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Silfra Fissure: Snorkeling and Diving in Iceland's Crystal-Clear Waters

27-10-2023

Silfra Fissure

Nestled in the heart of Iceland lies a natural wonder that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. The Silfra Fissure is not just any ordinary diving spot; it's a gateway to an underwater realm where two continents meet. If you've ever dreamt of diving or snorkeling in some of the clearest waters on Earth, Silfra is the place to be.

What is Silfra?

Silfra is a unique fissure filled with crystal-clear spring water, making it a haven for divers and snorkelers alike. Its fame stems from its distinctive geology, being the only location globally where one can dive or snorkel between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. 

This rift, referred to as the Silfra crack, stands as one of Iceland's most treasured natural wonders. The water's clarity is so remarkable that visibility can stretch beyond 330 feet (100 meters), offering a surreal view of the canyon walls and bottom, akin to floating above a vast cathedral. 

The last color absorbed by the water is blue, resulting in an ethereal, vivid azure world when looking forward in Silfra. On sunny days, sun rays refract through the water's surface, casting rainbows on Silfra’s bed.

Silfra

How cold is the water in Silfra?

Silfra's water remains a steady 2-4°C (35-39°F). While its coldness deters most marine life, the pristine clarity is due to its underground origin, not temperature.

How much does it cost to snorkel or dive at Silfra?

You can dive in Silfra for a price starting from 20.000ISK (145$ or 145€).

Where is Silfra?

Situated within the Þingvellir National Park in southwest Iceland, Silfra is a prominent stop on the renowned Golden Circle route. This makes it a sought-after destination for those eager to experience the best of Icelandic nature. The park itself is roughly an hour's drive from Reykjavík, with numerous snorkeling tours starting from Silfra or even offering pick-ups from the city.

How to Get to Silfra

Iceland is a land of natural wonders, and Silfra is no exception. Located just about an hour away from Reykjavík, the journey to Silfra offers travelers a visual treat with panoramic views of Iceland's rugged landscapes. 

For those keen on delving deeper into Iceland's beauty, renting a car is a fantastic option. Companies like Iceland Cars offer the flexibility to explore at one's own pace, ensuring no hidden gem goes unnoticed.

Reykjavik to Silfra

When to Visit Silfra

Silfra is open to visitors throughout the year, with each season offering its unique charm. Winter dives are especially enchanting, with the interplay of light creating a magical ambiance. 

Summer, on the other hand, boasts extended daylight hours, allowing for longer exploration times. However, irrespective of the season, the water in Silfra remains consistently cold. Originating from the Langjokull glacier located about 37 miles (60 kilometers) to the north, the water undergoes a lengthy filtration process through porous lava fields before reaching Silfra. 

This process can take up to a century, resulting in water that's not only incredibly clear but also potable. The water's temperature remains steady between 35°F to 37°F (2°C to 3°C), ensuring it doesn't freeze instantly at the spring's source. This makes snorkeling and diving tours available year-round.

What to Wear at Silfra

Given the chilly temperatures, it's essential to dress appropriately:

  • Drysuits are popular as they keep the body insulated against the cold.

  • Wetsuits are available for the more daring, offering more flexibility but less warmth.

  • Neoprene headgear and gloves are provided to ensure warmth and better mobility.

What to Expect When Snorkeling or Diving at Silfra

  • Unparalleled Clarity: The Iceland clear water in Silfra offers visibility like no other, making it one of the top dive sites globally.

  • Tectonic Dive: Experience the thrill of diving between tectonic plates in the Silfra rift.

  • Unique Geology: The Silfra crack and surrounding areas are a testament to the dynamic forces of nature at play.

silfra snorkeling

Tips for Snorkeling or Diving at Silfra

  • Opt for guided tours, especially if you're a first-timer.

  • Ensure you meet the prerequisites for diving or snorkeling.

  • Capture the experience. The underwater world of Silfra is too beautiful not to be photographed.

Safety Information for Snorkeling or Diving at Silfra

Safety is paramount. Ensure you:

  • Follow guidelines provided by instructors.

  • Are aware of how deep the Silfra crack is and the temperature of the Silfra water.

  • Stay within designated areas and avoid straying from the group.

iceland dive tectonic plates

In conclusion, Silfra offers an experience like no other. Whether you're a seasoned diver or someone looking to try snorkeling for the first time, the fissure promises an adventure that will remain etched in your memory forever.

So, pack your bags, rent a car, and embark on a journey to explore the underwater wonders of Silfra Fissure. Dive in and let the magic of Iceland's crystal-clear waters enchant you!