Geysers of Iceland: Names, Facts, and Features

Geysers of Iceland

Iceland is the motherland of some of the most famous geysers in the world. In fact, the word geyser itself stems from the Old Norse word “geysa” which means “to gush” or “to rush forth.” Geysers are defined as hydrodynamic and thermodynamically unstable hot springs. Today, it is estimated that there are between 20 and 29 active geysers in Iceland and over 38 locations with extinct or dormant and sealed geysers. Some of the active geysers in iceland are small with infrequent water blasts, and others erupt violently and often. In Iceland, most geysers have short lifespans; they are activated by earthquakes or deactivated after tectonic movements close their vents. Currently, the tallest erupting geyser in Iceland is Strokkur (eruptions up to 40 meters in height). In the past, the first spot was taken by Geysir, which had 170-meters tall eruptions. However, in recent years, Geysir erupts infrequently with blasts that are only 10 meters tall. 

Here is a list of the Geysers of Iceland:

  • Strokkur (15-40 meters)
  • Geysir (5-10 meters)
  • Óþerrishola (3 meters)
  • Álfaauga (1 meter)
  • Gey 2 (1 meter)
  • Blesi (1 meter)
  • Fata 
  • Konungshver
  • Litli Geysir (10 meters)
  • Litli Strokkur (9 meters)
  • Seyðirinn
  • Sísjóðandi
  • Smiður (3-5 meters)
  • Sóði
  • Stjarna (3.5 meters)
  • Deildartunguhver (3 meters)
  • Vellir (1 meter)
  • Dynkur (Reykholt)
  • Kópareykjahverir
  • Skrifla (Reykholt)
  • Strokkur
  • Sturlureykjahver
  • Bræðrahver (1 meter)
  • Gjósandi (0.5 meters)
  • Grænihver (3 meters)
  • Nýi Strokkur (1 meter)
  • Bræðraauga (3 meters)
  • Eyvindarhver (0.5 meters)
  • Gamli Fagrihver (45 meters)
  • Gamli Strokkur (45 meters)
  • Rauðihver (1.5 meters)
  • Ystihver (3 meters)
  • Uxahver
  • Syðstihver (3 meters)
  • Grýla
  • Leppaluði borehole
  • Önnuhver (Ruslahver)
  • Spýtir (0.2-0.5 meters)
  • Svaði. 

1. Strokkur

Strokkur Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Strokkur Geyser’s coordinates are 64.3127° N, 20.3007° W. Strokkur is a fountain type of geyser that forms small blue water bulbs before erupting, which it does every 6 to 10 minutes. With eruptions as high as 15 to 40 meters, Strokkur is the tallest geyser in Iceland and the most popular. In the past, Strokkur’s water eruptions were up to 60 meters high. Interestingly, Strokkur was first mentioned in 1789 after an earthquake unblocked its conduit. Tours and Tour Guides for the Strokkur Geyser in Iceland are available. Many tourists visit the Haukadalur Geothermal Field to see the spectacular Strokkur Geyser. 

2. Geysir

Geysir Geyser (also known as the Great Geyser) in Iceland is located in the southwest. The  Geysir Geyser’s coordinates are 64.3104° N, 20.3024° W.  In the past, Geysir used to be the tallest geyser with eruptions tall between 120 and 170 meters. Today, Geysir rarely erupts with water eruptions as high as 5 to 10 meters. The Geysir Geyser is more active after earthquakes. Tours and Tour Guides for the  Geysir Geyser in Iceland are available. Geysir was the first known geyser to modern Europeans and the first one to be described in printed materials. It also gave the name to all other geysers in the world. 

3. Óþerrishola

Óþerrishola Geyser (also known as Rainmaker) in Iceland is located in the south. The Óþerrishola Geyser’s coordinates are 64.3125° N 20.3040° W. Óþerrishola is an unusual thermal spring. Most of the time, it is a calm water pool with a small 25-centimeters in diameter conic sinter shield and a seemingly endless 108-meters deep hole in the center. However, before it starts raining as the atmospheric pressure drops, Óþerrishola turns into a fervent geyser with eruptions as high as 3 meters. Once the rain is over, the geyser returns to its calm and silent state. Tours and Tour Guides for the Óþerrishola Geyser in Iceland are available. 

4. Álfaauga

Álfaauga Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. Álfaauga features intense blue springs, and the geyser rarely erupts. However, in recent years the Álfaauga Geyser has been more active with water eruptions up to one meter in height. Tours and Tour Guides for the Álfaauga Geyser in Iceland are available.  

5. Gey 2

Gey 2 Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. Today, the geyser erupts up to one meter in height. The eruption could be taller if soap is added, but this is not allowed. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gey 2 Geyser in Iceland are available. 

6. Blesi

Blesi Geyser (known as the Blazer) in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Blesi Geyser’s coordinates are 64.3134° N, 20.3012° W. In the past, Blesi gave water eruptions up to one meter in height. Today, Blesi is dormant and beautiful looking. It consists of two ponds separated by a narrow wall. The temperature within the Blesi pond reaches up to 100 degrees Centigrades. Tours and Tour Guides for the Blesi Geyser in Iceland are available. Early settlers used to wash their clothes in the small but hot Blesi water. 

7. Fata

Fata Geyser (known as the Bucket or Pail) in Iceland is located in the southwest. Fata is an irregular and now dormant geyser with a characteristically striking blue color. Its eruptions were several meters tall. Fata was quite active following the earthquakes in June 2000, but the activity stopped completely in 2004. Tours and Tour Guides for the Fata Geyser in Iceland are available. 

8. Konungshver

Konungshver Geyser (King’s Hot Spring) in Iceland is located in the southwest of the island. The Konungshver Geyser’s coordinates are 64.3141° N, -20.3036° W. Konungshver was activated after the earthquakes in 1896, and its activity stopped one year later. While it was active, it gave water eruptions of more than one meter. Following the earthquakes in 2000, the water in the Konungshver Geyser started boiling. The vent of the Konungshver Geyser is covered with boulders which might be preventing its activity. Tours and Tour Guides for the Konungshver Geyser in Iceland are available. 

9. Litli Geysir

Litli Geysir (the Small Geyser) in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Litli Geysir’s coordinates are 64.3113° N, 20.2964° W. Until the late 19th century, Litli Geysir was active and resulted in noisy, violent, and feathery eruptions up to 10 meters tall. Today, it classifies as a weak and perpetual spouter. Tours and Tour Guides for the Litli Geysir in Iceland are available.     

10. Litli Strokkur

Litli Strokkur (the Small Churn) in Iceland is located in the southwest of the country. In the past, Litli Strokkur gave 9-meters tall and powerful eruptions but today it is inactive. Tours and Tour guides for the Litli Strokkur Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

11. Seyðirinn

Seyðirinn Geyser (the Boiler) in Iceland is located in the southwest. Seyðirinn is a dormant geyser in the form of a fumarole. In theory, it could be reactivated with soap, but that is not allowed. If reactivated, it is expected to give very tall, fountain-like eruptions. Tours and Tour Guides for the Seyðirinn Geyser in Iceland are not available.  

12. Sísjóðandi

Sísjóðandi Geyser (the Eternally Boiling) in Iceland is located in the southwest of the country. The Sísjóðandi Geyser’s coordinates are 64.3107° N, 20.3024° W. Sísjóðandi is a permanent spouter and boiling mud-pot with some geyser-like characteristics. Its hot water was used for washing clothes before, but today it is used to heat the nearby hotel. Tours and Tour Guides for the Sísjóðandi Geysir in Iceland are not available. 

13. Smiður

Smiður Geyser (the Carpenter) in Iceland is located in the southwest of the country. The Smiður Geyser’s coordinates are 64.5557° N, 21.9008° W. Smiður is an artificially dug boiling spring with no geyser activity. Tours and Tour Guides for the Smiður Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

14. Sóði

Sóði Geyser (the Messy One) in Iceland is located in the southwest. Sóði is an inactive geyser that was first spouted in 1940. If reactivated with soap, it can give 20-meters tall eruptions. Tours and Tour Guides for the Sóði Geyser in Iceland. 

15. Stjarna

Stjarna Geyser (the Star) in Iceland is located in the southwest. Stjarna formed in 1896 after an increased earthquake activity and disappeared afterward. Today, the Stjarna Geyser is classified as extinct. Tours and Tour Guides for the Stjarna Geyser are not available. 

16. Deildartunguhver

Deildartunguhver Geyser in Iceland is located in the west. The Deildartunguhver Geyser’s coordinates are 64.6646° N, 21.4112° W. Deildartunguhver is the largest spring in Iceland and a constantly boiling source of geysers and spouters. With an average discharge of 180 liters per second, Deildartunguhver is the most powerful thermal spring globally. The height of its eruptions was 4 meters in the past and has now decreased to 3 meters. Tours and Tour Guides for the Deildartunguhver Geyser in Iceland are available. 

17. Vellir

Vellir Geyser (also known as Árhver) in Iceland is located in the west. The Vellir Geyser’s coordinates are 64.0452° N, 21.9753° W. Vellir is unique because it is located on a small island within the Reykjadalsá River. In the past, the eruptions of the Vellir Geyser were up to 11 meters tall. Today, Vellir is almost dormant, with eruptions barely one meter in height (could reach 2 meters if soap is added). Tours and Tour Guides for the Vellir Geyser in Iceland are available. 

18. Dynkur (Reykholt)

Dynkur Geyser in Iceland is located in the west. The Dynkur Geyser’s coordinates are 64.6642° N, 21.2883° W. Today, Dynkur is under a concrete lid and most likely dormant underneath the cover. Tours and Tour Guides for the Dynkur Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

19. Kópareykjahverir

Kópareykjahverir Geyser in Iceland is located in the west. Kópareykjahverir is now dormant. Tours and Tour Guides for the Kópareykjahverir Geyser in Iceland are not available.  

20. Skrifla (Reykholt)

Skrifla Geyser in Iceland is located in the west. The Skrifla Geyser’s coordinates are 64.6645° N, 21.2892° W. Today, Skrifla is under a concrete lid and stones and most likely dormant. Tours and Tour Guides for the Skrifla Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

21. Strokkur

Strokkur Geyser in Iceland is located in the west. The Strokkur Geyser’s coordinates are 64.6978° N, 21.2419° W. Strokkur is now a dormant geyser. Tours and Tour Guides for the Strokkur Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

22. Sturlureykjahver

Sturlureykjahver Geyser in Iceland is located in the west. Sturlureykjahver is now extinct. Tours and Tour Guides for the Sturlureykjahver Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

23. Bræðrahver

Bræðrahver Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. The Bræðrahver Geyser’s coordinates are 64.8650° N 19.5584° W. Bræðrahver is a spouter with a sinter cone and geyser-like features. Up until 1888, Bræðrahver gave 3-meters tall eruption, and today its water blasts do not exceed more than one meter. In recent years, the spring is closing and will probably disappear. Tours and Tour Guides for the Bræðrahver Geyser in Iceland are available. 

24. Gjósandi

Gjósandi Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. The Gjósandi Geyser’s coordinates are 64.8656° N 19.5593° W. Gjósandi used to give more violent and noisy eruptions, but today its strength is decreased, giving half a meter water blasts. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gjósandi Geyser in Iceland are available. 

25. Grænihver

Grænihver Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. The Grænihver Geyser’s coordinates are 64.8651° N 19.5583° W. Grænihver is the largest geyser in the Hveravellir Geothermal Field. Grænihver features a turquoise pool which is calm most of the time, and when it erupts, it gives water blasts of up to 3 meters. Tours and Tour Guides for the Grænihver Geyser in Iceland are available. 

26. Nýi Strokkur

Nýi Strokkur Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. Nýi Strokkur is a spouter with geyser-like characteristics. The eruptions of Nýi Strokkur reach up to one meter in height. Tours and Tour Guides for the Nýi Strokkur Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

27. Bræðraauga

Bræðraauga Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. Bræðraauga is the dormant twin to the still active Bræðrahver. In its active days, Bræðraauga erupted up to 3 meters in height. Tours and Tour Guides for the Bræðraauga Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

28. Eyvindarhver

Eyvindarhver Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. The Eyvindarhver Geyser’s coordinates are 64.8650° N 19.5594° W. Eyvindarhver used to be powerful, but in 1930 it calmed down, and today it is extinct. Tours and Tour Guides for the Eyvindarhver Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

29. Gamli Fagrihver

Gamli Fagrihver Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. Until the 1930s, Gamli Fagrihver was a powerful geyser erupting up to 45 meters in height. Today, Gamli Fagrihver is a large sinter cone filled with almost boiling water (95 degrees Centigrade). Tours and Tour Guides for the Gamli Fagrihver in Iceland are available. 

30. Gamli Strokkur

Gamli Strokkur Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. Gamli Strokkur had 45-meters tall eruptions until the 19th century, but today it is extinct and not detectable at all. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gamli Strokkur Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

31. Rauðihver

Rauðihver Geyser in Iceland is located in the Central Highlands. The Rauðihver Geyser’s coordinates are 64.8650° N 19.5591° W. Rauðihver used to be an intermittent hots spring which in the period between 2008 and 2009 started erupting 1.5-meters tall blasts or orange-colored, muddy water and turned into a geyser. Tours and Tour Guides for the Rauðihver Geyser in Iceland are available. 

32. Ystihver

Ystihver Geyser in Iceland is located in the north. In fact, Ystihver is the northernmost geyser in the world. As a fountain-type of geyser, it has a massive sinter cone with a 10-meters diameter. In the past, Ystihver erupted rarely. However, in 1904 its water levels were increased by carving canals, which resulted in Ystihver erupting every few minutes with blasts between 15 and 25 meters tall. Later, in 1970 a borehole managed these eruptions, and today, the Ystihver Geyser gives less frequent 3-meters tall eruptions. Tours and Tour Guides for the Ystihver Geyser in Iceland are available. 

33. Uxahver

Uxahver (Hot Spring of Ox) in Iceland is located in the north. The Uxahver Geyser’s coordinates are 65.8855° N, 17.3102° W. During the 19th century, Uxahver was one of the most powerful geysers, giving 9-meters tall eruptions every couple of minutes. In 1872 a massive earthquake destroyed most of the houses in the area and put the Uxahver geyser in a calm state. In 1900 it suddenly became active again, but in 1970 it was covered with concrete to redirect the hot water for greenhouses. Tours and Tour Guides for the Uxahver Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

34. Syðstihver

Syðstihver Geyser in Iceland is located in the north. The Syðstihver Geyser’s coordinates are 65.8832° N 17.3099° W. Syðstihver had two openings and erupted simultaneously from both of them giving water blasts up to 9 meters in height. Later on, the eruptions decreased in size and strength, and today, Syðstihver is in a dormant state. Tours and Tour Guides for the Syðstihver Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

35. Grýla

Grýla Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Grýla Geyser’s coordinates are 64.0094° N 21.1901° W. Grýla was active until the 1970s and today are dormant and extinct. Tours and Tour Guides for the Grýla Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

36. Leppaluði borehole

Leppaluði borehole Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Leppaluði borehole Geyser’s coordinates are 65.8867° N 17.3084° W. Leppaluði borehole is an artificial spouter which in 2007 resulted in 10 to 12 meters tall eruptions. Tours and Tour Guides for the Leppaluði borehole Geyser in Iceland are unavailable

37. Önnuhver (Ruslahver)

Önnuhver Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. Önnuhver was activated in 1947 after an earthquake. Interestingly, its eruption threw out all of the garbage that was thrown inside. Tours and Tour Guides for the Önnuhver Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

38. Spýtir

Spýtir Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. Spýtir was a bubbling basin with up to 5 centimeters wide bubbles, filled with superheated water, and surrounded by smaller geysers. Today, Spýtir is relatively calm and inactive. Tours and Tour Guides for the Spýtir Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

39. Svaði

Svaði Geyser in Iceland is located in the southwest. Svaði used to be one of the more powerful geysers in Iceland, erupting muddy waters up to several meters in height. Today, Svaði is an extinct geyser. Tours and Tour Guides for the Svaði Geyser in Iceland are not available. 

What are the Fields that have numerous Geysers?

In Iceland, there are five main geothermal fields and areas. Here is a list of those areas.

  • Haukadalur Geothermal Area
  • Deildartunguhver and Surrounding Areas
  • Hveravellir Geothermal Field
  • Hveravellir (Husavik) Geothermal Field
  • Geothermal Areas Around HveragerðI Town. 

1. Haukadalur Geothermal Area

The Haukadalur Geothermal Area in Iceland is located in the southwest of the country. The 6 square kilometers field is home to some of the most popular and beautiful geysers not just in Iceland but in the world. The most well-known geysers in the area are Strokkur and Geysir, but there are over 40 other geothermal features. 

2. Deildartunguhver and Surrounding Areas

Deildartunguhver and Surrounding Areas are located in the western parts. In addition to thermal springs and fountain-like geysers, the area is famous for its waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The field has only two active geysers at the moment (Deildartunguhver and Vellir) and several dormant ones. 

3. Hveravellir Geothermal Field

The Hveravellir Geothermal Field is located in the Icelandic Central Highlands. The beautiful field is a popular tourist attraction and home to some of the most spectacular geysers and hot springs such as Gjósandi, Öskurhóll, Fagrihver, Bræðrahver, Grænihver, and Rauðihver.

4. Hveravellir (Husavik) Geothermal Field

Hveravellir (Husavik) Geothermal Field is in the northeast of the island. Today, the field has only one active geyser, Ystihver, which is also the northernmost geyser in the world. The other geysers in the field are either dormant or covered with concrete, such as the case with Uxahver. 

5. Geothermal Areas Around HveragerðI Town

The HveragerðI field is a relatively small area in the southwest of the country. It is named after the nearby town, which is popularly known as “the Earthquake Town” or “the Hot Spring Town.” The small field is geothermally active and marked by the presence of many volcanic hot springs and geysers. 

Which Region of Iceland does have the most Geysers?

The southwest region of Iceland has the most geysers. More precisely, the geysers are spread across several Iceland regions, starting from southwest to northeast. Basically, the Iceland geysers form a belt that marks the boundary between the Eurasian Tectonic Plate and North American Tectonic Plate. 

What are the facts about Geysers in Iceland?

Geysers are short-lived in Iceland – they are either formed after earthquakes or fueled by seismic activity and then go into dormant states. At the moment, there are between 20 and 29 active geysers spread throughout the country. There are also 38 known locations where geysers existed in the past. Interestingly, most of the geysers that are still active mark less prominent eruptions, and geysers that were once over 100 meters tall today give water blasts that are only a couple of meters in height. However, Iceland remains a popular destination for tourists, and geysers and hot springs are a significant contributing factor. Each year, geysers and other landmarks and sites attract over 2.000.000 visitors. 

How many Geysers are there in Iceland?

In Iceland, there are 20-29 active geysers and around 38 locations with dormant or now extinct geysers. The geysers are spreading in a belt-like form, starting in the southwest up until the northeast. 

What is the biggest Geyser in Iceland?

The biggest geyser in Iceland is Strokkur. Its eruptions are between 15 and 40 meters tall, noisy, and violent. In the past, Strokkur resulted in higher eruptions, up to 60 meters in height. Strokkur is located in the southwest and is among the most popular geysers in the world. Strokkur’s hallmark is the deep blue bulbs of water that boil before eruptions. 

What are the Active Geysers in Iceland?

The active geysers in Iceland are Strokkur, Geysir, Óþerrishola, Álfaauga, Gey 2, Deildartunguhver, Vellir, Bræðrahver, Gjósandi, Grænihver, Grænihver, Nýi Strokkur, Ystihver, Uxahver, and Spýtir.

What are the Passive Geysers in Iceland?

The passive geysers in Iceland are Blesi, Fata, Konungshver, Litli Geysir, Litli Strokkur, Seyðirinn, Sísjóðandi, Smiður, Sóði, Stjarna, Dynkur (Reykholt), Kópareykjahverir, Skrifla (Reykholt), Strokkur, Sturlureykjahver, Bræðraauga, Eyvindarhver, Gamli Fagrihver, Gamli Strokkur, Rauðihver, Syðstihver, Grýla, Leppaluði borehole, Önnuhver (Ruslahver), and Svaði.

What are the Settlements near Geysers in Iceland?

There are many Icelandic cities and settlements near geysers. For example, there are several geysers within proximity of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. Strokkur, the largest geyser in Iceland, is one of the three attractions on the popular Golden Circle route (together Gullfoss Waterfall and the Þingvellir National Park) and close to the capital. Also, some of the most historic farms like Reykholt, Útey, Hveragerði, Syðri Reykir have developed near geysers. 

What is the prominence of Geysers for Iceland’s Geography?

Geysers have a beneficial impact on the Icelandic economy in two ways. First, they are a source of heat, and second, they attract tourists. However, there are also some side effects to geysers. Namely, they prevent certain areas from being industrialized. 

What are the Benefits of Hot Springs in Iceland?

The benefits of Hot Springs can be classified into two main categories, economic benefits, and health benefits. The group of economic benefits includes the use of geysers as heat sources and the attraction of tourists. On the other hand, the group of health benefits includes relaxation, rejuvenation, improved circulation, eczema treatment, musculoskeletal pain relief, etc. 

What are the Spa Tours in Iceland?

Spa Tours In Iceland are popular not just for tourists but locals as well. There are many different spa tours – some longer and with heftier price tags and others short and more affordable. In general, such spa tours have prices that start at around $50.