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Geysir Geothermal Area, the Crown Jewel of the Golden Circle

Unveiling the Majesty of Iceland's Most Famous Natural Spectacle

December 7, 2023

Geysir Geothermal Area, the Crown Jewel of the Golden Circle

Unveiling the Majesty of Iceland's Most Famous Natural Spectacle

December 7, 2023

Set off on an adventure to the heart of Iceland's natural marvels with our curated selection of Golden Circle tours. As you venture through this enchanting route, prepare to be captivated by the crown jewel of the circuit – the Geysir Geothermal Area.

This iconic destination is not just a feast for the eyes but a testament to the raw, untamed power of nature. In this article, we'll uncover fascinating details and provide you with all the essential information about this mesmerising site.

How Do Geysers Work?

When you see steam rising from the ground and hot springs bubbling up, you know you're witnessing the sheer force of Iceland's geothermal activity. This is where you'll find hot springs, mud pots, and, of course, the famous geysers.

Let's dive into why this area is a hotbed of geothermal action. Deep underground, water seeps into the earth and meets intense heat from the magma below. This turns the water into steam, building up huge pressure. When water boils, it turns into steam and expands massively – about 1600 times its original size. When the pressure gets too much, the steam and water burst through the surface, creating those incredible eruptions.

The Great Geyser

The star of the show in the Geysir geothermal area is the Great Geysir. It's got quite the history – it was the first geyser ever written about in Europe, long before America was even discovered. The name 'geyser' itself comes from the Old Norse word 'geysa', meaning 'to gush', which is exactly what it does.

Studies of sinter deposits, created by minerals dissolved in hot water, indicate that the Geysir has been active for around 10,000 years. Historical records first mention geysers in this area around 1294, after some big earthquakes. But the Great Geysir stole the spotlight in 1647, shooting water up to 80 metres high! By 1845, it was reaching heights of 170 metres, fascinating everyone from explorers to scientists. That's how the word 'geyser' ended up in so many languages.

Geysir doesn't erupt much these days. In 2016, it surprised everyone with a rare eruption, although it wasn't as big as in the past.

These days, it's Strokkur that's the main attraction, shooting water up to 35 metres high every few minutes. When you visit, you'll have plenty of time to see this and explore the area.

Strokkur

Unlike its more famous neighbour, Strokkur is a beacon of consistency. Every 4 to 8 minutes, visitors are treated to an awe-inspiring show as Strokkur shoots hot water and steam into the air, reaching heights of 20 to 35 metres. This incredible reliability makes Strokkur a must-see for anyone visiting the Geysir Geothermal Area.

Strokkur's eruptions are not just a visual treat but also a sensory experience. The rumble of boiling water underground, followed by the explosive release of steam and water, and the resulting gentle rain of warm droplets create a multisensory experience that's both exhilarating and humbling.

Strokkur was first documented in 1789 when an earthquake cleared its conduit, enabling it to spout. Throughout the 19th century, its activity varied, with its eruption height in 1815 estimated to be as much as 60 metres (200 feet). Strokkur continued to erupt until the early 20th century when another earthquake obstructed its conduit. In 1963, following recommendations from the Geysir Committee, local residents cleared the blockage in the conduit from the basin's bottom. Since then, Strokkur has been erupting regularly.


Geothermal Tours in Iceland


blue lagoon midnight sun

Iceland is a paradise for enthusiasts of geothermal waters, boasting some of the world's most stunning thermal retreats. We offer an extensive selection of tours to help you explore these natural wonders up close.

Explore our Geothermal Tours


The Geothermal Area

Visitors to the Geysir Geothermal Areea, or Haukadalur valley, as known in Icelandic, have the opportunity to explore the surrounding smaller geysers, steam vents, and boiling mud pots, each adding to the otherworldly landscape that is so characteristic of Iceland. Walking paths and viewing areas allow for safe and comprehensive exploration, ensuring that visitors can experience the full majesty of this geothermal wonderland.

Witnessing the majestic eruptions of Strokkur and exploring the Geysir Geothermal Area is a highlight of any Icelandic adventure. To fully immerse yourself in the wonders of this geothermal paradise and the many other enchanting sights along Iceland's Golden Circle, we invite you to explore our array of Golden Circle tours.

Each tour is thoughtfully curated to offer you an enriching and unforgettable experience, ensuring that you don't miss any of the must-see attractions, including the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall and the historical Thingvellir National Park.

For those seeking a more personalized adventure, we offer the option of private tours. These bespoke experiences are tailored to your individual interests, allowing you the flexibility to explore at your own pace and focus on the sights that intrigue you the most. With a private Golden Circle tour, you have the luxury of a more intimate exploration of Iceland's natural beauty, guided by experts who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and love for their homeland.

Whether you choose a group tour or opt for a private journey, our Golden Circle tours promise to be a highlight of your Icelandic adventure.

All About Geysir Geothermal Area - Your Questions Answered

What is Geysir in Iceland? Geysir is a renowned geothermal area in Iceland, known for its bubbling hot pools and regular geyser eruptions. The name 'Geysir' not only refers to the whole area but also to a specific, now dormant geyser known as the Great Geysir, which inspired the English term “geyser.”

Where is Geysir in Iceland? Located in the Haukadalur Valley, Geysir can be accessed via Route 35 or Route 37 from Þingvellir National Park. Situated in the southwest of Iceland, it's a key stop on the well-known Golden Circle route from Reykjavík.

How to get to Geysir Iceland? The most popular way to reach Geysir is by driving the Golden Circle from Reykjavík. This route includes the Þingvellir National Park, known for the continental plates’ meeting point, and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. Geysir lies about 100 kilometres from Reykjavík, with the entire Golden Circle stretching around 230 kilometres. This journey is perfect for a self-drive tour, especially as the roads are maintained throughout the year. Checking the SafeTravel app for conditions is recommended. There are also numerous guided tour options available for a day trip from Reykjavík.

How long to spend at Geysir Iceland?

Allocate about an hour to fully experience Geysir. This gives you ample time to explore the geothermal area and the site of the Great Geysir. You'll also want to catch Strokkur's eruption, which happens approximately every ten minutes. Don’t forget to visit the nearby café and gift shop for a break and some souvenirs.

How often does Geysir erupt in Iceland?

While the Great Geysir is currently inactive, Strokkur, another geyser in the area, erupts reliably every 5 to 10 minutes. It's a spectacular sight, with boiling water shooting up from the ground.

Is it free to see the Geysir in Iceland?

Yes, visiting the Geysir area and watching Strokkur erupt is completely free. The parking area is also free of charge. However, bringing some cash for the café or gift shop is a good idea.

How long is the walk to Geysir?

It's a short walk from the car park and café to the Geysir area, taking about five minutes to reach Strokkur. Exploring the whole park takes around 30 to 45 minutes and is quite easy as the terrain is flat.

Do you have to hike to Geysir?

No, there's no hiking required. It’s a simple, flat walk from the car park through the park to the geothermal sites and Strokkur geyser.

Where is Strokkur geyser in Iceland?

Strokkur is part of the Geysir geothermal area. It’s an easy walk from the main parking area, past simmering hot springs and streams, near the Hvítá River in southwest Iceland.

Which is the best Geysir to see in Iceland?

Strokkur is the star of Iceland's geysers, erupting regularly every 6 to 10 minutes, making it the most reliable and exciting to watch. The Great Geysir would be a contender if it were as active, with its impressive eruptions, but it has been dormant for some time now, last erupting briefly in 2016.

Is Geysir part of the Golden Circle in Iceland?

Yes, Geysir is a key part of the Golden Circle, along with the stunning Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park. The Golden Circle route also includes other attractions like hidden geothermal lagoons, glacier hikes, and ancient volcanic calderas.

How to dress for visiting Geysir in Iceland?

Dress in layers with a waterproof jacket, especially to protect against spray from Strokkur. Sturdy walking boots are recommended. In summer, light layers will suffice, while in winter, you’ll need warmer clothing like fleece, along with a hat, scarf, and gloves.

When is the best time to see Geysir in Iceland?

Geysir is accessible 24/7, making it great for viewing at any time, even for northern lights sightings at night. Early mornings or late evenings are best for avoiding crowds. Each season offers a different experience, with warmer weather and longer days in summer and a snowy, dramatic landscape in winter.


Tips for planning your trip to Iceland


Reynisfjara

lanning, you can prepare for anything an adventure in Iceland might throw at you. We’ve rounded up loads of tips for a planning trip to Iceland, from what to pack and how long to stay to airport transfers and how to get around the island. We’re with you every step of the way.

Read our blog post about planning tips for your Icelandic holiday


REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

Litli-Hrútur Eruption 2023 - The New Eruption near Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula

Once again, the enthralling spectacle of Iceland's Reykjanes volcano is back in the limelight! After 11 months of peaceful dormancy, the volcano is now alive and kicking, treating locals and tourists to another captivating visual performance. If you've been yearning for an adventure that's truly out of this world, this might just be your calling!

Read Blog

Geysir Geothermal Area, the Crown Jewel of the Golden Circle

Unveiling the Majesty of Iceland's Most Famous Natural Spectacle

December 7, 2023

Geysir Geothermal Area, the Crown Jewel of the Golden Circle

Unveiling the Majesty of Iceland's Most Famous Natural Spectacle

December 7, 2023

Set off on an adventure to the heart of Iceland's natural marvels with our curated selection of Golden Circle tours. As you venture through this enchanting route, prepare to be captivated by the crown jewel of the circuit – the Geysir Geothermal Area.

This iconic destination is not just a feast for the eyes but a testament to the raw, untamed power of nature. In this article, we'll uncover fascinating details and provide you with all the essential information about this mesmerising site.

How Do Geysers Work?

When you see steam rising from the ground and hot springs bubbling up, you know you're witnessing the sheer force of Iceland's geothermal activity. This is where you'll find hot springs, mud pots, and, of course, the famous geysers.

Let's dive into why this area is a hotbed of geothermal action. Deep underground, water seeps into the earth and meets intense heat from the magma below. This turns the water into steam, building up huge pressure. When water boils, it turns into steam and expands massively – about 1600 times its original size. When the pressure gets too much, the steam and water burst through the surface, creating those incredible eruptions.

The Great Geyser

The star of the show in the Geysir geothermal area is the Great Geysir. It's got quite the history – it was the first geyser ever written about in Europe, long before America was even discovered. The name 'geyser' itself comes from the Old Norse word 'geysa', meaning 'to gush', which is exactly what it does.

Studies of sinter deposits, created by minerals dissolved in hot water, indicate that the Geysir has been active for around 10,000 years. Historical records first mention geysers in this area around 1294, after some big earthquakes. But the Great Geysir stole the spotlight in 1647, shooting water up to 80 metres high! By 1845, it was reaching heights of 170 metres, fascinating everyone from explorers to scientists. That's how the word 'geyser' ended up in so many languages.

Geysir doesn't erupt much these days. In 2016, it surprised everyone with a rare eruption, although it wasn't as big as in the past.

These days, it's Strokkur that's the main attraction, shooting water up to 35 metres high every few minutes. When you visit, you'll have plenty of time to see this and explore the area.

Strokkur

Unlike its more famous neighbour, Strokkur is a beacon of consistency. Every 4 to 8 minutes, visitors are treated to an awe-inspiring show as Strokkur shoots hot water and steam into the air, reaching heights of 20 to 35 metres. This incredible reliability makes Strokkur a must-see for anyone visiting the Geysir Geothermal Area.

Strokkur's eruptions are not just a visual treat but also a sensory experience. The rumble of boiling water underground, followed by the explosive release of steam and water, and the resulting gentle rain of warm droplets create a multisensory experience that's both exhilarating and humbling.

Strokkur was first documented in 1789 when an earthquake cleared its conduit, enabling it to spout. Throughout the 19th century, its activity varied, with its eruption height in 1815 estimated to be as much as 60 metres (200 feet). Strokkur continued to erupt until the early 20th century when another earthquake obstructed its conduit. In 1963, following recommendations from the Geysir Committee, local residents cleared the blockage in the conduit from the basin's bottom. Since then, Strokkur has been erupting regularly.


Geothermal Tours in Iceland


blue lagoon midnight sun

Iceland is a paradise for enthusiasts of geothermal waters, boasting some of the world's most stunning thermal retreats. We offer an extensive selection of tours to help you explore these natural wonders up close.

Explore our Geothermal Tours


The Geothermal Area

Visitors to the Geysir Geothermal Areea, or Haukadalur valley, as known in Icelandic, have the opportunity to explore the surrounding smaller geysers, steam vents, and boiling mud pots, each adding to the otherworldly landscape that is so characteristic of Iceland. Walking paths and viewing areas allow for safe and comprehensive exploration, ensuring that visitors can experience the full majesty of this geothermal wonderland.

Witnessing the majestic eruptions of Strokkur and exploring the Geysir Geothermal Area is a highlight of any Icelandic adventure. To fully immerse yourself in the wonders of this geothermal paradise and the many other enchanting sights along Iceland's Golden Circle, we invite you to explore our array of Golden Circle tours.

Each tour is thoughtfully curated to offer you an enriching and unforgettable experience, ensuring that you don't miss any of the must-see attractions, including the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall and the historical Thingvellir National Park.

For those seeking a more personalized adventure, we offer the option of private tours. These bespoke experiences are tailored to your individual interests, allowing you the flexibility to explore at your own pace and focus on the sights that intrigue you the most. With a private Golden Circle tour, you have the luxury of a more intimate exploration of Iceland's natural beauty, guided by experts who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and love for their homeland.

Whether you choose a group tour or opt for a private journey, our Golden Circle tours promise to be a highlight of your Icelandic adventure.

All About Geysir Geothermal Area - Your Questions Answered

What is Geysir in Iceland? Geysir is a renowned geothermal area in Iceland, known for its bubbling hot pools and regular geyser eruptions. The name 'Geysir' not only refers to the whole area but also to a specific, now dormant geyser known as the Great Geysir, which inspired the English term “geyser.”

Where is Geysir in Iceland? Located in the Haukadalur Valley, Geysir can be accessed via Route 35 or Route 37 from Þingvellir National Park. Situated in the southwest of Iceland, it's a key stop on the well-known Golden Circle route from Reykjavík.

How to get to Geysir Iceland? The most popular way to reach Geysir is by driving the Golden Circle from Reykjavík. This route includes the Þingvellir National Park, known for the continental plates’ meeting point, and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. Geysir lies about 100 kilometres from Reykjavík, with the entire Golden Circle stretching around 230 kilometres. This journey is perfect for a self-drive tour, especially as the roads are maintained throughout the year. Checking the SafeTravel app for conditions is recommended. There are also numerous guided tour options available for a day trip from Reykjavík.

How long to spend at Geysir Iceland?

Allocate about an hour to fully experience Geysir. This gives you ample time to explore the geothermal area and the site of the Great Geysir. You'll also want to catch Strokkur's eruption, which happens approximately every ten minutes. Don’t forget to visit the nearby café and gift shop for a break and some souvenirs.

How often does Geysir erupt in Iceland?

While the Great Geysir is currently inactive, Strokkur, another geyser in the area, erupts reliably every 5 to 10 minutes. It's a spectacular sight, with boiling water shooting up from the ground.

Is it free to see the Geysir in Iceland?

Yes, visiting the Geysir area and watching Strokkur erupt is completely free. The parking area is also free of charge. However, bringing some cash for the café or gift shop is a good idea.

How long is the walk to Geysir?

It's a short walk from the car park and café to the Geysir area, taking about five minutes to reach Strokkur. Exploring the whole park takes around 30 to 45 minutes and is quite easy as the terrain is flat.

Do you have to hike to Geysir?

No, there's no hiking required. It’s a simple, flat walk from the car park through the park to the geothermal sites and Strokkur geyser.

Where is Strokkur geyser in Iceland?

Strokkur is part of the Geysir geothermal area. It’s an easy walk from the main parking area, past simmering hot springs and streams, near the Hvítá River in southwest Iceland.

Which is the best Geysir to see in Iceland?

Strokkur is the star of Iceland's geysers, erupting regularly every 6 to 10 minutes, making it the most reliable and exciting to watch. The Great Geysir would be a contender if it were as active, with its impressive eruptions, but it has been dormant for some time now, last erupting briefly in 2016.

Is Geysir part of the Golden Circle in Iceland?

Yes, Geysir is a key part of the Golden Circle, along with the stunning Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park. The Golden Circle route also includes other attractions like hidden geothermal lagoons, glacier hikes, and ancient volcanic calderas.

How to dress for visiting Geysir in Iceland?

Dress in layers with a waterproof jacket, especially to protect against spray from Strokkur. Sturdy walking boots are recommended. In summer, light layers will suffice, while in winter, you’ll need warmer clothing like fleece, along with a hat, scarf, and gloves.

When is the best time to see Geysir in Iceland?

Geysir is accessible 24/7, making it great for viewing at any time, even for northern lights sightings at night. Early mornings or late evenings are best for avoiding crowds. Each season offers a different experience, with warmer weather and longer days in summer and a snowy, dramatic landscape in winter.


Tips for planning your trip to Iceland


Reynisfjara

lanning, you can prepare for anything an adventure in Iceland might throw at you. We’ve rounded up loads of tips for a planning trip to Iceland, from what to pack and how long to stay to airport transfers and how to get around the island. We’re with you every step of the way.

Read our blog post about planning tips for your Icelandic holiday


REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.