Hveragerði Geothermal Park, Iceland

Whilst Geysir and Strokkur are the most well known geysers in Iceland, the smaller nearby Hveragerði Geothermal Park certainly impresses, especially if it is your first geyser experience. The small park is located in the centre of the village, tucked away down a residential street. As well as the geyser there are hot mud pools for soaking weary feet, a hot spring for soaking as well as geothermally heated greenhouses and eggs boiling in hot pools.

buildings at geothermal park in Iceland

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Hveragerði Geothermal Park

Arriving on this small side road, it was not inspiring. The greenhouses were steamy and green but as with everywhere in Iceland in the summer, wildflowers were growing in the verges. Feeling like we were sneaking into someone’s garden we paid our fees and snuck into the park.

As a first geothermal experience it was a little underwhelming. The mud pools were dried up, the stream was a trickle and the greenhouses were home to a few tropical plants. The whole area was green and lush, swathes of lupins, just going over surrounded the geyser and wildflowers edged the small stream.

empty steam vent at geothermal park

With over 5000 years of activity the lava field that this geothermal area sits on has shaped the landscape and the lives of the local residents. The legacy of the hot springs and the horticulture that the constant supply of heat has brought to the village can be seen in its blooms and greenhouses.

However, this geothermal park is changing. In May 2008 a 6.3 earthquake rocked the area and just outside town a new spring erupted. This new activity is exciting and proof that Iceland is evolving. The spring is active with clear warm water and coloured mud being ejected from a fresh opening in the ground.

Photography Notes

Hveragerði Geothermal Park is quite a compact area and with minimal access at the ‘right time’ of day the photography options are limited.

This doesn’t mean it is a wasted visit, especially if you want to practice geyser photography away from crowds of people.

To get more information about how to photograph the geysers in Iceland have a read of the dedicated post on Geyser Photography.

The geothermal park also has some interesting vents and mechanical controls to allow the safe release of the steam. There are also detailed coloured deposits along the edge of the stream and in the dormant hot springs.

large wheel at geothermal park

Getting to Hveragerði

The geothermal area is about 45km east of Reykjavík and is part of the well known Golden Circle route

To reach the area take Route 1 (Ring Road 1) towards Selfoss. The road will come down from an area of higher ground. At the roundabout for Route 38 take the 3rd exit into Hveragerði

Follow this road until you find the parking area and entrance to the geothermal park

The geothermal park is open during the summer months although opening hours were not clear.

It is closed in the winter, but can be opened on request.

Other places to visit