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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Geysir and Strokkur Hot Springs self-drive guide and information

Updated: Apr 29

Strokkur hot spring eruption
Strokkur hot spring eruption

The Geysir hot spring is part of the geothermal field in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland, quite close to the entrance to the Kjalvegur road leading to the Highland. It has been active for 10.000 years, although the earliest accounts of hot springs in Haukadalur only date back to 1294. Geysir is an irregular hot spring, sometimes active, sometimes not. Its earliest mention was due to significant changes in the area's landscape following a mighty earthquake. Ever since, seismic activities have been carefully documented, and the geothermal field in Haukadalur has been closely monitored.


Geysir is in the South Region on the Map of Iceland
Geysir is in the South Region on the Map of Iceland

How do you drive to Geysir?


Self drive to Geysir Hot Spring
Map of how to drive to Geysir hot spring in Iceland

The whole drive to Geysir is 107 kilometers, 67 miles. To reach Geysir, you must take road nr. 1, the main road in Iceland, from Reykjavík to Mosfellsbær town. Once you pass through the town, turn east to the Morse Mofellsheiði on road nr. 36. After driving through Þingvellir National Park, continue on road nr. 365 until you reach Laugarvatn small hamlet. From there, continue on road nr. 37 until you reach the junction of road nr. 35, which will take you to Geysir. You can find the directions on the map above. The whole journey takes less than two hours without any stops.


Connections between earthquakes and hot spring eruptions


Geysir hot spring erupting in summer
Geysir hot spring erupting in summer

Geysir, a famous geyser in Iceland, tends to become more active after earthquakes. Although it had been dormant for a long time, it started erupting regularly again after the earthquake of 1896. At that time, it erupted several times a day with bursts of up to 60 meters high and lasting for an hour. In 1910, it was active every 30 minutes. However, its periods of activity usually last for only a few months and after the 1910 eruption, it appeared as if Geysir had become inactive once again.


Geysir has a history of shutting off and turning on at its own convenience


Strokkur hot spring by Geysir erupting in winter
Strokkur hot spring by Geysir erupting in winter

In 1935, a channel was created through the silica rim surrounding Geysir's vent. This channel caused the water level to decrease, resulting in a restoration of Geysir's activity. However, the channel soon became blocked with silica, and the eruptions of Geysir almost completely ceased. In 1981, the channel was cleared once again. By this time, those in charge of the hot spring realized that Geysir could be stimulated by adding soap to it on special occasions. However, due to environmental concerns, this method was eventually abandoned. The last time Geysir erupted was after the Icelandic National Day earthquakes in 2000. It shot boiling water up to 122 meters high, which made it the highest-known geyser eruption in history.


Strokkur has taken over the responsibility of splashing boiling water from the hot spring

Strokkur first stage of eruption: The bulb
Strokkur first stage of eruption: The bulb

Today the other impressive geyser Strokkur has taken the role and responsibility of erupting every ten to fifteen minutes every day and every night of the year. It is one of the most remarkable creatures of mother nature in Iceland, almost like it was designed for tourism. It barely fails or disappoints its hundred of thousands of visitors every year.






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