The great Geysir
Geysir in Haukadalur is very likely the most famous geyser in the whole wide world, it is after all the one all the other geysers are named by. Geysers are a rare phenomena and knowledge about them were almost an unknown thing in the Western world until the 19th century. The geysers in Haukadalur were first mentioned in literature in the year 1294 but that year enormous earthquakes shook the grounds which both created and ruined geysers before in the area. Earthquakes have been known to lighten up Geysir but in the year 1630 an earthquake woke Geysir up after 40 year of hibernation and the eruption was so powerful it shook the surrounding grounds. This is around the time it started to get famous and travelers and explorers made their way to view it. The name Geysir was first mentioned in literature in the 18th century as an unusual natural phenomena which were at this point of high interest.
In the year 1845 Geysir would erupt up to 170 meters into the air but a year later it was only going up to 43-54 meters high. After that it went almost dormant until 1896 when another earthquake woke it up and then it would erupt many times a day sometimes lasting up to an hour each time and going up to 60 meters in height.
In 1910 it erupted every 30 min but five years later the time between the eruptions were six hours. A year later the eruptions had ceased. In 1935 a man-made channel was dug from the geyser causing a shift in the water level and for it to erupt again. With time the tunnel became too clogged with silica from the geyser and the eruptions became more rare. In 1981 the eruption was forced again but this time soap was used to do the job! In the 90’s due to environmental concerns the soap trick was serfdom practices but the government authorized for geologists to do it on the National holiday, the 17th of June.
The geyser was greatly affected by an earthquake again in 2000 and the eruptions reached up to 122 meters height and lasted for two days. This made Geysir one of the highest geysers ever in history (The only Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand erupted up to 460 meters height but stopped around 1900). From 2000 the eruptions were around eight times a day but in July 2003, the activity had decreased down to three times a day. Today Geysirs activity is very low.
Geysir has for a long time caused potential viewers a lot of waiting as it goes off very irregularly. Who knows when it will decide to erupt again!
Strokkur geyser is the most active geyser in Iceland and erupts naturally every 4-10 minutes, it usually erupts up to 15 or 20 meters but in history it is said to have gone up to 40 meters. Strokkur and Geysir are believed to be the same age but since Geysir used to go higher Strokkur wasn’t mentioned in books until 1789 after an earthquake helped to unblock the conduit of the geyser. In 1815 the height is believed to have been up to 60 meters. In the 20th century another earthquake clogged the conduit again. In 1963 the locals cleaned out the conduit again and ever since Strokkur has been erupting staggeringly into the Icelandic sky!
The sight of Strokkur erupting is unique and very special. The experience of standing in anticipation as your excitement rises, then sensing the subtle signs which herald Strokkur’s imminent eruption is also not to be under-estimated.
Where are Geysir and Strokkur Located?
The geysers are one of the attractions of the famous Golden Circle. Situated in the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur in South Iceland 99.2 km from Reykjavík if you take the Þingvallavegur route, otherwise around 107 km.
What not to do at Geysir and Strokkur?
Go within the lines! The water is extremely hot and the lines have been put up after accidents have happened. Follow the rules, there is a reason for them.
Go there without visiting Gullfoss, the waterfall is only about 7 min driving distance away. You simply can’t visit the area and skip Gullfoss.
Litter! The area is greatly kept and it’s important that we do what we can to help keeping it that way.
Interesting places near Geysir
- Gullfoss waterfall
- The Secret Lagoon
- Faxi waterfall
- Efsti-Dalur Farm
- Drumbó River Rafting Base
- Laugavatn and Fontana Spa