Snorkeling the Silfra Fissure (Iceland)

When I first imagined getting into water that was coming from a glacier, I was sure I would freeze to death.(I don’t do very well with the cold) But how could one pass up the chance to snorkel in between two continents at the very same time?! Of course I HAD to do it.

If you haven’t heard of this yet,  you’ve been living under a rock. Well, first, Iceland has gained increasingly popular within the past couple of years. With it’s famous “7 day layover” to attract tourists, Iceland has become one of the top destinations in the world.

One thing you must do when you visit the beautiful country of Iceland, is to snorkel Silfra Fissure. Silfra Fissure is a crack in between the North American and Eurasian continents located in Thingvellir National Park. It is where the two continental plates meet but they are drifting apart about 2cm a year. So, that means you must go as soon as possible!

The water comes from a nearby glacier and is filtered through porous underground lava making it one of the clearest waters you could ever swim in. The visibility in the Silfra Fissure is over 100 meters. You can also drink the water, they actually encourage you to try it. I took a gulp and it really was the best tasting water I have ever tried. I wish I could’ve bottled some of it up and brought it home!

So, onto the experience…!

Booking your Silfra Fissure…

  • There are a few different companies you can book this activity with but I decided to go with Arctic Adventures ( http://www.adventures.is) (@arcticadventures) All of the guides were extremely helpful and fun. They made us all feel very comfortable and safe. They definitely made the experience even more amazing.

Getting there…

  • Thingvellir National Park is about a 50 minute drive from downtown Reykavik. The bus picked me up in front of my hotel. I closed my eyes for what felt like a few minutes and then we were already there.

Suiting up…

  • They recommend you wear thermals under and warm socks. I wore thermal long sleeves, thermal pants and another pair of leggings over. I was prepared but I probably didn’t need it. They give you two suits to put on. First, a body suit for warmth, that literally traps in all of the heat. Then, the dry suit. This part gets tricky. The guides have to individually help everyone get into the dry suits. It’s really hard to get into, so a lot of jumping up and down and squirming takes place. Once you’re in the suits, they check to see if your wrists and neck area is tight. If the suit doesn’t fit perfectly, they tie a rubber band around so that water does not get in. They even put a rubber band around my neck, which at first, felt very uncomfortable because I felt like a dog with a collar. Then, for the head piece, which is very uncomfortable as well. It completely squishes your face and eyes. I won’t lie, this whole process was the worst. Especially if you have claustrophobia…  being in this tight suit that is heavy, hard to move in and constricting isn’t a very pleasant experience. BUT, you forget all about it once you’re in the water. I promise!

Diving in…

  • Once you’re all suited up, you have to walk to the entrance of the lake. There’s a platform with stairs that lead you into the water.
  • Before you get in, they do final check ups on your suits.
  • Then they make you spit into your goggles. Yes, I said spit. With your saliva. Apparently spitting into goggles prevents them from fogging up. Who knew?
  • When you first get into the water, a sense of panic takes over, your face is the only part of your body that actually touches the water and it IS cold. But after a few minutes, you can’t even feel it. I’m not sure if I just got used to it or my excitement took over that I forgot that my face was in 34 degree water.
  • The suits are so buoyant that you can only float and swim on top of the water. The guides said we could “try” to go under the water but you’d literally just flap your fins and look like an idiot.
  • The water is really as clear as they say.
  • It takes about 20 minutes from the beginning to the end.
  • Once you reach the end, the guides are waiting to help you get upright back to your feet. They take off your fins and push your legs down so that you can reach the floor.
  • The only thing I could think of once I was out of the water was, how absolutely amazing it was and…… “get me out of this suit!”

I can’t even explain how it feels to be in that water and no pictures do it justice but all I can say is that it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in my life. If it’s not on your bucket list yet, I say add it now!

Happy exploring!

Activities Europe Iceland Snorkel Solo Travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: