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Strokkur Geyser; A Very Active Sibling

In the land of Fire and Ice, you can expect to see volcanoes, glaciers, natural hot springs, and lagoons filled with floating icebergs, aaaaand erupting geysers. Which can probably be seen as the perfect combination of both fire and ice as liters of water explode into the air.

One of the most active geysers is Strokkur, the sister geyser of Geysir (the first geyser to ever be found and the very reason we refer to them as geysers). Strokkur is an exceptional geyser and draws thousands of visitors each year.

In this article, we tell you why Strokkur geyser is so popular, where it is, how to get there.

Strokkur Geysir, Iceland

What Makes Strokkur Geyser So Special?

Strokkur is famous for two reasons. Firstly, it’s the sister geyser of the GOAT of geysers, Geysir. And, secondly, it’s one of the most active geysers in Iceland, erupting every few minutes (roughly every 4 to 10 minutes to be exact). Today, these eruptions send about 2.5 liters of water into the air PER SECOND.

And an eruption can range from 10 meters to even 40 meters into the air. This is a classic example of a younger sibling outdoing the eldest, as Geysir only ever reached about 30 meters. But this doesn’t mean that Strokkur isn’t also slowly starting to lose steam, since it boasted eruptions of 60 meters in the 1800s.

The temperature of the water erupting from Strokkur is scolding hot, at around 90 degrees Celsius. This merely gets hotter the deeper down the shaft you go. At about 10 meters down, the water is roughly 112 degrees Celsius and a staggering 130 degrees Celsius at 23 meters down.

Icelandic geyser

Where is Strokkur in Iceland?

Strokkur Geyser’s location is in the Geysir Geothermal Area of the Haukadalur Valley in Southwest Iceland.

As a sister geyser, Strokkur is just a short walk from Geysir. The Geysir Geothermal Area is a mere 80 kilometers east of the capital city of Reykjavík, making a day outing possible, although we will always recommend a road trip around the island. Especially since the Geysir Geothermal Area is so close to the popular Golden Circle route.

How to Get to Strokkur

Most get to Strokkur in one of two ways:

By Going on a Guided Tour

There are all sorts of tours offered here on the island that have the Geysir Geothermal Area as a destination. This includes day trips, combo tours, private tours, small group tours, and even multi-day holiday packages. It’s up to you which will suit you best.

By Taking a Self-drive

We’ll always recommend having your own transport to explore the island, and driving to Strokkur is incredibly easy:

  • Get onto the Ring Road and start driving north.

  • Exit on Road 36 towards Laugarvatn after Lagafell.

  • Turn off onto Road 37 towards Stekka till you reach Muli.

  • From Muli Road 37 becomes Road 35.

  • Continue driving till you see the sign to Haukadalur Valley.

How to Take the Perfect Strokkur Snapshot

It’s no surprise that Strokkur is a favorite subject when it comes to photographers, whether amateur or pro. But one of the biggest challenges is getting the timing right. So, here’s how to take the perfect Strokkur snapshot.

Stand with your finger poised on the camera button when the water starts to boil and thick steam rises from it. You will see the water slightly dip into the pool (as if a bathtub was unplugged). It’s at this moment that you need to start snapping away, as this signals that an eruption is only seconds away.

Protecting Strokkur

As with most things in life, it seems like we humans simply cannot leave well enough alone – even when it comes to our natural wonders. Geysir essentially became dormant because of the soap that they pumped into its vents to make the eruptions more dramatic. This ultimately led to the entire structure of the vent being damaged and the geyser no longer being able to build up the water.

This is the reason why people are so protected over Strokkur (you can’t say Icelanders don’t learn from their environmental faux pas). It is guarded and has chains around it to keep visitors at a safe distance (for both the people and Strokkur’s safety).

The fact that Icelanders will not tolerate any more environmental mistakes and human meddling was made very clear after a local artist decided to pour a food coloring dye into Strokkur, so it erupted pink water. Despite the coloring being all-natural, the man was not only arrested and fined by authorities, but was almost completely ostracized by the community.


Strokkur’s Interesting History

Watching the active geyser today makes it hard to believe that this geyser once became dormant. As we already mentioned, Strokkur was known for its spectacular eruptions in the 1800s. But by 1830, the eruptions became less and less. For some inexplicable reason, people tried to trigger an eruption with turf and stones.

This was not only unsuccessful, but the turf made the eruptions a dusty red color whenever Strokkur did erupt. It was in the 20th century that Strokkur was given its final blow by an earthquake, completely blocking its conduit. But in 1963, locals cleaned out the channel, and since then, Strokkur has been erupting almost non-stop.

Other Things to Do & See Near Strokkur

If you’re on a road trip or decided to spend a bit more time in the area, the following are a few activities and attractions that you can add to your to-do list:

Strokkur Geyser; Don’t Miss Out on an Explosive Good Time

Whether you just admire what nature can come up with, consider yourself to be a bit of a photographer, or just enjoy sightseeing in general, Strokkur guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s not to be missed. So be sure to rent a car in Iceland and take that Golden Circle road trip, adding Strokkur as an explosive good time along the way.

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