Geysir or the Great Geysir is a famous hot spring located in the geothermal area Haukadalur in the south of Iceland. The geothermal area is about 3 km2 and the formation of the hot springs goes back to the final period of the ice age so they have existed for more than 10.000 years. The first written record of this geothermal field is only from the year 1294 though, when an earthquake hit the southern lowland and the Haukadalur geothermal area, bringing the hot springs to life and spouting boiling hot water up in the air. Earthquakes usually have big influence on the behavior of geysers.
Since then Geysir and the thermal area have been one of the greatest natural attractions in Iceland and a part of the popular Golden Circle Route That is no surprise as this type of hot spring are very rare in the world and do not exist in Europe outside of Iceland. The word “geyser” that is used today for this kind of hot springs, is derived from the icelandic word Geysir.
Geysir has been sleeping more or less since the year 1915 but in the year 1896 an earthquake in the area brought Geysir back to life. He started erupting again several times during the day with eruptions lasting for about an hour and reaching up to 60 meters high. After the year 1910 eruptions in Geysir started to slow down and in 1916 almost all activity was gone.
Even though Geysir himself is less active today the thermal area offers other amazing hot springs and one of them is called Strokkur. Strokkur erupts every 10 minutes and spouts water about 30 meters high in the air.
Fumaroles are found in the north side of the area, a type of geothermal where only steam and gas comes from the system. Sometimes a bright yellow spot can be seen from the fumaroles, this is native sulphur crystallizing from the steam. In the south part of the area all kinds of mud pools can also be found.
Geysir is about 100km from the capital city Reykjavik and is part of the Golden Circle Route. From Reykjavik drive on Ring Road nr. 1 towards the town Selfoss. Before the town take road nr. 35 and drive for about 50 minutes until arriving at Geysir.
Read more about Driving in Iceland.