Now Grýla is dormant or even extinct geyser – but some decades ago it was one of the most impressive Icelandic geysers.


Hveragerði is an unusual town even by Icelandic standards – it is not just surrounded by hot springs but the town itself is built over such springs. In the center of the town is a spectacular geothermal field – Hveragerði Geothermal Park – with several geysers (one active!), hot springs, mud pools. Exclusive city park!

Numerous greenhouses use the immense energy of the Earth – Hveragerði is one of the main suppliers of vegetables and fruits (even bananas!) in Iceland. As a result during the long winter nights, the town is illuminated by the bright lights of greenhouses.


Grýla is a geyser that has been named after quite a nasty creature – legendary ogress Grýla. This troll (or trolless?) together with her husband Leppaluði (there is another hot spouter nearby named after him) attacked people, especially children.

Geyser itself some decades ago was quite impressive. It could have been up to 10 m high, with a thin jet. Norwegian geologist Tomas F. W. Barth reported that the geyser emitted thin jets of water which were up to 6 m high in 1934, eruptions had an interval of 2.5 hours.

Around 1970 this geyser gradually stopped its activity. The loss of this geyser could be linked to the boreholes which have been made in the town since the 1940ies to obtain the geothermal energy.

Grýla geyser in 1973 - triggered by soap
Grýla geyser in 1973 – triggered by soap. / Christian Bickel, Wikimedia Commons / BY-SA 2.0

In 1970ies geyser could be “operated” with the help of soap – but now even this does not help. There still is seen the narrow, vertical vent which goes to the depth of some three meters.

Grýla is included in the following article:

Geysers of Iceland
Geysers of Iceland on the map
Geysers of Iceland on the map / Wondermondo / public domain

Some of the world’s most popular geysers are located in Iceland. But few know about ALL active geysers in Iceland.

This article lists all the known active geysers in Iceland – some 20 – 29 of them. Here are listed also some 38 other places where geysers have existed in the past or features, which are similar to geysers but are not genuine geysers.


  1. Dirk Niemann, Hveragerði and Grændalur, Volcanic Springs. Accessed on April 17, 2019. (Great website!)
Grýla on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 64.0094 N 21.1901 W
Categories: Thermal springs, Geysers
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: 1.5 out of 10 stars
Where is located? Europe, Iceland, Suðurland, approximately 45 km drive west from Reykjavík, approximately 1 km north from Hveragerði town, at the left side of the road leading to the north, to Reykjakot
Alternate names: Hrýli, Hrýti
Height: dormant, before 1970ies – up to 10 m high

Video of Grýla geyser

Venus PolNocy – Bez Pudru, January 2010

Landmarks of Iceland

Gullfoss, Iceland
Gullfoss / WoSie, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-2.5.
Iceland is very rich with peculiar natural landmarks and the island contains also interesting cultural landmarks. The highlights of Iceland are the magnificent waterfalls as well as geysers and other geothermal features.


Geysir and Strokkur erupting simultaneously, June 1984
Geysir and Strokkur erupting simultaneously, June 1984 / Roger Goodman, Flickr.CC BY-SA 2.0.
Hasty hydrogeologist would say: geysers are thermodynamically and hydrodynamically unstable hot springs. “Normal” people would say – geysers are hot springs which at more or less regular intervals shoot up a fountain of boiling water and steam. Sometimes these fountains are even 100 m tall… or even 450 m!

Recommended books

Iceland Travel Guide

Iceland Travel Guide Introduction This book includes all the necessary links for an easy journey to your Icelandic adventure. To make your Iceland travel more entertaining and full of all of the things that you want, you’ll see a step-by-step route around the entire country, indicating the distance in miles, accommodations, recreation, entertainment, shopping and much more. This Iceland travel guide will be the perfect companion to see all of the hottest spots, like Blue Lagoon, Iceland and other must-sees.

The Glorious Geology of Iceland’s Golden Circle

This is the first book describing the glorious geology of Iceland’s Golden Circle and four additional excursions:(1) the beautiful valleys and mountains of the fjord of Hvalfjördur, (2) the unique landscape and geothermal fields of the Hengill Volcano, (3) the explosion craters, volcanic fissures, and lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, and (4) the volcanoes (Hekla, Eyjafjallajökull, Katla), waterfalls, sandur plains, and rock columns of South Iceland. The Golden Circle offers a unique opportunity to observe and understand many of our planet’s forces in action.

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