Snorkelling in the Silfra fissure during our visit to Iceland was one of the highlights of our trip. This was the last stop of our DIY Golden Circle tour and was the perfect way to end our already amazing day. Snorkelling here, in our opinion, is a must do for any trip to Iceland, and can be done year-round!
We met our guides from Dive.is at the Information centre in Þingvellir National Park, which was very easy to find and was about a 45 minute drive from our most recent destination, Gullfoss. From here, they led us to the fissure’s nearby parking lot (we had to drive there). Not to worry, if you have not rented a car the company offers pickup from Reykjavík so it is not necessary to rent a car if you plan on just doing this activity in the area.
Once we got there, the guides immediately started handing out the equipment that we would be putting on for our dive. They provided absolutely everything, from the wetsuit to gloves and fins. Basically you will be covered from head to toe, with your face and hands being the only parts of your body that will actually get wet. FYI, your hair will get wet if you don’t tuck it into your face mask, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are trying to avoid this. They even give you a thermal layer under your wetsuit so that you don’t get cold! This entire process takes around 20-30 minutes as the guides go around checking to make sure everyone’s gear is properly secured at the various stages of getting dressed.
Next, we walked over to the fissure itself where our guide gave us a brief overview of the fissure. Here are a few facts we learned:
- This fissure is located between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which separate further at a rate of 2cm per year.
- The water in the fissure is at a temperature of 2-4 degrees Celsius year round.
- The water in the fissure is so pure that it is actually unhealthy! There aren’t enough minerals in it for it to be drunk on a regular basis.
- That said, the water is able to be drunk directly from the fissure by visitors and divers (which we obviously did the entire time even though it gave us a brain freeze).
As soon as we hit the water, our faces immediately started to numb (which you will get used to quite quickly) and our hands started to freeze (Tip: try not moving your hands too much and this will help keep them warm!). The water was completely clear the entire dive and we were able to see quite deep into the blue water. The entire dive trip lasted approximately 30 minutes, which was plenty considering that our hands were absolutely freezing by the end.
Our guide led us through a large part of the fissure and it was absolutely gorgeous. The light reflected against the rocks and created rainbows under water all over. There is a reason why this is called the Northern Lights of the water!
Once we had completed our dive, the guides led us back to the parking lot where we shed our gear. They even provided us with some hot chocolate and cookies which were the perfect pick me up after the cold water! This was such a fantastic experience and we would definitely recommend it to all who visit the area. The tour cost us approximately $170 CAD, and we were able to pre-book it online, saving us a little bit of time.
What to bring when snorkelling
- Warm thermal underwear and thick socks. You will thank us when you submerge your feet in near freezing water, wetsuit or not your feet will get cold!
- Hand warmers. Though these cannot be used during the snorkelling, they would certainly have come in handy for after.
- A waterproof camera. If you plan on taking pictures then this is a must. Be sure that your camera is easy to use and has a hand strap as you will be wearing thick gloves and your suit will not have any pockets.
Have you been snorkelling?
If so, where have you been?
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