Scuba Diving in Silfra Fissure | Deep into the Blue
Delve deep into the crystal waters of Silfra! This scuba diving tour includes two dives in the famous Silfra ravine. It's located in the UNESCO heritage site, Þingvellir National Park, where Icelanders established the world’s oldest still operating parliament, established over a thousand years ago by the first settlers of Iceland. Silfra ravine is located on top of the continental rift valley between Europe and America.
In the fissure, there's a slow current that gives one a perfect pace to explore this beautiful area. The visibility in the crystal clear water is an unmatched specimen, so wide and long that sometimes it is only limited by the density of the water itself. Depth varies from 10 to 40 meters. Our dive depth is limited to 18 meters by park regulations.
This is without question one of the best dive tours the world has to offer.
If you book the pickup service from Reykjavík then the tour will start with a pick-up from your hotel in Reykjavík and then with a preparation in our facilities in Reykjavík, fitting the suits on and going over all safety rules and plan of the day. Then we head out to Þingvellir National Park, about 40 min drive. At Silfra parking lot we get ready for the 2 dives. After the tour, we drop you off at your hotel in Reykjavík. The duration of the tour including transportation is approx. 6 hours.
Please note that you can also book the tour without the pickup service and meet us directly at the Information Centre in Þingvellir National Park.
To partake in the tour, you must have a PADI Open Water Certificate, or equivalent qualification, as well as a Drysuit Diving Certification, or at least 10 logged drysuit dives within the last two years. Even if you have the certification, then you still have to have dived within this period, with or without a drysuit, as it is a challenging trip that you must be prepared for. Furthermore, you must be able to follow instructions in English.
PLEASE NOTE: In the winter time if the temperature falls below -0'
Come take a plunge into the blue. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 6 hours
- Activities: Diving
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Minimum age: 18 years old
- Languages: English
Thingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries.Thingvellir 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 Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the north American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, and Gjabakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.
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.
Starting time : 07:30 09:30,
Guided dive tour in Silfra with an experience Dive Master or Dive Instructor
All specialized dive equipment, including a dry suit, mask, fins, thermal undersuit, tanks, weights, regulator and second stage, all specially designed for the cold water.
Silfra admission fee
Hot chocolate and cookies
What to bring:
Your PADI certificate (or equivalent)
Your Drysuit certification or Drysuit experience within the last two years
Warm woolen socks and a change of clothing. The change of clothing is a precaution since no dry suit can be 100% guaranteed to be dry unless it is made especially for you.
Warm undergarments (fleece/wool)
Good to know:
This is a challenging dive where you need to be capable of carrying heavy equipment up to 400m.
Please note that PADI open water license or compatible is required to be able to participate in this tour. As all dives are performed in a dry suit it is required to have a Drysuit certification or Drysuit experience (one logged drysuit dive) within the last two years. Divers have to supply their sizes upon booking. All divers must have dived in a dry suit within the last 2 years. You must be fit and healthy with no medical conditions to be able to participate in this tour. Diving is not allowed for pregnant women. You must be able to understand safety instructions in English, and be able to communicate with your dive guide in English due to safety reasons.
dive guide is very handsome. and care about the safety. so follow his suggestion is always the most important.