Iceland can boast two things: it is one of the youngest countries in Europe (humans started inhabiting it at the end of the 9th century) and is the quintessential geyser nation. The English word geyser derives from the Icelandic verb gjósa, meaning 'to gush'.
A geyser is a type of hot spring characterized by the intermittent discharge of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by steam. When groundwater comes in contact with hot rocks due to the proximity of magma, the water temperature rises and it sprays out when it reaches the boiling point.
Iceland has numerous geysers, two of them among the most famous worldwide: Strokkur and the Great Geysir.
'Geysir' or, as it is known in Iceland, 'the Great Geysir', was the first geyser known to modern Europeans. In fact, the English word geyser derives form Geysir.
It has slept for years; the last time it erupted was 2000, when an earthquake revived it and it reached 122 meters.
The Great Geysir asleep.
But if we want to see a geyser erupting, we do not have to go too far. Strokkur, which sprays out water and steam every 14 minutes, is found nearby and provides tourists some magnificent sights of its eruption, which can reach a height of 30 metres.