After leaving Pingvellir, we made our way to the Geysir Geothermal Field. The area is impossible to miss. As you crest a hill heading north into Geysir, traffic slows down to accommodate the crossing tourists heading from the visitor’s center/cafe and the parking lots into the attraction area. Streams of water bubble out of the ground and pour into the sidewalks. I was surprised to see young children playing in the cooling waters with their unconcerned parents meandering nearby.
There are many signs and ropes to alert visitors of the dangers of getting too near this geothermal hotspot, and plenty of stories can be found about the less-than-careful getting severely burned, and worse. Do take care and respect the boundaries that are marked when you visit geothermal fields. They are volatile places where the Earth clearly wields the wand of power.
There are several places that send out clouds of steam at Geysir, but only one active geyser big enough to gather the crowd with cameras poised at the ready around its vast circumference. Its name is Strokkur, and it releases a gush of steam every 10 minutes, sending its cloud a good 50 feet into the air.
Along route to Strokkur, you pass Little Geysir and some smaller steamy hot spots. The water here trickles over the paths and it is not a place for sandals, but sturdy shoes.
Like all of the natural attractions we stopped at in Iceland, Geysir offers much more than its main attraction. The area is filled with paths that lead around the geothermal field and up into the surrounding hills. It’s well worth the time spent to explore and get a little hike in. The views are stunning from the hill that climbs above the area, and it’s a great spot to watch Strokkur erupt away from the hovering crowds.
We probably spent an hour exploring the geothermal field and climbing the hill behind it. As you can see, the views are stunning.
If you find yourself hungry, as we did after the climb, there are a couple of options for dining. Both are across the road nearby the parking lot. The Geysir restaurant is connect to a hotel, and although it looked like a lovely option, we chose to purchase soup at the cafe adjoining the gift shop. We both had the wild mushroom, which come with bread and butter. It hit the spot, and after a stop at the restrooms and a perusal of the shop, we were ready to head out towards our next adventure.
Next stop, Gullfoss…