and trap you underneath, or else be pulled out to sea by a current with you on it. These have only come about due to serious incidents, to protect not only tourists at the lagoon but guides and staff who may feel obligated to embark on a dangerous rescue if they see someone at risk. Iceland has one main road: Route 1, or the Icelandic Ring Road.
A number of popular tourist attractions are also found by the ring road. In the west are many historical settlements and beautiful fjords. However, parts of it can be closed in extreme weather. The ring road consists mainly of paved two lanes road one each direction. Some sections of the ring road are original s country roads demanding caution when driving with features such as many sharp curves, blind curves, blind summits as well as single lane bridges.
The speed limit is 90km per hour on the paved section of the road lower when it passes through towns , and 80km per hour on gravel. The ring-road can be driven in a two-wheel-drive throughout the year, but it is highly recommended you rent a four-wheel-drive if travelling between October and May. Guide to Iceland would advise people to drive cautiously on the ring road both in summer and wintertime, but also to explore other roads leading from it to multiple attractions.
Be sure that if you want to stop to take a picture, make sure you have turned off into a safe parking area. Stopping on the Ring Road itself can be very dangerous for you and other travellers using it. For those staying at the hotel, there is a troll walk, where visitors can learn many local tales while enjoying the verdant countryside.
The Diamond Circle is a famed kilometre mile sightseeing route in the northeast of Iceland, characterised by its sheer number of natural attractions, picturesque settlements and fantastic landscapes. The Diamond Circle is available for those who wish to drive the route themselves, as well as those who would prefer to partake in a guided tour of the region.
The lake area is also known for its flora, being home to rare moss balls and many wildflowers, and its geology. This takes the form of basalt pillars rising from the waters, pseudocraters surrounding them, and the lava fortress of Dimmuborgir. Dimmuborgir is a dramatic and beautiful location, used as a setting for the Game of Thrones franchise. In folklore, it is said to be home to the thirteen Icelandic Yule Lads. It is 40 metres feet tall and over metres feet wide. Dettifoss is one of three waterfalls in the river; Selfoss is just a little upstream, while Hafragilsfoss is downriver.
The land within the canyon is well-forested, due to the shelter that the sheer cliffs provide. Most tour operators boast percent sighting rates on their tours throughout summer, with the most common species being humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins. Blue whales, for example, have been seen in summer, and some rather lost Narwhals and Belugas have been seen in winter. Do note, however, that not all tour operators travel to each of these attractions. If you are looking to visit each location individually, with nothing missed, it is recommended to drive the sightseeing route yourself.
Creative Commons. Throughout the trek, visitors will observe steep mountain slopes, crevasses and sinkholes. Pickup time : Flexible. More detailed info below. Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland. A valid driver's license is required, along with a one-year long on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time. Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing. The world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is in between the two, so you may want to check it out if you aren't too excited to get to the capital city.
All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Day two sends you off to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle route. Next up is the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir amongst many beautiful hot springs. Only a few kilometres away is Iceland's most popular attraction, the powerful waterfall named Gullfoss.
A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous, natural power of the falls. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. This is also a great place for puffin watching. Today, you have the opportunity to have a glacier adventure! Only accessible via super jeep, this is the only cave that is open to visits all year long. Skaftafell Nature Reserve is great for any outdoor enthusiast, particularly if you enjoy hiking.
There are many excellent tracks and trails, including one that leads to the stunning Svartifoss waterfall, which plunges over a wide cliff of hexagonal basalt columns. Ocean or mountain views. If you so desire, you can hop on an optional boat tour, which takes you on a meandering path through the lagoon, amongst stunning icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Make sure you stroll down to the black sandy beach nearby, affectionately named Diamond Beach due to the number of sparkling icebergs that are scattered along it. Finally, you'll start on a zigzagging journey along the Eastfjords, passing tranquil fishing villages and sweeping coastal landscapes along the way.
Spa on site for additional price. Bright, private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included, with focus on local ingredients. Spacious and bright private bedrooms with private bathrooms.
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Icelandair Hotel Akureyri Deluxe room is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town, right next to the swimming pool. Private bedroom with a living room area and a private bathroom. Great views from the 5th floor. There are two tours you can add on to today: a whale-watch from Akureyri, and an hour-long horse-ride.
On day seven, you'll have more time to explore the area around Akureyri. The hotel has private bedrooms with private bathrooms. It has an on-site bar and outdoor geothermal hot tub. Private bedroom with private bathroom. If you would like to add some more adventure, you can choose to add a snowcat tour of this glacier as an extra activity. You will be taken to the foot of the mountain before you ascend the snowy slopes and eventually reach the top, ready to take some incredible snapshots.
Spacious hotel with a view towards the bay. On day nine, you can explore West Iceland with its diverse attractions, including the Icelandic settlement exhibition in Borgarnes, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. History buffs may also enjoy a visit to Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the politician, poet, and historian Snorri Sturluson wrote the saga of the Norwegian kings, Heimskringla, in the 13th century.
He is also famous for writing the bible of old Norse mythology, Edda. On this day, you can opt into one of two exciting caving tours. You can also explore the inside of a magma chamber on the incredible 'Into the Volcano' tour. If you are taking an afternoon or evening flight, you have time to fit in one last fantastic Icelandic experience. Of course, a revitalising visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is a great way to end your Icelandic adventure. The water is rich in silica and blue-green algae, which gives the lagoon its reputed healing powers, as well as its captivating turquoise tint.
It is sure to set you up for a great flight, and leave you aching to come back for more! See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents.
If additional room s is needed, additional costs will incur. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.
Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability. Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses.
Very close to the best attractions at each location. Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. Below you can see the car rental options available for this self drive tour. You can also upgrade to an automatic model. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.
This vehicle has basic highland capabilities. A large sized jeep with 4WD 4x4 such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5, ISK per person. The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact info guidetoiceland.
Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation. Find a tour Rent a car Find accommodation. Limited availability Reserve early to save money Best price guaranteed No booking fees. Based on 61 traveller reviews. Quick facts Tour information: Available: May. There are few better ways to recharge after a long-flight or action-packed holiday. Today The Blue Lagoon is considered to have such notable regenerative qualities because the water is rich in silica and sulphur.
Gullfoss Waterfall. Services in East Iceland East Iceland has just a few settlements with significant services. Nature of East Iceland East Iceland is characterised by many fjords, surrounded by steep mountains. Transportation There are no trains or trams in Iceland, but most people travel by car. This is one of the best seal-watching spots in the country. Many whale watching tours also include a puffin-watching component.
In this version, the bridge and curse were later broken by an earthquake. Settlements near Hraunfossar The nearest settlement of significance to Hraunfossar is Reykholt. Krauma has a total of six pools, a relaxation room and two steam baths. Surroundings of Deildartunguhver Deildartunguhver is located in west Iceland. Strokkur and Haukadalur Valley Strokkur is the primary feature of the Haukadalur valley and the main reason why it is one of the most visited sites in the country.
Science behind Strokkur Active geysers like Strokkur are rare around the world, due to the fact that many conditions must be met for them to form. Environmental Issues with Strokkur One of the main reasons that Geysir entered a period of inactivity was due to the fact soap used to be pumped into the vents to make the eruptions more dramatic; it damaged the structure of the vent and prevented water building up. Natural Sites of Snaefellsnes The peninsula stretches 90 kilometres 56 miles from West Iceland, between the Reykjanes Peninsula to the south and Westfjords to the north.
Historically, the area was little settled for this reason. Nature of Skaftafell. Due to their formation, the Blue Mountains are composed of tuff rock. The lake has only one outflow, the river Sog. Unusually, the volcano did not collapse, and it has remained unchanged since. History of Hellnar Historically, the settlement was a hub of activity, with many trading and fishing vessels pulling in and out of the harbour daily.
Reykholt and Surroundings Even if you have little interest in Snorri, Reykholt is a beautiful town, well worth a visit. Surroundings of Barnafoss Barnafoss is a magical site in and of itself, twisting, turning, foaming and churning as it races down a narrow valley, from which you can view it from above.
Nature and Sites around Arnarstapi The beach at Arnarstapi holds a particular attraction. Of course, ambitious travellers will carry on from here to encircle the full country. Columns of Svartifoss Svartifoss is best renowned for the hexagonal basalt columns that surround it and lay shattered at its base. Sites Surrounding Svartifoss Svartifoss, within Skaftafell, has a host of sites that compete for attention from visitors.
Finally, the old Grana factory shows how herring was transformed into meals and oil. The centre also depicts the life of reverend Bjarni. Attractions and activities Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by Emstrur Birdwatching is popular in the area, as well as horse riding tours. Description The waterfall has a height of 13 metres 44 feet and an average width of six metres 20 feet. History of Haukadalur Haukadalur has been mentioned in historic writings as far back as , in which its geysers were described following an earthquake that activated them.
Faxi and the Golden Circle Faxi falls is approximately twelve kilometres seven miles away from Gullfoss and Geysir , two incredibly popular attractions on the Golden Circle. Some guided Golden Circle tours also promise an extra stop here. A restaurant stands on site, where guests can enjoy lunch with a beautiful view. Those travelling the Diamond Circle are also encouraged to make a stop here if they have time.
History The pool was constructed in and is officially the oldest swimming pool in the entire country. It now attracts hundreds of people every day. History of Seljavallalaug The pool was built in , making it one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. Highlights of the South Coast The South Coast offers an unprecedented array of natural wonders that draw thousands of visitors each day.
Safety at the Diamond Beach The Diamond Beach is a safe place for any responsible traveller; unlike at Reynisfjara , another South Coast black-sand-beach, sneaker waves and rip currents are not notorious for whisking unwitting tourists out to sea. Features on the Ring Road A number of popular tourist attractions are also found by the ring road. Good to Know. In folklore, it is said to be home to the thirteen Icelandic Yule Lads Dettifoss. See Also : Hiking Tours. Pickup information:. If you book the extra activities alongside this tour, you will get them at a lower price.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle. Day 3 - South Coast. Preferred accommodation by Akureyri. Akureyri Comfort. Akureyri Quality. Day 9 - West Iceland. Further along, be sure to visit the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. Day 10 - Farewell to Iceland. Accommodation See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Car Below you can see the car rental options available for this self drive tour. Comfort 4X4. Luxury 4x4. Cancellation Insurance This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5, ISK per person.
All ratings. Edit review. Nika Hamblin. We had an incredible trip thanks to Guide to Iceland! Kristina was very helpful when we had questions and wanted to add some excursions. Our rental car was great! The itinerary 44 pages long! Accommodations were wonderful and the distances we had to cover every day were manageable. The owner was kind enough to explain the automation and show us the barn with the dairy cows while we dined on their tasty pastries and drinks in the cafe overlooking the barn.
The Bjorbodin Beer Spa was also a truly memorable experience! My only suggestion is that accommodation between day 7 and 8 is further west so that on day 8 you don't have to rush through the sights on Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We had a truly memorable experience. I really liked that Guide to Iceland made in easy with the self drive tour. Denene Cashin. The organisation of the trip was wonderful. All of the accomodations were welcoming and there were no booking problems.
Motor vehicle we chose which was not the base level was very suitable as the roads can be challenging. I would not want to have done the trip in the base level car. We would not have got through all that we did. If people followed the book directly using only the mother vehicle gps they may do things in a much longer order. Early on I learned to the night before mark the next days suggestions on a map and look at a logical order in conjunction with the book this worked well.
For what we covered in 10 days I would suggest for most people who travel at a medium pace doing it in 12 days. That is, we also chose to include the west fjords in our trip. Also if travelling from Australia in one go thus taking 33 hours to get there starting day one straight up is hard.
I would suggest a day of rest once arriving before taking on the circle. As for actually using Guide to Iceland to organise the self drive and tour trip I would thoroughly recommend it to others as others referred it to us. Thank you for helping us achieve a great adventure.
Liesl Nydegger. This was definitely a life-changing experience. The weather was perfect, the excursions were amazing, and we had the best time. One hotel was literally a dorm and the water smelled so bad of sulfur it was sickening, so beware of showers there. Also, don't rely on the guide saying to get anywhere 15 minutes ahead of time. We almost missed 2 of our excursions because the guide said 15 minutes. We also didn't get the car we asked for and were charged more.
But regardless of those and I do expect a refund for the downgrade of the car , it was the best trip of mine and my sister's life and we can't wait to go back! Star Tietz. The 10 days self drive tour for me was the most reasonable way to tour Iceland! The views were magnificent God made scenery.. The itinerary was made in orderly way such that you will never back track in any of the places you need to visit and tours ends up to your hotel.. Though, the only hitch was the toll in that kilometers of tunnel.. Guys be forewarned!!!! Sarah Stewart.
The Quick & Dirty Guide to Gold & Silver
This trip was incredible. For travelers who want the freedom to control their itinerary this is the perfect way to do it! My only recommendation is to book extra days. We saw so much, but would have liked some more time in a couple of the locations. Taylor Venema.
Our trip was amazing!! Not quite. The sports thing is misleading too. Local indigenous people love the local teams as much as Bostonians do. The fan base of course stretches all the way down the peninsula too. I agree that Fernet and Jameson are huge here, although I personally like scotch. How about just avoid MUNI and bikes altogether. MUNI is slow and unreliable. Bikes suck on all the hills. Have some empathy and keep it on the up and up — homeless or addicted people are still human, and they certainly are not miserable by choice.
Leaving this bit out would make for a stronger post. I agree. I find his comments about the homeless to be totally dismissive and offensive. Pull your head out of your ass. Uh, Aidn? I see people smoking it in broad daylight in the Tenderloin, particularly at bus stops. Crack never went away. Good grief! I agree with you. Seriously, there are geniune people who have had misfortune in their lives and then there are people who are druggies, alcoholics, or just plain crazy. I want beer. Having moved here a little over a year ago, I mainly agree with most of what has been written on this blog.
However, I agree with many of the comments about PBR. I too came from Boston which has a couple microbreweries I love. In and around the city you can find quality brews like 21st Amendment, speakeasy, lagunitas from up North, Racer 5, and Rogue—which is actually from Oregon but has a fantastic bar in North Beach! This city is strewn with great bars and brews! Very spot on with many things, but totally misleading about the sports thing. Sports is HUGE here. There are many sports teams and fans. And people are WAY passionate. Remember the Giants World Series parade? Buildings being lit orange through the playoffs?
They want to know where you went to highschool in SF. Sixth generation represent! SF is actually not that large. Every district is about minutes walking distance from the next. Even older people have more stamina up those inclines then the youngsters. You meet the crazy as you note, but you meet some very heart warming people. There is always someone drunk walking around. I lived in the City from Real SFs walk up all those hills, only pausing to light a cigarette halfway up. Even at 4 pm! C We have a GREAT music scene out here…lots of talented, local musicians and you can pretty much catch some live music any night of the week.
E You can travel from Mexico to China to Italy with just a 45 minute walk. I may be biased but I grew up here, traveled and lived all over the world including Boston and came back…the view from the top of Hyde and Lombard never gets old…never and San Franciscans always appreciate what they have…they really do:. That is so true! Yes — my pharmacist in Arroyo Grande called my dentist on Ocean Ave. You should have a special edition specifically for people who move to SF from LA.
Most of what has been said still holds, but there are a few extras like:. Who knew?! Try not to take it too personally;. This manifests in 2 ways. You can be a hipster, a hippie, a punk, a biker, a yuppie, a pot-head, etc. Some examples: At one biker friendly SF bar, in one afternoon I was told not to put my beer on the edge of the pool table, not to stand in two different spots, and I watched them kick a girl out of the place for wearing patchouli.
This was a palce where you could smoke weed openly. A fashiony appearance will get you lots of odd looks from people, many of whom are wearing clothes that would get them ushered out of most restaurants in nearly any other city. Homemade burlap overalls? See-through peasant-top with no bra? Waxed mustache that curls around like Captain Hook, worn with a pair of homemade, star-shaped antennae? No problem. These are all real-life examples BTW But walk down the street in a pair of trendy high heel boots, or a tailored blazer and you will get some funny looks. If you have been living in LA for a while, you will find San Francisco downright cold and gloomy, most of the time.
I never go out without some outerwear handy. From the outside it seems like the perfect blend of California attitude and East Coast urbanism. But living here is very different from visiting, and though SF is a vibrant, unique city with a lot to offer, life here is often more expensive, less comfortable, and grittier than life in LA, and the attitude is considerably less welcoming.
SF has its own story, and just living here is not necessarily enough to make you part of it. You are not necessarily welcome here just because you decided to show up. Aaron, I grew up in the Bay Area. I recall LA co-workers looking down on No. Your comments brought back memories in which I used to wonder why people from LA moved up to SF and then talked non-stop about how much more cool LA was. I recall feeling on the defensive. Your points in 2 are very insightful. And within the counter-culture, there are micro-counter cultures.
Through reading this blog, I see there is greater diversity than what I grew up with, but suffice it to say, I left many years ago because I wanted to be more than the cultural norm of the city could accept. And since everything is so spread out, it can be harder to find your place. You meet new people and do new things that change your perspective about San Francisco every day. No self respecting techie has had one of those since the iPhone debuted in The best simple answer is rent control.
If the avg unit household is 2. Given the large amount of replies, I doubt you will even get to this one, but let me say: I dislike your articles headlines. I say this only because I did not take the time to read your entire article. Ummm, lets see what we learned from your writing: there are dogs, a different timezone and you are defined by what bike you ride. I just moved here from Boston in August, and I think most of what you said is accurate and the advice is pretty good. Always enjoy reading newbie comments about our City.
Are you simply following employment or is where you live important and a part of defining who you are? Living is an art and takes work; I have been in San Francisco for 43 years, taught public school and never made a lot of money, but have a comfortable life in a condo with equity near Mission Dolores with my wonderful husband. Public transport, creative shopping and being street savy make it a joy to still be here at age seventy. Super Awesome Article — it put a smile on my face and really made my day… moved to the San Francisco Bay Area just a little over years and am really impressed with the spot-on accuracy of this article.
Well done and kudos. Ive lived here for 7 years. I dont work in tech and make about 2, Cost of living doesnt have to be high to live a really comfortable life in the city. But in order to do this you must be really really good at networking. That is one of the most important skills to live areally good life in SF.
I have all kinds of access to aptartments all over the city. The kind that kick ass with quaint cool features that havnt seen craigslist for years and are not expesive because they are rent controlled. But in order to find your self on a position of choice like this you have to treat socializing like a job and dont expect it to happen overnight and be really good at connecting people with others.
Dont protect your contacts share them. The biggest difference between manhattan and sf is the KIND of competition that exsists. In ny the competition is hostile and selfish. In sf the competition is about being bold with your skills and how much better can you augment other peoples lives. Help them and they will help you. If you try to undermine people to get ahead here you wont last. Great write-up. I thoroughly enjoyed it. People prefer to dress comfortably — wearing layers as you point out. Primarily the reason for that was the painfully obvious and entrenched attitudes of so many of the middle and upper-middle class residents there.
I almost forgive you for the plethora of elitist, priveleged views and observations you listed, but actually not quite. This city prides itself on welcoming and accepting folks from ALL socio-economic backgrounds, and is non-judmental by and large toward folks that do not have the appearance you might prefer as a Bostonian; this city is a haven for those coming here for a better life and better opportunities in one of the most broad-minded cities in the country. San Francisco supports struggling folks in ways that other cities do not, because it has always been a city that believes in people achieving their own personal visions regardless of national background, race, economic status, sexuality or clothing style.
As one example, we were the first place in the country that allowed gay marriage. So you can take all your horseshit stereotypes about Bostonians and shove them right up your ass. Well said song I do notice there are quite a few privileged, well educated many east coasters transplants that do carry a certain elitist and entitled attitude in SF.
I make it a point to call these people out. Do not let technology detach you from reality. If the census statistics and the Obama election results have not demonstrated the direction our country, our world, is heading then you are in trouble. The more I read, the more I bit my tongue and tried to press onward, foolishly hoping that the next comment would be a substantive response to your blog post in which you invited readers who already live in San Francisco to leave a comment addressing any subject you missed — an invitation that most commenters hastily ignored as they rushed to fashion a critical response more biting than the one before.
The odds of one versus the other are a coin flip. Overlooking a few generalizations, it was a reasonably accurate impression of our city. Thank you. I appreciate the breath of fresh air and grounded response amidst a sea of strong opinions both ways. I had no idea half a million people were going to read this nor that the comments would get so wild. Much agreed. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Jason. Congrats on being pressed! A great city to visit and eat in but after living in beautiful,green,safe,cheap,friendly Portland,Oregon SF is a scum pit.
I used to play the same game living in SOMA, especially on those long walks to the court house while reporting for jury duty…because SF calls you to serve every year. I can fully fund my retirement accounts and save up a proper emergency fund 2. I have a quaint one bedroom apartment with a REAL separate bedroom to myself. Still, I miss SF, I miss walking out my door to meet friends for brunch, meeting up for a run to the ballpark or the Golden Gate Bridge, enjoying the building decorations during the holidays, going to the museums, frequenting the art shows, and for many, many more reasons.
This article was a very fun read, delightfully included some infographics on rent which I enjoyed, and really captured some of the glaring impressions available in this wonderful city by the bay. Great article but one personal thing that irks me is that the TL gets suuuuch a bad rap. If you follow these steps you are in a central area of the city with tons of access to more fun, family friendly neighborhoods. Also rent is cheap and there are some secret hidden gems as far as apartment buildings go.
Worth checking out in the desperate search for an apt. Overall your article is very acurate, fun and enlightening. It will be shared with prospective SF citizens! For someone who avoids the Tenderloin at all costs, how can you pass such resolute judgement?? You clearly know nothing about the Loin. As a petite female who has lived alone in the TL for 2 years, I have never once felt in danger of being hurt or mugged or anything else crime related.
And I walk through all those streets within your dotted lines constantly and usually alone or at night. Super convenient location and easy to get around to the rest of the city. Fantastic bars and restaurants. Great architecture. And a lot of fucking history; maybe read about it some time. All that said, the residents of the Tenderloin are overjoyed that people like you are avoiding our hidden gem.
I had no problem going back to visit my favorite TL spots after I moved to the Mission. Beautiful drag bars around the TL, and Lahore Karahi, yum. And, really, once the people who hang out on the streets know that you live in the neighborhood, they will greet you daily, and watch out for you. A fave of mine was the Flava Flav lookalike!
I wish I knew his name. He used to stop traffic for me. You know him. He wears the clock around his neck, and gold fronts. Plus, TL is super close to Chinatown and the theater district. The worst thing that ever happened to me in the TL was the day I rounded the corner and saw that someone had committed suicide by laying his head beneath the tire of the 19 Polk. What a great article. I moved here many moons ago Maybe 79 I dated now husband a guy born and raised in The City his father borned and raised in City All his friends were native so it was especially fun to go places then and cab drivers to Waiter were amazed that the table was all natives except for me.
The City they grew up in was small and family orientated. Everyone knew each other famlies. It was three degrees at most of seperation. Music was the thing for them. My husband saw every major musican and most for free. We own rentals in the city which is a story in it self but our tenants in the past were 35 and up and would stay for 20 years. Now all tenants are rich 20 somethings… and move yearly. Welcome to the City. Thanks for your insight. Hide your maps, ask locals for directions, they never lie.
Shit changes. Tip your bartenders. PS: Flip flops are for the beach not street. I moved to the city 2 years ago. I came from Germany with my family and stayed a couple of weeks in Noe Valley like you mentioned it. Some of them less, some more. Anyway, great write up! The more activity that is going on, such as concerts, movies, dining out, etc. Be street smart, keep your eyes open, and use some common sense and you will be fine. I moved to SF from Ohio a year and a half ago.
Walnut Creek? Again, I agree with every word you said. I tell everyone back home about the dog-friendliness of SF. Damned rent. I met my other half at How Weird festival almost 3 years ago. Lots of peeps here looking for love, in my experience. I think guys definitely have an advantage here for there are a lot of available, beautiful women in the Bay area waiting for right guy.
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Generally speaking, the bar is the wrong place to look for a mate, in any city. Moved to LA for 6 months and made 1 meaningful friendship with my neighbor. So I moved back to SF. Just found the general vibe there extremely superficial. All about image…. Flying Lotus is from L.
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A…i dont know where you lived in L. The San Francisco Giants sell out almost every game and have the best attendance in baseball. The niners have one of the best followings in sports, as do the Raiders. Maybe in your circle. This article could easily be describing Chicago. Although Chicago is a bit colder and surrounded by nothing cool, its 10x cheaper. As a native San Franciscan born and raised and now having passed the half century mark my advise is…. No other place like San Francisco. On the map of the Tenderloin…I would extend that dotted line south of Market street, and have it go from 7th st to 5th st, and down to Howard.
People in SF are scared of Oakland and will not go there unless they have to. And if you live in Oakland like I do, and tell someone in SF you live there, they look at you with a since of pity. The rest of the city is no more dangerous than any other large city in the US. Social life in SF is weird. One other thing…if cultural and ethnic diversity is important you you, you will not like San Francisco.
I lived in the Mission while in the city. Oh, and you forgot to mention that if you call it Frisco or San Fran we will set you straight. And not in a polite way. Jason, I love that this is getting so much traction around SF.. The humanity! Just kidding, that is my one way commute into NYC on the daily. Same coming home. Funny you mentioned the 3 hour time difference for sports broadcasts and not being able to adjust to it.
And I always think how late the east coasters have to stay up to watch the game. Close, but no cigar. I was born and raised here 50 years ago and am living in the Sunset in the house I grew up in. I work from home so I see things others miss. I lived in the Mission for 6 years and that was long before there was anything called a hipster around. Spot on about the neighborhoods. They define the people who live there because the people who moved there wanted to be around their own people.
You always had to go to the Mission to get Mexican food. Food, you missed something. The farther west you go the food gets cheaper, the people are hipper without dressing funny and only idiots shop at Whole Foods. While we have lots of techies, they still need other stuff to live here than Tech. This article is a great start to getting to know SF.
My favorite comment so far is from John Weatherman 43 years ought to buy you some knowledge. Obviously judging by the comments people feel pretty strongly about San Francisco one way or another. Last year I lived in San Francisco for 6 months in the Castro…. Wow — what a complete change of scenery and culture.
After actually meeting people and getting my social circle I began to see the city open up for me. The Castro is a seriously cool place and was not mentioned much in the article. The gay community is one of the top things that set San Francisco apart in my opinion. My fav things about San Francisco: The bridges….
A city that is apx. Nightlife in the Castro, gay or not. The Ferry Building and the most delicious seafood ever besides Japan. But hey…. The Presidio…. The food and drinks at Absinthe. The diversity and culture. I could go on, and on, and on. BTW — always have a jacket and learn to dress warm. Wool is your friend — and so are scarves. Appreciate those gorgeous sunny days when the fogs burns off and you get to run around the city without a jacket while walking your dog.
The best piece of advice I can give to new transplants is to chill out and develop a bit of aloofness. There is so much going on in this city that you have to make an effort not to let it become overwhelming. And soon you realize. Pingback: Quora. Too many financial assholes from the East Coast and SoCal already. As a native, remember when you move here where you come from. Being an SF native, hearing people say they are from San Francisco, with a thick Bostonian accent gets on out nerves.
Also, its The City or San Francisco. But that is it. End of story. Great piece! Extremes section should include political extremes. Beyond SF should include going past the hills in the summer to escape the cold and sit pool side in comfort!! People here take their liberal politics WAY too personally. Love this post!! I completely agree with pretty much everything written here. Also important to note, BART shuts down at midnight.
That blows and would be blasphemous in NY. Favorite tip: Half of the buses require you to step down into the steps to get the back door to open. I spent 3 years across from Pac Bell and would move back in a heartbeat. Some of these opinions are accurate and make me smile, but who cares what this resident thinks? Move there. Do it. Stop worrying.
Two tips; we love sfcityguides. We have learned so much and had a blast doing it. Reblogged this on Alexander's blog and commented: Complete truth about SF. Dating here could use some work. As a guy, I found a lot of cool women, but way too many were stuck up for no good reason. And women, please stop dressing like boys!
Jeans and sweatshirts are not hot, at all. Standards here for dressing and looking nice are loooowwwww,,, I think warmer weather would help, but one can still look good without a sundress. Going to the wrong places? Walk down the street — look around! And I should have added that men have similar responsibilities to look presentable and stylish.
Everyone — step it up! After 15 years here, all I can say is that I wish there were a better place for high tech than Bay Area, San Francisco specifically. Your football day starts at breakfast and ends just after dinner. You can catch every game without having to stay up past 11pm.
This is a great thread. I used to live in SF for 4 years for med school. Met plenty of Stanford grads that are swell people. There may be a couple hot chicks in the Marina but is that really SF? I liked Oakland way better when I first moved to the Bay Area because it was more real, more raw, and had more character. I moved out of SF in and am in residency in Texas. Racer 5 is really the shit in the East Bay, though. Palo Alto and Mountain View are not really that far away! I love living down here. Great post. I moved here from New York. If you love galleries, design studios, high fashion, and amazing shows be aware that SF which has good art and Opra has a fairly small and closed scene of cultural arts.
Fantastic post! I went to school in Boston and recently left San Francisco after 3 years of living there. I literally burst out laughing when I saw the bike poster. I guess we get lumped in with Haight. Also, very true about the 3-hour time difference. I lived in China for 3 years, but I found the 3 hour time difference between the east and west coast much more difficult to mangage all my family is on the east coast and the company I was working for is based in NY.
Loved every second of your post! Look forward to subscribing and reading more! Great article. I quibble with 1 thing. PBR is not the official drink of the city, not even remotely. Fernet is! If you have a car and your residence only offers street parking, budget for at least 1 parking ticket per month. But if you think you can just get around on a bike, you better have monster leg muscles, because these hills are intense. People smoke weed all over the place all the time. For such a tolerant city, expressing strongly conservative points of view in the wrong venue could temporarily damage you socially or professionally.
You will find people who agree with you no matter how unusual your opinion is. And it only takes a few people here to make a difference or create change. Be Yourself. Be Grateful. You live in the most beautiful city in the richest nation on Earth. It is no coincidence that it is also a city of refugees. Some people who come here are running from something. Some people who come here are seeking something. Some people were born here and have uniquely valuable insight because of it.
Everyone around you is lucky and blessed. You are lucky and blessed. Welcome home. After every single hard, weird, confusing, and unexpected day you will ever have here… Welcome Home. This was great! I just moved to San Jose from Philly six months ago. Another point about living here is that random people will start conversations with you. People are much more guarded and unlikely to engage with strangers on the East Coast.
Good article. Mostly true!! An important fun fact the 38 line is the mostly widely used bus line out of all the bus lines in the US due to all the different 38 buses that are always in route. Welcome to the most beautiful city by the bay. Really Fun article. That flip phone picture is from 7 years ago when Ritual still let you plug in laptops. When people had flip phones. Way before Jason moved to SF. And before I moved from SF to Irvine because the tech change the worldness made me need to go to school and read paper books again.
Emirates airlines has direct flights now to SF. Having just moved back to SF from Boston, I can honestly say the cost of living is not that distinct. I shop only locally Sunset, Chinatown, Cole Hardware… too. Forgot a few things: Bart is a fast, efficient, and clean mode of transportation. Hunting for parking spaces is a sport. You will parallel park like a pro in no time. Bring your own bags when you shop. Learn which bins are for recycling, compost, and garbage. Be prepared to walk a lot. Watch out for bushman.
Most of these are pretty true. Love the Divisadero being the fog line thing. But I take exception to the sports matters way less thing. Look at the 49ers, and especially the Giants…people go absolutely insane over the Niners and Giants here, myself included with the giants. So if you're not a hill that does that, you're NOT in Pacific Heights, though you may well be paying twice as much as you should because your realtor fooled you into thinking that you were.
You can find 20 people who will tell you you are — but that's because they're not from here — and the real estate agents started pulling this crapola aboutt 20 years ago…and they just keep moving the line further and further south. Real estate agents have also, in the last 10 years or so, invented "central" Richmond and Sunset. Agents came up with "Central" because it sounded better than "outer" and again, they wanted to find a way to get more dough. No one ever called it "Dogpatch" until about 7 years ago because no one would admit to living there.
But cities change, and someone found out that back in the last s, that area was called "Dogpatch" — voila. And don't ever use "Tenderknob" — it's just too ridiculous for words. You want to speak like a moron, move to San Diego — we have far too many fools trying to sound cool and hip and "San Fran. Trust me, the various parts of the City were all named long ago. Their names are just fine — it gets more than a little irritating to have every year old who moves here decide that it's somehow their right and necessity to rename our neighborhoods, our city, as though they didn't exist before their arrival.
If you want bagels the way you know them — MOVE. We have sun, wine, sourdough, cable cars, amazing views. You want something else, leave and let someone who knows what they have here take your place. SF Giants have sold out the last home games and will sell out every game next year and for the forseeable future. Candlestick has never not been sold out for a 49ers regular season game as far as I know.
Sorry to go on a vendetta…. Quibbles: 1. Yerba Buena. Not Buena Yerba. Going to the Tenderloin at night is not a death sentence. Head down to the Embarcadero on game day and then tell me if you still think watching sports matters a lot less. But I feel like figuring them out on your own kind of earns you your stripes. So welcome to the city by the bay! Give or take a few years in either direction, your love affair with the city will last for about fifteen years.
Actually, the tech industry is one of the reasons I am leaving the city. SF used to be more creative and much more affordable. But it has become so self absorbed and unaffordable that it is losing its flavor and culture very quickly. Your writing is spot on. After reading this, sf sounds like an expensive, socially detached, techy, albeit less lazy Portland. Most of this is pretty spot-on — though, somewhat generalized.
I find this incredibly confusing. And that pretty much lasts year-round with quite a bit of rain between January and April. I mean, how many places in the world have winter gear jackets, flannel, scarves, coats, gloves, etc. That definitely puts it all in perspective. For me, at least. But I hear you, when I moved from New York, during my visits, I had nothing but stellar, sunny, warm weather to lure me to the siren of SF.
I chalk it up to one serious dose of bait and switch. Big mistake. Anyways, thanks for the cheeky recap on SF. Hey, some people like having the excuse to wear jackets and scarves all year round. My fashion is a little different. But, as long as you can stand the weather in your chosen outfit, then you can wear pretty much the same thing all year long. Racial diversity is very different here. In the US, blacks are In San Francisco, blacks are 6. As a half-Asian, this makes a very big difference. But my Asian friends consider me to be white.
Oakland is San Francisco is not fit. The rest of the country is fat. There are no real seasons here. The temperature stays within a narrow band, slightly colder than comfortable. A handy heuristic for calculating MUNI trip times is just to think of each transfer as adding an hour. There are a variety of reasons why I bike everywhere. Or chained with a weak lock. Or with any lights or quick-release parts. Because any and all of those will be stolen. Coincidentally, there are a whole lot of doctors in San Francisco. The black population is actually a lot less than 6. There is ONE shop where I can go to buy black haircare products.
The black and Latino population in SF has decreased considerably and continues to decrease as the rents have increased. The Latino population that has long called the Mission home is being forced out as the hipsters and techies move in. For some people this may be a good thing. I spend most of my time surrounded by Asian-Americans, so I feel out of place where there are no Asians. I got that from the Census web site. As for diversity, San Francisco is absolutely more diverse than much of the country. Also, there is a lot of sexual diversity, which has nothing to do with race.
To me, racial diversity means an actual smorgasbord of ethnic groups with their unique perspectives, and not just white Americans and black Americans. Oh wait, maybe it is kinda my fault. I tutor kids after school as a sort of hobby. All of the parents who sign up are Asian, and so far, at least 10 of the kids have gone to Lowell. Uhm decade is there a reason you turned more than a bit smarmy in your last 2 comments? Something hit you out of the blue and you had to get it off your chest?
Just curious, what do your white friends consider you? I was never Black enough or Asian enough! In particular, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, political ideology, and socioeconomic background. I consider those to be more interesting than the tired white-black story, though I am sorry that Gemma has such a hard time buying shampoo.
Also, I grew up with racial quotas. My year was the last group of freshmen for which Lowell discriminated against Asians. At the same time, the University of California was forced to drop racial quotas. The East Asians whom I know have a range of skin tones. I have a good job and hard work has afforded me great opportunities. Decade, I was willing to engage with you after your first response.
But, your racism is showing in your second and third. The fact that you can happily sit around and say that has a lot to do with the racial equality a lot of blacks fought and died for for decades. You know what they say about making assumptions. If you can, kudos to you, but many, many Americans cannot. While you sit there and generalize and stereotype, this high-achieving, good-grade-getting, hard-working, put-myself-though-school black person has been working toward racial and ethnic equality. I am glad that my Asian friends do not come at me the way you do with latent racism and ignorance.
But, based on your posts, I can see I and my organization still have a lot of work to do. I agree, we have a lot to work on, individually and as a society. Maybe I need to do more than you, because right now, without consulting Wikipedia, I can name only George Washington Carver. The Black History thing is not my invention. I got it from Yvette Clarke via the Huffington Post.
For example, on the Scopes Monkey Trial and its consequences, it insists on teaching the four great champions of creationism Who? I think it reinforces the idea of African-Americans as grunt-work people, which is wrong. But, you know, even though Barack Obama is the first black president, he is not a proper African-American. I mean, his father was the ambassador from Kenya, and his family was not involved in the fight for equality over the centuries, actually. In many ways, this country sucks. It seems silly to have to mention this, but I have overheard the most ignorant and bigoted things spewing forth from some newcomers over the years.
Be mindful of what you say. I do think some new transplants will appreciate your article. As this article is about San Francisco and I suspect many people will read your helpful article, I feel obligated as a gay man, living in San Francisco, to assure that you first gain a good appreciation for the diversity of this city, if you have not already you collectively should, and second write competently about the gay community.
I have two additional recommendations: 1. Perhaps you should re-evaluate your comments on the less fortunate people living in the city or anywhere else for that matter. You have an interest in building businesses. It is important to care when leading and building businesses. RonB beat me to it and he wrote it much better and thank you Ron for reminding readers to not only respect diversity but to learn and grow from it. It would be a rewarding experience for all. One thousand percent agree. Many lesbians in San Francisco, for example, dress in certain styles that they find attractive, and could give a flying shit what you think of it.
Did you ever think of that?? Hmm… you should. I only felt unsafe in San Francisco when out-of-towners would come in on the weekends and hassle my queer friends and me. Really vile things, sometimes very frightening, were said. We used to walk to the police station on 17th and Valencia when we were being hassled, and just stand there until the jerks went away. Btw, so sad about the anti-public nudity legislation. I used to enjoy the outdoor gay cafe in the Castro. As a Bay Area nativewho moved away 25 years ago, it always strikes me when I visit how incredibly full of themselves San Franciscans can be.
Usually these great people are the ones that did not go to the best schools or the most educated, ironically enough. What you are is a high-income, heteronormative, white male. How dare you write this offensive, white-male-privileged, classist, racist, sexist mound of bullshit. While plenty of people are, there are worlds outside your own self-interested one. Divis, if you actually knew anything practical about SF. While people do indeed wear many costumes in SF, this is just another example of your privilege showing.
Far from it. Basically, if you wanna tell potential newcomers to SF some things you think might be helpful to know, fine. Just maybe keep it to things you can fully grasp after your brief stint in the city not much, not even the weather , reel in the know-it-all attitude and dial back the judgments before you post it. But I will defend his right to free speech. You take yourself way too seriously my little taxista friend.
And a sense of humour while you are at it. People in SF wear funny stuff. Like leather trousers with their butts poking through. Not everyone is as readily offended as you, and those that are need to learn that they are their own worst enemies. We can throw the toys out of the pram and feel sorry for ourselves, as you appear to do, or we can ignore it, or we laugh at the ignorance of others.
Have a think about that. Tech geeks are losers, but your self-righteousness is even worse. If you intend to go around preaching respect and tolerance, you might try leading by example and practicing it yourself. Smug tech geeks are bad, but self-righteous losers like you are even worse. If you are going to go around preaching tolerance and respect, you might consider leading by example and practicing it yourself. Thank you for telling it like it is, Cabbie. Do me a favor? Why would he necessarily get his ass beaten for stating that?
In criticizing Doctor Shusinksi who I also disagree with , you seem to suggest stereotypically and offensively that any black or Latino is prone to violence in their defense. Have you forgotten who the main symbol of nonviolent social change is in our country? Martin Luther King Jr. Who else is known for nonviolence? Cesar Chavez. Oh come on, give me a break.
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