The Great Geysir

The Great Geysir
Photo by: meiburgin, Creative Commons

The Geysir, Great Geysir, or Stori-Geysir is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. The word geyser was derived from the word geysir originating in Iceland. It is a spouting hot spring specifically located at Haukadalur, Iceland. It is said that earthquakes during the 13th century gave birth to the Great Geysir and all other hot springs in the area. Similarly, the earthquakes caused the activity of the Geysir in its early years. It has the ability to spout hot water and steam reaching 60 to an astounding 80 meters in height. This geyser, with an 18-meter wide opening and 20-meter deep chamber, was active every thirty minutes in 1930 and every 6 hours in the following years. Unfortunately, the Great Geysir became totally inactive in 1916.

The digging of a manmade channel around its vent somehow caused the Great Geysir to wake up from its deep sleep. Its eruptions were controlled by the addition of soap. During special occasions, it was stimulated to erupt and give off a magnificent sight. But due to environmental concerns, the use of soap was gradually reduced.

Today, the spouting of heated water and steam is rarely observed. If you fail to witness the spectacular beauty of the erupting Great Geysir, another famous geyser is just 100 meters away from the former. The Strokkur or The Churn, though spouts water only up to 20 to 30 meters high, is more active than the Great Geysir. It erupts every five minutes. The area is just filled with other small hot springs. One can see the breathtaking view of the site on the small Laguarjfall Mountain located west of the area. But people can do more than just being mesmerized by the spouting wonders of Iceland. There are numerous establishments around the area offering other fun filled activities like hiking, golf, horse rentals, and river rafting.

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