Geysir Area Declared Protected

Strokkur erupts. Archive photo.

Strokkur erupts. Archive photo. Morgunblaðið/Ómar

Vala Hafstað

The Geysir hot spring area, South Iceland, was declared protected on the National Day of Iceland, June 17, Morgunblaðið reports. At a public ceremony, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson signed a declaration to that effect.

“We’re declaring the Geysir area protected,” he stated, “for the benefit of the whole world, because this is one of the world’s best known hot spring areas. We protect it not just for us, but for future generations.”

The aim of the declaration is to encourage the protection of unique geological formations, hot springs, microorganisms and unique vegetation in the area.

From the ceremony. Sigríður Auður Arnardóttir, from the Ministry for …

From the ceremony. Sigríður Auður Arnardóttir, from the Ministry for the Environment, and Minister for the Environment Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson. Photo/Contributed

The area includes numerous geysers and hot springs – Geysir and Strokkur the best known among them. The word geyser is even derived from the name Geysir, literally meaning ‘gusher.’

This active hot spring area is well known for large areas of geyserite. Quite appropriately, Strokkur did not fail to erupt several times during the ceremony.

The majority of tourists who come to Iceland visit the Geysir area, which is considered valuable in terms of science, education and recreation.


In addition to Geysir and Strokkur, there are numerous other hot springs in the area, including one, Óþerrishola, said to erupt only at the beginning of a drought.

“This place shows signs of a great deal of traffic in recent years,” Helgi Kjartansson, chairman of Bláskógabyggð’s local council, stated, “but I do expect improvements to be made. A protection plan will be created for the area, a new land use plan, and it is my hope that work on the building of  trails will begin next year.”


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