Silfra Snorkelling tour
Come with us on a snorkelling tour in Silfra rift (A UNESCO world heritage site) at Thingvellir national park. The experience will blow your mind. There is a 100+ visibility in the water and the colours will make this experience worth it.
Swim between two continent and go snorkelling in one of the world's top dives. The crystal clear water of the Silfra fissure in the heart of Thingvellir National Park.
When you are in Silfra you are in one of the clearest water in the world, you can drink it while you snorkel through the cracks, hence the name Silfra (silver)
Also, Iceland being the only part of the north atlantic ridge above sea level and being ripped apart 2-3 centimetres every year, being in Silfra you are between the two continental plates and should be able to touch both of them at the same time. And at the end of the Silfra rift we go into the Silfra Lagoon wich was called "the Blue Lagoon" in the old days, long before the one we know today came into existence. Trust us, you will know why when you see it.
Silfra is one of the top scuba/ snorkel/ freedive places in the world, but the landscape surrounding it is not that bad either. The oldest parliament in the world was founded here, For Game of Thrones fans, you have "The Wall" in your eyesights.
We offer only wetsuits on this tour. We use the best 7mm two piece open cell freediving suits possible so being cold is not a problem. But you can move and even dive down
Water is always 2-4 C° (36–39 °F) which gives us the visibility.
All necessary equipment is provided. Pickups are from hotels in Reykjavik or you can meet your guides at Thingvellir Information Center.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 4 hours
- Activities: Snorkelling
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English, Icelandic, Danish
- Highlights: Þingvellir,
Þingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Þingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries. Þingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagjá, which marks the eastern boundary of the North American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Öxarárfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, Þingvallakirkja Church and Gjábakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.Silfra
Silfra is a fissure filled with fresh springwater within Þingvellir National Park, and one of the country’s most cherished wonders. Snorkelling and diving in its crystal-clear waters is an experience that is both thrilling and relaxing, and it is now considered to be one of the top five dive sites in the world. It takes around an hour to reach Silfra from Reykjavík.
- See this article on Diving and Snorkelling in Iceland
Geography of Silfra
Silfra fissure opened in 1789, due to the movements of the tectonic plates that frame Þingvellir National Park. The North American and Eurasian plates, which run all the way through Iceland, separate at about 2 centimetres per year, and when they do, tear open fissures in the land between them.
The ravines fill with water travelling underground through the porous lava fields in the area, originating from Langjökull glacier about 60 kilometres north. It can take the water up to a century to reach Silfra and this long filtration process results in the water being both extremely clear and drinkable.
Because the water travels underground, it maintains a constant temperature of two to three degrees Celsius and does not freeze over immediately at the source of the spring. Snorkelling and diving tours are thus open throughout the year.
The clarity of the water is what draws most visitors. The visibility can extend to over 100 metres, allowing you to see the canyon walls and bottom like you are floating over a great cathedral.
The last colour that water absorbs is blue, which means that when you look forward in Silfra, it is as if you are looking into an ethereal, vivid, azure world. The clarity also means that sun-rays refract through the surface of the water, creating rainbows on Silfra’s bed when the weather allows.
Snorkelling in Silfra
Snorkelling in Silfra fissure is a highly enjoyable activity, but you must meet some prerequisites to be able to join. These are as follows:
- You must be able to swim
- You must be over 16
- You must be in good physical health
- You must be at least 145 centimetres and 45 kilograms
- If you are over sixty, you will need a medical waiver
- If you are over forty-five with a history of heavy alcohol use and pipe smoking, you will also need a waiver
The most common option for snorkelling is to conduct it in a drysuit like is done on this tour. Drysuits work with a fluffy undersuit to keep your body free from water and insulated against the cold, making the task of swimming through the near-freezing temperature more than achievable.
While drysuit snorkelling is the most comfortable and popular option, a few tours allow you to go through Silfra wearing a wetsuit. Wetsuits, made of neoprene, allow water to surround your body in a thin layer, that your body then heats up and uses to protect you. Though they grant you more flexibility, they are not so warm, so this should be done by the daring; you will also need to be at least 50 kilograms to snorkel in a wetsuit.
In all tours, you wear neoprene on your head and hands to allow for better mobility, a mask and snorkel, and a pair of fins, all of which are provided on site. The course of Silfra takes approximately forty minutes, and there is a gentle current throughout, meaning it requires minimal energy to traverse.
Diving in Silfra
Diving through Silfra gives an extra dimension to its beauty, as you will be able to look up and see the sun glistening upon the surface as you cruise through the crystal clear waters. However, considering the risks associated with diving in cold water and cumbersome equipment, all who partake must meet all the requirements above, as well as one of the following:
- You must be a qualified diver with a certification in a drysuit speciality, OR
- You must be a qualified diver with at least 10 logged dives in a drysuit conducted over the past two years, signed by an instructor or divemaster.
Pickup time : 09:30, 10:30
All snorkel gear needed to do the tour
Thingvellir national park fees
Dryrobe overcoat while doing the tour
Hot cocoa after snorkel tour
Pickup in Reykjavik area
What to bring:
Bathing suits and a towel
Warm suit would be nice :)
Good to know:
Prerequisites for this tour:
Be at least 145 cm (4’9")
Be at least 45 kg (100 lb)
Be able to swim and be comfortable in water
Be physically fit
Be at least 16 years of age
Be mentally, physically, psychologically and medically fit to do swim in the water
This tour is not suitable for pregnant women. Please note that should you have any neurological, circulatory or respiratory problems or underlying diseases, battled any illnesses or have any physical problems you might have to turn in a physicians allowance to participate in this tour. If you are over 45 and partake/have partaken in pipe smoking or heavy alcohol intake, you might need a medical waiver. If you are over 60 years of age, you need a medical waiver. Please contact the operator for further information and application papers.