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Geysir Travel Guide

7436 Verified reviews
Hot Springs, Geysers, Cultural attractions, Forests
35, Iceland
Distance from center
23.9 km
High season
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Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.

Geysir is a famous hot spring in the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley, found in south-west Iceland. It's part of the popular Golden Circle travel route.

The Geysir geothermal area is less than two hour drive from the capital, making it easily accessible for many joining a Golden Circle day tour or those who rent a car. It is also included as a stop in countless vacation packages and self-drive tours, such as this 1-week summer self-drive tour of the Ring Road and Golden Circle and this 7-day northern lights self-drive tour through South Iceland.

Making up just one of the attractions along the world-renowned Golden Circle sightseeing route, alongside Thingvellir National Park and the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir is most well-known for having lent its name to geysers all around the world.

Geography of the Geysir Geothermal Area

Geysir is very beautiful during sunsetThough Geysir itself is very rarely active these days, Haukadalur valley boasts a plethora of hot springs and geysers, including the powerful Strokkur, Smidur, and Litli-Strokkur.Strokkur is, arguably, the country’s most famous hot spring, shooting vast jets of boiling water from 65 feet (20 meters) up to 130 feet (40 meters) high. Don’t worry about missing this incredible spectacle of nature, as Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes. Just make sure to have your camera ready when it does.

Geysir is much larger, but years can go by between eruptions here. It is currently in an inactive phase. When it does erupt, the water can shoot up in the air as high as 230 feet (70 meters).

Just a few minutes walk north of Geysir is a wealth of fumaroles emanating steam and gas into the cool Icelandic air. Aside from watching the hypnotic pillars of steam, you will also be able to observe the yellow sulphuric stains along the fumaroles themselves, a result of the earth’s minerals crystallizing around the rock bed.

At the southern part of the valley, Thykkuhverir, you’ll find various bubbling mud pots. These brown cauldrons are actually fumaroles that boil up through the loose ground, after a dry spell, these mud pools are likely to transform into a hardened fumarole.

Nearby Attractions 

About one mile (two kilometers) from Geysir is a preserved natural pool called Kualaug. It has room for three to five people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 102-109°F (39-43°C), depending on where you are positioned in the pool.

The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised when relaxing here.

Haukadalur has also seen a rise in reforestation in recent times thanks to continued experiments and research in the area. Today, Haukadalsskogur is one of the largest forests in South Iceland, boasting accessible walking paths (also for wheelchair users), fascinating vegetation, and The Tree Museum, built in memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson.

History of Geysir

Strokkur and Geysir are often confused for each other.

Haukadalur valley has been inhabited and used as a church site since the Age of Settlement. Given its historic value, it should be noted that scholar Ari “The Wise“ Þorgilsson grew up here. It was also where the first pastoral school in Iceland was built.

The current wooden church, known as Haukadalskirkja, was last rebuilt in 1939, but its architectural style dates back to 1842, making it well worth a visit to see how Iceland looked before industrialization.

For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is approximately 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) from the Geysir area, and closer still is Hotel Geysir on the other side of the road from the attraction, where you will also find a restaurant, café, and a souvenir shop. There are also more great Golden Circle accommodations in the area.

FAQs About the Geysir Geothermal Area in Iceland

You'll see water erupt into the air by Geysir

What is Geysir?

Geysir is a geothermal area located in southwestern Iceland that is famous for its hot springs and geysers.

What is the difference between a geyser and a hot spring?

A geyser is a hot spring that periodically erupts with water and steam, while a hot spring is a pool of hot water that does not erupt.

Is there an admission fee to visit Geysir?

No, there is no admission fee to visit Geysir.

How far is Geysir from Reykjavik?

Geysir is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Reykjavik.

How do you get to Geysir?

You can drive to Geysir or take a Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik.

How often does Geysir erupt?

Geysir itself is no longer active, but the nearby Strokkur geyser erupts about every 6-10 minutes.

How high does the Strokkur geyser erupt?

The height of Strokkur's eruption varies, but it usually reaches between 15 and 20 meters (49-65 feet).

Is it safe to approach the geysers in Geysir?

There are designated viewing areas around the geysers, and it is important to stay within those areas for safety reasons. The water in the geysers is extremely hot and can cause serious injury or death.

Can you swim in the hot springs in Geysir?

No, swimming is not allowed in the hot springs at Geysir for safety reasons. There are designated hot springs for swimming elsewhere in Iceland, such as the Blue Lagoon.

You can clearly see water moving strangely before a Geysir eruption

What is the temperature of the water in the geysers?

The temperature of the water in the geysers can reach up to 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit).

Can you drink the water in the geysers or hot springs in Geysir?

No, the water in the geysers and hot springs is not safe to drink due to its high mineral content and temperature.

What is the best time of year to visit Geysir?

Geysir is accessible year-round, but summer (June-August) is the most popular time to visit due to milder weather and longer daylight hours.

What is the best time of day to visit Geysir?

The geysers are active all day, but crowds can be larger in the afternoon. Morning and evening can be quieter times to visit.

What is the temperature of the air in Geysir?

The temperature of the air in Geysir, like most of Iceland, can vary significantly depending on the time of year. During the summer months, temperatures typically range from around 50°F to 59°F (10°C to 15°C). In the winter months, temperatures can drop between 23°F to 39°F (-5°C and 4°C). However, the geothermal activity in the area can make the immediate surroundings of the hot springs, and geysers feel warmer due to the steam and heat emitted from the ground.

Are there any other attractions in Geysir?

Yes, there are several other geothermal features in the area, including hot springs, mud pools, and fumaroles.

What other activities can you do in Geysir?

You can take a hike in the nearby Haukadalur valley, and visit the Geysir Center for lunch. We recommend the traditional Icelandic meat soup.

Are there any hotels or accommodations in Geysir?

Yes, there are several hotels, guesthouses, and campsites in the Geysir area. The closest one is Hotel Geysir.

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