Brimketill Lava Rock Pool and The Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area in Iceland

After visiting the cliffs of Valahnúkamöl, I first visited The Blue Lagoon — although I decided not to go into it — before I was going to attempt to visit a few other areas of the Reykjanes Peninsula on what was still my first day in Iceland after having arrived from the United States earlier that morning.

Brimketill Lava Rock Pool and The Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area in Iceland

Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Highway 425 follows the coast of the southern peninsula. Before I arrived at the cliffs of Valahnúkamöl, traffic moves either north or south; but after that point, traffic moves either east or west. I headed east until I reached the end at highway 43 and turned left to head north to The Blue Lagoon; and then after I was done, I drove back south on highway 43 and turned left onto highway 427 in Grindavik to head further east towards the ruins of the old settlement of Selatangar…

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but along the way, I saw a sign for Brimketill and wondered what that was — and I was not disappointed when I spontaneously detoured to explore it, as it was not on my itinerary.

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Brimketill is a large lava pool which is at the bottom of a cliff at the edge of the ocean, naturally formed by the pounding waves which carved against the soft lava rock for centuries.

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Do not get too close if you do not like being sprayed by the salty sea water — especially if the air temperature is chilly.

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The rocky coves of the shoreline emulate a cauldron in which violent eruptions of sea water occur without warning.

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The high boulder ridge is composed of well rounded stones which are between one foot thick and three feet thick.

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

If you look very carefully in the background, you can see what appears to be two plumes of smoke located approximately one kilometer away. That is actually water vapor from Reykjanes Power Plant and Gunnuhver Hot Springs, about which I wrote in this article.

Valahnúkamöl Cliffs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Once I was done viewing Brimketill, I then continued east towards the ruins of the old settlement of Selatangar, which was a thriving area for fishing from the early 1300s to the late 1800s. Unfortunately, only vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive capability can access the trail to the area, and the car which I rented was a standard front wheel drive vehicle; so I was forced to skip visiting Selatangar, which to this day, I do not particularly regret. After all, I already saw ruins earlier that day at Reykjanesviti, which is the oldest lighthouse in Iceland.

Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Next on the itinerary was the cliffs of Krýsuvíkurberg, which was only a couple of miles east of Selatangar along highway 427. I was looking forward to seeing the main cliff, which is approximately six kilometers wide and up to 230 feet tall…

Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but a creek of sorts blocked the road. I parked the car where a few other cars had parked and attempted to walk…

Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but the cliffs were approximately three kilometers away from highway 427, which meant that at least 40 minutes would be spent walking round trip to and from the cliffs — and that did not count spending some time there to admire them. As it was late in the day, I had to decide between spending time walking to and from the cliffs — or use that time visiting the Krýsuvík thermal area, which was only a few kilometers away; and I also wanted to visit both the Raufarhólshellir Lava Tube Cave and the Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River before returning to Reykjavik to repair to the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre hotel property to relax.

I decided to also skip the cliffs of Krýsuvíkurberg, which I would have liked to have seen in person — but again, it was not a must-see for me when compared to other points of interest on my itinerary.

Road From Valahnúkamöl to Krýsuvík Thermal Area Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Summary

Both Selatangar and Krýsuvíkurberg were amongst the very few points of interest on my itinerary in Iceland which I actually skipped — mostly because the vehicle which I rented was not equipped with four wheel drive — and because I saw so much in Iceland over the eleven days which I spent there seeing similar sights, I have no regrets.

If I return to Iceland, I may consider renting a vehicle equipped with four wheel drive for a day or two to visit those places which I missed — but again, they were not exactly what I would call opportunities which only present themselves once in a lifetime.

If you plan on visiting Selatangar and the cliffs of Krýsuvíkurberg, ensure that you have rented a vehicle equipped with four wheel drive, as I am uncertain as to whether any organized tours actually visit either place. These places are not all that far from Keflavik International Airport; so if you are not able to spend at least a week in Iceland traveling around the country, these places might have more importance for you to visit.

There are no facilities and no admission fee to enjoy either Brimketill, Selatangar or the cliffs of Krýsuvíkurberg, where you can stay as long as you like, as they are technically open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year — but winter can potentially be treacherous at either place, so plan on visiting during the summer months.

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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