A favorite stop along the Golden Circle is the highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers. A favorite is lively Strokkur geyser, which spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.
Nearby, the Geysir Center offers exhibits and informative presentations year round.
Geologists believe the geothermal field has a surface area of approximately 3 km² (1.1 sq mi). Most of the springs align along a 100 m (328 ft) wide strip of land running in the same direction as the tectonic lines in the area (south to southwest). The strip is 500 m (1.640 ft) long and culminates near what once was the seat of the lords of Haukadalur.
The area became active more than 1.000 years ago and consists of more than a dozen hot water blow holes. The oldest account of the Geysir area dates back to 1294. Earthquakes in southern Iceland caused changes in the geothermal area and created several new hot springs.
A World Famous Geyser
Although the Great Geysir is less active these days, it did lend its name to hot springs all over the world. It was the first geyser described in a printed source. Along with Old Faithful in America’s Yellowstone National Park, Geyser is the most famous geyser in the world.
Accounts from the 19th century mention that the Great Geyser could reach up to 170 meters (558 ft)! Seismic actvity in the area still affects Geysir. After being dormant for years, Geysir was revived by an earthquake in 2000 and erupted for a couple of times a day for several years. Today, Geysir is mostly dormant, though the other hot springs in the Geysir geothermal area remain quite active.
The marvelous Strokkur Geysir
The Great Geysir is not the only famous geyser in the Geysir hot spring area. The most active geyser in the area is Strokkur (the Churn). It sprouts hot water as high as 30 meters (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.
How do geysers erupt?
The geysers in Haukadalur lie in an active geothermal area. As a result of this underground plumbing system, ground water comes into contact with hot bedrock and heats up, building pressure. When the water has reached peak temperature and pressure it sprouts out from the geyser and into the air. The water is extremely hot and visitors need to keep their distance to keep safe.
How much does it cost to visit Geysir?
You do not have to pay an entrance fee when visiting Geysir. It is very important for you to stay within marked areas and stand back when a geyser erupts, for the extremely hot water can burn.
How to get to Geysir?
The hot spring area is approximately 100 km from Reykjavik on Route 35 or Route 37 heading through Thingvellir. We offer many different Golden Circle tours. In most of these you will also visit Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, both of which are a part of the Golden Circle route.
When is the best time to see the geysers in Haukadalur valley erupt?
You can visit Geysir all year. If you wish to avoid the crowds, we recommend that you either come in the morning before 10:00am or after 16:00 (4:00pm). Please keep in mind that during high season (June – July – August) there will be many tourists at Geysir all day.