Brimketill lava rock pool Travel Guide
Brimketill is a coastal rock pool on the Reykjanes Peninsula, renowned for its differing beauty between the seasons and its folklore.
Explore this area on a self drive tour in Iceland.
Photo above by Richard Chapman
Folklore at Brimketill
Brimketill’s current name translates to ‘whitewater cauldron’, although it was not always named such. Historically, it was known as Oddnýjarlaug, or ‘Oddný’s Pool’, named after a giantess or troll.
According to legend, Oddný used the pool to bathe and wash her clothes; as such it was avoided at night, when she was active (trolls turn to stone in sunlight, according to Icelandic lore).
The Reykjanes Peninsula has several other places associated with folklore, such as the mud pits of Gunnuhver, which are said to trap the spirit of a vengeful ghost.
Geology of Brimketill
Brimketill is made out of lava rock, created by the volcanism of the Reykjanes Peninsula. This peninsula is renowned for its many cone-shaped peaks, its endless expanses of black lava, and its constant geothermal activity.
The basin like shape of the lava rock pool was formed by coastal erosion. Waves pound the southern coastline of the peninsula with great force, having great time to build when the wind comes from the south, as there are no significant landmasses south of Iceland before the eastern tip of Africa. Such forces have shaped these jagged shores.
Safety at Brimketill
Photo above by Richard Chapman
There are many photos and videos of the internet of people bathing or swimming in Brimketill in summer; in such media, it looks serene, safe and inviting. However, even if the weather is clear and predicted to remain so, it is discouraged for guests to enter it, due to sharp, slippery rocks and the fickleness of Iceland’s climate.
In rough weather, waves easily break over Brimketill, and drain water out of it, making it an incredibly dangerous place to try and enter. Of course, the water in the lava rock pool is also very cold, as it is not geothermally heated, but simply seawater.
A new path has been constructed up to Brimketill, so that guests do not have to clamber over the cliffs in inclement weather in order to reach it.
Sites near Brimketill
Brimketill is just one of many popular natural attractions on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Other examples include the Seltún Geothermal Area, as well as the aforementioned Gunnuvher Geothermal Area. The largest lake of the region, Kleifarvatn, is worth a visit, and the birdwatching cliffs of Krýsuvíkurbjarg are alive with thousands of birds throughout summer.
The Reykjanes Peninsula is also home to ‘the Bridge between the Continents’, a spot where guests can walk from the Eurasian tectonic plate to the North American one, all the while learning about the rift valley that intersects Iceland.
Most famously, however, the region is home to the Blue Lagoon spa and pool, renowned for its therapies that are said to help the health of the body, soul and mind. It is just a fifteen minute drive away from the lava rock pool.
The nearest settlement to Brimketill is the fishing village of Grindavík, which has all amenities for those spending a day exploring the area.