A Guide To drive to Geysir and Strokkur
About 60 km away from Þingvellir National Park, you will find Geysir and Strokkur. The name probably already gives away the type of natural phenomenon we will visit here. Follow Route 36. After approximately 17 km, take Route 365. Follow this for 14 km, after which you take Route 37 (2nd exit) in the direction of Geysir. Drive 24 km more on Route 37. Then in Laugarvatnsvegur, take Route 35 in the direction of Geysir.
The name Geysir comes from the verb “aðgjósa” which means bubbling or spraying. The English word geyser is derived from this, as well.
Geysir has a diametre of 14 metres and is the widest geyser in Iceland. It is estimated that it became active 800 to 900 years ago. In the Oddaverjaannáll (a text dating from 1294), it is mentioned that new hot springs emerged after a series of earthquakes in the region. Geysir was not mentioned by name back then; the geyser got its name later. Geysir once shot water every 30 minutes which rose as high as 40 to 60 metres. Now it’s active a few times a day, and it shoots only 5 to 6 metres high.
You can climb a hill in the geothermal park from where you have an excellent view over the region and the coloured geysers.
How does a geyser works?
There is a lot of power needed to shoot the water straight upwards, and it is quite a rare natural phenomenon. The primal layer must contain water; a source of heat is required (in this case, the mantle plume of a volcano), and there must also be a natural reservoir containing a naturally formed system of pipes. The heat source of a geyser is a nearby volcano.
A smaller but very active geyser is Strokkur. Every 5 minutes it shoots boiling water up to 20 metres high.