Iceland 2023 Day 14 – Reykanes

Date: 7th Mar 2023


Our last full day in Iceland, and we spent it visiting a few locations around the Reykanes peninsula. We started by visiting the coast and the rock pool of Brimkettil. This is a rock pool carved out by the waves which is just above the level of the sea, but fills and empties with each wave.


Next to Brimketill there are impressive spray bursts due to the way the waves are channelled by the rocks. Even fairly modest waves can provide a good display.

Spray At Brimketill

Next we visited the thermal area of Gunnuhver which is backed by the Reykanes Lighthouse. There is a boardwalk leading past a few fumaroles blowing out steam and the whole area has brightly coloured rocks stained with sulphur deposits.

Gunnuhver And Reykanes Lighthouse

Heading north along Highway 425 and the landscape is an expansive black lava field from recent eruptions. There are a couple of prominent volcanic cones rising out of the landscape known as Stampar. The first ne is easily climbed from the road and gives a view to the second cone and the surrounding lava landscape. The cones and the surrounding lava fields were formed during the Reykanes fires of 1210 to 1240, so are qiote recent.

Stampar Volcanic Cone

Further north along Highway 425 is the tourist attraction of the Bridge Between Continents. This is a 15m footbridge spanning a fissure which supposedly separates the North American and European tectonic plates. In fact the footbridge serves no useful purpose but was built to celebrate the connection between Europe and North America.

The Bridge Between Continents

From the bridge, we returned to our hotel close to the Blue Lagoon, but we stopped off at the cemetery outside Grindavik where there was an interesting wooden arch which made a good subject in the late afternoon sunshine.

Arch At Grindavik Cemetery

Our last stop was to visit the famous Blue Lagoon. The lagoon was only formed in the late 1970s from run-off water from the Svartsengi geothermal power station. The water was then found to have therapeutic properties for skin conditions such as psoriasis, so the location was developed into a modern spa and tourist attraction. There are numerous pools outside the main spa area which are free to wander around.

Pool At The Blue Lagoon

The spa pool at the Blue Lagoon is also free to visit, but obviously there is a charge to enter the pool itself. It makes an unusual sight, surrounded by black lava fields, with the Svartsengi power station in the background. Nevertheless it is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, helped by its relative proximity to Reykjavik and Keflavik Airport.

The Blue Lagoon

So that concluded our holiday in Iceland in 2023. The following day we drove to Keflavik Airport, returned our hire car and took an early morning flight back to Manchester. We had been slightly disappointed by the weather, with the first week in particular being very overcast and dull. There was also no snow around at the lower altitudes, so it felt more like a Spring holiday rather than Winter. However we were pleased to have had good weather at Hofn in particular as we had largely missed out on that location on our previous holiday, and we were also very happy to have photographed the Northern Lights on a couple of occasions.

In any weather and at any time of the year, Iceland remains a fantastic destination for the landscape photographer, so quite possibly this will not be our last visit to the island.