There are hidden geological gems all around Iceland, places where volcanic activity and brutal exposure to the elements form the beautiful phenomena that make this country so unique. You can find hexagonal basalt columns; sea-arches and pillars; towering lava formations; and on the south side of the Reykjanes Peninsula, Brimketill.
According to folklore regarding Brimketill it used to be said that the pool was owned by a giantess, who used it to wash her clothes and bathe. In that time, its name was not ‘the whitewater cauldron’, but ‘Oddný’s pool’, or Oddnýjarlaug, after this character.
Carved by the pounding of waves against soft lava rock, Brimketill is a large, natural pool that sits at the bottom of a cliff at the ocean’s edge. In summer, it is a place of beauty and serenity; in winter, it becomes a place of dramatic wonder.
Reaching the car park for Brimketill is a different kind of challenge compared to other hot pot locations. To get to them, you have to drive down unmaintained roads covered in so much snow it was extreme caution is advised it does not help that the area is not yet well signposted and may not come up on one of the GPS systems; therefore, keep a keen eye to find out where we should be going. About 10 kilometres from Grindavík, however, you will see a wooden post a short way up a little side road that has been highlighted in fading letters, and thus you will have arrived at your destination. The carpark is just a short drive further. A large section of it was fenced off, with diggers and building materials inside, and we saw some sort of trail that was in the early stages of construction, heading over the edge of the rocky cliff.
The waves against the adjacent cliffs are a magnificent site to behold , calming to the nerves , and provides a refreshing sprinkle of sea spray across your faces.The view from the top of the cliff is and spectacular. Though not particularly high nor particularly steep, great waves were rolling in and smashing against the rocks, throwing spray across our faces and filling the air with the incredible sound of the ocean’s power.While approaching Brimketill from the rocky cliff is quite an adventure, I would caution those who are unsteady on their feet, or who fear heights or the ocean, to wait until the path and platform are constructed before visiting themselves. On your return journey, you can chose to take the long route back, travelling around the edge of the Reykjanes peninsula. Travelling this way from Grindavík, Brimketill is just the first of several interesting locations, which are all conveniently positioned around each other.A few kilometres away, you can find a spectacular geothermal area called Gunnuhver. There are many mud pools and vents here, with thick columns of steam rising high into the air; amongst them, you can see the remains of the old path that collapsed when a hot spring opened beneath it.
Further along is the Reykjanes Lighthouse, overlooking the dangerous, rocky coastland on the peninsula edge, and ahead from there is Miðlína, where you can cross a symbolic bridge between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. There are also many volcanoes and craters just off the road.Off this coast on a clear day, you can see the protected island of Eldey, which rises sheerly 77 metres from the surface of the water, and is renowned for hosting one of the world’s largest gannet colonies.
All of these locations are worth a look, especially for anyone on a self-drive tour around Reykjanes. Brimketill is highly recommended locally because of its dramatic location, and the way it changes with the conditions around it. Like most of the other places on the peninsula, it is more accessible during summer; but for those who are sure on their feet and responsible regarding the dangers of the cliff, the whitewater cauldron warrants a visit all the year round.
The folklore relates that the pond was regularly occupied by a giantess named Oddný. The viewing platform overlooking Brimketill is just a few steps away from the parking lot starting with a small set of stairs, making the platform inaccessible to wheelchairs. Standing on the platform you risk the possibility of getting soaked as the waves can almost reach the parking lot. Make sure to watch your step while taking in the amazing view and the unrelenting forces of nature. Utmost caution is recommended, especially when travelling with children. This is because ;
- There is no safety supervision of the area.
- Visitors travel at their own risk.
- The waves can be unpredictable and unexpected.
- Ocean currents in the area are extremely powerful.
- Strong blasts of wind can be dangerous and unforeseen.
- Never leave your child unattended. Hold it at all times on the viewing platform.
- Entering the sea may be life-threatening.