Iceland's Great Geysir and other geysers

2 minutes to read

It's hard to decide what's more impressive about Iceland — glaciers, aurora borealis dancing in the skies, diving between two tectonic plates, powerful waterfalls, or its geysers. 

photo: Marek Pötzsch
photo: Marek Pötzsch

When doing your Golden circle tour in Iceland, Geysir geothermal area in South Iceland, near Laugarvatn Lake, is one of the three main stops. There you will find several geysers including now mostly dormant geyser Geysir (or the Great Geysir) —  the namesake for all the world's geysers. Geysir geothermal area is located in Iceland's southwest, around 100 km east of Reykjavik. The Great Geysir used to spout to a height of 60 metres average and was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans. Therefore its name became the name of the phenomenon itself. Nowadays, people visit Geysir geothermal area mostly to see another geyser - Strokkur. It's hard to miss this attraction, and also not to be splashed at least a little but — Stokkur shoots up a column of water up to 30 metres into the air every few minutes! The eruption is different each time, and in my case for two hours I was going around it, waiting to see it "just one more time".

photo: Sloot
photo: Sloot
Strokkur geyser
Strokkur geyser
Geysir, Hafnartún, Selfoss, Iceland

While walking in the area you will spot many small geysers, and little ponds of boiling water. You can wander around and watch them from all angles, as well as climb up the hill to see the water shoot from above. Those into photography or just generally curious will enjoy the fact that it's possible to get so close to the geyser. You can observe all the process, what occurs at the geyser's opening before, during, and after eruptions. Be ready for two things — because of sulphur it will smell like rotten eggs, and, you can be splashed if the wind decides to blow your way. Anyway it's worth it! 

photo: minoandriani
photo: minoandriani
Geyser Geysir
Geyser Geysir
Skólavörðustígur 16, 101 Reykjavík, Islande

Inevitably you will pass by the Great Geysir while walking around the site. Don't wait for it to erupt. Although it has been attracting travellers since the 1800’s, currently it's dormant. Last time it was active in 2000, after an earthquake that year. This geyser’s highest recorded eruption height is 170 metres, occurring in 1845.

photo: DurkTalsma
photo: DurkTalsma

As to most natural wonders of Iceland, this visit is free of charge. There are toilet, coffee/cake shop and free parking. 


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The author

Natacha Costa

Natacha Costa

Hello, I will tell you about the south of France, the Azores, Iceland, among other places, here on itinari. Traveling has taught me more than any school, and I am excited to be sharing this passion of mine with you!

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