The world's original geyser, this spout of hot water is the source of the English word after which all other geysers are named. Geysir literally means "gusher" in Icelandic, and this natural phenomenon in the Haukadalur geothermal region has been active for more than 10,000 years. Records of hot springs activity in the region date back to 1294.
The Great Geysir's activity has become sporadic in the recent past, noticeably increasing with earthquake activity in the region. The nearby Strokkur geyser erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, shooting a plume of hot water 45 to 90 feet (15 to 30 meters) in the air.
Both Geysir and Strokkur are best seen as a stop on a classic Golden Circle tour that covers the natural wonders of southern Iceland, whether with a group and guide or on your own. Other landmarks include Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Seljalandfoss waterfall.
Things to Know
- A brief stop here is sufficient; wait a few minutes to see Strokkur erupt.
- You'll find a gift shop across the road.
- Take a comprehensive Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik to see more of Iceland's top sites.
- The Geysir area is handicap accessible with wide boardwalks.
How to Get There
The Great Geysir lies on the slope of Laugarfjall Hill, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) outside of Reykjavik. It takes about 90 minutes to reach by car from the city.
When to Get There
Both Geysir and the Strokkur geyser erupt on their own schedule; you won't have to wait around too long to see a spout.