The most famous geothermal area of Iceland is the area around geyser. This place is the home to the spouting hot spring named Geysir which has given its name to all such spouting hot spring. I guess the main reason why this geyser has become the most famous of all geysers are the fact it has been relatively easy to reach. Sure it is located in Iceland at the very outskirt of Europe – but it was in Europe so the story of this remarkable hot spring could be written and told about across Europe already in the Middle Ages. This is unlike other geyser in New Zealand or Yellowstone in the USA which is located in the new world and hence didn’t become known to Europeans for several centuries.
Unfortunately the great Geysir is currently dormant – it last erupted in 2000 after an earthquake. I guess you might have to wait for another earthquake for the geyser to become active one more time as hit has been for the last 10,000 years dropping in and out this dormant stage depending on the earthquakes.
We go and visit the area – and we have the good fortunate to stay at a hotel right across the street from the geyser field. We have a little cabin outside the hotel which is bigger than the rooms at the hotel and for some reason it is a bit cheaper. Fortunately the room has got very dark curtains which we quickly learn to appreciate as a necessity of life during the summer of Iceland if you want any sleep at night.
After we have become settled it is a bit late at night – but there is still bright daylight so we go to geyser area to explore at 10.30 at night. The area is open all day so we can just go in – this might be one of the most famous natural attractions in the country but there is no entrance fee. This is the case for all natural attractions in the country there are a long tradition of the nature being free and for everybody to enjoy.
Going late at night ensures the number of visitors are pretty low – if you come in the middle of the day you will have to walk around the area with a huge inflow of day trippers arriving from Reykjavik on a day trip around the Golden Circle.
We go in and look at the different hot water areas. We don’t have the time to wait for the next earthquake so we don’t get to see the famous Geysir thrust the water high into the air. But fortunately there is one other geyser at the area. The Strokkur geyser is erupting on a pretty frequent basis so we only have to wait a couple of minutes to see it send the water high into the air. The geyser is smaller than the famous Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone but it is still pretty impressive and it is nice to see it. It is the only major geyser which erupts regularly in this area or all of Iceland for that matter so we better hang around and just see it one more time.
Next morning we decide to head across the road one more time. It is still too early for the day trippers from Reykjavik so we can enjoy the area in peace and quiet one more time. There are only a few guests probably from the hotel and the camping ground next to the thermal area. We walk around the area one more time and look at Strokkur go off a couple of more times before it is time to continue the journey.