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Geysers in Iceland - Strokkur and Geysir

Have you seen geysers in Iceland? We recently visited the Haukadalur geothermal area with the Strokkur and Geysir geysers. Wandering around here is a bit like walking on another planet, with smoke and bubbles all around you. Plus, you can be sure to see Strokkur's eruption - several times.


Golden Circle part 2

On one of our days in Iceland, we did the classic "Golden Circle" tour, which takes you to three major sights in Iceland: Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir National Park and the geysers Strokkur and Geysir. We had great weather during the trip and took lots of photos, so we'll just have to make it three posts. Today we're talking about geysers in Iceland and the geothermal area of Haukadalur.


Geyser area in Haukadalur

The Haukadalur valley was first mentioned in 1294, when the Geysir geyser is believed to have become active. The geothermally active area also contains the Strokkur geyser, as well as around 40 smaller hot springs and smoking openings in the earth's crust. "Coming here is really cool. It fizzes and bubbles everywhereand it almost feels like walking around on another planet.

gejsrar på Island

Little Geyser and King's Eye

Two of the springs you can see are Litli Geysir (Little Geyser) and Konungshver (King's Spring). The first one is smoking heavily while the second one is more still and shiny.


Studies show that Geysir has been active for around 10,000 years, and according to a description from 1630, the geyser's eruptions could be 'so violent that the whole valley shook'.

When Geysir erupts, it sprays water and steam 70 metres (!) into the air. Geysir's eruption seems impressive, but you have to have extremely ride or be equipped with unusually patience. This geyser only erupts a few times a year. Our guide told us that he was once half an hour away from an eruption, and that alone should be considered unusually close ...



Located about 50 metres from Geysir, the Strokkur geyser is very good for Iceland's tourism. This geyser sprays "nicely and obediently" about every 5 to 10 minutes. So you don't have to wait long at all to see a spraying geyser. However, you do have to push your way through all the other eager tourists!


Strokkur was first mentioned in 1789 when an earthquake opened a channel and the geyser became active. The geyser then continued to erupt regularly until 1896, when another earthquake brought it to a halt. In 1963 the channel was manually cleared and since then the geyser has been erupting regularly. Strokkur usually sprays about 15-20 metres into the air.

Strokkur at the beginning of one of the eruptions - also the top picture in the post shows Strokkur

Lunch at Efstadalur II

When you look at geysers in Iceland, you get hungry! We were fortunate enough to have a guide who took us to a place called Efstadalur IIwhich is 17 kilometres from Haukadalur. Soooo incredibly cosy!

Handed down from generation to generation, this family-run place is both a farm and a restaurant. It also has a famous ice cream parlour. Perhaps coolest of all is that you can sit up in the restaurant and look down on the cows in the barn through a large glass wall.

We were first served some small specialities typical of farmhouse Iceland: traditional skýr (Icelandic milk product) mixed with milk, drinkable whey and a cheese similar to feta cheese. Then we had a delicious meat soup. For dessert there was of course ice cream, and it was really good. It is almost so you can go to Iceland just for the ice cream!

Why is it called a geyser?

The largest geyser in Haukadalur is called Geysir, and it is actually the source of the name geyser in both Swedish and English. Geysir was the first geyser to be mentioned in writing, making the phenomenon internationally known. In Icelandic, the verb 'geysa' means something like 'rush forward', 'plunge forward' or 'throw out'.

Where in the world are geysers?

Geysers are a very special natural phenomenon, and there aren't many places in the world where geysers are found. After some googling, we have found that geysers are mainly found in Iceland, Yellowstone National Park in the USA, New Zealand, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia and Chile, but there are also occasional geysers in other places. We have previously seen geysers in the geothermal area of Rotorua in the North Island of New Zealand.

Have you ever seen a geyser? In Iceland or elsewhere?

Geyser in Rotorua, New Zealand

Geysers in Iceland - Some tips for your visit

Checking out geysers is very popular in Iceland, and you should be prepared that you won't be alone at the site. Some more tips for your visit:

  • It is often rainy and windy in Iceland. Pack a hat, mittens and wind and rainproof clothing!
  • Respect warning signs and fences. They are there for a reason!
  • Resist the temptation to stick your fingers in and feel the water in the various springs. The can be a lovely 38 degrees, but they might as well be 90 degrees ...
Hætta means danger in Icelandic - don't feel the stream!
All our top tips about Iceland. Click on the image!

Facts about Geysir and Strokkur

  • Find here: Geysir and Strokkur are located in Haukadalur, north of Laugarvatn in southern Iceland. There are two different routes from Reykjavik, one of which is 106 kilometres and the other 115 kilometres. These are regular roads all the way, and you don't need four-wheel drive. You can travel to Iceland by, for example Icelandair.
  • Opening hours: The geothermal area is part of nature and does not close. The opening hours of the visitor centre including the café may vary.
  • Prices: There is no charge to visit the geothermal area. There is a café where you can shop.
  • Accessibility: It is a few minutes' walk from the car park to the springs. You walk in a natural environment, on slightly uneven ground.
  • Read more: You can find more information at Inspired by Iceland.

This trip was a press trip, organised by Icelandair and the Food and Fun Reykjavik festival. All texts, photos and opinions are, as usual, our own.

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